Shibuya 109 English Guide – The Magazine


Just this bast week Glitter decided to put out Shibuya 109 English Guidebook. The thing is… it’s all in English! To make it worse, it’s distributed everywhere. From bookstores to conbinis. (edited cus I went ranty) But why in the world was it created and distrubuted? It’s not like English speaking loving gals are in the tons in Japan. We’re a tiny group!! I know Japanese love shirts with English sayings on them, but not a whole damned magazine! Its target audience is overseas, yet it’s filling the Tokyo area >_< WTF

The magazine itself is produced by Glitter, and continously gives off the impression of a Japanese magazine trying to look like a Western magazine. White backgrounds? Celeb cover? White models (who often look more frightening than gal)? It constantly misses the mark for me. It’s neither an English style mag nor a good laid out Japanese magazine.

It also has a two page spread on underwear. Western women tend to have larger frames and often grow breasts quicker and uhhh larger than Japanese women. A C cup would be impossible in those stores, which is a common bra size for Western women. Personally at 34D I’m seen as a freak of nature by Japanese standards. Japanese bras are just not a selling point for half or more of Western women >_<

…however it has many good points, beyond the pitfalls it steps into


Two page history of 109 and somewhat of gal
It brushes over some aspects and spikes of yester-gal times, but it does give a sense of history. Personally I didn’t know there was a competition in 2004 to bring new designers to the forefront of 109, and that one of my perennial favorites, Gilfy, won it!

Five pages of mostly shop-staff in currently in-store looks
Maybe I am biased because my two favorite shop staff: One*spo’s Kie-chan and Lip Service’s Mai-chan are in it. Aren’t they cute! Their personalities are just as cute. They are everyday gals dressed in the shop’s most current looks. Egg’s street snaps are often month’s old or showing only 1 or 2 shopstaff.

(see both below)

The rest of the magazine doesn’t really show styling that seems gal, but the shop staff are great models of a store’s stylistic direction. Instead of catalogs featuring Hoshiaya or Tsubasa, these people for regular shoppers are the face of a brand.

Don’t get me wrong, while I think the gal styling is off on this and they went at this magazine the wrong way, there is still a ton of useful information in here for the beginner gal.

I am sure this mag will get scanned, but for now browse below or all 36 images in a handy zip filehere (cus I <3)

Styles of Covergirl Nicole Richie and their interpretations of her looks from gal shops.
I honestly am not a fan of this since it’s Westernizing gal not galifying Western looks, yanno ^_^;;.
her make frightens me (where’s GalMori when you need it?)
Age appropriate? Co&Lu is meant for 15-18 yr olds, she looks more adult than that <_<;;
Marine for Fall/Winter? Very summery >_<
These have been blended with black in stylings though >_< Not together!
The most current gal look in the magazine IMO, love the pop of color
My Kie-chan <333
Mai-chan <3!
Love this denim
Great JSG looks, love the metallic leggings
1/4 of the magazine is blocks like this by floor discussing their own brand.
Talk of all the new 8th floor stores
A nice touch for tourists


  1. Aralka
    October 12, 2009 / 4:34 pm

    hehe, it seems like you don't like this magazine.
    You are right, but I think it's pretty interesting ^^

  2. Mitsu
    October 12, 2009 / 4:40 pm

    LOL I have mixed feelings. Mainly I just don't why it's in so many stores when I don't know who will buy it in Tokyo other than a very small minority. If I saw this online and I was not in Japan, I think my view of it would be much less questioning and slightly more positive. :)

  3. Julietta
    October 12, 2009 / 4:42 pm

    a award for you (:


  4. Markie
    October 12, 2009 / 7:44 pm

    haha! What the! "WHITE POWER" on page 23… someone should have done better editing…! XD

    it's really interesting that something like this was done. I really like the brand description things, that's always helpful. even though it's a really bizarre mix of half Japanese/half Western magazine, I think I'd still like to own it! I wonder if I could order it online somewhere…

  5. Lanna
    October 12, 2009 / 8:42 pm

    This looks interesting,thank you for putting it up:)
    I agree with you though about it not making much sense it being distrubuted in Japan only…thats alittle odd:S

  6. Rue
    October 12, 2009 / 9:12 pm

    The white models look completely out of place. I like 109, but I agree with you when you said that they are Westernizing gal.

  7. Neko_chik
    October 13, 2009 / 3:14 am


  8. malignita
    October 13, 2009 / 6:10 am

    I don't know if it's so much trying to "Westernizing" gal as it is trying to make gal seem more accessible foreigners. Most of us probably wouldn't think anything of it, but girls unfamiliar with gyaru fashion might take a look at a Japanese model and think, "I'm not as tiny as her, so that skirt will never fit me! I'm not even going to try it on!" Seeing an outfit on a Western model might make it seem more tangible to some Westerners. Well, that's my theory, lol…

    As for GLITTER, I'm surprised they would even put out something like this, especially considering their own readership tends to be older than the majority of the 109 crowd. (The magazine itself also tends to bore me anyway, especially because it's like reading Marie Claire or Elle, but in Japanese. Give me nuts or BLENDA any day, thanks!) Still, I won't hate on it too much, since it's always nice to read up-to-date information about gyaru in English. X333

  9. Mitsu
    October 18, 2009 / 2:04 pm

    Julietta: How sweet, thank you! <3 You made my day :D

  10. Mitsu
    October 18, 2009 / 2:05 pm

    Markie: LOL you saw that, too? What insanity!

    Yeah definitely a bizarre mix and I couldn't stop myself from picking it up either ;)

  11. Mitsu
    October 18, 2009 / 2:06 pm

    Rue: Yeah, but I think it's the styling. Where are the nails, the smooth gal hair ideals? It's crazy!

  12. Mitsu
    October 18, 2009 / 2:08 pm

    malignita: LOL I think any theory is helpful though. I had a hard long time trying to move out of the WTF phase of seeing it.

    I agree, Glitter is a snoozefest and doesn't represent 109 to me. They are celeb addicted though so maybe that's the whole Nicole side >_< Yes I will read Nuts and Ageha and almost anything before Glitter. I don't get the appeal >_<

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