Though “My Hero Academia” is on break this week, there’s still a host of good content waiting among the pages of “Weekly Shonen Jump.”
However, “Jump” seems to have jumped onto the exorcism band wagon and simply won’t stop serializing the same story type over and over again. “Our Blood Oath,” a vampire exorcist manga, debuted this issue, and I’ve written a full review of its first chapter.
“One Piece” Chapter 990
While this chapter was just as amazing as always, there are a few things one could take issue with.
Firstly, the non-linear progression of this chapter and how it jumps short sections of time leads to a decent amount of confusion as to exactly how the causes correlate to effect.
The second is the vagueness of the conversation between Hawkins and Drake. The reader isn’t clear what they’re referring to, so it’s hard to make sense of it.
The original version of this chapter refers to Buddhist entities, metaphorically tying them to characters within the series. This seems to have major thematic ties and even uses the aforementioned conversation to prop itself upon.
In the official English translation, this reference still technically exists, but the Buddhist nature of it is stripped. If one can’t read the original Japanese chapter, they’ll miss out on something very important in regards to the deeper meanings within the story.
“Jujutsu Kaisen” Chapter 121
This chapter is certainly a drop from the previous few, but it wasn’t necessarily bad.
However, while reading, parallels to Naruto were ever present. These similarities have existed within the series from the beginning.
Though the action within the chapter was cool because of these parallels, readers have seen this fight scene before.
“Chainsaw Man” Chapter 84
This chapter acted primarily as an info dump, bringing clarification and further intrigue. Conceptually, chapter 84 knocked it out of the park.
The primary issue this chapter created was Makima’s self-contradiction from last chapter. For now it can be seen as a huge flaw that could ruin the impact of the previous chapters, so following chapters need to clarify what she truly means.
On the flip side, this chapter again brings about incredible, surreal imagery that needs to be seen to be believed.
“Undead Unluck” Chapter 31
Once again, “Undead Unluck” has jumped from low to high intensity within moments. Such little build up can be jarring, but there is also the perspective that it decreases the frequency of lulls in content.
This rapid paced strategy of storytelling seems to be a decent strategy too, as many of Tozuka’s contemporary manga authors have had their stories cancelled, whereas he’s still going strong.
This chapter itself reflects why it hasn’t been cancelled. It’s unique enough and the fast pacing allows frequent shocks and twists, not giving the reader much time to breath. That strategy, and chapter 31 itself, prove that sometimes a slower pacing can make the story better long term.
The chapter is heart-racing at the best but jarring at the worst.
“Ayakashi Triangle” Chapter 12
The direction this chapter went improved its content drastically.
In effect, Yabuki has managed a perfect balancing act between his love-triangle narrative, his battle manga elements and his ecchi overtones.
This gives readers an actual reason to read this manga and enjoy it as it comes into its own.
On top of that, it even introduced a new concept that we haven’t seen before, allowing for further intrigue into the fantastical elements of the story.
Yet, points still need to be docked for not being funny when it’s marketed genre is romantic-comedy.
“Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin” Chapter 10
This week’s chapter sacrificed its comedy for action and world building. That’s not a bad direction as the seriousness of the story is important, but such a move can’t go on for too long when the story is supposed to be hilarious.
Chapter 10 expands our understanding of ocean crime and what goes on beneath the sea. On top of that, we learn more about Officer Orpheus. What makes him so special? Well, he’s a dolphin-man, so remember that.
Overall, the direction this chapter took is great, but it would be preferable if it had retained more of its humor while doing so.
“Phantom Seer” Chapter 3
“Phantom Seer” chapter 3 has great gradual story progression, introducing new characters and aspects in a digestible manner. Many series suffer from steep learning curves, but this one doesn’t. That’s huge.
Furthermore, Iori’s abilities were explored, and his relationship with Aibetsu grew marginally.
However, the chapter hits all the same story beats that the previous two did, acting as a self-contained story to help set up the story’s infrastructure.
A new direction might have been more refreshing, perhaps a twist to keep the readers on their toes. Rather, it feels as though the reader has consumed the same chapter three times in a row.