Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (December 15, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Food Wars!, One Piece, Toriko, Hi-Fi Cluster, Nisekoi: False Love, World Trigger, Bleach, and Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment. In addition, this issue also includes the seventh chapter of Naruto as part of the “Jump Back” 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.

I only started reading Weekly Shonen Jump back in late February/early March of 2014, which means there’s a number of series published in the magazine that I jumped in the middle of. Since then, I’ve been able to start reading older chapters of some of the titles, but I haven’t managed to do this for all of the titles yet. Because of this, there may be times I might inadvertently include incorrect information in the write-ups. If you see something in a write-up that’s incorrect due to my having not read earlier chapters of a series, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Not only can I correct the incorrect information in the write-up, it will also help provide information for me to have when reading future chapters of a series in Weekly Shonen Jump.

Of course, you can always check out Weekly Shonen Jump for yourself by subscribing to the digital publication at VIZManga.com.

Food Wars! CH:099

Right at the beginning of this chapter, we see that Kurokiba is the first one to finish cooking his pike. He presents his dish to the judges’ table, and they have to unwrap the heat-resistant film that he had put onto his dish. When the judges unwrap them, they’re impressed by the odor. It turns out his dish is Fall Pike Cartoccio. As the judges try his dish, Kurokiba explains what he did to his dish. We get the judges’ reaction, and then Hayama is ready to present his dish. Hayama’s entry is Carpaccio, and he is about to present it to the judges when the chapter ends.

The competition is now truly underway, with one of the contestants presenting his completed creation to the judges. But I have to say that the judges’ reactions to the entry do come across as a bit “over the top.” Alice’s mother also received a rather prominent role in this chapter in her role as judge; in fact, she has a panel where she goes on and on and on about Kurokiba’s dish. I really wanted her to shut up so I could move on to the next panel. Also, this chapter also has a strong focus on explanations; while it was nice to receive the explanations since I don’t know anything about the dishes being made, it felt like these explanations dragged down the chapter.

One Piece CH:770

Bellamy insists on fighting with Luffy even though Luffy doesn’t want to. The story suddenly shifts to the Pica Statue, where Zoro is battling Pica. But before Zoro can do much, Pica takes over a nearby plateau so only his face shows from it. But Zoro is undeterred. Unfortunately, before Zoro can reach Pica, he has to encounter other enemies first. Right at the end of the chapter, Zoro receives some unexpected help.

You know, with how much focus has been placed on Law and his flashback story recently, I’d almost all but forgotten that there were still other battles taking place in Dressrosa! Fortunately, this chapter only focused on one of the battles instead of all of the jumping around we’d been seeing prior to settling into Law’s backstory. And it looks like Zoro’s battle is starting to see a little more progress. It’ll be interesting to see if the next chapter continues this particular battle or moves on to one of the other battles that are still raging in Dressrosa.

Toriko CH:305

This chapter opens with an explanation of Gourmet Cells and why they need to unify the wills of all their cells before learning Monkey Martial Arts. After this, Kaka begins training Toriko and the others in Monkey Martial Arts, which requires them to juggle a B.B. Pill Bug. But it’s not as easy as it seems, and Kaka explains that they have to learn to accurately copy with the movements of the B.B. Pill Bug. Zebra doesn’t want to participate in the training, but we see the others trying. Kaka expects it will take them two days to get the basics of Monkey Martial Arts down, and they only have three days before Komatsu’s limit is up.

This chapter spent a lot of its time on explanations, and not much time on any real action. I understand that the explanations are necessary, but after already having to read through the explanations in Food Wars! at the beginning of this week’s Weekly Shonen Jump, it felt like the story here was being bogged down. But right near the end, it’s made clear that time is quickly running out to save Komatsu, so the stakes are going up in here. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see an end to having to save Komatsu somewhere within the next few chapters. It definitely feels as if events are leading up to this story wrapping up soon.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:014

This chapter keeps going with the chase that started at the end of Chapter 12. The getaway car screeches to a halt, and Kandera discovers that the brakes in their behicle appear to not be working. Kandera grabs Mirai, and he, Heckt, and Ekusa all jump out of the vehicle. Kandera and his group are face-to-face with the getaway driver and the girl with the Hi-Fi Ability. Landscape Mole appears and takes custody of the girl away from Shanon, the getaway driver. Landscape Mole uses his ability to send Shanon flying, and Kandera goes to save Shanon. But after being rescued, Shanon is arrested. Near the end of the chapter, Kandera and the others see a news report that suggests that Landscape Mole is intending to attack the parliament building. When Kandera and the others realize they need to head there but their car is totaled, Shanon offers to give them a ride. Shanon makes a deal with Kandera, and everyone heads toward the taxi as the chapter ends…

So it turns out I was wrong about who I thought the getaway driver was. I should’ve figured that Landscape Mole would have been too easy of a guess. But the stakes are definitely being upped again quite a bit, so I’m still wondering if perhaps Hi-Fi Cluster could be in danger of an early cancellation. It would definitely explain why we’ve seen the story make some major progress in recent weeks instead of being stretched out. If we’re already headed for Landscape Mole’s “revolution,” what else can be done with the story after this is resolved? While I’ve personally been enjoying Hi-Fi Cluster, I’m seeing the signs that it might not be around for much longer.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:151

This chapter sees Raku and Onodera both running late for the class trip and having to take a separate bullet train to catch up with the rest of the class in Kyoto. As expected, Raku is happy with this turn of events. As they talk, Onodera suggests ditching their groups since they don’t plan to hit the same sights in Kyoto. But when Raku reacts to the suggestion, Onodera says she was joking. When the train reaches Nagoya, an announcement comes over the intercom saying that due to high winds, the bullet train will be delayed until further notice. They decide to switch to the regular train line in order to keep on going. But their ride on the regular train is stopped because of a bear on the tracks ahead. They then decide to take a bus, but the bus ends up having engine trouble. Then they try taking a taxi, but the elderly man driving it ends up in a ditch. They then resort to trying to hitch a ride. But the guy who gives them a ride also has engine trouble. They eventually make it to Kyoto, but it’s obvious they’ve been through the wringer. When Raku goes to meet up with his group, he learns that their room got flooded. Raku ends up being separated from his group and put into a room by himself that’s not in the main building. Right at the end of the chapter, we see that Chitoge has tapped on Raku’s window.

