Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 138 (October 6, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Blue Exorcist, One Piece, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, Naruto, Sporting Salt, Toriko, Bleach, Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, and One-Punch Man. In addition, this issue also includes the first chapter for Death Note to kick off Weekly Shonen Jump‘s new “Jump Back” initiative, which will publish three chapters of an older Shonen Jump title. There’s also a “World Trigger Japanese Editors Pick” feature that’s included.

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.

Blue Exorcist CH:061

Rin transforms into his demon self and is wielding the Flame of Satan. Professor Geodin tells Rin that Izumo has been willingly cooperating with this experiment and has been for five years. Rin becomes angry and shoots back that Izumo is crying. Izumo tells Rin that what the professor says is true and to leave her; however, Izumo asks Rin to save her mother. The professor sends zombies to attack Rin. When the others arrive, they wonder how to exorcise the Nine Tails out of Izumo; unfortunately, her mother seems to be the only one who knows how and she’s currently unconscious. But her mother regains consciousness and tells the Nine Tails to be still within her daughter. However, this doesn’t work, and Izumo attacks her mother. The others work together to attack the zombies and trying to keep them away from both mother and daughter. Izumo’s mother manages to grab Izumo and asks the Nine Tails to return to her body. This works, and Izumo’s mother declares that Nine Tails will die along with her. The chapter ends with the death of Izumo’s mother.

This was a very action-packed, as well as a rather emotional, chapter for Blue Exorcist. Since I jumped into this story arc in the middle, I have to admit to being lost in regards to the story for a while. By the end of this chapter, though, I think I finally acquired enough information to truly start understanding the chapters of this series that I’ve been reading over the past six months or so.

According to the text at the end, the next chapter of Blue Exorcist will be published in the November 10, 2014 edition of Weekly Shonen Jump.

One Piece CH:762

This chapter continues the flashback about Trafalagar Law’s backstory of how he came to join up with the Don Quixote Family and the time he spent with Corazon. It also goes into great length with an explanation about the town that Law came from, explaining how and why it was destroyed. We then see Law trying to exact his revenge against Corazon for the death of his family right at the end of the chapter…

As a reader who has jumped into this story arc in the middle, I appreciated getting some backstory for Law. It looks like this backstory will continue in the next chapter, so this should help to solidify Law’s character even more. Since my introduction to Law was in the middle of this story arc, I knew who he was by his name, but had no idea who he was as a person. Also, these chapters focusing on the backstory is giving readers a break from the frenetic action-packed chapters that have been dominant in One Piece in recent months.

World Trigger CH:077

This chapter picks up exactly where the previous chapter left off, with Yuma being face-to-face with the Black Trigger that looks like an old man. They start to battle, but there’s no easy victory for either side. Then the action shifts to the fight between Shuji and Commander Hyrein for a brief bit, and then we see Mira trying to capture Osamu. Just as it seems Mira is going to apprehend him, a Rabit suddenly appears.

Let me ask one thing: what was up with the art in this week’s chapter? The characters look more like pencil sketches than what I normally expect to see in a chapter published in Weekly Shonen Jump. Also, there were some panels where backgrounds and a character’s arm weren’t completed, either. As the scene with Yuma when on, the unfinished look became more and more blatant. When the story moved to another battlefront, it looked like a little more had been done on these panels, but they still didn’t look like they were finalized. This chapter ultimately looks sloppy because of this. Was the managaka running too close to deadline and had to turn in a manuscript that wasn’t completely finalized? After reading this chapter, I wonder why Shueisha allowed it to be published in this state.

And because the art looks so sloppy in this chapter, I found myself being distracted from the actual story. The art looked so bad that it drew too much attention to itself. Hopefully the managaka will go back and clean this up before it’s published in a tankobon.

