VIZ Media Announces the Release of One Piece Manga Box Set 2

VIZ Media delivers a special treat to fans with the latest Box Set installment for the world’s most popular manga series – One Piece.

The One Piece Manga Box Set 2 will be released on November 4, 2014 and is rated “T” for Teens. The set contains Volumes 24-46, which comprise the series’ third and fourth story arcs – Skypiea and Water Seven – and will carry an MSRP of $185.99 U.S. / CAN. The Box Set also features a full-color poster and special ONE PIECE mini-comic.

As a child, One Piece main character Monkey D. Luffy dreamed of becoming King of the Pirates. But his life changed when he accidentally ate the Gum-Gum Fruit, an enchanted Devil Fruit that gave him the ability to stretch like rubber. The only drawback? He’ll never be able to swim again – a serious handicap for an aspiring sea dog! Years later, Luffy sets off on his quest to find the “One Piece,” said to be the greatest treasure in the world…

“This new release from VIZ Media continues the venerable ONE PIECE saga in lavish box set form and is a pirate’s treasure for any manga fan,” says Alexis Kirsch, Editor. “Catch all the action as the Straw Hats search the exotic sky island of Skypiea for hidden gold and then journey to Water 7, a wondrous water metropolis constructed upon the ruins of a sunken city. Jump aboard for fantastic adventures with manga’s favorite band of pirates!”

ONE PIECE © 1997 by Eiichiro Oda/SHUEISHA Inc.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 140 (October 20, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, Naruto, One-Punch Man, Toriko, Bleach, and eIDLIVE. In addition, this issue also includes the third chapter for Death Note as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s new “Jump Back” initiative. There’s also a brief Q&A with Takeshi Obata.

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.

One Piece CH:764

This chapter continues the flashback about Law and his time with the Don Quixote family. It specifically focuses on Law talking with Corazon and learning the truth about Corazon and his brother, Doflamingo. During the discussion, Corazon tells Law that he needs to get away from Doflamingo and the others. When Law threatens to tell Doflamingo the truth, Corazon attacks; later, Corazon discovers that Law hasn’t said a word. Corazon takes it upon himself to get Law away and to try to find a cure for Law’s disease. Unfortunately, when Corazon takes Law to be treated, the hospital won’t do anything because they’re afraid of contracting the disease. Corazon keeps taking him to various hospitals, but they always get the same response.

I have to say that I felt so bad seeing the treatment that poor Law was getting over and over from the various medical professionals about his disease. While I know there’s no known cure for it, he was being treated as if he was less than human and that no one wanted to risk being around him. In a lot of ways, it makes me think of the fear and uncertainty we’ve been seeing in the news lately regarding Ebola. I know it’s purely coincidental, but it sure makes this chapter feel timely! But I also liked seeing how Corazon is coming to care for Law over the course of this chapter; unfortunately, I suspect this is going to somehow come to a tragic end.

World Trigger CH:079

We see Yuma get a hit in on Viza, and then Yuma heads off to where Hyrein and Mira are. Miwa is up against these two as Osamu realizes what he has to do. Mira tries to stop Osamu, but he turns off his Trigger and runs. Miwa attacks Mira, and she’s injured; also, because she used too many windows, she’s now out of Trion. Just then, Yuma arrives, and he and Miwa ask each other where the enemy is. And right at the end of the chapter, there’s only seven seconds left until the future crossroads.

This was probably one of the better chapters of World Trigger that I’ve read since I started reading the series earlier this year. There’s a lot of action taking place, and the story is finally starting to move a little more noticeably. I suspect that the story will somehow slow back down again, but with the declaration that there’s only seven seconds left until a major event, I can’t see how the manga author can stretch those last seven seconds out for months. Of course, there’s always a chance that the manga author will find a way to do that, though.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:143

This chapter sees Onodera approaching Raku and asking him to help out with a job at a hot springs resort that’s owned by one of her relatives. As they work together, they both so nervous because of their unspoken mutual attraction for each other. But as they try to clean up son futons, they find themselves in an awkward and compromising position. This causes even more awkwardness between them as they work. But when the chef throws out his back, Onodera recommends that Raku fill in for him. This forces Raku and Onodera to work together, and this improves the situation between the two of them. The chapter ends with an unexpected surprise awaiting both Raku and Onodera.

