Weekly Shonen Jump (July 27, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for My Hero Academia, Nisekoi: False Love, Bleach, World Trigger, Toriko, Food Wars!, and Black Clover. This issue also includes the third chapter of Best Blue, the next title in Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Start” initiative, the fourth chapter of Dragon Ball (which is the current title to be featured for the “Jump Back” initiative), and the first chapter of the Twin Star Exorcists manga to preview the series.

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

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

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

My Hero Academia CH:052

Midoriya discovers that Ida can’t move because he’s been cut by the Hero Killer. Ida tells Midoriya not to interfere, but Midoriya inists on staying. Then a battle begins between Midoriya and the Hero Killer. During the battle, Midoriya uses his full cloak and finds that it works. But the Hero Killer managed to get a cut in on Midoriya, which affects his ability to move. And just as it looks like Ida’s done for, something surprising happens.

This ended up being a rather bittersweet chapter. On the one hand, Midoriya discovered that his full cloak actually does work. But on the other, it still wasn’t enough to entirely dodge and protect himself from the Hero Killer’s Quirk. After Midoriya was knocked down, I really thought that Ida was done for. So I was legitimately surprised by what happened right at the end of the chapter. I’m actually looking forward to reading the next chapter to find out where the story will go to next.

Best Blue CH:003

After arriving in Tokyo, Souta takes Takumi to a tournament. It turns out Souta entered Takumi into it. It’s hosted by a swim club that Souta knows, and he’s using it as a prebattle before Takumi enters high school. While there, Takumi meets Oshiro, someone that Souta knows. While training in the sub pool, Takumi meets an arrogant boy named Yohei Onaga. When Takumi competes in his first race, it’s shown that he’s really fast. And at the end of the chapter, we see he came in first place.

So I guess I was wrong about seeing him going into high school in this chapter. But we do get to see that Takumi doesn’t quite understand the etiquette that’s expected at swimming competitions, and that he seems to have already made a rival out of Yohei. I expect the story will be set up where Takumi and Yohei will either be going to the same high school and competing on the same team, or that they end up on rival teams.

So it looks like this is the end of Best Blue for the “Jump Start” initiative. It’s a decent series, and perhaps it’s one I might grow to like better if I was able to read more of it. If there’s enough interest from the readers of the English Weekly Shonen Jump, there could always be the potential for Best Blue to become a regular manga featured in the publication.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:179

Raku learns from Yui that she was planning to leave after she told him how she felt and that she feels like she’s depended on him too long already. She’s now renting an apartment and moved most of her stuff, because Yui suspected what his answer would be. Yui reiterates that she’ll tell what she knows about 10 years ago once Raku decides who he cares about the most. But she does throw out something: she’s not Raku’s promise girl. We then see Yui informing Chitoge that Raku rejected her, and it appears Chitoge wants to be friends with Yui. Near the end of the chapter, Yui learns that the marriage proposal was made up.

So, Yui may no longer be part of the harem, but she hasn’t been written out of the series completely. That makes sense, considering she’s a teacher at Raku’s school. She can’t just simply up and leave at moment’s notice. Besides, it appears she still holds a clue to the promise 10 years ago. I had suspected that the marriage proposal was probably fake, so that didn’t really catch me by surprise. But I’m hoping that with this development, maybe Komi is starting to lay a foundation for bringing Nisekoi: False Love to an end.

Bleach CH:636

The Soul Reapers see an opponent that has made its head grow larger. Kenpachi’s broken arm suddenly starts twisting on its own and he rips it off. Mayuri can’t figure out what the opponent’s abilities are and advises Kenpachi to stay away. Kenpachi decides to disregard this advice and charges toward the opponent. As Kenpachi attacks, Mayuri comes up from behind and sends a sword through him. Mayuri uses an anesthetic, and it works on both Kenpachi and on the opponent. Mayuri then starts to take on the opponent.

This chapter focuses exclusively on Mayuri, Kenpachi, and the group of Soul Reapers with them. However, the main focus is on Kenpachi and Mayuri. From what’s shown here, it looks like Kenpachi could be down for the count, thus allowing Mayuri to become the star of this battle. It looks like the stage is being set for Mayuri to toy with this opponent in the next chapter.

World Trigger CH:110

The solo Rank War between Yuiga and Osamu gets underway. After their first bouts are done, Osamu wonders why Yuiga is an A-Rank. He later learns that Yuiga is the son of Border’s biggest sponsor. The next day is Chika’s birthday, and Osamu learns on that day that Chika let it slip out that she can’t shoot people. Osamu now has to come up with new strategies for their upcoming B-Rank War. We then see Azuma Squad meeting and working out their own strategies for the upcoming battle. A few days later, we see that Osamu is still a long way off from making his goal in the Solo Rank War, but he is learning how to get more hits which should allow him to help his team. Then the fourth round of the B-Rank Wars begin.

