Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Covering Sunday January 2018 Edition

Aaaaaand safe! Ah, I've been so busy with things on and off the blog that I almost forgot to talk about this week's selection of releases! No need to fear, my faulty memory actually did it's job and now I'm here. Let's get to it!

At the top despite being over now is Meteor Girl's third volume. I really like the logo for the series, and Ishiyama does such a great job with the BG art --and the usually obtrusive volume number is actually nice and  small on the side! It's truly a cover of epic proportions --sadly this wasn't enough to save the series, but hey, at least there isn't too much to collect. Also I'm really quite fond of Chihiro's color scheme --her hair and eyes mesh well together.

To continue with series that are no longer here with us, this is the final volume of RINNE. --Feels like only a little while ago I was talking about the series and thinking it wouldn't have an end...nostalgia aside, it's what we've come to expect from the series, honestly. I am a little surprised that rather than a group cover we just get the two protagonists, but they are the most important characters in the series aren't they. I dig the blue in both the logo and volume number (and that's two covers with unobtrusive volume #'s, which is nice.) as it compliments the cover color --or lack thereof nicely.

I've always been fond of Mitsuda's character designs --they're very much typical anime, but the eyes and hair are very appealing to me for some reason, and this cover is no exception. It's also wonderful to see prominent female characters on a cover for a sports manga. Cute can be strong too!

I almost thought we had a home run when it comes to volume #'s but Minenami dropped the ball in the last inning. Still it's a very cute cover and wonderful to see Ebino and Ibusaki getting along after the revelations in the series. These covers that depict scenes in a work can be hit or miss, but this one is a hit! I do like the logo being split up as well so that both characters can really shine.

Now the # of the volume is big, but Hirakawa's composition of elements here --along with the color and BG keep it from being obtrusive. Mangaka should take notes on this! This cover is busy and static at the same time which makes it visually stimulating. The lights and darks used in the shading and the characters clothes --really digging that kimono pattern all bring a prospective buyer right in --Akuto is in the back but has more weight as the cover leans toward him, you can tell he's the protagonist, while another character appearing in this volume might fascinate those who haven't read for a bit. I think I gotta give this cover the award for the month!

Kaerikuro takes the cover of Souboutei #7. Fujita's use of the mist and flag in the BG are wonderful and add this sense of density to the cover despite it being no more than paper. I do wish he had included a few other important faces for this arc on the cover though. I do like Kaerikuro a lot, but a lot of things have happened and I feel like just having Zanka in the background could have done a lot more for this. Still, Fujita is a master of the fine art of the line, and this cover shows that well.

Last, but by no means least is Maojou's 6th volume cover. The princess looks really nice in color, and I like the reflection in the pond(?) below her of the castle mountain. Speaking of which the BG is visually interesting without being too distracting, and seeing the demons assisting with what I'd assume to be shopping lends a nice flair to this cover that might have been lacking without it. The volume number is kinda big, but off in the corner so it's fine, and I'm actually fine with the red border over the title if only because the logo isn't quite as remarkable as say --Meteor Girl. 

And that's it for this month! Hopefully next month will be a little more on time! Until then, pick up a volume and be well! 

Weekly Shounen Sunday #10 (2018)

It's that time again! Sunday on Tuesday! The mag is in a state of changes, but what will never change is how much I enjoy bringing it to you! It's the 10th issue of the year (or well more like seventh?) So it feels like we're just speeding along, doesn't it? There's a lot to talk about so let's get to it!

On the cover is Yui Okada, along with Komi-san, Koko and Hotaru and this week's guest "The Showman". I kind of like the color scheme for the Sunday logo as well. Has a very winter-y feeling if that makes sense. 

Tick tock, TOC Time!

