New York Times Manga Best Seller List: August 16-22, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of August 16-22, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. Tokyo Ghoul Volume 2 by Sui Ishida

VIZ Media’s release of Tokyo Ghoul Volume 2 enters the this week’s bestseller list at number one. In this volume, Ken adjusts to his new existence as a half–human, half–ghoul hybrid with a little help from some friendly ghouls.

2. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Volume 3 by Fujino Omori and Suzuhito Yasuda

This light novel released by Yen Press’ Yen On imprint enters the New York Times manga bestseller list at number two. In this volume, novice adventurer Bell Cranel is making progress deeper into the dungeon with the help of his new supporter Lilliluka. With new equipment and new allies, he thinks things are finally starting to go his way… but he’s dead wrong.

3. Monster Musume Volume 7 by OKAYADO

Seven Seas Entertainment’s release of Monster Musume Volume 7 spends a second week on the bestseller list. In this volume, the mothers of three of the monster girls that Kimihito lives with are coming for a visit. Stuck in the middle between the mothers and their daughters, Kimihito learns more than he ever wanted to know about the mating habits of lamia, harpies, and centaurs, while repeatedly facing the possibility of an ecstatically painful death.

4. Naruto Volume 71 by Masashi Kishimoto

VIZ Media’s release of Naruto Volume 71 spends a third week on the New York Times manga bestseller list. As this series barrels toward its conclusion, Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura fight the newly–activated Infinite Tsukuyomi.

5. Citrus Volume 3 by Saburouta

Seven Seas Entertainment’s release of Citrus Volume 3 enters the bestseller list at number five. In this volume, an old childhood friend of Yuzu’s shows up, and is determined to battle it out with Mei for the title of “Yuzu’s little sister.” What Yuzu doesn’t realize is that Matsuri isn’t the sweet little girl she used to be, and she’s willing to use every dirty trick she can to break up Yuzu and Mei’s relationship.

6. Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 by Sui Ishida

VIZ Media’s release of Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 spends its 10th week on the New York Times manga bestseller list. In this volume, Ken Kaneki is attacked by a monster, but somehow survives the encounter and becomes the first half-human, half-ghoul hybrid.

7. Food Wars! Volume 7 by Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki

VIZ Media’s release of Food Wars! Volume 7 spends its second week on the manga bestseller list. The Fall Classic, the Totsuki Institute’s annual culinary competition, is here and the participants have been selected. Who will be crowned the winner?

8. My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kouhei Horikoshi

VIZ Media’s release of My Hero Academia Volume 1 spends its third week on the New York Times manga bestseller list. In a world full of of people who can develop super powers, Izuku Midoriya is just a “normal” teenager. Will a chance encounter with a superhero change his fate?

9. One Piece Volume 75 by Eiichiro Oda

VIZ Media’s release of One Piece Volume 75 spends a third week on the manga bestseller list. In this volume, the people of Dressrosa have been turned into toys. Can Usopp and the others find a cure?

10. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 1 – Phantom Blood Volume 3 by Hirohiko Araki

VIZ Media’s release of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 1 – Phantom Blood Volume 3 spends a third week on the New York Times manga best seller list. In this volume, Jonathan Joestar and his mentor Zeppelli continue their pursuit of the villainous vampire, Dio. But to get to him, they must first face down his murderous henchmen.

Source: New York Times

Weekly Shonen Jump (August 24, 2015)

This issue includes chapters for Food Wars!, One Piece, Toriko, Bleach, Nisekoi: False Love, My Hero Academia, Black Clover, One-Punch Man, and Yu-Gi-Oh1 Arc-V. This issue also includes the third chapter of D.Gray-man (which is the current title to be featured for the “Jump Back” initiative).

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

I only started reading Weekly Shonen Jump back in late February/early March of 2014, which means there’s a number of series published in the magazine that I jumped in the middle of. Since then, I’ve been able to start reading older chapters of some of the titles, but I haven’t managed to do this for all of the titles yet. Because of this, there may be times I might inadvertently include incorrect information in the write-ups. If you see something in a write-up that’s incorrect due to my having not read earlier chapters of a series, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Not only can I correct the incorrect information in the write-up, it will also help provide information for me to have when reading future chapters of a series in Weekly Shonen Jump.

