What has grown to be one of my favourite interests is following the developments of the Weekly Shonen Jump table of content from week to week. There is a general consensus that the ranking in the Jump TOC indicates how the series have performed in relation to each other. The series that is placed as the first is the most popular series, and this also means that the series in the back of the magazine are less popular and thought of as being in danger of cancellation.
The ranking isn’t based on last week’s chapters though. It is assumed that there is a seven or eight week delay in the ranking, so the TOC from the Shonen Jump issue for this week is based on how the Japanese readers thought of the chapters of the series from eight weeks ago.
This week there was an early TOC preview of the bottom series, released even before the unveiling of the full TOC. There was some surprises in it and a debate of whether or not the bottom preview was fake. It looked like this:
- Hime Dol!
- Jaco the Galactic Patrolman
- Soul Catcher(s) (END)
What makes this preview seem fake is because of a couple of things. First, Hime Dol’s placement in the bottom five before it is even ranked for real (the series started less than eight weeks ago) would have to indicate that it is performing extremely poorly. Generally the newer series won’t be placed so low in the TOC unless they are very sure that there is a huge lack of interest in the series.
Second, being third from the bottom is an unusually low place for Nisekoi. The series has been placed in the (upper) middle for a while, so a jump down the latter like this seems unlikely.
The third and biggest curiosity of the preview is that is says Soul Catcher(s) would end this week. Both Smokey B.B. and Mutou Black have ended from that batch of series, so if Soul Catcher(s) were ending as well, all three series would have been cancelled. Furthermore, Mutou Black and Smokey B.B. were cancelled in time for their chapters to be released in two tankobon each. If Soul Catcher(s) was ending this week, as the first series of the batch it would have a couple of chapters too many. All chapters will naturally be released in tankobon form, so it would only be logical for it to continue until there would be chapters enough for a third volume.
Weekly Shonen Jump #42 2013 TOC rankings
Alas, the early preview was ultimately deemed fake when the full TOC was posted. The full TOC of Jump #42 looks like this (posted by user Heiji on Mangahelpers forum):
- Hachi (new series, lead color)
- Shokugeki no Soma
- One Piece
- Assassination Classroom (color)
- Kuroko no Basket
- Saiki Kusuo no Sainan
- World Trigger
- Gintama (color)
- Hime Dol
- Jaco the Galactic Patrolman
- Soul Catcher(s)
I’ve highlighted the bottom five (actually six) of the real TOC for issue 42. The series with color pages don’t follow the normal ranking system.
Hime Dol isn’t fifth from last but sixth, which is just as bad so that’s shocking. This does not bode well for the survival of the series. Too bad — the scanlated chapters were good. I will buy the tankobon nonetheless.
Nisekoi is placed fourth from last, a bad rank but apparently caused by an unpopular chapter eight weeks ago.
Soul Catcher(s) is not last but almost. The series didn’t end this week as indicated in the fake preview, which I suppose is a good thing, but the future is looking bleak for the series. I suppose Soul Catcher(s) is the title in the most danger of being cancelled at the moment, but the cancellation will come at a later date to correspond with having enough tankobon content. I don’t know if it will have three or four. Jaco is ending next week anyway, so that will potentially save a series from cancellation.
Recently, Smokey B.B., Mutou Black, Koisuru Edison and Cross Manage have ended their run in the magazine. Presumably they were all cancelled because of lack of performance (interest from the readers).
This week marks the beginning of a new series called Hachi. Next week, in Shonen Jump #43, the new series Koi no Cupid will begin.