The demographic category
aimed mainly at pre-teen to teenage girls. It tends to have female leads, romantic subplots and resolutions involving personal growth. This doesn't mean Shoujo
is devoid of action, though. In addition to more traditional romance stories, Shoujo can include tales of heroines who kick righteous butt
— while pursuing romantic subplots and personal growth.
stories can focus on implied or explicit homosexual relationships between men (see Boys Love
for the genre, Yaoi Guys
for characters outside of the genre), or the romantic emphasis could also stem from relationships between women
. Some feature all of the above, and usually feature a Relationship Ceiling
Although series with explicit sexuality are more likely to be Josei
(aimed at older women), some Shoujo
may have considerable sexual content; a subgenre called Teens Love
(by analogy to Boys Love) features erotic romance between heterosexual couples, with much the same narrative conventions (abusive boyfriends
; or, alternately, shiny romance
, ecstatic lovemaking
, and Happily Ever After
). This stuff tends to snuggle up as close to the "Restricted" (18+) category as it can, and so isn't often licensed for translation.
Not all romance series are Shoujo
romances take the boy's perspective (Magical Girlfriends
and Harem Series
are both common), and focus on the boy pursuing the girl, or trying to resolve the Love Dodecahedron
. If it doesn't have that, a Shōnen
romance tends to end
with a declaration of love and its acceptance. Shoujo
romances, by contrast, frequently involve the heroine finding love early
in the series, then stick around to watch the couple work through trouble in their relationship.
is typically drawn with lighter outlines than shonen manga
, and with sparser backgrounds and little (if any) shading — but, contrariwise
, it frequently uses screentone patterns to set the emotional tone of a scene, and frames are rarely solely rectangular and borders are often absent. Character designs with eyes that are even larger than those usually used in manga
(the infamous dinner plate size) are also usually a giveaway that the work in question is Shoujo
— especially when the characters are not children
is a demographic (usually identified by the time slot or magazine a story runs in) and shows so classified can fit into any "standard" genre, up to and including martial arts and Science Fiction
. And even this is variable; popular female leads sometimes gain a male fan following
, to the degree of the infamous older male fanbase
. Anything Magical Girl
is usually Shoujo
by default, although there are exceptions
, specifically made for said older fanbase.
Should not be confused with Bishoujo
. Or Lord Shojo
Vast numbers of CLAMP
works, although it should be noted that there are bishies in all their mangas.
Notable works include:
- Claudine...! - By Riyoko Ikeda, dealing with the very sensitive topic of transsexuality.
- Cherry Juice
- The Cherry Project
- Chibi Maruko-chan
- Cinderella Monogatari
- Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (The manga. The anime is Seinen)
- Corrector Yui
- Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!
- Cyber Team in Akihabara
- Crescent Moon
- Deep Love - despite the dark theming of the story, the manga and most of its spin-offs (except Pao no Monogatari and REAL) were released in Bessatsu Friend, a shoujo magazine.
- Demon Love Spell
- Dengeki Daisy
- Dennou Coil, which sometimes gets mistaken for shonen because of its emphasis on high-tech action scenes, but the manga adaptation ran in a shoujo magazine.
- Descendants of Darkness
- Desire Climax
- A Devil and Her Love Song
- Earl and Fairy
- Eden No Hana
- Evyione Ocean Fantasy
- Fairy Cube
- Fairy Navigator Runa
- Family Complex
- Faster Than a Kiss
- From Far Away
- Fruits Basket
- Full Moon o Sagashite
- Fushigi Yuugi
- Fushigi Yuugi Byakko Ibun (prequel of the above)
- Alice Academy
- Gakuen Babysitters
- Gakuen Ouji
- Gdgd Dogs
- Gensomaden Saiyuki - technically only the sequel, as the original is shonen
- Girl Got Game (Power!!)
- Glass Mask (Glass no Kamen), one of the Long Runners in shoujo manga, having been there since 1976.
- Haikara San Ga Tooru
- Hajimari No Niina
- Hakkenden Touhou Hakken Ibun
- Hana No Kishi
- Hana no Ko Lunlun
- Hana no Namae
- Hanasakeru Seishounen
- Hana To Akuma
- Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers)
- Haou Airen
- Happy Happy Clover
- Hell Girl: Even when the dark and cynical nature of the story could make it to be confused with Seinen the original manga was published on Nakayoshi, a shoujo magazine.
- Here Is Greenwood - Subverts the standards by having an all-male lead cast despite not being a Boys Love series. In addition, the major romance between the main protagonist and a secondary female character is told from his point of view.
