Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 144 (November 17, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Takujo no Ageha: The Table Tennis of Ageha, Food Wars!, One Piece, Nisekoi: False Love, Bleach, Hi-Fi Cluster, Toriko, and World Trigger. In addition, this issue also includes the third chapter of Naruto as part of the “Jump Back” initiative, as well as an interview with Masashi Kishimoto and Kosuke Yahagi.

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

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

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

Takujo no Ageha: The Table Tennis of Ageha CH:001

This is the first series that’s part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s next batch of titles for their “Jump Start” initiative.

We briefly meet a ping pong player named Ageha Hanazono, who decides to return to Japan to learn from his former master in order to advance. We then meet Ririka Otsuka, a second-year high school student who lives at a table tennis center that’s owned by her grandfather. Ririka’s grandfather wants her to take over the table tennis center, but she has no interest. Ririka is a vain girl, and we see that she’s constantly being asked out by guys at school; however, she doesn’t think any of them are good enough for a gorgeous girl like her.

Ririka has a run-in with Ageha, and he’s not impressed with her, especially after hearing her call table tennis “lame.” It turns out that he’s a new student at Ririka’s school, and she decides to try to make her interested in her, even though she’s not interested in him. It doesn’t work, and she seems to make it her mission to make him fall for her over table tennis. When the former captain of the now disbanded table tennis team comes into the room, Ageha is told that no guy will let him play table tennis at school unless Ririka’s cool with him. Ageha challenges the guy, with Ririka adding the condition that if Ageha loses, he’ll never play tennis table at that school again.

It ends up being a best of three games match. Ageha wins the first match. Ririka’s grandfather shows up, and even the guy challenging Ageha recognizes him. Her grandfather reveals that Ageha is his student. Ageha wins the second match, and is delcared the winner at that point. Right at the end of the chapter, Ririka learns that not only is Ageha living at the table tennis center, he’s also her fiance.

Ok, where do I start with this? As I read this volume, a lot of what happened ended up being rather predictable. It was also full of tropes that have been overused in shonen manga. I nearly facepalmed at the end when I saw that Ririka and Ageha are engaged; my first thought was, “Oh, so we’re combining a typical shonen sports anime with Nisekoi: False Love.” With this first chapter, Takujo no Ageha: The Table Tennis of Ageha brings nothing new to the table. I found Ririka to be an annoying character, and I was also became more and more bored with this manga as I read through this chapter. The only reason I’ll read more at this point will be due to two more chapters of this series appearing in Weekly Shonen Jump.

In the end, I have to say that this series feels more derivative than Nisekoi: False Love; for me, that’s really saying something!

Food Wars! CH:095

This chapter sees Soma and Megumi in the empty dockside market, trying to come up with a strategy for in-season mackerel pike. We get to see a flashback of Soma and his father at this fish market, and Soma learning how to find a good sardine. After the flashback, Soma and Megumi realize they’ve already come to a dead end.

Meanwhile, Hayama is giving an interview, which includes him giving an explanation to the reporters as to how he’s able to detect the best pike by its scent. We also see Kurokiba being interviewed by reporters. Then it’s back to Soma, who’s brooding over how he can possibly compete with Hayama and Kurokiba. Right at the end of the chapter, he comes up with an answer and asks his friends for help…

So we go from a boring chapter of a table tennis anime to a chapter of a competitive cooking anime. Maybe it’s just my mood spilling over from the previous series chapter I just read, but I also found this one to be on the boring side. Soma’s part of the story is the most important, because it allows the reader to see that Soma isn’t as confident as he tries to portray himself to be. My favorite part of this chapter was Soma’s flashback.

One Piece CH:767

This chapter continues the flashback that we’ve been following for several chapters now. The Don Quixote Family arrives and goes to the hideout of the Barrels Pirates. Meanwhile, Law tries to talk with Corazon, but he can’t get anywhere before Doflamingo arrives. Corazon tries to hide Law from Doflamingo, while Doflamingo declares that he’ll have to raise Law so he knows to die for his sake. We then see Doflamingo kill Corazon…

With the way this chapter ends, it looks like there’s going to be at least one more chapter of flashback before we return to the main storyline. But, as I predicted last week, this chapter saw the end for Corazon. Now the main thing we have left to see is whether or not Law returns to Doflamingo or if he manages to actually get away. Even though this flashback’s been going for a while, I’ve really appreciated getting Law’s backstory. I do feel I understand him a bit better now.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:147

In this chapter, Yui’s bodyguard arrives in the classroom and sees Raku next to the collapsed Yui. The bodyguard asks Raku to help her get Yui home. After getting home, the bodyguard tells Raku that Yui usually collapses from being overworked about every three months. It’s revealed that Yui overworks herself because she doesn’t want to be alone again; when she was growing up, she was always alone because her parents were busy and they were also sickly. Raku is told that he’s the only person that Yui trusts. Yui awakens when the phone rings, and she starts panicking about all the things she needs to get done. Raku tells Yui that she needs to rest. Raku tells Yui he thinks of her as a sister and says he wants to help her when she’s got a heavy load to carry. The chapter ends with the Char Su group rushing to check on Yui.

OK, after reading this chapter I have to say that I’m starting to like Yui a little bit better than I had prior to reading this chapter. I can now understand why she insists on trying to help everyone. I still think she’s going to be manipulative when it comes to Raku, but at least I know why she acts that way. I honestly appreciated getting some more backstory for Yui in this chapter.

Bleach CH:605

This chapter opens with a brief discussion between Ukitake and Kyoraku. We then return to Yhwach and Ichibe Hyosube as they prepare to battle. It appears that Ichibe is getting the upper hand (literally) with his Thousand Ri Heavenly Hand. But Yhwach does something surprising that takes away Ichibe’s advantage.

For the most part, this chapter is basically another one that focuses on a short piece of a battle before quickly halting to a stop. My favorite part was getting to see Ukitake and Kyoraku; too bad we couldn’t have seen more of them! Outside of that, I really don’t have much to say about this chapter.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:009-010

Chapter Nine sees Kandera and Ichiro Noto facing off against each other. Peta, meanwhile, tries to get an injured Miri out of the area. As Peta talks to Miri about the case, he learns that Ichiro is the killer responsible for the 6/11 massacre and that he was on the police force at the time; specifically, he had been Kandera’s right hand man. It’s also revealed that it’s this incident that caused Kandera to start Special Unit Six. Back at Kandera’s battle, it looks like Ichiro will win; but we see Ekusa and Heckt appear to provide backup. Miri also tells Peta to back to Kandera so he can be their eyes for them. When Peta returns, they discover a kid on a statue appears to be in charge of Ichiro; the kid calls himself Landscape Mole, the name of the person who created the ability labels.

In Chapter 10, Ekusa and Heckt try to take on Landscape Mole, but he’s able to easily deflect their attacks because he has several Hi-Fi labels attached to him. Landscape Mole reveals that he has been involved with the killing four years earlier, and that it was just a demonstration to show what labels can do. He also explains why he created the labels. But it turns out he’s disappointed in how his invention ended up being integrated into society and that if someone doesn’t have the will to use a label, it’s useless. He also declares that he wants to start a revolution to redo the ability society with Hi-Fi loaders at its helm. But after this, both Landscape Mole and Noto disappear.

So we appear to have met the creator of the ability labels, and these chapters also seem to be setting the stage for something major to happen sooner rather than later. While I liked getting the backstory for the labels, there was just something about how these chapters were done that almost make me wonder if this manga may be wrapping up sooner rather than later. This plot point feels more like something that should be showing up closer to the end of the series, not this early on in it. I mean, we finally got the world and characters established when we get a storyline like this thrown out here. The ante is being upped a lot in a rather short amount of time. I hope I’m wrong about Hi-Fi Cluster potentially wrapping up and that I’m reading too much into what was presented in these two chapters.

Toriko CH:301

A lot of this chapter focuses on the Monkey King, and he’s playing around. We also get an explanation for what he’s doing, which is called Skipping Mountains. We finally get to see Toriko and the others, where they receive an explanation for the events and mutations that took place to create the Sundoriko Flower. Right at the end of the chapter, they find the Birthcry Tree.

Ultimately, not much takes place during this chapter. I know we needed some establishment for the Monkey King, but I thought there was a little much here. Outside of that, it was basically characters talking to each other. Hopefully a little more will take place in the next chapter.

World Trigger CH:083

In this chapter, Osamu wakes up and has a discussion with his mother. His mother says that Chika didn’t cry for him, so they need to become closer as siblings. Osamu is surprised to learn that people have visited him in the hospital. We also learn that Osamu had been unconscious for more than a week. When Chika wakes up from her nap, Osamu asks if Yuma has visited. She says he hasn’t in a bit. Later, Osamu is visited by Usami, and she shares with him the distinguished service awards that were recently handed out. He learns that Yuma received the Special Distinguished Services Award, and that he has received the Outstanding Distinguished Services award. After this, Yuma arrives, and Yuma tells Osamu that Replica still has to be alive somewhere. Right at the end of the chapter, Osamu receives a visit from Karasawa, the Business Director for Border.

Most of this chapter focuses on wrapping up the storyline we’ve been following for the past several months, and this also included several pages of Usami’s report on the various awards that had been handed out. While it was nice to know this information, it just felt like it took a little longer than it needed to, and that this bogged the chapter down somewhat. From what we see at the end, I expect that the visit from Karasawa is probably going to be laying the foundation for whatever the next story arc will end up being.

