DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Feb 13 2008

Manga Mania Part 2: Girls Rule!

by Heather O

Absobf Petshop Shugo_2 Dna Card Marm Girl

Since I plan on doing multiple posts on manga; I’ll start with the manga for the girls- Shojo. Shojo manga is intended for a vast audience of girls as young as 10 up to 18, the term for manga for older girls and women is Josei but girls and women of all ages read Shojo. Artistically, Shojo is full of very, very, pretty girls and boys (which leads to the gender slapstick that is a hallmark of many manga),  and plenty of romance. Shojo is also drawn with lots of hearts, stars, flowers, bubbles, etc around the characters when they have pretty much any emotion. The older Shojo mangas had female protagonists who were often ‘magical’- they were special in some way- princesses or like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Different mangas have different Nana_3
plots, and many Shojo manga have very adult themes and are aimed at older teens or young Hero
adults. For
example Nana is a fun Shojo manga about rock stars and young adults living in Tokyo, and much like “Friends” the series does contain sexuality, smoking, alcohol, and  references to drug use. Crimson Hero is obviously aimed at athletic grrls; its cast focuses on middle-school age volleyball players and the drama of team rivalries and friendships, but is light on the romance.

Shojo throughout DCPL-

Absolute Boyfriend
Romantic triangle between a girl, her new boyfriend who happens to not be a real person, and the boy next door who has always liked her.

Cardcaptor SakuraThe very ideal of a Shojo manga in many ways. A young girl accidentally opens a magical book that releases magical creatures which she, now being magical herself, must get back. Not very romantic, but this manga spawned a long-lived anime series and lots of games related to it. Kind of a girly Pokeman.

DN AngelLegendary thief inhabits the body of a teen boy when he thinks about his girl crush; romance, strange magics, and normal teen angst make for a fun action manga.


Fruits BasketOne of the girliest mangas I have ever read: the Sohma family has an odd curse- they change into different animals of the Chinese zodiac (yes, manga is Japanese) when someone of the opposite gender hugs them. The drama follows when the family has to reconcile with a super-girlie outsider who wants to help break the curse.

Girl Got GameClassic girl dressed up like a guy for the basketball team- then falls in love with her guy roommate and high school drama follows.

Kamikaze GirlsSingle volume manga and movie based on a novel, a motorcycle riding bad-girl and a frilly fashionable girl have adventures and learn to become best friends in spite of their differences.

Marmalade BoyOne of the few non-supernatural Shojo manga in the library. This one is all about the romantic relationship pitfalls of teens.

Pet Shop of Horrors– No romance in this older teen/adult manga (Josei); the pet shop is home to wondrous  supernatural creatures with each episode having a message within the horror and humour.

Shugo Chara!Cute manga about young teens with magical eggs that become guardian spirits; who then struggle against a shadowy organization. And there are ‘bad eggs’ of course in the manga with bad guardian spirits.

Shojo Beat Magazine– Subscriptions in the Chamblee, Clarkston, Covington, Decatur, Dunwoody, Flat Shoals, Northlake, Salem-Panola, Stone Mountain, Tucker branches.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

joe m February 16, 2008 at 10:55 AM

thanks for the primer! i consider myself something of an anime/manga fan, so i was suprised to find that i was unfamiliar with so many of the titles DCPL has in stock. I’ve been meaning to better acquaint myself with our graphic novel collection, and this entry will be very helpful to me in deciding what i want to start with.

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