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Old 2012-05-15, 19:58   Link #1
Fuyuno
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When shounen is no longer "shounen" anymore...

I actually hate to make threads like this but I already had this issue quite while ago. At least several years ago when Bleach and Naruto cool to me, I also read lots of good shounen mangas. However things have changed today as some of the shounen manga is losing its "shounen-ness" like rise of pretty boys(bishounen) and some shounen-ai(boys' love) hints. It pretty much like the shounen manga companies start making their products more appealing to female readers and of course their money. As an old-school shounen fan like myself, I felt alienated. The bishies and shounen-ai just don't work with me. Maybe I'm just too old to read the recent shounen titles but I also worry what will happen to shounen genre itself if this trend continues and evolved to whole new level. Will Japanese teenage boys stop reading shounen mangas or at least the sales dropped from the same people?

I also heard a joke from other forums "put some bishies in a non-shoujo mangas and it will print money". I hope someone who made that "joke" was right.
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Old 2012-05-15, 20:07   Link #2
Obelisk ze Tormentor
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Ummm.....I'm a little lost here, but can you name the titles of the shounen animes/mangas that have shounen-ai hints in the story?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not being sarcastic here, just curious .
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Old 2012-05-15, 20:08   Link #3
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Can shounen become shoujo?!

Actually - y'know what? Let a shounen story evolve into a K-ON style slice-of-life comedy. XD
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Old 2012-05-15, 20:19   Link #4
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Combine Shounen with Shoujo and we'll have the ULTIMATE manga !

*In theory*
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Old 2012-05-15, 21:03   Link #5
NK_500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor View Post
Ummm.....I'm a little lost here, but can you name the titles of the shounen animes/mangas that have shounen-ai hints in the story?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not being sarcastic here, just curious .
I think Fuyuno is talking about Kuroshitsuji and something like it. As for Kuroshitsuji, it legitimately got "shounen" genre because it was serialized in a shounen magazine although it also safe to say that most of its readers are females.

Yeah it also bugs me too. I mean only few shounen titles are really "shounen". Medaka Box for good recent example maybe it had buxom 17-years old girl rather than macho, muscular 17-years old boy. Thanks to Gainax for bringing shounen back to its male-oriented roots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos2Frozen View Post
Combine Shounen with Shoujo and we'll have the ULTIMATE manga !

*In theory*
I rather not. No sarcasm intended though.
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Old 2012-05-15, 21:22   Link #6
Qilin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuyuno View Post
I actually hate to make threads like this but I already had this issue quite while ago. At least several years ago when Bleach and Naruto cool to me, I also read lots of good shounen mangas. However things have changed today as some of the shounen manga is losing its "shounen-ness" like rise of pretty boys(bishounen) and some shounen-ai(boys' love) hints. It pretty much like the shounen manga companies start making their products more appealing to female readers and of course their money. As an old-school shounen fan like myself, I felt alienated. The bishies and shounen-ai just don't work with me. Maybe I'm just too old to read the recent shounen titles but I also worry what will happen to shounen genre itself if this trend continues and evolved to whole new level. Will Japanese teenage boys stop reading shounen mangas or at least the sales dropped from the same people?

I also heard a joke from other forums "put some bishies in a non-shoujo mangas and it will print money". I hope someone who made that "joke" was right.
What defines shounen then? I'm sorry I don't understand what you're talking about since you keep using words like "shounen" and "shounen-ness" without clarifying what those words mean exactly.

Also, bishies and shounen-ai? I don't know what you're reading, but there's hardly anything of the sort in the titles I read. If anything, it's just tacked on randomly, but it never becomes important (Toriko x Komatsu anyone? ).
Quote:
Originally Posted by NK_500 View Post
I think Fuyuno is talking about Kuroshitsuji and something like it. As for Kuroshitsuji, it legitimately got "shounen" genre because it was serialized in a shounen magazine although it also safe to say that most of its readers are females.
I think a better example would be Katekyo Hitman Reborn, seeing as its serialized in Jump. But really, it's probably one of the worst titles they have over there, making it a very poor representative of the whole.
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Old 2012-05-15, 21:24   Link #7
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You've just realized that shounen is just a demographic. There is no strict guideline of styles or genres for shounen manga to follow, and the publishers will publish a manga in whatever magazine they feel like.
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Old 2012-05-15, 21:33   Link #8
Qilin
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Originally Posted by Tempester View Post
You've just realized that shounen is just a demographic. There is no strict guideline of styles or genres for shounen manga to follow, and the publishers will publish a manga in whatever magazine they feel like.
That's exactly it. Given the ambiguity behind the term's usage, some clarification as to what was meant would be nice. Inconsistent definitions can only fuel misunderstandings in the end, so they have to be addressed right from the start.
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Old 2012-05-15, 21:38   Link #9
Kirarakim
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Well as the marketers found out a lot of women read shounen manga & watch shounen anime and hence they put in elements that will also appeal to a female fan base.

