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I’ve been a fan of shoujo manga for 20 years, and for much of that, I’ve been fighting to get other manga readers to take it more seriously. I even started a podcast, Shojo & Tell, where I talk to other fans and industry professionals about it. Even so, the word “shoujo” for me evokes knee-jerk stereotypes and assumptions that I have to consciously fight against.
The emotional strain a woman experiences in a relationship with someone who’s so often in danger yet doesn’t communicate is rarely treated as a real issue. A woman’s opinion apparently doesn’t count if she’s not involved in combat. In fact, it’s almost implied that she doesn’t count.