Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 133 (August 25, 2014)

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

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

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

One-Punch Man CH:036.2 + CH:037

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

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

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

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

Toriko CH:289

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

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

Naruto CH:689

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

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

One Piece CH:757

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

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

Nisekoi: False Love CH:135

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

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

Bleach CH:593

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

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

World Trigger CH:072

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

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

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:45

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

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

Viz Media to Preview Almost All New Shonen Jump Series from Japan

Viz Media announced the company’s new “Jump Start” initiative during its live Weekly Shonen Jump podcast recording at Japan Expo USA.

The “Jump Start” initiative will run the first three chapters of “almost every single” new series that debuts in Shueisha’s original Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan. The first series under the “Jump Start” campaign will launch in both the Japanese and English versions of Weekly Shonen Jump magazine on September 8, 2014. Two more series will then debut in September. The titles of these new series have yet to be announced in Japan.

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

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

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

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

© 1996 KAZUKI TAKAHASHI

© 2011 NAS•TV TOKYO

© 1999 Masashi Kishimoto

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 132 (August 18, 2014)

Weekly Shonen Jump is off this week in Japan, due to the Obon holidays. However, Viz Media has released a bonus issue this week, which focuses on the Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee manga series. I’d already read the first volume of Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee prior to reading this issue.

After the first few pages of the manga, a page has been added that explains the various terms that appear in the series. This is followed by an advertisement for the manga series, and then the manga story itself continues.

Tegami Bachi: Lettter Bee is set in AmberGround, a land of perpetual night that’s only partially illuminated by an artificial sun. The main character of the story is Lag Seeing, a boy we first meet after his mother was kidnapped and he was sent as a “delivery” to his aunt. A Letter Bee named Gauche Suede makes the delivery, and Lag idolizes him and wants to become a Letter Bee himself. Five years later, Lag leaves the village he’s lived in with his aunt to go through the interview process in order to become a Letter Bee.

Throughout the material that’s included in this issue, “heart” becomes a major theme. It heart that’s used to fight against giant insects called Gaichuu, and heart is mentioned several times when Gauche talks about sending letters. I should also point out that whenever the word “heart” appears in the text, it always appears in bold letters. Making that word be in bold every time it appears is a clue to the reader that heart will play an important role in the story.

Ultimately, what ends up being included in this issue is the vast majority of the first volume of Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee. While I’d read this material before, it’d been a while since I last read it. This issue helped to refresh my memory of what I’d read previously. Just like when I read the first volume previously, reading this issue reignited the intrigue I felt after I first read this material a few years back. At some point, I really do need to get try to read the other volumes of the series that have been released.

I also wanted to add that the art in Tegami Bachi, Letter Bee is very bright; Asada uses a lot of white and contrasts to make the art seem brighter than what you would normally expect to see in a manga. Because of this look, the art in this manga really stands out in comparison to most other manga out there.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 130 (August 4, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Bleach, One Piece, Nisekoi: False Love, Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, World Trigger, Naruto, Toriko, One Punch-Man, and Blue Exorcist.

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.

Bleach CH:591

In this chapter, the Arrancar zombies recognize some of the Soul Reapers around them, while others are looking for the person who defeated them earlier. Mayuri uses an electric shock to shut them up and keep them under control. The Quincy is unimpressed by the fact the Soul Reapers now have their own zombies; many of the Soul Reapers on the ground object, since the zombies the Quincy has are former members of Squad 11. It becomes a battle of zombies. One of the Arrancar zombies, however, targets the Quincy instead of the other zombies. The Quincy sends Bambi to take him on, and he succeeds in taking her out. However, another individual comes out onto the battlefield…

At least this chapter is starting to progress the story a little, even though quite a bit of it was talk between some of the characters. However, call me a cynic, but bringing in this new player onto the battlefield just feels like Kubo trying to stretch the story out in order to keep it going. I should mention that I just watched Bleach DVD Set 10 recently, which included the episode where Uryu defeated Cirucci Sanderwicci, so I was tickled to see her as
one of the Arrancar zombies that appeared in this chapter.

