Review: Weekly Shonen Jump #10

Jump is on a roll right now. I'm not really into Seraph of the End, but they're on the cover this week and lead off the proceedings of this nearly 300 page issue with what I can only assume is a pretty pivotal story chapter.  I like the unique apocalyptic feel of the manga, but have been frustrated in the past by the slow manner in which it executes its spaced out chapters.  Settings in this series often feel way too claustrophobic for me, and I often miss the creepy but intriguing grandeur that the story opens on.

Oda continues to pile on absolutely everything he can as readers are left to continue guessing which members of the crew are going to save Sanji, which are staying on Zou, and whether or not they're even really going to split up, as a new situation is threatening to cause yet another conflict on the island.  I feel like we have already been on Zou for awhile, but I know that Oda's poor health has spaced out the chapters slightly more than we are used to being spoiled with week in and week out.  The detail on the new character designs and locales has been a pleasure, and I certainly wouldn't mind if the rescue of Sanji was put off a little longer.

WSJ10coverSomething dumb is probably going to happen in Bleach pretty soon, and a more charming kind of dumb manifests itself in Food Wars as Soma is pretty much one step away from a real high stakes Shokugeki with another member of the council.

Academia is still in the midst of another set of excellent chapters.  Horikoshi's layouts have gotten harsh and angular to represent the stressful situation the students are being put in, as the sort of dense designs he uses on his characters continue to set his manga apart from anything else in Jump.  Seriously, everything this guy draws is just so dense I have no idea how he gets this much done every single week.

Black Clover is on a streak that is almost equally impressive.  Tabata's style is more reserved than Horikoshi, except when there's action: then, Tabata matches Horikoshi's hyper-detailed, kinetic character style blow-for-blow.  Watching Asta's sword style develop in the heat of battle as a major villain is explored is a big moment for this series, and one that is laying the groundwork for two big parts of its identity going forward.  The main plot of Black Clover is probably one of its weakest points, so the quality of a major villain and the development of Asta's abilities are perhaps the two most important things to keep this title buoyed in the reader surveys.

Blue Exorcist has a weird little side-story going on that I'm not sure how to feel about just yet, but it was way more interesting than every previous chapter since the last major arc, so I can't really complain.

Score: 5/5

Weekly Shonen Jump #10 Writers: Various Artists: Various Publisher: Viz Media Price: $0.99 Format: Digital Website