Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (June 22, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Black Clover, Toriko, Bleach, Nisekoi: False Love, One-Punch Man, Food Wars!, My Hero Academia, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. This issue also includes the eighth chapter of the Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring mini-series, the Folie a Deux one-shot manga, and the third chapter of Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac (which is the latest title to be featured for the “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:790

As Luffy launches an attack on Doflamingo, Doflamingo uses Ever White and turns the entire town into strings. But this ultimately leads to a showdown between Luffy and Doflamingo. Luffy uses Gear Four again and breaks Doflamingo’s strings; Luffy also launches a midair battle. There’s a major battle that takes place, and the chapter ends with both Luffy and Doflamingo launching major attacks on one another.

This chapter kept building up the battle between Luffy and Doflamingo until it finally reached a breaking point. But at the end of the chapter, it’s not clear what exactly happened. The very last panel shows Doflamingo’s glasses falling to the ground and smashing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Doflamingo has been defeated. This is a major cliffhanger ending, and hopefully Oda won’t have to take a week off next week and keep the readers in suspense longer than one week.

Black Clover CH:018

Golden Dawn says that even though the competition between them and the Black Bulls was to see who could get there first and that Golden Dawn won, they’ll still let the Black Bulls enter the treasure hall just this once as a way to thank them. They have to figure out how to get in, and Luck points out the door is made of magic. Asta uses his sword and gets the door open. They find a whole mountain of treasure inside the hall. Yuno finds something of interest and tries to read the writing on it; as he does, the writing disappears and a light appears. Luck realizes that something’s wrong, and just as he tells the others to run, there’s an explosion of some sort. The enemy they seemed to have defeated in the previous chapter recovers. We see that Mars, the enemy, has a brief flashback to his childhood. Noelle tries to put out the enemy’s flames, but she’s knocked to the ground. Asta tries to defeat Mars’ magic with his sword, but it doesn’t seem to work…

At first, this chapter gives the appearance that it’s going to be rather light. But that illusion is shattered when Mars makes his grand entrance. Now Noelle is laying on the ground, bleeding, and Asta’s sword appears to not be able to fight against Mars’ magic. The odds are definitely not looking to be in the protagonists’ favor at this point, so it’ll be interesting to see how the mangaka progresses the story from here.

Toriko CH:328

It’s revealed that the Black Triangle is also known as the Soup Stock Sea. Gold Chef Jiji then spends time explaining all about it. He also reveals the existence of Gold Cookware and the fact that only those seven utensils can prepare spirit ingredients. As they travel, they find proof that Another has been though the area. We then learn why Granny Chiyo has come to the Gourmet World as part of the support team. They then come across the Coral King, Coral Golem. Right at the end of the chapter, they make it to the undersea gourmet city, Blue Grill.

This chapter focuses exclusively on Komatsu and the others who are in the Black Triangle, trying to find Another. Granny Chiyo’s story about why she came was very touching, and I’m expecting that it wasn’t thrown in here just because. I suspect that what she talks about in her story will somehow become important later in this arc. This chapter is primarily an exposition chapter, and action doesn’t truly come into it until right near the end. It’ll be interesting to see if we continue with this particular story arc in the next chapter, or if the story will switch to one of the other groups.

Bleach CH:631

The chapter opens with Bazz-B and Haschwalth continuing their fight, and then goes into a flashback of when Bazz-B and Haschwalth first meet each other. This flashback also gives the reader some background and character development for both of these characters. We then return to the battle, and Hachwalth wants to move the fighting outside to try to minimize the damage to the castle. We then see another flashback, this time how Yhwach had burned down both Bazz-B and Haschwalth’s homes. They had made it their goal to kill Yhwach. Right at the end of the chapter, the flashback moves ahead in time five years when Yhwach declared that he would create a new force called the Stern Ritter.

There was only a couple of brief moments of action in this chapter; otherwise, it was all exposition. As a reader, the flashbacks helped me to better understand who Bazz-B and Haschwalth are and what their motivations are. Hopefully the next chapter will focus a little more on action and actual story progression instead of being so exposition heavy.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:175

Raku is surprised when Chitoge admits that she has a crush on someone; however, she hasn’t admitted that her crush is on him. Raku tries to demand that Chitoge tell him who she has a crush on, but after saying she won’t, Chitoge mumbles that she’ll tell him sometime. Raku then wonders why he’s so flustered by Chitoge’s news. Raku goes and talks to Shu, and Shu makes it clear that while he already knows, he won’t tell who Chitoge has a crush on. But now when Raku sees Chitoge at school, he starts freaking out. Raku runs into Onodera and is completely flustered. As Raku tries to deal with his feelings, Marika comes up behind him; of course, she once again tries to pressure Raku into choosing her. Raku feels terrible about using his false relationship as a way to avoid the issue of Marika’s real feelings for him. Raku returns home and finds Yui getting the house ready for her birthday celebration.

