New Anime Releases: April 15, 2014

Here are the new anime releases for April 15, 2014. If you see any errors or omissions in this post, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III – The Advent [DVD]
Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III – The Advent [Blu-ray]
From the New World Collection 1 [DVD]
From the New World Collection 1 [Blu-ray]
Heaven’s Lost Property Season 1 Anime Classics [Blu-ray/DVD Combo]
Nyaruko: Crawling with Love! Season 1 [Blu-ray]
One Piece Collection 9 [DVD]
Saint Seiya: Sanctuary Classic Complete Collection [DVD]
Spice and Wolf Complete Series Anime Classics [Blu-ray/DVD]

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 115 (April 14, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Nisekoi, One Piece, All You Need Is Kill, Naruto, Seraph of the End, Bleach, Stealth Symphony, Toriko, and World Trigger.

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 CH:118

In the previous chapter, Raku got appendicitis and ended up in the hospital. During his stay, it’s clear to the audience that Chitose has some kind of feelings for Raku that she can’t admit to either herself or to Raku. This chapter sees Raku and Chitose talking about a picture book they’d seen in Onodera’s room and that they can’t find any information on it. Raku invites Chitose to come over and look at it, because he’s borrowed the book from Onodera. When Raku arrives at his house, he learns they’re expecting an important visitor, the boss of the Char Siu Chinese Mafia Syndicate. It turns out the boss is Yui, an older girl that he knows and hasn’t seen in six or seven years; it turns out Raku didn’t know she had become the bos of that syndicate. Chitose is introduced as Raku’s girlfriend, and Yui is surprised. She also recognizes Chitose’s last name. It turns out that Yui had made arrangements to attend their high school while she’s in Japan; however, as we see in the final couple of pages, she’s there to be Raku’s homeroom teacher.

Well, well, well… it looks like Raku’s harem has just gotten a little bigger with the arrival of Yui. As soon as I saw that the mafia boss was a young girl, I knew she’d be joining the harem. As it turns out, she lived with Raku’s family for several years when he was younger, and she claims that Raku gave her her first kiss. However, I will say that I didn’t predict that when Yui said that she’d be going to Raku’s school that she’d end up being his homeroom teacher.

The more I’ve seen of Nisekoi, the more parallels I’m starting to see with Ranma 1/2. Fortunately, the gender swapping part of Ranma isn’t part of this, though. But the fact that Raku and Chitose are forced into an engagement by their families, the fact that the girl in the forced engagement can’t cook, and the growing number of love interests, at least for Raku, is growing just as much as it did for Ranma. I hope that over time, I’ll be able to start seeing more elements that it will help make Nisekoi feel less and less like it’s borrowing from Ranma 1/2‘s playbook.

One Piece CH:744

In the previous chapter, Robin and the others who were turned into toys returned to normal and the curse of the Hobby-Hobby Fruit is undone. Usopp asks the Tontattas to find his friends, because the battle is only beginning. Luffy learned that the one-legged toy is actually Kyros, and that he is Rebecca’s true father. Kyros, meanwhile, has a fight and wins. In this chapter, an explosion happens in the coliseum, and chaos ensues. Amidst all the chaos, two characters appear: Hack and Sabo from the Revolutionary Army. They’ve come to put a stop to the weapons leaving the port that are aiding wars around the world.

This was a very busy chapter! There’s so much action and so much going on I had a hard time keeping track of it all. Of course, it didn’t help that I jumped into the middle of this particular story arc, so I don’t know about some of the things that happened earlier in the arc or who some of the characters appearing in this chapter are. I think if someone has been following this arc from the very beginning, they’ll probably be able to better understand everything that’s taking place and have a better appreciation for it. It should also be noted that One Piece will be taking a week off in next week’s issue of Weekly Shonen Jump.

All You Need Is Kill CH:012

In the previous chapter, Rita learns that Keiji also goes through time loops. In this chapter, Keiji is determined to make the battle he’s been stuck in end today. Before he can do anything, Rita appears and says she needs to borrow Keiji. She is given permission to take him. They work together to defeat the enemy, and Keiji learns how to survive by mimicking Rita’s skills. Keiji takes on the mimic at the root of his time loops. Unfortunately, at the end of the chapter, it appears that he has failed…

I felt a little deceived by this chapter. As it went along, I felt so sure that with Rita’s help, Keiji was going to be able to break out of the time loop. However, from what we see at the end, it appears he’s failed. I really want to know why this failed. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait an extra week, because All You Need Is Kill will be taking a week off in the next volume of Weekly Shonen Jump. Ack! What a point to be taking a week off at!

Naruto CH:672

In the previous chapter, it was revealed that Naruto is the reincarnation of Hagoromo’s son, Ashura, and that Sasuke is the reincarnation of his other son. Hagoromo asks Naruto to stop Madara. Naruto then discovers that Obito did something rather surprising, and it appears that the day the child of prophecy shall change the world has arrived. Sasuke suddenly appears, and Hagoromo shares his power with both Sasuke and Naruto. This chapter returns to the fight between Guy and Madara, and it looks like it might be the end of Guy. Meanwhile, both Sasuke and Naruto say that it’s time for them to get going. There’s also a flashback of Kakashi and Guy when they were kids with their fathers and the first time they met; it appears this is the start of their now infamous rivalry. Then we return to the fight, and Guy lets loose on Madara. Just as it looks like Madara is going to finish Guy, Naruto jumps in and intervenes.

Ahhhhh! This was an intense chapter! Guy looked like he was going to a goner there! My favorite part was seeing the flashback of little Kakashi and little Guy meeting, and seeing Kakashi’s dad basically planting the seed for Kakashi and Guy’s rivalry. Now that Naruto’s gotten back into the battle, I can’t wait to see how he might be able to turn the tide.

Seraph of the End CH:015

In the previous chapter, the part of Yu that isn’t human starts to run wild and attack humans. Shinoa is told to embrace Yu because it should bring him back from what he’s become. When she does, it appears to work. The story moves ahead five days later, and Shinoa discovers there’s a lab in the underground of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army’s Shinjuku Barracks; it’s there to experiment on their guinea pigs. After Shinoa shows she’s a member of the Hiragi family, the guards take her on a tour of the lab. She goes to see Lt. Colonel Guren to ask what he’s trying to do to Yu, because he hasn’t woken up yet. This chapter sees the vampires recovering after the battle we’d seen in previous chapters, and they talk about the forbidden research that the humans are doing: the “Seraph of the End.” Mika is summoned by the Third Progenitor, Krul Tepes. Meanwhile, Yu wakes up and finds out he’s been in a coma for a week. Shinoa comes to see Yu, and she fills him in on the parts of the battle that he forgot.

