Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 134 (September 1, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Nisekoi: False Love, One Piece, Naruto, World Trigger, Bleach, and Toriko. In addition, there’s a Nisekoi: False Love short story and a special preview of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

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:136

This chapter sees the princess of Nonbiiri arriving in Japan to be a goodwill ambassador; she escapes from her bodyguards and runs by Raku and Chitoge. When Chitoge sees the girl is being chased, she pulls her out of the way and hides behind some bushes. After the guards leave, the girl pulls down the shawl covering her head, and she happens to look a lot like Chitoge! Since the girl doesn’t speak Japanese, she has to use her smartphone to translate; she reveals herself to be the princess. When the princess asks for their help, Chitoge readily agrees. Chitoge disguises herself as the princess in order to lure out the bodyguards. Raku shows the princess around. By the end of the chapter, it looks like the princess might be interested n Raku.

As soon as I saw that the princess looks almost exactly like Chitoge, I knew they were going to pull a switch like this and have Chitoge disguise herself as the princess. I’ve seen this trope from The Prince and the Pauper, Jem, Pokemon, you name it. It never seems to end well, though, and I’m sure that’ll be the case here, too. I hope I’m wrong about the princess becoming interested in Raku. but knowing this series’ track record, we’re probably headed toward adding the princess as yet another member of Raku’s harem.

Bonus Nisekoi

This is a two-page short story that sees Yui’s bodyguard, Night, telling Raku how Yui took control of the Char Sui Kai. It’s a nice little bit to give some background on Yui, and it’s pretty decent for what it is.

One Piece CH:758

In this chapter, Trafalagar and Luffy make it inside the palace. and Sugar is plotting to turn them into toys. Viola uses her vision to help Usopp figure out where he needs to shoot from where they are in order to hit Sugar. Unfortunately, Sugar catches the projectile. But the joke’s on Sugar when she passes out again. The chapter ends with Luffy and Doflamingo reaching the top floor of the palace.

The focus of this chapter ends up being on Luffy, Trafalgar, and Usopp. Usopp managed to do something to help out for once, and it worked. It’s nice to see this story arc finally progressing, and it looks like it’s almost time for the final battle to take place between Luffy, Trafalgar, and Doflamingo. Of course, I expect this final battle to stretch out for a few chapters.

Naruto CH:690

In this chapter, it appears that Naruto and Sasuke finally defeat Kaguya. Unfortunately, her defeat starts causing a lot of chaos in the space-time that they’re in. During the confusion, Naruto heads off on his own in order to deal with Zetsu. Naruto succeeds in sealing both Kaguya and Zetsu away, but now Naruto and the others need to find a way back home. Fortunately for them, the various historical Gokage are used by the Sage of Six Paths to summon Naruto and the others back to their world.

It looks like the big battle is finally over. YAY! However, there’s a “To be continued…” on the final page of the chapter, so that means there’s still more to come. My guess is that the next few chapters will be dealing with the aftermath of this big battle, as well as hopefully tying up various loose ends. I’m very happy to see that this fight with Kaguya is over, and I can’t wait to see how Kishimoto will be continuing the story from here.

World Trigger CH:073

In this chapter, the sniper squad is fighting with the humanoid Neighbor. The humanoid Neighbor calls for Rabits to be sent in to chase off the snipers. When the Rabits arrive, they put their focus on trying to distract the snipers.

Overall, not much progress happens in this chapter. It’s pretty much the sniper team, the humanoid Neighbor, and the Rabits taking volleys at each other and trying to outwit the other side. Osamu gets a brief mention right at the end of the chapter, so I think the focus of the story will be back on him within the next couple of chapters.

Bleach CH:594

In this chapter, we see Kuchiki and a captain together on the battlefield; however, the captain suddenly turns on Kuchiki and tries to attack him. The captain asks if Kuchiki is being manipulated by the enemy or if he’s the enemy disguised as an ally. Just then, a Quincy named Pepe arrives, and one of the female Quincies starts to run toward him…

Here’s a chapter where not much really happens to progress the overarching story. There’s a brief bit with Mayuri, and then the confrontation between Kuchiki and that captain. But now I’m confused as to what’s going on with those two. Is one of them really the enemy? And if so, which one? Pepe just arrives on the scene as the chapter ends, and I really don’t have much of an idea as to who this Pepe is supposed to be. Hopefully we’ll get a little more in the way of answers and story development in the next chapter.

