Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Weekly Shounen Sunday #20

Welcome to Tuesday, now with more Sunday! I've got my hands on a certain magical little book, so let's crack 'er open and have a look! We've got another new series, a few exciting chapters of old favorites, and a guest appearance (in the magazine, since I write these entries while woefully alone, *shiku shiku*) by a big name! Oh, as a note, I've spontaneously decided to cover new series much like Viz exposes new fans to new jump series --I'll cover the first three chapters without fail, and then unless I really like them, sporadically after that. Also, I'd really recommend checking out the preview for issue #20, as well as this extensively researched list of WSS series available in English here. Okay, now that preparations are done, let's jump right in.

First up is a key frame from the upcoming movie drawn by Aoyama himself, along with a reminder of all the Conan stuff we can't have because we weren't lucky enough to be born in Japan or lucky enough to be there right now. The movie's opening this week, (Saturday to be exact), and while I'm sure the magazine won't give us any juicy details, we can be sure there will be at least more merch to be jealous over. 

On that note, the TV anime is going to have an episode where Sonoko and Kyougoku are the leads, and it apparently ties into the movie in Osaka...which opens the same day this premieres! It'll be called "The puzzle of the disappeared/missing black belt." At the very least using...methods one could watch the TV episode, as I hear CR doesn't offer the anime episode the same day it airs for some reason.

It was a few issues ago so I'm sure you all don't remember but there was a feature on the VA's for the vocal comic of Tenshi to Akuto. The first one was on Akuto's VA Ayumu Murase, and this time it's Ayane Sakura who plays Tenshi. Apparently it took her some time to get into playing the character, but the authoress --Hirakawa was impressed with her all the same. Apparently the audition results will be announced in Issue 25, so be sure to be here to find out about it!

And now our new series about the wild west, love, and a man who's a stud in name only, Elmore Evans. The chapter seems to begin with Evans saving a fair damsel in distress, but it turns out in fact she is the one who's wanted. She and Evans ran into each other in a bar, and thinking she needed his help, he jumped in without investigating and well...shot a fellow lawman. 

As you can probably tell from Evans' expression, this happens to quite often. Dude just wants a lady friend, and they all seem to turn out to be on the opposite side of the law. 

10 years earlier at the age of 12, when Evans' Dad Kurt(?) asks his son why he's studying the blade the way of the gun, Evans reveals he wants to be a stud, which Dad fully supports. 

Unfortunately ten years later, Evans hasn't even been on a date once his whole life, despite being one of the most badass gunslingers in the west. His assistant Ted Hall thinks he's great, but Evans is less than impressed with his lack of a love life.

It isn't long until Evans runs into two more wrong doers who have a lady cornered, and after chasing them away...

He finds her chest heals the hole in his left by the woman he had to arrest. (I do love the sight gag at the bottom of the page actually indicating this.)

He's a straightforward dude at the very least, as he invites her home to treat her injuries, but then immediately starts thinking about WDYD. (What Dad would do.) He decides to play it cool and offer his possible lady friend coffee, but she surprises him by asking for booze instead. Sadly poor Evans is really bad with alcohol, and only faked drinking with the other lady, so it goes without saying he has none of the good stuff in his house.

Evans manages to convince her that they don't need booze for a good time, but she takes this as him wanting to be thanked in a special "adult" way. WDYD mode comes on, and Dad says that sure, sometimes Women will put themselves out there for the taking, but a man who leaps at this opportunity too soon will never be seen as anything but a sex fiend. (I'm paraphrasing, but that's essentially the meaning.) So Evans tries to fend her off by saying that men of the law don't partake of casual sex on the first date. 

...So she says she's gonna go home instead. 

And as Evans' luck wold have it, Liz here (We get her name at last), is also on he west's most wanted list as a thief. She happened to run into trouble that she was gonna take care of herself,  but Evans' came in and she's not one to look a gift horse in the mouth so she decided to hang around for a bit...until she found out his occupation.

Unfortunately for them, one of the bounty hunters after Liz is the persistent sort, and isn't above using dynamite to make a point.

Liz and Evans' manage to escape, and Liz explains her backstory --abandoned, she got tired of living life on other's terms and decided to take her life and the law into her own hands. 

