Extended Mag: Getting into Reading Manga Magazines! 🗞

Hello everyone, I have a confession to make.

I am absolutely obsessed with manga magazines.

I don’t know when it started, perhaps when I first read Bakuman all those years ago, and got intrigued by the idea of a magazine where all the mangaka would put their all in every week to try to fight for their success. Maybe it is because we don’t have anything like that in America on a large scale. Maybe it is just that walking around Japan, you can’t escape their brightly colored covers, each with the promise of exciting new manga and stories. Since only a fraction of all manga gets officially translated, many of these excellent stories won’t be looked at by English readers at all, even if they are successful here in Japan.

Basic Background

For those who don’t know, manga magazines are periodical publications in Japan that feature a variety of manga in them. These magazines are an integral part of the manga industry and play a crucial role in the serialization and distribution of manga to a wide audience here. They typically contain a collection of different manga series, with each series releasing new chapters in each issue. If you have heard of any of them, you have probably heard of Shonen Jump, carrying manga like Naruto, One Piece, Kimetsu no Yaiba, My Hero Academia, and Jujutsu Kaisen. But there are easily over a hundred different manga magazines, and Shonen Jump is just a small (but very popular) example. Manga magazines are a primary source of manga content for readers in Japan and are often used as a platform for both established and up-and-coming manga artists to showcase their work. Despite the recent downturn in sales and circulation, manga magazines are still very much a reality here in Japan, and I think they really shape the ecosystem of manga and contain many hidden gems.

Most non-Japanese people don’t really think about manga magazines much, and I can’t really blame them. Most of us either got started with manga with tankobon (collected volumes) in our libraries, through anime, or through scanlations. Manga is not delivered in magazine form to us, so why should we care? That is a hard question to answer. For me, I think that it paints a fuller picture of the manga industry as a whole, and finding commonalities between manga in magazines between publishers and genres help give each magazine a unique character and audience that future manga in that magazine either try to appeal to or expand. I am a manga otaku through and through, so I constantly research about different magazines, what the famous manga in each magazine have been throughout history, target audiences and genres etc. I even sometimes pass time in boring meetings by trying to design my own magazines with certain targets or limitations. Suffice to say, manga magazines occupy a lot of my brain.

Unsurprisingly, one of my biggest goals about learning Japanese is to get into reading manga magazines. I recently achieved this on a small scale with an incredibly small manga magazine called Grand Jump Mucha, which only published once every two months. It was a trial run to see if I was ready, and I successfully caught up on half the manga in the magazine and read the newest publication the day it came out. It was a fantastic feeling, and I knew I had to expand to a bigger and better magazine.

Old Project:Grand Jump!

Grand Jump is a bimonthly manga magazine that was published by Shueisha, one of the major manga publishing companies in Japan. It was known for featuring a wide range of seinen manga, which is manga intended for an older male-leaning audience, but is read by lots of women as well. It is published by Shueisha, the publishers of Shonen Jump.

Current Project: Monthly Afternoon

CDN media

Click here for the newest project!

I wrote about this a bit on my personal study log, but as I was writing, I realized I had so much more to share about the details of the manga in the magazine and my personal thoughts and experience trying to catch up and ‘get into’ reading a frequently published manga magazine, which I know is a pretty-unexplored topic and can seem so confusing!

In this thread I plan to:

  1. Give a detailed overview of all the manga currently being published in the magazine
  2. Detail my experience/difficulties as I catch up on each series and move into reading the magazine when it comes out
  3. Break down each manga as I read it, and give recommendations and explanations on content as well as how much you would need to read to catch up if you wanted to.

This will be a long project, one that hopefully people will be interested in reading. I am doing this mainly because I love manga magazines, and doing this will hold me accountable and motivate me to dive deeply into each series. It will also be great practice, and build a habit of reading magazines!

If you like manga, or are interested in this aspect of Japanese culture, or just want to see the mental deterioration of someone who is willing to grind through a lot of manga with no furigana, or just want to learn about a new way to get Japanese input, I would really appreciate it if you would follow/watch the thread. I love talking about manga with people and it’s a hobby I’ve mostly kept to myself, so I want to share it with people and hear your thoughts! So please comment, ask questions, give pointers, laugh at my struggle, etc!