OK, the first time or two that something caused their mode of transportation to be stalled was a little amusing; but after that, it started getting obnoxious. I know that Komi is trying to have Raku and Onodera spend time together to try to build up this relationship, but the sheer amount of obstacles ended up being excessive. Also, after going through all of that, Raku still continues to have bad luck with his room.

But the further I’m getting into Nisekoi: False Love, it really appears to me that Komi is ultimately intending Raku and Onodera to end up together. The main questions are, how is he going to accomplish this, and how long will it take for this relationship to actually happen?

World Trigger CH:087

Jin finds Karasawa watching the Rank Wars, and they have a conversation about Osamu. We then see Osamu, Chika, and Yuma talking with Konami and some other people about the other squads they could be facing during the Rank Wars. When they ask for information, they’re told that data on past Rank Wars can be found in the Strategy Room. We then see both the Suwa Squad and the Arafune Squad going over the data they have on Osamu’s group. This is followed by Osamu and his group sharing their analysis from the data they have on their next opponent.

This chapter is basically providing some setup before starting the next match in the Rank Wars. Unfortunately, this means that this is an exposition chapter rather than having any real action going on. This is at least the third chapter in this edition of Weekly Shonen Jump that’s simply an exposition chapter. At least this one is spread out more from the other two, so that helps a little.

Bleach CH:609

Ichibe says that Yhwach has lost his name, and that he will give Yhwach a new one. The new name he gives him is Kuroari. Ichibe tells “Kuroari” that his power is like that of a black ant, and that Ichibe will crush him like an ant. But “Kuroari” somehow manages to survive. It turns out that Yhwach had the power to see all that is about to take place. and the power he sees cannot be used to kill him.

Oh, come on now. These characters have become so overpowered that it’s become ridiculous. Not only that, it makes it more painfully obvious that Kubo is trying to kill time in order to make this final arc of the story last longer. While there had been some of this done in earlier Bleach storylines and chapters, I think this is some of the worst use of overpowered characters that I’ve personally seen. The only upside is that these more recent chapters of Bleach have been very quick reads.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:003

This chapter begins a storyline about a photo voyeurism incident. As expected, Pine and Abaku are brought in to resolve the case. We see that Tento is helping Abaku with his work, and he asks Abaku why he’s staying at this school instead of moving on, since that’s what he normally does. Abaku says it’s so he can kill a certain student. Pine also declares that she won’t leave this school until she defeats Abaku.

We discover that the person Abaku is defending is Uozumi, one of his classmates. The victim in the photo voyeurism case is also one of their classmates. Abaku decides to do a crime scene inspection, and he finds it impossible for a camera to somehow be hidden in the victim’s shoe locker. We also meet Airi (the victim’s) best friend, Kuniko. There’s an exchange between Kuniko and Uozumi, and Abaku seems to pick up on something during their conversation.

But when Tento goes to Abaku’s “office” to get the keys he left behind, he finds clippings of articles about the Bloody Classroom Massacre, where an entire first grade class was massacred five years earlier; this was the case that was the impetus for the creation of the School Judgment System. Tento recalls what Abaku said earlier about killing a student…

So this chapter sets the scene for the next classroom arbitration session, which is set to start during the next chapter. But this chapter also starts to provide some development for Abaku as well. He seems to have some kind of a connection with the Bloody Classroom Massacre, and this seems to be the driving force for why he’s part of the School Judgment System. It was stated in an earlier chapter that Abaku didn’t become a prosecutor through the usual way, so I expect that this is somehow also tied in with the Bloody Classroom Massacre. Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment continues to be an interesting read, and it was definitely the best of the three titles in this wave of the “Jump Start” initiative.

It was announced at the end of this issue that Gakkyu Hotei: School JudgmentWeekly Shonen Jump.

Naruto CH:007

This is the seventh chapter of the Naruto manga, which is being published as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative.

This chapter continues Team 7’s survival exercise. This time, we see Sasuke trying to go against Kakashi; while he’s doing a lot better than Naruto did, but he still isn’t able to best Kakashi. The timer goes off, signaling the end of the exercise. Naruto is tied to a stump, while Sasuke and Sakura sit on the ground next to him. Right at the end of the chapter, Kakashi states that none of them will ever be shinobi.

This chapter truly allows the reader to see Sasuke in action, and it backs up what he’s said about his talent up to this point. Naruto ends up acting like the knuckleheaded ninja that he’s known to be at this point, and Sakura’s more concerned about Sasuke than anything else. It’s a real shocker to not just the characters, but to the reader as well, when Kakashi declares that his students will never become shinobi.

According to the end, it says that Chapter Eight will appear for the “Jump Back” initiative in next week’s issue. I’m thinking that I’ve been right in guessing that Naruto will continue to run in this initiative until we reach the end of this particular story arc. This arc should be ending soon, so it shouldn’t be part of this initiative for too much longer.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

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