- Hibi Chouchou
- Hibiki no Mahou
- High School Debut
- Hiiro No Kakera
- Hirunaka no Ryuusei
- Honey Honey No Suteki Na Bouken - one of the first shoujo manga series that became successful, being written by a woman.
- Honoo No Alpen Rose
- Hot Gimmick
- Houkago X Ponytail
- Ilegenes Kokuyou No Kiseki
- I'm Here!
- Immortal Rain
- Instant Teen: Just Add Nuts
- Itazura Na Kiss
- Kaitou Saint Tail
- Kamichama Karin
- Kamikami Kaeshi
- Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne
- Kamisama Kiss
- Kamisama Minarai Himitsu No Cocotama
- Karakuri Odette
- Kare Kano (aka Kareshi Kanojo no Jijyo, and better known in the US as His and Her Circumstances)
- Kare wa Tomodachi
- Kedamono Damono
- Kilala Princess
- Kimi ni Todoke
- Kin Kyori Rennai
- Kirarin Revolution
- Kitchen Princess
- K: Memory of Red
- Kodomo no Omocha
- Kurobara Alice
- Kyo Koi O Hajimemasu
- Kyou Kara Maou
- Last Game
- Love Celeb, although it edges near to Josei.
- Love Is in the Bag
- Lovely Complex
- Love So Life
- Mademoiselle Butterfly
- Magical × Miracle
- Mamotte! Lollipop
- Magical Pokémon Journey'
- Magic User's Club
- Maria-sama ga Miteru
- Marmalade Boy
- Mekakushi no Kuni
- Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch
- Millennium Snow
- Monkey High!
- Moon Child (Tsuki no Ko)
- My Heavenly Hockey Club
- My Little Monster
- My Love Story!! - Often mistaken for being a shoujo-themed shonen a la Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun due to its humor and Gonk male protagonist, but it is currently serialized in a shoujo magazine.
- Musashi Number Nine
- Natsume's Book of Friends - Features a male protagonist, and Word of God says it will never have romance in it.
- Neo Angelique
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse
- NG Life
- Nine Puzzle
- Noein - Like Dennou Coil, it has important action components, but the emphasis of the series remains on the friendships and relationships between Haruka's friends and the time-travellers.
- Nurse Angel Ririka SOS
- Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare
- Oniisama e...
- Ookami Shoujo To Kuro Ouji
- Orange - It's currently serialized in a seinen magazine, but it was first released on a shoujo magazine.
- Ore-sama Teacher
- Ouke no Monshou - Along with Glass Mask, this manga is among the longest runners in here, since it has been around ever since 1976.
- Ouran High School Host Club is both an example and an Affectionate Parody of the genre.
- Papa no Iukoto o Kikinasai!, specifically the Usagi no Mark and Miu-Sama no Iu Toori spinoffs
- Penguin Revolution
- Pixie Pop
- Plain Love
- Pretty Cure (Notable for that Marketing papers that exist that the series is also aimed at Adult men, making both Seinen and Shojo)
- Princess Ai
- Princess Army
- Princess Knight (AKA Ribon no Kishi), one of the earliest shoujo manga, but not the very first. Created by the "God of Manga" himself, Osamu Tezuka.
- Princess Tutu
- Private Actress
- Psychic Detective Yakumo
- Pure Trance
- Reimei No Arcana
- Revolutionary Girl Utena
- Rose of Versailles
- Sailor Moon
- Sakura Gari
- Sakura Hime Kaden
- Sand Chronicles
- Say I Love You
- The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko
- Seiho Boys High School
- Seishun Kouryakuhon
- Seiyuu Ka
- Sensual Phrase
- Shiawase Kissa Sanchoume
- Shinshi Doumei Cross
- Shinshunki Miman Okotowari
- Shiro Ari
- Shiro no Eden
- Shugo Chara!
- Silver Diamond
- Skip Beat!
- Snow White with the Red Hair
- Sora Log
- Special A
- Stardust Wink
- Strobe Edge
- Super GALS! Kotobuki Ran
- Sweet Black
- Tail of the Moon
- Taiyou No Ie
- Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note - The source material, being Children's Literature, is not marketed by gender. However, its manga adaptation is published in Nakayoshi.
- Tenshi Nanka Ja Nai
- Ten Yori Mo, Hoshi Yori Mo
- Time Stranger Kyoko
- Tokimeki Tonight
- Tokyo Mew Mew
- Towa Kamo Shirenai
- Trinity Blood - (The manga. The original light novels are aimed more at a male audience.)
