Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Weekly Shounen Sunday #12

Ready, set, Sunday! Sakaki here with your inappropriately named magazine on an inappropriate day! (Actually I could cover these on Sunday....maybe I'll consider that.) This week's magazine is fresh off the download, and I'm ready to go! I think I've got this process down pat (somewhat) so this should go smoother for me and you all.

Gracing the cover of the magazine this week is Major 2nd. The artwork looks even better in color doesn't it? Ahh if only it were a different genre...

The TOC. RYOKO is right up to bat (again, check the page numbers and not the order of the series, especially the ones on the side) As Shogkakukan is really trying to push the series as it nears the release of it's first volume (Out Friday!) They really want it to succeed, even going as far as having a commercial for the series that you can watch here. It's all quite awesome so check it out! The TOC order is somewhat stable with Dagashikashi and Conan following RYOKO, and Oniwo being at the way bottom. Nothing too shocking here.

The color pages set the stage for a change of locale in a new city for RYOKO! Upon finding out her mother might be alive, our heroine along with Zen head off to another town to get information where they run into this gigantic thing! I hope to have a translation up soon so hang in there.

A new lady with a pretty and cool (so pretty cool?) character design appears as well. Mmm, love that new arc smell. Although I am a bit anxious about RYOKO's future aspects, at the very least it'll get a few more volumes to state it's case in the magazine.

A gorgeous picture of Hajime graces the cover of Dagashigashi this week. I know people prefer Hotaru, but ah she's a really pretty woman, and Kotoyama's improved art style only accentuates that. I almost want to say his art is too good for the subject matter of this series, lol.

With Hotaru back in the candy store, Hajime finds herself asking the very same question we all do from time to time. "Am I really needed here"? It seems since Hotaru has returned, Kokonotsu has been spending more time with her.

The pot calling the kettle black? Hotaru who's got a few candy wrappers loose herself says to Hajime who comes to her in confidence with her thoughts about leaving --as in she thinks now she's not necessary and will have to leave, that she never thought she'd meet the same type of idiot as Kokonotsu. Though she does invite Hajime to stay and even come see her whenever she wants.

In the end Kokonotsu decides that he wants to get back to drawing his manga, and asks Hajime if she can help. It seems she has her place at the shop after all. 

Mr. Shounen Sunday is back with 13 more chapters till his 1,000th one. I've decided that with Conan, since it is fairly popular (and usually early unofficial translations come out way before the actual mag does --which means way before I can write them up), that I'll scale back Conan coverage a bit, and treat it like other series where I just talk about a handful of pages.

Speaking of which we get this awesome illustration for the new movie! April actually isn't even that far away at this point either!

In what seems to have become a series staple, Conan and the detective gang have gone camping. However, Agasa is down with a cold and won't be taking them, rather it'll be Rumi Wakasa who was recently introduced. Kuroda (pictured on the left in the bottom panel) seems to have an interest in her for some reason...

A gathering of suspects, one of which seems to set of Haibara's Spider sense. 

It seems to be directed at something Wakasa is stuffing into her pocket for whatever reason. However before Conan can really inquire about it, the other campers seem to be having a falling out.

Not long after a tent goes up in flames, and Kuroda makes his appearance. He implies that calling the police might be a bad thing for Wakasa despite the need for them in this situation. Why might that be?

Next up is Aozakura, which seems to go against the Shounen Sunday norm of "Cute/odd girls" doing things, and embraces "A group of guys being guys." Might be the explanation as to why it's doing pretty well.

Like this whole chapter is about our protagonist Kondo being sick in bed. Granted, I haven't read much of the series so there's probably a lot more going on overall, but yeah.

Granted I'll admit it is pretty funny to see his cold mess with his head on both pages. It's pretty clear what he wants to see and what he doesn't, lol.

The blond guy on top is Okita, and as I stated before the protag is Kondo. While it is true I translate Gintama and perhaps just see it everywhere, that naming can't be incidental. In any case something happened while Kondo was napping, but we won't get more on that till next week...

Next up is Major 2nd! I'm not so sure this happens in other shounen mags, but WSS does sometimes give a series the cover without giving it color pages for the actual chapter. Which is again demonstrative of the magazine's overall goal. Jump pushes a select few series or those who have the potential to go big, while WSS tries to give fair coverage to everything. I could criticize this, but clearly Jump is winning, so maybe they've got the right idea.

