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.
The Last Saiyuki Chapter 2
Translation and lettering by Pinkie-chan
This series is really sweet. Sure, there are horrifying monsters with with countless eyes and other body parts, as well as an overarching sense of doom, but that’s not the point. What matters here is Koharu and Ryunosuke’s friendship. The setup of a story with such a pure heart and a backdrop of existential horror is really effective. We also learn more about Mou and monster eggs, which Nonoue visualizes in cool ways. The series continues to impress.
My Hero Academia Chapter 219
Translation by Caleb Cook, lettering by John Hunt
This is an enjoyable chapter, if a bit stilted. The action scene with Bakugo and Todoroki is fun, though it does have some clarity issues. With that said, when the line-art’s on-point it’s on-point. This chapter’s end also brings back the plot point of All For One’s giant minion. All in all, I’m pleased with this arc’s strong art and rapid pace.
Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Chapter 302
Yuto Tsukuda & Shun Saeki with Yuki Morisaki (recipe contributor)
Translation by Adrienne Beck, lettering by Mara Coman
Pro: Tadokoro gets some page-time.
Cons: The distant way Tadokoro refers to Erina feels strange and out of character. Asahi continues to be a bland villain. The latest Noir chef has an elaborate backstory and supplies that are introduced just for their effects on the match…to go unseen? We see the slightest bit of the matchup before it ends with Tadokoro’s victory, and we don’t even see what she cooked.
Needless to say, a cooking manga that skips past the actual cooking isn’t particularly rivetting.
We Never Learn Chapter 102
Translation by Camelia Nieh, lettering by Snir Aharon
Kirisu’s mini-arc has ended as quickly as it started. It wasn’t bad overall, but it did fly by too fast for us to get deep insight into Kirisu as a character. Her final decision always seemed like a foregone conclusion, but that would have been fine if the journey to it felt more meaningful. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like I’ve learned much new about her. Here’s hoping the next arc is better.
ACT-AGE Chapter 56
Tatsuya Matsuki & Shiro Usazaki
Translation by Camellia Nieh, lettering by Eve Grandt
What a cute arc this is turning out to be. Yonagi’s work with Yoshioka for their amateur film may have less stakes for her career, but it feels really important from a character perspective. With that said, I hope it’s not just Yonagi who gets to grow. I’d like to see Yoshioka get fleshed out in upcoming chapters as well.
Hell Warden Higuma Chapter 11
Translation by Nathan A. Collins, lettering by Mark McMurray
This was the most pivotal chapter of the series thus far in terms of defining Higuma’s character. Unwavering resolve and faith in one’s self and convictions– these are foundations for a shonen hero. And yet, Higuma does not have these traits. He’s vulnerable, doubtful, and pushes on even in the face of his own philosophical exhaustion. I liked the character already, but he’s achieved a level of depth I never anticipated so early on. Oh, and this chapter’s art is nice and clean to boot.
Chainsaw Man Chapter 13
Translation by Amanda Haley, lettering by Sabrina Heep
This was actually quite a good chapter. As always, Fujimoto’s artwork is packed with a mind-boggling amount of detail for a weekly comic. One of my favorite shots from this week is of a house flying to pieces after a devil attack, with bricks, siding, and furniture all flying in midair. There’s also an amazing rendering of a dead fish devil. Its multiple tails, legs(!!), and horrifying smile make it one of the most arresting devils in the series thus far.
This chapter also establishes the existence of a mysterious gun devil. I’m intrigued by what little we’ve learned this far, and I look forward to finding out more about it. Of course the shallowness of Denji’s character continues to be very lame, but at least there’s interesting stuff going on around him.
Ne0;lation Chapter 12
Tomohide Hirao & Mizuki Yoda
Translation by Christine Dashiell, lettering by Brandon Bovia
The street race between Boogie and Brother Taa is finally over. Good riddance. The writing could have been worse in terms of flow and dialogue but…I’m so bored. None of these characters are interesting (rather, many are outright lame) and the plot feels lackluster and ill-defined. All in all, the series continues to flop for me.
Yui Kamio Lets Loose Chapter 1
Translation by Daniel Komen, lettering by Michelle Armstrong
This debut didn’t totally wow me, but it did pique my interest. The concept of a high school girl with a hidden, murderous personality held back by nothing but her hair tie could definitely result in some great gags. Shiibashi’s artwork is impressive, especially when Yui’s more violent side gets released. Her body-length black hair swaying out in all directions, her flowy dress, and her expressions of sheer bloodlust are all very striking. This chapter also does a good job introducing Kito Sonomiya, a stuck-up rich kid from Yui’s school. I’m interested to see how the series progresses from here.
Dr. STONE Chapter 97
Riichiro Inagaki & Boichi with Kurare (science consultant)
Translation by Caleb Cook, lettering by Steve Dutro
A cute, fun chapter as always. Boichi’s variety in page compositions and successful use of two-page spreads continue to impress. Every chapter the protagonists make an exciting new discovery and this time it’s mines. I really dig all the spotlight on Chrome this week. He’s probably my favorite character in the manga; he has all of Senku’s natural talent and love for science, but less of the ego and little understanding of modern (now ancient in the manga) science. All in all, this was an enjoyable read.
The Promised Neverland Chapter 126
Kaiu Shirai & Posuka Demizu
Tranlation by Satsuki Yamashita, lettering by Mark McMurray
Every chapter of TPN is a good chapter, and this one has some great analysis of Norman’s plans for demon eradication. There’s some talk about class in the demon world, plus Norman is revealed to know about Mujika’s existence…but boy does he seem pissed when Emma and Ray bring it up. His reaction, with a furrowed brow, hand covering his face, and his body surrounded by shadows, looks outright villainous. The art is good across the entire chapter, as Demizu continues to skillfully pack a lot of content in without ever making the pages look too busy. The moral conflicts in this arc have been some of the series’ best thus far.
My Hero Academia: Vigilantes Chapter 49
Hideyuki Furuhashi & Betten Court
Translation by Caleb Cook, lettering by John Hunt
Meh. Captain Celebrity’s big sendoff is starting, but it feels like he just made his first appearance yesterday. The villains and their plots are still generic, and the pro heroes who make cameos (Eraser Head, Present Mic, etc.) just make me think about how much better they deserve. Betten Court’s art is nice and polished as always, though.
Best chapter of the week: The Promised Neverland Chapter 126
It came down to The Promised Neverland or Hell Warden Higuma this week, but I have to give it to TPN. Demizu’s artwork is just so fantastic at conveying the series’ heavy, life-or-death tone, and that image of Norman furious over Ray and Emma mentioning Mujika is eerie as hell. As much as I love the main trio’s friendship, I can’t help but be enthralled by what seems to be a rising conflict between them.