Review: Weekly Shonen Jump #36

So many high points of so many series right now and oh my goodness the last of the Yonko get revealed in One Piece! We finally get to see Kaido!  This is an entirely new level of villain for Luffy and the Pirate Alliance.  I know that it's typical shonen to keep up-scaling villains like this, but Oda is unique in how he has dealt with this kind of issue.  Where other series constantly scale up villains from out of left field, Oda has set up a pecking order in this series from day one.  Sure, we found out about the Shichibukai, the Yonko, and the various admirals over a great deal of time; however, it was still established comparatively early on.  He would have to turn this series inside-out and essentially ruin it in order to buck this positive trend in his writing.

WSJ 36 coverTsukuda and Saeki continue to do awesome things with Food Wars.  This week marked the typical turning point for Soma in an arc that has seen him tangle with some of the Council of Ten in the unfamiliar area of regional Chinese cuisine.  I will always love to see Soma take something from his diner and transform it with the nuances of his international culinary experience.  It would be a tired gag if the creative team behind this series didn't have such interesting foods, in such interesting culinary situations, with so many interesting characters.  This series will be a textbook lesson in how to execute painfully-specific genre manga for a long time.

Black Clover, Bleach, and Academia especially were all excellent.  It is really fun to finally see Todoroki and Midoriya in real danger and thus real action.  That series continues to be a smart but viscerally satisfying and, most importantly, fresh take on learning to be a superhero.  Academia has borrowed thematically from a lot of shonen manga, but is doing things its own way and I couldn't be happier to watch this series and its characters grow.

Score: 4/5

Weekly Shonen Jump #36 Writer: Various Artist: Various Publisher: Viz Media Release Date: 8/3/15 Format: Weekly; Digital