Written by Tite Kubo, Bleach has been one of the most popular manga of the last two decades. The manga’s conclusion left a void, and ever since then, the Shonen fans have been looking for the ideal manga to replace it in Shonen Jump’s Big 3. Bleach, along with its contemporaries One Piece and Naruto, made up the Shonen’s Big 3. Although, after the end of the latter, the void left by Bleach was made even tougher to fill. Several candidates like My Hero Academia, Demon Slayer, and Black Clover have been considered the next big thing in the manga world. Still, none of them have been impressive enough to replace Bleach or Naruto.
In the last few years, Jujutsu Kaisen has emerged as one of the best alternatives to fill the void left by Naruto and Bleach. The manga is both commercially and critically successful, which is a rare thing. Although some anime/manga fail to live up to the hype, Jujutsu Kaisen is one of those rare ones that successfully matches the hype with quality. Therefore, Jujutsu Kaisen is the most deserving of the present-day manga to stand alongside One Piece as part of the Shonen Jump’s Big 3.
Jujutsu Kaisen follows Yuji Itadori, a high school student who joins Occult Research Club for ulterior motives. However, he is unaware that this decision will change his life in unthinkable ways. Ever since the club unsealed an ancient talisman, several curses descended on the school. Since Itadori had no supernatural powers, he swallowed the talisman, hoping that he would somehow protect his friends. However, he was unaware that his actions had accidentally bound him to an evil spirit, Sukuna, incredibly powerful.
Next Big Thing?
Interestingly, Jujutsu Kaisen is expected to fill the void left by Bleach because many fans have noticed that it is reminiscent of it in several ways. Moreover, it also has similarities with the 90’s series Yu Yu Hakusho, which was also one of the biggest names of its times. The manga has drawn parallels to two of the last few decades’ most prominent manga, making it obvious why it is expected to be a part of Shonen Jump’s Big 3. While most manga have superheroic premises, Jujutsu Kaisen stands out with its dark fantasy and horror setting.
Yuji is a likable protagonist who is ready to sacrifice himself to protect others. He is not like typical Shonen heroes who won’t become the best. Strangely Yuji lacks a definite motivation, which makes his actions even more heroic since one can be sure that there is no ulterior motive for what he does. Moreover, Jujutsu Kaisen explores another unique concept as the hero and villain both have the same body; it is intriguing to see them struggle against one another.
The manga has now got an anime adaptation as well. It appears that the anime is going to be just as successful as the manga, which is another accomplishment that very few manga/anime have. The animation of the recently released show has been phenomenal, and it looks promising. It would be interesting to see how far Jujutsu Kaisen will go from here. As of now, indeed, the manga is well on its way to becoming a part of the Shonen Jump’s Big 3.