The yearly ToC (Table of Contents) data for Weekly Shonen Jump in 2023 is officially out, and Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece manga is confirmed to rank the highest amongst others, followed by Sakamoto Days, Jujutsu Kaisen, Blue Box and My Hero Academia.
To clarify for those readers who may not know, TOC is essentially the order in which the magazine’s editors want the magazine to be read, a summary to find out which page number you’ll find the manga you want to read.
And this data is important because, more popular series, based on sales and magazine popularity, are generally placed towards the beginning, but sometimes a series can be placed towards the beginning depending on whether the editor or the magazine wants to promote it.
While there may be those who interpret it as a popularity contest where higher places correspond to greater popularity, in reality, the editors are simply determining the most effective flow for the magazine that week. It would be unwise to position three manga with depressing chapters in succession, even if they all received the most votes; therefore, the editors will determine which chapters to move based on their critical evaluation.
With the possible exception of certain comedy series, which are consistently placed last in order to lighten the mood, the only true rule is that if a manga is consistently featured on the final pages of the magazine (the bottom), it almost certainly means it will be eliminated.
1. ONE PIECE
One Piece is ranked the highest at an average rank of 2.40, which means that in any Weekly Shonen Jump issue (if it ain’t a break week), you’ll find the new chapter of One Piece at around page 2 or 3 of the magazine, which is great for the series because it’s there the moment you flip through the initial pages, before any other series comes up.
Additionally, the editors of WSJ also want to promote more One Piece stuff due to various events and collabs surrounding it, including One Piece Film Red. So there was more reason for these editors to just push One Piece to the front, hence making it more popular.
From the image above, you can see the average ToC ranking has been incredibly consistent for the entire year, which goes to show how easy it is for editors to quickly decide which manga should be on the front, making it the GOAT of modern Shonen Jump.
The ToC ranking graphs for subsequent series covered in Weekly Shonen Jump are as follows:
2. SAKAMOTO DAYS
The average rank for Sakamoto days is 4, meaning you’d find new chapters on page 4 of Weekly Shonen Jump.
As you can see here, there were fewer events or collabs for Sakamoto days, which made it difficult for the magazine editors to promote it more than One Piece.
Synopsis: Tarou Sakamoto was considered the greatest hitman of all time. Feared by many, he stood at the top of the underground world until he met and fell in love with a woman. As a result, Sakamoto abandoned his life of crime and now works as a convenience store clerk.
Leaving his shady past behind proves more difficult than Sakamoto initially imagined. Many of his former rivals and partners do not believe that he has truly left the business and show up in hopes of taking him out. Barred from killing, Sakamoto must find creative ways to subdue his enemies and prevent them from bringing harm to his family, his store, and the small town he resides in.
3. Jujutsu Kaisen
Gege Akutami’s Battle Shonen Manga is ranked 4.9, so you’d find most new chapters of Jujutsu Kaisen around page 5. The reason why it ranked below Sakamoto Days, despite having similar number of events or collabs, is that other factors like covers and color pages are also considered, and it was easier to promote a chapter if it had a cover, a color page, or more wide spreads.
Moreover, Akutami had more absences than Yuto Suzuki (the author of Sakamoto Days) so it’d make sense for editors to push a manga with more consistent chapter releases, if all other factors are tied.
Synopsis: Yuji Itadori is a boy with tremendous physical strength, though he lives a completely ordinary high school life. One day, to save a classmate who has been attacked by curses, he eats the finger of Ryomen Sukuna, taking the curse into his own soul.
From then on, he shares one body with Ryomen Sukuna. Guided by the most powerful of sorcerers, Satoru Gojo, Itadori is admitted to Tokyo Jujutsu High School, an organization that fights the curses… and thus begins the heroic tale of a boy who became a curse to exorcise a curse, a life from which he could never turn back.
4. BLUE BOX
Synopsis: Taiki Inomata, a third-year student in junior high, attends Eimei Academy, an integrated school with a major sports program. Having joined the high school badminton team, Taiki tries to attend open practice as early as possible. But no matter how early he goes, he always arrives second in the gymnasium. The person one step ahead of him is Chinatsu Kano, a first-year student in senior high and Taiki’s crush.
Chinatsu is the rising star of the basketball team, and the gap between her and Taiki could not be greater. Although Taiki is a decent badminton player, his popularity is nowhere near Chinatsu’s, making it even less likely for his feelings to be reciprocated. However, in a strange twist of fate, she ends up living in Taiki’s house!