So we get to see a little bit of the vampires in their natural surroundings, which is good for me, since I jumped into this series after it had already been going. Between this and what was said in the hospital scene with Yu, I have a better understanding of Mika and why he was so determined to try to save Yu in the previous chapter. I also got to see Yu and his comrades interacting with each other off the battlefield, which also allowed me to get to know some of these characters a little better than I had known them from what few chapters I’ve read of this series so far. Hopefully getting to see more chapters like this one will help to improve my appreciation for the series.

Bleach CH:576

In the previous chapter, Kenpachi tells Yachiru to get out of the way, and she does. After she leaves, Kenpachi says he wants the real fight to start and then says something that makes Gremmy stop and think. After thinking about it, Gremmy realizes that he really wants to crush Kenpachi. In this chapter, a new battle between Kenpachi and Gremmy gets underway. Gremmy ends up being slow using his imagination, so Kenpachi is able to get blows in on Gremmy. After Kenpachi taunts Gremmy about imagining his death, this snaps Gremmy out of what was slowing him down, and he starts recovering. Gremmy ends up creating a second version of himself by using his imagination, and that second version is also unable to be cut. And since there’s two of them that are the same, they can both use their imagination. A meteor suddenly starts coming down, and Gremmy intends to destroy both Kenpachi and the Seireitei itself. The meteor is coming down as the chapter ends…

Darn it! Just when it seemed like Kenpachi had found Gremmy’s Achilles Heel, Kenpachi had to screw everything up with his taunt. Now, not only is Gremmy able to fight again, it’s now double the danger with the new version of himself that Gremmy has created. And how is Kenpachi going to destroy the meteor with his sword? It’s quite a cliffhanger, though, and I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter in order to find out what’s going to happen.

Stealth Symphony CH:008

In the previous chapter, Jig discovers that Alice and Troma from V&V are protecting the trailer that he’s trying to rescue the prisoners from. At the end of Chapter Seven, Jig is able to talk to Troma through a transmitter that Alice drops, and he declares that he will become Troma’s enemy if it’s necessary. In this chapter, Troma tells Jig that’s an excellent idea and he has faith that the path Jig chose is the right one. Now, Jig and Raika have to figure out how to stop the trailer. Troma is able to figure out what Raika is trying to do and destroys her satelitte up in space before she can attack with it a second time. When Jig is in danger of being run over by the trailer, Troma intervenes and attacks it. Right at the end of the chapter, Jig is able to activate his Heirloom…

This was a rather action-packed chapter for Stealth Symphony. Just as it looked like Jig would end up becoming enemies with V&V, that idea ends up being turned on its head when Jig finds himself in trouble. And during this chapter, Jig comes to realize that he doesn’t need to be afraid of his curse; in fact, during the very last panel, Jig is embracing the Heirloom and the power that it possesses. So now, what will happen to Jig after this story is all over. Will the cyborgs still accept him after his assignment is done?

Toriko CH:273

In the previous chapter, an octomelon awakens and becomes the tent for the first leg of Toriko and the others’ journey through the Gourmet World. At the end of Chapter 272, they boarded the octomelon and head on their way to the third entrance to the Gourmet World, Yuto Island’s Bay of Evil Spirits. In this chapter, the group has a new capture level measuring device which is a tray that serves as a computer tablet. There’s an ID card that includes 300,000 items in the human world. as well as data on many food found in the Gourmet World. They’re able to test out the device when a giant ray pops out of the water. They’re able to determine that the device works. Unfortunately for them, the Giant Ray is stronger than the Octomelon and has spotted them. Just as they’re going to attack it, the Giant Ray is stabbed by the waves of the Thorned Sea. They realize their first oppnent in the Gourmet World isn’t going to be a creature, it’s going to be the waves. They manage to escape the Thorned Sea, and they see Yuto Island, the third entrance to the Gourmet World. They get a surprise when they think they’ve made it to Yuto Island…

The vast majority of this chapter is spent on Toriko and the others as they’re working their way toward Yuto Island. They encounter another creature that, according to the footnotes, was created by someone other than the mangaka. I never would have guessed that the sea itself was as dangerous as it was. Admittedly, I’m not terribly familiar with the Gourmet World yet, since I jumped into series so late. I guess I should expect more of the unexpected as Toriko and the others travel through the Gourmet World.

World Trigger CH:056

In the previous chapter, Lord Hyuse is sent to capture a target that is supposed to possess a powerful trion. Konami is ordered to take on the new models of Aftokrator, and Osamu is ordered to protect Amatori with his life. The remaining members on the battlefield fight against Lord Hyuse and his group Meanwhile, there’s another confrontation east of headquarters. This chapter opens out by focusing on Shiro Kikuchihara and his side effect of enhanced hearing, which a lot of people think is pretty lame. One day, he’s approached by Soya Kazama, Shiori Usami, and Ryo Utagawa. Shiro is told that he will be the ears of his squad and that they’ll share his audio information via transmission. He’s told that when he’s a full agent that he needs to join Soya’s squad. Then we see that he’s a member of that squad and that they’ve made A-Rank. These flashbacks are intercut with Kazama Squad’s current battle. Unfortunately, the enemy figures out they’re relying on sound and tries to do what he can to confuse them. Just as Kazama Squad thinks they’ve gotten the upper hand, the enemy surprises them…

This chapter basically gives a little bit of background information on Kazama Squad in order to help the reader understand why Kazama Squad is fighting against the enemy the way they are. There ends up being a surprise right at the end of the chapter that’s connected to Soya, and the chapter ends on a cliffhanger. Can Soya make it out of the problem he’s in, or is he not going to make it?

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 114 (April 7, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Naruto, Stealth Symphony, One Piece, World Trigger, Bleach, One-Punch Man, Nisekoi, All You Need Is Kill, Toriko, Blue Exorcist, and a special Dragon Ball bonus story.

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:671

In the previous chapter, Naruto regains consciousness and meets Hagoromo, the Sage of Six Paths. Hagoromo tells Naruto a story about his mother and his sons, and the chapter ends with Hagoromo saying that his son Ashura has been reincarnated in Naruto. When Naruto is not surprised by this news, Hagoromo believes that Naruto already knows who the reincarnation of his other son is; he does, and it’s Sasuke. Naruto then asks what happened to the other reincarnates before him and Sasuke. It’s revealed the reincarnates right before them were Hashirama and Madara. We learn a little more history about Hagoromo’s mother and that she had a couple of the ocular powers that we’ve seen in the series. Hagoromo asks Naruto to stop Madara. Naruto then discovers that Obito did something rather surprising, and it appears that the day the child of prophecy shall change the world has arrived. Sasuke suddenly appears, and Hagoromo shares his power with both Sasuke and Naruto.

