Manga magazines are usually targeted to a specific age and gender of readers. Usually shounen manga are written by males even if there are notable examples of female artists working on shounen series (e.g. Rumiko Takahashi, CLAMP).

Are there any case of a female mangaka pretending to be a male using a pen name to adapt to a specific gender or just to challenge her readers and later reveal herself?

  • 2
    It's not what you're looking for, but Lucky Star's mangaka Kagami Yoshizumi is sometimes mistakenly thought to be a woman because he shares the name Kagami with one of the female characters, might be of interest Commented May 24, 2013 at 22:38
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    If they are really trying to hide their identity then we wouldn't be able to tell you about them :)
    – atlantiza
    Commented May 31, 2013 at 0:27
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    @atlantiza Maybe they're not trying hard enough.
    – Cattua
    Commented May 31, 2013 at 0:42
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    Late comment: Akimine Kamijō (the author of Samurai Deeper Kyo) has often been mistaken for a man. She never appears in public and draws herself as a genderless violet silhouette.
    – Morwenn
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 14:25

2 Answers 2


I think none.

First of all, in this link, these are the only manga examples created by authors who pretended to be the opposite sex using pen names.

  • In the anime ef - a tale of memories, Hirono Hiro, 17 year-old male who is a professional mangaka, writes under the pen name Shindou Nagi, claiming to be female. Given that his work is shoujo, it's understandable.
  • In Otomen Tachibana Juuta writes sparkly romance shoujo manga under the penname Sachihana Jewel, and refuses to disclose his real identity even though the manga is hugely popular, because he's afraid readers wouldn't take well to their shoujo manga being written by a man. He goes as far as crossdressing whenever he needs to appear as Sachihana.
  • There's also his (Tachibana Juuta's) favorite mangaka, Mira-sensei (short for "Mirage") who dresses, speaks and behaves like a classic '70s shoujo manga character, for the same reason as Juuta. His motto is "Because we're professionals!"
  • In Himitsu No Hanazono the four brothers work under one female name to publish their shoujo manga.

Which all are male mangaka pretending to be female for their shoujo manga. And in this list are female mangaka, and you can notice some created shounen manga. If there are some of them who pretended to be male, then it should have been stated there because it's a must-know.

Why none?

According here, female mangaka were greatly accepted so I think there is no need for them to use pen names to hide their true identity, either for the reason of having their shounen manga accepted or the reasons you mentioned above. And there exists a lot of female mangaka who created/creating shounen manga.

Later popular artists include the highly prolific and successful Rumiko Takahashi and rising star Akira Amano (both drawing primarily shonen stories for boys) as well as the female collective CLAMP.

Furthermore, I think male mangaka receives more discrimination for writing shoujo manga than female mangaka writing shounen manga. It's much like the discrimination when females are okay to hold hands with females (most will think that they are best friends) while males holding hands with males are.. not so acceptable. If you know what I mean. :P

Well, the links I provided might not be complete or I might be wrong (forgive me) so I'll just update this answer if I find something. As of now, this will be my answer.

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    Thank you for the answer: as of now, sources you're citing are limited and vague, if you find more about the topic please add more sources to back up your conclusion.
    – chirale
    Commented May 31, 2013 at 5:37
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    Yes I agree that it is. Of course I'll update it if I find some more reliable source. :)
    – xjshiya
    Commented May 31, 2013 at 5:43

The creator of Full Metal Alchemist, Hiromi Arakawa pretended to be a male for a while as she was worried her being a female would give her less credit and readers. She originally called herself Edmund (or Edmond) Arakawa. Then changed her alias to something similar to her real name but masculine, Hiromu Arakawa.

Besides being afraid that fewer people would read her shounen works if they knew she was a woman, she is also allegedly very camera shy and there aren't a lot of photos of her online and she tends to draw herself as a human with a cow head and avoids interviews.

I'm not sure if there are any other examples of this though however I wouldn't be surprised.

A lot of the female manga authors who make popular works typically make it with male leads though and I think there are various obvious reasons there.

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