Subversive Shoujo Series

The shoujo demographic of anime is something that I avoided for a long time.  I used to dismiss it because it didn’t have fighting, spaceships, or explosions.  It wasn’t until I realized that these weren’t the most important things in a story before giving shows in this demographic a try.  That was one of the best decisions that I made because it increased the amount of anime that I am interested.  I try to find shows that are have interesting premises and subvert some of the elements around them and the recent two shows that I see this from are Ore Monogatari and Snow White with the Red Hair.

I like both of the shows that I named because they subvert a lot the general conventions for this demographic and type of story.  Ore Monogatari may take place in a Japanese High School, but the characters get together at episode 3.  The rest of this show is about watching this relationship blossom, go through some struggles, and continue to grow.  While Snow White with the Red Hair doesn’t have a relationship form immediately, it grows incredibly quick and is one of many things that the show focuses on.  The two have a lot of issues based on the world around them that they have to face.  They are both good shows in their own right.

Ore Monogatari is about a dense and huge muscular guy who finds love.  The main couple are a very genuine and pure couple to watch and there are so many hilarious moments in the show that are incredibly easy to make gifs out of.  Of course, they wouldn’t get anywhere as a couple without the main character’s genre savvy best friend.  A series like this doesn’t require the largest of animation budgets, but my eyes did not see any flaws in any of it and Madhouse did a great job with the comedy being on point also.  The voices of the characters and the background music fit what the show was going for, though I am not sure if I like the main female character’s voice because it was bizarrely more high pitched then every other female’s voice.  All in all, it was a great watch.

Snow White with the Red Hair is about a girl with red hair, no shock here, who is on her personal journey of becoming an herbalist and happens to fall in love with a prince.  It’s surprisingly not like Snow White at all, but it still feels like a Disney film.  The beautiful background art, the background music, and the mood of the story are what sell it as such.  There is a lot more going on with the background of this story then the love story.  Each character has their own goal that they are working toward in their own lives.  The outside world and politics are also a major piece of this story.   Snow White with the Red Hair is masterfully produced by Studio Bones, but there are times when the characters are heavily off model.

The shoujo demographic of anime is something I recently learned to add in my vastly larger interest of the artform itself.  If any show has a great story, no matter what it is, then it is worth watching no matter who the show is aimed for.  People need to learn to surpass their boundaries and enjoy things beyond their comfort zone.  You never know what it is like off the edge of the map.

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