It's Wednesday morning, so good Sunday to you! I'm your gracious host and I'd like to welcome you to this week's time with the fun book. Let's hop right in!
On the cover this week is Hikaru Takahashi, along with Souboutei getting front billing and a blurb for Evans along with other things. Things such as Yuugami who's here for his monthly visit.
Next up is the TOC! On the menu in order of serving are...
Souboutei Kowasubeshi by Kazuhiro Fujita (Color pages)
K.O.I by Tamaki Wakaki
Detective Conan by Gosho Aoyama
Hoankan Evans no Uso ~Dead or Love~ by Midzuki Kuriyama
Hatsukoi Zombie by Ryou Minenami(Color page)
Daiku No Hatou by Michiteru Kusaba
Dagashikashi by KOTOYAMA
Magi by Shinobu Ohtaka
Major 2nd by Takuya Mitsuda
MeteorGirl by Reach Ishiyama
Komi-san wa Komyushou desu by Tomohito Oda
Tenshou no Quadrable by Takahiro Arai
Amano Megumi wa Suki Darake! by Nekoguchi
Maoujou de Oyasumi by Kagiji Kumanomata
Kyoukai no Rinne by Rumiko Takahashi
Tenshi to Akuto!! by Aya Hirakawa
Maiko-san chi no Makanai-san by Aiko Koyama
Yuugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga inai by Jun Sakurai (Monthly series)
Be Blues by Motoyuki Tanaka
Joujuu Senjin!! Mushibugyo by Hiroshi Fukuda
Tokiwa Kitareri by Shun Masuena (Ending)
Youkai Giga by Satsuki Satou
Sunday Higaku Kenkyujou by Yuuji Yokoyama
And not on the menu this week are...
Hiiragi-sama wa Jibun wo Sagashite iru
Zettai Karen Children
So Tokiwa is out, Yuugami is in for his monthly turn, Ryoko is still out despite it's new volume supposedly being released next week, and Evans is really riding high. It's kind of inspiring to see a possible new hit unfold right before my eyes! I sure hope someone will scanslate it though, because I'd really love for more people to enjoy it. Zettai is supposed to be back this summer to finish it's final arc, so if it does then that'd be one more series out from the mag and in fast order. I've mentioned it before that the content seems to be shifting towards a less action heavy lineup, which, hey if it works I won't knock it, but I do hope the editorial staff won't completely forget that part of the shounen magazine makeup, though it's hard to make a compelling case when it's the action series ending (or hiatusing) one after another.
Rinne is getting a new OP for the summer and while the title is...I can't really tell since it's written in katakana which as I've described is like WRITINGSOMETHIGNTOGETHERINALLCAPS. But if I'm to take a guess it's something like "Seeing a momentary dream", but don't quote me on that. Keytalk --the band performing the song started Rinne's first anime off with it's first OP so maybe this is some kind of full circle effect? The next issue of Sunday will announce the ED artists --if it's Passpied (Who did the first Ending) then we'll know if the wheel of incarnation is going through a loop for the final(?) time.
Probably in a bid to get more blood for the magazine, this week's Hobby center in WSS is all about digital manga making and the tools of the trade. I know a few artists in Jump eschew the digital process in favor of traditional means, but I'm not actually sure who in Sunday is a traditionalist....I know Fukuchi does use computers to aid him in drawing Saike since he's very open about that on twitter, and Minenami (Zombie) probably does too (if the color page for this week's chapter is any indication.) This merits research! Though not *too* much as you can see on the bottom there that Aoyama, Mitsuda, Oda (not that one) and Kuriyama all talk about their digital processes, and as indicated by the stars by their characters, the extent of how digital they are. Not surprisingly Aoyama still uses pen and paper for the characters only going digital to clean the art up, while Kuriyama pretty much does the whole arting process digitally. This is pretty interesting stuff! Wish I had more time to translate though...
And of course the lovely Hikaru Takahashi. At 15 years old she's an actress in a television drama, and has appeared in a commerical. From her hobbies --Dance, Basketball and Volleyball she's pretty sporty too. But man, 15 and already acting? I feel like all I was doing at that age was wasting time...
a lot like I am now, sort of.
