This Week in Manga – Cutting The Knot

I’ve thought about it, and decided to make the multi-chapter posts from before into a recurring type of update. The way I see it, there are certain series not many people who visit this site read, and some others where the chapter may not contain enough information for a full post. For instance, Law’s current plan from One Piece or the subject of Food Honour in Toriko could easily receive their own posts, but the most recent chapters don’t have quite enough information to write about yet. At the same time, there were other topics in those chapters and many others which I can analyze, but not at great length. Plus there’s the occasional time where I’ll miss a chapter just because I’m like that sometimes.

So my solution is “This Week in Manga”, a series I hope to come out each week where I quickly go over several chapters I couldn’t write a full post about. The ideal number is seven in one update, but it’ll most likely change depending on what comes out. For this week, we have Toriko, One Piece, Fairy Tail, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Kimi ni Todoke, Natsume Yuujinchou and Nisekoi.

Toriko – All’s Fair In Friendship And Cooking

Chefs in the Toriko-verse can be dicks sometimes.

The relationship between Komatsu and Take seems to have gone down a direction I didn’t expect. Even though I understood how he was being portrayed as a corrupt chef, I still thought he was going to end up a victim of the Bishokukai. With all the criminal acts they have committed so far, slavery doesn’t seem all that out of character for them. But in the case of Take, and most likely the other kidnapped chefs as well, it appears that they had some sort of brainwashing applied to them as well.

From this chapter, I think I can make a prediction or two. First is that Komatsu will get healed, most likely by Chin Chinchin and/or the Bubble Fruit. Nobody is expecting him to die right now, so it’s just a question of how he’ll get better. The second prediction, and the one far less likely to happen, is that Take will become a recurring enemy for Komatsu. He isn’t strong enough to just get beaten by Toriko, especially with this new powerup, and an act like stabbing Komatsu can’t just be forgiven in a few chapters, so turning him back into a good guy now is unlikely. With those two out of the way, the most likely option is for him to leave and return in a later arc, at which point it’s hard to say what he’ll be like. I hope that’s the case, because Komatsu could use a good enemy that is only his and not Toriko’s.

One Piece – Thank You, Come Again

One Piece 667

I would have picked “Gomu Gomu no Pinball” but yeah, your name is better.

One thing I’ve been patiently waiting for is when we finally get to see how powerful Luffy and the others have actually gotten. Since the timeskip happened, the only thing we know for sure is that Luffy is roughly as strong as Jinbei, and that still isn’t much to go on. This is why I’m usually pretty happy whenever we see a new attack from one of the characters, because it gives us a much clearer view of their power even if the enemy is as weak as the Yeti Cool Brothers turned out to be. The abilities he showed in this chapter were interesting adaptations of those he had prior to the timeskip, with his Balloon technique getting a clear upgrade and his Gatling now able to damage spiked objects (though we have yet to see it against real weapons). It’s not the best way to compare his strength in direct comparison to others, but the level of adaptability he’s displaying makes it clearer that he’ll be able to find his way around those obstacles he couldn’t before.

Fairy Tail – Failure to Communicate

Fairy Tail 283

“Even if the current state of affairs were to continue, Father would surely triumph.” Yeah, I doubt that.

For someone who leads a guild which is both worshiped as being tough and engaging in Social Darwinism, the leader of Sabertooth didn’t put up much of a fight. Minerva claims that he’s only hiding his full strength, but that’s a little hard to believe when he’s supposed to be so ruthless as to kick out his guildmates after a single loss (and may we never bring that up again). If he were truly powerful, he would have taken the opportunity to trash Natsu and remind his guild how superior they believe they are.

What I found interesting is that the guild master actually shows a small degree of respect for Natsu’s power and urge to fight. I’m used to the opponents in this series talking about Natsu like he’s a child, so it isn’t the most expected reaction. It doesn’t make me like him any more, though, nor does it help him look tougher when he still had to be bailed out by another member of the guild. For whatever reason, they wanted him to leave as soon as possible. So is their master nowhere near the level he appears, or is there something else being hidden?

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – Keep Away From Children

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai 26

I was GOING to show the previous page. Be glad I didn’t.

I’m gonna regret saying this, but there’s not a lot that can genuinely scare me. At least not much in non-horror manga, since I’m not a fan of getting scared and usually avoid that stuff. So I didn’t expect to read something that could genuinely creep me out, and I especially didn’t expect it to come from Haganai, of all places.

