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