Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 131 (August 11, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Toriko, Hunter x Hunter, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, Bleach, Naruto, and a short story by Kazue Kato called Astronerd.

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:756

At the beginning of this chapter, Viola says that during her time coming and going from the palace, she had never heard once about Princess Mansherry being held there. She then realizes that the princess must be in a small room behind the chapel. Leo takes this information and he and the Tontattas go to rescue her. As Robin and Rebecca head to the flower field, Robin starts to fall and tells Rebecca to take the key to the field. Then it’s back to Viola and Usopp, and Viola can see that Sugar is now awake. Sugar declares that the whole country will be turned back into toys, starting with Usopp and the rest of the Straw Hat crew. Then, the actions cuts to Luffy and his group as they continue on the 3rd step of the new royal plateau, and they find themselves fighting with what look like large and evil nutcrackers. During the fight, Robin and a rooster-headed guy fall on one of the nutcrackers. Gladius then appears, and Luffy, Traffy, and a soldier are told to go to the flower field, because Rebecca is waiting there with the key. As Rebecca reaches the flower field, there’s someone waiting for her…

And this chapter continues all the jumping around that’s been prevalent in many of the recent chapters of One Piece. I have to admit that there was so much jumping around in this one, that I was having trouble keeping everything straight. Hopefully some of the various plot lines that are running through this story arc can start concluding sooner rather than later, so there won’t be so much to try to keep track of!

Toriko CH:288

In this chapter, Komatsu declares that the air fruit isn’t totally ripe yet and that it’s too soon to prepare it. The rest of their group assemble at the tree, and Komatsu says that technically, he can prepare the air fruit at this ripeness, but it’s flavor will probably only be 70%. He thinks the best time to prepare it is when its fully ripe and at the moment it hits the ground. Then it’s asked if they’re just supposed to wait until it ripens and falls. Brunch uses the sword he has to cut through the thick air of Slow Rain Hill. He then says he can slice the air around the air fruit in the hopes that it will speed up the fruit’s maturation. They also have something to use to help nourish the fruit. Meanwhile, the Blue Beast inside Toriko realizes that Heracles is acting so desperate because she’s pregnant. She creates a vacuum to protect her child…

The majority of this chapter focuses on Komatsu and the air fruit. In typical shonen fashion, it appears that they won’t be able to do something, but then someone has some kind of ability that allows them to bypass the obstacle and start working toward getting that something done. Considering the type of series that Toriko is, this isn’t too surprising. The main thing now is seeing how many chapters it takes for the air fruit to ripen and be prepared.

Hunter x Hunter CH:349

This chapter we learn there’s a scramble for a throne which is limited to only the children of the legal wives of King Nasubi Hui Guo Rou who board the Black Whale and take part in a departure ceremony. The sole survivor will be the official heir to the throne. We are then introduced to all 14 princes. Then, there’s a long section dealing with Beyond and suspicions about a spy named Saiyu.

Overall, this was a major “info dump” chapter. Honestly, there’s really not a whole lot I can say about this one, especially since I’m still learning about the characters and the world of Hunter x Hunter. Hopefully the action will pick up in the next chapter.

World Trigger CH:071

In this chapter, Director Shinoda starts battling with the Black Trigger. When the Black Trigger deploys trion in a gaseous attack, Shinoda says to turn the air conditioning onto full. By doing this, it allows Shinoda to see the dummies as well as the original, and he goes in for a major attack against the dummies. The Black Trigger tries to create new dummies, but he can’t create them fast enough. At first, it looks like the Black Trigger has been defeated, but he had actually managed to dodge and move elsewhere. The Black Trigger attacks Shinoda, and Shinoda’s relay center is shredded. The Suwa Squad Operator turns on Star Maker, which renders the dummies useless. One of the underlings tries to attack the Black Trigger, but to no avail; the underling has to bail out. Two other underlings launch a surprise attack and destroy the Black Trigger’s relay center and supply system…

It was nice to see this chapter focus on just one plot point. Previous chapters tended to jump between two or three plot points, which could make the story a little hard to follow at times. But with how this battle went, there really wasn’t any way to break it up and insert another plot point into the chapter. I’m glad to finally see that Black Trigger defeated, though. And hopefully the next chapter will show us what’s going on with Osamu.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:134

This chapter continues the beauty contest at the school festival. Kosaki and Haru are competing for the grand prize; Kosaki wears a schoolgirl costume, and Haru comes out wearing a wedding dress. There’s a final Q&A session where several questions are asked. The final question asks them if they have special feelings for anyone right now. Kosaki stammers and says no, while Haru says there is someone but he doesn’t know that she’s alive. She adds she’s taking part in the contest because she wants him to notice her. Now the judges are told to fill out their ballots. It’s a close race, but Haru ends up winning. Haru’s prize is that she gets to choose her dance partner for the folk dance that’s after the contest. Haru asks Raku to dance with her. Later, when Fu asks Haru if she’s going to tell Ichijo how she feels, she says no. When she found out what the prize was, she made a decision: after the dance, she won’t see Ichijo anymore. Unfortunately, she loses her resolve…

Finally, the beauty contest is over! It really wore out its welcome for me. I admit that I was a little happy when I saw Haru delcare that she wasn’t going to see Raku anymore, because it’d be one less member of his harem. But I should’ve known she’d lose her resolve and not follow through. I’m sorry, but this is getting be just as bad as Ranma 1/2 with the amount of suitors that are interested in Raku. But with the beauty contest finally being over, I wonder where the story will go to next.

