Welcome to the Nihongo Lesson feature. We strive to give you useful manga-based Japanese language tips and maybe even a glimpse into the translation process. This week’s lesson will focus on manga terms, and specifically ones from Bakuman. Bakuman is a series that reveals many of the secrets of Shonen Jump and the Japanese manga industry, so it’s a wealth of knowledge in more ways than one!
This lesson will utilize the color page of this week's Bakuman chapter, so please take a look at page 149 for reference. This page is littered with words you'd be familiar with if you've read the series, such as luck, dream, fantasy, popularity, anime and school. Some of the terms shown behind Takagi are ones we have seen before, including the Shonen Jump motto of YUUJO, DORYOKU and SHOURI (friendship, hard work and victory). Now you can see it written in kanji...
友情 努力 勝利
SHUUKAN RENSAI (週刊連載)
I've left the terms in kanji this week so that you can spot them near Takagi's head. This one means "weekly serialization" and is the dream of every aspiring manga artist who wishes to be published in Weekly Jump. Be careful what you wish for though. This is an incredible amount of work that puts a lot of stress on your body. In Bakuman, Mashiro was even hospitalized after he pushed himself way too hard.
SHIMEKIRI means "deadline." If there's one thing a manga artist struggles with, it's their deadlines. In a weekly serialization, you're operating with an extremely tight schedule, so this is no simple feat. The manga artists in Bakuman, and I suspect in real life, take a lot of pride in making their deadlines no matter what. This takes a serious toll on them, so we fans should really be more understanding when an artist needs a short break!
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