ByMark W. MacWilliams
Pages 23

This chapter elaborates the connection between prewar girls' magazines and postwar shojo manga. One of the features of prewar girls' magazines is the depiction of close friendships and even romance between girls as a substitute for depictions of heterosexual romance. The classic shojo manga of the 1970s were a powerful means for exploring the interiority of teenage girls, recently, experimental artists have sought to move beyond the limitations of the genre. Girls' magazines were instrumental in forming the aesthetic and literary qualities that appealed to teenage girls and that would later shape shojo manga magazines. Prewar girls' magazines were able to create a private world for girls by evading heterosexual romance, that is, through emphasizing doseiai relationships. As shojo manga developed in the 1970s, this expression of emotion became an exploration of psychological interiority. Masuda's use of the term "flat" in relation to contemporary shojo manga is worth considering in regard to trends in Japanese popular culture generally.