Poor Raku. By the end of this chapter, I thought that Raku would potentially snap and need to be sent somewhere for some psychiatric help. Actually, the poor guy does need some kind of psychiatric help for all the manipulation and crap that many of the girls in his harem use on him. Oh, and the end of this chapter seems to hint that Yui could potentially return to China if something doesn’t work out, I’m not falling for it. Komi has tried pulling similar stunts with the other members of the harem, and I’ve just gotten so tired of trying to psyche readers out. It kind of worked the first couple of times, but at this point, any “psyche outs” he tries to pull lose their effectiveness immediately because of how often he’s already pulled this stunt. Can’t Komi quit recycling plot and storytelling ideas?

Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring CH:008

Naruto is surprised to see that Sarada has Sharingan. Sarada says this has nothing to do with Naruto, and that she’ll travel on her own and not return to the village. Naruto stops her and admits to overhearing the conversation with Suigetsu; he even tells her that as Hokage, everyone in the village is like family to him. We then see Naruto having a flashback of times from the series that had to do with Iruka and Sasuke. Naruto then gives Sarada a lecture about bonds, and tells her that love is all you really need. Naruto then tells Sarada to check inside herself again to see if she feels any love. Sarada has a flashback to when she was younger when she would ask Sakura where her father was. After the flashback, we see Sarada crying. She says she wants to rescue Sakura, but she’s afraid she can’t act like nothing’s changed. Naruto gives her some encouraging words and says they need to go rescue Sakura.

They meet up with Sasuke, and he says he knows Sakura’s location now that his ocular powers are finally coming back. We see Sakura right at the end of the chapter, and it looks like she’s gearing up to take on the original Shin.

I really loved Sarada’s flashback, especially the tap on the forehead that Sakura gave to a younger Sarada. It reminded me so much of the forehead taps that Itachi gave Sasuke when they were kids. I loved seeing that referenced. While this chapter may not bring us any closer to unraveling the truth of Sarada’s parentage, it did provide some great insight for Sarada to realize that bonds are more than what she thought they were. We don’t get to see much of Sakura in this chapter, but the ending seems to be gearing up to show Sakura using her incredible strength.

Folie a Deux

This is a one-shot manga written by Bikkuri and illustrated by Rem, which are “pen names” for Clint Bickham and Priscilla Hamby.

The story is set in London in 189X, and an epidemic that turns people into inhuman creatures known as Doppelgangers threatens to thrust the city into chaos. Two secret agents named Nero Morley and Abby Brighton are at the heart of this struggle against the monsters.

While reading the paper, Nero and Abby learn about dismembered and grotesquely disfigured arms of legs of unidentified women are showing up, and there doesn’t appear to be a suspect, motive, or a list of victims. As Nero looks further into the paper, he believes he’s found the next victim when he sees an article about a woman who mysteriously disappeared. They discover their boss is calling, and they make the trip to see him. They have been called in because of the stories that they read about in the paper, and they are given a mission to eliminate the culprit. It turns out that Nero has already constructed a plan of action.

As part of Nero’s plan, he dresses up as a girl in an attempt to lure the culprit out. As they walk around, they see someone who looks like the missing woman reported on in the paper. Nero goes to talk to her, but Abby feels something isn’t right. Just then, she transforms into a creature, and Nero and Abby chase after her. But somewhere along the way, Nero changes back into his male clothes and look; apparently, he somehow had his regular clothes on underneath the dress. They find themselves at the home of Dr. John Druit. As they explore the house, they find a whole bunch of scary and disgusting things. They find the doctor, who insists he hadn’t done anything; but when he sees Abby, he starts transforming. He grabs both Nero and Abby, and Abby asks him to bring Dr. Druit back. Nero tells Abby that she needs to fight, and as the monster goes to attack her, she transforms. It turns into a fight between the transformed doctor and the transformed Abby. The doctor seems to have the upper hand and appears as if he’s going to finish off the transformed Abby. But when the transformed doctor distracts himself with reverie, the transformed Abby uses this opening to get an advantage. Nero gets the final blow in with his gun.

