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Boys (or men) & Shojo


Pink Lady's Number #1 Fan
28 Dec 2003
Even though I'm a 44 year old man (45 on January 12th), I'm not at all ashamed to admit, and admit openly that I'm a big fan of shojo anime. Stuff like Dragonball Z, Gundam this and that, samurai dramas and what not doesn't thrill me quite as much as shojo does.

My fascination for the genre began in 1999 with Video Girl Ai which moved me with its all too human drama of falling in love and all the joy and pain associated with it. Since then, I've bought lots of shojo titles such as Ai Yori Aoshi, Boys Over Flowers, His & Hers Circumstances, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Fushigi Yugi, Chobits, Princess Nine and Oh, My Goddess, just to name a few.

In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with my being a male and watching such shows. I find shojo much more engrossing because you inevitably invest your emotions in the characters and the story they're involved in. To me, shojo is an honest to gosh treat. Now, if you're a guy and you enjoy shojo, there's no need to be ashamed or embarrased about it. I know I'm not.

So, fellas, how about letting everyone know what you like about shojo, and what your favorite titles are!
Believe it or not, flashjeff, not all of the titles you mentioned are considered "shojo"... just because a title centers around a romantic story doesn't necessarily make it a shojo title.

One of the classic "shonen" romances is in fact the title you mention as getting you into the genre, Video Girl Ai... and Oh My Goddess is another great example. Another which you didn't mention is Kimagure Orange Road...

The strict definition of whether or not a title is shonen/shojo is really which "phonebook" publication the title originally appeared in... for example, Video Girl Ai appeared in Shonen Jump which also features stuff like Dragonball Z, so it's considered shonen. Fushigi Yuugi originally appeared in Flower Comics IIRC, which is a shojo compilation.

Generally speaking, you can tell if a romance is shonen/shojo based on the central character in the story... as major a character as Ai is, Video Girl Ai really centers around Youta, just as Oh My Goddess centers around Keiichi. Fushigi Yuugi's story centers around Miaka, and the main character of Utena is obvious. But this may not necessarily be true all the time...

The lines between shonen and shojo, especially in the romance genre, are pretty blurred... and, as you've said, just because a title is considered shojo doesn't mean its readership is exclusively female. I consider Video Girl Ai as my favorite title, but a close second for me is "Koko wa Greenwood"... and that's a real weird title, as it's from a shojo publication originally yet features a predominantly male cast.

Hope this answers some questions... I know I thought for a long time that VGAi was a shojo title, until someone brought up these issues. VGAi certainly has more than its fair share of female fans, and the author (Masakazu Katsura) is considered among fans and peers alike as a master of romantic storytelling... check out I"s as an example of his romance work with virtually no sci-fi elements.

Well, I won't deny that I'm not 100 percent sure on the definition of shojo and shonen. The only certainty is that, with precious few exceptions, I gravitate towards anime with females as starring characters. I've jokingly come to call this "The Serena Syndrome" as Sailor Moon began my really serious interest in anime.

I forgot about KOR, other faves in my collection are Armitage, Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040, Vampire Princess Miyu and You're Under Arrest, and even I know those aren't shojo titles! HA! Speaking of Masakazu Katsura, I'd love to see Shadow Lady turned into anime because I loved the manga. He draws some of the most gorgeous women in manga!
HA! You don't know the half of it! When I find some time, I'll post what I have in my collection! It'll blow your mind!
Shidenkai: No, not all "shojo" titles are similar, although some titles are very similar. "Shojo" is really just a way of saying it's a story written/marketed to a female audience, even though the actual readers of these stories are both male and female. But the stories themselves range from the light-hearted to the truly dark... from the romantic to sci-fi to magical fantasy to cold, hard reality.

All I can say is not to pre-judge any manga title simply based on if its a "shojo" or "shonen" title... there are plenty of great manga out there worth checking out!

Stevie's right! There are so many styles of both shojo and shonen manga and anime. Pretty much a smorgasbord, so there's something for everyone!
Mayura: Did you like Fushigi Yuugi too? I like Yuu Watase's work like FY and Ceres... did you know about her newer work called Alice 19th? I'm reading that now, and it's good too...

FY and Ceres were both outstanding. I hope Alice 19th eventually becomes an anime series! :D
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