Shōjo (少女) is manga (Japanese comics) made for young girls, normally ages 7-19. One of the most popular shōjo manga series is Sailor Moon. Many shōjo manga are about things like love, friendship, and romance, but some are more serious and action-based. Most shōjo characters are female, and around middle-school or high-school age.
Shōjo was first made in Japan for young female readers, like how shōnen is for young male readers. They started to appear in the early 1900s. Most shōjo made during this time focused on humor and life in the home. However, after World War II, manga artists began writing more fast-paced, intense stories. This brought upon the magical girl genre, which helped make manga as a whole popular around the world.
Shōjo in the WestEdit
In the 90s and early 2000s, the western world began to see more manga and anime, including shōjo. With publishers like VIZ and Dark Horse Comics coming out with English versions of manga during this time, western readers had more access to Japanese comics than ever. Before then, many manga were Japan-exclusive.
Shōjo is usually put into age groups. These are the ages it is recommended for. The main groupings are:
- All ages (ages five and up)
- Teen (ages 13 and up)
- Older teen / Adult (ages 17 and up)