I was having a nice Instagram chat with my friend @bobdesu_ga when she sent me an image that made my jaw drop. So the following day I rushed to the bookstore and got this:
Our boys with their washboard abs and muscular arms, half-naked and sweating inside a sauna! Isayama really wants to promote his future spa idea. He’s conquered the manga and anime world, will soon conquer Hollywood, and now will build a spa empire. I hope it’s an Attack on Titan-themed onsen, otherwise why bother? Ahaha.
I must have spent all of yesterday night drooling over the cover, meaning I wasn’t able to do anything productive.
While all our boys look amazing, Jean is hands down the hottest of them all in this illustration. I’m sure you agree. Of course you agree, that’s why you’re on this blog in the first place. Cheers to your good taste! 😀
The magazine costs 640 JPY. I usually don’t buy Bessatsu Shonen because it’s big, heavy, bulky and filled with other manga I don’t care about. But this edition was worth every penny because it contained Chapter 127, probably my favorite AoT chapter post time-skip.
The manga pages are B5 size, twice as big as the tankobon that comes out every four or five chapters. So it’s nice to have a clearer view of the drawings.
Let’s look at the AoT ads inside. Left panel: On top is a summer-autumn event in Hita City, Oita Prefecture, Isayama’s hometown. It’s for the inauguration of bronze statues of EMA at the Ooyama Dam park. It also says a bronze statue of Levi will be inaugurated at Hita station, courtesy of crowdfunding. You can read more about the event here.
Middle portion (in red): Chocolate ice cream bars will be sold by Morinaga on April 13, 2020. There are ten designs in all, and will be sold at 140 JPY each. FYI, Jean is on bar #8. Bar #5 is Levi and Erwin. Bars #9 and #10 are mystery bars so we’re in for a surprise at what’ll be shown. I hope it’s Historia and Ymir, Reiner and Annie! Read more about the product here.
Bottom: Animega/Sofmap will be selling new merchandise at the end of April, including acrylic keychains, trading badges and an A5 clear file. There is only one clear file design and Jean’s on it, yey!
Right panel: New AoT-related attractions at Universal Studios Japan (which is currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and will be closed until the middle of May). Among them is a VR coaster, called the XR Ride, offering 360° imagery. Another is the Survey Corps Mess Hall that will offer food seen in the manga. The sample photo is grilled chicken with baked potato, tomato and onion, with bean and sausage salad, plus mushroom soup, portable ration-style cracker and bread. There is also a photo booth with life-sized dolls of Levi and Hange that you can use if you order certain foods. Read more about the attractions here.
Left panel: Postcard illustrations by fans featuring Falco, Levi in bandages, Mikasa, Onyankopon and Eren. The Q & A section for Isayama has the question: “Aren’t there any complaints about the holes on the walls caused by the vertical maneuvering gear?” to which Isayama replies: “It seems that the government provides for repairing expenses” (meaning they have funds allocated for maintenance).
Right panel: Ads for the AoT Tactics game, celebrating its first anniversary on April 18. A new IF story “Wall Maria Recapture Strategy” and a limited scene card “Memory of Those Times” are featured. English site | Japanese site
Finally, we come to the giveaway, the gift that comes with buying the magazine.
It’s an acrylic book cover that fits the tankobon paperback volume. It features the same sauna illustration on the magazine cover. Eren comes out badly because his right leg is not properly foreshortened. It’s an art trick that Michelangelo has perfected but Isayama not so much. Here it looks as if his lower leg has been amputated. Armin looks quite small and scrawny (poor baby, but he’s really the one who will save the world!). Jean is his usual hottie self. 😀
At the back are Connie, Jean, Mikasa, Armin, Hange and Levi on one side, and Pieck, Falco, Gabi and Reiner on the other. Behind them are shadow drawings of Levi and Reiner at the sauna. On the sides is an antique lithograph of Founder Ymir in her sexy goddess state, with other semi-naked, well-built men and a woman bowing around her.
The sauna scene would be too embarrassing to actually use as a book cover when toting my book on the train or reading at the company office during lunch break. People will think I’m a pervert! So it’s for home use only, defeating the purpose of a book cover. Duh. What I really wanted was a poster of the magazine cover to hang on my wall. Oh well!
On the front cover it says:
Hang in there a bit longer. Hope lies ahead.From the cover of Bessatsu Shonen Magazine (May 2020 Edition)
Isn’t that wonderful? Is it Isayama’s way of saying that he won’t kill any of our precious boys on the cover? Can we hope? Can we dare hope? Ahaha! I dare not. As Dr Clarkson said in Downton Abbey, harsh reality is always better than false hope.
Having said that, hope you enjoyed this look at the latest Bessatsu Shonen mag.