Weekly Shonen Jump (May 25, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Nisekoi: False Love, Toriko, Food Wars!, Black Clover, Straighten Up! Welcome to Shika High’s Competitive Dance Club, My Hero Academia, Bleach, World Trigger, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. This issue also includes the first chapter of Devilyman (the second title being featured in this wave of the “Jump Start” initiative, fourth chapter of the Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring mini-series and the third chapter of Yu-Gi-Oh! (which is the latest 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.

Devilyman CH:001

This is the second title that Weekly Shonen Jump is including in this round of the “Jump Start” initiative.

Madogiwa is a hard-working devil salaryman. He has ended up in the human world because he needs to earn one billion yen by the next collection day in order to avoid being fired from his job. Unfortunately, he isn’t able to get anything done right. Madogiwa meets a 7-year-old named Aeru Taira, who wants to make a deal with him. After learning the details, Aeru wants to make a deal; however, Madogiwa is hesistant to make a deal with a child. But before the demon can make his case, Aeru has signed the contract. Aeru is granted this new power and begins using it immediately. Aeru then suggests using his new ability to help Madogiwa reach his quota.

At the end of the first day working together, they have raised 20 million yen. But due to the deal, Madogiwa only gets about half. The next day, Madogiwa is approached by a man who had run off from him the previous day. It turns out the guy was watching Madogiwa and Aeru and has come asking for a loan to help his sick wife. Madogiwa gives the man 10 million in cash, with a promise that the man will come back to sign a contract. Three hours later, the man hasn’t returned. Aeru comes over and says that if he gets Madogiwa’s money back, Madogiwa must give him due recognition and be his slave. He agrees. They’re able to track him down because Aeru had stolen the man’s wallet the previous day. The man gets a call claiming to be from a video store and that they have his wallet. When he gets to a location, people start coming up to him and demanding to get their money back. Aeru launches a plan and ultimately gets the money back. We then get to see a flashback of how Aeru used his ability to set everything up for his plan.

I’ve got to be honest here. Devilyman isn’t necessarily a bad series, but I’m not exactly feeling it after reading this first chapter. Maybe now that the story and characters have been established, future chapters will be more enjoyable to read. I’ll find out over the next couple of weeks as Weekly Shonen Jump publishes chapters two and three.

One Piece CH:787

Sabo takes on Burgess, and tells Luffy to focus on Doflamingo. Zoro, meanwhile, is trying to hold back the birdcage; this is followed by other people around Dressrosa trying to do this as well. Citizens try to get up onto the royal plateau, but some of Doflamingo’s goons are trying to keep them back. But the coliseum gladiators arrive and knock Doflamingo’s men out of the way. Right at the end of the chapter, it’s revealed that there’s only three minutes until the birdcage reaches the center and four minutes until Luffy’s haki recovers.

This is another chapter that jumps around quite a bit in order to show what’s happening in various locations in Dressrosa. The end of this chapter firmly establishes a time limit, but I wonder how long Oda will try to stretch this out. I feel safe in saying that this won’t be resolved in the next chapter. It’ll probably take at least two or three chapters, if not more, in order to bring the climax of this arc to an end. But even when the climax is over, I expect that there will be a few chapters to wrap everything up at Dressrosa before moving on to whatever the next story arc will be.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:171

When Marika awakens, Raku asks her how long she hasn’t been feeling well. He then asks what Honda meant when she said that Marika didn’t have much time. Marika avoids the question by saying she doesn’t want to hide things from him, but she’s not ready to tell him yet. Raku ends up taking Marika on his back and trying to get to a location where they’ll be able to see the first sunrise of the year. As they walk, Marika says she loves Raku so much because he’s the person who changed her. They make it in time to see the sunrise, and then they see Honda appear in a boat. They make it back to Japan, and right at the end of the chapter, Honda says she’ll have to tell Marika’s mother about this escapade.

Komi tries really hard in this chapter to justify Marika’s actions and make it seem like she’s a sympathetic character. Unfortunately, I have a hard time buying it with how manipulative Marika can be. Also, I’m still expecting that this whole “Marika doesn’t have a lot of time left” will turn out to be something that Komi is trolling the readers with. He’s just done too much trolling recently for me to take anything like this seriously.

Toriko CH:324

Kuribo, the world’s greatest pot and pan craftsman, makes an appearance. He informs the group that the Gourmet Eclipse will be complete one month from now. He also confirms that Kaka’s prediction of the world crumbling during the eclipse is likely. There are two scenarios that are likely, and Toriko thinks if the second scenario is correct, there’s something they could try to do to stop the world from crumbling. But it’s also made clear that they don’t have enough time to gather Acacia’s full-course meal before the eclipse. But Zebra suggests that if they divide up the remaining ingredients among this large of a group, getting them all in time could be possible. Komatsu says he will capture Another, while Toriko and the others gather the rest of the ingredients. When the others try to argue, Komatsu argues that they all put their lives on the line for him, so now it’s his turn to put his life on the line for the others.

Again, this chapter primarily focused on exposition. However, the main exception is Komatsu arguing about going to get Another from the spirit realm. Like Toriko, I noticed how much Komatsu has grown and changed since his earlier appearances in the series. It seems like this particular journey has made Komatsu gain more courage and confidence. But at least the story is finally leaving the monkeys behind after all these chapters. From the final panel at the end of the chapter, it appears that getting Another will be the focus of the next story arc.

Food Wars! CH:119

The number one seat on the Council of Ten tells Soma and Subaru that he wishes they hadn’t done those Shokugeki during the fall classic, due to all of the paperwork that it added to his work load. Tsukasa then starts wondering if he’s really cut out for the number one seat. Soma is also schooled on the advantages that the members of the Council of Ten have at the school. The council also makes it known to the first-years that none of them are on their radar yet, and then it’s declared that the get-together is over. Afterward, Soma and Tadokoro talk about what happened. Right at the end of the chapter, it’s revealed that it’s almost time for the Totsuki Institute School Festival, which is the last major event of the fall.

So once again, a chapter primarily consisting of talking and exposition. To be honest, the only real thing of interest is the revelation right at the end of the chapter that the school festival is coming up. I suspect that this will be the plot point that begins the next story arc of the series. Considering what kind of school this is, I highly doubt it’s going to be the typical school festival that’s portrayed in various manga and anime.

Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring CH:004

Naruto faces off with Shin, and he does so by summoning the Nine Tailed Fox. He manages to dodge Naruto’s attack, but Shin receives a message saying that he needs to retreat. After Shin leaves, Cho-Cho starts talking to Naruto, and Naruto says he believes that Sarada is the one that Shin was after. Naruto resolves to protect Sarada. Naruto decides its safer for the girls to stay with the real him instead of returning to the village with one of his doppelgangers. As Naruto eats his lunch that Sarada brought him, he tells her about Sasuke. And as he talks, Naruto tells Sarada reminds him a lot of Sasuke and Sakura from their younger days. Sarada says she needs to use a restroom, but she goes on ahead to where Sasuke is. As she thinks about getting to see her father, her Sharingan awakens. Sarada sees him right at the end, but the reunion isn’t what she expected.

I really liked seeing Sarada’s interactions with Naruto during this chapter, as well as how relaxed she’s able to feel around him. And I have to say that I felt bad for Sarada right at the end of the chapter. Here she is, meeting Sasuke for the first time, and he suspects her of being one of the enemy. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this mini series will continue to play out.

