Weekly Shonen Jump (July 6, 2015)

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

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

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

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

One-Punch Man CH:047

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

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

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:035

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

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

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

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

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

Nisekoi: False Love CH:177

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

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

Bleach CH:633

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

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

World Trigger CH:108

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

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

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

Food Wars! CH:125

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

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

My Hero Academia CH:049

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

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

Black Clover CH:020

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

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

One Piece CH:792

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

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

Blue Exorcist CH:068

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

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

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

Dragon Ball CH:001

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

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

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

Manga Review: “Blue Exorcist” Volume 13

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

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

Blue Exorcist Volume 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

Weekly Shonen Jump (June 8, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for Toriko, One Piece, Food Wats!, Black Clover, Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, Devilyman, Bleach, Nisekoi: False Love, My Hero Academia, One-Punch Man, and Blue Exorcist. This issue also includes the sixh chapter of the Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring mini-series the finale for Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, and the first chapter of Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac (which is the latest title to be featured for the “Jump Back” initiative). And at the back of the volume, there are some cosplay photos from Fanimecon and some fan art for My Hero Academia.

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

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

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

Toriko CH:326

This chapter introduces Gold Chef Jiji. In addition, Toriko confronts Starjun, and Starjun says he heard about Toriko acquiring pair. He also drops a hint to Toriko about something Midora said to him about pair. Komatsu approaches Gold Chef Jiji and asks if he’s the one who wrote the cookbook that he found in Gourmet Pyramid. It turns out that Golf Chef Jiji has a little bit of knowledge about the locations and capture methods for the remaining dishes in Acacia’s full-course meal. He says he’ll tell, but that he’ll be the one to decide who goes where. He decies that the majority of the members will remain in Area 6 due to how difficult capturing the course there will be. He assigns Zebra and Brunch to go to Area 5, Sunny and Live-Bearer to Area 4, Coco and Tylan to Area 3, and Toriko and Starjun to Area 1.

The purpose of this chapter is set up what I suspect will be simultaneously running storylines that will make this story arc last a while. I find Toriko and Starjun to be an interesting pairing, since they’re rivals being forced to work together. Hopefully they’ll be able to work together for the good of the world. It’s going to be interesting to see how the story progresses between the various groups that are out trying to acquire the remaining dishes for Acacia’s full-course meal before the eclipse.

One Piece CH:789

We see that the center of the birdcage is just about to burst. However, they insist on still trying to push it to try to slow it down. Meanwhile, Rebecca is trying to stop Viola from fighting wity Doflamingo. Doflamingo takes control of Rebecca and tries to make her kill Viola. The announcer from the colosseum comes out and starts talking about Luffy, and then starts addressing Doflamingo as a way to distract him and get him away from Viola and Rebecca. At the same time, those who were healed by Princess Mansherry’s tears begin collapsing. Just as Rebecca is about to kill Viola, Luffy recovers and jumps in between them.

Oda spent this chapter building up to Luffy’s recovery, and sprinkled in some danger for Viola and Rebecca in the process. He also made sure to make the whole situation seem like it could be lost prior to Luffy getting back up. It looks like the scene is being set for Luffy to resume his battle with Doflamingo when the next chapter is published.

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

Food Wars! CH:121

After his meeting with Kuga, soma finds himself wondering what he’s going to be doing for the festival. Hojo points out that there’s one more thing that Kuga has Soma outdone by a long shot: name recognition. When talking with Mitsuru, he learns that the journalism club is responsible for putting together the festival guidebook that is handed out to all the guests. When he returns home to Polaris Dorm, he is approached by Isshiki about the idea of the dorm doing a booth for the festival together. Soma still wants to do his own booth, though. Fortunately, Isshiki is willing to explain the application form to Soma as well as what Kuga’s plans are for his booth location. We then move ahead in time to the last day of booth applications. We see that Soma has requested the space directly in front of the Chinese Food Research Society’s booth. Right at the end of the chapter, Soma learns that anyone whose booth on their own will be expelled if their booth ends up in the red.

