Gender, Intimacy, and the Cultural Production of Shojo Manga

Straight from the HeartManga is the backbone of Japanese popular culture, influencing everything from television, movies, and video games to novels, art, and theater. Shojo manga (girls’ comics) has been seminal to the genre as a whole and especially formative for Japanese girls’ culture throughout the postwar era. In Straight from the Heart: Gender, Intimacy, and the Cultural Production of Shojo Manga, Jennifer S. Prough examines the shojo manga industry as a site of cultural storytelling, illuminating the ways that issues of mass media, gender, production, and consumption are involved in the process of creating shojo manga.

Straight from the Heart is a wonderful book, one that is timely and important in terms of academic interest in the anthropology of popular culture. Its originality lies in the author’s solid ethnographic approach to the topic and in her detailed description of the interactions between editors, artists, and consumers. Certainly it is time for such an in-depth English-language study of shojo manga. Prough’s work makes an important contribution to a number of fields—anthropology, Japan studies, gender/women’s studies, and cultural studies—and the writing style, organization, and length all make it an extremely attractive book for undergraduate course adoption.” —Laura Miller, Eiichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Professor of Japanese Studies, University of Missouri-St. Louis

November 2010 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3528-6 / $24.00 (PAPER)