Hi folks! What’s more impressive than catching a bullet in your fingers? How about catching dozens of bullets with your bare hands? Meet Leuvis, the (evil) Clint Eastwood of Promised Neverland (pictured in our featured image). I love how nonchalantly he stands there holding the rounds fired moments before by a dozen automatic weapons; the smoke from the bullets almost looks like he’s holding a cigarette in his fingers, too. And he’s all like, “I got a hit a bit, eh?” I can’t decide whether to read that in a southwestern American accent, a southern UK accent, an Aussie accent, or a Canadian accent. His hat reminds me of something you’d see in an old Western (probably worn by the bad guy). And with that, welcome to another saunter through Weekly Shonen Jump!
Kimi wo Shinryakuseyo! (Invade You)
Not sure how you pronounce “shinryakuseyo”, but whatevs. Let’s read through it together, shall we? My spontaneous, unedited reactions to Chapter 1 follow. Also, I’m trying something new—adding a score based on my evaluations!
- Normal high school student runs because he’s late. No, really, he says, “I’m a normal high school student.” Cliché is now canon, my friends. And he’s got these weird animal-ear-like things on his head, which is creepy b/c he also clearly has human ears. Or maybe it’s some sort of radar? -1 pts.
- “The only thing different about me is that I’m an alien.” Really? That’s hardly original, and you’re really stretching the definition of “normal” (-1). He can change shape into what looks like an anthropomorphic chibi toaster. It’s kind of cute, so a bonus point there (+1). -1 + 1 = 0 pts.
- He’s a Kayzian, born from parents from a planet “far away from Earth.” Yawn. Seriously, what are the odds that another planet would separately evolve sexual dimorphism? And he says he wants to keep his true nature a secret, but then he jumps into a student’s backpack to hitch a ride to school. That… doesn’t seem very circumspect. -1
- In a private classroom, he transforms back into his human shape. What are the limits of his shape-changing? Just human-toaster (and if so, why?)? Why do his clothes disappear in one state and reappear when he’s human? Anyway, a girl walks in on him as he finished his transformation, and yells excitedly, “You’re an alien, aren’t you?” Perhaps she’s related to Haruhi Suzimiya. We’ll give the story the benefit of the doubt. +1
- Girl has a universal(?) translator. Hardly original, but not something your average high school girl tends to have in her pencil bag. +1
- Except, it’s not a translator after all. It’s a fan. Yes, an electric fan. That’s weird. -1
- Boy insists he’s “from Earth through and through”. Gotta love those lawyerly loopholes! Girl cracks an E.T. joke. +1
- Girl offers to shake his hand, psyches him out, and whips up his shirt! He yells, “That’s sexual harassment!” thus upping the reading level of the chapter by a few years. She says she just wanted to see if “This is an alien” is written anywhere on his body. Well, that’s the most creative excuse for involuntary disrobing I’ve heard in a long time. +1
- Girl insists on seeing his arm (the part that hadn’t transformed yet when she walked in). He allows her to check it out. She says, “It’s a normal arm. It’s not wriggly. What do I have to do to make it wriggly?” Aha aha. Let me light up my Freudian cigar over here. +1
- Girl pokes his nipple. “I thought that your arm would get wriggly if I pushed your button.” You know, the only thing keeping this PG instead of Hentai is that it’s a guy with his shirt open. +1 point, +1 cigar.
- “But maybe if I touch all over your body, your arm will get wriggly somehow!” says girl. Boy thinks, “I can’t have her touch there!” He’s playing the pronoun game, which always grates on me. -1 point, +1 cigar.
- Boy escapes and realizes that the room he’s been in has a sign outside that reads “Alien Club”. It works as a short visual gag. +1
- Boy is late to class and so has to write an apology note. You may have noticed from my review of Jujutsu Kaisen that I don’t like my manga talking about paperwork. -1
- Girls has to write an apology note, too. Contrived alone-time, check. -1
- Girl grabs his alien ‘ears’. Seriously, how has someone not noticed these yet? He looks like a furry! -1
- Ok, she just barely missed his ‘ears’, which he calls “horns”. (They’re not.) Apparently they’re an alien organ that can’t transform and that, if strongly stimulated, cause him to transform back into his toaster appearance. Contrived coincidence, check. -1
- Girl jumps him, yelling, “Let me touch it! I bet it’s going to be amazing!” Natch, teacher walks in and thinks she’s assaulting him. -1 point for cliche, +1 cigar.