Issues Covered:

Finished Write-Ups! Come Check These Manga Out!

Manga Currently Being Published in Grand Jump as of 11/23
Name Romanji/English Author First Issue Volumes Sean’s Interest Score
甘い生活 2nd season Sweet Life 2nd Season 弓月光 2011.01 16+ 3
瞬きのソーニャ Blinking Sōnya 弓月光 2012.15 3 3
ラジエーションハウス Radiation House モリタイシ(漫画) 2015.22 15 4
来世ではちゃんとします I’ll Do it Right in the Next Life いつまちゃん 2018.05 11 2
侠医冬馬 Kyoi Toma 村上もとか
2018.15 8 3
王様の仕立て屋〜下町テーラー〜 The King’s Tailor 大河原遁 2018.17 17 2
ドラフトキング Draft King クロマツテツロウ 2018.24 17 3
Shrink〜精神科医ヨワイ〜 Shrink~ Mental Health Dr. Yowai 月子 2019.13 11 4
老トイプーと私 Old Type and Me 四季ムツコ 2020.16 NA 1
#DRCL midnight children #DRCL midnight children 坂本眞一 2021.04 4 5
マリッジグレー Marriage Gray 轍平 2021.05 4 3
キャプテン2 Captain 2 コージィ城倉(漫画) 2021.12 10 3
Dr.Eggs ドクターエッグス Dr. Eggs 三田紀房 2021.19 6 2
百木田家の古書暮らし Living in the Kabakita Family Bookstore 冬目景 2022.01 4 5
Kamo’s Onion is Poisoned, Prof. Kamo’s Lecture on Human Economics 甲斐谷忍(漫画) 2022.05 5 5
レッドムーダン Red Mudan 園沙那絵 2022.16 4 5
怨み屋本舗 DIABLO Uramiyahonpo Diablo 栗原正尚 2022.18 5 1
ザシス Zashisu 森田まさのり 2023.01 1 5
課長! ダイエットのお時間です! Boss! It’s Diet Time サザレイシヤチヨ 2023.02 3 5
ドヤ顔有益情報提供おじさん The Smug Yet Useful Geezer 田中チヌ 2023.06 NA 1
The Sometimes Tokugawa Family 山田しいた 2023.09 NA 1
空をまとって Wear the Sky 古味慎也 2023.11 1 5
静かなるドン〜もうひとつの最終章〜 The Beat Gets Quiet: Another One 新田たつお 2023.12 1 2
みらい話 Future Tale 本宮ひろ志 2023.15 1 3
とりま民宿やどり的な! Guesthouse-Esque 安藤優 2023.19 0 4
一緒に暮らしていいですか? Is it Okay if We Live Together? 流石京 2023.23 1 10,000,000

*Many of these titles are my own creation and are not official. Hopefully this serves as a guide of what is to come! I will probably be starting with the things I’m most interested in (Scores 5 and 4) and working down!


This aspect of Japanese publishing has always fascinated me. I think the one most people in a western sphere will know is something like Shonen Jump, but for me I’m much more interested in specialists like Yurihime, or in manga’s mix with ‘traditional’ (or lads?) mags like any magazine which has a mix of gravure idols and seinen (?) on the cover. I’m definitely not good enough yet to get into them, but I would love to hear about it. As you say, I also think this sort of thing promotes ‘community’ in a very different way. Perhaps the closest analogue in western spheres might be literary magazines (which have mostly died off I believe) or the remains of zine culture. Webcomics or webtoons might also be a more modern equivalent though absolutely not a one-to-one.

In any case, watching this topic with interest.


Sounds cool.

If it was a thing where I live, I’d be collecting them all, as I did with Nintendo Power back in the day, and looked forward to reading the next one.


I’ve got half a shelf of those that I picked up during trips to Japan for practice, but I still haven’t gotten around to actually reading them. Mostly Kirara of various editions, but there’s a couple of others too.

