On Modern Shoujo Manga and Sex: Excessive Sexual Material in Shoujo Manga and Magazine

imgYu Yu Journal's recent article on sexually explicit content in shoujo manga received a large number of replies from its readers. As a result, the site has published a follow-up article.

According to the article, many readers said the publishers need to be regulated; however, there were some who expressed that adult should also be more concerned about this problem.

A mother of three from Toyama city, who believes that a moral committee for children's magazine is needed, said:

"Children need to know more about the bright side of love, sex and human. We should be more concerned about passing on the right information to children so they grow up to be healthy adults.

Sex education is still not doing its job in some schools and families."

A mother of two daughters, one in elementary school and the other middle school, from Yokohama remarked:

"Most parents know nothing about the situation, and they go on thinking their daughter is just reading shoujo manga. We need to pay more attention to our children."

Her request to the publishers: "to pay more attention to children's magazines and to hold more discussions."

A woman in her 20s who has a 10 year old niece, said:

"Exactly, today's manga contains more excessive description of sex than when I was 10. There should be restrictions placed on manga for kids."

A 44 year old mother with a daughter in elementary school found a girl around 10 reading sexually explicit shoujo manga in a bookstore. She told the girl:

"You should not read such a book; this is not for small girls like you."

When the mother asked the bookseller regarding the situation it, the bookseller replied:

"We'll take the manga out if it's specified as a Yugai Tosho (harmful book), or if the clerk thinks it's not appropriate. Otherwise we think we shouldn't have problem selling that book."

Later, the said shoujo manga was moved to the "adults only" corner and was bonded with string.

A 40 year old elementary school teacher in Kanagawa worries more about doujinshi than shoujo manga. Doujinshi are fan-made manga based on popular manga titles, and usually contains adult material:

"Doujinshi is being sold at ordinary bookstores and second-hand stores. There should be restrictions."

A high school student sent a mail saying he needs to be very cautious of the girls of his generation:

"Some girls around me had their first sexual experiences when they were 13 years old. I guess girls nowadays are just too loose."

On Sexually Explicit Material in Shoujo Manga

Below is a translation of the original article, which was a response to a column published in Asahi Shimbun:

We received an email from a mother (45) from Toyama prefecture on the issue of explicit sexual content in shoujo manga. She was shocked by the manga, which she found in the closet of her elementary school daughter (11). The manga contained scenes of sexual intercourse on Ferris wheels and classrooms, rape and profane words aimed at women are also present. The mother said, "The creators, publishers, and the people who ignore this are all responsible for this."
What do the publishers think? We asked the Editor-in-Chief (47) of a major shoujo manga magazine (the one in which the mother above saw). The Editor-in-Chief said at first:

"Love affair is a big theme in today's shoujo manga. It's impossible to completely take out descriptions of sexual activity - that's just the result of love and affection."

Then he explained:

"The title you mentioned was an issue from two years ago. We have already discussed it with the artists, and will try to remove the inappropriate content as specified by the "Harmful Book Act."

The editor also admitted to the fact that shoujo manga nowadays have more sexual content than ten years ago:

"Kids nowadays have more opportunities to access information on sex. Their parents are more tolerant about sexual matters than ten years ago. Our society is losing its antipathy towards sexual material."

The Japanese Magazine Publishers Association (JMPA) deals with problems like this through their Editorial Moral Committee. The Committee argues that the problem is about sexual content in porno magazines.

Yama Ryokichi, the president of the committee, said, "Contents such as kissing and sexual intercourse are acceptable, but things like rape and explanation of sexual techniques are not." Then he said, "Even the kids can understand that things like rape or molestation exist in the real world. They have the ability to tell the difference between the real world and the created world. We think there is no reason for children to copy the scenes from manga and commit sexual crimes. If their parents can't accept manga, they just need to talk about it with their children."

JMPA was only able to request publishers that are under contract with JMPA to remove excess sexual contents in manga. Right now there is no organization that controls other publishers that are publishing magazines for kids.

Scans from a shoujo magazine aimed at elementary to junior high school girls (NSFW). The text in the image: "Hot Summer, hot sex, the sex guide to hitting hot boys."

On the "Harmful Book Act"

In March 2006 Osaka prefecture put into effect the "Harmful Book Act" for shoujo manga, which states that if a manga or magazine is specified as a "harmful book," it must be banned from kids under 18.

The magazine that was also mentioned in the news is Shogakukan's Shoujo Comic. The former executive editor of Sho-Comi was disciplinarily dismissed in the summer of 2006 for embezzlement, but he was accused of being a "Class A Criminal" for issues regarding pornographic shoujo manga. The publisher defended itself by mentioning the "Freedom of Press" and the "Freedom of Expression," but the incident proved that people publishing comic magazines occasionally lack adequate moral principles.

Translated by T. Ohara
Source: Yu Yu Journal

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Thank you

I just wanted to say thank you to T.Ohara for translateing this artical. It was something i didnt know about and am sortof shocked to hear about >-< i would be outraged if i saw my little sister reading any shoujo or manga like this.

"Some girls around me had

"Some girls around me had their first sexual experiences when they were 13 years old. I guess girls nowadays are just too loose."

This is a real big trouble. I only hope that this situation doesn't go on. Although, I guess it can't be helped... unfortunately.

Some girls around me had

Some girls around me had their first sexual experiences when they were 13 years old. I guess girls nowadays are just too loose.

And here in the U.S. kids 13 years old play Grand Theft Auto and what not.

It seems to be the way

It seems to be the way society is heading today. This is found everywhere from TV to music, etc. Best thing would be for the families to discuss this with their kids early on.

... I've honestly never seen

... I've honestly never seen shoujo manga types like that. I would consider that hentai.

What I find mainly sad is

What I find mainly sad is the way women are depicted. Knowing more about sex, yes, that's important, but how much the woman seems to be fitted in a stereotype/an object seems rather frigthening. It's rather unhealthy.

sigh. inner feminist awakes.

What's funny is, after

What's funny is, after reading that "New Law Banning Lolicon" article, it seems in Japan some people are trying their hardest to suppress these "otaku" culture, yet little attention is paid to these shojo magazines.

Yes, I'm sure there are organizations that are trying hard to fight these magazines as well, but how often do you see them making the headlines? It's always "This Maid in Akihabara was Assulted!" or "This Otaku Thing is Anti-Society!" and the likes.


"Scans from a shoujo magazine aimed at elementary to junior high school girls"

OMG i would consider that hentai/porn.


I think it's pretty obvious that the NSFW link you posted is not meant for elementary or junior high school girls. The amount of kanji on the page (with no furigana) means that elementary school kids wouldn't even be able to read it.

It looks like more of a parody or a gimmick ad. If you look on the bottom scan, it looks like they're selling DVDs.

Actually images like those

Actually images like those do appear in shojo manga magazines, usually in the form of sex-ed or some other purposes...for example, this image (NFSW!!) appeared in Ciao last year. I think the image in this article (at least the first one) came from Sho-Comi.

But because it's shoujo

But because it's shoujo doesn't mean that it's for elementary or junior high schoolers. I thought mags like Nakayoshi is aimed towards them and Sho-Comi and Ciao were aimed for the older teenage age group, especially it's stories about high schoolers.

But I do agree that there should be some indiction of the material inside that it's not for young children.


that image of the girl sucking a cock appeared in Ciao??????!!!!!! That can't be possible!!!!!!!!!
Ciao serialized mangas like Mirumo de Pon, Tonde Buurin (Super Pig) and the Pokemon shojo mangas like Pipipi Adventures and Chamo Chamo Pretty!!!!
The mangas are very infantile and contains themes suchs as Magical Girls and comedy and cute characters. I had the oportunity to check out the magazine, and everything was normal.
That images would come from hentai/erotic magazines for women I think...
Why Shogakukan, that publishes Ciao and have a lot of manga magazines for children, would publish it???!!!!

i think

thats just disgusting, but im not surprised after reading
yuu watases manga, i dont live in japan tho.
yuu watses snt explixt like that but shojo does show somethin like that as it is a love genre. i think.

That's not right!

How can this be aimed at young girls aged eleven? What disturbs me the most are these watered down "heroines." They provide stereotypes so these younger girls downplay sex in real life. It seems to me that they're instructing the young girls to find older men and act like their favorite manga characters.

i love sexy girls

i love sexy girls

ur u sexy? i m

ur u sexy?

i m

I don't think it's reversible

The publishers are going to push more and more adult content inside shoujo mangas for the sake of sales. It's parent's duty to push back. Otherwise this trend would be irreversible.

hot pics

this comics ur good and naughty

i think u'l find that shojo

i think u'l find that shojo is aimed at girls from like 3 to 103, its simply that there are seperate age groups, (america have erotic comics uno,i read a spiderman comic once where mary-jane was all over spiderman...lolz)

Also the person who said discusting to the oral sex thing, ur obviously to uptight about sex in society, the world moves forward, thus we are more open in society about sex and stuff like oral sex has become something highly accepted and also added to the "basses" list...

I dont see a problem in young girls reading this sort of manga because its a way to educate them, if boys can see spiderman bunk up with mary-jane then why cant girls see samaji get off with kentaro??

id like to add that that

id like to add that that final image was from a HENTAI magazine aimed at women NOT at elementary school girls

It's possible that the bulk

It's possible that the bulk of these are aimed at the Otaku market, which, while providing an outlet of liberation for Japanese youth (and describes most of the youth culture, from the age of thirty-five and below) can have its extremes and detrimental results. Focusing on these specifics enlightens parents to what they should boycott for their younger children, or monitor for. Suppressing in its entirety creates an outside consumer market that doesn't help the publishers any, however. Publishers need to exist for any genre published by an author to exist, hence publishing.
Doujinshi is for the hardcore fan and is often part of otaku culture. Young children who divert from mainstream in favor of something handmade by an underground are not guilty of anything other than curiosity, though it does make you wonder why the more explicit titles are not kept as back inventory.
Perhaps the sales of these doujinshi, known to contain such content, are the spurs for the larger manga companies to attempt to compete. Maybe those in charge of the publisher's marketing analysis branch need to reanalyze what they're competing with before they publish toward that market, since they're actually trying to reap from a larger field of their consumer market by widening the demographic to include such titles.
(Older children, teenagers and young adults have the spending money they are attempting to accrue a percentage of with these sales.)
Sexually explicit shoujo taking this long to come to the attention of parents is indicative of the lax practices of overworked parents in Japan, much as it is in the rest of the developed world. Titles like this have been appearing as American imports geared toward tweens (which makes the presumption that these are, in fact, early teen titles valid) since late 2004 or early 2005. I remember fondly thinking of what the moral majority of the U.S. would do once it happened upon one series involving a girl and her plug-in boyfriend. (Who, somewhere located in his description as a bonus, could not get her pregnant.)
Since the practice of sexualizing 'lolita' characters (however aptly the term applies to the more developed of these sistren) has been common enough to be market, you can be certain that the shoujo titles are actually meant, to some extent, for the male, probably otaku buyer demographic, with large incentives to market to these avid consumers propelling this.
That young females happen to pick up a book seemingly geared toward them is just happenstance, and mostly the fault of the bookstores themselves.


I think Sho-Comi is really aimed for an older teen-young women audience considering the material running thru there. I mean, that's the only one that I remember being pretty racy.