Viz Media Releases New Weekly Shonen Jump Print Edition “Jump Pack” Issue 2

VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump manga magazine returns to its roots in print as it gives North American fans a special treat with the release of the Weekly Shonen Jump Jump Pack 2014, Issue 2 available now. This print edition contains more than 100 pages of the world’s most popular featured series and is an ideal way to check out what the digital Weekly Shonen Jump magazine offers.

The Weekly Shonen Jump Jump Pack is available in the U.S. and Canada exclusively through retailers serviced by Diamond Comic Distributors and also from leading online anime/manga retailer Right Stuf. The Weekly Shonen Jump Jump Pack 2014, Issue 2 is rated ‘T’ for Teens and will carry an MSRP of $19.99 U.S. / $22.99 CAN.

The latest Jump Pack issue features the current hit series, All You Need Is Kill, by Death Note and Bakuman。 artist Takeshi Obata, as well as chapters from continuing fan favorites such as Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal and much more. The issue also includes a promotional code for a 3-month weekly digital subscription to the magazine along with a limited edition Blue-Eyes White Dragon Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card with exclusive variant art from Kazuki Takahashi, the creator of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 115 (April 14, 2014)

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

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

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

Nisekoi CH:118

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

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

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

One Piece CH:744

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

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

All You Need Is Kill CH:012

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

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

Naruto CH:672

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

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

Seraph of the End CH:015

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

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

Bleach CH:576

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

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

Stealth Symphony CH:008

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

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

Toriko CH:273

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

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

World Trigger CH:056

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

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

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 114 (April 7, 2014)

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

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

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

Naruto CH:671

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

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

Stealth Symphony CH:007

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

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

One Piece CH:743

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

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

World Trigger CH:055

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

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

Bleach CH:575

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

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

One-Punch Man CH:034.3

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

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

Nisekoi CH:117

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

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

All You Need Is Kill CH:011

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

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

Toriko CH:272

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

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

Blue Exorcist CH:056

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

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

Special Bonus Story: Dragon Ball

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

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

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

Dragon Ball Bonus Story to Run in Viz’s Shonen Jump on Monday

Viz Media will be publishing Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball Minus: The Child Released from Fate one-shot chapter digitally in the April 7 issue of its Weekly Shonen Jump digital anthology.

The chapter will focus on Goku’s mother, Gine. She has a gentle nature, and she fights alongside Bardock in a four-Saiyan team, where he repeatedly saves her. Her temperament makes her unfit for the warrior life Saiyans lead, and she and Bardock develop romantic feelings for each other — something alien to the Saiyans, who only form relationships for the purpose of reproduction. As a consequence, she is assigned to a meat distribution center.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 113 (March 31, 2014)

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

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

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

Seraph of the End CH:014

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

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

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

One Piece CH:742

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

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

World Trigger CH:054

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

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

All You Need Is Kill CH:010

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

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

Naruto CH:670

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

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

Toriko CH:271

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

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

Nisekoi CH:116

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

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

Stealth Symphony CH:006

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

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

Bleach CH:574

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

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

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 112 (March 24, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for All You Need Is Kill, Bleach, Naruto, Stealth Symphony, One-Punch Man, Nisekoi, World Trigger, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, and a special preview of Food Wars

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.

All You Need Is Kill CH:009

In the previous chapter, the focus was on Rita’s backstory of what happened to her during her childhood and how she ended up joining the United Defense Force. The backstory continues in Chapter Nine, where Rita is transferred to a squad full of veterans six months after entering the United Defense Force. We see her interacting with First Lieutenant Arthur Hendricks. Rita encounters a strange-looking Mimic, and then she begins experiencing the time loops. Rita starts trying to find a way to break out of her time loop. She notices that every time she loops back to the battle with the strange Mimic, there are more Mimics protecting it. She then begins doing research on Mimics, and tries to find a weapon that’s capable of killing every Mimic on the battlefield. She’s determined to solve the riddle of the time loop.

Not only did this chapter provide more backstory for Rita, it also starts providing a little more information in regards to the Mimics and their involvement in the time loops. Now that I’m starting to get more backstory and information for All You Need Is Kill, I’ve come to like it lot more compared to the first couple of chapters I read.

Bleach CH:573

In the previous chapter, Kusajishi managed to get a hit in on “V”; however, the mysterious Gremmy appears and destroys “V” because he can’t imagine “V”‘s future anymore. Right at the end of Chapter 572, Kenpachi made an appearance. Unfortunately, Kenpachi is the bearer of bad news: Captain Unohana is dead, and he’s the one who killed her. Gremmy sets up a “grand stage” for Kenpachi so the two of them can battle each other. Unfortunately, Gremmy has an advantage since he can turn fantasy into reality. However, Kenpachi tells Gremmy that his imagination can’t create anything that Kenpachi can’t cut…

This chapter is basically setting the stage for a battle to take place between Gremmy and Kenpachi. For me, the only other thing of importance was learning that Kenpachi killed Captain Unohana. Since I jumped into the middle of this particular story arc, this revelation really caught me off-guard. I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter and I hope to see what kind of battle that Gremmy and Kenpachi end up having.

