How the Jump ToC Rankings Work

NOTE: I’ve noticed many people linking to this as a source of information. While obvious, do remember that I am not a primary source for any of this. Rather, this information was pieced together from what we randoms believe we know about Jump‘s rankings. If that’s what you intend to link to this for, link away.

JTOC LogoIt’s time I explained the Weekly Shōnen Jump Table of Contents Rankings and how they work.

As I’ve said previously, Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump is currently the most popular manga magazine by far. Even the flops sell better than the high-sellers of many other magazines. As a result, they have the leverage to keep the magazine fresh by kicking out 2-3 of the worst performers every ten or so issues. Poor performers are measured by reader surveys, and volume sales if they’re high enough.

Some series survive due to extremely high volume sales, despite being ranked the lowest in the magazines (an example being To Love-Ru). Other series sell poorly and survive on ranking alone (an example being Hinomaru Zumō). Living through even a single full year in the magazine is fairly difficult. Not only that, it’s practically a death sentence for a writer’s career in the magazine if their series get cancelled three times, not that it’s easy to get a slot after being cancelled twice.

We get a relatively accurate glimpse at what series are ranked where through the table of contents, which are organized primarily based on their positioning eight chapters prior. Any series with colour pages in that issue (which are primarily given to popular series, new series or one-shots), series with less than eight chapters, or series currently on their final chapter are unranked, and therefore placed wherever the editors please. Any special chapters or one-shots are also unranked.

For clarification purposes, this is what one issue’s table of contents looked like:

One Piece (Cover, Lead Colour)
Assassination Classroom
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
Kuroko’s Basketball (Center Colour)
World Trigger (Extra Pages)
Glass Feet (Center Colour, One-Shot)
Bleach (Center Colour)
Koisuru Edison
Shokugeki no Sōma
High Kyū!!
Nisekoi: False Love
Sket Dance
Medaka Box
Hungry Joker
Cross Manage
Rookie Policewoman Kiruko-san

At face value, You would think that Shokugeki no Sōma performed poorly that week, right? Not exactly. As I said earlier, anything with colour pages or less than eight chapters is unranked, as well as one-shots. As such, Glass Feet is automatically out of the calculation for being a one-shot. Koisuru Edison was on its fourth chapter in that issue and World Trigger was on its third, so those don’t count either. One Piece, Kuroko’s Basketball and Bleach also had colour pages, so those positions are null and void. After that, you get a list like this:

One Piece (Cover, Lead Colour)
1. Assassination Classroom
2. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
Kuroko’s Basketball (Center Colour)
3. Toriko
World Trigger (Extra Pages)
Glass Feet (Center Colour, One-Shot)
4. Naruto
Bleach (Center Colour)
Koisuru Edison
5. Shokugeki no Sōma
6. High Kyū!!
7. Nisekoi: False Love
8. Gintama
9. Beelzebub
10. Kochikame
11. Sket Dance
12. Medaka Box
13. Hungry Joker
14. Cross Manage
15. Rookie Policewoman Kiruko-san

Shokugeki no Sōma is in the top 5, which is an excellent position.

So I’ll be posting these lists every week, including the ones for the English version of the magazine, as there is, in fact, voting for it (though we don’t quite know how it works, so I don’t put any numbers on them).

(If anyone’s wondering why I have next week’s table for Japan, pirates get issues leaked a week early.)

[This article used to be longer, but the information was quite out of date, so I have removed the rest.]