Black Clover CH:014

As Luck continues his fight, he has a flashback to when he was younger, about how he always smiling, as well as how he beat a noble in a school’s magic exchange program. And we see that it’s through this event that his mother, who used to berate him for things, became proud of him and told him to keep on winning. His competitor uses smoke creation magic to limit Luck’s maneuvering. Meanwhile, Golden Dawn is being attacked by the guy who beat them to the door. Yuno is ordered to go on ahead to the treasure hall. And as Asta and Noelle continue their journey, they can sense Luck using his magic. And just as it looks like Luck’s luck is running out, Asta appears. Yuno also returns to where Golden Dawn is.

I was appreciative of the backstory we got for Luck in this chapter, since I’d been following him for a chapter or two now, and really had no idea of who he is. A lot of the chapter focuses on Luck, although Golden Dawn get some attention here as well. Asta didn’t become important until right near the end of this chapter. And the stage seems to be set for Asta to take on Luck’s opponent, while Yuno is going to take on the guy that’s attacking him teammates. And because of that, I expect that Asta and Yuno will be the main focus of the next chapter.

Straighten Up! Welcome to Shika High’s Competitive Dance Club CH:003

The next day, Masaharu and Eri meet up in front of the club room, and are surprised to discover a large group of girls waiting there. Eri’s friend Chikane is with her, and she is introduced to Masaharu. The girls are disappointed when they find out that Yamaki isn’t there, but they stay to try dancing anyway. Masaharu’s friends, who followed him there, stay and try the club out. When the girls talk afterward, a lot of them decide not to join the club because they feel like they don’t belong in that world. The next day at school, Eri tells Masaharu’s friends to get a message to him from her. But he sees her heading toward the track team before her message can get to him. When he sees her, he wonders if he should go back to the dance club, and then he grabs her hand and tells her the two of them should join the dance club together.

So it looks like the pieces have now completely fallen into place for the story to move beyond establishing the characters and the dance club. Right now, the fanservice has really been diminished compared to what I saw in the first chapter. It may come back when they truly start doing some competitive dancing, but the past couple of chapters have bee na straight forward story. Masaharu and Eri seem to have a good chemistry, and it seems rather easy to ship these two at the moment. But with Masaharu’s hesitation with girls, getting this particular ship to sail will be on the difficult side.

It’s interesting to note that this is the third chapter, so this should be marking the end of this series for the “Jump Start” initiative, yet it has a “To Be Continued…” notice at the end of it.

My Hero Academia CH:043

It’s now time for the final match between Todoroki and Bakugo. Bakugo throws down the gauntlet, and an epic fight gets underway. It’s pointed out that Todoroki seems to have lost his drive since his fight against Midoriya. We see Todoroki’s thoughts, and we it’s revealed that he’s not sure about anything anymore. In the end, Todoroki ends up out of bounds, and Bakugo is declared the winner.

This is a very action oriented chapter, which made it a rather quick and easy read. I was actually surprised to see that the match ended at the end of this chapter, instead of being spread out between two chapters. And when you factor in the portions of the chapter where Todoroki is faltering and questioning himself, it’s even more impressive that the match ended in this chapter. But now that the sports festival is over, I wonder what kind of story the series will be telling next.

Bleach CH:627

Ichigo and the others make final preparations before entering Kyogoku. When they get there, the gate is ready to go, and Urahara opens it. But when they get there, Reiokyu looks different from what they expect.

Basically, this chapter focuses on the last leg of the journey for Ichigo and the others as they head toward Reiokyu. But for the most part, not a whole lot truly happens. This is a dialogue heavy chapter that includes a surprise ending. But I’m hoping that this ending is a sign that something will actually happen to start progressing the story forward.

World Trigger CH:103

This chapter starts out with the various teams meeting up after the match and talking over what happened. And then we get to see the commentators with the post-match analysis. After the commentary, we see Kohei and Masataka amongst themselves about the match. One thing they realize after the match is that Chika is unable to shoot other people. Right at the end of the chapter, Osamu is going over what happened during the match, and then receives a message from Usami about the next matchups.

This chapter is simply here to wrap up the match that ended in the previous chapter and to set the stage for the next match, which will be a four-way between Tamakoma-2, Ninomiya Squad, Kaguera Squad, and Azuma Squad. I had a suspicion that at least one of the squads they’d be up against would be Ninomiya Squad, since there was focus placed on a member of that squad leading up to Usami’s message at the end. Now the big question for the next chapter is whether or not it will focus solely on data gathering for the next match, or if the next match will actually begin in it.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:54

The battle between Yuma and Astral continues, with Yuma down to one life point and facing off against the True King of Numbers. Astral starts out by summoning for Numbers at once. Astral uses a trap card and launches his attack, but Yuma counters with his own trap card. Yuma then summons Gagaga Head and then special summons all the Gagaga monsters he can from his graveyard. This then allows Yuma to XYZ summon a Number from the graveyard. This then allows other things to happen. When it’s Astral’s turn, he tries to special summon three numbers again, but Yuma activates his tin balloons trap card. But Astral plays Spirit Foresight and tries to turn the tables again. As Astral starts making headway, Yuma activates another trap card. It looks like Yuma is going to lose, but he’s determined not to give up. The chapter ends with Yuma playing his final card, which is the Endless Bond spell card.

This chapter really upped the ante in this battle between Yuma and Astral. But just like the battle with E’rah, I’m starting to feel like this is being dragged out longer than necessary. It was exciting right at first, but as the chapter continued with no end in sight for the battle, I was starting to feel impatient and just wanted it to end. But with how the ending of this chapter is set up, I hope that the end of this battle is truly within sight. Honestly, I’d love to see it end in the next chapter.

Yu-Gi-Oh! CH:003

A kid at school bullies Yugi into selling tickets for his karaoke show. Yugi decides not to sell them to his friends, but thinks about selling them to a guy he hardly knows. Before he can, Hanasaki tries selling him a ticket for the same kid’s show. Yugi offers to take Hanasaki’s tickets, and now has 15 to sell instead of 10. Unfortunately, the bully saw the exchange and gets on Hanasaki’s case. On the day of the show, Yugi goes alone without selling any tickets. After subjecting Yugi to one song, the bully brings out Hanasaki as a “special guest.” Just then, Yugi’s Millennium Puzzle activates, and Yugi challenges the bully to a silence game. Yugi says that if he loses, he gives the bully his life. But if the bully loses, he will have to play a penalty game. The bully loses.

OK, this was a rather strange chapter. But what I’ve found interesting about this Yu-Gi-Oh! material compared to what most Americans knows from the 4Kids dub of the anime is how sadistic Yugi is at this point whenever the Millennium Puzzle activates. The Yugi from later on in the story wouldn’t act anything close to that when the Millenium Puzzle is activated. Also, this Yugi is much more of a wimp compared to what we know later. According to the end of this chapter, Chapter Four should be appearing in the next issue of Weekly Shonen Jump.

Weekly Shonen Jump (May 18, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for My Hero Academis, One Piece, World Trigger, Black Clover, Food Wars!, Straighten Up! Welcome to Shika High’s Competitive Dance Club, Bleach, Toriko, and Nisekoi: False Love. This issue also includes the third chapter of the Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring mini-series and the second chapter of Yu-Gi-Oh! (which is the latest 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.

My Hero Academia CH:042

Now it’s the match between Bakugo and Tokoyami. It’s a pretty intensive fight, but in the end, Tokoyami surrenders to Bakugo. This now means that the final match is between Bakugo and Todoroki. In the prep room, Bakugo thinks over what Midoriya said to him earlier. Meanwhile, Tenya gets a phone call from his mother saying that a villain got his brother. The chapter ends with the final match just about to get underway.

