Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (March 3, 2014)

I’m still trying to catch up to the most recent edition of Weekly Shonen Jump, and I just finally made it through the issue that was released on March 3, 2014. This issue includes chapters for Seraph of the End, Stealth Symphony, Naruto, Nisekoi, One Piece, All You Need Is Kill, Toriko, Bleach, and World Trigger.

For the series that carried over from Volume 108, I tried to put a little more focus in my write-ups about the progression of the story from the previous chapter. For the two series that weren’t in Volume 108, I focus more on my initial impressions of the series. I will 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.

Seraph of the End CH:012

After trumpets of the apocalypse proclaim the fall of humanity, vampires arise to rule the earth. Yuichiro just wants one thing: to get revenge by killing each and every vampire. At this point in the story, Shinjuku is under attack. Yuichiro and company go to kill the vampires, while Lt. Colonel Guren mobilizes his squad. They target Ferid, the vampires’ leader. Ferid sends out Mika to deal with the humans. At the beginning of the chapter, it turns out Yuichiro and Mika knew each other four years earlier, but that she was killed by vampires in the intervening time. While Yuichiro and the others are in the middle of a battle, one of Yuichiro’s companions suggests that Yuichiro undergo some training right then and there; the training requires taking a pill to help increase the synchronization rate with their demon. We also see Lt Colonel Guren and his squad fighting on the front lines. The order is given for Yuichi and the others to take their supplement as they go to serve as reinforcements for Lt. Colonel Guren. As Yuchi arrives at the battlefield, it appears that Mika recognizes him…

This is another series that I’m jumping into the middle of. However, it seems like I was able to follow it for the most part. The ending of this chapter is a nice cliffhanger, and it makes me want to read the next chapter of Serpah of the End when it’s available to read in Weekly Shonen Jump.

Stealth Symphony CH:002

In Chapter One, Jig went to the town of Jinbo-cho to seem someone who can help him remove the curse he has from a used life support system with a sorcerer’s evil spirit. He hired a bodyguard from the V&V security company to protect the people of the town from his curse; his bodyguard is an invisible man named Tromo Yabusame; however, at the end of the chapter, it’s revealed that Tromo is actually an invisible dragon. Jig also learns the life support system is actually a Dragon Heirloom, and that the orphanage director had set him up. The assassin sent to kill Jig tries to get him again, but fails and is instead rescued from Jig’s curse by Tromo. Before the assassin can do anything else, he is attacked by Souya Yuunagi, the vice president of the assassin guild; he is also expelled from the guild. Jig also learns that there’s a Rank A heirloom that might be able to suppress the power of his Rank C heirloom; however, the last time it was at an auction, it went for a rather steep price. Right at the end of the chapter, Jig gets a job in order to start having some money so he can live in the town.

This chapter is a very logical progression from what was seen in chapter one. It not only got Jig out of harm’s way for the time being, but it also included some more information to help the reader better understand the town of Jinob-chio and provided some background information for Tromo. Stealth Symphony continues to show promise, and I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter to find out what happens next.

Naruto CH:666

At the end of the previous chapter, Obito stood up to his former master, Madara Uchiha. This leads to the two of them having an epic fight in chapter 666. Obito and Kakashi plan to use their mangekyo to try to return the Nine Tails to Naruto. Then, we get to see a flashback of Young Kakashi, Young Obito, Young Rin, and Minato. When Obito arrives to help Naruto, Sakura doesn’t trust him at first. As Kakashi is under attack from Madara, someone unexpected intervenes…

Wow, the story is really getting intense here! Not only that, it almost had me literally on the edge of my seat as I read it. And from the way the story’s being told at this point, as well as the way the story is progressing, I really get the feeling that Naruto may be getting much closer to the end than I really want to realize. I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter in order to find out how this story will progress.

Nisekoi CH:112

In the previous chapter, Paula found what she thought was a jar of gummy candy; instead, it turns out to be a prototype love drug. Several girls take it and are suddenly attracted to Seishiro. Seishiro, meanwhile, comes to realize that she’s in love with Raku. This chapter begins with Marika being approached by Migisuke, asking her for love advice. Marika finds Raku and asks for his help explain love to Migisuke.

Oh, dear. The whole “you might get pregnant if I touch you” gag makes an appearance here. The first time I saw something like that in an anime or manga, it was mildly amusing. But after seeing something like that so many times, it comes across as dumb rather than funny. The overall concept of this chapter just isn’t doing much for me, either. Oh well.

