I’m Bored: The Attack of Romcoms in Weekly Shonen Magazine

Everybody knows about Weekly Shonen Jump, so I decided to talk about Japan’s possibly 2nd most popular manga magazine, cause it is facing a seismic shift.

As you all know, Fairy Tail ended this year, along with Yamada-kun & The Seven Witches (both needs no explanation), Acma Game (game mystery), As the Gods Will (survival game thriller), The Knight In The Area (soccer), and recently going to end, Kindaichi (detective mystery) & Baby Steps (tennis). All of them were serialized for more than 2 years, some of them even started in the 2000s. Confidently says that the era of Fairy Tail has ended.

Though the shift wouldn’t be such a huge issue if it not for one thing:

An unsettling balance of genres in the magazine.

In fantasy action, we have The Seven Deadly Sins (have not read), which presumably becomes the next mascot series by the magazine, with Fire Force (sparingly read) not far behind, there’s also a new series in Kessen no Kuon (not even have the chance to read), whose position is already at the edge of cancellation.

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Kessen No Kuon Vol 1, which is a pity since I would want that cover as a poster.
In thriller, Real Account (read the Chinese Scans) takes the lead over 3 new

comers in Tokyo Revengers (no chance to read, but possibly safe from now), World End Crusaders (also no chance to read, with the added possibility of being cancelled) & Seishun Soukanzu (About a character relationship chart & clowns, quite an interesting read even though I only read the Japanese raws).

Though both of these genres are luckier compared to sports, as in the 2010s, no new sport series (emphasis on new, which Ace of Diamond Act 2 is not, have not read it by the way) have managed to survive in this magazine for a year, unless your name is DAYS (made a blog post about it) or willingly submit yourself to only serialized digitally (which helps Ranker’s High stay for a while, and it never gave that chance to August Outlaw, even though the latter actually appeared for a Momoiro Clover Z promotion video, never watched both of them though).

(Love this song, very suitable for a sports anime especially at the tension from the trumpet during the days part).

What reigns supreme in this magazine, romance comedy, and there is a lot of variety for you, from the old to the new.

Warning, spoilers, and ramblings ahead.

Thanks to Manga Helpers for unknowingly educating me about Japanese manga magazines.

First the 4 koma:

Seitokai Yakuindomo vol 1.jpg

Seitokai Yakuindomo by Tozen Ujiie, 2007 (currently at 15 volumes)

A guy forcibly joins in as a vice-president for the all-female student council to understand the male species after being an all-female school until recently. His role: A unintentional harem protagonist who becomes a straight man against his co-members who crack up sex jokes from time to time.

Has a ton of anime adaptations and even a movie in 2017.

Read Progress: About 40 chapters before discontinuing cause seeing the same characters still in high school after 10 years is ridiculous for me.

TsureChiru vol.1.jpg

Tsuredure Children by Toshiya Wakabayashi, 2014 (currently at 8 volumes)

Various romantic subplots from various characters, playing the rom com cliches. An anime adaptation in Summer 2017

Read Progress: I will start reading the manga later in life, maybe.

 

 

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Senryuu Shoujo by Masakuni Igarashi, 2016 (Currently at 3 volumes)

A girl who only communicates through, especially senryuu (it’s like haiku, but more towards real life) and a reformed delinquent. Surprisingly, the straight man is their club leader. More surprisingly, Meraki Scans is going to scanlate this.

Read Progress:
Eight Chapters, How Far
Chinese Scans Scantalated
Good Luck, Meraki
-Polisi 25

Things I Want To Add: For the 3 Volumes it released it apparently reached 150,000, which is a very healthy amount for a recent said. Additionally, I like the quirky interactions between the girl and the boy.

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Mako-san wa Shindemo Jiritsu Shinai by Daisuke Chida, 2017

According to Manga Helpers, it is about a high schooler sharing an apt with a lazy otaku college student. The guy has a crush on the girl but thinks he’s not being seen as a guy because she keeps teasing and treating him like a kid, but the girl is actually fully into the boy.

It is just too recent, so I don’t have an opinion on it, and I would be in disbelief cause in the same year the same author also released Ijousha no Ai, the first volume cover says it all.

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P.S: For the first chapter of this twisted series, the MC has someone he likes (not the cover girl) and kinda dating. Then a girl (black haired) killed the kind dating girl to proclaim her love for him. Years later, the MC is kinda with the cover girl and the black haired yandere (who is actually caught in the act) came back to his life.

