For consumers of Manga and Anime, one must-know name is the name of magazine Shonen Jump. Shonen Jump is responsible for the conception of extremely popular series since the 1980s. Almost every mainstream series was produced within the four comic book panel walls of the magazine, from the likes of Dragon Ball, YuYu Hakusho, Naruto, One Piece, Bleach and even the more recent Haikyuu!! and Kimetsu no Yaiba.
Because of its stature and reputation, the magazine always hosts a large catalog of renowned and trending series. It was during Shonen Jump’s most recent period of glory that we have the “Big Three” in Naruto, One Piece and Bleach; each were extremely popular and lucrative with massive fanbases. Jump was doing so well that even its fringe series at the time were faring raking in sales and gathering fans. At that point, everything seemed right for the consumers and Shonen Jump alike. Be that as it may, the golden period soon reached an end as, in quick succession, Naruto and Bleach reached their respective conclusion. This left a gaping hole as 2 of the big 3 were no longer there for Jump to rely on.
Needless to say, it wasn’t all dark and hopeless. Jump still had other popular series which were either on the rise or have already reached a popular enough status to replace the “Big 3”. My Hero Academia, Haikyuu!! and Kimetsu no Yaiba all rose into prominence around the same period and seemed prime candidates to continue extending the golden period. However, apart from My Hero Academia, both Kimetsu no Yaiba and Haikyuu!! reached their conclusions in almost an untimely manner, never really basking in their greatness for as long as they could.
With only veteran One Piece and de facto #2 veteran My Hero Academia acting as the pillars for the magazine, a shadow of doubt had been cast on Jump; can it retain its status as the #1 Manga producer and churn out good content as it could in the Big 3 era? More importantly, can readers be entertained with what’s to come?
Then, out of nowhere came Jujutsu Kaisen. The series about curse users fighting against curses in the form of monsters debuted in 2018 and immediately caught the eye of battle Manga enthusiasts as it seems to have inherited the sleek stylishness of Bleach and rough but exciting choreography of more classic fighting Manga. Jujutsu Kaisen (JJK) follows Itadori Yuuji, who, shortly after losing the only remaining family in his grandfather, gets caught up in the battle between curses and curse users. To protect his friends, Yuuji consumed the finger of Ryoumen Sukuna, a cursed object which has unlimited power but would also kill him as it possesses the spirit of the most dangerous curse to have ever existed.
However, Yuuji doesn’t die and was able to harness Sukuna’s powers, as he effortlessly saves the day and keeps Sukuna on a lid. Because of Yuuji’s unique situation and ability to not only use Sukuna but contain him, he was swiftly recruited as a new curse user to help his new colleagues in the never-ending fight against monstrous curses.
The seemingly generic series was elevated infinitely more as it was animated by MAPPA, an animating powerhouse on par with the best. With execution that far exceeded its normal plot from creator Akutami Gege and animation that further propelled the series to greater heights, Jujutsu Kaisen quickly rose into stardom, catching up the likes of Kimetsu no Yaiba, which in no way was a small feat as the latter is easily the best Anime of this generation. It has become so popular that Uniqlo collaborated with the series and the shirt sales have gone off the roof, with Uniqlo selling out almost every piece of Jujutsu Kaisen merchandise it had to sell.
With a lot of story left to tell for the Manga and the Anime barely scracthing the surface in terms of content to be covered, JJK seems like it is here to stay and carry on the torch of massively popular series that have come before it, especially the big shoes left by the worldwide phenomenon Kimetsu no Yaiba. With a movie coming soon and a Season 2 almost certainly in the works, JJK is undoubtedly “the” series to look out for in the coming years, as the rising star of the Anime-sphere that has all the potential to be a giant franchise that will be remembered as fondly as Naruto, Bleach, One Piece and Kimetsu no Yaiba, when all is said and done.
Hartwick is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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