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

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (July 21, 2014)

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

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.

World Trigger CH:068

In this chapter, Osamu and his group work at fighting against the Neighbors that are attacking them. They are joined by Izumi, who helps them out. Chika suddenly stops and reacts to the arrival of the humanoid Neighbor we’d seen earlier. He launches an attack with birds; if the birds touch the humans, they will be turned into cubes. As they try t use their weapons on them, their weapons turn into cubes. Unfortunately, the tables have turned, and Osamu is ordered to take Chika and run. As they escape, Osamu tries to attack the humanoid Neighbor. At the end of the chapter, the Neighbor launches an attack that seems to affect Chika…

After how much jumping around the most recent chapters had done, I’m glad to see that this chapter focused exclusively on one area of the battlefield. Specifically, it focused on Osamu and his group. This chapter also saw a little more emphasis being placed on Chika and how much she’s able to assist Osamu with her trion. With this chapter, it finally feels like the story may be starting to progress. Hopefully this progression will continue in the next chapter.

One Piece CH:753

In this chapter, Doflamingo is meeting with Bellamy. At the same time, we see the gladiators fighting against the Don Quixote family. Then, the action moves to Sevio in South Dressrosa, where some of the people decide to take King Riku and Usopp hostage. Then, we move to the inside of Smile Factory, where the workers are being forced to work by Doflamingo’s men. Then we go to Luffy and his group trying to make it to the flower field on the fourth step…

Wow, this chapter jumps around quite a bit! With some of the scenes, it feels like I’m just starting to get my bearings and then it changes to a completely different scene. There’s a lot of action going on, but because of how often the story is changing locations, it’s starting to get harder for me to truly follow what’s going on with anyone anymore. Reading One Piece right now is starting to get quite dizzying!

Nisekoi: False Love CH:131

The focus of this chapter is on the school festival. It appears that Onodera’s younger sister’s class is putting on a haunted house. Some of the girls have been plotting to get Onodera and Raku inside and scare them in the dark in order to bring them together. When Haru goes to invite the two of them, she runs into Chitoge, who is wearing an Alice in Wonderland costume. Raku’s class is doing a cosplay cafe. After seeing the various costumes, Haru invites Onodera and Raku to their haunted house. They go through the haunted house together, and Haru makes sure to throw out everything she knows her sister is afraid of. Onodera gets so scared that she starts clinging to Raku. By the end of the chapter, Haru realizes that she still harbors feelings for Raku. Haru then learns her friend signed her up for the beauty contest without her permission. She sees who the judges are: Raku and Chitoge.

Well, it looks like this chapter was basically written to accomplish three things. First, an attempt at trying to get Onodera and Raku to be closer. Second, to show that Haru hasn’t given up on her feelings for Raku. And third, it’s a chapter to set up the beauty contest story; with the way this chapter ended, it’s obvious the beauty contest will have to be the next one. I’m predicting that at least some members of Raku’s harem will find themselves in the beauty contest, which will make it hard for him since he’s one of the judges.

Bleach CH:589

In this chapter, we see Ichigo, Chad, and Orihime with Urahara. It turns out Urahara built Kukaku’s cannon below Squad 12’s barracks. Ichigo is embarrassed when Chad asks him what he thinks of Orihime’s outfit; he says he thinks she’s revealing too much. Yoruichi shows up and smacks Ichigo and lectures him; she’s only wearing it because a perv tricked her into it. It turns out Yoruichi was investigating the distortion the Quincies were causing at the boundary between the world of the living and the Soul Society. With what Yoruichi has brought with her, preparations are made to launch the cannon. The chapter then returns to the battle between the Soul Reapers and the Quincies. Just as it looks like there could be trouble, someone unexpected shows up on the battlefield…

This chapter places most of its emphasis on Ichigo, Chad, Orihime, and Urahara. And quite a bit of that section had a focus on the “fanservice” being provided by Orihime’s outfit. This scene helps us to learn a little bit of what’s going on, but ultimately doesn’t really move the story forward. And what little bit of the battle we see between the Soul Reapers and the Quincies doesn’t seem to truly progress the story, either. Right now, it’s kind of feeling like Kubo is trying to do everything in his power to stretch the story out. Hopefully we’ll start seeing some meaningful progression sooner rather than later.

Naruto CH:685

In this chapter, Obito instructs Sakura and one of Naruto’s shadow clones to keep a hand on him so they can teleport elsewhere at any moment. They successfully teleport, but Kaguya and Zetsu are on to them. Obito tells Sakura and the Naruto clone to hide while he draws their attention. It turns out Kaguya destroyed one of Naruto’s clones. Sakura provides her chakra to Obito in order to help him search the time-spaces for Sasuke. They succeed in finding him, although it looks uncertain as to whether or not he’ll make it to where Sakura and Obito are…

There’s not a lot of focus on Naruto and Kaguya in this chapter. Instead, the focus is more on Sakura and Obito as they search the time-spaces for Sasuke. Obito’s done a lot of work in this chapter, so I can only imagine what his Sharingan and chakra must be like at this point. How much longer will he be able to help out in the battle? And hopefully the next chapter will return to focusing more on Naruto and what he’s up to.

Hunter x Hunter CH:347

In this chapter, Ging and Pariston are attacked by the three guys who declared at the end of the previous chapter that their real boss is Beyond. The two of them have to flee and work together to try to get out of this predicament. Ging is able to imitate a punching ability that he’s been hit with in the past to help take down the three guys that are chasing them. Later, Ging tells Muherr that their act about this could’ve been much better, and gives his evaluation of the troops. Ging is also shown one of their weapons. When the discussion turns to how the mercenaries don’t like talk of money, Ging says he’ll make a deposit in the Norwell Fund, which is a relief fund for the family of fallen soldiers.

This chapter focuses exclusively on Ging, and has some focus on Pariston as well. We finally get an explanation as to why Ging has acted the way he has, and as for why he was offering the mercenaries money. I thought the idea of the Norwell Fund was kind of interesting, although the three-generational tier to it definitely has its disadvantages. I’m wondering if later in this story arc, Ging will come to regret his decision to create a “grandchild account,” since this now makes him a mercenary and he has to follow orders from very specific people. Now that I’ve been learning more about what this story arc entails, I’m starting to become a little more interested in the Hunter x Hunter series.

