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INTEREST: Shueisha Says Female Jump Editors Need to 'Understand the Hearts of Boys'


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Meongantuk



Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Posts: 189
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:49 am Reply with quote
CrowLia wrote:
Minos_Kurumada wrote:


As a side note, this remembers me that scene on Bakuman, when Mashiro realized they had a decent female fanbase he suggested changing the plot a bit based on the fan letters, his editor told him that "Women who read Shounen Jump do it because they like Shounen Manga, if you try to appeal to women you will end with a Shoujo Manga and it's not a good idea", or something like that.


I wouldn't take that quote too seriously considering how rampantly mysoginist Bakuman (and all of Ohba's manga) is. It's also very dumb to believe the female demographic isn't being considered at all, it's not gratuitous that Jump's readership has grown so much as the stories in the magazine embrace themes that are more appealing for both men and women. For all the men complaining that "of course men like big boobs and fanservice", there's very little of it to be found in current Jump manga. Look at their recent roster of hits: Hero Academia, Kimetsu no Yaiba, Dr. Stone, Promised Neverland; the fanservice is minimal or nonexistent on their newer serializations (barring the resident softcore porn series).

Weekly Shonen Jump didn't become Japan's best selling periodical publication by just appealing to boys aged 6-13. We all know it, and they most definitely know it. The statement from the Shueisha staffer that a woman couldn't be a Jump editor because she would need to understand the hearts of "young boys" is not only sexist, but a disingenuous, deceitful and bad faith excuse for their sexist, outdated corporate policies and honestly I hope this scandal forces a major shakeup in their hiring practices


The quote was more in the line "It's okay to listen the fans, but don't let them dictate you." Not "don't listen to your fans!" Of course they consider the female demographic, but their primary brand image is "manga aimed at young boys", the female readerships come to jump precisely because said brand image. This is why many of modern Jump flagship has cast full of pretty boys, complete with male on male friendship or rivalries.

The closest thing to "Shounen manga aimed specifically at women" in Jump is Act-Age, but even then, it's pretty much "your usual well written jump sport manga" with twist where the main character and main rival are girls while still having plenty of boys (without romance baggage). It's doing pretty decent job so far.
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Merida
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Joined: 21 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:52 am Reply with quote
So having female editors in WSJ would make these manga somehow less attractive to boys (and ruin Japan's oh-so-precious culture according to some of the comments here.. Rolling Eyes ) while having male editors at shoujo magazines seems to work completely fine because of...reasons?
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ErikaD.D



Joined: 09 Jun 2019
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:07 am Reply with quote
Merida wrote:
So having female editors in WSJ would make these manga somehow less attractive to boys (and ruin Japan's oh-so-precious culture according to some of the comments here.. Rolling Eyes ) while having male editors at shoujo magazines seems to work completely fine because of...reasons?

This is double standarts. Seems men in Japan want to make women "off limits" like in China, India and muslim countries, where women are already off limits and they treated women like crap. Childish Gambino sings "This is Japan".
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Krunky



Joined: 08 Jul 2019
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:53 am Reply with quote
Merida wrote:
So having female editors in WSJ would make these manga somehow less attractive to boys (and ruin Japan's oh-so-precious culture according to some of the comments here.. Rolling Eyes ) while having male editors at shoujo magazines seems to work completely fine because of...reasons?


I'm not sure why people are bringing up the shoujo department as a rebuttal since that actually supports the claim that specific space in Japan is male-dominated regardless of its demographic it surely doesn't help that shoujo manga tends to be even more misogynistic than shounen manga. Considering how Jump has the biggest quota of female readers in Japan for a male targeted magazine to say that it needs a "female touch" is silly since you're just asking for representation over everything else.
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Valjean Lafitte



Joined: 19 May 2015
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:57 am Reply with quote
nargun wrote:

But, still, incessantly, we get "most menlike fanservice!" reiterated from people who Really Like ludicrous big-tit toons.

Why are you equating fanservice with liking big tits? You know, there are all kinds of body types and fetishes that mangakas pander to in the name of fanservice, and to claim that most men don't like any type of fanservice would be naive.
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Meongantuk



Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Posts: 189
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:30 am Reply with quote
Merida wrote:
So having female editors in WSJ would make these manga somehow less attractive to boys (and ruin Japan's oh-so-precious culture according to some of the comments here.. Rolling Eyes ) while having male editors at shoujo magazines seems to work completely fine because of...reasons?


Yeah, Jump should stop their sexist mindset, but saying they must have female editors for the sake "women's touch" is as silly, and proof for the Jump people that the people complaining don't understand what Jump's brand image is.

If the female candidate is capable to edit/find new talents suitable for the brand image, then by all means they should be hired. There are already several female mangaka with hit series in Jump already, so that's enough proof that females can understand "Boy's heart".

