Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (January 12, 2015)

While Weekly Shonen Jump is off in Japan this week, the English version has released a special edition that includes a chapter of Blue Exorcist, a chapter of Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, and a one shot story titled, What Can You Kill?. The first chapter of the Rosario + Vampire manga is also included as the next title in Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative.

You can always check out these chapters and the one shot in Weekly Shonen Jump for yourself by subscribing to the digital publication at VIZManga.com.

Blue Exorcist CH:064

Director Shima and Okumura discuss what happened after the fight with Gedoin in the previous chapter, and the director learns that Suguro would like to talk to him about Renzo Shima. We then see Izumo visiting her mother’s grave and declaring that she’s done feeling sorry for herself. Her friends are telling her its time to go, but Juzo arrives with surprising news about Renzo: he’s actually a double agent. Gedoin awakens and finds himself with Lord Lucifer on the Dominus Liminis. Lucifer tells Gedoin that he couldn’t believe his behavior while working at the Far East Laboratory. At first, it appears that Lucifer will forgive him, but in the end, Gedoin is killed. But after Lucifer does this, his condition worsens.

So it looks like that this chapter is here to tie up most of the loose ends that were left after the fall of the Far East Laboratory. The main loose end that isn’t tied up has to do with Renzo. Now that it’s been revealed that he’s actually a double agent, it could really change how Izumo and the others deal with him in the future. And was it just me, or was anyone else ready to cheer when Gedoin finally met his maker?

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:029

This chapter opens at Nagoya City Hall, where Thirteenth Progenitor Crowley Eusford is. With him are two female vampires named Chess and Horn. Horn asks Crowley what he thinks about the attack on Nagoya. Crowley takes a weapon from a dead hostage and asks Chess to block it to try to determine whose weapons are stronger; it appears the human weapon is. Crowley wonders if the humans might be getting a little too powerful too fast as well as whether or not they’re getting information they have no business having.

Meanwhile, we see the teams starting to regroup. Shinoa’s squad is the first one at the meeting place, and Aihara’s squad comes next. It’s revealed that Aihara’s squad killed their noble, but lost eight people during the fighting. A little while later, Guren’s squad returns. Guren asks Narumi if the rookies were any use to them at all, and Narumi praises them. Guren decides they can’t wait for the other teams because they need to begin their next mission. Guren has learned about Crowley, Chess, and Horn being holed up in Nagoya City Hall and how the 30 person team that attacked them was defeated. The new mission for all assembled is to eliminate Crowley and rescue their friends. Guren explains the plans and gives out orders. Guren heads out with Shinoa and Narumi squads, and ordering Aihara squad to wait there for half an hour. If they don’t come back, retreat.

Then we jump to 30 minutes later. Aihara thinks they must be dead, and she is approached by others who tell her that Guren is at the airport. The new arrivals say they’ll act as decoys as Aihara and her squad run and hide just as vampires arrive. Before Aihara can flee, she is approached by a vampire.

The chapter started out all right, because it was establishing the situation of where the teams are at this point. It also let the reader see how Guren dealt with a comrade who was feeling the weight of guilt from thinking they were responsible for the deaths of those under them. I was disappointed by the time skip because it would be nice to know what’s going on with Guren and the others. I’m hoping that maybe the next chapter will show us what is going on with them. When it comes to Crowley, Chess, and Horn, all I can say is that I found Chess to be rather annoying. While Horn didn’t do a whole lot in this chapter, she at least seems to have a much better head on her shoulders than Chess does.

Special One-Shot: What Can You Kill?

This is a one shot story written by Nisioisin and illustrated by Akihisa Ikeda. The story focuses on two youth, Reika and Kyu. When they’re kids, Reika is curious as to what Kyu can kill, and she starts rambling on about the various insects and animals and how you start feeling resistance to killing the further you go. Reika says she thinks she could kill up to a dog.

We then see that it’s about 10 years later, and we learn that Kyu has grown distant from Reika. One day as he’s walking, he has a chance encounter with Reika. Reika carries a box and asks Kyu to help her carry it. When he takes it, he notices it’s heavy. Reika claims there’s a dead dog inside. She says the dog died naturally, but then adds she had thought about killing it because of her quality of life. Reika admits she couldn’t go through with it and thinks that she didn’t love her dog enough. As they bury the dog, Reika admits to liking Kyu back when they were kids.

After burying the dog, Reika asks Kyu what he’s been up to because he seems different than he used to be. He talks about how he’s become a total loser and that he can’t stand the thought of living the rest of his life already knowing that he’s a failure. Reika sheds a tear, grabs the shovel, and she hits him upside the head with it…

Ummm… okay, then. That was kind of creepy and strange. Although I did basically figure out how the story was going to end as Reika started talking after they buried the dog. So in that respect, it was a little predictable and the ending wasn’t as shocking for me as it could have been.

Rosario + Vampire CH:001

Rosario + Vampire is the next title to be featured as part of Weekly Shonen Jump’s “Jump Back” initiative.

Tsukune Aono is a high school freshman who is unable to get into any private schools due to his poor grades. One day, his father happens to stumble upon a flyer for a school called Yokai Academy. According to the flyer, all someone needs to do to get in is to make it past an application review. Tsukune manages to be accepted to the school, and the manga starts with him coming to the school for the first time.

When Tsukune arrives, he bumps into a girl named Moko Akashiya, who is also a first-year student at Yokai Academy. She claims to be a vampire, but Tsukune doesn’t believe her. However, as he sits through his first day of class and the rules of the school are explained, Tsukune learns that Yokai Academy is actually a school for monsters to learn how to coexist with humans. Only monsters attend the school, but they attend in human form. The monsters are not supposed to reveal what they really are, and any humans found on the school grounds are supposed to be killed.

Tsukune has a confrontation with Moko outside of the school, and he ends up revealing that he’s a human. As Tsukune tries to catch a bus in order to try to get into a human school, an incident with Moko occurs. This incident forces Moko to take on her true form in order to protect Tsukune. At the end of this chapter, Tsukune decides to stay at Yokai Academy.

I read the first volume of Rosario + Vampire a little while back, so I already knew what to expect. And I have the exact same complaint as I did at the time I read the first volume, which was the fact that I found the setup for this series to be a little on the unbelievable side. First off, shouldn’t Tsukune’s parents have been suspicious of a school called Yokai Academy, since “yokai” is the Japanese word for “demon”? Also, how did Tsukune make it through Yokai Academy’s application process? Shouldn’t something have tipped off the academy to the fact that Tsukune is a human? Because I have a hard time buying the setup, I just couldn’t find a way to enjoy the series.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

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