Back in 2011, I reviewed the first volume of Girls Jump magazine. I loved it instantly. It was full of talented female creators, drawing without any apparent limits on story or art.
I loved the variety, the sheer talent and the wtf-ness of so many of the stories. Now, over a year later, I’ve gotten my paws on the 2012 volume of Girls Jump ( ガールズジャンプ) and it’s just as wonderful.
The second story, “Hatsukoi Guardian” by Aiki Haruko, was perhaps the very best. It follows a female wrestler in high school as she deals with falling in love with an attractive male upperclassman in her school. She and her friend were both drawn as beefy, masculine looking girls – not as caricatures, just short-haired and strong, the way an actual wrestler should look. Although it did not have a happy ending, I loved it for the atypical female characters.
The short, tragic and battle-filled lives of bees are sung in the paean “Vespa” by Nakamura Ching. One bee, reaching out to save the other from drowning in a jar was absolutely epic. “short, but seems long time of their life” is a most fitting tagline.
Est Em has contributed a story about a shoe salesman, “IPPO.”
There was a unsubtle timeliness in “Damatte Sumi-chan” about a woman who incessantly Twitters. Maki Hirochi really nails the real-fake tone so many people adopt on the social platform. ^_^;
Hirao Auri gives us “Supernova” about a schoolgirl and the space girl she befriends…and their decision to face a future together, even as the planet faces destruction.
The magazine wraps up with old school, overdressed, vaguely European Vampires in “Darkness Blood” by Yukito. I have no idea what happened, I was too busy looking at the hot vampire woman in knee boots, velvet jacket and corset to read the story. ^_^
Overall – 8
As with the last volume, this brief overview does nothing to really explain the assortment and ability of the creators. Honestly, I really hope you’ll all get this annual volume and enjoy the hell out of it, as I have.