Weekly Shonen Jump (May 25, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Nisekoi: False Love, Toriko, Food Wars!, Black Clover, Straighten Up! Welcome to Shika High’s Competitive Dance Club, My Hero Academia, Bleach, World Trigger, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. This issue also includes the first chapter of Devilyman (the second title being featured in this wave of the “Jump Start” initiative, fourth chapter of the Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring mini-series and the third chapter of Yu-Gi-Oh! (which is the latest 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.

Devilyman CH:001

This is the second title that Weekly Shonen Jump is including in this round of the “Jump Start” initiative.

Madogiwa is a hard-working devil salaryman. He has ended up in the human world because he needs to earn one billion yen by the next collection day in order to avoid being fired from his job. Unfortunately, he isn’t able to get anything done right. Madogiwa meets a 7-year-old named Aeru Taira, who wants to make a deal with him. After learning the details, Aeru wants to make a deal; however, Madogiwa is hesistant to make a deal with a child. But before the demon can make his case, Aeru has signed the contract. Aeru is granted this new power and begins using it immediately. Aeru then suggests using his new ability to help Madogiwa reach his quota.

At the end of the first day working together, they have raised 20 million yen. But due to the deal, Madogiwa only gets about half. The next day, Madogiwa is approached by a man who had run off from him the previous day. It turns out the guy was watching Madogiwa and Aeru and has come asking for a loan to help his sick wife. Madogiwa gives the man 10 million in cash, with a promise that the man will come back to sign a contract. Three hours later, the man hasn’t returned. Aeru comes over and says that if he gets Madogiwa’s money back, Madogiwa must give him due recognition and be his slave. He agrees. They’re able to track him down because Aeru had stolen the man’s wallet the previous day. The man gets a call claiming to be from a video store and that they have his wallet. When he gets to a location, people start coming up to him and demanding to get their money back. Aeru launches a plan and ultimately gets the money back. We then get to see a flashback of how Aeru used his ability to set everything up for his plan.

I’ve got to be honest here. Devilyman isn’t necessarily a bad series, but I’m not exactly feeling it after reading this first chapter. Maybe now that the story and characters have been established, future chapters will be more enjoyable to read. I’ll find out over the next couple of weeks as Weekly Shonen Jump publishes chapters two and three.

One Piece CH:787

Sabo takes on Burgess, and tells Luffy to focus on Doflamingo. Zoro, meanwhile, is trying to hold back the birdcage; this is followed by other people around Dressrosa trying to do this as well. Citizens try to get up onto the royal plateau, but some of Doflamingo’s goons are trying to keep them back. But the coliseum gladiators arrive and knock Doflamingo’s men out of the way. Right at the end of the chapter, it’s revealed that there’s only three minutes until the birdcage reaches the center and four minutes until Luffy’s haki recovers.

This is another chapter that jumps around quite a bit in order to show what’s happening in various locations in Dressrosa. The end of this chapter firmly establishes a time limit, but I wonder how long Oda will try to stretch this out. I feel safe in saying that this won’t be resolved in the next chapter. It’ll probably take at least two or three chapters, if not more, in order to bring the climax of this arc to an end. But even when the climax is over, I expect that there will be a few chapters to wrap everything up at Dressrosa before moving on to whatever the next story arc will be.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:171

When Marika awakens, Raku asks her how long she hasn’t been feeling well. He then asks what Honda meant when she said that Marika didn’t have much time. Marika avoids the question by saying she doesn’t want to hide things from him, but she’s not ready to tell him yet. Raku ends up taking Marika on his back and trying to get to a location where they’ll be able to see the first sunrise of the year. As they walk, Marika says she loves Raku so much because he’s the person who changed her. They make it in time to see the sunrise, and then they see Honda appear in a boat. They make it back to Japan, and right at the end of the chapter, Honda says she’ll have to tell Marika’s mother about this escapade.

Komi tries really hard in this chapter to justify Marika’s actions and make it seem like she’s a sympathetic character. Unfortunately, I have a hard time buying it with how manipulative Marika can be. Also, I’m still expecting that this whole “Marika doesn’t have a lot of time left” will turn out to be something that Komi is trolling the readers with. He’s just done too much trolling recently for me to take anything like this seriously.

Toriko CH:324

Kuribo, the world’s greatest pot and pan craftsman, makes an appearance. He informs the group that the Gourmet Eclipse will be complete one month from now. He also confirms that Kaka’s prediction of the world crumbling during the eclipse is likely. There are two scenarios that are likely, and Toriko thinks if the second scenario is correct, there’s something they could try to do to stop the world from crumbling. But it’s also made clear that they don’t have enough time to gather Acacia’s full-course meal before the eclipse. But Zebra suggests that if they divide up the remaining ingredients among this large of a group, getting them all in time could be possible. Komatsu says he will capture Another, while Toriko and the others gather the rest of the ingredients. When the others try to argue, Komatsu argues that they all put their lives on the line for him, so now it’s his turn to put his life on the line for the others.

Again, this chapter primarily focused on exposition. However, the main exception is Komatsu arguing about going to get Another from the spirit realm. Like Toriko, I noticed how much Komatsu has grown and changed since his earlier appearances in the series. It seems like this particular journey has made Komatsu gain more courage and confidence. But at least the story is finally leaving the monkeys behind after all these chapters. From the final panel at the end of the chapter, it appears that getting Another will be the focus of the next story arc.

