Shueisha's JUMP NEXTWAVE initiative: What's coming and what's going, explained

Shueisha's JUMP NEXTWAVE initiative: What's coming and what's going, explained (Image via Shueisha)

With the debut of author and illustrator Yoshihiko Hayashi’s MamaYuyu manga series over the weekend, Shueisha officially began their JUMP NEXTWAVE initiative. While the coming and going of new and old series from Weekly Shonen Jump is a tale as old as time, Hayashi’s manga and others are being brought in under more unique and special circumstances.

Alongside Hayashi and MamaYuyu, Takeru Hokazono’s Kagurabachi and Elck Itsumo’s Two on Ice are also a part of the JUMP NEXTWAVE initiative. The reason for these three specifically being selected is that all were participants in Shueisha’s in-house Tezuka Award, not to be confused with the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize award.

With the three clearly impressing Shueisha with their submissions to the Tezuka Award, they’ve been seemingly handpicked to lead the next wave of flagship titles, hence the initiative’s name. However, to bring these three series in, three more must leave, and the debut of these three new series unfortunately won’t be waiting for the current flagships to end.

JUMP NEXTWAVE project gives Shueisha a bright future, but at the cost of promising series in the now

The project, explained

As mentioned above, the JUMP NEXTWAVE project consists of three Tezuka Award participants whom Shueisha has given publication opportunities to. Given the initiative’s title, it seems more likely than not that the publication company is attempting to establish its flagship series for the next generation of manga.

While some may find this premature, the writing is indeed on the wall for the beginning of the end of the new-gen era. Yuki Tabata’s Black Clover has already moved to Jump GIGA for what will likely be its final chapters.

My Hero Academia and Jujutsu Kaisen are still in Weekly Shonen Jump, but are rapidly advancing towards their respective conclusions. Thus, Shueisha is jumping the gun early with the debut of these three series in the coming weeks.

What’s coming to Weekly Shonen Jump?

As mentioned above, the JUMP NEXTWAVE initiative began with the debut of Hayashi’s MamaYuyu in the latest 41st edition of Weekly Shonen Jump. This will be followed by the debut of Hokazono’s Kagurabachi and Itsumo’s Two on Ice in the upcoming 42nd and 43rd issues, respectively. While no plot information is currently available for the latter two series, MamaYuyu was met with heavy praise from fans.

MamaYuyu follows protagonist Corleo, who is the latest incarnation of his world’s hero, raised by the previous era’s demon lord. He spends his days lamenting being the hero in an era of peace between humans and demons, until he meets a hero from an alternate world. Corleo then learns what it truly means to him to be a hero, with the first chapter sending him down that path in exciting fashion.

What’s leaving Weekly Shonen Jump?

As for the series departing to make room for the JUMP NEXTWAVE initiative, that process has already begun with the release of the 40th Weekly Shonen Jump issue for the year. Daisuke Enoshima’s Fabricant 100 concluded with its 36th chapter, which allowed MamaYuyu to debut the week after.

As for what else is in jeopardy of being canceled, nothing is officially confirmed, but Norihiko Kurazono’s Jiangshi X is one incredibly likely casualty. With 23 chapters published at the time of this article’s writing, it’s likely time for the series to put up or wrap up when it comes to its future.

Show-ha Shoten! by Akinari Asakura and Death Note’s Takeshi Obata is also another possible name, being at a similar publication history point to Jiangshi X.

Be sure to keep up with all anime, manga, film, and live-action news as 2023 progresses.