Why you should give the “realistic romance” Josei comics a try

  • OTAKU
  • CULTURE
  • It’s no secret that one of the more popular and ever-growing cultures of Japan is the anime and manga industry. And this industry is not only popular in just Japan but all over the world! Various countries around the world has their own version of an Otaku (in general, this term is used for people who have an obsession or an interest) Convention, some even gaining as much popularity as the ones in Japan. In the world of anime and manga, there are many types and genres, the most popular ones being Shonen and Shoujo for young boys and girls respectively. Typically these genres include a hero to which the younger generation could look up to. In shonen, you have superhero types of characters like Astroboy, Naruto or Luffy. In other cases, you have idols you can look up to especially in sport-themed animes just like Slam Dunk or Captain Tsubasa. It’s pretty much the same with shoujo anime and manga. Here, young girls can look up to magical girls like Sailor Moon or Cardcaptor Sakura. This genre mainly ensures a more magical feeling gives off more of a happy vibe than most genres.
    However, not a lot of the genres are given as much attention as the two mentioned earlier. Most series nowadays give you a more magical and out of this world feeling, giving you different worlds, alternate universes and strong characters within that universe that people take an interest in and these series may tend to let people divulge themselves into worlds that they’ve always dreamed of. So it’s not a big surprise that most people nowadays either: a) haven’t heard of more realistic series or b) wouldn’t give other less known series a try. One of these particular genres is Josei; which doesn’t seem to spark much interest to most viewers.

    What is Josei?

    Josei Genre1

    The “josei” genre can be defined as a genre which is targeted at the young women to adult demographic. So the series that fall under this genre tends to lean towards romance and slice of life. As compared to shoujo series, relationships in the josei genre depict more of a realistic romantic or friendly relationship rather than those glorified relationships that are depicted in the shoujo genre. In short, josei is a mature shoujo genre.

    Why giving this genre a try?

    Josei Genre2

    Like I said earlier, josei tends to depict a more realistic story. The targeted demographic of these series are women older than eighteen-years-old. The reason for this is that most of the series depict the lives of women who are entering the adult stages of their lives or are starting to enter the workforce, which is a stage in which all women go through; as compared to a shoujo series which depicts a stagnant school setting. And unlike most happy relationships one may find in a shoujo series, the josei genre isn’t afraid to depict those realistic relationships that go down the drain and don’t end up so happily-ever-after. In terms of the art style, josei series tend to have a more realistic art style as compared to shoujo series. Most josei series also depict fashionable women, which could be a reference to the fashionable culture that young women in Japan have.

    Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa

    The josei genre like the serie Paradise Kiss is supposed to give their readers a feeling where they can actually relate to daily activities and the point in their life that they going through; may it be events related to work or trying to find yourself, the josei genre may give you a certain perspective on some things that one may not have imagined.

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