Black Clover tries its hand as this week's Jump Start premier, and One Piece puts in an amazing chapter. As Jump Start continues, Kagamigami got a chance to show where it could go with its second chapter. Unfortunately, it was not the strongest showing. One of the hardest parts about making an impression in the three chapters that Jump Start series get is that they can't really launch into a story arc: it's just not enough time to set up a satisfying arc, not even a short one. That was one of the reasons that School Judgment impressed me so much, and surely one of the reasons that School Judgment is currently being serialized. Kagamigami is setting up its world, but there's just not a lot of edge to the series, or anything particularly interesting about the shikigami mechanic that drives its plot. I like the characters so far a lot, but even fun characters only go so far.
Black Clover was a stonger showing than Kagamigami on the art front. Details were far richer, even as far as characters were concerned, and there was no pandering ecchi in the very first chapter. The problem with Black Clover is that it's a really REALLY familiar story: try-hard character lacking the abilities of his peers is ostracized for these reasons but still aspires to be the best at something because he's got an incredible best friend who makes him look bad and is the envy of everyone else. It's Naruto meets My Hero Academia meets... well, pretty much anything else derivative of the basic shonen formula. I don't think this is a reason to count Black Clover out, since everyone likes an underdog, but it sticks out like a sore thumb in the first chapter. I can't even attempt to shoot from the hip and make a pick based on these two series, even though I thought Tabata's art was top-notch. I'll wait another week for predictions.
One Piece and Food Wars continue to be worth the price of admission alone. Even when I go out of my way to try and find something to complain about in Oda's incredible art, he fixes the problem in a matter of weeks. The Kyros vs. Diamante fight has been great to watch unfold in the manga, and making Diamante's weird powers shine on the written page truly takes someone with a special eye for the medium. This was a crazy good chapter and we are fast approaching the climax of this arc.
Writers: Various Artists: Various Release Date: 2/16/15 Format: Digital Anthology