VIZ Media’s Shonen Jump to Add Nine Digital Manga

VIZ Media announced nine digital manga releases for 2019 and 2020 at its panel at Anime NYC:

  • Robot × Laserbeam by Tadatoshi Fujimaki (scheduled to be released in Summer 2020)
  • Red Sprite by Tomohiro Yagi (scheduled to be released in Winter 2019)
  • Love Rush by Ryohei Yamamoto (scheduled to be released in early 2020)
  • Hi-Fi Cluster by Ippei Goto (scheduled to be released in early 2020)
  • Yui Kamui Lets Loose by Hiroshi Shiibashi (scheduled to be released in early 2020)
  • The Last Saiyuki by Daijirō Nonoue (scheduled to be released in early 2020)
  • ne0;lation by Tomohide Hirao and Mizuki Yoda (scheduled to be released in Spring 2020)
  • Hell Warden Higuma by Natsuki Hokami (scheduled to be released in Spring 2020)
  • Stealth Symphony by Ryohgo Narita (scheduled to be released in Spring 2020)

In addition, the company also announced that it will accelerate the physical and digital releases of Koyoharu Gotouge’s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga. VIZ will ship one manga volume a month beginning in May 2020. The company will also release new chapters digitally on its Shonen Jump website every month beginning in December 2019.

Source: ANN

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (January 26, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for Nisekoi: False Love, One Piece, Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, Toriko, World Trigger, Food Wars!, Bleach, Hi-Fi Cluster, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. In addition, this issue also includes the third 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.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:155

At the beginning of this chapter, Raku’s group for the class trip decides they want to change where they’re going on the third day. Meanwhile, Chitoge and the others begin their plans for the day; but, we see Marika grinning as he has her phone out. Marika suggests that since everyone wants to do their own thing they should go their own ways and make sure the teacher doesn’t find out. Marika is the only one who leaves, though. We then see Marika come to the new location that Raku’s group decided to go to and she lies about getting separated from the others.

Raku sends a text to the other group about Marika being lost and asks the group to come get her. After doing some research on the temple, they rush over and catch up with Marika and Raku. We see why Marika schemed to get Raku here; if you shoot an arrow at the person you like, the power of the arrow will make the person love you or something like that. Just as it looks like Chitoge will be able to do something, Marika’s henchwoman Honda arrives and ties her up. Tsumugi saves Chitoge, of course, and this leads to a fight between Tsumugi and Honda. Raku runs off and bumps into Onodera, but she’s also trying to take advantage of the situation. But she’s interrupted by Chitoge and Marika, and Chitoge and Marika shoot arrows at Raku right when the chapter ends.

So, this is what Marika was scheming at the end of the previous chapter. I should’ve figured it would have been something like this. She also managed to convince Raku’s group to change their location in order to make this happen. Once again, this chapter just shows why I can’t stand Marika. Overall, this chapter just didn’t do much for me. The zaniness that takes place once everyone gets to the temple will probably be amusing to fans of the series, but it feels so similar to things that have happened to Ranma in Ranma 1/2 when it comes to the various love interests, so it comes across to me as not being very amusing or interesting.

One Piece CH:774

In this chapter, we see the Tonttattas wondering what happened to Princess Mansherry. Meanwhile, Lady Viola calls Leo to let him know that Giolla has captured the princess and is forcing her to use her powers. We then see Princess Mansherry being scolded by Giolla after she says she can’t do anything more with her power. The princess is also told that she has to use her heal-heal fruit powers to revive more of the enemy. When the princess refuses, Giolla grabs her. This causes the princess to cry, and one of her tears falls on one of the fallen enemy; this person is revived. Just as Giolla is about to make the princess cry some more, but Leo and the others arrive and start attacking to try to keep the princess’ tears from reviving anyone else.

Oh, yeah. With that strong focus on Trafalgar’s backstory a while back, I’d forgotten all about Princess Mansherry’s storyline. I’m glad to see this referenced and jog my memory that this storyline existed. There were a couple of other brief scenes right at the beginning of this chapter, but the vast majority of it focused on Princess Mansherry and Leo’s attempt to rescue her. I’m trying not to provide spoilers here, but I will say that the storyline with Princess Mansherry has now been resolved. Thank goodness! That’s at least one of the storylines that’s been running in this series recently that’s now come to an end. Hopefully some of the others will start wrapping up over the coming chapters.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:007

This chapter introduces a masked dude who is getting large quantities of Magical Happy, and is selling the white powder all over the school. There’s been rumors circulating that Magical Happy has illegal things mixed into it. Tento tells Abaku that it might be a good idea for classroom arbitration to take it up as a discussion topic. This chapter also introduces Shiratori, another classmate of Tento and Abaku’s, and Tento seems to have feelings for her. After Shiratori mentions a couple of things she’s heard about and seen for herself in regards to Magical Happy, Abaku seems to get a contemplative look on his face.

Their classmate Tanaka becomes completely addicted to Magical Happy and passes out. It turns out it’s against the rules to bring snacks to school, so Abaku has been appointed to be in charge of Tanaka’s defense for the upcoming classroom arbitration. We learn from Tanaka that he received an email from the masked dude three weeks earlier, and he describes what his encounter with the masked dude was like. It’s also revealed that Tanaka had been promised another deal, but when he went to the storehouse, the masked dude said the deal was called off.

Pine gets the email that was sent from the accused and goes to expose the magical powder transaction site. When she gets there, she finds someone rather surprising who appears to be the masked dude…

Wow, it’s amazing how much this Magical Happy comes across like a drug. Is this Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment‘s way of getting a drug story into the series without actually having anyone take drugs? I also have a suspicion that things aren’t what they seem with the person Pine finds at the transaction site. I’m predicting that this is some kind of “red herring,” since this series has never had either Abaku or Pine find any major information so quickly previous to this chapter. There’s got to be more than meets the eye when it comes to this case.

Toriko CH:309

As Toriko and the others puzzle over the ring at the top of the mountain, Bambina the monkey king suddenly falls out of the sky. We then see Bambina playing hide and seek with Toriko and the others after they’ve powered up. They keep finding Bambina. When Toriko asks Bambina what he wants to play next, all five billion monkeys come rushing over. They realize the ring is there for a festival, and that they’ve come to see a serious battle against the monkey king and not a game as they had thought.

This particular chapter was very action heavy, and primarily focused on the game of hide and seek that Toriko and the others are playing with Bambina. Because of this, not very much actually happens in this chapter. Of course, it turns out that it was wishful thinking for Toriko and the others to simply be able to play with Bambina in order for the story to progress. Since Kaka’s realization ends the chapter, it becomes a cliffhanger for the reader, because we now have to wait a week in order to find out what’s going to happen with this battle against Bambina that’s being hinted at.

World Trigger CH:090

This chapter continues the B-Rank Wars, and Arafune and Yuma begin their battle. During the battle, Arafune’s sword gets a hit in on Yuma’s, which causes damage to Yuma’s sword. Meanwhile, we learn that Suwa Squad has split up and that both Arafune agents have been marked. We then see Sasamori going after Hokari. But Hokari sacrifices himself in order to get a shot in on Yuma. But something surprising happens at the end of the chapter…

Well, the action definitely keeps going in the B-Rank Wars, even if I’m not entirely following what’s going on. Unfortunately, this due in large part to not knowing all of these characters and whether or not they belong to Arafune or Suwa Squad. Hopefully as I see more of the anime and read more of the manga, I’ll start learning who more of these people are. Even though I’m personally lost, I suspect that long-time readers of World Trigger will the story and all of the action that’s included in this chapter.

Food Wars! CH:103

At the beginning of the chapter, it’s announced that a decision has been reached. The judges explain the strengths of the various chefs, as well as the fact that all three dishes were almost exactly as delicious as the others. The deciding factor in the match was whether or not the dish brought to mind the face of its chef. Just as the winner is about to be announced, we see a flashback for Akira that provides some backstory for him. The winner is announced right at the end of the chapter…

I have to admit that this chapter did a good job of building up the suspense over finding out who won the competition. I also really enjoyed getting Akira’s backstory, because I believe it helped me to better understand him. And I also have to admit that when the winner was announced, it wasn’t who I had been expecting. If you read my write-up last week, then you’ll know who I predicted to win. But, you know, I’m not disappointed that the person who I thought would win didn’t. I believe that the person who ultimately won helped to make this competition end on a much more realistic note.

Bleach CH:612

In this chapter, Yhwach goes to Reio and appears to stab him. We then see Rukia and Renji approaching Captain Hirako, Omaeda and Soi Fon. It turns out a message had been sent out telling all the captains and assistant captains to convene even if they must disengage from whomever they’re fighting. As everyone convenes, we also meet Yoruichi’s younger brother, Yushiro. It turns out Kisuke has called the meeting, and he fills everyone in on what’s been going on with the various squads. Kisuke also says that once he has assembled everyone, he wants to storm Reiokyu. But right at the very end of the chapter, Ichibe tells Ichigo that humans cannot defeat Yhwach.

This chapter is basically getting the reader up to speed and/or reminding the reader what’s happened with the various squads over the course of the battle up to this point. It’s also here to lay the foundation for what appears to be the next plot point that will help to progress this story arc. This primarily focuses on Kisuke and the captains and assistant captains who have gathered, with only a brief scene with Yhwach at the beginning and a brief scene with Ichigo at the end. I’m really hoping that Kubo is finally trying to do something to make this story move.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:018

This is the final chapter for Hi-Fi Cluster. We see Peta at his high school graduation, and we learn through a conversation with Nano that Peta will be continuing his job working Special Unit Six. Peta realizes that he’s been called in and has to leave Nano behind. At this point, we learn that two years have passed since the previous chapter, and the reader receives a narration that explains what’s happened to the various characters. Kandera then reveals they have a new job to find a weird gang with new and improved hi-fi labels that are the exact some ones as Special Unit Six’s. The chapter ends with them heading out for this new assignment.

Those who have read my write-ups the past three weeks or so know that I had anticipated that the series would come to an abrupt end. I was disappointed to discover that I was right. This was an okay ending, but there’s still the loose end of Landscape Mole and this new gang with improved hi-fi labels. And I guess it was nice to see that Peta managed to graduate from high school as well.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:50

The battle between E’rah and Yuma and the others continues. When E’rah plays Anti-Hope God of Despair, she reveals that her opponents cannot XYZ summon while this is on the field. When she tells Anti-Hope God of Despair to attack Utopia the Lightning, Kaito activates Titanic Galaxy’s effect. This causes Kaito to sacrifice himself. E’rah tells Yuma that he should submit to her since he only has one life point left. Yuma’s friends encourage him not to give up. Yuma draws a card, and it’s the spell card Memories of Hope and is able to bring back Kaito and Shark’s monsters. He then uses the Memories of Hope and the Future Energy spell cards. With this, Yuma is able to attack Anti-God of Despair. E’rah counters and is able to cancel out Yuma’s attack. But then Titanic Galaxy’s effect is activated. E’rah counters again, but another effect is activated for Titanic Galaxy. Utopia the Lightning’s ATK jumps dramatically, but E’rah has a card to counter this, too. Yuma then activates the Dauntless Challenge quick-play spell. This finally knocks E’rah’s life points down to 100. But E’rah has a card she can play to help her out here, too, as the chapter ends.

Okay, this was starting to get a little ridiculous. Just as it looked like Yuma finally had the upper hand and could bring this battle to a close, E’rah always just happened to have a card to counter. And for most part, that’s all this chapter was… volleying the advantage back and forth. I’m really, really hoping that this story will be coming to an end soon. It’s starting to feel like it’s being ridiculously dragged out, and it’s gotten to a point where I have a harder and harder time caring about what’s going on.

Rosario + Vampire CH:003

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

It’s now been a month since Tsukune started going to Yokai Academy, and the students are now required to join a club. He and Moka go to check out the swim club, but Moka tells Tsukune that she really doesn’t want to swim; it turns out water is a vampire’s natural enemy, but she doesn’t say this to Tsukune. The club president takes Tsukune into the pool and stays close to him, which makes Moka jealous. When Kurumu hears rumors about Moka joining the swim club, she decides to check it out. Moka, meanwhile, has to leave the pool after the club president gets her wet. Meanwhile, Tsukune decides not to join the swim club if Moka isn’t going to be in it; at this point, the club president reveals her true form as a mermaid. Moka returns to the pool and sees what’s going on, and Moka surprises the mermaid by jumping into the water. Kurumu arrives and Tsukune learns the truth about vampires and water, and Tsukune rescues Moka. While underwater, Tsukune pulls off Moka’s rosario, and Moka defeats the mermaids. Afterward, the other Moka slaps Tsukune because of what the usual Moka was going through. Right at the end of the chapter, we see Tsukune, Moka, and Kurumu joining the newspaper club.