Toriko CH:285

This chapter focuses on various battles. The first battlefront is at Stardust Hill, where Team Zebra and Brunch are. Brunch uses his full-body charge magnet which allows him to magnetize his whole body; by doing this, he is able to attract a torrential downpour of meteors to him. Zebra uses voice eruption to blow the meteors away. Next it’s Team Sunny and Nosh at the Plains of the Bees’ Nest. Nosh creates an impenetrable shield by pushing the muscle fibers of his entire body to the plate on his head. The action then moves to Team Coco and Dinner at Poison Rain Prairie. Then we see Komatusu and Mappy west of Nightmare Hill. Then it’s off to the heart of Nightmare Hill where Toriko is facing off with Heracles of the Eight Kings, and this is where the chapter ends…

This chapter ended up jumping all over the place. Just as I was getting use to one battlefront, it would suddenly switch to a different one. Over the course of this chapter, we see five different locations, and it was almost dizzying just how often the scenes would change. The chapter was a relatively fast read, but I’m not truly sure just how much of it I actually absorbed as I read it. Oh well. Hopefully the next chapter will slow down its pacing a little bit.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:44

In this chapter, Yuma, Astral, and the others from the duel find themselves near a black hole from another world, which is pulling the their world and the Astral World together so that they’ll crash; they also discover that they’re being pulled toward the black hole. Astral wants to prevent this from happening, and he materializes a huge boulder out of thin air. Only a duel can open the barrier, and Astral tries to get into a duel with Yagumo. Yuma stops him, and Shark and Kaito say they want to take on Yagumo. Yuma says he’ll team up with them in order to bring Yagumo down. Yagumo declares that he is the chosen one by the Dark God. Since he has three contenders, Yagumo declares that he gets triple life points. And a duel begins. Yagumo goes first and does a lot to power up his monsters on his first turn. As the duel is getting underway, allies of Yuma, Kaito, and Shark are in a bubble that’s above them and can see what’s going on. Ryoga is the first to battle Yagumo…

This was definitely a long chapter, and once it finally hits a duel, the manga is back to the typical explanations that make the story start sounding like a player’s manual for playing the game. To me, that’s always been a weakness of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. It can be bad enough hearing them saying all this stuff in the anime, but to have to sit and read through these explanations in the manga can be even worse. And with how much both Yagumo and Ryoga do in order to level up their various monsters, it gets even worse than usual in that regard. But with how the story is progressing, it’s clear that this particular story arc is getting closer to an end.

One-Punch Man CH:035.3 V2

This is a re-worked version of the chapter that appeared in the July 7, 2014 issue of Weekly Shonen Jump. The first 23 pages are mostly the same, except that two brand new pages were added. From page 198 to the end, it’s all brand-new content that includes the climax to the fight.

Since I started reading Weekly Shonen Jump, this is the second time that a re-worked version of a previously published chapter of One-Punch Man has appeared in the publication. The first time was bad enough, but to see this happen again… *shake my head*. But we see that during the battle, the power sphere is now broken and is crashing. It appears that Saitama is the actual victor of this fight. Well, at least that fight is FINALLY over. So now where is the story of One-Punch Man going to head in next?

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (June 23, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Naruto, Hunter x Hunter, Nisekoi: False Love, Stealth Symphony, Bleach, One Punch Man, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. There’s also an interview with the Japanese editor of the All You Need Is Kill manga.

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

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

One Piece CH:750

This chapter sees four flashpoints trying to reach the palace. Meanwhile. Usopp’s retinue makes its way to the surface. Princess Viola finds the key to Trafalgar Law’s cuffs, and she’s determined to help him since he and the other pirates are destroying the “sham peace” their country has been enjoying. Rebecca insists on taking the key to Tragalgar. Luffy gets more action in, and the gladiators starting heading up toward the palace as well.

As with many of the recent chapters, this one has been very action-packed and chaotic. It’s jumping around to several different areas throughout it, and I’m trying to keep straight who’s where and what they’re doing. It’s exciting, but also a little confusing. I suspect that we’re going to be seeing all of the various groups making it to the palace and teaming up together. It’ll be interesting to see if I’m right or not, as well as what exactly will happen once we get to the palace.

Naruto CH:681

In this chapter, Naruto and Sasuke are determined to seal Kaguya away. Kaguya comes up behind them, turns them around to face her, and they can see that she’s crying. Neither Naruto nor Sasuke can move. She begins taking their chakra; it appears that Kaguya sees her two children when she looks at them. There’s also a big reveal in regards to Black Zetsu. A story is also told about how Kaguya had been sealed away before. At the end of the chapter, though, Naruto is able to free himself and Sasuke…

Overall, this chapter is more of an “info dumping” chapter that finally provides some of the missing pieces that links various things that have been seen throughout the series together, as well as provides more background on the world of the shinobi. There was some action in the chapter, but it was definitely more of an “info dump.” In some respects, though, this is nice, because it helped to slow things down a little bit. Many of the recent chapters have been so action oriented and moving the story along so quickly that it almost felt dizzying at times. I suspect that the next chapter will be picking the action back up a bit. I’m curious to see just how much longer Kishimoto will end up telling the story before he finally has to bring it to an end.

Hunter x Hunter CH:344

In this chapter, Ging and Pariston continue the conversation that began in the previous chapter. Ging says he’ll pay twice what they’re being offered upfront, with only one condition: that Ging is number two. The group considers the offer. Later, Ging meets with the ones who have agreed to join him, and he explains some things about travel and the Dark Continent, as well as about Netero and Beyond’s journeys there. Meanwhile. Kurapika gets a call from the Hunter studying medicine; the Hunter says he’ll be joining the Zodiacs.

Since I’m still a relatively new reader to Hunter x Hunter, there’s still a lot I’m trying to learn and figure out as I read these chapters. However, I can say with a lot of certainty that there was a lot of “info dumping” near the end of the chapter. I didn’t mind, though, since, like I said, I’m still learning and getting used to this series. I’m sure that like with the other series in Weekly Shonen Jump that I jumped into the middle of, I’ll start getting the hang of this one, too.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:127

In this chapter, Shu learns that Raku is alone with Yui in the house because the others who live there have gone on a trip. Shu makes sure to send a message to the other girls in Raku’s harem to let them know, and they all quickly head over to Raku’s house. Yui tells Raku they’ll try to make the best of it with everyone else there. Yui tries to get Raku alone by asking him to help her prepare lunch, and the other girls all volunteer to help. Yui then says she can handle it herself and asks Raku to entertain their guests. After they eat, they play the King Game. Unfortunately, the King Game doesn’t go as well as the various members of the group hope, which causes some humorous moments.

So this chapter brings together Raku, the various girls in his harem, and Shu. Having all the girls there causes a bit of competitiveness between them, especially as they’re playing the King Game. The chapter ends with Yui being the king, and everyone’s waiting with bated breath to see what she commands to be done. While this story arc does progress the competitiveness that began at the end of the previous chapter, it feels like it’s not going to progress the overarching story much.

Stealth Symphony CH:017

In this chapter, Alice learns that Jig hasn’t shown up at the Cyborg Soldier School for a few days. When Alice asks for Raika’s assistance to find Jig, she learns that Raika was caught up in the accident at the police station and is now in intensive care. A couple of people from the Cyborg Soldier School are able to access her device that records the surroundings right before and right after an accident, and they see that Jig is somehow involved. We also see the orphanage director and Slice talking about Jig and learn a little more about what his situation has really been. Dragons begin attacking, and Slice tells Troma that he’s going to kill Alice.

This chapter really starts to provide more background for Jig, and the story seems like it’s starting to make a little more sense. Once the dragons start showing themselves near the end of the chapter, there’s a more dramatic atmosphere to the story. And adding in Slice’s declaration that he’s going to kill Alice only heightens the drama and tension that’s been building over the course of the chapter. I’ve been enjoying this series so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the story will go next.

Bleach CH:585

In this chapter, Ichigo learns something about his robe from the Quincy head honcho who suddenly appears on the battlefield. As Ichigo tries going toward the guy, the women who had been fighting with him say that he won’t be able to make it to His Majesty while he’s surrounded by them and the others who have come onto the battlefield. Ichigo has to fight the newcomers, and Renji suddenly appears to give him some help. Right at the end of the chapter, we see there’s more than just Renji there; he’s joined by some of the other Soul Reapers.

