skjam: created by djinn (Bottomless)
[personal profile] skjam posting in [community profile] scans_daily
In case you hadn't already heard, as of Monday, the online US release of Shonen Jump is going simultaneous with the print edition in Japan. So they're changing the name of the online edition from Shonen Jump Alpha to Shonen Jump Weekly (a direct translation of the Japanese version.)

So I thought now was a good time to show you four semi-random pages from the latest issue and get everyone caught up on what's been happening.

First up is Naruto. This last year has been the winding down of the Ninja World War, and we're in what appears to be the final for sure this time against the puppetmasters who've been behind all of the bad things that have been happening. Naruto is the point man, but every good or neutral ninja left alive is helping out.

But no war is without its casualties, and Naruto needs a quick pep talk to continue. That happens this chapter, and he finds renewed resolve.

Naruto/Hinata shippers rejoice; Naruto/Neji and Hinata/Neji shippers, not so much.

One Piece: The Punk Hazard arc is in its wrap-up phase, but may be prolonged by yet another really strong villain showing up. This chapter, Law demonstrates how sneaky he can be.

Cross Manage: A newer series, about a former soccer star, Sakurai, who becomes the manager of a girls' lacrosse team. (This is a gender flip of the usual shonen sports story, where a male team has a cute female manager.) It has a number of features to recommend it, including having female characters with different body types (and the pudgy girl gets a romance subplot!) but has not ranked well with the Japanese readership so is on the fast track to cancellation.

They've finally gotten to the first game of the tournament and all their hard work is finally starting to pay off. In particular, Sakurai has finally figured out how to best utilize lovable but inept team captain Toyoguchi.

We all know where that's going.

Bleach: Is in what is allegedly its final arc. An army of the supposedly extinct Quincies has shown up and is trying to destroy the Soul Society. Ichigo manages to hold them off just long enough to delay the final blow, at the cost of his sword and severe injuries. So he and Renji are visting the most powerful Shikigami ever to get back their game. Best bit of this chapter is when the boys are enthusiastically greeted by a crowd of attractive women, and immediately assuem there's some kind of trick involved. "They're probably all dudes or something."

Nisekoi: Another new series. Raku and Chitoge (both scions of yakuza families) meet, each thinking the other is kind of cute, but quickly learn that their personalities clash, and wind up hating each other. They are then forced by their fathers to enter into a fake romantic relationship to halt a feud between the families. (Thus the title, which translates as "False Love.") To no one's surprise but theirs, the two teens have started developing genuine feelings for each other.

But wait! Raku has a special lock pendant that can only be opened by the girl he promised to marry as a small child. And it just so happens that Chitoge has a key that might fit that lock...but so do at least two other girls who also have feelings for Raku. It's an amazingly generic series, but also extremely well-done.

In this week's chapter, Chitoge changes her look a little, but is disappointed when Raku seemingly fails to notice. So she tries more drastic changes, with the same lack of reaction. Finally she confronts him.

Toriko: A series about food. Toriko is one of the greatest food hunters ever, and his faithful chef companion Komatsu has grown into a top-ranked cook. Lots of bizarre food items and eating scenes. Right now, Komatsu is participating in a cooking tournament, but it looks likely to be interrupted by the hideously mutated villain army attacking.

Blue Exorcist: Rin, the son of Satan decides to become an exorcist to fight his evil father. Yes, just like Daimon Hellstrom. Except he's a teenager in exorcist school. This chapter focuses on his twin brother, Yukio, who is supposedly fully human. But lately, he's begun to wonder....

And finally, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan. This series was moved to monthly to allow the creator to really go all out for his final plot arc, including full color. And fittingly for the last issue of Alpha, this is the final chapter of the monster-heavy series, as Riku goes up against Nue, who plans to destroy everyone who will not serve him.

And so the wheel turns.

Your thoughts and comments?
(Still struggling through second week of college.)

Date: 2013-01-19 05:56 pm (UTC)
viredae: (Default)
From: [personal profile] viredae
That was a dick move you know, I really thought they'd put the kibosh on the whole thing.