- Umi Monogatari
- Umibe No Onnanoko - though this work has also been classified as a josei due to its mature content
- Until the Full Moon
- Usotsuki Lily
- Vampire Knight
- Vampire Princess Miyu
- Venus Capriccio
- Virgin Ripper
- The Wallflower
- Watashi Ga Motete Dousunda
- Watashi ni XX Shinasai!!
- Wild Ones
- Wedding Peach
- W Juliet
- Yona of the Dawn
- The standard for Ai Yazawa, despite being commonly mistaken for josei.
- The World is Still Beautiful
- Yumeiro Pâtissière
- Yume Miru Taiyou
- Zettai Heiwa Daisakusen
- Zetsuai 1989 - The sequel Bronze starts as shoujo, but later shifts to josei.
Series sometimes mistaken for shoujo:
- Ah! My Goddess - Seinen, published at the equally seinen magazine Afternoon
- Amakusa 1637, Private Actress and other newer works by Michiyo Akaishi. They're josei (and published in the very josei magazine "Flowers"), though to be fair Akaishi's most popular works (like Honoo No Alpen Rose) are shoujo.
- ARIA is hard to pin down; it contains some definite shoujo elements, but also some of seinen and josei, considering the more thoughtful subjects it sometimes touches upon. Still, it first got published in a shonen magazine, so the general consensus is to label it as such.
- Axis Powers Hetalia has a Cast Full of Pretty Boys, a bright cutesy art style, Homoerotic Subtext, plenty of fanservice from the male characters, and a fandom that's overwhelmingly female and teenaged. It would be a textbook example of a moe franchise for girls/women instead of men, if not for seinen magazine Comic Birz advertising and serializing it, and then switching to the Shonen Jump.
- Azumanga Daioh - Like Lucky Star, it's a shonen.
- Bitter Virgin - While it has many Shoujo traits and is very flowery at times, this work was published as a Seinen manga in a Seinen magazine.
- Black Butler - Cast Full of Pretty Boys and tons of Ho Yay. It's a shonen series.
- CLANNAD - Most people don't know that the anime is actually based on a Dating Sim Visual Novel aimed at a Seinen demographic.
- The Vision of Escaflowne - actually a mix of both shoujo and shonen genres, it features a shoujo heroine and a shonen hero. This leads to there being two manga versions, one shoujo and one shonen!
- Eureka Seven It jumps into several genres with such frequency that pinning it down is nearly impossible, but it ran in Shonen Ace and is therefore officially shonen.
- Haruhi Suzumiya: The titular character may be female and there may be a lot of Ship Tease between her and the secondary male protagonist, but the series is actually written for a male audience. Considering how often the female characters (especially Mikuru) wear Fanservicey outfits, it's hardly a surprise.
- Honey and Clover - Like Nodame Cantabile below, it's actually josei, and they lump it in with shoujo.
- Inuyasha- Despite its Cast Full of Pretty Boys and schoolgirl protagonist, it's actually a Shonen.
- Strawberry Marshmallow - Very moe seinen (Amazon.com even goes so far as to say that it's obviously targeted at adolescent girls and that boys and older viewers will find it cloying.)
- Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl - Even though the premise is very shoujo-like, the execution is typically shonen.
- Lucky Star - Even though most main characters are girls and dealing with "girly" subjects, it's still a shonen.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha - Despite being a Magical Girl show, the anime was aimed primarily at men and the manga ran in a seinen magazine.
- Maison Ikkoku - Rumiko Takahashi is known for her cross-genre appeal to both shoujo and shonen fans, but this one ran in a seinen magazine.
- Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun is an Affectionate Parody of shoujo manga and how it's made, as well as the titular character being a shoujo mangaka and the protagonist being a girl who has a crush on him, but it was first published in GanGan Online, which is a shonen online magazine. However, the author has written shoujo manga in the past (Ore-sama Teacher being the best-known), and it has enough of a Multiple Demographic Appeal to be reprinted in shoujo anthologies.
- Nodame Cantabile - Close, but it's actually josei. Most Westerners haven't heard of josei, so they lump it in with shoujo so they don't get confused.
- Princess Tutu - Seems like shojo incarnate, but the manga adaption ran in a shonen magazine.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica - Despite being a Magical Girl show, it was created as quite a bleak seinen.
- Sakura Wars - It's based on a Dating Sim. What do you think?
- Servamp - Zig-Zagged; It's commonly called shoujo due to its Cast Full of Pretty Boys, but it actually runs in a shonen magazine. The mistake can be forgiven as the intended audience for the magazine (Comic Gene) is female.
- Shakugan no Shana
- Strawberry Panic! - Despite having "strawberry" in the title which is typical of shoujo, Wikipedia says it's a seinen.
- Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou