Weekly Shonen Jump (May 4, 2015)

Even though Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump is off this week due to their Golden Week holiday, the U.S. edition of the publication released a special issue. This issue includes a chapter of Blue Exorcist, a chapter of Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, and three chapters of a manga titled, The Right Way to Make Jump!

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:067

It’s revealed early on in the chapter that Bon doesn’t trust Shima, and that he just said they did to help bail him out. Meanwhile, Shima approaches Yukio with Lucifer’s offer of welcoming him if he wants to be saved. Yukio has a flashback of encountering Lucifer and being made an offer to join the Illuminati. Lucifer also claims that he can give Yukio power and awaken his true potential. Yukio’s response to Shima is to tell Lucifer that he doesn’t need saving. But after Shima leaves, it’s obvious that Yukio is having second thoughts. The next day, Shima tries talking to Bon while they jog, and Shima seems like he’s trying hard to convince Bon that he’s telling the truth. But in the end, Bon says that he still doesn’t trust Shima. Right at the end of the chapter, the reader seems be given a hint that Shima may not be entirely telling the truth after all.

This chapter has a strong focus on whether people believe Shima or not, as well as on Shima interacting with a couple of the other characters. I have to say that I’m having a hard time figuring out what’s true and what’s false when it comes to Shima, and I think that’s a testament to how strong the writing is for this story arc. I’m looking forward to seeing more with Shima and trying to unravel what’s really going on with this particular character.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:033

Shinoa Squad begin attacking Crowley, but his two lackeys come in and intervene. Shinoa says they’ve failed and orders everyone to pull back and regroup. Yuichiro tries to go back into the fight, but he’s told to abandon Guren. The others in Shinoa Squad are ordered to stop Yuichiro. Guren also orders Shinya to go. It’s also revealed that Goshi has arrived and is in hiding. In the end, we see the others have to escape with Guren, and the vampires take Guren with them. Yuichiro keeps arguing that they have to go back and save Guren, and is followed by a flashback of Yuichiro from four years ago. In it, Yuichiro asks Guren why he saved him, and Yuichiro gets a conversation that he didn’t expect. Back in present day, Yuichiro declares he’s no good at teamwork and then proceeds to take two more curse stimulant pills; this means he’s now taken three in a short amount of time. Right at the end of the chapter, his body starts reacting to the pills.

This chapter really highlights the complicated relationship that Yuichiro has with Guren. On the one hand, Yuichiro can easily be frustrated by him, but on the other, Yuichiro does think of Guren as family. The flashback that we got in this chapter was a very nice touch, and it really touches on the complication of that relationship. But Yuichiro decided to act rashly when he took those two pills in an effort to try to rescue Guren, and now it looks as if there could be a very bad effect because of it. The next chapter should be showing the reader exactly what the effect is and how bad it’s going to be.

The Right Way to Make Jump! CH:027-029

This is a manga is published digitally in Japan by Shonen Jump+, and it’s by Takeshi Sakurai. It’s a personal experience manga about how Shonen Jump is made. The manga focuses on two characters: Takeshi Sakurai and Editor MomiyaXX.

Chapter 27 opens with Sakurai and his editor coming to America. They have come to San Francisco, California to do some research on VIZ Media. At the hotel, they meet with a couple of people from the International Publishing Division of the Rights Department. Through interviews, they learn about the history of Weekly Shonen Jump in the U.S.

Chapter 28 sees Sakurai and his editor visiting the U.S. offices of Shonen Jump. They meet Andy Nakatani, the editor-in-chief for the English Shonen Jump. Here, an explanation is given for how the English version of Shonen Jump is put together.

Chapter 29 shows them getting a peek at the content of the English Shonen Jump as well as issues that can arise in translations. Then Sakurai and his editor are seen being interviewed for the Shonen Jump podcast. Then they go to check out an American bookstore. On their final day in America, Sakurai and his editor do tourist stuff.

At first, I had wondered why three chapters later in the series were being featured, but after seeing that it focused on a trip to America and visiting the VIZ Media offices, I understood. This was kind of interesting, and I learned a little bit about how VIZ puts together this publication every week. This was a nice little extra to include in this special edition of Weekly Shonen Jump.

Weekly Shonen Jump (April 6, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for My Hero Academia, One Piece, Black Clover, Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, World Trigger, Food Wars!, Bleach, Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, Toriko, Nisekoi: False Love, 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.

