Sunday, June 30, 2019

Weekly Shounen Sunday #30 (2019) Editorial section

Before we start, I have an announcement. Due to several circumstances and me realizing this blog could do with some changes, this will be the last weekly editorial page. Don't fret! All it means is I'm now going to cover the editorial in a monthly format instead starting with July's WSS issues. We'll still get the same series but in a slightly easier to read and less frequent format. This is all to provide much more content (and be easier on me) for the blog, so don't touch that dial! You can read the WSS TOC comments every week here so if you're into that be sure to check it out. Hopefully my next update will be something that'll really get people interested (I'm working on it now!) Though (for now) for the last time, here's our weekly editorial!

This week's question comes from Saitama and asks "Any surprising changes lately?"

Komi-san wa komyusho desu (Tomohito Oda): My wife's stomach.
Ponkotsu-chan Kenshouchuu (Tsubasa Fukuchi): Before I had realized it, the parking lot's ceiling had a swallow's nest on it.
Kimi wa 008 (Syun Matsuena): The conifer got too warm and is wilting. So now the taphrina pruni has started to thrive on my nanking cherries.
(TN: Taphirina pruni is a fungal plant pathogen, apparently.)
switch (Atsushi Namikiri): The box for the Fueramune toys. 
(TN- I'm...not exactly sure what these are, honestly --but you can see pictures of them here)
Detective Conan (Gosho Aoyama): They stopped selling Doc Martens. (Sob.)
Maoujo de Oyasumi (Kagiji Kumanomata): My editor said that the Country Ma'ams got smaller. (TN- A type of cookie.)
Yuko sae Tatakaeba (Sei Fukui): Duck Hunt's Up-B cancel became tolerable! (TN- Most likely a Smash brothers reference.)
Major 2nd (Takuya Yagyuu): My hair is graying more and more...
Amano Megumi wa Suki darake! (Nekoguchi): Two of the huge trees in my neighborhood were cut down so now the scenery looks a little different.
Aozakura Bouei daigakkou monogatari (Hikaru Nikaido): My set up bridge in order to connect the defense force's cafeteria and bath together. (My art is crying.)
Tonikaku Cawaii (Kenjiro Hata): The white cat toy I kept as a quasi pet somehow became the second biggest cat in my house...
Tantei Xeno to Nanatsu Satsujin misshitsu (Teppei Sugiyama): Becoming completely tired of the game I was hooked to not that long ago.
Fire Rabbit!! (Aya Hirakawa): The image quality of the games in the arcades.
Souboutei Kowasubeshi (Kazuhiro Fujita): That there are so few book stores around's kind of sad...
Undine Wa kyou mo koi wo suru ka? (Shinya Misu): I've become a little faster at drawing!
Maiko-san chi no Makanai-san (Aiko Koyama): If we're talking about right now, then how long it remains sunny during the day.
Gofun go no Sekai (Hiroshi Fukuda): How real Global warming is. (crying).
Anonatsu 1959 (Ashibi Fukui): Robot cleaners are so effective and convenient that it's surprising.
Soukyuu no Ariadne (Nohihiro Yagi): The taxis within the metropolitan area have changed so fast that I was surprised.
Shumatsu wa Aoi Haru (Akane Ogata): Pleased to meet you! I'm a newbie so please enjoy this work! I'm so nervous!!
Chrono Magia: Infinity Gear (Takeshi Azuma): It's like...the weather going from hot to cold so fast is kinda bad.
Hoankan Evans no Uso ~Dead or Love~ (Mizuki Kuriyama): The surroundings of my alma matter's school. The "Oshidori" is gone now...(TN- This seems to be a restaurant named after a species of duck (But with a different kanji) from what I was able to google up.)
MAO (Rumiko Takahashi): I was surprised to find the eastern part of Kurume where I once lived is now a busy metropolis.
Be Blues (Motoyuki Tanaka): The amount of grass that's grown in my yard!! I'd better cut it...
Zettai Karen Children (Takashi Shiina): I'm not bald, my scalp is just tired.
RYOKO (Kaito Mitsuhashi): Thank you for reading. May everyone's dinner tables prosper. See ya~
Youkai Giga (Satsuki Satou): That person in my graduation photo changed suddenly.
Tokaichi Hitoribocchi Nouen (Yuuji Yokoyama): It surprised me that the temperature in Tokaichi passed 38 degrees Celsius. 

