This week's question asks "What are three words you'd use to describe yourself?"
Ponkotsu-chan kenshochuu (Tsubasa Fukuchi): This series was prepared about a year ago along with Saike!! I'm happy to be back again!
Major 2nd (Takuya Mitsuda): I'm back. For more details check out WEB (Sunday).
Maiko-san chi no Makanai-san (Aiko Koyama): Careless, absentminded, and laid back.
Detective Conan (Gosho Aoyama): A murderer, romcom, manga artist (lol)
Komi-san ha Komyusho-desu (Tomohito Oda): Smiling, lazy, apathetic!
Imouto Rireki (Kei Nishimura): Serious, Gutsy, Weak. I'll be looking forward to seeing you in Sunday Super!
Amano Megumi wa Suki darake! (Nekoguchi): Serious, caring, pervert.
switch (Atsushi Namikiri): Abdominal Pain, cold, HAPPY.
Kimi wa 008 (Syun Matsuena): Self taught, heretic, overdoing it.
Maoujo de Oyasumi (Kagiji Kumanomata) Bears, Lazy, droopy.
Souboutei Kowasubeshi (Kazuhiro Fujita): Stupid Bald Fantasy. Uwahahahah!
Hoankan Evans No Uso ~Dead or Love~ (Mizuki Kuriyama): Red, Black, grid pattern.
Daiku No Hatou (Michiteru Kusaba): Without breaks, unpopular, insecure.
Tonikaku cawaii (Kenjiro Hata): Romanticist, Studious, Otaku (According to my editor Hara.)
Aozakura Bouei Daigakkou Monogatari (Hikaru Nikaido): Sushi, Udon, Hot pot.
Be Blues! (Motoyuki Tanaka): Sleepy, monomaniac, fickle.
RYOKO (Kaito Mitsuhashi): Pudding, Glasses, Bird head. (TN- Assume he means his hair and not a "bird brain.")
Undine ha Kyou mo Koi wo suru ka? (Shinya Misu): Dreamy, Arrogant, Enigmatic.
Anonatsu 1959 (Ashibi Fukui): Serious, simple, glasses.
Gofun go no Sekai (Hiroshi Fukuda): Ambitious, Energetic, Awkward.
Fire Rabbit!! (Aya Hirakawa): "Manga" and "Hat" and "Glasses" I suppose~?
Zettai Karen Chilren (Takashi Shiina): Violent, Greedy, Anguish, Rage, Laziness, Vanity, Lust....ah, that's seven.
Sokyuu no Ariadne (Nobuhiro Yagi): Land, sea and air.
Chrono Magia: Infinity Gear (Takeshi Azuma): Violent, Lazy, lusting.
Tantei Xeno to Nanatsu no Satsujin Misshitsu (Teppei Sugiyama) SE*YU, Chocolate, Laziness
(TN- Nooot ausre what that first one is. Maybe "Seiyu"? for voice actors? But that doesn't make sense.)
Youkai Giga (Satsuki Satou): Sign, Cosign, Tangent.
Tokaichi Hitoribocchi Nouen (Yuuji Yokoyama): A sloth with poor memory and a timid temperament.
That's uh...quite the lineup there. What's up with some of you people and naming the seven sins though, haha....I think Oda's (not that one) is the biggest mood of the week though. I feel like I can identify with that. Though really, Kusaba's worries me a bit. I mean it's likely he's being kind of tongue-in-cheek of his whole situation but...hrm. Also yes, as you read Nishimura is leaving weekly Sunday and heading to super --an unnamed sickness is keeping them from keeping up with the weekly schedule and thus a move is in order. It's intriguing on the level that rather than a hiatus, they're just moving it out. I wonder if it's a thing where Nishimura's sickness is one they don't think they'll be able to recover from, or that Imouto Rireki while cute and everything already has plenty of competition in this magazine, and with new series getting ready to start they figure the easier thing to do is to make room? I'd figure a little bit of both, but yeah...it sucks to see this happen, but I'm glad the series won't be out forever on hiatus right after it's first volume release a lot like RYOKO. Fukuchi's back too, and holy crap he was working on this alongside Saike's finale? He's a madman, and I hope he's not overdoing it with his new series which I'll go into next! (And yes I realize a lot of these aren't just three words. I went more for matching the meaning than trying to keep with conventions.)