World Trigger Japanese Editor Picks

In this feature, the Japanese editor for World Trigger talks about his favorite chapters and gives some behind-the-scenes insight into the manga. This feature runs for four pages, and it’s pretty good for what it is.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:141

Ruri is approached by a girl who asks if she knows Shu, and admits that she’s thinking about telling Shu that she likes him. Ruri takes the girl to see Raku, since Raku knows all about Shu. Raku insists that Ruri stay and help him out. Ruri tells the girl all of Shu’s bad points and then asks what she likes about him. The girl says that Shu is nice and sincere, but she doesn’t want to say anything to him yet because she’s heard a rumor that he’s dating someone. This catches both Raku and Ruri off-guard, but before they can do anything, Shu bursts in. When Raku and Ruri leave, Raku tells her about how Shu was friendly to him when he was younger and was alone due to others being too scared to talk to him. Later, when Ruri is heading off to club, she comes across the girl talking to Shu and asking if he has a girlfriend. When he says no, she comes right out and asks if he’d go out with her. Shu turns her down gently and says he’s honored but doesn’t feel like falling in love with anyone. After the girl leaves, Shu calls to Ruri that he knows she was eavesdropping. After learning who Shu liked, Ruri realizes that she doesn’t understand love, but realizes she’s a little interested and a little scared.

This is one of the better chapters of Nisekoi: False Love that I’ve read in a while. Even though it has nothing to do with the overarching story of the promise and the locket, it still provides some character development for both Ruri and Shu. And by the end of this chapter, it appears that perhaps Ruri is developing feelings for Shu; if that’s the case, it could add an interesting dimension to this series, especially since she has insulted him so much in the chapters I’ve read of this series. Maybe this development could help Ruri better understand what Onodera is going through in regard to her fear of confessing her feelings to Raku.

Naruto CH:694

Sasuke and Naruto are at the Valley of the End, and Sasuke starts explaining what he thinks it means to be Hokage, and tying his explanation into how Itachi ultimately lived his life. He also explains that since he is alone now, he can bear the weight of all the hatred and bring every single village under his control. Naruto remembers something the resurrected Itachi told him, which goes completely against what Sasuke’s current beliefs are. And Naruto points out to Sasuke that he couldn’t take on Kaguya by himself. But this doesn’t move Sasuke; he still insists that he’ll kill the Biju and take down all the previous Gokage. Naruto declares that he won’t let Sasuke have his way, saying that he learned everything he knows from the people from the past. The chapter ends with Naruto and Sasuke just starting into a battle…

The night before I read this chapter, news came out that the final chapter of the Naruto manga will be published in the Weekly Shonen Jump issue dated November 10, 2014. So that means there’s only five more chapters remaining until the end. This chapter basically spells out Naruto and Sasuke’s positions, and provides some background to explain philosophies and how the story reached this point. Basically, it’s a chapter meant to set up this final battle between these two characters. With only five chapters left, how is this battle going to be paced and how will it end?

Sporting Salt CH:003

Within the first three pages, Hiroyuki’s gag of grabbing at people with athletic bodies rears its ugly head when the ace of the soccer team comes to see him for help. It turns out Hyoka, the soccer player, is low on stamina. From talking to her, Hiroyuki learns that she’s very angry about her life. The next time Hiroyuki sees Hyoka, he has to pull out the weekly “doctor’s placebo item”; this is also a running gag that’s already worn out its welcome. However, it seems to appear that the “placebo item,” which is ordinary rice balls, are doing the trick. It turns out he put salt into the rice balls because it turns out she’s lacking salt, not stamina.

And this chapter brings about the end of this Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” title. Now that I’ve read all three chapters, I have to say it’s my least favorite of the three series that have been featured in full up to this point. I have to give this chapter credit for breaking its formula somewhat when it turned out that the weekly placebo item actually worked for the problem the person was having. But looking at the series as a whole, I really don’t find Hiroyuki to be a very likable character, and I really feel no interest in ever reading any future chapters of this series.

Toriko CH:295

This chapter sees Toriko and the others heading on their way in order to try to save Komatsu. A shark that’s a train known as a “Choo-Choo Chomper” comes out of the water, and it will be what takes Toriko and the others to Area 7. Area 7 is ruled over by Monkey King Bambina, the most mischievous of the eight kings. The chapter ends with the group boarding the Choo-Choo Chomper and starting out on their journey.

This chapter is basically wrapping up the previous story arc and setting the groundwork for the next one. Because of that, this chapter was primarily exposition-driven instead of having much action. Hopefully the next chapter will get the next story arc moving.