Naruto CH:669

In the previous chapter, there was a bit of time spent on showing backstory from Guy’s childhood. The chapter ended with Guy launching his attack against Madara by opening the Eighth Gate. Gaara asks Kakashi what Guy has done, and Kakashi explains that it’s the final stage of the jutsu that Rock Lee had used against him in the Chunin Exam. When Gaara hears that after the Eight Gate is opened and used that the person will inevitably die, he has a flashback to Lee and Guy at the Chunin Exam. Minato comes up with a plan for him, Kakashi, Gaara, and Lee to assist Guy. After opening the Eighth Gate, Guy starts launching a barrage of attacks on Madara.

This chapter was intense! There’s a lot of action going on, especially with Guy’s attacks on Madara. I liked seeing how Kishimoto was able to remind the audience about the Eight Inner Gates through the explanations and flashbacks to the Chunin Exam. Unfortunately, it’s looking like Kishimoto is setting up the stage for Guy to die. I really hope I’m wrong, but with the way the past couple of chapters have gone, it’s not looking likely that he’ll survive…

Stealth Symphony CH:005

In the previous chapter, the president of V&V shows Jig various dragon heirlooms, but the president creates a ruckus because he doesn’t understand an heirloom that he’s demonstrating. At the end of the chapter, someone was watching Jig from the shadows. Jig is still having trouble finding a job, and now he’s out of money. Troma has an idea of where Jig should be able to get a job. When Jig heads out to the place, the girl watching him from the shadows at the end of Chapter Four follows him. We learn that the place Troma suggested is an agency for cyborgs, a cyber soldier school where cyborgs gather to become hired guns. Jig has a run-in with the girl following him, and he learns her name is Raika and that she is part of the school. It comes out Raika was following him in order to recruit Jig to the school. Hank, the administrator, asks Jig if he’d like to work for them. Raika has a job to do, and she wants Jig to be a human shield. Right at the end of the chapter, though, we learn that a complication arises that could make the job rather difficult for Jig.

So it looks like Jig may have finally gotten a job, thanks to Troma’s suggestion and the fact that the school had been following him and intending to recruit him. It was rather amusing to see that those two elements ended up coming together, especially when Jig runs into Raika by accident. Unfortunately, with the complication that’s introduced at the end of Chapter Five, I suspect that Jig’s job with the cyborg agency may not last long.

One-Punch Man CH:034.2

In the previous chapter, Saitama found himself face-to-face with Boros, the self-proclaimed dominator of the universe. The two begin to fight it out. This chapter primarily focuses on Saitama’s comrades and the fights that they’re having, with only a brief scene of Saitama and Boros’ fight. As Saitama’s comrades start defeating the enemy, Boros’ men begin whimpering and saying they want to go home. Another fight is just getting underway when the chapter comes to an end…

This was another chapter that was focused heavily on the action and not on much of anything else. Also Saitama, the main star of the series, doesn’t make much of an appearance in this chapter. So far, the only thing I’ve really picked up on since jumping into this portion of One-Punch Man is fighting, fighting, and more fighting. I hope this is case due to my jumping into the middle of an already established story arc. Maybe once this arc is over, I might start seeing something in the way of character development that will help me to better understand this series.

Nisekoi CH:115

In the previous chapter, Raku asks Ruri if there’s anything she wants to do for her great-grandfather and says he’s there to help if she needs it. When Ruri asks her great-grandfather why he insisted on meeting her boyfriend, he says it’s because he probably won’t get to see her wedding. Right at the end of the chapter 114, Ruri comes up with an idea, although the audience has no idea what it is. At the beginning of this chapter, Ruri wants to run something by him as something that she should do for her great-grandfather. They go to see Maiko, who has accompanied them on the trip, about photos he took of the two of them the previous day. The two of them go to see her great-grandfather and admit that they lied to him. Ruri starts showing him pictures of her and her friends. Everything seems to end well, but the ending of the chapter is a little on the sad side.

This has definitely been the best chapter of Nisekoi that I’ve read since I started reading Weekly Shonen Jump. I’m glad to see that Ruri was smart enough to realize that she needed to admit the truth to her great-grandfather. While the way the chapter ended wasn’t entirely unexpected, it was still a little on the sad side for me. But now that this story arc has ended, I’m curious to see what direction Nisekoi will go in next.

World Trigger CH:053

In the previous chapter, one of the Neighbors grabbed Kitora and ate her. Chika is frozen in place in fear, until she has a quick flashback. She grabs a weapon and tries to fight a Neighbor. Osamu makes contact with headquarters, he’s told that Border’s most powerful squad is headed their way. Chapter 53 switches focus to another squad at first, but the returns to Osamu and his group. A lot of action takes place with Osamu’s group as they fight against the enemy, and another squad arrives to help Osamu and the others out. The new squad will work on rescuing Kitora while Osamu is assigned to support the C-Rank trainees.

