Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (September 8, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Naruto, Blue Exorcist, One Piece, Nisekoi: False Love, Bleach, Toriko, World Trigger, One-Punch Man, and Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign. In addition, VIZ Media launches its new Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start initiative with the first chapter of Judos.

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.

Judos CH:001

Judos is a the first series to be includes as part of VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” initiative. As you can probably tell from the title, it’s a sports manga about judo.

The story opens with two sports reporters covering a judo match. Mizuki, the female reporter, runs into Hana Yanagi, the protagonist of the series. It turns out he’s new to Tokyo and that he’s lost. He’s looking for the director of the Sondokan Institute. Mizuki is able to tell him where to go, and then the press is asked to leave. It turns out that Sondokan Institute is the ultimate in the world of judo, and Hana is there to participate in the “festival.” We then see Mizuki and Saito, the sports reporters, crawling around in Sondokan’s vents, and they stumble across the “festival.” Mizuki is surprised when she sees Hana walk in. Unfortunately, the reporters fall out of the vent and are seen by everyone gathered for the “festival.” The reporters are allowed to stay but have their cameras and phones taken away. Hana is up against Ida, the champion.

Basically, the “festival” is a match between the strongest member of Sondokan and a representative from a small village called Yahara that has practiced judo since the Edo Period. After an intense battle between Ida and Hana, Hana is the winner. After watching the fight, Saito decides that he and Mizuki need to go to Yahara Village in order to get a story. Unfortunately, they have no idea where it is.

Overall, I have to say that this is a rather well-done way to establish the concept and the important characters, especially for a sports manga like Judos. Admittedly, I’m really not a fan of judo, but the manga seems to work well enough for what it is. However, I have a hard time seeing how Mizuki thinks Hana is so good-looking. Personally, I thought he looked kind of goofy. Oh well. I suspect that fans of sports manga, especially manga featuring judo, will probably have a stronger appreciation for this than I do.

Naruto CH:691

This chapter sees the Sage of Six Paths having an important conversation with Kakashi. We then see Kakashi having one final internal monologue with Obito. At the end, Kakashi loses his sharingan and collapses. Everyone also gets to witness a final conversation between Madara and Hashirama. Naruto also gets to have a final conversation with Minato. The chapter ends with all of the zombies returning to the afterlife.

While there may not have been a whole lot of action in this chapter, a lot still happened through the dialogue that took place between various people. While all the conversations were moving in their own way, the one between Naruto and Minato was the most moving. As Naruto speaks to him, you can see just how much Naruto has truly grown up over the course of the series. And as this chapter went on, I could definitely feel a sense of winding down. I don’t know how much longer Kishimoto is going to make this last, but I suspect there will be more than just a couple of chapters to go. I’m a little sad knowing that Naruto is getting closer to ending, but at the same time, it’s nice to know that a conclusion seems to getting closer.

Blue Exorcist CH:060

Rin and Shima have a battle, but there’s a big monster of glob that’s also trying to get involved. Rin finds that he’s getting weaker. Then some people arrive and perform a spirit invocation dance as bait for nine tails. Izumo jumps into this, but her compatibility rate falls. It turns out Professor Geodin has a device that is supposed to force the possession to take hold. We see Izumo struggling as to whether or not she should give in to the nine tails. But before anything can happen to Izumo, Rin appears where she is right at the end of the chapter…

One thing I have to say is that through flashbacks that Izumo has as she’s struggling, I was able to learn more about her and I think it helped me better understand what’s been going on with her in this story arc. It’s really hard to jump into the middle of a manga, especially in the middle of what appears to be a major story arc. The story is interesting, but I’d probably have enjoyed this even more if I’d read Blue Exorcist from the very beginning.

One Piece CH:759

When Luffy and Trafalgar make it to Doflamingo, they see that Doflamingo has taken Bellamy prisoner. Bellamy asks Doflamingo to kill him, and Luffy tries to save him. Unfortunately, Luffy is not successful. Trafalgar scolds Luffy for letting his anger and hatred control him. The battle with Doflamingo gets underway, but he uses tricks such as body doubles and controlling Bellamy to fight for him. But something surprising happens during the battle…

Finally, we start seeing the battle of Luffy and Trafalgar versus Doflamingo! It sure took quite a while to get here! Admittedly, the battle itself doesn’t progress all that much before the chapter ends, but at least the battle is finally happening. Hopefully the next chapter will continue to focus on this battle and not shift its focus to some other area where fighting is taking place.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:137

In this chapter, we see Chitoge trying to pose as the princess around the princess’ people. Unfortunately, due to not understanding the princess’ language, Chitoge has no idea what anyone is saying, so she’s not responding. We then see Raku spending time with the princess. The princess asks to see where Raku lives, and he ends up taking her there in the hopes it can be quick before the mob members see them. The princess is impressed to meet actual members of the Japanese yakuza. Later, they visit a shrine that they’re walking by. Right at the end of the chapter, it’s obvious that Malusha, the princess, has a crush on Raku.

Well, here we go again… another member to join Raku’s harem. Well, at least she doesn’t have a key that could go with his locket, too. I think Raku’s harem has reached a point where it almost makes the amount of love interests in Ranma 1/2 look sane! But I seriously hope that Malusha is the last person to join the harem because it’s just gotten ridiculously big, especially for a guy who comes across as rather average.

