Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Weekly Shounen Sunday #8 (2018)

The wheels of fate turn and usually bring us right back to where we started, perhaps because we were meant to learn something here where the journey begins? I can't say for sure, but after reaching a year anniversary with the last issue, it only feels right to treat this as a new beginning and learn a lesson of sorts.

Yui Oguri is on the cover along with all of the heroines of Sunday. Guess Shougakukan is really leaning into their identity as a magazine, putting me in a weird place --do I cheer on what I personally don't enjoy? (Romance comedies) because it's in this magazine I care for so much? Or fight to stay myself against impossible odds with how unfortunate the fates of action manga are in the magazine? Ah, Sunday how you rip my heart asunder so.

While I pick up what's left of my heart, I can still write up the TOC like an automaton.

Maoujou de oyasumi by Kagiji Kumanomata (Chapter 83/ Lead color)
Sokyuu no Ariadne by Norihiro Yagi (Chapter 5)
Komi-san wa Komyushou desu by Tomohito Oda (Chapters 119/120)
Amano Megumi wa Suki darake! by Nekoguchi (Chapter 106)
Dagashikashi by KOTOYAMA (Chapter 174)
Aozakura daigakkou monogatari by Hikaru Nikaido (Chapter 74)
Hatsukoi Zombie by Ryou Minenami (Chapter 108/Color page)
Marry Grave by Hidenori Yamaji (Chapter 4)
Tenshi & Akuto by Aya Hirakawa (Chapter 148)
Shinobi no by Rokuro Ogaki (Chapter 25)
Major 2nd by Mitsuya Takeda (Chapter 123)
Tantei Xeno to Nanatsu satsujin misshitsu Story by Kyouichi Nanatsuki/Art by Teppei Sugiyama (Chapter 6)
Hoankan Evans no Uso ~Dead or Love~ by Mizuki Kuriyama (Chapter 37)
Shinigami bocchan to Kuro Maid by Koharu Inoue (Special chapter/ 1st Chapter)
Be Blues by Motoyuki Tanaka (Chapter 319)
Daiku no Hatou by Michiteru Kusaba (Chapter 35)
Zettai Karen Children by Takashi Shiina (Chapter 492)
Souboutei Kowasubeshi by Kazuhiro Fujita (Chapter 85)
Maiko-san chi no makanai-san by Aiko Koyama (Chapter 51)
Meteor Girl by Reach Ishiyama (Chapter 33)
Tenshou no Quadrable by Takahiro Arai (Chapter 38/End)
Youkai Giga by Satsuki Satou
Tokaichi Hitoribocchi nouen by Yuuji Yokoyama (Chapter 6)

Not in this issue are the following:

Detective Conan
K.O.I King of Idol

The more things change ---It's all preliminary, but seeing the new serializations sort of take different paths in the magazine is intriuging. I've heard from others that Xeno has had the worst reception out of the three (Despite it being one of the two I'm still following) which seems to show with it being the lowest out of the batch, but still a pretty safe "middle tier" in the magazine. Meanwhile Ariadne is the highest, which with a veteran artist at the helm is pretty much as expected. Marry sits in the middle of these though it's so early in it's life it's kind of unfair to consider this a "true" ranking. (Though I did say this is all preliminary, right?) Souboutei's low Shinobi is high and the rest of the magazine is about where it should be I think. Sort of surprised to see K.O.I on break again, but I feel like that was on purpose to allow the special serial. Also, it's been a long (but less than a year) run, Quadrable, and I feel like you were cut down before your prime but that's the cruel world of shounen manga.

Promising a Winter date is Yui Oguri who's promoting her first solo without AKB48 backing her up. She recently celebrated a birthday on the 26th and is a young lass born in 2001. She hails from Tokyo, and lists photography as her hobby, and Her nick name is "Yuiyui".

