The tail that wags the dog will be wagging even harder.

Japan’s manga anthologies are amazingly thick, with each issue containing hundreds of pages of content, divided up between a dozen or more different series. However, as thick as they are, the magazines only have one cover, which makes space on the book’s front highly valuable.

For many anthologies, though, most of the cover goes not to promoting any of the serialized stories, but instead to previewing that issue’s gravure (or gurabia in Japanese) models, whose photo spreads often heavily feature them wearing bikinis, lingerie, or other revealing outfits. This week, publisher Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen Magazine has pledged even more gravure content, effective immediately.

▼ The latest issue of Weekly Shonen Magazine, which went on sale July 25

The newest issue of the publication (which serves as home to Hajime no Ippo, The Seven Deadly Sins, and Bakemonogatari) features a message from the editor, informing readers that:

“We want to be the kind of weekly manga magazine that no one has ever seen before, so from [this] volume, we’re bumping up our number of gravure model pages to 16! That’s more than double the six to eight pages we’ve had until now.

From all of us, thank you for reading, and we’ll keep trying hard to have you saying ‘Shonen Magazine is the best!’”

▼ In 1959, few people imagined “Plenty of swimsuit models!” would become Shonen Magazine’s self-proclaimed selling point, considering its first cover looked like this.

▼ Nao Kosaka, Akari Nibu, and Miho Watanabe, all members of idol group Keyakizaka46, are featured on the latest cover.

Doubling/tripling down on gravure space isn’t an entirely unexpected move for Shonen Magazine. In 1982, Kodansha began its annual Miss Magazine beauty contest, with a significant swimwear component, later running the event as a joint project between Shonen Magazine and Weekly Young Magazine, another anthology it publishes. Though the contest was put on hiatus in 2011, it was restarted this year.

▼ The 2018 Miss Magazine finalists

Kodansha hasn’t made any mention of reducing the number of pages of Shonen Magazine devoted to manga, so at least for the time-being the sizable gravure bump may make the anthology a little more awkward to read on the train, or difficult to insist you’re buying solely for the comics.

Source: My Navi News/Mantan Web via Otakomu
Featured image: Twitter/@shonenmagazine1