Okay, listen. I'm Monkey for Fukuchi. Memes aside, he really is the only author I'll give a free pass for --this series is going right into the editorial group without having to pass a three chapter test first. (Though really I'm not going to be adding anything else from the new series even if I do really like them, unless a bunch of series here end all at once, and even then I'd probably just close the editorial section...gasp, well we don't have to worry about that right now.) But yesssssss Fukuchi is back and he's brought himself a rather odd serial this time around --his words when finishing Saike were that his next series would "Be like Saike, but not really". Which left me scratching my head as to what exactly that means. Now that Ponkotsu-chan kenshochuu is here, it all makes sense, and my worries that Fukuchi would leap into the romcom bubble are allayed for now. In fairness this series could dip into that territory with ease, but at least from this first chapter the spirit of Fukuchi rages strong and that's all I can ask for.
Though yes, the premise! Mito is a guy who looks, well, frankly terrifying due to inheriting some awful genes from his parents. Though the only thing he wants is to be helpful to people, his looks scares everyone away. All except Yumesaki, a girl who's got a natural talent for being clumsy, and as of three days ago suddenly developed super powers? The "Kenshochuu" in the title means "under investigation" and that's exactly what this series is --Mito and Yumesaki investigate the powers she has and try to figure out what to do with them. You'll notice I said "powers" (plural), and that wasn't a mistake for once! See, it seems Yumesaki gets a new power every day and Mito in his bid to help her out investigates them and keeps track of how they work to keep her out of trouble. This time around she creates mini helicopters on anything she touches, including herself.
For now at least, all we know is that her powers are connected to a being called "God" who texts her every day to give her an update on what today's power is. It's like...Ueki meets Takkoku meets Saike! I'd love it if this series really is a accumulation of all of Fukuchi's works until now which means maybe crossovers?? I'm getting ahead of myself. I could honestly see Saike showing up at some point to give them pointers on Yumesaki's powers though. Heck this feels like it could be taking place while Saike is doing his thing elsewhere. Mito is a pretty pure hearted guy --he doesn't even consider Yumesaki anything other than a friend in need until he really gets a good look at her and realizes...she's cute, like really cute. Wait, an unpopular guy like him getting to spend time with a cute girl every day? It's like...a date! An extremely Fukuchi-like date, but a date! Nah, Mito's too straight laced to think of things that way, though he can't help let his mind wander a bit, making him a little different than Fukuchi's other protagonists who don't let matters of the flesh really get to them that much --I can see Mito being a bit more releatable in that regard, cause who wouldn't at least notice a cute person hanging out with them every day?
It's nice to see even with the quick turnaround that Fukuchi's art has stayed as wonderful as it was in Saike.
Although so far this is very Fukuchi, that's not to say there's absolutely no romcom elements in it. Yumesaki is pretty clumsy despite her best efforts, and it's Mito who encourages her to just keep being herself --there are things only she can see if she is herself after all. Yumesaki figures Mito doesn't remember his words of encouragement, but they have left a huge impression on her, so perhaps sometime....though for now Mito's playing the dense (though less so than his contemporaries) shounen lead, and Yumesaki is keeping her feelings close to her chest.
Ah but it just wouldn't be Fukuchi without the wild and crazy twist, and here it is. See that crater above? "God" told Yumesaki that a meteor a thousand times bigger than the one that made that hole is going to hit earth in one year. Yumesaki didn't mention this to Mito because she didn't want him to worry, but the whole reason God is giving her powers every day is to find the one that will stop the meteor from destroying earth. This...sounds a lot like Saike's ending except we're replacing one natural disaster with another. Another intriguing thing here is that with a year set up as the timeline for the series, this could be as short or long as Fukuchi (and Shougakukan) need it to be. It's actually a little ingenious --Fukuchi can make it a little longer if the series is popular, or shorten it if cancellation looms and it wouldn't be too strange either way. Typically speaking Fukuchi's series aren't long anyway (I remember reading at one point that he usually goes for about 3 years per series and moves on), which would work pretty decently for a series like this. I'd imagine probably we'll see other people chosen by God, and all kinds of complications down the road, especially since Mito is slowly becoming aware of his feelings for Yumesaki --though which route Fukuchi will take with the series is up in the air. Will it be weird but played pretty straight romcom? Or will he stick with what he knows and eventually make it a battle comedy? The sky is the limit (avoid those meteors though!) and I'm happy to have Fukuchi back in Sunday and the blog.
