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Why do you not read Shoujo Manga

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Post #557499
user avatar

6:24 am, Jun 22 2012
Posts: 332

That's actually an interesting one. I read an article on women portrayed in comics and often people expect men only to accept male heros while women are expected to accept male heros and female heros.

Actually the recent trend is the opposite - a lot of popular series with a main female cast are made for the male audience (K-ON!, Hanasaku Iroha, Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime).

OK, some of these series can get a few female fans as long as they don't focus on the moe/ecchi too much. But I suspect there are far fewer males who would be interested in the recent fantasy shoujo with a main male cast because they usually have too much fangirl/fujoshi pandering to attract the male audience.

The reasons I don't read shoujo are:

1. The art. A lot of shoujo artists have art similar to each other. And their drawings usually lack details/skills, can look messy, lazy and weirdly proportioned. For good or at least acceptable (mainstream-y) art, I would give one example: Another. The mangaka is female. Nakamura Asumiko has good (non-mianstream) shoujo art which I quite like.

2. I am usually not interested in stories about highschool romance (I am more interested in adult romance/lifestyles). Being long definitely wouldn't help. Long manga always made me lose interest.
I find American teen TV-dramas/movies are just as boring though they are significantly different from shoujo manga given the huge cultural difference between Japan and the West.

3. Most shoujo romances and their characters/interactions/bahaviour are just too unrealistic and cliched. I knew Boys over Flowers and Fushigi Yuugi in middle school, which was like more than 15 years ago, and already found them annoying. Today I still think stories and characters like those (male and female) are boring or annoying. I am not the type who demands that main character has to be "strong". I would be more happy to read about realistic, well-developed, meaningful and consistent characters (including side ones), weak or strong.

Some shoujo are OK and readable though (in my case, they are always shorter manga). But after a while, their romance stories are too similar. You read one or two and the rest will be similar. Why should I read more then?

Of course I have a few favorite shoujo series. I am sure anyone can find something they like in shoujo if they look hard enough and don't pay too much attention to the most popular ones.

BTW, something like Maid-sama! or Ouran Host Club is definitely not my cup of tea. But I've seen more than a few of their male fans on the internet, esp. for their anime. I guess tastes differ greatly no matter you are male or female.

Last edited by coffee_11 at 4:59 pm, Jun 22

Post #557501
user avatar

6:36 am, Jun 22 2012
Posts: 21

I'm male and I hate series without romance - that's why i read shoujo. It's true that i read some other titles but thats only to know the story, i can't really enjoy all the boring "action" in it.
So thats just another topic about personal preferences, you can't really tell why someone read "boring" shounen while you read "perfect" shoujo (as example).
So to answer you question you need to specify whom are you questioning. Because in general the answer is "Shoujo is oriented for people who like reading about romance and love, so people who don't like such stuff won't read it."
But I should agree that art in shoujo is something... it's really hard to accept shoujo style for some people.

Post #557503
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6:47 am, Jun 22 2012
Posts: 21

Tthe same worn out cutesy lead female characters get tiring. I prefer josei rather than shoujo lately.

Post #557508
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7:08 am, Jun 22 2012
Posts: 529

About 99% of the time, I hate the female protagonist (And I'm a girl).

I actually read more shojo than I'd like to admit, mainly because I would feel hypocritical if I say I hate shojo.
The thing is, if/when I say I "hate" shojo, I am referring to the vast majority of shojo out there.

You know the story, love triangles, love-sick stupid female protagonists, weak female protagonist, naive/pure hearted female protagonists.

Rarely do I find a shojo where I truly like the female protagonist, and the shojo I've read and liked I think had either male protagonists or an extraordinary girl, with Fruits Basket being the exception.
Tohru falls very easily into the typical shojo girl, but there was a charm about her that I can't quite explain that made me be able to read all 23 volumes of Fruits Basket. Even so, Fruits Basket is nowhere near being my favorite series.
I've read a lot of shojos, some of which sounded promising in the beginning then I realized that I didn't understand the main character's motivations or that their actions grated on my nerves.
Some of the examples I can think of are:
Me & My Brothers I once read an excerpt in one of my Fruits Baskets volumes and thought it was cute and was very close to buying, but I found the first 6 volumes in my local library and after reading it, I realized that it wasn't for me.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
The main character, Sakura, started to get on my nerves with her huge brother-complex-turned-to-love.

And there are some series that are extremely popular but that their summaries just turn me off
Love so Life
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Never quite been able to understand how a usually mature male falls head over heels in love with a naive teenager. I'm not saying that's the story here, but in general I am not a fan of a older guy with a teenager.

High School Debut The whole premise sounds kinda pathetic to me.
And the list can go on.
Maybe I am too harsh on these stories, but they just don't catch my attention and it seems to me that the vast majority of shojo encompass all the things that annoy me about female characters in general.
They tend to be whiny and dependent, but I guess that's not exclusive to shojo, some of the co-protagonists in shonen can be just as weak and dependent, but at least the main character is usually a male.