This chapter basically spends a lot of its time trying to quickly get through the days in order to get to the beginning of the next round of the B-Rank Wars at the end of it. Not much in the way of action really takes place, and it’s more of an exposition chapter than anything else. Since the chapter ends with the beginning of the next round of the B-Rank Wars, I feel safe in saying that the next chapter will be focusing on that.

Toriko CH:332

We see some of the chefs in Blue Grill talking amongst themselves, and their discussion turns to Ichiryu. Their conversation is interrupted and informed and their turns are coming up. The cooking battle between the Ten-Shell Masters and the human chefs is gearing up to get started. The story then returns to Komatsu, who learns about soul transactions and learns about these people’s ancestors. He also learns what the project is that Chaco mentioned earlier. Komatsu asks where Chaco was taken to. Before he can do anything, Komatsu receives a call about the cook-off.

This chapter spends a bit of time establishing the Ten-Shell Masters, but it’s also important because of Komatsu learning the truth about the people who live in the slums. He’s received a call about the cook-off, but I have a suspicion he’ll decide to skip out on it and try to rescue Chaco instead. I can’t see Komatsu abandoning someone who he knows needs help.

Food Wars! CH:128

We learn that on the third day of the festival, Soma’s cart is still in the red because of how big of a hole they found themselves in at the end of the first day. Kuga comes over to Soma and tells him that he’s an eyesore and tries to intimidate him to close up shop. We then see Soma and Megumi in the kitchen, with Soma trying to figure out a way to improve his father’s tofu recipe. It’s now the fourth day of the festival, and we see that Soma has arranged to have benches by his booth for people to sit and eat at. Soma also unveils his mapo tofu.

This chapter sets up that the odds still seem to not be in Soma’s favor. But the night before the fourth day of the festival, he comes up with a couple of ideas that are revealed at the end of this chapter. It’ll be interesting to see how these new ideas help Soma out. I’m sure they have to, because the author isn’t going to have his main character expelled from the school.

Black Clover CH:023

The chapter begins with the distinguished service ceremony. This ceremony introduces several new characters and explains why each of them are being recognized for distinguished service. Then it goes to the reception taking place after the ceremony. Asta ends up being noisy and acting like a stereotypical bumpkin at this fancy affair, and some of the wizards recognized at the ceremony look down on him. They also look down on Yuno as well, simply because he comes from the country. It turns out one particular wizard is Noelle’s older brother. She’s also looked down on by an older sister and another brother. She tries to run away, but Asta tells her that she doesn’t need to run. A wizard uses their magic on him, but Asta repels their magic.

This chapter establishes just how snooty some of these long-time wizards are. It also provided insight into how many people from Noelle’s family are involved and how much they look down on her. I’m not surprised that Asta encouraged Noelle to not run away from her snooty relatives and their taunts. When one of the magicians uses their magic on Asta to silence him, I couldn’t help but think that it might have been inspired by one of Gaara’s sand jutsu attacks from the Naruto franchise. And just when it seemed like the Naruto comparisons were disappearing. But my biggest frustration with this chapter was with how many new characters were being thrown out at the reader. There was no way I was going to remember who any of them are.

Twin Star Exorcists CH:001

This chapter was published to promote the first volume of the Twin Star Exorcists manga, which VIZ Media released on July 7, 2015.

Rokuro is from a family of exorcists, but he’d rather be a singer, a soccer player, or anything but an exorcist. He’s constantly getting shot down by girls, with the most recent one asking Rokuro if there’s anything right about him. In order to ask this girl out, he skipped out on a kegare excorism and is scolded. We learn that Rokuro had been fighting as an exorcist until two years ago, and that he was talented at it. It turns out that Rokuro is also the only survivor of Hinatsuki Dorm. We then get to see a flashback of the training Rokuro did when he was younger. As Rokuro is walking around thinking about his life, a girl falls from the sky and falls into a nearby river. He jumps in to save her, but she’s not hurt and gets herself out. Rokuro then realizes he can’t swim and asks the girl for help. After he’s saved, Rokuro thinks that the girl looks rather cute. She needs help finding a location on a map, and Rokuro tries to help her. Unfortunately, he manages to get them lost. As they walk, something happens, and the girl reveals that she’s an exorcist. Rokuro realizes she’s an exorcist and understands what she’s talking about, but he tries to claim he isn’t an exorcist. When another kegare attacks, the girl gives Rokuro another talisman and tells him to get himself and a couple of kids out of the area. The girl makes a reference to the Hinatsuki tragedy, which surprises Rokuro. We then hear an explanation of what the tragedy was. When he hears one of the kids crying, it reminds him of the Hinatsuki tragedy. Just when it seems like the girl has given up again the kegare, Rokuro suddenly jumps in. It turns out he has a black paper talisman with nothing written on it, and we see a flashback of how he got it. Rokuro uses the talisman and is able to defeat the kegare. The girl is impressed, but lectures Rokuro for jumping in when she didn’t ask for help. Rokuro learns that the girl’s name is Benio. We see that the two of them don’t like each other and want nothing to do with each other ever again. When Rokuro returns home, he finds that Benio is there and that she’ll be staying with them from now on.