Ummm… wow! There’s a bit that’s revealed in this chapter, and it’s becoming more and more obvious with each chapter that Naruto is getting ever closer to its ending. Will Naruto really be the child of prophecy and change the world? And how will Sasuke help him out?

Stealth Symphony CH:007

In the previous chapter, Jig goes out on his job for the cyborg agency, which is to rescue prisoners from a trailer. However, at the end of Chapter Six, Jig discovers that Troma and Alice are in the trailer, having been hired to watch over the prisoners. Troma, as a ninja, fights against the cyborgs. As Jig wonders why V&V are there, Alice arrives and asks Jig why he’s there. He says he’s there to rescue the people inside the trailer. Alice recommends that he leave immediately because he’s a novice. Alice ends up fighting against Colt Yukimiya. Jig ends up being able to talk to Troma through a transmitter that Alice drops, and he declares that he will become Troma’s enemy is it’s necessary.

It appears that after initally establishing V&V as allies for Jig, they will now potentially become his enemies. That would definitely be an interesting turn around if that does actually come to pass in future chapters of the series. So far, Stealth Symphony has done a good job of establishing the character of Jig and the world he inhabits, and I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter in order to find out what will happen next.

One Piece CH:743

In the previous chapter, we were given backstory for Kyros and Rebecca. At the beginning of this chapter, we see that Sugar and Usopp are both knocked out. Robin and the others who have been turned into toys are returning to normal and the curse of the Hobby-Hobby Fruit is being undone. The Tontattas declare that Usopp is a hero, and he asks them to find his friends, because the battle is only beginning. Luffy learns that the one-legged toy is actually Kyros, and that he is Rebecca’s true father. Kyros, meanwhile, has a fight and wins. An explosion happens in the coloseum as the chapter comes to an end…

This was a rather action-packed chapter, especially after the toys returned to their original selves. With the curse lifted, Rebecca remembers that she has a father, and this gives her the determination she needs in order to continue her fight in the coloseum. Now that the curse is lifted, I expect the rest of the arc will focus on the people trying to remove Doflamingo from Dressrosa.

World Trigger CH:055

In the previous chapter, there was an explanation about Kion and Aftokrator and about the horned Aftokrators. Osamu then encounters a man with horned humanoid Neighbor. Meanwhile, a horned humanoid Neighbor makes an appearance at another area of the battle; quite a bit of the chapter focuses on this area of the battle. In this chapter, Lord Hyuse is sent to capture a target that is supposed to possess a powerful trion. Konami is ordered to take on the new models of Aftokrator, and Osamu is ordered to protect Amatori with his life. The remaining members on the battlefield fight against Lord Hyuse and his group. Meanwhile, there’s another confrontation east of headquarters.

This chapter focuses primarily on Osamu and his group, and we get a little bit of explanation as to the moves that Konami and some of the others are using against the enemy. Outside of that, it was a chapter filled with a lot of action with the battles going on. I suspect the next chapter will continue the various fights that are taking place.

Bleach CH:575

In the previous chapter, Gremmy and Kenpachi started into a fight. When Kenpachi tells Yachiru to get out of there, Gremmy says her bones have turned into cookies with his ability, and that if she tries to move, her bones will shatter and she’ll die. Kenpachi then jumps into the air, and Gremmy turns it into water. Gremmy then creates a crack in the ground and sends Kenpachi and the water down into it. Gremmy expects Kenpachi will die within an hour, but is caught off-guard when Kenpachi comes out of the ground. And by something else that Kenpachi does, he proves that Gremmy’s power isn’t nearly as powerful as he tries to make it out to be. In this chapter, Kenpachi tells Yachiru to get out of the way, and she does. After she leaves, Kenpachi says he wants the real fight to start and then says something that makes Gremmy stop and think. After thinking about it, Gremmy realizes that he really wants to crush Kenpachi. A new battle is just starting when the chapter ends…

Kenpachi tells Gremmy that if he’s the strongest Quincy, then he should want to crush the strongest opponent. Gremmy realizes that he always thought that he was the strongest and had no need to kill an enemy to prove himself. He then realizes that he has a sudden urge to want to crush Kenpachi. It appears that Kenpachi has managed to turn Gremmy into a monster that’s ready and willing to kill. Will Kenpachi be able to defeat Gremmy, or has he made a mistake in provoking his opponent this way? I should be getting my answer to that within the next few chapters.

One-Punch Man CH:034.3

In the previous chapter, the focus was primarily on Saitama’s comrades and the fights that they’re having, with only a brief scene of Saitama and Boros’ fight. As Saitama’s comrades start defeating the enemy, Boros’ men begin whimpering and saying they want to go home. This chapter opens with another battle starting. The fight seems to end quickly, but they can still sense a big opponent still looming above them. Then the action returns to Saitama and his battle. At one point, the villain thinks he’s won, but he manages to survive.

Due to all of the fighting that’s taking place, there’s a lot of action taking place. Right now, I’m finding myself having a hard time getting into this series. I’m guessing it’s due to the fact that not only did I jump into the middle of the series, I also jumped into the middle of a story arc. All I’ve really seen at this point is a lot of fighting, and nothing to help me truly get to know any of the characters. If I’d been reading this one from the beginning, I’d probably have a better appreciation for it. As of right now, though, it’s probably the manga I look forward to reading the least in Weekly Shonen Jump.

Nisekoi CH:117

In the previous chapter, Chitose and Marika get into a competition over who can make a delicious lunch for Raku. In this chapter, Raku and Chitose are out walking and he complains about his stomach suddenly hurting. Then, there’s a five day timeskip and Raku is in the hospital; he had appendicitis and his appendix was taken out. Chitoge goes to visit him the hospital, and she seems to be acting nicer than normal. He also gets visits from Shu, Onodera, Tsugumi, and Tachibana. Chitoge sneaks back that evening and brings him yet another apple after several other people already did. Unfortunately, something happens that causes Raku to stay in the hospital a couple more days…

This chapter definitely establishes an idea that Chitoge actually has some kind of feelings for Raku. Unfortunately, she can’t bring herself to admit to either herself or to Raku. This may have been a stand-alone chapter, but unlike the other stand-alone chapters I’ve read, this one seems to have some importance for the overarching story in the series. I also have to say that of the stand-alone chapters, this one has been my favorite one to read.

All You Need Is Kill CH:011

The previous chapter continued with Rita’s backstory, ending with her appearing to have broken out of the time loop and becoming a test subject for top-secret research to study the time loop. This chapter opens with an explanation that Rita’s method was to always loop back to the same battle once; she’d determine the injuries in the first loop so she could improve the situation in the second loop. But she only loops back once, no matter who died. She then runs into Keiji and seems to recognize his eyes. She meets up with him and notices a number written on his hand. When she asks what that means, he says he wants to answer a question she asked him earlier. With his response, she realizes that he also goes through time loops.