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

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

My Hero Academia CH:037

The first round of the one-on-one tournament is now over. During the break between rounds, Midoriya runs into Bakugo. Bakugo believes that Midoriya came up Uraraka’s self-sacrificing scheme, and Midoriya insists it was all Uraraka’s idea. We then get to see a phone conversation that Uraraka has with her parents, and we learn that while her parents support her being a hero, they don’t truly understand the technical side of it. Midoriya has a run-in with Shoto’s father, Endeavor. During this, Midoriya declares that he is not All Might, and that Shoto is not Endeavor. Right at the very end of the chapter, we see that the first match of the second round will be Midoriya against Shoto.

This chapter is basically here to give the reader a break before the big match against Midoriya and Shoto gets going. The biggest takeaway from this chapter is getting to see the kind of relationship Uraraka has with her parents. Outside of that, it consisted either of discussions to wind down Uraraka’s match, or conversations to get the reader psyched for the upcoming battle between Midoriya and Shoto. I suspect that the next chapter will at least get Midoriya and Shoto’s fight started but that it won’t finish over the course of that chapter.

One Piece CH:782

This chapter sees Luffy facing off against Doflamingo. But just as it looks like Luffy has the upper hand, Trebol lays down some sticky goop that traps Luffy. But even through he may be stuck in the goop, he’s able to get a hit in on Trebol. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much. But Luffy keeps trying anyway. In the midst of all this, we get to see flashbacks of when Doflamingo was younger and how he was raised by his henchmen to become a king. And even though Law may be unable to move much, he’s still able to pull off an incredible feat.

Overall, this was a rather action-packed chapter of One Piece. Even though flashbacks may have been included, they didn’t really bog down the pacing of the chapter. While this battle may be nowhere near decided yet, at least a couple of things happened that helped to progress it somewhat. I’m expecting the next chapter to continue with this battle that features Luffy, Doflamingo, and Law.

Black Clover CH:004

Asta makes his first appearance among the Black Bulls, but no one seems to notice that he’s there. Yami appears and tells his squad to knock off their nonsense. With his arrival, Asta is introduced to the others. But when they learn he’s a run from the boonies, one of the females flirts with him, while one of the males says that Asta has to prove that he’s worth wearing their squad’s robe. Magna Swing, Yami’s top underling, says he’ll launch attack magic on Asta, which he must block or avoid, in order to get the robe. At first, Asta thinks he’ll be able to cut through it with his sword, but he figures out quickly that with his current skills, he won’t be able to cut through this magic. While his brain shuts down, his body moves and finds a way out. Magna Swing is impressed, and Asta receives his robe. Right at the end, we see someone watching and not being impressed with what they saw.

Well, it looks like Black Clover is starting to look a little less like a Naruto clone, especially with the introduction of the Black Bulls. It’s starting to get a little more interesting, but it’s too bad that a lot of setup felt like it was lifting many of the concepts that made up the setup for Naruto. Here’s hoping that Black Clover can continue moving away from its Naruto clone roots.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:032

Seishiro Hiragi goes visits Shinjuku to see what Kureto is doing there, and the two brothers have an argument. It gets to the point where Kureto’s men take down Seishiro’s men. It seems that Kureto believes that he’s going to be the hero who saved the world. Kureto is heading off to Nagoya, believing that he’ll be able to imprison the vampires there. Kureto has Seishiro thrown into the brig.

We then return to the upper floors of Nagoya City Hall, where Guren and Shinya try to escape, but Crowley catches up with him. Just as Guren orders Shinya to run, Yuichiro bursts through the floor right in front of Crowley.

Wow, Kureto sure as a kust for power, doesn’t he? I have a suspicion that Kureto’s going to end up being killed during this whole thing, or will end up being the one responsible for destroying the plan that had been put in place. Either way, I think Kureto is going to end up being a big disgrace instead of being the hero who saved the world. And it looks like the stage is being set for Yuichiro and the rest of Shinoa Squad to try to rescue Guren. I suspect that this will be the focus of the next chapter of the series.

World Trigger CH:098

We see that Tamakoma Branch has a prisoner, a Neighbor who was left behind after the invasion. We then return to the BRank Wars, where the fight rages on. Akane is told to bail out, but she chooses to stay and goes for a shot. Unfortunately, Yuma was within a certain radius, so Akane was unable to bail out. Yuma is able to do a trick that gives him the advantage and allows him to knock Akane out of the fight.

