Jump Into Fandom – Waiwai☆Hey! Say! JUMP

If you have any familiarity with me by now; I am a glutton for real-life idol manga punishment. This series was no exception. Since where there is one, Kanjani Eight in my case, I knew there would be more so I found it. So now we are taking a peek at Hey! Say! JUMP, and their manga! So come along, and let’s see what the group is about, as well as the manga of course!

As always, we have to start with the actual group before getting into the manga. Hey! Say! Jump or HSJ is currently a nine member group under Johnny’s and Associates that debuted in 2007. Within the group they are split into sub-units of Hey! Say! BEST and Hey! Say! 7. The group name comes from the Heisei Era, which is when all the members were born in. They have additional sub-units for concerts and additional opportunities. The group (as of writing) has full eight albums, and twenty 29 singles. They’ve won all three Japan Gold Disc Awards they have been nominated for. At the time of debut, they were ten members making them the largest debuted group in Johnny’s history. 

Hey! Say! JUMP as a manga, follows in it’s sempais (Kanjani Eight, KinKi Kids) and Kohai (Sexy Zone) in being a semi-biographical, semi-fictionalized series. It stars the ten at start of publication, but then nine by the end members of Hey! Say! Jump. It published from February 2009 to December 2015 making it a long spanning but short form in content series. It’s also an insane 106 chapters total.

Unlike the other Johnny’s idols with the manga treatment Hey! Say! JUMP’s manga got a slightly different treatment. Most of the stories within the series are told in 4-kom manga style, or short with self contained stories based on interviews or the mangaka’s personal viewing experiance. Most stories focus on an individual member, or particular experiance, but they develop into utilizing the full members.

Additionally, the market for this series was completely different. Characterized by the super shojo style, it was published by Ciao! Comics, a company that specializes in the elementary school demographic. So as an adult twenty-something year old reading it; I was both amused and slightly miffed at the marketing for this one. As an added bonus, the manga includes exclusive interviews with the group members at the end of each volume.

The art took some getting use to, especially taking heavily into account the target demographic, but consistent. The stories were nothing special, nothing to write home about, and well known by now by fans of the group. About the only thing notable within the series was how it handled the departure of Morimoto Ryutaro.

Last chapter where Ryutaro appears (top panel, blushing boy).

Morimoto Ryutaro was dismissed from the group after being involved in an underage smoking scandal in June 2011. Prior to the scandal there were several inclusions of Ryutaro and his brother Shintaro who was at the time a Johnny’s Jr, which were very touching. The way the manga handles this is by not addressing it at all. Ryutaro’s last appearance is Chapter 40, volume 2 (above) and it’s never elaborated on. It just feel distasteful and unprofessional. (There should have been a note somewhere addressing it.)

Hey! Say! Jump official chibis!

Again, like with most of these real idols/musicians manga, it was pleasent to pass the time with. It gets bonus points for the change in demographic and story-style, but loses a lot by not addressing real-world circumstances for the group. A series that I can only recommend for Hey! Say! JUMP fans.

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