Or: An article in which Yousuke Kuroda takes the time to tell blatant lies about Yasunori Ide within his earshot. It’s not something I see particularly often – the writer and director both get interviewed simultaneously and bounce off each other a little bit, giving off fun hints of the chemistry they might have had working together for two seasons on the same series. The two then talk about their desire to get away from typified one-keyword heroines and move towards less simple, more realistic characters (taking what may or may not be a subtle jab at 13-heroine Sister Princess in the process). The second page also has a blurb on the beautiful scenery of Lake Kizaki, the source of the franchise’s top-5 all-time background art.
Last week for the shonen/seinen bracket, I wrote about how shonen manga cleverly taught kids a variety of fairly useful life lessons. I originally wanted to start the shojo/josei series the same way, but the “shonen/seinen/shojo/josei is not a genre” frustration stuck me at the right time and before I knew it I had an article. But there’s plenty of juice left in this battery, and 2 weeks left in the first round of competition. Let’s get to it.
There’s one theme I’ve noticed which shows up a lot in shojo manga (and still quite often in josei manga). Call it peer adversity, bullying, social stress, or whatever, but it’s fairly common for the lead character in manga targeted towards women to be on the receiving end of nasty treatment by her peers. They way different characters respond is a study in variety, and while my experience with shojo manga is by no means exhaustive, what I see shows me a medium with a mission of teaching women young and old how to cope and fight back.