Trying to find the cover for this issue of Weekly Shonen Jump has been close to impossible, but don't worry I'll add one as soon as possible. This issue of Weekly Shonen Jump saw the start of a new gag series by the name of PSI Kusuo Saiki and the chapters of the other series were mostly good. I'm still waiting for Haikyuu!! to catch up but I think at the speed that Uprod scans are going, it will be caught up soon enough.
So let's take a look at this issue's chapters.
Bleach - 491
I'm glad that Kubo-sensei has rediscovered the art of making a chapter of manga feel like it lasted a few minutes - definitely an aspect that makes Bleach what it has been in the past. That said, it's sometimes a little frustrating but not so much in this case.
Opie has entered into his "Angel Form" and is almost too strong. Even though Ichigo hasn't released his bankai and is still managing, isn't a great sign since Ichigo's strength is meant to quite comfortably rival that of a Gotei 13 captain so just from that point, I'm a little disappointed that after various training mini.arcs he is still not at the peak of his strength - at one point it looked like Opie was toying with him.
After they exchange blows, Harribel's fraccione make a reappearance unleashing their combination beast Ayon. This was also a little disappointing since their not meant to be that strong and even though they might have powered up significantly after their return to Hueco Mundo, Ichigo should have powered up as well. The chapter ends with that, making it feel as if not much was actually revealed.
The chapter wasn't bad but I do hope that Ichigo's strength is being underplayed and his overall powers are not being minimised.
One Piece - 666
First off, on the front page of this chapter it revealed that our favourite okama, Mr. Bon Clay is still alive and living in Impel Down as the Newkama Queen. Another great display of how Oda-sensei's "From The Deck's of World" project is a great technique used to answer some of the readers' questions about certain characters without having to actually make them reappear in the manga because it's infeasible.
The chapter was mostly about the Yeti Cool Brothers, the assassins working directly under Ceaser Clown who were in the last panel of chapter 665 and finally more is revealed about Trafalgar Law's connection to Ceaser Clown. The start of the chapter shows us Zoro, Brook and Sanji (in Nami's body) having been defeated by the Yeti Cool Brothers, which they immediately report to their HQ. What really showed their ruthlessness is that they responded to the question, "Did you kill them " with a simple and unemotional "Do you have a problem with that " Besides the fact that their quite ruthless, their strength is made evident by the fact that they took down Zoro, the second strongest member of the crew but I seriously doubt he was going all out and it does make me wonder whether they were sneaky in their method to take him out.
Right after that we get a few pages with Trafalgar Law and Ceaser Clown. A little is revealed about their past, mainly the fact that Law was the one who approached Punk Hazard and requested Ceaser to let him stay there; here I immediately noticed that during the flashback, Law approached Ceaser alone without any of his crew and up until this point there were a lot of theories about Ceaser having control over Law's crew but now it looks like his crew was wiped out somewhere else in the New World and Law may have become a Shichibukai for that reason and came to Punk Hazard in order to escape from someone he fears. Ceaser did question Law's loyalty at the end of their meeting, to which Law responded by allowing himself to be called by Ceaser if there was anyone he needed to kill.
While the meeting was coming to an end, the Yeti Cool Brothers made their move and attempted to take down the remaining crew members and kill off Brownbeard in the process since he had become a nuisance to Ceaser. It played out much like I would have expected it, with no conclusion to their fight and not much more being revealed about the assassins but when they took Nami (in Franky's body) because they were ordered to do so, that showed us that Ceaser may not like Vegapunk but he certainly acknowledges his skills as a scientist.
And the last few panels of the chapter showed us Law making his way to his meeting with Luffy, having been clearly angered by something and my bet is that he's about to tell Luffy everything and possibly claim on the favour he is owed - knowing Luffy, he'll make sure to repay the favour without Law's consent but what I find to be a very unlikely yet circumstantial possibility is Law joining Luffy's crew since he no longer has a crew of his own.
Another good chapter from One Piece.
Naruto - 585
The fight goes on and we're shown a few familiar faces - we might not have seen most of them in god knows how long but still - and as far as fights go it's not bad but unfortunately rather predictable. Moves like Sasuke and Itachi snapping each other out of their respective genjutsu's by using sharingan on each other isn't overly original and the techniques running up to that particular page didn't leave me impressed.
I think the flashbacks maybe to blame and the fact that the technique Izanami was mentioned at least 3-4 chapters ago and might have been shown here, took away the excitement of seeing a new technique which disappoints me since I have never had that problem with Naruto. By the end of the chapter I was indifferent; I didn't care that Izanami was stopped once again and I didn't care that Kabuto somehow managed to land a critical hit.
I'm a little frustrated with the way this arc has played out and if I'm being honest it didn't even occur to me that Itachi might have already activated Izaanami until a few days later. All I can say is that, with each chapter I do hope that we get closer to finishing off this fight,
Beelzebub - 155
The arc comes to an end with this chapter and what a great arc it's been. It was never really going to be more than a little side-story to take the edge off after quite significant advancement in the plot but it was definitely well done.
The chapter featured a lout of funny moment and good humour to accompany it: the Touhoshinki's fame amongst the South High which inadvertently leads to them being pestered and Kanazki getting a new slave for Futaba, Toujo's fans staring at him whilst he decides on whether to purchase sweets or not and the highlight for me which was Nene being brought into the spotlight for a change by being told that she has a fan club.
Kunieda's talk with Chiba was also a nice touch to end the arc, and what's notable is that it was the first time she actually admitted to have feelings for Oga (his name did not come up of course but she finally confessed that she has someone she likes). The wrap-up of the chapter itself was focused on the final love triangle quarrel between Beel, Chiyo and Futaba, a an arguement which Paako turns into a great and hilarious photo moment in which Furuichi is barely included (the picture above was cropped by me to highlight this). It was very to see Furuichi be a good comedy character even with so few appearances and lines in this arc, showing how great of an addition he is to the cast.
