Monday, February 19, 2018

Weekly Shounen Sunday #13 (2018)

It's Tuesday but we stop time and graciously re-live Sundays on this blog of dreams! Welcome back everyone to Sunday on Tuesday with me your always happy to welcome you back host. I've got a lot to talk about, so let's not waste even a moment and get right to the goods.

I might not be a fan of how Matsuena features T&A but the guy can draw like almost no one else in the magazine. I really do like his character designs even if they can get to be kinda same-y. Kimi wa 008 has the looks, but does it have the substance? That's what I aim to find out in this week's entry among other things. 63 pages along with the monthly visit from Yuugami and chapter two of Cawaii are going to really make me sweat, but I'm up to the challenge! 

Gotta start from the T.O.P with the TOC.

Kimi wa 008 by Shun Matsuena (New series/ Lead color page Cover)
Tonikaku Cawaii by Kenjirou Hata (Chapter 3)
Major 2nd by Takuya Mitsuda (Chapter 128) 
Hatsukoi Zombie by Ryou Minenami (Chapter 114/Color page) 
Komi-san wa Komyushou Desu by Tomohito Oda (Chapter 126/127)
Be Blues! by Motoyuki Tanaka (Chapter 321)
Dagashikashi by KOTOYAMA (Chapter 179)
Amano Megumi wa Suki darake by Nekoguchi (Chapter 111)
Tantei Xeno to Nanatsu satsujin misshitsu Story by Kyouichi Nanatsuki Art by Teppei Sugiyama (Chapter 11)
Maiko-san chi no Makanai- san by Aiko Koyama (Chapter 56)
Souboutei Kowasubeshi by Kazuhiro Fujita (Chapter 91)
Marry Grave by Hidenori Yamaji (Chapter 9)
Sokyuu no Ariadne by Norihiro Yagi (Chapter 10)
Daiku no Hatou by Michiteru Kusaba (Chapter 40)
Shinobi no by Rokuro Ogaki (Chapter 29)
Tenshi & Akuto!! By Aya Hirakawa (Chapter 153)
Maoujo de oyasumi by Kagiji Kumanomata (Chapter 89)
K.O.I King of Idol by Tamaki Wakaki (Chapter 35)
Saike Matashitemo by Tsubasa Fukuchi (Chapter 105)
Hoankan Evans no Uso ~Dead or Love~ by Mizuki Kuriyama (Chapter 43)
Yuugami-kun ni wa tomodachi gai inai by Jun Sakurai (Chapter 67)
Zettai Karen Children by Takashi Shiina (Chapter 496)
Youkai Giga by Satsuki Satou (Kuro part 21)
Tokaichi hitoribocchi nouen by Yuji Yokoyama (Chapter 11)

Not in this issue are the following:

Detective Conan

Now this looks more normal compared to last week. It pains me to see Saike being so low, maybe just as bad as Evans being immediately under him. Sunday tends to advertise what they think needs it and let stuff that is doing well enough on it's own to it's own devices, but I can't help but worry about Evan's sudden drop. At the very least Xeno and Marry Grave has climbed up a little bit which is good for them, though for the most part this is as stable as stable gets in the magazine with no one shots, and only one series that's usually running on break. 

The gulf between a person's power and a person's justice is known as "bravery". It's with these words and Masuena's gorgeous color pages that we're brought into the world of his newest work "Kimi wa 008" which as depicted on the page above this paragraph is read "You are Double 0 Eight". The tagline of the series promises a "Spy Action" story, and those who know Matsuena from his previous work on Kenichi and Tokiwa probably are well aware of his action chops, but will this series spy a success? Only time will tell --though at least for now we can investigate this first chapter secret spy style. 

The chapter starts out with failure. No, no, I don't mean the serialzation or anything, I mean for the protagonist. He's failed to get into any schools be they his choice or otherwise, leaving his future in the lurch. His mother, older sister and little brother don't help matters when he returns home with his results in tow, though they reveal that it's not necessarily like Eight --weird name, but lets roll with it, is a bad student, so how could he fail....everywhere? Mastuena's over the top art is often accompanied by an over the top sense of humor, and that's out in full force here when Eight's mom Misaki prays to her dead husband for strength. His sister proposes he goes to work, and Eight responds to this with "I don't wanna!" I like this family relationship already, hah. 