Naruto: The Beginning

This is a six-page feature that is an interview with Masashi Kishimoto and Kosuke Yahagi, the founding editor of Naruto and the current editor in chief of Jump SQ. The interview comes from the December 2014 issue of Jump SQ. Topics in the interview include how Kishimoto and Yahagi met, Kishimoto’s initial one-shot for Naruto and what worked for that one-shot and didn’t work for the Karakuri one-shot, the next couple of works Kishimoto worked on, how Naruto
almost didn’t make it into Shonen Jump, that Chapter 2 of Naruto was originally going to be Chapter 4, and other memories they have of those early chapters of Naruto.

Overall, it wasn’t too bad for what it was. While some of the information I already knew, I also learned a little more from reading this interview.

Naruto CH:003

This is the third chapter of the Naruto manga, which is being published as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative.

This chapter introduces Sakura Haruno and Sasuke Uchiha, two of Naruto’s classmates who become his teammates in Team 7. Before they meet their squad leader, Kakashi, Naruto disguises himself as Sasuke to try to learn what Sakura thinks of him. After learning her feelings, he decides to use the disguise to try to make Sasuke look bad.

So this chapter starts expanding Naruto’s world, and we now get to see him interact with a couple of his peers. This starts the love triangle between Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke that ends up playing an important role in the series. And of course, this chapter includes the infamous kiss…

And according to the end of this chapter, Chapter Four is supposed to be appearing in the next issue of Weekly Shonen Jump.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 143 (November 10, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Naruto, Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, One Piece, Toriko, Food Wars!, Hi-Fi Cluster, Blue Exorcist, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, and Bleach. In addition, this issue also includes the second chapter of Naruto as part of the “Jump Back” initiative.

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

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

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

Naruto CH:699

This chapter sees Sakura and Kakashi finding Sasuke and Naruto laying on the ground at the Valley of the End, and she uses her medical ninjutsu to stop their arm stumps from bleeding. As she does this, Sasuke apologizes for everything he’s done up to this point. We also see everyone being freed from the Infinite Tsukuyomi through Sasuke’s help. We learn that Kakashi is becoming the Sixth Hokage, and that Sasuke is being pardoned. Sasuke decides he needs to go on a journey in order to know what the world looks like to the current version of himself. Sakura asks if she can come with him, he says it’s a journey of atonement and that she has nothing to do with his crimes, and gives her a tap on the forehead just like Itachi used to do to him. At the end of the chapter, we see Naruto handing Sasuke his old Konoha headband.

This chapter did a fantastic job of wrapping up the overarching storyline, which of course was Naruto trying to bring Sasuke back. While there was a lot to be happy about, there were also parts that made this a bittersweet conclusion to this story arc. If this is the way the series had ended, I would have been satisfied with that. However, there’s still one more chapter to go, and it doesn’t appear until the end of this volume. Now I just have to make it through the other series and chapters in order to find out how Kishimoto brought the entire series to a close!

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:027

In this chapter, we see that Shinoa’s squad and Narumi’s squad have been given the task of going after Lucal Wesker, a fifteenth progenitor. Unfortunately, Yu keeps doing and saying things to annoy Narumi’s squad. The extermination mission has a goal of eliminating eight out of the ten vampire nobles in Nagoya within fifteen minutes. But when the squads begin their attack, they somehow mess up and Lucal senses their snipers’ presence. The snipersh havr to change plans and settle for going after regular vampires. As Yu tries to find Yoichi, he has a run-in with Lucal.

It took a little bit for the chapter to get going, but once the mission went underway, the remainder of the chapter went by quickly. Once the mission started, there was a lot more action taking place in the panels, which helped to make the last little bit of this chapter a quick read. With the mission finally underway, I imagine the next chapter will be a quicker read than many of the recent chapters of this manga have been.

One Piece CH:766

This chapter continues Law’s flashback and backstory. Cora brings the Op-Op fruit to Law and forces him to eat it. Cora is injured, and he asks Law to deliver something to a Navy scout ship on the west coast of the island; that something is a little tube that can save a place called Dressrosa. When Law finds someone to give the message to and to help Cora, it turns out to be Vergo, who had a mission from the family to infiltrate the Navy. Vergo starts beating up Corazon for being a traitor. Doflamingo arrives on the island, but Law and Corazon are able to give Vergo the slip. The chapter ends with what looks like will bring about the end for Corazon.

After reading this chapter, I feel even more confident that this section of flashback will be wrapping up sooner rather than later. I definitely have a better idea of the type of character that Law is and why he acts the way he does. Is it just me, or have the recent chapters really turned Corazon into a likable character? Even though I already know that Corazon is going to die, I still can’t help but root for him to find a way to avoid that fate.

Toriko CH:300

At the beginning of this chapter, Zebra increases the sharpness of his voice cutter and gets a hit in on Master Gorilla Taurus. Coco contributes to the fight with Drip Poison and Toriko contributes Flying Fork. By launching this attack, they force the master to show his true form. Toriko and the others are able to cover themselves with armor as the master attacks; he destroys everything except for where they’re standing. After this, quite a bit of the remainder of the chapter focuses on the fight with the master. Toriko and the others defeat the master, which brings about the collapse of the north mountain area’s rules.

This chapter focused very heavily on action sequences. But I’m happy that the fight with Master Gorilla Taurus wasn’t stretched out to a ridiculous amount of time. But it’s also hinted that perhaps defeating this master could throw the natural order of things out of whack. But to be honest, I really don’t have a whole lot to say about this particular chapter.

Food Wars! CH:094

This chapter sees Soma and Megumi heading to the market to try to find some pike for Soma to try and cook before the finals. While they’re there, they run into Kurokiba and Alice. Megumi, as well as the audience, is given a lesson on how to select pike for cooking. When Soma and Kurokiba disagree on which pike is better, Kurokiba challenges Soma to making sashimi to prove which one of them has the better eye for fish. When they finish, Megumi is asked to judge which one is better. She has to say that Soma’s fish has a weaker texture. Megumi and the reader are then given an explanation about the “rigor index” and the “cohesiveness” of a fish’s meat. After hearing that the third competitor also has a good eye, Soma realizes that he’s at a disadvantage.

This chapter ended up being one with a lot of explanation to it, and not much action. While the explanation was important, it just felt like it was bogging down the chapter for me, and I was having to try to force myself to stay awake and focus on the chapter. Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m wanting to get to the final chapter of Naruto, which is the very last chapter in this week’s edition of Weekly Shonen Jump. Hopefully next week’s chapter of Food Wars! will be a more interesting read.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:008

In this chapter, Kandera jumps in and starts taking on the guy on the killing spree that has a Hi-Fi label. Peta is able to detect where the culprit will move to next, so Kandera suggests that the two of them work together to finish off the guy. Kandera’s plan works, and the bad guy is taken down. Afterwards, Peta asks Kandera if he had been involved in the Shibuya incident four years earlier; Kandera says, “Yeah, a little.” Peta also guesses that Kandera was the sole survivor of the special ops team back then. It turns out it was that incident that caused Kandera to lose his right hand. Kandera also reveals that he wasn’t the only survivor on his team. Some guy suddenly comes down, attacks Miri, and recognizes Kandera.

When I read the previous chapter, I had guessed that Kandera had somehow been involved in the incident that took place four years earlier, but I hadn’t come up with any specifics. Even if I had, I don’t think I would have guessed any of these revelations! At this point in the series, I have to say that Kandera is the most interesting character. It almost seems like Kandera should be the main character of Hi-Fi Cluster, not Peta.

Blue Exorcist CH:062

Professor Gedoin decides to use the Mask of the Chosen to force a demon to possess him because he believes that he’s the chosen one. After the mask does its thing, Gedoin declares that he’s demonically special. He turns into a necrophager and starts eating up all of the zombies. Izumo declares that she needs to fight, and calls on those who have gone on before her for their strength; Uke and Mike appear when she summons them. Izumo asks everyone to help protect her while she’s chanting a prayer. She finishes chanting to prayer to purify Gedoin as the chapter ends…

Recently, I read Volume 12 of the Blue Exorcist manga, which included Izumo’s backstory as well as the setup for this story arc. Now that I’ve read that, I have a much better understanding and appreciation for what’s been happening in not only this chapter, but the other chapters of this story arc that I’ve read since I started reading Weekly Shonen Jump back in late February/early March. Now that I understand it more, I’ve come to realize just how powerful of a story arc this is. I’m guessing that this arc will probably wrap up within the next couple of chapters, so I’m curious to see where the story of Blue Exorcist is going to go from here.

World Trigger CH:082

In this chapter, we see members of Border freeing people who are trapped in the rubble from the fighting. Meanwhile, Osamu is in the hospital, and Yuma is trying to find Replica. We see Osamu having a dream, which is actually flashbacks about the troubles Osamu had in getting into Border. At the end of the flashback, Osamu awakens and sees Chika and his mother watching him.

So the majority of this chapter ends up being a flashback/dream of Osamu’s. Since I didn’t jump into this story until this story arc was already in progress, I have no idea if anything from the flashback/dream has appeared in the series before or not. But because I jumped into the series so late, getting to see these scenes gives me a little more background on Osamu. So it doesn’t look like this story arc is completely over yet, but at least the battle that had been waging for some many chapters has finally concluded. This chapter makes for a nice break in the action.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:146

In this chapter, we see how popular Yui is becoming with the students at the school. Raku wants to offer her as much support as he can, but lately, he’s feeling like she really doesn’t need support from anyone. Raku talks with her and expresses his concerns. At home, Yui “accidentally” walks in on Raku while he’s taking a bath. After the incident, Yui’s bodyguard tells Raku to be more aware of Yui and to take her seriously. Right at the end of the chapter, Yui collapses.