Hiring anyone who don't understand the magazine's market (regardless of their gender) and image will only leads them to ruin the mangaka they're in charge of.
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Merida
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:41 am Reply with quote
Krunky wrote:
Considering how Jump has the biggest quota of female readers in Japan for a male targeted magazine to say that it needs a "female touch" is silly since you're just asking for representation over everything else.


WSJ doesn't "need a female touch" (where did i even say that in my comment?!), i just don't see the point of categorically refusing women to become editors there. It's very likely that women wanting to become editors there, are or have been among those female readers you mentioned. All the negative comments seem to suggest that having female editors would somehow immediately and revolutionary change the magazine for the worse and that's what seems silly to me.
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lossthief



Joined: 14 Dec 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:35 am Reply with quote
Merida wrote:

WSJ doesn't "need a female touch" (where did i even say that in my comment?!), i just don't see the point of categorically refusing women to become editors there. It's very likely that women wanting to become editors there, are or have been among those female readers you mentioned. All the negative comments seem to suggest that having female editors would somehow immediately and revolutionary change the magazine for the worse and that's what seems silly to me.


It's backwards, specious logic that I'm not even sure people making that argument realize they're doing. The logic being:
A: Shonen Jump has been successful for a long time
B: Shonen Jump hasn't hired any women for editorial positions
ergo C: Shonen Jump is successful because they haven't hired women for editorial positions.

The entire argument is some Tiger-Repelling Rock nonsense, and it's also taking this whole line at face value. What the line about "understanding the hearts of boys" actually says is "I don't believe a woman - any woman - could do my job as well as me or any other man I work with" which is, yes, sexist no matter how you look at it.
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Shenl742



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:57 am Reply with quote
Women can give birth to young boys, teach them, raise them, look after them but can't understand their hearts....right
Rolling Eyes
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nargun



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:10 pm Reply with quote
Valjean Lafitte wrote:
nargun wrote:

But, still, incessantly, we get "most menlike fanservice!" reiterated from people who Really Like ludicrous big-tit toons.

Why are you equating fanservice with liking big tits? You know, there are all kinds of body types and fetishes that mangakas pander to in the name of fanservice, and to claim that most men don't like any type of fanservice would be naive.


I'm not, I'm using big tits as an example. The objection is to using your characters as carriers of sexualised content rather than crafting your narrative so that the sexual content emerges naturally and naturalistically out of your other narrative decisions. Big tits works really well as an example because, well, we've all seen characters that exist solely to support the breasts at appropriate points in the drawing. For anatomical reasons the "carrier" metaphor isn't as vivid for hairless 10yo crotch and pert 12yo titty, and so I went with big tits.

So here's the thing: most people don't find that that sexy, whatever "that" is, because for most people attraction is more than visual. Suddenly, titty! (or suddely whatever) doesn't do it for most people because unless it's consistent with the characterisation and unless it emerges naturalistically out of the narrative it breaks the illusion and the "drawings" snap back to lines on paper. Sexual content: absolutely it's popular. The sort of contextually and narratively unjustified sex content that gets called "fanservice"? not so much.

(and again: evidence strongly suggests that SJ editorial are flat-out bad at their jobs, which is probably a more interesting thing to discuss than this sub-topic)
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Valjean Lafitte



Joined: 19 May 2015
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:45 pm Reply with quote
nargun wrote:

So here's the thing: most people don't find that that sexy, whatever "that" is, because for most people attraction is more than visual. Suddenly, titty! (or suddely whatever) doesn't do it for most people because unless it's consistent with the characterisation and unless it emerges naturalistically out of the narrative it breaks the illusion and the "drawings" snap back to lines on paper. Sexual content: absolutely it's popular. The sort of contextually and narratively unjustified sex content that gets called "fanservice"? not so much.

What is your basis for thinking this? My basis for thinking that more manga readers like fan service is that it clearly sells. Manga with obligatory fan service chapters, and especially mangas ecchi elements, don't appear to be fading in popularity. How could mangakas afford to put cheap fan service into their manga otherwise?
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nargun



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:14 pm Reply with quote
It's not fading in popularity, but we're still talking less than a tenth of the market: popular, but nowhere near popular enough that a reasonable person can conclude that it's something "most men" buy into. Like I wrote earlier.

How can we tell this? well, you can have a look on your local shop's shelves, but that's subject to a lot of variation depending on your shop's market segment. If you even have a local shop. More reliable are the best-seller figures, which fanservice-heavy titles don't figure on at the levels you'd expect if fanservice were overwhelmingly popular; there's also online discussion which lets you track engagement at the cost of some pretty big distortions depending on the communities you're hooked into. Ads and licencing decisions, but these are complex to understand.

