Shōjo manga


Shōjo manga

nihongo|"Shōjo", "shojo", or "shoujo manga"|少女漫画|shōjomanga refers to manga marketed to a female audience roughly between the ages of 10 and 18. The term is a transliteration of the Japanese 少女, literally "young girl". Shōjo manga covers many subjects in a variety of narrative and graphic styles, from historical drama to science fiction often with a strong focus on human and romantic relationships and emotions.Toku, Masami, editor. 2005. "Shojo Manga: Girl Power!" Chico, CA: Flume Press/California State University Press. ISBN 1-886226-10-5. See also http://www.csuchico.edu/pub/cs/spring_06/feature_03.html. Accessed 2007-09-22.] Strictly speaking, shōjo manga is not a style or a genre "per se", but rather an indicator of a target demographic. [Thorn, Matt (2001) [http://matt-thorn.com/shoujo_manga/japan_quarterly/index.html "Shôjo Manga—Something for the Girls"] , "The Japan Quarterly", Vol. 48, No. 3] [Thorn, Matt (2004) [http://matt-thorn.com/shoujo_manga/whatisandisnt.html What Shôjo Manga Are and Are Not: A Quick Guide for the Confused] , last modified December 18, 2006]

History

Magazines specifically for girls, known as shōjo magazines, first appeared in 1903 with the founding of nihongo3|"Girls' World"|少女界|Shōjo kai, and continued with others such as nihongo3|"Girls' World"|少女世界|Shōjo Sekai (1906) and the long-running nihongo3|"Girls' Friend"|少女の友|Shōjo no tomo (1908). [ [http://www.kikuyo-lib.jp/top.html The Kikuyō Town Library nihongo2|菊陽町図書館] . [http://www.kikuyo-lib.jp/08_menu.htm nihongo3|"Meiji - Shōwa: An Introduction to Girls' Magazines"|明治〜昭和 少女雑誌のご紹介|Meiji - Shōwa shōjo zasshi no goshōkai] Retrieved on 2008-09-15.] Simple, single-page manga had begun to appear in these magazines by 1910, and by the 1930s, more sophisticated humor strips had become an essential feature of most girls' magazines, the most popular being Katsuji Matsumoto's "Kurukuru Kurumi-chan" (くるくるクルミちゃん), which debuted on the pages of "Shōjo no tomo" (少女の友) in 1938. [Thorn, Matt (2006) " [http://matt-thorn.com/shōjo_manga/prewar_shōjo/index.html Pre-World War II Shōjo Manga and Illustrations] " matt-thorn.com] As World War II progressed, however, "comics, perhaps regarded as frivolous, began to disappear." [Schodt, Frederik L. (1983) "Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics", Kodansha International.]

Postwar shōjo manga, such as Shosuke Kurakane's hugely popular "Anmitsu Hime", [Yonezawa, Yoshihiro, ed. (1991)"Kodomo no Shōwa-shi: Shōjo manga no sekai I", Shōwa 20 nen - 37 nen (子供の昭和史──少女マンガの世界 I 昭和20年〜37年 "A Children's History of Showa-Era Japan: The World of Shōjo Manga I, 1945-1962") Bessatsu Taiyō series. Tokyo: Heibonsha] initially followed the prewar pattern of simple humor strips. But Osamu Tezuka's postwar revolution, introducing intense drama and serious themes to children's manga, spread quickly to shōjo manga, particularly after the enormous success of his seminal "Ribon no kishi" (リボンの騎士 "Princess Knight"). [Schodt, Frederik L. (1983) "Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics", Kodansha International.]

Until the mid-1960s, all but a handful (e.g., Toshiko Ueda, Hideko Mizuno, Masako Watanabe, and Miyako Maki) of the artists working on shōjo manga were men. Many, such as Tetsuya Chiba, [Thorn, Matt (2005) " [http://matt-thorn.com/shoujo_manga/hagio_interview.htm The Moto Hagio Interview] " "The Comics Journal" #269.] were rookies, waiting for an opportunity to move over to shōnen (少年 "boys'") manga. Chiba asked his wife about girls' feelings for research for his manga. At this time, female job opportunities did not include being a mangaka. [Toku, Masami (2007) " [http://www.upress.umn.edu/Books/L/lunning_mechademia2.html Shojo Manga! Girls’ Comics! A Mirror of Girls’ Dreams] " "Mechademia 2" pp.22-23] Adapting Tezuka's dynamic style to shōjo manga (which had always been domestic in nature) proved challenging. According to Thorn:

