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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Weekly Shounen Sunday #37/38

At this point, I'm beginning to think I should change the name of the blog to "Shounen Sunday: Saturday Bugaloo" Cause I keep getting our favorite little book really early. Not that I'm complaining since it means I don't have to type these while half asleep on Wednesday morning. Either way it is time for another fun-filled installment of Weekly Shounen Sunday! 


This week on the cover is Mr. Shounen Sunday celebrating his 1,000th installment! It feels like it's been a while since I talked about a cover that wasn't a pretty model (not that I'm complaining.) What's interesting is that it says on the side that the series is entering a new "long chapter" which could mean anything, I suppose, but...I'll admit it worries me slightly --how much longer are we talking, and what's long here? In any case, Hotaru is on the cover and despite her small size she has big news --Dagashikashi is getting a second anime season! I've said it before a few times that I didn't see more sweets headed our way, but this is defs a case where being proven wrong feels oh-so right. Also, this is a double issue --which as I've explained before means two numbers for the price of one. Which is to say due to the Obon holiday in Japan, there will be a Sunday next week, but not a Sunday. So this dual issue's express purpose is to make up for that. It also means I get a break, but I'll do my best to make up for my absence next week with...something. Don't hold me to that.


And now the TOC, which I'll add has a little surprise that I'll link to after giving the goods.

Detective Conan by Gosho Aoyama (Color/cover)
Amano Megumi Suki Darake! by Nekoguchi
Dagashikashi by KOTOYAMA (Lead color page)
Komi-san wa Komyushou desu by Tomohito Oda
Magi by Shinobu Ohtaka 
Major 2nd by Mitsuya Takeda
Shinobi no by Rokurou Ohgaki (Color page)
Hoankan Evans no Uso ~Dead or Love~ by Midzuki Kuriyama
Maoujo de Oyasumi by Kagiji Kumanomata
Tenshi and Akuto!! By Aya Hirakawa
Hatsukoi Zombie by Ryou Minenami
Be Blues! By Motoyuki Tanaka
K.O.I King of Idol by Tamaki Wakaki
Maiko-san chi no Makanai-san by Aiko Koyama
Aozakura Bouei Daigakkou Monogatari by Hikaru Nikaido
Tenshou no Quadrable by Takahiro Arai
Kyoukai no RINNE by Rumiko Takahashi
Souboutei Kowasubeshi by Kazuhiro Fujita
Daiiku no Hatou by Michiteru Kusaba
Saike Matashitemo by Tsubasa Fukuchi
Meteor Girl by Reach Ishiyama
Yuugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga inai by Jun Sakurai
Jojuu Senjin!! Mushibugyo by Hiroshi Fukuda
Hiiragi-sama wa Jibun wo Sagashiteru by Hiroyuki Nishimori
Youkai Giga by Satsuki Satou
Sunday Higaku kenkyujou by Yuuji Yokoyama

Not in this issue are the following:

RYOKO
Zettai Karen Children (Till Summer)

So a pretty full selection, and nothing all that different/exciting. It's pretty much a known thing that Evans is a hit --at least to the editorial staff, Saike is slightly closer to his normal spot --Souboutei is still a bit low for comfort, and Yuugami comes in really close to the bottom for whatever reason. Tenshi has also been very high lately, but I can't fault it --it's been really great lately. Anyway, something I might have mentioned (or forgotten to mention), is that the TOC page comes with artist comments. In Weekly Shounen Jump, these are just random blurbs from the artists, but in Sunday, a question is selected by a fan for the artists to answer, and this week's question to celebrate Conan's milestone is "Who is your favorite Conan character"? Now I usually don't bother with these as sad as it makes me because I just don't have time/energy, but this week I did! Though you'll have to head over to my twitter to see the answers --as I'll graciously link here! A short summary --Haibara and Ran are quite popular, while Satou has a pretty cute sense of humor. For more, check out the link!


By now it's all over the internet, but I have to talk about it a little as well --Dagashikashi is getting a second anime season in 2018! I have to say I'm surprised and excited to see that Hajime --who I've grown quite fond of is seemingly getting anime treatment in this upcoming season! Though more interesting than that but only slightly is that this new anime will not have the staff of the first season. This is usual but not unheard of --especially nowadays. The following is simply conjecture on my part, but I feel like production comittees are willing to take second look at adaptions that have made it big in other ways but for one reason or another didn't make a splash anime-wise. Perhaps they feel a different take on the material might be the key to success? This new team is definetly leaning closer to KOTOYAMA's art style, that's for sure. Tezuka Productions will be handling the animation for this season, replacing studio feel, and a new director --Satoshi Kuwabara will be handling the series. The commentary above suggests the VA's will reprise their roles --well Hotaru will, anyway, but I can't imagine they'd keep her and replace everyone else! 


