Keep Jumping

Weekly Shonen Jump, a predominantly manga-filled weekly magazine targeting young male readers, celebrated it’s 40 year anniversary last year.  Though the Weekly Shonen is now just tip of the iceberg when it comes to serialized weekly and monthly manga anthologies, it’s generally credited with starting the burgeoning trend of serialized hodge-podge comic publications. A little bit of sports, a little bit of cars, some bikini girls (or character art), period stories, mecha, romantic comedy, supernatural, horror, and most any incongruent pairing you can imagine all sleeping under the same cover.  The target audience is quite literally all boys.

Though they often feature comics I enjoy reading, the incredibly small snippet of story that you can glean from any given publication is quite often not worth the effort – call me a lackluster fan.  In most cases, it pays to wait for a bound edition of the manga to reach publication, foregoing weekly cliffhangers (monthly and bi-monthly for the true masochists), not to mention Bible-esque bulk full of other comics.  However, if they are gifts, found abandoned on trains or whatnot, there’s little harm in succumbing to the temptation of reading one.  Just looking at all the pretty colors, cool character art, and occasional extras detailed in commuter train ads has nearly broken this perseverance more than once.

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So basically, that brings me to the Sept. 18 edition of Young Magazine Weekly.  I was interested in the new Rozen Maiden story arc, and it was a very thoughtful gift from Maru.  I hadn’t read or purchased a serialized manga publication in over a year, and thus quickly became informed of my ignorance in regard to some interesting technological advances that have occurred in the time elapsed.

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As I mentioned, the bikini girls are something of a staple, but why on earth do they have a cell-phone frame?  The title reads “For the first time in history! Gravia and movies together via cell phone! Pitacchi.”

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A comic-style illustration to the side explains the optimal way to view photos, scanning QR-codes to download supplementary photo and video data, and then using your cellphone display as a window into the 3D world.  Silly naughtiness such as looking through their nurse uniforms, changing the angle of their provocative stare, listening to dialog… nothing serious.  Some videos are to be played as you pan across the photo, creating something of modern “x-ray glasses” effect, as long as you follow the script, attempting to play into voyeur fantasy.

The photos themselves are perhaps more salacious when left to the imagination, foregoing the models’ occasional annoying demeanor and bad acting. But on the other hand, the additional content was included in the cover price, and expresses a unique merger of digital and analogue worlds.  For the uninitiated, let these images serve as a brief introduction to the world of gravia and “idol factory” culture.

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4 Comments

  1. trevor brown said,

    October 8, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    eichi nurse because trevor might be watching this?

    (ps: i do like the “roman holiday” pullip actually – probably sold out already – but she’d look fab in a nurse uniform)

  2. batsu said,

    October 8, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    come now, uncle trevor… you can’t be the only one that likes nurses. a real panderer would write a promotion for your current exhibit :P (going this weekend, btw)

    (indeed, very lovely! especially the hair. though i’m not much a fan pullip or blythe in general, she would make a ravishing nurse.)

  3. trevor brown said,

    October 10, 2009 at 1:56 am

    saw her today in akiba – she IS cute, by far the best pullip doll i’ve seen – i didn’t buy her tho – but did buy two more nursies for my collection (maybe blogged later)

    haven’t been to span yet myself (missed seeing mister murata – waah!) – last week weather so lousy and mrs trevor brown too busy

  4. batsu said,

    October 10, 2009 at 8:52 am

    for some reason we couldn’t find span? ginza is not my specialty><… but not giving up yet. milieu was nice and cozy.

    if you decide she has to come home, i might be able to make her an appropriate costume… let’s discuss the details later.^^ but please give it a month or so; there are a few other orders in the queue.

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