Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 126 (July 7, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Nisekoi: False Love, Bleach, One Piece, One Punch Man, Blue Exorcist, Stealth Symphony, World Trigger, Naruto, Toriko, and Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign.

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

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

Nisekoi: False Love CH:129

This chapter sees Raku and the others returning to school. Raku sees Marika in the hall and calls out to her, and she tells him not to address her so informally. We then see a flashback of Marika’s, which takes place the previous night; she’s wondering how to get Raku to pay more attention to her because he always dodges her advances. She sees something in a magazine about secret love techniques, and it says that if coming on strong isn’t working, try pulling away. We return to the present time and see that Marika is having a hard time with this. In class, Marika discovers that she and Raku are both class officers that day, and so they have to clean the board. Poor Marika has a hard time trying to keep up her aloof front. They are then told they need to gather up some worksheets and bring them to their teacher. Raku spends the chapter being confused about Marika’s behavior. Yui sends Raku and Marika on another errand, and it becomes an awkward situation. Near the end of the chapter, Marika begins wondering if perhaps she’s gone a little too far…

This chapter puts a focus on Marika and her feelings for Raku. It’s a story that definitely ended with this chapter, so another story should begin in the next week’s chapter. I have to admit that it was kind of amusing to see Marika acting so cold and aloof towards Raku, since she’s normally so lovey-dovey toward him. While this chapter may not progress the overarching story of the locket and the keys, it does delve a little bit more into Marika’s character.

Bleach CH:587

In this chapter, Orihime tackles Ichigo as a blast is heading right toward him. Chad also oins in, and picks Ichigo up and throws him. Chad then scolds Ichigo; it’s okay to be shocked about Uryu, but what good does it do to fret over it? Ichigo suggests chasing Uryu down and asking him why he’s gone to the other side. Urahara suddenly appears on the scene, and Ichigo asks him to book a ticket to Reiokyu. Meanwhile, the other Soul Reapers are just as shocked about Uryu’s defection, and they’re taunted by a Quincy. Renji insults the Quincy, and the Quincy attacks…

This chapter focuses on some of the characters’ reactions to Uryu joining up with the head of the Quincys and leaving them behind. Ichigo has definitely taken this the hardest, and he’s bound and determined to find out why Uryu has done this. I expect that this is going to part of what the propels the story forward in the coming chapters.

One Piece CH:752

In this chapter, Doflamingo attacks Luffy and Law. But before he can get very far, a couple of Luffy’s supporters come up from behind and attack Doflamingo. Unfortunately, this Doflamingo ends up being a marionette. The two guys say that Kelly Funk tricked them, and they claim to have wiped him out. Luffy uses his Gum Gum power to create a shortcut in the well, and Luffy and Law come out of the hole and surprise the enemies that are on the second step. This chapter also shows what’s going on with the various groups within the chaos that’s developed.

This chapter primarily focuses on Luffy and Law and on how they get out of their predicament. However, there are also some brief scenes of what some of the others are up to as well. But like with many of the recent chapters of One Piece, it can be rather chaotic and jump around a lot. I have to admit that there are times when I’m starting to lose track of who’s where and what exactly is going on, but it’s still exciting.

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

One Punch Man CH:035.3

In this chapter, Saitama and Boros continue their fight. Boros declares that he’ll release all his energy to blow away both Saitama and the planet’s surface. Saitama retorts that he has a finishing move, too. Saitama launches his attack as Boros’ energy comes barreling toward him. The chapter ends as the two finishing moves collide…

Once again, it’s a rather short chapter that does nothing to progress the overarching story. Right now, I actually find myself feeling rather bored with One Punch Man with how slowly the story seems to be progressing, especially since this is a manga that isn’t published every week in the publication. Can the story finally progress already? This is still the same battle that’s been going on since I started reading this series in Weekly Shonen Jump in late March/early April.

Blue Exorcist CH:058

The chapter opens with Shiemi Moriyama battling with a chimera zombie, and is then followed by Ryuji Suguro battling with a chimera zombie. During his battle, Ryuji has a flashback from dragoon class, where he learned about the use of bazookas in exorcism. In the present time, he takes out a bazooka to attack; however, the chimera zombie starts talking, and this startles Ryuji. But Ryuji manages to get a shot in with the bazooka. He has another flashback about growing up. In the present time, Ryuji sees that the chimera zombie hasn’t returned to normal. Okumura runs into Shiemi, who was able to return the chimera zombie to the Earth with Nee’s help. Right at the end of the chapter, they encounter Mikhail Gedoin, the head of the Illuminati’s Far East Laboratory.

There was a strong focus on Ryuji in this chapter. Between the two flashbacks we see in this chapter, we get to learn a bit more about Ryuji. This chapter is also starting to provide a little more exposure and information for the chimera zombies. So far, I’m finding this story to be interesting, but I wish it appeared more than once a month in Weekly Shonen Jump. Because it’s in the publication so infrequently, it does kind of feel as if the story is taking a while to progress.

Stealth Symphony CH:019

In this chapter, there’s a battle between the humans and dragons at Jinbo-Cho. Alice talks to Jig, and asks why he wants to kill Troma; didn’t he come to this town to save people? Jig says it’s too late, he already killed people at the police station. When he says he killed Raika, Alice tells him that she’s still alive. Jig says that he’s already killed people of his own free will, and if he blames the wings, then his feelings for Lill will become a lie. Slice gets in on the action as well. But then Jig transforms into the black dragon and begins attacking Troma. And then something very surprising happens right at the end of the chapter…

So this chapter finally sees Jig transforming into his dragon form. He also becomes quite angry, especially at Troma, in this chapter. Of course, he also gets upset with Slice over some of the comments he makes. But the ending of that chapter… wow, I didn’t see that one coming. It’ll be interesting to see how the story will progress in the next chapter after what happened.

