The State of Josei Manga

Tramps Like Us volume 1 cover

Josei manga is manga aimed at women, a female audience older than the girls who read shojo. And women are always the last group targeted in comics.

(It usually goes young men -> older men -> kids (boys and girls) -> women. Some of the core male audience stays with it as they age, and then everyone starts worrying about where new young readers will come from. Targeting the adult female is an afterthought, but when that happens, it indicates a mature industry/genre/format.)

So I’m thrilled to see this many josei manga titles out these days. From Tokyopop, there are:

  • The works of Erica Sakurazawa, although the last of the six books ends in the middle
  • The Tramps Like Us romance series
  • The sex comedy Happy Mania
  • Oh, and Suppli, which I haven’t reviewed yet, but I’m looking forward to reading

Tramps Like Us volume 1 cover

Viz, which puts out more shojo titles than Tokyopop, only has two three I would put in this category:

  • Sensual Phrase, a teen-girl fantasy love story, but with plenty of sex
  • Nana, which the publisher puts out under its Shojo Beat label, but especially with a recent turn into more serious subjects, I think it’s arguably skewing older
  • Update: The just-out Honey & Clover is another borderline title

Then there’s new, female-targeted Aurora. They’ve put out, along with a couple of shojo titles, the josei Walkin’ Butterfly. But even more exciting is their Luv Luv Press line, explicit manga for women. The first book in that line is Voices of Love.

Seems to me that I’m forgetting some. Does Del Rey have any women-targeted manga? Update: Yes. Nodame Cantabile is considered josei.

And I’m still wondering what happened to CPM’s Sweet Cream and Strawberries, which has had two rounds of promotion but never came out.


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