Bisco Hatori’s manga series Ouran High School Host Club is a different type of shojo title in how it appeals to not just a female audience, but to a male audience as well. Most series under the shojo genre tends to put a great emphasis on the romance or love triangle between the main heroine/hero and their chosen love interest(s). As Ouran’s focus isn’t on just the obvious canon couple of Haruhi Fujioka and Tamaki Suoh, the series tends to pay more attention to the friendships between Haruhi and the Host Club, as well as the crazy, slapstick humor this series has an abundance of. It’s the kind of series that has a little bit of everything for everyone. What’s particularly great about reading this series is how the usual gender definitions doesn’t apply.
Anyone who has been following my blog for a while will know I count Sailor Moon as one of my favorite animes (and manga) of all time. It set me off on a path to becoming a major anime fan. I just about consumed everything I could get my hands on. Usually if a series had an anime, it most likely was based off of a manga. Animes that were twenty-four episodes or longer, I managed to finish within a week or two weeks. The Japanese animation style and the stories kept me eager to watch a marathon of episodes after homework and studying was done, or when the weekend rolled around. These days, I can barely finish two episodes in a week.
It’s tough to find shojo manga that feels fresh and less predictable, like most media these days. I read a ton of shojo because I like the romance and art better than most shonen manga. I’m not saying there aren’t any good shonen manga out there, but shojo is what I’m more likely to buy.
One of my favorite mangakas is Matsuri Hino of Vampire Knight fame. I love her artwork and the Vampire Knight series, though it has been quite some time since I’ve continued reading it. Any of her work that has made its way to being translated for North American readers, I just about bought. This includes another series she did before Vampire Knight called MeruPuri: Marchen Prince.
Plenty of anime/manga blogs have probably discussed Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers) or Tsukushi Makino quite a bit already. Tsukushi is one of the few characters in anime and manga who isn’t your typical dainty and demure shojo heroine. In fact, she tries to be the type of girl who keeps her mouth shut and doesn’t do anything to rock the boat at the beginning of the manga when she starts attending Eitoku Academy. Tsukushi is interested in keeping her head down and blending into the background. She just wants to get through high school without any trouble or hiccups. As we all know, life is never that simple.
Valentine’s Day is coming up this week, and while I personally could care less about this red and pink hearts day for lovers, I am doing a fun post in honor of it. As I currently read Volume 2 of Codename Sailor V, the very first chapter had a Valentine’s Day centric story in the volume.
The toughest thing about being a shojo heroine is having to choose between two guys. In typical shojo fashion, the men are always good looking and one guy would be considered the “best friend” and the other is the “bad guy.”
In most cases, the heroine almost always chooses the “bad guy” before choosing the “best friend.” And in other cases, you have love triangles that keeps going without any clear resolution or an actual choice being made. In the spirit of Halloween, I’m going to analyze one such love triangle from Matsuri Hino’s manga Vampire Knight involving Yuki, Kaname, and Zero.
A good number of the shojo I watch or read tends to feature clueless main characters who don’t realize they in fact like or are in love with the main hero/heroine. I don’t know if there is a trope for this, but it’s a common and very predictable plot device. It becomes really obvious when a character may have more feelings of like/love than they like to believe. I’m going to break down the following characters who fall into this category.
Fairytale romances awaken the imagination and sets hearts beating. It can take our breaths away or remind us how much we want a love that’s possible in spite of the odds. Miaka’s and Tamahome’s love story in Fushigi Yugi is a love that defies all odds and succeeds.
When reading manga, I noticed a common personality trait for a lot of male love interests is the idea of a jerk who treats the main character like crap only to find out later that the guy is truly a kind, caring, and decent person. The male love interest reveals to the reader as well as the character herself that he isn’t as horrible and mean spirited as you first thought. These guys have to hide who they truly are because of circumstances, personal views, bad experiences, and other scenarios you can think of. What makes these men who are seemingly jerks in the beginning end up hiding the side of themselves most girls would want to uncover?