Bleach CH:599

Yhwach and Senjumaru finally come face-to-dace in Reiokyu, and Yhwach sends out his royal guards as Senjumaru’s opponent. As they launch their attack, Senjumaru summons a second-level holy soldier. A surprising twist appears to happen in the battle right at the end of the chapter…

Well, this was a rather quick chapter that saw almost next to nothing happen in it. Sadly, that’s the way a lot of the Bleach chapters I’ve read lately have come across as. I’m starting to feel more and more that Kubo is simply trying to extend this arc out for as long as he possibly can in order to make the series last longer. It’s gotten to a point where it’s getting harder for Bleach to hold my interest.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:026

In this chapter, Guren and two members of his quad take on everyone in Shinoa’s squad. Rather quickly, it appears that Guren and his team members have the upper hand. Through this, Guren points out how little teamwork their squad has. Yu asks Guren how his team of three was able to beat their squad of five. Shinoa tries to explain, but her explanation is refuted by one of Guren’s team members. Just then, Narumi arrives and gets into an argument with Yu. As Yu is fired up to take on Narumi with his squad, Shinoa tells him to knock it off. Shinoa introduces herself to Narumi and apologizes for her squad’s behavior. Shinoa then declares that their squad needs to work on teamwork, but before they can do anything, it’s announced all squads need to form up into their groups and head out to Nagoya to commence the vampire noble extermination mission.

We then see Mika and the vampires herding up humans and present them to the nobles in Nagoya. As Mika wanders around, Mika can no longer control the urge to drink human blood. Mika traps a human, but ends up letting them go.

In a lot of ways, it almost feels like the story is starting to move more rapidly than it had in previous chapters that I’ve read in Weekly Shonen Jump. While it’s good to see that Shinoa and her squad finally realize they need to work on their teamwork, it’s too little, too late. They end up not having any time to improve before they’re told to head out on their mission. Hopefully their teamwork won’t be too dismal when they’re up against the vampire nobility. I’m wondering if this series may be getting closer to ending due to the fact that the action of the story is finally moving. There could be more battles to be fought after going up against the nobles in Nagoya, but there seems to be a lot of emphasis put on this fight and the fact that the nobles are very strong.

It should be noted that the next chapter of Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign will be published in the November 10, 2014 issue of Weekly Shonen Jump.

One-Punch Man CH:037.4

In this chapter, we see a frazzled King returning home and being grateful to get away. As he starts playing the game he bought, he hears Saitama talking behind him and is surprised to find Saitama there. King and Saitama get into a discussion. Meanwhile, Senos is going up against G4. The chapter ends with Senos launching an attack on G4…

Well, here’s another chapter of One-Punch Man where not much of anything really happens to progress the story. There was one amusing part when Saitama is with King. When Saitama mentions coming in through the window, King comments that he’s on the 22nd floor. I admit that that line made me giggle a little. But outside of that, this chapter was just meh.

Death Note CH:001

This is the first “Jump Back” spotlight that Weekly Shonen Jump will be publishing periodically, where several chapters of some of the Shonen Jump series of the past. I’m not surprised that they launched this new initiative with Death Note, since Takeshi Obata is going to be making an appearance at New York Comic Con this weekend.

At the beginning, we learn that a shinigami named Ryuk had dropped his Death Note in the human world. The story then shifts to the human world, where a 17-year-old boy named Light Yagami finds a notebook lying on the ground; he picks it up and discovers that it reads, “Death Note” on the cover. There are instructions on how to use it inside, but they’re in English. Although he laughs at it, Light takes it home and continues to read it. Five days later, Light receives a visit from Ryuk. Light shows Ryuk that he’s been using the notebook. When Light asks what Ryuk’s going to do to him, he says he’ll do nothing. The moment a Death Note lands in the human world, it belongs to the human world. Light is also told that the book now belongs to him, and that it’s a bond between the two of them. Light is also informed that any human who’s used the Death Note can’t go to heaven or to hell. Ryuk also admits that he dropped the book because he was bored. Light admits that he was also bored, and a flashback is shown of him trying to use the Death Note a few times. Light decides to use the Death Note to change the world.

Previous to reading this chapter, I had seen the first episode of the Death Note anime series about six years ago. That was still very early in my anime viewing when I got back into it, and at the time, I didn’t care for Death Note. But now that I’ve been immersed in anime and manga for several years, seeing this material again makes me realize that it’s not as bad as I had thought it was six years ago. I’ve definitely seen much worse and much stranger anime and manga in the intervening time. I’ll eventually get around to sampling more Death Note at some point after this “Jump Back” spotlight concludes, because this has become such a major title for both the manga and the anime.

