It's another Tuesday which means it's Sunday as far as this blog is concerned! Unlike last issue which was a little slow, this week's has a bit more for us to chew on, so let's dispatch the pleasantries and get right into the subject matter.
On the cover this week is Morning Musume '17. I have a vague recollection of Morning Musume from when I first got into Japanese culture 80 years ago, so I'm thinking these two ladies are from an updated version of the original. For more deets, feel free to check out their wikipedia page here,
The TOC is pretty...normal-ish? Well without Conan around and a 45 page oneshot being in the issue. Probably the most important thing
to me is RYOKO has managed to slash it's way back to the upper quadrant this week! Dagashi is low, above Keijo by one, but only four from the bottom, and DameTerasu is one above Oniwo which this wee is essentially last as Oniwo is ending. It really isn't looking good for Fujiki Shun's first work post Hajimete No Aku. I've said it before but for it to be this low without a first volume out is an incredibly bad sign, as it's rare for series to recover a drop like this from the very start.
Here are your pin-up photos of two of the Morning Musume '17 girls. You can thank me by throwing a comment or two at the bottom there
It appears there will be a big announcement for Rumiko Takahashi fans in issue 17 that's so momentous that Rinne is cleaning himself up to look the part. The series is on break next issue, but I do wonder what could possibly be bigger than a third season of Rinne and a Inuyasha stage play (More on that below!)
More interestingly is the cast for the Inuyasha stage play with the main actor pictured in costume above. I'm normally somewhat iffy toward anime being remade into any sort of live action, but I admit dude looks pretty good. Takahashi gives her seal of approval on the second page, so at the very least the author likes what she's seeing. If you'll be in Japan in April (specifically the 6th) you can go see it for yourself!
The Takahashi train keeps 'achugging with an announcement for the artists performing the ending theme for the third season of RINNE, Softly. The song will be called "Suki na no Kana" --"Is this love?" (Sorta lose translation, --darn you vague use of Katakana!) I'm not sure why they split the announcement between opening and ending in two issues like this, but at least we know what to look forward to!
Conan may not be around, but his stuff sure is. With the newest movie coming to theaters in a month, the pimping is only growing stronger. The movie theme will be performed by Mai Kuraki who seems to have taken over the series as of late, and here she talks about the song she'll be singing. More importantly
to me is the reveal of two new figures of Akai and Conan that even Aoyama helped with apparently. They're taking preorders on the online shop --charaani.com, so if you've got money to spare, buy me one too.
First up, is Komi-san which has a color page this issue and the next, to commemorate the newest volume going on sale March 17th. Shogakukan's editors see the series as their new rising star, and this preferential treatment only makes it that more obvious. This week is two chapters of the short manga as well, so double the fun!
It's time for that animanga staple --the culture festival! If you aren't familiar with it, this is basically a time where the students in different classes come up with different ideas for a school festival type thing. Generally speaking this comes down to plays, haunted houses, and you guessed it --maid cafes. Though in this case, everyone is hoping Komi will be be the "maid" of honor, despite her being nervous as all hell.
Basically everyone is trying to grab Komi for their own uses from a Doujinshi meeting to..a disco club? The second panel is of "Otaku-kun" (Though the joke here is that while the reading sounds like "Otaku" the meaning is different and more name-like. Tadano is also like "Is he a new character?" And true enough I don't remember ever seeing him before.
So while everyone's deciding on what Komi should do for her, Tadano being the gentleman he is informs Komi that she can make the decision for herself. After all, she is her own person. To his surprise, she wants to be in the Maid cafe after all, and truly she really does look the part as pictured in the bottom page.
In the second part, Komi spies some girls headed to the bathroom together to do girly things
I guess? And Komi wants to be invited, but doesn't know how to get her voice heard.
So she goes looking for someone to go with her, but find is impossible to ask even her closest friends, lol. I totally relate Komi, I do. It's hard to ask your friends to do a thing and so you just hope they invite you. It's okay, I don't think any of us expect you to get better at this overnight. The two-fer of Komi ends here this week, but we'll be rooting for her next issue!
