Created By: lebrel on February 18, 2010

Bishonen Jump Syndrome

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Launches Friday as a Useful Notes unless someone objects

I think this would work better as a Useful Notes/Japan article than as a trope, what do you think?
AKA Shoujo Jump Syndrome.

Bishonen Jump Syndrome is a specific trend in shonen (boy's) manga (and anime), aimed at attracting a female Periphery Demographic.

The manga anthology magazine Weekly Shonen Jump (on which the US magazine Shonen Jump is based) is the best-selling manga magazine in Japan. Although it is targeted to boys, it has a large female Periphery Demographic. Sometime in the mid-1990s, Shonen Jump realized the sales potential of this demographic, and began to deliberately court female readers via Mr. Fanservice. Specifically, they took standard shounen all-male teams and simply made them all bishounen: the origin of the Blue Bishōnen Ghetto (an idea promptly picked up by shoujo as too good to waste on the guys). Among the first series to show this effect were The Prince of Tennis and the various Gundam Wing spinoffs. Traces of Ho Yay are often also added (if not, the fangirls will see it anyway).

The fangirl-bait worked, sales went up, and the idea was promptly copied by other shonen magazines, to the extent that it is now more-or-less standard procedure. It is nonetheless often ridiculed by readers who prefer the older tough-looking art styles, who deride Shonen Jump as "Bishonen Jump" or "Shoujo Jump".

For more information, see this essay or this essay (the latter was originally in Japanese and is awkwardly translated but informative).

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