Shoujo?June 10, 2009
It seems that shojo manga is always left behind the pack whenever genres are brought up. There’s usually only women reading manga. It seems like that’s slowly trying to change. With increase in popularity of series like Ouran High School Host Club, and Honey and Clover, it seems males are starting to change their perspective on the shojo genre.
I’ll be the first to admit, shoujo can be very formulaic: girl falls in love, confesses, rivals intervene, they get over it, live happily ever after. This is really not the case in the of the new wave that isn’t only girly-comics anymore. It seems like shoujo and josei are starting to cross borders and becoming a bit more deep and meaningful than people would believe. A good example is the whole-shojo-manga/anime, Nana. It not only was targeted at females, but I found that men liked it as well. It really struck a more human feel to an otherwise odd storyline. There are also manga that parody the feelings of a reverse-romance in Otomen. I highly recommend this manga as it’s probably my most favorite of all whole-shoujo manga. It really puts a more sweet feeling to being a feminine man.
So with that I have come up with a term for anime and manga that try hit a broader spectrum than junior high girls: whole-shojo. This is similar to neo-shonen, only without the trails of yaoi trailing behind it. Sadly, it seems like this isn’t enough. Many shojo anime aren’t being made, and even when they are licensing companies aren’t bringing them over. It seems like I’ll have to feed on Ouran and Nana for a while.
The downfall of Shojo Beat Magazine hasn’t helped shoujo anymore so. I saw this coming a mile away. While Shonen Jump attempted to add in titles suitable for both men and women, SB tended to lean only on the female demographic. Including articles about how to cook and how to make your room like Yuuki from Vampire Knight, it really didn’t help their case any to gather more male readers. Sadly, this was a man repellant due to the feminine covers and odd showcasings of articles on the front covers.
All in all, help make shoujo a more widely read/watched and enjoyed genre. It really needs more love beyond the idea that it’s some lame romance story used for people who don’t have any romance to begin with. Here here to shoujo, I’ll sit here with my copies of Otomen while you guys take your time to catch up on some of the good ol’ shoujo manga from the 80’s and 90’s. Charmed I’m sure.