Admittedly, this is more of an action-oriented chapter than it is on developing characters. But considering that they’re in the middle of a battle right now, it makes sense to have a chapter that’s focused more on the action and the fighting than on anything else. And because the chapter is so focused on the action, it ends up being a rather quick read.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:39

In the previous chapter, Yuma and Astral are dueling with Kaito, while Yagumo and Shark are dueling in an adjacent arena. Luna and the members of the Numbers are also looking for Dr. Faker and trying to find the controls in his lab to stop an interdimensional rift from destroying the world. A group of girls is also looking for Haruto. This chapter provides some backstory for Yagumo about why he became involved with Duel Monsters in the first place and what he hoped to accomplish. While Yagumo had accomplished his goal, but what happened afterward wasn’t what he expected. The group looking for Haruto finds him by the end of Chapter 39. He’s inside a device, and it’s revealed that Yagumo is using the duels to collect Numbers energy. It turns out the device is what’s keeping Haruto alive, so Yagumo insists on continuing his duel. Yuma also continues his duel. Just as it looks like Yuma might get the upper hand, Kaito manages to turn the tables.

Overall, this chapter was more of a backstory chapter than anything else. Any fighting during the duels took place right near the end of the chapter. Unfortunately, it was kind of hard for me to truly care about what was going on in the backstory since I jumped into the middle of the series. The backstory probably would have meant more if I had read some of the earlier chapters of the series and had a better idea of who the character of Yagumo is.

Food Wars! Special Preview

Soma Yukihira is the son of a man who runs a small family restaurant in a less savory part of town. Soma wants to surpass his father’s culinary prowess, and he spends time honing his skills. One day, Soma’s father decides to enroll him in a classy culinary school called the Totsuki Saryo Culinary Institute.

The chapter introduces the reader to the heiress of the school, who is domineering and strict. After this, Soma is seen heading on his way to take the transfer exam to the school. He meets one of the other students there to take the test, and quickly learns that everyone else there has parents who own famous restaurants or restaurant chains. Once the person he meets learns that Soma’s father only owns a low-end family restaurant, he is kicked away, called a peasant, and he’s treated rather cruelly by everyone. Erina Nakiri is overseeing the exam, and after she explains a few things, she gives a minute for anyone who wants to withdraw to leave. At that point, everyone except Soma runs off. Soma accepts the challenge of making a dish with eggs as the main ingredient. Soma makes the Yukihara Family Restaurant’s Secret Menu Item #8. It looks like the taste test will take place in Chapter 2.

So we’ve got a food-based manga story that also includes class differences; Erina comes from wealth and has the most refined palate known to man that’s called the Divine Tongue, while Soma is from a lower class family. I’m guessing that somehow, Soma will manage to impress Erina with his cooking and end up being accepted to the school. The setup is a little on the predictable side, but perhaps once the story progresses past the setup that it’ll become less predictable and more interesting. Admittedly, I’m not much of a foodie, so this particular title probably won’t do too much for me. But for manga readers who enjoy manga that has a focus on cooking and food, they’ll probably find something to enjoy in Food Wars!

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

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

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

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

One Piece CH:741

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

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

Naruto CH:668

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

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

Stealth Symphony CH:004

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

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

Toriko CH:270

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

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

Seraph of the End CH:013

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

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

Nisekoi CH:114

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

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

World Trigger CH:052

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

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

All You Need Is Kill CH:008

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

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

Bleach CH:572

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

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

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 110 (March 10, 2014)

I’m finally caught up to the most recent issue of Weekly Shonen Jump! This issue includes chapters for World Trigger, One Piece, Nisekoi, Naruto, Stealth Symphony, Bleach, One-Punch Man, Toriko, and Blue Exorcist. This volume also opens with an interview Daisuke Ashihara. the mangaka for World Trigger to celebrate making it to 50 chapters of the series.

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. For Blue Exorcist, I focus more on my initial impressions of the series. 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-on-One With Daisuke Ashihara

This is an interview that Weekly Shonen Jump editor Alexis Kirsch conducted with World Trigger creator Daisuke Ashihara at Jump Festa. I really enjoyed reading this interview, and it’s definitely worth the read if you’re a fan of World Trigger.

World Trigger CH:051

In the previous chapter, Osamu and his group head to where Chika is in order to save her. On the way, Osamu has a fight against one of the enemy and wins. Right after defeating the enemy, Osamu notices something unusual. It turns out it’s Kitora, a member of Arashiyama Squad, battling another enemy. At one point, the enemy goes after the civilians instead of going after her. Kitora faces off against the enemy again. She’s able to win, but she has to make a sacrifice in order to do it…

Chapter 51 was very action-packed, and there was a strong emphasis on Kitora. Kitora demonstrates that sometimes you have to do the unthinkable in order to try to save others. Right at the end, something happens that I believe will make up the foundation for what should happen in Chapter 52.

