To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the prolific manga giant Shonen Jump is collaborating with clothing retailer Uniqlo to create a capsule collection featuring iconic characters.
The collab includes 40 graphic T-shirts that highlight manga favorites from Shonen Jump’s decades of success, including Bleach, Dragonball, Yu-Gi-Oh!, One Piece, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Hunter x Hunter. In addition, the collection contains older mangas, such as Kochikame and Captain Tsubasa.
Each T-shirt varies in color scheme and design, but the unique prints are bold and expressive, paying homage to the personality and legacy of each manga character.
Set to release in Japan on April 16, the Uniqlo x Shonen Jump collection is already causing a stir among international anime and manga junkies who want to rep their fandom and nostalgia not just with cosplay in conventions, but casually on the daily.
The collaboration comes as part of a multi-part celebration of Shonen Jump’s anniversary: three art exhibitions (available for virtual viewing on smartphone app Jump 360), reprints of landmark issues, a $22 CD of the best songs from anime adaptions of the magazine’s manga, a card battle game, and a manga submission competition for $9,000 and the opportunity to appear in Shonen Jump (the screening committee was headed by Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto).
Shonen Jump has gone through quite a journey during its half-century run. Created in 1968 under the publisher Shueisha, the manga anthology has grown from being an underdog in the manga market to worldwide recognition.
Weekly Shonen Jump emerged as a male-oriented version of its sister Shojo Book — at a time when it had to compete with already-successful Weekly Shonen Magazine and Weekly Shonen Sunday.
Although many of the more experienced artists/authors gravitated to the more established manga anthologies, Shonen Jump carved out a name for itself with titles like Go Nagai’s Harenchi Gakuen and continued to pump out creative works which pushed boundaries. Tsukasa Hojo, who contributed to Shonen Jump’s early success as the mangaka of Cat’s Eye and City Hunter, voiced,
“Jump is a magazine that continues to adapt to the changing times. I don’t think it’s a conscious change. They adapt naturally.”
With branches across the world (including the American Shonen Jump under Viz Media), a digital magazine online, and current top titles like My Hero Academia and Boruto: Naruto Next Generations (along with the continuing reign of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and One Piece), Shonen Jump continues to publish exciting and compelling manga.
Uniqlo captures Shonen Jump’s youthful, innovative spirit. The clothing designer, manufacturer, and retailer has a knack for conveying the persona of beloved characters and franchises.
Although Uniqlo primarily offers everyday pieces, it also has previously released T-shirt lines with characters from Disney, Lego, Pixar, Peanuts, and Sanrio.
Incorporating meaningful media which customers connect with, the Japanese apparel brand expresses how their commitment to self-expression translates into their simple yet modern design, stating:
“A T-shirt is a direct expression of the wearer’s individuality and values…That’s exactly why UT carefully selects authentic cultural content that transcends time and genre from around the world such as art from up-and-coming artists, comic book characters and traditional brands…we offer the world T-shirts that possess genuine value”…a special tee that resonates with you.”