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One Piece takes the cover this week in collaboration with JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and see’s Luffy donning a JAXA jumpsuit. While One Piece is easily the most well-known series currently running in Weekly Shonen Jump, wouldn’t it have made more sense to collaborate with Dr. Stone? Regardless, we’re treated to a chapter featuring a lot more of Franky than we’ve seen in a good while. Franky had a good uninterrupted showdown with Sasaki, but it’s the end of the chapter that really has the exciting building. Kaido versus Yamato!
It’s not fair to say Dr. Stone has dropped in quality since the conclusion of the last arc. But it is clear without a sense of urgency propelling the series along there’s a lack of excitement. That said, Sai Nanami could be the spice that really kicks this latest adventure into top gear. When you’re able to recreate Dragon Quest using ‘Machine Code’ written out on walls, then it’s clear your Senku’s kind of genius.
It’s hard to ignore the bland styling of recent Undead Unluck chapters. It’s possible this could be down to the setting Fuuko finds herself, a bland building complex sitting in the confines of a whale. That being said, it has been enough of a departure to break immersion. The story running through these chapters has done any favours, either. Fuuko is being held captive by rival group Under but is ultimately allowed to do as she pleases. There’s no sense of danger being conveyed within this scenario.
Velou finally takes down the werewolf Dodou, protecting his hamlet in the process. Then disaster appears. Literally, appearing through clouds of smoke, a giant werewolf of enormous scale and a witch? Based on the typesetting used here, Velou was speaking about his past and how this was the day he became a hunter. Could there be a time skip coming in the next chapter, perhaps an older Velou? Surprising this is happening at the end of the fourth chapter, this could have had a bigger shock value if done earlier.
When all hope appears lost but the will to fight still exists, even if that fight is not enough, always expect Asta to save the day. That’s exactly the scenario playing out in this chapter. All credit to Gaja, Charlotte and Noelle, who really excelled during their fight with Vanica, Lolopechka and Megicula. How will the showdown between Asta and Megicula play out, will Asta find a new evolution to recently gained devil union power?
If you’ve been following One Piece for a long time, then seeing the Kingdom of Alabasta and Vivi is such a blast of nostalgia. As we’ve come to expect from these crossover chapters, it feels like One Piece but looks and tastes like Food Wars. This chapter was more of a feel-good fair than any kind of cooking showdown. Sanji showcasing why he’s such a nice guy, but also a bit of a creep when it comes to the ladies.
The students of UA Class A are out in force to stop Deku. It’s encouraging to see several characters getting their time to shine, showcasing their unique talents and telling Deku how much he has helped them. There were a few interesting dialogue choices used by Bakugou that broke the fourth wall here, referencing how Deku is drawn differently and that they are a bunch of NPCs to him. While they weren’t completely immersion-breaking, they gave me pause while reading. Was this a translation choice adding in something that wasn’t there in the Japanese text I can’t say? But thankfully, it wasn’t a politically charged statement with no bearing on the situation.
The epic action continues between Neruma and Jokuro. Neru is definitely giving Sakamoto Days a run for its money on that front. This chapter does more than displaying some great martial arts it also cements Neruma as a bit of a weirdo. In both fighting prowess and personality. His rather overenthusiastic want to attend this high school came just as predicted. Of course, Neruma will have to pass both physical and academic exams in order to do that. The latter of which, based on his reaction, will not be easy.
Taiyo proving his integrity by not using his vast knowledge of Shinzo’s weaknesses, helpfully displayed by Shion, Kengo and Nanao. His resolve not to harm Shinzo, however, was not the mindset to enter this exam with. The powerhouse Shinzo forcing Taiyo to come at him with the intent to kill. We’re definitely in store for a good amount more action with a serious Taiyo and Shinzo going head to head. Not to mention after Shinzo awaits Futaba and Kyoichiro. This is probably Taiyo biggest to date.
The author continues to tease the audience and poor Taiki about whether this is a date. There were certainly a lot of instances that could be taken multiple ways and it all helped build the suspense. The payoff could be a long way off if the series continues to do well but I’m okay with that.
Not a bad chapter by any means, but largely covered the same ground as last week. We’ve learnt how the warlock could control students through the use of enchanted sweets ‘drops’. How Wolf is a very tough individual that took out Kanshi with relative ease. It’s easy to assume he’s also taking drops to boost his physical prowess, but there’s a hint of something deeper at play. Wolf appears rather familiar with Morihito and the world of witches, maybe another familiar perhaps?
Average Mashle where Mash looks on unfazed as Innocent Zero steals Wahlberg’s power. Holding three powers, he is clearly overpowered, and it shows as his body can barely contain them. Mash looks on, nonplused as these events unfolded but of course manages to keep Wahlberg safe. All this while quickly flapping his legs to remain suspended midair.
This series continues to settle into its weirdness, and it is becoming somewhat of a crutch. If a story could keep a serious through-line for more than a couple of chapters, it would be more enjoyable. As it is, it’s little more than a gag manga with none of the charms that a gag manga usually brings.
The conclusion to this little story arc ends with Muscar getting reawakened in a miniature form, more in line with the other gods of chaos. Ruru also gets to spend some time with her deceased father, thanks to Nosu Koshu’s illusions.
The gang at Sakamoto’s decide to take a trip to a public bath to unwind after their recent intense adventures. An ordinary outing, of course, never remains so when Mr Sakamoto is involved. So begins several attempts on his life that he doesn’t notice. Shin unfortunately isn’t so lucky and comes out of the public bath a little worse for wear.
Aside from a rather amusing back and forth between Misaki, the Gummies user and Misaki’s classmates, there was little of note. Tsumugi’s return is another amusing highlight, stick user indeed. If nothing else, the humour is improving.