You remember that magazine Mayu looked at in Hinamatsuri or the one Souya pulled out in the Occult Research Club’s room in Planet With? The one about UMAs?
Well..truth be told, that’s based on a real Japanese magazine…
If there’s one collaboration I don’t quite get, it’s when Boueibu decided to team up with a magazine called Gakken Mu (Monthly Mu) for Comiket 90 back in 2016. (You probably think I’m kidding, but I’m not…they had rubber straps!) That’s why, when Hinamatsuri had a Ma magazine then Planet With had a Lu magazine in the subsequent season, I had to laugh at my own misfortune. Boueibu really has gotten me invested in a bunch of things I didn’t know about prior, so I didn’t think this useless knowledge would come in handy twice in 2018…
Anyways, what the heck is Mu? It’s a “one-of-a-kind” magazine for the “mysteries of the world”, according to the description for the aforementioned rubber straps (Animedia n.d.). Whether it be UMAs, UFOs, tsuchinoko (a snake-like cryptid) or even kappa…they’ll research on it and publish their findings, whether that be sightings or something else. Thus, it would be a natural assumption that Nebula Weapons will appear in Planet With‘s version of the magazine. They also have horoscopes for the Western zodiac (Gakken Mu n.d.) which, after peering at one for my sign, seems to just be an ordinary, not-so-mystery-themed horoscope…then again, “magic” is also one of Mu‘s topics of interest, so it’s not that farfetched. Unfortunately, Mu (and by extension its website) is only in Japanese so if you want to read what they have to say, you’ll have to have brushed up on your reading skills…
One of the things the two shows both parody is Mu‘s logo – it’s a triangle-looking red thing with a white outline. Planet With is probably the furthest from this by changing the colour and overall shape, although you can still see the triangle on the logo’s left.
Interestingly, Hinamatsuri and Planet With both momentarily feature the discussion of the mysteries Mu deals with within their story. Aside from what was pointed out about the latter already, it has an occult club which Nozomi and Nezuya are part of, with Souya joining them in episode 3. The former has Mayu, a lover of the occult. Thus, having a stand-in for Mu around enhances the idea of the supernatural or otherwise unexplainable being involved somehow, kind of like how Gintoki reading Jump in Gintama (and similarly, Muhyo of the Bureau of Supernatural Investigation reading Jabin) reinforces the fact they run in shonen magazines.
Sure, I’m not trying to sell you this magazine or forcing you to go to their website, but knowing this magazine exists enhances your understanding of why things are the way they are in certain anime. That’s what I’ve done for the Ode to Anime Studios and so I’m doing it again, just with a different topic.
So, have any other instances of this magazine occurred anywhere that I don’t know about? If you can’t think of any, then what’s your favourite reference to a real-life publication that’s appeared in an anime?
Animedia n.d. Comiket 90 Animedia Shop. Available from: https://animedia-shop.jp/comike_90/
Gekkan Mu n.d. Divinations and Magic Skills. Available from: http://gakkenmu.jp/divination/