World Trigger CH:066

In this chapter, the fight between the Neighbor that invaded the base and the Suwa Squad begins, and the Neighbor discovers that his attacks aren’t penetrating the walls. It turns out the Neighbor has been locked inside a training room. The other Neighbors, meanwhile, are examining the humans who are attacking Viza and Hyuse. The order is given to send all seven remaining Rabits. We then return to the battle between Jin and Lord Hyuse. At the end of the fight, Jin learns that Hyuse is a decoy. Right at the end of the chapter, Osamu’s group is attacked…

This chapter still has a lot of jumping around in it. Yes, I know there’s action taking place in several locations, but it seems that for the most part, I’m just starting to get a handle of what’s going on in one location and then the scene changes to another fight at another location. Since I’m still trying to learn who the various characters are and what’s going on, all this jumping around makes it that much harder for me to figure things out. I keep hoping that the more time I spend reading this series, the more I’ll start learning and knowing.

Naruto CH:683

In this chapter, Kaguya tries to suck Naruto’s chakra dry, but he’s able to dodge her. Meanwhile, we see one of Naruto’s shadow clones with Kakashi, Sakura and Obito; he says he can sense his real body, but not Sasuke. After Obito regains consciousness, the group decides to go to where Naruto and Kaguya are in order to try to help Naruto. When the Naruto shadow clone and the group see what’s going on, Obito figures some things out. He comes up with a plan for how to recover Sasuke. Meanwhile, the four Hokage gather together and start discussing what to do; they are interrupted the arrival of the Sage of Six Paths.

These chapters continue to move the story ever closer to its conclusion. With the Hokage finally gathering together and being joined by the Sage of Six Paths, it appears the various elements of this story and working at coming together. This is the manga I definitely look forward to reading the most each week when I read Weekly Shonen Jump.

Toriko CH:283

In this chapter, Toriko encounters an extremely large horse at Nightmare Hill. It’s a heracles that’s one of the Eight Kings. Mappy then declares he’s going to die and become fertilizer for an air tree. He’s sacrificing himself in the hopes that the heracles will let them capture air. This chapter also provides an explanation about the horses that live on Nightmare Hill being air-vores that eat air, as well as information on the nightmare heracs. Right at the end of the chapter, Komatsu pulls out a knife and says he can hear the voice of the food…

The vast majority of this chapter was spent on exposition about the nightmare heracs. Because of that, it was overall a rather boring chapter. Yes, the exposition was important to understand where the story is headed, but it made for dry reading. I hope the next chapter will continue the action that will propel the story forward.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:023

In this chapter, Shinoa calls a meeting with Yu and the others at her room. They find that she and Mitsuba are trying to fix breakfast, but that the food they’re making is burning to a crisp. Kimizuki takes over and cooks the food. Shinoa says she wants to discuss two things: that Yu had been subjected to some kind of experiment that caused him to lose control in the last battle and try to kill her, and that she wonders if Lt. Colonel Guren is using them or if he’s their ally. With what they know about Guren, she wonders if they should follow him or not, and how each of them plans to face the world from now on and come to a mutual conclusion. Yu gives his answer, and the others agree. Meanwhile, we see Guren meeting with Kureto Hiragi. Kureto asks Guren about Yu, Yoichi, and Shiho and what he intends to do with them. Kureto also asks Guren where he thinks humanity will go from here. Kureto then shares his plans. Guren is ordered to take Yu, Yoichi, and Shiho, as well as soldiers, into Nagoya to kill the vampire nobles.

While there’s some focus on Yu and the others, the majority of this chapter focuses on Guren and Kureto. The conversation between these two provides quite a bit of exposition and is ultimately setting the stage for the next part of the story. But from what’s seen at the end of the chapter, it looks like the vampires may also have a similar idea as well. It’ll be interesting to see how the human and vampire conflict continues in the next chapter of the series.

Toonami Sees Quarterly Ratings Increase

The basic cable numbers for the second quarter of 2014 have been released, and Saturday night’s Toonami block increased in all targeted male demos across the quarter. According to TV By the Numbers, this ranged between 6% and 10%.

For June specifically, Naruto (1 a.m.), One Piece (1:30 a.m.), and Blue Exorcist (2 a.m.) each ranked #1 in their respective time periods among adults 18-24 & 18-34 and men 18-24 & 18-34. Also, Black Lagoon (2:30 a.m.) ranked #1 in its timeslot among men 18-34 & 18-49.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 118 (May 12, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Nisekoi, All You Need Is Kill, Toriko, Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, One Piece, Naruto, One-Punch Man, Bleach, World Trigger, Stealth Symphony, Blue Exorcist, and 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.

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

Nisekoi CH:121

In the previous chapter, Raku examines a key he found on Yui and determines that it’s broken at the tip, but it looks to be about the right size for his pendant lock. When Raku asks her about the key she wears around her neck, Yui claims to recognize the lock and she drops a hint about something that she won’t elaborate on at that time. After school, Yui is gathered with Raku and his other suitors, and she reveals she was there 10 years ago and has a key. Yui also says she recognizes all of them. Unfortunately, it turns out Yui has no memory of what the promise was that they made with Raku 10 years ago. In this chapter, Yui asks Raku if he’ll give his heart to the person who he made the promise with if he ever finds out who it is. His reponse is, “Well, not necessarily…” Yui makes Raku a deal: when he decides who he cares about most, that’s when she’ll tell him everything she knows. However, she does drop one vague hint about the pendant. After school one day, Raku sees Night, the girl who came with Yui, up in a tree. She tells Raku that if he ever hurts Yui. he’s dead meat. Raku also learns from his father why Yui wanted to be at Raku’s school.

This chapter has a strong focus on providing more background on Yui. Both the audience and Raku learn that Raku is essentially the only family Yui has left now, because both of her parents died of illness several years ago, and she has no siblings or other family. At the end of the volume, Yui says something while Raku is asleep; that she’s always loved him more than just a little brother. She confirms what the audience had already suspected, but Raku is still in the dark, since he was asleep when she said it.