I just read the fifth volume of the Nisekoi: False Love manga the day before reading this chapter, and as soon as I saw the setup for this story, I wanted to facepalm. Onodera asking Raku to help out somewhere already happened back in the fifth volume of the manga, so that made this whole story idea feel recycled. While this was at a hot spring resort instead of at the sweet shop, the idea that Onodera and Raku have to work together and are nervous about it the whole time thing has already been done. It’s bad enough that Komi has been recycling ideas from other manga such as Ranma 1/2 and Love Hina, but now he’s starting to recycle his own ideas from Nisekoi: False Love. Resorting to recycling makes it feel as if Komi is struggling to come up with ideas simply to stretch the series out and make it last longer.

Naruto CH:696

In this chapter, Naruto and Sasuke take a reprieve from their battle and start talking about Sasuke’s philosophy. But after this short reprieve, their battle continues again. Sasuke then works on merging all the disseminated chakra into one, and Naruto tries to counter by using one of his jutsu and the battle continues. Naruto declares at the end of the chapter that he wants to fight and win against Sasuke fair and square… but not against the current Sasuke.

This chapter sees the fight between Naruto and Sasuke stopping and starting quite a bit. But both sides keep upping the ante, so this fight shouldn’t be lasting for too much longer. Of course, with only three chapters left, it can’t go on much longer. I really hope this fight can be resolved in two more chapters, and that the final chapter will show the aftermath. It’s still hard to believe there’s only three chapters left for Naruto, and I’m hoping this series will receive a satisfying enough conclusion.

After the chapter is over, there’s a four-page spread about the new Naruto Shippuden deck building card game that’s come out. These pages explain how the game works.

One-Punch Man CH:037.6

This chapter sees Senos going up against the smaller being that emerged from the melted G4 in the previous chapter. However, this being insists that it’s only interested in going after King. Senos manages to dump the contents of a foam fire extinguisher on it, and then dislodges a water outlet in order to create steam. Right at the end of the chapter, Senos is about to head-butt the being…

This ending up being a rather quick read, and this chapter only focused on the battle between Senos and the being. With the way the previous chapter had ended with the giant bird crashing through King’s window, I’d been looking forward to seeing how that part of the story would progress. Oh well. Perhaps we’ll see more with King when the next chapter is published in Weekly Shonen Jump.

Toriko CH:297

Toriko and the others find themselves surrounded by Gore-illas. Zebra fights against the creatures, and Toriko and the others have no choice but to join in. Toriko finds himself up against a Crazy Salsa-Simian, which is a monkey that can fight by using martial arts. The other members of the party find themselves up against other types of apes and monkeys. The group finds that this swarm of primates won’t be easily defeated. But the primates suddenly stop when one of the Eight Kings arrives on the scene. Suddenly, the Choo Choo Chomper, along with Toriko and his group, fall down a giant hole to someplace deep underground that has ruins. They are approached by a creature just as the chapter ends…

This chapter spent a lot of time explaining about the various kinds of monkeys, as well as the hierarchy of their society. But just as that finished, our main characters fall someplace underground. It just made me wonder why so much time was spent on explaining about the monkeys if we’re separated from them by the end of the chapter. I’m not sure what kind of creature has approached them at the ruins, but I suspect he’ll be providing a lot of exposition in the next chapter.

