Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (September 28, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for Black Clover, One Piece, Mononofu, Food Wars!, Samon the Summoner, My Hero Academia, Toriko, Bleach, and Nisekoi: False Love. This issue also includes Bakuman. age 14 (the second part of the two-part Bakuman. prequel manga, and the fourth chapter of Psyren (which is the current title to be featured for the “Jump Back” initiative).

I’m providing my reactions and impressions for each manga title that appears in the volume. However, be warned that this post may potentially 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:031

It’s revealed that the guy causing all the trouble is Rades, who was a top choice for a Magic Knight squad six years ago but that he was expelled. So, this is basically a revenge plot of some kind. This chapter becomes a battle between the captain of the Crimson Lions and Rades. But it’s a short-lived battle, with the Crimson Lions’ leader winning it. While it was good to see the Magic Knight captain pump up the others around him, this chapter ended up being a little on the boring side for me as a reader. I had hoped to see some kind of epic battle, not an easy victory for the protagonist. Oh well. Maybe the next chapter will be more exciting.

One Piece CH:801

We get to see Doflamingo raving about pirates and the state of piracy as he’s locked away in a cell. And then it’s revealed that the bounties for the various Straw Hats and friends have gone up. I expect that the Navy was none too pleased about what happened on Dressrosa. The new bounty posters are actually rather amusing, although it’s interesting that Sanji’s says he’s only to be taken alive. Hmmm… I wonder what that could mean.

Mononofu CH:003

Shinobu goes through the entrance ceremony at school and decides to join the school’s shogi club. Unfortunately, Shinbou accidentally causes embarrassment for a boy named Rindo, who turns out to be the one and only member of the shogi club. How come I saw this coming when Shinobu had his run-in with him? Maybe because it’s a predictable plot twist? But when Shinobu plays one move against Rindo in a game, he’s kicked out for being a beginner. But after a talk with one of his dormmates, Shinobu decides not to give up and wants to start his own shogi club. Not surprisingly, this angers Rindo. The reader learns some interesting information about Rindo through the others at Shinbou’s dorm, and Shinobu does something that surprises Rindo. So we’ve basically got a situation where a newbie is coming in contact with someone who’s an old pro at the game, yet the pro has something that’s holding him back. It looks like the story’s being set up where, with his sense of being able to see the “checkmate,” Shinobu will help Rindo overcome that hurdle.

And that’s the end of this “Jump Start” initiative. Mononofu is probably one of the better titles to come through as part of the “Jump Start” initiative, but there are times when it can be on the predictable side.

Food Wars! CH:136

It turns out that what Erina’s grandfather wanted to speak with Soma about isn’t quite as important as I thought. But after Erina’s grandfather asks Soma what kind of chef he thinks she is, he launches into explaining about Erina’s childhood. Through flashbacks, we get some backstory for her. Even though the content of Soma’s meeting with the former dean of Totsuki isn’t what I expected, I still appreciate getting some backstory for Erina. Erina’s father was so mean and nearly abusive to her as a child. This flashback just seems to reinforce my impression of how much of a jerk he is. It also shows how Erina’s father was disowned from the family. At the end of the chapter, Erina’s grandfather asks Soma to help save his granddaughter from her father’s brainwashing. This is definitely going to be a tall order, but I’m sure Soma will take it on. As we’ve seen in the past, Soma feels is very committed and loyal to his friends, and I can’t see him turning his back on Erina because of her father.

Samon the Summoner CH:002

This chapter sees Sakura getting a lot of exposition from Samon about demons and familiars. But when one of Sakura’s friends shows up and is attacked by a demon, Samon is unwilling to help. This Samon guy is such a jerk that he’s not a likable character. So far, his attitude and behavior are making me not like this series very much. Sakura decides to try to take it on herself. And when Sakura realizes she can’t do it on her own, Samon still refuses to help. But when she says something that Samon wants to hear (that she desires to save her friend), he gives her some help. OK, he did finally help out, but the way he does this makes his come across as such a major jerk. So far, this second chapter really hasn’t sold me any more on this series than the first one did. Maybe next week’s chapter will be better?

My Hero Academia CH:060

This chapter sees the characters stressing about their upcoming final exams and trying to figure out what might be covered in them. We also get to see some of the animosity Class B has toward Class A. And Bakugo makes it clear to both Midoriya and Todoroki that he intends to perform better than them on the upcoming exams. This isn’t terribly surprising, since Bakugo has been established as a hothead from very early on. Then the chapter skips ahead in time to the practical exam, and the students discover the test isn’t going to be like what the upperclassmen had told them it would be like. And with the matchups, it looks like Midoriya ended up getting the short end of the stick. Will he be able to pass the practical exam?

Toriko CH:340

So Acacia is out there and seems to be acting more like a demon than anything else. When Jiro makes it to where Acacia was, the demon of Acacia is long gone. And it looks like there’s only mere days until the Gourmet Eclipse, and it has been hinted that something really bad will happen at that time. But after Jiro argues with the Nitros, he transforms into a beast. It looks like the stage is being set for Jiro to battle the Nitros. This chapter was basically a bunch of talking to provide exposition, with very little actually happening to progress the story outside of Acacia and what he does right at the beginning. Hopefully the story will actually make some progression in the next chapter.

Bleach CH:644

We learn that Nemi had brought body preservation pods, and the two people housed in them are no longer zombies. Mayuri asks a couple of Soul Reapers to take those two individuals out and to put himself and Kenpachi into them. After this, the chapter finally returns to what Urahara and the others are doing. Finally! But the action is just starting at the end of the chapter when Kyoraku is launching into a fight with a Quincy. Prior to that, it was a lot of talking as characters were running. But at least we’ve finally returned to focus to characters other than Mayuri!

Nisekoi: False Love CH:187

Marika’s escape attempt is foiled by Honda, and then we see the others in the dungeons. Chitoge and Tsugumi are together, and Raku finds that his cellmate is Marika’s father. The two of them have a conversation about Marika’s mother. Shinohara makes a surprise appearance in the dungeon in order to rescue the four of them, although Marika’s father decides to stay put. Ichijo is undeterred, and still plans to bust up Marika’s wedding. I guess the conversation with Marika’s father was supposed to give us insight into Marika’s mother and justify her actions. While it does a good job of explaining, I don’t think it truly justifies anything. And what can Raku possibly do to change Marika’s mother’s mind? I’m afraid that if succeeds in changing her mind, it’ll be due to some kind of a lame cop-out.

Bakuman. age 14

This chapter sees Akito trying to figure out how to achieve his goals. We’re also introduced to Mashiro, an artist in Akito’s class. It turns out Mashiro has been drawing pictures of the girl in their class that Akito likes. Akito makes the discovery when Mashiro accidentally leaves his notebook in class. But this chapter definitely sets up the possibility for a collaboration of the two in the future, since Akito likes Mashiro’s art style so much. I suspect fans of Bakuman. will appreciate seeing how the partnership they know from the original series ultimately came to be.

Psyren CH:004

This is the final chapter of Psyren to be highlighted in Weekly Shonen Jump’s “Jump Back” initiative. Ageha arrives where the others are and starts to help them battle against the monsters that they came across. Although it appears that only Ageha and one other person survive. The two of them have to try to work together in order to get past any remaining monsters and find a place that’s safe. But the chapter ends just as they come up with a plan, so the only way to know what will happen at this point is if you tracks down the first volume of the manga series and read it.

Psyren was OK from what I saw, but there just wasn’t quite enough here to hook me and make me want to rush out and read more. It’s not that it’s a bad series, it just didn’t do a whole lot for me personally.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

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