It's been a day folks, so you'll forgive me if I'm less than cheery this entry....unfortunately something has occurred with Amazon which might just put this blog's future into jeopardy. I'm hoping it was only blip for this week, but if this keeps up I may not be able to get the good book as easily as I used to, and while I do love writing this blog, I can't afford extra hardships in getting WSS each week. For now at least I do have issue #30 but consider this an advanced warning. I would really like to keep things going, however, so I'll do my best to figure out an alternative if worse comes to worst.
On the cover is Komi-san looking gorgeous with a seafaring backdrop. Oddly she's not getting a color page this week --just the cover. It's a phenomenon I've not seen in other shounen magazines like Jump, --where the series on the cover doesn't get a color page in the magazine itself. I guess that's just one more of those weird quirks this magazine has.
And now the TOC.
Komi-san wa, Komyushou Desu by Tomohito Oda (Cover)
Daiku no Hatou by Michiteru Kusaba
Amano Megumi wa Suki Darake! by Nekoguchi
Magi by Shinobu Ohtaka
Dagashikashi by KOTOYAMA
Hoankan Evans no Uso ~Dead or Love~ by Midzuki Kuriyama
Meteor Girl by Reach Ishiyama (Color page)
Hatsukoi Zombie by Ryou Minenami
Souboutei Kowasubeshi by Kazuhiro Fujita
Maiko-san chi no Makanai-san by Aiko Koyama
K. O. I. King of Idol by Tamaki Wakaki
Be Blues! By Motoyuki Tanaka
Tenshi to Akuto!! By Aya Hirakawa
Maou-jou de Oyasumi by Kagiji Kumanomata
Hatsukoi Boueigun by Yusuke Hori (Special Sunday Webry Chapter)
Obitsu wa Shoudoku Desu by Kenzi Taguchi (Special Sunday Webry Chapter)
Tenshou no Quadrable by Takahiro Arai
Aozakura -Bouei Daigakkou Monogatari by Hikaru Nikaido
Kyoukai no RINNE by Rumiko Takahashi
Joujuu Senjin!! Mushibugyo by Hiroshi Fukuda
Hiiragi-sama wa Jibun o Sagashite iru by Hiroyuki Nishimori
Youkai Giga by Satsuki Satou
Sunday Higaku Kenkyujo by Yuuji Yokoyama.
And not in this issue are the following
Zettai Karen Children
Things are looking a little less lopsided this week, though Tenshou is in trouble if it doesn't pick itself up quickly. Rinne has Takahashi while Mushibugyo is on it's way out so there's not much to worry about with them, meanwhile Evans continues to ride high which brings me happiness. Granted an issue without RYOKO and Saike in it feels lonely somehow, but we'll weather the storms together!
Speaking of Komi-san, the issue begins with a clever advertisement of the 4th volume, which is a sort of Komi-san quiz. Translating the whole thing would be a pain,
Hey, I'm all about Truth in advertising. But the results on the left page in orange indicate which character you are (and thus your relationship with Komi) depending on how many you got right. Getting all of the quiz questions correct means you're Tadano who's the closest to her, Getting one or two right makes you Najimi and getting all of them wrong makes you Yamai or Nakanaka. If you're in that last category it subtly (but not really) states that you need to read more of the manga --like I said, pretty clever advertising.
Onto the chapter itself, Komi might be celebrating being serialized for a year in our world, but in her world it's testing time.
Tadano seems to have this test in the bag, but then he realizes he didn't bring an eraser with him.
Komi's got him handled though, and breaks off a piece of that --eraser.
Things end with Komi and Tadano being unable to concentrate on the test because they were thinking of each other --Tadano being grateful that Komi helped him out, and Komi just being plain shy. Aww you two. Meanwhile on the right is chapter 83 where the girl there --I forget her name outright confesses to Komi? And not the "I like you as a friend" but an actual-factual "I love you". There's a big distinction in Japanese so there's no mistaking what she's saying here.
Though basically she's playing something called the "love" game where whomever can make the other blush wins. In this case however, she doesn't care if she wins or loses --she just wants Komi to say she loves her. Unfortunately Najimi shows up just when things are getting "good" and steals the spotlight with another love confession.
Poor Komi's just confused as Najimi and Yamai (Got her name) Go back and forth in their misguided affection. After everything is said and done, Komi excuses herself to the hallway and has herself a nice looong blush. She was caught between wanting to stop them and wanting to hear those words, poor thing.
Next up after a little break is Daiku No Hatou with Nagiko on the frontspiece! Man has it already been 9 weeks? Feels like this series just got started --though I guess it sort of did since the first three chapters were mostly setup.
