Sundays are what make the world go 'round --or at least my world, anyway. Except today is Tuesday, which means it's time for the other better Sunday! I'm quasi-ready and quasi-revving to go, so lets jump right into this week's issue!
Grabbing our attention and turning heads on the cover is Rikako Yagi. I mentioned it in the preview here, but she has the prettiest set of eyes that I've seen in quite some time. Though i do have to admit it's weird to have so many covers in a row dedicated to pinups....
We've got all the actors lined up for the Inuyasha stage play starting April 6th! IT really is a shame that this isn't going to be a live action movie, because damn they look fine. With Rinne's new anime season starting soon, it almost seems like we're living in a Rumic World!
Conan's not in this issue, but a sweet live escape murder case is here in his place. It was a big hit in Osaka, so now they're bringing it to Tokyo. In order to escape the mysterious buildings, you'll have to coordinate with others! This sounds kind of fun, but sadly I won't be going to Japan for a long while. If you can't make it to the escape game, at least try to get to the movie opening April 15th!
Hope you did your taxes first!
And now the first of six new series, Tenshou no Quadrable or "The Soaring Quadrable" by Takahiro Arai! Arai has drawn "Daren Shan" and "Arago" for the magazine in the past, as well as a manga adaption of "Les Miserables" So not only is he a Shogakukan staple, but someone who seems very interested in western culture. This series is no different as it appears to be about four boys who go from Japan to Europe to bust some western Yokai!
You can see from the art exactly what I'm talking about. If Fujita is the guy you head to for Japanese demons, Arai has the western hemisphere covered. It's interesting since other than Naoki Urusawa who has gone on record with saying that he loves Germany, I've never seen manga artists that seemingly specialize in non Japanese stories. It'll be interesting to see how this series, Souboutei, and Youkai Giga fare in the same magazine.
But yes, for the series itself, it takes place in the "Dark Ages" of Europe in the 16th century. Except rather than the bubonic plague, we've got monsters, witches and other things that go bump in the night plaguing the unlucky citizens.
Oh and the Bubonic plague.
The ministry in Europe can't have this continue, so they decide to send for help from special boys living in Japan.
These are two of the boys, pictured on the left is Jalian, and on the right, Maruchino. (Sorry for the really wonky translations. They don't have traditional Japanese names, and I have no idea what the romanizations would be...)
As for why these kids in particular, it would appear that they are the avatars of God born upon the present era to destroy the devil. (The readings here are "Diablo" and "Deus" respectively.) Of course the church is incredulous about this, but they're desperate enough to ask anyone for help.
Two more of the boys, Migel (?) and Mansho.
The priest who came from Europe to take the boys with him has gathered them together, and hopefully on the following day will ship off! I'll admit this is different pacing for a shounen manga --usually we'd spend the first chapter (or first several) getting the team together and working out kinks with their personalities before setting off later, but Arai's skipping those steps and taking us right to departure from Japan.
Love the first two panels of the same forests but from different angles. Also as I mentioned above, it's interesting that the boys are pretty familiar with each other right away. They get along pretty well too, aside from some boyish joshing. I assume the dynamic in later chapters will come from their opponents rather than inner conflict?
Of course it wouldn't be a shounen first chapter if we didn't see these guys in action! Also Fujita isn't the only one who's good at drawing some badass looking youkai. I love how that Tiger looks more like a block print drawing than a manga one.
So we have one boy, Migel who has divine control over animals, and the other Misho who uses the same invocation as onmyouji (Japanese sorcerers) "Kyuukyuu nyouritsu riyou"... which is kind of like a invocation spell.
And it just wouldn't be a youkai slaying manga if we didn't have one character with battle aura and a sword to match.
They take it easy on the Tiger though, so he'll get to enjoy another GRREEEEAT day ahead.
Instead of Lions, Tigers, and Bears, we get instead...Tigers and Demon Elephants. I gotta say another surprise is that these kids are already really confident that they can handle whatever comes their way. Makes the chapter move along at a brisk pace that I appreciate.
And in the end they even manage to tame the beasts. Not bad for 54 pages of a first chapter huh?
From left to right: Chidzuwa Migel(?) Chief Delegate// Itou Mansho Head Chief Delegate//Hara Maruchino Vice Envoy// Nakaura Jirian Vice Envoy.
And with that they set sail toward Europe! A strong start for the six new series in WSS. I wasn't intending to keep an eye on this one, but the really good first chapter left a good impression on me, so I'll be reporting about it next week too!
