In my opinion, Shoujo Anime & Manga are some of the most wonderful things the Anime world had to offer. They have beautiful art, the ideas behind them are sweetly made, even compared with the various genres/demographies.
I could talk non-stop about the many virtues of it and probably never be done, but I will try to keep it short enough to fit into one blog post.
Whether you also love Shoujo, or wonder why I or other Shoujo fans like this type of stories/art, this post is for you.
If you’re willing to experience the genre, or you already like it but want to see more of it. I am thinking of creating a Shoujo recommendation thread to list all of them, and update them as I see the need to.
Quickly go to:-
- Shoujo Is A Demographics, Not A Genre
- What’s Shoujo Anime/Manga
- How I Got To Like Shoujo
- The Wonderful Side Of Shoujo Anime/ Manga
- Shoujo Has Lovely Art? And It Aged Well
- Not All The Shoujo Are The Same
- Why My Own Visual Novel, Lolita Caramel Is Going To Be A Shoujo
- Why Some People Dislike Shoujo?
- Don’t Like Shoujo Anime? Try Shoujo Manga
- Final Word On Shoujo <3
One of the common mistakes people make about Shoujo is to treat it as a genre. To a degree, it’s probably MAL’s fault to a degree (Shoujo is a genre in their DB). Treating Shoujo as a genre is something that cannot be helped at times, as there are a lot of traits Anime identified as Shoujo share, like the big eyes. Girl-centered events.
In this post, I will stick to Shoujo Anime & Manga as a demographic.
What’s Shoujo Anime/Manga
I know you most likely know what Shoujo is, but since some of the readers of this post are new to Anime/Manga, I will give you a quick explanation of it, feel free to skip this section if you’re familiar with it.
In Japanese, the word Shoujo (少女) means little girl. It consisting of the Kanji for small (少), and the one for female (女). (The two characters mean “little” & “Woman” in Chinese language as well).
As the name implies, this type of Anime & Manga is aimed toward young girls, and so it contains a lot of things that appeals to them (So some of them may not appeal to guys and some older women).
I have watched Shoujo all my life since I was a little, even without knowing about Anime or the term “Shoujo” at the time. Unlike many people, who grew up with Dragon Ball Z or maybe Pokémon. I simply watched Lady Lady!! the second season of it, named Hello! Lady Lynn, Lulu, which I liked more than the first. I also watched Lady Georgey , Hana no Ko Lunlun (a great Anime I need to rewatch), and yes, all of these are Shoujo.
During that time, I also watched a lot of other types of Anime, like Mecha, sports, adventure & slice-of-life, but Shoujo just struck me as lovely & otherworldly. This could be because I am a visual person, and also because the gentle way things are handled in them.
If you’re a girl, many Shoujo Anime/Manga shows that how you wanted to be treated very well, and by a bishie, no less. In Shoujo, it’s often for the girl to gets in a lovely situation. Like how in Yume-iro Pâtissière, Ichigo, the protagonists, ends up joining team A, where she’s surrounded by the 3 bishies princes Makoto, Sennosuke & Satsuki, and where she’s the only girl in the team…… Lucky <3
In Shoujo universe, girls often tend to be very effective characters, the center of universe at times, since they world around them. Which is always a beautiful thing to see.
In the old Shoujo, the events revolves around the girl a bit too much for some people to like it, which is how the media used to work back then. That was the case for Hello Lady Lynn for example, or a more recent Shoujo like Fruit Basket. In the more modern Shoujo, like Akatsuki No Yona, there are focus on other characters as well, even while having most of the focus on the female protagonist.
Even in the Shoujo where you see the guy treats the heroine badly, you always see him soften to her eventually, sometimes in a way that’s not so direct. Moments like that can be so sweet to see. I know they are so predictable at times, but it’s the “how” that makes you wonder about, which could make the Anime good, or just make it another cliché.
The more you’re into cute & girly things, emotions, the more you will like this time of Anime. This may sound silly to some, but to a degree, guys probably may be able to learn a thing or two about girls from watching Shoujo. As long as you know what applies to real life & what doesn’t. This type of Anime/Manga shows the girly side of the girls. That’s probably the reason some guys would stay away from Shoujo while saying “I am not a girl”. I think anyone with a soft taste, likes emotions or sweet things can get into the genre & definitely like it.
