Friday, December 14, 2018

Weekly Shounen Sunday #2/3 (2019) Editorial section

Souboutei is firing full throttle. Though really, when isn't it?  This week as Makoto takes on not one, but two opponents who would dare hurt her older brother. Even the way she speaks is way different than what we've been used to from her....hell hath no fury than a little sister scorned. I kind of hate how appropriate that is with today's anime/manga landscape.  In all seriousness, it's really a thing to behold to watch Fujita do his thing so that Makoto can do hers. The entire chapter is made up of double page spreads, and If I wasn't careful I might have ended up posting the whole thing! 

Of course this means there's not a whole lot for me to talk about since it is all about the action this week --Makoto has seemingly defeated one of the kids after her and Seiichi, but there's still another in the wings waiting for the chance to strike. She might have made this look easy, but by the end Makoto is pretty tired out and with another opponent ready to go she may not be able fend him off...If there's ever been a time for a turnaround shounen-style comeback I'd say it needs to be right now. 

Evans is Pride vs Porn this week as the struggle gains a whole new layer of complexity. Ed Williams who's appearances are really shaping him up as a kind of "This is what Evans could be if he weren't obsessed with women." Yet, in a weird way it's like Ed is the one getting the short end of their exchanges every time they meet simply because he plays the cool cowboy trope straight. Evans' world is one where misunderstandings are the true characters and the flesh and blood counterparts are simply playing roles. I don't mean that in a bad way, since of course it's what's kept the series going for almost two years now. I guess what I'm yammering about here is how Evans is a character driven comedy (since y'know the plot is really just "Guy wants girl: western edition.") but it really does feel more like the premise is calling the shots more than the characters. It's probably obvious to everyone here, but it's a weird hodgepodge of elements that probably should collapse upon itself but actually works really well. 

So for the events in the chapter itself, we have Evans, Ed, porn, and wanted posters. Ed is here to collect on Evans, and Evans is here to collect the briefcase full of smut that he's inexplicably ended up obtaining. They corner the guy who might be behind all of this but he claims innocence and has no idea what's going on himself. Ed proves he's kind of a villain too by setting fire to the plant where the accused's friends are in order to get him to talk. Ed's a little miffed at Evans after the last time they met and he ended up with Evans porn (ah continuity!) and quasi sees through the Sheriff's's great that it's happening all over again in the sense that Ed is just trying to do what bounty hunters do and Evans is inadvertently getting in his way. In the end, the man reveals that he is indeed the one they're looking for and in a desperate bid to save his friends tosses what he thinks are drugs into the building that's on fire. Ed's fine with things getting that much easier, while Evans literally runs into a burning building for his nudie mags, and it's the greatest way to end this chapter. It feels like this is going to be a short arc, but as per the Evans tradition it's been really good. 

Saike's got one chapter left after this and this week's is super sized at 34 pages....essentially about two chapters for the price of one. It's good in the sense that the chapter doesn't feel like it was two chapters slapped together and flows well from one point to another, though I'm still a little saddened that this final volume that felt like it had a lot of promise is being shafted a little bit. That all being said, what we do end up getting is perhaps the best case scenario in regards to a conclusion for this series. This whole final lap has been unique in that rather than focusing on the looming threat it instead focuses on each one of the characters receiving their well deserved "endings". I can't say I've read every shounen ever, but I don't think I've seen anyone tackle a final arc quite like this --where the last obstacle is actually treated as less important than the characters themselves.  

Yup, as you can see above Saike and his friends have aged up in the three years since they went their separate ways to gather ability users to prevent the world's destruction from a massive volcanic eruption. Hizu looking like a buff Edward Elric is endlessly fascinating to me, and Ana is as cute as ever. It's interesting that Saike is only seen from the back and side in the final parts of the chapter....would seeing his face ruin some plot point? Or probably more likely is that it's for dramatic effect? Either way I'm happy to see all of the characters we've met so far in this journey on center stage. It's one of my favorite tropes when everyone in a story has a purpose in it's conclusion, no matter how small it might be. Saike also says out loud what the series has been hinting all of this time --that his ability had nothing to do with Mogura Pond, but with him dying. Thus he could use his ability anywhere at any time ---but now he realizes he doesn't need it to save people. All it takes is an outstretched hand to change the world....