Evans makes a decision too, and it's an important one! He's giving up the law for her sake.

He manages to capture the lawman after Liz, but....

Liz decides that she'd be better off living in the city where she can turn her life around, and Evans is once again a lone gunslinger looking for a lady. 

It was a pretty funny first chapter, but it'll have to do something a little more than this to last a while. Though maybe it shouldn't last a while? Either way I liked it enough to anticipate chapter 2, and it would be nice to have a episodic series that isn't cute girls being quirky. Good luck, Evans. As a fellow lone gun slinger, I get the struggle.

Mr. Shounen Sunday only has 8 chapters till 1,000 at this rate, and the 30th anniversary of Aoyama becoming a mangaka continues! The next chapter will be the end of this special arc though, so I'd expect a break after that. Also the first two chapters of this special are available on the Conan app.

Major returns with the "Middle school arc" which introduces a new character into the mix of this baseball epic. 

This Kouhai's got swagger, and crew to match, which in my eyes makes him an interesting character to watch out for. 

His first target is Mutsuko who --in his opinion shouldn't be on the field as she's a girl. Mutsuko's not about that though, and stands her ground. 

He quickly realizes that she's not the only one running the show, and runs into Daigo who formally invites him on the team. I smell a rivalry brewing...

Chapter two of Quadrable! Hope you've got your flippy-floppies, because we're on a boat. Arai's got some good setting skills as this whole chapter will demonstrate. It's incredible to behold. 

Unfortunately one of our boys doesn't do well on the high seas, --though look at that top panel. Arai, when did you even have time for this much detail?

Funnily enough there is a female character in this series, though she isn't in any of the promotional materials, which suggests that they have a specific audience in mind, lol. Her name is "Shun" BTW. She seems to be like their nurse/support.

Just when things are calming down, the ship finds itself under attack....

From some pretty impressive looking pirates. I love in the second page how our hero proudly says that "Negotiations are over" after they try to reason with the pirates and that doesn't work. Time to kick ass and take names!

Contractual obligation to bring dual page spreads means I get to share this impressive spread with you all. Those pirates should have stayed in the calm belt. 

The pirates are apprehended, and the gang is ready to disembark in Macau in chapter three! So far so good Quadrable. It's moving really fast which gives me some pause, but otherwise it's artistically fun and I do love how causal it is when taking on subjects like pirates invading. There's no sense of danger, but that's kind of entertaining in it's own way. It's like early HXH where the fun was watching the characters grow through experiences rather than trouble.

Next up is Aozakura where, Kondo feels the burn of a jellyfish and drowns ending the series.

Or well no, his CO manages to save him from certain doom, and gets a nice tan in the process. (I said it last week, but I do love how everyone is really tanned in this arc, where as normally anime/manga characters manage to stay inexplicably fresh and well, pale.)

I want some Gorilla energy, is that really a thing? I feel like it's an amusing manga knock off, but it really should be a thing, I feel like. 

Some really awesome actual models of tanks and other warmaking toys in the second half of the chapter really do bring it home that these guys are training to be a part of the defense squad of Japan. 

Next up is Komi-san who inexplicably wants to hang out with everyone and furthermore has glasses. Can't say I disagree with this look in the slightest, tbh.

I linked this page only because of the bottom panel which invites readers to a "Where's waldo" type thing with Otori-san. Can you find her? (I already did.) 

Oda (not that one) has his strengths even when his paneling is limited to two. You can almost sort of imagine Komi being called over and making that slight movement--as her name is called and she gives that person her attention. Plus the painstaking detail that went into her hair, (and the glasses, can't emphasize that enough) make this a wonderful page to just gawk at for a while. (I plan to after I'm done writing this!)

The second chapter has Komi enjoying more of the culture festivities, though her glasses are gone. weh. 

And it just wouldn't be a Komi chapter without the signature paneling. Though it seems putting two somewhat shy people together during a dance off probably wasn't the best of ideas, but at least the red-headed girl tries to shyly ask Komi to dance.

Another closeup. Stop this Oda, my heart can't take it. 

Me too red-head, me too. Though a certain someone joins in, and the dance between the two ladies becomes a party between everyone. Still, it was a fun culture fest, and next week will be a trip to karaoke?

