1. Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece
I mean, yeah. He's a no-brainer. One Piece is the best-selling manga of all time, still running to this day, One Piece as a series is just so ridiculosly emblematic of Jump that it'd be a crime not to have it
2. Son Goku from Dragon Ball
Another ridiculously obvious pick. Goku is quite possibly the John Anime. Gotta have him in
3. Naruto Uzumaki from Naruto
Rounding out the big 3, we have Naruto! I mean, yeah. It's Naruto. Moving on:
4. Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach
Ichigo is another character who definitely feels like you gotta have 'im in. Bleach was one of Jump's big series during the 2000s, it's often treated as a sort of "fourth wheel" to the Big 3, and it says a lot that even when Jump Force mercilessly culled the 2000s representation, Bleach was, like, the one that stuck around
5. Deku from My Hero Academia
I don't think I need to explain this one either, do I? MHA is one of Jump's biggest recent hits, it just Makes Sense
6. Tanjiro Kamado from Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
What little I said about Deku applies to Tanjiro as well. Demon Slayer became like the biggest thing ever in the span of the past 5 or so years, and although I'm not a fan of the kind of rosters that pretty much just do "the safe picks + a bunch of the Hot New Hits", I feel Tanjiro has earned it, he can be in
7. DIO from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
Aight, hear me out: I am, in fact, including DIO as the sole JoJo rep. The one-character-per-series approach kinda sorta heavily limited the potential villains I could add, but DIO feels like one of the ones that work well enough as standalone reps. One of the most iconic Jump villains ever, extremely important to his series with his influence being felt across pretty much the entire original timeline, super popular....c'mon, it's ****ing DIO.
8. Gon Freecss from Hunter x Hunter
Yeah this is another big one. Despite being pretty old by now, HxH is still very much hip with the kids these days, it's just all-around a very popular series, blah blah blah, MOVING ON:
9. Yusuke Urameshi from YuYu Hakusho
And from one Togashi thing to another, we have Yusuke! YYH was absolutely huge in the early 90s, it's one of Jump's most celebrated legacy properties, gotta have him in.
10. Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star
YOU WA SHOOOOOOOCK
Excuse me. Anyway, if you do not have Kenshiro in your roster, it is automatically trash. I mean, come on, it's goddamn Kenshiro! The father of MANime! The series that kicked off Jump's Golden Age! Gotta have him in.
11. Pegasus Seiya from Saint Seiya
And now we have another iconic pillar of Jump during the 80s. It'd feel very weird to leave Seiya out tbh
12. Kenshin Himura from Rurouni Kenshin
And now we have yet another extremely important legacy character. While it's true that Watsuki is kind of a creep, I don't think Kenshin should suffer from that, as none of his, er, general creepiness found its way into his work. Regardless, Kenshin comes from a series that was super important to Jump in the 90s. If we put the deal with Watsuki aside, gotta have him in.
13. Asta from Black Clover
I'm gonna be real with you: I could not give less ****s about Black Clover. BUUUUUUUUUUUT it is one of Jump's biggest hits from recent years, so if this roster were to hypothetically take place in the year of our lord 2021, then he prolly would be in
14. Kankichi Ryotsu from KochiKame
Alright, we have been adding pretty much nothing but straightforward action characters so far. We need some Funny Ha Ha energy! And KochiKame is easily the biggest gag manga to have ever graced the pages of Jump. It ran for 40 goddamn years, it's a super iconic series, Ryotsu has been in pretty much every Jump thing ever with the exception of JF, we must include it or else
15. Arale Norimaki from Dr. Slump
And here's yet another gag manga character! Dr. Slump is notable for being the thing Toriyama did before Dragon Ball, but that's not its only merit - otherwise I'd be sitting here extolling the virtues of Baoh. It's an iconic and important series in its own right, and Arale has also been in, like, almost every Jump thing, soooooooooo
16. Gintoki Sakata from Gintama
And rounding out our base game gag manga trio, we have Gintoki! Gintama is a very popular series and his exclusion from JF was criminal. We gotta fix that. BRING HIM BACK
17. Yami Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh!
We also kinda gotta have Yugi in, I feel. Yu-Gi-Oh is just such an iconic series, even if I do kinda tend to associate it more in my mind with the card game or anime than the original Jump manga. It is still, however, a Jump thing. So we might as well.
18. Kinnikuman from, er, Kinnikuman
So, like, here's the thing: I think it's supremely ****ing weird that Kinnikuman's last appearance in one of the big console crossover fighters was all the way back in JUS, considering how iconic his series is. I really think he should come back the next time they do a thing like this, so I might as well take advantage of the opportunity. Also grapplers are cool
19. Korosensei from Assassination Classroom
Going back to the more recent fare, we have Korosensei! AssClass is in that weird spot where, like, it's a 2010s thing, it's pretty recent all things considered, but it does feel like it's past its time in the spotlight by now. But we can't just have the oldies or the new hotness, we need to give that awkward middle ground some love as well - and AssClass was a very successful series in its time and Korosensei himself is a very distinct and recognizable character. So he gets in. Lastly.....
20. Momotaro Tsurugi from Sakigake!! Otokojuku
Alright, so why Momotaro? Honestly, I just get the feeling that he'd get in. Otokojuku is a classic series, Shueisha seem intent on making sure we never EVER forget about it, Momotaro is up there in terms of near-constant presences in Jump things, so generally I think he'd manage to snag a slot. And deservedly so tbh, he'd be great!
So that's our base roster! Let's run it down: Luffy, Goku, Naruto, Ichigo, Deku, Tanjiro, DIO, Gon, Yusuke, Kenshiro, Seiya, Kenshin, Asta, Ryotsu, Arale, Gintoki, Yugi, Kinnikuman, Korosensei and Momotaro.
I think it turned out pretty great! Obviously not perfect - for example I do think I could have given the 2000s a bit more love - but I think it's a good baseline.