topThe question of "Is enjoying Japanese manga and anime an unpatriotic act?" has been a great point of debate in China. The topic has caused many problems, and many young Chinese people are torn between their anti-Japan feelings and their love for Japanese manga.

One college student once posted on a Chinese bulletin board: "I don't want to be unpatriotic, but I can't help but watch Japanese anime. What should I do? Please give me some advice, I'm really under a lot of stress."

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topJapanese manga anthologies are one of the foundations of Japan's manga culture. Most popular series are first serialized in manga anthologies before being released in the tankoubon format. Despite the success manga is enjoying around the world, recent reports indicate that Japan's domestic manga market have gone into a decline. As a result, manga publishers are finding it difficult to make a profit from manga anthologies. Last month, Weekly Shonen Magazine's circulation dropped under 2,000,000. The suspension of Shueisha's Monthly Shonen Jump could also in part be attributed to declining sales.

Despite the difficulties many magazines are facing nowadays, Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump experienced a slight boost in sales in recent months. Last December, for the first time in 11 years, Shonen Jump's circulation increased from 2.75 million to 2.78 million. However, when compared with sales from 10 years ago, this number is hardly encouraging. To understand Shonen Jump's current situation, one needs to look at the magazine's historic circulation.

Below is a look at Shonen Jump's historic circulation, as well as an updated list of the Shonen Jump manga circulation numbers (updated from the 2006 version).

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topHirohiko Araki (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Baoh) gave a lecture at Tokai Junior & High School in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture last year. The lecture was transcribed/compiled by @JOJO, Japan's premier site for JoJo-related news.

Due to its length, the article was broken down into several parts. In Part I, Araki talked about his past and motives. In Part II, Araki talked about his drawing style. In the third and final part, Araki answers questions presented by his audiences.

*The questions (and Araki's answers) contain many references to Araki's works, some knowledge of JoJo and Araki's other series may be required.

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topManga and Internet cafes are common throughout Japan. Due to their cheap costs, the privacy of their cubicles, the ability to order food, access to the internet, video games and more, manga and internet cafes have become more than just a hangout place for young people with nothing else to do.

According to a recent news report in Japan, manga cafes are becoming a place of refuge for the poor who can't afford to live in their own home or a hotel. According to an article from Japan Times:

Experts say the customers, dubbed "Net cafe refugees," are becoming more visible in the 24-hour facilities in tandem with the rise in the number of "working poor," those who have jobs but cannot escape poverty.

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topIn January 2007, rumors began circulating that PEACH-PIT, the duo behind hit titles such as DearS and Zombie-Loan, is having a dispute with the editorial team of Gentosha's Comic BIRZ over the serialization of Rozen Maiden. When the March issue of Comic BIRZ was released on January 30th, instead of a new chapter of Rozen Maiden, fans were greeted with the announcement of Rozen Maiden's suspension.

However, the announcement can only be found inside the magazine, so to fans who buy BIRZ just for Rozen Maiden, it was not clear that the March issue of BIRZ didn't carry their favorite manga. A Japanese law blog called Ahowota Law Student News explores this interesting situation, and goes on to ask the question: "Can a person legally claim fallacy and assert that the contract is invalid (Meaning he can return the magazine and get his money back)?"

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topIn response to an article claiming weekly manga magazines is becoming more and more expensive, the Japanese blog "Justification of Information, Print Media or Story Addiction" recently published an article analyzing the price of weekly manga magazines in the last 30 years, and concludes that the price of weekly manga magazines have remained stagnant for the past 30 years.

Weekly Manga Magazines Price Remains Stagnant for the Last 30 Years
- That means the "price per page" rate of weekly manga magazines has remained the same for the past 30 years.

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topApril Fools' 2007 Special Feature

Recent archaeological evidence support the theory that concept of Death Note originated in ancient China.

With two successful movies and an anime series, Death Note, written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata, has become a household name to anime and manga fans. In 2006, dedicated Japanese fans discovered a one-shot story called The Miraculous Notebook by Shigeru Mizuki, which some claimed was the inspiration for Death Note. However, recent archaeological evidence suggests that "Death Note" may have existed in ancient China long before the birth of Japanese comics.

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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 two of the article:

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

There is a big difference between "what one likes to do" and "what one can do." I realized this when I first faced my own abilities and limits. Although you may say I'm using exaggerated languages, I was really shocked back then. I later changed my career because I believed that "what I like to do" equals "what I can do," which also equals "I am suited to what I like to do as a job."

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topAfter the success of two movies and an anime series, Tsugumi Ohba (story) and Takeshi Obata's (art) manga Death Note has become a familiar name to anime and manga fans around the world.

"A notebook that kills anyone whose name is written in it." ??? As Death Note's fame rose, it was bound to happen when someone would try to imitate the mysterious notebook found in the story. In early 2005, some schools in Shenyang, China banned the use of a stationery notebook in response to students using it as "Death Notes." While some felt the ban was an over-reaction, the view that Death Note is "a poison that creates wicked hearts" remained in the minds of many Chinese parents and teachers and protect them from the "evil notebook."

So did the school in Shenyang over-react? While some may disagree, a recent incident in China may have served to further damage Death Note's reputation among Chinese parents and teachers.

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topWhat does it take to be a good manga artist? A popular answer is "experience in life." According to many famous manga and anime creators, in order to become a good creator, an otaku should stop shutting themselves in their room, step outside, and live their life. However, Doraemon creator Fujiko F. Fujio disagrees...

Ayacnews has posted comments from Fujiko F. Fujio that reveals his view on manga and "What kind of people will be able to become great mangaka."

Fujiko F. Fujio's View on Manga and Manga Artists

Osamu Tezuka: "Someone who doesn't have sufficient human relations skills will not be able to create manga, because manga is a conversation between the mangaka and his readers."

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