Continuing from Part I, here’s the rest of my notes regarding Weekly Shounen Jump.
- What is Table of Contents?
- Weekly Shounen Jump from Summer 2017 to Summer 2018
Overview of Jump from May 2017 to May 2018
In the early 2017, Weekly Shounen Jump kicked off an unusual 6 new series push, which basically combined two of their usual quarterly serialization cycles into one.
Out of the six, only two of them are still going on as of August 2018; We Never Learn and Dr. Stone. This is actually a pretty decent turn around given that in a typical serialization round of three series, even one resulting in a success is a pretty solid outcome.
The rest of the new additions of 2017 has been more or less duds, minus Tomatoypoo no Lycopene (see below).
“Old” Series ending
- The physic comedy manga, Samon-kun wa Summoner, also ended its 1.5 year run in mid-2017. It had fairly middling sales and rankings for the most part (~20k range) but it hanged around by usually having something worse than it.
- In late 2017, the Edo-themed gag series, Isobe, ended its 5 year run. Tomatoy Lycopene replaced its spot as the “end-issue gag series” which basically shows up at the end of the magazine every issue and is generally considered immune to popularity polls or sales. Isobe itself was pretty successful, especially for a gag manga, and had a really strong launch. (vol.1 reached 50K sales)
- Spring Weapon No. 1, another gag/comedy series, ended in early 2018 after a one year run. This one was a bit of a mystery as to how it managed to hang around. It’s sales are estimated to be in the sub-10K range. The ToC positions have usually been around the bottom, and it might have stuck around simply because the editorial wanted a bit more comedy representation.
- The Disastrous Life of Saiki K also ended in early 2018 after a 6 year run, and shortly after the season two of the anime started airing. It has a mini sequel running as a small 4koma series on Jump. It had a pretty solid run for the most part, sales at a stable 90K range before the anime in 2016, and was starting to hit 100K levels with the boost from the anime. The rankings were also in the solid middle-tier from what I know.
These are the new releases since 2017, in the order in which the series started.
- We Never Learn – RomCom/Harem. Very solid hit. Sales have been growing steadily since the start and will likely reach 100K soon, and an anime adaption have been leaked.
- U19 – immediate flop. poor sales & reception.
- Demon Prince Poro’s Diaries – immediate flop. poor sales & reception.
- Hungry Marie – started out with similar sales as WNL for volume 1 (16k) thanks to the popularity of author’s previous work (Beelzebub) but dropped quickly in both sales and popularity as the series couldn’t meet expectation and struggled to find a proper focus.
- Dr. Stone – Another strong success, similar level as WNL. Also in the 70K range right now, and will likely reach 100K too.
- Robot x Laserbeam – Strong initial success thanks to the author’s existing fanbase from Kuroko no Basket. Had the strongest start out of the other new series with 80K sales for the first volume. But that number have consistently declined with each volume, with vol. 4 at 68K and vol.6 at 54K. The series itself also had a big time skip by going from high school setting to a professional. It regularly placed at the bottom of the ToC and eventually got canceled at 62 chapters.
- Shuudan – Soccer series by popular cult artist YOKO (Sesuji wo Pin!, Onani Master Kurosawa, Molester Man, etc.) Unusually fast return of the artist since the end of Sesuji that ended only a few weeks prior. “Jump Soccer” is fairly notorious for being a dud despite being a sport pushed heavily by the editorial for quite a long time. Failed to get the same level of reception as the author’s previous work, and it tanked quickly in both rank and sales (10-15K level). The author left Jump immediately after the end of the series and went to resume the manga adaption of the Dangeros series that he was working on before joining Jump.
- Cross Account – RomCom series. Largely a mediocre reception for the most part. Not a total disaster, but failed to compete against Yuragi and WNL. Started at 13K and 16K sales for first two volumes, but the later volumes dipped lower. Similar fate as Shuudan.
- Full Drive – Ping Pong manga. immediate flop. poor sales & reception.
- Golem Hearts – Fantasy/adventure. immediate flop. poor sales & reception. Ended at 15 chapters.
- Bozebeats – Exorcist/Monk battle manga. immediate drop. Axed at 14 chapters, even before volume 1 release.