Aniplex of America Announces Discontinuance of Several Products

Aniplex of America has announced that the company will be discontinuing sales of eight products on October 31, 2014. Fans who may have been waiting to purchase these items are encouraged to make their purchases before this date as no new orders will be taken for these following SKUs and will no longer be available through official retailers:

AOA-1801: Blue Exorcist DVD Volume 1 [DVD released in 2011]
AOA-1802: Blue Exorcist DVD Volume 2 [DVD released in 2012]
AOA-1804: Blue Exorcist DVD Volume 4 [DVD released in 2012]
AOA-0702: Durarara!! DVD Part 2 [DVD released in 2011]
AOA-0703: Durarara!! DVD Part 3 [DVD released in 2011]
42000: Gurren Lagann The Movie -Childhood’s End- Limited Edition [DVD released in 2008]
42001: Gurren Lagann The Movie -Childhood’s End- Regular Edition [DVD released in 2008]
42003: Gurren Lagann The Movie -The Lights in the Sky are Stars- Limited Edition [DVD released in 2010]

Anime Weekend Atlanta Announces Premieres and Advance Screenings

Anime Weekend Atlanta has announced premieres and screenings for fans to check out at this year’s convention.

The screenings for this year’s convention include:

  • Karen Senki
  • A Certain Magical Index The Movie
  • Bayonetta: Bloody Fate
  • Blue Exorcist: The Movie
  • Devilman TV series
  • Ghost in the Shell: Arise
  • Hellsing Ultimate Volumes 9-10
  • High School DxD
  • Kill la Kill
  • One Piece Film Z
  • Sailor Moon
  • Schoolgirls vs. Butlers
  • Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro
  • Sherlock Hound
  • Bubblegum Crisis: Ultimate Edition
  • Fate/Kaleid liner Prisma Illya
  • Gatchaman Crowds
  • Golden Time
  • Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 135 (September 8, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Naruto, Blue Exorcist, One Piece, Nisekoi: False Love, Bleach, Toriko, World Trigger, One-Punch Man, and Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign. In addition, Viz Media launches its new Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start initiative with the first chapter of Judos.

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.

Judos CH:001

Judos is a the first series to be includes as part of Viz Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” initiative. As you can probably tell from the title, it’s a sports manga about judo.

The story opens with two sports reporters covering a judo match. Mizuki, the female reporter, runs into Hana Yanagi, the protagonist of the series. It turns out he’s new to Tokyo and that he’s lost; he’s looking for the director of the Sondokan Institute. Mizuki is able to tell him where to go, and then the press is asked to leave. It turns out that Sondokan Institute is the ultimate in the world of judo, and Hana is there to participate in the “festival.” We then see Mizuki and Saito, the sports reporters, crawling around in Sondokan’s vents, and they stumble across the “festival”; Mizuki is surprised when she sees Hana walk in. Unfortunately, the reporters fall out of the vent and are seen by everyone gathered for the “festival.” The reporters are allowed to stay but have their cameras and phones taken away. Hana is up against Ida, the champion.

Basically, the “festival” is a match between the strongest member of Sondokan and a representative from a small village called Yahara that has practiced judo since the Edo Period. After an intense battle between Ida and Hana, Hana is the winner. After watching the fight, Saito decides that he and Mizuki need to go to Yahara Village in order to get a story. Unfortunately, they have no idea where it is.

Overall, I have to say that this is a rather well-done way to establish the concept and the important characters, especially for a sports manga like Judos. Admittedly, I’m really not a fan of judo, but the manga seems to work well enough for what it is. However, I have a hard time seeing how Mizuki thinks Hana is so good-looking; personally, I thought he looked kind of goofy. Oh well. I suspect that fans of sports manga, especially manga featuring judo, will probably have a stronger appreciation for this than I do.

Naruto CH:691

This chapter sees the Sage of Six Paths having an important conversation with Kakashi. We then see Kakashi having one final internal monologue with Obito. At the end, Kakashi loses his sharingan and collapses. Everyone also gets to witness a final conversation between Madara and Hashirama. Naruto also gets to have a final conversation with Minato. The chapter ends with all of the zombies returning to the afterlife.

