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Year 24 Group (24年組 Nijūyo-nen Gumi?) refers to one of two female manga artist groups which are considered to have revolutionized shōjo manga (girls' comics). Their works often examine "radical and philosophical issues", including sexuality and gender issues, and many of their works are now considered "classics" of shōjo manga. Many of those in the first group, Year 24 Flower Group (花の24年組 Hana no Nijūyo-nen Gumi?), also known as the Forty-Niners, were born in Shōwa 24 (1949). The exact membership is not precisely defined, but includes Yasuko Aoike, Moto Hagio, Riyoko Ikeda, Yumiko Ōshima, Keiko Takemiya, Toshie Kihara, Ryoko Yamagishi, Minori Kimura, Nanae Sasaya, and Mineko Yamada. A second group, known as Post Year 24 Group (ポスト24年組 Posuto Nijūyo-nen Gumi?), includes Wakako Mizuki, Michi Tarasawa, Aiko Itō, Yasuko Sakata, Shio Satō, and Yukiko Kai.
The Year 24 Group significantly contributed to the development of subgenres in shōjo manga, and marked the first major entry of women artists into manga. Thereafter, shōjo manga would be drawn primarily by women artists for an audience of girls and young women. The Year 24 Group used bildungsroman genre conventions in their works. Stylistically, the Year 24 Group created new conventions in panel layout by departing from rows of rectangles that were the standard of the time and using panel shape and configuration to convey emotion, and softening or removing panel borders.
Moto Hagio and Keiko Takemiya lived in the same apartment in Ōizumi in Nerima, Tokyo from 1970 to 1973, in a situation similar to Osamu Tezuka's Tokiwa-so. Takemiya's friend Norie Masayama lived nearby and was described by Moto Hagio as Takemiya's "brain staff". Masayama was not a mangaka herself, but she introduced Takemiya to male homosexuality for women via Barazoku and Les amitiés particulières, which inspired Takemiya and Hagio to create shōnen-ai works. Until that time, shōjo manga was written mainly by male manga artists, such as Osamu Tezuka with his Princess Knight, and their attempts by female manga artists to write manga for girls were relatively new. Fortunately their manga were welcomed by girls, women, and men. Their actions and success paved the way for the appearances of many female manga artists like Rumiko Takahashi.
- Thorn, Matt (February 1996). "Introduction". Four Shôjo Stories. Viz Communications. ISBN 1-56931-055-6.
These women revolutionized the genre.
- Kan, Satoko (10 March 2007). "“Kawaii” ― The Keyword of Japanese Girls’ Culture". 「対話と深化」の次世代女性リーダーの育成 : 「魅力ある大学院教育」イニシアティブ (in Japanese) (お茶の水女子大学「魅力ある大学院教育」イニシアティブ人社系事務局). 平成18年度活動報告書 : 海外研修事業編: 200–202. PMID BA79052646 Check
- Suzuki, Kazuko. 1999. "Pornography or Therapy? Japanese Girls Creating the Yaoi Phenomenon". In Sherrie Inness, ed., Millennium Girls: Today's Girls Around the World. London: Rowman & Littlefield, p.247 ISBN 0847691365, ISBN 0847691373.
- Thorn, Matt (2001). "Shôjo Manga—Something for the Girls". The Japan Quarterly 48 (3). Retrieved 2007-12-16.
- Thorn, Matt (2005). "A History of Manga". Animerica: Anime & Manga Monthly 4 (2,4, & 6). Retrieved 2007-12-16.
- Gravett, Paul (2004) Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics. NY: Harper Design. ISBN 1-85669-391-0. p. 8.
- Schodt, Frederik L. 1986. Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics. Tokyo: Kodansha. ISBN 978-0870117527.
- Toku, Masami, editor. 2005. "Shojo Manga: Girl Power!" Chico, CA: Flume Press/California State University Press. ISBN 1-886226-10-5. See also http://www.csuchico.edu/pub/cs/spring_06/feature_03.html. Accessed 2007-09-22.
- Matsui, Midori. (1993) "Little girls were little boys: Displaced Femininity in the representation of homosexuality in Japanese girls' comics," in Gunew, S. and Yeatman, A. (eds.) Feminism and The Politics of Difference, pp. 177–196. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.
- Gravett, Paul (2004) Manga: 60 Years of Japanese Comics (Harper Design, ISBN 1-85669-391-0) page 79
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