One Piece CH:755

This chapter opens with the group by the scrap heap trying to find a way out. The action quickly moves to the Smile Factory, where the Tontattas are rioting. Mouji, the aide to Princess Mansherry, is trying to find her to determine whether or not she’s really ill. He breaks through a door to find it’s only an empty storeroom. As the Tontattas try to leave through the front door, they are confronted by the Smile Factory manager and her suction machine. Franky appears and saves the Tontattas. Then, the story moves back to the Pica statue, where Zoro continues his battle. Right at the end of the chapter, we see where Princess Mansherry is…

Phew! This is a another extremely action-packed chapter that jumps around to several locations; however, it seems to pause the longest at the Smile Factory. The interactions between Franky and the manager are kind of funny, and do help to lighten the mood somewhat and also provide a breather for the reader. So many of the panels in the recent One Piece chapters have been so busy, that it can be a little overwhelming at times. But I suspect the story is going to continue going this way for a while, until Oda decides he’s ready to wrap up this particular story arc.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:133

This chapter sees the continuation of the beauty contest at the school festival. When Kosaki introduces herself, she makes the same mistakes that her younger sister made. The end result is that the sisters tie for first place; however, the rules state that there must be a tiebreaker round. When Haru decides she wants to quit, she bumps into Raku and tells him that her friend forced her to enter. He says he’s rooting for her; when Haru asks if he should be rooting for her sister, Raku says he’s rooting for both of them. Haru tells Raku that he’d better vote for her sister. And then it’s time for the final round of judging. Kosaki goes on, and Haru decides to be fashionable late…

So we get the beauty contest whittled down to the two sisters, both of whom have feelings for Raku. And both sisters were forced to enter the contest by a friend. And of course the chapter was done in such a way that the winner wasn’t revealed in this chapter, meaning that the beauty contest will be going for a third chapter. Hopefully the next chapter will actually end this story arc and the series can progress on to something else, because for me, the beauty contest is starting to wear out its welcome.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:024

In this chapter, Yu, Shinoa, and some of the others are out for a drive. Over the course of the chapter, they leave at least two of their friends behind and force them to walk. Kimizuki doesn’t take it lying down, though, and uses his power to catch back up to them and get back into the vehicle. They are heading to the Ebina Rest Stop, and they are informed of Lt. Colonel Guren Ichinose’s orders. They are supposed to be involved, somehow, and Shinoa expects to receive detailed orders when they reach the rendezvous point. When then see Guren and his group interacting with each other at the rendezvous point. We then return to Yu and the others, who are now running late to the rendezvous. They get yelled at for being late, and Yu steps up and takes responsibility.

This chapter is working at leading up to a major battle with the vampires to protect the human race. Personally, I found the beginning of the chapter with Shinoa trying to leave people behind a waste of time, and it felt more like “time kill” than truly adding anything of substance to the story. The way the chapter ends, it’s obvious the mangaka wanted that to be the way it ended; so I think in order to get the right amount of pages, they added that bit in. I think it may have also been included to lighten the mood before the serious briefing takes place. Hopefully the next chapter will start getting the battle underway by the end of it.

World Trigger CH:070

In this chapter, Osamu is told to escape while he can, and he’s told where the Black Trigger that broke into the base is located. Meanwhile, the Black Trigger is in the middle of a fight in the training room. After some exchanges, the training mode is terminated. Director Shinoda heads toward the training room and takes on the Black Trigger. The fight between them is just getting going when the chapter ends…

Finally, it feels like this story is starting to actually go somewhere! For several weeks, it felt like this manga was in a holding pattern, as if the mangaka was trying to stretch things out in order to make the fight and the story last longer. Hopefully World Trigger can continue progressing like it did in this chapter and not fall back into another holding pattern for a couple of months.

Naruto CH:687

In this chapter, Zetsu tells Kaguya to teleport to the root time-space in order to recover faster. Obito appears as if he’s going to die, and Naruto goes over to provide him with chakra; Obito tells him not to waste his chakra. Zetsu spends a bit of time taunting Obito. Just then, Sasuke’s ocular powers return, and he goes after Kaguya; as he does, Kaguya changes worlds again. Sasuke tells Naruto to leave Obito and help him, but Naruto is frustrated that he can’t help Obito. Before Obito crumbles away, he has some strong and encouraging words for Naruto. Zetsu makes fun of Obito, and this angers Naruto.

