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Magazine / Manga Time Kirara

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Kirara Family of Magazines
Top (Left to Right): Kirara (featuring Yuyushiki), Kirara Max (featuring Kiniro Mosaic and Is the Order a Rabbit?), Kirara Carat (featuring A Channel). Bottom (Left to Right): Kirara Forward (featuring Dream Eater Merry and Hanayamata), Kirara Miracle! (featuring Sakura Trick), Kirara Magica (everything Madoka Magica).

Manga Time Kirara is a seinen manga magazine published by Houbunsha.

The first issue was published on May 17, 2002 as an offshoot of the Gag Series magazine Manga Time, but specializing in moe yonkoma. Because of the popularity of the moe style in the 2000s, Kirara became a family of four magazines (five before October 2017), three (plus the one cancelled magazine) of which continue with the original specialization of moe Slice of Life yonkoma. The other one, Manga Time Kirara Forward, while maintaining the moe style, serializes non-yonkoma series with more traditional narratives — for example, Dream Eater Merry is a supernatural action series that wouldn't be too out of place in a shounen mag like Shonen Sunday.

The Kirara family of magazines have also become somewhat infamous for carrying works with high levels of Homoerotic Subtext, or in some cases out-and-out seinen Yuri Genre series, Sakura Trick being one of the biggest examples that got an anime.

Starting in the late 2000s and throughout most of the 2010s and continuing into the 2020s, it seems at least one manga from the Manga Time Kirara family gets adapted into an anime nearly each season, sometimes more than one. It is common enough that Moe Slice of Life comedies get called "Kirara-esque" even if they are not from a Kirara manga.

Many of their anime adaptations are licensed by Sentai Filmworks for North American viewers, and some have also received English dubs, such as Kill Me Baby, Dream Eater Merry, and Hanayamata.

In addition, because of the format, each monthly release of one of the five magazines under the family can carry up to 26-27 series per issue. Works in these magazines are often authored by novices of professional manga; many of them were (or still are) doujinshi authors or illustrators.

In December 2017, Aniplex launched Kirara Fantasia, a Massive Multiplayer Crossover smartphone game which transports numerous characters from various Kirara properties into a fantasy setting. The game was only available in Japan and shut down its online servers on February 28, 2023.

Series Run in Manga Time Kirara

Series Run in Manga Time Kirara Carat

Series Run in Manga Time Kirara Forward

Series Run in Manga Time Kirara Max

Series Run in Manga Time Kirara Miracle! (Cancelled in October 2017)

Tropes common in Manga Time Kirara works

  • Dramedy: While most of their works are lighthearted, some do attempt to be a balance between comedy and drama. Is the Order a Rabbit? and The Demon Girl Next Door are notable for their more melancholic tones against the often upbeat character and comedy. The final season of Hidamari Sketch incorporates this more then the rest of the series as Sae and Hiro approach their graduation and the changes the Hidamari Apartments will deal with.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: If it was made today, a series like Doujin Work wouldn't be allowed to be serialized on Kirara per se. It could probably be serialized on Miracle! or Forward, though.
  • Iyashikei:
    • Most series running in the non-Forward magazines are meant to be sweet, heartwarming, and relaxing. Some series in Forward are also sweet, heartwarming, and relaxing, but it's more of a grab-bag in terms of genre.
    • Although School-Live! was published in the more experimental Forward brand (which should set off warning bells, as should the fact that it's written by a Nitro Plus writer), the series subverts the concept since it fools the audience into thinking it's a typical easygoing Schoolgirl Series at first. Then the end of the first chapter/episode reveals that it's actually about a group of schoolgirls trying to survive in a Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Japanese School Club: Roughly half their works revolve around moe girls doing an activity together, often — but not always — under the auspices of an official school club. After the tremendous success of K-On!, it seems the floodgates opened. Many, many manga authors rushed out to copy the formula of "four girls + school club + rock band", and put their own spin on it by swapping "rock band" for whatever hobby the author is interested in. Consequently, expect these works to have plenty of Exposition and ExpositionDiagrams imparting extremely technical knowledge about how to perform the hobby, along with general gushing over what a life-changing experience it is.
  • Nice Girl: It's usually expected to have at least one girl fitting into this bill.
  • Schoolgirl Series: Most of their series focus on groups of schoolgirls and their everyday lives.
  • Seinen: Many of these works are usually geared towards an older adult male audience.
  • Slice of Life: Most of these works are set in a mundane world and focus on the characters' everyday lives.
  • The One Guy: Recurring male characters are very very rare in non-Forward Kirara series, enough so that when a series DOES feature a regular male cast it's noticeable (see Place to Place, Castle Town Dandelion, Doujin Work, GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class, and Blend-S).
  • Token Mini-Moe: It is expected that at least one female character will fit into bill in any Manga Time Kirara works.

Tropes pertaining to the Manga Time Kirara family itself

  • Artifact Title: It has been editorially independent from Manga Time for a long time.
  • Darker and Edgier: Manga Time Kirara Forward. In contrast to the Slice of Life Iyashikei works of the other magazines, Forward often features more action-heavy manga like Dream Eater Merry or horror-themed manga like School-Live!, not to mention two Puella Magi Madoka Magica Expanded Universe manga, Puella Magi Kazumi Magica and Puella Magi Suzune Magica, both of which happen to even more dark and bloody than their parent series. That said, Forward also has Iyashikei like Laid-Back Camp.
  • Distaff Counterpart: When Carat was launched, it was aimed specifically at female readers and focused on male main characters. However, this didn't last. Now it's effectively the same as Kirara, although with a slightly higher female readership. Notably, Carat ran Anima Yell!, one of the few school club stories with an explicitly-female-oriented hobby, whereas most other Kirara school club stories revolve around either unisex hobbies or hobbies stereotypically associated with thirtysomething men.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Kirara Fantasia, a fantasy RPG which takes the girls of various Kirara magazines and gives them fighting prowess.
  • Network Red-Headed Stepchild: Forward is a magazine edition, in that it has very different editorial directions, despite sharing the moe connection with the other four.
  • Word Salad Title: "Kirara" ("Shiny") is not particularly meaningful as a title, and "Caret," "Miracle" and "Forward" are not helpful additions to "Kirara" title-wise.
  • "YEAH!" Shot:
    • One of these happens in the openings of almost every anime based on a Kirara Manga, enough that it is called the "Kirara Jump", and occurs even in non-Kirara slice of life anime openings.
      "Any anime where they jump in the opening is a god-tier anime." - Ryo, Bocchi the Rock!
    • This is referenced in Kirara Fantasia: whenever a character uses a special move, they do the famous Kirara Jump first.