And now Hayate's finale. It starts off with his parents getting just deserts from characters I know nothing about, but hey it's the thought that counts right?

Hinagiku (I still remember her name!) Says that she's off to confess to the person she loves, and apparently she's about to, but the scene changes.

Nagi on the other hand after firing Hayate seems to be doing fine making her own lunches excelling in sports, and generally getting along on her own. 

On a certain night's eve, two guys approach her with impure intentions, but Nagi surprises them and us by defending herself and telling these guys to amscray. She's really grown up without Hayate being around! Or well so she thinks, because her butler is...

Always watching over her. It's actually a little cute that he's watching out for her even though she doesn't really need him. Though that being said he didn't just pop up to be a quasi-stalker, but because he was asked to. 

The two have plenty to catch up on after such a long time away from each other, and the night is still young.

So they can take their time talking. I have to admit I'm a sucker for color pages being at the end or middle of chapters since I saw Shinohara (Sket Dance) Kenta do it a few times. It's like breaking this unwritten rule that they have to be at the beginning of a chapter, and I like that rebelliousness. In any case, Hayate says farewell after thirteen years in the magazine. It's a bittersweet farewell even if I only really watched the first anime. To see a series say goodbye after such a long time is tough going whether one is a fan or not.

There will be lots of little attractions and neat prizes for Hayate fans as a thanks for following the series for so long, including art and a message from Kouji Kumeta of Zetsubou Sensei fame! Hata used to be his assistant, so it's no wonder the old teacher would go out of his way to congratulate his pupil! 

Hata also has some words for the final chapter that I'll leave someone else to translate. The two last volumes --51/52 will be out on the same day (June 17th) and the original drafts of the finale will be offered online from June 17th to July 23rd for fans to look over!

Meanwhile Mushibugyo sticks to the classics and starts off with a color page for it's 29th volume due out April 18th. I wonder how many volumes it has left before it's conclusion...? At the very least, it's only got five more chapters left before #300. 

Ahh I love how Fukuda has Jinbee staring down at the camera in this shot. If there's one way to be imposing in a "The protagonist is back after several chapters away" way, this is the perfect way to do it. 

Another thing you don't see much is powerful strides in manga. Like, I get why --it's hard to pull that off without motion or sound, but Fukuda doesn't give a damn. Not only that the sense of movement when Jinbee goes from a stride to a dash, and finally...

A lunge, it feels like an anime storyboard more than a manga page. Everything happens in a very eye pleasing way, leading you gently into the page and out while shaking up the senses with the impact frames and Jinbee's charge being the center focus.

And then of course this page with the hair flying, and again, Jinbee being the center focus is just a wonderful snapshot leaving us on the edge of our seat for more. I can't wait for next week!

Souboutei is up next, with the people in the house having their spirits raised by Takoha's pep talk from last week. Though being fired up is one thing, but actually having a plan is completely another. 

Because well, they're still stuck in the Souboutei, with no real means of being able to call for backup from the inside. Not only that Auguste rags Takoha for talking a big game but not actually knowing how the house works. 

Meanwhile Rokuro and Seiichi are still trying to make their way to the house, but will they make it in time to be of any help? Seiichi is still raring to bring the house down, but it's gonna be a minute till he gets his chance. 

But now the million dollar question that I'm sort of surprised it took 50 chapters for anyone to ask, though to be fair, I didn't even consider this until now either...why,...why the hell is the Souboutei doing this stuff --taking control of people by warping their minds and then apparently using them for...something?

Apparently the people who have been taken by the house have suddenly all lined up and are heading toward the basement, which is a good lead if any. Let the mystery hunting in the house begin next week!

I normally don't report on Hatsukoi Zombie, but with pages like this you'll forgive me for breaking the rules this week, won't you? 

Meanwhile Zettai Karen Children ends the "first half" of the high school arc that's meant to bring the series to an end, and will be on hiatus until sometime in the summer. 

Just in case you need a rundown of the timeline, 2005 is when the series started, 2008 is when it entered the middle school arc, 2014 is when the high school arc began, and summer 2017 wis when the final arc will begin. Shiina is apparently taking this chance to gather materials and prepare for the end, which will be announced in the magazine in a  future issue.