This seems to have a rather classic set up of a protagonist who has a gift but doesn’t want to use it, and ends up in a situation where they’re forced to do something. The relationship between Rokuro and Benio is the classic rival setup, and after seeing the two of them say that they never wanted to see each other again, it was obvious that they would be together at some point. I kind of had a suspicion that the map Rokuro was unable to follow would lead to his home. Even though some of the elements were predictable, there was still an interesting idea going into this. From this chapter, it looks like Twin Star Exorcists might have potential.

Dragon Ball CH:004

Goku and Bulma officially meet Master Roshi. As a reward for Goku saving Trutle, Roshi summons Kinto’un, a magical cloud. Bulma sees that Roshi has a Dragon Ball hanging around his neck, and she gets it from him. Now she and Goku have four Dragon Balls. Right at the end of the chapter, they reach what appears to be a deserted village.

Well, this is the last chapter of Dragon Ball to appear for the “Jump Back” initiative. It basically introduces Master Roshi and establishes how pervy he is. For plot advancement, though, Bulma was able to get her hands on another Dragon Ball. The chapter ends with a hint of what could happen with the next storyline in the series.

I like Dragon Ball, so I have to admit that I will miss reading it in Weekly Shonen Jump in next week’s issue.

Anime DVD Review: Bleach Set 25

Bleach Set 25 includes episodes 343-354 of the series on two DVDs. Audio options include the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Bleach Set 25

English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: June 23, 2015

Set 25 picks the canon storyline back up after a 17-month time skip. In the intervening time, Ichigo has lost his Soul Reaper powers and is living in peace as a third year high school student. But that peace is soon shattered when Chad seems to disappear and Uryu is attacked by an unknown assailant.

Ichigo finds himself being approached by Kugo Ginjo, a member of a group known as Xcution. Its member are made up of people who were born with or have manifested a Fullbring ability, and it turns out this is where Chad has been. Xcution wants to help Ichigo restore his Soul Reaper powers in order to rid themselves of their Fullbring abilities, but Ichigo wants no part of it at first. But after his younger sister Yuzu is attacked by a Hollow, Ichigo decides to take Xcution up on their offer.

With a new story arc, of course, comes new characters. Obviously, there’s Kugo and the other members of Fullbring. Of the Xcution characters, a lot of focus is also placed on Riruka Dokugamine, the member who takes charge of Ichigo’s training. Her Fullbring is known as “Dollhouse” and allows her to place people into objects that she finds to be cute. With her ability, Riruka places Ichigo into objects like a dollhouse or a birdcage and has him fighting plush animals she brings to life by kidnapping humans and putting them into the plushes. Admittedly, these training battles are on the surreal side for the viewer, but they end up accomplishing what they need to do as Ichigo begins taking steps to learn how to activate a Fullbring. We get to see three other members of Xcution as well, but they tended to not be focused on as much as Kugo or Riruka were.

A new enemy is also introduced in this set, a man named Shukuro Tsukishima who has ties with Xcution. He has a lackey named Moe Shishigawara, but it’s safe to say that this guy’s not very bright. It’s no wonder that he’s Shukuro’s lackey.

Ichigo has a part-time job, and this set also introduces the viewer to his boss, Ikumi Unagiya. She owns the Unagiya Shop, a business that performs odd jobs for its customers. In a lot of respects, her personality kind of reminds me of Kukaku Shiba.

Since there’s a 17-month time skip, some of the characters have received some major changes to their character design. Ichigo, Uryu, and the adults don’t seem to have changed much, but many of the other characters have significant changes to them. Characters like Karin, Yuzu, Jinta, and Keigo look drastically different, while others have noticeable changes that aren’t quite as significant.

There’s also something about the atmosphere of the series that has changed, in addition to the character designs. The overall aesthetics of the animation seem to have noticeably changed, and there also seems to be a change to the feel in the storytelling. Considering that there’s a significant time skip and the main characters have grown up in that intervening time, having this change in the series’ atmosphere makes a lot of sense. But as a viewer, it took me a few episodes to truly adjust to these changes.

When it comes to the DVD set itself, the omake are cut off from the end of the episodes and collected together in the “Omake” feature included on both discs. The quality of the omake on this set was poor overall, although a couple of them induced some chuckles.

The bonus features on both discs have the same clean opening and clean ending, since there was only one opening animation and one closing animation that appeared on the episodes in this set. The opening and closing both have options for English subtitles and Romaji subtitles.

