Abusive Relationships in Shoujo Manga by the Numbers: Week 23

This Week
Boys Over Flowers vol. 21
Dengeki Daisy vol. 14
A Devil and Her Love Song vol. 13 (conclusion!)
Fairy Cube vol. 1

There’s been one kind of curious consistency across the worst of the worst I’ve looked at – the tendency to declare the abusive boyfriends, “gentle.” This never made sense to me – how can you call someone gentle right after he slapped you across the face? “Gentle” is a way of behaving and treating others, not some innate quality. It is the antonym of “rough”, which is how one would describe a man who shouts and hits. After seeing it come up again and again, I figured it must be a quirk of translation. Sometimes a particular way of translating a word or phrase becomes standard practice, even if it doesn’t totally make sense in English.

Continue reading “Abusive Relationships in Shoujo Manga by the Numbers: Week 23”

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Abusive Relationships in Shoujo Manga by the Numbers: Week 22

This Week
Boys Over Flowers vol. 20
Dengeki Daisy vol. 13
A Devil and Her Love Song vol. 12
The Earl and the Fairy vol. 4
Gaba Kawa

A few weeks ago, I talked about Children of the Whales, and my frustration that shoujo and josei are rarely considered worthy of the “prestige” label. Men have long been considered tastemakers, while women and girls, though about half the world’s population, are considered a “special interest group”. This refrain is as old as feminist media criticism itself, and works aimed at women still struggle to get the recognition they deserve.

But at the same time, sometimes I don’t care if men don’t recognize the merits of shoujo and josei manga. I look at all this art being made by women, for women and girls and I don’t care that men don’t appreciate it, because it’s not for them! The people who they’re intended for love them and appreciate them, so what does it matter? Recognition and prestige are great, but they aren’t the end-all, be-all. It used to be that men were the gatekeepers, so their disdain for shoujo prevented it from being brought over, but now the US anime industry has plenty of women working hard to make these titles available. My main issue is the lack of criticism and scholarship surrounding it – I bought Straight from the Heart, a scholarly text about shoujo – but there are bloggers and writers working hard to rectify that.

Continue reading “Abusive Relationships in Shoujo Manga by the Numbers: Week 22”