Bishonen Jump Syndrome, also known as Shoujo Jump Syndrome, is a specific trend in shonen
), aimed at attracting a female Periphery Demographic
through gratuitously bishounen
anthology magazine Weekly Shonen Jump
(on which the US magazine Shonen Jump
is based) has long been the best-selling manga magazine in Japan. Although it is targeted to boys, it has a large female Periphery Demographic
. Sometime in the mid-1990s, Shonen Jump realized the sales potential of this demographic, and began to deliberately court female readers via Mr. Fanservice
. Specifically, they took standard shounen
all-male teams and simply made them into a Cast Full of Pretty Boys
(an idea promptly picked up by shoujo
as too good to waste on the guys). Traces of Ho Yay
are often also added (if not, the fangirls will see it anyway).
Among the first series to show this effect were YuYu Hakusho
and Rurouni Kenshin
(albeit with the latter it was a deliberate choice by the mangaka
); compare the art in these to Slam Dunk
or Great Teacher Onizuka
, which have old-school character designs. Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
and The Prince of Tennis
are probably the most blatant examples in recent times.
The fangirl-bait worked, sales went up, and the idea was promptly copied by other shonen magazines, to the extent that it is now more-or-less standard procedure. It is nonetheless often ridiculed by readers who prefer the older tough-looking art styles, who deride Shonen Jump
as "Bishonen Jump" or "Shoujo Jump".
For more information, see this essay
or this essay
(the latter was originally in Japanese and is awkwardly translated but informative).