Here’s Comics.212.net’s Chris Butcher on the popularity of shoujo manga:
“The romantic genre is known as Shoujo manga, and over the past five or 10 years, you’ve really seen it blossom. Girls have flocked to it.
“We’re even starting to see the general aging of the demographic, with mothers coming in and buying it [with] their daughters.”
It’s true; I’m one of them. However, as pre-teen girls are usually mortified by the mere presence of their mothers, it goes something like this: I drive them to the bookstore, we split up and find our manga separately, and we reunite at the coffee shop to compare notes. Once we’re home, though, everyone reads everyone else’s books.
And don’t leave out the fathers. My husband regularly pillages my unread-manga stack and has started getting cranky if there isn’t something new. Last weekend he made his way through Dramacon, The Dreaming, Roadsong, and all four of the Go!Comi offerings, and the other night he read Alichino (chief complaint: “It’s hard to tell the characters apart”). As he reads a lot of mysteries and science fiction, and even the occasional volume of chick lit, manga aren’t too much of a stretch. But I don’t think he’d go out and buy it for himself; fortunately he has three females in the house to do that for him.