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This may help explain why men and women never understand each other….

As most connoisseurs of Japanese manga know, there are two broad genres that many stories fit into: shojo manga (intended for girls) and shonen manga (intended for boys). Very broadly defined, shojo manga tends to focus on romance and emotional conflicts, whereas shonen manga tends to focus on action and physical conflicts.

Despite these differences though, there are plenty of overlapping scenes between the two genres. The characters are (usually) human after all, so they have to do some amount of similar things.

To see what some similarly-themed scenes look like in shojo manga vs. shonen manga, the Japanese TV show School Kakumei! (School Revolution!) recently compared some choice panels to highlight the differences. They decided to go with a kissing, bathing, and slapping scene. Here are the results:

#1. Bathing scene

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Shojo manga – Kimi ja Nakya Dame Nanda
Ah yes, a romantic kiss between the girl and boy while they share a private dip in the onsen, bathing in the light of the moon just as much as the hot spring water that surrounds them.

Shonen manga – Sakigake!! Otoko Juku
A gnarled tree-trunk of a man too manly to even bathe in hot water, instead going for hot oil. A lit candle floats in front of him, forcing him to endure his painful training, for if he flinches it will fall and light his bath on fire. Sounds like a good time!

#2. Slapping scene

Shojo manga – Wolf Girl and Black Prince
Yikes! A quick slap across the cheek resulting in a fast, sharp “bachin!” sound.

Shonen manga – Fist of the North Star
Or, uh, you can just slap his whole head off with a blood-spurting “bushuu!”

#3. Kissing scene

(Left picture, click to enlarge.)

Shojo manga – Wolf Girl and Black Prince
Hand on back of head, eyes closed, lips on lips, it doesn’t get any steamier than that!

Shonen manga – Baki the Grappler
Unless, of course, you just end up literally sucking the girls face into your mouth. A classic blunder.

Here’s how Japanese Twitter users reacted to such stark contrast:

“This is a pretty extreme difference lol.”
“I never thought about it that way before….”
“It is pretty strange when you compare them side to side.”
“I think there was a little cherry-picking with the shonen side.”

For sure the comparisons weren’t completely fair, but the point of the broadcast was to show what boys and girls read growing up that may be completely unknown to the other sex. Boys may never know that the hand on the back of the head is the way to go for romantic kissing, and girls may never know that hot oil bathing is the peak of manliness.

However, I think we can all agree that the best manga is obviously one that combines both exploding heads and private bathing scenes. If anyone has any suggestions for this niche genre, please let us know in the comments. It’s for, uh, a friend.

Source: School Kakumei! via Twitter/@Alice3110MM
Images: YouPouch
[ Read in Japanese ]