One Piece CH:740

In the previous chapter, there was a bit of information given out in regards to the one-legged toy that’s helping to lead the Tontattas’ bid for freedom. There was also some focus placed on the character of Rebecca. This chapter returns the focus to Luffy and Violet, who are trying to get out of a collapsing tower; later, Luffy, Violet, and the one-legged toy go to the suit chamber in the palace. Zoro, meanwhile, is in a middle of a fight in the tower. We also see that Robin has been turned into a toy.

Quite a bit happens in this chapter, and there’s a bit of jumping around. The story seems interesting, but because I’ve jumped so far in the middle of an already established story arc, I’m still a little lost as to what’s going on. I’m hoping this arc will start making more sense as I read more chapters.

Nisekoi CH:113

In the previous chapter, Marika asks Raku to help her give love advice to Migisuke. Unfortunately, Marika really didn’t know what she was talking about, and it ended in disaster for Migisuke. In this chapter, Ruri is told that her 100-year-old great-grandfather may not be around much longer, and that his wish is to see her with her boyfriend before he dies. To appease her great-grandfather’s maid, Ruri randomnly pulls out a picture and says it’s of her boyfriend; it turns out to be a picture of Raku. Raku finds himself in the position of having to pretend that he and Ruri are dating. Ruri believes her great-grandfather is faking his poor health when they get to his house, but the maid has news for her…

So far, of the three chapters I’ve read of Nisekoi, I’d have to say that this one was the best one. If other chapters of Nisekoi could be more like this, I’d probably enjoy the series better. Chapter 112 was supposed to be funny, and it wasn’t, at least not to me. Chapter 111 was just weird.

Naruto CH:667

In the previous chapter, Kakashi and Obito teamed up to use their mangekyo to return the Nine Tails to Naruto. When Obito arrives to help Naruto, Sakura doesn’t trust him at first. However, at the end of Chapter 666, it appears that Obito has succeeded in healing Naruto. In this chapter, Orochimaru, Sasuke’s group, and Kabuto are all by the wounded Sasuke. In a surprise move, Kabuto helps Sasuke. Meanwhile, Kakashi, Guy, Gaara, and Minato are up against Madara.

And I thought the previous chapter was intense. Yikes! Guy pulls off something rather impressive, but it isn’t quite enough. Chapter 667 ends wih Guy saying he needs to do something else to try to take down Madara. This could be pretty major, so it’s going to be interesting to see what’s going to happen in this battle with Madara. The scene with Kabuto was also interesting, and I’m curious to find out what’s going to happen to Sasuke. Aah! Chapter 668 can’t come soon enough!

Stealth Symphony CH:003

In the previous chapter, Jig is saved from an assassin by the vice president of the assassin guild. He also learns that there’s a Rank A heirloom that might be able to suppress the power of his Rank C heirloom; however, the last time it was at an auction, it went for a rather steep price; this leads Jig to getting a job. We learn at the beginning of chapter three that Jig didn’t actually get a job; he was actually rejected. Unfortunately, a half-day later, Jig discovers that no one will hire him. He smells something good and is led to Assassin Bakery; as luck would have it, there’s a help wanted sign posted in the window. It turns out the vice president of the assassin guild works in the bakery. A conversation escalates between the two, and just as it reaches its peak, Tromo appears.

This chapter focuses on Jig and his learning more about how assassins work in the city. I suspect the vice president of the assassin guild is going to end up being a major character in this series, so I expect to see more of him in future chapters. I also suspect that Jig will be starting to learn more about the heirloom that’s in his back. Stealth Symphony is still showing some promise, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Chapter Four will have in store.

Bleach CH:571

In the previous chapter, Kotechin and Assistant Captain Kusajishi steal bedding and medicine from the Quincy and hide it away. Unfortunately, they were caught by someone calling themselves “V.” It turns out he’s a hard being to fight, because he’s able to make himself appear and disappear at will. It turns out that Assistant Captain Kusajishi fights against “V” by instinct, and catches “V” by surprise…

This chapter focused exclusively on the fight with “V,” and quite a bit of time is spent on “V” explaining his abilities and hurling taunts. There’s a little bit of action between Assistant Captain Kusajishi and “V,” but this isn’t an action-packed chapter. However, with what happens at the end of the chapter, I have a feeling that Chapter 572 will have a lot more in the way of action.

One-Punch Man CH:034

In the previous chapter, Saitama wreaks havoc in the aliens’ ship, and comes face-to-face with a telekinetic. In this chapter, the telekinetic attacks Saitama, but it doesn’t inflict any damage onto Saitama. He then finds himself face-to-face with Boros, the self-proclaimed dominator of the universe. The two begin to fight it out.

This was a very action-packed chapter, although there’s not much progress for the actual story itself. But considering this is a shonen manga that focuses on fighting, I’m not surprised that there’s more focus on the fighting than on progressing the story.

Toriko CH:268

This chapter begins a new story arc for Toriko. The humans are now working together to restore the soil. IGO is working on trying to get the company back on track. There’s a flashback of when the president of IGO took in Toriko. It’s also being established that Toriko and some of the chefs are returning to the Gourmet World.

