Weekly Shōnen Magazine (週刊少年マガジン Shūkan Shōnen Magajin?), sometimes known in shorthand simply as Weekly Shōnen Magazine (週刊少年 Shūkan Shōnen?), is a Japanese weekly anthology magazine covering various manga and anime under the shōnen genre. It was first published on March 17, 1959. Although it generally covers manga and anime, it occasionally covers games as well. It celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009. The magazine serves as the birthplace of hits such as Kyojin no Hoshi (Stars of the Giant), Ashita no Joe (Tomorrow's Joe) and Hajime no Ippo, as well as featuring titles in various genres (such as sports, romance, mystery and fantasy) that fill readers' hearts with burning excitement, along with topical humor and photos of beautiful gravure models. All of these elements provided overwhelming reading material unmatched by competing magazines.
Although technically not part of Weekly Shōnen, one of its rival publications is Weekly Shōnen Sunday, which was formed on the same date as Weekly Shōnen largely in response to the latter's publication. Contrary to the name, Weekly Shōnen Sunday did not get published on Sundays at all (it was instead originally published on Tuesdays before eventually being bumped up to Wednesdays), but was instead added in by its first editor, Kiichi Toyoda, who wanted to invoke a calming weekend edition magazine in the title.
Relationship to the Metal Gear series
Weekly Shōnen Magazine, along with its rival Weekly Shōnen Sunday, makes a cameo appearance in the Japanese version of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater on the magazine rack in Groznyj Grad's library. It was replaced in the North American version with Gamer and PlayStation: The Official Magazine #174, respectively. Weekly Shōnen Magazine is later featured as an actual magazine item in the Japanese version of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, partly as part of a product placement gimmick conceptualized by series creator Hideo Kojima as a joke, and partly to cover the magazine's 50th anniversary back in 2009. Although based on a real magazine, the cover itself is completely fictional, with it featuring Sari Koboyashi, a Japanese model/actress. The magazine was replaced in the international versions with the Super Magazine. In the HD Edition, the cover was changed. The same cover in the HD Edition also makes a cameo in Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D. The cover in question features the manga/anime series Fairy Tail, and to a lesser extent Metal Gear Solid: Rising, due to the mangaka of the series, Hiro Mashima, being a massive Metal Gear fan.