In these earlier shōjo manga, both heroine and reader were almost invariably pre-adolescent girls. Unless the setting was fantastic, such as in "Princess Knight", or set in a distant time or place, romantic love for the heroine was essentially taboo. But the age of the readership rose, and inevitably its interests changed. In the mid-1960s, one of the few female artists in the field, Yoshiko Nishitani, began to draw stories featuring contemporary Japanese teenagers in love. This signaled a dramatic transformation of the genre. [Yonezawa, Yoshihiro, ed. (1991)"Kodomo no Shōwa-shi: Shōjo manga no sekai II", Shōwa 38 nen - 64 nen (子供の昭和史──少女マンガの世界 II 昭和38年〜64年 "A Children's History of Showa-Era Japan: The World of Shōjo Manga II, 1963-1989") Bessatsu Taiyō series. Tokyo: Heibonsha] [Thorn, Matt (2005) "The Magnificent Forty-Niners" "The Comics Journal" #269.] Between 1950 and 1969, increasingly large audiences for manga emerged in Japan with the solidification of its two main marketing genres, shōnen manga aimed at boys and shōjo manga aimed at girls.Toku, Masami, editor. 2005. "Shojo Manga: Girl Power!" Chico, CA: Flume Press/California State University Press. ISBN 1-886226-10-5. See also http://www.csuchico.edu/pub/cs/spring_06/feature_03.html. Accessed 2007-09-22.]

Between roughly 1969 and 1971, a flood of young female manga artists transformed the genre again. Some, including Hagio Moto, Yumiko Oshima, and Keiko Takemiya, came to be known as the "hana no nijū yon nen gumi" (花の24年組, Year 24 Group, so named because they were born around Shōwa 24, or 1949). This loosely defined group experimented with content and form, creating such new sub-genres as Shōnen-ai, and earning the long-maligned genre of shōjo manga unprecedented critical praise. Other female artists of the same generation, such as Riyoko Ikeda, Yukari Ichijo, and Sumika Yamamoto, garnered unprecedented popular support with such hits (respectively) as "Berusaiyu no bara" (ベルサイユのばら, "The Rose of Versailles"), "Dezainaa" (デザイナー, "Designer"), and "Eesu wo nerae!" (エースをねらえ!, "Aim for the Ace!"). [Gravett, 2004, "op. cit.", pp.78-80.] [Lent, 2001, "op. cit.", pp. 9-10.] [Thorn, Matt (2005) "The Magnificent Forty-Niners" "The Comics Journal" #269.] [Yonezawa, Yoshihiro, ed. (1991)"Kodomo no Shōwa-shi: Shōjo manga no sekai II", Shōwa 38 nen - 64 nen (子供の昭和史──少女マンガの世界 II 昭和38年〜64年 "A Children's History of Showa-Era Japan: The World of Shōjo Manga II, 1963-1989") Bessatsu Taiyō series. Tokyo: Heibonsha] Schodt, Frederik L. 1986. "Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics." Tokyo: Kodansha. ISBN 978-0870117527.] citation | last = Thorn | first = Matt | authorlink = Matt Thorn | year = 2001 | month = July-September | title = Shôjo Manga—Something for the Girls | journal = The Japan Quarterly | volume = 48 | issue = 3 | url = http://matt-thorn.com/shōjo_manga/japan_quarterly/index.html | accessdate = 2007-09-22 ] Since the mid-1970s, shōjo manga (with such notable exceptions as Mineo Maya and Shinji Wada) have been created almost exclusively by women.

In the following decades (1975-present), shōjo manga has continued to develop stylistically while simultaneously branching out into different but overlapping subgenres.Ōgi, Fusami 2004. "Female subjectivity and shōjo (girls) manga (Japanese comics): shōjo in Ladies' Comics and Young Ladies' Comics." "Journal of Popular Culture", 36(4):780-803.] Major sub-genres include romance, science fiction, fantasy, magical girls, yaoi, and "Ladies Comics" (in Japanese, "redisu" レディース, "redikomi" レディコミ, and "josei" 女性).Gravett, Paul. 2004. "Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics." NY: Harper Design. ISBN 1-85669-391-0. p. 8.] Schodt, Frederik L. 1996. "." Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 978-1880656235.]

Meaning and spelling

As shōjo literally means 'girl' in Japanese, the equivalent of the western usage will generally include the medium: girls' manga (少女漫画 "shōjo manga"), or anime for girls (少女向けアニメ "shōjo-muke anime"). The parallel terms shōnen, seinen, and josei are also used in the categorisation of manga and anime, and are qualified the same way. Though the terminology originates with the Japanese publishers, cultural differences with the West means application in English tends to vary wildly, with the types often confused and misapplied.

