Bishoujo is Japanese for "pretty girl". In normal Japanese conversation, the word can apply to any girl from toddlerhood to late teens. In the anime and manga fandoms, however, the word is Anime Fanspeak for attractive girls and young women, particularly those intended to appeal to a male audience. Although Shonen and Seinen have included a variety of pretty ladies for the viewers to ogle since their beginnings, the popularity of Moe and What Do You Mean, It's Not For Little Girls? shows since the late 1990s has translated into increasingly Shoujo-influenced character and costume designs for bishoujo characters. Common elements of modern bishoujo design and costume art style include:
- Young, usually teenage; older characters are likely to be Older Than They Look
- An emphasis on youth and cuteness; "bishoujo" generally doesn't include sophisticated women like The Vamp.
- Shoujo-influenced visual elements:
- Closely related to Moe, and tends to involve moe elements such as Puni Plush