All You Need Is Kill CH:014

In the previous chapter, Keiji goes back in the time loop to before Rita knew anything about him being stuck in a time loop. Rita picks up pretty quickly they had a conversation like this in an earlier loop. They spend some time together and remember what it was like to have fun before being they ended up in their time loops. In this chapter, Keiji wakes up and finds that Rita’s there. Keiji is introduced to real coffee, and he declares that after the war is over, he’s going to treat her to best green tea ever in return for the coffee. Just as they’re about to enjoy their coffee, a javelin bullet comes through the wall; they discover the Mimics have entered the base. Rita and Keiji go out to take care of the Mimics, and the chapter ends as they’re about to start the fight…

This chapter focuses on Keiji and Rita spending some more time together. At the point where Keiji makes a comment about the war ending sometime, and that it will end because she and him will make sure it will, Rita says that she believes he will. To me, this sounded rather ominous. Does Rita somehow know that she’s going to die before the war ends, and if so, how? Even if she herself doesn’t know, I think the author is leading us to believe that Rita’s going to die before the end of the story. I’m very curious to see how this story will progress, and whether or not I’m right about Rita.

Toriko CH:276

In the previous chapter, Toriko and Coco discover that they have found real food; they have discovered a restaurant that’s run by a creature that looks like a frog. However, they learn pretty quickly that this creature isn’t what it appears to be on the surface. The creature that fed Toriko and Coco is wanting to kill them, and they end up being surrounded by leech heels. Just as it appears all hope seems lost, Coco is able to save the day. In this chapter, the others are looking at the information that Toriko managed to send them. Toriko and Coco, meanwhile, encounter a mythical beast called Soylent Mean. Toriko creates his own illusions to thank the Soylent Mean for the illusions that it created. The others are able to arrive where Toriko and Coco are just as Toriko intimidates the Soylent Mean. After this, this sit down for a meal made from various creatures they encoutnered. As they finish, the frog-like creature appears again…

This chapter gets Toriko and the others through the immediate danger that they’d faced for at least the past two or three chapters. I definitely enjoyed seeing Toriko intimidating the Soylent Mean. Some pages of the chapter were devoted to their meal, and getting descriptions of the various things that the group was eating, which seems to be a rather typical for Toriko. The chapter ends with the frog-like creature making a return, and I wonder what this may bode. Will he still want to kill them, or will he now be friendly with them?

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:018

In the previous chapter, Shinoa runs into Mitsura and learns about Mitsura’s promotion to “Vampire Extermination Unit Second Lieuteant.” Yu is subjected to another test. He learns that there’s a growing suspicion that there’s a vampire spy within the demon army, and Yu is accused. Two of Yu’s friends are brought in and he’s told that if he resists, his friends will be killed. But after the questioning, it’s determined that Yu could become a spy on Guren and to become a subordinate of a member of the Hiragi family. Yu agrees. In this chapter, Yu talks to Shinoa about wanting to rescue Mika and that he wants Shinoa to be with him when the time comes. They are interrupted by the arrival of Guren, who is supposed to teach Yu the real way to use his Cursed Gear. Shinoa demonstrates how she can manifest her weapon and her demon. Guren then begins working with Yu, working up to having Guren’s demon possess him. After Yu is knocked off the roof, Shinoa reveals that Guren is the one who killed her sister, Mahiru, and that Mahiru had loved him. She also starts questioning him about his intentions for Yu. Yu returns before the conversation can go any further. Yu then throws out a question of his own to Guren. The chapter ends with Shinoa beginning her official training with Yu.

This chapter feels like it’s a little longer than some of this series’ chapters that I’ve read, and there’s definitely a lot of exposition going on in it. This exposition was very useful for me, since I jumped into this series after it had already gotten going. It provided me with background on Yu, as well as some information about Shinoa’s sister and Guren. The story itself didn’t progress much in this chapter, but it was definitely informative. Hopefully the next chapter will continue the story.

One Piece CH:746

In the previous chapter, it’s apparent that Doflamingo plans to massacre the populace in order to keep the truth of what’s going on from getting out. People begin being controlled and forced to attack discriminately, while Pica is changing the lay of the land with his stone powers. Doflamingo challenges the people and guests of Dressrosa to a game, where the object is to kill Doflamingo or bring the people he lists off to him. In this chapter, people realize what’s going on is just like what happened 10 years earlier. Doflamngo shows the photos of the 12 people that he wants: Zolo, Kyros, Cyborg Franky, Viola, Foxfire Kin’emon, Nico Robin, Rebecca, Riku Doldo III, Trafalgar Law, Luffy, Sabo, and Usopp. Usopp is worth the most, and he’s suddenly being hunted by the people who were worshipping him. Luffy and the others have to decide what to do: do they defeat Doflamingo and risk angering Kaido?

This chapter gets rather intense for One Piece. The stakes are raised for our heroes, because many of them are now worth a bounty that Doflamingo has placed on their heads. In addition to that, Luffy and the others have to figure out what they’re going to do not only to try to save their own necks, but what course of action they should take against the enemies. The question about the enemies isn’t answered in this chapter, though, because Luffy is more concerned about trying to make sure they’re not captured or killed for Doflamingo’s bounty. It’ll be interesting to see how this story progresses.

Naruto CH:675

In the previous chapter, the fight with Madara begins. With his Rinnegan, Sasuke is able to see that there’s more than one Madara; while Naruto may not be able to see the other Madara, he can sense him. They realize physical attacks don’t work on the second Madara. Sasuke figures something out, and lays out a plan to Naruto. Just as it looks like Naruto and Sasuke have Madara defeated, their enemy shifts. Naruto notices that Madara is headed for Kakashi, and steals Kakashi’s left eye for the Sharingan. In this chapter, Sakura suddenly appears on the battlefield, and Kakashi explains that she’d been taken to another plane. Meanwhile, we see Madara in the other plane with Obito to try to get his Rinnegan. Naruto also does something surprising in regards to Kakashi’s eye. Kakashi has a flashback to when he first met Team 7, and then says he feels it’s fate that brought Team 7 back together.

