gyaru japanese fashion Japanese magazine

The Current State of Gyaru Magazines

Hi everyone. I realised that I haven’t posted since the beginning of the year and now it is spring. I’ve been swamped with university but I’m back. As a treat, I’m going to be post two articles today that have been translated from Japanese to English. Due to egg magazine ending, modelpress has started a series of articles about the change in the gyaru culture and the magazine culture surrounding it. I asked a friend of mine to translate it and she did. With her permission I’ll like to share this with my readers. It’d be interesting to get the word out and opinions coming in this topic. I hope to give you all my opinion on every thing in a blog post following the these two translations post. It includes my opinion on the reaction by the international gyaru community and other speculations for the shift in gyaru culture. This is only the first of two articles that I will be posting. The translation starts below…

[Translators’ note: I’m not sure if the style from JELLY has an official name in the international circle, I just put “strong style” but the original is called “karakuchi”]

Current situation of Gyaru magazines that continue to end one after another

Gyaru magazines Egg, Happie nuts, Koakuma Ageha, EDGE STYLE and many more, continue to end one after another. As such, the market of Gyaru magazines has been reduced. While these magazines continue to end, on the other hand Popteen, Ranzuki, JELLY, Scawaii, Gina, etc. are still popular with many Gyaru.

Gyaru magazines that continue to spread their popularity today with many Gyaru.

When you say Gyaru, the image of bright hair paired with strong makeup; and fashion that pops with many colours is powerful. However in recent years, the opposite of “Gyaru”, with words like “neat and clean” and “natural” have come forward. Models that appear in Gyaru magazines with lighter skin and natural makeup have started to stand out.

Looking back on the history of Gyaru trends, in ’99 ‘Ganguro’ Gyaru invaded the streets with their tanned skin from tanning salons. In ’96 “Amura” that had signer Amuro Namie as its role model welcomed the golden age with the boom of Kogyaru. In ’00, with dark skin paired with blond hair and white lips, “Yamanba” made its appearance, the super flashy looks of Gyaru peaked at this point. In recently years, along with the appearance of icons such as Masuwaka Tsubasa and Kumicky, “Sweet GAL” that look like dolls have become the mainstream.

A great number of popular models such as Oshikiri Moe and Rola appeared in Popteen


Left: “Popteen” November issue (Kadokawa Haruki Corporation, October 1st 2012 release) Cover model: Rola
Right: “Popteen” November issue (Kadokawa Haruki Corporation, October 1st 2007 release) Cover model: Masuwaka Tsubasa

On October 1st 1980, Popteen (Kadokawa Haruki Corporation) was launched, they received great popularity in the early half of the 1990s with the boom of high school girls. This brought on the renewal of fashion magazines aimed at Gyaru, they swept out the old elements of obscenity and violence. It became a magazine about LOVE&LIFESTYLE that Agemori Girls [Girls who follow many trends] must see! It went on as an information magazine for small popular trends and the latest Gyaru fashion. Up until now, many popular models appeared in it, such as Oshikiri Moe, Rola, Masuwaka Tsubasa, Komori Jun, Suzuki Nana, etc.

Currently, there is a rise in the representation of dark haired and “neat and clean Gyaru”, such as Matsumoto Ai, Maeda Nozomi and Shida Yuumi. Moreover, Funayama Kumiko, lovingly called “Kumicky”, is active as a main model for the same magazine. She has been on the cover 17 times in a row (March 2009 issue ~ July 2010 issue), and holds a record of appearing on the cover 30 times in total.

Ranzuki redefined themselves as a new magazine for JK [high school girls] with their renewal.

Left: “Ranzuki” September issue (Bunkasha, July 23, 2012 release) Cover model: Saitou Natsumi  Right: “Ranzuki” December issue (Bunkasha, October 23, 2013 release) Cover model: Yoshiki Chisato 

Launched as a magazine aimed at dark skinned gyaru in 1998, “Ranzuki” (Bunkasha) spread its popularity with their designs that featured colourful pop fashion and the models’ personalities. They remodelled themselves in their December issue, released on October 23 2013, and got closer to the “cute” that changes along with each era. They established a new theme, “You can become the cutest and most stylish JK in your class”. Currently, “Ranzuki” defines themselves with slogans such as “Standing out some way without putting effort into it”, as well as “Dark hair and light makeup but refined”, aiming to make girls into “cute JK”.

◆ JELLY, enforcing strong styled Gyaru

Left: JELLY November issue (Bunkasha, September 15 2012 release)
Right: JELLY February issue (Bunkasha, December 17 2011 release)

In April 2005, VOL.01 of JELLY (Bunkasha) was published as a special issue, it started as an “older sister magazine” to Ranzuki. It promoted models, such as Mori Maya and Yamamoto Yuuki, etc., that were exclusively working for the same magazine at the time. The next year, in April 2006, they released a special issue with a strong but casual style as its theme.

As a magazine aimed at Gyaru and Adult Gyaru, they introduced the season’s Gyaru fashion. With a strong but casual style as its core, they used seasonal items to mix casual style with cute or sexy fashion. As well as dressing stylishly with trendy items and many different stylish coordinates, and using street items for individualistic coordinates, etc. Even now, where sweet Gyaru is the mainstream, strong style Gyaru is being enforced.

S Cawaii and Gina etc., aimed at “Adult Gyaru” are also popular

Left: S Cawaii! June issue (SHUFUNOTOMO Co., May 7 2014 release) Cover model: Rola 
Right: Gina June issue (Bunkasha, May 7 2014 release) Cover model: Nagasawa Masami 

S Cawaii! (SHUFUNOTOMO Co.) was launched in September 2000 as an older sister version of magazine “Cawaii!” (discontinued). Classified as “adult Gyaru style”, it targeted girls that graduated high school and are around 20 years old. A status magazine that mastered the adult Gyaru style. Gina (Bunkasha) was launched in October of 2011 for readers around 25 years old that graduated from fashion magazine JELLY of the same publisher.

Gina began publishing issues monthly from its Vol. 9 in 2013 (April 2013 issue). Their main target was adult women over 25 years old that love the strong styled fashion. Their theme is “Proposing a new casual style after 25 years old”, this is a casual style that pushes a cool and adult fashion, and strong styled fashion among others, it was introduced as a new fashion style for the strong girls.

A strong impact flows through the world of Gyaru magazines with the end of Egg


 Left: Egg June issue, currently on sale (Taiyoh Books, May 1 2014 release) 
Right: Watanabe Kaoru, dominated her generation as a charismatic Gyaru model /Egg July 2008 issue (Taiyoh Books, May 31 2008 release) 

Egg (Taiyoh Books), will end with the release of its May 31st issue. With its launch in 1995, this magazine transmitted the real trends of Shibuya Gyaru for a length of 19 years and 9 months. While it cut out Shibuya female high school student’s “reality”, it created the boom of the loose socks and Kogyaru. Likewise with the look of exposing your belly button, the Ganguro skin and Yamanba’s highlighted hair, Ganguro Gyaru that spread white around their eyes. One of the great histories of Gyaru has come to an end.

While the market of Gyaru magazines is reducing, the natural styled Gyaru packs a punch. From now on, we’re sure that those girls will be the ones to open a new market.

Credit goes to my friend Hassy for translating this for me 😀


One reply on “The Current State of Gyaru Magazines”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.