Weekly Shonen Jump is a magazine that is released in Japan once a week. With three million readers, it is one of the longest-running manga magazines in Japan. Monthly Shonen Jump is released by the same publisher, but is released only once per month, and is much larger than Weekly Shonen Jump. The target audience for the magazine is young males, who are between the ages of 10 and 16. There is often a lot of adventure and action in the manga stories, and the reader may find characters who have special abilities.
It was first released in 1968 as a magazine to compete against Shonen Magazine, which was very popular at the time. Weekly Shonen Jump had its best circulation numbers in the mid 90’s, when it reached over six million readers per week. For various reasons, the magazine circulation has dropped in the last few years, but it is still one of the most popular weekly manga magazines to be released. There have been quite a few very popular mangas that have been published in the magazine, including some that became popular enough to have video games created out of them, like Famicon Jump and Jump Superstars.
There are shonen magazines that are released around the world, but they are released only monthly, not weekly as the original is. In the United States, Viz Media partnered with the publishers of Shonen Jump to publish the magazine both in the United States and in Canada. These magazines are very similar to the original, in that they read from right to left and have a very large fan-base in the west. The United States version used to leave the dialogue the same, but has since created a policy to edit the dialogue in an effort to appeal to broader audiences. This has caused controversy in long-time readers. One of the reasons it has done so is because any manga that is not edited is released much sooner.
In Germany, the magazine is part of a compilation project called BANZAI!. It has published a number of very popular manga, including Yu-Go-Oh and Hunter x Hunter. Unfortunately, the magazine was stopped in 2005 after fifty issues had been released, as the publisher, Shueisha, decided not to renew the contract. There are still single books available such as the Best of BANZAI!.
There is also a version of Weekly Shonen Jump in Sweden, which has the added bonus of having sections which teaches readers how to draw manga. There is also a Norwegian version, which seems to have stalled out due to lack of readers.