ONE PIECE, Dragon Ball, Naruto, Jojo's Bizarre Adventures. These names and many others have in common a rather important factor: the magazine of belonging. Whatever you say, starting your own publication in a successful magazine gives a remarkable acceleration to the popularity of a manga, and in this sense Weekly Shonen Jump is the perfect magazine. Born in 1968, the Shueisha manga container established itself from the 80s onwards as absolute market leader, publishing the best known titles ever. But after many years, despite having a considerable popularity as a result of previous years, he must be able to deal with the future and adapt to the needs of new Japanese readers. Given this, 2020 could mark a real turning point for Weekly Shonen Jump.
The magazine has left behind a decade full of satisfactions but also of goodbyes: they have left us manga of very high thickness and of great popularity as Naruto, Bleach, Toriko, Tutor Hitman Reborn, Toriko, Kuroko's Basket, Assassination Classroom is Gintamain addition to a historical piece of Japan like Kochikame, an unknown manga in the West but among the best selling of the publishing house and worthy of a Guinness World Record. Goodbyes have led to more or less famous replacements, but some of these won't last long.
Who could say goodbye in 2020
Weekly Shonen Jump will be forced to greet several series in the coming years with a decade that will reserve several changes. But, focusing on the current year, there are already titles in the pipeline or already concluded. One of the most famous cases is The Promised Neverland, manga by Kaiu Shirai is Demizu Posuka which enchanted the whole world. The work is one of the closest to the epilogue, as already confirmed by the authors, and will hardly last more than six months. It will also be added We Never Learn of Taishi Tsusui, manga romcom which has now exhausted its main plot as well as the peak of sales and is expected to end by December 2020.
Then there are Ghost Inn: The Inn of Yuna is Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, two titles that started their career on Weekly Shonen Jump arm in arm and they could end it at the same time. If the first manga is episodic and could close almost every chapter having now covered most of the main mysteries, the same cannot be said for the second.
Koyoharu Gotouge he did not fail to point out the current narrative arc of Demon Slayer as "the decisive battle", comparing the protagonist and the antagonist. Demon Slayer could also continue under pressure, given the success of the past few months, but as the current editor of Weekly Shonen Jump Nakano has pointed out several times, there will no longer be any forcing as happened in the past. Therefore, if Gotouge really decides to finish his work once the main storyline is finished, this will undoubtedly happen this year.
Finally, they should also be included in this list Haikyu !! is Samurai 8. The manga on volleyball is in the final narrative arc with a game that is moving all fans; however, the author could manage to prolong the work without problems even up to the very first months of 2021. Samurai 8 instead said goodbye to Weekly Shonen Jump, after 43 chapters in which he said little and nothing to readers.
Confirmations and new faces
Looking instead at the opposite side of the barricade, in the front row we find the trio composed of ONE PIECE, My Hero Academia and Black Clover. Eiichiro Oda's manga will remain in the magazine for at least another five years and the conclusion of this work alone will represent an epochal change, but for now it is still an event far away; the other two, on the other hand, have now carved out an important space in the Shonen landscape and will be able to continue for a long time. He joins them Hunter x Hunter, victim of back pain Yoshihiro Togashi, and a sequence of new faces that will inevitably have to carry on the magazine in the next shine: Jujutsu Kaisen, Act-Age is Chainsaw Man.
The first of these already sees an anime in production that could make it explode definitively, after having already exceeded sales and consents of Black Clover manga side. Act-Age has just arrived in Italy for J-POP, and is instead a more atypical manga that can build a career as it did Bakuman ten years ago. Finally, the most experimental of all is Chainsaw Man. From the author of Fire Punch, the manga has been holding on Weekly Shonen Jump for over a year and it's no secret that it's definitely over the top. Just from the publication of Chainsaw Man you can understand the future road traced by editor-in-chief Nakano for Weekly Shonen Jump.
The future looking to the past
Let's take a step back in time: in 2010 there were eight series over 250 chapters, indicating a generation that loved long-running manga. In early 2020 instead only four of the current serialized works can boast such a count, pointing out the tastes of the current Japanese public. In an important interview, Hiroyuki Nakano had to underline how important it is to keep up with the times, mentioning precisely Chainsaw Man as a forerunner.
Considering therefore the closure of the six titles mentioned above, which alone make up half of the tankobons sold of the manga of the magazine, and the scarcity of manga with a firm outlook on life, Weekly Shonen Jump must open the doors to new ideas.
In this sense, Undead Unluck has just started, which seems to have already captured the attention of the Japanese and even with a tone slightly above the lines compared to the usual canons. However, it will be essential that the series just started in the Japanese magazine if they do alongside others with freshness and originality, factors that Nakano has confirmed are not very present among the old and new mangakas. A jolt could give it the return of Tite Kubo with the new manga Burn the Witch, but the case of Samurai 8 shows that an artist, even if famous, must regain the heart of the Japanese public with an exceptional story and not based on his name.
Weekly Shonen Jump will therefore have to face the next period with a different vision, which could embrace influences and ways of seeing the manga that so far have never touched the well-known container. The editorial team could therefore open its doors to influences from webtoon or even from foreign authors, capable of giving another approach compared to today's and past Japanese standards.