These chapters of Naruto are making it clear that we’re getting closer and closer to the end of the story. If Madara succeedds in getting Obito’s Rinnegan, then we’ll probably be treated to a majorly climactic battle soon. Naruto is one of the series in Weekly Shonen Jump that I truly look forward to reading every week, especially now that it’s gotten so intense and so climactic. There’s always new surprises being thrown out there, and that helps to make the story rather unpredictable. It’s this unpredictability that really has me hooked right now.

One-Punch Man Bonus Chapter

This bonus chapter focuses on the mysteries behind Bang’s dojo and his number one disciple, Charanko.

Personally, this four page bonus chapter didn’t do much for me. But then again, I jumped into the middle of series, and after a few chapters, I hardly know who anyone is or really care about what’s going on. Readers who are fans of One-Punch Man, though, will probably better understand and appreciate this bonus story than I do.

Bleach CH:579

In the previous chapter, Gremmy says he’ll kill Kenpachi with something without form… wrapped in the void of outer space. As Gremmy is doing this, Kenpachi points out that Gremmy forgot to harden his body. Gremmy gets away, and there’s an explosion; however, Kenpachi isn’t killed in the explosion. Just as Gremmy is about to launch an attack, something happens… and it looks like Gremmy may have been defeated. In this chapter, Gremmy talks with Kenpachi and figuring out how he lost. In the end, Gremmy realizes that his imagination came up short. Gremmy disappears, and Kenpachi starts coughing up blood. He calls out for Yachiru, but instead, several of his men come running over. Kenpachi asks if they’ve seen Yachiru, they say no. He tells the men to find her.

This chapter focuses a lot on Gremmy in his final moments, and I can say that I’m glad to see that he’s gone. Kenpachi is now worried about Yachiru, because he can’t sense her spiritual pressure. Kenpachi is concerned about her, and he insists that the men around him go to locate her. I hope Yachiru is all right.

World Trigger CH:059

In the previous chapter, we see more fighting going on with the Neighbors. The Neighbors try to capture Chika, which is being done through the enemy’s magnetic trigger. Kyosuke and Osamu are ordered to hurry to headquarters with the C-Ranks and to keep Amatori out of the Neighbor’s magnetic range. In this chapter, Izumi’s group is trying to get support and information in order to go after the horned soldier that has come after them. Izumi and the other two begin their attack. Unfortunately, the horned solider seems to be reading their moves. The horned soldier flies up into the sky and launches an attack. Right at the end of the chapter, Izumi does something surprising…

The action continues, although it only focuses on Izumi and his group as they try to fight against the horned soldier. For most of the chapter, it appears that the horned soldier has the upper hand, and I really starting to think that Izumi and his group would be taken down. However, Izumi is able to surprise the horned soldier with a couple of surprising moves and may have potentially turned the tide of the battle. This was a great way to end the chapter; unfortunately, since there’s at least two different stories taking place right now, I have no idea whether or not the next chapter will continue this one, return to Kyosuke and Osamu, or if there will be another story.

Stealth Symphony CH:011

In the previous chapter, Wavess attacks Troma and declares that their contract is now null and void. However, it turns out Troma and the people he was with were protected from her attack. A dragon has manifested itself and it repels the attacks that Wavess throws at the people she’s trying to kill. She then uses her power to levitate various vehicles to hurl at those who oppose her. She is just as unsuccessful as she was before. In this chapter, it turns out that members of the Assassin Guild have infiltrated Wavess’ merchandise and headquarters. The Assassin Guild member captures Wavess and makes her disappear from the universe alive. Jig then goes to the headquarters of STORK and he learns a lot about what was really going on during the job that he’d taken on. The chapter ends with the people who were saved showing their gratitude to Jig. Then there’s a brief CH:011.5 which shows the police getting information on Jig and his Dragon Heirloom.

This chapter wraps up the storyline with STORK and Wavess. Jig, along with the readers, also learns some information about what really had been going on this whole time. I admit that I hadn’t seen the Assassin Guild’s involvement coming. After seeing this, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of them as the series continues. And now that Jig has attracted the attention of local law enforcement, I imagine things will start getting harder for him as the story continues.

Blue Exorcist CH:057

In the previous chapter, it appears Rin and the others have been separated after falling through the trapdoor. Chief Researcher Mikhail Gedoin has arrived and he gives an update on what’s going on with Izumo and that he will be transplanting the nine tails from her father’s body and put it into her. He also relays that he’s captured Rin and his younger brother. Gedoin is ordered not to do anything to Rin. After leaving the meeting, Gedoin is informed that Izumo’s transplant capability is only 0.08 percent, and if they perform the procedure now, the transplant may fail and that Izumo will die. Gedoin then decides he’ll kill Rin, going against the commander’s orders. Meanwhile, a creature is unleashed to go after Rin and the others. In this chapter, we see Konekomaru Miwa fights against a Chimera Zombie. Unfortunately, he’s having issues because this zombie regenerates. He tries to make a break for it, but the zombie follows him. He ends up being saved by Kuro. When the zombie tries to attack, Kuro goes after it and tells Konekomaru to find Rin and the others. As he runs, he finds Yukio fighting another Chimera Zombie. Yukio seems to have found a way to subdue his and tells Konekomaru to check on the others. The chapter ends with Ryuji fighting a Chimera Zombie.

This chapter has a strong focus on characters fighting against Chimera Zombies. The most time is spent on Konekomaru, and we get to see Yukio just subduing one, and Ryuji is just beginning his fight with one. The story itself doesn’t really progress at all here, and honestly, I don’t have much to say about this one. This is only the third chapter I’ve read of this story, and I jumped into the middle of a story arc. Hopefully I’ll have more to say before long.

Japanese Editor Picks

This is a new feature where the editors from the various Weekly Shonen Jump series recommend their favorite chapters. In this installment, we get recommendations from Yu Saito, the editor for Nisekoi.

Attack on Titan Draws More Than a Million Viewers on Toonami

Last week, Attack on Titan debuted on the Toonami programming block of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim with 1,341,000 viewers and ranked as the night’s top non-NBA original with a 0.6 in adults 18-49. This week, Attack on Titan did even better, with 1,469,000 viewers tuning in.