Sigh. Once again, this chapter relies on the formula that was established in the previous two chapters. Tsukune’s life is threatened by one of the other students in the class, Tsukune pulls off Moka’s rosario, and she transforms and kicks the other student’s butt. Yawn. I remember this from when I read the first volume a while ago, as well as complaining about how the chapters felt formulaic. Re-reading these chapters hasn’t done anything to improve my opinion of this series, I’m afraid.

And it looks like Chapter Four of Rosario + Vampire will be appearing in the next issue of Weekly Shonen Jump.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

Hi-Fi Cluster Manga to End in Weekly Shonen Jump

Ippei Goto’s Hi-Fi Cluster manga is ending in this year’s ninth issue of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump on January 26, 2015. Shueisha will publish the second compiled book in March 2015, followed by the third volume in April 2015.

Goto launched the manga in Weekly Shonen Jump in September 2014, and VIZ Media added the first three chapters to its English version of the magazine as part of its “Jump Start” initiative. The company then added Hi-Fi Cluster as a full-fledged weekly series in October 2014.

Source: ANN

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (January 19, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One-Punch Man, Nisekoi: False Love, One Piece, Food Wars!, World Trigger, Toriko, Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, and Hi-Fi Cluster. In addition, this issue also includes the second 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-Punch Man CH:039.2 + 040

Chapter 39.2 continues the meeting between Sitch and the denizens of the underworld. Sitch makes it clear that he wants to ally with them because to him, there aren’t enough heroes to help humanity survive the impending disaster. Sitch tries to encourage these thieves and assassins who possess a hero’s strength to team up with him by offering them pay for defeating monsters. An attendee named Garo makes himself stand out, and not in a good way.

Chapter 40 sees Garo challenging everyone in attendance to fight him. Sitch tries to stop him, but is unsuccessful. Sitch tells three heroes who are with him to throw Garo out of the meeting. But before they do anything, Garo has a flashback to his childhood, and we see that he was rooting for the antagonist in stories as a child rather than the protagonist, and how this belief has helped shape who he has become today. We then return to the present, where Garo begins attacking a couple of the heroes. Blue Fire then comes up to Garo and tries to attack. As they fight, Sitch calls for all resident heroes and medics to come to the meeting. But before anyone arrives, Garo declares he’s made a declaration of war and that he’ll get stronger in order to take on King.

Wow… how long has it been since One-Punch Man last ran in Weekly Shonen Jump? I was starting to think that it had disappeared from the publication. Unfortunately, having the long wait made me forget what had happened in the previous chapter; however, I still had my notes from the writeup so I was able to take a look at them and refresh my memory.

So it looks like King isn’t out of the woods yet, because Garo is now determined to take him on, thinking that King is the strongest hero. And I also learned that the guy who was upset that Saitama wasn’t at the meeting was trying to get access to Hero Association Headquarters in order to learn more about Saitama. It appears that there’s also an impending disaster that will affect the human race, which is why Sitch called the meeting in the first place. Long-time readers of this series probably already knew about the impending disaster, but since I jumped into the middle of the series during late February or early March of 2014, I had no idea that was a plot point that was in play. Now that we’ve got at least 2-3 plot threads running, I hope that One-Punch Man will start running a little more frequently in the magazine again.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:154

This chapter sees Raku spending time with Marika, after she lies about where Onodera and the others are in order to have Raku to herself. Chitoge decides to follow them to see what Raku’s like when he’s alone with her. But while they’re having tea together, Raku keeps insisting on trying to find the others and catch up to them. And she keeps piling the lies on in order to keep Raku to herself. She also seems to be aware that Chitoge is following them, so Marika also tries to find ways to try to get Raku closer to her physically. But when Raku and Marika have a conversation about Chitoge that she overhears, Raku sticks up for Chitoge and admits that he really enjoys her company. Right after, Onodera and the others find them. Right at the end of the chapter, Marika receives a text that brings a mischievous smile to her face.

Ugh, this is a chapter that features Marika. She is, by far, my least favorite character in Nisekoi: False Love, so I generally don’t enjoy reading chapters that feature her. Marika is just so manipulative and bitchy that I can’t stand her. But I was glad to see Raku defending Chitoge when Marika was trying to put her down. Thank you, Raku, for putting Marika in her place for once! Unfortunately, with the final panel that appears in this chapter, I’m almost afraid that the next chapter will feature Marika as well.

Oh, and I haven’t said this in a while, but I really do wish the overarching story with the locket and the keys will be touched on again at some point. It just seems like this manga is getting to the point where the mangaka is conveniently forgetting that story exists in order to keep the series going.

One Piece CH:773

In this chapter, we see Cavendish going on a rampage, and he tries going after Robin. It turns out Cavendish and Cabbage are the same person; apparently, Dellinger is his sleepwalking personality. Unfortunately, while he’s by Robin, the two personalities argue with each other. One of the enemy returns and tries to stop Robin and the others, and makes the situation where Robin will be in danger no matter what decision Bartolomeo makes. It seems like Bartolomeo found a way to take down the enemy, but he missed the spot he wanted to hit by inches. Cabbage offers to take Robin to the Flower Field with Cavendish’s speed before the wall bursts. While the enemy is perplexed about Robin getting away, Bartolomeo takes advantage of the situation and attacks. Robin appears at the Flower Field and is able to help Rebecca and Kyros right at the end of the chapter…

The good news is, Oda was able to focus on one battle during the course of this chapter and wasn’t jumping around from battle to battle. Unfortunately, since this battle featured several characters that I wasn’t familiar with from jumping into the middle of this story arc almost a year ago now, I found myself have to read and re-read pages to try to figure out who was who and what was going on; this was especially true with the first scenes of Cabbage and Cavendish. Because of this lack of familiarity, it made this chapter a harder read for me than it might have been otherwise. It also made my head swim just about as much as the jumping around between battles in the various chapters has.

Food Wars! CH:102

This chapter reveals that Soma’s secret is a broth to put over his dish, and that it’s the same trick he used during the bento-box challenge he had with Alice. After the judges taste it, the “broth” is revealed to be soy milk that’s been mixed with a dash of parmesan cheese and a small dollop of miso paste. Soma reveals that his dish is Pike Takikomi Rice Ohiya Style. Right at the end of the chapter, it’s announced that the judges will now make their decision.

So we learned what Soma was up to, and that it turned out to be a similar stunt to something else he had done earlier in the series that I hadn’t read. I’m glad this chapter referenced that previous instance, because now I can better buy the suspense that the mangaka was going for at the end of the previous chapter. This chapter also let us see Soma’s father remembering when Soma was younger and letting the audience know about how hard Soma has tried to be a chef and trying to overcome hurdles since he didn’t have any natural skill for it. It was also reinforced in this chapter just how much Soma’s peers at the school don’t like him, and how most of them want to see Soma fail. But with what happens during this chapter, some of those peers seem to be starting to change their attitude about him. I’m not surprised that the chapter ended with it being announced that the judges would be making their decisions. I expect we’ll learn the decisions in the next chapter. I’m going to predict that somehow, Soma will end up winning over the other two contestants, since the way this chapter is written seems to be leading the reader to believe that that will be the outcome.

World Trigger CH:089

In this chapter, Osamu and Yuma head out to launch their plan while Chika is told to stay out of sight and to bail if the two boys are taken out. Meanwhile, Suwa Squad starts going after Arafune Squad. Yuma launches an attack on Hanzaki and forces him to bail out. Arafune pulls out his sword and stops Yuma and says he’s going to cut Yuma down to size when the chapter ends…

So this chapter continues the B-Rank Wars and the battle between Tamakoma-2, Suwa Squad, and Arafune Squad. It’s a very action-packed chapter that I’m sure long-time readers of World Trigger will enjoy. For me, I was having a hard time following everything that was going on since I’m not overly familiar with many of the characters in the Suwa and Arafune Squads. That’s the problem with jumping into the middle of a series like I did with World Trigger almost a year ago now. I’m watching the anime adaptation of World Trigger, but I haven’t seen these two particular squads yet where the anime is currently at. Hopefully watching the anime adaptation will help me learn who many of these characters are and to get to know them so I can bring that knowledge with me as I continue reading the manga in Weekly Shonen Jump.

Toriko CH:308

At the beginning of this chapter, we see people in the human world enjoying the Gourmet World food that the Octomelon delivers. We then see a group of Gourmet Hunters at Hex Food World Village who are trying to find Toriko and catch up with him. Then the scene shifts to Brunch, who is trying to make his way to Gourmet Corp. From here, the scene changes to the Dining Planet, and it seems to be the base for the group that attacked Toriko and the others and caused Komatsu to be in the state that he’s in now.

The story finally returns to Toriko and the others as they make their way to face the monkey king. Right at the end of the chapter, they find that a large fighting ring has been erected.

OK, is the mangaka for Toriko taking lessons from Eiichiro Oda about jumping around in a chapter? The vast majority of this chapter focused on characters that weren’t Toriko and the his group, but we spent so little time at any one location that it was starting to make me feel a little dizzy. But it was enlightening during the section that takes place on the Dining Planet that it’s believed that Toriko and the others don’t have what it takes to face the monkey king. I certainly hope they can prove that naysayer wrong! And with the way this chapter ended, I expect that the next chapter will see Toriko and the others coming face-to-face with the monkey king in the large fighting ring.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:006

This chapter continues the case that began in the previous chapter. Pine questions her two witnesses, Nakayama and Asa. Once she finished, Abaku cross-examines them. Through the cross-examination, he eliminates Asa as the perpetrator, but then goes on to explain how Nakayama is the one who wrote the kanji in Higashide’s desk and tried to get him into trouble. He hits the nail on the head, and she confesses. But right at the end of the chapter, we discover that Higashide isn’t all that he appears to be…

After reading the previous chapter, I’d suspected that Nakayama was the guilty party, but I hadn’t figured out how she pulled it off. The explanation that was given does seem to make a lot of sense, though. But the revelation about Higashide at the end of this chapter was something I hadn’t expected. So who exactly is Higashide, why is he so interested in Abaku, and who is he working for? I’m glad to see that there’s now an overarching mystery for the reader to go along with the various crimes and mysteries that take place in the series. Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment has become one of my favorite series currently running in Weekly Shonen Jump, and I’m very interested in seeing how this story progresses.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:017

In the aftermath of the explosion that happened at the end of Chapter 16, it appears that everyone is all right. However, they can’t seem to find Kandera. But we see Kandera rescuing Noto as a pillar is about to fall on him; afterward, the two of them have a brief discussion. Miri finds Peta and the girl, and Miri gives him a label to put on the girl’s Hi-Fi label. We then see Kandera approaching Landscape Mole, who is sprawled out on the ground and appears to be injured. But before Kandera can put handcuffs on him, Landscape Mole attacks. Kandera dodges and manages to get a good punch in on Landscape Mole’s face. It’s also revealed that Kandera isn’t actually a Hi-Fi Loader and that he;s tweaked his body quite a bit. Before the conversation can go anywhere, though, another SWAT team arrives; however, Landscape Mole manages to escape. The chapter ends with a narration of how this story arc ended, and the narration definitely leaves the door open to continue the story.

What a shock it was to discover that Kandera wasn’t actually a Hi-Fi Loader. But I do find myself wondering how Kandera will be treated by the others now that his secret is out. Something has to happen, because I can’t see the others quickly forgiving him for that deception. Will he lose their trust? Will they turn their backs on them? It’s also made clear that Landscape Mole’s whereabouts are unknown now, so it leaves the door open to continue the story and having him reappear at some point.

Even though there’s a “To Be Continued” message at the end of this volume, I still can’t help thinking that this particular story arc felt very rushed, as if the mangaka was wanting to make sure this revelation about Kandera was made now just in case the series ends up being cancelled. The way the chapter ended also makes me think the series could be ending sooner rather than later. I hope I’m wrong, because I do like Hi-Fi Cluster, but the pacing for the story recently doesn’t feel like the pacing for a series that will be lasting for the long term.

