Manga adaptations are not something new, it’s something that has been going on for years. There are many genres of mangas, but there is one that especially appeals to ladies and it’s the Shoujo genre.
Shoujo is defined according to Wikipedia as the: “manga aimed at a teenage female readership. The name literally means 'young woman'. Shoujo manga covers many subjects in a variety of narrative styles, from historical drama to science fiction, often with a focus on romantic relationships or emotions. Strictly speaking, however, shoujo manga does not comprise a style or genre, but rather indicates a target demographic.”
Due to its focus on romance, shoujos are greatly attractive to women and that’s one of the reasons they has been more likely to be adapted into movies and dramas. Here on MDL, there have been some articles that focused on manga adaptations, as well as this article “Stalker's guide to Fukushi Sota” that mentioned the phrase “Prince of Shoujo adaptations.” That got me thinking. Is there anyone actor who has played in a lot of shoujo adaptations? If so, is it Fukushi Sota? However, looking back in the recent years, there has been another name that's come up fairly often in relation to shoujo adaptations. And that is... Yamazaki Kento.
Let’s check the specifics:
Birth date: May 30, 1993
Number of Shoujo adaptations: 2 movies + 1 dorama (considering only main leads and exclusively manga adaptations of the genre shoujo)
1. Sukitte Ii Nayo: His first leading role in a manga adaptation back in 2014.
2. Strobe Edge: a movie adapted in 2015.
3. Omukae desu: a 9-episode drama from 2016.
Birth date: September 7, 1994
Number of shoujo adaptations: 5 movies (considering only main leads and exclusively manga adaptations of the genre shoujo.)
1. LDK: His first leading role in a manga adaptation back in 2014.
2. Heroine Disqualified: 2015
3. Orange: 2015
4. Wolf Girl and Black Prince: 2016
5. Your Lie in April: 2016
The number of shoujo manga adaptations Fukushi has starred in is 3 while Yamazaki Kento has 5 shoujo manga adaptations under his belt. Based on this, Yamazaki has more experienced in shoujo adaptations. However, talking about who is more similar to their shoujo counterparts, I’ll have to say Fukushi’s Ren in Strobe Edge is the closest to the manga character, closely followed by Yamazaki’s Kakeru in Orange. But are these the only criteria one should use to decide who the true Prince of Shoujo is? They do share several things like they are around the same age, they both work as actors and models, and they both won the Japan Academy prize for Newcomer of the Year in 2015 and 2016 respectively. You can actually watch them act together in the 2014 drama: Yowakutemo Katemasu.
In the past, several actors have been involved with shoujo adaptations, such as Ikuta Toma with Hana Kimi and Bokura ga ita, or Miura Haruma with Koizora and Kimi ni Todoke. But I don’t think anyone has as many adaptations as Yamazaki has amassed these past years, therefore I think he is a suitable candidate to receive the title. On the other hand, Fukushi Sota does look more shoujo-like, therefore, making him a good candidate for shoujo adaptations. Let's see if they'll continue giving us more shoujo live actions in the future to come!
Note: Remember I'm not judging the quality of the adaptations nor their acting because there are good and bad adaptations from manga to live action (I'm looking at you, Wolf Girl and Black prince!) but that's another story that deserves another article.
What could make someone “the Prince of Shoujo”? Share your opinion, who is the real Prince of Shoujo and what makes him deserve this title?