'Shojo Beat': a little something for everyone
In this week's "Flipped," David Welsh takes a closer look at Viz's newly announced Shojo Beat magazine:
... Shojo Beat skews a bit older than Shonen Jump with a T+ (older teens) rating in comparison to Jump's T (teens). Beat also has a wider range of subject matter than Jump's collection of young men with a dream.
Kaze Hikaru (by Taeko Watanabe) features gender-bending period swordplay. Absolute Boyfriend is girl-meets-robot romantic comedy. Crimson Hero (Mitsuba Takanashi) holds up Bend It Like Beckham as an inspiration, with a budding volleyball star facing resistance from her ultra-traditional family. NANA tracks the urban adventures (personal, professional, and sartorial) of two different women with the same name. Godchild follows the gothic doings of a Victorian youth surrounded by mystery and murder. In Baby & Me (Marimo Ragawa), a young man faces the heavy burden of helping raise his toddler brother after the death of their mother.
So in 200-300 monthly pages, readers will have action, comedy, sports, fashion, sleuthing, and soap opera. There's a mix of male and female protagonists, periods, and settings. That's a pretty impressive sampling of the kind of stories manga offers in general, beyond just the shojo sub-genre.