All I can say is, “Yowza” this was one heck of a week to be a manga fan. Even the series I don’t like didn’t do anything beyond continuing to be disappointments. It’s so rare to see everyone in top form that I can’t remember the last time this really happened. And, now this is the exciting part, we’re getting a new series next week. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a brand new series so I’m not even going to bother trying to guess since I don’t know what the most recent series are.
Huh, guess that isn’t a great thing to admit as a self proclaimed expert on shounen manga. Well then…
World Trigger Ch. 032
This chapter raised my “cancellation alarm” (Trademark). Not necessarily because it’s been dropping in rankings (which it hasn’t, I’ve given up trying to understand the Japanese readers), but rather because of the pacing. This time around we skip right forward to the Border recruitment tournament. I still think this is a terrible idea, but World Trigger has been doing pretty well the past couple weeks so maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. But considering even seasoned writers have trouble making tournament arcs interesting I’m not holding my breath here.
Jaco The Galactic Patrolman Ch. 11
You don’t have to be a Dragon Ball fan to enjoy Jaco. But this chapter you really needed at least a working knowledge of that legendary manga series. I’m impressed that Toriyama kept all his references in the bag until the last chapter, and while I loved seeing how it all ties in to Dragon Ball I have to say it served the series overall a lot more by letting it stand on its own. I’d heard the rumors that Jaco was a Dragon Ball prequel, but even so the reveal was well done and exciting. I got chills when Jaco described the invading alien.
The one problem I have is that since Tights is revealed to be Bulma’s older sister we now have to wonder why she was never mentioned in the main series. Of course she was never mentioned because Toriyama hadn’t invented her yet. Which makes introducing a character with such a close relation to one of the main characters in the “sequel” series a tricky endeavor. Sure it can be fun, but we’re always left wondering after that, did Bulma just hate her sister? Is that why she never talked about her?
Speaking of which, why is Bulma so much more competent in one chapter, and as a five year old, than she ever was in Dragon Ball?
Nisekoi Ch. 092
Well, I called it. It’s not official, but all hints point towards another girl being introduced. On the one hand I trust Naoshi to get it right. On the other hand I don’t think another love interest is what Nisekoi needs right now. Maybe the next girl turns out to be the girl Rakku made his promise with, but she’s forgotten and ends up having the hots for Shu instead. Now THAT would be a twist.
Other than that I can’t say this chapter was all that great. There wasn’t that much comedy, and the focus was on just wrapping up this last arc and introducing a new twist into the plot. Though it did make me look up if children actually changed their eye color, which it turns out does happen but usually it goes from light to dark rather than the other way around.
One Piece Ch. 722
Some weeks I find myself with little to say because the manga I talk about has little substance. This week I’m having the opposite problem. I’ve got so much I want to say, but I can’t figure out how to say it without making this review three times the length it should be and half as coherent as it needs to be. I guess a chronological approach would be best, and while it isn’t my style to talk about everything that happens in a chapter I might have to make an exception this week.
First off, I loved seeing how Luffy’s beef with the people yelling at Rebecca because of what her grandfather allegedly did. And while I do think we can be trusted to remember that Luffy doesn’t like being judged for what his grandpa did without the need of their faces in the background, I love how this is one of those rare times that Luffy goes beyond his happy go luck persona and actually gets invested in someone’s backstory. Usually we never get to really see Luffy react to someone’s backstory, since he tends to either wander off or fall asleep. What this means about Rebecca’s future in the series I can’t comment, but when you consider that we didn’t get to see him react like this to say, Nami’s backstory, perhaps it might be significant?
Cavendish gets his moment in the sun, and while his character building isn’t as awesome as Bartolomeo’s he still gets enough added to his basic persona that he’s a lot more interesting than some main characters from other series that I could mention but won’t.
Zoro’s comment to Sanji when Violet comes back is priceless. And a sign of excellent writing, since it was set up months ago.
Brooke has been getting some great moments the past several arcs, to make up for missed chances before the crew was split up I imagine. This chapter also features the best skull joke I’ve seen out of the entire series.
And of course, Doflamingo’s reveal. While we knew the basic idea behind the founding of the world government, actually getting even a single page tease of what happened during the void century is enough to have me go into a fanboy frenzy. There was much flailing of arms after this chapter.
Toriko Ch. 251
I couldn’t shake the strongest feeling of deja-vu this chapter. I don’t know why, but for some reason I swear I’ve seen this chapter before. Or something very similar to it. But, that aside, while there wasn’t much action this chapter I think I liked this one a lot more than most of the chapters I’ve read recently. I’ve got something for backstory, and seeing Acacia for the first time was brilliant. It’s also nice to see that Shimabukuro is feeling comfortable enough that he’s actually drawing more women.
Naruto Ch. 648
Sir Isaac Newton? What are you doing in Naruto? Wouldn’t it be amazing, if Naruto turns out to be a sequel to Vision of Escaflowne? All would be forgiven then.
I may love backstory, but I think Hashirama and the other Hokages are starting to outlive their welcome. I’ve said the same thing about the series as a whole, and this chapter really didn’t do anything to change my mind. But it wasn’t the worst chapter of Naruto I’ve ever read. But it didn’t really give me anything I haven’t seen before. What would it take to make me love Naruto again? Well, a complete 180 in the direction the manga is taking might be nice.
One-Punch Man Ch. 027
This was easily the most heroic thing I’ve seen from any hero. Including most mainstream western superheroes. And even though it’s something as mundane as lying to protect others, the reaction from the crowd makes it all the more heroic, even if Saitama doesn’t actually care. Though the crowd is getting on my nerves. They make the people of Springfield seem reasonable. And what is it about even the most blatant parody of a Neet Otaku that pisses me off?
Bleach Ch. 550
So far so good. A bit formulaic, but at least Kubo is determined not to make the battle too easy for the Soul Reapers. But, because I feel Bleach still isn’t anywhere near where it was at its peak I can’t really lavish any praise beyond mentioning that it isn’t doing anything wrong. Which seems like poor praise for a series that used to be my favorite.
Dragon Ball Z Ch. 033
The best thing that ever happened to the character of Nappa was Dragon Ball Z Abridged. Still, coming back to the original version of the character is a bit disappointing. I still like Dragon Ball, I’m not the biggest fan, but each chapter is still very enjoyable. It’s just that right now the chapters are good, but without anything major that really needs to be discussed.
Aside from some great chapters, the big news is definitely the new series coming out next week. And while the Shonen Jump Podcast hinted at what it could be, I don’t think we have enough information to decide what it is. While it may be a brand new series, which currently running series would you like to see in WSJ?
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