An interestingly contemporary color page brings us into Souboutei this week, where Rokuro rushes to save the people currently fighting for their lives in the house by bringing the Nitrogen they --or more specifically Frol needs. Kurenai looks especially nice in color on the bottom panel of the first page, which makes me hope they'll animate Souboutei someday --but they've got a backlog of Fujita works to get through first, huh.
Rokuro finds that it's tough being a kid in an adults world as he frantically tries to get the truck drivers to divert their shipment towards the killer house. Poor kid is doing his best, but it is a pretty tall order to be quite honest.
I'm not sure how familiar people reading this blog are with Japanese culture, but bowing one's head is seen as a particularly major deal. To do so is to abandon most --if not all of one's pride to appeal to someone else. So Rokuro's actions in the left page are huge. Meanwhile Seiichi is doing his best in the house, but even with his strength, if Rokuro doesn't make the drop happen he's gonna get dropped.
We get a look into Frol's thoughts here and it's probably the first time she's said more than a bubble or two in this manga. Not surprising since she doesn't speak Japanese, really. I really like how her design seems to be evolving the more involved she gets with the story. She looked kind of plain at first, but her expressions on the two panels she's in on the left page really add depth to her. She's lamenting that she can only "see" the Nitrogen, but until it's closer she can't do much of anything. Meanwhile the truck drivers seemingly turn down Rokuro's pleas but offer to take him home....
However the black haired driver admits it's been a long time since someone wholeheartedly asked him to do something --going as far as bowing their head (told you that's a big deal!) So while he's not sure of the details, he's willing to give Rokuro a hand and a truck full of Nitrogen to the protest of his buddy.
Frol steals this page too as she sees the truck getting closer --close enough for her to use her abilities, and as I mentioned before, the more focus she gets the more defined her design becomes. She's downright stone cold beautiful in the final panel as she gathers her concentration to use her ability "Abotsu" (The kanji reads something like "Matter summoning/creation".) Though let us not forget what she said a few chapters ago, that once she uses her power she'll die. I'm certainly hoping she won't but it's up to Fujita. In any case as the side text there reads, the greatest counterattack begins next issue.
You'd think with 5 more chapters until 1,000 that Conan would be focused on the incoming celebration/event, but he's mostly got his eye on Ran --trying to figure out just where she's intending to go. Sera asks him about the trick behind the murder in this case, and Conan sort of brushes her of saying that he's already figured all of that out offhandedly as if finding out where his GF is going is way more important. Sera's expression really says it all, haha. In any case the final part of this case is next week which would mean the next case should/might be the one that takes us to the 1,000 mark.
At least Conan has a Girlfriend. Evans is still working on that part even this week in his 8th chapter. He's been hired to be a lovely lass's bodyguard, and while this job is something he should take with the utmost seriousness, he can't help but think of it as a date of sorts. It really makes me wonder how this dude managed to become the best Gunslinger in the west....luck? Though hey, they say happiness is best shared, so Evans just wants to share his fortune.
Speaking of fortune, his client --Katie Cline is the daughter of a bank mogul who's mom is a "foreigner". (It's implied she's half Asian, which in a Japanese manga is interesting but this is based in the American West.) Evans figures he's scored this time around, until he finds out Katie double booked the job and --you guessed it, Pheebs is the other bodyguard she hired. Not pictured here is Katie not reading the mood and asking bluntly if Evans and Pheebs are an item which the latter denies. She then flat out asks Evans if he'd like to be her husband, as he's good looking and knows his way around a gun. Pheebs says she's barking up the wrong tree because he's also terrible at understanding women which Katie says doesn't bother her --hence Pheebs steaming in the middle panel of the right page.
Dad lecture mode flips on and Evans --despite really wanting to say yes decides to go with his Dad's lesson of not seeming too desperate for cash and feminine attention and says that her money doesn't interest him. While Evans wonders if that was cool enough, Pheebs gets the wrong idea and thinks that he's simply not moved by money (which he is.) Though this is cut short by the appearance of gunslingers looking to cash in on Katie.