Heard of the Koushien? It's a stadium located near Kobe Japan, where many baseball manga/anime/drama end up as it's where the national competitions for high school teams take place --though it's taken on a meaning in Japan of being the "top of the top". As such, the hobby feature of this week's issue is about the "Rap music Koushien". It's basically a beats beatdown that takes place August 16th and 17th, and two of the higlighted acts are Mogura the "IQ rapper" and W1NG the "pro rhyme master --a swag dog from Kouchi. Both of these guys are pretty young (19 and 18) and so have a lot to prove! I'd actually really like to see a rap battle manga in Sunday someday --would you?

 


Ran's looking picture perfect in the color page for Detective Conan's 1,000th installment. Interestingly enough this is the first color page Conan has had in 3 years! I've always wondered why Aoyama doesn't do color pages (not covers) more often, but I suppose it's probably a mixture of  not wanting to and not needing to. People are reading Conan regardless of whether it gets sparkly color pages on a regular basis like the other series in the magazine, and Aoyama draws him for covers often enough, so if he doesn't feel like doing them I guess there's no reason to force it. IT really is a shame though, because as one can see above, Aoyama's color pages are really beautiful. I realize he probably uses computers now --but there's a sense of warmth and hmm...coziness? that Conan color art has despite it's subject matter being murder, almost like a hand-painted illustration. 



This 1,00th chapter is already making it's round on the net, so I won't go too deeply into what happened, but in short it's Shinichi's return (temporarily?) as he goes with his friends and classmates on a trip to Kyoto. He's asked by a party also in the vicinity to solve a code, but when he arrives he and Sera find a bloody scene. Next issue is the investigation part, but I'm almost positive this won't be a normal 3 chapter case due to just how much is in play here. My question is this --will Aoyama use this momentous occasion to shake up the status quo? Personally speaking I don't think he will, but I could be wrong. We'll just have to wait until the next exciting episode of Detective Conan to find out. 


Megumi is up next and her problems are a little more "weighty" Sorry not sorry. Than Shinichi's. She's really become concerned with her weight, --she's gained a whole 4 kilo since spring! I do love Nekoguchi censoring her weight up top using a mosaic --it's almost as if this is done to "protect the innocent" and it's a really nice joke. 


Megumi's friends (and dog) remind her in indirect ways (the worst kind!) that losing weight is a heavy issue, and while I don't doubt she really wants to do her best to lose a few pounds, cheating by taking off all of your clothes and standing on the scale on tiptoe isn't fooling anyone, Megumi. I like how her mom casually says that recently she seems to love being naked on the right page. 


Megumi decides to take weight-loss quasi seriously and take on Yoga. Of course it wouldn't be manga timing if Ma-kun didn't accidentally walk in her in a literally compromising position, and Ma-kun wouldn't be himself if he didn't immediately let his mind run wild with ideas. 


Megumi explains herself and her current weight goals, and all Ma-kun sees is that she currently weighs more than he does. On the fourth panel on the right page, bear witness to Megumi hitting Ma-kun so hard that you can hear it all around Japan, haha. She may not be his girlfriend yet but he'd best learn when a girl asks if she's fat, it's better not to be honest. That is if Ma-kun survives his injuries, at any rate. I won't say that Megumi is free of lewdness, but I think it does a good job of balancing both cute fluff and heart racing antics to keep from being completely irrelevant which is always nice each time I have a chance to cover it. 



Hotaru plays pin-up on this week's color page announcing the 2nd season of the Dagashikashi anime! I know some fans aren't too pleased with the new anime's decision to use character designs that are closer to KOTOYAMA's artwork, but I personally really like his art, and it seemingly only gets better with each new installment of Dagashikashi. Of course to be fair, it comes down to how these designs will look animated, which we probably won't know until whenever the anime airs --which hasn't been decided. Though I'd wager it'll be in the winter season of 2018 due to the timing of this announcement and the specificity of it being next year. Of course I'm no expert so don't take my words as gospel! 


So this week's chapter is about marketing candy with "moe" characters, with a specific focus on Umami-chan. (The 'uma' in her name can mean "delicious".) She's the character pictured on the first color page above. Hotaru comments on marketing with "moe" characters and how effective they can be, while Koko states that while moe can be a motivator in purchases, it's also really embarrassing from time to time --something his father refutes by saying he used to be really into cuteness back in the day. Apparently Umami-chan is the little sister of the "umai-bou" mascot "Umaemon" who's probably (read most definitely) a take on "Doraemon" who's akin to Mickey Mouse in Japan. Hotaru says that "little sister" characters are really moe, and it's here Koko points out an interesting truth --as she is someone else's little sister, would that make her moe by association? 


