Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (February 16, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, My Hero Academia, Bleach, Food Wars!, Nisekoi: False Love, Kagamigami, Toriko, and Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment. This issue also includes the first chapter of Black Clover and Boys Over Flowers Season 2, which are two more titles for this wave of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Start” 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.

Black Clover CH:001

Black Clover is the second title to be included as part of this wave of the “Jump Start” initiative.

In this series, humanity has come close to being decimated by the demons, but one mage was able to save mankind. He has become known as the Wizard King and has become a legend.

The story focuses on a 15-year-old boy named Asta, whose goal is to someday become the Wizard King; unfortunately, he doesn’t know how to use magic. Not only that, he keeps trying to propose to a nun. Asta sees another young man named Yuno as his nemesis, but Yuno tries to brush him off.

It’s now March, and it’s time for the 15-year-olds to have their awarding ceremony for grimoires, which are supposed to increase their magical powers. We see that the orphans, Asta and Yuno, are looked down by their peers as they come to the ceremony. When the grimoires are handed out, Asta discovers that one isn’t coming to him. Yuno, meanwhile, gets one with a four-leaf clover on it, which apparently is the same one that the first Wizard King received. Asta is disappointed, but he’s still determined not to give up.

Yuno is captured by Revchi, a former member of the Magic Knights, who tries to steal Yuno’s grimoire. Asta suddenly appears and tries to take Revchi on with brute strength, but it doesn’t work. When Revchi uses his chains on Asta, he says they can sense a person’s magical powers… and that Asta has absolutely no magic power within him. When Revchi mocks Asta and calls him a loser, Yuno defends him. We also see a flashback of an event that happened with Yuno and Asta when they were younger, and the promise they made about becoming the Wizard King. During this confrontation, Yuno declares that Asta is his rival. As Asta is about to attack Revchi again, a grimoire suddenly appears in front of Asta, and it has a five-leaf clover on it. It appears to
transform into a sword. It appears that this is the grimoire of anti-magic. Asta declares that his magic is never giving up. At the end of their chapter, they renew their promise to see who becomes the Wizard King.

So far, it feels like this author is simply trying to apply the Naruto formula to his story, but has accelerated the pace of the formula somewhat. A loudmouth, obnoxious boy wants to be a ruler someday, but currently does not have the skill(s) needed in order to achieve that goal. The loudmouth sees the aloof and naturally talented boy as his nemesis, but the other boy wants nothing to do with the loudmouth. The loudmouth is also looked down on by the other townspeople. The loudmouth is also determined that he will never give up on his dream. The loudmouth also declares that his way is “never giving up.”

Black Clover isn’t necessarily a bad series, but I think I would be able to enjoy it a lot more if I wasn’t seeing the overly blatant use of Naruto‘s formula appearing in this first chapter. The use of the formula was so obvious that it was hampering my enjoyment of the chapter because I was distracted by how easily I was noticing it. To be honest, it really hasn’t been that long since Naruto ended, so I think it may be a little too soon to try to publish a series that’s so obviously using its formula. Oh well. Hopefully the other two chapters that will be published as part of the “Jump Start” initiative will start to noticeably deviate away from Naruto‘s formula.

One Piece CH:776

This chapter sees the Tontattas and their allies starting to tear Smile Factory down to the ground. The scene then shifts to Fourth Step, Flower Field, where Kyros continues his battle with Diamante. Diamante uses his power to disguise spiked metal balls as confetti. Robin uses her Devil Fruit power to create a flower umbrella to protect herself and Rebecca. Kyros, meanwhile, is able to knock the spiked balls aside with his sword. At one point, it looks like Kyros is down for the count, but he gets back up and is able to make it through the remaining spiked metal balls. Kyros launches an attack on Diamante just as the chapter ends.

This chapter basically focuses on Kyros and Diamante, which some flashbacks for both Kyros and Rebecca during Kyros’ battle. While the battle may not quite be over yet, it’s looking like Kyros will ultimately defeat Diamante and get revenge for the death of his wife, Scarlet. I hope we can see the conclusion of this battle in the next chapter, because it will tie up one of the various battle storylines that’s going on across Dressrosa. The more of the battles that can be resolved, the easier it will become to start following what’s going on.

My Hero Academia CH:030

The Human Cavalry battle is still underway. Team Bakugo steals two headbands, which puts them in third place. There’s now 20 seconds remaining, and Izuku gets a headband. Unfortunately, he discovers that his team has been tricked as to which one they were getting, because the other team switched the headbands around. But thanks to the work of his other companions, Team Midoriya still manages to make it to fourth place, which allows them to proceed to the final event.

So this chapter wraps up the Human Cavalry battle. It was a very action-packed chapter, and several surprises happen along the way. It’s good to see Izuku’s team moving on to the final event. but it was hard for me to root for anybody since I really don’t know any of these characters yet. I’m hoping that as I’m able to read more of the series and get more a feel for the characters and the concept, that I’ll care a little more about My Hero Academia and maybe even come to enjoy it.

