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shoujo anime
January 6, 2005 9:51 AM   Subscribe

In response to the emergent faction of female anime fans in the US, Beckett Publications has recently released the first anime magazine targeted specifically for women. Aimed for the 12-20 year old female dynamic, Anime for Girls magazine features articles such as the “Top 5 Hottest Guys of Anime”, and the “Top 5 Anime Girls of Action”. Although this magazine may be a novelty in the US, the phenomenon is venerable in Japan, and is known as shoujo - anime/manga designated for girls.
posted by naxosaxur (29 comments total)

 
This is genius! Lane Bryant, Clearasil and Allegra have probably already bought tons of advertising space.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:03 AM on January 6, 2005


Wow, it looks like like People magazine...but for Anime.

Kenshiro: "How I Mastered Hokuto Shinken."
posted by tpl1212 at 10:13 AM on January 6, 2005


It's not exactly a new phenomenon in the US either, although it's true that shoujo doesn't get the love it deserves from the likes of Cartoon Network, not to mention the way Card Captor Sakura (an excellent magical girl adventure show) was hacked up in the misguided belief in the US that boys won't watch a show with a female lead.

This magazine is reflecting an existing high level of interest in shoujo anime, not preceding it.
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:18 AM on January 6, 2005


The bookstore I frequent always seems to have some girl seated in the graphic novel section reading those larger manga collections. I always wondered about that.

And a lot of the anime Comcast is offering on On Demand is very female focused. One was all about "Virgin Power."

At least now I know why. Thanks, naxosaxur.
posted by effwerd at 10:19 AM on January 6, 2005


I read some book (this one i think) about the history of anime that said that anime was originally designed with teenaged girls in mind, with softcore male homosexual plotlines as the main subject matter.

It had something to do with female idealizations about male behavior or something.
posted by sandking at 10:22 AM on January 6, 2005


The butchering of shoujo because "boys won't watch" is funny when you see new shows like W.I.T.C.H., which flat out is a magical girl shoujo series, just made in the US. Apparently different production companies are listening to different conventional wisdom.
posted by Karmakaze at 10:28 AM on January 6, 2005


Well, the Sakura debacle was a good few years ago at this point.
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:30 AM on January 6, 2005


Nice, Mayor Curley. 'cause obviously all girls who read anime are fat and have awful skin! Man, I love targeting groups that are easy to target and won't get me accused of racism or anything! Fuck, that's the fuckin' best!
posted by u.n. owen at 11:14 AM on January 6, 2005


(for the record, I do not like anime, I am fat, but my skin is perfect.)
posted by u.n. owen at 11:15 AM on January 6, 2005


If there's ever been a readable magazine about anime published in the US, I've never seen it. I have equally low hopes for this one, regardless of its target audience. I do, however, believe that Viz could have a great success if it published a shoujo equivalent of its monthly Shonen Jump. Heck, I'd read it-- Dragonball Z gets old fast.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:04 PM on January 6, 2005


From the wikipedia page I learned there is a shoujo called 'Magical Angel Creamy Mami' which I wish to read, but do not wish to be seen doing so.
posted by Sparx at 12:13 PM on January 6, 2005


u.n. owen: not only are you fat, but you apparently have overly sensitive skin. Maybe it's just too thin. I mean, I know I shouldn't have to do this, but I will.

I mean, if you took that to be an attack, you're just looking for reasons to get pissed off. I mean, you ever cracked open a seventeen magazine? Who the hell do you think buys up all the ads in those rags? [Rags here is clearly and obviously a reference to the female period, and is thus offensive as well.)

Also, Shoujo is my most guilty of guilty pleasures. I feel so unclean.
posted by absalom at 12:39 PM on January 6, 2005


No, it's just that as an advocate of geek culture, I don't like the implication that only a certain kind of person -- emphasized only by their negative qualities -- likes a certain kind of thing.

I'd have the same response if someone posted about a hip-hop magazine and someone mentioned how the makers of handguns, fried chicken restaurants and crack pipe manufacturers should be all over that shit. Are you telling me that'd be non-offensive to other people who perhaps liked hip-hop music?
posted by u.n. owen at 1:02 PM on January 6, 2005


I don't think that implication is being made. I think the implication is that the same companies that line up to put ads in standard preteen girl magazines are going to put ads in preteen manga magazines.

Kinda like if someone came out with a "Manga for Executives", it would have lots of ads for watches, cars, and motivational tapes.
posted by Bugbread at 1:14 PM on January 6, 2005


Yeah, I mean, Seventeen is filled with ads for those things, but not all teenage girls are fat and have bad skin. Lord, do I know that.
The best thing is the name. Anime for Girls? That is seriously the BEST name they came up with?
posted by 235w103 at 1:27 PM on January 6, 2005


235w103: Exactly what I was thinking.