Tenshi & Akuto!! by Aya Hirakawa (Lead Color/ Chapter 150)
Marry Grave by Hidenori Yamaji (Chapter 6)
Amano Megumi Suki Darake by Nekoguchi (Chapter 108)
Sokyuu no Ariadne by Norihiro Yagi (Chapter 7)
Major 2nd by Mitsuya Takeda (Chapter 126)
Maiko-san chi no Makanai-san by Aiko Koyama (Chapter 53)
Dagashikashi by KOTOYAMA (Chapter 176/Color page)
Shinobi No by Rokuro Ogaki (Chapter 27)
Komi-san no Komyoushou desu by Tomohito Oda (Chapter 122/123)
Daiku no Hatou by Michiteru Kusaba (Chapter 37)
Maoujou de oyasumi by Kagiji kumanomata (Chapter 85)
Souboutei Kowasubeshi by Kazuhiro Fujita (Chapter 87)
Hatsukoi Zombie by Ryou Minenami (Chapter 110)
Aozakura daigakkou monogatari by Hikaru Nikaido (Chapter 76)
Hoankan Evans no Uso ~Dead or Love~ by Mizuki Kuriyama (Chapter 39)
Tantei Xeno to nanatsu satsujin misshitsu Story by Kyouichi Nanatsuki/ Art by Teppei Sugiyama (Chapter 8)
The Showman Art by Hiroyuki Kikuta/ Supervised by Kouhei Uchimura (Special serial)
K.O.I King of Idol by Tamaki Wakaki (Chapter 32)
Birdmen by Yellow Tanabe (Chapter 56)
Youkai Giga by Satsuki Satou
Tokaichi hitoribocchi nouen by Yuuji Yokoyama (Chapter 8)

Not in this issue are the following:

Detective Conan
Be Blues 

So wow, we're really seeing the lines drawn in the sand in the magazine as things shuffle up and seemingly solidify. Xeno's been tumbling and now has found itself in a precarious situation, and K.O.I which was singing a song of praise for it's sales is now really low. Birdmen is also quite low this month, but I think that has to do more with how many series have ended than it does it's actual popularity, which goes for Evans as well. These two are popular series and probably don't need any extra promotion (or well, that's what the editorial department probably thinks.) So they want to spend time promoting what's new and upcoming. Surprisingly that seems to include Daiku no hato which should have sunk some time ago, but still sticks around and seems to be doing better than usual lately. In any case I sound like a broken mp3 but the new series by two veterans will probably serve to shake things up a bit more...

I feel like Miss Okada was already featured in my blog before, though I also don't really have the time to look back and make sure. In any case, whether she's back for the first time or otherwise, she's quite a treat on the eyes, no? The text on top says she's going to be busy this year and as an idol and actress, I can only assume they're right.

Celebrating it's 150th outing is Tenshi and Akuto this week! I had many questions as to how the series would proceed with the new relationship upgrade between the two leads, and the answer to most of those questions is --normally. I'm still not entirely sure how long we'll have voice acting fun, since it still feels like the series could end soon, but at least for now Hirakawa is going to stick around. Admittedly while I'm a little burnt out on all this romance, Akuto and Nari are pretty cute together, as seen in the page on the right where Nari returns Akuto's feelings by saying she loves him too. D'aww.. 

I am pleastantly surprised by developments with Shou however --I was expecting her to be the jealous archetype in this situation --but instead she's chosen to support "the person she likes". Even if it means not being able to be with him herself. I'm actually glad for this too, as this is one of the reasons why I don't particularly care for romance subplots. I just feel like they complicate stories in ways that don't really pay off, and otherwise good characters end up losing more than they gain. So kudos to Hirakawa for choosing a different path! There is one matter that requires addressing --they've said how they feel about each other, but when are they going to actually go out? 

A voice actor's life is a busy one and as Nari and Akuto have lots of work going on for their different projects, it's hard to plan a little time for themselves. Luckily Akuto finds a small bit of free time in his schedule --and on Christmas eve no less! So it would seem that the new couple will not only get the date they've been hoping for, but on a rather romantic day to boot. Gotta love how Akuto grandstands his way through asking her out on a date despite being more embarrassed than she is. Also the timing of this date being in December in the world of the comic but close to valentines day in the real world is also kind of nice too. Hirakawa may not be able to convert this blogger into a romantic addict, but at least this is going better than I had initially expected. Can it hold up? We'll have to see in future installments. 