Speaking of comedies about girls being adorable that have lower page counts, Maojou is back on the blog this week. Here our princess takes issue with the singing talent
or lack thereof of her demon handlers. I guess a good lullaby is one of the ways to get to sleep so it makes sense she'd want the best sort of sleepytimez tune.
She goes to complain to the demon singing songs
who sort of reminds me of Liberace and after a first attempt at a lullaby that's super violent, and another one that makes no sense. (The demon even tells her to go to a hospital and get her head checked out) he invites her to write her own song if she's so smart and talented!
Turns out she can actually play the piano pretty well. "If you could do that from the start you should have just avoided all the hassle and played your own lullaby!" Liberace the demon says.
So the princess makes her "ultimate lullaby" and seems quite pleased with herself until the next day where the demon is singing it for her as she ordered and she finds the lyrics are terrible. When she asks who wrote this garbage, he replies --"You".
Souboutei is riding high even when it's protagonist Takoha is at his lowest after taking a mighty fall. At the very least he's not dead, so he should consider himself lucky.
These pages see Fujita returning to form with creepy looking Yokai ladies. Takoha made the unfortunate mistake of coming in during a falling out between these three identical women as one has the "shingan" (Soul eyes) which the other two want. Looks like a sibling squabble is about to start and he's stuck in the middle.
More freaky designs that I love as the two younger sisters send hoards of people devoured by the souboutei at their older sister who puts a stop to that with her own monster the Gennoudouji.
The oldest sister grabs her treacherous little sisters and feeds them right to the Souboutei! Man the stuff going on in this house really does warrant it being destroyed. Also, how are all of these people living/fighting in this house that eats people?
The oldest sister figures that Takoha is too much of a normie for her to bother with --since he'll die in the house somewhere anyway, so she takes her leave. Takoha being the idiot with the heart of gold he is decides he wants to give saving the younger sisters a shot, despite Kurenai and the other chick showing up and trying to convince him otherwise. In the end Kurenai and he get eaten by the house and for this week the chapter ends.
Next up is RYOKO. I've actually managed to get volume one, so now I need to plan how I'll cover the first few chapters before it ends up being 70 in (hopefully!) Like Saike. This week is basically a flashback for the newest character in which Ryoko and Zen don't appear until the end. Also I just noticed that Mitsuhashi sticks the chapter number somewhere in the cover pages which is really a cool touch.
I won't say too much about content, but Mitsuhashi really has a seinen-ish way of using panels and camera angles in his execution. I really hope RYOKO succeeds of course, but if it doesn't, I can see him being at home in a seinen anthology.
The contrast between the two panels as Reirei realizes she's lost everything --which has brought her to where she is now is particularly striking here. I prefer long haired Reirei...but that aside, what I most enjoy is watching Mitsuhashi's art grow over each chapter. He's taking this weekly serialization and getting used to it in big strides.
Makanai-san reaches the double digits in style with a busy-yet-simple cover page. I'm also only now realizing that this too is a short form manga about a girl doing a thing. That's three of these in WSS, and I admit I have some mixed feelings in regard to that as these three(?) are doing well in the mag which makes me wonder if soon WSS will be "Weekly short serializations" before long...
I love everything about this page as Su practices her butt off to get the Maiko routine down just right. You can see the sweat on her face, the determination in her eyes, and the reflection in the first panel is all A+ work by Koyama. Also I like the two older ladies talking about her personality/potential not unlike one would do in a shounen sports manga. Su is super enthusiastic about getting this right, even if it means bothering the hell out of her teachers, lol. In the bubble, the lady is trying to head to the bathroom but Su's still asking for lessons, lol.
Kiyo supports Su in her own way --by cooking all kinds of yummy foods! By now it should be clear that this is a slice of life manga where food is just as much a main character as the humans that eat it.
Big Daddy is big pimpin' --and doesn't care about your words since he's got those gucci shades on. That's right, the main character of the first Major --Goro is back home to see his kids!
Lol, so he shows up at his daughter Izumi's school to say hello, but when a Dad makes a cool first impression, it's to compensate for how awkward he is deep down. Some guy thinks he's a perv coming to peak at the girls, and rather than simply clear up the misunderstanding, he books it like a bat out of hell. So much for Big Daddy.
