Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Weekly Manga Update: July 27, 2010

Hey guys, going to try something new with my blog. I want to try a weekly blog in addition to my spontaneous stuff, so I can try to make this a site people check regularly. Then maybe I can spruce it up with some designs or something. Anyway, I wanted to try something weekly, and a few fans suggested a weekly manga recap. I had thought about doing the same, so I’m going to give it a try, so please, if you have any feedback let me know.

Now if I do this as a series I want to shoot for releasing it on Monday/Tuesday so I can get all the new chapters in before the week refreshes, so one chapter per week, but since this is the first of the series I figure I’ll explain a bit about where the series have been going to give you my overall impression. So let’s begin.

One Piece Chapter 593 – After the great war ended the story slowed down, but this was for the better. We got the really good Luffy/Ace flashback, and after that ended I was ready to get back to the story, and thank the gods we’re back to the Straw Hats. It’s been tough to manage the past year or so without any Straw Hats beyond Luffy. Just their brief chapter focuses have been golden like Sanji denying his bounty poster and Franky blowing up the lab. I remembered almost instantly why I loved these characters so, though I am curious how they’ll all get together. I mean Robin, Nami, Chopper, and maybe Sanji just need to travel there, but Zoro still has to pass the baboons, Brooke’s a hostage, Usopp has to figure out a way off the island, and Franky is in a whole heap of trouble. I wonder if we’ll get small mini arcs for these characters, but somehow I doubt it.

Still 593 was a great multi-focus chapter. We got some hints at things to come like Crocodile going to the New World, and images of Dragon (who’s design I’m really starting to dig), but the cliff hanger is what really intrigues me. Buggy gets a message from the government directly, so does this mean Buggy is going to be offered a job as a Warlord? Makes sense considering the Warlords are down four members. Blackbeard, Moria, and Jinbei are gone, plus Hancock’s alliance has to be questioned. Also what’s with Kuma meeting Shaky? Is he truly all gone? Anyway, this was a good chapter of One Piece. Not great, but we’re still accepting the aftermath of the big war and slowly pulling together for the next arc.

Bleach Chapter 413 – I’m really bored of Bleach. This Aizen all out war arc just needs to die, and die freaking hard. I’m tired of Aizen and his constant burying of the cast. I get it: Aizen is unbeatable. I don’t need to see this dude completely destroy the entire freaking cast. See the problem with Aizen is that he’s too strong. At this point Aizen had managed to defeat the majority of the captains from the Soul Society, and he did it without exerting himself. He then took the supreme, ultimate, super special attacks from Isshin, Urahara, and Yorichi, and walked it off. He’s effectively crushed every possible threat, and continues to belittle what remains of the cast every chance he can. What this means to me, is that Aizen is, simply put, unbeatable. He didn’t just beat the Soul Society, he fucking crushed them. He defeated them so handedly that not even his clothes have a scar to prove he was in a real battle. What could possibly beat him at this point? I’m not just going to accept that Ichigo will obtain some new power that will suddenly surpass Aizen. That’s just ridiculous. Even considering Ichigo’s skill, it’s generally assumed that he was on par or weaker than most of the Soul Society captains at his current level, so one power bonus shouldn’t put him on a level that the combined might of the Soul Society couldn’t beat.

As for Chapter 413 itself, it was another throwaway chapter. I’ve forgotten much of what happened behind the slight hint that Gin will betray Aizen. So Aizen will kill Gin? Yeah, like Aizen totally needs that push. Bleach is in a complete garbage low point right now. If you don’t believe me, then ask yourself why this battle started, and see how long it takes you to remember it.

