Good Shoujo Manga

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Good Shoujo Manga

Postby Lynna » Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:00 pm

So, the shoujo genre can often be a bore. It is often very constantly filled with cliches and really can be irritating. But at the same time, I've found others that were (to me, at least) really fresh and interesting, or for some reason I found that even though they might be a bit cliche, they were done in a way that kept it interesting enough for me to read. Any other people found this?
Like, today, I just began re-reading "Marmalade Boy" and I discovered that I've kind of underrated it in the past.
These are some other shojous I've liked:
Fruits Basket:
I don't think I need to tell anyone anything about this other than that they should read it.
Full Moon o Sagashite: It looks so sugar-coated, but it's actually fairly deep, and filled with such un-sugary things. It's about a girl named Mitsuki who wants to become a singer, but has throat cancer.
Strobe Edge: This is one of those ones that surprised me. It seems like the average: omigosh, he's soooo cute! things, but it actually focuses a lot more on the friendship of the two main guys, as well as the main girl trying to figure out what Love really is.
Gakuen Alice: A story about children withspcial abilities who are borderline held captive in a government school. Itt started out great, bbut it's been getting a little depressing lately.
Shugo Chara!: A magic girl manga about kids who have guardian characters, which are representations of the people they want to be.
Kimi ni Todoke(Although I haven't read any of it for awhile...I've almost kind of lost interest): About a scary-looking girl who falls in love with a cheerful boy, but is quite unable to tell him how she actually feels
And a couple others.
Shojou mangas I don't like too much usually go like this one:
Cactus's Secret: Even though I thought the main girl's character was interesting, I fealt like it never really went in-depth and simply followed the typical shoujo storyline. A boring waste.
So, what is the best Shojou manga you have ever read? The worst? The ones in-between? Or do you just have a dislike or a like for the genre in general?
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Postby Atria35 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:15 pm

Best?
Fruits Basket
Gakuen Alice (I question how you can say this is depressing when FruBa is just as bad)
Land of the Blindfolded- Manages to stay out of the messy relationship issues and general stupidity that plagues most others
They Were 11- The manga I want EVERY shoujo to be like. Innovative, original, has a solid plot, mystery, and romance... and happens to be about 30 years old by now.
Karakuri Odette - Tells a solid story, with some interesting robot-human interactions, and a robot you can see growing and changing throughout the series.
Magic Knight Rayearth- Shounen masquerading quite well as shoujo. It works, and makes a fantastic action series for girls.
Skip Beat- hilarious and does some clever things with the genre.

Bad:
Beast Master- Terrible storyline and stupid characters.
Queen's Knight- Props to making a relationship out of literally nothing. There is no foundation or basis for it other than they hate eachother, and there is no hint that there was anything other than love other than because the plot needs it, so there is magically a jealousy and angst-ridden one. But I'm still gonna finish because I like it when people are swept off to other lands.

In-between:
Alice 19th- I really like some of the concepts in here, from dealing with jealousy to a rather innovative magic system, and it stays pretty interesting most of the time. But... I don't really like the ending.
CLAMP School Detectives- Ouran did all of this better. It's not bad, just fails to be that interesting, and is far outdone by it's successor.
Millennium Snow- Cliche, cliche, cliche... it's not bad. Just incredibly boring.

I know I have more up my sleeve, have to search through my list for them... But in general, I have a disdain for this demographic and try to avoid it... I only try to go for the best so I can prepare for the worst.
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Postby blkmage » Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:28 pm

For me, the indisputable champion of shoujo manga is Kare Kano. The way that it handles the main relationship, the aspects that it chooses to focus on, and the problems that the main characters have to deal with are refreshingly different from typical shoujo stuff that I've found.

For comparison, Kimi ni Todoke remains a distant second.
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Postby Nadia » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:19 pm

My two favorite shoujo manga series are Kimi ni Todoke and Ouran High School Host Club. Others I have read and liked (but not as much as the aforementioned two) are: Otomen, La Corda d'Oro, High School Debut, and Planet Ladder.

Otherwise, I don't bother with the shoujo genre that much unless something interesting happens to catch my eye. The shounen genre is more my thing.
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Postby wildpurplechild » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:56 pm

Atria35 (post: 1517362) wrote:
Bad:
Beast Master- Terrible storyline and stupid characters.