I personally don't use the service (living outside the US and all), but I was pretty interested in the whole run of the thing.

Date: 2013-01-19 07:39 pm (UTC)
akodo_rokku: (Default)
From: [personal profile] akodo_rokku
I was confused by your One Piece entry, then I realized I'm reading fan scanslations which are probably ahead of the official stuff. Or were anyway.

Date: 2013-01-19 10:31 pm (UTC)
kamino_neko: Tedd from El Goonish Shive. Drawn by Dan Shive, coloured by Kamino Neko. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kamino_neko
This is because someone has been leaking scans to the internet for ages.

Thus explaining why they are now going simultaneous.

Date: 2013-01-20 11:39 am (UTC)
akodo_rokku: (Default)
From: [personal profile] akodo_rokku
Huh, I did not know that.

Finally, something I want that I get to have BEFORE Japanese kids!

(Also, a summary of this week's chapter of One Piece would have been, "Usopp and Nami stop fucking around when we did not even know they were fucking around in the first place.")

Date: 2013-01-19 09:07 pm (UTC)
biod: Cute Galactus (Default)
From: [personal profile] biod
11 year old me would have lost his shit upon seeing the new NarHina chapters.
Current me, however, thinks the series peaked in the last arc of Part I/first arc of Part II and then became the same boring superpowered one-upmanship that Bleach devolved into. He stopped reading around the time Danzo revealed his arm and stopped watching the anime when the first Shippuden filler came.

Date: 2013-01-19 09:44 pm (UTC)
crinos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crinos
+!. I stopped following Naruto a while ago, but I am very happy to see those two finally got together.

Also: To all the Naruto/Sakura shippers out there. I say the same thing I said to the Pro Equalist people following the Legend of Korra Finale:


Date: 2013-01-20 08:46 am (UTC)
dustbunny105: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dustbunny105
They didn't get together, though, it's just a shiptease.

Date: 2013-01-19 09:50 pm (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
Naruto uses a lot more clever stuff in it's fights than Bleach, just because the power of things has increased doesn't mean people stop fighting smart (unless it's trying to make a point about them fighting dumb).

I don't think it's fair to put them on the same level. Naruto spends arcs away from the protagonists, has unexpected stuff happen, develops it's characters, isn't afraid to kill off characters while at the same time not overdoing it...

Heck, who'd guess that this late in the series Ino'd get repeated moments of awesome?

Date: 2013-01-19 11:21 pm (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
Spoiler alert: He totally is.

Date: 2013-01-19 09:51 pm (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
Oh, this reminds me that OnePunch Man was said to be released for SJ Alpha... guess it's going to be Weekly now.

Date: 2013-01-19 11:20 pm (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
One Punch man is soooo awesome :)

Date: 2013-01-19 10:23 pm (UTC)
lucky_gamble: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lucky_gamble
Stopped following years ago. It all went downhill after the Gaara/Chiyo death arc and kinda lost...all its charm. I'll survive is basically what I'm saying.

Date: 2013-01-19 11:21 pm (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
IMO, it has ups and downs. After that there was a down, but there's been other Ups.

Including several great Gaara moments :)

Date: 2013-01-20 07:50 am (UTC)
benuben: (Default)
From: [personal profile] benuben
Gaara died?!? Damn. He was my favorite character.

Man... It's been such a long time since I read/watched this. While in retrospect, it isn't that great, it's not the worst show ever, as some people make it out to be.

Date: 2013-01-20 08:35 am (UTC)
dustbunny105: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dustbunny105
He got better.

Date: 2013-01-20 06:52 pm (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
It was a temporary 'death,' and a really great scene.

Date: 2013-01-19 11:34 pm (UTC)
avantre: (Default)
From: [personal profile] avantre
Naruto does have its moments but (and yes, I know it's a Shonen manga) I'm often infuriated by how it portrays its female ninja - more so because it'll show glimpses of them being as strong and cool as the male ones, then will relegate them to useless status for the rest of the time. For example - Sakura beating an S class ninja (with a little help), then later turning into a useless crying mess who waited for Naruto to solve everything in their confrontation with Sasuke after Danzo's fate. Tsunade going into a coma without even fighting anyone during Pein's attack. Anko being defeated pretty much off-panel. The last issue was probably the most use the girls had been in around a 100 issues.