Rosario + Vampire CH:002

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

This chapter shows Tsukune and Moka getting closer, but Tsukune not liking the fact that Moka likes to suck his blood. One day, as Tsukune wanders the school grounds, he comes across a girl named Kurumu Kurono who feels faint. She seems to hypnotize him and make him want to hold her, and Moka comes across them as he does. Later, Kurumu has a confrontation with Moka, and she reveals that she’s a succubus. She also says she’s there to defeat Moka. It turns out Kurumu is mad because she wanted all the boys in school to fall for her, and they fell for Moka instead. Tsukune comes up and tries to apologize to Moka, and Kurumu gets in the way. Moka is confused, but a voice from her rosario tells her what how Kurumu is controlling Tsukune. Kurumu tries to kiss Tsukune to make him her slave forever, but he manages to resist. This causes Kurumu to become angry and reveal her true self. Moka arrives and manages to save Tsukune. Moka ends up asking Tsukune to take her rosario off. At first, it won’t budge, but after a few moments, he Tsukune can remove it. Just as it looks like Moka will kill Kurumu, Tsukune steps in the way to stop her because he believes that no one deserves to be killed. The end of the chapter reveals that Kurumu has become interested in Tsukune, so now he has two girls at school who are now interested in him.

So this chapter introduces a new character who will ultimately become an obstacle for the relationship that seems to be developing between Tsukune and Moka. Since Tsukune and the reader are introduced to a new type of monster, the chapter provides some explanation on what a succubus is. Since I’ve read the first volume of Rosario + Vampire before, I will go ahead and say that the chapters become a little formulaic, because the only way Tsukune can get out of each situation is to help Moka take her rosario off so she can take down whatever monster is threatening him. I remember that driving me a little nuts when I read the first volume. So far, I have to say that re-reading these first two chapters hasn’t helped me to improve the initial opinion I had of this series when I read the first volume a while ago.

At the end of the chapter, it shows that a third chapter of Rosario + Vampire will be appearing in the next volume of Weekly Shonen Jump.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (January 5, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Toriko, Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, Food Wars!, Hi-Fi Cluster, Bleach, and Nisekoi: False Love. In addition, this issue also includes a preview of the Assassination Classroom manga.

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:772

This chapter opens on the Fourth Step of the New Royal Plateau, where Kyros is taking on one of the enemy. When Rebecca asks to fight, her father asks her not to. He declares that now that he’s a human, he will never let her swing a sword again.

Then the story returns briefly to Zoro at the Second Step before moving on to the Third Step. Here, we see Bartolomeo and the others with them as the ground appears to be caving in around them; Robin, meanwhile, is trying to find Rebecca. Gladius tries to stop her, but his attempt is thwarted by Bartolomeo. At the end of the chapter, someone arrives on the scene and appears to be bad news for both Gladius and Dellinger.

Phew! After having several weeks of flashback material and chapters that focused on one section of the story, we’re back to jumping around between three different areas. It was definitely dizzying to me as a reader, and the jumping around makes it hard for me to keep up with what’s going on. It’s bad enough that I jumped into this particular story arc when it was already in progress so I’m not familiar with all of the characters who are appearing, but with all of the jumping around to various areas, it’s making it harder me to figure out who is who. Hopefully Oda can decide on a particular part of the story to focus on for the next chapter so the reader isn’t being sent on such a dizzying ride as they read.

Toriko CH:307

Now we see that Toriko is able to juggle 30 B.B. Pill Bugs with only one hand. We also see that Sunny is already at Master Level; together, he and Coco can juggle over 100 of the bugs. And now that it’s the last day of their training, Kaka has them juggling the B.B. Pill Bugs while climbing 100 G Mountain. They discover that the Choo-Choo Chomper has gone into autotomy in order to protect Komatsu, and Sunny is given the job of carrying the Choo-Choo Chomper.

When they reach the second level of 100 G Mountain, they encounter Iai-Aye and some of his friends from the north mountain area. These skilled apes were called to act as guides for Toriko and the others, as well as to continue the training for monkey martial arts. We then see the training that Toriko and the others undergo. The chapter ends with the group making it to the peak of 100 G Mountain.

This chapter is here to finish off the training and to get the group to the peak of 100 G Mountain. Something I’ve noticed in Toriko is that there are times that the author will suddenly jump into a narration in order to jump ahead to the next point in the story that he wants to get through. While I’ve seen this done in manga before, I usually haven’t seen it to the extent that I’ve seen it in Toriko since I started reading the series almost a year ago. But it appears that the ending of this chapter is setting it up so Toriko and the others will encounter the Monkey King in the next chapter. Hopefully all of the training that they’ve undergone will help them when they’re up against the Monkey King.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:005

The chapter opens with someone looking at Abaku’s file and ruminating about his accomplishments. From there, the story shows Tento feeling someone’s piercing gaze, and wondering if he’s just imagining it.

When the class is handed a test back, class president Shuichi Higashide is the only student to receive a perfect score. Kiriko Nakayama, the class vice president, claims to have seen Shuichi peeking inside his desk throughout the test and recommends that someone look into it. Things spill out of his desk, it’s seen that the whole inside of the desk was covered with kanji from the test. Shuichi claims that someone set him up. Abaku recommends holding a classroom arbitration to get to the bottom of this.

When Abaku and Tento go over the various pieces of evidence, which includes evidence that could like either Kiriko or her sidekick, Asa, to the crime. While looking into things, Tento tries to see if the kanji was written in erasable marker. While that wasn’t the case, this seems to give Abaku an idea. At the end of the chapter, Abaku seems to know who the culprit is, but that won’t be revealed until the arbitration, which should be taking place in the next chapter.

So far, I’ve really been enjoying this series. But this chapter not only establishes a new case of Abaku to solve, but the reader is starting to get hints that someone is digging into Abaku’s background. So now the reader has the mystery of trying to figure out who it is that’s keeping an eye on Abaku in addition to the mystery that’s being presented for the case. I’m looking forward to seeing how Abaku will prove who the perpetrator of this crime is.

Food Wars! CH:101

Soma presents his dish to the judges in a clay pot, and it turns out that he made takikomi rice. When the judges taste Soma’s dish, they are impressed by what they’re eating. It’s revealed that Soma had packed his pike in nuka rice bran, which makes it pickled pike.

But we see that the dean feels that Soma spent too much time focusing on catching up with the others on terms of choosing his fish and that his dish idea was not clever enough to compete with the other two. When it seems like the judges aren’t going to take seconds, Soma offers pouring something over the seconds because his dish isn’t finished yet. But what it is he’s going to put on isn’t revealed by the end of this chapter.

As a reader, it felt like being on a rollercoaster ride as I read this chapter. At first, it seemed like the judges loved his pike, but then we saw the dean shrugging his dish off because it wasn’t clever enough and that the judges didn’t want any seconds. It really did look like everything was all over for Soma, but now it looks like there’s a potential ray of hope. But my question is, why didn’t Soma serve his dish with whatever it is he’s going to be pouring onto it in the first place? I know that for the author, this was done in order to build tension, but I don’t understand the motivation for the character to do this. Maybe it’s because I jumped into this series in the middle of it and missed important sections that would have shown me that this is something that Soma typically does. But without any kind of prior knowledge of how Soma acts during competitions, this just feels forced.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:016

Kandera’s strategy is to take on Noto by himself, while the others sneak inside the assembly hall. As they fight, it looks like Noto has the upper hand. And as Noto fights, we see a flashback of how he’s jealous of Kandera because he always had people around him and was at the center of things even though he was incompatible with the ability society. But Heckt uses his ability to hold Noto back. Landscape Mole comes out and attack Ekusa. But as Landscape Mole tries to leave with Noto, Kandera and the others block their path. Kandera and Landscape Mole talk, and Kandera starts schooling Landscape Mole after calling him a kid. But Landscape Mole gets pissed and attacks Kandera. Peta sees the five-year-old girl nearby and tries to save her as armed men appear. The girl gets scared and activates her ability; all we see at the end is smoke surrounding the outside of the assembly hall.

So we get Noto’s motivation for why he’s acting the way he is toward Kandera. Outside of that, though, the rest of the story seems to be building up to a climax as the ante keeps getting upped. At this point, outside of knowing what happened after the explosion, the only other thing to explore is the other Landscape Mole. Either this series is rapidly heading toward its end, or the story with this Landscape Mole will end and another with the other Landscape Mole could begin. But the ending of this chapter is quite the cliffhanger, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.

Bleach CH:611

We get confirmation that Yhwach has killed Ichibe, and that Squad Zero has fallen.

Then, we see Ichigo, Orihime, Chad, and Ganju arriving in Soul Society, where they find the fallen Squad Zero. Ichigo hears Osho’s voice, telling Ichigo to call out his name. When he says Ichibe’s name, Ichibe comes back to life. By Ichigo saying his name, Ichibe received a tiny bit of Ichigo’s power to heal himself. Ichibe asks Ichigo to stop Yhwach from killing Reio. If Reio dies, the Seireitei, the World of the Living, and Hueco Mundo will all collapse. We see Yhwach approaching Reio right at the end of the chapter.

Finally, the story progresses! Not only that, but we finally see Ichigo, Orihime, and the others again! And from what’s revealed here, it appears the climax of this series may be coming sooner rather than later, especially with the ante being upped to save Reio. Of course, with the way Kubo has been stretching out the story recently, he’ll probably stretch out a battle between Yhwach and Ichigo so that it lasts for several months. But at least we finally moved on from Yhwach and Ichibe’s battle!

Nisekoi: False Love CH:153

The chapter opens with Tsugumi telling Raku how she ended up in a swordplay demo. She also asks Raku if anything happened between him and Chitoge because Chitoge is acting a little differently. Raku says he wants to watch the demo and says he’ll get the others to come, too. She doesn’t mind Raku watching, but she asks him not to tell the others. But the producer comes over and says he’s short another role, so Raku ends up being in the demo as a female character. But when Tsugumi appears to be in danger, Raku accidentally gets out of character. He then improvises. but as it looks like the improvisation is failing, Tsugumi comes to his aid. After the performance, Raku comments to Tsugumi that it seems like fewer people are mistaking her for a boy. Tsugumi is then pulled back onstage, so Raku goes to try to find the others.

We then see that Chitoge’s mind had been wandering so much that she lost the rest of the group. She sees Raku in the distance, but just as she’s about to approach him, Marika comes up behind Raku.

The majority of this chapter focuses on Raku interacting with Tsugumi, and I really liked Tsugumi’s acting skills. Like Raku, I also found it interesting that in this chapter, Tsugumi wasn’t being mistaken for a boy by other people. This has been such a major part of her character, but it makes sense that this has been slowly fading away as she spends more time around Raku. She’ll definitely never be a “girly-girl,” but she comes across much less masculine than she has in the past.

And it looks like the end of this chapter is setting up Chitoge to potentially lose it when she sees Marika with Raku. Chitoge’s already confused and weirded out enough after sneaking into Raku’s room the previous night and falling asleep there. Being in that state of mind, who knows how Chitoge will end up reacting to this development.

Special Preview: Assassination Classroom

The preview is the entirety of the first chapter of the Assassination Classroom manga.

A group of students is trying to kill their teacher; the teacher is a powerful alien octopus creature who destroyed 70% of the moon. The creature claims that within a year, he will destroy Earth, but he offers a chance for mankind to avoid this fate. He declares that he wants to be the teacher for class E-3 at Kunugigaoka Junior High School, and the Japanese government offers the class a 10 billion yen reward to the student who can kill the teacher before the year is up. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds, since the alien can move at Mach 20. Also, as part of the agreement, the teacher is unable to harm the students in any way.

We learn that class E-3 is known for containing the students with the lowest grades, and that this class is shunned from the rest of the school; in fact, their classroom is located in an old rundown building that’s nowhere near the actual school building. Among the students, the main focus is placed on Nagisa Shiota, who is viewed as one of the weakest students in the class due to his small stature. Nagisa is the one who tries to observe their new teacher and takes notes on his various weaknesses that he displays. Nagisa ends up being involved in an unsuccessful assassination attempt that takes place in this chapter.

