Juhaku

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Pairing
Pairing: Juhaku
Alternative name(s): Hakuju, Judaryuu, Ryuujuda, jh, Edgebros, Zabura, 🐉🍑
Gender category: M/M
Fandom: Magi
Canonical?: No
Prevalence: Popular
Archives: Works at AO3, Works at FF.net
Other:
Cover of Juhaku doujinshi "Monozuki-sha no ibasho", by Naosuke.
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Juhaku is a slash ship in the Magi fandom between characters Hakuryuu Ren and Judar. While it had a small following earlier, Juhaku gained popularity in the fandom around 2014, when the manga started focusing on them for a story arc.

Canon

Judar and Hakuryuu met as children when Hakuryuu's mother Gyokuen brought Judar to live in the Kou court as the High Priest of the Kou Empire. After the great fire that killed Hakuryuu's brothers, Judar was the only one to treat Hakuryuu like before the event, something that Hakuryuu was secretly grateful for. Both characters are properly introduced in the story when Judar once again tried to invite Hakuryuu to conquer a dungeon, which Hakuryuu refused. Eventually, Hakuryuu and Judar end up teaming up in order to defeat Gyokuen, when Hakuryuu realizes he can't beat her alone, and when Judar realizes how she had used him all his life. They conquer a dungeon and start a revolution and a civil war in Kou. Hakuryuu denied wanting to work with Judar initially, but his attitude changes and when Judar seemingly "dies", he becomes heartbroken. The two are eager to reunite, which they are able to do three years later. The two meet in Judar's home village where they discover Judar's birth name, which Judar doesn't want to reveal to anyone else. Judar says that he is content with his life regardless of the tragedy he has had to experience because he has had fun wreaking havoc with Hakuryuu. Hakuryuu expressed that he wished for them to talk more about things.

Fandom

Juhaku is the most popular ship tag in the fandom on Archive of Our Own. Late 2018, the tag grew bigger than that of Sinja, which had been the undisputed largest ship in the fandom since early parts of the series. Hakuju is another name that has been used for the ship, however, most people call it Juhaku regardless of what they think of the ship dynamic. The team-up of the two has also been called Edgebros, which could be used in sense of the ship as well as them platonically. The ship is sometimes called jh for short.

In Japanese, the ship is known as ジュダ龍 (Judaryuu) or 龍ジュダ (Ryuujuda), depending on the fan creator's preference for the ship dynamic. People also refer to it as ざぶら (Zabura), which comes from ザブラック (Zaburakku, or "The Black"). This originates from the name of the official duet character song of the two called The Black, the emphasis of which generally appears way more in the Japanese fandom compared to the English-speaking one. While it is in the more popular end of ships in the Japanese fandom, it does not match in popularity to Sinja, unlike in the English fandom where the two are about even in popularity.

Tropes

Fluff is the most popular genre for Juhaku fanfiction on AO3. Modern AU is the most common additional tag. Many Juhaku fics are AUs in general, for example fantasy AUs where one or both of the characters are some form of a mythical creature.

Stories set in the canon verse typically take place during:

  • Their childhood, when there is innocence
  • Before teaming up, when Hakuryuu is trying to deny Judar
  • The revolution they started, them revelling in their depravity
  • At their reunion, the part that was not shown in the manga when the two reunite in Judar's village and discover his birth name
  • Post-Canon
They are non-violent only towards each other, a comedic take on the ship. Made by hosespread.

The ship, especially in art, has certain comedy to it when the two are portrayed as depraved and war-hungry, brutal fighters, who turn fluffy when interacting with each other.

In terms of meta, the discussion of Judar's sexuality has often taken prevalence among Juhaku fans.

Canon status and marriage

While many would've wanted Juhaku to become canon and were hoping for it, it was known that chances for that in a shounen manga were pretty much non-existent. The topic of Juhaku marriage (and more broadly, the ship's status in canon) had already been a meme before the ending, but after it, it has become all the more common. A few months after the release of the final chapter, a popular Magi Tumblr blog, magitextposts, made a post:

not to be dramatic but ohtaka’s a coward for not letting judar and hakuryuu get married in canon… just sayin
#tbh they're more married than alimor it's ridiculous

magitextposts, February 9, 2018.[1]

Similar sentiments have since then been voiced on multiple websites, such as this anonymous post on 4chan:

I will never forgive Ohtaka for not making Haku/Judar canon at the end. Coward.

Anonymous, January 30, 2021.[2]

Others have taken a different approach on the situation. Since it was unlikely for a gay ship to be canon in a shounen manga, many Juhaku fans are very content their ship wasn't sunk, as neither character had any other available love interests by the ending. This alone is considered a victory for the ship. Therefore, in the minds of those who like it, it's headcanoned that the ship will simply become real post-canon. It's not uncommon to see posts declaring that the two are married[3] or feature marriage as a trope in a post-canon fanfic.