Things sort of snowball from there as Koko points out that Umami-chan also kind of looks like Hotaru, and in some ways has her personality (being very overly enthusiastic, and a little clumsy) which seems to suggest that in fact she is Umami-chan which would make her brother --Yutaka Umaemon. It's at this moment that her older brother appears and Hotaru immediately starts calling him "Umaemon-niisan". Yutaka isn't too pleased with this and angrily states his name --which is interesting as he had abandoned said name to do his own thing --leaving the "Shidare" company in the hands of his little sister. So in a way Hotaru has fooled him into admitting he's still a Shidare! Which I guess is a little moe? Either way, I'm always impressed with how much story is packed into the funsized amount of pages (10 for this chapter) in each Dagashikashi chapter. Looking forward to season two of the anime! 


Pops slashes his way into his fifth chapter with a cool color page and a new character?! Meet Kaede, who's attached to the government! She's been observing Pops for some reason, and wonders here if he realizes just what kind of situation he --and to that extent, Japan is in with this mission he's accepted. 


We're taken back to a few days earlier where Abe explains the mission to Kaede and her importance to it--she's supposed to observe Pops and if he does somehow fail the mission to assassinate Perry, erase his existence. So in short she's their backup plan --and Pops' fate depends on what she sees and reports back to Abe and his cabinet. 




On this contractually obligated dual page spread, Kaede runs down the stats of the enemy --more than a thousand troops and one hundred ships. Getting close to Perry is the fevered dream of a madman in this situation, but Abe trusts Pops for some reason, so she should too --even though she's finding that harder to do the more she looks at the facts. 


I like that here Kaede runs through a possible plan as if she's the one executing it. So the two ships closest to Pops' current location are the Primas and Saratoga. If Pops wants to infiltrate, he'd probably go for the Primas as it's closest to him and it's crossing over to the Japanese penninsula so he'd be able to easily hide under water and grab upon the ship as it sails by. However Pops is...not doing those things and has instead made a fine feline friend. He's not just idling by though --apparently he can tell it's going to rain soon due to the cat cleaning it's face frequently. (I wonder how true that is?)



Pops uses the cat's eye (look how annoyed the little critter is, haha.) to determine that the rain is coming from the west. The bottom diagram illustrates that the wideness of the pupil has some connection to the rain's location? (Again I wonder how true this is.) The cat is having none of this and gives Pops a piece of it's mind before scampering off leaving him to get to the mission at hand. To Kaede's surprise, Pops doesn't hop in the water and crawl up from the underside --no, he uses the rain as subterfuge and leaps on in from above! 



Pops lands quietly upon the ship --so quietly that no one even knows he's there! Flashback to his training where he was submerged in snakes --if he moves a muscle or makes a sound the snakes would bite him to death --so being able to exist without showing signs of existence became a specialty of his. 


And now this page. What can I say? Ohgaki has made me a fan of his with his strong sense of storyboarding and shading technique --not to mention the little details. Observe the ship's floor where you can see puddles of rain and the reflection of the men as they look upward, oh and the fact that the scene is titled slightly to add weight to one side --giving significance to the fact that Pops has just hopped aboard and struts about as if he owns the place. Though the stars of the show here are the swallows that fly overhead and act not only as Pops' cover, but as a visual spectacle that gives this scene a visual significance that it wouldn't otherwise have without them. It's one thing to illustrate something that looks cool, but it is significant meaning and relevance to the story at hand that actually makes it cool. Everything came together in this moment to make it possible for Pops to sneak aboard the ship --the rain, the swallows, and the night scene. Nothing here is used to just impress us on a visual level, but on a visceral plot relevant one. Ohgaki, you madman, you. 


Kaede agrees with me that Pops is friggin' awesome, to the point that she can't even complete sentences. Though I wonder if she'll follow him or if this is the last we'll see of her? I doubt the latter as she's got a name and plot relevance, but I can't imagine she'll be able to pull off what he did (or maybe she can? After all she's basically charged with killing him if he fails, so she's gotta be pretty capable.) Pops meanwhile tells Perry to get ready to meet his maker, because the boogeyman is here. Not a literal translation, but hey let me have my fun.  Shinobi no keeps getting better each week, and I'm so glad that it's in this magazine right now --heck, I'd go as far as saying that Sunday needs it...though, it's to be seen if the Japanese agree with me. 


I have a pretty bad memory so I don't remember too well, but I find it interesting that Pops and Evans being on two opposite sides of pretty much every spectrum are back to back here. I think that's how it was last week, but again, not sure. Either way we leave Japan and head to the west for Evan's exploits this week --where his young assistant Ted finds a pocketwatch and Evans is able to immediately deduce who it belongs to. Ted is amazed and asks how he knows which Evan curtly responds that he should figure this out on his own. Meanwhile the text box by him very succintly says that it's Pheebs' watch --which is to say he's now got a reason to go to her house and that he's able to identify her property on first sight, hmm... 