I actually read the first volume of this series the night before I read this issue of Weekly Shonen Jump. Admittedly, the basic premise of the series does sound a little strange, but it was executed better than I thought it was going to. Nagisa may not be an impressive protagonist at this point, but I suspect he may have more to offer in that role over the course of the series.

While I wouldn’t say that Assassination Classroom is necessarily a great series, it works for the type of story that it’s trying to tell. It should appeal to manga readers who enjoy reading stories that include the element of assassination as a major part of its plot.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (December 22, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, Bleach, Toriko, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, Food Wars!, Hi-Fi Cluster, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. In addition, this issue also includes the eighth chapter of Naruto as part of 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:771

In this chapter, Zoro receives an offer for help from Eliza-Bello, an old companion of King Riku, but Zoro declines his offer. Meanwhile, we see Lao G trying to throw around some taunts, but before he can do much, he suddenly reaches the natural end of his life. But before he dies completely, he manages to hear a voice telling him to not die. Meanwhile, Baby 5 says she’s willing to die if it will help the cause, but Sai stops her. But then Lao G trashes Don Chin Jao. Right at the end of the chapter, Lao G falls into a crevice while Baby 5 falls in love.

I have to admit that I was rather confused during most of this chapter, since it primarily focuses on characters that I have no real idea of who they are. That’s the problem when you jump ahead so far in a series and end up in the middle of an ongoing story arc. Because of that, it’s very hard for me to comment on this chapter. Hopefully I’ll eventually be able to piece together who these people are and how they fit into this story arc.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:004

This chapter sees Pine trying to show how easily anyone could have set up a peeping device in the victim’s shoe locker. Abaku objects, but it’s to the attribution to a song used rather than to Pine’s actual evidence. Pine then says she’s going to establish proof of the accused’s guilt. But as Kuniko talks, Abaku thinks that the trap of his counterattack has been set. Then Abaku establishes that the accused, Uozumi, was by Airi’s shoe locker in order to leave her a love letter; Uozumi reads it aloud. Abaku also establishes that the love letter disappeared when, after it was put through the slit, it ended up below the flase bottom that hides the camera. He then uses Kuniko’s testimony to establish that she is the real perpetrator. Abaku also establishes that Kuniko knows the key code for the lock on Airi’s shoe locker. With this, the judge declares Uozumi innocent. We learn that Kuniko’s motive was that she liked Uozumi, but she knew that Uozumi liked her best friend.

I liked how how this case turned out. I admit that I had figured out that someone Kuniko had to be the culprit, but I hadn’t figured out how she had done it or what her motive was. But seeing how this was written, it all makes perfect sense. So far, I’ve been pretty impressed with this series, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next case will be. I’m also interested in seeing how the series evolves and hopefully discovering what Abaku’s secret is.

Bleach CH:610

This chapter opens with Uryu learning some information about Yhwach, which is also supposed to serve as insight for the reader as well. It’s also revealed that Yhwach’s power is known as “The Almighty.” Ichibe still insists that while Yhwach may know the black, but that all “black” belongs to him. Ichibe then uses Magnificent Death Mausoleum. But Yhwach retorts that he sees it, and that all that he sees is powerless against him.

Sigh. We just see these Ichibe and Yhwach becoming more and more powerful, to the point where it looks like the fight will be a stalemate. Something happens right at the end makes it seems like Yhwach has gotten the upper hand, but with the way their fight has been written, I’m expecting that what’s happening there isn’t what it seems. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if I’m wrong, but I really expect Kubo to find more ways to keep stretching this battle out.

Toriko CH:306

This chapter sees Toriko and the others going through training to try get the basics on Monkey Martial Arts down. We see that they’re all having issues getting their cells aligned in order to accurately copy the movements of the B.B. Pill Bug. By the end of the first day, not a single one of them could juggle even one bug. As they talk and vent, they receive a hint when they sense the Monkey King’s bloodthirst due to being pissed off that no one in the game of “tag” was looking got him. And with this hint, they’re able to finally juggle one bug.

I have to admit that this whole Monkey Martial Arts thing is kind of weird, but it does fit in with everything else that I’ve seen in this manga. I also find it ironic and somewhat humorous that the hint they needed in order to be able to start mastering the basics came from the Monkey King, the creature that they need to become playmates with in order to accomplish their goal. So will the next chapter still focus on their training, or will we get a narration and jump ahead to the next part of the story?

World Trigger CH:088

The second night of the B-Rank Wars is about to begin. It’s Tamakoma-2 against Suwa Squad and Arafune Squad. Suwa Squad flips when they learn what stage is being used for their battle, while it doesn’t really faze Arafune Squad. Then the B-Rank War begins. After meeting up, Osamu and his group go for a firefight, and it’s revealed their cannon fire was to provide cover for Suwa Squad. Osamu and his group are about to make their move when the chapter ends.

After getting the initial setup done in the first half of the chapter, the second half was devoted to the action of the B-Rank War. To be honest, I hadn’t anticipated that Tamakoma-2 would be inadvertently allying with Suwa Squad in order to defeat Arafune Squad. It will be interesting to see what ends up unfolding during this particular B-Rank war as this story arc continues.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:152

Chitoge makes up an excuse for why she snuck out to see Raku while he’s alone in a separate building. While she’s there, she works out a plan for the two of them to spend time together during the free time they have away from their groups. They spend time together, and Raku thinks about how he’s gotten used to having her near. But rather quickly, a teacher is conducting a bed check; they have to hide under the covers. Just as it seems the coast is clear, a thunderstorm hits and that the storm is expected to clear in the morning. Chitoge, who’s usually scared of thunder and lightning, falls asleep and stays in his room all night. The next day, the class is allowed to explore in their groups, but Raku becomes separated from his.

So this chapter is basically here to build up the connection between Chitoge and Raku. This was a nice bit of development, even if it relied on Raku just happening to have more rotten luck in order to make it happen. Even though Chitoge and Raku have their moments like this, and can be good as a couple at times, I’m still convinced that Komi’s intent in the end is going to be for Onodera and Raku to end up together. The main thing is just for Komi to truly start moving the overarching plot along instead of pretty much shoving it into the background most of the time anymore, so it’s starting to feel like it’s become less and less important to the series as time has gone on.

Food Wars! CH:100

Hayama presents his dish to the judges, and they’re surprised that it’s an appetizer. But before he allows the judges to eat it, he puts on the finishing touches with a blowtorch; the complete dish is Seared Pike Carpaccio. As the judges taste the dish, there’s a lot of explanation going on. Right at the end of the chapter, Soma is ready to present his dish to the judges.

For a story arc that’s focused on a cooking competition, it’s been a bit on the boring side thanks to all of the explanations that have been getting thrown into the chapters. But this chapter probably had the worst time of it when it came to being bogged down by the explanations of the dishes and the cooking. I swear, it almost felt as if at least half of the chapter was dedicated to explanations. But now that Soma is ready to present his dish, hopefully the next chapter will be more exciting.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:015

As Kandera and the others rush to the parliament, they see video footage of Landscape Mole and the little girl suddenly appearing there. Landscape Mole starts attacking members that try to approach him, which cause security to be summoned. Landscape Mole tells the little girl that the guards are trying to kill them, and the little girl activates her label. When this succeeds, Landscape Mole introduces himself and says he’s there to retrieve his partner that they’re holding in captivity; it turns out his partner is his younger twin brother. Landscape Mole declares that the ability labels the government has made are useless and that he will mass produce Hi-Fi labels and reconstruct the ability society. He then says that until his brother arrives, he will be killing one person every ten minutes. When Kandera and the others make it to the parliament, they find Noto blocking the entrance.

So we get some revelations about Landscape Mole and his motivations for what he’s doing, and that he has a twin brother. I definitely hadn’t seen that coming, that’s for sure. Also, just as it looks like Kandera and the others can save the day, their way is blocked by Noto. I suspect this will lead into a major battle between Kandera and Noto, since the two of them have a history. I’m wondering just how many more chapters this story will end up going, and whether or not Hi-Fi Cluster can make it past this story arc. But with the way the story has gone recently, I’m wondering if the author may have been given notice that the series could potentially be cancelled. If it is cancelled, I hope this story arc can at least be resolved without being rushed.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:49

Just when it looks like Yuma and Astral are done for, Ryoga activates a trap card that allows him to divert Erah’s attack on Yuma to him instead. This ends up knocking Royga out. Spider Shark’s effect is activated, and it revives Utopia and Galaxy Eyes. E’rah activates Sea of Rebirth’s effect, which allows her to special summon as many monsters as Yuma did. Kaito then jumps in and activates a spell card called Revelation of Hope and ends up summoning Number 38. E’rah uses Sea of Rebirth’s effect again, but Kaito activates Titanic Galaxy’s effect, which negates E’rah’s spell card and then excludes both cards and turns E’rah’s spell card into an overlay unit for his card. Kaito then activates the spell card Galaxy Journey and then is able to summon his excluded monster. But E’rah activates a spell card that allows her destroyed monsters to become overlay units for her monsters on the field. But Kaito establishes a loop that excludes her spell card and his monster. And he also adds in a quick-play spell to the mix. With this move, he takes quite a bit of E’rah’s life points. But just as it looks like Kaito and the others are winning, E’rah activates a trap card. Kaito’s turn ends, and now E’rah makes her play with a card that destroys her monsters on the field and lets her special summon as many anti monsters as possible. Right at the end, she uses these cards to special summon the anti-hope god of despair.

This chapter focused exclusively on battling with the cards, and the ante just seemed to be getting upped and upped with each play. I admit that it was a little exciting to read, but at the same time, it’s getting to the point where I want this battle to reach its conclusion. If this series ran more than once a month, it probably wouldn’t feel like it’s dragging out as much as it does to me. Hopefully this duel will be over sooner rather than later.

Naruto CH:008

This is the eighth chapter of the Naruto manga, which is being published as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative.

Kakashi ends up explaining to Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke what the point of their exercise was. He also explains the mistakes he saw them make during the exercise. Kakashi then says he’ll give them one last chance, but he tells them that Sasuke and Sakura can eat the bentos but not share with Naruto and claims that if either one of them feeds him, they’ll fail instantly. After Kakashi leaves, Sasuke offers Naruto some of his bento but Sakura protests. Then Sakura offers her bento to Naruto as well. Kakashi then appears and tells them that they pass.

So this chapter wraps up Team 7’s training exercise. And as I predicted, this is the last chapter that will appear as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative. And with Naruto‘s appearance in this initiative coming to an end, the next regular issue of Weekly Shonen Jump should be the first to truly not have any Naruto content in it.

It should be noted that the next regular issue of Weekly Shonen Jump will be coming out on January 5, 2015. However, there will be a special issue released on December 29, 2014, that’s going to include RKD-EK9, a one-shot manga by NisiOisin and Takeshi Obata.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (December 15, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Food Wars!, One Piece, Toriko, Hi-Fi Cluster, Nisekoi: False Love, World Trigger, Bleach, and Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment. In addition, this issue also includes the seventh chapter of Naruto as part of 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.

Food Wars! CH:099

Right at the beginning of this chapter, we see that Kurokiba is the first one to finish cooking his pike. He presents his dish to the judges’ table, and they have to unwrap the heat-resistant film that he had put onto his dish. When the judges unwrap them, they’re impressed by the odor. It turns out his dish is Fall Pike Cartoccio. As the judges try his dish, Kurokiba explains what he did to his dish. We get the judges’ reaction, and then Hayama is ready to present his dish. Hayama’s entry is Carpaccio, and he is about to present it to the judges when the chapter ends.

The competition is now truly underway, with one of the contestants presenting his completed creation to the judges. But I have to say that the judges’ reactions to the entry do come across as a bit “over the top.” Alice’s mother also received a rather prominent role in this chapter in her role as judge; in fact, she has a panel where she goes on and on and on about Kurokiba’s dish. I really wanted her to shut up so I could move on to the next panel. Also, this chapter also has a strong focus on explanations; while it was nice to receive the explanations since I don’t know anything about the dishes being made, it felt like these explanations dragged down the chapter.

One Piece CH:770

Bellamy insists on fighting with Luffy even though Luffy doesn’t want to. The story suddenly shifts to the Pica Statue, where Zoro is battling Pica. But before Zoro can do much, Pica takes over a nearby plateau so only his face shows from it. But Zoro is undeterred. Unfortunately, before Zoro can reach Pica, he has to encounter other enemies first. Right at the end of the chapter, Zoro receives some unexpected help.

