Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (December 22, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, Bleach, Toriko, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, Food Wars!, Hi-Fi Cluster, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. In addition, this issue also includes the eighth 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.

One Piece CH:771

In this chapter, Zoro receives an offer for help from Eliza-Bello, an old companion of King Riku, but Zoro declines his offer. Meanwhile, we see Lao G trying to throw around some taunts, but before he can do much, he suddenly reaches the natural end of his life. But before he dies completely, he manages to hear a voice telling him to not die. Meanwhile, Baby 5 says she’s willing to die if it will help the cause, but Sai stops her. But then Lao G trashes Don Chin Jao. Right at the end of the chapter, Lao G falls into a crevice while Baby 5 falls in love.

I have to admit that I was rather confused during most of this chapter, since it primarily focuses on characters that I have no real idea of who they are. That’s the problem when you jump ahead so far in a series and end up in the middle of an ongoing story arc. Because of that, it’s very hard for me to comment on this chapter. Hopefully I’ll eventually be able to piece together who these people are and how they fit into this story arc.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:004

This chapter sees Pine trying to show how easily anyone could have set up a peeping device in the victim’s shoe locker. Abaku objects, but it’s to the attribution to a song used rather than to Pine’s actual evidence. Pine then says she’s going to establish proof of the accused’s guilt. But as Kuniko talks, Abaku thinks that the trap of his counterattack has been set. Then Abaku establishes that the accused, Uozumi, was by Airi’s shoe locker in order to leave her a love letter; Uozumi reads it aloud. Abaku also establishes that the love letter disappeared when, after it was put through the slit, it ended up below the flase bottom that hides the camera. He then uses Kuniko’s testimony to establish that she is the real perpetrator. Abaku also establishes that Kuniko knows the key code for the lock on Airi’s shoe locker. With this, the judge declares Uozumi innocent. We learn that Kuniko’s motive was that she liked Uozumi, but she knew that Uozumi liked her best friend.

I liked how how this case turned out. I admit that I had figured out that someone Kuniko had to be the culprit, but I hadn’t figured out how she had done it or what her motive was. But seeing how this was written, it all makes perfect sense. So far, I’ve been pretty impressed with this series, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next case will be. I’m also interested in seeing how the series evolves and hopefully discovering what Abaku’s secret is.

Bleach CH:610

This chapter opens with Uryu learning some information about Yhwach, which is also supposed to serve as insight for the reader as well. It’s also revealed that Yhwach’s power is known as “The Almighty.” Ichibe still insists that while Yhwach may know the black, but that all “black” belongs to him. Ichibe then uses Magnificent Death Mausoleum. But Yhwach retorts that he sees it, and that all that he sees is powerless against him.

Sigh. We just see these Ichibe and Yhwach becoming more and more powerful, to the point where it looks like the fight will be a stalemate. Something happens right at the end makes it seems like Yhwach has gotten the upper hand, but with the way their fight has been written, I’m expecting that what’s happening there isn’t what it seems. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if I’m wrong, but I really expect Kubo to find more ways to keep stretching this battle out.

Toriko CH:306

This chapter sees Toriko and the others going through training to try get the basics on Monkey Martial Arts down. We see that they’re all having issues getting their cells aligned in order to accurately copy the movements of the B.B. Pill Bug. By the end of the first day, not a single one of them could juggle even one bug. As they talk and vent, they receive a hint when they sense the Monkey King’s bloodthirst due to being pissed off that no one in the game of “tag” was looking got him. And with this hint, they’re able to finally juggle one bug.

I have to admit that this whole Monkey Martial Arts thing is kind of weird, but it does fit in with everything else that I’ve seen in this manga. I also find it ironic and somewhat humorous that the hint they needed in order to be able to start mastering the basics came from the Monkey King, the creature that they need to become playmates with in order to accomplish their goal. So will the next chapter still focus on their training, or will we get a narration and jump ahead to the next part of the story?

World Trigger CH:088

The second night of the B-Rank Wars is about to begin. It’s Tamakoma-2 against Suwa Squad and Arafune Squad. Suwa Squad flips when they learn what stage is being used for their battle, while it doesn’t really faze Arafune Squad. Then the B-Rank War begins. After meeting up, Osamu and his group go for a firefight, and it’s revealed their cannon fire was to provide cover for Suwa Squad. Osamu and his group are about to make their move when the chapter ends.

After getting the initial setup done in the first half of the chapter, the second half was devoted to the action of the B-Rank War. To be honest, I hadn’t anticipated that Tamakoma-2 would be inadvertently allying with Suwa Squad in order to defeat Arafune Squad. It will be interesting to see what ends up unfolding during this particular B-Rank war as this story arc continues.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:152

Chitoge makes up an excuse for why she snuck out to see Raku while he’s alone in a separate building. While she’s there, she works out a plan for the two of them to spend time together during the free time they have away from their groups. They spend time together, and Raku thinks about how he’s gotten used to having her near. But rather quickly, a teacher is conducting a bed check; they have to hide under the covers. Just as it seems the coast is clear, a thunderstorm hits and that the storm is expected to clear in the morning. Chitoge, who’s usually scared of thunder and lightning, falls asleep and stays in his room all night. The next day, the class is allowed to explore in their groups, but Raku becomes separated from his.