This chapter is all about setting the stage for the forthcoming school festival. As the chapter goes along, it appears that Soma has actually thought ahead and was being clever. Unfortunately for him, he learns after everything is set in place that he has the potential to be expelled if his booth ends up in the read. So now the stress and stakes are even higher than he thought they were. It’s going to be interesting to see how he’s going to pull this off, especially since Soma’s going head-to-head against one of the members of the council of 10 and doing the same kind of food that Kuga is renowned for making.

Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring CH:006

This chapter opens with Sasuke battling with Shin and the freaky-looking mystery man. During the exchange, the mystery man reveals his intention to revive the Akatsuki. Sasuke asks Naruto to protect the children, but then suddenly Sasuke’s sword ends up in Naruto. It’s revealed that the mystery man has an ocular power that allows him to manipulate weapons. The mystery man launches an attack on Sarada, but Sasuke jumps in the way to protect her. But just at that moment, Sakura shows up and gives the mystery man a very powerful punch. Sakura and Sasuke talk about Sarada, but then the mystery man uses teleportation and takes Sakura with them right into the heart of enemy territory.

This chapter reveals some more about the mystery man, but still not his name. It was bittersweet to see Sasuke, Sakura, and Sarada reunited for such a short time. But it looks like Sakura will end up playing an important role when it comes to Shin and the mystery man as a medic ninja. It’s going to be interesting to see where the mini-series is going to progress from here.

Black Clover CH:016

Luck and Asta’s enemy decides to make a break for it instead od trying to stick around and continue fighting. We then return to Golden Dawn’s battle with their opponent. Yuno and his teammate, Klaus, keep trying to exchange blows with their opponent, but nothing seems to work. Yuno has a flashback of him and Asta fighting each other when they were younger, anf Asta declaring he’s not going to quit until he hits Yuno. Yuno channels that memory and declares to his current opponent that he’s not going to stop. move, or give up. Asta then shows up with his sword and declares that Yuno is his rival. At the end of the chapter, it turns into a contest between Asta and Yuno as to which one of them will be the first to take down this opponent.

This chapter seemed like it was going to be Yuno’s turn to shine, since it appeared that he was about to launch a major counterattack against his opponent. But I should have guessed that the loudmouth protagonist would jump in and try to upstage his rival. This is one of those dynamics that reminds me very heavily of how just how inspired by Naruto that this series is. Of course, it didn’t help that I had just read the Naruto mini-series right before I read this chapter. And I expect that the next chapter will be focusing on Asta and Yuno’s competition.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:034

Yuichiro asks Asamaru to give him power so he can rescue Guren. Asamaru says that while giving power isn’t a problem, it’s the pills he took that is. Asamaru then says that Yuichiro should be dead, but the power of the angels is forcibly keeping him alive. Yuichiro sees a trumpet and thinks that he wants it. Asamaru says he shouldn’t take it because angels can be nastier than demons. Asamaru then tries to heal Yuichiro and comments that he can’t be put back to normal because he’s lost more of his humanity. Yuichiro demands Asamaru’s power and says that the power is his; three pills’ worth of the drug is in effect, and he can use all of Asamaru’s strength for 2-3 minutes without becoming a demon. In the battle, Yuichiro revives and uses his demon strength to go after Lord Crowley and demands that he gives Guren back. Guren tells Yuichiro to get out of there, but Yuichiro is too determined to go after Crowley. Yuichiro demands more power from Asamaru, and now that the pills have worn off, Asamaru tempts Yuichiro to let his desire swallow him in order to obtain power. Kimizuki then arrives on the scene to rescue Yuichiro from being possessed. After retrieving Yuichiro, Kimizuki and the others start to run. Right at the end of the chapter, we see that Mikaela is determined to get Yuichiro back.