And save it. Next week is Saike's finale, and I could say that arguably it's the most important final chapter this blog will see. 

Memesis how I wish you could embrace your action roots more often like this...though this chapter felt really One Punch Man-ish. It might just be because of the way it ended, or how the building tension was handled, but the similarity to ONE's most popular work cannot be denied. Ash and Kijira are being beaten down mercilessly and to their enemy's dismay they just keep getting right back up. They do explain that they have their reasons for not giving up --basically being dumped by Leon which is what makes all of this great. Like, although we as the audience get why they feel jilted, their explanations to anyone else don't make any sense, hah. Even the demons are just flabbergasted that they'd keep standing up for such a ridiculous reason...and quickly realize that Ash and Kijira are idiots. Despite this they are able to quickly slice right through their foes, but what makes this a bit more interesting than other fights in the series is that they don't immediately go down. In fact, even with their usual Leon-rage-induced-boost, Ash and Kijira are still only barely able to keep up with these demons. 

But then speak of the devil....Leon shows up! The way he's drawn in the first panel above really is reminiscent of OPM. Leon casually says he's gonna go defeat the demon king and asks if they want to tag along. A bold claim, but we've seen how strong he is so he's probably not bluffing. Leon being back and the Demon king being this close does make me wonder (along with the new serializations on their way) if Shougakukan is gently trying to push Memesis out, but I honestly can't tell with this series. I wouldn't be surprised if an ending is on the way, but it could easily run a bit longer too. 

Dante is the subject of this week's Marry Grave, and his backstory isn't surprising in how similar it is to Sawyer's. In fact what it reveals is probably why he felt a kinship to the young boy despite him being so antagonistic toward him. Abandoned by his parents, Dante worked with Medusa the snake lord as a servant/hired hand. He was impressively strong even as a child as the opening of the chapter shows him taking down a group of fully armed men on his own. Due to his own past and being the right hand of a monster, Dante viewed all of humanity as his enemy. Medusa even had Dante calling him "dad" in a twisted way of showing his ownership over him. 

Interestingly Dante either already knows the truth or finds out later that his parents didn't abandon him but were mercilessly slain by the snake lord. Let me pause for a minute and once again (You knew this was coming) point out how amazing Yamaji's artwork is. Like wow, the use of framing and positive/negative space is pretty dang incredible here as the snake lord mocks Dante asking him if it feels good to get revenge for his parents? Not that he can of course. That right page shows movement and intensity with such force that it sends shivers down my spine. Even if Marry Grave might really be ending, I'm glad Yamaji isn't relenting in his artwork. 

In the present, Sawyer and the others struggle against the snake lord and find themselves on the losing end of his attacks. As Sawyer takes an attack meant for Dante himself, it's shown that deep down he can hear his friend's voice. Though as he's trapped in stone, and Sawyer is seemingly down for the count, is it too little too late? 

A robbery gone wrong, a pocket watch, and the truth behind the crime are what open up this week's Xeno chapter. The thieves should have had everything they needed to rob a bank blind --the knowledge of how the security system works, the password, and even the schedule. So why did everything go horribly awry? Moreover why this job in the first place? Apparently it's the work of someone named "Baron", and the burglars are convinced that Xeno is connected to them due to his pocket watch. Baron said themselves that people with the emblem on the watch are his close friends and that's proof positive they're connected, right? So it isn't so much that they know anything about the watch as much as it is that they've seen it before. Still a lead is a lead --but Xeno's in no shape to be thinking about that as the burgers are highly volatile and ready to pop. The lone woman in this group seems to be caught in the middle of this situation, but Xeno sees right through her --she's actually an agent sent by Baron to kill the other two and clean up the loose ends! 

