LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 15: Michael B. Jordan attends the "Creed III" European Premiere at Cineworld Leicester Square on February 15, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Movies - TV
Michael B. Jordan's Favorite Anime List Might Be A Sign Of A Bigger Problem
Content Warning
The following story contains discussions of sexual crimes.
During his press tour for his new film “Creed III,” Michael B. Jordan listed his five favorite anime series: “One Piece,” “Dragon Ball,” “Naruto,” “Bleach,” and “Hunter x Hunter.”
These shows follow a formula that fits with Jordan’s film — a boy becoming the best at his chosen hobby by overcoming obstacles, making friends, and taking on greater challenges.
However, Jordan’s list indicates a problem within the anime world, as each of his favorite series are adapted from a single magazine publisher’s manga, Shonen Jump.
While these five shows are some of the most successful entertainment franchises, they belong to a much broader genre that tends to get overshadowed globally by this single company.
Many young millennials had their first anime experience with Shonen Jump shows, like “Dragon Ball Z” and “Naruto,” thanks to them being broadcast on Toonami in the early 2000s.
Even today, these shows are marketed as nostalgia icons, and the publisher’s popularity continues with series like “Boruto,” “My Hero Academia,” and “Demon Slayer.”
Although popular anime and manga titles like “Attack on Titan” and “Pokémon” aren’t from Shonen Jump, these series are stuck following a similar story structure to those from Jump.
This model’s success has shifted the balance of the industry. This form of storytelling has become commercialized, and profits have become the publisher’s main interest.
While Shonen Jump may have a significant female readership, it remains a sexist institution, as many women characters rarely get the same complexity as their male counterparts.
In addition, some of the writers have had troubling charges against them, such as “Rurouni Kenshin” creator Nobuhiro Watsuki, who was charged with possession of child pornography.
One of the greatest strengths of Japanese manga is its variety, with comics including niche subjects such as cooking, business management, and soap.
For manga and anime to thrive, they must set themselves apart from Shonen Jump. While it can be a great place to start, Shonen Jump shouldn’t be the end of anyone’s anime journey.