0 Items | £0.00

VIEW BASKET

Fairy Tail and Japan's Shonen magazine

Sunday 20th May 2012

Matt Kamen on Japan’s Weekly Shonen Magazine

Shonen magazineMystic action abounds in the second thrilling collection of Fairy Tail, as flame-spewing Natsu, ice-mage Gray, summoner Lucy and the rest of the gang take on sorcerous threats across the world of Earthland. The series is based on the long running manga by Hiro Mashima, and as the anime closes in on its 150th episode in Japan, it’s clearly shaping up to be the next Naruto or Bleach, delivering ongoing adventure to a devoted audience. Unlike a certain orange ninja or black-garbed grim reaper though, Fairy Tail’s roots do not lie in the pages of the famous Weekly Shonen Jump anthology.

Covering everything from the likes of Masami Kurumada’s boxing drama Ring ni Kakero to Akira Toriyama’s world-conquering Dragon Ball, Shueisha’s boys’ manga serial is – to western fans at least – near-synonymous with lengthy action sagas. However, while Weekly Shonen Jump first saw print in July 1968 and is now indisputably the top selling boys comic in Japan, it was actually preceded by almost a decade by rival publisher Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen Magazine.

Shonen magazineFirst published in March 1959, Weekly Shonen Magazine has been a staple of the manga industry for almost seven decades. Generations have grown up reading it, thrilling to the adventures contained within. It’s no surprise the comic has been such a persistent success story – poring through old issues of Weekly Shonen is like turning the pages of manga history. The publication is littered with works by luminary creators – Shigeru Mizuki’s supernatural Spooky Ooky Kitaro; Kazumasa Hirai and Jiro Kuwata’s Eightman, the world’s first cyborg superhero; a whole wealth of work from the “King of Manga”, Shotaro Ishinomori, including Skull Man, Kamen Rider and Cyborg 009; Go Nagai’s Devilman; Tohru Fujisawa’s Great Teacher Onizuka; the list is nearly endless.

Unlike its upstart rival, Kodansha’s anthology often skewed towards an older audience, offering a broader range of content as a result. Though Shonen Jump overtook it in sales and exposure by the mid 1990s, Shonen Magazine has consistently featured some of the best received and fondly remembered series.

Shonen magazineIn fact, Hiro Mashima’s career as a manga creator has been entirely at the legendary title. His debut work, Groove Adventure Rave (better known as Rave Master in the UK and US) premiered in Weekly Shonen Magazine in 1999. A globe-hopping story of superpowers and a quest for mystic stones, the story ran consistently until 2005, racking up 296 chapters and spawning a 52 episode anime series in the process. After a year off, Mashima returned in August 2006 with the first chapter of Fairy Tail which, at 270 chapters and counting, is looking to smash the 34-year old artist’s previous record.

Between Mashima’s works, sci-fi street skating strip Air Gear and a fictionalised manga based on the hyper-popular girl group AKB48, Weekly Shonen Magazine is on the rise again and the people in charge no doubt have their eyes on reclaiming the top spot once more. Naruto, Bleach? You’ve been warned.

Fairy Tail Part Two is out on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment on 21st May.

Fairy Tail and Japan's Shonen magazine

MANGA UK GOSSIP

Fairy Tail Part 2 (episodes 13-24)

£26.99
sale_tag
was £29.99
Across the Fiore kingdom, wizards join guilds and make their pay by filling magical needs - but one guild has a reputation as the roughest, rowdiest, most dangerous of all: Fairy Tail!
In the midst of a mission to break the curse over Galuna Island, Natsu and the gang face a band of deranged mages trying to resurrect the monstrous demon Deliora. Gray's determined to put the freeze on the sinister plan in a frigid battle with a rival from his past - even if it takes his own life!
Back in Magnolia, the city becomes a warzone after sorcerers known as Element 4 destroy Fairy Tail headquarters and kidnap their beloved rookie, Lucy. A bone-crunching, skin-charring fight between fire and iron erupts when Natsu squares off against another Dragon Slayer wizard!

