As you may already know, I am an avid, enthusiastic follower of the Needless manga and have been since soon after I began watching the anime. Unfortunately for me, Needless is published monthly in Ultra Jump, a manga magazine that is sold in Japan and not available overseas. However, after various situations and circumstances, I decided to research my options and learned of way to order a subscription to Ultra Jump despite living outside of Japan. The outcome of this subscription to a manga magazine has unquestionably influenced how I read and enjoy manga and has allowed me to discover numerous new manga that I now find myself interested in.
The main reason I initially ordered a subscription was that I wanted to receive Needless on a regular basis and I wanted to support my favorite manga in whatever way I could. Since I began my subscription back in February of this year, I have received a monthly copy of Ultra Jump soon after it has been released in Japan, except during my trip to Japan in March. Prior to this subscription, the only manga I have ever owned were the volumes of the Needless manga. However, there are some differences between the two that have impacted how I experience manga.
For one, the size of the magazine and volumes are quite dissimilar: the magazine is rather large and thick, full of several other manga all updated monthly whereas the volume is just seven chapters of Needless with a few bonus pages spread throughout. This means the pages are larger, so the images and text are larger, but it doesn’t have the crisp, clean appearance that the volumes have. It might be because the paper is of a different quality and texture, since the pages do feel different between the two. Not only that but the issues of Ultra Jump always contain new manga whereas every volume I order is something I’ve already seen and read. In this regard, grabbing a new issue of Ultra Jump generates some excitement since it always has something new in it for me. In a sense, I think I feel more excited to get a new issue of Ultra Jump than I do a new issue of Needless, but, to be fair, the enthusiasm is a bit different. So in this regard, the subscription to Ultra Jump has influences how I read and enjoy Needless. Not only that but these copies of Ultra Jump have allowed me to see various other manga that are either new to me or have generated some interest in me.
Of particular note, Ultra Jump runs a number of other manga that I have found myself interested in. Besides Needless, Ultra Jump has a Steins;Gate manga (told through the perspective of Kurisu following the events of episode 24), a Robotics;Notes manga (told through the perspective of Frau, different than the anime), the 8th installment of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, JoJolion. Not only that, but a number of other manga have fascinating art styles or amusing characters which I am starting to find myself more and more interested in (however, all have started years before my subscription began, so I am in the middle of these stories). And though I only know a limited amount of Japanese, I do spend time looking over and trying to read these manga as best I can. It is worth noting I have not begun looking for these manga scanlations online yet, but I figure it may eventually lead to that someday.
So while my reasons for subscribing to Ultra Jump were to help support Needless and to obtain the manga on a regular basis, I have found the lasting effect to be much more. Beyond satisfying my two original intentions, the subscriptions to Ultra Jump have changed how I enjoy reading manga. The physical copies of the manga do have a different impression than reading copies online or out of a bound volume. Furthermore, it has exposed me to a number of other manga that I never would have considered before, which may eventually lead to me to begin reading these manga or searching out others. In regards to this, the impact of Ultra Jump still continues to this day and will continue on into next year. In a sense, it’s influence over me has not ended yet as my subscription to Ultra Jump will continue well into next year and perhaps beyond.