For me, the best part of this chapter is getting to see the flashback that provides some backstory for Toriko. Outside of that, the rest of the chapter is essentially setting the stage in order to get the next story arc moving. I hope that next chapter will get the story arc moving a little more.

Blue Exorcist CH:055

Rin Okimura was raised by a famous exorcist named Father Fujimoto and never knew his real father. One day Rin learns a terrible truth while he has an argument with Father Fujimoto: Rin has the blood of the demon lord Satan running in his veins. Rin swears he’ll defeat Satan, but that means entering True Cross Academy and becoming an exorcist himself. At this point in the story, Izumo has been captured by Illuminati guards in the enemy stronghold. Rin and his friends head into the Illuminati facility, and find a strange and deserted shopping mall inside. They encounter a zombie at the beginning of this chapter, and there’s a brief explanation of the differences between a zombie and a ghoul and the methods of exorcism for each. After taking down that one, the group is approached by a group of zombies; however, these zombies appear to be defective. The group tries to flee. They’re surrounded and try to find a way to escape. Suddenly, a trapdoor opens underneath the group. Izumo, meanwhile, is trying to escape on her own and ends up in a fight.

I have to admit that since I’m jumping into the middle of the series in an already established story arc, I’m having a hard time following what’s going on and truly understanding it. But from what I have been able to pick up on, Blue Exorcist appears to be an interesting series. I hope that reading future chapters of Blue Exorcist will be help me to better understand what’s going on.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 109 (March 3, 2014)

I’m still trying to catch up to the most recent edition of Weekly Shonen Jump, and I just finally made it through the issue that was released on March 3, 2014. This issue includes chapters for Seraph of the End, Stealth Symphony, Naruto, Nisekoi, One Piece, All You Need Is Kill, Toriko, Bleach, and World Trigger.

For the series that carried over from Volume 108, I tried to put a little more focus in my write-ups about the progression of the story from the previous chapter. For the two series that weren’t in Volume 108, I focus more on my initial impressions of the series. I will warn you that these write-ups will more than likely contain spoilers.

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

Seraph of the End CH:012

After trumpets of the apocalypse proclaim the fall of humanity, vampires arise to rule the earth. Yuichiro just wants one thing: to get revenge by killing each and every vampire. At this point in the story, Shinjuku is under attack. Yuichiro and company go to kill the vampires, while Lt. Colonel Guren mobilizes his squad. They target Ferid, the vampires’ leader. Ferid sends out Mika to deal with the humans. At the beginning of the chapter, it turns out Yuichiro and Mika knew each other four years earlier, but that she was killed by vampires in the intervening time. While Yuichiro and the others are in the middle of a battle, one of Yuichiro’s companions suggests that Yuichiro undergo some training right then and there; the training requires taking a pill to help increase the synchronization rate with their demon. We also see Lt Colonel Guren and his squad fighting on the front lines. The order is given for Yuichi and the others to take their supplement as they go to serve as reinforcements for Lt. Colonel Guren. As Yuchi arrives at the battlefield, it appears that Mika recognizes him…

This is another series that I’m jumping into the middle of. However, it seems like I was able to follow it for the most part. The ending of this chapter is a nice cliffhanger, and it makes me want to read the next chapter of Serpah of the End when it’s available to read in Weekly Shonen Jump.

Stealth Symphony CH:002

In Chapter One, Jig went to the town of Jinbo-cho to seem someone who can help him remove the curse he has from a used life support system with a sorcerer’s evil spirit. He hired a bodyguard from the V&V security company to protect the people of the town from his curse; his bodyguard is an invisible man named Tromo Yabusame; however, at the end of the chapter, it’s revealed that Tromo is actually an invisible dragon. Jig also learns the life support system is actually a Dragon Heirloom, and that the orphanage director had set him up. The assassin sent to kill Jig tries to get him again, but fails and is instead rescued from Jig’s curse by Tromo. Before the assassin can do anything else, he is attacked by Souya Yuunagi, the vice president of the assassin guild; he is also expelled from the guild. Jig also learns that there’s a Rank A heirloom that might be able to suppress the power of his Rank C heirloom; however, the last time it was at an auction, it went for a rather steep price. Right at the end of the chapter, Jig gets a job in order to start having some money so he can live in the town.

This chapter is a very logical progression from what was seen in chapter one. It not only got Jig out of harm’s way for the time being, but it also included some more information to help the reader better understand the town of Jinob-chio and provided some background information for Tromo. Stealth Symphony continues to show promise, and I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter to find out what happens next.

Naruto CH:666

At the end of the previous chapter, Obito stood up to his former master, Madara Uchiha. This leads to the two of them having an epic fight in chapter 666. Obito and Kakashi plan to use their mangekyo to try to return the Nine Tails to Naruto. Then, we get to see a flashback of Young Kakashi, Young Obito, Young Rin, and Minato. When Obito arrives to help Naruto, Sakura doesn’t trust him at first. As Kakashi is under attack from Madara, someone unexpected intervenes…

Wow, the story is really getting intense here! Not only that, it almost had me literally on the edge of my seat as I read it. And from the way the story’s being told at this point, as well as the way the story is progressing, I really get the feeling that Naruto may be getting much closer to the end than I really want to realize. I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter in order to find out how this story will progress.