Other Toonami wins for the week included:

  • One Piece‘s airing at 1:30 a.m. ranked at #1 in its time period among all young adults and men with 771,000 viewers.
  • Blue Exorcist‘s airing at 2:00 a.m. ranked at #1 in its time period among adults and men 18-24 with 766,000 viewers.
  • Black Lagoon‘s airing at 2:30 a.m. ranked at #1 in its time period among all targeted men with 644,000 viewers.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 114 (April 7, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Naruto, Stealth Symphony, One Piece, World Trigger, Bleach, One-Punch Man, Nisekoi, All You Need Is Kill, Toriko, Blue Exorcist, and a special Dragon Ball bonus story.

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

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

Naruto CH:671

In the previous chapter, Naruto regains consciousness and meets Hagoromo, the Sage of Six Paths. Hagoromo tells Naruto a story about his mother and his sons, and the chapter ends with Hagoromo saying that his son Ashura has been reincarnated in Naruto. When Naruto is not surprised by this news, Hagoromo believes that Naruto already knows who the reincarnation of his other son is; he does, and it’s Sasuke. Naruto then asks what happened to the other reincarnates before him and Sasuke. It’s revealed the reincarnates right before them were Hashirama and Madara. We learn a little more history about Hagoromo’s mother and that she had a couple of the ocular powers that we’ve seen in the series. Hagoromo asks Naruto to stop Madara. Naruto then discovers that Obito did something rather surprising, and it appears that the day the child of prophecy shall change the world has arrived. Sasuke suddenly appears, and Hagoromo shares his power with both Sasuke and Naruto.

Ummm… wow! There’s a bit that’s revealed in this chapter, and it’s becoming more and more obvious with each chapter that Naruto is getting ever closer to its ending. Will Naruto really be the child of prophecy and change the world? And how will Sasuke help him out?

Stealth Symphony CH:007

In the previous chapter, Jig goes out on his job for the cyborg agency, which is to rescue prisoners from a trailer. However, at the end of Chapter Six, Jig discovers that Troma and Alice are in the trailer, having been hired to watch over the prisoners. Troma, as a ninja, fights against the cyborgs. As Jig wonders why V&V are there, Alice arrives and asks Jig why he’s there. He says he’s there to rescue the people inside the trailer. Alice recommends that he leave immediately because he’s a novice. Alice ends up fighting against Colt Yukimiya. Jig ends up being able to talk to Troma through a transmitter that Alice drops, and he declares that he will become Troma’s enemy is it’s necessary.

It appears that after initally establishing V&V as allies for Jig, they will now potentially become his enemies. That would definitely be an interesting turn around if that does actually come to pass in future chapters of the series. So far, Stealth Symphony has done a good job of establishing the character of Jig and the world he inhabits, and I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter in order to find out what will happen next.

One Piece CH:743

In the previous chapter, we were given backstory for Kyros and Rebecca. At the beginning of this chapter, we see that Sugar and Usopp are both knocked out. Robin and the others who have been turned into toys are returning to normal and the curse of the Hobby-Hobby Fruit is being undone. The Tontattas declare that Usopp is a hero, and he asks them to find his friends, because the battle is only beginning. Luffy learns that the one-legged toy is actually Kyros, and that he is Rebecca’s true father. Kyros, meanwhile, has a fight and wins. An explosion happens in the coloseum as the chapter comes to an end…

This was a rather action-packed chapter, especially after the toys returned to their original selves. With the curse lifted, Rebecca remembers that she has a father, and this gives her the determination she needs in order to continue her fight in the coloseum. Now that the curse is lifted, I expect the rest of the arc will focus on the people trying to remove Doflamingo from Dressrosa.

World Trigger CH:055

In the previous chapter, there was an explanation about Kion and Aftokrator and about the horned Aftokrators. Osamu then encounters a man with horned humanoid Neighbor. Meanwhile, a horned humanoid Neighbor makes an appearance at another area of the battle; quite a bit of the chapter focuses on this area of the battle. In this chapter, Lord Hyuse is sent to capture a target that is supposed to possess a powerful trion. Konami is ordered to take on the new models of Aftokrator, and Osamu is ordered to protect Amatori with his life. The remaining members on the battlefield fight against Lord Hyuse and his group. Meanwhile, there’s another confrontation east of headquarters.

This chapter focuses primarily on Osamu and his group, and we get a little bit of explanation as to the moves that Konami and some of the others are using against the enemy. Outside of that, it was a chapter filled with a lot of action with the battles going on. I suspect the next chapter will continue the various fights that are taking place.

Bleach CH:575

In the previous chapter, Gremmy and Kenpachi started into a fight. When Kenpachi tells Yachiru to get out of there, Gremmy says her bones have turned into cookies with his ability, and that if she tries to move, her bones will shatter and she’ll die. Kenpachi then jumps into the air, and Gremmy turns it into water. Gremmy then creates a crack in the ground and sends Kenpachi and the water down into it. Gremmy expects Kenpachi will die within an hour, but is caught off-guard when Kenpachi comes out of the ground. And by something else that Kenpachi does, he proves that Gremmy’s power isn’t nearly as powerful as he tries to make it out to be. In this chapter, Kenpachi tells Yachiru to get out of the way, and she does. After she leaves, Kenpachi says he wants the real fight to start and then says something that makes Gremmy stop and think. After thinking about it, Gremmy realizes that he really wants to crush Kenpachi. A new battle is just starting when the chapter ends…

Kenpachi tells Gremmy that if he’s the strongest Quincy, then he should want to crush the strongest opponent. Gremmy realizes that he always thought that he was the strongest and had no need to kill an enemy to prove himself. He then realizes that he has a sudden urge to want to crush Kenpachi. It appears that Kenpachi has managed to turn Gremmy into a monster that’s ready and willing to kill. Will Kenpachi be able to defeat Gremmy, or has he made a mistake in provoking his opponent this way? I should be getting my answer to that within the next few chapters.

