Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (February 2, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Food Wars!, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, Bleach, My Hero Academia, and Toriko. In addition, this issue also includes the fourth 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 Piece CH:775

The story returns to Franky versus Senor Pink in the Smile Factory, and both of them seem to be at their limit. But after Franky says he’ll take everything that Senor Pink’s got, Pink launches a final attack. But Franky ends up using his Iron Boxing move and emerges victorious. As the fight is coming to an end, we see Pink have a flashback as to why he goes around wearing a baby bonnet. The chapter ends officially declaring Franky the winner of the battle.

I admit that I hadn’t seen much of Senor Pink prior to this chapter, due to the fact that I only started reading Weekly Shonen Jump around a year ago. But even so, I still found myself moved by Pink’s flashback, due to how tragic of a story it was. Outside of that, though, the majority of the chapter was action oriented due to the fight between Franky and Pink. I’m happy to see another one of the many battles raging in Dressrosa officially come to an end, and I hope that future chapters will continue wrapping up these battles.

Food Wars! CH:104

This chapter focuses on Akira’s reaction to winning the Classic Culinary Tournament. Chef Dojima comes up to Akira and tells him to keep in mind that a talent such as his will eventually turn on itself and the hopes he’ll be able to handle it well. Soma also goes up to Akira and asks him to make more of the carpaccio; Ryo asks for some as well. Chef Dojima watches the three of them interacting from the sidelines and thinks they could become an interesting trio. Soma also has an important phone conversation with his father.

This chapter basically wraps up the Classic Culinary Tournament, and it appears to be establishing that Akira, Ryo, and Soma are going to end up becoming a trio that will be important to the series. It’ll be a rocky start to any kind of a friendship, naturally, but I suspect as time goes on they’ll somehow become allies. It also appears that Soma is starting to better understand what it is he needs to do in order to improve his skills and talents.

World Trigger CH:091

Chika launches a surprise attack, which causes Hisato’s combat body to exceed its limit. While this saves Yuma from immediate danger, Suwa continues to go after him. When Suwa catches up to Yuma and launches a major attack, Osamu comes to the rescue. This causes Suwa’s combat body to exceed its limit, and he also has to bail out. Tamakoma-2 wins this match in the B-Rank Wars. Most of the rest of the chapter focuses on commentary that’s being made about the match that just took place. At the end of the chapter, we see that Tamakoma-2 has moved up to eighth place, and their next opponents are announced: Nasu Squad and Suzunari-1.

This chapter wraps up this particular match in the B-Rank Wars, and it wasn’t as long or as drawn out as I was afraid it might be. However, if Tamakoma-2 continues going higher up in the rankings, I imagine that later matches will be done in a way to make them last longer in order to build up the suspense. But it looks like the next matchup could potentially show whether or not Tamakoma-2 is as good as they appeared during this match, or if most of their success is due to Yuma’s abilities.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:156

Just as it looks like Raku is going to be hit by the arrows, Shu jumps in the way so he can be hit by them instead. But before they can hit him, Ruri grabs them. Ruri also hits Shu with a black stone, which turns out to have a love charm ten times stronger than the arrows. The scene then changes to the battle between Honda and Tsumugi briefly, which includes Honda taunting Tsugumi about her feelings for Raku. Marika and Chitoge continue to try to hit Raku with an arrow, and they each only have one arrow left. Ruri tries to get Onodera to go after Raku with arrows as well. Four arrows shoot in Raku’s direction, but only one hits him… and it’s Chitoge’s. Marika realizes it was never said it had to be the first arrow that hit him, so she hits him with one. Tsumugi also touches Raku with an arrow that she picked up.

Afterward, Chitoge and Raku have a conversation, and just as Chitoge is about to confess her feelings, her phone rings. It’s a call from her father, which ends with a shocking revelation… he says that Chitoge and Raku no longer have to be a false couple.

This chapter starts off with the usual hijinks that I’ve come to expect from the series, and I was feeling rather “meh” about this chapter for most of it. But the ending of the chapter caught me off-guard, and I thought it was the best part of not just this chapter, but for this story arc overall. If Raku and Chitoge don’t have to be a false couple, it really changes the series. Is this a sign that maybe Nisekoi: False Love is getting closer to reaching its conclusion? And maybe future chapters will finally start focusing on the locket again?

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:008

When Pine goes to the magical powder transaction site, she finds Shiratori there. Shiratori keeps staying home from school to avoid a classroom arbitration, and we see her crying in her room and declaring her innocence. Meanwhile, Tento is trying to search for witnesses with information about the masked dude, and Pine grudgingly helps him out because it’s the only way she can to see to help her friend Shiratori. Some of the other students pitch in to help as well.

The day of the classroom arbitration arrives. Abaku calls three people at random from the witnesses that Tento found, and he suspects one of them is the masked dude. One witness contradicts himself by saying a different color of mask on the stand than he did when he was interviewed. The third witness describes the time he encountered the masked dude, and he only wore one mask instead of two. Abaku summarizes what happened and says he’ll be revealing the answer to the case in the next chapter.

This chapter seems to be setting up inconsistencies in the three witnesses’ testimonies, but it appears that one of them said something sketchy that should be a clue as to which one is the masked dude. I admit that I haven’t figured out which of the three that it is, so I’ll be surprised no matter who Abaku proves is guilty. I’m still enjoying this series quite a bit, and it’s my favorite of the newer series to be introduced into the English version of Weekly Shonen Jump in recent months. I can’t wait to read this one week after week.