In short, the shojo I have enjoyed had no romance, very little romance, or the focus was something else and the romance was secondary.
Examples of shojo's I've really enjoyed:
RG Veda
Tokyo Babylon
After School Nightmare
Phantom Dream
Gohou Drug
Trinity Blood
My Favorite:
Natsume's Book of Friends
Beauty Pop

Post #557513
user avatar

7:21 am, Jun 22 2012
Posts: 618

The main reason I don't read shoujo much is the art. There are so much special effects that it's hard to find the characters in all the sparkles. I can only stand so much glitter and flowers before I feel like stabbing my eyes out. Then there are the eyes. Somehow the guys have slits for eyes but the girls have dinner plates instead. It's like two different species. No, I'm not bashing shoujo art out of hate; these are wholehearted complaints. Of course, if the story is interesting/funny, I wouldn't mind the art (like Skip Beat!), but then most shoujo tend to be heavily romance-oriented with very vanilla characters. I have found that I can tolerate shoujo anime adaptations a lot more due to how uncluttered anime art looks (i.e. I liked the Ouran Host Club anime but hated the manga).

Post #557514
user avatar

7:23 am, Jun 22 2012
Posts: 15

I'm a guy and I've read a lots Shoujo but
I still find it hard to read (boring,flowers everywhere,full of cliche,no action?)
Maybe It just like a girl can play soccer but a boy can't play doll

Post #557515

7:38 am, Jun 22 2012
Posts: 26

As a manly man, I do read Shoujou manga. In fact, before I found out there was an actual division of Shoujou and Shounen, a majority of the manga I read was Shoujou. That's probably why I'm so jaded when it comes to most Shounen harem protagonists or most of Shonen protagonists as a whole - as the male characters in Shoujou are likely the type of men who could, realistically, become a man with a group of women gunning for their affection.

However, as my taste for manga grew, I did get tire of the, supposedly, 'normal' looking girl (yes, I am aware of the fact there are the 'lonely, misunderstood, perfect beauty ojou-sama' in Shoujou as well) getting the guy(s) by...wait for it...being nice! It's ironic when you think about it. It's the Shoujou male characters who're likely to land the females of the Shounen manga - yet, it'll likely be the Shounen female characters who'd be able to tie down the average Shoujou male characters. laugh

Post #557517 - Reply to (#557501) by justneedair
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8:27 am, Jun 22 2012
Posts: 15

Quote from justneedair
I'm male and I hate series without romance - that's why i read shoujo. It's true that i read some other titles but thats only to know the story, i can't really enjoy all the boring "action" in it.
So thats just another topic about personal preferences, you can't really tell why someone read ...

It's very difficult to categorize shoujo as just romance because almost every shounen story has "romance", it just isn't the main conflict. It's usually a c plot.

So are you saying you enjoy reading stories where romance in the main conflict?

A lot of people are hung up on the graphics. I didn't think it would be the main issue, I'm really surprised. There are so many manga I want to recommend but I'll keep them to myself. Changing your minds wasn't the purpose of the thread.

Since most of the shoujo are what people typically hate I can understand why it can be almost impossible to find the rare gems.

Quote from catandmouse
About 99% of the time, I hate the female protagonist (And I'm a girl).

I actually read more shojo than I'd like to admit, mainly because I would feel hypocritical if I say I hate shojo.
The thing is, if/when I say I "hate" shojo, I am referring to the vast majority of shojo out there.

You ...

I actually nearly dropped my computer when I was on netflix recently and it categorized Trinity Blood as "Goofy". Whaaat? Never realized one of my fav anime is actually shoujo. Ooops.

Also "After School NIghtmare" is one of my favourites. I definitely spent more money then I should collecting that series a year or two ago. I find all of that Manga-ka's work amazing.

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Post #557521
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9:47 am, Jun 22 2012
Posts: 21

So are you saying you enjoy reading stories where romance in the main conflict?

Yep, thats right, thats also a reason why I categorize shoujo as "just romance", because I won't read other types.^^

Post #557522
user avatar

10:23 am, Jun 22 2012
Posts: 8

I am a male that occasionally reads shoujo. The problem with shoujo as alot of the posters have said is the story. The story really never changes and is pretty stagnate. If you look at Inuyasha that is definitely shoujo with all those relationships and underlining love triangle. There is nothing wrong with it if they had just made a conclusion to it faster and not dragged it on for like 200 episodes.

The only shoujos that I like were Escaflowne and maybe Skip Beat. Escaflowne is truly about the love triangle between Van-Hitomi-Allen, but they perfectly add in the mechs to the story that doesn't really detract much from the triangle but enhances it. The melodrama of fighting in a war and the pull between two guys have made the anime epic and awesome. (Don't read the manga.... it is just a failure even the author changed it completely when she went to anime).

The hook to draw some people in like me to shoujo is humor. The shoujo that has a good humor in the beginning is the hook that draws in a large audience with drama following to make you love the characters that they are creating. Skip Beat is the manga that proves this for me. I was hooked by the humor that was in the beginning and then the author pulls in the drama to make me love Kyoko and goes back to some humor to keep me back into it.