I think it’s safe to say that Yui collapsed from working too hard, since we saw her doing so much for everybody at the beginning of the chapter. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m really not a fan of Yui. She comes across as a manipulator when it comes to Raku, and at times, it comes across as if her being such a good person is really an act of some kind; she comes across as being “too perfect.” While she’s not as annoying as Marika, I still don’t like her that much. I suspect this storyline will continue in the next chapter.

Bleach CH:604

This chapter sees Renji and Rukia coming upon the Quincies who are being targeted for death by the light that’s coming down. Other Soul Reapers are seeing the lights coming up from the Seireitei. The story returns to Etsu, where he learns what’s going on; the lives and powers of unnecessary Quincies and distributing them to those who need it. Right at the end of the chapter, we see Yhwach coming face-to-face with Ichibe Hyosube.

How come it seems like with each chapter of Bleach recently, not much is really happening? For me, each chapter is a quick read, but with the end of each chapter, I feel as if I’m not satisfied. The way Kubo has been stretching this story out more and more is starting to be a little depressing. I love the earlier chapters of Bleach that I know, but the more of these recent chapters I’ve read, the less I’m starting to care. Maybe this is due in part to skipping ahead to much later in the series and missing out on various developments that led to where the story is now, but I don’t know.

Naruto CH:002

This is the second chapter of the Naruto manga, which is being published as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Back” initiative.

This chapter introduces Konohamaru, the grandson of the Third Hokage, as well as Ebisu, Konohamaru’s tutor. After having a run-in with Naruto, Konohamaru decides he wants to become Naruto’s disciple. Naruto learns that Konohamaru is upset because people only see him for who he’s related to, and not for who he himself is. Ebisu finds the two of them, and gives Naruto he ugly look that he always gets from the adults in the village who only see him for the fox demon he has inside of him instead of who he himself is. Naruto combines his shadow clones with his sexy jutsu in order to get rid of Ebisu. At the end of the chapter, Konohamaru decides he no longer wants to be Naruto’s disciple; instead, he wants to be Naruto’s rival.

It’s been kind of fun for me to be re-reading these early chapters that are appearing in Weekly Shonen Jump. It’s a nice reminder to remember where the characters and the story started, and then to realize just how much things have changed between that point and the end of the series. I do like how Naruto and Konohamaru have a similar issue of being seen by others for something out of their control instead of the people they are. Ultimately, even though Konohamaru wants to become Naruto’s rival, he ends up becoming a lot like Naruto as the series progresses.

Naruto CH:700

Ahhh… I finally made it to the final chapter! I’d heard little bits about it on social media due to people posting spoilers, but it was nice to finally be able to see it for myself. As I’d heard, it’s a chapter set in the future, where we see many of the main characters are now married and have kids of their own, and the kids are now in the academy. When it comes to the various couples, I’d figured out most of them over the course of the series, but there was at least one that totally caught me off-guard.

This was a nice way to wrap everything up, although I know there’s some shippers upset that their shippings were capsized by the existence of this chapter. Right now, we know the movie is coming up that will help bridge some of the gap between Chapter 699 and 700. I wonder if the manga mini-series that’s supposed to be released in Spring 2015 will continue to bridge the gap.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 142 (November 3, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Food Wars! (which has officially joined the Weekly Shonen Jump lineup), Naruto, World Trigger, One-Punch Man, Bleach, Nisekoi: False Love, Hi-Fi Cluster, and Toriko. In addition, this issue also includes a new title for the “Jump Back” initiative: Naruto. There’s also a thank you section dedicated to Masashi Kishimoto.

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

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

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

Food Wars! CH:093

Food Wars! officially joins Weekly Shonen Jump‘s lineup this week, starting with Chapter 93.

Soma Yukihira, the main character of the series, 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. He has run-ins with Erina Nakiri, the heiress of the school, who has a strong dislike for Soma because of his low-class ways.

At this point in the story, the Fall Classic is taking place, which is a high-stakes tournament that determines the best first-year students at Totsuki Institute. After two competitors tie in the semifinals after Soma secures a place in the finals, it’s decided to have all three of the contestants battle it out for the title.

The theme for the ingredient of the final round is announced: mackerel pike. This turns out to be an ingredient that plays to each of the contestants’ strengths. It’s then announced that the final round will begin in ten days. Right at the end of the chapter, we see Soma heading out to the market to try to get some pike and cook it.

My first exposure to Food Wars! came from a preview chapter that ran in Weekly Shonen Jump back in March 2014; admittedly, that first chapter didn’t do very much for me. But now reading this chapter that’s a lot further into the series, I found that the series appears to be a little better than I initially gave it credit for. It’s not a great series, but it’s not bad, either. The main thing is that it’s going to take probably another two or three more chapters until I feel like I have any real understanding of the series.

Naruto CH:698

This chapter opens with Naruto talking to Kurama, who tells Naruto that Sasuke is lost to him, with Naruto retorting that he won’t give up and will succeed in saving Sasuke. After managing to counter Sasuke’s attack, Kurama gives Naruto some advice, as well as what remains of Kurama’s chakra. Sasuke uses Kaguzuchi, while Naruto uses his Rasengan, and the two of them collide with their attacks; this causes an explosion.

We then see Naruto and Sasuke awakening after being unconscious, and it’s revealed that if either one of them moves too much, they’ll bleed out and die. The two of them have a conversation, which leads to Sasuke having an inner monologue about his feelings for Naruto. At the end of the chapter, Sasuke acknowledges Naruto, and it’s revealed exactly how injured the two of them are in the very last panel.

If I hadn’t already known that the series was winding down, this chapter would have clued me into that. But now that Sasuke has acknowledged Naruto, how will this story ultimately end? Also, the injuries that they have… I don’t think that even Sakura, with her knowledge of medical ninjutsu, can do much for that! So what’s going to happen with that, I wonder. That last panel ended up being rather powerful; unfortunately, I stumbled onto it as a spoiler last week on Twitter, so it didn’t surprise me as much as it would have if I hadn’t seen it. But when I stumbled upon that spoiler, it surprised me then. I can’t believe next week will be the end…

Thank You Masashi Kishimoto

This is a two-page spread of words from various people who have been involved with the English release of the Naruto manga over the years. This time, everyone included had an editing position of some kind.

World Trigger CH:081

Chikako’s cube is found, but Osamu is losing too much blood. A tourniquet is put on Osamu, and he’s taken to the nearby medical center. Meanwhile, there’s still some Neighbors around, and we see Satori appear to help out with them. Arashi-Yama Squad also arrives to help out. Kako and Kuroe from Kako Squad also appear on the scene. We see the Humanoid Neighbors and learn that they had to leave Hyuse behind. However, it’s declared that their original objectives have been met. Back with the humans, it’s revealed that various trainees are now missing.

This chapter takes care of the final clean up and wrapping up of the battle that we’ve been following for the past few months. Thank goodness this battle finally came to an end! I suspect the next chapter will see the characters going through the aftermath of the battle, trying to figure out what’s happened and how they’re going to proceed from this point.

One-Punch Man CH:039

This chapter sees Genos bringing in parts from the defeated G4, and asks Professor Kuseno to use them to help make him stronger. The professor asks to meet Saitama, and also asks Genos if he’s found any leads on the cyborg that destroyed his home. Meanwhile, we see that Sitch has summoned the denizens of the underworld to Hero Association Headquarters. One of the attendees is Sonic, who asks where Saitama is; he says that if Saitama isn’t there, then he’s leaving. Sonic also reveals the information that Sitch was going to tell the crowd before he hands anything out.

The chapter provided me with some background on Genos, since I knew nothing about him before the storyline with King started due to jumping into One-Punch Man quite a ways down the line from the beginning. At least I truly know who he is now, so that should help as I continue reading this series in the future. This chapter is also establishing the next story arc, and with the arrival of Sonic, this could have an interesting turn.

(NOTE: Due to only having started One-Punch Man with Chapter 33 earlier this year, I had originally included incorrect information in this write-up concerning Sonic. The write-up has since been updated to include the correct information. A special thanks to “Payattention” for pointing out the mistakes.)

Bleach CH:603

This chapter sees Etsu and Yhwach facing off against each other. But the scene quickly changes to seeing at least a couple of the female Quincies are still alive. They are approached by Robert Accutrone, who tells them that Yhwach went above without them and declaring that they were deemed unnecessary for the coming battle. A light suddenly comes down and sucks Accutrone away, and part of one of the girls’ wings is also taken away.

It appears that Yhwach is sucking up energy from the Quincies that we saw in this chapter in order to have more when fighting against Squad Zero. But for the most part, not much really seems to happen here. This chapter feels like it’s just setting up for the battle between Yhwach and Squad Zero; hopefully the next chapter will really get this battle going.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:145

This chapter takes place during the school sports festival. It appears that Chitoge, Raku, and Onodera have ended up on the same team, and Marika and Tsugumi are on the same team. Tsugumi wins the race for their grade. Next, Chitoge and Raku are paired up for the three-legged race. They lead the pack, but then find they have to do a balloon-hug challenge, where they have to squeeze each other and pop a balloon before crossing the finish line. After a bit of a struggle, they manage to pop it. Onodera is then part of the bread-eating contest. Later, Marika tricks Raku into changing into a headband that reads, “I Love Marika” on it. It’s then time for the scavenger hunt; three of Raku’s potential love interests are involved, and they need to find “that special someone.”