Shougakukan is gearing up for the World Hobby Fair which'll be happening soon. While I don't know this to be an event where new Sunday (or any magazine) products are announced, it is a place where one can get some cool WSS products and even meet a voice actor or two! Conan's voice actress Minami Takayama will be in attendance, and they'll have all sorts of toys, games, and other Sunday related booths. If you're gonna be in Japan around the time (January 21st) mind getting in touch? I'm only sorta kidding.

Maoujo has a majestic color page to start things off this week! Really, I'm quite impressed by Kumanomata's use of color and overall composition ---would one really believe that this is a comedy series having a look at that page? (Though the side text does read "I've overdone it as a protagonist, and now I'm sleepy...") Though in fairness the Princess did actually act pretty protagonist like in this in this installment. Right down to her knowing the stakes of the situation --Sakkyun the Succubus who bears a striking resemblance to the princess was her stand in for a bit, but now she's about to be heralded as the actual princess who mysteriously returned after being kidnapped by the monsters, except she is one of them of course, and if she's discovered not only will she be killed, but this will likely start an actual war between the humans and monsters that will end with casualties a plenty on both sides. The princess has no real plan but says she'll take responsbility as she goes to rectify this situation. Just as Sakkyun is about to nervously proclaim herself as royalty with all the monsters watching from their realm and the humans down below, she steps in and pulls a Conan like gambit where she speaks in place of Sakkyun and to my great surprise....well, says she's going back with the monsters, which, hey, it'd be the end of the manga if she stayed with them so I understand that, but what's really surprising is she says she's going back to perhaps lead the monsters and humans down a path of mutual understanding --which is more or less wrecked when she comes out as the demon king to "kidnap" Sakkyun. The surprisees don't stop there though, seems like her mom the Queen knows it's her dressed as the demon king and gives her seal of approval.....what a weird family. 

Though the chapter ends cutely enough with Sakyuun and the Princess fast asleep after the ordeal in the castle, except the Demon King realizes that the object the princess wanted in the first place is the thing they totally forgot. (Turns out it was a pair of bear panties.) Ah, well guess you guys will have to go back eventually. Though this was a nice mini arc in the series that gave it a little more weight than I was expecting, though the side text there promises that it'll be business as usual in the demon king's castle starting next week. 

Barely a week away before returning is Ariadne! I really didn't want to drop the series at all, but it seems like the one that'll be most likely to succeed even without my help, but with things ending and going on hiatus, perhaps I'll have a little more space than I thought. I still really think this has the stuff it takes to be the next big shounen fantasy series, and this chapter only further evidences this. Anyway, Leane and Rashil have reached their first city --Taiiku, and the latter boldly marches in. 

While the other more or less falls into place, heh. I still love the chemestry between these two --Rashil genuinely congratulates her for falling in, and she responds with a snarky "Did you just see what I went through?" Yagi's artwork also lends itself well to fantasy settings (Which is probably why Claymore was such a hit for jump) and it shows here with the two beast men Rashil and Leane run into literally when they make it into town. They look less like characters from a manga series, and more western influenced. Leane is surprised to see people with horns, and that tells us a lot --I suppose they're not around where she comes from. She ends up meeting more beast people and immediately being enamored by them --this princess is one who lets herself get swept away by all sorts of things huh? Except, that's literally what happens when a group of kids with cat ears  pick her up to cart her away. 

Unfortunately Rashil loses sight of them --the Nezu clan who come from darkness and return to it. He's got no choice but to go searching for them on foot, and encounters a few on his own, but they don't have the princess who's apparently in another castle (or location) of shorts. Weirdly the chapter ends right here in the middle of this scuffle, though I guess it does build some hype. I hope I can cover Ariadne next week, but it'll depend on what kind of space I have. 