- Act Age – Acting manga. Somewhat unusual theme for a Jump manga. The ToC position started out rather poor but has been gaining a good amount of traction in recent weeks (Aug. 2018) and consistently showing up at the front. The volume sales are fairly mediocre at 16k for volume 2, and has been gaining lot of attention. Likely to stick around for a while given other new series are doing poorly.
- Jujutsu Kaisen – Quite a strong start, especially for a brand new series from a newcomer. First volume showed 28.5K in sales on its first week of release, making it the most successful first volume release since Dr. Stone (36k) and Robo (60k). Very strong ToC position at the moment.
- Noah’s Notes – Sci-fi/Time-slip manga by author of Kurogane and Momo no Fu. Has a strong following of anti-fans from previous series. Gets critiqued and nitpicked a lot for the flimsy plot, which does also mean it is getting a lot of attention for better or worse. Still had poor ToC position, and got axed at 22 chapters.
- Ziga – monster manga. Had some hardcore following on twitter due to the heroine, but still got axed rather quickly at 14 chapters, before the release of volume 1.
- Momiji no Kisetsu – Shogi manga. looks to be an immediate flop. poor sales & reception.
- Kimi wo Shinryaku Seyo – RomCom. looks to be an immediate flop. poor sales & reception.
- Seiji Tanaka – comedy(?). Too early to tell.
- Alice to Taiyo – RomCom about singing/idol. Too early to tell.
Needless to say, the clear winners as of now are We Never Learn, Dr. Stone, Act Age and Jujutsu Kaisen. Act Age is still a bit shaky and still has a chance of getting axed if things go south, but the rest are likely to stick around in Jump for couple years and establish themselves as the staple of Jump if they haven’t already.
Per-Volume Sale vs Yearly Sale
- For the most part, if you want to use sales as a rough measurement of a series’ current popularity, the data to use should be the per volume sale and not the yearly sale. This is because:
- The physical volume sale numbers reported through Oricon are dominated heavily by the sales of newly released volumes. Therefore, yearly sales can change dramatically depending on how many volumes were released on that particular year. (ex. If one year had 3 volumes released while the other only had 2 volumes, there will be a big difference in yearly sales figure)
- When a series manages to gain a large number of new fans in one year (such as an anime adaption), those new fans will end up buying older volumes of the series, which will temporarily boost up the sales number. The boost in yearly sales will be much more dramatic than the boost in per volume sales, because even if the fan-base only doubled, the yearly sales will see its number increase by whatever number of old volumes the series already exists. (while per-volume sales will increase in line with the actual increase in fan base).
- In YouTube terms, per-volume sale = subscriber count. yearly sale = yearly views.
- Once the sudden surge of new fans stabilize, the boost from these backlog sales will disappear, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the series is losing fans, it just means it’s not gaining at the same rate that it did previously. Actual “loss” of readership will be represented by a drop in volume sales.
- In the case of One Piece’s massive surge in 2010-2011, it was due to the massive promotional success of the movie Strong World.
- It was arguably the greatest marketing feat ever pulled off by Jump where One Piece went from selling around 2M copies per volume to 3M.
- From the early marketing of the movie as a “story written by Oda himself“, promoting the movie heavily on the WSJ magazine itself, and also the movie coinciding with one of the strongest moments of the One Piece’s main story itself, the franchise launched itself to even greater heights, and the fever managed to sustain itself to 2012.
- The yearly sales of 2010, 2011 and even 2012 manage to be as high as they are because on top of the expected (3M per volume) * (4 volumes per year), the series is basically received a (~1M new readers) * (60+ old volumes) into the equation as a temporary boost.
- Now that’s not to say even OP’s sales per-volume sales never decreased over the years. From ~2M per volume in 2009 (vol.53), to ~3M in 2010 (vol.58), peaking at about ~3.3M in 2011 (vol.61) then stabilizing down to 2.8~3M by 2016 (vol. 83). This is also reflected on the first print numbers of OP across the years, hitting 3M for the first time with vol.57 to 4M with vol.64, then starting to decrease with 3.8M of vol.78, and vol.88 was recently reported to be 3.3M.
And that is it. I generally try to avoid talking about Jump series in my journals because my heart is more towards WSM and Shounen Sunday. Still, I do follow the “meta” of Jump nonetheless and it was fun laying out my thoughts.