Finally, back with a new Weekly Shonen Jump roundup and the first of 2022, which in late August is just terrible, and the fault lies squarely on my shoulders. The last roundup was published in September 2021 almost a full year ago 😱. I’ll do my best to keep up going forward as there’s always a lot to talk about.
Weekly Shonen Jump Issue #38 of 2022 features a cover and lead colour pages for Akane-banashi. Series also featuring colour pages this week include The Elusive Samurai and PPPPPP.
You can read all the chapters listed below for free via the Shonen Jump app or website. Note that you can only read the first 3 chapters and the latest 3 chapters of a series for free. You can access the rest of the chapters plus more series by subscribing for a monthly fee of £1.99/$1.99.
You can also read via the Manga Plus app or website. There’s no paid option, so it’s entirely free with a lot of other series available in their entirety.
This is the first time I’m writing about Akane-banashi and it’s already on its 26th chapter! This is easily one of the best new series in the pages of Shonen Jump for a long time. Its subject matter really sets it apart from all the demon-related series that usually fill out Jump.
I was worried about where the series would head after such a strong debut chapter and lovable character in (insert name). Akane has certainly proved throughout the series and in this latest chapter that she isn’t one to be ignored. It’s been an incredible journey getting to this point and the tension at the end of this chapter is just confirming to me how good this series is already. I hope to see Akane-banashi go the distance.
Finally, the end of the Wano arc. Not that it hasn’t been an epic adventure with awesome characters and storytelling, but these arcs are getting a tad long. Hopefully, we don’t jump headfirst into another lengthy arc, as it would be nice to experience some smaller tales.
I really enjoy Jujutsu Kaisen when it’s on a roll. Unfortunately, the series suffers with pacing or, or, more accurately, flow. When the story is hitting its stride and getting really good, it always seems to suddenly stop and change direction. This creates confusion. I’ve spoken about this before with Jujutsu Kaisen, but it’s so easy to feel lost week to week. I imagine the author knows what’s happening, but they need to do a better job of showing us the reader. That said, there have been several fantastic mini-stories involving new and regular characters as of late. Hopefully, it’s heading somewhere meaningful.
Oh boy, nothing gets me more worked up than a chapter of Blue Box. The fallout from the supposed kiss is creating rumours all over the school. Kyo is making Taiki think about how he feels towards Hina, which is funny because Taiki is such a dense but straightforward thinker. Chinatsu is moving back into the Inomata residence and what about this new girl that we keep seeing? A potential new rival to Chinatsu and Hina perhaps, there’s never a dull moment with this series!
I honestly can’t imagine that Bakugo is seriously being killed off. While it’s a pretty epic way to go out, it would be like killing off Vegeta or Sasuke, I just can’t see it sticking. If it accomplishes anything, it’s making Shigaraki into an absolute monster. If this is him without the use of quirks, I can not imagine what the eventual showdown with Deku will look like. There’s also the merging that’s happening between All for One and Shigaraki and it looks like we might be seeing the evolution of that very soon.
Even I have to admit that The Elusive Samurai has improved considerably as a series over the last few months. It finally feels like the story is making some progress from the original premise. The silliness has been toned down a lot and used sparingly when the story calls for it.
I have to say, as cool as Sakamoto is, it’s nice getting to spend more time with Shin as the focal point lately. Shin, as well as us the audience, needs some growth so he’s not always relying on Sakamoto to save him. I’m glad the author, and editorial staff at Jump, have faith in letting Sakamoto take even more of a back seat. Shin does all the talking anyway. The interactions between Shin and Seba, and Seba’s little brother before that, have been brilliant. Hopefully, there’ll be more team-ups going forward.
No particular focus in this chapter except for showing everyone’s summer activities. I like to call these transitional chapters. It’s fun to see what everyone is up to every now and then, keeping the setting grounded and not overly focused on one character. Haruka probably had the funniest segment, not for any particular line, but the scene of her joining grade-schooler radio callisthenics as some kind of summer break made me laugh.
