The Final Chapter: Viz Media’s Shonen Jump to end March 2012.

In recent days, Viz Media announced at the New York Comic Con that publication of Shonen Jump magazine will end in March of next year with a “farewell April 2012 issue”. It’s end will mark the unveiling of a new online magazine called Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha.

At least three of the titles from Shonen Jump’s most recent issue, Bleach, Naruto, and One Piece will be carried over into this new publication. Shonen Jump has been publishing several online titles since 2010, but so far they have been supplements only available to current magazine subscribers.

The publication has been in print since Viz first launched the American version of Shuesha’s Weekly Shonen Jump in November 2002, following the release of “Issue 0” in July of the same year. Manga titles from it’s nearly decade-long run have included Dragonball Z, Yu-Gi-Oh!, One Piece, Bleach, Yu Yu Hakusho, Shaman King, and arguably its most popular title, Naruto.

Truly, these are sad days for American manga/anime fans. While various individual mangas are still in print (or reprint in some cases) in the U.S., Shonen Jump was one of the only regular manga publications in the U.S., introducing a fresh American audience new stories, new characters, and a new style of writing and illustrating. Introduced at the start of American interest in anime, it rode on a wave of newfound popularity, and kept building with every new title brought over. And for a time, sales of Shonen Jump and other manga titles outpaced American comic book giants. But as overall popularity waned, other similar publications fell short and came to an end. And now Shonen Jump, the publication that started a cultural revolution, has become another victim of changing times.

Hopefully, the publication will find new life in this new online format. Best of wishes to Viz Media on their new endeavor. Ganbatte!

-M.C., the Quantum Twin

Voltron Force: The new Nicktoon series rebooting an old favorite for those who just can’t let go of the 80’s.

Images from new Voltron Force animated series that will air on Nicktoons

I know I’m tardy to the party on this, but Nicktoons showed an ad today about the reboot of the popular 80’s series based on the anime Go-Lion. Nothing really pertaining to the show, but the series will be premiering sometime in June.

For those of you unaware (I didn’t actually know until today myself) VIZ Media recently announced a reboot of Voltron, and apparently the show was picked up by Nick. All part of a recent trend to modernize and reboot popular kid’s television series like TMNT, He-Man, Thundercats, and even Scooby-Doo and Looney Tunes.

Personally, I could care less whether or not they remake this. However, I would like to reiterate that Power Rangers IS NOT a ripoff of Voltron. The series Voltron is based off of the anime Go-Lion, which came over five years after the original Super Sentai series, Himistu Sentai Goranger. And by that point, transforming, combining giant robots had already been integrated into the series. So to everyone out there that still thinks that Power Rangers is a gaint ripoff, if you don’t believe me, GOOGLE IT!

Anyway, good luck to VIZ Media and Nicktoons, and unlike my feelings towards Supah Ninjas (why is this still a thing?) I have no animosity or concern that it might overshadow Power Rangers Samurai while the series is trying to recover, although they’ve been doing pretty well for the time being. Just wish someone other than Toys’R’Us would carry toys for it, for their sake more than mine.