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 Promised Neverland Chapter 141
By Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu
Translation by Satsuki Yamashita, lettering by Mark McMurray
Oh wow. That spread sure is something, huh? Most of this chapter takes place in a flashback a thousand years before the manga’s current events, with humans and demons duking it out in their shared world. That’s all good and the dialogue is well-written as always, but the real excitement starts toward the end with the return (or rather, first documented appearance chronologically) of everyone’s favorite royal menace, Leuvis. He’s looking delightful as always albeit with a different (but still dapper) design than what we’re used to. Can I just say that I love mini-capes? Here’s looking forward to seeing more of this magnificent murderer next week.
We Never Learn Chapter 118
By Taishi Tsutsui
Translation by Camellia Nieh, lettering by Snir Aharon
Eh. This is a Kominami chapter, and those are always my least favorite. Nonetheless, it’s not terrible. The pacing of Kominami and Nariyuki’s day of mishaps is well-done, and there are some fun moments (such as with the doctor fish). Still, I’m glad that there’s no cliffhanger and that we’ll hopefully shift focus to a different member of the pseudo-harem next week.
Double Taisei Chapter 8
By Kentaro Fukuda
Consultant: Saki Satomi
Translation by Junko Goda, lettering by Rina Mapa
This is probably the best installment of Double Taisei since the series’s debut. The title page (from which the image above is cropped) is arresting, and Izumi’s technique of playing shogi while blindfolded delivers all the over-the-top drama I want from shonen manga. Then there’s all his talk of being able to hear the shapes of sounds, and Fukuda’s renderings of said shapes. There’s a lot of great geometric work here, plus well-written narration about how the players’ moves reflect their styles and feelings of certainty or uncertainty. I’m not familiar enough with shogi to feel like I entirely understood everything that was going on, but this was a fun read regardless.
Dr. STONE Chapter 112
By Riichiro Inagaki and Boichi
Science consultant: Kurare
Translation by Caleb Cook, lettering by Steve Dutro
Boichi’s art is great as always, the pacing is solid, and we get a good explanation of how motors work. Nonetheless, nothing here is particularly exciting. It’s still a decent read of course (Dr. STONE seldom isn’t), but it feels a tad mediocre by the series’s own high standards.
Beast Children Chapter 7
By Kento Terasaka
Translation by Christine Dashiell, lettering by Mark McMurray
This series continues to be a lot of fun. There’s a huge emphasis on tackling and how integral it is to rugby, and we get a scene of characters explaining the sport to each other (and the reader by proxy) that’s actually well-done and doesn’t feel clumsy. Terasaka also does a great job of conveying the characters’ physical intensity as they put their all into the game. Panels like the one above really capture the excitement of sports, and I’ll continue to anticipate new chapters with an eagerness I’ll never have for rugby in real life.
Chainsaw Man Chapter 29
By Tatsuki Fujimoto
Translation by Amanda Haley, lettering by Sabrina Heep
Fujimoto’s art impresses as always, thanks largely to his skill for rendering large sequences with no text save the odd sound effect. The variety of angles and perspectives used throughout is excellent, as are the page compositions. Plot-wise, this week’s most notable development is the introduction of a devil hunter who tests Denji and Power with a series of questions about their allegiances and capacities for grief. He seems like a fun character and I’m excited to learn more about him.
The Last Saiyuki Chapter 18
By Daijiro Nonoue
Translation and lettering by Pinkie-chan
What a great read. Creative and polished visuals, well-written lore, and heartfelt character beats all combine to convey the exploits of three young protagonists just trying to do their best, both in managing grief and in saving the world. The black torii gates are an especially interesting plot element, and Ryunosuke’s thoughts on seeing his mother again ring true to me as someone who’s also lost a mom. Plus, a new and ominous figure debuts in the final pages and boy is their design charmingly odd. Nonoue accomplishes a level of quality and plot progression in these nineteen pages that’s staggering. Here’s hoping that this is the series of his in Jump that finally sticks.
Tokyo Shinobi Squad Chapter 6
By Yuki Tanaka and Kento Matsuura
Translation by Nathan A. Collins, lettering by Brandon Bovia
There’s good and bad here. On the good side of things, the way En’s super-memorization abilities are described and visualized with the rooms metaphor is quite neat. On the bad side, the manga continues to follow in other mediocre cyberpunk stories’ footsteps with its reduction of female characters to being nothing but sex symbols. We open with a shot of Papillon mid-shower with conveniently placed mist that still leave small hints at labia, and two pages later we get a splash page of her bent over in nothing but underwear, with her tattooed breasts hanging loosely in her bra, and lipstick that’s been smeared because…who knows why?
My Hero Academia Chapter 234
By Kohei Horikoshi
Translation by Caleb Cook, lettering by John Hunt
This chapter delivers something I’ve been waiting for without ever realizing it: backstory for Tomura Shigaraki. We’ve long known about his relationship to All Might’s master, but there’s been very little in terms of flashbacks or even narration describing his past. Now, we get snapshots to his childhood, his family members, and the disturbing revelation of just whose hands he’s carrying around with him all the time. The above panel is a great example of Horikoshi’s artistic talents, with all the line-work and textures really amping up the intense horror. The final page has a fantastic composition as well. I still don’t care much about Re-Destro, but all the Shigaraki content makes this chapter an enjoyable one.
ACT-AGE Chapter 72
By Tatsuya Matsuki and Shiro Usazaki
Translation by Camellia Nieh, lettering by Eve Grandt
Yet another enjoyable installment of ACT-AGE. Ogami’s not screwing around, and we get some more context on his personal philosophy and approach to acting. His stubbornness comes from his commitment to always just being true to himself, which is a bit of an ironic approach given his profession. Usazaki’s art is also impressive as always, and the splash page visual is especially cute. It’s cool to see Takemitsu play such a big role this week, too.
Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru Chapter 9
By Masashi Kishimoto and Akira Okubo
Translation by Stephen Paul, lettering by Snir Aharon
At the risk of sounding reductive, I’m going to make the obvious comparisons between Hachimaru and Ann and Naruto and Hinata. The energetic newbies with more enthusiasm than brainpower and their quiet, nervous love interests. There’s a tad more conflict between Hachimaru and Ann than the other pair had, but the similarities still jump out. Unfortunately, part of the reason for that is that neither member of this pair is very interesting right now. I wouldn’t say their chemistry is nonexistent but it is a bit boring at times. There are some sweet moments though, carried largely by Okubo’s poignantly subtle renderings of facial expressions. Plus, there’s a kickass splash page of a planet getting torn asunder.
Yui Kamio Lets Loose Chapter 17
By Hiroshi Shiibashi
Translation by Daniel Komen, lettering by Michelle Armstrong
The conversion of Yui Kamio into a suspense horror manga continues, and I’m not mad about it. It’s not particularly innovative, but all the dolls throughout this chapter (and there are a lot of them– literal two-page spreads of them) are creepy as all get-out. The most memorable visual in this installment is definitely one of Yui at a shrine surrounded by plants, with dolls popping up from beneath them as well as hung around the gnarled branches of trees. There’s also an unveiling of an old, damaged doll that gives almost stone baby-esque vibes. All in all, a solid read.
The best chapter of the week
The Last Saiyuki is the definite victor this week. From the art to the plot developments to the character work, everything is on-point. This week’s chapter is a just plain excellent comic.