One-Punch Man CH:034.3

In the previous chapter, the focus was primarily on Saitama’s comrades and the fights that they’re having, with only a brief scene of Saitama and Boros’ fight. As Saitama’s comrades start defeating the enemy, Boros’ men begin whimpering and saying they want to go home. This chapter opens with another battle starting. The fight seems to end quickly, but they can still sense a big opponent still looming above them. Then the action returns to Saitama and his battle. At one point, the villain thinks he’s won, but he manages to survive.

Due to all of the fighting that’s taking place, there’s a lot of action taking place. Right now, I’m finding myself having a hard time getting into this series. I’m guessing it’s due to the fact that not only did I jump into the middle of the series, I also jumped into the middle of a story arc. All I’ve really seen at this point is a lot of fighting, and nothing to help me truly get to know any of the characters. If I’d been reading this one from the beginning, I’d probably have a better appreciation for it. As of right now, though, it’s probably the manga I look forward to reading the least in Weekly Shonen Jump.

Nisekoi CH:117

In the previous chapter, Chitose and Marika get into a competition over who can make a delicious lunch for Raku. In this chapter, Raku and Chitose are out walking and he complains about his stomach suddenly hurting. Then, there’s a five day timeskip and Raku is in the hospital; he had appendicitis and his appendix was taken out. Chitoge goes to visit him the hospital, and she seems to be acting nicer than normal. He also gets visits from Shu, Onodera, Tsugumi, and Tachibana. Chitoge sneaks back that evening and brings him yet another apple after several other people already did. Unfortunately, something happens that causes Raku to stay in the hospital a couple more days…

This chapter definitely establishes an idea that Chitoge actually has some kind of feelings for Raku. Unfortunately, she can’t bring herself to admit to either herself or to Raku. This may have been a stand-alone chapter, but unlike the other stand-alone chapters I’ve read, this one seems to have some importance for the overarching story in the series. I also have to say that of the stand-alone chapters, this one has been my favorite one to read.

All You Need Is Kill CH:011

The previous chapter continued with Rita’s backstory, ending with her appearing to have broken out of the time loop and becoming a test subject for top-secret research to study the time loop. This chapter opens with an explanation that Rita’s method was to always loop back to the same battle once; she’d determine the injuries in the first loop so she could improve the situation in the second loop. But she only loops back once, no matter who died. She then runs into Keiji and seems to recognize his eyes. She meets up with him and notices a number written on his hand. When she asks what that means, he says he wants to answer a question she asked him earlier. With his response, she realizes that he also goes through time loops.

This chapter sees Rita feeling a little lonely and frustrated because it appears that she’s the only one who goes through the time loops. However, when she sees Keiji, she thinks there’s something different about him. When they finally talk face-to-face and she receives confirmation that he also goes through time loops, Rita is shocked and also starts crying. I’m very curious to see now that Rita has found someone else who is like her, what she’ll end up doing as the story goes forward. I really hope that she does something to help him learn about the time loops and how he can find a way out of them.

Toriko CH:272

In the previous chapter, Toriko and the others learn Chichi’s backstory, and then he shows them an apple that causes them to showsigns of the appetite demon reflex. It turns out the apple has the smell of Acacia’s full-course meal. In this chapter, an octomelon awakens; it’s a creature that people can travel and live in. Chichi says the octomelon will serve as their tent for the first leg of their journey through the Gourmet World. When they go to head off to the Gourmet World, their friends come to see them off. President Mansom also asks Toriko to send food from the Gourmet World to the human world. Toriko and the others board the octomelon and head on their way to the third entrance to the Gourmet World, Yuto Island’s Bay of Evil Spirits.

This chapter is basically providing the setup for the journey of Toriko and the others as they head out on their mission. It should be noted that there’s a footnote at the beginning of the chapter that the octomelon was an idea provided by someone (I’m assuming one of the readers of the manga). I thought it was kind of neat to see a mangaka incorporate someone’s idea like that into the manga. At the end of the chapter, it says they’re headed for a new location, and I’m curious to see what kind of adventures Toriko and the others will have on their journey.

Blue Exorcist CH:056

In the previous chapter, the group encounters a zombie, and there’s a brief explanation of the differences between a zombie and a ghoul and the methods of exorcism for each. After taking down that one, the group is approached by a group of zombies; however, these zombies appear to be defective. The group tries to flee. They’re surrounded and try to find a way to escape. Suddenly, a trapdoor opens underneath the group. Izumo, meanwhile, is trying to escape on her own and ends up in a fight. In this chapter, it appears Rin and the others have been separated after falling through the trapdoor. Chief Researcher Mikhail Gedoin has arrived and he gives an update on what’s going on with Izumo and that he will be transplanting the nine tails from her father’s body and put it into her. He also relays that he’s captured Rin and his younger brother. Gedoin is ordered not to do anything to Rin. After leaving the meeting, Gedoin is informed that Izumo’s transplant capability is only 0.08 percent, and if they perform the procedure now, the transplant may fail and that Izumo will die. Gedoin then decides he’ll kill Rin, going against the commander’s orders. Meanwhile, a creature is unleashed to go after Rin and the others…

This is only the second chapter of Blue Exorcist that I’ve read, but this chapter did help me to start to better understand what’s going on this arc. There’s still some things that I don’t understand yet, but I’m nowhere near as lost as I was when I read Chapter 55. There definitely seems to be an interesting story being presented, and I hope that I’ll be able to better appreciate Blue Exorcist as I get an opportunity to read more chapters.

Special Bonus Story: Dragon Ball

It opens with a two-page spread labeled, “History of Goku.”

From here, there’s a note saying that “Akira Toriyama has written a special story about Goku’s departure, which even he did not know about until now.” Goku’s father, Burdock, is out fighting a battle, only to be told that Freeza has ordered all the Saiyans to return to Planet Vegeta. When Burdock returns, he learns through various conversations that one of Freeza’s men was asking around about a Super Saiyan. Then, we see Freeza declare that since the Saiyans are a bit too proud to truly be loyal to him, it’s time to wipe them and their planet out; he decides to carry his plan out in a month’s time. We get to see a young Vegeta and a young Raditz, as well as Burdock’s wife, Gine. We learn that Kakarrot (aka Goku) has been in an incubator for three years. After seeing Kakarrot, Burdock decides he’s going to steal a space pod at night and launch him to a different planet for Kakarrot’s safety. Burdock senses that Freeza’s up to something. Burdock programs the pod to head to a place called Earth. Then we see that Jaco the Policeman has been sent to find the projectile from Planet Vegeta after it lands on Earth.

