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Manga of old-school – 90’s shoujos!

First of all, please let me clarify that, below text based on my own observations and voice my opinions only. NOT intended for research or referencing purposes. Please always refer to official or creditable resources for any further information. ^^


By the 90’s, it was as if the whole shoujo manga world has been shaked and transformed to a different level by CLAMP’s elaborative art styles, as well as TAKEUCHI Naoko’s magical bishoujo force!

I don’t mean to disrespect when I say these, but looking back, it was as if the mainstream shoujo was at its peak of cheesiness in the 1990’s. Innocent and naive school girls, which I would call baka-chan these days, dominated the world of mainstream shoujos. These “baka shoujos” were also often designed for light-hearted comedies and romance in those stories.

A lot of female readers, who grew up with shoujo manga from the days of Versailles no Bara, were by now young adults and/or housewives who would no longer be content with simple and “light-hearted” romance stories, or stories about “finding one’s self” as commonly seen in the 80’s.

Indeed, since the mid/late 80’s, the mainstream shoujo manga industry was slowly flooded with ‘lady comics”, or stories which were often touching on the borderline of taboo subjects, such as incest, rape, sex & smuts, yaoi, etc. But unlike those shonen-ai tragedies created by the magnificent Year 24 Group which were commonly known for touching on taboos,  these mainstream shoujo stories would be, most often than not, non thought-provoking.

In regards of “touching on the borderline of taboo subjects” as I mentioned above – take incest for example. In the current shoujo standards, the topic would entail two main characters of directly blood-related, say siblings. In the 90’s shoujo however, the most common “incest” topic would be two step-siblings fallen in love behind their step-parents’ knowledge, followed by some so-called “tragedies”, e.g. parents disapprove of their relationships, or unlawful marriage, then leading onto an elopement, or being entangled with another love interest, etc…  Examples of such include SAITOU Chiho’s Honoka ni Purple.

In addition, a new genre named “josei” was slowly created in the 90’s to define those “sophisticated and intellectually stimulating manga for women” (Matt Thorn). Those josei stories might still include, but not restricted to, stories with elements of smuts, such as HASEBE Yuri’s Atashi no Lion and YOSHIHARA Yuki’s Oboretai.

On the other hand, some josei stories would involve high pact of slice-of-life matters, or dramas that would appeal to more mature audiences. Examples of such include SAIMON Fumi’s Tokyou Love Story and IRIE Noriko’s Aishisuginakute Yokatta, both of which were also adapted into popular TV dramas in Japan in the 90’s.


Below some examples of shoujo/ josei mangakas from the 90’s.
(to be updated with images in due course ^^)

ASHIHARA Hinako 芦原妃名子

ANNO Moyoko 安野モヨコ

ENDOU Toshiko 遠藤淑子

FUKAMI Jun 深見じゅん – 悪(わる)女

FUJISAKI Mao  藤崎真緒

IMA Ichiko 今市子

IKUEMI Ryou いくえみ綾

HONDA Keiko 本田恵子

ISHIZUKA Yumemi 石塚夢見

KAMIO Youko 神尾葉子

KAWACHI Yukari かわちゆかり (河內由加利)

KAWAHARA Kazune 河原和音

KIMOTO Yuuki 樹本祐季

KITAGAWA Miyuki 北川みゆき

MIURA Noriko 三浦実子

MONDEN Akiko (もんでんあきこ 門田晶子)



NAKAJO Hisaya 中条比紗也

NINOMIYA Tomoko 二ノ宮知子

NISHI Keiko 西炯子

NOMA Miyuki 野間美由紀

OBANA Miho 小花美穂

OGOSHI Natsue 小越なつえ

OOTA Saki 太田早紀

RAGAWA Marimo 羅川真里茂

SAKAI Miwa 酒井美羽

SHIINA Karuho 椎名軽穂

TAKADA Rie 高田りえ (高田理惠)

