Review: Weekly Shonen Jump #14

Another crazy big, crazy awesome, 300+ page issue of Jump this week. One Piece.  ONE PIECE.  Two of Doffy's henchmen who looked to be the hardest to beat are now down for the count, and both moments were completely fucking awesome.  I can't believe how good this series is right now.  Anybody looking for something to pop their anime/manga cherry could honestly start with this arc of One Piece and be hooked; it's making me want to catch up on all the arcs I've missed.

Weekly Shonen Jump #14 (1)The new Jump Start series this week is Ultra Battle Satellite, where street fights among consenting professional fighters are televised on the fly for cash rewards and glory.  To get right to the point, this series will not be serialized (I would be pretty shocked if it were).  Utsumi's art can be charming, but characters are not rendered with a great deal of detail, and backgrounds are sometimes skipped entirely.  I thought it was a fun first chapter, and I liked the straight-up, uncompromised fighting theme (especially street fighting theme) that the story brings to the table.  Matsuriya is a great main character, and since the premise is so fighting-oriented, it has plenty of built-in longevity.  Unfortunately, I just don't think that the art is there, and the character roster is going to have to completely blow the reader away in the next two chapters for this series to keep up with Black Clover.

By the way, as of right now, the Jump Start series getting serialized ought to be Black Clover, and you can quote me on that.  Kagamigami was cute, but lacked depth.  Cyborg Roggy is fun, but again, lacks a world which is immediately rich enough to keep me coming back.  And I'm definitely looking forward to more Ultra Battle Satellite, but its art is not up to snuff with the other three series, and it doesn't have any one strength above the rest either.

I'm finally going to go out on a limb here and say it: Food Wars is the best Shonen manga not named One Piece that is being published currently.  I honestly think that this series will go down as one of the best ever.  I am completely floored by how tight the pace of this series is.  I am constantly getting plot payoffs, learning something new, and appreciating characters' developments and choices.

It's crazy how good Jump has been for these past two weeks after being sort of slow lately.  Yes, the issues have been loaded with material (seriously, 300 damn pages), but it's all been really good, from Bleach, to Toriko, to School Judgment, to a strong series of Jump Starts, to everything else.

Score: 5/5

Weekly Shonen Jump #14 Writers: Various Artist: Various Publisher: Viz Media Release Date: 3/2/15 Format: Digital Anthology