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Thread: Definition of "love" in shoujo/josei series?

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    News Writer 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity Zeltrax's Avatar
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    Definition of "love" in shoujo/josei series?

    I'm not really sure how to put it into words but I think the shoujo section don't have a discussion like this and I feel like we should talk about it.
    Now I don't really read much shoujo and josei..only 3 to 4 series to be honest
    I want to know how is love being defined in shoujo series and how do you feel about it? and how much does it compares to reality?
    Pretty much that.
    I know its really vague, I just hope I could had better phrase it.

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    MH Senpai 九千以上だ! / Kyuusen Ijou Da! / It's Over 9000! phio_chan's Avatar
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    Re: Definition of "Love" in shoujo/josei

    It is a somehow hard question, now that you ask it like that.

    Most people read shoujo because of its romance element, right? So mostly in shoujo you get the lovey-dovey moment, and love is described as deep relationship between a man and a woman. Some series might 'force' it into the fact that those who love each other must be together, but other series might be more laid-back and take the relationship easily (like accepting the fact that they have to be separated before united again, etc.).

    I don't read josei that much so I can't tell you, but I think in josei the love is a more mature one, where more aspects of life is being considered. The love becomes more complicated to realize and more problems arise. I think this one resembles the love in reality better than shoujo, but not always.

    There are also the kind of love as in siblings or friends.

    I'm not sure if I answer your question correctly, to be honest.

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    Re: Definition of "Love" in shoujo/josei

    Actually, one of the reason why I ask this is because my sister have been reading shoujo alot lately.
    I don't read it much so I'm interested but I guess the only way to get around it is to actually just read it
    My impression of love in shoujo for now is that it is all cute and fluffy and sweet and stuff like that, it seldom touch on the deep and mature stuff and what love really is.
    Instead half of the time(or at least my impression) , it's boys showing affection for girls and the girls slowly fall in love with the boys because of whatsoever reasons.
    Then they start dating or going out, maybe that's when they touch on the subject of love.

    Before that, it's the sweetest period of girl pursuing boy or boy pursuing girl, of romance but after dating and after going out for a long time. Maybe that romance will slowly fade away..
    its things like that and other deeper stuff that I wonder if shoujo ever touches on.

    An example of this would be clannad(which is not shoujo) that touches on the main character and his girlfriend after marriage and how they cope with adult life while still loving each other. Kare Kano is another manga that I really really need to check out that deals with it too.

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    MH Senpai 九千以上だ! / Kyuusen Ijou Da! / It's Over 9000! phio_chan's Avatar
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    Re: Definition of "Love" in shoujo/josei

    Hmm, I think shoujo's definition of love is more towards the boy, the girl, and the rivals. The circle to decide whether a boy and a girl to be able to be a couple is mostly centered around them or their friends, thus making it small. It might not be so deep indeed. Mostly, but I believe there are several exceptions. I think Ao Haru Ride is one example because the family matters and several others yet-to-be-known reasons are included in the love problems.

    Maybe it is just me, but I think it is quite rare to see a shoujo series picturing a long-time relationship for us to answer your question. They tend to end happily; once the male lead and female lead are able to solve all or most problems regarding their relationship, they would end up together and ta-da it's finished. Or just a bit longer than that, but not very often.

    Guess it is now a challenge to prove that shoujo does have a deep love as well. Anyone has opinions about this?
    Last edited by phio_chan; October 16, 2011 at 03:05 AM.

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    Harasho 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member Kaiten's Avatar
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    Re: Definition of "Love" in shoujo/josei

    I find that the better shoujo romance series can be quite realistic emotionally, without being overly dramatic or manipulative. Some titles, such as KimiTodo or LoveCom, are very good at showing the awkward ups and downs of dating; the fun, the happiness, the pettiness, the jealousy, the awkwardness, and ultimately forgiveness. While many end happily, it is often a realistic happiness - not a knight carrying a rosy cheeked maiden off on a pure white horse to the land of idealized tween romance. Now everything depends on the title, plenty of shoujo have more in common with hallmark cards or day time drama than with emotions real people actually feel.

    I personally like High School Debut's ultimate expression of puppy love the most. Such a cute series.