Food Wars! CH:119

The number one seat on the Council of Ten tells Soma and Subaru that he wishes they hadn’t done those Shokugeki during the fall classic, due to all of the paperwork that it added to his work load. Tsukasa then starts wondering if he’s really cut out for the number one seat. Soma is also schooled on the advantages that the members of the Council of Ten have at the school. The council also makes it known to the first-years that none of them are on their radar yet, and then it’s declared that the get-together is over. Afterward, Soma and Tadokoro talk about what happened. Right at the end of the chapter, it’s revealed that it’s almost time for the Totsuki Institute School Festival, which is the last major event of the fall.

So once again, a chapter primarily consisting of talking and exposition. To be honest, the only real thing of interest is the revelation right at the end of the chapter that the school festival is coming up. I suspect that this will be the plot point that begins the next story arc of the series. Considering what kind of school this is, I highly doubt it’s going to be the typical school festival that’s portrayed in various manga and anime.

Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring CH:004

Naruto faces off with Shin, and he does so by summoning the Nine Tailed Fox. He manages to dodge Naruto’s attack, but Shin receives a message saying that he needs to retreat. After Shin leaves, Cho-Cho starts talking to Naruto, and Naruto says he believes that Sarada is the one that Shin was after. Naruto resolves to protect Sarada. Naruto decides its safer for the girls to stay with the real him instead of returning to the village with one of his doppelgangers. As Naruto eats his lunch that Sarada brought him, he tells her about Sasuke. And as he talks, Naruto tells Sarada reminds him a lot of Sasuke and Sakura from their younger days. Sarada says she needs to use a restroom, but she goes on ahead to where Sasuke is. As she thinks about getting to see her father, her Sharingan awakens. Sarada sees him right at the end, but the reunion isn’t what she expected.

I really liked seeing Sarada’s interactions with Naruto during this chapter, as well as how relaxed she’s able to feel around him. And I have to say that I felt bad for Sarada right at the end of the chapter. Here she is, meeting Sasuke for the first time, and he suspects her of being one of the enemy. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this mini series will continue to play out.

Black Clover CH:014

As Luck continues his fight, he has a flashback to when he was younger, about how he always smiling, as well as how he beat a noble in a school’s magic exchange program. And we see that it’s through this event that his mother, who used to berate him for things, became proud of him and told him to keep on winning. His competitor uses smoke creation magic to limit Luck’s maneuvering. Meanwhile, Golden Dawn is being attacked by the guy who beat them to the door. Yuno is ordered to go on ahead to the treasure hall. And as Asta and Noelle continue their journey, they can sense Luck using his magic. And just as it looks like Luck’s luck is running out, Asta appears. Yuno also returns to where Golden Dawn is.

I was appreciative of the backstory we got for Luck in this chapter, since I’d been following him for a chapter or two now, and really had no idea of who he is. A lot of the chapter focuses on Luck, although Golden Dawn get some attention here as well. Asta didn’t become important until right near the end of this chapter. And the stage seems to be set for Asta to take on Luck’s opponent, while Yuno is going to take on the guy that’s attacking him teammates. And because of that, I expect that Asta and Yuno will be the main focus of the next chapter.

Straighten Up! Welcome to Shika High’s Competitive Dance Club CH:003

The next day, Masaharu and Eri meet up in front of the club room, and are surprised to discover a large group of girls waiting there. Eri’s friend Chikane is with her, and she is introduced to Masaharu. The girls are disappointed when they find out that Yamaki isn’t there, but they stay to try dancing anyway. Masaharu’s friends, who followed him there, stay and try the club out. When the girls talk afterward, a lot of them decide not to join the club because they feel like they don’t belong in that world. The next day at school, Eri tells Masaharu’s friends to get a message to him from her. But he sees her heading toward the track team before her message can get to him. When he sees her, he wonders if he should go back to the dance club, and then he grabs her hand and tells her the two of them should join the dance club together.

So it looks like the pieces have now completely fallen into place for the story to move beyond establishing the characters and the dance club. Right now, the fanservice has really been diminished compared to what I saw in the first chapter. It may come back when they truly start doing some competitive dancing, but the past couple of chapters have bee na straight forward story. Masaharu and Eri seem to have a good chemistry, and it seems rather easy to ship these two at the moment. But with Masaharu’s hesitation with girls, getting this particular ship to sail will be on the difficult side.

It’s interesting to note that this is the third chapter, so this should be marking the end of this series for the “Jump Start” initiative, yet it has a “To Be Continued…” notice at the end of it.

My Hero Academia CH:043

It’s now time for the final match between Todoroki and Bakugo. Bakugo throws down the gauntlet, and an epic fight gets underway. It’s pointed out that Todoroki seems to have lost his drive since his fight against Midoriya. We see Todoroki’s thoughts, and we it’s revealed that he’s not sure about anything anymore. In the end, Todoroki ends up out of bounds, and Bakugo is declared the winner.

This is a very action oriented chapter, which made it a rather quick and easy read. I was actually surprised to see that the match ended at the end of this chapter, instead of being spread out between two chapters. And when you factor in the portions of the chapter where Todoroki is faltering and questioning himself, it’s even more impressive that the match ended in this chapter. But now that the sports festival is over, I wonder what kind of story the series will be telling next.

Bleach CH:627

Ichigo and the others make final preparations before entering Kyogoku. When they get there, the gate is ready to go, and Urahara opens it. But when they get there, Reiokyu looks different from what they expect.

