Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (April 21, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Bleach, Naruto, World Trigger, Seraph of the End, Toriko, Nisekoi, Stealth Symphony, One-Punch Man, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal.

For the series that carried over from previous issues I’ve read, I tried to put a little more focus in my write-ups about the progression of the story from the previous chapter. 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.

Bleach CH:577

In the previous chapter, after Kenpachu was able to get some blows in on Gremmy, he taunts his opponent about imagining his death. This snaps Gremmy out of what was slowing him down, and he starts recovering. By the end of the chapter, Gremmy created a second version of himself by using his imagination, and that second version is also unable to be cut. And since there’s two of them that are the same, they can both use their imagination. In this chapter, a meteor suddenly starts coming down, and Gremmy intends to destroy both Kenpachi and the Seireitei itself. The members of Soul Society seem to feel they’re safe because they believe the meteor will be obliterated by the Shakonmaku Barrier; unfortunately, the barrier is unable to obliterate it. When Gremmy taunts Kenpachi, Gremmy is surprised to see that Kenpachi isn’t fazed at all. As Kenpachi jumps up to attack the meteor with his sword, Yahiru has a flashback of when she met Kenpachi. At the end of the chapter, it appears that Kenpachi has succeeded…

This chapter basically spent time on the others in the Seireitei and their reactions to the meteor that’s coming down on top of them. Only the last bit of the chapter focuses on Kenpachi and Gremmy, and I have to admit that Kenpachi surprised me by jumping up to attack the meteor. When Yachiru was having her flashback, I was almost afraid Kubo was setting it up for Kenpachi to die. He appears to have survived after the attack on the meteor, but there’s still nothing guaranteeing that he’ll make it through the battle with Gremmy. I’m also starting to wonder how long Kubo is intending to make the fight with Gremmy last. Hopefully it won’t be so long that it ends up wearing out its welcome…

Naruto CH:673

In the previous chapter, Guy and Madara continued their fight, and it looked like it might be the end of Guy. Just as Madara is about to finish off guy, Naruto jumps in and intervenes. In this chapter, we learn that Naruto has stopped the eight gates’ endgame. Naruto begins fighting with Madara, and asks for some chakra from the tailed beasts that are now inside of him. With the chakra, Naruto creates a large rasen shuriken, which causes a huge explosion when he uses it to attack Madara. Naruto grabs Guy and is able to escape from the blast. When the smoke clears, they see that the Divine Tree has disappeared; however, from something we see with Madara, I think it’s safe to say it hasn’t been destroyed. Sasuke, meanwhile, approaches the Second Hokage for his teleporation power. The Second Hokage only has enough power to teleport one person, and Sasuke says that’s all he needs. Madara gets back up, and claims that he is now immortal. Sasuke appears on the scene, and Naruto says that together, he and Sasuke will take down Madara. The chapter ends with Madara declaring that this will be the final battle that will settle who is superior, once and for all…

With each chapter of Naruto that I’ve been reading in Weekly Shonen Jump, the story has just been getting more and more intense, and it’s just becoming more and more obvious that the story will have to be reaching its climax soon. This chapter sets the stage for a major battle of Sasuke and Naruto teaming up together to fight against Madara. I’m sure this battle will probably be stretched out over the course of a few chapters, but it’s awesome to see Naruto and Sasuke working together again after all this time. At this point, I think I can predict who will ultimately win this major battle, but there’s still the suspense of how that resolution will come to be. Right now, Naruto is one of the main reasons I look forward to reading Weekly Shonen Jump every week, because I really want to know what’s going to happen!

World Trigger CH:057

In the previous chapter, there was a focus on Shiro Kikuchihara and his side effect of enhanced hearing during flashback sequences, and how he ultimately joined Soya Kazama’s squad. The flashbacks were intercut with Kazama Squad’s current battle. The enemy figured out they’re relying on sound and tried to do what he can to confuse them. Just as Kazama Squad thought they’ve gotten the upper hand, the enemy surprised them. In this chapter, Osamu and his group find out that Kazama Squad had to bail out. Then we see Ko Murakami from Kuruma Squad fighting with the enemy. Kogetsu arrives says he has orders to destroy these enemies and asks if he can take over. After defeating the enemy, and a new plan is being formulated.

