Every now and then, I take a dive into shoujo manga, though I'm nowhere near as well-read as some of the others here. Each time I go into the world of shoujo, though, I begin to see similarities in stories - just like shounen stories. But I'm not as familiar with shoujo as I am with shounen, so I wonder if what I'm seeing are really common tropes or not.
So, for all readers of shoujo manga out there - if you were to write a Guide to Shoujo Manga, what are some of the common elements or structures that you would want a total newbie to be aware of? Or perhaps another way to put it - what are the common sub-genres of shoujo manga?
I can only name a few, but I'm sure there must be plenty more:
- Mahou Shoujo - probably the most well-known. Schoolgirl gets magical powers in order to perform daring deeds and/or save the world. Typified by Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, etc.
- Crossdressing - Either the girl dresses up as a boy, or knows a boy that's dressing up as a girl, for a wide variety of reasons. Usually linked to some sort of romance between the two. Typified by Hana-kimi, Tenshi Ja Nai!, Penguin Revolution, etc.
- Playing Parents - high school girl (or boy, or both) has to take care of an infant that's been unexpectedly dropped into their lap and which is disgustingly adorable. Typified by Aishiteruze Baby, Daa Daa Daa, etc.
- Rags to Riches - working-class girl suddenly gets lifted into the world of the rich and famous, usually either by inheriting a fortune, being found by a long-lost relative, or becoming the love interest of an arrogantly-rich boy. Typified by Hana Yori Dango, Ultimate Venus, etc.
- Pop Idol - I'm not sure whether this should be part of Rags to Riches, or a subcategory of its' own, but there seem to be quite a fair number of these kinds of stories as well. Normal girl becomes a famous popular icon - the exact world can vary from fashion modelling to hairdressing to acting to singing, etc. Typified by Full Moon wo Sagashite, Beauty Pop, Glass Mask, etc.
Does anyone know of any more common elements, tropes or subgenres found in shoujo manga?