Marry grave is action packed this week as the orcs come to town to wreak havok on fairies and humans alike! It's been a while since we've seen Yamaji's artwork in action, and I'm proud to say that it looks just as good as it does when it's at a leisurely pace. I can't say enough how amazed I am at the amount of effort he's able to pack into every panel on a weekly basis! Yamaji's first serial was in a monthly magazine --Sunday Super, and one would expect that he'd see a little bit of a downgrade when transferring to weekly but nope, Marry Grave looks just as good as Atlantid! Though to the people of the city it's looking quite bad --an old man was captured by the orcs and to keep his life was forced to tell them how to get through the barrier, and now it's time for them to feast. Sawyer and Jean rush to town to provide their assistance, but Jean hesitates as she doesn't understand why Sawyer would bother with any of this as it's not his problem. He comments that Rozalie would have wanted him to, and that's all he needs. 

Jean hangs back for a while, and watching Sawyer do his thing alone for a bit, joins in commenting that she's never met a more meddlesome couple in her entire life. Seems Sawyer --and by extension Rozalie's words have reached her and she's going to join into the fight! One thing I have to say is I like that her ability is probably the most unlike what I'd expect from a fairy ever --she just punches things and it hurts a lot. That's it. I'm sure there's more to it that we'll find out next week as the fight picks up in earnest, but it's so unique despite it being not unique at all, hah. 

Speaking of fights, Rashil is in one of his own against a mystery lady this week in Ariadne. Though while he's doing that, Leane finds herself in an interesting situation of her own as she explains her pre marriage plans of seeing the world to the mysterious man who has has her cornered, and his only response is to ask her to bend over as he's going to spank her 200 times. Yes it sounds naughty, but I'm sure in this case it's more like a punishment than something meant to titillate. She's not the only one to get spanked in a sense --Rashil is having trouble against one opponent when two more suddenly join the fray and he's surrounded. Gotta hand it to the kid though, he really takes all of this in stride, and just kicks it up a notch even if he's not likely to win. 

Except things just get worse, though this new girl has one interesting design. Also the page above is everything I love about manga in one concentrated place. A dual page spread with some amazing paneling, and BG art used to enhance what we're seeing --and yes the girl is cute, I said it, there. I'm biased. That aside, the mystery man from earlier returns with Leane in tow and true enough she got a spanking. The banter between the guy and Leane adds a bit of levity to the situation --she says her behind hurts like one split in two, and he comments dryly that it was always like that. Rashil figures if she's accepted and been punished that she's free to go, but mystery man says that it's clear she's going back the kingdom in the sky, so he shouldn't get any weird ideas. 

Leane remembers their promise, and orders Rashil to protect her from the five threatening to take her back home, and Rashil states his mission simply enough --he'll defeat them all and protect his princess --he is her sky blue knight. Lookin' forward to see if you'll be able to keep that promise next week, kiddo. 

Dagashikashi celebrates it's anime airing with a color page of Hajime who is getting lots of attention --not that I'm complaining at all, heh. KOTOYAMA was suggesting some sort of pairing between Hajime and Koko, but in this chapter she's more like his mom when the school calls and asks her to come in because Koko was caught illegally distributing drugs at school. Admittedly I hadn't really been reading the series before the first anime aired and I didn't really pay attention to it until I started this blog, but now I get to wondering how Hajime ended up boarding with the Shikadas...when Hajime arrives at the school, the teacher rightfully doubts that she's Koko's mom and asks if she is his older sister instead. She admits she's a part time worker but insists that they are family, hmm... anyway what Koko was actually selling was a ramune candy, which while not being wrong per se convinces the teacher that he's headed down a dark path if not stopped. Though in the end Koko just says he won't sell them anymore and the teacher accepts this which leaves Hajime wondering why she was called down in the first place....I don't know either, but it was a pretty hilarious chapter so just roll with it. 

Shinobi no is high flying and even high up in the TOC this week. Except has Pops succumbed to the pressure and wants to die? The chapter opens up with him testing Heisuke by asking him to kill him, and the kid Samurai is more than happy to, but after a few hours of swinging away, he's no closer to completing his task as he was when he started. In fact he's tuckered out without even being able to lay a finger on Pops. --Though it gets one wondering how a kid like this managed to get strong enough to attract Pops' attention to begin with? 

