Second Round of Shonen Jump Start Stories

Weekly Shonen Jump December 1

Earlier this year, I wrote about Jump Start, Viz’s program of debuting new series in Weekly Shonen Jump the same day they launch in Japan. Beyond the first three titles, which I wrote about at that link, the following series have appeared in English:

The September 29 issue had the first (extended-length, it felt like) chapter of elDLIVE by Akira Amano, a space exploration story starring an oddball. He hears a voice in his head that always says negative things, but it turns out to be an artificial alien lifeform, as he finds out after being kidnapped by a cute imp to join the space police. The story, appearing in color, has a neat watercolor look to it, although I thought there were a few too many things going on.

The next issue issue, October 6, introduced “Jump Back!”, rerunning the first chapter of the famous Death Note. October 27 added Hi-Fi Cluster (from the first round of Jump Start launches) to the regular lineup. The November 3 issue switched to the first chapter of Naruto as the Jump Back! feature.

Weekly Shonen Jump December 1

Jump Starts began again on November 17 with Takujo no Ageha, a table tennis competition manga by Itsuki Furuya. In keeping with the dreams of the male audience, the series also features a gorgeous, popular girl named Ririka who’s determined to make the hero fall for her because she can’t believe he likes the sport more than her. (She lives at a table tennis center with her pervy grandfather.)

Ryohei Yamamoto’s E-Robot started November 24, featuring an erotic robot who uses her “boob barricade” to save the hero. She was created to bring about world peace and break the cycle of killing by “providing proof of the power of the erotic!” (I was oddly reminded of Wonder Woman here.)

December 1 brought Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, which is exciting because it has art by Takeshi Obata (Bakuman, Death Note, Hikaru no Go). The story is by Nobuaki Enoki and is about a grade school court, where 12-year-old students judge each other. There’s a surprising amount of legal information in this first chapter, about a classroom pet fish that’s been killed, while the case concludes in the December 8 issue.

It’s awfully neat seeing such new series, although it’s tricky. You can’t get too attached to them because you’ll likely only see three chapters. I hope to see more of Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, though.

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