Toriko CH:290

At the beginning of this chapter, we see that the group makes it in time for the air fruit. Five quadrillion tons of air burst forth from the air fruit for the first time in thousands of years. Shortly before this happened, the Nightmare had decided to kill Toriko. But just as the Nightmare is about to strike, the air from the air fruit stops it in its tracks. And with that, the battle between Toriko and the Nightmare comes to an end. At the end of the chapter, the Nightmare gives birth to one of the new eight kings.

This chapter had a lot of narration in it, and not much in the way of action. Fortunately, even though it was primarily narration, the story itself ended up moving and finally bringing an end to this particular part of the story. But now that the battle is over and the air has been prepared and released, where will the story go to next?

Special Preview: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

This is a preview of the first two chapters of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1 Phantom Blood.

The story opens with the Aztecs, with one of their tribes that attempted to take over the world using the powers of a stone mask that bestowed eternal life and the power to dominate. However, this tribe abruptly disappeared at some point, with only ruins left behind. It turns out the stone mask is later excavated and becomes a pivotal piece of the story.

At the beginning of the actual story, the father of a young man named Dio is dying. His father’s dying wish is to mail a letter and head to the place its addressed to, because this person owes him a favor and he expects the friend will look after Dio. There’s a flashback that Dio’s father has about finding a carriage that had been in an accident; Joestar and his son are still alive, but everyone else perished. After his father passes on, Dio heads on his way.

We then meet Joestar’s son, Jonathan, who’s trying to protect a girl who’s being bullied. The bullies beat him up. As Jonathan arrives home, Dio shows up. At first, their meeting seems to go OK, but things turn bad when Dio attacks Jonathan’s dog. We see that Dio’s planning to psychologically torture Jonathan to the brink in order to take his place as the heir to the Jonestar estate.

As he gets settled in, Dio sees the stone mask. When Jonathan tries to be polite and wants to be polite, but Dio beats him up. And things get worse as Jonathan’s father starts treating him more coldly and keeps pointing out Dio as an example of how Jonathan should be. We then see Jonathan and Dio going up against each other in a boxing match, and Jonathan ends up losing.

Wow, that Dio is such a jerk! I hope that as the series progresses, JoJo will become stronger and be able to stand up to Dio and his psychological torture.

I’ve heard a lot about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure over the past few years, but this is the first opportunity I’ve had to actually have some exposure to the franchise. It’s got an interesting setup, and it looks like it has a lot of potential. I’ll definitely need to keep my eye out to see if my local library system will get a hold of these volumes in order to see how this series goes.

Anime DVD Review: One Piece Season Three Third Voyage

One Piece Season Three Third Voyage is a two-disc set that contains episodes 170-182 of the One Piece anime series. The first disc has seven episodes and a commentary on Episode 171, 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.


This set continues the Skypiea arc, and the arc is still going at the end of the set. During these episodes, Zoro takes on the Shandian warrior Braham, Luffy fights Wyper and falls during the fight, Eneru takes out Usopp and Sanji, Chopper takes on Gedatsu and then later is attacked by Priest Ohm, Gan Fall and Nami take on Kotori and Hotori, and Robin takes on Yama and then discovers the legendary city of Shandora,

Eventually, Zoro, Gan Fall, Wyper, Nami, and Aisa make it to the upper ruins where Priest Ohm and a giant python are. Nami, Gan Fall, and Aisa are swallowed by the python, and this is where they find Luffy. Zoro ends up being the one to take down Priest Ohm. And everyone except Luffy and Aisa make it out of the python.

Conis and Pagaya encounter Eneru, who reveals the truth of his goal to them. Then, Eneru goes to the upper ruins, where he takes down most of the people who are assembled there. To protect herself, Nami pretends to follow Eneru. Luffy finally makes it out of the python, and Luffy and Eneru begin fighting right at the end of this set.

After I finished watching this set, I found myself thinking that while a lot seems to happen over the course of these episodes, the story itself really doesn’t seem to progress much. Since I haven’t read this far in the One Piece manga yet, I don’t know if the anime took the manga material and simply stretched it out to make it last longer. But from the way the final episode of this set ends, I expect that this story arc will likely end before the end of the next DVD set.

