Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (September 22, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Bleach, One Piece, Hi-Fi Cluster, Toriko, Judos, Nisekoi: False Love, One-Punch Man, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. In addition, this issue includes the first chapter for Sporting Salt, the third title in the Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” initiative.

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.

Sporting Salt CH:001

Sporting Salt is the third series to be included as part of VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” initiative.

Manabu and Luna are walking down the street, and find Hiroyuki Shioya lecturing other kids about smoking. He tries to get them to give up smoking and to start a life of sports. When Hiroyuki asks Manabu and Luna for directions, Luna tells him that Manabu is busy with running practice. Hiroyuki gets excited when he hears this, because it turns out he’s into sports medicine. Hiroyuki is a second-year student at Tachibana Harbor High School, and he declares that he’s going to be the best sports medicine doctor in Japan. Hiroyuki takes out this week’s placebo item, Supersonic Shoes. When Manabu and Luna point out that these shoes won’t work for what they’re doing, Hiroyuki tries something else until he’s distracted by a woman riding a bicycle nearby. He tells her she has powerful legs and that he wants to feel them.

The next day, Manabu discovers that Hiroyuki is in his family’s kitchen. After Manabu reacts to Hiroyuki’s being there, Hiroyuki starts explaining what he needs to do in order to receive a license for sports medicine, and then starts going off on the history of sports medicine. When Manabu complains about wanting to win the race but being told that he’s too slow, Hiroyuki tells him there’s a way to run faster, even if you’re slow. After Manabu figures out what he has to do, he’s really excited. Unfortunately, his excitement is diminished when Luna arrives and tells Manabu that she’s moving.

Later, Manabu tells Hiroyuki that he likes Luna and that he was hoping to show off his running to her before confessing his feelings. Hiroyuki gives Manabu some advice to help him have some more strength, and he also does something that helps take the tension out of Manabu’s upper body so he can focus on his legs. And amazingly enough, Manabu wins! Manabu confesses his feelings, and finds that Luna likes him back. Near the end of the chapter, Manabu and Luna learn that Hiroyuki is a pretty impressive person and is going to an extremely competitive school in the world of sports. At the end of the chapter, we see Hiroyuki going to the school for the first time.

I have to admit that this manga had a very rocky start to it. Hiroyuki came off as being rather weird and almost stalkerish, and his suddenly appearing in Manabu’s kitchen didn’t help with that stalker perception. Fortunately, if you make it past the early pages of this chapter, you discover that Hiroyuki really does know what he’s doing and truly wants to help. The part of the chapter that focuses on Hiroyuki, Manabu, and Luna is definitely there to establish Hiroyuki as a character. From what we see at the end of the chapter, I expect that the main focus of Sporting Salt will be on Hiroyuki as he helps out the various sports teams at Tachibana Harbor High School. Hopefully future chapters will continue to make Hiroyuki more likable as a character.

Bleach CH:597

In this chapter, Liltotto approaches Pepe and tells him he needs to take responsibility for trying to kill them by pitting them against each other. Meanwhile, Yhwach enters Reiokyu and is obviously not welcomed. The guards try to attack, but he doesn’t dodge and they can’t get a hit in on him. And right at the very end, Urahara launches Ichigo, Chad, Orihime, and Yoruichi to their destination…

Ummm… wow. Basically nothing truly happens over the course of this chapter. We just get to see brief glimpses for three scenes and then it’s over. While we finally got to see Ichigo and the others, they were only there for two pages, so it almost doesn’t count. Hopefully the next chapter will actually do something to progress the story.

One Piece CH:761

The chapter opens in Primula, a town to the northwest, where attempts are being made to suppress the rioting and chaos. Then, the story returns to the palace, where Doflamingo and Luffy continue their scene. We learn that years earlier, Doflamingo managed to get the Op-Op Fruit, which is known as the Ultimate Devil Fruit. This allows the user to perform the Immortality Operation to give eternal life with the price of the user losing their own life.

We also get a flashback of Law’s that shows what happened 16 years ago in the North Blue and how he came to join up with the Don Quixote Family, and how he met Corazon.

This was basically a character development chapter for Law, so not much truly happens for the actual plot or storyline. At least having the character development beats what Bleach did this week!

It should also be noted that One Piece won’t be in next week’s edition of Weekly Shonen Jump, but is supposed to return on October 6, 2014.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:002

At the beginning of Chapter Two, we see Kandera taking Peta to jail. He’s actually taken to what looks like an old candy store, and he meets Miri Sanyama, the Deputy Chief of Special Unit Six. It turns out Kandera was only joking about taking Peta to jail. They’re actually in the underground headquarters for Special Unit Six. Kandera tells Peta that he should join their unit because he’s a “Loader” with a Hi-Fi label. During this scene, the audience, along with Peta, receive a history of how the labels came to be. It turns out the Hi-Fi label that Peta has was created by the person who created the labels and their system. Kandera and Miri are called away for an urgent case, and they end up taking Peta along with them. It turns out Peta has an ability that should be able to help them with the case and they figure out how to activate the ability. It also appears that the genius whose mind is the core of this label is Socrates. After Peta is able to provide pertinent information, Kandera is able to take down the individuals causing the problem. At the end of the chapter, it appears that Peta has made up his mind to assist the police.

