VIZ Media Announces July 2020 Manga Releases

VIZ Media has announced the company’s manga releases for July 2020.

From Shonen Jump:

Act-Age Volume 1
by Tatsuya Matsuki

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Is there a method to Kei Yonagi’s madness when it comes to acting? The young actor has a family of siblings to feed, but she finds herself struggling with her psychological demons when playing a role. Her desperate acting catches the eye of a famous director, Sumiji Kuroyama, who’s looking for raw talent to mold. Can he help Yonagi navigate the cutthroat world of acting without losing her sanity?

Bleach: Can’t Fear Your Own World Volume 1
Original Concept by Tite Kubo, Written by Ryohgo Narita

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $14.99

The Quincies Thousand Year Blood War is over, but the embers of turmoil still smolder in the Soul Society. Tokinada Tsunayashiro, elevated to head of his clan after a slew of assassinations take out every other claimant to the title, has a grand plan to create a new Soul King. His dark ambitions soon sow the seeds of a new total war across the realms, but all is not lost. There is one unlikely Soul Reaper who holds the key to defusing the conflict—Shuhei Hisagi, Assistant Captain of the Ninth Company and reporter for the Seireitei Bulletin.

Kaguya-sama: Love is War Volume 15
by Aka Akasaka

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Turns out confessing your feelings is the easy part of a romantic relationship… Next you have to figure out how to behave in a relationship. Kaguya retreats behind the protective ice shield she built to protect herself years ago. Miyuki believes only an ideal version of himself is worthy of love. Ai/Haski, as usual, is caught in the middle. Will our two notstar-crossed lovers ever learn to let go and just be?

Before you can love someone else, you have to love yourself.

One-Punch Man Volume 20
by ONE, Art by Yusuke Murata

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Immediately before the big Monster Association battle, the Class-S heroes hold a strategy meeting. Unfortunately, they just aren’t in sync, and when Amai Mask barges in, the situation only gets worse. Thankfully, King appears just in time to boost their morale—and it’s a good thing, too, because the big
monster battle begins.

Seraph of the End Volume 19
Story by Takaya Kagami, Art by Yamato Yamamoto,
Storyboards by Daisuke Furuya

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $9.99

Shinoa fights for her life at the Demon Army headquarters where the First Progenitor, Shikama Doji, is trying to possess her. Ferid’s solution to the problem? Kill her before she’s turned and possessed. With all of the pieces in place and the First’s resurrection all but complete, the vampires and the Hyakuya Sect both converge on Shibuya. Meanwhile, trapped in his own mind with Asuramaru, Yuichiro’s missing past is finally revealed to him.

Haikyu!! Volume 39
by Haruichi Furudate

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

It’s Little Giant versus Little Giant in the quarterfinal game against Kamomedai, and the Little Giant of the past that both Hinata and Korai look up to is watching in the stands. Karasuno struggles against Kamomedai’s iron-tough defense, as their blockers are just as infamous as Date Tech’s, if not more/ Will Karasuno find a way to open a hole in Kamomedai’s wall?

Dr. Stone Volume 12
by Riichiro Inagaki, Art by Boichi

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

The Kingdom of Science is now in uncharted waters. Motivated to find out the meaning behind the cryptic message they intercepted, Senku and a select few prepare for a long overseas voyage. And what they find on the first stop on their journey might provide a clue behind the mysterious petrification that ended civilization.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaina Volume 14
by Koyoharu Gotouge

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Tanjiro’s sword is still not ready. The swordsmith Haganezuka tries to concentrate on finishing while Tanjiro and his friends engage the two upper-rank demons, Hantengu and Gyokko, in a ferocious battle. Hantengu continues to create different forms to attack the Demon Slayers. Meanwhile, the Mist Hashira Tokito regains his memories of the past and confronts Gyokko, but what will these memories reveal?

From Shojo Beat:

Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 8
by Sorata Akiduki

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Shirayuki and Zen finally have “the talk” about their future together. Then, a heavy rain forces the party to take shelter at an inn after seeing off Sakaki. But just as night falls, Obi slips away.

Daytime Shooting Star Volume 7
by Mika Yamamori

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Suzume has moved to Tokyo and is living with her uncle. Suzume and Mr. Shishio take a trip together for the first time. But something weighs heavily on Mr. Shishio’s mind. Meanwhile, Suzume’s worried about being caught on a romantic outing with her teacher.

Prince Freya Volume 2
by Keiko Ishihara

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Freya finds her charade as Prince Edvard difficult to maintain while battling treacherous Tyrish nobles and her own crushing grief. With the help of her dear friend Alek and her new guardian Sir Julian, however, she’s determined not to give up. But will her new resolution and impulsive nature send her straight into the jaws of danger?

An Incurable Case of Love Volume 4
by Mak Enjoji

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Mature
Price: USA $9.99

At long last, the Dark Lord has been defeated. Wait—it can’t be that easy.

Nanase became a nurse to chase after Dr. Kairi Tendo. Nanase hears that Kairi has requested to study abroad. She is shocked by the news and tells him she doesn’t want to be apart, but Kairi’s response makes her uneasy.

Love Me, Love Me Not Volume 3
by Io Sakisaka

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Akari begins to see Kazuomi in a different light. But Kazuomi seems completely uninterested in love, and he’s very different from Akari’s usual type. Rio learns that Akari is attracted to Kazuomi, and Rio’s state of mind makes Yuna’s heart ache.

Takane & Hana Volume 15
by Yuki Shiwasu

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Takane’s mother shows up from London and causes a stir. The big question is, can she possibly accept Hana’s role in Takane’s life? Things don’t look promising, but perhaps a trip to the amusement park can mend the strained relationship between mother and son.

From VIZ Media:

Radiant Volume 12
by Tony Valente

On Sale Date: July 14, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price USA $9.99

Traveling to Bôme to recover the Nemesis that Grimm has stolen, Seth, Melie, Doc and Ocoho are separated during confrontations with both a Nemesis and a member of the Mesnie, eaters of the Infected. But this is not their only problem: the presence of General Inquisitor Sargon aboard their aircraft suggests that a meeting of Inquisition senior officials will soon take place in Bôme, an event sure to pile more troubles onto the Infected.

Persona 5 Volume 3
by Hisato Murasaki, Based on the video game by Atlus

On Sale Date: July 14, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $9.99

Ann has a new admirer… kind of. His name is Yusuke Kitagawa and he is an aspiring artist apprenticed to master painter Ichiryusai Madarame. Enthralled by Ann’s beauty, Yusuke is determined to use her as a model for a painting. But a new palace appears and it soon becomes apparent that it belongs to none other than Madarame himself, who has been plagiarizing his students’ art for his own gain. Will Yusuke have the will to rebel and join Akira and his friends to defeat the evil painter?

Record of Grancrest War Volume 7
Original Story by Ryo Mizuno, Story and Art by Makoto Yotsuba, Character Design by Miyu

On Sale Date: July 14, 2020
Age Rating: Mature
Price: USA $9.99

It’s all been building to this point. Siluca and Theo’s plans, their hopes and their dreams—all are going to be put to the test in this final volume. Can the genius mage and upstart Lord pull off one last win, or will this be the end of everything they hoped to accomplish?

Splatoon: Squid Kids Comedy Show Volume 1
by Hideki Goto

On Sale Date: July 14, 2020
Age Rating: All Ages
Price: USA $9.99

New Inklings take center stage as they and their friends embark on hilarious escapades in the world of Splatoon, the hit video game series from Nintendo.

From VIZ Signature:

Mujirushi
by Naoki Urasawa

On Sale Date: July 21, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $19.99

Kamoda will do anything to earn a quick buck, even if it means skipping out on his taxes to take his wife on a luxury cruise. But when a random tax audit bankrupts his family, Kamoda soon discovers his wife has taken that cruise after all—only without Kamoda or their daughter Kasumi.

Desperate to provide, Kamoda invests in a scheme to massproduce masks of controversial American presidential candidate Beverly Duncan. But a lackluster election kills their sales potential, burying Kamoda under a mountain of masks and debt. On the verge of despair, Kamoda discovers a sign that leads him to the Director, an art fanatic who vows he can make all of Kamoda and Kasumi’s dreams come true.

Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Volume 14
by Yasuo Ohtagaki, Concept by Hajime Yatate and Yoshiyuki Tomino

On Sale Date: July 21, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $14.99

The Nanyang Alliance desperately tries to evacuate their Psycho Zakus from the Taal volcano base under intense pressure from the attacking Federation forces. To cover the retreat, Daryl Lorenz and the members of his team try to hold off Io Fleming and his unit. But this face-off was always going to come down to Io and Daryl, whose rivalry has only intensified since they first dueled in the Thunderbolt Sector. Each will accept nothing less than total destruction of the other, but victory always comes at a price.

BEASTARS Volume 7
by Paru Itagaki

On Sale Date: July 21, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $12.99

Red deer Louis has always been the prime candidate for Cherryton Academy’s next Beastar, but now he has dropped out of school to run a gang of lions. When his greatest rival, gray wolf Juno, tries to convince him to return to school, their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Meanwhile, gray wolf Legoshi’s relationship with dwarf rabbit Haru is changing too. Will they grow closer or farther apart? Then, Legoshi is blindsided by a huge, mysterious assailant. What new skills will he need to learn to protect himself, let alone his friends?

Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku Volume 3
by Yuji Kaku

On Sale Date: July 21, 2020
Age Rating: Mature
Price: USA $12.99

A group of sinister beings have lived on this island for several lifetimes, tinkering and experimenting on humans and the local fauna to further the goals of their dark sciences. Who are these otherworldly individuals that rule this beautiful and deadly island and how will Gabimaru manage to kill them to achieve his goal?

RWBY: The Official Manga Volume 1
by Bunta Kinami

On Sale Date: July 21, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $12.99

Ruby takes her first step on the road to becoming a Huntress by enrolling at Beacon Academy, eager to take on the battery of tests, challenges and difficulties that follow. Ruby knows her talents will take her to her goal, but is she ready to clash with Weiss Schnee, haughty scion of the Schnee Dust
Company?

No Guns Life Volume 6
by Tasuku Karasuma

On Sale Date: July 21, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $12.99

Andy Wachowski was the genius who developed the basic theory of Extension technology. But once he saw what became of his creation he turned against it, becoming the leader of the anti-Extended terrorist organization Spitzbergen. Now, in an attempt to control Juzo Spitzbergen threatens Tetsuro. Berühren’s Resolvers Pepper and Gun Slave Unit Seven are after Juzo as well. Juzo has plenty of cases to deal with now— it’s just too bad he’s not getting paid for any of them.

Levius/est Volume 5
by Haruhisa Nakata

On Sale Date: July 21, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $12.99

The main event of the Southern Slam tournament is Levius’s title fight against “the Emperor,” Oliver E. Kingsley, but first Natalia must face off against A.J.’s brother Balthus. Zack and Bill are ringside to help, but the Amethyst corporation’s experiments have turned Natalia’s opponent into a dreadful new kind of weapon.

Children of the Whales Volume 15
by Abi Umeda

On Sale Date: July 21, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $12.99

Chakuro, Suou and Shuan boarded the battleship Karcharías hoping to convince Orca to release Ouni and Lykos. But instead of rescuing their friends, they are now caught up in Orca’s plan to destroy the Mud Whale and all its residents in order to unleash an apocalypse that will overthrow the Nouses and create a parallel world where humans will never again feel pain or sadness. When words prove useless against Orca’s sophistry, will the team from the Mud Whale be forced to use violence?

From Shonen Sunday:

Case Closed Volume 75
by Gosho Aoyama

On Sale Date: July 14, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $9.99

Conan and Rachel discover that someone is posing as Detective Moore and doing good deeds… but why? A string of threatening notes left on cars gives Detective Chiba the chance to solve a case alongside his childhood crush, new police-recruit Naeko Miike. And a shocking death at a wedding party reveals a startling secret. But when Conan’s investigation of the wedding leads him to an undercover detective working on the same case, he finds himself on the trail of an even bigger mystery…

RIN-NE Volume 34
by Rumiko Takahashi

On Sale Date: July 14, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $9.99

When some late exorcism fees are finally deposited in Rinne’s account, he informs Sakura that he’ll pay off all his debts to her. Meanwhile, after a fight with her parents over her credit card, Ageha runs away to stay at Rinne’s place. When Sakura hears about the new living arrangements, she gets the wrong impression. Can Rinne set her straight?

Crunchyroll Adds Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign and Rainy Cocoa Anime to Its Streaming Catalog

Crunchyroll has announced that it has added the Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, Rainy Cocoa, and Rainy Cocoa, Welcome to Rainy Color anime to its catalog. The series began streaming on the website on March 15, 2018.

The Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign stream includes both the 12-episode Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign season and the Seraph of the End: Battle in Nagoya sequel. The anime are available for users in the United States, Canada, and South Africa.

The Rainy Cocoa anime and its Rainy Cocoa, Welcome to Rainy Color sequel are streaming for users in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland.

Source: ANN

Manga Review: “Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign” Volume Seven

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 7 is set in a world where vampires rule the earth and have enslaved children to use as a food source. A boy named Yuichiro escapes from the vampire city and is found by Guren. Yuichiro is now 16 years old and serving in the Japanese Imperial Demon Army.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 7
Written by: Takaya Kagami
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: December 1, 2015

Volume 7 opens with Shinoa Hiragi, along with the other members of her squad, heading for a rendezvous point for their upcoming mission. Unfortunately, Shinoa and Mitsuba decide to play pranks on Yuichiro and Shiho, and this causes them to arrive late at the rendezvous point. In addition, Yuichiro and Makoto Narumi, the leader of Narumi Squad, start off on the wrong foot.

Much of Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 7 focuses on Shinoa needing to learn to take her role as a squad leader seriously, and on Yuichiro having to gain the trust of Makoto and the other members of his squad. These are important lessons that both of these characters need to learn, since they’re about to embark on a very important mission that requires teamwork and seriousness.

Speaking of teamwork, Guren orders two of his squad members to help him take on Shinoa’s squad in a sparring match. By doing this, he’s trying to make a point to Shinoa that her squad currently lacks teamwork and coordination. Besides making this point, this scene helps to add some much needed action in a volume that focuses a lot more on characters talking to one another and setting the stage for the upcoming mission. Outside of this sparring match, the only other action in Volume 7 takes place right at the end.

This volume also gives the reader a scene featuring Mika and the vampires that he’s with. During this scene, we see Mika struggling with the fact that he doesn’t want to become a full-fledged vampire, yet struggling to keep himself from drinking the human blood that he’s starting to crave. I admit that I felt a little sorry for Mika in this volume. He’s been trying so hard to not drink human blood, since he himself used to be a human child that was enslaved by the vampires. As a reader, I could really feel Mika’s struggle coming through in both the writing and the art.

While I understand that time needed to be spent getting ready for the mission and imparting important lessons to some of the characters, there were still times that the story in Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 7 felt like it was bogging down. However, if you’re willing to read through the entire volume, you’ll be rewarded with some very important action right at the end of it. If you can go into it realizing that it’s more of an exposition volume than an action-oriented one, you’ll probably be able to better appreciate it.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (October 5, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Blue Exorcist, Black Clover, World Trigger, My Hero Academia, Toriko, Nisekoi: False Love, Samon the Summoner, Bleach, Food Wars!, and Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign. This issue also includes Naruto being featured for the “Jump Back” initiative, but this time focusing on the first four chapters of Volume 28 (which is set at the end of the two year timeskip).

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

I only started reading Weekly Shonen Jump back in late February/early March of 2014, which means there’s a number of series published in the magazine that I jumped in the middle of. Since then, I’ve been able to start reading older chapters of some of the titles, but I haven’t managed to do this for all of the titles yet. Because of this, there may be times I might inadvertently include incorrect information in the write-ups. If you see something in a write-up that’s incorrect due to my having not read earlier chapters of a series, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Not only can I correct the incorrect information in the write-up, it will also help provide information for me to have when reading future chapters of a series in Weekly Shonen Jump.

Of course, you can always check out Weekly Shonen Jump for yourself by subscribing to the digital publication at VIZManga.com.

