Review: Weekly Shonen Jump #45

Slower issue of Jump this week, with Kubo putting in one of those chapter that reminds me why so many people can't get into Bleach. One Piece.  I don't know what to say until this next arc starts, but I'm already excited for whatever comes next. The newly revealed character is a great combination of weird and menacing, and enough of a loose cannon that his presence could lead to any number of different conflicts.  Add in the newest city and its peculiar situation, and I'm ready

Food Wars is still setting up for the biggest conflict yet.  Meanwhile, My Hero: Academia has launched the very disagreeable pair of Midoriya and Bakugo into a test against the all-mighty All-Might, and the results, so far, are predictably annoying because of Midoriya's timidity and Bakugo being a douche.

wsj 45 coverHopefully their test against All-Might will make both teammates come out the other side with a little bit more to like about both.  This is a great story moment for Horikoshi to define these characters in terms of how much each is willing to grow.  I imagine that it's inevitable that Midoriya will come around and realize he has to stop being so timid all the time, but I'm still not convinced that the hero life is for Bakugo.

And oh, silly Kubo.  Captain Kyoraku's ability is to make children's games real, i.e. give them some kind of metaphysical weight on the life forces of those playing.  For instance, if he were to decide that people within the boundaries of his spiritual pressure are playing a game in which you lose if your shadow is stepped on, then once your shadow is stepped on,  you die.


In my formerly spotty Bleach reading (I'm in the process of filling in a lot of gaps), the first time I saw Kyoraku use this technique was in Chapter 374, where he plays a color-based game wherein you say a color and then, if your opponent is wearing a lot of it, they're going to get badly injured, and if you're wearing none of it, you will barely sustain damage.  I thought that was pretty cool.

The problem with this ability in terms of telling a story is that kid's games are stupid, arbitrary, and hard to understand in absolute terms because of the fluidity of the rules and all of the exceptions.  Shadow-stepping and color-cutting are easy enough, but I have absolutely no clue what happened in this issue.

It would be one thing if I was confused and that was that, but the ease with which these characters pick up on something that's completely arbitrary, that's partially unspoken--it's all just too easy and it makes the reader feel like they're missing something because, in fact, they are.

Score: 3/5

Weekly Shonen Jump #45 Writer: Various Artist: Various Publisher: Viz Media Release Date: 10/5/15 Format: Weekly; Digital