' simply means "pretty girl" in Japanese.
A bishoujo series
, however, is a more loaded term. They are Fanservice
series aimed towards male audiences
. These series will use highly attractive female characters (often of The Beautiful Elite
variety, although this is not necessary) up to about twenty-five years old
whenever possible. This is especially noticeable in a series where male characters and older women make unusually few to no appearances, even if the story's setting and premise would suggest otherwise
Lately, among fans, it often takes a self-derogatory tone. Many bishoujo series blatantly appeal to male audiences with pandering tropes, causing large amounts of Selective Squick
and Values Dissonance
that help cement the otaku
stereotype. Adding a guy to the mix ironically just gets it labeled as a Harem Genre
When a series of this kind does attract Fangirls
, the series often loses this term. Compare and contrast Shoujo Demographic
and Magical Girl
, in which there are cute girls, but the target audience is female. Also contrast Puni Plush
Improbably Female Cast
is a Sub-Trope
This is an East Asian media only trope. Please do not put Western examples here.
Anime and Manga
- Pretty much every girl in Elfen Lied, Diclonius and human alike, is very beautiful. Because of this, the opening scene is particularly memorable, what with Lucy going on a killing spree while wearing nothing but a mask.
- Gunslinger Girl has an especially jarring dichotomy between the age of the girls in question and their occupation.
- Naturally sent up in Excel♥Saga, which featured a bishoujo episode in which the art became noticeably more shiny and all of the male regulars except Pedro were deliberately excluded. Pedro's Big "NO!" comes when the male cast finally comes to exact punishment for his appearance — and we still don't get a good look at any of them.
- Azumanga Daioh - although it is expressly not a Harem Series, but rather a Schoolgirl Series; the only regular male characters are a creepy, middle-aged teacher with a fetish for high school girls and a giant floating orange cat that may or may not be Chiyo's father. Plus, you know, that one schoolboy who fixes Yukari's bike and is then thrown into the series whenever they need to show another student aside from the main cast? Yeah, we're talking about him.◊
- Galaxy Angel is a bishoujo series; the Galaxy Angel gameverse has the same characters as a Harem Genre, but the anime removes the central male.
- Soukou No Strain.
- ARIA, where only beautiful young girls appear to be allowed to steer sight-seeing gondolas.
- Koihime†Musou is notable for its sheer volume of bishoujo. There are literally dozens of all shapes and sizes.
- Strawberry Panic! is a Yuri Genre example.
- Tenshi Ni Narumon.
- To Love-Ru.
- Strike Witches.