Matt Berry’s Phantom Birds, Shonen Jump, and More!

The Cancelled Manga of Shonen Jump

John: Much in the same way as Armageddon and Deep Impact appearing in the same blockbuster summer, a single high concept appears in two distinct items that debut within months of each other. In this case, we have two podcasts: the Shonen Flop podcast, and The Shonen Fiasco Show. Both podcasts have two hosts digging deep into the short-lived manga series published within the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump, though both use different formats to make this happen.

Every week, Shonen Jump magazine publishes a new chapter from about 20 different manga series. But not every one of those series is meant for an anime adaptation, longevity, or even simple name recognition. For every One Piece or My Hero Academia, there are a lot of series we’ve never heard of. Until now.

The Shonen Flop podcast—currently with nine episodes to their name—is hosted by David and Jordan. They make jokes but try to stay positive with them. The first few minutes of the show is spent giving the gist of a manga series, its setting and characters, and then a quick summary of the entire story plot of the manga series. They then go into background info on the manga’s creator, and how long—and when—this ran in Shonen Jump. Then they go into their segments: why the series failed, what does work, what could’ve happened (had the series been allowed to continue), and a vote for Flop or Not.

During their segments we get a look into what was confusing or muddled, the quality of the art, characters and their development, possible translation issues, and an analysis of the writing and storytelling. In the “What Could Have Happened” segment, the hosts hypothesize how the series’ strengths could’ve been used to turn the series into a success, and what it would’ve taken to make that happen. The hosts also follow the story to plausible conclusions in hypothetical future chapters.
When they vote something as a Flop, they recommend something to read instead, and then they move on to a quick section of shout outs before they wrap up.

The Shonen Fiasco Show—with six episodes to their name—is hosted by Adam and Alex, who have a more biting sense of humor, though it never gets mean, only into bitter territory. They do introductions and then spend a few minutes presenting the series’ pitch over the soundtrack of Alex’s band, the Game Brass.

Then they recap the series chapter by chapter for the majority of the episode, covering the same topics as Shonen Flop does as the moments come up in the story. If you like weekly TV recap podcasts, you’re already familiar with this formula. It gives attention to the twists and turns and their effectiveness, which ends up adding storytelling drama if you don’t know the story already.

At the end of their episodes, the hosts answer “should I read this series?” and then give it a rating out of ten points.

I’d have to say my preference is to the Shonen Flop podcast, as—much like what we try to do here—they do minimal recap up front to get listeners familiar with the overall picture before they dig into what makes a series tick. But both shows have value and entertainment factor. Honestly, it’s nice to have so many options for having so many stories getting their due. My official answer? Listen to both of these shows.

Those are our recommendations this week! What are yours? Let us know in the comments!

Written by TV Obsessive

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