Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (February 24, 2014)

I’ve recently acquired access to Weekly Shonen Jump through Viz Media, and I’m planning to give some basic coverage to each issue. Unfortunately, I’m running a couple of weeks behind, so I’m hoping to get caught up over the course of this week.

Since this is the first issue I’ve read, I admit that my write-ups will be focusing more on my general impression of the series that I’m jumping into the middle of, and my impressions of series that I’ve read but have now made a major jump from where I currently am in those series to where the story is now in Weekly Shonen Jump. My aim starting with the next issue is to try to focus more on critiquing on the storylines themselves of each series that appears.

I will also warn you that these write-ups will more than likely contain spoilers.

Of course, you can always check out Weekly Shonen Jump for yourself by subscribing to the digital publication at VIZManga.com.

Stealth Symphony CH:001

Stealth Symphony tells the story of Jig, a young boy who has acquired a curse after becoming ill and receiving a used life support system that’s cursed with a sorcerer’s evil spirit. The curse protects Jig from any attack, but repays the assailant two-fold. He goes to the town of Jinbo-cho to seek someone who can help him remove the curse. Jig hires the V&V security company to provide a bodyguard to help prevent him from hurting others. Jig is accompanied by Tromo Yabusame, an invisible man. As they try to find the exorcist to remove Jig’s curse, they discover that things aren’t what they seem…

After reading the first chapter, I think there’s a lot of potential for Stealth Symphony. This chapter also does a great job of establishing the main characters and the main concepts of the series. At the end of the chapter, my interested was piqued in wanting to read the next chapter in order to find out what happens next.

One Piece CH:738

At this point in the story, Luffy and the Straw Hats are in the waters of the New World. Luffy has entered into a pirate alliance with Trafalgar War to take down Don Quixote Doflamingo, one of the seven warlords of the sea. When they reach Doflamingo’s turf, the kingdom of Dressrosa, they learn of a fighting tournament with Ace’s Flame-Flame Devil Fruit as a prize. Luffy disguises himself as Lucy and enters the tournament to win his brother’s memento and is able to reach the finals. Doflamingo takes down Trafalgar War, and Luffy secretly switches places in the tournament with a mysterious stranger. Luffy is rushing to Law’s rescue, while the remaining Straw Hats try to undo the magic turning Dressrosa’s citizens into toys.

Usopp and Robiland are in the Smile Factory, and are on a mission to free the 500 Tontattas who are enslaved there as workers. Unfortunately, when an operation is launched, an army of toys is summoned to try to put down the rebellion. Robiland’s deception is also discovered by Trebol, and a battle is just about to start when the chapter ends…

Admittedly, this is a huge jump for me compared to where I currently am in either the manga or the anime, so I’m a bit lost as to what’s currently going on. Hopefully, as I continue to read more chapters of this story arc in Weekly Shonen Jump, I’ll start making a little more sense out of what’s going on.

Naruto CH:665

Naruto and the Allied Shinobi Forces must stop Madara Uchiha, the man who started the ninja war. Cell 7 has been reunited, but Madara has resurrected himself, has his right eye back, and has pulled the Nine Tails out of Naruto’s body. Sasuke confronts Madara, but seems to have been dealt a mortal blow. Madara has absorbed biju into himself and now has the power of the Sage of Six Paths. Sakura and Gaara try to save Naruto as Madara arrives at the scene. In this chapter, the truth about the Sage of Six Paths is revealed, as well as information about Obito. Gaara and Kakashi attack, but are knocked back. The end of the chapter sees Obito trying to fight against Madara’s control…

This is another big jump for me compared to where I currently am in the Naruto Shippuden anime. However, between what I do know and from the spoilers I have seen, I can make a bit more sense out of what’s going on. This chapter definitely ends on an interesting note, though, and I wonder if Obito will succeed in fighting off Madara or not.

One-Punch Man CH:033

The protagonist of One-Punch Man is Saitama, a super powerful hero who can easily defeat monsters and villains with one punch. However, after becoming too strong, Saitama becomes bored of his powers and is trying to find stronger opponents to fight with. At this point in the story, aliens attack City A, and Saitama has found a way into their ship and is wreaking havoc. While he hasn’t made it to the leader yet, he’s taken out a few underlings and parts of the ship. Saitama is given a warning to stop his destructive behavior and to retreat immediately. When the voice he hears in his head tries to guide him out, Saitama decides to do the opposite. Saitama finds the person who was talking to him, and it turns out to be a telekinetic…

This chapter was very action-packed. Unfortunately, by jumping into the middle of this series when it’s already this far along, I’m having a hard time truly understanding what’s going on right now. Hopefully as I read more chapters, I’ll start to better understand what’s going on in One-Punch Man.

