Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Weekly Shounen Sunday #10

It's ya boi, Sakaki with the tenth helping of Shounen Sunday. 'Course since I was lazy, rather than this being the tenth entry on the blog, it's the fourth. (You guys should probably give up on seeing those back issues, btw, but for good reason! I have something I'm planning for Saike fans!) I'm glad you're all here for another fun filled issue of WSS stuff as this issue was pretty good overall --which means I have a lot of work ahead of me. My pain is your gain though, so lets get right to the good stuff.

So gracing the cover this week is Erika Karata who is --from what I can tell a model who appears in commercials from time to time. What? You're surprised she isn't a mangaka or something? Well, WSS does this from time to time. (Sometimes quite frequently) where they'll have pretty girls on the cover along with manga. Oddly enough while it's rival magazine Weekly Shounen Magazine does this, it's other, other, rival Jump does not. (Ironically it is Jump that is the most popular manga magazine out of the three. I wonder what that says about sales practices...)

It's easy to forget with how Shounen magazines have higher female readership rates that they are in fact aimed for boys, but Karata here is a great reminder. I could translate the stuff being said, but I'm sure readers of this blog either only care for her face or not at all so I won't bother.

The TOC is normal-ish this week with Saike close to the bottom (Look at it's page number and not it's position on the page) And Conan taking King of the mountain up top which happens very rarely. RYOKO has dropped again, and more surprising than that is how high up Mushibugyo is. Zettai Karen children (Two spots under RYOKO) is also a little higher this week as well, so maybe I'm wrong to say this is normal. 

I almost feel like I should quit posting these Conan pimping pages as they're basically a given. This week advertises the anime episode airing on February 4th about UFO's as well as the Universal Studios Japan crossover that I've mentioned a few times.

And now some adverts for Sunday Webry and Shounen Sunday Super. These are new volumes hitting stores in February, The series on the right, is "Shitei Bouryoku Shoujo Shiomi-chan" (Assigned Violence Girl Shiomi-chan) by Inoue Kazurou meanwhile on the right is Suu no Kuuki kouryaku (Suu Conquers the Atmosphere) by Fukui Sei. There are other series going on sale around the same time as well. WSS is trying to throw as much manga s they can at fans to see what sticks, though I think it's just a whole lot to keep up with.

Conan is first up, with 14 chapters left till 1,000. Now I've made a rule to myself that I won't reveal the conclusions of cases just in case people are keeping up at home, so I'll only post the first and last page.  Conan is being translated in English if you know where to look!

Conan has a schedule similar to One piece in Jump where it'll run one case (Usually about three weeks) and then take a break for one. At the very least with Conan we get a complete story before being having to wait for the next. According to the side text, next week "that man of the Metropolitan Police Department makes his more!" I wonder who it is? We'll have to wait two weeks to find out.

I don't think I've talked about it before on the blog so here's Major 2 by Mitsuda Takuya. The original Major ran in Weekly Shounen Sunday from 1994 to 2010, with an anime following a whopping ten years later in 2004 with a total of 154 episodes. Mitsuda did have a boxing manga between the Majors, --BYUDEN (Lit: Martial Story) which ran 2011-2014, but it's hard to tell if that just didn't have the staying power Major did or if Mitsuda just missed baseball. Either way Major is a major part of the magazine.

It's a shame that I'm not a sports fan in real life or manga since I really like Mitsuda's art and character designs. They're really easy on the eyes and his panel work super easy to follow. It's a great beginners manga because nothing is too complex as these pages show, and the characters are uniquely designed without being too extreme. It's kind of the safety sports manga.

Again, I don't keep up with it, but another interesting thing in Major 2nd, is that there are girls who play on the boys teams. I'm not sure if that'll change with time, but I find it really neat.

Next up is a very cute chapter of DameTerasu --which has also climbed really high up in the TOC this week for whatever reason. Not gonna lie, the goddess of the sun looks adorable in a schoolgirl uniform.

I promise I won't just post pics of Terasu in different outfits, though Fujiki makes it so easy. In any case now she's in gym and barely has any stamina. I guess the NEET lifestyle takes it's toll even on the divine.

Of course we're not gonna get a simple, fun day at school. I mean what kind of fish-out-of-water-comedy series would this be if monsters that no one else could see didn't show up and make things complicated? Not a very good one.

