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Shonen Jump Recap 1/20/19

It’s tearful reunion time in The Promised Neverland.

Warning: Significant plot spoilers ahead!

Welcome to AiPT!’s weekly Shonen Jump recap column! I’ll be sharing my reactions to the latest chapters of all the various Jump comics I’m keeping up with from week to week. From current hits to the latest Jump Start series, I have plenty to talk about. With that said, be warned: there are some major spoilers ahead, so don’t read further if you have yet to catch up on this week’s new releases.

The Promised Neverland Chapter 119
Kaiu Shirai & Posuka Demizu
Tranlation by Satsuki Yamashita, lettering by Mark McMurray

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It’s finally here: the reunion of Emma and Norman. It’s been over eighty chapters, but they’re together again and their meeting is so poignant. Demizu continues to demonstrate that she’s among the top artists in comics right now, with emotive visual storytelling that heightens the personal drama to the max. Ray’s reunion with Norman is also heartfelt, and it lets us see a much softer side of Ray. All in all this is a beautiful chapter that tugs on the heartstrings while catching the reader up on what Norman’s been doing. The ending is great too, and it looks like we’ll finally find out what this series’ demons actually are next week. I can’t wait.

My Hero Academia Chapter 213
Kohei Horikoshi
Translation by Caleb Cook, lettering by John Hunt

What an eventful week! This is a short chapter, but it packs a good amount in its low page-count. We find out what the hell’s been going on with Midoriya– namely, that he’s inheriting the Quirks of all of One For All’s past users. That opens up all sorts of possibilities for how his power will develop going forward, as well as raises the stakes considerably. With his own abilities amping up extremely, it’s obvious that the series’ antagonists will just get more dangerous going forward. With that said, my favorite aspect of this chapter is probably the continued focus on Uraraka. It’s nice to actually see her get to do something again.

Ne0;lation Chapter 5
Tomohide Hirao & Mizuki Yoda
Translation by Christine Dashiell, lettering by Brandon Bovia

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This was probably the series’ best chapter to date. The characters have been a bit too bland for my taste thus far, but Makoto Anzai has amped things up as a villain. His A.I., Motoko, has a fantastic design. There’s also interesting ground covered with the idea of Motoko controlling humans’ emotions despite not having any of its own. With that said, the latter half of this chapter felt a bit awkward in its pacing. Nonetheless, this was a solid read.

Chainsaw Man Chapter 6
Tatsuki Fujimoto
Translation by Amanda Haley, lettering by Sabrina Heep

Man, I love this series’ art. Fujimoto’s style has a roughness to it that fits the horror very well. The pages with the bat demon here are easily the highlight of the manga thus far. They’re just so unflinchingly gruesome. With that said, this chapter also succeeds largely by not focusing on Denji. That’s a problem, since we’re only six chapters in and I already hate him as a protagonist. I like the world around him and how it’s drawn a lot more than I like him or any of his personal struggles. I’m super excited to see more of that bat demon though.

Dr. STONE Chapter 90
Riichiro Inagaki & Boichi with Kurare (science consultant)
Translation by Caleb Cook, lettering by Steve Dutro

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In a week full of great chapters and major plot reveals, this was my favorite. Boichi’s art is just stunning. From the beautiful skylines and nature details to characters’ emotive facial expressions, every detail is crisp and pleasing to look at. This chapter is also a great encapsulation of the series as a whole: characters using the power of science to drive forward and rebuild human society. The creative team makes inventions like agriculture and bread legitimately exciting instead of just the stuff of dry world history textbooks. My favorite scene in this chapter was probably Senku and company’s drafting up maps, giving more shape to the series’ futuristic yet undeveloped world. One discovery always leads to the next with this series, and this week’s installment was fantastic from start to finish.

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Chapter 295
Yuto Tsukuda & Shun Saeki with Yuki Morisaki (recipe contributor)
Translation by Adrienne Beck, lettering by Mara Coman

This was a decent chapter, but it did nothing to wow me. I had fun with Soma’s antics, but that may just be because I’ve come to love the character so much already. This latest arc continues to feel a bit phoned in, like all the ingredients for a great time are present but the actual execution is just…eh. Of course, the art is still lovely. The reveal at the end that we’ll be seeing more of Eishi Tsukasa is exciting too. With that said, the hints about Asahi’s talent here do nothing to get me pumped. He’s just such a bland villain to center the conflict around, and unless he receives more nuance the Blue arc is likely to stay okay at best.

We Never Learn Chapter 95
Taishi Tsutsui
Translation by Camelia Nieh, lettering by Snir Aharon

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This week’s chapter was very sweet. After nearly a hundred chapters focused on the girls’ dreams, its nice to see the focus shift to Nariyuki’s for a change. Tsutsui delivers some relatable metaphors about pursuing your own dreams even when it seems like everyone else is further along than you are. This series has been on fire lately, and this week’s installment maintains that streak. Of course the fan service is more than a bit much, but that’s just a given at this point.

Hell Warden Higuma Chapter 4
Natsuki Hokami
Translation by Nathan A. Collins, lettering by Mark McMurray

This chapter was alright but a bit too boring. Higuma’s battle with the villain of the week lacked prior chapters’ crestive pizzazz. On the bright side, we got some explanations about life force and fugitive spirits’ motivations. This series is still young, so it’s important that it’s working to establish its lore. Nonetheless, I’m not sold on Ayaha becoming a Bunreisha already. She takes on Sudama demons so effectively and so quickly that it makes the story’s stakes feel pretty low. I’m still interested to watch this manga develop over time, though.

Best chapter of the week: Dr. STONE Chapter 90

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The choice was obvious this week, which is saying something since so many series were so good. The Promised Neverland and My Hero Academia had bigger reveals, but Dr. STONE was just pure fun from start to finish.

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