topFrom the Japanese blog lovelovedog comes an article looking at the cost of manga production in Japan. The analysis, written by a school teacher, calculates how much it takes to produce a volume of manga, and compares the result with incomes from other fields.

On the Cost of Producing Manga
- Written by a school teacher

In the case of anime production cost, various references can be found in the following article:

- On the Cost of Producing Anime

Generally it takes around 8,000,000 to 10,000,000 yen to make a 30 minute episode anime. In the case of manga, because there isn't much information available, for now we'll consider the pay for a one-page manuscript as 20,000 yen. Please pay attention to how the calculations are handled, since even by analogy the following calculations contain many steps.

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imgJapanese anime news site AnimeAnime has released a 2-part follow-up to their previous report on fansubs and the anime industry." In Part 1 and Part 2, Romi (the writer) talked about the history and problems of fansubs. In Part 3, Romi (the writer) talks about the future of the anime industry, and why the companies are having a hard time dealing with fansubs.

Fansubs and the Gloom of the Anime Industry - Part 3
- by Romi

In 2006, rumors spread about anime distributor Central Park Media's bankruptcy (which did not happen). Also, a friend of mine was fired by a major anime distributor he worked for; he was involved with many well-known titles, so I was shocked. The fact that even major distributors need to dismiss its capable staffs proves that the anime industry is getting worse.

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imgFrom the blog Daily Life as a Shojo Manga Fan comes an article titled "Manga Consumption between Hardcore Fans and Casual Fans." The article looks at how the hardcore fans tend to look down on the casual fans for not being "hardcore" enough, and how the casual manga fans are actually contributing to the manga industry.

Manga Consumption of Hardcore Fans and Casual Fans

A reader responded to my previous article "Ordinary Girls Don't Read Yumiko Oshima*" saying that "Ordinary girls would even read Nana to kill time; for us, Nodame Cantabile is just something used to pass time."

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topDeath Note, written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata, was one of the most talked about manga in 2006. With the popularity of the manga, successful movie adaptions, and an anime TV series, Death Note was ranked as the No.1 anime and manga search term on Yahoo! Japan in 2006.

In early 2006, a Japanese blog published an article (the entry was taken down, but a Chinese version can be found here) about a 24-page one-shot called The Miraculous Notebook (??????????????????) by Shigeru Mizuki, which was published in the magazine Comic Mystery in 1973. The story of the one-shot revolves around a magical notebook: when a person's name is written on that notebook, the said person dies. Sounds familiar? Below is a summary (with some pictures) of the one-shot:

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topIn Genshiken, Kanako Ohno once declared that "Homo-hating girls don't exist!!" While the validity of the statement could be contested, yaoi-loving females, otherwise know as fujoshi, have since used it to defend their hobby.

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topDong-A Ilbo has published an article on the manhwa industry in South Korea. Contrary to the success of manwha overseas, the domestic manhwa market in South Korea is not doing so well. Over 80% of the Korean market is composed of imported comics, mostly from Japan. Even worse, the size of the Korean market is decreasing.

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imgMoePre has an interesting article titled "Jump and Fujoshi." The article analyzes the recent attempts by Shonen Jump to better market itself to the fujoshi demographic.

Part 1 of the article introduces the readers to the term "fujoshi," and provides an overview of the situation. In Part 2, the article takes a closer look at the impact of the fujoshi audience on Shonen Jump.

[The Turning Point of Shonen Jump]

Shonen Jump experienced a turning point during the serialization of The Prince of Tennis by Takeshi Konomi.

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topTakehiko Inoue's Vagabond, which began serialization in Kodansha's Weekly Morning in 1998, is a samurai manga based on Eiji Yoshikawa's novel Miyamoto Musashi. The manga won the 4th Media Arts Festival Grand Prize and the 24th Kodansha Award for Best Manga in 2000, as well as the 6th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Award in 2002.

Now in its eighth year of serialization, the series is getting closer to its final story arc. In November SWITCH ON Excite released an interview on Inoue's Vagabond. The article explores the development of his drawing techniques, his plans for Vagabond, and more.

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topTokoToko Editor's Misc. Note, a blog run by a female manga editor who has been in the business for over 15 years, has posted a multi-part article titled "The Reason I Quit My Job as a Manga Editor." Below is a translation of part one of the article:

The Reason I Quit My Job as a Manga Editor Part I

The short answer - I can't communicate well with others. That's all.

The long story - I knew manga to some extent and liked it, so I wanted to be a manga editor since I thought I could handle it. Besides, I didn't want to edit anything else other than manga.

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top2006 was a bad year for manga publications in China. Major magazines and anthologies were either discontinued or went on an "indefinite hiatus." Some say 2006 marks the lowest point of China's manga magazine market.

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