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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Weekly Shounen Sunday #9




Third week, er, time is the charm! I hope. As Tuesday rolls around the block for this blog which means WSS time. I suppose I should explain how things work (Only three weeks late! A new record for me!) around here for those who managed to stick around after the first two posts.

Essentially I cover what I can of the magazine either pointing out artistic merits, story merits, short summaries, or interesting tidbits. I myself don't read every single WSS series, so sometimes all I can do is a quick driveby of a story based on what I find on the Japanese Shounen Sunday site, and my rudimentary Japanese. (I know I make it look easy, but trust me it isn't.) As such I don't cover every single series each week unless something special is going on such as color pages and/or big announcements, and of course special chapters or oneshots. I love dual page spreads though, so even if I'm not reading a series I'll post those regardless. Certain series that I do read regularly will probably appear every week, even if it's just a page or two, and the amount of pages I'll throw in hugely depends on how much time I feel like spending on a series. (So it's quite arbitrary.) Sometimes a series will get a ton of pages, sometimes only a few. The one thing I will not do is post a chapter in it's entirety ever. This is already sort of walking the line between legal/illegal and I don't want to push it any further than that.

I actually do translate manga as a hobby and as I've mentioned Saike and RYOKO are two of my projects. I livetweet these translations as I do them so one can check out my twitter for those. Eventually I'd like to shift those livetweets here, so the coverage Saike and  RYOKO gets will always be less than other things, but I do hope to eventually give them a special section on the site.

Generally speaking I intend to do this each Tuesday unless I'm too busy or something else. If that happens I will try to let you all know in advance!

Anyway with all that said, lets jump right into Weekly Shounen Sunday #9!



On the cover this week is Kumanomata Kagiji's series "Maoujyou de Oyasumi." (Good night in the Demon King's castle.) With the heroine of the aforementioned series right on the cover. She claims that being on the WSS cover isn't a good enough reason to be awake, so I guess you can tell how she feels about the audience at home, lol. 


And the TOC. Oyasumi is up front which goes without saying since it's on the cover. As I said before, the higher up a series is on this list the better off it's doing. "Sunday's Unscientific Laboratory" is always last, however. This week RYOKO has managed to recover after a fall, as did Dagashikashi. However poor Saike is only one series above the last, which is troubling. Conan despite all his splendor is merely forth, which again suggests WSS more likes to push newer possible hits than the same old like it's rival magazine jump.

 

Let's head back to the Demon King's castle again with a splendid color page! Maoujou de Oyasumi is a short form (WSS series are generally 18 pages, and this is closer to 8-10. Komi-san is also the same way.) Fantasy comedy series about Princess Suyaris who was captured by the Demon king and kept in his castle. The hero Akatsuki is trying to save her, but in the meantime, the princess has nothing to do, and really wishes for nothing but a good night sleep. The series itself is basically about her foray into finding new ways of sleeping, while the demons in the castle are perplexed about her behavior. This week's installment will be twice the length (so about the normal page count of a WSS series) to celebrate volume two's release.


It would seem the hero who has been busting his tail to save the princess has met a demon named Sand Dragon who wants to put an end to him...


It just isn't a WSS issue without some Conan pimpage. This time it's mainly for merchandise related to the Universal Studios Japan collab and the Current OP by the Breakerz and the ED by Mai Kuraki. In short a lotta stuff that you'd have to be in Japan to appreciate. 


I'm not all that familiar with Resident Evil, but there's a new game coming out apparently. WSS does advertise games and LA movies not related to manga in the magazine from time to time.


Meanwhile in the other monthly sister mag to WSS --Shounen Sunday Super, the heroines of the weekly magazine will have special one shot stories, as well as there being one shot stories (6 total) that share the same theme --love comedies. Sunday Super is more like a companion to the weekly mag than Gessan which does it's own thing, so crossovers do occur from time to time. 


