Anime and manga, the Japanese animation and comic book style, have been steadily rising in popularity since the mid-90s. The many different styles of mangas target different audiences, which is why they are so popular amongst a wide variety of people.
Shojo mangas are a type of manga that targets teenage girls roughly the ages of ten to eighteen. The term "shojo" literally means "little girl," and that's the primary audience, although many other people enjoy shojo mangas as well. The stories can be science fiction or fantasy, but usually revolve around romantic relationships and emotions.
Magazines for Japanese girls, called "shojo magazines" first appeared in 1903. The first girl's magazines were, Shojo Kai (Girls World), Shojo Sekai, and Shojo no Tomo (Girls friend). These all came about between 1903 and 1908. Each magazine had articles on fashion and relationships, but also featured short shojo mangas.
Many manga's in America are classified as "shojo," even though the original artist wouldn't classify them that way. Manga's like Azumanga Daioh, are called Shojo, when really the creator considered it to be comedy. This is because of the themes of romance in the manga.
Azumanga Daioh, is a popular manga that follows the lives of a group of high school girls, and deals with themes like romance and growing up. Another popular shojo manga is Sailor Moon, which was made popular in America when the anime, or animated series, aired on the Fox kids network in 1992. Sailor Moon is a fantasy show about a group of teen girls who are also super heroes.
Mangas have become so popular in the last decade, that they can be found in most book stores and libraries. Many of the popular manga's have also been adapted to anime, and the dvds can also be found quite easily. Romance fans, and young girls alike enjoy these unique and clever stories.