His little brother Kenta cheers him up with news of a letter from another school, and if his expression on the page didn't make it clear, it seems he's been saved from entering society --at least for now, but he says he really doesn't remember applying for this school, hmm. Admittedly I'm thoroughly impressed by Matsuena's ability to have such clean artwork and panel spreads for a weekly manga, even though I know enough about him to know that he heavily employs the use of computers in his work. Still, his draftsmanship is something that can't be denied! That being said, he does revel in the old school tropes (I wonder how old he is) --not that that there's anything wrong with this of course, but the stuffing food in one's mouth as they hurry off to school late is as manga/anime as they is..

Meeting the pretty girl on your first day. 

Eight's expectations from school are also charmingly cliched --hang out with the guys getting into mischef, maybe a love triangle between two girls --y'know like in those harem anime! Though none of these happen --at least not out of the gate when he runs into this girl who apparently owns an owl, and has a school uniform that looks off to him --do girls often wear hats like that? She gives him a once over, and leaves where she runs into a few guys who find her manner of dress strange as well. Eight steps in to be the brave lad he is, but gets utterly defeated. The girl who hasn't spoken before now finally does and asks if he's a transfer student, implying his suck with fighting means he must be a unique transfer. She then realizes she's going to be late and leaves, but the guys aren't satisfied with this ending to events --guess someone's going to need to teach them a lesson, and it most certainly isn't going to be Eight. 

Ah Matsuena, although I wish you'd do something about your reliance on T&A, you certainly do know how to draw a dual page spread with all of the details intact. The sense of space and speed in this page are incredible! 

Eight takes the girl and beats a quick getaway, but the girl claims she's forgotten something --to finish them off, which to her is simply common sense. Like Eight, I have to wonder what kind of common sense she's talking about, but I admit I like the quiet and kind of spacey characters like her. They reach the school after a bit to find an eensy weensy problem --there doesn't seem to be an entrance. They follow one student and he disappears before they can find out his deal, and another seems to be climbing that behemoth of a wall. The girl notices a nearby vending machine looks strange and when she investigates it, she finds an entrance! 

The girl finally introduces herself as way of thanks for Eight trying to save her --she's Ayame Kido. Ayame's very...well, she moves along at her own pace doesn't she? In a situation like this to introduce herself....and yeah this is definitely feeling like a spy-school type manga with stuff like this in it. 

I do like these views Matsuena uses not for that reason though, or, okay, maybe a little. As it does portray how out of his element Eight is, as well as how normal this is to Ayame. It's only now that Eight actually asks what kind of school this is, and Ayame explains it's one for training secret agents. Orientation is being able to make it into the school walls using any method available to you, as one guy throws a rope at a nearby building and scales his way in, while another searches using a metal detector of sorts. It's very quickly at this moment that Eight realizes his idyllic school life is slowly fading out of reach. Eight is undaunted and tries to rush his way in before first bell, but is hit by a land mine --no wonder the other guys did their best to avoid just casually strolling in. 

Another student is in danger of being left behind, and while Eight wants to help him he doesn't have the means to. Ayame suggests they get moving, but Eight remembers his father --a man who saw trouble and did his best to look the other way. Unfortunately an outburst from his son at an inopportune moment while out on the town and encountering guys beating up a civilian keeps him from beating the quick escape he was hoping to. Eight gets involved in matters, and when his son gets hurt, Dad steps in to take care of things himself...

With a dual page spread that reminds us that this is indeed the man behind "History's Greatest Disciple Kenichi." The intensity and clean artwork are spellbinding. Even the impacts upon the baddies are crafted to give a sense of movement! Matsuena I want to dislike you but spreads like this make it very, very hard. 

Like father like son --right down to the sense of weight in the dual page spread. Although the encounter with the thugs was one that Eight was told to keep secret from his mother, the lesson he learned from back then remains with him as he dashes over to the student in peril --he might not be good at fighting, and completely confused by what's going on, but his father's request to be brave to cover that gulf between his power and his justice is one he'll always set out to fulfill! 

He runs through the mine field and saves the student in trouble, but not after getting pretty messed up himself. Still it seems stoic Ayame at least takes pity on him as she along with the student help him to the door despite being late themselves. 

