Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 138 (September 29, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for World Trigger, Naruto, Sporting Salt, Toriko, Nisekoi: False Love, Hi-Fi Cluster, and Bleach. In addition, this issue includes the first chapter for eIDLIVE, the fourth 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.

World Trigger CH:076

This chapter opens with Shuji going up against Commander Hyrein as Osamu watches what’s going on. Osamu is asked what he wants to do, and he decides to fire one last shot; unfortunately, Osamu’s asteroid is blocked. As Osamu runs away, he encounters Mira, the wormhole user. The scene then changes to another area of the battlefield, where Yuma is fighting against the Black Trigger that looks like an old man. Unfortunately, not much happens during this fight before the chapter comes to an end.

The purpose of this chapter was to try to progress Osamu’s actions a little more and lay the foundation for another battle that’s just getting going. I had been hoping to see a little more progress for Osamu, but that was probably too much to ask for, since the previous chapter had focused so heavily on him. At the end of this chapter, there’s a note that says, “About 199 seconds until the future crossroads”; I really don’t know what this is referring to, since I jumped into World Trigger in the middle of this particular story arc. I’m afraid that the author is going to try to stretch those 199 seconds out as much as possible in order to make the story last longer.

Naruto CH:693

In this chapter, Naruto stands up to Sasuke and says he won’t let any harm come to the Biju. Sakura tries to convince Sasuke not to do what he’s planning to do; his response is to put her under genjutsu. When Kakashi tries to break things up, Naruto reminds him that he promised Sakura that he’d bring Sasuke back. Sasuke and Naruto head off to fight somewhere else, where the Sage of Six Paths talks with Kakashi. We see where Sasuke and Naruto end up: at the Valley of the End.

This chapter relies a bit on recalling events that happened much earlier in the Naruto series. In a lot of ways, it almost feels like we’ve come full circle. And with a battle between Sasuke and Naruto at the Valley of the End, it really feels like history is trying to repeat itself. But can Naruto be the one to defeat Sasuke this time around? And how long is Kishimoto going to stretch out this new battle at the Valley of the End?

Sporting Salt CH:002

This chapter sees Hiroyuki at his first day at Tachibana Harbor High School. When Hiroyuki sees how many sports the school has, he gets very excited. Unfortunately, just like in Chapter One, when Hiroyuki sees athletic bodies and wants to touch them, people think he’s a pervert. The student council president decides that she needs to test Hiroyuki. A boy named Osamu comes in; he’s the captain of the tennis team and says that if the team doesn’t win its next tournament, their team will be dissolved. This week’s doctor’s placebo item is muscle reinforcement braces. Like in Chapter One, the person he offers it to points out a flaw with it and turns it down. Hiroyuki comes to the tennis club’s room and puts a special leg bind onto Osamu; he sees that Osamu has shin splints. We then see it’s a week later, and Osamu still has the leg bind on. It turns out that this does the trick, and Hiroyuki passes the student council president’s test.

The “Hiroyuki gets excited over an athlete’s body and wants to touch it” gag just doesn’t work as well, especially when it shows up three times within a few pages. Hopefully, this won’t become a recurring gag throughout the series. And it looks like the “doctor’s placebo item” will potentially end up being a running gag, too; unfortunately, neither one of these gags is terribly funny. And after reading this chapter, I really get the feeling that this series is going to be rather formulaic. Hopefully next week’s chapter, which will be the final chapter in the English edition of Weekly Shonen Jump, will prove me wrong.

Toriko CH:294

This chapter jumps right into the battle with Neo, and it includes appearances by a Horse Turtle and an Angler Bird. We also learn that some of the members of Neo are former allies of Toriko and the others who are now under Joie’s control. Toriko battles with Teppei, and after their fight, Teppei disappears so he can report to Joie. Daruma tells them that Teppei passed through the “back” channel. Meanwhile, Komatsu’s not recovering from his injuries, because it appears that the place where his heart was vanished into thin air. There’s only one food that can save Komatsu, and that’s Acacia’s Soup.