Luckily Kouhei is here to save the day with a double God tier drop kick! This page looks pretty cool but...

This one is even cooler. The text on the bottom panel reads "Heaven's vengeance is swift". The dudes even make sure to follow regulation and not look at the explosion! 

By now you know my love for double spreads so I don't need to say anything about that, but this page is really nice in general. Kouhei and Terasu are just two kids(?) living in the moment and enjoying their high school life, and Fujiki illustrates this with a wonderful sunset which is as serene as it is heartfelt.

Be Blues is back this week! There was some amazing art in this chapter, and I'd be remiss if I didn't share it with you. Damn, with art this good I might just have to start reading sports manga!

See, what Tanaka has a great handle of is not only drawing incredible speed and intensity using panel work but through his character art. Each line on the characters faces, and the folds on their clothes are represented in great detail, reminiscent of promo art rather than manga art.

The sweat, the speed lines, and perfect SFX placement make these pages spellbinding. Each line, each crosshatch has a purpose --a role in bringing these two characters to life. I won't say I know a lot about how an anime is produced (Though I am learning!) But I'd say any studio hoping to adapt Be Blues would really have to be on top of their soccer game if they wanted to do an adaption of the manga justice.

Next up is Tenshi and Akuto. Auditions are still going for the visual manga thing, and more details are available in the volume (I assume 9) which is out in stores now. Here Akuto stands with the character he's voicing. It's still weird to think that this is a manga about voice acting --and the lead character is a guy voicing a girl!

That's not to say that there aren't girls voicing girls in the series though! Akuto is known for being haughty and hard to get along with, but here he's realizing he has his work cut out for him as this seiyuu (voice actress/actor) knows her stuff.

Viewing her vocal work as a challenge, Akuto faces this straight on and says that he'll take anything she can throw at him.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) the seiyuu of the character who shares a scene with Akuto has taken his challenge all right...a challenge of love?! This could make things complicated...

Next up is Dagashikashi, with Hotaru on the cover. Not much to say about this week's chapter, but as usual she's a beauty.

As I mentioned earlier, Mushibugyo has moved up quite a bit this week. The first panel does a great job of setting up the sheer scale of damage the battle between these two characters is doing.

The top panel of this double page spread isn't one I've seen much in manga. Rather than a side or worm eye angle, the sense of pressure comes from a side/frontal perspective. It's an interesting & conflicting sense of speed and stillness at the same time. 

Another two page spread that attempts (and succeeds) with some interesting panel work, but this is Fukuda's comfort zone. He likes taking divisive perspective work and exaggerated movement and then spreading it over two pages. 

Maiko-sanchi no Makanai-san's turn. There's a certain ghibli-esque quality (I'm going to coin that phrase) to Koyama's art. Like it's very much "Japanese" in the sense of proportion and detail, but also very accessible in that it doesn't take on some of the more exaggerated stereotypes of anime/manga.

This is Kiyo's first look at the Maiko, and she can't help but just smile at them despite her friend wondering just what there is to smile at. With a smile like that does she need a reason?

This is Hamburger steak with plenty of ketchup on it. Koyama isn't just great at drawing people, but food as well. Ahh, to work on this blog when trying to watch what I's painful I tell ya.

And now, Komi-san! This chapter was really enjoyable. I've gone from mostly ignoring this manga to becoming one of it's biggest fans. Amazing what can happen when you give things a chance.

So basically Komi and her friends are messing around in a photo booth, deciding on what filter to use on their group picture. They decide to write on the picture too for fun, and I love that in the second page, last panel, Komi is mostly concerned with not knowing what to write.

The result! What I found most enjoyable about this chapter is that there isn't a sense of drama or tension. It literally is a bunch of friends being silly, and I couldn't be happier with it. A lot of manga might have a reputation of being quiet reads, but Komi-san is one of the few that lives up to that.

My heart at Komi's aside glance in the first panel. Tadano-kun you're a lucky bastard, you know that?

Magi! The fourth panel is incredible, not because of what it depicts, but that Ohtaka would choose such a small space to pack with so much detail. It'd be easy to give that a full page spread, or less details in a little panel like that but she takes it all the way in that little space, and I gotta admit it' captivates me.

A spread in two where someone gets cut in two. Can't get more appropriate than that.

