Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (March 30, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for Food Wars!, My Hero Academia, Nisekoi: False Love, One Piece, World Trigger, Toriko, Bleach, Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. The fourth chapter of Claymore is also included for Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative, and the fourth chapter of Boys Over Flowers Season 2 is included for 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.

Food Wars! CH:112

Soma thinks that even though he’s so far behind, but he swears that by the last day he’s going to catch up. Afterward, Soma is told by Shinomiya that after seeing his work today, Shinomiya almost wishes that Soma wasn’t there. We then see Soma studying to learn various things he needs to know, and the chefs are surprised to this when the arrive the next day. When Soma asks for advice, the head chef tells him they need to clean and get things ready and that they don’t have time to help him. But then he sees that everything is already clean and that the peeling is done. Lucie is then told to answer Soma’s questions.

We then see that Soma has been asking questions for three days straight. And then we see that Soma is starting to get what he needs to know. It turns out he’s absorbing the knowledge he needs at an unbelievable pace. Shinomiya seems to think that Soma is finally able to do more than just base prep. Afterward, Soma is told that he can’t make any mistakes the next day, since it will be his last day.

This chapter shows Soma going from not knowing all the preparation techniques and falling behind to picking up the skills and what he needs to do in a rather quick manner. The growth Soma shows during this chapter is incredible, but the next chapter should have his final day included in it. I suspect that the real test for him will be that final day, especially since Shinomiya made it clear to Soma that he isn’t allowed to make any mistakes.

My Hero Academia CH:036

This chapter focuses on the match against Uraraka and Bakugo. Uraraka tries to get the upper hand, but Bakugo manages to keep reacting faster than she anticipates. And Bakugo tries going all out. so all Uraraka can do is try to dodge. A group in the crowd starts booing Bakugo for toying with Uraraka. It’s revealed that Uraraka was keeping Bakugo’s attention focused on the ground so she could set up her weapons above them. But before her meteor storm can affect Bakugo, he launches an attack. The chapter ends with Uraraka unable to continue, and Bakugo advances to the second round.

Even though Uraraka lost, you hvave to give her credit for trying. She did manage to successfully distract Bakugo so she could make her plan work. It’s just too bad that the best that she could do still wasn’t enough to take down Bakugo. Now that this match is over, I wonder if the next chapter is going to rush through any remaining matches in order to advance to next round. I also wonder if, once we get into the next round, that the matches won’t be rushed through quite so much.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:164

Onodera thinks she’s found the missing pages of a picture book and wonders why they were in Haru’s room.

We then see Chitoge and Raku walking down the street, and Chitoge realizes it’s Christmas Eve when she receives a text from her mother. Chitoge has made plans to spend Christmas Eve with her mother since she’s in Japan at the moment. Raku receives an email from Haru, asking him to come over. When he gets there, she tells Raku to go to her room and wait. He finds the picture book on a desk and discovers pages he’s never seen before in it. Onodera sees him just as he discovers them. The pages include references to “Zawswe in love,” as well as a locket and a key. Onodera mentions that Raku had said that the first time he met the girl he made the promise with he wrote in the picture book she was reading to give it a happy ending. She wonders if this picture book might be it. He recognizes the handwriting as his in the pages that were found. Unfortunately, they still haven’t found the ending pages yet. Right at the end of the chapter, Haru asks Ichijo to go on a date with Onodera.

Well, then, perhaps we haven’t entirely returned to the status quo after all. While there’s obviously still some pages from the book missing, I really hope that maybe this is finally the clue they need to start resolving this locket and key business. I wouldn’t be surprised if Onodera was the girl he made the promise with all along. But what’s this about with Haru asking Raku to take Onodera on a date. Hmm… I don’t know. I smell something fishy here, but I’m not sure what.

