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    Male Protagonists in Shoujo Manga

    Though most shoujo manga typically have a female protagonist, there are some that have male protagonists. With a female protagonist, shoujo manga also usually have an underlying romantic development part of the plot, which isn’t characteristic to a shoujo manga with a male protagonist. What is it about these male protagonists that classify the manga they appear in as “shoujo”? What are the similarities and/or differences of various male protagonists of shoujo manga? How do their interactions with other people, their surroundings, and the plots of the manga determine this classification? Finally, does having a male protagonist in a shoujo manga have any social implications, since the target audience is generally teenaged girls? If so, how?

    A few examples include: Hakkenden, Natsume Yuujinchou, and Gakuen Babysitters. I’m sure there are others, but these are the ones I remember off the top of my head.

    • Male shoujo characters have different personalities, so it is hard to pinpoint what exactly defines them as 'shoujo'. There could be the popular one, the quiet one, the perverted brash one, the 'I-may-look-perfect-but-I-have-a-dark-secret' type... I think what makes a male protagonist belong in a shoujo manga is if the female character is able to help them in some way - whether it's improve their situation or overall attitude. Since romance plays a big part in 'shoujo', there is a sense that the male and female are perfect for one another, so they need to have some flaw that is improved once they meet the female. – YsabelGo 9 years ago

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    Latest Comments

    There are many good points brought up about Luffy’s uniqueness in this article. I would have liked to see his ability to accept anyone, regardless of who they were in the past or who they are in the “present”, addressed as one of Luffy’s unique character traits.

    Part of what makes Luffy, Luffy, is his complete lack of self-preservation or self-awareness. He constantly disregards danger, regardless if its source is in a place, person, or thing. He takes everything and everyone he encounters at face-value, and never allows the opinions of others to influence his judgment. It can be annoying at times for the reader – I’ve often wondered, “You idiot, *why* would you do that?” in regards to many of Luffy’s actions. (As an example, during Luffy’s fight with Gekko Moria, when he is easily tricked into chasing after the Warlord’s shadow. Another would be when his fight with Wyper on Sky Island is interrupted by a giant snake, and he ends up in its stomach for a large part of the arc.)

    In regards to people though, this ability (when it’s not directed at Navy Vice-Admirals, Warlords, or other opponents obviously stronger than Luffy) allows Luffy to make friends and allies in the most unlikeliest places, like Smoker and Law.

    And I think this is part of the reason why many readers like Luffy and find him unique – he accepts anyone as they are, without judgment or any expectations. All of us want a “Luffy” in our lives who can accept us unconditionally.

    One Piece: The Uniqueness of Monkey D. Luffy

    When I read “The Awakening”, I took Robert to be Edna’s reason to strive for independence, rather than him trying to possess her. For me, Madame Reisz’s advice of how the artist must have a “courageous soul” that “dares and defies” is a warning to Edna – of how she must strive to become independent for herself and her art, not for anyone else. And for a while, Edna is able to be independent.

    However, her conviction to be independent falters when Robert is unable to remove himself from the constraints of society as she did – and for this reason, commits suicide.

    Other than my own interpretation of the book, I do think this article covers the main points addressed in the book very well.

    The Awakening: Where does the dream lie in Marriage, or Lust, or Freedom?

    I watched several episodes of Yugi-Oh!: Duel Monsters growing up, and I agree with many of the points brought up in this article about it emphasizing the triumph of friendship and downplaying a lot of the darker themes. I also agree that in this particular series of the franchise, “disturbing” would be a better word than “terrifying” to describe those darker themes.

    However, I would say that the manga has more terrifying aspects to it. I’ve only read a few chapters of it, but I would say that Yami-Yugi’s presence in Yugi’s body is (at least initially) terrifying, because Yugi is unaware that he is sharing his body with an ancient spirit – and that Yami-Yugi takes control of his body without Yugi’s knowledge or consent. And the “Shadow Games” themselves are much darker than the ones portrayed in the Yugi-Oh!: Duel Monsters series, with more dire consequences. In the few chapters I read, Yami-Yugi’s opponents ended up with their minds broken, literally set on fire, and even poisoned.

    Yu-Gi-Oh!: Terrifying or Inspiring?