Welcome to This Week in Shonen Jump, in which a rotating duo of Multiversity staffers take a look at two stories contained in each installment of Viz Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump. For the uninitiated, Weekly Shonen Jump is an anthology that delivers more than 200 pages of manga of all varieties. We hope that you’ll join us in exploring the world of Weekly Shonen Jump each week. If you are unfamiliar, you can read sample chapters and subscribe at Viz.com.
This week, Ken and Robbie check in with “My Hero Academia” and “Boruto.” If you have any thoughts on these titles, or “The Promised Neverland,” “One Piece,” “Dr. Stone,” “Robot X Laserbeam,” “We Never Learn,” “Black Clover,” “Blue Exorcist,” “Food Wars,” or “Seraph at the End,” let us know in the comments!
My Hero Academia Chapter 136
Written and illustrated by Kohei Horikoshi
Reviewed by Robbie Pleasant
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t spend a few days religiously catching up on every chapter of the “My Hero Academia” manga, including the “Vigilantes” spin-off. Can you blame me? “My Hero Academia” has quickly proven itself to be a superb series in every regard – I can’t remember the last time a series made me so invested in the success and failures of its characters, or connect to them all so strongly.
Indeed, the biggest strength of “My Hero Academia” comes from the pure emotion it has, not only in the unbridled intensity of its characters but in that which it invokes from the readers. This chapter is no exception, for while it may be lacking in action, it more than makes up for it in character moments.
Just look at Izuku, for starters; Kohei Horikoshi’s art does an amazing job at displaying all his concern and emotion, whether he’s worrying about Eri or realizing how Sir Nighteye feels. The large anime expressions display a vast amount of detail to his inner thoughts, and as expressive as Izuku is, everything comes through properly. Even Mirio, whose face is essentially devoid of detail (in an artistic way, of course) can properly connect to everyone through the expressions Horikoshi can give him and even the air around his panels. And when we return to see Eri, it’s a heart-wrenching moment, where a single panel makes even the most stone-hearted of readers cry out “Save her, Izuku!”
Other characters, from Sir Nighteye to Aizawa (AKA Eraser Head) get little moments to show us more about how they feel and how the other characters have affected their growth. These past few chapters have been incredible for the development of virtually everyone they’ve focused on, and in giving us more information about Nighteye’s powers, we learn more about him as a person.
The artwork does an incredible job at setting the mood as well, from panel shading to the angles it shows us the characters. Just look at one moment where Nighteye explains that he can’t use his powers to help their case, and the way he’s drawn – head down, hands clasped together but stretched out to be in our line of sight, bold letters stating “I can’t,” and a dark shading to the scene. Nearly every panel has a similar amount of care and detail put into it, and it completely enhances the scene.
Throughout the scenes, there are plenty of characters who we have yet to really get to know, but all of them have unique designs. Hirokoshi has created a world where the wide range of “quirks” can lead to an equally wide range of character designs, and he knows how to take advantage of that, creating characters of quite literally all shapes and sizes. Each one has a distinct and intriguing look about them, and I absolutely cannot wait to see what they can do.
While this may not be the most intense chapter of “My Hero Academia,” it’s absolutely a necessary one, and continues to advance ahead in a series I’ve grown to love.
Final Verdict: 8.8 – what can I say? This manga is amazing.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Ch. 12
Created/Supervised by Masashi Kishimoto
Scripted by Ukyo Kodachi
Illustrated by Mikio Ikemoto
With the adaptation of the movie out of the way, “Boruto: Naruto Next Generations” is now all set to really tread out on its own. With that in mind, Chapter 12 is a very simple story. Boruto is assigned bodyguard work, protecting Tento, the son of the Daimyo of the Fire Country. It is a really simple tale of Boruto trying to deal with frustrations while bonding with a kid that experiences the same loneliness and neglect he has felt when dealing with his own very important father. It’s a very action-lite and definitely more character-focused, and it does the job well of forming a bond between Boruto and Tento on their mutual problems and their mutual love of games.
Like the story, Mikio Ikemoto keeps the artwork simple. The style emulates Masashi Kishimoto’s original artworks very well and the pacing is kept light. I do appreciate the subtle differences in Boruto’s character design when compared to Naruto. On glance, Boruto seems like a carbon copy of his old man, but there are some subtle differences. His hairstyle is fluffier, he has a rounder face. Ikemoto also does a good job with facial expressions, such as Tento’s deadpan and then downright hilarious reaction to the Ninja Centerfold and Ninja Harem techniques (and I’m personally hoping that we’ll be done with those techniques, please).
If anything, the biggest criticism one could launch at this chapter is that it is so simple and very retreading. It’s a run of the mill character building chapter that really doesn’t push any boundaries. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does make for a light and quick reading. The moments between Boruto and Tento are fine, the bond starting is nice, but it’s over before anything really begins to start with a slight twist of a cliffhanger that one can see coming if you squint hard enough.
Final Verdict: 5.8- A decent enough character-building chapter that really doesn’t push the envelope that much.