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.

Manga Review: “Pokemon Adventures” Volume 23

Pokemon Adventures Volume 23 is a manga based on the Pokemon FireRed and Pokemon LeafGreen videogames. The manga is written by Hidenori Kusaka, and illustrated by Satoshi Yamamoto. This manga volume was originally published in Japan in 2006; however, it wasn’t released in North America until Viz Media’s Perfect Square imprint released this volume in 2014. This portion of Pokemon Adventures places the focus back on the characters of Red, Blue, and Green.

In Volume 23, Red and Blue return to Pallet Town; when they do, they find that Professor Oak is gone. However, they find fame checkers and envelopes addressed to Red, Blue, and Green. The fame checker has a message from Professor Oak telling them that he needs to take their Pokedexes away and to put them in the storage system. Red and Blue head to Vermillion City and take Green’s fame checker and envelope with them.

Green, meanwhile, boards the Seagallop in order to go to One Island, one of Kanto’s Sevii islands, in order to meet her parents for the first time. Blue and Red also make it onto the ferry, where they reunite with Bill. Green is attacked by a mysterious Pokemon, and her parents are sucked into a dark hole created by the mysterious Pokemon.

Quite a bit of volume focuses on Red and Blue receiving training in order to become stronger and take on the mysterious Pokemon, which they learn is Deoxys. The two trainers end up under the tutelage of an old woman known as Ultima so she can teach them a special move. After the training, they go to Four Island, where they encounter Lorelei, one of the Kanto Elite Four. By the end of the volume, Red, Blue, and Lorelei find themselves battling against Team Rocket.

This volume establishes the new storyline for the Pokemon Adventures series, and so there’s a bit of exposition that takes place during it. However, there’s enough action mixed in with the exposition that it’s not a boring read.

There were a lot of familiar faces, but there were also new characters introduced. Most notable of the new characters if Ultima; personally, I thought she was rather weird and I didn’t care much for her. About the only good thing to come out of her introduction is the fact that Blue and Red got to have a pretty awesome Pokemon battle against each other. We also meet some new members of Team Rocket; but, honestly, none of them truly left much of an impression on me.

At this point, I’m very curious to find out what happened to Green’s parents and I wonder when her reunion with them will finally take place. While the other story plots are decent, that’s the main thing that left an impression on me and makes me want to continue on in order to find out the answer.

If you’ve read the various volumes of the Pokemon Adventures series and enjoyed them, I expect that you’ll also enjoy reading this volume as it establishes a new story arc with much-loved characters from earlier in the series.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Adventures Volume 23 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Viz Media’s Top Ten Selling Digital Manga for the Week of August 19, 2014

Viz Media has announced the company’s top ten selling digital manga for the week of August 19, 2014.

1. Food Wars! Volume 3
2. One-Punch Man Volume 4
3. Lucky Star Volume 1
4. Chibi Vampire Volume 11
5. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3 Volume 13
6. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3 Volume 14
7. D.N. Angel Volume 11
8. Fate/stay night Volume 7
9. Bleach Volume 61
10. Naruto Volume 66

Viz Media’s Perfect Square Imprint Announces Three New Pokemon Manga Box Sets

Viz Media’s Perfect Square imprint will be releasing two Pokemon manga box sets early in September 2014, and will release a third box in early October 2014.

The Pokemon Adventures Ruby & Sapphire Box Set and the Pokemon Black and White Box Set 2 are scheduled for release on September 2, 2014. A new Pokemon Adventures Diamond & Pearl/Platinum Box Set will be available on October 7m 2014. Pokemon manga are rated ‘A’ for All Ages and each of the forthcoming sets also features a collectible full-color poster.

MSRP: $59.99 U.S. / $79.99 CAN · Rated ‘A’ For All Ages ·
Available September 2, 2014

Ruby’s father Norman is the new Gym Leader of Petalburg City. But Ruby doesn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps – he wants to win Pokémon Contests! Sapphire’s father Professor Birch is the local Pokémon researcher. But Sapphire is tired of gathering scientific data – she wants to win Pokémon Battles! When Ruby and Sapphire meet, they’re more likely to hit each other than hit it off. But then Sapphire challenges Ruby to a competition! Which of them will achieve their dreams in just eighty days?! The box set contains the complete Ruby & Sapphire arc (Vols. 15-22) of the bestselling Pokemon Adventures series and a collectible color poster!

