Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


The Tomboy in Manga for Teens: Kaleidoscopic Bodily Styles

Manga – a style of comics from Japan – questions stereotypical depictions of masculine and feminine bodily styles. This is one conclusion reached in a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Ylva Sommerland, from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has studied the tomboy in manga, a girl manoeuvring in masculine situations. The study concerns sports manga and fantasy manga for teens – genres that offer plenty of tomboy stories.

Cross Game. The study focuses on a tomboy found in Mitsuru Adachi’s sports manga Cross Game. Sports manga is immensely popular in Japan, and Mitsuru Adachi is one of the most well-known artists in this genre. He has been active since the 1970s.

“My analyses for example show that his character Aoba uses her entire female body when playing baseball, which contradicts the stereotype of “throwing like a girl”. Depicting a girl as stronger than all the boys in a male-dominated sport such as baseball is also in a way humorous,” says Ylva Sommerland.

She also discusses the tomboy motif using examples from fantasy manga. Princess Utena in Revolutionary Girl Utena decides to become a prince, and therefore represents, as implied by the title, a revolt against conventions.

“Here the tomboy is depicted as a girl who takes on the role of a prince and thereby mocks the conventional masculinities and femininities linked to the prince and princess motif.”

Eyeshield 21.Sommerland’s results also show that there are variations on the tomboy theme. She describes one as an inverted superhero. The main character Sena in Eyeshield 21, a sports manga with an American football theme, flees from a couple of boys who are both larger and stronger than him. When they see that he can run extremely fast, he is recruited to their school’s football team against his will.

“Instead of attacking his tormentors like the stereotypical male superhero would, he runs away from them. But he’s nevertheless the hero of the story since he becomes a football star against all odds.”

The thesis also includes an introduction to the history of manga, which reveals that it has developed through the interaction of different cultures both in Japan and abroad.

“I hope that my thesis will lead to a more nuanced view of what manga is and that it will spark an interest in more studies on the topic. It would for example be interesting to find out who the readers of manga are,” says Ylva Sommerland.

For more information please contact: Ylva Sommerland, +46 736 944 151, e-mail

Link to the thesis:

Thomas Melin | idw
Further information:

Further reports about: Gothenburg Kaleidoscopic Bodily Styles Manga Teens Tomboy Utena online game styles

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>