Shonen Jump Alpha – 02/06/2012

So from the looks of things, it seems that Shonen Jump Alpha will keep the same order of One Piece, Toriko, Naruto, Bakuman, Bleach, and Nura. To make things fair (sort of), I will rearrange the series order by placing last week’s first series to last, and keeping the same order. Enjoy!

Toriko 172

Ichiryu and Midora!! – Though by himself, Ichiryu does not back down from the Gourmet Corp. They use a combination attack to slow him down and hold him in place, while the gorilla prepares a leaping attack! I don’t know how Ichiryu does it, but the president shows off his skills, keeping the gorilla dude afloat and easily breaking out of the trap. More of the Gourmet Corp. prepare to attack, but Boss Midora finally steps in to speak to Ichiryu. It turns out the IGO President just wants to have a meal…WITH HIS LITTLE BROTHER?! Ichiryu asks Midora to eat “GOD” together, which Midora declines. Both of them also used to train under Acacia. Midora even declines sharing just a little bit, and constantly refers to his brother as “old geezer.”” Seeing as there’s no use to argue, Ichiryu leaves, but gives them a warning: should a war actually break out between their forces, he will forget his manners and not hold back. The ending left me a little disappointed. There wasn’t really much in terms of progression of the story. But the hook near the middle was more than enough for the chapter. I can see these two face off near the end, or somehow teaming up together to take on some third, unexpected force going after “GOD.”

Naruto 570

Kurama – Just as he planned (I know! He planned this!), Naruto is able to remove the controlling rod from the Four-tails and destroy it. Unfortunately, it’s not enough as the Four-tails is still chained to the Gedo Statue controlled by Tobi-dara (yup, still calling him that). Unable to save him, the Four-tails instead wants to pass on something to Naruto that will help him someday. Though to me, it just looked like a bro-fist. Or maybe a tailed-fist. Either way, Naruto smiles. The Four-tails gets reabsorbed, leaving behind the deceased body of the host. Naruto looks exhausted after defeating just one host, and the rest of the opponents now change into their respective full-form tailed beasts, as the look like they’re about to completely crush Kakashi and Guy. That two page spread looks FANTASTIC by the way. Before rushing into battle, Naruto has an inner dialogue with the Nine-tails, who suggests that he should aid Naruto by lending him a little strength. Before he agrees, Naruto wants to thank him for lending him strength earlier against Madara. Both get a little uncomfortable and weird around each other for a moment, but the Nine-tails motions for his own bro-fist, so it seems that all is cool. Newly revived, Naruto wants to attack in tandem with Killer B. B wants to go with them as a two-man cell, where B leads the attack while Naruto covers his back (okay, when talking about B, rhyming can’t be helped). But Naruto reveals to him that he has “a ton of reserve power left.” A little reminiscing and a lot of acknowledgement later, Naruto lifts the seal, and prepares for a full-powered attack with Kurama. Okay, really looking forward to next week’s chapter. Only disappointing this is that Guy and Kakashi have yet really do anything substantial, so hoping they get some good screen time with full-beast mode Naruto and B.

Bakuman 163

Confirmation and Consent – So, which will be made into an anime, Zombie*Gun or Reversi? That’s the question we were left with. Heishi asks what was Hattori’s opinion about Reversi becoming an anime, so the rest of the editor captains bring it up to him to find out. Excited, Hattori has further questions if it’s true or not. Being brought up to speed, it seems Reversi would be better suited since it is much more dense and can be spread out well enough, while Zombie*Gun does not have enough story yet to sustain the momentum from Crow. Though he’s excited, he cannot give an answer yet without consulting Shujin and Saiko. He realizes that there could be many problems with them having an anime this soon. You know…like the actual Bakuman series ENDING once it gets an anime. And I can’t believe the Crow anime aired for SEVEN YEARS! (within the story anyway; talk about time skip). Cut to Yujiro visiting Nizuma (love that his home studio says Nizuma Eiji Co., Ltd). Surprisingly, they’re both in agreement that it’s too early for Zombie*Gun to be an anime. But thoughts change as soon as it’s been brought to Nizuma’s attention that Reversi is being considered. After a sleepless night, Hattori sees Shujin and Saiko, explaining the possible anime beginning. Of course, they’re both super excited, and they accept quickly. Hattori has to explain further, though. Could they actually extend the story to have a long running anime series? They initially stated that they would be fine with a short series as long as it was of their highest quality. It’s not that they won’t get their series animated if it’s short; it’s just that most companies would be hesitant to pick up something that short, or his higher ups might just cancel deals knowing it will be short. They tried to compromise: Shujin saying he could extend the story without the story quality dropping, or finishing the manga while the anime still going which would give them a year (maybe two seasons?). Hattori suggests tabling the current offers and wait til the series did end. But now, we get to the most interesting part of the chapter: the reveal of the dream. Hattori is moved so much that he decides that they should accept the offer and end the story their way. The next day, Hattori tells his captain that they accept, but Yujiro rushes in with twenty original anime episode storyboards! Nizuma really doesn’t want to lose to Ashirogi Muto. With only one time slot available, which will get the anime? With Bakuman not likely to end soon, it’ll probably be Zombie*Gun that gets it. Dick move, Nizuma (but you’re still my favorite character~!).