Sigh. It’s another chapter where Shu tries to put Raku in strange situations involving some of his potential love interests. Sometimes, these stories help to provide character development for the characters, but mostly they just feel like a way to kill time and stretch out the story so Komi can avoid progressing the overarching story in order to make the manga last longer. I tend to not enjoy these kinds of chapters when I’m reading Nisekoi: False Love.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:006-007

Chapter Six sees Heckt activating quite a few abilities at once; by being able to use labels simultaneously, he can take on the industrial machines. It’s powerful, but he can only use it for three minutes at most. We also get information from Kandera on how Heckt joined Special Unit Six. Suddenly, a larger industrial machine appears, and Heckt manages to take it down on his own.

Chapter Seven sees Peta getting a call from Miri telling him to come to Shibuya. Someone on an Internet message board announced they would be going on a killing spree here, which sounds a lot like a killing spree that happened four years earlier. Peta is asked to scour the premises to see if he can find the culprit. This chapter also starts letting us see some backstory for Kandera as well. The culprit shows up, and Peta uses his ability to confirm that he has a Hi-Fi label. Kandera comes in and is about to take on the culprit when the chapter ends…

These two chapters conclude one story arc and begin a new one. While we got a brief bit of backstory for Heckt, we got a little more for Kandera during Chapter Seven. I’m appreciating getting these backstories because it’s helping me to start to better understand these characters and why they act the way that they do. I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter, because I suspect there’s going to be more backstory revealed for Kandera during it.

Toriko CH:299

At the beginning of this chapter, Kaka finds a flower called a Sundoriko, and that it’s essential to take with them on their journey since it might save their lives. This flower’s pollen is the cause of many mass extinctions that have taken place in Area 7 in the past. They return to the surface and encounter a monkey who’s supposed to kill them; Toriko threatens it with the flower’s pollen. But he uses the antidote and sea cucumber to help the monkey regain his fluids and not die. Right at the end of the chapter, Toriko and the others are taken to one of the masters, and Toriko declares that he’s going to break the rules of the continent in half.

This chapter spends a lot of time establishing the Sundoriko and the effects of its pollen. But as Toriko and the others learn more about Area 7 and how it operates, the more Toriko comes to realize that there’s too many rules for the animals who should be wild and free. I thought it was nice to see Toriko take mercy on the monkey that attacked them after the flower shot pollen at it. And it appears the stage has been set for the next conflict to take place in the next chapter of Toriko.

Naruto CH:001

Weekly Shonen Jump begins a second series for its “Jump Back” initiative, and this time the magazine is highlighting the early chapters of Naruto. It was decided to focus on Naruto since the series is concluding next week.

Naruto, the title character of the series, is an orphan who has decided that he will one day become the Hokage (the leader) of the village where he lives. Unfortunately, Naruto isn’t the best of students at the ninja academy, and he’s constantly pulling pranks to force people to pay attention to him. It turns out that, unknown to Naruto, the fourth Hokage sealed a fox demon that was attacking the village into Naruto when he was a baby. The Hokage died soon after, but he had hoped that the villagers would view Naruto as a hero. Instead, the adults of the village shunned him, hence why Naruto feels such a need to act outrageously in order to get noticed. The third Hokage, who took the position back after the death of the fourth Hokage, decreed that disclosure of Naruto’s secret is strictly forbidden under severe penalty. While Naruto’s peers know nothing of his secret, many have picked up their parents’ animosity toward him and perpetuate it.

After Naruto fails to graduate from the ninja academy, he’s tricked by Mizuki, one of the instructors, to steal a sacred scroll. While Naruto has the scroll, he learns a cloning technique that becomes his signature jutsu during the series. Iruka goes to find Naruto, and when he does, Naruto wants to demonstrate that he’s learned how to produce shadow clones that he had been unable to produce before, and also says that it was Mizuki who told him about it. Before they can go any further, Mizuki attacks. During this, Mizuki reveals to Naruto that he has the fox demon sealed inside of him. As Mizuki throws a large shuriken to kill Naruto, Iruka jumps in to protect him. And when it seems that Mizuki is going to kill Iruka, Naruto is able to display his new talent for shadow clones and save the day. At the end of the chapter, Naruto becomes a full-fledged shinobi.

It doesn’t matter how much I watch or read this part of Naruto, it still affects me every time. The opening of Naruto is just so strong, and it’s easy to see why this series ended up becoming as popular as it did. Readers, especially teenagers, can empathize with the alienation and sadness that Naruto goes through. From here, Kishimoto went on to build an incredible world and a diverse cast of characters that fleshed out this world. According to the end of this chapter, Chapter Two will appear in next week’s edition of Weekly Shonen Jump.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 141 (October 27, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Hi-Fi Cluster (which has officially joined the Weekly Shonen Jump lineup), One Piece, Naruto, Nisekoi: False Love, One-Punch Man, Toriko, World Trigger, Bleach, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. In addition, this issue also includes the fourth chapter for Death Note as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s new “Jump Back” initiative. There’s also a thank you section dedicated to Masashi Kishimoto and a con report from New York Comic Con.

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.

Hi-Fi Cluster CH:004-005

Hi-Fi Cluster, which had recently been featured as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Jump Start” initiative, has officially joined the lineup of Weekly Shonen
Jump
. This issue includes two chapters in order to start catching up with the Japanese publication.

Chapter Four picks up right where Chapter Three ended. Kandera discovers that that the top brass hasn’t told them everything that they needed to know before going on this assignment, and they get some additional information from the highway patrol. Ekusa takes on the gang, but they split up, and Peta seems to figure out which one is the leader that they need to pursue. Ekusa manages to catch up with the leader, and Kandera is the one who ultimately apprehends him.

Chapter Five sees Peta meeting Heckt Okada, the guy in charge of Special Unit Six’s intelligence gathering and infiltration work. Heckt is the sort of person who doesn’t like making any effort, so when he shows up he’s asleep 80 percent of the time. A new case is also introduced: ten humanoid industrial machines that can be used with ability labels were stolen and it’s their job is to retrieve the robots and arrest the thieves. Heckt is sent to scope out suspicious people in a busy club because Peta’s ability doesn’t work with so many people around. We learn that Heckt’s Hi-Fi ability is the power to decipher all of the conversations that are taking place in a location. With Heckt’s help, they’re able to find the suspects and track them to their hideout. Unfortunately, the industrial machines are launched just as the chapter ends…

I’m glad to see that Hi-Fi Cluster was the series that was selected to become a regular part of Weekly Shonen Jump, because to me, this was the strongest of the four titles that were part of the “Jump Start” initiative. I’m glad to finally know how the storyline that introduced Ekusa ended. And we also get to meet another new character, which helps to expand the world of Hi-Fi Cluster. These early chapters are still working at trying to establish the characters and the world that they inhabit, but these establishing chapters aren’t that boring. There’s enough action to keep the story interesting as the establishing is still going on.

One Piece CH:765

At the beginning of this chapter, we’re still in Law’s flashback. At this point, Corazon and Law run into Doflamingo, who tells them they may have found a way to cure Law’s illness. It requires that Corazon eat the Op-Op Fruit to allow him to be the one to cure Law. But as we later see, Doflamingo suspects that Corazon has been the one leaking information about them to the Navy. Corazon realizes that Doflamingo’s caught on, so he comes up with a plan to steal the Op-Op Fruit before Doflamingo can get his hands on it; Corazon uses his contacts in the Navy to get pertinent information. After his phone call, he discovers Law collapsed on the ground with a fever. At the end of the chapter, Corazon manages to get his hands on the Op-Op Fruit, but he’s seen before he can get back to where Law is…

At this point, we’re definitely getting closer to the end of this flashback. While I’ve enjoyed getting Law’s backstory, I’m starting to hope that we’ll be returning to the main storyline soon so this story arc can continue. His backstory isn’t bad or anything, it’s just taking a little longer than I had anticipated to get it told.

It should be noted that One Piece will not be in next week’s edition of Weekly Shonen Jump and will return in the November 10, 2014 issue.

Naruto CH:697

Sasuke launches his most powerful move, which causes an explosion that knocks the heads off both of the statues at the Valley of the End; Sasuke also collapses on the ground. Sasuke is surprised to see Naruto get back up after the blast; Kurama’s Nature Energy had managed to reach Naruto before he was hit with Sasuke’s blast. But then Sasuke uses Amaterasu, but then Sasuke discovers he’s used up too much chakra so he can’t maintain control or use his left eye’s ability, either. Sasuke gets a shock when Naruto and two of his shadow clones run toward him and they work at beating him up; Sasuke fights back, but it’s not at the power he’d been at. But after a short bit, Sasuke’s getting the upper hand again…

Oh, no! I was really hoping that Naruto would get the upper hand by the end of this chapter! So their fight will definitely continue into the next chapter, and hopefully it’ll either conclude at the end of the next chapter or right at the very beginning of the following chapter. Even with that wish, I have to admit that this fight between the two of them is actually rather exciting. I still can’t believe that there’s only two more weeks left for Naruto

Thank You Masashi Kishimoto

This is a two-page spread of words from various people who have been involved with the English release of the Naruto manga over the years, including editors, a translator, letterers, and a designer. I thought it was a nice feature for what it was.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:144

This chapter continues the story that started in the previous volume of Weekly Shonen Jump. After Onodera and Raku discover they have to share a room that night, it becomes rather awkward for them. Later, when they go the hot spring, they discover that they’re both in the same one and become incredibly embarrassed; after a moment, they discover a sign reading, “Co-Ed.” Onodera seems to be the one to calm down about it first. During a conversation,
Raku asks Onodera why she said a year earlier that she’d be glad if Raku were her first love. But before she can answer, Onodera becomes overheated and has to be helped out of the hot spring.

