Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Weekly Shounen Sunday #13




Welcome to another session of Jamming with Ed--er, sorry, I mean Sundays on Tuesdays! I've recently done a little research on what's being scanslated and what isn't, so that'll affect what I do and do not cover. In any case, before I jump into this week's issue proper, a little surprise!


Taken January 20th 2017 is a sketch board of the protagonists from (most) of the WSS series currently running in either Super or the Weekly magazine! It's always fun to see all the authors get together and do something like this! Though what's most interesting is the upper left --the guy with a black hat and scar. That's from a possibly upcoming series by Hidenori Yamaji. Of course once I know more about this I'll post about it, but I thought this would be interesting to see.


On the cover this week is Conan advertising the newest movie due out April 15th --which means it's creeping ever so much closer. I wish I could be in Japan to see it myself...


The TOC! Ryoko's low again, as is DameTerasu. Dame in particular is only two spots from the bottom (Not counting the Unscientific Laboratory) This is usually a bad sign when the first volume isn't even out yet, while RYOKO's first volume was released to well...rather lukewarm response. Granted, it is a new series by an unknown author, but fighting an uphill battle from the start is always a difficult thing. On the other hand, Conan is second behind Hatsukoi which gets lead color this issue.


Conan pimping is in usual form this week with the reveal of two guest performers --Daisuke Miyakawa and Riho Yoshiouka, both of which star in movies rather than anime. There will be a Conan cafe opening March 30th as well! Apparently this has happened before (I had no idea) according to fans I know. 


Meanwhile we get a new key visual for RINNE's third season starting April 8th. In this case I kind of do know these characters because they appeared around the time I started reading WSS. I won't spoil though I know they're not in the translated chapters available. Still, you'll have to wait until the anime premieres to see them.




First up is Hatsukoi Zombie that's getting a color page for it's new volume (#6) being released on March 17th, and as a thanks to fans for making the heroines really popular. (Not sure what that means, but hey, the color page is cute, so who cares?)


Hatsukoi Zombie is actually one of the series that I found out is pretty up to date on it's scanslation's so as much as I feel iffy about those in general, I'll urge fans to check them out to get a better idea of the entire story. Meanwhile have two really nicely done pages from the chapter.


Twelve more to go till 1,000 for Mr. Shounen Sunday. As I said with Hatsukoi, there's not really a need for me to sit down with Conan. By now I'm sure most people already know the goings on in this chapter, lol.


I will include two pages of it though. The mystery is headed to it's conclusion next issue, but it seems Wakita Rumi is suspicious for reasons completely unrelated to the murder at hand...


Rinne is up next, and it too had a volume coming out next month (#35). This week's chapter has characters in it I haven't seen before so I'll go over it briefly!


This week's chapter begins in the underworld with a mysterious box that cannot be opened. The white haired guy -- Kain is entrusted with it, as he's really smart and poor so he's promised a bonus if he can figure out the puzzle on top and open it. Unfortunately he falls asleep while trying to figure it out and the next morning can't find it.


Turns out it's Rinne's dad who took the box for some unseen end.


Kain in an effort to get the box back puts a price on it's safe return which Rinne jumps at. The girl with black hair --Renge has taken it from his Dad and is trying to solve it when Rinne gets involved and clonked on the head after she claims it's hers.


Another girl shows up, and reveals the cash prize that Renge didn't know about. Apparently she has a major crush on Kain, and is willing to relinquish it for that reason, which makes Rinne's pappy a sad camper.


Rinne absconds off with his father to claim the prize but Rokumon finds out there's small print on the notice, as Renge is in hot pursuit.


The writing is a clue to solving the box's puzzle and opening it! A shame Rinne's dad knocks out his son and runs off with the puzzle again, however Renge is a step ahead of him and waits outside Kain's working place. She manages to get the box from Rinne's dad, but her crush is watching and it seems he has gotten the wrong idea? Till next time....


Major 2nd is the next on today's menu, and I'll admit it's mostly because I wanted to see how the next one spun out after the way the last one ended. With a title like "It's my fault", I can only guess things are gonna get worse before they get better...


Oh! Wait, he-- Hikaru seems to be okay after all! Though something seems strange about him despite his assurances that everything is fine...


Ah, nevermind. He says he can't rest in peace because the game that would have went into overtime was ruined by that last play. Though it seems to be just a guilty dream of our protagonist. The timing of that was really well done, I think.


His mom says he --Hikaru only had a minor brain fart which caused him to lose consciousness for a moment, so he's pretty much fine, which relieves Daigo.


However when Daigo and a friend go to visit Hikaru, they're told that he won't be coming back to the field. The bottom text promises to explain Hikaru's "difficult tale" in the next issue...gah, I can't believe I'm actually somewhat getting pulled in here. Though honestly I like sports series --when they're not playing sports.


Meanwhile, the last time we saw Hayate, he was seeing his dad for the first time in a while. I hate to admit it, but sudden parent reveals are a weird weakness of mine. 


Hayate's Dad reveals that he and his mom have been playing a long game, and that Hayate has been fooled this whole time. "But then if you're here where's mom?" "You always were a slow child.."


Hayate's mom. She says that they've been playing this long game on him and Nagi in order to fool her into forking over her cash. Of course Hayate didn't know anything about this. (Same here, but that's because I've never really read the manga and only watched the first anime so..)


His mom likens it to a kidapping where he played the part of the kidnapper, and Nagi was the hostage. Hayate pleads his case that he didn't know anything that was going on, however...


Nagi takes it as a huge misunderstanding and leaves. Ah, this is the thing I don't like happening in these romance/romantic comedies the ugly misunderstanding ploy. You'd think with a series this long they'd know each other better...


The somewhat forced drama continues, though I admit I do feel a little something. I am also a big softy so.  Nagi asks if Hayate loves her, which he cannot answer causing a breakdown.


Tokiwa Kitari! With a pretty impressive perspective shot here. Not quite vertical, but not quite a worm eye shot either. Matsuena knows his way around buildings and boobs.


Granted maybe excess is Matsuena's strength, cause while I am not a fan of him going overboard on a regular basis, these character designs look pretty awesome for a weekly series. Not to mention that double page spread really is something.


Makanai-san with a winter themed chapter! Koyama should be able to play with this perfectly since the silence of winter is perfect for her "show-don't-talk" type of slice of life storytelling.


I like that these kids aren't having a snowball fighting contest, but a contest as to who can clean the snow quickly and well...neatly. It's a really neat spin on the competitive nature of children without being too cliched.


In this manga, cooking is a part of the plot just as much as Kiyo's character development. This week is Hittsumi Broth. Have a look at what it is here! 


Next up is Souboutei which picks up from last time where the gov't and Seiichi are on their way to destroy the monster house once and for all. Having a ride that's government sponsored is sure to turn a lot of heads!


The black haired boy, Rokurou is in this because the house ate his Dad whole as seen on this page. He's made friends with Seiichi who's mission is to destroy it due to the aliens who reside there (apparently) while the Govt wants the house gone due to the amount of missing people related to it. As such they're launching a three way effort.


Of course the bigwigs don't want a 6th grader hanging around their mission, so they tell Rokurou to head home. Rokurou wants to see the end of the house that ended his Dad, and won't be convinced, but Seiichi (who calls him Rakuro for some reason?) says he will protect the boy. One thing I do love is Fujita's ghastly expressions. Seiichi is feeling some bad juju from the house, and even if you can't read Japanese it's clear this is real bad juju.


Establishing shot. This is the souboutei --an evil house filled with the lives and sorrow of many. Fujita does a great job of establishing that with the imposing angle and the placement of Seiichi's text --"I've got a very, very, bad feeling about this...!!"


