The Weekly Shōnen Jump (jap. 週刊少年ジャンプ shūkan shōnen janpu), also known by the titles Weekly Jump and Shounen Jump, is a manga magazine published on a weekly basis by Shueisha, usually officially released every Monday*.
The magazine is primarily aimed at young, male readers (jap. 少年, shōnenboy/teenager), and since 1997 One Piece has also been part of the series line-up.
*Sale Date: *Since issue #24/2003 (5/19/2003), Jump’s official on-sale date has been Monday and is advertised as such on the TOC site. Until this issue, Tuesday was advertised as the official release date because some rural areas in Japan did not have access to the magazine until Tuesday due to logistics. Shueisha considered it confusing when some customers and subscribers were not given the option to purchase Jump on an official earlier date. Old TV commercials in the eighties also touted Jump as being new “every Tuesday.” However, most regions in Japan always had official access to the Jump on Monday….
To the magazine
In the early 1960s, major manga publishers began publishing a large number of manga chapters on a weekly basis in collectible magazines. This concept was to prove extremely successful, distributing several 100,000 copies per week. In 1968, Shueisha would launch its offshoot, Shounen Jump, a magazine that appeared every two weeks and competed with Kodansha and Shogakukan magazines for readers’ favor. Shounen Jump’s recipe for success was its closeness to the readership, which it always tried to maintain, in the form of (opinion) polls and votes. What was liked by the readers was promoted and expanded, what was not liked was cancelled and had to make room. A tough philosophy, but this approach was soon to pay off. It took less than three years and the sales figures of the magazine exceeded the million mark. Starting in 1969, the magazine was now also published weekly under a new (old familiar) name: Weekly Shōnen Jump.
The magazine’s greatest successes came in the years 1985-1995, this is also known in connoisseur circles as Jump’s “heyday” or “golden age”. Series such as Hokuto no Ken by Hara and BuronsonJoJo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki, the hit sports manga Slam Dunk (manga) By Takehiko Inoue, and above all, of course, the world-famous Dragon Ball By Akira Toriyama played a particularly large part in this. During these years, sales figures rose from just under 4 million to an unprecedented 6.53 million copies sold per week!
1995 also represents a turning point in this context, since 1968 the magazine had grown almost continuously, the sales figures could be increased year after year, but with the end of many box office hits and classics the sales figures declined rapidly (from over 6 million copies per week to just under 3 million).
However, there was to be something of a generational shift in the magazine, and new drawing cards for the magazine were soon born.
The Weekly Shōnen Jump is still the most successful manga magazine published on a weekly basis today. While circulation numbers have been steadily declining in recent years, this affects the industry as a whole, though here it is only the magazines that are affected, not the anthologies. With approximately 2.6 million copies printed per week, they are still over a 1.4 million ahead of their supposed fiercest competitor, Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine. In September 2014, Shueisha launched the Shonen Jump + project, which makes 30 manga available digitally for free each month. In addition, as part of Shonen Jump +, it is also possible for the first time to purchase the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in digital form for a fee (300 yen for one issue, or 900 yen for a monthly subscription, which includes the bimonthly sister magazine Jump Next as well).
Young talent requirement/the competitions
Weekly Shōnen Jump would certainly not be where it is today, however, if it were not for the fact that it has been trying to promote young talent and discover new talents since the very beginning.
In the early days of the magazine, there was a logical and pragmatic reason for this, as Shogakukan and Kodansha had already launched their spin-offs several years before Shueisha, so most of the professional artists were already under contract with the other two magazines. So Jump had to figure out how to find cartoonists for their magazine. For this reason, two important competitions for mangaka were launched in the 1970s, the Tezuka Prize – named after the Manga no Kami-sama (Manga God), the great Osamu Tezuka – and the Akatsuka Prize.
Since then, the two highly prestigious prizes have been awarded twice a year in cooperation with the parent company Shueisha.