This chapter basically whizzed through the second-to-last match rather quickly. Tenya has an important character moment with his mother’s phone call, and I’m wondering how he’s going to handle the news. How much will this news affect Tenya as a character? And I guess it wasn’t too surprising that the chapter ended right as the final match was about to get underway, because this has been a common way for the chapters to end during this story arc. But I suspect that the next chapter isn’t going to try to whizz through the final round, and it will possibly even be the focus of the whole chapter.

One Piece CH:786

Luffy realizes that he still hasn’t done enough damage to Doflamingo yet because the birdcage hasn’t disappeared. Luffy tries to launch another attack, but his Fourth Gear seems to have worn him out. And then it’s revealed that Doflamingo is still alive. The coliseum announcer talks to Luffy, who says he needs ten minutes in order to get his haki back and finish Doflamingo off. The tournament gladiators gather together as Burgess tries to reach Luffy. Sabo arrives right at the end of the chapter.

Oh, darn it. Doflamingo isn’t finished quite yet. And since Luffy needs ten minutes to recuperate, this will give Oda several chapters to postpone the inevitable. I’m guessing the next chapter or two at the very least will focus on the battle with Burgess and the gladiators trying to buy Luffy time. I just hope that Oda doesn’t use this as a way to stretch out the story for an extremely long time.

World Trigger CH:102

This chapter spends a lot of its time early on with commentary, both from the commentators at the Rank Wars and from Hyuse and the other members of Tamakoma Branch. It’s pointed out that it looks like Osamu is starting to utilize a tactic that Hyuse was descibing in his commentary. It turns out Osamu and Chika are trying to create a flash flood and force Nasu and Kuruma to become targets again. Osamu jumps into the fray to attack Nasu along with Kuruma. Kuruma gets a hit in before he has to bail out due to his combat body exceeding its limit. But just as Osamu seems like he’ll finish Nasu off, she does something unexpected. And just as Yuma makes it to Osamu’s location, Nasu’s combat body exceeds its limit and she has to bail out. This brings about the end of this Rank War, and Tamakoma-2 wins.

At first, I was a little frustrated by how much commentary was included in the early part of this chapter. Fortunately, once the commentary passed, there was actually significant progress in the chapter. So much so that the winner of this Rank War was announced right at the end of it. Now it’s going to be interesting to see what will happen to Osamu and the other members of Tamakoma-2.

Black Clover CH:013

Luck has found who he’s looking for and easily takes out his underlings. The guy tries to get away, but Luck doesn’t let him and attacks him. We learn the guy Luck is dealing with is from the Diamond Kingdom and that he once fought against the leader of the Black Bulls. But before Luck can get the upper hand, the other guy uses his magic, which is weakening smoke magic. Meanwhile. Asta and Noelle are in an area where the gravity has gone insane, and the members of Golden Dawn find a door. But Golden Dawn discovers that someone else is already there and using their magic.

The majority of this chapter focuses on Luck and his opponent, although their fight doesn’t truly progress much by the end of the chapter. Asta and Noelle get focused on the least in this chapter, which is probably because they currently haven’t encountered any enemies. Golden Dawn appears right near the end of the chapter and have just encountered their enemy right just shortly before the final panels. For the most part, the plot of this story arc didn’t make much progress at all. Hopefully the next chapter will help to move this story a little further along.

Food Wars! CH:118

The first years learn about being invited to the meet and greet with the Council of Ten. The story then moves ahead in time to the meet ad greet. As the first years wait, we see that they have a hard time getting along with each other. Just then, the members of the Council of Ten arrive. When they arrive, we get to see how these members interact with each other, and it’s really no better than the first years’ interactions. Soma breaks the awkwardness by saying that he wants to join the Council of Ten right now and asks if any of the upperclassmen are up for a Shokugeki with him. He’s flat out told no.

This was basically a dialogue intensive chapter that helped to introduce a few more characters to the mix. But to be honest, not a whole lot happens by the end of this chapter. I believe that this meeting between the first years and the Council of Ten will eventually lead to something, and hopefully that will come sooner rather than later.

Straighten Up! Welcome to Shika High’s Competitive Dance Club CH:002

Masaharu tries to get out of dancing, but the president of the club won’t hear of this. Then Masaharu and Eri introduce themselves. The president introduces himself as Masumi Doigaki, and the vice president introduces herself as Rio Ayatsuji, and it’s also revealed that the club just started two years ago. When Masumi learns that neither first year has any dancing experience, he starts them off with the super introductory course. First, they must learn how to stand properly. They are then taught the rules of competitive dancing. They then start learning to dance with music, with Rio working with Eri. Then, Rio works with Masaharu, which ends with his making a faceplant into Rio’s chest. Later, we see that Masaharu and Eri ride the same train, and they talk; later, they discover they get off at the same stop. After getting off, Eri asks Masaharu if he wants go to the dance club room with her the next day. He accepts and is happy that a girl needs him.

With this chapter, I can say that there was only one real instance of any “fanservice” involved, so that was an improvement over Chapter One. But I have to admit that I hate the character design for the club president, because he literally looks like a clown. He really stands out way too much in comparison to the other characters that we’ve seen up to this point. While there were hints of a potential romance between Masaharu and Eri in the previous chapter, I felt that it seemed to be more blatant by the end of Chapter Two. So far, I’m finding this to be a decent series, but I can’t call it a great series. Hopefully Chapter Three will be more along the vein of this chapter than Chapter One.

Bleach CH:626

Ichigo and the others begin their journey to Reiokyu. We then see the Quincies delcare that Yhwach has taken all of Reio. The Quincies go to see Yhwach and discover that something mysterious is leaking out of him. Yhwach declares this is what it’s like to be overflowing with power. Right at the end of the chapter, Yhwach declares that he will reinvent their nation.

Overall, this chapter ended up being a rather quick read, with its focus primarily on Yhwach and the Quincies. We only see Ichigo and company for about a couple of pages, and it’s just enough to establish that they’re on their way and to quickly talk about a couple of things. Hopefully the next chapter will start showing a little more action to help progress the story.

Toriko CH:323

Kaka reveals that the Earth has been cooking this entire time, and then proceeds to give an explanation why. Apparently, as part of the cooking process, part of the Earth’s flavor oozes up to the Earth’s surface once every several hundred years and becomes one of eight foods. And according to Kaka, Acacia’s full-course meal is the Earth’s full-course meal. And the ones who have been preparing the Earth have been the Blue Nitro and the Red Nitro. There’s also an explanation as to what the Nitro are. It’s also revealed that the Blue Nitro’s true goal is the revival of the monster within Acacia. But once this information is revealed, a creature comes up behind Kaka and attacks.

Sigh. This ended up being an exposition chapter for all but the last 2-3 pages. While the information being imparted is important, it made this chapter of Toriko a rather boring read, since nothing much happens throughout it. But with the way this chapter ends, it looks like the stage is being set for the next chapter to have more action in it.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:170

Raku and Marika are out on a rowboat, and it sinks. Fortunately, they’re able to make it to land. Meanwhile, Chitoge learns that Marika had Raku kidnapped. Back on the island, Raku realizes that they’re stranded. Fortunately, he’s able to keep a cool head and knows what they need to do in order to survive. During the chapter, Raku admires how Marika is just as unflappable as ever, but he reminds her that if she hadn’t kidnapped him, they wouldn’t be in this predicament. The end of the chapter seems to be hinting that something is wrong with Tachibana.

This chapter shows Marika acting like her normal self, including trying to twist words around to her advantage. Unfortunately, nothing in this chapter helped endear me to her at all. And even with the end of the chapter hinting that something may be wrong with Maria, Komi has pulled similar stunts with some of the other love interests, so I’m not buying that there’s something truly serious here. This is somehow going to end with something really ridiculous and reveal that the issue with Marika is not as serious as it appears.

Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring CH:003

Boruto just misses Naruto as he heads out. Boruto has brought Naruto’s lunch, and Sarada offers to deliver it for him. Boruto rejects the offer and says he’ll take it back home and explain to his mother. But Sarada snatches it from Boruto and says she’ll take it. Mitsuki is there also, and he tells Cho Cho to come with him. But Sarada pulls her away to help her catch up to Naruto. We then see the enemies from the previous chapter, with the one called Shin (who wears a Uchiha crest and seems to have Sharingan) being ordered to bring Sarada to the other man. Shin intercepts the two girls, and Cho Cho and Sarada try to fight him. Naruto appears and gets in between the two sides, and he realizes that Shin is the person that Sasuke told him about… and that’s where the chapter ends.

OK, is it just me, or has Cho Cho suddenly become rather annoying? She was a little silly in the previous chapter, but her behavior went from silly to annoying rather quickly here. And this chapter reveals that the guy who fought with Sasuke last chapter is Shin Uchiha. Now the question is, how is he a Uchiha? And who is the cloaked man that is ordering Shin around? And will Sarada get to see Sasuke and get answers from him concerning her doubts and issues? I’m hoping the next chapter of this mini-series will begin to answer some of these questions.

Yu-Gi-Oh! CH:002

The chapter opens with a TV van in front of Yugi’s school, and a guy inside sees Yugi and says he’s going to be the star of their next project. It turns out this crew is here to do an expose on bullying and school violence, and the director believes Yugi looks wimpy enough to be the type to get beat up. The assistant director is told to find Yugi and to play the role of the bully. The assistant director finds Yugi and tells him to come behind the gym during recess to meet someone. When Yugi goes to the appointed place, the assistant director punches him. But Jonouchi jumps in to save Yugi, and it’s revealed what’s really going on. Jonouchi gets mad at the director and tries to attack, but the director claims he’s filming. But then he tells his cameraman to stop and he knees Jonouchi. We see the puzzle activate, but the director leaves. Later, Yugi catches up to the director with the puzzle activated; Yugi tells the director that he must play a game with him for trespassing in his soul. Yugi challenges him to a dice game, with whoever rolls the lowest number wins; but if Yugi wins, the director has to play a penalty game as punishment. Yugi finds a way to win and take out his revenge on the director.

It’s been interesting for me to see more of the “Season 0″ material of Yu-Gi-Oh!, and to see just how different it is from what I know of the English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! And it’s just fascinating for me to see Yugi playing games that aren’t a card game, since that’s what’s so strongly associated with the franchise. But when that Millennium Puzzle is activated, Yugi can become rather devious. But I have to admit that I enjoyed seeing the punishment he gave to the director for how he tried to manipulate reality for his project. And since there’s a “To Be Continued” note at the end of the chapter, we definitely are in store for another adventure.

Weekly Shonen Jump (May 11, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Nisekoi: False Love, Black Clover, Toriko, Food Wars!, Bleach, My Hero Academia, and Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment. This issue also includes the second chapter of the Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring mini-series, the first chapter of Straighten Up! Welcome to Shika High’s Competitive Dance Club (the first of the two “Jump Start” initiative titles), and the first chapter of Yu-Gi-Oh! (which is the latest 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.

Straighten Up! Welcome to Shika High’s Competitive Dance Club CH:001

Straighten Up! Welcome to Shika High’s Competitive Dance Club is a title being featured as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Start” initiative.

The manga focuses on Masaharu Tsuchiya, a boy going into his first year of high school. When it’s time for the various clubs to introduce themselves, a beautiful girl walks up to the stage and catches Masaharu’s attention. But during the assembly, someone bumps into Masaharu and causes him to shove a girl named Eri. After their awkward introduction, we learn that Masaharu isn’t that good when it comes to girls, and this goes all the way back to when he was in elementary school. He watches a demonstration by the members of the Competitive Dance Club, and let’s just say that the guys in the audience love what they see.

Later, we see that Masaharu is trying to decide which club to join. A couple of classmates suggest that they should check out the Competitive Dance Club. When they get there, they find there’s already a long line of guys waiting to check the club out during the trial period. But the reader also sees that Eri is standing in line. When the president of the club arrives and does a demonstration with Masaharu, it ends up scaring off most of the people standing in line. Even Masaharu’s friends run off. It turns out two people are still remaining: Masaharu and Eri.

A competitive dancing manga, huh? After reading these chapters, two major things come to mind. First, there seems to be a rather typical setup here of an incoming freshman who has some degree of shyness and doesn’t seem to know what kind of club they want to join. Second, the dancing demonstration definitely had some focus on fanservice; I suspect that’s there to keep Weekly Shonen Jump‘s male audience interested in a the concept. To be brutally honest, I don’t know how much interest their male readership really has in competitive dance. So far, this manga is off to an OK start, but there just wasn’t much in these early chapters to truly make this stand out.

Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring CH:002

This chapter opens with Sasuke still on his journey and encountering someone that he has to fight. After the opponent is down, he sees someone wearing a jacket with the Uchiha symbol and sees that this person has Sharingan. Sasuke asks who this is, but we don’t see a response. Later, this character goes to report to someone about Sasuke, and says they must kill Sasuke because he killed Itachi.

We then see Sarada talking to Shizune about her father, but then she changes the subject and asks about her birth because it turns out her birth record isn’t at any hospital in Konoha. When Shizune asks what brought this on, Sarada shows her the picture and asks about who Karin is because they have the same glasses.

Later, we see Cho-Cho talking to Sarada, who says she thinks that her parents may not be her real parents because she doesn’t resemble either of them. A boy named Mitsuki, who recently moved here from another village, comes over to them and starts explaining why Cho-Cho is acting this way. We then see Sarada wondering who she is. After Mitsuki leaves, Cho-Cho says she wants to set out on a quest to find who her real parents are, and Sarada is inspired to track down her father in order to ask him questions. If that doesn’t work, then she wants to hunt down Karin.

Naruto receives a hawk with a message from Sasuke. It’s a report of what happened to him, and Naruto calls Kakashi to talk to him about it. As he’s talking, Sarada comes up to his office door and overhears that Naruto is in contact with Sasuke and that he’s going to go see him and then pay Orochimaru a visit. Sarada decides to tail Naruto, but right as she’s about to go, Cho-Cho comes up behind her.

Some interesting developments in this particular chapter, and it appears to be setting the stage for this mini-series to run for longer than say 3-4 chapters. I’m genuinely interested in this storyline, especially with Sarada and her confusion over who she is. Is there going to be some kind of major bombshell by the end of this when it comes to her parentage? Also, I’m interested in seeing who this “new Uchiha” is and who they’re answering to. Who’s determined to kill Sasuke for killing his brother?

One Piece CH:785

The Tontattas begin evacuating from Smile Factory as the birdcage starts shrinking. Meanwhile, Zoro is shown heading toward the strings to try to stop them and buy time. But then the focus returns to the fight between Luffy and Doflamingo. But as it seems Luffy’s Gear Four will soon run out, and Doflamingo causes strings to pop out of the ground and nearby buildings also turn into string. After 20 minutes have passed, we still see people trying to evacuate, and Riku tries to explain what’s happening. His speech inspires everyone to try to run for their lives as Luffy and Doflamingo battle it out. Right at the end of the chapter, Luffy launches a powerful attack on Doflamingo.

There was a lot of jumping around going on in this chapter, to the point that it was almost dizzying to me as a reader. But it does feel like Oda is finally building up to a conclusion of Luffy’s battle, especially with Riku’s speech. Hopefully the next chapter will show that Luffy was victorious with the attack he launched at the end of this chapter.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:169

The beginning of the chapter seems to indicate that Marika kidnapped Raku and took him to an island for a vacation. Apparently, a bunch of cops sneaked into the yakuza stronghold and carried Raku away on his futon without waking him up. This location is the first place to greet the new year, and Marika wanted to witness the first sunrise of the year with him before anyone else. Raku insists on going home, but when he mentions Chitoge, that makes Marika more determined to keep him there. Raku ends up giving in, but then insists he wants to get homework done instead of doing any of the fun things that Marika suggests. Raku meets Marika’s servant, Honda, who asks him how he feels about Marika. During the discussion, Honda says that Marika doesn’t have much time left.

Oh, boy. A story starring Marika. The setup for this story was rather stupid, so that didn’t help anything. Honda’s comment about Marika not having much time is supposed to make it sound like she’s on her deathbed (she’s been on the sickly side during the entire series), but I bet this is another story where Komi is trying to make things seem more dramatic than they really are and then have some stupid resolution that causes it to not be the dramatic thing that he tried to make it out to be. Yawn.

Black Clover CH:012

Klaus, another member of Golden Dawn, asks Yuno why he saved Asta and his group when their mission is to capture the dungeon. A girl with the Golden Dawn group recognizes Noelle, who turns out to be her cousin, Mimosa. Unfortunately. Noelle can’t stand Mimosa. Klaus basically spends his time making fun of the Black Bulls. Meanwhile, we see the third member of Asta’s party trying to find someone. Klaus becomes upset when Asta confronts him, so he and Mimosa display their magic. Yuno then uses his wind magic to help his team mates. This then becomes a competition between Asta and Yuno to see which one can get to the treasure hall first. But since neither Asta nor Noelle having tracking magic, Asta just starts checking everywhere. But Nero the bird (who’s perched on Asta’s head), seems to know which way to go. Right at the end of the chapter, Asta and Noelle’s companion seems to find who he’s looking for.

Most of this chapter was spent on Klaus hurling insults as Asta, Noelle, and the Black Bulls in general. Personally, I thought this came across as a bit heavy-handed and excessive. The reader could understand rather quickly that Klaus looks down on the Black Bulls, so seeing this last so long felt like overkill. Near the end of the chapter, it’s revealed that a nearby country is trying to invade the one the story is set in, and the Black Bull who found someone in the dungeon at the end of chapter has probably found someone from that country. Sigh. I’m sorry I’m not using a name for Asta and Noelle’s companion, but I don’t know what it is.

Toriko CH:322

The conditions for capturing pair for Ballboons and other creatures is revealed during this chapter. Meanwhile, we see the fake Kaka talking with someone else about needing to capture Komatsu for their own purposes. We then see Brunch going to talk to Midora about Toriko, and then asks for confirmation that the three chefs are safe before handing over air. Midora asks about Pair and Another. Starjun is assigned to accompany Brunch to help Toriko out. Right at the end of the chapter, Kaka reveals something surprising.

This chapter primarily focused on explaining a couple of things and setting the stage for the next story arc that should be taking place in the Gourmet World. Overall, this ended up being a rather boring chapter. Yes, the information revealed in it is important, but it made for some rather dry reading. Hopefully the next chapter will be better.

Food Wars! CH:117

The Shokugeki between Soma and Tetsuji begins. At the same time, the other first years return from their Stagiaire challenges and learn about Soma’s Shokugeki. But we don’t actually get to see the Shokugeki; by the time th first years get there, Soma has already overpowered Tetsuji. When Soma asks if anyone in the audience sent him challenge letters, two people reply. Soma offers to do those Shokugeki with them right now. We see Soma launch into the next one. After a brief flashback, we see Soma defeat another opponent. After this, Soma says he’ll take on anyone day or night and that they don’t have to bother with challenge letters. Right at the end of the chapter, it’s revealed that the Momiji Meet and Greet is coming up, and this is where the top first-year students have an opportunity to meet the entire current Council of Ten.

This chapter basically establishes that Soma has gained valuable skills from his Stagiaire challenges and has acquired more confidence than he had before the challenges began. It was a little disappointing not getting to see much of the actual Shokugeki, but the point of this chapter was to get to a point where the story can begin establishing the next story arc. And from what we’re shown, it appears that next up will be the Momiji Meet and Greet.

Bleach CH:625

Ichigo is surprised to see Grimmjow. The two of them are just about to fight, but then is approached by the adult version of Nel; apparently, Urahara made her a bracelet that allows her to switch between child and adult whenever she wants. A box suddenly appears, and everyone is told to get inside of it. Inside the box are Riruka and Yukio. Yoruichi gives Ichigo and explanation for what’s going on. It basically boils down to how the group can launch a surprise attack in Reiokyu.

Basically, this chapter reintroduced four characters and gave an explanation for what will be coming up. There’s also a hint dropped about the Quincies right at the end, but that’s it. Basically, nothing truly happens over the course of this chapter. Yes, the explanation is important, but that’s pretty much what the majority of this chapter was. Hopefully the next chapter will actually help the story to move forward.

My Hero Academia CH:041

Midoriya talks to All Might and says that All Might should try to find someone else to replace him. During the conversation, it’s revealed that All Might has been born quirkless, but his predecessor did and believed in him and took him under his wing. All Might tells Midoriya that he has already exceeded his expectations more times than he can count. They go and watch the rest of the tournament. Bakugo and Kirishima are currently in the match. We see Bakugo win the match, which leaves the Final Four left. The next match is between Tenya Ida and Shoto Todoroki. It looks like Ida might actually win, but Shoto manages to turn things around.

So we get a chapter that makes a major revelation about All Might, as well as advances the match into the Top Four. Poor Ida was really hoping to be able to progress to show his brother how good he is, but Shoto cut that dream short. So we obviously know that Shoto will be in the final match, but his final opponent still needs to be determined. I expect that the next chapter will show the other match and might even start into the final match.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:021

Abaku saus he’s solved the case and starts giving his explanation. Basically, it turns out that there was no real perp for this case, that it ended up being a situation where several coincidences came together to make it look like an actual crime had been committed. Just then, news arrives that Shiratori has regained consciousness. Right at the end of this chapter, Abaku calls Tento to a meeting and asks if he’s Red Ogre.

Unfortunately, English readers of Weekly Shonen Jump will have a hard time finding out what will happen in the final arc, because the Japanese Weekly Shonen Jump is discontinuing this series in their publication. However, the final arc will run on the Jump+ website in Japan. While it was obvious that this series was close to being brought to an end in Weekly Shonen Jump, it’s still a little sad to realize that it truly is ending in the publication. But it’s a little frustrating that there’s still one arc left that won’t be available in the publication.

Yu-Gi-Oh! CH:001

Yu-Gi-Oh! is being featured as the next title for Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative.

Yugi is at school, and works on solving a puzzle he brought with him. Honda (known as Tristan in the anime) grabs it, taunts Yugi, and passes it to Jonouchi (known as Joey in the anime). Jonouchi throws it back to Honda, but Anzu (known as Tea in the anime) catches it and scolds the other two boys. Yugi shows Anzu what’s inside his puzzle box; it’s the pieces of puzzle he’s been trying to solve for eight years.

We then see Honda and Jonouchi, and that Honda swiped one of the puzzle pieces from the box without Yugi noticing. Juonichi takes the piece and throws it out of a nearby window; the piece falls into the pool.

Later Yugi is approached by Ushio, who says he wants to be Yugi’s bodyguard and protect him from bullies. But from what we see, it looks like Ushio may not be on the up and up.

We see Yugi working at trying to solve the puzzle at home, but he falls asleep as he reaches the same place that he always gets stuck at.

The next day, Ushio shows Yugi that he’s beaten up Honda and Jonouchi. Yugi tries to ask if they’re OK, but Ushio continues attacking them. Yugi tries to stop Ushio. Ushio then says that Yugi still owes him 200,000 yen for bodyguard fees. Yugi stands up for the other two boys and asks to be hurt instead, and Ushio takes him up on it.

That night, Yugi works on the puzzle but also tries to figure out what he’s going to do about Ushio. Yugi is about to finish the puzzle when he discovers there’s a piece missing. His grandfather comes into the room, carrying the missing puzzle piece. It turns out Jonouchi fished it out of the pool and brought it to the game shop. Yugi finished the Millennium Puzzle and something happens to Yugi.

Yugi calls Ushio out to the school at midnight. Yugi says he not only brought the 200,00 yen, he also upped it to 400,000. But Yugi won’t hand it over unless Ushio plays a game with him. Yugi says they must play a shadow game. After Yugi describes it, Ushio thinks it’s just a test of courage. Ushio ends up breaking the rules and Yugi casts a spell so the only thing in his head is an illusion of avarice.

The next day, we see that Yugi has no memory of what happened the previous night except for the fact that he finished the Millennium Puzzle. At the end of the chapter, Juonichi says he wants to be friends wth Yugi.

So it appears that the manga incorporates elements from the “Season 0″ episodes of Yu-Gu-Oh! Seeing the characters’ original Japanese names has taken some getting used to, as well as the manga designs for some of them. Yugi and Anzu (aka Tea) look rather similar, but Honda (aka Tristan) and Jonouchi (aka Joey) looked rather different. I don’t know if this is all the “Season 0″ material we’ll see, or if there may be more before the manga reaches the storyline that American fans are more familiar with from the 4Kids English dub of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime. The manga should be running in Weekly Shonen Jump for a few more weeks, so I should be able to find out.

Anime DVD Review: Bleach DVD Set 21

Bleach DVD Set 21 includes episodes 292-303 of the series on two DVDs. Audio options include the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Bleach DVD Set 21

English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: June 3, 2014

Set 21 has nine episodes of the canon storyline and three filler episodes; however, one of the nine canon storyline episodes is an entire episode recounting the various battles Ichigo has had in the canon story. In addition, the subsequent episode spends roughly half of its runtime in this flashback about Ichigo as well. So in the end, there are really only seven-and-a-half episodes that truly progress the story in this set.

But a lot actually takes place in those seven-and-a-half episodes. There’s a major battle with Aizen that involves the vast majority of the characters currently on the battlefield, but Aizen manages to cut them all down. Yamamoto makes a major sacrifice during a battle, Ichigo and Gin end up battling it out, Ichigo learns something shocking about his father, Urahara and Yoruichi show up and join in the fight, and Aizen goes through a transformation. The canon material was actually the most enjoyable part of watching Bleach DVD Set 21, with the only exception being the episode-and-a-half of flashback. For the most part, it felt like the story was actually moving and wasn’t being stretched out.

Unfortunately, the canon storyline was broken up in this set to include filler material. The first time this happens is right when Urahara suddenly appears and attacks Aizen in the fake Karakura Town. Instead of continuing on with this fight, the series shifts to two filler episodes. The first filler was created to promote the fourth Bleach film, Hell Verse. The Soul Reapers are making films for a film festival to raise money to rebuild the Seireitei. It was supposed to be a light-hearted and comedic episode, but I didn’t find it to be that funny. Also, it was frustrating because there’s no way to tell where this episode could realistically fit into the series’ timeline, since many of the characters who appear in this episode are currently unconscious or are badly injured in the fight in the fake Karakura Town. This particular episode felt like a waste of time, and its inclusion frustrated me since it broke the flow of the canon storyline.

The second filler episode serves as a prologue for the Hell Verse film. I can’t really comment on how effective of a prologue it is, since I haven’t seen Hell Verse yet. However, of the three filler episodes included on this set, I’m the most forgiving of this particular one since it ties in with the Bleach film that was released at the time these episodes were being aired on Japanese television.

Bleach DVD Set 21 ends with a filler episode that’s set in the new year, and it’s split up into two stories. The first story sees some of the Soul Reapers playing a game of karuta that ends up going out of control when they start fighting with each other to get the right card. This story was meant to be humorous, but I didn’t find it to be funny; in fact, I thought it was rather stupid. In the second story, Orihime sees her friends celebrating the new year with their families and seems to be feeling alone. She runs into Rukia and Renji, and the three of them go to the Urahara Shop and join them for their celebration. This story had so much potential, especially with Orihime’s angle. Unfortunately, the story spent more time finding ways for Renji to become a “punching bag” and running the gag into the ground. I suspect that this episode aired right around New Year’s Day, but I just felt like it wasted time and kept the viewer away from the exciting canon storyline.

When it comes to the DVD set itself, the omake continue to be cut off from the end of the episodes and are collected together in the “Omake” feature that’s included on each disc. Overall, I thought the quality of the omake on this set was a little stronger than the ones I’d seen on the past couple of sets.

There’s a clean opening and clean ending included on both discs, and it’s the same opening and closing due to the fact that neither song changed over the course of these 12 episodes.

“More From VIZ Media” includes the exact same trailers that appear at the beginning of each disc when it first starts up. Even though this has been the case for the past set or two now, it still feels like somebody didn’t want to go to a lot of effort for this particular bonus feature.

If you’re a Bleach fan and want to have all the episodes of the series in your anime home video collection, then you need to get a hold of Bleach DVD Set 21. The only real drawback to this set is the fact that there are a couple of ridiculous filler episodes included. However, if you skip those two episodes and focus on the canon material and the prologue for Hell Verse, then this set will probably be a little better of a viewing experience.

The reviewer checked out a copy of this item through the King County Library System

New Manga Releases for May 5, 2015

Here are the new manga releases for May 5, 2015. If you see any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Black Rose Alice GN 4
Bleach Omnibus GN 31-33
Devils and Realist GN 5
Dragonar Academy GN 6
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1 GN 2: Phantom Blood 2
Kiss of the Rose Princess GN 4
LBX GN 5: New Hope
Millennium Snow Omnibus GN 3-4
Naruto Omnibus GN 31-33
Nisekoi: False Love GN 9
Pokémon Adventures GN 28
Ranma 1/2 Omnibus GN 15-16
Rosario + Vampire Season II GN 14
Spell of Desire GN 4 (18+)
Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE Omnibus GN 4
What Did You Eat Yesterday? GN 8
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches GN 2
Yu-Gi-Oh! Omnibus GN 4-6

Weekly Shonen Jump (April 27, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Food Wars!, Bleach, World Trigger, My Hero Academia, Toriko, Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, Black Clover, Nisekoi: False Love, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. There’s also an excerpt of an interview with Masashi Kishimoto and Eiichiro Oda, as well as the first chapter of the Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring mini-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.

One Piece CH:784

Chaos ensues as the birdcage is shrinking. We then return to Luffy and Doflamingo’s battle, where Luffy has declared that he will use Gear Four. Luffy begins blowing himself up until he becomes a “Bounce Man.” With this, Luffy is able to make his arm retract into his body as he readies his punch for Doflamingo, and Luffy is able to cause his enemy to go flying. Doflamingo ends up landing in the center of town. It’s then revealed that Luffy can use his newfound springiness to fly, which he uses to get a great kick in on Doflamingo. We see Luffy get a couple more powerful hits on Doflamingo before the chapter ends.

Go, Luffy! It looks like he’s finally turned the tables! Maybe now that Luffy has gotten the upper hand, we’ll finally start seeing the Dressrosa Arc wind down. From what I’ve seen of One Piece over the years, once Luffy turns the tables and can start beating up his foe, it usually means that it’s just about over for his enemy. It’s not that this is a bad arc, but it’s been going since I started reading Weekly Shonen Jump a little over a year ago; but even at that point the arc was already in progress.

Food Wars! CH:116

It’s revealed that the Stagiaire skills test lasts for four weeks, with a student featuring four different locations during that time. At this point, they’ve made it halfway through. Then we see some of the other students as they start being weeded out due to not accomplishing achievements at their assigned locations, as well as students trying their hardest at their assigned locations. But then, instead of seeing Soma at the remaining two locations, the story jumps ahead in time two weeks. When Soma returns to the school, he finds that he’s received quite a few Shokugeki challenges. Then a second-year named Tetsuji Kabutoyama approaches him and asks for a challenge. Soma decides to take him up on it and asks to do it now; he also declares that he’ll accept every single one of the challenge letters.

I was actually surprised to discover that the final two weeks of the challenge were basically glossed over. I thought for sure that we would have seen Soma going through the other two locations. All I can figure is that the author was getting bored with the Stagiaire stuff and wanted to progress the story to battles at the school. And now that Soma’s made a name for himself, he’s got a lot of challengers to compete against; however, I don’t think we’ll be seeing every single one of these being depicted in the manga. But the stage is definitely set for Soma to go up against Tetsuji, and I suspect that will begin in the next chapter.

Bleach CH:624

The chapter finally lets us see what happened to Ichigo, Yoruichi, Chad, Orihime, and Ganju. Since Ichigo passed out, we get to see through flashbacks what happened to them after Uryu attacked. It’s also revealed that Kon was hiding in Ichigo’s robes. As Ichigo is trying to figure out how to get back to Reiokyu, Yoruichi surprises everyone by what she does and who appears right at the end of the chapter.

This chapter ended up being an exposition chapter rather than a chapter to truly advance the plot. But considering that I’d been wondering what had happened to Ichigo and the others, I’m not too upset that this chapter focused more on explaining what happened to them. But I have to say that I was just as surprised as Ichigo was when a certain character made an appearance at the end of the chapter. It’ll be interesting to find out how this character returned, why they returned, and what they’re going to do to help.

World Trigger CH:101

The chapter opens with Yuma having a flashback of a discussion he had with Replica, and then we return to current time. Yuma and Murakami are battling it out. Meanwhile, Osamu orders Chika to support Yuma. We then see that Taichi from Suzunari is taken down by Nasu. We then return to Yuma and Murakami’s battle, which is heading straight for the bridge. As Chika fires, both Yuma and Murakami fall into the river. Yuma uses this to his advantage and causes Murakami to bail out. Unfortunately, since Kuga is missing one arm and one leg on his Trion body, it appears that he’ll be washed out of bounds.

Well, we finally reached the conclusion of Yuma and Murakami’s battle. It didn’t think it was too surprising that Yuma ultimately prevailed; in fact, I would have been more surprised if Yuma had been the on who had been forced to bail out. I liked getting to see the flashback of Yuma and Replica, because I have to admit that I miss having Replica around. But I guess having Replica leaving is showing how much Yuma has learned from him and how much he has grown and progressed. It’s going to be interesting to see how this particular Rank War will progress in the next chapter.

My Hero Academia CH:040

Midoriya and Shoto’s battle continues, and the two lunge at each other. After the explosion, we see that Midoriya is out of bounds, so Shoto is the one to move on to the next round. Afterward, when Shoto’s father is happy about his son has put his childish rebellion aside, Shoto tells him that what he did out there had nothing to do with his father; in face, he had forgotten all about him. We then see Midoriya recuperating and learn that his right arm is shattered. At the end of the chapter, we learn that Midoriya finished in the top eight.

The way the battle had been building up, I was so sure that somehow Midoriya would pull through and win. So I was genuinely surprised when he ended up losing. But I think this was the more realistic way to go with this match, especially with the character development that Shoto went through during it. Since Midoriya is out of the running and we learn that he finished in the top eight, I suspect that this particular story arc is over. It’ll be interesting to see where this series heads to next.

Toriko CH:321

Toriko and the others are partying. Toriko and the others are joined by friends who have come from the human world. It turns out that if you drink pair, you can see food spirits. Guemon and Maury, who are in a state of suspended animation, and Pukin works to get them out of it. It’s also revealed that Komatsu has awoken to his gourmet cells and that he harbors a gourmet cell demon. One of the people there, named Zongeh, seems to bear a spitting image of the Monkey King’s lover, Bambina, and the Monkey King seems to think he’s her.

Wow, this chapter was kind of a mess and all over the place. Yes, there was a lot of exposition, but I felt like I was being bounced around in several different directions. Hopefully this story arc with the monkeys and apes is truly just about over. I’ve been thinking it should be almost done for the past couple of chapters or so, yet it’s still going on. Personally, I think this story arc has just about run out of steam, and I’m hoping that we can move on to another story arc sooner rather than later.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:020

The classroom session gets underway. Information about the baseball bat that was found is revealed. Yui also works hard at trying to prove that Tento is guilty, as well as trying to remove the layers of mystery surrounding him. Abaku questions other witnesses and gets information about a noise. Suddenly, Sarutobi enters the room, who had been looking for something that Abaku asked him to look for. With this, Abaku has set his trap, and it appears that Yui has suddenly remembered something from the past.

This chapter is definitely building up to revealing who the perpetrator of the attack on Shiratori. And the end of the chapter also seems to indicate that the whereabouts of Red Ogre in this classroom will also be revealed. Since it appears a lot of major information will be coming together in the next chapter, that it could end up being the last one for the series. It’ll be interesting to see what ends up being revealed in the next chapter, and finding out whether or not this series will actually be coming to an end.

Black Clover CH:011

A new dungeon is discovered, and it’s explained that dungeons are like ancient tombs with relics and crazy magic traps. When dungeons are discovered, it’s the Magic Knights who are in charge of exploring them. It turns out the Wizard King has specifically asked for Asta to explore it. We then see Asta, Noelle, and another guy. With his anti-magic weapon, Asta is discovering several trap spells in the dungeon. The guy accompanying Asta and Noelle senses there are others in the dungeon and goes off on his own to find them. Just then, a trap spell is activated which uses high-level plant creation magic and captures Noelle; fortunately, Asta is able to save her. But Asta is caught by the trap in the process, and somebody saves him. It’s then revealed that Golden Dawn is also sending a few people into the dungeon, and that Yuno is the one who saved Asta.

Well, the good news is, Black Clover continues trying to move away from being a Naruto clone. The bad news is that this concept with the dungeons felt like it was lifted straight out of the Magi manga series. I hope that that borrowing or copying setups and concepts from other series isn’t going to be a running theme in this series. But I have to say that it was nice to see Yuno again, since we haven’t seen him in a while.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:168

The beginning of the chapter shows the garbage bags from the locksmith being picked up by the garbage collectors. Raku and Onodera are surprised to find each other at the legendary fir tree. But just as Raku is about to confess his feelings, the tree lights up. After they get the stuffed animal, Onodera receives a call from the locksmith saying he found the pendant and key; it turns out his granddaughter liked them and took them home. Later, when Onodera returns home, she asks Haru asks about the pages of the book, and Haru insists she’s never seen any other pages besides these ones and would make up an ending for the story. Their mother then tells Onodera that someone had given it to her ten years ago. It’s also revealed that the locksmith couldn’t open the locket with the key without breaking it. Marika isn’t happy about the vibe she’s getting from Raku and Onodera, and decides at the end of the chapter that she’s pulling out the big guns.

It turns out I was right last week when I expected some kind of a miracle for the key and lock to be returned to Raku and Onodera. So Komi trolled the audience once again. Sigh. And it looks like the next chapter is shaping up to feature Marika. Double sigh. I can’t stand Marika, and I generally don’t enjoy the chapters that focus on her. So I’m not expecting much from the next chapter if she is indeed the focus for it.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:53

The battle between Yuma and Astral begins. Astral has three Number Cards, and Yuma keeps using various Gagaga cards. As Astral attacks, we see Yuma’s life points falling from 4000 down to 400. When it’s Yuma’s turn, he says he’s going to hit Astral with all of the tactics that he taught him. With his turn, he summons Gagaga Girl, makes her level match Gagaga Magician, and creates an overlay. He now has Utopia, Messenger of Light. Yuma activates Utopia One’s effect, uses all its overlay units, reduces his life points down to 1, excludes all of Astral’s monsters, and inflict their amount of ATK as damage. But Astral activates his Rank Gazer trap card, which increases his life by 300 times the rank of the XYZ monsters on his field. Astral’s life points still end up getting knocked down to 300, but Astral activates Rank Gazer’s other effect. Astral summons Thunder Spark Dragon. But then Yuma activates Rank Up Magic-Shining Force. As Yuma tries to attack Astral’s monster, Astral activates a quick-play spell. Astral’s life points are knocked down to 100. Astral ups the ante some more, and the chapter ends with him summoning Utopia Kaiser, the Numbers’ king of kings.

After reading this chapter, it felt like my head was spinning. It was pretty much constant card summoning and attacks, with the ante constantly being upped throughout the chapter. Since it seems Astral summoned a major monster at the end of this chapter, I really hope it means that this duel will end sooner rather than later. I really need a breather after trying to follow this chapter.

Masashi Kishimoto & Eiichiro Oda

This is an excerpt of an interview with Masashi Kishimoto and Eiichiro Oda that appears in the official guidebook for Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto exhibition. This excerpt is about how Kishimoto and Oda met each other.

Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring CH:001

This is the first chapter for the new Naruto manga mini-series that focuses on Naruto’s son and his peers. At the beginning of this chapter, it’s announced that the academy graduation ceremony is coming up. We see that Sarada isn’t excited about the exam; in fact, she doesn’t seem interested in becoming a shinobi. Later, as Sarda is talking with Cho-Cho, we learn that Sarada doesn’t get to spend much time with her father. Then we see Naruto training with Boruto and Sai training with his son. Later, when Boruto is talking with Sarada and Shikadau, Boruto says that the Naruto he’s been training with is a shadow doppelganger. Sarada looks a little sad when she sees the fathers and sons interacting, and then it’s revealed that Sarada has never even met her father. Sarada starts pestering Sakura for answers, and the two of have a tense moment. Unfortunately, Sakura gets so upset that she manages to destroy their house. When Sarada digs through the rubble, she finds a picture of Sasuke that includes Karin and Suigetsu. Sarada is upset when she sees it.

OK, I really liked this chapter and how it’s started to expand on what we saw of the new generation at the end of the final chapter of Naruto. It turns out that not everything is going as smoothly as it appeared in that last chapter. A strong focus of this chapter was definitely on some of the kids interacting with their fathers and how Sarada doesn’t have this in her life. From what’s said here, it appears that Sarada has never even met Sasuke. Of course, now that Sarada has seen this picture of Karin with Sasuke, I’m sure she’s going to have a lot of questions for her mother by the time this mini-series is over. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Kishimoto is going to be progressing this story for the new generation.

Anime DVD Review: Bleach DVD Set 20

Bleach DVD Set 20 includes episodes 280-291 of the series on two DVDs. Audio options include the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Bleach DVD Set 20

English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: March 18, 2014

Almost all of the episodes in Bleach DVD Set 20 focus on the canon storyline from the manga source material. The exception is Episode 287, which retells the events from the first 60 episodes or so; the difference is that the characters we know from Bleach have been placed into an Arabian Nights setting. This episode was created and thrown into the middle of the canon storyline to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Bleach manga, but I failed to see how this truly connected to the manga. Overall, I thought this episode was pointless and was painful to watch. Not only that, it was irritating that this was thrown into the middle of a major story arc.

Outside of this, the episodes in this set primarily focused on the battles taking place in the fake Karakura Town. The Visoreds who arrived right near the end of the previous box set team up with some of the Soul Reapers in order to take down the three remaining Espada. Of these battles, the most interesting was the one with Halibel. There’s a surprise twist as to how she is ultimately defeated, and the audience is also treated to some backstory for Halibel before she is completely defeated. While some back story was also provided for Stark, it wasn’t as interesting as Halibel’s was.

But after the Espada are defeated, there’s still Aizen, Jin, and Tosen to deal with. Jin manages to impale Hiyori, but she isn’t killed. Instead, she is slowly dying from the blood loss, with her only hope of survival being someone with healing powers to arrive and help. Hisagi and Komamura also have a battle with Tosen, which includes backstory for how Komamura and Tosen met and why Tosen joined the Soul Society. For the most part, both Komamura and Tosen had primarily been more in the background or just kind of “there” in the story, so it was nice to see these characters get some attention and development. But I had to feel bad for Komamura when Tosen activated his release form and could see. One of the first things that Tosen says to Komamura upon seeing him for the first time is that Komamura is uglier than he had imagined. That taunt had to hurt, at least a little.

Ichigo also becomes important to the action when he returns to where Renji, Chad, and Rukia had been battling with the powered-up Yammy in Hueco Mundo. Ichigo tries to go against Yammy, but he only manages to cut Yammy slightly. But Byakuya, Kenpachi, Mayuri, Nemu, Unohana, and Isane arrive, with Kenpachi more than ready to take on Yammy by himself. As soon as Kenpachi showed up, I knew we would be in for an epic battle since Kenpachi loves fighting so much and doesn’t back down.

Mayuri creates a Garganta, which is used to send Ichigo and Unohana to the fake Karakura Town. Unohana seems to think she understands why Mayuri wanted to send Ichigo to help out there after remembering something that had happened with Aizen in the past. Unfortunately, they don’t make it to the fake Karakura Town before this set ends. The stage definitely seems to be getting set up for Ichigo to be the one to save the day. I think it’s safe to say that Ichigo will pair up with Shinji to battle Aizen, but I’m not sure who would be battling against Jin. However it goes, it’s obvious that this story arc is building and is getting closer to reaching its conclusion.

When it comes to the DVD set itself, the omake continue to be cut off from the end of the episodes and are collected together in the “Omake” feature that’s included on each disc. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any of these omake to be amusing.

I was actually surprised to discover that there was no production art included in the extras on either disc in the set. This had been such a standard bonus feature in the Bleach DVD sets prior to this point.

There’s a clean opening and clean ending included on both discs, and it’s the same opening and closing due to the fact that neither song changed over the course of these 12 episodes.

“More From VIZ Media” includes the exact same trailers that appear at the beginning of each disc when it first starts up. It felt like this was done simply to make less work for putting the bonus features together.

If you’re a Bleach fan and want to have all the episodes of the series in your anime home video collection, then you need to get a hold of Bleach DVD Set 20. The only real drawback to this particular set is the fact that it includes the Arabian Nights-themed retelling of the first story arc. Fortunately, it’s just the one episode, and a viewer can easily skip it if they want to in order to continue with the canon storyline.

The reviewer checked out a copy of this item through the King County Library System