Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Weekly Shounen Sunday #8

Wow, hard to believe it's just been a week since we last hung out, but here we are with WSS #8 in...hand? (It's the digital edition so that metaphor doesn't quite work.) I hope I can get this down to a science eventually, but for now, please do stumble along with me through this second post!

Adorning the cover for Issue #8 is the ever popular Magi once again advertising it's final arc. I do wonder what it is with magazines having to remind readers that popular series are on their way out almost'd think they'd dislike such a painful thing being reiterated over and over again, but maybe I'm wrong.

So, this time around I figured I'd post the TOC first rather than last so people know what order I'm going to cover series in. I generally work going from TOC order so that's why each week might seem a little different. In this case the TOC is kind of topsy turvy with Dagashi being very low (as is RYOKO) meanwhile Saike and Hayate which are normally closer to the bottom are at the top. This is different than Jump where the top five are usually iron clad, with series below that jockeying for different positions. Conan which is analogous with One Piece in Jump is third here for example, and generally hovers around third-fifth. 

So! First up on the hit parade is Tenshi to Akuto celebrating it's 100th chapter and 9th volume with a center color page and a huge announcement! (No, it's not an anime.) This series is about Akuto (brown haired dude) being scouted by Nari (Pink haired girl) to be a voice actor! Except, well, Akuto has the perfect voice for...female roles. This series basically is a shounen battle-ish spin on voice acting. (Shokugeki no Soma managed to do it for cooking, so why not?) It's pretty cute from time to time, though I'm not aware if it's being scanslated or not.

Okay, I've kept you on pins and needles in regard to the announcement, so here it is! They're going to voice act chapter one of the manga using something called a "motion comic".  I'm not at all sure what that is, but they'll be revealing more information over the next three months. Nari's VA will be Ayane Sakura; known for voicing Ochako in the My Hero Academia Anime, and Akuto's VA will be Ayumu Murase known for voicing the lead in Haikyuu. (Sorry I don't remember his name as I don't read the series.) Furthermore the other characters will be cast via audition! Which means if you speak Japanese and are in Japan you could audition to be in this! Good luck!

Conan actually is in this week's issue, so this feels less like pimping. In any case here's the visual for the newest movie, as well as a little blurb about what the movie will be about. Apparently there will be two cases in Oosaka and Tokyo, as well as a love story between two people. You'll have to wait for future issues to learn more. The movie opens on April 15th so look forward to it!

In kinda cool stuff news, they've made a tiny recreation of the candy store featured in Dagashikashi which was sculpted by Masatoshi Araki. The magazine totes that it's almost like Virtual Reality! You'll be able to see the diorama on January 24th if you're in Japan.

Again, I'm contractually entitled to bring you all the dual page spreads, and this one in Tenshi to Akuto is a nice leaning angle framing that I really enjoy. 

The girl on the right has a character design I really dig. In this scene, Akuto is meeting up with some of the voice actors/actresses he's going to be working with.

Magi Time! Like or leave the series, Ohtaka has a way with magic scenes and dynamic lighting that leaves the reader awestruck. Maybe I'll finish the anime someday...

I mean look at this man! It's crazy how much details she stacks into each page. Also the fact that each character has their own specific pose makes for a feast for the eyes.

They're headed to the "Holy palace", and the bottom text there (once again) states that this is the final arc, and that now they're headed for a new stage. So is this the final part of the final arc? Any people caught up on Magi able to confirm? (I'm still about 20 chapters behind.)

Next up is Komi-san. She has such a resemblance to her mom (bottom panel) that upon her showing up people think it's her speaking instead. 

If you all remember, we were in the middle of a sports festival last chapter. Looks like that's what we're getting more of this week.

Oh no! Komi-san takes a tumble, but...

Her friends cheer her on! One thing I love about Oda (not that one)'s artwork is the way he treats panels and pages like storyboards. Komi-san would make an excellent action anime despite it being a slice of life manga. Oda's debut manga was an action one (that was cancelled, sadly). So it appears he's still got a little of those chops in him.