- Tezuka Prize
- Akatsuka Prize
But these are not the only prizes awarded by the magazine. The concept of “promoting young talent” has proven to be a great success, and the magazine continues to do so today. Jump is considered to be one of the biggest talent forges for new artists and a large part of the most successful mangaka of the last decades are the magazine’s own offspring. That’s why new contests have been launched over the years and concepts have been created that aim to promote young talent. Other contests worth mentioning are the following:
- Jump Treasure Newcomer Award
- Garikyon Fire / Sutokin Fire
As already mentioned at the beginning, the magazine tries to appeal primarily to young, male readers. These make up the main target group. For this reason, the magazine tries to take up topics in the series and tell stories that appeal to boys and maturing men. As mentioned above, the closeness to the readers was always sought. For this reason, a survey was held in 1968, which asked for the favorite topics of the readers.
The three most frequently mentioned answers were “friendship” (jap. 友情, yūjō), “effort(s)”/”toil( s)” (jap. 努力, doryoku) and “triumph”/”success ” (jap. 勝利, shōri). To this day, these three catchphrases remain key to the magazine’s success. As such, nearly every one of the series internalizes these basic principles to some degree. (However, it is by no means a basic requirement to incorporate these basic ideas into one’s work in order to be published in Shonen JUMP. However, it so happens that the magazine’s most successful titles all had these concepts internalized).
As you can see, the basic concept behind the stories hasn’t changed in the past 40 years. Moving away from that now, however, some clear trends and differences can be seen, particularly in the area of genre:
A majority of the stories in the magazine’s early years (late ’60s and ’70s) were about sports or everyday topics like growing up, and comedies and slapstick were also very successful at the time. Added to this in the late 70s was an enthusiasm for technology and progress, sci-fi and Mecha were on the rise. All of this was to change little in the 80s, but a development was already underway that would continue and expand in the 90s: Hero stories were on the rise. More and more often, manga revolved around a main character who went up against the evil of the world and had adventures that people looked up to and wanted to emulate.
After the end of Jump’s golden era and the generational shift, the series lineup is no longer as easy to categorize as it was twenty or more years ago. The fact is, sports manga in particular are having an incredibly hard time these days. While there were still successful sports titles after the end of Slam Dunk, the really successful series are a clear exception here. The concept of the action and adventure manga of the 80s/90s continues and proved to be still successful in the form of the “big three” (the three pillars of success: One Piece, Naruto, Bleach).
After Kochikame ended its 200-volume run in September 2016 to coincide with its 40th anniversary, One Piece took over as the longest-running series.
When one of the series fails to bring desired success after a certain grace period (usually after the first paperback’s sales figures are released) and refuses to resonate with audiences, it is often discontinued or canceled prematurely. This is also part of the magazine’s philosophy. While on the one hand they are keen to discover new talent, on the other hand they are keen to maintain their dominance in the comics business, so sales and success are top priorities! If you draw for Jump, you have to bring in the crowds, or you’ll soon be history. The number of series running in the magazine is usually around 20 titles.
|List of all titles currently running in the magazine (as of September 2022)|
|One Piece||1997/#34||Eiichiro Oda|
|Hunter × Hunter||1998/#14||Yoshihiro Togashi|
|My Hero Academia||2014/#32||Kōhei Horikoshi|
|Black Clover||2015/#12||Yūki Tabata|
|Jujutsu Jujutsu Kaisen||2018/#14||Gege Acutami|
|Mission: Yozakura Family||2019/#39||Hitsuji Gondaira|
|Undead Unluck||2020/#08||Yoshifumi Tozuka|
|Ayakashi Triangle||2020/#28||Kentaro Yabuki|
|Me & Roboco||2020/#31||Shuhei Miyazaki|
|High School Family: Kokosei Kazoku||2020/#40||Ryo Nakama|
|Sakamoto Days||2020/#51||Yūto Suzuki|
|The Elusive Samurai||2021/#08||Yusei Matsui|
|Witch Watch (WITCH WATCH)||2021/#10||Kenta Shinohara|
|Blue Box (Ao no Hako)||2021/#19||Kouji Miura|
|Akane-banashi||2022/#11||Yūki Suenaga & Takamasa Moue|
|Super Smartphone (すごいスマホ)||2022/#23||Hiroki Tomisawa & Kentaro Hidano|
|Aliens Area (エイリアンズエリア)||2022/#27||Fusai Naba|
|Tokyo Demon Bride Story (大東京鬼嫁伝)||2022/#40||Nakama Tadaichi|
|Ginka to Ryuuna (ギンカとリューナ)||2022/#41||Shinpei Watanabe|
|List of the 40 most significant and important series of the last 40 years|
|Top 10 best-selling Weekly Shonen Jump magazine series in Japan alone – as of February 2014.|
|Title||Number of volumes||Copies sold|
|One Piece||83(to be continued)||307’440’000.|
|Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo||200(completed)||157’200’000|
|Slam Dunk (manga)||31(completed)||121’360’000|
|JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1-6||80(completed)(continued in Ultra Jump since 2004)||69,410,000 (WSJ volumes only)|
|Hunter × Hunter||33(to be continued)||66’290’000|
|Yū Yū Hakusho||19(completed)||50’000’000|
Hokuto no Ken is not listed in this Shueisha-related listing, as the complete rights have passed to the authors and Hokuto no Ken has since been republished under various Japanese publishers. For example, a Kanzenban edition was published by Shogakukan Publishing and the most recent Ultimate Edition was published by Tokuma Shoten Publishing..
