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Shonen Magazine, Shonen Sunday Mark 50th Anniversary (Updated)

posted on by Egan Loo
Rival mags share crossover cover on Wednesday; joint Konami game planned

The 50th anniversary issues of both Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine and Shogakukan's Weekly Shonen Sunday hit Japanese stores on "Team Wednesday" with a rare crossover cover between the two rival magazines. The joint cover spread features the title character of George Morikawa's Hajime no Ippo (Shonen Magazine) shaking hands with the title character of Gōshō Aoyama's Detective Conan (Shonen Sunday). This is the first time, to ANN staff's knowledge, that Shonen Magazine ever mentioned Shonen Sunday's name on its cover. (Both magazines debuted on March 17, 1959 so strictly speaking, the 50th anniversary will be next year.)

In a unique joint event in Tokyo on Wednesday, the two magazines announced the projects that will commemorate the anniversary. The Konami game developer will be making a game featuring popular characters from both magazines. Card games and prizes are also planned. For the next 53 weeks starting this Wednesday, the UNIQLO apparel maker is selling a different weekly t-shirt featuring the magazine's characters. As previously reported, Yōzaburō Kanari and Fumiya Sato's Kindaichi Case Files mystery manga will join forces with Detective Conan for a limited-run biweekly magazine that will ship in April and May. Mitsuru Adachi (Touch, H2), Rumiko Takahashi (Maison Ikkoku, Ranma 1/2, Inuyasha), Tetsuya Chiba (Ashita no Joe), and Fujiko Fujio A. (Doraemon's Motoo Abiko) appeared at the event.

This week's Shonen Magazine issue also uses Morikawa's IPPO cover illustration for a poster which pairs IPPO with Joe Yabuki, the main character in Ikki Kajiwara and Chiba's pioneering Ashita no Joe boxing manga. The issue includes a trivia feature that notes the magazine has published 2,942 issues with 4.55 billion copies sold. If a person bought the magazine every week from the inaugural issue to last week's issue, that person would have spent about 380,000 yen (about US$3,800). Kodansha has published 516 of the magazine's titles into compiled volumes, and has published about 1 billion compiled volumes in total. The longest running serialized manga is 1989's Hajime no Ippo, while the first compiled volume of Kindaichi Case Files sold the most copies of any Shonen Magazine volume: 2.75 million copies. Model/singer Yuko Ogura has appeared the most times on the magazine's cover of any idol.

Shonen Sunday offers its readers a sticker collection featuring the cover images of the first issue, the current issue, and every decade anniversary issue in between. The current issue's history feature describes the unusual highlights of the past five decades, such as the time when the magazine offered three collie dogs and 12 Shiba dogs for free in a 1964 giveaway contest. To mark this year's anniversary, the magazine is giving away a 24-carat, 60-gram (about 2-ounce) gold figure of Lum from Urusei Yatsura. The magazine values the figure at over 200,000 yen (US$2,000). 500 runners-up will get two silver versions, eight bronze ones, and 490 clear ones.

Source: Muhyojo, ITmedia

Update: UNIQLO spelling corrected. Thanks, fighterholic.

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