While this chapter does a little bit to develop the relationship between Raku and Onodera, a lot of it felt like just another way to throw Raku into awkward situations with one of his potential love interests. Between what I’ve read in the first five tankobon, as well as what I’ve read in Weekly Shonen Jump, it just feels like Nisekoi: False Love is simply “spinning its wheels” and only making any progress by adding more characters into the mix. I’ve been starting to think recently that perhaps this series has started to become a little too bloated for its own good.

One-Punch Man CH:038

This chapter returns to focusing on King and Saitama, and Saitama realizes that King’s strength and battle history are a lie. And King realizes that Saitama’s a stronger fighter than he thought he was. King also recognizes Saitama’s voice, and believes that he’s encountered him before. Saitama then asks King if he plans to keep lying or quit being a hero, and then ends with asking King why he doesn’t try to get stronger. In the end, Saitama doesn’t seem to be the least bit upset with King over what he’s done.

Well, it appears that King’s part of the story has come to an end. It felt a bit anticlimactic, but oh well. I guess at this point, Saitama will be heading back to where Senos is and try to help him out with the smaller being that emerged from the melted G4. I’m guessing it’ll take Senos and Saitama teaming up in order to take that thing down, and that this will probably take at least one or two more chapters. I have to give this story arc credit, because it seems to be moving faster than the previous story arc had. Hopefully it’ll continue to keep moving at this pace and not bog down and become boring.

Toriko CH:298

It turns out the creature that approached Toriko and the othera at the end of the previous chapter is a Nitro, who says she will show the group the place where civilization once flourished on the continent. They explore the ruins, and the Nitro introduces herself as Kaka, one of the three flavor wizards. She explains she had heard about them from Chichi. It turns out that Kaka had been awoken from her drought dormancy by Komatsu. While they talk, Komatsu’s condition takes a sudden turn, but they manage to stabilize him. At this point, it appears Komatsu only has one week left, unless they can find a way to save him before they run out of supplies. Kaka tells them they must focus on acquiring Pair and that she knows how to do it. They are told they must go to the most dangerous part of Area 7 to complete their quest, which is 100 G Mountain and that one of the Eight Kings lives there; Toriko and the others must battle the Monkey King to get the Pair.

This chapter spends a lot of time introducing a new character to the reader, as well as establishes what truly needs to be done in order to rescue Komatsu. I was a little concerned when I saw Komatsu’s condition suddenly turn in this chapter, but was glad to see that they could take care of him for now. I really hope that there will be a happy ending for Komatsu, because he’s one of the characters I’ve come to enjoy when I read Toriko. If Komatsu is
killed off, I’ll be rather disappointed.

World Trigger CH:080

Osamu makes a break for it, but Mira manages to have enough energy to stop him. Just as Commander Hyrein approaches Osamu, he is suddenly attacked. At this moment, Osamu throws Replica toward the Neighbors’ ship. A “Return Home” command has been issued to the ship, and Hyrein takes the cube Osamu has; Hyrein discovers that it’s simply a Trion cube. Hyrein, Mira, and the other Neighbors are heading off in their ship, which also means that Replica will be going with them.

Finally! This story arc is over! It took how many months to get to this point? After stretching it out for so long, it sure seemed to wrap up in a hurry. I assume this conclusion is what’s been referenced by “the future crossroads.” Now the question is, where is the series going to go to from here? Since I jumped into the middle of this particular story arc and have only seen the first two episodes of the anime so far, I’m really not terribly familiar with what this series has done prior to this story arc.

Bleach CH:602

It turns out that the speciality of one of the Royal Guards is to accurately calculate the lethal dose of a particular substance and to adjust that amount at will. The Royal Guard uses this ability to Etsu’s blood, but Etsu counters it by starting to drain some of his own blood so it gets under the lethal dose. Etsu then uses Tenjiro’s red hot spring to replace the blood he lost with new blood. Etsu is able to defeat this member of the Royal Guard, and then turns his sights on Yhwach right at the end of the chapter.

The battle in this chapter is done in the manner that I’ve come to expect from battles that appear in Bleach. However, some time was spent on explaining what a lethal dose is, as well as some facts concerning blood. While these explanations were needed, they did bog down the chapter somewhat. While the battle between Etsu and the Royal Guard took some time, it wasn’t quite as long as I’d expected. But now that Etsu has turned his attention to Yhwach, I imagine that battle will take longer before reaching a resolution.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal CH:47

After encountering E’rah, the deity of despair, Yuma and the others find themselves in a graveyard. It turns out that with the return of Kaito’s number, Astral has regained his memories… which includes coming from the astral world to defeat E’rah. The grave markers in the graveyard is for a hope that E’rah has destroyed. E’rah reveals that it’s her goal to destroy both our world and the astral world. It’s also revealed that E’rah was the one who scattered Astral’s memories and is the one who broke Yagumo. Yuma, Kaito, and Ryoga all decide to battle E’rah. During the battle, it appears that E’rah is very overpowered. At the end of the chapter, as Yuma is about to give up, something surprising happens…

At this point, it seems pretty clear that this storyline is getting much closer to reaching its conclusion. Obviously, with how overpowered E’rah is, it’s going to take several chapters to somehow defeat her. I also have a suspicion that I know what’s going on with the surprise happening, so I’m curious to see if I’m right. And if I’m right about this storyline getting closer to an end, does this also mean the manga itself will end after this?

Death Note CH:004

In this chapter, we see L pondering over what he’s figured out so far. Light, meanwhile, is trying to find ways to keep other people from touching the Death Note so no one else can see Ryuk. And from talking with Light, Ryuk learns that he’s done some of the things he’s done up to now is because Light wants to find L and eliminate him. Meanwhile, members from the Special Investigation forces start turning in their reginations because they don’t want to be killed by “Kira.” We then get to see what Light devised in order to hide the Death Note.

So it appears that this is the final chapter of Death Note that will be part of the “Jump Back” initiative. As someone who hasn’t read Death Note before, I really appreciated getting this sampler over the past four weeks. It’s interested me enough that I’ll need to try to read the whole series at some point. I hope to see some other “Jump Back” initiatives in the future.

NYCC Con Report

This section includes pictures of cosplayers at New York Comic Con, which runs for five pages. Readers who enjoy looking at pictures of cosplay.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 140 (October 20, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for One Piece, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, Naruto, One-Punch Man, Toriko, Bleach, and eIDLIVE. In addition, this issue also includes the third chapter for Death Note as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s new “Jump Back” initiative. There’s also a brief Q&A with Takeshi Obata.

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:764

This chapter continues the flashback about Law and his time with the Don Quixote family. It specifically focuses on Law talking with Corazon and learning the truth about Corazon and his brother, Doflamingo. During the discussion, Corazon tells Law that he needs to get away from Doflamingo and the others. When Law threatens to tell Doflamingo the truth, Corazon attacks; later, Corazon discovers that Law hasn’t said a word. Corazon takes it upon himself to get Law away and to try to find a cure for Law’s disease. Unfortunately, when Corazon takes Law to be treated, the hospital won’t do anything because they’re afraid of contracting the disease. Corazon keeps taking him to various hospitals, but they always get the same response.

I have to say that I felt so bad seeing the treatment that poor Law was getting over and over from the various medical professionals about his disease. While I know there’s no known cure for it, he was being treated as if he was less than human and that no one wanted to risk being around him. In a lot of ways, it makes me think of the fear and uncertainty we’ve been seeing in the news lately regarding Ebola. I know it’s purely coincidental, but it sure makes this chapter feel timely! But I also liked seeing how Corazon is coming to care for Law over the course of this chapter; unfortunately, I suspect this is going to somehow come to a tragic end.

World Trigger CH:079

We see Yuma get a hit in on Viza, and then Yuma heads off to where Hyrein and Mira are. Miwa is up against these two as Osamu realizes what he has to do. Mira tries to stop Osamu, but he turns off his Trigger and runs. Miwa attacks Mira, and she’s injured; also, because she used too many windows, she’s now out of Trion. Just then, Yuma arrives, and he and Miwa ask each other where the enemy is. And right at the end of the chapter, there’s only seven seconds left until the future crossroads.

This was probably one of the better chapters of World Trigger that I’ve read since I started reading the series earlier this year. There’s a lot of action taking place, and the story is finally starting to move a little more noticeably. I suspect that the story will somehow slow back down again, but with the declaration that there’s only seven seconds left until a major event, I can’t see how the manga author can stretch those last seven seconds out for months. Of course, there’s always a chance that the manga author will find a way to do that, though.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:143

This chapter sees Onodera approaching Raku and asking him to help out with a job at a hot springs resort that’s owned by one of her relatives. As they work together, they both so nervous because of their unspoken mutual attraction for each other. But as they try to clean up son futons, they find themselves in an awkward and compromising position. This causes even more awkwardness between them as they work. But when the chef throws out his back, Onodera recommends that Raku fill in for him. This forces Raku and Onodera to work together, and this improves the situation between the two of them. The chapter ends with an unexpected surprise awaiting both Raku and Onodera.