“More From VIZ Media” includes the exact same trailers that appear at the beginning of each disc before the menu loads. Not only that, but the trailers used for Bleach Set 25 are the exact same trailers that were used for Sets 22-24. If the trailers didn’t entice me to buy what they were selling three sets ago, they’re not going to convince me to buy them now.

If you’re a Bleach fan, this set is a “must own” if you want to have all of the episodes that include canon material in your anime home video collection.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

Manga Review: “Bleach” Volume 64

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

Bleach Volume 64 focuses on the battle that continues to rage between the Soul Reapers and the Quincies.

Bleach Volume 64

Written by: Tite Kubo
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: July 7, 2015

Volume 64 is completely set in one location. At the beginning, the focus is on Yachiru and Isane as they work at trying to heal wounded Soul Reapers. Their efforts are interrupted by the arrival of a grotesque-looking Quincy named Gwenael Lee. At first, he appears to be unstoppable, due to his abilities that allows him to “disappear.” But this encounter allows Yachiru to shine, and she surprises everyone with both her instincts and her Zanpakuto. Normally, Yachiru is just seen as the cute little companion who accompanies Kenpachi and doesn’t do much in fights. But Volume 64 allows the reader to see that Yachiru has her own talents that hadn’t been seen before in the series.

But the danger isn’t over with Gwenael’s defeat. A new Quincy named Gremmy arrives and his power is worse than Gwenael’s: whatever Gremmy imagines becomes reality. But just as things look bad for Yachiru and Isane, Kenpachi literally bursts his way onto the battlefield. After Kenpachi’s arrival, almost all of the rest of Bleach Volume 64 focuses on the battle between Gremmy and Kenpachi. As a way to stretch it out, Kubo used the tactic of building up the fight by having more and more outrageous attacks being thrown out until it feels like it’s reaching the point of ridiculousness. But even with this tactic being employed, I did appreciate how Kubo delved into Gremmy and his attitude of being undefeatable because of his power with his imagination. All I’ll say about the resolution of the battle is that I thought Gremmy ultimately got what he deserved.

Right at the end of Volume 64, four female Quincies with powerful or grotesque abilities arrive on the scene. Unfortunately, this particular battle doesn’t get very far when the volume ends. At least there’s a decent cliffhanger that will keep a reader interested in coming back to find out what happens.

Volume 64 focuses very heavily on the action, with only brief bits of backstory. Bleach fans who read the series for the action scenes won’t be disappointed by what they see here.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest weaknesses of Bleach Volume 64 is in its art. I know that a two-and-a-half year timeskip took place a little earlier in the series, but it feels like Kubo is drawing his characters with only minimal detail anymore. Also, it appears he’s not doing much with his backgrounds now, either. In earlier volumes of the series, it looked like Kubo spent much more time on drawing the characters and creating a “crisp” style for his art that helped to make Bleach stand out in the beginning. Also, earlier volumes didn’t seem to rely on white backgrounds in the panels as much. As someone who’s read quite a bit of Bleach, these newer volumes feel as if Kubo is rushing through the art simply to crank out chapters each week and make his deadlines.

If you’re still following Bleach at this point in the series and enjoy what you’ve been reading, then I would recommend reading Volume 64 in order to see what happens to Yachiru and Kenpachi. If you’ve been following Bleach in Weekly Shonen Jump, then you’ll already know what’s going on and would probably only want to read Volume 64 if you like this part of the story and want to experience it again.

The reviewer received a review copy from VIZ Media

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: July 12-18, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of July 12-18, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. The World’s Greatest First Love Volume 2 by Shungiku Nakamura
2. Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 by Sui Ishida
3. 12 Beast Volume 2 by OKAYADO
4. Naruto Volume 70 by Masashi Kishimoto
5. Big Hero 6 Volume 1 by Haruki Ueno
6. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
7. Bleach Volume 64 by Tite Kubo
8. Assassination Classroom Volume 1 by Yusei Matsui
9. UQ Holder Volume 5 by Ken Akamatsu
10. Sword Art Online: Progressive Volume 2 by Reki Kawahara and Kiseki Himura

Source: The New York Times

Weekly Shonen Jump (July 20, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for Nisekoi: False Love, One Piece, Black Clover, My Hero Academia, Toriko, World Trigger, Bleach, and Food Wars. This issue also includes the second chapter of Best Blue, the next title in Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Start” initiative, and the third chapter of Dragon Ball (which is the current title to be featured for the “Jump Back” initiative). And right at the end of the volume there are cosplay pictures from both Anime Expo and San Diego 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.