Nisekoi CH:112

In the previous chapter, Paula found what she thought was a jar of gummy candy; instead, it turns out to be a prototype love drug. Several girls take it and are suddenly attracted to Seishiro. Seishiro, meanwhile, comes to realize that she’s in love with Raku. This chapter begins with Marika being approached by Migisuke, asking her for love advice. Marika finds Raku and asks for his help explain love to Migisuke.

Oh, dear. The whole “you might get pregnant if I touch you” gag makes an appearance here. The first time I saw something like that in an anime or manga, it was mildly amusing. But after seeing something like that so many times, it comes across as dumb rather than funny. The overall concept of this chapter just isn’t doing much for me, either. Oh well.

One Piece CH:739

In the previous chapter, Usopp and Robiland were in the Smile Factory, trying to free the 500 Tontattas who are enslaved there as workers. Unfortunately, when the operation is launched, an army of toys is summoned to try to put down the rebellion. Robiland (aka Robin)’s deception is also discovered by Trebol. Trebol launches an attack that destroys the officer’s tower. Meanwhile, news comes out that Doflamingo has quit the Seven Warlords and won’t be the king of Dressrosa anymore; however, it appears it was a false report. We also get to see the character of Rebecca, and she starts into a fight.

This chapter doesn’t seem to progress the overall story much, but the reader is given background information on the one-legged toy that’s helping to lead the Tontattas’ bid for freedom. I’m still trying to figure out everything that’s going on, since I not only made a big jump forward in the story, but I seem to have landed in the middle of an already established story arc. I suspect this one will start making a little more sense to me as I’m able to read more chapters.

All You Need Is Kill CH:007

Keiji Kiriya fights against the alien mimics that are invading, and he discovers that he’s stuck in some kind of time loop. This chapter begins with Keiji’s 158th loop. He’s able to make some progress in the fight, and the 17th company begins to back him up. With the actions that Keiji is taking, he’s starting to cause things to happen that others don’t expect. Keiji also discovers that he may be starting to feel something for Rita, but he realizes that he can’t love anyone right now, since the time spent together would be lost when he goes through another time loop. Right at the end of the chapter, Rita asks Keiji how many loops this is for him…

I have to say that this chapter of All You Need Is Kill was much easier for me to follow than the previous chapter had been. Between having a little more familiarity with the story, plus the fact that the chapter isn’t skipping around to various time loops, I could actually understand what’s happening. By the end of chapter seven, I found myself becoming more interested in this story than I was at the end of chapter six.

Toriko CH:268

In the previous chapter, Toriko and his friends found a rare Billion Bird egg inside a rather old gourmet case. They hatch the egg and get the chick to be full grown, able to lay a lot of eggs, and then be ready to eat. Unfortunately, the Billion Bird doesn’t taste very good, so now they need t come up with a way to make it so people will want to eat it. During chapter 268, we see the chefs discovering ways they can use the various parts of the Billion Bird in their dishes. And because this was the first “real” ingredient that people had tasted in almost a year, they think it’s delicious and are grateful for it.

This chapter seems to have brough this story arc to an end rather nicely. Not only did the people of world finally have real food again, but something remarkable happens with the Billion Bird. It appears to be a happy ending for all!

Bleach CH:570

Chapter 570 sees a touching moment between Rukia and Byakuya, where he gives her some advice about her bankai. We also see Kotechin and and Assistant Captain Kusajishi stealing bedding and medicine from the Quincy and hiding it away. Unfortunately, they are caught by someone calling themselves “V.”

I really liked the scene between Rukia and Byakuya in this chapter. When I think about how aloof Byakuya had been to Rukia earlier in the series, it makes me happy to see that he’s finally trying to connect with her. The scene with Kotechin, Captain Kusajishi, and “V” is brief, but it appears to be setting the stage for the next chapter of Bleach.

World Trigger CH:050

A gate to another dimension has opened, and monsters called Neighbors invade Earth. Osamu Mikumo is among the elite warriors that co-opt other-dimensional technology to fight back. He also has a Neighbor friend named Yuma. At this point in the story, Trion soldiers swarm the city while another wave of Rabits captures isolated Border agents. B-rank squads have been ordered to gather into one group and eradicate the swarm one area at a time. Osamu’s teammate Chika is in one of the areas that’s to be secured last, and he and Kitora head over to save her. As they head to her, they encounter an enemy soldier and fight it. As the fight begins, Osamu has a flashback to the training he underwent in order to fight effectively against the enemy. The chapter ends with the result of his training…

Since this is another series I’m jumping into the middle of, I’m trying to get to know the characters and the overall concept of the story. The overall concept seems pretty easy to understand, but there’s really only focus on one character: Osamu. I did learn a little bit about him in this chapter, though, so it’s a start. While this series may not have grabbed me very much with this one chapter, I’m hoping that I become more interested in this title as I’m able to read more chapters.