In the long run, not a whole lot happens here. For most of the chapter, it was primarily in a holding pattern, with people doing a lot of talking and trying to figure out their own strategy or predicting the other team’s strategy. The only real action took place right at the end with Yuma and Akane, so the chapter ends just as something is finally happening. Hopefully the next chapter will have more in the way of action.

Food Wars! CH:113

It’s now the last day of Shino’s Tokyo Pre-Opening. Soma is learning various tricks about French cooking from the head chef. At the end of the day, Shinomiya gets asked if he’s going to open a third restaurant, a reporter wants to put together a special feature on him, and another reporter wants an interview. Then a very special group of guests arrives, which includes Shinomiya’s former classmates, former teacher, and even his mother. Right at the end of the chapter, Soma declares that he wants to participate in the restaurant’s new recipe contest.

Probably one of the most interesting parts of this chapter is a combination of getting the background on why Shinomiya decided to learn French cooking and the history lesson about food in regards to World War II. I found the history lesson to be interesting, and I didn’t think it bogged down the storytelling. It was also amusing to see Shinomiya talking so differently when his mother was around, because this allowed us to see a different side of the usually serious Shinomiya. And it looks like the next chapter will be devoted to the new recipe contest.

Bleach CH:622

The Soul Reapers are shocked to see Aizen, and even more surprised when they learn that Kyoraku is the one who lifted Aizen’s sentence. Kyoraku says he thought they need Aizen’s power, but the other Soul Reapers are not cool with this. When Aizen tries to get Kyoraku to remove more of his restraints, Kyoraku unleashes eyeball monsters to get Aizen to cooperate. Aizen attacks the eyeball monsters. Elsewhere, Byakuya tells Kyoraku that freeing Aizen is an insult to them, and Kyoraku says they can smack him all they want later after they save the Seireitei. They see that Aizen has destroyed the eyeball monsters, and Aizen tells the Soul Reapers what they need to do.

This entire chapter focused on Aizen and the Soul Reapers. But this was a good thing, since we needed to learn why Kyoraku decided to free Aizen from prison. Aizen is as much of a jerk as ever, but his abilities will be useful to help the Soul Reapers battle against the Quincies. Hopefully we’ll get to see what has happened with Ichigo and the others sooner rather than later.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:017

We see a meeting at the Children’s Division Special Investigations Unit at the Tokyo Public Prosecutor’s Office. They point out just how many classroom sessions have been taking place in Abaku’s class. It’s also revealed that there’s not a single piece of data about Tento that exists from prior to his arrival at Tenbin Elementary School this spring. Then we see Tento going to take care of the rabbits in the animal shed, and one of the rabbits escapes. As Tento catches the rabbit and takes it back, he runs into Airin and Hatakeyama, who tell him that he can’t say that he saw them there. Unfortunately, this causes the rabbit to escape again.

When Abaku and Higashide arrive at school, Pine tells them they need to go to the animal shed. They see a female student has fallen over inside, but the door is locked and no one can get inside. Sarutobi arrives to help out. They both use a special gun they are provided as prosecutors and attorneys for self protection to get the door open. When they get inside, they discover it’s Reiko Shiratori inside. It turns out to be a case of attempted murder. Tento returns with the rabbit, and he has the key to the animal shed. Tento is then taken into custody for the attempted murder of Reiko Shiratori and suspicion of involvement in the series of incidents attributed to Red Ogre. It’s revealed that Shuichi is an undercover police inspector. At the end of the chapter, we see that Yui Kijima, the last of the three tongues, will be taking on this case.

Wow, this series went up a couple of notches in a hurry. It’d been hinted that there was more to Shuichi than what we knew, but I never guessed he was an undercover cop. Between the type of this case this is, the fact that the chapter is titled, “Beginning of the End,” as well as the revelations that have come out for Shuichi, Tento, and the third tongue, I’m getting the suspicion that this series may be getting close to winding down. If the series really is ending, then I’ll be disappointed. To me, Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment has been one of the better series to be introduced to Weekly Shonen Jump in recent months.

