Although mangaka might get a lot of the glory from a successful series, let’s not forget that their editors also work tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that success can be achieved. It’s an irreplaceable role when it comes to making manga, as the Weekly Shonen Champion and Weekly Shonen Sunday editors-in-chief affirmed. Hence why it’s quite surprising that Weekly Big Comic Spirits is putting out an open call for a new editor, to which almost anyone can apply.
Weekly Big Comic Spirits belongs to a different demographic than the aforementioned two weekly shonen magazines, that being the ‘seinen’ or 18-25 age range, but is nevertheless a very important weekly magazine.
It has been home to some of the biggest seinen authors over the years, such as Inio Asano, Kengo Hanazawa, Junji Ito and Naoki Urasawa. Even now, it’s carrying two series from two of those authors, that being Asano’s recently resumed Dead Dead Demon’s De De De De Destruction and Urasawa’s newly debuted Asadora!.
The fact that such an important seinen magazine as Weekly Big Comic Spirits is allowing just anyone to apply to become a new manga editor is therefore surprising. I say anyone as they’ve stated that no prior experience is needed, nor any type of special education. Age also isn’t an issue for them.
That being said, it’s quite obvious that certain candidates will have an edge over others. Ideally, they’d like someone with at least two years of professional experience in the publishing industry, for example as a journalist or an author.
Weekly Big Comic Spirits describes the role as a manga editor at their office as someone who “coordinates” between the various Big Comic brand of magazines, as well as actively scouting for fresh, new mangaka and serializations and supporting them as they develop.
The open call was published in the latest issue no. 30 of Weekly Big Comic Spirits, which went on sale on June 24. Attached to the call was also a comment from current Big Spirits editor-in-chief Tsubouchi Takashi.
“I want to have new encounters, unexpected ones! I can’t wait to have new encounters with you all. I’ve never once thought ‘I want to quit being an editor.’ Even in this publication slump, I think that being an editor very much has a future. Come create the future of content with us!”
This ‘publication slump,’ that is to say the falling circulation of manga magazines over the years, was also brought up at the end of the discussion between Weekly Shonen Sunday and Weekly Shonen Champion editors-in-chief.
It seems as though the current Weekly Big Comic Spirits editor-in-chief’s plan is to gather new, unexpected talent from the general public to secure the future of seinen, and indeed manga in general. Whether this will pay off, however, only time will tell.
Hopeful applicants are asked to send their application via Shogakukan’s official website.