Bleach CH:592

In this chapter, we see Captain Hitsugaya make an appearance on the battlefield. Yumichika tries to use a kido on him, but Ikkaku stops him. But Ikkaku loses a leg, and is then stabbed in the back by Hitsugaya. Yumichika clashes swords with Hitsugaya to avenge what happened to Ikkaku, but Hitsugaya manages to get a slash in on his opponent. Mayuri then appears and learns that Hitsugaya was turned into a zombie before he was dead. One of the Arrancar zombies starts to attack Hitsugaya, but Mayuri tells him to step away. But he ends up being slashed by Hitsugaya, and Mayuri tells the Arrancar zombie that he will be left to die as punishment. Mayuri starts talking with Hitsugaya as the chapter ends…

Oh, no, no, no, no. I don’t want to believe that Hitsugaya was turned into a zombie… I love his character! And I don’t want to believe that Ikkaku and Yumichika are dead, either. No, no, no. I don’t want to believe it. Why am I afraid that things are only going to get worse as this story arc continues?

Naruto CH:688

In this chapter, we see Obito talking with Rin in the afterlife. He says he wants to go back temporarily in order to help Kakashi. Rin says she’ll wait for him. He tells Kakashi that he doesn’t him to come to the afterlife yet, and he’s bothered by the fact that the eye Obito gave him to celebrate Kakashi’s promotion to Jonin has come back to him. Obito then adds that while he wants Naruto to become Hokage, he wants him to become the Seventh after Kakashi becomes the Sixth. We then see that both of Kakashi’s eyes now have the sharingan. Meanwhile, Naruto and Sasuke team up to go after Kaguya. Naruto uses his Super Biju Rasen Shuriken, and Kaguya transforms into the Ten Tails. A white hand from the Ten Tails reaches out and tries to grab at Naruto and the others. When it seems Sakura is in danger, she receives some surprising help from Kakashi…

Yay! Not only did Kakashi get the sharingan back in the eye he’d had it in, he now has it in both eyes. With how this chapter progressed, it’s starting to look as if this battle may actually be starting to wind down. While I enjoy Naruto, I’ve been starting to feel as if this particular arc has been drug out a bit. It would be nice to see how this battle ends soon and to find out where the story will be heading after it’s over.

Astronerd

Astronerd is a short story that will be appearing in Time Killers, a forthcoming short story collection by Kazue Kato, the author of the Blue Exorcist manga series. The main character of the story is a 16-year-old boy named Yoshio Fujiko. He decides that now he’s in high school, he’s no longer going to be the astronerd that everyone bullied back in junior high. He has a crush on a girl named Tezuka, and it turns out she has an interest in space. He doesn’t tell her about his interest, since he doesn’t want to be branded as a nerd. When Tezuka calls Yoshio to invite him to view the ring nebula with her, he has a flashback to being bullied in middle school and yells that he’s no longer an astronerd. Tezuka apologizes for bothering him and hangs up. Yoshio is about to call her back and apologize, he is approached by three small aliens, who say the space creature picture book bureau has ordered them to collecting an Earthling sample. They used a special formula to select Yoshio. He’s told he has to sign something in order to accept. Yoshio passes out, and the aliens take him home.

The next morning, Yoshio is taken out of bed to hear a news bulletin that a meteor swarm including the comet “Freeman” will hit Asia that day. Everyone in Yoshio’s region is told that they have to evacuate. As they leave, a meteorite hits his school. Yoshio is worried about Tezuka, so he leaves his parents and rushes over to the school. As he goes, he sees the comet and is approached by the aliens, who ask if he understands the situation. The aliens say they are exterminating the Earthlings, and if he becomes their sample, he’ll be stored in a capsule and live forever. When they ask him to sign the form, he says never. The aliens decide to push Yoshio to the edge in order to gain his consent. An explosion takes place in front of Yoshio, which causes him to fall off his scooter and become unconscious. When he awakens, he’s told it’s 7:28 p.m., and he’s been unconscious for five hours. The comet will strike in less than one hour, but Yoshio insists he has to get to the school; he realizes that not going is the same as running away. This leads him to also realize that he’d been running away from who he really is. Just as it appears Yoshio is going to sign his consent to be an alien sample, he gets an email on his phone. It’s from Tezuka, saying she’s safe and she tells him to get to safety. When Yoshio sees this, he realizes that Tezuka still believes in him. He gets on his scooter and attempts to jump over the crater that’s between him and the school.

Yoshio makes it to the school and finds Tezuka, and he admits that he actually loves the stars and apologizes for hiding that from her. He also says he wants to start the astronomy club again. She agrees, and Yoshio thiks that he was born for this moment. The aliens are shocked because he solved the eternal space mystery. This ends up causing a change to Earth’s fate…

I have to say that overall, this was a rather enjoyable short story. The two main characters were very well-defined, and Yoshio goes through a lot of growth over the course of the story. The aliens bring on a serious aspect to the story, which is the destruction of the Earth, but they also add some light humor as well. This story was definitely designed to be a one-off, because the way it ends doesn’t really leave room to be able to continue the story adequately. If this short story is indicative of what else will be appearing in the Time Killers compilation, then that may be worth checking out at some point.

Anime DVD Review: One Piece Season Three Second Voyage

One Piece Season Three Second Voyage is a two-disc set that contains episodes 157-169 of the One Piece anime series. The first disc has seven episodes, while the second disc has six episodes, a commentary on episode 166, 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.

