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Jump Force and the history of Weekly Shonen Jump

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Published on Feb 01, 2019

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The magazine, as indicated by the name itself (shonen), is dedicated to the boys and enjoys the editions even in the western World, thanks to Viz Media. As the whole phenomenon of manga in general, Jump has its roots in a centuries-old tradition that has made the image one of the signs of the expression of the japanese culture and which merges with the religious tradition of the Country.

The history of the magazines of manga in Japan, if you want to consider the more recent past, has its direct predecessors already in the magazines with illustrations such as the Japan Punch and Nihon Boeki Shinbun of Meiji era (1868-1912), which is formed by printing the first means of mass communication. But this is still the illustrations are single, that will be supplanted soon by Rakuten Kitazawa, who published in 1902 the first comic strip in japan.

Only in 1914 we have the first magazines of manga per se, but geared towards the little ones, and this is thanks to Kodansha, the largest publishing house in Japan, which launches the monthly Shonen Club (1914) and then the Shojo Club, in 1923, and, finally, Yonen Club, in 1926; however, these first experiments, because, precisely, addressed to children and for this bought by their parents, contain many of the pedagogical elements and articles reassuring. The Second World War will decide the end of these first specimens, which, however, have already implemented the feature that will make the fortune of the manga modern mass diffusion.

In 1946, after the end of the war, in a Japan that is destroyed, Kodansha dig out the magazines prebelliche. But even the other publishers, sensing a market that is thriving, decide to try in this area favored by the baby boom and Shueisha launches finally Omoshiro Book in the years immediately following. Also here we have a step further than their predecessors: it develops the story and the manga, in which authors create stories characterized by episodes that are not independent, but linked, allowing scripts more complex.

A further milestone occurred in 1956, when the children of the baby boom arriving at the middle school and Shogakukan create the first weekly magazines, soon followed by Kondansha: Shonen Sunday, and Shonen Magazine had marked a fundamental stage in the creation of the Jump.

In 1968, a Monday, not any, born finally Shonen Jump, the magazine (at the beginning, twice a week) that will beat all other sales and fame. The period in which they are born is favorable, because it is the period of the student protest movement (which, however, Japan will conclude with a few results), and the manga is not subject to the censorship of any measure; and it Shoenn Jump that Go Nagai public for 4 years, his Harenchi Gakuen (The school without shame, in Italy by J-POP) or Joji Akiyama, public Ashura, which will soon be boycotted by the parents ' associations and teachers.

The Sixties also saw the bind of the manga to the television production and merchandising: this will bring the magazines to grow exponentially, bringing Shonen Jump to have the absolute record of sales, with 6 million 530 thousand copies for the number of the last week of December 1994, but not before having suffered various crises of adjustment, such as that of 1971.

But even the crisis is temporary, at least until the Nineties, that does not affect a constant growth that are able to adapt to the tastes of readers, who, in the Eighties have now forgotten the rebellion, and, like the magazines voraciously read, they have adapted to a commercial logic, which sees reign Shonen Jump, thanks to his close link with the animated versions of his most famous characters, in addition to the OVA and video games.

As said in the Nineties that the crisis begins to be felt, with a fall in sales by over a third. But still, the manga seems to be able to reinvent itself and to the publishing houses to increase the magazines for not having to reduce profits. In the meantime, Jump over the years it reinvents itself, with a series of digital magazines, the twin Shonen Jump + and Jump LIVE, and the strong spread in the foreign market, which leads to the creation of Viz Media.

Over the years, Shonen Jump has published some of the manga's most famous story, including a mention Kujira Daigo, Kochira-Kame, Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya, Naruto, Bleach, Death Note, One Piece, Hunter x Hunter, Captain Tsubasa, Hokuto no Ken, Slam Dunk, The bizarre adventures of JoJo and My Hero Academia; series also known in the West, especially thanks to their animated versions.

This testifies first of all, the prestige of the magazine, which managed to collect over the years among the best talents of the manga, and to direct them in the creation of their works; it is enough to consider, for example, Yu-Gi-Oh!, that in the beginning it was a manga about games of intelligence, and then is moved to deal the card game; without a doubt, the influence of an editor of the publishing house may have made the difference in choosing the right path to a manga's success (the first part of the manga was even omitted in the create an animated version). In the second place, the magazine has always managed to intercept the tastes of his audience, adapting to real world events, such as those relating to sports, publishing the manga with various themes and locations, but always responsive to the question that the readers expressed through the polls.

This is, evidently, was also helped by the fact that in Japan the manga is considered to be a creation business and that it is not inadmissible to bend the authors to the will of the publishing house (even if this is true, especially from the Nineties onwards, with the disappearance of the great masters), albeit with a real risk (and have occurred) to create the authors photocopy.

The structure of the Jump is the classic one of every magazine, with a cover dedicated usually to one of the major titles, followed by various advertising related to its manga, which they communicate to the readers the news related to video games inspired by the titles published. Then begin finally, the various chapters of the manga, also published on low-quality paper, starting from the series that has earned the cover, and which also has color pages.

Towards the middle of the magazine there are pages dedicated to versions souls, particularly appreciated as they provide information about the production of the new series, the dates of the premiere of the most awaited and news about the singers that interpret the symbols and soundtracks present. They are then given the information regarding the release on home video.

Finally you have the index of the magazine, with an indication of the extra pages. On the index page there are also the comments of the editor of Shonen Jump, and often also to some of the mangaka. After the table of contents are inserted some information regarding the manga that will be published the following week (for example one-shot or chapters), or the new series about to be serialized.

If you want to deepen the topic, you can read Jean-Marie Bouissou, a Manga – History and universes of japanese comics, 2011, Tunué, and Brigitte Koyama-Richard, one Thousand years of manga, 2007, Rizzoli.

Jump Force and the history of Weekly Shonen Jump is MangaForever.net

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