I'd say not much happens in this week's Souboutei but...really not much happening in this manga is probably a whole volume of something else. It might be better to say that Fujita focuses on the immediate aftermath of Rokurou being shot, and Seiichi (along with everyone else) seeking revenge for their fallen friend.
Seiichi especially gets some pretty epic screen time as he literally kicks the head off of Rokurou's assailant. It's all so visceral and very much from Fujita's era --ultra violence that looks really cool. I had thought maybe he had calmed down a bit from those days, but it turns out he was just crouching and looking for a moment to leap and remind these kids in this magazine that Dad's still got some things to show them. Though when it's like this there really isn't much for me to say other than yowza is that artwork fresh.
The calvary is all here to save Seiichi just as his billowing rage of vengeance peters out, but is it already too late? Was the price of their stalwart actions the life of their comrade? Not only that but Rokurou was the one ace in the hole they had against the house, and now they're completely surrounded without a hope in the world to save them. Fujita slowed way down to give us that boost of vengeance fueled adrenaline, but after it all runs out we're just left with despair. This can't be Rokurou's last stand can it?
A new character on chapter 100? It's as if Kuriyama knows they're here to stay and is letting it all hang out. If you want to see the color page you'll have to check out the twitter, but we've got us another gunslinger girl by the name of Sharon Reimi (Don't quote me on that romanization, like I've said, it's more of an art than a science.), and while she's not the first to be of the fairer sex and pack heat, she's the first to challenge Evans to a duel, and I gotta say I love that. She's taken 99 names and wants Evans to be 100. However, she makes the mistake of saying she wants the strongest out of the two (Pheebs and Evans) to take her on which sparks their competitive side --something that has shown itself in glimpses recently but has been mostly toned down for romantic-ish elements. Great to see that Kuriyama has brought it back though.
They almost completely forget about Sharon and argue amongst themselves over who's better at gun-slinging and Sharon in the end interprets this as being too scared to step up. Evans sees through how this is all going to go down and tries to convince Sharon to back out --it could take days for them to decide just who's the stronger between the two, but Sharon just takes this as a challenge, and decides she'll stick around until they've come to an agreement. I already think she's a great addition to the cast --you've got Pheobe who's in love with Evans and thus won't oppose him too much, Abby who's too oblvious to really notice much of anything, and now Sharon who's hot blooded content has just swung this series back into being an actual western. Evans is too prideful to say that he really doesn't want to do this contest thing with Sharon, but every time he leaves it to someone else to decline for him, (like Ted who brings them the news of a heist in progress), they sort of encourage him to take the duel instead, hah. Sharon then ups the ante and says that she'll do whatever Evans wants if he wins, and that's enough to get his mind back in gear (and his lustful desires in full force.)
A shame for Sharon that even with his back turned Evans is that good. Though even with his victory, the only thing he asks from Sharon is to train herself and come back for another duel. He's not saying he doesn't think he can win now, but he'd hate to see Pheebs get hurt, not that she needs his protecting. Of course next time if she really is going to do whatever he asks then he's going all in. I'm not sure if we'll see Sharon again next week or if this is only the beginning of a longer duel, but I think she's an excellent addition to the cast. I hope if she isn't in the next chapter then she'll be back soon.
Mitsuhashi and Fujita are really amping up the despair this week in their manga aren't they? Both RYOKO and Souboutei even had the same set up in a way, except RYOKO's was a lot more deceptive --Ryoko and the gang gather together and even find Rere so it seems as if a safe escape is in the cards, but then super powered Kogarashi finds them and stomps everyone flat without a second thought. Then to make matters worse it's implied that Parsley has somehow gained control over the Dragon Broccoli, and yikes. It's hard to really say how things could possibly be worse for our heroes. Though to backtrack a little --Rere is still struggling over actually killing someone (though with Kogarashi being alive I guess she needn't worry about that now.) and it's a direction for her character I wasn't expecting. I can definitely believe she hasn't killed anyone (foodstuffs on the other hand) before, but I would imagine at least she's seen enough up until now for it not to affect her as much as it did here, though in fairness watching someone die and killing them are two different practices. What's really got me is Kogarashi might just be the character with the most development in the series so far --more than Ryoko herself! To me this is per the course since villians usually do lift works on their shoulders as they are the reason the hero does anything and have to function as characters on their own, but Kogarashi getting as many flashbacks as he has is interesting. This week was Parsley bringing him back from the dead on a whim and making him the man we see before us now. Is Mitsuhashi showing us all this so that we'll understand him? Pity him? It isn't clear really, but for now the fight is on and things are looking really bad for everyone. Ryoko's fourth volume is due out next month and I have to wonder if we'll see many more after that. The series doesn't feel as if it's barreling toward a conclusion, but my sense is tingling and I hate to admit that it's rarely been wrong in cases like these.
