Friendship! Effort! Victory! S02E01 – Shinmai Fukei Killco-san

Series 2! AT LEAST fortnightly! Sounds a bit better!

art by Masahiro Hirakata, 2012

art by Masahiro Hirakata, 2012

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What is Friendship! Effort! Victory! - It’s a podcast examining the ongoing history of Shueisha’s 45-year old comics anthology Weekly Shonen Jump, and the hundreds of titles it has published over that period of time, placing each of them under the spotlight and looking at what they were, what happened, what they meant, and so on.

What is Shinmai Fukei Killco-san? – Initially known to global readers as Rookie Policewoman Kiruko-san, it is the tale of the eponymous mercenary turned police officer Killco Otonashi as she tries to become a lady-like officer in the small town of Nagashima, trying not to let her pervy superior Haruki Anjo down by… accidentally destroying huge chunks of the town with her superhuman strength and bladed tonfa. It’s pretty special, and showcases the talents of debuting creator Masahiro Hirakata to some great effect.

Show Notes:
- Want to buy Shinmai Fukei Killco-san? I got my copies from YESASIA, but you can also find them from Kinokuniya (search for “新米婦警キルコさん”) or Amazon Japan.
-SHE HAS RETURNED! SHINMAI FUKEI KILLCO-SAN is totally available as a digital collection, from ebookjapan AND Amazon Japan. It’s a nice little sequel series, and super cheap at 100 yen.
-Want to see all the fan-art and junk that Killco-san got? Check out Pixiv and Doujinshi dot org (both NSFW).
-Want to know more about Weekly Shonen Jump? Wikipedia has you covered.
-Are you in AMERICA? CANADA? THE UK? IRELAND? SOUTH AFRICA? AUSTRALIA? NEW ZEALAND? Weekly Shonen Jump. Available on apple devices and android.
-Are you AMERICAN? CANADIAN? You can also get Shonen Jump manga digitally over at Viz Manga dot com
-FEV is on iTunes, where subscriptions and reviews are always welcome
-You can find me on twitter at Maxy_Barnard, or on tumblr at The Despondent
-The Women of Jump series on tumblr, coming to FEV soon.
-Music used: “Into Planet”, “Loser!”, from Jump Ultimate Stars. All tracks as such belong to Ganbarion.

FULL GALLERY BEHIND THE CUT:

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Friendship! Effort! Victory! Episode 28 – Dois Sol

Reborn. Renumbered. Recorded. Returns to the dead until 2014 straight away.

art by Katsutoshi Murase

art by Katsutoshi Murase

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What is Friendship! Effort! Victory! - It’s a podcast examining the ongoing history of Shueisha’s 45-year old comics anthology Weekly Shonen Jump, and the hundreds of titles it has published over that period of time, placing each of them under the spotlight and looking at what they were, what happened, what they meant, and so on.

What is Dois Sol? - Dois Sol is portugese, translating roughly to “Two Sun”. Oh, and it’s also a sports comic by Katsutoshi Murase, following teen football coach Hiromasa Nonaga and the hyper-talented football savant Kappo Sakamichi as they try to bring their football team to new heights, facing off against reluctant team-mates, old enemies and new challenges on their journey to be the best.

Show Notes:
-Want to buy Dois Sol? It should be available from YESASIA, Kinokuniya (search for “Dois Sol” in your relevant territory) and Amazon Japan. After all, it didn’t exactly sell a whole bunch.
-Want to know more about Dois Sol? You can always try to read the Japanese Wiki page for it.
-Want to know more about Weekly Shonen Jump? Wikipedia has you covered.
-Are you in AMERICA? CANADA? THE UK? IRELAND? SOUTH AFRICA? AUSTRALIA? NEW ZEALAND? Weekly Shonen Jump. Available on apple devices and android.
-Are you AMERICAN? CANADIAN? You can also get Shonen Jump manga digitally over at Viz Manga dot com
-FEV is on iTunes, where subscriptions and reviews are always welcome
-You can find me on twitter at Maxy_Barnard
-You can find me on tumblr at The Despondent
-Music used: “Into Planet”, “Loser!”, from Jump Ultimate Stars. All tracks as such belong to Ganbarion.

GALLERY BEHIND THE CUT

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FEV, Written Down: Smoky B.B. & Baseball Comics pt.2 1986-2006

art by yuuya kawada

art by yuuya kawada

And so we return to our ongoing retrospective on the history of baseball comics in Weekly Shonen Jump in advance of Smoky B.B.‘s serialisation in the issue due out today (May 27th). Last time we covered some of the older material from the first decade and a bit of the anthology’s history, so this time we’re gonna jump ahead a bit past a whole bunch of series that didn’t stand out enough in the early 80s straight to 1986, looking at the best of the titles to come out between then and 2006, which is when baseball decided to take its leave from Shonen Jump for some seven years.

