Abusive Relationships in Shoujo Manga by the Numbers: Week 16

This Week
Black Bird vol. 16
Boys Over Flowers vol. 14
Dawn of the Arcana vol. 11
The Demon Prince of Momochi House vol. 8
Dengeki Daisy vol. 7
A Devil and Her Love Song vol. 6

There’s no one way to read a story

Last week, Anime Feminist had an interview about mental illness in Japan and anime with a former Aokigahara volunteer go up. It’s a really lovely interview and a great read – I highly recommend it if you haven’t checked it out yet. Makoto Kageyama speaks touchingly about their own mental health struggles in the context of how such things are regarded in Japanese culture. Their discussion of how anime and manga treat depression and anxiety like things that can be cured through the power of friendship contextualizes quite a few series. Continue reading “Abusive Relationships in Shoujo Manga by the Numbers: Week 16”

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Abusive Relationships in Shoujo Manga by the Numbers: Week 15

This Week
Black Bird vol. 15
Boys Over Flowers vol. 13
Dawn of the Arcana vol. 10
The Demon Prince of Momochi House vol. 7
Dengeki Daisy vol. 6
A Devil and Her Love Song vol. 5

I just finished rereading Fruits Basket, one of my favorite series from when I was in high school. It’s a flawed work, but overall it holds up really well for when it came out and for a mangaka’s first major title. The story is explicitly about abuse, portrayed both literally and through metaphor, and it handles the subject better than most fiction. Most of the characters are victims of abuse, and the story admirably portrays how they’re unable to connect to others healthily. The series ran over 20 volumes, and it’s not until close to the very end that the main couple are ready to connect romantically. That got me thinking – for the highest-scoring series I’ve covered, what is at the root of their trauma?

Continue reading “Abusive Relationships in Shoujo Manga by the Numbers: Week 15”

Abuse in Shoujo by the Numbers: Week 14

Last Week:
Black Bird vol. 14
Boys Over Flowers vol. 12
Dawn of the Arcana vol. 9
The Demon Prince of Momochi House vol. 6
Dengeki Daisy vol. 5
A Devil and Her Love Song vol. 4

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Black Bird vol. 14

Sho is finally making a direct move against Kyo, and the battle between them is a close match. Will Sho’s recent feast on Misao’s blood give him the power to overcome Kyo? Or does Sho hope being killed in front of her will add to the pain of betrayal Misao already feels? (summary by Viz)

9 points

The Sho arc of Black Bird draws to a close and Misao returns home. Kyo apparently hypnotized her parents into thinking she was only gone for a night, when really he had spirited away their daughter for months. This strikes me as remarkably scuzzy, and I don’t think it was every explained previously exactly what he was doing and how he was isolating her. She also has been out of school all that time and is terribly behind on her schoolwork, so of course Kyo — ahem, Mr. Usui — has to tutor her. None of her friends seem particularly concerned about her months-long disappearance either. “Isolating from family and friends” is a major sign of potential abuse and, though Misao chose to go with Kyo voluntarily, she was effectively cut off from everyone outside Kyo’s tengu clan, with no one to support her if things went sour.

Continue reading “Abuse in Shoujo by the Numbers: Week 14”