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

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

Nisekoi: False Love CH:178

Raku is taken aback by Yui confessing her feelings to him. Yui says she knows that Raku’s relationship with Chitoge isn’t real, and she asks him what the chances would be of him coming to feel for her the way she feels for him. Raku has no idea how to react because Yui has blindsided him so badly. As he thinks, Chitoge’s face suddenly appears in Raku’s mind. After a few moments, Yui apologizes for putting Raku on the spot and says he doesn’t have to answer right away. Raku then finds himself having to think seriously about the girls in his life and how he feels about them. Later, we see Raku give Yui his answer: that he sees her as a sister. That night, as Raku mulls over things in his mind, Yui comes into his room and usual and lays down next to him. Yui says she thinks she can move on, and the last panel has her saying, “So long.”

Well… that was shocking. After how much Komi has been trolling readers recently, I was so sure that this would be another case of being trolled again. But Komi actually made a major change in the dynamic of the series. So there should now be at least one less girl in Raku’s harem. And the one who went first was the girl who most recently joined. Could this be a sign that perhaps Komi is starting to think about winding down this series? Honestly, I hope so. Between the characters being in their final year of high school and the fact that so little progression has been made to the overarching story after all this time, it would be nice to finally see the series working toward reaching a conclusion.

One Piece CH:794

At Kyros’ house, we see various cast members recuperating after the big battle. It also includes Sabo having a flashback to his childhood and how he became separated from Luffy and Ace as kids. He had lost his memory, and it was through learning of Ace’s death that his memory returned to him. It also includes a flashback of when Sabo and Luffy reunited. After sharing his memories, Sabo decides to be on his way.

This chapter is basically a flashback and backstory story, but I appreciated getting it. And we do see that Sabo is moving on and won’t be traveling with Luffy and the Straw Hats. So now it looks like the Straw Hats need to heal and regain their strength before they move on from Dressrosa and discover what their next adventure is going to be.

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

Black Clover CH:022

Asta and Noelle are told they need to give a report to the Knights Headquarters about what happened at the dungeon. On their way, they run into the members of Golden Dawn, who are also on their way to make a report. We learn that Mimosa seems to be interested in Asta. But it looks like Noelle is interested, too. When they report to the Wizard King, we learn they retrieved a spell from the dungeon before it collapsed. From something we see the Wizard King thinks, it appears that Yuno has been chosen by somebody because of being able to perform this spell in the dungeon. Asta then shows the Wizard King the strange writing that appeared in his Grimoire. The Wizard King doesn’t recognize it, and Asta pulls out the anti-magic sword. When the Wizard King touches it, it starts absorbing his magic. Yuno and Asta ask how one becomes the Wizard King. After hearing his answer, Yuno and Asta are more determined than ever.

So this chapter allows our main characters to finally meet the Wizard King, and through exposition, the reader finally learns how someone can become the Wizard King. It’s been Yuno and Asta’s goal since the beginning of the series, but no explanation had been given prior to this chapter. We also get a hint that there’s something important about Yuno from what the Wizard King thinks. It looks like the point of this chapter was to provide some exposition, as well as to encourage both Asta and Yuno to continue working toward their goal.

My Hero Academia CH:051

Midoriya escapes from the train to try to find Gran Torino. We then see Gran Torino trying to take on a villain. But during the fight, another hero arrives on the scene. When Midoriya arrives on the scene, he sees that Ida has run off. We then return to Ida’s fight with the Hero Killer. It looks like the Hero Killer has already gotten the upper hand on Ida. But just as it looks like Ida is going to receive a fatal blow, Midoriya arrives on the scene and distracts the Hero Killer.

This was a very action oriented chapter, focusing on the nomu attacking the city and on Ida’s fight with the Hero Killer. Of course, it’s not surprising that the Hero Killer was able to overpower Ida rather quickly, since Ida is still in training. I’m not surprised that Midoriya arrived in time to help protect Ida, but could something still happen to Ida? Midoriya is also still a trainee, so there’s going to be a limit as to what he can do. With Midoriya’s comment about Ida in the narration in an earlier chapter, I still suspect that something could happen to him. Even if Ida isn’t killed, he could end up being seriously injured like his brother.

Best Blue CH:002

We see Souta begin training Takumi. We see that Souta intends to work Takumi hard, especially since Takumi has potential but no real skills. It turns out that Souta only has six months to get Takumi up to high school level training. We then skip ahead to the fourth day of training, and then to day 15. We then see Souta going to Takumi’s place and he meets Takumi’s parents. We discover Souta has come to ask Takumi’s parents if he can take Takumi with him. We don’t see his parents’ answer, and instead skip ahead to day 18 of training. Right at the end of the chapter, we see that March has come, and that Takumi is heading out with Souta.

This chapter is here to get through Takumi’s training and setting the stage for the story to jump ahead to Takumi in high school in Tokyo. These first two chapters establish the characters of Takumi and Souta, as well as the premise of Takumi swimming with a high school team. So it looks like the final chapter in the “Jump Ahead” initiative will see Takumi starting out in high school and will probably start to introduce Takumi’s team mates.