But first, a quick mention of why baseball is even such a popular topic for manga in Japan (I mean, Shonen Sunday author Mitsuru Adachi has even created a new baseball comic every decade since the 80s, a level of dedication to the sport above most others). Baseball was introduced in Japan in the 1870s, and after an initial slow burn spread like veritable venereal diseases, infesting the whole country with a fever for baseball that endures to this day. It has such has a long history in Japan, and even has suitable shonen fodder in high school baseball, which not only fits into the demographic that would be reading shonen magazines (that being anywhere between 8 and 18, traditionally), but also gives the base plot of most baseball comics out there, as characters aim to reach the finals at the Koshien in both the spring invitational tournament and the summer baseball championship.

So it’s a double whammy, in both subject matter and popularity, and makes a lot of sense for shonen publishers to be fond of as it’s basically a marketable product MADE for their magazines. Sure, it doesn’t always work, but the audience is already there, just waiting for a good series. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at a whole load of series that managed to tap that vein (or fail to in one instance) over the years.

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FEV, Written Down: Smoky B.B. & Baseball Comics pt.1: 1968-1980

art by yuuya kawada

art by yuuya kawada

The next issue of Weekly Shonen Jump, due out on the 27th of May, is a little bit special. It features the sophomore serial from the creative team of Yuuya Kawada and Kenta Komiyama, who debuted in Jump some three years ago Kikai Banashi Hanasaka Ikkyu. But it’s not the fact that they’re returning that makes this special. No, rather it’s because of the sort of series they’re doing. The comic in question is called Smoky B.B., and is the first baseball comic Weekly Shonen Jump has had since Over Time, way back in 2006. Seven years might not sound like a long time to you and me, but this drought in good ol’ bat, ball and base action is notable as the longest period Weekly Shonen Jump has gone without such a title, putting a certain weight and importance on Smoky B.B. bringing one of Japan’s favourite pastimes back to its most popular anthology.

To help you grasp quite how important this is, I’m going to go over a few of the more notable examples of the sport from Jump’s past, and perhaps look at why baseball has been so absent of late. Hopefully by the end of this little bonus bit you’ll be as tense as I am about the return of the sport next week.

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Friendship! Effort! Victory! Episode 27 – Waq Waq

Ryu Fujisaki. I go on about him a lot. He’s all right.
2004/40, WaqWaq's Debut Cover in Weekly Shonen Jump

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What is Friendship! Effort! Victory!? - It’s a podcast about the manga and inner workings of Weekly Shonen Jump, with an eye towards accessibility and soothing camp tones.

What is this episode about? - It’s about WaqWaq, the last work of Ryu Fujisaki for Weekly Shonen Jump, and a delightfully weird failure, telling a tale of a desolate world and sci-fi battles, using a difficult religious concept as it goes along. It’s a whole thing! I talk about what was good about it, and why it probably failed despite these brilliant things.

Where are the show notes? – In the future, where we red-bloods are GODS!

-Want to buy WaqWaq? Well, it should be available anywhere good comics are sold, but failing that there’s always Amazon (UK) (US) for the english editions and also Amazon (JP) for the Japanese bunkoban editions.
-Want to know more about WaqWaq? Buy it. But also there’s a wikipedia page that gives you the basic stuff you’d want to know. There’s also a pretty okay one about Ryu Fujisaki himself.
-What is the Amesha Spenta? Well, it’s a complicated religious thing that I was too lazy to explain, despite being a pretty good Religious Studies student back in the day. So here’s a wiki page that also explains it.
-You can learn more about Weekly Shonen Jump over at the wiki page for it, which is almost slightly reliable.
-Are you in the US/CA? Go support the digital version of Weekly Shonen Jumpreleased by Viz Media.
-Want Shonen Jump manga in english, digitally? Are you in US/CA? VizManga dot com. Every time.
-Friendship! Effort! Victory!’s on iTunes, where subscriptions and reviews are always most welcome. THE FEED IS FIXED (I think)
-You can find me on Twitter @Maxy_Barnard where I usually just swear and be wrong about stuff
-You can also find me on Tumblr over at The Despondent, where there’s an irregular supply of things relevant to mine and your interests
-You can also e-mail me at maxy dot barnard at gmail dot com if you’d like.
-As always the music used in this episode is from Jump Ultimate Stars. The intro is [INTO PLANET] and the outro, appropriately is ‘Loser’