The slow pacing of the top three panels actually has the opposite effect of gaining in speed. Rather than just showing her catching up immediately, we're drawn into Komi's efforts by gradual movement, with speed lines letting us know just when to be drawn in. Also the close up to her face on the last panel is a stroke of master panel work too.

And now Mr. Shounen Sunday himself, Conan Edogawa! Only 16 chapters away from his 1,000th one, and being the most popular/well known series currently running in the magazine, there really isn't any need for me to introduce Aoyama's master work, Detective Conan, is there? Though I guess I sorta just did.

The chapter begins with the Mouri Family about to head to the movies, but Kogoro suddenly changes his mind. Ran reminds him that his favorite actress Okino Youko is going to be in it, but he's not digging her role in this one as a beautiful female lawyer. (Gee, I wonder why?)

The group is going back and forth about going (or not going) to the movies until Ran gets a message from someone in group chat...her mom, the beautiful lawyer Kisaki Eri! Though...she's been kidnapped by bad guys and taken somewhere!

Though wait, it's a joke? It appears to be, but Conan points out that the icon for the person in the chat claiming that this is a joke is different than the one that sent the initial SOS message. 

We get a flashback to the kidnapping in progress where badguy A bites off more than he can chew, but badguy B catches Eri unawares.

The bad guys carry Eri in a case, and once again make the mistake of underestimating her, however she has no idea where she is. 

Things go from bad to worse as the bad guys figure out that Eri has been texting Ran, and the Mouri family is unable to tell which Eri in the chat is telling the truth! Till next issue...!!

And now a series I never talked about even on Twitter, Amano Megumi wa Sukidarake! (Lit: Amano Megumi has many openings) by Nekoguchi. The series is a somewhat fanservice laden love comedy, which isn't all that unique, but this series manages to do the impossible of being titlating and charming at the same time thanks to the art and the leads being pretty true to themselves.

Here are our two leads, Ma-kun and Amano Megumi. Again the art is really cute and the leads moreso. I personally don't like romance, but the slow development of the two is nice to watch.

Here, Megumi is trying lip gloss for the first time in an attempt to get Ma-kun to call her cute (and maybe a little more though she denies it to herself, lol.)

The thing is, Ma-kun is the "not-observant to anything other than his studies" type. He's just trying to read his book but Megumi is staring holes through him hoping he'll notice the gloss.

Megumi tries to give him directions to what she wants him to look at, but Ma-kun thinks that she's purposely trying to distract him from his studies with her "assets". 

Finally Megumi just takes the direct approach, and Ma-kun seems to get it but....but...

He thinks that she has oil on her lips from eating. RIP Ma-kun.

Next up is Hatsukoi Zombie with a cute color page. I'm not sure of Minenami Ryou's gender, but there's something very feminine about this. The color page is in celebration of the fifth volume being released recently.

This girl who looks strikingly like Satsuki from Kill la Kill is the childhood friend of the main character Tarou --Ebino Mei. She turns down some guy saying that she's "waiting" for someone else, though in the last panel she asks herself who's she's waiting for. Dun, dun, duuuun.

Chapter three of  Maiko Sanchi Makanai-san! This one is a day in Kyo's life, starting with awakening at 6am.

I admire Koyama for her insistence of using art to tell a story in a shounen magazine where it's usually words that do the talking.

Beautiful character design, beautiful use of space, aaah I might be falling in love with this series that silently keeps it's secrets to itself. I love WSS, but a shounen magazine doesn't deserve something so quietly sublime.

Even her sense of background is on point. I feel like a translation of the text isn't necessary to enjoy this manga.

Saike! To celebrate the release of volume 7 this week, it gets a color page. It's also the first Fukuchi series to get to 70 chapters since the original Ueki! (I think.) As I said last week I'm translating this series so I won't talk about it much here, but I do have something in mind for Saike hopefuls somewhere down the line, so stay tuned!

