With Dr. Stone ending its manga serialization last week, many fans of the series are wondering what Weekly Shonen Jump manga they should pick up next. While no currently releasing series is an exact match to Dr. Stone, Weekly Shonen Jump still has plenty of manga to select from, which are incredibly engaging.
Some stick with the classic, battle shonen appeal and formula, yet with unique twists in settings or antagonists. Others, like Dr. Stone, introduce a somewhat new genre to Weekly Shonen Jump’s lineup, though as aforementioned, none are quite in the same vein as Dr. Stone.
4 Weekly Shonen Jump reads to replace Dr. Stone
4) Mashle: Magic and Muscles
With its 99th chapter releasing the weekend before this writing, Mashle: Magic and Muscles is a popular, new manga that has been releasing over the last two years. Similar to Black Clover, Mashle’s protagonist is a boy in a magic world born without magic, named Mash Burnedead.
Being the only way to live a truly peaceful life with his adoptive father, he strives to become a Divine Visionary. This title is one reserved for exceptional students from the Easton Magic Academy. Obviously, the main problem is Mash being born without magic, yet he enters the school regardless, relying solely on his muscles to survive and excel.
Mashle has received nominations for several manga awards and distinctions, even winning some for the Weekly Shonen Jump brand. Mashle also reportedly sold 2.1 million copies as of August 2021, after less than twenty months of circulation. Critics praised the manga for its story and comedy, yet criticized its art, comparing it to Shogakukan’s Mob Psycho 100.
3) Sakamoto Days
Sakamoto Days most recently published its 61st chapter, beginning serialization in Weekly Shonen Jump in November 2020. The series follows central and eponymous protagonist Taro Sakamoto, an ex-hitman who gave up the criminal life to settle down and get married.
Despite gaining weight and becoming more relaxed, the superhuman strength and skills of his hitman days still reside within him. In extreme situations, he comedically loses all of his fat, becoming skinny and twice as powerful than normal. The other protagonists are Shin, a fellow hitman who admires Sakamoto, and Liu Xiaotang, the daughter of a Chinese mobster.
While it hasn’t won many awards, it has placed top ten in those it’s nominated for, an exceptional achievement even for a Weekly Shonen Jump manga. Fullmetal Alchemist Hiromu Arakawa also recommended the series, saying she reads it with some of her children and all enjoy it. Overall, the accolades Sakamoto Days have received more than merit giving it a try.
2) Choujin X
Choujin X is the second original non-one-shot Weekly Shonen Jump manga from Tokyo Ghoul author Sui Ishida. Choujin X follows a similar thematic setting as Tokyo Ghoul, based in Yamato Prefecture, where Choujins overrun the streets. Choujins are humans gifted with supernatural abilities, ranging dramatically in appearance, effect, and potency.
Azuma Higashi and Tokio Kurohara are the series protagonists, with Higashi being the central protagonist. The two are opposites as classmates, yet despite their differences, they have a nearly unbreakable bond. On their way home one night, they encounter a Choujin threatening to kill them, and with no other option, they become Choujin themselves.
Despite the manga lacking critical success, commercial success is fairly respectable considering Ishida’s irregular release schedule. Some Tokyo Ghoul fans enjoy Ishida repeating similar themes and plot points from his first series, while others criticize the lack of originality. Regardless, it’s a hit amongst niche fans of the medium and merits giving it a try at a minimum.
1) Kaiju No. 8
Finally, Kaiju No. 8 is arguably the crown jewel of Weekly Shonen Jump’s sub-100-chapter series. The series is set in Japan, following central protagonist Kafka Hibino, a kaiju cleanup crew member. He originally wanted to join the Kaiju Defense Force alongside childhood friend Mina Ashiro, who is now the captain of the Force’s Third Division.
When cleaning up a kaiju corpse one day, a small, talking monster flies into Kafka’s body via his mouth. He later discovers he can now transform into a kaiju, becoming the eponymous Kaiju Number 8. His coworker, Leno Ichikawa, eventually uncovers his secret, and the two resolve to join the Kaiju Defense Force, with Kafka relying on his newfound powers.
The series has received both incredible commercial and critical success, even being nominated for the coveted Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize award for manga. In December 2020, after just five months of publication, the series became the fastest Weekly Shonen Jump+ manga to reach 30 million views. Just four months later, the series had accumulated over 100 million views.
Considering the critical and commercial success that Kaiju No. 8 has received, it’s arguably the most significant Weekly Shonen Jump manga fans can pick up in the wake of Dr. Stone's end.
Note: The article reflects the writer's own views.