Bleach CH:615

Yhwach tells Ichigo that it will be by his hand that Reio’s life will end. Ichigo wonders why the sword he has won’t leave his hand. Yhwach explains what happened with Ichigo and the sword. In response, Ichigo lunges to attack Yhwach. Meanwhile, Urahara and the Soul Society captains see the roof coming down around them, and Urahara wonders if Reio is dead. He then says that if they do nothing, the Soul Society, Hueco Mundo, and even the World of the Living will cease to exist. Back with Yhwach, Yoruichi tells Orihime to restore Reio with her power. She tries, but it doesn’t seem to work…

Wow, after how the long the story has been dragging on, it seems like Kubo is finally moving things along! The situation is looking very bleak right now, and Kubo has really upped the stakes with this chapter. Is everything destined to be destroyed, or will our protagonists find a way to bring an end to this? Kubo did a good enough job with this chapter that I have to say that this is the most interested I’ve been in the recent Bleach material in almost a year. Keep it up, Kubo!

Food Wars! CH:106

Soma and Hisako meet Mamoru Mitamura, the third-generation owner of Mitamura’s Western Cuisine. The owner asks the two of them for autographs, since they’re students at Totsuki Institute. Later, when Soma and Hisako talk, Hisako says she won’t be hanging around Erina anymore because she failed during the quarterfinals of the fall classic.

Hisako has to deal with her first experience with a rush of customers. We discover that the customers come from the bullet trains at the nearby station, and it gets so hectic and crazy that people cancel their orders because the restaurant can’t keep up. They discover that as one wave of customers leave, another wave arrives. Soma takes charge with the second wave, and things are going a lot more smoothly, due to his real world experience from his father’s restaurant. When it looks like one table’s food isn’t getting to them, Soma hands table duty to Hisako and he cooks. The end of the chapter hints that the true test of Stagiaire Week was just beginning.

The reason for the chaos at the restaurant ended up being different than I had thought it was after reading Chapter 105 last week. However, I like this explanation a lot better than the one I had come up with. I have a feeling that over the course of this story arc, Hisako will start regarding Soma more seriously than she has at this point. Soma was really able to shine in this chapter by being able to show the real world experience he’s acquired from working with his father. And now I’m curious as to what the “true test” of Stagiaire Week is, because I can’t even begin to guess at what this is hinting at.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:158

We now see the announcement being made in Paula’s class that she will be transferring as well, and that this will be her last week at her school.

We then see Tsugumi talking with Raku, and she mentions that she’ll more than likely not going to continue going to school when she goes to America. But Tsugumi also admits that she enjoyed going to school with Raku and the others and getting to spend time with classmates her own age. And then she says that Chitoge is unable to stay in Japan because she’s not strong enough. Tsugumi also asks Raku to write to Chitoge often, because she will miss him terribly. Raku tells Tsugumi to keep in touch with him, too. Raku gets a surprise when Tsugumi says she’s glad that Raku was Chitoge’s boyfriend and that he really did well by her.

Chitoge has gathered signatures of ten members of the family who have agreed to stay with her in Japan. Claude shoots her down, though, saying they can’t leave so many Beehive members behind in Japan. Chitoge declares that she’s not giving up, that there are people in Japan she doesn’t want to leave behind.

We now skip ahead to Chitoge and the others’ last day. Shu and Raku discuss what’s going on, and the chapter ends with Shu asking Raku this question: “Right now, between Onodera and Kirisaki, who do you like more?”

At this point, it still appears that Chitoge really is leaving and that the series may finally be winding down. It could still turn out to be a story to psyche the readers out, but I’m hoping that’s not the case. If that happens, I’m going to feel very deceived by Komi and potentially not be interested in what would happen next in Nisekoi: False Love. To be honest, I believe it’s time for the series to be wrapping things up, because there really isn’t anywhere else for the story to go outside of finally solving the mystery of the locket and the keys.

Kagamigami CH:002

This chapter sees Kyosuke and Hakuten-Maru moving in with Mako. They discover the office area is super clean, but everywhere else is rather filthy. Unfortunately, the landlady arrives and demands that Mako pay the rent. When the landlady says Mako has no skills as a detective, Kyosuke jumps to her defense and says that he is her assistant. The landlady gives them the case of finding her missing cat. If they can find the cat by midnight, Mako will get a two-week extension on her rent. Since it’s 10:00 p.m., they only have two hours. Kyosuke merges with Hakuten-Maru and help Mako out. Mako has borrowed the cat’s favorite basket, but it appears Mako’s ability hasn’t fully returned. Just as it looks like Mako didn’t make the deadline, Kyosuke appears saying that he’s found the cat. The landlady is willing to grant the extension, but tells Mako that she has to start working harder.

So far, I’m very happy with how this series is continuing. Having Mako bringing Kyosuke to live with her and almost be evicted due to non-payment of rent was the logical next place to go, since we knew she wasn’t making any money through her detective agency. Kyosuke was able to save her butt this time, but I think that by working together, she’ll be able to start building her business. Mako and Kyosuke seem to have a good chemistry for working together, so that should be an asset for going forward.