It's the aftermath of Valentines day in Komi's chapter this week and while she's not displeased with giving Tadano chocolates, the embarrassment is weighing on her. She hopes to ride it out at home, but her mom isn't about to let that happen. Seeing the other girls in the class dealing with their own levels of embarassment is pretty funny, but they don't exactly help Komi feel much better, heh. When she finally does meet up with Tadano, she's so woefully unequipped to see him again that her nervous glance looks like a spiteful glare. I like that Tadano's reaction to this is "Ah it's been a while since Komi's made that kind of expression".  It helps he's gotten used to her to this extent, huh. The two sit in silence for a bit, just not speaking until Tadano thinks he should at least thank her for the chocolates...

But when he does, she runs for it in the middle of class. Ah, true love.

The second half of the chapter is about tights. I'm not kidding or being weird, that's really what it's about. Yamai who's got an obesession with Komi wants into her pants--er, tights and comes up with a plan to get them by giving her a new pair, but as you can see that goes extremely awry, and...Tadano gets a good look at her legs, as he tries to step in to help. It's a weird place to end the chapter, especially since the text seems to imply that this is it for now. Though unlike Ariadne this being a primarily comedy series makes it a little easier to understand. 

I guess there's no point of me trying to hide that my favorite girl in Dagashikashi is Hajime, as I seem to cover chapters featuring her more often than not. In any case this week features she and Koko doing some star observation. KOTOYAMA seems to be hinting at something going on between the two of them, though Koko being oblvious to any sort of romantic attention that's not overt means it goes right over his head. Though it's through interaction they both find they like gazing out upon the stars, which is a start, right? This week's chapter mentions the Apollo snacks, named after the god himself, which is related to the space mission with the Apollo 11. Though really I had to cover this chapter because of how subtly wonderful the art is, especially in the page above on the right. The moon isn't the only thing that's beautiful, Koko. 

Hajime assumes that when Koko comments on the moon's beauty that he might be talking about her, but by the end of the chapter, it's unclear how either of them feel. Good hook for a new year and new anime, huh? 

Hatsukoi Zombie gets obligatory coverage since it has a color page this week, but there's not much I can say for the series other than artwork is as adorable as ever. Though there is a sense of the characters slowly aging a bit which I really enjoy seeing in series like this opposed to time skips. It's Tarou (the protagonist's) birthday and feelings are running high. To the point that Ibusuki is actually thinking of revealing his identity. It's getting harder and harder to hide, though sorry I can't exactly "ruin" the surprise, since I'm not regularly covering the series, but it's still going strong so fans can rest easy. 

Marry Grave continues on it's Marry way with it's fourth chapter. While it'd be a little bit of an embellishment to say this series is a smash hit, it's certainly the easiest and most rewarding of the new set to read, and that's saying a lot (for me) as I really like all three new manga. To get to the manga itself, we find that Jean the dark fairy is a fairy born only once every thousand of years, so a super rare fairy among fairies. Though while she's admired among her folk, she suddenly packed up her things one day and left without warning --citing that she's never once thought of the other faries as her friend. I guess that explains why they have a rather low opinion of her. 

No intrepid shounen protagonist could ever leave things as they are --which is hilarious to think that the all-powerful shounen protagonist is really just a busybody, but this isn't the place to deconstruct the demographic! Anyway, Sawyer might be a busy body, or just need something "special" from her, so he tries his luck again, just to get socked in the face. Jean's got no interest in dealing with the likes of him, but Sawyer introduces himself anyway much to her surprise. She keeps knocking  him away as the owner of the bar where the fairies resides recounts how he met Jean as a child, and the tears she cried back then. Just why does she seem so against the idea of people to the point that she'd rather be alone in agony than to interact with them?

Jean keeps battering Sawyer telling him that she's not one of those admirable fairies he met earlier and to get lost, as she's losing her patience. Sawyer can see through her tough gal act and says that he can tell she's been crying --heck, he's been able to tell since they first met. He can also generally tell why, as he asks the question that stops her in her tracks "Why do people have to die?" Jean recalls the other faries and asks if Sawyer is jealous of her long life span, but to her surprise Sawyer says he finds living a long time to be a nuisance, and recalls his long journey to gather the ingredients for his recipe. What's surprising is Jean is implied to know about the book he's toting around, but that isn't expanded upon this week.

