Review: Weekly Shonen Jump #37-38

Weekly Shonen Jump is off next week, so we get a double-ish issue in which Bleach completely kicks ass. Holy crap Bleach is fun right now.  Seeing the reasoning of really smart dudes at work is a hallmark of a lot of great shonen comics, and Kurotsuchi is up there with the all-time greats.  It's a big-time bonus that the stakes are this high, making Kurotsuchi's super-intelligent, care-free but skillful style of battle way more full of suspense than it would normally be.  When dudes like Kenpachi are getting ganked out of the blue, it's hard to assume a fight with a Captain is going to unfold along normal lines.

WSJ 37-38 coverBlue Exorcist is a beloved series of mine.  I haven't been a fan for long, but I have fond memories of hanging out back in Texas watching its run on Toonami.  The problem Blue Exorcist has is a hard one to overcome: I just don't think it's the kind of series that holds up well with a monthly publishing schedule.  I think it survives because it really has a lot of charm, aided mostly by Kato's stellar and varied character work.  The new chapter was a lot of fun, and of all the characters, I've always wanted to see Suguro reach a new level of awesome.

Academia is doing such a good job of moving fights along while injecting significant character moments and keeping things smart.  Once I get a damn job, I'll be proud to start collecting volumes of this series and showing them off.  This is the kind of series where you should really try and hop on from the beginning if you haven't already.  I would say the same thing about Food Wars, but that one has over twice as many chapters (though, the anime will help you catch up).

I've been digging here and there, expanding my exposure to different types of seinen manga lately, and shonen still hasn't lost much allure for me.  Sure, I can't touch a series like Nisekoi with a several-thousand-mile-long-pole; but, even when executed along archetypal lines, shonen stories, both in Jump and elsewhere, hold up to a lot of material aimed at older readers.

Score: 4/5

Weekly Shonen Jump #37-38 Writer: Various Artist: Various Publisher: Viz Media Release Date: 8/10/15 Format: Weekly; Digital