You put it together and you get a picture. Distorted, but useful for these purposes. Fanservice has always been a minority appeal. It simply does not sell as well as you think it does, nowhere near the levels it would sell at if "most men" liked it. Like I've been saying.
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Sabruness



Joined: 23 Oct 2019
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:57 pm Reply with quote
nargun wrote:
Valjean Lafitte wrote:
nargun wrote:

But, still, incessantly, we get "most menlike fanservice!" reiterated from people who Really Like ludicrous big-tit toons.

Why are you equating fanservice with liking big tits? You know, there are all kinds of body types and fetishes that mangakas pander to in the name of fanservice, and to claim that most men don't like any type of fanservice would be naive.


I'm not, I'm using big tits as an example. The objection is to using your characters as carriers of sexualised content rather than crafting your narrative so that the sexual content emerges naturally and naturalistically out of your other narrative decisions. Big tits works really well as an example because, well, we've all seen characters that exist solely to support the breasts at appropriate points in the drawing. For anatomical reasons the "carrier" metaphor isn't as vivid for hairless 10yo crotch and pert 12yo titty, and so I went with big tits.

So here's the thing: most people don't find that that sexy, whatever "that" is, because for most people attraction is more than visual. Suddenly, titty! (or suddenly whatever) doesn't do it for most people because unless it's consistent with the characterization and unless it emerges naturalistically out of the narrative it breaks the illusion and the "drawings" snap back to lines on paper. Sexual content: absolutely it's popular. The sort of contextually and narratively unjustified sex content that gets called "fanservice"? not so much.

(and again: evidence strongly suggests that SJ editorial are flat-out bad at their jobs, which is probably a more interesting thing to discuss than this sub-topic)


Originally i didn't agree with your view but, with this clarification, i do now see your point. At least from my interpretation of your posts, it's not about fanservice existing but more about the quality of fanservice. When the fanservice and sexual content is done as an organic part of the plot, as opposed to just being heaped on top, it's great. When the fanservice drives the characters, however, just can absolutely ruin the potential of a story.

I think that's why i've mostly moved away from typical shounen fanservice series (and towards narratively justified fanservice series like Harukana Receive) is because standard fanservice is horribly done and usually tips to extremes (either loli or inhumanly huge tits)
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DavetheUsher



Joined: 19 May 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:14 pm Reply with quote
Merida wrote:
So having female editors in WSJ would make these manga somehow less attractive to boys (and ruin Japan's oh-so-precious culture according to some of the comments here.. Rolling Eyes ) while having male editors at shoujo magazines seems to work completely fine because of...reasons?


Those male editors working in shoujo magazines are probably just focusing purely on business which is why it works. Men generally do not obsess over manga aimed at women and try to 'fix' them. There's no group of dudes demanding there be more male characters in Sailor Moon or Tuxedo Mask should be given more agency like you see women make with male targeted series. One can only run across so many Momo redesign posts on social media where they feel the compulsive need to "fix" her outfit.

Male execs strike me as more likely to just focus purely on marketing and business data with no regard for social implications or issues. "Girls like X, Y, and Z, so throw all that in there. Boom. Easy show for girls" That's pretty much how Pretty Cure came to be, and that franchise has been the most popular magical girl series for the past couple decades.
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:17 pm Reply with quote
Crispy45 wrote:
They're completely right though. Shounen is popular with women the way it is now. Changing things would only lead to upsetting that balance. Kurobas wasn't topping the charts at Comiket back in the day for it's amazingly written and important female characters it doesn't have, it was there for the guys and shippers. As you said, manga can transcend gender demographics. The issue is understanding why women are reading series for boys in the first place, and looking around you'll find a lot of people who don't.


I think that this is a bit of incorrect way to look at things, and perhaps even toxic. By that logic nothing should ever change if it was popular the way it was before, but it is totally not true. Go back a little while and fighting was pretty much exclusive of male characters, with perhaps odd exceptions, but more and more we are seeing female characters being just involved in action and fights. You had the likes of Fairy Tail that was often pretty even among the gender split, or the likes of Bakugo vs Uraraka. The gender divide in shounen is declining, because the spirit is not something that you have to limit to one gender.

In addition to that, perhaps more social justice sort of way, these removals of gender clubs has a bonus effect of making those who read them be more empathetic of those outside of their group. That might sound unnecessary, and maybe not the job shounen manga should be responsible for, but regardless media has an effect on people whether they want it or not, and toxic thoughts of only men could do the editor job, is probably going to have some effect. Chances are that the positive action of more inclusion will outshine anything "lost".

Really seems like these historically masculine fanbases always worry that it is going to be ruined by a bit of a feminine touch, when it is probably going to mean little to them, mean a lot to others.
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