Author Topic: Currently Running Manga Discussion  (Read 55676 times)

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: Currently Running Manga Discussion
« Reply #1740 on: February 03, 2018, 02:58:55 PM »
So, I've been thinking quite a lot about Food Wars recently (I was even considering writing a blog piece about it at one point), namely the issues of the whole Central saga and where it went wrong. To be honest, I'm not sure whether the manga will continue past this arc, not due to a lack of popularity. While it's typically in the bottom half of the rankings every week, it's rarely ever among the bottom three, and from what I can gather it makes up for its rankings with decent volume sales. It also doesn't hurt that it has been successfully adapted into an anime that still has another season coming along this year.

That said, while I wouldn't say that I was ever as big a fan of it as a lot of other people are, I did enjoy the series in the early chapters. In particular, though, I wanted to point out that the closest the series came to being a great competition manga, for me, was during the Moon Festival arc (obviously before Azami showed up). Even the Stagiaire arc right be before it was a great breath of fresh air. The reason I say this is because it took a break from the normal Shokugeki style format of competition and instead branched out into other ways of competing with food. And really, when I think back on it, some of the most interesting parts of the series dealt less with direct 1-on-1 cooking battles and instead focused more on how a Chef operated when thinking in terms of their career. The fundamental problem with the titular Shokugeki is that it's far too limiting of a format to really show the dynamics of a good clash between characters. Mother's basement did a video on how these worked and how they were interesting in terms of being both ideological battles as well as strategy battles in terms of showing the strengths of one chef's planning over that of another. To an extent he's right, but even at its best I still always felt that the series rarely ever lived up to the full potential of most of its matches, and a big reason for that is how it relies a bit too heavily on high-stakes, "live-or-die" style scenarios for many of its matches. Part of the reason that the Central arc lacks any sense of tension is because the main characters can't actually lose from a narrative perspective. To be clear, they can absolutely lose their matches (I wouldn't be surprised to see Soma lose against either the first or second seat in the next bout, for that matter). However, we know that they can't lose in terms of suffering any significant consequences for doing so, as even if they don't prevail, some convenient BS will have to be ass-pulled in order to bail them out at the last minute, otherwise there's no story progression from that point.

Essentially, if the manga indeed continues past this arc, the author REALLY needs to step back from the "win or you get expelled" angle, or other similar high-stakes scenarios. When you set things up like that, plot armor will inevitably kick in for all of the characters that matter. Additionally, another big problem with this whole conflict right now is that the one thing that the Shokugeki format had going for it, which was the whole element of planning and strategy, is completely absent from these team battles (which, I should mention, have very little real teamwork despite how much it was built up for that). Being that it's a survival and elimination type setup, it just goes from one match to another without any real prep time seen between bouts.

Going back to the Stagiaire and Moon Festival arcs, what made them work so much more for me is that they showed what Soma and his friends (as well as us as the readers) had learned about cooking from previous arcs being applied to different scenarios than Shokugeki. For example, in the Stagiaire arc Soma had to come up with a way to improve the workflow of the first restaurant which he served at, whereas he had to adapt to the workflow of Shinomiya's restaurant in the next stage of his Staigaire. It's interesting since the problems he has to solve are completely different than just finding a superior recipe to whoever the competing chef of the week is. And in the Moon Festival arc, his competition with Kuga is fantastic since he and Megumi have to learn on the fly how to properly run a street stall and attract customers to try and outsell their competition. One key point that stood out to me is how he used the aroma of curry, something that he had learned in a previous arc to combat Hayama, in order to attract customers with the rich smell of his food. That is an outright genius way both in terms of real logic and well as from a narrative stand-point of using past skills to prevail in a new setting. That's the kind of thing that I would honestly like to see more of from this series going forward if it continues past this arc.

Unfortunately, the author seems so fixated on the Shokugeki format to the the manga's detriment, IMO. Personally, I find that after being used so many times, its structure is too limiting in many cases, and the outcomes are often far too predictable. I'm not saying that it needs to go entirely, but that it needs to be used more sparingly. Also, more than ever, I stand by my opinion that Azami is a boring villain. Interestingly enough, the first seat Tsukasa Eishi has hints of being a bit more morally complex and nuanced, which makes me wonder why he didn't get more focus and development as an antagonistic force for the Rebels than just a little bit of backstory and character exposition.

Anwyays, just my two cents on the manga and how it could be better.