One Piece CH:802

First, we see Luffy and the others freaking out about huge hail coming down, and coming to the realization that they don’t have a navigator. Oops! Then we meet Edward Weevil, who claims to be the son of Whitebeard, and his mother, who claims to be Whitebeard’s lover. They appear to have just learned about Doflamingo’s defeat. I’m not quite sure how these two fit into the story, but considering I jumped into Weekly Shonen Jump in the middle of the Dressrosa arc last year, that’s not terribly surprising. A new island called Zou is revealed, and it has an… interesting location. It’s going to be interesting to see how Oda pulls off the story line with Zou. I mean, sure, he had a sky island before, but this is something completely different…

Blue Exorcist CH:072

Rin and a couple of the others lament how Bon is now working so hard for Lightning that he can’t help them with their studies. But then they talk about what potential paths they might want to take. The story then returns to Yukio as he continues to try to figure out how he can become stronger. He takes a drastic step to try to awaken his ability, but it looks like it might not work. The chapter ends on a cliffhanger, so we won’t know whether Yukio succeeds or not until next month.

Black Clover CH:032

It looks like Rades is going to be defeated, and an interesting tidbit is revealed about him when his Grimoire is confiscated. But it turns out Rades’ and his group’s real objective was to capture Fergoleon Vermillion, and it appears that plan succeeds. So while it appears to still be a revenge plot, there was more to it than Rades let on in the previous chapter. I don’t know if it’s just me, but this particular story arc just hasn’t been terribly interesting. Oh well. I don’t have much but to continue with it until it’s finished.

World Trigger CH:117

It appears that the story is being set up for another Neighbor invasion to potentially take place, and this chapter spends a lot of time focusing on an Emergency Response meeting where Border bigwigs and higher ranking Border agents discuss what could happen and what they’re going to do. Meanwhile, Osamu is coming to a realization as to what he needs to do going forward for the B-Rank Wars. But Yotaro seems to have figured out who Jin was referring to in the previous chapter, and I admit it’s someone I wouldn’t have guessed. It sounds like this person isn’t interested in helping Osamu out, but things could change. And it would be quite an interesting development if they do.

My Hero Academia CH:061

We get to see what the matchups for the upcoming practical exam are, as well as All Might’s flashback concerning some of the decisions made on who to team up. Some time is spent expliainig the practical exam before it actually starts. As the exam gets underway, the story jumps around the various locations just as attacks start happening. But then the focus changes to Midoriya and Bakugo not off to a good start. That’s not surprising, considering that they don’t get along with each other. Their story is just getting going when the chapter ends. Hopefully next chapter will continue to focus on Midoriya and Bakugo, and not jump around much. Or if it does jump around, that it doesn’t do so as much as One Piece did during the Dressrosa arc.

Toriko CH:341

This chapter introduces us to Acacia’s Demon A. We get to see A going up against Bambina. Then the other members of the Eight Kings and the Full-Course Meal appear to take on other demons that have appeared in the Gourmet World. Most of the chapter focuses on narration of what’s happening with all of this, with only a minimal amount of action. But right at the end of the chapter, we see Toriko reacting. Overall, this was such an exposition heavy chapter that it was rather boring to read. Hopefully the next chapter will be more exciting.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:188

Raku shares his idea for helping Marika with the others. There’s an argument about some of the particulars, but after that’s worked out, we see that Shinohara has made arrangements for the two who weren’t captured to get inside the castle. Shinohara then lays out the plan for how they’re going to accomplish their goal. This story seems to be building up to something, but I can’t predict where Raku and the others will succeed or not. I’m very curious to see what Komi will do, and I hope it’ll turn out to be interesting and impressive.

Samon the Summoner CH:003

Samon is approached by one of his and Sakura’s classmates, who witnessed Samon summon a demon. This classmate now wants to borrow the power of the demons. Samon happily obliges. It ends up becoming a chaotic story, and Sakura tries her best to save their classmate.

This was probably the best of the three chapters that I read of Samon the Summoner, but I’m still not entirely sold on this series. About the only way I’d be continuing it at this point is if the English Weekly Shonen Jump decided to publish more of it in the future. But to be honest, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Bleach CH:645

Kyoraku explains what he does with the Zanpakuto to the Quincy. This is primarily a chapter of exposition, but then action takes place right near the end. But what action did happen was simply there to help illustrated Kyoraku’s explanations. Hopefully this chapter got the exposition out of the way, and that some real action will take place next week.

Food Wars! CH:137

Erina’s father is still acting like such an asshole in this chapter. But we see Hisako, Alice, and some others busting Erina out of her family’s mansion. They succeed, but after realizing they don’t have a plan, decides to go home. But at the end of the chapter, it’s revealed that they’re right behind Polaris Dorm. As I was reading this chapter, I had a feeling that Erina would somehow end up at Polaris. Now the question is, will she try to stay there to defy her father?

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:038

When Shinoa and the others make it to the rendezvous point, and Rika comes running up and blaming her for all the deaths that have occurred because she protected Mika. But as others arrive, arguments begin breaking out. But as the truth about the mission is revealed, tempers flare even more. Shinya Hiragi is bombarded with a ton of questions, which is understandable considering the situation. He makes the decision to abandon the plan and devise a strategy to rescue Guren. We also get to see what’s going on with Guren while he’s in captivity. And something that Guren says right at the end of the chapter seems to pique the vampires’ interest. It looks Guren’s plan might be succeeding, and hopefully we’ll find out in next month’s chapter whether or not it does.

Naruto CH:245

The new “Jump Back” initiative features the first four chapters of Naruto Volume 28, which is set after the two year timeskip that Naruto was away from the village training with Jiraiya. Naruto is being featured again so soon to celebrate Masashi Kishimoto’s appearance at New York Comic Con. This chapter sees Naruto’s return to Konoha and encountering Kakashi and Sakura. The stage is set for the two of them to try to do the bell test with Kakashi again. Basically, this chapter was here to establish Naruto’s return and the fact that he, Sakura, and Kakashi will be on a team as equals rather than as master and student. The next chapter should be more action-oriented with the bell test.

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (September 7, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, One Piece, Food Wars!, Bleach, World Trigger, My Hero Academia, Toriko, Black Clover, Nisekoi: False Love, and Blue Exorcist. This issue also includes the first chapter of Psyren (which is the current title to be featured for the “Jump Back” initiative).

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

I only started reading Weekly Shonen Jump back in late February/early March of 2014, which means there’s a number of series published in the magazine that I jumped in the middle of. Since then, I’ve been able to start reading older chapters of some of the titles, but I haven’t managed to do this for all of the titles yet. Because of this, there may be times I might inadvertently include incorrect information in the write-ups. If you see something in a write-up that’s incorrect due to my having not read earlier chapters of a series, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Not only can I correct the incorrect information in the write-up, it will also help provide information for me to have when reading future chapters of a series in Weekly Shonen Jump.

Of course, you can always check out Weekly Shonen Jump for yourself by subscribing to the digital publication at VIZManga.com.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:037

This chapter focuses a lot on Yuichiro and Mika. At first, it’s Yuichiro trying to convince Mika that he isn’t a monster and that he needs to live. That actually resolves rather well, but then tensions start getting high when Mika tells Yuichiro not to trust the humans and go back to them, but Yuichiro insisting that they’re also his family. But the most important part of this chapter is Mika revealing the existence of the Seraph of the End project to Yuichiro and that this the reason how it ties in with what happened at the beginning of the series. There’s quite an interesting setup for this series now, and I believe that Yuichiro will find himself being torn between Mika and his friends from the Demon Imperial Army. And from the look of things, it appears that Mika really has no intention of cooperating with Yuichiro’s human teammates. I’m actually looking forward to seeing what will happen, and how being reunited with Mika will affect Yuichiro in the long run.

One Piece CH:799

Well, this was an interesting chapter. Luffy tries fighting with Fujitora, and it looks like it’s going to be an epic fight. But a giant grabs Luffy and starts heading toward all the boats in the port. And the citizens of Dressrosa run along to stick close to everyone, in order to keep Fujitora from dropping the large weapon from the sky. This chapter definitely didn’t go as I had anticipated, but I actually prefer this since it seems like the story is actually starting to advance. I also hadn’t anticipated the various pirate factions starting to get along, and asking to join up under the affiliation of the Straw Hat Pirates. It’ll be interesting to see how Luffy will react to this, since this proposal was dropped right at the end of the chapter.

