All in all, this set of chapters was decently strong, and I’m happy to say I’m seeing bits of improvements from some of the weaker series.
My favorite of the week was the new “My Hero” chapter. I’ll tell you why soon, don’t worry. But to satiate you for the moment you’ll be excited to hear that, yes, I do have something explicitly positive to say about “Mashle: Magic and Muscles” this week.
As always, let me know if there’s a “Jump” series you want to see covered!
“One Piece” Chapter — on break
Issue breaks are always a depressing day, but they come about every month or so for “One Piece.” For now, we’ll just have to be patient for the next chapter.
“My Hero Academia” Chapter 260
This is the kind of chapter that make me so excited. We had build-up, exploration of character, intensely emotive panels and, better yet, twists and discoveries.
The most striking thing about this chapter was the terror and emotion that was plastered across so many of the panels. Most typically this occurred in scenes featuring the doctor entangled in controversy, Maruta Shiga — whether or not that will remain his name is yet to be seen.
Every panel he was in was incredibly detailed, and he was, realistically, the star of the show.
This was yet another smash hit chapter, and the word that most precisely represent it would be “madness.”
“Promised Neverland” Chapter 166
I thought that the series was much closer to ending a few months ago, but with each passing chapter Kaiu Shirai seems to be coming up with more loose ends to tie up, while keeping the tension and the metaphorical narrative avalanche coming.
This chapter felt like the series has finally come full circle. I’m happy to say that, too. “Promised Neverland” never felt like a series that could go on for years and years, unless it turned itself into a veritable battle manga, but that would’ve sent the series to ruin.
The series is in a really good place, and if it ended this year, I think that would be the most desirable outcome to prevent any dampening in quality.
“Chainsaw Man” Chapter 57
I really couldn’t be happier to say that I still feel as though “Chainsaw Man” is getting better. If it’s ever as good as its first chapter, I’d write an entire article dedicated to it alone — though I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
Regardless, the art doesn’t seem quite as rough these days, and the story being told at the moment is far less disjointed. With the character dynamics established and their quirks understood by the reader, watching the shenanigans feels personable, as if these devilish men and women are your friends.
That applies mostly to people like Denji or Power or really any of the devil-humans, as they are the quirkiest. And for today, it was Power that stole the show.
“Undead Unluck” Chapter Four
What I found interesting was that rather than jumping straight to Baikal, Tozuka chose to expand upon character relationships, look at Undead’s immortal history and explore how Unluck’s power works.
So far, her abilities acted something akin to a Deus ex machina, where any insane event could happen at any time. That’s not the case anymore, as Undead’s experimentation on her powers has drawn Tozuka to determine a more precise way to use her, and with the bit of foreshadowing subtly thrown in, I think I can predict where her character’s going to be headed.
“Mashle: Magic and Muscles” Chapter Three
Here it is, the long-awaited positivity for “Mashle.”
Whereas the beginning of the chapter was more of the same drivel, the second half showcased Komoto’s ability in working with value. The setting was largely unperceivable due to the darkness, but Komoto made extensive use of gray tones and shadings to create an oppressive atmosphere.
Later, when one of the, presumably, most powerful characters in the series began to show off the feats they’re capable of, Komoto drew a monster that I’d almost describe as Lovecraftian — utilizing that skill in value that I mentioned. I was impressed because when compared to everything else, it stood out as something that wouldn’t normally be something big to mention.
“Guardian of the Witch” Chapter Two
This chapter consisted of a lot of whining by a certain character and most of it was rather boring. The thing that it did best as an improvement from its first chapter was that it didn’t feel so much like an “Attack on Titan” rip-off.
That being said, it still carried a lot from it. The architecture, themes and even entire panels could have been lifted right out of “Attack on Titan.”
The biggest of these that I noticed was where the protagonist Fafuna — though it was translated last week as Fafnir — bit into his thumb in the same iconic way Eren Jaeger does when he titan shifts. Only in “Guardian of the Witch,” Fafuna just does it to remind him of pain or something. It made no sense to include other than to remind people that he’s like Eren.
It wasn’t any better or worse than last time.