Say what you want about their love life, but Pheebs and Evans are certainly good at what they do --stopping crime in it's tracks. They take down the baddies in record time, and escort Katie to where she needs to be. It's implied she'll be back as she definetly wants Evans to notice her, while Pheebs asks him if he's really okay not taking her up on her offer. Evans says he doesn't want to feel like he's in debt to her or anything like that so he's good --though of course having a little cash helps! Next chapter is implied to be a moody one...I do wonder what'll happen?
I'm not covering the chapter itself, but here's the color page from this week's Hatsukoi Zombie celebrating it's popularity. As I mentioned before, it's pretty clear Minenami does use computers in her(?) artwork, but when it's as cute as this who cares?
Returning after a little time off is Daiku no Hato (The ninth wave) where our main character has dropped everything --including his cozy city life in Tokyo to attend an Aquatics school in Nagasaki all because of a girl --who isn't there. Yup, Minato done donked up. When he asks the girl's older brother where she is, he finds out she's going to an Aquatics school....in Tokyo. That bottom panel when he finds this out is priceless.
Minato is screwed in all kinds of ways, while in Tokyo Nagiko is completely lost among the crowds. "Is there some kind of festival today?!" She asks in the right page. Simply because she hasn't seen this many people in one place before. I gotta say the whole "fish out of water"
literally thing that this series has got going for itself is working really well for me.
Luckily Nagiko runs into a student at the school she's trying to attend and he shows her around. She's rather impressed by the facilities in the school she's attending now and rightfully so! They're far beyond anything she would have gotten at home!
Kusaba's art is really something to behold. Here we see the skeletons of a North Pacific right whale and a gray whale on display. Nagiko is smitten --though not by the guy as much as he thought she might be.
He comments that the school in Nagasaki might be good, but she did herself a solid by coming to this one in Tokyo. Nagiko tells him that she actually didn't come out here for that reason, but to meet someone....wait, wait, wait, he's in Nagasaki to see her, and she's in Tokyo to...oh my. This just got way more complex.
Meteor Girl is up next, and we start things off with another reiteration about how people have gotten used to the MG phenomenon. Ishiyama is not so subtly telling us that getting used to things isn't always for the best, so I wonder if that's the theme of this particular work? In any case chapter 4 of MG is here, and we're moving into new material.
Picking up from last time, Hane explains that her hypothesis on MG's are that they're the bodies of dead girls falling from the sky. However, what she's looking for is an "unbroken" MG. One that has it's facilities in check and can be conversed with. Tetto is rightfully incredulous about this, but Hane's faith that she'll find one seems unshakable. The flashback ends and Tetto finds his thoughts wandering to his dead friend Chihiro and how if Hane's hypothesis is true that he might be able to see her again. I still really think Hane and Chihiro might be connected, but there's nothing substantial to prove it yet.
Tetto gets annoyed with Hane (though really it's himself) for bringing up stuff like dead girls falling from the sky, and how that gave him hope to see Chihiro again despite how stupid the whole premise sounds.
I'm not self inserting, I swear! A slightly more earthy threat appears in the form of a perv who's trying to take pictures up Hane's skirt, and while Tetto is mad at her and hesitates at first, he decides to do the right thing and step in, but--
Someone steps in for him. It's interesting to get a two page spread that's mostly just a close up on one's eyes, and the slow progression of Tetto turning around. It almost seems like a waste, but I like the cinematic feel that Ishiyama was going for here. It invokes a sense of action and storyboarding, but in a much faster and weightless manner --almost completely opposite Oda (not that one)'s work in Komi which is very weighted and restrained.
Another dual page spread where there's a lot happening all at once. Normally these are dedicated to one big action, but Ishiyama's use of them to evoke movement and time elapsing is interesting. While the story of MG is mysterious as it is silly, the artwork --more specifically, the panel work is truly unique. In any case, a strange girl leaps in to protect Hane's chastity...
And we find out now that there's an app for that. (Or maybe there was this whole time and I just didn't notice.) But yeah, Tetto's phone alerts him to an MG falling toward them but...it seems to be reacting to the girl that just ran past him? What's definitely weird about all this is that Hane seems to know what the girl is without using an app....and the unsettling look she has in the final panel of the chapter as she says she's found an MG. While her intention --or the one she told us and Tetto is to talk to them, her expression here seems to imply there's a lot more to this than shown verbatim. I guess I'm on the hook in regard to MG for next week too, since the art and intrigue has got me wondering where this will go next.