The fairy asks the deadman why he's decided to suffer through life like he has --and he states it simply, "Being separated from someone you love makes this world difficult". We then get a look into Jean's past and her long lifespan has made her relationships with other fairies difficult --seems she outlives them by quite a bit, so she makes friends and has relationships only for them to end not because of tragedy or anything related, no, they just live their natural lifespans and then die. This keeps happening over and over, ad infinitum until finally Jean got fed up and decided to go live on her own so she'd never have to deal with watching others die ever again.  It's an intriguing take of the immortality/long lifespan trope in media where such a thing is implied....and while Yamaji doesn't bring anything new to the table per se, it's all about the execution which he does very well. 

And now the reason why Jean knows of the book Sawyer's because she met up with Rozalie when she was on her journey! It's not much of a revelation since, y'know Sawyer is doing the same thing she did, but I didn't think we'd really get into Rozalie's journey so early on! Marry Grave is hitting all the right notes very early on in it's serialization, from giving us two introductory characters to now an arc where the story is getting it's bearings, Yamaji seems very invested in a long game, though it depends on how Japan receives the series. If I had to take a guess, I'd imagine Jean might just be Sawyer's travelmate from how this arc is shaping up, though it'll probably be within the next few weeks that we'll see whether I'm right or wrong. Either way, this series has been really engaging, and I'm glad to cover it weekly! 

Hasukoi and Akuto seem to be on the same wavelength when it comes to revelations and confessions. Akuto thinks --or thought to himself he'd go his entire life without having feelings of any kind toward anyone else, but he was wrong, and now he has feelings he must confess to Nari --the sooner the better. Akuto finds it difficult to contact Nari via electronic means, though he'd really like to talk to her face to face, which is what takes up this chapter's content. Turns out Nari is up in the mountains doing some winter sport-ing with friends though her mind drifts to what Akuto is doing from time to time. She ends up taking a tumble and hurting her leg out in the snow, and a storm forces her to seek refuge in a cave where Akuto finds her. She can't believe he'd go so far as to risk life and limb to find her, but he simply must tell her what is on her mind. The end of chapter text teases "The confession" but I have a feeling it won't go quite so smoothly. I feel like I mentioned it before, but this does seem awfully "End-game-ish" of the series, though I find it hard to believe that Shogakukan would let another moneymaker walk out the door.....still, this represents a big shift in the series, and I'd be remiss --even if I'm not interested in romantic developments to overlook this. 

Shinobi no reaches a climax of sorts in this chapter, which shows a lot of promise for the future, if I do say so myself! Kaede turns out to be okay, waking up in a grassy knoll with what seems to be Pops's very big I sometimes wonder just where in the spectrum of realism/fantasy the series lies, but I guess that's not really all that important, hm. In any case, Kaede is fine, and apparently has his large furry friend watching over her as he handles things in the castle. As Kaede finds herself possibly falling for Pops (Her words, not mine.) The scene transitions to Edo Castle....

Where Pops talks to Abe and Perry like a Dad reprimanding his children for fighting. I'm serious that's the tone he takes with them for concocting such a crazy scheme to begin with, and I assume Sen is the one who translates for the commodore. Essentially he promises to be the boogeyman who will be watching and waiting for them to slip up in the future to "finish them" if they don't use their powers to protect the country. He tells Sen to return to the ship with Perry, and while the young man is concerned about being an accomplice to this plot, Pops reassures him that Perry is properly afraid of him and therefore won't do anything to harm his "friend". That being said, he thanks Sen for being a good partner in all of this and guarantees that he'll be there if he needs any assistance in the future. 

Ieyoshi who had been basically comotose-ish until now speaks, and it's telling that as soon as he opens his mouth Pops is prostrate and listens to his every word, as the old Shogun says that Edo will be destroyed by the Shogunate as a new era begins. He compares them both as withered and powerless to do anything to prevent the new era from coming --relics that will be left behind, but not completely without hope as he asks what the withered can do in the face of oncoming changes? 

