I’m not much of a magazine reader. If I pick up a magazine it’s either I like the cover or there’s a particular article that interests me. I’m not really into fashion and such so women’s magazine doesn’t appeal much to me. Home and Garden magazines are nice to look at, picture wise and I’m not really techy. I like sports and car magazines but I’m not really updated. So if I could be an editor for any magazine, in the world and of any genre, I think I’d like to be a manga magazine editor specifically for Weekly Shōnen Jump or Hana to Yume.
Weekly Shōnen Jump is a weekly shōnen manga published in Japan since 1968. It is one of the longest-running manga magazines in Japan, circulating over 2.8 million copies. Weekly Shōnen Jump was originally called ‘Shōnen Jump’ because originally it was a semi-weekly magazine. In 1969, Shōnen Book ceased publication and Shōnen Jump became a weekly magazine in its place. ‘Shōnen manga’ refers to manga marketed to a male audience aged 10 and up (different from seinen manga that generally targets an older male audience). It is typically characterized by high-action and humorous plots featuring male protagonists. The camaraderie between boys or men is often emphasized on shōnen manga. Some examples of shōnen manga are Rurouni Kenshin, YuYu Hakusho, Naruto, Hunter × Hunter, Bleach, The Prince of Tennis, Slam Dunk, InuYasha, Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Detective Conan, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Fullmetal Alchemist.
Hana to Yume (Hana Yume, Flowers and Dreams) is a semi-monthly Japanese shōjo manga that began its monthly serialization in 1974 which changed to semi-monthly in 1975. The magazine always comes with freebies such as drama CDs, pencil boards, manga anthologies, stationery and calendars. ‘Shōjo manga’ is manga marketed to a female audience between the ages of 10 and 18. It covers many subjects in a variety of narrative and graphic styles, from historical drama to science fiction, and often focuses on romantic relationships and emotions. Examples of shōjo manga are Skip Beat, Ouran High School Host Club, Fushigi Yuugi, Gakuen Alice, Special A, Sailor Moon, Shugo Chara!, Fruits Basket and Vampire Knight.
I love reading manga. For those people who don’t know what manga is, Manga is the Japanese word for comics or cartoons. The term ‘manga’ has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan. Manga stories are typically printed in black-and-white although there are some full colored manga. Manga is usually serialized in manga magazines (e.g. Shōnen Jump, Hana to Yume, Cheese, Lala etc.) each story is presented in a single episode to be continued in the next issue. If the series is successful, chapters are collected and may be republished in paperback books called tankōbon and it may be animated. A manga artist is called ‘mangaka’.
A manga editor’s job is to help and support the mangaka by ensuring that the deadlines are met. He/she oversees the majority of the production to make sure the manga runs smoothly and the manga is being produced at an even pace. The editor comments on the layout of the manga panels, the art and makes sure that the manga stays up to company standards. A manga editor also does basic editing and story suggestions. The editor also manages the appearances of the mangaka, like a celebrity manager. If the mangaka cannot supervise the anime character and action figure designs, the editor supervises these things in place of the mangaka. It’s a pretty demanding job and I think it would be fun to try it out (I blame Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi for this mentality). If only I know how read, write and speak Japanese. Hmm…