Dragon it's feet is Quadrable's 9th chapter where two of the boys meet with Nobunaga! I love that one of them in the left page bottom most panel is thoroughly uninterested in this.
Oda (not either of them) seems very interested in talking to these boys who came from Japan --somewhere he hasn't been for a long time apparently. In the left page it almost seems as if he's trying to mind control one of them, but his buddy pulls him away before that goes any further. Meanwhile an official is bored with the party favors he's getting and decides to hunt for the most dangerous game of all--man.
Since he has an abundance of prisoners, why not have them battle each other to the death? Nobunaga is pretty chill about the whole thing saying that they've got no choice but to do something to defend their lives since they're here.
The boys aren't slouches though, and are able to make short work of some of their attackers, meanwhile the others are pretty much relaxing back at their quarters wondering where their friends are. It'll be interesting to see if this skirmish and meeting with Oda (neither of them) will result in something that pushes the story forward or is just a quick detour.
We leave the dungeons but not the castle for this week's chapter of Maojo de Oyasumi where even the sleepy princess has one thing she can't sleep through --needing to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. She almost has an emergency in bed, but manages to snap herself awake before that happens. Thinking she'll just relieve herself and head back to sleep, she finds well, Skeletons at work replacing the old commode with a new one, so she'll have to find another place to go.
She's attacked by wild slime (though this one has a name --Gummytarou) right in the wrong place, which only hastens her need to go to the bathroom. She figures she's in the right place, but walks in on a bear on the throne, lol. She tries the next room to find a Dragon relieving itself off the side of a window, and with that her hope begins to fade.
She then finds Harpy who's directs her to a bathroom that's...very uncomfortable looking. (check out the top panel on the left page.) It's then that she sees the Demon King himself and decides to stalk--er, follow him to his personal quarters. By this point, she's so frienzied that rather than being able to speak in full sentences, what she thinks is "May I use your bathroom" just comes out as "I'm going to wet myself", which not surprisingly freaks the Demon King out.
He finally gets the message and allows her to use his bathroom, which she promptly falls asleep in because she's so happy to have been able to go, leaving the Demon King hanging around outside for a good four hours as he's too shy to knock on the bathroom door when a girl is using it. Who knew the Demon king was such a shy guy?
Rinne is up next and the date from hell is here with him. Let's get moving. As stated before, the church he's using here is cursed by the spirits of a couple who met an unfortunate end, but this doesn't matter as long as he can get rid of an annoyance.
Using a spirit spray, Rinne is able to hide the fact that the ghosts actually look super horrifying, and make them look more like pretty normal ish ghosts. (That is a weird thing to type.)
Hoping to ensnare Matsugo with the "eternal friendship" rings, Anju goads him into wearing the ring as well, but Matsugo ruins the whole charade by revealing the ghost's true very bloody nature. However Anju is undeterred --packing a shinigami item that lures in other ghosts to the Church. She's going to get him to wear that ring that'll allow them to be "eternal friends" no matter what!
Still not getting the hint, Matsugo calls a bunch of male spirits in to bust up the couples, which Rinne uses ghostly love letters to ward off, as they're all single and want the attention, lol. The plan is going south in a hurry, and it only gets worse when the bloody couple decides to use Anju's passion to power their own spirits and proceed to drag her into their world using the ring on her finger.
Rinne tries to step in to stop this, but Matsugo does so instead, and to everyone's surprise seems worried about Anju? A shame a comment from Sakura about how they look like lovers ruins everything and Anju faceplants the poor guy into a wall.
Rinne then comments that he's surprised Matsugo would go out of his way to save Anju, which Matsugo comments that he's surprised about too. These feelings, could they be....nah, dude just considers her a friend on the same level of Rinne, but Anju doesn't care as she thinks this means he loves her after all. In the end the merry band of two becomes a threesome (but not in the fun way, I guess) and now Anju stakes her pride on someday defeating Rinne in the pursuit of Matsugo's heart.
Chapter 48 of Aozakura is here and ready for summer!
I have to admit I like these kinds of downtime chapters when it's just the characters chilling at home and doing not normally shounen very mundane things like helping around the house. Kondo heads home with his sister and buds to do just that.
