This is part of the series:
- A history of the fujoshi love affair with Jump
- Jump History and Fujoshi (2): Captain Tsubasa love
- Jump History and Fujoshi (3): Men and their Poses and Cosmos
- Jump History and Fujoshi (4): Move aside Son Goku, it’s all about Rukawa x Hiei x Kenshin. TOTALLY!
For this round, we have to remember something: the girls follow where the pretty boys are. By the time our dear Fujoshi’s have been hooked line and sinker with Captain Tsubasa, they found themselves regularly reading Jump. During Jump’s heroic age, wherein most heroes had bulky bodies, serious manly faces, and crazy poses, some fangirls focused their attention on the Masami Kurumada’s epic tale of astrological proportions, Saint Seiya.
The mythical backdrop of Saint Seiya provided the perfect setting for every fujoshi’s fantasy.
1985-1989: Men and their poses and cosmos
I have to confess. I needed time to write this article because I knew little about Seiya. I do know that it was popular in fujoshi circles, but since I was not an avid follower of the series, I really had little to say. Thankfully, one of my good fujoshi friends Krimi had a lot to say about Saint Seiya. Since I knew her, this girl’s eyes light up upon the mention of Saint Seiya. She loves the series and I’m very happy that she helped me with this one. I’d also like to thank another good friend Anne who also gave me her two cents on the series.
Now let’s see, according to them, the main reason why Saint Seiya just clicked with Fujoshis is the amount of boys participating in the story. If there are 88 constellations and each constellation is represented by a saint. You can go and figure out the permutations on how many pairings you can imagine with that one. The amount of boyish charm was overwhelming but not quite enough for the fujoshis. The lack of female characters and the focus on the bonds and rivalries among saints fueled their otomegokoro1 and inspired them to write and draw their doujins.
There are many pairs in Seiya. Almost no one was spared. As I was studying through the series for this article, I realized that camaraderie and strong ties between friends became the basis of the pairings. For example, in the case of Hyoga and Shun, Hyoga owed his life to Shun hence he would do ‘anything’ for Shun. For Camus and Milo, the friendship between them also became the basis for their loyalty towards each other.
Another important factor is the art of Saint Seiya. Had I not known better, I would have easily mistaken this series as shoujo title. With those bright glistening eyes and blow-dried long hair, I swear to god it could have been published in Margaret! The Androgynous Beauty as my friend puts it, is the highest factor why many fujoshis were drawn to the title. With Saint Seiya, Jump aesthetically drew the girls in. The boys were beautiful. Their armors and their mythos were nothing short of majestic. The manga showed everything that girls fantasized about mythological boys. And more.
The chemistry between the saints as well as its beautiful art became an important factor for many doujinshika who were active at this time. Some famous Saint Seiya doujinshikas were K2 (Kazuma Kodaka of Kizuna Fame), Arina Toshimi (BL mangaka), Reiichi Hiiro (BL mangaka), and well a famous group, CLAMP.
Although Clamp didn’t write BL mangas but mostly AniParo of their favorite characters such as Shun, these doujins became the ground for their establishment as mangakas. Their art styles matches so well that eventually, even CLAMP set off on their own, they too inherited Kuramada’s knack for detail and androgyny. Of course CLAMP has gone to places, but just like Kuramada, they too love to cross the line in terms of themes and stories. Most of their stories are published in shounen magazines and yet they still have that shoujo flair.
During the time of heroes, Jump had to deal with the popularity of their androgynous Saint Seiya. Sure, the magazine was swamped with manliness especially with titles like Hokuto no Ken and Jojo’s Bizaare Adventure, but for the girls, it was this androgynous beauty that caught their hearts.
In the next segment, we’ll be seeing more of how Jump crosses the line between shoujo and shounen as a league of bishounens invade Jump. Oh my dear heart2