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God of ComicsOsamu Tezuka and the Creation of Post-World War II Manga$
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Natsu Onoda Power

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781604732207

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604732207.001.0001

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date: 19 November 2017

Sapphire and Other Heroines

Sapphire and Other Heroines

Chapter:
(p.111) 6 Sapphire and Other Heroines
Source:
God of Comics
Author(s):

Natsu Onoda Power

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781604732207.003.0006

The first story comics for young girls was Osamu Tezuka’s Ribon no kishi (Princess Knight, 1958). Part medieval folktale, part Shakespearean comedy, and part women’s melodrama, Princess Knight features a heroine named Princess Sapphire who is born with both male and female “souls” in her female body. It is Tezuka’s best-known shojo manga (girls’ comics). This chapter examines Tezuka’s influences on the shojo manga genre by focusing on Princess Knight and its impact on the culture of shojo (young women, girls), women’s magazines, popular theater, and gender in Japan after World War II. It considers gender representation and sexual politics in Princess Knight and how it has inspired strong-willed, charismatic heroines in other artists’ works. It also looks at Tezuka’s other creations, including Nasubi joō (Queen Nasubi, 1954) and Niji no Prelude (The Rainbow Prelude, 1975). Furthermore, it discusses the transformation of the shojo manga genre during the early 1970s, including the establishment of subgenres like bishonen (pretty boy) or shonen ai (boys’ love) manga.

Keywords:   comics, Osamu Tezuka, Princess Knight, shojo manga, shojo, heroines, girls, Japan, gender, sexual politics

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