4 yonkomas, all of them based on romance.

 

 

 

 


Progressing

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Fuuka by Koji Seo, 2014 (Currently 18 volumes)

A boy who is obsessed with Twitter, meets athletic girl, together with a group of misfits, they form a band

Read Progress: Until one of the characters got a hit, which after that I just stopped. And never read any of his other stories either. The mangaka seems to be very divisive in the manga fandom, but he definitely knows how to sell a winning romance formula, evident with his other stories. What I heard is that they are out of school, and facing the hard life of being in a band.

 

Domestic Girlfriend, Volume 1.jpg

Domestic Girlfriend by Kei Sasuga, 2014 (currently 15 volumes)

First chapter, the main character lost his virginity to learn what is an adult & get over of his crush, a teacher. End of chapter, he found out that with his father remarriage, he is going to live with his crush and the person he just had sex with, both of them are sisters

Read Progress: All the English scans, and then the Chinese release (with thinking that there is a gap that I haven’t read in between). Right now the main character is in college chasing his dreams as a novelist, has a romantic life, but the drama keeps coming in.

Things I Want To Add: Well, I read Ge-Good Ending before, so I’m being biased here (though I prefer GE over this manga). And some unfortunate drama that is played for drama sake (including a potential rape scene), but overall it is quite daring with the fanservice & willingness to write about college life. Plus with the cover pages that I received so far, I don’t think that it will be ending any time soon.

By the way: Team Momo over Hina & Rui

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Hoshino, Me Wo Tsubutte by Ishigana & Kouhei Nagashii, 2016 (Currently 7 volumes)

Typical antisocial Japanese high school student stumbles upon a secret of a popular girl-she can’t do her own makeup. Now he has to do her makeup with the prodding of his art instructor.

Read Progress: All of the English chapters (right now is 36) scanlated by C1V1 Scans.

Things I Want To Add: Of all the lineup, this is easily the most typical high school manga, but it plays most of the cliches that I usually read & predict upside down. I will do a blog post about this manga in the future even with the English releases not reaching 50.


The New Comers

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5-Toubun No Hanayome, by Negi Haruba

A poor but very book smart high school student is tasked with teaching quintuplets. In the future, he will marry one of them.

Read Progress: All of the English releases by LH Translations (which is odd since as I heard their specialty is on Isekai).

Things I Want To Add: One of the few times where showing the future actually doesn’t bother me since it doesn’t really show us who will win in the end.

If I’m the editor, I would think that this will be the next big thing. Think about the franchise it might bring: stuffed dolls, figurines, waifu wars, a dating sim to change the ending to who you want to win, and an anime that could make the voice actress for the heroine famous, if the director is willing to let her voice all of the 5 girls.

The cover is insanely gorgeous, even though it would mean that the mangaka might wanna end this in 5 volumes, like his last series Rengoku no Karma (a potentially good premise that made an asinine decision of turning the second case into a poor man’s AKB49, speaking of AKB49…).

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Kanojo Okarishimasu by Reiji Miyajima, 2017

College student, with a million yen from his parents and just got dumped by his girlfriend, decided to engage in a rental girlfriend service that gone bonkers due to his attitude. After they decided to stop and return to their original lives, they met again due to 2 consecutive coincidences (went to the same university, somehow neighbors).

Read Progress: While the Chinese Scans has been updated, I have not been trying to read it. This is a new series from the mangaka of AKB49 by the way, after a failed fantasy action series.

Runway de Waratte by Kotoba Inoya, May 2017

A story about an aspiring model who wants to be a supermodel and walk in Paris runways despite her short stature, which then suddenly turn into a story about an aspiring fashion designer who got inspired by her.

Progress: I read most of them in the Chinese Scans (later scanlated by Meraki), and I felt that putting this on the list is kinda cheating since it’s more towards working slice of life than romance. In fact, this is a josei manga in a shonen format.

Still, recommend it as it is very unique and daring to put in a shonen magazine, especially when the mangaka is just 23 when this is serialized.

Image result for Tsue Petit Mahou Tsukai ♀ no Bouken no Sho

Tsue Petit Mahou Tsukai ♀ no Bouken no Sho by Awa Bako, 2017

(God that takes me time to find the mangaka’s name)

An RPG world, where there is a with who choose her profession despite her parents being insanely strong warriors & inherited their strength because she wants to be cute. There she meets a pathetic warrior, who has insane charm abilities that make her fall for him. Hijinks ensue.