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

Food Wars! CH:131

Kuga doesn’t take losing to Soma well, and matters are made worse when Rindo Kobayashi, the second seat on the council of ten, gives him a hard time about it. But Soma points out that there’s still one day left of the festival, and if he can’t beat Kuga in overall profit for the whole event, he hasn’t won. The story then skips ahead to the last day of the festival, and it appears that Soma has resigned himself to the fact that Kuga will outsell him. During the chapter, we also see a flashback of when Kuga was a first-year student. And right at the end of the chapter, Erina’s father makes a surprise visit to her booth.

The majority of this chapter focuses on Soma and Kuga’s battle. But during this, I appreciated getting to see the flashback that showed that Kuga was just as cocky of a first-year student as Soma currently is. It appears they’re more alike than Kuga would want to admit. It doesn’t surprise me that it looks like Kuga will win their battle, but I suspect that Soma managed to pull it off so he wasn’t in the red at the end. And with how this chapter ends, it looks like the next chapter may have a focus on Erina and her father. This could provide some great character development for Erina.

One Piece CH:797

We see a battle at the eastern port with the naval forces. Then we see Luffy at Flower Field looking for Rebecca. He talks to her about her father, which leads to Luffy taking Rebecca with him. But the people at the palace believe that Luffy has kidnapped her. But Luffy takes her as far as he can so she can see Kyros while he heads off to the eastern port. Rebecca finds Kyros and confronts him. Before leaving, Rebecca had told Viola her plans, and Viola shares them with Riku.

This chapter sees the fighting between the pirates and the navy getting underway, but more importantly, Rebecca’s storyline is wrapped up here as well. From what I’ve seen of Rebecca since I started reading One Piece in Weekly Shonen Jump, I’m not surprised that she would choose to confront Kyros about what he wrote to her in the letter and insist that she wants to stay with him. It looks like the main thing left in Dressrosa is to get through this battle with the navy and seeing Luffy and the members of the crew still at Dressrosa getting away and heading to their next destination.

Toriko CH:335

At the beginning of this chapter, it’s revealed that the strongest of the Eight Kings in Area 6 is on the move, and that the first people to resonate with it were the ones in Area 5. Then we see the reactions of the people in Area 4. Then there are reactions in Area 3. And then we see what happens in Area 2. Toriko and Starjun are in Area 2, and they encounter a Royal Land Shark. They decide to work together to try to fight it. They also realize that the Wolf King is behind the Royal Land Shark. The scene then changes to Neo’s hideout, where Nakaume is approached by someone who offers to help him.

Instead of continuing the cookoff in Blue Grill, this chapter decides to show what else has been happening. Unfortunately, instead of focusing on characters in one or two areas, there’s a lot of skipping around. In total, we saw six different locations for brief scenes. It reminds me a lot of what I was seeing during the Dressrosa Arc in One Piece, where so much jumping around was going on that the story didn’t advance at all. Whenever this happens, I find I have a harder time following what’s going on and feel like I’m trying to read at a dizzying pace. Hopefully this will only be for this chapter and that the next chapter will settle down somewhere and allow the story to progress.

Bleach CH:639

The fight between Pernida and Mayuri continues. Mayuri activates his bankai, which turns out to be an altered bankai. With this alteration, he’s able to have a version of it that Pernida can’t control it with its nerves.

All this chapter seems to do is to establish the next stage of the battle, because the only thing that really happens is that Mayuri activates his modified bankai and explains what it is. We actually got to see a brief flashback of when Mayuri was much younger, and he looked so different. It was almost hard to believe it was the same person. But hopefully the next chapter of Bleach will actually start doing something to progress the story.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:182

We see that Raku has called Marika’s friend, Mikage. They learn that Marika changed schools because she and her mother had made a very strict deal. It turns out Marika’s mother is the grand matriarch for her side of the family, but that the girls were usually sickly. Normally the girls don’t get to pick their own husbands, but when Marika started getting better when she met Raku, Marika made a deal with her mother. When she was of marriageable age, she wanted to go to Raku’s high school, and it was only allowed under two conditions. If Marika got too sick to go to school, she was to come home immediately. And if Marika had been able to convince Raku to marry her before her health got bad, her mother would give her blessing; but if Marika didn’t win his love, upon her return home she would marry the suitor of her mother’s choosing. Raku now wonders if he has any right to try to stop the wedding, since he was planning to reject her. But Chitoge smacks Raku and says she knows that he wants to help. This causes Raku to decide that she should do this, and all of their friends decide that they want to accompany Raku. Yui overheard everything and has arranged a flight for them.