Basically, this chapter focuses on the last leg of the journey for Ichigo and the others as they head toward Reiokyu. But for the most part, not a whole lot truly happens. This is a dialogue heavy chapter that includes a surprise ending. But I’m hoping that this ending is a sign that something will actually happen to start progressing the story forward.

World Trigger CH:103

This chapter starts out with the various teams meeting up after the match and talking over what happened. And then we get to see the commentators with the post-match analysis. After the commentary, we see Kohei and Masataka amongst themselves about the match. One thing they realize after the match is that Chika is unable to shoot other people. Right at the end of the chapter, Osamu is going over what happened during the match, and then receives a message from Usami about the next matchups.

This chapter is simply here to wrap up the match that ended in the previous chapter and to set the stage for the next match, which will be a four-way between Tamakoma-2, Ninomiya Squad, Kaguera Squad, and Azuma Squad. I had a suspicion that at least one of the squads they’d be up against would be Ninomiya Squad, since there was focus placed on a member of that squad leading up to Usami’s message at the end. Now the big question for the next chapter is whether or not it will focus solely on data gathering for the next match, or if the next match will actually begin in it.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:54

The battle between Yuma and Astral continues, with Yuma down to one life point and facing off against the True King of Numbers. Astral starts out by summoning for Numbers at once. Astral uses a trap card and launches his attack, but Yuma counters with his own trap card. Yuma then summons Gagaga Head and then special summons all the Gagaga monsters he can from his graveyard. This then allows Yuma to XYZ summon a Number from the graveyard. This then allows other things to happen. When it’s Astral’s turn, he tries to special summon three numbers again, but Yuma activates his tin balloons trap card. But Astral plays Spirit Foresight and tries to turn the tables again. As Astral starts making headway, Yuma activates another trap card. It looks like Yuma is going to lose, but he’s determined not to give up. The chapter ends with Yuma playing his final card, which is the Endless Bond spell card.

This chapter really upped the ante in this battle between Yuma and Astral. But just like the battle with E’rah, I’m starting to feel like this is being dragged out longer than necessary. It was exciting right at first, but as the chapter continued with no end in sight for the battle, I was starting to feel impatient and just wanted it to end. But with how the ending of this chapter is set up, I hope that the end of this battle is truly within sight. Honestly, I’d love to see it end in the next chapter.

Yu-Gi-Oh! CH:003

A kid at school bullies Yugi into selling tickets for his karaoke show. Yugi decides not to sell them to his friends, but thinks about selling them to a guy he hardly knows. Before he can, Hanasaki tries selling him a ticket for the same kid’s show. Yugi offers to take Hanasaki’s tickets, and now has 15 to sell instead of 10. Unfortunately, the bully saw the exchange and gets on Hanasaki’s case. On the day of the show, Yugi goes alone without selling any tickets. After subjecting Yugi to one song, the bully brings out Hanasaki as a “special guest.” Just then, Yugi’s Millennium Puzzle activates, and Yugi challenges the bully to a silence game. Yugi says that if he loses, he gives the bully his life. But if the bully loses, he will have to play a penalty game. The bully loses.

OK, this was a rather strange chapter. But what I’ve found interesting about this Yu-Gi-Oh! material compared to what most Americans knows from the 4Kids dub of the anime is how sadistic Yugi is at this point whenever the Millennium Puzzle activates. The Yugi from later on in the story wouldn’t act anything close to that when the Millenium Puzzle is activated. Also, this Yugi is much more of a wimp compared to what we know later. According to the end of this chapter, Chapter Four should be appearing in the next issue of Weekly Shonen Jump.

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: May 10-16, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of May 10-16, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past by Shotaro Ishinomori
2. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 1 – Phantom Blood Volume 2 by Hirohiko Araki
3. Big Hero 6 Volume 1 by Haruki Ueno
4. Rosario + Vampire Season II Volume 14 by Akihisa Ikeda
5. Akame ga KILL! Volume 2 by Takahiro and Tetsuya Tashiro
6. Nisekoi: False Love Volume 9 by Naoshi Komi
7. Dragonar Academy Volume 6 by Shiki Mizuchi
8. Assassination Classroom Volume 1 by Yusei Matsui
9. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
10. Naruto Volume 69 by Masashi Kishimoto

Source: The New York Times

Weekly Shonen Jump (May 18, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for My Hero Academis, One Piece, World Trigger, Black Clover, Food Wars!, Straighten Up! Welcome to Shika High’s Competitive Dance Club, Bleach, Toriko, and Nisekoi: False Love. This issue also includes the third chapter of the Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring mini-series and the second chapter of Yu-Gi-Oh! (which is the latest 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.

My Hero Academia CH:042

Now it’s the match between Bakugo and Tokoyami. It’s a pretty intensive fight, but in the end, Tokoyami surrenders to Bakugo. This now means that the final match is between Bakugo and Todoroki. In the prep room, Bakugo thinks over what Midoriya said to him earlier. Meanwhile, Tenya gets a phone call from his mother saying that a villain got his brother. The chapter ends with the final match just about to get underway.

This chapter basically whizzed through the second-to-last match rather quickly. Tenya has an important character moment with his mother’s phone call, and I’m wondering how he’s going to handle the news. How much will this news affect Tenya as a character? And I guess it wasn’t too surprising that the chapter ended right as the final match was about to get underway, because this has been a common way for the chapters to end during this story arc. But I suspect that the next chapter isn’t going to try to whizz through the final round, and it will possibly even be the focus of the whole chapter.

