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Is it just me, or are shoujo mangas getting even more predictable?

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Post #275494
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4:42 am, Apr 13 2009
Posts: 63

I think the most cliche is shoujo with school life. If it's shoujo with some fantasy action sci-fi or mystery as a blackgroud, it will not that predictable. Or Is it just that I still don't read shojo that much to feel that it's very predictable.

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Post #572819
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6:55 pm, Oct 7 2012
Posts: 7

it's not necessarily getting more predictable as much as there are just so many things you can do if you want to retain a reasonable plotline. i mean if you pay attention you'll see a lot of events are similar in different mangas. though that doesn't mean that the way of getting there is all the same. with a lot of shojo i can already tell whose going to fall in love with who but shojo is more about HOW they fall in love and what the obstacles and feelings are along the way then the outcome. if your just concerned about the outcome then enjoying the story will just get harder and harder until you want to stop reading all together because you "already know whats going to happen". sorry if that sounded a little preachy that totally wasn't my intention at all.

Post #573559
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4:55 am, Oct 14 2012
Posts: 39

I'm not sure myself, but I usually attribute it to the fact that I've literally read hundreds of shoujo so I kind of just know what's going to happen next. I think that because shoujo is meant to attract a younger crowd there's only so much you can do before the genre becomes saturated. They have to keep most of their plots teen-friendly or below while also catering to that age group's interests.

For the most part, what keeps shoujo exciting for me is if it has outstanding art or a really refreshing way of approaching a situation. Sakisaka Io's heroines are a good example of this - they don't get caught up in their jealousy or bitterness and are always looking to move forward or improve themselves.

Honestly, I also don't like it if artists try to get too outside the box either and creates such an outlandish plot that I'm just pulling my hair out every page.

Post #577113
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2:56 pm, Nov 15 2012
Posts: 34

Predictable shoujos? Cliche?
This issue arises as soon as an amazing shoujo manga makes it way to its climax. At first, reading the synopsis perks up anybody's interest. However, upon reading further into the manga, one might notice the same cliche scenes and activities done by the protagonists just to drag the chapters. While there are also those Mangakas who tried unusual twists just to make their works a little bit more unique and unexpected. E.g. YoukoxBokuSS. No offense, but the second half was certainly unexpected but very disappointing.

There aren't that many of 'outstanding' mangas out there anymore, especially the ones categorized under shoujo. Sure, there are new mangas which are ready to be exposed to the world, yet little of these could become big hits such as Maid-sama! or Dengeki Daisy. Either these new mangas share nearly the same plot as the other old ones, or their just plain boring. They may have splendid art, however once a reader picks one up and starts to read the synopsis, they'll put it back right where they found it and the first thing that will pop up in mind : "I've read this before," But let's face reality, popular shoujos which are already read by 98% of the otaku population have already snatched away the good, edible plots.

Post #615045
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8:16 am, Sep 19 2013
Posts: 376

Do enough of anything and it gets predictable.

Manga (of all genres), books, movies, TV series etc. are generally predictable. Try reading or watching some of the older stuff that you used to like when you were younger. Chances are, you'll be able to pick on the cliches and plot holes that you would have never overlooked had you watched it now.

It's not a matter of "nowadays," it's just that you're more well-versed. The gift and curse of knowledge. cool

Post #615046
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8:26 am, Sep 19 2013
Posts: 716

Nah, its just experience. Just like the post directly above me said.

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Post #615049 - Reply to (#615045) by SilverStorm
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8:33 am, Sep 19 2013
Posts: 71

Quote from SilverStorm
Do enough of anything and it gets predictable.

Manga (of all genres), books, movies, TV series etc. are generally predictable. Try reading or watching some of the older stuff that you used to like when you were younger. Chances are, you'll be able to pick on the cliches and plot holes that you wou ...

Completely agree with you. It's hard to come across something that is new and hasn't been recycled. I've been an otaku from a very young age. If you click on my profile, you'll see that I've read about a thousand manga already. I'm not saying it's a feat but can you imagine the amount of hours that I could have used to do something productive instead? bigrazz That's besides the point though. The point is by reading a lot of manga, just like how pests grow resistant to pesticides, we have so called gotten used to whatever is thrown at us. Therefore, nothing comes as a surprise anymore. Personally, I don't mind reading something cliched or has been done before. What matters to me is the delivery. If the mangaka is able to bring out her story such that I am able to enjoy it, it doesn't matter to me if she wasn't original. I'm reading manga for entertainment, not to find out who's the most creative person out there. roll eyes

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Post #615050

9:01 am, Sep 19 2013
Posts: 219

base_coat, being a hardcore shoujo manga reader since the early '90s and going by ratio of good to bad, I'd be obliged to say that the older shoujo probably have better written direction than a lot of stuff that gets churned out nowadays, I'm embarassed to say.

The early manga writers drew inspiration from their own lives and the real world to think of interesting situations and come up with a story. The newer generations of mangaka grew up reading their predecessors' work. Rather than finding something new of their own to make a story of, they take the prominent aspects of the older, more successful works and vary them a little. The problem is, they often do so by filtering out all the more subtle aspects that made those works enjoyable.

This is true with both Shounen and Shoujo, though it's even worse with Shoujo. A simple example in Shounen would be the typical Shounen protagonist. DBZ had a hyper kid protagonist, and suddenly we're flooded with loud, annoying and overly idealistic kid protagonists. In Shoujo, we're flooded with the same love triangles or harems over and over.

Personally, I avoid most Shoujo now, but I've found that it's a good idea to search for series that explore one or several additional themes well, and/or explore the human connections between many characters, rather than distill it into just a high-school love triangle. For example, Nana (which Is classified as Shoujo) has a strong friendship component, explores the relationship between many characters, and has a strong career component, then ties it all up with a double-timeline narrative. I used to love Skip Beat! because of its interesting career component, but ironically it is currently being dragged down by its really annoying romance component.

I pretty much run away now at the first sign that the series is just "love triangle set in a high school setting." Those are setups for annoying cliches, such as ditzy stupid protagonist girl, one bad boy male love interest, the other being honor student love interest (and one boy has dark hair, the other light hair), then you have all the obligatory scenes: obligatory bullying scene, obligatory tripping scene, obligatory studying scene, obligatory sports event scene...

There are a bunch of Shoujo I still enjoy, like Warau Kanoko-sama and Oresama Teacher, but I prefer those who have Less focus on romance and more on... something else. I get my romance fix through series Not concentrated on romance.

Post #615259

3:45 pm, Sep 21 2013
Posts: 95

My two cents.

My mum was the one who got me into reading manga. So guess how much i've read in terms of old stuff. I've got tons at home in Japanese which i've been reading alongside Archie as i grew up.

I still like reading shoujo, but in all honesty, on my top 5 shoujo list, 3 are series from the 1980s. Stuff from before i was even born. Pretty sure they're out of print now too.

It's getting boring because many stories are told before, rehashed, repackaged. But then again, the execution is different at times and i guess that's what makes it special.

Then again, not just shoujo, shounen and regular novels as well. Even one of my top shounen, FMA has a "cliche" ending. Shakespeare wrote it in 1600s with The Tempest.

Still, all in all, the "occasional" paneling, storytelling, art and unexpected heartstrings tugged are what keeps me going. It's not about HOW it ends, it's about HOW devices are used and HOW it is conveyed.

Read on people. Always something unexpected out there waiting. roll

Post #615264 - Reply to (#615259) by windshadow
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4:29 pm, Sep 21 2013
Posts: 315

Quote from windshadow
My mum was the one who got me into reading manga. So guess how much i've read in terms of old stuff. I've got tons at home in Japanese which i've been reading alongside Archie as i grew up.

I've never heard of a mother inducing her child to read manga lol your mom's great


“The longer we live, the more weight we carry in our hearts.”
Post #615387 - Reply to (#615264) by LilyNanami

11:49 am, Sep 22 2013
Posts: 95

Quote from LilyNanami
I've never heard of a mother inducing her child to read manga lol your mom's great

My mum was learning japanese when she was younger (think mid-twenties) so she started buying/renting mangas from bookstores. Then she stopped, going down the whole romance novels road. I "took over" her collection; so while she rents more novels, i'll check out the comics and manga corner.

Post #624250
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1:51 am, Dec 12 2013
Posts: 11

It's very evident that the shoujo genre is getting more and more cliche'd these days. Most especially in the school life ones, where almost all primarily revolved around the story of an insecure heroine and one (or more) guys fall in love with her.

I hate having to follow the stories of one-dimensional girls whose only apparent reason for existing is to look for love. I'm sick of the recycling of bishounen characters - I mean, it surely doesn't hurt for a shoujo heroine to fall genuinely in love with a non-bishie right? I also absolutely HATE the damsel in distress trope, seriously I'm f**king sick of that.

I'm sorry, I got too worked up back there. Those were my rants in school life shoujo (which may be present in others too). Plots are heavily reused now, and its a real bummer that this applies to even the shounen genre. There are just sooooo many mangas today, maybe people just ran out of fresh ideas and can only try their luck in their OWN rendition of an old story.

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Post #673040
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G r e e n B o x

7:56 pm, Oct 26 2015
Posts: 30

This is my problem with shoujo nowadays. I can tolerate repetitive shounen, josei, seinen, hentai or shit more than shoujo.

Literally, almost every new shoujo that comes out has quadruplets that I find myself looking for old ones to read rather than new because even the old cliché ones are better written, scratch the art, I'm all for the plot. Very few are good but later on becomes mind freaking illogical that I'd dropped it on the spot.

As a shoujo lover it irritates me as hell.
I seriously blame the publishers. Shoujo magazines to be exact (Margaret, Betsuma, Dessert, Sho Comi, etc...) They just publish whatever shit it is. I wish they'd be more critical. That's why it's degrading more than upgrading. ugh. Back then shoujos are more DIVERSE!

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Post #684661
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5:00 am, Oct 10 2016
Posts: 52

Not every shoujo I think. Sure a big collection of shoujo is predictable, full of cliche, reused plot, etc. But that's what make them generally accepted. Many shoujo manga who strieve in unique path, not really well welcomed by everyone.

Fortunately, there are such manga that still able to success such as Hibi Chouchou which is a mellow story telling manga.

Also there are still no scanlation yet but let me tell you new good and unique shoujo manga, how I wish they can become more popular
Tsumugi to Hakoniwa Monster, about design work, no romance befause it more focus at the character development
Risouteki Boyfriend, has many element that usually only exist in shounen/seinen love comedy
Nanairo Kakumei which is a story of friendship, in twisted way.
Tonari wa Nani o Kuu hito zo easy cooking manga with right at the kokoro warming story in every chapter. Like ARIA but the media is food

Last edited by symuri at 5:40 am, Oct 10

Post #685418

3:17 pm, Nov 5 2016
Posts: 4

Yeah, it's hard to find new interesting plots. Even in books!!!!! There's nothing! Everything is all predictable. It's like the same story with a different setting.

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