So it looks like Marika hasn’t been completely written out of the story, unless Raku and the others fail to persuade Marika’s mother to stop the forthcoming wedding. But even if they do succeed at stopping the wedding, I expect that Raku will still end up rejecting Marika, and where will that leave her? And from how Marika’s mother was described in this chapter, how would they succeed at stopping the wedding? Hopefully Komi doesn’t pull something lame in order to resolve this story.

My Hero Academia CH:055

Now we see what’s going on with Gran Torino, and we see he’s fighting alongside Todoroki’s mentor. His mentor has a flashback of when Todoroki left to go help Ida and Midoriya. We then return to where Todoroki and the others are still fighting against the Hero Killer. With the three of them working together, they’re able to capture the Hero Killer. Gran Torino finds them and scolds Midoriya for leaving the train. Ida apologizes to Midoriya and Todoroki since they were injured because of him. A villain suddenly appears and captures Midoriya while the Hero Killer escapes from his bonds.

I should have figured that the Hero Killer wouldn’t stay captured. But I hadn’t expected Midoriya to be taken by a villain. It looks Gran Torino is trying to go after him, but the flying villain is going too fast for his Quirk. What will happen to Midoriya? And what’s the Hero Killer going to end up doing? Hopefully we’ll start getting answers to these questions in the next chapter.

Black Clover CH:026

Asta appears on the battlefield, and the enemy leader taunts him because he’s the anti magic guy. Meanwhile, the Silver Eagles make an appearance. We then see groups of Magic Knights in various locations discovering that the enemies get right back up after they’re cut down. They all end up deciding that they’ll just keep crushing them until they can’t get back up. We basically then get several pages of characters launching attacks. Then the story returns to Asta, and his new rival marvels at how well he’s doing against the enemy fighters. Asta then tries taking the leader head-on, but things don’t go as planned.

For the most part, this ended up being a quick chapter to read, thanks to several pages in a row that just showed characters launching attacks. For the most part, not much really happened to advance to the story. But right at the very end, we see that the leader of the enemy forces seems to have a power that Asta needs to figure out how to defeat.

One-Punch Man CH:049

Garo approaches Golden Ball and challenges him to a fight. But it turns out Golden Ball surprises Garo by getting a hit in on him. But after a while, Garo is able to easily dodge a barrage of Golden Ball’s bullets. But just as it looks like Garo will have the upper hand, someone jumps into the middle of the battle. It’s a hero named Spring Mustachio. But after a short battle, Garo is able to defeat Spring Mustachio.

This chapter focused exclusively on Garo’s fight. We see him take on two heroes, but only defeating one. But I expect Garo may take down Golden Ball in the next chapter. Also, there was no sign of Saitama anywhere in this chapter. After it was hinted that Saitama would be participating in a martial arts tournament in the previous chapter, there’s nothing at all about him here. Hopefully we’ll see the martial arts tournament soon.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V CH:001

This Yu-Gi-Oh! series is set in the near future, where solid vision with mass has been developed, and the era of action duels is now underway. We then see the Syu Zo Duel School in Maiami City. But it turns out there are currently no students enrolled, so the principal’s daughter is determined to find students. Meanwhile, another character is upset that they overslept and missed the Leo Corporation Duel Tournament. A person in a cloak, who seems to be an Entertainment Duelist known as The Phantom, approaches them and summons one of his dragons. The Leo Corporation is determined to capture The Phantom, who apparently has hacked into their solid vision system. The principal and his daughter see the Leo Corporation helicopters going by, and his daughter is determined to find this Entertainment Duelist in order to have him teach at their school and attract students. We learn that the Phantom’s real identity is Yuya Sakaki, and that he holds the future in his hands. At the end of the chapter, it’s revealed that this Phantom is now Yuya Sakaki, but he’s willing to be an opponent for a duel against someone from the Leo Corporation anyway.

As expected of the first chapter of a manga, it’s setting up the story, the world, and the characters. This is one of those rare chapters in a Yu-Gi-Oh! series where there’s no dueling going on. But I’m sure the next chapter will have a duel and have the usual explanations of what each card does as its played. That’s the part of this I’m looking forward to the least: yet another Yu-Gi-Oh! series that comes across as a tutorial for the game. But I find it interesting that this Yu-Gi-Oh! series is another one that has a dueling school included; the main difference between this and GX is the fact that the school in GX was very successful while this one doesn’t have a single student yet.

