Fanart Friday returns, with exactly 230 yen in its pocket--that's for this week's Weekly Jump. Last week, we celebrated a year of Fanart Friday with a giant-sized anniversary edition, but this week we're going through fanart of shounen series, new and old. Since there are many genres that can be considered "shounen" (like super robot titles), I went with a simple stipulation for this week's fanart: they have to have originally run in a shounen magazine, like Jump, Sunday, or, well... Magazine. In fact, just about all the art from this week's installment comes from series that ran in those three magazines--you'd be surprised at how many favorites you'll see!
Now, a warning: last week was special, and I normally don't run 50-pic installments of Fanart Friday. I only normally have enough space to run half that, so I can guarantee that some of you will not see your favorite titles in here, but it's not the end of the world! Now, let's get this party started!
DISCLAIMER: None of the art presented is the property of myself or Crunchyroll. All characters and series are tm and © their respective creators and corporate owners. All art is the creative property of their respective artists. Any artists who wish to have their work removed from this article may contact me, and appropriate action will be immediately taken.
Let's start with a mind-blowing revelation: Fairy Tail isn't about Natsu. Believe it or not, Lucy is actually the main character! Yeah, Natsu shows up a lot and gets into most of the main fights, but have you noticed that most of the development actually surrounds Lucy?
Wait, I thought Bossun was really good at drawing? Whether he sucks or not, Sket Dance is a nice, lighthearted alternative to all the fierce fighting in Jump!
As much as I love Detective Conan, I've all but given up hope on the series coming back to the US. While its writing and storytelling are great, and appeal to a wide variety of audiences, a part of me thinks that the art style might have been too "kiddy" for US audiences. Which is hilarious, because the series is filled with creatively brutal murder.
While cruising around for announcements of new titles, I always hope for the impossible--that superpowered delinquent warfare manga Kongou Banchou (literally Diamond Delinquent) will get adapted into an anime. Any series where the team must take on a giant shark in a school uniform (and his army of swordfish) is solid gold.
I think my real problem with Bleach's Winter War arc wasn't how arbitrarily the battles ended, or the three dozen cast members who could have received screentime and didn't. No, it was how there was so much buildup for Ichigo and Aizen's final confrontation, and then it just... fizzled. I wasn't expecting a season-long Goku vs. Frieza-style fight, but come on.
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You'd think with Kagura along, Gintoki and Shinpachi could easily force their way through just about any job. Then again, it would make Gintama a lot less interesting if the heroes worked harder, instead of smarter.
It's always comforting to crack open an issue of Jump and see that Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kouen-mae Hashutsujo (otherwise known as Kochikame) is still running. It's the longest-running manga ever, currently at 181 volumes! What's not comforting is Ryo's smile. His pearly whites and monobrow are not comforting. Not at all.
Boxing manga Hajime no Ippo recently hit 100 volumes, but it's starting to build toward a conclusion. Maybe in five or ten years, we'll get an ending, but until then, this series still has what I consider some of the best, most intelligent fights ever in shounen manga.
Out of Rumiko Takahashi's two biggest titles, I can more easily forgive the lack of progression in Ranma 1/2. It's a sitcom! A sitcom where, uh... the main guy turns into a girl, everybody wants him/her, and there's a martial arts equivalent for everything, even rhythmic gymnastics.
In a way, these guys are the perfect fighting team in shounen manga--they fight well alone and together as a team, and most of the fights in Yu Yu Hakusho don't deal with who has the strongest attack or who makes the first move--it's about who survives the last, or turns it to their advantage best.
Of course, along came Flame of Recca a few years later and did the exact same thing as Yu Yu Hakusho, right down to the major team tournament arc, only with ninja instead of demons. I'm not really complaining, and it's kind of a toss-up as to which series' tournament arc is better--Flame of Recca got really creative with its action.
D.Gray-Man is one series that I really liked at first, but just dropped it for no real reason--I never picked it up again after that. I know it's been on and off hiatus for a while, and eventually got moved from Weekly Jump to the montly Jump Square magazine alongside Blue Exorcist and Claymore. Anybody here caught up?
As much as I love Slam Dunk, it's always weird seeing Sakuragi without his trademark pompadour. Much like the character, the story gets much more serious (and better) after he cuts his hair, but it's still kind of jarring.
Dragonball is a timeless, enduring classic that has provided inspiration for countless mangaka. You constantly hear in interviews that creators love the series, but I feel only one title has captured that perfect balance of soaring adventure, loveable characters and balls-out action...
One Piece's greatest strength is in its characters... and in its creator, Eiichiro Oda. The series occasionally falters, but always comes back swinging--and the fact that Oda has planned series' direction far in advance means he's not just making it up as he goes.
Truth be told, all I remember from Hayate no Gotoku!! is a scene where Santa tells a kid he isn't getting any presents because his family is poor. Now that CR has the new series as well as the original, I can catch up!
I've mentioned before just how much I love sports titles, and Kuroko's Basketball hits all the right notes. Slam Dunk shows how guts, courage, relentless training and a little luck can lead to victory, but Kuroko's Basketball covers the more technical side of the game.
One thing I absolutely love about Hunter X Hunter is how it effortlessly changes gears in terms of storytelling. First it's an intense exam/adventure series, then it's about martial arts and chi Nen mastery, then a terrifying fight to the finish against ruthless bandits, then it's about auctions and economics! And the best part is, it's always interesting!
When I see Sasuke the way he is now, I always wonder if he thinks the path he took was really worth it. Naruto may not always hit the mark in terms of storytelling, but its characters have a surprising amount of depth and complexity, which always factors into their development.
Light and company get to chill and be hipsters for a while. Death Note really doesn't seem like it ran alongside One Piece and Bleach in Weekly Jump, but just substitute superpowered combat for "intense overthinking and planning" and they're pretty much the exact same.
In the years and years that I've been following JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, I've always wondered... what the hell is up with Jotaro's hat? Or hair? Hat hair? Is that just a strange growth coming out the front of his head? Is all his badass concentrated in that strange growth? And if so, how can I get one?
When he first appeared alongside his best friend Ryuuji Danma in delinquent classic Shonan Junai Gumi, Eikichi Onizuka was a desperate virgin who would gladly mix it up with anyone to protect his friends. Years later in GTO, Onizuka is still a desperate virgin who will gladly lay his life on the line to protect his students and their future. Kinda nice how some characters don't really change.
Fullmetal Alchemist has the trappings of a standard shounen adventure, but its dark, almost oppressive atmosphere and the constant tragedy within the story make it feel out of place. Another thing I appreciated about FMA is that it had a pretty well-designed, almost RPG-like system for its battles--while the original anime kind of went off the rails, the manga and Brotherhood stuck to it very closely.
I keep holding out hope that one day we're going to get a proper ending to Rurouni Kenshin in animated form. One day. But for some reason, everybody seems to like compressing entire arcs of the series into a handful of episodes, and I have no idea why.
This picture immediately caught my eye and made me think of the most insane crossover creation possible: a Fist of the North Star mini-series by Samurai Jack's Genndy Tartakovsky. Don't think too hard on that, it's too awesome and will make your head explode.
And that's all for this week! Like I said at the start, I couldn't get everybody--what are some of your favorite shounen titles? Who are your favorite characters? Sound off in the comments!
As always, your art is welcome regardless of your skill level or experience--send me a PM with a link to your work and I'll make sure to include it in a future installment! Next week, we'll be entering the land of bubbles, sparkles, and improbable romance with SHOUJO titles!
Thanks again for checking out Fanart Friday--have a great weekend, and we hope to see you next week!