This was an… um… interesting story. In some respects, it almost felt like Bleach being set in Victorian England or something. The story definitely seemed to get some of its inspiration from the infamous Jack the Ripper case. In the end, Folie a Deux seemed to work OK as a one-shot, but I just don’t think a long-running series could truly evolve from this.

One-Punch Man CH:046

The battle between Tank-Top and Garo continues. Mumen Rider jumps into the fray to protect Garo, thinking he’s just a regular punk. As Garo walks away, he says he’s still going to kill all of them. Tank-Top lunges forward and a new fight between the two of them. Right at the end of the chapter, Tank-Top is surprised to learn his opponent’s identity.

Basically, this chapter focused on one fight, and even that fight wasn’t resolved by the end of it. Saitama doesn’t make any appearance in this chapter, except on the title page, where he quips that he hasn’t been focused on recently. The chapter ended up being a quick read like usual.

Food Wars! CH:123

We learn that Polaris Dorm is doing an Imoni Party for their school festival booth. As Soma and Megumi wander around campus, they see everyone is busy setting up their booths. Then Soma works at whipping up some trial dishes. Soma tries his first dish, and he determines it’s not quite good enough. We then see Soma whip up a dish he’s satisfied with, and when Megumi tries it, she discovers it’s extremely spicy. He then starts whipping up some other dishes. But Soma realizes these aren’t going to work because they’re spicy just for the sake of being spicy. Megumi reveals something she learned about Kuga’s cooking from Hojo. They then hear Erina and Alice arguing about Erina wanting to join in the festival after the guidebook has already been published. We then see Soma talking with Erina and Alice about Kuga’s booth and food. We then see Soma checking out Kuga’s huge and impressive booth, and then setting up his own small little booth right next to it. People mock him right at the end of the chapter.

So this chapter still focuses on Soma getting ready for the school festival. For most of it, he’s still struggling to come up with dishes. However, after a conversation with Erina, it looks like he may have found a way to potentially compete with Kuga’s food. Soma’s just setting up shop right at the end of the chapter, but we’re already seeing the differences between Kuga and Soma from their booth setups. Kuga’s booth represents him being a large behemoth that no one thinks they can beat, while Soma’s booth represents him as the little underdog. But hopefully the school festival will actually get going within the next couple of chapters, since there have been a few chapters building up to it now.

World Trigger CH:106

Osamu and Chika ask Ninomiya why he’s asking about Rinji Amatori. He shows them a picture of a woman and asks if they recognize her. She’s someone who supplied Triggers to civilians and disappeared with them. Officials concluded they went through a gate to the other side. Supplying Triggers to civilians is the highest-level infraction that warrants the use of the memory eraser. It turns out Rinji is one of the suspects helping the woman out. Osamu then remembers seeing Ninomiya at Chika’s house before. Ninomiya explains that the woman is Mirai Hatahara, his squad’s sniper. He doesn’t believe she was the mastermind and wants to find out who put her up to it. Chika believes her brother would have been capable. Osamu mentions that Rinji had told him a little about that plot. He mentions he still remembers the location of the gate that Rinji had predicted. Before Ninomiya leaves, he tells Osamu that if he really wants to look for Rinji, he should put Yuma on a different A-Rank team. Later, it’s revealed that Ninomiya Squad was demoted to B-Rank after Hatohara’s betrayal. We then see Osamu calling Karasuma and asking for advanced lessons on shooter techniques. Karasuma says they’re just not at that level yet.

Much of this chapter focuses on exposition and getting some kind of a clue as to what happened to Chika’s brother. But both in this chapter and in the previous one, Osamu keeps getting scolded for not contributing much in the B=Rank Wars and relying too much on Yuma. So it’s not surprising that Osamu reaches out to Karasuma to try to get some advanced training in order to help his team out more. Karasuma isn’t willing to do the training himself, but he surprises Osamu by saying he should learn from one of the experts. I suspect the next chapter will focus on Osamu trying to find one of these experts and try to convince them to train him.

My Hero Academia CH:047

All Might learns that Nomu, a criminal who is under investigation, is someone who has the DNA of at least four completely different people inside of him. Somehow, all this DNA and bioengineering led him to have multiple quirks.

