New Anime Releases: June 23, 2015

Here are the new anime releases for June 23, 2015. If you see any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Bleach Set 25 [DVD]
Hayate the Combat Butler: Cuties [DVD]
Hayate the Combat Butler: Cuties [Blu-ray]
Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro [Blu-ray]
Origin: Spirits of the Past The Movie S.A.V.E. Edition [DVD]
Origin: Spirits of the Past The Movie S.A.V.E. Edition [Blu-ray]
Ping Pong the Animation Complete Series [Blu-ray/DVD Combo]

Weekly Shonen Jump (June 22, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Black Clover, Toriko, Bleach, Nisekoi: False Love, One-Punch Man, Food Wars!, My Hero Academia, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. This issue also includes the eighth chapter of the Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring mini-series, the Folie a Deux one-shot manga, and the third chapter of Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac (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.

One Piece CH:790

As Luffy launches an attack on Doflamingo, Doflamingo uses Ever White and turns the entire town into strings. But this ultimately leads to a showdown between Luffy and Doflamingo. Luffy uses Gear Four again and breaks Doflamingo’s strings; Luffy also launches a midair battle. There’s a major battle that takes place, and the chapter ends with both Luffy and Doflamingo launching major attacks on one another.

This chapter kept building up the battle between Luffy and Doflamingo until it finally reached a breaking point. But at the end of the chapter, it’s not clear what exactly happened. The very last panel shows Doflamingo’s glasses falling to the ground and smashing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Doflamingo has been defeated. This is a major cliffhanger ending, and hopefully Oda won’t have to take a week off next week and keep the readers in suspense longer than one week.

Black Clover CH:018

Golden Dawn says that even though the competition between them and the Black Bulls was to see who could get there first and that Golden Dawn won, they’ll still let the Black Bulls enter the treasure hall just this once as a way to thank them. They have to figure out how to get in, and Luck points out the door is made of magic. Asta uses his sword and gets the door open. They find a whole mountain of treasure inside the hall. Yuno finds something of interest and tries to read the writing on it; as he does, the writing disappears and a light appears. Luck realizes that something’s wrong, and just as he tells the others to run, there’s an explosion of some sort. The enemy they seemed to have defeated in the previous chapter recovers. We see that Mars, the enemy, has a brief flashback to his childhood. Noelle tries to put out the enemy’s flames, but she’s knocked to the ground. Asta tries to defeat Mars’ magic with his sword, but it doesn’t seem to work…

At first, this chapter gives the appearance that it’s going to be rather light. But that illusion is shattered when Mars makes his grand entrance. Now Noelle is laying on the ground, bleeding, and Asta’s sword appears to not be able to fight against Mars’ magic. The odds are definitely not looking to be in the protagonists’ favor at this point, so it’ll be interesting to see how the mangaka progresses the story from here.

Toriko CH:328

It’s revealed that the Black Triangle is also known as the Soup Stock Sea. Gold Chef Jiji then spends time explaining all about it. He also reveals the existence of Gold Cookware and the fact that only those seven utensils can prepare spirit ingredients. As they travel, they find proof that Another has been though the area. We then learn why Granny Chiyo has come to the Gourmet World as part of the support team. They then come across the Coral King, Coral Golem. Right at the end of the chapter, they make it to the undersea gourmet city, Blue Grill.

This chapter focuses exclusively on Komatsu and the others who are in the Black Triangle, trying to find Another. Granny Chiyo’s story about why she came was very touching, and I’m expecting that it wasn’t thrown in here just because. I suspect that what she talks about in her story will somehow become important later in this arc. This chapter is primarily an exposition chapter, and action doesn’t truly come into it until right near the end. It’ll be interesting to see if we continue with this particular story arc in the next chapter, or if the story will switch to one of the other groups.

Bleach CH:631

The chapter opens with Bazz-B and Haschwalth continuing their fight, and then goes into a flashback of when Bazz-B and Haschwalth first meet each other. This flashback also gives the reader some background and character development for both of these characters. We then return to the battle, and Hachwalth wants to move the fighting outside to try to minimize the damage to the castle. We then see another flashback, this time how Yhwach had burned down both Bazz-B and Haschwalth’s homes. They had made it their goal to kill Yhwach. Right at the end of the chapter, the flashback moves ahead in time five years when Yhwach declared that he would create a new force called the Stern Ritter.

There was only a couple of brief moments of action in this chapter; otherwise, it was all exposition. As a reader, the flashbacks helped me to better understand who Bazz-B and Haschwalth are and what their motivations are. Hopefully the next chapter will focus a little more on action and actual story progression instead of being so exposition heavy.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:175

Raku is surprised when Chitoge admits that she has a crush on someone; however, she hasn’t admitted that her crush is on him. Raku tries to demand that Chitoge tell him who she has a crush on, but after saying she won’t, Chitoge mumbles that she’ll tell him sometime. Raku then wonders why he’s so flustered by Chitoge’s news. Raku goes and talks to Shu, and Shu makes it clear that while he already knows, he won’t tell who Chitoge has a crush on. But now when Raku sees Chitoge at school, he starts freaking out. Raku runs into Onodera and is completely flustered. As Raku tries to deal with his feelings, Marika comes up behind him; of course, she once again tries to pressure Raku into choosing her. Raku feels terrible about using his false relationship as a way to avoid the issue of Marika’s real feelings for him. Raku returns home and finds Yui getting the house ready for her birthday celebration.

Poor Raku. By the end of this chapter, I thought that Raku would potentially snap and need to be sent somewhere for some psychiatric help. Actually, the poor guy does need some kind of psychiatric help for all the manipulation and crap that many of the girls in his harem use on him. Oh, and the end of this chapter seems to hint that Yui could potentially return to China if something doesn’t work out, I’m not falling for it. Komi has tried pulling similar stunts with the other members of the harem, and I’ve just gotten so tired of trying to psyche readers out. It kind of worked the first couple of times, but at this point, any “psyche outs” he tries to pull lose their effectiveness immediately because of how often he’s already pulled this stunt. Can’t Komi quit recycling plot and storytelling ideas?

Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring CH:008

Naruto is surprised to see that Sarada has Sharingan. Sarada says this has nothing to do with Naruto, and that she’ll travel on her own and not return to the village. Naruto stops her and admits to overhearing the conversation with Suigetsu; he even tells her that as Hokage, everyone in the village is like family to him. We then see Naruto having a flashback of times from the series that had to do with Iruka and Sasuke. Naruto then gives Sarada a lecture about bonds, and tells her that love is all you really need. Naruto then tells Sarada to check inside herself again to see if she feels any love. Sarada has a flashback to when she was younger when she would ask Sakura where her father was. After the flashback, we see Sarada crying. She says she wants to rescue Sakura, but she’s afraid she can’t act like nothing’s changed. Naruto gives her some encouraging words and says they need to go rescue Sakura.

They meet up with Sasuke, and he says he knows Sakura’s location now that his ocular powers are finally coming back. We see Sakura right at the end of the chapter, and it looks like she’s gearing up to take on the original Shin.

I really loved Sarada’s flashback, especially the tap on the forehead that Sakura gave to a younger Sarada. It reminded me so much of the forehead taps that Itachi gave Sasuke when they were kids. I loved seeing that referenced. While this chapter may not bring us any closer to unraveling the truth of Sarada’s parentage, it did provide some great insight for Sarada to realize that bonds are more than what she thought they were. We don’t get to see much of Sakura in this chapter, but the ending seems to be gearing up to show Sakura using her incredible strength.

Folie a Deux

This is a one-shot manga written by Bikkuri and illustrated by Rem, which are “pen names” for Clint Bickham and Priscilla Hamby.

The story is set in London in 189X, and an epidemic that turns people into inhuman creatures known as Doppelgangers threatens to thrust the city into chaos. Two secret agents named Nero Morley and Abby Brighton are at the heart of this struggle against the monsters.

While reading the paper, Nero and Abby learn about dismembered and grotesquely disfigured arms of legs of unidentified women are showing up, and there doesn’t appear to be a suspect, motive, or a list of victims. As Nero looks further into the paper, he believes he’s found the next victim when he sees an article about a woman who mysteriously disappeared. They discover their boss is calling, and they make the trip to see him. They have been called in because of the stories that they read about in the paper, and they are given a mission to eliminate the culprit. It turns out that Nero has already constructed a plan of action.