Evans heads over to return Pheebs' watch, but then he's attacked by nature --apparently the milk he drank was out to pasture. He's about to leave --what kind of guy would want the lass he fancies to see him like this? But Pheebs happens to see him and asks what he's doing here. Poor Evans was hoping for a personal thank you from her, but not like this. Unfortunately for him, things play out exactly the way he wanted them to, except he now wants to leave so he can relieve himself. Pheebs won't have any of it, and offers him snacks as a thank you for returning her watch. 


I just think that Pheebs' idealized picture of Evans is so cute, heh. In any case she's got thoughts of her own in regard to this whole situation --if she plays her cards right, Evans might actually want to come see her more often! You two seriously need to just talk to each other --it'd be a lot less entertaining, but so much easier. In any case, Pheebs lives above a bar, and apparently there's a bit of a scuffle going on so she runs off to investigate --despite Evans saying he wouldn't mind taking a look (mostly because he hopes he can use that opportunity to escape to the bathroom.) Sadly, Pheebs' etiquette kicks in and she replies that guests shouldn't be forced to do anything. 


I don't think we've ever seen Pheebs in action on her own (though again, bad memory). But she's pretty dang good at gunslinging. Can we get a spinoff about her, Kuriyama-sensei?  Meanwhile Evans flips the Dad switch and gets a lecture about how being in a lady's house means forgetting about everything else going on. Dad's notes in desperation seem to get more desperate with each chapter, haha. 


Meanwhile Ted has arrived to tell Evans of the barroom brawl, and is proud of himself for correctly deducing that he is still at Pheebs' place. I love Evan's snark here as he's like "In what way was that a deduction?" In any case he --Evans manages to make it to the bathroom, --by going through the guys on the bottom floor and making it back without a scratch on him. When nature calls, you gotta answer, no matter what it takes, huh? At least they're able to leisurely have some tea now, so all's well that ends well! Next issue's preview suggests an affair that gets Pheebs in a tizzy, so that should be pretty interesting! 


From Pheebs house to the Demon King's castle we go with this week's Maoujo chapter. Y'know, the more I read this series, the more it becomes clear that while the plot summary says that the princess is the captive of the monsters, the actual series is about how the monsters are in fact subject to the princess's whims. This is a sour point touched upon in this chapter as the demon king himself laments this whole situation he's found himself in. This was supposed to be a thing where he kidnaps a princess,  and fights a hero --the classic stuff, but with a princess who's got high MP and a pretty selfish personality, it's become an exercise in pain. In hopes that maybe her highness will get a clue, the monsters decide to show her around the castle --specifically the place where they keep other hapless captives. The issue with this is that she completely misunderstands and thinks the captives are here to have a snack, and even after an explanation she's still unable to connect the dots as seen on the bottom of the right page.


Though after a bit of thought she starts to understand...something. Admittedly I only linked the right page because the princess is so cute when she's feigning(?) surprise. She's honestly never once thought she was a captive in the castle, and asks all the prerequisite things --"Do they get fed?" "Do they like it in those cramped spaces?" and so on. She's really just never considered that she is in fact not free to do anything --which implies she really doesn't care about leaving...? In any case, the monsters get an earful from the princess who...gives them an earful and tells them to stay away from her?! oh wow, they really weren't expecting this out of her --or well they were but they weren't mentally prepared to be hated --ish. The princess gives them what they want --telling them to stay away from her and how she dislikes the demons, but they all take this really hard. I guess their feelings are pretty complex. 


In the end the princess isn't sure what to do since she did what she thought they wanted and they don't like that, so she does what she knows best --takes a nap. In the end the monsters are back to square one, and the princess concerns herself wondering why humans and demons fight in the first place. It's pretty clear this is going from a hostage situation to a weird sort of reverse Stockholm syndrome. In any case the princess is here to stay. 


Raise those voices and Akuto! The next chapter of the voice acting quasi-battle manga begins exactly where the last left off --though really where would it begin? With the cast of the anime hearing about the news of Tamaki collapsing. Akuto takes this as well as you'd expect --he's supposed to crush Tamaki with his overwhelming skill today! How can he possibly do that if she's sick in bed somewhere!? Geez, not gonna win many sympathy points with that attitude, friend. Though on one level I can kind of understand his feelings --here he is ready to voice act the biggest battle of his career, and his opponent is out sick. That's gotta be difficult to process.