Next up is Komi-san with it's 69th chapter. What you see up there is Komi-san and a maybe trap. Yup, the one in striped socks might be a dude (his/her gender is unknown at this point.) Let that sink in along with other things.
It's been a few weeks since Komi graced the blog, but certainly you remember that it's culture festival time in her school, and she's decided to go with a maid cafe deal. The problem is, she's really the central focus of the patrons as seen here.
Lol, I never paid attention to hi--her? Her name, but it's Osana Najimi. Which put together is "Osanajimi" or "Old friend". The type of friend one has when growing up. In any case Osana decides to benefit from Komi's popularity which the others won't allow.
Chapter 70 and Komi is still looking graceful in her maid outfit. I do wonder why Komi gets two chapters per issue, while the other short series --Dagashikashi and Maoujou don't? Hmmm.
The sign on Osana says "currently in reflection" but it's pretty clear she...yeah, going with "she" hasn't learned a thing, and is going to milk Komi for all she's got.
The next order of business is handing out flyers for the maid cafe, but Komi ends up in the haunted house part of the culture exposition and needless to say a shy person doesn't do well when they're scared.
Next up is announcing the cafe from the roof which goes as well as you might expect. Still Osana knows the power of Komi just standing there being Komi, so in one way it's actually smart planning, but in another...yikes.
Me too Osana, me too. Next week is the final part of the culture festival arc, and the teaser says it's one that can't be missed.
Chapter 41 of Aozakura is next, and looking very...tanned.
Gotta admit I never thought we'd see realistic portrayal of what happens to skin when outside swimming often,. That being said, it's training as usual for the 3rd squad.
However, one jellyfish sting is all it takes for training to become a dire situation. The next issue is going to be a must see too, apparently! Again I like that this doesn't skimp out on the training bits --it's Sunday doing Sunday, which is portraying realistic occupations in a thoroughly realistic way.
An out of season Dagashikashi is next. It's winter vacation for the leads, so Hotaru decides to invite them over to her house to hang out.
She's got a fairly huge place --makes you wonder why she decides to hang out at the Shikada candy store...in any case, it would seem this week is lacking in the snacking as Hotaru says she's preparing a nabe (hot pot.)
The joke is that Kokonotsu is almost positive that this nabe will be filled with snacks, but it's...normal. Overwhelmingly so. Hotaru's even got beer ready for Hajime (who's older than the rest of the gang.) So while Koko is going loco
oh no. Trying to figure out when she'll bust out the snacks, instead of trying to enjoy what he's got, Hotaru doesn't let him down when she reveals the main course...Tarou candies that are made with ramen flavoring. Shouldn't have looked a gift meal in the mouth m'boy.
But lol, Koko is so relieved to have snacks like he expected that it has the opposite effect of calming him down enough to eat the meal. Everyone finishes the hot pot, and Hotaru wants to give them snacks, but now they're too full. Next week will continue the adventures in her house, so that's a thing to look forward to.
In celebration of it's 3rd volume coming out on the 18th, we get a color page for Maojo, and a pretty one at that! It would seem the Princess is out and about again --lol, the demons are so used to this that they basically say. "Okay, this happens all the time, but find her."
So after the events of the princess getting captured last time, the demons realize that they lucked out big time when she came back to them on her own. Now if the hero were to show up instead...which leads to their unbelievable conclusion --we have to get stronger to protect the princess. Talk about turning a concept on it's head.
So they decide to have a competition of demonic magicks, but fail to mention to the princess that she's not invited, so she shows up and well, out does them by summoning a friggin' meteorite using her own apparently very high MP.
She ruins their competition not realizing why they're having it in the first place --to protect her, though she figures this out by casting "Mind read" on her subjects. Geez, with MP and spells like this, does she actually even need a hero to rescue her at this point? This translator says no.
The princess can't figure out why the demons are going out of their way to protect her, so she quickly thinks to herself that the best thing to do when sleepy is to stop thinking and go to sleep --which seh can only do after she depletes the rest of her MP --which she does via explosion....lol, the demons have come to the same conclusion I have, and that's --why not just have her fight the hero if/when he shows up?
No full coverage for Megumi this week, but I found this shirt just awful---ly hilarious.
And now Souboutei. With the sisters saved from the evil house's...clutches? Does a house even have--no, not now. Anyway, with the sisters saved, Kurenai and the others welcome Takoha back. Poor Kurenai has been so worried about him that she falls asleep in his lap, aww. Though she's not the ony one, they've all been in the house for three hours which is asking for a lot when in a building that eats people and warps their minds.
