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Best Shonen Jump Manga That Started In 2023

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Edward Elric, Marin Kitagawa, Maka Albarn, Death the Kid

Highlights

  • Shonen Jump’s app and subscription service provides affordable access to a wide range of popular and new manga titles.
  • Several new manga series debuted in
    Weekly Shonen Jump
    in 2023 and are available on the English/Worldwide Shonen Jump app.
  • The recently debuted manga series feature diverse genres, including action, fantasy, romance, sports, historical, and supernatural themes.

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Shonen lovers have unlocked a new level of access to their favorite titles since Shonen Jump launched its app and subscription service. Every chapter of Chainsaw Man, Jujutsu Kaisen, One Piece, and other staples is available for a mere $2.99 a month. The service isn’t limited to big titles either, as new titles debut on the app as they come out in Japan.

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Out of the currently running series in Weekly Shonen Jump, several debuted in the magazine in 2023. Every title is available on the English/Worldwide Shonen Jump app, with some already reaching more than 30 chapters. Some titles have well-known illustrators or writers, while some are from completely new mangaka.

Updated February 28, 2024 by Rie Takumi: Only 6 out of the 11 brand new titles serialized on Shonen Jump in 2023 are still in rotation. DR. STONE 4D SCIENCE was a limited edition run, and so only had a few issues in the chamber. Fabricant 100 technically came out in November 2022. Other titles were cut due to low readership, poor writing or art, or simply were not given time to grow into their story.

This is the norm among Shonen Jump and similar publications, as space on their pages is highly competitive. Even as the medium shifts to digital, staying on Shonen Jump long enough to tell a complete story is a challenge for most mangaka. Readers also feel the pressure, as sales and views on the Shonen Jump app can spell the difference between a long-running series and an abrupt ending.

1 Do Retry

World War 2 Orphan Boxes To Protect His Sister

Do Retry Shonen Jump front cover

Japanese Name

  • ドリトライ
  • Do Ritorai

Release Date

May 8, 2023

Genre

Chapters

19

Do Retry’s immediate selling point is its time period. Works set in post-World War 2 Japan tend to be heavy, and this fledgling manga is no exception. In fact, the manga starts with an air raid and escalates to examining how grueling the main character Aoozora’s journey will be in the first few chapters.

As mature as the setting is, the manga’s action, dialogue, premise, and character journey are firmly suited to Weekly Shonen Jump’s stated demographic of young kids. Aoozora has an almost comedic level of pain tolerance that sees him getting up from gang beatings and car crashes. His indefatigable body and spirit see him through the world of underground boxing for the sake of his tuberculosis-afflicted sister.

Do Retry started promisingly, but then came Martial Master Asumi. Jokes aside, Do Retry never managed to take off the right way. Its attempt to couple a post-World War 2 narrative with boxing ended awkwardly, with melodramatic villains and a flat protagonist undermining any sort of poignancy.

The anatomy and art also never improved, even to its last chapter. At the end of the day, Do Retry ends up as a must-read only to learn what not to do with an ambitious premise.

2 Martial Master Asumi

Cowardly Martial Arts Prodigy Starts MMA

Martial Master Asumi cover art with asumi and major recurring characters

Japanese Name

  • アスミカケル
  • Asumi Kakeru

Release Date

June 19, 2023

Genre

Chapters

32

Martial Master Asumi is more grounded in reality than its big brothers, Baki and Kengan Ashura. Its characters are introduced to mixed martial arts naturally, even with a character having preternatural fighting abilities beforehand. Grappling and action choreography are also given the proper space and pacing appropriate to their real-life counterparts.

Kawada’s shift to MMA from sumo is marked by three main characters who have distinct outlooks on fighting and strength. Nito has natural fighting gifts but absolutely hates violence, Okiba doesn’t have the skills to uphold her strong virtues, and Yuya has no formal training at all. Asumi’s growth is gradual, grounded, and makes it easy to root for his success.

But despite accomplishing what Do Retry couldn’t, MMA still got axed at 32 chapters. MMA had a fun and interesting protagonist, the sport was the main focus, the art wasn’t half bad, and it was actually featured on the Weekly Shonen Jump Stage at Jump Festa 2024.

MMA also had layers to it, as seen with Nao and Asumi’s grandfather’s dementia. But, as is the case with a lot of cancelations, sticking to its guns with its grounded approach to combat likely worked against its favor. Early axing aside, MMA enthusiasts will still find a lot to enjoy in this limited run.

3 Ice-Head Gill

Supernatural Adventure In A Scandinavian Setting

Ice Head Gill full page color illustration announcement

Japanese Name

  • アイスヘッドギル
  • Aisu Heddo Giru

Release Date

June 26, 2023

Genre

Chapters

20

Ice-Head Gill is Ikuo Hachiya’s first full manga series after his one-shot Seiryuu no Magoi. Hachiya shifted from regular Japan to ambiguous Europe for his magazine debut. The titular hero is Gill Sol, a precocious boy from the Kingdom of Ashen Ice who yearns to restore his father’s legacy after his mysterious change of heart.