This chapter is basically setting the stage for the Soul Reapers to take on some of the Quincies, and for Ichigo to go after their head honcho. I suspect that this fight will end up taking a while, so I imagine that the story arc is nowhere near its end yet. I suspect that Ichigo and the Soul Reapers will come out on top at the end, but the question is how they’ll overcome this obstacle.

One Punch Man CH:035.2

In this chapter, Saitama and Boros are now in outer space. Saitama launches an attack on Boros, and Boros is impressed. He believes that Saitama is worth defeating. Right at the end of the chapter, Saitama launches a barrage of punches…

Um… wow. This chapter was really short, and really, not much happens in it. Basically, it’s Saitama and Boros meeting face-to-face in outer space, with Saitama launching a couple of attacks on his opponent. So far, during the time I’ve read this series in Weekly Shonen Jump, it feels like the story hardly moves at all. I just keep wondering how much longer the mangaka is going to stretch this story arc out before it’s finally wrapped up. But by the time this story arc comes to an end, am I going to even care anymore?

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:43

In this chapter, Yagumo and Shark’s duel continues. Yagumo is determined to open the door to the otherworld and destroy the world. We also see a flashback sequence for Akari which gives the background as to how she came to get a hold of the pendant and why she tries to keep Yuma from dueling. Akari contacts Yuma when she sees something unusual happening over the dueling area, and she tells him that she thinks their father is in the Astral World, and everything that their father said when his spirit visited her. People start getting sucked up into the opening to the Astral World. Astral discovers that his real powers are returning. Right at the end, it’s revealed that their world and the Astral World will be pulled into a hole and annihilate each other.

This is one of the first chapters of this series I’ve read in Weekly Shonen Jump that didn’t focus on the battle very much. Instead, it provided some background information and also progressed the overarching story to the next level. At this point, it looks like that Yuma will have to somehow find a way to keep these two worlds from colliding with each other.

All You Need Is Kill Editor Interview

This is an interview with Kouji Yoshida, the editor for the All You Need Is Kill manga. This is basically a reprint of an interview that originally appeared in NEO Magazine. Topics include why the original novel received a manga adaptation, the challenges that the adaptation would bring, what changes needed to be made to adapt the novel into a manga, differences in editing between Weekly Shonen Jump and Weekly Young Jump, what the market is like for this type of sci-fi manga in Japan, whether or not the author of the novel was involved with the manga adaptation, a description of the content in a few sentences, and tackling the challenge of portraying the complex scientific concepts in the manga.

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (May 26, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, One Piece, Bleach, Naruto, Toriko, All You Need Is Kill, Stealth Symphony, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. There’s also a a Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V one-shot and a Hunter x Hunter catchup.

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.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:020

This beginning of this chapter seems to be basically killing time as Shinoa, Yoichi, Mitsu, and Kimizuki wait for Yuichiro to wake up after his Cursed Gear drank his blood and knocked him out in the previous chapter. As Yuichiro lays there, the audience is given exposition about the fact that Yuichiro is talking to his demon inside his heart. Yuichiro suddenly twitches, and the others react; unfortunately, horsemen arrive as Kimizuki goes to take care of them.

Suddenly, the focus of the chapter changes from killing time to seeing Yuichiro as he tries to make friends with his demon, Asuramaru. This part of the chapter makes a couple of revelations about the nature of the demons. It also looks like Asuramaru will possess Yuichiro, chains bind her. From here, this leads to some more exposition about the humans have devised with the curse and the contract. The chapter then launches into a major battle between Yuichiro and Asuramaru. During the fight, Yuichiro’s illusions that appeared earlier in the story come back to him. We also get to see a flashback of Yuichiro’s parents trying to kill him because they think he’s a demon spawn. That was some nice backstory to see; yes, it had been hinted at before, but it was nice to finally get to see what happened. The ending of the chapter sees Yuichiro completing his training.

While there was still a bit of exposition in this chapter, the overall story was able to progress by the end of it. I didn’t feel like the chapter was simply spinning its wheels and spitting out exposition in order to set a foundation to progress the story forward.

One Piece CH:748

Pica begins attacking after Luffy makes fun of his high-pitched voice, and Pica’s attacks cause Luffy and the others to go flying to the square outside the coliseum. When they land, they encounter Cabbage; apparently, she was part of the group of people that Usopp saved. Cabbage declares that she’ll be the one to take down Doflamingo; however, as the reader sees, she’s more interested in getting fame for herself than in truly helping Luffy and the others. Then they encounter the Happosui Army, who say that their debt to Luffy and Usopp will be repaid by crushing Doflamingo. Of course, this frustrates Luffy to no end, because he’s the one who wants to take down Dolamingo. Not only that, a warrior of Elbaph also wants to take down Doflamingo and repay his debut to Luffy. And then a chorus of several other people declare that they will be the one to take down Doflamingo.

This escalates with Luffy getting into an argument will all of these people. But with all of the chaos going on with Doflamingo’s “game,” the citizens start finding Luffy and the others wanted by Doflamingo. The whole group flees and starts heading back to where Pica is, all the while arguing over who will take down Doflamingo. This chapter ends up being an extremely busy one, not only with all the action but with how Oda has laid out the panels. The layout and style Oda uses illustrates the chaos that’s going on all over Dressrosa at this point.

Bleach CH:581

The chapter opens with several people sensing that Kenpachi has been weakened and will probably be killed. Unfortunately, before they can start heading toward him, someone else approaches and uses their ability to try to cause lava to swallow them up, Meanwhile, Rukia and Byakuya sense Kenpachi’s predicament. However, Rukia then senses another spiritual pressure… and the chapter ends with Ichigo arriving on the scene.

This chapter was on the short side, and it was basically building up the tension before Ichigo makes his grand entrance at the end of it. So it’s a chapter that doesn’t truly do much of anything to advance the story. It’s sole purpose seemed to be to build up to the moment that Ichigo, the main character, finally makes an appearance in the storyline.

Naruto CH:677

The chapter opens with meteorites coming down, and the moon looks like some kind of Sharingan. Naruto tries to do something about the meteorites while the other ninja in the area watch the skies in awe and shock. As events unfold, people get caught up in Madara’s genjutsu; Sasuke is the main exception. Madara is also using the Deep Forest Emergence to bind people. The First Hokage isn’t affected, and Yamato suddenly appears…

This chapter is very chaotic, and there’s a lot of confusion and action taking place. With the genjutsu and Deep Forest Emergence in place, many characters are now unable to fight, so the amount of people to take on Madara has gone down considerably. And I was surprised by Yamato’s return. However, it’s not clear at the end of the chapter whether he’s there to help or if he’s being controlled by Madara somehow. I’m hoping the next chapter will let us know what’s up with Yamato.

Toriko CH:278

Mappy tells Toriko and the others that they have ti hop across the Golden Marsh to avoid the Iron Feet that are coming down from the steel clouds. Toriko tries to attack an Iron Foot, but can barely get a scratch on it. The Croakswagon (heh heh) returns to take them to the Octomelon. Once in the Octomelon, they get into the marsh. So far, these story ideas seem to fit right in with the other wacky things I’ve seen in the series up to this point. They find themselves being forced into a cave that’s an entrance into an inescapable maze called the Hold Labyrinth. It turns out they need food luck, so they ask Komatsu to manually control the Octomelon. The chapter ends with the group just starting to work its way through the maze.