I can’t remember how Yozora’s scary story comes across in the anime version of this scene, but the fact that I forgot shows that it couldn’t have been like this. At first I was only expecting the story to showcase some of her feelings and doubts about friendship, but then it got further in and everything went very dark. I’ve had mixed feelings about the artwork in this manga before, since it’s often difficult to tell what I’m looking at, but this is where the sketchy style pays off because it makes everything look much more unnerving. It’s a lot like something you would see in Soul Eater when the madness starts getting to people. I suddenly appreciate Kodaka a lot more if he was able to help everyone to the bathroom so calmly after hearing this.

Kimi ni Todoke – This Arc Will Last Till November, Just To Be Funny

Kimi ni Todoke 68

We need a third season just so this can get animated!

With everything that has been happening in recent chapters, there’s a lot riding on this Christmas party. We’re all expecting this to be where Sawako and Kazehaya finally push past their boundary issues and start acting like a couple again. I heard a few negative things about this chapter before I started it, which was primarily due to the fact that things aren’t being resolves right away. After reading, I was happy to learn that the Christmas party hadn’t ended yet, which those posts led me to believe. In fact it’s only just begun. We’ve already gotten some great moments with Ryu and Chizuru, which I feel justifies this whole chapter. There isn’t just one relationship that needs to move forward, after all, and those two deserve some time to themselves.

Thinking in the longer term, enough has been said leading up to this party that I feel like the party can’t end without a big change or two, which is exactly what we’ve been waiting for.

Natsume Yuujinchou – Exorcism for Dummies

Natsume Yuujinchou 52

He was a big fan of Read Or Die as a kid.

I think this was the first time I read a new chapter of Natsume without watching the anime episode first. It’s a different feeling for sure, since it currently looks a lot more unpolished than the show did, but I’m slowly getting the hang of it. I like the way the shikigami are portrayed in particular, with the paper spreading across the different panels to represent the technique in effect.

This chapter is the beginning of a new storyline with the emergence of a number of new exorcists, who only serve to increase the workload for experienced ones like Natori cleaning up their mess. It’s hard to say exactly where the story is going right now, or what role Matoba will play in it. I think that this being my first manga story for the series, I shouldn’t try and theorize as hard as I do most others. There’s a bit of a learning curve to putting together good guesses, especially with series as far removed from the manga I usually read as Natsume Yuujinchou.

Nisekoi – Star-Crossed Enemies

Nisekoi 25

I’m surprised you could remember his first name. Most of us didn’t.

Like any good harem series, or at least the kind I prefer to read, there’s a lot of debate over which of the girls most deserve to be with the main character. I don’t think there are too many expecting an Ichijou/Tsugumi ending, though that won’t stop people from arguing for or against it. So when most people discuss who could seriously win out at the end of the story, it’s still a matter of Kirisaki vs Onodera. For me, even back during the first few chapters of the story when we were all positive Onodera was the woman of Ichijou’s past, I was still cheering for Kirisaki.

We aren’t going to see an actual resolution to this plotline until the end of the manga, and that’s something I’ve accepted since the start. In that case, the ideal girl for Ichijou should be the one most likely to have good development as the series goes on. Right now, Ichijou likes Onodera and Onodera likes Ichijou. There’s not a whole lot else you can do with that unless they either get together or fall out of love. With Kirisaki, I can already see how much closer the two have gotten since the start, and I feel like they will only get closer as time goes on. This is not to imply that I’m a fan of tsundere behaviour, but maybe I’m a fan of when that behaviour stops and becomes something better.

Posted on May 23, 2012, in Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Chapter Discussions, Fairy Tail, Kimi ni Todoke, Natsume Yuujinchou, Nisekoi, One Piece, Seinen, Shonen Action, Shonen Comedy, Shoujo, Toriko. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. One Piece
    Gosh, I’m dying to see really cool, new powers coming from the Straw Hat. Deep down, I really want to know if there are other members who knows how to use Haki. It’ll be great if it isn’t just Luffy who has the power.

    Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
    I’ve seen this part animated, and I thought it was hilarious. Hmmm..if I hadn’t read the title, I wouldn’t know that image is from Haganai. The character design kind of different from the anime version?

    Kimi ni Todoke
    Oh, I want to see this part animated too! Would love to watch Sawako sing. I thought this chapter was fine mainly because I finally get to see how things will turn out for Ryu and Chizu. That’s if they don’t skip the entire thing and then tell what happened in a flashback mode.

    Well, I’m shipping Kirisaki X Ichijou.

    • I think Zoro can use Haki, but I’m not sure who else might know it.

      The artstyle for the manga version of Haganai is very different from that of the anime. A lot rougher, and some of the character designs feel different.

      • Haha, I actually got into the manga of Sukunai before the anime, and I was (not so pleasantly) shocked at the different art style of the anime. Maybe it’s all about which one people’ve seen first :c

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