TOC and author comments
The table of contents with the author comments of issue #5-6/2021
Anyone who has taken a closer look at the contents of Weekly Shōnen Jump will sooner or later come across the term “TOC”. TOC stands for “Table of Contents,” which is the magazine’s table of contents. As already mentioned, the popularity of a series is very important for the magazine. This popularity can be seen in the table of contents, because the order in which the manga series are printed in the magazine largely reflects the popularity of a series.
Popular manga are printed at the very front of the magazine, so ideally the reader will read them first when opening the magazine. Less popular series, on the other hand, are placed at the end of the magazine. The readers have a decisive influence on the placement, as they can vote for their favorite manga series by means of postcards, which are always enclosed with the magazine. This feedback is important for the editors of Weekly Shōnen Jump and for the mangaka themselves, because these polls allow them to read which series are well received by the audience and which are not. Readers can also naturally observe which series might soon be cancelled if they are printed continuously at the end of the magazine.
In addition to the series placement in the magazine, the table of contents also features the mangaka author comments. Each mangaka who publishes his series in the Jump issue provides a small personal commentary here. This can contain anything: trivial and private things, such as mentioning his favorite food or music, visits to events, what currently moves this to direct congratulations or thanks to his mangaka competitors in the magazine. In this way, readers pick up one or two interesting pieces of information and get a rather personal picture of the authors.
Each commentary is printed next to a personally drawn picture of the manga. Mostly these are fancy representations of themselves. In the case of Oda, this is the so-called Odacchi fish, a striped tropical fish.
|List of Oda’s author comments|
Since the beginning of the decade, Shueisha has also increasingly sought contact with the international market (or in this case mainly the “Western market”). Due to the worldwide “manga boom”, which started in the middle/end of the 90s and due to which manga now also appealed to western circles, an additional consumer market was seen here.
Several countries in Europe and the USA therefore created their own offshoots in the respective national language, but all of them initially on a monthly basis and as print editions. There are also adaptations in a few Asian countries such as Taiwan (where there were two magazines until 2003, 熱門少年TOP Popular Formosa TOP and 寶島少年 Formosa Youth). Since license changes in May 2003, only the latter magazine exists), Hong Kong (title of the local magazine is “Ex-am”) and South Korea (here the magazine Comic champ (kor. 코믹챔프) publishes a variety of well-known Jump titles, along with Korean Manhwa).
Shonen Jump 2003-2012
The most successful international offshoot of Weekly Shōnen Jump is in the US. Here, Shonen Jump magazine (official title SHONEN JUMP) is distributed by Viz Mediaa corporate giant that handles the marketing of countless anime and manga series in North America. Copies of the magazine are also shipped to Canada.
US Shonen Jump has been published since January 2003 and – especially in the first few months – was able to far exceed sales expectations, selling 300,000 copies per issue. While sales have declined over the years, the magazine is still able to sell just over 215,000 copies per month, at a price of $4.99 (~€3.60) per issue.
While the first issue launched with a series lineup of five titles, this was increased to seven series in the very next issue. The magazine also features reports on Japan, as well as its language and culture, a number of articles on anime and manga merchandise (such as video games, trading cards, and other toys), interviews with mangaka and authors, and sections where readers can send in their drawings and letters. Periodically, smaller extras also come with the magazine, such as trailers for new/upcoming anime series on DVD, video game demos, or free trading cards.