They’re not really intended for collecting - that’s what tankobon are for. You read them once, then pass them to someone else (or toss them in the recycling). Also, they’re roughly the size of phone books. :stuck_out_tongue:


Yeah, in manga or anime when characters are cleaning they often stereotypically have a bunch of these bound up with string or something. It always looks like you could use them as building material!


Glad to hear that!!

And I agree, the closest analogues in the west are pretty niche and obscure for the most part nowadays. Its so different than actually seeing them for sale everywhere you go and seeing people of all ages reading them! Phones are changing that for sure, and you are right webcomics and webtoons are the modern equivalent but I think they are still missing something critical from old-fashioned manga magazines.

Also, this manga magazine is kind of like that? There are obviously more gravure focused thinks (Weekly Playboy is basically exactly what you are describing) but a lot of shonen and especially seinen manga have gravure in it and on the cover! Shonen Jump is like one of the very very very few exceptions to this!


Oh you used to collect Nintendo Power? I was never allowed to subscribe to that when I was a kid. Maybe my current magazine obsession is just an unconcious desire because I couldn’t do it as a kid haha.

And all of these manga magazines can be gotten digitally, such as through amazon, for pretty cheap if you are interested! (one issue is like less than $3)

Oh! I would love to see a picture if you ever have the chance to share one!

I used to buy them up and keep them back when I was slower at reading, but now I either buy them digitally if its something I want to keep, but if I’m only browsing I’ll just grab one and then toss it (though it is so hard to find places in Japan to throw them away without littering!! Where are the public trashcans?!?)

I can confirm that it isn’t just a stereotype. My first two years here, I definitely had a problem… Thankfully my wife politely insisted that I stop hoarding and throw them out haha. I still have the special One Piece 1000 Logs dual cover!!


God, for all of Japan’s various service innovations (appointment delivery from Kuroneko Yamato? Yes please) garbage was still insanely finnicky lmao. Put the trash out on the wrong day? You will be eaten by crows


This is a type of project that I’ve been interested in doing for a while, I don’t think I’ll have the time to join in on this particular adventure but good luck!

I believe they got rid of a lot of the public trash cans after the tokyo sarin gas attacks, or at least that’s the pop culture explanation for it

For anyone in the US, Kinokuniya also does magazine shipping subscriptions!


This is actually how I got into Manga back in like 2003. :smiley: (I was very young back then!) Apparently it ran till 2012?! Wow!

There was a German Manga magazine “for girls”, I will attach some pictures of it I found (I still remember many of the covers so well, forever ingrained in my memory haha). The manga I liked the most were Fruits Basket, Skip Beat and Missile Happy. I also remember that God Child was too spooky for me and that was the only series I often skipped (but then read anyway when I was too bored haha)

Apparently there was also one “for boys” (Banzai), but I myself only had the girls version :stuck_out_tongue:

It would be interesting to try out one of the new Japanese manga magazines, good to know they’re so cheap digitally :eyes: I really enjoyed this format when I was young.


(Ok, a bit less than half a shelf. Though, I do have a narrower set of bookshelves here, so if I move them all to one of those selves instead…)


…and often similar paper and print quality to phone books, which is the other reason tankobon make nicer collection items.


so you’ve hooked me, and I know just about nothing about manga magazines

I realise your project is focusing on Grand Jump, but if you have already or ever do a brain dump on this I would love that! It’s a huge barrier getting into this, where do you even start?

Also, a general question - I’m wondering, when you buy a magazine, presumably that means you’re in the middle of (how many?) manga stories. Do you just go with the flow and find your feet after a few magazines or do you find back issues to fill in the gaps?


I’ve also been reading some manga magazines since a year or two ago. Originally I started with yurihime because I was pretty much caught up with several of the manga in it so I could pretty easily switch to reading them monthly in the magazine instead of waiting for the volumes. A little later I also started buying the four Kirara magazines for similar reasons, and starting later this month there’s a pretty good chance I’ll try getting Ultra Jump too.

(Aside from some old issues of yurihime that I have physically I just buy them as ebooks though, because shipping would be expensive and they take up a lot of space)


Aye, the technical term is “newsprint”.

