One Piece goes full Japanese in its booth, and the enemies of Dragon Ball Z stand out!
Last weekend was the biggest event of the year for Shonen Jump and Shueisha series’, Jump Festa 2020. Held at Makuhari Messe on December 21 and 22, the event saw the announcement of MANY new and returning anime series. While that was being covered on news, our Japan Correspondent, Daryl Harding, had a Dragon Ball of a time enjoying the festa.
Jump Festa 2020 doesn’t only deal in Shonen Jump series; Young Jump, Jump SQ, and all of Shueisha’s series are showcased over the weekend event at Makuhari Messe. While it was a cold rainy weekend—which meant the cosplay area wasn't as big as it usually is—I trekked down to Makuhari Messe once again to go to my third Jump Festa. One of my favorite parts of the weekend is seeing how series grew from last year, as well as see what’ll be popular next year.
Over the last year, we saw the rise of Demon Slayer: Kimestu no Yaiba. The series seemed to come out of nowhere and became the biggest media franchise in Japan in 2019, and beating out One Piece with more manga volumes sold! While this seemed to be out of the blue, I saw the seed being sawn at Jump Festa 2019 with displays set up and promotion for the upcoming series. Same with THE PROMISED NEVERLAND.
This year felt different; while of course there were series I know will be popular next year, like Dr. STONE season 2, or World Trigger season 3, there weren't many new series being promoted like years prior. The most prominent new anime series announcement was Moriarty the Patriot, with two dedicated stage events, and a huge exhibition of items and costumes from the already popular musical.
Outside of Moriarty the Patriot, the only other prominent new anime announcement, that wasn’t a sequel, was Dokyuu Hentai HxEROS. While they didn’t have much of the series, the visual of the main character Retto Enjou was seen all over Jump Festa 2020, with posters being given out and a standee in the Aniplex booth.
These were the other standees at the Aniplex booth:
And found on the Christmas tree in the Aniplex booth—a set-piece seen every year where attendees can write notes to add to the tree—was an adorable Nezuko and Zenitsu drawing. Nothing is better than a good ol' "Nezuko-chaaan~!"
Jump Festa is usually split into three halls, one with the entrance, and the Jump SQ stage, one with the bigger booths, such as the Nintendo and One Piece displays, and the final one with the main stage. The bigger displays are always the most fun, especially when you have a giant Thiccachu overlooking the festival.
The most impressive displays this year came from Dragon Ball and One Piece—no surprises there as they’re both the biggest franchises from Jump at the moment, other than Demon Slayer. The Dragon Ball booth was set up two ways: one side with Capsule Corp and bigger than life-sized villain statues from the series, and the other side as the stage from the World Martial Arts Tournament with Shenron overhead.
While the Shenron statue was reused from the year before, newly placed at the booth was an exploding Cell photo spot where you can recreate the famous scene from Dragon Ball Z of Goku sacrificing himself to save the day. Of course, I had to do it!
While that was all nice and dandy, the best looking booth was the One Piece Banpresto beauty. As I walked through the gate and was transported into Wano Country, I was greeted by two girls in yukata handing out One Piece scrolls with the current key art on them.
Inside, I was amazed at the layout and detail that went into the display. The entire booth was surrounded by walls that resemble those found on traditional Japanese castles and in the center was a recreation of the Castle from the One Piece series. Surrounding the castle were Cherry Blossoms, of which if you got a picture at the right angle, made the booth look like a Japanese matsuri.
Attached to the walls were goods being shown off to promote merchandise from the current arc. While a lot of these were the normal figures or banners, I really liked how they set up the ship display, with an overwater section and an underwater section.
At every Jump Festa I’ve been too, they’ve always had giant inflatable characters around the halls, usually to either promote an upcoming series that might take off or to look back at popular series from the last year. Here are the six from Jump Festa 2020:
Deku from My Hero Academia
Boruto from BORUTO: NARUTO THE NEXT GENERATIONS
Yusaku from Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS
Rin Okumura from Blue Exorcist
Asta from Black Clover
Super Saiyan Blue Goku from Dragon Ball Super
Luffy from One Piece
Hopefully, we might see an Emma or Tanjiro represented next year!
That was Jump Festa 2020! From all the announcements over the weekend, what was your favorite? Personally, I’m looking forward to season 2 of KAGUYA-SAMA: LOVE IS WAR and Dr. STONE. Let us know in the comments or on Crunchyroll’s social media!
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs the YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.