Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (January 19, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One-Punch Man, Nisekoi: False Love, One Piece, Food Wars!, World Trigger, Toriko, Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, and Hi-Fi Cluster. In addition, this issue also includes the second chapter of Rosario + Vampire as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “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-Punch Man CH:039.2 + 040

Chapter 39.2 continues the meeting between Sitch and the denizens of the underworld. Sitch makes it clear that he wants to ally with them because to him, there aren’t enough heroes to help humanity survive the impending disaster. Sitch tries to encourage these thieves and assassins who possess a hero’s strength to team up with him by offering them pay for defeating monsters. An attendee named Garo makes himself stand out, and not in a good way.

Chapter 40 sees Garo challenging everyone in attendance to fight him. Sitch tries to stop him, but is unsuccessful. Sitch tells three heroes who are with him to throw Garo out of the meeting. But before they do anything, Garo has a flashback to his childhood, and we see that he was rooting for the antagonist in stories as a child rather than the protagonist, and how this belief has helped shape who he has become today. We then return to the present, where Garo begins attacking a couple of the heroes. Blue Fire then comes up to Garo and tries to attack. As they fight, Sitch calls for all resident heroes and medics to come to the meeting. But before anyone arrives, Garo declares he’s made a declaration of war and that he’ll get stronger in order to take on King.

Wow… how long has it been since One-Punch Man last ran in Weekly Shonen Jump? I was starting to think that it had disappeared from the publication. Unfortunately, having the long wait made me forget what had happened in the previous chapter. However, I still had my notes from the writeup so I was able to take a look at them and refresh my memory.

So it looks like King isn’t out of the woods yet, because Garo is now determined to take him on, thinking that King is the strongest hero. And I also learned that the guy who was upset that Saitama wasn’t at the meeting was trying to get access to Hero Association Headquarters in order to learn more about Saitama. It appears that there’s also an impending disaster that will affect the human race, which is why Sitch called the meeting in the first place. Long-time readers of this series probably already knew about the impending disaster, but since I jumped into the middle of the series during late February or early March of 2014, I had no idea that was a plot point that was in play. Now that we’ve got at least 2-3 plot threads running, I hope that One-Punch Man will start running a little more frequently in the magazine again.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:154

This chapter sees Raku spending time with Marika, after she lies about where Onodera and the others are in order to have Raku to herself. Chitoge decides to follow them to see what Raku’s like when he’s alone with her. But while they’re having tea together, Raku keeps insisting on trying to find the others and catch up to them. And she keeps piling the lies on in order to keep Raku to herself. She also seems to be aware that Chitoge is following them, so Marika also tries to find ways to try to get Raku closer to her physically. But when Raku and Marika have a conversation about Chitoge that she overhears, Raku sticks up for Chitoge and admits that he really enjoys her company. Right after, Onodera and the others find them. Right at the end of the chapter, Marika receives a text that brings a mischievous smile to her face.

Ugh, this is a chapter that features Marika. She is, by far, my least favorite character in Nisekoi: False Love, so I generally don’t enjoy reading chapters that feature her. Marika is just so manipulative and bitchy that I can’t stand her. But I was glad to see Raku defending Chitoge when Marika was trying to put her down. Thank you, Raku, for putting Marika in her place for once! Unfortunately, with the final panel that appears in this chapter, I’m almost afraid that the next chapter will feature Marika as well.

Oh, and I haven’t said this in a while, but I really do wish the overarching story with the locket and the keys will be touched on again at some point. It just seems like this manga is getting to the point where the mangaka is conveniently forgetting that story exists in order to keep the series going.

One Piece CH:773

In this chapter, we see Cavendish going on a rampage, and he tries going after Robin. It turns out Cavendish and Cabbage are the same person. Apparently, Dellinger is his sleepwalking personality. Unfortunately, while he’s by Robin, the two personalities argue with each other. One of the enemy returns and tries to stop Robin and the others, and makes the situation where Robin will be in danger no matter what decision Bartolomeo makes. It seems like Bartolomeo found a way to take down the enemy, but he missed the spot he wanted to hit by inches. Cabbage offers to take Robin to the Flower Field with Cavendish’s speed before the wall bursts. While the enemy is perplexed about Robin getting away, Bartolomeo takes advantage of the situation and attacks. Robin appears at the Flower Field and is able to help Rebecca and Kyros right at the end of the chapter…

The good news is, Oda was able to focus on one battle during the course of this chapter and wasn’t jumping around from battle to battle. Unfortunately, since this battle featured several characters that I wasn’t familiar with from jumping into the middle of this story arc almost a year ago now, I found myself have to read and re-read pages to try to figure out who was who and what was going on. This was especially true with the first scenes of Cabbage and Cavendish. Because of this lack of familiarity, it made this chapter a harder read for me than it might have been otherwise. It also made my head swim just about as much as the jumping around between battles in the various chapters has.