Due to the vagaries involved in the romanization of Japanese, 少女 (written しょうじょ in hiragana) may be transcribed in a wide selection of ways. By far the most common is "shoujo"Fact|date=August 2008, largely because it follows English phonologyFact|date=August 2008, preserves the spelling, and requires only ASCII input. The Hepburn romanization shōjo uses a macron for the long vowel, though the prevalence of Latin-1 means a circumflex is often substituted instead, "shôjo". It is also common practice to just ignore long vowels, "shojo", however this is sometimes discouraged due to potential confusion with 処女 ("shojo", lit. 'virgin') as well as other possible meanings. Finally Nihon-shiki type mirroring of the kana spelling may be used, "syôjyo", or "syoujyo".

Western adoption

Fans in the west have adopted a wide range of Japanese anime and manga terminology, however the strong stylistic and thematic similarities between a sector of shōjo works has led to the term being thought of as a genre or style, sometimes with an attempt to assign it by degrees. This has led to a wide variety of titles that would be classified as something else by their Japanese creators labeled shōjo by western fans. Anything non-offensive and featuring female characters may be referred to as shōjo, such as the light seinen comedy manga and anime "Azumanga Daioh". [ [http://web.mit.edu/anime/www/Showings/Azumanga_Daioh.shtml "Azumanga Daioh" mistakenly identified as 'shōjo comedy'] on the MIT Anime Club website, last modified August 19, 2004] Similarly, as romance is common element of many shōjo works, any title with romance, such as the shōnen "Love Hina" [Chobot, Jessica [http://comics.ign.com/articles/675/675434p1.html Shojo Showdown] , defending choice of Love Hina as #5 in the 'Top Ten Shōjo Manga', "IGN", December 2, 2005] or the seinen "Oh! My Goddess" are liable to be mislabeled.In addition Westerners often declare that particularly violent, gory, or sexually explicit works "cannot possibly" be shōjo,Fact|date=July 2008 or disbelieve that shōnen-ai titles are aimed at girls rather than homosexual men.Fact|date=July 2008

This confusion is by no means limited to the fan community; the terms are also widely misrepresented in articles aimed at the mainstream. In an introduction to anime and manga, Jon Courtenay Grimwood writes:

Takahashi is a famed shōnen mangaka, though "Maison Ikkoku" is one of her few seinen titles: serialised in "Big Comic Spirits", aimed at males in their 20s. Matt Thorn, who has successfully made a career out of studying girls' comics, attempts to clarify the matter by explaining that "shôjo manga are manga published in shôjo magazines (as defined by their publishers)". [Thorn, Matt (2004) [http://matt-thorn.com/shoujo_manga/whatisandisnt.html What Shôjo Manga Are and Are Not: A Quick Guide for the Confused] , last modified December 18, 2006]

The US comics industry in particular has struggled with understanding, let alone competing with, shōjo manga. Having historically failed to produce anything that appeals to female audiences, they had to cope with "Sailor Moon" vastly outselling all domestically produced graphic novels aimed at their core young, male market. [ [http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/625.html Sailor Moon Graphic Novels Top Bookstore Sales] , "ICV2", August 14, 2001]

As such publishers and stores have problems retailing shōjo: unsure of the 'right' way to spell the word, licensees such as Dark Horse Comics misidentifying several of the seinen titles, and in particular manga and anime aimed at a younger audience in Japan is often considered 'inappropriate' for minors in the US. [ [http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/654.html Shojo Update:Your Comments and Our Answers] , "ICV2", August 23, 2001] As such, titles are often either voluntarily censored or remarketed towards an older audience. In the less conservative European markets, content that might be heavily edited or cut in an English release is often present in French, German and other translated editions.

One effect of this conflict has been a move by US companies to use the borrowed words that have gained name value in fan communities, but separate them from the Japanese meaning. In their shōjo manga range, publisher VIZ Media attempt a reappropriation of the term, providing the definition:

The desire to disassociate the word from its meaning, 'girl', seems largely in fear of putting off potential new readers, particularly male ones.

Manga and anime labeled as shōjo need not only be of interest to young girls, and some titles gain a following outside the traditional audience. For instance, Frederik L. Schodt identifies"Banana Fish" by Akimi Yoshida as:

Such successful 'crossover' titles are the exception rather than the rule however, for archetypal shōjo manga magazine "Hana to Yume", 95% of readers are female, and a majority are aged 17 or under. [ [http://www.j-magazine.or.jp/FIPP/FIPPJ/E/Ddata/d_hakus_hanat.xls Data on Hana to Yume] (xls), "Japanese Magazine Publishers Association", last modified October 06, 2003]

The popularity of romantic shōjo manga in America has led Harlequin to release manga-styled romantic comics. [ [http://www.darkhorse.com/Press-Releases/1208/Harlequin-Ginger-Blossom-manga Harlequin Ginger Blossom manga] ]

Circulations

The reported average circulations for some of the top-selling shōjo manga magazines in 2007 are as follows:

For comparison, here are the circulations for the top-selling magazines in other categories for 2007.

