(I guess there's a crossover somewhere between the "classic" and the crowded. More on that in future posts…)
I presume the idea behind Shukan Bunshun advertising is a) telling someone as much about what's inside as possible is the best way to get a sale, and b) giving someone on a long train commute into the city something to idly read will also more likely get a sale. It seemingly works: the weekly – a tabloid news, politics, entertainment and gossip magazine – is a big seller.
But is this one of the most unenviable jobs in layout there is? There's quite some work – and both copywriting and design skill – in getting it to hold together. It's a pity it's not used as an intro to the articles on the magazine's website where, in fact, the layout reverts to normal style – and indeed is pretty "quiet" for Japanese web layout. (You can, however, click to see advertising posters for each current issue.)
By the way, it's not a design restricted to Shukan Bunshun, but a favoured design of the weekly tabloid news mags. Below are the Shukan Post, Shukan Shincho, and Shukan Asahi ads all for the same, current, week. (And below them, a layout I did a couple of years back for the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in-house magazine of an interview with the editor of Shukan Shincho in which I made the illustration using the editor's photo in the style of the tabloid Shincho's layout. And here is the interview text.)