Maoujo! This week our princess wants to head to the hotsprings after seeing them on Demon TV. Is she even a captive anymore? She seems to have totally made herself at home...

Ah so she *is* a captive, and they won't let her go so clearly the only option is to make her own hotsprings by lobbing down a tower in the castle in hopes that there's one underground.

She manages to get a geyser going, in more ways than one. With the way she's causing these demons trouble, I wouldn't be surprised if she slays them all by accident before the hero shows up.

And now for the first time on this blog with a color page celebrating a new arc is Birdmen by Yellow Tanabe! Like Yuugami last week, Birdmen only runs once a month, and as such has longer chapters than the other weekly series. You all might know Tanabe's other work "Kekkaishi" a bit better as that was translated and released in English and it got an anime to boot. 

I have always loved how expressive and detailed Tanabe's art is, and with a month to work on it rather than a week, it shows. Birdmen is about teenager Eishi Karasuma, as he and other people who end up in fatal accidents are given the choice to die, or live granted with powers from a mysterious creature known as a "Birdman"

I can't say for sure if it is or isn't, but I think Birdmen is receiving an (unofficial) English translation. As it is nine volumes and forty-four chapters in, for me to explain everything that's going on in one blogpost would be a lot of work. I'd say go hunt it down if you want details.

I do know in recent chapters the Birdmen have developed into a rag-tag group of people from around the world with the ability to turn into bird-people hybrids. The series conflict comes from them either deciding to use their abilities for good or evil.

Takayama (Spiky haired kid) has been absent from the series for a little while, but they've managed to catch up with him again, where he explains about the "Original 7 people". If they gather in one place, then the ability to gain the power he's desired is possible.

Next is Souboutei which is riding some very stylized waves.


Why if one didn't know any better they'd swear this is a horror manga! But no way, not in a shounen magazine, right? In any case, it's here that Rokurou (on left) realizes that the evil aura that is the Souboutei came from space.

Listen, I have no idea how Fujita does it, but this is a ridiculous amount of detail for a weekly publication. Perhaps like the thing that possesses the Souboutei, he isn't of this world. 

So Seiichi (the kid with long hair) disappeared on a plane in/around 1970. (I actually have been researching this manga a little!) Along with people who were abducted by whatever forces power the being that has possessed the Souboutei. He managed to return many years later from his Bermuda triangle like state in the current era which is what we're seeing now.

The flashback comes to an end with the Japanese Government bombing the Souboutei several years earlier, which is what opened the series. I still need to read the three volumes out, but I know enough now to tell this house is bad news.

And now RINNE. I have noticed I spend a lot of time on this series, lol. So I'll probably make this week's installment a bit shorter than usual.

Essentially Rinne manages to get a hold of money that tells him to spend it. (Sounds too good to be true huh?) And it seems to solve all of Rinne's financial problems.

The problem is while he does get money from the money, (and it mysteriously sticks with him), sadly anything he buys with it is immediately destroyed rendering it useless.

It appears the money is cursed by a spirit that was unable to move on as it (the spirit) was a man who swiped the money from someone else and then died without being able to use it or pay it back.

Rinne manages to get the money exorcised, but it crumbles (it was old money and not in the good sense of the word) so he's left with no cash and a spirit that keeps telling him to spend money despite not having it. The end.

RYOKO! Really hilarious title aside, this was a super cute chapter. Of course it's my plan to maybe have this translated this week, So you won't hear more out of me on it.

Speaking of RYOKO, here's an advert for volume one which is coming out February 17th! I intend to get a digital copy for myself, but there is a month delay. If anyone is planning to get the paper one, give me a shoutout will ya!

Tokiwa Kitaeri! Matsuena can have nice art when he's not shoving boobs in our face...I mean this is titillating without being overly so. I wish he were more like this instead of how he usually is. 

This couldn't be....Hayato Fuurinji from "Kenichi" icould it? I mean the bowl he's eating out of has "Kenzanpaku" which was the name of the dojo in that series so maybe...just maybe? I know some people who were unsatisfied with Kenichi's ending might find this intriuging.

Next up is Keijo!!! Where the ass is mightier than the sword. 

Where "releasing the limiter" has an assload of meaning behind it. I didn't watch the anime or read the beinning of the series, so I dunno if it started *off* this crazy, but I don't think anything (even itself) could top this.

I will admit the impact shockwave here is really nicely done though.