The headmaster's speech here about how agents work in the shadows to support the country and keep it afloat really reminds me of the movie "Kingsmen". Though the idea itself of a clandestine group secretly saving the world isn't unique to that movie, I guess it's his way of dress and character design that makes me associate the two. The lecturer makes it clear that they will be risking their lives here, and that the other instructors are not going to make things easy. Even though Eight vehemently refuses to consent, his feelings are not acknowledged and he's dragged into the school of spies. 

Later the head master Araragi welcomes Eight in personally, revealing that he was the one to scout and invite Eight into the school. Although he was scared for a minute that Eight would fail which would have been problematic. Eight is less than thrilled with this rather laid back decision made on his behalf, and is about to use his fist to complain, but Araragi easily dispatches him. 

Araragi didn't just choose Eight on a whim --apparently he has a contract with his father saying the boy would be a secret agent sometime in the future --in fact they were comrades in arms --both top class agents, something Eight had no idea of. Yeah, the "Kingsmen" vibes I'm getting from this manga only intensify, which admittedly gets me more into it. Also I rather like the way Matusena gave a qualitative explanation of what "bravery" is, where most media just treat it as something that exists, having it as the bridge between "power" and "justice" is something that is true despite us never really thinking about it. Still this whole package is very Mastuena which fills me with a bit of...I wouldn't say dread necessarily, but I'm cautious in regard to getting my hopes up. Kenichi despite it's faults was very good, and while Tokiwa had a strong start, it quickly became a big mess. I'm hoping 008 can err toward the former more than the latter, of course but there's no denying that this first chapter while cliched was very much enjoyable. 

Hata's surprisngly moving very slowly with Cawaii after the rocket boost like pacing that we got last week. This chapter is essentially Tsukasa (the wife) and Nasa (the husband) doing things right. No romantic misunderstandings or outlandish reactions,'s very straightforward. Tsukasa shows up at Nasa's home and while he's happy to see her again, he's a bit put off with this sudden proposal, but despite all the time passing she's still, well. adorable immediately compromising Nasa's thinking. Tsukasa being kind of blase about the whole situation --well, no, that may not be the best way to put it. She does seem to genuinely want to get married to Nasa, but her proposal and attitude is very dry. She comments on how nice his house is and sips tea as Nasa somewhat regrets letting her in because he's not at all sure how to proceed with this extremely awkward meeting. Though the awkwardness doesn't end there --Tsukasa has come prepared with a Marriage registration. 

And here's the Marriage Registration in all of it's glory. Tsukasa has already filled her part (Her last name is Tsukuyomi, BTW, which makes me wonder if we do get a supernatural element will it have something to do with space travel as --y'know, "Nasa" and the moon motif --tsukuyomi is a moon God in Japanese culture, and in this case utilizes the kanji for "moon reading"....could Nasa be in fact getting married to a Goddess?! It would make sense, kinda. Sorta.) In any case, I suppose this page is less a drawing and more probably the scan of an actual contract, but it tells us a lot. She's seemingly from tokyo, and the oldest daughter of "Tarou" and "Hanako" --and that rings...hollow somehow to me. Tarou and Hanako are the Japanese equivalents to "Jane and John doe". This just gets more and more mysterious....and intriguing. 

Nasa signs it figuring "Hey, she's cute so even if this is a sham I don't care". Say what you want about Tsukasa, but Nasa isn't wrong in saying she's cute, above she "tests out" her new name "Tsukasa Yuzaki" and seems to really like it --being a newlywed. The chapter ends with Nasa being full of anxiety, but shrugging it off upon seeing his wife's smile. As I mentioned last week, Hata just got married himself, --and another mangaka Ken Akamatsu pointed out that perhaps he's using his own marriage to promote his manga (or the other way around?) Either way I admit to being far more taken by this series than I expected to. The sense of mystery surrounding Tsukasa and the gentle pace that eschews typical romantic comedies. If this really is just Hata walking us through his marriage in manga format that could be interesting on it's own, but I have a feeling something more "exciting" its own it's way. 

Hatsukoi is going to Hatsukoi, which basically translates to "be as cute as possible." Ryou Minenami's art is always a darling to look at as everyone prepares for Tarou's birthday party. Surely this is going to lead to some romantic developments as two of the girls who are crushing on him will be in attendance, and the end of the chapter seems to all but confirm this. It's always a thing for me to cover this series, since I'm never sure how much I should say or spoil in this case. I'm not keeping up with the scanslations of the series either, but I did have a glance before and it does seem that they're a little behind, so maybe I could talk a little bit more about the series in future blogposts. For now, just embrace the cute and anticipate the fireworks. 