Minato is still dreading his huge faux pas in coming to the school for a girl who's actually not attending. As demonstrated on the left, the city slicker doesn't have the bod to be a manly fisherman. The teachers(?) tell him not to worry as they were wimpy whiners when they started and now look at them! In any case tomorrow is when they'll oar their way to a new hotter body.
Apparently in their organization there are 4 means of getting wet -- small boats (cutter) Yachts, diving and the cruiser. Of course all four have clubs dedicated to them as well! Also...thrown in as an afterthought is a baseball club. To sell their "clubs", the upper class men have the girls try to convince the guys to join. However to one girl's surprise, the actual chief is doing his own top sailing...but he's not even a member of the Yacht club so what is he a part of? For one reason or another when the new student asks this question the girl seems visibly like "oh crap".
It makes a bit more sense when he reveals that he's part of the Open sea club which the manga sort of totes as "God's revelation to first years". I guess there's a secret fifth club that if they --the first years found out about it they'd never want to do anything else? Gotta admit, the chief looks pretty cool on the left page. On the right is everyone gathering together to sing the Aquatic "Vagrancy song" which is an important part of the school.
Minato is surprised that people can harmonize with each other without the need for social media as he and the other first years sing along to a song they've only heard now for the first time.
I didn't include the page here, but in the end he even finds himself crying despite not really knowing why. --an emotion that he has never felt before, but feels "right" regardless.
Next up is a cute chapter of Amano Megumi! It's easy to let this series slip under the radar due to it's voluptuous nature, but it has genuine moments of character development that shouldn't be missed. Heck, as someone who isn't a fan of the romance genre at all I still find myself enamored by the series. In any case, things start off with Ma-kun working hard on a test when he drops his eraser. He checks to see if it's dirty after falling on the floor and it's here we see "Do your best" written on it. Apparently this is his lucky eraser, and we're going to get the story behind it.
Flashback to Middle school in April where Ma-kun ends up testing into the D rank class. In his (then current) class set up, there was a girl named Mikawa who manages 100s in everything she does, and Ma-kun as much as he wishes he could be in the same league as her is a far off existence. In the right page, he's even happy that she moved closer to his seat to talk to friends.
Although in the present timeline Ma-kun is on the road to being a scholar, it seems he lost his way a little bit in Middle school after being a wunderkind in his younger days. He says it himself on the left page that his test results are his "identity." Here the teacher calls him in and says he won't get into the school he wants at this rate and that he may want to reconsider his options. He's understandably dejected by this news until he returns to his desk and finds that someone has written "Do your best" on his eraser, which inspires him to do just that. He figures it must have been "M"ikawa because of the M there, but I think we know where this is going.
Megumi happens to borrow an eraser from one of her friends which is the same maker as the one Ma-kun was looking at. Another flashback takes us to the time where she was in class and overheard a few guys basically echoing what the teacher said --that Ma-kun won't get into the school he's interested in with his grades. Megumi wants to cheer him on, and what better way is there than to write her feelings on his eraser?
I like that Megumi doesn't tell him that she wrote on the eraser, and Ma-kun never figures it out as smart as he is. It's a cute end to a cute chapter and a reminder that you cant judge a book --or manga by it's cover. That being said Megumi is full of fanservice so I guess first impressions aren't that far off the mark after all, hrm.
Speaking of cute misunderstandings, Evans is next with his tenth roundup. (These new series grow up so fast.) I'm enjoying this cover page which is simple while getting the series's plot across.
Pheebs is having a girls chat with her friend Rosa, who she hasn't seen for some time. The topic becomes of love and it's foibles, and while Pheebs figures she'd just give her friend a patient ear, she's a little shocked to find that Rosa wants to talk about Evans. --Karma is a nasty maker as she was just
lying saying that she's quite experienced in love. Rosa knows she's in league with Evans, so she asks Pheebs if she can deliver a letter to him while being very clear that she's not supposed to read it.
Pheebs does as her friend asks (with great reluctance). At first she wonders why she doesn't just read the letter and keep it from him, but then she figures this is a chance to find out how he really feels about her so she hands it over. Probably the most hilarious part of this is Evans's poker face not matching his inner thoughts as Pheebs hands over the love letter.
Evans of course plays it off like he's received a ton of love letters before so there's no need to be overly giddy over receiving one of them (although he is overly giddy). Why, he's even written a few of his own! (As practice with his Dad.) He's actually more shocked that it's not from Pheebs, but hey, a love letter is a love letter. She's down that he seems not to care that some other woman is sending him love letters, and he's confused as to why she'd glibly deliver this --would you two just kiss already?