The U.S. version of Shonen Jump was by no means intended to be a mere copy of the Japanese offshoot, but was specifically geared towards the tastes of American readers. Consequently, only certain Weekly Shōnen Jump titles that were expected to be the most successful were adopted. Titles such as Dragon Ball, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Naruto would soon prove to be the magazine’s drawing cards.
In time, Viz Media also began publishing their paperbacks under the newly launched “Shonen Jump” imprint. However, not only series from the eponymous magazine, but all manga published by Viz that could be classified as belonging to the Shōnen manga were published as such. DVDs, Graphic noveland otherwise special/collectible volumes were also marketed as such.
For the 5th anniversary, some of the Shonen Jump imprint’s most popular and successful titles were also republished, in what was called a “Collector Edition”. These were to have a larger format, be printed on higher quality paper, and also contain color pages. Furthermore, a special edition of the US SHONEN JUMP was published, which contained chapters of the best-selling titles as well as various articles and interviews from the past 5 years, and a variety of essays.
From Shonen Jump Alpha to Weekly Shonen Jump – The Digital Era (2012-2018).
Towards the end of 2011, Viz Media announced the release of US Shonen Jump as a digital anthology. The goal was to offer the American audience the latest chapters of popular Shonen Jump series in a timely manner as an alternative to copyright-infringing scanlations. Under the title Shonen Jump Alpha, since January 30, 2012, selected Shueisha titles were offered on a weekly rather than monthly basis, initially for the U.S. and Canada. As a result, in April 2012, the publication of the printed magazine Shonen Jump was discontinued in favor of the digital Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha.
Initially, they went online with six Weekly Shonen Jump titles(One Piece, Toriko, Bleach, Naruto, Bakuman, Nura – Lord of the Yokai), which were released just two weeks later than the Japanese equivalent. The line-up was gradually expanded, including individual series published in other Japanese Jump magazines such as the Jump SQ, V-Jump, Young Jump, Tonari no Young Jump, and Shonen Jump Plus.
In addition, there have been several specials since then, and the weekly issue has also been expanded to include author commentary at the request of the readership, in addition to a Japanese lesson and an editorial podcast. In the form of a weekly survey, readers can participate in the feedback process and also submit questions, which are usually answered in the podcast.
As a licensor, Shueisha is heavily involved in shaping the lineup, and as such, the editors of English Shonen Jump work closely with Hisashi Sasaki, the former editor-in-chief of Japanese Weekly Shonen Jump, who now holds the post of deputy director of legal affairs for international publications.
Just one year later, in January 2013, Viz Media announced a first: Shonen Jump Alpha what renamed Weekly Shonen Jump (note: needs link)and the American branch has since been published simultaneously with the Japanese Weekly Shonen Jump.
Now, North American readers were able to read the latest One Piece chapter simultaneously with the Japanese release. At the same time, Dragonball (Saiyan Arc) was also released in digital color weekly through February 2014.
Just six months later, in July 2013, Viz Media expanded the licensed region for its weekly online magazine to include the English-speaking countries of the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
In September 2014, Weekly Shonen Jump launched Jump Start and Jump Back. Thus, as part of Jump Startthe first three chapters of nearly every new series of Japanese Weekly Shonen Jump will be released simultaneously, and depending on the poll results, one or another series will be added to the permanent line-up. Hi-Fi Cluster was the first series to earn its place in the English spin-off this way. Jump Back is dedicated to older series that have already been completed, giving readers insight into the first chapters of well-known shonen greats.
In June 2016, Viz Media once again expanded its licensed region to include the Philippines, Singapore, and India. At the same time, the viz.com website was completely restructured and a “Free Chapters” section modeled after Jump Plus was introduced, allowing visitors to read various titles, including new licenses, for free without signing up.