Wanting to become a worthy match for Chinatsu, Taiki pursues the same dream as his crush: to partake in the Nationals. Taiki starts training harder than ever before, all for the sake of building a strong relationship with his new housemate.
5. My Hero Academia
Synopsis: Izuku has dreamt of being a hero all his life—a lofty goal for anyone, but especially challenging for a kid with no superpowers. That’s right, in a world where eighty percent of the population has some kind of super-powered “quirk,” Izuku was unlucky enough to be born completely normal. But that’s not enough to stop him from enrolling in one of the world’s most prestigious hero academies.
Synopsis: Rakugo, a traditional form of storytelling, takes years for any apprentice to master and ascend to the top rank of shinuchi. Ever since she could remember, Akane Osaki has been mesmerized by her father Tooru’s rakugo performances. Peeking in behind a sliding door, she would spend hours watching and mimicking his work.
For Tooru, the only thing separating him from that coveted rank is a promotion test in front of an audience and a senior rakugo master, Issho Arakawa. Despite his passionate performance, Tooru finds himself expelled from the rakugo school following the exam. This makes him give up on rakugo entirely and settle for a regular job, breaking his daughter’s heart.
Filled with grief and anger, Akane now seeks vengeance on the man who refuses to see the genius behind her father’s rakugo style. She begs Tooru’s former rakugo master, Shiguma Arakawa, to take her under his wing. But Shiguma feels unworthy of taking on another pupil after what happened to her father six years prior. In order to see if she has what it takes to enter the rakugo world, Shiguma urges Akane to test her resolve by performing in front of an audience.
7. KILL BLUE
Synopsis: Can a legendary assassin redo his life as a middle schooler?!
8. WITCH WATCH
Synopsis: Nico Wakatsuki has finished her six years of witch training and is moving back to town by herself. As a new witch, she must choose a familiar to accompany her. However, unlike the other witches, she wishes to pick a non-animal familiar. There’s no better companion than Morihito “Moi” Otogi—her childhood friend who happens to be an ogre. Morihito is vehemently opposed to being her servant, but he reluctantly accepts his fate after learning that a curse would revert him into a strange cow-tiger hybrid were he to disobey a witch’s order.
Due to Morihito’s father leaving for a business trip and Nico’s mother remaining behind in the Witches’ Holy Land, the two teens find themselves living together under the same roof. While Nico is ecstatic to be living with her crush, Morihito finds that her magical antics and overall clumsiness create more problems than solutions. With a prophesied disaster to befall Nico within the year, Morihito must do everything he can to protect her as her bodyguard while also upholding his duties as her familiar.
9. ME & ROBOCO
Synopsis: Robotic OrderMaids are popping up in every household, and 10-year-old Bondo Taira has found out that his two closest friends—Motsuo and Gachi Gorilla—have OrderMaids too. Motsuo, in particular, owns Meico, a beautiful robot that gives excellent massages and serves drinks with a smile. Jealous of his friend, Bondo convinces his mother to get him an OrderMaid, hoping for a similar experience.
However, to Bondo’s surprise, the maid that appears outside of his door is incredibly muscular and clumsy enough to destroy a house when completing simple chores. Going by the name Roboko, this new robot is the exact opposite of what Bondo wanted. But despite that, Bondo, together with his friends, learns that there is more to Roboko than they could ever expect.
10. NUE’S EXORCIST
Synopsis: After a fight with his foster father Shirou Fujimoto, Rin Okumura’s life is transformed overnight when Rin is revealed to be the son of the demon lord Satan, king of the demonic realm of Gehenna. Soon after, his foster father becomes possessed and dies at the hands of Satan, leaving Rin and his twin brother Yukio alone in the world. Seeking revenge for Fujimoto’s death, Rin attends True Cross Academy with Yukio in order to become an exorcist and join the Knights of the True Cross.
Rin’s new path, however, is filled with many difficulties. While new classes and dealing with his peers are already troublesome enough, he is also forced to conceal his newfound demonic powers and parentage. In addition, plenty of evildoers want to use him for their own ends. One misstep could lead to disaster, as not everyone at True Cross Academy is exactly who they seem to be…
For the rest of the 2023 WSJ ToC rankings, check the Twitter thread mentioned in the source.