Exciting times in the Jump world as Naruto, Boruto, and Hunter x Hunter are all making returns to the pages soon, while My Hero Academia has an anime on the way. One Piece has the week off, but Bleach is still swinging away with one of my favorite recent title pages this week, which is saying something because of how stellar they have been recently. Two of my favorite characters have been embroiled in battle in the past few weeks and I am freaking out about the prospect of seeing Kenpachi's Bankai. For the millionth time, it has to be said that Kubo drove Bleach as an overall story into the ground a long time ago. Reader polls suggest as much, with Bleach almost never cracking the top 10 in the past year. Any other series would get the ax in rather short order under these kind of circumstances, but I imagine that 1. Bleach trades sell well enough and 2. Kubo has earned the right to finish things out. Visually he continues to be on another level, one that is probably *too good for shonen* if we're going to oversimplify things. I really don't care where the story goes as long as he continues to make these fights huge bouts of fan service (the character kind, not the porny kind) that are visually stunning.
Food Wars and Academia were slow this week, with the former wrapping up the results of the first Central shokugeki defeat and the latter preparing us for the attempted rescue of Bakugo to come soon. Black Clover, however, is still reeling from the latest insurrection of the Eye of the Midnight Sun, and we've found out which captain was, allegedly, spying for them. Tabata wrote it so that this captain would have a particularly impressive ability with only one exploitable weakness. And guess who can exploit it? Yup, Asta. Sometimes Black Clover seems a little too easy when it pulls stuff like this, but when the main protagonist's ability is literally anti-magic, it does constantly make sense that he'd be able to counter things that other magic users do. For yet another chapter in this arc we get a hint of the full might of all of the captains in concert, and as the intrigue continues to get ratcheted up, this series is about to get a lot more interesting overall. I'd bet anything that if Tabata can come out of this arc strong, we'll hear a Black Clover anime announcement some time in the next year.
Things are finally starting to shake loose in One-Punch Man, as the focus of the story turns from the hero-hunting Garo to a slew of villains (including a large porcupine doing nothing but holding a "Free Hugs" sign) who are popping up across all of the cities. Saitama is busy, as usual, doing something useless. I'm hoping there's something particularly interesting about this conspiracy, since it's been awhile since we've seen some real action aside from Garo, who was a promising plot point himself. Still, any opportunity to see Murata draw some more fights isn't one I'll soon scoff at.
[button btn_url="" btn_color="teal" btn_size="large" btn_style="default" btn_outlined="no" link_target="blank" link_rel="" icon_left="" icon_right=""]Score: 4/5[/button]
Weekly Shonen Jump #17 Writers: Various Artists: Various Publisher: Viz Media Price: $0.99 Format: Weekly; Digital Website