So it appears that the new enemy has some connections to Toriko and the others after all. It was interesting to learn that Teppei knows Toriko and the others and that Teppei can vanish into thin air. And poor Komatsu! It looks like his injuries will be forcing Toriko and the others on a new journey in order to find Acacia’s Soup and save their friend.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:140

In this chapter, Tsugumi finds a perfume bottle in Claude’s room but isn’t sure it’s really perfume or a drug disguised as perfume. She decides to take it for safekeeping, and brings it with her to school. She’s startled when Chitoge calls out her name, and Tsugumi drops the perfume bottle. When Tsugumi realizes the bottle is gone, she panics. Chitoge finds the bottle and picks it up, sprays some of it on herself, and collapses. Just then, Tsugumi gets a call from Claude and learns that this is a perfume sleeping drug and whoever takes it will only awaken with a kiss. Tsumugi asks if there’s any other way to awaken the sleeper. Tsumugi tells Raku that he needs to be the one to kiss Chitoge. Unfortunately, Kosaki comes up at that moment, and Raku accidentally sprays her with the perfume. But before Raku can do anything, Tachibana approaches and is accidentally sprayed with the perfume. Then Tsumugi accidentally spritzes Raku with the perfume, but just as Tsumugi is about to kiss him, something surprising happens…

All right, I thought the “trading places with royalty because they look like a main character” storyline was kind of weak, but the story in this chapter was even more ridiculous. Overall, I have to say that Nisekoi: False Love has the occasional story that I enjoy, but a lot of them are either mediocre or extremely over the top. At least this story only lasted for one chapter! I know I keep saying this, but I hope the next chapter will return to the overarching story.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:003

Peta is given sight assist goggles for label adaptation for an external compatibility extension device. Kandera, Peta, and Miri are approached by a man named Ekusa, another member of Special Unit Six, who has been called in for a case. The case has to do with robberies, with suspects that are a group of six. All four of them wait for the criminals, and when they arrive, Ekusa takes them on. We learn that Ekusa’s Hi-Fi ability is gravity control, which comes from Isaac Newton.

This is the last chapter of Hi-Fi Cluster that’s appearing in the English version of Weekly Shonen Jump. It’s too bad it’s leaving, because the chapter is just getting the next story going when it ends. So far, of the three Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start Initiative” titles I’ve read up to this point, I would have to say that this one is the strongest. I really hope that at some point, this series can either take up any empty slots that open up in the English version of Weekly Shonen Jump, or that VIZ Media would be willing to license this series and release it in book form.

Bleach CH:598

Before Urahara can launch Ichigo and the others, Ganju arrives and demands to know what they’re doing. He shows them a road map to Reiokyu and insists that they can’t get there without it. When Ichigo tries to explain that they’re going to a dangerous battle, Ganju insists on coming with them. They allow Ganju to join them, and Urahara launches the group. And right near the end, there’s a confrontation between two females in Reiokyu…

I definitely enjoyed the earlier part of the chapter more than the later part, because I got to see what happened with Ichigo and the others. And it was nice to see Ganju again and to see him getting in on the action. The later part of the chapter didn’t do anything for me, simply because I have no idea who either one of these characters are or anything about them. But at least Ichigo and the others are starting to get a little closer to Reiokyu. Hopefully they’ll make it there sooner rather than later.

eIDLIVE CH:001

This is the fourth title to appear as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Start Initiative.”

A character named Chuta is talking to himself in class and ignoring his teacher; later, we see others talking to him and about him, making it clear that they think Chuta is a weirdo. It turns out Chuta has talent for cooking, and the Cooking Club asks him to join the club because they have a contest coming up. He refuses, and at first the girls say that’s why he doesn’t have any friends. Unfortunately, he ends up talking to himself again and cementing his reputation for being a weirdo. We learn that he hears a “voice,” he says this voice has been with him for as long as he can remember. Later when he says something rather embarrassing out loud, Misuzu (a girl he has a crush on) overhears him and this kills any chances he might have had with her. When Chuta goes to put his slippers in his locker, he finds something strange inside of it; we learn this creature’s name is Inspector Chips.

When Chuta returns home, he discovers that Chips has followed him there. Chips sends Chuta to a bureau where there are cat people. He learns they are Space Police eIDLIVE, and that Misuzu is among them; Misuzu has been observing Chuta. He learns that the force recruits people with the makings of good police and that they are chosen by consensus of the mothers computer; Chuta was chosen. Chuta is told that he has to take the qualifying exam. Misuzu objects, because all of Chuta’s talking to himself makes it clear that he suffers from delusions. Chuta learns that for the test, he has to capture a particular criminal alive. Chips transfers Chuta. Meanwhile, a thermography scan done on Chuta at the bureau show an unusual heat pattern for an Earthling. It turns out that the new home ec teacher, Ms. Saotome, is the criminal. Just when things look hopeless, something happens that allows Chuta to get the job done. Right afterward, something pops out of Chuta; it’s a Monitalien. The Montalien tells Chuta how their joint attack works. Together, they’re able to arrest the alien.