While there may not have been a whole lot of action in this chapter, a lot still took place through the dialogue that took place between various people. While all the conversations were moving in their own way, the one between Naruto and Minato was the most moving. As Naruto speaks to him, you can see just how much Naruto has truly grown up over the course of the series. And as this chapter went on, I could definitely feel a sense of winding down. I don’t know how much longer Kishimoto is going to make this last, but I suspect there will be more than just a couple of chapters to go. I’m a little sad knowing that Naruto is getting closer to ending, but at the same time, it’s nice to know that a conclusion seems to getting closer.

Blue Exorcist CH:060

Rin and Shima have a battle, but there’s a big monster of glob that’s also trying to get involved; Rin finds that he’s getting weaker. Then some people arrive and perform a spirit invocation dance as bait for nine tails. Izumo jumps into this, but her compatibility rate falls. It turns out Professor Geodin has a device that is supposed to force the possession to take hold. We see Izumo struggling as to whether or not she should give in to the nine tails. But before anything can happen to Izumo, Rin appaears where she is right at the end of the chapter…

One thing I have to say is that through flashbacks that Izumo has as she’s struggling, I was able to learn more about her and I think it helped me better understand what’s been going on with her in this story arc. It’s really hard to jump into the middle of a manga, especially in the middle of what appears to be a major story arc. The story is interesting, but I’d probably have enjoyed this even more if I’d read Blue Exorcist from the very beginning.

One Piece CH:759

When Luffy and Trafalgar make it to Doflamingo, they see that Doflamingo has taken Bellamy prisoner. Bellamy asks Doflamingo to kill him, and Luffy tries to save him; unfortunately, Luffy is not successful. Trafalgar scolds Luffy for letting his anger and hatred control him. The battle with Doflamingo gets underway, but he uses tricks such as body doubles and controlling Bellamy to fight for him. But something surprising happens during the battle…

Finally, we start seeing the battle of Luffy and Trafalgar versus Doflamingo! It sure took quite a while to get here! Admittedly, the battle itself doesn’t progress all that much before the chapter ends, but at least the battle is finally happening. Hopefully the next chapter will continue to focus on this battle and not shift its focus to some other area where fighting is taking place.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:137

In this chapter, we see Chitoge trying to pose as the princess around the princess’ people. Unfortunately, due to not understanding the princess’ language, Chitoge has no idea what anyone is saying, so she’s not responding. We then see Raku spending time with the princess. The princess asks to see where Raku lives, he ends up taking her there in the hopes it can be quick before the mob members see them. The princess is impressed to meet actual members of the Japanese yakuza. Later, they visit a shrine that they’re walking by. Right at the end of the chapter, it’s obvious that Malusha, the princess, has a crush on Raku.

Well, here we go again… another member to join Raku’s harem. Well, at least she doesn’t have a key that could go with his locket, too. I think Raku’s harem has reached a point where it almost makes the amount of love interests in Ranma 1/2 look sane! But I seriously hope that Malusha is the last person to join the harem because it’s just gotten ridiculously big, especially for a guy who comes across as rather average.

Bleach CH:595

Byakuya cuts down Hisagi, who is being manipulated by a Quincy named Pepe; however, Pepe is able to get Hisagi to get back up again in order to fight. Just as it looks like Pepe has the upper hand, he’s caught off-guard by a surprise…

Okay, this chapter was just rather weird, and this Pepe guy is so annoying. And since I skipped ahead quite a bit in the story when I started reading Weekly Shonen Jump a few months back, I’ve never truly understood how the story has reached this point and what exactly is going on. And as I continue through this story arc, it just seems to be getting weirder and weirder. Maybe it ended up being a good thing that the anime was cut off before reaching this point.

Toriko CH:291

With the Nightmare giving birth to one of the new eight kings, and the new king bellowing for the first time, the age of gourmet begins to be revived in the human world. In the Gourmet World, we see Toriko approaching Komatsu and the others. And once everyone has gathered, Toriko declares that they should all have a taste of air together. Toriko takes a taste of the air, and it appears to have increased his visual acuity. And right at the end of the chapter, Toriko declares that this food, king air, will be the salad of his full-course meal.

