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Shonen Jump Vol. 7 #2
posted January 19, 2009

imageCreators: Various
Publishing Information: Viz, softcover periodical, 400 pages, February 2009, $4.99
Ordering Numbers:

I have a different relationship to Shonen Jump than I do to any other comic book I read. It's one of the few I buy for myself and the only one in the last 25 years to which I've had a paid subscription. I like best of all buying it at the grocery store, perhaps because it's the only comics magazine in this county I can buy off the stands, perhaps out of nostalgia for simpler times. It's also the only comic where I frequently don't read all of it, checking out one or two serials and flipping through the remainder. It's almost like I buy the idea of a giant, serial-driven magazine more than I have use for most of the comics sitting within its covers. They're boys adventures comics, after all, so it's not like it's a natural fit for me. Not really. Not anymore.

I have my favorites. I enjoy Naruto when I get a chance to read it. I can't always follow the soap opera portions -- this issue's installment was heavy on the nostalgia-for-past-adventures-and-lost-innocence Drama -- but the way Masashi Kishimoto depicts action and the employment of power is always first rate. If there were something equivalently creative in grim-faced superhero comics, I'd be reading it every month, too. I miss Hikaru no Go. Slam Dunk is a bore serialized, as its incremental nature is nearly impossible to take if you're from Indiana like I am and had to shoot nine out of ten free throws just to get out of the third grade. Yu Yu Hakusho is a favorite because it reads like the exact sort of vicious, crudely-communicated story that somebody in my high school study hall might have made between drawing liquor bottles and fashioning a DIO poster the inside of their locker. That's about it for me right now: I used to read One Piece, but one day I woke up aggravated by it and have been ever since. SD is apparently gone with this issue. I believe the magazine is making a content shift in order to process a new Naruto publishing rush, a sequel to last year's Naruto Nation promotion I sense in some circles is about as welcome as The Odd Couple II or The Executioners. It's not just the content of comics like this I sometimes fail to understand. I will, however, likely still buy about eight out of every ten issues. Did I mention I can buy it at the grocery store?