Another wonderful establishing shot. The darkness at the end of the hallway, the unnatural lankiness of the painter, and the titled angle of the first panel. We're being introduced to someone who's very important here.


We don't get any names, but these are people who live in the house...keep in mind this is a house that eats people. What kind of badass would you have to be to live here? Also please tell me I'm not the only one that sees Star Platinum in the guy on the right page first panel. Seems like the villains of the next arc have appeared and they're all imposing in their own way.


And now as mentioned in the last writeup, we have two more series from the web magazine guest starring in the main magazine to support sales and such. Sakuraba-senpai no hatsukoi (Sakuraba-senpai's first love) by Kei Nishimura, and Checkmate! Maou-san teban desu yo! (Checkmate! The Demon king's plan!) by Ippei Nekosuna. Sakuraba is the one on top, while Maou is the one on the bottom. Shall we give 'em both a looksee?


Sakuraba --which is described as a "heroine comedy with super personality"  starts with our protagonist waking up in bed. Seems normal enough, right? 


Ah, well...that ended quckly. Apparently Sakuraba has enough access to the protag --Ichinose's room that she can just sorta ooze up through the covers. Wonder how that went down.


Sakuraba claims she was giving the boy she likes a "wake up call" but Ichinose points out that this is something you normally use a telephone for. Sakuraba then gets absorbed by his PJ's and..


Hangs them up, sniffs them, and licks them. (I'd like to point out that Ichinose only seems to have a problem with the last one.) So in short, Sakuraba is one police call away from being a stalker.


The joke comes from the fact that they haven't actually confessed to each other, and when Ichinose suggests she does just that, Sakuraba says it's lewd, but she'll do it if he'll be hers. So as she strips she says "I want yo--" which Sakuraba being the shounen protagonist he is just gives in to her and gives her his shirt.


Though there's an element of her just trolling him, since she stops just before she gets the shirt and says that she'll get his cellphone number at school. Poor Ichinose-kun. To see more of his troubles, you'll have to buy volume one.


Checkmate has a somewhat similar premise to Maoujou, in that it's about a hero challenging the demon king. Except in this case, the hero actually does make it into the heart of the demon king's castle to find that the demon king is a cute little girl with a game fascination.


The hero is of course ab it dismayed by the idea of playing games with the Demon King, so he tries to tell her how a Demon king should behave and at first things seem to be going well, but she ends up turning that into a word game called shiratori which is played by taking the last letters of the last word said and using that to make another word. 


Things proceed into a card game, and just when the Hero figures he's got the demon king all figured out, she ends up raising the stakes by offering the princess's life if he wins. Welp, no pressure dude. The game continues in the first volume.


Now for a series that's got the rare distinction of being a sports series I actually kind of like, even if it's just for the amazing art, Be Blues!


Never has scoring a goal been more rewarding. Every panel here is doing something to contribute to the huge sense of victory, and I can't help but get sucked in. 


Even the protag running back to his team in bliss is just infectious! Tanaka ensures that every section of every page is doing something, and it's a feast to the eyes even when he's not using dual page spreads!


"I'll kill you, bastard." Those words, and that top panel. I feel like I'm reading an action series rather than a sports one. I don't even know anyone's name for crying out loud, but the impact is dragging me kicking and screaming into their world. 


Speaking of shounen-fying things, Only Tenshi to Akuto could possibly make voice acting into a shounen battle manga. Here Akuto is putting his all into voicing his magical girl protagonist.


I love that Hirakawa does this thing where she draws the characters in the anime as the avatars of the voice acting the people in the real world are doing. It gives this level of grit that simply watching the voice acting wouldn't do. It almost feels as if she's had a future anime adaption of her own in mind when drawing this manga. Hopefully it lasts that long!


Saya on the cover of Dagashikashi. Not much happened this week, but it's nice to still see her around especially with the Hotaru/Hajime focus of the last few weeks.