Overall, this was actually a rather boring chapter. Yes, Toriko needed to taste the air and determine that it would be the salad for his full-course meal, but really, there was little to no action to keep the reader interested in what’s going on. Oh well. Hopefully this means that Toriko and the others can move on and move into another adventure in the Gourmet World.

World Trigger CH:074

In this chapter, we see Kyosuke defeating a Rabit in one hit. We then see Kyosuke having a flashback sequence of a conversation that took place earlier in the series. Kyosuke is determined to take on the Black Trigger and defeat him in the three minutes he has remaining before he has to bail out. Yoneya jumps into the fray as well to help out Kyosuke. When Kyosuke comes up from behind, the Black Trigger reveals that he has bees under his cape. Just then, Captain Hyrein arrives on the scene, and she and the Black Trigger leave through a wormhole, and Kyosuke is forced to bail out. We see Osamu right at the end of the chapter…

So we end up getting a little bit of a fight in this chapter, but in the end, there is no winner. And it looks like the next chapter will probably be shifting its focus back toward Osamu, since there were several references to him in the dialogue of this chapter, and there was also a visual reference to him at the end of the chapter. While this story is interesting, I admit that I’m still a bit lost, due to jumping into this manga in the middle of this story arc. I really hope that the anime adaptation for World Trigger that’s supposed to start airing in Fall 2014 will be simulcast here, because I’d like to be able to see this series from the beginning and hopefully get to know these characters and their world a lot better.

One-Punch Man CH:037.2

In this chapter, Saitama and his assistant watch King in action as he takes on a mechanical monster that has appeared; this is G4, a machine-god created by The Organization. The machine-god declares that it will kill King. King says he needs to use the bathroom because he can’t fight at full strength otherwise; he’s told he has 10 minutes, but for each minute he’s late, the machine will kill 10 people and if King runs, the town is finished. We then see King freaking out in the bathroom, because it turns out that he’s really a wimp; it was pure luck that allowed him to become an Class S Rank 7 hero.

Way to troll us, Murata! OK, it was made clear in the previous chapter that he was an otaku, but I thought it was just a quirk. I never guessed that King was actually a fraud. So I guess my initial prediction about King and Saitama fighting against each other or teaming up to take on an enemy was wrong. It’s looking like Saitama will have to step forward and take on the machine-god in order to save the town.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:025

In this chapter, most of Shinoa’s squad is approached by Sergeant Makoto Narumi, whose squad has been assigned to team up with their team to exterminate vampire nobles. Narumi recognizes Yu as the one who broke regulations and showed up late for the meeting, and says he’s not sure he can trust Yu to have his back. Narumi introduces the rest of his squad: Rika Inoue, Taro Kagiyama, Shusaku Iwasaki, and Yayoi Endo. Later, Shinoa goes over the mission orders, and it’s revealed that their squad ad Narumi’s squad will be directly under Lieutenant Colonel Guren. Yuichiro is then informed that the punishment for his tardiness will be handed down. He’s taken to Guren, but instead of being chewed out, Guren reveals he knows understood what was going on and says he appreciates Yuichiro’s new attitude. It turns out that he was called to see Guren as a punishment for Shinoa. After she and the rest of the squad arrive, Guren suggests a test: Guren and two members of his squad will take on everyone in Shinoa’s squad. The battle between the two squads is just getting going when the chapter comes to an end.

This chapter is working at getting the forces ready to battle against the vampire nobles by getting in some training to make sure the younger squad can work together. But for the most part, the action doesn’t really get going until right at the end of the chapter. I expect that the next chapter will be more action-packed with this battle between the two squads. The majority of the chapter is pretty much introducing some new characters, talking, and explanations, so it is a bit on the boring side. While all of that is important, when a long chapter like this focuses primarily on those things, it can make the chapter more work to read. Hopefully the preparations for the upcoming battle with the vampire nobles won’t last too long.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 130 (August 4, 2014)

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

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.