Food Wars! CH:102

This chapter reveals that Soma’s secret is a broth to put over his dish, and that it’s the same trick he used during the bento-box challenge he had with Alice. After the judges taste it, the “broth” is revealed to be soy milk that’s been mixed with a dash of parmesan cheese and a small dollop of miso paste. Soma reveals that his dish is Pike Takikomi Rice Ohiya Style. Right at the end of the chapter, it’s announced that the judges will now make their decision.

So we learned what Soma was up to, and that it turned out to be a similar stunt to something else he had done earlier in the series that I hadn’t read. I’m glad this chapter referenced that previous instance, because now I can better buy the suspense that the mangaka was going for at the end of the previous chapter. This chapter also let us see Soma’s father remembering when Soma was younger and letting the audience know about how hard Soma has tried to be a chef and trying to overcome hurdles since he didn’t have any natural skill for it. It was also reinforced in this chapter just how much Soma’s peers at the school don’t like him, and how most of them want to see Soma fail. But with what happens during this chapter, some of those peers seem to be starting to change their attitude about him. I’m not surprised that the chapter ended with it being announced that the judges would be making their decisions. I expect we’ll learn the decisions in the next chapter. I’m going to predict that somehow, Soma will end up winning over the other two contestants, since the way this chapter is written seems to be leading the reader to believe that that will be the outcome.

World Trigger CH:089

In this chapter, Osamu and Yuma head out to launch their plan while Chika is told to stay out of sight and to bail if the two boys are taken out. Meanwhile, Suwa Squad starts going after Arafune Squad. Yuma launches an attack on Hanzaki and forces him to bail out. Arafune pulls out his sword and stops Yuma and says he’s going to cut Yuma down to size when the chapter ends…

So this chapter continues the B-Rank Wars and the battle between Tamakoma-2, Suwa Squad, and Arafune Squad. It’s a very action-packed chapter that I’m sure long-time readers of World Trigger will enjoy. For me, I was having a hard time following everything that was going on since I’m not overly familiar with many of the characters in the Suwa and Arafune Squads. That’s the problem with jumping into the middle of a series like I did with World Trigger almost a year ago now. I’m watching the anime adaptation of World Trigger, but I haven’t seen these two particular squads yet where the anime is currently at. Hopefully watching the anime adaptation will help me learn who many of these characters are and to get to know them so I can bring that knowledge with me as I continue reading the manga in Weekly Shonen Jump.

Toriko CH:308

At the beginning of this chapter, we see people in the human world enjoying the Gourmet World food that the Octomelon delivers. We then see a group of Gourmet Hunters at Hex Food World Village who are trying to find Toriko and catch up with him. Then the scene shifts to Brunch, who is trying to make his way to Gourmet Corp. From here, the scene changes to the Dining Planet, and it seems to be the base for the group that attacked Toriko and the others and caused Komatsu to be in the state that he’s in now.

The story finally returns to Toriko and the others as they make their way to face the monkey king. Right at the end of the chapter, they find that a large fighting ring has been erected.

OK, is the mangaka for Toriko taking lessons from Eiichiro Oda about jumping around in a chapter? The vast majority of this chapter focused on characters that weren’t Toriko and the his group, but we spent so little time at any one location that it was starting to make me feel a little dizzy. But it was enlightening during the section that takes place on the Dining Planet that it’s believed that Toriko and the others don’t have what it takes to face the monkey king. I certainly hope they can prove that naysayer wrong! And with the way this chapter ended, I expect that the next chapter will see Toriko and the others coming face-to-face with the monkey king in the large fighting ring.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:006

This chapter continues the case that began in the previous chapter. Pine questions her two witnesses, Nakayama and Asa. Once she finished, Abaku cross-examines them. Through the cross-examination, he eliminates Asa as the perpetrator, but then goes on to explain how Nakayama is the one who wrote the kanji in Higashide’s desk and tried to get him into trouble. He hits the nail on the head, and she confesses. But right at the end of the chapter, we discover that Higashide isn’t all that he appears to be…

