Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (October 6, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Blue Exorcist, One Piece, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, Naruto, Sporting Salt, Toriko, Bleach, Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, and One-Punch Man. In addition, this issue also includes the first chapter for Death Note to kick off Weekly Shonen Jump‘s new “Jump Back” initiative, which will publish three chapters of an older Shonen Jump title. There’s also a “World Trigger Japanese Editors Pick” feature that’s included.

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.

Blue Exorcist CH:061

Rin transforms into his demon self and is wielding the Flame of Satan. Professor Geodin tells Rin that Izumo has been willingly cooperating with this experiment and has been for five years. Rin becomes angry and shoots back that Izumo is crying. Izumo tells Rin that what the professor says is true and to leave her. However, Izumo asks Rin to save her mother. The professor sends zombies to attack Rin. When the others arrive, they wonder how to exorcise the Nine Tails out of Izumo. Unfortunately, her mother seems to be the only one who knows how and she’s currently unconscious. But her mother regains consciousness and tells the Nine Tails to be still within her daughter. However, this doesn’t work, and Izumo attacks her mother. The others work together to attack the zombies and trying to keep them away from both mother and daughter. Izumo’s mother manages to grab Izumo and asks the Nine Tails to return to her body. This works, and Izumo’s mother declares that Nine Tails will die along with her. The chapter ends with the death of Izumo’s mother.

This was a very action-packed, as well as a rather emotional, chapter for Blue Exorcist. Since I jumped into this story arc in the middle, I have to admit to being lost in regards to the story for a while. By the end of this chapter, though, I think I finally acquired enough information to truly start understanding the chapters of this series that I’ve been reading over the past six months or so.

According to the text at the end, the next chapter of Blue Exorcist will be published in the November 10, 2014 edition of Weekly Shonen Jump.

One Piece CH:762

This chapter continues the flashback about Trafalagar Law’s backstory of how he came to join up with the Don Quixote Family and the time he spent with Corazon. It also goes into great length with an explanation about the town that Law came from, explaining how and why it was destroyed. We then see Law trying to exact his revenge against Corazon for the death of his family right at the end of the chapter…

As a reader who has jumped into this story arc in the middle, I appreciated getting some backstory for Law. It looks like this backstory will continue in the next chapter, so this should help to solidify Law’s character even more. Since my introduction to Law was in the middle of this story arc, I knew who he was by his name, but had no idea who he was as a person. Also, these chapters focusing on the backstory is giving readers a break from the frenetic action-packed chapters that have been dominant in One Piece in recent months.

World Trigger CH:077

This chapter picks up exactly where the previous chapter left off, with Yuma being face-to-face with the Black Trigger that looks like an old man. They start to battle, but there’s no easy victory for either side. Then the action shifts to the fight between Shuji and Commander Hyrein for a brief bit, and then we see Mira trying to capture Osamu. Just as it seems Mira is going to apprehend him, a Rabit suddenly appears.

Let me ask one thing: what was up with the art in this week’s chapter? The characters look more like pencil sketches than what I normally expect to see in a chapter published in Weekly Shonen Jump. Also, there were some panels where backgrounds and a character’s arm weren’t completed, either. As the scene with Yuma went on, the unfinished look became more and more blatant. When the story moved to another battlefront, it looked like a little more had been done on these panels, but they still didn’t look like they were finalized. This chapter ultimately looks sloppy because of this. Was the managaka running too close to deadline and had to turn in a manuscript that wasn’t completely finalized? After reading this chapter, I wonder why Shueisha allowed it to be published in this state.

And because the art looks so sloppy in this chapter, I found myself being distracted from the actual story. The art looked so bad that it drew too much attention to itself. Hopefully the managaka will go back and clean this up before it’s published in a tankobon.