Bleach CH:591

In this chapter, the Arrancar zombies recognize some of the Soul Reapers around them, while others are looking for the person who defeated them earlier. Mayuri uses an electric shock to shut them up and keep them under control. The Quincy is unimpressed by the fact the Soul Reapers now have their own zombies; many of the Soul Reapers on the ground object, since the zombies the Quincy has are former members of Squad 11. It becomes a battle of zombies. One of the Arrancar zombies, however, targets the Quincy instead of the other zombies. The Quincy sends Bambi to take him on, and he succeeds in taking her out. However, another individual comes out onto the battlefield…

At least this chapter is starting to progress the story a little, even though quite a bit of it was talk between some of the characters. However, call me a cynic, but bringing in this new player onto the battlefield just feels like Kubo trying to stretch the story out in order to keep it going. I should mention that I just watched Bleach DVD Set 10 recently, which included the episode where Uryu defeated Cirucci Sanderwicci, so I was tickled to see her as
one of the Arrancar zombies that appeared in this chapter.

One Piece CH:755

This chapter opens with the group by the scrap heap trying to find a way out. The action quickly moves to the Smile Factory, where the Tontattas are rioting. Mouji, the aide to Princess Mansherry, is trying to find her to determine whether or not she’s really ill. He breaks through a door to find it’s only an empty storeroom. As the Tontattas try to leave through the front door, they are confronted by the Smile Factory manager and her suction machine. Franky appears and saves the Tontattas. Then, the story moves back to the Pica statue, where Zoro continues his battle. Right at the end of the chapter, we see where Princess Mansherry is…

Phew! This is a another extremely action-packed chapter that jumps around to several locations; however, it seems to pause the longest at the Smile Factory. The interactions between Franky and the manager are kind of funny, and do help to lighten the mood somewhat and also provide a breather for the reader. So many of the panels in the recent One Piece chapters have been so busy, that it can be a little overwhelming at times. But I suspect the story is going to continue going this way for a while, until Oda decides he’s ready to wrap up this particular story arc.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:133

This chapter sees the continuation of the beauty contest at the school festival. When Kosaki introduces herself, she makes the same mistakes that her younger sister made. The end result is that the sisters tie for first place; however, the rules state that there must be a tiebreaker round. When Haru decides she wants to quit, she bumps into Raku and tells him that her friend forced her to enter. He says he’s rooting for her; when Haru asks if he should be rooting for her sister, Raku says he’s rooting for both of them. Haru tells Raku that he’d better vote for her sister. And then it’s time for the final round of judging. Kosaki goes on, and Haru decides to be fashionable late…

So we get the beauty contest whittled down to the two sisters, both of whom have feelings for Raku. And both sisters were forced to enter the contest by a friend. And of course the chapter was done in such a way that the winner wasn’t revealed in this chapter, meaning that the beauty contest will be going for a third chapter. Hopefully the next chapter will actually end this story arc and the series can progress on to something else, because for me, the beauty contest is starting to wear out its welcome.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:024

In this chapter, Yu, Shinoa, and some of the others are out for a drive. Over the course of the chapter, they leave at least two of their friends behind and force them to walk. Kimizuki doesn’t take it lying down, though, and uses his power to catch back up to them and get back into the vehicle. They are heading to the Ebina Rest Stop, and they are informed of Lt. Colonel Guren Ichinose’s orders. They are supposed to be involved, somehow, and Shinoa expects to receive detailed orders when they reach the rendezvous point. When then see Guren and his group interacting with each other at the rendezvous point. We then return to Yu and the others, who are now running late to the rendezvous. They get yelled at for being late, and Yu steps up and takes responsibility.

This chapter is working at leading up to a major battle with the vampires to protect the human race. Personally, I found the beginning of the chapter with Shinoa trying to leave people behind a waste of time, and it felt more like “time kill” than truly adding anything of substance to the story. The way the chapter ends, it’s obvious the mangaka wanted that to be the way it ended; so I think in order to get the right amount of pages, they added that bit in. I think it may have also been included to lighten the mood before the serious briefing takes place. Hopefully the next chapter will start getting the battle underway by the end of it.

World Trigger CH:070

In this chapter, Osamu is told to escape while he can, and he’s told where the Black Trigger that broke into the base is located. Meanwhile, the Black Trigger is in the middle of a fight in the training room. After some exchanges, the training mode is terminated. Director Shinoda heads toward the training room and takes on the Black Trigger. The fight between them is just getting going when the chapter ends…

Finally, it feels like this story is starting to actually go somewhere! For several weeks, it felt like this manga was in a holding pattern, as if the mangaka was trying to stretch things out in order to make the fight and the story last longer. Hopefully World Trigger can continue progressing like it did in this chapter and not fall back into another holding pattern for a couple of months.

