Sunday, December 18, 2011
Commentary: Young Champion
Young Champion is the third of the magazine-style magazines that I got, and is definitely the raunchiest. It is at the same level as Young Animal. The cover typically features scantily-clad young women, with 1 or 2 photo pin-up spreads inside. This month's girls are from SKE-48, the Nagoya-based branch of the "-48 project" that includes the more well-known AKB-48 in Akihabara, Tokyo.
(Demekin, by Hijime Yuu and Masaki Sata. A story about biker punks)
Three of the titles are overtly sexual in nature, falling in the "soft-porn" category, while still being censored according to Japanese morality laws. The others are a range of slice-of-life, office worker, street gang and adventure stories. Most have just average artwork, and the only title recognizable to western fans is the hyper-violent Wolf Guy.
(In "Touhai", a group of guys are playing in a life-or-death game of mahjong against a serial killer. If they lose, one of their relatives or friends gets hung by the neck from a noose. By Shinasaka Koji.)
I didn't see anything that showed much promise, although on the upside the magazine did include one freebie - an SKE-48 clear file.
(Ayumi Tachihara's "Jingi S", AKA - "Jingi-tachi". I should mention that when I first came to Japan, I discovered Ayumi's "Maji!" in a used bookstore and read the first couple books. It was about members of the yakuza, and lasted 50 volumes, from 1987 to 1996, running in Shonen Champion. He also created the 33 book Jingi.)
Summary: Sex, blood and gore. Only two recognizable titles (Wolf Guy and Jingi S). No plans to buy future issues.