Bleach CH:595

Byakuya cuts down Hisagi, who is being manipulated by a Quincy named Pepe. However, Pepe is able to get Hisagi to get back up again in order to fight. Just as it looks like Pepe has the upper hand, he’s caught off-guard by a surprise…

Okay, this chapter was just rather weird, and this Pepe guy is so annoying. And since I skipped ahead quite a bit in the story when I started reading Weekly Shonen Jump a few months back, I’ve never truly understood how the story has reached this point and what exactly is going on. And as I continue through this story arc, it just seems to be getting weirder and weirder. Maybe it ended up being a good thing that the anime was cut off before reaching this point.

Toriko CH:291

With the Nightmare giving birth to one of the new eight kings, and the new king bellowing for the first time, the age of gourmet begins to be revived in the human world. In the Gourmet World, we see Toriko approaching Komatsu and the others. And once everyone has gathered, Toriko declares that they should all have a taste of air together. Toriko takes a taste of the air, and it appears to have increased his visual acuity. And right at the end of the chapter, Toriko declares that this food, king air, will be the salad of his full-course meal.

Overall, this was actually a rather boring chapter. Yes, Toriko needed to taste the air and determine that it would be the salad for his full-course meal, but really, there was little to no action to keep the reader interested in what’s going on. Oh well. Hopefully this means that Toriko and the others can move on to another adventure in the Gourmet World.

World Trigger CH:074

In this chapter, we see Kyosuke defeating a Rabit in one hit. We then see Kyosuke having a flashback sequence of a conversation that took place earlier in the series. Kyosuke is determined to take on the Black Trigger and defeat him in the three minutes he has remaining before he has to bail out. Yoneya jumps into the fray as well to help out Kyosuke. When Kyosuke comes up from behind, the Black Trigger reveals that he has bees under his cape. Just then, Captain Hyrein arrives on the scene, and she and the Black Trigger leave through a wormhole, and Kyosuke is forced to bail out. We see Osamu right at the end of the chapter…

So we end up getting a little bit of a fight in this chapter, but in the end, there is no winner. And it looks like the next chapter will probably be shifting its focus back toward Osamu, since there were several references to him in the dialogue of this chapter, and there was also a visual reference to him at the end of the chapter. While this story is interesting, I admit that I’m still a bit lost, due to jumping into this manga in the middle of this story arc. I really hope that the anime adaptation for World Trigger that’s supposed to start airing in Fall 2014 will be simulcast here, because I’d like to be able to see this series from the beginning and hopefully get to know these characters and their world a lot better.

One-Punch Man CH:037.2

In this chapter, Saitama and his assistant watch King in action as he takes on a mechanical monster that has appeared. This is G4, a machine-god created by The Organization. The machine-god declares that it will kill King. King says he needs to use the bathroom because he can’t fight at full strength otherwise. He’s told he has 10 minutes, but for each minute he’s late, the machine will kill 10 people and if King runs, the town is finished. We then see King freaking out in the bathroom, because it turns out that he’s really a wimp. It was pure luck that allowed him to become an Class S Rank 7 hero.

Way to troll us, Murata! OK, it was made clear in the previous chapter that he was an otaku, but I thought it was just a quirk. I never guessed that King was actually a fraud. So I guess my initial prediction about King and Saitama fighting against each other or teaming up to take on an enemy was wrong. It’s looking like Saitama will have to step forward and take on the machine-god in order to save the town.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:025

In this chapter, most of Shinoa’s squad is approached by Sergeant Makoto Narumi, whose squad has been assigned to team up with their team to exterminate vampire nobles. Narumi recognizes Yu as the one who broke regulations and showed up late for the meeting, and says he’s not sure he can trust Yu to have his back. Narumi introduces the rest of his squad: Rika Inoue, Taro Kagiyama, Shusaku Iwasaki, and Yayoi Endo. Later, Shinoa goes over the mission orders, and it’s revealed that their squad and Narumi’s squad will be directly under Lieutenant Colonel Guren. Yuichiro is then informed that the punishment for his tardiness will be handed down. He’s taken to Guren, but instead of being chewed out, Guren reveals he knows and understood what was going on and says he appreciates Yuichiro’s new attitude. It turns out that he was called to see Guren as a punishment for Shinoa. After she and the rest of the squad arrive, Guren suggests a test: Guren and two members of his squad will take on everyone in Shinoa’s squad. The battle between the two squads is just getting going when the chapter comes to an end.

This chapter is working at getting the forces ready to battle against the vampire nobles by getting in some training to make sure the younger squad can work together. But for the most part, the action doesn’t really get going until right at the end of the chapter. I expect that the next chapter will be more action-packed with this battle between the two squads. The majority of the chapter is pretty much introducing some new characters, talking, and explanations, so it is a bit on the boring side. While all of that is important, when a long chapter like this focuses primarily on those things, it can make the chapter more work to read. Hopefully the preparations for the upcoming battle with the vampire nobles won’t last too long.

Additional review of Weekly Shonen Jump:

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