One Piece CH:781

It’s announced that the terms of the game have changed. The birdcage surrounding the city is slowly closing in, and in one hour, it will slice through everything in the country. Luffy begins launching attacks on Doflamingo again, but before he can do anything, Law gets up and hits him first. And after Doflamingo talks badly about Corazon, Law attacks him again. It looks like Law has the upper hand, but it turns out that with enough time, Doflamingo can perform emergency care on himself. But just as Doflamingo is about to strike Law, Luffy gets in the way.

This was a very action-packed chapter, and it’s pretty much continually in motion. It’s wonderful to see the focus being on Luffy and Doflamingo, and it was quite a pleasant surprise to find that Law wasn’t dead after all. But it was disappointing to see that Law wasn’t able to take Doflamingo down. But hopefully Luffy can pick up from where Law left off and finally finish Doflamingo off.

World Trigger CH:097

Now that the bridge is gone, it’s harder for the squads to meet up. Yuko, Ko and Yuma begin battling it out. Meanwhile, Osamu is up against Rei. Nasu is also showing how good her sniping skills are with her Viper. At the end of the chapter, we see the other members of Tamakoma Branch watching what’s going on, and it sounds like Hyuse may not be very confident that Osamu’s team can make it.

Overall, this chapter jumps around a bit between Yuma’s position, Osamu’s position, and Chika’s position. But of the three, Chika definitely gets the least amount of focus in this chapter. Even though we see some action in the chapter, there’s not much in the way of any real progression in the battle. The chapter basically keeps the story in a holding pattern. Hopefully the next chapter will find a way to progress this battle for the B-Rank War.

Toriko CH:318

The first few pages of the chapter focuses on Komatsu and the others having a tearful reunion. Actually, it’s Komatsu that’s tearful; the others are dealing with the effects of the Sundoriko pollen. Komatsu tells them the flowers and edible and that if they eat them, the symptoms might stop. It turns out that Komatsu’s guess is right. When they realize they don’t know what’s happened to the Monkey King, and then 100 G Mountain completely crumbles. With the mountain gone, they discover a house standing in the middle of the rubble; the Monkey King is inside the house. They also learn that they had done the Monkey Dance right all along, and that they were mistaken about what the Monkey King had wanted to do at the end.

Well, it appears that the Monkey King story is finally reaching a conclusion. The truths about the Monkey King and 100 G Mountain that are revealed during this chapter are actually rather sad. But at least Komatsu is alive again, so that made this story arc worth it in the end. Hopefully the next chapter will begin a new story arc.

Bleach CH:621

Urahara and the Soul Reapers discover the Seireitei is being closed off. Meanwhile, we see a torrent of Reio’s power that was released from Ukitake’s seal becoming an unstoppable torrent passing through Yhwach’s body. Soi Fon takes it upon herself to try to take care of the situation on her own. The unstoppable torrent reaches the Soul Reapers, and they try to destroy it. Right at the end of the chapter, a character from the past makes a surprise appearance.

This chapter basically focused on the Soul Reapers, and there was nothing to indicate what happened to Ichigo and the others after Uryu’s attack. Hopefully we’ll find out what happened to them sooner rather than later. But from what we did see in this chapter, it appears that the Soul Reapers could have quite the uphill battle against the torrent. And how will the surprise appearance by a particular character affect what’s going on?

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:016

Abaku presents evidence that was found in the pool, which is an aquarium. Abaku performs a magic trick which has to do with light refraction. Abaku then points out that Inako’s testimony verified the aquarium was in the 5-meters deep area when she said a boy thought he saw the face of a child staring up. Abaku also explains how the perpetrator made the fish appear right on time during fifth period. This also involves the court-ordered necropsy of the fish by the science club. Abaku then points out when the tank had to be placed there and the only person who could have done it at that time. Abaku is right, and the motive is revealed. In the end, Pine’s father concedes. Pine also tells her father that she doesn’t want to change schools. Pine’s father allows her to stay.

