Shonen Jump Alpha celebrates its first birthday with next week's issue, and they are changing things up a bit, starting with the name: Alpha no more (and certainly not beta), they are changing their name to Weekly Shonen Jump, the same as their Japanese counterpart. And the even bigger change is that new chapters of SJ series will appear in both magazines on the same day.
And there are some changes in the lineup: "Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan" comes to a glorious end in this week's issue of with the final battle between our hero Rikuo Nura's Night Parade of a Hundred Demons and his rival Nue and the Gokadoin clan, all in full color. The fate of the world is in the balance—if Rikuo can't pull it out, it's going to be all yokai, all the time around here.
"Nura" has been a fun ride, but once it's gone, what's next? "One Punch Man," a series that looks like the very essence of Shonen Jump manga, boiled down to its purest form. Here's the blurb:
Saitama is a seemingly average guy with a not-so-average talent—he's a superhero that beats the snot out of enemies...in ONE PUNCH! Problem is, he's getting bored destroying his opponents. Can he ever find someone tough enough to take him on?!
Critic Sean Gaffney describes it as "a fun doofy parody/satire of superhero, kaijuu and monster comics in the Dragon Ball mode, while also having lots of genuinely cool action scenes."
"One Punch Man" is written by up-and-coming creator ONE, whose other series is something called "Mob Psycho 100"—I get the feeling that Manly Manga for Manly Men is what this guy is all about. "Eyeshield 21" manga-ka Yusuke Marata does the art. "One Punch Man" started out as a webcomic and quickly went viral. Shueisha, the publisher of the Japanese Shonen Jump, picked it up, but not for SJ—it runs on the website of their seinen manga magazine Young Jump.
Viz also recently announced that single issues of "Shonen Jump" will no longer expire: Once you buy it, you get to keep it for good.
More change is sure to be on the way—if there's one thing we have learned about the Shonen Jump folks, it's that they don't sit still for long.