So Toriko and the group has made it out of one predicament and now find that they’re in another. I’m expecting that the group will somehow find its way out of the maze due to some rather incredible luck.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V

This is a one-shot manga that interprets the most recent Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series. Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V focuses on Action Duels, which uses Solid Vision that gives visuals mass. The main character is Yuya Sakaki, a 14-year-old who wants to become a pro duelist. In this one-shot, we see Yuya in a battle against an opponent. This chapter basically comes across as a tutorial on how to play Action Duels, which is a pretty standard drive used in the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and manga. Unfortunately, this one-shot ends without anyone winning the duel.

This may be labeled as a one-shot, but it feels more like what would be the first chapter for a manga series. It’s pretty standard for Yu-Gi-Oh!, and about the only new things introduced are the cards created for this Yu-Gi-Oh! series.

All You Need Is Kill CH:016

In this chapter, Rita finally reveals important information about the time loops to Keiji while they’re in the middle of a battle. She ends up saying that, because of the way the time loops works, neither one of them can escape as long as they’re both alive. The two of them begin battling each other. Most of this chapter focuses on their battle, and it ends without the reader knowing if there’s any clear-cut winner.

Because of how much fighting is in this chapter, it’s actually a rather quick read due to all of the action that’s going on. Rita had made a foreshadowing statement in an earlier chapter of the series, but I never predicted that the story would come down to the two of them having to fight it out and have only one of them live. Now the question is: who will live and who will die?

Stealth Symphony CH:013

In this chapter, we learn that Alice from V&V is a descendant of vampires with a special ability to take any powers a person may have and make them their own. We then see Jig approaching Alice about needing a place to live, and she offers to rent him a room for cheap. We also see Hank from the Cyborg Soldier School talking to Troma about Jig and concerns Hank has about him. We’re also introduced to a new character named Slice; he’s definitely an antagonist, and he appears to have some kind of connection with Alice.

This chapter focuses a lot on character development for Alice, which I very much appreciated. While she’s been seen in previous chapters, we really didn’t know much more than her name before this point. After getting to know Alice better in this chapter, I have to say that I like her. There’s also an emphasis on trying to figure out what makes Jig tick and about how reckless he had acted in the previous story arc. From reading the end of the chapter, it’s obvious that Slice is going to be a major player for the next story arc, and that Alice and Jig are both going to be involved.

World Trigger CH:061

In this chapter, the horned soldier that Midorikawa and the others had been fighting leaves the battlefield. Midorikawa and the others head off the other areas of the battlefield to help out where they’re needed. Meanwhile, others are either fighting with an enemy or trying to get to where they can help others. At the end of the chapter, a humanoid Neighbor is able to infiltrate the base through an exhaust port, and it’s a Black Trigger.

Overall, there really isn’t much action that takes place in this particular chapter. Instead, this chapter seems to focus more on setting the stage for the battles that are sure to come in the next chapter.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:123

This chapter focuses on Onodera and her struggle to figure out what she wants to do with her life; she’s freaking out after her counseling session in the previous chapter and is asking Ruri for advice. Ruri ultimately tells Onodera to ask other people for their opinions. We see her asking other characters, and she eventually ends up talking with Raku and he gives her some really good advice. By the end of the chapter, she decides she wants to be a good wife.

Unlike the previous chapter, which simply felt like “time kill,” this chapter actually progresses the story when Onodera and Raku have their conversation. Their awkward interactions were rather amusing, because they both like each other but just can’t admit it. The way this chapter ends, it feels like this will be the end of this portion of the story. Hopefully the next chapter will start to progress the overarching story of the series with a new story arc.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:42

In this chapter, Yagumo plays his Numbers Card; when its bearer is in trouble, it creates the ultimate number. A dragon manifests itself, and it’s a manifestation of the darkness in Kaito’s heart. He also uses a deck destruction effect. Yuma has to activate his face-down card, which is a trap card. When things seem hopeless, Yuma declares that he is his opponent’s friend; because of this, he won’t give up. Yuma is also able to use his power of believing in bonds between people, and demands that Kaito call off the duel. He tries to stop, but Yagumo has too strong of a hold on him. Astral declares that he and Yuma will link their duelist souls and pour them into this draw for the duel; it works. Yuma is able to win the duel. However, Yagumo and Shark’s duel continues. Their duel is just getting going when the chapter ends.

This chapter primarily focuses on Yuma’s duel, and it’s very intense and action-packed; because of this, it’s a relatively quick read. Since Yagumo and Shark’s duel doesn’t get very far in this chapter, it’s not as action-oriented. This chapter is what I’ve come to expect from the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise.

Hunter X Hunter Catchup

This feature is six pages in length, and it covers the first three arcs of the series: Hunter Exam, Heaven’s Arena, and Phantom Troupe. Next week, the publication will include a recap of the final arcs leading up to the new chapter of the series.

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (April 21, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Bleach, Naruto, World Trigger, Seraph of the End, Toriko, Nisekoi, Stealth Symphony, One-Punch Man, 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.

Bleach CH:577

In the previous chapter, after Kenpachu was able to get some blows in on Gremmy, he taunts his opponent about imagining his death. This snaps Gremmy out of what was slowing him down, and he starts recovering. By the end of the chapter, Gremmy created a second version of himself by using his imagination, and that second version is also unable to be cut. And since there’s two of them that are the same, they can both use their imagination. In this chapter, a meteor suddenly starts coming down, and Gremmy intends to destroy both Kenpachi and the Seireitei itself. The members of Soul Society seem to feel they’re safe because they believe the meteor will be obliterated by the Shakonmaku Barrier; unfortunately, the barrier is unable to obliterate it. When Gremmy taunts Kenpachi, Gremmy is surprised to see that Kenpachi isn’t fazed at all. As Kenpachi jumps up to attack the meteor with his sword, Yahiru has a flashback of when she met Kenpachi. At the end of the chapter, it appears that Kenpachi has succeeded…

This chapter basically spent time on the others in the Seireitei and their reactions to the meteor that’s coming down on top of them. Only the last bit of the chapter focuses on Kenpachi and Gremmy, and I have to admit that Kenpachi surprised me by jumping up to attack the meteor. When Yachiru was having her flashback, I was almost afraid Kubo was setting it up for Kenpachi to die. He appears to have survived after the attack on the meteor, but there’s still nothing guaranteeing that he’ll make it through the battle with Gremmy. I’m also starting to wonder how long Kubo is intending to make the fight with Gremmy last. Hopefully it won’t be so long that it ends up wearing out its welcome…

Naruto CH:673

In the previous chapter, Guy and Madara continued their fight, and it looked like it might be the end of Guy. Just as Madara is about to finish off guy, Naruto jumps in and intervenes. In this chapter, we learn that Naruto has stopped the eight gates’ endgame. Naruto begins fighting with Madara, and asks for some chakra from the tailed beasts that are now inside of him. With the chakra, Naruto creates a large rasen shuriken, which causes a huge explosion when he uses it to attack Madara. Naruto grabs Guy and is able to escape from the blast. When the smoke clears, they see that the Divine Tree has disappeared; however, from something we see with Madara, I think it’s safe to say it hasn’t been destroyed. Sasuke, meanwhile, approaches the Second Hokage for his teleporation power. The Second Hokage only has enough power to teleport one person, and Sasuke says that’s all he needs. Madara gets back up, and claims that he is now immortal. Sasuke appears on the scene, and Naruto says that together, he and Sasuke will take down Madara. The chapter ends with Madara declaring that this will be the final battle that will settle who is superior, once and for all…

With each chapter of Naruto that I’ve been reading in Weekly Shonen Jump, the story has just been getting more and more intense, and it’s just becoming more and more obvious that the story will have to be reaching its climax soon. This chapter sets the stage for a major battle of Sasuke and Naruto teaming up together to fight against Madara. I’m sure this battle will probably be stretched out over the course of a few chapters, but it’s awesome to see Naruto and Sasuke working together again after all this time. At this point, I think I can predict who will ultimately win this major battle, but there’s still the suspense of how that resolution will come to be. Right now, Naruto is one of the main reasons I look forward to reading Weekly Shonen Jump every week, because I really want to know what’s going to happen!