To answer that question we peer into the past where he is at the bedside of someone who apologizes to him for no longer being able to go on....that someone being his mother, and surprisingly Heisuke acts more like a kid here than he does in the present --crying and begging his mother not to leave him alone. She also mentions his father Toudou Izuminogami Takayuki who's a great samurai in his own right. --Hmm, that name sounds familiar --wasn't that someone who appeared much earlier on in this series' run? In any case, mom passes away asking her son to become a great samurai. It's this wish that Heisuke singlemindly focuses on, that gives him a strong will and shapes him even when the children around him mock his weakness. 

And it's that aura that interested Pops in the first place. Look at that thing there! It's great to see Ogaki's art used for something so fearsome again. Also I wouldn't have expected Heisuke's past to be so...well, not normal, but I was expecting something a little more...tragic I guess? Not that losing one's mom isn't tragic but....ah, I'm not making sense here. In short it's not exactly an unheard of tale in these stories or in that time period. 

Pops knocks out Heisuke and then awakens him demanding that he stare into the darkness that is within his soul --the very weakness and his past that he refuses to look at --and instead runs away from. The boy shouldn't allow his darkness to swallow him alive --instead walk forward to the light of the future. If he wants to become strong he must acknowledge himself, learn new movies, and polish what he knows. In short --he must change into the person he wants to be rather than running away from the person he was. 

"To change yourself is to change the world". And I can't think of a better place --a better piece of advice, a better page to end the coverage on this week. I'm glad to see Ogaki so high up this week as it means maybe Pops will be with us for some time. A step at a time is what he goes on to advise Heisuke --take it a step at a time. For us that means tuning in to Shinobi no each week, and for Heisuke to mind his training. Although Heisuke wants to be a samurai and not a shinobi, I do think he'll come out for the better after this training with Pops. 

I'm back on the waves with Hatou this week! I love the sense of comradere seen here when Furuzono who's been trying to impress a girl manages to get her attention, despite being pretty much out of commission thanks to all that oar-ing. She seems to know his name, and even wants to talk to him, except...she has a boyfriend, so it's like what was the point of all of this? Still everyone rallying together to bring him forward and rooting him on until the revelation was a really nice change of pace in situations like these. Poor Furuzono though, I guess you weren't as lucky as Aktuo earlier on in the magazine who managed to get the girl, huh? 

Some fanservice for the boys and girls who come to my blog. Don't say I never did anything for you, haha. Though I guess it is a bit of disservice considering what the characters had to do to get these battle scars. Paddling an oar with all of your strength really is hard on one's body isn't it? Still it's all a part of the training in this school for aquatics. The rest of the chapter is basically about the classes getting together and resting after a day out at sea, and how Furuzono uses diving practice to hide the fact that he is kind of messed up by the revelation of the girl of his dreams being someone else's already. (At Minato's suggestion.)

Probably more interesting than the series itself is how Daiku seems to be reinventing itself in it's second wind --it went from being a romance story framed by schooling in aquatics to a flat out training to be a man of the seas sorta story. We haven't seen Nagiko in a while, and judging from the pacing of the chapters and the sudden shift to Minato's point of view, It's more or less certain he's taken over the manga in an effort to rebrand it. It's feeling a lot more like a wetter version of Aozakura than it is Silver spoon but at sea, and I think it'll be a good study in how shounen manga shifts gears in hopes of wider popularity and how that helps or harms things in the long run as this story develops. I've heard from interviews with editorial staff of different manga magazines that there's a need for manga to remain in the magazine even if by all accounts they're not very popular, which seems to be the case for Daiku, and understandably so --Sunday's lost a few manga and the first month of the year isn't out yet. In any case, the series is sticking around for a bit, and from the looks of things has the blessing of the editorial department, so you'll be seeing it here in the blog from time to time too. 