Overall, there’s not a lot of action in this volume, except for the brief fight that Ko and Kogetsu have with a Neighbor. There’s also not much plot progression in this chapter. Overall, there’s a lot more talking going on about things that should be coming up in future chapters. Definitely not one of the more interesting chapters I’ve read of World Trigger.

Seraph of the End CH:016

In the previous chapter, the vampires were recovering after the battle and they talk about the forbidden research that the humans are doing: the “Seraph of the End.” Mika was summoned by the Third Progenitor, Krul Tepes. Meanwhile, Yu woke up and found out he’s been in a coma for a week. Shinoa came to see Yu, and she filled him in on the parts of the battle that he forgot. In this chapter, it’s one week after the vampire attack. Yu is doing research to see if he can find any information on turning a vampire back into a human. Shinoa catches him and figures out what he’s up to, and she offers to tell Yu what she knows about humans turning into vampires. Suddenly, there’s an announcement on the intercom for Yu to report to the Shinjuku Central Army Headquarters First Office. On his way, Yu runs into Guren, who reminds him of everything he’s done for Yu; he also tells Yu not to swear any allegiance to the Hiragi family. Yu runs into Mitsura at the headquarters, and learns she’s getting a promotion and that she’s been ordered to keep an eye on a “squad mate with suspected vampire ties.” When Yu enters the office, he finds a vampire in the room, and the two begin to fight. It turns out it’s a test, and the interview with the Hiragi is just about to start when the chapter ends…

This chapter has a large focus on Yu. We see Yu trying to find information on how to save Mika, and through his conversation with Shinoa, the audience is informed about how someone becomes a vampire and how their strength as a vampire is determined. Through his conversation with Guren, we learn just how much of a relationship the two characters had prior to this point in the series. And with his interactions with Mitsura, the audience is given the idea that the Hiragi family isn’t entirely trusting of Yu. It looks like the stage is being set for the next chapter of this series to focus on Yu’s interview with the Hiragi family. Now that I’ve been able to read some more chapters of this series over the past few weeks, I’ve been starting to develop a stronger appreciation for the story now that I’m starting to get more information.

Toriko CH:274

In the previous chapter, a giant ray popped out of the water while they’re traveling on the Octomelon. Unfortunately for them, the Giant Ray was stronger than the Octomelon and spotted them. Just as they were about to attack, the Giant Ray was stabbed by the waves of the Thorned Sea. They realized their first opponent in the Gourmet World isn’t a creature, it’s the waves. They manage to escape the Thorned Sea, and they saw Yuto Island; they got a surprise when they thought they made it to Yuto Island. In this chapter, they find there’s no land, and they’re attacked by torpedo sausage. During the fight, they are approached by arm rhamphorhynchus. And then something else pops out of the water. During the fight, Toriko and Coco are separated from the others. They smell food where they end up; they find a village and wonder where they are. They also run into someone that they recognize.

At first, there’s a bit of action, but this chapter does get a little jumpy. Because of that, I kind of had a hard time following what was going on. I found myself going back and re-reading several sections to be sure I truly understood what was going on in the story. From what’s said right at the end of the chapter, it appears that Toriko and Coco could be in danger.

Nisekoi CH:119

In the previous chapter, Raku’s family gets a visitor: his old friend Yui, who has now become the boss of the Char Siu Chinese Mafia Syndicate. It turns out that Yui has come to Japan to be Raku’s homeroom teacher. In this chapter, when the other boys in the class learn that Raku and Yui are old friends, they glare at him. There may only be a two year age difference, but it turns out Yui skipped grades as a child and graduated from college four years ago and acquired her teaching license. Raku is also surprised to learn that Yui will be staying at his place, and that she’ll be staying in the room next to his. This chapter also makes it clear that Yui has feelings for Raku, but he’s absolutely clueless about it. That night, she sneaks into his bed, and he discovers that she has a key.

Sure enough, Yui has become a new potential love interest for Raku. And here’s yet another similarity with Ranma 1/2: Both Ranma and Raku have a potential love interest who comes from China. OK, Shampoo was a Chinese Amazon and Yui is a Chinese mafia boss, but still… it’s just one more similarity in premise between the two series. Ultimately, Nisekoi isn’t a bad series, but I’m starting to get a little bothered by the fact that there’s a number of character traits and a major concept (a forced engagement) that’s shared between the two series. Maybe I’d enjoy Nisekoi more if I hadn’t already been familiar with Ranma 1/2.