World Trigger CH:057

In the previous chapter, there was a focus on Shiro Kikuchihara and his side effect of enhanced hearing during flashback sequences, and how he ultimately joined Soya Kazama’s squad. The flashbacks were intercut with Kazama Squad’s current battle. The enemy figured out they’re relying on sound and tried to do what he can to confuse them. Just as Kazama Squad thought they’ve gotten the upper hand, the enemy surprised them. In this chapter, Osamu and his group find out that Kazama Squad had to bail out. Then we see Ko Murakami from Kuruma Squad fighting with the enemy. Kogetsu arrives says he has orders to destroy these enemies and asks if he can take over. After defeating the enemy, and a new plan is being formulated.

Overall, there’s not a lot of action in this volume, except for the brief fight that Ko and Kogetsu have with a Neighbor. There’s also not much plot progression in this chapter. Overall, there’s a lot more talking going on about things that should be coming up in future chapters. Definitely not one of the more interesting chapters I’ve read of World Trigger.

Seraph of the End CH:016

In the previous chapter, the vampires were recovering after the battle and they talk about the forbidden research that the humans are doing: the “Seraph of the End.” Mika was summoned by the Third Progenitor, Krul Tepes. Meanwhile, Yu woke up and found out he’s been in a coma for a week. Shinoa came to see Yu, and she filled him in on the parts of the battle that he forgot. In this chapter, it’s one week after the vampire attack. Yu is doing research to see if he can find any information on turning a vampire back into a human. Shinoa catches him and figures out what he’s up to, and she offers to tell Yu what she knows about humans turning into vampires. Suddenly, there’s an announcement on the intercom for Yu to report to the Shinjuku Central Army Headquarters First Office. On his way, Yu runs into Guren, who reminds him of everything he’s done for Yu; he also tells Yu not to swear any allegiance to the Hiragi family. Yu runs into Mitsura at the headquarters, and learns she’s getting a promotion and that she’s been ordered to keep an eye on a “squad mate with suspected vampire ties.” When Yu enters the office, he finds a vampire in the room, and the two begin to fight. It turns out it’s a test, and the interview with the Hiragi is just about to start when the chapter ends…

This chapter has a large focus on Yu. We see Yu trying to find information on how to save Mika, and through his conversation with Shinoa, the audience is informed about how someone becomes a vampire and how their strength as a vampire is determined. Through his conversation with Guren, we learn just how much of a relationship the two characters had prior to this point in the series. And with his interactions with Mitsura, the audience is given the idea that the Hiragi family isn’t entirely trusting of Yu. It looks like the stage is being set for the next chapter of this series to focus on Yu’s interview with the Hiragi family. Now that I’ve been able to read some more chapters of this series over the past few weeks, I’ve been starting to develop a stronger appreciation for the story now that I’m starting to get more information.

Toriko CH:274

In the previous chapter, a giant ray popped out of the water while they’re traveling on the Octomelon. Unfortunately for them, the Giant Ray was stronger than the Octomelon and spotted them. Just as they were about to attack, the Giant Ray was stabbed by the waves of the Thorned Sea. They realized their first opponent in the Gourmet World isn’t a creature, it’s the waves. They manage to escape the Thorned Sea, and they saw Yuto Island; they got a surprise when they thought they made it to Yuto Island. In this chapter, they find there’s no land, and they’re attacked by torpedo sausage. During the fight, they are approached by arm rhamphorhynchus. And then something else pops out of the water. During the fight, Toriko and Coco are separated from the others. They smell food where they end up; they find a village and wonder where they are. They also run into someone that they recognize.

At first, there’s a bit of action, but this chapter does get a little jumpy. Because of that, I kind of had a hard time following what was going on. I found myself going back and re-reading several sections to be sure I truly understood what was going on in the story. From what’s said right at the end of the chapter, it appears that Toriko and Coco could be in danger.

Nisekoi CH:119

In the previous chapter, Raku’s family gets a visitor: his old friend Yui, who has now become the boss of the Char Siu Chinese Mafia Syndicate. It turns out that Yui has come to Japan to be Raku’s homeroom teacher. In this chapter, when the other boys in the class learn that Raku and Yui are old friends, they glare at him. There may only be a two year age difference, but it turns out Yui skipped grades as a child and graduated from college four years ago and acquired her teaching license. Raku is also surprised to learn that Yui will be staying at his place, and that she’ll be staying in the room next to his. This chapter also makes it clear that Yui has feelings for Raku, but he’s absolutely clueless about it. That night, she sneaks into his bed, and he discovers that she has a key.

Sure enough, Yui has become a new potential love interest for Raku. And here’s yet another similarity with Ranma 1/2: Both Ranma and Raku have a potential love interest who comes from China. OK, Shampoo was a Chinese Amazon and Yui is a Chinese mafia boss, but still… it’s just one more similarity in premise between the two series. Ultimately, Nisekoi isn’t a bad series, but I’m starting to get a little bothered by the fact that there’s a number of character traits and a major concept (a forced engagement) that’s shared between the two series. Maybe I’d enjoy Nisekoi more if I hadn’t already been familiar with Ranma 1/2.

Stealth Symphony CH:009

In the previous chapter, Jig and Raika had to figure out how to stop the trailer. Troma figured out what Raika was trying to do and destroyed her satellite up in space before she could attack with it a second time. When Jig was in danger of being run over by the trailer, Troma intervened and attacked it. Right at the end of the chapter, Jig is able to activate his Heirloom. In this chapter, Troma’s actions helped the people on board the trailer are able to escape. Since it’s V&V’s job to deliver the people, and it’s Jig’s job to rescue the people, Troma suggests that the location is within walking distance, and they can all walk there together. Suddenly, Wavess, the president of Human Trafficking Corporation STORK appears; it turns out that she’s a mermaid. She tries to attack Jig, but the Heirloom protects him. When she orders V&V to kill the mercenaries, they refuse; when they do, Wavess declares she doesn’t need them anymore. Right at the end of the chapter, it’s revealed that Wavess also has a Dragon Heirloom.

It was nice to see that Jig and V&V were able to work side by side, and I also liked Troma’s suggestion for a compromise that would allow both parties to complete their jobs. It’s too bad that Wavess interfered and kept it from happening. Now that Jig has met someone else with a Dragon Heirloom, I’m wondering what kind of battle the two of them could have. At this point, that’s what I’m predicting will happen; if so, the main question will end up being how Jig can defeat Wavess. Stealth Symphony is off to a good start, and I’m interested in seeing where the story will go to next.