Bleach CH:613

Ukitake comes out into the room where Urahara and the others are, and declares that everybody except Captain Zaraki is recovered enough to be active again. But then Zaraki comes out and claims that he can be active and asks where Yachiru is. When he’s told a squad is looking for her, Zaraki tries to leave. Urahara refuses to let him go, though. Right at the end of the chapter, Ichigo goes to confront Yhwach.

Well, it finally feels like this story is trying to progress somewhere, although it is a little disappointing to only see Ichigo briefly right at the end of the chapter. Hopefully this means the next chapter will have more of a focus on Ichigo and Yhwach. But I’m also glad to see what happened to Zaraki and the other Soul Reapers who had been injured in the fighting, and that they’re doing OK. Right before the chapter switches to Ichigo, it looks like the Soul Reapers and Urahara are just starting to do something, so perhaps they’ll get involved in the story again as well.

But what is with the art in this chapter? There’s quite a few panels that look as if Kubo drew it in a hurry due to how little detail there is in them. I’ve said it before, but I know that Kubo is capable of better art than this. I can only hope that these drawings will be cleaned up before they’re released in tankobon format.

My Hero Academia CH:001

The series is set in a world where 80% of the population consists of superhumans with special abilities. The crime rate also exploded, but some people with abilities have become superheroes. The series focuses on Izuku Midoriya, a boy who dreams of becoming a superhero. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a “Quirk” and is bullied by his classmates because of it.

We see a flashback of Izuki’s that show when he was younger, a doctor determined that there was no hope for him getting a Quirk. But even being told that, he decides not to care what anyone says and to keep his chin up and move forward. As Izuki is walking along, he is followed by a villain that wants to hijack his body. Izuki is saved by the number one hero, All Might, who he has worshipped since he was a child. But in the process, Izuki learns something shocking about his idol. All Might also tells Izuki to give up his dream of being a hero and to be more realistic.

One of Izuki’s classmates is possessed by a villain, and the various heroes are unable to do anything to stop him. When Izuki sees his classmate, he springs into action. When Izuki is asked why he acted, he says he thought his classmate looked like he needed saving. While Izuki himself couldn’t do anything, All Might seemed to find the power he needed to defeat the villain. Later, All Might comes to see Izuki. Right at the end of the chapter, Izuki says this is the story of how he became a great hero.

I have to admit as I started reading the beginning of this chapter, it was feeling like a Tiger & Bunny clone. Fortunately, while the basic idea of people with mutations and special abilities have become heroes, the actual story is done in a much different manner. The majority of the main characters in this series are teenagers, while the Tiger & Bunny characters had a mixture of ages. Also, this series focuses on a character who wants to be a hero but doesn’t seem to have inherited a Quirk that will allow him to become one. That dynamic doesn’t exist in Tiger & Bunny. This story seems to have a promising start, and I’m hoping that this promise will continue as the series progresses.

Toriko CH:310

It turns out a festival that’s held once every several hundred years, where the masters of Monkey Martial Arts challenge the Monkey King to try to earn the right to assume his mantle, is taking place. It turns out the fighting style for this festival is Monkey Wrestling. We see that Coco took some damage from a prank the Monkey King pulled earlier, and that Toriko and his team’s strength was only at about half its peak. They have to try to grab the Monkey King’s balls, which are known as the pair of bells, but don’t succeed. However, the flavor they give off helps Toriko the others get back to full strength.

Toriko and the others get in the ring, and Sunny says that he’ll go first. The Monkey King quickly throws Sunny into the ropes, and Zebra goes up behind the Monkey King and restrains him just as the chapter ends.

Well, at least the group’s fight with the Monkey King just got going in this chapter. But for the most part, this chapter was more here for exposition and to build up to the wrestling match that was to come. Hopefully the next chapter will focus a lot more on the actual wrestling match of the Monkey King versus our four heroes.

Rosario + Vampire CH:004

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

This chapter focuses on Tsukune, Moka, and Kurumu meeting for the first time as the newspaper club. They meet a fourth member of the club, a guy named Ginei Morioka; he’s the editor of the school newspaper. Gin is a playboy and a pervert. When Tsukune catches Gin looking up the girls’ skirts, Gin tries to claim that it was Tsukune doing it. Later, Moka’s rosario says she senses something dangerous about Gin. Moka forgives Tsukune, but she believes she has her sense of pride to think of, so she’s giving him the silent treatment. Gin starts asking around about Tsukune and Moka, and later pulls Tsukune aside and declares that he will make Moka his. Tsukune is tricked into peeping into the girls’ locker room, and Gin takes a picture. Gin uses the picture to blackmail Tsukune.

Gin tries to get Moka alone, and while they’re under a full moon, he transforms into a werewolf. Kurumu and Tsukune find them, and Tsukune tries to rescue Moka. But, as usual, as hope seems to be lost, Tsukune somehow gets the rosario off of Moka and she transforms. And of course, Moka is able to defeat Gin at the end.

This chapter once again falls into the formula that I’ve griped about in previous write-ups for Rosario + Vampire. A situation is established that ultimately causes Tsukune to be in trouble, Moka is somehow involved, Tsukune pulls off the rosario, Moka transforms and kicks the bad guy’s butt. These early chapters definitely fall into a formula, which make this a boring read for me. Perhaps it gets better later on, but these early chapters just don’t interest me enough to want to read more.

Fortunately, this is the last chapter of Rosario + Vampire to appear in Weekly Shonen Jump.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

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