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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Moe-style illustration of a bishōjo character combining design elements of Mahoro Andou from Mahoromatic and  Haruhi Suzumiya from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Moe-style illustration of a bishōjo character combining design elements of Mahoro Andou from Mahoromatic and Haruhi Suzumiya from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Bishōjo (美少女, literally "beautiful girl", also spelled bishoujo) is a Japanese term for a beautiful young girl, usually below young adult age. Bishōjo is not listed as a word in the prominent Japanese dictionary Kōjien. A variant of the word, biyōjo (美幼女) refers to a pretty girl before the age of adolescence.

In manga and anime

Bishōjo characters are seen in almost all genres of anime and manga, especially in dating sims and visual novels (also known as bishōjo games), and harem anime and manga. It is sometimes confused with the similar-sounding shōjo (lit. "girl") demographic, but bishōjo refers to the gender and traits of the characters it describes, whereas shōjo refers to the gender and age of an audience demographic - manga publications described as "shōjo" are aimed at young female audiences.

Although bishōjo is not a genre but a character design, series which predominantly feature such characters, such as harem anime and visual novels, are sometimes informally called bishōjo series. The characters and works referred to by the term bishōjo are typically intended to appeal to a male audience. Since one of the main draws of these series is typically the art and the attractive female characters, the term is occasionally perceived negatively, as a genre which is solely dependent on the marketability of cute characters rather than content or plot.

This is not to be confused with bishōnen - beautiful boy. It is also not to be confused with moe - which is a definition for a genre of entertainment which features cute/adorable girls rather than "sexy" girls.


A televised beauty pageant, the Japan Bishōjo Contest, has been run since 1985. Singer Aya Ueto first became famous through this contest, at the age of twelve. Model and actress Ryoko Yonekura also won a bishōjo contest in 1992.

See also


This page was last edited on 4 October 2019, at 15:58
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