Weekly Shonen: Bleach 461, Naruto 552, One Piece 636

Hello, it is unfortunate, but next week, I am going to start working again, and since I will be working, that means I won’t read Shonen until the weekend, which also means that I won’t be writing these posts earlier during the week, I was hoping to write this post a few days ago, but my I got busy on Thursday and stuff, so yeah. I have a bunch of other post ideas mingling around in my head, hopefully when I get less lazy, I shall write those up to. For some reason, I don’t think I have too much to say this weak, so forgive the short length. Actually, scratch that, I ended up writing too much again…

Bleach

"My Design teacher always emphasized the importance of white space"- Wannabe Artists

Some would call this chapter short and sweet, but I think short and semi-sweet is probably more accurate. Nothing much happened, Ichigo demonstrated his awesomeness for a panel or two and then Ginjou demonstrated his resilience for a page or two before it finally accumulated into a demonstration of Ginjou’s powerfulness or something.
This chapter sparked some debate over the art, with some people citing the abundant white/black space as a great method of demonstrating Ichigo’s prowess, others criticised it for its fillerness. I don’t much say, it was interesting, but maybe a bit over board, I think?

Obligatory level boss picture

Naruto

That can't be good for his confidence...

Good chapter, but not brilliant.

Good to see Naruto get put in his place or perhaps it would be better to say Naruto got schooled hard. I was a bit sad that Naruto wouldn’t get to use Mr.Crow against Sasuke, but whatever, he will find another way to put Sasuke in his place, hopefully, Itachi will find a way to destroy Kabuto without hassle, but it looks like Kabuto has a secret plan, I wonder what could it be?
The Mizukage continues to be pretty funny, I like him. I wonder if the Raikage has been dealt with or not, we will probably see soon enough. The Rasengan could have belonged to Naruto, Kakashi, or Konohamaru. Konohamaru seems really unlikely, so most likely Naruto or Kakashi. I am going to go ahead and guess Naruto, the only iffy thing is the whole cliff hanger associated with it, I don’t really know why Kishi would feel the need to include a cliffhanger if it was just Naruto, and that’s the only reason, I haven’t out right declared the mystery Rasengan holder as Naruto.
Itachi’s little speech had to come at some time, sigh, it’s just one of those Shonen things, fighting with your comrades is a big theme these days in this magazine. Still, Itachi pulled it of without being too cheesy about it, and coming from him, it felt believable. Still, coming outright and saying that people end up evil because they only rely on themselves is a bit of a stretch and a strong indication of Kishi adopting the “Good guys have and rely of friends” paradigm.

That line had to be said at some point, at least it was badass Itachi. I should just erase all the text, and imagine Itachi is threatening Naruto and holds everyone's life in the palm of his hands.

It’s funny how quickly Naruto has forgotten the first thing Kakashi thought him, oh you know about the whole teamwork thing. Then again, I get the feeling Kishi has forgotten that to, and is just running on Shonen steam right now.

One Piece
So, people were complaining about the lack of other Straw Hat abilities last chapter, hah! This chapter was quite GLORIOUS.
What, can’t I just leave it at that? Must I cover this chapter WHICH HAD SO MUCH STUFF HAPPEN? REALLY? DO I HAVE TO? Sigh.

Franky’s new robot was cool, I guess in some ways Oda is really painting Franky as a competitor to Vegapunk, I wonder if we will ever meet Vegapunk, and what he will be like, is he evil, a good guy being forced to do evil things, a good guy who just likes inventing stuff, or a mad scientist. We shall see. I am somewhat hoping that the next Straw Hat is a scientist of some sort, he would have served as more of a parallel with Vegapunk, but I guess with Oda painting Franky like this, that might not happen. The best part about the Robot transformation though was the Nami/Robin Stare, I cracked up, hard.

A dangerous General, who is generally dangerous.

Nami’s weapon seems to have gotten quite the upgrade, despite always being a very versatile weapon, it looks like it has become even more versatile. This chapter only showcased one more use of it, but I am sure there are more, and even the sword shown can probably be used in different ways.

We already had a notion of Usupp’s power-up, but it’s more clear now, in the past he had to rely on little things like blast effects and cockroaches to make the most of his abilities, but now he has plants, and judging from what we have seen, there seems to be quite a few options with these plants. But, I do wonder, how does the get the seeds, can he regrow them, or what? This will probably be explained in due time.

There seems to be some confusion about Chopper, it is unclear whether he can access all of his regular forms without the rumble ball and control the monster form, or if he cannot access one of his regular forms without the ball and not control his monster form. I am personally hoping that he has gained control over his monster form, and that he can access all of his forms without the ball, but if I recall correctly, he used a rumble ball earlier this arc before using one of his forms, hmmm. Having said all that, Choppers new Horn Point looks awesome, and the same can be said for his other forms, including his regular small form. So cute.
Oh, and I really like how Chopper admits he is a monster now, it shows a gain in confidence, and a bit of wit to.
I guess Luffy really can’t stand it when someone’s brother is put at risk, poor kid, he was smiling and everything to. At this stage, I don’t really care if we don’t get to see Luffy in a full on fight, I just want to see Hodi dealt with, soon.
I think this arc won’t last much longer, the ship is about to enter the fray. Some people have guessed that since it is called Noah, the arc is there so that the people of the island can escape and make it to the surface. How will Shirahoshi be saved from the arc though who knows, but to me, now, it looks like Van Der Decken really is the one responsible for the islands imminent destruction.

Oh, and lastly, lest I forget:

It's not just badassery going on here.

This page is exceptionally awesome, I hesitate to call it epic, because you are only meant to use epic once per year or something, anyway, the badassery of this scene cannot be doubted. But, I want to ignore the cool factor for a second and look at something else, I might just be pulling stuff out of my bum, but I think there is more to this than meets the eye.

I know it’s bad form to judge something based on how much better it is then its peers, but that seems to be a bad habit of mine, and like all bad habits, I am going to go ahead and exercise it.
Even though this scene might seem like something totally expected from One Piece, you would not see this in other Shonen, or at least you wouldn’t expect to see it.

In other mangas, Zoro and Sanji might have said something like “Go ahead, we got the small fry”, “We got your back”, or “Don’t try to do everything by yourself, we, your nakama are here to”, and Luffy might have said something like “Zoro, Sanji, you guys…” or “Zoro, Sanji, leave everything to me” (at which point he would have gotten the don’t do everything by yourself line) or “Thanks guys, I leave them to you”, but none of this happened, so, what does that mean?
It means that unlike other manga, cough cough , One Piece doesn’t rely on declaring comradeship through cheesy dialogue, it doesn’t need to prove to the readers that the characters have such strong bonds, that they are in sync, and this is because One Piece is quite simply awesome.
All along, Oda has been teaching us about friendship and nakama, and yet he has never once preached it. This in my opinion is one important fact that sets One Piece apart, and one reason why I love it so much.

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  1. #1 by yukitagila on August 31, 2011 - 11:57 pm

    i love manga…..

    • #2 by Reiseng on September 2, 2011 - 4:05 am

      As do I, as do I…

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