Shonen Jump issue 20, 2020

It seems like everything is on break next week, with issue 21 being delayed until April 26. So, hopefully this chunk and what gets released from Shueisha’s monthly imprints soon will have to be enough to tide us over. 

That being said, there isn’t a lot going on in the standard lineup that is worth mentioning in its own right, but a new manga did get serialized, taking the place of the cancelled “Zipman,” and I wrote an entire article about its first chapter. So, after this, remember to go check out my chapter 1 review of “Morking.” 

“One Piece” Chapter 977

A pretty interesting chapter to start off the raid on Onigashima. Primarily, it wasn’t the details about the plan, it was the dynamics of the Strawhat crew.

That’s always something fans talk about liking to see — the Strawhats simply interacting with one another. This chapter showed that and more, and even highlighted just how overwhelmingly powerful they are now that they’ve reunited. 

Furthermore, dynamics among other groups were interesting to see as well, because it added on another layer of characterization for characters who have less screen time, and that we don’t know much about.

Secondly, Oda continues to pile on the questions and reveals, this time in the form of more family lineages. Fans across the internet are really curious to see what exactly is going on with the alliance between Big Mom and Kaido, and I think the next chapter might answer that for us.

4/5 Torches

“My Hero Academia” Chapter 268

A breakaway from the Hawks/Tokoyami versus Dabi fight, to be sure, but amazing regardless. This chapter again brings back the incredible Rabbit Hero, Mirko, in her effort to stop the evil doctor Kyudai Garaki. We also got to see the other heroes in the thick of it as well, pushing forward in their mission. The teamwork was enjoyable to see, and the cognitive abilities of the various Nomu put another cool layer into the fights that we haven’t seen since the first high-end Nomu did battle with Endeavor so long ago. 

However, the best thing that this chapter did was subtly raising the tension of the entire story arc. On one end, we got a perfect image of the heroes, and while they aren’t progressing phenomenally fast, they aren’t getting beat up too much either. It’s more of a stalwart battle. 

Meanwhile, the speed and strength Mirko is putting into her movements to try and destroy the doctor’s work before it awakens, tells the reader everything we need to know about what is to come. We don’t even know exactly what devastating powers it will have, just that the heroes aren’t advancing, and Mirko is desperately trying to stop it, even if she has to die.

5/5 Torches

“Demon Slayer” Chapter 202

Finally, Nezuko has arrived. It took long enough, huh? But even now, she seems to be a bit on the useless side. Luckily, the hero of this entire arc, who continuously saves everyone, has returned from the dead once again in the form of their scientific achievements. 

To be fair, I liked this chapter more than the last few because it felt a bit more intricate, but even so I think I would have preferred an entirely different final battle, and a different way to tie up the end pieces. None of this really feels necessary. 

3.5/5 Torches

“The Promised Neverland” Chapter 175

So, the political intrigue of this chapter isn’t phenomenally complex, and the people in the crowd are kind of dumb, too, but the progression towards the end is nice to see. Actually, it would probably be pretty boring to read about a lot of demon politics coming right off of the war, so maybe it’s a good path to take in the story.

The primary part of the chapter that caught my attention was the thought process of Leuvis. Despite him having been a villain, we got to see another side of him, a changed version following his miraculous recovery from death’s door. Apparently, that event was enough to give him a change in heart. 

Otherwise, things really do feel wrapped up, almost. Promises from the beginning have been fulfilled, and all that’s left is to jump to the world of humans. 

It’s a satisfying conclusion to a very jumpy and choppy finale. 

3.5/5 Torches

“Chainsaw Man”

So, the trip to hell was trippy, and the trip back was honestly even more trippy. We’re left with even more questions than answers now, and I can’t think of a better way to wrap up that little adventure. Santa Claus is absolutely wild, and Makima takes the cake as one of the most mysterious women in manga history. There you have it. 

I’d also like to point out the creativity with the body horror Fujimoto employs, both with the Darkness Devil, and with the exploration of Santa Claus’s abilities. While the motion shots may not be amazing, the designs for some of these characters, extending into their abilities, really is the high point of the series. 

4.5/5 Torches

“Undead Unluck” Chapter 13

This chapter was pretty standard fair as far as “Undead Unluck” goes, with nothing too flashy, and nothing too interesting. That’s not to say it was bad, but it didn’t do anything to blow the reader out of the water. 

The only thing to note was that it does again make good use Izumo’s ability, and expanded upon the rules of the Uma’s powers. Otherwise, there’s very little to actually say that it did poorly. Sometimes there just isn’t much to say.

3/5 Torches

“Guardian of the Witch” Chapter 11

After a short time jump, we once again enter a new story arc, this one taking place in the town of Valli, as the chapter title tells the reader. 

This chapter actually does something pretty enjoyable. Essentially, a new guardian and witch pair gets introduced, and their characters are rather distinctive. A lot of information runs between the lines of their dialogue, and it opened up a lot of questions about the state of the town of Valli, why it is the way it is and what sort of story is going to come down the line. 

After reading this chapter, I’m more interested to read what comes next than I was before, and I actually really liked the personalities of the newly introduced characters. They had cool designs to boot, and it seems like there is a lot more to their characters than what first meets the eye.

4/5 Torches

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