This chapter sees Rita feeling a little lonely and frustrated because it appears that she’s the only one who goes through the time loops. However, when she sees Keiji, she thinks there’s something different about him. When they finally talk face-to-face and she receives confirmation that he also goes through time loops, Rita is shocked and also starts crying. I’m very curious to see now that Rita has found someone else who is like her, what she’ll end up doing as the story goes forward. I really hope that she does something to help him learn about the time loops and how he can find a way out of them.

Toriko CH:272

In the previous chapter, Toriko and the others learn Chichi’s backstory, and then he shows them an apple that causes them to showsigns of the appetite demon reflex. It turns out the apple has the smell of Acacia’s full-course meal. In this chapter, an octomelon awakens; it’s a creature that people can travel and live in. Chichi says the octomelon will serve as their tent for the first leg of their journey through the Gourmet World. When they go to head off to the Gourmet World, their friends come to see them off. President Mansom also asks Toriko to send food from the Gourmet World to the human world. Toriko and the others board the octomelon and head on their way to the third entrance to the Gourmet World, Yuto Island’s Bay of Evil Spirits.

This chapter is basically providing the setup for the journey of Toriko and the others as they head out on their mission. It should be noted that there’s a footnote at the beginning of the chapter that the octomelon was an idea provided by someone (I’m assuming one of the readers of the manga). I thought it was kind of neat to see a mangaka incorporate someone’s idea like that into the manga. At the end of the chapter, it says they’re headed for a new location, and I’m curious to see what kind of adventures Toriko and the others will have on their journey.

Blue Exorcist CH:056

In the previous chapter, the group encounters a zombie, and there’s a brief explanation of the differences between a zombie and a ghoul and the methods of exorcism for each. After taking down that one, the group is approached by a group of zombies; however, these zombies appear to be defective. The group tries to flee. They’re surrounded and try to find a way to escape. Suddenly, a trapdoor opens underneath the group. Izumo, meanwhile, is trying to escape on her own and ends up in a fight. In this chapter, it appears Rin and the others have been separated after falling through the trapdoor. Chief Researcher Mikhail Gedoin has arrived and he gives an update on what’s going on with Izumo and that he will be transplanting the nine tails from her father’s body and put it into her. He also relays that he’s captured Rin and his younger brother. Gedoin is ordered not to do anything to Rin. After leaving the meeting, Gedoin is informed that Izumo’s transplant capability is only 0.08 percent, and if they perform the procedure now, the transplant may fail and that Izumo will die. Gedoin then decides he’ll kill Rin, going against the commander’s orders. Meanwhile, a creature is unleashed to go after Rin and the others…

This is only the second chapter of Blue Exorcist that I’ve read, but this chapter did help me to start to better understand what’s going on this arc. There’s still some things that I don’t understand yet, but I’m nowhere near as lost as I was when I read Chapter 55. There definitely seems to be an interesting story being presented, and I hope that I’ll be able to better appreciate Blue Exorcist as I get an opportunity to read more chapters.

Special Bonus Story: Dragon Ball

It opens with a two-page spread labeled, “History of Goku.”

From here, there’s a note saying that “Akira Toriyama has written a special story about Goku’s departure, which even he did not know about until now.” Goku’s father, Burdock, is out fighting a battle, only to be told that Freeza has ordered all the Saiyans to return to Planet Vegeta. When Burdock returns, he learns through various conversations that one of Freeza’s men was asking around about a Super Saiyan. Then, we see Freeza declare that since the Saiyans are a bit too proud to truly be loyal to him, it’s time to wipe them and their planet out; he decides to carry his plan out in a month’s time. We get to see a young Vegeta and a young Raditz, as well as Burdock’s wife, Gine. We learn that Kakarrot (aka Goku) has been in an incubator for three years. After seeing Kakarrot, Burdock decides he’s going to steal a space pod at night and launch him to a different planet for Kakarrot’s safety. Burdock senses that Freeza’s up to something. Burdock programs the pod to head to a place called Earth. Then we see that Jaco the Policeman has been sent to find the projectile from Planet Vegeta after it lands on Earth.

Now, wait a minute here… doesn’t this conflict with what was presented in Dragon Ball Z? From what was stated in the main series, Kakarrot was sent to Earth on a mission to take it over… but this one-shot is now saying that it was his parents who sent him to Earth. It was neat to finally see Goku’s mom, but I wish the story didn’t present such a contradiction! And the addition of Jaco the Policeman at the end as a cross-over with Toriyama’s current work just felt forced to me. There really should have been a way to do this story so it could fit in with what’s already been established in Dragon Ball Z. While it’s a good story, I have a hard time buying it since it contradicts already established facts. The only way I can truly enjoy this is to think of it as some kind of alternate timeline story.

Attack on Titan is #5 Selling Graphic Novel in the U.S. for March 2014

Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama is ranked at #5 on Nielsen BookScan’s list of top 20 graphic novels in the United States for March 2014.

Other manga volumes to make the list for March 2014 include:

  • Attack on Titan Volume 2 by Hajime Isayama (#7)
  • Naruto Volume 64 by Masashi Kishimoto (#8)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 3 by Hajime Isayama (#15)
  • Blue Exorcist Volume 11 by Kazue Kato (#17)
  • Black Bird Volume 18 by Kanoko Sakurakouji (#18)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 11 by Hajime Isayama (#19)
  • One Piece Volume 70 by Eiichiro Oda (#20)

The BookScan rankings include sales at Barnes & Noble and other book chains, independent bookshops, and online purchases; however, sales at comic book stores, Walmart, and some other venues are not included.

Manga Review: “One Piece” Volume 16

One Piece Volume 16 is a manga by Eiichiro Oda, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shonen Jump imprint in 2007. The series is rated “T” for teens; from the 16 volumes that I’ve read of the One Piece manga series, I would agree with this rating.

Monkey D. Luffy is the main character of One Piece, and he dreams of finding the fabled One Piece treasure on the Grand Line. Not only that, but Luffy also wants to become the king of the pirates. Unfortunately during his youth, Luffy ate some devil fruit, which turned his body into rubber and has made it so he is unable to swim. Even with that disadvantage, Luffy still pursues his dream. At this point in the series, Luffy has acquired some crew members: Zoro, Usopp, Nami, and Sanji.

Volume 16 sees Luffy and Sanji trying to carry an ill Nami up a mountain in order to get her some medical attention. Unfortunately, they have angered the large rabbit-like creatures known as Lapins, and the creatures cause an avalanche. Luffy and Sanji try to outrun the avalanche. While trying to fight the Lapins, Luffy and Sanji get a nastu surprise when Wapol and his cronies catch up to them. While they battle with Wapol, they get some unexpected help from the Lapins.

