Social media is saturated. With countless platforms to choose from, millions of content creators engaging daily across them, and an incessant stream of new content being posted and shared every day, the sheer volume of information and digital contents to keep up with can be quite overwhelming.

This is not only true for those who consume the contents, but also for those who, through one of these platforms, want to convey a message, share a story. For smaller users, the challenge becomes even more daunting: as posts quickly become obsolete, disappearing from feeds within minutes, and with the need to follow precise trends and employ increasingly complex advertising strategies, the struggle for small-scale creators and businesses is undeniably challenging

In this costly and competitive environment, it’s unsurprising that an increasing number of writers, artists, and small businesses in Japan are shifting away from social media in search of more traditional and authentic means of communication. This is where “zines” shine. Derived from the word “magazine”, zines are self-published books with limited circulation. Affordable and community-driven, zines provide a human touch that with social media has often been lost.

This trend, which paradoxically boomed on social media in recent years, is now firmly established and boasts a thriving community, including specialized zine stores. While trends like this one might just be a nine-day wonder, they also carry significant potential to ignite something much larger and impactful. Certainly something worth keeping an eye on.