You know, with how much focus has been placed on Law and his flashback story recently, I’d almost all but forgotten that there were still other battles taking place in Dressrosa! Fortunately, this chapter only focused on one of the battles instead of all of the jumping around we’d been seeing prior to settling into Law’s backstory. And it looks like Zoro’s battle is starting to see a little more progress. It’ll be interesting to see if the next chapter continues this particular battle or moves on to one of the other battles that are still raging in Dressrosa.

Toriko CH:305

This chapter opens with an explanation of Gourmet Cells and why they need to unify the wills of all their cells before learning Monkey Martial Arts. After this, Kaka begins training Toriko and the others in Monkey Martial Arts, which requires them to juggle a B.B. Pill Bug. But it’s not as easy as it seems, and Kaka explains that they have to learn to accurately copy with the movements of the B.B. Pill Bug. Zebra doesn’t want to participate in the training, but we see the others trying. Kaka expects it will take them two days to get the basics of Monkey Martial Arts down, and they only have three days before Komatsu’s limit is up.

This chapter spent a lot of its time on explanations, and not much time on any real action. I understand that the explanations are necessary, but after already having to read through the explanations in Food Wars! at the beginning of this week’s Weekly Shonen Jump, it felt like the story here was being bogged down. But right near the end, it’s made clear that time is quickly running out to save Komatsu, so the stakes are going up in here. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see an end to having to save Komatsu somewhere within the next few chapters. It definitely feels as if events are leading up to this story wrapping up soon.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:014

This chapter keeps going with the chase that started at the end of Chapter 12. The getaway car screeches to a halt, and Kandera discovers that the brakes in their behicle appear to not be working. Kandera grabs Mirai, and he, Heckt, and Ekusa all jump out of the vehicle. Kandera and his group are face-to-face with the getaway driver and the girl with the Hi-Fi Ability. Landscape Mole appears and takes custody of the girl away from Shanon, the getaway driver. Landscape Mole uses his ability to send Shanon flying, and Kandera goes to save Shanon. But after being rescued, Shanon is arrested. Near the end of the chapter, Kandera and the others see a news report that suggests that Landscape Mole is intending to attack the parliament building. When Kandera and the others realize they need to head there but their car is totaled, Shanon offers to give them a ride. Shanon makes a deal with Kandera, and everyone heads toward the taxi as the chapter ends…

So it turns out I was wrong about who I thought the getaway driver was. I should’ve figured that Landscape Mole would have been too easy of a guess. But the stakes are definitely being upped again quite a bit, so I’m still wondering if perhaps Hi-Fi Cluster could be in danger of an early cancellation. It would definitely explain why we’ve seen the story make some major progress in recent weeks instead of being stretched out. If we’re already headed for Landscape Mole’s “revolution,” what else can be done with the story after this is resolved? While I’ve personally been enjoying Hi-Fi Cluster, I’m seeing the signs that it might not be around for much longer.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:151

This chapter sees Raku and Onodera both running late for the class trip and having to take a separate bullet train to catch up with the rest of the class in Kyoto. As expected, Raku is happy with this turn of events. As they talk, Onodera suggests ditching their groups since they don’t plan to hit the same sights in Kyoto. But when Raku reacts to the suggestion, Onodera says she was joking. When the train reaches Nagoya, an announcement comes over the intercom saying that due to high winds, the bullet train will be delayed until further notice. They decide to switch to the regular train line in order to keep on going. But their ride on the regular train is stopped because of a bear on the tracks ahead. They then decide to take a bus, but the bus ends up having engine trouble. Then they try taking a taxi, but the elderly man driving it ends up in a ditch. They then resort to trying to hitch a ride. But the guy who gives them a ride also has engine trouble. They eventually make it to Kyoto, but it’s obvious they’ve been through the wringer. When Raku goes to meet up with his group, he learns that their room got flooded. Raku ends up being separated from his group and put into a room by himself that’s not in the main building. Right at the end of the chapter, we see that Chitoge has tapped on Raku’s window.

OK, the first time or two that something caused their mode of transportation to be stalled was a little amusing; but after that, it started getting obnoxious. I know that Komi is trying to have Raku and Onodera spend time together to try to build up this relationship, but the sheer amount of obstacles ended up being excessive. Also, after going through all of that, Raku still continues to have bad luck with his room.

But the further I’m getting into Nisekoi: False Love, it really appears to me that Komi is ultimately intending Raku and Onodera to end up together. The main questions are, how is he going to accomplish this, and how long will it take for this relationship to actually happen?

World Trigger CH:087

Jin finds Karasawa watching the Rank Wars, and they have a conversation about Osamu. We then see Osamu, Chika, and Yuma talking with Konami and some other people about the other squads they could be facing during the Rank Wars. When they ask for information, they’re told that data on past Rank Wars can be found in the Strategy Room. We then see both the Suwa Squad and the Arafune Squad going over the data they have on Osamu’s group. This is followed by Osamu and his group sharing their analysis from the data they have on their next opponent.

This chapter is basically providing some setup before starting the next match in the Rank Wars. Unfortunately, this means that this is an exposition chapter rather than having any real action going on. This is at least the third chapter in this edition of Weekly Shonen Jump that’s simply an exposition chapter. At least this one is spread out more from the other two, so that helps a little.

Bleach CH:609

Ichibe says that Yhwach has lost his name, and that he will give Yhwach a new one. The new name he gives him is Kuroari. Ichibe tells “Kuroari” that his power is like that of a black ant, and that Ichibe will crush him like an ant. But “Kuroari” somehow manages to survive. It turns out that Yhwach had the power to see all that is about to take place. and the power he sees cannot be used to kill him.

Oh, come on now. These characters have become so overpowered that it’s become ridiculous. Not only that, it makes it more painfully obvious that Kubo is trying to kill time in order to make this final arc of the story last longer. While there had been some of this done in earlier Bleach storylines and chapters, I think this is some of the worst use of overpowered characters that I’ve personally seen. The only upside is that these more recent chapters of Bleach have been very quick reads.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:003

This chapter begins a storyline about a photo voyeurism incident. As expected, Pine and Abaku are brought in to resolve the case. We see that Tento is helping Abaku with his work, and he asks Abaku why he’s staying at this school instead of moving on, since that’s what he normally does. Abaku says it’s so he can kill a certain student. Pine also declares that she won’t leave this school until she defeats Abaku.

We discover that the person Abaku is defending is Uozumi, one of his classmates. The victim in the photo voyeurism case is also one of their classmates. Abaku decides to do a crime scene inspection, and he finds it impossible for a camera to somehow be hidden in the victim’s shoe locker. We also meet Airi (the victim’s) best friend, Kuniko. There’s an exchange between Kuniko and Uozumi, and Abaku seems to pick up on something during their conversation.

But when Tento goes to Abaku’s “office” to get the keys he left behind, he finds clippings of articles about the Bloody Classroom Massacre, where an entire first grade class was massacred five years earlier; this was the case that was the impetus for the creation of the School Judgment System. Tento recalls what Abaku said earlier about killing a student…

So this chapter sets the scene for the next classroom arbitration session, which is set to start during the next chapter. But this chapter also starts to provide some development for Abaku as well. He seems to have some kind of a connection with the Bloody Classroom Massacre, and this seems to be the driving force for why he’s part of the School Judgment System. It was stated in an earlier chapter that Abaku didn’t become a prosecutor through the usual way, so I expect that this is somehow also tied in with the Bloody Classroom Massacre. Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment continues to be an interesting read, and it was definitely the best of the three titles in this wave of the “Jump Start” initiative.

It was announced at the end of this issue that Gakkyu Hotei: School JudgmentWeekly Shonen Jump.

Naruto CH:007

This is the seventh chapter of the Naruto manga, which is being published as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative.

This chapter continues Team 7’s survival exercise. This time, we see Sasuke trying to go against Kakashi; while he’s doing a lot better than Naruto did, but he still isn’t able to best Kakashi. The timer goes off, signaling the end of the exercise. Naruto is tied to a stump, while Sasuke and Sakura sit on the ground next to him. Right at the end of the chapter, Kakashi states that none of them will ever be shinobi.

This chapter truly allows the reader to see Sasuke in action, and it backs up what he’s said about his talent up to this point. Naruto ends up acting like the knuckleheaded ninja that he’s known to be at this point, and Sakura’s more concerned about Sasuke than anything else. It’s a real shocker to not just the characters, but to the reader as well, when Kakashi declares that his students will never become shinobi.

According to the end, it says that Chapter Eight will appear for the “Jump Back” initiative in next week’s issue. I’m thinking that I’ve been right in guessing that Naruto will continue to run in this initiative until we reach the end of this particular story arc. This arc should be ending soon, so it shouldn’t be part of this initiative for too much longer.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (December 8, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Nisekoi: False Love, Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, Gakkyu Hotei: School Judment, World Trigger, Bleach, Hi-Fi Cluster, E-ROBOT, Toriko, Food Wars!, and Blue Exorcist. In addition, this issue also includes the sixth chapter of Naruto as part of the “Jump Back” initiative, as well as “Food Wars! Japanese Editor Picks.”

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.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:150

This chapter opens with the announcement that it’s almost time for Raku and his class to take their class trip; this time, it’s a trip to Kyoto. As expected, Raku already has some members of his harem asking to be in his group. It turns out there’s a famous shrine of love in Kyoto with a miraculous 90% success rate for having your love requited. But then it’s revealed that this year, the groups will be chosen by lottery. After the lottery is finished, we see that all of the main characters are in the same group together, except for Raku. He ends up in a group of guys who tease him mercilessly for his situation. On the day of the trip, Raku is running late and ends up having to help an old lady get to her destination/ He contacts Yui and says he’ll get a same-day ticket and catch up. He’s told to go to the school to be picked up by a taxi, along with another student running late; that student ends up being Onodera.

When I first saw that this story arc would be featuring a class trip, I almost groaned, “Is Komi reusing another story idea?” Fortunately, as I read the chapter, I determined that it would be a different class trip story from the one that appeared earlier in the series. I also liked seeing Raku not end up in the same group as the other main characters, because this was a refreshing change of pace. However, I was a little disappointed to see that Onodera ended up being late as well as Raku. However, this does provide the opportunity for some more character development between these two. At this point, it seems as if Komi’s dropping hints that Raku will somehow end up with Onodera at the end of this.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:028

This chapter continues Yu’s encounter with Lucal, and we see the rest of his squad come to back him up. Lucal is about to try to finish them off when Narumi’s squad jumps in to help out Shinoa’s squad; but before Narumi can do anything, Shinoa gets in the way. The battle with Lucal gets intense as the chapter continues. But as it looks like they have Lucal trapped with a chain around his arm, Lucal cuts off his arm to free himself. Both squads try to work together after this to take down Lucal. They’re able to use curse power on Lucal so he is unable to heal his wounds, which allows them to take him down.

The scene then changes to Guren and his squad trying to take down another vampire noble. They’re able to take him down, but it’s rather close since Guren didn’t assign as many people to this group. But their victory is short-lived when they’re approached by Kusunoki, who’s badly wounded. It turns out the 30-man attack team sent to Nagoya City Hall has lost 10 soldiers and the remaining 20 have been taken hostage; also, the vampires want the humans to come to them. After Kusunoki passes, a member of Guren’s squad says that this is an obvious trap. Guren adds Crowley Eusford, the thirteenth progenitor, to the hit list.

Overall, this was a rather action oriented chapter for Seraph of the End. It was great to see Shinoa and Narumi squads, who had been fighting constantly before heading out on this mission, being able to work together and take down their target. But when the story changes to Guren’s squad, the danger level is increased, especially after hearing about what happened to the 30-man attack team. As we see right at the end, this was definitely set as a trap. With Crowley now being added to the hit list, I expect to see the focus of the story shift to Guren going after Crowley at Nagoya City Hall.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:002

Abaku tells Tento to bring a witness to the stand: he brings in a fish tank. Ms. Shiratori sees the fish and realizes that it’s Suzuki, the fish that was supposedly killed. It’s revealed that the fish that was killed was an ordinary sea bass that Tento purchased and swapped for Suzuki, and Abaku explains what happened in detail. Tento also displays a note he received the day after the vote that said it was known that he was the boy who voted to save Suzuki, and that if he didn’t want to be exposed, we would have to kill the fish. Tento explains why he had told the boys that he would vote yes, and that he was afraid of being exposed as a traitor because he didn’t want to be lonely again. Pine desperately tries to come up with reasons why Tento is guilty, but Abaku finds ways to shoot them down, too. It’s revealed that the teacher played a big hand in what went down. In the end, the boys forgive Tento.