Read Progress: Chinese scans, quite a different rom com than any other rom coms we had so far.

Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet

Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet, by Yousuku Kanesa, actually started in 2015 but now moved from Bessatsu (monthly) to Weekly in 2017

A boarding school that teaches students from 2 countries, and have their own dormitories. Unknown to the rest of the dorms, the two rival leaders that should be fiercely against one another, are dating in secret. Kinda like a fantasy setting of Romeo & Juliet.

Read Progress: 10 Chapters for decided to stop due to being very irritated by this manga. Sure, Romeo & Juliet, but the setting where 2 rival countries are at each other throats makes both dorms very immature and makes my experience of reading it miserable. While I felt that the main couple doesn’t even have the charm of Miyuki & Kaguya that makes me wanna root for their success. I’m a person that read all the updated characters of Kin no Kanojo Gin No Kanojo (sure, maybe it is more abusive, but it is funnier read than this).

So the tally of rom coms (discounting Runway de Waratte cause it is technically not a rom com, yet) concludes at the beginning of November 2017 (which Baby Steps is concluded) at…

Ding

11 out of 23…that’s nearly half of the magazine consisting of this genre.

The attack of the Rom Coms is starting, and I don’t think that any one of them is going to leave soon.

10 thoughts on “I’m Bored: The Attack of Romcoms in Weekly Shonen Magazine

  1. Excellent write-up! As a rom-com fan myself, this has been a welcome shift for me personally. I haven’t attempted to read Domestic Girlfriend or Fuuka yet since they’re a ton of chapters and have a bit more serious drama than I enjoy.

    I absolutely love Tsuredure Children, and Seitokai is my guilty pleasure for cheap laughs. Kishuku is really good in my opinion since the characters all have vivid personalities. I’m glad it was moved from monthly to weekly since I believe that will help the series’ popularity increase. Kanojo Okarishimasu seems to be getting heavy editorial push, and I think that it is just alright right now. The male MC is kind of too whiny and making things unnecessarily complicated for my taste, but I’ll keep reading to see where this goes.

    5-toubun is really surpassing my expectations. All of the girls are really good, and character development is happening quickly and evenly across all 5 girls. I’m super curious to see how this one shakes out. Hoshino is pretty good, some of it is obvious what will happen next but other times it catches me totally off-guard. Runway was a pleasant surprise, since I like the MCs a lot. I’ve only read the 2 English chapters, but looking through the raws, I just wish they showed more of the heroine, as if they were dual MCs each getting 50/50 or 60/40 main plot. Either way, it’s still really good and I hope it sticks around.

    I’ve been wanting to read Tsue Petit Mahou Tsukai ♀ no Bouken no Sho and Mako-san wa Shindemo Jiritsu Shinai, but I have been unable to find the raws anywhere. Tsue seems to rank lower in the TOC more often than not, so I’m a bit worried for its survival, and Mako hasn’t gotten as much attention as the clown series that premiered around the same time. Where were you able to find the raws of both of these 2 series?

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    • For the Tsue, you can find it at dm5, where you can read it a Chinese. As for the Mako, no information about it yet (as I said, only know about the plot from Manga Helpers, so take that with a grain of salt).

      Thank you for commenting on my page. Reason that I wanted to write this page is because having double digits (even for a while) on a genre in a magazine is kinda baffling for me.

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  2. Great post.

    WSM going so gungho about romcoms just seems like a bizarre editorial decision to me honestly. I mean 50% of WSM??? From a business standpoint, Shonen romcoms have much lower popularity ceilings than say battle series like the Seven Deadly Sins. Even if they are just throwing a dozen series at the wall and see which one sticks, most of the non-gag romcoms are usually short unlike battle or sports and last at most 5 years so they can’t just strike gold on one series and then ride the wave for a decade+ like they can with sports or battle.

    There’s also the question of whether more is really better. WSM might have 11 romcoms right now and WSJ has only 3, but it still feels like Magazine is fighting an uphill battle against Jump. A lot of these manga just don’t seem that mainstream appeal (honestly don’t think Koji Seo or Kei Sasuga sell even with an anime push since they have way too much drama) and I think the Juliet one probably has the most breakout potential personally though most of the series are too new to make any sensible judgement. On the other hand, Jump is grooming Yuuna-san and We Never Learn right now, both I think are huge hits in the making and have widespread mass appeal imo.