Shino (the girl) Shows her true colors but Xeno points out that she too is being used --as a tool to test him. After all there are too many coincidences here for it to be chance that they met here. Shino's not buying it and is ready to rub the detective out, but it's good to have a former assassin as your assistant as seen above. I like that even in her "domesticated" life she's still very much capable of using her training to turn the tables, and look awesome doing it. 

As Xeno figured however, Baron really is just testing him --seeking him out through a very roundabout way to send an invitation/challenge. Does the amnesiac detective know this Baron from his past life? Or is it something grander? Xeno's low in the TOC this week but I'm thinking that's a temporary blip as it polls well even if it doesn't sell gangbusters. At least that's what I'd like to believe as the series continues to keep a high level of intrigue. For now we're headed into another arc, and the prospect of that has got me excited. 

Kuro's farewell to his master is a moving one, though saddening since it's only now since his childhood that he's been able to see the little youkai. There's not much time left before he has to go into service, and he'd rather the youkai look after his family than be on the battle front with him. Although the stories in Youkai Giga have always been about how youkai and humans live with each other, this story taking place over a lifetime really hits home harder than if it had been only a one off story like the others ones in the series. Not to say there haven't been some good ones of course! Kuro separating from his master after just really being able to see him again is sad enough, but Seiji admitting that he wanted to tell Kuro how much he wanted him to stay but couldn't is the worst/best part. I'm still really hoping that Satou will have this family reunited at the end of this war, but the death flags are waving mightily. 

And that's it for the editorial section! Hah, the editorial was on time this week but the features were any case you'll be seeing me again week after next as there is no Sunday next week. Enjoy your Christmas vacations everyone, and I'll see you one last time before the end of the year. 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Weekly Shounen Sunday #2/3 (2019) Features section

It's that time of year where the issue numbers double up which means we have to learn to live with only one Sunday a week (it only happens a few times per year but it's still a trial isn't it?

All exaggeration aside, It's issue 2/3 of Sunday which means next week there won't be an issue. Those who have been here with me know how this works, but new folks might not know --two numbers doesn't mean twice the Sunday, it just means one issue that represents two weeks so to speak. So while there's a lot of Sunday to explore this week, it's no more than the usual. Get it? Good. Let's go.

Nogizaka retakes their throne on the front of Sunday with two lovely ladies, but the most interesting thing here is of course the new series by Kei Nishimura --Imouto Rireki. Komi, Conan and Evans round out the cover, which is unsurprisingly decked out in some Christmas cheer.

This week's question comes from Osaka and reads: "December 12th is Kanji Day! Do you have a favorite kanji character?)