It's a good week for sports in Sunday as this week has some really great speed and action panels. Sometimes you just don't need words.

I really love the effect of the entire background fading so we have no choice but to focus in this moment of time between these two at bat. It excellently provides a microcosms of the character's world as seen by the characters in this moment.

Satou --the boy who lies un-moving surprises everyone, throwing the stadium into chaos. What exactly happened to him?

The ending text says "A sudden accident, next issue." Things have gotten foreboding and next week's issue seems to indicate things are only going to get worse before they get better.

We go from Baseball to Soccer with Be Blues which did get a color page this week, that is sadly obscured by ads for a phone game collaboration. Dang commercialism!

I really should just write up a page with the rules and regulations of this blog and that includes "Double page spreads are a legal requirement". Though can you blame me with something like this? There's so much going on in this scene that peeling one's eyes away is nearly impossible.

The upside down POV in the third panel, and the repeated "Dammit" from this guy...I almost can hear him breathing, due to the sense of spatial tension. The ball being out of focus yet the singular point in the corner of the 2nd biggest panel is great work on Tanaka's part.

I think they've been spending the last three weeks just to score one goal, but I don't even care. This has stopped being about kids playing soccer and more about warriors displaying their honor and grit. I really think I'd watch this if it were to be animated.

Magi is about fights this week. Not sure what's up with the film-strip framing of the panels, but it really works for me. 

An advertisement for Hayate's 50th volume out the same day RYOKO's first volume releases --February 17th.  The middle text reads that "Now to the finale". 

And then as if spurred by the advertisement, things start happening all at once. It seems the leisurely pace the series was taking up until now has all but faded away.

Hayate seemingly socks a stranger, turns out it's his dad? The same one who abandoned him way back on volume one?! The intrigue runs deep!

Mushibugyo gets a titilating color page for it's 28th Volume releasing on the 17th that's very clearly valentines day themed. *Ahem*

The final battles are heating up as Tenma who's an onmiyouji who fights with shikigami has his own fight against one of the leading baddies. Right, that sentence sounds like mostly gibberish doesn't it? Well, an onmiyouji is somewhat similar (but not the same as) a wizard in western lore, and the shikigami are somewhat similar (but not the same as) a wizard's familiar who does his or her dirty work or delivers messages. In Tenma's case he had a pair of dolls that upgraded to a full on puppet for the final battle.

Even after all of that damage, the bad guy won't stop moving, and Tenma's shikigami says they have a 0% chance for victory...that is until the strongest fighter of the group appears in the distance. Figures we won't be able to see him until next week, though.

Next up Komi-san gets ready for her day. She always does a double check as you can see in Oda's (Not that one)'s storyboard like spread.

Don't you hate it when that happens?

Weatherlady Komi-san is a cutie. The top text "News Communy" isn't a Engrish mispelling, but a joke on the series title, "Komi-san wa, kommyu shou desu". 

Since the weather is bad out, Komi gets the day off, but really doesn't know what to do with herself.

Bored out of her gord, Komi does what most introverts dread...calls someone. In this case the lucky guy is Tadano, who seems cutely used to her difficulty with speaking. Though in the third panel of the second page she does manage to say "I'm fine" despite all of the noise on her end due to the winds blowing.

"M-May I talk to you some more?" 
This is character development right here, my kind audience.

Komi gets a second chapter in this issue that mostly consists of 4komas. I sort of like it when they mix up formats like this to give us more to enjoy. Though it seems this set of events isn't really about Komi herself. Though it appears from the end of chapter text that Komi is on break next week which might explain the extra chapter. 

Souboutei hits us up with it's 42nd chapter which takes place after the long flashback.

After hearing Seiichi's story as to why he's out for the house's...blood? Yeah, let's go with that. Anyway the old guy asks where Makoto --the other person in the plane slaying aliens on the way down to the Souboutei.

As the dimensions in the plane begin to bend due to it approaching the atmosphere of the Earth, Makoto, the boy in the fifth panel is having struggles of his own. The enemy only gets stronger it seems as they decend. Ah, this is hard to read because it's all in katakana --a weird speech quirk Seiichi has. It's hard to explain in English, but it's sort of akin to me typing "SOMETHINGLIKETHISINALLCAPSWITHOUTSPACES". Like it's readable, but it takes a bit of time.  It's usually used to mimic robotic or monotone speech.

