This month’s Shonen Jump is the thinnest issue I’ve received since the preview issue that came out at San Diego Comic Con back in 2002. 250 is quite a fall from the 400+ pages we were getting just a year ago. And yes, that is a $7.99 price on the picture. That not what showed up on the actual issue, and I think it’s kind of sloppy of Viz to have such a serious typo on the cover.  Anyway, on to the actual magazine.

It starts out with all the usual ads and anime on DVD/Streaming and video game promos. The manga to start out this month’s mag is One Piece. It’s all out war between White Beard’s pirates and the Navy. Luffy makes a grand entrance in his usual way of course. One of the things that makes Oda such a great mangaka, and One Piece a great manga is the way he incorporates back story scenes during a fight. I think his way of doing the flashbacks is what helps make these long fights so tolerable. The flashbacks aren’t long, but they are straight to the point, and make the impact of the outcome of each characters battle more poignant. Even when it’s a character you’ve only just meant, you care about him by the end. One Piece is still awesome.

Not so awesome is Ultimo.Yamato and Eco have a nice little talk as Eco presents his “third” option. It gets a little meta as Eco tries to help Musashi understand Yamato through manga, and Yamato then has a problem getting Ultimo back as Jealousy and his master Tomomitsu shows up. We learn a little more about who Musashi is and where he came from, but that’s about it for this chapter.

Naruto has Danzo and his men fighting Madara with lots of fancy jujitsu from the men that is completely ineffectual. We finally get to see what’s up with Danzo’s right arm, and then Sasuke appears to take on Danze himself. The angst is still running high, between Naruto agonizing over what to do about Sasuke, and Sasuke trying to get all his vengence. I’m ready to move on from the angst. If I were reading this in graphic novels only, I would have dropped it by now.

Bleach isn’t faring much better. The fight between Ichigo and Grimmjow is STILL going on, at least until espada #5, Noitora interrupts, deciding he wants to kill Ichigo now. The we get 2 pages of Renji and Uryu running in a circle and back to the espada they were fighting when Ichigo and Grimmjow’s battle first started. Bleach suffers from the same angst as Naruto it’s really killed the series for me.

Next issue Shaman King returns as a spotlight manga, but there are no new announcements for the magazine. This is the most disappointing issue so far. Viz had better do something. Their Naruto/Yu-Gi-Oh! card giveaways can only keep the magazine going so far. A price drop was announced at Anime Expo of $3.00 to make a year subscription $26.99 and the new title Genkaku Picasso will get a preview in September. But, I’m really hoping for a more permanent title. Kekkaishi might have been a  good addition, since the anime is showing on Cartoon Network right now, and that seems to be a prerequisite to be in the magazine anymore. Though, a new streaming anime they announced, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan does have potential of becoming a new addition. I’ll just have to wait to see what they announce at SDCC in two weeks.

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6 Comments for this entry

  • Heather says:

    Strange, my copy of SJ has $4.99 in that bubble. It was a small issue, at 272 pages, but I ended up liking it alot.. The Shonen Jump alphabet, except I would have used Zolo/Zoro for Z, was nice. I loved the One Piece chapters. I don’t think I can remember so many different characters all in one spot, it was pretty mind- blowing. I have to say the only drawback is after all these months I miss seeing the old crew in action. I too am on the fence for Ultimo, but I think with this chapter I can sort of see what they were trying to set up.
    With Naruto I was really surprised at Danzo’s arm. He must have a special hatred for Sharigan users to have all those trophy eyes embedded. It sort of makes me wonder if Madara has done something similar
    or even worse to still be alive and his various powers. Now Bleach drove me bonkers. I really want something new. Ah well, just another 4 weeks and I will get my wish.

    • Yeah, it will be nice to see the crew back together, but I really want to see Ace in action, and fighting along side Luffy would be doubly cool!

      Danzo’s arm was just freaky. I don’t know if it’s hatred of Sharigan users, or just a lust for power. That’s the kind of person he seems to be.

      Bleach needs to do something and soon. It’s reaching Yu-Gi-Oh! levels of interest for me.

      We need another series that isn’t just about pounding everyone’s skulls in. WSJ must have something they can license that isn’t all fight/powerup/lather/rinse/repeat. I’m waiting for that.

  • Ahavah says:

    Things are looking bad for Jump…It’s the last printed manga magazine in the States, and it would be a shame to lose it. However, I don’t think there are any titles they can add to the magazine that are more popular than Naruto. They can’t add Kekkaishi, since it’s published by Shonen Sunday in Japan, a rival to Shonen Jump (free chapters of Kekkaishi are available on Viz’s Shonen Sunday sight already).

    Maybe they’ll do a Bleach speed-up, now that the latese episodes are streaming legally in America, but that’s a financial risk for them.

    • I was thinking Bleach would be the next in line for a speed up as well. They would have to wait until after the One Piece wave had calmed, so possibly sometime in the fall or next spring. SDCC is in two weeks, and there will definitely be some kind of announcement then. I really wouldn’t be surprised to see an announcement with Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, with the streaming anime. It’s getting a Jump anime special as well and will be on tour in Japan. It’s sounding ripe for a licensing from Viz. Possibly similar to Letter Bee.

  • Heather says:

    My hubby and I watched the first 2 episodes of Nura last night. It reminds me alot of Gegege no Kitaro, cause of all the yokai that appear. The story seems nice and entertaining, but I worry that the story is going in one direction and when that goal is achieved it might bounce off into a different directions, ala Bleach, Dragonball, YYH, Flame of Rekka, or like alot of Shonen Jump titles. I would love to see the Nura manga, I paused the player so many times last night to look at the cute little yokai and they showed so many more characters during the opening, it reminded me of one of the old Oh my Goddess openings or even a Urusei Yatsura one.

    VIZ seems to be handling Shonen Sunday really well, but I wish IKKI was updated better. I hope SJ continues to be in print, I really am old fashion and love to hold a magazine to read.

    • Then that out ot make it fit in with the other SJ manga just fine, right? :-s Nura sounds like a series I would really like though. I love yokai, so any series with/about them gets pushed to the top of my list! Maybe I’ll check it out this weekend.

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