And here I was looking forward to another hilarious chapter of Seraph of the End. But, unfortunately, this new series is a monthly in Japan that has been going on for a couple months. So in order to stretch it out a bit WSJ will be giving us two chapters a month until we’re caught up. Between this series and One-Punch Man, which is also off this week seeing as we just caught up, it feels like WSJ has heard the complaints that some series aren’t doing well because they didn’t start at the very beginning. They’re definitely trying out new ways to make sure we get the whole story, rather than starting at the most recent chapter and then looking the other way as some readers go read scanlations of what came before. But, this has me worried because while this can work for monthly series there still isn’t any clear way to start a weekly series that has been going on for more than a few chapters. And considering how often new series get cancelled I think that the staff at Viz might be a little gun-shy where brand new series are concerned. Besides the series that have been ongoing and everyone has read scanlations for anyway I’m worried that we won’t be getting many more WSJ series added to the magazine.
I can understand not wanting to put effort into something that might get cancelled anyway, but I read this magazine because I like WSJ. To have so many monthly series from different magazines is a bit worrisome. I’m hoping we don’t go the route of making this magazine nothing but monthly series. While they are easier to start from the beginning, and have often been going for a while, I’m afraid that WSJ won’t be WSJ anymore if this goes on for too long.
Cross Manage Special Bonus Chapter
I could go on a rant about how angry I am that this series was cancelled. And I would be well justified, after being reminded of how much I love this series it would be so easy to get back into a rant mode where all I focus on is that we probably won’t be getting any more of this series. But, like the mature and well adjusted adult I am (please don’t listen to the podcast where we review the last chapter, it will contradict what I just said) I’m going to instead focus on the chapter itself.
First off, you’ll probably like this chapter a lot more if you like the main pairing, and they’re innocent enough that it’s hard not to like them. But even if you don’t care for them you’ll still have plenty to enjoy in this little story set in the middle of the final chapter. Everything we love about Cross Manage is here, the characters, the jokes, and just the overall good vibes the series gives off. While it didn’t focus on lacrosse as much I don’t think anyone will be too worried about that. The sport, after all, isn’t the main reason we came to love this manga in the first place.
All in all it’s a satisfying, if bittersweet, goodbye. Cross Manage had so much potential to live up to, and Kato clearly had the skill to make this one of the great series. But instead, because we are forced to live under the whims of the Japanese votes we have lost a series that made a big impact with western audiences.
Now someone please help me make some noise about this series, let’s start a kickstarter, or something to get the funds together to just straight up pay Kato to write more chapters.
Bleach Ch. 553
Aaaand suddenly it seems like the Quincies will all be taken down very easily. Don’t you just love convenient plot developments in shonen action series? Never mind the character actually in the battle figuring out how to overcome their enemy. Let’s have a mad scientist just pull the solution out of his ass. Now that’s some good writing!
We’re probably going to be doing this back and forth chapter to chapter for a while now. I’m giving it two more chapters before I’m walking. I don’t mind the typical back and forth, but I would like it to actually be interesting. Fight scenes have a certain flow, and for the most part the conflict between characters has to remain very personal. Only rarely can an outside force influence the fight in a way that doesn’t feel lazy. This is not one of those times.
Naruto Ch. 651
If ever there was a time that the terrible “Believe it!” catchphrase would be appropriate, this would be it. It would be terrible, but it would be terrible in an appropriate way. It certainly wouldn’t be any worse than telling Lee, who can’t use ninjutsu of any kind, “You can do it!” when he asks if he can actually control the rasengan Naruto made for him. I know that at times writers may ignore logic, hoping that the emotion of the climax will be grand enough to avoid any probing questions. But that only works for me if you happen to be writing Dr Who and your composer is good enough to leave me in tears and unable to question your logic.
And I’m afraid that, “You can do it!” is not a valid explanation. It’s barely even a proper sportswear slogan.
One Piece Ch. 725
The thing about One Piece is that a lot of times we’ll figure out what’s going to happen in advance because of the hints Oda drops. So the fate of the losers of the tournament is not a surprise. And yet, somehow, it’s still satisfying. I think that can be chalked up to the characters. If you have good characters you can get away with a lot. And Oda has some of the best characters, even those that are bit players at best.