They won't be covered this issue, but have some English lessons with Megumi and the princess from Maoujo, as they get ready for releases  on April 18th. Actual English lessons are not guaranteed. 

Speaking of things coming to an end, Tokiwa really feels like it with this double page spread and the tag line about "Only you guys can save the world!" Not only that it's been riding low in the TOC for quite some time now, which even for a veteran mangaka isn't a good thing at all. 

It's a shame though, because when Matsuena remembers to draw something other than boobs it's pretty impressive. Though of course this isn't a confirmation of anything, just my intuition as someone who's experienced plenty of disappointment when it comes to series being cancelled. 

Saike is up to bat and let's just say his day is one that'd make Kaneki Ken shake his head sadly. First a kid transforms into a monster at his school, and then the other kids find out he has powers and call him a monster, and if that's not bad enough, his childhood friend was there to hear him basically confess to these things...

I'm not sure what kind of expression Saike has looks like despair, but not quite? Either way, Mikan doesn't believe what he's saying at first, but Saike confirms it to her as he has no other choice, however he begs her to listen to him, that the oracle holders are not monsters --but humans. 

Saike "Le--Let's join hands......!!"

Saike's words seem to reach Mikan, but before she can reach out to him, the swat team reaches them first, surrounding the classroom.

They're ready to shoot Hirayasu down, but Saike isn't ready to give up on his humanity, but all he gets in return is a baton to the back. 

His final thoughts are still that they can join hands --humans and oracle holders, even as the swat team arrests him. 

The final page of the chapter reveals on social media (which was a really nice touch rather than having a bunch of text boxes do the job) the aftermath of the incident. Hirayasu managed to escape from the classroom his whereabouts unknown, while Saike was apprehended and taken away. Not only that this reveals the world is now aware of those among them with powers, which suggests a bigger cogwheel is turning....

Back to series that feel like they could end. Keijo is apparently in it's finals, and Nozomi the protagonist is up against what would be the final boss apparently. Like Tokiwa before it, it's been low in the TOC for quite some time now...

And then you get scenes like this where everyone is telling her not to lose...

Including all of the characters she's met along the way. Sounds like a series that's wrapping up to me, but again this is less an established fact and more my super shounen intuition. 

And yet another series that seems like it's on it's way out, being on the way bottom despite only having 22 chapters out is DameTerasu which has made a turn from gag manga to battle manga that would make Yu-Yu Hakusho make a double take.

Kouhei's finally activated 100% Of his power which has a price attached to it, but he doesn't care, as he wants to fight the villain with no regrets. 

Beams of power and shounen flares of energy are all abound as the villain threatens him with death and destruction as the others watch helplessly. I'd say this change of genre was a calculated measure if the series weren't just selling okay and polling really badly. 

At the very least it's not on break again next week, but the blurb saying the counter attack begins in the next issue doesn't bode well for our useless goddess and perverted protag. 

It's included in the preview, but I figured I'd throw the notice about RYOKO's hiatus here as well. The advert about the manga that wone the Manga Taishou on the bottom --Hibiki or "Vibration" was obviously thrown in because they really weren't expecting to have to write this note for RYOKO which makes it's absence all that much more saddening. 

Meanwhile, this fellow doing a crip walk at the bottom is Yokoyama-sensei's idea of what Gosho Aoyama looks like, and on the top of the page, is the key frames from the new movie that he's in charge of. Conan fans probably already know this, but despite Aoyama being a manga artist by trade, he often participates in drawing scenes in the Conan movies as well. I'm not sure how much of that depiction is fact and how much is fiction, but I admit Aoyama looks very manga artist-ish.

Sunday's unscientific labortory sometimes has mangaka appear like this, so this isn't unusual, but it is pretty hilarious looking. Here Aoyama's sort of trolling the staff with possible spoilers of the movie, when the shadowman from Conan randomly appears. 

And next issue's preview! The next of the new series --Daiku no Hatou (The Ninth Wave) by Michiteru Kusaba will begin, along with color pages for Magi and Amano Megumi. Conan will get the cover concluding the cliffhanger this one left us on, and there will be undoubtedly be some (spoiler free) news about the movie. With that, issue #20 is all done, and I hope you enjoyed it! Until the next update, stay chillax like a Sunday afternoon!