Bleach CH:601

This chapter sees Squad Zero starting into their fight against the royal guards. Etsu Nimana, one of the members of Squad Zero surprises the royal guards with his sword and how he uses it. Etsu is able to take down one the royal guards, and begins attacking another one. He seems to knock this other one down, but something happens at the end of the chapter that surprises Etsu…

So here’s a chapter that focuses on one character fighting with a couple of others. The first guy seemed to be taken down rather easily, but the second one pulls off the type of surprise I’ve come to expect from Bleach when it comes to thinking someone’s taken down an enemy when they really haven’t. In the end, though, the story really doesn’t progress much by the end of the chapter.

eIDLIVE CH:003

This chapter sees Chief Brick being briefed about the escape that happened in the previous chapter. But the important aspect of this meeting is the fact that a situation is headed toward our solar system. Chuta is examined by Professor Isaku, and learns that the powerful life-based technique that eIDLIVE uses to fight with is body odor. Back on Earth, Dory begins using his power to help Chuta out, whether it’s to cover up for him missing a kick in soccer or helping to take down shoplifters. But in the process, Chuta’s Aunt Mimi is hurt, which causes Chuta to be racked with guilt. While he’s at the hospital, Misuzu approaches Chuta and tells him that using Doru’s power in his everyday life on Earth is against the rules. While eIDLIVE has taken care of it this time, the next time Chuta will be punished for it. Chuta begins thinking that he should quit eIDLIVE. After Chuta has a conversation with his aunt, Chuta realizes he has to try harder for his aunt’s sake.

After it’s discovered that the shoplifter was an alien, eIDLIVE doesn’t plan to go after it since the severity of the crime isn’t a high enough level. But Miszuu decides to bend the rules so Chuta can use this as a way to level himself up. When Chuta gets more information about the alien, it’s discovered the perpetrator is a violent criminal wanted to multiple murders. When Chuta delivers the information to Chief Brick, he’s told an investigation will be opened, and Chuta makes a case for getting involved with the investigation. Chuta and Misuzu are sent to Earth to track down the alien. In the end, it takes both Chuta and Misuzu to capture the alien.

Unfortunately, my impression of this series didn’t improve at all over the course of this chapter. In fact, I found myself feeling rather bored as I read it. It also didn’t help that this chapter was so darn long! Of the four “Jump Start” series I’ve read, I’d have to say that eIDLIVE and Sporting Salt tie for my least favorite. It’s a series that I’m not in a rush to ever read again.

Death Note CH:003

In this chapter, we see that Light is trying to take a break from media exposure, since all that’s being talked about is L and “Kira,” the name that Light has been given by the public for what he’s been doing. We also see the special investigative bureau sharing what evidence they’ve gathered in their investigation into “Kira.” We also learn that Light’s father is part of the investigation into “Kira.”

What an interesting twist that Light’s father is part of the investigation into “Kira.” And it was also interesting to see that Light is trying to find ways to toy around with L and the police investigating the case. With each chapter I read of Death Note, I find myself becoming more and more interested in the story.

But I’m a little confused. According to what I saw at the end, it’s saying there will be another chapter of Death Note in Weekly Shonen Jump next week. Is this accurate? I thought the idea was to only provide three chapters for the “Jump Back” initative, just like the “Jump Start” initiative.

Q&A With Takeshi Obata

There’s also a one-page Q&A with Takeshi Obata. This allowed Weekly Shonen Jump to ask some of the questions sent in by fans that they weren’t able to get to during the New York Comic Con panel with Takeshi Obata. I wish this had been a two-page Q&A, because this just felt a little too short.

Anime DVD Review: One Piece Season Three Fourth Voyage

One Piece Season Three Fourth Voyage is a two-disc set that contains episodes 183-195 of the One Piece anime series. The first has seven episodes, while the second disc has six episodes, a commentary on Episode 193, and the set’s bonus features. You can watch the episodes with either the English dub or the original Japanese audio with English subtitles. It should also be noted that in addition to watching episodes or using the “Play All” option, there is also a marathon feature, which allows you to watch all the episodes on a disc back-to-back without interruption. In the marathon feature, the opening credits only plays once, there are no next episode previews, and the ending credits are not included.

The set not only continues the Skypiea arc, it also concludes in this set as well. The majority of this set focuses on Eneru’s plan to destroy both Sky Island and Upper Yard. Of course, Luffy wants to stop Eneru from succeeding, and this ends up climaxing into a major fight between the two of them.

