Review: Weekly Shonen Jump #41

Bombs getting dropped all OVER this issue of Weekly Shonen Jump. Last week, we saw that Luffy was acknowledging the changing landscape of politics and his powers: it was time to start taking fights with admirals head on.  His encounter with Fujitora is silly and awkwardly heartwarming, which is the exact kind of weird mix of emotions I expect in a minor-but-major confrontation straight from the mind of Oda.

The ending was a massive bomb drop.  Again, I don't want to spoil something like that if you're late to the chapter, but something like the end of this chapter is the beginning of a new phase of One Piece... maybe.  If you know the main character of this series at all, then you shouldn't be too excited about this chapter end: he may very well deem this turn of events ridiculous, and we're back to square one.  Still, whether or not things pan out as the end of this chapter suggests, Luffy's role in the political landscape is serious business.

Meanwhile, in Food Wars, Erina's estranged father has shown up.  I'm not sure what angle the story is playing with this yet, but it's a pretty heavy amount of tension for this series.  Sure enough, along to break up the drama is Soma at a pivotal moment.

WSJ 41Academia is similarly gearing up for some big-baddy-establishing stuff going forward, and my current darling Bleach is rolling along with the Kurotsuchi/Pernida fight with things looking increasingly desperate for the Soul Reapers.

I don't care much for Seraph of the End (despite loving the concept), but I thought Blue Exorcist was quite a bit of fun this time around.  I really believe that Blue Exorcist suffers from the spaced-out publishing schedule that it has, but there's not much that can be done about that.

Suguro's prospective apprenticeship with Lightning is really exciting, since Suguro seems to be a reader favorite (he's probably my favorite character, at least); but, because of the delayed schedule on which Blue Exorcist is published, Suguro has been merely asking to be an apprentice--sitting in a damn classroom--for two months!

There aren't a lot of convenient places to jump on this anthology, but this is as good of a time as any.  One Piece is going to come back from its hiatus after next week having finished a major arc while already teasing a picture of things to come, and Academia is setting up its next major arc, which will be the biggest yet.  No matter what, you're going to play some catch-up on the series you want to read, so I would recommend either WSJ 42 or 43 for people looking to check out whether this anthology is a good value for them.

Score: 4/5

Weekly Shonen Jump #41 Writer: Various Artist: Various Publisher: Viz Media Release Date: 9/7/15 Format: Weekly; Digital