Komi-san is on point with Valentines day memories as Tadano tries to convey his gratitude to Komi with a white day gift, but is prevented by his embarrassment from getting very far. Oda (not that one)'s storyboarding is back again, and I never realized how much I missed it until now. I can imagine Tadano sorta twirling around in his chair as he thinks to himself due to the BG being static but each of his movements from the way he arches his back and stares upward aimlessly to his panic are all articulated well here. He's so absorbed in reliving the moment and questioning it's meaning that he pretty much gets stuck looping the same ideas over and over. Ah, to be young and incredibly naive...

His sister eventually notices his anxieties, and tries to lend a helping hand. She figures if she gave him something tasty to eat, why not just return the favor? Tadano wants to give her something a little more substanial, and his sister confronts him with the truth he's been dancing around --"Do you like her?" she asks. Tadano denies this because of course, but Hitomi --his sister is pretty dogged in her pursuit of an actual answer since he's not saying he doesn't like her but isn't saying he does and yeah it just kind of circles around like this again. 

Finally he admits he might be interested in her, and Hitomi's reaction of "Oh my gosh, my brother is adorable", is the best part of this chapter. It's so condescendingly genuine, hah. Hitomi has more or  less grasped her brother's situation and goes to get something for him to give to Komi using her connections online and research, as their mom watches on in secret proud of her boy possibly finding a girl he likes. This family is awesome, and I don't care what you think. 

The very short next chapter is about the unlucky "Friday the 13th" which is the day before White Day ---but since White Day itself is on a Saturday, the students can only do their exchanges on this rather foreboding occasion.  Not surprisingly Komi has plenty of admirers giving her chocolates and other things (all quite strange, If I'm to be honest.) 

Tadano starts to offer his gift to Komi but ends up inviting his classmate Katai to lunch instead because he's just far too nervous to talk to her. It's great that Katai is kind of like "wait is this a date?" but c'mon least nothing bad happened that Friday the thirteenth if the narration box is to be believed. 

Koko and and Hajime are stuck in the snow in this week's chapter of Dagashikashi --and things get strained from the beginning when Koko gets a eye full and Hajime assumes this to mean that he's prioritizing his bottom half over their current situation. Then the finger pointing starts --apparently Koko wanted to see the moon from this spot and Hajime had said further out would be best. It gets even weirder when Hajime starts to feel sort of...disappointed in this situation? --She immeditely realizes how that sounds and keeps that to herself --but it does seem that KOTOYAMA is following up on the romantic tension introduced some time ago. I don't know really how to feel about this, but before I pass judgement I'll see where it goes. At least, I think this arc will go on a bit longer so we'll have some answers sooner rather than later, I'd imagine. They're still stuck in that car and it doesn't look likely that they'll be saved anytime soon --it just depends on how far KOTOYAMA wants to take this scenario. I do like how Koko and Hajime try to convince themselves that they're family so this is totally okay though, hah. 

The case is closed on this week's chapter of Xeno. I gotta admit I love his brand of theatrics when doing his deductions --falling over from his perch in the building to reveal that it was actually the puppet made of him at the outset of this case. While Conan's got the sleeping Kogoro thing going on, Xeno's showmanship is what keeps these deductions interesting. It turns out the culprit of the case is the Principal's secretary, Rin Kishida, and she weaponized sound to commit the murder. See, the building in the shape of a viola uses aluminum plating that has been stacked upon itself.  During the day nothing out of sorts occurs, but at night when the winds pick up it makes a sound that is undetectable to the human ear, but is able to be picked up by perception which can cause headaches and such, all without explanation. Onikobe asks if "sound waves" have the ability to murder, and Xeno continues his explanation. 

The condensation of the sound waves are captured by the "horn" building and spread out around the campus in varying intensities via a echo lens, and as these continue to reverberate they grow stronger, and at their peak, if they're released through a mouth piece, then they become a "beam" of sound  which bounces off the nearest wall and into the principle's office window --a sound far above what a human's hearing can perceive. To the principal, this sound would have formed airbubbles in his blood stream --Cavitation, which would have filled his bloodstream, killing him painfully, and thus forming the second of Kai's murder doors. 