Now it's time for Kyoukai no Rinne with Sakura and Rokumon on the cover warming up by the Hibachi.

Rinne seems to be like this urban myth/paranormal happenings manga, and I think that's actually a fun set up. I wish it were more like that than a comedy sometimes though. Here a friend is explaining to Sakura how her hibachi pot is always knocked over by mysterious forces, and Sakura notices there's something in it.

To solve this issue, Sakura brings Rinne over, and he's just overjoyed to have free heating for a night. Guy's got great priorities.

Turns out it's a ghost. (Surprised?)

So the ghost is the younger sister of a very popular and pretty older sister who was the fancy of all the guys. She was jealous enough to go as far as burning her love letters. The older sister eventually went on to get married, while the little sister died of sickness without ever knowing love.

The Ghost of the younger sister goes to confront her older sister, but Rinne is much more worried about things going too well and he losing the ability to keep warm for free. (Again, nice priorities.)

Her plan was to curse her sister out of jealousy, but the older sister ended up not using the hibachi for so long that well, she became a bitter old woman and the two end up bitching about their love lives which allows the younger sister to move on. Rinne gets the heater in the end but no oil to use on it so it's useless. The end. 

Now for some Soubotei, which opens up with a pretty freaky color page. One thing Fujita is great at is designing monsters/demons. So much so that he tried to start a card/toy series "Bakegyamon" way back in the mid 2000's with Tamura Mitsuhisa drawing a manga of it (In WSS!) and an anime airing the same year. A shame it didn't really take off since the designs were pretty good...

The level of detail that goes into his monster designs is nothing short of amazing. Though I'm not sure of this turn of events that borderlines on extremely expected. Right now the story is somewhat implying "Aliens did it", but I'll wait until I can read the first volumes properly to pass judgement.

Be Blues. I really love the slow tension in this chapter. This is the kind of thing you'd expect from an action manga when the main character/villain is about to transform into a new and more horrible form. It's easy to forget this is a soccer manga with spreads like this.

Like the character pictured here doesn't say anything for the entire chapter, other than breathing heavily and staring intently at the goal. Yet it doesn't feel dragged out as the other characters comment and the art just is spellbinding. You just gotta know what he's gonna do next week.

So as I mentioned last week, when series do well in other shounen magazines offered by Shogakukan, they often run the first chapters in the main Weekly Shounen Sunday Magazine. In this case, the series are from the online mag "Sunday Webry". In an unprecedented move, they're running two first chapters at once. The top series is called "Bokutachi tsukiattemasu?" (Shall we go out?) by Tenya and Shikeishuu sousakan Akutagawa Kai no Jiken (Death Row inmate inspector Akutawa Kei's case files) by Yamazaki Kyo. Let's check 'em out!

Starting with Tenya's series "Shall we go out?" is a familar staple of Animanga/life with the protag confessing to a girl he likes, and her reaction....but she tells him to "fight on?" Huh?

Ah, she thinks he's confessing to the smaller girl that we all failed to notice.

So yeah, it becomes a huge misunderstanding where the smaller girl thinks the protag wants to date her. She takes it in stride, and calls him a lolicon, lol. Though protag points out that they're in the same class so that's not right.

It seems like this is a hybrid regular manga/ 4koma series, and while the premise alone seems pretty straightforward, it actually seems (by the end of the first chapter) that this misunderstanding could develop into something genuine. Rather than turning into a love triangle, the first girl quickly disappears, and the two are soon writing letters to each other and genuinely seem to develop feelings. Sadly to find out how their relationship goes you'd have to buy volume one, but not bad development for a first chapter, no?

It wasn't until I read this in the magazine that I realized, but i actually did read the first chapter of this back when it was released. Welcome to Akugawa Kai's case files. As the title suggests, Kai is a death row inmate who's let out to solve cases the Police have no leads on.

The art is pretty good as are the character designs, though Kai himself looks really similar to L from Death Note...

I mean look at him here! Though what's most interesting is Kai seems to have at least enough authority to order the police around as he sees fit. I wonder what the story is there?

Sadly the first chapter is not the end of the first case, and you'll have to read volume one to get the whole story. I'm assuming since they're running this in the main mag that it's popular enough not to get immediately cancelled, though.

If there's a "DameTerasu" (Sun goddess) there must be a Tsukuyomi (Moon Goddess) right? That's who the girl in black there is supposed to be in this week's chapter.

Tsukuyomi is the 2nd most popular Goddess in Japan, and she has a begrudging respect of Amaterasu, though seeing her at the beck and call of Kouhei a pretty normal kid disappoints her.

The more Tsukuyomi sees Kouhei belittle Amaterasu the more pissed she gets. She's seething so much that she doesn't see him just walk up to her and remove her disguise.

Kouhei is a nice guy (and sorta dense) so he thinks Tsukuyomi is lost and returns her to her room, in which her opinion of him does a 180 into something a little less wholesome. The harem on both sides only grows...

RYOKO serves up another chapter. Unfortunately I've heard from reliable sources that the preorders for volume one (Out February 17th) have not been good, and it was rather low in the magazine (It's lowest ranking yet.) I'm hoping this is just because Mitsuhashi is a newbie and needs time to build a rep, and not because it's headed to the garbage bin...

I won't talk too much about the events in the chapter, but like Saike I hope to do something special for RYOKO soon enough. At the very least introducing new villains(?) suggests the series isn't done like dinner quite yet.

Keijo!!! Where people not only come out of shopping bags, but they do it ass first.

Yes that chick has a sword coming out of her ass. I can't wait to hear how that works.

And now we have a chick asking to become the slave of the main character Nozomi...Even in breather chapters like these, there's a lot going on. Like RYOKO, the fact that they're introing more characters suggests the series will be around for some time despite the anime and manga failing to make a splash.

Next up is Dagashikashi, which is surprisingly low this week in the TOC. It's probably just a blip though as the series still sells really well.

The chapter is essentially about Hotaru trying to get Kokonotsu to start his own snack shop, but then we get a revelation....Hotaru has an older brother and he's here to make his stake in the Shikada company!

Next up is Mushibugyo which has those cool things I talked about last week this week. The pacing seems to have slowed down a bit despite it also being on it's final(-ish) arc. Though to be honest the series itself hasn't said it's on it's final arc unlike Magi and Hayate. It's just there isn't much more left to do, and it's been a bottom dweller for a while.

Look at those smoke effects. Fukuda does a great job of layering light and shadow to give depth to an otherwise flat drawing.

Tokiwa took a page from Souboutei this week with some pretty impressive monster designs in a dual page spread. The story is still a mess though.

Denpa Kyoushi with a pretty iconic parody this week. 

And now for something really creepy. Actually considering the above parody, could this be...Nanika?

Another newcomer (to this blog) is "Sunday Hikagaku kenkyuujyou". (Sunday Unscientific laboratory).  Which usually has interviews with the manga artists in the magazine over several weeks. This week is an interview with Araki Masatoshi who sculpted the Dagashikashi diorama. I might make note of these more often in the future.

And here we are at the end. Next issue will feature a lead color page for Maoujou de Oyasumi, a color page for Denpa Kyoushi and Amano Megumi, as well as the monthly serialization of Yuugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga inai. (Yuugami-kun has no friends.) I'll talk a bit more about "monthly serializations" in a weekly magazine next week. Oh and in the corner there is more about the Puzzle Dragons and WSS collaboration. Looks like Ran and Kaitou Kid are joining the fray. 

I'm glad we were able to make it through a second issue alive and well. Hopefully this was something everyone enjoyed/understood. Please send me your comments and suggestions as I want to keep improving! Until next week, see ya. 

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