I still think the majority of anime/manga is aimed at a male audience so I guess I cannot sympathize with this post very much.

As for shounen mixed with shoujo elements well that is precisely what Escaflowne was back in the 1990's and I think it turned out pretty well.
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Old 2012-05-15, 21:42   Link #10
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Important point before something more on topic. Shounen is a demographic. We've had shounen romances and slices of lifes and other not really "shounen" shounen shows just about forever.

And to continue on that topic for a bit.
Quote:
Actually - y'know what? Let a shounen story evolve into a K-ON style slice-of-life comedy. XD
Lucky Star? It even got itself animated by KyoAni as well!

Okay then, more actually on topic
Quote:
although it also safe to say that most of its readers are females.
We have numbers? I see your reasoning, but before putting that out as fact, numbers would always be nice.

Jump's lineup still seems fairly stereotypical shounen still. All examples of "shounen" shounen so far have come from Jump (Naruto, Bleach, Medaka Box).

GFantasy (the magazine for Kuroshitsuji) doesn't really have much of "shounen" shounen, it seems like it never had. Guys that like "shounen" shounen never really were the target of the magazine.

Thus, I don't think this is evidence of the evolution of shounen into "shounen." Is there any example of a "shounen" shounen magazine turning into a not-"shounen" shounen magazine recently, or a "shounen" shounen magazine which has started introducing less "shounen" shounen manga to its lineup recently? I think those would be better examples than pointing out that Kuroshitsuji feels like its pandering to fujoshi.
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Old 2012-05-15, 21:46   Link #11
Chaos2Frozen
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To sum it up, this all seems like a misconception base on limited perceptive and understanding.
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Old 2012-05-15, 21:49   Link #12
Random32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos2Frozen View Post
To sum it up, this all seems like a misconception base on limited perceptive and understanding.
Unless we are missing something, pretty much.
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Old 2012-05-15, 23:44   Link #13
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuyuno View Post
I actually hate to make threads like this but I already had this issue quite while ago. At least several years ago when Bleach and Naruto cool to me, I also read lots of good shounen mangas. However things have changed today as some of the shounen manga is losing its "shounen-ness" like rise of pretty boys(bishounen) and some shounen-ai(boys' love) hints. It pretty much like the shounen manga companies start making their products more appealing to female readers and of course their money. As an old-school shounen fan like myself, I felt alienated. The bishies and shounen-ai just don't work with me. Maybe I'm just too old to read the recent shounen titles but I also worry what will happen to shounen genre itself if this trend continues and evolved to whole new level. Will Japanese teenage boys stop reading shounen mangas or at least the sales dropped from the same people?

I also heard a joke from other forums "put some bishies in a non-shoujo mangas and it will print money". I hope someone who made that "joke" was right.
You've confused one small subset of shounen with the entire gamut of styles and storylines. Technically all "shounen" means is that the "shounen publisher" is trying to reach the demographic of boys and young men. They'll commission anything they think will sell, regardless of the art style or story content. So the problem here is actually that many self-identified non-Japan readers of shounen simply don't realize that they're reading just a small fraction of the genre.
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Old 2012-05-16, 01:57   Link #14
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I realized... they actually allow 10-year-olds to see a crossdressed Ciel getting flustered over Sebastian?

Or this?



Eh, it's just older brother Sebastian watching over Ciel as he sleeps. ...Right?
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Old 2012-05-16, 02:03   Link #15
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Pretty much like generic harem shows where the animation is outsourced from South Korea and puts the girl in DVD cover that make otakus buy it, imagine where they put loads of bishies in a shounen manga cover that makes fujoshis buy it. Nowadays, most otakus (even fujoshis) are just reading/watching stuff for fanservice rather than story or characters.
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Old 2012-05-16, 02:28   Link #16
hyl
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Originally Posted by MisaoFan View Post
Pretty much like generic harem shows where the animation is outsourced from South Korea and puts the girl in DVD cover that make otakus buy it, imagine where they put loads of bishies in a shounen manga cover that makes fujoshis buy it. Nowadays, most otakus (even fujoshis) are just reading/watching stuff for fanservice rather than story or characters.
You really like to keep talking the same nonsense that "putting male characters on the cover of a shounen manga is instant fujioshi bait".
First you have look at your target audience and the type of manga . In most of these "shounen action series", you will obviously see more male characters on the cover because they are usually the stronger/cooler characters than the female ones (which is in my opinion especially true for the big 3 : one piece, bleach, naruto).
Of course you will attract more female fans when the cooler male characters (like Uchiha Sasuke or Hitsugaya Toushiro) are on the cover, however in the case of these kind of series it's unintentional.
Compare it with American Comics, if i wanted to buy like a JLA comic, then i rather want to see superman, batman, green lantern or even the martian manhunter on the cover instead of wonderwoman or black canary. No offense to the people who likes those female heroines, but most teenage males prefer male heroes over female heroines because they can identify or idealize more with male ones.