Maoujou is back and with it brings a chapter about the princess and her body double Sakkyun the succubus. Except they're being spied on by Harpy who thinks of herself as friends with the princess and doesn't trust Sakkyun who's apparently taking money from the monster adviser to get closer to the sleepy princess. So as her friend she has to watch out for her --but in all honesty it seems to me that it's Sakkyun who needs a friend as the princess's training for her to be her body double continues, and is just as harsh as it was the first time around. To begin with she asks if Sakkyun will pull off her tail in an effort to look more like her. When that's a no go, she then asks if she'd yank out her fangs --and yeah, Princess is sort of a sadist, hah. Harpy can only watch in shock as her "friend" is seemingly out to replace her with Sakkyun. (Though honestly the princess only sees Harpy as her lap pillow and not much else.) Meanwhile she keeps tempting Sakkyun into dangerous situations by promising her money to be the best body double she can --ranging from taking on more powerful monsters to yanking body parts off to look more like her --seriously Harpy you could do better in terms of friendship. In the end the princess sends the succubus out on a mission and allthough she comes back in failure, she does at least tuck the former in, which in Harpy's eyes means she's a great friend. Sakkyun's gained a troublesome rival in this situation without even knowing it, and I can only hope that the two of them realize who they're getting in bed with --literally. Though it is admittedly much funnier that they don't find out.

Takoha isn't quite ready to return to the world of the living as Souboutei opens up this week, though his link to the land of the dead is dragging him back whether he likes it or not. Meanwhile it's moving to see the siblings overjoyed to tears that their friend is okay and will be back soon as confirmed by Kaerikuro. He's done a lot for them both, so it's understandable they're happy to see him back --and it goes to show that the series has come a long way since it's first chapter which feels like a long time ago. (Almost two years at this point.) 

However Takoha can't quite return yet, there's still something else he wants to check out --something else he has to check out. While Seiichi prepares to fight against the other invaders in the Souboutei, Takoha makes haste while he's still a spirit with freedom to transverse the house's walls. 

He rushes past the spirits killed and trapped in the house only able to offer small solaces --that he will find a way to destroy the house and free them, someday. If it's not clear from the SFX, these spirits are wailing their grievances into the sad either of the house's hallways, unheard by those still alive, still able to grieve openly. I couldn't include Takoha's heartbroken expression to further evidence his sadness in not being able to do anything more than offer promises, but the page above is not only well drawn, but a reminder of just how much weight there is to the character's actions in this work. 

So what Takoha's been trying to find out is what Sakamaki has planned within the house itself --which he manages to overhear after finding him in the deepest parts of the house. Also I'm only kind of surprised that Shino is still alive since it seemed doubtful she was gone once and for all. The dual page spread of Sakamaki painting is both my contractual obligation and a story element all at once --Shino asks when Sakamaki intends to allow the forces --the invaders to be freed as it is only because he is standing guard that the aqueous aliens haven't splashed into our world. Sakamaki confirms that once he's done with this panting that he'll open the gate leading to the end as they all know it. 

Hard to believe Evans is coming upon his first year in the magazine with this being chapter 40, but we're slowly approaching that point. This arc has been going a while and each chapter has been better than the last, so I'm certainly not complaining, but considering how far down the cowboy is in the TOC, I do wonder if Japan is receiving this arc as well as I am? Hmm. I'd like to say a part of this might just be because Evans has secured himself as far as rankings go and so doesn't need as much advertisement further up, but it's still a little worrying. Though not as worrying as the gang of kidnappers growing ever closer to the train he's on with his "family". They've even got an evil sheriff on their side -- Jean daggit and he's none to pleased his easy score has become anything but with Evans around. Pheebs is doing her best to keep the inside of the train on lock while Evans scopes the outside, but Jean is one step ahead of him and has taken Melissa captive! 

With Melissa captured, Evans apparently has no choice but to hand Mattie over save her, but he's got a bit of a trick up his sleeve as well. Evans tosses him over the bag once both girls are in the middle of the train, but he neglects to mention that it's tied to a post and as such drags the evil sheriff right off the train, saving both girls and taking out one bad element. 

Though that was actually Pheebs's bounty, hah. But as I said, they've only managed to take out one element of this plot and still have a ways to go as the other gang members are riding up on horseback and gaining fast. This arc isn't quite over yet, nor is Evans' troubles! 