Everyone's ready to give up and head home, but Takoha is convinced they should stay and give destroying the house another shot. They've managed to come this far haven't they? He's unable to forgive the house and the beings in it attacking people. The ones with power mock him saying that he has no ability in the first place so what's his damage?
Takoha laughs at them and says he's done enough fighting for everyone! It's true, he has saved people from losing themselves in the house's bid for power despite being a normie.
Knowing that he saved them, Kurenai and Frol (I think? again she's got a weird name that I'm not sure how to romanize. I believe she's Finnish, (something I learned after reading the volumes!) So if anyone can make that out into a proper Finnish name then by all means. It's written "furoru" in Japanese. In any case, they decide to take Takoha's side.
And with that, everyone is on one page-ish, and they're gonna take down this house. I really like this chapter despite nothing happening because Takoha has become my favorite character after reading the series properly. The fact that he's got no abilities whatsoever is really endearing to me, and watching him gather everyone together is just the best thing.
Back after a month away is Yuugami and his inability (or desire) to make friends sporting a color page for volume 11 coming out April 18th. Kind of weird that this just doesn't get an anime already, but I guess the Shogakukan editoral department knows more than me.
Or they don't. The chapter begins with Chihiro claiming that she's cutting all ties with Yuugami, who simply responds that they had no ties to begin with as far as he remembers...
Though splitting up with someone is a lot easier said than done when they're both in your class, and don't really care to begin with.
It's funny and a little sad that Chihiro only now realizes that Yuugami hasn't changed one bit now that the two of them are supposedly through being friends.
It's later that what happened in the classroom (crying classmate, depressed dude) becomes clear. It looked like Yuugami did something to them, which he did, but it wasn't quite what it appeared. The dude for example was only down because Yuugami pointed out that he only participates in clubs and hangs around in order to talk to girls, and upon this epiphany, the dude realizes he has really been an inadvertent skirt chaser.
As for the girl, she's really into fortune telling, and it looked like Yuugami insulted her passion, which...well he sort of did, but only after researching fortune telling and monitoring his habits to a point that he understood that such things are merely coincidences and not her prediction. In short she was crying because she was moved he went as far as learning about fortune telling and the cosmos of fate for her sake --even if it was just to prove her wrong. So Chihiro got the wrong idea after seeing the two who are actually happy they met Yuugami.
Chihiro starts to apologize to Yuugami for assuming things, but then realizes he probably never thought of her as a friend in the first place so he wouldn't care if she apologized. Yet out of a small bit of pride and guilt she can't bring herself to apologize either, leaving things at this sorta weird limbo between them. Poor Chihiro can't leave Yuugami alone, nor can she give up on him. What to do? Unfortunately we won't find out till May 20th when Yuugami makes his next monthly visit.
Hayate has one chapter after this and to our surprise, Nagi thanks him for a year worth of service and then cuts ties with him by giving him a verbal pink slip. --yup, the combat butler is now fired.
"I thank you for caring for me." (Not the best TL but "Osewa ni narimashita" is tough to parse correctly. I guess it could also mean "I'm sorry for troubling you?")
Next week is the finale with an expanded 29 pages. I may not cover each and every one of them, but I will have Hayate on my list of targets for sure.
After nearly a month away, Rinne is back to play! He'll be back on TV April 8th as well, so it's a good time to be inRINNorated.
The chapter begins with Sakura running into a girl asking around for a boy who fits Rinne's description. She leaves a note in his locker and upon finding it Rinne's just confused as he doesn't know who this girl is. Meanwhile the entire class seems to be cheering on what is probably a complete misunderstanding.
And when asked if he's going to date the girl, Rinne's kinda like. "I mean, it's not like going on a date will land me some cash so..."
However, the letters don't stop coming, and the next one even has 5,000 yen in it. Now our boy is revving to go meet this lady! That Saturday when Sakura is hanging out with friends --or runs into, they give her some pretty juicy gossip...
Seems like Rinne is seeing this girl...or is he? Apparently "he" met her earlier on and treated her gently so she's been hoping to see him again. What I love on the page on the right is Rinne's expression as he thinks. "Yeah, that was totally not me this chick was talking to." The smile and kind of "mmhhm" expression is slaying me.
And Sakura's expression as Rinne tries to tell her that she's got the wrong idea. Maybe there is something between them? Well, maybe not, but Takahashi romances are rarely straightforward. In any case, Rinne gives her the money back and claims that she couldn't possibly have met him so he can't take her present.
