Akira Maruyama worked for the long defunct shōjo manga magazine Shōjo Club during the 1950s and 1960s. He worked as editor and was in charge of some of the most prominent authors that worked for the magazine, such as Osamu Tezuka –the god of manga– and he also discovered and nursed epoch-making mangaka like Shōtarō Ishinomori, Fujio Akatsuka and Hideko Mizuno.
Maruyama is also an expert on manga culture, especially shōjo manga that predates the Year 24 Group, that is to say, manga created between the release of Tezuka’s Ribon no Kishi (Princess Knight, 1953-56), the first shōjo story manga hit, and the appearance of Versailles no Bara (The Rose of Versailles, 1972-73).
This 20-year period is a kind of black hole for shōjo manga. There is not many information about the works created in that period, that tend to be criticized as “shallow”, “tear-jerking” and “clichéd”. In this incredibly interesting video, Maruyama tells us why this happened and what the pre-Year 24 Group shōjo manga was really like. Prepare to listen him talk about what “story manga” is, “harmful manga”, bonfires and uninformed critics.
(Also on Vimeo)