With the Astro Kyudan PS2 game out of the way let's get into the "main attraction" of Jump January: I cover 30 different Jump animes! But there's a twist to this coverage, and I think it's only fair to explain how this all came about.
Many manga are sold in convenience stores, but anime, especially older titles, can be hard to get for a good price, let alone find in those same stores. Shueisha, though, had a neat idea in 2011: Why not sell specifically-marketed DVDs in those same stores, next to the manga? The company's first attempt at this was on August 5, and it was a double pack of the two Dragon Ball Z TV specials, 1990's Bardock, The Father of Goku & 1993's The History of Trunks. While these two specials had been released on DVD as parts of Dragon Ball Z sets, they've never received a DVD release of their own in Japan until this release (amazing how we've had them separately for years, right?). Needless to say this "Special Collection DVD", priced at an amazingly cheap 1,000 Yen, became a big seller for Shueisha... And now commands prices of 9,500-18,000 Yen on Amazon Japan! With a success like that, Shueisha decided to expand on this idea of DVD release, this time delving into the very past of Shonen Jump.
Starting on May 25, 2012 Shueisha started releasing the "Jump Super Heroes Special Collection DVD", where each release compiled the first episodes of six different Jump anime, each for the low price of 1,200 Yen. Though some of the video advertisements mentioned a Volume 6, this was always planned to be five DVDs, making a total of 30 different animes based on the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump. Naturally, each DVD had a theme to it:
Volume 1: Nekkestu/Hot-Blood!! Battle Heroes 1
-Dr. Slump Arale-chan (1981-1986)
-Hokuto no Ken/Fist of the North Star (1984-1987)
-Dragon Ball (1986-1989)
-Saint Seiya (1986-1989)
-Slam Dunk (1993-1996)
Volume 2: Nekkestu/Hot-Blood!! Battle Heroes 2 (July 20, 2012)
-Ring ni Kakero 1 (2004)
-Yume Senshi/Dream Warrior Wingman (1984-1985)
-Ginga -Nagareboshi Gin-/Silver Fang -Shooting Star Gin- (1986)
-Sakigake!! Otokojuku/Charge!! Men's School (1988)
-Dragon Ball Z (1989-1996)
-Yu Yu Hakusho (1992-1995)
Volume 3: Kandou/Passion!! Legend Heroes (August 24, 2012)
-Dokonjou Gaeru/The Gutsy Frog (1972-1974)
-Samurai Giants (1973-1974)
-Koya no Shonen/Wilderness Boy Isamu (1973-1974)
-Space Cobra (1982-1983)
-Cat's Eye (1983-1985)
Volume 4: Koufun/Excitement!! Miracle Heroes (October 26, 2012)
-Dragon Ball GT (1996-1997)
-Senkaiden Hoshin Engi/Soul Hunter (1999)
-Jigoku Sensei/Hell Teacher Nube (1996-1997)
-Hareluya II BØY (1997)
-Stop!! Hibaru-kun! (1983-1984)
Volume 5: Tsuukai/Thrilling!! Comedy Heroes (December 21, 2012)
-Midori no Makibao/The Green Makibao (1996-1997)
-Tottemo!/Very! Luckyman (1994-1995)
-Magical Taruruuto-kun (1990-1992)
-Moeru! Onii-san/Burn! Big Brother (1988)
-Kimagure Orange Road (1987-1988)
-Highschool! Kimengumi/Funny Face Club (1985-1987)
As you can see, that's a pretty varied line-up (outside of Dragon Ball getting three entries when it only needed two), and it covers a wide range of genres & styles, from fighting to comedy to sports and more. In fact, this series of releases even marks the DVD debuts for two specific series: Hareluya II BØY & Moeru! Onii-san ("Hatsu no DVD-ka!!/First Time on DVD!!" as it states on their respective covers), so there's the possibility of first-time DVD sets even coming out for these two shows if the responses are positive, which is likely the reason for their inclusion.
For those who know their Jump history, though, one thing is definitely noticeable: Outside of Ring ni Kakero 1, which aired in 2004, all of these shows are from the 70, 80s, & 90s... And that's pretty much the idea of these DVDs: To introduce these older Jump titles to new audiences, as well as remind older fans of the titles they watched when they were young (Ring ni Kakero 1 is at least based on a 70s/80s manga). Still, an immediate thing can be seen from this line-up: As extensive as it is, it's still missing some very obvious titles that could have been included. For example, where's Captain Tsubasa? City Hunter? Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibouken? Jungle King Tar-chan? Rurouni Kenshin?! Honestly, I wish that Shueisha did make a Volume 6, because there is just so much that could be included.
Anyway, what I'll be reviewing for Jump January are these five DVDs. Even though I say that I am, technically, covering 30 titles, I am actually reviewing the DVDs as a whole. Is each DVD a good representation of the theme it covers? Are there any out-of-place choices? (trust me, there are) How are these DVDs from the perspective of a newcomer, i.e. do they actually get one interested in checking out more of these shows? Admittedly, I will give my own opinion on each of these first episodes, too, but I can't honestly say that I'm "reviewing" 30 shows this month (even if I have already reviewed two of these shows on this blog). I'm simply a big fan of Shonen Jump and this release captured my interest, making want to give each one of them a review as a complete package. Look forward to a lot of Jump this month...
Oh, and if you're wondering why Kochikame isn't included in any of these DVDs, it's because Shueisha already released two DVDs for it in this fashion to celebrate the series' 35th anniversary (the left on December 12, 2011 & the right on January 13, 2012), both of which featured never-before-released-on-DVD episodes. Yeah, I think Shueisha will be continuing this DVD release method for a bit longer.