But in the middle of the battle, we get a treat as three episodes are devoted to what happened between Noland and Calgara in the past, and how Calgara and his people disappeared when the part of the island they occupied rose into the sky. I thought it was effective to include this; while we had heard a brief telling of Noland’s story earlier in the arc, it was helpful for me as a viewer to see this story with more detail. This section is brought into the story as a flashback from Wyper, so it didn’t feel like it was breaking up the arc as much as it could have.

Overall, I have to say I like how this story reached its climax, and I loved with Luffy did to bring the battle to a close. Unfortunately, we later see that Eneru is still around, so there’s the potential for him to somehow return later on in the series. And Robin makes an interesting discovery that ties in with her dream of finding and deciphering Rio Poneglyph.

The ending of the arc was rather satisfying, and I think this was probably the best way to conclude it. The set ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, though, since the Going Merry is just discovered when it returns to our world by landing in the middle of a Marine base. I’m looking forward to watching the next set in order to find out how they’re going to get themselves out of this predicament.

While I liked the Skypiea arc, it ended up running throughout the episodes that made up the first four DVD sets for the third season, which comes out of 48 episodes. There were one or two fights that I thought could have been tightened up somewhat; however, with One Piece being a shonen series, the various fights that took place in the arc would be done in a way take a while to help lengthen the story out. I should at least be happy that there weren’t any filler episodes thrown into the middle of arc and disrupting the story! So in that respect, perhaps having a 48 episode arc isn’t as bad as it could have been.

As for the DVD set itself, there are two selections for bonus features on the second disc: “Textless Songs” and “Trailers.” The “Textless Songs” feature includes “BON VOYAGE” (the opening song that appears in this set) and “Moon and Sun” (the ending song that appears on the set). There are also trailers for other properties that FUNimation was promoting at the time this DVD set was released.

If you’re a One Piece fan and are trying to collect the episodes on DVD, you can purchase this set for episodes 183-195. More recent DVD collections are packaging 24-25 episodes per set, and those releases would also be worth considering if you want to add One Piece to your home video library.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of One Piece Season Three Fourth Voyage that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Crunchyroll Adds Two One Piece and Toriko Crossover Specials

Crucnhyroll has added two One Piece and Toriko crossover anime specials that originally aired in Japan in April 2011 and April 2012.

As of this writing, the specials are only available for Crunchyroll’s Premium Members.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 139 (October 13, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Toriko, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, One-Punch Man, and eIDLIVE. In addition, this issue also includes the second chapter for Death Note as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s new “Jump Back” initiative. There’s also an excerpt from a 10-page interview with Masashi Kishimoto and Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro.

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

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

Naruto CH:695

This chapter sees Sasuke and Naruto’s fight getting underway. During the fight, both of them go up to their next state to kick the fight up a notch. This is then followed by the two of them remembering how lonely they were when they were younger, and then memories of their previous battle at the Valley of the End. Naruto accuses Sasuke of trying to be alone again, and Naruto’s determined to not let that happen. Not much progress is made in the fight by the end of the chapter.

Basically, this chapter is meant to set the stage for what will hopefully end up being an epic fight between Naruto and Sasuke. In this chapter, more time was spent on reminding the reader about these characters’ pasts than on anything else. And with this, there’s only four more chapters remaining for Naruto; I’m hoping this fight between Naruto and Sasuke isn’t made to last for all four of the remaining chapters, because I’d like to see some kind of closure as to what will happen in the aftermath of their fight.

Bleach CH:600

Right at the beginning of this chapter, Senjumaru appears to be killed rather easily by the royal guards. But this turns out to be an illusion, because Yhwach and the others were lured to a false Reiokyu. A cage is built from a tree of life to trap the royal guards. And right at the end of the chapter, Squad Zero is ready to fight.

I have to admit that I hadn’t seen the twist of the fake Reiokyu coming. But for some reason, I have a feeling that this cage isn’t going to hold the royal guards as well as the chapter is trying to lead us to believe. And now the stage is set for a showdown with Squad Zero, but I can’t see the squad winning the fight so easily.

