Things are certainly heating up in the world of shonen manga. “One Piece” is nine chapters away from its milestone 1000th chapter, and “My Hero Academia” and “Jujutsu Kaisen” are inches away from concluding their respective climactic arcs thus far.
Furthermore, readers using the MANGA Plus app or desktop browser can read an interview collaboration between “Chainsaw Man’s” Tatsuki Fujimoto and “Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku’s” Yuji Kaku. The latter mangaka was previously Fujimoto’s assistant during the serialized run of “Fire Punch.”
“One Piece” Chapter 991
There are a lot of moving parts in this chapter: Kaido’s army versus the Straw Hats and samurai, the Nine Red Scabbards versus Kaido and the Mink tribe versus Jack the “Drought.”
However, Oda ties each thread together with tact and actually creates one of the most compelling scenes “One Piece” has to offer by the chapter’s end.
He furthermore holds nothing back when it comes to character, informing every aspect of the war with established character motivations and personalities.
It’s actually impressive how much depth he was able to weave into the chapter with how much was happening. As an unfortunate side effect, though, readers don’t get to see Nekomamushi and Inuarashi defeat Jack. Hopefully we’ll see the extent of their abilities in chapters to come.
“My Hero Academia” Chapter 285
The best phrase to describe this chapter is cinematically phenomenal.
There’s not a moment of rest, nor a moment of uninteresting art, creating what will become perhaps the most iconic moment of the series.
Readers will need to experience it for themselves, because this chapter is the true culmination of the last 284 chapter. It needs to be read in a quiet place with one’s undivided attention — enough said.
“Jujutsu Kaisen” Chapter 285
Despite this week’s chapter being messy just like the rest, Kugisaki’s tactics are actually rather impressive and the implications of Mahito’s split body fighting to the two of them leads to the interesting situation readers are witness to.
Even if Mahito’s concurrent battles between Yuji and Kugisaki is conceptually interesting, the scattered presentation of it betrays what it could be.
In short, the 41st chapter of the Shibuya Incident arc suffers from poor design.
There is a wonderfully executed color spread that begins the chapter though, so that’s fun.
“Chainsaw Man” Chapter 86
Chapter 86 is rather boring. While, this section of the story has wide reaching implications, it isn’t particularly exciting or entertaining to read.
Sure, the ending kicks things back into high gear, but even that felt disjointed. The Chainsaw Man might be surrounded by devil hunters, but who cares? We’ve already seen how powerful he is, why should anyone be concerned for him now?
Perhaps this will lead to a subversion, but that doesn’t change the issue that this chapter on its own lacks flavor.
“Undead Unluck” Chapter 33
Here we have another busy chapter, with so many exciting elements to look forward to now and in the future.
That being said, the chapter isn’t significantly different from the previous. It hits the same points as before and sets up for more. However, it spends too much time reminding us of what we just read, only to marginally push the story forward.
One could argue the worst aspect of it was that the impact of the chapter was meant to come from the “power of friendship” trope thrown into the final pages. Whether or not you like that trope is subjective, of course, but it certainly can be read as detracting from the chaos of the situation.
“Ayakashi Triangle” Chapter 14
Honestly, the chapter starts rough — as boring as possible. By the end, though, it had a lot of importance as far as the magic system goes and the implications of it.
For that reason alone it could be thought of highly. It expanded its lore in an effective way, tying together everything we’ve seen up to this point.
At the same time, readers have to suffer through one of the most boring sequences the manga has produced just to get to the interesting bits.
What’s worse is that the exciting part isn’t even pay off for the boring aspects. They’re essentially unrelated.
“Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin” Chapter 12
Chapter 12 acts as a conclusion to the mini-arc and the beginning of the greater story to come.
Because the chapter itself has a lot of wrap-up elements one can expect from a denouement chapter, it isn’t the most exciting to read. In fact, most of it felt lackluster when paired to the heights the previous chapter had reached.
Such a fast turn around can be detrimental when reading on a week to week basis, but that issue becomes mitigated when read in the collected volume.
The setup it does provide for the future is respectable and important, but it doesn’t shake the scrambled nature of it as it tries to tie together the odd aspects of the arc’s beginning to the seemingly unrelated parts of its end.
Readers can almost see the alterations the editor suggested in how jumpy the arc was and how scattered this final chapter read.
“Phantom Seer” Chapter 5
As a continuation to the battle that began last week, “Phantom Seer” breaks away from what at first appeared to be a copycat magic system to “Jujutsu Kaisen.”
In fact, the expansion and conveyance we saw this week makes the magic feel distinctive to this series and its lore. This is probably the most important development this manga has made in its run.
Furthermore, the battle choreography and the drawings depicting the Iori and Kenma’s abilities were fantastic. While reading, the cool-factor of this manga at least tripled. An animated version of this chapter by the team who adapted “Demon Slayer” would make for an incredible battle sequence.
That being said, there is even a delve into Iori’s character from Kenma’s perspective that ties back to what we learned about Iori previously. Though it is still a mystery as to what happened to him to make his personality so distinct, reader’s can assume the story going forward will continue to explore this as its primary narrative.