The manager of the agency explains the situation to the cast, and the parallels here are palatable. --Not so much in Tamaki having an ongoing sickness that does require her to be hospital bound from time to time, but that she refused visits from everyone, something the manager surmises is an attempt to hide her weakness from others, a facet Akuto understands all too well. The staff suggests that maybe Tamaki do the recording from her hospital room while they continue here in the studio, but Akuto ain't down with that --he wants a direct confrontation. Everyone's shocked at this --and that's totally fair, how could he be so insensitive? Though there's someone else who wants to have their say, and they surprisingly agree with our protagonist. 



Tamaki appears and she's also against recording separately! Her outfit and stance exudes power which I really enjoy. Even though she's sick, she's in no way weak. Also have a look at Akuto's expression on the right --this is the closest to overjoyed I've ever seen him, heh. In any case, the producer argues with them --it takes about six hours of work to record for a 30 minute anime, which is pushing things too hard for Tamaki! 


The two team up and shut him down however "Then let us at least record the final battle together!" I really like this page, not just for it's artistic merit, but in the sense that for the first time (as far as I've read at least) Akuto has a kindred spirit. Sure the two are only in this to take the other down, but, that sense of rivalry is the spirit of shounen manga that I enjoy so much. The manager signs off on this, so after a brief detour, the show is back on the road in the next issue!! 


Tensions run high in the this chapter of Tenshou no quadrable --probably for the first time in the entire series, the four protags are having a bit of a falling out, and while I feel kind of bad saying this --it's actually the most interesting the series has been in a long while. Perhaps rather than having conflicts with enemies, the series needed inner conflict within the set of leads to really take off. In any case, Migel is not taking Julian's desire to use Manshou's ability to heal those who are sick with the virus in this city --at great risk to himself all that well. 


Migel doesn't want to see his partners in harms way,  --which is the center of conflict...can they really save others if they are not willing to risk themselves? Manshou says that it isn't like Migel to be violent like this, and demands he apologize to Juilan, something he isn't willing to do. Why should Manshou sacrifice himself for others? Why should any of his friends have to? It's this thought that keeps him from opening up with the others, and as such isolates Juilan from the group as seen on the right page. 



The remaining three boys are presented to the remaining members of the Church as the saviors they have prayed for. Meanwhile Shun --who I just realized is Julian's little sister, goes to get her brother who has decided to keep his distance from the group --not surprisingly. 


Mostly linked cause Shun --as her big brother himself says is really pretty in that dress. Julian trips some flags in his conversation with his kid sister --she asks if he'll teach her some techiniques she wasn't too sure about and he promises to --tomorrow. How many times have promises like that gone unfulfilled...that being said, it's a really nice moment between the siblings even if it's full of foreboding.


During the dinner where the boys are being introduced the church, two guys --Ranmaru and Yasuke make an explosive entrance, and judging from how familiar the protagonists are with them, it's safe to assume there's some sort of history --but yet they're attacking the boys? But for what reason? According to the splash text on the side, Yasuke is an African in the employ of Nobunaga, while Ranmaru is simply described as a "pretty boy". While this is going on, Julian approaches --or is approached by Nobunaga who he reprimands for being late. --It seems they've got a deal to strike, and as I said earlier, now the series seems to be getting interesting even though it's at the cost of the protagonist's bond. 


Souboutei is in --or well actually the house next, and poor Rokuro is terrified out of his mind. Not that I blame the poor kid, Fujita's horror filled art is pretty creepy. Actually as an aside --I noticed that in the newest volume of Souboutei that Fujita mentioned the series will approach the end of it's first half in the next volume --#6. While that in and of itself isn't too strange, what is a little funny is how Fujita's shounen Sunday works are usually at least 20-30 volumes, and while there's nothing saying Souboutei has to follow suit, it would be weird for him to break precedent now of all times. 


Rokuro runs for his life while thinking back to his father which has the simultaneously expected but  unexpected result of emboldening him. He thinks back to how the house ate his father --making him it's thrall, but he was able to manage one last act as a loving parent --to keep himself from killing his son under the house's influence, allowing Rokuro to escape with his life. 


This is what I love about Fujita's art. There's just so much intensity in every panel --Fujita doesn't take breaks or phone anything in even when it'd be perfectly fine to do so. Not to mention the tempo here is wonderfully done. From flashback, to action, to reaction. Rokuro remembers how his father gave his life to save his, and comes to the realization that being scared of something like the souboutei is only natural --but allowing that fear to stop him from enacting his revenge and doing what he must is what he cannot allow. It's only after this that the Souboutei goes from a mysterious spectre of fear into something manageable something understandable, which is truly a great representation of the human condition --it's fine to be scared, but letting that fear hold one in place is what causes problems. 