Evans opens the letter and well, it turns out that it's not a love letter at all, but an invitation to a surprise birthday party in Pheebs's favor thrown by Rosa herself. She's more or less inviting Evans to the party and keeping it secret from her because she knows if her friend were to find out that she'd be too shy to show up. Aww, to have a friend like this..
She tries to play it off like it's too bad for Evans that it wasn't a love letter but I think it's pretty obvious she's relieved more than anything. Meanwhile Evans is just like. "I wanted a love letter, dammit." Ah, and as a show for the series (well deserved in my opinion) popularity, it's getting a color page and two, that's right two chapters in the very next issue! It appears a new rival is set to appear next time according to the splash text....but for whom? Next issue...!!
Next up is Ishiyama Reach's ....I'm not sure what genre Meteor Girl is. Thriller? Horror? Suspense? It's...something. Anyway, the series I thought I'd put down, but can't seem to continues with it's next chapter --and ah, on top there it seems the WSS editorial department claims this is a "Dramatic horror" manga. Thanks for answering that guys! In any case, Ishiyama's art looks kind of strange in color, which is unique since usually color pages look better...? Anyway the chapter picks up immediately from last week's ending point where the nurse seems to believe that the girl they found is her long lost older sister, but she --the girl doesn't know who she is.
Hane interrogates the MG but as you can see from her expression on the right she doesn't get much information. She asks what the girl's name is and she doesn't know. She asks if she is aware that she is an MG and she doesn't know....and then the kicker, "The real person that you're supposed to be is dead --you're a fake. How does that make you feel?" Nope, nada, nothing.
Disappointed, Hane heads home leaving Tetto and the nurse lady with the awkward realization that if this girl is the nurse's older sister that she should be pushing up daises. Tetto hangs on to the revelation Hane gave about the girls being the dead revived and asks about this, but the nurse lady seems to believe that she's not dead just lost somewhere. She's on the verge of tears but when the MG who's supposed to be her sister asks if she's crying, she stops and relives a childhood memory where her older sister scolded her for being a crybaby. (Also we get that her name is Ryouko...not that one, though hearing that name makes me want to cry.)
Breaking this up are men in black who suddenly appear and want to take the older sister into custody---not being afraid to use unnecessary force.
Ryouko isn't willing to let her older sister be taken away, and Tetto isn't the sort of guy to watch a woman get hurt and do nothing about it. Their unnecessary force is directed to her, and it looks like the situation is spiraling out of control when...
Little sister's tears seem to activate some sort of memory in the MG.
She asks again if Ryouko is crying, but this time refers to her as "Ryo-chan". Seems that the sisterly bond has triggered some kind of reaction, but where is this all going? Sadly we'll have to wait until the next issue to find out.
Meanwhile Souboutei is souboutei-ing, and it is my pleasure to bring it and that made up term to your monitors. It seems the house is finally about to meet it's match now that Frol has been able to bring the nitrogen that the people in the house so desperately need.
Fujita saw fit to bless us with a lot of dual page spreads this week --so many that I had to stop myself from posting the entire chapter, heh. Auguste tells everyone that if they wanna run for it that this is the time, but everyone chimes in that it's far too late to run, as they ready their weapons to fire on the nitrogen tanks. "You're all idiots" is the only thing the prof can say before they let'er rip.
The house isn't willing to go gently into...wherever houses go where they die and sends out it's forces to swallow the intruders up. In true Fujita hero style, Takoha leaps in to save Frol despite her warning not to do so last week.
Takoha is such a good guy. He says that it's thanks to her that they were able to defeat the house, and prepares to go to that bigger house in the sky with her. It's really quite moving especially with this framing and Fujita's art telling a story that words only accentuate.
The house has been completely set aflame now --does this mean that it's all over? Will Souboutei be Fujita's shortest series on record? We won't know until next week.
It's been a while but Be Blues coverage needed to happen with art like this. I admit I haven't been reading it as much as I should have lately so I'm not actually all that sure of what's going on, but I'll be damned if the character illustrations that Tanaka serves up doesn't make me wish I were giving this more attention. Perhaps I'll need to rectify this soon.
And now to our seemingly last set of immigrants from Sunday Webry. (For now anyway). The first of which is Hatsukoi Bouegun (First love Defense Army) by Yusuke Hori and the second being Obutsu wa Shoudoku desu (Garbage will be disinfected) by Kenzi Taguchi. They're --the editorial staff are calling these love comedies though I think they use that term suuuuper liberally here. Anyway let's dive in to the first one by Hori-Sensei!