This chapter ended up being very intense. First, its the intensity of Yuichiro as he’s interacting with Asamaru and trying to acquire more power. Then, it gets intense when Yuichiro acquires more power and tries going after Crowley. The intensity builds to Yuichio being possessed by Asamaru, and Kimizuki doing what he can to try to save his teammmate. It was a little disappointing to see that Guren ultimately had to be left behind so the others could escape. Hopefully Guren will be able to make it through this without being killed. And the final words of Mikaela’s show that he has every intention of getting Yuichiro, and I suspect that the next chapter will focus on him fighting with Yuichiro’s teammmates.

Devilyman CH:003

A woman is trying to rescue a cat, but she ends up falling and landing on a sleeping Madogawa. Her name is Ruri Kururi, and she’s a police officer trainee. Aeru tells her his hands are cold and asks Ruri to warm them up for him. But Aeru discovers she doesn’t have anything he can hold over her when he looks into her mind. When Ruri discovers the cat in here, she starts making a mess in Aeru’s place, which angers Aeru. Ruri is kicked out. When she tries to go back in so she can take Aeru home to his parents, Ruri discovers that he’s gone. When Ruri returns to the police station, she is given a new case: she has to go back to the tent city and make the homeless all pack up and leave. It turns out filming is being done for a show called Police 24. Ruri was accompanied by her boss, Officer Miyoshi. Aeru returns and manages to touch Miyoshi’s hand, and he managed to see something juicy in Miyoshi’s mind. Later, while Miyoshi is in the bathroom, papers starting floating into the stall which detail the shady practices he has engaged in. Aeru locks Miyoshi in the stall and starts trying to negotiate for the squatters to stay.

So this chapter brings in a corrupt member of the police force, and it appears at the end of this chapter that this character and storyline will be continuing, at least for the next chapter. Unfortunately, since this is the last chapter being run as part of the “Jump Start” initiative, we won’t know whether or not my assumption is correct.

Devilyman didn’t grab me with its first chapter, but the series has slowly started improving. While I wouldn’t say that this is a bad manga, I also wouldn’t call it a great one, either. It’s not bad for what it is, but it’s really not the type of manga that interests me for the most part.

Bleach CH:629

The contingent that has reached Reiokyu start heading toward the castle, but Urahara tells them to wait and asks where Kurotsuchi went. We then see what Kurotsuchi is planning on doing; unfortunately, his plan is suddenly thwarted by seeing that Kenpachi and some of the other Soul Reapers are still around. It appears to be hinted at that this group is planning to do something on their own. We then return to Reiokyu, and we see that this group discovers someone standing out in the distance.

So it appears that Kubo is trying to establish two storylines taking place. The main one, of course, is Ichigo and the others making their way through Reiokyu and getting to Yhwach for a rematch. I suspect the other storyline will see Kurotsuchi and the others who ended up being left behind going after Aizen. While it was never outright stated, that’s the only thing I can think of that they’re planning to do since we know he’s back. And let’s face it, quite a few of the Soul Reapers didn’t seem to be terribly thrilled by Aizen’s appearance. But hopefully Kubo will return to making some noticeable progress in the story sooner rather than later.

Gakkyu Hotel: School Judgment Finale

We see that Abaku has summoned Tento to the site of the Bloody Session, and he asks Tento if he is Red Ogre. We learn that Kijima has gotten her memory back about the incident, and she and Sarutobi also appear in the classroom. Tento admits that Abaku has guessed correctly. The three tongues realized that the truth of the situation was that the perp must have been an adult, and that the only adult in the classroom at the time was the teacher. We see in a flashback that Abaku learned some details about their teacher that definitely back up the idea that she was the culprit. And in the end the teacher killed herself after realizing what she’d done. And the truth about why the three tongues had been sent to Onigashima Elementary and about Red Ogre are also revealed. We then learn that Sarutobi snuck into a hospital and grabbed a chart of Tento’s. It turns out Tento was absent from school that day because he was sick with a cold. Because he hadn’t been in class that day, he wasn’t sent to Onigashima and was instead transferred to another school. It’s also revealed that there was an operation to reveal the truth to these survivors by setting a stage to solve the mystery of Red Ogre by their own hand. Basically, every case we saw in the series was part of this plan.

