Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (May 26, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, One Piece, Bleach, Naruto, Toriko, All You Need Is Kill, Stealth Symphony, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. There’s also a a Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V one shot and a Hunter x Hunter catchup.

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.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:020

The beginning of this chapter seems to be basically killing time as Shinoa, Yoichi, Mitsu, and Kimizuki wait for Yuichiro to wake up after his Cursed Gear drank his blood and knocked him out in the previous chapter. As Yuichiro lays there, the audience is given exposition about the fact that Yuichiro is talking to his demon inside his heart. Yuichiro suddenly twitches, and the others react. Unfortunately, horsemen arrive as Kimizuki goes to take care of them.

Suddenly, the focus of the chapter changes from killing time to seeing Yuichiro as he tries to make friends with his demon, Asuramaru. This part of the chapter makes a couple of revelations about the nature of the demons. It also looks like Asuramaru will possess Yuichiro, but chains bind her. From here, this leads to some more exposition about the humans have devised the contract with the curse. The chapter then launches into a major battle between Yuichiro and Asuramaru. During the fight, Yuichiro’s illusions that appeared earlier in the story come back to him. We also get to see a flashback of Yuichiro’s parents trying to kill him because they think he’s a demon spawn. That was some nice backstory to see. Yes, it had been hinted at before, but it was nice to finally get to see what happened. The ending of the chapter sees Yuichiro completing his training.

While there was still a bit of exposition in this chapter, the overall story was able to progress by the end of it. I didn’t feel like the chapter was simply spinning its wheels and spitting out exposition in order to set a foundation to progress the story forward.

One Piece CH:748

Pica begins attacking after Luffy makes fun of his high-pitched voice, and Pica’s attacks cause Luffy and the others to go flying to the square outside the coliseum. When they land, they encounter Cabbage, who was apparently part of the group of people that Usopp saved. Cabbage declares that they’ll be the one to take down Doflamingo. However, as the reader sees, Cabbage is more interested in getting fame than in truly helping Luffy and the others. Then they encounter the Happosui Army, who say that their debt to Luffy and Usopp will be repaid by crushing Doflamingo. Of course, this frustrates Luffy to no end, because he’s the one who wants to take down Doflamingo. Not only that, a warrior of Elbaph also wants to take down Doflamingo and repay his debut to Luffy. And then a chorus of several other people declare that they will be the one to take down Doflamingo.

This escalates with Luffy getting into an argument will all of these people. But with all of the chaos going on with Doflamingo’s “game,” the citizens start finding Luffy and the others wanted by Doflamingo. The whole group flees and starts heading back to where Pica is, all the while arguing over who will take down Doflamingo. This chapter ends up being an extremely busy one, not only with all the action but with how Oda has laid out the panels. The layout and style Oda uses illustrates the chaos that’s going on all over Dressrosa at this point.

Bleach CH:581

The chapter opens with several people sensing that Kenpachi has been weakened and will probably be killed. Unfortunately, before they can start heading toward him, someone else approaches and uses their ability to try to cause lava to swallow them up. Meanwhile, Rukia and Byakuya sense Kenpachi’s predicament. However, Rukia then senses another spiritual pressure… and the chapter ends with Ichigo arriving on the scene.

This chapter was on the short side, and it was basically building up the tension before Ichigo makes his grand entrance at the end of it. So it’s a chapter that doesn’t truly do much of anything to advance the story. It’s sole purpose seemed to be to build up to the moment that Ichigo, the main character, finally makes an appearance in the storyline.

Naruto CH:677

The chapter opens with meteorites coming down, and the moon looks like some kind of Sharingan. Naruto tries to do something about the meteorites while the other ninja in the area watch the skies in awe and shock. As events unfold, people get caught up in Madara’s genjutsu… but Sasuke is the main exception. Madara is also using the Deep Forest Emergence to bind people. The First Hokage isn’t affected, and Yamato suddenly appears…

This chapter is very chaotic, and there’s a lot of confusion and action taking place. With the genjutsu and Deep Forest Emergence in place, many characters are now unable to fight, so the amount of people to take on Madara has gone down considerably. And I was surprised by Yamato’s return. However, it’s not clear at the end of the chapter whether he’s there to help or if he’s being controlled by Madara somehow. I’m hoping the next chapter will let us know what’s up with Yamato.

Toriko CH:278

Mappy tells Toriko and the others that they have to hop across the Golden Marsh to avoid the Iron Feet that are coming down from the steel clouds. Toriko tries to attack an Iron Foot, but can barely get a scratch on it. The Croakswagon (heh heh) returns to take them to the Octomelon. Once in the Octomelon, they get into the marsh. So far, these story ideas seem to fit right in with the other wacky things I’ve seen in the series up to this point. They find themselves being forced into a cave that’s an entrance into an inescapable maze called the Hold Labyrinth. It turns out they need food luck, so they ask Komatsu to manually control the Octomelon. The chapter ends with the group just starting to work its way through the maze.