:( I liked Beast Master. Yes the plot was cliche, but I liked the animal aspect and how the story ended.
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Postby Atria35 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:33 pm

Not only was the plot cliche, but the characters were idiots. Animals and endings can't make up for that. Especially when the animal aspect was... pretty minimal overall, and the ending was also pretty cliche.
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Postby Umbreon0 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:30 pm

I love cliche's, heh. Fruits Basket was fun, and I heard good things about Clannad. I'm hoping to start it soon.
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Postby Nate » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:06 am

Fushigi Yugi was one of my first and remains my favorite to this day.
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Postby Atria35 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:18 am

Nate (post: 1519677) wrote:Fushigi Yugi was one of my first and remains my favorite to this day.


I'm reading that right now. It's definitely a good one!
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Postby airichan623 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:51 pm

Nate (post: 1519677) wrote:Fushigi Yugi was one of my first and remains my favorite to this day.


*facepalm* :bang::bang::bang:

SERIOUSLY!?!?!? ugh.....its horrible reverse harem. Mary Sue main character.

Good reverse harem?
-Ouran High School Host Club.: well known, for good reason. hilarious, AND touching.

Great Shojo:
-Fruits Basket. (AWESOME SAUCE) cried buckets of tears.
-Kimi ni Todoke. (luv luv luv)
-Shugo Chara!: awesome magical girl
-Lovely*Complex: funny slice-of-life. I've cried over this one.
-Otomen: have literally lol'd at this.
-Sand Chronicles.: Insanely dramatic and soap-opera-y, but done well.
-Crimson Hero.: A sports manga for girls.
-Sugar Princess.: sadly left on hiatus, but by the author of Hana Kimi.
-Dramacon: the Best shojo OEL series ever written, if i do say so myself.
-Kare Kano: I haven't read past volume 10, but I love that both the leads are smart, and Yukino is so realistic to me.

OK Shojo:
Imadoki!.: A not-bad Yuu Watase drama. More relatable characters than Fushigi Yugi.
W Juliet: gender-bender drama! <3
Tokyo Mew Mew My gateway drug to manga. :)
Princess Ai: cliche, but not bad.

HORRIBLE Shojo:
-Princess Tutu: adapted from the amazing anime into a crappy manga.
-Fushigi Yugi: kill me now.
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Postby Atria35 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:11 pm

airichan623 (post: 1519809) wrote:OK Shojo:
Princess Ai: cliche, but not bad.

HORRIBLE Shojo:
-Fushigi Yugi: kill me now.


Switch these two around and we can start talking. Princess Ai has some of the dumbest characters, worst dialogue, and the main character? That Mary-Sue that you were complaining about in Fushigi Yugi. At least Fushigi Yugi throws in some realistic character interactions between the two girls. Princess Ai has nothing redeeming about it.
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Postby Kaori » Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:27 am

Fruits Basket is the FMA of shoujo. It’s good, and that’s all there is to it. But besides FB, I get to list some titles that no one else has mentioned yet. My overwhelming preference for fantasy or sci-fi or historical stories with some action thrown in is pretty apparent here.

Basara – Inevitably tops my list. The action takes place on a grand scale, as the plot is about events concerning a whole nation; also, the characters travel post-apocalyptic Japan, from the snowy northernmost island to the sub-tropical Ryukyu archipelago. The politics, action, large cast of compelling characters, external conflict, internal conflict, and grand scale make it well worth putting up with the below-average artwork and a rather obnoxious relationship between the two leads.

Hiiro no Isu (The Scarlet Chair) РThe mangaka is Midorikawa Yuki, more famous for Natsume no Yuujinchou. More politics and sword-fighting, but this manga has a much smaller cast of characters than Basara and is also complete at only three volumes instead of twenty-seven or something. The setting is a vaguely European fantasy world, but Midorikawa gives it some unique touches and color of her own, which rescues it from being the same old bland and clich̩ pseudo-Europe that one finds in so many shoujo titles. Refreshingly avoids several stereotypes and has an ending that is surprising and boldly unconventional for the shoujo demographic, though it is also very Japanese in tone.