(Source for all circulation figures: Japan Magazine Publishers Association [ [http://www.j-magazine.or.jp/data_001/index.html Japan Magazine Publishers Association "Magazine Data 2007"] . The publication, which relies on information provided by publishers, categorizes the magazine "Cookie" as josei, but Shueisha's [http://www.s-manga.net/ "S-MANGA.NET" site] clearly categorizes that magazine as shōjo, and it is therefore included here.] )

hōjo magazines in Japan

Strictly, shōjo manga is defined as a story serialized or published in a magazine marketed to girls and young women. The list below contains past and current Japanese shōjo manga magazines, separated according to publisher. These can be published on a variety of schedules, including biweekly (Margaret, Hana to Yume, Shōjo Comic), monthly (Ribon, Bessatsu Margaret, Bessatsu Friend, Lala), bimonthly (Deluxe Margaret, LaLa DX, The Dessert), and quarterly (Cookie BOX, Unpoko). Weekly shōjo magazines were common in the 1960s and 1970s, but disappeared by the early 1980s.Fact|date=July 2008

hueisha

*"Ribon" (りぼん)
*"Ribon Original" (リボンオリジナル)
*"Cobalt" (コバルト)
*"Cookie"
*"Cookie BOX"
*"Margaret" (マーガレット)
*"Bessatsu Margaret" (Betsuma) (別冊マーガレット)
*"The Margaret" (ザ マーガレット)
*"Deluxe Margaret" (デラックスマーガレット)

Kodansha

*"Nakayoshi" (なかよし)
*"Amie"
*"Shōjo Friend" (少女フレンド)
*"Bessatsu Friend" (Betsu Fure) (別冊フレンド)
*"Dessert" (デザート)
*"The Dessert" (Theデザート)
*"kiss"
*"Be Love"

hogakukan

*"Ciao" (ちゃお)
*"Chu Chu"
*"Shōjo Comic" (Sho-Comi) (少女コミック)
*"Bessatsu Shōjo Comic" (Betsu Comi)
*"Petit Comic" (プチコミック)
*"Cheese!"
*"Pochette" (ポシェット)

Hakusensha

*"Hana to Yume" (花とゆめ)
*"Bessatsu Hana to Yume" (別冊花とゆめ)
*"LaLa"
*"LaLa DX"
*"Melody" (メロディ)
*"silky"

Akita Shoten

*"Princess" (プリンセス)
*"Princess Gold" (プリンセスGOLD)
*"Petit Princess" (プチプリンセス)
*"Mystery Bonita" (ミステリーボニータ)
*"Susperia Mystery" (サスペリアミステリー)
*"Renai MAX" (恋愛MAX)

Kadokawa Shoten

*"Asuka"

WEB magazine

*"Manga Airport" (漫画えあぽーと)

hinshokan

*"Unpoko"(ウンポコ)

See also

*Shoujocon, a former anime convention held annually from 2000-2003.
*Magical girl: A subgenre of shōjo manga
*Shōnen: intended for boys
*Seinen: intended for adult men
*Josei manga: intended for adult women
*List of Shōjo manga magazines
*Manga and History of manga

References

* [http://users.skynet.be/mangaguide/mgguide.zip Ultimate Manga Guide] (zip), version 13.6, last modified July 31, 2004
* [http://www.rawbw.com/~hbv/anime/shouanim.txt Shojo Anime List] , last modified February 14, 1995
*Napier, Susan J, "" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)
*Thorn, Matt (2001) [http://matt-thorn.com/shoujo_manga/japan_quarterly/index.html "Shôjo Manga—Something for the Girls", "The Japan Quarterly", Vol. 48, No. 3
* [http://www.comixology.com/articles/52/The-Boys-of-Shojo-Manga The Boys of Shojo Manga] , article by Shaenon K. Garrity
*Shamoon, Deborah "Revolutionary Romance: The Rose of Versailles and the Transformation of Shojo Manga" "Mechademia" Vol. 2, 2007 [http://www.upress.umn.edu/Books/L/lunning_mechademia2.html]
*Takahashi Mizuki "Opening the Closed World of Shojo Manga" "Japanese Visual Culture" Ed. Mark MacWilliams. ME Sharpe, 2008. [http://www.mesharpe.com/mall/resultsa.asp?Title=Japanese+Visual+Culture%3A+Explorations+in+the+World+of++Manga+and+Anime]

Notes


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