Tired of glassy eyes and abundant flowers? Looking for romance beyond high school? Your protagonist should at least be over 16? Not all the best is concentrated in the most feminine genre of anime, the shoujo. There comes a time in the life of an adult otaku in which simple stories about adolescent love are not enough, and for this, there is the josei.
The gender josei is the feminine equivalent of what is the seinen for boys. Instead of focusing on the experiences of girls or young women, its protagonists are already in adulthood (and they don’t always have to be women). In addition, they are not idealized, stereotypical and perfect romances, but touches on more serious topics such as heartbreak, pregnancy, raising a child or sincere friendship.
In this list we want to mention the best series josei which have been adapted into anime, so let’s get started!
lullaby is a series about two girls who meet on a fateful train trip. Nana Osaki is a punk star of the music scene underground, trying to resurface with his band that lost a bassist after he and Nana had a relationship that ended badly. Nana Komatsu is an innocent girl like a child, and she has a hard time dealing with reality. Upon meeting, they discover that they have the same name, which means 7 in Japanese.
After meeting many times, they decide that fate wants them together, and they move in together as roommates. From there, they rely on their new lives and the influence of Nana Osaki on Komatsu (affectionately called Hachi), makes her begin to see life differently and mature a little faster.
The story is about the Amamizu-kan, a departmental building in Tokyo, home to a group of women otaku where men are prohibited. The protagonist is Tsukimi Kurashita, a jellyfish lover who wishes to become an illustrator but is shy, clumsy, and terrified of social interaction.
One day, Tsukimi meets Kuranosuke Koibuchi, the illegitimate son of a politician who dresses as a woman to avoid the obligations of the political class. Tsukimi keeps the secret of Kuranosuke’s true gender from her classmates, despite her doubts as well.
The neighborhood and the Amamizu-kan building are under threat of redevelopment, in danger of being demolished. Tsukimi and the group of tenants, along with Kuranosuke will try by all means to protect the place.
Shinichi Chiaki is one of the best piano students at his university and an excellent violinist, but his true dream is to follow in the footsteps of his mentor, Sebastiano Viera. He wants to become a conductor. After a dispute with his piano tutor, Chiaki is transferred to the “losers” class, where he meets Megumi Noda, also called Nodame.
Nodame is a somewhat quirky girl who is in her second year at the same university. Together, they strike up an unconventional friendship. The story tells of Chiaki’s inner struggle in her search to carve out his professional future as an orchestra conductor trying to deal with his biggest problem, which is that he has a phobia of flying.
When Daikichi, a 30-year-old man, returns home for his grandfather’s funeral, he meets Rin, his grandfather’s illegitimate daughter with an unknown woman.
The girl is a “shame” for all relatives and no one intends to take care of her. Daikichi, annoyed by the attitude of his relatives, decides to stay with Rin, despite being single and having no experience with children. As Rin becomes a part of his life, Daikichi discovers how hard it is to raise a child alone.
Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashī
Narumi, a young office worker, is starting from scratch at her new job. She has decided to hide her biggest hobby: she is a fujoshi inveterate who writes doujinshi, since it cost him his previous job. Hirotaka, for his part, is quiet and highly skilled, but he is obsessed with video games.
Both have known each other since they were children. After Narumi tells Hirotaka that she has never had any luck in relationships because all of her boyfriends are “normal”, Hirotaka proposes that they start dating. She accepts, somewhat reluctantly, but once the relationship is established, they realize that there is a lot of chemistry between them,
Honey and Clover
Yuta Takemoto, Takumi Mayama and Shinobu Morita are three young people who live in the same building and study at the Tokyo art school. One day, they meet Hagumi Hanamoto, the cousin of an art teacher, who is also studying at the same art school.
Yuta and Shinobu fall in love with Hagumi, but Yuta hides his feelings and tries to be friends with her; while Shinobu shows her love for her in unconventional ways, such as insulting her. The story follows these characters as they go through the difficult change of college, finding a job, finding love, and learning to know themselves.
As we mentioned earlier, in gender for demography josei it is not strictly necessary that the protagonist be female. many sleeves yaoi are joseibecause they are made for women. Love Stage!! is an example of them.
Izumi Sena is an eighteen-year-old college student who dreams of becoming a mangaka. Her entire family is in the entertainment business and therefore they believe that Izumi should too, but she has no interest in entering that world.
However, ten years ago and, due to certain special circumstances, he was part of the filming of a wedding announcement. In said commercial, Izumi played the role of a girl who had to catch the bride’s bouquet, whose child co-star was Ryōma Ichijō. The company behind that advertisement wants to recreate a new version with the girl and boy from back then, which means that Izumi will have to wear a wedding dress, being a man. The boy from that commercial, now an idol, Ryōma, turns out to be in love with Izumi and even after discovering the fact that she is not a girl as she had believed, her feelings do not change.
Pet Shop of Horrors
Can a horror series be josei? Let’s remember what we established in the article about anime genres, these “genres” do not directly mean types, but rather summarize the demographic that they are aimed at. Pet Shop of Horrors is a hidden gem of anime, whose aesthetic and character design might turn out to be more appealing to women.
Count D is the mysterious owner of an exotic pet store in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. The animals that the Count sells come with a contract with three important clauses. These clauses change depending on the animal sold, and breaking this contract causes calamitous consequences for the buyer, for which the store does not accept any responsibility, although the intrinsic intention is to cause such events.
the chapters of Pet Shop of Horrors they are based on these consequences, and are presented as independent stories, introducing one or more characters in each episode. In the miniseries, detective Leon Orcot is the link that ties the chapters together in an ongoing plot, usually in the form of a subplot within each chapter. He initially suspects that Count D is a criminal using the pet shop as a front for drug dealing; but as he progresses the series, he learns more about the pet shop and Count D himself, starting a strange friendship between the two as he tries to uncover the truth.
Yukari Hasayaka is an 18-year-old girl who is going to her classes, when a group of people dressed in a flashy way stop her and cause her to faint from fright.
When he wakes up he is in the Atelier, under the care of Miwako. People explain to him that they are looking for a model for a fashion show at the Yazawa Arts Institute, where they study. Yukari initially refuses, but eventually agrees, and finds out that these people are designers of the Paradise Kiss brand, created by themselves. George designs, Isabella creates the patterns, and Miwako and Arashi sew. They also explain to her what the contest for which they want her as a model consists of. When she came out dressed in a dress ForKissas they affectionately call the brand, everyone is very impressed.
Yukari compares her life with that of the Paradise Kiss boys and begins to doubt the direction she is taking, if she really wants what she thinks she wants, or if it is something that was culturally instilled in her. Throughout the story, Yukari will be involved in a series of internal conflicts about her future, her character and her attitude, as well as her strange relationship with George. At the same time, she will get to know more about these characters, their doubts, their fears and their pasts.
The story of Shirokuma Cafe It takes place in a very peculiar cafe. Its owner is Shirokuma (which literally means white bear), who is charismatic and an excellent host… but he is a polar bear. The cafe is located near the local zoo, and is a favorite place for animals and humans to hang out after a day’s work. Shirokuma is helpful and attentive, always conversing with his customers in a friendly manner.
The story is based on a group of animals that interact with humans in this curious cafe, a series that is very simple but infinitely entertaining and endearing due to its formula.
Have you seen any of these series? josei? What is your favorite?
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