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Josei manga (女性?, lit. "woman", pronounced [dʑosei]), also known as "ladies" (レディース redīsu?) or "ladies' comics" (レディコミ redikomi?, lit. "LadyComi"), is a term that refers to the target demographic of manga created mostly by women for late teenage and adult female audiences. The male equivalent to Josei is seinen. In Japanese, the word josei means simply "female" and has no manga-related connotations at all. Manga branded as "Ladies' Comics" has acquired a reputation for being low-brow and the term Josei was created to move away from that image.
The stories tend to be about everyday experiences of women living in Japan. Though there are some that cover high school, most cover the lives of adult women. The style also tends to be a more restrained, realistic version of shōjo manga, keeping some of the wispy features and getting rid of the very large sparkly eyes. There are exceptions in the style described above, but what defines josei is some degree of stylistic continuity of comics within this particular demographic (the same is true with different demographics that have different stylistic tendencies).
Josei comics can portray realistic romance, as opposed to the mostly idealized romance of shōjo manga. A famous example of a Josei is Honey and Clover, which was animated, which is unusual for josei comics. Josei tends to be both more explicit and contain more mature storytelling.
The reported average circulations for some of the top-selling josei manga magazines in 2007 are as follows:
|Magazine Title||Reported Circulation|
|Romance White Paper Pastel||150,000|
For comparison, here are the circulations for the top-selling magazines in other categories for 2007.
|Category||Magazine Title||Reported Circulation|
|Top-selling shōnen manga magazine||Weekly Shōnen Jump||2,778,750|
|Top-selling seinen manga magazine||Weekly Young Magazine||981,229|
|Top-selling shōjo manga magazine||Ciao||982,834|
|Top-selling non-manga magazine||Monthly The Television||1,018,919|
(Source for all circulation figures: Japan Magazine Publishers Association)
- Kodomo: intended for children
- Shōnen manga: intended for boys
- Shōjo manga: intended for girls
- Seinen: intended for adult males
- List of Josei manga magazines
- ↑ Matt Thorn What Shôjo Manga Are and Are Not
- ↑ Japan Magazine Publishers Association Magazine Data 2007. The publication, which relies on information provided by publishers, categorizes the magazine Cookie (with a reported circulation of 200,000) as josei, but Shueisha's "S-MANGA.NET" site clearly categorizes that magazine as shōjo, and it is therefore not included here.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 O'Connell, Margaret (September 8, 2008). "Comics for Grown-Up Women, Part 1". Sequential Tart. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Brenner, Robin E. Understanding manga and anime. — pp. 36. ISBN 9781591583325
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 "Lexicon: Josei". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Aoki, Deb. "2008 Readers Poll: Best New Josei Manga". About.com. Retrieved 2009-10-13.
- ↑ Kai-Ming Cha. (April 25, 2006). "Kind of Blue: The Josei Manga of Nananan". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2009-10-13.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Aoki, Deb. "2007 Readers Poll: Best New Josei Manga". About.com. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Aoki, Deb. "Josei Manga — Ladies Comics". About.com. Retrieved 2009-10-15.