The Shoujo Genre

Shoujo, Shounen, Josei, Seinen, etc.. For the most part I don't really care about the genre as long as the story is good.

Having said that I do avoid some genres because I am not interested in them.

But Shoujo tends to be my favorite.

Shoujo Isn't Tropes

Rivals are well-established tropes in shoujo. The same way that losing and leveling up is a well-established trope for most battle/fighting manga.

Some manga that I think don't have any asshole/bitchy characters:

  • High School Debut
  • Hirunaka no Ryuusei
    • The best shoujo artwork i've seen as well
  • Hanatsukihime
  • Hana Kimi
  • Dangan Honey
  • Karakuri Odette

Pretty oneshot collections by Andou Yuki.

Most of Shimotsuki Kayoko's works are different from the normal conventions. Stuffs made by the mangaka of Natsume Yuujinchou.

I think it's a matter of you finding the right ones to read. Demographics doesn't necessarily equate to content. But anyway, it's not like I'm arguing or anything. It's generally correct but not necessarily true for all. One of the fluffiest and cutest series I've read, even by shoujo manga standards. If you don't like it, too bad.

I have plenty of favorites and also reading at the moment, but Koukou Debut, Strobe Edge, and Akatsuki no Yona are definitely just a few of the best I have read.


Top Ten Manga of All Time

I was a little shy of the idea of making an all-time list. Not because I didn't think that it was possible, but because a lot of it is subjective. And it really is a personal jounrey which needs to be made.

For me, I first got into the manga that I could relate to and then branched from thete. It was manga that made an impression on me at the time. But my list will not be your all-time list. A good way to go about these things is looking it up by demographic:

  1. Shōnen
    • Manga aimed at a young male audience. Shōnen manga is the most popular form of manga.
  2. Seinen
    • Manga marketed toward adolescent boys and men old enough to read kanji. Seinen manga can focus on action, politics, science fiction, fantasy, relationships, sports, or comedy
  3. Shojo
    • Shojo is a Japanese word for "girl" and is often romanized as either shojo (without a macron) or shoujo. shojo manga is manga aimed at a teenage female readership. This type of manga focuses on many subjects in a variety of narrative styles, from historical drama to science fiction, often with a focus on romantic relationships or emotions.
  4. Josei
    • Josei are manga comics for women in their late teens on into adulthood. The subject matter tends to be both more sexually explicit and contain more mature storytelling, although that is not always true either.

Now look up the top 10 best sellers of each group.

If they've sold so well, there's probably a correlation to that and how fun or interesting they are as experiences.

The List

Must Reads

I will be honest, I did not like all of these the first time I read them (Berserk, you know I am talking about you) but they have all grown on me and are often considered "the cassic manga" works.

  • Berserk
  • Full Metal Alchamist
  • One Piece
  • Hunter × Hunter

On the Radar

  • Shokugeki no soma
  • Koe no katachi
  • My Hero Academia

Great Not Classic

  • Ore ga Doutei wo Sutetara Shinu Ken ni Tsuite
  • Kamisama ga Uso wo Tsuku
  • Umerareta Yami to Shōjo

If you like those you may find the following title interesting to checkout:

  • 20th Century Boys (or Pluto or Monster)
  • Berserk
  • Yotsuba
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
  • Akira
  • Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō
  • Oyasumi Punpun
  • Lone Wolf and Cub

Pick Up Some Shojo

Are you looking for something a little more, well, appealing to women? I know, most of the stuff that we get here in America is mostly targeted at a the boys. But there are still some nice Shojo that you can pickup.

Many discussions online are lacking in this context, since, while you will find plenty of diverse anime, manga still seems to be a boys range here.

Skip Beat!

The series is about a girl who decides to get revenge on a guy who used her to become a singer by entering show business herself and becoming more famous than him.

She starts her journey as an actress and the roles that she plays reveals more about her character and her identity as she goes through her career.

The character development is phenomenal, the romance is wonderfully slow and quite realistic, and the comedy is a like thick coating of sugar on an intense story.

Cat Street

This story focuses on a girl who's a shut-in, who stopped caring about herself and stopped interacting with the world.

She enters a weird school for weird people like her and makes some weird friends.

This is a story about how she deals with her apathy and finds worth in herself and gains the motivation to make something of herself.

Anime, Manga

From the Start: Made in Abyss

I will be honest, Made in Abyss hooked me from the very first episode. I mean, the worldbuilding, the music, the gorgeous scenery, everything about it was wonderfully directed and it really draws the viewer in and puts them on the edge of their seat.

One reason is is so good is because it takes every effort to draw you in with a show don't tell approach that I feel a lot of shows just ignore. Everything about it makes you want to know more. No matter if it is a tidbit abot their world or finding out how the protagonist continues their adventures.

I would really like to say that this is "the" new series, but it is still new. It will be hard to say if Made in Abyss will continue on, but it definitely has an amazing first episode.


A Good Villain

If I had to pick just one*, it'd have to be Freiza. Not a terribly complex character, but implemented so well in the narrative and plays his role perfectly.

First is the unorthodox design – in his first form, he's small and not at all intimidating, which belies his true nature.

While that changes with his subsequent forms which more literally portray the threat he poses, his final form is noticeably effeminate and is eerie rather than traditionally scary.

The way his reputation was built up through the story and other character's "testimonies" was perfect too, with former insurmountable villain and general cocky bastard Vegeta being absolutely terrified of the guy.

It's the same technique that imprinted Boba Fett onto the minds of so many filmgoers.

The most sinsiter is the way he slowly reveals his power, giving the protagonists – and the reader – glimmers of hope, only to snatch it away is a masterclass in building tension. He's also a great foil in that he seeks power to Dominate others, and is all ego, as opposed to agony, although obsessed with martial arts, enjoys self-improvement and doesn't hold himself above other beings just because he's more powerful.

This is a trait common to most great villains in shounen action series, and Freiza best embodies that.

Last but not least is how he was integrated into the personal histories of the main characters – Vegeta was transformed from a full-on villain to a sympathetic antihero through their relationship, and most importantly, the normally carefree Goku was forced to confront his nature and past as a member of the race Freiza massacred.

*Cringe as you might but I thought Cell was a great villain in Dragon Ball Z is my all time fav though. Mostly because of the way he takes the tropes and makes something out of them.

I think what amuses me most is that he takes those lame gimmicks, the ones that are usually employeed by the heroes and turns them it back at them. He uses them all, and thoroughly the way shuts people down, letting them try anything and just making fun of it.

He is also used well mechanically, allowing Gohan his awesome powerup but then still proving an intensely dramatic showdown.



I enjoyed Rurouni Kenshin, but I hated the art style. On the other hand, Blade of the Immortal is perfect and I can't wait to see the live action film.

Blade is what made me respect Hiroaki Samura who has since become one of my favorite mangaka. The artwork is brilliant and gripping.

Still, doe not fit into the genre of samurai manga so much as a battle manga with a samurai skin. It is noted particularly for its anachronism and historical-fantasy elements.

Vagabond is much more a samurai manga in that it deals with realistic settings, ideas, and themes appropriate to samurai as a category. In terms of story development, nothing really comes close to Vagabond and Blade of the Immortal.

Those two are really the critical darlings of the genre.

Blade does deal with things like the end of the samurai era and serving appropriate masters, but does not touch as deeply on important samurai aspects like Zen, self-identity, and the multifaceted nature of honor.

Satsuma Samurai