Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Weekly Manga Update: August 17th, 2010

Hey everyone, sorry I’ve been quiet regarding manga for a bit. My plan since the first recap was to do the next episode in video. Well the first time I recorded it was the day my internet died, so the chapters were dated by the time I got back online. I then tried recording regarding this week’s manga, but when I did my recording I realized ten minutes in that my camera ran out of power, and since then I just haven’t sat down to refilm it. Instead I’ll make this upcoming week the first time I’ll try the review in my new video format (it’s just a vlog nothing special). However I still want to get out my thoughts regarding the last week in manga, so why not do it again, but in written form?

Something else I decided was not to talk about each individual manga, but more so the interesting ones. The really bad ones, the really good ones, or the ones simply worth noting as discussing each manga could take awhile. So this week I wanted to talk about Bakuman, SWOT, Beelzebub, Naruto, and Bleach. Let’s get into it.

Bakuman 96 – Originally this chapter panned out to be rather boring as it was one of the chapters talking about rankings and votes. This chapter would have been a very decisive “meh” were it not for a double paged spread towards the end. One thing I love about Bakuman is reading a lot of the suggestions they make regarding manga, and seeing how it comes off in the actual story. For example a recent chapter had the characters discussing “tones” in a manga and how using a lighter tone helps out the story, and I think a lot of people really thought that was silly. However look back to early Bakuman, and you can see the series had a lot of darker tones to it, and it really had a distinctive Deathnote feel. Now Bakuman has its own style and it’s due in part to the tones. I love that stuff, and the two page spread utilized another tool they were talking about with dynamic paneling.

The two page spread was great in both story and art. Storywise it was Hattori admitting that he believes Mashiro and Takagi are finally surpassing him and have the talent to beat Eiji, and art wise the way the pages were structured justified this epic moment using two pages. Seriously, the art is amazing, and you just need to remember what they said just a few chapters ago about using panels to create something dynamic. The two-page spread was, in all likelihood, one of my favorite spreads ever. Loved it. Good chapter.

SWOT 6 – When I first read SWOT I read its One-Shot thinking it was the first chapter, and I thought the story sucked. The One-Shot was not very good and it felt like a quick in and out story for Jump. Reading the real first chapter and the five following chapters, I have to say that SWOT still seems stereotypical, but it’s a lot more interesting. Manabizaki is a really fun character who thankfully breaks the snobby elitist savant student stereotype that plagues manga nowadays. While he is smart and does look down on others, he’s far from calm, cool, or collected and in fact he’s probably more erratic than most of the people he looks down on. Most characters of his type would sit back and just say “jeez it’s tough being so much smarter than everybody else”. This guy hurls desks across the room when he can’t find a pencil. I love it.

Plus his fighting style and dream changed from the one shot to the syndicated story. In the one shot he wants to work for NASA and he knows how to fight using that cliché method they always have smart people use where they can predict how an opponent will move because they’re so effing smart. They changed that in the series in that he wants to build a UFO instead, and he learned to fight so that he can combat aliens. It’s silly, but it should be silly! I like the wacky stupid answer way more than the generic yawn-fest one. Still, the manga has faults. It’s predictable to the extreme. While this isn’t bad, it keeps some parts from being as enjoyable as the author intended. The moment I saw the long haired, sword wielding delinquent who only wants to fight “strong opponents” I knew he’d end up an ally of the group. Also the main female lead, Haruno (I believe) has been relatively boring. She hasn’t done much of anything despite the fact she’s supposed to be one of the strongest students in the school. There’s a reason why she doesn’t fight, but having her do something would be nice as so far she hasn’t left nearly the same impression the rest of the cast has.

I can’t recommend this title yet as I still am not sold on the product. Still, it has potential, and I’m content to give the series 20 or so chapters to see how it goes. Perhaps I’ll do a follow up on the series then and let you know if you should check it out… barring it’s still running.

Beelzebub 72 – More people need to read this manga. Please, if you read this manga please say if you do in the comments because it feels like way too many people are forsaking this title. It’s great. I’m trying to get Y Ruler of Time to read it so he can do a review on it like Toriko and Bakuman (which I helped convince him to read thank you very much). It’s a great series full of fun characters, interesting action, and side splitting humor. READ IT!

Anyway, this week initially got me quaking in my boots as it felt like Kundiea admitting her feelings was a big sign the manga was ending. Thankfully a cliffhanger at the end of the chapter ensures that’s not the case, so in the end it was just a really good chapter. I love Kundiea as a character, and she might even be my favorite female character in manga right now. I really like what the author is doing with her, and yet again the chapter has a moment that made me bust out laughing. I’ll simply say it again. If you don’t read Beelzebub, you need to give it a try. Trust me that it becomes an absolutely hysterical manga.

Naruto 505 – For the past few years Naruto has been the red headed stepchild of Jump. Everyone hated it, and for good reason: it sucked. Recently the series hasn’t been bad. They’ve removed Sasuke from the equation, and gave us fan-favorite Killer Bee. Then with a flashback we got some more emotional Naruto which is always better than plot progression Naruto. This was all well and good, but this week actually was a pretty good chapter. Might Gai shows up, so Kishimoto continues to pile on the fan-favorites. I tell you, if Shino and Shikamaru somehow show up next week, fans will die.

Anyway it was a strong chapter where the humor actually worked and the characters did interesting stuff. I’m glad Kisame’s stupid hiding tactic got exposed, and his chances of surviving are almost impossible. Not a fan of the new power up though. In fact it kinda bothers me that Naruto gets yet another new form right after getting Sage Mode. Seriously, how many costume powerups will this guy go through, when they all look lame? Still, as far as Naruto goes this was a great chapter. Hope this trend continues! (I know it won’t)

Bleach 415 – Fuck Bleach. Can I go home?

