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Title: Criticisms of Patriarchy and Consumerism in Josei Manga: Examining the Genre Shaping Works of Okazaki Kyoko and Anno Moyoco
Keywords: Manga, josei, shōjo, consumption, post-feminism, patriarchy, capitalism, consumerism, protagonist, passivity, body, realism, neo-liberalism 
Issue Date: 17-Apr-2018
Citation: JOAN QUAH MEI YIN (2018-04-17). Criticisms of Patriarchy and Consumerism in Josei Manga: Examining the Genre Shaping Works of Okazaki Kyoko and Anno Moyoco. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This paper argues that representative josei manga (manga for women) of the 90’s subvert the conventions of shōjo manga of the 70’s and 80’s through consumerist and marginal depictions of the shōjo protagonist. This results in a more realistic and critical depiction of the Japanese society in the 90’s in josei manga. To argue for the above, this paper first outlines the origin and history of josei manga by highlighting its departure from shōjo manga. The change in demographics represents its departure, from a more teenage audience to an older audience of young women. The departure is also depicted through plot divergence from the heterosexual romance of shōjo manga that has the same structure as Cinderella/Prince Charming stories from Disney. Subverting the idealization in shōjo manga, josei manga seeks to explore “real” love in the context of reality instead. To substantiate this point, the paper discusses the love trap and happy endings, both essential narrative conventions of shōjo manga. Its treatment in josei manga is explored through three representative josei manga, Helter Skelter and Pink by Okazaki Kyōko and In These Clothes Called Fat by Anno Moyoco. The themes of consumption, love, passivity, visual realism are explored in these texts to reflect both the subversion of shōjo manga and the problematic power relations in the patriarchal landscape of the 80s. Lastly, the criticism of the concept of “girl power” in post-feminism through these representative josei manga is analysed to reflect the consequences of these works in the global context of cultural feminism. Ultimately, this paper depicts the criticisms of capitalism and patriarchy in josei manga and its intent to subvert shojo manga conventions and present a social critique of the capitalist society in Japan.
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