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Is Houbunsha pioneering new manga genres, or am I just behind the curve? 
1st-Apr-2008 04:56 am
Both of these new anthologies are published by Houbunsha, and both of them have very interesting sluglines (I know the date of this entry is unfortunate, but this isn't a joke...if you were wondering):

Comic YELL! - 「男の子向けの少女まんが誌」 a.k.a. "shoujo manga magazine for boys"

Okay, this looks like moé to me.

Hanaoto DX - 「メンズLOVEパワー」 a.k.a. "Men's Love Power"

And how do they distinguish this from the analogous "Boy's Love Power" they've got on the regular monthly Hanaoto? This cover art just doesn't scream "manly" in my world.

So. Are "men's love" and "shoujo manga for boys" genres that show up in other Japanese contexts, or is this just Houbunsha singlehandedly trying to start some new trends? Does anyone know? ^^; They're totally new to me.
1st-Apr-2008 12:17 pm (UTC)
Actually, Comic High is another shoujo for guys magazine ^^
1st-Apr-2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
Actually, I knew about that. But I thought that "Girlish Comics for Boys and Girls"-- in English--was definitely not the same as the use of "shoujo manga" in Japanese. (People like using foreign words to mystify perfectly sufficient words and phrases that have baggage in their native language.)

*researches* Huh, look at that. Futabasha uses this phrase on its website: 男性向け少女漫画誌

Edited at 2008-04-01 02:41 pm (UTC)
1st-Apr-2008 12:50 pm (UTC)
Anime News Network reviewed High School Girls and said it was mostly a girl’s manga written for boys but that girls would also like. Kind of between genres. It was in Comic High, that soraryuu mentioned ^^
1st-Apr-2008 02:45 pm (UTC)
Do two magazines constitute a trend? Funny how the English hedges more than the Japanese, which just states outright that this stuff is "for guys."

Remember my Jason Mittell quote from some weeks ago? Genre is a function of several things, one of them *not* being the objective text. But it is often decided in the production context a.k.a. what genre label the publisher slaps on it. The larger question, which is harder to answer, is how widely these labels are being adopted by readers.

Edited at 2008-04-01 02:46 pm (UTC)
1st-Apr-2008 03:03 pm (UTC)
The larger question, which is harder to answer, is how widely these labels are being adopted by readers

And that, I have no clue.. It would be interesting to see how their sales are doing, and if they’re selling to the audience they thought they would.

Could be a trend though! I wonder how much crossover there is in all this stuff. I know I’ve picked out a good bit of manga that was presumably intended for a female audience ^^;
1st-Apr-2008 03:10 pm (UTC)
One of the things that emerged historically in the 80s, the last time there was a concerted effort to market unisex manga magazines, was that they all quickly fell into the "shoujo" camp because mostly girls were reading, and the magazines were responsive to reader pressures. I noticed something similar happening with Zero Sum (home of Saiyuki and Loveless), which started out with a healthy helping of Boobs! and then a year later had nothing but Bishounen!

I'm sure these Comic High and Comic Yell magazines' readership is almost exclusively male. Problem is, for guys in Japan, reading ordinary shoujo manga is about as manly as wearing a skirt--and you get suspected of being a lolicon to boot. I'm not sure what this whole moé phenomena means, but there seems to be this odd push toward respectability among certain otaku segments.
1st-Apr-2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
So anything that looked like a feminine kind of publication got labeled as feminine by the audience regardless of what the publisher intended? I guess that’s not really a surprise, I can almost hear someone commenting “Yeah dude, my little sister reads that same one.” ^^;
1st-Apr-2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
I can almost hear someone commenting “Yeah dude, my little sister reads that same one.”

*laughs* I'm guessing it's more that effect than the manga itself looking "feminine." I mean, have you *seen* Yotsubato? Manga in general has become heavily influenced by styles pioneered in shoujo manga, and some guys do like it, even at risk of being labeled loser for life. Personally, I think that's why the shoujo manga "for boys" and "for guys" is emerging; an attempt to make what would otherwise be shoujo content a bit more socially "acceptable"...not to mention the underlying "girls keep out!" sign.
1st-Apr-2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
I mean, have you *seen* Yotsubato?

This one? Is that really for boys? The one cover picture anyway makes it look totally for young girls ^^;
1st-Apr-2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
That's the one. And it's 100% clean. (Which, IMHO, makes it eye-crossingly boring.)
1st-Apr-2008 04:38 pm (UTC)

Not sexy enough for you eh? ^_^

Yeah, if it’s for boys, and especially teens, you would expect accidental risqué situations ^^
1st-Apr-2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
The green-haired girl is like the manga equivalent of the fluffy puppy to a dog lover. Supposed to inspire overwhelming feelings of adoration--but not sexual arousal.
1st-Apr-2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
She does look basically cute and clueless, kind of a Hello Kitty thing ^^

Is there actually a hair color code? ^^;
1st-Apr-2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
Is there actually a hair color code?

Huh? I was referring to the girl on the cover of the Yotsubato manga. That's Yotsuba.
1st-Apr-2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, okay.. Wasn’t sure if you were referring to just her, or green-haired manga girls generally ^^;
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