Xeno's figured out the "how" but not the "why". Kishida should have wanted to kill someone else --not the principal, so why did things end up this way, and why was she driven to kill in the first place? Moreover, who was she trying to kill? The answer to the last of these questions is the lecturer Jirou Kusano, who isn't even sure himself why he'd be marked for murder. Apparently the true composer of the "Muse's revenge" was going to be revealed and Kishida wanted the true artist to receive this credit, and that was Sena, not Kuano, and even Shizuka had noticed the disparities between the motif and themes of the two when compared to each other. 

Shizuka had found the note from Kishida in Sena's things and in a flustered hurry put it with her paper work and although she had been invited after class to talk to Kusano, left in a hurry where she had talked to Sena, where Murata had overheard this and thought she was up to something when in fact she wasn't. However when she left she dropped the notice from Kishida, and the principle picked it up thinking that his secret with Kusano was about to be revealed. He then went back to his office to prevent this, which is why he was there rather than Kusano, and the murder happened just as Xeno explained.  Unfortunately for Kishida, Kusano had no intention of taking the credit, and was to refuse getting such a high honor for a work he merely admired, so in the end the murder was one that didn't need to happen. 

Xeno asks Kishida where she found the instructions for this murder, but she reveals she didn't find anything, rather it was sent to her by some mysterious benefactor --leaving Xeno no closer to finding out how these murder doors work or who's sending these instructions for perfect crimes out. Xeno has won the battle, but is still far from winning the war against the one who seeks to commit the "perfect crime", and it's for sure a new opening will appear before long. 

Seiichi is going to pieces as Soubouei opens up this week. Perhaps his single minded desire to destroy the house has been his saving grace since he hasn't really had any time to think about his situation --I.e, his parents being gone, but now that he's had a moment to consider (and the house itself has reminded him), he falls apart as he watches his mother dissolve before him. Zanka's there to keep him from going to pieces all alone, but even he can't keep the house from taking Seiichi's being for too long. Seriously though, I feel bad for Seiichi, but when it gives Fujita license to draw scenes like this, I can't help but enjoy it. To add tragedy to insult, the house changes the loving words from his mother into a accusation that things only ended up this way because of him. 

Kaerikuro knows what's going on inside the picture, but can't reach Seiichi or Zanka to help them. Kurenai figures what Shino confirmed a few weeks ago --that Seiichi is the lynchpin in this situation, is trying to take him out. They can go into the painting and try to save the two, but it's almost certain there will be enemies waiting for them, and there's no guarantee that the trio alone has the strength to fight and win. Not only that, but Rokurou reminds them that Seiichi too has a family and it's likely that's what he's seeing in there. Even if they could make it to him, there's a huge chance that they'll have to fight, and could anyone bring themselves to defeat Seiichi? And even if they could as victims of the house's evil, would they really be able to put their feelings aside and take him down? 

Seiichi is completely taken over by the house as he believe it's his fault his family is suffering. Zanka is trying his best to convince Seiichi not to be taken in, but he's failing miserably. Just when things couldn't get worse, they do in the form of a mysterious attack...

The group realizes that only Takoha has been able to remain inside of the Soboutei without being affected by it, but he's out of commission for now --or so they thought until he shows up ragged, but awake. Takoha has been the reason everyone has kept their wits about them in the souboutei, so can he pull Seiichi out of his spiral of despair? Unfortunately we'll have to wonder and perhaps despair about that for another week as Souboutei is taking a surprising break....I don't think this whole time I've been doing the blog I've ever seen the series take a week off, and chances are this is probably to make room for the new series next week, though I wouldn't blame Fujita if he just needed a breather. Either way we're not going to be in the house next week, so let's hope Seiichi can hold out until issue 15! 

Merry Grave is full of encounters and departures this week --and almost like magic Yamaji addresses something I had been thinking about since the whole Jean arc started --something I thought he had closed the door on last week! What am I talking about? Well,just hang in there and you'll find out! The chapter begins with Sawyer bidding farewell to the Fairy village now that his job here is actually done. He runs into Jean who's distressed that he intends to pack it in so soon, and she asks if he really intends to complete the Deadman's recipe --an outburst that is noticed by a patron to the bar, hmm...