Speaking of which, Dagashi has hit a new sales milestone! I've recieved many questions asking how likely a second season of anime would be, and the answer is shrug I'unno. The anime didn't sell so well, but the manga is doing fine. Ordinarily for shounen publications that's good enough to greenlight more anime, but I dunno if in WSS's case that matters. Dagashikashi does seem like something more aimed to the late night otaku crowd, so maybe not?


And back for this month is Yuugami-kun and his lack of friendship. Except on the cover this time is the heroine Chihiro along with the text remarking on how her luck isn't so good. As I mentioned last month, Yuugami only runs once a month despite being in a weekly magazine. 


This month's victim --er, character seems to be a girl who thinks of fortunetelling as science --a girl who Chihiro hasn't been able to get much more than unfocused disinterest out of, and Yuugami who's had crappy luck recently decides to participate in her services which seems to really make her happy. It seems the two have hit it off, which might just be what changes Yuugami's friendless streak, but..


All it takes is Chihiro leaving the room for one minute for this to happen. Just what the heck is in Yuugami's future?! It appears we won't know because this story ends here this month. Yuugami will be back in the magazine for certain next month, but he may or may not appear in the blog depending on my mood.


Next up is RYOKO, which as I pointed out at the start is having a tough week with a lukewarm first volume --sales wise, and being low in the TOC in the magazine. Despite that, the text on the side mentions a twitter campaign which is under way so maybe there's still hope yet. On the cover is a character just introduced in this new arc.


Interestingly enough she has hancuffs on her arms. What could the reason for this be, as well as the girl in her flashback? Hopefully I can get back to translating this soon (and get volume one!)


Now for Mushibugyo. That fifth panel though-- I've never seen a shounen mangaka go out of their way to show overwhelming size by starting out with a foot focal point. We see just how tiny the heroes are in comparison in this tiny panel by just how immense the view point is here.


And then this dual page spread. Fukuda going the extra mile with the decorations on this blade's underside and the crosshatching of Mugai (long haired guy)'s sword. You can hear the SFX and the pause in the air as Mugai's sudden appearance changes the entire flow and intonation of the battle.


The words in quotes are all different attacks happening rapid fire. Fukuda eschews typical panel framing by just having Mugai's blade go right through the page. Why bother trying to contain that in one panel when to show it's visual impact and oomph you can have it just slice through two?


Once again Fukuda just screws panel work and has the action almost pop out of the page. The large thorn sticking through the enemy's foot is also just protruding outward giving the appearance of an extra dimension created by pure use of space.



Denpa Kyoushi not wanting to lose to Mushibugyo in art and TOC placement this week goes in and out with a bang. I might be exaggerating a little, but that explosion is probably the most impressive thing in WSS this week. 





I really believe it's the latter part of the mag that has all the good stuff in it. It's a shame this is also where all the DOA manga reside too....Oniwo is once again in tip top shape this week! Though the end of chapter text does seem to imply that the next one (or the one after) will be the end...


Returning to the Unscientific lab, Mitsuhashi Kaitou reveals how he comes up with the beasties in RYOKO. Turns out the secret is lots of circles. (Seriously, he draws lots of circles on food until it's creepy looking enough to go into the manga.) 


Next week, Aozakura gets a lead color page and a pin-up idol graces the cover...but she's such a huge Conan fan that she's decided to dress up as a suspect --literally and hide her identity until the issue is actually out. The only hint we get is that she's in her late teens....In any case, Birdmen will also be back for it's monthly visit, and Denpa Kyoushi is apparently moving along to it's climax?! Though "climax" in Japanese terms usually means there's at least four more chapters to go so Denpa isn't quite over yet. Still with Oniwo and Denpa both ending, that's two free spots in the mag...

And that's it for this week! I managed to get the time down a little more, but I'd really love to hear from all of you at home as to what you'd like to see more and less of! Until the next Sunday, I'll see ya!