Now that he's calm, Rokuro takes notice of a girl's portrait --one that's about his age. It's from there that the scene changes to his older sister Kurenai as she transverses the house with Kaerikuro. There's a little bit of levity when she lifts her veil to see her face, lamenting it's a waste on her since she's so beautiful. --Though Kaerikuro seems to disagree, saying that she's ugly and that's why she hides her face --apparently the ones who raised her "Hakusui Shiragikyou" (Which taking a stab at a literal TL means something like "Rice colored white castle classroom" --though I'm pretty sure there's a double meaning thing going on here) often remarked on how ugly she was... 


The old lady who raised her says here on the left that due to her white skin and pale features, people are bound to have impure intentions upon seeing her, hense her name being "Kaerikuro" or (as I mentioned upon her introduction), "return to black." Kurenai can't believe this and remarks that her foster parents must have been head-cases as she's stunningly beautiful. Kaerikuro thanks her for the compliment, but says she's used to wearing the mask --which Kurenai expresses her displeasure at. It really is a shame though. 


Levity aside, Kaerikuro reveals that the land the Souboutei currently resides on has been cursed since the Heian period --back when it was merely a swamp. It all started with a shooting star way back --the first case and first person that began the curse of Souboutei. We're gonna get more history, and I'm really interested in knowing where this is all going to go. 


Ah, I know what you're thinking. "You posted this last week!" I did, but this week it's serving as a bridge between Daiiku no Hatou (which I sadly don't have time to cover this week) and Saike, who's coming up next. Again, it's some really cute advertising for this helpful cat's manga --"Nekottake!" Hime's working hard, and that means I gotta do my part and cover Saike!

.

Saike once again, and again, and again with the sixth chapter of the brother's arc. (Wow that many? Seems like this just started!) Ana finds herself in a bind when she loses control of her hand and gives herself a shiner --it's obvious that this is under the influence of their enemy who seems to have the ability to manipulate threads. --Sound familiar? If it doesn't, I'd recommend buying needle, thread and making a Dressrosa as a reminder. 


Rival magazines aside, the baddie they're up against this time around is a guy who treasures sticking to a strict schedule. We get a brief Ueki cameo on the left (Tenko!) as he gibly explains his power that uses patchwork as a activation condition. Gotta love that with the right author/manga that something as rudimentary as patchwork and embroidery can be a deadly weapon, and this guy is no joke! He's got control of Ana's hand, and he proceeds to use this to choke Saike. He explains that Ana's hand is now his "work" and all works have the soul of their artists in them, as such they are his to command!


Despite Saike traveling through this day already, their opponent is scary strong. Ana's able to ward him off by taping her hand to the floor and keeping it from moving as he deems fit. This is enough to keep him from using her as a weapon against Saike --and therefore giving him the ability to head back in time and start the day over. He's stated he loves schedules, so Ana's quip on the right is particularly badass --"I'm cancelling your schedule" 


Saike now has a complete understanding of his abilities, and thanks to Ana can now make it to Mogura pond to start over. Though I know there's a sense of suspending willing disbelief that comes with shounen manga, this does bother me a bit --Saike heads back via taxi and goes to drown in a lake without any questions asked? Especially considering how beat up he is, and that he's without the girl he came with? I'd want to think that'd raise a few eyebrows, but I also realize this is what is required to move the story along. Still, I don't want to seem like I only blindly praise Saike because I love Fukuchi, so I felt like this was worth noting, as well as...


My general issue toward Saike's abilities overall, which is they take a bit of tension away from the fights. Granted, so far Fukuchi has changed up his M.O a bit...his past series have been more about fighting in place of plot while Saike is definitely more about plot that leads to conflict, which makes sense since Saike is --as gamers would say "broken". The only way the series would be at all entertaining is if he uses his ability as little as possible which is why I did enjoy the last three volumes more than the ones before them. That being said, now Saike can simply reverse time and redo where he messed up in this fight so the conflict becomes "How can Fukuchi keep this interesting when the baddie is going to use the same tactic since he doesn't realize he's done this before, but we do?" It's an enduring question I have about Saike, and while it hits all the right notes for me generally, It is a sense of ongoing dread for me as I wonder how long Fukuchi can keep it up. Sorry for the detour, but I felt like I had to comment about this. In any case, Saike makes it back to that day snd promises Koutarou that he will save his brother in the next loop. Can he do it, and more importantly can Fukuchi make it interesting? Next issue..!!


Some really great perspective shots open up the 13th chapter of Meteor Girl. I really think Ishiyama uses the advantages of this medium well in these pages/panels by showing the same things from different angles as Tetto looks out to see Hane, and then the MG falling toward him. The angle of his face on the left is great horror manga technique which I quite like. Though we're not here to hear me talk about this stuff, we're here to discuss what it matters to the plot. 


