Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mangajin memories

The incomparable Jog recently mentioned Mangajin, which I used to pore over as a larval weeaboo, back in the Before Times when I hated anime because I thought it was all boring crap like Bubblegum Crisis and Akira. Let's take a look at some random pages from an issue I picked mainly because the two-tone cover would scan well.

First off, we have some targeted advertising like a mother. Loooots of ads for Japanese bookstores, kanji study aids, travel guides, et cetera. Also booze!

I am bizarrely thrilled that the letters page is dominated by hot debate over whether the magazine should stop using romaji (and one guy lamenting that he can't return the camera he bought in Akihabara, even with his receipt), but I'll share a more interesting anecdote.

In keeping with recently established facts, Mangajin totally has our backs. Manga is only useful as a physical token of the mysterious Orient!

There's a smattering of general-culture articles, and the occasional book review, but clearly the meat is the manga section. It is full of shit you ain't never heard of, and that no English speaker cares about. I'm trying to remember if they ever ran Sazae-san... I know they did some Tora-san.

Anyways, we have a fairly diverse range, including some 4-panel gag strips...

...salaryman manga (or -woman, here)...

...a baseball strip...

... and even some English comics, translated into Japanese.

If you're interested in checking Mangajin out for yourself, about half of its 70-issue run is still available. Bizarrely, they offer a "subscription" deal where they'll mail out the remaining back-issue stock thrice monthly for a year. I may just take them up on that.

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