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.

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.

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.

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (October 27, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Hi-Fi Cluster (which has officially joined the Weekly Shonen Jump lineup), One Piece, Naruto, Nisekoi: False Love, One-Punch Man, Toriko, World Trigger, Bleach, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. In addition, this issue also includes the fourth chapter for Death Note as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s new “Jump Back” initiative. There’s also a thank you section dedicated to Masashi Kishimoto and a con report from New York Comic Con.

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.

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

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:004-005

Hi-Fi Cluster, which had recently been featured as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Start” initiative, has officially joined the lineup of Weekly Shonen
Jump
. This issue includes two chapters in order to start catching up with the Japanese publication.

Chapter Four picks up right where Chapter Three ended. Kandera discovers that that the top brass hasn’t told them everything that they needed to know before going on this assignment, and they get some additional information from the highway patrol. Ekusa takes on the gang, but they split up, and Peta seems to figure out which one is the leader that they need to pursue. Ekusa manages to catch up with the leader, and Kandera is the one who ultimately apprehends him.

Chapter Five sees Peta meeting Heckt Okada, the guy in charge of Special Unit Six’s intelligence gathering and infiltration work. Heckt is the sort of person who doesn’t like making any effort, so when he shows up he’s asleep 80 percent of the time. A new case is also introduced: ten humanoid industrial machines that can be used with ability labels were stolen and it’s their job is to retrieve the robots and arrest the thieves. Heckt is sent to scope out suspicious people in a busy club because Peta’s ability doesn’t work with so many people around. We learn that Heckt’s Hi-Fi ability is the power to decipher all of the conversations that are taking place in a location. With Heckt’s help, they’re able to find the suspects and track them to their hideout. Unfortunately, the industrial machines are launched just as the chapter ends…

I’m glad to see that Hi-Fi Cluster was the series that was selected to become a regular part of Weekly Shonen Jump, because to me, this was the strongest of the four titles that were part of the “Jump Start” initiative. I’m glad to finally know how the storyline that introduced Ekusa ended. And we also get to meet another new character, which helps to expand the world of Hi-Fi Cluster. These early chapters are still working at trying to establish the characters and the world that they inhabit, but these establishing chapters aren’t that boring. There’s enough action to keep the story interesting as the establishing is still going on.

One Piece CH:765

At the beginning of this chapter, we’re still in Law’s flashback. At this point, Corazon and Law run into Doflamingo, who tells them they may have found a way to cure Law’s illness. It requires that Corazon eat the Op-Op Fruit to allow him to be the one to cure Law. But as we later see, Doflamingo suspects that Corazon has been the one leaking information about them to the Navy. Corazon realizes that Doflamingo’s caught on, so he comes up with a plan to steal the Op-Op Fruit before Doflamingo can get his hands on it; Corazon uses his contacts in the Navy to get pertinent information. After his phone call, he discovers Law collapsed on the ground with a fever. At the end of the chapter, Corazon manages to get his hands on the Op-Op Fruit, but he’s seen before he can get back to where Law is…

At this point, we’re definitely getting closer to the end of this flashback. While I’ve enjoyed getting Law’s backstory, I’m starting to hope that we’ll be returning to the main storyline soon so this story arc can continue. His backstory isn’t bad or anything, it’s just taking a little longer than I had anticipated to get it told.

It should be noted that One Piece will not be in next week’s edition of Weekly Shonen Jump and will return in the November 10, 2014 issue.

Naruto CH:697

Sasuke launches his most powerful move, which causes an explosion that knocks the heads off both of the statues at the Valley of the End; Sasuke also collapses on the ground. Sasuke is surprised to see Naruto get back up after the blast; Kurama’s Nature Energy had managed to reach Naruto before he was hit with Sasuke’s blast. But then Sasuke uses Amaterasu, but then Sasuke discovers he’s used up too much chakra so he can’t maintain control or use his left eye’s ability, either. Sasuke gets a shock when Naruto and two of his shadow clones run toward him and they work at beating him up; Sasuke fights back, but it’s not at the power he’d been at. But after a short bit, Sasuke’s getting the upper hand again…

Oh, no! I was really hoping that Naruto would get the upper hand by the end of this chapter! So their fight will definitely continue into the next chapter, and hopefully it’ll either conclude at the end of the next chapter or right at the very beginning of the following chapter. Even with that wish, I have to admit that this fight between the two of them is actually rather exciting. I still can’t believe that there’s only two more weeks left for Naruto

Thank You Masashi Kishimoto

This is a two-page spread of words from various people who have been involved with the English release of the Naruto manga over the years, including editors, a translator, letterers, and a designer. I thought it was a nice feature for what it was.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:144

This chapter continues the story that started in the previous volume of Weekly Shonen Jump. After Onodera and Raku discover they have to share a room that night, it becomes rather awkward for them. Later, when they go the hot spring, they discover that they’re both in the same one and become incredibly embarrassed; after a moment, they discover a sign reading, “Co-Ed.” Onodera seems to be the one to calm down about it first. During a conversation,
Raku asks Onodera why she said a year earlier that she’d be glad if Raku were her first love. But before she can answer, Onodera becomes overheated and has to be helped out of the hot spring.

While this chapter does a little bit to develop the relationship between Raku and Onodera, a lot of it felt like just another way to throw Raku into awkward situations with one of his potential love interests. Between what I’ve read in the first five tankobon, as well as what I’ve read in Weekly Shonen Jump, it just feels like Nisekoi: False Love is simply “spinning its wheels” and only making any progress by adding more characters into the mix. I’ve been starting to think recently that perhaps this series has started to become a little too bloated for its own good.

One-Punch Man CH:038

This chapter returns to focusing on King and Saitama, and Saitama realizes that King’s strength and battle history are a lie. And King realizes that Saitama’s a stronger fighter than he thought he was. King also recognizes Saitama’s voice, and believes that he’s encountered him before. Saitama then asks King if he plans to keep lying or quit being a hero, and then ends with asking King why he doesn’t try to get stronger. In the end, Saitama doesn’t seem to be the least bit upset with King over what he’s done.

Well, it appears that King’s part of the story has come to an end. It felt a bit anticlimactic, but oh well. I guess at this point, Saitama will be heading back to where Senos is and try to help him out with the smaller being that emerged from the melted G4. I’m guessing it’ll take Senos and Saitama teaming up in order to take that thing down, and that this will probably take at least one or two more chapters. I have to give this story arc credit, because it seems to be moving faster than the previous story arc had. Hopefully it’ll continue to keep moving at this pace and not bog down and become boring.

Toriko CH:298

It turns out the creature that approached Toriko and the othera at the end of the previous chapter is a Nitro, who says she will show the group the place where civilization once flourished on the continent. They explore the ruins, and the Nitro introduces herself as Kaka, one of the three flavor wizards. She explains she had heard about them from Chichi. It turns out that Kaka had been awoken from her drought dormancy by Komatsu. While they talk, Komatsu’s condition takes a sudden turn, but they manage to stabilize him. At this point, it appears Komatsu only has one week left, unless they can find a way to save him before they run out of supplies. Kaka tells them they must focus on acquiring Pair and that she knows how to do it. They are told they must go to the most dangerous part of Area 7 to complete their quest, which is 100 G Mountain and that one of the Eight Kings lives there; Toriko and the others must battle the Monkey King to get the Pair.

This chapter spends a lot of time introducing a new character to the reader, as well as establishes what truly needs to be done in order to rescue Komatsu. I was a little concerned when I saw Komatsu’s condition suddenly turn in this chapter, but was glad to see that they could take care of him for now. I really hope that there will be a happy ending for Komatsu, because he’s one of the characters I’ve come to enjoy when I read Toriko. If Komatsu is
killed off, I’ll be rather disappointed.

World Trigger CH:080

Osamu makes a break for it, but Mira manages to have enough energy to stop him. Just as Commander Hyrein approaches Osamu, he is suddenly attacked. At this moment, Osamu throws Replica toward the Neighbors’ ship. A “Return Home” command has been issued to the ship, and Hyrein takes the cube Osamu has; Hyrein discovers that it’s simply a Trion cube. Hyrein, Mira, and the other Neighbors are heading off in their ship, which also means that Replica will be going with them.

Finally! This story arc is over! It took how many months to get to this point? After stretching it out for so long, it sure seemed to wrap up in a hurry. I assume this conclusion is what’s been referenced by “the future crossroads.” Now the question is, where is the series going to go to from here? Since I jumped into the middle of this particular story arc and have only seen the first two episodes of the anime so far, I’m really not terribly familiar with what this series has done prior to this story arc.

Bleach CH:602

It turns out that the speciality of one of the Royal Guards is to accurately calculate the lethal dose of a particular substance and to adjust that amount at will. The Royal Guard uses this ability to Etsu’s blood, but Etsu counters it by starting to drain some of his own blood so it gets under the lethal dose. Etsu then uses Tenjiro’s red hot spring to replace the blood he lost with new blood. Etsu is able to defeat this member of the Royal Guard, and then turns his sights on Yhwach right at the end of the chapter.

The battle in this chapter is done in the manner that I’ve come to expect from battles that appear in Bleach. However, some time was spent on explaining what a lethal dose is, as well as some facts concerning blood. While these explanations were needed, they did bog down the chapter somewhat. While the battle between Etsu and the Royal Guard took some time, it wasn’t quite as long as I’d expected. But now that Etsu has turned his attention to Yhwach, I imagine that battle will take longer before reaching a resolution.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:47

After encountering E’rah, the deity of despair, Yuma and the others find themselves in a graveyard. It turns out that with the return of Kaito’s number, Astral has regained his memories… which includes coming from the astral world to defeat E’rah. The grave markers in the graveyard is for a hope that E’rah has destroyed. E’rah reveals that it’s her goal to destroy both our world and the astral world. It’s also revealed that E’rah was the one who scattered Astral’s memories and is the one who broke Yagumo. Yuma, Kaito, and Ryoga all decide to battle E’rah. During the battle, it appears that E’rah is very overpowered. At the end of the chapter, as Yuma is about to give up, something surprising happens…

At this point, it seems pretty clear that this storyline is getting much closer to reaching its conclusion. Obviously, with how overpowered E’rah is, it’s going to take several chapters to somehow defeat her. I also have a suspicion that I know what’s going on with the surprise happening, so I’m curious to see if I’m right. And if I’m right about this storyline getting closer to an end, does this also mean the manga itself will end after this?

Death Note CH:004

In this chapter, we see L pondering over what he’s figured out so far. Light, meanwhile, is trying to find ways to keep other people from touching the Death Note so no one else can see Ryuk. And from talking with Light, Ryuk learns that he’s done some of the things he’s done up to now is because Light wants to find L and eliminate him. Meanwhile, members from the Special Investigation forces start turning in their reginations because they don’t want to be killed by “Kira.” We then get to see what Light devised in order to hide the Death Note.

So it appears that this is the final chapter of Death Note that will be part of the “Jump Back” initiative. As someone who hasn’t read Death Note before, I really appreciated getting this sampler over the past four weeks. It’s interested me enough that I’ll need to try to read the whole series at some point. I hope to see some other “Jump Back” initiatives in the future.

NYCC Con Report

This section includes pictures of cosplayers at New York Comic Con, which runs for five pages. Readers who enjoy looking at pictures of cosplay.

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (September 22, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Bleach, One Piece, Hi-Fi Cluster, Toriko, Judos, Nisekoi: False Love, One-Punch Man, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. In addition, this issue includes the first chapter for Sporting Salt, the third title in the Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” initiative.

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

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

Sporting Salt CH:001

Sporting Salt is the third series to be included as part of Viz Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” initiative.

Manabu and Luna are walking down the street, and find Hiroyuki Shioya lecturing other kids about smoking; he tries to get them to give up smoking and to start a life of sports. When Hiroyuki asks Manabu and Luna for directions, Luna tells him that Manabu is busy with running practice. Hiroyuki gets excited when he hears this, because it turns out he’s into sports medicine. Hiroyuki is a second-year student at Tachibana Harbor High School, and he declares that he’s going to be the best sports medicine doctor in Japan. Hiroyuki takes out this week’s placebo item, Supersonic Shoes. When Manabu and Luna point out that these shoes won’t work for what they’re doing, Hiroyuki tries something else until he’s distracted by a woman riding a bicycle nearby. He tells he she has powerful legs and that he wants to feel them.

The next day, Manabu discovers that Hiroyuki is in his family’s kitchen. After Manabu reacts to Hiroyuki’s being there, Hiroyuki starts explaining what he needs to do in order to receive a license for sports medicine, and then starts going off on the history of sports medicine. When Manabu complains about wanting to win the race but being told that he’s too slow, Hiroyuki tells him there’s a way to run faster, even if you’re slow. After Manabu figures out what he has to do, he’s really excited. Unfortunately, his excitement is diminished when Luna arrives and tells Manabu that she’s moving.

Later, Manabu tells Hiroyuki that he likes Luna and that he was hoping to show off his running to her before confessing his feelings. Hiroyuki gives Manabu some advice to help him have some more strength, and he also does something that helps take the tension out of Manabu’s upper body so he can focus on his legs. And amazingly enough, Manabu wins! Manabu confesses his feelings, and finds that Luna likes him back. Near the end of the chapter, Manabu and Luna learn that Hiroyuki is a pretty impressive person and is going to an extremely competitive school in the world of sports. At the end of the chapter, we see Hiroyuki going to the school for the first time.

I have to admit that this manga had a very rocky start to it. Hiroyuki came off as being rather weird and almost stalkerish, and his suddenly appearing in Manabu’s kitchen didn’t help with that stalker perception. Fortunately, if you make it past the early pages of this chapter, you discover that Hiroyuki really does know what he’s doing and truly wants to help. The part of the chapter that focuses on Hiroyuki, Manabu, and Luna is definitely there to establish Hiroyuki as a character. From what we see at the end of the chapter, I expect that the main focus of Sporting Salt will be on Hiroyuki as he helps out the various sports teams at Tachibana Harbor High School. Hopefully future chapters will continue to make Hiroyuki more likable as a character.

Bleach CH:597

In this chapter, Liltotto approaches Pepe and tells him he needs to take responsibility for trying to kill them by pitting them against each other. Meanwhile, Yhwach enters Reiokyu and is obviously not welcomed. The guards try to attack, but he doesn’t dodge and they can’t get a hit in on him. And right at the very end, Urahara launches Ichigo, Chad, Orihime, and Yoruichi to their destination…

Ummm… wow. Basically nothing truly happens over the course of this chapter. We just get to see brief glimpses for three scenes and then it’s over. While we finally got to see Ichigo and the others, they were only there for two pages, so it almost doesn’t count. Hopefully the next chapter will actually do something to progress the story.

One Piece CH:761

The chapter opens in Primula, a town to the northwest, where attempts are being made to suppress the rioting and chaos. Then, the story returns to the palace, where Doflamingo and Luffy continue their scene. We learn that years earlier, Doflamingo managed to get the Op-Op Fruit, which is known as the Ultimate Devil Fruit; this allows the user to perform the Immortality Operation to give eternal life with the price of the user losing their own life.

We also get a flashback of Law’s that shows what happened 16 years ago in the North Blue and how he came to join up with the Don Quixote Family, and how he met Corazon.

This was basically a character development chapter for Law, so not much truly happens for the actual plot or storyline. At least having the character development beats what Bleach did this week!

It should also be noted that One Piece won’t be in next week’s edition of Weekly Shonen Jump, but is supposed to return on October 6, 2014.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:002

At the beginning of Chapter Two, we see Kandera taking Peta to jail. He’s actually taken to what looks like an old candy store, and he meets Miri Sanyama, the Deputy Chief of Special Unit Six. It turns out Kandera was only joking about taking Peta to jail; they’re actually in the underground headquarters for Special Unit Six. Kandera tells Peta that he should join their unit because he’s a “Loader” with a Hi-Fi label. During this scene, the audience, along with Peta, receive a history of how the labels came to be. It turns out the Hi-Fi label that Peta has was created by the person who created the labels and their system. Kandera and Miri are called away for an urgent case, and they end up taking Peta along with them. It turns out Peta has an ability that should be able to help them with the case and they figure out how to activate the ability. It also appears that the genius whose mind is the core of this label is Socrates. After Peta is able to provide pertinent information, Kandera is able to take down the individuals causing the problem. At the end of the chapter, it appears that Peta has made up his mind to assist the police.

I liked how this story progressed from where it ended in the previous volume, and I appear to have guessed correctly that Peta would end up joining up with Kandera and his squad. I also think Kandera is an interesting character; he looks intimidating and he’s good at his job, but he’s willing to joke around and be goofy every once in a while. I can’t say a whole lot about Miri yet, since we didn’t get to see her do much in this chapter outside of providing some history for the labels to help the audience and Peta better understand what’s going on. Of the three “Jump Start” initiative titles that I’ve read, I would have to say that Hi-Fi Cluster has been the best one. I’m a little sad knowing that next week will be the last chapter that we’ll be seeing of it in the English version of Weekly Shonen Jump.

Toriko CH:293

We see Komatsu getting a hole punched through his chest by the shadowy figures that attacked Toriko and the others at the end of the previous chapter. The shadowy figures are from Neo, and they’ve come for air. Some of Toriko’s companions begin attacking Neo, while a nearby medic asks to see Komatsu. As work is being done to save Komatsu, Toriko starts summoning his strength in order to take on Neo. The battle is just getting underway as the chapter finishes.

After having two or three chapters that were rather light on the action, this chapter dives right back into it. Even though more action is taking place, the actual story doesn’t progress terribly much. Hopefully the next chapter will begin to propel the actual story forward, at least a little.

Judos CH:003

Mizuki learns from Hana that Judos is a celebration for the demon children descendants of their founder, Juzo Tanaka. However, Hana insists on taking her back to the inn, because the demons could gobble her up if she’s out wandering around while Judos is going on. Meanwhile, Saito comes upon the villagers watching various matches on television screens. Saito is told that now that he knows what’s going on, he has to keep quiet. As they watch, they see Hana heading toward his next opponent. The chapter ends as the opponent approaches…

It took me a couple of weeks, but I’ve started becoming more interested in this title. It’s too bad that this is the final chapter we’ll be seeing in North America for now. Maybe this title could appear again at such a point there’s an opening available in Weekly Shonen Jump, or maybe Viz could acquire the license for it and release it tankobon volumes. It’s just going to depend on how good of a reception it gets from the Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” initiative, I guess.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:139

In this chapter, we see Chitoge trying to figure out how to get the switch made with the princess since she hasn’t received any word from them. Luckily for Chitoge, the princess raps on a nearby window and the two work at switching back after the princess gets inside. As they talk, Chitoge calls Raku clueless; however, the princess sticks up for him. As the princess asks Chitoge about her feelings for Raku, the princess comments that the two of them are more alike than she realized. After Chitoge makes her escape out the window, she tries to play a trick on Raku, but it backfires. At the end of the chapter, we see the princess give a press conference.

Hooray! This “trading places with royalty because they look like a main character” story is finally over! It wasn’t necessarily a bad story, but I think it went on a little longer than it needed to. Hopefully the next story arc will actually progress the overarching story.

One-Punch Man CH:037.3

In this chapter, King is trying to figure out if he can run away. Senos, Saitama’s companion, starts to take on G4; when Saitama asks if Senos needs help, he says no. Saitama’s assignment is to help Senos reach the Class S top ten, so Senos must defeat this enemy on his own.

This is a rather standard chapter for One-Punch Man, where there’s a lot of action but not any real progression to the overall story. Since I haven’t read this series from the beginning, it’s interesting for me to see that Saitama isn’t the one doing the fighting this time. In fact, Saitama just seems to be calmly walking away from the fight at the end of the chapter. I guess this story arc is to allow another character to shine?

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:46

Kaito, Yuma, and Ryoga continue to work together to try to take down Yagumo. Yuma steps in and launches his attack, which leads to summoning S. No 39 Utopia One. But just as it looks like Yuma has the upper hand, Yagumo activates an effect on The Seven Sins; this allows his monster to block Utopia One’s effect. But Yuma pulls out and activates an overlay rebirth. This allows him to to choose two monsters from the graveyard to be absorbed by Utopia One. Yuma then uses the Ultimate XYZ spell card, and uses this to destroy the Seven Deadly Sins. Yuma then activates Rank Up Magic Shining Force, which allows him to overlay Utopia One on Utopia Lightning. The attack works, but it doesn’t completely wipe out Yagumo’s life points; he still has 100 left. Yagumo activated a trap card. And right at the end of the chapter, a deity known as E*rah appears, and she is the deity of despair…

Most of this chapter was the typical battle chapters that are common in the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed that Yuma’s final attack ended up not knocking out Yagumo. And I’m just afraid that with the arrival of E*rah, this story is going to be drug out even longer than it already has.

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (August 25, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for One-Punch Man, Toriko, Naruto, One Piece, Nisekoi: False Love, Bleach, World Trigger, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal.

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.

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:036.2 + CH:037

In Chapter 36.2, Saitama comes out and starts receiving a lecture from Tornado, and she also starts insulting him. Genos says he’ll pulverize her; but the joke’s on him when Tonado and defeats him. Before she can attack Saitama, she is given a lecture by someone else over her behavior.

In Chapter 37, a Lizard Man appears and starts to terrorize a city. King, who is called the strongest man in the world, approaches the Lizard Man; before he can do anything, the Lizard Man cowers in fear and faints.

The first piece exists in order to finally conclude the story arc that’s been running in Weekly Shonen Jump since I started reading the online magazine back in March 2014. And all I can say is, “Finally!” This particular story was drug on for waaaaay too long, and I had gotten rather bored of it.

The second piece is here to establish the beginning of the next story arc. It appears that a Class S Rank 7 hero named King is going to be playing an important role in the new story arc. It turns out that while he may be strong and have a scary-looking face, he actually doesn’t seem to be quite the “tough guy” that everyone thinks he is; this is shown when he goes to buy a romance simulation game. Saitama makes a very brief appearance in this second part, right at the end. I suspect that somehow, Saitama and King’s paths will end up meeting and they’ll probably have to either fight each other or fight together against an enemy.

Toriko CH:289

In this chapter, Brunch is able to chop the air and the maturation process for the air fruit begins accelerating. Komatsu then begins to prepare the air fruit with help from some of his comrades. As they work, the air fruit falls; they have to make sure it doesn’t hit the ground and burst…

This chapter spends all of its time building up the suspense as Komatsu works to prepare the air fruit. In some respects, the narration is a little “over the top” at times. The result of their work is revealed at the end of the chapter; however, I’m not going to provide that “spoiler.”

Naruto CH:689

In this chapter, Kaguya is creating a new time space, and intends to use Naruto and the others as its sacrifices. Kakashi gathers Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura together for their last mission as the former cell number seven. Kaguya tries attacking Kakashi, but he’s gained Obito’s abilities that help him dodge her attacks. Right at the end, Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura work together to try to take Kaguya down…

Well, it looks like we’re getting closer to wrapping up this fight. Kaguya suddenly doesn’t seem quite so overpowered anymore, and I really hope her luck has finally run out! But it was so awesome to see the former cell number seven working together again!

One Piece CH:757

At the beginning of this chapter, Luffy and Trafalgar begin heading toward the Fourth Step. Meanwhile at the Fourth Step, Rebecca is approached by the man who shot her mother to death. Before he can do anything, Kyros jumps in and takes the guy on. As they’re about to face off, Luffy and Trafalgar arrive and ask Rebecca for the key…

Hooray! This chapter doesn’t jump around nearly as much as many of the recent chapters have, and the story is finally progressing! Luffy and Trafalgar FINALLY make it to the Fourth Step, and are able to get the key to set Trafalgar free. It looks like the stage is being set for Kyros to take on the guy who killed his wife, and for Luffy and Trafalgar to go after Doflamingo. But I suspect the story will continue to be drawn out for a while longer to build up to the climax between Luffy, Trafalgar and Doflamingo.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:135

This chapter sees Yui being assigned to teach music at the school because the regular teacher quit and they haven’t found a replacement. Unfortunately, it turns out that she’s tone deaf, but she doesn’t realize it herself. When she tries singng for the class, it goes horribly wrong. The vice principal says at the next assembly, it’s Yui’s turn to lead the school song. Yui begs Raku and Marika for help, and after a moment, Marika agrees to work with Raku. Unfortunately, this doesn’t go well. But when Yui hears Tsugumi sing, she asks Tsugumi for help. But Yui ends up practicing so much that she develops a sore throat…

This is basically a chapter that focuses on Yui, and it tries to pull in Raku and a couple of the other girls from Raku’s harem. This is one of those one-off stories that don’t do anything to progress the overarching story. If there hadn’t been such an emphasis placed on the overarching story earlier in the series, I’d probably be able to tolerate these one-off stories a little better. Oh well. I can only hope that Komi will progress the overarching story about the promise and the locket at some point again!

Bleach CH:593

In this chapter, Hitsugaya attacks Mayuri. Fortunately for Mayuri, he implanted something in his blade that’s able to detect other blades and automatically block their strikes. Hitsugaya uses his Bankai, but then the scene suddenly starts repeating itself. When Hitsugaya uses his Bankai a second time, the same thing happens. It turns out Mayuri gave Hitsugaya the power to see the past, and that he returns to the past each time he kills Mayuri. But there are limits to what the drug Mayuri gave Hitsugaya can do. A side effect of the drug happens right at the end of the chapter…

This chapter ends up focusing completely on Hitsugaya and Mayuri. I knew from what I’ve seen of the anime that Mayuri could be twisted, but wow, this takes the cake. With the way this chapter ends, I wonder if this will be used as a cliffhanger in order to put the focus on something else that’s going on, or if the next chapter will continue the storyline with Hitsugaya and Mayuri.

World Trigger CH:072

In this chapter, Director Shinoda tells his subordinates to take Enedora, the Black Trigger into custody as a prisoner of war; but before they can, Mira arrives to retrieve Enedora. It turns out she’s only there to retrieve the Black Trigger and not Enedora himself. Mira leaves, and Enedora dies. They still take him into custody so they can study his horns, which are an unknown trigger technology. We also get to see a couple of the other battlefronts before the chapter ends…

I’m glad to see that the storyline with Enedora finally came to an end; his storyline felt like it was dragging after a while. But through his defeat and ultimate death, I was able to learn a couple of things about the Black Trigger. Perhaps readers who have been following World Trigger since the very beginning might have already known this information, but since I jumped into the story during this story arc, I’ve essentially been going blind this whole time. Hopefully future chapters can reveal more information to me as I read them so I can better understand this series.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:45

In this chapter, Yagumo begins telling Ryoga about what happened to his brother before their battle gets going. There’s a lengthy flashback sequence that takes place during this point of the chapter. When we return to the battle, we see Yagumo determined to destroy the world. After they battle, Kaito jumps in to battle Yagumo. Then, Yagumo uses his monster to attack Ryoga directly…

So this chapter is a combination of an “info dump” and the usual battles that the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise is known for. Basically, playing the cards and spending time describing in detail what the card will do, as if this is a manual for playing the game. The story hardly moved forward in this chapter at all, so for me, this was kind of a boring read. But then again, I don’t personally expect much out of this franchise at this point.

Viz Media Releases New Weekly Shonen Jump Print Edition “Jump Pack” Volume 3

Viz Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump manga magazine has released its third and latest edition of the Weekly Shonen Jump Jump Pack. The new issue is now available in-print throughout the U.S. and Canada, exclusively from retailers serviced by Diamond Comic Distributors and also from the leading online anime/manga retailer Right Stuf. The Weekly Shonen Jump Jump Pack 2014, Issue 3 is rated ‘T’ for Teens and carries an MSRP of $19.99 U.S. / $22.99 CAN.

The latest Jump Pack issue features individual manga chapters from a sampling of Weekly Shonen Jump’s fan-loved, smash-hit continuing series including the paranormal exploits of Bleach, the ongoing ninja saga of Naruto, the high seas adventure of One Piece, the apocalyptic vampire thriller Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, and the kinetic action of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal.

The latest issue features a special promotional code for a 3-month weekly digital subscription to the magazine and also includes a limited edition Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Evening Twilight Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card. This card is exclusive to Jump Pack Issue 3 and Weekly Shonen Jump annual subscribers.

© 1996 KAZUKI TAKAHASHI

© 2011 NAS•TV TOKYO

© 1999 Masashi Kishimoto