Naruto Chapter 503 – Naruto’s recent chapters have all been about this massive flashback regarding how the Kyubi came to be in Naruto and the history of his parents, and I’ll be honest, it hasn’t been too bad. Beyond the extremely awkward chapter where Naruto talked about how bangable his mom was, this has been relatively good, or at least, it hasn’t been wall bangingly bad. The only problem I have is that the suspense is low since this is a flashback that we all know about. The minor details are a mystery, but we know that the fourth hokage died to put the Nine-Tailes inside baby Naruto. The rest is just explanation. It’s not bad mind you, just no very suspenseful. More interesting however is that Naruto is now about to become in control of the Demon Fox, and that’s something I can get on board with. Say what you will about Naruto, but it’s not fucking around with its plot points. Itachi v Sasuke is long in the books, Orochimaru is dead and gone (for the most part), and now Naruto is overcoming the last weakness he has. Either this means Naruto is coming to an end, or some new plot elements will need to be introduced, but still I really dig progress. Not a bad chapter at all.

Beelzebub Chapter 70 – For all those who don’t read Beelzebub, I really suggest you do because this is quickly becoming one of my favorite manga. Few titles manage to make me laugh as hard as Beelzebub does on such a consistent basis, and the mangka knows how to tell an interesting story without making it feel overly serious. For those curious, it’s the story of Oga, a delinquent who recently comes in contact with the new demon prince of Hell, Beelzebub. Beelzebub is attaching himself to Oga and granting him part of his power, but the catch is that Beelzebub is a mere infant. So far the manga has mostly been about Oga beating up other delinquents, though they did make a quick appearance in the Demon World for a moment if I recall. The cast is hilarious, and Oga himself breaks the typical shonen mold. You hear delinquent and think “oh great, another misunderstood bully”, but Oga is actually a pretty big douche. He’s just so funny and straightforward that you can’t help but love him.

The recent chapter was another great one. I’m curious to see how they turn this volleyball match into a real epic encounter, but more so I have to note that I nearly pissed myself laughing at the last panel. Oga superkicking the ball, and immediately everyone calls foul on it. Again, it’s shonen awesome, but unlike series like Prince of Tennis, they don’t try to make it serious. I love Beelzebub, and I recommend you give it a try.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn Chapter 299 – Reborn is a strange title for me. At points I hate it. It can become such overwhelming shonen stereotypical slop that I want to drop it, and I come rather close to doing so, and yet sometimes the manga shows an amazing amount of depth and maturity that reminds me why I read it. For every time I see the series try to force animal companions and motorcycles on us, I’m reminded of a chapter that left me speechless. One of the more recent ones came after Yamato was attacked and put in intensive care. The next chapter was dedicated to the ramifications of this, and how Tsuna has to make a decision on the inheritance ceremony. Even though he wants nothing more than to run away from his duties, he decides to undergo the ceremony so that the rest of his friends don’t become targets. Following that we get the revelation that the Shimon family were the villains all along (cue deadpan surprise), and Enma manages to curbstomp the guardians single-handedly. This is why I love Reborn. I love manga where a villain will absolutely demolish the main heroes so that I can root for them to succeed. These chapters have made the Shimon family a threat, and I’m curious to see how they win. Really quite excellent chapters… with the exception of Julie kidnapping Chrome. Don’t get me wrong, I like that he took a guardian. It’s so vile, and really places weight on Tsuna’s training since now another guardian’s life depends on him, but it’s the fact it was Chrome that bothers me. The girl is already on the short end of the stick as far as being a guardian. She’s accomplished almost nothing on her own, and her abilities (beyond being retarded) really aren’t that intimidating. If anyone was going to benefit from massive training it was going to be her, but instead she’s going to be a damsel in distress for everyone to save. Also Julie kidnapped her for date… he does realize she’s thirteen right? Kinda creepy…

Anyway the recent chapter actually really sucked. The Vongola rings were destroyed, and this means that basically our heroes have no weapons to battle Shimon with. This is pretty tense, but then out of the blue some random fucker appears who just happens to have a way to not only repair the rings, but make them stronger. This is silly in and of itself, but it’s the random dude that bothers me more. I mean essentially he just appears with a solution to their problem. I’m going to call him Dues Ex Fail from now on because he really brought down the tension in this arc. Still, obligatory training chapters await, so hopefully they don’t decide they need jetpacks, lightsabers, and children’s card games to beat their opponent. Amano is really bad at that stuff.

