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Manga Answerman - How Many Manga Magazines Are There In Japan?




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#884745
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:50 pm Reply with quote
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Another thing to note is that a lot of anime nowadays are not adapted from manga, but from light novels!


Or neither.

Out of my top 5 favorite series, two are original concepts, one is based on a visual novel (Kamigami no Asobi, the only good harem ever), and two are based on drama CDs.

One has a total of 5 volumes of manga - three one-offs and one two-volume series - 2 separate cour of anime, 10 stage plays, and over 100 drama CDs.

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I don't have a detailed list of anime adaptions by magazine source, but if I had to guess, I'd say that the vast majority are from shonen manga magazines, like Kodansha's Weekly and Monthly Shonen Magazines, Shueisha's family of Jump magazines (Weekly Shonen Jump, Jump SQ., Young Jump, etc.), Shonen Sunday from Shogakukan, and Square Enix's Gangan manga magazines (Young Gangan, Monthly Gangan, GFantasy). These magazines are where Attack on Titan, Blue Exorcist, Detective Conan, Soul Eater were first introduced to fans.


What makes a magazine count as shonen? Because GFantasy is obviously targeted to women. This is the magazine with Black Butler, The Royal Tutor, and a bunch of other series where bishounen vastly outnumber female character and unattractive males put together. It also has a lot of manga spinoffs/adaptations of series like K, with the same.
These series defy the gender/age categorization because they defy stereotypes. If you actually tracked the gender and ages of the readers, you'd call that audience "josei", but these aren't "adult women's real-life drama" stories, these are action stories about boys. They just... have several pages per chapter focusing on Sebastian being pretty, rather than on some hero making a gross face as they power up.

So yeah, basically, that gender/age categorization is broken. As all gender categorizations should be, really.
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invalidname
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:00 pm Reply with quote
So, a few years ago I had a job that took me to San Francisco on a regular basis, and I'd stay just a few blocks away from Japantown and its massive Kinokuniya, so I decided I would take a swing at some of these phone-book-size manga anthologies and get a feel for what they're really like. I started with Wikipedia's List of manga magazines, and then followed the links to seinen anthologies to look for those that had series or franchises I liked. I had a list of like 20, but only ever ended up trying three. First was Comic Alive, which turned out to be even more 18+ than I had counted on (I happened to get the first installment of Sabbat of the Witch and an infamous Table-kun scene).

Then I got into Dengeki Daioh, which turned out to be my main jam; I started with VN adaptations that I was into (Muv-Luv Alternative and ef - a fairy tale of the two), and kept going after they wrapped up. Nice thing was seeing promising new series launch, like Yagate Kimi ni Naru (which later got the English title Bloom Into You) and looming atrocities like Eromanga Sensei. It's also interesting to see which titles have more promotion/popularity over there (Strike The Blood is far more prominent in Daioh than it is here, for example). I also tried out Dengeki G's Comic which was kind of more of the same, except that the first 50 pages were give over to Key/Visual Art's manga like the Angel Beats! prequel (that self-destructed here after one volume) and Charlotte.

Thing is, I couldn't get to Kinokuniya every month, so I ended up with a rather haphazard collection of 2014-2017 issues.


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I don't have a detailed list of anime adaptions by magazine source, but if I had to guess, I'd say that the vast majority are from shonen manga magazines

Probably true, but look at the Wikipedia article for Daioh, and at least half of the current line-up has anime adaptations. The seinen audience seems pretty well-served by anime adaptations.
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zztop



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:02 pm Reply with quote
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There aren't as many anime adaptations of shojo or josei manga, but they aren't uncommon either.


Is there a specific reason why shoujo/josei manga don't get as many anime adaptations compared to the shounen/seinen branch?

In fact, most of the light/webnovel anime adaptations are the same - most of the adapted titles are made for male readers, while female-oriented webnovels still have yet to be covered (exempting the upcoming Reincarnated Villianess one).
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Brand



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:15 pm Reply with quote
zztop wrote:
Is there a specific reason why shoujo/josei manga don't get as many anime adaptations compared to the shounen/seinen branch?


A lot of the female oriented stuff (especially josei) tend to get live action adaptions. I think then it is just a general cultural taste thing but I could be wrong.
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Meongantuk



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:16 pm Reply with quote
zztop wrote:
Quote:
There aren't as many anime adaptations of shojo or josei manga, but they aren't uncommon either.


Is there a specific reason why shoujo/josei manga don't get as many anime adaptations compared to the shounen/seinen branch?

In fact, most of the light/webnovel anime adaptations are the same - most of the adapted titles are made for male readers, while female-oriented webnovels still have yet to be covered (exempting the upcoming Reincarnated Villianess one).


Many shoujo/jousei magazine seemed to prefer live-action (dorama/movie) adaptation than anime. Probably because it's easier to attract non-otaku demographic and better timeslot (compared to mostly late night anime timeslot).
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Kadmos1



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:57 pm Reply with quote
#884745 wrote:
What makes a magazine count as shonen? Because GFantasy is obviously targeted to women. This is the magazine with Black Butler, The Royal Tutor, and a bunch of other series where bishounen vastly outnumber female character and unattractive males put together. It also has a lot of manga spinoffs/adaptations of series like K, with the same.

