Many apologies about delaying the Weekly Shonen Jump issue reviews. The short story is university happened. Anyhow, these have been some pretty eventful chapters for many series. Shokugeki no Souma in particular has started to up the ante.
Let's start from Issue #9:Beelzebub - 189
If there's one thing this chapter does, it's display Natsume's strength. As a character that we've only seen moments of in the past, I've always been curious about Natsume. It doesn't help that whenever he showed even a modicum of his strength, the focus immediately shifted towards someone else. Maybe the wallflower effect used on his character was on purpose
The next few chapters did leave hope for more of his exposure. That said, it wasn't hard for him to become the main attraction of this chapter. As we would learn later on, this chapter was just a precursor for bigger things to come. Hopefully bigger things to come means more of Natsume's true strength being revealed as the arc progresses.
Kuroko no Basket - 198
It's interesting to forget how often one favours the underdog. Looking back, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't rooting for an underdog or two as I watched a game/match of anything. What's interesting about it, is exactly what Kuroko no Basket points out: there's always a bad guy.
Often a big team like the Yankees or Man U, the bad guys of sports always have less undecided fans supporting them. There's no complex reason for; it's just boring to watch one team dominate the competition. Seirin has never once been in this position, so for them this is an unexpected shock. This also means they have gotten strong enough to be in the position of the favourite.
You can't stay the underdog forever. No matter how much we want the main team to stay humbled and barely surviving, there comes a time when they've become strong. Not the strongest of course, just strong enough to be a serious threat. Now they have one more obstacle to face before they face the grand emperor Rakuzan.
There was another major even this chapter. A certain member of the Generation of Miracles reaching even greater heights, Kise's entered a new level of his own by copying Kuroko. For me it wasn't the most exciting of events, partly because it was expected and because it's gotten a little out of hand. Kise's strength has just gotten to much for the series at this point, and needs to be brought back a little bit.
Nisekoi - 59
Meet the parents happens to be a go-to move Nisekoi pulls out whenever things get a little boring/uneventful. It was only a matter of time before we got to Chitoge's mother, though I must admit I wasn't 100% sure she existed. In any case, Chitoge's mother is certainly an interesting character if nothing else.
Dominant enough to make both Chitoge and her father cower, she immediately adds some of her own comedy into the situation. Aside from the comedy, I suspected there would be some light drama. Even before reading the next two chapters, I suspected some drama revolving around Chitoge and her mother's relationship.
Of course Raku had to be involved in some manner. It's not enough that he's got his harem, but he'll need the blessing of every parent also. With Onodera's mum, Marika's dad and Chitoge's dad all on board, it's now time for him to win over the toughest one yet. Will he be able to do it No need to answer, that was a rhetorical question.
As a final thought, I will say that Nisekoi ended up giving this arc a lot of focus. There's an obvious reason to it, but I'll save that for the review of the latest chapter. As a start to a new arc, this chapter was fine. I say fine, because there was a sense of repetition with Onodera's sweet shop arc. The big difference is that Chitoge's mum has a much bigger presence in the story.
Haikyuu!! - 46
There's a certain dissatisfaction by not blogging one of your favourite series, simply because scans are lagging. Especially, since that manga happens to be one of my favourites from last year. For those of you not familiar with the series, Haikyuu!! is a wonderful sports series about volleyball.
This latest match against Datekou hasn't been the best. It's technically fine and it does a good job with the progression of the match, yet it doesn't muster up the same excitement that previous matches have had. Still, I find myself anticipating the conclusion of this match, since it holds such significance for the team.
In times like this, it's nice to see not only Azumane stepping up but Nishinoya also. Nishinoya's position as the libero does mean he's expected to do so, however it's a position that's forgotten about. Just like any other sports position that receives little attention, Nishinoya as a character is at times a little under-appreciated. His role in the series isn't all that significant most of the time, but he's a character with plenty of moments. Most revolving around support, much like his position as the libero.
As the match reaches the conclusion, I'm on the edge of my seat. Whilst the majority of the match hasn't been as good as usual, this conclusion is gripping. Just that last play on the double page was exciting enough to make up for the rest of the match.
Unfortunately, I have no more chapters to blog as of this moment. A pity, but mark my words: should scans ever catch up, I'll be writing about Haikyuu!!
One Piece - 696
As you'd expect with this type of chapter, not much got done. The villains were caught, everyone came together and there was a huge celebration involving a lot of food and drink. Just like any other arc that came to an end, this chapter celebrated the end of yet another part of One Piece's story.
There was one thing that got mentioned this chapter: Luffy's desire to take down all of the yonko. Like we needed it in writing! Regardless, the next chapter aside, the story gets back on track and get that much closer to finding out what's going to happen in the New World.