Meanwhile Daigo is still hurting over what happened to Hikaru, and despite the efforts of this girl here to dissuade him of any fault, he still blames himself. He doesn't even want to hear the word baseball ever again.
And as if things couldn't get more awkward, the most awkward person in this chapter appears just then.
Daigo runs away from him too as he find himself tearing up and not wanting his father to see his overflowing emotions. Luckily for him Dad books it again for whatever reason and runs right past him. However that night he calls a "Satou" and says he needs to meet someone important...who could it be?
Hiiragi is back in the blog with it's 50th chapter. Hardly feels like it's been a year since this started, but here we are. This week's chapter was pretty weird, which means I just have to cover it.
Hiiragi is using her Yuki onna powers to heal a dude who was hurt, although his friend doesn't quite get it, and tells her to back off. She looks really good in white though.
The dude starts talking crap about how she's a monster and needs to get the hell away from them, which Keijiiro (bottom panel left page) starts to take offense with. Hiiragi seemingly pulls him to say it's fine until the next page where she...goes feral for some reason? Her face is the funniest thing though.
She then proceeds to whoop his ass while in kitty mode until Keijiro pulls her off of him and she faints for great justice. I'm not sure what happened but it was pretty damned hilarious.
The next day, the guy comes back to apologize for being an a-hole, but Hiiragi does her best Boa Hancock impression in this page. (Look at it and tell me you don't see the similarity.) Also those legs go for miles....*ahem*.
Tokiwa Kitari also hops back into the blog this week with not one....
But two dual page spreads back to back. It may be because I just spoiled myself ridiculously on the series due to morbid curiosity, but I feel like the lady getting thwocked in this page looks similar (from the back) to 2b from Nier Automata. Maybe I'm just overthinking things though...
And now we're here with Nishi Aikawa's oneshot "Hana no Michi" "Path of Flowers" (I know I translated it differently last week, but after browsing the oneshot, this seems like the better translation of the title. This also marks the start of the "Sunday Rookie" one shot collection --where the magazine runs several one shots several weeks in a row. So there will be plenty of new faces which I'll do my best to bring to you.
So, DQN is probably the first thing that caught your notice there, no?
Don't be shy, it is pretty huge and in English. The phrase here is "DQN Names" which to give a very short explanation are really odd names given to kids by their parents. The phrase itself came from TV in the 90's from talkshows and other media outlets. Essentially it's getting really ridiculous names from your parents.
While in most cases, kids with names like these lament being born and then hate their parents with the intensity of a shounen protagonist scorned, our main character is much more optimistic and says that if he can overcome his name, he'll be the coolest guy there is!
However his sense of style is probably slightly..no, very much worse than his name.
It's after he gets tossed on his ass for his overwhelming and painful lameness that he meets an actual demon? No, no that's a human.
The demon forces him to help with flower arrangement! Aikawa has some super great intensity on these pages --I hope he/she considers an action manga in Sunday for their next project.
The demon then reveals the name of the person who made this all possible ---"Yamamoto Nadeshiko". The reading is the same as "Yamato Nadeshiko" which is a pretty complex set of values for the ideal Japanese woman....which is of course a very, very strange name for a Japanese guy to have.
Yamamoto's mom died when he was born, leaving him with a girly name and at the mercy of the kids that would exploit it. Yamamoto hates his name but his Dad refuses to let him change it as it was the last thing given to him by his mother.
Yamamoto is about ready to give up school forever after what happened, but the demon shows up at his house
ah, now I'm calling him a demon... and asks why he's acting like such a jerkass when it's clear he's got a name with a lot of love put into it. He then explains that sure, nowadays the name has a feminine connotation, but originally the name meant something more along the lines of "beloved child to pat". (I'm embellishing a little but.) It's the kind of name one would give to one who is truly beloved.
So it was a somewhat tragic misunderstanding. She wanted to hold her child once more as she would be unable to ever again. The last panel on the right is her apology as she "pats=nade" her boy for the first and last time.