As part of Nero’s plan, he dresses up as a girl in an attempt to lure the culprit out. As they walk around, they see someone who looks like the missing woman reported on in the paper. Nero goes to talk to her, but Abby feels something isn’t right. Just then, she transforms into a creature, and Nero and Abby chase after her. But somewhere along the way, Nero changes back into his male clothes and look; apparently, he somehow had his regular clothes on underneath the dress. They find themselves at the home of Dr. John Druit. As they explore the house, they find a whole bunch of scary and disgusting things. They find the doctor, who insists he hadn’t done anything; but when he sees Abby, he starts transforming. He grabs both Nero and Abby, and Abby asks him to bring Dr. Druit back. Nero tells Abby that she needs to fight, and as the monster goes to attack her, she transforms. It turns into a fight between the transformed doctor and the transformed Abby. The doctor seems to have the upper hand and appears as if he’s going to finish off the transformed Abby. But when the transformed doctor distracts himself with reverie, the transformed Abby uses this opening to get an advantage. Nero gets the final blow in with his gun.

This was an… um… interesting story. In some respects, it almost felt like Bleach being set in Victorian England or something. The story definitely seemed to get some of its inspiration from the infamous Jack the Ripper case. In the end, Folie a Deux seemed to work OK as a one-shot, but I just don’t think a long-running series could truly evolve from this.

One-Punch Man CH:046

The battle between Tank-Top and Garo continues. Mumen Rider jumps into the fray to protect Garo, thinking he’s just a regular punk. As Garo walks away, he says he’s still going to kill all of them. Tank-Top lunges forward and a new fight between the two of them. Right at the end of the chapter, Tank-Top is surprised to learn his opponent’s identity.

Basically, this chapter focused on one fight, and even that fight wasn’t resolved by the end of it. Saitama doesn’t make any appearance in this chapter, except on the title page, where he quips that he hasn’t been focused on recently. The chapter ended up being a quick read like usual.

Food Wars! CH:123

We learn that Polaris Dorm is doing an Imoni Party for their school festival booth. As Soma and Megumi wander around campus, they see everyone is busy setting up their booths. Then Soma works at whipping up some trial dishes. Soma tries his first dish, and he determines it’s not quite good enough. We then see Soma whip up a dish he’s satisfied with, and when Megumi tries it, she discovers it’s extremely spicy. He then starts whipping up some other dishes. But Soma realizes these aren’t going to work because they’re spicy just for the sake of being spicy. Megumi reveals something she learned about Kuga’s cooking from Hojo. They then hear Erina and Alice arguing about Erina wanting to join in the festival after the guidebook has already been published. We then see Soma talking with Erina and Alice about Kuga’s booth and food. We then see Soma checking out Kuga’s huge and impressive booth, and then setting up his own small little booth right next to it. People mock him right at the end of the chapter.

So this chapter still focuses on Soma getting ready for the school festival. For most of it, he’s still struggling to come up with dishes. However, after a conversation with Erina, it looks like he may have found a way to potentially compete with Kuga’s food. Soma’s just setting up shop right at the end of the chapter, but we’re already seeing the differences between Kuga and Soma from their booth setups. Kuga’s booth represents him being a large behemoth that no one thinks they can beat, while Soma’s booth represents him as the little underdog. But hopefully the school festival will actually get going within the next couple of chapters, since there have been a few chapters building up to it now.

World Trigger CH:106

Osamu and Chika ask Ninomiya why he’s asking about Rinji Amatori. He shows them a picture of a woman and asks if they recognize her. She’s someone who supplied Triggers to civilians and disappeared with them. Officials concluded they went through a gate to the other side. Supplying Triggers to civilians is the highest-level infraction that warrants the use of the memory eraser. It turns out Rinji is one of the suspects helping the woman out. Osamu then remembers seeing Ninomiya at Chika’s house before. Ninomiya explains that the woman is Mirai Hatahara, his squad’s sniper. He doesn’t believe she was the mastermind and wants to find out who put her up to it. Chika believes her brother would have been capable. Osamu mentions that Rinji had told him a little about that plot. He mentions he still remembers the location of the gate that Rinji had predicted. Before Ninomiya leaves, he tells Osamu that if he really wants to look for Rinji, he should put Yuma on a different A-Rank team. Later, it’s revealed that Ninomiya Squad was demoted to B-Rank after Hatohara’s betrayal. We then see Osamu calling Karasuma and asking for advanced lessons on shooter techniques. Karasuma says they’re just not at that level yet.

Much of this chapter focuses on exposition and getting some kind of a clue as to what happened to Chika’s brother. But both in this chapter and in the previous one, Osamu keeps getting scolded for not contributing much in the B=Rank Wars and relying too much on Yuma. So it’s not surprising that Osamu reaches out to Karasuma to try to get some advanced training in order to help his team out more. Karasuma isn’t willing to do the training himself, but he surprises Osamu by saying he should learn from one of the experts. I suspect the next chapter will focus on Osamu trying to find one of these experts and try to convince them to train him.

My Hero Academia CH:047

All Might learns that Nomu, a criminal who is under investigation, is someone who has the DNA of at least four completely different people inside of him. Somehow, all this DNA and bioengineering led him to have multiple quirks.

We then return to Midoriya, who is being mentored by Gran Torino. Midoriya hesitates to use his One For All, so Gran Torino uses this opening to begin attacking Midoriya. Midoriya tries to analyze and predict the situation, but it doesn’t work. Gran Torino points out that Midoriya’s respect for All Might and that sense of responsibility are shackles that are holding him back.

Then we see Ida undergoing his training. We learn that Ida wants to pursue the hero killer that injured his brother. We see a brief scene with some villains, and we see that one wants to kill both All Might and Midoriya. Then we return to Midoriya, who realizes what Gran Torino was trying to tell him and figures out what his problems are. At the end of the chapter, we see that Gran Torino seems pleased that Midoriya figured this out on his own.

We get a couple of scenes that have nothing to do with our characters’ training, and I don’t entirely understand what’s going on with them. This may be due to the fact that these scenes could be referencing material that Weekly Shonen Jump didn’t publish before VIZ decided to include the series in its digital publication. And when it comes to the training, most of the focus is placed on Midoriya. We’re definitely seeing the setup of an apprentice being taught by his teacher’s teacher, and how the novice has to figure out his issues and weaknesses on his own. And learning that Ida wanted the location he went to for mentoring to try to track down the hero killer makes Midoriya’s words about Ida in the previous chapter even more chilling.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:55

This chapter continues the big battle between Yuma and Astral. Yuma declares that he’s about to launch his final attack. Yuma pulls off several moves while it’s still his turn. But Astral activates a quick-play spell, and this is followed by Yuma activating this own quick-play spell. Both of their spells increase their monster’s ATK, but Yuma has raised his monster’s level to be higher than Astral’s monster. But just as it seems like Yuma has won, Astral points out that Utopia Kaiser’s effect remains and he activates it; when Utopia Kaiser is destroyed, Astral gets the monster that destroyed it. So Yuma wins the duel, but Astral has all the Numbers. Yuma doesn’t want to accept that Astral has to sacrifice himself now that he’s accomplished his mission. Astral tells him that he doesn’t want Yuma to accept it, because when Yuma gives up on the future, Astral will die for eternity. Yuma and the others are sent back to their world.

Then we see Yuma and the others as they resume their lives in their world. We find out what has happened to each of the characters. We see that Yuma has entered the Duel World Championship Finals.

Well, that’s it. Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal is now officially over. Hooray! It felt like these final two battles took too long, but at least the conclusion ended up being worth going through those ridiculously stretched out battles. While Yuma may not have gotten the result he had hoped for at the end of his battle, Astral was able to give Yuma some words and advice that he needed to hear. And I did appreciate that the manga showed what happened to the various characters after all that, and seeing Yuma continuing on as a duelist after losing Astral was rewarding.

Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac CH:003

In Japan, a press conference is being given to explain about the ten knights in Japan and showing images of the damage that they are able to cause with just their bodies. Princess Sienna joins the press conference to help explain things further. After her explanation, she says that once all ten of the knights have made it back to Japan, they shall witness a battle like they have never seen before, because they will be hosting a Grand Tournament of Knights. As an incentive for them to fight, the princess produces a higher level cloth that her grandfather obtained before his death. Just then, Seiya, the eighth knight, returns and says he has no interest in the tournament. He tells the princess she needs to keep her promises, because he was told that if he brought a cloth back, he would be reunited with his sister who was separated from him while the two were in an orphanage. Seiya demands to see his sister. The Unicorn Knight arrives and tells Seiya to quit whining. There’s a flashback to six years prior, when Sienna would order the various orphans around, and how Jab the Unicorn Knight was willing to be her lapdog. We see that Sienna was ruthless, stuck up, spoiled, and just plain mean. When the story returns to the present, Sienna says she doesn’t know where Seiya’s sister is because she disappeared from the orphanage. Sienna tells Seiya that if he somehow bests the other nine champions in the tournament, she’ll be willing to use her resources to help locate his sister. And something surprising happens at the end of the chapter.