Date: 2013-01-20 02:05 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
While I agreed that it's annoying that they get shoved in the background a lot, I'll note (1) that applies to most other side characters, it is not a female unique thing, and (2) it's still easily on the high side of shounen fight manga. It's below Fairy Tail (Erza Scarlet!) or Negima, but it trumps One Piece, Bleach, Dragonball, Yu Yu Hakusho, and so on.

-Tsunade going into a coma without even fighting anyone during Pein's attack-

That, btw, was not Kishimoto's original plan, but the editor said, "We need to speed things up, cut it."

And she did get a fair amount of fighting more recently.

-The last issue was probably the most use the girls had been in around a 100 issues.-

Ino saved the army from Juubi's blast a few ago (with help from Hinata). Ino possessed Kinkaku and triggered the sealing jar. Ino covering Choji's butt when he froze. Tsunade doing more against Madara than the other Kage, rivaled only by Onoki, as well as bringing the beat-up kage (Gaara and Onoki) back to usefulness. Hinata takes out Zetsu who get the jump on Neji. Tenten destroys one of Kakuzu's masks. Sakura was the one who discovered the Zetsu infiltrators and smashed ZetsuNeji.

That's the last 100. Go the 100 before that and Sakura- who, btw, I feel is the one to really complain about, as she's not supposed to be a side character as much- saved Karin, KOs three male characters, almost kills Sasuke and is stopped only by her own heart, saves Hinata, and smashes a giant centipede, and Mei Terumi almost kills Sasuke (granted, Onoki almost does as well, but Terumi does it first). Konan almost killed Tobi twice in one fight, doing more damage than Minato did. And of course, in flashback Kushina single-handled traps the Kyuubi while dying, and prevents babyNaruto from being impaled on it's claw, and helps get Naruto get his penultimate powerup in the present.

I feel the reason Naruto gets so much flack in the area isn't because it's particularly bad in the area compared to others in the genre, but rather because it has a bunch of female characters that tantalize us with even more. But it really isn't that rare for female characters to do fairly significant stuff, it's just not enough to satisfy our appetite.

Date: 2013-01-20 11:44 am (UTC)
akodo_rokku: (Default)
From: [personal profile] akodo_rokku
I'm not comfortable with putting Naruto above One Piece in the treatment of female characters. Mainly due to the aforementioned *volumes* of Sakura being nothing but a blubbering mess.
Edited Date: 2013-01-20 11:45 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-01-20 02:37 pm (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
I would easily and significantly put Naruto well above.

One Piece has multiple characters who won't attack women for chauvanistic reasons. Taishigi recently broke down into a blubbery mess *in combat* because an enemy showed her mercy because she's female.

There's almost always one and only one female pirate in a group no matter how big it is (7 shichibukai? One. 13 Supernova? One. Dozen or two marine vice-admirals? One).

The sole female Supernova pirate is the first to be defeated, and is captured by a baddie who offers her a chance to be 'his woman.'

Nico Robins has a single solo fight as a member of the crew, back in Skypeia, 2/3rds of the manga ago.

Nami's the only one who gets semi-regular fights, but hers are always with the weakest enemies, and one of them was with what I will call 'molester lion,' who groped her in the shower, kidnapped her and tried to marry her, and only was beaten by her because Sanji beat him up first.

Sure, Naruto has Sakura's issues (but also her doing some big stuff, more than she's given credit for. And Sakura's stuff comes across to me more as she's *14* and having to deal with the possibility of killing one of her friends/first crush who she's known for years, or her other best friend killing him. That's pretty heavy), but it also has tons of female characters who never do. Naruto has more female characters, more legit powerful female characters, more fights involving female characters, multiple fights of female characters saving male character's butts, and no-one dumping on female characters because they're female character.