- Girl falls asleep. Boy thinks she’s cute and leans closer. Girl grabs his ‘horn’. (Gee, that sounds wrong.) He turns into chibi toaster. She’s still asleep!?!?!?! Contrived. -1
- Girl half wakes up, stares at chibi toaster, and then cradles him against her chest and continues to snooze. Cliché. -1 point, +1 cigar.
- Chibi toaster shoves girl over, and she falls on the floor. With his ‘horn’ free, he quickly transforms back into a boy… on top of her… as the teacher walks in. I hate to say it, but… even though it’s clichéd, it is pretty funny. +1 point, +1 cigar.
-3 points, 5 cigars.
Verdict: Roll it up and smoke it.
Momiji no Kisetsu
This shogi-centered jump start began last week, but I was busy recovering from my business trip and chapter 1 didn’t particularly catch my fancy. It was a pretty standard story about a young shogi aspirant (male) getting tutored by a young world-class player (female), so basically male nerd wish fulfillment.
On to chapter 2! The color frontispiece actually looks pretty cool and dynamic:
Chapter 2 starts with a flashback to remind us that the boy’s older brother also played Shogi before dying from a disease. I had forgotten. Then we’re treated to another flashback reminding us that in chapter 1 the boy had seen the girl naked. Somehow, I’d forgotten that, too. +1 marshmallow.
Much twaddle about this important Shogi event entrance exam, kind of yawning here. Forgettable rival (I think we saw him in chapter 1? Maybe?) shows up and challenges boy, or maybe boy challenges rival. Hard to tell, not sure it matters. -1 and -1 = -2.
Some artificial and unexpectedly unprofessional drama later (trust me, it’s not worth going into), we finally get set up for a competitive Shogi game. Boy’s opponent says, “With my namesake of Tiger and Bird plus my Snake [style of playing], I’m practically a Chimera!” A bit of a stretch, but +1 point for the classical reference. And -1 for the contrived drama. 0 pts.
Shogi game begins, and then it’s over without really showing us how our hero turned the tables on his opponent. I was going to go -1 again, but then we flashback and find that the boy won only by defending. Ok, that’s pretty cool. +2
Half a point each for a funny one-liner and a dramatic ending = +1.
+1 point, +1 marshmallow.
Verdict: Light entertainment for pervy shogi fanatics.
My Hero Academia
Marvel: “Infinity War is the most ambitious crossover event in history!”
I would so pay money to see this!
Also, quote of the week goes to pro hero Hound Dog: “Have fun, dammit!”
Also also, there was an all-too-short beauty pageant and a touching scene with Gentle and La Brava, who are among the sweetest villains ever to grace the pages of a manga.
There’s a bunch of people running around in towels. It’s a beach episode without the beach.
Senku and his “Kingdom of Science” finally—finally—finish making their cell phone. (To be fair, they are working with Bronze Age technology.) It looks like this:
Well, you’ve gotta start somewhere.
As per usual, Dr. Stone takes itself lightly enough that the “Kingdom of Science” stuff never sounds inordinately preachy. I applaud the balance struck here.
We Never Learn
Another contrived coincidence has Nariyuki (our male protagonist) surrounded by females in swimsuits, including at least two in his ‘harem’ (and one of them is his teacher). I’d write this off as another “cliché x fanservice” episode (and believe me, the Fanservice is strong with this one), if it weren’t for the conversation that takes place when Takemoto (a student) confesses to Kirisu (the teacher) that she feels nervous about her upcoming swim competition.
- Takemoto: Lately, I have trouble sleeping. In the next meet, I really want to win. I have to win. I really… I’m always telling myself, ‘Keep calm. Keep totally calm.’ But somehow—
- Kirisu: That’s silly! Nobody can be totally calm under pressure. If you think you need to be totally calm, you’re placing unreasonable expectations on yourself. That tension, the expectations of those around you, the pressure to get good results… you can accept and enjoy all of that. In fact, all of that tension can help you perform at your best. Once you’re an adult, those opportunities come less frequently. That privilege is reserved for those with talent. So seize those opportunities!
That’s actually really good advice, Kirisu-sensei! It’s moments like these that I really enjoy in We Never Learn: As a one-time teacher, I find that they really speak to me.
Too Awesome to Talk About Without Any Spoilers
Too Spoiled to Talk About With Any Awesome
Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc V
Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film (i.e., On Hiatus)
Thank you so much for reading! Are you reading any excellent manga these days? Or something so terrible and trashy you can’t help reading further? Let me know in the comments!