Criticism

The ship faced some initial opposition from people on the count that the characters were seen as manipulating each other or egging each other on to do bad things. It was accused of being unhealthy, especially when the two were antagonists in the arc. Because Hakuryuu didn't initially want to team up with Judar in the story, their cooperation was seen more as a means to an end rather than a true companionship. However, these voices eventually quieted down as the story moved on to the Final Arc. The dynamic between the characters shifted from its initial point, and it was shown that they had formed a genuine friendship and were shown to be worried for each other.[4] Juhaku shippers would point out these bits of the story to defend their shipping of the couple.[5]

Events

Japanese fandom

"November 26th is The Black Day" (11月26日はザブラックの日) is a hashtag used by the Japanese Juhaku fandom to celebrate November 26th, which is the date on which Judar and Hakuryuu duet song "The Black" was released with a Magi anime blu-ray in 2014. This is also special because Judar and Hakuryuu are the only Magi characters to get an official duet song. On this day, people post art, fics and fanvids of Juhaku, and especially images of an AU where they are band members singing the song are popular. Although such band AU images in relation to the song had been made ever since the song's release in 2014, the hashtag in question only started on Twitter in 2017.

Within the fifth Meikyuu tanbou doujinshi event in 2017, there was a mini-event dedicated to Juhaku under the name Fall into Black.

English fandom

Cancelled zine

Truly, Madly, Deeply was a Juhaku zine that was supposed to be released in 2017. The theme of the zine was fairy tales and fantasy. There were supposed to be digital, print, and print with merch releases. The profits made from the zine were supposed to be donated to The Trevor Project charity, which specializes in providing resources, crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth. Despite all the material for the zine having been ready, it was cancelled. The reason given was the difficulty to get the prints and disturbances in the organizers' personal lives.

The cancellation of the zine was announced with the following update on the project's Tumblr blog:

Hi all, apologies for the very late update and long period of silence. After careful discussion between mods, we have unfortunately decided to cancel all zine orders. For a quick breakdown of what’s happened: At first, we had problems with one of the suppliers disappearing. And after that, a combination of school, work, and worsening mental health had pushed finding a replacement, as well as dealing with inquiries and providing updates, to a lower priority. Since things aren’t looking to get any better soon, rather than spending even more time to complete orders and causing uncertainty and anxiety on all sides, we will be cancelling orders as an incomplete project and refunding everyone. The digital version of the zine will be released as pay-what-you-want as an apology for the delays. All profit will continue to go towards The Trevor Project. This also ensures that anyone who missed preorders, or any future fans of Juhaku, will have access to the zine. Refunds and the digital zine will go out within 1 to 2 weeks.

All contributors are now free to publicly post their work if they wish to do so. The merch that has already been made will either be distributed among contributors, or sold as a bundle separate from the digital zine if there is anyone interested in the merch alone. We are still discussing.

Thank you for all the support for the past months, and we sincerely apologize for any disappointment we’ve caused. This has been a passion project for us, especially since the fandom is relatively small, as well as a learning experience. Hopefully if Magi season 3 ever happens, there will be other people who can bring a Juhaku zine to completion.[11]

Despite the promises, no digital or any other release of the zine was ever published, and it has never seen the light of day in any form. The organizers eventually abandoned their accounts, with no further updates having been made since 2018. There had been some inner disputes already during the creation process.[12]

While many people were very disappointed at this shortcoming, few wanted to express their disapproval in public:

SetsuntaMew tweeted:
I know it's always "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all" so....I'm not going to say anything about the juhaku zine falling through, and we'll leave it at that[13]

frailnaught replied:
Ah that's... unfortunate
I'll stay quiet like u then !![14]

Some of the people participating have since posted their artworks that were intended for the zine on Tumblr, Twitter and deviantArt.

The contributors to the zine were listed as follows:
Artists: abimatsu, AIRISTATLE, Asura, Beamie, bracari-iris, Echo, EeNii, guntaabee, Hebes, Jinsei, kurapixel, Lati, Sawyer, ViolaKey, Viviana Di Chiara, Wiltking
Authors: ChiekaHakuen, PreseaMoon, setosdarkness

The following people released their contributions later: abimatsu, Beamie, Echo, EeNii, ChiekaHakuen, Jinsei, and wiltking. The works of AIRISTATLE, Kurapixel, and one of the organizers Sawyer exist as previews. None of the fanfiction has been shared by the authors.

Comments

I like pairings involving Judar, hes so great in lots of them, Ive gone from Judar Aladdin, Judar Alibba, to Judar Ren Hakuryuu, I just love Judar and Ren Hakuryuu especially during the kingdom of magic moments and how they started developing together, I have a feeling its going to be great.

SharkBait, July 11, 2014.[15]

I think JudarxHaku are conviniently written for us to think they are together if we want to, and to think they are not if we don’t want to. Their development and interactions point out their closeness but there’s nothing explicit that says they are a couple, so we can’t say they are together, but the hints are there. I think they have all the elements that would make them a good couple^^

itsdanystormborn, November 6, 2017.[16]

Anonymous:
Juhaku should have been canon

Anonymous:
i hate j*haku, judar just brought out the worst in hakuryuu.

Anonymous:
That's exactly why I like it, the delicious angst and power play. To each her own, though.

November 18, 2021.[17][18][19]

Example Fanworks

Fanfiction

Fanart

Fanvids

Doujinshi

Archives and Communities

Other Resources

Tumblr Juhaku post collections

References