And the anime page of WSS. Sadly there's not much going on anime wise for the magazine, so this is basically just Conan re-runs of RINNE and this week, Keijo's blue rays. I guess that's better than Shounen Magazine which has I think one animated show, but still...


Once again we're back in the Demon king's castle where the monsters are discussing the hero's unrelenting efforts to save the princess. I really like the wolf dude in the bottom panel. He has this cool and sorta nerdy design that I dig.


The meeting is serious business, but the princess is bored, and when she's bored it's hell for everyone. Wolfy tells her to get the hell out, and immediately is guilted by the other demons for doing so.


The second chapter starts with the demon king fainting, awaking the princess.


Unsure of what to do, the princess starts off by singing him a lullaby, which to the demon king sounds like some kind of ritual curse.


I guess another method is treating the Demon king nicely. The princess figures maybe he just needs a nap, and this worked back when she wasn't a captive so...


That succeeds in getting him to sleep, but he oversleeps and gets chewed out by his subordinates. Well, you cant win 'em all, I guess.


Next up is Souboutei! The attack on titans aliens continues in this chapter.


Fujita, really I need you to tone down the awesome. My little blog can't handle it. The monster designs, the speed lines, and even the view of earth in the background is amazing.



Seiichi (Kid with white hair) has been in pursuit of the thing living in the Souboutei manor since the 40's. He's been recalling his story to the one friend he made in the modern era and the government who wants a piece of the soboutei for themselves. Now with the flashback over and the true nature of the Souboutei revealed, Seiichi is ready to thrash some monster house.


Makanai-san's up next, and this week's chapter is a flashback detailing how sixteen year old Kyo ended up being the cook at a Gesha house to begin with.


Kyo (or Kiyo? actually Kiyo makes more sense...) was living with her grandmother up until two months before the story began. 


She was fairly normal, all appearances considered. Here she's looking over a graduation album with her two friends.


The chapter ends with both her and her friend Su leaving for the Geisha house. It seemed pretty short this week despite normally being Sunday length. 


Detective Conan! This week is part two of the Eri kidnapping case. (Only 15 more chapters till 1,000!)


When we last left the Mouris and Conan, Eri Kisaki had been kidnapped, and thanks to a ploy by the kidnappers over instant messaging, the family isn't sure if she's in actual danger or not. Conan points out that this might be a ploy to throw them off track.


Kogoro suggests (loudly) that they stop the group chat and confirm that the Eri they're talking to is the real slim shady deal by asking her something like her birthday or something. Conan retorts that leaving things as is is best as he can tell which is the real one.


As a lawyer, Eri wouldn't use a a ten-ten mark (which is somewhat similar to an apostrophe, but works totally differently in Japanese, but an actual "comma", (which is used the same way.) Ran checks her phone and is immediately able to see what Conan is talking about and they're able to discern that her message about being kidnapped is the real deal. 


It's via this that Conan and the Mouris are able to covertly contact Eri in hopes of finding out where she is. Conan is able to deduct that she shouldn't be more than a kilo away from the Tokyo Tower based on clues she's able to give them. Ran watches Conan go to work and her mind wanders thinking how remarkably like Shinichi Conan is acting, but Kogoro snaps her out of it as they're about to take to the streets.


Meanwhile Eri has managed to hide herself in a dresser, but her stomach growling actually saves her from being caught as bad guy A thinks it's his partner.


Another message from Eri comes in, but this one is about food. Kogoro and Ran are confused as she'd start talking about a restaurant she wants to go to later out of the blue, but Conan seems to have figured something out.  The side text says that "we're depending on you next issue, Kogoro!" Wonder what that could mean? (Aside from the obvious?)



Dagashikashi is up next, with a very cute younger Hotaru on the cover.


Even as a young child, Hotaru knows her stuff about snacks. Look at that text wall...and this is all from her brother coming home from a trip with souvenirs. She knows everything about what he brought despite never seeing it before!


Flash forward to a few years later, and Hotaru's older brother has not only declined taking over the Shidare company, but is apparently leaving home...?