One Piece CH:763

There’s a strong focus on a flashback about the Celestial Dragons. We then return to the flashback of Law being brought when he ran away after stabbing Corazon. But instead of being punished, Law is offered membership into the Don Quixote family. When Law says he only has three years to live, he’s told they can probably find a devil fruit within that time that could save his life. And right at the end of the chapter, when Law reveals his true name to some of the others, Corazon pulls him aside and says that he needs to stay away from Dofy.

This is another chapter that focused very heavily on providing backstory for Law’s character. Since this was exclusively a flashback chapter, nothing happens to progress the overarching story. I don’t mind too much, though, since I’m getting some much needed backstory for Law; I knew nothing about him when I jumped into the middle of this arc in Weekly Shonen Jump several months ago.

Toriko CH:296

In this chapter, the Choo-Choo Chomper is attacked by large, round, spiky creatures as Toriko and the others are heading to Area 7. They determine that the “creatures” are actually pollen, and they discover when they reach Area 7 that everything on the continent is gigantic. After arriving at Area 7, a large monkey boards the Choo-Choo Chomper and tries to attack; however, the monkey is overcome by Zebra. But this could spell trouble for Toriko and the others…

This chapter introduces the reader to Area 7, which is just huge. As you’d expect from this series, arriving at Area 7 wouldn’t be a walk in the park. The stage is definitely being set for a confrontation between Toriko’s group and the inhabitants of Area 7. But with this confrontation, there’s going to be the issue of making sure that nothing happens to Komatsu in the process, since the whole point of them coming to Area 7 was to try to get him healed from his injury.

Interview with Kishimoto and Shimbakuro

This is a two-page excerpt of a 10-page interview with Masashi Kishimoto and Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro that’s included in Toriko Volume 24. It’s basically the two of them talking about various things they’ve gone through as manga artists. It’s OK for an excerpt, but hopefully the full 10-page interview is better.

World Trigger CH:078

At the beginning of this chapter, Mira captures Replica; unfortunately, this means that Osamu won’t be able to get inside the base, so he needs to find a different way to achieve his goal. But then we see that the Rabit is cubified and that Replica is with Osamu. While most of Replica’s functions have terminated, it can still open the entrance to the base. It’s going to take 20 seconds for Replica to analyze the entrance. Then the focus switches back to Yuma and the Black Trigger who looks like an old man. Yuma does something that surprises the Black Trigger right at the end of the chapter…

For the most part, not a whole lot truly happened in this chapter that progresses the overall story. Only minor things happen in both stories that take place in this chapter, but the story is pretty much just spinning it wheels in order to make this story arc last longer. I’ve been reading World Trigger in Weekly Shonen Jump for several months now, and in all reality, there hasn’t been a whole lot of progress in the story during that time.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:142

This chapter sees Marika declare that she’s going to conquer the animals of the school menagerie. Marika meets up with Raku, and Chitoge is there as well because Raku asked for her help. But as we see, Marika’s attempt at overcoming her fear of animals is just a front because she wants to be able to spend time around Raku while he’s around animals. Chitoge has figured this out on her own, though. When Marika meets the capybara, it makes its alarm sound; however, when Chitoge is around it, it makes its affection sound. Marika doesn’t have any better luck while she’s around a barn owl. And then Marika has an epic fail with a crocodile. In the end, Marika makes no progress whatsoever in regards to her fear of animals.

So here’s another stand-alone story that has nothing to do with the overarching story of the locket and the promise. Oh well. At least this stand-alone story provides some character development for Marika. There’s some humorous moments in this chapter, so that makes a little worthwhile. But hopefully we’ll start seeing some progress in the overarching story soon.

One-Punch Man CH:037.5

This chapter sees Senos still going up against G4. It looks like Senos has defeated him, but then a smaller being emerges from the melted G4. This smaller being begins attacking with lasers. Meanwhile, King and Saitama are still at King’s place. with Saitama talking to King as King plays videogames. Saitama asks King why he ran away from the fight and keeps persisting with his question; before King can say anything, an emergency warning sounds and warns that a giant bird has appeared in the city. The giant bird. As Saitama is about to leave, the giant bird suddenly flies right through King’s window.