Ponkotsu takes a wild left swing while sticking to what it's set up so far. Yet it's all still somehow so Fukuchi --My incoherent rambling should clue you in, I absolutely adored this chapter. It was a little longer than usual Ponkotsu (about 20 pages!) and while we didn't get any huge revelations as implied from the preview text last week, this chapter has opened so many possibilities that I think it's fine to not get answers to hard hitting questions right now. Essentially "God" sends Mito and Yumesaki on a "mission" to capture a lizard with a key. The catch? Said Lizard is in the middle of the Sahara Desert! Luckily Yumesaki borrows a page from another Sunday manga in which her power for the day is to turn things into water. There's a bit of the rom-com ridiculousness (I use this term with affection), but the entire chapter feels like Fukuchi at his Fukuchi-est. Which is using specific powers in weird but successful ways to achieve a goal. What I wonder now is if these missions are going to be a regular part of investigating these powers, and of course what does this have to do with saving the world from the meteorite? 

On that last point, Fukuchi graciously reminds us that there are 350 days left until the "end". Interestingly the premise itself is telling of this time limit --if Yumesaki gets a new power each day, then could we theoretically work out a timeline for the series by the powers she gets? (I wouldn't recommend it, especially with how unpredictable Fukuchi can be.) So far it's been a situational comedy with super powers, but I'd also have to wonder if after this "mission" we'll see a bit more of the plot working it's way into the shenanigans? Of course I'm not opposed to cuteness. In fact one could say I love cuteness. And the end of the chapter really was adorable. If Fukuchi can keep balancing all of these elements as brilliantly as he has so far then Ponkotsu might be way more than I would have initially thought from it's premise. 

Ah the perils of reading a manga weekly --jump the shark moments can be all but rectified in the next installment. I don't envy translators who have to do this professionally without knowing what they're up against at any given time. At least here on this lovely little blog, I'm not held to the same standards. And yes I do have standards, thank you very much. Kai is not actually alive, and honestly I feel a little silly for buying into Sugiyama and Nanatsuki's huge bluff. Granted they also did a wonderful job of making it plausible, right down to fooling the human lie detector Umi by using footage of Kai when he was still alive. The way he died --seemingly an accident would imply that even Kai couldn't have seen it coming however, so I'm right back to feeling silly about thinking he could possibly be back. Xeno at least doesn't fall for Kai's tricks --the footage promises him the truth of his lost memory, but Xeno constantly evolving turns this hint down because "There's something more important than that". Xeno then recalls how Ayla reacted in their second case where she slapped him and asked if he has a human heart at all. Ayla's mortified but he thanks her for it --it's thanks to that he's managed to come this far and know what he needs to do. Umi too resolves herself to confront the illusion that she has in her mind of her father, before revealing that the footage of him is lying. I enjoy the deductions in the series, but I like it even more when the characters show their resolve like they did here --especially now that the endgame is coming. 

Speaking of seeing through lies --Sora has seen through Kinoo's manufactured "happiness" as seen as the chapter comes to an end. I'm still fuzzy on the details on how he's managed to possess another guy in a series that has mostly remained grounded in reality, but it seems Kinoo's bodysnatching wasn't completely successful. How this changes up the game is unknown at this point, but with all the elements mixing together like this it'll be a finale that'll shock and amaze I'm sure. 

