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Post Reply Shonen vs Shojo
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Posted 11/7/14
What's your opinion on shonen and shojo manga? How do shonen and shojo compare to each other in terms of art, story etc.
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19 / M / Winnipeg, MB.
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Posted 11/7/14
This is just my opinion, but:
Art: Shonen is better
Story: Shonen is better
Dialogue: Shojo is better
Characters: Shojo is better
Presentation: Shonen is better
Voicework: Shojo is better (from my experience anyway, I'm sure many would disagree)
Music: Shonen is better

So yeah, I prefer Shonen to Shojo, but I'm a guy and therefore the target audience for shonen, so take that as you will.
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25 / M / Inside Lorreen's...
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Posted 11/7/14
Hmm difficult question for me because each series kind of has to be looked at individually. There are some shonen that are pure dribbling BS but there are also shojo that are BS as well. At the same time there are many shonen and shojo that are top tier quality.

If I were to try to think of the entire genre together though... I guess I would say shonen>shojo in most cases. Shonen tend to get more interesting stories and are quite varied, where as after awhile shojo all kind of seem the same.

That said my personal tastes say shojo>shonen. I'm a sucker for romance.
mnmike 
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Posted 11/7/14 , edited 2/11/15
Bad Shojo is really, really bad, and far worse (in my opinion) than bad Shonen: "It's okay that he's an asshole to everyone around him and that he tried to rape me, because I love him!" Bad shonen may get you boring Naruto or Yu Gi Oh spin-offs, but at least it's not morally and ethically offensive.

That being said, both styles can be excellent when done well. I generally prefer the art and story lines of shonen, but some of my favorite manga are shojo: S.A., Kare Kano, Fruits Basket, Maid-Sama, My Love Story (Ore Monogatari, currently in publication)... all are excellent examples of manga that nod to the typical shojo tropes, but overcome them.

Still, the best manga are the ones that take lessons from both styles. Ah My Goddess, for instance, was published in a seinen magazine, but it takes lessons from the best of both shojo and shonen to create something truly great.
Sogno- 
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Posted 11/7/14

mnmike wrote:

Bad Shojo is really, really bad, and far worse (in my opinion) than bad Shonen: "It's okay that he's an asshole to everyone around him and that he tried to rape me, because I love him!" Bad shonen may get you boring Naruto or Yu Gi Oh spin-offs, but at least it's not morally and ethically offensive.


that's true, bad shoujo is worse than bad shounen, and i read mostly shoujo
xxJing 
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30 / M / Duckburg
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Posted 11/7/14
This is a difficult question. Because there are Shoujo series such as Card Captor Sakura and Fruits Basket which are just fantastic stories over all. But then there are those more questionable Shoujo series. As the gentleman above me pointed out, Shoujo series can get really, really, uncomfortable at times.

I feel on average Shonen treat girls better than Shoujo's funny enough. In Shounens you may have girls in skimpy outfits that are sexualized but personality wise they are very often strong, intelligent, and independent. Look at Fairy Tail for example, it has loads and loads of fanservice but all of the girls are individual characters with individual strengths that are equal to or greater than any male characters. As far as the male characters go in Fairy Tail, they too often don't wear clothes. It's an equal opportunity environment.

In a lot of shoujo shows though you have the main female protagonist being weak, self conscious, and needy. The guys are frequently perfect, and they are either the nicest guy on the planet or a total abusive asshole. When they are a total abusive asshole the girls often get raped, beaten, or cheated on, and that still does not affect their affection for the guys. Also I have noticed that if there is a nice shonenesque male character in a love triangle between the female protagonist and a snooty pretty boy, the shonenesque character willing to go the extra mile always loses.

So if we were to add up and average out how many shonen series I can stomach versus how many shoujo series I can stomach, shonen would definitely come out on top.
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Posted 11/7/14
I find it hard to compare them because they are targeted for two different things but I would have to say that mangawise I prefer shoujo and anime I will go either.
Manga is hard to capture the fight scenes well so it does a lot better, in my opinion, animated. Shoujo styles can be hard to replicate in animation so I would stick with manga.
The voices to me are equally good and same with the soundtracks.
The plot lines in shounen tend to be original, but some fight scenes are predictable.
It is hard to find an original shoujo plot. For example the manga called Hirunaka No Ryuusei defied shoujo rules and I applaud that for being original.

So in the end I can't say which I prefer, but I definitely can say I prefer my shounen animated and my shoujo as manga. I probably read and watched the same amount of shoujo and shounen. So I can't really choose.
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27 / M / Mor Dhona
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Posted 11/7/14 , edited 2/11/15
Shonen / Shoujo? Why not seinen?

... in all seriousness, I'd have to go with shonen, but not because female characters in shonens tend to be sexualized. It's because they're typically stronger characters who have to be at least competent in a fight to keep pace with the (more often than not) male protagonist(s). While the endless fights and power level struggles do get old, at least the women are able to hold their own unless poorly written or ignored (lookin' at you, poor ol' Haruno Sakura). I don't even really care about the fanservice, though I hate it if it's excessive or pointless.

Shoujo... ehh, I can't really get into any shoujo manga. The story is too focused on the protagonist; while that may seem like a good thing, there's a decent array of good characters in most stores, not one central character everything revolves around. I don't mind romances, but don't make the purported protagonist a helpless, innocent, pure-hearted moéblob. Guys tend to be perfect or perfectly abusive, etc. Character building just doesn't feel as good. The artwork is nice a lot of the time though.

In both you tend to get a lot of story recycling, but it's worse in shoujo, because you can always make up a new world and power system for shonen stories; shoujo are typically set in the real world, and so have to follow real-world rules (excluding vampires and shit), and are almost exclusively romance stories, so they have a much more set formula.

... in my opinion.
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33 / M / outer wall, level...
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Posted 11/7/14
some of my fav series are shojo. but some if its is Boku no Pico level of wrongness.

friuts baskets is awesome.
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Posted 11/8/14 , edited 2/11/15
I rarely watch shoujo, so shounen. Imo most of really great shounen came from 90s and older and that also means Astro Boy, Black Jack or Kimba the White Lion are very decent shonen. Not a big fan of today's shounen and the only really decent and recent one for me is One Piece. Shoujo, anime or manga, that I do like is either Sukeban Deka or Magical Princess Minky Momo. Some person irl told me she read the second half of Sailor Moon, dropped the series and said it was overhyped. Then she told me I'm better off reading something else, instead like Kagetora or Yu Yu Hakusho.
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Posted 11/8/14
I'd probably prefer shounen, but I tend to just watch whatever I feel like. If we compare which bad shounen to bad shoujo, I'd take bad shounen. It more depends on the kind of cliches you're ok with dealing with. I could deal with things like "nakama power" but I would be extremely angry with the girl liking the asshole guy who treats her horribly, yet she still likes him.

That being said, my favorite shoujo manga is Fruits Basket and my favorite shounen is Soul Eater.


KurtIrving wrote:

I rarely watch shoujo, so shounen. Imo most of really great shounen came from 90s and older and that also means Astro Boy, Black Jack or Kimba the White Lion are very decent shonen. Not a big fan of today's shounen and the only really decent and recent one for me is One Piece. Shoujo, anime or manga, that I do like is either Sukeban Deka or Magical Princess Minky Momo. Some person irl told me she read the second half of Sailor Moon, dropped the series and said it was overhyped. Then she told me I'm better off reading something else, instead like Kagetora or Yu Yu Hakusho.

If you're willing to read more shoujo, I recommend Fruits Basket, Gakuen Alice and Kodocha. Maybe Karin (Chibi Vampire) too, but that's more silly and fun.
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Posted 11/8/14 , edited 11/8/14
I always seem to have a problem with the art style of shojo. I don't really know what it is about shojo art that just pushes me away.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 11/8/14
Why not both?! Is that possible?!
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21 / M / Tiphares
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Posted 11/9/14
Both have their high and low points.
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Posted 11/9/14

sasarahsept wrote:

I'd probably prefer shounen, but I tend to just watch whatever I feel like. If we compare which bad shounen to bad shoujo, I'd take bad shounen. It more depends on the kind of cliches you're ok with dealing with. I could deal with things like "nakama power" but I would be extremely angry with the girl liking the asshole guy who treats her horribly, yet she still likes him.

That being said, my favorite shoujo manga is Fruits Basket and my favorite shounen is Soul Eater.


KurtIrving wrote:

I rarely watch shoujo, so shounen. Imo most of really great shounen came from 90s and older and that also means Astro Boy, Black Jack or Kimba the White Lion are very decent shonen. Not a big fan of today's shounen and the only really decent and recent one for me is One Piece. Shoujo, anime or manga, that I do like is either Sukeban Deka or Magical Princess Minky Momo. Some person irl told me she read the second half of Sailor Moon, dropped the series and said it was overhyped. Then she told me I'm better off reading something else, instead like Kagetora or Yu Yu Hakusho.

If you're willing to read more shoujo, I recommend Fruits Basket, Gakuen Alice and Kodocha. Maybe Karin (Chibi Vampire) too, but that's more silly and fun.


I got a mixed reaction with Fruit's Basket, but I may check out those others I haven't heard of. As for other modern shounen, I may check out Silver Spoon in the future to see if it'll be good. Claymore used to be a great shounen manga, but the later chapters got really dull and the author didn't seem to want to focus on Clare and Naruto probably went through a similar path which is a good beginning, but got depressing or dull later on.
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