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    Re: Definition of "Love" in shoujo/josei

    Hey guys,

    well as I see it in the majority of shoujos, its all about a guy/girl likes a guy/girl but first their relationship is a bit slow and awkward but then they starting to love each other. then a third person appears and then you have "shoujos best part" a love triangle. Well I find most of the shoujos romances kinda realistic. I just cant help but lol at how girls are reacting to every situation in there. So hilarious.

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    MH Senpai 九千以上だ! / Kyuusen Ijou Da! / It's Over 9000! phio_chan's Avatar
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    Re: Definition of "Love" in shoujo/josei

    It's like that most of the time, as if the flow can be guessed: awkward boy and girl --> get closer --> happy moments --> one or more characters sneak in between --> the couple drifts apart --> problems solved --> happy end. XD

    I think that is typical, but it is exactly why shoujo is lovely the way it is. We may not be able to see such a deep journey about romance in other genres, even though the flow is repetitive. That is also the usual love problems teens have, so reading such series can make you go "awww~" various times. XD To some people it might be a bit superficial. Or if I compare it with josei, for example. But that's what shoujo are. ^^

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    Re: Definition of "love" in shoujo/josei series?

    I totally agree.

    When you compare Shounen and Shoujo romance, shounen is more... Moe? And focuses more on the *youth*, springtime, innocence aspect. Where as the Shoujo romance highlights on the awkwardness of the relationship.

    Both have their charms that are distinct and that's why I like both.

    Shoujo romance is all about how the characters have these internal struggles and in constant conflicting emotions, hence, the awkwardness: To be aggressive or not? To show my feelings or not? To be popular or not? Am I too overdressed or should I go for the plain look? And this appeals to the shoujo demographic because girls tend to over-analyze just like that. So you have vulnerable characters who seek answers from... handsome guys- which is, in fact, the reality of almost every young dreamy girl.

    But shounen romance can't have vulnerability of the protagonist. Readers of shounen want conviction, something to root for, not empathize with.

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    Re: Definition of "love" in shoujo/josei series?

    The next question would be, if shoujo series must necessarily be like that. What do you guys would think or feel, as shoujo readers, if you read a shoujo series with more shounen touch in it, like baboysai had explained?

    I personally think it might be a great new touch to shoujo, though I'm not sure if girls would like it. (I'm counted as tomboy girl after all. XD)

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    Re: Definition of "love" in shoujo/josei series?

    Actually, whenever a shounen deals with love/ have it as a main focus, it usually contains harem..or ecchi elements.
    I don't read much but I can't really remember a shounen series being all about love with little or no ecchi. Fanservice is very important
    Kagami no Kuni is one example of a shounen series about love.


    Quote Quote:
    When you compare Shounen and Shoujo romance, shounen is more... Moe? And focuses more on the *youth*, springtime, innocence aspect. Where as the Shoujo romance highlights on the awkwardness of the relationship.

    Both have their charms that are distinct and that's why I like both.
    ITA, not sure about the moe tho
    The innocence aspect gets to the point of ridiculous sometimes. To be honest, there's alot of stereotypes in shounen series, like tsundere which most series have and the simple minded and straight forward kid which is insensitive when it comes to love.

    Quote Quote:
    Shoujo romance is all about how the characters have these internal struggles and in constant conflicting emotions, hence, the awkwardness: To be aggressive or not? To show my feelings or not? To be popular or not? Am I too overdressed or should I go for the plain look? And this appeals to the shoujo demographic because girls tend to over-analyze just like that. So you have vulnerable characters who seek answers from... handsome guys- which is, in fact, the reality of almost every young dreamy girl.
    Is that so? I never thought of shoujo this way before.
    I guess..that kind of make shoujo quite realistic. You are right, shoujo explores more about the emotional actions, feelings and the drama between people.

    I'm sure josei does the same except the stuff in josei is way more mature and thought-provoking.


    Quote Quote:
    What do you guys would think or feel, as shoujo readers, if you read a shoujo series with more shounen touch in it, like baboysai had explained?
    There's alot of "shounen romance" out there but I never thought about how it will be if you are watching it from the girl's POV in a shounen romance.
    Say..what'll be like if the story centers around a female lead that is in love with a guy in a harem? Very interesting

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    Re: Definition of "love" in shoujo/josei series?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeltrax View Post
    Is that so? I never thought of shoujo this way before.
    I guess..that kind of make shoujo quite realistic. You are right, shoujo explores more about the emotional actions, feelings and the drama between people.