Hayate pulling off adorable and creepy at the same time. The last few chapters have sort of slowed down the pace a little, so it seems this final arc it's on may be going for some time yet.


I prattle on and on about page layouts and use of background, but sometimes simple really is best.

And Saike. This is the final chapter of part seven of the series. Yes that is a funeral portrait, and no I won't talk about what happened.

So Saike is going on hiatus till March fifteenth  (Issue 16) after this chapter. Saike has an unusual serialization where about a volume's worth (or two) of chapters will run in the magazine and then it'll go on break for a month or so. Gotta give Shounen Sunday credit for giving all sorts of serializations a chance. So sadly, next week we hang out, it'll be without Saike, but I hope to have something in the weekly chapter's place.

Hatsukoi Zombie bringing in the fanservice. It's a bit lower in the mag than usual this week though...I hope this isn't a trend.

Hiiragi-sama returning to the blog after a small hiatus. Nishimori's art is an acquired taste. (Imo.)

I love that even the SFX is super casual in this despite the situation going on here. Everything about this page says boredly "This is normal, what are you looking at?"

Again the casual diss seems to be this series's modus operandi. This guy, Niwaishi is trying to pick up chicks, and they're just kind of like "why?" He even went as far as changing his image from his driver's license, and Hiiragi comments that it's like he gave up his individuality to become boring.  Burn. 

Denpa Kyoushi with a pretty cool looking explosion this week. 

Oniwo with a badass dual page spread. It makes me incredibly sad that this one is already basically out of the magazine unless it's selling well without me knowing.

I just hope the artist --Tonaka finds luck in his next work. He really has some amazing potential should he find the right audience.

And that's it for issue 10! Next week will feature a center color page for Maiko-sanchi no Makanai-san, A possible(?) color page for Komi-san, and A graviure model and member of Keiyakizaka 46, Yurina Hiraide. (Who looks strikingly like Kiyo, so this is probably some kind of cross promotion.) I do hope you'll tune in next week and enjoy another Sunday on Tuesday on this blog! Until then, see ya! 


  1. Does Sunday have more female readers than male? It's got a lot of cute character designs and romance comics in it's lineup, more than Jump and Magazine. Then again, while the fanservice isn't as overwhelming as it is in Magazine stuff, with titles like Keijo!!!!!!!! and the Kenichi guys' new thing there's still aplenty, so you'd think that'd be a turn off for some. I'd be curious to see a breakdown of the readership by gender. I know there was one for Jump series a couple years ago that confirmed stuff like One Piece, Gintama, and Haikyuu were overwhelmingly more popular with girls, but I still wonder how the overall demographics compare between the big three shonen mags and their most popular series.

    Man, Souboutei sounds and looks so crazy. Really hope Viz will license it someday.

    You mentioning that girls play on boys' teams in Major 2nd sounded cool to me since I've always wanted to see a sports series with mixed-gendered teams, and it also reminded me a little of how Aoba in Cross Game was the only female player on the team, and probably the best player, but she still wasn't allowed to play in official matches because of regulations. I'm sure Major 2nd doesn't make a big deal of having mixed gendered teams or anything but it's just something I wanted to see more of and so I'm curious about it.

    The main guy voices a girl in the voice acting manga, huh? I don't know if you mentioned this in previous posts so that really piqued my interest. I wondered how a potential anime adaptation would handle that. I guess it depends on how masculine/feminine his normal voice sounds and whether they'd get a male or female seiyuu to play him, since the latter would probs make the transition easiest.

    Poor Rinne. He has more bad luck than Ataru, and his name literally meant "to be struck by a falling star," lol.

    I love how there's a character in Keijo!!!!!!!! who literally fights with a sword jammed up her ass. It's just my kind of ridiculous. I honestly want to continue the series sometime.

    Interested in seeing what you'll be doing with Saike while it's on hiatus! And great job making me want to read all these series I can't read as usual! ^^

  2. Thanks for commenting! It really keeps me motivated to know people are reading this and enjoying it!

    I'm not sure of the readership along gender lines in WSS, *but* a the more popular series. (Magi and Conan) seem to have larger female followings than male, while Dagashikashi does seem more catered to a male audience? (What's interesting on that point is that something like Keijo which you'd expect to be really popular with guys isn't popular with anyone.) I'm sure Matsuena's works (Kenichi and now Tokiwa) are more appealing to guys cause of the art, while something like Komi-san would probably be popular with both genders. For sure, the two bigger series in this magazine have larger female fanbases. In fact, it would seem that shounen manga in general have more girls than guys reading, though one thing Oda said in an SBS column is that guys *do* read but they only comment/are active when something interests them, while girls are very active in their fandoms. So it may just be a thing where girls are just more vocal.

