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If you’ve been reading Shonen Jump manga specifically, then you may already be familiar with the impact of the reader survey.

Just imagine the fate of these manga lies within your hand.

You can breathe a sigh of relief if the manga ranks high in the reader survey.

But if they don’t? Expect to see some of the manga getting the boot anytime soon.

As far as I can tell, the only way for you to cast the vote is to submit the paper vote that you will get when you buy the physical copy of the magazine.

The kicker? You need to be in Japan for the vote to arrive on time, though.

Can’t cast your vote even if you have a physical copy of the magazine?

Then you need to pray hard, hoping that the Japanese readers will cast the same votes as you.

I can’t say for sure if the same rule applies to manga serialized on Jump Plus considering that it’s an online publication.

Some people say that it doesn’t.

Whether the rules applied to the manga on Jump Plus or not, we all know how cruel it is to use a survey as a way to decide on the manga’s survival.

Why the reader survey?

For many of us, the idea of using a survey to determine the fate of the said manga not only is cruel, but it can be bizarre too.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t remember encountering the same thing in the local comic scenes.

Who knows, maybe the usage of a survey to gauge the comic’s popularity does exist and I’m not even aware of it.

But then again, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to me either if the manga publishers are the only ones that deploy such a system.

With ample manga submissions to fill the void, they have no reason to keep the unpopular manga wasting their limited space.

They may as well replace this doomed-to-fail manga with the manga they get from their submission piles and cast their bets once again.

If luck is on their side this time around, they may stumble upon the next Dragon Ball, Naruto, and One Piece.

And the best way for them to know if they win the bet is to use none other than the reader survey, of course!

It’s not the best way to gauge the manga’s popularity

Yes, a survey can be a wonderful arsenal to have in business. But it’s not the best way to gauge the manga’s popularity because of these reasons.

Some manga can only appeal to a specific niche and audience

Try as you might, but the majority of the manga will only be appealing to a specific audience even if it has all the popular tropes you can think of.

While that’s perfectly fine in other mediums, this concept seems to be lost in the manga publication in particular.

Just take a look at sports manga such as the recently ended Martial Master Asumi and the ongoing golf manga, Green Green Greens.

A manga like Martial Master Asumi isn’t going to be appealing to the wider audience simply because sports manga isn’t a mainstream genre to begin with.

Sure, you can argue the manga will be a big hit if MMA is taking Japan by storm or something.

But rather than betting on something like that, it’s best to have a healthy expectation that sports manga will only be appealing to a specific audience.

It’s a tall order to expect this type of manga to do well in the survey even if the manga is more interesting to read than their popular manga counterparts.

And that leads me to another point.

Younger audience tends to be fickle sometimes

Ask any young manga fan what they look for in a manga and they will tell you that they’re looking for something unique and refreshing.

Lo and behold, they shun the manga right off the bat when the manga has a unique concept that none of the manga that comes before it has.

And if we stick to something that is based on a popular manga that comes before it, they will flat-out say that the manga is trash and doesn’t offer anything unique.

So, how do they know if the story is unique and refreshing then?

Well, they will determine it based on how they feel, of course.

You can bet that they will label the manga as trash if they happen to wake up on the wrong side of the bed on that day.

What a reliable way to know whether the manga is worth their salts, right?

Sad to say, that’s what you’re bound to get when you have a younger audience as your main demographic.

They don’t have a clear idea of what makes good storytelling. And it’s also likely that they have yet to refine their specific preferences.

It’s because of this reason that many of the manga ended up getting axed despite having a strong and intriguing premise.

There’s no way to appeal to this type of audience when they’re not certain about their own preferences.

Is there a better way to gauge the manga’s popularity?

Sad to say, there’s no other way to gauge the manga’s popularity other than to rely on the survey.

You can only pray hard that the manga that you enjoy reading will last for quite some time.

Or at the very least, it wraps up nicely instead of having this nagging feeling that the ending feels rushed.

You see this all the time in pretty much most of the manga that you read on MANGA Plus.

Believe me, I’m not a fan of praying hard and hoping for the best.

But what choice do we have when we don’t have any control over how the manga does well in the survey?

That’s a hard pill to swallow for sure. But that’s the reality for all manga serialized in manga publications, not just Shonen Jump.

P.S. If you’re tired of reading Shonen-Jump-like stories and you’re in the mood to read a light novel in the thriller genre, then you may want to have a look at my thriller light novel series, Trigger Locked.

You can take a look at the first book of the series on my Payhip store. Use the coupon code SEKINAMAYUBLOG to get 25% off on your purchase.

Trigger Locked Book 1: The Mind Control Assassins