We then move ahead to Tenbin Elementary’s graduation, and it’s been a half a year since the truth was revealed in the previous scene. There’s narration that explains what happened during those six months, and then the story is brought to a close.

I’m glad that the English version of Weekly Shonen Jump decided to publish the final piece of the story after it had been released in Japan. There’s so much exposition included here that brings absolute closure to the series. With the way this chapter ends, there really is no way or reason to bring this series back in any way. The overarching story has been resolved, and everything has been brought to as happy of an ending as it could have been.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:173

At the temple, Chitoge suddenly comes running up to Raku and starts yelling at him about his “close friends” comment from an earlier chapter. He also senses a spooky vibe coming from the other girls. Shu shows Raku a cup with sake, and it makes Raku remember the girls getting drunk on whiskey bon bons during the previous New Year’s holiday. Shu tells Raku to run, and when he does, the girls follow him. It appears the girls somehow got drunk again and are chasing Raku and putting the moves on him. Raku finds Paula, who didn’t drink the sake, and tries to get her to help him. But at the end of the chapter, we see the girls waking up and not remembering what happened, which is what happened to Raku after this same getting drunk plot point happened to him the previous year.

Oh, dear God. Komi had to reuse his drunk plot device from the previous New Year’s story. It was stupid the first time, and it was just as stupid this time. Why does Komi feel a need to recycle his plot ideas as often as he does? Has he started running out of story ideas? If so, maybe it’s a sign that it’s time for him to wrap up Nisekoi: False Love. The chapters where he recycles ideas he used in an earlier chapter of the series don’t interest me, and they end up annoying me.

My Hero Academia CH:045

Two days after the sports festival, someone on the train Midoriya is riding recognizes him from the sports festival, and then other nearby people realize who he is and start complimenting him. As he’s reaching school, he runs into Ida, who says his brother is OK and apologizes if either he or his brother caused Midoriya any undue concern. In class, the students start sharing that they had similar experiences to Midoriya’s on the train. In their Hero Informatics class, they are assigned to come up with their hero aliases. Before they get to that, though, their instructor shares the complete pro draft pick numbers. We see that Todoroki came in first, followed by Bakugo in second. Ida is in fourth. Midoriya is nowhere to be found on the list. A hero named Midnight comes in to assess the sensibility of the hero aliases that the students pick. The first couple of names are shot down by Midnight, but then better ones start coming along. Midoriya surprises everyone by proposing “Deku” as his hero alias, but he explains that he’s the deku who gives it his all. Right at the end of the chapter, All Might sees a pro pick for Midoriya, and is surprised by what he sees.

So this chapter is basically here for the students to try to come up with their hero aliases. It also establishes the pro draft picks and the idea that the students will soon be accompanying heroes and be mentored by them. Some of the names the students came up with were rather hilarious, even though most of those were shot down by Midnight. Overall, this was a light chapter, except for the brief flashback Ida has of visiting his brother in the hospital and learning that he has lost the feeling in his legs. And with the way the chapter ended, it looks like the stage is being set to reveal which pro has expressed interest in Midoriya.

One-Punch Man CH:044.2

A hero going by the name of Handsome Kamen approaches Suppon and fights him. The fight doesn’t last long, and the hero wins. Meanwhile, an attempt is still being made to get Saitama to join with a hero faction, but he refuses. Just then, King comes in and asks Saitama if he borrowed his video game. The woman who came to visit is surprised to see the two of them interacting, and she wonders if she could join them. And then we see the Hero Association assigning hero names for Genos and Saitama. We see that Genos is to be called Demon Cyborg, and that Saitama is to be called Bald Cape, and they think these two will be overjoyed with these suggestions.