An injured Luffy makes it to the top of the mountain while carrying the ill Nami and an injured Sanji; unfortunately, part of the mountain gives way as he gets there. They are rescued by what appears to be a large creature.

When Nami comes to, she sees a small blue-nosed reindeer named Tony Tony Chopper, and he’s not very trusting of humans. Nami and the others also meet Dr. Kureha. From talking with Dr. Kureha, Nami learns about Chopper’s backstory: he was scorned by the other reindeer because of his blue nose, and then he ate devil fruit that allows him to become almost human-like. The other reindeer cast him out, and humans were afraid of him in his near-human form. Later, we learn about how Chopper came to meet Dr. Hiriluk, the time they spent together, and what Chopper learned from him before the doctor died. From there, we see him studying under Dr. Kureha. Luffy decides he wants Chopper to join his crew, but Chopper doesn’t give any kind of answer. Wapol also makes an appearance at the castle, and Luffy just starts into a fight with him when the volume ends.

Meanwhile, at the bottom of the mountain, Vivi and Usopp fin Zoro, who had been buried in an avalanche; he’d gotten lost while taking a midwinter swim. When they return to Bighorn, they find the avalanche has buried Dalton and that Wapol’s men won’t allow them to dig Dalton out. Zoro ends up fighting with Wapol’s men. Then the race is on to dig Dalton out from the snow.

Once Volume 16 sees Luffy reaching the top of the mountain with Nami and Sanji, the focus ends up shifting rather strongly on Tony Tony Chopper. His backstory is rather moving and rather sad; Oda wrote and drew this backstory in such a way that it not only provided backstory for Chopper, it also made the reader really come to care for Chopper. I can say without fail that Chopper’s backstory was my favorite part of Volume 16.

The section of Volume 16 that takes place at the bottom of the mountain provides some much needed humor between Usopp and Zoro. Considering how serious Tony Tony Chopper’s backstory is, the scenes at the bottom of the mountain helps to keep Volume 16 from bogging down with the serious material.

It’s hard for me to say too much more, since I’m further along in the One Piece anime than I am in the manga, and I don’t want to inadvertently provide any spoilers. However, I will say that from what I saw in the anime for this story arc, it will continue to be just as strong as what was seen in Volume 16.

I enjoyed reading Volume 16, even knowing what’s coming up from seeing this section of the story in the anime series. If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous 15 volumes of One Piece, then I think you will also enjoy Volume 16.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of One Piece Volume 16 that my son checked out through the King County Library System.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 113 (March 31, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Seraph of the End, One Piece, World Trigger, All You Need Is Kill, Naruto, Toriko, Nisekoi, Stealth Symphony, and Bleach

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.

Seraph of the End CH:014

In the previous chapter, Yuichi recognizes Mika and is unable to kill her. Mika declares that Yuichi is being used by the humans and vows to save him. The Seventh Progenitor says he can turn Yuichi into a vampire, but Mika declares that if the Seventh Progenitor lays a hand on Yuichi, Mika will kill him. After a noble named Crowley joins them, Lt. Colonel Guren and his group try to flee; they are attacked. Yuichi sees his comrades having their blood sucked by vampires, and he suddenly sees Asuramaru, a demon who possesses Yuichi. The part of Yu that isn’t human starts to run wild and attack humans. Shina is told to embrace Yu because it should bring him back from what he’s become. When she does, it appears to work. The Hiragi family arrives, led by the arrogant Lieutenant General Kureto Hiragi, to defeat the vampire nobles. The vampires decide to retreat, but Mika says that Yu still needs to be rescued. Mika is forced to leave.

The story then moves to five days later. Shinoa discovers there’s a lab in the underground of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army’s Shinjuku Barracks. She learns it’s there to experiment on their guinea pigs. At first, she’s told she is unable to pass, but once she shows she’s a member of the Hiragi family, the guards let her through. She takes a tour of the lab. Then she goes to see Lt. Colonel Guren to ask what he’s trying to do to Yu, because he hasn’t woken up yet. All Shinoa gets are snide answers. Before she leaves, he says the drugs are wearing off and she should pay him a visit.

I’m still basically lost when it comes to the section of the chapter that was taking place during the battle. However, after the skip of five days, the story started to make a little more sense to me. The section with Shinoa in the Shinjuku Barracks helped to explain a little bit about what’s going on and why Shinoa acts the way that she does. If I’d read the series from the beginning, I might have known some of this beforehand; however, since I jumped in the middle, there’s some information presented earlier in the series that I don’t know. Seraph of the End does seem to be an interesting story, and hopefully it’ll start making more sense as I read more chapters.

One Piece CH:742

In the previous chapter, Usopp is trying to get away. Meanwhile, the toys keep saying that Usoland (aka Usopp) will save them. Usopp hears what they’re saying, but he tries to ignore what he’s hearing. However, he runs over to the toys and admits to all the lies that he’s told. But after his admission, he does something surprising. This chapter opens with focusing on a character named Kyros and seeing his backstory. It turns out he is the father of Rebecca, a character I saw briefly in an earlier chapter. This also reveals to the audience who the one-legged toy is. Then we see that the one-legged toy is having a flashback while he’s with Viola and Luffy. Then we see Rebecca in the coliseum, where she learns the truth about who shot her mother years earlier. And right at the end of the chapter, something happens to Usopp…

Quite a bit of Chapter 742 delves into the backstory for both the one-legged toy and Rebecca. Since I jumped into the middle of this particular story arc, I found the backstory to be rather helpful for me to better understand what’s been going on as well as getting a better idea of the setting for this arc. There wasn’t much action in this particular chapter, but that’s okay.

World Trigger CH:054

Chapter 53 switched focus to another squad at first, but then returns to Osamu and his group. Another squad arrives to help Osamu and the others out, and the new squad will work on rescuing Kitora while Osamu is assigned to support the C-Rank trainees. Chapter 54 opens with an explanation about Kion and Aftokrator and about the horned Aftokrators. Osamu then encounters a man with horned humanoid Neighbor. Meanwhile, a horned humanoid Neighbor makes an appearance at another area of the battle; quite a bit of the chapter focuses on this area of the battle.

After getting the explanation at the beginning of the chapter, the rest of Chapter 54 is very action-oriented. This battle also allows the reader to see the horned humanoid Neighbors in action after getting the explanation about them. From the one we see fighting in this chapter, it appears the horned humanoid Neighbors are rather formidable foes. Several new characters are introduced in the new area of the battle that’s being focused on, so I do feel a little lost, especially since I jumped into the middle of this particular story arc. It seems to be an interesting story, though, so I’m hoping that reading future chapters will help me to better understand the story.

All You Need Is Kill CH:010

The previous chapter continued Rita’s backstory, which focused on when she discovered she was in a time loop and her determination to try to solve the mystery of why it’s happening. The backstory continues in Chapter 10, with Rita reliving a moment over again and that her headache seems to get worse the more she loops back. As Rita is walking, something happens that hasn’t happened to her during the previous time loops. From this incident, Rita learns that data for every solider on the battlefield is being recorded. Rita learns that there’s a backup of her data because of how important she is, and this gives Rita an idea as to what she needs to do in order to get out of the time loop. She puts her plan into action, and it appears she may have broken out of the loop. Rita then became a test subject for top-secret research to study the time loop.

This chapter finally provides the conclusion for Rita’s backstory. It made me wonder, though, if she might try to help Keiji break out of his time loop in a future chapter. Since she knows how to break out of the loop and is aware of the fact that Keiji is in a loop, could she end up trying to help him? Future chapters will reveal whether or not she may do that, as well as where the story will be headed to next.

Naruto CH:670

In the previous chapter, Guy opens the Eighth Gate and launches a barrage of attacks on Madara. Minato, meanwhile, comes up with a plan for him, Kakashi, Gaara, and Lee to assist Guy. This chapter opens with Naruto regaining consciousness and not knowing where he is. Naruto encounters a man named Hagoromo, and Naruto notices that he has Rinnengan. Naruto is informed that he has not died, but that he is in his inner mind. Naruto and Hagoromo have quite a conversation… and it’s revealed that Hagoromo is the Sage of Six Paths. From here, Hagoromo tells Naruto a story about his mother and his sons. Hagoromo tells Naruto that he’s a lot like his son, Ashura… in fact, he declares that Ashura has reincarnated in Naruto!

This chapter allows the reader to finally meet the Sage of Six Paths and to get a little bit of backstory of how everything in the ninja world of Naruto came to be. The part of the story about Hagoromo’s two sons had appeared earlier in the series (I saw it told in the Naruto Shippuden anime when I watched Naruto Shippuden Set 16 recently), but it was good to see it again to remind the reader that this story is important to the plot. From what I saw in the Naruto Shippuden anime, it had been strongly hinted that Naruto was a reincarnation of Ashura, while Sasuke is the reincarnation of Inora. This chapter confirms that yes, Naruto is indeed the reincarnation of Ashura. This was a great chapter for imparting some important information, but I’m hoping that we can return to the battle in the next chapter so we can see what happens to Guy and the others.

Toriko CH:271

The previous chapter saw Toriko and some of the chefs going to Biotope 1, where they spent time trying to enter a building that kind of looks like a tree. After they successfully make it inside, they find a bird-like creature named Chichi, the Flavor Hermit, sitting in a rocking chair. In Chapter 271, Chichi begins by sharing his backstory with Toriko and the others. It turns out Chichi is acquainted with Ichi. As they get to know Chichi, he comes across as an annoying pain in the butt. Chichi then says Ichi asked him to serve Toriko and the others a certain food. When he shows them the food, most of the group shows signs of the appetite demon reflex. They are able to get it under control, and Chichi first claims the apple is one of the dishes in Acacia’s full-course meal. Afterward, he says he lied, and that the apple only has the smell of it. The ones who had the reflex could feel that Chichi was telling the truth about the scent.

This chapter basically establishes Chichi and sets the stage for Toriko and the others as they start their journey in the Gourmet World. Like I said in the writeup above, I found Chichi to be rather annoying and obnocious. And it turns out he’s the pervy old man character that usually makes an appearance in shonen series. This was an OK chapter, and hopefully Chapter 272 will be better and really see the action of this story arc get going.

Nisekoi CH:116

In the previous chapter, Ruri comes clean with her great-grandfather about her deception, but is able to make amends by showing him pictures of her the friends she’s made and the times they share. Unfortunately, Ruri’s great-grandfather dies shortly afterward. In this chapter, Raku and the others are having a group study session during the summer. When they break for lunch, Marika shows she’s made a special lunch just for Raku. Raku says the food tastes great, and Chitoge becomes jealous. When Marika makes fun of Chitoge’s cooking, Chitoge declares that she’ll make Raku a delicious lunch; Marika turns it into a contest. Chitoge tries to make ginger pork, but it doesn’t turn out. Chitoge keeps bringing in food she’s made, but even following a recipe, she still can’t make anything edible. Chitoge makes one last attempt to make a lunch for Raku. She makes rice balls, and Raku’s verdict is…

I guess there needed to be a light-hearted story after the story arc with Ruri’s great-grandfather to help lighten the mood. This time, it has to do with food and how the main female protagonist, Chitoge, is a bad cook. Can we say “Akane Tendo” from Ranma 1/2, anyone? And the fact that there’s a cooking competition between Chitoge and one of the other love interests is also something I’ve already seen done in Ranma 1/2. If I hadn’t already seen a similar plot in other manga and anime in the past, I might have found this story to be more humorous. Oh well.

Stealth Symphony CH:006

In the previous chapter, Jig gets a job at an agency for cyborgs. However, at the end of Chapter Five, the readers sees that a complication arises that could make the job rather difficult for Jig. In this chapter, we see the vehicle that Jig is supposed to be rescuing prisoners from; however, inside we see Troma and Alice. It turns out that Alice is uneasy about the job, because it doesn’t seem to be what was presented to them. We see Jig and several others from the cyborg agency heading out to their assignment, and the reader is introduced to Colt Yukimiya. We also get a little bit of backstory for Raika. In the vehicle, Alice sees Troma making a shadow, he suddenly turns into a ninja. With Raika’s viewing devices, she sows Jig that Troma and Alice are in the trailer. Just as the cyborgs are about to attack, something big makes a sudden appearance…

So Jig has learned about Alice and Troma being in the trailer, but we don’t know what he’s going to do just yet. However, with the big thing making its appearance, the cyborgs have to fight with that first before they can go after the trailer. I feel pretty safe in guessing that the battle with the new big thing will be the focus of the next chapter. It was also interesting to see Troma manifest a ninja. It’ll be interesting to see what’ll end up happening in Chapter 7.

Bleach CH:574

In the previous chapter, Kenpachi made an appearance, and Gremmy challenges him to a fight. Gremmy starts using his mind to heal his wounds and create lava. Kenpachi says he doesn’t mind the illogical. When Kenpachi tells Yachiru to get out of there, Gremmy says her bones have turned into cookies with his ability, and that if she tries to move, her bones will shatter and she’ll die. Kenpachi then jumps into the air, and Gremmy turns it into water. Gremmy then creates a crack in the ground and sends Kenpachi and the water down into it. Gremmy expects Kenpachi will die within an hour, but is caught off-guard when Kenpachi comes out of the ground. And by something else that Kenpachi does, he proves that Gremmy’s power isn’t nearly as powerful as he tries to make it out to be…

Gremmy can be quite a formidable foe, can’t he? For most people, there would be no way to determine what Gremmy will imagine and be able to come up with a strategy for it. I’m glad to see that Kenpachi was able to figure out that Gremmy has to continue focusing on someone in order for his ability to work. I’m interested in seeing how this battle between Kenpachi and Gremmy will continue in the next chapter.

