Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (January 5, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Toriko, Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, Food Wars!, Hi-Fi Cluster, Bleach, and Nisekoi: False Love. In addition, this issue also includes a preview of the Assassination Classroom manga.

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:772

This chapter opens on the Fourth Step of the New Royal Plateau, where Kyros is taking on one of the enemy. When Rebecca asks to fight, her father asks her not to. He declares that now that he’s a human, he will never let her swing a sword again.

Then the story returns briefly to Zoro at the Second Step before moving on to the Third Step. Here, we see Bartolomeo and the others with them as the ground appears to be caving in around them. Robin, meanwhile, is trying to find Rebecca. Gladius tries to stop her, but his attempt is thwarted by Bartolomeo. At the end of the chapter, someone arrives on the scene and appears to be bad news for both Gladius and Dellinger.

Phew! After having several weeks of flashback material and chapters that focused on one section of the story, we’re back to jumping around between three different areas. It was definitely dizzying to me as a reader, and the jumping around makes it hard for me to keep up with what’s going on. It’s bad enough that I jumped into this particular story arc when it was already in progress so I’m not familiar with all of the characters who are appearing, but with all of the jumping around to various areas, it’s making it harder me to figure out who is who. Hopefully Oda can decide on a particular part of the story to focus on for the next chapter so the reader isn’t being sent on such a dizzying ride as they read.

Toriko CH:307

Now we see that Toriko is able to juggle 30 B.B. Pill Bugs with only one hand. We also see that Sunny is already at Master Level. Together, he and Coco can juggle over 100 of the bugs. And now that it’s the last day of their training, Kaka has them juggling the B.B. Pill Bugs while climbing 100 G Mountain. They discover that the Choo-Choo Chomper has gone into autotomy in order to protect Komatsu, and Sunny is given the job of carrying the Choo-Choo Chomper.

When they reach the second level of 100 G Mountain, they encounter Iai-Aye and some of his friends from the north mountain area. These skilled apes were called to act as guides for Toriko and the others, as well as to continue the training for monkey martial arts. We then see the training that Toriko and the others undergo. The chapter ends with the group making it to the peak of 100 G Mountain.

This chapter is here to finish off the training and to get the group to the peak of 100 G Mountain. Something I’ve noticed in Toriko is that there are times that the author will suddenly jump into a narration in order to jump ahead to the next point in the story that he wants to get through. While I’ve seen this done in manga before, I usually haven’t seen it to the extent that I’ve seen it in Toriko since I started reading the series almost a year ago. But it appears that the ending of this chapter is setting it up so Toriko and the others will encounter the Monkey King in the next chapter. Hopefully all of the training that they’ve undergone will help them when they’re up against the Monkey King.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:005

The chapter opens with someone looking at Abaku’s file and ruminating about his accomplishments. From there, the story shows Tento feeling someone’s piercing gaze, and wondering if he’s just imagining it.

When the class is handed a test back, class president Shuichi Higashide is the only student to receive a perfect score. Kiriko Nakayama, the class vice president, claims to have seen Shuichi peeking inside his desk throughout the test and recommends that someone look into it. Things spill out of his desk, it’s seen that the whole inside of the desk was covered with kanji from the test. Shuichi claims that someone set him up. Abaku recommends holding a classroom arbitration to get to the bottom of this.

When Abaku and Tento go over the various pieces of evidence, which includes evidence that could link either Kiriko or her sidekick, Asa, to the crime. While looking into things, Tento tries to see if the kanji was written in erasable marker. While that wasn’t the case, this seems to give Abaku an idea. At the end of the chapter, Abaku seems to know who the culprit is, but that won’t be revealed until the arbitration, which should be taking place in the next chapter.

So far, I’ve really been enjoying this series. But this chapter not only establishes a new case of Abaku to solve, but the reader is starting to get hints that someone is digging into Abaku’s background. So now the reader has the mystery of trying to figure out who it is that’s keeping an eye on Abaku in addition to the mystery that’s being presented for the case. I’m looking forward to seeing how Abaku will prove who the perpetrator of this crime is.

Food Wars! CH:101

Soma presents his dish to the judges in a clay pot, and it turns out that he made takikomi rice. When the judges taste Soma’s dish, they are impressed by what they’re eating. It’s revealed that Soma had packed his pike in nuka rice bran, which makes it pickled pike.

But we see that the dean feels that Soma spent too much time focusing on catching up with the others on terms of choosing his fish and that his dish idea was not clever enough to compete with the other two. When it seems like the judges aren’t going to take seconds, Soma offers pouring something over the seconds because his dish isn’t finished yet. But what it is he’s going to put on isn’t revealed by the end of this chapter.

As a reader, it felt like being on a rollercoaster ride as I read this chapter. At first, it seemed like the judges loved his pike, but then we saw the dean shrugging his dish off because it wasn’t clever enough and that the judges didn’t want any seconds. It really did look like everything was all over for Soma, but now it looks like there’s a potential ray of hope. But my question is, why didn’t Soma serve his dish with whatever it is he’s going to be pouring onto it in the first place? I know that for the author, this was done in order to build tension, but I don’t understand the motivation for the character to do this. Maybe it’s because I jumped into this series in the middle of it and missed important sections that would have shown me that this is something that Soma typically does. But without any kind of prior knowledge of how Soma acts during competitions, this just feels forced.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:016

Kandera’s strategy is to take on Noto by himself, while the others sneak inside the assembly hall. As they fight, it looks like Noto has the upper hand. And as Noto fights, we see a flashback of how he’s jealous of Kandera because he always had people around him and was at the center of things even though he was incompatible with the ability society. But Heckt uses his ability to hold Noto back. Landscape Mole comes out and attack Ekusa. But as Landscape Mole tries to leave with Noto, Kandera and the others block their path. Kandera and Landscape Mole talk, and Kandera starts schooling Landscape Mole after calling him a kid. But Landscape Mole gets pissed and attacks Kandera. Peta sees the five-year-old girl nearby and tries to save her as armed men appear. The girl gets scared and activates her ability. All we see at the end is smoke surrounding the outside of the assembly hall.