This is the first manga chapter that I’ve personally seen in Weekly Shonen Jump that was completely in color. Unfortunately, that was probably the best thing about this chapter. Overall, I thought that this story was on the strange side. Before the “voice” was revealed to be a creature inside of Chuta, I wasn’t enjoying the idea of a manga making fun of people hearing voices in their head. I know people who hear voices like that, so I have hard time finding any humor in that concept. I was relieved to see that it wasn’t truly “hearing voices in his head.” But even outside of that, there just wasn’t much to hook me into this particular story.

It should be noted that this title will continue in the October 13 edition of Weekly Shonen Jump.

VIZ Media’s Top Ten Selling Digital Manga for the Week of September 16, 2014

VIZ Media has announced the company’s top ten selling digital manga for the week of September 16, 2014.

1. Chibi Vampire Volume 13
2. Lucky Star Volume 2
3. Trinity Blood Volume 5
4. Fate/stay night Volume 9
5. One Piece Volume 72
6. Food Wars! Volume 3
7. Bokurano: Ours Volume 11
8. Bleach Volume 61
9. Skip Beat! Volume 33
10. Time Killers

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 137 (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.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 136 (September 15, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Judos, Naruto, World Trigger, Toriko, Nisekoi: False Love, and Bleach. In addition, this issue includes the first chapter for Hi-Fi Cluster, the second title in the Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” initiative, as well as the second part of the Rurouni Kenshin special limited 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.

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:001

Hi-Fi Cluster is the second series to be included as part of Viz Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” initiative.

The series is set in Tokyo in 2045, and it’s in a world where people have ability labels that were developed ten years earlier. Basically, people can download abilities as an app by wearing a label. But, as its explained, a person still has to possess the ability in order to use an ability label. The main character appears to be a young man named Peta Jugojo, who doesn’t even have the most basic of abilities and feels like an outcast because of it.

Peta crashes into a man while he’s making a delivery, and after the two of them talk, the man asks if Peta know of a black market selling labels. Before he can say anything, Peta is approached by some of the other boys from his high school, and it’s revealed that Peta is working instead of going to school. As the other boys start bullying Peta, the other guy steps in and helps him out. We also meet Nano, a girl that’s friends with Peta.

We then see Peta being offered a job of delivering a supposedly rare first-generation label. He takes on the job and takes a look at the label out of curiosity; it’s labeled as “Hi-Fi” and it suddenly starts reacting on its own and it won’t come off of him.

Nano goes to see Peta. and she finds him collapsed on the ground. The guy he works for grabs Nano; the deal was if Peta ruined their merchandise, they get to mess up something precious of his. Before anything can happen, the guy Peta met earlier appears and saves the day. It turns out the guy is from the Metropolitan Police Department, Investigation Squad Six, Special Ability Labels Unit, and his name is Kosaku Kandera. We learn through dialogue that the Hi-Fi labels are very special and aren’t compatible with just anyone; the power is immense, because the base of its ability comes from the geniuses from the world’s past. It turns out that Kandera has a Hi-Fi label on his prosthetic hand. When the leader of the group tries to use Nano as a shield, Peta finds the inner strength to stand up to this guy and save her. After the fighting is over, Kandera discovers the Hi-Fi label on Peta’s palm. Right at the end of the chapter, Peta is placed under arrest by Kandera.

As I read this chapter, I found it to be an interesting concept for a sci-fi manga. It seems to take the concept of labeling people and turning it into something more literal than the expression that’s commonly used. Right now, Peta finds himself under arrest for having the Hi-Fi label on him, because he’s accused of assisting in illegal label racketeering. However, I have a feeling that now that he has this label stuck on him, he’ll find himself becoming a member of the Investigation Squad Six, Special Ability Labels Unit. Of course, he’ll need to go through some training to learn how to utilize the label, but once he does, he’ll probably become an important member of the force. Overall, I have to say that I enjoyed the first chapter of Hi-Fi Cluster over the first chapter of last week’s “Jump Start” title, Judos.

One Piece CH:760

The people of Dressrosa ask King Riku what they should do now and for him to save them. Riku and naval admiral Fujitora both believe that Luffy will be the one to save them. We then return to Luffy and Trafalgar and their battle, where Trafalgar tries to be the big hero. And right at the end of the chapter, Doflamingo gives a brief backstory of his past to explain why he is the way he is now.

Overall, this wasn’t as action-packed of a chapter as many of the more recent chapters of One Piece have been. For the most part, though, a lot of what happens feels more like it’s killing time than anything else. Even the fight that Luffy and Trafalgar have is on the short side, and more of the time is spent on sharing Doflamingo’s backstory. However, even though not much happened here, this chapter was still needed to help slow down the frenetic pace that had dominated the recent chapters of this series. I expect this reprieve won’t last, though, and that more battles will probably start happening soon.