But it turns out it WAS him. So the girl had accidentally fallen out of a tree and died, but before her spirit could leave her body completely, Rinne put her spirit back in her body, and lent her some money. She mistook this as him being kind to her, and not casually dismissive, lol. He had just forgotten the whole incident, and now lost his chance to recover some minimal change, and possibly a lady friend. That's why it's never good to assume! Sakura at least is relieved...??
Next on Tenshi & Akuto, Akuto decides to try his hand at Rakugo after being upstaged by the female Rakugo performer last week during their voice acting sessions. Akuto just wouldn't be himself if he admitted she's better than him and worked harder, no. He instead decides to show her up on her home turf. Say what you want about the guy, but one thing he is not is"lacking confidence".
I'm not sure what tale this is....I really need to finish the second season of Rakugo shinjuu myself, but again, Akuto is not lacking in confidence. He attacks the storytelling with his usual unflappable style.
Now this is interesting. The guy leading the troupe says that he acknowledges that Akuto is taking Rakugo seriously, but still say's he's a friggin amateur. In order to do go "pro" in rakugo storytelling, one has to be afraid of something...not just skittish or nervous, but within every pro is something that terrifies them. Without that Akuto will always be nothing but a novice. That sounds very Rakugo shinjuu-ish to me. Maybe I'll have finished season two before I write up next week's post....
One thing had niggled at the back of my mind in regard to Mushibugyo over these last fantastic weeks...where is the lead Tsukishima Jinbee? I had only been paying attention to it in and out before I started the blog (which is lamentable as I do love the series), and I hadn't seem him lately. Then this week happened with our,
my dear Mushibugyo-sama asking for his aid...
As the text says, (though some of it isn't on this page.) "You always come whenever I...no, everyone needs you most." And looking like a champ to boot!
I'm not sure how many weeks it's been, but Jinbee looks like a whole new gu--no, a whole new man. I am eagerly anticipating his actions over the next few weeks.
Saike once again. Though this time it looks like being able to turn back time won't help our hero...
The students in the class are understandably in an uproar at the appearance of their monsterified classmate Hirayasu. Poor Hirayasu doesn't even seem to realize that he's the problem...and that his power is causing this. When one of the students accuses him of being "M" he strikes out calling them a liar. You can see from the awkward angle the monster slashes the student that he's still not in complete control of the situation.
Saike is totally unprepared for the several levels of inner conflict here. He wants to protect his class, protect his secret, and protect the image he has of ability users. In his head, Johann's words of discrimination, and his best friend Mikan's fears of ability users ricochet through his head as he tries to talk to Hirayasu to assuage this situation despite his classmate's pleas to run.
Always the nimble thinker, Saike immediately grasps the situation with Hirayasu's ability...he's not yet understood how to control it. Thinking that he's alone with the beast, he tries to talk Hirayasu into regaining control, kind of like a control tower would do a lost pilot. However, what he doesn't know is that he does have an audience, and it's the worst possible person.
He pleads with Hirayasu to remember just what it is he wished for when his power---his oracle manifested. Hirayasu starts to think about it, but the weight of being responsible for his transformation is too much to bear, and he lashes out at Saike asking him how he could possibly understand his situation.
"(I do understand). I am the same as you...I am 'm'".
This talk of powers and being the same comes at a price (Which is incidentally the title of this chapter --"The price of confession") when the other students quickly realize that Saike knows too much to be a simple outsider, and his actions only deepen their suspision and lead them to the truth. ---Saike is also the "M" that they suspect and fear, and now Saike has seemingly failed to protect his secret, his class, and most of all the reputation of ability users. Fukuchi is still striding forward strongly with this arc, and I'll say it again, this is exactly what I've wanted out of him for all of Saike. It saddens me that the series is so low in the TOC, but it's sales remain constant. Considering it does better than Keijo!!! which received an anime and a nearly three year run, I can only hope Saike can be so fortunate, especially when the series has hit such a beautiful pathos with it's theme at long last.
Welp, that's WSS #19! As mentioned in the preview (which you totally should read for more info here) RYOKO which should have appeared in this issue and was even advertised to, did not, and is not advertised to appear next issue either. I can only hope this was a sort of schedule slippage on Mitsuhashi's side and nothing more, because like Saike it has hit it's stride with the most recent chapters. Aside from that, this was a pretty good issue! Next time another new series! I hope you'll tune in on Tuesday for more Shounen Sunday awesomeness! See you then!