And it appears some of the main characters are critically injured and one could potentially be dead. I’ve read much later chapters in the more recent issues of Weekly Shonen Jump, so I know that most of these characters will be returning. But there’s one who I haven’t seen in these recent chapters, and this is the character who seems to be the worst off here. I really hope that this character hasn’t been killed off! If they have, I’ll be really sad.

It looks like Conis is going to try to warn the other people of Skypiea about Eneru’s plan, but I’m afraid that her warning will fall on deaf ears, since she and her father are both seen as “bad guys” for helping Luffy and the others earlier in the arc.

As for the DVD set itself, there are two selections for bonus features on the second disc: “Textless Songs” and “Trailers.” The “Textless Songs” feature includes “BON VOYAGE” (the opening song that appears in this set) and “A to Z” and “Moon to Sun” (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 170-182. 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 Third Voyage that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 133 (August 25, 2014)

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

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-Punch Man CH:036.2 + CH:037

In Chapter 36.2, Saitama comes out and starts receiving a lecture from Tornado, and she also starts insulting him. Genos says he’ll pulverize her; but the joke’s on him when Tonado and defeats him. Before she can attack Saitama, she is given a lecture by someone else over her behavior.

In Chapter 37, a Lizard Man appears and starts to terrorize a city. King, who is called the strongest man in the world, approaches the Lizard Man; before he can do anything, the Lizard Man cowers in fear and faints.

The first piece exists in order to finally conclude the story arc that’s been running in Weekly Shonen Jump since I started reading the online magazine back in March 2014. And all I can say is, “Finally!” This particular story was drug on for waaaaay too long, and I had gotten rather bored of it.

The second piece is here to establish the beginning of the next story arc. It appears that a Class S Rank 7 hero named King is going to be playing an important role in the new story arc. It turns out that while he may be strong and have a scary-looking face, he actually doesn’t seem to be quite the “tough guy” that everyone thinks he is; this is shown when he goes to buy a romance simulation game. Saitama makes a very brief appearance in this second part, right at the end. I suspect that somehow, Saitama and King’s paths will end up meeting and they’ll probably have to either fight each other or fight together against an enemy.

Toriko CH:289

In this chapter, Brunch is able to chop the air and the maturation process for the air fruit begins accelerating. Komatsu then begins to prepare the air fruit with help from some of his comrades. As they work, the air fruit falls; they have to make sure it doesn’t hit the ground and burst…

This chapter spends all of its time building up the suspense as Komatsu works to prepare the air fruit. In some respects, the narration is a little “over the top” at times. The result of their work is revealed at the end of the chapter; however, I’m not going to provide that “spoiler.”

Naruto CH:689

In this chapter, Kaguya is creating a new time space, and intends to use Naruto and the others as its sacrifices. Kakashi gathers Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura together for their last mission as the former cell number seven. Kaguya tries attacking Kakashi, but he’s gained Obito’s abilities that help him dodge her attacks. Right at the end, Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura work together to try to take Kaguya down…

Well, it looks like we’re getting closer to wrapping up this fight. Kaguya suddenly doesn’t seem quite so overpowered anymore, and I really hope her luck has finally run out! But it was so awesome to see the former cell number seven working together again!

One Piece CH:757

At the beginning of this chapter, Luffy and Trafalgar begin heading toward the Fourth Step. Meanwhile at the Fourth Step, Rebecca is approached by the man who shot her mother to death. Before he can do anything, Kyros jumps in and takes the guy on. As they’re about to face off, Luffy and Trafalgar arrive and ask Rebecca for the key…

Hooray! This chapter doesn’t jump around nearly as much as many of the recent chapters have, and the story is finally progressing! Luffy and Trafalgar FINALLY make it to the Fourth Step, and are able to get the key to set Trafalgar free. It looks like the stage is being set for Kyros to take on the guy who killed his wife, and for Luffy and Trafalgar to go after Doflamingo. But I suspect the story will continue to be drawn out for a while longer to build up to the climax between Luffy, Trafalgar and Doflamingo.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:135

This chapter sees Yui being assigned to teach music at the school because the regular teacher quit and they haven’t found a replacement. Unfortunately, it turns out that she’s tone deaf, but she doesn’t realize it herself. When she tries singng for the class, it goes horribly wrong. The vice principal says at the next assembly, it’s Yui’s turn to lead the school song. Yui begs Raku and Marika for help, and after a moment, Marika agrees to work with Raku. Unfortunately, this doesn’t go well. But when Yui hears Tsugumi sing, she asks Tsugumi for help. But Yui ends up practicing so much that she develops a sore throat…

