An article about manga magazines. While it doesn’t contain any information that’s new to me, it’s a nice, basic overview of a couple different ones, so I thought I’d include it.
One of the most fundamental issues I take with English-language discussion of anime is the degree to which many people simply ignore manga outright. From a demographic perspective, this makes sense; Japan spends roughly 5 billion dollars on manga every year, and in France, the annual income in dollars of the manga industry (~125 million) exceeds the number of people living in the country (~66 million), but the average United States citizen spends about 38 cents per year (120 million per year market, 318 million people) on manga while pirating or illegally streaming approximately 6 gazillion episodes of anime. Ok, I made that last figure up, but I did plug in the 2 sites that “free streaming anime episodes” pulled up for me on google into a web value calculator, and those sites, gogoanime and kissanime, have a combined estimated pageview total of 1.5 billion per year, and they’re hardly the only ones out there that do what they do.*
It’s worth noting that I’m not at all unbiased about this; manga is kind my favorite thing. And that’s why I fall into the devil’s advocate role when people try to build anime-centric narratives surrounding manga. One of the most common permutations of this phenomenon pops up when a manga series ends soon after an anime adaptation of it. I’ve seen it argued in different places that poor anime performances killed off C3-bu, Daily Lives of High School Boys, and Binbougami ga. The most oft-cited piece of evidence in these cases is the timing of the ending of the series; if the franchise became more popular, it wouldn’t make sense to end it in the middle of that boom. The issue with that line of reasoning, though, is that authors can and have quit on extremely popular series at multiple times in the past. Inoue Takehiko ended 100,000,000+ seller Slam Dunk in the middle of a major tournament, and Hiroyuki Takei ended Shaman King early for health reasons. At the very least, author burnout is an alternate hypothesis that needs to be addressed, either with additional evidence for the “cancelled” argument or a direct quote from the author. Since the latter is only available on a case-by-case basis, I’ll be taking a look at the first question; does a lack of a visible sales boost increase the odds that a manga will end a year or so after the anime adaptation?
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.
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.