This? :slightly_smiling_face:


The other thing with mags is they’ll often have one-shots and stuff that won’t necessarily get full serialisation. These days it’s a bit more relaxed because most of them get released as webtoons or whatever on Amazon or just get put up for free on Twitter (since authors are more after exposure at that stage), so it’s not like you have to track down x volume of y magazine, but it’s still interesting, and there’s often a timelag between being in the mag and being available digitally.


Wow this blew up more than I expected!! :flushed: 嬉しい!!

This will hopefully be one of many, so if you are ever interested later please join!

I completely forgot I heard this before! Also, I never knew about the Kinokuniya shipping! Though I will probably decide to save some money and get them digitally haha.

WOW WAIT THESE ARE SO COOL!! And thats awesome that a magazine got you into it and that you still have them!!

If you are ever interesting in finding a specific type of magazine, I am pretty knowledgable about them if you are looking for a specific style or vibe or genre!!

Oh nice nice nice~ Is that Young Ace??

I go a step further and if I find any other special edition or formats I literally have to tear myself away from them. I have volume 1 of Battle Angel Alita in this huge high quality version and it is just chef’s kiss

Oh I’m so glad to hear that!!!

So for me, I like to organize each magazine by publisher, which lets you cover a lot of the main magazines pretty efficiently. For reference, the top 4 manga magazine publishers are Shueisha (think Shonen Jump), Kodansha (think other main shonen manga that aren’t jump like Blue Lock or Fire Force), Shogakukan (think Conan and Inuyasha), and Kadokawa (think anime tie-ins). They cover a vast majority of manga sales, and there are some small companies and subsidiaries that cover the rest (Akita Shoten and Hakusensha for example). I will absolutely do a brain dump on all of this and do a write up of my experience and insight into them!

Great question! I will go into this on my first main update (coming soon), but the answer is whenever I buy a magazine I go through it and look for manga that interest me in some way (art style, topic, if I know the mangaka, etc). If I’m interested in a series, I will stop and go back and catch up!

For Grand Jump, I will have 12 main manga that I am really interested in, so I am going through the (very long) backlogs of each of them first so I understand everything. THIS CAN BE QUITE EXPENSIVE!!! ESPECIALLY IF YOU DON’T LIVE ACROSS THE STREET FROM A USED BOOK STORE!! I did this with a different manga magazine first as a trial run and it took a fair amount of time and money to catch up if you want to read everything from the beginning in Japanese. I don’t necesarily recommend it, but if I really care about a manga I just need to read all of the chapters in sequential order or I will go insane! All of the other manga I will just read as I go, and a few I will just skip if I really don’t like it. Its totally fine to just jump in though, and if you start reading and keep up with it, eventually the magazine will introduce new stories and you can read those from the beginning!!

lmao :laughing: :laughing:

Magazine-senpai! よろしくお願いします!!
That’s awesome, how has it been going for you? Pretty good I assume since you are thinking of picking up UJ! Please keep me updated on how that goes!! Are you picking it up for Jojo’s?

lolol at the image. The more I look at it the more I realize how wild it is!

THIS SHOULD NOT BE UNDERSTATED!!! I completely forgot to mention it, thats a huge point!!!


Thank you everyone for your awesome questions and comments, I’m learning so much, and it honestly makes me estatic that anyone is willing to listen to my weird manga magazine ramblings let alone teach me and ask for more!!! Really truly made my week!!! :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin: I’ll respond as soon as I can!!

Up next (for the Grand Jump Project) will be an update to the earlier post listing all the manga in the magazine as a bit of a guide, and then my write ups of the first two manga I’ve read for the project! Should be finished Thursday Japan Time at the latest!


Yeah. From 2012. Which means I must have bought it at my local Kinokiniya, because I didn’t visit Japan in 2012.

So do bookshops in Japan, which makes things a bit annoying to find…


I never had access to one outside Japan, its great that you had one all the way back in 2012!!

This is actually one of my main motivations for learning the publishers, because I live next to heaven (i.e. Book-Off), and its a nightmare to navigate the tankobons if you don’t know the publisher or magazine! I’ve spent hours trying to find something until I learned how it worked and its only now I feel like I can find anything (assuming they have it!!).