Ninohime no Monogatari (Legend of the Second Princess) – Only a short story of about a hundred pages, one out of three collected into a volume, but it is a particularly good one. At turns poetic and humorous, it is a historical story set in China’s Warring States period (I think), and like the two titles above, this one also revolves around politics and warfare, not just romance. In regard to the latter, though, both leads are well-rounded characters with strengths and weaknesses in their personalities, and their relationship develops realistically. Finally, the artwork is lush and detailed, which is always important in a historical manga.

Immortal Rain – I wouldn’t consider this the best of shoujo manga, but it is good. The paneling is handled much more like shonen than shoujo and has a very simple, clean feel, resulting in a manga that reads almost more like shonen than shoujo. The fact that the heroine almost immediately falls in love with a tall, mysterious stranger is one of the few things about the manga that actually feels like shoujo. It can be cheesy at times, there are some clichés present, and first few volumes are noticeably not as good as later ones—but overall, it is well-paced and competent.
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Postby Nate » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:02 pm

airichan623 wrote:reverse harem

I don't think you know what that term means.

Only two of the main male characters are attracted to Miaka, those being Hotohori and Tamahome. That's it. None of the others are in love with her. Nuriko is jealous of her, and Tasuki has a slight attraction to her at the beginning that wears off quickly.

Further, if you'd bother to read it instead of throwing out terms, you'd realize why Hotohori was attracted to Miaka. He was in love with her because as the Emperor, he was very lonely, and women only wanted him because of his money and power. Even as a child, he wanted to meet the Priestess of Suzaku, because being from another world, she wouldn't know about his status and she probably wouldn't care. She could love him for who he was as a person, rather than him being Emperor. This is why he didn't reveal his identity to her when they first met.
Mary Sue main character.

She's a Mary Sue because...what, exactly? Because she's the Priestess of Suzaku? That doesn't follow, since she's an ordinary girl who just happened to end up in a strange world. She only exhibits any sort of powers only a couple of times, and that's long after she's accepted her role as the Priestess and gathered the other 7 members.

She's actually pretty dense, and very gullible, and it gets her in pretty big trouble a couple of times throughout. She's not a Mary Sue at all, unless you're going to have an extremely loose definition of the term...and if you do, then Tohru from Fruits Basket is ten times the Mary Sue Miaka is, so you should hate that too. Wait, what's this, you like it? Hmm...how very odd.
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Postby Neane » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:53 pm

Nate is right...as always.
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Postby Nate » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:44 pm

It's not so much that I think Fushigi Yugi is perfection or that it's unassailable. It does have its flaws. The "dual romance" aspect where Miaka flips between loving Tamahome and Hotohori at the beginning is admittedly pretty annoying, and I can see how it would turn people off to it. Fortunately that gets dropped fairly early, but it is annoying while it's going on.

I can also see people (especially on a site like this) being very annoyed or upset by the amount of sexual content in the series...and admittedly, there is a fair bit. It's all pretty necessary for the story, but some people just don't like that kinda stuff, and I can respect that. There are a lot of reasons to dislike Fushigi Yugi.

I just take issue with the claim of "reverse harem" and Miaka being a "Mary Sue" because those are blatantly untrue.
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Postby wildpurplechild » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:27 pm

One shojo I thought was really good was Pig Bride. Technically it's a manhwa but it's still a shojo, and I thought it was well done. I liked the humor and the fact that it's a fairly tale. The mask is adorable also.:-^o^-:
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Postby Neane » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:20 pm

Am I the only one here on this site that is reading the super-complex shoujo manga titles that the Aki has made such as Olimpos for example?
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Postby Atria35 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:36 pm

@ Neane- I've read Utahime, which was really nice. I haven't read any of her other stuff, though, since everything besides this and Olimpos just isn't scanlated, and I hate picking something up if it could be dropped mid-story or I have to wait a year for an update. Olimpos is on my to-read, though.
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Postby Neane » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:48 pm

@Atria35 Olimpos is an awesome manga. I really enjoyed reading it and it is so different from most manga out there. Currently I am waiting for her other works to be updated but they are a good read thus far. Very Underrated Mangaka. Also, I plan to read more shoujo manga after I am done with my current load. [Found some really interesting ones.]
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Postby Lynna » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:04 pm

airichan623 (post: 1519809) wrote:-Princess Tutu: adapted from the amazing anime into a crappy manga.