Chaaaaarge! The invaders slash and cut their way into the Souboutei now that the Kirita sisters have told them exactly where to go to find Sakamaki and Kurenai. The last few weeks of getting to know this crew has lead up to this moment. It's what we come to Fujita for and he doesn't disappoint! I always say that when Fujita has chapters like these that it takes away most of what I have to say, but really it's a small price to pay when his artwork says so much. 

Unfortunately knowing where they need to go and getting there are far different things when it comes to this haunted house. Every advance the group makes ends with the house correcting itself and leaving the group at a loss. Though not all hope is lost --when they had their backs against the wall before, it was a spectral vision from Takoha that rallied the group. 

And two can most definitely play this game. 

Ted being more lucky with a girl than his boss who puts every effort into finding a woman by accident is probably one of the best gags this series has to offer. Especially when Ted doesn't even realize what it is he has with Nona but Evans is fully aware of it. In fact he's so aware that he can't think of anything else which is bad form when they're hunting down a killer known for slaying lawmen. They got a tip of him being in the area so the two are investigating, but all Evans can think about is how Ted is clearly in a relationship with Nona, and to give him credit there are plenty of telltale signs --the two are always together, Ted has keys to her house, and when she does return home from work, he happily welcomes her back a lot like a boyfriend would his girlfriend. Yet he doesn't seem to at all consider the fact that they are dating and it aggravates Evans to a point where he can't concentrate on the job. Evans (the series) is funny because it takes relatable situations like these and lays them bare to a point that one can't do anything but realize how ridiculous it all is and laugh. 

In fairness Evans does get the job done in the end, and even does so without alerting the couple(?). He nabs the bad guys and leaves without saying a word ---or well not quite, as he implies Ted should take his time and enjoy himself with Nona while he handle's the bad guys. Thing is, since neither of them are aware how their relationship looks to others they think he just was referring to dinner, hah. Sometimes even Evans can do good things, can't he? Now if only he'd focus on doing good things maybe he'd have as much luck (on purpose!) as his assistant. 

And now the star of the show even as the curtain closes on it --RYOKO. I'm still in relative shock to see the series just...end. The writing was on the wall, sure. It wasn't selling well, and after a two year hiatus, there wasn't much hope that it'd improve it's lot in life since it wasn't a blockbuster when it was running in Sunday from the start but it's less that it ended and the circumstances around it's ending that have me at a loss for sentiments. Even the worst selling Sunday series at least get a notification in the previous issue's preview page that they're reaching their finale --RYOKO didn't get that. Furthermore this final chapter is shorter than usual at only 14 pages. The events up until now have seemingly been drawing to what should have been a final arc, but instead we get a relatively rushed ending even by cancellation standards. Nothing about this adds up, and unfortunately I doubt we'll get any real clarification unless Mitsuhashi decides to write about it in the final volume due out this fall. 

Basically this "finale" more serves as a prelude of things to come that we'll never get to see. The White Rice begins their attack on mankind, and Ryoko's master Daitousai has come to alert the group so that they can prepare the counterattack. Though before all that --everyone has to have a meal together. It's just the RYOKO way, and honestly while I'd completely understand fans who are disappointed that this "finale" includes a scene that doesn't advance the plot in any way, but I appreciate that even in these circumstances RYOKO sticks to what it always has been --a series about how food has the power to drive folks apart as much as it does to bring them together. It's strange really --a series so over the top like this has such a simple center to it. Mitsuhashi's art does lend itself a certain gravitas to being a crazy action series, but I get the feeling that wasn't his ambition at all. Rather, it was just a side dish to a more important meal, that sadly we have to leave before having any part of. Interestingly, unlike Marry Grave and Memesis before this, the final page of RYOKO does have a notice that Mitsuhashi is working on his next series which is even more mysterious. I could get the sentiment of cutting and running from a series that isn't going to grow or sell any more than it has, but it's strange how drastic this was. I want to believe that maybe Shougakukan realizes the talent they have in Mitsuhashi and thus have him working on something even greater, but I don't know at this point. RYOKO was a series that had the potential to be a standout in this demographic with a female lead, a unique premise, and some amazing work on paneling and page composition. Not only that but Mitsuhashi had great respect for his characters and their need to grow at a even pace even if the premise is harried --or lends itself to be that way. It really was a series that was a full serving of ingredients to be popular, but got cold after it's hiatus and that's a real shame. I look forward to seeing what Mitsuhashi will cook up next, and thank him for this meal. (Okay I'll stop with the food metaphors now, it's just a coping mechanism as I'm really going to miss RYOKO.) 