Sawyer doesn't say it out loud but he implies it quite thoroughly --the journey is fraught with danger but since he's immortal it's not as if he has to worry about dying, so he'll be fine as lonely as such an existence is. With that he leaves, and Jean who understand his plight better than anyone sympathizes. I hadn't thought too deeply about that before but it is true, for the most part Sawyer can't be killed which does take a bit of the edge off the fights in Marry Grave. Granted, the series isn't really a "battle" manga which is probably what Yamaji is playing off anyway, but that is a unique place Yamaji has put himself in with this narrative. A lot of shounen live and die on the characters possibly dying, and Sawyer effectively does not have this issue. 

The chapter could be called "implications" it's not and that wouldn't be wrong, hah. The owner of the bar all but says "Why not go and keep him company", adding that it's not as if the fairy village will disappear without Jean around. Plus Jean remembers a promise she made with Rozalie --if she should ever meet Sawyer she should attempt to befriend him. Jean implies that this is way more trouble than it's worth, but it's exactly why she has to go. She finds Sawyer and confronts him about putting up a front --it's fine to need help and admit that he is lonely. Sawyer realizes that his deceased wife isn't just important to him, but to someone else, and thus a new friendship is born. 

So now a new partnership has been born, but from there we transition to a scene of mass violence and the guy from the bar with one heck of a sword has cut down a swath of demons muttering to himself about the deadman's recipe. One thing that I had wondered is if Yamaji would give Sawyer a travel-mate and a rival/antagonist, but I wasn't expecting both in one chapter! I didn't consider it a weakness per se, but it did limit what Marry Grave could do if the series continued to just be Sawyer traveling around on his own --so I'm glad we're getting other points of view to keep the series engaging. After all, conflict is the spice of life! I'm really looking forward to seeing what next week will bring Sawyer, Jean, and the mysterious possible antagonist. 

Katsushika Hokusai's daughter Katsushika Oui needs protection from the moonlight itself in this week's chapter of Shinobi no. Except Oui doesn't want to be called that, preferring to be called "O-Ei". Apparently "Oui" is a alias --an ironic one her father used to call her, and now that he's dead, she's not going by that anymore. The "Ei" she's using means "Glory", so she's definetly not one who's humble, hah. Also of note is Ei has a very masculine way of speaking. I had to re-read her lines over because I thought at first someone else was speaking --but no, it very much is her. I do wonder what implications this has for the time period and her standing as an artist, but for now we'll just roll with it. She seems to have a pretty good relationship with Kaede as she immediately asks who the old guy and little boy with her are and refers to her using familiar terms. 

Pardon me for this Kaede, but your admiration and baby crush on Pops is cute --she, or Ei has a bodyguard enterage of strapping young men, and while Kaede has reason to believe that Pops is the real deal, you do have to admit that bringing him in when he looks (and acts) the part of a feeble old man does look rather silly. Though Pops isn't exactly dissuading this notion, though, hey, the truly strong are those who don't brag about it. Heisuke asks why Ei would be the next on the list of the moonlight beauty's kills, and Kaede explains all of her targets have been assets who helped form the country. Hokusai drew a picture as a request of a lone doctor named Siebold --or well, Philipp Franz Von Siebold who was known for studying Japanese Flora and fauna as well as being the father of the first female doctor, Kusumoto Ine. In Shinobi no, this painting ended up cultivating an interest in Hokusai's art from overseas, which opened deals from all over. Although Ei had nothing to do with this, since her father has passed, she's inherited his fat to die due to being one of this group --which implied to be the one that opened relations to other countries hence the reason (perhaps) that the moonlight beauty is after her/him. 

Ei heads out to draw later where Pops --still acting the part of a feeble old man meets up with her. They talk about Hokusai for a bit --his life was all about art from beginning to end. Even after he was long gone, he knew his art would remain so he put everything he could into drawing and perfecting his artwork to his liking. Ei is doing her best to live up to that legacy in her own way but can only come up with "scribbles" as she calls them. Ei seems pretty resigned to dying, but has a regret that she won't be able to draw something incredible like her father. Pops vows she wont' die tonight because he's going to protect her. 