Toriko Chapter 103 – So after the epic battle in Ice Hell, Toriko healed up and we’re now on the start of a new hunt for the H20 Salad. I really don’t like salads (clearly), but this arc will likely get me started on craving lettuce. The big thing to note this chapter was that Toriko tried to ask Komamatsu to be his cook, but for some reason this is a question on the same level of asking a highschool date to go steady with you, because Toriko stumbles over his words and eventually just dodges the question. So weird, and with oddly sexual undertones, but still Toriko is about to start something epic, so no complaints.

Bakuman Chapter 95 – I love Bakuman, and the series really never dips too far in quality for me. The current arc where PCP tries to beat Natural + and Crow has been interesting, but I like the subtle stuff, like showing how Eiji has the ability to tell a story without any dialogue, and how their one assistants new manga is basically Pheonix Wright. I’m loving the storyline so far, and curious to see next chapter. Overall, a very fine chapter.

Fairy Tail Chapter 194 – I hate Fairy Tail, I really do. I can’t explain why I honestly read it anymore. I hate most of the cast. Erza will always be one of my most hated manga characters. Wendy is a disturbing amount of bland loli I don’t want. Natsu is Luffy but without the excitement, and Gazelle is a pale imitation of Vegeta. Hell, the dude basically is Vegeta, but I still dig his fighting style, so I’ll tolerate it. Anyway, this other world arc has been more obnoxious than anything else, but it should be almost over. The recent chapter put an end to one of the blandest villains in history. Seriously, did that King even have a name? I guess he was the big bad of this arc, but I honestly don’t know. If it means this arc is over then I am all over it, but there’s still an over the top poorly paced “emotional” moment that Hiro needs to do like when he ripped off One Piece after the Luxus arc, or when Wendy’s guild just spontaneously died. Fairy Tail eats. This newest chapter wasn’t god awful, but it’s still lacking.

So everyone, that’s been the last week in manga. I’ll try to condense my thoughts next week since this is more of a test than anything. If you enjoyed reading this, please leave a comment below with any suggestions you might have for next week. Until then, Namaste!


  1. I really enjoyed this since ive dropped naruto and bleach alltogether. I still love discussing them but i cant be arsed to read them.

    Naruto : Why doesnt he just go and do the taijuu taijuu taijuu kagebunshin and practise his ass off. It was allready established that he can train extremely efficiently like that >_> Just do what goku and gohan did in the hyperbolic chamber and dominate kyubi like that :D

    Bleach: Im guessing its time for the white ichigo to step up take controll and beat aizen >_>

    Beelzebub: I havent heard of this one but it sounds like fun. Ill read it after i finish the last 100~chapters of negima. Yeah i know fanservice but goddamn i love the whole Lets absorb magic to get real fast and beat the shit out of ourselfs with dark magic!

    Toriko is also on my to read list.
    Never go into reborn.

    But if you want a awesome series check out Hajime no Ippo! It's at 901 chapters atm but dont be afraid of the drawing quality at the beginning, It gets alot better and hits the stable~ish quality at chapter 300~

  2. Interesting recap. I enjoyed it alot.
    A small suggestion: If its possible try to format your text a little more(e.g. underline the manga names when you start writing about a new one). It makes it easier to read.

  3. I've surprised myself by actually enjoying the past 10 or so Naruto chapters a lot. I was never a huge fan but usually read the manga anyway just for the sake of it. Despite all the flaws this series has, I always did like and appreciate the small character development that has been going on in the series. Too often characters in manga go through these huge events but remain the same.

    Totally agreed on Bleach. It still amazes me how a manga could have such an incredible and exciting start, but just plummeted in quality for the past 100 (or more) chapters. It's so tiring. Oh look, X character was just run through by Y character. Should I care? Does this build ANY tension? Of course not, because no one ever dies in Bleach. There are never any consequences to losing. Which means there is no point to combat if it has no real danger, and seeing how Bleach is almost 90% fighting... it lost me ages ago.

    Btw, that's what I love about series like One Piece or Hunter x Hunter (a series you should check out if you never have!). People can die, and shit gets real. The recent One Piece chapters have been such an emotional roller-coaster. This arc was really hard core. I really can't wait to see the whole crew back together again, it's been so long!