Finally, on December 10, 2018, the last online issue of American Weekly Shonen Jump was published. This was in favor of the smartphone app and online platform MANGA Plus.
|List of the last published series in the english WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP|
In October 2004, the media company Bonneyrwhich includes German book publishers such as Carlsen, Piper, and Thienemann, began publishing a Swedish offshoot of Weekly Shōnen Jump to run alongside two other sister magazines, Manga Mania and Shoujou Stars. Swedish Shonen Jump, as the magazine was called in that country, featured chapters of some supposedly popular titles from the Japanese model, including Bleach, Naruto, Shaman King, and Yu-Gi-Oh!
In November 2007, the licensing agreements between Bonneyr and Shueisha could not be renewed, and the magazine had to be discontinued after just 36 issues.
In Norway, the local language spin-off was launched in March 2005. Published by Schibsted Forlagenethe magazine was nothing more than a translated version of Shonen Jump Sweden, contained exactly the same series for that reason, and also published its final issue in late 2007, due to the failed licensing negotiations between Bonneyr and Shueisha.
A variety of other small projects have been published under the title En Bok Woman Shonen Jump, including the Dragon Ball Ekstraunder which name any works by Akira Toriyama have been published, or TV Anime Comicwhose spin-offs are manga reproducing the content of anime adaptations.
Digital simultaneous publishing worldwide (since 2019)
As of January 28, 2019, the official smartphone app and online platform MANGA Plus is available worldwide (with the exception of Japan, China, and South Korea, which have their own services). On MANGA Plus, the latest manga chapters from various magazines published by Shueisha will be made available in English. Among them are series from Weekly Shonen Jump, Jump Square, Weekly Young Jump and V Jump. The release is always simultaneous with the official release date of the respective magazine in Japan. The first three and the three most recent manga chapters of a series can always be accessed. Thus, it is also possible for fans from overseas to stay up to date with their favorite manga free of charge and, above all, legally.
Since May 20, 2019, a Spanish language version has also been offered on MANGA Plus, although not for every title in the line-up. Thai translations for Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos followed in December 2019. Some Indonesian translations were added in February 2021.
The “JUMP” brand
Over the years, the JUMP concept was to prove a great success, so naturally a newly launched imprint followed in Japan, under which a number of sister magazines were to be published initially, but soon after also paperbacks and anthologies, CDs and other merchandise, which can even be purchased in a special Jump store.
Even though the Weekly Shōnen Jump is the most successful magazine of the house, which is also published the longest, there are of course a variety of other Jump offshoots that followed over the years and also run more or less successfully.
These sister magazines all have the word “Jump” in their names as well, and are aimed at male readers, both children and teens Shōnen manga, and adults His manga.
List of sister publications :
- Shōnen Jump+ (digital)
- Jump SQ. (previously Monthly Shōnen Jump)
- Jump SQ.Crown
- Jump Giga (previously Jump Next or “Akamaru Jump)
- V Jump
- Weekly Young Jump
- Tonari no Young Jump (digital)
- Ultra Jump
- Saikyo Jump
- Grand Jump
JUMP COMICS (jap. ジャンプ・コミックス Janpu Comikkusu) is a newly created imprint that publishes the Tankōbon manga series from a variety of Jump collectible magazines (Weekly Shōnen Jump, as well as Jump SQ and Monthly Shōnen Jump), as well as a large selection of collectible and special volumes of those very titles. A manga in this series usually costs just 410 yen (the equivalent of a good 2.75 dollars).
Altogether (the sales figures of all titles of the JUMP COMICS series added up) more than 1,000,000,000 books of this line could be sold – and that in Japan alone. Below is a list from 2007 with the sales figures of the ten most successful series, brought up to date with the help of some current figures.
|Top 10 best-selling series of the JUMP COMICS series|
|Title||Number of volumes per date||Copies sold in Japan|
|One Piece||Volume 83(to be continued)||307,440,000 (February 2014)|
|Dragon Ball||42(completed)||159,500,000 (February 2014)|
|KochiKame: Tokyo Beat Cops||200(completed)||157,200,000 (February 2014)|
|Naruto||72(completed)||over 130 million (September 2014)|
|Slam Dunk (manga)||31(closed)||121,360,000 (February 2014)|
|Bleach (manga)||74(completed)||82,070,000 (February 2014)|
|JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure||108(to be continued)||over 80 million (July 2013)|
|Captain Tsubasa||86(to be continued)||over 70 million (January 2013)|
|Kinnikuman||36(completed)||70 million (January 2015)|
|Hokuto no Ken||27(closed)||over 60 million (May 2013)|
The Jump Festa (jap. ジャンプフェスタ Janpufesuta) is an annual Fan convention launched in 2001, funded by Shueisha Publishing and primarily centered around the titles of Weekly Shōnen Jump. (But also some titles of Jump SQ magazine and V Jump).