Tetto heads out to check on Hane who is unresponsive, while Ryoko takes on the man in black (love the situation appropriate graffiti in the second panel), as the man in black complains about how he's normally supposed to collect MG's, but since it's his day off, he's out to literally bust some heads and not take any names. Ryoko manages to make off with the head before he can destroy it, and runs to find Tetto, just to find...


That Tetto is about to go to down on the MG who hurt Hane. Ryoko tries to convince him not to --that if he were to attack the MG then he'd be no better than the man in black that shot her MG-ized sister. Tetto starts to listen to reason asking what he should do then? Unfortunately the MG seizes this opportunity to flip him off (hah) turns out it (she?) isn't feeling quite as pacifistic as Ryoko is. 


Luckily(?) for them the man in black catches up with the duo and blasts the MG to smithereens. This guy has one screw loose as he comments "I have such good timing...sorta like a messiah, yeah? Gonna fall in love with me?" On a not pictured page. Ryoko ignores him and runs over to give Hane medical attention... (oh right, she is a nurse --I forgot!) Which brings me to the point of how I like that she was just dragged into this situation due to her sister being one of the MGs. Like she has no other attachments to the plot, but I really like how Ishiyama is using her as a voice of reason to Tetto and Hane who have more investment in the events so far --she's unattached while being attached which gives her a unique perspective of things in the story so far.  


She immediately tells Tetto to call an abulance while she tries to revive Hane, and the man in black taunts Tetto by calling this a useless effort. After all, Hane's a girl so she'll just come back as an MG, so why bother? Tetto starts to get annoyed with his provications, so much so that he misses the MG behind him stirring...the conflicts are running high in this series, and what comes up must come down. Where will the meteor drop? Maybe next issue will reveal more info...?


Back for his monthly visit is Yuugami-kun with a staple of school based manga --the sports festival. Of course it goes without saying that a guy who wants as little to do with friendship as possible would be thoroughly disinterested in this extremely public event. So what's a Yuugami to do? 



Well, we know what Sakurai is going to do --ignore him and give us a new character! Or well, new to me at any rate. This guy--Ryouta Yaegashi hates sports festivals just as much as Yuugami, but less because the notion of friendship sickens him, and more because he's just terrible at sports. (I guess that makes him more relatable?) To his temporary pleasure, it's announced that the teams will be split between genders to make boy/girl teams. Sadly Ryouta has had a pretty terrible past with female teammates, from Kuwata who was super pushy, to Hamaguchi who would only stare at him every time they fell over...yikes. Though this year he gets Chihiro who's been the one girl who bothered to say good morning to him every day and generally isn't terrifying. Good job little buddy! 


Ryouta is bad at syncing up for the three-legged race, and so Chihiro is forced to take the initiative. Even without Japanese knowledge, you can see on the left how this little gesture has a big effect on the guy. Practice sessions continue until the day of the actual festival comes, and everyone is ready and raring to go!


Ryouta just wants to be useful, and the first game is about tossing balls into a hoop, which he helps out his team by grabbing as many fallen balls as possible and giving them to Yuugami who is the school's baseball ace. Ryouta wonders if he's been useful at all to which Yuugami gives him that thumbs up on the right. I'm not sure if it's actually to cheer the kid on or whatever, but it's enough to send him --Ryouta over the moon so hey, whatever works! 


The next event is the cavalry race, which Yuugami is oddly hyped about. Though his reasoning is that this is the last time --high school, where he'll be able to participate in a sports festival, so he's going to go all out which is the opposite of his usual lassiez-faire attitude towards...life. It's enough to cause one of his classmates to swoon. Ryouta overhears this and figures he's got nothing to lose by going all out even if he sucks, so he takes Yuugami's lead --which usually leads to trouble. 

That's the thing about competition though, even someone who's normally not competitive can become a warrior when surrounded by like-minded individuals, and it's exactly what happens to Ryouta who gets really involved in the competition as his spirit to win awakens. It's thanks to him and the other members of the team that they're able to take a victory, but ironically the guys are so happy they win that they accidentally drop him off in their glee which results in a foot injury taking him out of the three legged race. 


Ugh, Ryouta was really looking forward to racing with his angel Chihiro, but can't now that his leg is injured. Yuugami is candid when he goes to Chihiro and states that Ryouta probably wouldn't have been able to win anyway, but he can with his new competitive spirit! Chihiro is rightfully skeptical, but then in that final panel when Yuugami grips her shoulder to synch their movements for the race, she allows herself a little blush....and as the side text says, this is a total "oooooh" type of development! What will happen to Ryouta? Is this going to trip a Chihiro X Yuugami flag? We'll have to wait until issue #43 to find out --so next month! 


