16 comments on “Why are there so few josei anime?

  1. Theory 1) It depends how many of the Josei manga actually have the potential to become an anime.
    Theory 2) Funimation doesn’t know what they’re talking about, though that’s not surprising.
    Theory 3) I think a lot of people do feel judged. They feel like the clerk at the cash register is judging them, calling them a huge nerd for watching anime.
    Theory 4) Stop hating on us men! : (

    • I’ve asked around and a lot of people actually think the lack of josei might have something to do with guys being less versatile. I mean, why should they bother to watch josei when they have so many other shows catering to their needs? Women have no such luxury.

  2. I think your first point answered it to be honest; the market is male saturated. Not to say women don’t, every time walk into a manga store I see a lot of women reading (no one seems to buy manga, they just read it off the shelf then go lol) but there are always more men. Certainly males comprise most of the online anime community and the majority of otaku culture is geared towards men – even the cute girls are designed for men. So whilst I’m sure there are other issues, manga and anime are a business in the end and so they will meet the needs when there is demand – and the demand for shoujo, shonen and seinen is a lot higher than for Josei.

    Also, I’d say its harder to write an interesting and mature Josei than a Seinen or shonen so less people go for it. And whilst yes girls do read manga/watch anime, older women tend to do less so than their younger counterparts, which is detrimental to the Josei market.

      • Sorry for the delay in response. Errm I’d say that since the market is male dominated, it normally takes an especially skilled writer to write a Josei that connects not only with female audiences but also male audiences. If your manga is only geared towards women, it is harder to get published as its very niche. If it is towards men and younger groups also, its difficult to write to cater to your likes and everyone elses. That is the problem with Josie. Not enough money to back the demand. For those few who do make it, they tend to be popular in various ages and genders. As opposed to the shonen market for example which has huge demand and loads of things you could do, even spin a machine to churn out generic stuff, it still gets published ( I exaggerate but you get it 😛 ). That’s why I think its harder to write a popular and good Josei.

  3. I always wonder if it isn’t a self-perpetuating thing in anime, since that’s also what happens in kid’s tv shows. TV execs see that girls aren’t watching tv and therefore don’t make girl’s tv shows – which in turn means girls still don’t watch more tv. Josei anime might be in the slump for the exact same reason. Of course, since there just isn’t that much Josei anime, women (including me) also watch and enjoy other anime, inflating those numbers.

    I don’t often see guys going into and enjoying shoujo/josei anime, though. Them young teen guys are usually looking for action and fanservice, from the sheer amount of requests I see for those on forums. The amount of guys that will watch shoujo out of hand, without a whole lot of convincing, is very few. I’ve had to do some sincere explaining for them to check them out.

    • I have to agree with sweetpea here since I had the exact same immediate thought; perhaps there is a shortage in josei manga and anime due to the vicious circle of older females thinking there isn’t much out there for them, hence them not searching and buying, coupled with the lack of female customers and josei sales encouraging sellers to gear their merchandise to males.

      I know that despite being a female myself and loving anime like Nodame Cantabile and Kuragehime, I simply never see those anime out for sale in my local Comic Shop. As an older graduate student, I’m also extremely frugal and so don’t want to really go and spend online and get hit with the huge shipping fee that inevitably is applied to states outside of the contiguous 48.

      I have to admit to a certain level of shyness in purchasing anime goods in public. I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb whenever I go to a comic store because, 1) I’m usually one of the few females present, and 2) I visually look more at home in some fashionista clothing shop than browsing anime shelves. I’ve gotten odd looks before by what I can only assume are elitist nerds who think I’m just out of place there. It’s kind of insulting, actually.

      Fun read as usual!

      • ^ Ouch! Going to comic shops can be a pain – I get looks too, just because I’m a girl. Have you tried asking the people that work there if they’d be willing to get a certain anime? Some are willing to do it for specialty orders and won’t charge extra. I’ve gotten a few of my comics and manga that way.

        The only place I have to buy anime is the local electronics store, and they have…. a limited selection, to say the least. I am lucky enough to live on the mainland, though, so that helps. … Hey, have you ever tried Rightstuf.com? I’m pretty sure that even if you don’t live on the mainland that they won’t charge shipping if you buy in bulk (over $50). I’d say try contacting them and asking about it. It’s worth a shot, right?