This chapter is basically a hodgepodge that shows pieces of at least two or three different plot points. The section with Saitama seemed to last the longest, but these scenes barely get going before moving on to something else. Hopefully this series will soon show us what overarching plot point it’s ultimately heading for, because right now, there’s not much happening to truly advance the story.

Blue Exorcist CH:068

Yukio finds himself wondering if he should seek advice. His thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of Rin. A tense Yukio tells Rin that he’s going out and will be home late. We then see Yukio visiting someone in the hospital, and they start talking about whether or not they can trust Shima and Lord Pheles. We then learn that Mephisto gave Yukio tickets to a bath house as a reward for the fighting they did, and everyone ends up going. This also includes Shima. Then the chapter starts seeing various characters heading into the baths and spending time in them. While they’re there, Yukio asks Miwa if he really trusts Shima. Miwa says he does. We then see that Shima is perv and is determined to see the girls in their bath. Rin stops him, though. And then on top of the wall they see the three wise monkeys, and anyone who goes near them wants to see, speak, or hear secrets. Yukio realizes that he can’t let himself be possessed and reveal what’s in his heart. Bon uses a simple ward to get rid of the demons. But somehow, the wall dividing the two baths collapses, and both groups can see the other. Later, Rin talks to Yukio and says that he seems to be worried about something. But all Yukio says is that he’s tired.

The majority of this chapter seems to be here to provide fanservice and some light-hearted fun. I guess this is to help lessen the heavier mood that has been in the manga for a little while, as well as to provide a short break before truly getting the next story underway. From what I’m seeing, it appears that Yukio will be the focus of the next story, and his desire to want to be stronger.

Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac CH:001

Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac is the next title to be featured for Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative. There will be a total of four chapters of this manga to appear over the next four weeks.

A couple of tourists visiting some ruins in Greece are startled by a loud noise and finding a young man covered in wounds lying on the ground. When the young man awakens, he asks where a woman is. Before they can answer, the man senses that the person he’s looking for is nearby. When the two tourists see who the young man is looking for, them become scared and run off. We learn that the young man’s name is Seiya. The woman is Marin, and she’s apparently training Seiya. Apparently, Seiya is supposed to battle against a ferocious opponent named Cassios the next day. Marin insists that Seiya prove to her that he can beat Cassios before she’ll stop training him. The tourists then see Seiya and Marin disappear, and find a crater where they had been. When they return to town, they learn that Seiya and Marin are the Knights of Athena, and they, along with a reader, are provided an explanation of what the Knights of Athena are.

The story then shifts to the battle next day between Seiya and Cassios. They are the last two warriors remaining, and the one who wins will become one of Athena’s honored knights. But before the battle takes place, Shina says there’s a rumor that Seiya left Sanctuary the previous evening, and he and Marin try to fight the accusation. The master in charge says that Seiya can still fight, and the battle begins. Cassios grabs Seiya and starts toying with him. But it turns out that Seiya manages to rip off Cassios’ ear. And from here, Seiya continues to get the upper hand. As the battle goes on, Marin has a flashback of when she first met Seiya and the training she has done with him over the past six years. In real time, Cassios seems to be getting some of his momentum back. Seiya has a flashback of something Marin taught him. And right at the end of the chapter, it appears that Seiya has landed a major blow on Cassios.

This chapter spends a lot of time establishing the concept of the Knights of Athena, as well as providing backstory for both Seiya and Marin. This first chapter also includes a major battle, so there’s action mixed in with the exposition; this helps to keep this an interesting read as well as keeps the exposition from bogging down the story too much.

When it comes to the art, it’s obviously an older manga just from the look and feel of it. And as the introduction to this Jump Back feature explains, this manga was originally drawn over 30 years ago, and was done in such a way that it was meant for print publication. Because of this, there will be white spaces on the pages where a panel covers two pages. Fortunately, I didn’t see this very often in Chapter One. But even when I did notice that was there, it really didn’t distract me that much from what I was reading.

Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac is off to a good start, and I’m interested in seeing where the story will go next.

New Manga Releases: June 2, 2015

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

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

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.