Naruto CH:687

In this chapter, Zetsu tells Kaguya to teleport to the root time-space in order to recover faster. Obito appears as if he’s going to die, and Naruto goes over to provide him with chakra; Obito tells him not to waste his chakra. Zetsu spends a bit of time taunting Obito. Just then, Sasuke’s ocular powers return, and he goes after Kaguya; as he does, Kaguya changes worlds again. Sasuke tells Naruto to leave Obito and help him, but Naruto is frustrated that he can’t help Obito. Before Obito crumbles away, he has some strong and encouraging words for Naruto. Zetsu makes fun of Obito, and this angers Naruto.

Admittedly, the story itself didn’t progress much in this chapter, but the scenes with Obito kept me riveted the whole time. I found myself feeling a bit sad when I saw that he crumbled away and really was dead this time. And I nearly cried when I read the final two pages of this chapter. But at the same time, I was very happy to see Obito finally be redeemed. But with Obito gone, how can Naruto and the others teleport if Kaguya disappears and leaves them behind? It’ll be interesting to see how this story continues; however, I hope Kishimoto doesn’t try to drag it out too much longer.

Toriko CH:287

In this chapter, the awakened Toriko fights against Heracles. As they fight, creatures begin fleeing, and the people of the Hex Food World are confused as to what’s going on. Meanwhile, Mappy and Komatsu make it to Slow Rain Hill, and they find air is dense due to being near a giant air tree. Zebra comes up behind them, and Komatsu fills him in on what’s going on with Toriko. Elsewhere, Brunch finds a heavy and huge sword that he pulls out. Right at the end of the chapter, Komatsu finds a huge air fruit…

So it looks like the fight between Toriko and Heracles didn’t take up as much of the chapter as I had expected it to. And really, what we saw of that fight wasn’t very epic, either. Most of the focus of this chapter seemed to be on Komatsu and his attempt to find air in order to help Toriko in his fight against Heracles. Since he found the fruit right at the end of this chapter, I expect that the next chapter will probably focus on him trying to get it.

One-Punch Man CH:036

As the power sphere comes crashing down, Saitama’s allies realize the danger and try to run for the headquarters; however, they’re not confident that they can make it in time. Then, Amai Mask arrives to find the city in ruins and he scolds someone for not doing their job properly. Amai Mask appears to be a snobby idol and looks down on the Class-S heroes. Their fighting is interrupted by the arrival of Metal Knight. The group of heroes find alien survivors. but Amai Mask kills them because they’re evil.

Finally, the fight between Saitama and Boros has come to an end, and this chapter was able to focus on characters other than Saitama! Also, it felt like the story actually started moving a little more! Unfortunately, I really have no idea who Amai Mask and these other heroes are due to jumping into this series after it’d been going for a while, so hopefully I can learn more about these characters in future chapters of One-Punch Man.

Blue Exorcist CH:059

Professor Geodin is insisting on going through with the procedure with Izumo, even though Shima’s trying to talk him out of it. Shima is sent to confront Rin and the others. Geodin talks to them through an intercom system, and he starts revealing his plan as Yukio starts putting some of the pieces together. Suddenly, Izumo is brought before Rin and the others. Rin tries to rescue Izumo, but Shima gets in the way. Rin is surprised to see Shima is the one confronting him. Rin tries to encourage Izumo to come with him, but she doesn’t react at first. However, when Rin grabs her wrist, Izumo tells him that she doesn’t need any help because this is her problem. Unfortunately, things get hectic and Kuro tells them they need to leave. We then see Izumo with Professor Geodin and saying she’s ready for the procedure…

The action in this chapter progresses much more than they had in the previous chapters I’ve read of Blue Exorcist. Unfortunately, the whole thing with Shima goes over my head, since I jumped into this manga in the middle of this particular story arc. Because of that, I’m sure I’m missing some important details and information that would have made this chapter an even stronger read. However, even though I may not have the background knowledge of someone who’s read this manga from the beginning, I could still tell that important things were taking place, and I found what was going on to be interesting. I suspect the next chapter will focus on Izumo getting the procedure and the aftermath of that.

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.