Hotaru asks her brother how he could he do this? Doesn't he love snacks? To her surprise, he asks the same question back. "Did I really ever love snacks?"


Her brother felt ashamed because he didn't have the same passion for snacks as she does. He simply likes to eat them, and that's it. However, Hotaru isn't willing to let him off the hook so easily. She's going to run the company, after all.


Ohtaka channels her inner Escher with the frontispiece of this week's Magi. 


Really digging the overhead angle on Alibaba in the bottom panel.


And here is the first dungeon of this final world "Baaru".


Their first challenge? A younger Sinbad with a Magic armor equip that shares the same name with the dungeon. Looks like they've got their work cut out for them.



Next up is Komi-san. Today's chapter takes place in the classroom which..happens fairly rarely for a series like this.


Oh look! It's a Chuuinbou character! She's even got an eyepatch like the one character from that Kyouto anime show. Coincidence? I think not.


Once again Oda (Not that one) does the storyboard effect. Except it works a lot better here because there's a lot more going on. Looks like Komi's got a stalkrush.


This chapter is essentially about the misunderstandings that come with new people misunderstanding Komi-san's taciturn nature. They try to involve (or not involve) her in their antics in their own way, but the truth of the matter is, she actually really does want to join in with them, but just has her own tempo. Where they thought they were pissing her off, it only enticed her more. It's actually an interesting lesson to learn --that everyone's got their flow, and not to make assumptions based on looks.


Next up is Rinne. This time we've got a witch named Annete? 


Ah, she's a teacher who's the descendant of witches. Apparently she has enough clout to control the weather, as the students are asking her to make it rain heh so they don't have to run a marathon in the track meet tomorrow.


Sakura asks if there actually is a spell to make it rain. Annete says she did try to research it, but found that all the books she picked up on the subject were in French.


Meanwhile Rinne is consulting with a guy who's had terrible luck when it comes to rain, in the sense that everywhere he goes there's a sudden downpour. Everyone hates him until it comes time to run the marathon when he then becomes everyone's hero. Annete's crystal ball leads her right to where the consultation is taking place...


Annete sees this as a chance to make good on her offer to the students as all she has to do is ask Rain Man (Their nickname, not mine) to participate in the marathon, and boom --instant rain.


The thing is, this guy wants it to be "sunny" so his desire and Annete's desire are the complete opposites of one another. 


Upon having his wish met, the guy (who's a ghost) wants to ascend to heaven, which would put a monkey wrench in Annete's plan, and she can't have that.


Not able to confront Rinne directly, Annete decides to play on the guy's heartstrings and offers to be the teacher he can entrust his feelings to as long as he comes to the marathon. In the past his coach was pretty rude to him --what with the raining and cancelled marathons..


He shows up and true to form, it's raining which means the marathon will have to be cancelled.


Turns out he had the hots for a coach who made him a special drink. He tried to make a deal with her that if he won the marathon they'd go out on a date, but she benches him instead, lol.


He figures he can do better in the afterlife with a hot teacher and passes on remembering why he wanted to run in the first place. Sadly by doing this the rain stops and the marathon is back on, leaving the students pissed at Annete. The end.


Back from a week off is Aozakura, which despite it's serious theme is more like a series about guys in military training camp being guys.


For example toilet paper pranking gone wrong when your CO finds you.


Or Ghost stories backfiring when you and your buds become too scared to crap at night.


RYOKO! Though it's my hope to possibly have this chapter translated this week, (maybe) so I won't go into too much detail. After all the despair for the "rice arc" it is nice to get a slower slice of life chapter. Also Ryoko technically brings a boy home and there's none of that "Strict Dad" nonsense which is relieving.


And now a blog newcomer --Yuugami-kun wa Tomodachi ga inai (Yuugami doesn't have any friends) by Sakura Jun.