I liked how this case turned out. Honestly, I wasn’t able to guess what the real story was before Abaku explained it all at the trial. I have a feeling that this is ultimately leading to Abaku and Pine having to face off against each other over various cases, with Abaku somehow always coming out on top. While that could become formulaic, it all depends on how each case is handled in the manga. Of the three “Jump Start” initiative titles this time around, I would have to say that Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment is the strongest of the three.

World Trigger CH:086

At the beginning of the chapter, we see that it’s decided to take the points that were awarded to Osamu and Yuma and transfer them to Chika so she can be promoted to B-Rank. By doing this, Osamu forms a B-Rank squad with Chika and Yuma.

It’s the day of the B-Rank Wars. After an explanation for how they work, they begin. After Yuma does something impressive, Yoshizato Squad bails out, Mamiya Squad won’t move away from the building that they’re by. Chika is also able to contribute, and Mamiya Squad also bails out. With just that one battle, Chika and Yuma jump up to 12th place. The chapter ends with their victory.

So it appears that the next arc for World Trigger will be focusing on the Rank Wars, especially since this chapter ends with it being announced who Chika and Yuma’s next competitors will be. This could end up being an interesting arc, as long as it’s not stretched out like the most recent battle had been. So far, this has been a nice break from following the battle with the Neighbors for so many months.

Bleach CH:608

Ichibe uses “Paint It Black,” and his brush transforms into a blade; however, Yhwach doesn’t sense any spiritual pressure from it. This is a sword with no name, and everything it paints over loses its name. Yhwach uses Saint Altar and tries to steal Ichibe’s power. He succeeds, but the power he stole doesn’t belong to Yhwach. At the end of the chapter, Ichibe declares that all the black in the world becomes his.

Once again, here’s another chapter that has a short bit of battle with a lot of explanation and taunting. Really, very little progress was made in this particular chapter, and I wish this arc would get moving. It really feels like it’s moving at a glacial pace, and it’s harder and harder for me to stay interested in what’s going on because so little happens from chapter to chapter at this point. Please. Kubo, let’s get this story moving already!

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:013

This chapter continues the chase that started at the end of the previous chapter. The getaway driver suddenly goes into reverse and begins using weapons on the vehicle to attack Kandera, Peta, and the others. Kandera and the getaway driver authenticate gestures, and it’s revealed that the getaway driver is using a Hi-Fi ability that is absolute space perception. Heckt and Ekusa also get involved in the chase. Peta also gets involved and tries to rescue the girl that’s inside the car, but she freaks out, starts crying, and authenticates her gesture. It turns out her ability is to blow things up…

This chapter focuses exclusively on Kandera and the others chasing after the getaway driver and the girl he has in the car. We knew from the previous chapter that the girl had a Hi-Fi ability, but this is the first time that we learn what her ability is. And what a doozy of an ability it is! How can Kandera and the others possibly rescue her? It’ll be interesting to see how this story progresses.

E-ROBOT CH:003

Yuuki’s friend Tanaka comes to school and he looks all beaten up. It turns out some third-years took Tanaka’s treasure hoard (aka porno mags). Hikari walks in, and Tanaka tells her what happened without using the word “porno,” and she says she’ll go reason with them. Yuuki tries to stop her and then declares that he will be the one to get them back.

When then see Yuuki and Ai going to the third-years’ hideout. After Yuuki can finally get out why they’re there, the third-years say they’re not going to give Tanaka’s collection back. During the fight, we learn that in the three days between learning about the theft and going to take care of it, Ai trained Yuuki in her special self-defense course, Boob-Fu. During the fight, we also see Yuuki have a flashback to how he and Tanaka met and became friends…

Basically, this chapter is more of the “fanservice” that’s been present in the previous two chapters. Ultimately, this manga feels like it comes up with thin stories and puts it focus on trying to include as much fanservice as possible. While this manga will appeal to a certain demographic of manga readers, it really doesn’t seem like it will much in the way of mainstream appeal with readers in the U.S. I’m glad that this is the last chapter for the “Jump Start” initiative, and hopefully I’ll never have to see this one ever again.

Toriko CH:304

Well, it turns out what Sunny saw were destroyed poison dolls, so he thinks there’s a chance that everyone is still alive. Sunny has to take in Coco’s poison, and he does so successfully. Sunny quickly finds Coco and gives him his poison back. Coco then senses electromagnetic waves from the others and confirms that they’re still alive. Once they’re all together, they ask Kaka what happened. Kaka informs them that what they had wasn’t a battle, it was a game; the monkey king was playing the whole time. And what Sunny ultimately saw was Bambina sneezing from the Sundoriko pollen that Kaka had released. After learning all of this, Toriko and the others decide they’re not ready to face Bambina yet, since they aren’t even cut out to be his playmates. But after Komatsu has an emergency, they decide they need to go through Monkey Martial Arts training.

I knew there was no way that all of these characters would suddenly be killed off! I had no idea how they would have survived, but I knew that they must have. For me, it was interesting to see these usually cocky characters knocked down a couple of pegs after realizing they couldn’t even make good playmates for the monkey king. They were definitely in need of some humility, and it looks like the monkey king gave it to them. But they’re starting to recover from their wounded pride and are getting ready to train. I suspect the next chapter will be focusing on their training.

Food Wars! CH:098

This chapter sees Soma working at cooking his pike. Also, it’s revealed that Ryo will be making Acqua Pazza, which comes complete with an explanation of what the dish is and why Ryo picked it. There’s also a flashback that shows how Alice and Ryo came to know each other and how their rivalry developed.

This chapter ended up focusing very heavily on Ryo. I didn’t mind, though, since I really know nothing about him due to jumping into the series in the middle like this. This chapter also allowed me to see a little more of what Alice was like when she was younger. While we see a little bit of Soma here, he’s definitely not the one being focused on. I wonder if the next chapter will place the focus on the third contestant. But hopefully this competition won’t be stretched out for a ridiculously long time.

Food Wars! Japanese Editor Picks

This feature sees Seijiro Nakaji, the Japanese editor for Food Wars!, providing behind the scenes insight into the manga. He shares his favorite chapters and why they’re his favorites, how work is done for Food Wars!, and his favorite part of Food Wars! Fans of the series may learn something interesting from this feature.

Blue Exorcist CH:063

It appears that everything is winding down, but then Shima appears. After having some parting words, Shima leaves. Rin and the others realize they have to leave fast because the zombies are closing in; however, Kinzo arrives arrives with some others to start taking down the zombies. The surrounding area is now under control.

It’s now another day, and everyone is recovering. Izumo wakes up and we leaen that Professor Gedoin managed to escape. She’s also disappointed that she doesn’t know where Tsukumo is. She is approached by someone telling her that Tsukumo is still alive and gives her a key that will lead her to her sister. Izumo leaves and she finds her sister, who is now living under the name Tsukiko Takara. The President of Takara Computer Entertainment took her in, which makes her the informant’s cousin. Izumo approaches Tsukumo, but it turns out that Tsukumo has no memory of Izumo. Izumo goes to see Kamiki and shares her feelings about learning about Tsukumo and the fact that her sister doesn’t recognize her. Izumo and Kamiki end up sharing a moment.

So it looks like this particular story arc has come to its conclusion. It was a rather bittersweet conclusion for Izumo, but at least she now has closure when it comes to Tsukumo. But it appears that with both Professor Gedoin and Shima escaping that this story isn’t entirely over yet. I assume at this point that they’ll both appear again at some point and cause more trouble.

Naruto CH:006

This is the sixth chapter of the Naruto manga, which is being published as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative.

This chapter continues Team 7’s survival exercise. Naruto continues to have problems due to acting rashly and not thinking about the fact that Kakashi could be laying traps. Sasuke finally jumps into action, but Kakashi uses a substitution jutsu to thwart Sasuke’s attack. Kakashi also uses a genjutsu on Sakura to make her think that Sasuke is injured, which causes Sakura to faint.

Chapter Six shows off some jutsu that ninjas can use in battle, and it also allows us to see Sasuke in action. It continues to set the stage for where this exercise is ultimately going to lead the story.

The seventh chapter will appear in the next issue of Weekly Shonen Jump, so I’m thinking I’m right that Naruto will be featured in the “Jump Back” initiative until the story reaches the conclusion of the survival exercise arc.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (December 1, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, Food Wars!, Bleach, E-ROBOT, One Piece, Takujo no Ageha: The Table Tennis of Ageha, Toriko, Hi-Fi Cluster, World Trigger, and Nisekoi: False Love. In addition, this issue also includes the fifth chapter of Naruto as part of 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.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:001

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment is the third title that’s being included as part of the second wave of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Start” initiative.

Japanese education is going through an Era of Educational Collapse, and the government introduces a new system into grade schools across the country: the School Judgment System. It is of the children, and for the children, and features classroom arbitration.

In Chapter One, we see two new transfer students at Himawari City Tenbin Elementary School: Pine Hanzuki and Abaku Inugami. The teacher lectures Abaku for having a videogame in class, and he starts questioning her about it, much in the way a lawyer questions in a court of law. He uses argument to refute her theories and ultimately defeat her.

Later, we hear students talking about the Suzuki murder and dismemberment case. Abaku approaches a student named Tento Nanhoshi and declares that he’s been appointed to defend Tento at the upcoming class session. We also learn that Pine is a prosecutor and that she has an interest in magical girls. It’s then explained that when an incident occurs in a classroom, two transfer students are immediately dispatched: a prosecutor and a defense attorney. After gathering evidence and testimony, they face off in a Classroom Arbitration Session. Even though it’s a grade school version of a trial, the verdicts do have legal binding force; the only sentence that’s off the table is capital punishment.

Abaku interviews Tento about the case, and it turns out the class had been raising a fish in order to eat it at the end. This caused the class to break into two factions: Eat and Don’t Eat. A vote was held, and the Don’t Eat faction won. But three mornings later, Suzuki was found dead in the aquarium and torn into pieces. Tento is suspected because he was the last to see Suzuki and a fish scale was found on his scissors. We learn that Tento voted with the Eat faction, so he could be seen as having a motive. As the days go on, Abaku seems to start piecing together what’s been going on. He presents Tento with a witness summons form, and Abaku delcares that this witness will be their trump card. We also see that Pine has been investigating Abaku, and she has questions about how he became an attorney.

The day of the Class Arbitration Session arrives, and we see Pine set everything up so it appears that Tento is guilty. However, just as we’re about to see who Abaku has called, we’re told that we’ve run out of time for this week, and are given a couple of clues as to who the witness could be.

Well, I have to say that this has an interesting concept behind it. It’s basically a mystery manga, except we’re seeing the mystery from the judicial angle instead of the investigative angle like what Case Closed does. I also thought the idea of making the “trump card” witness a cliffhanger was a smart idea. If this series is done in this kind of format, it will definitely make me interested in coming back week after week. I’m a Case Closed fan, and I also enjoy mysteries, so Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment shows a lot of promise to me. Of the three titles in this wave of the “Jump Start” initiative, Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment is showing the most promise.

Food Wars! CH:097

This chapter introduces the audience to the judges for the competition, and it turns out one of them is Alice’s mother. Alice’s mom makes it clear to Soma that she’s not happy with him beating Alice earlier, and if she thinks his cooking doesn’t taste good, she might get mad. The chapter ends just as the competition is officially started,

This chapter was basically bunch of buildup to the start of the cooking competition in order to lay the foundation for what’s to come. The other point of this chapter is to introduce and establish Alice’s mother in order to add another layer to Soma’s stakes in the competition. I admit to being a little disappointed, because I’d really been given the impression at the end of the previous chapter that the competition would begin. Oh, well. At least it’s guaranteed that the competition will begin in the next chapter.

