Comic BomBom

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Comic BomBom
Comic BonBon Dec 2007.jpg
Cover of the final issue of Comic BomBom
CategoriesChildren's manga (elementary school boys)[1][2][3][4]
Weekly (Pixiv Comic)
First issueOctober 15, 1981
Final issueNovember 15, 2007
Based inTokyo

Comic BomBom (コミックボンボン, Komikku Bonbon) was a monthly Japanese children's manga magazine published by Kodansha.[2][5] It was first published on October 15, 1981, and ceased publication in 2007. A web version of the magazine has been published on Pixiv Comic since the end of July 2017.

Similar to its rival magazine CoroCoro Comic, the magazine featured many tie-ins with game and toy manufacturers, but these became fewer and fewer toward the end of the publication period.


Magazine Launch[edit]

The first issue of Comic BomBom was published on October 15, 1981, in response to the monthly CoroCoro Comic (Shogakukan). 2 months later, the second issue was published and the magazine became a monthly publication from then on. It featured hobby manga, gag manga, and Mobile Suit Gundam at its core. The first editor-in-chief, Toshio Tanaka, said in an interview with Channel Kitano that he had originally promised George Akiyama that Spatman X would be made into an anime, and even went so far as to sign an anime deal with Asahi Tsushinsha (later ADK Holdings and ADK Emotions), but the deal was blocked by Shogakukan and never materialized.

Gunpla Boom[edit]

Noticing that the Gundam boom was starting to ignite among elementary school students and younger with gunpla, the magazine began to include features that dealt mainly with Gundam toys. In conjunction with the Plamo-Kyoshiro series centering on fighting with plastic models and kitbashing techniques for existing products, the magazine triggered a huge gunpla boom and had a major impact, including the appearance of Perfect Gundam and other gunpla from this magazine. The magazine also contributed greatly to the development of Mobile Suit Variation, and was said to have value as a Gundam reference material, with Ace Pilot Retsuden being particularly highly rated. Since then, the magazine has had close ties with Gundam. In addition, while many Real Robot anime were created under the influence of Gundam, Fang of the Sun Dougram and Armored Trooper Votoms were also serialized in manga form, and plastic models also appeared in Plamo-Kyoshiro and in special feature articles. For a manga magazine aimed at young children, it is also notable that these model-related articles were included in the magazine for a long time.

During the Nintendo Entertainment System boom, Famicom Fūunji and Famiken Ryū were serialized. During the sticker boom, the magazine competed with CoroCoro's Bikkuriman stickers with Wrestler Gundan stickers and Hiden Ninpōchō stickers, while carrying information on Bikkuriman stickers.

The magazine continued to create a boom by serializing features and manga based on popular franchises such as Transformers, SD Gundam, Mega Man, Super Mario, and Godzilla. Many well-received original manga were also produced. Especially in the SD Gundam BB Senshi series, during the latter half of the Musha Shichinin Shuu Hen and the Chijō Saikyō Hen period, Musha Gundam had overtaken its archrival CoroCoro in terms of circulation for three years from 1991.[6]

Many readers consider any one of these years to be the golden age of the magazine. The specific years vary from generation to generation, but the golden years include the magazine's launch when the media franchising of Mobile Suit Variation was being carried out, the late 1980s to early 1990s, when circulation was said to have been highest due to the SD Gundam boom, and the mid-1990s, when manga with a higher target age range such as Onsen Gappadonba Caparante Densetsu were being produced and when the magazine covered fanatical subjects such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, American comic books (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men, etc.), and figurines.

Pokémon Boom[edit]

From the mid-1990s onward, rival magazine CoroCoro was a major contributor to the Pokémon boom by launching tie-ins from the time of its release, and doubled its circulation in 1996 from the previous year. BomBom was far behind CoroCoro, which continued to have other strong tie-ins, such as Mini 4WD, B-Daman, Hyper Yo-Yo, Beyblade, Duel Masters, and Mushiking: The King of Beetles, in terms of circulation. In addition, the Mega Man series, which had been published in BomBom for many years, began to tie-in with CoroCoro starting with the Mega Man Battle Network series.

In response, BomBom also took the tie-in route in a losing effort, with titles such as Beast Wars: Transformers, Medabots, Robopon, Crush Gear, Daikaijū Monogatari: The Miracle of the Zone, and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children. While some of them had some success, most of them ended with near disastrous results, and even sister publications such as Deluxe BomBom all ceased publication around the late 1990s.

In the late 1990s, the magazine serialized manga works such as Jing: King of Bandits, Okiraku Ninden Hanzō, and Mega Man X that were popular not only among BomBom's primary readers but also among older readers, but due to a change in editor (the return of Shinpachirō Ikeda), Jing was transferred to Monthly Magazine Z and all others were cancelled. Ikeda, the editor-in-chief at the time, said that the change of serialized works was made in order to reduce the fanatical elements that might affect the magazine itself and its target audience.[7]

One theory also suggests that it was not the loss of popularity, but rather the inhospitable treatment of the authors that caused the defection. However, as mentioned above, there were successful tie-in manga and other products, and some argue that the golden age was around 2000, when Medabots, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children, and Cyborg Kuro-chan were all in vogue.

Major Overhaul[edit]

Starting with the January 2006 issue, the magazine changed to a larger format, and at the same time, a major overhaul of the magazine and its serialized works was decided. Hobby-related articles were downsized, and the number of authors from other Kodansha magazines increased dramatically. In addition, the logo was changed from the July issue of the same year, and at the same time, the mascot character "B-Gon" on the spine of the tankōbon compilations was changed to a bomb symbol. However, B-Gon was continued to be used for some of the tankōbon that had been published before the renewal, and for Umi no Tairiku NOA vol. 3, which was bound in the same style as the previous editions.

As for additional publications, on September 29, 2006, Abracadabra, which specialized in fantasy, and on October 5, 2006, Gundam Magazine, which specialized in Gundam and had previously been published, were published as BomBom's sister magazines for the first time in 10 years.

However, the renewal did not halt the slump in circulation, and the number of copies published dropped by half, from 100,000 to 50,000.[8] Later, it regained some momentum with the success of Deltora Quest, and in 2007 it made a major push for GeGeGe no Kitarō which was followed by the start of the fifth series of the TV anime. The popularity of SD Gundam has declined, and some consider SD Gundam Musha Banchō Fūunroku and SD Gundam Sangokuden to be treated less favorably than the two series mentioned above. There was also an increase in the number of one-shots, new serials, and works such as Transformers: Cybertron that were cancelled despite the popularity of the anime counterpart. The thickness of the magazine itself was initially thinner than the pre-large format, but gradually became as thick as Monthly Shōnen Gangan and Deluxe BomBom due to changes in the paper quality and the aforementioned one-shots.


In late June 2007, manga author Jun Ishikawa made a statement on Mixi and in a diary on his website suggesting that the magazine would cease publication. Although this was not official information, it was circulated on news sites and anonymous bulletin boards, causing a great commotion.[9] On July 17, 2007, Kodansha officially announced that the magazine would end with the December issue, which went on sale on November 15, 2007, due to low circulation, and the November issue of BomBom also announced the ceasing of publication. Most of the manga serialized in the December issue, the final issue, reached their conclusion, and Telemanga Heroes, the supplement magazine of TV Magazine, was published on March 15, 2008 to accept some unfinished works such as Deltora Quest, and some artists who had serialized in BomBom also participated in the magazine.

In conjunction with the discontinuation of BomBom, Kodansha announced the launch of a new junior high school boys' manga magazine, Monthly Shōnen Rival, in the spring of 2008,[2] but unlike the concept of BomBom, Rival's editor-in-chief denied that it was a successor to BomBom.

Gen Satō, who had been at loggerheads with the editorial department for various reasons while serializing Bakushō Senshi! SD Gundam and other titles in the magazine, expressed his regret on his blog on the same day that the cessation of the magazine was announced, interweaving several admonishments with criticisms about the editorial department's practices.[10][11]

A few years after the suspension of BomBom, more and more BomBom works started being reprinted by Perhaps influenced by this, Kodansha has also been reprinting titles like Cyborg Kuro-chan and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children under the title of Revival BomBom Series since 2012.

Web Revival[edit]

On July 21, 2017, it was reported that the manga that had been published in the magazine will begin to be re-published within Pixiv Comic. In addition to the re-publication, new works such as Kyō no Koneko no Chī and Kutsudaru. were also published. Updates are made every Friday.

Featured manga[edit]

Note: Series with an asterisk next to them were currently running when the magazine ceased publication in Dec 2007.





  1. ^ "コミックボンボン:講談社の子供向けマンガ誌 ウェブマンガで10年ぶりに"復活"". MANTANWEB (in Japanese). July 21, 2017. Retrieved February 10, 2019. 「コミックボンボン」は、小学館の「コロコロコミック」と人気を二分した子供向けのマンガ誌で、1981年11月に創刊した。 (Comic BomBom is a manga magazine for children that has split popularity with Shogakukan's CoroCoro Comic and was launched in November 1981.)
  2. ^ a b c Loo, Egan (July 17, 2007). "Comic BonBon Ends in 2007, Shōnen Rival Starts April". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  3. ^ Loo, Egan (January 22, 2008). "Kodansha Plans 300,000 Copies for New Shōnen Rival Mag". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 2, 2020. Unlike Comic BonBon with its target audience of elementary schoolchildren, the publisher will aim Monthly Shōnen Rival at junior high schoolers.
  4. ^ "Comic Bon Bon". Kodan Club. Archived from the original on April 17, 2008. Retrieved April 6, 2020. The essential boy's comic for all elementary school students who want to read comics that feature characters from their favorite computer games, TV shows, and toys or original characters that will eventually evolve into games, animations, and toys.
  5. ^ "Comic BomBom" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 4 March 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
  6. ^ 今こそ『ガンダム』を凌駕する新しいキャラが生まれるべきだ!!(後編) - Daily Cyzo
  7. ^ Interview in CONTINUE vol. 37 (part 2)
  8. ^ "Manga Anthology Circulations 2004-2006". ComiPress. December 27, 2007. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  9. ^ 講談社のマンガ誌「コミックボンボン」、部数低迷で休刊の噂。
  10. ^ ボンボンの休刊のニュースを見ました
  11. ^ ボンボン休刊の反響が凄すぎます(^ ^;)。

External links[edit]