One Piece CH:786

Luffy realizes that he still hasn’t done enough damage to Doflamingo yet because the birdcage hasn’t disappeared. Luffy tries to launch another attack, but his Fourth Gear seems to have worn him out. And then it’s revealed that Doflamingo is still alive. The coliseum announcer talks to Luffy, who says he needs ten minutes in order to get his haki back and finish Doflamingo off. The tournament gladiators gather together as Burgess tries to reach Luffy. Sabo arrives right at the end of the chapter.

Oh, darn it. Doflamingo isn’t finished quite yet. And since Luffy needs ten minutes to recuperate, this will give Oda several chapters to postpone the inevitable. I’m guessing the next chapter or two at the very least will focus on the battle with Burgess and the gladiators trying to buy Luffy time. I just hope that Oda doesn’t use this as a way to stretch out the story for an extremely long time.

World Trigger CH:102

This chapter spends a lot of its time early on with commentary, both from the commentators at the Rank Wars and from Hyuse and the other members of Tamakoma Branch. It’s pointed out that it looks like Osamu is starting to utilize a tactic that Hyuse was descibing in his commentary. It turns out Osamu and Chika are trying to create a flash flood and force Nasu and Kuruma to become targets again. Osamu jumps into the fray to attack Nasu along with Kuruma. Kuruma gets a hit in before he has to bail out due to his combat body exceeding its limit. But just as Osamu seems like he’ll finish Nasu off, she does something unexpected. And just as Yuma makes it to Osamu’s location, Nasu’s combat body exceeds its limit and she has to bail out. This brings about the end of this Rank War, and Tamakoma-2 wins.

At first, I was a little frustrated by how much commentary was included in the early part of this chapter. Fortunately, once the commentary passed, there was actually significant progress in the chapter. So much so that the winner of this Rank War was announced right at the end of it. Now it’s going to be interesting to see what will happen to Osamu and the other members of Tamakoma-2.

Black Clover CH:013

Luck has found who he’s looking for and easily takes out his underlings. The guy tries to get away, but Luck doesn’t let him and attacks him. We learn the guy Luck is dealing with is from the Diamond Kingdom and that he once fought against the leader of the Black Bulls. But before Luck can get the upper hand, the other guy uses his magic, which is weakening smoke magic. Meanwhile. Asta and Noelle are in an area where the gravity has gone insane, and the members of Golden Dawn find a door. But Golden Dawn discovers that someone else is already there and using their magic.

The majority of this chapter focuses on Luck and his opponent, although their fight doesn’t truly progress much by the end of the chapter. Asta and Noelle get focused on the least in this chapter, which is probably because they currently haven’t encountered any enemies. Golden Dawn appears right near the end of the chapter and have just encountered their enemy right just shortly before the final panels. For the most part, the plot of this story arc didn’t make much progress at all. Hopefully the next chapter will help to move this story a little further along.

Food Wars! CH:118

The first years learn about being invited to the meet and greet with the Council of Ten. The story then moves ahead in time to the meet ad greet. As the first years wait, we see that they have a hard time getting along with each other. Just then, the members of the Council of Ten arrive. When they arrive, we get to see how these members interact with each other, and it’s really no better than the first years’ interactions. Soma breaks the awkwardness by saying that he wants to join the Council of Ten right now and asks if any of the upperclassmen are up for a Shokugeki with him. He’s flat out told no.

This was basically a dialogue intensive chapter that helped to introduce a few more characters to the mix. But to be honest, not a whole lot happens by the end of this chapter. I believe that this meeting between the first years and the Council of Ten will eventually lead to something, and hopefully that will come sooner rather than later.

Straighten Up! Welcome to Shika High’s Competitive Dance Club CH:002

Masaharu tries to get out of dancing, but the president of the club won’t hear of this. Then Masaharu and Eri introduce themselves. The president introduces himself as Masumi Doigaki, and the vice president introduces herself as Rio Ayatsuji, and it’s also revealed that the club just started two years ago. When Masumi learns that neither first year has any dancing experience, he starts them off with the super introductory course. First, they must learn how to stand properly. They are then taught the rules of competitive dancing. They then start learning to dance with music, with Rio working with Eri. Then, Rio works with Masaharu, which ends with his making a faceplant into Rio’s chest. Later, we see that Masaharu and Eri ride the same train, and they talk; later, they discover they get off at the same stop. After getting off, Eri asks Masaharu if he wants go to the dance club room with her the next day. He accepts and is happy that a girl needs him.

With this chapter, I can say that there was only one real instance of any “fanservice” involved, so that was an improvement over Chapter One. But I have to admit that I hate the character design for the club president, because he literally looks like a clown. He really stands out way too much in comparison to the other characters that we’ve seen up to this point. While there were hints of a potential romance between Masaharu and Eri in the previous chapter, I felt that it seemed to be more blatant by the end of Chapter Two. So far, I’m finding this to be a decent series, but I can’t call it a great series. Hopefully Chapter Three will be more along the vein of this chapter than Chapter One.

Bleach CH:626

Ichigo and the others begin their journey to Reiokyu. We then see the Quincies delcare that Yhwach has taken all of Reio. The Quincies go to see Yhwach and discover that something mysterious is leaking out of him. Yhwach declares this is what it’s like to be overflowing with power. Right at the end of the chapter, Yhwach declares that he will reinvent their nation.

Overall, this chapter ended up being a rather quick read, with its focus primarily on Yhwach and the Quincies. We only see Ichigo and company for about a couple of pages, and it’s just enough to establish that they’re on their way and to quickly talk about a couple of things. Hopefully the next chapter will start showing a little more action to help progress the story.