    Who knows though. Maybe we really are entering some shonen romcom boom era and Hoshino becomes the next Love Hina or something.

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    • Well I just found out that Shuumatsu no Harem was outselling Black Clover at some point so I don’t even know anymore. Maybe the romcom boom is legit.

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      • It just probably depends on the execution. I’ve once able to read a Chinese scan of a canceled Magazine Manga called Rakraku Shinwa, which is close to a rom-com between a delinquent & a goddess of disaster. But the reason why it failed, is because the author didn’t know what does he want his series, the first chapter has a comedy with a really serious shift in tone, but the latter chapter are fully went gag. So the initial execution matters, even though I might seem to be rambling about some canceled manga right now.

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    • Though what can they really do? Even though it is way too much, real world slice of life rom-coms is one of the genres that their audience really like for their magazine.
      -In just the first week Rental Girlfriend & the 5 Wedded Brides were at the top 50 in Oricon sales in their first week, and is now going through reprints.
      -Non romcom series like Kessen no Kuon & World End Crusaders? Both of them are at the bottom of their magazines almost every week, basically has the canceled tag stamped around them, and we still haven’t seen them translated. Although I felt that the Mage manga would follow suit after both of their cancellation.
      -Days is still the only newly established spokon that is a hit, and that is 4 years ago. While their recent cancelled sports hit-August Outlaw only reached 4 volumes, the editors decided that they should just not do another sport series for now, which I agree that they should have keep trying.
      -Runway da Waratte is technically not a rom-com
      -Speaking of the boom, rom coms that received a mention in English fandom comes from Komi-san, Kaguya Wanted to Confess (both of them which I really loved), technically Dagashi Kashi (maybe a rom com, but more towards sweets), Rokudou no Onna-Tachi and for some reason Amano Megumi is a hit in Japan even though what I’ve seen it is the epitome of pointlessness. New rom com hits in Ao No Flag (easily the author’s best work, as his previous works in the sports genre bombed in Jump, though more towards drama than comedy), Sheriff Dead or Love. This one Meraki exploded with the manga where a ninja girl pretended not to be a ninja.
      -Although from what I’ve read so far, I’m rather biased towards the Slice of Life in my magazine.
      -However, it seems at the authors of Get Backers & Knights of The Area delivered an action one-shot called Living Iron, which with the well-known names, it might be a hit in the future. And maybe Fire Force with it’s probably anime adaptation might make it into a flagship in the future.

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      • I’m not disputing the quality of these romcom series at all (I’m sure they are all good), since I haven’t even read most of the series you are talking about. This is purely speaking of whether going all in on romcom is a good idea for WSM from a business perspective.

        My point is that yes, shonen romcoms could chart and go through reprints and attract a fanbase but they have low ceilings and usually short life spans. They are good supporting casts sure but they can’t carry an entire magazine the same way Fairy Tail or Seven Deadly Sins or their earlier sports hits can. Yamada-kun’s probably the most successful WSM romcom since School Rumble and it hasn’t even sold 4 million yet and ended after 5 years only. That seems impressive until you realize Seven Deadly Sins sold 7 million in the first half of 2015 alone and can go on for another half decade.

        You are right in that Magazine’s been struggling for hits for a while now, but it’s not like other magazines don’t struggle either. Jump had to throw like a billion failed rom coms after To-Love-Ru ended before they finally hit with Nisekoi. Not to mention how many failed battle mangas it took to get My Hero Academia. But in the end it was worth it since I can easily see My Hero Academia selling 50+ million in its lifetime and be a pillar for Jump well into the 2020s.

        I agree that Kaguya’s a good series that can sell well, but if you are the editor of Young Jump, would you rather have that or Tokyo Ghoul?

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  3. Updates of magazine on March 2018: The mage one (Tsue Petit) is now canceled, with Fuuka and today Hoshino shown news that it is now at their end of the story. Also, one of the new entries (after the cancellation of Kesson-pity that the volume cover is gorgeous, Crusaders and Soukanzu) is Sensei, Sukidesi, another rom com for the magazine replacing Kessen, which somehow has strong sales to survive for the next 2 volumes.

    I need to rephrase, the magazine is having an overabundance of real life rom coms.

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