Judos CH:002

At the beginning of this chapter, Saito finds the location of Yahara Village, where Hana comes from. Both he and Mizuki take a trip there. When they get there, they find Hana working in an inn. Saito starts asking him questions about how he defeated Ida, and Hana shrugs it off as being just a fluke. We learn that everyone in the village descends from Juzo Tanaka, a judo master from the Edo period, and that the village is in the middle of “judos.” Unfortunately, the two reporters don’t get any more information, because judos is a secret due to village law. The only thing Hana says is that he has to become number one in this village.

At eight o’clock that night, Mizuki sees Hana in his uniform and decides to follow him. She finds him, but she distracts Hana in the middle of his fight. However, he’s able to recover. And right at the very end of the chapter, Hana gives Mizuki a brief explanation of what Yahara Village’s judo is.

Now that the story is a little more established, I found myself enjoying chapter two much more than I did the first chapter of this series. From what I saw in this chapter, I’m guessing a lot of the series will probably be focusing on the judos that’s taking place in Yahara Village, and that somehow Mizuki will keep finding herself running into Hana. Saito is definitely being depicted as the one who’s not as intuitive of a reporter as Mizuki is. It’ll be interesting to see what happens during the third and final chapter of this series that will appear as part of Viz Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” initiative.

Naruto CH:692

After the various zombies return to the afterlife, the tailed beasts are also free to decide where they want to go, since a piece of each of them are inside of Naruto; Kurama is asked to stay inside of Naruto to serve as the overseer of the gathering place. The Sage of Six Paths then asks Naruto and Sasuke if their answer to his question has changed after fighting Kaguya. Naruto says his answer’s still the same. The Sage then says he needs to undo the Infinite Tsukuyomi. It’s up to Naruto and Sasuke to work together, but Sasuke declares that he’s going to execute thecurrent gokage inside the Infinite Tsukuyomi, and will put all the biju under his control and eventually get rid of them. Sasuke declares he wants to destroy and then rebuild; he’s touting revolution. Naruto declares that he’ll rescue everyone…

Well, so much for the story reaching its end anytime soon. And I should have known that Sasuke hadn’t completely changed. Wow, he really came across as rather deranged by the end of this chapter. Please, Naruto, be able to take him down a lot faster than you were able to take down Kaguya! I really hope this portion of the story doesn’t drag on nearly as long as the fight with Kaguya did.

It should be noted that Naruto will be taking a one-week break, and will return in the September 29 issue of Weekly Shonen Jump.

World Trigger CH:075

The chapter opens with Osamu trying to figure out how to make it into the base, and then actually trying to get there. Unfortunately, he’s being pursued by the two humanoid Neighbors. Miwa arrives on the scene, and Osamu asks him to take the cubified Chika. Osamu declares he’ll stop the Neighbor here. Miwa smacks Osamu aside and says he doesn’t care, and chides Osamu for depending on others. Miwa only cares about killing the humanoid Neighbor…

It’s nice to finally seeing some progress for Osamu’s storyline. This Miwa guy comes across as caring more about himself than in actually helping others. I’m sure there’s more to this than there appears to be on the surface, and I suspect the next chapter will focus on Miwa trying to fight the humanoid Neighbor. Even though I’ve been reading these chapters in Weekly Shonen Jump for about six months now, I have to admit that I still feel a little lost at times as I read these chapters.

Toriko CH:292

We see Toriko and the others in Hex Food World celebrating and eating various dishes with air. But suddenly, Coco sees something strange: his arm is becoming his gourmet cell demon’s hand. Apparently, some of them can now control their gourmet cell monster. It’s revealed that the ancestors of those who live in Hex Food World are ordinary humans who were abducted by the four beasts long ago and made into slaves of the Nitro. These slaves were then injected with gourmet cells. Right at the end of the chapter, shadowy figures appear and wreak havoc…

Overall, most of this chapter ended up being expository in nature, and not much was really happening. Right at the beginning of the chapter, the shadowy figures who appeared at the end were hinted at, but they don’t actually make their move until right at the end of the chapter. There’s quite a cliffhanger here, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next chapter.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:138

In this chapter, Raku takes the princess to Onodera’s family’s sweet shop. Onodera is working, and Raku reveals that it’s the princess with him and not Chitoge. While they’re there, Onodera gets the princess some of the shop’s specialties. The princess wonders how close Raku and Onodera are, especially after Raku gets a minor injury and Onodera takes care of it for him. Later, when Raku takes her back to her hotel, her phone’s battery dies, which takes away the princess’ ability to communicate with Raku. But it turns out that she knew some very basic Japanese all along. The princess then kisses Raku a kiss on the cheek as a thank you.