Bleach - 524
Kubo-sensei really doesn't want to make it easy on me does he This was one of the many chapters of Bleach that last about half a minute when you read them. After you read them, you're left thinking what the 19 pages were actually used for.
I am happy that we're now focusing on Unohana and Kenpachi's fight. Seeing as how there was a bit of jumping around with the story. Looks like this fight is going to get the attention it deserves. A fight that'll have a big impact in the story, and one that keeps revealing the background stories for both of these captains.
The big (semi)surprise in this was Kenpachi's moment of weakness. Being derived from a long lost respect for the women wounding him at every given opportunity, he "lost" himself for just a moment. Only a moment though.
Naruto - 617
Some stuff happened:
- Ninjas united once more
- Rock Lee wanted avenge Neji's death
- Springtime of Youth stuff
- Attack was successful
No need to write more than is appropriate for yet another dull chapter of Naruto. It's about as clich d as you can get.
Hungry Joker - 10
By now Hungry Joker should have made use of its "second coming" of D.Gray-man style to make a name for itself. Unfortunately, with this chapter I'm convinced it's nothing more than a D.Gray-man wannabe that just isn't trying hard enough. That's made apparent by this copycat premise, dumbed down with unnecessary comedy.
If this was intended as a comedy series with some action on the side (like Beelzebub), I wouldn't mind so much. However, the comedy doesn't compliment the story. It used to be a nice side dish, but now it has taken over the core of the series. This alone makes it harder to enjoy the series.
Final Note - As of this chapter, I'll be blogging HJ sporadically.
Assassination Classroom - 28
What I'd categorise as one of the more relaxed chapters of Assassination Classroom. AC's style of taking a breather chapter involves putting Nagisa in the spotlight and allowing us an easy-going chapter of him and Koro-sensei bonding over something.
In this case Karma also joined in, but the principle remains the same. This was about taking a step back and appreciating all the hard work Koro-sensei has done for the children, and embracing the heart-warming atmosphere.
Much like a standalone romantic comedy chapter, there's not much to say about this chapter. It was just the quick pause we got before jumping back into the story of students vs Koro-sensei. You either liked it or found it boring; there's nothing detestable about it. For me, it works very well as a transitional episode. It maintains the pleasantness of the series whilst gently getting us to the next arc.
The ending did introduce a peculiar development. Let's see how it'll pan out.
Shokugeki no Souma - 8
With chapters like these, Shokugeki no Souma does not make explaining its appeal any easier. This manga is just great - take it or leave it.
The senpai is every bit the oddball character you would expect. He is the "leader" of the Polar Star dorms, so you can't expect him to be normal. Is this a hint as to how crazy the cooking showdowns might get later on in the series We're soon going to find out.
Finally the Shokugeki part of the title makes sense. It's all about the food battles that'll take place in the series. This explained more in the next two chapters, so I'll leave it for now.
Best and Worst of Weekly Shonen Jump #9 (2013)
Even though this wasn't Haikyuu!! at its best, it's still a damn fine chapter. The issue as a whole was decent. Not the most memorable, though still good in quality.
I know I sound like a broken record, but that's how it is with this series right now.
Weekly Shonen Jump #9 (2013) - Extra Stuff
- Kurogane ends its run in this issue. Total of 68 chapters.
- Here's the full results of Nisekoi's character popularity poll. Onodera won!
Here's the next issue's chapter reviews. The issue marks the start of Koisuru Edison and we also have a nice set of colour pages for Shokugeki no Souma and Assassination Classroom.
Let's start with the Big 3:
Bleach - 525
Not much to report here. This was just a continuation from the previous chapter as far as I'm concerned - if you don't count the cliffhanger ending.
Kenpachi's power levels seemed to hake spiked tremendously. Being able to take on a captain at such a young age makes him one of the strongest characters of any series, and not just Bleach. It's fine that this power level increase is happening now, nevertheless one could see it as excessive.
He's just rediscovering his strength. No need to attain it, no need to train, just retrieve what has been lost. This essentially makes him the strongest character in the series at this point in time (excluding enemy characters).
One Piece - 697
Much like how Bleach's chapter was a carry on, so was One Piece's. Transitioning from the festivities of the end of Punk Hazard to the next phase of the story, things sure are getting interesting. After a short continuation from the previous chapter, we move onto the main attraction of this chapter.
Law continues to terrorize Doflamingo to the point of "poking the bear." At least now we know why it was so important to do what he did; the relationship between Joker and Kaidou sure is a major part of the plot. I'd have to say that Law is in control for now, and his mocking demeanour is that much more amusing.
