De-Evolution Continues It’s Downward Spiral


Not Hikaru no Go! Please! Don’t take my Hikaru no Go!!! What in the heck is going on at Viz and Shonen Jump? Why do they keep doing this de-evolution? I can’t say enough how much I despise Bobobobo-Bobo, and how bad of an idea it was to put Bleach into it, but now, they’re taking my Hikaru no Go? Yeah, fine, great, I’m glad people will be getting their Slam Dunk dose every month, but quite honestly, I was NOT impressed with the preview. I don’t care that it’s one of the most popular manga in Asia, ever. Hikaru no Go is one the most popular manga with ME, and I don’t want to see it tossed out from the magazine! And don’t try to spin it like “Now it’ll come out more often.” to me. I was getting 1-2 chapters every month, and that was just fine with me. I don’t need to buy another volume every couple of months. I get Shonen Jump so I can read those series’ without the added cost or space taken up! I mean, of all the manga they’ve got in there, why Hikaru? Why not that abomination that is Bobobobo-Bobobo? If you want to give a series title “Worse Manga of the Year”, it’s got to be that one!

Viz, if you want to put Slam Dunk in as a serialization, great, fine, good. I’m thrilled, cause I wasn’t going to read it otherwise. But don’t take out one of the strongest titles for it! It’s bad enough we’re going to be stuck with a Yu-Gi-Oh title forever, at least leave us with something that doesn’t need constant power-ups and stimulates our minds, not our adrenaline glands.

Once again, the girls are showing they’re smarter than the boys. Shojo Beat has a fantastic line up (though I’m not thrilled about the premise on Absolute Boyfriend’s replacement, I’ll hold judgment until I’ve read a few chapters). Shonen Jump keeps throwing out their top players, and keeping the half-baked rookies. Are these guys trying to top the LA Clippers?

Well, that just ruined the rest of my night….

7 thoughts on “De-Evolution Continues It’s Downward Spiral”

  1. I’ve been waiting to see what you had to say about this turn of events since I noted that Hikaru no Go was going and couldn’t get the wrapper off the magazine fast enough to see what they were replacing it with, exactly for the same reasons ~ I was shuddering at the thought t that they were going to replace it with something else utterly ugly and completely stupid.

    I for one am grateful that they chose Slam Dunk over a lot of other potential series, but then I have reasons such as encouraging my young son to read (and since this is a hoop happy family this might be the ticket). The story is not nearly as grating as it seems, and in a way it’s good way to get away from all the *gaming* oriented stories they flog. There should be a market for it considerining the popularity of the NBA etc….

    Having said that ~ I was not surprised that Hikaru no Go was given the boot. The reasons are simple …it’s over the heads of the target audience. Sadly Shonen Jump is a vehicle for selling manga franchises to boys ~ and kids in our society just don’t get a manga that is about the adventures of a boy essentially playing an asian version of chess.

    I could say ~ it’s because our kids are too obsessed with pc or trading card games, but this series sprang form the same source as those ones so that is not it. I suspect it’s just a cultural thing…and this series for the most part goes over the heads of the average 12 year old N.A. boy.

    I do wish that Viz would consider putting together an anthology directed at young adults ~ featuring series that are more involved and intelligent to sell seinen and Josei stories. This generation is growing up and it would be a blast to have an vehicle pumping adult series…even those they tend drop when the stories get controversial (Nana). More mysteries, samurai battles and intrigue….even romance.


  2. Well, I can’t complain. To me, it’s actually good news.

    Although I once used to buy the magazine religiously, I stopped reading Shonen Jump ages ago, worn out and disgusted by all that Yu-Gi-Oh they kept trying to shove down my throat. But I love Hikaru No Go, so I am happy that I will be able to buy the volumes more often.

    Frankly, I’d be thrilled if they dropped One Piece too. I heard that they reduced the number of chapters a while back, so now the books take even longer to come out.

    As for the reason they took it out, I agree with Pira. It’s just over the heads of most of the magazine target’s audience –which is a little sad. It is also, I think, a lot less marketable than their other series.

  3. I may not have gotten it across in my late night rant, but this wasn’t meant to be anything against Slam Dunk. It is a good choice to put into the mag, and I wonder why it took so long to announce it. I just wanted to get across that taking Hikaru no Go out was the mistake.

    Marina: The page counts went down in SJ for a while to make way for the Naruto tidal wave. With that done and gone, everything should have gone back to normal. I don’t see One Piece leaving anytime soon, as Funimation has the license to not only the uncut anime, but to merchadising. Viz will be taking advantage of that in the mag, you can be sure.