This set continues the episodes that make up the Skypiea arc. At the beginning of this set, Chopper, Robin, Nami and Zoro are abducted by a giant shrimp while they’re on the Going Merry; they’re being taken to Upper Yard for judgment. Conis escorts Luffy, Sanji, and Usopp to get a boat to take them to Upper Yard; when they reach the boat, she admits that this is a trap and she’s almost hit by “Heaven’s Judgment.” Conis is saved by the Sky Knight.

Luffy, Usopp, and Sanji enter Upper Yard and make it to the Ordeal Gates, where they enter the Ordeal of Balls and encounter the Priest Satori. At the same time, the group on the Going Merry arrives at the sacrificial altar. Chopper is left on the ship while the others go to explore. After the others leave, Chopper is attacked by the Priest Shura; just when it looks like Chopper will be defeated, he is saved by the arrival of the Sky Knight. When the Sky Knight (who is named Gan Fall) is defeated by Shura and falls into the water, Chopper jumps in to rescue him, not thinking about the fact that he can’t swim. They are both saved by a bunch of giant Southbirds, who tell Chopper that Gan Fall is God.

Luffy, Usopp, and Sanji defeat Satori and head to reunite with the others. Meanwhile, Nami, Zoro, and Robin discover that Upper Yard is actually part of the island of Jaya that was sent up into the sky instead of falling into the ocean. After both groups are reunited and share what they learn, they discover that the Going Merry was repaired by a mysterious benefactor. Also going on in the background is a group known as the Shandians launching an attack on Upper Yard to defeat God Eneru and reclaim their ancestral homeland.

Phew! Due to how the story progresses in this set, there ended up being several storylines going at the same time. For the most part, they converge together near the end of the set. The main one that doesn’t entirely converge with the others yet is the Shandians and their fight. It turns out the Shandians are the ones who attacked Luffy and the others when they first arrived in Skypiea, but their paths only cross once on this entire set.

Of the new characters introduced in this set, the one that stands out the most is God Eneru. He’s this muscle-bound guy who wears pants that look an awful lot like Hammer Pants and has a lot of decorations around him that look kind of like the Sharingan from Naruto. He’s definitely a rather lazy, pompous, and gaudy-looking person. I’m looking forward to seeing when the eventuality of God Eneru being defeated happens. The other memorable character introduced in this set is Priest Satori. His extremely rotund figure and his speech patterns definitely left an impression on me as a viewer.

The next set will definitely continue the Skypiea arc, and it’ll be interesting to see what direction this story heads into.

As for the DVD set itself, there are two selections for bonus features on the second disc: “Textless Songs” and “Trailers.” The “Textless Songs” features includes “Hikari E” and “BON VOYAGE” (the two opening songs that appear on the set) and “FAITH” and “A to Z” (the two ending songs that appear 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 157-169. 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 Second Voyage that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 130 (August 4, 2014)

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

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

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

Bleach CH:591

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

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

One Piece CH:755

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

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

Nisekoi: False Love CH:133

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

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

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:024

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

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

World Trigger CH:070

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

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

Naruto CH:687

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

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

Toriko CH:287

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

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

One-Punch Man CH:036

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

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

Blue Exorcist CH:059

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

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

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 129 (July 28, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Naruto, Bleach, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, One Piece, Toriko, and Hunter x Hunter. There’s also a series review for Psyren and a one-shot manga titled, Shikigami Twilight Days.

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:686

In this chapter, we see the Sage of Six Paths talking with the Hokage that have been reincarnated. Meanwhile, Kaguya is attacking Naruto’s shadows clones in an attempt to find the real one. Kakashi laments that he can’t do anything to help Naruto, but he hears Naruto declare that it’s not over yet. Suddenly, Sakura, Obito, and Sasuke arrive in the time-space that Naruto is in. With Naruto and Sasuke reunited, Kaguya unleashes a heavy gravity plane. Kaguya launches an attack on Naruto and Sasuke, and Kakashi and Obito go to act as shields…

So this battle continues on. While it had been exciting at first, I found myself thinking by the end of this chapter is that it feels like it’s beginning to drag on. The part right at the end with Kakashi and Obito was good, though. But most of the chapter did feel like the story is starting to bog down a little. Hopefully Kishimoto will be able to progress the battle soon and keep it from bogging down too much more.

Bleach CH:590

In this chapter, Mayuri arrives on the scene during the battle between the Soul Reapers and the Quincies. Mayuri talks down to the Quincy that he’s talking to, and she sends her companion Bambi to take on Mayuri. Bambi shoots some bombs, but they don’t go off when they’re supposed to; it turns out Mayuri has a reishi looking device that can halt the activity of spirit energy that in comes in contact with for a preset amount of time. The Quincy who can create zombies has created some from officers of the 13 court guard squads to attack. Right at the end of the chapter, Mayuri summons some Arrancars to fight the zombies…

Here’s another battle that’s starting to feel like it’s dragging out. And now there’s at least two or three different storylines going on, and one storyline will go for a while and then suddenly switch to the other briefly, just to return to the first storyline. While I like Bleach, I’m hoping that Kubo will work at trying to get this story progressing a little faster.

