Shoujo Manga Cliches — The Ones I Love and Hate

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Welcome to my post on shoujo manga cliches

It’s been a long week of school and tests. I haven’t read much manga lately so this week’s posts are a little on the scarce side. The only thing I can really talk about this week is cliches because I just realised how much I know about them.

How did I come up with this idea?? Honestly, I just sat on a chair and cleared my mind a little…that’s really all to it hahaha.

I love the general idea of shoujo manga so it’s really my go-to for reading when it comes to picking any new series. As a result, I’ve read so much shoujo manga that I’ve been able to recognise certain traits that can only be identified as shoujo.

I wanted to talk about it today because I know anime and manga fans love to talk about cliches that they love or hate (well, mostly hate lol) and I decided to put my own input into certain topics. I’ve read a ton of shoujo manga over the years so I do indeed know quite a lot about the things it tends to mention in their content.

This is not really a rant per se because I do love certain cliches of the shoujo manga genre. However, like most fans, there are some cliches that earn the grand honour of me rolling my eyes to infinity but I will not dismiss them as total rubbish because it’s the things we don’t like that tend to popularise the genre.

So sit back and laugh along with me as I list down my favourite (and most hated) shoujo manga cliches ∠( ᐛ 」∠)_

Related post: What is Shoujo Manga?

Always About Romance

This is my favourite shoujo manga cliche hands down ( ᐛ )و If shoujo manga doesn’t scream ‘romance’ than I don’t know what shoujo is anymore.

Most manga fans know that if they want something gushy and romantic, they will most definitely turn to shoujo manga. This kind of manga is meant for young girls in the midst of their first loves or first crushes so the love and romance aspect is not just a trope, it is essential.

It’s the same for me. Romance manga is mostly exclusively shoujo which is great because I can always just look for the demographic instead of the genre and man when you click that tab that says ‘shoujo’ and you are bombarded with thousands of romance manga, you know you’re in romance heaven (●♡∀♡)

Prolonged Misunderstandings

This is one shoujo manga cliche that I really don’t like 。゜(`Д´)゜。

I have no idea why this happens in A LOT in shoujo manga but misunderstandings between two characters tend to just go on and on for chapters or even volumes.

It doesn’t have to be between the girl and her love interest even. It can be between friends or even mentors. This cliche makes my blood boil so much that I’ve even quit some titles just because of it (shocking…I know right) because it gets tiring to read.

It usually goes like this:

Some dumb miscommunication happens between the two characters and one of them gets a bit hurt in the process. While a normal person would think “No biggie, it’s a small thing so I just find out what’s going on an apologise if I need to”, a shoujo character will not even bring it up because “I can’t bring myself to”. As a result, there will always be this awkward tension between these two characters because of this one little misunderstanding and both characters are too scared to bring it up.

(ノꐦ ⊙曲ఠ)ノ彡┻━┻

C’MON GUYS! It’s been like 5 chapters in, please one of you bring up the issue. I can’t stand to see your hurt faces for another 5 more chapters! I know it’s hard to talk but this is a fictional world. There’s nothing so consequential about admitting mistakes that you’re friendship/romantic relationship will be in jeopardy. Just make up so I can continue reading the romance that I’m never gonna have ・゜・(ノД`)

Doormat Heroine

Thank goodness that this trope is slowly being phased out…BUT NOT FAST ENOUGH! I still see enough of these poor girls in series that I still read sometimes.

I know most girls in Japan are a little on the quiet side so this cliche is mostly based on that, but mangakas take it up a notch and make her extremely gullible to the point of me facepalming almost every chapter because c’ mon girl, she’s totally playing you for a fool, why can’t you see that?

Even more than the misunderstandings, this doormat heroine trope is really my number one reason why I won’t read certain series and at one point in time, I was filtering my shoujo manga selections solely based on reader’s reviews on the heroine herself.

I know that having someone so saintly and sweet is really enlightening and believe me, I am touched by the lengths these girls would go for to save their man but sometimes, I would like to see them get lose their tempers once in a while like you know, a regular girl with a sound mental state lol.

Perfect Guys (♥ω♥ ) ~♪

I’m sure you will agree with me that reading shoujo manga equates to seeing our dream guys. They are not only good looking but also incredibly understanding of the female mind.

What do I mean by this?

Unlike real life, the shoujo manga hero is able to pick up on a girl’s body language and facial cues. The relationship in a shoujo manga rarely has issues with the guy understanding what the girl wants. In fact, sometimes the issue is with the guy being too understanding and the girl feeling inferior at times.