I liked how this story progressed from where it ended in the previous volume, and I appear to have guessed correctly that Peta would end up joining up with Kandera and his squad. I also think Kandera is an interesting character. He looks intimidating and he’s good at his job, but he’s willing to joke around and be goofy every once in a while. I can’t say a whole lot about Miri yet, since we didn’t get to see her do much in this chapter outside of providing some history for the labels to help the audience and Peta better understand what’s going on. Of the three “Jump Start” initiative titles that I’ve read, I would have to say that Hi-Fi Cluster has been the best one. I’m a little sad knowing that next week will be the last chapter that we’ll be seeing of it in the English version of Weekly Shonen Jump.

Toriko CH:293

We see Komatsu getting a hole punched through his chest by the shadowy figures that attacked Toriko and the others at the end of the previous chapter. The shadowy figures are from Neo, and they’ve come for air. Some of Toriko’s companions begin attacking Neo, while a nearby medic asks to see Komatsu. As work is being done to save Komatsu, Toriko starts summoning his strength in order to take on Neo. The battle is just getting underway as the chapter finishes.

After having two or three chapters that were rather light on the action, this chapter dives right back into it. Even though more action is taking place, the actual story doesn’t progress terribly much. Hopefully the next chapter will begin to propel the actual story forward, at least a little.

Judos CH:003

Mizuki learns from Hana that Judos is a celebration for the demon children descendants of their founder, Juzo Tanaka. However, Hana insists on taking her back to the inn, because the demons could gobble her up if she’s out wandering around while Judos is going on. Meanwhile, Saito comes upon the villagers watching various matches on television screens. Saito is told that now that he knows what’s going on, he has to keep quiet. As they watch, they see Hana heading toward his next opponent. The chapter ends as the opponent approaches…

It took me a couple of weeks, but I’ve started becoming more interested in this title. It’s too bad that this is the final chapter we’ll be seeing in North America for now. Maybe this title could appear again at such a point there’s an opening available in Weekly Shonen Jump, or maybe VIZ could acquire the license for it and release it tankobon volumes. It’s just going to depend on how good of a reception it gets from the Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” initiative, I guess.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:139

In this chapter, we see Chitoge trying to figure out how to get the switch made with the princess since she hasn’t received any word from them. Luckily for Chitoge, the princess raps on a nearby window and the two work at switching back after the princess gets inside. As they talk, Chitoge calls Raku clueless; however, the princess sticks up for him. As the princess asks Chitoge about her feelings for Raku, the princess comments that the two of them are more alike than she realized. After Chitoge makes her escape out the window, she tries to play a trick on Raku, but it backfires. At the end of the chapter, we see the princess give a press conference.

Hooray! This “trading places with royalty because they look like a main character” story is finally over! It wasn’t necessarily a bad story, but I think it went on a little longer than it needed to. Hopefully the next story arc will actually progress the overarching story.

One-Punch Man CH:037.3

In this chapter, King is trying to figure out if he can run away. Genos, Saitama’s companion, starts to take on G4; when Saitama asks if Genos needs help, he says no. Saitama’s assignment is to help Genos reach the Class S top ten, so Genos must defeat this enemy on his own.

This is a rather standard chapter for One-Punch Man, where there’s a lot of action but not any real progression to the overall story. Since I haven’t read this series from the beginning, it’s interesting for me to see that Saitama isn’t the one doing the fighting this time. In fact, Saitama just seems to be calmly walking away from the fight at the end of the chapter. I guess this story arc is to allow another character to shine?

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:46

Kaito, Yuma, and Ryoga continue to work together to try to take down Yagumo. Yuma steps in and launches his attack, which leads to summoning S. No 39 Utopia One. But just as it looks like Yuma has the upper hand, Yagumo activates an effect on The Seven Sins. This allows his monster to block Utopia One’s effect. But Yuma pulls out and activates an overlay rebirth. This allows him to to choose two monsters from the graveyard to be absorbed by Utopia One. Yuma then uses the Ultimate XYZ spell card, and uses this to destroy the Seven Deadly Sins. Yuma then activates Rank Up Magic Shining Force, which allows him to overlay Utopia One on Utopia Lightning. The attack works, but it doesn’t completely wipe out Yagumo’s life points. He still has 100 left. Yagumo activated a trap card. And right at the end of the chapter, a deity known as E*rah appears, and she is the deity of despair…

Most of this chapter was the typical battle chapters that are common in the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed that Yuma’s final attack ended up not knocking out Yagumo. And I’m just afraid that with the arrival of E*rah, this story is going to be drug out even longer than it already has.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

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