Ei beds down that evening surrounded by her guards, while Pops and Heisuke play around a bit in a separate location near and far to her sleeping quarters. Heisuke is convinced with an enterage like this that the moonlight beauty will think twice about approaching Ei, but Pops is convinced that tonight is the night to strike --even saying that it's what he'd do if he were the killer. Heisuke tries to imagine Pops as the moonlight beauty and gets sick, haha. Though Pops says that having a good imagination is perfect for a job like this --to out maneuver the enemy, one has to have a good head on their shoulders and think of every possibility. In order to fight against a dangerous opponent...

One must consider the opponent --even unseen to always be there waiting, and in this case she really is there. 

Saike falls into the pit of despair with no recourse --no Ana or Hizu, no Mogura pond, and nothing to cushion his fall to his doom. On the right side, his splintered thoughts being represented by the panels split apart is one of my favorite things this chapter, but it's only a small part of a wider picture. see what I did there? 

To everyone's suprise --even Johann who seemingly has everything planned, Silva jumps in and saves Saike using his ability which to this blogger looks very similar to Masamori's from Kekkaishi. It'd be fun to think that Fukuchi took inspiration from another Sunday artist, but it's really not clear whether he did or not. More importantly, why did Silva jump in and save Saike despite this being tantamount to betrayal? The surprises don't stop there as he asks Saike to do him one favor --save Johann. What?!

While it's not completely out of bounds to imagine Johann's backstory becoming relevant in the scheme of things, I certainly wasn't expecting it to come into play now of all times. Still, I'm glad that Fukuchi has delved into his backstory as knowing his motivations will better explain his character. Silva and Johann were once students together in the same university, with the same intention --finding out the origin of the oracles. Exciting stuff to me, as I thought for sure Fukuchi was just going to gloss over this as a means to an end, so him mentioning this outright in the story might just mean --if the story doesn't end prematurely please Shougakukan... that we might just learn where oracles came from! On the right, Johann at 20 years old is excited about going to Mexico for research,  specifically the Mana ruins where there are many ability users. Silva mentions that the group heading there already has too many members, and asks if Johann will use underhanded methodds to get in the group, but he indignantly refutes this and says he's just going to ask normally. I like that we get an idea of their relationship from this short bit of dialog so that the pacing isn't screwed up. Though, I wonder if this means perhaps Saike will make another overseas journey....

Johann and Silva are introduced to the team going to Mexico, which includes a girl who running late falls over. Her name is Sumire Sanshiki and she's an exchange student from Japan. She's also the person pictured at the end of the last part that I had been wondering about! Nice to see we're getting the scoop on her sooner rather than later. In any case, the two ask why she's interested in joining the trip this time around, and she reveals something very interesting to them.

Sumire has an ability of her own, which is she's able to take people's thoughts and display them as pictures. She proves this by showing Johann his favorite place --his home back in Germany, and says she's interested in finding out where the oracles originated as well. She also shows she has the same ability as Hizu to see the "ability fumes" so she can tell that Silva and Johann have abilities as well. She does make the two promise to keep this between the three of them, and the chapter ends with Silva narrating that this is how they met and fell for Sumire. On initial reading I had been simply intrigued by the chapter, but after doing this entry I'm excited for what could be coming with these new events. Most of all, it's extremely unlikely Saike will end this round due to just how much is being introduced in this chapter alone --though "extremely unlikely" isn't "not at all". Either way Fukuchi's gone far beyond my expectations, and I can't wait to see how much further he'll go. 

By the way, Volume 11 where the gang is trying to capture Hi is out in stores, and Kuroda wants you to capture the volume itself. Don't let him down! 

Evans has been swinging low for a while which is a little worrying even if Sunday is the type of mag that tends to push series that need the attention more than ones that don't, though don't fear, Kuriyama is still bringing the A game for the story about a cowboy who just wants a date. This week after Melissa reports the whole ordeal about Mattie's kidnapping providing Evans with some good press, he's on cloud nine until a woman he doesn't know suddenly accosts him --and she's quite hostile to boot. Evans tries hard to play it like he knows who she is and is innocent of whatever she's hating on him for, but the truth is he just reallly doesn't remember if he's wronged her in some way which has some interesting implications. The side text even says that he hasn't experienced the opposite sex in his entire life, so why does Evans' mind instantly jump to bad places in this situation? Though of course it's a huge misunderstanding, but...shouldn't Evans know what he has and has not done to other people?

