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, shmoopy 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
Note that the word is correctly romanized as "shōjo" or "shoujo", not "shojo". We won't kill you if you mess it up.
- Vast number 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
- Cyber Team in Akihabara
- Crescent Moon
- 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.
- Desire Climax
- A Devil and Her Love Song
- Earl and Fairy
- Eden No Hana
- Evyione Ocean Fantasy
- Fairy Cube
- Fairy Navigator Runa
- Faster Than a Kiss
- From Far Away
- Fruits Basket
- Full Moon o Sagashite
- Fushigi Yuugi
- Gakuen Alice
- Gakuen Babysitters
- 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.
- Gokinjo Monogatari
- Haikara San Ga Tooru
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- Itazura Na Kiss
- Kaitou Saint Tail
- Kamichama Karin
- Kamikami Kaeshi
- Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne
- Kamisama Kiss
- 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
- Kirarin Revolution
- Kitchen Princess
- K Memory Of Red
- Kodomo no Omocha
- Koko Ni Iru Yo
- Koko Wa 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.
- Kurobara Alice
- Kyo Koi O Hajimemasu
- Kyou Kara Maou
- Love Celeb, although it edges near to Josei.
- Love Is In The Bag
- Lovely Complex
- Mademoiselle Butterfly
- Magical X Miracle
- Mamotte! Lollipop
- Magical Pokemon Journey'
- Magic Users Club
- Maria-sama Ga Miteru
- Marmalade Boy
- Mekakushi no Kuni
- Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch
- Millennium Snow
- Monkey High!
- My Heavenly Hockey Club
- 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
- Oniisama e...
- 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
- Princess Ai
- 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
- Say I Love You
- Seiho Boys High School
- Seishun Kouryakuhon
- Seiyuu Ka
- Sensual Phrase
- Shinshi Doumei Cross
- Shiro Ari
- Shiro no Eden
- Shugo Chara!
- Silver Diamond
- Skip Beat!
- Sora Log
- Soredemo Sekai Wa Utsukushii
- Special A
- Stardust Wink
- Strobe Edge
- Super GALS! Kotobuki Ran
- Sweet Black
- Tail of the Moon
- Taiyou No Ie
- Tenshi Nanka Ja Nai
- Ten Yori Mo, Hoshi Yori Mo
- Time Stranger Kyoko
- Tokimeki Tonight
- Tokyo Mew Mew
- Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
- 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
- The Wallflower
- Watashi ni XX Shinasai!!
- Wild Ones
- Wedding Peach
- W Juliet
- Yami No Matsuei
- Yumeiro Pâtissière
- 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.
- Azumanga Daioh - Like Lucky Star, it's a shonen.
- Black Butler - Cast Full of Pretty Boys and tons of Ho Yay. It's a shonen series.
- CLANNAD - Another seinen.
- 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
- Honey and Clover - Like Nodame Cantabile below, it's actually josei, and they lump it in with shoujo.
- 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.
- 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.
- Saki - It seems like it would fall into this rather nicely, but it's a seinen.
- Sakura Wars - It's based on a Dating Sim. What do you think?
- Shakugan no Shana
- Strawberry Panic! - Despite having "strawberry" in the title which is typical of shoujo, TOW says it's a seinen.
- Toradora! - It's often mistaken for shoujo because it is a romance but it is actually a shounen.
- Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou