Fiction Friday – Good Bye, Shojo Beat

book_wyrm.jpgIf you’re an avid reader of manga, you probably already knew Shojo Beat magazine was pulling up stakes and ceasing publication. Being a somewhat avid reader of manga (because at $10 a pop, I can’t afford to buy all the manga I want), I got a big surprise in the mail last month.

At first, I couldn’t figure it out. It was the beginning of the month, and I was expecting to get my issue of Shojo Beat. But when the mail man handed it to me, there was this big picture of Naruto on the cover. Naruto, if you don’t know, is a Shonen Jump character. Shonen Jump is an action adventure manga, with lots of stories about mega-super battles and sword fighting and kids who spend their entire lives searching for the perfect card to win Yu-Gi-Oh. Shojo Beat is a romance manga magazine, with complicated stories about relationships, and young women trying to find themselves in the big world, and it has nifty articles on Japanese culture and cooking and there are craft projects you can do, and some of the best manga in the world runs in Shojo Beat, a new chapter of the story appearing every month!

At least that’s what happened before Shojo Beat decided to roll over and play dead.

So there I was, looking at Naruto, wondering if maybe it was a cross-over thingie to get Shojo Beat readers interested in Shonen Jump, or maybe it was an ad and I was looking at the back of the magazine. Then I flipped it over and saw the letter.

Dear subscriber, we regret to inform you that Shojo Beat will no longer be published. Please accept this issue of Shonen Jump in its place…


You could hear my howls of displeasure for miles. I swear, I was so upset. Shojo Beat was the only girlie thing I truly enjoyed in my life. I loved the stories. Normally, I can’t stand romance, but Japanese manga romance, shojo, is very different from what you’ll find in the romance section of your local bookstore. Shojo stories take time to develop relationships and plots. The hero and heroine don’t fall head over heels in love with each other right off the bat. They don’t sleep with each other within the first few chapters. Hell, in the course of the story, they probably won’t sleep with each other at all (though I have seen a few exceptions, and keep in mind I haven’t read the entire genre). There are side stories and sub-plots that have nothing to do with the main story, but are still engaging to read. There’s drama that’s believable. Heroines who aren’t model perfect, heroes who are gawky and sweet. Alpha males and beauty queens don’t normally cut it in shojo. The stories are too good for that.

But Shojo Beat is gone now. My monthly fix for girlie girl romance that doesn’t turn my stomach now goes unfulfilled. Oh sure, the stories will still be published in digest format, on a quarterly basis. In December, January, and February, I’ll be able to pick up the latest volumes of Sand Chronicles, Vampire Knight, and Honey and Clover. And I’ll enjoy reading them too. But there won’t be any more recipes for grapefruit rice pilaf, no articles on Japanese paper crafts. No more fashion finds or J-Pop music reviews. As for that gift of Shonen Jump? No thanks. It’s just not the same, really.

I’m devastated, I tell ya. I want my Shojo Beat back. Please?

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.