We then return to Midoriya, who is being mentored by Gran Torino. Midoriya hesitates to use his One For All, so Gran Torino uses this opening to begin attacking Midoriya. Midoriya tries to analyze and predict the situation, but it doesn’t work. Gran Torino points out that Midoriya’s respect for All Might and that sense of responsibility are shackles that are holding him back.

Then we see Ida undergoing his training. We learn that Ida wants to pursue the hero killer that injured his brother. We see a brief scene with some villains, and we see that one wants to kill both All Might and Midoriya. Then we return to Midoriya, who realizes what Gran Torino was trying to tell him and figures out what his problems are. At the end of the chapter, we see that Gran Torino seems pleased that Midoriya figured this out on his own.

We get a couple of scenes that have nothing to do with our characters’ training, and I don’t entirely understand what’s going on with them. This may be due to the fact that these scenes could be referencing material that Weekly Shonen Jump didn’t publish before VIZ decided to include the series in its digital publication. And when it comes to the training, most of the focus is placed on Midoriya. We’re definitely seeing the setup of an apprentice being taught by his teacher’s teacher, and how the novice has to figure out his issues and weaknesses on his own. And learning that Ida wanted the location he went to for mentoring to try to track down the hero killer makes Midoriya’s words about Ida in the previous chapter even more chilling.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:55

This chapter continues the big battle between Yuma and Astral. Yuma declares that he’s about to launch his final attack. Yuma pulls off several moves while it’s still his turn. But Astral activates a quick-play spell, and this is followed by Yuma activating this own quick-play spell. Both of their spells increase their monster’s ATK, but Yuma has raised his monster’s level to be higher than Astral’s monster. But just as it seems like Yuma has won, Astral points out that Utopia Kaiser’s effect remains and he activates it; when Utopia Kaiser is destroyed, Astral gets the monster that destroyed it. So Yuma wins the duel, but Astral has all the Numbers. Yuma doesn’t want to accept that Astral has to sacrifice himself now that he’s accomplished his mission. Astral tells him that he doesn’t want Yuma to accept it, because when Yuma gives up on the future, Astral will die for eternity. Yuma and the others are sent back to their world.

Then we see Yuma and the others as they resume their lives in their world. We find out what has happened to each of the characters. We see that Yuma has entered the Duel World Championship Finals.

Well, that’s it. Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal is now officially over. Hooray! It felt like these final two battles took too long, but at least the conclusion ended up being worth going through those ridiculously stretched out battles. While Yuma may not have gotten the result he had hoped for at the end of his battle, Astral was able to give Yuma some words and advice that he needed to hear. And I did appreciate that the manga showed what happened to the various characters after all that, and seeing Yuma continuing on as a duelist after losing Astral was rewarding.

Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac CH:003

In Japan, a press conference is being given to explain about the ten knights in Japan and showing images of the damage that they are able to cause with just their bodies. Princess Sienna joins the press conference to help explain things further. After her explanation, she says that once all ten of the knights have made it back to Japan, they shall witness a battle like they have never seen before, because they will be hosting a Grand Tournament of Knights. As an incentive for them to fight, the princess produces a higher level cloth that her grandfather obtained before his death. Just then, Seiya, the eighth knight, returns and says he has no interest in the tournament. He tells the princess she needs to keep her promises, because he was told that if he brought a cloth back, he would be reunited with his sister who was separated from him while the two were in an orphanage. Seiya demands to see his sister. The Unicorn Knight arrives and tells Seiya to quit whining. There’s a flashback to six years prior, when Sienna would order the various orphans around, and how Jab the Unicorn Knight was willing to be her lapdog. We see that Sienna was ruthless, stuck up, spoiled, and just plain mean. When the story returns to the present, Sienna says she doesn’t know where Seiya’s sister is because she disappeared from the orphanage. Sienna tells Seiya that if he somehow bests the other nine champions in the tournament, she’ll be willing to use her resources to help locate his sister. And something surprising happens at the end of the chapter.

So this chapter provides some backstory for Seiya, as well as introduces some new characters into the mix. So now we know what was awaiting Seiya in Japan and why he wanted to get back there as much as he did. Sadly, the reunion he wanted with his sister didn’t happen, and now his sister is being used to blackmail him to participate in a tournament that he doesn’t want to be a part of. Of course, Sienna, along with the audience, already knows that Seiya isn’t going to have much of a choice and will be forced to enter the tournament if he wants any chance of ever locating his long-lost sister.

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