Kondo gets a call from Katsuragi
All these Gintama flashbacks are crawling in my skin. Whom he used to know very well, and not surprisingly as Katsuragi is Kondo's older childhood friend.
We get a little bit of drama however as Katsurgi invites Kondo out after a day of working in the shop making food and friends and asks Kondo if he'd prefer this life to that of being on the defense force. It would be easier after all --and then he asks him the question "Are you prepared to give up your life for your country?" Kondo's answer will come with a lead color page next chapter, which means it will be included with the coverage!
Next up is Tenshi and Akuto. I'm just noticing now that they call this series a "Dramatic Voice acting comedy". Which isn't wrong or anything, but weirdly funny to me.
Akuto shows a bit of humility here by asking for help, and in turn wanting others to rely on him, which everyone seems more than happy with, but he was implying something along the lines of practicing together --but everyone's got things to do from recording an anime song CD to Rakugo performances to...yeah, they've got busy lives and while it's great Akuto wants to be helpful, he's not exactly high priority.
And so Akuto tries to forcefully help everyone with varied and hilarious results. From showing up at a shooting uninvited (and being carried away by the cops) to Shikimi lording it over him that if he should mess up and lose the ability to play the lead character then she'll be more than happy to usurp the protagonist role from him. Even Subaru in the right page is busy with her daytime job which she's apparently a ditz at (she's a great voice actress though!) Akuto realizes he's going to have to help them in other ways first if he wants to get them in the recording booth to practice.
And then there's Asuha here who has a crush on Akuto, and is willing to listen to him vent for a bit, but then drops the bomb on him that she thinks they shouldn't talk again for a while, because she thinks he's with someone else. Akuto admits it that he's had stayovers with others for the sake of practicing which Asuha completely misunderstands (not that his vague phrasing helps) and so she runs off leaving him.
After all that the performances are still a bit lopsided but they show much more potential than before. Though the producer says that someone he can't possibly outdo is coming, and this isn't the time for him to rest on his laurels! But who is this person? The language here seems to imply it's another girl, so could it possibly be...??
Makanai is serving up some reminiscence next. Girls in training to be Maiko aren't allowed to have computers or cell phones, so they can only communicate via snail mail and landlines which can get to be difficult. Kiyo and the girls do make effort to use the mail to communicate to others which is what leads us back to her friend back home who we've only seen glimpses of, and Koyama's penchant for telling stories through pictures shines through that right page.
We're taken back into Kenta's flashback upon receiving a letter from Kiyo and how they used to communicate during class in a very similar way, just a lot more direct as you can see from the paper popping Kenta in the head. There's a very particular way of knowing Kiyo's the sender of the letters though, and it's the way she writes the "Ki" in her name. I think Koyama is trying to tell us something about the intimacy of writing letters that can't be captured through digital means. Only Kiyo has that strange way of writing the "ki" in her name, and it's through that Kenta is taken through reminiscent memories.
Of course it's not Makanai without the dish of the chapter which are fried rice balls or "Yaki onigiri". Which you can read more about here. Kenta's such a quiet and straightforward guy, that even upon getting the letter from Kiyo all he can remark on is how her "Ki" hasn't changed and it's still weird.
Next is Yuugami up for his monthly visit with a very pretty Chihiro on the frontispiece.
We've all got that one family member who pops in uninvited and is usually a persona non grata, even if we're sort of obligated to love them because they're family, and that includes Yuugami who's cousin has popped over at his house much to his chagrin. Meet Suzune Yuugami, a college student who has only recently started living on her own. Yuugami himself is clearly not enthusiatic about her being at his house, but can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em, right?
Suzune talks about her daily life living in her own place and how great it is, which Yuugami's sister(?) comments that he'll probably never come back once he leaves home. Suzune agrees that Yuugami has always been good at doing things on his own which he agrees with --though the next day Suzune attaches herself to his hip and basically demands that they hang out together. This is one of the few times we see Yuugami actually annoyed about something, and this is so relatable.
You can take a horse to water --or well in this case you can make Yuugami go out, but you can't make him spend time with you. He immediately goes to look over at a rice field and breath in the "smell of history" for about an hour leaving Suzune on her own and bored out of her mind. It turns out she was trying to take lessons from the master of solitude himself, but she just can't do what he does....but why would she want to?