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Right off the bat, Gill is eye-catching because of its Scandinavian setting and precocious, matter-of-fact child protagonist. Sword-and-sorcery elements mix with Norse mythology freely, with some neat historical details worked in. So far, the manga progresses at an episodic pace as Gill uncovers the root cause of his father’s disappearance and the evil forces slowly taking over his world.

Canceled rather early, Ice-Head Gill had potential as an action series set in the world of Scandinavian mythos. If God of War: Ragnarok proved anything, it’s that Scandinavian myths and legends are cool enough to sink hundreds of hours into.

In 20 chapters, Ice-Head Gill managed to present multiple plot points at a breakneck speed. This is partly due to the mangaka likely knowing that they had limited time. A few of these incidents would have likely pulled Gill out from under the axe, but they didn’t come fast enough.

4 Tenmaku Cinema

Food Wars! Author’s Take On Filmmaking

Tenmaku Cinema Hinaki Hajime Tenmaku on Viz splash art

Japanese Name

  • テンマクキネマ
  • Tenmaku Kinema

Release Date

April 10, 2023

Genre

  • Drama
  • Shonen
  • Supernatural

Chapters

21

The creative pair behind Food Wars is back with Tenmaku Cinema. Junior high school cinephile Shinichi Hajime is possessed by the ghost of prodigal teen screenwriter Tenmaku Takehiko. Chosen for his true love of movies, Shinichi is given an ultimatum: Help Tenmaku produce his unwritten work, or get stuck with his ghost pal forever.

As expected of the creative pair, the art, pacing, and humor keep a lively beat throughout the manga while easing readers into Shinichi’s world. Cinema lovers will be delighted by the peeks into filmmaking, from scriptwriting, to producing, to acting. Shinichi, Tenmaku, and Hinaki’s love for cinema, along with the growth of the cinema club, should have made it a must-read early on.

Yet Tenmaku Cinema was cut short before it could truly get into the swing of things. A few factors can explain its early cancelation, despite it being a perfectly good hobby series. In fact, its standing as a hobby series is likely the main reason for its cancelation. Shonen Jump is, after all, a magazine focused on hero conflicts. Even Akane-banashi, Bakuman, and Hikaru No Go had or have more conflict than Tenmaku Cinema. The series’ focus on the intricacies of filmmaking instead of Tenmaku’s death simply wasn’t to the taste or demographic of Shonen Jump.

Nevertheless, it managed a successful arc that made it feel more like a miniseries than a botched ending. It’s a must-read for fans craving a technical, film-focused manga that even famous cinephile Hideo Kojima would read.

5 Green Green Greens

Golf Is The Most Exciting Thing About This Teen’s Life

Green Green Greens high school golf shonen jump manga released in 2023

Japanese Name

グリーングリーングリーンズ

Release Date

November 27, 2023

Genre

Sports

Chapters

12 (As of February 28, 2024)

Haku Yaesaki is bored. He’s got nothing going on. Instead, he fills days being in awe of his classmates’ accomplishments, and telling his younger siblings about them.

Then, a chance encounter with Nadeshiko Oga makes him realize he has nothing to offer to the world. It also introduces him to golf, a sport he had no idea about outside of how much Tiger Woods’ golf clubs cost. Under Oga’s begrudging tutelage, Haku puts effort into something for the first time in his life, and goes for the greens.

Green Green Greens may turn off some fans, as it starts with a colored page of Haku in the Masters. Given that mangaka Kento Terasaka’s previous work Beast Children was canceled early, foreshadowing can’t be helped.

The first page aside, Terasaka learned from Beast Children. Motion is better conveyed in the art, which has significantly improved since his last serialization. The character work is also better, as there is a stronger sense of Haku and Oga’s personalities and conflicts by the end of Chapter 1.

6 MamaYuyu

Hero Son Of Demon Queen Learns What Heroism Is

MamaYuyu new shonen jump manga mother and son hero demon lord reverse isekai

Japanese Name

Release Date

September 11, 2023

Genre

Chapters

23 (As of February 28, 2024)

Corleo is at a crossroads. He’s 18 and directionless, but not of his own accord. Years ago, he was blessed with the mark of the Hero, which traditionally pits him against the Demon Lord. However, the Demon Lord is his adoptive mother Mamama, who wants nothing to do with destined roles.

MamaYuyu is a unique reverse isekai manga wherein a hero from another world kickstarts their journey. Corleo and Mamama are forced to reckon with their roles, their familial relationship, and otherworldly enemies threaten their peace.

MamaYuyu’s opening colored pages immediately engage the reader with an interesting set-up. The street-view level of Corleo and Mamama’s surroundings is also a neat snapshot of the status quo. Moreover, by the end of the first 55 pages, the manga firmly establishes what it’s about with a good hook.

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The manga’s paneling and art calls back to 2000s shonen, which makes it feel episodic. MamaYuyu seems like a potential sleeper hit if it manages to get its pacing, vision, and growing harem problem under control.