I just read the fifth volume of the Nisekoi: False Love manga the day before reading this chapter, and as soon as I saw the setup for this story, I wanted to facepalm. Onodera asking Raku to help out somewhere already happened back in the fifth volume of the manga, so that made this whole story idea feel recycled. While this was at a hot spring resort instead of at the sweet shop, the idea that Onodera and Raku have to work together and are nervous about it the whole time thing has already been done. It’s bad enough that Komi has been recycling ideas from other manga such as Ranma 1/2 and Love Hina, but now he’s starting to recycle his own ideas from Nisekoi: False Love. Resorting to recycling makes it feel as if Komi is struggling to come up with ideas simply to stretch the series out and make it last longer.

Naruto CH:696

In this chapter, Naruto and Sasuke take a reprieve from their battle and start talking about Sasuke’s philosophy. But after this short reprieve, their battle continues again. Sasuke then works on merging all the disseminated chakra into one, and Naruto tries to counter by using one of his jutsu and the battle continues. Naruto declares at the end of the chapter that he wants to fight and win against Sasuke fair and square… but not against the current Sasuke.

This chapter sees the fight between Naruto and Sasuke stopping and starting quite a bit. But both sides keep upping the ante, so this fight shouldn’t be lasting for too much longer. Of course, with only three chapters left, it can’t go on much longer. I really hope this fight can be resolved in two more chapters, and that the final chapter will show the aftermath. It’s still hard to believe there’s only three chapters left for Naruto, and I’m hoping this series will receive a satisfying enough conclusion.

After the chapter is over, there’s a four-page spread about the new Naruto Shippuden deck building card game that’s come out. These pages explain how the game works.

One-Punch Man CH:037.6

This chapter sees Senos going up against the smaller being that emerged from the melted G4 in the previous chapter. However, this being insists that it’s only interested in going after King. Senos manages to dump the contents of a foam fire extinguisher on it, and then dislodges a water outlet in order to create steam. Right at the end of the chapter, Senos is about to head-butt the being…

This ending up being a rather quick read, and this chapter only focused on the battle between Senos and the being. With the way the previous chapter had ended with the giant bird crashing through King’s window, I’d been looking forward to seeing how that part of the story would progress. Oh well. Perhaps we’ll see more with King when the next chapter is published in Weekly Shonen Jump.

Toriko CH:297

Toriko and the others find themselves surrounded by Gore-illas. Zebra fights against the creatures, and Toriko and the others have no choice but to join in. Toriko finds himself up against a Crazy Salsa-Simian, which is a monkey that can fight by using martial arts. The other members of the party find themselves up against other types of apes and monkeys. The group finds that this swarm of primates won’t be easily defeated. But the primates suddenly stop when one of the Eight Kings arrives on the scene. Suddenly, the Choo Choo Chomper, along with Toriko and his group, fall down a giant hole to someplace deep underground that has ruins. They are approached by a creature just as the chapter ends…

This chapter spent a lot of time explaining about the various kinds of monkeys, as well as the hierarchy of their society. But just as that finished, our main characters fall someplace underground. It just made me wonder why so much time was spent on explaining about the monkeys if we’re separated from them by the end of the chapter. I’m not sure what kind of creature has approached them at the ruins, but I suspect he’ll be providing a lot of exposition in the next chapter.

Bleach CH:601

This chapter sees Squad Zero starting into their fight against the royal guards. Etsu Nimana, one of the members of Squad Zero surprises the royal guards with his sword and how he uses it. Etsu is able to take down one the royal guards, and begins attacking another one. He seems to knock this other one down, but something happens at the end of the chapter that surprises Etsu…

So here’s a chapter that focuses on one character fighting with a couple of others. The first guy seemed to be taken down rather easily, but the second one pulls off the type of surprise I’ve come to expect from Bleach when it comes to thinking someone’s taken down an enemy when they really haven’t. In the end, though, the story really doesn’t progress much by the end of the chapter.

eIDLIVE CH:003

This chapter sees Chief Brick being briefed about the escape that happened in the previous chapter. But the important aspect of this meeting is the fact that a situation is headed toward our solar system. Chuta is examined by Professor Isaku, and learns that the powerful life-based technique that eIDLIVE uses to fight with is body odor. Back on Earth, Dory begins using his power to help Chuta out, whether it’s to cover up for him missing a kick in soccer or helping to take down shoplifters. But in the process, Chuta’s Aunt Mimi is hurt, which causes Chuta to be racked with guilt. While he’s at the hospital, Misuzu approaches Chuta and tells him that using Doru’s power in his everyday life on Earth is against the rules. While eIDLIVE has taken care of it this time, the next time Chuta will be punished for it. Chuta begins thinking that he should quit eIDLIVE. After Chuta has a conversation with his aunt, Chuta realizes he has to try harder for his aunt’s sake.

After it’s discovered that the shoplifter was an alien, eIDLIVE doesn’t plan to go after it since the severity of the crime isn’t a high enough level. But Miszuu decides to bend the rules so Chuta can use this as a way to level himself up. When Chuta gets more information about the alien, it’s discovered the perpetrator is a violent criminal wanted to multiple murders. When Chuta delivers the information to Chief Brick, he’s told an investigation will be opened, and Chuta makes a case for getting involved with the investigation. Chuta and Misuzu are sent to Earth to track down the alien. In the end, it takes both Chuta and Misuzu to capture the alien.

Unfortunately, my impression of this series didn’t improve at all over the course of this chapter. In fact, I found myself feeling rather bored as I read it. It also didn’t help that this chapter was so darn long! Of the four “Jump Start” series I’ve read, I’d have to say that eIDLIVE and Sporting Salt tie for my least favorite. It’s a series that I’m not in a rush to ever read again.

Death Note CH:003

In this chapter, we see that Light is trying to take a break from media exposure, since all that’s being talked about is L and “Kira,” the name that Light has been given by the public for what he’s been doing. We also see the special investigative bureau sharing what evidence they’ve gathered in their investigation into “Kira.” We also learn that Light’s father is part of the investigation into “Kira.”

What an interesting twist that Light’s father is part of the investigation into “Kira.” And it was also interesting to see that Light is trying to find ways to toy around with L and the police investigating the case. With each chapter I read of Death Note, I find myself becoming more and more interested in the story.

But I’m a little confused. According to what I saw at the end, it’s saying there will be another chapter of Death Note in Weekly Shonen Jump next week. Is this accurate? I thought the idea was to only provide three chapters for the “Jump Back” initative, just like the “Jump Start” initiative.

Q&A With Takeshi Obata

There’s also a one-page Q&A with Takeshi Obata. This allowed Weekly Shonen Jump to ask some of the questions sent in by fans that they weren’t able to get to during the New York Comic Con panel with Takeshi Obata. I wish this had been a two-page Q&A, because this just felt a little too short.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 139 (October 13, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Toriko, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, One-Punch Man, and eIDLIVE. In addition, this issue also includes the second chapter for Death Note as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s new “Jump Back” initiative. There’s also an excerpt from a 10-page interview with Masashi Kishimoto and Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro.

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:695

This chapter sees Sasuke and Naruto’s fight getting underway. During the fight, both of them go up to their next state to kick the fight up a notch. This is then followed by the two of them remembering how lonely they were when they were younger, and then memories of their previous battle at the Valley of the End. Naruto accuses Sasuke of trying to be alone again, and Naruto’s determined to not let that happen. Not much progress is made in the fight by the end of the chapter.

Basically, this chapter is meant to set the stage for what will hopefully end up being an epic fight between Naruto and Sasuke. In this chapter, more time was spent on reminding the reader about these characters’ pasts than on anything else. And with this, there’s only four more chapters remaining for Naruto; I’m hoping this fight between Naruto and Sasuke isn’t made to last for all four of the remaining chapters, because I’d like to see some kind of closure as to what will happen in the aftermath of their fight.

Bleach CH:600

Right at the beginning of this chapter, Senjumaru appears to be killed rather easily by the royal guards. But this turns out to be an illusion, because Yhwach and the others were lured to a false Reiokyu. A cage is built from a tree of life to trap the royal guards. And right at the end of the chapter, Squad Zero is ready to fight.

I have to admit that I hadn’t seen the twist of the fake Reiokyu coming. But for some reason, I have a feeling that this cage isn’t going to hold the royal guards as well as the chapter is trying to lead us to believe. And now the stage is set for a showdown with Squad Zero, but I can’t see the squad winning the fight so easily.

One Piece CH:763

There’s a strong focus on a flashback about the Celestial Dragons. We then return to the flashback of Law being brought when he ran away after stabbing Corazon. But instead of being punished, Law is offered membership into the Don Quixote family. When Law says he only has three years to live, he’s told they can probably find a devil fruit within that time that could save his life. And right at the end of the chapter, when Law reveals his true name to some of the others, Corazon pulls him aside and says that he needs to stay away from Dofy.

This is another chapter that focused very heavily on providing backstory for Law’s character. Since this was exclusively a flashback chapter, nothing happens to progress the overarching story. I don’t mind too much, though, since I’m getting some much needed backstory for Law; I knew nothing about him when I jumped into the middle of this arc in Weekly Shonen Jump several months ago.

