Anime, Manga and the Female Gaze

Anime, Manga and the Female Gaze

I love anime, manga and video games. I talk about them on my blog and all my social media. I’m majorly into a mobile game right now, one that has an anime series, including an upcoming film, and I’m even writing fanfiction for it. Some of the series I love are the popular ones you see a lot of people talking about, and you can easily get merch for in the west. But those series tend to be shonen or seinen series. That’s not to say I don’t love any series where the target audiences are girls and women. My current obsession is definitely aimed at girls, and it definitely has a fairly large fanbase but is it promoted as much in the West? No.

In fact, very few female-targeted series get promoted as hard in the West.

I did a poll on Twitter recently asking people whether they thought female-targeted series are promoted as much in the West, and 5 out of the 6 people who answered agreed that they aren’t. There is something incredibly sad about this, and I want to talk about it.

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Manga 101: Josei Manga

Manga 101: Josei Manga

Manga is such a wonderful area of the media. If you’re reading this post, then I’m pretty sure you’re already aware of manga as being the Japanese word for comics. So any comic produced and released in Japan is technically manga. Pretty simple, yeah?

There will be plenty of series you’ve heard of with things like Sailor Moon, Naruto, Bleach and so on. If you know enough to have some basic interest, then you’ve probably heard the terms shoujo and shonen. These are basically manga aimed at young to teenage girls and boys. Most of the well-known series will fit into these two genres. But manga isn’t just for kids and teenagers.

The thing to remember is that there is a manga for everyone out there. So there’s plenty out there for adults too and I don’t just mean hentai and ecchi. Thank god.

Like shoujo and shonen, there are forms of manga that could fit into split male and female target audiences. These are josei and seinen manga which are aimed at people between the ages of 18 and 45. So pretty much, if you’re an adult and you like reading manga, at least some of the stuff will fit into either of these genres.

Today, I do want to focus on josei which as an adult, I would say is my favourite genre of manga. I do enjoy plenty of seinen as well as some shoujo and shonen too but the manga magazine I choose to buy every now and then is josei. So many of the series I adore now – as well as some I’d read as a teenager – were all published in Monthly Comic Zero Sum. Which is always fun to see.

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