This issue includes chapters for World Trigger, Naruto, Hunter x Hunter, Toriko, Bleach, Nisekoi: False Love, and Stealth Symphony. This volume also includes the first part of a Rurouni Kenshin side story and an Anime Expo con report.

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.

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Rurouni Kenshin Special Limited Series Part 1

This side story focuses on Shishio Makoto. Shishio escorts a courtesan named Hanahomura to a location in the red-light district, and a ruckus is started when Shishio is told he can’t wear his sword. As they spend time together, Shishio learns more about her; however, Shishio doesn’t seem to be terribly impressed. The Wadatsumi Koheidan Shark troops arrive, with a plan to conquer all the brothels to celebrate their victory in the Satsuma Rebellion. Ichigase Sameo, the head of the troops, goes to see Hanahomura and asks for her to be with him tonight. When he offers to purchase her contract, Shishio jumps in and declares that he is her patron. Ichigase pulls out his sword and points it at Shishio. This arrogant guy not only insults Shishio, he declares that he’ll be back next week to make Hanahomura his. Then the story moves ahead a week, and Honahomura declares that she won’t accept Ichigase’s offer. We also get some background on the Maria Luz incident. Right at the end, Ichigase does something that will upset Hanahomura if she finds out…

Unfortunately, I haven’t read anything of Rurouni Kenshin prior to reading this, so I don’t have much of a frame of reference for it. But looking at it as a stand alone story, it does seem to have potential. I’m looking forward to seeing how the second part of this story will resolve everything. But after reading this, I need to find some time to read the Rurouni Kenshin manga.

World Trigger CH:067

In this chapter, Osamu and his group are still trying to make it to be the base, but they are attacked. Suddenly, Midorikawa and Yoneya arrive to help out. The new arrivals try to draw attention away from the group so they can get away, but some Neighbors are still trying to get them…

This chapter primarily focuses on Osamu and the group he’s with. In a lot of respects, not a whole lot happens in this chapter. Because of that, the story still doesn’t progress. Hopefully this story will start actually going somewhere eventually. World Trigger seems to have an interesting story, but at this point, it feels like it’s being stretched out to make it last longer.

Naruto CH:684

In this chapter, Kaguya tries to go after Naruto again. With the help of the tailed beasts, Naruto builds up a large amount of chakra for creating a bunch of shadow doppelgangers. They all converge on Kaguya to do the Naruto Ultimate Barrage. As Kaguya starts moving to a different time-space, Naruto sends his real body to follow her. They make it to the root time-space, which connects to five other time-spaces. After a moment of hesitation, Kaguya begins attacking Naruto. Kaguya thinks she’s gotten him, but something doesn’t seem to be quite right…

This chapter continues to keep this particular story arc going. In this chapter, we see Naruto finally succeeding in following Kaguya into a different time-space. He’s hoping to find Sasuke, but he’s not in the root time-space. This chapter definitely ends on a cliffhanger, though, and I can’t wait to read the next chapter to find out what actually took place near the end of this chapter.

Hunter x Hunter CH:346

This chapter opens with some “info dumping” about the V5 countries’ efforts to explore the Dark Continent and how they all failed. The Hunters that are meeting also discuss how to handle Beyond. From here, the meeting becomes a question and answer session. Later, a couple of the guys talk about the possibility of a spy being among the Zodiacs. Back at the meeting, we are introduced to the attendees and what they’ll be doing for this mission: Cheadle, Mizaistom, Botobai, Pyon, Cluck, Saccho, Saiyu, Ginta, Kanzai, Gel, Leorio, and Kurapika. The chapter then jumps ahead to a month later, as we see Ging training some people. It’s also revealed that the Hunter Exam has ended, and that Beyond’s assassins all failed. Right at the end of the chapter, Ging and Pariston are approached by three guys who say their real boss is Beyond…

The vast majority of this chapter exists simply to impart information on several of the characters. It wasn’t too bad for me, since I’m still such a newcomer to Hunter x Hunter. All of this “info dumping” helped me to better understand some of the characters, as well as what’s been going on in the story. But I imagine that for long-time readers of this series, most of the chapter may not appeal much to them. But at this point, the story seems to be ever closer to getting to the voyage to the Dark Continent.