Weekly Shonen Jump: Volume 111 (March 17, 2014)

Sorry I’m running so late on this write-up, but it’s been an incredibly hectic and busy week for my family. I finally found some time to sit down and read through Volume 111 of Weekly Shonen Jump and get this write-up done. This issue includes chapters for One Piece, Naruto, Stealth Symphony, Toriko, Seraph of the End, Nisekoi, World Trigger, All You Need Is Kill, and Bleach.

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:741

In the previous chapter, Luffy and Violet try to get out of a collapsing tower; later, Luffy, Violet, and the one-legged toy go to the suit chamber in the palace. Zoro, meanwhile, is in a middle of a fight in the tower. Robin is also turned into a toy. In this chapter, Usopp is trying to get away. Meanwhile, the toys keep saying that Usoland (aka Usopp) will save them. Usopp hears what they’re saying, but he tries to ignore what he’s hearing. However, he runs over to the toys and admits to all the lies that he’s told. But after his admission, he does something surprising…

The majority of this chapter focuses on Usopp, and how it appears that he’s running away again. However, the actions that he takes at the end of the chapter are a little on the surprising side for Usopp. Right at the end of the chapter, the reader is introduced to Kyros, a fighter in the coliseum. A brief backstory is given before the end. I suspect that Kyros will probably play a major part in the next chapter. I also hope the next chapter will also show what happens in the wake of Usopp’s unexpected actions. It should be noted that One Piece will taking a week off and will be returning in the March 31, 2014 issue of the magazine.

Naruto CH:668

In the previous chapter, Kabuto helped Sasuke. Meanwhile, Kakashi, Guy, Gaara, and Minato are up against Madara, and Guy opens the Seventh Gate; unfortunately, that still wasn’t enough to defeat Madara. This chapter opens with a flashback to Guy’s childhood training with his father. This is followed by a flashback when Guy is a little older and is fighting the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist alongside his father. Guy launches his attack against Madara by opening the Eighth Gate…

I really enjoyed seeing the flashbacks to Guy’s youth and getting to see his father. After seeing his father, it’s no wonder Guy turned out the way he did. The chapter ends with Guy just starting to launch his attack. With the way this chapter was done, I have a very bad feeling about what’s going to happen to Guy. I really hope I’m wrong, but if my suspicions are proven to be correct in the forthcoming chapters, I think I’m going to cry…

Stealth Symphony CH:004

In the previous chapter, Jig learned more about how the assassins work in the city. At the beginning of this chapter, we learn it’s been three days since Jig arrived in the city. Jig also gets to meet Emeth, a golem that fused with the V&V building and controls things such as the ventilation. Between Emeth, Troma, and the president of V&V, a bit of background is given on the various creatures that inhabit the city. But it turns out the president isn’t there to chit-chat; he has business with Jig because he wants to show the boy the various dragon heirlooms that V&V has. Unfortunately, the president doesn’t understand the heirloom he demonstrates and creates a ruckus in the office. After seeing how the employees handle the situation, Jig realizes why he was rejected for employment there. Right at the very end, we see someone watching Jig from the shadows…

For the most part, this chapter focused a lot more on exposition than it did on action. But when you consider how early on in the series we still are, it makes sense to have a chapter that focuses on explaining some of the concepts in the series. There’s some action right near the end of the chapter, and a hint as to what may be coming up in Chapter Five. I’m still enjoying Stealth Symphony, and I’m looking forward to reading more.

Toriko CH:270

The previous chapter began a new story arc, which sees Toriko and some of the chefs returning to the Gourmey World. They have gone to Biotope 1, where they try to enter a building that kind of looks like a tree. After they make it inside, they start exploring their surroundings. However, they discover they can’t get to the first floor inside the building. They find a well that has steps leading down, so they go down the steps. They find an underground bathhouse, and one of the chefs investigates a pond that’s in the room. They find themselves outside of the building again, and one of the chefs finds a first-floor window that opens normally. They enter and find a bird-like creature sitting in a rocking chair. It turns out that the creature is Chichi the Flavor Hermit.

This chapter basically focused on how many weird things can they manage to do before actually finding the occupant of the building. They find Chichi right at the end and learn his identity, so I’m guessing that this is setting up what’s going to happen in Chapter 271. I should mention that there’s a note at the end of the chapter that says that Toriko will be off next week.

Seraph of the End CH:013

In the previous chapter, Yuichiro undergoes some training that requires taking a pill to help increase the synchronization rate with his demon. The order is given for Yuichi and the others to take their supplement as they go to serve as reinforcements for Lt. Colonel Guren. As Yuichi arrives at the battlefield, it appears that Mika recognizes him. Yuichi also recognizes her, and is unable to kill her; he is scolded by Lt. Colonel Guren for not doing his job. Mika declares that Yuichi is being used by the humans and vows to save him. The Seventh Progenitor says he can turn Yuichi into a vampire, but Mika declares that if the Seventh Progenitor lays a hand on Yuichi, Mika will kill him. They are joined by another noble named Crowley. Lt. Colonel Guren says that taking out the leader took too long, and now they must abandon Shinjuku; he orders his group to retreat. They are attacked as they try to flee. Mika grabs Yuichi and tries to flee with him. Yuichi sees his comrades having their blood sucked by vampires, and he suddenly sees Asuramaru, a demon who possesses Yuichi. The part of Yu that isn’t human starts to run wild…

I have to admit that I’m still a little lost here, since I only started this series at Chapter 12. In this chapter, I learned about Asuramaru and the fact she’s a demon possessing him. Unlike Chapter 12, Chapter 13 relies more on information and knowledge that was presented prior to Chapter 12. There’s an interesting concept here, and hopefully this series will become a little easier to follow the more I read of it.

Nisekoi CH:114

In the previous chapter, Ruri was told her 100-year-old great-grandfather may not be around much longer, and he wishes to see her with her boyfriend before he dies. To appease him, she has Raku pose as her boyfriend and they visit her great-grandfather together. Ruri believes her great-grandfather is faking his poor health, but the maid tells Ruri that he’s telling the truth. Later, Raku asks Ruri if there’s anything she wants to do for her great-grandfather and says he’s there to help if she needs it. When Ruri asks her great-grandfather what he wants to do, he has them go fishing and have a picnic. That evening, Ruri’s grandfather asks her to play videogames with him. While they play, she asks why he insisted on meeting her boyfriend; he says it’s because he probably won’t get to see her wedding. Right at the end of the chapter, Ruri wonders what she can do for her great-grandfather, and an idea comes to her right before the “To Be Continued” line comes up.

