New Video Breaks Down The History of 'Shonen Jump'

Ever wonder what the history of one of Japan's leading manga publications was like? Luckily one fan has put together its storied history.

YouTube user YonkouProductions has put together a video detailing the Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump for its upcoming 50th Anniversary.

The video runs through everything from its rough beginning as a new manga anthology full of young artists, to its period of transition in gathering newer artists, to the Weekly Shonen Jump it is known as today.

There is lots of notable information fans would not be necessarily privy to, such as its initial push to drive more stories that keep readers hooked week to week rather than feature more one-shots like its competitors. Or perhaps the fact that its more masculine action surge in the 1980s with series like Hokuto no Ken were based on a response to competitor magazines gearing more toward the Shoujo genre.

It seems that Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump's success was its ability to take risks and evolve with the changing tastes of the time. Not always pushed by popularity, it often became a place where manga artists were allowed to experiment and create freely.

The strongest example of this was KochiKame, which ran in the magazine for forty years. As a gag manga, Osamu Akimoto was allowed to change its content and give it the kind of variety that allowed his series to stay fresh and popular for years.

Shueisha is also celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Weekly Shonen Jump with a two-part exhibit debuting at Roppongi Hills Complex's Tokyo Mori Arts Center Gallery March 19 under the name of "Sokan 50 Shunen Kinen Shukan Shonen Jump-ten Vol. 2 1990 Nendai, Hakko Busu 653-Man-bu no Shogeki" which roughly translates to "50th Anniversary of Weekly Shonen Jump's First Issue Exhibition Vol. 2: 1990s, Impact of 6.53 Million Copies in Print." The exhibit will run until June 19 and celebrates such properties of the 90s like Yu-Gi-Oh!, Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Slam Dunk.

This exhibit is the second of a two-part exhibition. The first part is titled "Sōkan 50 Shūnen Kinen Shukan Shonen Jump-ten Vol. 1 Sōkan~1980 Nendai, Densetsu no Hajimari, which roughly translates to 50th Anniversary of Weekly Shonen Jump's First Issue Exhibition Vol. 1: First Issue-1980s, Beginning of the Legend. This exhibit will cover the magazine's history from its first issue to popular series of the 1980s like Dr. Slump, Hokuto no Ken, and Mazinger Z.