Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (August 11, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Toriko, Hunter x Hunter, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, Bleach, Naruto, and a short story by Kazue Kato called Astronerd.

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.

One Piece CH:756

At the beginning of this chapter, Viola says that during her time coming and going from the palace, she had never heard once about Princess Mansherry being held there. She then realizes that the princess must be in a small room behind the chapel. Leo takes this information and he and the Tontattas go to rescue her. As Robin and Rebecca head to the flower field, Robin starts to fall and tells Rebecca to take the key to the field. Then it’s back to Viola and Usopp, and Viola can see that Sugar is now awake. Sugar declares that the whole country will be turned back into toys, starting with Usopp and the rest of the Straw Hat crew. Then, the actions cuts to Luffy and his group as they continue on the 3rd step of the new royal plateau, and they find themselves fighting with what look like large and evil nutcrackers. During the fight, Robin and a rooster-headed guy fall on one of the nutcrackers. Gladius then appears, and Luffy, Traffy, and a soldier are told to go to the flower field, because Rebecca is waiting there with the key. As Rebecca reaches the flower field, there’s someone waiting for her…

And this chapter continues all the jumping around that’s been prevalent in many of the recent chapters of One Piece. I have to admit that there was so much jumping around in this one, that I was having trouble keeping everything straight. Hopefully some of the various plot lines that are running through this story arc can start concluding sooner rather than later, so there won’t be so much to try to keep track of!

Toriko CH:288

In this chapter, Komatsu declares that the air fruit isn’t totally ripe yet and that it’s too soon to prepare it. The rest of their group assemble at the tree, and Komatsu says that technically, he can prepare the air fruit at this ripeness, but it’s flavor will probably only be 70%. He thinks the best time to prepare it is when its fully ripe and at the moment it hits the ground. Then it’s asked if they’re just supposed to wait until it ripens and falls. Brunch uses the sword he has to cut through the thick air of Slow Rain Hill. He then says he can slice the air around the air fruit in the hopes that it will speed up the fruit’s maturation. They also have something to use to help nourish the fruit. Meanwhile, the Blue Beast inside Toriko realizes that Heracles is acting so desperate because she’s pregnant. She creates a vacuum to protect her child…

The majority of this chapter focuses on Komatsu and the air fruit. In typical shonen fashion, it appears that they won’t be able to do something, but then someone has some kind of ability that allows them to bypass the obstacle and start working toward getting that something done. Considering the type of series that Toriko is, this isn’t too surprising. The main thing now is seeing how many chapters it takes for the air fruit to ripen and be prepared.

Hunter x Hunter CH:349

This chapter we learn there’s a scramble for a throne which is limited to only the children of the legal wives of King Nasubi Hui Guo Rou who board the Black Whale and take part in a departure ceremony. The sole survivor will be the official heir to the throne. We are then introduced to all 14 princes. Then, there’s a long section dealing with Beyond and suspicions about a spy named Saiyu.

Overall, this was a major “info dump” chapter. Honestly, there’s really not a whole lot I can say about this one, especially since I’m still learning about the characters and the world of Hunter x Hunter. Hopefully the action will pick up in the next chapter.

World Trigger CH:071

In this chapter, Director Shinoda starts battling with the Black Trigger. When the Black Trigger deploys trion in a gaseous attack, Shinoda says to turn the air conditioning onto full. By doing this, it allows Shinoda to see the dummies as well as the original, and he goes in for a major attack against the dummies. The Black Trigger tries to create new dummies, but he can’t create them fast enough. At first, it looks like the Black Trigger has been defeated, but he had actually managed to dodge and move elsewhere. The Black Trigger attacks Shinoda, and Shinoda’s relay center is shredded. The Suwa Squad Operator turns on Star Maker, which renders the dummies useless. One of the underlings tries to attack the Black Trigger, but to no avail; the underling has to bail out. Two other underlings launch a surprise attack and destroy the Black Trigger’s relay center and supply system…

It was nice to see this chapter focus on just one plot point. Previous chapters tended to jump between two or three plot points, which could make the story a little hard to follow at times. But with how this battle went, there really wasn’t any way to break it up and insert another plot point into the chapter. I’m glad to finally see that Black Trigger defeated, though. And hopefully the next chapter will show us what’s going on with Osamu.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:134

This chapter continues the beauty contest at the school festival. Kosaki and Haru are competing for the grand prize; Kosaki wears a schoolgirl costume, and Haru comes out wearing a wedding dress. There’s a final Q&A session where several questions are asked. The final question asks them if they have special feelings for anyone right now. Kosaki stammers and says no, while Haru says there is someone but he doesn’t know that she’s alive. She adds she’s taking part in the contest because she wants him to notice her. Now the judges are told to fill out their ballots. It’s a close race, but Haru ends up winning. Haru’s prize is that she gets to choose her dance partner for the folk dance that’s after the contest. Haru asks Raku to dance with her. Later, when Fu asks Haru if she’s going to tell Ichijo how she feels, she says no. When she found out what the prize was, she made a decision: after the dance, she won’t see Ichijo anymore. Unfortunately, she loses her resolve…

Finally, the beauty contest is over! It really wore out its welcome for me. I admit that I was a little happy when I saw Haru delcare that she wasn’t going to see Raku anymore, because it’d be one less member of his harem. But I should’ve known she’d lose her resolve and not follow through. I’m sorry, but this is getting be just as bad as Ranma 1/2 with the amount of suitors that are interested in Raku. But with the beauty contest finally being over, I wonder where the story will go to next.