    • You captured it perfectly. It is like a vicious cycle, isn’t it? One we, as individuals, can’t do much to break. It’s interesting to think women are not being catered for, not just in this particular media but, many, many others.

      I was worried saying something along that vein might be perceived as sexist but, it’s true, isn’t it? Why should boys bother to watch something not made with them in mind, something which might not give them what they’re looking for, when they have so many shows that do out there? Us girls have no choice but to compromise.

  4. I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said, because girls are alright watching more masculine stuff, less josei is needed. But, boys generally won’t watch girly shows so, it’s their fault really! : P Just kidding, not to offend anyone! I’m glad Sakamichi no Apollon came out really and Shirokuma Cafe- there are finally a couple more! : ) Yay

  5. When it comes to anime and manga, males generally watch and buy anime more while females read and buy manga more. And, as others have mentioned already, anime producers tend to target males for many reasons. One such reason is the belief (which is true in America as well) that females will watch shows catered to males but males won’t watch shows catered to females. Then there’s the pressure to attract audiences who will buy tie-in products, and male fans are more of a sure-sell to buy Gundams and moe figures than female fans are. Although, I have to disagree with your statement that most shojo series get animated – some of the most popular shojo manga like Hana-Kimi and Mars don’t have an anime adaptation anywhere in sight. Finally, it’s interesting to note that while many shojo and josei series haven’t been animated they have been turned into live-action dramas, which tend to appeal largely to female audiences.

    • Males watch and buy anime whilst females read and buy manga? That’s interesting. Is this statement based on personal experience or facts and figures? I wonder why that is exactly…
      Ah, I didn’t say most shoujo shows get animated, only that there was no shortage of them. There’s an infinite amount of this genre of show, at least when compared to the amount of josei shows, which to me would suggest whilst there is little perceived demand for the older women there is a lot of perceived demand for the younger female population.
      Which might explain why there are plenty of live-action josei adaptations- they’re likely to have a wider audience than an anime adaptation of a josei manga, ensuring a nice, tidy profit is made.

  6. Part of it, I think, is that older women have a variety of tastes that aren’t necessarily catered to by the Josei market. Josei tend to be too heavy on romance and drama and less adventurous than Seinin, for example. I like thrillers and psychological manga, which are almost always seinin, unfortunately. Also, while slice of life is great, having a bit more fantasy or action in the genre couldn’t hurt. If Josei authors branch out and get more adenturous, then maybe there will be a broader audience that appreciates Josei. On the other hand, a manga like that might be categorized as seinin or shoujo automatically, so I don’t know. Maybe it’s the perceptions of those doing the marketing that are holding Josei back?

    • Exactly. If josei became more adventurous, it wouldn’t feel like josei anymore. Imagine if the two Nanas of NANA decided to go on a ‘round the world tour and have all kinds of wacky adventures? Or if there was suddenly a murder in the conservatoire the characters in Nodame attend and they had to find him before he struck again? It’s the realism of the josei genre that’s what appeals to women, I think, which is something which, obviously, restricts its shows quite a lot, making it a genre that’s not easy to work with…

  7. Sorry for joining this conversation so late… I just happened upon this blog after googling “josei anime”! Anyway, just from my personal perspective, I’m not so sure about “men not wanting to watch girly shows” being a reason why there is so little josei anime. First off, I’m a guy and most of my favourite manga and anime (Honey and Clover, Nodame Cantabile, Bunny Drop, etc.) are considered “josei”. Second, it’s the shoujo stuff that’s sickeningly girly and pink and nauseating, NOT josei; IMHO josei is probably the most gender-neutral of all anime genres. Third, I would feel a lot less self-conscious about walking into a store and buying josei series compared to either seinen or shoujo… josei series tend to be more grown-up, more realistic, and with a lot less of the fanservicey stuff (or for shoujo, pretty flowery boys) floating about … which I think is precisely why there is so little josei anime: because when many anime viewers watch it to escape from reality, josei often hits too close to home.

  8. Pingback: A year of Watashi wa bucho!! « Watashi wa bucho!!

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