Makoto is grabbed or goes after(?) one of the aliens, but promises his older brother Seiichi that he won't die, no matter what.

He makes a promise to Seiichi that they will meet again in the Soubotei to destroy it. 

The old man regrets the terrible things he's done in the name of "Souboutei" while Seiichi and Makoto have endured so much to destroy the house. He then asks Seiichi directly if he will lend him his power, and Seiichi says he will destroy the souboutei. He then gives the order that they will all head to the house to see it's end. It's a little early for a Fujita work for it to end so easily, so I imagine it won't go so smoothly next week....

Here we have adverts for the series from Sunday Super and Sundy Webry, two of which we're about to explore next. Shall we?

First up is Suu no FEISU Kouryaku. Turns out I had been translating the title wrong since I had been going with the kanji, rather than the phonetic reading of said characters. "FEISU" is probably "Face" (sound it out, you'll see--er, hear what I mean.) A kanji usually has an assigned reading (in this case "kuuki") but a quirky Japanese literary device allows for this reading to be replaced by something else while retaining both the phonetic meaning and the literal one. So in this case while I've been translating it "Suu no kuuki kouryaku" (Suu conquers the mood) --which isn't wrong per se, it should be more like "Suu conquers the face." And there's your free Japanese lesson.

The series is about Suu here who has decided to go to the warzone known as inner city high school. Although it's not stated where she's from, it's implied it's a far off island where High Schools aren't common, judging from her slightly hick-ish accent when she speaks. Suu's determined to go, so her mother writes a guide on how to "conquer" face. Again, the kanji reading is "kuuki" or "air" which is part of the Japanese idiom "Being able to read the air" or "atmosphere". Essentially her mom wrote her a guide on how to fit in. 

The only thing is, her mom writes this thing as if it's a strategy guide for a video game. Like, what she says isn't wrong exactly. (In this case it's making a good first impression which apparently has a conquer level of 4.) But it's presented in such a ridiculous way that anyone with common sense would laugh it off.

It even comes with recommended special moves for every occasion! In this case, Mom's strategy for this situation is to introduce herself as "A princess from planet lovely who's aiming to be the class idol." 

Sadly, poor Suu just doesn't know any better and does exactly that.

However just when Suu thinks her life is over before it began, the class assumes she's just a practical joker and laughs it off so she's fine...for now. To follow Suu's conquest, you'll have to buy volume one!

The next guest appearance is Shitei Bouryouku Shoujo Shiomi-chan. Which as one can see is read (by the author) as "Outrage Girl Shiomi." I'm not one to tell a Japanese dude how Japanese is read, but the title is more like "Violence Girl Shiomi" in English. In any case the artist for this is known for his previous manga --Midori no Hibi and Aikora, Kazurou Inoue.  I haven't read those, but I have read this manga already so I have an idea of how it goes.

The premise is the Hitotsubashi gang two Gintama related coincidences in one issue?  Leader Gen Shiomi is having problems as his underbosses have been killed one after another, leaving him as the only member of his crime family still alive. His right hand guy, Ishikawa suggests they do something to heighten his life expectancy, and calls in that very shady and very obvious black jack reference doc to do something about this problem.


The doc suggests plastic surgery which Shiomi agrees to, but as you can see he got a little carried away. Big bad Gen is now a very cute little girl.

Needless to say Gen is a little upset that he's not only no longer half the man he used to be, but completely not a man at all. 

Ishikawa regrets not looking into the doc a little sooner as he finds out he's actually a pervert with a lolicon fetish. For the sake of his own life expectancy, he decides to leave that little "whoopsie" off of his explanation into matters from Gen.

Say what you want about fake Blackjack, but he does a thorough job. I love the Fukumoto reference at the bottom of the right page, lolol.

Gen heads out on the town, but finds that he--she is absolutely no good in dealing with cops, but luckily for...her. A neighborhood kid appears to save her from that jam.

The kid is Umeya Tatsuya and he's skipping school because it's a pain. He asks for her name and Gen's forced to flip his name around. "Shiomi Gen" becomes "Iwao Shiomi". (The Kanji in "Gen" and "Iwao" are the same, just with a different reading.) Tatsuya finds her stuttering extremely adorable and is smitten much to Shiomi's dismay.

