Sic transit gloria mangae

Weekly Shonen Sunday 週刊少年サンデー and Weekly Shonen Magazine 週刊少年マガジン are celebrating their Golden Jubilee together on the 17th of March this year. (Both published their inaugural issues on the same day, a truce reached only after racing to be the first weekly manga magazine shaved two months off Sunday’s initially planned lead time.) More here, including a cover gallery.

Speaking of which, the cover of this week’s Sunday pays tribute to the very first Sunday cover, with Matsuzaka Daisuke in the role of Nagashima Shigeo.

sunday.jpg
You can’t see it at this resolution, but under the banner to the right, where the original said “Sports, manga, science, TV”, the new edition says “Sports, manga, video games, anime.” Kind of sad that the focus of the magazine has narrowed so much that “TV” has the ring of broad-mindedness by comparison.

Matt
March 4, 2009

12 Responses

  1. Connor Says:

    Some years after reading this homage to the first issue of Shounen Sunday, one troubled youth will don a mask and unleash an homage to a horrible death virus, first in London, then in San Francisco, and then in Osaka. We will all die references to horrible deaths.

  2. M-Bone Says:

    By “science”, the original meant stuff that blows other stuff up good.

  3. Matt Says:

    Well, yeah. But at least they were learning something with real-world applications.

  4. W. David MARX Says:

    Man, all those elementary school student-targeted manga were sure boring before they became interested in indoctrinating young boys about the objectification of women. Sports? Adventure? Where are the women in bikinis??? If a 9 year old can’t see underage girls in bikinis in their favorite manga… well, I don’t want to imagine a world like that.

  5. M-Bone Says:

    “Where are the women in bikinis???”

    They were (mostly) still in Nagai Go’s head. A few years later, out they came, and off came the bikinis.

    Of course, Japan’s most iconic manga bikini (think tiger stripes) was created by a woman…. and she was in on the joke.

  6. W. David MARX Says:

    I wasn’t thinking about the two-dimensional girls in bikinis, but the young idols in bikinis who are a staple of Shonen Magazine covers.

  7. M-Bone Says:

    “staple of Shonen Magazine covers.”

    Inside the cover maybe, but the four big ones – Sunday, Jump, Rival, and Magazine don’t do it on the cover very often (I think that three of them NEVER do it, actually, although they may have a small image of a model in the corner).

    Are you sure that you aren’t thinking about “Young Magazine” or “Young Animal”? Those ones always have a hooter pic on the cover, but are really more for a 20+ audience.

  8. Matt Says:

    I read Magazine pretty regularly, for Kumeta Koji, and they usually have a girl on the cover but she isn’t often in a bikini. They’re more into the girl-next-door style of gravure, with a storyline about that time you went on a secret date with Ishihara Satomi, or Aibu Saki baked you a cake. (That said, subjects with less star power and therefore leverage do usually get put in a bikini as one of their costume changes.)

    Young Animal always cracks me up because it’s got that banner, in a surging, powerful font — YOUNG ANIMAL! RRGH!!… and then the actual cover is full of blushing moe characters that look five years old. Plus the bikini idol, of course.

  9. M-Bone Says:

    Yeah, Magazine is the guilty one. Jump, for example, usually has a snarling manga manchild with a sword.

  10. W. David MARX Says:

    Young Jump and Young Magazine are of course worse, but yes, they are “men’s magazines.”

    I worked in the offices of Shonen Magazine for a week, and they did have “girls in bathing suits” in the front of almost every issue. Maybe I unfairly exaggerate with “bikins.”

  11. Matt Says:

    We can settle this by looking at their back issues. It really is all about the face, even last summer. I’ve always assumed that this is because of their girl-next-door thing. It can’t be easy to get Horikita Maki’s manager to sign off on a bathing-suit cover.

    Hypotheses:
    - Editorial policy was different when you were there
    - The covers you saw had been selected for display specifically because they were disproportionately bathing suit-focused and therefore appealing to the selectors

    Note: Not arguing with the general idea that it would be better if Magazine and its ilk had not become a branch of the mass-objectification idol industry. Just the specifics of which branch they did in fact become.

  12. nate Says:

    I think all those girls had bathing suits on under their clothes.