One-Punch Man CH:034.4

In the previous chapter, another battle happens; the fight seems to end quickly, but they can still sense a big opponent still looming above them. Then the action returns to Saitama and his battle. At one point, the villain thinks he’s won, but he manages to survive. In this chapter, Saitama’s opponent powers up, and looks like a cross between a Super Saiyan and some kind of sci-fi creature. The opponent tries to attack Saitama, and at the end of the chapter, it’s no clear how the attack ended…

Okay, this ended up being a rather short chapter, and it basically consisted of the opponent powering up and then launching a major attack on Saitama. That’s it. The story really didn’t progress at all in this chapter, so I really don’t have much to say about it. Of the manga I’ve been reading in Weekly Shonen Jump, One-Punch Man is easily my least favorite. Perhaps it’s because I’m not in the target market for it, but I just cannot get into this at all.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:41

In the previous chapter, some backstory was provided for Yagumo. The group looking for Haruto finds him inside a device, and it’s revealed that Yagumo is using the duels to collect Numbers energy. It turns out the device is what’s keeping Haruto alive, so Yagumo insists on continuing his duel. Yuma also continues his duel. Just as it looks like Yuma might get the upper hand, Kaito manages to turn the tables. In this chapter, Yuma is attacked, and he is knocked down to 1 Life Point. It turns out Yuma had activated a card before the damage hit, which gives Yuma one point of life when he’s about to take damage that will wipe him out. When Kaito despairs that he has no one, Yuma declares that he’s Kaito’s friend and that he’ll be there when things get tough. Kaito is determined to find Haruto’s soul. Yuma draws his next card, and its XYZ Reborn Plus, which brings a monster back from the graveyard and becomes an overlay for that monster. Yuma then activates a spell card, it changes the creature’s ATK to the number of life points Yuma lost. Yuma attacks, knocking Kaito down to 1 Life Point. The group with Haruto, meanwhile, is free Haruto. The device hasn’t stopped, so they ask Yuma and Kaito to stop their duel; however, Kaito refuses. When it looks like Kaito is going to win, Yuma activates a trap card. Kaito then uses a quick-play spell, and it ends with Kaito saying he still has another card to play…

This chapter has a strong focus on Yuma and Kaito’s duel. Unfortunately, this particular chapter is bogged down by all of the explanations that are given when they play their various cards. The previous chapters I read hadn’t been quite as bogged down by this. The whole explaining each card as its played business got old to me when I would watch the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series back in the early 2000’s, and that aspect does not seem to have gotten any better in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal manga. At least Haruto has been freed, so I guess we can call that progress.

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (March 24, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for All You Need Is Kill, Bleach, Naruto, Stealth Symphony, One-Punch Man, Nisekoi, World Trigger, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, and a special preview of Food Wars

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.

All You Need Is Kill CH:009

In the previous chapter, the focus was on Rita’s backstory of what happened to her during her childhood and how she ended up joining the United Defense Force. The backstory continues in Chapter Nine, where Rita is transferred to a squad full of veterans six months after entering the United Defense Force. We see her interacting with First Lieutenant Arthur Hendricks. Rita encounters a strange-looking Mimic, and then she begins experiencing the time loops. Rita starts trying to find a way to break out of her time loop. She notices that every time she loops back to the battle with the strange Mimic, there are more Mimics protecting it. She then begins doing research on Mimics, and tries to find a weapon that’s capable of killing every Mimic on the battlefield. She’s determined to solve the riddle of the time loop.

Not only did this chapter provide more backstory for Rita, it also starts providing a little more information in regards to the Mimics and their involvement in the time loops. Now that I’m starting to get more backstory and information for All You Need Is Kill, I’ve come to like it lot more compared to the first couple of chapters I read.

Bleach CH:573

In the previous chapter, Kusajishi managed to get a hit in on “V”; however, the mysterious Gremmy appears and destroys “V” because he can’t imagine “V”‘s future anymore. Right at the end of Chapter 572, Kenpachi made an appearance. Unfortunately, Kenpachi is the bearer of bad news: Captain Unohana is dead, and he’s the one who killed her. Gremmy sets up a “grand stage” for Kenpachi so the two of them can battle each other. Unfortunately, Gremmy has an advantage since he can turn fantasy into reality. However, Kenpachi tells Gremmy that his imagination can’t create anything that Kenpachi can’t cut…

This chapter is basically setting the stage for a battle to take place between Gremmy and Kenpachi. For me, the only other thing of importance was learning that Kenpachi killed Captain Unohana. Since I jumped into the middle of this particular story arc, this revelation really caught me off-guard. I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter and I hope to see what kind of battle that Gremmy and Kenpachi end up having.

Naruto CH:669

In the previous chapter, there was a bit of time spent on showing backstory from Guy’s childhood. The chapter ended with Guy launching his attack against Madara by opening the Eighth Gate. Gaara asks Kakashi what Guy has done, and Kakashi explains that it’s the final stage of the jutsu that Rock Lee had used against him in the Chunin Exam. When Gaara hears that after the Eight Gate is opened and used that the person will inevitably die, he has a flashback to Lee and Guy at the Chunin Exam. Minato comes up with a plan for him, Kakashi, Gaara, and Lee to assist Guy. After opening the Eighth Gate, Guy starts launching a barrage of attacks on Madara.

This chapter was intense! There’s a lot of action going on, especially with Guy’s attacks on Madara. I liked seeing how Kishimoto was able to remind the audience about the Eight Inner Gates through the explanations and flashbacks to the Chunin Exam. Unfortunately, it’s looking like Kishimoto is setting up the stage for Guy to die. I really hope I’m wrong, but with the way the past couple of chapters have gone, it’s not looking likely that he’ll survive…

Stealth Symphony CH:005

In the previous chapter, the president of V&V shows Jig various dragon heirlooms, but the president creates a ruckus because he doesn’t understand an heirloom that he’s demonstrating. At the end of the chapter, someone was watching Jig from the shadows. Jig is still having trouble finding a job, and now he’s out of money. Troma has an idea of where Jig should be able to get a job. When Jig heads out to the place, the girl watching him from the shadows at the end of Chapter Four follows him. We learn that the place Troma suggested is an agency for cyborgs, a cyber soldier school where cyborgs gather to become hired guns. Jig has a run-in with the girl following him, and he learns her name is Raika and that she is part of the school. It comes out Raika was following him in order to recruit Jig to the school. Hank, the administrator, asks Jig if he’d like to work for them. Raika has a job to do, and she wants Jig to be a human shield. Right at the end of the chapter, though, we learn that a complication arises that could make the job rather difficult for Jig.

So it looks like Jig may have finally gotten a job, thanks to Troma’s suggestion and the fact that the school had been following him and intending to recruit him. It was rather amusing to see that those two elements ended up coming together, especially when Jig runs into Raika by accident. Unfortunately, with the complication that’s introduced at the end of Chapter Five, I suspect that Jig’s job with the cyborg agency may not last long.