Admittedly, the story itself didn’t progress much in this chapter, but the scenes with Obito kept me riveted the whole time. I found myself feeling a bit sad when I saw that he crumbled away and really was dead this time. And I nearly cried when I read the final two pages of this chapter. But at the same time, I was very happy to see Obito finally be redeemed. But with Obito gone, how can Naruto and the others teleport if Kaguya disappears and leaves them behind? It’ll be interesting to see how this story continues; however, I hope Kishimoto doesn’t try to drag it out too much longer.

Toriko CH:287

In this chapter, the awakened Toriko fights against Heracles. As they fight, creatures begin fleeing, and the people of the Hex Food World are confused as to what’s going on. Meanwhile, Mappy and Komatsu make it to Slow Rain Hill, and they find air is dense due to being near a giant air tree. Zebra comes up behind them, and Komatsu fills him in on what’s going on with Toriko. Elsewhere, Brunch finds a heavy and huge sword that he pulls out. Right at the end of the chapter, Komatsu finds a huge air fruit…

So it looks like the fight between Toriko and Heracles didn’t take up as much of the chapter as I had expected it to. And really, what we saw of that fight wasn’t very epic, either. Most of the focus of this chapter seemed to be on Komatsu and his attempt to find air in order to help Toriko in his fight against Heracles. Since he found the fruit right at the end of this chapter, I expect that the next chapter will probably focus on him trying to get it.

One-Punch Man CH:036

As the power sphere comes crashing down, Saitama’s allies realize the danger and try to run for the headquarters; however, they’re not confident that they can make it in time. Then, Amai Mask arrives to find the city in ruins and he scolds someone for not doing their job properly. Amai Mask appears to be a snobby idol and looks down on the Class-S heroes. Their fighting is interrupted by the arrival of Metal Knight. The group of heroes find alien survivors. but Amai Mask kills them because they’re evil.

Finally, the fight between Saitama and Boros has come to an end, and this chapter was able to focus on characters other than Saitama! Also, it felt like the story actually started moving a little more! Unfortunately, I really have no idea who Amai Mask and these other heroes are due to jumping into this series after it’d been going for a while, so hopefully I can learn more about these characters in future chapters of One-Punch Man.

Blue Exorcist CH:059

Professor Geodin is insisting on going through with the procedure with Izumo, even though Shima’s trying to talk him out of it. Shima is sent to confront Rin and the others. Geodin talks to them through an intercom system, and he starts revealing his plan as Yukio starts putting some of the pieces together. Suddenly, Izumo is brought before Rin and the others. Rin tries to rescue Izumo, but Shima gets in the way. Rin is surprised to see Shima is the one confronting him. Rin tries to encourage Izumo to come with him, but she doesn’t react at first. However, when Rin grabs her wrist, Izumo tells him that she doesn’t need any help because this is her problem. Unfortunately, things get hectic and Kuro tells them they need to leave. We then see Izumo with Professor Geodin and saying she’s ready for the procedure…

The action in this chapter progresses much more than they had in the previous chapters I’ve read of Blue Exorcist. Unfortunately, the whole thing with Shima goes over my head, since I jumped into this manga in the middle of this particular story arc. Because of that, I’m sure I’m missing some important details and information that would have made this chapter an even stronger read. However, even though I may not have the background knowledge of someone who’s read this manga from the beginning, I could still tell that important things were taking place, and I found what was going on to be interesting. I suspect the next chapter will focus on Izumo getting the procedure and the aftermath of that.

Viz Media’s English Weekly Shonen Jump to Run Short Story by Kazue Kato

The August 4, 2014 edition of the English language Weekly Shonen Jump digital anthology has announced that the next issue will include a short story by Blue Exorcist author, Kazue Kato.

The short story is called Astronerd, which is included in Kato’s short story collection, Time Killers. Viz Media will be releasing Time Killers on September 2, 2014.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 129 (July 28, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Naruto, Bleach, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, One Piece, Toriko, and Hunter x Hunter. There’s also a series review for Psyren and a one-shot manga titled, Shikigami Twilight Days.

