What is the Future of Shonen Jump?



Christopher Oliver, Staff Writer

Shonen Jump is a weekly magazine that publishes manga for people to enjoy. Some of the most well-known characters and series come from this magazine, such as Dragon Ball, Naruto, and One Piece. Dragon Ball specifically changed the course of Shonen Jump, introducing the iconic Goku and his journey to become the strongest. While the sales of the manga are definitely no joke (260 Million copies), it is by far the most influential manga to come out of Shonen Jump, and without it, most if not all mangas that came after it would not be the same. Besides, it’s still one of the most-watched shows to this day! Even if this is the case, it seems the Shonen magazine is slowing down, and it is relying on its long-running mangas such as My Hero Academia and One Piece to keep its business going. Why is it that Shonen Jump cannot keep its amazing reputation now?

The reason is simple: Authors are lacking creative ideas.

 Think about it: There are thousands and thousands of mangas that have already been made, and many of them have some sort of reference from others. Each one has its own plot and tries to be unique in its own way. If this is the case, then how come there are plenty of mangas Shonen Jump keeps publishing, that eventually become best-sellers? Well, most mangas don’t even get 5 chapters into their story anymore. 55 mangas have been released in the past five years, and only THIRTEEN of them lasted more than a year.  while there is definitely no shortage of mangas made, Shonen Jump just can’t seem to find enough good plot’s to last a long period of time.  Because of this stress that is put on the authors, it makes it hard for them to come up with quality content every week. Yoshihiro Togashi, the author of Hunter X Hunter and Yu Yu Hakusho, is one example of this. During his writing of Yu Yu Hakusho, he was barely finding his footing as an author. His first arc of the story ended very quickly, but the Dark Tournament arc that followed it made Yu Yu Hakusho one of the best mangas of the ’90s. Even though his other project: Hunter X Hunter made an even bigger impact, the manga is currently on an almost 3-year hiatus. This is surprising for Shonen Jump not to have canceled the series, but so many fans have been waiting for this manga to finish, that there is no way the series will be canceled. Few, even no series today would be able to have a hiatus for more than a month without Shonen kicking the bucket. There is simply no astounding series today that could ever gather a fanbase that loving of the series like they were from the 1980s-2000s.


Another thing that Shonen Jump does not seem to want to recognize is that most of their best mangas are their older ones, such as One Piece or Naruto. These are decades-old series, and Naruto ended back in 2014. It is a huge feat for an author to be able to create such a long-running manga, and One Piece seems to be their last one. My Hero Academia, The Promised Neverland, Demon Slayer, and many other new-gen mangas that have been extremely successful are either in their final stages or have ended, and nothing new seems to be able to replace them. Famous series such as Assassination Classroom and Tokyo Ghoul ended a few years back, but their authors both have made brand new series in the forms of The Elusive Samurai and Choujin X. Do those names ring a bell? Unless you are a manga enthusiast or a fan of the author you probably have not, and as of this writing those are the best new-gen manga that has been released on Shonen Jump. Eventually, One Piece will also end, leaving an empty void in Shonen no manga will ever be able to replace. One Piece is the best-selling manga ever made, and its popularity is huge in the manga and its anime adaptation. Eiichiro Oda, the manga’s author, has stated in the past he plans to end One Piece in about 5 years.


 While that may seem like a very long time, soon the series will end, and Shonen Jump really needs to step up their game when it comes to publishing new mangas. Author’s need to come up with new ideas for this magazine to keep running. Both author and Shonen Jump rely on each other, and as of now both of them are not helping each other do their jobs. What will happen to Shonen in the future is uncertain, but the path Shonen Jump is taking makes it seem that we will not be seeing another Monkey D. Luffy for a long time.