Shonen Sunday, Shonen Magazine to Join Forces on New Mag
posted on by Egan Loo
The editorial departments of Shogakukan's Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine and Kodansha's Weekly Shonen Magazine will create a new magazine this year to mark the upcoming 50th anniversaries of both magazines. The biweekly Conan & Kindaichi magazine will run for half a year starting this April. As the name implies, the new magazine will feature Gosho Aoyama's Detective Conan (Case Closed) manga from Weekly Shonen Sunday and Yōzaburō Kanari and Fumiya Sato's Kindaichi Case Files from Weekly Shonen Magazine. The official announcement will be made on March 18.
Due to the recent slump in manga magazine sales, both companies have been trying new methods to maintain their readerships. Shogakukan first published Weekly Shonen Sunday in April of 1959, and saw its circulation drop from a high of 2 million copies in 2000 to 935,729 last year. Similarly, Kodansha first published Weekly Shonen Magazine in March 1959, and saw its circulation drop from a high of 4.25 million copies in 1998 to 1,871,771 last year. Even the market leader, Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump, reported a circulation of 2,778,750 in 2007, which is a far cry from its high of 6.53 million copies in 1995 (the year that Dragon Ball ended).
Weekly Shonen Sunday currently serializes the hit manga titles Detective Conan, Hayate the Combat Butler, Inuyasha, Kekkaishi, and Major. Weekly Shonen Magazine serializes Diamond's Ace, Fairy Tail, Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, and Tsubasa, RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE . North America's Viz Media publishes Detective Conan under the name Case Closed, and Tokyopop publishes Kindaichi Case Files in English.
It is rare for two publishing companies in Japan to collaborate on a magazine. Even the agreements that allowed Viz Media to publish Hakusensha, Shogakukan, and Shueisha manga in North America's Shojo Beat magazine broke conventions within the Japanese publishing community.