Shōgaku Gonensei, Shōgaku Rokunensei, ChuChu to End (Updated)
posted on by Egan Loo
The Japanese publisher Shogakukan has announced on Monday that it will end the school learning magazines Shōgaku Gonensei (pictured right) and Shōgaku Rokunensei (pictured left), as well as the shōjo manga magazine ChuChu (pictured below right). Shōgaku Gonensei and Shōgaku Rokunensei (literally, "Elementary Fifth-Grader" and "Elementary Sixth-Grader") will end during the current school year on February 3 and December 28, respectively, and will be replaced by a new learning manga magazine, tentatively titled Gakumanplus, next spring. ChuChu, a magazine aimed at older elementary school girls and middle school girls, will end with its February issue on December 28. Shogakukan cited the great changes in the needs of readers for its decision to reformat all its shōjo comic magazines for their long-term prospects.
Among the manga that Shōgaku Gonensei and Shōgaku Rokunensei serialized were Doraemon, Pokemon, Yu Yabuuchi's Naisho no Tsubomi "sex education" manga, and Shigeru Mizuki's "War and Japan" ("Sensō to Nippon") short story. Chuchu published Satoru Takamiya's Heaven's Will, Yabuuchi's Hitohira no Koi ga Furu and Hatsukoi Shinan (Instructions for First Love), Miyuki Ōbayashi's Junai Sensation, Miwako Sugiyama's Ai no Kotoba, Satoru Takamiya's Kusuriyubi Hime, and Kiyoko Arai's Yomogi Mochi Yake Ta? manga. Viz Media publishes the Pokémon and Heaven's Will manga in North America.
Shogakukan launched its Shōgaku magazines in 1922, the same year that the company itself was founded. (Shogakukan literally means "elementary school building.") At their peak in April (the start of the school year) of 1973, Shōgaku Gonensei printed 635,000 copies, and Shōgaku Rokunensei printed 460,000 copies. In recent years, the circulations of both magazines have fallen into the range of 50,000 to 60,000 copies. Shogakukan's four magazines aimed at younger elementary school students—Shōgaku Ichinensei (Elementary First-Grader) through Shōgaku Yonnensei (Elementary Fourth-Grader)—will continue to be published.
ChuChu launched as a spinoff from Ciao and Shōjo Comic magazine's editorial departments in August of 2008. ChuChu was revamped into a monthly magazine in its January 2006 issue in December of 2005. It had a print run of 180,000 at its launch, but it has been hovering around 50,000 copies recently.
Thank you to dormcat for the news tip.
Update: More background information added.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history