MSRP: $25.99 U.S. / $29.99 CAN · Rated ‘A’ For All Ages ·
Available September 2, 2014

His entire life, Black has dreamed of winning the Pokémon League! Now he embarks on a journey to explore the Unova region and fill a Pokédex for Professor Juniper. White has an exciting career as the Trainer of a talented troupe of performing Pokémon. She dreams of making her Tepig Gigi a star! Together, Black and White continue on their journey… What surprising new Pokémon – and people – will they meet along the way?! The manga set includes Pokemon Black and White Volumes 9–14 and a collectible color poster!

MSRP: $89.99 U.S. / $115.99 CAN · Rated ‘A’ For All Ages ·
Available October 7, 2014

The box set contains the complete Diamond & Pearl/Platinum story arc (Vols. 1-11) of the bestselling Pokemon Adventures series and a collectible color poster! Pokémon Trainers Pearl and Diamond are starstruck! Their goal? To perfect their Pokémon comedy act. So how do they wind up as bodyguards to a pampered little rich girl on a quest to reach the peak of Mt. Coronet? Thrills and laughs are guaranteed as the Pokemon Adventures series continues with Pokemon Diamond & Pearl/Platinum.

“POKÉMON fans are guaranteed to have hours of fun with the latest multi-volume box set releases for three of the property’s most popular manga series including POKÉMON ADVENTURES RUBY & SAPPHIRE, POKÉMON DIAMOND & PEARL/PLATINUM, and POKÉMON BLACK AND WHITE,” says Beth Kawasaki, Senior Editorial Director. “We look forward to this collection of imaginative adventures that feature dynamic characters and exotic new Pokémon complementing the late summer reading season and opening fall for readers of all ages!”

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 Announces the Release for the Blood Lad Anime

Viz Media has announced that the company will be releasing the Blood Lad anime series as a special Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, and also as a Standard Edition DVD set, on September 2, 2014.

The 10-episode paranormal action comedy about a nerdy vampire that is obsessed with the human word is rated ‘TV-14’ and will be offered as a Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo pack with an MSRP of $69.99 U.S. / $89.99 CAN. The special set comes packaged in a full-color chipboard box featuring 4 discs containing the entire series as well as the BLOOD LAD “BLOOD LAD-EX” OVA short film and a 96 page premium art booklet featuring episode guides, art, interviews and more. Other combo pack bonus features include an interactive art gallery, nearly a half-hour of English dub session outtakes, an Anime Central convention chalk art video along with series trailers and clean opening and ending segments.

The Standard Edition 2-disc DVD set for Blood Lad features the complete series and OVA film and will be offered at an MSRP $44.82 U.S. / $43.24 CAN. The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and standard DVD set both feature English dubbed and original Japanese stereo audio selections (with English Subtitles).

The Demon World: a place where it’s good to be bad. Werewolves, zombies, and even the Abominable Snowman fight day and night for the title of Territory Boss. The vampire Staz, however, finds the whole thing to be a serious pain. He spends his time watching anime, playing video games, and daydreaming about going to the Human World. That all changes when he meets Fuyumi, a human girl who instantly wins Staz’s heart but subsequently loses her life to a man-eating plant. Staz refuses to give up on the girl of his dreams and travels across the Demon and Human Worlds in search of a way to bring Fuyumi back to life by any bloody means necessary.

The English dub cast for Blood Lad notably stars Bryce Papenbrook as Staz and Xanthe Huynh as Fuyumi and also features talented voice actors such as Johnny Yong Bosch, Kyle Hebert, Cristina Vee and Wendee Lee in key supporting roles.

“BLOOD LAD was adapted from Yuki Kodama’s bestselling manga series and offers a hilarious, action packed story featuring plenty of adventure and laughable situations, and fans won’t want to miss the chance to own the complete series as a special Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo pack,” says Charlene Ingram, Senior Animation Marketing Manager. “The combo pack also features a wealth of entertaining bonus material including the BLOOD LAD OVA which picks up right after the series’ final episode and follows Staz and Fuyumi as they journey to the Demon Acropolis. Don’t miss this special release coming next month!”

©2013 Yuuki KODAMA /Kadokawashoten / BLOOD LAD Partners

Manga Review: “Nisekoi: False Love” Volume Three

Nisekoi: False Love Volume Three is a manga by Naoshi Komi, and it was released by Viz Media’s Shonen Jump imprint in 2014. The series is rated “T” for teens; from what I’ve read of this series, I would agree with this rating.