Naruto's a case where there's pretty much only one female character with that much issue, and she's merely a mixed bag (who actually accomplishes a fair amount in between the not-so-constant crying). It's just she's a main and there's contrast between her and other females like Temari and so on who are all badass all the time, so it's fairly noticeable. One Piece really has a lot more problematic stuff in addition to less time for female characters period, it's just people don't seem to pay as much attention to it.

Date: 2013-01-21 02:08 am (UTC)
lucky_gamble: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lucky_gamble
While yes, Naruto has scenes which show women being OMG COMPETENT, the sexism from the creator and trivial absurdities made me dump it.

Tsunade for example. Powerful, the kage of the leaf village and a sannin. Yet she masquerades around as a 20-year-old with tits the size of a basketball player's shoe. We never see her face when she loses the illusion and has been shown to be as almost-as-good as the other two Sanin. Almost.

The same goes for the lone female member of the Akatsuki, Konan. If memory serves me right, Kishimoto was quoted in an interview as saying that because she was the only female member in the group, he wanted Konan to be really sexy and revealing. After that, I simply dropped it. Even then, besides an awesome battle with Madara, she's been depicted as good but not good enough for the big leagues (Jaraiya knocking her out with one hit).

These two characters alone serve as a reminder that a straight female character can't be powerful without some sexually exaggerated quality in order to titillate the male audience. After all, guys can only put up with a powerful woman if she's got something going on in the love/sex/cheesecake department. And unless you're Tsunade, the female characters will be passive as fuck until the 11th hour.

Date: 2013-01-21 01:30 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] arilou_skiff
That's.... Really weird, considering the fact that Konan is pretty much the most-covered female character in the series.

Date: 2013-01-21 03:05 pm (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
There are issues, no denying that. However, they're definitely less than it's competitors. On the physical appearance front, the One Piece female are far more skimpy-with-big-boobs regularly. Naruto has quite a variety in female form- Sakura doesn't fit that mold at all, or several others, including Naruto's mom once we see her in flashback and she's an S-class as well (for that matter, ditto the two female Jinchuuriki). Like arilou_skiff says, Konan spends most of her time in a full-covering robe. Hinata's endowed but covered up.

And one thing I find very important- there's a number of guys given the same treatment. Sai walks around in a belly shirt. Sasuke spends a *lot* of time shirtless, and such.

Is it great in the area? No, it's not. Is it bad for it's genre? Not really, it's frankly well above the curve. It does better than Bleach which does better than One Piece.

-We never see her face when she loses the illusion and has been shown to be as almost-as-good as the other two Sanin. Almost. -

As good, period. She has an uber-mode she didn't even use against Orochimaru when she beat him (and while he was handicapped at the time, so was she). Tsunade also has more strategic abilities that while not directly fight related, are why she was said to be a key deciding factor in the war (she can heal an entire army!).

-(Jaraiya knocking her out with one hit). -

Konan wasn't knocked out. He got some oil on her to restrict her jutsu use and then Pain said, "Step back, I'm handling this."

She wasn't even hurt during that fight.

Date: 2013-01-21 06:57 pm (UTC)
benuben: (Default)
From: [personal profile] benuben
You know, and I'm not denying all the obvious problems you brought up, I must give Miura this: If Hinata is really the main love interest now and if she ends up with Naruto in the end, then what we have here is an action manga for guys, where the main hero, who's constantly around hot women, ends up with propably the least sexualised female character older than 16. I know this shouldn't be something shocking, but it is something you don't see very often.

Date: 2013-01-20 03:48 pm (UTC)
silverzeo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] silverzeo
About time we see how Naruto feels about Hinata after that Pein saga...

Geez... remember when anime and manga were popular with little to no effort?

Date: 2013-01-20 05:16 pm (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
Yea, and they'd publish even little cool incredible niche series too.

Date: 2013-01-21 01:28 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] arilou_skiff
Nisekoi is surprisingly fun: Yeah, it's generic, but it's well-paced and a goldmine of reaction-faces.


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