Year 24 Group (24年組,Nijūyo-nen Gumi), also known as Fabulous Year 24 Group (花の24年組,Hana no Nijūyo-nen Gumi), is used by academics and critics to refer to a group of female mangaka (manga artists) who heavily influenced shōjo manga (girls' comics) beginning in the 1970s. Their works, many of which are now considered classics of the shōjo genre, are noted for their examination of radical and philosophical issues, including sexuality and gender. Though the origin of the name is unknown, it refers to the fact that the artists belonging to this group were born around Shōwa 24 (1949).
Hagio and Takemiya were roommates in Ōizumigakuenchō, Nerima, Tokyo from 1970 to 1973. Norie Masuyama, a friend of Takemiya's, introduced Hagio and Takemiya to Barazoku, the first commercially-published gay magazine in Japan. The magazine inspired Takemiya and Hagio to create shōnen-ai works.
Year 24 Group contributed significantly to the development in shōjo manga by expanding the genre to incorporate elements of science fiction, historical fiction, adventure fiction, and same-sex romance. The prevalence of Bildungsroman genre conventions in their works have been noted by critics. Stylistically, Year 24 Group created new conventions in panel layout by departing from the rows of rectangles that were the standard at the time, creating borders that were softened or removed entirely, and panel shapes and configurations that conveyed emotion.
Comiket, the world's largest comic convention, was founded by the dōjinshi circle Meikyu [ja] to study the works of various manga artists, including Hagio and other members of Year 24 Group.
Academic Tomoko Yamada has criticized the use of the term "Year 24 Group", noting that the designation lumps women together based on their age, that it may perpetuate a bias against earlier shōjo manga artists, that it is overly inclusive of all female baby boomer manga artists, and that some manga artists considered part of Year 24 Group may reject the label.
^Suzuki, Kazuko. 1999. "Pornography or Therapy? Japanese Girls Creating the Yaoi Phenomenon". In Sherrie Inness, ed., Millennium Girls: Today's Girls Around the World. London: Rowman & Littlefield, p.247 ISBN0-8476-9136-5, ISBN0-8476-9137-3.
^Matsui, Midori. (1993) "Little girls were little boys: Displaced Femininity in the representation of homosexuality in Japanese girls' comics," in Gunew, S. and Yeatman, A. (eds.) Feminism and The Politics of Difference, pp. 177–196. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.
^Gravett, Paul (2004) Manga: 60 Years of Japanese Comics (Harper Design, ISBN1-85669-391-0) page 79