The first issue of Shueisha’s “Jump Ryū!” (ジャンプ流! / “Jump School!”) manga artist collection covering Akira Toriyama will be widely available across Japan this week (07 January 2016), and thus of course globally through numerous online retailers. Each issue of the “Jump Ryū!” collection will cover individual Weekly Shōnen Jump manga artists — as well as lessons on various manga drawing techniques — and comes packed with a DVD, a special booklet, and two exclusive replica prints (Toriyama’s is the only volume set to include three). The first volume will retail for ¥650 (~$5.50), with each subsequent volume retailing for ¥1,290 (~$10.90). The first three volumes of the collection previously received a release exclusively in the Shizuoka region of Japan on 03 September 2015 as a limited run.
Having purchased a copy of the limited release for ourselves, let’s take a look at what exactly comes packaged in this mook (“magazine book”)!
The first thing to note is that the contents of the two releases are identical, with the special booklet, DVD, and bonus material in the nationwide release all being exact reprints of those included in the limited release. The only obvious exception is the mook’s cover, which has been slightly redesigned and now features Super Saiyan Son Goku for the nationwide release.
The main packaging is constructed with a small cardboard box, approximately 12 by 9.5 inches, or roughly the same size as the Dragon Ball Super: Super Start Guide, and not quite one inch thick. The front of the mook opens in a tri-fold fashion to reveal its contents. The special booklet is slipped into the left flap and the three exclusive replica prints are concealed within a tearaway pouch in the right flap. The slim DVD case is enclosed in the center of the box, and the box must be opened from the top in order to remove the DVD.
The 18-page special booklet is the same size as the mook and shares the same cover illustration as the limited release mook. It is printed on high-quality paper with a gloss finish on the outside cover. The book’s contents are split up into four main sections, with the first three covering Akira Toriyama, along with two shorter columns and a letter of reflection from Toriyama at the end.
- ROAD to JUMP: The Manga Artist’s Untold Debut Story (pp. 4-5)
In this two-page interview, author Akira Toriyama discusses his debut in Weekly Shōnen Jump and the events leading up to him becoming a professional manga artist in the first place. As he has described in previous interviews, he only sent in a submission to a new-talent contest running in Jump for the prize money after quitting his job as a graphic designer at an advertising firm.
- Jump Research: A Fun, Uncluttered Manga Drawing Technique (pp. 6-9)
This section examines Toriyama’s unique manga story-telling aspects and how they help make his manga so popular. These aspects include his memorable and forgettable characters, their naming schemes and puns, the beautiful scenery and landscapes, direction and the camera work between panels, and his unique mechanical designs influenced by his hobby of making plastic models.
- Jump Storyboard Replica Lesson: Dragon Ball Chapter 191, “The Ten Count” (pp. 10-13)
In this lesson, a four-step process is laid out for inking the replica copy of the 9th page of Dragon Ball chapter 191 provided with the mook. It also includes a full B4-sized print of the original inked page for comparison purposes, as well as a word of advice from author Akira Toriyama.
- The Fundamentals of Manga: Chapter 1, “Learning How to Draw Satisfactory Lines” (pp. 14-16)
This first chapter of manga fundamentals covers the different types of pens used to ink manga, such as a G-pen, mapping pen, and millipen. It also details the various pen nibs, pen holders, type of ink, and paper sizes that are used, as well as how to properly dip the pen into ink and how to clean it when finished.
- Jump Studio Finding Corps / Jump Editorial Department “Secret” Information Bureau (p. 17)
The first half of this page features a few rare photographs of Akira Toriyama and takes a look at his love of Star Wars, including his collection of Star Wars model kits. The bottom of the page includes a few rare items from Toriyama’s serialization days with Shueisha, including a copy of his very first memo discussing Awawa World, a few key author comments from Toriyama printed in Weekly Shōnen Jump, and a comment from Toriyama’s first editor, Kazuhiko Torishima.
- Special Contribution: Akira Toriyama’s Reflection (p. 18)
A letter written by Akira Toriyama reflecting on his stature and influence, in which he admits that while he acts as though it is no big deal, he works quite hard from the shadows. He also discusses his forgetful habits, such as changing things from what he had said before. Looking back on it all, his advice to young aspiring artists is to go against trends, and if possible, gain a sense of individuality. Most of all, he wants everyone to work as hard as they can while enjoying themselves.
Jump Ryū! DVD
Packaged in a slim case, the DVD is Region 2 encoded and presented in 16:9 widescreen format. It contains four video features with a total running time of approximately 42 minutes. The DVD cover illustration was originally drawn by Akira Toriyama for the Akira Toriyama The World: Anime Special mook released in October 1990.
- A Color Drawing Experience! (16 minutes, 14 seconds)
Filmed in June 1995 at the Nagoya Civic Art Gallery in Aichi Prefecture as part of the Akira Toriyama The World Exhibit, this video features Toriyama drawing, inking, and painting an illustration of Son Goku. It also features Kazuhiko Torishima, Toriyama’s first editor, who is on-hand asking Toriyama questions, and laughing at the horrendous condition of his pen holder, while he draws. A replica copy of the illustration is included with the mook.
- The Debut’s Untold Story is Recalled! (17 minutes, 33 seconds)
This video features an audio interview between author Akira Toriyama and his third editor, Fuyuto Takeda, discussing Toriyama’s life leading up to, and the early years after, his debut in Weekly Shōnen Jump. Neither individual actually appear in the video, with the exception of showing old pictures from Toriyama’s serialization days.
- Tasked With a Goku Autograph! (2 minutes, 42 seconds)
In commemoration of the “Jump Ryū!” collection, Akira Toriyama drew an exclusive autograph sign featuring Super Saiyan Son Goku to be included with the mook. As opposed to the colored illustration also included on the DVD, this video was recorded much more recently, possibly corresponding with one of the recent film premieres, although it is not actually specified.
- Practical Manga Techniques! (5 minutes, 31 seconds)
The final feature on the DVD is a short lesson on how to select the proper pen for inking a manga panel, which corresponds with “The Fundamentals of Manga” lesson included in the mook’s special booklet. The video’s sketches and illustrations are drawn by manga artist Atsuhiro Satō, a lecturer and assistant who has worked under professional manga artists Hiroyuki Takei (Shaman King), Takeshi Obata (Death Note), and Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto). It is narrated by Kazuya Nakai, the voice of Zoro in One Piece and Tagoma in Dragon Ball Super.
Included with the mook are printed replica copies of the two illustrations seen being drawn by Akira Toriyama on the DVD, in addition to the storyboard for the lesson featured in the special booklet. All three replicas are printed on A4-sized, high-quality grade paper.
In addition to the normal adverts in Jump magazines, Shueisha recently advertised the “Jump Ryū!” lineup at Jump Festa ’16 with numerous flyers and large displays of the packaging. The lineup will include a total of 25 manga artists, with the first eight volumes currently set for release up through April 2016. They have also launched Twitter and Facebook pages, both of which are updated with sneak previews and numerous promotional goodies, as well as an official website. Most recently, Shueisha released a 15-second commercial promoting the first volume.