Making of a Mangaka: Industrial Reflexivity and Shueisha’s Weekly Shônen Jump

Bryan Hikari Hartzheim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Behind-the-scenes disclosures, a staple of film and television production, have extended to the visible documentation of manga (comics) and anime (animation) production in Japanese media. This article examines manga “industrial reflexivity,” using as a case study publisher Shueisha’s most popular periodical, the best-selling shônen (boys) manga magazine, Shûkan Shônen Jump (Weekly Shônen Jump). Jump’s documentary-like portrayals of the manga production process have bled out from the magazine in “exclusive” footage that takes viewers on behind-the-scenes tours exploring Shueisha offices or mangaka ateliers to spill insider knowledge and industry secrets. This article argues that such disclosures are borne out of industrial survival as much as education and promotion. Jump’s professional self-reflexivity is an example of an old media brand attempting to fight for relevance in a shifting media environment through appeals to the legacy and ecosystem of the manga magazine format itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-587
Number of pages18
JournalTelevision and New Media
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul


  • Japan
  • Jump
  • convergence
  • industrial reflexivity
  • manga
  • shônen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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