Friday, December 3, 2010

Shonen Jump (Magazine)

Shonen Jump (Magazine) Published since: 2002. Creator: Based on magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump in Japan. Publisher: VIZ Media, LLC. ISSN: 15457818.

Plot summary
: Based on the Japanese magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump, this monthly publication features chapters from the most popular comics in the Japanese magazine, as well as artist interviews, information on card and video games, toys and anime. Current manga series to be featured in Shonen Jump include Bleach, Karakuridôji Ultimo, Naruto, One Piece, Psyren, and Yu-Gi-Oh!. The magazine has also featured other popular manga series that have now ended, such as Hikaru no Go, Slam Dunk, Tegami Beach and YuYu Hakusho. All of these series have their own creators, illustrators and plots, making Shonen Jump an almost anthology of manga titles. In addition to these professional manga series, the magazine also includes fan art submitted by readers. A recent issue included the results of a fan-made cover art contest. Throughout the year, several issues of Shonen Jump are considered “special editions” and include posters, details and specific information about certain series, and color illustrations (regular issues are printed in black and white.) Most issues of the magazine are over 300 pages in length, with special editions being even longer. In addition to the print magazine, VIZ Media also maintains an in-depth website for readers ( that offers downloads, games, wallpapers and more.

Critical evaluation: Although it has been published in the United States for less than ten years, Shonen Jump has become one of the most popular magazines for teens in the country. This can most likely be attributed to the fact that it is a very lengthy publication that appeals to teens who are manga enthusiasts, which quite a few are. Not only does the magazine contain actual chapters of manga stories, it also includes fun and interesting articles about Japanese culture, manga authors and illustrators, video and card games, and toys. It’s a virtual treasure trove of stories and information for manga-lovers. The main appeal of the magazine are the manga series included each month. The current series
Bleach, Karakuridôji Ultimo, Naruto, One Piece, Psyren, and Yu-Gi-Oh!, all have interesting storylines and graphics. Many of the stories have very whimsical settings and characters, like One Piece which is about fictional land covered by oceans separated into regions by a large mountain range. In Psyren, the main character is a high school student who is chosen to play in an unsettling game called “Psyren” and discovers that while playing the game, he is actually travelling ten years into the future. Stories like these will appeal to readers who like adventure and fantasy, and they are also wonderfully illustrated. With each chapter published monthly, the stories build upon themselves, drawing readers back to go through each issue. By leaving readers in suspense, the publishers of Shonen Jump have created an entertaining magazine for teens that will appeal to manga lovers.

Reader's annotation: This monthly publication includes chapters from popular manga series as well as author and illustrator interviews, information about Japanese culture, reviews of video and card games and toys. Also featuring previews of upcoming manga series.  

About the publisher: Founded in San Francisco in 1986 by Japan-native Seiji Horibuchi, Viz Media (formerly Viz Communication) has been publishing manga in various forms ever since. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, business and sales were somewhat slow for the company. Some of the earliest titles released included Legend of Kamui and Ranma ½. In order for their titles to be sold in mainstream bookstores, Viz Communication referred to them as “graphic novels” instead of manga. In recent years, the company merged with Japanese publishers Shueisha Inc. and Shogakukan Inc., expanding business further. Now, Viz Media is the leading publisher and distributor of Japanese manga for the English speaking audience in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. The company publishes several manga magazines including Shonen Jump, Shojo Beat and Shonen Jump Advanced. They have also licensed and distributed many popular anime on DVD including series like Bleach, Death Note, InuYasha, Naruto, Ranma ½, Vampire Knight and Sonic X. One unique feature of manga published by Viz Media is that they have created “manga ratings” (similar to MPAA ratings for movies) that act as a guide for parents when selecting manga for their children to read. Viz Media is headquartered in San Francisco, California. (

Genre: Magazine

Curriculum ties:
Japanese culture

Booktalking ideas:
Booktalk individual series each month
Discuss popularity of manga and impact on society
Creating graphic novels (plot and illustrations)

Reading level/Interest Age:
Grade 7 and up

Challenge issues:
Some sexuality

Challenge counterpoints:Recommended for grades 7 and up.
Recommend parent read through magazine before child.
Recommend parent read magazine with child.  
Recommend parent look for manga ratings of each chapter and determine which are appropriate for child.

Reasons for inclusion:
Most popular and best-selling manga magazine in the United States.  

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