Jump Match: Music

Jump Match is our new feature where we loosely pair a selection of Weekly Shonen Jump titles with something that isn’t comics, and then try to justify these choices like it’s the most important connection you could imagine between, say, Black Clover and a fine cheese, My Hero Academia and the latest hit album, or One Piece and a classical painting. This week we match five comics with five songs, chosen from my own library.

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations – Original Prankster (The Offspring)

You can do it! Yes, Original Prankster says you can do it, which is easily one of the most shonen jump statements you can hear in your day to day life. But the connection between these two goes far deeper than that. Boruto isn’t an original work, being a sequel to Naruto, and Original Gangster isn’t entirely original either, being named after Ice-T’s Original Gangster, sampling from War’s Low Rider, and being considered a follow-up of sorts to Pretty Fly (for a white guy). This tendency of both to not be able to stand without what had come before links them at the source, to say nothing of frontman Dexter Holland’s blonde spiky hair. That can’t be a coincidence, right?

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma – The Noisy Eater (The Avalanches)

Okay that was too easy, but let’s give it some words. The Noisy Eater is a song with a connection to Japanese animation, being a leftover from a failed production in between The Avalanches’ two albums, and the lyrics Biz Markie raps out for us are a tale of, obviously, a noisy eater. The character who eat in Food Wars don’t necessarily make a lot of noise, but with the more erotic dishes it’s almost guaranteed to have the eaters let out a squeal or two.

Spring Weapon no.1 – Generation Z (NOFX)

This one might be a little harder. Spring Weapon no.1 is a gag series, and whilst NOFX certainly does play with goofs throughout most of their songs. The popularity of both the comic and the band fluctuates wildly issue to issue/album to album, but they’re both still kicking regardless, often to the surprise of everyone around them. Generation Z is a song about the fatalistic possibility that the kids growing up today could be the last generation, in the face of a worsening climate, both politically and ecologically, but moreso societally, and it’s safe to say that if anything in the world of Spring Weapon no.1 is going to bring about such a climax it’s Zeroichi Namba, the eponymous weapon both capable of ultimate destruction, and who will be responded to with such zeal by the MAPPO organisation the main character Eiji Hokuto works for that the surrounding society would be destroyed. Yeah, that works, right? Yeah.

One Piece – 2112 (Rush)

Look, right, it’s the longest song I have on my computer, and One Piece is a long manga. Also both Rush and One Piece are really successful. They can’t all be winners, alright? There might be something to be said out of the oppressive might of the marines and the rebellious pirates fighting against them pretty much in the name of freedom and fun, and how that matches up with the tyranny of the Priests, who have taken absolute control of the earth, and forbidding such things as guitars. There’s something here, but the easy connection is in the length.

Yuuna-san’s Ghost Inn – Love Again (Akinyele Back) (Run the Jewels ft. Gangsta Boo)


My entire knowledge of Yuuna-san’s Ghost Inn, other than it being by the artist of Koisome Momiji, is that it’s the current risque pervy title in Weekly Shonen Jump’s roster, so with this complete lack of knowledge what better song to pair it with than the incredibly sexualised account of what activities RTJ and Gangsta Boo want to do with other people, in the lewdest terms, with the most on-the-nose demand repeating through the chorus. It only makes sense.


Dr. Stone & the Illusion of a Slow Burn

Recently Weekly Shonen Jump debuted six new series, an unprecedented occasion that includes a couple of important milestones in the magazine’s history. I’m going to be writing a post on each individual debuting series, be it a simple review, a tangentially-related topic or something deeper. We continue with Boichi and Riichiro Inagaki’s Dr. Stone.

Weekly Shonen Jump, by and large, does not support slower storylines. The weekly pace, combined with the cutthroat rate of cancellation in the magazine, encourages writers to have something bombastic in every single chapter, a hook that gets the reader in and keeps the story in their minds when time comes to send in the feedback cards that come with each issue. This is why series with long aims and small developments, like ST&RS, ǝnígmǝ, or even World Trigger have struggled to be placed towards the front of the magazine during their runs; their decision to use a slower pace meant that readers weren’t wowed as consistently.

There are exceptions to this, of course. World Trigger isn’t necessarily a hit, but it’s long-running and has been adapted into a cartoon. Death Note is a phenomenal success that managed to carefully balance high-drama story beats with what would sometimes be weeks of talking heads mulling over possibilities. The Promised Neverland is looking more and more likely to be one of Weekly Shonen Jump’s biggest new series in years, replacing a fast pace with a constant feeling of tension and unease on every single page. But the most interesting display of an author trying to succeed with this sort of slower story comes from the first three chapters of Dr. Stone, which CHEATS THE WHOLE TIME by actually having a lot of stuff happen in each chapter, but maintains the illusion of being a slow series through the time spent establishing the status quo of the book along the way.

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