I'm imagining the cover, not with those characters from Inuyasha, but being plain white, with a blue line at the bottom, and "Anime for Girls" in blue in the middle, like those generic beers, vodkas, and albums:


posted by Bugbread at 1:35 PM on January 6, 2005


I think that's exactly what was being implied. Incidentally, the day you see a Lane Bryant ad in Seventeen, I'll eat my hat.

It was responding to the geek "fat, acne, with asthma/allergies" stereotype. You surely don't see ads catering to fat chicks in Seventeen. It'd destroy their image.
posted by u.n. owen at 2:18 PM on January 6, 2005


U.N. Owen:

I don't read Seventeen, so I'll take your word on it. And I'm not going to defend Mayor Curley, because I really don't know what he intended. I just wanted to point out that there was another possible interpretation, and until Curley says something, we won't really know.

Regarding the fat chicks / magazine image ad, what about acne medication? (Not a counterargument, a request for clarification) And, do they have diet plan ads?
posted by Bugbread at 2:24 PM on January 6, 2005


Hehe....you crack me up u.n. There are crack pipe manufacturers? And they advertise?

Shit, you wanna keep it real, you make your own.
posted by graventy at 2:28 PM on January 6, 2005


Graventry:

Yes, there are. And yes, the advertise. Check any head shop magazine (High Times, etc.). They don't use the word "crack", of course. In some countries, such as America, drug paraphenalia is somewhat illegal, so they make a lot of show of being "novelty tobacco pipes". In other countries, there are fewer injunctions about drug paraphenalia, so they just refer to themselves as "pipes" or "bongs".
posted by Bugbread at 2:38 PM on January 6, 2005


I'm not sure that this is all about shoujo-- the mockup cover is from Inu-Yasha, which is technically shounen. Perhaps it's just about anime and manga (of all types) that appeal to girls (hopefully including shounen-ai and yaoi!).

I love shoujo, but I also like some shounen stuff (Keroro Gunso is my current fave), and dearly wishes that more seinen manga (esp. more of Kaiji Kawaguchi's work) would be translated to english.

Faint of Butt: If you've never read it, Newtype USA's not bad as far as English-language anime magazines go (many of the articles are direct translations from the original Newtype), but it's gotten way too expensive.
posted by May Kasahara at 6:02 PM on January 6, 2005


Yeah, I was referencing geek stereotypes.

Nice, Mayor Curley. 'cause obviously all girls who read anime are fat and have awful skin!

But I didn't say that. I suggested that many of them would have at least one of those concerns (including allergies, which you excluded). Let's be realistic-- no marketing department buys magazine ads hoping for 100% target audience.

And then you copped to being overweight and said that you like anime. So if my generalization was so far off, why does the first person who objects to it reinforce it?
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:13 PM on January 6, 2005


And making an analogy between racism and stereotyping nerds is ludicrous. The civil rights movement wasn't about making it safe for you to wear a Boba Fett t-shirt to DoucheCon MMV.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:24 PM on January 6, 2005


I said I didn't like anime, if you'd learn to read even basic sentences.
posted by u.n. owen at 7:13 PM on January 6, 2005


Not really a drug user, but aren't those pipes for smoking pot?
posted by drezdn at 8:32 PM on January 6, 2005


I said I didn't like anime, if you'd learn to read even basic sentences.

I stand corrected. You're a self-declared "advocate of geek culture" and you cop to being overweight. But you object to my insinuation that many geeks are overweight.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:39 AM on January 7, 2005


Drezdn: Depends on the pipe. Regular bongs (no picture necessary, I presume) are for pot.

Glass pipes:

aren't for burning anything directly but for heating and thereby vaporizing their contents, making them more useful for stuff like crack or DMT.

And pipes like this:

are very much not for pot.
posted by Bugbread at 2:03 AM on January 7, 2005


bugbread: That first glass pipe you pictured is actually pretty much the standard pot smoking tool. . . so I've heard.
posted by absalom at 7:46 AM on January 7, 2005


Absalom: If it is, it's being used incorrectly (or, rather, not for its intended purpose). The advantage of it is that you can heat the glass under the bowl, heating the bowl without exposing it to direct flame, vaporizing the contents of the bowl. You can't do that with a conventional (wooden) pipe, and in a bong the only way to heat the contents of the bowl are by direct application of flame, which destroys the crack / cocaine / DMT / meth / whathaveyou.

On the other hand, they are pretty, and burning something directly in the bowl doesn't damage the pipe, so I'm not too surprised that they're multipurposed.
posted by Bugbread at 8:10 AM on January 7, 2005


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