    I don’t buy the “Hikaru no Go was over the heads of it’s target audience” argument. Isn’t that underestimating SJ’s audience? Just because it’s targeted to boys, that doesn’t mean that’s it actual audience. Plenty of girls and older teen/adults read it. I haven’t read one review that has had a bad thing to say about HnG. There are other forces at work against it.

    Pira: It think it would be totally awesome to have a third anthology that covers a older, more mature audience. But I don’t think we’re going to see anything like that anytime soon. Viz is too conservative to make that leap. It would all depend on the sales the mature titles were getting, and that’s something we’ll never know.

  4. Slam Dunk’s problem is that the early chapters aren’t great. They’re entertaining enough and in some respects it did change how a very, very conservative manga genre was done. But it really comes into it’s own when the art begins to evolve and basically got to what you see in Vagabond. It is arguably the prettiest sports manga ever released.

  5. That’s definitely how I felt about the preview chapter in the Dec. Shonen Jump. I’ll still read it, even though sports don’t really do it for me. And if it does get better, then it’s a bonus for me. But I’ll still miss my HnG. I couldn’t believe how much tension built up in me sometimes, especially through the Pro finals.

  6. *^__^*

    I didn’t figure it was a *grrr* Slam Dunk rant, but more of a *NO NOT HnG!*…I was just piping up that the replacement could have been a lot worse.

    I have been waiting for them to drop Hikaru no Go for a long time ~ not because I wanted it to go (heck it was my top choice in every poll just because I figured every voice counted)…because it was too good to stay for long.

    I started purchasing the manga as soon as it became available, because I assumed they would pull a Cain Saga/God Child on me again (and that horrible little trick with Backstage or 2 chapters from the end, and they drop it from the SB and tell you to buy the manga to find out what happens?!!) I. DON’T. TRUST. VIZ.

    I think you and Marina are correct in alluding to the francising and the fact that spin off merchandise from this series does not have the sales potential that other series do….and in the end it’s making money that counts for these guys. They are there to amuse us only as long as they make a profit in the process and if other series will draw bigger numbers then that’s the avenue they will take.

    I am a 43 year old woman ~ and I’m hardly Viz’s target audience. (heck my 64 year old mother can hardly wait to get her mitts on half my manga collection and she is REALLY outside their target audience)

    Mind you ~ I’ve been ranting for decades that N.A publishers have traditionally neglected half the buying public because of the same mindset that people have ~ only children and teenage boys read comics.

    The number of times people have come up to me in public, as I read manga while I wait on a child at some sports lesson…and ask me if I am reviewing it for a some other publication is mind boggling! It never occurs to them that I would read it just because I like it. *face palm*

    That of course is an entirely different discussion, but the point is ~ the offical target audience for SJ is kids, in particular boys. There is a growing female fanbase ~ Naturo is a biggie for the girls and which explains why they signed up Bleach….but their bread and butter is boys.

    While I have introduced Hikaru no Go to many adults, they are not readers of SJ and would prefer to buy the manga releases rather than wade thorugh the series piecemeal (like us die hards do). Anthologies exist to cultivate an audience and Viz doubtless decided that with 11 volumes on the shelves it had reached as much of an audience it was going to in SJ and it was time to yank the series and start pimping another license while continuing to just put out the manga for HnG.

    Just because something is good doesn’t mean it turns a profit. We all know that lesson from >(

    I think you are right about VIZ. I am hopeful that other publishers will consider it….just imagining a Dark Horse manga Anthology makes me quiver! I don’t expect it will happen though ~ but it would be nice to have something like Zero Sum available in English. For the time being though…as we wait for this particular generation weaned on manga to mature into adults, we will haveto make due with publishers cherry-picking series.

  7. Wow Pica, that’s a blog post in itself! 🙂

    I totally get the age thing. I read my manga at work. But I’ve been doing it for so long now, that no one asks.

    I don’t think the deal with SJ is just boys. It’s about tie-ins and merchandise, pure and simple. And what anime is shown on TV? Shonen. So it’s really just natural. At least they are (mostly) smart about they put in. I liked HnG being there simply because it wasn’t a battle manga of any kind. It was all cerebral, and boys ought try and think every once in a while. It certainly wouldn’t kill them.

    Here’s what I’d really like to see Viz do. I’d like to see them do an anthology that samples a little of everything. I’d like to see a lot of the titles they pick for their “Viz Media” lines in a magazine. Something that stretches from older teen to mature. Something adults can read without skipping over the articles that mean nothing to us (ie most of them). If that is what Zero Sum is like, then I agree.

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