Join Border and Fight Back!

This is a six-page feature done in a way that it appears to be a brochure for the Border Defense Agency in World Trigger. It includes a brief history of the organization, profiles for some of the Border Defense Agency’s agents, an explanation of the rank system, the top brass, definitions for key terms, and combat basics. I found this to be very helpful, since it provided me with important information that I wouldn’t have been able to glean by simply reading the chapter and helped me to start have a better understanding of some of the basic concepts of World Trigger.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 108 (February 24, 2014)

I’ve recently acquired access to Weekly Shonen Jump through Viz Media, and I’m planning to give some basic coverage to each issue. Unfortunately, I’m running a couple of weeks behind, so I’m hoping to get caught up over the course of this week.

Since this is the first issue I’ve read, I admit that my write-ups will be focusing more on my general impression of the series that I’m jumping into the middle of, and my impressions of series that I’ve read but have now made a major jump from where I currently am in those series to where the story is now in Weekly Shonen Jump. My aim starting with the next issue is to try to focus more on critiquing on the storylines themselves of each series that appears.

I will also 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.

Stealth Symphony CH:001

Stealth Symphony tells the story of Jig, a young boy who has acquired a curse after becoming ill and receiving a used life support system that’s cursed with a sorcerer’s evil spirit. The curse protects Jig from any attack, but repays the assailant two-fold. He goes to the town of Jinbo-cho to seek someone who can help him remove the curse. Jig hires the V&V security company to provide a bodyguard to help prevent him from hurting others. Jig is accompanied by Tromo Yabusame, an invisible man. As they try to find the exorcist to remove Jig’s curse, they discover that things aren’t what they seem…

After reading the first chapter, I think there’s a lot of potential for Stealth Symphony. This chapter also does a great job of establishing the main characters and the main concepts of the series. At the end of the chapter, my interested was piqued in wanting to read the next chapter in order to find out what happens next.

One Piece CH:738

At this point in the story, Luffy and the Straw Hats are in the waters of the New World. Luffy has entered into a pirate alliance with Trafalgar War to take down Don Quixote Doflamingo, one of the seven warlords of the sea. When they reach Doflamingo’s turf, the kingdom of Dressrosa, they learn of a fighting tournament with Ace’s Flame-Flame Devil Fruit as a prize. Luffy disguises himself as Lucy and enters the tournament to win his brother’s memento and is able to reach the finals. Doflamingo takes down Trafalgar War, and Luffy secretly switches places in the tournament with a mysterious stranger. Luffy is rushing to Law’s rescue, while the remaining Straw Hats try to undo the magic turning Dressrosa’s citizens into toys.

Usopp and Robiland are in the Smile Factory, and are on a mission to free the 500 Tontattas who are enslaved there as workers. Unfortunately, when an operation is launched, an army of toys is summoned to try to put down the rebellion. Robiland’s deception is also discovered by Trebol, and a battle is just about to start when the chapter ends…

Admittedly, this is a huge jump for me compared to where I currently am in either the manga or the anime, so I’m a bit lost as to what’s currently going on. Hopefully, as I continue to read more chapters of this story arc in Weekly Shonen Jump, I’ll start making a little more sense out of what’s going on.

Naruto CH:665

Naruto and the Allied Shinobi Forces must stop Madara Uchiha, the man who started the ninja war. Cell 7 has been reunited, but Madara has resurrected himself, has his right eye back, and has pulled the Nine Tails out of Naruto’s body. Sasuke confronts Madara, but seems to have been dealt a mortal blow. Madara has absorbed biju into himself and now has the power of the Sage of Six Paths. Sakura and Gaara try to save Naruto as Madara arrives at the scene. In this chapter, the truth about the Sage of Six Paths is revealed, as well as information about Obito. Gaara and Kakashi attack, but are knocked back. The end of the chapter sees Obito trying to fight against Madara’s control…

This is another big jump for me compared to where I currently am in the Naruto Shippuden anime. However, between what I do know and from the spoilers I have seen, I can make a bit more sense out of what’s going on. This chapter definitely ends on an interesting note, though, and I wonder if Obito will succeed in fighting off Madara or not.

One-Punch Man CH:033

The protagonist of One-Punch Man is Saitama, a super powerful hero who can easily defeat monsters and villains with one punch. However, after becoming too strong, Saitama becomes bored of his powers and is trying to find stronger opponents to fight with. At this point in the story, aliens attack City A, and Saitama has found a way into their ship and is wreaking havoc. While he hasn’t made it to the leader yet, he’s taken out a few underlings and parts of the ship. Saitama is given a warning to stop his destructive behavior and to retreat immediately. When the voice he hears in his head tries to guide him out, Saitama decides to do the opposite. Saitama finds the person who was talking to him, and it turns out to be a telekinetic…

This chapter was very action-packed. Unfortunately, by jumping into the middle of this series when it’s already this far along, I’m having a hard time truly understanding what’s going on right now. Hopefully as I read more chapters, I’ll start to better understand what’s going on in One-Punch Man.

