Ok, so it's no surprise that Weekly Shonen Jump is constantly picking up and dropping series, since those are the harsh realities of the industry but this post has been mainly inspired by a sudden surge of developments that will affect the state of the magazine and the series that some of us are currently enjoying.
So basically many things have happened already towards the end of last year/the beginning of this year; some series have gotten anime aaptations, some couldn't reach the 50 chapter mark and some could end before the beginning of 2013. So lets start:
The New Anime Adaptations
1. Kuroko no Basket - no surprise here since after barely being serialised for three years, this manga sold 1.7 million copies in 2011 alone (only in Japan). Proof that a good basketball manga will always be popular in Japan.
2. Medaka Box - not my style but this manga definitely has gained popularity (being a top 50 manga in sales in 2011) and since Nisio Isin is also famous for his books, he has managed to get this series animated after barely 3 years.
The One That Couldn't and The Ones That Might Not
1. Kagami no Kuni no Harisugawa - Ending is confirmed in the next issue.
2. ST&RS - Very unknown right now and it doesn't seem to rank so well. Essentially it can be cancelled at anytime.
3. Genson! Kodai Seibutsu-shi Pakky - Gag manga find it hard to succeed, especially new ones in Jump so this one is in danger.
The Ones That Might End Before The Year Does or Before 2014
1. Naruto - One of Jump's current flagships is reaching the height of it's current saga with a foreseeable end to the series. It's hard to believe how far Naruto has come and after so many years of serialisation I can honestly say it will be missed by fans (including myself) but sometimes the story must come to an end.
2. Bleach - Arguably an ex-flagship of Jump ever since the end of the arc before the previous arc. It's been confirmed that starting with the next issue of Jump (#11), it will carry on for one last arc, the length of which is unknown.
3. Bakuman - Without giving away spoilers, the story at this point could have reached it's peak, with an end being possible within under 50 chapters. This is also very possible since the duo in charge of the series don't really mind having series that last for a shorter period of time (as proven by Death Note).
4. Medaka Box - Nisio Isin, the author, has stated that Medaka Box will probably end before the anime starts. A bold move since the anime for the series is airing this spring! Well I never got into the series but it's popularity is evident, so I assume fans will not be so pleased.
The Current Flagships
1. One Piece - When you selling close to 10 million copies per volume only in Japan, you know that your the main flagship of not just Jump but the entire manga industry. One Piece doesn't seem to be ending any time soon and will most likely go over the 1000 chapter arc, joining the likes of Hajime no Ippo and Kochikame. Oda himself has stated that One Piece will be his first and last shonen manga.
2. Naruto - Though it's end is possibly sooner rather than later, this is still a flagship right behind One Piece in terms of popularity.
3. Toriko - This series has started to dominate the cover page of Jump, and has quickly garnered considerable popularity. Right now it is without a doubt one of Jump's 3 flagship series.
The Next Flagships
1. Gintama - Maybe not as well known as the others but definitely an essential manga to Jump. Full of humour and action alike this series will be looking at it's 10th year of serialisation in 2013 and has always remained popular.
2. Kurogane - Currently a sports manga that has received the most colour pages out of the new series. Sticking to true Japanese roots, it's focus on kendo is sure to gain some popularity and possibly get more kids involved in a less popular sport like Eyeshield 21 managed to.
The Rising Stars
1. Kurogane - As I mentioned before it's popularity is growing.
2. Nisekoi - The only actual romance manga in Jump has been quick to nab itself colour pages, unfortunately since romance manga never seems to be the top choice for shonen fans it can never truly become a flagship.
The Steady Ones
2. SKET Dance
What Will Happen
Kagami no Kuni no Harisugawa will most probably be replaced by the winner of the Golden Future Cup, Hungry Joker. It's standard practice to do so but whether it succeeds is a mystery until it has been published. Other series might make their way to Jump this year depending on what happens with the series that are most likely to be cancelled.
What Would Be Ideal
Personally, I reckon moving Ao no Exorcist to the weekly magazine would be awesome but since it's the main series of Jump SQ that is very unlikely. Even though it's been out for a very short time last year it sold over 5 million across 2 volumes and immediately got animated with very little content being out there.
Well let's wait and see!