Manga Olympics for Bloggers (Shonen/Seinen Round 1): Shonen Manga and Redefining Manliness

This post represents the first of three entries our blog is submitting to the Manga Olympics for Bloggers. Voting begins in a few days on June 16th, so just enjoy the article for now. Or check out our illustrious competition.

Shonen manga, as literally defined, are manga marketed towards young boys. There are several implications of this definition, but I’m going to zero in on one in particular for the moment. Because shonen manga is popular with and being marketed towards younger boys, it must to some degree adhere to their notions of manliness, but still holds a unique opportunity to redefine what they see as cool, manly traits to aspire to. Let’s dive right in and take a look at some of the many shonen manga that subtly teach kids life lessons.

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Fun With Numbers: Inu x Boku SS and Square Enix Doing Something Right

So yesterday morning, I was reading through the newer articles on ANN, when I spotted one that piqued my interest: a comics ranking with Inu x Boku SS’s ninth volume at the top. I didn’t spit out my coffee*, but that was a fairly surprising result. And this wasn’t getting to the top in a total off-week, either. It sold about 220,000 volumes, more than the next two new volumes on the list (Deadman Wonderland 12 and Blast of Tempest 9) combined. That put it near the top, if not *at* the top, of the manga Square Enix is currently publishing. So I started to wonder; considering this company was publishing Fullmetal Alchemist just a few years ago, isn’t this kind of a notable downgrade? The answer, unearthed after some digging, was several kinds of interesting.

InuxBoku-a1

Though nowhere near this interesting

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Spoiler Policy, The Novel Test, and the Obligations of Serial Manga

Courtesy of the super-discount section of Half-Price Books, I just picked up a bundle of fun for a little less than 25$. I bought a number of items; manga volumes of Land of the Blindfolded, Lone Wolf and Cub, and R2 (I usually buy some series I’ve never heard of before on principle), Final Fantasy X and X-2, and ten issues of Weekly Shonen Magazine. What am I going to do with that last lot? Well, first, I’m going to take advantage of my ability ot read Japanese and spoil myself the heck out of second-best baseball manga ever Ace of the Diamond, which is 4 years ahead of where scanlators are now. Second, I’m going to take a stab at every series running in that magazine and see if any is solid enough for a tankobon import, something I do occasionally. These two related ideas popped into my head immediately upon seeing the issues, and led me to some thoughts on the concept of a serial medium as it pertains to manga. I thought I’d share.

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Animetics’ Drunken Vegas-style Spring 2013 Anime Preview

If the anime blogoshpere were a field of corn, and each post that summarized the spring 2013 season were a corn husk, then you could stand in the middle of it and toss a match in any direction, and end up with something on the order of 10 gallons of popcorn. And some third degree burns. Um.

So, what I mean to say is this; seasonal anime preview posts are really a saturated field. But we like anime, and we want to cover it, too. Thus, we labored hard to find a hipster angle, and we found it; instead of putting up a dime a dozen post, we’re putting a dozen dimes on the post. In simpler terms, we’re taking mad bets on the upcoming Spring 2013 lineup, Vegas-style!

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Fun With Numbers: The Evil Genius of Weekly Shonen Jump

If you know anything at all about manga, you’ve probably heard the name Weekly Shonen Jump before. Armed to the teeth with megahits like One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, and Toriko, it stands undisputed atop the manga industry. But did you ever wonder how that dominance came to be, or why it’s been largely unchallenged for upwards of 20 years? Here’s a hint: it’s no accident.

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