Intro to Shoujo

What is Shoujo?

Some of you guys that are new to anime, may not know what shoujo is so, simply, it is a demographic.

A demographic is, in short terms, material intended for a specific audience. In the terms of shoujo, when referring to anime and manga, is marketed to girls within the age category of 10 and 18. Shoujo (Shōjo and shojo are also proper ways to romanize the word) literally translates from Japanese into English as “little girl”.

Other popular demographics for manga/anime are shounen (for teen boys), seinen (for adult men), and josei (for adult women).

What are some common themes in shoujo anime?

Usui and Misaki (Kaichou wa Maid-sama!)

Genre wise, it can be anything, but more than likely when you stumble upon a shoujo it will be romance. Romance is by far the most popular genre within the demographic. Daydreaming teenage girls and romance go together, don’t you think? It’s also highly likely that the protagonist (main character) is a girl.

Art-wise, they eyes will probably be bigger and more shiny than the other demographics (for innocence). There may also be flowers surrounding close-ups of the characters, bubbles, or sparkles. The character’s are usually very pretty also, even the boys. The ones that are exceptionally pretty are called bishoujo (for girls) and bishounen (for boys).

What are some popular shoujo anime?

Poster for Ouran

Some popular shoujo anime are: Fruits Basket, Vampire Knight, Ouran High School Host Club, Kaichou wa Maid-sama!, Skip Beat, Sailor Moon, Kimi ni Todoke, and Kamisama Kiss.

What are some good shoujo to watch if you are just getting into anime?

I’d personally recommend something like Fruits Basket or Ouran High School Host Club. If you want something with more of a fantasy element, go for Vampire Knight or Kamisama Kiss. If you want something less comedic possibly Kimi ni Todoke, Say, “I Love You”, or Nana.

Where can I watch anime?

The main online streaming sites for anime include, Crunchyroll, Hulu, and Netflix. A select number of North American anime distributors have streaming videos available on their sites, such as Funimation and Viz Media.


5 thoughts on “Intro to Shoujo

  1. Besides the tendencies toward certain genres and styles of art, would you say that there is something about the shōjo demographic that makes it different from the other demographics (especially shōnen), maybe something different in purpose or in the themes that are often used.

    By the way, I enjoyed your article, it summarizes the topic well and might help me in my adventures into this demographic.


    • I’m happy you found this article helpful, thanks for commenting!

      I’d have to say in differences of purpose, shoujo’s goal would be to make some type of relatable content, whether it would be with highly relatable characters, or situations. It can deal with things like insecurities in one’s self, school/family issues, etc. I find typically in shounen at times it may be relatable, but the main goal still feels like entertainment to me (which I don’t have a problem with). Shounen usually also features kind of unrealistic character designs (like girls with extra boobage) since it’s directed towards guys. Shounen’s more fight with fists, and shoujo’s more fight with words.

      I hope I helped some more. 🙂


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