So far, of the two new series I’ve read for the “Jump Start” initiative, this one has been my favorite. There’s still two more series to sample, so we’ll see if this opinion continues or not.

Toriko CH:312

The Four Kings’ demons emerge in their left arms, even though they didn’t mean for it to happen. But this ends up protecting them from the Monkey King’s first attack. The Monkey King is pissed about having his balls grabbed, and he’s no longer interested in simply just playing. While Toriko and the others take on the MOnkey King, Kaka goes to see Komatsu and discovers that he’s awake and sitting up.

For the most part, not a whole lot happens in this chapter. It’s primarily the Four Kings and Kaka talking. There’s the beginning of a fight right at the end, with Kaka’s discovery with Komatsu. At this point, I’m more interested in getting an explanation for what’s going on with Komatsu than the fight that’s taking place with the Monkey King. Hopefully the next chapter will touch on the mystery surrounding Komatsu.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:010

Abaku is approached by two art students who claim the other is stealing their ideas and are seeking a classroom arbitration. Abaku isn’t interested in copyright cases, though. But when Abaku sees a couple of the art pieces, they look exactly the same, so he decides to take it on after all. Because of the type of case it is, it’s a civil suit.

Meanwhile, a student is stopped as he runs through the halls, and he’s dressed like a ninja and uses shuriken-shaped magnets.

When Abaku gets the information on the forthcoming civil suit, he discovers the other attorney is Kotaro Sarutobi, and Kotaro suddenly shows up in Abaku’s office. It turns out that Kotaro is Abaku’s rival, and is the ninja student we saw running around the school. Kotaro announces that he’ll be transferring into Tenbin Elementary next week, and he wants to bet Abaku’s office on the civil suit session. Abaku turns him down. Later, Abaku tells Tento that Kotaro is probably better than him, because going by the numbers, Kotaro hasn’t lost any cases.

So the series is introducing a new character, and it appears to be one who’s going to be obnoxious. And it looks like Pine isn’t going to be involved with this particular case. But why am I not surprised that a ninja character has the last name of Sarutobi? Even with the obnoxious new character, this case is introducing the concept of a civil suit to the series; previously, all of the other cases had been criminal trials. So I’m curious to see how a civil suit is done through the classroom arbitration concept, as well as what exactly is going on with this case.

Boys Over Flowers Season 2 CH:001

This new Boys Over Flowers manga is being released digitally twice a month in English for free simultaneously with Japan on VizManga.com and the Viz Manga app. Beginning with this issue and continuing for the next four chapters, Boys Over Flowers Season 2 will be joining Weekly Shonen Jump as part of the “Jump Start” initiative.

Boys Over Flowers Season 2 is set after the F4 from the original series graduate from Eitoku Academy, and this series follows a new set of characters. It appears the new group is the Correct 5. But here, we see that Eitoku Academy is starting to fall apart, and fewer students are enrolling in the school.

The Correct 5 is conducting a “Peasant Hunt” and forcing people to withdraw from the school if their parents aren’t paying into the school endowment. But as we see the Correct 5 talking, we learn another elite school called Momonozono has opened up and is attracting students away from other schools. They’ve had an 18 percent increase in enrollment, while Eitoku Academy has seen a 20 percent decrease in applicants over the past two years. If Eitoku can’t meet the enrollment quota, they’ll have to admit more students and they won’t be able to maintain their high standards. That’s why they’re driven to get rid of the “paupers” who can’t provide the school with donations.

A girl named Oto is trying to hide the truth about her situation from the other girls at school. Unfortunately, on her way home, she has a run-in with the Correct 5. She uses another lie and manages to run off. Later, when Haruto from the Correct 5 tries to disguise himself to pick up some items at a convenience store, he runs into Oto, who works there. They recognize each other, and Oto thinks her time at Eitoku is over. Haruto is afraid that Oto will spread rumors about him around the school.

The next morning, Haruto confronts Oto, but they’re interrupted by a couple of guys from Momonozono trying to convince a girl to leave Eitoku. Oto asks Haruto if he’s going to protect the girl being cornered by the guys from Momonozono. She has something he forgot to pick up at the convenience store, throws it at him, and tells him if he has the time to buy junk like that, he should use the time to better himself. Oto goes to help the girl, but the guys from Momonozono starts hassling her, too. Haruko has a flashback, which gives him the courage he needs to stand up to the guys from Momonozono. Oto tells Haruko that she won’t say anything about him for now, but if he tries to force her out, she’ll blab about everything.

From what little bit I know about the original Boys Over Flowers manga, this is very much in the same vein. Although it’s interesting to note that the Correct Five includes a female character, which wasn’t the case with the F4. And with this volume, while the main female isn’t rich like the main female in the first series, she’s got something she can hold over the main male’s head as blackmail in order to keep him from making her leave. I’m not sure where the series will be going from here, but I’ll find out as the other three chapters appear in Weekly Shonen Jump.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.