How Weekly Shonen Jump Became Japan’s Most Popular Manga Publishing

Weekly Shonen Jump is home to some of the most popular manga series of all time, including One mouthful, My Hero Academia, Hunter x Hunter, Dragon ball, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Naruto, Bleach, and Death Note. Back in the 60s, dance Shonen There was a lot of competition like Weekly Shonen Magazine and Shonen’s Weekly Sunday. However, it has managed to rise to become the best-selling and longest-running manga magazine today.

Today Weekly Shonen Jump is 53 years old and has a long list of iconic manga that have called the publisher. The magazine has overseen a great deal of manga history during its half-century of operation. Published for the first time dance Shonen was back in 1968, and it was founded by Shueisha Inc., a Japanese publishing company founded in 1949. Since then, the world has changed, but Weekly Shonen Jump has adapted and managed to maintain the status it achieved for many years.


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The Origin of Weekly Shonen Jump

Shonen Jump covers of the 1960s.

Established company Weekly Shonen Jump, Shueisha Inc., had a lot of success with some of the best-selling children’s manga before its founding. Leap imprint. They also have experience beyond comics, having published magazines that focus on music, fashion and pop culture. Out of all these publications, it will be Weekly Shonen Jump which eventually evolved into the company’s cash cow.

In the first year, Shonen dance not weekly but actually biweekly and changed to weekly when publishing its sister weekly, Book of Shonen, has been discontinued. Manga appearing in the first editions include Shameless School, Kujira Daigo, Chichi no Tamashii, and Ore wa Kamikaze. Like any shonen publication, they published stories geared towards early to late teenage boys, so much of the series has Comedy, action and sports story.

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In the 70s, notable manga are from Weekly Shonen Jump including BILLIONhe Gutsy Frog, Lion Books 2, Play Ball, Barefoot Gen, Mazinger Z, The Circuit Wolf, Doberman Cop, KochiKame: Tokyo Beat Cops, Cobra, and Kinnikuman. It’s about time Weekly Shonen Jump began holding annual competitions for new and upcoming manga artists. The two awards they started giving out included the Akatsuka Award for a comedy manga and the Tezuka Award for a good story.

At this point, manga magazines had not yet reached their golden age. Although the manga was loved by the audience, it was not internationally acclaimed. It didn’t come 80’s and 90’s when Weekly Shonen Jump hit the gold mine in terms of content.

The Golden Age Of Weekly Shonen Jump

Separated image of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and Dragon Ball Shonen Jump covers.

From 1986 to 1995, Weekly Shonen Jump’s circulation increased every year and peaked at about six and a half million copies. In the early 1990s, the magazine had a readership of about 18 million people in Japan. Its popularity is attributed to a number of manga series that came out during that time, many of which were worldwide hit manga. These popular manga series include Dragon Balls, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Yu Yu Hakusho, Rurouni Kenshin, and Yu-Hi-Oh!. Some that started in the 90s are still running in magazines today, such as One mouthful and Hunter x Hunter. The heyday didn’t last, however, and the publication had a wake-up call in 1998 when it lost its position as the best-selling shonen manga magazine for the first time in 24 years.

Since the 2000s, the readership and circulation of magazines has experienced a steady decline since its heyday. By 2017, print circulation had dropped to less than two million copies. However, part of this decline is due to the rise of digital distribution through Weekly Shonen Jump’s applications and websites. Fans began to prefer reading manga on phones and computers rather than in print, which naturally led to a decrease in circulation.

Weekly Shonen Jump Today

Shonen Jump cover with Luffy on the back of One Piece.

Although not in its heyday anymore, Weekly Shonen Jump continues to go strong and remains the leading manga publication in the world. The publication even features its own crossover fighting video games to celebrate some anniversaries like Jump Super Stars, Jump Ultimate Stars, and J-Stars Victory Vs. In 2013, the magazine had its own theme park called J-World Tokyo. In 2019, due to the popularity of manga and anime on an international level, Shueisha created a mobile app for English and Spanish readers called Manga Plus many of the magazine’s published titles are available to read for free.

The shonen genre that usually targets only teen boys has also broken the mold over the years, attracting many fans beyond the same demographic as teen girls, older men, and women. . Female readers are noted as particularly favorite Weekly Shonen Jump for a specific series such as Death Notes, One mouthful, and The Prince of Tennis. Manga stories have also captured the hearts of many readers outside of Japan, making Weekly Shonen Jump an international force in countries such as Germany, China, the United States, Thailand, Sweden, and Norway.

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