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: Currently Running Manga Discussion
« Reply #1741 on: February 04, 2018, 02:17:26 PM »
I know that some people just want MHA to get up to the next major story arc already, but can I just say that I'm seriously enjoying these "downtime" chapters. Firstly, I don't consider them filler like most people do since they are clearly developing the supporting cast of characters and setting up new character arcs. In addition to that, though, it's a fantastic change of pace to show what the normal lives of the UA students are like between missions or competitions, and in addition to Horikoshi really showing us his humorous side as a writer, I feel like it's the down to earth chapters and moments like this that ultimately end up giving the serious conflicts more weight to them.

And in all honesty, being that I have pretty mixed feelings about the previous major story arc, these last few chapters have done a good job of reminding me of why I enjoy and care about these characters as much as I do.

Spark Of Spirit

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Re: Currently Running Manga Discussion
« Reply #1742 on: February 08, 2018, 01:56:47 AM »
Weekly Shonen Jump Issue #11 (January 6th, 2018):
We Never Learn (Cover, Lead CP)
1. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
2. One Piece
3. My Hero Academia
4. Black Clover
Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs (CP)
5. The Promised Neverland
6. Haikyu!
7. Hinomaru Zumou
Hunter x Hunter (Not Ranked)
Act-Age (Not Ranked)
Dr. Stone (CP)
8. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K
Bozebeats (Not Ranked)
9. Spring Weapon No. 1
10. Gintama
11. Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma
12. Robot x Laserbeam
13. Golem Hearts
14. Full Drive
Tomatoy Lycopene


Next week Haikyu gets the cover and Hinomaru and Promised Neverland are getting color pages. Nothing much surprising here. It's good to see MHA going back up. I know some people didn't like the most recent arc, but I think it works much better when you're not reading it weekly. Plus, now that Horikoshi is done writing the movie, the novel, and the game, he will hopefully have more time to focus on the manga. The last few chapters focusing on the other characters was really nice. Definitely eager to see where it goes next.
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Spark Of Spirit

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Re: Currently Running Manga Discussion
« Reply #1743 on: February 15, 2018, 07:54:44 PM »
Weekly Shonen Jump Issue #12 (February 13th, 2018):
Haikyu!! (Cover, Lead CP)
1. One Piece
2. Dr. Stone
3. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
4. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K
The Promised Neverland (CP)
5. We Never Learn
6. Black Clover
Hakaku no Yachin (One Shot)
7. My Hero Academia
8. Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Souma
Bozebeats (Not Ranked)
Hinomaru Zumou (CP)
Act-Age (Not Ranked)
Hunter x Hunter (Not Ranked)
9. Gintama
10. Spring Weapon Number One
11. Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Spring
12. Robot x Laserbeam
13. Golem Hearts (END)
14. Full Drive (END)
Tomatoy Lycopene

Next week Black Clover gets the cover and both Saiki and Boruto get color pages. There doesn't seem to be any new or surprising info in this issue just as the rankings are about what you would expect. This is the sixth week for Bozebeats and the fifth for Act Age. We should be learning where they rank in the next few weeks. Will be interesting to see considering the reaction to the last round was not too warm.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 07:44:14 PM by Spark Of Spirit »
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VLordGTZ

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Re: Currently Running Manga Discussion
« Reply #1744 on: February 16, 2018, 02:22:28 AM »
Actually, some notable stuff did happen in this issue:

Both Golem Hearts and Full Drive ended.

Hirohiko Araki is publishing a new Rohan Kishibe one-shot in the next issue.

Also, next week's Saiki CP is being promoted with ""Climax of Oshimai Travel arc"".  "Oshimai" has a secondary meaning of "end", which seems to coincide with the recent speculation that the manga is ending.
     

« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 02:27:09 AM by VLordGTZ »

Spark Of Spirit

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Re: Currently Running Manga Discussion
« Reply #1745 on: February 16, 2018, 07:43:40 PM »
Looks like people decided to wait hours later to update everything! Strange that both Full Drive and Golem Hearts ended at the same time especially if Gintama is almost done Saiki is also ending. That's a lot of series at once. Especially since we just recently got two new series.

I guess this means the current season of Saiki will most likely cover the ending.
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Re: Currently Running Manga Discussion
« Reply #1746 on: February 22, 2018, 02:02:01 PM »
Weekly Shonen Jump Issue #13 (February 20th, 2018):
Black Clover (Cover/Lead CP)
1. Dr. Stone
2. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
3. We Never Learn
4. My Hero Academia
5. The Promised Neverland
6. Haikyu!!
Hunter x Hunter (Not Ranked)
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K (CP, 26p, END)
Act-Age (Not Ranked)
Bozebeats (Not Ranked)
Kishibe Rohan wa Ugokanai (Oneshot by Hirohiko Araki, CP)
7. Spring Weapon No. 1
Boruto (CP)
8. Hinomaru Zumo
9. Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma
10. Gintama
11. Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs
12. Robot x Laserbeam
Tomatoy Lycopene

