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 Ayakashi Koi Emaki (published in Margaret from 2008 to 2014).
Mrs. 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.
Mrs. 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.
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: The reason most of her stories exist.
- All Men Are Perverts
- All Women Are Lustful <- -> All Women Are Prudes: Zigzagged all around.
- A Match Made in Stockholm: Their male and female leads
- Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: What they're supposed to come across as. Oops?
- Attempted Rape: See Rape as Drama below.
- Bastard Boyfriend: Oooh boy, she's famous for this. They mostly tend to be Conflicted types: huge bastards to pretty much everyone, as well as having very Dark And Troubled Pasts.
- Blackmail: Someone's gonna get extortioned here.
- Bishōnen: Every male, even the Hollywood Homely ones.
- 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.
- Damsel in Distress: CONSTANTLY. Goes hand in hand with Rape as Drama.
- Doujinshi: She released some Tiger & Bunny doujins, doubling as her first foray (as far as we know) into Yaoi (the main couple is Barnaby/Koutetsu, if you're wondering).
- 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 hosts 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 heavy violent environment as a whole.
- I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: It goes hand in hand with the Bastard Boyfriend 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: Again, see Rape as Drama below.
- Never Trust Viz: Ai Ore! Love Me! was advertised by Viz as a wacky crossdressing romantic comedy, leaving out all the rapey overtones and Values Dissonance.
- Off-Model: Character's faces tend to look off when drawn from certain angles. Those chins, man.
- 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: Played with. At first the male love interest will be a Yandere and Bastard Boyfriend 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. (Though at least once this has been played straight.)
- 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.
- Stealth Parody: Some theorize her works as being this for Shoujo manga as a whole.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Her male leads tend to be this.
- Trauma Conga Line: Those poor, poor girls...
- Villain Protagonist: The male leads, with all their rape and abuse, count as this. The closest to an exception is Kagura from Ayakashi Koi Emaki.
- Yandere/Crazy Jealous Guy: ... Need to ask?