Mayu Shinjo (born January 26, 1973) is a Japanese manga artist. She debuted in 1994 in Shogakukan's Shōjo Comic with "Anata no Iro ni Somaritai". She continued writing for Shogakukan until 2007, with her works appearing in both Shōjo Comic and their other magazine Cheese!. She's now working freelance, and her most recent series is Manga/Demon Love Spell (published in Margaret from 2008 to 2014).
Ms. Shinjo left the company to go freelance citing a dispute over working conditions and abusive treatment by her editor. How bad was that? In her blog, she noted that not only she was subjected to very abusive and restrictive work conditions (limited sleep hours, being forced to work many extra hours without any extra pay, constant editor pressure, being forced to change her storylines, etc.), but also that though she was the actual creator of her manga titles, she was one of the last to know about any adaptation plans for her series, even learning about some (like Sensual Phrase) through TV channel websites instead of her abusive editors. When she decided to leave, one editor threatened to take all of her earlier series out of print, but Shinjo contacted a lawyer and the threat was never carried out.
The majority of Ms. Shinjo's manga, as mentioned, qualify in the shoujo spectrum. She draws lots of bishonen, gives her male leads very sex-driven and forceful personalities and lots of snarky comments about everything, while making her female leads quite Hollywood Homely (until it's time to clean up) and in constant verge of being corrupted. Her stories tend to go for lots of emotional stuff, if not downright Melodrama, as well as being Hotter and Sexier than your average shoujo, featuring many sex scenes among her male and female leads.
However, in 2014, she admitted that she has no interest in writing shoujo manga anymore note preferring Boys' Love instead.
Oh, and it looks like she's good friends with Tite Kubo, judging by their twitter exchanges. Be afraid. Be VERY, VERY afraid.
Some of her works include:
Tropes common across most of Mayu Shinjo's works:
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Many of her stories feature a pure innocent virgin being seduced by a bad boy of some kind, Haoi Airen (Hakuron is part of the Hong Kong mafia) and Sensual Phrase (Sakuya is a rock star) in particular.
- All Men Are Perverts: Almost every single man in her stories, if they are not related to the female lead, want to sleep with her, willingly or not.
- All Women Are Prudes: Her female leads tend to be innocent virgins who balk at the first sign of sexual intimacy. However, this gets Zig-Zagged along with All Women Are Lustful, since Shinjo typically resolves such stories with the male leads forcing themselves on to the female leads and the female leads falling in love with them because they succumbed to lust / love.
- A Match Made in Stockholm: Happens quite a few times in her stories, most notably,
- Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: What they're supposed to come across as. Oops?
- Attempted Rape: See Rape as Drama below.
- Blackmail: Someone's gonna get extortioned here.
- Bishōnen: All of her male leads are stunningly beautiful in-universe with women willingly throwing themselves at them. Due to Shinjo's issues with Only Six Faces, this bleeds into all of her supporting characters as well.
- Break the Cutie: A given, specially in regards to the female characters. Kurumi and Aine are the ones who get it the worst.
- There seems to be a sort-of "unspoken rule" about this in the story. The boys get broken in their Dark And Troubled Pasts and later they're the ones who do the breaking, the girls generally do well until they meet the already broken guys and from then on get regularly broken on page/screen.
- Corrupt the Cutie: Oh, my. It's even deliberately invoked in Haou Airen by Reilan. She doesn't live to see the results.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: All of the male leads tend to be extraordinarily possessive. Often, after rescuing the female lead from being assaulted, they'll force themselves on them out of jealousy that the female leads "allowed" another man to touch them, completely ignoring that it wasn't invited or wanted.
- Damsel in Distress: CONSTANTLY. Goes hand in hand with Rape as Drama.
- Doujinshi: She released some Tiger & Bunny doujins, doubling as her first foray into Yaoi. The main couple is Barnaby/Koutetsu, if you're wondering.
- Fetishized Abuser: She's famous for this. They mostly tend to be huge bastards to pretty much everyone, as well as having very Dark And Troubled Pasts.
- Hotter and Sexier: More than the average shoujo. Not that surprising if you consider she published many of them in Shoujo Comic which tends to host more steamy (and often rape-y) shoujo manga than the standard shoujo magazines.
- Darker and Edgier: Haou Airen not only is rather sex-driven, but it also features a heavily violent environment as a whole.
- I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: It goes hand in hand with the Fetishized Abuser trope. It's usually the justification given for the male love interest's constant attempts to sleep with the heroine.
- Karma Houdini: Most of the male leads never get their comeuppance, but with their Bishōnen looks, who can blame them? The closest to an aversion is Haou Airen, where Hakuron gets a mix of Redemption Equals Death and HeelFace Door-Slam.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Chances are, someone will lose their memories at some point.
- Lighter and Softer:
- Love Martyr: Whenever the female leads fall for their boyfriends, expect this to happen.
- Melodrama: The bread and butter of her stories.
- Near-Rape Experience: Goes hand in hand with Rape as Drama. For example, In Love Celeb, Gin saves Kirara from being raped by a sleazy exec producer only to try to force himself on her. She escapes that too.
- Never Trust Viz: Ai Ore! Love Me! was advertised by Viz as a wacky crossdressing romantic comedy, leaving out all the rapey overtones.
- Off-Model: Character's faces tend to look off when drawn from certain angles, in particular, her earlier works featured disproportionately long 'chins and limbs.
- The first chapter of Ai Ore shows Mizuki and the rest of the women from Blau Rosen as very masculine (no curves, wider and broader shoulders, flatter chests, much taller) in order to play up the Gender Bender nature of the work. As the story progresses and the romance develops, Mizuki and the other girls all are depicted as much more feminine (shorter, bigger eyes, curvier figures).
- Only Six Faces: Satan from Akuma na Eros is simply Sakuya from Sensual Phrase with longer hair and horns, and they both look like Hakuron from Haou Airen. Don't forget that Kurumi is basically Aine with Girlish Pigtails and Miu is Aine with a headband and a Sailor Fuku.
- Ordinary High-School Student: The majority of her female leads start as this. They obviously don't stay that way.
- Psycho Lesbian: One appears in Ai Ore! Love Me! and tries to rape Mizuki.
- Psychotic Love Triangle: There will be at least one in every work. At first the male love interest will be a Yandere and Fetishized Abuser while his Girl Next Door girlfriend will be more or less normal. Then, the girl who will appear to challenge said Girl Next Door will tun out to be a Yandere Clingy Jealous Girl... meaning that the two yanderes do not compete for someone else, but the crazy dude is the target of both a crazy girl and a non-crazy one.
- Rape as Drama: If the heroine of the series isn't at least being threatened with rape at some point, it isn't a true Mayu Shinjo creation. To be specific, Kirara from Love Celeb is almost raped in the first chapter by a music industry big shot then almost raped by the male lead; Mizuki from Ai Ore is almost assaulted on different occassions by one of Akira's friends after he realizes she's a girl.
- Stealth Parody: Some theorize her works as being this for Shoujo manga as a whole given just how over the top all of the scenarios are and how they take typical unquestioned tropes present in many shoujo works (Fetishized Abuser, Rape as Drama, Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl, etc.) and turn them up to eleven.