One-Punch Man CH:034.2

In the previous chapter, Saitama found himself face-to-face with Boros, the self-proclaimed dominator of the universe. The two begin to fight it out. This chapter primarily focuses on Saitama’s comrades and the fights that they’re having, with only a brief scene of Saitama and Boros’ fight. As Saitama’s comrades start defeating the enemy, Boros’ men begin whimpering and saying they want to go home. Another fight is just getting underway when the chapter comes to an end…

This was another chapter that was focused heavily on the action and not on much of anything else. Also Saitama, the main star of the series, doesn’t make much of an appearance in this chapter. So far, the only thing I’ve really picked up on since jumping into this portion of One-Punch Man is fighting, fighting, and more fighting. I hope this is case due to my jumping into the middle of an already established story arc. Maybe once this arc is over, I might start seeing something in the way of character development that will help me to better understand this series.

Nisekoi CH:115

In the previous chapter, Raku asks Ruri if there’s anything she wants to do for her great-grandfather and says he’s there to help if she needs it. When Ruri asks her great-grandfather why he insisted on meeting her boyfriend, he says it’s because he probably won’t get to see her wedding. Right at the end of the chapter 114, Ruri comes up with an idea, although the audience has no idea what it is. At the beginning of this chapter, Ruri wants to run something by him as something that she should do for her great-grandfather. They go to see Maiko, who has accompanied them on the trip, about photos he took of the two of them the previous day. The two of them go to see her great-grandfather and admit that they lied to him. Ruri starts showing him pictures of her and her friends. Everything seems to end well, but the ending of the chapter is a little on the sad side.

This has definitely been the best chapter of Nisekoi that I’ve read since I started reading Weekly Shonen Jump. I’m glad to see that Ruri was smart enough to realize that she needed to admit the truth to her great-grandfather. While the way the chapter ended wasn’t entirely unexpected, it was still a little on the sad side for me. But now that this story arc has ended, I’m curious to see what direction Nisekoi will go in next.

World Trigger CH:053

In the previous chapter, one of the Neighbors grabbed Kitora and ate her. Chika is frozen in place in fear, until she has a quick flashback. She grabs a weapon and tries to fight a Neighbor. Osamu makes contact with headquarters, he’s told that Border’s most powerful squad is headed their way. Chapter 53 switches focus to another squad at first, but the returns to Osamu and his group. A lot of action takes place with Osamu’s group as they fight against the enemy, and another squad arrives to help Osamu and the others out. The new squad will work on rescuing Kitora while Osamu is assigned to support the C-Rank trainees.

Admittedly, this is more of an action-oriented chapter than it is on developing characters. But considering that they’re in the middle of a battle right now, it makes sense to have a chapter that’s focused more on the action and the fighting than on anything else. And because the chapter is so focused on the action, it ends up being a rather quick read.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:39

In the previous chapter, Yuma and Astral are dueling with Kaito, while Yagumo and Shark are dueling in an adjacent arena. Luna and the members of the Numbers are also looking for Dr. Faker and trying to find the controls in his lab to stop an interdimensional rift from destroying the world. A group of girls is also looking for Haruto. This chapter provides some backstory for Yagumo about why he became involved with Duel Monsters in the first place and what he hoped to accomplish. While Yagumo had accomplished his goal, but what happened afterward wasn’t what he expected. The group looking for Haruto finds him by the end of Chapter 39. He’s inside a device, and it’s revealed that Yagumo is using the duels to collect Numbers energy. It turns out the device is what’s keeping Haruto alive, so Yagumo insists on continuing his duel. Yuma also continues his duel. Just as it looks like Yuma might get the upper hand, Kaito manages to turn the tables.

Overall, this chapter was more of a backstory chapter than anything else. Any fighting during the duels took place right near the end of the chapter. Unfortunately, it was kind of hard for me to truly care about what was going on in the backstory since I jumped into the middle of the series. The backstory probably would have meant more if I had read some of the earlier chapters of the series and had a better idea of who the character of Yagumo is.

Food Wars! Special Preview

Soma Yukihira is the son of a man who runs a small family restaurant in a less savory part of town. Soma wants to surpass his father’s culinary prowess, and he spends time honing his skills. One day, Soma’s father decides to enroll him in a classy culinary school called the Totsuki Saryo Culinary Institute.

The chapter introduces the reader to the heiress of the school, who is domineering and strict. After this, Soma is seen heading on his way to take the transfer exam to the school. He meets one of the other students there to take the test, and quickly learns that everyone else there has parents who own famous restaurants or restaurant chains. Once the person he meets learns that Soma’s father only owns a low-end family restaurant, he is kicked away, called a peasant, and he’s treated rather cruelly by everyone. Erina Nakiri is overseeing the exam, and after she explains a few things, she gives a minute for anyone who wants to withdraw to leave. At that point, everyone except Soma runs off. Soma accepts the challenge of making a dish with eggs as the main ingredient. Soma makes the Yukihara Family Restaurant’s Secret Menu Item #8. It looks like the taste test will take place in Chapter 2.

So we’ve got a food-based manga story that also includes class differences; Erina comes from wealth and has the most refined palate known to man that’s called the Divine Tongue, while Soma is from a lower class family. I’m guessing that somehow, Soma will manage to impress Erina with his cooking and end up being accepted to the school. The setup is a little on the predictable side, but perhaps once the story progresses past the setup that it’ll become less predictable and more interesting. Admittedly, I’m not much of a foodie, so this particular title probably won’t do too much for me. But for manga readers who enjoy manga that has a focus on cooking and food, they’ll probably find something to enjoy in Food Wars!

Review: Weekly Shonen Jump (February 24, 2014)

I’ve recently acquired access to Weekly Shonen Jump through Viz Media, and I’m planning to give some basic coverage to each issue. Unfortunately, I’m running a couple of weeks behind, so I’m hoping to get caught up over the course of this week.

Since this is the first issue I’ve read, I admit that my write-ups will be focusing more on my general impression of the series that I’m jumping into the middle of, and my impressions of series that I’ve read but have now made a major jump from where I currently am in those series to where the story is now in Weekly Shonen Jump. My aim starting with the next issue is to try to focus more on critiquing on the storylines themselves of each series that appears.

I will also 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.

Stealth Symphony CH:001

Stealth Symphony tells the story of Jig, a young boy who has acquired a curse after becoming ill and receiving a used life support system that’s cursed with a sorcerer’s evil spirit. The curse protects Jig from any attack, but repays the assailant two-fold. He goes to the town of Jinbo-cho to seek someone who can help him remove the curse. Jig hires the V&V security company to provide a bodyguard to help prevent him from hurting others. Jig is accompanied by Tromo Yabusame, an invisible man. As they try to find the exorcist to remove Jig’s curse, they discover that things aren’t what they seem…

After reading the first chapter, I think there’s a lot of potential for Stealth Symphony. This chapter also does a great job of establishing the main characters and the main concepts of the series. At the end of the chapter, my interested was piqued in wanting to read the next chapter in order to find out what happens next.

One Piece CH:738

At this point in the story, Luffy and the Straw Hats are in the waters of the New World. Luffy has entered into a pirate alliance with Trafalgar War to take down Don Quixote Doflamingo, one of the seven warlords of the sea. When they reach Doflamingo’s turf, the kingdom of Dressrosa, they learn of a fighting tournament with Ace’s Flame-Flame Devil Fruit as a prize. Luffy disguises himself as Lucy and enters the tournament to win his brother’s memento and is able to reach the finals. Doflamingo takes down Trafalgar War, and Luffy secretly switches places in the tournament with a mysterious stranger. Luffy is rushing to Law’s rescue, while the remaining Straw Hats try to undo the magic turning Dressrosa’s citizens into toys.

