Warning: Significant plot spoilers ahead!
Welcome to AiPT!’s weekly Shonen Jump recap column! This is where I share my reactions to the latest chapters of all the various Jump comics I’m following. From established 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 be careful reading further if you have yet to catch up on this week’s new releases.
We Never Learn Chapter 100
Translation by Camelia Nieh, lettering by Snir Aharon
This week’s chapter was just decent, which is a bit disappointing for a centennial. It consists of Yuiga running around with Kirisu for a day, which is fine minus the occasional jokes that spin out of their more than a little troubling romantic tension. On the plus side Yuiga has a nice moment where he sticks up for his own goals (with regards to becoming a teacher) and we get to see a bit more depth from Kirisu as well. Presented with the opportunity to start figure skating again, she’ll have to decide what her ideal path forward is. Given that her character has always reacted more than instigated plot progression, it’s good to see her finally be at the center of a crossroads.
Chainsaw Man Chapter 11
Translation by Amanda Haley, lettering by Sabrina Heep
By and large, this was a remarkably good chapter. We’ve skipped forward a bit in time to the aftermath of Denji’s skirmish with the breast-devil (ugg), and this week’s installment is devoted more or less entirely to developing character dynamics. The main trio have all moved in together now, so they don’t even have to enter the field to start brewing up conflict. The art is great as well. The characters’ exaggerated facial expressions are comical, the inking looks good, and the page compositions are solid. Unfortunately, the very end of the chapter shifts back into “Denji’s only motivation is touching titties” territory. I suspect next week’s chapter will be much more tiresome than this one.
Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Chapter 300
Yuto Tsukuda & Shun Saeki with Yuki Morisaki (recipe contributor)
Translation by Adrienne Beck, lettering by Mara Coman
This is a week of disappointing centennials, although We Never Learn’s was at least much better than the one we got for Food Wars! It’s not even that anything in this chapter is notably bad so much as it’s just a boring, lifeless reflection of what the manga once was. The big reveal– that Erina’s mother (who we’ve never seen previously!) is the one running the Blue tournament– makes almost no impact whatsoever. I like her design and the art looks polished as a whole, but I just don’t feel any intensity from the character drama. There was just a “Erina proves herself to her disapproving parent” storyline in the last arc; why are we getting the same thing again so soon? Add in Asahi’s whole deal and it seems like the manga is trying to cram in as many familial conflicts as it can. Unfortunately, none of them have yet to pay off.
Dr. STONE Chapter 95
Riichiro Inagaki & Boichi with Kurare (science consultant)
Translation by Caleb Cook, lettering by Steve Dutro
What a fantastic chapter. It kicks off with a few nice color pages announcing the series’ next popularity poll. After that, we get some of the most adorable pig art I’ve ever seen. And then, back into the wonders of science! Boichi does a great job as always making the protagonists’ progress look fun and exciting. Senku and company head out into the ocean for the first time and it looks lovely, plus Senku unveils an invention I never expected to see so soon: GPS!
The chapter’s end is unexpectedly suspenseful, however, as an unknown signal interupts the heroes’ communications by repeating the Morse code for “Why?” It looks like the main characters aren’t the only people who’ve been revived after all. There’s a major sense of danger and the unknown here, and I’m eagerly anticipating what comes next.
Ne0;lation Chapter 10
Tomohide Hirao & Mizuki Yoda
Translation by Christine Dashiell, lettering by Brandon Bovia
Meh. I don’t hate this chapter but there’s not much of note going on. Boogie is revealed to be connected to Gevaudan, but other than that it’s all just…street racing. The idea of toying with a car’s autolocks and such technically fits with the series’ hacking motif but…it’s just kind of boring. There isn’t any interesting racing or computer warfare here; instead we just get a mediocre combination of those concepts. Meh.
Hell Warden Higuma Chapter 9
Translation by Nathan A. Collins, lettering by Mark McMurray
This chapter is okay. On the downside, the first half is a bit bland. The contrast between the fairly cartoony art style and the current arc’s more serious subject matter isn’t fully working for me. Thankfully, the action at least picks up a bit in the second half as Higuma utilizes his Zaiju in new ways. There’s also a significant reveal about Kotetsu that frames their motivations from a whole new angle. This manga continues to land in the middle of the pack: it’s not among the best series, but it’s not one of the worst either.
My Hero Academia: Vigilantes Chapter 48
Hideyuki Furuhashi & Betten Court
Translation by Caleb Cook, lettering by John Hunt
This chapter bores me. The plot technically moves forward and there’s banter between the characters, but it just isn’t all that interesting. Eraser Head teams up with Kaniko (the police officer with the crab motif) to follow some leads about the recent pop-up villain attacks, and while there’s clearly an attempt made at a buddy cop feel it doesn’t totally work. Thankfully, the art is at least nice and polished as always. There are some cute moments here, but they don’t leave much of an impression.
The Promised Neverland Chapter 124
Kaiu Shirai & Posuka Demizu
Tranlation by Satsuki Yamashita, lettering by Mark McMurray
This is a great chapter, full of both intense and cute moments. It features Emma and Ray’s awkward conversation with Norman’s new allies, his fellow escapees from Lambda 7214. We get a little insight into how Norman has changed in his time off-panel, as well as the new team’s dynamics. Though everyone has fun for a while chitchatting about Norman, things take a sudden turn when Barbara starts talking about how much she loves killing demons. Every week it seems more and more certain that Emma and Ray will soon be facing off against other humans again. The politics of power and freedom in this series continue to develop, and it’s great to see.
ACT-AGE Chapter 54
Tatsuya Matsuki & Shiro Usazaki
Translation by Camellia Nieh, lettering by Eve Grandt
This is a good chapter, and one where we get to see more of Yonagi as a person and not just as an actress. It’s nice to see her stick up for herself and show strength as opposed to being made out to be clueless. I’m already very interested in Shusendo as an antagonist as well. His design and mannerisms are great, and he’s definitely a quiet threat sort of character. The chapter’s most interesting part, however, is possibly its ending. Yonagi seems to be returning to her normal life, but why? Hopefully more good character development will come from it, regardless of the reason.
Best chapter of the week: Dr. STONE Chapter 95
This week’s best chapter pick was easy. Dr. STONE was just fun all around, from the color pages to the cute pigs to the development of GPS to the foreboding ending. That’s something to get excited about!!