So Toriko and the group has made it out of one predicament and now find that they’re in another. I’m expecting that the group will somehow find its way out of the maze due to some rather incredible luck.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V

This is a one shot manga that interprets the most recent Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series. Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V focuses on Action Duels, which uses Solid Vision that gives visuals mass. The main character is Yuya Sakaki, a 14-year-old who wants to become a pro duelist. In this one shot, we see Yuya in a battle against an opponent. This chapter basically comes across as a tutorial on how to play Action Duels, which is a pretty standard drive used in the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and manga. Unfortunately, this one shot ends without anyone winning the duel.

This may be labeled as a one shot, but it feels more like what would be the first chapter for a manga series. It’s pretty standard for Yu-Gi-Oh!, and about the only new things introduced are the cards created for this Yu-Gi-Oh! series.

All You Need Is Kill CH:016

In this chapter, Rita finally reveals important information about the time loops to Keiji while they’re in the middle of a battle. She ends up saying that, because of the way the time loops works, neither one of them can escape as long as they’re both alive. The two of them begin battling each other. Most of this chapter focuses on their battle, and it ends without the reader knowing if there’s any clear-cut winner.

Because of how much fighting is in this chapter, it’s actually a rather quick read due to all of the action that’s going on. Rita had made a foreshadowing statement in an earlier chapter of the series, but I never predicted that the story would come down to the two of them having to fight it out and have only one of them live. Now the question is: who will live and who will die?

Stealth Symphony CH:013

In this chapter, we learn that Alice from V&V is a descendant of vampires with a special ability to take any powers a person may have and make them their own. We then see Jig approaching Alice about needing a place to live, and she offers to rent him a room for cheap. We also see Hank from the Cyborg Soldier School talking to Troma about Jig and concerns Hank has about him. We’re also introduced to a new character named Slice. He’s definitely an antagonist, and he appears to have some kind of connection with Alice.

This chapter focuses a lot on character development for Alice, which I very much appreciated. While she’s been seen in previous chapters, we really didn’t know much more than her name before this point. After getting to know Alice better in this chapter, I have to say that I like her. There’s also an emphasis on trying to figure out what makes Jig tick and about how reckless he had acted in the previous story arc. From reading the end of the chapter, it’s obvious that Slice is going to be a major player for the next story arc, and that Alice and Jig are both going to be involved.

World Trigger CH:061

In this chapter, the horned soldier that Midorikawa and the others had been fighting leaves the battlefield. Midorikawa and the others head off to the other areas of the battlefield to help out where they’re needed. Meanwhile, others are either fighting with an enemy or trying to get to where they can help others. At the end of the chapter, a humanoid Neighbor is able to infiltrate the base through an exhaust port, and it’s a Black Trigger.

Overall, there really isn’t much action that takes place in this particular chapter. Instead, this chapter seems to focus more on setting the stage for the battles that are sure to come in the next chapter.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:123

This chapter focuses on Onodera and her struggle to figure out what she wants to do with her life. She’s freaking out after her counseling session in the previous chapter and is asking Ruri for advice. Ruri ultimately tells Onodera to ask other people for their opinions. We see her asking other characters, and she eventually ends up talking with Raku and he gives her some really good advice. By the end of the chapter, she decides she wants to be a good wife.

Unlike the previous chapter, which simply felt like “time kill,” this chapter actually progresses the story when Onodera and Raku have their conversation. Their awkward interactions were rather amusing, because they both like each other but just can’t admit it. The way this chapter ends, it feels like this will be the end of this portion of the story. Hopefully the next chapter will start to progress the overarching story of the series with a new story arc.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:042

In this chapter, Yagumo plays his Numbers Card. When its bearer is in trouble, it creates the ultimate number. A dragon manifests itself, and it’s a manifestation of the darkness in Kaito’s heart. He also uses a deck destruction effect. Yuma has to activate his face-down card, which is a trap card. When things seem hopeless, Yuma declares that he is his opponent’s friend. Because of this, he won’t give up. Yuma is also able to use his power of believing in bonds between people, and demands that Kaito call off the duel. He tries to stop, but Yagumo has too strong of a hold on him. Astral declares that he and Yuma will link their duelist souls and pour them into this draw for the duel; it works. Yuma is able to win the duel. However, Yagumo and Shark’s duel continues. Their duel is just getting going when the chapter ends.

This chapter primarily focuses on Yuma’s duel, and it’s very intense and action-packed. Because of this, it’s a relatively quick read. Since Yagumo and Shark’s duel doesn’t get very far in this chapter, it’s not as action-oriented. This chapter is what I’ve come to expect from the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise.

Hunter X Hunter Catchup

This feature is six pages in length, and it covers the first three arcs of the series: Hunter Exam, Heaven’s Arena, and Phantom Troupe. Next week, the publication will include a recap of the final arcs leading up to the new chapter of the series.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

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