Toriko CH:296

In this chapter, the Choo-Choo Chomper is attacked by large, round, spiky creatures as Toriko and the others are heading to Area 7. They determine that the “creatures” are actually pollen, and they discover when they reach Area 7 that everything on the continent is gigantic. After arriving at Area 7, a large monkey boards the Choo-Choo Chomper and tries to attack; however, the monkey is overcome by Zebra. But this could spell trouble for Toriko and the others…

This chapter introduces the reader to Area 7, which is just huge. As you’d expect from this series, arriving at Area 7 wouldn’t be a walk in the park. The stage is definitely being set for a confrontation between Toriko’s group and the inhabitants of Area 7. But with this confrontation, there’s going to be the issue of making sure that nothing happens to Komatsu in the process, since the whole point of them coming to Area 7 was to try to get him healed from his injury.

Interview with Kishimoto and Shimbakuro

This is a two-page excerpt of a 10-page interview with Masashi Kishimoto and Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro that’s included in Toriko Volume 24. It’s basically the two of them talking about various things they’ve gone through as manga artists. It’s OK for an excerpt, but hopefully the full 10-page interview is better.

World Trigger CH:078

At the beginning of this chapter, Mira captures Replica; unfortunately, this means that Osamu won’t be able to get inside the base, so he needs to find a different way to achieve his goal. But then we see that the Rabit is cubified and that Replica is with Osamu. While most of Replica’s functions have terminated, it can still open the entrance to the base. It’s going to take 20 seconds for Replica to analyze the entrance. Then the focus switches back to Yuma and the Black Trigger who looks like an old man. Yuma does something that surprises the Black Trigger right at the end of the chapter…

For the most part, not a whole lot truly happened in this chapter that progresses the overall story. Only minor things happen in both stories that take place in this chapter, but the story is pretty much just spinning it wheels in order to make this story arc last longer. I’ve been reading World Trigger in Weekly Shonen Jump for several months now, and in all reality, there hasn’t been a whole lot of progress in the story during that time.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:142

This chapter sees Marika declare that she’s going to conquer the animals of the school menagerie. Marika meets up with Raku, and Chitoge is there as well because Raku asked for her help. But as we see, Marika’s attempt at overcoming her fear of animals is just a front because she wants to be able to spend time around Raku while he’s around animals. Chitoge has figured this out on her own, though. When Marika meets the capybara, it makes its alarm sound; however, when Chitoge is around it, it makes its affection sound. Marika doesn’t have any better luck while she’s around a barn owl. And then Marika has an epic fail with a crocodile. In the end, Marika makes no progress whatsoever in regards to her fear of animals.

So here’s another stand-alone story that has nothing to do with the overarching story of the locket and the promise. Oh well. At least this stand-alone story provides some character development for Marika. There’s some humorous moments in this chapter, so that makes a little worthwhile. But hopefully we’ll start seeing some progress in the overarching story soon.

One-Punch Man CH:037.5

This chapter sees Senos still going up against G4. It looks like Senos has defeated him, but then a smaller being emerges from the melted G4. This smaller being begins attacking with lasers. Meanwhile, King and Saitama are still at King’s place. with Saitama talking to King as King plays videogames. Saitama asks King why he ran away from the fight and keeps persisting with his question; before King can say anything, an emergency warning sounds and warns that a giant bird has appeared in the city. The giant bird. As Saitama is about to leave, the giant bird suddenly flies right through King’s window.

So there was only brief movement in the story in this chapter. The purpose of this chapter seemed to be to set up the two plot points of the new being emerging from G4 and the bird crashing into King’s place. Will Saitama finally see for himself that King is a fraud in an upcoming chapter? It does seem to be what this is leading up to.

eIDLIVE CH:002

At school, Misuzu is asked if she’s friends with Chuta; her response is that she hopes he vanishes without a trace. Chuta later talks to the Monitalien that’s been inside him this whole time, and the creature is given the name “Doru.” Chuta also discovers in this chapter that if he tries to hurt Doru, he’ll also hurt himself because they share one body. This chapter then sees Chuta heading to eIDLIVE for his first day of work, with Misuzu giving Chuta the grand tour of eIDLIVE’s facility. While they’re on the tour, a suspect escapes from the detention center. It’s discovered that the escapee has transported itself to Earth, so Misuzu and Chuta are sent back to Earth to pursue him. Misuzu ends up being the one to take down the escapee, and she undergoes a transformation before she does.

Like the first chapter, this chapter was completely in color. I have to say that while seeing Misuzu’s transformation sequence was kind of cool, it raises more questions about her. Until the escapee element of the story happened, this chapter was a little on the boring side because it focused heavily on the exposition. Unfortunately, this chapter didn’t do much to improve my opinion of the series that I had after I finished reading the first chapter. I still haven’t found a real “hook” for it yet to grab my interest.

Death Note CH:002

At a G8 summit, which is a meeting of Interpol, they discuss the mysterious deaths of criminals that have been taking place. It’s decided to put a detective named L onto the case, but it’s revealed that L is already on it. It’s also revealed that websites are starting to pop up devoted to a messenger from hell named “Lord Kira” who is passing judgment on humanity, and Light has a long discussion with Ryuk about this. The conversation is interrupted by a report with L giving a press conference and guaranteeing that “Kira” will be caught. When L declares that Lord Kira is evil, Light decides to use the Death Note. But it turns out that the L on the television wasn’t the real L, and L makes some revelations during the broadcast. After the broadcast, Light declares that he’s going to find and dispose of L.

I have to say that I’m glad that Weekly Shonen Jump is providing this “Jump Back” initiative. Now that I’ve finally been exposed to more of Death Note than simply the first episode of the anime, I’m finding that the story is better than I had given it credit for. With the introduction of L, it looks like a game of “cat and mouse” is about to begin between Light and L. I can see a lot of potential for suspense and intrigue. I’m actually looking forward to reading the third chapter next week.

Weekly Shonen Jump Volume 138 (October 6, 2014)

This issue includes chapters for Blue Exorcist, One Piece, World Trigger, Nisekoi: False Love, Naruto, Sporting Salt, Toriko, Bleach, Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, and One-Punch Man. In addition, this issue also includes the first chapter for Death Note to kick off Weekly Shonen Jump‘s new “Jump Back” initiative, which will publish three chapters of an older Shonen Jump title. There’s also a “World Trigger Japanese Editors Pick” feature that’s included.

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.

Blue Exorcist CH:061

Rin transforms into his demon self and is wielding the Flame of Satan. Professor Geodin tells Rin that Izumo has been willingly cooperating with this experiment and has been for five years. Rin becomes angry and shoots back that Izumo is crying. Izumo tells Rin that what the professor says is true and to leave her; however, Izumo asks Rin to save her mother. The professor sends zombies to attack Rin. When the others arrive, they wonder how to exorcise the Nine Tails out of Izumo; unfortunately, her mother seems to be the only one who knows how and she’s currently unconscious. But her mother regains consciousness and tells the Nine Tails to be still within her daughter. However, this doesn’t work, and Izumo attacks her mother. The others work together to attack the zombies and trying to keep them away from both mother and daughter. Izumo’s mother manages to grab Izumo and asks the Nine Tails to return to her body. This works, and Izumo’s mother declares that Nine Tails will die along with her. The chapter ends with the death of Izumo’s mother.

This was a very action-packed, as well as a rather emotional, chapter for Blue Exorcist. Since I jumped into this story arc in the middle, I have to admit to being lost in regards to the story for a while. By the end of this chapter, though, I think I finally acquired enough information to truly start understanding the chapters of this series that I’ve been reading over the past six months or so.

According to the text at the end, the next chapter of Blue Exorcist will be published in the November 10, 2014 edition of Weekly Shonen Jump.

One Piece CH:762

This chapter continues the flashback about Trafalagar Law’s backstory of how he came to join up with the Don Quixote Family and the time he spent with Corazon. It also goes into great length with an explanation about the town that Law came from, explaining how and why it was destroyed. We then see Law trying to exact his revenge against Corazon for the death of his family right at the end of the chapter…

As a reader who has jumped into this story arc in the middle, I appreciated getting some backstory for Law. It looks like this backstory will continue in the next chapter, so this should help to solidify Law’s character even more. Since my introduction to Law was in the middle of this story arc, I knew who he was by his name, but had no idea who he was as a person. Also, these chapters focusing on the backstory is giving readers a break from the frenetic action-packed chapters that have been dominant in One Piece in recent months.

World Trigger CH:077

This chapter picks up exactly where the previous chapter left off, with Yuma being face-to-face with the Black Trigger that looks like an old man. They start to battle, but there’s no easy victory for either side. Then the action shifts to the fight between Shuji and Commander Hyrein for a brief bit, and then we see Mira trying to capture Osamu. Just as it seems Mira is going to apprehend him, a Rabit suddenly appears.

Let me ask one thing: what was up with the art in this week’s chapter? The characters look more like pencil sketches than what I normally expect to see in a chapter published in Weekly Shonen Jump. Also, there were some panels where backgrounds and a character’s arm weren’t completed, either. As the scene with Yuma when on, the unfinished look became more and more blatant. When the story moved to another battlefront, it looked like a little more had been done on these panels, but they still didn’t look like they were finalized. This chapter ultimately looks sloppy because of this. Was the managaka running too close to deadline and had to turn in a manuscript that wasn’t completely finalized? After reading this chapter, I wonder why Shueisha allowed it to be published in this state.

