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I do agree with you about the art though. I wish there was more variety to the character designs.
In my opinion, old school shoujo (e.g. Candy Candy) had much more to offer than the series in publication today.
I think the reason why it's harder to find a shoujo that doesn't have a major romance is because shonen is just more popular. There isn't a shoujo equivalent to Weekly Jump, or any of the weekly manga magazines for that matter, and those magazines have a weekly circulation of millions. Shonen has long been the most popular manga demographic (of course, if someone wants to correct me, be my guest), so its going to have the most variety as well. There is just that much more competition, so having an unusual topic is preferred.
At the same time, I don't think the prominence of romance in shoujo manga is a bad thing. Shonen manga often have a lot of bond-building between characters, and many times shonen manga will focus on the bromances of those characters. They aren't entirely dissimilar from the romance, in my opinion.
If you get it from a book retailer like WHSMith or Waterstones, you are completely right, as apart from Vampire Knight, all I tend to see is Bleach, Death note and Naruto in those places.
However if you go to a specialist "Otaku" (for want of a better word) shop, like Forbidden Planet, they seem to stock more shoujo to me.
Although I have no idea if this is the case with other countries, I think in England it's more to do with the type of girls that read manga in the first place.
I tend to find that the girls interested in romance stories (films etc...) tend to be interested in other things aimed at girls, and don't tend to read manga at all (infact looking back at high school most of the ones I knew wouldn't have dared enter a shop that specialises in that type of thing!).
However, I tend to find the few girls I do know that read manga, not that I know many boys that do either, tend to have more varied taste in general and are happy to read manga/ play games/ watch films that are aimed at a male audience.
But I think that's because manga is not a well known thing where I live, and I imagine this is quite different in somewhere where it is considered normal to read it.
If peoples first experience with manga is the Holy Shounen Trinity and Death Note, they won't be aware of other manga that might appeal to them.Quote:Well I've heard on forums that people stand too long in Forbidden Planet and feel their virginity coming back.Quote:Like Japan.Quote:
I live in Huddersfield, and have to go to Leeds to get to either, but it's a 15 minute train and about £3 fare. I'm sure most people wouldn't have much further to go to get to either of these.
Shoujo just doesn't get as much coverage as Shounen, and I think a large portion of manga readers (especially the younger ones) get their interest from seeing an anime on Cartoon Network (or whichever channel shows anime these days) and they only ever have Shounen.
... Apart from the odd seinen on late at night, but I doubt they still do that.
So it's more likely girls interested in shounen will pick up any manga at all.
And I have to stand right next to my girlfriend at all times, while she picks Vampire Knight or DN Angel, for protection!