Bleach CH:592

In this chapter, we see Captain Hitsugaya make an appearance on the battlefield. Yumichika tries to use a kido on him, but Ikkaku stops him. But Ikkaku loses a leg, and is then stabbed in the back by Hitsugaya. Yumichika clashes swords with Hitsugaya to avenge what happened to Ikkaku, but Hitsugaya manages to get a slash in on his opponent. Mayuri then appears and learns that Hitsugaya was turned into a zombie before he was dead. One of the Arrancar zombies starts to attack Hitsugaya, but Mayuri tells him to step away. But he ends up being slashed by Hitsugaya, and Mayuri tells the Arrancar zombie that he will be left to die as punishment. Mayuri starts talking with Hitsugaya as the chapter ends…

Oh, no, no, no, no. I don’t want to believe that Hitsugaya was turned into a zombie… I love his character! And I don’t want to believe that Ikkaku and Yumichika are dead, either. No, no, no. I don’t want to believe it. Why am I afraid that things are only going to get worse as this story arc continues?

Naruto CH:688

In this chapter, we see Obito talking with Rin in the afterlife. He says he wants to go back temporarily in order to help Kakashi. Rin says she’ll wait for him. He tells Kakashi that he doesn’t him to come to the afterlife yet, and he’s bothered by the fact that the eye Obito gave him to celebrate Kakashi’s promotion to Jonin has come back to him. Obito then adds that while he wants Naruto to become Hokage, he wants him to become the Seventh after Kakashi becomes the Sixth. We then see that both of Kakashi’s eyes now have the sharingan. Meanwhile, Naruto and Sasuke team up to go after Kaguya. Naruto uses his Super Biju Rasen Shuriken, and Kaguya transforms into the Ten Tails. A white hand from the Ten Tails reaches out and tries to grab at Naruto and the others. When it seems Sakura is in danger, she receives some surprising help from Kakashi…

Yay! Not only did Kakashi get the sharingan back in the eye he’d had it in, he now has it in both eyes. With how this chapter progressed, it’s starting to look as if this battle may actually be starting to wind down. While I enjoy Naruto, I’ve been starting to feel as if this particular arc has been drug out a bit. It would be nice to see how this battle ends soon and to find out where the story will be heading after it’s over.

Astronerd

Astronerd is a short story that will be appearing in Time Killers, a forthcoming short story collection by Kazue Kato, the author of the Blue Exorcist manga series. The main character of the story is a 16-year-old boy named Yoshio Fujiko. He decides that now he’s in high school, he’s no longer going to be the astronerd that everyone bullied back in junior high. He has a crush on a girl named Tezuka, and it turns out she has an interest in space. He doesn’t tell her about his interest, since he doesn’t want to be branded as a nerd. When Tezuka calls Yoshio to invite him to view the ring nebula with her, he has a flashback to being bullied in middle school and yells that he’s no longer an astronerd. Tezuka apologizes for bothering him and hangs up. Yoshio is about to call her back and apologize, he is approached by three small aliens, who say the space creature picture book bureau has ordered them to collecting an Earthling sample. They used a special formula to select Yoshio. He’s told he has to sign something in order to accept. Yoshio passes out, and the aliens take him home.

The next morning, Yoshio is taken out of bed to hear a news bulletin that a meteor swarm including the comet “Freeman” will hit Asia that day. Everyone in Yoshio’s region is told that they have to evacuate. As they leave, a meteorite hits his school. Yoshio is worried about Tezuka, so he leaves his parents and rushes over to the school. As he goes, he sees the comet and is approached by the aliens, who ask if he understands the situation. The aliens say they are exterminating the Earthlings, and if he becomes their sample, he’ll be stored in a capsule and live forever. When they ask him to sign the form, he says never. The aliens decide to push Yoshio to the edge in order to gain his consent. An explosion takes place in front of Yoshio, which causes him to fall off his scooter and become unconscious. When he awakens, he’s told it’s 7:28 p.m., and he’s been unconscious for five hours. The comet will strike in less than one hour, but Yoshio insists he has to get to the school; he realizes that not going is the same as running away. This leads him to also realize that he’d been running away from who he really is. Just as it appears Yoshio is going to sign his consent to be an alien sample, he gets an email on his phone. It’s from Tezuka, saying she’s safe and she tells him to get to safety. When Yoshio sees this, he realizes that Tezuka still believes in him. He gets on his scooter and attempts to jump over the crater that’s between him and the school.

Yoshio makes it to the school and finds Tezuka, and he admits that he actually loves the stars and apologizes for hiding that from her. He also says he wants to start the astronomy club again. She agrees, and Yoshio thiks that he was born for this moment. The aliens are shocked because he solved the eternal space mystery. This ends up causing a change to Earth’s fate…

I have to say that overall, this was a rather enjoyable short story. The two main characters were very well-defined, and Yoshio goes through a lot of growth over the course of the story. The aliens bring on a serious aspect to the story, which is the destruction of the Earth, but they also add some light humor as well. This story was definitely designed to be a one-off, because the way it ends doesn’t really leave room to be able to continue the story adequately. If this short story is indicative of what else will be appearing in the Time Killers compilation, then that may be worth checking out at some point.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

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