The original Japanese manga was published in 10 episodes over five months in Big Comic, allowing readers to digest clues, build tension in increments, and savor those well-placed cliffhangers at the end of each installment.
Collecting these into one book warped the pace; story threads seemed hastily woven and the secondary characters lacked depth.
“Japan has this idea that the man is supposed to get a regular job,” said Nishida.
“If you graduate and you don't find a job as a regular employee, people look at you as a failure.” There’s even a tongue-in-cheek Japanese board game, Nishida told me, called “The Hellish Game of Life,” in which people who don’t land a regular job struggle for the rest of the game.
Zwei’s business model is based on matching women in Japan’s big cities with men in other areas of the country, where men are more likely to have good jobs and be considered viable partners.
“Men in this city are not very masculine and they don't want to get married,” Kouta Takada, a Zwei staff member, told me.
Hoshino’s cloaked detective has been solving crimes for over two decades in one of Japan’s leading manga magazines - the fortnightly Big Comic.
Professor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure is the sleuth’s first visit to the UK, the result of a collaboration between Hoshino and the British Museum, which in 2009 invited the artist to create a manga based on its collections.
Then, as globalization put more pressure on companies to cut costs, they increasingly relied on a temporary workforce, a trend that intensified during the Great Recession.
“This is a major new development in Japan’s employment paradigm, as new graduates find it increasingly difficult to get a foothold on the career ladder as regular employees,” Kingston and Machiko Osawa, a professor at Japan Women's University, write in “Risk and Consequences: The Changing Japanese Employment Paradigm,” an essay in In a culture that places such an emphasis on men being breadwinners, this has serious implications for marriage and childbearing.
A recent survey of Japanese people aged 18 to 34 found that nearly 70 percent of unmarried men and 60 percent of unmarried women aren’t in a relationship.
I also visited the office of POSSE, a group formed by college graduates who wanted to create a labor union for young people.
S.: Japan’s birth rate may be falling because there are fewer good opportunities for young people, and especially men, in the country’s economy.