Raku Ichijo, a high school boy from a yakuza family, made a promise ten years earlier with a girl he knew then that they would get married someday. He has a locket that the girl gave him, and she has the key that will open the locket; unfortunately, he hasn’t seen this girl since, and he has no memory of her name or what she looked like. He has a crush on a girl named Kosaki Onodera, but he has to pretend to date Chitoge Kirisaki in order to keep the peace between his father’s yakuza gang and Chitoge’s father’s gang.

Volume Three opens with it coming out that Tsugumi is really a girl, both to Raku and to the rest of the students at the school. I knew that Raku had learned the truth at the end of Volume Two, but I was relieved to see that the others learned the truth about Tsugumi’s gender in this volume. I was afraid that Tsugumi would try to keep her gender hidden from the others for a little while; while I know from reading the more recent chapters of the series in Weekly Shonen Jump that this fact was common knowledge, but I had no idea how long Tsugumi had managed to keep this fact secret.

Tsugumi ends up being a major focus of the volume at the beginning. In addition to Tsugumi’s gender being revealed, she comes to realize that she has developed feelings for Raku. At first, she’s really clueless about what her feelings mean, and even Chitoge can’t figure it out from the clues that Tsugumi gives her. Of course, when Tsugumi figures out that she likes Raku, it drives her absolutely crazy; not only is he supposedly dating her mistress, Chitoge, she’s also been assigned by Claude to assassinate Raku. Maybe it’s just me, but her change of heart seems to be a little on the abrupt side. I’d probably buy this a little better if maybe there had been a little more time in between the challenge she gave to Raku failing and when he develops feelings for Raku.

There’s a one chapter story where Raku comes down with a cold, and both Chitoge and Onodera come over to look in on Raku and take care of him. This is a humorous chapter, which focuses on both Chitoge and Onodera trying to make rice porridge for Raku to eat to help him feel better. Overall, I thought this chapter was essentially “time kill” before Komi was ready to move on to the next storyline. The reader already knows that neither of these girls can cook, and having this knowledge lessened the humor of this chapter for me.

Volume Three also sees a little more development for the whole promise and locket storyline, when Chitoge finds a diary she wrote when she was five years old. In it, she talks about the boy she had a crush on, but only refers to him as “you-know-who,” the fact he got a scar when he saved her from a big dog, as well as needing to make a promise; unfortunately, 5-year-old Chitoge never wrote down what the promise was. She also finds a key on a string inside the diary. A little later in the story, Chitoge discovers that Raku has a scar where “you-know-who” got one after taking on the big dog. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m really getting the feeling that the story is being set up where Chitoge will ultimately be the girl that Raku made the promise with ten years earlier. There’s already been two hints dropped that really make it seem like this would be the case. And from what I’ve read in Weekly Shonen Jump, I haven’t seen any clues that point in anyone else’s direction as blatantly as these clues do. If it turns out that my guess is right, then it’ll be disappointing that the truth could be figured out this early on in the series.

The remainder of Volume Three focuses on a school trip that Raku and the others take, and there are two plot points that happen here. First, Claude sneaks in and tricks Raku into going into the girls’ bath at the hot spring; Chitoge is the first one in and she tries to help Raku get out before the other girls find him. This is done for comedic effect rather than for drama. It works well for what Komi is trying to achieve, even if I didn’t personally care for it.

The last story in this volume focuses on a test of courage that takes place during the school trip. Onodera hopes it’s a chance for her to be able to get close to Raku, but something happens to foil her plan and Raku ends up being pushed a little closer to Chitoge. Raku finds himself in situations with Chitoge quite a bit; to me, this is just another indicator that Chitoge is most likely going to end up being the one that Raku had made the promise with ten years ago.

Of the volumes and chapters of Nisekoi: False Love that I’ve read up to this point, this one didn’t evoke as much of the Ranma 1/2 comparisons that I’ve pointed out before. The whole promise made ten years ago plot is relevant in this volume, so I still see the Love Hina influence in this volume. But readers who have read the first two volumes of Nisekoi: False Love and enjoyed them should also enjoy the stories that appear in Volume Three.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Nisekoi: False Love Volume Three that I checked out through the King County Library System.