Art style & fashion in shojo manga: a brief look

My interest in things like beauty and fashion trends and shojo manga have overlapped multiple times. This has made me notice certain things, but before starting, I want to make some clarifications.

First of all, I’m not by any means an expert. Not everything I’ll cover is exclusive to shojo and its influencers either. I simply want to focus on a couple of particular works and artists that happened to be featured in shojo magazines because, well… That’s what interests me! Consider this as a kind of laid back post by a fan. 

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Identity & self-worth in Hanshin & Iguana Girl

Whenever I see the name Moto Hagio “paranormal and scifi” and “complicated family relationships” instantly come to mind (and of course, “The Heart of Thomas”). The shorts “Iguana Girl” and “Hanshin: Half-God” certainly fit there, but I wasn’t expecting them to feel so personal

Both stories play with altered realities and the perception of oneself, to the point you’ll sometimes have a hard time discerning what’s actually real. Spoilers ahead!  Continue reading “Identity & self-worth in Hanshin & Iguana Girl”

Spot the yellow: Obsession, danger & innocence in Utena

Spot the [color] it’s a section where I try to interpret the meaning behind the use of [color] in a character and/or a scene.

I’m going to be frank: this show intimidates the hell out of me. I even feel like I need to put disclaimers like “hey, I’m just a fairly newbie Utena fan doing my best” or something. I do know a thing or two about colors, and I’m intrigued with how this show uses some of them… So let’s do this.

Yellow is both an aggressive and versatile color. It’s the strongest one of the color wheel; everything fades into the background in its presence, which is why it’s so often used in “caution” or “attention” signs. Continue reading “Spot the yellow: Obsession, danger & innocence in Utena”

Pastel Idols & Space Magic: Magical Angel Creamy Mami Retrospective

In the early 1980s, the magical girl genre was going through a different phase from what we know nowadays. Unlike some of the most well-known series today, the magical girls from that era weren’t necessarily superheroines, but they were still inspiring (or helping) figures. If there was any stake, it could be in keeping others from finding out about their magical powers–and in some cases, their alter-egos–otherwise there were usually consequences such as losing them.

Those magical girls didn’t necessarily need something to fight for or a particular reason to have their powers. Sometimes they just got them for the very respectable purpose of doing whatever the hell they wanted, with only the show’s morals–and their own powers–as limits.

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Clear Card: When Beloved Series Rely Too Much On Nostalgia

With the re-watch I did not too long ago, the original Cardcaptor Sakura (and my love for it) are still pretty fresh in my mind. Its amazing characters and magical, welcoming world stole my heart to the point that I would watch anything just to get more of it. Well, its long-awaited sequel Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card just finished airing, and it feels like that’s exactly what this series was counting on: nostalgia, undying love for the original to keep watching it… while rarely offering you more.

Acknowledging love for the original it’s not a bad thing by itself, after all, Cardcaptor Sakura is an important childhood favorite for many, and it’s still remembered very fondly. Heck, I would argue that it’s still a very important show nowadays, and it has plenty of reasons to be especially meaningful for girls and queer folks. Continue reading “Clear Card: When Beloved Series Rely Too Much On Nostalgia”

Demolishing the Demographic Double Standard: Why more manga “for boys” need to treat their girls better [AniFem]

In my years consuming media, I’ve encountered certain beliefs and behaviours that never fail to frustrate me. One of them is women’s entertainment and their creators being diminished or regarded with contempt just for targeting women. There is a double standard at play: media targeted at or starring women is “for girls,” while media targeted at or starring men is “for everyone” (unless, of course, someone who isn’t a man is critical of it; then it wasn’t “for them”). Continue reading “Demolishing the Demographic Double Standard: Why more manga “for boys” need to treat their girls better [AniFem]”

Review: That Wolf-boy is mine!

After some traumatic experiences, Komugi Kusunoki transferred from the city to start a new life in rural Hokkaido. But on her first day of school, the school heartthrob Yū Ōgami blurts out, “You smell good!” Despite the hijinks, Komugi tries to adjust to her new school, but it’s not long before she stumbles across Yū dozing off under a tree. When she attempts to wake him up, he transformed…into a wolf?! It turns out that Yū is one of many other eccentric boys in her class year–and she’s the only one who knows their secret…!


Shojo protagonists who are aware that they are in a shojo manga are some of my favorite. Komugi happens to be at least a little aware, and that alone makes her an interesting lead. She’s a grounded, kind girl, with understandable insecurities and the courage to voice her thoughts in spite of them.

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