Toriko CH:284

In this chapter, Komatsu says he can hear the voice of food. At first, Mappy think it’s the air tree. However, they determine the voice is coming from where the king of foods is. Mappy says it can’t be, because they haven’t given it an offering yet. Toriko says that if it won’t let them pass, they’ll just have to force their way through. Toriko tells Mappy to go with Komatsu, and he tells them to come back with air that’s ready to eat. After they leave, Toriko takes on the opponent, Nightmare Heracles…

This chapter starts to move the story forward a little. Now Komatsu and Mappy have gone off to get the air, while Toriko stays behind to take on Nightmare Heracles and potentially be sacrificing himself. However, with this being a typical shonen manga title, Toriko will somehow be able to triumph over Nightmare Heracles. The main question is just how many chapters it’s going to end up taking for Toriko to succeed.

Bleach CH:588

In this chapter, we see the leader of the Quincys, Uryu, and some of the others at Reiokyu. They are intercepted by Zero Company and their First Officer, Tenjiro Kirinji. The Quincies are told that they don’t allow first timers in there. This leads to a battle between Zero Company and the king of the Quincies. We then return to the battle between the Soul Reapers and some of the other Quincies. A discussion is just starting when the chapter comes to an end…

So, there’s no Ichigo in this chapter. Oh well. After having a bit of the chapter that focuses on the king of the Quincies, we finally return to the Soul Reapers. We basically hadn’t seen them for a couple of chapters, so it was good to see them again. Unfortunately, their part of the story doesn’t progress at all. The part with the king of the Quincies went by really quick, because it was primarily action and not much in the way of dialogue. Hopefully the next chapter will progress the story with the Soul Reapers.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:130

This chapter opens with the newspaper club meeting and talking about doing a special focus article related to the school festival. They’re planning on doing the article about the couple who played the leads in Romeo and Juliet the previous year. A girl named Mimiko is given the assignment of interviewing them. The couple in question is Raku and Chitoge. Mimiko says that while she was sent to interview them for the roles in Romeo and Juliet and to learn more about the school’s most famous couple, she also says she has her own agenda: she doesn’t believe that they are a real couple. She asks them to tell her the truth. The two of them begin putting on an act to try to convince her that she’s wrong. It turns out she’s already done a thorough investigation on the two of them. Mimiko shows them interviews she did with various members of the cast. Raku is suddenly called away to the teacher’s room. After he’s away, Chitoge is asked if she loves Raku. After some initial stammering, Chitoge declares that she does.

At first, this chapter feels like it’s there just to kill time. However, near the end, it’s clear it’s meant to progress Chitoge’s feelings when she admits to Mimiko that she is indeed in love with Raku. Fortunately, this confession gets Mimiko to back off of her assertion that the two of them aren’t a real couple. However, I’m wondering if Mimiko may reappear again at some point for some reason. With how much focus was placed on Mimiko in this chapter, I suspect she’s a character who may return every once in a while, trying to get a scoop for the paper.

Stealth Symphony CH:020

At the beginning of this chapter, it’s confirmed that it was Jig’s head that was cut off when he was in dragon form, and that it was done by a member of the Assassins Guild because he has a job. The orphanage director freaks out when she sees that Black Dragon is dead, and is surprised a mere human could kill him. This member of the Assassins Guild knew her five years ago, but he had a different appearance then. It turns out he’s a zombie, because he had died previously… and he also has the Black Dragon’s power. The director demands that Slice hand the Macguffin back, but he mocks her. Slice also declares that he’s given up on getting his revenge on Alice. Troma manages to disrupt the director’s plan. We then learn that the one who ordered the job of killing Jig was Jig himself. After this, 10 years pass, and Alice and Troma find themselves in Japan. It turns out there was a portal in some ruins.

Before reading this chapter, I had read a report on Anime News Network saying that this manga had been cancelled, and that this would be the last chapter. As I read this chapter, it was obvious that the mangaka was trying to throw as much information out as possible before wrapping up the manga. Probably the worst part of this was how quickly Slice changed his mind about killing Alice, because it just felt forced. The chapter also felt a bit rushed. I can’t complain too much about this, knowing the situation the mangaka found himself in. I’m sure that if the series hadn’t been cancelled, what was seen in this chapter would have been developed more as the series progressed.

AX Con Report

This section has text describing what VIZ Media did at their various panels, and this was followed by pictures of cosplayers. I did enjoy looking at the pictures of the various cosplayers, although my favorite was the picture of the people cosplaying as Jugo and Kimimaro from the Naruto franchise. However, the baby in the Saiyan suit was my second favorite.

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