More and more women are enjoying Japanese comics for men, but why do so many guys remain indifferent to shojo and josei manga?
Over the last decade or so, there’s been a steady increase in the number of female readers of shonen manga and seinen manga, Japanese comics for boys and young men, respectively. Some would say this is due to shonen manga creators’ increasing use of characters with the sort of handsome faces, stylish hairdos, and slim physiques that resonate with female fans, while others would argue that it’s a sign of modern women developing an appreciation for the stories and storytelling techniques common to titles that fall into the shonen manga category.
However, there’s been markedly less assimilation of male readers into the worlds of shojo manga (comics for girls) and josei manga (comics for adult women). But just what’s responsible for this discrepancy?
That’s something Japanese Twitter user and burgeoning manga artist Tina Yamashina has no doubt spent plenty of time pondering. Born in the U.S. and having spent most of her elementary school days living in China, Yamashina, who now attends art school in Tokyo, of course would like the largest audience possible for her works, after all. When it comes to the question of why men show little interest in comics designed primarily for females, Yamashina thinks that manga creator Naoko Matsuda has the answer, as shown in a trio of panels which Yamashina shared from Matsuda’s appropriately named manga series Shojo Manga.
どうして少女漫画は面白いものでもなかなか男の人は読んでくれないんだろう…とずっと思ってたけど、なるほど納得。 松田奈緒子先生/「少女漫画」より https://t.co/lc9AqAHcwb—
山科ティナ (@tinarubii) December 29, 2016
Man: “If…if shojo manga really were interesting, wouldn’t more men be reading them?”
Woman: “You’ve got it all wrong. It’s not that men don’t read them because they’re not interesting.”
“Women read shonen manga and seinen manga. Men don’t read josei manga, but not because they aren’t interesting.”
“Men have no problems with women pursuing them while they, the men, hold onto their own values. But they absolutely can’t stand getting closer to a women’s values.”
It’s a strongly worded hypothesis, though the delivery is crafted to be all the more authoritative coming from the fashionable, self-composed woman in response to the balding, sweaty man. The two characters’ conversation, or at least the portion of it shared by Yamashina, also sidesteps the issue of how romantic wish-fulfillment elements aren’t exclusive to shonen and seinen manga, as they also feature extensively in numerous shojo and josei series.
Nevertheless, Yamashina’s tweet has struck a chord with many online who have retweeted the panels enough to show that many manga fans feel that this is indeed a major cause of why men seem to reluctant to pick up a title catering to women.
Source, featured image: Twitter/@tinarubii
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