Sometimes life gets the better of us and despite our beset intentions we may find ourselves falling behind in obligations. Whether those obligations be self-imposed or involuntary doesn’t really matter, what matters is that once you say you’ll do something, you’d better do it.
Towards the end of 2013 I found myself struggling to keep up with some of my own obligations, and the more they piled up the harder it was to even do the things I wanted to do. Sometimes all we can do is just throw our past failures to the wind and start fresh. Speaking of which, you may have noticed that there were no reviews of weekly shonen jump posted in December. Suffice to say a busy year kept me from really spending any time actually thinking about manga. And rather than write about something old I’ve decided to start fresh this year and post brand new content every week as soon as the chapters are released. After all, what’s the fun in discussing manga if I wait for a month to even think about writing down my opinions. With that said, I look forward to discussing the latest Shonen Jump chapters every week with all of you.
So let’s get started with this week.
One Piece Ch. 733
The battle to take Dressrosa back continues as the Toy Soldier and Usopp’s teams begin their assault. Meanwhile Rebecca continues to stick it through in her fight but an unknown force seems to have taken control over the match. One Piece has had some pretty amazing chapters the past several weeks, and while this specific chapter doesn’t have anything particularly ground breaking being revealed, it’s still an excellent chapter. The plot is in full motion, and it looks like the arc is moving towards a conclusion. It won’t be any time soon, but we’ll be getting some one on one battles not too soon I imagine. It turns out that the toy soldier is actually very strong, despite being in a fragile toy body. I like the idea that he’ll be limited based on his durability, any kind of handicap given to characters is more than appreciated and helps ratched the tension up. Overall this was a great chapter, even if it didn’t have any ground breaking revelations.
Naruto Ch. 660
The majority of this chapter focuses on giving Shukakuu a back-story where before he was just a pure evil monster that drove Gaara to become a homicidal maniac. As such it is a bit difficult to take the more positive direction Kishimoto has been driving the tailed beasts, especially when applied to a character who we only knew as a force of destruction. In fact, I find it hard to remember that this is the same Naruto that I once enjoyed reading. I’m not saying I don’t like the tailed beasts becoming good, but when the entire development over the course of the series with one exception, was to show how evil and destructive these monsters are, then I have a hard time taking this sudden turn to good seriously. I still remember how out of left field Kurama becoming a good guy was, and I’m not about to accept the same of Shukakuu without proper development. And I can’t really say this chapter does much to add to that development. I can accept someone hating humanity because of how horrible they are, because frankly we have our terrible moments. But this is also the same character that terrorized a little child, an innocent I might add, by saying that he would kill everyone if Gaara ever fell asleep. I will say, in this chapter’s favor, that seeing Naruto apparently lose the nine tails’ chakra makes for a pretty great cliffhanger.
Toriko Ch. 263
Sentimentality is not Toriko‘s strong point. In theory I really love the idea of Toriko being confronted by all of his success and how much his discoveries have meant to people. It’s actually really easy to forget that Toriko was actually an accomplished gourmet hunter, considering how throughout the course of the series he keeps coming across foods that he doesn’t know that other people do know about. Kind of hard to remember that there are foods he was the first person ever to discover. It might have helped if we’d actually seen him discover some new foods, without being directed there by someone else. My one problem with this chapter is I have no idea how all those random people knew that Toriko needed a pep talk? And am I really supposed to believe that someone in this series was allergic to all kinds of food except for one? Is that even possible? The montage of all the powerful beasts of the gourmet world was a lot of fun, even though by now the power levels are completely meaningless. And while we’ll be having a month long break, I’m hopeful that this series will come back more insane than before.
Seraph of the End Ch. 008
There really isn’t that much I can say about this chapter. I enjoy seeing the characters in their uniforms, but nothing has changed beyond the dress code. Well, that’s not entirely true, we can finally drop the facade of this being a school series, but all the characters I hated are still annoying, and we get another character who promises to be just as annoying as the rest of the cast. And please keep in mind, I normally tolerate most characters that other manga fans hate. But this series is just comprised of nothing but annoyances. And on top of that the comedy isn’t even any good. There are multiple attempts to make me laugh, but they are all just too painful to do anything but give a sarcastic little laugh.
Nisekoi Extra Chapter!
The nice thing about Nisekoi is that even when on the surface a chapter is nothing but shameless fanservice, and this special chapter is so very much that, there is still something to enjoy for people that aren’t complete degenerates. In this case it’s a twist on the old “guy being trapped in the girl’s hot springs”. Rakku is in fact not only completely innocent, but he’s exactly where he is meant to be and it’s the girls encroaching on him. Of course this doesn’t stop him from being pummelled. And the reason for having the girls in such an embarrassing situation actually kind of works. Having to get their clothes back makes perfect sense, since those are kind of important. Though methinks it would have been easier for them to just ask Rakku to get their clothes out of the tree and put them somewhere they can get to them without him catching a glimpse. But if everyone in comedies acted rationally there would be no story. Overall, a fun chapter if somewhat awkward to read at work.
One-Punch Man Ch. 031.2
Saitama fights off the alien barrage, while the knight confronting the alien monster finds himself in a bad spot. I think that One-Punch Man is surprisingly good at action despite having a hero who can do something ridiculous like punch giant bullets out of the air. But beyond saying that the designs in this chapter are really cool I don’t have much else to say.
Bleach Ch. 563
I love Mask de Masculine. It feels like Kubo just stopped caring and drew whatever nonsense came to mind, and what we got was glorious. Mask refuses to go down, coming back with even more insane abilities. Renji is clear to win this battle, but it’s stretched out in a way I can’t help but love. Content wise this chapter was kind of sparse, but it was glorious nonetheless.
World Trigger Ch. 045
The invasion seems to be a lot more serious than I’d thought it would be. World Trigger has avoided serious fatalities by having its characters never really be in harm’s way. This chapter actually felt tense, despite the heroes being able to bail out. I actually look forward to this war even more now. I’d had high hopes, but by this point I think my faith has been rewarded and we will get some pretty amazing action.
Nisekoi Ch. 105
Fortunately we got a Nisekoi chapter this week that wasn’t entirely fanservice. And one of my favorite characters gets some focus again. I really love how Nisekoi can take some standard character tropes and yet still make them interesting. Onodera may be the standard nice girl, but she was hysterical this chapter. I was laughing the entire way through, even during the minor lulls in the story. That’s not an easy thing to do.
Blue Exorcist Ch. 053
Well then, this chapter was just a little bit dark. I’m still annoyed at Kato introducing the professor character. Can we please not have blatant pedophile characters please? I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of the direction this story is going, I don’t mind dark, but there are times that I’d rather not put up with an excessively dark story. But really my problem right now is that I don’t know what to think of this chapter. It certainly explains why Izumo is the way she is.
Dragon Ball Z Ch. 046
Vegeta is defeated by being crushed under a giant child. I’m surprised he had any dignity left in this series after that. But at least the arc is wrapping up, with Vegeta declaring that he needs to escape, finally he is defeated. And so ends one of the better arcs of the Dragonball manga.
This was a pretty great week overall. If you had any favorite chapters this week let me know, also, has anyone tried out the crunchyroll manga section? It’s pretty great and I highly recommend it, beyond a few teething problems they seem to be having with getting the new chapters out.
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