Imouto Rireki (Kei Nishimura): A pleasure to meet you. I just can't believe that I'm actually in the main magazine, like a false dream. Despite that I'll do my best.
Koroshiya S no yuragi (Erika Funamoto): A pleasure to meet you all. I'd be overjoyed if you had a good time reading this.
Kimi wa 008 (Syun Matsuena): Shun (Syun) Because if you trace it from it's origin to the tip of the top, it kind of looks like a strange animal.
Komi-san ha Komyusho desu (Tomohito Oda): The kanji for brightness! It's cute!!
Detective Conan (Gosho Aoyama): The kanji for laughter (lol).
Maiko-san chi no Makanai-san (Aiko Koyama): The kanji for snow.
Souboutei Kowasubeshi (Kazuhiro Fujita): "Laughter" and "Darkness". "Tie" is good too. "Great Success" is one I would abandon though.
Be Blues (Motoyuki Tanaka): The Kanji for Joy.
Amano Megumi wa Suki Darake! (Nekoguchi): Ass.
Hoankan Evans no Uso ~Dead or Love~ (Mizuki Kuriyama): My favorites change on a case by case basis, though I like one kanji for Sushi more than the other.
(TN- Kanji can have characters that have the same meaning but look totally different. In this case Kuriyama is referring to how they like "鮨" more than "寿司" but they're both "Sushi". 
Gopun go no Sekai (Hiroshi Fukuda): How does "dreams" sound? (Lol)
Tonikaku cawaii (Kenjiro Hata): The ones like deer where you can write "
Saike Matashitemo (Tsubasa Fukuchi): Good fortune. It's in my last name, and I like the meaning and how it looks.
Memesis (Takuya Yagyuu): "Advance" When I manage to write it and make it look nice I feel a sense of accomplishment. I like that confidence.
Maoujo de Oyasumi (Kagiji Kumanomata): If I were forced to choose I'd say the kanji for "5". the sense of balance is nice.
Aozakura Bouei Daigakkou Monogatari (Hikaru Nikaido): I have a trauma from my kanji tests back when in elementary school.
Chrono Magia Infinity Gear (Hikaru Muno): I have faith in my kanji skills. I feel better and prefer kanji that have complex curves.
Hatsukoi Zombie (Ryou Minenami): I don't have any particular favorites.
Sokyuu no Ariadne (Norihiro Yagi): Kanji with low stroke counts are my favorites.
Daiku no Hatou (Michiteru Kusaba): Experience. I like the stroke order for it.
switch (Atsushi Namikiri): Cat.
Marry Grave (Hidenori Yamaji): Journey.
Tantei Xeno to Nanatsu no Satsujin misshitsu (Kyouichi Nanatsuki) The kanji for "seven" and "moon" and "mirror" and "one". It is my pen name after all.
Zettai Karen Children (Takashi Shiina): I want more figures and character pillows. I don't have time or interest in thinking about kanji. 
Youkai Giga (Satsuki Satou): Rest.
Tokaichi Hitoribocchi Nouen (Yuuji Yokoyama): Eight has the air of good fortune. I wish I could become Yuuhachi Yokoyama. 
(TN- Yokoyama's first name "Yuuji" contains the kanji for "two". Hachi is "eight".)

As per the course, a lot of these ended up becoming personal preference (Looking at you Shiina), but some of the serious answers were pretty interesting. I'd like to know what happened to Nikaido though...Yagi is quite a mood as is Satou. Fukuchi's makes a lot of sense too --the "Fuku" part of his name comes from "good fortune", and thanks to Nanatsuki not having any chill you now know how his name is spelled out in Japanese too! You're welcome.

I'm pretty sure both of these ladies have been featured in WSS before, and so this isn't their first time in the blog. Though for those with bad sense of memory like me, here's the deets. On bottom image on the left is Mizuki Yamashita, while beside her on the right Yuuki Yoda. Yamashita was born July 26th 1999, while Yoda was born May 5th 2000. These two ladies are the "aces of the idol group (So something like the leader/head) and they're doing a Christmas pinup as a sort of advertisement for Nogizaka 46, who's 22nd single has recently come out. That's...a lot of singles I know nothing about, hah. Though the important thing here obviously is that they're cute, or if you're of that persuasion --pretty.

It wouldn't be a Sunday Issue without advertising some more Conan stuff would it? This time around the newest movie (out April 12th 2019) is getting some attention --seems Shinichi will play a role in it! Though if you're more interested in canon Conan, the two one hour specials are for you --one will play January 5th and the other the 12th. These will feature the case seen in chapter 1,000 oh so long ago.....well it certainly feels like it was long ago. On the other side is a Conan collaboration featuring food, merch and other things to bring a smile to fans faces. You can take it all in (if you're in Japan) starting December 25th all the way to January 14th. There's also a rush of Conan Books (Not the manga itself, though) coming out December 18th, so if you're in the mood for some supplementary material, that's the day you wanna be hunting it down.

It's a bit odd to say this when the series was so low in the TOC this week, but switch is getting an official collaboration with the winter cup! The amount of promotion the series is getting despite not being even a year old is kind of inceredible to behold. I guess one can't say that Shogakukan isn't trying. I just hope all this attention turns a profit eventually --switch isn't doing abysmally bad by any means, but something getting this promotion should be doing way better than it is. Especially since the winter cup will feature artwork by Namikiri himself including limited edition goods from him. switch may be just a slow burn and I think Shougakukan sees that too --but I hope it can reverse it's fortunes eventually.

It's new series time! This time we're treated to Kei Nishimura's Imouto Rireki which means something like "Little sister record/log". Admittedly when I read the synopsis, my mind went to immediately dismissive places. Though upon reading the premiere chapter, I wouldn't go as far as saying that the series is a must read or anything, but it's definitely more than the premise would have you think. 

The situation: Sakutaro Futaba is the older brother of one Ikumi Futaba who's starting high school. She's the taciturn type --barely saying a word here or there much to the confusion of her older brother. See, at one point she was the cute energetic type, always tagging along with him. Yet nowadays getting a conversation out of her is like pulling teeth. She's especially cold to her brother for whatever reason which drives him up the wall. Although he's mostly resigned to thinking it's just puberty, he can't help but feel a little left out of his sister's life now that she's ignoring him. He tries pestering her via LINE and she just blocks him, haha. She then charges her phone on the computer for a bit, and it's when Sakutaro decides to use it that he realizes his sister's search history has come up on the home desktop --somehow it's synced with his sister's phone! And for whatever reason her history is filled with searches about global warming....and it goes from being about a homework-like inquiry to scary things like "Will Global warming eliminate mankind?" 

The next day (and the one before it) he catches his sister looking up at the sky and remembers one of her search terms was "I want to see the Ozone layer" and "Good luck, Ozone layer!" And at first he feels like he might understand his sister a little, but remembering some of the other things she searched for, he instinctively calls out to her and realizes he's not at all sure what to say, hah. 

That goes as well as you'd think but when he searches the history later he finds that Ikumi searched something else online --"My brother called my name ho--" and Sakutaro immediately goes to a negative place. "How annoying?!" Is she saying "How annoying?!" Up until now he's just referred to her as "little sister" rather than her name (maybe that's what changed things between you guys, my dude?) Though then he realizes she might have meant "how good"? (The Japanese is a bit better at this, so sorry if it sounds awkward.) And Sakutaro does realize it has been a while since he's called her by name, not that it explains why she seems to hate him now. 

That was essentially the first chapter --there are two included in this week's Sunday. (And there will be two more chapters next week too.) Though I think that's enough to get the general tempo of the series. The second chapter is about Saku looking up his sister's history and finding she's searching for SFX, and he realizes it's actually the beat of a song that she used to enjoy as a child and he promised to sing along with her. For just a quick second when he reminds her of that promise she seems to brighten up.....maybe there's hope of fixing this fractured sibling bond? Though yes, Imouto Ririeki is interesting that it takes what's not an entirely unique premise and gives it a new age spin. It's actually a lot cuter and fluffier than the premise would suggest, and actually comes off feeling a bit more like Komi than anything else. I'd like to see where Nishimura will take the premise in future chapters to distinguish it from Komi while keeping with Sunday's unique flavor. Of course I'll be covering the next two weeks (I'd say three chapters but if they're all doubles then it'd be more than that.) so we'll be able to hopefully get a better idea of this little sister's future through her search history. 