Toriko CH:319

Toriko and the others find that the Choo Choo Chomper is in bad shape. Komatsu asks for a drop of pair, which he uses to heal the Choo Choo Chomper. Then Komatsu notices that Toriko’s arm is missing and freaks out. They realize that it must have been Terry and the others who made sure that the Choo Choo Chomper was here, and they wonder where the others are. As Toriko and the others try to figure out how to get down the mountain, the various monkeys they’ve met appear. But then another creature arrives, which turns out to be the camping monster that all the monkeys rode in on. As they all board this cloud, which turns out to be made of the Monkey King’s poop, 100 G Mountain begins regenerating. They make it to the birthcry tree, and everyone gathers together to eat food treasure pair.

It was really amusing to see Komatsu’s confusion over so many things, since a lot of things were introduced and a lot of things happened while he was unconscious. I didn’t mention it in the write-up, but the camping monster they ride on is known as a “Flying Nimbutt,” which probably got its name from the fact that it’s made from the Monkey King’s poop. I wasn’t entirely sure whether to find this amusing or disgusting. I imagine Toriko is getting ready to move on to its next story arc, but it looks like we’ll have to wait a couple of weeks in order to find out how the story will progress.

It should be noted that Toriko will be off next week.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:165

Haru tells Onodera and Raku that they need to go on a date to the shopping mall a few train stations over to see a legendary fir tree. They’re giving away special limited edition plushies, but you have to go as a couple to get one. She really wants one, but since she has to work, she hopes Raku and Onodera can go for her. They make it to the legendary fir tree, and discover there’s a legend: if a couple watches the special tree lighting ceremony together, they will live happily ever after. The tree will be lit at 8:00 in the evening for only five minutes, and that’s when the plushies are being given away. They then overhear people saying the people get married by the legendary fir tree, and Onodera and Raku freak out. But since it’s only noon, they have a lot of time to kill. While at the mall, Raku notices there’s a locksmith, and he asks Onodera if she has her key with her. Raku suggests seeing what’s inside the pendant. Onodera agrees. They go to the locksmith, hand over the lock and key, and the locksmith says he’ll look at it that day and call them when he’s done. Right at the end of the chapter, we see the locksmith’s granddaughter playing around and knocking the locket and key into the garbage.

I don’t care much about the legend of the fir tree, but seeing Raku and Onodera taking the locket and key to the locksmith raised my hopes that perhaps there might be some kind of progress coming in regards to this whole mystery surrounding those items and the promise. But my hopes were dashed when I saw the little girl knock them into the garbage, especially with the locksmith saying the truck would be coming soon. I feel like Komi has teased us yet again. But it turned out I was right when I suspected that Haru had some kind of ulterior motive for wanting her sister to go on a date with Raku.

Blue Exorcist CH:066

Mephisto says he has to take everyone with them becaue there’s a visitor from The Vatican waiting for them. Mephisto takes them to his offce in Johann Faust’s mansion. They find Lewin Light, nicknamed Lightning, waiting for them. Lightning has come to determine whether Renzo Shima is trustworthy. They have all been gathered to present evidence. Shima is given the first question, and is asked how he ended up returning to the order. As he starts to answer, the scene shifts into a flashback that explains what happened. Lightning then asks the others if they think Shima is trustworthy. Rin says that he believes that Mephisto is not trustworthy, and that’s why people think Shima is untrustworthy. Izumo says that while she’s grateful that Mephisto protected her sister, she asks why he didn’t tell her. After a confrontation, Mephisto admits that he’s been testing them and that they are pieces in a game that he controls. He then tells an angry Rin that they have to listen to him in order to defeat Lucifer. When they get back on topic, the other kids say in their own way that they trust Shima.

For the most part, this chapter focused very heavily on exposition and on various characters confronting Mephisto. Mephisto is a major jerk, and I feel the same as the kids; this guy just isn’t trustworthy. It was interesting to see that the kids thought Shima was trustworthy, and I’m hoping that they’re right about that. Considering he’s been a double agent for two different groups, who knows where his loyalties actually lie. This chapter also feels like it may be setting the groundwork for whatever the next story arc will end up being.

Weekly Shonen Jump (March 9, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, World Trigger, My Hero Academia, Blue Exorcist, Food Wars!, Ultra Battle Satellite, Toriko, Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, Cyborg Roggy, Bleach, Nisekoi: False Love, and Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign. This issue also includes the first chapter of Claymore, which is the next title for Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative.