World Trigger CH:069

In this chapter, Chika is turned into a cube. Osamu blames himself, because he attacked instead of running away like Izumi told them to. Izumi tells Osamu that he can rescue Chika when he gets to the base. Osamu grabs the cube that’s Chika and starts heading for the base. Osamu is chased by the enemy, and Osamu has to figure out how to protect himself. At one point, Osamu is sent flying and loses his hold on the cube. Fortunately, he’s able to distract the enemy enough to be able to retrieve the cube. Replica arrives and says it’s come to escort Osamu and Chika. Just as they’re about to go, a Rabit appears in front of them…

Well, the story finally seem to advancing somewhat compared to previous chapters. Yes, we’re still in the middle of the same battle that we’ve been reading about for a few months now, but the event of Chika being turned into a cube finally forces Osamu to not only try to get back to the base, but he also has to really try to use the skills he’s learned to protect himself and Chika. Hopefully with this turn of events, the story of this battle can truly start going somewhere.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:132

In this chapter, the beauty contest for the school festival gets underway. Haru believes that she’ll be eliminated in the first round. We see that Shu is serving as the emcee for the event. When it’s Haru’s turn, she’s so flustered that she starts mispronouncing words when she’s interviewed. As she continues, she accidentally gives a shameless plug for her family’s shop, but the audience seems to think that Haru’s being cute. The contestant after Haru ends up being Paula. She goes on stage but doesn’t say anything before her turn is over. Marika is the next contestant after Paula. Marika takes off her outfit to reveal a bikini, but this causes her to be disqualified because overexposure is strictly forbidden at a high school festival. The five finalists are announced, and Haru advances. Right at the very end, the older Onodera is brought on stage as a special final contestant…

As I expected, this chapter focused on the beauty contest. It ended up focusing primarily on the first round of the contest. And since the contest didn’t end in this chapter, it will continue on into the next chapter. This puts focus on most of the members of the harem that attend the high school, because a lot of them are participating in the event as contestants. Chitoge is part of the competition, but she’s serving as a judge rather than as a contestant. Hopefully after this story’s done, we might see a little more progress on the overarching story of the locket…

One Piece CH:754

In this chapter, the focus is first on Team Kin’emon, which is located below the former royal plateau. The group decides that they want to leave where they are go up above. After this, the story returns to the second step of the new royal plateau, where Luffy and his group are, and they find themselves embroiled in another battle. As they’re about to get to the fourth step, their way is blocked by giant puppets. And then the story moves to the top of the Pica statue, where Zoro is in the middle of a battle…

And this chapter yet again does some jumping around. While it’s not quite as bad as the jumping around that’s been taking place over the past couple of chapters, it’s still jumping around. But near the end of the chapter, I was happy to see Zoro because I hadn’t seen him in a while. It was awesome to see Zoro acting so badass. Hopefully we’ll see more of Zoro in the upcoming chapters!

Toriko CH:286

This chapter sees a flashback of Toriko and the others each receiving one vial of curing water. We also learn in this flashback that Toriko actually has two demons inside of him instead of just one. Then we see the continuation of where the previous chapter ended, with Toriko lying on the ground after being knocked down by Heracles. A small air tree begins increasing its production and letting off a fragrant smell. We then see the blue demon inside of Toriko taking over his body. The awakened Toriko grabs the fruit from the air tree and consumes it. With the power of the blue demon, Toriko attacks Heracles…

Well, then, this revelation of the two demons makes it feel like Toriko is trying to outdo Naruto. And ultimately, not a lot happens in this particular chapter. It’s basically just the air tree getting ready to bear fruit and the awakening of the blue demon that’s inside Toriko. Hopefully there will be an epic fight between the blue demon and Heracles in the next chapter.

Hunter x Hunter CH:348

This chapter opens with a Hunter final exam test taking place. They’re discovering there’s still a number of spies mixed in with the applicants, even though they thought that had weeded a lot of them out in the first round. Meanwhile, we see some guy who talks about him and his brothers, who are trying to get guards through the Hunter exam; all of these brothers hope to become the next king. Back at the Hunter exam, there’s a discussion going on as to whether or not someone could circumvent the double-layer trap. They also talk about the potential for Pariston to have already put a spy in place. Mizai then meets with the other Hunters and expresses that there’s a chance that there’s a mole among them. Right at the end of the chapter, we see that they have figured out who the informant is.

Ultimately, not a lot really takes place in this chapter. It primarily seems to be talking and “info dumping,” with maybe something minor to help move the story along. And hopefully later we can learn a little more about the brothers who are trying to get spies through the Hunter exam, because at this point, I personally don’t know much about them and how they fit into the overall story.

It should be noted that Hunter x Hunter will be off next week.

Series Review: Psyren

This feature is labeled as a “review,” but it feels more like an overview to explain to the reader about the characters and stories in the Psyren manga. The only parts that truly qualify as a review is the last paragraph of the section labeled, “Beginning of the End” and the final section (which is labeled as, “Complete Series”). It’s a very informative piece for readers who are unfamiliar with the series, even though the last little bit is the only part that can truly be called a review.

Shikigami Twilight Days

The story is set at a time when the Gates of Hell between Tokyo and the underworld were just about to open. The police are investigating a mutilation murder case that has just claimed its fifth victim. The victims are blown up, and the murderer leaves a happy face symbol at the scene of the crime; the attacker has become known as the “Smile Bomber.” A woman named Mako is a detective, and she supposedly had a power as a child to find things. Unfortunately, the only cases she gets are for missing cats three times a month. When she sees a report about the Smile Bomber, the case seems to pique her interest. Mako goes to where the investigating is taking place and tries to force her way onto the case, but the officer doesn’t let her. A boy comes by and says there’s weird people nearby. The cop sees them and chases after them. After he’s gone, it’s revealed the boy is Kyosuke, and has a talking fox. Kyosuke enters the crime scene and summons some shikigami to aid in finding anything that gives off a strange spiritual vibe. Kyosuke was sent by the Shikigami Association to investigate the Smile Bomber incidents. The shikigami find something, and it’s a yorishiro; it’s the used shell of the weapon the assailant used. He determines the murderer is someone trained to use shikigami, but that they’re an amateur. Kyosuke advises Mako not to get involved in the investigation, but she follows after them. When Mako picks up the shell, it reawakens her ability she had as a child. They return to the scene of the crime, and they see something there that attacks them. Kyosuke summons something to fight against it while he and Mako try to flee. Another creature that looks like the first one appears, and Kyosuke tries to attack it. A police officer comes and ends up shooting Kyosuke. It turns out the cop isn’t actually a cop…

