While Shueisha's Shonen Jump brand is well-known for its battle manga, the brand is also filled with quirky titles to please different types of audiences. Case in point – a series like Naoishi Komi's Nisekoi and its romantic comedic themes. With Nisekoi getting an anime adaptation and the forthcoming 2nd season of Kuroko's Basketball, Shonen Jump is looking to get back into the world of anime after a Titan-ic interruption. But what about other unique Shonen Jump series that have become popular with fans and in the famous weekly rankings? Here are 5 hot series from the “World's Most Popular Manga” that might be coming soon to a Japanese TV station or streaming service near you.
Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui
Currently the biggest hit out of the new titles to appear in Shonen Jump last year. The story focuses on an alien teacher named Koro-sensei, whose class is supposed to kill him within a year. He is considered to be a huge threat to mankind, but is willing to accept death at the hands of his students (weird, I know). This series is so full of puns and wacky humor that it will make you smirk with delight, and at times even have you crying at the brilliant humour. The manga has consistently ranked in the top 5 on the Weekly Jump rankings, selling like hotcakes in bookstores and the like with its merchandise selling in much the same way. Much like in Great Teacher Onizuka, Koro-sensei's students are all outcasts shunned by their school, and he teaches life lessons to them in an interesting, often hysterical way. Interestingly, Assassination Classroom took the number 1 spot over One Piece several times in the JUMP rankings, which really is reason enough to believe an anime adaption might be on it's way. Gomu Gomu seems somewhat ineffective against that smiley face, huh?
Haikyu!! by Haruichi Furadate
The next Kuroko's Basketball. Seriously, this title screams “Come on, girls! Check out the cute boys!” Haikyu!! is a story about a young man named Shoyo Hinata and his rival, Tobio Kageyama, and their attempts to work together for their local high school volleyball team. Hinata is the ultimate underdog, as he is a very short volleyball player and wants to be the “Small Giant.” The characterization is top-notch. The emotions portrayed by each character are guaranteed to leave an impact in your heart, not to mention the fact that there's not too many manga about volleyball out there. Haikyu!! has become another great title in a long line of great Shonen Jump sports manga. It's just waiting to spike its way into anime soon, especially with the popularity of Kurokos Basketball.
Shokugeki no Soma by Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki
Yes, a cooking series. The title has a bit of notoriety as the artwork is drawn by a former adult manga artist, and sometimes it shows for the better. Despite this, the series manages to still come across as incredibly funny most of the time and never fails to inspire a laugh or two. The manga is mostly about a boy named Yukihira Soma and his attempts to become a full-time chef. He is invited to join a culinary school where only 10% of the students have managed to graduate, so as you can imagine things can get pretty intense. There is a lot of talk about food, à la Toriko, but with one great distinction. What Soma does is make the feelings of eating food similar to experiencing feelings of sexual excitement or emotional moments in one's life. It's literally "food porn." The characters are all pretty interesting and the fanservice appeals to both men and women. Shokugeki no Soma has gained a lot of momentum and even took the number 1 spot in the Jump rankings when One Piece was on its two-week hiatus in late May 2013. Is there a lot of sex jokes? Yes. Do they manage to make us laugh every time? Yes, again.
One-Punch Man by ONE and Yusuke Murata
The best superhero of all time and he's a pretty average man. While this series is published on the website of Tonari no Young Jump and not in the Japanese edition of Shonen Jump, it is published in the U.S. digital version of Shonen Jump. One-Punch Man chronicles the tale of Saitama, a superhero who is too powerful for his own good. Any enemy that gets hit by him just once is defeated. As a result of this incredible power, Saitama becomes bored with his life but finds inspiration after an encounter with a cyborg hero named Genos. This is an extremely over-the-top manga that pokes fun at every single shonen battle manga cliché in the book. One thing that is particularly funny is that Saitama is someone you can't really count on to save you when you need it - he just wants to live his life, plain and simple. In a nutshell, this is what would have happened if Krillin was stronger than Goku in DBZ - it really is brilliant!
Saiki Kusuo no PSI Nan by Shuichi Aso
Sometimes having superpowers doesn't mean things will go well for you. This gag manga covers the life of Saiki Kusuo, a teenager who has a variety of psychic powers and hates them. Unfortunately for Saiki, his powers attracts two idiotic male classmates that think of him as their friend. The life of Saiki and his friends is hilarious as Saiki self-narrates his observations with disgust. The inner dialogue is arguably the best reason why Saiki has managed to sneak into the top 5 rankings - it's hilarious. To anyone who doesn't like to draw a lot of attention, this is a series you will appreciate and should really look into!
Looks likes future Jump anime will be about friendship, effort, victory and humor, stepping away from the super-seriousness of Bleach and the like. Lots of humor. Guess Shueisha sees that laughter is the best medicine, huh? Fingers crossed on these all getting anime adaptions. They all really deserve it!
All images © Yusei Matsui, Haruichi Furadate, Shun Saeki, Yusuke Murata, Soichi Aso, & SHUEISHA Inc.
Tony Yao has been an avid fan of Japanese pop culture since junior high school. He blogs about the psychological aspects of anime/manga/video games at Manga Therapy. In his spare time, he enjoys exercising, watching sports, hanging out with friends, eating, a lot of sleeping, and obsessing over his favorite anime/manga series, Gintama.
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