World Trigger Japanese Editor Picks

In this feature, the Japanese editor for World Trigger talks about his favorite chapters and gives some behind-the-scenes insight into the manga. This feature runs for four pages, and it’s pretty good for what it is.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:141

Ruri is approached by a girl who asks if she knows Shu, and admits that she’s thinking about telling Shu that she likes him. Ruri takes the girl to see Raku, since Raku knows all about Shu. Raku insists that Ruri stay and help him out. Ruri tells the girl all of Shu’s bad points and then asks what she likes about him. The girl says that Shu is nice and sincere, but she doesn’t want to say anything to him yet because she’s heard a rumor that he’s dating someone. This catches both Raku and Ruri off-guard, but before they can do anything, Shu bursts in. When Raku and Ruri leave, Raku tells her about how Shu was friendly to him when he was younger and was alone due to others being too scared to talk to him. Later, when Ruri is heading off to club, she comes across the girl talking to Shu and asking if he has a girlfriend. When he says no, she comes right out and asks if he’d go out with her. Shu turns her down gently and says he’s honored but doesn’t feel like falling in love with anyone. After the girl leaves, Shu calls to Ruri that he knows she was eavesdropping. After learning who Shu liked, Ruri realizes that she doesn’t understand love, but realizes she’s a little interested and a little scared.

This is one of the better chapters of Nisekoi: False Love that I’ve read in a while. Even though it has nothing to do with the overarching story of the promise and the locket, it still provides some character development for both Ruri and Shu. And by the end of this chapter, it appears that perhaps Ruri is developing feelings for Shu. If that’s the case, it could add an interesting dimension to this series, especially since she has insulted him so much in the chapters I’ve read of this series. Maybe this development could help Ruri better understand what Onodera is going through in regard to her fear of confessing her feelings to Raku.

Naruto CH:694

Sasuke and Naruto are at the Valley of the End, and Sasuke starts explaining what he thinks it means to be Hokage, and tying his explanation into how Itachi ultimately lived his life. He also explains that since he is alone now, he can bear the weight of all the hatred and bring every single village under his control. Naruto remembers something the resurrected Itachi told him, which goes completely against what Sasuke’s current beliefs are. And Naruto points out to Sasuke that he couldn’t take on Kaguya by himself. But this doesn’t move Sasuke. He still insists that he’ll kill the Biju and take down all the previous Hokage. Naruto declares that he won’t let Sasuke have his way, saying that he learned everything he knows from the people from the past. The chapter ends with Naruto and Sasuke just starting into a battle…

The night before I read this chapter, news came out that the final chapter of the Naruto manga will be published in the Weekly Shonen Jump issue dated November 10, 2014. So that means there’s only five more chapters remaining until the end. This chapter basically spells out Naruto and Sasuke’s positions, and provides some background to explain philosophies and how the story reached this point. Basically, it’s a chapter meant to set up this final battle between these two characters. With only five chapters left, how is this battle going to be paced and how will it end?

Sporting Salt CH:003

Within the first three pages, Hiroyuki’s gag of grabbing at people with athletic bodies rears its ugly head when the ace of the soccer team comes to see him for help. It turns out Hyoka, the soccer player, is low on stamina. From talking to her, Hiroyuki learns that she’s very angry about her life. The next time Hiroyuki sees Hyoka, he has to pull out the weekly “doctor’s placebo item.” This is also a running gag that’s already worn out its welcome. However, it seems to appear that the “placebo item,” which is ordinary rice balls, are doing the trick. It turns out he put salt into the rice balls because it turns out she’s lacking salt, not stamina.

And this chapter brings about the end of this Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” title. Now that I’ve read all three chapters, I have to say it’s my least favorite of the three series that have been featured in full up to this point. I have to give this chapter credit for breaking its formula somewhat when it turned out that the weekly placebo item actually worked for the problem the person was having. But looking at the series as a whole, I really don’t find Hiroyuki to be a very likable character, and I really feel no interest in ever reading any future chapters of this series.

Toriko CH:295

This chapter sees Toriko and the others heading on their way in order to try to save Komatsu. A shark that’s a train known as a “Choo-Choo Chomper” comes out of the water, and it will be what takes Toriko and the others to Area 7. Area 7 is ruled over by Monkey King Bambina, the most mischievous of the eight kings. The chapter ends with the group boarding the Choo-Choo Chomper and starting out on their journey.

This chapter is basically wrapping up the previous story arc and setting the groundwork for the next one. Because of that, this chapter was primarily exposition-driven instead of having much action. Hopefully the next chapter will get the next story arc moving.