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

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

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

One Piece CH:779

At the beginning of this chapter, the Smile Factory suddenly explodes. Princess Mansherry is brought to Kyros, and she offers to heal him; however, he tells her not to use her powers on him because they must have a limit. We then see Sabo trying to free some of the straggling prisoners of the coliseum, and he’s making a call to let others know that Luffy may be in trouble. We then finally return to the fight between Luffy and Bellamy that started several chapters ago. At the end of it, Luffy gets a punch in that takes Bellamy down.

So it appears this chapter finally whittles the fighting down to just two more major enemy powers, with Doflamingo obviously being one of them. And with Luffy now defeating Bellamy, it looks like Doflamingo will be his next target. But whether or not the next chapter will move onto Luffy and Doflamingo, or whether it will focus on the other major enemy power that’s left, is unknown at this point. Personally, I think the other major enemy power will be focused on next in order to leave Luffy vs. Doflamingo as the last major battle.

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

World Trigger CH:095

This chapter opens with a flashback to eight months earlier, when Ko surpassed Arafune as an attacker and what Ko went through. He feels like he just steals everyone’s hard work with his Side Effect. Ko thinks he caused Arafune to quit as an attacker, but Arafune claims he had planned to quit when he hit 8,000 points.

We then return to present time, where Osamu, Yuma, and Chika talk about the stages that Nasu Squad are most likely to choose, and they also talk about their own team’s strategy. Then we see Nasu Squad talking about which stage they chose and their squad’s strategy.

And now it’s beginning of Round Three of the B-Rank Wars, and the commentators share their thoughts on Nasu Squad’s stage choice. The participants are sent into the riverbank stage, with a rainstorm for the weather conditions. The third round is just starting to get underway when the chapter ends.

So this chapter is basically setting the stage for the third round of the B-Rank Wars. However, we do get some brief backstory information on Ko, so that was helpful to understand why he acted the way he did in the previous chapter. Nasu Squad has definitely set up an interesting stage for this round of the B-Rank Wars, so it could be interesting to see how Osamu, Yuma, and Chika deal with this.

My Hero Academia CH:033

In this chapter, Shinso tells Midoriya that it must be nice to have everything handed to him, and then tells him to turn around and walk out of the ring. It turns out Shinso’s Quirk is brainwashing. We learn that Midoriya had been warned about Shinso’s quirk, and we see a flashback of what he was told. As Midoriya walks, he sees people and suddenly starts regaining his own consciousness. Midoriya turns around and faces Shinso again, and Midoriya can only think what he wants to say in return to Shinso in his mind because speaking to Shinso will activate the brainwashing again. The two end up getting into a physical fight, and Midoriya manages to win the round right at the end of the chapter.

So it looked like Shinso had found a way to make the round end easily with his Brainwashing Quirk. But somehow, Midoriya received some mysterious help. Midroriya does think a little about what this mysterious help could have been. Hopefully Midoriya and the reader can get some concrete answers for what happened to Midoriya in this chapter. And now that Midoriya managed has managed to make it past the first round, I wonder who Midoriya will have to face off against in his next round and what will happen to him.

Blue Exorcist CH:065

We see that the characters are back in school now, and Miwa thinks that he sees Renzo. Then we see a flashback to about a year ago, when Renzo was given a business card from The Illuminati. Director Shima was asked to have Renzo, his son, become a spy. The director is against it, but Renzo says he wants to do it. Rin comes to school, wearing a wif and and trying to pass himself off as Renzo because he feels responsible for Renzo leaving. But then the real Renzo shows up. Everyone is happy to see him, but they demand that he explain himself. He doesn’t give a real answer, so some of the others begin attacking Renzo. Right at the end of the chapter, Mephisto appears and tells them to stop punishing Renzo.

This chapter sees most of the characters trying to return to their “nomral” life after dealing with Gedoin and rescuing Izumo. But the main focus of this chapter is on Renzo. The flashback we see explains how he became a double agent. Unfortunately, since it doesn’t seem Renzo can tell his friends about it, he has to act in a way that makes his friends angry with him. I suspect that Mephisto will probably end up being the one to explain the truth to Renzo’s friends. I wonder how they’ll react to Renzo after finding out the truth of what he was doing and why he was doing it.