  1. Thanks for another great review.

    I hope RYOKO's author recovers soon. The announcement makes his illness sounds pretty serious.

    I loved the panels of Heiji and that other guy who looks like Shinichi wearing hakama in Detective Conan. I should go back to reading it, but I stopped years ago and would have to catch up with hundreds of chapters.

    The cowboy story was fun and I think I'll follow it. Some suffering is always welcome, even when it's not quite Rock bison like suffering. (Did that sentence make any sense?)

    4 Boys and a priest: I still have trouble telling the main characters apart, when they are not colour coded on b/w pages. The girl seems a bit like the bland token female character that will end up with the leader/boy in red. But the fight ninjas vs. pirates was really nice. But they aren't in Europe, yet. Macau is in China.

    Komi is so beautiful with her updo and glasses. I could look at her forever.

    I agree that Tokiwa is very likely to end soon. But I don't think it was meant to last that long, since it has been moving at a pretty fast pace ever since it began. It always kind of felt like the author just wants to get done with it and go back to Kenichi. Unfortunately he added a few too many elements and rushed the story too much. But anyway, Machina is finally back! I'm glad to see the best character of this series show up again. It was so bad when he had been demoted to being a navi voice for the longest time. But the author already teased more boobs in his blog for the next chapters. Can we please skip that and have more best robot hijinks/action?

    Keijo never ceases to amaze me with its insane butt techniques.

  2. Thanks for commenting! I really don't read the Conan manga all that much to be completely honest. I'm more into the anime, and even that I haven't watched for a while. I think I just like the *idea* of Conan more than reading it on a regular basis, especially when it's clear Aoyama has no real interest in pursuing an actual plot other than occasionally. (I know it sounds like I'm hating on Conan, but I actually really do like it.)

    After reading it again, Evans does seem like it'll be a nice easy read --not quite an action series, not quite a gag one. I don't see the premise making it a series that'll last very long however, but that depends on what the author does with it.

    Ah, see, this is why I should properly read these things. I didn't realize the kids weren't quite in Europe yet. Though I do agree with you in regard to Shun-chan. She seems to be there just for the sake of having a female character, since as I pointed out in the writeup she wasn't mentioned at all in any of the promotional materials.

    Agreed on Komi. I'm usually more for girls having their hair down, but she makes anything look pretty, tbh.

    It's only my intuition, but yeah Tokiwa seems to be on it's way out. At the very least I'd be surprised if it has another year left in it, but I could be wrong. A friend mentioned that the Japanese were talking about it coming to an end along with Keijo, but who knows at this point. Honestly I'm okay with this as it means Saike might survive a bit longer, especially with RYOKO's extended absence.

  3. Conan is going on forever, isn't it. Maybe I should start with Kaito Kid instead. That's shorter.

    Maybe Evans will be a short series with 1-2 volumes. I could live with that.

    I hope the author an actual purpose and some character development. I really dislike female that are just there for the sake of having a female character.

    I did some counting: Except for volume 1 that had those oneshots, all Tokiwa volumes contain 10 chapters. The current 112 chapters would fill 11 volumes (+ 2 chapters). That means he could end the story in the next 8 chapters for 12 volumes total. I think this might be very possible, seeing that they are already fighting a god and most of their other "enemies" are either dead or joined them. I can't think of anything that could come after this fight, unless the author decides to pull some nonsense with any previous/future timelines.

  4. Argh, I can't count any more. Make that 12 volumes + 2 chapters currently, and 13 volumes total.

  5. Magic Kaito is unfinished though, so if you start with that you're still not getting an ending, haha.

    Evans could go either way, honestly. Though usually WSS series are 4-5 volumes, so unless the author intends on ending it within a volume or two (which they would have said from the start) it'll at least last a little under a year. The characters are defs going to be what sells it though, as the plot itself is pretty simple, unless it develops into something more substantial later.

    I could see Matsuena pulling off an ending in the next volume, but again at this point they may wanna keep the series around until something else pulls ahead and sells well. It's more in the hands of Matsuena (in my opinion) than Shogakukan, really, unless they feel confident enough that one of the new series will be a huge hit.