This was a good one-shot manga, and it works both as a one-shot and as the launching point for a new manga series. It was a well-told for a one-shot, and with the way it ends, it would be possible to continue the story if the author wanted to. Personally, I think there’s an interesting premise here, and I like how the supernatural elements worked within the world that was established in this one-shot. I haven’t read Psyren, another work by this mangaka yet; however, after reading this one-shot, it makes me think that I need to find time to check out Psyren at some point.

FUNimation Reveals One Piece Dub Cast for Thriller Bark Arc

FUNimation Entertainment revealed the English dub cast for the Thriller Bark arc of the One Piece television anime series at San Diego Comic Con:

  • Andrew T. Chandler is Absalom
  • Jamie Marchi is Cindry
  • Jerry Jewell is Hildon
  • Marcus D. Stimac is Hogback
  • Ray Hurd is Kumacy
  • Alex Moore is Lola
  • Chris Guerrero is Gecko Moria
  • Felecia Angelle is Perona

The company also confirmed that Ian Sinclair will return to play Brook.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 128 (July 21, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for World Trigger, One Piece, Nisekoi: False Love, Bleach, Naruto, Hunter x Hunter, Toriko, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, and One-Punch Man.

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.

World Trigger CH:068

In this chapter, Osamu and his group work at fighting against the Neighbors that are attacking them. They are joined by Izumi, who helps them out. Chika suddenly stops and reacts to the arrival of the humanoid Neighbor we’d seen earlier. He launches an attack with birds; if the birds touch the humans, they will be turned into cubes. As they try t use their weapons on them, their weapons turn into cubes. Unfortunately, the tables have turned, and Osamu is ordered to take Chika and run. As they escape, Osamu tries to attack the humanoid Neighbor. At the end of the chapter, the Neighbor launches an attack that seems to affect Chika…

After how much jumping around the most recent chapters had done, I’m glad to see that this chapter focused exclusively on one area of the battlefield. Specifically, it focused on Osamu and his group. This chapter also saw a little more emphasis being placed on Chika and how much she’s able to assist Osamu with her trion. With this chapter, it finally feels like the story may be starting to progress. Hopefully this progression will continue in the next chapter.

One Piece CH:753

In this chapter, Doflamingo is meeting with Bellamy. At the same time, we see the gladiators fighting against the Don Quixote family. Then, the action moves to Sevio in South Dressrosa, where some of the people decide to take King Riku and Usopp hostage. Then, we move to the inside of Smile Factory, where the workers are being forced to work by Doflamingo’s men. Then we go to Luffy and his group trying to make it to the flower field on the fourth step…

Wow, this chapter jumps around quite a bit! With some of the scenes, it feels like I’m just starting to get my bearings and then it changes to a completely different scene. There’s a lot of action going on, but because of how often the story is changing locations, it’s starting to get harder for me to truly follow what’s going on with anyone anymore. Reading One Piece right now is starting to get quite dizzying!

Nisekoi: False Love CH:131

The focus of this chapter is on the school festival. It appears that Onodera’s younger sister’s class is putting on a haunted house. Some of the girls have been plotting to get Onodera and Raku inside and scare them in the dark in order to bring them together. When Haru goes to invite the two of them, she runs into Chitoge, who is wearing an Alice in Wonderland costume. Raku’s class is doing a cosplay cafe. After seeing the various costumes, Haru invites Onodera and Raku to their haunted house. They go through the haunted house together, and Haru makes sure to throw out everything she knows her sister is afraid of. Onodera gets so scared that she starts clinging to Raku. By the end of the chapter, Haru realizes that she still harbors feelings for Raku. Haru then learns her friend signed her up for the beauty contest without her permission. She sees who the judges are: Raku and Chitoge.

Well, it looks like this chapter was basically written to accomplish three things. First, an attempt at trying to get Onodera and Raku to be closer. Second, to show that Haru hasn’t given up on her feelings for Raku. And third, it’s a chapter to set up the beauty contest story; with the way this chapter ended, it’s obvious the beauty contest will have to be the next one. I’m predicting that at least some members of Raku’s harem will find themselves in the beauty contest, which will make it hard for him since he’s one of the judges.

Bleach CH:589

In this chapter, we see Ichigo, Chad, and Orihime with Urahara. It turns out Urahara built Kukaku’s cannon below Squad 12’s barracks. Ichigo is embarrassed when Chad asks him what he thinks of Orihime’s outfit; he says he thinks she’s revealing too much. Yoruichi shows up and smacks Ichigo and lectures him; she’s only wearing it because a perv tricked her into it. It turns out Yoruichi was investigating the distortion the Quincies were causing at the boundary between the world of the living and the Soul Society. With what Yoruichi has brought with her, preparations are made to launch the cannon. The chapter then returns to the battle between the Soul Reapers and the Quincies. Just as it looks like there could be trouble, someone unexpected shows up on the battlefield…

This chapter places most of its emphasis on Ichigo, Chad, Orihime, and Urahara. And quite a bit of that section had a focus on the “fanservice” being provided by Orihime’s outfit. This scene helps us to learn a little bit of what’s going on, but ultimately doesn’t really move the story forward. And what little bit of the battle we see between the Soul Reapers and the Quincies doesn’t seem to truly progress the story, either. Right now, it’s kind of feeling like Kubo is trying to do everything in his power to stretch the story out. Hopefully we’ll start seeing some meaningful progression sooner rather than later.

Naruto CH:685

In this chapter, Obito instructs Sakura and one of Naruto’s shadow clones to keep a hand on him so they can teleport elsewhere at any moment. They successfully teleport, but Kaguya and Zetsu are on to them. Obito tells Sakura and the Naruto clone to hide while he draws their attention. It turns out Kaguya destroyed one of Naruto’s clones. Sakura provides her chakra to Obito in order to help him search the time-spaces for Sasuke. They succeed in finding him, although it looks uncertain as to whether or not he’ll make it to where Sakura and Obito are…

There’s not a lot of focus on Naruto and Kaguya in this chapter. Instead, the focus is more on Sakura and Obito as they search the time-spaces for Sasuke. Obito’s done a lot of work in this chapter, so I can only imagine what his Sharingan and chakra must be like at this point. How much longer will he be able to help out in the battle? And hopefully the next chapter will return to focusing more on Naruto and what he’s up to.

Hunter x Hunter CH:347

In this chapter, Ging and Pariston are attacked by the three guys who declared at the end of the previous chapter that their real boss is Beyond. The two of them have to flee and work together to try to get out of this predicament. Ging is able to imitate a punching ability that he’s been hit with in the past to help take down the three guys that are chasing them. Later, Ging tells Muherr that their act about this could’ve been much better, and gives his evaluation of the troops. Ging is also shown one of their weapons. When the discussion turns to how the mercenaries don’t like talk of money, Ging says he’ll make a deposit in the Norwell Fund, which is a relief fund for the family of fallen soldiers.

This chapter focuses exclusively on Ging, and has some focus on Pariston as well. We finally get an explanation as to why Ging has acted the way he has, and as for why he was offering the mercenaries money. I thought the idea of the Norwell Fund was kind of interesting, although the three-generational tier to it definitely has its disadvantages. I’m wondering if later in this story arc, Ging will come to regret his decision to create a “grandchild account,” since this now makes him a mercenary and he has to follow orders from very specific people. Now that I’ve been learning more about what this story arc entails, I’m starting to become a little more interested in the Hunter x Hunter series.

Toriko CH:285

This chapter focuses on various battles. The first battlefront is at Stardust Hill, where Team Zebra and Brunch are. Brunch uses his full-body charge magnet which allows him to magnetize his whole body; by doing this, he is able to attract a torrential downpour of meteors to him. Zebra uses voice eruption to blow the meteors away. Next it’s Team Sunny and Nosh at the Plains of the Bees’ Nest. Nosh creates an impenetrable shield by pushing the muscle fibers of his entire body to the plate on his head. The action then moves to Team Coco and Dinner at Poison Rain Prairie. Then we see Komatusu and Mappy west of Nightmare Hill. Then it’s off to the heart of Nightmare Hill where Toriko is facing off with Heracles of the Eight Kings, and this is where the chapter ends…

This chapter ended up jumping all over the place. Just as I was getting use to one battlefront, it would suddenly switch to a different one. Over the course of this chapter, we see five different locations, and it was almost dizzying just how often the scenes would change. The chapter was a relatively fast read, but I’m not truly sure just how much of it I actually absorbed as I read it. Oh well. Hopefully the next chapter will slow down its pacing a little bit.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:44

In this chapter, Yuma, Astral, and the others from the duel find themselves near a black hole from another world, which is pulling the their world and the Astral World together so that they’ll crash; they also discover that they’re being pulled toward the black hole. Astral wants to prevent this from happening, and he materializes a huge boulder out of thin air. Only a duel can open the barrier, and Astral tries to get into a duel with Yagumo. Yuma stops him, and Shark and Kaito say they want to take on Yagumo. Yuma says he’ll team up with them in order to bring Yagumo down. Yagumo declares that he is the chosen one by the Dark God. Since he has three contenders, Yagumo declares that he gets triple life points. And a duel begins. Yagumo goes first and does a lot to power up his monsters on his first turn. As the duel is getting underway, allies of Yuma, Kaito, and Shark are in a bubble that’s above them and can see what’s going on. Ryoga is the first to battle Yagumo…

This was definitely a long chapter, and once it finally hits a duel, the manga is back to the typical explanations that make the story start sounding like a player’s manual for playing the game. To me, that’s always been a weakness of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. It can be bad enough hearing them saying all this stuff in the anime, but to have to sit and read through these explanations in the manga can be even worse. And with how much both Yagumo and Ryoga do in order to level up their various monsters, it gets even worse than usual in that regard. But with how the story is progressing, it’s clear that this particular story arc is getting closer to an end.

One-Punch Man CH:035.3 V2

This is a re-worked version of the chapter that appeared in the July 7, 2014 issue of Weekly Shonen Jump. The first 23 pages are mostly the same, except that two brand new pages were added. From page 198 to the end, it’s all brand-new content that includes the climax to the fight.

Since I started reading Weekly Shonen Jump, this is the second time that a re-worked version of a previously published chapter of One-Punch Man has appeared in the publication. The first time was bad enough, but to see this happen again… *shake my head*. But we see that during the battle, the power sphere is now broken and is crashing. It appears that Saitama is the actual victor of this fight. Well, at least that fight is FINALLY over. So now where is the story of One-Punch Man going to head in next?

Commercial for the One Piece “3D2Y” Television Special

Toei Animation’s official YouTube channel has posted a 15-second commercial for the One Piece “3D2Y” anime special, which will be airing on Japanese television on August 30, 2014.

I am embedding the commercial below, and I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view the video due to region blocking.

Attack on Titan Is #1 Selling Graphic Novel in the United States for June 2014

Nielsen BookScan has announced the top 20 selling graphic novels in the United States for June 2014, and Attack On Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama is the number one selling graphic novel for the month.

The manga in the top 20 graphic novels list for June 2014 include:

  • Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama (#1)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 2 by Hajime Isayama (#2)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 12 by Hajime Isayama (#5)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 3 by Hajime Isayama (#6)
  • Naruto Volume 65 by Masashi Kishimoto (#7)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 9 by Hajime Isayama (#9)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 4 by Hajime Isayama (#13)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 10 by Hajime Isayama (#14)
  • One Piece Volume 71 by Eiichiro Oda (#15)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 11 by Hajime Isayama (#18)
  • Sword Art Online: Aincrad Volume 1 by Reki Kawahara (#19)

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 126 (July 7, 2014)

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

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

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

Nisekoi: False Love CH:129

This chapter sees Raku and the others returning to school. Raku sees Marika in the hall and calls out to her, and she tells him not to address her so informally. We then see a flashback of Marika’s, which takes place the previous night; she’s wondering how to get Raku to pay more attention to her because he always dodges her advances. She sees something in a magazine about secret love techniques, and it says that if coming on strong isn’t working, try pulling away. We return to the present time and see that Marika is having a hard time with this. In class, Marika discovers that she and Raku are both class officers that day, and so they have to clean the board. Poor Marika has a hard time trying to keep up her aloof front. They are then told they need to gather up some worksheets and bring them to their teacher. Raku spends the chapter being confused about Marika’s behavior. Yui sends Raku and Marika on another errand, and it becomes an awkward situation. Near the end of the chapter, Marika begins wondering if perhaps she’s gone a little too far…

This chapter puts a focus on Marika and her feelings for Raku. It’s a story that definitely ended with this chapter, so another story should begin in the next week’s chapter. I have to admit that it was kind of amusing to see Marika acting so cold and aloof towards Raku, since she’s normally so lovey-dovey toward him. While this chapter may not progress the overarching story of the locket and the keys, it does delve a little bit more into Marika’s character.

Bleach CH:587

In this chapter, Orihime tackles Ichigo as a blast is heading right toward him. Chad also oins in, and picks Ichigo up and throws him. Chad then scolds Ichigo; it’s okay to be shocked about Uryu, but what good does it do to fret over it? Ichigo suggests chasing Uryu down and asking him why he’s gone to the other side. Urahara suddenly appears on the scene, and Ichigo asks him to book a ticket to Reiokyu. Meanwhile, the other Soul Reapers are just as shocked about Uryu’s defection, and they’re taunted by a Quincy. Renji insults the Quincy, and the Quincy attacks…

This chapter focuses on some of the characters’ reactions to Uryu joining up with the head of the Quincys and leaving them behind. Ichigo has definitely taken this the hardest, and he’s bound and determined to find out why Uryu has done this. I expect that this is going to part of what the propels the story forward in the coming chapters.

One Piece CH:752

In this chapter, Doflamingo attacks Luffy and Law. But before he can get very far, a couple of Luffy’s supporters come up from behind and attack Doflamingo. Unfortunately, this Doflamingo ends up being a marionette. The two guys say that Kelly Funk tricked them, and they claim to have wiped him out. Luffy uses his Gum Gum power to create a shortcut in the well, and Luffy and Law come out of the hole and surprise the enemies that are on the second step. This chapter also shows what’s going on with the various groups within the chaos that’s developed.

This chapter primarily focuses on Luffy and Law and on how they get out of their predicament. However, there are also some brief scenes of what some of the others are up to as well. But like with many of the recent chapters of One Piece, it can be rather chaotic and jump around a lot. I have to admit that there are times when I’m starting to lose track of who’s where and what exactly is going on, but it’s still exciting.

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

One Punch Man CH:035.3

In this chapter, Saitama and Boros continue their fight. Boros declares that he’ll release all his energy to blow away both Saitama and the planet’s surface. Saitama retorts that he has a finishing move, too. Saitama launches his attack as Boros’ energy comes barreling toward him. The chapter ends as the two finishing moves collide…

Once again, it’s a rather short chapter that does nothing to progress the overarching story. Right now, I actually find myself feeling rather bored with One Punch Man with how slowly the story seems to be progressing, especially since this is a manga that isn’t published every week in the publication. Can the story finally progress already? This is still the same battle that’s been going on since I started reading this series in Weekly Shonen Jump in late March/early April.

Blue Exorcist CH:058

The chapter opens with Shiemi Moriyama battling with a chimera zombie, and is then followed by Ryuji Suguro battling with a chimera zombie. During his battle, Ryuji has a flashback from dragoon class, where he learned about the use of bazookas in exorcism. In the present time, he takes out a bazooka to attack; however, the chimera zombie starts talking, and this startles Ryuji. But Ryuji manages to get a shot in with the bazooka. He has another flashback about growing up. In the present time, Ryuji sees that the chimera zombie hasn’t returned to normal. Okumura runs into Shiemi, who was able to return the chimera zombie to the Earth with Nee’s help. Right at the end of the chapter, they encounter Mikhail Gedoin, the head of the Illuminati’s Far East Laboratory.

