Are sequels a lasting trend in shojo mangas?

2016 has seen the “coming to terms” of several major shônen manga series, 2 of them being apart of the ‘shônen Holy trinity’, “Bleach” and “Naruto” (the last remaining ongoing one being “One Piece”). The very same phenomenon happened among shôjo manga a few years ago, where some of its major series ended, putting a term to the golden era of long-lasting and widely popular series, which has left some sort of a void within the industry.

A void that seems to be difficult to fill in since lately, many news announced the comeback of several of them in the form of sequels or a spin-off. So obviously, as a girl who grew through her teenagehood reading most of these series, I got pretty intrigued to see in what direction these ‘updates’ were heading to and what was motivating this wide-spread phenomenon.

Check them out below!

Card Captor Sakura – Clear Card-hen (2016)

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“CardCaptor Sakura Clean Card-den” follows Sakura when she’s about to enter middle school. Realizing the cards are slowing fading away and seem to be under some kind of curse, she’s getting a new power to seal previously unknown cards.
The manga has been published since December 2016 by Kodansha to celebrate the 20 years of the series. An anime adaptation is scheduled for Winter 2018.

To be honest, I was a bit disappointed when i heard the story was set only a few months after the first Sakura ending since it doesn’t give a lot of margin to significantly thicken the plot or introduce a whole range of new characters (I didn’t read the manga yet, but regarding the few comments about the first chapters, most characters of the original “CardCaptor Sakura” are still here). But regarding most readers comments about the first chapters, the story seems pretty solid, and providing the series doesn’t get too long (less than 10 volumes) it would be great way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the most popular shôjo manga.

 

Fruits Basket Another (2016)

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/!\ WARNING : (minor) spoilers ahead /!\

“Fruits Basket Another” story is set many years after the ending of “Fruits Basket”. Sawa, a young girl, is about to enter Kaibara highschool (the same “Fruits Basket” original characters, Tôru Honda, Kyô and Yuki Sôma attended ), where she meets Mutsuki, a handsome young boy…….who happens to be the son of Yuki Sôma and Machi.
Natsuki Takaya, which was beforehand already working on another shojo series, “Liselotte to Majo no Mori“, assured that the spin-off would only last 2 or 3 volumes.

The first things that came to my mind when Natsuki Takaya assured fans that the focus wouldn’t be on any of the original “Fruits Basket” characters, that’s why it’s called “Fruit Basket [something]”. Was the goal to make a whole different storyline and make a bunch of characters whose only common trait was to be the spawn of the former Sôma clan? Besides, the heroine, Sawa, who has nothing to do with the original “Fruits Basket” storyline (contrary to what her striking resemblance to Tôru Honda would imply).

Also I it find pretty ridiculous to see all these Sôma kids attending the same school at the same time as if all the girls called each other to pop up kids all together (exactly like “Naruto”/”Boruto”). And let’s no forget about the lazy character design copy paste : you don’t even have to guess who is the son/daughter of who since it’s SO obvious the characters are a blatant copy of their parents…

“Fruits Basket” had brilliantly succeeded in giving a satisfying ending to an intense and well written storyline, hence it definitely was the last shojo I would expect getting a sequel/spin-off, which, in my opinion, was absolutely not necessary and wouldn’t live up to the intensity of the original series last chapters. And it looks like I was right, since regarding the readers’ comment, most people seem to agree with my disappointment of what this spin-off is all about. The good side is that the manga is supposed to last only few more volumes –  the time for Natsuki Takaya to grab some inspiration back for her ongoing manga “Liselotte to Majo no Mori”, I guess – so this underwhelming waste wouldn’t last for too long…

 

Peach Girl Next (2016)

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The story sets Momo Adachi and Kairi Okayasu as a couple 10 years later the original “Peach Girl” series. The 27 years old lovers are now preparing their marriage, but the reappearance of Momo’s nemesis Sae Kashiwagi and Kazuya Tôjigamori are going to complicate matters…

This is probably the sequel I’m the most looking forward to. The decision of setting the storyline 10 years later the ending of “Peach Girl” and depict the adult life of the characters now in their late 20s brings a whole new dimension to the manga which can actually leer at josei.

I really enjoyed reading “Peach Girl” mostly thanks to Momo’s bubbly yet strong & straightforward personality which pleasantly denoted from the usual cutesy submissive personality of usual shôjo heroines, and I’m eager to see how her infamous rivalry with Sae will continue, as well as her now threatened relationship with her fiancé. XOXO Gossip Girl material confirmed!

 

Vampire Knight Memories (2013/2017)

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“Vampire Memories” is a collection of special chapters of “Vampire Knight” published in LalaDx since 2013. Moving back and forth through time, the story relates Yûki and Zero life as a couple (in the past) and the relationship of their children with Kaname (in the present).

Its publication on paperback is scheduled for August 2017.

I’m gonna be honest, “Vampire Knight” became such a mess that I wasn’t really surprised when I saw that there would be a sequel ; there isn’t much room left to make things worse, right? Matsuri Hino didn’t release anything relevant after “Vampire Knight” (which ended 4 years ago…), so since this is her most successful manga to this date, this is arguably understandable she’s milking it as long as she can~

 

CONCLUSION

It’s pretty hard to not think that sequels are mostly motivated by the lack of inspiration of their respective authors who can’t get past their former success by resting on their laurels. Very few of them actually convinced me about their real relevance or added value regarding the original work.

