Bleach – Substitute Shinigami Arc (Episodes 1 – 14) Review

Bleach SubSArc P1

Now I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes here, but think back to Bleach when it was in its beginning, this arc (of again, smaller stories) and the second, bigger arc (the Soul Society Arc) are frankly brilliant, it’s only during the endless Arrancar Arc where things started slowly turning south, and then… yeah. But this isn’t an overall look at Shonen Jump! series, this is debut arcs, and I honestly think Bleach did it best (of the ones I’ve seen / read). With these first fourteen episodes you get a good feel for not only our lead protagonist, but for nearly all his surrounding cast, meaning we truly feel like we know the unit when they then have to jump head first into danger in the next arc. Let’s take a closer look and round off this Top 5!

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My Hero Academia – U.A. Beginnings Arc (Episodes 1 – 13) Review

My Hero Academia UAB Arc

This is a first for the blog as I’ve technically covered these episodes on Anime UK News when I covered the Season 1 blu-ray release, but as those are more of a quick, relatively spoiler-free, look at the show and the physical release, this will be my normal more detailed (and spoiler-filled!) look at the story. My Hero Academia is the latest hit for Shonen Jump!, but has already impressed me enough that I believe its opening stories put it above all but one (that I’ve seen), gaining it the #2 spot on this list. Why? Well, why don’t you read on to find out!

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One Piece – East Blue Arc (Episodes 1 – 30) Review

One Piece EBArc P1

One Piece is, if nothing else, epic in length. Whenever I cover the show I’ll be doing it in much bigger chunks of episodes than I normally do, though given this chunk of 30 episodes doesn’t even end what most people consider to be the opening “arc”, it’s not going to make covering the show any less of a daunting task. Anyway, One Piece grabs the bronze in this Jump! 50th Anniversary opening arc list of mine as it does a good job of introducing you to our lead, but a fantastic job of making us care about the rest of the crew. It was really hard deciding between this and the #2 spot! So let’s look at the first half of the East Blue arc, which really contains a bunch of smaller arcs that introduce us to several of the cast members going forward…

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Dragon Ball – Son Goku Arc (Episodes 1 – 13) Review

DB Son Goku Arc

Dragon Ball is iconic, inspired so many Shonen manga that came after it, and is one of my favourite shows of all time, but I’ve ranked it only #4 in this list?! Yeah, well, this is top debut arcs, and although this has some good, funny moments, it has some pretty unfunny ones as well… Not enough to knock it off the list entirely, obviously, more good than bad and all that. Anyway, it’s also another debut arc that doesn’t actually represent what the show would become, though it took a lot longer to end up more action focused this time. So let’s take a look at what is actually my first Dragon Ball review for this blog, despite 101 reviews elsewhere!

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Yu Yu Hakusho – Spirit Detective Arc (Episodes 1 – 13) Review

YYH SD arc Pt1

We kick the Shonen Jump! 50th Anniversary Debut Arc Top 5 with Yu Yu Hakusho, an influential series for sure (none more evident than in another series later on in the list…), that probably would have been an even bigger hit had it not been published / anime adapted during the peak of Dragon Ball popularity in Japan and, ironically, localised in the US on the back of Dragon Ball Z’s popularity, meaning it also fell in its shadow too! So the debut arc, known as the Spirit Detective arc (or Saga, because that early FUNimation buzzword!) really goes all the way to Episode 25, but its clearly split in half by a “lead protagonist returns after a length of time training” break, so I’m classing the first 13 episodes as the debut “arc” here. Much like other titles on and off this list, the first bunch of episodes doesn’t really represent what the story would become down the line, which makes it a fascinating watch, retrospectively. So… let’s look at it, retrospectively!

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Shonen Jump! 50th Anniversary mini-Marathon Starts next week!

Yes, another marathon announcement, and yes it will once again not be daily or on any fixed timetable. To celebrate Jump!’s 50th Anniversary I wanted to do a “Top 10 Jump! anime debut arcs”, but soon realised I’d only seen 8, and a couple of those weren’t great (for example JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure would become great, but that first arc isn’t something I’d put in a “Top” anything…) Once I finally accepted that I wouldn’t be able to watch the HunterXHunter or GinTama debut arcs in time to actually do the marathon I settled on doing a Top 5 instead…

It’ll start next week with Yu Yu Hakusho, and then will cover Bleach, My Hero Academia, One Piece and, of course, Dragon Ball, but in what order?! You’ll have to find out, though the answer may surprise you, given we’re purely talking debut arcs here, not overall Top 5!

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