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Shoujo (少女漫画) is a genre of Japanese manga targeted at young girls and women. Although the art style of shoujo can vary from artist, there are generally distinct characteristics in lots of shoujo manga, such as large and detailed eyes, as well as slender figures on characters.


The first officially recognised shoujo is "Princess Knight" by Osamu Tezuka, one of his earliest works published in the magazine "Shojo Club" in 1953. This manga served as inspiration for several artists to create manga tailored to teenage girls. Many of these influential artists, such as Shotaro Ishimori and Fujio Fujio, were among the first talentscontributing to the establishment of the shoujo genre alongside Osamu Tezuka.

Later in the Showa era, a big wave of shoujo manga artists emerged consecutively, forming what would later be known as the "Year 24 Group". One notable work from that time was "Tokyo Babylon," acclaimed as "the first philosophical shoujo manga" of the modern era, created by CLAMP. The series was highly praised for adressing and exposing the dark aspects of Japan's society. Despite being one of CLAMP's earliest works, it quickly gained a large following even among adults. Notably, the depiction of the same-sex attraction between Seishirou and Subaru in "X" became a classic trope, known for its profundity and tragic narrative.

Even today, CLAMP still remains a renowned group of female manga artists, along with other notable figures such as Ikeda Riyoko, Hagio Boto, Oshima Yumiko, and Yoshizumi Wataru, among others. Even while many of the most popular shoujo artists are women, there's also also male artists, like Wada Yuki, the same way there are female artists in shonen, such as Takahashi Rumiko, nowadays.


Shoujo eyes

Typical shoujo style eyes.

Shoujo mangas have many features in their art style that differentiate from other styles and genres, one of the most well known features being the eyes of the characters. Eyes in shoujo manga typically have large pupils, shading and highlights within the eye and on the eyelid, and small lines surrounding the iris to make the eye look more "delicate"[1]. Although the eyes are typically big, they are often times drawn smaller on male or older characters.