Throwing in 008 this week because the art and pathos were both really good. I'd really be much more down with Matsuena if he did stuff like this more often....but ah, I guess there's no point in getting hung up on it. This chapter was pure shounen all the way through and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Eito fought his nameless buddy (although the buddy thing is extremely one sided, hah.) because as friends they should know each other's names. One of the things that just makes shounen so fufilling is that emotions-on-the-line confrontation that convinces a rival to be an ally or an ally to be a blood(less) brother. On that note, nameless buddy's name is revealed to be Asuya, and we get a glimpse into his past. It's pretty standard in the scheme of shounen stuff --he was an orphan looked after by a kind lady who considered him a friend, and even gave him his name which apparently was against the rules of the place that was raising him. I'm assuming there was a recompense for her actions as Asuya decides to keep his name between them and no one else. Despite getting owned, Eito comes back around and declaring them friends wants another match claiming he decided they'd be friends from the moment they met. Ahhh, it's the shounen content I so crave. In the end Asuya gives Eito his name out of pure pity for him, but Eito is fast asleep from his injuries. It wasn't a landmark chapter by any means, but I really enjoyed it for it's simple yet fulfilling content. 

Rei and Komi almost feel like sisters now and my heart just grows a size every time I see them. Like 008 above, the chapter didn't have much in the way of landmark content, but what it did have was what Komi and by extension the slice of Sunday do so well --slow, deliberate and effective character development. It'd be easy enough for Oda (not that one) to have Rei join the cast of the series now that her "arc" is over so to speak, but rather than that he's establishing her little by little by showing her interacting with the Komi family. From little bro to big sis this week, it's great to see that even after her story has been "told" she's still relevant in a series with a cast as huge as this. I mean even the premise for this week was as simple as it gets --Rei and Komi take a bath together for the first time. That leads to the end where the two play with stuffed animals --an avenue Rei uses to express her thanks to Komi for befriending her --and Komi turns it into a contest...which of them can make 100 friends first? It's a sweet moment between the girls, really --and shows Komi's own development as she wouldn't have been the type to be quasi forceful before making friends. I'll always appreciate Sunday manga for taking time out to give us chapters like these where nothing significant happening is significant. 

It's not quite Weekly Sunday news, but considering anime for the main mag is a thing we're not getting any of for now, I feel like reporting on Gessan anime news works. So as you may know, Mitsuru Adachi's work "Mix" is getting an anime that will premere April 2019. The story is a quasi sequel to his series "Touch" which ran back in the 80s, and to really seal the deal they got Noriko Hidaka who played the ever popular "Minami" in Touch to play a role in Mix as well, as seen above. I've heard that Minami does show up in Mix (maybe?) so this announcement might be confirming that, but I'm not sure myself. They don't actually say who she's playing, just that she is playing someone, so we could very well be faked out when the series does premere and she's another character entirely. Still, I'm looking forward to this series as Adachi's works are the only sports animanga I rather enjoy.  

The investigation continues in Detective Conan as Sera seemingly incites Ran --Shinichi is never around when Conan is right? Though there are actually times where the two have been in the same place, debunking Sera's theory. (Of course Conan fans know better.) I feel like Sera definitely knows a lot more than she's letting on, but for whatever reason wants Conan to incriminate himself rather than outright saying it herself. Conan dodges a bullet that time, and the case continues, but I doubt Aoyama would have mentioned something like this in the middle of a case if he wasn't going to go anywhere with it, and it has been a while since Ran's been suspicious. For the case itself, a second victim bites the dust and it's unsurprisingly the man who texted the culprit claiming that he knows their identity. If I remember correctly Amuro is coming back issue 7, so Conan's got two more to go indicating this is going to be a fairly ordinary case length wise which is a little disappointing, but lets see if content will make up for it. 

Komi and Evans were both showing off their redder sides this week with their color pages. It's hard to believe Evans is now 82 chapters in, seriously. Not just on a popularity front but Kuriyama's ability to take a premise this simple and keep it fresh for this long. I think kudos is deserved there really. Also the color page looks cool, but words are worth a lot more in their weight. Although the text says that both men act for their "pride", the reading for Evans "pride" is "porn." Never change man, never, ever change. For full coverage of Evans check out the editorial when it hits in a few days. 