After this we get a menage of familiar faces as Perry returns to Abbott, the latter of which is surprised to see him still alive, and Yoshida washes up ashore. Perry gets the permission he was seeking to enter Japan, and it seems that history is more or less back on track in the world of Shinobi no. 

People celebrate the ships leaving, all without being the wiser of what really happened on that ship, which is really the job of the Shinobi --go in, get the mission done, and get out without anyone knowing anything. Pops is cool with knowing he's a backstage hand for history....

Though he remarks to his father and grandfather that he managed to carry out his first job pretty well, in this age where he is no longer needed. I love this spread as it really humanizes pops more than the chapters before this....not saying that Pops was some inhuman monster before this chapter but this reverence to the Shinobis past and how he was never really able to be one of them due to his being born in an age where they are myths no one talks about really gives us insight to his character. Plus these varied designs of all the shinobi he once knew are pretty enticing too. A real shame we won't see any of them (right?) 

Speaking of familiar faces, guess who's back! It's Todou Heisuke, and he's not a kid who forgets things easily. Pops takes him down again when he tries to attack him out of revenge, and the old man once again calls him a weakling --seemingly aiming to start another fight between the two, but rather than that...

Pops says he'll take the kid on as a student. This is most definitely inspired by Ieyoshi's words --his musing as he asks what the withered can do in a new age, and this is Pops's answer. The color page for the first chapter pretty much spelled out this development, so I can't say I'm surprised, but I am glad to see it was executed well. This is the perfect place to unfurl the story into new territory, and I can't wait to see what Ogaki has in mind. Luckily we won't have to wait long as the next issue will feature more Shinobi no, and new developments! 

Xeno continues the intrigue, where it's suggested the amnesiac detective will solve a case without actually talking to the suspects or leaving the comfort of his favorite cafe? I guess he has one up on Mr. Shounen Sunday if he can manage to do it! The man who appeared at the end of the chapter last week is apparently a soldier who served in Kadath (something Xeno is able to discern from his gun,) and this is confirmed as he reveals he served in the country two years ago where he served on a platoon with several other soldiers from around the globe --Jeff from Madagascar, Hoang, from America, Leon from Colombia, and Scott from Britain. The man himself is Japanese, and his name is Yabuki. The group is trapped in a building under heavy fire guarding a heavily injured Scott who pulls Yabuki aside and tells him not to trust the others, as he thinks one of them is a traitor. Scott soon passes away and Yabuki thinks that this may have been a ploy by one of his fellow soldiers, though before he can really delve into it the enemy appears and begins to take each one of them out...apparently with precision timing. Leaving Yabuki alone and confused --if they all died leaving him, was there a traitor to begin with, and who was it? Xeno confirms there was, and he knows who killed the platoon --but how could he possibly know after only hearing the account from Yabuki? Xeno's done it again and got me interested in the series so we'll be seeing him again next week. 

From Japan to America we go as Evans is up next in the Sunday parade that is my blog. Though judging from Evans' expression he probably wishes he could jump out of the train he's currently in with his "wife" and "daughter". So a brief rundown of events for those who don't know --way back in the second chapter of the series, Evans was crushing on a reporter named Melissa Rein, who completely misinterpreted his advances and thought hew as going to get married to a famous actress instead. Except, that's not at all what happened, and now she's back on the scene making things very awkward as now Evans is "married" to another woman who is clearly not Miranda Kelly the famous movie star. 

Of course the duo of Pheebs and Evans are doing this for all of the right reasons --to save Mattie from being discovered by a gang who had kidnapped her for ransom, but it most certainly doesn't make Evans look noble when Melissa thinks he left his actual wife to hob-nob with a movie star, does it? Though I have to give Phoebe credit, I was expecting this chapter to mostly consist of her getting angry at Evans due to this misunderstanding, but rather than that she leans into the deception, and proclaims that this is their 10th anniversary since being married. She really is a great fit for Evans and a breath of fresh air in this situation. I like having my expectations defied! Except this only makes things worse as there's no way these two have been married for ten years --even if the numbers shore up to Mattie's age (she's 10.) 