So there was only brief movement in the story in this chapter. The purpose of this chapter seemed to be to set up the two plot points of the new being emerging from G4 and the bird crashing into King’s place. Will Saitama finally see for himself that King is a fraud in an upcoming chapter? It does seem to be what this is leading up to.

eIDLIVE CH:002

At school, Misuzu is asked if she’s friends with Chuta; her response is that she hopes he vanishes without a trace. Chuta later talks to the Monitalien that’s been inside him this whole time, and the creature is given the name “Doru.” Chuta also discovers in this chapter that if he tries to hurt Doru, he’ll also hurt himself because they share one body. This chapter then sees Chuta heading to eIDLIVE for his first day of work, with Misuzu giving Chuta the grand tour of eIDLIVE’s facility. While they’re on the tour, a suspect escapes from the detention center. It’s discovered that the escapee has transported itself to Earth, so Misuzu and Chuta are sent back to Earth to pursue him. Misuzu ends up being the one to take down the escapee, and she undergoes a transformation before she does.

Like the first chapter, this chapter was completely in color. I have to say that while seeing Misuzu’s transformation sequence was kind of cool, it raises more questions about her. Until the escapee element of the story happened, this chapter was a little on the boring side because it focused heavily on the exposition. Unfortunately, this chapter didn’t do much to improve my opinion of the series that I had after I finished reading the first chapter. I still haven’t found a real “hook” for it yet to grab my interest.

Death Note CH:002

At a G8 summit, which is a meeting of Interpol, they discuss the mysterious deaths of criminals that have been taking place. It’s decided to put a detective named L onto the case, but it’s revealed that L is already on it. It’s also revealed that websites are starting to pop up devoted to a messenger from hell named “Lord Kira” who is passing judgment on humanity, and Light has a long discussion with Ryuk about this. The conversation is interrupted by a report with L giving a press conference and guaranteeing that “Kira” will be caught. When L declares that Lord Kira is evil, Light decides to use the Death Note. But it turns out that the L on the television wasn’t the real L, and L makes some revelations during the broadcast. After the broadcast, Light declares that he’s going to find and dispose of L.

I have to say that I’m glad that Weekly Shonen Jump is providing this “Jump Back” initiative. Now that I’ve finally been exposed to more of Death Note than simply the first episode of the anime, I’m finding that the story is better than I had given it credit for. With the introduction of L, it looks like a game of “cat and mouse” is about to begin between Light and L. I can see a lot of potential for suspense and intrigue. I’m actually looking forward to reading the third chapter next week.

New Manga Releases: October 7, 2014

Here are the new manga releases for October 7, 2014. If you see any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Apple and Honey GN (18+)
Food Wars! GN 2
Happy Marriage?! GN 8 (18+)
Honey Blood GN 1
Kamisama Kiss GN 16
Knights of Sidonia GN 11
Manga Dogs GN 1
Missions of Love GN 9
My Love Story!! GN 2
Naruto GN 67
Natsume’s Book of Friends GN 17
A New Season of Young Leaves GN (18+)
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan GN 23
One Piece Omnibus GN 10
Oresama Teacher GN 17
Pokémon Adventures: Platinum GN Box Set
Pokémon Black and White GN 18
Strike Witches: 1937 Fuso Sea Incident GN 2
Toriko GN 24
Twittering Birds Never Fly GN (18+)
Vampire Knight GN 19
Vampire Knight GN 19 Limited Edition
Vinland Saga GN 5
Voice Over! Seiyu Academy GN 7
World Trigger GN 1
World Trigger GN 2
ZE GN 9

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 138 (October 6, 2014)

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

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

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

Blue Exorcist CH:061

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

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

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

One Piece CH:762

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

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

World Trigger CH:077

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

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

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

World Trigger Japanese Editor Picks

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

Nisekoi: False Love CH:141

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

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

Naruto CH:694

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

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

Sporting Salt CH:003

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

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

Toriko CH:295

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

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

Bleach CH:599

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

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

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:026

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

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

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

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

One-Punch Man CH:037.4

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

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

Death Note CH:001

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

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

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