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Merge suggestion[edit]

In order to keep everything in one place and make one slightly larger article rather than several really small articles, I recommend that this article be merged into the Tankōbon article. --nihon 21:33, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

I respectfully disagree with the suggestion. You appear to be under the impression that bunkoban and bunko are synonymous, but they are not: a bunkoban is a bunko-format tankobon, but most bunko are not bunkoban. The majority of Japanese paperback novels are published as bunko, but these are certainly not tankobon in any sense. Haeleth 23:28, 20 October 2005 (UTC) that I think about it, I agree with you on this. I know they are not the same thing, but while living in Japan I hardly ever heard "bunkoban" called "bunkoban," instead hearing them constantly referred to as "bunko." But, I do agree that it's important to make the decision, so I withdraw my recommendation. --nihon 16:58, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Where is this "Japan" in which a bunko is a book?[edit]

I read:

In Japan, bunko (文庫) are small cheap paperback books, designed to be affordable and portable.

No they aren't. The writer is thinking of bunkobon (文庫本). Bunko is a term that's used to mean "library", "book collection" (sometimes within a library), or "a single publisher's set of bunkobon" (e.g. the ちくま 文庫 of 筑摩書房).

Bunko are typically A6 in size. They are often illustrated, sometimes in colour, and (like other Japanese paperbacks) usually have a dust wrapper over a plain cover.

Add -bon to the initial "Bunko" and this would be kind of true, as long as "often" can be extended to mean as low as (wild guess) 10% or so. The huge majority have no illustrations and the majority of this majority are fiction.

They are used for much the same purposes as Western mass market paperbacks: for cheaper editions of books that have already been published as hardbacks, and for works not expected to see heavy use such as light novels, teen/children's fiction, and erotica.

Well, kind of. But this hardly squares with the fact that bunkobon are normally bound in signatures and printed on reasonably good paper, and are often bought and lent out by public and other libraries.

Incidentally, manga are only rarely available as bunkobon in the normal sense; though I know little about manga and it's possible that the term is used for the larger-than-A6 format of 単行本 manga.

I'd like to make radical changes to this article, but before I do so, I invite others' comments. The comments of native speakers of Japanese, or of people with access to native speakers of Japanese, would be particularly welcome. Or of course you could just look in the relevant dictionaries -- and I mean dictionaries of language, not glossaries of more or less manga-related terms put together by anglophones whose Japanese might not be too hot.

If you lack reference books or access to a native speaker of Japanese, ja.wikipedia: "文庫" isn't a bad place to start. -- Hoary 06:41, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree. I've moved the article. Feel free to expand the article. --日本穣 05:38, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Thank you! I've continued to fiddle with the article so that it now, I hope, describes the real world. -- Hoary 09:41, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm putting back the category as it is an "anime and manga term". Just because it's in a category doesn't mean it's used exclusively for that category. I'm looking for other categories into which this article would fit, as well. --日本穣 17:01, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
I fully agree with the second sentence of that, 穣さん, and in principle (?) have no objection to readdition of the category. Plus I don't want to make an issue of it. Trouble is, I have no reason to think that it is an anime and manga term (other perhaps than in the odd lect that non-Japanese-speaking fans of manga seem to have developed). -- Hoary 00:36, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
It is an "anime and manga term" because there are many, many volumes of manga released in the bunkobon/bunkoban format. Because of that, many people, including people in Japan, refer to the manga in that format by one or the other of those names. It fits the category just fine. --日本穣 02:12, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Well well, this page confirms that the term 文庫判 is indeed applied to comic books. While it doesn't confirm the size, it implies that these are regular bunkobon format. Meanwhile, the same page reminds me that the huge majority of small-format manga are instead 新書判, i.e. in the format of the somewhat larger 新書. Meanwhile, "shinsho(ban)" seems to go unmentioned in en-WP. This contrast strikes me as most bizarre. Is it possible that non-Japanese fans of manga extend "bunko(bon/ban)" to include 新書(判)? -- Hoary 09:15, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Shinshoban aren't as well known outside Japan because they generally cover manga that run in salaryman and similar monthly anthologies. Tankōbon is by far the most common size for manga, and the most well-known outside Japan. Bunkoban/bon are popular because they are smaller and weigh less, so therefore cost less to obtain for people outside Japan. Feel free to make an entry for Shinshoban over on the Tankōbon page. --日本穣 16:11, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

New Title? (Bunkobon, Bunkoban, Bunko)[edit]

Maybe Bunko (文庫) is a better article title, as "bunko" is included in the terms bunkobon (文庫本), bunkoban (文庫判), as well as Aozora Bunko and publishers' names such as SomeRandomName Bunko. "Bunko" might be a better-suited title for an article about all three terms assuming that we don't want to create separate articles for each.—Tokek 21:30, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Oops, I noticed that the history shows that the reverse happened... I'll look into this further, but feel free to add reply comments. —Tokek 00:48, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

"Tankōbon (or 'bunko edition') format"[edit]

We read:

Many manga are also reprinted in Tankōbon (or "bunko edition") format.

I don't understand. For a start, this seems to imply that 単行本 is a format. I had thought that the term meant any independent book. These of course come in a great variety of formats, although of course a large percentage are in one or other (e.g. A6) of a small number of formats. -- Hoary 03:58, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

That appears to have been the result of confusion. The tankobon page contains information on bunko rereleases of manga, and the link to it may have generated the confusion. But bunko editions of manga are called bunko editions; the original editions are called tankobon. Doceirias 04:43, 29 June 2007 (UTC)