The series starts out by crunching some numbers --saying that even the rarest things have a small percentage of occuring, like your first love leading to marriage being 1% reaching a Tenho in Majong being at 0.003% and being in a plane accident at 0.0009%.
Things get really out there when the chance of being killed by a falling meteor (0.0004%) is included however....
In less out there matters, College Student Akihito Usui confesses to a girl he likes and she....doesn't even recall ever seeing him before. (Usui's name is important, as I'll detail in a moment.) But yeah, the poor guy laments how people have never seen aliens and psychics, but they do acknowledge their existence. Meanwhile people --more specifically Amasawa the girl he's known since elementary school doesn't even remember him.
So now Usui. The phrase "kage ga usui" means something like "Not standing out". Which is what our protagonist's name is clearly playing with as this page describes. Since birth he's been rather unfortunate as no one notices or remembers him. Friends he's assumed to have known for years don't remember him and he's always had to do P.E. stuff with the teacher since no one noticed he was there. His mom --who has passed away once said to him that "The opposite of love isn't hatred but indifference." Which he's able to intellectually understand to mean that he shouldn't hate people just because they don't notice him, but Usui thinks of it more like "I'd like to be noticed just once even if it is because people are pissed at me."
And just like that a life is snuffed out in two dual page spreads. It's not like anyone would notice he's gone right?
Oh well I guess he isn't gone? In any case Usui tries to calm himself down --after all he's not dead even after being hit by a meteor, so things are all good right? Yet...he seems to have lost a primary function of the human condition --a reflection. Meanwhile Usui's neighbor is ready to smack him one for being so noisy next door --and while he's actually sort of happy to be noticed, he'd rather be the one doing the hitting, but against a guy like that? No way! But can he hit what he can't see?
Usui decides to screw around with him a little and when he really can't see him, he realizes he's not just unnoticeable, but completely invisible!
And of course with this newfound ability he's got plenty he can take advantage of as seen on these two pages. Hey, don't judge him on the right one, bottom panel. If you were invisible you'd totally do the same thing, wouldn't you?
Unfortunately once the novelty of being unseen fades, all that's left is an existential crisis. In the end Usui just wants someone to look at him --a dream that apparently will go unrealized forever. I really like Hori's set up of the right page's big panel. It evokes a sense of vastness and solitude that really makes one feel for Usui.
Usui goes through the motions and heads to school the next day where --to his surprise Amasawa is looking for him, and not only that she seems to remember him from Elementary school after all! Though it's weird when he confessed to her she really didn't seem to remember anything...it's on the right that we get into why Usui likes her so much. --Akane Amasawa...her grades are not great, but not horrible, she's cute but not pretty or popular, she has friends but none have ever been to her house..she's the picture of hum-drum mediocrity (His words, not mine.) but yet to Usui she's the one person he felt like really syncs up with him due to just not standing out in any way.
Usui is curious and decides to follow her home --not like she can see him anyway, but what he finds out is that she's actually not all that hum-drum at all. She's apparently unit 37564 and it's implied the reason why she was looking for him is because he's her target of sorts.
Usui crunches the numbers again and the possibility of being struck by a meteorite and turned into the invisible man are still slightly more likely than finding out that the girl you like is...
Part of Earth's defense force. There really isn't anything that has a 0% percent chance of happening in this world is there? In any case, to find out what'll happen to Usui next, you'll have to pick up the first volume of this series or head over to sunday webry here to read more. Sadly it's in Japanese, but at the very least you can get an idea of the plot.
Now for some Obutsu wa Shoudoku desu! This page introduces the main characters, Mashiro Seikei (the girl) and Tsukasa (the boy.) Although the title sounds like something super awesome --or some end of the century manga (their words, not mine) it's as written on the tin --it's a series about cleanliness. Although we do get an idea of the characters involved --the middle panel. Mashiro even goes as far as plugging Sunday Webry where you can read the series! Tsukasa asks if they're going to introduce him to the audience and is promptly ignored, however.
The chapter opens up with Tsukasa and Mashiro discussing some dirty deed that the former has done. Tsukasa remarks that "This is the way I've always done things and I don't intend to change now." "It's not like I missed! My aim was on the mark!" However Mashiro comments that just because he can't see the filth he's spreading doesn't mean it isn't there!
And then the punchilne. "I've told you to sit down when you use the toilet! Why are men like this?!" Yup it's one of those manga.