    I'm sure josei does the same except the stuff in josei is way more mature and thought-provoking.
    It is realistic when it comes to high school students; we do think of something like that. XD For some people it might be described as 'not-so-deep', but it has its point actually. I guess that describes why I often go "kyaaaa" and "awww" as I read shoujo series. It depicts the kind of feelings teens would have. XD

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeltrax View Post
    There's alot of "shounen romance" out there but I never thought about how it will be if you are watching it from the girl's POV in a shounen romance.
    Say..what'll be like if the story centers around a female lead that is in love with a guy in a harem? Very interesting
    That sounds a bit strange for me. Not sure if I'd try something like that. XD

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    MH Senpai 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity yukihime03's Avatar
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    Re: Definition of "love" in shoujo/josei series?

    Quote Originally Posted by phio_chan View Post
    It is realistic when it comes to high school students; we do think of something like that. XD For some people it might be described as 'not-so-deep', but it has its point actually. I guess that describes why I often go "kyaaaa" and "awww" as I read shoujo series. It depicts the kind of feelings teens would have. XD
    I thought the credit for making you go "kyaa" or "aww" goes to the male's "handsomeness" and "attractiveness", not the romantic aspect of the scene. Coz with the same scene but ugly male characters, you won't go "kyaa" or "aww" but "huek".

    I prefer the love story in josei series because indeed it is more mature and usually there are very good reasons as to why the main characters cannot confess their love for each other. In shoujo series, it's mostly (mostly, okay? not all of them. I'm not stereotyping here) because they are either too coward or too prideful. But anyway, it's still entertaining to see love in shoujo series. Though it's a bit too repetitive, at least the mangaka is quite creative in creating oh-so-romantic words.

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    Pink Warrior 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member baboysai's Avatar
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    Re: Definition of "love" in shoujo/josei series?

    Quote Originally Posted by phio_chan View Post
    The next question would be, if shoujo series must necessarily be like that. What do you guys would think or feel, as shoujo readers, if you read a shoujo series with more shounen touch in it, like baboysai had explained?

    I personally think it might be a great new touch to shoujo, though I'm not sure if girls would like it. (I'm counted as tomboy girl after all. XD)
    I don't really think it's possible, lol. Because boy and girl characters are so fundamentally different for both demographics >.<

    I read a lot of shounen romance and shoujo romance and with your question, I tried to switch their genders (a female Kou and male Aoba in Crossgame, for example) and it really doesn't sound believable hahahaha.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeltrax View Post
    Actually, whenever a shounen deals with love/ have it as a main focus, it usually contains harem..or ecchi elements.
    I don't read much but I can't really remember a shounen series being all about love with little or no ecchi. Fanservice is very important
    Kagami no Kuni is one example of a shounen series about love.



    ITA, not sure about the moe tho
    The innocence aspect gets to the point of ridiculous sometimes. To be honest, there's alot of stereotypes in shounen series, like tsundere which most series have and the simple minded and straight forward kid which is insensitive when it comes to love.


    Is that so? I never thought of shoujo this way before.
    I guess..that kind of make shoujo quite realistic. You are right, shoujo explores more about the emotional actions, feelings and the drama between people.

    I'm sure josei does the same except the stuff in josei is way more mature and thought-provoking.



    There's alot of "shounen romance" out there but I never thought about how it will be if you are watching it from the girl's POV in a shounen romance.
    Say..what'll be like if the story centers around a female lead that is in love with a guy in a harem? Very interesting
    True, a lot of shounen romance are either ecchi or harem, but there are true gems out there disguised as other forms like sports manga which are truly romance (Hint: Anything by Adachi )

    I'm sure there are reverse-harem shoujo out there. Isn't that why the term was born? A female protagonist surrounded by oh so many bishies to choose from? Like Wallflower, Ouran High Host Club, Hana Kimi, Fruits Basket or maybe even Hana Yori Dango if you force it.