And here's our heroine Chihiro who accidentally runs into Yuugami and immediately regrets it. She's embarrassed he saw her swinging around her bag like a little kid, and while Yuugami could care less, she can't help but start talking to him to defuse her own sense of awkwardness. Suzune sees them together and immediately thinks that she is his girlfriend. Rather than being upset that her cousin would keep a girl from her, she's upset that he betrayed her by not...being completely alone?
The truth is Suzune is actually very, very lonely in her college life living in solitude, and wanted her cousin to teach her his ways. Yuugami says that her days are only boring and lonely because she's got no talent in being alone! He does tell her not to give up in a weird sort of backhanded way of encouraging her.
Chihiro tries to cheer her up (properly) by saying she's probably just homesick and that's why she's lonely. Suzune was wondering if maybe she was misunderstanding fun while hanging out with Yuugami, and after she describes their day together, Chihiro agrees that he is aggressively boring. (top panel to the left.) Though it's fine once in a while to be bored, there's no need to push to do something that doesn't suit you. The thing is, Suzune seems determined to stay over at the house as long as she feels lonely, and she's not making friends at college --so Yuugami starts to think that he'll have to take matters in his own hands to get his house back. I'm not sure if this will continue next month, but it would be fun if it does. I really like Yuugami (the series's) sense of humor and more importantly that it doesn't try to force friendship down the readers throats. Sometimes people just wanna be alone and that's perfectly fine.
The final chapter of Tokiwa Kitaeri is upon us and we get a dual page spread to commemorate the occasion.
I will be honest that the initial chapters repelled me from this series so I don't actually have much of an idea of what the series is about or what it's done until this point, and that's sad as I did enjoy Kenichi --Matsuena's first series quite a bit. That being said, he--Matsuena can really draw (though he uses lots of computers in his work, so I guess that's sort of cheating), but I wish he'd rely a little less on fanservice and impossible boob proportions to tell his stories.
The series ends with the characters getting together and having a final party of sorts as Tokiwa reintroduces himself to us as a normal high school student.
Who in a short amount of time has made lots of friends and even fought to save the world. What's interesting here is that unlike Keijo and DameTerasu before it, The notice that Matsuena is working on another series is proudly posted on this one. I don't want to fan flames of misaligned conspiracies, but it is something to note that they're more than happy to say he'll be back but not them, especially since Keijo's ending was marked with some bad blood between the author and the publisher. Either way, I do look forward to Matsuena's return, but probably not as much as I would say, Fukuchi or Tonaka.
Kuro returns in Youkai Giga this week as his master's love life seems to be taking a wrong turn and the little youkai thinks that whatever this love thing happens to be is afflicting his guy in a bad way.
Meanwhile on the human side of things, the guy is so frazzled by something that he doesn't even hear what the lady he's so interested in is saying which gets her upset. She wonders why he's becoming so cold, and Kuro is still convinced that women are in league with demons. So it's just misunderstandings all the way around.
Kuro decides to investigate the girl, only to find that...she might be able to see him? I'm really enjoying the Kuro story, but I think that has a lot to do with the short format and that Satou focuses on it bi-weekly rather than weekly. Youkai giga's taking advantage of it's format and quite skillfully. It's strong art also really helps it, as well as being about youkai which are normally only depicted in a evil/supernatural way --here they're just part of the scenery and it's interesting to see how they and humans interact. That and it's nice to have a short form manga in Sunday that isn't cute girls being quirky.
And with that we're at the end of issue #28! Next week Aozakura grabs a lead color page, the cover goes to AKB48, and we get two special chapters from the online magazine "Sunday Webry"..."Hitotsubana" (One flower) by Minami and "Bocchi Hakase to Robot Shoujo no Zetsubouteki Utopia"(Lonely Professor and Robot Girl's despairing utopia). by Kanehito Yamada. No doubt that this is to cover the space created in the mag by having RYOKO on hiatus, and two series end back to back. Saike will be back soonish, but I wonder if we'll just keep getting features for the time being or if a new series will hit soon? Either way, I appreciate you all coming in to spend time with me this Sunday on Wednesday and bid you adieu until next week!