The ecchi/harem shounen series have more likely female characters on their covers, because the female characters are the main selling point for these kind of series. In the few cases that there is a male character on the cover, then it's really not meant for the female audience. You can't possibly think that for example in the rosario+vampire manga, when Tsukune is on the cover that the sales will increase thanks to the fujoshi also buying the manga?

edit
As for the topic starter, do you have some examples of "shounen manga's" that don't seem to target the shounen audience anymore? I can't seem to think of any at all. I have to agree that most "shounen series" are also attracting female readers, however the plot and settings never shifted to suit it for a completely different type of readers. Like the prince of tennis and hitman reborn also have a huge ammount of female fans, however these manga's still remain targetted for the male teen audience.

Last edited by hyl; 2012-05-16 at 02:53.
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Old 2012-05-16, 02:56   Link #17
fanty
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Originally Posted by hyl View Post
Like the prince of tennis and hitman reborn also have a huge ammount of female fans, however these manga's still remain targetted for the male teen audience.
...That's not quite the case. Those comics are very, VERY obviously being targeted at the female readers. Remember: action =/= aimed-at-the-male-audience. When a manga's overflowing with hot bishiness and yaoi overtones, you can't claim it to be aimed at men anymore. Though you CAN claim that it's aimed at both audiences, I guess... though I really don't think there are many boys reading those series. Seriously.
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Old 2012-05-16, 03:00   Link #18
hyl
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...That's not quite the case. Those comics are very, VERY obviously being targeted at the female readers. Remember: action =/= aimed-at-the-male-audience. When a manga's overflowing with hot bishiness and yaoi overtones, you can't claim it to be aimed at men anymore. Though you CAN claim that it's aimed at both audiences, I guess... though I really don't think there are many boys reading those series. Seriously.
Look at the story structure and pacing. It's clearly that it has a "shounen style" of storytelling. Also how can you claim that those series don't have that many male fans that also reads it?

Konomi even relaunched the PoT with a sequel after many years and if he really had more female fans, then what would have stopped him from making some big changes for the female readers? He didn't and probably couldn't because he can't write PoT differently and if he did, then the serie would have lost all of it's male fans.

Also how many "yaoi overtones" scenes have you seen in PoT and reborn to even claim that it's no longer targetted for men? I am still following these series and i haven't seen anything remotely yaoi.
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Old 2012-05-16, 03:10   Link #19
Obelisk ze Tormentor
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On second thought, the manga/anime on my sig (Yu-Gi-Oh!) is a shounen. Yet, I hear it has lots of fangirls due to the bishounens (Yugi, Kaiba, Jou, Ryo, Malik, etc), although I doubt it’s intentional. No wonder there’s A LOT of yaoi fanfics & fanarts depicting Yami YugixYugi Mutou, YugixKaiba, YugixJou, YugixRyo, KaibaxJou, etc . Maybe they mistake “bromance” for “romance” ? Just to be clear, there's no slight hint of yaoi in Yu-Gi-Oh! in case you’re wondering.

If we merely talking about “pretty boys” in shounens, then Saint Seiya has them in spades. Some of the males are even very beautiful, many mistook them for females. Don’t forget that it’s a manga/anime from the 80s, not a recent shounen series. And yeah, it also has a lot of fangirls. Don’t know whether it’s intentional or not. Still, as far as I can remember, there’s no yaoi hints, just “bromance” (although the scene where Shun heated up Hyoga’s body is very suspicious ).

Yu Yu Hakusho, on the other hand, has that element of bishies (e.g. Kurama) and yaoi in the form of the relationship between antagonist Sensui and his male-friend (forgot his name). But that manga/anime is from 90s, not a new material. Hunter x Hunter also follows it later on.
So yeah, I don’t think Shonen-ai hints & (especially) pretty boys are new trend to shounen series today.
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Old 2012-05-16, 03:12   Link #20
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Originally Posted by hyl View Post
As for the topic starter, do you have some examples of "shounen manga's" that don't seem to target the shounen audience anymore?
Among the shounen titles that aren't targeted to shounen audience anymore include Captain Tsubasa and Jojo's Bizarre Adventure.
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