So this chapter provides some backstory for Seiya, as well as introduces some new characters into the mix. So now we know what was awaiting Seiya in Japan and why he wanted to get back there as much as he did. Sadly, the reunion he wanted with his sister didn’t happen, and now his sister is being used to blackmail him to participate in a tournament that he doesn’t want to be a part of. Of course, Sienna, along with the audience, already knows that Seiya isn’t going to have much of a choice and will be forced to enter the tournament if he wants any chance of ever locating his long-lost sister.

Weekly Shonen Jump (June 15, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One-Punch Man, World Trigger, My Hero Academia, Bleach, Black Clover, Toriko, Nisekoi: False Love, and Food Wars!. This issue also includes the seventh chapter of the Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring mini-series and the second chapter of Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac (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.

One-Punch Man CH:045

At the beginning of the chapter, we see Charanko being cast out by Master Bang. We then see Charanko going to see Saitama and the others about telling them about what happened. Genos thinks that Garo the Human Monster is involved. As Saitama thinks about it, he says that something puzzles him: he doesn’t know who Charanko is. We then see Garo approaching a hero known as Mumen Rider; but before anything can happen, a group of guys with a grudge against Garo come up behind him. Among them is Class S Hero Tank- Top Master. Then, a major fight erupts between Tank-Top Master and Garo. At first, it looks like Tank-Top Master has the upper hand, but Garo is able to get back up. Right at the end of the chapter, we see Master Bang and his brother Bomb getting ready to head out and take on Garo.

For the most part, Saitama and his group really didn’t play much of a role in this chapter. Ultimately, it seems the point of this chapter was to establish the foundation for a new story arc that involves Garo. With the way the chapter ends, I expect Saitama and his group to not play much of a part in the next one, either. I assume at some point Saitama will somehow become involved in the fight with Garo, but that it won’t happen right away.

Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring CH:007

Sakura learns that that Shin is simply a clone of the mystery man, and that he’s got several other clones as well. We also learn that he is a former experiment of Orochimaru’s for the development of cloning techniques. Meanwhile, Sasuke and Naruto realize that they will need to see Orochimaru about this man after noticing his arm is implanted with multiple sharingan, just like Danzo. It’s also decided that Sarada and Cho Cho need to stay with them for protection since Sarada is being targeted. We then see Sakura and the mystery man getting into an argument about genetics and the importance of being a parent.

When Naruto, Sasuke, and the others arrive to go see Orochimaru, they run into Yamato, Jugo, and Suigetsu. And just then, Orochimaru shows his face, and he looks surprisingly younger. Sasuke explains the situation and asks Orochimaru if he knows anything about it. Orochimaru takes them inside and explains about Shin and his clones and how they are not related to the Uchiha; Shin was simply enamored of Itachi. As they go to another room, Sarada approaches Suigetsu, shows him the picture, and asks about Karin. She learns that Karin is at another hideout. She then asks if Suigetsu could investigate the possibility of Karin being her mother. Suigetsu finds a something with Karin’s DNA and then takes a sample from Sarada. He runs both through an analyzer and finds that there’s a perfect match. Sarada starts shedding tears, and we see that Naruto has overhead what happened. Right at the end of the chapter, Sarada lashes out at Naruto and activates her sharingan.

Wow. Just wow. I didn’t want to believe that Karin was Sarada’s mother, but… wow. I really want to get an explanation for what happened here. How did this happen? Why did Sasuke take Sarada to Konoha and have Sakura raise her? Or, since the machine said, “Perfect match,” perhaps Sarada is a clone of Karin, especially with all of the emphasis on cloning? There’s so many unanswered questions, and hopefully this mini-series will answer them. And I really couldn’t blame Sarada for her reaction to Naruto at the end of the chapter. This poor girl’s world has now been turned upside down, and I’m sure she’s going to be demanding answers from Sasuke and Sakura before this all finished.

World Trigger CH:105

It’s revealed that the Rad they’re talking to had the horns of Enedora implanted into it. However, the upper brass at Border are suspicious of just how cooperative the Rad is with their interrogation. They want Yuma to determine whether or not its lying. We get to hear the questions being answered again, and the audience learns some important information about the countries in the Neighborhood. At one point in the questioning, Yuma points out a lie. Afterward, Yuma is told they’ll need him to come back other times to help out with interrogations to make sure they don’t get any bogus intel; Yuma agrees. Later, when Osamu and Yuma return to Tamakoma Branch, they are informed that Chika and Osamu have a visitor. It’s Ninomiya, one of the B-Rank captains. He drops a bombshell right at the end of the chapter when he asks if Chika and Osamu recognize the name Rinji Amatori.

So this chapter helps to provide some explanation about the Neighbors and their Neighborhoods through the interrogation of Enedora. While Enedora may not be entirely trustworthy, at least Yuma’s Trigger will be able to help Border sort through the truth and the lies. And I found it interesting that a member of Border goes to see Chika and Osamu and that he knows of Chika’s brother. It’s going to be interesting to find out why Ninomiya is asking them about him. Did Ninomiya know him somehow? Has Rinji perhaps been located? I hope the next chapter will open with this plot point, since this could potentially go in so many directions.

My Hero Academia CH:046

We see that the students are being given lists of agencies all over the country willing to take interns; the only exception are those who were drafted, because they get a sheet with a list of the agencies that scouted them. The students only have two days to make their decision. After class, All Might finds Midoriya and tells him that someone has drafted him: Gran Torino, All Might’s former homeroom teacher at U.A. Then the day arrives for them to head off for their internships. Midoriya and Uraraka try to talk to Ida because they heard about what happened to his brother. When they say they can talk to them if he needs to because they’re his friends, all he says is “Sure.” Midoriya makes a comment here that seems to foreshadow that something bad is going to happen in regards to Ida later. When Midoriya makes it to Gran Torino’s place, he finds it’s run down and that Gran Torino himself is pretty old. Things are rocky to start off, but at the end of the chapter, there seems to be more to this old hero than there appears on the surface.

So the internships are about to get underway, and Midoriya ends up being scouted by All Might’s former teacher. Not surprisingly, Gran Torino is pretty old. But what is surprising is that after playing around as a doddering old fool, Gran Torino surprises Midoriya by being more alert and sharp than he appeared. That’s a pretty clever trick to get someone’s guard down, that’s for sure. And I definitely believe that Midoriya is foreshadowing something that will happen in the future with Ida, especially after seeing the last panel that Ida appears in. But what exactly Ida will end up doing isn’t readily apparent to me at this point.

Bleach CH:630

The chapter opens with Grimmjow chasing after one of the Quincies, and the two of them exchange taunts. Meanwhile, Haschwalth orders someone to follow Uryu; but before the order can be carried out, Bazz=B attacks the peon. Bazz-B tries to attack Haschwalth, and after a short fight, Hachwalth realizes Bazz-B was not amongst the Quincies chosen by Yhwach. Bazz-B launches a second attack right when the chapter ends.

The majority of this chapter focused on Bazz-B and Hachwalth. But Bazz-B says something interesting to Hachwalth, so it’ll be interesting to see if anything will come of this comment. The part with Grimmjow right at the beginning didn’t seem to add terribly much to the story, and it almost felt as if it was there for comic relief. Hopefully the storyline with Ichigo and the others will eventually start to progress again.

Black Clover CH:017

We see that the Golden Dawn members who aren’t Yuno are embarrassed to be saved by members of the Black Bulls. The enemy creates more versions of himself, and Asta tries taking them all on. There’s an action sequence that makes it look as if Asta’s doing a pretty good job. But the enemy returns with Titan’s Heavy Armor. At the end of the chapter, Asta is able to knock down his opponent, and Yuno finally jumps into the action to take on some of the clones.

With the way the last chapter ended, it sure seemed like the story was being set up for Asta and Yuno to have a competition as to who could take down the enemy. But in this chapter, that contest never materialized. In fact, Yuno hardly did anything for most of the chapter. Did the mangaka somehow forget that he had set the story up for Asta and Yuno to challenge each other, or did he change his mind after the previous chapter was already submitted for publication?

Toriko CH:327

At the beginning of this chapter, Toriko essentially proposes to Rin; he says that after he’s gotten hold of God and they’re safely reunited, they should get married. After this, the various groups head on their way to find their assigned ingredient. We then get to see the interactions between the pairings, and most of them don’t seem to be happy to be paired together. The main exception seems to be Tylan and Coco. We also see Starjun and Toriko having an interesting conversation. After this, Gold Chef Jiji is giving an explanation about the four ways into the back channel to Komatsu.

This chapter is essentially an exposition chapter to set up the story before starting into any real action. Probably the most important exposition comes from Toriko and Starjun’s conversation and Gold Chef Jiji and Komatsu’s conversation. The rest of the chapter is essentially setting the dynamics for the various pairings. Hopefully the next chapter will actually have some action to start progressing the story.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:174

Chitoge looks at the calendar and sees that it’s time for her and Raku’s official first date of the year. When Chitoge meets up with Raku, she says she has a plan for the whole day. Chitoge takes him to a movie theater and suggests seeing a movie that she normally wouldn’t watch. We learn that Chitoge has a goal of wanting Raku to enjoy the date. Unfortunately, she falls asleep 15 minutes into the movie. Next, she takes him out for lunch at a soba restaurant, which she normally doesn’t eat. Raku loves it, but Chitoge discovers that she’s still hungry. She tries to hide it, but her stomach gurgles loudly. She then takes him to a cat cafe; unfortunately, the cats don’t like him too much. Chitoge then takes Raku fishing and asks him to teach her how. But when Chitoge gets a nibble, she accidentally knocks Raku into the water. Raku asks Chitoge what’s going on and the two of them talk it out; but then Chitoge surprises Raku by asking if he has a crush on anyone. When he claims no one, Chitoge asks him about the girl from 10 years ago… and Raku gives Chitoge a very surprising answer. But when Raku asks Chitoge if there’s anyone she has a crush on, her answer surprises Raku.

Overall, this is one of those chapters where one of the girls tries to do things with Raku, and everything they try goes horribly wrong. Although it seems like Chitoge tends to get stories more like this than the other girls in the harem. But it’s a tried and true formula for Komi, so it really wasn’t that funny or amusing to read. The most important part of the chapter happens at the end, when Chitoge and Raku have their conversation. Raku’s answer seems to show that he’s finally maturing a little and progressing a little as a character. But it’ll be interesting to see how Chitoge follows up her response to Raku at the end of the chapter.

Food Wars! CH:122

Soma goes to ask Nikumi to help out with his booth for the festival, but she has to keep her eye on the booth for the Bowl Society. As Soma wanders and thinks about his menu, he finds Erina working at getting her entry ready for the festival. When it turns out the movers Erina hired are going to be late, Soma asks her to taste some of the dishes he plans to use. After tasting a dish, Erina tells Soma he has no chance against Kuga. Megumi comes over later, and Soma starts talking to her about what he’s learned about Kuga’s Chinese cooking. Megumi then reveals that she plans to help Soma out with his booth. We then see Alice Nakiri trying to take over Shiomi Seminar’s booth space.

This chapter is working at setting the stage for the forthcoming school festival. We seem to be getting closer to it, although it looks like it may take Soma another chapter or two to figure out dishes he can make that can compete with Kuga. At least he has help now instead of simply going at it alone. Hopefully Megumi has enough skill to help keep Soma from going in the red and getting expelled.

Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac CH:002

Seiya obtains the cloth after being acknowledged by Athena as a new knight. Seiya is then given an explanation that the cloth most only be worn to defend justice and never to be used for personal gain or for personal battles. If he ever violates this law and defiles the cloth, knights from all over the world will descend on him. Later, Marin explains to him that he only open the box that holds the cloth if his life is in danger. Later, we see Marin leading Seiya away in the night because she knows that Shina and her cronies will be coming after Seiya for the cloth. But Shina finds them and begins attacking Seiya. Seiya tries to fight back. When Seiya realizes his life is in danger, he opens the box and puts the Pegasus Cloth on. Shina tests Seiya to see if he’s truly merged with his cloth or not, and discovers that Seiya doesn’t seem to have any control over it. He managed to control it once, but Marin says that he’s a novice and what he needs to do to try to control it. Seiya doesn’t want to fight Shina because she’s a woman. When Shina’s male cronies show up, Seiya has no problem taking them on, and the cloth works for him again. At the end of the chapter, Marin and Seiya part ways so Seiya can head back to Japan with the cloth.

This chapter places a lot of focus on explaining what the cloth is and how it ultimately works. However, this is accomplished while action and fighting are taking place, so the exposition doesn’t bog down the story terribly much. Now that this chapter has established Seiya getting the cloth and learning how to use it, it appears that the story will now be shifting its focus to Seiya and his travels back to Japan. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not I’m right next week.

Anime DVD Review: Bleach DVD Set 23

Bleach DVD Set 23 includes episodes 317-329 of the series on two DVDs. Audio options include the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Bleach DVD Set 23

English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: December 16, 2014

Set 23 begins a new filler arc for Bleach, which is known as the “Gotei 13 Invading Army” arc. This arc runs for 26 episodes, and the first 13 of them are included on this set.

This filler arc begins with the Soul Reapers discovering that the time in the Precipice World is out of sync with the Soul Society. Over the course of the episodes in this set, it’s discovered that Inaba Kageroza, one of the scientists who works under Mayuri Kurotsuchi, is a traitor who’s behind the distortion of time and the reigai (clones of the captains and lieutenants who have been fighting with the Soul Reapers). Inaba is a character who was created specifically for this arc, and by the end of this set, it’s obvious that he’s way overpowered. Of course, if the writers hadn’t overpowered him like they did, this story arc wouldn’t have lasted for 26 episodes. Unfortunately, the more powerful we see that this character is, the more ridiculous the story seems.

This arc also introduces another new character named Nozomi Kujo. Kon investigates a spiritual disturbance and finds a girl covered in rags who is lying asleep in a parking lot. Kon, who is in Ichigo’s body at the time, takes her back to the Kurosaki house. After it’s revealed that Inaba is after Nozomi, Ichigo and the others decide that they need to protect her. But Nozomi stays very aloof for the most part and doesn’t seem grateful for their protection. I suspect that the writers were trying to create some kind of cool and distant character, but with the way she acts and with the things that she says, she comes across as being bitchy and annoying. I can honestly say that I haven’t liked this character up to this point, and it’s going to take something major happening by the end of the arc for me to care about her.

This arc also sees Ichigo trying to do the things that has normally done as a Soul Reaper, even though his powers are fading after his battle with Aizen. Of course, this issue isn’t helped any when he finds himself being framed for the distortion of time in the Precipice World. At this point, Ichigo’s “dealing with his fading powers” is the fact that others keep mentioning it to him or they reference it in action scenes he’s involved in; we don’t actually see him consciously thinking about this himself. There would have been the potential for some good character moments if we saw Ichigo consciously thinking about his fading powers as he tries to help out with the situation. There are still 13 more episodes of this arc to go, so perhaps we might see some of this near the end of it.

For the most part, what I’ve seen to the “Gotei 13 Invading Army” arc hasn’t done much for me. The new characters who are introduced are rather annoying, and there hasn’t been much to the story to truly keep me interested in what’s going on. There are a couple of amusing moments with Kenpachi and Yachiru during this set, but those moments are probably the most memorable parts of the story included in this set. At this point, I’m only going to finish it off this story arc when I watch the next set so I can get back to canon material. Also, I want to be able to say that I’ve seen all of the Bleach anime.

When it comes to the DVD set itself, the omake continue to be cut off from the end of the episodes and collected together in the “Omake” feature included in the bonus features on each disc. The quality of the omake on this set pretty much matched the quality of the episodes; overall, they were uninteresting and rather forgettable.

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 13 episodes. They both have options for English subtitles and Romaji subtitles.

“More From VIZ Media” includes the exact same trailers that appear at the beginning of each disc when it first starts up. Not only that, but the trailers used for Bleach DVD Set 23 are the exact same trailers that were used for Set 22. This really made me feel as if whoever put this set together put even less effort into the “More From VIZ Media” feature that usual.

If you’re a Bleach fan, I would only truly recommend picking up Bleach DVD Set 23 if you want to have a complete collection of all of the episodes of the series or you want to be able to say that you’ve seen every episode of the series. Casual viewers can skip the episodes included on this set and not miss anything.

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

Weekly Shonen Jump (June 8, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for Toriko, One Piece, Food Wats!, Black Clover, Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, Devilyman, Bleach, Nisekoi: False Love, My Hero Academia, One-Punch Man, and Blue Exorcist. This issue also includes the sixh chapter of the Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring mini-series the finale for Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, and the first chapter of Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac (which is the latest title to be featured for the “Jump Back” initiative). And at the back of the volume, there are some cosplay photos from Fanimecon and some fan art for My Hero Academia.

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.

Toriko CH:326

This chapter introduces Gold Chef Jiji. In addition, Toriko confronts Starjun, and Starjun says he heard about Toriko acquiring pair. He also drops a hint to Toriko about something Midora said to him about pair. Komatsu approaches Gold Chef Jiji and asks if he’s the one who wrote the cookbook that he found in Gourmet Pyramid. It turns out that Golf Chef Jiji has a little bit of knowledge about the locations and capture methods for the remaining dishes in Acacia’s full-course meal. He says he’ll tell, but that he’ll be the one to decide who goes where. He decies that the majority of the members will remain in Area 6 due to how difficult capturing the course there will be. He assigns Zebra and Brunch to go to Area 5, Sunny and Live-Bearer to Area 4, Coco and Tylan to Area 3, and Toriko and Starjun to Area 1.

The purpose of this chapter is set up what I suspect will be simultaneously running storylines that will make this story arc last a while. I find Toriko and Starjun to be an interesting pairing, since they’re rivals being forced to work together. Hopefully they’ll be able to work together for the good of the world. It’s going to be interesting to see how the story progresses between the various groups that are out trying to acquire the remaining dishes for Acacia’s full-course meal before the eclipse.

One Piece CH:789

We see that the center of the birdcage is just about to burst. However, they insist on still trying to push it to try to slow it down. Meanwhile, Rebecca is trying to stop Viola from fighting wity Doflamingo. Doflamingo takes control of Rebecca and tries to make her kill Viola. The announcer from the colosseum comes out and starts talking about Luffy, and then starts addressing Doflamingo as a way to distract him and get him away from Viola and Rebecca. At the same time, those who were healed by Princess Mansherry’s tears begin collapsing. Just as Rebecca is about to kill Viola, Luffy recovers and jumps in between them.

Oda spent this chapter building up to Luffy’s recovery, and sprinkled in some danger for Viola and Rebecca in the process. He also made sure to make the whole situation seem like it could be lost prior to Luffy getting back up. It looks like the scene is being set for Luffy to resume his battle with Doflamingo when the next chapter is published.

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

Food Wars! CH:121

After his meeting with Kuga, soma finds himself wondering what he’s going to be doing for the festival. Hojo points out that there’s one more thing that Kuga has Soma outdone by a long shot: name recognition. When talking with Mitsuru, he learns that the journalism club is responsible for putting together the festival guidebook that is handed out to all the guests. When he returns home to Polaris Dorm, he is approached by Isshiki about the idea of the dorm doing a booth for the festival together. Soma still wants to do his own booth, though. Fortunately, Isshiki is willing to explain the application form to Soma as well as what Kuga’s plans are for his booth location. We then move ahead in time to the last day of booth applications. We see that Soma has requested the space directly in front of the Chinese Food Research Society’s booth. Right at the end of the chapter, Soma learns that anyone whose booth on their own will be expelled if their booth ends up in the red.

This chapter is all about setting the stage for the forthcoming school festival. As the chapter goes along, it appears that Soma has actually thought ahead and was being clever. Unfortunately for him, he learns after everything is set in place that he has the potential to be expelled if his booth ends up in the read. So now the stress and stakes are even higher than he thought they were. It’s going to be interesting to see how he’s going to pull this off, especially since Soma’s going head-to-head against one of the members of the council of 10 and doing the same kind of food that Kuga is renowned for making.

Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring CH:006

This chapter opens with Sasuke battling with Shin and the freaky-looking mystery man. During the exchange, the mystery man reveals his intention to revive the Akatsuki. Sasuke asks Naruto to protect the children, but then suddenly Sasuke’s sword ends up in Naruto. It’s revealed that the mystery man has an ocular power that allows him to manipulate weapons. The mystery man launches an attack on Sarada, but Sasuke jumps in the way to protect her. But just at that moment, Sakura shows up and gives the mystery man a very powerful punch. Sakura and Sasuke talk about Sarada, but then the mystery man uses teleportation and takes Sakura with them right into the heart of enemy territory.

This chapter reveals some more about the mystery man, but still not his name. It was bittersweet to see Sasuke, Sakura, and Sarada reunited for such a short time. But it looks like Sakura will end up playing an important role when it comes to Shin and the mystery man as a medic ninja. It’s going to be interesting to see where the mini-series is going to progress from here.

Black Clover CH:016

Luck and Asta’s enemy decides to make a break for it instead od trying to stick around and continue fighting. We then return to Golden Dawn’s battle with their opponent. Yuno and his teammate, Klaus, keep trying to exchange blows with their opponent, but nothing seems to work. Yuno has a flashback of him and Asta fighting each other when they were younger, anf Asta declaring he’s not going to quit until he hits Yuno. Yuno channels that memory and declares to his current opponent that he’s not going to stop. move, or give up. Asta then shows up with his sword and declares that Yuno is his rival. At the end of the chapter, it turns into a contest between Asta and Yuno as to which one of them will be the first to take down this opponent.

This chapter seemed like it was going to be Yuno’s turn to shine, since it appeared that he was about to launch a major counterattack against his opponent. But I should have guessed that the loudmouth protagonist would jump in and try to upstage his rival. This is one of those dynamics that reminds me very heavily of how just how inspired by Naruto that this series is. Of course, it didn’t help that I had just read the Naruto mini-series right before I read this chapter. And I expect that the next chapter will be focusing on Asta and Yuno’s competition.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:034

Yuichiro asks Asamaru to give him power so he can rescue Guren. Asamaru says that while giving power isn’t a problem, it’s the pills he took that is. Asamaru then says that Yuichiro should be dead, but the power of the angels is forcibly keeping him alive. Yuichiro sees a trumpet and thinks that he wants it. Asamaru says he shouldn’t take it because angels can be nastier than demons. Asamaru then tries to heal Yuichiro and comments that he can’t be put back to normal because he’s lost more of his humanity. Yuichiro demands Asamaru’s power and says that the power is his; three pills’ worth of the drug is in effect, and he can use all of Asamaru’s strength for 2-3 minutes without becoming a demon. In the battle, Yuichiro revives and uses his demon strength to go after Lord Crowley and demands that he gives Guren back. Guren tells Yuichiro to get out of there, but Yuichiro is too determined to go after Crowley. Yuichiro demands more power from Asamaru, and now that the pills have worn off, Asamaru tempts Yuichiro to let his desire swallow him in order to obtain power. Kimizuki then arrives on the scene to rescue Yuichiro from being possessed. After retrieving Yuichiro, Kimizuki and the others start to run. Right at the end of the chapter, we see that Mikaela is determined to get Yuichiro back.

This chapter ended up being very intense. First, its the intensity of Yuichiro as he’s interacting with Asamaru and trying to acquire more power. Then, it gets intense when Yuichiro acquires more power and tries going after Crowley. The intensity builds to Yuichio being possessed by Asamaru, and Kimizuki doing what he can to try to save his teammmate. It was a little disappointing to see that Guren ultimately had to be left behind so the others could escape. Hopefully Guren will be able to make it through this without being killed. And the final words of Mikaela’s show that he has every intention of getting Yuichiro, and I suspect that the next chapter will focus on him fighting with Yuichiro’s teammmates.

Devilyman CH:003

A woman is trying to rescue a cat, but she ends up falling and landing on a sleeping Madogawa. Her name is Ruri Kururi, and she’s a police officer trainee. Aeru tells her his hands are cold and asks Ruri to warm them up for him. But Aeru discovers she doesn’t have anything he can hold over her when he looks into her mind. When Ruri discovers the cat in here, she starts making a mess in Aeru’s place, which angers Aeru. Ruri is kicked out. When she tries to go back in so she can take Aeru home to his parents, Ruri discovers that he’s gone. When Ruri returns to the police station, she is given a new case: she has to go back to the tent city and make the homeless all pack up and leave. It turns out filming is being done for a show called Police 24. Ruri was accompanied by her boss, Officer Miyoshi. Aeru returns and manages to touch Miyoshi’s hand, and he managed to see something juicy in Miyoshi’s mind. Later, while Miyoshi is in the bathroom, papers starting floating into the stall which detail the shady practices he has engaged in. Aeru locks Miyoshi in the stall and starts trying to negotiate for the squatters to stay.

So this chapter brings in a corrupt member of the police force, and it appears at the end of this chapter that this character and storyline will be continuing, at least for the next chapter. Unfortunately, since this is the last chapter being run as part of the “Jump Start” initiative, we won’t know whether or not my assumption is correct.

Devilyman didn’t grab me with its first chapter, but the series has slowly started improving. While I wouldn’t say that this is a bad manga, I also wouldn’t call it a great one, either. It’s not bad for what it is, but it’s really not the type of manga that interests me for the most part.

Bleach CH:629

The contingent that has reached Reiokyu start heading toward the castle, but Urahara tells them to wait and asks where Kurotsuchi went. We then see what Kurotsuchi is planning on doing; unfortunately, his plan is suddenly thwarted by seeing that Kenpachi and some of the other Soul Reapers are still around. It appears to be hinted at that this group is planning to do something on their own. We then return to Reiokyu, and we see that this group discovers someone standing out in the distance.

So it appears that Kubo is trying to establish two storylines taking place. The main one, of course, is Ichigo and the others making their way through Reiokyu and getting to Yhwach for a rematch. I suspect the other storyline will see Kurotsuchi and the others who ended up being left behind going after Aizen. While it was never outright stated, that’s the only thing I can think of that they’re planning to do since we know he’s back. And let’s face it, quite a few of the Soul Reapers didn’t seem to be terribly thrilled by Aizen’s appearance. But hopefully Kubo will return to making some noticeable progress in the story sooner rather than later.

Gakkyu Hotel: School Judgment Finale

We see that Abaku has summoned Tento to the site of the Bloody Session, and he asks Tento if he is Red Ogre. We learn that Kijima has gotten her memory back about the incident, and she and Sarutobi also appear in the classroom. Tento admits that Abaku has guessed correctly. The three tongues realized that the truth of the situation was that the perp must have been an adult, and that the only adult in the classroom at the time was the teacher. We see in a flashback that Abaku learned some details about their teacher that definitely back up the idea that she was the culprit. And in the end the teacher killed herself after realizing what she’d done. And the truth about why the three tongues had been sent to Onigashima Elementary and about Red Ogre are also revealed. We then learn that Sarutobi snuck into a hospital and grabbed a chart of Tento’s. It turns out Tento was absent from school that day because he was sick with a cold. Because he hadn’t been in class that day, he wasn’t sent to Onigashima and was instead transferred to another school. It’s also revealed that there was an operation to reveal the truth to these survivors by setting a stage to solve the mystery of Red Ogre by their own hand. Basically, every case we saw in the series was part of this plan.

We then move ahead to Tenbin Elementary’s graduation, and it’s been a half a year since the truth was revealed in the previous scene. There’s narration that explains what happened during those six months, and then the story is brought to a close.

I’m glad that the English version of Weekly Shonen Jump decided to publish the final piece of the story after it had been released in Japan. There’s so much exposition included here that brings absolute closure to the series. With the way this chapter ends, there really is no way or reason to bring this series back in any way. The overarching story has been resolved, and everything has been brought to as happy of an ending as it could have been.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:173

At the temple, Chitoge suddenly comes running up to Raku and starts yelling at him about his “close friends” comment from an earlier chapter. He also senses a spooky vibe coming from the other girls. Shu shows Raku a cup with sake, and it makes Raku remember the girls getting drunk on whiskey bon bons during the previous New Year’s holiday. Shu tells Raku to run, and when he does, the girls follow him. It appears the girls somehow got drunk again and are chasing Raku and putting the moves on him. Raku finds Paula, who didn’t drink the sake, and tries to get her to help him. But at the end of the chapter, we see the girls waking up and not remembering what happened, which is what happened to Raku after this same getting drunk plot point happened to him the previous year.

Oh, dear God. Komi had to reuse his drunk plot device from the previous New Year’s story. It was stupid the first time, and it was just as stupid this time. Why does Komi feel a need to recycle his plot ideas as often as he does? Has he started running out of story ideas? If so, maybe it’s a sign that it’s time for him to wrap up Nisekoi: False Love. The chapters where he recycles ideas he used in an earlier chapter of the series don’t interest me, and they end up annoying me.

My Hero Academia CH:045

Two days after the sports festival, someone on the train Midoriya is riding recognizes him from the sports festival, and then other nearby people realize who he is and start complimenting him. As he’s reaching school, he runs into Ida, who says his brother is OK and apologizes if either he or his brother caused Midoriya any undue concern. In class, the students start sharing that they had similar experiences to Midoriya’s on the train. In their Hero Informatics class, they are assigned to come up with their hero aliases. Before they get to that, though, their instructor shares the complete pro draft pick numbers. We see that Todoroki came in first, followed by Bakugo in second. Ida is in fourth. Midoriya is nowhere to be found on the list. A hero named Midnight comes in to assess the sensibility of the hero aliases that the students pick. The first couple of names are shot down by Midnight, but then better ones start coming along. Midoriya surprises everyone by proposing “Deku” as his hero alias, but he explains that he’s the deku who gives it his all. Right at the end of the chapter, All Might sees a pro pick for Midoriya, and is surprised by what he sees.

So this chapter is basically here for the students to try to come up with their hero aliases. It also establishes the pro draft picks and the idea that the students will soon be accompanying heroes and be mentored by them. Some of the names the students came up with were rather hilarious, even though most of those were shot down by Midnight. Overall, this was a light chapter, except for the brief flashback Ida has of visiting his brother in the hospital and learning that he has lost the feeling in his legs. And with the way the chapter ended, it looks like the stage is being set to reveal which pro has expressed interest in Midoriya.

One-Punch Man CH:044.2

A hero going by the name of Handsome Kamen approaches Suppon and fights him. The fight doesn’t last long, and the hero wins. Meanwhile, an attempt is still being made to get Saitama to join with a hero faction, but he refuses. Just then, King comes in and asks Saitama if he borrowed his video game. The woman who came to visit is surprised to see the two of them interacting, and she wonders if she could join them. And then we see the Hero Association assigning hero names for Genos and Saitama. We see that Genos is to be called Demon Cyborg, and that Saitama is to be called Bald Cape, and they think these two will be overjoyed with these suggestions.

This chapter is basically a hodgepodge that shows pieces of at least two or three different plot points. The section with Saitama seemed to last the longest, but these scenes barely get going before moving on to something else. Hopefully this series will soon show us what overarching plot point it’s ultimately heading for, because right now, there’s not much happening to truly advance the story.

Blue Exorcist CH:068

Yukio finds himself wondering if he should seek advice. His thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of Rin. A tense Yukio tells Rin that he’s going out and will be home late. We then see Yukio visiting someone in the hospital, and they start talking about whether or not they can trust Shima and Lord Pheles. We then learn that Mephisto gave Yukio tickets to a bath house as a reward for the fighting they did, and everyone ends up going. This also includes Shima. Then the chapter starts seeing various characters heading into the baths and spending time in them. While they’re there, Yukio asks Miwa if he really trusts Shima. Miwa says he does. We then see that Shima is perv and is determined to see the girls in their bath. Rin stops him, though. And then on top of the wall they see the three wise monkeys, and anyone who goes near them wants to see, speak, or hear secrets. Yukio realizes that he can’t let himself be possessed and reveal what’s in his heart. Bon uses a simple ward to get rid of the demons. But somehow, the wall dividing the two baths collapses, and both groups can see the other. Later, Rin talks to Yukio and says that he seems to be worried about something. But all Yukio says is that he’s tired.

The majority of this chapter seems to be here to provide fanservice and some light-hearted fun. I guess this is to help lessen the heavier mood that has been in the manga for a little while, as well as to provide a short break before truly getting the next story underway. From what I’m seeing, it appears that Yukio will be the focus of the next story, and his desire to want to be stronger.

Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac CH:001

Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac is the next title to be featured for Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative. There will be a total of four chapters of this manga to appear over the next four weeks.

A couple of tourists visiting some ruins in Greece are startled by a loud noise and finding a young man covered in wounds lying on the ground. When the young man awakens, he asks where a woman is. Before they can answer, the man senses that the person he’s looking for is nearby. When the two tourists see who the young man is looking for, them become scared and run off. We learn that the young man’s name is Seiya. The woman is Marin, and she’s apparently training Seiya. Apparently, Seiya is supposed to battle against a ferocious opponent named Cassios the next day. Marin insists that Seiya prove to her that he can beat Cassios before she’ll stop training him. The tourists then see Seiya and Marin disappear, and find a crater where they had been. When they return to town, they learn that Seiya and Marin are the Knights of Athena, and they, along with a reader, are provided an explanation of what the Knights of Athena are.

The story then shifts to the battle next day between Seiya and Cassios. They are the last two warriors remaining, and the one who wins will become one of Athena’s honored knights. But before the battle takes place, Shina says there’s a rumor that Seiya left Sanctuary the previous evening, and he and Marin try to fight the accusation. The master in charge says that Seiya can still fight, and the battle begins. Cassios grabs Seiya and starts toying with him. But it turns out that Seiya manages to rip off Cassios’ ear. And from here, Seiya continues to get the upper hand. As the battle goes on, Marin has a flashback of when she first met Seiya and the training she has done with him over the past six years. In real time, Cassios seems to be getting some of his momentum back. Seiya has a flashback of something Marin taught him. And right at the end of the chapter, it appears that Seiya has landed a major blow on Cassios.

This chapter spends a lot of time establishing the concept of the Knights of Athena, as well as providing backstory for both Seiya and Marin. This first chapter also includes a major battle, so there’s action mixed in with the exposition; this helps to keep this an interesting read as well as keeps the exposition from bogging down the story too much.

When it comes to the art, it’s obviously an older manga just from the look and feel of it. And as the introduction to this Jump Back feature explains, this manga was originally drawn over 30 years ago, and was done in such a way that it was meant for print publication. Because of this, there will be white spaces on the pages where a panel covers two pages. Fortunately, I didn’t see this very often in Chapter One. But even when I did notice that was there, it really didn’t distract me that much from what I was reading.

Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac is off to a good start, and I’m interested in seeing where the story will go next.

Anime Film Review: Bleach the Movie: Hell Verse

Bleach the Movie: Hell Verse is the fourth film released for the Bleach franchise.

Bleach the Movie: Hell Verse

Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: December 4, 2012

The movie sees powerful masked spirits known as Sinners attacking Ichigo and his friends while they’re at school. Meanwhile, another group of the spirits goes to the Kurosaki Clinic. When Ichigo gets there, he finds that the spirits’ leader, Shuren, has attacked his sisters. A Sinner named Kokuto, who is not affiliated with the others, manages to rescue Karin; however, Shuren escapes and departs to Hell with Yuzu. Kokuto offers to assist Ichigo by showing him the route into Hell, and they are accompanied by Rukia, Renji, and Uryu. The film ultimately focuses on Ichigo and the others going through Hell and trying to rescue Yuzu, while dealing with unexpected surprises that await them there.

When it comes to Hell Verse, I thought that it relied too much on battle sequences and utilizing various shonen tropes, rather than making an attempt at trying to tell an actual story. Because of all the tropes being used, I found myself just having to go along with and accept what was presented in the story. Due to the lack of a strong story in the movie, I found it hard to remain interested and invested in what was going on. Also, the film relied on the audience having watched the prologue episode that appeared in the Bleach television anime series before watching the movie, because no time was spent on establishing why Rukia and Renji were in Karakura Town at the beginning; this explanation only appears in the prologue episode.

I also found myself feeling very confused near the beginning of the film, because two of the scenes were basically recreations of the first couple of scenes in the first episode of the Bleach television anime series. There were some slight changes made to the details of these scenes, but I could easily tell that the scenes were very similar. At first, I thought they were true recreations of those scenes, until I picked up on the slight changes in the details. To be honest, I don’t understand the point of doing this, especially for the first scene. At least with the second scene, it was establishing the fact that Ichigo’s father would be away from the clinic.

When it comes to the animation, I have to say that what I saw in Hell Verse was on the weaker side for a Bleach film. While it looked a little better than the animation used in the television episodes, it was still quite a step down from the animation in the first Bleach theatrical film. Also, I noticed at least a couple of instances where an attempt was made to utilize computer graphics, but the CG ultimately stood out way too much from everything else and was more of a distraction than an enhancement for the scenes it was used in.

After watching all four Bleach theatrical films, I have to say that Hell Verse was the weakest. There was an interesting concept going into it, but I felt that the film was a little too short to fully develop what little bit of actual story there was.

When it comes to the DVD release, the audio is available with the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

There were a total of three bonus features included on this release. The first is a “Production Art Gallery,” which includes 12 pictures; all of the pictures are in color. “Japanese Trailers” includes a total of two trailers for the film; unfortunately, no subtitles are included, so unless a viewer can understand Japanese, it’s impossible to tell what’s being said. The final extra is “More From VIZ,” and all this includes is the Neon Alley trailer that plays at the beginning of the disc when it first starts.

In the end, I can only truly recommend Bleach: Hell Verse to fans of the franchise who want to watch and/or own everything associated with Bleach. Those who consider themselves to be casual viewers can skip watching Hell Verse and not miss anything.

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

Weekly Shonen Jump (June 1, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for World Trigger, One Piece, Devilyman, My Hero Academia, Bleach, Toriko, Nisekoi: False Love, Black Clover, Food Wars!, and One-Punch Man. This issue also includes the fifth chapter of the Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring mini-series and the fourth 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.

World Trigger CH:104

At the beginning of the chapter, there are six days until the next match in the B-Rank Wars. Director Rindo takes Yuma to see Mr. Kido, and Osamu accompanies them. When they get into the car, they see Hyuse is already sitting in the back seat. When they arrive at headquarters, Hyuse is interrogated but refuses to answer any questions about his home world. Shinoda asks Yuma how Neighbors treat prisoners, and he explains. Shinoda begins talking with Hyuse, but he is unable to get any answers out of him. Yuma is then told to help Mr. Kinuta with a mission. Right at the end of the chapter, it’s revealed that Border headquarters has a Black Rad in its possession.

The purpose of this chapter seems to be to show that Hyuse is finally being questioned by Border and that he’s not going to give up information very easily. It’s also an important chapter because of the revelation of the Black Rad at the end of it. From what I see, it appears that dealing with the Black Rad will be the focus of the next chapter when it’s published. As a Neighbor, Yuma should have some knowledge about it and how to deal with it. It’ll be interesting to see what interacting with the Black Rad will ultimately reveal.

It should be noted that World Trigger will be off next week.

Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring CH:005

Fortunately, before Sasuke can do anything, Sarada blurts out that she’s his daughter. Just then, Naruto and Cho Cho arrive, and Sasuke demands to know what’s going on. Sarada gives an explanation, and then asks if Sakura is her real mother. Sarada shows Sasuke the picture of Team Taka that she found and begins asking Sasuke questions, including what he’s been doing all this time. When Sasuke says it has nothing to do with her, Sarada barges out. Naruto goes after Sarada and talks to her. Sakura learns about Sarada finding the picture of Team Taka and her leaving to ask Sasuke questions, so Sakura heads out after Sarada.

Later, we see the mysterious figure reveal itself and declare that the Akatsuki is revived. The mysterious man, along with Shin, launch an attack on Sarada. Fortunately, Naruto and Sasuke are both able to jump in before anything can happen to her.

I liked getting to see the flashback sequence that’s included here that explains what Sasuke has been up to and why he hasn’t been around. Since Sasuke won’t give Sarada the explanation, this was a nice way to fill the audience in on what’s been going on. And I also appreciated seeing the mysterious guy revealed, although he looks rather freaky with all the eyes he has on his head. And it turns out that the Akatsuki has been revived. I’m interested in learning more about this mysterious guy with all the eyes and why he has decided to resurrect that Akatsuki. I suspect that Sasuke’s theory in the flashback does help to explain this to some extent, but it would be nice to get an officially confirmed reason.

One Piece CH:788

It turns out Dandelixirs, which are made from Princess Mansherry’s healing tears, can provide miraculous healing over a wide area. Unfortunately, its healing ability only lasts a few minutes. People are being ordered to help Zoro and the others who are trying to push the birdcage. We then see Violet approaching Doflamingo, and she’s determined to fight him to the death. We then see that the effort to slow down the birdcage seems like it’s starting to work a little. With their effort, they make the cage stop for a moment before it starts moving again. Right at the end of the chapter, it’s said that there’s still one minute left until Luffy’s recovery.

So from what we see, it looks like this chapter takes up about two minutes’ worth of time in the manga story. It also appears a way has been found to stop the birdcage, even if it’s only for a moment. Stopping it enough could buy Luffy enough time to recover his haki and get back into the battle. But when he does get into it, there’s a chance that Viola might already be fighting with Doflamingo. And I’m impressed that Oda allowed about two minutes of time elapse in the chapter, because I was seriously afraid he’d try to find ways to stretch out the story to make those three minutes last for several chapters. Hopefully this means that Luffy will be active in the story again within the next couple of chapters.

Devilyman CH:002

Madogawa asks Aeru who he is, but all he answers is what’s obvious. Madogawa seems convinced there’s more to Aeru than he lets on and is determined to discover what the truth is. We then learn that Madogawa can become smaller when he’s splashed with hot water, and then can be made big again with a splash of cold water. As Aeru walks with Madogawa in his overalls, he bumps into a woman. After she leaves, Aeru discovers a purse with one million yen in it, and then decides they’re going to deliver it to the lady. It’s not that Aeru is doing this out of the goodness of his heart, he just smells money.

They track the woman down to a church. Aeru trips as they head to the church, and he is helped up by Reverend Shiro Shido. When Aeru shakes the reverend’s hand, he uses his ability to read the reverend’s mind. We then see the reverend in front of the congregation, claiming that he will heal a woman possessed by a creature and that he will use holy water to save her. Aeru then reveals to Madogawa that the reverend is actually the devil personified. When the reverend asks for another volunteer, Aeru says he’ll do it, and then he claims to be possessed by the creature. Madogawa then appears to make it seem like a demon appeared, who says the reverend pissed off a bunch of devils and that he will be let go if he shows remorse. The reverend begins admitting to all the sinful things he’s done. Afterward, a young man goes up to the woman who lost her purse and says that a boy asked him to hand it to her. Inside, there’s a note that reads, “You are free.”

While I’m still not completely sold on Devilyman yet, I have to admit that Chapter Two was stronger than Chapter One. Since the two main characters are now established, the emphasis can be on telling a story instead of trying to develop characters. The one thing that really stood out to me in this chapter was learning that Madogawa could change size with hot and cold water; this really made me think of Ranma 1/2 and how Ranma can change his gender by what kind of water is splashed onto him. I wonder if Ranma 1/2 may have served as an inspiration for that quirk.

My Hero Academia CH:044

This chapter opens with the awards ceremony. All Might presents the medals and talks with each of the winners, and Todoroki confides about what happened to him after his match against Midoriya. Afterward, we see that in light of the festival, the students will have a couple days off from school. We then see Ida rushing into his brother’s hospital room. This is followed by Todoroki going to the hospital to see his mother. We then also see some of the characters at home with their families.

The main important things that take place in this chapter focus on Todoroki and on Ida, even thought Ida only gets a short scene. Todoroki is definitely doing some contemplation, and he may perhaps end up starting to become a different character because of it. Outside of that, though, there was focus placed on some light-hearted moments. I suspect that this chapter is here to give the reader a short reprieve before launching into the next arc of the story.

Bleach CH:628

It’s discovered that Reiokyu has been destroyed and that a rebuilt Quincy town was placed on top of it. Ichigo and the others also learn that Yoruichi has a younger brother, and they’re trying to figure out what he looks like. We then see Yushiro, Renji, and Byakuya, with Byakuya realizing that the reishi in the area is under Quincy control. Both Ichigo’s group and the 13 Court Squads head toward Yhwach’s palace right at the end of the chapter.

Sigh. After finally making some progress in progressing the story, Kubo is returning to trying to stretch things out in order to make this arc last longer. I felt that the part where Ichigo and the others try to figure out what Yoruichi’s brother looks like was a waste of time and was there more to kill time than anything else. Hopefully we’re not going to have several months where all the chapters do is to drag the story out.

Toriko CH:325

The chapter opens with an explanation of the Black Triangle and that this is likely where they will find the fish treasure, Another. There’s also an explanation about Another and its spawn. Aimaru drops a bead of pair onto the real globe, and it shows a Gourmet Slime Mold. The thought is to use this to try to track down Another. They then witness Mother Tonadoes, which follow the path of the Mother Snake when she made her way across the Earth. They are also introduced to the Revolving Islands. The islands stop moving before they land with the dirigible turtle. A creature known as a Wave Boy tries to attack, Brunch arrives and attacks it with lightning and fire. They’re surprised to see Starjun with him. Gold Chef Jiji appears right at the end of the chapter.

This primary purpose of this chapter was to provide exposition to establish the search for the fish treasure, Another. I understand that the explanations were necessary, it still doesn’t change the fact that this ended up being a rather boring chapter to read. Any real action takes place right at the very end, but it comes after wading through so much exposition that it’s hard to be as excited for what happened as I might have been if I didn’t spend so many pages getting explanations.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:172

When Raku returns to Japan, Chitoge invites everyone to go to the first shrine visit of the new year. It turns out that Marika is unable to make it because she was worn out from her trip with Raku. After hearing this, Raku decides he needs to check in on her later. The various characters start talking about what they want to wish for, since this shrine is known for making what people pray for actually happen. Onodera finds Chitoge, and the two of them talk, with Onodera saying what she plans to wish for. Of course, neither one knows that the crush they’re talking about is Raku. We then see each character as they make their wish.

While this chapter gives some insight into some of the characters, it’s definitely meant more as a way to give the reader a little break after going through three storylines of Raku spending time with one of the members of his harem. Not a lot may have truly happened in this chapter, at least we got to see some focus on some the various members of the harem and their friends.

Black Clover CH:015

We get to see another quick flashback for Luck, and learn that even though his mother has died, he still thinks he has to win in order for his mother to accept him. When Asta and Noelle arrive and offer their help, Luck tries to refuse at first. But after thinking about it, Luck realizes that he’s not alone and that fighting together sounds like lots more fun. We then return to Yuno, who has returned to help his Golden Dawn team members take on their opponent. Back with Luck, Asta, and Noelle, it looks like they’re in trouble from a gas their opponent has activated. But Luck comes up with a way to work with the others to clear away the gas and to get a hit in on their opponent.

This chapter primarily focuses on Luck, Asta, and Noelle, but it does cut away a couple of times to Yuno and Golden Dawn. But since most of the focus is on Luck and his Black Bull companions, more progression is made in that battle than in the bit of Golden Dawn’s battle that is shown. Since Luck and the others made good progress in their battle, I’m hoping the next chapter will focus more on Yuno and Golden Dawn.

Food Wars! CH:120

Soma talks to Erina about the school festival, and he tells her that he intends to set up a booth. He wants to do this in the hope of outselling Kuga’s booth in order to the upperclassman to notice him and take him up on a match. Soma approaches Megumi with his idea, and he asks if she knows what style of cooking Kuga specializes in; it turns out his speciality is Chinese food. Soma meets Miyoko Hojo, the heir to a restaurant in Yokohama’s Chinatown. From talking with Miyoko, Soma learns there’s more putting together a booth for the school festival than he thought. After school, Miyoko takes Soma to the Chinese Food Research Society, so Soma can see Kiga training his staff for his booth. Soma talks with Kuga and learns what his plans are for his booth. Soma also learns that with how big of a turnout the festival gets, a booth will have to be able to crank out over 1,000 servings a day.

This chapter is starting to set the school festival story arc in motion. Soma, along with the reader, is learning about everything that’s involved and expected from a booth at the festival. From what we see, it appears Soma may have to deal with some obstacles and overwhelming odds. However, knowing that Soma is the kind of character who never gives up, I think it’s safe to say that he’ll work at finding a way to make it past the obstacles and will have a booth at the festival.

One-Punch Man CH:043.3-044

In Chapter 43.3, Genos realizes that Sonic has created ten after-images. Saitama faces Sonic’s challenge, and Genos is surprised at how easily Saitama can counter the after-images. Saitama knocks the real Sonic out, and the woman who came to intimidate Saitama declares that Saitama is too strong and that it isn’t normal.

In Chapter 44, we see the woman talking with Genos and Saitama. We see that she feels inferior to her sister, Tornado, who is a Class S. This is her motivation for why she’s acted the way she has. At the end of the chapter, we see someone approaching Suppon, a savage found in an ice floe, thawed, and returned to life. He’s escaped from a lab and began harming people.

Saitama was able to take down Sonic rather quickly, and that was all that Chapter 43.3 covered. In Chapter 44, we got a small bit of development for the woman who had come to challenge Saitama. The ending of the chapter establishes the new danger of the escaped savage, and I have a feeling that Saitama will somehow become involved with this particular story.

Yu-Gi-Oh! CH:004

This chapter opens with a criminal escaping from jail. The news of the escaped convict is announced at school, and Anzu warns Yugi and Jonouchi to go straight home. The two boys realize that Anzu hasn’t walked home with them recently, and Jonouchi decides they should tail Anzu instead of going home. It turns out Anzu has a job at Burger World, a new restaurant that’s opened up in Domino City. It turns out that after school jobs are against the rules of their school and that she could be expelled if they find out. The escaped convict arrives at Burger World and takes Anzu hostage. When Anzu is in trouble, Yugi’s Millennium Puzzle activates, and he challenges the escaped convict to a game. Yugi finds a way to trap the convict and lead Anzu out of the restaurant.

I still find it interesting how this material is so different from what I know from the 4Kids dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! The manga makes it clear that Yugi has a crush on Anzu. With this story, Anzu is blindfolded, so she doesn’t see when Yugi transforms. She hears his voice afterward, but doesn’t think it’s Yugi. We see at the end of this chapter that Anzu has fallen in love with the man who rescued her. These romantic interests seem to be gone by the time the story reaches the Yu-Gi-Oh! story that’s well-known from the anime. Perhaps this is addressed in the manga?

And this is it for the “Jump Back” initiative, since the ending text reads, “To Be Continued in Volume 1.” Getting to read these four chapters of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga gave me an interesting glimpse into the characters and story before the story that I’m familiar with from the English presentation of the
Yu-Gi-Oh! anime.