This is basically a chapter that focuses on Yui, and it tries to pull in Raku and a couple of the other girls from Raku’s harem. This is one of those one-off stories that don’t do anything to progress the overarching story. If there hadn’t been such an emphasis placed on the overarching story earlier in the series, I’d probably be able to tolerate these one-off stories a little better. Oh well. I can only hope that Komi will progress the overarching story about the promise and the locket at some point again!

Bleach CH:593

In this chapter, Hitsugaya attacks Mayuri. Fortunately for Mayuri, he implanted something in his blade that’s able to detect other blades and automatically block their strikes. Hitsugaya uses his Bankai, but then the scene suddenly starts repeating itself. When Hitsugaya uses his Bankai a second time, the same thing happens. It turns out Mayuri gave Hitsugaya the power to see the past, and that he returns to the past each time he kills Mayuri. But there are limits to what the drug Mayuri gave Hitsugaya can do. A side effect of the drug happens right at the end of the chapter…

This chapter ends up focusing completely on Hitsugaya and Mayuri. I knew from what I’ve seen of the anime that Mayuri could be twisted, but wow, this takes the cake. With the way this chapter ends, I wonder if this will be used as a cliffhanger in order to put the focus on something else that’s going on, or if the next chapter will continue the storyline with Hitsugaya and Mayuri.

World Trigger CH:072

In this chapter, Director Shinoda tells his subordinates to take Enedora, the Black Trigger into custody as a prisoner of war; but before they can, Mira arrives to retrieve Enedora. It turns out she’s only there to retrieve the Black Trigger and not Enedora himself. Mira leaves, and Enedora dies. They still take him into custody so they can study his horns, which are an unknown trigger technology. We also get to see a couple of the other battlefronts before the chapter ends…

I’m glad to see that the storyline with Enedora finally came to an end; his storyline felt like it was dragging after a while. But through his defeat and ultimate death, I was able to learn a couple of things about the Black Trigger. Perhaps readers who have been following World Trigger since the very beginning might have already known this information, but since I jumped into the story during this story arc, I’ve essentially been going blind this whole time. Hopefully future chapters can reveal more information to me as I read them so I can better understand this series.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:45

In this chapter, Yagumo begins telling Ryoga about what happened to his brother before their battle gets going. There’s a lengthy flashback sequence that takes place during this point of the chapter. When we return to the battle, we see Yagumo determined to destroy the world. After they battle, Kaito jumps in to battle Yagumo. Then, Yagumo uses his monster to attack Ryoga directly…

So this chapter is a combination of an “info dump” and the usual battles that the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise is known for. Basically, playing the cards and spending time describing in detail what the card will do, as if this is a manual for playing the game. The story hardly moved forward in this chapter at all, so for me, this was kind of a boring read. But then again, I don’t personally expect much out of this franchise at this point.

Viz Media Releases New Weekly Shonen Jump Print Edition “Jump Pack” Volume 3

Viz Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump manga magazine has released its third and latest edition of the Weekly Shonen Jump Jump Pack. The new issue is now available in-print throughout the U.S. and Canada, exclusively from retailers serviced by Diamond Comic Distributors and also from the leading online anime/manga retailer Right Stuf. The Weekly Shonen Jump Jump Pack 2014, Issue 3 is rated ‘T’ for Teens and carries an MSRP of $19.99 U.S. / $22.99 CAN.

The latest Jump Pack issue features individual manga chapters from a sampling of Weekly Shonen Jump’s fan-loved, smash-hit continuing series including the paranormal exploits of Bleach, the ongoing ninja saga of Naruto, the high seas adventure of One Piece, the apocalyptic vampire thriller Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, and the kinetic action of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal.

The latest issue features a special promotional code for a 3-month weekly digital subscription to the magazine and also includes a limited edition Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Evening Twilight Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card. This card is exclusive to Jump Pack Issue 3 and Weekly Shonen Jump annual subscribers.

© 1996 KAZUKI TAKAHASHI

© 2011 NAS•TV TOKYO

© 1999 Masashi Kishimoto

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.