FEATURED RELEASE

RELATED BLOG ARTICLES

Fairy Tail

Matt Kamen is your guide to the world of Fairy Tail!
Welcome to Earthland, where magic runs rampant and professional wizards sell their talents to the highest bidder! Populated by all kinds of mystical creatures, it’s a place of wonder but also one filled with peril.

Cosplay: Fairy Tail's Obra

Paul Jacques snaps some more Fairy Tail cosplay
Cosplayer Kyle McDonald suits up as Obra from the Raven Tail guild in Fairy Tail, available now in two box sets from Manga Entertainment on UK DVD.

Fairy Tail music: MAGIC PARTY

Tom Smith on the music behind Fairy Tail 5
It’s been said that two’s company, three’s a crowd. But for Japanese electro-pop duo AIRI and Koshiro, two is more than enough to party – to MAGIC PARTY! At least if the cutesy name of the pair’s musical project is to be believed.

FAIRY TAIL MUSIC: W-INDS

Tom Smith on the band behind Be As One
Unlike a number of the bands featured on the Manga UK blog, W-inds haven’t had much of a history with anime tie-ins despite their massive success. In fact, in 14 years they’ve only ever done two anime themes; their first in Akira Amano’s Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, and more recently with Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail, where their 29th single Be as One became its sixth ending.

Fairy Tail Music: Daisy x Daisy

Tom Smith on Fairy Tail Part 7’s opening theme
Little Mika still has a long way to go, but since signing to Pony Canyon she has managed to have a crack at the anime universe, featuring heavily in one series in particular; Fairy Tail.

Unspinning Fairy Tail

Hugh David argues that the treasure is in the detail
The biggest influence on this anime is not tabletop RPGs or even the long-standing fantasy fiction genre itself. No, the stamp of numerous Japanese role-playing videogames is all over Fairy Tail, from the Atelier series to the Final Fantasy franchise, in particular Final Fantasy XII

RECENT FEATURED POSTS

Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere

Andrew Osmond tries to make sense of Sunrise's mad new anime
As regular subscribers to Manga Entertainment’s podcast and twitter feed will know, there was some confusion about whether Sunrise’s new comedy-fantasy-action-fanservice series was called (deep breath) Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere or Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere. We’re calling it the former in the UK, although releases elsewhere have plumped for the “in” option. Either way, it sounds less weird and Escheresque once you know that Horizon is the name of a pivotal female character in the series. But it reflects the inescapable fact that Horizon is, well, confusing.

FAIRY TAIL MUSIC: W-INDS

Tom Smith on the band behind Be As One
Unlike a number of the bands featured on the Manga UK blog, W-inds haven’t had much of a history with anime tie-ins despite their massive success. In fact, in 14 years they’ve only ever done two anime themes; their first in Akira Amano’s Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, and more recently with Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail, where their 29th single Be as One became its sixth ending.

Cosplay: Amaterasu

Paul Jacques rounds up the best dressed fans
Here comes the Sun! Christina Calver cosplays as Amaterasu Omi Kami, the Japanese Sun Goddess.

Godzilla: Too Soon?

When is it okay for a real-life disaster to become entertainment?
How soon is too soon? The question’s raised by the new Godzilla trailer, the first half of which seems to be all about recreating traumatic events as fantasy, just three years after they occurred. Specifically, the trailer opens with a disaster at a Japanese power station, before segueing into images of a giant wave sweeping into a town with devastating force. Both images seem less ripped than Xeroxed from the headlines of March 2011, when northern Honshu (Japan’s mainland) was struck by an earthquake which caused a tsunami, killing thousands, and the meltdown at Fukushima.

One Piece: Crew Manifest Four

Who will you encounter in this latest volume of nautical nonsense?
How does Luffy, a man made of rubber, fight a living desert?

Sword Art Online music: Luna Haruna

Tom Smith on the Gothic Lolita who overflies all the competition
Meet Haruna, the artist behind Sword Art Online’s third ending theme; Overly. At the age of twenty she managed to land her dream job as a singer. And not just any singer; an anime singer!
Contact Us   |   Refund Policy   |   Delivery Times   |   Privacy statement   |   Terms & Conditions
Please note your card statement will show billing by MVM. Fairy Tail and Japan's Shonen magazine from the UK's best Anime Blog.