TAKANASHI Mitsuba 高梨 みつば

TAKAYA Natsuki 高屋奈月

TAKEUCHI Masami 武内昌美

TAKEUCHI Naoko 武内 直子

TAMURA Yumi 田村由美

TSUDA Masami 津田雅美

UEDA Miwa 上田美和

UEDA Rinko 上田倫子

WATASE Yuu 渡瀬悠宇

YAMADA Nari  山田也

YAMAZAKI Takako やまざき貴子

YAMASHITA Kazumi 山下和美

YOSHINAGA Fumi よしながふみ (吉永史)

YOSHIZUMI Wataru 吉住渉

YUKI Kaori 由貴香織里


Guarantee of smuts:

HASEBE Yuri 長谷部百合


SHINJO Mayu 新條まゆ


Typically drama/ slice-of-life josei:

IRIE Noriko 入江紀子

MORITA Yuuko もりたゆうこ (森田裕子)

NISHIMURA Shinobu 西村しのぶ

NISHIMURA Shinobu 西村しのぶ

SAIMON Fumi 柴門ふみ



2000’s mangakas who are also worth noting:

OGAWA Yayoi 小川彌生

GEORGE Asakura ジョージ朝倉

UMINO Chica 羽海野チカ



8 thoughts on “Manga of old-school – 90’s shoujos!

  1. Step-siblings falling in love was verrrryyy common in 90s shojo – Marmalade Boy and The Devil Does Exist come immediately to mind. Nevertheless, I have a fondness for 90s shojo – I feel like compared to more recent shojo, 90s series have more heart. Actually, some of my favorite series are 90s shojo: Hana Yori Dango, Kodocha and Itazura na Kiss are up there for me. And I know a lot of people who would say that shojo and josei have become more smutty only in the past few years, with the release of titles such as Black Bird – although you could argue that it started in the 90s.

    Posted by starsamaria | October 14, 2011, 1:45 am
    • Hi and welcome: )
      So glad to see you mentioned Itazura na Kiss, one of my fav series back in those days :)))
      My other fav title, amongst many others from the 90’s, is Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou by TSUDA Masami (title also known as His and Her Circumstances or Kare Kano… 🙂

      On a minor note:
      Although series such as Itazura na Kiss were created in the early 90’s, its creator, TADA Kaoru became notable since her Ai Shite Knight (1981).. hence the reason why I included TADA as the mangaka from the 80’s….

      PS. THere is a lot of debates re. Josei Vs Shoujo and smuts = josei, etc…. won’t blah about it here… will leave it to my next post in a near future instead : )

      Posted by xkazemg | October 24, 2011, 11:07 pm
  2. I would love if more of Kaoru Tada’s manga (and really, classic manga in general) were licensed here, since I tend not to read online. I watched His and Her Circumstances’ anime, it’s a really good series.

    Posted by starsamaria | October 26, 2011, 10:45 pm
    • Digress – Perhaps you may like to give Aishite Knight (愛してナイト) a try also, if you have not already done so.
      The series was also created by TADA sensei. Awful hair style (80’s rock stars with big hair… that kind of thing) but its story was so deliciously sweet :)))) The series has also been turned into anime (in the 80’s)….

      Posted by xkazemg | October 27, 2011, 11:35 pm
  3. I actually was just reading about that series; it sounds interesting. I think Tada’s writing and execution is what makes her a great author, so Aishite Knight sounds like it would be a fun read.

    Posted by starsamaria | October 29, 2011, 1:13 am
    • Hi again. Thanks for dropping by! ^^
      Am glad you are reading Aishite Knight … pls do come back and let us know your feedback on the series.

      Digress: Another series by Tada sensei (of course of course ^^) that I have read and would recommend is: Deborah ga Rival (デボラがライバル)
      The series is comprised of 4 volumes, completed the late 90’s (I think). Its story and characters were not as well defined and developed as in the other two series we mentioned above. But it is quite a fun-read as the story was so gay – I don’t mean gay in BL terms, though one of the characters insisted that he to be treated as a transvestite! ^^

      PS. Interesting stuff on your blog by the way.. keep going! : )

      Posted by xkazemg | October 29, 2011, 7:02 pm


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