That aside, the lady is actually con artist Evans arrested before --as Ted sort of implies after he realizes he's seen her before. Then it all comes back to Evans as he remembers he did bring her to justice some time before --that feeling when your assistant has a better memory than you do, right?  Jean Adler is out for revenge, and uses slight of hand to take Evans' gun from him, but he's one step ahead of her and takes her gun, ending the fight before it could really start. 

Ted asks Evans if he was afraid during this whole exchange, but in probably the funniest line of the chapter, he thinks back to his father saying "Scarier than an assassin is a woman scorned". I guess he isn't wrong, hah. The next chapter is apparently going to be filled with nervous tension --and while I did enjoy this one well enough it did seem to be a bit of a miss despite having an interesting premise, due to the logic leaps it takes to work. Still, Evans is riding high even though his position in the mag is low, and hopefully the color pages next issue is a sign of the editorial department showing good faith that he can make a comeback. 

Yuugami not only makes a visit to Sunday this week, but a visit to Chihiro's house as well. Except he's there when her parents are out. What kind of scandalous things will the duo be up to while the home is all theirs for the taking? The answer to that question is...not much, really. If you know what kind of person Yuugami is however, that's not really surprising at all, I think. A brief review --Yuugami has gotten tired of living with his family and had started considering moving out to be on his own, while Chihiro on the other hand has her home to herself due to her parents being out of town, but while she enjoyed her newfound freedom at first, she eventually finds herself getting lonely. It's two sides of the same coin so to speak. Things get even more awkward when a sudden downpour causes the lights to go out and keeps Yuugami from leaving immediately. The lights come back on eventually, and Yuugami after helping Chihiro get settled finds himself exploring the house and belittling Chihiro's cleaning --or lack thereof. She wonders if he could do any better to fend for himself in matters such as cooking, and Yuugami takes offense to this saying that he can at least make food...

But it turns out he can't. Not only that, but he's essentially using Chihiro's house to run a simulation of how he'd live on his own --something she wonders why he's doing to begin with, and why here of all places. Though on that note Chihiro wonders why she's even letting him do this in the first place? Well, despite his failure to cut the fish properly, that shouldn't affect how they taste right? Except they're low on all the ingredients needed to serve with the fish, and while Suzune --Yuugami's cousin works at a store, she's caught up with work and can't bring them what they need. 

Yuugami can't have that and decides he'll go out and buy what they need himself. Chihiro mentions that living by oneself means being prepared with backup plans for when things don't work out, and that's enough to convince Yuugami to come back, and the two decide on a hot pot instead. 

Yuugami burns himself reaching for the ladel, and Chihiro suggests that he touch his ear to help cool his finger after that burn. Yuugami wonders how this'll help, and when Chihiro insists, he does as she asks --except he touches hers rather than his own. Suzune shows up just then with food and the day seems to be saved, except several days later Yuugami's grandmother and sister notice that he's not as into the idea of living alone as he used to be. Apparently he's now aware of just how difficult that would be...

However his Dad says that if he can make it to the Koushien with his team, that he'll allow Yuugami to live on his own and even give him a bit of help!  Chihiro asks if he's going to do something about his cooking, but Yuugami says he'll be fine living off of hot pots until then. Oh, you. I'd comment on how not romantic at all this chapter was despite the implications, but in retrospect it would be weird for Yuugami (the series) to suddenly get lovey dovey, so this is actually very much in line with the themes of the series. Until next month! 

I mentioned how Youkai Giga had been moving fast last week, and it seems Satou was listening as this chapter is a little lighter on content, though it makes up for that by just being absolutely adorable. It is a little unusual to see Kuro back for a third week, but I suppose there's nothing stopping  Satou from dedicating the entire series to the little youkai should she feel that's the direction she wants to take it. I guess the main thing here is I don't have much to say for chapters like these as they're pretty straight forward from the pictures without me really translating anything. Even if I were to include the pages I left out, there's really not much more to add --though the child being able to see Kuro too is interesting. Oh and for the curious, "Minoru" is the name of the child --a boy, by the way. Kuro's been with it's master since he was a child so it's no surprise that it's good with children too. 

And with that issue #13 is done! Next week Birdmen is back for it's monthly visit, Evans receives a color page, and Takuya Yagyuu's new dark fantasy series "Memesis" begins in the magazine, so business is booming as usual in the magazine and by extension the blog. Please stop in again tomorrow and of course, have a great week!