It's returning faces in new places this week in Xeno. Though we get a little bit of resolution between Ayla and Xeno at the start, I'm still a little bit disappointed in how the last case was wrapped up so quickly. Though at this point it's pretty likely that Xeno is on the chopping block so I can understand, but I do wish that Ayla's character development wasn't the one sacrificed to meet the series "quota" of seven doors. Number 6 is on a ship in the sea, and with it's appearance we have the return of Amada from the Military police who we met some time ago. She's none too pleased to see Xeno again, but she figures if he's here then it must be important, and yup soon enough someone gets murdered. So far it's fitting the Xeno formula to a tee, and with time seemingly running out for the series it seems odd that they'd slow down now.
Except a new face brings in a new tribulation --Sugizaki who's the commander of this ship happens to know Xeno's real name --"Tomorrow", and he knows about where Xeno was raised. That's not all --the ship has been commandeered by the Japanese Government, and their orders are to not let anyone leave --as the chapter ends saying that this is only the beginning of a revolution they've all become trapped in. With one more door left, I can't help but wonder if this is going to be a long arc like the ones before it, or will we get something truncated? With Yuugami ending and Imouto Rireki moving that might have bought the series a little more time which may be why the series at least for now hasn't felt rushed, but how long can Sugiyama and Nanatsuki stick around without overplaying their hand?
It's raining out so the kids have to stay in and play, which means Osaki can't do her special training this week in Youkai giga. It's also the return of Makoto who can still see Youkai despite being an adult which adds a new layer to things --her son Minoru can see Kuro (though he's not mentioned anything about Osaki), but she can see them both. Usually in these stories it's when one grows up that they lose the "gift", but she's retained it even through adulthood. That being said I like how she treats Kuro and Osaki as her children as well, it's kinda cute. The youkai and children (though they're all like children to me) settle on drawing during this rainy day, and Kuro despite itself realizes that the more time it spends with Osaki, the more time it wants her to be around. Hmm....that's about it for this week, but Kuro getting attached to someone other than it's master and his family....though that being said, where is master and what is he doing now?
This week's Sunday (Wednesday) Diary is from Fukuchi himself! Although Sunday hasn't directly said that Ponkotsu-chan kenshochuu is a romcom, Fukuchi himself says it is --he basically admits that after drawing a series about a protagonist who dies over and over again for four years, he decided he wanted to do a romcom or something lighter for his next work. I'm surprised but apparently it's been ten years since his last foray into romantic comedies --Takkoku was serialized in Sunday Super. (The protagonists of said manga are pictured on the page.) The rest is him advertising Takkoku to buy digitally (which I have~) if you'd wanna read more and his promise he'll do his best with this serialization. It doesn't seem as if it'll have a schedule like Saike's so I suppose it'll run weekly rather than a volume and then stopping, which is cool but I'd rather Fukuchi take on what he can than commit to something that'll end with another lengthy hiatus. Still Ponkotsu chapter one was a joy so I'll leave my pessimism aside (as hard as that is since that's my oracle), and just enjoy this series. Welcome back Fukuchi!
And that's it for this combined issue's editorial! There won't be an issue next week so I'll be able to rest...nah, that's for the weak and while I'm weak too I'd like to at least struggle against it. I'm hoping to have something to keep you guys entertained while the magazine is away, so stay tuned for that! The issue coming out May 8th will contain the return of the legend --Rumiko Takahashi so I'm essentially contract bound to cover it here (For the first 3 chapters at any rate), so stay tuned for that too! Until then, enjoy that week off but don't forget to keep an eye here!