Ouran High School Host Club is an example why I really didn't get into shoujo. It got boring really fast when they kind of repetitively kept going about how Haruhi is a girl while crossdressing as a guy. And that the main love interest is conflicted about it. Yea... that was too repetitive.

I generally read shonen because of the much more fast pace that the manga focuses on. The battle and the journey to the final battle is what makes it interesting and fast pace is what you need. Look at Code Gaess every fricken episode was a cliff hanger and the pace was never slow, that is why it was so popular. Naruto was so popular in the beginning because of all the awesome ninja stuff but the author detracted from Naruto so much that the anime should not be called Naruto it should be called Sasuke's Revenge. Bleach also has this problem, there is practically bare minimum face time for Ichigo and much more time for everyone else. I understand that the protagonists of the story must have background stories but even all the enemies? Ri-dic-u-lous as Remus Lupin says. The pacing of both Naruto and Bleach is so slow that people are wondering what was so good about it to begin with. Bleach had the Aizen arc for over 3-5 years.... that is the most unbelievable crap I have ever seen. Naruto is the fillers... the fillers killed it. One Piece on the other hand is much faster paced and resolves everything in an orderly fashion. New protagonist characters are revealed and their story shown and mentioned at key points. There are no enemy flashbacks that last 4-10 episodes.

What I am trying to say is that shoujo needs to be much more fast paced and interesting to catch people's eye. Because once it reaches a point the shoujo is just repeating gimmicks and the story just falls because of the stupid mistakes that happens way too often.

Post #557526

10:31 am, Jun 22 2012
Posts: 76

I actually don't mind Shoujo… I just don't like what you could call generic shoujo art.
But if something like Superior, Someday's Dreamers, Momo, Ouran High School Host Club, [m]Don't Cry Girl[/m] or Watashi ni XX Shinasai! comes along, I really like to gobble it up.
But I heard there are the types of shoujo were the male lead is really forceful and kind of a dick to the girl, but she still sticks with him for one of the stock reasons. Yeah, that is the kind of writing that clearly isn't aimed at me, but at the young girls it was written for, just like most ecchi fests are not really for girls.

Post #557529
user avatar
Is a female

10:53 am, Jun 22 2012
Posts: 3425

Hmm, well the main reason I don't read much shoujo is the art.
The art is the reason why I read so much shounen actually lol. It's mostly clean and cut, compared to shoujo which is full of sparkles and stuff. Don't even get me started on the look of the characters either.
When I find a shoujo that has decent art though, I will read it. I don't find the cliche stories much of a bother. It's how it looks that puts me off. Although I do end up facepalming at these love stricken girls. Sometimes it's so ridiculous I end up getting a laugh out of it.
An example of what I consider "decent art" would be something like Watashi ni xx Shinasai! (I like this manga a bit too much though lol), Toukyou Lastochika, Heart no Kuni no Alice etc.

I don't search or look at much shoujo because 90% of the time, it's not going to be what I'm after, but I don't shun it if I find something that looks interesting. Sometimes, if I'm interested enough, I will look past the art (if it's bearable) and read it anyway. It's rare, but it has happened.

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Post #557534

11:45 am, Jun 22 2012
Posts: 301

I'm a guy and the manga I read regularly are mainly seinen (for good stories) and some shounen (as a pastime)
I've read just a couple of shoujos and joseis and I admit that I liked them
but mainly because they were soo good
I'm open to read more shoujos and josei if they are exceptionally good and have added value (new experience, learn new things ideas, another POV)
otherwise I won't bother
the first shoujos i've read were the ones by Yuki Kaori
since then I found other good and better titles

Last edited by jasperv at 12:16 pm, Jun 22

Post #557537 - Reply to (#557376) by Roughan
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his and her sonnet

11:55 am, Jun 22 2012
Posts: 1127

Quote from Roughan
I'm a guy that used to avoid shojo. Stuff like Fruits Basket and other mainstream stuff just bored me with their archetypical cutesy heroines and cool bishounens. The first shojo that I really liked was Adachi Mitsuru's shojo because they were similar to his shounen mangas except with girl as the protagonists. Then I discovered some great works that dealt with more complex themes and ideas and I realized my distaste for shojo was merely distaste for cliched high school romance shojo just like 95+% of manga from any other demographics are cliched crap.

same here except im a girl

Post #557541

12:31 pm, Jun 22 2012
Posts: 301

I wanted to add that actually there are a gender neutral genre
I mean you find lots of female mangaka writing for male audience and albeit less numerous male mangakas writing for female audiance
and between them multiple titles that can be read by both genders althought they are categorized either way just because they published in a magazine that target a certain demographics don't mean the manga itself is targeted only to that magazine demographic
so it's not strange for either male or female reading what i call "gender neutral" titles
but there is less female reading typical male titles and even less (maybe) males reading typical female titles (and its interesting to know why they read them anyway)
well for me reading one genre troper or title that represent a category as a trial or a new experience isn't bad but to stick and read them regularly is something i think few people do .. ( and i find pointless because of the resemblance of these clichéd stories)

Last edited by jasperv at 12:38 pm, Jun 22

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