The ultimatum was the straw that broke the camel's back. This means war! And who better to start a fight than Luffy and his crew My guess is that Law already took that into account.
Naruto - 618
Finally we're moving onto something new! The most recent battle got real boring really quickly, so I more than welcome any type of change in the dynamic.
There's still a lot we don't know about the Uzumaki clan, so I'm hoping we'll learn more about them eventually. The little nugget of information we got about them should suffice for now, though I hope that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Say what you will about Naruto's horrible past performance, this chapter already shows more promise. We could be going in a much better direction as the arc unfolds. There's potential to fill in all the information gaps left before concluding the series.
Honestly, I'm just glad for something new. Maybe this will be a better arc for Sasuke.
Nisekoi - 60
Anyone who reads what I write about Nisekoi knows how I feel about the series. For me it's all about Onodera. She is my favourite girl, which means 90% of my enjoyment comes from any moments involving her. I'm retelling this, because even I have to admit this was a great chapter.
There is one moment in this chapter is irrefutably great. When Chitoge took of her ribbon and her face went sad, even I stood up to take notice. As sad as it was, it was just the right amount of drama and emotion for Nisekoi. A moment that I'd soon chalk up to being the highlight of this arc - after reading the next episode.
Almost like a friendly reminder that Nisekoi can pull of serious dramatic moments in small doses. Small doses. The arc continues to be enjoyable to a certain extent, however I'm not particularly invested in it. As I've explained before, this has to do with the lack of Onodera.
It was kind of a great chapter. Even non-Chitoge shippers like myself have to admit that.
Shokugeki no Souma - 9
Actually this chapter didn't have much going on. We're told more about Shokugeki and how this will determine the battles in the school and then we're left waiting/wanting. The chapter almost mimics a battle manga, by giving us a glimpse at the competition before seeing it up close.
I think was just the right time for this introduction. After an almost random set of 8 chapters, we were in need of a more obvious and coherent development. That didn't mean a change of tone. As we can see, there's still plenty more absurd food orgasmic drawings to come from this series.
As a secondary parting gift, we're left with the impression that the senpai Soma beat in the previous chapter wasn't trying. That'll make for a fun showdown later on in the series.
Assassination Classroom - 29
Well.....that was interesting.
I wondered what type of development we would get after the last chapter, but this was too funny. Straight off the bat, I like Koro-sensei's brother.
Whether this new arc yields any results in uncovering the sensei's past remains to be seen, but that doesn't matter so much. Once again I find myself being swept in the series' pace and getting into yet another quirky student that has joined the ranks of Class E.
This new guy bears a lot of similarities to the previous addition. He's more than anti-social. with the only objective of taking down Koro-sensei. At the same time he's a completely different character and has a strange presence about him. Just with that final page, I was in tears!
Kuroko no Basket - 199
The struggle has reached the climax. By now I'm quite sick of the ongoing quest the author has to milk every last second of every last chapter. It's got old, the story has been stuck and the quite frankly I've been yawning for the past 10 minutes.
It's been a long last few minutes of this match. Now we're at the point where the tables have turned, so it's time to wrap things up and move onto the next thing.
As bored as I am with the match, I can't look past Kuroko solving the problem to end the game in Seirin's victory. I would have preferred something new or maybe something that wasn't just used to resolve the previous match.
Beelzebub - 190
Whether this is the final arc or not, I can't help but get excited. So many new characters being introduced, meaning so much potential for exciting fights and the like. If you forgot, here's a list of their names alongside their defining characteristic:
- Ichikawa Ebian - Baldie
- Akahoshi Kankurou - Oga lookalike
- Tabako - The only new chick
The above three are classified as the kings. There are three more guys classified as the beasts:
- Nasu - Main guy of the arc (so far)
- Takamiya - "Emperor"
- Fuji - Strongest rookie ever.
We were only introduced to 3 so far (Ichikawa, Akahoshi, Nasu) so we have three more new faces to meet in the upcoming chapters! This is the time to be legitimately excited about the upcoming battles and overall direction of the series!
Let's not forget, Oga ended up with his head stuck in the ceiling!
Best and Worst of Weekly Shonen Jump #10 (2013)
It was a hard choice since Nisekoi and One Piece also had good chapters. Even so, Beelzebub was the one I enjoyed most.
Worst: Kuroko no Basket
I just want this match to end. It's gone on for way too long.
So issue #11 of Weekly Shonen Jump sees the start of World Trigger. Yet another colour page for Nisekoi, and quite a great one if I may say so.
Final batch of reviews!
World Trigger - 1
With Hungry Joker's time left in Weekly Shonen Jump being questionable, we get a new sci-fi in the form of World Trigger. A story about kids with supernatural powers fighting off mysterious beings from another dimension.