Saiki ended! I guess that means the anime will cover the ending. Next week Black Clover and KnY get color pages, but there will be three new series over the next few weeks. Unfortunately, still no World Trigger. Robot x Laserbeam being so low doesn't really surprise me. It sells well enough, but it doesn't appear to be ranking too well and it's not a very exciting read. Yuuna isn't in any danger since it has an anime coming up, too. In a related bit of news, Food Wars sales are beginning to dip. I'm beginning to think it won't last long beyond the current arc after all, but it isn't like there is anything to replace it with. I just think they will begin to start heading to whatever endgame they have in mind. Meanwhile, Gintama is still teasing the ending everyone is waiting for. A bit more of an exciting week than usual.
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: Currently Running Manga Discussion
« Reply #1747 on: February 22, 2018, 03:50:49 PM »
With RXL, I think it managed to start out on the right foot, but the time-skip really killed any momentum that it had built up. While I can respect that Tadatoshi took a risk to try something different, doing such a big time-skip so soon was a mistake as it erases the growing connection that readers start to develop with the core characters during the early arcs of the story, and resets everything to where they are far more skilled but they feel completely distant and unrelatable by that point. Both Baby Steps and Hinomaru Zumou do a far better job of naturally progressing their characters to the professional world stage over time, IMO.

As for Food Wars, I already just posted about my issues with it a couple of weeks ago, and it looks like Japanese readers pretty much agree. We've been stuck with a terribly written villain like Azami for over 100 chapters now, all of the core aspects of what made the series interesting in the first place have been done away with, and the whole Rebels Vs. The Evil Council of Food Nazis Central ordeal in the RdC arc has been so painfully boring that it feels like a chore to read from week-to-week at this point. In all honesty the only reason that I still haven't dropped it at this point is that it at least looks like the author is aware enough of the negative reaction to this arc to try and wrap it up as quickly as possible.

The manga that I've been enjoying up until now, though, have all remained to be on their A-game, including The Promised Neverland, My Hero Academia, One Piece, and Dr. Stone. I'd include Hinomaru Zumou, but unfortunately nothing past the end of part 1 has been translated into English yet, and as for HXH, I'm actually waiting for the current run of chapters to end so that I can read them all in one-shot.

However, the one manga I didn't mention with the others is Kimetsu no Yaiba, not because it's not great, but because it has gotten so good that it kind of shot over my top two from last year and is easily my favorite thing currently running in Weekly Jump. I'm absolutely loving how it has mastered the art of telling a conventional story in an unconventional way in regard to a mix of its various blends of different tones that flow so well together, it's unique art-style, and it's expert pacing. It's really compelling stuff, IMO.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 04:07:11 PM by Dr. Ensatsu-ken »

VLordGTZ

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Re: Currently Running Manga Discussion
« Reply #1748 on: February 22, 2018, 04:26:53 PM »
Weekly Shonen Jump Issue #13 (February 20th, 2018):
Black Clover (Cover/Lead CP)
1. Dr. Stone
2. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
3. We Never Learn
4. My Hero Academia
5. The Promised Neverland
6. Haikyu!!
Hunter x Hunter (Not Ranked)
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K (CP, 26p, END)
Act-Age (Not Ranked)
Bozebeats (Not Ranked)
Kishibe Rohan wa Ugokanai (Oneshot by Hirohiko Araki, CP)
7. Spring Weapon No. 1
Boruto (CP)
8. Hinomaru Zumo
9. Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma
10. Gintama
11. Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs
12. Robot x Laserbeam
Tomatoy Lycopene

Here are the details of the new serialization round:
Quote
Issue 14: Jujutsu Kaisen (Magic Battle Rounds) by Gege Akitami.
Issue 15: Noah's Notes by Haruto Ikezawa
Issue 16: Ziga-Ziga by Rokuro Sano and Kentaro Hidano

While the regular Saiki manga is ending, it seems that it will still be running as a 4-koma manga in the magazine for a while longer.

Also, there's a lot of speculation that Spring Weapon will end in the next issue since the #13's chapter is called "Graduation" and the editor's note for the next chapter is "An abrubt goodbye...".
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 04:29:28 PM by VLordGTZ »

Spark Of Spirit

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Re: Currently Running Manga Discussion
« Reply #1749 on: February 22, 2018, 08:01:39 PM »
Spring Weapon ending as well would be a surprise wince it hung on so long, but I guess it never really took off. However, if it ends then that will be yet another gag manga ending. I heard some speculation that Saiki is going 4-koma to take over for Lycopene too, which sounds doubtful, but considering everything else going on maybe it isn't so out there.

