Grown-ups weigh in on the question of whose art has stayed in their hearts into adulthood.

Manga anthology Weekly Shonen Jump’s core target is young readers, what with the word shonen/boy being right there in the title and all. But the magazine has long attracted readers outside that demographic as well, and with its very first issue being published in 1968, plenty of fans who started reading WSJ as young kids are all grown up now.

Children are notoriously fickle in their preferences, but for adult Jump fans, which creators’ artwork stands out in their minds as the greatest from the hundreds of artists whose series have graced the magazine’s pages? That was the topic of a recent poll from manga portal Futabanet Manga Plus, in which 300 respondents between the ages of 30 and 59 were asked to name the one artist whose Weekly Shonen Jump art left the deepest impression on them, so let’s take a look at the top picks.

10 (tie). Kentaro Yabuki (To Love Ru, Black Cat) (3.3 percent of respondents)
10 (tie). Hisashi Eguchi (Susume!! Pirates, Stop!! Hibari-kun!) (3.3 percent)
9. Yusuke Murata (Eyeshield 21) (4 percent)
8. Takeshi Obata (Death Note, Bakuman, Hikaru no Go) (4.7 percent)
7. Eiichiro Oda (One Piece) (6 percent)
6. Masakazu Katsura (Video Girl Ai, DNA², I”s) (6.3 percent)

▼ Murata’s Eyeshield 21

The 6-10 pack reflects just how long Weekly Shonen Jump has been the biggest player in the Japanese manga market, with some artists whose names are known to just about any modern manga fan, like Eiichiro Oda, to others for whom even their series titles, such as Hisashi Eguchi’s Stop!! Hibari-kun! probably don’t ring a bell. It’s also worth noting that Eguchi and Masakazu Katsura’s artwork was so impressive that they also worked as character designers for anime from other creators (Roujin Z and Iria: Zeiram the Animation respectively).

▼ Masakazu Katsura’s beautiful DNA² illustrations belie the fact that the series contains a lot of scenes of the main character puking.

Oh, and for those wondering why Yusuke Murata isn’t ranked higher despite his amazing One-Punch Man artwork, in Japan the series was actually serialized in Tonari no Young Jump, so it might not have been in the minds of respondents when they were asked about Weekly Shonen Jump.

5. Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto) (7 percent)
4. Takehiko Inoue (Slam Dunk) (8 percent)

As proof of just how crowd-pleasing Kishimoto’s art is, Naruto lasted 15 years, and once it finished, his chief assistant, Mikio Ikemoto kept drawing the Boruto sequel manga while keeping the aesthetics largely intact.

Inoue, on the other hand, has gone on to draw multiple other series for other magazines, but he remains best-known for the athletically handsome cast of Slam Dunk, which has become the definitive basketball manga in the hearts of men and women alike.

3. Hirohiko Araki (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure) ((9.3 percent)

No one does stylishly stylized art quite like Araki. Not content to intricately display only musculature and combat techniques, Araki is constantly coming up with creative fashions and surrealistically dramatic poses for his heroes and villains to strike before they start striking each other.

2. Tsukasa Hojo (City Hunter, Cat’s Eye) (12 percent)

In a case of greatness fostering greatness, Takehiko Inoue actually worked as an assistant to Tsukasa Hojo for a while before starting his own series. Comparing the two artists’ styles, it’s easy to see similarities in their tall, muscular heroes with immaculately combed hair, but Hojo’s show a bit more bubble economy ‘80s flair.

1. Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball, Dr. Slump) (15.7 percent)

And at the top of the list is none other than Akira Toriyama. While the presence of the Dragon Ball creator in the number-one slot might not have been hard to predict, it’s easy to forget that even before that his science-fiction comedy Dr. Slump was a five-year hit, and its heroine, robot girl Arale, can stir up almost as much warm nostalgia among fans in Japan as Goku can.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for manga/anime that won’t just please the eyes but also tear your heart to shreds, we’ve got some suggestions right here.

Source: Futabanet Manga Plus via Jin
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