Despair is the name of the game in 5 minutes this week....and almost every week it feels like. It's hard to  believe that the man behind the mostly hopeful Mushibugyo is the one behind this story. Guess Fukuda was holding back all of those years, huh. Still, Fukuda's art is still pretty incredible, and that's why I had to bring up the series this week. For sure one thing you can say about 5 minutes is that the sense of scale is always on a higher level. So as the characters all rush to learn the secret of the hoards of Buddha statues coming for them, the sense of tension only rises. The good guys are slowly running out of steam, and the despair is only a stones throw distance away from them. Not only that but the Buddha are showing signs of higher intelligence and the ability to use other weapons, and a huge one is on it's way to stomp them flat. Still, in this moment they still yearn to live, to get back what they lost --even what hadn't been taken by the Buddha if a flashback from Rock of days where he and the brothers used to be teammates is any indication. In a series where despair is closer than hope and the characters know this they can only struggle against the odds and it makes for some knee gripping times. Five minutes has been going on for 32 weeks however, and I have to wonder how long Fukuda will go without showing his hand? How long can he go? 

They advertised this import from Gessan as a battle manga of sorts, so I had one expectation, but Erika Funamoto's Koroshiya S no Yuragi took it's premise in a totally different direction while somehow meeting my expectations somehow? Let's dig in. S is the titular character who as the title (S the Assassin's fluctuation is the translation of the title) suggests is an assassin and quite good at his job. His real name is Shotaro, and since he was a kid found by a shadowy organization he's been trained in the art of deception and death. In fact the guy he kills in this opening chapter is J who betrayed the organization and thus had to pay with his life. He's just doing his thing as usual until he meets his second target for the night one seventeen year old Kiri Furukawa, and immediately falls in love with her. 

For him she's the first target he hasn't been able to pull the trigger on, and it's freaking him out. Though man, Shotaro goes all the way for this possibly unrequited love affair --burning down his apartment, placing a fake corpse there and essentially creating a new stalk Kiri. On one hand it's kind of funny in a weird way that an assassin would dump his entire life just because he caught a glance of a girl for a few seconds and became smitten with her, but on the other hand it is kind of creepy too, though I feel like that's what Funamoto was going for. I mean he does take out other people who were trying to kill her so he's not all bad, right? Anyway he begins to talk to her via arrow gun (as in a gun that fires arrows) since y'know approaching her normally would be too awkward for even the best assassin. Kiri for her credit seems to be kind of flighty so she ends up relying on his arrow shots for all sorts of things (including killing bugs), all while not really asking why she's suddenly got a very deadly guardian angel. Eventually she does call him over and Shotaro heads over to see her...

And it's "M" at the door -another assassin sent to kill Kiri who's apparently the daughter of a Yakuza leader. Shotaro can't have that, and goes off immediately to save his beloved, and does a great job of killing everyone who gets in his way. When the yakuza come in to save their boss's daughter, she introduces him as her bodyguard to stave off suspicion. 

So starts this strange assassination comedy. Funamoto's art is amateurish sometimes --definitely giving off that "newbie" feel, but she does some interesting things with composition that more than makes up for it. As I've said a few times in this writeup, it's nothing new plot wise, but this first chapter did a serviceable job of giving us an idea of what to expect. The series itself is in Gessan --Shounen Sunday's monthly sister magazine so if you're interested you'd have to check out more there. I myself can't say I'm fully invested, but if WSS were to run another chapter I'd definitely check it out. I think it's just funny enough with some great paneling that it could stand out from other series doing the same thing. 

And that's it for this week's Features section! Next week there won't be any Sunday (as far as I know) but in issues 4/5 the week after you can expect Aya Hirakawa's new serial --Fire Rabbit, KOTOYAMA's oneshot "Itookashi", a color page for Hatsukoi Zombie, and Saike's final chapter. Ah, I'm already missing it.  So there will be plenty to talk about then too! I'm looking to have Editorial out in a day or two so I can take a much deserved break, so please by all means give it a read when it's out. Until then, take care and happy holidays!