It’s strange, even though I haven’t really been missing Bleach, seeing it back in the lineup makes everything feel right again. I think we’ve gotten a glimpse of what life will be like post-big three, and I must say, I don’t care for it. What will I do without the top three most popular shonen manga to either love or hate? What will my life become? These are all things worth considering, leave your survival strategies in the comment section. But for now, let’s talk about the manga itself.
Bleach Ch. 547
Well, Bleach is back. Can’t say I really missed it all that much, even though my manga reading life did feel a bit emptier without it. Bleach, and Naruto, and I have a bit of an abusive relationship. They give me nothing but pain and I just can’t quit them. Bleach has the upper hand in that it hasn’t actually done anything to hurt me, rather it’s like being in a relationship that you’ve grown tired of, but you aren’t ready to quit because your partner still knows how to function like a human being and hasn’t done anything to royally piss you off.
Sure there’s some misplaced comedy, and the idea that the Quincy were hiding in Soul Society all along is pretty ludicrous, but whatever. At least Bleach doesn’t force characters I hate down my throat. Rather it forces characters I don’t care about down my throat. Which is still annoying, but not as rage inducing as what other series I’ve read do.
One matter of note is that having gotten another good look at Ichigo’s sword I have to wonder why Kubo keeps designing swords that look like they would be incredibly uncomfortable to use. His swords don’t even have hilts, they’re just pieces of the blade that happen not to be sharp. But they still have edges that look like they would dig into your skin quite painfully after a while.
World Trigger Ch. 029
Anytime I find myself thinking, “This chapter of World Trigger wasn’t so bad” I have to remind myself that it’s taken twenty nine chapters to do what most series would do in one or two. The “moderately interested” stage of manga reading should not take several months to kick in. So, even when it gets a little bit interesting I remember that World Trigger took forever just to be competent. That doesn’t bode well for any actual future enjoyment.
To be fair, this chapter, on its own, was enjoyable. A lot of my hatred for this series stems from the fact that I apparently have a hard time letting go of grudges. At best all I can say about World Trigger is what I’m saying about this chapter, “It wasn’t awful, but I’m not expecting anything from this series.”
One Piece Ch. 720
Eiichiro Oda is a master of a character writing style that I started practicing a couple years ago. The method involves taking character archetypes and stereotypes and then adding a contradictory element to them. I haven’t exactly mastered it yet, but Oda is the writer I look up to most for this method after this chapter. Already Bartolomeo was a fun character, but to find out that he’s a massive Luffy fanboy just made him shoot up in my One Piece character rankings.
Rebecca was less impressive, she does reveal more of the underlying backstory for this arc, but as far as characters go she follows the vein of most women in One Piece that aren’t main characters. She’s not a bad character, but she’s not very interesting. The fact that she spends most of the time almost completely naked (I refuse to consider that outfit actual clothing) would be a good foil to build upon, after all the scantily clad female warrior is a trope in and of itself. But taking that archetype and making her just a normal One Piece girl doesn’t quite do it for me. I’m open to being surprised, after all One Piece is nothing if not surprising, but for the moment I’m not a huge fan of Nami 5.0…I mean Rebecca.
Toriko Ch. 248
What sets Toriko apart from most other battle series is Shimabukuro’s willingness to use real science/theories in his fantasy world. After amping them up to one million of course. Maybe the Square Root Law is a real theory (don’t ask me, I don’t do statistics), but I’m pretty sure we can’t use the ten percent abnormal movement of our cells to fly. But it can be done in manga, and that’s why I love manga so much. It doesn’t have to follow normal rules like other forms of fiction do. It can do what it wants, when it wants. It’s a sign of how clever the whole idea is that I ignore the man with the giant tongue to talk about it.
Naruto Ch. 645
As I’m writing this I have to go back and reread chapters to remember what happened. I don’t need to do that with Naruto because I know for a fact it won’t make any more sense the second time around. Here’s the problem with Naruto right now. It isn’t even that Sasuke is in the story. It’s that things are happening. But none of them carry any weight. The scale has gotten so ludicrously large that any escalation leaves me cold. Sure my attitude is influenced by past chapters, but it really is a problem that this series has gotten to the point where nothing that happens will be seen as important. A formerly somewhat important character dies? Who cares, it was only Neji, we’ve all forgotten about that now.
Please, Kishimoto, just finish this so we can see Naruto and Sasuke have their final battle. And please, stop it with the inappropriate comedy. You stopped being funny years ago.
One-Punch Man Ch. 025
There wasn’t any comedy this chapter, and it’s a sign of how talented these creators are that a series based on a single gag has grown so much. The action is amazing in this chapter, and the rising conflict is exactly what I expect from an action series. It’s a shame that a comedy series is doing a better job of it than certain action series are.
Then again, plenty of action series are trying and failing at comedy while this comedy series is trying and succeeding at action. Huh.
