1. 1968-1979: The Early Era
2. 1980-1984: Modern Jump Arrives
3. 1985-1989: The Era of Heroes
4. 1990-1994: Son Goku...and Friends
5. 1995-1999: Jump Refinds Itself
6. 2000-present: Recent Jump
So without further ado:
Note#2: While I do understand there are many Jump series that never got animated (including a good chunk of Masanori Morita’s stuff outside the Rokudenashi BLUES OVA), this will concentrate only on anime renditions. These also include OVA-only anime (I’’s, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure) and movies (Barefoot Gen). All series will be based on when they were released in Japan in WSJ as opposed to when the anime came out.
1. 1968 - 1979 - The Early Era
From its early days in 1968, WSJ always was trying to find its place in the manga world, particularly in the world set up by its two biggest rivals: Shonen Magazine by Kodansha and Shonen Sunday by Shogakukan. Many of the series in this era are defined by the standards already put into play by what was considered shonen. In this case, it was “things that Japanese boys liked to do with themselves”. Many of these series turned out to be devoted to sports, the ultimate “male” pasttime in this era. However, other manly type things from gritty action to gag comedy and perversion also filled the magazine in its early years. While taking on board several mangaka during this era that had already established themselves (Ikki Kajiwara, Noboru Kawasaki), Jump began the development of its own team of mangaka artists and storytellers, starting with revolutionary Go Nagai. Other notables who broke out during this era are the historic Keiji Nakazawa, the controversial Yoshinori Takazaki and the tragic Akio Chiba. By 1976, a young comedy mangaka named Osamu Akimoto started at the magazine with his series about an inept policeman…and never stopped even in this modern day. Other mangaka who would begin to emerge at the magazine preparing to break down the walls by decade’s end included Buronson, Buichi Terasawa, Yoshihiro Takahashi, Masashi Kurumada and a young duo who only went by the name of Yudetamago.
-Mangaka - Go Nagai
-TV Drama in 1970 (with animated opening)
-Producer: Tokyo 12-Channel (TV-Tokyo)
It was strange, perverted, bizarre, lude, and it put a young Go Nagai on the map of manga infamy. Harenchi Gakuen took away many of the innocence of manga established by Tezuka, Ishimori and others with his own weird look at the world through a school that has probably gone way beyond sanity.
-Otoko Ippiki Gaki Taisho
-Mangaka - Hiroshi Motomiya
-Producer: Nihon TV, Nippon TV Doga
This is a story about a badboy…which means that in 1968...he’s probably a lot less tough than if he was around today. Yet alongside Harenchi Gakuen, this series helped put WSJ on the map in the late 60s/early 70s
-Mangaka - Yasumi Yoshizawa
-Anime: 1972-1974 (original), 1981-1982 (New)
-Producer: ABC (Asahi Broadcasting), TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting) (original); TMS (Tokyo Movie Shinsha) (New)
Once upon a time there was a boy…who had a frog living on his shirt. He lives his day to day life and has weird antics and encounters with this girl he likes and in his neighborhood…but that frog matches his expressions. That probably is the crappiest explanation I can give, but Dokonjo Gaeru is probably one of the defining day-by-day series of the early 70s…and subsequently was one of “Hell Teacher Nube”’s influences in its style and even character names. (the boy with the frog on his shirt is “Hiroshi”, the girl he likes is “Kyoko”)
Since there are two “Dokonjo Gaeru” series and I don’t know if the second is a remake or a continuation, I will provide both the ‘72 and the ‘81 openings.
-’72 Opening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDXoGL8U5
-’81 Opening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9SbfTU32
-Mangaka: Ikki Kajiwara/Koo Inoue
-Producer: Yomiuri TV, Tokyo Movie
Can a wild boy trained in the ways of the sword…play baseball? Can he lead his team to victory using his training? Not very profound questions, I know, but this is the basis of Samurai Giants. Of course while you probably can pass it off as yet another “sports anime”, this one probably got animated due to its pedigree: Ikki Kajiwara, the mangaka behind this series, created the manga that became the very first sports anime: Kyojin no Hoshi (Star of the Giants) Heck, you could say he pretty much defined all sports manga since he also created a couple series called “Ashita no Joe” and “Tiger Mask”! While “Samurai Giants” is probably a minor footnote, it is important enough in Jump terms.
-Koya no Shonen Isamu
-Mangaka: Souji Yamakawa/Noboru Kawasaki
-Producer: Tokyo Movie, Fuji TV
From out of the west comes a hero…a hero with a six-shooter in his hand. (though I’m not too sure). One of the big shonen titles of the early 1970s in Jump, Isamu is probably one of the few big series that has had its feel for the American West and the wildness of the era. The artist of the series, Noboru Kawasaki, is more well known for collaborating with Ikki Kajiwara for “Kyojin no Hoshi” at Shonen Magazine.