Food Wars! CH:109

Soma and Hisako are told they passed, and that the paperwork for their next assigned Stagiaire location should arrive tomorrow. As Soma talks with Hisako, he learns that she doesn’t have a lot of confidence and thinks she needs to follow in Erina’s footsteps. Soma advises her that instead of trying to follow in Erina’s footsteps, she needs to make herself into someone who can stand beside her. After saying this, Soma realizes that he needs to follow his own advice, since all he’s done up to now is try to follow in his father’s footsteps.

We then see Erina giving Megumi a ride home in her fmaily’s fancy car. Through their conversation, we learn that they both passed as well. As they talk, Megumi gives Soma a lot of credit for how far she’s come, and Erina doesn’t like hearing this.

A chef on his way to receiving his third star is in the process of opening up his first restaurant overseas is not happy to hear that Chef Dojima wants to saddle him with “useless students.” But right at the end of the chapter, Soma suddenly appears at his door.

So the first Stagiaire Week assignment is completed, and both teams that we followed passed. There was also some great character development in this chapter, especially for Hisako. And it was good to see that Soma has a better understanding of the fact that he’s just as guilty as Hisako is when it comes to trying to follow someone else’s footsteps. But I admit I’m a little confused about the Stagiaire thing, because at the beginning of the arc, it was established as being “Stagiaire Week.” I had assumed they would stay in one location for the week, and it appeared this first assignment lasted 4-5 days. So if this is a new assignment for the week, they only get 2-3 days for this one. Hopefully this will be clarified a little more in the next chapter.

Ultra Battle Satellite CH:002

Jin discovers that his bounty went up after winning his battle against Hosuto and that he’ll get $7,000 for winning the match. The next day at school, Jin demands to talk to Sakura. He learns that she was watching the match, but then asks her who she is and what U.B.S. is. She doesn’t answer his questions, but asks him to meet her at the shrine by the station after school.

Porky accompanies Jin to the meeting location, and Jin tells her it’s time to answer his questions. She reveals she has a U.B.S. phone, and Jin asks Sakura if she’s also a fighter. After Sakura activates her phone, she begins attacking Jin. By activating her phone, the match will stream worldwide for the people who pay to view it. Subscribers bet a fortune on the matches. The chapter ends with Jin accepting Sakura’s challenge.

Surprise, surprise! It turns out Sakura isn’t just a fan of U.B.S., she’s also a participant. I had my suspicions about her interest in Jin and getting him hooked up with U.B.S., and this chapter proved that my suspicions of her weren’t off-base. While Chapter Two was a little better than Chapter One, I’m still not sold on Ultra Battle Satellite yet. Maybe Chapter Three will be better than Chapter Two.

Toriko CH:315

The Four Kings start unleashing several powerful attacks on the Monkey King, but nothing seems to faze him. In fact, it appears almost as if he can move at the speed of light. After some fighting, all four of them manage to grab the Monkey King’s balls, but they won’t come off. Unfortunately, Toriko acts recklessly, and they’re no longer in sync; this allows the Monkey King to start getting the upper hand. The four of them fall, and they are surrounded by a colony of wild Sundorikos and their deadly pollen. The Monkey King grabs them and is just about to eat them, and Toriko decides he’ll eat the Monkey King back. Right at the end of the chapter, Toriko swears he can see Komatsu, and something happens to the Monkey King’s balls…

Well, then. That was an… um… interesting chapter. But I have to say I’m getting really tired of this whole storyline with the Monkey King and his balls. I hope that the ending of this chapter is trying to tell the reader that this particular storyline is almost over. Please, let this almost be over. It’s starting to feel like it’s being stretched out for longer than it needs to be.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:013

The chapter opens with Abaku recapping the evidence that Sarutobi has presented for the case. Abaku asks Sarutobi why there were only sketches for the first two similar works and not the third one that was exactly identical. Abaku has a theory that Ms. Van Gogh was not the one who painted the identical third paintings. Instead, the two boys painted their own paintings intentionally in order to bring about a lawsuit since rumors of plagiarism already existed at the school. Abaku also wonders what Ms. Van Gogh’s weakness was that caused her to paint for the two boys to begin with. He then asks Ms. Van Gogh if she is ghost painting for her mentor, Suenari Yamo. They ultimately wanted this school judgment in order to save Ms. Van Gogh from Yamo. The boys say that Abaku’s theories are right. By the end of the chapter, Sarutobi and Abaku seem to bring about an end to their rivalry.