Gotta say, Aikawa does a good job moving along the story in a mere 45 pages and giving the reader emotional pathos along with some incredibly good art for a rookie. I look forward to their progress if they decide to pick up a regular serialization.
Next is another instalment of Tenshi To Akuto, with the girl who looks strikingly like Queen from Kaitou Joker and Asuha being as cute as buttons on the frontispiece.
Last time we left Akuto, he was trying his best to be a nice guy against his deeper eviler-ish nature in order to reign supreme over his new precieved rival Shikimi. It shows on his face however that he is absolutely no good at being nice.
Akuto decides to move the festivities to a bowling alley, in hopes of using the secret rule of doing a high five after rolling a strike to force Shikimi into getting closer to him so he can eventually show her that he is superior to her. It's almost breathtaking how scummy he is.
Akuto manages to get the high five and see Shikimi's shocked expression, but his actions only deepen her already deep seated sense of loathing for him. In fact, Shikmi is basically filled with all sorts of misgivings towards everyone --so this is one example where he looks do not belie her personality.
lol, Asuha thinks that Shikmi's attempts to get closer to the director are because she likes the guy, but the real reason is that she wants the spinoff for her character that was mentioned last week. She intends to crush Akuto and show him who's boss. Let the voice battles begin!
Just in case you believe me over ANN
which is flattering, ngl. Here it is in print! On the bottom there is the number of chapters left until Hayate's finale. 6 more chapters until the combat butler is relieved of his duties. Apparently Viz prints this twice a year so...it'll be a while till western fans get to see this chapter. I feel bad for you guys, but I'm only covering the one page this week.
Speaking of one page wonders, Zettai gets a Gundam cameo, and a notice that it won't be in next week's issue.
Next up is Keijo!!! This week's chapter is literally called "Demon ass" which is fitting, although I feel like that should have been the name of the series rather than a one off chapter.
I did say the chapter title was fitting, didn't I? Though it seems like that's not the only thing that's super duper tight.
Denpa Kyoshi has a lesson about punking Russian overlords into thinking they've dropped nuclear bombs using fake footage and mirrors. So like the lunar landing but somehow less realistic.
If you don't believe me, here it is in print. It's ridiculous, but totally in line with a shounen manga, so totally fine.
And here with a touching top panel to kick off it's finale is Oniwo.
Its here that the people who died in the carnage of the final battle are brought back, save for the main character who exhausted himself.
Time flows from the Edo era to the Heisei in Yokoyama where a kid who looks strangely like the protag is enjoying a fairly normal life until a guy Mary poppins himself feet first into the scene...
Seems like this dude wants a piece of the lead, and is willing to remind him of the fights he had in the past to do it.
But before that happens, two demons from above tell him not to worry as they've got his back, even if he can't remember them. --Though as the page indicates, there's a little bit of reminiscence here.
Now he's got a very doting (and pregnant) mom looking after him, and is living a pretty peaceful life, so even though he's forgotten his battles and lost his powers, one could say things have gotten way better for him. As such Oniwo comes to an end with the 4th volume out May 18th. The blurb on the side says that Tonaka is preparing his next work, but that's a general message that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be drawing a manga in WSS again. I certainly hope he comes back though, as his art was really awesome! I'll do better to pay attention to his story writing that time around too.
And that's it for this week! Next week Komi-san gets a full color page and the cover of the magazine, and our buddy Saike returns with a center color page commemorating the beginning of the 9th series. (Fukuchi seems to have forgotten 8, but I guess that's to correspond with part 7 taking two volumes rather than one.) The next oneshot will be Baka to Tensai (Idiot and Genius) by Takeru Atsumi, and will be 24 pages long. Actually speaking of Saike....
Behold the combined covers of Volume 7 and 8 that comprise the entire Nepal arc. I've been saying it that Fukuchi's cover page game has leveled up by double since Anagle Mole, but I'm ready to say it's quadrupled. I can't wait till I can get my copy of volume 8 digitally! Anyway, this is the end of the writeup for this week. Hope you learned a thing or two, and had a little fun. See ya next Sunday on Tuesday!