    Quote Originally Posted by yukihime03 View Post
    I thought the credit for making you go "kyaa" or "aww" goes to the male's "handsomeness" and "attractiveness", not the romantic aspect of the scene. Coz with the same scene but ugly male characters, you won't go "kyaa" or "aww" but "huek".

    I prefer the love story in josei series because indeed it is more mature and usually there are very good reasons as to why the main characters cannot confess their love for each other. In shoujo series, it's mostly (mostly, okay? not all of them. I'm not stereotyping here) because they are either too coward or too prideful. But anyway, it's still entertaining to see love in shoujo series. Though it's a bit too repetitive, at least the mangaka is quite creative in creating oh-so-romantic words.
    Hahahaha it is IMPERATIVE in shoujo to have HANDSOME male characters, even if they're just extras! Even bad boys are handsome. It's rare to see the delinquent-hairstyle (the curly big do) or a love-interest that has an afro, if they exist at all in shoujo.

    Example, in Ouran High host club, the yakuza kid who was supposedly ugly (see spoiler), isn't, really.
    Spoiler show



    Truly, Josei series are expected to tackle the more mature aspects of awkwardness but sometimes it's the mundane things that make them different from shoujo. Essentially, girls and their inner conflicts are the same. But it depends on the level of maturity where it becomes a gag or not. A character having the same problems from a shoujo and a josei would make it a drama and a comedy, respectively.

    And usually, girly problems don't last very long for josei. The struggle of "to kiss or not to kiss" is almost instantaneously solved in one panel vs. 8 volumes for a shoujo... But the struggle exists for both.



    Regarding this topic, I would like to recommend Kare Kano and Nana- two of my favorite manga of all time, and both very contrasting, but very shoujo to the core when we talk about how shoujo defines love and romance. The first is about love during adolescence as their bodies change and they are in the middle of self discovery (where a mere touch sends electric signals...). And the latter where love (and sex) is rather a commodity.

    Josei: Kimi wa Petto

    (Now that I think about it, even Nana is reverse-harem, no?)

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    Re: Definition of "love" in shoujo/josei series?

    Okay, enough with procrastinating. Going to give kare kano a go tonight.
    At first I thought there was only the anime tho only now did I realize that it have a manga.


    Quote Originally Posted by baboysai View Post
    True, a lot of shounen romance are either ecchi or harem, but there are true gems out there disguised as other forms like sports manga which are truly romance (Hint: Anything by Adachi )
    Cross Game? I remember trying it for a while but I never got to continue it.
    I guess cross game is a good example

    Quote Quote:
    I'm sure there are reverse-harem shoujo out there. Isn't that why the term was born? A female protagonist surrounded by oh so many bishies to choose from? Like Wallflower, Ouran High Host Club, Hana Kimi, Fruits Basket or maybe even Hana Yori Dango if you force it.
    Actually, I was referring to the situation like this:
    The main character falls in love with this guy that is surrounded by other girls in love with him.
    I used to be under the impression that half of the shoujo..are reverse harem out there <_<



    Quote Quote:
    Hahahaha it is IMPERATIVE in shoujo to have HANDSOME male characters, even if they're just extras! Even bad boys are handsome. It's rare to see the delinquent-hairstyle (the curly big do) or a love-interest that has an afro, if they exist at all in shoujo.

    Example, in Ouran High host club, the yakuza kid who was supposedly ugly (see spoiler), isn't, really.
    Spoiler show
    ITA. It is imperative with all that glamour and handsomeness..

    Nana is another series that I never got to continue either.
    Spoiler show

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    Pink Warrior 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member baboysai's Avatar
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    Re: Definition of "love" in shoujo/josei series?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeltrax View Post
    Actually, I was referring to the situation like this:
    The main character falls in love with this guy that is surrounded by other girls in love with him.
    I used to be under the impression that half of the shoujo..are reverse harem out there <_<
    I can think of Sukitte Ii Na Yo and Koukou Debut.

    No wait, I think almost all shoujo plots involve this twist some time or another. A meddling bitchy character falling in love with the guy and threatens to disturb the friendship between the protagonist and the guy. And it's usually this meddling character portrayed as a kind and cute girl that is actually mean and despicable, and the protagonist cannot reveal it to others because she's too kind.

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