Strong Female Protagonists Stories with Low Romance

Strong Female Protagonists Stories with Low Romance
For recommending female protagonists that don't immediately lower their IQ and EQ when a (ML) man enters the picture. Strong is also used somewhat lightly. This recommendation list will be more geared towards female leads who's actions/words are pivotal in the story. Due to the landscape of light novels with female protagonists, this list will not be completely romance free, but stories recommended will either be slow romance or the story itself will not pivot around the male lead's actions/story.

Order added as I recall them. Some I haven't read in a while so my thoughts aren't necessarily accurate. If you have a recommendation, please leave a comment of what I should try out!
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Created: Jun 2nd, 2023, Updated: Apr 6th, 2024
Created Jun 2nd, 2023
Updated Apr 6th, 2024
CN (4.1)
473 Chapters Every 0.6 Day(s) 4484 Readers 78 Reviews 04-19-2024
I haven't read this one in a while, but the summary doesn't do it justice. At the time I paused on reading it, there still... more>>
KR (3.5)
0 Chapters Every 1073 Day(s) 1180 Readers 2 Reviews N/A
I've only read the comic. The story treats the female protagonist similar to a male counterpart in other stories of similar nature (world threatened, awakening... more>>
JP (4.6)
321 Chapters Every 22.6 Day(s) 13135 Readers 35 Reviews 04-19-2024
While there is obviously a male lead, it is more based on solving mysteries and issues of the nobles than romance. Maomao is a very... more>>
JP (4.7)
24 Chapters Every 202.7 Day(s) 4818 Readers 50 Reviews 02-14-2018
It's short and light-hearted, a good palate cleanser if you need something to unclog your brain from something heavy with angst or complicated plot. A... more>>
CN (4.6)
26 Chapters Every 70.3 Day(s) 1265 Readers 13 Reviews 05-02-2022
I haven't finished it, and I'm mostly reading the comic. Zhu Yang is... an interesting female protagonist. She's someone you see in Mean Girls as... more>>
CN (4.2)
1809 Chapters Every 0.9 Day(s) 8941 Readers 176 Reviews 04-19-2024
Not one I finished yet, but started on when I was really into QT. Ning Shu starts off weak, but ends up strong. However, judging... more>>
CN (4.6)
80 Chapters Every 56.9 Day(s) 4099 Readers 89 Reviews 02-24-2022
Enjoyable if you like litprg + survival. If I recall, it's a bit of a sim city type of game. The MC doesn't have a... more>>
CN (4.4)
12 Chapters Every 107.8 Day(s) 1621 Readers 20 Reviews 07-25-2023
Early arcs started out strong, but the author seemed to have run out of survival games to use by the end that wouldn't obviously be... more>>
CN (4.3)
158 Chapters Every 42.6 Day(s) 3329 Readers 76 Reviews 12-03-2023
Enjoyable, especially at first, but once she starts taking skills to next world, it starts getting a tad repetitive with how she resolves things. Kind... more>>
CN (4.2)
130 Chapters Every 35.5 Day(s) 1967 Readers 39 Reviews 11-20-2022
Another silly palate cleanser. Powering up through food. I think of Shokugeki no Soma/Food Wars in terms of imagery... There is a ML, but ML... more>>
JP (3.8)
49 Chapters Every 32.8 Day(s) 1809 Readers 20 Reviews 03-23-2023
I suggest reading the manga "The One Within the Villainess" that's been slowly translated if you don't like first person POV. My review is mostly... more>>
JP (4.4)
660 Chapters Every 3.5 Day(s) 14416 Readers 135 Reviews 04-17-2024
This does fit the bill in that MC is a strong female lead with no romance. It's a somewhat mindless transported to a game world... more>>
JP (4.4)
764 Chapters Every 77.8 Day(s) 27220 Readers 210 Reviews 01-30-2022
I've only read the 1st chunk of it, which is about being reincarnated into a spider (identifying as a female student). It has a fun... more>>
CN (4.6)
357 Chapters Every 2.3 Day(s) 3977 Readers 73 Reviews 04-18-2024
Very smart and goal oriented MC for a mecha-based world. 
JP (4.5)
21 Chapters Every 74.9 Day(s) 2545 Readers 12 Reviews 08-02-2021
Basically, an otome isekai where a girl who was battered by economic downturn is reincarnated as the villainess of an otome game she played and... more>>
CN (3.8)
738 Chapters Every 0.5 Day(s) 1682 Readers 7 Reviews 04-19-2024
Typical OP MC transmigrates into the body of an abused girl and reverses her fortune. She does so with a lot of wit (and a... more>>
CN (4.4)
110 Chapters Every 24.3 Day(s) 1104 Readers 9 Reviews 09-08-2023
No romance, but Xu Jin Yi is interesting to follow along as she solves the horror games she plays in an OP manner. This is... more>>
CN (4.2)
44 Chapters Every 23.7 Day(s) 342 Readers 2 Reviews 08-17-2023
I read a bit of it and the MC seems pretty awesome. The romance is low (judging from the reviews). Downside is that the translator... more>>
JP (4.6)
41 Chapters Every 94.1 Day(s) 2683 Readers 11 Reviews 07-21-2022
CN (4.5)
111 Chapters Every 25.7 Day(s) 4235 Readers 82 Reviews 12-25-2023
Currently read about 3 arcs of this QT novel and so far MC is pretty straightforward. Low romance (though many (scum) male leads like her),... more>>
CN (4.3)
305 Chapters Every 2000 Day(s) 3346 Readers 29 Reviews 10-29-2022
The MC is a very badass female character that basically says "rely on yourself". She keeps aiming to be the strongest, and initially promotes self-reliance (esp after 10 years of it in her original timeline). However, she does open up and allow her friends into her heart and trusts them enough to relax. ... more>>
Comments (9)
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  1. scaredsheepless
    scaredsheepless· Oct 5, 2023 07:13 PM