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:686

In this chapter, we see the Sage of Six Paths talking with the Hokage that have been reincarnated. Meanwhile, Kaguya is attacking Naruto’s shadows clones in an attempt to find the real one. Kakashi laments that he can’t do anything to help Naruto, but he hears Naruto declare that it’s not over yet. Suddenly, Sakura, Obito, and Sasuke arrive in the time-space that Naruto is in. With Naruto and Sasuke reunited, Kaguya unleashes a heavy gravity plane. Kaguya launches an attack on Naruto and Sasuke, and Kakashi and Obito go to act as shields…

So this battle continues on. While it had been exciting at first, I found myself thinking by the end of this chapter is that it feels like it’s beginning to drag on. The part right at the end with Kakashi and Obito was good, though. But most of the chapter did feel like the story is starting to bog down a little. Hopefully Kishimoto will be able to progress the battle soon and keep it from bogging down too much more.

Bleach CH:590

In this chapter, Mayuri arrives on the scene during the battle between the Soul Reapers and the Quincies. Mayuri talks down to the Quincy that he’s talking to, and she sends her companion Bambi to take on Mayuri. Bambi shoots some bombs, but they don’t go off when they’re supposed to; it turns out Mayuri has a reishi looking device that can halt the activity of spirit energy that in comes in contact with for a preset amount of time. The Quincy who can create zombies has created some from officers of the 13 court guard squads to attack. Right at the end of the chapter, Mayuri summons some Arrancars to fight the zombies…

Here’s another battle that’s starting to feel like it’s dragging out. And now there’s at least two or three different storylines going on, and one storyline will go for a while and then suddenly switch to the other briefly, just to return to the first storyline. While I like Bleach, I’m hoping that Kubo will work at trying to get this story progressing a little faster.

World Trigger CH:069

In this chapter, Chika is turned into a cube. Osamu blames himself, because he attacked instead of running away like Izumi told them to. Izumi tells Osamu that he can rescue Chika when he gets to the base. Osamu grabs the cube that’s Chika and starts heading for the base. Osamu is chased by the enemy, and Osamu has to figure out how to protect himself. At one point, Osamu is sent flying and loses his hold on the cube. Fortunately, he’s able to distract the enemy enough to be able to retrieve the cube. Replica arrives and says it’s come to escort Osamu and Chika. Just as they’re about to go, a Rabit appears in front of them…

Well, the story finally seem to advancing somewhat compared to previous chapters. Yes, we’re still in the middle of the same battle that we’ve been reading about for a few months now, but the event of Chika being turned into a cube finally forces Osamu to not only try to get back to the base, but he also has to really try to use the skills he’s learned to protect himself and Chika. Hopefully with this turn of events, the story of this battle can truly start going somewhere.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:132

In this chapter, the beauty contest for the school festival gets underway. Haru believes that she’ll be eliminated in the first round. We see that Shu is serving as the emcee for the event. When it’s Haru’s turn, she’s so flustered that she starts mispronouncing words when she’s interviewed. As she continues, she accidentally gives a shameless plug for her family’s shop, but the audience seems to think that Haru’s being cute. The contestant after Haru ends up being Paula. She goes on stage but doesn’t say anything before her turn is over. Marika is the next contestant after Paula. Marika takes off her outfit to reveal a bikini, but this causes her to be disqualified because overexposure is strictly forbidden at a high school festival. The five finalists are announced, and Haru advances. Right at the very end, the older Onodera is brought on stage as a special final contestant…

As I expected, this chapter focused on the beauty contest. It ended up focusing primarily on the first round of the contest. And since the contest didn’t end in this chapter, it will continue on into the next chapter. This puts focus on most of the members of the harem that attend the high school, because a lot of them are participating in the event as contestants. Chitoge is part of the competition, but she’s serving as a judge rather than as a contestant. Hopefully after this story’s done, we might see a little more progress on the overarching story of the locket…

One Piece CH:754

In this chapter, the focus is first on Team Kin’emon, which is located below the former royal plateau. The group decides that they want to leave where they are go up above. After this, the story returns to the second step of the new royal plateau, where Luffy and his group are, and they find themselves embroiled in another battle. As they’re about to get to the fourth step, their way is blocked by giant puppets. And then the story moves to the top of the Pica statue, where Zoro is in the middle of a battle…

And this chapter yet again does some jumping around. While it’s not quite as bad as the jumping around that’s been taking place over the past couple of chapters, it’s still jumping around. But near the end of the chapter, I was happy to see Zoro because I hadn’t seen him in a while. It was awesome to see Zoro acting so badass. Hopefully we’ll see more of Zoro in the upcoming chapters!

