Weekly manga authors work on a tight schedule. Some have worked so hard they’ve even ended up hospitalized in the past. Eiichiro Oda is no exception. Oda reportedly works so hard that “Shonen Jump” editors force him to take breaks every few weeks to preserve his health.
However, news broke last week that “One Piece” will be put on a two week hiatus effective immediately due to Oda falling ill. Hopefully it’s nothing serious, and he’ll be well soon.
In other news, the “Jujutsu Kaisen” anime aired Oct. 3. Readers can expect the already popular manga’s sales to skyrocket.
“My Hero Academia” Chapter 286
This week’s chapter goes heavy with the symbolism.
One aspect, likely inspired by the same theme in “Naruto,” is the idea of power coming from doing things with the help of others rather than always relying on oneself.
The second is the idea that both Midoriya and Shiguraki are not fighting for themselves, but are being propped up and controlled by the past. Here, both of them struggle to fight for themselves to be their own independent identity.
Instead both hero and villain alike appear as puppets. If this is the climax of the current storyline and a time-skip is on its way, readers might expect the next half of the story to focus on the two of them coming fully into their own selves.
Despite this, some of the visual storytelling in the chapter’s middle is hard to decipher, and it’s difficult to understand what’s going on.
“Jujutsu Kaisen” Chapter 124
There isn’t much significant about this chapter other than the fact that it devolves into a sudden flashback towards the end.
Sure, there is some cleverness on Mahito’s part and the chapter harkens back to the manga’s first chapter, but there just isn’t a lot that sets it apart from anything else. In fact, dropping out of the fight for a flashback is a death flag — a predictable one.
If death comes soon for this particular character, it would be poor writing on Akutami’s part.
“Chainsaw Man” Chapter 87
Chapter 87 reveals the Weapon Devils just like the titular Chainsaw Man, though they were soft introduced long ago with the bomb devil — she makes a return here.
This week, buildings shatter like glass and the Chainsaw Man seems to be invincible. Yet, Makima, while verbally stating she doesn’t think she can win, physically seems unperturbed.
This creates a major cliff hanger for fans.
Of course, despite the excitement this chapter dregs up for next week, in itself the chapter doesn’t do a whole lot else.
The fight is a mess — if it can even be called a fight. While it’s goal was to show the domination of the Chainsaw Man, there was no choreography to it, leading to what amounted to nothing.
“Undead Unluck” Chapter 34
Most of this weeks chapter do not distinguish themselves from the previous, but it’s finale achieves the unexpected.
Essentially the characters are fighting over a McGuffin, however by chapter’s end the McGuffin trope is subverted. Careful reading up to this point would’ve allowed a reader to come up with this subversion on their own and predict it, but it certainly wasn’t out in the open.
By ending the chapter in such a way, Tozuka was able to play with the reader’s expectations and furthermore create more consequences. The problem isn’t necessarily solved for the heroes, but it does create more consequences for both heroes and villains to have to deal with moving forward.
“Ayakashi Triangle” Chapter 15
While the pacing at the chapter’s beginning was rough, it’s world building and character relationships does a lot for the story.
First and foremost, the explanations for how the ninja exorcist world hides among normal society is reminiscent of “Harry Potter” — in a good way.
Meanwhile, the introduction of Reo creates more relationship conflict for Matsuri and Suzu, effectively complexifying the various love triangles that are developing.
Yabuki achieves his goal with this manga in various ways with this chapter.
“Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin” Chapter 13
Chapter 13 is largely a return to the basics. Almost the entire chapter is comedy oriented, fusing elements of the slice-of-life genre with the job of a small town police officer.
As ridiculous as the story this week is, the execution is fabulous.
Moreover, the main plot involving the sea cult is tied back in by chapter’s end, even if the entire time more and more bizarre things occur.
One would think Tamura couldn’t do anymore to write a good manga, but he can’t stop himself. Once the reader thinks the chapter is over and the crime is solved with subverted expectation, that same expectation is subverted twice over.
Tamura hit the perfect amount of plot twists here, not too little or not too much.
“Phantom Seer” Chapter 6
“Phantom Seer” Chapter 6 paces itself interestingly.
Rather than draw out the finale of the mirror monster fight so Aibetsu’s wound be a cliffhanger, the wound becomes the focal point of the chapter with the fight finale being nothing but a beginning circumstance.
In doing so, Goto and Matsuura have broken free of their monster of the week format and tied the previous arc into what is coming next. It also inadvertently makes the chapter’s progression feel extremely odd compared to what would be expected for Shonen manga.
The next in question is the exploration of Iori’s “house,” or rather a sort of compound where all exorcists who’ve grouped beneath his older sister live. You can picture it as something like a haunted guild building.
The exploration of this part of the manga’s world is fascinatingly crafted, and the depiction of it works wonderfully for the beginning of October, too.
Overall, the segue into this chunk of the story seems to be the most important for “Phantom Seer’s” narrative thus far.