This was a vert strong continuation of the story arc that began in Chapter 113. I’m glad to see an actual story arc going on right now, because I jumped in at a point where the first two chapters were stand-alone stories that really didn’t do much for me. I don’t know if this story arc with Ruri is more typical of Nisekoi or not, but I hope it is. I’m curious to see what kind of idea Ruri came up with, and I have a strong feeling that we’ll learn what that is in Chapter 115.

World Trigger CH:052

In the previous chapter, Kitora had to fight against an enemy, but had to make a sacrifice in order to win. In Chapter 52, the Neighbors start going after the C-Rank trainees, and one grabs Kitora and eats her. Chika is frozen in place in fear, but someone comes to try to save her; unfortunately, Chika’s recuer is grabbed by a Neighbor. After a quick flashback, Chika grabs a weapon in order to try to save her rescuer from the Neighbor. Osamu is then able to take down the Neighbor. At the end of the chapter, Osamu makes contact with headquarters, he’s told that Border’s most powerful squad is headed their way.

This chapter continues that action that began in Chapter 51. From all appearances, it seems that the character of Kitora is now gone. I also got to see in this chapter that Chika can be rather unsure of herself, and that it takes something pretty drastic for her to jump into the action. Osamu wasn’t a major part of this chapter, but he did make some appearances. World Trigger does have an interesting concept behind it, and I think I’ll like it even better than I do right now after I get a chance to learn more about the various characters.

All You Need Is Kill CH:008

In the previous chapter, Keiji comes to the realization that he can’t love anyone right now, even though he’s starting to feel something for Rita. Keiji was susprised as the end of the chapter when Rita asked if how many loops it’s been for him. Chapter 8 begins with a flashback, which I assume is Rita’s. It’s interesting to note that whenever the girl’s name is mentioned in the flashback, it’s blacked out. We see the Mimics attack her small town out in the middle of nowhere. At the end of the attack, the girl becomes an orphan and was taken in by a distant relative. We learn that Rita isn’t her real name, that she committed identity theft so she could join the United Defense Force three years earlier than she was allowed to.

I thought this was a great backstory chapter for Rita, and it explains how she actually has a different identity. We learn why she’s so determined to kill every Mimic on the planet, and how she experienced her first time loop six months after entering the force. I suspect that Chapter Nine will see us return to the main storyline, and if it does, it’ll be interesting to see how Keiji reacts the question Rita posed at the end of Chapter 7. As I’m reading more of All You Need Is Kill, I’m coming to enjoy more than I did after reading it for the first time a few issues back.

Bleach CH:572

In the previous chapter, Assistant Captain Kusajishi was fighting against “V,” and it’s revealed that she’s fighting against him by instinct and manages to catch “V” by surprise. Kusajishi manages to get a crack into “V”‘s face. The audience sees “V” communicating with someone, who says that “V” is a product of their imagination. We see this person has appeared in the room and “V” is destroyed because the person can’t imagine their future anymore. As they interact with the guy, they learn that everything he imagines becomes reality. Right at the end of the chapter, someone makes a surprise appearance…

This chapter picked the action back up, and also introduced a new element in the form of the mysterious guy whose imagination becomes reality. It’ll be interesting to see how they’ll be able to fight against a foe who seems to have such an invincible ability.

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: March 9-15, 2014

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of March 9-15, 2014, according to the New York Times.

1. Attack on Titan: Before the Fall Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama, Ryo Suzukaze and Satoshi Shiki
2. One Piece Volume 70 by Eiichiro Oda
3. Nisekoi: False Love Volume 2 by Naoshi Komi
4. Blue Exorcist Volume 11 by Kazue Kato
5. Black Bird Volumw 18 by Kanoko Sakurakouji
6. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
7. Attack on Titan Volume 11 by Hajime Isayama
8. Fairy Tail Volume 35 by Hiro Mashima
9. Midnight Secretary Volume 4 by Tomu Ohmi
10. Attack on Titan Volume 2 by Hajime Isayama

Anime DVD Review: One Piece Season Three First Voyage

One Piece Season Three First Voyage is a two-disc set that contains episodes 144-156 of the One Piece anime series. The first disc has seven episodes and a commentary on episode 144, while the second disc has six episodes 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.

At the beginning of the set, Nami’s log pose points to the sky, and a big 200-year-old ship falls from the sky. When Luffy and the Straw Hats examine the wreckage, they find a map of an island called “Skypiea.” A salvage crew led by the large monkey-like Masira compete for the wreckage while the Straw Hats try to find clues on how to get to Skypiea.

After getting hold of Masira’s log pose to Jaya island, the Straw Hats decide to go there to find more clues on Skypiea. When they reach Jaya, they go to Mock Town, which has a lot of famous pirates brawling with each other. Luffy and Zoro have a run-in with Bellamy the Hyena, who ridicules their dreams and beats them up. After leaving Mock Town, the Straw Hats get into a fight with Masira’s brother, Shojo.

When the Straw Hats make landfall on another part of Jaya, they meet Montblanc Cricket, a descendent of Montblanc Norland; Norland is an infamous “liar” who told about a city of gold on Jaya. Cricket is an outcast and is trying to find artifacts of the gold city. It turns out he knows how to get to Skypiea, but the Straw Hats have to find a particular bird to navigate, the Going Merry needs to be refitted for the trip, and Luffy has to go after Bellamy to take back the gold artifacts that he’s taken from Cricket.

Once all that’s done, the Straw Hats make it to Skypiea. Their adventures on Skypiea are just getting started when the set reaches its conclusion.

This storyline introduces some interesting concepts, such as Norland; he’s the subject of a fairy tale that’s been told to children in the North Blue for hundreds of years, and he turns out to have been a real person. And then to meet one of his descendants added something to this part of the story.

I also think the idea of Skypiea, an island in the sky, is a fascinating one. While there have been stories of castles in the sky or floating cities in the sky, I thought the idea of an island and a sea in the sky was kind of cool. And after they get there, they learn there’s a part of the island no one’s supposed to go to because a god lives there.

There was one portion that takes place while they’re in Skypiea that stands out to me. The discussion turns to belief in God, and Zoro comments that while he himself doesn’t believe in gods, he’s not going to begrudge anyone who does. Hearing him saying that made me admire Zoro more than I already do.

The next set will definitely be continuing the Skypiea story, and I’m looking forward to watching in order to find out how it’s going to continue.

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 the opening song “Hikari E” and the closing song “Free Will.” There are also eight trailers available for viewing in the “Trailers” option.

If you’re a One Piece fan and are trying to collect the episodes on DVD, you can purchase this set for episodes 144-156. More recent DVD collections are packaging 24 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 First Voyage that I checked out through the King County Library System.