I just discovered the Japanese magazine BRUTUS (ブルータス). According to Wikipedia, it is targeted to 20-50 year old trend conscious males. I guess it is sort of like Details, but seems a bit less on the trend conscious side and more interesting.
It seems to be just about the perfect resource for reading at my stage of development:
- It’s got lots of writing, of many different styles; essays, slang filled cartoons, humor, marketing speak, infographics, etc, etc, etc.
- It covers interesting subject material (although I am sorta in the target demographic). Cars, pets, literature, alcohol, society, food.
- It feels like it is a part of Japanese contemporary culture, with references to pop culture, new restaurants or food crazes, etc.
It’s also beautifully printed and typeset. The perfect magazine to browse through.
I liked the few issues I saw at my local Kinokuniya so much that I just subscribed on Amazon for a whopping $250/year. The price seemed extraordinarily high at first, but that comes out to $10 an issue as it is published bi-monthly. I rarely think much about spending $10 on a light novel or manga, and this has has almost as much reading content and more variety of styles. I spent a good two hours with the first issue I purchased and am not even finished yet.
Has anyone else read it?
I haven’t bought any of the normal issues, but seen the magazine on shelves many times. It is also sourced often by anime news sites as they conduct very good and in-depths interviews.
I’ve picked up a special issue on the Ghibli movie From Up on Poppy Hill and as you said, the layout/typesetting is beautiful. In generel I think these Japanese magazines offer fantastic value for the money they cost, especially for learners. BRUTUS would definitely be one of my top contenders for magazines to pick up, though probably not bi-weekly.
Here are some photos of the Poppy Hill issue:
And one of my favorite photos of Miyazaki/Takahata:
Yeah, that is gorgeous. It also looks packed full of actual writing and content. I’ve noticed these days, when I’m buying a quick magazine in English for a flight or something, that most magazines these days have hardly and content (as in words/writing) and are mostly ads and photos. i usually end up with the economist. Not my favorite English magazine, but at least I can’t go through the whole thing in 15 minutes. I think BRUTUS fall into this same category - nice, longer written pieces.
Thanks for sharing…
I haven’t read that particular magazine, but I definitely agree following or subscribing to a magazine is a great way to get a lot of practice in! There’s a couple I’ve been reading this year (ハルタ and 週刊プロレス) and I’ve really enjoyed it a lot. Something about being subscribed also makes it feel more official in a nice way that makes up some for the import markup…
A couple other options for getting at magazines regularly are subscriptions through Kinokuniya (in-store pickup can save some money that’s then immediately lost by spending more money at Kinokuniya…) or ebook sites can have a surprisingly wide seleciton. I might check out an issue or two of Brutus, thanks for the rec!
Not… not the Kaze Tachinu issue?
You bet I’d buy that right away if I ever found it.
Digital version here, https://www.amazon.co.jp/-/en/BRUTUS編集部-ebook/dp/B09HH7WGMM/
I haven’t picked up any standard issues, but I did pick up the one where it was dedicated to the Idolm@ster series
Had interviews with the in universe idols (The five on the cover in specific), the actual music producers and, my favorite, little blurbs from fans on why they like certain idols!
Wish I had a scanner cause Japanese + tiny text makes things hard lol. I’m too used to giant manga text…
Have you tried Mercari? I was able to get a 20 odd year old JoJo magazine on there. I’d be really surprised if you couldn’t find a particular Ghibli one.