D.Gray-man CH:003

Allen tries to exorcise the akuma posing as John’s friend, Leo. But John blocks the attack. But Leo quickly proves that he is indeed an akuma. Millennium Earl is surprised when Allen says he can see Leo’s mother’s soul. Millennium Earl then realizes that he’s met Allen before after Allen reveals the curse he has. We then see a flashback of when Allen asked Millennium Earl to resurrect Mana Walker. It’s revealed that Allen was born with an anti-akuma weapon within him.

Not a whole lot actually happens in this chapter when it comes to action. It’s actually primarily a chapter of exposition. But it’s much needed exposition to explain a little more detail about the akuma and why and how Allen fights to exorcise the akuma. The flashback was extremely helpful for this. But hopefully the next chapter, which is supposed to be the last chapter for this “Jump Back” initiative, will progress the story and show how this particular plot point will be resolved.

Anime DVD Review: One Piece Season Four Voyage Three

One Piece Season Four Voyage Three is a two-disc set that contains episodes 230-241 of the One Piece anime series. The first disc has six episodes and a commentary on Episode 233, while the second disc includes six episodes, commentary on Episode 236, and the set’s bonus features. A “Marathon Feature” is available on both discs, which allows the viewer to watch all of the episodes back-to-back without interruption. Audio options include the English dub and the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

One Piece Season Four Voyage Three

Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: December 18, 2012

The story in this set takes place at Water Seven, and several new characters are introduced. This includes the powerful craftsmen of the Galley La Company, their boss Iceberg, his assistant Kalifa, and a group known as the Franky Family that the Straw Hats have a run-in with after the group steals some of the money Luffy and his crew wants to use to get the Going Merry repaired.

At the same time that Luffy, Nami, and Usopp are distracted by the Franky Family, Robin suddenly disappears after encountering a mysterious masked individual who seems to know something about her past. Starting with Robin’s disappearance, the mood of the series begins to shift.

Tensions begin to mount when Luffy and his crew are told by the Galley La Company that the Going Merry cannot be repaired and would be unable to make it to the next island without falling apart. Luffy is ultimately told that he should replace the Going Merry. At first, Luffy is resistant, but he comes to realize that leaving the current ship behind is the better option. This leads to a blow up between Luffy and Usopp, and ultimately causes Usopp to decide to leave Luffy behind. But before he leaves, he challenges Luffy to a duel; if he wins, he gets the Going Merry.

This duel truly begins an emotional rollercoaster for the viewer that continues through the remaining episodes in this set. Between Robin’s disappearance and Usopp leaving the crew, the viewer gets a sense that perhaps the Straw Hats are starting to fall apart. Prior to this arc, there may have been the occasional emotional episode, but this is the strongest that the drama has been up to this point. The duel between Usopp and Luffy ends up feeling like an emotional kick in the gut.

And things only get worse when someone attempts to assassinate Iceberg. When he regains consciousness, he feels confident that one of his assailants is Robin. This suddenly turns the employees at Galley La Company, as well as the citizens of Water Seven, against Luffy and his crew. So now, not only does Luffy have to struggle with Usopp’s leaving, he also has to deal with being accused of plotting to assassinate Iceberg. And to top it all off, Franky, the leader of the Franky Family, wants revenge on Luffy for destroying his house. And there’s one more emotional kick in gut for the viewer near the end of the set when Sanji and Chopper run into Robin and learn what she’s up to.

This was quite a shift in tone after dealing with the Davy Back Fight filler episodes in the previous One Piece set. I’m glad to finally be back in canon material from the original manga source material, but I never would have guessed just how much of a tonal shift would take place over the course of these episodes. I don’t have any complaints about the tonal shift, though, because I believe this helps to make the series stronger and it feels like a natural progression. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this story arc will continue in the next set.

As for the DVD set itself, there are three bonus features on the second disc in addition to the episode commentary. There is a textless version for the opening song that appears in this set (“Kokoro no Chizu”), as well as a textless version for the ending song in this set (“Eternal Pose”). 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 230-241. 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 anime home video library.

The reviewer checked out a copy of this set through the King County Library System

Goodbye holiday Performs the Theme Song for the One Piece – Episode of Sabo Special

Goodbye holiday performs “Liberator,” the theme song for the One Piece – Episode of Sabo: Bond of Three Brothers – A Miraculous Reunion and an Inherited Will. The song is now digitally available via iTunes, and its CD single is scheduled to be released in Japan on October 28, 2015. The band was formed in Hiroshima Prefecture in 2008, then finally made their major debut with 1st single “Kakumei Akatsuki” from Avex Trax on July 8, 2015.