It should be noted that One Piece will be off next week.

Food Wars! CH:133

Erina’s father makes a grand entrance, but it turns out he’s an absolute jerk who has no qualms about insulting anyone. The chapter also reveals some backstory and history for him. This wasn’t what I was expecting after he made his first appearance in the previous chapter. Soma makes an appearance right at the end of the chapter, so perhaps he’ll be able to help Erina out. Erina’s definitely concerned about what her father will think of her cooking, especially with his demanding behavior. This is one of the first times I can personally think of that I’ve seen Erina cower to someone else. There’s definitely potential for this to be an interesting story line.

Bleach CH:641

This chapter focuses more on Mayuri and Pernida’s battle. Most of it is actually Mayuri talking to Nemu and explaining a plan that he believes will work. Unfortunately, things don’t go as Mayuri plans, and now it looks like Kubo will be stretching out this battle even more. But there’s a cliffhanger at the end of the chapter, so maybe the beginning of the next chapter will be interesting.

World Trigger CH:114

This chapter has a strong focus on the battle. However, there is a scene of Chika regretting the fact she didn’t shoot and how now left Yuma out there without any cover and disrupting Osamu’s plan. The action of this chapter alternates with commentary from the commentators, but the chapter ends with just two people standing. Not surprisingly, one them is Yuma. Can Yuma find a way to be the last one standing and help his team continue on to the next stage of the B-Rank War?

My Hero Academia CH:057

A lot of change is in the air over the course of this chapter. One of Ida’s hands may be permanently damaged. Gran Torino loses his teaching license for six months and takes a pay cut, and tells All Might he needs to talk to Midoriya and tell him everything. The Hero Killer’s message starts to spread, and it appears villains out there now have a strong desire to join the League of Villains. A lot was thrown out there in this chapter, and it appears the tone and direction of the series is about to make a sudden shift. It’s going to be interesting to see how the series will be progressing in the coming chapters.

Toriko CH:337

Midora and Joie come face to face, although not much happens with this. The main emphasis of the chapter is on Neo trying to revive and that it appears the revival is starting to succeed. This chapter jumps around a lot, so I have to admit that I was having problems being able to entirely follow what was going on. Hopefully the next chapter will either help to make this part of the plot clear, or that it returns to one of the loose ends that’s currently hanging out there.

Black Clover CH:028

At first, it looks like the Magic Knights have quickly defeated rather weak enemies, but they find they were actually in a trap instead. Most of them disappear through spatial magic, but Yuno manages to avoid it. A mysterious witch shows up, and it looks like it’s going to be up to Yuno to take care of her. It’s a little disappointing that the story line with Asta wasn’t touched on at all here, and now with this new development, I wonder how long it will be until we return to Asta’s part of the story. Hopefully Yuno will be able to defeat this annoying witch rather quickly so the story can move on.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:184

Raku and the others make it to Marika’s place, but are turned away by Honda and the guards. Mikage gives some help on how they can sneak in, and Raku, Chitoge, and Tsugumi try to infiltrate. But Honda finds them and tries to stop them. So this story line is still going, and it looks like Tsugumi and Honda will be battling it out in the next chapter. The end result of this story could still go either way, but I have a hard time believing that Marika’s mother will actually listen to Raku and change her mind. But who knows how Komi will end up playing this out.

Blue Exorcist CH:071

Most of this chapter focuses on Bon being determined to become Lightning’s disciple or assistant. It ends up coming down to having to play a game with a set of cursed demon karuta cards, and there things about this game that I hadn’t seen coming. We also briefly get to se Yukio trying to scare himself in order to force himself into manifesting his powers. While I had managed to guess that the karuta cards would be an important aspect of the chapter, I hadn’t been able to predict how the game would play out. But it looks like Bon’s character may be moving into a different direction, and that Yukio could potentially end up in a bad situation due to his desire to manifest power.

Psyren CH:001

Psyren is the next series to be featured in Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative, and the first four chapters will be featured throughout the month of September.

Well, Psyren has an… interesting premise to it. Ageha takes on jobs that allow him to beat up people under the guise of helping them in order to make money. One day, he answers a ringing public telephone and finds a mysterious phone card with “Psyren” on it. Things get personal when a girl he’s known a long time, who also has one of these cards, mysteriously vanishes. As he tries to find out where she is, Ageha gets drug into and wrapped up in the world of Psyren. Sadly, Ageha had been warned to keep his nose out of this business, but he went headlong into it anyway. Ageha definitely isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, and now he’s paying the price for jumping into the middle of something that he didn’t understand. It’ll be interesting to see what will happen to Ageha in the next chapter and to find out how this story will progress.

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (August 10, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Blue Exorcist, Bleach, Black Clover, One-Punch Man, Toriko, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, Food Wars!, My Hero Academia, and Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign.. This issue also includes the second chapter of D.Gray-man (which is the current title to be featured for the “Jump Back” initiative).

For the series that carried over from previous issues I’ve read, I tried to put a little more focus in my write-ups about the progression of the story from the previous chapter. I will warn you that these write-ups will more than likely contain spoilers.

I only started reading Weekly Shonen Jump back in late February/early March of 2014, which means there’s a number of series published in the magazine that I jumped in the middle of. Since then, I’ve been able to start reading older chapters of some of the titles, but I haven’t managed to do this for all of the titles yet. Because of this, there may be times I might inadvertently include incorrect information in the write-ups. If you see something in a write-up that’s incorrect due to my having not read earlier chapters of a series, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Not only can I correct the incorrect information in the write-up, it will also help provide information for me to have when reading future chapters of a series in Weekly Shonen Jump.

Of course, you can always check out Weekly Shonen Jump for yourself by subscribing to the digital publication at VIZManga.com.

One Piece CH:796

It’s now three days since the conclusion of the fight on Dressrosa, and Navy Headquarters is wondering why Fujitora isn’t seizing Luffy and the other pirates. He explains it all comes down to the dice roll, and each day, Luffy was won the roll. Meanwhile. rumors swirl that Riku will return to Dressrosa’s throne. We then see that Luffy is awake now and eating up a storm. While he does, they talk about various rumors they’ve been hearing about Rebecca. It’s revealed that Kyros started the rumors so it wouldn’t be revealed that he is Rebecca’s father. Kyros gets a call from Leo, who says that there’s movement from the navy tent and that they think this location may be in danger soon. We see that the roll of die was not in Luffy’s favor this time. Luffy and the others are given directions where to go in order to try to make an escape.

So it looks like we’re not entirely done with Dressrosa yet. However, it looks like the stage is being set for Luffy and his crew members who still remain there to make an escape. So it looks like last week’s chapter focused on the crew members who went ahead on the Sunny. But since the focus was all on Dressrosa in this chapter, there was nothing at all about Kaido and the war that he’s planning to launch. I’m guessing we need to see Luffy and his friends escape from Dressrosa and catch up to the Sunny before we can truly get the next story arc underway.

Blue Exorcist CH:070

Yukio is wondering what powers are at work in his eyes, and he realizes the commonality between the two times those powers manifested themselves. Meanwhile, the students at the cram school have found a balcony where they can overhear the teachers talking in an assembly. Mephisto addresses the crowd, and it’s revealed the exorcist exam will be taking place in a month and a half. He also announces a powerful helper has been sent to the cram school. As this person is introduced, a hobgoblin colony appears. After the hobgoblins are defeated, the helper is introduced as Lewin Light. We then see that the classroom that Lewin is teaching in is packed with people. But as the lesson goes on, people leave because they don’t seem to like Lewin’s teaching methods. But after class, Lewin asks some of the students for help, and that seems to be where the real lessons begin. During this, Ryuji starts admitting to Lewin that he’s lost his ambition to be an exorcist, and then Lewin shares why he became an exorcist. After this, Ryuji asks Lewin to make him his apprentice.

This chapter spends a lot of its time explaining that there aren’t enough exorcists to take care of all the demon activity that’s been erupting lately, which provides needed information as to why the exorcist exam has been moved up. We’d seen Lewin in an early chapter, but this one really establishes him as a character. He ends up being a teacher who doesn’t necessarily use regular methods to teach his lessons. However, his unorthodox teaching strategies seem to be reaching his students. He especially made a lot of strides with Ryuji.

Bleach CH:638

Mayuri learns the creature’s name is Pernida Parnkgnjas. Mayuri complains it’s too long and since he discovered the creature, he has naming rights. After a few moments, the creature seems to realize that it’s been insulted. The creature then gets upset and attacks, and what happens fascinates Mayuri. And Mayuri surprised the Quincy creature by using a Quincy air treading technique in order to avoid the creature’s attack. Mayuri seems to have gotten the upper hand and secures a sample from the creature, and the creature tries to take over Mayuri’s body. Not surprisingly, Mayuri figured out a way to keep that from happening.

This chapter focuses exclusively on Mayuri and the Quincy. And of that focus, we primarily see Mayuri and his reactions to what’s going on. I just hope this battle with this Quincy doesn’t take too much longer, though. Just when it seemed like the story had been going somewhere not too long ago, it appears to have gotten stuck again and is spinning its wheels. Sigh.

Black Clover CH:025

Inside the castle, a three-dimensional model of the noble realm is created, and it includes the voices of the people at the scene and their magic levels. With this, the nobles start trying to figure out how the attack was carried out without them noticing. They are also trying to come up with strategy. Asta, however, wants to simply rush out and help. Asta’s new rival, Leo, decides to follow Asta into the battlefield. After they leave, a strategy is formed with the remaining people in the castle and they head on their way. As the enemy leader starts taunting a little girl, Asta jumps into the action.

This chapter is basically establishing this new threat, as well as the strategy that the Magic Knights plan to employ in order to protect the capital. For the most part, there’s not a lot of action until the very end, when Asta jumps in to save the little girl. This is essentially a chapter to establish what’s going on and how the action will happen, and it looks like the real action will start taking place in the next chapter.

One-Punch Man CH:048

Garo talks to a boy who has a hero guide with stats and asks to borrow it for a week. The boy says no. After flipping through the book, Garo goes on his way. But before he goes, he says he’ll be back to look at the book again. We then see Saitama talking to a hero in the hospital who was injured by Garo. Saitama realizes that before long, Garo will likely be coming after him. Saitama then goes to see Charan-ko, and says he’d be interested in training under Master Bang. Charan-ko gives Saitama a ticket to enter a martial arts tournament, and suggests he watch that to see a variety of styles. Saitama is told not to take his place in the match, but it appears Saitama isn’t listening.

So it looks like this chapter is setting up two things. First, a way for Garo to get information on more heroes to hunt down. The other seems to be setting the stage for Saitama to enter a martial arts tournament. So it appears that One-Punch Man will soon have a focus on some martial arts, especially in the realm of a competition. I wonder if this competition will be as interesting as the Tenkaichi Tournaments that appear in Dragon Ball.

Toriko CH:334

Yuda and Condor, the two competitors in the cookoff, are headed straight for the Soul Furnace. But it turns out they end up on the Seesaw Kitchen, and it’s a competition to see who is faster at preparing ingredients and off-loading them onto the plate, in order to avoid falling into the furnace with their kitchen. If you fall in, you die instantly. This competition also involves having to navigate inside a unique space where gravity pulls in different directions. Yuda works at figuring out how to prepare the leafish, since he’s never prepared one before. As he does, he has a flashback to when he was younger and training under his master and how he went on a training journey. As part of the training, he took on his own apprentice. We see that an event happened on that journey that shook him to the core. But just as it looks like Yuda’s kitchen will fall into the furnace, the seesaw stops. He does something unexpected that seems to turn things around. And it appears that Yuda may have won right at the end of the chapter.

This chapter focuses on Yuda and Condor’s cookoff competition, but it also provides some backstory for Yuda as well. But this backstory ends up being very important for showing what ultimately happens at the end of the chapter. I appreciated seeing how the chapter ended, because I was think Condor was very condescending and full of himself. But now that this part of the cookoff is over, I wonder who will be competing next.

World Trigger CH:112

Osamu finds himself in a fight against Sumiharu, the gunner for Ninomiya Squad. Shiori tells Yuma to meet up with Osamu. But before he can each Osamu, Yuma is stopped by Shinnosuke from Ninomiya Squad. But it turns out Shinnosuke isn’t his opponent; Masoto from Kaguera Squad is. During his battle, Osamu has a flashback ro advice that Jin had given him in the past. In the battle, Osamu uses the advice that Jin gave him. But when it looks like Osamu’s opponent will defeat him, two members of Azuma Squad jump in. And then members of Ninomiya Squad also arrive where Osamu and the others are. It appears that the Azuma Squad members have set their sights on Ninomiya Squad. Just when Osamu thinks he’s in the clear, a sniper shoots him. This causes Osamu to have to bail out.

This chapter is pretty similar to the other chapters that have covered the B-Rank Wars up to this point. During the battles, the story is interrupted by the commentators explaining things. Most of the time, there also seems to be a flashback thrown in for good measure. But the ending of this chapter was actually quite surprising, because Osamu had managed to avoid having to bail out in the previous B-Rank battles that he participated in. So how will the rest of this one progress with the main character actively participating?

It should be noted that World Trigger will not appear in Issue 39, but is scheduled to return in the August 31 issue.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:181

Marika begs Raku to love her, but just as Raku is about to answer her, she collapses. Honda arrives, and she says that she is the one appointed to be Marika’s caretaker by her mother. Honda forces her to leave and tells Raku to forget about Marika as quickly as possible. The next day at school, Yui has to announce to the class that as of yesterday, Marika has changed schools. She explains that Marika is returning her home in Kyushu for health reasons. Raku tries calling Marika, but her number is no longer available. Later, we learn that Onodera tried going by Marika’s house, but no one was there. Right at the end of the chapter, we see Raku calling someone.

With the way this is written, it appears that Marika has potentially been written out of the series. However, it appears that Raku and and the others may be working on tracking her down. After hearing about Marika taking medicine and suddenly being whisked away, I guess it isn’t surprising that Raku is concerned. While he knows he doesn’t feel about her the same way she feels about him, he still wants to be friends. So it’ll be interesting to see whether Marika really ends up being written out of the series for good, or if this is another “psyche” moment by Komi.

Food Wars! CH:130

Soma and Subaru work together to get through the line that’s building up at Soma’s stand, even though more and more people are lining up. And Megumi is able to give personalized service to customers who are taking their seats. Later, the Home Cooking Society brings their whole collection of traditional paper lanterns for Soma to use at his cart. But it suddenly starts getting harder to Soma and the others to keep up. Mito arrives and says she’ll focus on the pork buns so Megumi can focus on customer service. And then other students start arriving to help out as well. At the end of the day, Kuga learns his booth came in second place in Central Campus and that Soma came in first place.

So this the chapter where Soma officially turns things around. And when Kuga comments on how Soma had built it up over the course of the four days, I thought that was an interesting observation. It also makes sense once you think about how this story line has progressed. At this point, I expect that the school festival arc will be wrapping up sooner rather than later.

My Hero Academia CH:054

Ida realizes how short-sighted he’s been, and he has a flashback of talking with his brother when he was younger. After this, Ida finds the strength to stand up and he starts to join in the fight. But Ida discovers his reciprocating engine’s broken, so he asks Todoroki to freeze his leg without blocking the exhaust pipes. The chapter ends with Ida launching an attack on the Hero Killer.

This chapter places its focus on Ida and how he’s coming to realize how stupid he’s been acting recently. Over the course of the chapter, he realizes that he needs to rely on help from his friends in order to take on the Hero Killer, and that perhaps trying to go after vengenance on his own isn’t a good idea. With the way the chapter ends, it’ll be interesting to see how this battle will continue, and whether or not Ida will have some success with what he’s trying to accomplish.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:036

Mika tries to flee with an unconscious Yuichiro, but Mika doesn’t have enough blood to get very far. He tries to wake Yuichiro up, because he wants to be able to tell him something before he loses his life and sanity from losing so much blood. Mika sees a child nearby and intends to drink their blood, but before he does, the child calls him a monster. Mika is so taken aback he lets the kid go. We then see Yuichiro communicating with his Demon Weapon, Asuramaru. During the conversation, Asuramaru tries to tempt Yuichiro into becoming a demon. Yuichiro then regains consciousness and sees Mika nearby. But Mika is at a point that he’s so desperate for blood that he begins to attack Yuichiro. When he sees how much Mika is hurting, Yuichiro offers his blood to him. But Mika comes to his senses before he takes Yuichiro up on that offer. Mika says that he hasn’t had human blood yet, and if he takes even one sip of it, he’ll turn into a vampire forever. The two get into an argument. Yuichiro says that no matter what Mika is, they’re still family. The chapter ends with Mika taking Yuichiro up on his invitation.

This ended up being a very intense chapter of Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign. And the focus was specifically on Yuichiro and Mika. The tension was intense in this chapter, especially once Yuichiro and Mika have their argument. Even though this focused a lot on talking, the rising tensions was enough to keep my interest. In some respects, I was surprised by how the chapter ended, but in other respects, I wasn’t. This is the type of reaction that we’ve come to expect from Yuichiro when it comes to the people that he considers to be family.

D.Gray-man CH:002

This chapter sees Allen heading toward the exorcist headquarters. As he travels, he encounters a boy named John warning people about akuma, and they don’t believe him. A guy who the kid claims is an akuma says he’s playing around. But after the others leave, Allen comes over and declares that this man is actually an akuma. We learn that John’s father is a scientist at the New World Alliance. When John pesters Allen with questions about being an exorcist, Allen tells him it’s better to not let his curiosity go any father. But John doesn’t like hearing this. When John returns home, he finds he has a visitor named Leo. As they visit, the audience sees a hint that something is wrong with Leo. At the same time, Allen shows up at John’s home. Allen sees Leo and realizes he’s an akuma. Allen tries to warn John, but he doesn’t hear him. Leo leads John straight to Millennium Earl. John learns that Leo died on the day of his mother’s funeral, and Allen arrives on the scene right at the end of the chapter.

After the first chapter established the concepts, charatcers, and world of the series, this chapter jumps right into getting Allen on his way to to exorcist headquarters. But there is a stop along the way, as we see here, that allows the audience to formally be introduced to Millennium Earl. This chapter also establishes the public’s reactions to the akuma. It looks like next chapter will likely resolve the story line with John, and it might also see Allen continue on his journey.

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (July 6, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One-Punch Man, Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, Nisekoi: False Love, Bleach, World Trigger, Food Wars!, My Hero Academia, Black Clover, One Piece, and Blue Exorcist. This issue also includes the 10th and final chapter of the Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring mini-series and the first chapter of Dragon Ball (which is the current title to be featured for the “Jump Back” initiative).

For the series that carried over from previous issues I’ve read, I tried to put a little more focus in my write-ups about the progression of the story from the previous chapter. I will warn you that these write-ups will more than likely contain spoilers.

I only started reading Weekly Shonen Jump back in late February/early March of 2014, which means there’s a number of series published in the magazine that I jumped in the middle of. Since then, I’ve been able to start reading older chapters of some of the titles, but I haven’t managed to do this for all of the titles yet. Because of this, there may be times I might inadvertently include incorrect information in the write-ups. If you see something in a write-up that’s incorrect due to my having not read earlier chapters of a series, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Not only can I correct the incorrect information in the write-up, it will also help provide information for me to have when reading future chapters of a series in Weekly Shonen Jump.

Of course, you can always check out Weekly Shonen Jump for yourself by subscribing to the digital publication at VIZManga.com.

One-Punch Man CH:047

A group of heroes gossip about Garo’s fight with Tank-Top Master, and one of them gets the bright idea to try to capture Garo. But it doesn’t take long for this guy to get his wish, since Garo comes up right behind him. We then see Saitama visiting another hero in the hospital who was beaten up by Garo and learns a little bit about him. It turns out Tank-Top Master is in the same room, and Saitama works at getting information about Garo out of him.

After having a few action-oriented chapters of One-Punch Man, it was actually nice to have a chapter that focused more on slowing things down and giving the reader a short breather. Also, we finally got to see Saitama again in this chapter. For being the main character, he hadn’t been focused on much in recent chapters.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:035

Mika starts rushing toward Yuichiro and the other members of the Demon Extermination Unit. Mika sees that Yuichiro is collapsed and being carried by someone, and he makes a mad dash toward Yuichiro. But Mika’s knocked out of the way before he can accomplish anything. Yoichi recognizes Mika from Shinjuku and that he’s part of Yuichiro’s family. Mika continues trying to get to Yuichiro, and Shinoa tries talking to him. But Mika doesn’t listen and he attacks Kimizuki, who is carrying Yuichiro. But Yoichi tries to stop Mikaela, saying that if he’s Yuichiro’s family, then that makes Mika their family too. This distracts Mika enough for someone to run a sword through him. Shinoa has the guy knock Mika off his sword, and Shinoa says that if Mika dies, Yuichiro would be upset when he wakes up. And then Shinoa surprises everyone by telling Mika to take Yuichiro with him and run. Shinoa is joined by the rest of her unit to protect Mika. Shinoa then tells Mika to take Yuichiro to Nagoya Airport and that her squad will meet up with them there. Just then, vampire reinforcements show up on the battlefield.

I have to admit to being surprised by Shinoa telling Mika to take Yuichiro and to meet up with them at the airport. But as I thought about it, I realized that she was probably thinking that Yuichiro needed to be removed from the battlefield and decided to take the chance on trusting Mika. And with the arrival of the vampire reinforcements, that was probably the best decision she could have made. Of course, her decision does not go over well with the members of the Vampire Extermination Unit who aren’t part of her squad. It’s going to be interesting to see how this story progresses.

Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring CH:010

Naruto talks kindly to one of Shin clones who looks scared, and he says Shin doesn’t have to do any more bad stuff and that he won’t do any more, either. Naruto decides that since these clones are still kids, they can be taken to a facility in Konoha that aids children in need. Sakura rushes over to Sarada. She says that Shizune explained what happened and tells Sarada that she is indeed Sakura’s bonafide offspring. There’s a touching scene between Sakura, Sasuke, and Sarada. Near the end of the chapter, we get to see Sakura, Sasuke, and Sarada spend some family time together before Sasuke has to head out again. Right at the end, we see Karin yelling at Suigetsu and explaining how he got an incorrect “exact match.”

Overall, this was a rather satisfactory ending to the mini-series. But I am a little concerned about Kabuto being the director of the children’s center in Konoha, unless he went through some major changes since the end of the original series. And I also liked the explanation about Sarada and how she really is Sasuke and Sakura’s daughter, and this explanation also makes it clear why there isn’t a birth certificate in Konoha. This was ultimately Sarada’s storyline, and she seems to have gone through some good character growth over the course of these 10 chapters. One of my favorite moments in this chapter, though, is when Sasuke gives Sarada the tap on the forehead that Itachi always gave to him as a kid. So it’s something that both of her parents are willing to do to her. I was glad to hear VIZ announce at Anime Expo that the company will be publishing this mini-series in Winter 2016.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:177

Marika overhears the conversation Night has with Yui about the marriage proposal. But Night says Yui can get one last chance with Raku. If she can’t make Raku hers within a week, then they have to settle the matter of marriage. The next time Yui teaches at school, she’s very flustered. It turns out Yui is very conflicted; while she loves Raku, she also wants to have good relationships with Chitoge and the others. After school, Marika talks to Yui and informs her that she knows about the marriage proposal. When Yui talks as if she won’t go after Raku, Marika starts yelling at her for always ignoring her own feelings. That night, Yui asks Raku hypthetically how he would react if she told him she was getting married. After hearing Raku’s answer, Yui confesses her feelings to him.

Well, this chapter really took a big step forward. But between the looming marriage proposal, Marika’s words to her, and hearing Raku’s answer to her question, I guess Yui had to finally say something. And now the ball is in Raku’s court. He’s not going to say he reciprocates just to placate her, will he? But if Raku turns her down, then it looks like Yui will have to go through with the arranged marriage. Unless Komi is ultimately trying to psyche the readers out again, which is possible. But to be honest, I don’t think Yui has really added much to the series. She provided the piece of the puzzle about the fact that all of them knew each other 10 years ago and would have been together at the same time when Raku made his promise. But if she were to be written out, Komi would have to introduce yet another teacher for Raku and his friends. But now that the story sees our main characters all being in their final year of high school, I expect that the series will probably conclude at the time of their graduation. But Komi will probably find a way to stretch out time as long as he can.

Bleach CH:633

This chapter continues the flashback that’s providing backstory for Bazz-B and Jugo. Yhwach tells Jugo that he will be joining the Stern Ritter as his advisor. Bazz-B is unhappy with this development. We learn Yhwach’s reasoning for choosing Jugo. Bazz-B becomes upset and tries to kill Yhwach, but Jugo stops his arrow. We return to current time and their fight is just about to continue when the chapter ends.

While it was nice to get the conclusion of the flashback in order to understand the grudge Jugo and Bazz-B have, it was a little frustrating to finally return to the current time just in time for the chapter to end. The good news is, it appears that the action and fight should be continuing in the next chapter. Of course, Kubo could decide to shift his focus somewhere else for the next chapter and turn this chapter ending in a cliffhanger.

World Trigger CH:108

At the sniper training, the characters compare how they performed. Emphasis is placed on Yuzuru Ema, who says his only mentor is Hatohara. Chika recognizes that as the name of the woman who went the other world with her brother. From talking with Ema, Chika learns that Hatohara was sidelined by Border and quit. According to Ema, Hatohara was unable to shoot people, and this is why she and her team were unable to be in the away team. Meanwhile, Yuma is researching Kaguera Squad, which is the squad that Ema is part of. The reader is then introduced to Kageura. A couple of guys get on his nerves, and he attacks them.

This chapter is basically introducing the reader to members Kageura Squad, who Osamu and the others will be up against next during the B-Rank Wars. Ema also had importance since he had some information about Hatohara that she shared with Chika. Ema didn’t seem to be too bad of a character, but Kageura is a rather scary guy. I certainly wouldn’t want to go up against him in the B-Rank Wars!

It should be noted that World Trigger will be off next week.

Food Wars! CH:125

The chapter opens with an explanation for how people pay for food at the festival, and then provides a map to show where the various characters’ booths are. Megumi sees people heading toward Kuga’s restaurant and she notices how small their cart looks compared to what Kuga has. But then people start noticing the sign on their cart for black pepper pork buns. Their first customer buys a bun and really likes what he’s tasting. We then see a flashback of Soma as he worked at trying to get the black pepper buns just right before the festival. Kuga then comes over to the cart and tells Soma that black pepper buns were a good idea. But Kuga points out that it’ll all be meaningless if he can’t get anybody to eat it. We then see people streaming toward Kuga’s entry. Kuga also makes a point to show off how many more tickets his entry has gotten than Soma’s. At the end of the chapter, Megumi realizes that Soma is already in the red in the first day, and we see Soma pushing the cart off somewhere.

While the people who tried Soma’s food seemed to enjoy it, he couldn’t get enough customers to try his offering and ignore Kuga’s entry. So Soma’s not off to a great start during the first day. But I have a feeling that Soma has moved the cart somewhere to try to improve his fortunes. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of plan Soma has come up with and how he’ll b able to turn his fortunes around.

My Hero Academia CH:049

Gran Torino wonders if Midoriya can move without losing the All for One that he’s flooded his body with. Gran Torino gives him a test: Midoriya must land a single hit on him before three minutes are up. Midoriya loses the power rather quickly and has to work at getting it flowing again. He almost gets Gran Torino a couple of times. Unfortunately, Midoriya is unable to accomplish the task within three minutes. But Gran Torino notices how much Midoriya has already improved after just one sparring session. We then see a gathering that includes someone who hates heroes and wants to destroy the status quo. Right at the end of the chapter, we see Tenya vow that he’ll take on the villain who injured his brother.

The primary focus of this chapter was on Midoriya’s training with Gran Torino. While he’s made some improvements, he still has a ways to go to fulfill his potential. I suspect that the villains that were seen have to do with “Hero Killer” Stain. And I’m concerned about Tenya, because I’m afraid he’s going to try to take on more than he can chew and have something rather drastic happen to him.

Black Clover CH:020

When Asta uses this new sword he found, he unleashes a slashing water attack. It’s wondered if he somehow borrowed Noelle’s magic. But then we see that something has becomes lodged into Asta’s front and he starts bleeding. Asta collapses. Yuno is determined to save Asta, and then some fairy-like thing suddenly appears she touches the new sword and there’s an explosion. A couple of other unusual things happen, and then the dungeon starts crumbling.

It seems like this chapter is building up to something drastic happening. First, it appears that Asta might be able to accomplish something, but he’s ultimately knocked out of the battle. Then there’s some strange happenings that don’t receive any explanation, and then it ends with the dungeon collapsing. I think it’s safe to say that the next chapter will be focusing on Yuno, the rest of Golden Dawn, and the Black Bulls trying to escape.

One Piece CH:792

In this chapter, Sabo gets an explanation of what happened leading up to Ace’s execution, and this angers Sabo. He gets angry enough that he launches his Fire Fist and kills the guy taunting him. We then see people on Appleine Island seeing a broadcast from Dressrosa. When then see King Riku say that he is unable to return to the throne, but the people keep insisting that they want him back. We then see Naval HQ admiral Fujitora prostrate himself in front of Riku and offering an apology.

We’re now seeing the aftermath of the defeat of Doflamingo, and I expect this will end up lasting for a few chapters. This chapter didn’t touch on Luffy and the Straw Hats, so we will at least need a chapter or two to finish them off in Dressrosa, as well as getting this plot point with Riku resolved. Everyone seems to want him to return to the throne, but he hasn’t said that he’ll do that by the end of this chapter.

Blue Exorcist CH:068

We see the setting is in Vatican City, specifically beneath the Vatican Palace (this is where the Knights of The True Cross headquarters is located). Mephisto is at a meeting, where he reports on activities the Illuminati has been doing in Japan. We learn that the Romanian branch transported some of the artificial zombies to their lab for analysis, and he shows a video with their findings. Igor Neuhaus’ name comes up in the conversation, and we learn his whereabouts are unknown but that Mephisto’s group is looking for him. Mephisto is ordered to instruct his spies to find out where the Illuminati has transferred its Central Elixir Apparatus. But we see that Mephisto and one of the other members of the council really don’t like each other. After the meeting, one of the members wants to find a way to be assigned to the Japan Branch.

We then see Rin and the others at school, and it’s announced that they will be taking the Exorcist Certification Exam earlier than originally scheduled and that they must resubmit their desired meisters. After class, one of Rin’s classmates is concerned about Yukio.

The vast majority of this chapter focuses on True Cross and the politics surrounding some of the various branches. Mephisto isn’t entirely liked or trusted by some in the council, and this could have a major impact later on. We also see that Yukio is determined to become stronger than Rin, and that at least one person seems to have noticed Yukio’s recent change in attitude. I have a bad feeling about what Yukio is trying to do.

Dragon Ball CH:001

Dragon Ball is the new title being highlighted in Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative, and Weekly Shonen Jump will be publishing the first four chapters over the next four weeks.

This chapter introduces Goku, Bulma, and the Dragon Balls. Goku has an unexpected meeting with Bulma and doesn’t understand motorized vehicles and other people since he lives by himself out in the middle of nowhere, and this is the source of some humor. When Goku takes her to where she lives, she discovers he has the Dragon Ball that she’s been looking for. Bulma has to explain what the Dragon Balls are to both Goku and the audience. But Goku doesn’t want to part with his Dragon Ball, since it’s the only memento he has of his deceased grandfather. She convinces Goku to join her on her quest, but he refuses to hand over his Dragon Ball. Bulma reveals the Dragon Radar that she created to locate the Dragon Balls. As they go on their adventure, Bulma is captured by a dinosaur and it’s up to Goku to save her.

This chapter successfully sets up the premise of the series, and it also establishes the characters of Goku and Bulma. We also get to see the start of their friendship and the interactions they have. Since I have familiarity with both Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, I can say that the type of interactions and reactions these two characters have stays rather consistent over time. While some of the details may change, since they age over the course of both series, the basics of what’s established here remains. I enjoy Dragon Ball and am glad to see if being highlighted for Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative.

Manga Review: “Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign” Volume Five

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 5 takes place in a world where vampires rule the earth and enslave children to serve as their food source. A boy named Yuichiro escapes from the vampire city, but only after seeing the other orphans he lived with killed in front of him. Unknown to Yuichiro, his friend Mikaela had been turned into a vampire, so Yuichiro was surprised to see him during the battle at Shinjuku.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 5
Written by: Takaya Kagami
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 2, 2015

Volume 5 opens with Yuichiro being called in to the Shinjuku Central Army Headquarters First Office, which means he’s being summoned by the Hiragi family, the army’s highest-ranking officers. But on his way, he encounters Guren and learns about the animosity between Guren and the Hiragi family. Not surprisingly, this schism becomes important during Yuichiro’s meeting.

Yuichiro discovers that he’s suspected of having vampire ties because of his connection to Mikaela, and that the purpose of the meeting is for him to prove his loyalty to the Japanese Imperial Demon Army. It’s a grueling confrontation, especially when the higher-ups bring two of Yuichiro’s teammates into the interrogation to try to force him to talk. In the end, Yuichiro proves his loyalty to the army but that he will only serve under Guren. This had to be rough on Yuichiro, since his reason for joining the army is to be able to slaughter vampires in order to exact his revenge.

The remainder of Volume 5 focuses on Yuichiro, Kimizuki, and Yoichi being trained on how to use their Cursed Gear, since they never received the training before heading out to the front lines in Shinjuku. This includes learning about the two types of demons and how to summon them. Yuichiro does something rather foolish right at the end of the volume, which should end up serving as the starting point for Volume 6.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 5 also shows the reader some more interactions between Yuichiro and Mitsuba, as well as between Yuichiro and Shinoa. Kimizuki also wonders if keeping what happened on the battlefield from Yuichiro is right or not. In addition, this volume also reveals the demon in Guren’s Cursed Gear and the connection that it has with Shinoa. While Kimizuki doesn’t consider himself to be Yuichiro’s friend, at least he’s willing to be concerned about him.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign seems like it’s trying hard to reveal important information slowly. On one hand, it allows for revelations to be spread out throughout the series. But on the other hand, it can be a little frustrating to readers who may want to have some more information to help them better understand and appreciate the story that they’re following. But there’s an interesting enough story being presented that readers may be able to overlook the fact that important information may only come in small dribs and drabbles.

The artwork in Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign continues to look as if Yamamoto is trying to capture details, especially in the backgrounds. I can especially see the details when an emphasis is placed on the destroyed buildings that litter the landscape. When I read this series, I am thoroughly convinced that the characters inhabit a post-apocalyptic world.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 5 is a strong continuation from where Volume 4 left off. It’s logical that the higher-ups want to interview Yuichiro after what happened during the battle in the previous volume. Readers who have read and enjoyed the previous four volumes of the series should enjoy and appreciate what they read and learn about in Volume 5.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

Review: Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign: Episode 12 – “Everyone’s a Sinner”

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign starts off with vampires infecting people over 13 with a virus and killing them off. With the adults gone, the vampires take the children into their “protection” and use them as livestock to feed on. Four years later, Yuichiro, Mikaela, and the other kids from their orphanage try to escape from the vampires; however, Yuichiro is the only one who succeeds. Yuichiro is found by Lieutenant Colonel Guren of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army and is offered a chance to join them so he can kill vampires and get his revenge. It’s also revealed that humanity wasn’t exterminated like the vampires had told Yuichiro. Instead, the world’s population was reduced to 1/10. Also, thanks to the Trumpets of the Apocalypse, weird creatures began roaming the earth.

Episode 12 takes place in the aftermath of the fight in Shinjuku between the humans and the vampires. This was a little disappointing, since Episode 11 ended with reinforcements from the Japanese Imperial Army showing up and seemed to hint that we would get to see the ending of the battle. We only end up getting to see bits and pieces of what happened with the remainder of the battle through a small handful of flashbacks that appear in the episode.

We learn that at the start of the episode, Yuichiro has been in a coma state for five days. A concerned Shinoa goes to confront Guren about what happened to Yuichiro on the battlefield and eventually gets some truth out of him by the end of their conversation. What Shinoa learns had been hinted at to the audience earlier in the series, but this allows us to see that Shinoa now knows this information as well.

The episode also shows Mika interacting with some of the other vampires other than Ferid. Through these interactions, we see that the other vampires view Mika as Kruel Tepes’ pet and don’t necessarily think very highly of him. But as we see in this episode, Mika is definitely torn and confused; on the one hand, he hates the vampires for enslaving him and the other kids from the orphanage, but on the other, he now hates the humans because he’s learned about the experimentation that’s been going on. The story seems to be setting Mika up for confusion as to where he ultimately belongs.

Much of the second half of Episode 12 focuses on Yuichiro waking up from his coma state after seven days. This lets the audience see him interacting with Shinoa and the others, and we get to see that Yuichiro has truly come to think of the others in his squad as his friends. That’s a major step forward for Yuichiro, and hopefully this development will continue going forward.

In a lot of respects, this ended up being primarily an exposition episode with very little action involved. Since this is the last episode for this season before Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign goes on a break until Fall 2015, it ended up feeling a little anti-climactic. The episode ended with something that will make the audience wonder what they saw, but this isn’t quite the dramatic ending that I had anticipated before stepping away from the series for about three months.

Even though this episode of Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign didn’t end on quite the note I had expected, I’m still planning on coming back to watch the next cour in October 2015.

Review: Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign: Episode 11 – “Reunion of Childhood Friends”

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign starts off with vampires infecting people over 13 with a virus and killing them off. With the adults gone, the vampires take the children into their “protection” and use them as livestock to feed on. Four years later, Yuichiro, Mikaela, and the other kids from their orphanage try to escape from the vampires; however, Yuichiro is the only one who succeeds. Yuichiro is found by Lieutenant Colonel Guren of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army and is offered a chance to join them so he can kill vampires and get his revenge. It’s also revealed that humanity wasn’t exterminated like the vampires had told Yuichiro. Instead, the world’s population was reduced to 1/10. Also, thanks to the Trumpets of the Apocalypse, weird creatures began roaming the earth.

Episode 11 sees the reunion between Yuichiro and Mikaela take place, but it’s not the reunion that either one of them was expecting. The confusion that takes place between these two is very realistic, and it adds just the right layer of tension to the battle that’s taking place around them. When Yuichiro realizes that Mikaela is now a vampire, he blames himself for it. This realization, in addition to what takes place in the battle, causes Yuichiro to start losing it. He begins transforming, but it’s not because the demon in his Cursed Gear is causing it. It had been hinted earlier in the series that Yuichiro was being tested on by the humans, and this unexpected transformation becomes proof of that this was indeed happening to him. It makes the viewer realize that the humans aren’t clearly the “good guys” in the series, and that the situation of the humans versus the vampires isn’t as black and white as it originally appeared.

Unfortunately, this transformation ends up not being a good thing in the long run. In this new state, Yuichiro seems to lose his consciousness and can’t tell the difference between friend and foe. But in the end, it comes down to a tried and true trope to cause Yuichiro to return to normal. It’s a trope I’ve seen before in anime, as well as in American series like Avatar: The Last Airbender. When Guren told Shinoa that she needs to do something to stop Yuichiro, I had guessed that this trope would be used, and sure enough, I was right. And right near the end of the episode, it appears the cavalry has arrived to save the day. An order is given to launch an attack, and then the episode ends; but this was done in a way where it didn’t feel like a sudden or abrupt ending.

Episode 11 was full of tension, and it was obvious as it progressed that this story is quickly reaching its climax. As a viewer, I was satisfied to finally see Yuichiro and Mikaela reunite with each other, since it was obvious that the story was headed to this point rather early on in the series.

So far, it appears Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign has found a spot to bring the first cour of the series to a close when Episode 12 concludes. I’m looking forward to seeing how this storyline will be wrapped up in the next episode and on what note the series will end on before taking a break this summer.