Usopp and Robiland are in the Smile Factory, and are on a mission to free the 500 Tontattas who are enslaved there as workers. Unfortunately, when an operation is launched, an army of toys is summoned to try to put down the rebellion. Robiland’s deception is also discovered by Trebol, and a battle is just about to start when the chapter ends…

Admittedly, this is a huge jump for me compared to where I currently am in either the manga or the anime, so I’m a bit lost as to what’s currently going on. Hopefully, as I continue to read more chapters of this story arc in Weekly Shonen Jump, I’ll start making a little more sense out of what’s going on.

Naruto CH:665

Naruto and the Allied Shinobi Forces must stop Madara Uchiha, the man who started the ninja war. Cell 7 has been reunited, but Madara has resurrected himself, has his right eye back, and has pulled the Nine Tails out of Naruto’s body. Sasuke confronts Madara, but seems to have been dealt a mortal blow. Madara has absorbed biju into himself and now has the power of the Sage of Six Paths. Sakura and Gaara try to save Naruto as Madara arrives at the scene. In this chapter, the truth about the Sage of Six Paths is revealed, as well as information about Obito. Gaara and Kakashi attack, but are knocked back. The end of the chapter sees Obito trying to fight against Madara’s control…

This is another big jump for me compared to where I currently am in the Naruto Shippuden anime. However, between what I do know and from the spoilers I have seen, I can make a bit more sense out of what’s going on. This chapter definitely ends on an interesting note, though, and I wonder if Obito will succeed in fighting off Madara or not.

One-Punch Man CH:033

The protagonist of One-Punch Man is Saitama, a super powerful hero who can easily defeat monsters and villains with one punch. However, after becoming too strong, Saitama becomes bored of his powers and is trying to find stronger opponents to fight with. At this point in the story, aliens attack City A, and Saitama has found a way into their ship and is wreaking havoc. While he hasn’t made it to the leader yet, he’s taken out a few underlings and parts of the ship. Saitama is given a warning to stop his destructive behavior and to retreat immediately. When the voice he hears in his head tries to guide him out, Saitama decides to do the opposite. Saitama finds the person who was talking to him, and it turns out to be a telekinetic…

This chapter was very action-packed. Unfortunately, by jumping into the middle of this series when it’s already this far along, I’m having a hard time truly understanding what’s going on right now. Hopefully as I read more chapters, I’ll start to better understand what’s going on in One-Punch Man.

All You Need Is Kill CH:006

When the alien mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is a recruit who is shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, but he is reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. Earlier in the series, Keiji realizes he’s stuck in some kind of time loop. He wants to take advantage of this to bring down the Mimics once and for all; unfortunately, the Mimics aren’t going to be easily defeated. When Keiji gets a depressed look on his face, he gets a knockout punch from a fellow soldier. After talking with Rachel, Keiji thinks she looks a bit like a librarian that he saw earlier. This chapter also shows highlights from four of the time loops that Keiji has gone through, and another one is just about to start when the chapter ends.

This was very hard to follow, even though it’s only the sixth chapter. It also doesn’t help that I’m not exactly a major fan of time loop stories after experiencing the eight “Endless Eight” episodes of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. I think this is going to be one of those series that I’ll have to read from the start at some point in order to have a better appreciation for it.

Toriko CH:267

Toriko is set in a world that’s ruled by the pursuit if the most delicious foods, and it’s a world where it’s eat or be eaten. Gourmet Hunter Toriko travels the world searching for the tastiest foods with hos bottomless stomach, and he faces any beast he encounters on his way. At this point, the Age of Gourmet is over, and more than 18 months have passed since Meteor Spice destroyed much of the Human World. People now struggle to find new food sources. The challenge is on to complete the former President’s Four-Course Meal. Toriko takes a quest to Biotope 1, where a secret Rest Room has been found that might have the missing Main Dish. It appears to be a rather old gourmet case. When the case is opened, it’s discovered that inside is the egg of the rare Billion Bird. At first, it appears that this will be the answer to their problems, but Toriko points out that the egg can only incubate and hatch under certain
conditions. After meeting these conditions and hatching the egg, they have gett the chick full grown and ready to eat. They succeed in getting it to lay eggs. However, the challenge now is to make the cooked Billion Bird taste good…

Even though I’m jumping into this particular manga so late in its run, I still had a relatively easy time following it and understanding what was going on. With the kind of shonen series that it is, I probably haven’t missed a lot of important information by jumping in at this point.

Bleach CH:569

At this point in Bleach, a group called the Vandenreich launches a simultaneous attack against the Soul Society and Ichigo in the World of the Living. Ichigo has learned the truth about his mother’s death and receives his true Zanpaku-to. Yhwach, the Quincy King, begins his final assault on the Soul Society and reveals the true nature of the Vandenreich. The Soul Society disappears and is replaced by the new Quincy kingdom. Rukia is facing off against As Nodt when Byakuya suddenly appears. Rukia and Byakuya face off against As Nodt together, and Byakuya finally recognizes Rukia’s strength.

This is another series where this is a major jump from where I am in either the anime or manga series. A lot has definitely changed in the series in the section of the story I haven’t seen yet. I was a little lost, but I really enjoyed this chapter anyway. I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter to find out what happens.

Nisekoi CH:111

Nisekoi is about Raku and Chitoge, the children of gangsters. Raku’s father arranges a false love match with Chitoge, the daughter of a rival gang leader. However, Raku is searching for his childhood sweetheart. He also discovers that three candidates have keys: Chitoge, Onodera (his current crush), and Tachibana (the police chief’s daughter). The chapter starts out with Seishiro and Paula inside a house, and Paula finding what she thinks if a jar of gummy candy. Seishiro tells Paula not to eat them, but she does anyway. It turns out it’s a prototype love drug of the Beehive Drag Development Division. Seishiro tries to keep anyone else from getting the candy, but Chitoge, Marika and Kosaki see it and end up eating one as well. After running into Raku, Seishiro finds she wants to hold him; however, she runs off before giving into the compulsion. After they end up in the nurse’s office together, Seishiro finds herself giving in…

This is another series I’m jumping into the middle of, and I was a little lost in regards to the various characters at first. I had to reread some of the pages two or three times before I figured out who Seishiro was. But now that I’ve read this chapter, I hope the other chapters going forward will be a little easier to follow as I learn more about the series.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:39

At this point in the series, Yuma and Astral are dueling with Kaito. In an adjacent arena, Yagumo and Shark begin a duel. Luna and the members of the Numbers Club go into Dr. Faker’s lab to try to find the controls to stop an interdimensional rift from destroying the world. This chapter focuses on Yuma’s duel and on Luna’s group finding Dr. Faker. A group of girls is also looking for Haruto.

This is another series where I’m experiencing a little bit of a jump. Prior to reading this volume of Weekly Shonen Jump, I had only read the first two volumes of the manga that had been released in the United States by Viz Media. So I’m going from Yuma just starting out to being involved in a major storyline. It’s a bit of a jump, but it looks like Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal seems to be going in similar directions to previous Yu-Gi-Oh! series, so that has helped to make this a little easier to follow than it might have been.