Toriko CH:331

Komatsu discovers that there is a slum in Blue Grill, and it turns out this is where Chaco lives. Komatsu is told to spend the night because of all the food spirits that are out that night. We see Komatsu cook for Chaco, but Chaco isn’t impressed by the dish that Komatsu prepared. We then learn why we see some people in the area wearing masks. When Komatsu wakes up, he discovers that Chaco is gone and has been taken away.

It looks like this chapter is establishing something major that will be happening in Blue Grill. There’s a scene where it looks like Chaco is in a mask and leaning over Komatsu in his sleep, and I have to admit that it looked a little on the gross side. There definitely seems to be more going on than what had been seen on the surface prior to this chapter. So it’ll be interesting to see what exactly will be going on with what’s been hinted at in Blue Grill.

World Trigger CH:109

We learn that Kageura’s has a Side Effect called emotion perception. Yuma is officially introduced to Kageura, but Kageura doesn’t seem to think much of him. Meanwhile, Osamu goes to see Izumi, but a guy named Yuiga tries to turn him away. Izumi gets mad at Yuiga and attacks him. Osamu talks with Izumi about wanting to be able to score points by himself and why Osamu has come to see Izumi. At the end of the chapter, Izumi tells Osamu that he has to beat Yuiga with 100 wins one-on-one before he’ll teach Osamu composite shots.

This chapter is basically here to establish Kageura, as well as setting the stage for Osamu to work toward his goal of learning composite shots. This seems to be a way to not only help Osamu grow his battle tactics, it also seems to be here to help stretch out time a little before continuing on with the B-Rank Wars. I expect the next chapter will put its focus on Osamu battling with Yuiga and whether or not he can succeed at making the goal that Izumi has set for him. It’s a little disappointing for the B-Rank Wars to be placed on hold like this, but it’s understandable that Osamu needs to get stronger before the B-Rank Wars can continue.

Bleach CH:635

We see that Ichigo and the others have lost sight of Grimmjow, and the group decides to split up in order to find him. We then see Grimmjow catch up with his prey, but his prey gets him with a poison ball. The scene then shifts to the Soul Reapers, and we see that they are being targeted by some kind of sniper. Kenpachi senses something and reacts, but something happens that he doesn’t expect.

The chapter is basically all over the place. It’s a composite of three or four brief scenes, but nothing truly progresses the plot. Hopefully Kubo doesn’t end up doing this too much in upcoming chapters as a way to stretch out the story.

Food Wars! CH:127

We see that Soma tries to go to a different location to give away his remaining stock for free as snacks to people who are leaving the festival. We learn he had done this the previous night too, and it gave him a chance to try out some new things. He equates what he’s doing with people hanging out free samples that other booths were doing. By lugging his cart around, he’s trying new dishes and giving them out for people to taste and give feedback on. We learn he had made noodles from his bun dough the previous night, and these samples helped him sell a lot more food today. We then see the group from the Shiomi Seminar talking about what to do for their booth. Right at the end of the chapter, Soma comes up with an idea for something to try for his food cart.

The vast majority of this chapter focuses on Soma and what he’s been doing to try to drum up business for his food cart in the hopes of getting out of the red. But we see that he also realizes he needs to come up with a dish that’s more recognizable to people in Japan and that it has to be something that can compete with Kuga and his renowned Chinese food. While it appears that Soma is starting to make some progress in turning his fortunes around, it’s obvious that he still has a lot of work to do.

Dragon Ball CH:003

Goku and Bulma meet Turtle, a sea turtle who has lost his way and is trying to get back to the sea. Goku volunteers to carry Turtle back to the sea, and at first, Bulma is ready to part ways. But she realizes she didn’t get Goku’s Dragon Ball from him and sees a dinosaur nearby, she rushes to catch up with him. When they’re stopped by someone who wants to eat Turtle, Goku takes them on and defeats them. We then see Goku, Bulma, and Turtle making it to the sea. Turtle says he’d like to reward them, and asks them to stay on the beach and wait. The turtle returns with Master Roshi riding on his back.

This chapter introduces Turtle, which ultimately leads to the introduction of Master Roshi. The chapter also establishes how strong Goku is, and this strength is something that will continue to appear in the series. Next week is supposed to be the last chapter for the “Jump Back” initiative, so we’ll see exactly where the story will cut off.