Fine, I’ll elaborate on why Bleach is the worst manga running right now, and Aizen is a heavy contender for worst villain of all time. I seriously can’t stand this guy. For months now this man has made a living off killing the cast in Bleach (in wrestling terms. We all know no one dies in Bleach). He has killed the majority of the Soul Society. He killed the Vizards. He’s buried Ichigo, Isshin, Urahara, and Yoroichi. He’s killed his own Arrancar, made it clear he was better than them all, and even killed Tousen. Then he hits Kakura Town, and we have to see that his very presence brings humans quivering to their knees and likely causes them to evacuate their bowels just form being in his god awful overpowered bullshit presence. GOD DAMNIT I HATE AIZEN!

Okay, so surprise surprise, Gin unleashes a super attack, and Aizen lives! Not only does he live, but he comes back as a freaking butterfly man. I don’t know why but he does. Oh, and if I complained about Naruto changing costumes, I can’t let this ass go free. In the past two months this ass has gone through three separate wardrobe changes. He was a cocoon, then he was Fabio, and now he’s a butterfly. These costume changes are so unnecessary and exist solely to be art porn for Kubo whose sole fetish in life is just to try stupidly elaborate costumes. So back to the point, Aizen wasn’t killed, and instead strikes down Gin adding yet another person to his burial list. I’m desperately trying to think if there’s anyone left in the cast that Aizen hasn’t buried yet that he still could, and all I can come up with is the Huece Mundo crew (as if seeing Aizen one shot Zaraki is something we all want to see). Either way, I’m fucking tired of this. I am beyond fucking tired of Kubo doing this constant fucking plot twist. Someone unleashes their ultimate attack, but Aizen is fine. Time after time he’s been fine. I GET IT. AIZEN IS FUCKING OMNIPOTENT. STOP REHASHING THIS SAME POINT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD TITE KUBO!!!!

Aizen has killed Bleach and everything good about it. I’ve stopped caring because while I know Ichigo will leave his super special awesome training and kill Aizen somehow, it won’t be satisfying. I say that because the guy has beaten everybody. Imagine if in boxing a World Champion destroyed every opponent he fought. No, he doesn’t just beat them, he annihilates them. He finishes fights without a single blow, and every fight ends with a knock out in the first round. Let’s just say you knew ahead of time that a boxer he fought early in his career was going to learn one new punch, and would beat him. How would that be satifiying? How could someone learn one move strong enough to beat a guy who has defeated everyone else without taking a punch? Simply put: it won’t. There won’t be any logical satisfaction to this battle. I know that Aizen will lose, but it won’t make sense. No one can logically beat Aizen as he’s essentially God. This stupid fucking story built this guy to be unstoppable, and now he is, but for the sake of the story he has to be stopped. When Ichigo wins we’ll all feel a sigh of relief that the greatest problem in Bleach is now dead, but we’ll all feel empty inside because it’s a hollow victory only given to us because the hero needs to beat the villain.

I’m beyond tired of Bleach’s terrible plot line. I’m tired of the stupid Bankai abilities. I’m tired of the unnecessary addition of so many characters. But most of all I’m tired of Aizen. Please. Somebody. Anybody. Kill this man.


  1. I'm in total agreement with you on Bleach. I love the idea of the story and how it began to play out, but now I question why I still follow it. I guess the only real answer I have is simple: I want to see Zaraki kick ass some more. There's never enough of him as far as I'm concerned.

    The fact that there's people out there who think Aizen is bullshit makes me so happy. I normally back the villains in the shows I watch, books I read, whatever, but Aizen makes me want to burn the world with acid and fire. Nothing about him really makes sense. He has all of these powers; where did he get them? He wants to pull a Light Yagami and be God; why? Maybe Kubo will explain everything down the road, but when the hell that will be is anyone's guess. It'll probably be taken out of print before that happens at the rate he's going. The constant owning of all the characters doesn't make for a good story; it just makes people annoyed, angry, and feel cheated.

    Ichigo pisses me off too and I'm sure that statement alone is enough for the fangirls to lynch me. He just doesn't freaking die, at all. Yeah, I know he's the hero, but seriously, as many times as he should have been put into the dirt, it's getting out of hand. We've got Byakuya round one, Zaraki, Byakuya round two, Aizen round one, and the big one with Ulquiorra. I want to know how he's still standing from the gigantic hole in the center of his chest that just miraculously healed with the power of friendship and love and bleh.

    ...Huge rant that no one's going to care about and I'm probably going to get trolled for, lol. I say Bleach needs to have more of the 11th Division being awesome. That would be fun.

  2. I LOVE BEELZEBUB. It's really good to hear someone else so enthusiastic about it's definitely my favourite manga right now... by far and you are right more people NEED to read this, fantastic series. Also man about Bleach I know it's fucking stupid right now but I still love it I know Kubo will make everything good in the end... right??

  3. Amazing analysis! I agree 100% on all points. Aizen is THE WORST manga villain of all time... The only thing that keeps me reading is the eye candy. One or two more trolls and even that will make me throw my hands up!

  4. I fucking hate bleach now and im also starting to get back into naruto. But they got shit against beelzebub. Great reflections by the way.

  5. I beg to differ but I don't think Naruto sucks or Bleach being the worst manga. I love both and I think they are great anime series.

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