Midnight Cinderella: Amoral Shōjo (Girl) and Japanese Girl Culture

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Japanese girls’ comics have become prominent as a subject of study in popular culture in English and Japanese. This article focuses on a new horror-thriller subgenre, with Mihoko Koiwa’s Midnight Cinderella (1982) as an example; it enacts a nuanced portrayal of heroines – which this article terms “the amoral shōjo”– who practice violence, extortion, and murder.

It argues that the largely underexplored “amoral shōjo” genre provides an example of female agency which challenges a hegemonic definition of shōjo in the cultural imagination, revealing instead a complex, powerful ideal of girlish identity in Japanese culture, forging a new modern female identity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-475
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Popular Culture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


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