    I would love to recommend "Step Down, Let Me Come!" 

    Suffered through the mtl(all 840-something chaps) til the latest chapter and I DONT REGRET IT!!! 

    Reply · 1 Like · ·
    • luxe
      luxe· Author · Oct 12, 2023 06:05 PM
      I actually enjoyed the chapters I did read, but there's only like 44 translated chapters, doesn't look like the translations will continue, and I just didn't know if I could put myself through the MTL. <_> I'll definitely recommend it since it seemed low romance and the MC seemed awesome with what little I read!
      Reply · ·
  2. Double22
    Double22· Jul 29, 2023 01:37 PM
    Your description about the Kuma story being somewhat mindless really hits the mark (even if I only read the webnovel)
    Reply · 1 Like · ·
  3. Bunnyman13
    Bunnyman13· Dec 15, 2023 02:45 PM
    "Ascendance of a bookworm" and "She was called both god, and satan"? There maybe a little amount of romance but it is very very little.
    Reply · ·
  4. CauldronKnight
    CauldronKnight· Nov 25, 2023 03:15 PM
    Have you tried "Today I have Yet to Become a Doll"? I really enjoyed it - a smart female protagonist and romance is more of a subplot. 
    Reply · ·
  5. AmayaNightrain
    AmayaNightrain· Oct 26, 2023 11:10 AM
    I recommend Chronicles of The Hardships of Komachi in The Sengoku Era which has low romance and MC serves as an adviser in this kingdom-building alternative history. 
    Reply · ·
    • luxe
      luxe· Author · Oct 29, 2023 06:03 AM
      Oh hey, I recognize the cover art and read some of the manga. Haven't finished it, but I do recall it fits the bill!clear.png
      Reply · ·
  6. JamesBunny
    JamesBunny· Jul 11, 2023 11:03 PM
    Where’s smash all pots and pans to go to school clear.png
    Reply · ·
    • luxe
      luxe· Author · Jul 16, 2023 07:28 AM
      :O I will go read it and decide!
      Reply · 1 Like · ·