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Shōjo-Manga ( Japanese 少女 漫画 , girl comic ) are Japanese comics that are specially drawn for adolescent girls between the ages of six and eighteen.


The cultural anthropologist Rachel Matt Thorn classifies a Japanese comic as a shōjo manga if it has appeared in a shōjo manga magazine . The publishers of the respective magazines announce which manga category a manga magazine specializes in. For example, Akimi Yoshida's action-packed thriller Banana Fish is drawn in a rather untypical, realistic and clear style for shōjo manga, which is similar to the works of Katsuhiro Otomos , but still appeared in the Bessatsu Shōjo comic , whose target group are girls in middle and high school age.

The male counterpart to the shōjo manga is the shōnen manga.


From the beginning of the 20th century, first comics for girls appeared in Japanese girls' magazines such as Shōjo Club . These were drawn by men and were designed as “ Yonkoma manga”, as entertaining comic strips. For example, in 1949 Shōsuke Kuragane created the Anmitsu-hime comic strip series for the monthly magazine Shōjo , in which the names of the main character and all other characters are derived from sweets.

Girl manga only became successful in the form of long comics with a continuous plot, in the form of story mangas . Osamu Tezuka created the first story manga for girls from 1953 to 1958 with Ribon no Kishi for Shōjo Club . It is about the princess Saphir, who is brought up as a boy because of the ruse of an angel who gave her a man's heart. The angel is sent to earth by God to take away the heart of Sapphire so that she can marry the prince from the neighboring kingdom. For Ribon no Kishi, Tezuka was influenced by the female Takarazuka theater group and drew the comic with the same means that had already given him the success of manga for a male target group - with a closeness to cinematic narration and a character design influenced by Disney films .

Other male comic artists based on the example of Ribon no Kishi created shōjo manga in the 1950s, often because they were not accepted in shōnen manga. Some of these artists, such as Tetsuya Chiba , Leiji Matsumoto and Shōtarō Ishinomori , later became extremely well-known authors of Shōnen mangas.

In 1962 and 1963, the first weekly manga magazines for girls were also founded, Margaret from Shūeisha Publishing House and Shōjo Friend from Kōdansha Publishing House. The monthly manga magazines Ribon and Nakayoshi were founded by these two publishers as early as 1955 . Margaret and Shōjo Friend were aimed at a slightly older audience than their monthly counterparts.

Although Machiko Hasegawa had already worked for daily newspapers with her comic strip series Sazae-san since 1946, women in the shōjo manga scene only established themselves later. In the 1960s, Toshiko Ueda , Hideko Mizuno , Miyako Maki , Masako Watanabe and Chikako Urano gradually shaped the attitude that shōjo manga were comics by women. Chikako Urano achieved with her volleyball series Attack No. 1 (1968–1971) popularity and paved the way for sports in girls' manga. Sumika Yamamoto created wo Nerae with Ace! from 1972 to 1980 a very successful tennis manga.

From 1969 onwards, the girls' manga was revolutionized by the group of 24 around Moto Hagio , Yumiko Ōshima , Keiko Takemiya and Riyoko Ikeda . The few women who had published shōjo manga by then had adhered to the patterns given by the men. The 24s changed this with the introduction of new themes and unconventional, aesthetic drawing techniques. In her 1800-page work The Roses of Versailles (1972–1973), Riyoko Ikeda placed a fictional female figure in the context of the French Revolution who exercised a male profession as a general at the French court and who ultimately died for the revolution. Moto Hagios Manga Thomas no Shinzō (1973–1975) is about a homosexual love affair at a European boys' school. Keiko Takemiya took up the same motif in her bestseller Kaze to Ki no Uta (1976–1984). The popularity of these homoerotic stories influenced many other female mangaka, led to the establishment of their own magazines such as June and finally to the establishment of a separate genre ( Boys Love ). With the success of the 24s, women finally took over the shōjo manga and only a few male artists were able to assert themselves in girls' manga (such as Shinji Wada , Mitsuru Adachi and Maya Mineo ).

With magazines like Mimi , which was aimed at teenage girls between the ages of fourteen and 21, more mature shōjo manga emerged from the mid-1970s, which led to the development of the Josei manga in the early 1980s. One of the most important titles in Mimi was Waki Yamato's manga adaptation of the classic story Genji Monogatari .