After that Evans has the audacity to ask Melissa to keep things quiet, and she can't believe it! Though of course what Evans really means is to not cause a ruckus that might get the little girl discovered, but what Melissa thinks is that he's asking her to keep his "infidelity" with Miranda Kelly secret from his wife, heh. Melissa has no intention of doing this, but then Evans adds "this is for her (our child's) sake....poor Melissa doesn't stand a chance. She promises to stay quiet but only if Evans will explain the situation around (his affair). Evans agrees to explain everything (about the bank robbery and how Mattie is being held hostage.) Oh dear, seems like this misunderstanding is only getting worse as time goes along. I understand that it's all for the sake of comedy, but it is weird that the characters conveniently leave out huge points of dialog when talking to each 

Unfortunately for the couple and child, the bad guys have figured out which car Mattie is on, and now a real confrontation is brewing. I really do think Kuriyama's strength is doing mini arcs like these as this is the best Evans has been since it's initial chapters. The showdown will probably(?) be next week and whether love, bullets or misunderstandings will be on top is a question only Kuriyama and time itself knows the answer to. 

This week's guest in the magazine is Koharu Inoue's "Shinigami bocchan to Kuroi Maid". or "Young Shinigami and Black Maid". Which runs on Sunday's online web reader "Sunday Webry", and will have a volume release fairly soon, hence Shougakukan showing it off in the main magazine. As per your approval, I have read the first three chapters offered here and will discuss them! This really does feel like a series that could easily find it's way into the main magazine on a regular basis as it's got the "cute quirky girl" and "interesting premise" down pat. It's also fairly short which is why they ran three chapters rather than the normal one, as well. I'm no betting person but I could possibly see the series making the jump like Megumi and Yuugami did if it sells well enough. 

So our main character --who I don't see a name for, so we'll just call him "Shinigami" was born under a curse from a witch, that he'll neither be able to love or be loved. How does this materialize you may ask? He can't touch anything that's alive without causing it to wither and die. His family eventually moves to a huge mansion to exclude him from others for their sake, and after a while his family leaves unable to keep up the facade, and the poor kid is stuck on his own in a luxurious  house with no one to talk to...

Except for his maid Alice who takes great delight in messing with him by being just a little lewd. That's actually the series tagline of sorts, hah. The series is basically about Shinigami and Alice's daily life in the manor where she tries to get close to him, despite knowing his curse could be the thing to end her. 

The artworks compliments the story well --it is a cute fluffy series most times, though it does have a tinge of a darker underside, since he is unable to touch anyone and has been excommunicated by others because of it. 

Even a visit from a friend is tension filled because of his curse, though the series doesn't let up on being cute and slightly lewd thanks to Alice. A friend of Shinigami's --Phillip comes into the picture on the last of the three chapters offered in this week's WSS, and even offers Alice a job with him since she's apparently only looking after Shinigami out of obligation. She doesn't go of course, and it's revealed that his parents only asked Phil to see Shinigami out of obligation, and even now everyone is too afraid to approach him directly. Even with this, Shinigami is searching for a way to deal with his condition so that one day he can properly convey his feelings to Alice and perhaps go further than that --marrage. See, he does really like her but is afraid of hurting her with his abilities. So it's a good mix of cute and a little naughty comedy with a slightly heartrending underbelly. Next week will contain another set of chapters, which I will more than certainly cover! If you can't wait until then, you can read the most recent chapter of the series for free here

I'm including Be Blues in the lineup because it's taking a long hiatus for whatever reason --from the next issue #9 to #11, returning in issue 12. My thought on this is it was a planned break since this chapter was very much a transitional one where Ryuu's rival seeks to be a better soccer player by training with his coach himself. Mostly, I just enjoyed the reaction game in this chapter --Tanaka can draw great soccer scenes and some great character reactions in tandem. With a chapter title like "Time to change" it's pretty clear that this is where the characters start to evolve little by little, and I do feel a little guilty I'm not following this as much as I should, though what's really weird is how this series still has no anime even 29 volumes in. In any case, realizing one has a rival is like finding a goal to strive toward, and that is seemingly what's going to happen with Takumi --Ryuu's rival. As to what heights he'll strive for, we'll have to wait three issues to find out. 