Toriko CH:286

This chapter sees a flashback of Toriko and the others each receiving one vial of curing water. We also learn in this flashback that Toriko actually has two demons inside of him instead of just one. Then we see the continuation of where the previous chapter ended, with Toriko lying on the ground after being knocked down by Heracles. A small air tree begins increasing its production and letting off a fragrant smell. We then see the blue demon inside of Toriko taking over his body. The awakened Toriko grabs the fruit from the air tree and consumes it. With the power of the blue demon, Toriko attacks Heracles…

Well, then, this revelation of the two demons makes it feel like Toriko is trying to outdo Naruto. And ultimately, not a lot happens in this particular chapter. It’s basically just the air tree getting ready to bear fruit and the awakening of the blue demon that’s inside Toriko. Hopefully there will be an epic fight between the blue demon and Heracles in the next chapter.

Hunter x Hunter CH:348

This chapter opens with a Hunter final exam test taking place. They’re discovering there’s still a number of spies mixed in with the applicants, even though they thought that had weeded a lot of them out in the first round. Meanwhile, we see some guy who talks about him and his brothers, who are trying to get guards through the Hunter exam; all of these brothers hope to become the next king. Back at the Hunter exam, there’s a discussion going on as to whether or not someone could circumvent the double-layer trap. They also talk about the potential for Pariston to have already put a spy in place. Mizai then meets with the other Hunters and expresses that there’s a chance that there’s a mole among them. Right at the end of the chapter, we see that they have figured out who the informant is.

Ultimately, not a lot really takes place in this chapter. It primarily seems to be talking and “info dumping,” with maybe something minor to help move the story along. And hopefully later we can learn a little more about the brothers who are trying to get spies through the Hunter exam, because at this point, I personally don’t know much about them and how they fit into the overall story.

It should be noted that Hunter x Hunter will be off next week.

Series Review: Psyren

This feature is labeled as a “review,” but it feels more like an overview to explain to the reader about the characters and stories in the Psyren manga. The only parts that truly qualify as a review is the last paragraph of the section labeled, “Beginning of the End” and the final section (which is labeled as, “Complete Series”). It’s a very informative piece for readers who are unfamiliar with the series, even though the last little bit is the only part that can truly be called a review.

Shikigami Twilight Days

The story is set at a time when the Gates of Hell between Tokyo and the underworld were just about to open. The police are investigating a mutilation murder case that has just claimed its fifth victim. The victims are blown up, and the murderer leaves a happy face symbol at the scene of the crime; the attacker has become known as the “Smile Bomber.” A woman named Mako is a detective, and she supposedly had a power as a child to find things. Unfortunately, the only cases she gets are for missing cats three times a month. When she sees a report about the Smile Bomber, the case seems to pique her interest. Mako goes to where the investigating is taking place and tries to force her way onto the case, but the officer doesn’t let her. A boy comes by and says there’s weird people nearby. The cop sees them and chases after them. After he’s gone, it’s revealed the boy is Kyosuke, and has a talking fox. Kyosuke enters the crime scene and summons some shikigami to aid in finding anything that gives off a strange spiritual vibe. Kyosuke was sent by the Shikigami Association to investigate the Smile Bomber incidents. The shikigami find something, and it’s a yorishiro; it’s the used shell of the weapon the assailant used. He determines the murderer is someone trained to use shikigami, but that they’re an amateur. Kyosuke advises Mako not to get involved in the investigation, but she follows after them. When Mako picks up the shell, it reawakens her ability she had as a child. They return to the scene of the crime, and they see something there that attacks them. Kyosuke summons something to fight against it while he and Mako try to flee. Another creature that looks like the first one appears, and Kyosuke tries to attack it. A police officer comes and ends up shooting Kyosuke. It turns out the cop isn’t actually a cop…

This was a good one-shot manga, and it works both as a one-shot and as the launching point for a new manga series. It was a well-told for a one-shot, and with the way it ends, it would be possible to continue the story if the author wanted to. Personally, I think there’s an interesting premise here, and I like how the supernatural elements worked within the world that was established in this one-shot. I haven’t read Psyren, another work by this mangaka yet; however, after reading this one-shot, it makes me think that I need to find time to check out Psyren at some point.