In the 1980s it was mostly everyday stories with self-irony that prevailed in the Shōjo manga. Mangas like Momoko Sakura's Chibi Maruko-chan (since 1987) about the life of a cheeky elementary school student and Noriko Sasaki's veterinarian series Dōbutsu no Oisha-san (1989-1994) sold several million copies. By the late 1980s, many female artists who first worked in the amateur manga scene made professional publications, including Yun Kouga , Minami Ozaki and the CLAMP drawing team .

From 1992 to 2004, Yōko Kamio and Hana Yori Dango created the best-selling girl manga in Japan with sales of 55 million. In the foreground is a girl from a poor background who changes to a rich private school and finds herself in love affairs there. A comic series about girls who transform themselves into superheroes with magical abilities, created Naoko Takeuchi with Sailor Moon (1992-1997). Sailor Moon achieved international fame.

Stylistic devices

Frequently treated topics are first love, lovesickness and friendship. The male figures often fulfill the Japanese ideal of a young man called Bishōnen . Female figures are often depicted with oversized, shiny eyes. The eyes often serve as a kind of "graphic mirror" in which the feelings of the character are represented.

Circulation numbers

The following magazines had a circulation of over 100,000 copies in 2017 and were among the best-selling of the genre:

magazine publishing company Edition
Bessatsu Margaret Shueisha 167,000
Ciao Shogakukan 452,000
Hana to Yume Hakusensha 125,000
LaLa Hakusensha 121,000
Ribon Shueisha 173,000
Shōjo comic Shogakukan 101,000

The following shōjo series have been sold over 20 million times:


  • Jaqueline Berndt : Manga phenomenon . edition q, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-86124-289-3 , pp. 94-125.
  • Frederik L. Schodt: Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics . Kodansha America, 1983, ISBN 0-87011-752-1 , pp. 88-105. (English)
  • Mark McLelland: The "Beautiful Boy" in Japanese Girls' Manga . In: Toni Johnson-Woods (Ed.): Manga - An Anthology of Global and Cultural Perspectives . Continuum Publishing, New York 2010, ISBN 978-0-8264-2938-4 , pp. 63-92.
  • Jennifer Prough: Shōjo Manga in Japan and Abroad . In: Toni Johnson-Woods (Ed.): Manga - An Anthology of Global and Cultural Perspectives . Continuum Publishing, New York 2010, ISBN 978-0-8264-2938-4 , pp. 63-92.
  • Paul Gravett: Manga - Sixty Years of Japanese Comics . Egmont Manga and Anime, Cologne, 2006, ISBN 3-7704-6549-0 , pp. 74-95.
  • Michiko Mae: The girl revolution through shojo (girl) manga. Deconstruction of gender and love . In: Mae Michiko, Elisabeth Scherer, Katharina Hülsmann (eds.): Japanese popular culture and gender: A study book. Springer VS, Wiesbaden, 2016, ISBN 978-3-658-10062-9 , pp. 21-50.
  • Kristin Eckstein: Shôjo Manga. Text-image relationships and narrative strategies in Japanese and German manga for girls. Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg 2016, ISBN 978-3-8253-6538-7 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Masanao Amano: Manga Design . P. 571
  2. What Shôjo Manga Are and Are Not on
  3. Frederik L. Schodt: Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga . Diane Pub Co., 1996, ISBN 0-7567-5168-3 , pp. 206-207
  4. Article at ( Memento from August 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
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  6. Historic Shoujo Manga Circulation Numbers | ComiPress. Retrieved December 27, 2018 .
  7. 歴 代 発 行部 数 ラ ン キ ン グ | 漫画 全 巻 ド ッ ト コ ム. Retrieved December 27, 2018 .
  8. 漫画家 ・ 矢 沢 あ い 「重病 説」 否定 超人 気 「ナ ナ」 連載 再 開 い つ? April 25, 2010, accessed December 27, 2018 .
  9. 4000 万 部 発 行 の 少女 漫画 「王家 の 紋章」 、 ミ ュ ー ジ カ ル 製作 発 表 記者 会見 | ア イ デ ア ニ ュ ー ス. Retrieved December 27, 2018 .
  10. 『あ さ り ち ゃ ん』 連載 35 周年 、 コ ミ ッ ク ス 100 巻 で 完結. In: oricon. December 25, 2013, accessed December 27, 2018 (jp).
  11. Sukeban Deka. In: TV Tokyo. Retrieved December 27, 2018 .