Takoha is experiencing an out of body experience in Souboutei. Poor dude actually died. The siblings Rokuro and Kurenai endeavor to bring him back to the land of the living through a very precise cut, Takoha however has passed on and has mixed emotions toward the whole thing. Like, his initial reaction is "ah, well I guess I'm dead", but then it sets in that he's actually gone and he curses his luck. 

He's unable to even cry in his current state of un-life, but then a flash of inspiration. --He can move as freely as he wants now, so there's somewhere he has to go before he crosses over into the next world, and now that he's a ghost he's got the ability to go there --and it's from here that one heck of a journey unfolds over the next few pages. 

Inside the paintings of the Souboutei is a torrent of the dark water that Sakamaki had shown him --Takoha several weeks ago. Actually where is Sakamaki. Takoha had wanted to investigate the pictures for a while, but was afraid of being killed. Guess that's not really a problem now, huh? though man how does Fujita manage to pull this off for a weekly publication? This entire page is as intense as the waves it depicts from it's panelwork to the usage of SFX to great effect. 

And then there's this page with Takoha finding himself stretched across two pages as he goes along through the length of the black water. Trippy art makes up some of my favorites in manga, especially when it's this evocative. It looks just as painful as it is weird in these pages and I can't get enough. Though the more important thing to take away from these pages is that the invaders that Shino talked about are all captured here, and are the same as the monsters who were attacking Kaerikuro a few chapters ago! 

Seriously what does Fujita do to pull this madness off --at least as long as I've been covering Souboutei he hasn't taken any time off and something tells me that this is how all of his serials go. Moreso than the scenery is Takoha's expressions as he sinks into the depths of despair as he realizes that he's seeing just how much reach the Souboutei has if it can find it's way into the waterways beneath the house, a fate that he can do nothing about. Souboutei is truly a see-saw between despair and hope played expertly each week with incredible artwork, but now the heroes are in the pit of things with this revelation of just how powerful the evil home is. What can they do against a pressure this incredible? 

Mother and daughter are reunited on Meteor Girl this week, which should be the turn for something more positive in the series after several weeks of tragedy, but alas, Ishiyama isn't in that mood, and punches us --though mostly Chihiro in the gut with cold hard reality. Chihiro's mom might have fallen from the sky, but she's still a MG (Or well, Meteor Woman?) so she has no real control over her faculties, being nothing more than a mindless machine. 

Though Chihiro doesn't care --all she wanted to say this whole time was "welcome back" to the mother who left far too soon. Hane and Tetto try to come in and help, but she stops them, saying she understands now what she has done and will "take responsibility." 

She starts by first "re" killing her mother before she can run wild, though what else could she mean? Tetto isn't sure, but Hane asks Tetto to consider what he knows about her, and hit comes to him. Though what does this mean for him? What can he do, what should he do? Chihiro's means of taking responsibility for everything is to jump off the building and commit suicide, which would be well enough on it's own --if not incredibly tragic, but is it really the "right" thing to do? To sit back and let it happen? 

To Tetto the answer is no. He leaps off the building after her in a bid to save Chihiro from herself. It's not much of a surprise but the next chapter while having extra pages will be the finale for Meteor Girl. Meaning with Quadrable ending (and the write up for this coming up next), this issue, we're losing two manga over the next two weeks --and we're still barely into 2018. It also means I've covered the entirety of a series from the first chapter --something that I'd normally like to celebrate, but can only feel a sense of disappointment from since I really did think MG had something going for itself. In any case, the last chapter means automatic coverage next week, so look forward to it. 

