Moto Hagio-sensei is considered to be the founding mother of modern both shojo manga and the shonen-ai genre. Her work, They Were Eleven, was one of the first four shojo manga to be released to America. The work, along with three others, were compiled into one volume and released to test the American market in 1996.
She was the first female manga artist to win a Medal of Honor, in Japan, with a Purple Ribbon in honor of her artistic achievements.
Some of Hagio-sensei’s most successful works are works of science fiction. Being influenced by science fiction authors such as Isacc Asimov, Robert Heinlein (my favorite author), and Arthur C. Clarke it is easy to see their influence on her work. Interestingly, sensei’s usage of science fiction has led readers who don’t usually enjoy shojo to read and enjoy her works, leading to their popularity. This is, of course, speculative, but it makes logical sense so I accept it as a reasonable explanation to her popularity as “the most beloved shojo manga artist of all-time.”
Hagio-sensei’s most notable work(s)*:
Juuichigatsu no Gimnasium
“The second shounen-ai manga ever published, The November Gymnasium focuses on chaste, yearning love between boys at a prestigious German boys’ school. ” -Mangaupdates.com
Genre(s): Historical School Life Shoujo Shounen Ai
They Were Eleven
“The elite Cosmo Academy attracts applicants from every stellar nation in the galaxy. One young hopeful is Tadatos Lane, an orphan esper from Terra. The final stage of the academy’s entrance exam is a perilous mission simulation aboard an actual derelict starship. The applicants depart for the ships in groups of ten, but when Tada’s crew arrives on the Esperanza, they are horrified to discover that they now number eleven. As the test progresses, things go awry and the atmosphere grows increasingly tense. The crew members begin to suspect sabotage, and Tada appears to be the likely culprit.
Won Shogakukan Manga Award in 1976” -Mangaupdates.com
Genre(s): Drama Mystery Romance Sci-fi Shoujo
Poe no Ichizoku
“ Inside the village of Poe a mysterious noble family takes residence with their son Edgar and ill daughter Marybell. Edgar is quickly intrigued by Allan, the heir of a transportation company, who catches his eye by almost running him over with a horse. As the story unfolds a few residents of Poe slowly begin to wonder about the new family… ” -Mangaupdates.com
Genre(s): Drama Historical Mystery Psychological Shoujo Shounen Ai Supernatural Tragedy
*Note: I only showcased manga of the mangaka that has been translated to English.