Youkai Giga returns to Kuro and hits audiences with an unprecedented turn to the dire. I suppose with the background of events in this otherwise happy-go-lucky Youkai playground being a war this was bound to happen eventually. Air raids have begun in earnest, and while the war is getting serious, life goes on for the citizenry that aren't privy to the tides of battle until they're too tragically close to ignore. Makoto and Kuro have found out about Eclairs through books, and have become infatuated with them --and of course on the note of being infatuated, Kuro wants to share this discovery with Osaki. The discovery of a child however might just mean that the air raids --the war is actually closer than they think. I don't think I'd go as far as saying that Kuro's tone is going to change dramatically, but this is definitely a sign of things to come.

And that's it for the final weekly editorial page! Starting with July this page will only come up once a month like I've stated above. I hope you've enjoyed coming to read these every week, but it feels like now with RYOKO's ending leaving one less series to cover that it makes more sense to write these less frequently. The TOC comments will still get translated every week, so please keep looking out for those. Until the end of July, take care! 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Weekly Shounen Sunday #29 (2019) Editorial section

This week's question comes from Hiroshima and asks "What's something you decorate your home or workplace with?"

Tonikaku Cawaii (Kenjiro Hata): iPhone.
Fire Rabbit!! (Aya Hirakawa): The birthday presents I get from my family!
Shinigami Bocchan to Kuro Maid (Koharu Inoue): Volume six is out in stores. Please enjoy it.
MAO (Rumiko Takahashi): Reprints of "Ashita no Joe" artwork.
Ponkotsu-chan kenshochuu (Tsubasa Fukuchi): Pictures of cats.
Be Blues! (Motoyuki Tanaka): I'd say I display trophies in my place but it's more like I just sorta toss around them and leave them where they lay...
Maiko-san chi no Makanai-san (Aiko Koyama): Adachi (Mitsuru)'s autographed cigarettes.
Daiku no Hatou (Michiteru Kusaba): Gifts I've received --like stuff I've had signed.
Yuko sae tatakaeba (Sei Fukui): (It's less that I decorate with them and more like I just kind of have them in storage) ...but letters from the fans!
Detective Conan (Gosho Aoyama): A picture of Minami-chan signed by Adachi-sensei. (Lol)
Komi-san wa Komyusho desu (Tomohito Oda): Test prints of Komi-san's logo!
Kimi wa 008 (Syun Matsuena): A poster of "Lord of the Rings" I got ten years ago...but it doesn't hold any specific importance to me. ^^;;
Souboutei Kowasubeshi (Kazuhiro Fujita): You're talking to a maniac collector here. I have the Zat Rabbit Panda model. (Lol) (TN- This is a vehicle from Ultraman.)
Amano Megumi Suki darake! (Nekoguchi): I've got autographs from various creators.
Aozakura Bouei daigakkou monogatari (Hikaru Nikaido): A G pen pentip that Rumiko Takahashi gave me.
switch (Atsushi Namikiri) Empty PET bottles. (TN- these are easy to recycle bottles made from lower grade materials.)
Maojo de Oyasumi (Kagiji Kumanomata): I've got lots of jewelry because I love it, but if an alien saw my collection they'd wonder why I have so many rocks. 
Chrono Magia: Infinity Gear (Hikaru Muno): A signed illustration from Gosho Aoyama.
Zettai Karen Children (Takashi Shiina): Unopened plastic models that I've treasured for years, or at this point should I say have stockpiled?
Hoankan Evans no Uso ~Dead or Love~ (Mizuki Kuriyama): An unused KSM X KSG Cap hangs from my wall.
Birdmen (Yellow Tanabe): I'm not sure if I treasure it or not, but a bust of Nike I bought when I first got serialized. 
Sokyuu no Ariadne (Norihiro Yagi): An actual Claymore. (TN- Pretty sure he means from his previous serialization "Claymore" and not a bomb, hah.)
Undine wa Kyou mo Koi wo suru ka? (Shinya Misu): I've always had a stuffed Owl doll hanging around.
RYOKO (Kaito Mitsuhashi): Autographs from my masters, teachers and assistants. A mysterious lease.
Tantei Xeno to Nanatsu no Satsujin Misshitsu (Kyouichi Nanatsuki): "Cyborg Warrior Vega" and "Jabberwock". 
Gofun go no Sekai (Hiroshi Fukuda): An autographed picture that Aoyama-sensei drew for me!!
Anonatsu 1959 (Ashibi Fukui): A picture of Bishamonten that my grandfather drew. (TN- Also known as Vaisravana, a guardian god of Buddhism.)
Youkai Giga (Satsuki Satou): Akina Nakamori's tears. (TN- Nakamori is a singer, and Satou is probably referencing one of her singles "I'm not made of tears" released in 1984. There's a whole long pun going on here that I really don't have to space to explain, heh...)
Tokaichi Hitoribocchi Nouen (Yuuji Yokoyama): Reproduced artwork from "Touch" and "Buddha". (TN- The first is a series by Mitsuru Adachi, and the second is a series by Osamu Tezuka). 