Jaco The Galactic Patrolman Ch. 008
Now this chapter I liked. Granted it was because I was reading a lot more tension into it than was actually there, with the possibility of “insert article of clothing name here” dying during the rocket launch. But beyond that I can’t say I’m a huge fan of this series. I’ve heard rumors of this actually being a prequel of Dragon Ball, which honestly makes no sense since the overall level of technology in this series seems a bit higher than it did in Dragon Ball. Though I could be remembering things wrong. Either way, I’m hoping things turn out the way I expect since that will help raise this series’ stock in my opinion.
Blue Exorcist Ch. 049
Methinks someone is taking some liberties with Hebraic/Christian mythology. I know this may come as a shock, considering this is a manga we’re talking about, which tend to usually be so faithful to the source material they are cribbing from, but I’m getting the sneaking feeling that the author only knows a bunch of names of demons without knowing who they actually are. Wondering what I’m talking about? Well, for one, suddenly Mephisto is also Samael, but most egregiously, Lucifer and Satan are now different characters. To put that into perspective for those of you that weren’t dragged to Sunday School every week, and then didn’t spend a chunk of University researching the Hebraic roots upon which most Christian mythology is built upon, Lucifer and Satan are the same person. Lucifer, the Prince of Light, was Satan’s pre-fall identity. And Samael is an early name given to Satan in Hebraic lore. While Mephistopheles is highly suggested to be yet another name given to Satan. So it’s three different people, all of which are actually supposed to be the same person.
As for the material in this chapter itself. It was okay I guess, but I’m a little peeved that we’re entering a rescue arc. Nothing wrong with rescue arcs per-say. But it’s still been incredibly overused. It’ll take a couple decades of nobody ever using a rescue arc again for me to not immediately say “Oh jeez, not another rescue arc.”
Nisekoi Ch. 089
Amnesia is a tired old trope. But I like what Nisekoi is doing with it here. We get to see a wrench thrown into the usual antics of the characters, and we’re getting the promise that this arc we’ll get more of the past. The series is still funny, though there are some latent issues slipping in here and there. Mostly with Rakku’s reaction to Tsugumi pulling a gun on him. “Girls shouldn’t use guns”? Yeah, that’s a can of worms I don’t think should be opened. But, latent sexism aside, this series continues to be funny, just in a slightly more haremy way than I was hoping for.
Dragon Ball Z Ch. 030
So the line was “Over 8000” all along? My whole life is a lie! Anyone know what the proper number is, because I’m really curious now. My theory is that 8000 is the original number, but that the english anime changed it to 9000 to avoid the consonant sound at the end of eight and make the line flow better. Still, we’re coming to the Goku and Vegeta fight soon, which should be plenty fun.
I hope we get a new series in WSJ soon, because at the moment it feels like most of what we get is getting a bit stale. I’m hoping for another Cross Manage or another Barrage, only this time I hope for a series that actually sticks around. What do you think the new series should be? Action? Adventure? Romance? Comedy? Or a bit of everything?
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Jenn saysSeptember 18, 2013 at 4:00 pm
Re: Blue Exorcist – if it makes you feel better, you weren’t the only one who said “Sigh – Lucifer and Satan is THE SAME PERSON” (Southern Baptist upbringing) It took me out of the story for a minute.
Derek Bown saysSeptember 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm
I don’t expect everyone to know that, but to be fair, if you’re going to write a story heavily influencing Christian themes you might want to do more than google names.
Personally I got a kick out of it because it let me show off my hard earned college knowledge about Hebraic mythology.
Jenn saysSeptember 18, 2013 at 5:09 pm
Agreed – while Lucifer = Satan would be common knowledge in my hometown, it probably is not in general.
Also, One Punch Man is awesome. And although I dislike harems and reverse harems in general, I can tolerate Nisekoi and even enjoy it in spots.
Derek Bown saysSeptember 18, 2013 at 5:20 pm
I think Nisekoi was quite a bit better before all the extra girls got introduced, but I can’t really get angry at it for going the harem route when I’m enjoying every single one of the new characters. Except for Haru, she annoys me.
Jenn saysSeptember 18, 2013 at 5:37 pm
Is Haru the little sister? If so, yep, she’s really annoying. Perhaps I’ve enjoyed these amnesia chapters because she’s not really in them.
Also, I just coincidentially finished reading the Subdued Fangirling review of the “The Devil is a Part Timer” anime (which I really enjoyed). Anyway – the review did briefly note that Lucifer and Satan should not be two different characters.
Derek Bown saysSeptember 18, 2013 at 8:08 pm
Yeah, she’s the little sister. Not sure why she got focused on so much. Doesn’t really make sense.
So I take it that anime made Lucifer and Satan two different people too huh? Yeesh, it’s a pandemic of not doing the research.