One Piece CH:739

In the previous chapter, Usopp and Robiland were in the Smile Factory, trying to free the 500 Tontattas who are enslaved there as workers. Unfortunately, when the operation is launched, an army of toys is summoned to try to put down the rebellion. Robiland (aka Robin)’s deception is also discovered by Trebol. Trebol launches an attack that destroys the officer’s tower. Meanwhile, news comes out that Doflamingo has quit the Seven Warlords and won’t be the king of Dressrosa anymore; however, it appears it was a false report. We also get to see the character of Rebecca, and she starts into a fight.

This chapter doesn’t seem to progress the overall story much, but the reader is given background information on the one-legged toy that’s helping to lead the Tontattas’ bid for freedom. I’m still trying to figure out everything that’s going on, since I not only made a big jump forward in the story, but I seem to have landed in the middle of an already established story arc. I suspect this one will start making a little more sense to me as I’m able to read more chapters.

All You Need Is Kill CH:007

Keiji Kiriya fights against the alien mimics that are invading, and he discovers that he’s stuck in some kind of time loop. This chapter begins with Keiji’s 158th loop. He’s able to make some progress in the fight, and the 17th company begins to back him up. With the actions that Keiji is taking, he’s starting to cause things to happen that others don’t expect. Keiji also discovers that he may be starting to feel something for Rita, but he realizes that he can’t love anyone right now, since the time spent together would be lost when he goes through another time loop. Right at the end of the chapter, Rita asks Keiji how many loops this is for him…

I have to say that this chapter of All You Need Is Kill was much easier for me to follow than the previous chapter had been. Between having a little more familiarity with the story, plus the fact that the chapter isn’t skipping around to various time loops, I could actually understand what’s happening. By the end of chapter seven, I found myself becoming more interested in this story than I was at the end of chapter six.

Toriko CH:268

In the previous chapter, Toriko and his friends found a rare Billion Bird egg inside a rather old gourmet case. They hatch the egg and get the chick to be full grown, able to lay a lot of eggs, and then be ready to eat. Unfortunately, the Billion Bird doesn’t taste very good, so now they need t come up with a way to make it so people will want to eat it. During chapter 268, we see the chefs discovering ways they can use the various parts of the Billion Bird in their dishes. And because this was the first “real” ingredient that people had tasted in almost a year, they think it’s delicious and are grateful for it.

This chapter seems to have brough this story arc to an end rather nicely. Not only did the people of world finally have real food again, but something remarkable happens with the Billion Bird. It appears to be a happy ending for all!

Bleach CH:570

Chapter 570 sees a touching moment between Rukia and Byakuya, where he gives her some advice about her bankai. We also see Kotechin and and Assistant Captain Kusajishi stealing bedding and medicine from the Quincy and hiding it away. Unfortunately, they are caught by someone calling themselves “V.”

I really liked the scene between Rukia and Byakuya in this chapter. When I think about how aloof Byakuya had been to Rukia earlier in the series, it makes me happy to see that he’s finally trying to connect with her. The scene with Kotechin, Captain Kusajishi, and “V” is brief, but it appears to be setting the stage for the next chapter of Bleach.

World Trigger CH:050

A gate to another dimension has opened, and monsters called Neighbors invade Earth. Osamu Mikumo is among the elite warriors that co-opt other-dimensional technology to fight back. He also has a Neighbor friend named Yuma. At this point in the story, Trion soldiers swarm the city while another wave of Rabits captures isolated Border agents. B-rank squads have been ordered to gather into one group and eradicate the swarm one area at a time. Osamu’s teammate Chika is in one of the areas that’s to be secured last, and he and Kitora head over to save her. As they head to her, they encounter an enemy soldier and fight it. As the fight begins, Osamu has a flashback to the training he underwent in order to fight effectively against the enemy. The chapter ends with the result of his training…

Since this is another series I’m jumping into the middle of, I’m trying to get to know the characters and the overall concept of the story. The overall concept seems pretty easy to understand, but there’s really only focus on one character: Osamu. I did learn a little bit about him in this chapter, though, so it’s a start. While this series may not have grabbed me very much with this one chapter, I’m hoping that I become more interested in this title as I’m able to read more chapters.

Join Border and Fight Back!

This is a six-page feature done in a way that it appears to be a brochure for the Border Defense Agency in World Trigger. It includes a brief history of the organization, profiles for some of the Border Defense Agency’s agents, an explanation of the rank system, the top brass, definitions for key terms, and combat basics. I found this to be very helpful, since it provided me with important information that I wouldn’t have been able to glean by simply reading the chapter and helped me to start have a better understanding of some of the basic concepts of World Trigger.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

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