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Retro Shoujo – Vintage 70’s

Vintage 70’s was the golden era for many young female artists in the likes of IKEDA Riyoko, HOSOKAWA Chieko, YAMATO Waki, and many others whose work were familiar to us all the vintage classics lovers ^^

Sparkling eyes; blonde and brunette majestic hairstyles; ribbons, stars and roses popping up everywhere; unproportioned manga anatomy, with exaggerated body language and expressions (just think of the “ohh-ho-ho-ho” laugh or cried away with the hand covering forehead)… all those the characteristics of a good old 70’s shoujo. Some examples below:



Please don’t go~~~~~~~~~


NOoooooo~~~ Tis’ the end of the world~~!


Wohhhh ho ho ho ho~~~~

  I noticed a lot of the 70’s shoujos were developed with a storyline based on a distant historical and/or foreign setting, hence an ideally lavish and grand stage setting for a romantic shoujo drama – please see my lists of historical shoujos just for few examples. But in general, 70’s shoujos were about enabling the readers to imagine and be fascinated (or sometimes bewildered) by works of creativity and romanticism in all aspects.

The shoujo manga industry in the 70’s was flooded with experiments by the “Year 24 Group” which revolutionised shoujo manga with new themes and styles. Often, topics of their works were, most likely than not, controversial; e.g. two naked boys entwined in bed at “Kaze to Ki no Uta” or teen pregnancy and abortion at ‘”Tanjou“).  Below an extract from Wikipedia* re. influences of Year 24 Group on shoujo manga (* I know I know, it’s not any official source of references… but let’s just include it here for now….):

“…. (70’s shoujos) examine “radical and philosophical issues”, including sexuality and gender issues…. The Year 24 Group used bildungsroman genre conventions in their works (” a Bildungsroman tells about the growing up or coming of age of a sensitive person who is looking for answers and experience”)….. Stylistically, the Year 24 Group created new conventions in panel layout by departing from rows of rectangles that were the standard of the time and using panel shape and configuration to convey emotion, and softening or removing panel borders….

Also, as described by Matt Thorn, shoujos before the Year 24 group, shoujos were “…a backwater in which most male artists, unable to find better work, drew either light humor strips that were cute-but-forgettable, or sappy, formulaic melodramas about some pretty, passive little girl tossed by fate from one abusive circumstance to another, until some handsome, kind young man shows up to rescue her and reunite her with her mother….”

By this time, under the great influence of Year 24 Group, the scope of manga genres had been widened with shounen/ shoujo-ai, SF and magical, as well as other genres including historical (epic) and romantic dramas.

Meanwhile, there was also a new and uprising generation of mangakas in the mid/late 70’s. Those mangakas include TABUCHI Yumiko (田渕由美子), MUTSU A-ko (陸奥A子), TACHIKAKE Hideko (太刀掛秀子), OGURA Fuyumi (小椋冬美), TAKAHASHI Yukari (高橋由佳利), et. al., whose works focused on human relationships with typical artworks of a dreamy-romantic style (e.g. straw sun bonnets, herbal tea, laces and cotton dress, etc).

Other mangakas from the vintage 70’s

Frankly, I am still in the midst of confusions over the definitions of “Year 24 Group”. As far as I understood, there are two “Year 24 Groups”, one “Post Year 24 Group” (ポスト24年組) and the other “Year 24 Flower Group” (花の24年組), which include mangakas such as HAGIO Moto (萩尾望都) and TAKEMIYA Keiko (竹宮惠子) – see table below.

I know the Year 24 Group was named as a broad terminology to address those respectable mangakas born in/around the year of Shōwa 24. But now my question is, what about the other mangakas who were also born around the same years and whose notable work also helped to define the (romantic) shoujo as we know today???