Some upperclassmen come and force Tatsuya to hold on to ill gotten goods, which he does happily because he looks up to them. Shiomi sees through this and calls him out for being a sucker.

Gen might be a gal now, but he's not one to let someone he owes a favor be a sucker for someone he doesn't like, so he stands up to the two older guys.

No kill like overkill. Shiomi's still got the skills to take them down and nearly beat a guy to death before Tatsuya stops her.

They get apprehended, but Ishikawa bails them out...and unfortunately hands down the news that for at least a while Shiomi's gotta keep up appearances, which means --you guessed it, school. To find out just how a thug turned teenager gets an education, you'll have to grab volume one.

Hatsukoi Zombie is up next, with a beastly cosplay as it's centerpiece.

It's a double page spread, but there's a reason why I covered it. Aside from it being friggin adorable. Though, for me to explain would mean basically rehashing the entire series's plot, and I just don't have the time at the moment. Hatsukoi is being scanslated though, so maybe check that out? For now, just appreciate the panelwork and more importantly the fuzzy doggy.

I may not like the romance genre, but even I have moments where I just go d'aww. Though i'll deny it if you tell anyone.

After a long time away, Hiiragi-sama is back in the blog. This series which is ordinarily a sort of weird slice of life manga turned up the supernatural this week, so I felt that I should bring it to your attention.

The atmosphere of this page already gives away that this is going down a somewhat horror related route. The girl in the last panel --Sayo's words as she stares into the room, "I'm thirsty" are eerie as referenced by the slight change in font.

We're not told what exactly Sayo is, but those fangs and her repeated mantra of "I'm thirsty" seems to imply she's a vampire, perhaps? What's probably scarier (aside from the horror manga-esque face she makes in the bottom panel of the left page, is how calmly the dude grabs and subdues her.)

Ah, her name is Sayoko. I guess the guy was cut off in saying her name on the last page I posted. Anyway they take her back to her home where her mother attacks her and says that she is not the girl she once knew before embracing her and lamenting that she remembers nothing, all while Sayoko continues to say she's thirsty. 

Her mother then says that she can have whatever she wants and Sayoko thanks her for the meal. The last panel with the wind blowing seals her fate in a silent, sad way.

The dude, (who's clearly a villain of some sort) burns the house down after Sayoko finishes her mother, and then says they should leave. Sayoko sees a picture of herself with her mother and asks who the people in the photo are, not remembering her mother even after she apparently killed her. Meanwhile the dude seems to be gathering more allies for some unseen end....I think it's a sign of strong writing that this series I've only read occasionally can pull me into it's world to a point that I want to know more of what's going on after just one chapter. I'd like to see Hiiragi-sama do more supernatural stuff like this in the future.

On that note, Denpa Kyoushi is moving along briskly in what seems to be it's final arc. The fire illustration in the right page is pretty damn good, and I feel like each week I write an entry, I add one more thing I might want to read later....though from what I've heard Denpa wasn't always like this.

Oniwo with two really strong Edo-style drawings. It really does seem like the back half of the magazine in it's struggles to not be wiped out has some of the more interesting stories and art out of the whole magazine. 

I really must know what Tonaka does to get these textures out of black and white art. 

And now I'd like to introduce you to an illustration of RYOKO's artist, Kaito Mitsuashi! Yup, he's the featured artist in Sunday's Unscientific laboratory! (Also it's confirmed he is in fact a man.)

Apparently he doesn't consider RYOKO a cooking manga, and he has no particular interest in food (as a subject, since clearly he does need to eat.) He more wanted to draw a manga about well, not being a slave to food, which ended up being RYOKO in a nutshell. Next week we'll get to see how he draws the art, and I'll cover that too!

And here we are at the end! Next week we'll have two more series from the webry site; Sakuraba-senpai no hatsukoi (Sakuraba-senpai's first love) by Kei Nishimura, and Checkmate! Maou-san teban desu yo! (Checkmate! The Demon king's plan!) by Ippei Nekosuna, as well as Conan on the cover and a color page for Hatsukoi Zombie. That's all for this week! Until the next Sunday! 

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