I enjoy Rebecca’s fighting style, it’s a lot smarter than just saying “She’s really strong.” Turns out she actually isn’t very strong, she just knows how to fight smart. And this is the first time we’ve seen a character that is able to win despite not being overpowered. It’s nice to see that Oda can write a woman that is a good fighter in a clever and unexpected way. Now if only he’d give Nami and Robin some good fights again.
Speaking of which, I think Nami has become Doflamingo’s most dangerous opponent. All it would take is him chasing them, and her dispelling all the nearby clouds right over the ocean. He falls, he drowns, end of story. Well, end of his story, not the end of One Piece’s story, since there is so much more beyond Doflamingo to discover, even if he is one of the more interesting elements of the story.
The big question now, though, is what exactly are Violet’s intentions? She’s last seen heading back to the palace, was she just playing Sanji really, really well? Or is there some kind of unfinished business she must resolve before she can make her escape? I’d like to see her still be on the side of the villains. Her turning against Doflamingo was too easy, and it would make a great twist to have her still be evil after what we thought was a sincere turn.
The question, ultimately, is what do you think? I could be completely off base about this chapter and my predictions. If so, let me know.
Toriko Ch. 254
This chapter gave us a slightly better explanation for why Midora is evil. It’s still glossed over for the most part, but at least it gives a more emotional reason, rather than the clinical “And now he’s evil because he is sad.”
I keep forgetting that people in Toriko can recover from the most outrageous injuries. When Ichiryu was first injured I thought he was a goner, but now it turns out he actually healed himself. I knew he could do that, I just keep forgetting because it’s actually kind of silly. But even Toriko characters have their limits and it looks like Ichiryu is finished, overpowered by Midora’s dark gourmet cells. We pretty much figured that Ichiryu wouldn’t survive this, but I still look forward to seeing where the story goes from here now that this flashback within a flashback is over.
Nisekoi Ch. 095
Now we’re talking. Nisekoi‘s biggest strength is its characters and the comedy derived from them. So chapters like last week’s do more to hurt the series rather than strengthen it. A character like this one, while not completely original, is a step in the right direction. Basically take the perverted old man and make him a teenaged girl. Quality.
The idea has been done before, but not in many series that are freely available in the West. A good example of the character type is Kaoru from Psychic Squad, a series about espers that is sadly not available as a manga over here, but the decent anime series adaptation has been brought over by Sentai Filmworks. Worth a look if you have the kind of money Sentai prices require.
But Nisekoi has skirted the lines of being derivative before. Major elements of the series are inspired by earlier harem comedies like Love Hina and Ranma 1/2, but I’ve found that they’re incorporated so well that it never stands out as an egregious issue, and since nobody really knows about Psychic Squad but me there won’t be many people calling “foul” on our new character.
So enjoy your new Nisekoi, with all the inappropriate comments being spouted by a teenaged girl.
World Trigger Ch. 035
This chapter wasn’t bad. But it was mediocre, which is a bigger crime in my book. Besides being reminded that Osamu isn’t a good fighter we didn’t learn that much new, even though the majority of the chapter was explaining how the chameleon trigger worked. Granted, Osamu learns about Jin giving away his black trigger, so we might get something interesting next chapter as Osamu asks for one more round.
Dragon Ball Z Ch. 036
I find it odd that I enjoyed this chapter, when earlier I was complaining about Bleach doing the old “first they win during one chapter, then they lose during the next, and back and forth, etc, etc”. Yet somehow it works here. Probably because DBZ was the first manga many read that introduced this formula. And in this case it works because we saw Goku train to use the Kaioken and in this chapter he overpowers it at great risk to himself. There’s tension, possible consequences, all things that Bleach is missing.
I think I may have found out how to review this series, by comparing it to current Bleach chapters. After all, Bleach is called “DBZ with swords”. So let’s see what the original can teach us about how to write a fight scene.
Again, this was a good week where the good chapters clearly outweighed the bad. The return of Cross Manage, even for just one chapter, lifted my spirits immensely. I may not enjoy next week, with One Piece being off (according to the translator), but who knows, maybe some of my least favorite series might surprise me?
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