All You Need Is Kill CH:006

When the alien mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is a recruit who is shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, but he is reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. Earlier in the series, Keiji realizes he’s stuck in some kind of time loop. He wants to take advantage of this to bring down the Mimics once and for all; unfortunately, the Mimics aren’t going to be easily defeated. When Keiji gets a depressed look on his face, he gets a knockout punch from a fellow soldier. After talking with Rachel, Keiji thinks she looks a bit like a librarian that he saw earlier. This chapter also shows highlights from four of the time loops that Keiji has gone through, and another one is just about to start when the chapter ends.

This was very hard to follow, even though it’s only the sixth chapter. It also doesn’t help that I’m not exactly a major fan of time loop stories after experiencing the eight “Endless Eight” episodes of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. I think this is going to be one of those series that I’ll have to read from the start at some point in order to have a better appreciation for it.

Toriko CH:267

Toriko is set in a world that’s ruled by the pursuit if the most delicious foods, and it’s a world where it’s eat or be eaten. Gourmet Hunter Toriko travels the world searching for the tastiest foods with hos bottomless stomach, and he faces any beast he encounters on his way. At this point, the Age of Gourmet is over, and more than 18 months have passed since Meteor Spice destroyed much of the Human World. People now struggle to find new food sources. The challenge is on to complete the former President’s Four-Course Meal. Toriko takes a quest to Biotope 1, where a secret Rest Room has been found that might have the missing Main Dish. It appears to be a rather old gourmet case. When the case is opened, it’s discovered that inside is the egg of the rare Billion Bird. At first, it appears that this will be the answer to their problems, but Toriko points out that the egg can only incubate and hatch under certain
conditions. After meeting these conditions and hatching the egg, they have gett the chick full grown and ready to eat. They succeed in getting it to lay eggs. However, the challenge now is to make the cooked Billion Bird taste good…

Even though I’m jumping into this particular manga so late in its run, I still had a relatively easy time following it and understanding what was going on. With the kind of shonen series that it is, I probably haven’t missed a lot of important information by jumping in at this point.

Bleach CH:569

At this point in Bleach, a group called the Vandenreich launches a simultaneous attack against the Soul Society and Ichigo in the World of the Living. Ichigo has learned the truth about his mother’s death and receives his true Zanpaku-to. Yhwach, the Quincy King, begins his final assault on the Soul Society and reveals the true nature of the Vandenreich. The Soul Society disappears and is replaced by the new Quincy kingdom. Rukia is facing off against As Nodt when Byakuya suddenly appears. Rukia and Byakuya face off against As Nodt together, and Byakuya finally recognizes Rukia’s strength.

This is another series where this is a major jump from where I am in either the anime or manga series. A lot has definitely changed in the series in the section of the story I haven’t seen yet. I was a little lost, but I really enjoyed this chapter anyway. I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter to find out what happens.

Nisekoi CH:111

Nisekoi is about Raku and Chitoge, the children of gangsters. Raku’s father arranges a false love match with Chitoge, the daughter of a rival gang leader. However, Raku is searching for his childhood sweetheart. He also discovers that three candidates have keys: Chitoge, Onodera (his current crush), and Tachibana (the police chief’s daughter). The chapter starts out with Seishiro and Paula inside a house, and Paula finding what she thinks if a jar of gummy candy. Seishiro tells Paula not to eat them, but she does anyway. It turns out it’s a prototype love drug of the Beehive Drag Development Division. Seishiro tries to keep anyone else from getting the candy, but Chitoge, Marika and Kosaki see it and end up eating one as well. After running into Raku, Seishiro finds she wants to hold him; however, she runs off before giving into the compulsion. After they end up in the nurse’s office together, Seishiro finds herself giving in…

This is another series I’m jumping into the middle of, and I was a little lost in regards to the various characters at first. I had to reread some of the pages two or three times before I figured out who Seishiro was. But now that I’ve read this chapter, I hope the other chapters going forward will be a little easier to follow as I learn more about the series.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:39

At this point in the series, Yuma and Astral are dueling with Kaito. In an adjacent arena, Yagumo and Shark begin a duel. Luna and the members of the Numbers Club go into Dr. Faker’s lab to try to find the controls to stop an interdimensional rift from destroying the world. This chapter focuses on Yuma’s duel and on Luna’s group finding Dr. Faker. A group of girls is also looking for Haruto.

This is another series where I’m experiencing a little bit of a jump. Prior to reading this volume of Weekly Shonen Jump, I had only read the first two volumes of the manga that had been released in the United States by Viz Media. So I’m going from Yuma just starting out to being involved in a major storyline. It’s a bit of a jump, but it looks like Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal seems to be going in similar directions to previous Yu-Gi-Oh! series, so that has helped to make this a little easier to follow than it might have been.