When some of the information about Ms. Van Gogh was revealed in the previous chapter, I somehow felt that she was painting for her mentor in some way, but I didn’t know whether she was being forced to or what. I hadn’t anticipated that Da Vinci and Picasso had been forcing her to ghost paint for them, or that they were doing this in order to help Ms. Van Gogh. While they had good intentions for what they did, I’m glad to see the students were made to do some weeding for calling for a school judgment under false pretenses. And I was glad to see Abaku and Sarutobi start to get along now. While Sarutobi will probably still have the basic personality he has now, I’m thinking he’ll be working with Abaku now instead of against him.

Cyborg Roggy CH:003

Roggy and Dog are approached by an investor of the Baubul Company. The original of an augmentation unit has appeared, and he wants Roggy to destroy it. Roggy goes to Baubul and discovers that it’s a toy company. Roggy claims to be a co-worker of the guy who approached him about the job, and he meets with two people from the business division. As Roggy is being led on a tour, he finds an employee, grabs him, and takes his uniform without his guide noticing. By getting access to a storage area, Roggy is able to investigate. Unfortunately, he is found, and he gets attacked wherever he goes as he flees. But Roggy is able to get past everyone. Just as he thinks he may have found what he’s looking for, the chapter comes to an end.

This was probably the most interesting chapter Cyborg Roggy that I’ve read. Unfortunately, it ends on a cliffhanger, and we have no guarantee of being able to read more of this series since it’s currently part of the “Jump Start” initiative. While Cyborg Roggy wasn’t my favorite series from this set of “Jump Start” titles, I can say it easily comes in second place. If it was ever decided to continue Cyborg Roggy in Weekly Shonen Jump, I wouldn’t be too adverse to the idea.

Bleach CH:618

This chapter sees Shunsui communicating with Aizen, in the hope that Aizen will want to help the Soul Society during this time of crisis.

We then move on to Yhwach facing off against Ukitake, who has now taken Reio’s place. Ichigo tries to get in Yhwach’s way. Yoruichi does what she can to protect Reio and Reio’s arm. The chapter ends just as Ichigo and Yhwach are about to get into what should be a major fight.

This chapter was ended up being a very quick read. While the scenes do include some dialogue to help make some minor progression to the story, most of the panels focus on action. I just hope Kubo isn’t back to try to stretch this story out simply to keep it going longer.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:161

Tsugumi asks Raku for help to save Chitoge, and he agrees. Tsugumi gives Raku instructions on how to sneak in while everyone’s packing for the move. With Tsugumi’s instructions, he’s able to get a key to the room Chitoge is locked in, but he has to avoid traps in order to get to her. Tsugumi tries to distract Claude, but he catches on. Tsugumi tries to attack, but Claude thwarts her attempt. Raku makes it to the room, and Chitoge lectures him for being stupid because he could get himself killed by coming here. When Raku tries to unlock the door, the key doesn’t work. It turns out Claude has the real key. Raku tries to reason with Claude, but the chapter ends with Claude threatening Raku.

Just as it looked like Raku would be able to save the day, it turned out that he was unable to. At this point, I’m still trying to figure out whether or not the series may be wrapping up, or if Komi is simply creating a long story arc that makes it look like the series could be ending. But I have to admit that these recent chapters of Nisekoi: False Love have been some of the best that I’ve read in quite a while.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:031

Yu and the others are at Nagoya City Hall, and they’re just starting to launch their attack on Crowley, Chess, and Horn. Guren and the others realize that even though there are 15 of them, they’re outnumbered by how strong the three vampires are. They have to decide whether to kill the hostages so they can’t be interrogated, or if they should split up their group to go after the vampires and free the hostages. Shinoa reminds everyone that their mission is to just be decoys so the vampires don’t notice their forces gathering in Shinjuku.

Meanwhile, the three vampires come up with their own plan to capture two of the commanders to take to Lord Ferid.

Guren orders that only his squad will go after Crowley Eusford, and that Narumi and Shinoa squads will use that chance to rescue the hostages. They are told they have five minutes to free as many of the hostages as they can, and that they must retreat right at the five minute mark. Goshi is ordered to create an illusion to make it look like there’s 200 of them. The squads move out to start into their respective assignments. Guren encounters Crowley, and the two of them begin to fight… but Crowley is able to take him down very easily. When Shinoa Squad sees that Guren is in trouble, they decide to abandon their mission and rescue him instead. We see Mika trying to get to Yu right at the end of the chapter.