So here's the deal with Yuugami. It's a series about the titular character pictured above and his ongoing quest to not make friends. No, he's not some sorta antisocial NEET or something, he's actually the school's baseball ace, pretty good looking, and generally what you'd expect to be a popular guy in school, except --he really doesn't want to have anything to do with friends. What's sort of refreshing about this story is that the other characters don't try to "fix" or reprimand him. He's kind of an asshole who makes life difficult for anyone who wants to talk to him, but the female lead, Chihiro sees him as a pretty decent person, who's also mostly an asshole. 


The comedy mostly comes from people trying to interact with him and finding it neigh near impossible because he is so good at keeping people out, yet in a weird quirky way it kind of makes him endearing. This chapter is about a new kid having the misfortune of trying to befriend him, and failing hard. Though by the end of the chapter he actually begins to see how it's not so bad to eat lunch on one's own after really getting to know Yuugami.


Shoukugeki no Soma reference? Only Yuugami (and I) know. 


What's interesting about Yuugami's serialization is that it runs monthly. That's right, rather than the rest of Sunday that gets a new chapter a week (usually) Yuugami only gets one a month. Originally the series ran in Sunday Super (Remember me mentioning that?) But it ended up being so popular that they moved it to the weekly magazine, but didn't turn it into a weekly series. There's one other manga that is on this schedule, and the two take turns being in the magazine with month long page counts.  So you can try and fail to be friends with Yuugami again in February.


Denpa Kyoushi rising from the depths of the TOC this week to get a color page that commemorates the "speeding up" of the final arc. The meaning of that very vague sentiment is unclear since if they were just trying to get rid of it, they probably wouldn't give it a color page, but who "speeds up" a final arc? Hrm.


And here's Tokiwa Kitari! With the contractually obligated dual page spread. If only the story was as good as the art..


DameTerasu is up next with the lovely Yata being on the cover page. The first volume is out in March, which is weird since it started a week after RYOKO, yet it's volume is a month later withotu any breaks. Hrm.


As Kouhei is 55% God at this point, Yata --Ameterasu's attendant, suggests they go to his school and properly school him in his new role. I just love that Ameterasu openly lives with all this trash in her room.


Though in all honesty Yata just likes the idea of being someone's senpai, and Kouhei is cool with this because he likes having a upperclassma--woman with huge knockers.


Unfortunately, neither of the ladies are able to convince Kouhei to walk the path of complete Godhood because well, that's a pain in the ass. So in order to figure out what motivates our protag, they interview people who know him. I don't really think I need to translate the above image for it to be clear that he's got a less than sterling reputation.


They then intend to catch him doing something evil to take his demi-godhood away, but it turns out Kouhei actually does do nice things like going up into the mountains and planting greenery. 



Well, despite him having a decent ish heart, Kouhei is still a pervert who's a long way to being an actual God. Yata's willing to keep trying despite Ameterasu being less than thrilled.


The Chronicles of Mushibugyo continue with a pretty awesome dual page spread. The first two panels of movement on the side are pretty great too.


The slow burn and sadness --not pain in this character's face as they lament not being able to look their comrades in the eye is palatable. Death is not an apology!


And then this page with the character centered and his opponent up high. It's only accentuated by Fukuda's choice to draw the sky in a spherical shape which gives a sense of roundness to the wide panel.


Hasukoi Zombie's maids don't come through the door, but the window, and are apparently named Alice, and apparently she's been around even during the last few weeks. (Bottom most panel.)


She's been sent by our seemingly male protagonist's grandmother to ensure that he has a fun time at this overnight trip --in terms of ensuring that he can bathe properly.


Yeah, I lied about most of that stuff. He's a reverse trap, and for reasons is masquerading as a boy. The series is availble on certain sites so go have a look from the beginning. Meanwhile, the cross dressing in the baths fun begins next issue.


Hayate's final arc marches on. I may not like Hata's storytelling, but his art is wonderfully sublime, even if it's easy to tell it's not (completely) by hand.


The composition of the top panel is really nice. Everything comes to a focal point on that character there. Even if you don't know who he is, his importance is undeniable.