Even if the mangaka does create a hero who is clueless of what girls are really thinking of, they make the guy completely devoid of male bravado by having him act bashful instead of in denial, thereby allowing the girl to forgive him easier.

I really love this cliche because it’s pretty rare to see guys who are openly emotional and it’s really lovely to see in the shoujo manga I read. Just like every girl, we all dream of this kind of guy in our lives because wouldn’t it be wonderful to have someone who is so understanding and isn’t afraid to show their soft side?

Final Thoughts

So this wraps up my most favoured and hated shoujo manga cliches.

I really hope you enjoyed my little rant over the most annoying shoujo manga cliches and my fangirling over the ones I love. It’s been a trying week at school and I wanted to relax by posting something I really love talking about with my shoujo manga loving friends and family.

Of course, there are a lot more cliches and tropes in the shoujo manga world, these are just the most prominent that I always see in every shoujo manga I’ve read so far. Sharing them with y’all has been really fun as you can tell from all the kaomojis that I’ve put in this post hahaha.

I think I may do something like this again when I’m a little too busy like I am this week so look forward to that soon!

As always, if you have anything to say regarding this post, feel free to comment down below, I’d love to hear it 🙂

16 Comments

  1. Thank you for this very interesting article about Shoujo Manga cliches. I’m so new to manga that I don’t really differentiate well between different kinds of manga, but I must admit I have already had some experience with some of the cliches you described. So, you’re article is just on time. I have more understanding about Shoujo Manga, and I know what cliches I should avoid about it. Thanks again!

    1. You don’t have to avoid the clichés. It’s just something I noticed since I read so much shoujo manga but if you’re not so fond of the clichés, then it’s totally fine if you wanna avoid them 😊

  2. I have come across your post before and I love reading about your knowledge of Manga.  I love Manga and your views are great.  I am going to have to have a read of your What is Souja Manga page.  WOW going on for volumes that would bore the pants off me after a while.  Hope your tests at school went well and good luck for the week ahead.  I will look forward to further manga updates.  Thanks

  3. I love seeing your post on various manga. For some time now I’ve been following your posts on various manga, I’ve been getting these manga for my daughter and she have been really excited. This manta seem to be another very interesting one and I wouldn’t hesitate to get this for her as well. Thanks for this really nice post

  4. interesting! Shuojo manga really annoys me with the clichés to be honest

    Almost every manga has that perfect guy who is too realistic to be true. They are always made perfect and their relationship seems to get complicated not from their actions but from their lover’s misunderstanding them. Seriously, it gets me boiled and I thought I was the only one to notice this. It just isnt realistic to have such perfect guys every where and every time. 

    1. Shoujo manga is building on that fantasy and young girls like to see that haha but I get why you’d not like it that much. Older people in particular turn to the more realistic and mature josei manga genre to get away from the perfect guys 😊

  5. Lol, you’re definitely a lady obviously. Something I can say about those shoujo mangas is that the guys in those comics are hard to come by and that’s if they really ever existed. They’re too perfect honestly and the lady’s look so pathetic and easy to deduce by the male lover boy. I still think they are nice though. I wish you success with your test and with school too. Best regards!

    1. Yup I’m a lady 😋 that’s the fantasy that lovers of shoujo want to see so the perfect guy thing is always a staple, whether we like it or not haha 

  6. Amazing… I must clearly say a big thank you to this review for fully highlighting all awkward and interesting moments encountered while riding in the journey of fantasy of manga books. This is a really detailed article in this topic as it captured all of the moments are really  love. Despite the lack of time ,this is incredible and one of the best I have read on managa books. I hope to see more of your interesting reviews. kudos !

  7. This is what I absolutely love about reading other peoples posts, I learn about things that I haven’t come across before. Reading about shoujo manga cliches was totally fascinating. At first, I thought, maybe I should miss this post but I became inthralled about what you were writing about.

    I must say that the cliches were all so similar to what really goes on in real life. We all dreamed of meeting a tall, handsome, understanding, man who would cater to our every need.

    This was an enlightening and fun post to read.

  8. I got interested in Manga when one of my customers here in my internet cafe opened a site about Manga. I asked him, “Are they comics? Why are you reading comics online when you’re already grown up? I thought comics are just for kids” . He replied that they are not ordinary comics but Manga. 

    Searching further online, I stumbled upon this blog post of yours about Shoujo. I think real Manga lovers don’t care if the type of Manga is targeted for boys or for girls, they love reading anything related to Manga. I will recommend this site to him, for him to check and read. I’m sure he will love this.

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