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Focuses on Japanese animation and comics targeted to girls and women. First took place in July 2000, with 450 attendees on hand for the inception year. The convention recently wrapped up its third planning year, with preliminary attendance figures at nearly 1300 people. Has been held in New Jersey for the past three years—first in Newark, then moving and staying in East Brunswick since 2001. Is managed by Shoujo Arts Society, a year-old nonprofit organization promoting Japanese (and American) comics and animation produced by women and aimed at women in the US.
Convention Demographics: Shoujocon’s average attendee is between 18-25 years old, female and a resident of the NYC metropolitan area (NY, CT, NJ, DE and PA). Shoujocon’s first years saw 450 attendees. Nearly 1300 people attended Shoujocon 2001. Preliminary third-year figures show a steady attendance rate (1300). ABOUT SHOUJO: Shoujo is the term used to describe Japanese animation and comics (anime and manga) targeted to young females (shoujo means “young girl”). Shounen (“boys’”) animation and comics is shoujo’s direct opposite. While both shounen and shoujo are still overwhelmingly available as comic books, there are more shounen-oriented anime series produced currently than shoujo anime. Shoujo and shounen are two very distinct anime and manga genres. The general misconception about shoujo anime and manga is that if it has a female lead, then the story must be shoujo. As any fan of the genre can tell you, that is often not the case. Shoujo are stories targeted specifically to a female audience. There are book imprints that produce only girls’ and women’s comics, such as Flower, Margaret, Princess, Gust, BeBoy, Hane to Yume, Asuka and more. There are shoujo comic monthly magazines, which have sold better at times than shounen. And, there are sections in Japanese bookstores only for shoujo. The best way to understand the differences between shoujo and shounen comics, other than this technical definition, is to In the US, most shoujo fans tend to collect comics rather than watch animation, and on average, they are either seriously studying Japanese or are bilingual in order to better enjoy those comics. Since shoujo targets a female audience, the majority of shoujo animation and comics fans in the US are girls and women. Although there are many men who produce shoujo series, most of the genre’s well-known creators are women. Artists such as CLAMP, Yuu Watase, Kaori Yuki, Riyoko Ikeda and Akimi Yoshida have a fandom that extends far beyond Japan’s borders. Shoujo art is distinct, and there are quite a few artists’ collectives (such as Umbrella Studios) in North America that produce materials grounded solely in the traditional art of shoujo.