“Year 24 Flower Group” (花の24年組) “Post Year 24 Group” (ポスト24年組) Other famous 70’s mangakas born around the same year
HAGIO Moto (萩尾望都), TAKEMIYA Keiko (竹宮惠子), KIHARA Toshi (木原敏江), AOIKE Yasuko (青池保子), YAMAGISHI Ryoko (山岸涼子), YAMADA Mineko (山田ミネコ), Ōshima Yumiko (大島弓子), KIMURA Minori (樹村みのり), SASAYA Nanae (ささやななえ) ITO Aiko (伊東愛子), KAI Yukiko (花郁悠紀子), TARASAWA Michi (たらさわみち), MIZUKI Wakako (水樹和佳子), SAITŌ Shio (佐藤史生), SAKATA Yasuko (坂田靖子) SATONAKA Machiko (里中満智子), ICHIJO Yukari (一条ゆかり), YAMATO Waki (大和和紀), IKEDA Riyoko (池田理代子), IGARASHI Yumiko (いがらしゆみこ), UEHARA Kimiko (上原きみこ), KAWA Akira (河あきら), MIUCHI Suzue (美内すずえ), KURAMOCHI Fusako (くらもちふさこ), OKADA fumiko (岡田史子), ARIYOSHI Kyouko (有吉京子), SHOUJI Youko (庄司陽子), TABUCHI Yumiko (田渕由美子), MUTSU A-ko (陸奥A子), TACHIKAKE Hideko (太刀掛秀子), OGURA Fuyumi (小椋冬美), TAKAHASHI Yukari (高橋由佳利), ASHIBE Yuuho (あしべゆうほ), KOUSAKA Tomoko (神坂智子)…. and the list* goes on and on!!

*Although both SAEKI Kayono (佐伯かよの) and UCHIDA Yoshimi (内田善美) were also born around the same year as the others, I did not include them in this list here as their works were published/ became notable only in the 80’s – will be more on them in my up-and-coming “Classic 80’s” page.  : )

More on the 70’s mangaka -> click link here

More on the Year 24 Group:

  • Moto Hagio talking about the “Year 24 Group”

  • Story of the legendary  “Year 24 Flower Group” (花の24年組)

HAGIO Moto (萩尾望都) and TAKEMIYA Keiko (竹宮惠子) used to live in the same apartment at Ōizumi, Japan between 1970 and 1973. In those years, the two young women invited their friends, as well as other similar artists, to exchange ideas and philosophies of shoujo manga. The gathering was also addressed as the “Ōizumi Salon”, whose member included MASAYAMA Norie (増山法恵), who introduced Takemiya to male homosexuality for women via Barazoku and Les amitiés particulières, and later inspired Takemiya and Hagio to create stories based on shounen-ai theme. Other frequent visitors of  the “Ōizumi Salon” include KIHARA Toshi (木原敏江), AOIKE Yasuko (青池保子), YAMAGISHI Ryoko (山岸涼子), YAMADA Mineko (山田ミネコ), Ōshima Yumiko (大島弓子) and KIMURA Minori (樹村みのり). They were also known as the “Year 24 Flower Group”, or the “Forty-Niners” since thses artists were born around the same year of Shōwa 24 (i.e. 1949).

Examples of works by the magnificent “Year 24 Flower Group”:

AOIKE Yasuko (青池保子)


HAGIO Moto (萩尾望都)


KIHARA Toshi (木原敏江)


KIMURA Minori (樹村みのり)


Ōshima Yumiko (大島弓子)


TAKEMIYA Keiko (竹宮惠子)


YAMAGISHI Ryoko (山岸涼子)


YAMADA Mineko (山田ミネコ)



Besides Year 24 Group, 魔夜峰央 (MAYA Mineo) also demonstrated his influence in the manga industry; his works are primarily focused on shoujo & classic-style Boys’ Love manga, namely Patalliro, which took its fame since the late 70’s. The manga series is 86 volumes and still ongoing now!

Next —> Classic 80’s  

or jump to Old school 90′s


2 thoughts on “Retro Shoujo – Vintage 70’s

  1. Hello, i love your blog, i think its really awesome ! I like ur blog name its really cool :3

    Posted by aiyannaboykins2201 | February 9, 2017, 2:53 pm

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