Another thing is to consider that there is demographic then there is content. Sometimes a manga could published in a manga for a shounen demographic, but the content could be seinen material.
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John Thacker
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:56 am Reply with quote
Brand wrote:
zztop wrote:
Is there a specific reason why shoujo/josei manga don't get as many anime adaptations compared to the shounen/seinen branch?


A lot of the female oriented stuff (especially josei) tend to get live action adaptions. I think then it is just a general cultural taste thing but I could be wrong.


A lot of the female oriented stuff also tends to have realistic settings that take place in modern day Japan without fantasy elements, which is easy to portray in live action and doesn't draw on any of the particular strengths of anime in depicting fantastical elements. That contributes as well.
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John Thacker
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:10 am Reply with quote
#884745 wrote:
What makes a magazine count as shonen? Because GFantasy is obviously targeted to women. This is the magazine with Black Butler, The Royal Tutor, and a bunch of other series where bishounen vastly outnumber female character and unattractive males put together. It also has a lot of manga spinoffs/adaptations of series like K, with the same.
These series defy the gender/age categorization because they defy stereotypes...
So yeah, basically, that gender/age categorization is broken. As all gender categorizations should be, really.


I agree that GFantasy's actual audience (and actual target audience) is women. However, the arguments you're given are based on (accurate) gender stereotypes about women, that they like reading stories about bishounen (and boys with kemonomimi, cross-dressing boys, etc.) Sounds like you're upholding gender categorizations, just a more accurate one. It's more a case that Square Enix isn't being honest about the categorization simply because fujoshi (as is evident from the name) is a bit stigmatized. There's a little bit of the "it's mostly action, and action is only for boys" stereotype that is overdone. A more accurate stereotype is that action is more popular with boys just as romance is more popular with girls, but there obviously is romance for boys in the same way that GFantasy is action for girls.

Japan is willing to admit this in other areas. Notably there's of course "BL for women" and "yuri for men", but as well the major shounen and seinen magazines have no qualms about carrying the occasional romance story without changing what they label their target audience. In North America, though, we have often seen romance for boys and men labeled as "shoujo" when brought to North America, based on the same kind of limited stereotype. GFantasy is slightly different only because it's largely "action for girls and women" with maybe the occasional different genre, rather than being mostly other traditionally women-focused genres with the occasional action stories. But it still fits quite closely in modern accurate stereotypes, and it still has gender targeting, even if Square Enix itself categorizes it incorrectly.
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Sahmbahdeh



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:46 pm Reply with quote
[quote="zztop"]
Quote:
Is there a specific reason why shoujo/josei manga don't get as many anime adaptations compared to the shounen/seinen branch?


Part of it is that shonen manga tend to have greater cross-market appeal than shojo manga; ever noticed how many female MHA, Haikyuu and FMA fans there are? Lots; and there aren't really any shojo equivalents (except maybe Sailor Moon, but that's still a bit of a stretch. and at this point decades old). Part of the reason for that is that there's less stigma attached to girls liking stuff that's "for boys" than there is for boys to like stuff "for girls" (among other reasons). So, as anime is more of a financial investment to produce than manga, stuff that is perceived to have a wider appeal is more likely to get greenlit. There is still also some bias that females aren't as interested in anime as guys, but I think that's been going away recently.
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Yuvelir



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:59 pm Reply with quote
In this environment of declining books, it amazes me how Manga Time Kirara has survived with its scattershot approach. Albeit one of its spin-offs did indeed die this year, there are still three Kirara magazines centered on 4koma series that feature mostly or exclusively cute girls doing cute things (plus a more oddball one that is not 4koma and features much more different stories).
While Kirara gets a show or two up every season, what gets adapted is only a small fraction of what you can find in any given magazine! How do they even get enough readers to keep so many magazines alive? Even if one of them died, a magazine from a different publisher with the same style, Comic Cune, has managed to raise in popularity.

This is a quite specific niche that as it seems must be very hungry for paper. And given its demographic, one would expect them to favour digital but here we are.
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yakisoba_kmb



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:35 pm Reply with quote
Yuvelir wrote:
In this environment of declining books, it amazes me how Manga Time Kirara has survived with its scattershot approach. Albeit one of its spin-offs did indeed die this year, there are still three Kirara magazines centered on 4koma series that feature mostly or exclusively cute girls doing cute things (plus a more oddball one that is not 4koma and features much more different stories).
While Kirara gets a show or two up every season, what gets adapted is only a small fraction of what you can find in any given magazine! How do they even get enough readers to keep so many magazines alive? Even if one of them died, a magazine from a different publisher with the same style, Comic Cune, has managed to raise in popularity.

This is a quite specific niche that as it seems must be very hungry for paper. And given its demographic, one would expect them to favour digital but here we are.


