KERA Magazine is a popular Japanese punk fashion magazine. Originally known as KERAOUAC Magazine, the name has become synonymous in recent years with the rise in punk, Lolita, and gothic fashion trends in both Japan and international communities.
The first issue of KERA was circulated in October of 1998 with a strong focus on punk fashion and current trends in rock music. The magazine was among the first to include a section with photographs of the street fashion in Harajuku with Harajuku Street Snaps. The street snaps section also covered fashion on the streets of London, Berlin, New York, and other districts of Tokyo. While at first a bimonthly publication, KERA has since become a monthly magazine with a circulation well over 120,000.
Based on the success of KERA, a variety of spin off magazines were created to offer a more complete, in-depth perspective of certain fashions and trends that match the KERA demographic. These guides are usually of a higher quality and printed less frequently for a higher cost.
The first spin-off publication was KERA MANIAX, an extended edition of KERA Magazine that includes a wide array of bonuses for buyers such as patterns and stickers. Extra Street Snaps are usually included in this larger volumes with special focus on fashion from other countries. Tsuchiya Anna has appeared on 6 of this publication’s 9 covers thus far since the special edition was first printed in 2003. The actual release date for KERA MANIAX varies, but has recently been appearing every three months or so.
Since its first publication in 2001, the Gothic and Lolita Bible has become the most popular KERA publication with a wide reader base of its own that often does not read KERA otherwise. This guide is released every three months and highlights a special subset of Japanese street culture known as Gothic Lolita, integrating a wide array of styles based on 19th Century Victorian and Edwardian aesthetics, as displayed prominently in the dolls of the time, as well as literature. Most releases of the Gothic and Lolita Bible have a hand drawn cover and run a cost of 1400 yen. Recently, the guide has been translated and rereleased in American and European markets.
While the large majority of KERA publications are focused on female readers, the KERA Boys magazine, which launched in 2005, focuses on the fashion of young men in Japan, with a focus on mostly stylish, elegant fashions. Street Snaps are still a staple of these publications, but it has been sparse in release thus far, with a 6 month or longer gap between releases, having not yet shown that it can generate the same volume of audience as KERA has since its inception.