Now, wait a minute here… doesn’t this conflict with what was presented in Dragon Ball Z? From what was stated in the main series, Kakarrot was sent to Earth on a mission to take it over… but this one-shot is now saying that it was his parents who sent him to Earth. It was neat to finally see Goku’s mom, but I wish the story didn’t present such a contradiction! And the addition of Jaco the Policeman at the end as a cross-over with Toriyama’s current work just felt forced to me. There really should have been a way to do this story so it could fit in with what’s already been established in Dragon Ball Z. While it’s a good story, I have a hard time buying it since it contradicts already established facts. The only way I can truly enjoy this is to think of it as some kind of alternate timeline story.

Attack on Titan is #5 Selling Graphic Novel in the U.S. for March 2014

Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama is ranked at #5 on Nielsen BookScan’s list of top 20 graphic novels in the United States for March 2014.

Other manga volumes to make the list for March 2014 include:

  • Attack on Titan Volume 2 by Hajime Isayama (#7)
  • Naruto Volume 64 by Masashi Kishimoto (#8)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 3 by Hajime Isayama (#15)
  • Blue Exorcist Volume 11 by Kazue Kato (#17)
  • Black Bird Volume 18 by Kanoko Sakurakouji (#18)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 11 by Hajime Isayama (#19)
  • One Piece Volume 70 by Eiichiro Oda (#20)

The BookScan rankings include sales at Barnes & Noble and other book chains, independent bookshops, and online purchases; however, sales at comic book stores, Walmart, and some other venues are not included.

New York Times Manga Best Seller list: March 16-22, 2014

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of March 16-22, 2014, according to the New York Times.

1. Attack on Titan: Before the Fall Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama, Ruo Suzukaze and Satoshi Shiki
2. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
3. Attack on Titan Volume 2 by Hajime Isayama
4. Nisekoi: False Love Volume 2 by Naoshi Komi
5. UQ Holder Volume 1 by Ken Akamatsu
6. Attack on Titan Volume 10 by Hajime Isayama
7. Alice in the Country of Clover: March Hare by QuinRose and Soyogo Iwaki
8. Attack on Titan: Junior High Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama and Saki Nakagawa
9. March Story Volume 5 by Kim Hyung-min and Yang kyung-il
10. Blue Exorcist Volume 11 by Kazue Kato

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: March 9-15, 2014

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of March 9-15, 2014, according to the New York Times.

1. Attack on Titan: Before the Fall Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama, Ryo Suzukaze and Satoshi Shiki
2. One Piece Volume 70 by Eiichiro Oda
3. Nisekoi: False Love Volume 2 by Naoshi Komi
4. Blue Exorcist Volume 11 by Kazue Kato
5. Black Bird Volumw 18 by Kanoko Sakurakouji
6. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
7. Attack on Titan Volume 11 by Hajime Isayama
8. Fairy Tail Volume 35 by Hiro Mashima
9. Midnight Secretary Volume 4 by Tomu Ohmi
10. Attack on Titan Volume 2 by Hajime Isayama

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 110 (March 10, 2014)

I’m finally caught up to the most recent issue of Weekly Shonen Jump! This issue includes chapters for World Trigger, One Piece, Nisekoi, Naruto, Stealth Symphony, Bleach, One-Punch Man, Toriko, and Blue Exorcist. This volume also opens with an interview Daisuke Ashihara. the mangaka for World Trigger to celebrate making it to 50 chapters of the series.

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

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

One-on-One With Daisuke Ashihara

This is an interview that Weekly Shonen Jump editor Alexis Kirsch conducted with World Trigger creator Daisuke Ashihara at Jump Festa. I really enjoyed reading this interview, and it’s definitely worth the read if you’re a fan of World Trigger.

World Trigger CH:051

In the previous chapter, Osamu and his group head to where Chika is in order to save her. On the way, Osamu has a fight against one of the enemy and wins. Right after defeating the enemy, Osamu notices something unusual. It turns out it’s Kitora, a member of Arashiyama Squad, battling another enemy. At one point, the enemy goes after the civilians instead of going after her. Kitora faces off against the enemy again. She’s able to win, but she has to make a sacrifice in order to do it…

Chapter 51 was very action-packed, and there was a strong emphasis on Kitora. Kitora demonstrates that sometimes you have to do the unthinkable in order to try to save others. Right at the end, something happens that I believe will make up the foundation for what should happen in Chapter 52.

One Piece CH:740

In the previous chapter, there was a bit of information given out in regards to the one-legged toy that’s helping to lead the Tontattas’ bid for freedom. There was also some focus placed on the character of Rebecca. This chapter returns the focus to Luffy and Violet, who are trying to get out of a collapsing tower; later, Luffy, Violet, and the one-legged toy go to the suit chamber in the palace. Zoro, meanwhile, is in a middle of a fight in the tower. We also see that Robin has been turned into a toy.

Quite a bit happens in this chapter, and there’s a bit of jumping around. The story seems interesting, but because I’ve jumped so far in the middle of an already established story arc, I’m still a little lost as to what’s going on. I’m hoping this arc will start making more sense as I read more chapters.

Nisekoi CH:113

In the previous chapter, Marika asks Raku to help her give love advice to Migisuke. Unfortunately, Marika really didn’t know what she was talking about, and it ended in disaster for Migisuke. In this chapter, Ruri is told that her 100-year-old great-grandfather may not be around much longer, and that his wish is to see her with her boyfriend before he dies. To appease her great-grandfather’s maid, Ruri randomnly pulls out a picture and says it’s of her boyfriend; it turns out to be a picture of Raku. Raku finds himself in the position of having to pretend that he and Ruri are dating. Ruri believes her great-grandfather is faking his poor health when they get to his house, but the maid has news for her…

So far, of the three chapters I’ve read of Nisekoi, I’d have to say that this one was the best one. If other chapters of Nisekoi could be more like this, I’d probably enjoy the series better. Chapter 112 was supposed to be funny, and it wasn’t, at least not to me. Chapter 111 was just weird.

