Jump Festa 2015

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Feel the power.

For the second straight year I decided to hoof it out to Makuhari Messe in Chiba for Jump Festa.  I was dithering, but the tweets from the official Hunter X Hunter showing off their goods pushed me over the edge.  As with last year I’m glad I went – Jump Festa is an extremely well-run event, very fan-friendly and orderly (and much less stressful than Comiket, which is next weekend).

Some observations from the front:

  • For those of you hung up on demographic labels, the name of the magazine may be “Shounen “Jump but the crowd at Festa was at least 60-65% female.  Without a doubt the majority of the biggest names in the SJ catalog now have majority-female audiences.
  • As ever, it’s awe-inspiring to be reminded of just how many powerhouses Shueisha has.  There are so many massively popular franchises under their umbrella that it’s hard to imagine what kind of income they must generate every year.
  • It may be because it’s airing in two weeks, but Assassination Classroom was definitely getting a much bigger push than Shoukugeki no Soma.  It’s almost right up there with One Piece in terms of promotional tonnage.
  • Haikyuu!! has definitely passed KuroBas in terms of popularity.  Both are big, but right now Haikyuu is bigger.
  • While the new female-oriented sports titans are massively popular, Prince of Tennis is still right there.  It doesn’t get talked about much but it, too has a huge promotional presence and is clearly still a titan.
  • Tokyo Ghoul is a great example of how disc sales are too simplistic a measure of an anime’s success.  They were only fair with this show, but the boost to manga sales was one of the biggest in years – and the series has a big presence at this event.
  • I was pleasantly surprised to see World Trigger with a fairly significant presence.  I guess with 50 episodes on the way it makes sense.
  • Conversely, I was a bit disappointed not to see more cross-promotion with the hugely popular Rurouni Kenshin live-action films – there was just a smattering.  I eternally hope for the “Jinchuu” Arc to be adapted, but Shueisha just doesn’t seem that interested.
  • Just a bit of Boku no Hero Academia to be found.  Keep an eye on this one – I think it’s going to be the next breakout “next gen” WSJ title (and it also happens to be quite good).

The main event for me, of course, is the Hunter X Hunter booth.  Happily it was about the same size as last year even with no new anime to flack, and also happily H x H clearly still has a sizeable body of fiercely loyal fans.  I waited about 25 minutes in line at the merchandise booth, and according to my Twitter feed many of the items on offer sold out their Saturday stock.  I originally hadn’t planned to buy anything, but I ended up caving for one of the new shirt designs.  I have more H x H T-shirts than I’ll ever need, but I really liked this jersey-style (the Gon & Killua with the black sleeves).  I was seriously tempted to buy one of the cels that I thought were ¥2000 too, but it turned out I misread the sign and they were actually sabisu to anyone buying ¥2000 worth.  Score!  So I took home Gon #4.

As with last year, the big draw for most was posing for photos with Gon & Killua (so many hugs).  In the fans’ hearts those two will always be together, I suppose.  There was also a wall set up this year for fans to doodle their testimonials of their love of the series – I continue to be amazed by the level of artistic talent in this country.

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11 comments

  1. v

    Thanks for posting Enzo. I didn't know it was this weekend. Thinking of going tomorrow but commuting to Chiba from Yokohama is such a chore.

  2. Is it? It's only ¥500 for me, takes about 55 minutes.

  3. C

    Every time I forget about the pain of being a huge HxH fan someone brings it up again… ;___;

    No but seriously thank you for the pics and the info, Enzo.

  4. f

    How could they make a shirt with adult Gon on it?? It might be a spoiler for anyone who hasn't watched it yet!! >:O

    (joke)

  5. w

    I'd have probably gone with the Killua #3 cel, myself. I'm really jealous you have that Gon one now..

    It's also good to see Boku no Hero is doing well. I remember enjoying the mangakas last series, but it was axed very early. (S?)he had a pretty cool sense of style, so it would have been a shame to never hear from them again

  6. I like BnHA quite a bit. It's raw and genki, like the work of a really talented but inexperienced Ashirogi Muto. Quite a good sense of humor and a really interesting visual style. Interesting take in the Marvel/DC superhero angle too.

  7. w

    It's definitely a very shonen shonen. But it's the energetic and fun kind, which I tend to enjoy. The last series (called Sensei no Bulge, IIRC) put a pretty cool spin on The Prince and The Pauper tale, and was very likeable, if a mite generic.

  8. R

    I don't know why but I love Japanese spins on western superheroes. I feel like they filter everything through a slightly skewed perspective (All Might is so god damn hammy and I love every moment of it) and it gives it a pretty unique view. I also really love Izuku as a main character. He's still pretty timid but he's got a good heart. I think genki is really a good word for the series as a whole, and honest.

  9. I love the little intros of the major characters at the start of chapters, especially "explosive" Bakugo. "Explosive pants (he really should pull them up properly)".

  10. On Sunday (damn it) Han Megumi stopped by the H x H booth to write on the Thank You Wall, and to give Gon and Killua hugs. She's such a fangirl, I adore her. I bet she cried again.

    https://twitter.com/han_meg_han/status/546640018773536768

  11. m

    oh man, u sure would have wished u'd been there. Megumi is such a cutie

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