Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pen Magazine, Shojo Manga Article


(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

Pen, along with Brutus and Switch, is one of the three men's magazines that occasionally dedicates half an issue to anime- or manga-related topics. The most recent Pen story had been on Cyborg 009 and the remake movie (Re)Cyborg. This June, the editors decided to open up the world of shojo manga to its male audience, in the form of a historical recap and overview of important titles. The cover illustration is from The Rose of Versailles, a girl's story set during the French Revolution, and heavily influenced by the all-female musical Takarazuka Revue.


(Tezuka's Ribbon Knight.)

The first article is an 8-page photo essay on Tezuka and Ribon no Kishi (Ribbon Knight), which had appeared in Shojo Friend, while a remake ran in Shojo Club. This is followed by 8 pages on Rose of Versailles, 6 pages on Suzue Miyuchi's Glass Mask, and 6 pages on Ryoko Yamagishi's Hi Izuru Tokorono Tenshi (Emperor of the Land of the Rising Sun). Additional shorter pieces cover The Poe Family and Patalliro! There are 12 pages on additional assorted shojo manga like Sailor Moon, Banana Fish, Basara and Nodame Cantabile.

(Glass Mask)

This is followed by 2 pages of live-action adaptations of shojo manga for TV and the big screen, a timeline of girls magazines and a 6-page interview with Teruhisa Saji, editor Nobumasa Konagai, Producer Yoshio Irie, and Director Kazuo Mori. Finally, we get 18 pages of sample artwork collected into headings like Heroine, Step, Dialog, Situation and Heartthrob (a lot of the art here is sex-related).


Overall this issue of Pen is an excellent introduction to the history of shojo manga, and is recommended to anyone that is interested in manga history as a whole. Cover price: 600 yen, including sales tax.

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