Hata's also got a keen eye for architecture which I personally enjoy. The house pops out of the page with this attention to angle and perspective.


Keijo!!!!!!! Is hanging in there by it's ass, but with new character introductions, maybe it's ass isn't grass?


You're welcome. Though I'm not sure how to feel about my blog becoming quasi NSFW.


Screw it. You guys knew what you were getting into. Though to be very fair, she asks the protag Nozomi (Girl with black hair) to rub her right boob as a sign of friendship. So it's not lewd at all.


Zettai Karen Children is the next up on the hit parade, and I gotta say I really like everything on this page, from the angle to the expressions, to the detail on the background.


With art like this, it kind of reminds me of how Gintama can become a different series at the flip of a switch. Is this really still ZKC?


Saike with a rare dual page spread! Though it's super low on the TOC as I mentioned, I guess one solace is that the end of this arc is next week. So perhaps the Nepal arc just wasn't well received? I dunno. Either way it's my hope to maybe have this chapter done this week TL wise, but it was a slightly longer than usual chapter, (seems like Saike gets at least one of those per volume) and I'd have to upload it myself. Hopefully I'm not too lazy...


Sadly we can't vote, but the finalists for the new generation Sunday award are here and they're taking votes on which one will take home the prize. A lot of the time the winners (and the runners up) will get a series serialized in a Shogakukan mag, so just because one doesn't take home the cash price doesn't mean it's meaningless to enter. After all Mitsuhashi (RYOKO) Kaito won this and got a serialization out of the deal.


Last and sadly least is Oni wo tadorite ikusesou (Lit: Pursuing demons over many months and years) by Tonaka Shinji. It's been in the back of the magazine for a long time now, and while that would be an immediate death sentence in Jump, it's a lingering stay on death row in Sunday. It's pretty clear that this is getting cancelled soon, and I'm sorta surprised it's lasted this long. It's a shame though, because the art is pretty awesome.


Tonaka has a unique talent of doing busy spreads on pages like this without them seeming congested.  Like there's a lot going on but speed lines and perspective turn it into a visual feast rather than over gorging the senses. 


It seriously would have been really nice for this to live based on the art alone, alas.


And we've made it to the end of another Sunday on Tuesday! Next week Birdmen by Yellow Tanabe (another monthly serialization) will get a center color page to commemorate it's ninth volume, Saike will reach the end of the Nepal arc, and on the cover will be gravure model Karata Erika. 

And that's another Sunday together! Not bad huh? We're getting this down to a science. Well, hopefully I can learn to speedrun this as it takes me nearly three hours each week, lol. Anyway until next Sunday on Tuesday, so long~! 



















4 comments:

  1. Missed last week's post so catching up.

    That Maoujo no Oyasumi series color spread looks super nice and the concept sounds super cute! Love the character designs and the synopsis sounds up my alley. You don't normally get manga about such simple premises from Jump, so the more I read your writeups the more I'm appreciating the diversity of Sunday's lineup.

    The Hotaru flashback in Dagashi Kashi sounds super interesting (and of course her younger design is super adorable). It's hard to believe the first season of the anime came out a year ago. I wonder if they'll ever make a second season (probably not, I'm guessing).

    That eyepatch girl in Komi-san totally looks like the main chic from Mysterious Girlfriend X. Wonder if that's an intentional reference?

    Annette is like a combination of Sakura from UY and Hinako from Ranma 1/2. Has skillful spiritual powers but is super childish and narcissistic. One of my favorite recurring characters, though I kinda love almost every character in a Rumiko Takahashi series in their own way lol.

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  2. Maoujo is pretty adorable. It also doesn't sound like the sort of series to run in a shounen magazine...more like an anthro seinen or a moe/otaku mag like Dengeki Maoh or something. So it's actually really surprising that it's doing quite well in WSS.