The first chapter is mostly about Mashiro convincing Tsukasa that he needs to keep the toilet clean by comparing it to curry and how one has to be careful it doesn't get everywhere when eating --which Tsukasa asks her not to make such a weird analogy in front of the toilet. He's about to just do the thing when Mashiro corrects his form and calls him a "cleaning newbie." She then comments that clearly the brush would have germs on it too wouldn't it? After all it's used for a singular focus and nothing else right? So what tool would they use to ensure maximum cleanliness?
The hands, clearly! Glop that cleaning agent right on some gloves and rub away! (I am phrasing things this way on purpose. I mean look at Mashiro's face, and ask me if I'm wrong to do so.)
It's here Tsukasa realizes he's dealing with a woman who's completely insane when it comes to cleaning things. She refers to the toilet as "The golden treasure" and basks in it's radiance.
"It's so clean that it seems like a waste to use this as a toilet doesn't it"? That says all you really need to hear about her, really. Of course what good is cleaning the thing if you can't immediately use it afterward? Tsukasa doesn't get the hint until she chases him out...and it's here that we find out that he's actually her little brother?
Well, it's implied he's more like a brother in law since the text here reads like they're just now starting to be siblings, so I suppose their parents recently married. Anyway the story of the sloppy little bro and the clean big sis begins now. I can't say I'm really into this, but if you are you can read it here.
Mushibugyo is fresh and clean as the final battle continues to rage on via this really awesome two page spread.
What do you call jumping the shark in a manga about giant bugs? Jumping the...cricket? In any case, Mugai's blow to the baddie is so intense that he sends the dude into space, which is pretty out there, even if it is really cool to behold. Better watch out for meteors, or did you guys not get the memo from Usui?
Mugai is persistent at least, as this quasi spread shows and by his own admission that he'll chase him to the ends of the earth (and beyond, apparently) allowing him no means to escape.
And with that he slices off another wing. Man I know all I do with Mushibugyo chapters is talk about the art, but there really isn't much more I can say other than whew is it awesome. I love the close up to Mugai and his opponent's face on the left side, along with the fading wing just before it's cut. This is almost cinematic goodness!
Things return to earth, but what would a final battle in a shounen manga be without the "ultimate form"? Apparently our villain has been thinking about one thing for a thousand years --why can't humans ever be happy? Why do humans strive to be happy? It would be so much easier if all the humans in Japan were to die and take their pain, desire, and anxiety with them wouldn't it? And it's with those words that the transformation into that final form begins Mushibugyo might be on it's way out, but it's going to ensure it's a wild ride for everyone involved.
Youkai Giga time, and an even numbered issue means that we return to the tale of Kuro who simply wants to watch out for his master as he has apparently fallen in love with a girl. --A girl who seems to be able to see the youkai, maybe?
She asks her cow if something is on it's back and mentions feeling like someone's been watching her for a long time, but to Kuro's relief doesn't seem to actually be able to see him. Though now this only deepens his suspicion that she is in fact a dangerous youkai that he cannot allow to fraternize with his master any longer! It's to this end that Kuro decides to follow the girl around and see what she does when not with his master.
At first Kuro thinks that the girl is trying to bewitch the elderly, but she is in fact only providing them with a fan to keep them cool. --Okay youkai woman, you might seem nice on first glance, but Kuro isn't fooled. Not pictured here is a moment where the little youkai feels something...nostalgic about how the lady goes about and helps the elderly, but he hasn't the time to think of that as she's apparently got her hooks into another man?! If the pattern holds up, we won't be hearing from Kuro again until issue 32, but I'm anticipating big things.
And that's it for this Sunday! Next issue, Magi will be featured on the cover as a celebration of it's 34th volume, Birdmen will swoop in for it's monthly visit, Major 2nd will get a color page, and Evans will --as I mentioned earlier, receive not only a color page but two chapters in one issue! There's also a blurb here about the "2017 Sunday Summer Festival", but I'm not entirely sure what that means. It may mean new series and/or oneshots, but I think we're more likely to get the latter than the former, due to the last batch not yet being ranked or on sale. Then again we've had quite a few series end, so there's a possibility we might get one or two new serials...in any case, the blurb says further details will be published later. I'm almost positive that news about Zettai Karen Children's return will be one of the items of the festival, so fans of that rejoice!
By the way, if you all remember "Bocchi Hakase to Robot Shoujo's Zetsubou teki utopia" which ran in the magazine last week, you'll probably remember me mentioning that I translated the first two chapters! The first of which is availble as a scanslation here! By all means please give it a look see, as I'm hoping more will be coming along soon. Until the next Sunday (which will hopefully be less of a pain to get than this week's), see you!