Bleach 477

The Lost 2 – YES! COLOR PAGES! Now we know how they’ll be handled in the future. To keep with the whole two-page spread deal they got going on, future color spreads, double-page color spreads, along with odd-numbered chapters will just get a black page with the series logo. AWESOME! Oh right…a Bleach chapter. As the two clash, Ichigo finally gets the upper hand by cutting through Ginjo’s sword and his torso. With his final moments, Ginjo wonders if their roles were reversed, would Ichigo become the same way? Seizing the moment post-battle, Tsukishima (I really had to look up how to spell that) strikes at Ichigo from behind. Rukia steps in, which is then revealed to be Riruka, who protects Ichigo and takes the attack. Apparently, he has a separate sword just for killing. Tsukishima wants to save Ginjo from dying, but Riruka, injured, tells him that Ginjo was already saved by Ichigo. And we’re left with the first page of a flashback where Ginjo and Tsukishima meet. The color page was really the only exciting thing for me.

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan 186

On the Way to Mt. Osore pt 2 – A second color page! Now, before you wonder why two series have them, remember, Bleach is on delay. So technically it’s Nura that is supposed to have the color page this issue. It’s a little strange seeing Ryuji front and center in the spread, but his dark outfit serves nicely as the focal point to the brighter colors of Rikuo and Itaku. At the village sweet shop, Rikuo orders what looks like the biggest parfait I’ve ever seen drawn. That’s something akin to old Dragonball Z. It influences the other yokai so much that they want to order one, too. Meanwhile, Lord Akagappa shows everyone the stories of Tono Village’s heroics, and even summons their scribe Yohi Fuguruma. She was the one who drew the picture of the Gokodain successors, so they ask her about the guy who looks similar to who they saw. But it is in fact the same person (which you should have seen coming in a story about folklore monsters). Fearing the worse, Akagappa realizes that Seimei Abeno learned the Taizan Fukun, a spell to prolong a person’s life. With descendents alive for hundreds of years along with a recently reincarnated Abeno, Akagappa warns Rikuo to not face them. Of course, what type of shonen series would this be if Rikuo actually listened to him? He continues his journey to Mt. Osore. We get a glimpse of Abeno still trying to recover. Really more of fluff rather than something of importance. Kind of like, “Hey! Remember this guy?!” Our heroes finally arrive at Mt. Osore, which turns out to be a training ground of sorts for Holy Men. Cue mysterious figure clad in black. But what’s this? He’s a NECROMANCER?! So with the septagram on his gloves, I’m going to assume he’s also a Holy Man. His ability looks really impressive. Wonder if he knows Ryuji or vice-versa? Anyway, don’t forget that The Walking Dead season 2 part 2 starts this Sunday!

One Piece 653

The Hero Hat – OH GOD MY EYES KOKORO! Like Zoro and Sanji, I’ve sort of blocked that image from my mind. And now it’s back again. Dammit Oda! Yokozuna looks like he got bigger, and the shark she’s riding on looks very similar to Megalo, just smaller. And that alcohol bottle had better be sealed tight, because she’s either promoting drinking and driving or defying water physics. Back at Madam Sharley’s Mermaid Cafe, Caimie and the other mermaids are excited to see Luffy off. But before she leaves, Caimie sees Sharley’s crystal ball broken. She’s still worried about what the future holds, but Sharley shows her faith in Luffy. Shirahoshi cries all the tears, and the Sanji and Zoro argument dynamic has yet to get old so far. “Nosebleed” as an insult was hilarious. New Brook song? We’ll hear it next year in the anime. Usopp and Chopper realize the troubles they will face in the near future against Big Mom. Robin almost hears Neptune and the Minister of the Right talking about the bomb in the Tamate Box. Also, new outfit! (I’m a cosplayer; shut up). New World Log Pose! Looks very interesting, so Nami cosplayers have something new to make. This is also the first time I feel like that we see Luffy use his powers in a similar vein to Mr. Fantastic. Odd. Also, kind of creepy how he wraps up Nami, but at least it’s meant in a very humorous way. Luffy of course wants to travel in the direction that would be the most dangerous, much to the dismay of Nami and Usopp. I think the most important part of the chapter happens right here: NEW FRANKY HAIRSTYLE! Everyone gathers to see the Straw-hats off, and now the moment arrives. Will Jimbe join their journey to face Big Mom? Nope. But Shirahoshi gets one last goodbye with Luffy, promising that she’ll no longer be the crybaby he knows and that he should take her out on a stroll the next time they meet. Instead of just Luffy, the rest of his crew make the promise as well. Luffy’s pinky wrapped around Shirahoshi’s giant pinky was really adorable. Back to the island, the children all want to get Luffy’s straw hat, which they now dub the “hero hat.” Jimbe will arrange a trading ship to acquire those for the kids. YAY! (I want a Luffy hat, too). NEW TECHNOLOGY: Hollow Banyan, used to help the Sunny float to the surface. Reminiscing about what has happened over two years ago, Luffy gets very excited to finally be in the New World, the same sea as Shanks and his crew are. TO THE NEW WORLD! Ending left me super excited! Love explanation chapters like these, and can’t wait for next week.

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