Shôjo Manga Magazines
There are dozens of shôjo manga magazines, and every year new ones
appear, while others disappear. I have listed shôjo manga magazines and
ladies' comic magazines separately, but keep in mind that a few magazines do
not really fit into the category they are assigned by their publishers. For
example, Bouquet and Petit Flower are defined as
shôjo manga magazines, but in practice they have really been ladies'
comic magazines for several years.
Also keep in mind that shôjo manga magazines are not the only manga
magazines girls/women are reading. Among the 500+/- girls I surveyed at a high
school in Kobe in October '94, Weekly Boys' Jump was far and away
the most popular manga magazine among girls, as well as boys. The second most
popular manga magazine among girls was Special Edition Margaret,
with about half as many mentions. And so on.
The figures for the top ten in each category come from the 1998 edition of
the Shuppan shihyou nenpyou ("Annual Report of Publishing
Indicators"), are are therefore probably pretty accurate. They reflect
circulations in 1997. The figures for the remaining magazines in both categories
come from the 1997 edition of the Zasshi-shinbun sou-katarogu ("Complete
Magazine/Newspaper Catalog"), published by the Media Research Center,
Tokyo. These are claimed circulations, and are much more likely to
be inflated (which is why some boast circulations higher than some of the magazines
in the top ten list!).
Most of the top-sellers should be available in any store—such as the
Kinokuniya shops in Manhattan and Edgewater, NJ—that carries a considerable
number of Japanese periodicals. If they aren't available in a Japanese bookstore
The information is given in the following order: the title transliterated
into the Latin alphabet; an English translation of the title in parentheses;
the period of publication; the publisher; the circulation; the readership (according
to the publisher). My own comments (if any) follow.
Although I include links to the web sites of publishers and individual magazines,
only Shogakukan provides
pages in English, and none of the magazines do.
Top Ten Shôjo Manga Magazines in 1997
1,630,000; 60% primary-school girls, 30% middle-school girls. Home of YOSHIZUMI
Wataru's Marmalade Boy
and SAKURA Momoko's Chibi Maruko-chan
Friends"); monthly; Kodansha
780,000; 65% primary-school girls, 35% middle-school girls. Home of TAKEUCHI
Naoko's Sailor Moon
and CLAMP's RayEarth
("Special Edition Margaret"); monthly; Shueisha
730,000; 80% middle- and high-school girls, 15% college women and older.
Home of TADA Kaoru's Itazura na kiss
and such artists as IKUEMI
Ryoh, HIJIRI Chiaki, FUJIMOTO Mari, and TSUMUGI Taku.
440,000; primary- to middle-school girls.
410,000; primarily 11-15 year old girls.
("The Margaret"); monthly; Shueisha
400,000; 9.3% primary-school girls, 29.4% middle-school girls, 30.5% high-school
("Flowers and Dreams"); biweekly; Hakusensha
280,000; primarily middle-school girls.
("Special Edition Friend"); monthly; Kodansha
260,000; 6% primary-school girls, 33% middle-school girls, 40% high-school
girls, 21% college women and older.
200,000; geared to middle- and high-school girls.
Other Popular/Noteworthy Shôjo Manga Magazines
("Girls' Comic"); monthly; Shogakukan
440,000; primary-, middle- and high-school girls.
("Mystery Bonita"); bimonthly; Akita
300,000; primary-, middle-, and high-school girls.
350,000; primary-, middle- and high-school girls.
("Princess GOLD"); bimonthly; Akita
300,000; primary-, middle- and high-school girls.
("Deluxe Margaret"); bimonthly; Shueisha
330,000; 75% middle- and high-school girls, 20% college women and "office
hana to yume
("Special Edition Flowers and Dreams"); monthly; Hakusensha
200,000; girls and women of middle-school age or older.
200,000; from middle- and high-school girls to office ladies.
250,000; 70% 16-20 years old.
("Petit Comic"); monthly; Shogakukan
300,000; women aged 18 to 27 years.
220,000; middle- and high-school girls. Also known as Bessatsu Furendo
("Special Edition Friend Deluxe")
("Petit Flower"); bimonthly; Shogakukan
200,000; women aged 18-23 years.
150,000; 12.3% middle-school girls, 27.3% high-school girls, 57.8% college
women, "office ladies," and housewives.
Top Ten Ladies' Comic Magazines in 1997
500,000; 45% 21-25 year-old women, 29% 26-31 year-old women. Still the top-selling
ladies' comic magazine. Fairly conservative, but of generally high quality.
("Comic Amour"); monthly; San Shuppan; 360,000; "office
ladies" and housewives in their twenties and thirties. Unapologetically
pornographic manga by and for women. Not for the weak of heart.
350,000; 18-25 year-olds.
("Be-Love"); monthly; Kodansha
350,000; 58% "office ladies," 34% housewives, 8% college women.
Matt Thorn ()