Stealth Symphony CH:009

In the previous chapter, Jig and Raika had to figure out how to stop the trailer. Troma figured out what Raika was trying to do and destroyed her satellite up in space before she could attack with it a second time. When Jig was in danger of being run over by the trailer, Troma intervened and attacked it. Right at the end of the chapter, Jig is able to activate his Heirloom. In this chapter, Troma’s actions helped the people on board the trailer are able to escape. Since it’s V&V’s job to deliver the people, and it’s Jig’s job to rescue the people, Troma suggests that the location is within walking distance, and they can all walk there together. Suddenly, Wavess, the president of Human Trafficking Corporation STORK appears; it turns out that she’s a mermaid. She tries to attack Jig, but the Heirloom protects him. When she orders V&V to kill the mercenaries, they refuse; when they do, Wavess declares she doesn’t need them anymore. Right at the end of the chapter, it’s revealed that Wavess also has a Dragon Heirloom.

It was nice to see that Jig and V&V were able to work side by side, and I also liked Troma’s suggestion for a compromise that would allow both parties to complete their jobs. It’s too bad that Wavess interfered and kept it from happening. Now that Jig has met someone else with a Dragon Heirloom, I’m wondering what kind of battle the two of them could have. At this point, that’s what I’m predicting will happen; if so, the main question will end up being how Jig can defeat Wavess. Stealth Symphony is off to a good start, and I’m interested in seeing where the story will go to next.

One-Punch Man CH:034.4

In the previous chapter, another battle happens; the fight seems to end quickly, but they can still sense a big opponent still looming above them. Then the action returns to Saitama and his battle. At one point, the villain thinks he’s won, but he manages to survive. In this chapter, Saitama’s opponent powers up, and looks like a cross between a Super Saiyan and some kind of sci-fi creature. The opponent tries to attack Saitama, and at the end of the chapter, it’s no clear how the attack ended…

Okay, this ended up being a rather short chapter, and it basically consisted of the opponent powering up and then launching a major attack on Saitama. That’s it. The story really didn’t progress at all in this chapter, so I really don’t have much to say about it. Of the manga I’ve been reading in Weekly Shonen Jump, One-Punch Man is easily my least favorite. Perhaps it’s because I’m not in the target market for it, but I just cannot get into this at all.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:41

In the previous chapter, some backstory was provided for Yagumo. The group looking for Haruto finds him inside a device, and it’s revealed that Yagumo is using the duels to collect Numbers energy. It turns out the device is what’s keeping Haruto alive, so Yagumo insists on continuing his duel. Yuma also continues his duel. Just as it looks like Yuma might get the upper hand, Kaito manages to turn the tables. In this chapter, Yuma is attacked, and he is knocked down to 1 Life Point. It turns out Yuma had activated a card before the damage hit, which gives Yuma one point of life when he’s about to take damage that will wipe him out. When Kaito despairs that he has no one, Yuma declares that he’s Kaito’s friend and that he’ll be there when things get tough. Kaito is determined to find Haruto’s soul. Yuma draws his next card, and its XYZ Reborn Plus, which brings a monster back from the graveyard and becomes an overlay for that monster. Yuma then activates a spell card, it changes the creature’s ATK to the number of life points Yuma lost. Yuma attacks, knocking Kaito down to 1 Life Point. The group with Haruto, meanwhile, is free Haruto. The device hasn’t stopped, so they ask Yuma and Kaito to stop their duel; however, Kaito refuses. When it looks like Kaito is going to win, Yuma activates a trap card. Kaito then uses a quick-play spell, and it ends with Kaito saying he still has another card to play…

This chapter has a strong focus on Yuma and Kaito’s duel. Unfortunately, this particular chapter is bogged down by all of the explanations that are given when they play their various cards. The previous chapters I read hadn’t been quite as bogged down by this. The whole explaining each card as its played business got old to me when I would watch the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series back in the early 2000’s, and that aspect does not seem to have gotten any better in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal manga. At least Haruto has been freed, so I guess we can call that progress.

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