Naruto CH:667

In the previous chapter, Kakashi and Obito teamed up to use their mangekyo to return the Nine Tails to Naruto. When Obito arrives to help Naruto, Sakura doesn’t trust him at first. However, at the end of Chapter 666, it appears that Obito has succeeded in healing Naruto. In this chapter, Orochimaru, Sasuke’s group, and Kabuto are all by the wounded Sasuke. In a surprise move, Kabuto helps Sasuke. Meanwhile, Kakashi, Guy, Gaara, and Minato are up against Madara.

And I thought the previous chapter was intense. Yikes! Guy pulls off something rather impressive, but it isn’t quite enough. Chapter 667 ends wih Guy saying he needs to do something else to try to take down Madara. This could be pretty major, so it’s going to be interesting to see what’s going to happen in this battle with Madara. The scene with Kabuto was also interesting, and I’m curious to find out what’s going to happen to Sasuke. Aah! Chapter 668 can’t come soon enough!

Stealth Symphony CH:003

In the previous chapter, Jig is saved from an assassin by the vice president of the assassin guild. He also learns that there’s a Rank A heirloom that might be able to suppress the power of his Rank C heirloom; however, the last time it was at an auction, it went for a rather steep price; this leads Jig to getting a job. We learn at the beginning of chapter three that Jig didn’t actually get a job; he was actually rejected. Unfortunately, a half-day later, Jig discovers that no one will hire him. He smells something good and is led to Assassin Bakery; as luck would have it, there’s a help wanted sign posted in the window. It turns out the vice president of the assassin guild works in the bakery. A conversation escalates between the two, and just as it reaches its peak, Tromo appears.

This chapter focuses on Jig and his learning more about how assassins work in the city. I suspect the vice president of the assassin guild is going to end up being a major character in this series, so I expect to see more of him in future chapters. I also suspect that Jig will be starting to learn more about the heirloom that’s in his back. Stealth Symphony is still showing some promise, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Chapter Four will have in store.

Bleach CH:571

In the previous chapter, Kotechin and Assistant Captain Kusajishi steal bedding and medicine from the Quincy and hide it away. Unfortunately, they were caught by someone calling themselves “V.” It turns out he’s a hard being to fight, because he’s able to make himself appear and disappear at will. It turns out that Assistant Captain Kusajishi fights against “V” by instinct, and catches “V” by surprise…

This chapter focused exclusively on the fight with “V,” and quite a bit of time is spent on “V” explaining his abilities and hurling taunts. There’s a little bit of action between Assistant Captain Kusajishi and “V,” but this isn’t an action-packed chapter. However, with what happens at the end of the chapter, I have a feeling that Chapter 572 will have a lot more in the way of action.

One-Punch Man CH:034

In the previous chapter, Saitama wreaks havoc in the aliens’ ship, and comes face-to-face with a telekinetic. In this chapter, the telekinetic attacks Saitama, but it doesn’t inflict any damage onto Saitama. He then finds himself face-to-face with Boros, the self-proclaimed dominator of the universe. The two begin to fight it out.

This was a very action-packed chapter, although there’s not much progress for the actual story itself. But considering this is a shonen manga that focuses on fighting, I’m not surprised that there’s more focus on the fighting than on progressing the story.

Toriko CH:268

This chapter begins a new story arc for Toriko. The humans are now working together to restore the soil. IGO is working on trying to get the company back on track. There’s a flashback of when the president of IGO took in Toriko. It’s also being established that Toriko and some of the chefs are returning to the Gourmet World.

For me, the best part of this chapter is getting to see the flashback that provides some backstory for Toriko. Outside of that, the rest of the chapter is essentially setting the stage in order to get the next story arc moving. I hope that next chapter will get the story arc moving a little more.

Blue Exorcist CH:055

Rin Okimura was raised by a famous exorcist named Father Fujimoto and never knew his real father. One day Rin learns a terrible truth while he has an argument with Father Fujimoto: Rin has the blood of the demon lord Satan running in his veins. Rin swears he’ll defeat Satan, but that means entering True Cross Academy and becoming an exorcist himself. At this point in the story, Izumo has been captured by Illuminati guards in the enemy stronghold. Rin and his friends head into the Illuminati facility, and find a strange and deserted shopping mall inside. They encounter a zombie at the beginning of this chapter, and there’s a brief explanation of the differences between a zombie and a ghoul and the methods of exorcism for each. After taking down that one, the group is approached by a group of zombies; however, these zombies appear to be defective. The group tries to flee. They’re surrounded and try to find a way to escape. Suddenly, a trapdoor opens underneath the group. Izumo, meanwhile, is trying to escape on her own and ends up in a fight.

I have to admit that since I’m jumping into the middle of the series in an already established story arc, I’m having a hard time following what’s going on and truly understanding it. But from what I have been able to pick up on, Blue Exorcist appears to be an interesting series. I hope that reading future chapters of Blue Exorcist will be help me to better understand what’s going on.

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: March 2-8, 2014

Here are the top ten selling manga for the week of March 2-8, 2014, according to the New York Times.

1. One Piece Volume 70 by Eiichiro Oda
2. Blue Exorcist Volume 11 by Kazue Kato
3. Pokémon Adventures Volume 21 by Hidenori Kusaka
4. Black Bird Volume 18 by Kanoko Sakurakouji
5. Nisekoi: False Love Volume 2 by Naoshi Komi
6. Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano
7. Phantom Thief Jeanne Volume 1 by Arina Tanemura
8. Midnight Secretary Volume 4 by Tomu Ohmi
9. Fairy Tail Volume 35 by Hiro Mashima
10. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama