By Jonathan Clements. A fandom, writes Aaron Schwabach, “is the most powerful marketing tool a work of fiction can have.” Grow the right kind of grass-roots support, and authors can discover that works advertise themselves, that word-of-mouth becomes stronger than paid advertising. But fandoms can develop a sense of entitlement to the stories they read. […]
By Jonathan Clements. Masami Toku’s collection International Perspectives on Shojo and Shojo Manga: The Impact of Girl Culture might contain a couple of doubtful inclusions and off-the-wall tangents, but still outperforms many similar books in terms of its sheer usefulness and educational value.
By Jonathan Clements. “When I was in third grade, I spent September and October researching square things.” It is a typical statement from Aoyama, the super-serious pre-teen narrator of Tomihiko Morimi’s Penguin Highway. It is a comment of simple truth, but hints at statistical obsessions, an eidetic memory, and an inadvertent hint of recursive SF, […]
By Jonathan Clements. Jaqueline Berndt, Kazumi Nagaike and Fusami Ogi’s new edited collection, Shojo Across Media: Exploring ‘Girl’ Practices in Contemporary Japan is another welcome addition to the expanding shelf of books specifically about Japanese popular culture aimed at female consumers. Among the high points, Akiko Sugawa-Shimada looks at girls in anime, specifically magical girls, […]
By Jonathan Clements. Deborah Shamoon’s Passionate Friendship: The Aesthetics of Girls’ Culture in Japan traces the development of a niche in entertainment that is barely a century old, and yet forms a crucial sector within modern media. She investigates a whole series of tropes and traditions, that themselves form the bedrock of today’s Japanese comics […]