In the 311th chapter of Mushibugyo, Jinbee died. The end. No, wait, wait, wait. That's kind of sudden, but it is very much what's stated on this page. Of course with shounen manga, there's always more to it than that --especially in regard to the protagonist. I mean, can you imagine Fukuda actually killing Jinbee? No way! .....Right? 


Jinbee isn't about to take this lying down, and does everything he can to escape from this strange possible afterlife he's ended up in. He has people to protect, and a place to return to! There's no way he can give up! Meanwhile his opponent just watches him futilely swing his sword around while enjoying a spot of tea. 


But even his zen-like patience runs out and he attacks Jinbee stating that he intends to enjoy his time here --something he can't do while Jinbee is noisily swinging around his sword and talking about protecting others. 


Wielding a sword made from the "heart of the world", he prepares to take on Jinbee who finally asks the important question --why bother stopping him if he's dead? The reason is simple --you're an eyesore. He also drops a hint of how this world works --in the "heart of the world" the one who has the strongest will, will be victorious. Jinbee has will in spades so he figures he's fine, until his opponent whispers something in his ear --and that's enough to shatter his arm! Just what happened?! 


To my surprise, (and probably everyone's) Kuro returns for a second week in a row! Things seem to look up for Makoto and her crush on Kuro's master, until he thanks her for everything she's done for him up until now --sort of like something someone who's about to leave for good would say, which he quickly confirms....and even Kuro is surprised by this. Apparently he's being transferred, and the notification was only handed down to him by his boss recently...it all makes sense that he was too busy to see Makoto last week, because he was preparing for this big move. 


Neither Makoto or Kuro's master are able to say what's clearly on their mind, so the youkai tries to forcefully bring them together, and fails...it seems this is a love story that will remain unrealized, but what can Kuro who remains unseen and unheard do? Sadly we're not going to find out for a while, as there is no Sunday issue next week, and in order to prepare the volume release, Satou is taking a break in issue #39. So Youkai giga will be back in issue #40 and that chapter could very well be another unrelated Youkai story. Ahh waiting is so painful...!


And that's it for this week my friends! It was a lot to cover, but since Sunday --and by extension I will be off next week, I thought doing more was only fair! Next issue brings us the return of Zettai Karen Children, which for fans of that should be exciting news! The advert above makes it very clear that the final arc is beginning in earnest, but as I've noted in the past, Shounen "final arcs" can take as long as the author feels like drawing them out. Still, I was wondering if it'd really return this summer as advertised, and it just barely made it. Not surprisingly it'll (probably?) get a color page for it's return, but sharing this glory will be Tenshi and Akuto, and Be Blues which is reaching it's 300th installment, and capping this off is Yumi Oukada who will be on the cover. So it's a lot to look forward to, but a bit of time till we get it. I'm not going to promise that I'll do something in place of the missing issue, but I will certainly try. Until then, take care, and have a great Sunday!

5 comments:

  1. I actually didn't realize this was posted last week else I would've commented earlier.

    Can't wait for the translated chapter of this issues' Yuugami. Every time I see a manga with a sports festival though, I can't help but think that School Rumble probably did it best (not really bashing on Yuugami, just a thought). To me, that series sets the bar for the school and romantic comedy settings.

    Thanks for the coverage as always.

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    1. First, thanks for commenting!

      It'd be nice if someone would officially pick up Yuugami again...the scans have been stalled for some time now, and sadly I just don't have time to do it myself. School rumble is an anime that someone else brought to my attention, and while I'm not all that fond of romantic comedies it looks cute enough so it's on my radar at least.

      And you're welcome! Thanks for reading.

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    2. School Rumble is the top of the line romcom series for me. It's the comedic parts that I enjoyed the most as well as the details that go into each characters (which is quite a lot) and that in turn makes almost every character interaction unique and interesting. Harima Kenji (the male MC) is very simplistic, rough, and most people find him scary but is incredibly motivated to achieve his goals and works hard to get them. In a way, I guess that's why I find Yuugami himself very interesting. Most characters probably don't see things the way he does but he still puts a lot of effort into doing something he finds interesting.

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  2. i'm living vicariously through you because no one is translating quadrable yet _(:'3」∠)_
    i'm probably biased since i like Arai-sensei's art and also the way he writes tragic backstory but i don't want his work to get axed again

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    1. Thanks for commenting!

      I think now that there's a bit of conflict between the leads, the series is a bit more interesting (hence me covering it a bit more.) So hopefully this is the shot in the arm it needs to be more successful. Of course we really won't know until the first volume hits shelves next month but it's TOC showings have been average to worrying at best...

      In any case I thank you for reading and hope you'll continue to do so! I can't promise I'll cover Quadrable every week, but I will try to keep up with it as much as possible!

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