Well, it looks like this story arc may be just about over. About the only thing left is how to get Chitoge out of where she is and get the princess back where she belongs. The chapter ended right before this could happen, so I expect that the next chapter will cover that part of the story and ultimately bring it to an end. But I know I’m so ready for this particular storyline to end for a new one to begin.

Bleach CH:596

In this chapter, Mayuri explains to the Quincy that’s bee ncreating zombies that he has a way to counteract what she’s done and turn her zombies into his zombies. Then, one of Mayrui’s zombies runs a sword through the Quincy. And with this, it also seems to be turning the tables on Pepe’s plans as well. The chapter ends with Pepe getting his butt kicked.

While I’m happy to finally see one of the Quincies out of the picture, this chapter has only helped to make this story arc even strange than it already was. Bleach has definitely gone in a very strange direction over the past few months, and I expect it’s only going to get weirder as it continues.

Rurouni Kenshin Special Limited Series Part 2

Shishio is approached for help after Hanabi is killed and Akari and Kagari are taken away. Shishiro tells her no and tells Hanahomura that she’s weak. Shishio tells Sojiro that their business at Yoshiwara is done. Hanahomura tells Shishiro that she wants him to sell his strength to her for a night; she says she will pay for this with her life. We then see Shishio and some other people waiting at a bridge for the Wadatsumi Koheidan Shark troops. As Shishio and the others attack, the troops try to use one of the twins as a hostage. But Shishio and the others manage to convince them to quit using the girl as a shield. In the end, Shishio is able to overcome Ichigase Sameo. We then see Shishio making a deal to get a battleship called Rengoku. At the end, we learn that Hanahomura’s real name is Yumi Komafata, and Shishio kisses her.

This is the second and last part of this limited series for Rurouni Kenshin. Admittedly, this was hard enough for me to follow since I’ve never read Rurouni Kenshin before reading this, but it also didn’t help that there was a sizable gap between Part 1 and Part 2 of this limited series. While this wasn’t bad at all, I think I would have been able to enjoy it better if the two parts had been a little closer together. Before reading this chapter, I had to read the writeup I did for Part 1 to refresh my memory as to what happened the earlier chapter. I suspect that readers who are already familiar with Rurouni Kenshin will have a much better appreciation for this special limited series than I do.

Manga Review: “Bleach” Volume 14

Bleach Volume 14 is a manga by Tite Kubo, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shonen Jump imprint in 2006. The series is rated “T” for teens; from what I’ve read of the manga and from what I’ve seen of the anime series, I would agree with this rating.

15-year-old Ichigo Kurosaki is the main character of the series, and he has the ability to see ghosts. After meeting a Soul Reaper named Rukia, his home is attacked by a Hollow. Rukia tries to transfer some of her powers to Ichigo so he can protect his family; however, he unintentionally absorbs all of her power. Ichigo defeats the Hollow and begins serving as a substitute Soul Reaper. In Volume Seven, Rukia was taken back to Soul Society to face punishment for transferring her powers to a human. Rukia now faces execution, and Ichigo and his friends try to find a way to get to Soul Society in order to save her.

Volume 14 sees Captain Jushiro Ukitake from 13th Company entering into the story as Byakuya finds Ganju and Hanatora with Rukia at her cell. Ganju takes on Byakuya, and it results in Ganju being injured rather badly; but before Byakuya can do any further harm, Ukitake intervenes.

Meanwhile, Ichiho sees Yoruichi the cat transform into a human woman, which is Yoruichi’s true form. To me, the scene was just as amusing reading it in the manga as when I first saw it when I watched the anime a few years back. While I knew this scene was coming, I suspect that it would catch first time readers off-guard.

After recovering from the shock, an injured Ichigo insists on saving his friends when he senses they’re in danger; he arrives while Ukitake and Byakuya discuss what’s going on. Since I’m further along in the anime series, I picked up on something that happens with Ukitake in this scene that appears to be foreshadowing that I didn’t pick up on when I first saw this scene in the anime. I wish I could go into more detail, but I can’t because of not wanting to provide “spoilers” for readers who haven’t had enough or any exposure to the Bleach anime.

Ichigo and Byakuya launch into a battle; but before it can escalate very far, Yoruichi jumps into the fray. At this point we get an explanation from Rukia as to who Yoruichi truly is, and it turns out she’s a rather impressive member of the Soul Society. After she subdues Ichigo, Yoruichi is able to get away from Byakuya with Ichigo. But before she leaves, Yoruichi declares that she’ll make Ichigo stronger than Byakuya in three days.

After Byakuya leaves, we see that Ukitake is a gentler member of Soul Society. While he has Rukia put back into her cell, he asks his subordinates to contact 4th Company so Ganju can receive medical treatment. If Ukitake had been more like most of the other members of Soul Society that we’d seen up to this point, he would have had Ganju killed. Also, he lets Hanatora live even though he acted as a traitor against the Soul Society. Hopefully this won’t be too much of a spoiler, but this is an accurate depiction of Ukitake; I’ve seen him appear in later episodes of the anime series, and he’s still this gentle. Ukitake definitely ranks up there as one of my favorite Soul Society captains.

We also see Yoruichi training with Ichigo; unfortunately, we don’t get to see very much of it. Hopefully there will be more of this training in Volume 15.

Then, we see Uryu and Orihime trying to disguise themselves as part of one of the Soul Society squads. This ends up being a humorous scene, especially since they initially make a mistake that should have given them away; fortunately, the squads involved aren’t very bright. Unfortunately, the humor doesn’t last long, because Captain Mayuri of 12th Company gets involved. Orihime tries to help the injured as Uryu shows his skills as a Quincy. This leads to an impressive battle between Uryu and Mayuri and this serves as the climax of the volume.

Wow, I’d forgotten just how creepy Mayuri’s introduction was from when I watched the anime. While he was annoying in later stories in the anime, he didn’t come across as quite so creepy as he does here. Since I’ve seen much later chapters in Weekly Shonen Jump, some of which featured Mayuri, I’ll say that he’s back to acting rather creepy again. I’ve never cared much for Mayuri, and seeing his introduction in here reminds me of why I dislike him so much.

So there’s definitely going to be one more volume that features this story arc, but from what I remember from seeing this in the anime, there’s still enough material to go that it’ll probably take at least another two or three volumes, if not a little more, to finish off rescuing Rukia from Soul Society. Even though I may remember a lot of what’s going to happen from when I saw this story in the anime series, I’m still enjoying reading them in the manga. It’s been so long since I’ve seen these particular episodes that reading the story again in manga form is jogging my memory and reminding me of what happened to lead up to the point that I’m currently at in the anime.

If you’ve read the previous thirteen volumes of Bleach and enjoyed what you read, then I think you’ll also enjoy reading Volume 14.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Bleach Volume 14 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 135 (September 8, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Naruto, Blue Exorcist, One Piece, Nisekoi: False Love, Bleach, Toriko, World Trigger, One-Punch Man, and Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign. In addition, Viz Media launches its new Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start initiative with the first chapter of Judos.

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.

Judos CH:001

Judos is a the first series to be includes as part of Viz Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” initiative. As you can probably tell from the title, it’s a sports manga about judo.

The story opens with two sports reporters covering a judo match. Mizuki, the female reporter, runs into Hana Yanagi, the protagonist of the series. It turns out he’s new to Tokyo and that he’s lost; he’s looking for the director of the Sondokan Institute. Mizuki is able to tell him where to go, and then the press is asked to leave. It turns out that Sondokan Institute is the ultimate in the world of judo, and Hana is there to participate in the “festival.” We then see Mizuki and Saito, the sports reporters, crawling around in Sondokan’s vents, and they stumble across the “festival”; Mizuki is surprised when she sees Hana walk in. Unfortunately, the reporters fall out of the vent and are seen by everyone gathered for the “festival.” The reporters are allowed to stay but have their cameras and phones taken away. Hana is up against Ida, the champion.

Basically, the “festival” is a match between the strongest member of Sondokan and a representative from a small village called Yahara that has practiced judo since the Edo Period. After an intense battle between Ida and Hana, Hana is the winner. After watching the fight, Saito decides that he and Mizuki need to go to Yahara Village in order to get a story. Unfortunately, they have no idea where it is.

Overall, I have to say that this is a rather well-done way to establish the concept and the important characters, especially for a sports manga like Judos. Admittedly, I’m really not a fan of judo, but the manga seems to work well enough for what it is. However, I have a hard time seeing how Mizuki thinks Hana is so good-looking; personally, I thought he looked kind of goofy. Oh well. I suspect that fans of sports manga, especially manga featuring judo, will probably have a stronger appreciation for this than I do.

Naruto CH:691

This chapter sees the Sage of Six Paths having an important conversation with Kakashi. We then see Kakashi having one final internal monologue with Obito. At the end, Kakashi loses his sharingan and collapses. Everyone also gets to witness a final conversation between Madara and Hashirama. Naruto also gets to have a final conversation with Minato. The chapter ends with all of the zombies returning to the afterlife.

While there may not have been a whole lot of action in this chapter, a lot still took place through the dialogue that took place between various people. While all the conversations were moving in their own way, the one between Naruto and Minato was the most moving. As Naruto speaks to him, you can see just how much Naruto has truly grown up over the course of the series. And as this chapter went on, I could definitely feel a sense of winding down. I don’t know how much longer Kishimoto is going to make this last, but I suspect there will be more than just a couple of chapters to go. I’m a little sad knowing that Naruto is getting closer to ending, but at the same time, it’s nice to know that a conclusion seems to getting closer.

Blue Exorcist CH:060

Rin and Shima have a battle, but there’s a big monster of glob that’s also trying to get involved; Rin finds that he’s getting weaker. Then some people arrive and perform a spirit invocation dance as bait for nine tails. Izumo jumps into this, but her compatibility rate falls. It turns out Professor Geodin has a device that is supposed to force the possession to take hold. We see Izumo struggling as to whether or not she should give in to the nine tails. But before anything can happen to Izumo, Rin appaears where she is right at the end of the chapter…

One thing I have to say is that through flashbacks that Izumo has as she’s struggling, I was able to learn more about her and I think it helped me better understand what’s been going on with her in this story arc. It’s really hard to jump into the middle of a manga, especially in the middle of what appears to be a major story arc. The story is interesting, but I’d probably have enjoyed this even more if I’d read Blue Exorcist from the very beginning.

One Piece CH:759

When Luffy and Trafalgar make it to Doflamingo, they see that Doflamingo has taken Bellamy prisoner. Bellamy asks Doflamingo to kill him, and Luffy tries to save him; unfortunately, Luffy is not successful. Trafalgar scolds Luffy for letting his anger and hatred control him. The battle with Doflamingo gets underway, but he uses tricks such as body doubles and controlling Bellamy to fight for him. But something surprising happens during the battle…

Finally, we start seeing the battle of Luffy and Trafalgar versus Doflamingo! It sure took quite a while to get here! Admittedly, the battle itself doesn’t progress all that much before the chapter ends, but at least the battle is finally happening. Hopefully the next chapter will continue to focus on this battle and not shift its focus to some other area where fighting is taking place.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:137

In this chapter, we see Chitoge trying to pose as the princess around the princess’ people. Unfortunately, due to not understanding the princess’ language, Chitoge has no idea what anyone is saying, so she’s not responding. We then see Raku spending time with the princess. The princess asks to see where Raku lives, he ends up taking her there in the hopes it can be quick before the mob members see them. The princess is impressed to meet actual members of the Japanese yakuza. Later, they visit a shrine that they’re walking by. Right at the end of the chapter, it’s obvious that Malusha, the princess, has a crush on Raku.

Well, here we go again… another member to join Raku’s harem. Well, at least she doesn’t have a key that could go with his locket, too. I think Raku’s harem has reached a point where it almost makes the amount of love interests in Ranma 1/2 look sane! But I seriously hope that Malusha is the last person to join the harem because it’s just gotten ridiculously big, especially for a guy who comes across as rather average.

Bleach CH:595

Byakuya cuts down Hisagi, who is being manipulated by a Quincy named Pepe; however, Pepe is able to get Hisagi to get back up again in order to fight. Just as it looks like Pepe has the upper hand, he’s caught off-guard by a surprise…

Okay, this chapter was just rather weird, and this Pepe guy is so annoying. And since I skipped ahead quite a bit in the story when I started reading Weekly Shonen Jump a few months back, I’ve never truly understood how the story has reached this point and what exactly is going on. And as I continue through this story arc, it just seems to be getting weirder and weirder. Maybe it ended up being a good thing that the anime was cut off before reaching this point.

Toriko CH:291

With the Nightmare giving birth to one of the new eight kings, and the new king bellowing for the first time, the age of gourmet begins to be revived in the human world. In the Gourmet World, we see Toriko approaching Komatsu and the others. And once everyone has gathered, Toriko declares that they should all have a taste of air together. Toriko takes a taste of the air, and it appears to have increased his visual acuity. And right at the end of the chapter, Toriko declares that this food, king air, will be the salad of his full-course meal.

Overall, this was actually a rather boring chapter. Yes, Toriko needed to taste the air and determine that it would be the salad for his full-course meal, but really, there was little to no action to keep the reader interested in what’s going on. Oh well. Hopefully this means that Toriko and the others can move on and move into another adventure in the Gourmet World.

World Trigger CH:074

In this chapter, we see Kyosuke defeating a Rabit in one hit. We then see Kyosuke having a flashback sequence of a conversation that took place earlier in the series. Kyosuke is determined to take on the Black Trigger and defeat him in the three minutes he has remaining before he has to bail out. Yoneya jumps into the fray as well to help out Kyosuke. When Kyosuke comes up from behind, the Black Trigger reveals that he has bees under his cape. Just then, Captain Hyrein arrives on the scene, and she and the Black Trigger leave through a wormhole, and Kyosuke is forced to bail out. We see Osamu right at the end of the chapter…

So we end up getting a little bit of a fight in this chapter, but in the end, there is no winner. And it looks like the next chapter will probably be shifting its focus back toward Osamu, since there were several references to him in the dialogue of this chapter, and there was also a visual reference to him at the end of the chapter. While this story is interesting, I admit that I’m still a bit lost, due to jumping into this manga in the middle of this story arc. I really hope that the anime adaptation for World Trigger that’s supposed to start airing in Fall 2014 will be simulcast here, because I’d like to be able to see this series from the beginning and hopefully get to know these characters and their world a lot better.

One-Punch Man CH:037.2

In this chapter, Saitama and his assistant watch King in action as he takes on a mechanical monster that has appeared; this is G4, a machine-god created by The Organization. The machine-god declares that it will kill King. King says he needs to use the bathroom because he can’t fight at full strength otherwise; he’s told he has 10 minutes, but for each minute he’s late, the machine will kill 10 people and if King runs, the town is finished. We then see King freaking out in the bathroom, because it turns out that he’s really a wimp; it was pure luck that allowed him to become an Class S Rank 7 hero.

Way to troll us, Murata! OK, it was made clear in the previous chapter that he was an otaku, but I thought it was just a quirk. I never guessed that King was actually a fraud. So I guess my initial prediction about King and Saitama fighting against each other or teaming up to take on an enemy was wrong. It’s looking like Saitama will have to step forward and take on the machine-god in order to save the town.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:025

In this chapter, most of Shinoa’s squad is approached by Sergeant Makoto Narumi, whose squad has been assigned to team up with their team to exterminate vampire nobles. Narumi recognizes Yu as the one who broke regulations and showed up late for the meeting, and says he’s not sure he can trust Yu to have his back. Narumi introduces the rest of his squad: Rika Inoue, Taro Kagiyama, Shusaku Iwasaki, and Yayoi Endo. Later, Shinoa goes over the mission orders, and it’s revealed that their squad ad Narumi’s squad will be directly under Lieutenant Colonel Guren. Yuichiro is then informed that the punishment for his tardiness will be handed down. He’s taken to Guren, but instead of being chewed out, Guren reveals he knows understood what was going on and says he appreciates Yuichiro’s new attitude. It turns out that he was called to see Guren as a punishment for Shinoa. After she and the rest of the squad arrive, Guren suggests a test: Guren and two members of his squad will take on everyone in Shinoa’s squad. The battle between the two squads is just getting going when the chapter comes to an end.

This chapter is working at getting the forces ready to battle against the vampire nobles by getting in some training to make sure the younger squad can work together. But for the most part, the action doesn’t really get going until right at the end of the chapter. I expect that the next chapter will be more action-packed with this battle between the two squads. The majority of the chapter is pretty much introducing some new characters, talking, and explanations, so it is a bit on the boring side. While all of that is important, when a long chapter like this focuses primarily on those things, it can make the chapter more work to read. Hopefully the preparations for the upcoming battle with the vampire nobles won’t last too long.

New Manga Releases: September 2, 2014

Here are the new manga releases for September 2, 2014. If you see any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Alice in the Country of Clover: Knight’s Knowledge GN 2
Bleach Omnibus GN 9
A Centaur’s Life GN 4
Dawn of the Arcana GN 13
Dragon Ball Omnibus GN 6
Library Wars: Love & War GN 12
Mayo Chiki! GN 7
Midnight Secretary GN 7 (18+)
Naruto Omnibus GN 9
Nisekoi: False Love GN 5
Noragami: Stray God GN 1
One Piece GN 72
Phantom Thief Jeanne GN 4
Pokémon Adventures GN 24
Pokémon Adventures GN Box Set 3
Pokémon Black and White GN Box Set 2 (9-14)
Ranma 1/2 Omnibus GN 4
Seraph of the End GN 2
Skip Beat! GN 33
A Strange Kind of Woman GN 2 (18+)
Time Killers: Kazue Kato Short Story Collection GN
What Did You Eat Yesterday? GN 4
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s GN 6
Zero’s Familiar: Chevalier GN 2