7 Two On Ice

Self-Taught Ice Skater Teams With Ex-Figure Skating Prodigy

Two On Ice romantic figure skating series

Japanese Name

  • ツーオンアイス
  • Tsū on Aisu

Release Date

September 25, 2023

Genre

Chapters

21 (As of February 28, 2024)

Yuri on Ice fans who want the next big romantic sports series can look forward to Two On Ice. In this new Shonen Jump title, Hokkaido boy Hayuma falls in love with figure skating after watching a prodigy skate. He spends the next five years teaching himself how to skate like her, even after she disappears from the scene.

Unexpectedly, Hayuma meets Kisara at a rink in Tokyo, where she remains as skillful as ever. To their mutual surprise, they end up agreeing to skate as a pair, but with Kisara’s past and Hayuma’s unsharpened skills, they have a long road ahead of them.

Art is something Two on Ice immediately improves on after the first few chapters. It’s encouraging, as highly technical ice skating moves require good direction and paneling. Mangaka Elck Itsumo ensures that readers can clearly follow dances, lifts, and spins, even if the rest of the panels aren’t as refined.

Hayuma and Kisara’s development as partners and as teens also feels natural. The former’s idolization of Kisara eventually turns into grounded respect, which translates into better synergy on ice. Kisara also begins to respect Hayuma as he grows into a real partner who backs up his enthusiasm with hard work.

8 Nue’s Exorcist

Teen Boy Gets Power & Guidance From Ancient Female Spirit

Nue's Exorcist Viz Media cover with Shonen Jump watermark

Japanese Name

  • 鵺の陰陽師
  • Nue no Onmyōji

Release Date

May 15, 2023

Genre

Chapters

39 (As of February 28, 2024)

Nue’s Exorcist is the best in the sense that it’s possibly this year’s Weekly Shonen Jump example of a manga that needs more time in the oven. The series has some fan art and even a few manga artists following it, but Nue is taking its time to find its voice, pacing, and character direction.

Curious manga fans should note that it has 13 chapters and counting. In these 13 chapters, they’ll witness Yajima growing out of his trauma to become the strong man his father was before his death. Nue, the titular spirit, kickstarts his quest with a power boost, and the series’ trend of apparently popular female character designs.

Surprisingly enough, Nue’s Exorcist is still on Shonen Jump. From a cynical perspective, its staying power is likely due to the harem fantasy it’s steadily leaning on. A few Shonen Jump readers have also compared it to a lackluster Bleach clone due to its handling of spirits and powers.

On the other hand, it’s a send-up to 2000s-to-2010s battle harem light novels. Strike the Blood, Date a Live, and Chivalry of a Failed Knight come to mind when measuring its harem to battle ratio. Readers on a nostalgia trip could do worse than reading Nue’s Exorcist.

9 Kagurabachi

Revenge Fantasy Swordsmith Against Underground Sorcerers

Kagurabachi gritty gory shonen jump modern samurai blacksmith yakuza revenge fantasy

Japanese Name

  • カグラバチ
  • Kagurabachi

Release Date

September 19, 2023

Genre

Chapters

22 (As of February 28, 2024)

Chihiro Rokuhira spent his days training to become a blacksmith under his dad, Kunishige. Although his dad is a handful, Chihiro takes his words seriously and commits to taking on the burden of creating katana. Unfortunately for them, life has other plans.

Years after Kunishige’s tragic death, Chihiro is hunting down the Hishaku. To avenge his father and retrieve the six katana stolen from them, Chihiro must take down these underground sorcerers. His quest for vengeance takes him on an edgy, gory journey through Japan.

Kagurabachi has been memed to high heaven due to its (sometimes painfully) edgelord handling of violence and themes. Thankfully, its action scenes are just the right amount of over-the-top and kitsch to be interesting. They’re also paneled well enough to guide readers through the action.

Plot is something Kagurabachi needs to work on. More accurately, it could do more to develop the world around its plot of high personal stakes and consequences. At the moment, its popularity is enough to hopefully give it enough time for world building and to create a substantial plot.

10 Kill Blue

Re-Life Meets Sakamoto Days In A High School Comedy

Kill Blue cover announcement Juzo Eri and Kotatsu

Japanese Name

キルアオ, Kiru Aoi

Release Date

April 17, 2023

Genre

Chapters

42 (As of February 28, 2024)

Kuroku no Basket creator Tadatoshi Fujimaki enters the current trend of hitman/assassin manga with Kill Blue. Action fans may think about a cross between Sakamoto Days and Detective Conan or ReLive to get a baseline of what to expect from this series.

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Hitman Ogami never had a normal childhood, so when he regresses in age, he actually takes to middle school learning enthusiastically. Naturally, his new lease on life comes with caveats: he needs to attend middle school to keep his job with his assassin organization and find a way get back to his near 40s.

Jokes about Kill Blue and Sakamoto Days aside, the only real thing the two series have in common are assassins. Kill Blue hits a younger demographic than Sakamoto Days and initially focused on its high school setting more than killing.

Recent chapters steered Kill Blue back to its roots to great effect. The shift gave meaning to Juzo’s conflict with being a near 40-year-old with a wife and kid reverting to childhood. Its sudden plot adjustment will also likely save it from the ax.

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