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Weekly Shonen Jump Almost Ended Akira Toriyama’s Dr. Slump Manga Prematurely, Reveals Former Editor

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Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragon Ball, almost ended his manga Dr. Slump early due to the overwhelming popularity of Hisashi Eguchi’s Stop!! Hibari-kun! manga, according to a recent interview with former Weekly Shonen Jump editor Kazuhiko Torishima.

According to Torishima, while Stop!! Hibari-kun! manga had achieved overwhelming popularity, becoming the magazine’s leading manga, Dr. Slump was witnessing a gradual decline in its fanbase.

This decline prompted Toriyama to express a desire to end the series early, a request he made repeatedly to the editorial team.

Torishima went on to explained that the editorial team was open to the idea of letting Toriyama concluding Dr. Slump early due to the strong performance of Stop!! Hibari-kun, since it was already leading the magazine forward.

However, unforeseen challenges arose when Eguchi began submitting late manuscripts, causing the manga to go on hiatus. This development forced the editorial team to reassess their strategy, ultimately deciding that they could not afford to let Toriyama end Dr. Slump prematurely.

“Hibari-kun” was overwhelmingly in first place, leading the magazine forward. It was the number one manga. At that time, the popularity of “Dr. Slump” was gradually declining. Toriyama kept saying, “I want to quit, I want to quit.” The fact that “Hibari-kun” had taken the top spot meant that there was a possibility for “Dr. Slump” to end, since the top manga was changing. So even if Toriyama said he wanted to quit, the editorial department could respond with, “We have ‘Hibari-kun’, so it’s okay.” However, when “Hibari-kun” started going on hiatus, Toriyama couldn’t quit “Dr. Slump”.

Eguchi took more time to draw the chapters of Stop!! Hibari-kun compared to his earlier manga, and as the serialization continued, he found it increasingly difficult to keep up a weekly pace for the chapters. He eventually abandoned the series after the editor-in-chief of Weekly Shonen Jump refused his request to release the chapters every other week.

It ran till Nov 28, 1983.

Toriyama, on the other hand, would continue serializing Dr. Slump till Sep 10, 1984, in Weekly Shonen Jump. After that he went on to create Dragon Ball, which started serializing on Nov 20, 1984.

Source: miyearnZZ Labo

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