There was a strong focus on Ryuji in this chapter. Between the two flashbacks we see in this chapter, we get to learn a bit more about Ryuji. This chapter is also starting to provide a little more exposure and information for the chimera zombies. So far, I’m finding this story to be interesting, but I wish it appeared more than once a month in Weekly Shonen Jump. Because it’s in the publication so infrequently, it does kind of feel as if the story is taking a while to progress.

Stealth Symphony CH:019

In this chapter, there’s a battle between the humans and dragons at Jinbo-Cho. Alice talks to Jig, and asks why he wants to kill Troma; didn’t he come to this town to save people? Jig says it’s too late, he already killed people at the police station. When he says he killed Raika, Alice tells him that she’s still alive. Jig says that he’s already killed people of his own free will, and if he blames the wings, then his feelings for Lill will become a lie. Slice gets in on the action as well. But then Jig transforms into the black dragon and begins attacking Troma. And then something very surprising happens right at the end of the chapter…

So this chapter finally sees Jig transforming into his dragon form. He also becomes quite angry, especially at Troma, in this chapter. Of course, he also gets upset with Slice over some of the comments he makes. But the ending of that chapter… wow, I didn’t see that one coming. It’ll be interesting to see how the story will progress in the next chapter after what happened.

World Trigger CH:066

In this chapter, the fight between the Neighbor that invaded the base and the Suwa Squad begins, and the Neighbor discovers that his attacks aren’t penetrating the walls. It turns out the Neighbor has been locked inside a training room. The other Neighbors, meanwhile, are examining the humans who are attacking Viza and Hyuse. The order is given to send all seven remaining Rabits. We then return to the battle between Jin and Lord Hyuse. At the end of the fight, Jin learns that Hyuse is a decoy. Right at the end of the chapter, Osamu’s group is attacked…

This chapter still has a lot of jumping around in it. Yes, I know there’s action taking place in several locations, but it seems that for the most part, I’m just starting to get a handle of what’s going on in one location and then the scene changes to another fight at another location. Since I’m still trying to learn who the various characters are and what’s going on, all this jumping around makes it that much harder for me to figure things out. I keep hoping that the more time I spend reading this series, the more I’ll start learning and knowing.

Naruto CH:683

In this chapter, Kaguya tries to suck Naruto’s chakra dry, but he’s able to dodge her. Meanwhile, we see one of Naruto’s shadow clones with Kakashi, Sakura and Obito; he says he can sense his real body, but not Sasuke. After Obito regains consciousness, the group decides to go to where Naruto and Kaguya are in order to try to help Naruto. When the Naruto shadow clone and the group see what’s going on, Obito figures some things out. He comes up with a plan for how to recover Sasuke. Meanwhile, the four Hokage gather together and start discussing what to do; they are interrupted the arrival of the Sage of Six Paths.

These chapters continue to move the story ever closer to its conclusion. With the Hokage finally gathering together and being joined by the Sage of Six Paths, it appears the various elements of this story and working at coming together. This is the manga I definitely look forward to reading the most each week when I read Weekly Shonen Jump.

Toriko CH:283

In this chapter, Toriko encounters an extremely large horse at Nightmare Hill. It’s a heracles that’s one of the Eight Kings. Mappy then declares he’s going to die and become fertilizer for an air tree. He’s sacrificing himself in the hopes that the heracles will let them capture air. This chapter also provides an explanation about the horses that live on Nightmare Hill being air-vores that eat air, as well as information on the nightmare heracs. Right at the end of the chapter, Komatsu pulls out a knife and says he can hear the voice of the food…

The vast majority of this chapter was spent on exposition about the nightmare heracs. Because of that, it was overall a rather boring chapter. Yes, the exposition was important to understand where the story is headed, but it made for dry reading. I hope the next chapter will continue the action that will propel the story forward.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:023

In this chapter, Shinoa calls a meeting with Yu and the others at her room. They find that she and Mitsuba are trying to fix breakfast, but that the food they’re making is burning to a crisp. Kimizuki takes over and cooks the food. Shinoa says she wants to discuss two things: that Yu had been subjected to some kind of experiment that caused him to lose control in the last battle and try to kill her, and that she wonders if Lt. Colonel Guren is using them or if he’s their ally. With what they know about Guren, she wonders if they should follow him or not, and how each of them plans to face the world from now on and come to a mutual conclusion. Yu gives his answer, and the others agree. Meanwhile, we see Guren meeting with Kureto Hiragi. Kureto asks Guren about Yu, Yoichi, and Shiho and what he intends to do with them. Kureto also asks Guren where he thinks humanity will go from here. Kureto then shares his plans. Guren is ordered to take Yu, Yoichi, and Shiho, as well as soldiers, into Nagoya to kill the vampire nobles.

While there’s some focus on Yu and the others, the majority of this chapter focuses on Guren and Kureto. The conversation between these two provides quite a bit of exposition and is ultimately setting the stage for the next part of the story. But from what’s seen at the end of the chapter, it looks like the vampires may also have a similar idea as well. It’ll be interesting to see how the human and vampire conflict continues in the next chapter of the series.

New One Piece Special to Air in Japan in August 2014

The official portal site for One Piece has announced that Fuji TV will air a new One Piece special titled, Overcoming the death of Ace! Luffy, the oath with his party, on August 30, 2014. The special is commemorating the anime series’ 15th anniversary.

The new TV special tells the two years of Luffy’s training with Silvers Rayleigh in Rusukaina Island after the Battle of Marineford and the death of his older brother Ace. The special features a new villain named Burndy World who is known as “The Destroyer of the World” and has the power of the MoaMoa Fruit. Burndy was designed with Eiichiro Oda, the creator of the One Piece manga.