If there are two members of the Yozakura family I wouldn’t want to fight, Kyoichiro aside, it would be Futaba and Shinzo, so the author made the right choice here. Their father is easily the creepiest villain this series has produced and I never know where it’s going next. Shame we didn’t get to see more of Shura’s awesome moves, but it looks like they’ll be coming along on the family rescue mission, maybe.
It’s nice to see Rayne and Finn finally working together and boy what an unstoppable team they make. Dot and Lance’s interactions win this chapter though. Like bickering siblings, these two and the seemingly more sensible one is the most stubborn and has a sister complex. This only serves to make Dot, who’s pretty dumb, come off as the reasonable one. Can’t wait to see this fight unfold given their opponent is another weirdo.
This battle has been really interesting on multiple levels. I’ve come to really like Mimin as a character while at the same time I’ve developed mixed feelings for Meloli. I don’t know what her motivations are but that creates a perfect contrast to Mimin. It’s like they’re two sides of the same coin. Both are geniuses but one is through natural talent and the other through hard work.
It’s unfortunate that a lot of the supporting cast of the earlier chapters like Ako Furusu and Rokku Maki are being forgotten. With each Otogami sibling brought into the story, it also brings with it a person they have wronged or vice versa. A fair approach but let’s not leave behind the characters that got us this far, hopefully, they’ll get their time to shine soon.
Black Clover just goes from strength to strength in my eyes. Normally I would need a break from one arc to another but it’s straight back into the action and I’m all for it. This new threat comes from a totally unexpected place and that only makes it feel so much bigger than the previous “big bad”s. I wonder if this is endgame material because it could certainly go that way given who the enemy is this time round.
We finally get to see the birth of Andy through the use of the Remember artefact that is constantly lodged in his brain. We already knew that Victor due to his undead ability was doomed to repeat each loop from the beginning spending billions of years in the process alone while retaining his memories. Juiz set out to change that by obtaining the means to loop and keep Victor sane but it seems their goals eventually diverged and lead to Andy. It’s nice to know the origin of Andy but it felt a little lacklustre in how it came about.
Even from the very first chapter of Super Smartphone I’ve felt like this series is a poor dumbed-down imitation of Death Note. Now as someone who read Death Note as it was being published I feel that in the years since it’s become overrated. That said it’s still a solid series employing a great level of intelligence between people before the days of smartphones. The idea of a super smartphone that can know anything just makes the whole premise feel cheap and easy. The characters think themselves smart without any way of backing it up.
I predict the series is not far off cancellation based on this chapter alone. This type of story does not suddenly introduce an entire roster of characters previously unknown unless its time is short. Part of the draw of a series like this is the unknown. But knowing all players in the game takes away that mystery. It could also be a plan to transition the series into more of a death game scenario. Where the person behind the super smartphones becomes the final obstacle.
Time will tell and Jump has been making some strange choices over the past few years so it could very well survive.
This series keeps messing with me and my ability to discern what’s good and what’s not. It started out fairly lacklustre as a simple romance story but quickly transitioned into a father and son journey to save the person they love most. Combining all the powers and crazy scenario’s experienced thus far there’s been plenty of great moments that actually have me believing that this is a good series. But then it rushes ahead and becomes lacklustre again only to leave the latest chapter on a really intriguing cliffhanger. The jury is definitely still out on this series but I have to say that older Mamoru is not so likeable.
I don’t want to keep criticising the series in Jump but what is going on with that publication? I feel its reputation has dropped a long way over the past couple of years. It’s no longer the home of the best shonen titles and I hate to pick on Doron Dororon but this series wouldn’t have made it out of probation in the Jump of old. To be fair it’s not a bad series but it’s just not very good either. The story and characters are generic and the most unique thing about the series is the rather amateur art style.
This new series is a tough one to judge. It feels fairly generic and the art style is nothing special but there’s just something about the premise that makes it interesting enough. So far the characters have been well written and easy to digest as has the story. It’s not trying to rush anything, this chapter is a prime example of that. It’s an isolated event that takes place and serves to progress the story and our understanding of the world just ever so slightly. I’m definitely interested to see where this series can go as I think it has a good foundation so far.
Let us know in the comments or via social media your thoughts on this week’s Shonen Jump. Be sure to check back in next week for another roundup!