Avex has posted a music video for the song, which I am embedding below. I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view it due to region blocking.

Source: Crunchyroll

Manga Review: “One Piece” Volume 75

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

One Piece Volume 75 focuses on Luffy, a young man who dreams of finding the One Piece and becoming the King of the Pirates someday. As a child, he ate the Gum-Gum fruit, which turned his body into rubber and allows him to stretch himself in crazy ways. Unfortunately, this means that he is no longer able to swim and will drown if he goes into water. But Luffy is determined to achieve his dream, and he is accompanied by his pirate crew, who are known as the Straw Hats.

One Piece Volume 75

Written by: Eiichiro Oda
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 4, 2015

Volume 75 sees Luffy and his pirate crew in the kingdom of Dressrosa, where they attempt to help free the people from the reign of Doflamingo, one of the Seven Warlords of the sea that has taken over the kingdom. Sugar has fallen at the Smile Factory, and the workers who had been turned into toys revert into their original forms. This brings about a lot of happy reunions, as well as a major surprise for Rebecca. The scene where Rebecca learns about this surprise is so touching, and I thought Oda’s depiction of Rebecca’s reaction was perfect.

But Doflamingo doesn’t intend to go down without some kind of a fight. He creates a birdcage that surrounds Dressrosa, and then tells everyone that this has turned into a game. They can either kill him or they can bring him all the people that he lists off. He places a bounty on all of them as an incentive for the citizens to cooperate. Not surprisingly, Luffy and most of his crew are included in the list of names.

One Piece Volume 75 is full of action and chaos as the 12 being hunted try to save themselves, yet trying not hurt the populace. At one point, several people tell Luffy they’re going to take down Doflamingo in order to repay a debt to him, but Luffy insists on being the one to do it. This scene is actually rather comical, although it feels like it runs a little on the long side. But even with that, this volume includes all of the action and humor that readers of One Piece have come to expect from the series.

While Volume 75 is full of action, there’s also a lot of jumping around between various locations, since the characters are so spread out across Dressrosa. With how often the scenes change, it can be a little challenging to keep up with and remember where everyone is and where their story last left off. This jumping around in location is the weakest aspect of One Piece Volume 75.

When it comes to the art style in One Piece, Oda utilizes a lot of exaggeration, sound effects, and speed lines to depict the action that’s taking place. With Luffy being a “rubber man,” the use of exaggeration makes a lot of sense. Oda’s art style really stands out in comparison to many other manga that are out there, and it gives One Piece a very unique look.

But even with how much the story jumps around, I believe that long time readers of the series will enjoy reading One Piece Volume 75. They’ll want to see what happens to the various characters, especially after Doflamingo places a bounty on several of them.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: August 9-15, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of August 9-15, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. Monster Musume Volume 7 by OKAYADO
2. Naruto Volume 71 by Masashi Kishimoto
3. My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kouhei Horikoshi
4. One Piece Volume 75 by Eiichiro Oda
5. Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 by Sui Ishida
6. Assassination Classroom Volume 5 by Yusei Matsui
7. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 1 – Phantom Blood Volume 3 by Hirohiko Araki
8. Food Wars! Volume 7 by Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki
9. Dragonar Academy Volume 7 by Shiki Mizuchi and Ran
10. Akame ga KILL! Volume 3 by Takahiro and Tetsuya Tashiro

Source: The New York Times

FUNimation to Simulcast One Piece Episode of Sabo Special

FUNimation Entertainment has announced that it will simulcast One Piece – Episode of Sabo: Bond of Three Brothers – A Miraculous Reunion and an Inherited Will! (One Piece Episode of Sabo ~3-Kyōdai no Kizuna Kiseki no Saikai to Uketsugareru Ishi~) on its website on August 22/23, 2015 Saturday night (Sunday morning) at 2am EDT.

The special will revisit the childhood past of the three sworn brothers Luffy, Ace, and Sabo, when they all dreamed of becoming pirates. In addition, it will depict how Sabo originally came into the kingdom of Dressrosa (which was not depicted in Eiichiro Oda’s original manga or the television anime), as well as his reunion with Luffy from his point of view.

Source: ANN