I can't say I know for sure, and I wouldn't be surprised if it were a thing, but how many detectives can say they've investigated their own death? Xeno's now on that list as he comes in to bear witness to his "demise" as this chapter of the series opens. Luckily it's very quickly proven that this was merely a prank of sorts, though it's one without any witnesses and so far no real purpose. 

It is revealed however that the musical college in which this takes place is in fact a building constructed by the now deceased Kai, so perhaps it has a relation with the seven murderous doors he spoke of.....when Xeno and Ayla make their way into the school, a guy greets them and seems familiar with Xeno asking about his memory loss --to which he responds "If I lent you any money, sorry about that" --gotta love his sense of humor. But no, he's only meeting Xeno for the first time, and introduces himself as Cellist Bungo Murata, stuck doing cleanup because he and his pals got into a drunk bender and defaced the school the night before. 

It's there he's introduced to the "muse" Shizuka Mitamura, and the principal Sena. Who apologizes for making Xeno come out here for what amounts to be an unfunny prank. He bids the detective farewell and leaves, though a remark from Xeno seems to catch Murata's attention --that the doll used in the prank was rather well made. Hmm, also something else I noted here which might just be a conicidence, but hey who knows in a mystery series is that Murata's name written "村田" is similar to Shizuka's "Mitamura" or "三田村" dunno if this will play into the deduction later, of course, but it's something to keep in mind. 

A few readers of the blog have said that Sugiyama's artwork is a bit hard to look at --and to some extent I agree, but I think the mastery of setting mood surpasses the limitation in drawing people. Even without being able to read Ayla's monolog about feeling uneasy when they returned from the school, the placement of panels and the crows flying overhead lend a sense of malease that overcomes any language barriers, I think. It's three days later that she gets a phone call confirming her bad feeling --the principal Sena has been killed and his body found in a locked room --meaning that this is the "second" of the murder doors Kai hinted at. The mystery is afoot and next week --the investigation! I do wonder if the series really will conclude after seven of these, though after the case in the last few chapters that seemingly had nothing to do with the doors I think it can go as long --or short as the authors and editors need. Granted with this place in the TOC "short" seems to be more likely than long....

Can't say I've ever read a gymnastics manga, so this is a whole new experience for me. "The Showman" is a manga that started in the sister magazine of Shounen Sunday --Sunday Super, and if the pictures above didn't make it clear, this is a sports manga of a different stroke. With the art by Hiroyuki Kikuta --who drew a manga known as "Try your Best, fly high!" (Ganba fly high!) Which is also about gymnastics and ran for 34 volumes, and an actual gold medalist, Kouhei Uchimura supervising, I'd assume these two have what it takes to take this series over the top. The art has a very old school style to it because of Kikuta's artwork, which isn't surprising since he's been doing manga since the 90's, and this definitely looks like a 90's manga. Though in today's market I think that's actually a boon in it's favor. 

The first chapter sets up things in a pretty standard-ish way, the main character Shouma is told by a teacher/trainer of his to come for training at a gathering for the top athletes in Japan because he shows potential to becomes a top athlete. Despite being nervous he shows up and meets with the other characters/athletes in the series. He meets up with the youngest of the Tobita brothers, who claims himself to be the most talented of the three. This is most likely to be Shouma's rival as he rises through the ranks. I know it sounds like I'm disparaging this a bit, but I'm not. It's a formula that's worked for sports manga for years and there's a reason for that --it's easy to get engaged and understand the characters if they have a rivalry --something to strive toward. Maybe we aren't all looking to be athletes, but we know what it's like to see someone and want --at least to do as well as they are if not better. 

Tobita is pretty good at what he does too, able to pull off several fancy moves in a row much to the chagrin of the other competitors in the hall. Takeru Tobita also goes as far as recognizing Shouma as someone who has what it takes to stand up to him --to be on his level. Seems the two go to the same elementary school, so they actually know each other! This rivalry is getting off to an interesting start, since the two actually have a bit of a backstory. It's then that a competitor from the Rio Olympics --better known as the king of athletes --Kouhei Yamato appears to the shock and amazement of everyone there. With just a simple "everyone do your best" he's able to rally the support and hopes of everyone in the hall. Tobita is unimpressed showing his cheeky side to everyone there and his refusal to defer to the king as he asks if Yamato will appear in the 2020 olympics --leading him to ask them instead "Will you all be appearing with me?" 