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: July 5-11, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of July 5-11, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 by Sui Ishida
2. Bleach Volume 64 by Tite Kubo
3. Sword Art Online: Progressive Volume 2 by Reki Kawahara and Kiseki Himura
4. Big Hero 6 Volume 1 by Haruki Ueno
5. Assassination Classroom Volume 1 by Yusei Matsui
6. Naruto Volume 70 by Masashi Kishimoto
7. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
8. Assassination Classroom Volume 3 by Yusei Matsui
9. Pokémon Adventures Volume 29 by Hidenori Kusaka
10. Noragami: Stray God Volume 5 by Adachitoka

Source: The New York Times

Weekly Shonen Jump (July 13, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One-Punch Man, Food Wars!, Toriko, Black Clover, Bleach, and My Hero Academia. This issue also includes the first chapter of Best Blue, the next title in Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Start” initiative, and the second chapter of Dragon Ball (which is the current title to be featured for the “Jump Back” initiative).

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

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

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

Best Blue CH:001

This is the first chapter of the next title Weekly Shonen Jump is highlighting as part of its “Jump Start” initiative.

The main character of the series is Takumi Aono, a third-year student at Higashina Middle School. He lives on an isolated island, but he’s determined to become a competitive swimmer. Someone from the mainland shows up, and Takumi thinks he’s there to watch swimmers and coach them. But it turns out he’s only come to serve as a lifeguard for the pool. He has come with his younger sister, Mio, who have come to visit their grandfather for the summer; he has the job as a lifeguard while he’s visiting. Takumi is determined to have the new lifeguard teach him how to swim, but he says no way. It turns out that Takumi is the only member of the school’s swim team. Takumi then asks if they know “The Legend of Amami,” which is something that happened at nationals six years ago. After seeing that, Takumi became addicted to swimming, and it’s his goal to overtake the legend with his own record. The lifeguard says that anchor isn’t a big deal and that Takumi should give up on his dream. When the lifeguard asks if he can break that anchor’s time, and Takumi says he’ll do it before summer vacation is over. The next day, he doesn’t break the record, but Mio is still impressed with how he did. Later, the lifeguard asks why Takumi doesn’t join a swim club, and he says there isn’t one on the island. Two weeks pass, and Takumi goes to the pool every day. More time goes by, and then it’s the final day of Takumi’s vacation. He manages to break his own record, but not the anchor’s time. But the lifeguard decides to challenge Takumi to a race, and then introduces himself as Souta Kagura, the anchor of Amami High that Takumi has been trying to beat. We learn that Souta has been offered a chance to become a swim coach at Harusame High School, and he asks Takumi if he wants to go to school in Tokyo. Souta stays behind to train Takumi until he’s ready to take the entrance exam to Harusame.

Okay, after reading this chapter, I couldn’t help but feel that Takumi and his situation are based on Hinata and his situation in Haikyu!! The only main difference is that Hinata plays volleyball and looks up to a famous high school volleyball player from a championship, while Takumi looks up to a famous high school swimmer from a championship. Also, Takumi gets to meet the guy he looked up to. From what I’ve seen from the Haikyu!! anime, that doesn’t seem to be the case for Hinata. I also figured out who Souta was rather early on, because I thought that a couple of rather blatant hints were thrown out there for the reader.

After reading this first volume, it came across to me like this mangaka is trying to cash in on the popularity of Free!, and adding shonen elements that almost came directly out of Haikyu!! Hopefully the next chapter will find a way to start bringing this series into its own, instead of having it feel like it’s the love child of Free! and Haikyu!!

One Piece CH:793

This chapter continues to see Naval HQ admiral Fuhitora bowing in front of Riku, He begins by groveling, and then salutes the actions of the pirates, gladiators, and citizens that made this victory possible. We then see The Five Elders, the highest power of the world government, meeting with Sakazuki, the fleet admiral of the Navy. They receive a report about Doflamingo’s defeat. Then the video and information that Dressrosa had sent out spreads around the New World, and those who had deals with Doflamingo are in utter chaos. At the end of the chapter, we see Fujitora being told that he won’t set foot on any naval base in the world until he brings Luffy and Law with him.

Now that the celebration is over, the reactions of other factions and the chaos the news creates becomes the focus of this chapter. It also appears that the foundation for the next story arc may be getting set here as well. Since Fujitora is being told that he’ll have to capture Luffy and Law, I expect that’s what Oda will be focusing on next. I’m curious to see whether or not I’m right.

Food Wars! CH:126

The top three sellers for each area are announced at each area at the end of the first day of the festival. It’s revealed that for the Center Campus, Kuga came in first place while Soma didn’t place in the top three. And it turns out that two booths ended up in the red: Soma’s and Shiomi Seminar’s. This means that all three finalists from the Fall Classic ended up in the red. Later, Soma and the others start going over what happened at their booths at the festival. Then it skips ahead to the end of the second day, and we see that Soma moved up five spots from being at the bottom at Center Campus. We learn that Soma added a second dish to his menu that day, and that he had a few more people in his line.