So this chapter is basically here to build up the connection between Chitoge and Raku. This was a nice bit of development, even if it relied on Raku just happening to have more rotten luck in order to make it happen. Even though Chitoge and Raku have their moments like this, and can be good as a couple at times, I’m still convinced that Komi’s intent in the end is going to be for Onodera and Raku to end up together. The main thing is just for Komi to truly start moving the overarching plot along instead of pretty much shoving it into the background most of the time anymore, so it’s starting to feel like it’s become less and less important to the series as time has gone on.

Food Wars! CH:100

Hayama presents his dish to the judges, and they’re surprised that it’s an appetizer. But before he allows the judges to eat it, he puts on the finishing touches with a blowtorch; the complete dish is Seared Pike Carpaccio. As the judges taste the dish, there’s a lot of explanation going on. Right at the end of the chapter, Soma is ready to present his dish to the judges.

For a story arc that’s focused on a cooking competition, it’s been a bit on the boring side thanks to all of the explanations that have been getting thrown into the chapters. But this chapter probably had the worst time of it when it came to being bogged down by the explanations of the dishes and the cooking. I swear, it almost felt as if at least half of the chapter was dedicated to explanations. But now that Soma is ready to present his dish, hopefully the next chapter will be more exciting.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:015

As Kandera and the others rush to the parliament, they see video footage of Landscape Mole and the little girl suddenly appearing there. Landscape Mole starts attacking members that try to approach him, which cause security to be summoned. Landscape Mole tells the little girl that the guards are trying to kill them, and the little girl activates her label. When this succeeds, Landscape Mole introduces himself and says he’s there to retrieve his partner that they’re holding in captivity; it turns out his partner is his younger twin brother. Landscape Mole declares that the ability labels the government has made are useless and that he will mass produce Hi-Fi labels and reconstruct the ability society. He then says that until his brother arrives, he will be killing one person every ten minutes. When Kandera and the others make it to the parliament, they find Noto blocking the entrance.

So we get some revelations about Landscape Mole and his motivations for what he’s doing, and that he has a twin brother. I definitely hadn’t seen that coming, that’s for sure. Also, just as it looks like Kandera and the others can save the day, their way is blocked by Noto. I suspect this will lead into a major battle between Kandera and Noto, since the two of them have a history. I’m wondering just how many more chapters this story will end up going, and whether or not Hi-Fi Cluster can make it past this story arc. But with the way the story has gone recently, I’m wondering if the author may have been given notice that the series could potentially be cancelled. If it is cancelled, I hope this story arc can at least be resolved without being rushed.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:49

Just when it looks like Yuma and Astral are done for, Ryoga activates a trap card that allows him to divert Erah’s attack on Yuma to him instead. This ends up knocking Royga out. Spider Shark’s effect is activated, and it revives Utopia and Galaxy Eyes. E’rah activates Sea of Rebirth’s effect, which allows her to special summon as many monsters as Yuma did. Kaito then jumps in and activates a spell card called Revelation of Hope and ends up summoning Number 38. E’rah uses Sea of Rebirth’s effect again, but Kaito activates Titanic Galaxy’s effect, which negates E’rah’s spell card and then excludes both cards and turns E’rah’s spell card into an overlay unit for his card. Kaito then activates the spell card Galaxy Journey and then is able to summon his excluded monster. But E’rah activates a spell card that allows her destroyed monsters to become overlay units for her monsters on the field. But Kaito establishes a loop that excludes her spell card and his monster. And he also adds in a quick-play spell to the mix. With this move, he takes quite a bit of E’rah’s life points. But just as it looks like Kaito and the others are winning, E’rah activates a trap card. Kaito’s turn ends, and now E’rah makes her play with a card that destroys her monsters on the field and lets her special summon as many anti monsters as possible. Right at the end, she uses these cards to special summon the anti-hope god of despair.

This chapter focused exclusively on battling with the cards, and the ante just seemed to be getting upped and upped with each play. I admit that it was a little exciting to read, but at the same time, it’s getting to the point where I want this battle to reach its conclusion. If this series ran more than once a month, it probably wouldn’t feel like it’s dragging out as much as it does to me. Hopefully this duel will be over sooner rather than later.

Naruto CH:008

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

Kakashi ends up explaining to Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke what the point of their exercise was. He also explains the mistakes he saw them make during the exercise. Kakashi then says he’ll give them one last chance, but he tells them that Sasuke and Sakura can eat the bentos but not share with Naruto and claims that if either one of them feeds him, they’ll fail instantly. After Kakashi leaves, Sasuke offers Naruto some of his bento but Sakura protests. Then Sakura offers her bento to Naruto as well. Kakashi then appears and tells them that they pass.

So this chapter wraps up Team 7’s training exercise. And as I predicted, this is the last chapter that will appear as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative. And with Naruto‘s appearance in this initiative coming to an end, the next regular issue of Weekly Shonen Jump should be the first to truly not have any Naruto content in it.

It should be noted that the next regular issue of Weekly Shonen Jump will be coming out on January 5, 2015. However, there will be a special issue released on December 29, 2014, that’s going to include RKD-EK9, a one-shot manga by NisiOisin and Takeshi Obata.

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