Every year, this event showcases the new products and spin-offs to various series: from paperbacks and anthologies, to video games and movie productions, to merchandise such as collectible and action figures. There will also be a lot of stage shows (e.g. in the form of movie trailers) and a variety of well-known mangaka will be on site to answer questions from their fans in panel discussions. Eiichiro Oda was also an annual guest until Jump Festa 2014. In the author comments for issue 08/2014 (01/20/2014), he sadly announced that he would no longer be attending in the future. At Jump Festa 2015, in December 2014, he still made a cameo appearance, handing a note with his written message to fans to the voice actors.
Another highlight of the event features short films produced by various animation teams especially for this convention, such as a Dragon Ball-One Piece cross over from 2006 in which Luffy and Goku fight Enel together.
It was here, incidentally, that Eiichiro Oda met his wife Chiaki Inaba, who always plays the character of Nami during One Piece stage shows!
The JUMP SHOP (jap. ジャンプショップ Janpu shoppu) is the name of a series of stores of the Shueisha publishing house, which, in cooperation with the Yodobashi Umeda Group, carry countless articles of the manga magazines of the house. The assortment is wide-ranging and includes a variety of collectible figures, key chains, postcards, T-shirts, bags, mugs, watches, as well as necklaces and other jewelry. But these are by no means all the products.
Much of the merchandise is sold exclusively in these stores, which can be found in four major Japanese cities Tokyo (place name) (two stores), Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka).
However, there is also a counterpart to the JUMP SHOP in the form of an online mail order store, the Mekke! Shopping [email protected] of the Shueisha publishing house. Here, many of the articles can also be purchased over the Internet.
The mascot of the JUMP Shop was designed by Akira Toriyama, the illustrator of Dragon Ball, and depicts a superhero in a red full-body suit with rabbit ears and a yellow J emblazoned on his chest.
- One Piece debuted in issue #34/1997, which was released the previous Saturday (7/19/1997) due to Marine Day.
- Whenever Jump sits out a week, a so-called double issue is printed in the previous week. Contrary to popular misconception, this does not mean that these issues have twice as much content as a regular one. In this context, it merely refers to an issue that is valid for two weeks. Of course, there are always one or two nice gimmicks in such double issues to put off the fans, but otherwise such an issue hardly differs from a regular issue – with the exception of the small surcharge of 10 yen (~7 cents), of course.
- Jump breaks exclusively before four major holidays: Christmas, New Year, Golden Week (Japan) or Bon (festival). Therefore, 48 issues are usually published per year.
- Also interesting to know is that Shōnen Jump doesn’t start the year with January 1st! Issue #1 is usually sold as early as late November/early December.
- One Piece usually receives opening color pages and/or covers on three fixed dates: In the double issue during Golden Week (Japan) due to Luffy’s birthday falling on Children’s Day (Japan). In the double issue during Bon (festival)which is dedicated to One Piece’s anniversary each year. In one of the two consecutive double issues during Christmas and New Year’s Day.
- As part of Jump’s 40th anniversary, all issues of the magazine this year have picture series on the spine, like the Dragon Ball paperbacks have had. The series that has been given this honor is none other than One Piece! The designs are based on the four seasons (synonymous with the four sales quarters). The complete series of images can be viewed here.
- Although Weekly Shōnen Jump claims to be primarily aimed at children and teenagers aged 9-13, the magazine is not only read by this target group. The magazine is especially popular among middle and high school students, and even among some adults.
|Cover of the|
Shōnen Jump #1
|Official logo of the magazine||Diagram of the sales figures of the WSJ||List of all series ever published in the magazine|
- Weekly Shōnen Jump article from the Japanese Wikipedia (Japanese).
- ↑ One Piece Podcast: Eiichiro Oda Cancels for Future Jump Festa