A friend from Osaka texted me yesterday, April 1st, that she had to suffer the embarrassment of asking for a 最強ジャンプ Saikyo Jump (The Strongest Jump) magazine from a counter clerk at her local bookstore. I texted back saying at *my* local bookstore you can just pick it up from amongst the stacks of publications from the manga magazine shelf. “In fact, I’m on my way right now,” I typed.
It was after a busy first-day-of-the-fiscal-year at work. Yep, April is the start of the fiscal as well as academic year in Japan, and it’s when we company employees get new assignments or move to new departments/divisions, meet new co-workers, welcome fresh-faced college grad newbies, and try not to yawn while the big boss gives a pep talk to everyone in a let’s-do-our-best-this-fiscal-new-year kind of speech. It’s a hectic day of meetings and greetings and trying to match names to faces, so all I wanted to do when it was over was to kick back and relax with the latest manga reading material.
Saikyo Jump is published bi-monthly during even-numbered months, and I have never bought it before since it’s for kids and I’ve no use for it. But this month’s different in that this particular issue has a nice poster of Jujutsu Kaisen included with the magazine, and I just had to have it xD
So at the end of the day off I go to my local bookstore, straight to the manga magazine shelf. As per usual, there are dozens upon dozens of thick, newly published manga mags. Where’s the latest Saikyo Jump? It was nowhere to be found. Then it dawned to me, Issue #5 not just has a Jujutsu Kaisen poster, but also a sticker sheet and card game. Because Jujutsu is *the* hot manga/anime at the moment, they must be doing the counter thing like the tankobon paperback volumes. At smaller bookstores it’s no longer possible to pick up a volume from the shelf because of the sheer demand, meaning you have to ask at the counter. That way they can limit the sale to one volume per person, so that unscrupulous resellers won’t buy in bulk and leave the rest of the customers hanging. Is this what’s going on with the latest special issue?
I lined up at the counter and when my turn came I asked for the mag, straight-faced (Thank god for face masks!) “Here you go!” the clerk said brightly. “Shall I put it in a paper bag?” How sweet, I thought, knowing a grown-ass customer like me might be embarrassed lugging the fat thing about.
“No, thank you,” I said, indicating the canvas tote I carry around with me everywhere to put in purchases. “I brought my own bag.”
“Ended up having to ask at the counter as well *insert sweaty-faced emoji*,” I texted my friend in Osaka.
“Hah! Serves you right,” was the reply.
Was the embarrassment worth it? Absolutely! Let’s have a look at the goodies that came with the mag:
This is the B3-size poster I wanted, featuring Yuta Okkotsu, Satoru Gojo, Yuki Tsukumo and Yuji Itadori. It’s so rare to see these Special-Grade sorcerers together in one poster! I’ve seen lots of colorful posters featuring the main three (Itadori + Fushiguro + Kugisaki) + Gojo, or some other combination of teachers + students + cursed spirits, but seeing just these four together is a real treat.
I like the way the colors are limited, meaning it can go well with any interior. I’m planning to put it on the wall behind my electronic keyboard. Tsukumo’s hand looks overly huge! I really hope we learn more about her and her backstory now that Gojo’s locked in the prison realm and she’s currently the one left to look after the surviving students.
Then there’s a nice, shiny sheet of stickers featuring Gojo, Sukuna, Okkotsu, Geto, Jogo, Mahito, Hanami and Choso—all the Special Grades minus Tsukumo. Love them so much! Am wondering where to stick them, though xD
Card collectors will be pleased with the latest set of trading cards in thick, glossy card stock. I’ve no use for these so I guess they’re going into a box I sometimes send to 駿河屋 Surugaya to sell the anime/manga knickknacks I don’t need.
Finally, there’s the Jujutsu Kaisen card game, although I’m somewhat unhappy with it because the sheets are made of thin, ordinary paper 🙁 Glossy, yes, but they’re nowhere near being real card stock. I have to cut out the cards and maybe need to paste them onto cardboard. The game instructions are funny in this regard: “Shuffle the cards.” How on earth do you shuffle flimsy paper? xD
As for the game itself, it’s simple enough for a child to play, but I like the notes written on the cards and find the point assignments funny. I’ll talk about it in a separate blog post!
Now, to give you an idea of how big the magazine is I took a pic of it lined up with my tankobon paperback volumes, including the official fanbook:
It’s bigger than the tankobon but smaller than the Weekly Jump magazine, though I’d say it’s just as thick.
I flipped through the magazine and found the following contents:
- Specials for Dragonball, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Kimetsu no Yaiba
- Serial publications: Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duel LP One-Shot, Dragon Quest Dai’s Adventures Xrossblade, Oshiri-Dandy the Young, SDBH Big Bang Mission, BnHA Spin-off Team-up Mission, etcetera
The pages come in shades of blue, green and pink:
I haven’t read any of the serials in the previous issues so there’s no point reading these ones now.
So, the question is, was JPY 550 (about 6 USD) worth it for the stuff I wanted? Most certainly! If you’re looking for a cool Jujutsu Kaisen poster and some pretty stickers and a card game to pass the time, then I’d say it’s worth the money.
Those in the country can buy Saikyo Jump #5 from Amazon Japan (Warning: the reseller prices are hair-raising 🙁 )
Always best to buy at your local bookstore! Good luck to those who haven’t got a hold of it yet.
Hope you enjoyed this Jujutsu Kaisen-centric look at the latest Saikyo Jump. Time for me to get on with the card game 😀