Review: Weekly Shonen Jump #34

Weekly Shonen Jump 34 is a reminder that despite the stellar quality of a few staple series, the anthology could benefit from a few more consistently serialized titles. I am not going to say anything this week that I haven't said before: One PieceMy Hero: Academia, and Food Wars are all excellent.  As of this week, however, most of the Jump Starts I've covered, including ones that achieved more success in Japan than they did here (since only one of them gets serialized here and all of them get serialized in Japan), are cancelled or out of Jump.  I think that Kagamiami, Black Clover, and Devily Man are the only three that remain in Jump over in Japan.

That sucks.  First of all, of the three titles that survived, only one of those, Black Clover, is currently being serialized in English in Weekly Shonen Jump.  I quite liked Devily Man, but Kagamigami was not particularly great and has been, on average, hanging below the top ten for a handful of weeks over in Japan: a recipe for cancellation.

WSJ 34 coverThe best thing Weekly Shonen Jump has done in the past year is take series which were only on the cusp of being very successful (Food Wars and Academia), and add them to the English digital lineup.  There are dozens of very good manga series that English-language readers have to wait months sometimes even years to legally see in English: being able to read them in the same week as Japan is a huge deal, and in that sense Weekly Shonen Jump is providing a really awesome and important service for the state of manga in the US.

The Jump Starts are fun, but ultimately unsatisfying when we are left with sparse weeks where the staple series have to carry the entire issue.  Granted, for the price of admission (fifty cents a week ain't bad if you buy an entire year's subscription at once) is more than worth it just to read one of these series' legally; but, if the editors of this anthology are going to hand-pick series for English serialization and make a cohesive anthology, I want to see them continue to take risks and give us more series that are doing fairly well in the midst of their serialization.

So, this was more of an industry-esque rant than a review, but these reviews are pretty much just rolling coverage of the state of Weekly Shonen Jump anyway.  Maybe all my concerns are moot and I should just be happy with getting to read three or four series that are right up my alley.  But that seems pessimistic, and to be honest, there are more like five or six solid series in this anthology: their publishing schedules are just too inconsistent.  Maybe it's just my fault for feeling creepy if I enjoy Nisekoi.

Score: 3/5

Weekly Shonen Jump #34 Writer: Various Artist: Various Publisher: Viz Media Release Date: 7/20/15 Format: Weekly; Digital