It feels like they're shaking things up due to sales reaction. From what I've seen, it looks like One Piece, MHA, HxH, and The Promised Neverland are the high sellers that stick around the same of increase, and Haikyu, while still their highest behind OP and HxH, has begun to dip as has Food Wars. I could factor this up to digital sales, but that wouldn't explain other series like the early ones keeping up their sales. Also, Dr. Stone, Kimetsu no Yaiba, and We Never Learn appear to be increasing with each new volume. I suspect they'l be around for awhile with KnY clearly on the verge of breakout, but really needing that anime to give it the shot in the arm it needs. Hinomaru and Yuuna are getting anime, which is just as well as it looks like they're selling about as much as ever and are no longer growing. Saiki ended and Gintama is almost done. Black Clover doesn't appear to be getting much boost from the anime, and RxL and SW9 have stalled.

I'm not sure about the two new series yet, but I'm not positive about either. Bozebeats has great art, but the writing is fairly flat. Act Age is a good concept well done, but it feels like something that would do better in Sunday.

But I do agree about Food Wars. I'm mostly reading to see the recipes and character interaction now. The whole Azami plot has taken up way too much time and needs to wrap up.
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Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: Currently Running Manga Discussion
« Reply #1750 on: Today at 11:11:14 AM »
I'm honestly amused by all of the Black Clover fans who are somehow angry that this current arc is so generic and cliche and a rip-off of the Hokage and Orochimaru fight from Naruto.

This WHOLE ENTIRE SERIES has been nothing but uninspired shonen tropes without much of any substance from the beginning. I'm not sure why some people are acting like only now, at this specific point, is when it has gone too far in its lazy story-telling.

Spark Of Spirit

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Re: Currently Running Manga Discussion
« Reply #1751 on: Today at 12:19:55 PM »
This whole fight was so incredibly predictable and cliched, but that's been Black Clover the whole time. The reason it's not a bigger hit is because most of us have read this already. We know where it's going, and there aren't any wrinkles happening to keep it fresh. I'd be interested to see if Tabata's new editor will push him more because arcs like this aren't going to help in growing sales.
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VLordGTZ

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Re: Currently Running Manga Discussion
« Reply #1752 on: Today at 12:41:23 PM »
Spring Weapon ending as well would be a surprise wince it hung on so long, but I guess it never really took off. However, if it ends then that will be yet another gag manga ending. I heard some speculation that Saiki is going 4-koma to take over for Lycopene too, which sounds doubtful, but considering everything else going on maybe it isn't so out there.

It feels like they're shaking things up due to sales reaction. From what I've seen, it looks like One Piece, MHA, HxH, and The Promised Neverland are the high sellers that stick around the same of increase, and Haikyu, while still their highest behind OP and HxH, has begun to dip as has Food Wars. I could factor this up to digital sales, but that wouldn't explain other series like the early ones keeping up their sales. Also, Dr. Stone, Kimetsu no Yaiba, and We Never Learn appear to be increasing with each new volume. I suspect they'l be around for awhile with KnY clearly on the verge of breakout, but really needing that anime to give it the shot in the arm it needs. Hinomaru and Yuuna are getting anime, which is just as well as it looks like they're selling about as much as ever and are no longer growing. Saiki ended and Gintama is almost done. Black Clover doesn't appear to be getting much boost from the anime, and RxL and SW9 have stalled.

I'm somewhat doubtful that the Saiki 4-koma is an attempt to replace Lycopene since its 1st volume sales were pretty decent and Jump's short-form gag manga in general don't have high sales expectations.  It feels more like something Asou wanted to do of his own accord, though I'm not sure how long he plans to work on it.  Black Clover got a fairly big boost from its anime, but I'm not sure if it necessarily was as huge as Jump was expecting it to be.  Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the series ends once it gets around the 20-volume mark.   RxL's sales are pretty good for a new series, but the likelihood of its sales plateauing sooner than Dr. Stone or We Never Learn is very much a concern.  Fujimaki's name recognition can only push sales so much, but I think Jump is trying to rely on that until the series is ready for an anime.  I'm still enjoying the manga, but I somewhat agree with EK that the time-skip has hurt the series' overall momentum. 

I'm not sure about the two new series yet, but I'm not positive about either. Bozebeats has great art, but the writing is fairly flat. Act Age is a good concept well done, but it feels like something that would do better in Sunday.

I still need to read Bozebeats but Act-Age really impressed me.  I definitely agree that it feels like something that wouldn't usually be in Jump, but I feel that is to its advantage.  Hopefully, it won't fall apart narratively after its Jump Start chapters like Full Drive and Golem Hearts did.