- JunCture : 超域的日本文化研究 (ISSN:18844766)
- vol.8, pp.194-208, 2017-03-17
In the field of shojo manga studies, feminist theorists favor the subgenres of “shojo fight,” “shojo science fiction” and “boy’s love” when demonstrating the gender diversity and indefinability in shojo manga. In doing so, they tend to stigmatize the subgenre called “otome chic,” which depicts the daily lives and romances of teenage girls, as reinforcing heterosexism and heterosexual kinship. However, “otome chic” magazines, which are targeted at elementary and junior high school girls, feature many shojo manga that resist and subvert gender stereotypes, heteronormativity, and patriarchy. While critics dismiss the shojo manga magazine Hana to Yume as mere “otome chic,” some of the series it publishes performatively subvert gender, heterosexism, and kinship, and radically proliferate gender parodies from the inside to the outside of shojo manga through their commercial repetitions. The magazine features a lot of gender-bending manga, most of which were met with commercial success, especially Hanazakari no Kimitachi e by Nakajo Hisaya, as well as manga like Akachan to Boku, which troubles the kinship norm; Newyork Newyork, which depicts a gay couple’s situation; and Oresama Teacher, which parodies gender norms. Moreover, Tsubaki Izumi, the author of Oresama Teacher, serializes her manga Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun in Gangan Online, an online version of boy’s manga magazine Gangan published by Square Enix, expanding her “otome chic” style outside the field of shojo manga. An animated version was produced based on Gekkan Shojo Nozakikun in 2014, which became a major hit. Because their manga repeatedly deconstructs gender normative privilege and displaces the gendered signifier from its signified through their discursive practices, it can be said that Hana to Yume crosses the border of gender itself. In this article, I show that a friction exists between the shojo manga, which are favored by “shojo manga studies,” and “otome chic” manga such as Hana to Yume. Afterward, I illustrate how the shojo manga in Hana to Yume succeed in crossing the border of gender stereotypes in and out of the field of shojo manga by analyzing Akachan to Boku, Newyork Newyork, Oresama Teacher, and Gekkan Shojo Nokaki-kun.