Sunday, July 24, 2011

Commentary: Young Gangan

(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

As I'm going through the shelves of magazines at Kinokuniya, I'm kind of forced to pick up anything that starts with "Young", just because there's so many of them, and to get them out of the way so I can skip them all more easily to find the other stuff I haven't read yet. That's why this time we have Young Gangan. This one is also part of the Square Enix collection of publications which includes Monthly Shonen Gangan, which I've already commented on.

(One of the three freebie mini-posters.)

Coming out on the first and third Fridays of the month, YG is 320 yen for 490 pages. Like the other "Young" titles, this one features various photo spreads of scantily-clad young women. Nothing really provocative, mostly bikini shots (ref. cover). There is an insert this time, a set of three mix-and-match manga character drawings of girls at an onsen.

(Kiba no Tabishounin - The Arms Peddler, with what's arguably the single best panel in the magazine.)

The manga titles themselves cover the standard young men themes of fantasy battles, SF, daily life, vampires and school girls having adventures. There are quite a few titles recognizable by western fans:

Black God
Mangaka-san and Assistant-san
Astro Fighter Sunred
Aria the Scarlet Ammo Double
Arakawa Under the Bridge
Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu Revision
Time of Eve
Star Driver


On the whole, a large number of the titles have good artwork and interesting character designs. I wouldn't mind following Young Gangan for several issues to see how the storylines pan out. One title in particular does amuse me - the 4-panel gag strip "Gohho-chan". Here, Van Gogh is the main character in a series of oddball gags based on his paintings, with appearances by Paul Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec. Weird stuff.

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