Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (September 15, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Judos, Naruto, World Trigger, Toriko, Nisekoi: False Love, and Bleach. In addition, this issue includes the first chapter for Hi-Fi Cluster, the second title in the Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” initiative, as well as the second part of the Rurouni Kenshin special limited series.

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.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:001

Hi-Fi Cluster is the second series to be included as part of VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” initiative.

The series is set in Tokyo in 2045, and it’s in a world where people have ability labels that were developed 10 years earlier. Basically, people can download abilities as an app by wearing a label. But, as its explained, a person still has to possess the ability in order to use an ability label. The main character appears to be a young man named Peta Jugojo, who doesn’t even have the most basic of abilities and feels like an outcast because of it.

Peta crashes into a man while he’s making a delivery, and after the two of them talk, the man asks if Peta knows of a black market selling labels. Before he can say anything, Peta is approached by some of the other boys from his high school, and it’s revealed that Peta is working instead of going to school. As the other boys start bullying Peta, the other guy steps in and helps him out. We also meet Nano, a girl that’s friends with Peta.

We then see Peta being offered a job of delivering a supposedly rare first-generation label. He takes on the job and takes a look at the label out of curiosity. It’s labeled as “Hi-Fi” and it suddenly starts reacting on its own and it won’t come off of him.

Nano goes to see Peta. and she finds him collapsed on the ground. The guy he works for grabs Nano. The deal was if Peta ruined their merchandise, they get to mess up something precious of his. Before anything can happen, the guy Peta met earlier appears and saves the day. It turns out the guy is from the Metropolitan Police Department, Investigation Squad Six, Special Ability Labels Unit, and his name is Kosaku Kandera. We learn through dialogue that the Hi-Fi labels are very special and aren’t compatible with just anyone. The power is immense, because the base of its ability comes from the geniuses from the world’s past. It turns out that Kandera has a Hi-Fi label on his prosthetic hand. When the leader of the group tries to use Nano as a shield, Peta finds the inner strength to stand up to this guy and save her. After the fighting is over, Kandera discovers the Hi-Fi label on Peta’s palm. Right at the end of the chapter, Peta is placed under arrest by Kandera.

As I read this chapter, I found it to be an interesting concept for a sci-fi manga. It seems to take the concept of labeling people and turning it into something more literal than the expression that’s commonly used. Right now, Peta finds himself under arrest for having the Hi-Fi label on him, because he’s accused of assisting in illegal label racketeering. However, I have a feeling that now that he has this label stuck on him, he’ll find himself becoming a member of the Investigation Squad Six, Special Ability Labels Unit. Of course, he’ll need to go through some training to learn how to utilize the label, but once he does, he’ll probably become an important member of the force. Overall, I have to say that I enjoyed the first chapter of Hi-Fi Cluster over the first chapter of last week’s “Jump Start” title, Judos.

One Piece CH:760

The people of Dressrosa ask King Riku what they should do now and for him to save them. Riku and naval admiral Fujitora both believe that Luffy will be the one to save them. We then return to Luffy and Trafalgar and their battle, where Trafalgar tries to be the big hero. And right at the end of the chapter, Doflamingo gives a brief backstory of his past to explain why he is the way he is now.

Overall, this wasn’t as action-packed of a chapter as many of the more recent chapters of One Piece have been. For the most part, though, a lot of what happens feels more like it’s killing time than anything else. Even the fight that Luffy and Trafalgar have is on the short side, and more of the time is spent on sharing Doflamingo’s backstory. However, even though not much happened here, this chapter was still needed to help slow down the frenetic pace that had dominated the recent chapters of this series. I expect this reprieve won’t last, though, and that more battles will probably start happening soon.

Judos CH:002

At the beginning of this chapter, Saito finds the location of Yahara Village, where Hana comes from. Both he and Mizuki take a trip there. When they get there, they find Hana working in an inn. Saito starts asking him questions about how he defeated Ida, and Hana shrugs it off as being just a fluke. We learn that everyone in the village descends from Juzo Tanaka, a judo master from the Edo period, and that the village is in the middle of “judos.” Unfortunately, the two reporters don’t get any more information, because judos is a secret due to village law. The only thing Hana says is that he has to become number one in this village.

At eight o’clock that night, Mizuki sees Hana in his uniform and decides to follow him. She finds him, but she distracts Hana in the middle of his fight. However, he’s able to recover. And right at the very end of the chapter, Hana gives Mizuki a brief explanation of what Yahara Village’s judo is.

Now that the story is a little more established, I found myself enjoying chapter two much more than I did the first chapter of this series. From what I saw in this chapter, I’m guessing a lot of the series will probably be focusing on the judos that’s taking place in Yahara Village, and that somehow Mizuki will keep finding herself running into Hana. Saito is definitely being depicted as the one who’s not as intuitive of a reporter as Mizuki is. It’ll be interesting to see what happens during the third and final chapter of this series that will appear as part of VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” initiative.

