Thursday, January 19, 2006

Shonen Jump

Shonen Jump

4/5 Stars

Monthly Magazine
Publisher: Viz Communications Inc

With Shonen Jump, the most popular manga titles suddenly become much more affordable. Based on the hugely popular Japanese manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump, the US edition serializes the most popular titles from the Japanese edition in a huge, 250+ page monthly format. Rather than shelling out $15 or more per volume, Shonen Jump allows you to follow several series at once at the much more affordable price of $4.95 per issue or $33.95 for a subscription.

The format is similar to other manga periodicals in Japan, with episodes of several series in each episode. The first issue, January 2003, includes, Dragon Ball Z, YuYu Hakusho, Yu-Gi-Oh, One Piece, and Sand Land. If the US version follows the example of Weekly Shonen Jump, it's likely to include one or two issue "short stories" as well. In addition to the manga, there are interviews, reviews, and articles that help round out each issue.

Shonen Jump can only run titles that have appeared in Weekly Shonen Jump, so most of the titles are "boy" manga. Most titles are action/comedy, but there are enough differences between the series to appeal to many people. Shonen Jump makes every attempt to stay true to the original format of the manga, including running the panels right to left instead of the usual left to right, as well as reversing the front and back of each issue. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a trend, and other manga publications will soon begin release US versions, expanding into all genres of manga. As it is, Shonen Jump is a wonderful way to enjoy manga without emptying your wallet, as well as allowing anime fans to see how their favorite series started.


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