As I write this post, I realise the year isn't over however Weekly Shonen Jump's 2012 Issues are. It's been a big year for Weekly Shonen Jump in many ways; established series have ended and new series have stepped up to take their places.
The review will be extensive and will cover EVERYTHING. That means mini-reviews for the cancelled series, ToC Rankings, Oricon sales etc. Just about everything and anything related to Weekly Shonen Jump's 2012 performance will be included.
Weekly Shonen Jump's 2012 Cancelled Series
Kagami no Kuni no Harisugawa (29 Chapters)
With 29 chapters, Harisugawa in Mirror World was a pleasant read. I use the word pleasant because the series didn't go past that, not that I was expecting a harem romantic comedy such as this one to do so. That said, pleasant isn't always a bad thing but it means no memorability.
I am wary of listing this as a cancelled series, however I doubt many authors would be happy to stop shy of 30 chapters on their second series.
ST&RS (39 Chapters)
As I wait for the final scans of this series, I feel somewhat disappointed with Weekly Shonen Jump's readership. ST&RS wasn't bad at all, and at times was quite good. Best described as Shonen Jump version of Uchuu Kyoudai, the mix of reality from astronaut training and fantasy from a plot worked well.
There were some faults with the series and looming fears of cancellation did bring about those jumpy moments in pacing. Still, its a pity that the series didn't have more of a fighting chance because of how interesting the premise was.
Magico (66 Chapters)
Magico was one of those series that just fell apart as time went by. One prolonged arc ended up sealing its fate and left it cancelled at 66 chapters. Even so, it remains the best out of the cancelled series. For a first work, Naoki Iwamoto did well. He made something that lasted a year!
Had it not been for threats of cancellation, the series could have continued to blossom and deliver quality. The premise was sound, the artwork was fantastic and the characters were loveable. Such a pity Jump's readers didn't respond to it like I did and ran it out of the magazine.
Pajama na Kanojo (26 Chapters)
Pajama na Kanojo formed a trio of romantic comedies that ran for a good part of this year. Ultimately it would be one of the two that was cancelled; a decision I agree with.
The series had a few moments where I though it could become something good but it quickly lost those moments. Much like it's weak beginning, the series started to loose me around about the 14th (of 26) chapter and so I put it on hold. I have yet to see scans for the last few chapters, but I don't need to read them to know how unimpressive this series was.
Sensei no Bulge -BARRAGE- (16 Chapters)
Barrage was a series of wasted potential more than anything. It had an interesting premise and was different from the other action-adventure series running in Weekly Shonen Jump. Unfortunately it couldn't capitalize on its uniqueness and potential. Riddled with repetitiveness, at times it was annoying.
The series ended at a measly 16 chapters and is Kouhei Horikoshi's second failed series with Weekly Shonen Jump. Looks like the mangaka has one more legitimate try before loosing his place with the magazine. Hopefully he can learn from his mistakes.
Takamagahara (17 Chapters)
Officially my least favourite series of the year.
Takamagahara's serialisation came as a shock. Last place in the 2011 Golden Future Cup made it the least likely to suceed yet it beat Hungry Joker to a regular line-up position in the magazine. You just have to ask if this was meant to fail in order to be a cautionary tale.
The series was bad. It had an interesting idea but it was so poorly executed that reading the series was not an option. After it's cancellation I went back to read it - the mere 17 chapters - and I confirmed what I knew. It didn't improve, it tried to be too many things and ended up, surprise surprise, failing.
Koisome Momiji (28 Chapters)
Alongside Pajama na Kanojo, Koisome Momiji was a romantic comedy that ran for a good part of the year.
It was okay........Quite boring actually. Much like many romantic comedies, it wasn't anything spectacular and that made it an automatic average read. Unlike the one romantic comedy that's interesting in this magazine (Nisekoi), Koisome Momiji was lacking in big moments.
It's quite the forgettable manga. Not unhappy to see it go.
Genson! Kodai Seibutsu-shi Packy (23 Chapters)
No scans and so no comment.
All I can say was that this short gag series didn't do it for the Weekly Shonen Jump readers and it was cut short. By the looks of it, the story centred around some mythical creature and a very young boy.
Weekly Shonen Jump's 2012 Finished Series
Unlike cancelled series, these series decided it was time to pack things up.
Bakuman (176 Chapters)
The completed series I'll miss most is Bakuman. Leading up to its final chapter I was constantly waiting on scans impatiently and cursing those who could read raws. After almost 4 years, it was time for things to end.
As much as I'll miss the series, I was pleased with the way things ended. No loose ends or stone unturned, and we got the very sweet and innocent final chapter we deserved.
Nurarihyon no Mago (208 Chapters)
I never got into NuraMago, so I can't comment on how it ended. From what I heard, it ended right before a major fight and then had to have additional chapters in Jump NEXT.
As far as I can remember this series had been at the bottom of the table of contents. A rarity for a series that sold over 200,000 on it's opening week per volume to be in that position. To those who enjoyed this series, my condolences or not (if you thought it was time).
Katekyo Hitman Reborn! (409 Chapters)
It was time for Reborn! to face the music and finish it's run in Weekly Shonen Jump. Luckily for Amano-sensei, this happened right as she got a new job illustrating PSYCHO-PASS' manga.
Reborn!'s end was so unsatisfying to me. A little annoying that the manga went back to its gag roots for the entire ending and not just a chapter or two. Let's hope Amano-sensei's next work is dark from the beginning and doesn't need drastic changes. Something like the manga she's currently illustrating.