Of course, things are not always that beautiful. I totally admit that the “damsel in mistress” scenario exists in Shoujo at times, it may look bad for some. For good or bad, but it shows a part of girls where they want to be protected. Showing that while at the same time not making the girl look weak could be tricky.
The amount of details placed into some Shoujo is lovely. Hair is often drawn very nicely, with big beautiful eyes that look good in many of them (I know some people really don’t like that).You also see a healthy amount of blushes in it. It’s colorful & beautiful that I can’t help liking it.
Even by today standards, many old Shoujo Anime/Manga look great, like Hana no Ko Lunlun, which still look great, even by today standard. Who would have thought that lovely Anime was aired back in 1979:-
Many Shoujo can be very similar to a greats degree, some people equate it with harem. That’s probably true to an extent, but it’s certainly better than harem in that regard. There many exception to that rule for Shoujo compared to Harem. If you still think the genre is hopeless, then I encourage you to read Gakuen Alice Manga. It’s about a special school for people with Alice, or special abilities. It’s a great Shoujo Manga with great characters & good story, while still having little children as the main characters. You will know what I mean once you get deep enough into it. Above that, it has a lot of the lovely Shoujo elements mentioned above. Higuchi Tachibana did a great job at it. Just don’t watch the Anime, it’s not bad, but it doesn’t do justice to that wonderful Manga.
You probably heard about Lolita Caramel, the visual novel I plan on creating. The one I released multiple playable skit featuring the characters of.
Lolita, the effect on the
The main story (not the skits) of Lolita Caramel revolves around Lolita in the same way you see in Shoujo. Many people in the velvet society wonder why Lolita, all of sudden, was made the heiress of her family business, when they was already her older sister, Lily, who’s not just capable of that, but also a prodigy who could do anything. Of course, there are more to the other characters in Lolita Caramel, the reason why each of Rina, Sophie, Vivienne & Beauty has their own arcs. And how Lily shares the 2nd arc with Lolita.
Having my first visual novel be a Shoujo is my way of showing my appreciation to that demography. I hope it will serve as an example of what makes a good story, no matter what the genre is.
If you don’t like Shoujo, and you came here to know why Shoujo lovers like it, you are likely going to relate to some of the reasons mentioned here. There could be other reasons I am not aware of, but I tried to cover all the ones I know of.
- Some Shoujo is about girls whose life is all about making chocolate, which seem very unrealistic to some.
- Some may not like the guys in Shoujo, they may seem to soft or cute for them. Guys may say “we aren’t really like that”.
- It may feel like the same story every time, which is true in some cases.
- Some claims there’s no story in Shoujo, which is a bit overgeneralization. If you’re one of those people, then read the next part of this post.
The sad that for the most part, Shoujo exists mostly in Manga, as many of the best ones never got adopted. Even some of the best ones got only partly adopted. I am aware this applies to many other genres, but at least in some genres like Shounen, we get long-running series that covers the whole story, or at least most of it. So even if you never liked Shoujo in Anime format, you could like Shoujo it in Manga, as there are many great Shoujo Manga out there, with good stories that could change your whole mind about it.
Most of the Manga I ever read are Shoujo for a reason, and I don’t consider myself a Manga reader. ^^
Here are some Shoujo Manga I enjoyed, which you could take a look at:-
- Akatsuki no Yona.
- Fruit Basket.
- Gakuen Alice.
- Shinshi Doumei Cross.
- Skip Beat.
- Kobato (not a Shoujo, but deserves to be here)
I think people from both genders can love Shoujo Anime & Manga, even though it’s expected for girls to like it more, which is natural, giving how it’s for them. I understand that some think it’s a flat genre and maybe unrealistic, but the same can be said pretty much about many other genres. Just try to watch the unique ones, and you may discover a new love for it (hopefully). :D
Of course, this post doesn’t mean I love all Shoujo equally. There are good Shoujo & bad ones. There are also ones that suit my taste more than others. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime was good for one, but I liked it far less than the other Shoujo.
- Lolita Caramel Skits Are Now Available, Download Them For Free (Download the same file for the latest skit)
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