The 10 Best Shonen Jump Manga That Debuted in 2021

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There are always new series popping up in Shonen Jump thanks to its no-nonsense cancellation policy.

Bad series get the ax after three or four months, no excuses.

Cruel as it may be, the best new series buck this pressure and break through, truly earning their place in the weekly release schedule.

And with 2021 being a rather interesting year, let’s take a look back at the crop of new manga from Shonen Jump – and see what flopped and what thrived.


10. i tell c

i tell c Vol. 1 cover from Shonen Jump

There’s no grand mystery behind why the detective manga i tell c was canceled 21 chapters into its run.

Simply put, it was bad.

After debuting in late January 2021, the romantic thriller never managed to hit its stride.

Manga doesn’t need outstanding art to excel, but the characters have got to be there and the story has to go somewhere.

Unfortunately i tell c had neither.


9. My Hero Academia Special Spin-off: Endeavor’s Mission

My Hero Academia: Endeavor’s Mission cover from Shonen Jump

Any fan of My Hero Academia will gladly take more MHA wherever they can find it.

But this special one-off is more a promotional tie-in than a new and exciting story.

It functions solely as a lead-in to 2021’s My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission, the newest MHA movie.

Endeavor’s Mission features an exciting test where Shoto, Bakugo, and Deku face off against Endeavor himself, with their quirks on full display.

All in all, it’s a nice and quick read.


8. Candy Flurry

Candy Flurry Vol. 1 cover from Shonen Jump

Candy Flurry is a cautionary tale about what happens when an original manga with a neat premise flounders, and then throws caution to the wind.

Lasting just 19 chapters, this supernatural battle manga never quite figured out what kind of story it was telling.

At times it felt like a mystery-thriller with a heavy dose of One Piece-style action-adventure.

And then it ground the action to a halt to have an admissions test like every other battle manga ever.

And most confusingly, sometimes entire chapters would be full of bad gags and irritating characters.

Without a clear tone or sense of direction, Candy Flurry meandered through its final chapters and bowed out with an undeserved happy ending.


7. DC3

DC3 manga cover from Shonen Jump

The creative geniuses behind The Promised Neverland pulled out the far-out story of DC3 in just 50-ish pages.

The one-shot’s lead character Saho Kisaki accidentally created super futuristic robots and has been hounded for it by the general public ever since.

Its story is engaging, but there’s a bit of tonal whiplash as the panels swing between social satire, dumb gags, and dynamic action sequences.

Even with a nicely executed callback at the end, it didn’t lean into its silliness or its seriousness enough to make sense as a fully-fledged series.

Hopefully creators Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu will keep plugging away until they hit on their next golden idea.


6. Neru: Way of the Martial Artist

Neru: Way of the Martial Artist manga cover from Shonen Jump

Martial arts manga are fun as hell!

Neru: Way of the Martial Artist gets that and just has high schoolers who are really good at martial arts whomping each other.

The titular Neru is fantastic at martial arts, but is just so-so as a main character.

More than anything else, he’s a great tour guide for us readers for Amato High, a high school that solely teaches martial arts.

There are enough foes, exciting rivalries, and fun physical confrontations that Neru is a fun read – even if its story is lacking.


5. Nine Dragons’ Ball Parade

Nine Dragons' Ball Parade Vol. 1 cover from Shonen Jump

Baseball is America’s pastime.

But it’s also massively popular in Japan.

Shonen Jump’s latest foray into the world of baseball, Nine Dragons’ Ball Parade, debuted in mid-February, but only lasted 20-odd chapters.

Before getting the ax, it told a fun-enough underdog story of high schoolers putting together a scrappy baseball team to face off against the best of the best.

It had a heavy focus on the game itself, told from the catcher’s perspective, with plenty of Hunter X Hunter-style deep dives into what the players were thinking.

Its cliché characters and lack of an overarching plot contributed to Nine Dragons’ Ball Parade’s cancelation, but it was a decent effort through and through.


4. The Elusive Samurai

The Elusive Samurai manga cover from Shonen Jump

Set in the early 1300s, The Elusive Samurai’s hero Hojo Tokiyuki is a young samurai dead set on avenging his slain family and returning to power.

Without the physical strength to compete with his enemies straight-on, Tokiyuki relies on the art of fleeing to fight his battles.

It’s another unique spin on the battle shonen genre from Yusei Matsui, who famously created an entire manga around the art of assassination.

Like Assassination Classroom before it, The Elusive Samurai has its fair share of winning heroes, punchable faces, and hilarious moments.


3. Choujin X

Choujin X manga cover from Shonen Jump

Tokyo Ghoul was one of the biggest manga to breakthrough to the global stage with its iconic imagery and gut-wrenching story.

Sui Ishida’s newest series Choujin X is another chilling venture into a world of supernatural abilities and young misfits cursed with strange powers.

Drawn in Ishida’s signature inky style, every panel is swimming with the dread felt by Tokio Kurohara, who is a top-tier worrier.

As the withdrawn Kurohara struggles to break free from his indecisiveness, the world of Choujin X slowly unfolds around him.

Even with its erratic release schedule, this dark series is a clear winner with a bright future.


2. The Hunters Guild: Red Hood

The Hunters Guild: Red Hood manga cover from Shonen Jump

Fairy tales are constantly being reimagined.

But despite its title, The Hunters Guild: Red Hood isn’t just another gritty reboot of Little Red Riding Hood.

Creator Yuki Kawaguchi draws from familiar details, like werewolves, quaint towns, huntsmen, and the like, and places them square into a Hunter X Hunter-style story.

Beyond its thrilling action sequences and jaw-dropping art, it thrives off its complex characters and their hidden motivations that keep the story chugging along.

It’s the rare new debut that has a little bit of everything with the potential to go the distance.


1. Look Back

Look Back manga cover from Shonen Jump

This one-shot from the creator of Chainsaw Man and Fire Punch is as good as an entire damn movie.

Look Back is a deeply personal story about Fujino and Kyomoto, two young manga creators coming together and drifting apart as they grow up.

There are clear parallels between the characters and their creator, with the in-manga series Shark Kick going on hiatus at the same point Fujimoto’s Chainsaw Man did.

Reading Look Back is an emotional experience – especially with its hard-hitting conclusion tied to tragic real world events.

More than anything, it cements Fujimoto’s stature as one of the best of the best.

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