Mangaka: Go Nagai
-Producer: Toei, Asatsu-DK, Fuji TV
By the early 1970s, Go Nagai was already a revolutionary in manga and anime. At the same time he created two separate series for two different manga magazines. For Shonen Magazine came the horror classic “Devilman”, but for Shonen Jump came the series that defined super-robots and became the biggest success of his career. Although more well known for its anime than manga, Mazinger Z was published in press at the same time as the anime was created, with many concepts not even used in the manga and only used in the anime (such as the “fembots) that would eventually appear.
-Mangaka: Keiji Nakazawa
-Anime: Movie (made in 1983)
In a magazine filled with frivolous and silly things, its not everyday you get a series that some say told stories more profound and important for simply shonen. In a manga series praised even by Art Speigleman (the creator of the Holocaust comic epic “Maus”), a boy and his family are forced to live and survive after baring witness to the first usage of nuclear weapons in armed conflict over their city of Hiroshima in August, 1945. Many questions and comments about the Japanese both during and after their involvement in the war are asked and used as themes within this monumental manga work.
Because this was a movie instead of an anime series, I was forced to use a clip from early on instead of an opening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCHbF9lG3
-Mangaka: Akio Chiba
-Anime: 2005, 2006
-Producer: Magic Bus
The tale of Akio Chiba is one of business and of promise cut short by tragedy. A master of sports manga, he simultaneously created two separate manga series about baseball: “Captain” for the monthly “Bessatsu Shonen Jump”, and “Play Ball” for WSJ. A story about a baseball playing boy who ends up rediscovering the game after giving it up for a while to play for the championship, it is also notable for sharing with “Captain” the Shogakukan award for shonen manga.
“Play Ball” clips are hard to come by even on Youtube: the best I could do is this one I found from the final episode of the “first series”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsxf0PySI
-Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Koen-mae Hashutsujo (KochiKame)
-Mangaka: Osamu Akimoto
-Anime: 1996-2005 (with occasional specials today)
-Producer: Studio Gallop, Fuji TV
Ryotsu Kankichi just wants a normal, calm life: eating good food, playing games, running around on trips. Unfortunately, when you’re a cop in a district of Tokyo, have a bunch of weirdoes working alongside you and a boss always on your tale, your life is never really going to be calm or normal. Originally started in 1976, KochiKame continues to bring a smile in every issue of Jump as it runs as one of the longest running series in Japan! With volumes of work being released every year and Akimoto never really going on retirement, who’s to blame him. (especially if he invites tons of people from mangaka to celebrities to write at the back of every volume!)
I’m sort of breaking the rule for KochiKame mostly since I think the 1st opening really doesn’t show you the true world of the series. (its mostly the leads running on a beach) So for this series, I’m going to be showing the first two openings: the original as well as the second that sort of shows more of what the series is about:
1st opening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Iu3zFSzF
2nd opening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRFF9oAyo-c
-Ring ni Kakero
-Mangaka: Masami Kurumada
-Anime: 2004, 2006
-Producers: Toei, TV Asahi, Marvelous Entertainment
Once upon a time, a pair of siblings were raised by a famed boxer, inheriting his strength and his skill. The male, Ryuuji Takane, takes it to the ring, forming friends and rivalries while developing his power and skills to the point of fighting his way towards the championship and beyond! Although mangaka Masami Kurumada had been in Jump with another series, this was the one that put him on the map and influenced other action series for years to come. (particularly cult series “G Gundam”) Of particular note is Kurumada’s usage of mythology, which would evolve with another grappling-esque fighting series in the 80s…
-Mangaka: Buichi Terasawa
-Anime: 1982-1983 (proposed series for 2008)
A space pirate, notorious throughout the galaxy. Possessor of the powerful “Psycho Gun”. And an infamous womanizer as well! Cobra is a man of many infamies, but when and where he goes always leads to trouble! A space classic known through Japan and even the United States in some form, Buichi Terasawa’s futuristic sci-fi action/adventure is considered a shonen classic thirty years after its original publishing. (and personally I sort of hope he gets playable in the next Jump game…but that’s me)
-Anime: 1983-1986, 1991-1992
-Producer: Toei, NTV
He was merely an incompetent superhero on the planet Earth, the last hero you’d go to when all the others weren’t around. Yet in reality, he was the prince of a super-powerful race of Choujin, abandoned on Earth…for a pig. While life for Kinniku Suguru really didn’t start off too great, it was when he started battling in the cosmic wrestling rings of the universe that his true power and heroism really started to show! A shonen classic through countries such as Japan and France (and other places too), Kinnikuman continued to use the sportsmanship of classic Jump yet forshadowed the action to come with a lot of comedy and strangeness to boot! (yes, living toilets who wrestled)
Two particular anime were created for the original Kinnikuman: the original classic series went from the beginning all the way through the Neptuneman/Big the Budou fight, while the second “Scramble for the Kinniku Throne” depicted the final battle as Suguru wrestled for his inheritance.
Original Opening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HF8U3skKC
Scramble for the Kinniku Throne Opening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edRFBghIl