This chapter sees Guren coming face-to-face with an enemy that’s actually leagues ahead of him when it comes to strength. Things are looking pretty bad for him at the moment, but I don’t think Shinoa’s squad is going to be able to help as much as they think they can. I’m predicting that while Shinoa’s squad might be able to slow the enemy down, they won’t be able to prevent Crowley and his minions from capturing Guren. I could be wrong, but I just don’t quite see a successful rescue operation here.

Claymore CH:001

Claymore is the next title being featured for Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initaitve.

In Claymore, humans coexist with creatures called Yoma; the Yoma are sentient monsters that feed on human innards. A nameless and secretive organization was created out of half-human, half-Yoma warriors to protect the humans from the Yoma; however, this organization charges large fees for their services. The humans have called these warriors either “Claymores” due to the large, unsheathed swords they carry or “Silver Eye Witches” due to their appearance and cold demeanor toward others. The Claymores are created by the organization by implanting Yoma flesh and blood into humans.

At the beginning of the series, a small town is terrorized by a Yoma and a Claymore named Clare is assigned to take care of the Yoma in that village. Clare is a distant and quiet Claymore, and she occasionally has an impulsive side. While she is at the village, Clare meets a naïve and kind-hearted young man named Raki; his parents were murdered by a Yoma, and he lived with his brother and his uncle in the village. It turns out the Yoma who attacked Raki’s parents disguised himself as Raki’s brother, and was the Yoma attacking the village. This Yoma is killed by Clare, and soon after the Yoma’s defeat, Clare leaves the village.

My first exposure to Claymore came through watching the anime series first, and this first chapter was basically left intact in the anime adaptation. This chapter does a great job establishing the world this series inhabits, as well as what the Claymore are and how they came to be. While the interactions between Clare and Raki are relatively brief in this first chapter, the reader can already see that the two of them will end up forging some kind of relationship.

The art in this first chapter looks rather rough, though. I read a much later volume of Claymore a few months back, and the art definitely has improved over time and doesn’t look nearly as rough as this chapter does.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 147 (December 8, 2014)

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

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

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

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

Nisekoi: False Love CH:150

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

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

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:028

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

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

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

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:002

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

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

World Trigger CH:086

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

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

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

Bleach CH:608

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

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

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:013

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

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

E-ROBOT CH:003

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

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

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

Toriko CH:304

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

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

Food Wars! CH:098

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

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

Food Wars! Japanese Editor Picks

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

Blue Exorcist CH:063

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

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

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

Naruto CH:006

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

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

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

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

VIZ Media’s Top 10 Selling Digital Manga for the Week of November 18, 2014

VIZ Media has announced their top ten selling digital manga for the week of November 18, 2014.

1. Food Wars! Volume 4
2. One-Punch Man Volume 5
3. Naruto Volume 2
4. Naruto Volume 1
5. Naruto Volume 67
6. Bleach Volume 62
7. Blue Exorcist Volume 12
8. Mad Love Chase Volume 2
9. Zone-00 Volume 1
10. Dengeki Daisy Volume 15

VIZ Media Announces Its Top 10 Selling Digital Manga for the Week of November 11, 2014

VIZ Media has announced the company’s top 10 selling digital manga for the week of November 11, 2014.

1. Bleach Volume 62
2. Chibi Vampire: Airmail
3. Naruto Volume 67
4. Naruto Volume 1
5. Naruto Volume 2
6. Blue Exorcist Volume 12
7. Trinity Blood Volume 9
8. Lucky Star Volume 5
9. Nisekou: False Love Volume 5
10. Vampire Knight Volume 19

VIZ Media Announces Top Ten Selling Digital Manga for the Week of November 4, 2014

VIZ Media has announced the company’s top ten selling digital manga for the week of November 4, 2014.

1. Bleach Volume 62
2. Blue Exorcist Volume 12
3. Naruto Volume 1
4. Naruto Volume 2
5. Claymore Volume 25
6. Dengeki Daisy Volume 15
7. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1 Volume 2
8. Kiss of the Rose Princess Volume 1
9. Food Wars! Volume 3
10. Naruto Volume 3