I have a theory. I think Shonen Jump has recently gotten a bit darker than it has been in a while. A more accurate title for this post would have been “Have a Number of Shonen Jump Titles Gotten a Bit Darker?” but that does not really roll off the tongue. I’m not claiming that 2019 Shonen Jump is all Young King OURs or Afternoon. Let us be realistic. I’m not even saying it is back to its peak Fist of the North Star era level of Shonen Jump. It is more somewhere between the fairly light mid-2000’s Shonen Jump and the almost seinen era 80’s Jump.
My theory began with Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. I will admit that Demon Slayer had mostly flown under my radar until recently. I was not really avoiding it for any particular reason. I even remember Carl from Ogiue Maniax giving it a thumbs up. What happened was I recently started using the Shonen Jump app when they changed how it worked. Now that that newest chapters are free I have started reading a bunch of titles. I saw that Demon Slayer was one of the titles you could read but there was enough backlog that it intimated me away from trying to catch up. The title was on my radar but never enough for me to add another title on to my regular reading schedule.
Then the anime from Ufotable came out. The mixture of word of mouth, impressive production values, and current positive reviews made me want to sample the series and now I could start from the beginning. The series was fairly entertaining. It is not my favorite Shonen Jump series but it is solid enough that I will probably make an effort to catch up with the manga when the anime is over. The far more interesting reaction I had was to the overall mood of the series.
I was a little surprised amount of blood, guts, and murder that was in Demon Slayer. Now Demon Slayer at its peak is a fluffy bunny panel of Berserk. But for Jump, it seemed a bit darker than I was used to. But then I looked around and realized that the median tone of the magazine had gone it the same direction. The recent batch of new titles have made me think there might be something going on.t