Bleach CH:599

Yhwach and Senjumaru finally come face-to-dace in Reiokyu, and Yhwach sends out his royal guards as Senjumaru’s opponent. As they launch their attack, Senjumaru summons a second-level holy soldier. A surprising twist appears to happen in the battle right at the end of the chapter…

Well, this was a rather quick chapter that saw almost next to nothing happen in it. Sadly, that’s the way a lot of the Bleach chapters I’ve read lately have come across as. I’m starting to feel more and more that Kubo is simply trying to extend this arc out for as long as he possibly can in order to make the series last longer. It’s gotten to a point where it’s getting harder for Bleach to hold my interest.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:026

In this chapter, Guren and two members of his squad take on everyone in Shinoa’s squad. Rather quickly, it appears that Guren and his team members have the upper hand. Through this, Guren points out how little teamwork their squad has. Yu asks Guren how his team of three was able to beat their squad of five. Shinoa tries to explain, but her explanation is refuted by one of Guren’s team members. Just then, Narumi arrives and gets into an argument with Yu. As Yu is fired up to take on Narumi with his squad, Shinoa tells him to knock it off. Shinoa introduces herself to Narumi and apologizes for her squad’s behavior. Shinoa then declares that their squad needs to work on teamwork, but before they can do anything, it’s announced all squads need to form up into their groups and head out to Nagoya to commence the vampire noble extermination mission.

We then see Mika and the vampires herding up humans and present them to the nobles in Nagoya. As Mika wanders around, Mika can no longer control the urge to drink human blood. Mika traps a human, but ends up letting them go.

In a lot of ways, it almost feels like the story is starting to move more rapidly than it had in previous chapters that I’ve read in Weekly Shonen Jump. While it’s good to see that Shinoa and her squad finally realize they need to work on their teamwork, it’s too little, too late. They end up not having any time to improve before they’re told to head out on their mission. Hopefully their teamwork won’t be too dismal when they’re up against the vampire nobility. I’m wondering if this series may be getting closer to ending due to the fact that the action of the story is finally moving. There could be more battles to be fought after going up against the nobles in Nagoya, but there seems to be a lot of emphasis put on this fight and the fact that the nobles are very strong.

It should be noted that the next chapter of Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign will be published in the November 10, 2014 issue of Weekly Shonen Jump.

One-Punch Man CH:037.4

In this chapter, we see a frazzled King returning home and being grateful to get away. As he starts playing the game he bought, he hears Saitama talking behind him and is surprised to find Saitama there. King and Saitama get into a discussion. Meanwhile, Genos is going up against G4. The chapter ends with Genos launching an attack on G4…

Well, here’s another chapter of One-Punch Man where not much of anything really happens to progress the story. There was one amusing part when Saitama is with King. When Saitama mentions coming in through the window, King comments that he’s on the 22nd floor. I admit that that line made me giggle a little. But outside of that, this chapter was just meh.

Death Note CH:001

This is the first “Jump Back” spotlight that Weekly Shonen Jump will be publishing periodically, where several chapters of some of the Shonen Jump series of the past will be highlighted. I’m not surprised that they launched this new initiative with Death Note, since Takeshi Obata is going to be making an appearance at New York Comic Con this weekend.

At the beginning, we learn that a shinigami named Ryuk had dropped his Death Note in the human world. The story then shifts to the human world, where a 17-year-old boy named Light Yagami finds a notebook lying on the ground. He picks it up and discovers that it reads, “Death Note” on the cover. There are instructions on how to use it inside, but they’re in English. Although he laughs at it, Light takes it home and continues to read it. Five days later, Light receives a visit from Ryuk. Light shows Ryuk that he’s been using the notebook. When Light asks what Ryuk’s going to do to him, he says he’ll do nothing. The moment a Death Note lands in the human world, it belongs to the human world. Light is also told that the book now belongs to him, and that it’s a bond between the two of them. Light is also informed that any human who’s used the Death Note can’t go to heaven or to hell. Ryuk also admits that he dropped the book because he was bored. Light admits that he was also bored, and a flashback is shown of him trying to use the Death Note a few times. Light decides to use the Death Note to change the world.

Previous to reading this chapter, I had seen the first episode of the Death Note anime series about six years ago. That was still very early in my anime viewing when I got back into it, and at the time, I didn’t care for Death Note. But now that I’ve been immersed in anime and manga for several years, seeing this material again makes me realize that it’s not as bad as I had thought it was six years ago. I’ve definitely seen much worse and much stranger anime and manga in the intervening time. I’ll eventually get around to sampling more Death Note at some point after this “Jump Back” spotlight concludes, because this has become such a major title for both the manga and the anime.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.