After reading the previous chapter, I’d suspected that Nakayama was the guilty party, but I hadn’t figured out how she pulled it off. The explanation that was given does seem to make a lot of sense, though. But the revelation about Higashide at the end of this chapter was something I hadn’t expected. So who exactly is Higashide, why is he so interested in Abaku, and who is he working for? I’m glad to see that there’s now an overarching mystery for the reader to go along with the various crimes and mysteries that take place in the series. Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment has become one of my favorite series currently running in Weekly Shonen Jump, and I’m very interested in seeing how this story progresses.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:017

In the aftermath of the explosion that happened at the end of Chapter 16, it appears that everyone is all right. However, they can’t seem to find Kandera. But we see Kandera rescuing Noto as a pillar is about to fall on him. Afterward, the two of them have a brief discussion. Miri finds Peta and the girl, and Miri gives him a label to put on the girl’s Hi-Fi label. We then see Kandera approaching Landscape Mole, who is sprawled out on the ground and appears to be injured. But before Kandera can put handcuffs on him, Landscape Mole attacks. Kandera dodges and manages to get a good punch in on Landscape Mole’s face. It’s also revealed that Kandera isn’t actually a Hi-Fi Loader and that he’s tweaked his body quite a bit. Before the conversation can go anywhere, though, another SWAT team arrives. However, Landscape Mole manages to escape. The chapter ends with a narration of how this story arc ended, and the narration definitely leaves the door open to continue the story.

What a shock it was to discover that Kandera wasn’t actually a Hi-Fi Loader. But I do find myself wondering how Kandera will be treated by the others now that his secret is out. Something has to happen, because I can’t see the others quickly forgiving him for that deception. Will he lose their trust? Will they turn their backs on them? It’s also made clear that Landscape Mole’s whereabouts are unknown now, so it leaves the door open to continue the story and having him reappear at some point.

Even though there’s a “To Be Continued” message at the end of this volume, I still can’t help thinking that this particular story arc felt very rushed, as if the mangaka was wanting to make sure this revelation about Kandera was made now just in case the series ends up being cancelled. The way the chapter ended also makes me think the series could be ending sooner rather than later. I hope I’m wrong, because I do like Hi-Fi Cluster, but the pacing for the story recently doesn’t feel like the pacing for a series that will be lasting for the long term.

Rosario + Vampire CH:002

Rosario + Vampire is being featured as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative, and this is the second week that this title has been part of this initiative.

This chapter shows Tsukune and Moka getting closer, but Tsukune not liking the fact that Moka likes to suck his blood. One day, as Tsukune wanders the school grounds, he comes across a girl named Kurumu Kurono who feels faint. She seems to hypnotize him and make him want to hold her, and Moka comes across them as he does. Later, Kurumu has a confrontation with Moka, and she reveals that she’s a succubus. She also says she’s there to defeat Moka. It turns out Kurumu is mad because she wanted all the boys in school to fall for her, and they fell for Moka instead. Tsukune comes up and tries to apologize to Moka, and Kurumu gets in the way. Moka is confused, but a voice from her rosario tells her how Kurumu is controlling Tsukune. Kurumu tries to kiss Tsukune to make him her slave forever, but he manages to resist. This causes Kurumu to become angry and reveal her true self. Moka arrives and manages to save Tsukune. Moka ends up asking Tsukune to take her rosario off. At first, it won’t budge, but after a few moments, Tsukune can remove it. Just as it looks like Moka will kill Kurumu, Tsukune steps in the way to stop her because he believes that no one deserves to be killed. The end of the chapter reveals that Kurumu has become interested in Tsukune, so now he has two girls at school who are now interested in him.

So this chapter introduces a new character who will ultimately become an obstacle for the relationship that seems to be developing between Tsukune and Moka. Since Tsukune and the reader are introduced to a new type of monster, the chapter provides some explanation on what a succubus is. Since I’ve read the first volume of Rosario + Vampire before, I will go ahead and say that the chapters become a little formulaic, because the only way Tsukune can get out of each situation is to help Moka take her rosario off so she can take down whatever monster is threatening him. I remember that driving me a little nuts when I read the first volume. So far, I have to say that re-reading these first two chapters hasn’t helped me to improve the initial opinion I had of this series when I read the first volume a while ago.

At the end of the chapter, it shows that a third chapter of Rosario + Vampire will be appearing in the next volume of Weekly Shonen Jump.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

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