    Souboutei is pretty great. I only wish I had been paying attention to it from the start. I keep meaning to buy the first two volumes to catch up on the story but I never seem to remember...

    With Major 2nd there was a character arc where there was a girl playing with the guys and it was sort of a big deal, but that quickly passed. I'm thinking because they're kids that it's okay for now, but should there be a timeskip I'm thinking it'll just be guys teams. I'll admit I don't follow the series as closely as I do other things so these may not be official games, so it may be similar to Cross Game.

    Actually Tenshi to Akuto is having a sort of VOMIC thing soon, and the lead --Akuto has been cast with a male VA. He's the same guy who performs the role of the lead in Haikyuu, so his voice does sort of sound a little feminine so I can see it working. They're having auditions for non VAs to play other characters which is really interesting to me.

    Rinne is a series I wish I had paid more attention to before now. I find myself recapping the entire chapter because it's usually so ridiculous/funny that I can't help myself. Guess I'll try the anime then. Also that, I hadn't realized it.

    For Saike, I do have a plan, and it's my hope to start it this week or next week Stay tuned, and thanks again for reading!

  3. It's interesting that Conan is more popular with female audiences. Though I've heard the horror/mystery genres are more popular with female readers in Japan and are actually a staple of shojo, so perhaps Conan's subject matter aligns more with female readers' general tastes?

    I'd love to see you do chapter reviews of Soubotei like what you're doing with Saike. Especially since I don't think anyone is translating it, it'd be really cool to learn about the progression of the story from it's beginning.

    I should've figured that'd be the case with Major. It'd be nice if it focused on both the boys and girls' baseball teams as the characters start to age and have to separate into gender-specific teams by necessity. I kind of want to read a sports series where the rivals are a boy and a girl who both play and love the same sport and the series depicts both of their growth from school to being professional players. You know what, fuck it, I should just write it myself (drops note into ideas jar).

    Oh, Ayumu Hirasa huh? Yeah, his voice is pretty light so I could see him pulling off a feminine voice believably. It is interesting that they're recruiting non-VAs to do other characters. Wonder if it's a way to find new talent to do more VOMIC work on Sunday series or just otherwise new blood for the voice acting industry?

    Rinne is pretty underrated. It's pretty classy Takahashi though it feels a lot more low-key and less crazy than her earlier stuff. But it still makes me laugh and I love all the characters so I can keep reading/watching it for a while yet.

  4. I find it interesting Conan is more popular with females too, but then again the guys in it are pretty aesthetically pleasing, and Aoyama is pretty decent with romance, so it feels like the type of thing that would go over well with them --as you said. What's more interesting is that Conan has had a resurgence of sorts lately. Not that it was ever in any trouble or anything, but it seems more popular than ever in the last year for some reason...I do wonder why since it's clear that Aoyama is having too much fun with the series to end it and therefore there isn't a rush to resolve any story elements. I could understand if it were heading to a conclusion, but since that seems unlikely, it's weird to me.

    I'm hoping to eventually do something with Souboutei, because art as wild and imaginative as that needs more attention. I'd consider translating it if I weren't bogged down enough. Plus I also want to do a feature on RYOKO since I am actually working on that. Hopefully next time when I get paid I can finally buy the first volume(s) and read them to get more of an idea of what's going on.

    Lol, what's ironic about that is Mitsuda actually *did* do a series like that...sort of, but it was boxing and not baseball. He did sort of cop out midway through though...I think the series has been translated? It's called "Byuden", and it ran in WSS before Major 2nd. (Wait, didn't I mention this before?)

    Yeah, I think it's probably a means to promote the series *and* find new talent. The best way to keep your audience is to get them involved after all. I think Ayumu does have what it takes to pull off a female voice so it might work.

    I admit I've only read (some) of Ranma and Inuyasha. I've heard good things about Lum so I would like to get into that eventually, and Rinne has slowly become one of my favorite parts of these talkbacks which is saying a lot.