The resolution to this case rather interesting. However, I have to wonder if perhaps how the case was carried out might be a little too complex for sixth graders. Oh well. If I can overlook rather complicated explanations in Case Closed, I should be able to overlook them in Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment as well. I’m glad to see Pine’s father get shown up during the classroom session, but his change of heart at the end felt a little rushed. But if he hadn’t had that change of heart, Pine wouldn’t still be at the school.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:52

We see some of the characters return to Heartland, but it’s pointed out that Yuma, Kaito, and some of the others haven’t returned. We see the others are still in the other world, and Astral asking them to return their Number Cards to him. They are Astral’s memories and must not remain in their world. However, Yuma refuses to hand over Utopia. Instead, Yuma challenges Astral to a duel, and he accuses Astral of trying to duck out with a secret; when E’rah disappeared, the two of them had become one and Yuma learned what Astral’s other mission is: to seal E’rah’s fragmented soul forever by sacrificing himself. Astral explains that while they defeated E’rah, they have not completely destroyed her. Astral ends up agreeing to the duel, with Yuma wagering his Utopia card.

The duel between Yuma and Astral begins. Astral quickly demonstrates a lot that he’s able to do on his first turn. The chapter ends just as Astral is finishing his first turn.

Even though E’rah has been defeated, there’s still a little more of the story left to tell. Darn it, I was hoping this story was closer to ending than this. But now that Astral has regained his memory, he knows what he needs to do, but it’s something that Yuma disagrees with. So now Yuma plans to duel Astral, and I guess it’s an attempt to keep Astral from going through with his mission. At this point, it appears that the cards are stacked against Yuma, but knowing what I know of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, I expect Yuma will be able to pull something unexpected off and ultimately defeat Astral.

Claymore CH:004

The “Jump Back” initiative continues with the fourth chapter of Claymore.

Raki and Clare begin traveling together, and Raki learns that Claymores only have to eat once every couple of days. Clare suddenly gets up and tells Raki not to follow her. It turns out she’s meeting with the guy who arranges the jobs for the Claymores, and he hands her a black card. When Clare returns to Raki, and she tells him that they’ll be crossing Mount Shire the next day. The next day, Raki learns that Clare is being sent to take down another Claymore, because she has become a full-blown monster. The black card was sent to Clare by Elena, because she specifically wants to be killed by Clare. Clare and Raki find Elena. When Elena begs for Clare to kill her, Raki tries to intervene. But Clare does the job that she was asked to do.

This is a very moving chapter of Claymore, and it shows that they have to learn to put duty above friendships and their own desires. Raki is learning some awful truths while on his journey with Clare, and I’m sure he’ll learn more as they continue to travel together.

This chapter of Claymore is the final one being highlighted for the “Jump Back” initiative, and I have to say that these four chapters establish a very strong story. While I’ve already seen the anime, I know that the story diverges at some point. Reading these four chapters makes me want to pick up the manga and catch up with the more recent volumes that I read and reviewed for my blog.

Boys Over Flowers Season 2 CH:004

Haruto tells Oto not to think that he was coming to her rescue or anything. But he slips and says he wasn’t following her or anything. She asks why he’s following her, because that’s creepy. Oto runs off, but comes face to face with Kaito. He tells Oto that she’s right about what Haruto is doing not being normal. Kaito tells her that Haruto is afraid that she’ll blab his secret, and he gives her a cold look as if she’s trash. Later, as Oto thinks about what happened with her co-worker, she finds herself thinking about what would have happened to her if Haruto hadn’t come.

We then see Haruto at home, and he’s upset over what happened. Before he can talk to the butler, a maid tells him that someone has come to see him and that they’re waiting by the gate. When Haruto gets to the gate, he finds Oto standing there. She’s come to thank him for saving her.

And this is the end of this “Jump Start” title. After reading these four chapters, I have to say that Boys Over Flowers Season 2 isn’t a bad manga, but at the same time, there wasn’t much about it that stood out to me in the long run. I think it’s due in large part to the fact that the main audience for this series is teen girls, and there’ not much here to really grab a 40-year-old woman.

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