Naruto CH:692

After the various zombies return to the afterlife, the tailed beasts are also free to decide where they want to go, since a piece of each of them are inside of Naruto. Kurama is asked to stay inside of Naruto to serve as the overseer of the gathering place. The Sage of Six Paths then asks Naruto and Sasuke if their answer to his question has changed after fighting Kaguya. Naruto says his answer’s still the same. The Sage then says he needs to undo the Infinite Tsukuyomi. It’s up to Naruto and Sasuke to work together, but Sasuke declares that he’s going to execute the current Hokage inside the Infinite Tsukuyomi, and will put all the biju under his control and eventually get rid of them. Sasuke declares he wants to destroy and then rebuild; he’s touting revolution. Naruto declares that he’ll rescue everyone…

Well, so much for the story reaching its end anytime soon. And I should have known that Sasuke hadn’t completely changed. Wow, he really came across as rather deranged by the end of this chapter. Please, Naruto, be able to take him down a lot faster than you were able to take down Kaguya! I really hope this portion of the story doesn’t drag on nearly as long as the fight with Kaguya did.

It should be noted that Naruto will be taking a one week break, and will return in the September 29, 2014 issue of Weekly Shonen Jump.

World Trigger CH:075

The chapter opens with Osamu trying to figure out how to make it into the base, and then actually trying to get there. Unfortunately, he’s being pursued by the two humanoid Neighbors. Miwa arrives on the scene, and Osamu asks him to take the cubified Chika. Osamu declares he’ll stop the Neighbor here. Miwa smacks Osamu aside and says he doesn’t care, and chides Osamu for depending on others. Miwa only cares about killing the humanoid Neighbor…

It’s nice to finally seeing some progress for Osamu’s storyline. This Miwa guy comes across as caring more about himself than in actually helping others. I’m sure there’s more to this than there appears to be on the surface, and I suspect the next chapter will focus on Miwa trying to fight the humanoid Neighbor. Even though I’ve been reading these chapters in Weekly Shonen Jump for about six months now, I have to admit that I still feel a little lost at times as I read these chapters.

Toriko CH:292

We see Toriko and the others in Hex Food World celebrating and eating various dishes with air. But suddenly, Coco sees something strange: his arm is becoming his gourmet cell demon’s hand. Apparently, some of them can now control their gourmet cell monster. It’s revealed that the ancestors of those who live in Hex Food World are ordinary humans who were abducted by the four beasts long ago and made into slaves of the Nitro. These slaves were then injected with gourmet cells. Right at the end of the chapter, shadowy figures appear and wreak havoc…

Overall, most of this chapter ended up being expository in nature, and not much was really happening. Right at the beginning of the chapter, the shadowy figures who appeared at the end were hinted at, but they don’t actually make their move until right at the end of the chapter. There’s quite a cliffhanger here, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next chapter.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:138

In this chapter, Raku takes the princess to Onodera’s family’s sweet shop. Onodera is working, and Raku reveals that it’s the princess with him and not Chitoge. While they’re there, Onodera gets the princess some of the shop’s specialties. The princess wonders how close Raku and Onodera are, especially after Raku gets a minor injury and Onodera takes care of it for him. Later, when Raku takes her back to her hotel, her phone’s battery dies, which takes away the princess’ ability to communicate with Raku. But it turns out that she knew some very basic Japanese all along. The princess then gives Raku a kiss on the cheek as a thank you.

Well, it looks like this story arc may be just about over. About the only thing left is how to get Chitoge out of where she is and get the princess back where she belongs. The chapter ended right before this could happen, so I expect that the next chapter will cover that part of the story and ultimately bring it to an end. But I know I’m so ready for this particular storyline to end and for a new one to begin.

Bleach CH:596

In this chapter, Mayuri explains to the Quincy that’s been creating zombies that he has a way to counteract what she’s done and turn her zombies into his zombies. Then, one of Mayrui’s zombies runs a sword through the Quincy. And with this, it also seems to be turning the tables on Pepe’s plans as well. The chapter ends with Pepe getting his butt kicked.

While I’m happy to finally see one of the Quincies out of the picture, this chapter has only helped to make this story arc even stranger than it already was. Bleach has definitely gone in a very strange direction over the past few months, and I expect it’s only going to get weirder as it continues.

Rurouni Kenshin Special Limited Series Part 2

Shishio is approached for help after Hanabi is killed and Akari and Kagari are taken away. Shishiro tells her no and tells Hanahomura that she’s weak. Shishio tells Sojiro that their business at Yoshiwara is done. Hanahomura tells Shishiro that she wants him to sell his strength to her for a night; she says she will pay for this with her life. We then see Shishio and some other people waiting at a bridge for the Wadatsumi Koheidan Shark troops. As Shishio and the others attack, the troops try to use one of the twins as a hostage. But Shishio and the others manage to convince them to quit using the girl as a shield. In the end, Shishio is able to overcome Ichigase Sameo. We then see Shishio making a deal to get a battleship called Rengoku. At the end, we learn that Hanahomura’s real name is Yumi Komafata, and Shishio kisses her.

This is the second and last part of this limited series for Rurouni Kenshin. Admittedly, this was hard enough for me to follow since I’ve never read Rurouni Kenshin before reading this, but it also didn’t help that there was a sizable gap between Part 1 and Part 2 of this limited series. While this wasn’t bad at all, I think I would have been able to enjoy it better if the two parts had been a little closer together. Before reading this chapter, I had to read the writeup I did for Part 1 to refresh my memory as to what happened the earlier chapter. I suspect that readers who are already familiar with Rurouni Kenshin will have a much better appreciation for this special limited series than I do.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

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