    I agree, WSS is diverse, but on the other hand I think it does make it hard to pin down WSS's "identity". Like Jump is action manga, while Magazine is sports, so what exactly is Sunday? I've seen Japanese people discussing this and coming up with a range of answers from "moe mag" to, "Magazine for old people". Granted this was before the new editor showed up and seems to be shifting it toward something more mainstream. His efforts seem to be working to some extent as now there are genuine hits in the mag unlike before.

    Sadly for Dagashi while the manga is selling really well, the anime did not for whatever reason. I actually became a bigger fan of the series thanks to the anime, so this is pretty distressing. I don't know if the sales of the anime helped boost the manga at all since if they did, there might be a second season.

    Ah, you remind me I need to finish Mysterious GF X. I alluded that she (eyepatch girl) looks more like a character from a Kyoto anime show...(I wish I could remember the title.) I feel like she's probably a reference to it.

    Thanks for explaining Annette, as this is my first time seeing her since I started reading WSS. That would explain everything that happened in the chapter, lol. I think I kind of like Rinne more than Inuyasha at this point, but I haven't read/seen the beginning. Maybe I'll have to watch the first two seasons of anime to rectify this.

    As always, thanks for reading!

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  3. I associate Magazine more with ecchi than sports since nearly all the titles I've ever read from them have pronounced fanservicy and dirty humor, from battle series like Fairy Tail to sports series like Ippo to of course rom-coms like Yamada-kun. Sunday I've always associated with slice-of-life romance and adventure because of Rumiko Takahashi and Mitsuru Adachi stuff and series like Ushio & Tora and Magi. But I guess that identity hasn't been as strong in recent years just because of a lack of big hits.

    In the west, I think a lot of Sunday's stuff flies under the radar because of the lack of legal simulpubs for any of their series when both Jump and Magazine do for most their series doesn't help. I hope one of the new editor's efforts will be to convince Viz to either make a digital Sunday mag or a pay-per-chapter simulpub like Magazine's series have because that's been long overdue. Conan, Rinne, Keijo!!!!!!!! and even Dagashi Kashi are all reasonably popular enough to warrant simulpubs, and Souboutei would be a great choice to give a chance to because of the Ushio & Tora anime's and The Ghost and Lady manga's surprise success and critical acclaim.

    It's just too bad about Dagashi's chances of getting a second season being so low. I just want a legal way to experience more of it in the west (plus I don't think the scans are even that far into it).

    I like InuYasha more than Rinne myself, but yeah it's definitely underrated and I highly recommend watching the anime because in some ways I think it's even better.

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  4. I'll be honest that I haven't read much of WSM...I've mostly experienced the works in that through anime...such as Area no Kishi, Zetsubou Sensei and of course Fairy Tail. You may have a point though, as their catalogue of stuff seems to be more ecchi heavy...

    I've always viewed Sunday as both the best parts of the other two magazines. The thing is for whatever reason, most of their iconic series don't get credit for coming out of their magazine for whatever reason? Like while people know where Dragonball or One Piece came from, not many know where Ushio to Tora or even Conan come from --heck, even Magi. Which brings me to agree with you...up until the newest editor came in and stared modernizing the magazine. WSS was the last one to receive digitalized magazines --which is how I do these reviews, and still has a lengthy gap between print and digital releases of their tankobon. I'd honestly love nothing better than for the mag to get something similar to Viz's jump magazine, really, even if it meant series like RYOKO and Saike would be left out. Though it has to happen from Japan, and for whatever reason the Shogakukan editorial dept is slow to adapt. What series would you like to see in a theoretical WSS digital mag? Conan is basically a must, and Takahashi has always done well for Viz so Rinne...of course I'd like to see Saike and RYOKO, and I agree with you with Souboutei, and probably Magi too, despite it being on it's way out.

    Yeah, Dagashi probably isn't going to happen for a bit if at all. The manga is doing fine but the anime failed to resound. Maybe they might do it if the manga keeps selling well.

    I just feel like Takahashi is a little better at humor with action than action with humor, but that's just my opinion. I think I will check out the anime when I have a chance!

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