Yes, I personally think there won't be any other magazine family like it and most of the stuff they have adapted is perfectly watchable imo. I'm currently buying Kirara Carat monthly for a reason.
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Shay Guy



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:15 am Reply with quote
I've thought for a while that sites like MAL should add a separate category for shows adapted from light novels that were themselves cleaned-up versions of amateur webnovels published a chapter at a time online. There's enough of them to be a meaningfully distinct category -- honestly, in some ways their structure has more in common with manga than conventional light novels. Re:Zero, for instance, covers about eight and a half light novels' worth of content, but you can't easily map its arcs to the divisions between volumes. It's got obvious divisions -- the source material is formally divided into arcs that map to episodes 1-3, 4-11, and 12-25 -- but they're more like typical variable-length manga arcs.

(This isn't universal, of course -- I think Log Horizon makes a deliberate effort to write for the trade, as American comic fans would put it.)

#884745 wrote:
What makes a magazine count as shonen? Because GFantasy is obviously targeted to women. This is the magazine with Black Butler, The Royal Tutor, and a bunch of other series where bishounen vastly outnumber female character and unattractive males put together. It also has a lot of manga spinoffs/adaptations of series like K, with the same.
These series defy the gender/age categorization because they defy stereotypes. If you actually tracked the gender and ages of the readers, you'd call that audience "josei", but these aren't "adult women's real-life drama" stories, these are action stories about boys. They just... have several pages per chapter focusing on Sebastian being pretty, rather than on some hero making a gross face as they power up.

So yeah, basically, that gender/age categorization is broken. As all gender categorizations should be, really.


It sounds like a dumb answer, but I believe the truth is that it's shonen if the publisher says it is. Just like what makes a "light novel". (Technically, Monogatari isn't a light novel, because Kodansha Box isn't advertised as a light novel imprint.)

zztop wrote:
Is there a specific reason why shoujo/josei manga don't get as many anime adaptations compared to the shounen/seinen branch?


Some of it is just that the magazines made for dudes first are more popular. I imagine some of that, in turn, is them being seen as "for everyone" whereas shoujo/josei is "ew, girls' stuff" by quite a few male readers. Or if not actively averse, then just a sorta clueless "I'm a guy, why would I be interested? And why doesn't my girlfriend like Dr. Stone?"

I am 100% in favor of the way Jump is apparently attempting to increase its appeal to female readers, by the way. Act-Age and The Promised Neverland FTW.
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SHD



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:31 am Reply with quote
Shay Guy wrote:
It sounds like a dumb answer, but I believe the truth is that it's shonen if the publisher says it is. Just like what makes a "light novel". (Technically, Monogatari isn't a light novel, because Kodansha Box isn't advertised as a light novel imprint.)

Not to mention, a bunch of novels have both light and "non-light" novel versions as they are published under various labels... in my experience the light novel versions usually have more illustrations and furigana but not even necessarily that. Sometimes the light novel simply has an "anime style" cover while the "non-light" version has a normal cover that you can read on the train without declaring yourself an otaku.

And yeah, that's pretty much right. The publisher calls a magazine "Shounen Whatever" either because it's been called that for 40 years regardless of its actual reader demographics, or because technically they are trying to address a young male demographic, or because they don't want to alienate the "eww girl stuff" part of their target demographic. And that makes the magazine shounen and the manga serialized in shounen. But that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the actual target demographic and/or readership of the manga.

(Case in point: when Yondemasu yo Azazel-san and Prison School were adapted into anime, in both cases they very specifically tried to attract female viewers by using popular male seiyuu like Kamiya Hiroshi or Nakai Kazuya - this was actually mentioned by the producers and the director. Partly because of this, but also partly because of an already existing female readership, both manga are relatively popular with female readers.)

zztop wrote:
Is there a specific reason why shoujo/josei manga don't get as many anime adaptations compared to the shounen/seinen branch?


Shay Guy wrote:
Some of it is just that the magazines made for dudes first are more popular. I imagine some of that, in turn, is them being seen as "for everyone" whereas shoujo/josei is "ew, girls' stuff" by quite a few male readers. Or if not actively averse, then just a sorta clueless "I'm a guy, why would I be interested? And why doesn't my girlfriend like Dr. Stone?"

Also, most shoujo romance manga (it should be noted that most shoujo manga that get adapted for TV is romance) have stories that are very easy to adapt into morning/daytime TV soaps using popular pretty boy actors. It's similar to the appeal of the whole musical/stage adaptation craze that's been going on for a while now.
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I_Drive_DSM



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:10 pm Reply with quote
I remember well over a decade and a half ago when I was really getting into Initial D I tried to track down buying raws so I could get ahead in the story at the source (something even in the turn of Y2K and some years beyond was not the easiest thing to do online) and found out it was published in Kodansha's Young Magazine. Young has a heavy gravure idol focus on it's cover and first few pages to, I could surmise, try and push issues at newsstands. I didn't realize that so many well-known series either ran or would eventually run in Young including Akira, 3x3 Eyes, Ghost in the Shell, Chobits, GTO, to name a few. Nowadays newsstand gimmicks have seemingly gone mostly the way of the dinosaur.
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