New Anime Releases: December 16, 2014

Here are the new anime releases for December 16, 2014. If there are any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

The Ambition of Oda Nobuna Complete Collection [DVD]
The Ambition of Oda Nobuna Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
Bleach Volume 23 [DVD]
A Certain Magical Index Season 2 Part 2 [Blu-ray/DVD Combo]
Cowboy Bebop Complete Series [DVD]
Cowboy Bebop Complete Series [Blu-ray]
Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series [Blu-ray/DVD Combo; Amazon exclusive]
Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series [Blu-ray/DVD Combo; FUNimation exclusive]
Creamy Mami Volume 2 [DVD]
Detroit Metal City [Blu-ray]
Hidamari Sketch SP [Blu-ray]
Reideen Collection 1 [DVD]
Silver Spoon Complete Second Season [DVD]

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 148 (December 15, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Food Wars!, One Piece, Toriko, Hi-Fi Cluster, Nisekoi: False Love, World Trigger, Bleach, and Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment. In addition, this issue also includes the seventh chapter of Naruto as part of 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.

Food Wars! CH:099

Right at the beginning of this chapter, we see that Kurokiba is the first one to finish cooking his pike. He presents his dish to the judges’ table, and they have to unwrap the heat-resistant film that he had put onto his dish. When the judges unwrap them, they’re impressed by the odor. It turns out his dish is Fall Pike Cartoccio. As the judges try his dish, Kurokiba explains what he did to his dish. We get the judges’ reaction, and then Hayama is ready to present his dish. Hayama’s entry is Carpaccio, and he is about to present it to the judges when the chapter ends.

The competition is now truly underway, with one of the contestants presenting his completed creation to the judges. But I have to say that the judges’ reactions to the entry do come across as a bit “over the top.” Alice’s mother also received a rather prominent role in this chapter in her role as judge; in fact, she has a panel where she goes on and on and on about Kurokiba’s dish. I really wanted her to shut up so I could move on to the next panel. Also, this chapter also has a strong focus on explanations; while it was nice to receive the explanations since I don’t know anything about the dishes being made, it felt like these explanations dragged down the chapter.

One Piece CH:770

Bellamy insists on fighting with Luffy even though Luffy doesn’t want to. The story suddenly shifts to the Pica Statue, where Zoro is battling Pica. But before Zoro can do much, Pica takes over a nearby plateau so only his face shows from it. But Zoro is undeterred. Unfortunately, before Zoro can reach Pica, he has to encounter other enemies first. Right at the end of the chapter, Zoro receives some unexpected help.

You know, with how much focus has been placed on Law and his flashback story recently, I’d almost all but forgotten that there were still other battles taking place in Dressrosa! Fortunately, this chapter only focused on one of the battles instead of all of the jumping around we’d been seeing prior to settling into Law’s backstory. And it looks like Zoro’s battle is starting to see a little more progress. It’ll be interesting to see if the next chapter continues this particular battle or moves on to one of the other battles that are still raging in Dressrosa.

Toriko CH:305

This chapter opens with an explanation of Gourmet Cells and why they need to unify the wills of all their cells before learning Monkey Martial Arts. After this, Kaka begins training Toriko and the others in Monkey Martial Arts, which requires them to juggle a B.B. Pill Bug. But it’s not as easy as it seems, and Kaka explains that they have to learn to accurately copy with the movements of the B.B. Pill Bug. Zebra doesn’t want to participate in the training, but we see the others trying. Kaka expects it will take them two days to get the basics of Monkey Martial Arts down, and they only have three days before Komatsu’s limit is up.

This chapter spent a lot of its time on explanations, and not much time on any real action. I understand that the explanations are necessary, but after already having to read through the explanations in Food Wars! at the beginning of this week’s Weekly Shonen Jump, it felt like the story here was being bogged down. But right near the end, it’s made clear that time is quickly running out to save Komatsu, so the stakes are going up in here. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see an end to having to save Komatsu somewhere within the next few chapters. It definitely feels as if events are leading up to this story wrapping up soon.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:014

This chapter keeps going with the chase that started at the end of Chapter 12. The getaway car screeches to a halt, and Kandera discovers that the brakes in their behicle appear to not be working. Kandera grabs Mirai, and he, Heckt, and Ekusa all jump out of the vehicle. Kandera and his group are face-to-face with the getaway driver and the girl with the Hi-Fi Ability. Landscape Mole appears and takes custody of the girl away from Shanon, the getaway driver. Landscape Mole uses his ability to send Shanon flying, and Kandera goes to save Shanon. But after being rescued, Shanon is arrested. Near the end of the chapter, Kandera and the others see a news report that suggests that Landscape Mole is intending to attack the parliament building. When Kandera and the others realize they need to head there but their car is totaled, Shanon offers to give them a ride. Shanon makes a deal with Kandera, and everyone heads toward the taxi as the chapter ends…

So it turns out I was wrong about who I thought the getaway driver was. I should’ve figured that Landscape Mole would have been too easy of a guess. But the stakes are definitely being upped again quite a bit, so I’m still wondering if perhaps Hi-Fi Cluster could be in danger of an early cancellation. It would definitely explain why we’ve seen the story make some major progress in recent weeks instead of being stretched out. If we’re already headed for Landscape Mole’s “revolution,” what else can be done with the story after this is resolved? While I’ve personally been enjoying Hi-Fi Cluster, I’m seeing the signs that it might not be around for much longer.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:151

This chapter sees Raku and Onodera both running late for the class trip and having to take a separate bullet train to catch up with the rest of the class in Kyoto. As expected, Raku is happy with this turn of events. As they talk, Onodera suggests ditching their groups since they don’t plan to hit the same sights in Kyoto. But when Raku reacts to the suggestion, Onodera says she was joking. When the train reaches Nagoya, an announcement comes over the intercom saying that due to high winds, the bullet train will be delayed until further notice. They decide to switch to the regular train line in order to keep on going. But their ride on the regular train is stopped because of a bear on the tracks ahead. They then decide to take a bus, but the bus ends up having engine trouble. Then they try taking a taxi, but the elderly man driving it ends up in a ditch. They then resort to trying to hitch a ride. But the guy who gives them a ride also has engine trouble. They eventually make it to Kyoto, but it’s obvious they’ve been through the wringer. When Raku goes to meet up with his group, he learns that their room got flooded. Raku ends up being separated from his group and put into a room by himself that’s not in the main building. Right at the end of the chapter, we see that Chitoge has tapped on Raku’s window.

OK, the first time or two that something caused their mode of transportation to be stalled was a little amusing; but after that, it started getting obnoxious. I know that Komi is trying to have Raku and Onodera spend time together to try to build up this relationship, but the sheer amount of obstacles ended up being excessive. Also, after going through all of that, Raku still continues to have bad luck with his room.

But the further I’m getting into Nisekoi: False Love, it really appears to me that Komi is ultimately intending Raku and Onodera to end up together. The main questions are, how is he going to accomplish this, and how long will it take for this relationship to actually happen?

World Trigger CH:087

Jin finds Karasawa watching the Rank Wars, and they have a conversation about Osamu. We then see Osamu, Chika, and Yuma talking with Konami and some other people about the other squads they could be facing during the Rank Wars. When they ask for information, they’re told that data on past Rank Wars can be found in the Strategy Room. We then see both the Suwa Squad and the Arafune Squad going over the data they have on Osamu’s group. This is followed by Osamu and his group sharing their analysis from the data they have on their next opponent.

This chapter is basically providing some setup before starting the next match in the Rank Wars. Unfortunately, this means that this is an exposition chapter rather than having any real action going on. This is at least the third chapter in this edition of Weekly Shonen Jump that’s simply an exposition chapter. At least this one is spread out more from the other two, so that helps a little.

Bleach CH:609

Ichibe says that Yhwach has lost his name, and that he will give Yhwach a new one. The new name he gives him is Kuroari. Ichibe tells “Kuroari” that his power is like that of a black ant, and that Ichibe will crush him like an ant. But “Kuroari” somehow manages to survive. It turns out that Yhwach had the power to see all that is about to take place. and the power he sees cannot be used to kill him.

Oh, come on now. These characters have become so overpowered that it’s become ridiculous. Not only that, it makes it more painfully obvious that Kubo is trying to kill time in order to make this final arc of the story last longer. While there had been some of this done in earlier Bleach storylines and chapters, I think this is some of the worst use of overpowered characters that I’ve personally seen. The only upside is that these more recent chapters of Bleach have been very quick reads.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:003

This chapter begins a storyline about a photo voyeurism incident. As expected, Pine and Abaku are brought in to resolve the case. We see that Tento is helping Abaku with his work, and he asks Abaku why he’s staying at this school instead of moving on, since that’s what he normally does. Abaku says it’s so he can kill a certain student. Pine also declares that she won’t leave this school until she defeats Abaku.

We discover that the person Abaku is defending is Uozumi, one of his classmates. The victim in the photo voyeurism case is also one of their classmates. Abaku decides to do a crime scene inspection, and he finds it impossible for a camera to somehow be hidden in the victim’s shoe locker. We also meet Airi (the victim’s) best friend, Kuniko. There’s an exchange between Kuniko and Uozumi, and Abaku seems to pick up on something during their conversation.

But when Tento goes to Abaku’s “office” to get the keys he left behind, he finds clippings of articles about the Bloody Classroom Massacre, where an entire first grade class was massacred five years earlier; this was the case that was the impetus for the creation of the School Judgment System. Tento recalls what Abaku said earlier about killing a student…

So this chapter sets the scene for the next classroom arbitration session, which is set to start during the next chapter. But this chapter also starts to provide some development for Abaku as well. He seems to have some kind of a connection with the Bloody Classroom Massacre, and this seems to be the driving force for why he’s part of the School Judgment System. It was stated in an earlier chapter that Abaku didn’t become a prosecutor through the usual way, so I expect that this is somehow also tied in with the Bloody Classroom Massacre. Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment continues to be an interesting read, and it was definitely the best of the three titles in this wave of the “Jump Start” initiative.

It was announced at the end of this issue that Gakkyu Hotei: School JudgmentWeekly Shonen Jump.

Naruto CH:007

This is the seventh chapter of the Naruto manga, which is being published as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative.

This chapter continues Team 7’s survival exercise. This time, we see Sasuke trying to go against Kakashi; while he’s doing a lot better than Naruto did, but he still isn’t able to best Kakashi. The timer goes off, signaling the end of the exercise. Naruto is tied to a stump, while Sasuke and Sakura sit on the ground next to him. Right at the end of the chapter, Kakashi states that none of them will ever be shinobi.

This chapter truly allows the reader to see Sasuke in action, and it backs up what he’s said about his talent up to this point. Naruto ends up acting like the knuckleheaded ninja that he’s known to be at this point, and Sakura’s more concerned about Sasuke than anything else. It’s a real shocker to not just the characters, but to the reader as well, when Kakashi declares that his students will never become shinobi.

According to the end, it says that Chapter Eight will appear for the “Jump Back” initiative in next week’s issue. I’m thinking that I’ve been right in guessing that Naruto will continue to run in this initiative until we reach the end of this particular story arc. This arc should be ending soon, so it shouldn’t be part of this initiative for too much longer.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 147 (December 8, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Nisekoi: False Love, Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, Gakkyu Hotei: School Judment, World Trigger, Bleach, Hi-Fi Cluster, E-ROBOT, Toriko, Food Wars!, and Blue Exorcist. In addition, this issue also includes the sixth chapter of Naruto as part of the “Jump Back” initiative, as well as “Food Wars! Japanese Editor Picks.”

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

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

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

Nisekoi: False Love CH:150

This chapter opens with the announcement that it’s almost time for Raku and his class to take their class trip; this time, it’s a trip to Kyoto. As expected, Raku already has some members of his harem asking to be in his group. It turns out there’s a famous shrine of love in Kyoto with a miraculous 90% success rate for having your love requited. But then it’s revealed that this year, the groups will be chosen by lottery. After the lottery is finished, we see that all of the main characters are in the same group together, except for Raku. He ends up in a group of guys who tease him mercilessly for his situation. On the day of the trip, Raku is running late and ends up having to help an old lady get to her destination/ He contacts Yui and says he’ll get a same-day ticket and catch up. He’s told to go to the school to be picked up by a taxi, along with another student running late; that student ends up being Onodera.

When I first saw that this story arc would be featuring a class trip, I almost groaned, “Is Komi reusing another story idea?” Fortunately, as I read the chapter, I determined that it would be a different class trip story from the one that appeared earlier in the series. I also liked seeing Raku not end up in the same group as the other main characters, because this was a refreshing change of pace. However, I was a little disappointed to see that Onodera ended up being late as well as Raku. However, this does provide the opportunity for some more character development between these two. At this point, it seems as if Komi’s dropping hints that Raku will somehow end up with Onodera at the end of this.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:028

This chapter continues Yu’s encounter with Lucal, and we see the rest of his squad come to back him up. Lucal is about to try to finish them off when Narumi’s squad jumps in to help out Shinoa’s squad; but before Narumi can do anything, Shinoa gets in the way. The battle with Lucal gets intense as the chapter continues. But as it looks like they have Lucal trapped with a chain around his arm, Lucal cuts off his arm to free himself. Both squads try to work together after this to take down Lucal. They’re able to use curse power on Lucal so he is unable to heal his wounds, which allows them to take him down.

The scene then changes to Guren and his squad trying to take down another vampire noble. They’re able to take him down, but it’s rather close since Guren didn’t assign as many people to this group. But their victory is short-lived when they’re approached by Kusunoki, who’s badly wounded. It turns out the 30-man attack team sent to Nagoya City Hall has lost 10 soldiers and the remaining 20 have been taken hostage; also, the vampires want the humans to come to them. After Kusunoki passes, a member of Guren’s squad says that this is an obvious trap. Guren adds Crowley Eusford, the thirteenth progenitor, to the hit list.

Overall, this was a rather action oriented chapter for Seraph of the End. It was great to see Shinoa and Narumi squads, who had been fighting constantly before heading out on this mission, being able to work together and take down their target. But when the story changes to Guren’s squad, the danger level is increased, especially after hearing about what happened to the 30-man attack team. As we see right at the end, this was definitely set as a trap. With Crowley now being added to the hit list, I expect to see the focus of the story shift to Guren going after Crowley at Nagoya City Hall.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:002

Abaku tells Tento to bring a witness to the stand: he brings in a fish tank. Ms. Shiratori sees the fish and realizes that it’s Suzuki, the fish that was supposedly killed. It’s revealed that the fish that was killed was an ordinary sea bass that Tento purchased and swapped for Suzuki, and Abaku explains what happened in detail. Tento also displays a note he received the day after the vote that said it was known that he was the boy who voted to save Suzuki, and that if he didn’t want to be exposed, we would have to kill the fish. Tento explains why he had told the boys that he would vote yes, and that he was afraid of being exposed as a traitor because he didn’t want to be lonely again. Pine desperately tries to come up with reasons why Tento is guilty, but Abaku finds ways to shoot them down, too. It’s revealed that the teacher played a big hand in what went down. In the end, the boys forgive Tento.

I liked how this case turned out. Honestly, I wasn’t able to guess what the real story was before Abaku explained it all at the trial. I have a feeling that this is ultimately leading to Abaku and Pine having to face off against each other over various cases, with Abaku somehow always coming out on top. While that could become formulaic, it all depends on how each case is handled in the manga. Of the three “Jump Start” initiative titles this time around, I would have to say that Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment is the strongest of the three.

World Trigger CH:086

At the beginning of the chapter, we see that it’s decided to take the points that were awarded to Osamu and Yuma and transfer them to Chika so she can be promoted to B-Rank. By doing this, Osamu forms a B-Rank squad with Chika and Yuma.

It’s the day of the B-Rank Wars. After an explanation for how they work, they begin. After Yuma does something impressive, Yoshizato Squad bails out, Mamiya Squad won’t move away from the building that they’re by. Chika is also able to contribute, and Mamiya Squad also bails out. With just that one battle, Chika and Yuma jump up to 12th place. The chapter ends with their victory.

So it appears that the next arc for World Trigger will be focusing on the Rank Wars, especially since this chapter ends with it being announced who Chika and Yuma’s next competitors will be. This could end up being an interesting arc, as long as it’s not stretched out like the most recent battle had been. So far, this has been a nice break from following the battle with the Neighbors for so many months.

Bleach CH:608

Ichibe uses “Paint It Black,” and his brush transforms into a blade; however, Yhwach doesn’t sense any spiritual pressure from it. This is a sword with no name, and everything it paints over loses its name. Yhwach uses Saint Altar and tries to steal Ichibe’s power. He succeeds, but the power he stole doesn’t belong to Yhwach. At the end of the chapter, Ichibe declares that all the black in the world becomes his.

Once again, here’s another chapter that has a short bit of battle with a lot of explanation and taunting. Really, very little progress was made in this particular chapter, and I wish this arc would get moving. It really feels like it’s moving at a glacial pace, and it’s harder and harder for me to stay interested in what’s going on because so little happens from chapter to chapter at this point. Please. Kubo, let’s get this story moving already!

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:013

This chapter continues the chase that started at the end of the previous chapter. The getaway driver suddenly goes into reverse and begins using weapons on the vehicle to attack Kandera, Peta, and the others. Kandera and the getaway driver authenticate gestures, and it’s revealed that the getaway driver is using a Hi-Fi ability that is absolute space perception. Heckt and Ekusa also get involved in the chase. Peta also gets involved and tries to rescue the girl that’s inside the car, but she freaks out, starts crying, and authenticates her gesture. It turns out her ability is to blow things up…

This chapter focuses exclusively on Kandera and the others chasing after the getaway driver and the girl he has in the car. We knew from the previous chapter that the girl had a Hi-Fi ability, but this is the first time that we learn what her ability is. And what a doozy of an ability it is! How can Kandera and the others possibly rescue her? It’ll be interesting to see how this story progresses.

E-ROBOT CH:003

Yuuki’s friend Tanaka comes to school and he looks all beaten up. It turns out some third-years took Tanaka’s treasure hoard (aka porno mags). Hikari walks in, and Tanaka tells her what happened without using the word “porno,” and she says she’ll go reason with them. Yuuki tries to stop her and then declares that he will be the one to get them back.

When then see Yuuki and Ai going to the third-years’ hideout. After Yuuki can finally get out why they’re there, the third-years say they’re not going to give Tanaka’s collection back. During the fight, we learn that in the three days between learning about the theft and going to take care of it, Ai trained Yuuki in her special self-defense course, Boob-Fu. During the fight, we also see Yuuki have a flashback to how he and Tanaka met and became friends…

Basically, this chapter is more of the “fanservice” that’s been present in the previous two chapters. Ultimately, this manga feels like it comes up with thin stories and puts it focus on trying to include as much fanservice as possible. While this manga will appeal to a certain demographic of manga readers, it really doesn’t seem like it will much in the way of mainstream appeal with readers in the U.S. I’m glad that this is the last chapter for the “Jump Start” initiative, and hopefully I’ll never have to see this one ever again.

Toriko CH:304

Well, it turns out what Sunny saw were destroyed poison dolls, so he thinks there’s a chance that everyone is still alive. Sunny has to take in Coco’s poison, and he does so successfully. Sunny quickly finds Coco and gives him his poison back. Coco then senses electromagnetic waves from the others and confirms that they’re still alive. Once they’re all together, they ask Kaka what happened. Kaka informs them that what they had wasn’t a battle, it was a game; the monkey king was playing the whole time. And what Sunny ultimately saw was Bambina sneezing from the Sundoriko pollen that Kaka had released. After learning all of this, Toriko and the others decide they’re not ready to face Bambina yet, since they aren’t even cut out to be his playmates. But after Komatsu has an emergency, they decide they need to go through Monkey Martial Arts training.

I knew there was no way that all of these characters would suddenly be killed off! I had no idea how they would have survived, but I knew that they must have. For me, it was interesting to see these usually cocky characters knocked down a couple of pegs after realizing they couldn’t even make good playmates for the monkey king. They were definitely in need of some humility, and it looks like the monkey king gave it to them. But they’re starting to recover from their wounded pride and are getting ready to train. I suspect the next chapter will be focusing on their training.

Food Wars! CH:098

This chapter sees Soma working at cooking his pike. Also, it’s revealed that Ryo will be making Acqua Pazza, which comes complete with an explanation of what the dish is and why Ryo picked it. There’s also a flashback that shows how Alice and Ryo came to know each other and how their rivalry developed.

This chapter ended up focusing very heavily on Ryo. I didn’t mind, though, since I really know nothing about him due to jumping into the series in the middle like this. This chapter also allowed me to see a little more of what Alice was like when she was younger. While we see a little bit of Soma here, he’s definitely not the one being focused on. I wonder if the next chapter will place the focus on the third contestant. But hopefully this competition won’t be stretched out for a ridiculously long time.

Food Wars! Japanese Editor Picks

This feature sees Seijiro Nakaji, the Japanese editor for Food Wars!, providing behind the scenes insight into the manga. He shares his favorite chapters and why they’re his favorites, how work is done for Food Wars!, and his favorite part of Food Wars! Fans of the series may learn something interesting from this feature.

Blue Exorcist CH:063

It appears that everything is winding down, but then Shima appears. After having some parting words, Shima leaves. Rin and the others realize they have to leave fast because the zombies are closing in; however, Kinzo arrives arrives with some others to start taking down the zombies. The surrounding area is now under control.

It’s now another day, and everyone is recovering. Izumo wakes up and we leaen that Professor Gedoin managed to escape. She’s also disappointed that she doesn’t know where Tsukumo is. She is approached by someone telling her that Tsukumo is still alive and gives her a key that will lead her to her sister. Izumo leaves and she finds her sister, who is now living under the name Tsukiko Takara. The President of Takara Computer Entertainment took her in, which makes her the informant’s cousin. Izumo approaches Tsukumo, but it turns out that Tsukumo has no memory of Izumo. Izumo goes to see Kamiki and shares her feelings about learning about Tsukumo and the fact that her sister doesn’t recognize her. Izumo and Kamiki end up sharing a moment.

So it looks like this particular story arc has come to its conclusion. It was a rather bittersweet conclusion for Izumo, but at least she now has closure when it comes to Tsukumo. But it appears that with both Professor Gedoin and Shima escaping that this story isn’t entirely over yet. I assume at this point that they’ll both appear again at some point and cause more trouble.

Naruto CH:006

This is the sixth chapter of the Naruto manga, which is being published as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative.

This chapter continues Team 7’s survival exercise. Naruto continues to have problems due to acting rashly and not thinking about the fact that Kakashi could be laying traps. Sasuke finally jumps into action, but Kakashi uses a substitution jutsu to thwart Sasuke’s attack. Kakashi also uses a genjutsu on Sakura to make her think that Sasuke is injured, which causes Sakura to faint.

Chapter Six shows off some jutsu that ninjas can use in battle, and it also allows us to see Sasuke in action. It continues to set the stage for where this exercise is ultimately going to lead the story.

The seventh chapter will appear in the next issue of Weekly Shonen Jump, so I’m thinking I’m right that Naruto will be featured in the “Jump Back” initiative until the story reaches the conclusion of the survival exercise arc.

VIZ Media Makes Holiday Shopping for Your Favorite Anime and Manga Fan Easy With New Comprehensive Gift Guide

VIZ Media presents a specially curated selection of anime releases and manga titles to suit a wide array of tastes this holiday season. Fans can review the entire list of suggested titles at: www.viz.com/holiday.

In addition, members of the VIZ Media team created a video spotlighting a few of their top holiday picks at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFXHPWcySwo.

Fans can highlight wish lists with a variety of anime releases, including Limited Edition Box Sets available on DVD and Blu-ray, such as:

SAILOR MOON Season 1 Part 1 Limited Edition DVD & Blu-ray Combo Pack Box Set

(PRE-ORDER) SAILOR MOON Season 1 Part 2 DVD & Blu-ray Combo Pack Box Set – Releases in February 2015

RANMA 1/2 Sets 1-4 – Limited Edition Blu-ray and/or DVD and/or Blu-ray Limited Edition Box Sets

BLOOD LAD: THE COMPLETE SERIES – DVD and/or Blu-ray Box Sets

GARGANTIA ON THE VERDUROUS PLANET COMPLETE SERIES – DVD and/or Blu-ray Box Sets

NARUTO THE MOVIE: ROAD TO NINJA – DVD and/or Blu-ray Set

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: BLOOD PRISON – DVD and/or Blu-ray Set

NARUTO TRIPLE FEATURE DVD Release – Features NINJA CLASH IN THE LAND OF SNOW, LEGEND OF THE STONE OF GELEL, and GUARDIANS OF THE CRESCENT MOON KINGDOM

BLEACH DOUBLE FEATURE DVD Release – Features BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY and BLEACH THE MOVIE 2: THE DIAMONDDUST REBELLION

Manga fans have a wide variety of titles and series box sets that add plenty of excitement to the holiday reading season, including:

Pokémon Adventures Ruby & Sapphire MANGA Box Set

Pokémon Adventures Diamond & Pearl/Platinum MANGA Box Set

Pokémon Black & White MANGA Box Set 2

THE LEGEND OF Zelda Box Set

Voltron From Days of Long Ago: A 30th Anniversary Celebration

Hello Kitty, Hello 40

The Art of Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke: The First Story

Bakuman。 MANGA Box Set

Black Bird MANGA Box Set

Death Note MANGA Box Set

Ouran High School Host Club MANGA Box Set

Vampire Knight MANGA Box Set 2

One Piece MANGA Box Set 2

Fullmetal Alchemist MANGA Box Set

Readers that prefer to enjoy their manga digitally are invited to take advantage of special bundles and holiday pricing on entire story arcs of several popular series. VIZ Media’s digital story arc promotion is available on VIZManga.com, until January 1, 2015.

ONE PIECE, East Blue Saga Vols. 1-11
Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Cost: $44.00 for the entire bundle at $3.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

NARUTO, The Test of a Ninja Vols. 1-16
Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Cost: $64.00 for the entire bundle at $3.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

BLEACH, Reaper’s Road Vols. 1-21
Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Cost: $84.00 for the entire bundle at $3.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

SHAMAN KING, Spirit Voyage Vols. 1-15
Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Cost: $60.00 for the entire bundle at $3.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

ZOMBIE POWDER, Vols. 1-4
Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens
Cost: $8.00 for the entire bundle at $1.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

THE EARL AND THE FAIRY, The Journey to the Fairy Kingdom Vols. 1-4
Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Cost: $8.00 for the entire bundle at $1.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

DEATH NOTE © 2003 by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata/SHUEISHA Inc.

Anime DVD Review: Bleach DVD Set 14

Bleach DVD Set 14 is a three disc set that contains 12 episodes; each disc in this set includes four episodes and bonus features. The episodes on these discs can be watched either with English dialogue or with Japanese dialogue and English subtitles.

The first seven episodes in the set take place in Soul Society in the past. This arc, which is known as “The Past Arc,” was actually rather fun to watch. It’s quite interesting to see some of the characters that we know looking so much younger and noticeably different than how they normally look in the series. But this arc is rather important, because it provides some backstory for Urahara, Yoruichi, Aizen, Gin, Mayuri, and Tessai. Not only that, but this arc also tells the story of how the Visoreds came to be.

Then, this is followed be a two episode “filler” story. Urahara decides that with Ichigo heading back to Hueco Mundo, Karakura Town needs protection from Hollows. Urahara forces Kon into a team of superheroes called “Konso Cop Karakuraiser,” which also includes Don Kanonji, Tatsuki Arisawa, Chizuru Honsho, Keigo Asano, and Ururu Tsumugiya. It felt like the writer and/or the director is a fan of shows like Gatchaman and decided to throw in a filler story that pays homage to superhero-style anime. Unfortunately, it really doesn’t work or fit in with a show like Bleach. While it seems like the intent was for this to be a humorous filler story, it didn’t come across as funny at all; in fact, it was rather stupid. It was rather unnecessary and felt like a waste of time.

The final three episodes in this set finally return the series to canon material from the manga, and there’s two storylines taking place. First, there’s the gathering of captains and lieutenants in the fake Karakura Town to face off against Aizen and his army of Fracciones. The last episode in the set focuses on Ikkaku, Yumichika, Kira, and Hisagi each facing off against a Fraccione, with the most emphasis being placed on Yumichika and his opponent, Charlotte. These two are very similar in personality, so their battle is interesting to watch. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that there are times when their battle is comical due to their similar personalities.

The other storyline takes place in Las Noches, where Ulquiorra has been left in charge. Ulquiorra is giving Orihime a hard time as Ichigo fights his way toward the tower where they are. The last we see of this storyline in this set is Ichigo and Ulquiorra as they’re just starting into their battle.

With the exception of the “Konso Cop Karakuraiser” episodes, I enjoyed watching Bleach DVD Set 14. The “Past Arc” storyline was informative, yet interesting and enjoyable to watch, while the remaining three episodes in the set finally returned the series to the main storyline after it came to an abrupt stop near the end of Set 13. With the emphasis that was placed on the Visoreds in the “Past Arc,” I really hope that they’ll be appearing again in the series sooner rather than later.

When it comes to the DVD itself, the omake continue to be cut off from the end of the episodes and only appear as part of the “Omake” special feature that appears on each disc. I still hope this will be rectified in one of the future DVD box sets for Bleach. Not only that, but the main menu on each disc continues to be silent; personally, I have a dislike for silent DVD menus.

Each disc has Production Art, which is line art of the characters and locations that appear in these episodes. The first disc includes 12 pages, the second disc has 11 pages, and the third disc includes 10 pages.

Each disc also has a “Clean Ending” option in the bonus features; the first two discs have the first ending that appears on this set, while the third disc has the second ending. Each disc also includes the omake that should have been included with the episodes that appear on the disc.

I was surprised, but glad, to see that there were no trailers included as part of the bonus features. It had gotten to a point on some of the previous box sets that they would just include the same three trailers on each disc, and I just couldn’t understand the point of including them on every single disc. Also, there are no trailers that play on a disc before it goes to the main menu.

If you’re a Bleach fan, then you need to get a hold of this set in order to have all of the episodes of the series in your anime home video collection.

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

VIZ Media Opens December and the Holiday Season With a New Digital Manga Update and Launches Special Sale Promotions

VIZ Media announces extensive digital manga updates along with a trio of new title debuts for the first-half of December. Holiday season announcements include the launch of a special digital manga sale running through the entire month, as well as a digital bundle sale that features special pricing on several popular series. In addition, a new mystery series debuts in Weekly Shonen Jump as part of the Jump Start initiative – Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment – featuring crazy courtroom battles and amazing art by Takeshi Obata!

Readers can highlight their manga reading with the digital launch of Assassination Classroom, a humorous and action-packed story about a class of misfits who are trying to kill their new teacher – an alien octopus with bizarre powers and super strength! The teacher has just destroyed the moon and is threatening to destroy the earth – unless his students can destroy him first. What makes things more complicated is that he’s the best teacher they’ve ever had!

VIZ Media’s Cyber Monday Sale opened on December 1, 2014 and runs through December 30, 2014 on VIZManga.com and the VIZ Manga App. The sale offers introductory pricing of only $1.99 (U.S. / CAN) on Volumes 1-2 of the following series. Subsequent series volumes will be $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) each.

FOOD WARS, Volumes 1-2 ($1.99 each); Volumes 3-4 ($4.99 each)

JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE PART 3, Volumes 1-2 ($1.99 each); Volumes 3-15 ($4.99 each)

YUYU HAKUSHO, Volumes 1-2 ($1.99 each); Volumes 3-19 ($4.99 each)

Fans also shouldn’t miss the opportunity to stock up on entire story arcs of several additional popular titles with a special Digital Bundle Sale available on VIZManga.com as well as ComiXology (check the app for specific pricing).

ONE PIECE, East Blue Volumes 1-11; Price: $44.00 (U.S. / CAN) for the entire bundle at $3.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

NARUTO, (The Test of a Ninja) Volumes 1-16; Price: $64.00 (U.S. / CAN) for the entire bundle at $3.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

BLEACH, (The Reaper’s Road) Volumes 1-21; Price: $64.00 (U.S. / CAN) for the entire bundle at $3.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

SHAMAN KING (Spirit Voyage), Vols. 1-15; Price: $60.00 (U.S. / CAN) for the entire bundle at $3.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

ZOMBIE POWDER, Volumes 1-4; Price: $8.00 (U.S. / CAN) for the entire bundle at $1.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

Additional December updates include new releases of 14 other VIZ titles, including the riveting series finale of Millennium Snow (Volume 4) as well as the latest volumes of other popular series such as Deadman Wonderland (Volume 6), Seraph of the End (Volume 3), Happy Marriage?! (Volume 9), Magi (Volume 9), Naruto (Volume 68), Toriko (Volume 25) and many more!

The Jump StartWeekly Shonen Jump, publishing the chapter in Weekly Shonen Jump on the same day of that issue’s general print release in Japan. Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, written by Nobuaki Enoki with art by Takeshi Obata, asks the question, “Who has time for class when there are cases that needs solving?!”

Readers can enjoy all of these new manga titles that are available on VIZManga.com and the VIZ MANGA App for the iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch, Android-powered smart phones and 7” tablets. The titles may also be purchased through the NOOK, Kindle, Kobo, ComiXology, iBooks and Google Play stores. These dynamic digital platforms offer fans the opportunity to explore and enjoy a massive catalog of new and classic manga titles that span more than 2,400 volumes across over 210 different series.

ANSATSU KYOSHITSU © 2012 by Yusei Matsui/SHUEISHA Inc.

GAKKYU HOTEI © 2014 by Nobuaki Enoki, Takeshi Obata/SHUEISHA Inc.

VIZ Media’s Top 10 Selling Digital Manga for the Week of November 25, 2014

VIZ Media has announced the company’s top ten selling manga for the week of November 25, 2014.

1. Neon Genesis Evangelion Volume 14
2. Food Wars! Volume 4
3. Future Diary Volume 8
4. Bleach Volume 62
5. Kyo Kara MAOH! Volume 3
6. Nisekoi: False Love Volume 9
7. Trinity Blood Volume 10
8. Naruto Volume 67
9. Naruto Volume 1
10. One-Punch Man Volume 5