And because the art looks so sloppy in this chapter, I found myself being distracted from the actual story. The art looked so bad that it drew too much attention to itself. Hopefully the managaka will go back and clean this up before it’s published in a tankobon.

World Trigger Japanese Editor Picks

In this feature, the Japanese editor for World Trigger talks about his favorite chapters and gives some behind-the-scenes insight into the manga. This feature runs for four pages, and it’s pretty good for what it is.

Nisekoi: False Love CH:141

Ruri is approached by a girl who asks if she knows Shu, and admits that she’s thinking about telling Shu that she likes him. Ruri takes the girl to see Raku, since Raku knows all about Shu. Raku insists that Ruri stay and help him out. Ruri tells the girl all of Shu’s bad points and then asks what she likes about him. The girl says that Shu is nice and sincere, but she doesn’t want to say anything to him yet because she’s heard a rumor that he’s dating someone. This catches both Raku and Ruri off-guard, but before they can do anything, Shu bursts in. When Raku and Ruri leave, Raku tells her about how Shu was friendly to him when he was younger and was alone due to others being too scared to talk to him. Later, when Ruri is heading off to club, she comes across the girl talking to Shu and asking if he has a girlfriend. When he says no, she comes right out and asks if he’d go out with her. Shu turns her down gently and says he’s honored but doesn’t feel like falling in love with anyone. After the girl leaves, Shu calls to Ruri that he knows she was eavesdropping. After learning who Shu liked, Ruri realizes that she doesn’t understand love, but realizes she’s a little interested and a little scared.

This is one of the better chapters of Nisekoi: False Love that I’ve read in a while. Even though it has nothing to do with the overarching story of the promise and the locket, it still provides some character development for both Ruri and Shu. And by the end of this chapter, it appears that perhaps Ruri is developing feelings for Shu; if that’s the case, it could add an interesting dimension to this series, especially since she has insulted him so much in the chapters I’ve read of this series. Maybe this development could help Ruri better understand what Onodera is going through in regard to her fear of confessing her feelings to Raku.

Naruto CH:694

Sasuke and Naruto are at the Valley of the End, and Sasuke starts explaining what he thinks it means to be Hokage, and tying his explanation into how Itachi ultimately lived his life. He also explains that since he is alone now, he can bear the weight of all the hatred and bring every single village under his control. Naruto remembers something the resurrected Itachi told him, which goes completely against what Sasuke’s current beliefs are. And Naruto points out to Sasuke that he couldn’t take on Kaguya by himself. But this doesn’t move Sasuke; he still insists that he’ll kill the Biju and take down all the previous Gokage. Naruto declares that he won’t let Sasuke have his way, saying that he learned everything he knows from the people from the past. The chapter ends with Naruto and Sasuke just starting into a battle…

The night before I read this chapter, news came out that the final chapter of the Naruto manga will be published in the Weekly Shonen Jump issue dated November 10, 2014. So that means there’s only five more chapters remaining until the end. This chapter basically spells out Naruto and Sasuke’s positions, and provides some background to explain philosophies and how the story reached this point. Basically, it’s a chapter meant to set up this final battle between these two characters. With only five chapters left, how is this battle going to be paced and how will it end?

Sporting Salt CH:003

Within the first three pages, Hiroyuki’s gag of grabbing at people with athletic bodies rears its ugly head when the ace of the soccer team comes to see him for help. It turns out Hyoka, the soccer player, is low on stamina. From talking to her, Hiroyuki learns that she’s very angry about her life. The next time Hiroyuki sees Hyoka, he has to pull out the weekly “doctor’s placebo item”; this is also a running gag that’s already worn out its welcome. However, it seems to appear that the “placebo item,” which is ordinary rice balls, are doing the trick. It turns out he put salt into the rice balls because it turns out she’s lacking salt, not stamina.

And this chapter brings about the end of this Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” title. Now that I’ve read all three chapters, I have to say it’s my least favorite of the three series that have been featured in full up to this point. I have to give this chapter credit for breaking its formula somewhat when it turned out that the weekly placebo item actually worked for the problem the person was having. But looking at the series as a whole, I really don’t find Hiroyuki to be a very likable character, and I really feel no interest in ever reading any future chapters of this series.

Toriko CH:295

This chapter sees Toriko and the others heading on their way in order to try to save Komatsu. A shark that’s a train known as a “Choo-Choo Chomper” comes out of the water, and it will be what takes Toriko and the others to Area 7. Area 7 is ruled over by Monkey King Bambina, the most mischievous of the eight kings. The chapter ends with the group boarding the Choo-Choo Chomper and starting out on their journey.

This chapter is basically wrapping up the previous story arc and setting the groundwork for the next one. Because of that, this chapter was primarily exposition-driven instead of having much action. Hopefully the next chapter will get the next story arc moving.

Bleach CH:599

Yhwach and Senjumaru finally come face-to-dace in Reiokyu, and Yhwach sends out his royal guards as Senjumaru’s opponent. As they launch their attack, Senjumaru summons a second-level holy soldier. A surprising twist appears to happen in the battle right at the end of the chapter…

Well, this was a rather quick chapter that saw almost next to nothing happen in it. Sadly, that’s the way a lot of the Bleach chapters I’ve read lately have come across as. I’m starting to feel more and more that Kubo is simply trying to extend this arc out for as long as he possibly can in order to make the series last longer. It’s gotten to a point where it’s getting harder for Bleach to hold my interest.

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign CH:026

In this chapter, Guren and two members of his quad take on everyone in Shinoa’s squad. Rather quickly, it appears that Guren and his team members have the upper hand. Through this, Guren points out how little teamwork their squad has. Yu asks Guren how his team of three was able to beat their squad of five. Shinoa tries to explain, but her explanation is refuted by one of Guren’s team members. Just then, Narumi arrives and gets into an argument with Yu. As Yu is fired up to take on Narumi with his squad, Shinoa tells him to knock it off. Shinoa introduces herself to Narumi and apologizes for her squad’s behavior. Shinoa then declares that their squad needs to work on teamwork, but before they can do anything, it’s announced all squads need to form up into their groups and head out to Nagoya to commence the vampire noble extermination mission.

We then see Mika and the vampires herding up humans and present them to the nobles in Nagoya. As Mika wanders around, Mika can no longer control the urge to drink human blood. Mika traps a human, but ends up letting them go.

In a lot of ways, it almost feels like the story is starting to move more rapidly than it had in previous chapters that I’ve read in Weekly Shonen Jump. While it’s good to see that Shinoa and her squad finally realize they need to work on their teamwork, it’s too little, too late. They end up not having any time to improve before they’re told to head out on their mission. Hopefully their teamwork won’t be too dismal when they’re up against the vampire nobility. I’m wondering if this series may be getting closer to ending due to the fact that the action of the story is finally moving. There could be more battles to be fought after going up against the nobles in Nagoya, but there seems to be a lot of emphasis put on this fight and the fact that the nobles are very strong.

It should be noted that the next chapter of Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign will be published in the November 10, 2014 issue of Weekly Shonen Jump.

One-Punch Man CH:037.4

In this chapter, we see a frazzled King returning home and being grateful to get away. As he starts playing the game he bought, he hears Saitama talking behind him and is surprised to find Saitama there. King and Saitama get into a discussion. Meanwhile, Senos is going up against G4. The chapter ends with Senos launching an attack on G4…

Well, here’s another chapter of One-Punch Man where not much of anything really happens to progress the story. There was one amusing part when Saitama is with King. When Saitama mentions coming in through the window, King comments that he’s on the 22nd floor. I admit that that line made me giggle a little. But outside of that, this chapter was just meh.

Death Note CH:001

This is the first “Jump Back” spotlight that Weekly Shonen Jump will be publishing periodically, where several chapters of some of the Shonen Jump series of the past. I’m not surprised that they launched this new initiative with Death Note, since Takeshi Obata is going to be making an appearance at New York Comic Con this weekend.

At the beginning, we learn that a shinigami named Ryuk had dropped his Death Note in the human world. The story then shifts to the human world, where a 17-year-old boy named Light Yagami finds a notebook lying on the ground; he picks it up and discovers that it reads, “Death Note” on the cover. There are instructions on how to use it inside, but they’re in English. Although he laughs at it, Light takes it home and continues to read it. Five days later, Light receives a visit from Ryuk. Light shows Ryuk that he’s been using the notebook. When Light asks what Ryuk’s going to do to him, he says he’ll do nothing. The moment a Death Note lands in the human world, it belongs to the human world. Light is also told that the book now belongs to him, and that it’s a bond between the two of them. Light is also informed that any human who’s used the Death Note can’t go to heaven or to hell. Ryuk also admits that he dropped the book because he was bored. Light admits that he was also bored, and a flashback is shown of him trying to use the Death Note a few times. Light decides to use the Death Note to change the world.

Previous to reading this chapter, I had seen the first episode of the Death Note anime series about six years ago. That was still very early in my anime viewing when I got back into it, and at the time, I didn’t care for Death Note. But now that I’ve been immersed in anime and manga for several years, seeing this material again makes me realize that it’s not as bad as I had thought it was six years ago. I’ve definitely seen much worse and much stranger anime and manga in the intervening time. I’ll eventually get around to sampling more Death Note at some point after this “Jump Back” spotlight concludes, because this has become such a major title for both the manga and the anime.