It's Quadrable's final chapter, and to my surprise Arai takes care of the monster threat introduced at the end of the previous chapter in the cover page of this one. That's....surprising to say the least. I guess he wanted to dedicate the final chapter to the characters and their whereabouts now that the greater threat in Europe has been taken care of, rather than having a drawn out battle. I suppose he wasn't allotted extra pages either so this was the way to go. After that battle is finished, time flows and we're taken to 1592 on the shores of Kyushuu Japan where a diablo is attacking and a fleet of ships is on the scene to protect the land of the rising sun. 

The Quadrable --with a baby on board is on the ship seemingly taking it easy --inappropriately so. The members of the ship are flabbergasted that a child and woman are here, but hey these are the people who saved Europe, so they've gotta know what they're doing, right? It's there they encounter Nobunaga who asks (mostly as a formality) if they'd like to join him? Of course that's a no go, but they have a bit of banter about joining the church, the country and the hearts of people together into one entity therefore doing away with strife. While this is going on, the little baby --Shirou has gotten away, to ride upon the waves like a natural! --Not surprising considering who his parents are...

Take a look at that top panel on the left. Need I say more? The memories of what have brought the quadrable this far and what they've been through shapes them into the people they are now --a band who's faith keeps them together even in the hardest of times. 

And it's with that faith in each other that they will continue to sally forth, to adventures that we sadly won't be a part of. We have to part ways here, but I do have good news --it's indicated on this final page that Arai is indeed working on something else! Not sure if it'll run in WSS, but we can be sure at least it'll be in a Shogakukan magazine, at least, it's very likely it will. The next volume will be out in February, and the last March. I'm really sad to see Quadrable go, but understandably it's milquetoast beginning didn't really do it any favors, and while the time skip/protagonist change was just enough to make it an interesting story, it was far too late for it to be saved. It kind of hurts a bit, since I really liked seeing Shun or, well, Julian in the driver's seat for a bit, but it was clear that was a last minute hail mary that missed it's mark. Arai's had a tough time finding an audience for his original works --his more popular series are those that are adaptions of other stories be it Darren Shan or Les Miserables. I haven't read either of those, but after reading this, I've definitely got him on my radar, and will eagerly anticipate whatever he's going to give us next. Until then, thank you for everything Arai, and here's to a successful serial next time! 

This week's Youkai Giga is about the "Otoroshi" which have several different regional names, and it's name basically is the same as the Japanese word "Osoroshii" which is "Scary". Not much is known of them, but their diet consists of wicked people, which says a lot honestly, heh. In this week's chapter, one otoroshi trains it's child --a son in the ways of scaring humans. Though the problem here is the human they encounter --a girl isn't the slightest bit afraid of them. Even when the older of the two threatens to eat her, she accepts and admits it might be for the best if they do so, leaving the youkai at a loss. When they threaten to rip her to shreds, she's more worried about the mess it'll make than her life ending. Turns out the girl has no where to go, and even if she were to leave the village she'd end up just dying on a roadside. So rather than give everything up she'd rather live in the place that she calls home and die there if it comes to that. The story is so touching that the older Otoroshi bursts into tears as the younger asks how the girl managed this, to which she responds maybe it saw something scary. It's a straightforward story, and I admit I missed these after all the Kuro for the last few weeks. I like Kuro, but Satou's definitely at her strongest when it's stories like these about Youkai-Human interaction. 

And that's it for this week's Sunday! Next week the Shinigami and his Maid return, Major takes the cover and a lead color for more anime news, Marry Grave receives a color page for it's popularity, Yuugami stops in for a monthly visit, and Meteor Girl comes to it's final resting place. It's looking to be a pretty full issue --as they all are, as the year continues to march on for this magazine in transition. Until next Sunday on Tuesday, be well!