But at the same time, this sweet pinch of nostalgia seeing characters of mangas I used to avidly follow-up back on some new material is pretty enjoyable, especially when these new series are featuring original characters who have grown up like them.

I couldn’t tell if the industry of shôjo manga is in such a deadlock that even high-profile mangakas have to resort to such questionable strategies though, but I definitely think that this trend is inducing an interesting ‘shôjo to josei’ slide for shôjo authors interested in catering to a more mature audience who haven’t forgotten about their favourite manga during their teenage days.

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  • Comments

    • light

      They are doing a Peach Girld sequel? This could be good, i liked the original one!

    • Packi

      I wanna see anime of Peach Girl and Vampire Knight new seasons!! T-T Loved those shows!

      • hasawa

        Considering the 1st anime of Peach Girl got mixed reviews (esp the design being too different from the manga) and the manga being pretty old (the 1st volume has been released in 1998 and it ended in 2004) i don’t think it will happen.. :/

    • Mayanee

      I loved Peach Girl especially that the characters were all different to what they “looked like to other people”:
      Momo was unfairly perceived as an “easy girl” by others despite being nice.
      Kairi was reduced by others to dorky playboy despite being much deeper than that and unlike Toji being able to see through other people’s facades.
      Toji is nice just like he looks like however he is easily tricked and guillible.
      Sae has cute looks however is extremly cunning and due to her looks underestimated by others who fall for an innocent girl act.

      I like the idea to revist them 10 years later. However Sae should not get in Momo’s way again she became more bearable in the ending and in Ura Peach Girl. I hope that she is like in Ura Peach Girl: Still Sae and causing trouble however now friends with Momo. Her childhood friend was also a nice addition.
      Regarding the TojixMomoxKairi love triangle: I don’t like that it is revisited again. It was obvious that Momo would choose Kairi over Toji in the ending and Toji even let her go.

    • rshina

      Peach Girl and Sakura~
      I wonder if the storyline of Sakura will have anything to do with xxxholic? Knowing Clamp, they might be do that

      • MT

        it doesn’t. The Clear Card manga is out already so you can read it for yourself. There are some Tsubasa references though, like Syaoran’s new sword technique.

    • jupernia

      errr…Clear-Card takes place with Sakura in Middle School not College.

      • hasawa

        Sorry! Translation mistake
        In my language collège=middle school
        I’m gonna fix it asap!

    • phoe-enix

      Vampire Knight sequel is unnecessary… hard to get excited about after the mangaka butchered her own manga and the ending left a bad taste on my mouth, though more Zero is always welcome (if he’s even in this manga?)

    • Karen Khoo

      Uwaaaa a sequel to Fruits Basket <3

    • Gaea1899

      hanadan also had a sequel..hana nochi hare, i think was the title

    • PigeonPop

      I’m not qualified to comment on the rest, but the Clear Card arc of Sakura is something I look forward to because the project as a whole appears to be quite carefully planned and executed by CLAMP and the producers involved. The ongoing manga is of course visually gorgeous as always, and the anime adaptation has announced Morio Asaka’s return as director and NHK broadcast slot very early on. It doesn’t seem to be going through development hell that plagued Sailor Moon Crystal until Season 3 nor is it recklessly rushing the animation process compared to Dragon Ball Super and Boruto.

      • MT

        well, it’s also Madhouse that’s re-animating CCS again and their animations have always been top notch compared to TOEI. For a late 90s anime, CCS’ animation looks like it could fit in among today’s anime due to how high quality it is.

        • PigeonPop

          Eh. That’s a bit of an exaggeration. Madhouse from mid-2000s onwards are responsible for the likes of Dennou Coil, Tatami Galaxy, Chihayafuru, the second Hunter x Hunter adaptation, Death Parade, Oremonogatari, One Punch Man and so much more.

          The CCS TV series looks very dated in comparison to the above and was full of character design inconsistencies and choppy animation moments. When I think of year-long shows that was absolutely consistent, it’s FMA and FMA:B, not CCS. That’s why I’m excited to see today’s Madhouse tackling the project–the studio is far more impressive now than it was back then.

    • circe154

      And yet no word on if Nana will ever get a proper ending.

    • Mayura

      The only shoujo manga I want a sequel for is a relatively “unknown” manga to many: Koi dano Ai dano.

      I always felt that it got axed and had to end early. :(

    • Midori

      I knew about the sequel for CCS, but how did I miss the ones for “Fruits Basket” and “Peach Girl”?! I’m superexcited now. *.*

    • MT

      The Clear Card arc takes place 2 years after the original manga ends, not a few months. Sakura was a 5th grader at the end of the manga and entered her first year of middle school in Clear Card. That’s why she asked Syaoran when they reunited, “We don’t have to go through letters and phone calls anymore?” because snail mail takes a long time to send and receive (especially between countries) and if it were just a few months in between the original series and Clear Card arc, she wouldn’t have said that.