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The history of Shonen Jump

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Looking back at 50 years of Japan’s most iconic manga magazine

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Shonen Jump artwork Shueisha

This time on History of Fun, I take my History Brothers to a world they’ve never been to: manga. While Russ and Plante don’t seem to know much about Japan’s mega-huge comic book genre, at least they know a little bit about its biggest franchise, Shonen Jump.

Shonen Jump has been the home to series as big as Dragon Ball, One Piece and Naruto over its long life. But now that the weekly magazine is turning 50, we wanted to look beyond the known quantities. Where did manga even come from? How can they produce new chapters for those phone book-sized magazines every week? Why does Allegra have so many Dragon Ball hot takes? All this and more, this week on The History of Fun. Listen to it below, and then bug Russ and Plante with more manga recs.

Special thanks to everyone who participated in our segment, Reader Only Memories, wherein we share listener stories about the topic at hand. Here is the full thread of responses:

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New to The History of Fun? Every Monday, Russ Frushtick, Allegra Frank and Chris Plante explore the hidden backstories behind the things we love to do. Ever wonder where dodgeball came from? Or the origins of the creepy Chuck E. Cheese robots? Or how about why Beanie Babies exploded and then vanished into the sands of time? We’ll seek to answer those questions and have some fun along the way! Subscribe and join us — we’d love to have you.