From the start, not the most interesting chapter. Much like most budding sci-fi's running in Weekly Shonen Jump it shows promise. Unfortunately whether it makes use of its potential lies with its popularity in the magazine. I for one don't see anything in this first chapter to make this into a mainstay.
It has some nice ideas and decent artwork to accompany it, but I'm already seeing some flaws. For one, I don't like the pair up of the main characters. It feels a little forced and clich d - stickler for the rules paired with wild child. Then there's the action scenes themselves. Not bad, but again, nothing extraordinary.
It's still too early to judge, so I'll check out the next few chapters before deciding to blog it or not.
Nisekoi - 61
Much like how last chapter had a great dramatic moment, this chapter had a great romantic comedy moment. Truth be told, it was just a generic moment that was well executed to give us a funny moment of romantic teasing. Add in the usual art, and you have what the series does consistently well.
On the other hand, the drama has gotten out of hand. The rest of the chapter relied mostly on the ongoing drama related to Chitoge and her mother, which to me isn't all that interesting. In some ways, I'm quite glad the arc is coming to a close.
Naruto - 619
Would you look at that! When it actually tries, Naruto can be a decent read. Maybe all it took was for a chapter of just talking between the characters.
Funny how this is one of the best chapters in recent memory. It was simple. Just Sasuke talking to the four Hokage and hearing out their views on the Uchiha's flaws and strengths. I wasn't overly crazy about the explanation of excessive love being the Uchiha's downfall, but I've resigned myself to accept all the silliness the series has left.
At least the change of pace provided something new and different for us to enjoy. And I mean enjoy. The chapter still didn't recapture the magic of yesteryear which the series once possessed, but it was at least interesting to see the four Hokage being brought into the story.
For now, I'll be happy with the focus going back to Sasuke. As long as we don't have a repeat of what happened with his and Itachi's arc, all will be well.
Kuroko no Basket - 200
We're almost there! So close to the conclusion now. At the very least Kuroko has declared that it's over for Kise as we get down to the very last seconds of the match. Hopefully the ending really will come in the next chapter.
On a more positive note, congratulations to KuroBas for reaching 200 chapters. A very impressive achievement.
Shokugeki no Souma - 10
We've established that there are going to be some exciting food battles and what have you, in the previous chapter. Now its time for us to expand Soma's harem. He already has the tsundere examiner who failed him and the shy Tadokoro. There's still a gap that needs to be filled. Who better than a busy yank with a love of meat - That may have sounded dirtier than it should have.
All joking aside, it looks like the series isn't wasting any time. It's straight to the battles and as we can see, it begins with one of Erina's underlings. The Shokugeki of meat should turn out to be quite the amusing watch. What can go wrong with this scenario I'll leave most of it to your imagination. Not because it would be too sketchy to describe it here, rather it won't carry the same weight.
It's pretty impressive how well the series is being paced. We're moving along at just the right speed and we're about to get into something more grandiose. Even if it does have the elements of generic shonen manga, it's handling it very well. Well enough to keep me happy with each chapter.
Till next time cooking fans!
One Piece - 698
A lot going on this chapter; from talks of Kaidou to the appearance of Aokiji, it was a packed chapter. The story continues to move along nicely towards the next arc quite effortlessly. Now that Kaidou's been established as the long-term target, the crew moves towards Dressrosa to take out Doflamingo and his crew. Also, Kinomon has ended up as a temporary crew member for the time being. He's got his own agenda and that means a little bit of a detour in future chapters.
Speaking of detours, looks like Doflamingo will be having one. As of now I'm not sure what Aokiji's return means, but I'd love for him to hang around. No doubt he'd add a lot to the story as the self-exiled marine - an ambiguous position - and it'd be interesting to see how Joker gets out of this jam.
Exciting things to come for One Piece.
Beelzebub - 191
War is coming, and it's going to be a mess.
Not much more happens in this chapter, compared to the last. Nasu makes it known that he's quite the threat, and of course Oga doesn't back down. If anything this was just the official declaration of war for this upcoming arc and all of its glory.
As nothing much happened, there's nothing else to say. Whatever Nasu knows will be revealed in due time, and until then I'll have oodles of fun watching the fights. It's about to start, so get ready.
Best and Worst of Weekly Shonen Jump #11 (2013)
Best: One Piece
Just so much going on!
Worst: Kuroko no Basket
Get to the point already!
Weekly Shonen Jump #11 (2013) Extra Stuff
- Bleach and Gintama were absent because the authors caught the flu.
Preview of Weekly Shonen Jump #12 (2013)
Colour: World Trigger
Absent: One Piece