Magazine House Ltd. is a Tokyo-based publishing company that produces some of Japan's most popular and widely recognized magazines, as well as a range of mainly lifestyle-related books, both paper and digital.
Magazine House’s stable of magazines is extensive, currently comprising 16 magazines.
The oldest in the stable is an・an, a weekly lifestyle magazine for young women in their teens and twenties, released every Wednesday, with a circulation of over 200,000 copies.
an・an began in 1970 as a collaboration with the French Elle magazine. an・an’s focus is on beauty, food and fashion. an・an’s main competition in the 1970s was the non-no magazine, yet their combined influence saw the birth of a fashion movement that styled itself the “an・non clan.” an・an went independent in 1982.
an・an has earned itself a reputation in particular for its annual “most loved man, most hated man ranking” survey (won for most years by the singer Takuya Kimura), and for its explicit—and somewhat controversial—“sex special” for women that comes out at the beginning of every August.
This week's an・an is a "Sweets I Like" special, subtitled "You can't live without sweet things!!" Pages 17 to 61 are chockablock with mostly super-glossy, lusciously full-color coverage of "sweet rankings," introductions to various confectionery shops, bakeries and jam shops and their websites, skilfully blended in with advertisements, and—interestingly—without a single recipe.
The men that appear in an・an No. 1905 are either oshare ("o-sha-reh": chic, dapper, stylish), as in the interview with the veteran singer-songwriter and actor, Hiroshi Tachi, or the young Left-Bank-looking thinker-cum-fashionista Tokyo-based French artist, Nicolas Buffe; fresh-faced and femme (at least in the photo of him featured in this an・an) like idol singer and actor, Kazuya Miyanomiya; or stunningly ultra-camp, like Korean singer Jun K, promoting his first album. The only butch appearance is by the pro wrestler, Togi Makabe, who plays a parody of himself in the confectionery section as the boor sitting down to dainty sweet dishes while taking lessons in how to do it daintily from Japan's famous etiquette and manner consultant, the petite Hiroko Nishide.
an・an isn't cheap, at 450 yen (tax inclusive); however, at 102 pages, there's plenty enough to keep the girl looking for the next kawaii, oishii or oshare thing occupied.
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