I'm curious as to exactly what made the manga so terrible. I adore the anime.
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Postby Atria35 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:07 pm

Lynna (post: 1523792) wrote:I'm curious as to exactly what made the manga so terrible. I adore the anime.


Try to imagine putting everything that happened in the anime into 2 volumes. Then you can imagine what has gone wrong with the manga.
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Postby Mr. Hat'n'Clogs » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:24 pm

Surprise, surprise, I've actually been reading some shoujo manga kind of recently. I thought I'd read another one before posting in here, but Araki beckoned and I never got around to it.

Unlike apparently everyone else in this thread, I made it through three volumes of Fruits Basket and I'm baffled(to a degree) why it is so popular. It does have a lot of sad teenage pretty boys, which I guess explains it, but I have no idea how it was supposed to entertain me. Was it supposed to be funny? Was it supposed to be heartwarming? Was it supposed to be touching? I have read things that have managed to do all of these in far more brilliant ways, so yeah, it was meh to the umpteenth degree.

On the other hand, I did check out Akagami no Shirayuki Hime, which was a pleasant surprise. Unlike things I associated with shoujo, the main pair are pleasant, enjoyable people who don't have terrible drama over dumb things. There is some sad parts, but it's not like everyone is super melancholy all the time or anything. The story is pretty interesting, and the main couple also got together fairly quickly and have been b'awww to watch ever since, with no rage-worthy moments. All in all it is pretty decent and I'm glad I caught up on it.
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Postby Atria35 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:51 pm

Mr. Hat'n'Clogs (post: 1523795) wrote:Unlike apparently everyone else in this thread, I made it through three volumes of Fruits Basket and I'm baffled(to a degree) why it is so popular. It does have a lot of sad teenage pretty boys, which I guess explains it, but I have no idea how it was supposed to entertain me. Was it supposed to be funny? Was it supposed to be heartwarming? Was it supposed to be touching? I have read things that have managed to do all of these in far more brilliant ways, so yeah, it was meh to the umpteenth degree.


I actually don't think it gets good until you get to where the anime ends- about the seventh volume. Then you start getting into the drama and issues that people have, and how Tohru helps them work through/deal with them.
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Postby wildpurplechild » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:12 pm

Yes, though I love Furuba from the beginning, it does take some time to grow and mature the plot. I found the earlier books quite funny myself, but I guess not everyone has the same taste in humor. Sometimes the author did stuff in the beginning volumes I found annoying like [SPOILER] Dressing Yuki in drag -_- [/SPOILER] that I think was meant to gain readers early on, but later it gets a lot more serious and a lot less silly.
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Postby blkmage » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:19 pm

I think I managed to make it five volumes into Fruits Basket before dropping it.
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Postby Atria35 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:49 pm

Just had an opportunity to read some of Arisa, and it's not your typical shoujo. I am loving this one for the plot. It's pretty dark, has a decent mystery, and does leave me wondering at what's going to happen most of the time.
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Postby wildpurplechild » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:00 pm

Atria35 (post: 1524656) wrote:Just had an opportunity to read some of Arisa, and it's not your typical shoujo. I am loving this one for the plot. It's pretty dark, has a decent mystery, and does leave me wondering at what's going to happen most of the time.

I got to the second volume, but my library doesn't have the third, and it wasn't at the bookstore when I went. :( It's really good though, I recomend it to mystery lovers.
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Postby Neane » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:06 pm

7 Seeds is not only one of the best Shoujo manga I have read...but it also one of the best manga I have read thus far.
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Postby Atria35 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:22 am

La Corda d'Oro is one of the most cliched manga I've read. Period. It's a terrible reverse harem. I called her love interest in the first three volumes. Heck, I knew it in the second one! She picked the cold guy with the personality of a stick. Not impressed.
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Postby Neane » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:32 pm

Atria35 (post: 1538832) wrote:La Corda d'Oro is one of the most cliched manga I've read. Period. It's a terrible reverse harem. I called her love interest in the first three volumes. Heck, I knew it in the second one! She picked the cold guy with the personality of a stick. Not impressed.


The anime is terrible.
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