A lot of autographs going on here! Though really if I could get Fukuchi, Mitsuhashi and Fujita to sign something for me I'd probably hang it up for everyone to see too. I like that some were just like. "Well, it's not really that I 'decorate' with this thing as much as it exists in my house for reasons I don't quite remember." Manga artists are people too after all, haha. I'm not sure what "Nike" Tanabe means....the one that comes to mind is the protagonist from Hiroyuki Eto's series "Mahoujin Guruguru". Though I can't tell if that's who she means or if there's something else I'm missing. My favorite of the week would have to be Hata's --pure, simple, relatable. (Plus easy to translate.) 

Fukuchi's...mild ride? It seems like a misnomer to call this a "wild ride" since it's not moving very fast or in a particularly raucous manner, but "mild ride" seems kind of, well, mean. Ah, let me not get caught up on particulars. Ponkotsu is moving in directions, and I'm all for it. The power this week is rife for romantic shenanigans, (when  Yumesaki sneezes, whatever she's holding gets stuck to her) which surprisingly Fukuchi plays pretty well...mildly. (I'm sorry). I feel like in another author's hands this would have been embarrassing for Mito and Yumesaki (and quite frankly embarrassing to read), but Fukuchi plays it mostly straight --they get stuck to each other and holding hands have no choice but to walk through public with people assuming they're a cute couple. I have to give it to Fukuchi, he managed, no, manages to take the romantic tropes, strip them of their sensationalism but yet keep things cute and fluffy. It's almost quaint in an old fashioned way --but his heavy dose of weirdness keeps it from being boring. I still think Fukuchi is best when he's doing battle manga, but I admit --he might just be cut out for romantic comedies as well if he can keep this delicate balance going. Though the real kicker is at the end of the chapter where Yumesaki gets a text from god saying that tomorrow they'll be going on a "mission". I doubt this will suddenly turn into one of Fukuchi's strange ability manga like the ones that preceded this, but you better bet that I'm excited to see if he'll add at least some of those elements to this rom-com. 