So we get Noto’s motivation for why he’s acting the way he is toward Kandera. Outside of that, though, the rest of the story seems to be building up to a climax as the ante keeps getting upped. At this point, outside of knowing what happened after the explosion, the only other thing to explore is the other Landscape Mole. Either this series is rapidly heading toward its end, or the story with this Landscape Mole will end and another with the other Landscape Mole could begin. But the ending of this chapter is quite the cliffhanger, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.

Bleach CH:611

We get confirmation that Yhwach has killed Ichibe, and that Squad Zero has fallen.

Then, we see Ichigo, Orihime, Chad, and Ganju arriving in Soul Society, where they find the fallen Squad Zero. Ichigo hears Osho’s voice, telling Ichigo to call out his name. When he says Ichibe’s name, Ichibe comes back to life. By Ichigo saying his name, Ichibe received a tiny bit of Ichigo’s power to heal himself. Ichibe asks Ichigo to stop Yhwach from killing Reio. If Reio dies, the Seireitei, the World of the Living, and Hueco Mundo will all collapse. We see Yhwach approaching Reio right at the end of the chapter.

Finally, the story progresses! Not only that, but we finally see Ichigo, Orihime, and the others again! And from what’s revealed here, it appears the climax of this series may be coming sooner rather than later, especially with the ante being upped to save Reio. Of course, with the way Kubo has been stretching out the story recently, he’ll probably stretch out a battle between Yhwach and Ichigo so that it lasts for several months. But at least we finally moved on from Yhwach and Ichibe’s battle!

Nisekoi: False Love CH:153

The chapter opens with Tsugumi telling Raku how she ended up in a swordplay demo. She also asks Raku if anything happened between him and Chitoge because Chitoge is acting a little differently. Raku says he wants to watch the demo and says he’ll get the others to come, too. She doesn’t mind Raku watching, but she asks him not to tell the others. But the producer comes over and says he’s short another role, so Raku ends up being in the demo as a female character. But when Tsugumi appears to be in danger, Raku accidentally gets out of character. He then improvises. But as it looks like the improvisation is failing, Tsugumi comes to his aid. After the performance, Raku comments to Tsugumi that it seems like fewer people are mistaking her for a boy. Tsugumi is then pulled back onstage, so Raku goes to try to find the others.

We then see that Chitoge’s mind had been wandering so much that she lost the rest of the group. She sees Raku in the distance, but just as she’s about to approach him, Marika comes up behind Raku.

The majority of this chapter focuses on Raku interacting with Tsugumi, and I really liked Tsugumi’s acting skills. Like Raku, I also found it interesting that in this chapter, Tsugumi wasn’t being mistaken for a boy by other people. This has been such a major part of her character, but it makes sense that this has been slowly fading away as she spends more time around Raku. She’ll definitely never be a “girly-girl,” but she comes across much less masculine than she has in the past.

And it looks like the end of this chapter is setting up Chitoge to potentially lose it when she sees Marika with Raku. Chitoge’s already confused and weirded out enough after sneaking into Raku’s room the previous night and falling asleep there. Being in that state of mind, who knows how Chitoge will end up reacting to this development.

Special Preview: Assassination Classroom

The preview is the entirety of the first chapter of the Assassination Classroom manga.

A group of students is trying to kill their teacher, who is a powerful alien octopus creature that destroyed 70% of the moon. The creature claims that within a year, he will destroy Earth, but he offers a chance for mankind to avoid this fate. He declares that he wants to be the teacher for Class E-3 at Kunugigaoka Junior High School, and the Japanese government offers the class a 10 billion yen reward to the student who can kill the teacher before the year is up. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds, since the alien can move at Mach 20. Also, as part of the agreement, the teacher is unable to harm the students in any way.

We learn that Class E-3 is known for containing the students with the lowest grades, and that this class is shunned from the rest of the school. In fact, their classroom is located in an old rundown building that’s nowhere near the actual school building. Among the students, the main focus is placed on Nagisa Shiota, who is viewed as one of the weakest students in the class due to his small stature. Nagisa is the one who tries to observe their new teacher and takes notes on his various weaknesses that he displays. Nagisa ends up being involved in an unsuccessful assassination attempt that takes place in this chapter.

I actually read the first volume of this series the night before I read this issue of Weekly Shonen Jump. Admittedly, the basic premise of the series does sound a little strange, but it was executed better than I thought it was going to. Nagisa may not be an impressive protagonist at this point, but I suspect he may have more to offer in that role over the course of the series.

While I wouldn’t say that Assassination Classroom is necessarily a great series, it works for the type of story that it’s trying to tell. It should appeal to manga readers who enjoy reading stories that include the element of assassination as a major part of its plot.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

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