Toriko CH:323

Kaka reveals that the Earth has been cooking this entire time, and then proceeds to give an explanation why. Apparently, as part of the cooking process, part of the Earth’s flavor oozes up to the Earth’s surface once every several hundred years and becomes one of eight foods. And according to Kaka, Acacia’s full-course meal is the Earth’s full-course meal. And the ones who have been preparing the Earth have been the Blue Nitro and the Red Nitro. There’s also an explanation as to what the Nitro are. It’s also revealed that the Blue Nitro’s true goal is the revival of the monster within Acacia. But once this information is revealed, a creature comes up behind Kaka and attacks.

Sigh. This ended up being an exposition chapter for all but the last 2-3 pages. While the information being imparted is important, it made this chapter of Toriko a rather boring read, since nothing much happens throughout it. But with the way this chapter ends, it looks like the stage is being set for the next chapter to have more action in it.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:170

Raku and Marika are out on a rowboat, and it sinks. Fortunately, they’re able to make it to land. Meanwhile, Chitoge learns that Marika had Raku kidnapped. Back on the island, Raku realizes that they’re stranded. Fortunately, he’s able to keep a cool head and knows what they need to do in order to survive. During the chapter, Raku admires how Marika is just as unflappable as ever, but he reminds her that if she hadn’t kidnapped him, they wouldn’t be in this predicament. The end of the chapter seems to be hinting that something is wrong with Tachibana.

This chapter shows Marika acting like her normal self, including trying to twist words around to her advantage. Unfortunately, nothing in this chapter helped endear me to her at all. And even with the end of the chapter hinting that something may be wrong with Maria, Komi has pulled similar stunts with some of the other love interests, so I’m not buying that there’s something truly serious here. This is somehow going to end with something really ridiculous and reveal that the issue with Marika is not as serious as it appears.

Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring CH:003

Boruto just misses Naruto as he heads out. Boruto has brought Naruto’s lunch, and Sarada offers to deliver it for him. Boruto rejects the offer and says he’ll take it back home and explain to his mother. But Sarada snatches it from Boruto and says she’ll take it. Mitsuki is there also, and he tells Cho Cho to come with him. But Sarada pulls her away to help her catch up to Naruto. We then see the enemies from the previous chapter, with the one called Shin (who wears a Uchiha crest and seems to have Sharingan) being ordered to bring Sarada to the other man. Shin intercepts the two girls, and Cho Cho and Sarada try to fight him. Naruto appears and gets in between the two sides, and he realizes that Shin is the person that Sasuke told him about… and that’s where the chapter ends.

OK, is it just me, or has Cho Cho suddenly become rather annoying? She was a little silly in the previous chapter, but her behavior went from silly to annoying rather quickly here. And this chapter reveals that the guy who fought with Sasuke last chapter is Shin Uchiha. Now the question is, how is he a Uchiha? And who is the cloaked man that is ordering Shin around? And will Sarada get to see Sasuke and get answers from him concerning her doubts and issues? I’m hoping the next chapter of this mini-series will begin to answer some of these questions.

Yu-Gi-Oh! CH:002

The chapter opens with a TV van in front of Yugi’s school, and a guy inside sees Yugi and says he’s going to be the star of their next project. It turns out this crew is here to do an expose on bullying and school violence, and the director believes Yugi looks wimpy enough to be the type to get beat up. The assistant director is told to find Yugi and to play the role of the bully. The assistant director finds Yugi and tells him to come behind the gym during recess to meet someone. When Yugi goes to the appointed place, the assistant director punches him. But Jonouchi jumps in to save Yugi, and it’s revealed what’s really going on. Jonouchi gets mad at the director and tries to attack, but the director claims he’s filming. But then he tells his cameraman to stop and he knees Jonouchi. We see the puzzle activate, but the director leaves. Later, Yugi catches up to the director with the puzzle activated; Yugi tells the director that he must play a game with him for trespassing in his soul. Yugi challenges him to a dice game, with whoever rolls the lowest number wins; but if Yugi wins, the director has to play a penalty game as punishment. Yugi finds a way to win and take out his revenge on the director.

It’s been interesting for me to see more of the “Season 0″ material of Yu-Gi-Oh!, and to see just how different it is from what I know of the English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! And it’s just fascinating for me to see Yugi playing games that aren’t a card game, since that’s what’s so strongly associated with the franchise. But when that Millennium Puzzle is activated, Yugi can become rather devious. But I have to admit that I enjoyed seeing the punishment he gave to the director for how he tried to manipulate reality for his project. And since there’s a “To Be Continued” note at the end of the chapter, we definitely are in store for another adventure.

VIZ Media Announces Special Theatrical Engagements of The Last: Naruto the Movie in Latin America

VIZ Media delivers The Last: Naruto the Movie to Latin America for a series of theatrical releases in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru.

The Last: Naruto the Movie features the epic, big screen adventures of ninja, Naruto Uzumaki. It will be presented with original Japanese dialogue with Spanish subtitles (a Portuguese dub with English subtitles will also be offered in Brazil); run time is 112 minutes. The Last: Naruto the Movie will premiere in:

May 14, 2015:
Chile (Andes Films)
Peru (Andes Films)

May 28, 2015:
Brazil (PlayArte)
Mexico (Cinepolis)

June 4, 2015:
Argentina (DSX Films)

Screenings in additional territories will be announced.

Naruto resonates with a global audience, and in conjunction with our Latin American media partners, the property has captivated fervent legions of fans” says Stephane Hellin, Senior Animation Licensing Manager, Latin America. “The Last: Naruto the Movie is a pulse-racing adventure that has our ninja hero facing the most dangerous mission he has ever undertaken! We invite audiences throughout Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru to attend these upcoming screenings and we look forward to announcing dates in additional territories soon!”

The Last: Naruto the Movie is based on the internationally bestselling Naruto manga series created by Masashi Kishimoto. In the film, the moon is approaching dangerously close to Earth! Unless something is done, the moon will disintegrate, showering the earth with gigantic meteorites. As the clock ticks towards the end of the world, can Naruto save the earth from this crisis?

Weekly Shonen Jump (May 11, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Nisekoi: False Love, Black Clover, Toriko, Food Wars!, Bleach, My Hero Academia, and Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment. This issue also includes the second chapter of the Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring mini-series, the first chapter of Straighten Up! Welcome to Shika High’s Competitive Dance Club (the first of the two “Jump Start” initiative titles), and the first chapter of Yu-Gi-Oh! (which is the latest 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.

Straighten Up! Welcome to Shika High’s Competitive Dance Club CH:001

Straighten Up! Welcome to Shika High’s Competitive Dance Club is a title being featured as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Start” initiative.

The manga focuses on Masaharu Tsuchiya, a boy going into his first year of high school. When it’s time for the various clubs to introduce themselves, a beautiful girl walks up to the stage and catches Masaharu’s attention. But during the assembly, someone bumps into Masaharu and causes him to shove a girl named Eri. After their awkward introduction, we learn that Masaharu isn’t that good when it comes to girls, and this goes all the way back to when he was in elementary school. He watches a demonstration by the members of the Competitive Dance Club, and let’s just say that the guys in the audience love what they see.

Later, we see that Masaharu is trying to decide which club to join. A couple of classmates suggest that they should check out the Competitive Dance Club. When they get there, they find there’s already a long line of guys waiting to check the club out during the trial period. But the reader also sees that Eri is standing in line. When the president of the club arrives and does a demonstration with Masaharu, it ends up scaring off most of the people standing in line. Even Masaharu’s friends run off. It turns out two people are still remaining: Masaharu and Eri.

A competitive dancing manga, huh? After reading these chapters, two major things come to mind. First, there seems to be a rather typical setup here of an incoming freshman who has some degree of shyness and doesn’t seem to know what kind of club they want to join. Second, the dancing demonstration definitely had some focus on fanservice; I suspect that’s there to keep Weekly Shonen Jump‘s male audience interested in a the concept. To be brutally honest, I don’t know how much interest their male readership really has in competitive dance. So far, this manga is off to an OK start, but there just wasn’t much in these early chapters to truly make this stand out.

Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring CH:002

This chapter opens with Sasuke still on his journey and encountering someone that he has to fight. After the opponent is down, he sees someone wearing a jacket with the Uchiha symbol and sees that this person has Sharingan. Sasuke asks who this is, but we don’t see a response. Later, this character goes to report to someone about Sasuke, and says they must kill Sasuke because he killed Itachi.

We then see Sarada talking to Shizune about her father, but then she changes the subject and asks about her birth because it turns out her birth record isn’t at any hospital in Konoha. When Shizune asks what brought this on, Sarada shows her the picture and asks about who Karin is because they have the same glasses.

Later, we see Cho-Cho talking to Sarada, who says she thinks that her parents may not be her real parents because she doesn’t resemble either of them. A boy named Mitsuki, who recently moved here from another village, comes over to them and starts explaining why Cho-Cho is acting this way. We then see Sarada wondering who she is. After Mitsuki leaves, Cho-Cho says she wants to set out on a quest to find who her real parents are, and Sarada is inspired to track down her father in order to ask him questions. If that doesn’t work, then she wants to hunt down Karin.

Naruto receives a hawk with a message from Sasuke. It’s a report of what happened to him, and Naruto calls Kakashi to talk to him about it. As he’s talking, Sarada comes up to his office door and overhears that Naruto is in contact with Sasuke and that he’s going to go see him and then pay Orochimaru a visit. Sarada decides to tail Naruto, but right as she’s about to go, Cho-Cho comes up behind her.

Some interesting developments in this particular chapter, and it appears to be setting the stage for this mini-series to run for longer than say 3-4 chapters. I’m genuinely interested in this storyline, especially with Sarada and her confusion over who she is. Is there going to be some kind of major bombshell by the end of this when it comes to her parentage? Also, I’m interested in seeing who this “new Uchiha” is and who they’re answering to. Who’s determined to kill Sasuke for killing his brother?

One Piece CH:785

The Tontattas begin evacuating from Smile Factory as the birdcage starts shrinking. Meanwhile, Zoro is shown heading toward the strings to try to stop them and buy time. But then the focus returns to the fight between Luffy and Doflamingo. But as it seems Luffy’s Gear Four will soon run out, and Doflamingo causes strings to pop out of the ground and nearby buildings also turn into string. After 20 minutes have passed, we still see people trying to evacuate, and Riku tries to explain what’s happening. His speech inspires everyone to try to run for their lives as Luffy and Doflamingo battle it out. Right at the end of the chapter, Luffy launches a powerful attack on Doflamingo.

There was a lot of jumping around going on in this chapter, to the point that it was almost dizzying to me as a reader. But it does feel like Oda is finally building up to a conclusion of Luffy’s battle, especially with Riku’s speech. Hopefully the next chapter will show that Luffy was victorious with the attack he launched at the end of this chapter.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:169

The beginning of the chapter seems to indicate that Marika kidnapped Raku and took him to an island for a vacation. Apparently, a bunch of cops sneaked into the yakuza stronghold and carried Raku away on his futon without waking him up. This location is the first place to greet the new year, and Marika wanted to witness the first sunrise of the year with him before anyone else. Raku insists on going home, but when he mentions Chitoge, that makes Marika more determined to keep him there. Raku ends up giving in, but then insists he wants to get homework done instead of doing any of the fun things that Marika suggests. Raku meets Marika’s servant, Honda, who asks him how he feels about Marika. During the discussion, Honda says that Marika doesn’t have much time left.

Oh, boy. A story starring Marika. The setup for this story was rather stupid, so that didn’t help anything. Honda’s comment about Marika not having much time is supposed to make it sound like she’s on her deathbed (she’s been on the sickly side during the entire series), but I bet this is another story where Komi is trying to make things seem more dramatic than they really are and then have some stupid resolution that causes it to not be the dramatic thing that he tried to make it out to be. Yawn.

Black Clover CH:012

Klaus, another member of Golden Dawn, asks Yuno why he saved Asta and his group when their mission is to capture the dungeon. A girl with the Golden Dawn group recognizes Noelle, who turns out to be her cousin, Mimosa. Unfortunately. Noelle can’t stand Mimosa. Klaus basically spends his time making fun of the Black Bulls. Meanwhile, we see the third member of Asta’s party trying to find someone. Klaus becomes upset when Asta confronts him, so he and Mimosa display their magic. Yuno then uses his wind magic to help his team mates. This then becomes a competition between Asta and Yuno to see which one can get to the treasure hall first. But since neither Asta nor Noelle having tracking magic, Asta just starts checking everywhere. But Nero the bird (who’s perched on Asta’s head), seems to know which way to go. Right at the end of the chapter, Asta and Noelle’s companion seems to find who he’s looking for.

Most of this chapter was spent on Klaus hurling insults as Asta, Noelle, and the Black Bulls in general. Personally, I thought this came across as a bit heavy-handed and excessive. The reader could understand rather quickly that Klaus looks down on the Black Bulls, so seeing this last so long felt like overkill. Near the end of the chapter, it’s revealed that a nearby country is trying to invade the one the story is set in, and the Black Bull who found someone in the dungeon at the end of chapter has probably found someone from that country. Sigh. I’m sorry I’m not using a name for Asta and Noelle’s companion, but I don’t know what it is.

Toriko CH:322

The conditions for capturing pair for Ballboons and other creatures is revealed during this chapter. Meanwhile, we see the fake Kaka talking with someone else about needing to capture Komatsu for their own purposes. We then see Brunch going to talk to Midora about Toriko, and then asks for confirmation that the three chefs are safe before handing over air. Midora asks about Pair and Another. Starjun is assigned to accompany Brunch to help Toriko out. Right at the end of the chapter, Kaka reveals something surprising.

This chapter primarily focused on explaining a couple of things and setting the stage for the next story arc that should be taking place in the Gourmet World. Overall, this ended up being a rather boring chapter. Yes, the information revealed in it is important, but it made for some rather dry reading. Hopefully the next chapter will be better.

Food Wars! CH:117

The Shokugeki between Soma and Tetsuji begins. At the same time, the other first years return from their Stagiaire challenges and learn about Soma’s Shokugeki. But we don’t actually get to see the Shokugeki; by the time th first years get there, Soma has already overpowered Tetsuji. When Soma asks if anyone in the audience sent him challenge letters, two people reply. Soma offers to do those Shokugeki with them right now. We see Soma launch into the next one. After a brief flashback, we see Soma defeat another opponent. After this, Soma says he’ll take on anyone day or night and that they don’t have to bother with challenge letters. Right at the end of the chapter, it’s revealed that the Momiji Meet and Greet is coming up, and this is where the top first-year students have an opportunity to meet the entire current Council of Ten.

This chapter basically establishes that Soma has gained valuable skills from his Stagiaire challenges and has acquired more confidence than he had before the challenges began. It was a little disappointing not getting to see much of the actual Shokugeki, but the point of this chapter was to get to a point where the story can begin establishing the next story arc. And from what we’re shown, it appears that next up will be the Momiji Meet and Greet.

Bleach CH:625

Ichigo is surprised to see Grimmjow. The two of them are just about to fight, but then is approached by the adult version of Nel; apparently, Urahara made her a bracelet that allows her to switch between child and adult whenever she wants. A box suddenly appears, and everyone is told to get inside of it. Inside the box are Riruka and Yukio. Yoruichi gives Ichigo and explanation for what’s going on. It basically boils down to how the group can launch a surprise attack in Reiokyu.

Basically, this chapter reintroduced four characters and gave an explanation for what will be coming up. There’s also a hint dropped about the Quincies right at the end, but that’s it. Basically, nothing truly happens over the course of this chapter. Yes, the explanation is important, but that’s pretty much what the majority of this chapter was. Hopefully the next chapter will actually help the story to move forward.

My Hero Academia CH:041

Midoriya talks to All Might and says that All Might should try to find someone else to replace him. During the conversation, it’s revealed that All Might has been born quirkless, but his predecessor did and believed in him and took him under his wing. All Might tells Midoriya that he has already exceeded his expectations more times than he can count. They go and watch the rest of the tournament. Bakugo and Kirishima are currently in the match. We see Bakugo win the match, which leaves the Final Four left. The next match is between Tenya Ida and Shoto Todoroki. It looks like Ida might actually win, but Shoto manages to turn things around.

So we get a chapter that makes a major revelation about All Might, as well as advances the match into the Top Four. Poor Ida was really hoping to be able to progress to show his brother how good he is, but Shoto cut that dream short. So we obviously know that Shoto will be in the final match, but his final opponent still needs to be determined. I expect that the next chapter will show the other match and might even start into the final match.

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment CH:021

Abaku saus he’s solved the case and starts giving his explanation. Basically, it turns out that there was no real perp for this case, that it ended up being a situation where several coincidences came together to make it look like an actual crime had been committed. Just then, news arrives that Shiratori has regained consciousness. Right at the end of this chapter, Abaku calls Tento to a meeting and asks if he’s Red Ogre.

Unfortunately, English readers of Weekly Shonen Jump will have a hard time finding out what will happen in the final arc, because the Japanese Weekly Shonen Jump is discontinuing this series in their publication. However, the final arc will run on the Jump+ website in Japan. While it was obvious that this series was close to being brought to an end in Weekly Shonen Jump, it’s still a little sad to realize that it truly is ending in the publication. But it’s a little frustrating that there’s still one arc left that won’t be available in the publication.

Yu-Gi-Oh! CH:001

Yu-Gi-Oh! is being featured as the next title for Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative.

Yugi is at school, and works on solving a puzzle he brought with him. Honda (known as Tristan in the anime) grabs it, taunts Yugi, and passes it to Jonouchi (known as Joey in the anime). Jonouchi throws it back to Honda, but Anzu (known as Tea in the anime) catches it and scolds the other two boys. Yugi shows Anzu what’s inside his puzzle box; it’s the pieces of puzzle he’s been trying to solve for eight years.

We then see Honda and Jonouchi, and that Honda swiped one of the puzzle pieces from the box without Yugi noticing. Juonichi takes the piece and throws it out of a nearby window; the piece falls into the pool.

Later Yugi is approached by Ushio, who says he wants to be Yugi’s bodyguard and protect him from bullies. But from what we see, it looks like Ushio may not be on the up and up.

We see Yugi working at trying to solve the puzzle at home, but he falls asleep as he reaches the same place that he always gets stuck at.

The next day, Ushio shows Yugi that he’s beaten up Honda and Jonouchi. Yugi tries to ask if they’re OK, but Ushio continues attacking them. Yugi tries to stop Ushio. Ushio then says that Yugi still owes him 200,000 yen for bodyguard fees. Yugi stands up for the other two boys and asks to be hurt instead, and Ushio takes him up on it.

That night, Yugi works on the puzzle but also tries to figure out what he’s going to do about Ushio. Yugi is about to finish the puzzle when he discovers there’s a piece missing. His grandfather comes into the room, carrying the missing puzzle piece. It turns out Jonouchi fished it out of the pool and brought it to the game shop. Yugi finished the Millennium Puzzle and something happens to Yugi.

Yugi calls Ushio out to the school at midnight. Yugi says he not only brought the 200,00 yen, he also upped it to 400,000. But Yugi won’t hand it over unless Ushio plays a game with him. Yugi says they must play a shadow game. After Yugi describes it, Ushio thinks it’s just a test of courage. Ushio ends up breaking the rules and Yugi casts a spell so the only thing in his head is an illusion of avarice.

The next day, we see that Yugi has no memory of what happened the previous night except for the fact that he finished the Millennium Puzzle. At the end of the chapter, Juonichi says he wants to be friends wth Yugi.

So it appears that the manga incorporates elements from the “Season 0″ episodes of Yu-Gu-Oh! Seeing the characters’ original Japanese names has taken some getting used to, as well as the manga designs for some of them. Yugi and Anzu (aka Tea) look rather similar, but Honda (aka Tristan) and Jonouchi (aka Joey) looked rather different. I don’t know if this is all the “Season 0″ material we’ll see, or if there may be more before the manga reaches the storyline that American fans are more familiar with from the 4Kids English dub of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime. The manga should be running in Weekly Shonen Jump for a few more weeks, so I should be able to find out.

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: April 26-May 2, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of April 26-May 2, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Volume 9 by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
2. Akame ga KILL! Volume 2 by and Tetsuya Tashiro
3. Noragami Volume 4 by Adachitoka
4. Naruto Volume 69 by Masashi Kishimoto
5. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
6. Big Hero 6 Volume 1 by Haruki Ueno
7. Death Note Volume 1 by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
8. Attack on Titan Volume 15 by Hajime Isayama
9. Assassination Classroom Volume 1 by Yusei Matsui
10. Akame ga KILL! Volume 1 by Takahiro and Tetsuya Tashiro

NOTE: The New York Times listing for the Death Note volume does not indicate that is Death Note Black Version, so I went with the image for the original first volume of Death Note.

Source: The New York Times

Attack On Titan Volume 15 Is the Sixth Best-Selling Graphic Novel for April 2015

Nielsen BookScan has announced the top twenty selling graphic novels in the United States for April 2015. Four manga titles made the list:

  • Attack on Titan Volume 15 by Hajime Isayama (#6)
  • Big Hero 6 Volume 1 by Haruki Ueno (#11)
  • Naruto Volume 69 by Masashi Kishimoto (#12)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama (#14)

Source: The Fandom Post