In the last month, over the course of a week, Shueisha’s Shonen Jump canceled two manga titles. While the cancelation of titles is nothing new for the notoriously fussy magazine, what is surprising is the canceled titles’ longevity, with both having surpassed the magazine’s notorious one-year “make or break” tradition.
The culling began with a February 19, 2023, post to the official Shonen Jump Twitter account stating that High School Family: Kokosei Kazoku, an SJ staple since Summer 2020 will end immediately with Chapter 122, which incidentally, was the chapter that had just been published the day before. The repudiation continued a few days later with a February 26, 2023, post to the Shonen Jump Twitter account stating another long-term seemingly popular series, PPPPPP, would also be ending with its Chapter 70, which was published just a few hours before the tweet was posted
Shonen Jump Cancels High School Family & PPPPPP
While it’s no secret how competitive the manga business is, and that few titles are “too big to fail”, the fact that both series were canceled despite running for years is surprising, especially considering their sudden shutdowns that came without warning or signs that they were in at risk of being canceled.
Shonen Jump has always been clear about how it judges the worth of a title. If it’s not a blockbuster hit with legions of fans, then the chances are it won’t survive. In 2022 blog post, Yuta Momiyama, the Shueisha editor responsible for overseeing Shonen Jump‘s online activities, explains their extensive use of surveys, polls, and reader feedback to determine how well a title is being received by the public. However, with High School Family having over 100 chapters and PPPPPP having 70 chapters, it would seem that the “numbers” were on their side.
These Cancelations Suggest Shonen Jump Has Replacements
With its metric-driven focus, the most likely reason for the cancelation of the titles is that Shonen Jump has already found their replacements. Since the announced, and perceived endings, of popular titles like Jujutsu Kaisen, One Piece, and My Hero Academia; Shonen Jump has debuted at least 10 new titles, with the latest new title debuting in January 2023. More than a few fans believe that they are doing this to find “the next big thing” that will soften the blow of losing some of its top earning titles. They also likely found a few titles that have enough buzz to replace ones, such High School Family and PPPPPP, Shonen Jump does not believe has a future.
There are a few of the new crop that seem quite promising. For instance, Masaoki Shindo’s RuriDragon has been massively popular despite having published only six chapters and being on indefinite hiatus since August 2022. According to Shonen Jump‘s own MangaPlus website, new titles The Inchinose Family’s Deadly Secrets, Fabricant 100, and Jianshi X are doing well, and much better than either of the canceled titles. Perhaps, from Shonen Jump‘s perspective, these are the types of numbers that make cutting more established but not shockingly popular titles much easier.
More: How One New Shonen Jump Manga Evolved Past Early Cancelation
Source: Shonen Jump (1), (2); Jump Digital Lab