Shounen manga were always known for their super long runs. So, when news of Jujutsu Kaisen ending this year came around, people were left befuddled. I mean, this series is arguably one of the most popular manga series out right now, with it only reaching this hype around 2020. To imagine a seriously huge Shounen like Jujutsu Kaisen ending this soon, is something fans simply didn’t expect. And yet, I feel like the tide has been shifting for a while now.
Still, is Jujutsu Kaisen ending by the time 2023 is done? Honestly, I don’t think so. Even though Gege Akutama has talked previously about how they planned on ending Jujutsu Kaisen this year because of how overburdened they felt, I think that’s too little time to neatly tie up every plot line. I mean, there is a lot happening still, even as we are winding down to the next half of this year. And I don’t think six months is going to be enough to land the perfect ending, especially since Gege already went on hiatus before.
Still it could happen. Plenty of mangaka out there have finished their stories in less time than anticipated because they either got bored, or burnt out. But it’s more common to see manga be finished because, well, it was the right time. However, it has been uncommon in Shounen solely because we are so used to the idea of the ‘Big 3’ which spanned more than a decade in print. Hell, One Piece started in the 1990s and is still nowhere near being done. So, when did we start getting Shounen manga that actually ended?
Well, Jujutsu Kaisen wouldn’t be the only one wrapping its story up in a reasonable amount of time. Kimetsu No Yaiba, popularly known as Demon Slayer, also ended last year despite its mega popularity. So, it seems like things are changing, with more short form Shounen trading places with the long winded epics we were used to. But why Jujutsu Kaisen? Let’s discuss that and more in another segment of Lore Analysis.
Jujutsu Kaisen: The Perfect Ending Doesn’t Exist?
Let’s be honest: Jujutsu Kaisen is one roller coaster ride after the other. If you thought the anime adaptation was giving the viewers no breaks, the manga isn’t really any better. Jujutsu Kaisen is just as dynamic in print as it is on screen. And that’s partially the reason for its popularity. Unlike Shounen of old, there is barely any filler.
And that means that plot lines either get resolved or get scrapped at lighting speed. There are stakes here, with fans never knowing what will happen next. I mean, Jujutsu Kaisen is part of Dark Shounen rising, with manga series that have much more mature content than what we were normally used to. With Dark Shounen, plot armor is barely a thing. Which means that your favorite character? They are at genuine risk of being killed.
So naturally, fans are coming up with theories of how the series will end. If you’re keeping up with the manga as we speak, you know we’ve lost a good number of people that we started out with, and everything is barrelling straight towards a bombastic climax. But will it pay off? Honestly, that’s a harder question to answer. The thing is, clearly Jujutsu Kaisen is ending soon. Perhaps by the very end of this year or the next.
But if Gege plays their cards right, I’m guessing there will be spin-offs or prequel series to explore because there is a lot of potential in the manga for additional stories.
Why The Era Of The Long Running Shounen Is Fading:
In general, however, I think the Shounen manga that ran for 10+ years are dying off. And there are many reasons for that. One of the first being that artists and mangakas now don’t have to elongate their stories to keep their fanbase engaged.
Take Attack On Titan, for example. The series ended before a decade was up, and it’s widely considered one of the most popular Shounen in the world. And even though the story was tragic, filled with convoluted plotlines, there was barely any filler to pad it out. What you read was what you got, and the fanbase still remains loyal. It helps that an international market is now a thing, which means there is a wider audience and more avenues to explore. And thats why Attack On Titan broke out.
But also, fans have just lost interest in something that takes ages to finish. So, smaller Shounen have been doing pretty well because they don’t compromise on quality, just to keep their profits going. Like, they aren’t milking it for everything their worth. And thank God for that. Because that’s exactly how you lose fans. Just look at the disparity between Naruto Shippuden and Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Sometimes, it’s okay to let a story end and not expand needlessly.
Listen, Jujutsu Kaisen might just end this year. But at least it won’t take 20 years to get to a worthy climax. And it won’t be filled with random new villains being introduced, or shock factor content to keep things going. Sometimes, good things should come to an end. And for that, I’m grateful.