All You Need Is Kill CH:006

When the alien mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is a recruit who is shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, but he is reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. Earlier in the series, Keiji realizes he’s stuck in some kind of time loop. He wants to take advantage of this to bring down the Mimics once and for all; unfortunately, the Mimics aren’t going to be easily defeated. When Keiji gets a depressed look on his face, he gets a knockout punch from a fellow soldier. After talking with Rachel, Keiji thinks she looks a bit like a librarian that he saw earlier. This chapter also shows highlights from four of the time loops that Keiji has gone through, and another one is just about to start when the chapter ends.

This was very hard to follow, even though it’s only the sixth chapter. It also doesn’t help that I’m not exactly a major fan of time loop stories after experiencing the eight “Endless Eight” episodes of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. I think this is going to be one of those series that I’ll have to read from the start at some point in order to have a better appreciation for it.

Toriko CH:267

Toriko is set in a world that’s ruled by the pursuit if the most delicious foods, and it’s a world where it’s eat or be eaten. Gourmet Hunter Toriko travels the world searching for the tastiest foods with hos bottomless stomach, and he faces any beast he encounters on his way. At this point, the Age of Gourmet is over, and more than 18 months have passed since Meteor Spice destroyed much of the Human World. People now struggle to find new food sources. The challenge is on to complete the former President’s Four-Course Meal. Toriko takes a quest to Biotope 1, where a secret Rest Room has been found that might have the missing Main Dish. It appears to be a rather old gourmet case. When the case is opened, it’s discovered that inside is the egg of the rare Billion Bird. At first, it appears that this will be the answer to their problems, but Toriko points out that the egg can only incubate and hatch under certain
conditions. After meeting these conditions and hatching the egg, they have gett the chick full grown and ready to eat. They succeed in getting it to lay eggs. However, the challenge now is to make the cooked Billion Bird taste good…

Even though I’m jumping into this particular manga so late in its run, I still had a relatively easy time following it and understanding what was going on. With the kind of shonen series that it is, I probably haven’t missed a lot of important information by jumping in at this point.

Bleach CH:569

At this point in Bleach, a group called the Vandenreich launches a simultaneous attack against the Soul Society and Ichigo in the World of the Living. Ichigo has learned the truth about his mother’s death and receives his true Zanpaku-to. Yhwach, the Quincy King, begins his final assault on the Soul Society and reveals the true nature of the Vandenreich. The Soul Society disappears and is replaced by the new Quincy kingdom. Rukia is facing off against As Nodt when Byakuya suddenly appears. Rukia and Byakuya face off against As Nodt together, and Byakuya finally recognizes Rukia’s strength.

This is another series where this is a major jump from where I am in either the anime or manga series. A lot has definitely changed in the series in the section of the story I haven’t seen yet. I was a little lost, but I really enjoyed this chapter anyway. I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter to find out what happens.

Nisekoi CH:111

Nisekoi is about Raku and Chitoge, the children of gangsters. Raku’s father arranges a false love match with Chitoge, the daughter of a rival gang leader. However, Raku is searching for his childhood sweetheart. He also discovers that three candidates have keys: Chitoge, Onodera (his current crush), and Tachibana (the police chief’s daughter). The chapter starts out with Seishiro and Paula inside a house, and Paula finding what she thinks if a jar of gummy candy. Seishiro tells Paula not to eat them, but she does anyway. It turns out it’s a prototype love drug of the Beehive Drag Development Division. Seishiro tries to keep anyone else from getting the candy, but Chitoge, Marika and Kosaki see it and end up eating one as well. After running into Raku, Seishiro finds she wants to hold him; however, she runs off before giving into the compulsion. After they end up in the nurse’s office together, Seishiro finds herself giving in…

This is another series I’m jumping into the middle of, and I was a little lost in regards to the various characters at first. I had to reread some of the pages two or three times before I figured out who Seishiro was. But now that I’ve read this chapter, I hope the other chapters going forward will be a little easier to follow as I learn more about the series.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:39

At this point in the series, Yuma and Astral are dueling with Kaito. In an adjacent arena, Yagumo and Shark begin a duel. Luna and the members of the Numbers Club go into Dr. Faker’s lab to try to find the controls to stop an interdimensional rift from destroying the world. This chapter focuses on Yuma’s duel and on Luna’s group finding Dr. Faker. A group of girls is also looking for Haruto.

This is another series where I’m experiencing a little bit of a jump. Prior to reading this volume of Weekly Shonen Jump, I had only read the first two volumes of the manga that had been released in the United States by Viz Media. So I’m going from Yuma just starting out to being involved in a major storyline. It’s a bit of a jump, but it looks like Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal seems to be going in similar directions to previous Yu-Gi-Oh! series, so that has helped to make this a little easier to follow than it might have been.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

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