Welcome to This Week in Shonen Jump, our weekly check in on Viz’s various Shonen Jump series. Viz has recently changed their release format, but our format will mostly remain the same. We will still review the newest chapters of one title a week, now with even more options at our disposal. The big change for our readers is that, even without a Shonen Jump subscription, you can read these most recent chapters for free at Viz.com or using their app.
This week, Robbie checks in with “Ayashimon.” If you have thoughts on this or any other current Shonen Jump titles, please let us know in the comments!
Ayashimon Chapter 8
Written and illustrated by Yuji Kaku
Reviewed by Robbie Pleasant
When I first started reading “Ayashimon,” my impression of it was: a perfectly passable, middle-of-the-road shonen manga, with enjoyable characters, decent worldbuilding, and an interesting enough concept. Nothing special, but nothing bad either, and with just enough meta humor to get away with being formulaic.
After chapter 8, I can safely say: my opinions are entirely unchanged.
In fact, this chapter continues to fit nicely into the shonen formula. This is the chapter where our plucky, battle-hungry, unusually strong protagonist meets someone even stronger than him – his first real encounter with the threats that await.
At the same time, we’re getting indications that Urara has hidden powers that she has to keep sealed away, so that will likely serve as a “Chekhov’s gun” or “emergency plot device” later down the line.
All pretty by-the-book stuff, but still enjoyable enough. The characters are still brimming with personality, which comes through in their dialogue, designs, and the expressions Yuji Kaku’s art gives them. The fight scene itself properly demonstrates the power of all those involved, with good framing and a nice sense of impact behind each hit. The action flows well enough, and the enemy’s power of “fire that steals heat” is a decent take on ice powers.
Yuji’s greatest strength artistically would be the character designs. Even if Maruo’s features and clothing are general enough, there’s still enough detail and personality to it to make him recognizable. The other characters tend to feature far more outlandish designs (as is expected of yokai gangsters), giving us unique looks brimming with individuality.
This also comes through in their facial expressions, particularly when Maruo gets excited from the beating he’s taking. It adds a nice amount of flavor to those scenes, which is a point in the manga’s favor.
With all that going for “Ayashimon,” it still hasn’t made itself great yet. It’s a fun enough read, but has yet to give us anything exceptionally impressive. But as far as manga to read while flipping through Shonen Jump goes, it’s enjoyable enough.
Although, for as genre savvy as Maruo is, he should know that this isn’t a “final boss” fight. Unless the manga is struggling for ratings, it’s an “introductory stage boss” at best.
Final Verdict: 6.5 – Nothing outstanding, but enjoyable enough for what it is, and each element is just good enough to be likable. And there’s nothing wrong with that.