Why haven’t these been animated?!

Why haven’t these been animated?!

Looking over my shojo manga collection, I realized how many series I own have not been animated. While some are short or never became very popular, for long-running series that were huge hits, it’s really surprising. There have been several shojo with very questionable anime adaptations (Basara’s anime is very short, while Sensual Phrase’s entire plot gets changed), but I’ll be focusing on series that have been completely shafted by the anime world. So here are the 3 shojo manga I’m most surprised have never been turned into anime.

Soshi, Riiko and Night from Absolute Boyfriend

Absolute Boyfriend. This is a pretty popular series, it’s been adapted as a Japanese live-action series and it was recently announced that it will be made into a Korean drama. Yuu Watase’s a popular author, and two of her other series (Fushigi Yugi and Ceres: Celestial Legend) have been animated, so it’s surprising that Absolute Boyfriend hasn’t yet.
Mars. The manga series lasted 15-volumes, and is considered a classic. It was also made into an extremely popular Tawainese drama starring Barbie Xu and Vic Zhou from Meteor Garden fame. Mars also came out during a time when adapting shojo dramas like Hana Yori Dango was ‘trendy.’ And considering the fact that Peach Girl was animated years after its manga ended, it’s surprising that Mars has been left cold.
Hana-Kimi. This one is the most surprising to me. The manga lasted 23 volumes, has a Tawainese and a Japanese live-action drama, and will soon be turned into a Korean drama. It has the crossdressing appeal of Ouran High School Host Club and has enough comedic antics that I can see it appealing to a broader audience. And yet somehow, amidst all these drama adaptations, an anime series was left behind.

What is noticable, however, is how many shojo series have recently been turned into dramas. While several shojo anime have not been as successful as their original manga (Super Gals! comes to mind), many shojo manga that become live-action series go on to surpass the original manga’s popularity. This may be due to simple demographics – while the majority of anime companies try to appeal to be kids, and particularly to boys, many shojo anime are given low budgets and aren’t allowed to run indefinitely the way shonen series like Naruto and One Piece can. But because the audience for live-action dramas is often composed of young women, this gives shojo manga adaptations a crossover appeal because they attract the same audience. Perhaps this is why so many shojo series aren’t being animated – they’re being turned into live-action dramas instead.

7 thoughts on “Why haven’t these been animated?!

  1. I stumbled upon your blog, and you have some very interesting perspectives. I’ve read both Absolute Boyfriend and Mars, but haven’t had a chance to read Hana-Kimi yet. I agree with you on the whole, “Why weren’t these made into animes?” After I read Absolute Boyfriend, I thought it would make a really great anime. I was very disappointed that it never was made into one in Japan.

    Have you ever read Yuu Watase’s other manga, Alice 19th? I thought that was an equally good series, which also had the makings of an anime but was never turned into one either. As I read Alice 19th, I imagined it being animated on an epic scale like Fushigi Yugi or Ceres: Celestial Legend. I suppose we have to be content with just the manga series itself.

  2. Thanks for commenting! I actually haven’t read Alice the 19th yet, but I’ve heard several people who are fans of Yuu Watase say that that it is her best series. I’m definitely interested in it though – I tend to read a lot of romantic-comedy or slice-of-life shojo and would love to read more fantasy shojo.

    1. I am a Watase fan too, and while I do like FY and Ceres, I think my absolute favorite of all her works in the fantasy genre is Alice 19th. I still wish that work was animated. I kind of feel that Alice 19th is one of Watase’s more underrated works compared to FY and Ceres.

      Have you read her other series Imadoki? That’s a romantic-comedy, slice of life in high school type of series. That’s another one of her works I personally like too.

      1. I have not read Imadoki yet either; it’s plot always reminded me a little of one of my favorite series Boys Over Flowers/Hana Yori Dango, so it intrigued me. Of all of Watase’s works, I probably like Fushigi Yugi Genbu Kaiden best because while I love the premise of the original Fushigi Yugi, I like most of the characters in Genbu Kaiden better. I’ve definitely heard people say that that they think Alice the 19th is her most underrated work, so I’d like to read it.

  3. Genbu Kaiden is a manga I haven’t been able to pick up yet, but I definitely want to read that one too. I’ve been trying to collect the volumes of FY, which I finally completed. Next is trying to get all the volumes of Ceres. Boys Over Flowers/Hana Yori Dango is a manga I’m in the process of trying to complete too. I find I like the manga series more than the anime. Probably because you get to know the characters more in-depth than in the anime. I think with the anime you only scratch the surface of each character.

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