Souboutei continues it's lull in activities again this week too. I still think this is entertaining stuff, but I'd totally understand other more action starved fans clamoring for the plot to get moving. Although I personally like reading manga as they're released as opposed to binging it all at once, this is a case where perhaps reading several chapters together would be a preferable alternative. It does all come off as an attempt on Fujita's part to give background on these characters before launching into the final battle(s) (Similar to how Saike handled it's final arc), and on a baser level I appreciate it. That being said, it does come off as "too little too late", or rather as bad timing since the plot just now seems to have sorted itself out and is advancing. Still, background information on some of our heroes isn't a bad thing right? Like Zanka and Makoto actually having a conversation not as commander and minion, but as two people about the situation they've found themselves in as refugees of the time flow, and Yadorigi sharing her grandfather's (drunken) war stories, it's all very...Sunday for lack of better words. Admittedly I find myself wondering if Yadorigi's story really needed to take up as much of the chapter as it does since it doesn't really seem to tie into the main plot at all, but I'm down with Fujita surprising me as the story unfolds. 

That's not to say nothing happens --perish the thought! With GPS imaging of the Souboutei from above, Dr. Auguste is able to pinpoint where everyone is. Though that being said --where will they find Sakamaki himself? Turns out the sisters who have their eyes back can answer that question, and they do in a specifically eerie way. Now with the target's location identified, is the group ready to take on this possibly final confrontation?

We've seen Evans at his best, so now we gander at him at his most pathetic. I'm not being rude! Take a gander at that frontispiece --sure it looks like he took a nasty fall but the only thing that's actually injured is his finger --Evans is looking for cred! Having his arm slung up like that --if he's still able to work then it's likely ladies will swoon over how tough he is. Luckily Ted and Pheebs buy this hook line and sinker --and it's perhaps maybe a little too effective. See because of Evans' reputation, Pheebs immediately assumes that whomever did this to him must be one bad dude, and not a miscalculation that had him slam his finger on a table. Thus is our premise for this week. Kuriyama using Evans' reputation against him isn't a new concept, but the way in which this story progresses at least provides for new laughs. Especially when a lady doctor turns up and says she saw Evans in pain and offered her services, but he turned her down as he didn't want this to be a "big deal". --Says the guy totally making it a big deal. Unfortunately for him, Ms. Palmer the doctor won't take no for an answer and demands to treat him. Whoops. 

In essence this chapter was all about how Evans' reputation both makes things harder and easier for him to a ridiculous degree. He manages to worm his way from the doctor, but when he encounters a gang doing nefarious deeds, the mere knowledge of his existence causes everyone to run for it before he can show how cool he is even with an injury. Evans even had it planned where he'd use his left hand to fire, but Pheebs figures it out unknowingly that he couldn't possibly fire that way. (She simply attributes it to him bluffing his way through.) Evans isn't found out of course, but reputation really can go a long way huh? I've said it before but part of what makes Evans (the series) work so well is that he actually is capable at his job and not just faking for popularity --most of the time. Though when you've got a rep as the toughest guy in the west then proving it becomes paradoxically harder and easier. 

After a week off RYOKO returns with some surprising content...and news? I've got it on good authority that the series is set to end next week....which after this chapter is extremely odd. Like I could imagine these events slowly setting up to the final arc --sadly RYOKO hasn't sold too well, and as you can see from the TOC above hasn't necessarily ranked very well either. My feelings of woe aside, I have to wonder if something else is going on behind the scenes to suddenly pull the plug on the series without warning if the rumor is true. Could it be that Mitsuhashi might have needed another long break, but rather than risk a hiatus it was decided that the series should end instead? I haven't got the foggiest idea (and right now it very well may be that this is untrue), but for now it does seem that this is the penultimate chapter of the series. 