Inumarudashi (180 Chapters)
This one of those series no one in the West will miss. We don't anythig about this series aside from it being a gag manga with short chapters.
Weekly Shonen Jump's Rising Stars
Volume Sales: 120,000+ Opening 2 Weeks (Volume 4) ToC: Many colour pages and usually top 10.
Nisekoi has been growing strong within Jump. Receiving many colour pages, stellar volume sales and a vomic all in one year makes it one of Jumps newly successful series. Especially popular amongst 2chan users and other male otaku, we may be seeing an anime if the success continues.
Though it has settled into a ToC rank somewhere between 5th and 10th, its solidity is rewarded with rising popularity.
Volume Sales: 120,000+ Opening 2 Weeks (Volume 3) ToC: Many colour pages and usually top 10.
Haikyuu!! came as surprise. The author's first manga had failed back in 2010 and no one knew what to make of a volleyball manga. Luckily for him (and me), it's a hit.
This isn't the Kuroko no Basket type sports series. There is a certain unrealism to it, however the series takes it time with the story and delivers a consistent quality that makes you want to read all the scanlated chapters at once.
Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (Assassination Classroom)
Volume Sales: 300,000+ Opening 3 Weeks (Volume 1) ToC: Some colour pages and usually top 5.
The next big flagship series has arrived! Honestly, I'd call this the dark horse of the year.
Personally, I don't see Assassination Classroom to be that good a series. It sold ludicrous amounts for the first volume and continues to sell without so much as slowing down. As I write this post, It's been in the Oricon top 30 for the past three weeks and has had major reprints.
Wasting no time, it's monopolising a place in the top 5 and has even nabbed first place a few times. Matsui-sensei's first work pales in comparison to this one's popularity.
Saiki Kusuo no Sainan (PSI Kusuo Saiki)
Volume Sales: 30,000+ Opening Week (Volume 1) ToC: Some colour pages and usually top 10.
An odd addition to the rising stars section of Weekly Shonen Jump. A gag series with short chapters like Inumarudashi and Packy that consistently ranks well and gets colour pages. It also made the Oricon top 30 with its first volume; a rarity for gag manga with short chapters.
Weekly Shonen Jump's 2012 Anime Adaptations
First we had some new anime:
Kuroko no Basket
Until this year, Kuroko no Basket was hanging out in the bottom part of the ToC. That was until the anime came out and people fell in love with it! I mean in love.
Selling around 20,000 BD and DVD's, not to mention being the most wanted sequel (according a BiGlobe Poll) has sky rocketed this manga's ranking and even sales; latest volumes open at 350,000+ compared to before the anime (more or less 150,000+).
It's been a year extremes for Kuroko no Basket. Unfortunately someone is out to get the author and all those threat letters have caused events to be cancelled. A great and terrible year all in one!
Unlike the KuroBas' anime, Medaka Box's failed to make an impact.
Almost non-existent sales and no changes to the manga's ToC rankings make me think the anime couldn't improve upon the manga. A pity for the manga considering Gainax is a decent studio, but I guess even they can't perform miracles.
Needless to say, the anime didn't help Medaka Box's position on the chopping block. It seems to reside there nowadays and is only saved by failing younger series.
We also saw the end of quite a few anime adapted from Weekly Shonen Jump manga:
Beelzebub (60 episodes)
I quite enjoyed this anime. It did a good job capturing the comedy style that Beelzebub uses and was initially the reason I started reading the manga.
Because it was a comedy series, it couldn't last as long as the action-adventure series. A pity in some ways, when you consider a few of the arcs that took place after the anime ended.
Bleach (366 episodes)
The word "Finally" popped into my mind. How long has it been since I've watched this anime
Bleach's biggest problem was the inability of the staff. They didn't realise that each chapter of the manga lasts about a minute and this lead to poorly placed filler arcs.
Before the anime ended with the Fullbring arc, there were close to 30 weeks of filler episodes that just didn't make sense. It was time to go.
Gintama' (52 episodes)
Gintama's second season also came to an end. This anime on the other had, has more followers that relished the return of some new Gintama this fall season.
I can't say if it should have ended or not, but comedy series are harder to keep ongoing.
SKET Dance (77 episodes)
Memories of SKET Dance for me go back to when I dropped it. It was after 20 episodes or so.
I didn't find the anime bad, but after a while I didn't see any reason to continue reading it. Other than that, I've heard the manga is a lot better and I can't imagine this lasting any longer than it did.
Best and Worst of Weekly Shonen Jump in 2012
Most Improved Series - Bleach
Bleach came back after a terrible display last year and has been steadily on the rise. This final arc that started this year is really interesting and impressive.
Biggest Dive - Naruto
This year has not been a good one for Naruto. Constant flashbacks, too much Uchiha favouritism and unnecessary character focus are just some problems the manga has faced.
Best Series - Bakuman/One Piece
Choosing Bakuman may be cheating, but it was my favourite this year. If I had to choose the best ongoing series it would be One Piece. Very obvious I know but that's the way it is.
Worst Series - Naruto
Reasons listed above.
Best New Series - Haikyuu!!
The sports fan in me just can't say no to Haikyuu!! It's consistent and makes me impatient when scans are delayed. Assassination Classroom may be Japan's pick, but this is mine.
Major Weekly Shonen Jump News
The biggest news for this year were:
- All the Kuroko no Basket threats.
- Shonen Jump Alpha to simultaneously release chapters.
- A teen suicide from watching Naruto.
Any thoughts Leave a comment.