Shouma is able to show that while he is rough around the edges he really does have potential in the sport but is it Olympic potential? That's what the series after this is clearly supposed to demonstrate.  So far it is following the sports manga tropes to the letter, so it'll be whether Kikuta can execute these well moreso than if he can bring anything new to the table. With the future of gymnastics in their hands, will Tobita and Shouma be able to pull themselves over that bar to where the King awaits? You'll just have to read more of "The Showman" to find out! 

Birdmen starts off with a pretty chilling sequence of Maraika accepting the power of the leader of the Birdmen group in Africa. Apparently ingesting his blood and being able to see his flames is enough to know that one has received this power. Though she comes out of this okay, her grandmother is worried as she's been wondering around at night. I'm curious as to how she'll tie into the bigger plot since that's not revealed this chapter --seems pretty random to give a child this kind of power though what kind of power is this kind of power. That too will be revealed later I suppose. Especially since it's implied that the giver of this power is looking for someone to surpass him, hm...

You're not seeing things wrong here! The Birdmen gang along with some African assistance is fighting an actual mountain. A mountain that apparently has the cognative presence to at it's enemies. Gotta say this is what I read manga for, and no, I'm not being ironic --it's weird stuff like this that really makes manga --especially shounen manga a viable medium for me. Helps that Tanabe's art is some of the best I've seen in the demographic. Not only is the mountain a thing, but to protect themselves from the debris it spews they summon the image of a giant whale. The African Birdfolk are doing well in taking care of this threat all on their own that Karasuma of the Japanese group wonders if they're really needed here at all. 

It's then that the leader seen at the start of the chapter --Road decends (Interesting name, but maybe I'm misrendering it.) And boy he makes one heck of an appearance. He's got the people of Africa eating out the palm of his hand, as they celebrate him. 

Interesingly enough he's got a Chinese name --Wang Guifon (again I might just be writing this wrong, so forgive me.) and one of the characters in his name is "Phoenix" In fact to break down his entire name it's something like "King Light Phoenix", and when he appears at the end, he asks if he may "talk about the future" with the Birdmen group gathered from different parts of the world. What kind of future could he possibly be alluding to? So far (as I've read) has been about gathering allies, but I have my doubts Wang here is here to gracefully join their group. 

This week in Youkai giga, we're treated to a tale of Betobeto-san, a formless spectre known for the particular sound it makes and it named after --the "betobeto" that sandals make as they clack against the ground. It's a fairly harmless youkai --more just a nuisance and admittedly a little bit traumatic as it typically just follows it's victims around, matching their walking speeds but disappearing when they check to see if anyone is there. In the manga itself this week, a young man finds himself plagued with a very Betobeto problem when a girl runs up and asks for his help as she's being followed by a persistent guy. The man is an agent for a person who sells women and isn't to kind to those he isn't able to sell --so a group of women made a break for it, but this girl dropped her mom's memento, and in an effort to get it back found herself caught by the sword wielding agent and in a bad situation. Unfortunately the young man has no weapons or means to defend them and all seems lost until the Betobeto following them steps in and....defends them instead! Something I didn't include in the opening sentiment is that the best way to be rid of a Betobeto is to step aside and allow them passage by saying "Betobeto-san go on ahead.", which is what the young man does when he and the girl decide to pass through the night together to keep each other safe. Poor Betobeto, after all of it's efforts it's just told to go on alone. Doing the right thing often means getting nothing for one's efforts, poor thing. 

That's it for issue #10! Next week we can expect Yuka Ogura on the cover, a color page for Megumi, three one shots: "Trick Shot" by Atsushi Namikiri, Osanajimi no karen naru henshin" by Shinya Misu, and "Cherry Game" by  Souji Nagayama. Two are about sports --racquetball and baseball, while the one by Misu seems to be an adolescent comedy judging from the description though most important (to me) is Saike's return with a color page in the next issue as well! I'll be dividing my attention between a whole lot next week, and I hope you'll be there! Until issue #11, have a great week!