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MADE IN JAPAN 

“MANGA”

Vol.3

Manga in Japan Today

 

Given this factor, the publisher turned their eyes on new young artists and rather minor names who only worked locally, giving them chances to create work under the directions of the editors. As a result, MAGAZINE succeeded in establishing a new manga genre called gekiga, a kind of manga with more realistic artwork targeted on adults instead of the typical googly figures children liked. The reason behind targeting adults is that 7 to 8 years after the establsihment of weekly manga magazines, children then had grown up to teens or above, and together with the social background of active student and labor movements, the market for cheerful and funny children-oriented manga was quickly shrinking. Instead, pieces with cool and nihilistic, speedy stories and artwork captivated older audience. This the time is when university students started to read manga (contrast b/w the images of highly educated and manga, something for children).

The trend was no doubt shifting from SUNDAY to MAGAZINE.

JUMP made its debut when these two magazines dominated the market.
SUNDAY had big people to create masterpieces, and MAGAZINE produced masterpieces by combining good writers with good artists. One may wonder what kind of monsters JUMP had to beat these two, but the truth was that it neither had a famous artist or explosive hits. Not only that, JUMP was actually recruiting artists from its very first issue.

So how did the world turn upside down and brought JUMP to the champion in the holy ground of manga?

It was, or in fact is, JUMP's golden rule of 'intra-magazine survival competition' which still continues today as known as the notorious 'poll guillotine'. JUMP conducts a survey by questionnaire every week, and a piece which places last for 3 consecutive weeks would be immediately cut off with no exceptions. This method urged the artists to "pull" the story, in another word bring more surprises in their stories making the readers want to get the next issue. If the story develops an unexpected story, the readers will want for more and naturally give more votes.
This was a unique strategy to make its way in the manga market which was allowed only to a young publishing company that had unexperienced editors and artists.

In a way, this is a case of extreme pay-per-performace system, and also an efficient way of narrowing down truly good artists. It was not always a kind system for the artists, but was a great method for the magazine to maintain its quality. Reflecting the reader's taste and opinion, those which lacked amusement were dumped and fascinating ones remained.
Does this ring anyone's bell? It is not too much to say that the consequences of this method is most visible in the Dragon Ball series. Herewith, JUMP climbed up to the top of manga magazines.

SUNDAY, MAGAZINE and JUMP, these three continues to hold its tradition today. SUNDAY provides healthy works that richly expresses the character of each artist, MAGAZINE offers funky gekiga-oriented pieaces, and JUMP wild and thrilling series that makes you wait until the next week.
One can easily imagine that these three have mega influence in the manga industry today. They are the pillars of modern manga, and the model of other manga magazines to follow.

If you have a Japanese manga, it might be fun to take some time to think which style your favorite manga fits into.

In the next issue, let's see how the manga production process is like, precisely the traditional assistant system.

JUMP SUNDAY MAGAZINE

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Made in Japan Contents
ANIME ORIGAMI BUDO
MANGA MASS ENTERTAINMENT JAPANESE TEA CULTURE
  • Green Tea 1 / 2 / 3 / 4
  • THE MEISTERS OF JAPAN PLAYFUL & PLAYABLE ELECTRONICS
    Spirited Away (2001)
  • Haruki Murakami
  • Yasunari Kawabata
  • Banana Yoshimoto
  • Yukio Mishima
  • Inazo Nitobe
  • Japanese Tea
  • Bonsai
  • VAIO
  • Canon

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