Very good chapter for a very good arc ending.
Nisekoi - 25
I feared this may happen after reading the previous chapter. Raku ends up having to save Chitoge since she get's frightened being alone in the dark and he's the only one that knows, but in order to do this he has to leave Onodera who looks a little devastated in the panel where she looks at his hand getting further and further away. I'm not that pleased that this chapter ended up being all about Chitoge but it did bring about some good developments with it and some artwork of a young Chitoge stuck in a crevice which made her look extremely cute.
Raku saving Chitoge did look to make her feelings for him evident and accepted; at the end when she decides to cancel her plans to visit the place from her childhood it felt like she has now developed romantic feelings for her fake boyfriend. At the same time, it may have become more evident to Raku that he might actually stand a chance with Onodera.
Even though Onodera was shown to be slightly disappointed in the end of the chapter, I do hope that she won't disappear as a possible contender for Raku's girlfriend and a part of me likes to think that she was smiling a bit because Raku's the same guy that he's always been and she loves him even more for that. If I'm being honest, I didn't really care for this plot development, more-so since it has appeared in Kimi no Iru Machi but it did turn out okay and will hopefully lead to better things from Nisekoi. Final point: Tsugumi shows off her more feminine side by being scared during the whole courage test.
Pajama na Kanojo - 11
Following the confession, a man who feels inferior to a woman wouldn't know what to say.......well at least in Pajama na Kanojo. The chapter mostly dealt with Keisuke's reaction to Yuki's confession or lack of in his case and lead to Yuki acting like a girl in love - a nice change of course but I wasn't expecting the teasing sempai to open up to her young and dumb Kouhai so soon yet alone fall in love with him and act the way she did.
Since this is Jump, I kind of half-expected for there to be no reaction to the confession and it also became the case that the love triangle has properly been established in the series since at the end of the episode we see Makura's feelings for Keisuke being verified. While I know that many readers of the series have been rooting for Yuki, Makura's restraint in telling Keisuke about her feelings out of fear of burdening him have really made her character more likeable and has made her seem a lot more mature, considering that she was always acting like a child whenever they were together. The art changed quite a bit for this chapter and by doing so gave this chapter something new; since there were no ecchi scenes drawn, the focus was to make the Yuki and Makura look cute - this was done rather well and added a little bit of variety to an otherwise fully ecchi romance Pajama has shaped up to be.
One thing I did notice is that Susano was shown in a panel and she looked a little saddened by the development, so with that I'm going to guess that the love triangle might end up being your typical shonen harem. Overall, this chapter didn't have the same impact as the previous one but it was a nice change of pace and style, done very well.
magico - 58
This chapter is probably the breather chapter of this arc, providing a break from the a rather speedy and occasionally shallow progression of the arc.
There some comedy revolving around the beginning of everyone's battles that I didn't really care for; the conversation between Shion and the Dark Rabbit regarding good and bad jokes wasn't really to my liking, in fact it felt like really sloppy dialogue which cannot be fully attributed to being "lost in translation" but I did find Mr. Cat's obsession with dressing Emma up in fantasy cosplay to be amusing, even if it did create a mini reverse harem within the arc.
The exchange of blows between Shion and Dark Rabbit reveal the latters strength. Shion is then blasted into some type of dimensional space where he encounters Ain, Faust's wife. This meeting felt a bit random and honestly I wasn't expecting her to show up again so soon but this wasn't necessarily a bad point of this chapter; the bad point, which isn't even really a "bad" point, was that she was the one to reveal information about the creatures of the theme park being the creations of a mage called Pirza. Now that revelation was presented in a very inconclusive manner because I didn't really get the feeling that Pirza became the main antagonist of the arc but at the same it could be the case so for now interpretation is really up to the individual but if I had to guess I'd say its a case of the creatures living on and protecting the theme park for the sake of their master who may/may not be deceased.
Ain also presents Shion with a ring that is intended to be a gift from Faust, which allows him to use his ultimate broom magic without sacrificing his memories. Again, I was a little taken back by how quickly the reconciliation between the brothers happened, since it's the norm in most shonen series to at least wait one arc and then reconcile (most of the time it's much longer) and yet again this makes it hard to judge whether it's bad because it was done too soon or if it's good because it didn't adhere to the stereotypical way of story progression.
The highlight of the chapter for me was the final page where we get to see Luu power up to her 18 year old version, something we haven't seen in quite a while. Luu finally getting a chance to show off her powers is a good thing because she hasn't done much participation and in fact has been treated like a child throughout all of the magical home arc and even at the beginning of this one, so it's good to finally see her coming back into action for the next chapter.
Overall the chapter was neither here nor there but it did have some good developments. I hope the immense speed at which this arc is moving is not because of any cancellation plans/fears that the manga is/might be facing, since it has taken away from the detail and from creating more than adequate climaxes.
Kurogane - 34
I don't have much to say about this chapter......
Yes it was quite amusing with the introduction of the new character but no it wasn't shocking that he's somehow related to the kendo club and not mention that he was a former ace. I'm not that enthused about the recent direction of Kurogane and this chapter doesn't make me take back my words or even slightly reconsider them but instead makes me wonder if the series can keep my interest for much longer.
Such an average chapter if I'm being honest.
Preview of Weekly Shonen Jump Issue #25
Cover - Sensei no Bulge (Weekly Shonen Jump debut)
Colour Page - Pajama na Kanojo
Colour Page - Haikyuu!!