After reading the previous chapter, it wasn’t too surprising to see that Soma performed so poorly on the first day. And while he managed to move up five spots the next day, I suspect he may still be having trouble getting back into the black. How is Soma going to manage to turn things around so that he and Megumi aren’t expelled? Soma can’t be kicked out, since he’s the main character, so something will have to happen to save him. But what will that be?

Toriko CH:330

The human chefs start becoming notorious in Blue Grill. The human chefs, meanwhile, begin asking a lot of questions about Blue Grill and their cooking. They find out that when night falls, they’ll learn the secret of Blue Grill’s civilization. Komatsu runs into a boy from Blue Grill named Chaco. It turns out that Chaco dreams of becoming a respectable chef one day. Komatsu learns from Chaco that when night falls in Blue Grill, the ghosts come out. If you don’t wear a talisman, you will become possessed. The others learn that order to get through the Back Channel, they need to have particular cooking skills to get through the gate. The human chefs are told they will be challenging Blur Grill’s top chefs in a cooking match. If they lose, they will give up on any plans to go to the Back Channel. The match will be the next day against the Ten Shell Masters.

So it appears that this chapter is setting up an obstacle for the human chefs to overcome in order to gain access to the Back Channel and be able to continue on their mission. Unfortunately, it looks like Komatsu could end up being separated from the group and could even become possessed by a food spirit. I expect the next chapter will focus on that possibility, and may also begin the cooking match that was mentioned right at the end of the chapter. Of course, the story could also stop there and shift its focus to one of the other groups. It’ll be interesting to see which direction the next chapter will end up going in.

Black Clover CH:021

Yuno works at trying to get the group out, while Mimosa works at trying to heal Asta. As she heals Asta, he asks her to heal Mats as well. Asta says they came to capture the dungeon, not to kill enemies. As things look bleak, Lucky says he’ll guide Yuno and Klaus. Everyone is determined to not let Asta die as they try to escape. The group manages to escape from the collapsing dungeon. We then see that Asta has recovered. Klaus apologizes to Yuna and Asta for his behavior earlier.

So this chapter brings about a conclusion to this particular storyline. Even though it turns out that neither the Black Bulls or Golden Dawn manage to secure the treasure, everything still works out for both groups. They escape, Asta is healed, and Klaus sees the error of his ways. But with the way this chapter ends, there’s no hint as to what direction the story will go in next. Oh, well. But at least Black Clover is starting to feel less and less like a Naruto clone now.

Bleach CH:634

Jugo and Bazz-B continue their fight in the current time briefly, and then we return to a flashback. This flashback shows Bazz-B joining the Stern Ritter and trying to pick fights with Jugo; at this point, three years have passed since Jugo began serving Yhwach. Then the action returns to the present, and the fight continues. And then the battle actually ends right near the end of this chapter.

So, this chapter provides the last little bit of backstory for Jugo and Bazz-B before the winner of the fight is determined. But at least their battle is finally over, so the story should be shifting somewhere else. Unfortunately, the way the chapter ends, there’s no hint as to which character or characters will be focused on next.

My Hero Academia CH:050

It’s now the third day of the internship. Gran Torino has decides it’s time for Midoriya to move on to phase two of the actual internship. He explains that this means it’s time to hunt down villains. As they work toward traveling to their destination, Midoriya finds himself feeling concerned about Ida. Then the scene shifts to Ida and his mentor, and the hero he’s with asks him point blank if Ida is after the hero killer. It’s explained that vigilantism is strictly against the rules, and anyone caught breaking it will be considered committing a major crime. But we see that Ida has an urge to do something, but doesn’t know what he can do about it. We then see the hero killer arriving at the city Ida is currently in. The story then returns to Midoriya and Gran Torino traveling on a bullet train. The train makes an emergency stop, and then there’s an explosion. Midoriya recognizes Nomu as it boards the train. Midoriya also realizes they’re in Hosu City, where Ida is. Ida comes across the hero killer and right at the end of the chapter, declares that he will take down this enemy.

Oh, this doesn’t look good, especially after Midoriya’s comment about Ida several chapters back that felt like foreshadowing. With the way this chapter ends, I assume that Ida and the hero killer will be facing off in the next chapter. If it does, I’m not sure whether or not the fight between them will end in the next chapter or not. And knowing that Midoriya is around… ooh, this could get really bad.

Dragon Ball CH:002

Goku starts learning about the modern conveniences that he never had while living out in the wilderness with his grandfather. Bulma also gives Goku his first bath and discovers that he has a tail. Goku also makes discoveries about Bulma.

This chapter basically focuses on Goku being the “backwater hick” who doesn’t know much of anything, and so is starting to learn things in a humorous manner. Unfortunately, that means no progress is truly made on the journey to discover the other Dragon Balls. But this chapter does provide more development for both Goku and Bulma and the friendship that is slowly starting to develop.