Bleach CH:607

This chapter continues the battle between Yhwach and Ichibe Hyosube. It’s revealed that Ichibe’s plan didn’t work the way he thought it would, because it turns out no one can take anything away from Yhwach. But Ichibe atacks again using Hyappo Rankan, but Yhwach uses a protective barrier to protect himself. Ichibe uses another attack that Yhwach deflects. But Ichibe’s getting pretty mad, and launches another attack when the chapter ends…

OK, this is starting to get as ridiculous as what I was seeing in Naruto near the end of the Fourth Great Ninja War arc. It really feels like that Tite Kubo is trying to keep upping the ante to ridiculous levels to the point that the characters are overpowered simply to stretch the series out a little longer. There’s been so little progress to the story in recent months that it’s kind of sad. The fighting is kind of cool to look at, but when you realize just how long it’s been going on, it starts to get weary after a while. Please, Kubo, let’s progress the story already!

E-ROBOT CH:002

In this chapter, Yuuki learns from his father that Ai is in school with him so he can help her live up to her full potential. Also, Yuuki is warned not to tell anyone that Ai is a robot. While interactions are going on in the classroom that feature Yuuki and Ai, Hikari watches and doesn’t look happy. Unfortunately, Yuuki accidentally triggers the switch for the boobjectiles and has to touch her again to turn it off. Of course, this continues to give Hikari the wrong idea. Ai keeps coming up with bizarre and pervy ideas to try to help Yuuki change Hikari’s mind about him. Unfortunately, Ai released her heart-pounding perfume, which causes nearby girls to start trying to go after Yuuki. At one point, a member of the girls’ judo team pushes Yuuki’s face into her breasts. And then he’s pursued by the swim team and the cheer squad. But then we see boys start chasing after Ai as well. Ai uses more fanservice to try to get herself and Yuuki out of the situation they’re in.

Yuuki manages to make it to the roof where Hikari is, and he tries to explain the situation. Ai intervenes, but it turns out that Hikari seems to have already figured out that Yuuki and Ai were only trying to save her. In the end, Yuuki doesn’t manage to confess his feelings to Hikari, but they do seem to be a little closer.

Yet more of the pervy antics that we saw in Chapter One. There’s supposed to be an overaching story with Yuuki and Hikari, but it seems to be thin at best. The main focus of this series is definitely on the fanservice. It didn’t get any better for me by the end of Chapter Two than it had been at the end of Chapter One. I’m definitely not in the target market for this title.

One Piece CH:769

The battle between Doflamingo and Law continues. During the battle, Doflamingo reminds Law about the message that Corazon had asked Law to send and tells him that Corazon was trying to save Dressrosa. Doflamingo taunts him and says that if he hadn’t screwed up that way, the tragedies in Dressrosa wouldn’t have happened. And then their battle continues. Meanwhile, Bellamy is trying to fight Luffy. It seems that Bellamy is down for the count, but he finds a second wind and declares that his battle with Luffy will be his last.

There’s a little bit of fighting that takes place in this chapter, but the primary focus is on tying this story back to Law’s flashback, as well as some character development for Bellamy. While this story may be taking a while, at least the pacing feels a little more natural than the pacing that’s been going on in Bleach recently. But hopefully these fights will progress sooner rather than later.

Takujo no Ageha: The Table Tennis of Ageha CH:003

It’s explained that at one time, Japan produced a group of 13 world champions and reigned atop the world of table tennis, but since those years, not a single Japanese player has cracked the upper echelons. Players who have inherited those champions’ techniques are now in high school and are the 13 “golden successors.” Ageha is one of those 13 successors.

This chapter briefly introduces us to Tora, who I’m guessing is also one of the 13 successors. He has a picture of Ageha and says a dumb old geezer wants him to destroy Ageha. We then see Ageha trying to convince Ririka to establish a table tennis team so he can crush the other 12 “golden successors”; he needs her help because the boys at their school won’t join unless she permits them. Unfortunately, it appears the boys have already learned about the deal that unless Ageha stands on top of the world of table tennis, he won’t learn his master’s secret technique and he can’t marry Ageha. The boys are so angry that they say they’ll never join Ageha’s table tennis team. But Miyaji, who Ageha beat in the previous chapter, submits an application form to Ageha to join the team.

Miyaji begins helping them rebuild the table tennis team, and he wants to introduce Ageha to Taketora. It turns out that Taketora is the Tora we were introduced to at the beginning of the chapter. He’s a total perv and we see girls rubbing their breasts against him. When he sees Ririka, he places his head into her breasts, and she’s not happy about it. Ageha and Tora exchange words, and they play a match against each other. Ageha is surprised by how well Tora can play. We learn that Tora is a “golden successor,” and he inherited the techniques of the one who was “the fastest.”

Ugh, here we go with yet more tropes, with perviness added in to boot. While the amount of “fanservice” in this chapter was nowhere near as bad as in E-ROBOT, there was still more than I would normally expect for a sports manga. After reading these three chapters, there wasn’t a whole lot to grab my interest here. It seems to be relying way too heavily on tropes that are all to common in either the shonen or sports manga, and then decided it needed to add in some fanservice to try to make the story a little more interesting. Of the three titles in this wave of the “Jump Start” initiative, I would have to put this one in the middle. But it’s not a series I’d be in a hurry to read again, so I’m hoping I don’t ever have to see it in Weekly Shonen Jump again.

Toriko CH:303

This chapter sees Toriko encountering Bambina, the Monkey King. Zebra gets into an attack stance, and Toriko and Coco fall into support positions. Sunny blinks, and when he opens his eyes, he sees that everyone is gone. As he looks around, he sees dismembered body parts of his comrades. When Sunny realizes what happened, he is in despair…

Uh… what?!? What just happened here? I can’t believe that that almost all of the major characters were just killed off. That has to be a hallucination or something… it just has to. It can’t be what it appears to be… but how can this be explained? This is probably the first time I’m truly looking forward to reading the next chapter of Toriko in order to find out what’s going to happen next.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:012

Kandera, Peta, Miri, Ekusa, and Heckt are trying to follow the Hi-Fi trail to try to find Landscape Mole. We see them following a lead that Kandera got from hearing a rumor. Miri spots an odd-looking taxi, and Peta uses his Hi-Fi ability and discovers there’s a Hi-Fi inside of it. They follow the taxi in a car chase, and they hit a barricade. The taxi jumps over the barricade, and as the barricade guards chase after it they are attacked. Peta also realizes that there are two Hi-Fi Loaders inside the taxi, and that one of the Loaders is a child…

It appears that this chapter is basically setting the stage for the next part of the story, which seems to involve Landscape Mole trying to gather Hi-Fi Loaders for whatever he plans to do. From what we see of the taxi driver, it appears that he could be Landscape Mole with weird-looking eyes. It could be someone else, but the similarities in the face is rather uncanny. It was also interesting to see that there’s a Hi-Fi Loader that’s a child. The writing says the child is supposed to be about five or six, but the way she’s drawn she looks more like she’s somewhere between eight and ten years of age.

World Trigger CH:085

This chapter sees Osamu going up to the podium at the press conference and addressing the assembled reporters. The Border higher-ups try defending him, but Osamu says he’ll speak for himself. Osamu is grilled quite heavily by the reporters. During the grilling, Osamu says that he’ll find a way to bring back the 32 people who have gone missing. Osamu’s actions force Border to admit to top secret missions of unmanned trips to the Neighbor world. Commander Kido also works at putting the reporters in their place. Now the reporters buzz about a rescue mission to bring people back from the Neighbor world. Also, Osamu’s mother starts to understand better why he wants to be in Border.

This chapter basically focuses on the press conference, as well as lays out the groundwork for the upcoming rescue mission. The reader is also given the impression that Osamu and Yuma will also be working at trying to become A-Rank Border agents, so I suspect the next arc will cover their attempt at going up to the next rank in Border. And after that, I suspect we’ll see the rescue mission carried out. I have no idea how long the author will spend on either of these plots, though, so it could ultimately take a couple of months or an entire year. It’ll be interesting to see how the story continues to play out going forward.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:149

Chitoge says she wants to eat oyakodon, but Tsugumi says she doesn’t know how to make it. Chitoge tells Tsugumi to have Raku come over so he can teach her how. While Raku is there, he comes to realize that Tsugumi is not only a good cook, but she can sew, too. Raku realizes that Tsugumi’s situation is a lot like Yui’s, and asks Tsugumi if she’s okay. During their discussion, we get to see some panels with flashbacks of when Tsugumi and Chitoge were children.

This was a great character development chapter for Tsugumi. And getting to see the flashback panels was so sweet, and Tsugumi and Chitoge looked so cute! This is one of the better chapters of Nisekoi: False Love that I’ve read recently, and I wish more of the chapters could be like this. Overall, Nisekoi: False Love is an average manga, but it does have its moments, like this chapter, where the series shines and rises above average.

Naruto CH:005

This is the fifth chapter of the Naruto manga, which is being published as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative.

This chapter gets the survival exercise training going. Early on, Kakashi teaches his new pupils battle skills, such as taijutsu. Naruto tries to take down Kakashi, but the teacher can deflect his attacks very minimal effort. During the exercise, Naruto uses his shadow clone jutsu, which surprises everyone. But when he launches his attack, something unexpected happens…

This is the chapter that officially introduces the reader to the now legendary book series, Make-Out Paradise, which is part of the Make-Out series that Kakashi enjoys reading so much. It’s also interesting to re-read these early chapters and realize just how much Kakashi’s character progressed over the course of the series. This particular chapter focused on Naruto’s interactions with Kakashi, but I know that we’ll be seeing more of Sakura and Sasuke during the exercise before too much longer.

Also, it appears that Chapter Six will be appearing in next week’s issue of Weekly Shonen Jump. I’m starting to think they’ll be running Naruto as part of the “Jump Back” initiative until this survival exercise is finished, so that way Team 7 can officially be formed.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump:

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (November 24, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for E-ROBOT, One Piece, World Trigger, Food Wars!, Takujo no Ageha: The Table Tennis of Ageha, Toriko, Bleach, Nisekoi: False Love, Hi-Fi Cluster, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. In addition, this issue also includes the fourth chapter of Naruto as part of 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.

E-ROBOT CH:001

This is the second series for Weekly Shonen Jump‘s second batch of titles for their “Jump Start” initiative.

Yuuki Rindo wants to declare his love to Hikari Shirahama, but he ends up not going through with it. Since Yuuki’s father works with robots, his friend suggests that Yuuki should havw his dad create a robot so he can practice his confession. As Yuuki is walking down the street, he sees a cat in danger in the road and tries to rescue it. Just as it looks like Yuuki is going to be hit, he is saved by a mysterious girl who stops the truck by using her breasts. Oh, and her butt ends up in Yuuki’s face during this. Later, he learns the girl is actually a robot known as Ai Roborovskil. Oh, and Ai was able to heal Yuuki’s injuries by producing a strong ointment in her mouth and licks it over him.

Yuuki gets a phone call from his father, and learns that Ai is a weapon that his father developed; she’s the “ultimate erotic weapon, E-ROBOT. Yuuki’s father says he needs to demonstrate with Ai can do to the stubborn academic community, and asks Yuuki to help him do that. Yuuki tries to run away, but Ai catches up to him. Yuuki tells Ai about his situation with Hikari, and Ai decides to try to help him with his love confession. On television, they see a news report that a bank has been taken over by robbers and that Hikari is a hostage inside the bank. At the scene, Ai does an erotic dance and Yuuki gives a commentary in order to get the robbers’ attention. When one of the robbers opens the shutter, Ai and Yuuki make it inside. Ai does another fanservice thing in order to distract the robbers so Yuuki can try to save Hikari. Ai then adjusts her breasts to the perfect angle for every bullet’s trajectory and deflecting them. But it turns out the robbers have a bomb rigged to explode in three minutes, and Ai asks Yuuki to grope her chest. After some hesitation, Yuuki does it and activates a firing switch. The switch causes her breasts to become projectiles.

Yuuki goes to confess his feelings to Hikari at the end of the chapter, but Ai appears at just the wrong moment. It didn’t help that the police told her everything that happened while she was unconscious, so now Hikari has the wrong idea. And right at the end, we see Ai is a new transfer student in Yuuki’s class.

OK, this is even worse than Takujo no Ageha: The Table Tennis of Ageha. With this chapter, it feels more like it wants to focus on the fanservice than on an actual plot. I’d go so far as to say this manga is coming across as rather stupid. If I’m going to read a manga about a cute robot girl, I’d much rather read Chobits over E-ROBOT! I’m forced to read this one for two more weeks, but I hope that after its “Jump Start” run is through that we’ll never see it appear in Weekly Shonen Jump again.

One Piece CH:768

Well, it turns out I was wrong in my writeup last week. I thought for sure there would be one more week of Law’s flashback, but we return to current time in this chapter. By returning to current time, we return to the fight between Law and Doflamingo that was taking place before Law jumped into his flashback. But we don’t stay there very long, and we start getting brief glimpses of the other battlefronts that are spread across Dressrosa. Then, we return to see the next slight bit of Law’s battle right at the end of the chapter.

Phew! After reading through Law’s flashbacks for the past several weeks, I’d forgotten just how dizzying the manga has been in regards to the various battlefronts taking place in Dressrosa. I understand needing to re-establish what had been going on in the other battlefronts, but the way it was done felt rather dizzying to me as a reader. And I’m really hoping that this story arc comes to an end soon, because this has been the only story arc running for the roughly nine months that I’ve been reading Weekly Shonen Jump.

World Trigger CH:084

Karasawa tells Osamu’s mother that he needs to borrow Osamu for a little bit. She protests at first, but Karasawa tells her that he’s received permission from Osamu’s doctors. Osamu and Yuma are taken to a press conference. They watch from backstage as the higher-ups at Border tackle questions about the fact that were victims inside Border’s facilities. It’s pointed out that while this attack was about eight times that of the Neighbor attack four years ago, they only suffered 1/40th the casualties. The higher-ups continue to be grilled by the media over their handling of the attack. Osamu’s use of Trigger as a trainee earlier in the series is brought up during this press conference, which is asked by a reporter who was a plant by Mr. Netsuki in order to divert the press’ wrath from all of Border to just one agent. This is why Osamu was brought to the press conference. Right at the end of the chapter, Osamu emerges from backstage and begins talking to the reporters.

After reading this chapter, I’m glad that I’ve seen the first five episodes of the World Trigger anime, since this chapter makes references to events that took place during the episodes that I’ve seen up to this point. With that knowledge from seeing the anime, it made this chapter a much stronger and easier to understand read. I’m glad to see those early events brought back up again, because they tie in quite nicely with what’s being talked about at the press conference. And it’s awesome to see Osamu having the guts to go out there and try to defend himself in front of the reporters. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Osamu in the next chapter.

Food Wars! CH:096

Soma goes to see Nikumi to ask her to teach him about aging meat. It’s now nine days to the finals, and Soma tries the three varieties of aging that he’s been taught; this also includes some technical explanations of how to do them. While he waits for the fish to age, Soma decides he’ll go to the dockside market every day to improve his eye for picking fish. We then move ahead in time three days, and the first batch of the aged fish is tried. When Megumi and Soma try them, they declare that the fresh pike Kurokiba had prepared from them the other day tasted better than these. However, Soma does admit that their umami did improve significantly. But through a conversation with Miss Fumio, Soma gets an idea.

It’s now the day of the finals, and the other competitors notice that Soma isn’t at the dockside market. Right at the end of the chapter, the three contestants reveal their fish, and everyone is surprised by Soma’s fish.

This chapter sees Soma finally figuring out what he needs to do and setting the stage to get the actual finals going. For the most part, it wasn’t a terribly exciting chapter, but one that needed to be there so the events of the finals can take place. I think it’s safe to say that the finals will begin in the next chapter of Food Wars!, but at this point, who knows how this story arc will ultimately conclude. My guess is that Soma will win, but I’m not sure just how he’ll do it.

Takujo no Ageha: The Table Tennis of Ageha CH:002

Ririka is told by her grandfather that he decided to arrange a marriage because she refuses to play table tennis and won’t take over the center after he retires and he wanted to make sure she was married off to someone with a passion for the game. Ririke says she’s so beautiful that every man wants her and she doesn’t want to be stuck with a boring guy like Ageha. But to herself, she thinks Ageha’s pretty amazing when he’s holding a racket. Ageha says this is the first time he’s heard of this, and he declares that he doesn’t have any intention of getting married until he stands atop the world of table tennis. Ririka’s grandfather says he won’t teach his techniques to Ageha unless he marries Ririka. They both insist that they’re not getting married.

Later, Ririka asks Ageha why he’s so devoted to table tennis. He says it’s because of his love for the game. A couple of guys are there who are table tennis hustlers who look to play people with money on the line. This is against the rules of the center, and Ageha tries to tell them to leave. These guys are also hitting on Ririka. When they refuse, Ageha asks to let him play against them; if they win, they can do whatever they want with Ririka, and if they lose, they must promise to never bet on table tennis again. He says they will be playing doubles, with him and Ririka as a novice. As they play, Ageha tells Ririka what she needs to do to hit the ball. As they play, Ririka finds that she can return the ball. At the end, Ririka gets so excited when she smashes a ball back that Ageha tells her that she enjoys table tennis. It turns out Ririka’s grandfather was behind the two guys coming in.

Ririka’s grandfather tells Ageha that first, he needs to reach the top of the high school table tennis world. It turns out all 13 Golden Successors will be at the tournament. and they are students of each of the 13 champions who shone in Japan’s golden age of table tennis.

Sigh. It looks like this series is still trying to rely so heavily on various shonen tropes, whether they’re regular shonen tropes or tropes used in sports manga. I’m predicting that as the series goes on, Ririka will be forced to play table tennis for one reason or another and somehow discover that she actually likes the game. While this chapter wasn’t as bad as the first chapter, the series is still feeling very derivative. However, I have to say that this series is actually better than E-ROBOT. Hopefully the third series for the “Jump Start” initiative will be stronger than either of the first two that were introduced in this wave.

Toriko CH:302

Toriko and the others arrive at the Birthcry Tree; it turns out it’s also known as the Stardust Tree. The stars they see in the sky are Acacia’s Soup, Food Treasure Pair. It’s also revealed that Pair is the symbol of Bambina’s reproductive organs. Toriko has mixed feelings about substituting Pair for Komatsu’s heart. It turns out that Pair is the hardest food to capture in Acacia’s full-course meal. They then move on to head toward the Zero Mountain Range. As they head along, they see wild Sundorikos. If they are even slightly disturbed, all aboard the Choo-Choo Chomper are in grave danger.

We are then presented with narration and a montage of their journey through the Zero Mountain Range, and there are only four days remaining before Komatsu’s time is up. Then, they arrive at 100 G Mountain, and discover that it’s a pretty dangerous place with its intense gravitational pull. Right at the end of the chapter, Toriko is approached by Bambina…

The vast majority of this chapter focuses on providing more exposition and establishing the locations that Toriko and the others go to. While the information being provided is needed, the exposition did drag the chapter down and bit and made it seem to be a bit borting. But I think it’s safe to say that with the way the chapter ended that there should be more in the way of action in the next chapter.

Bleach CH:606

This chapter continues with the battle between Yhwach and Ichibe Hyosube briefly, and then the story shifts its focus to Kisuke and the Visored. The Visored are unhappy that Urahara sent Ichigo and the others ahead of them. We also get to meet Yoruichi’s sister, Yushiro Shihoin.

Then, we return to Yhwach and Ichibe’s battle. It appears that Ichibe’s getting the upper hand again, but the final panel seems to suggest otherwise…

Recently, I’ve been having a hard time having much commentary on the Bleach chapters. I think my favorite part of this chapter was learning that Yoruichi has a sister and getting to meet her. Outside of that, the other scenes are just so short that just as you’re starting to get into what’s going on, the scene changes. I wish I was more excited about reading these chapters of Bleach than I am, because I really enjoyed the series with its early chapters.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:148

In this chapter, Yui continues to go at the same pace she had been before she collapsed, and Raku is concerned about her. She insists that she’s fine and now she feels like she can do anything. We see that Yui’s bodyguard is watching her closely, and comments that Yui seems really different; she’s working harder than ever but doesn’t seem tired. When they get home that night, Yui and Raku find that the wall dividing their rooms is gone. Yui’s bodyguard says she did it in order to force them to get married. The bodyguard says she’s doing this in order to address the crisis of succession for the Char Siu syndicate, since Yui currently doesn’t have any family. They are informed that a marriage between them is not optional. The bodyguard finds ways to force Raku and Yui into various situations that include Raku being able to see Yui with little to no clothing on. Yui later finds her futon gone and a note telling her to sleep with Raku…

OK, I know this manga tries to present outrageous situations, but this chapter just felt over the top. It seemed like Komi was trying to find as many ways as possible to get Raku into awkward situations. From what I’ve read of the series, I’ve seen Raku end up in the occasional embarrassing and awkward situation, but this chapter piled them on one on top of the other. There were times I felt as if I was being “hit over the head” with it and found it be on the excessive side. And for the most part, I didn’t find the situations they were in to be humorous.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:011

It’s now been a week since the incident in Harajuku. Peta gives some narration as to what’s happened to everyone since then. Peta runs into Nano and they talk, and he tells her what he can about what he’s been doing. As they walk, he sees three guys from their school ganging up on someone. He tells Nano to head home without him, and Peta goes to help the guy being ganged up on. Unfortunately, Peta finds himself getting beat up by the three guys. We are introduced to Yokuto Asukawa, the guy that Peta tries to save. Peta’s phone rings, and it’s Kandera telling him about Hi-Fi’s being brokered. Peta has to leave, and we see Yokuto look sinisters and comment that it must be fate. It’s then revealed that Yokuto is actually Landscape Mole.

When I first saw Yokuto, I had a suspicion that he was really Landscape Mole; this was reinforced when Peta seemed to believe he’d seen him somewhere before for some unknown reason. So I wasn’t caught off guard when Yokuto’s true identity was revealed right at the end of the chapter. I have to admit that when the chapter first started, it almost felt like the author was setting the stage to wrap up the story; fortunately, with the introduction of “Yokuto,” it appears that the story will be continuing for a little while. While Landscape Mole had declared that he was starting a revolution, he hasn’t started it right away. Since the revolution is being built up, it looks like the series can potentially last for a while.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:48

Yuma appears to see his father, and learns his father’s soul is now in the Astral World. Yuma’s father begins going into an explanation as to why he’s in the Astral World. He tells Yuma that unless E’rah is defeated, they have no future. He also relays there is a way to seal her, and begins explaining the four powers that are in the Astral World: land, sea, air, and light. Four priests with these powers were sent to the human world, and those souls transcend the human life span and awaken in the hearts of those who fulfill a mission. And it just so happens that three of them are Kaito, Ryoga, and Yuma. It’s also revealed that it was Yuma’s father who sent Astral to Yuma. The four souls must be awakened and defeat E’rah in a duel. It also turns out that Yagumo has the fourth soul. Yagumo then suddenly decides he wants to go back to when he was innocent, and he sends his Numbers cards over to the others to use in order to save him. The battle against E’rah begins in earnest; unfortunately, it appears that E’rah has the upper hand. Right at the end of the chapter, it appears that Yuma and Astral are going to be destroyed…

The beginning of the chapter was very heavy on exposition, and then relied on coincidences in order to progress the story. I still say that E’rah is very overpowered. Right now, it looks like Yuma and the others are finished, but I’m predicting that somehow they’ll find a way to turn this around. This seems to happen a lot in the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, which makes it feel a little predictable. However, what I’m unable to predict at this point is exactly how the situation will be reversed and will allow Yuma and the others have the upper hand.

Naruto CH:004

This is the fourth chapter of the Naruto manga, which is being published as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative.

This chapter official introduces the reader to Kakashi Hatake, the leader of Team 7. Their first formal training is survival exercises; they must try to get two bells away from Kakashi before a timer sounds. Anyone who fails doesn’t get any lunch. The exercise is just getting going when the chapter ends.

This chapter not only introduces Kakashi to the mix, but it also gives the reader a little more insight into Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke. Admittedly, there’s not a lot of action in this chapter, but some of the dialogue is so amusing here that it’s easier to overlook the overall lack of action.

And according to the end of this chapter, Chapter Five is supposed to be appearing in the next issue of Weekly Shonen Jump. OK, so how long is Weekly Shonen Jump planning to publish older chapters of Naruto? When Death Note was featured for the “Jump Back” initiative, only four chapters were published, so I had assumed it was going to be the same for Naruto. Apparently not, though. I’m wondering if the idea is to get up to the end of the survival exercise story.

Additional reviews of Weekly Shonen Jump: