Weekly Shonen Jump (October 5, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Blue Exorcist, Black Clover, World Trigger, My Hero Academia, Toriko, Nisekoi: False Love, Samon the Summoner, Bleach, Food Wars!, and Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign. This issue also includes Naruto being featured for the “Jump Back” initiative, but this time focusing on the first four chapters of Volume 28 (which is set at the end of the two year timeskip).

I’m providing my reactions and impressions for each manga title that appears in the volume. However, be warned that this post may potentially 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:802

First, we see Luffy and the others freaking out about huge hail coming down, and coming to the realization that they don’t have a navigator. Oops! Then we meet Edward Weevil, who claims to be the son of Whitebeard, and his mother, who claims to be Whitebeard’s lover. They appear to have just learned about Doflamingo’s defeat. I’m not quite sure how these two fit into the story, but considering I jumped into Weekly Shonen Jump in the middle of the Dressrosa arc last year, that’s not terribly surprising. A new island called Zou is revealed, and it has an… interesting location. It’s going to be interesting to see how Oda pulls off the story line with Zou. I mean, sure, he had a sky island before, but this is something completely different…

Blue Exorcist CH:072

Rin and a couple of the others lament how Bon is now working so hard for Lightning that he can’t help them with their studies. But then they talk about what potential paths they might want to take. The story then returns to Yukio as he continues to try to figure out how he can become stronger. He takes a drastic step to try to awaken his ability, but it looks like it might not work. The chapter ends on a cliffhanger, so we won’t know whether Yukio succeeds or not until next month.

Black Clover CH:032

It looks like Rades is going to be defeated, and an interesting tidbit is revealed about him when his Grimoire is confiscated. But it turns out Rades’ and his group’s real objective was to capture Fergoleon Vermillion, and it appears that plan succeeds. So while it appears to still be a revenge plot, there was more to it than Rades let on in the previous chapter. I don’t know if it’s just me, but this particular story arc just hasn’t been terribly interesting. Oh well. I don’t have much but to continue with it until it’s finished.

World Trigger CH:117

It appears that the story is being set up for another Neighbor invasion to potentially take place, and this chapter spends a lot of time focusing on an Emergency Response meeting where Border bigwigs and higher ranking Border agents discuss what could happen and what they’re going to do. Meanwhile, Osamu is coming to a realization as to what he needs to do going forward for the B-Rank Wars. But Yotaro seems to have figured out who Jin was referring to in the previous chapter, and I admit it’s someone I wouldn’t have guessed. It sounds like this person isn’t interested in helping Osamu out, but things could change. And it would be quite an interesting development if they do.

My Hero Academia CH:061

We get to see what the matchups for the upcoming practical exam are, as well as All Might’s flashback concerning some of the decisions made on who to team up. Some time is spent expliainig the practical exam before it actually starts. As the exam gets underway, the story jumps around the various locations just as attacks start happening. But then the focus changes to Midoriya and Bakugo not off to a good start. That’s not surprising, considering that they don’t get along with each other. Their story is just getting going when the chapter ends. Hopefully next chapter will continue to focus on Midoriya and Bakugo, and not jump around much. Or if it does jump around, that it doesn’t do so as much as One Piece did during the Dressrosa arc.

Toriko CH:341

This chapter introduces us to Acacia’s Demon A. We get to see A going up against Bambina. Then the other members of the Eight Kings and the Full-Course Meal appear to take on other demons that have appeared in the Gourmet World. Most of the chapter focuses on narration of what’s happening with all of this, with only a minimal amount of action. But right at the end of the chapter, we see Toriko reacting. Overall, this was such an exposition heavy chapter that it was rather boring to read. Hopefully the next chapter will be more exciting.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:188

Raku shares his idea for helping Marika with the others. There’s an argument about some of the particulars, but after that’s worked out, we see that Shinohara has made arrangements for the two who weren’t captured to get inside the castle. Shinohara then lays out the plan for how they’re going to accomplish their goal. This story seems to be building up to something, but I can’t predict where Raku and the others will succeed or not. I’m very curious to see what Komi will do, and I hope it’ll turn out to be interesting and impressive.

Samon the Summoner CH:003

Samon is approached by one of his and Sakura’s classmates, who witnessed Samon summon a demon. This classmate now wants to borrow the power of the demons. Samon happily obliges. It ends up becoming a chaotic story, and Sakura tries her best to save their classmate.

This was probably the best of the three chapters that I read of Samon the Summoner, but I’m still not entirely sold on this series. About the only way I’d be continuing it at this point is if the English Weekly Shonen Jump decided to publish more of it in the future. But to be honest, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Bleach CH:645

Kyoraku explains what he does with the Zanpakuto to the Quincy. This is primarily a chapter of exposition, but then action takes place right near the end. But what action did happen was simply there to help illustrated Kyoraku’s explanations. Hopefully this chapter got the exposition out of the way, and that some real action will take place next week.

Food Wars! CH:137

Erina’s father is still acting like such an asshole in this chapter. But we see Hisako, Alice, and some others busting Erina out of her family’s mansion. They succeed, but after realizing they don’t have a plan, decides to go home. But at the end of the chapter, it’s revealed that they’re right behind Polaris Dorm. As I was reading this chapter, I had a feeling that Erina would somehow end up at Polaris. Now the question is, will she try to stay there to defy her father?

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:038

When Shinoa and the others make it to the rendezvous point, and Rika comes running up and blaming her for all the deaths that have occurred because she protected Mika. But as others arrive, arguments begin breaking out. But as the truth about the mission is revealed, tempers flare even more. Shinya Hiragi is bombarded with a ton of questions, which is understandable considering the situation. He makes the decision to abandon the plan and devise a strategy to rescue Guren. We also get to see what’s going on with Guren while he’s in captivity. And something that Guren says right at the end of the chapter seems to pique the vampires’ interest. It looks Guren’s plan might be succeeding, and hopefully we’ll find out in next month’s chapter whether or not it does.

Naruto CH:245

The new “Jump Back” initiative features the first four chapters of Naruto Volume 28, which is set after the two year timeskip that Naruto was away from the village training with Jiraiya. Naruto is being featured again so soon to celebrate Masashi Kishimoto’s appearance at New York Comic Con. This chapter sees Naruto’s return to Konoha and encountering Kakashi and Sakura. The stage is set for the two of them to try to do the bell test with Kakashi again. Basically, this chapter was here to establish Naruto’s return and the fact that he, Sakura, and Kakashi will be on a team as equals rather than as master and student. The next chapter should be more action-oriented with the bell test.

Weekly Shonen Jump (September 7, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, One Piece, Food Wars!, Bleach, World Trigger, My Hero Academia, Toriko, Black Clover, Nisekoi: False Love, and Blue Exorcist. This issue also includes the first chapter of Psyren (which is the current title to be featured for the “Jump Back” initiative).

I’m providing my reactions and impressions for each manga title that appears in the volume. However, be warned that this post may potentially 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.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:037

This chapter focuses a lot on Yuichiro and Mika. At first, it’s Yuichiro trying to convince Mika that he isn’t a monster and that he needs to live. That actually resolves rather well, but then tensions start getting high when Mika tells Yuichiro not to trust the humans and go back to them, but Yuichiro insisting that they’re also his family. But the most important part of this chapter is Mika revealing the existence of the Seraph of the End project to Yuichiro and that this the reason how it ties in with what happened at the beginning of the series. There’s quite an interesting setup for this series now, and I believe that Yuichiro will find himself being torn between Mika and his friends from the Demon Imperial Army. And from the look of things, it appears that Mika really has no intention of cooperating with Yuichiro’s human teammates. I’m actually looking forward to seeing what will happen, and how being reunited with Mika will affect Yuichiro in the long run.

One Piece CH:799

Well, this was an interesting chapter. Luffy tries fighting with Fujitora, and it looks like it’s going to be an epic fight. But a giant grabs Luffy and starts heading toward all the boats in the port. And the citizens of Dressrosa run along to stick close to everyone, in order to keep Fujitora from dropping the large weapon from the sky. This chapter definitely didn’t go as I had anticipated, but I actually prefer this since it seems like the story is actually starting to advance. I also hadn’t anticipated the various pirate factions starting to get along, and asking to join up under the affiliation of the Straw Hat Pirates. It’ll be interesting to see how Luffy will react to this, since this proposal was dropped right at the end of the chapter.

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

Food Wars! CH:133

Erina’s father makes a grand entrance, but it turns out he’s an absolute jerk who has no qualms about insulting anyone. The chapter also reveals some backstory and history for him. This wasn’t what I was expecting after he made his first appearance in the previous chapter. Soma makes an appearance right at the end of the chapter, so perhaps he’ll be able to help Erina out. Erina’s definitely concerned about what her father will think of her cooking, especially with his demanding behavior. This is one of the first times I can personally think of that I’ve seen Erina cower to someone else. There’s definitely potential for this to be an interesting story line.

Bleach CH:641

This chapter focuses more on Mayuri and Pernida’s battle. Most of it is actually Mayuri talking to Nemu and explaining a plan that he believes will work. Unfortunately, things don’t go as Mayuri plans, and now it looks like Kubo will be stretching out this battle even more. But there’s a cliffhanger at the end of the chapter, so maybe the beginning of the next chapter will be interesting.

World Trigger CH:114

This chapter has a strong focus on the battle. However, there is a scene of Chika regretting the fact she didn’t shoot and how now left Yuma out there without any cover and disrupting Osamu’s plan. The action of this chapter alternates with commentary from the commentators, but the chapter ends with just two people standing. Not surprisingly, one them is Yuma. Can Yuma find a way to be the last one standing and help his team continue on to the next stage of the B-Rank War?

My Hero Academia CH:057

A lot of change is in the air over the course of this chapter. One of Ida’s hands may be permanently damaged. Gran Torino loses his teaching license for six months and takes a pay cut, and tells All Might he needs to talk to Midoriya and tell him everything. The Hero Killer’s message starts to spread, and it appears villains out there now have a strong desire to join the League of Villains. A lot was thrown out there in this chapter, and it appears the tone and direction of the series is about to make a sudden shift. It’s going to be interesting to see how the series will be progressing in the coming chapters.

Toriko CH:337

Midora and Joie come face to face, although not much happens with this. The main emphasis of the chapter is on Neo trying to revive and that it appears the revival is starting to succeed. This chapter jumps around a lot, so I have to admit that I was having problems being able to entirely follow what was going on. Hopefully the next chapter will either help to make this part of the plot clear, or that it returns to one of the loose ends that’s currently hanging out there.

Black Clover CH:028

At first, it looks like the Magic Knights have quickly defeated rather weak enemies, but they find they were actually in a trap instead. Most of them disappear through spatial magic, but Yuno manages to avoid it. A mysterious witch shows up, and it looks like it’s going to be up to Yuno to take care of her. It’s a little disappointing that the story line with Asta wasn’t touched on at all here, and now with this new development, I wonder how long it will be until we return to Asta’s part of the story. Hopefully Yuno will be able to defeat this annoying witch rather quickly so the story can move on.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:184

Raku and the others make it to Marika’s place, but are turned away by Honda and the guards. Mikage gives some help on how they can sneak in, and Raku, Chitoge, and Tsugumi try to infiltrate. But Honda finds them and tries to stop them. So this story line is still going, and it looks like Tsugumi and Honda will be battling it out in the next chapter. The end result of this story could still go either way, but I have a hard time believing that Marika’s mother will actually listen to Raku and change her mind. But who knows how Komi will end up playing this out.

Blue Exorcist CH:071

Most of this chapter focuses on Bon being determined to become Lightning’s disciple or assistant. It ends up coming down to having to play a game with a set of cursed demon karuta cards, and there things about this game that I hadn’t seen coming. We also briefly get to se Yukio trying to scare himself in order to force himself into manifesting his powers. While I had managed to guess that the karuta cards would be an important aspect of the chapter, I hadn’t been able to predict how the game would play out. But it looks like Bon’s character may be moving into a different direction, and that Yukio could potentially end up in a bad situation due to his desire to manifest power.

Psyren CH:001

Psyren is the next series to be featured in Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative, and the first four chapters will be featured throughout the month of September.

Well, Psyren has an… interesting premise to it. Ageha takes on jobs that allow him to beat up people under the guise of helping them in order to make money. One day, he answers a ringing public telephone and finds a mysterious phone card with “Psyren” on it. Things get personal when a girl he’s known a long time, who also has one of these cards, mysteriously vanishes. As he tries to find out where she is, Ageha gets drug into and wrapped up in the world of Psyren. Sadly, Ageha had been warned to keep his nose out of this business, but he went headlong into it anyway. Ageha definitely isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, and now he’s paying the price for jumping into the middle of something that he didn’t understand. It’ll be interesting to see what will happen to Ageha in the next chapter and to find out how this story will progress.

Weekly Shonen Jump (August 10, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Blue Exorcist, Bleach, Black Clover, One-Punch Man, Toriko, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, Food Wars!, My Hero Academia, and Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign.. This issue also includes the second chapter of D.Gray-man (which is the current title to be featured for the “Jump Back” initiative).

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

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

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

One Piece CH:796

It’s now three days since the conclusion of the fight on Dressrosa, and Navy Headquarters is wondering why Fujitora isn’t seizing Luffy and the other pirates. He explains it all comes down to the dice roll, and each day, Luffy was won the roll. Meanwhile. rumors swirl that Riku will return to Dressrosa’s throne. We then see that Luffy is awake now and eating up a storm. While he does, they talk about various rumors they’ve been hearing about Rebecca. It’s revealed that Kyros started the rumors so it wouldn’t be revealed that he is Rebecca’s father. Kyros gets a call from Leo, who says that there’s movement from the navy tent and that they think this location may be in danger soon. We see that the roll of die was not in Luffy’s favor this time. Luffy and the others are given directions where to go in order to try to make an escape.

So it looks like we’re not entirely done with Dressrosa yet. However, it looks like the stage is being set for Luffy and his crew members who still remain there to make an escape. So it looks like last week’s chapter focused on the crew members who went ahead on the Sunny. But since the focus was all on Dressrosa in this chapter, there was nothing at all about Kaido and the war that he’s planning to launch. I’m guessing we need to see Luffy and his friends escape from Dressrosa and catch up to the Sunny before we can truly get the next story arc underway.

Blue Exorcist CH:070

Yukio is wondering what powers are at work in his eyes, and he realizes the commonality between the two times those powers manifested themselves. Meanwhile, the students at the cram school have found a balcony where they can overhear the teachers talking in an assembly. Mephisto addresses the crowd, and it’s revealed the exorcist exam will be taking place in a month and a half. He also announces a powerful helper has been sent to the cram school. As this person is introduced, a hobgoblin colony appears. After the hobgoblins are defeated, the helper is introduced as Lewin Light. We then see that the classroom that Lewin is teaching in is packed with people. But as the lesson goes on, people leave because they don’t seem to like Lewin’s teaching methods. But after class, Lewin asks some of the students for help, and that seems to be where the real lessons begin. During this, Ryuji starts admitting to Lewin that he’s lost his ambition to be an exorcist, and then Lewin shares why he became an exorcist. After this, Ryuji asks Lewin to make him his apprentice.

This chapter spends a lot of its time explaining that there aren’t enough exorcists to take care of all the demon activity that’s been erupting lately, which provides needed information as to why the exorcist exam has been moved up. We’d seen Lewin in an early chapter, but this one really establishes him as a character. He ends up being a teacher who doesn’t necessarily use regular methods to teach his lessons. However, his unorthodox teaching strategies seem to be reaching his students. He especially made a lot of strides with Ryuji.

Bleach CH:638

Mayuri learns the creature’s name is Pernida Parnkgnjas. Mayuri complains it’s too long and since he discovered the creature, he has naming rights. After a few moments, the creature seems to realize that it’s been insulted. The creature then gets upset and attacks, and what happens fascinates Mayuri. And Mayuri surprised the Quincy creature by using a Quincy air treading technique in order to avoid the creature’s attack. Mayuri seems to have gotten the upper hand and secures a sample from the creature, and the creature tries to take over Mayuri’s body. Not surprisingly, Mayuri figured out a way to keep that from happening.

This chapter focuses exclusively on Mayuri and the Quincy. And of that focus, we primarily see Mayuri and his reactions to what’s going on. I just hope this battle with this Quincy doesn’t take too much longer, though. Just when it seemed like the story had been going somewhere not too long ago, it appears to have gotten stuck again and is spinning its wheels. Sigh.

Black Clover CH:025

Inside the castle, a three-dimensional model of the noble realm is created, and it includes the voices of the people at the scene and their magic levels. With this, the nobles start trying to figure out how the attack was carried out without them noticing. They are also trying to come up with strategy. Asta, however, wants to simply rush out and help. Asta’s new rival, Leo, decides to follow Asta into the battlefield. After they leave, a strategy is formed with the remaining people in the castle and they head on their way. As the enemy leader starts taunting a little girl, Asta jumps into the action.

This chapter is basically establishing this new threat, as well as the strategy that the Magic Knights plan to employ in order to protect the capital. For the most part, there’s not a lot of action until the very end, when Asta jumps in to save the little girl. This is essentially a chapter to establish what’s going on and how the action will happen, and it looks like the real action will start taking place in the next chapter.

One-Punch Man CH:048

Garo talks to a boy who has a hero guide with stats and asks to borrow it for a week. The boy says no. After flipping through the book, Garo goes on his way. But before he goes, he says he’ll be back to look at the book again. We then see Saitama talking to a hero in the hospital who was injured by Garo. Saitama realizes that before long, Garo will likely be coming after him. Saitama then goes to see Charan-ko, and says he’d be interested in training under Master Bang. Charan-ko gives Saitama a ticket to enter a martial arts tournament, and suggests he watch that to see a variety of styles. Saitama is told not to take his place in the match, but it appears Saitama isn’t listening.

So it looks like this chapter is setting up two things. First, a way for Garo to get information on more heroes to hunt down. The other seems to be setting the stage for Saitama to enter a martial arts tournament. So it appears that One-Punch Man will soon have a focus on some martial arts, especially in the realm of a competition. I wonder if this competition will be as interesting as the Tenkaichi Tournaments that appear in Dragon Ball.

Toriko CH:334

Yuda and Condor, the two competitors in the cookoff, are headed straight for the Soul Furnace. But it turns out they end up on the Seesaw Kitchen, and it’s a competition to see who is faster at preparing ingredients and off-loading them onto the plate, in order to avoid falling into the furnace with their kitchen. If you fall in, you die instantly. This competition also involves having to navigate inside a unique space where gravity pulls in different directions. Yuda works at figuring out how to prepare the leafish, since he’s never prepared one before. As he does, he has a flashback to when he was younger and training under his master and how he went on a training journey. As part of the training, he took on his own apprentice. We see that an event happened on that journey that shook him to the core. But just as it looks like Yuda’s kitchen will fall into the furnace, the seesaw stops. He does something unexpected that seems to turn things around. And it appears that Yuda may have won right at the end of the chapter.

This chapter focuses on Yuda and Condor’s cookoff competition, but it also provides some backstory for Yuda as well. But this backstory ends up being very important for showing what ultimately happens at the end of the chapter. I appreciated seeing how the chapter ended, because I was think Condor was very condescending and full of himself. But now that this part of the cookoff is over, I wonder who will be competing next.

World Trigger CH:112

Osamu finds himself in a fight against Sumiharu, the gunner for Ninomiya Squad. Shiori tells Yuma to meet up with Osamu. But before he can each Osamu, Yuma is stopped by Shinnosuke from Ninomiya Squad. But it turns out Shinnosuke isn’t his opponent; Masoto from Kaguera Squad is. During his battle, Osamu has a flashback ro advice that Jin had given him in the past. In the battle, Osamu uses the advice that Jin gave him. But when it looks like Osamu’s opponent will defeat him, two members of Azuma Squad jump in. And then members of Ninomiya Squad also arrive where Osamu and the others are. It appears that the Azuma Squad members have set their sights on Ninomiya Squad. Just when Osamu thinks he’s in the clear, a sniper shoots him. This causes Osamu to have to bail out.

This chapter is pretty similar to the other chapters that have covered the B-Rank Wars up to this point. During the battles, the story is interrupted by the commentators explaining things. Most of the time, there also seems to be a flashback thrown in for good measure. But the ending of this chapter was actually quite surprising, because Osamu had managed to avoid having to bail out in the previous B-Rank battles that he participated in. So how will the rest of this one progress with the main character actively participating?

It should be noted that World Trigger will not appear in Issue 39, but is scheduled to return in the August 31 issue.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:181

Marika begs Raku to love her, but just as Raku is about to answer her, she collapses. Honda arrives, and she says that she is the one appointed to be Marika’s caretaker by her mother. Honda forces her to leave and tells Raku to forget about Marika as quickly as possible. The next day at school, Yui has to announce to the class that as of yesterday, Marika has changed schools. She explains that Marika is returning her home in Kyushu for health reasons. Raku tries calling Marika, but her number is no longer available. Later, we learn that Onodera tried going by Marika’s house, but no one was there. Right at the end of the chapter, we see Raku calling someone.

With the way this is written, it appears that Marika has potentially been written out of the series. However, it appears that Raku and and the others may be working on tracking her down. After hearing about Marika taking medicine and suddenly being whisked away, I guess it isn’t surprising that Raku is concerned. While he knows he doesn’t feel about her the same way she feels about him, he still wants to be friends. So it’ll be interesting to see whether Marika really ends up being written out of the series for good, or if this is another “psyche” moment by Komi.

Food Wars! CH:130

Soma and Subaru work together to get through the line that’s building up at Soma’s stand, even though more and more people are lining up. And Megumi is able to give personalized service to customers who are taking their seats. Later, the Home Cooking Society brings their whole collection of traditional paper lanterns for Soma to use at his cart. But it suddenly starts getting harder to Soma and the others to keep up. Mito arrives and says she’ll focus on the pork buns so Megumi can focus on customer service. And then other students start arriving to help out as well. At the end of the day, Kuga learns his booth came in second place in Central Campus and that Soma came in first place.

So this the chapter where Soma officially turns things around. And when Kuga comments on how Soma had built it up over the course of the four days, I thought that was an interesting observation. It also makes sense once you think about how this story line has progressed. At this point, I expect that the school festival arc will be wrapping up sooner rather than later.

My Hero Academia CH:054

Ida realizes how short-sighted he’s been, and he has a flashback of talking with his brother when he was younger. After this, Ida finds the strength to stand up and he starts to join in the fight. But Ida discovers his reciprocating engine’s broken, so he asks Todoroki to freeze his leg without blocking the exhaust pipes. The chapter ends with Ida launching an attack on the Hero Killer.

This chapter places its focus on Ida and how he’s coming to realize how stupid he’s been acting recently. Over the course of the chapter, he realizes that he needs to rely on help from his friends in order to take on the Hero Killer, and that perhaps trying to go after vengenance on his own isn’t a good idea. With the way the chapter ends, it’ll be interesting to see how this battle will continue, and whether or not Ida will have some success with what he’s trying to accomplish.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:036

Mika tries to flee with an unconscious Yuichiro, but Mika doesn’t have enough blood to get very far. He tries to wake Yuichiro up, because he wants to be able to tell him something before he loses his life and sanity from losing so much blood. Mika sees a child nearby and intends to drink their blood, but before he does, the child calls him a monster. Mika is so taken aback he lets the kid go. We then see Yuichiro communicating with his Demon Weapon, Asuramaru. During the conversation, Asuramaru tries to tempt Yuichiro into becoming a demon. Yuichiro then regains consciousness and sees Mika nearby. But Mika is at a point that he’s so desperate for blood that he begins to attack Yuichiro. When he sees how much Mika is hurting, Yuichiro offers his blood to him. But Mika comes to his senses before he takes Yuichiro up on that offer. Mika says that he hasn’t had human blood yet, and if he takes even one sip of it, he’ll turn into a vampire forever. The two get into an argument. Yuichiro says that no matter what Mika is, they’re still family. The chapter ends with Mika taking Yuichiro up on his invitation.

This ended up being a very intense chapter of Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign. And the focus was specifically on Yuichiro and Mika. The tension was intense in this chapter, especially once Yuichiro and Mika have their argument. Even though this focused a lot on talking, the rising tensions was enough to keep my interest. In some respects, I was surprised by how the chapter ended, but in other respects, I wasn’t. This is the type of reaction that we’ve come to expect from Yuichiro when it comes to the people that he considers to be family.

D.Gray-man CH:002

This chapter sees Allen heading toward the exorcist headquarters. As he travels, he encounters a boy named John warning people about akuma, and they don’t believe him. A guy who the kid claims is an akuma says he’s playing around. But after the others leave, Allen comes over and declares that this man is actually an akuma. We learn that John’s father is a scientist at the New World Alliance. When John pesters Allen with questions about being an exorcist, Allen tells him it’s better to not let his curiosity go any father. But John doesn’t like hearing this. When John returns home, he finds he has a visitor named Leo. As they visit, the audience sees a hint that something is wrong with Leo. At the same time, Allen shows up at John’s home. Allen sees Leo and realizes he’s an akuma. Allen tries to warn John, but he doesn’t hear him. Leo leads John straight to Millennium Earl. John learns that Leo died on the day of his mother’s funeral, and Allen arrives on the scene right at the end of the chapter.

After the first chapter established the concepts, charatcers, and world of the series, this chapter jumps right into getting Allen on his way to to exorcist headquarters. But there is a stop along the way, as we see here, that allows the audience to formally be introduced to Millennium Earl. This chapter also establishes the public’s reactions to the akuma. It looks like next chapter will likely resolve the story line with John, and it might also see Allen continue on his journey.

Weekly Shonen Jump (July 6, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One-Punch Man, Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, Nisekoi: False Love, Bleach, World Trigger, Food Wars!, My Hero Academia, Black Clover, One Piece, and Blue Exorcist. This issue also includes the 10th and final chapter of the Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring mini-series and the first chapter of Dragon Ball (which is the current title to be featured for the “Jump Back” initiative).

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

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

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

One-Punch Man CH:047

A group of heroes gossip about Garo’s fight with Tank-Top Master, and one of them gets the bright idea to try to capture Garo. But it doesn’t take long for this guy to get his wish, since Garo comes up right behind him. We then see Saitama visiting another hero in the hospital who was beaten up by Garo and learns a little bit about him. It turns out Tank-Top Master is in the same room, and Saitama works at getting information about Garo out of him.

After having a few action-oriented chapters of One-Punch Man, it was actually nice to have a chapter that focused more on slowing things down and giving the reader a short breather. Also, we finally got to see Saitama again in this chapter. For being the main character, he hadn’t been focused on much in recent chapters.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:035

Mika starts rushing toward Yuichiro and the other members of the Demon Extermination Unit. Mika sees that Yuichiro is collapsed and being carried by someone, and he makes a mad dash toward Yuichiro. But Mika’s knocked out of the way before he can accomplish anything. Yoichi recognizes Mika from Shinjuku and that he’s part of Yuichiro’s family. Mika continues trying to get to Yuichiro, and Shinoa tries talking to him. But Mika doesn’t listen and he attacks Kimizuki, who is carrying Yuichiro. But Yoichi tries to stop Mikaela, saying that if he’s Yuichiro’s family, then that makes Mika their family too. This distracts Mika enough for someone to run a sword through him. Shinoa has the guy knock Mika off his sword, and Shinoa says that if Mika dies, Yuichiro would be upset when he wakes up. And then Shinoa surprises everyone by telling Mika to take Yuichiro with him and run. Shinoa is joined by the rest of her unit to protect Mika. Shinoa then tells Mika to take Yuichiro to Nagoya Airport and that her squad will meet up with them there. Just then, vampire reinforcements show up on the battlefield.

I have to admit to being surprised by Shinoa telling Mika to take Yuichiro and to meet up with them at the airport. But as I thought about it, I realized that she was probably thinking that Yuichiro needed to be removed from the battlefield and decided to take the chance on trusting Mika. And with the arrival of the vampire reinforcements, that was probably the best decision she could have made. Of course, her decision does not go over well with the members of the Vampire Extermination Unit who aren’t part of her squad. It’s going to be interesting to see how this story progresses.

Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring CH:010

Naruto talks kindly to one of Shin clones who looks scared, and he says Shin doesn’t have to do any more bad stuff and that he won’t do any more, either. Naruto decides that since these clones are still kids, they can be taken to a facility in Konoha that aids children in need. Sakura rushes over to Sarada. She says that Shizune explained what happened and tells Sarada that she is indeed Sakura’s bonafide offspring. There’s a touching scene between Sakura, Sasuke, and Sarada. Near the end of the chapter, we get to see Sakura, Sasuke, and Sarada spend some family time together before Sasuke has to head out again. Right at the end, we see Karin yelling at Suigetsu and explaining how he got an incorrect “exact match.”

Overall, this was a rather satisfactory ending to the mini-series. But I am a little concerned about Kabuto being the director of the children’s center in Konoha, unless he went through some major changes since the end of the original series. And I also liked the explanation about Sarada and how she really is Sasuke and Sakura’s daughter, and this explanation also makes it clear why there isn’t a birth certificate in Konoha. This was ultimately Sarada’s storyline, and she seems to have gone through some good character growth over the course of these 10 chapters. One of my favorite moments in this chapter, though, is when Sasuke gives Sarada the tap on the forehead that Itachi always gave to him as a kid. So it’s something that both of her parents are willing to do to her. I was glad to hear VIZ announce at Anime Expo that the company will be publishing this mini-series in Winter 2016.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:177

Marika overhears the conversation Night has with Yui about the marriage proposal. But Night says Yui can get one last chance with Raku. If she can’t make Raku hers within a week, then they have to settle the matter of marriage. The next time Yui teaches at school, she’s very flustered. It turns out Yui is very conflicted; while she loves Raku, she also wants to have good relationships with Chitoge and the others. After school, Marika talks to Yui and informs her that she knows about the marriage proposal. When Yui talks as if she won’t go after Raku, Marika starts yelling at her for always ignoring her own feelings. That night, Yui asks Raku hypthetically how he would react if she told him she was getting married. After hearing Raku’s answer, Yui confesses her feelings to him.

Well, this chapter really took a big step forward. But between the looming marriage proposal, Marika’s words to her, and hearing Raku’s answer to her question, I guess Yui had to finally say something. And now the ball is in Raku’s court. He’s not going to say he reciprocates just to placate her, will he? But if Raku turns her down, then it looks like Yui will have to go through with the arranged marriage. Unless Komi is ultimately trying to psyche the readers out again, which is possible. But to be honest, I don’t think Yui has really added much to the series. She provided the piece of the puzzle about the fact that all of them knew each other 10 years ago and would have been together at the same time when Raku made his promise. But if she were to be written out, Komi would have to introduce yet another teacher for Raku and his friends. But now that the story sees our main characters all being in their final year of high school, I expect that the series will probably conclude at the time of their graduation. But Komi will probably find a way to stretch out time as long as he can.

Bleach CH:633

This chapter continues the flashback that’s providing backstory for Bazz-B and Jugo. Yhwach tells Jugo that he will be joining the Stern Ritter as his advisor. Bazz-B is unhappy with this development. We learn Yhwach’s reasoning for choosing Jugo. Bazz-B becomes upset and tries to kill Yhwach, but Jugo stops his arrow. We return to current time and their fight is just about to continue when the chapter ends.

While it was nice to get the conclusion of the flashback in order to understand the grudge Jugo and Bazz-B have, it was a little frustrating to finally return to the current time just in time for the chapter to end. The good news is, it appears that the action and fight should be continuing in the next chapter. Of course, Kubo could decide to shift his focus somewhere else for the next chapter and turn this chapter ending in a cliffhanger.

World Trigger CH:108

At the sniper training, the characters compare how they performed. Emphasis is placed on Yuzuru Ema, who says his only mentor is Hatohara. Chika recognizes that as the name of the woman who went the other world with her brother. From talking with Ema, Chika learns that Hatohara was sidelined by Border and quit. According to Ema, Hatohara was unable to shoot people, and this is why she and her team were unable to be in the away team. Meanwhile, Yuma is researching Kaguera Squad, which is the squad that Ema is part of. The reader is then introduced to Kageura. A couple of guys get on his nerves, and he attacks them.

This chapter is basically introducing the reader to members Kageura Squad, who Osamu and the others will be up against next during the B-Rank Wars. Ema also had importance since he had some information about Hatohara that she shared with Chika. Ema didn’t seem to be too bad of a character, but Kageura is a rather scary guy. I certainly wouldn’t want to go up against him in the B-Rank Wars!

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

Food Wars! CH:125

The chapter opens with an explanation for how people pay for food at the festival, and then provides a map to show where the various characters’ booths are. Megumi sees people heading toward Kuga’s restaurant and she notices how small their cart looks compared to what Kuga has. But then people start noticing the sign on their cart for black pepper pork buns. Their first customer buys a bun and really likes what he’s tasting. We then see a flashback of Soma as he worked at trying to get the black pepper buns just right before the festival. Kuga then comes over to the cart and tells Soma that black pepper buns were a good idea. But Kuga points out that it’ll all be meaningless if he can’t get anybody to eat it. We then see people streaming toward Kuga’s entry. Kuga also makes a point to show off how many more tickets his entry has gotten than Soma’s. At the end of the chapter, Megumi realizes that Soma is already in the red in the first day, and we see Soma pushing the cart off somewhere.

While the people who tried Soma’s food seemed to enjoy it, he couldn’t get enough customers to try his offering and ignore Kuga’s entry. So Soma’s not off to a great start during the first day. But I have a feeling that Soma has moved the cart somewhere to try to improve his fortunes. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of plan Soma has come up with and how he’ll b able to turn his fortunes around.

My Hero Academia CH:049

Gran Torino wonders if Midoriya can move without losing the All for One that he’s flooded his body with. Gran Torino gives him a test: Midoriya must land a single hit on him before three minutes are up. Midoriya loses the power rather quickly and has to work at getting it flowing again. He almost gets Gran Torino a couple of times. Unfortunately, Midoriya is unable to accomplish the task within three minutes. But Gran Torino notices how much Midoriya has already improved after just one sparring session. We then see a gathering that includes someone who hates heroes and wants to destroy the status quo. Right at the end of the chapter, we see Tenya vow that he’ll take on the villain who injured his brother.

The primary focus of this chapter was on Midoriya’s training with Gran Torino. While he’s made some improvements, he still has a ways to go to fulfill his potential. I suspect that the villains that were seen have to do with “Hero Killer” Stain. And I’m concerned about Tenya, because I’m afraid he’s going to try to take on more than he can chew and have something rather drastic happen to him.

Black Clover CH:020

When Asta uses this new sword he found, he unleashes a slashing water attack. It’s wondered if he somehow borrowed Noelle’s magic. But then we see that something has becomes lodged into Asta’s front and he starts bleeding. Asta collapses. Yuno is determined to save Asta, and then some fairy-like thing suddenly appears she touches the new sword and there’s an explosion. A couple of other unusual things happen, and then the dungeon starts crumbling.

It seems like this chapter is building up to something drastic happening. First, it appears that Asta might be able to accomplish something, but he’s ultimately knocked out of the battle. Then there’s some strange happenings that don’t receive any explanation, and then it ends with the dungeon collapsing. I think it’s safe to say that the next chapter will be focusing on Yuno, the rest of Golden Dawn, and the Black Bulls trying to escape.

One Piece CH:792

In this chapter, Sabo gets an explanation of what happened leading up to Ace’s execution, and this angers Sabo. He gets angry enough that he launches his Fire Fist and kills the guy taunting him. We then see people on Appleine Island seeing a broadcast from Dressrosa. When then see King Riku say that he is unable to return to the throne, but the people keep insisting that they want him back. We then see Naval HQ admiral Fujitora prostrate himself in front of Riku and offering an apology.

We’re now seeing the aftermath of the defeat of Doflamingo, and I expect this will end up lasting for a few chapters. This chapter didn’t touch on Luffy and the Straw Hats, so we will at least need a chapter or two to finish them off in Dressrosa, as well as getting this plot point with Riku resolved. Everyone seems to want him to return to the throne, but he hasn’t said that he’ll do that by the end of this chapter.

Blue Exorcist CH:068

We see the setting is in Vatican City, specifically beneath the Vatican Palace (this is where the Knights of The True Cross headquarters is located). Mephisto is at a meeting, where he reports on activities the Illuminati has been doing in Japan. We learn that the Romanian branch transported some of the artificial zombies to their lab for analysis, and he shows a video with their findings. Igor Neuhaus’ name comes up in the conversation, and we learn his whereabouts are unknown but that Mephisto’s group is looking for him. Mephisto is ordered to instruct his spies to find out where the Illuminati has transferred its Central Elixir Apparatus. But we see that Mephisto and one of the other members of the council really don’t like each other. After the meeting, one of the members wants to find a way to be assigned to the Japan Branch.

We then see Rin and the others at school, and it’s announced that they will be taking the Exorcist Certification Exam earlier than originally scheduled and that they must resubmit their desired meisters. After class, one of Rin’s classmates is concerned about Yukio.

The vast majority of this chapter focuses on True Cross and the politics surrounding some of the various branches. Mephisto isn’t entirely liked or trusted by some in the council, and this could have a major impact later on. We also see that Yukio is determined to become stronger than Rin, and that at least one person seems to have noticed Yukio’s recent change in attitude. I have a bad feeling about what Yukio is trying to do.

Dragon Ball CH:001

Dragon Ball is the new title being highlighted in Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative, and Weekly Shonen Jump will be publishing the first four chapters over the next four weeks.

This chapter introduces Goku, Bulma, and the Dragon Balls. Goku has an unexpected meeting with Bulma and doesn’t understand motorized vehicles and other people since he lives by himself out in the middle of nowhere, and this is the source of some humor. When Goku takes her to where she lives, she discovers he has the Dragon Ball that she’s been looking for. Bulma has to explain what the Dragon Balls are to both Goku and the audience. But Goku doesn’t want to part with his Dragon Ball, since it’s the only memento he has of his deceased grandfather. She convinces Goku to join her on her quest, but he refuses to hand over his Dragon Ball. Bulma reveals the Dragon Radar that she created to locate the Dragon Balls. As they go on their adventure, Bulma is captured by a dinosaur and it’s up to Goku to save her.

This chapter successfully sets up the premise of the series, and it also establishes the characters of Goku and Bulma. We also get to see the start of their friendship and the interactions they have. Since I have familiarity with both Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, I can say that the type of interactions and reactions these two characters have stays rather consistent over time. While some of the details may change, since they age over the course of both series, the basics of what’s established here remains. I enjoy Dragon Ball and am glad to see if being highlighted for Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative.

Manga Review: “Blue Exorcist” Volume 13

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

Blue Exorcist Volume 13 focuses on a high school boy named Rin Okumura and his friends, who all attend True Cross Academy to learn how to become Exorcists.

Blue Exorcist Volume 13

Written by: Kazue Kato
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 2, 2015

Volume 13 opens with Izumo’s familiar Mike as he finishes sharing Izumo’s backstory with her friends. I was impressed with the backstory for Izumo that was presented in Volume 12, and I thought the backstory included in this volume was effective for establishing why Izumo acts the way she does later in Volume 13.

Meanwhile, we see Izumo being escorted by Shima, her classmate who’s working as a spy for the Illuminati, the organization that is keeping her captive. She tries to make an attempt to escape by summoning her familiars. There’s an exciting chase scene and confrontation that takes place, and I found myself rooting for Izumo to succeed. Unfortunately, Shima is able to get the better of her and takes her back to the lab she had escaped from.

Rin Okumura, along with his brother and some of their classmates, launch a rescue mission to rescue Izumo. When they make it inside, they find zombies that they must fight against. And as they fight, a disposal opens and drops them into various sections of the feeding area. At this point, much of the action in the remainder of Blue Exorcist Volume 13 focuses on Rin and the others as they battle with the zombies.

There’s also a portion of Volume 13 that focuses on Lucifer, the commander-in-chief of the Illuminati. This section also illustrates how much of a suck up that Professor Gedoin is, as well as how much of an ego the professor has. We also get to see Shima telling Lucifer what he knows about Rin. Shima is definitely trying to become more entrenched in what the Illuminati is doing, and he also seems to be trying hard to win the trust of the organization.

Volume 13 does a great job of developing and building up Izumo as a character. The more that I see of her backstory, the more she becomes a sympathetic character. This volume also reinforces the fact that Professor Gedoin is creepy and that he is a character that the reader just cannot like. Not only is he trying to perform creepy experiments, he also has quite an ego that makes him rather annoying.

When it comes to the art, Kato’s style gives the characters a distinctive look, and it also grabs the reader’s attention. There are also some well-drawn action sequences that appear in this volume.

Blue Exorcist Volume 13 should appeal to readers who have been following the series since the very beginning. Readers will also be able to appreciate how Volume 13 builds off of the story that was presented in Volume 12. The Blue Exorcist manga series as a whole should be of interest to readers who enjoy stories that feature action and supernatural elements.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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.

New Manga Releases: June 2, 2015

Here are the new manga releases for the week of June 2, 2015. If you see any errors or omissions in this, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Ajin: Demi-Human GN 5
Assassination Classroom GN 4
Blue Exorcist GN 13
Dragon Ball Omnibus GN 25-27
Fairy Tail GN 48
Food Wars! GN 6
Kamisama Kiss GN 18
Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You) GN 21
My Little Monster GN 8
Naruto GN 70
Natsume’s Book of Friends GN 18
One Piece Omnibus GN 34-36
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign GN 5
So Cute It Hurts!! GN 1
Toriko GN 28
Voice Over! Seiyu Academy GN 11