Why are there so many middle school mangas?

Does this look like a common setting to you? It sure does to me…

What's so fascinating about middle school?

Psychologists might say it's about adolescence and change, especially in Japan, where youth is prized as one of the best time of your life to make memories and experience everything from to hanami to hatsukoi.

Perverts might say it's just about the seifuku.

Regardless of where you stand on the issue, it's impossible to deny the popularity of middle- and high-school themed manga. It seems like every day there's another teenager fighting monsters or falling in love before homeroom. It isn't just your imagination, either: The numbers will back you up. Shounen manga is currently circulating somewhere around 3 million readers a year, soundly trumping every other kind of printed publication, even "real" books. (One Piece actually beat Harry Potter's record in 2010!) Shoujo manga lags a bit behind, topping out around 260,000, but even that's leagues ahead of all other women's demographics.

The people have spoken, and their demand is clear. They want to read about young people. Is that where the obsession lies? Youth? Or is it about nostalgia? Are teenagers just better protagonists than adults? Is middle school in Japan simply better than middle school everywhere else?

What do you think? Is there room for more middle school manga, or do we need a new setting already?

5 years ago
106 1 6

I think it's a two part answer. One, some adults like reading or playing games about youthful experiences. Maybe this is just a way for fans of middle school manga to relive old experiences. It would be kinda creepy if you saw some older guy hanging out with younger kids, and even getting into the school would be violations through the roof. So, I think this could be a type of portal for those people. It'll dissipate over time, like Harry Potter or Twilight. No one will bring i up, but It'll have fans.

4 years, 11 months ago
46 5

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Jan. 28, 2013


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