Time To Determine the Best Shonen Jump Series That Aren’t the Big 3
Image via Crunchyroll

Time to Determine the Best Shonen Jump Series That Aren’t the Big 3

When someone mentions Shonen Jump manga series, there is a good chance that they’ll proceed to talk about either One Piece, Naruto, or Bleach. These are considered the “Big 3” due to their longevity and popularity. But some of the best shonen manga aren’t the most obvious choices, despite having maintained just as much — if not more — popularity over the years. That being said, the shonen genre is ever-evolving with constant new releases, so who knows? Maybe we’ll have an entirely different Shonen Jump “Big 3” in a few years.

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If that turns out to be the case, we have some suggestions for the best shonen manga to overtake the Shonen Jump “Big 3.” Even though these manga target a specific demographic, there’s truly something for everyone.

Image via Ukyō Kodachi and Masashi Kishimoto

Boruto

Originally released under the title Boruto: Naruto Next Generations in May 2016, the manga started out with Kodachi as writer and Kishimoto as editorial supervisor, but Kodachi stepped down in 2020, prompting Kishimoto to take over from issue 14 onwards. In April 2023, Kishimoto finished the first part of Boruto‘s story. In August 2023, the second part — titled Boruto: Two Blue Vortex — is set to begin publication. Boruto is the spin-off and a sequel to Kishimoto’s Naruto, which follows the exploits of Naruto Uzumaki’s son, Boruto Uzumaki, and his ninja team, comprising Boruto, Mitsuki, and Sarada Uchiha.

best shonen jump manga series big 3

Image via Tatsuki Fujimoto

Chainsaw Man

Derived from the manga series written and illustrated by Tatsuki Fujimoto, the Chainsaw Man manga has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since December 2018. The story follows Denji, a young man who fuses his body with that of a devil-dog named Pochita, granting him the ability to transform his body parts into chainsaws. With his newfound powers, Denji joins the Public Safety Devil Hunters, an agency founded to battle devils whenever they pose a threat to Japan. The second arc brings Asa Mitaka into the mix, a young woman who makes a contract with Yoru, the War Devil, to hunt down Chainsaw Man.

Image via Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

The Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga was created by mangaka Koyoharu Gotouge and appeared in Weekly Shōnen Jump from February 2016 to May 2020. Currently, the anime adaptation is ongoing. After his family is brutally slaughtered by a demon, teenager Tanjiro Kamado sets out to become a member of the Demon Slayer Corps and hunt down the King of the Demons, Muzan. The stakes are raised when his sister Nezuko is turned into a demon, forcing Tanjiro to hunt down extremely powerful demons in Muzan’s Upper Rank to create a serum to reverse the transformation.

Image via Gege Akutami

Image via Hirohiko Araki

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

One of the older manga series, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1987 to 2004 and the monthly seinen manga magazine Ultra Jump from 2005 onwards. So far, the manga is divided into nine story arcs in total, each following a different protagonist in the Joestar family. The first six parts focus on characters and situations tied to Jonathan Joestar and Dio Brando, whereas later chapters take place in an alternate universe where the Joestar family tree is altered.

Jujutsu Kaisen

Also entering the Shonen Jump manga scene in 2018, Jujutsu Kaisen was conceived by Gege Akutami. The plot follows high school student Yuji Itadori as he joins a secret organization of Jujutsu Sorcerers to eliminate a powerful entity named Ryomen Sukuna, but things get complicated when Yuji becomes the host. For context, all living beings emanate energy called Cursed Energy, originating from negative emotions that humans can’t always control, resulting in energy being lost and transforming into Curses, spiritual beings who dsire to bring harm to humanity. Jujutsu Kaisen acts as the sequel to Akutami’s Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School, which was later rebranded as Jujutsu Kaisen 0.

best shonen jump manga big 3

Image via Kōhei Horikoshi

My Hero Academia

Kōhei Horikoshi’s My Hero Academia manga has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since July 2014. The story focuses on Izuku Midoriya, known by his superhero name Deku, who lives as an outcast in a world where Quirks (superpowers) are the norm. One day, Deku is scouted by All Might, the most renowned of all heroes, who bestow upon him a Quirk of his own and enrolls him in a prestigious school for trainee superheroes. Horikoshi’s manga inspired numerous spin-offs, such as My Hero Academia: Smash!!My Hero Academia: Vigilantes, and My Hero Academia: Team-Up Missions.

You can read Shonen Jump manga series from Viz Media outside Japan.


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