Digging right in --Ryoko's master is back, and he has a name! Daitousai --and a past relation with Zen. In fact, he's the one who gave Zen his name and iconic school uniform. Beyond that he's also the same as Zen --a germ that can rot away foodstuffs with nothing more than a single touch. If you're thinking this is a lot of information to process at once, then yeah I agree with you. It reeks of a series headed toward cancellation, though it's still hard to imagine that there's only one more chapter after this. Still, Mitsuhashi makes the best of it, and Daitousai and Zen's relationship is depicted with enough detail that it's easy to feel for them. Zen was being experimented on in regard to his powers, which left him with memory loss each day. Daitousai being of the same breed would hang out with him each day until they realized the experiments were leading to the foodstuffs we know and the two tried to escape, but Daitousai was left behind and Zen met his buddies leading into the story of the present. I am impressed with how coherent the story was in the mere 18 pages it was told in, but it really would have benefited from having a few weeks to unfold rather than a single chapter.Especially if this truly is the last one before the end. I wish I could dig deeper into the ramifications of this but until it's confirmed that RYOKO's time at the table is through next week I want to save most of my judgement till then. 

Xeno on the other hand while not exactly moseying along also doesn't seem to be in any hurry to conclude it's ultimate showdown. To no one's surprise, this chapter does lead us back through the other six murder rooms that brought us here. Not only that but Himemiya's boss is on the scene, providing a new character this close to the end. Bold move on Sugiyama and Nanatsuki's part, I'd say. Himemiya despite his animosity toward Xeno actually defends him, claiming to his supervisor that if there's anyone who can solve this mystery it's Xeno. 

The paths leading to Kinoo are perilous, and six in number. (Way to make it super obvious guys, hah.) I gotta say the angelic metaphors in this arc are also pretty telling of the kind of writer Nanatsuki is --we had something like this back on the island of God arc, and now here we are again with mentions of the angel Seraphiel and Michael. Though before Xeno can really get to the significance of such relations, the cops sent ahead to find more clues against Himemiya's advice find themselves the victims of the soundwaves that were the culprits of murder room 2 and the floods of murder room 3. Another group is flattened by the stone pillars of murder room four, and it's getting clear that this isn't someone with passing knowlege of the murder rooms. No, this is an individual with intimate know how and a malice unseen before in this series. 

There can only be one person, one man behind this....but he's dead! Right? Till next week.

This week's Youkai Giga features the Abura sumashi or "Oil Presser" which is a Youkai from Kumamoto prefecture. It is said this creature might be the ghost of a human who stole oil and it's current depiction is inspired by the late (and great) youkai artist Shigeru Mizuki (the man behind Gegege Kitaro!) 

As for the chapter itself, it follows a girl who's tired of working long into the night and getting home late, so tired that she can barely even change out of he clothes before falling asleep. Luckily for her the Abura sumashi is around to prepare her bed and keep her from sleeping out in the open where she might catch cold. Though in return for it's hospitality (in her house) it'd like to know....just what is a abura sumashi? Satou has definetly played around with the idea that Youkai just do things because, well, it's tradition to do so and in reality there's no reason to keep tradition as is, but it's probably never been quite this overt, hah. This Abura sumashi is mostly hung up on the "sumashi" (presser) part of it's name. Like...what are they pressing exactly? In an effort to find out it pressed the human girl's body and that had the effect of taking away her ailments and fatigue. Celebrations are cut short however when a human eating youkai appears and attacks....just to get pressed into pieces by the abura sumashi. Even after this it wonders why it's called that, and the girl thinks to herself how it'd be best if it just went along with it. Haha, it's almost like a parable with the lesson or point not to think too hard about why you're good at something if you are. I like that, so I won't think too hard about why it is. 

And that's it for issue #29's writeup! I'm considering making a change to the format of these soon, and will announce my decision in issue #30's editorial. This blog is keeping on the cutting edge as much as possible, and I'd like to thank you for being patient with all the changes! Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to wait impatiently for issue #30 so I can find out RYOKO's fate. Until then, take care.