Shonen Jump 072422 Columns 

This Week in Shonen Jump: Week of 7/24/22

By | July 27th, 2022
Posted in Columns | % Comments

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, Brian checks in with “Sho-Ha Shoten!.” If you have thoughts on this or any other current Shonen Jump titles, please let us know in the comments!

Sho-Ha Shoten! Chapter 9
Written by Akinari Asakura
Illustrated by Takeshi Obata
Lettered by James Gaubatz
Translated by Stephen Paul
Reviewed by Brian Salvatore

One of the charms of “Sho-Ha Shoten!” early on was the singular focus on One Way Ticket to the Top, and how each chapter would give us a little more insight into just how they worked, while also revealing some truths about who each character is. We spent enough time with the characters that they grew in our estimation and were fun to catch up with monthly. This installment, however, is the second in a row to feature a lot with another team, Sprechchor, and the strip falls a little flat.

Part of this is because we are rooting for Taiyo and Azemichi to succeed, and so these diversions away from their stories take us away from the focal points of the story. This is yet another example of how the serializing of the story adds to this feeling as well; taken in a volume of 10-20 chapters, this may not feel as disarming as it does as the sole bit of “Sho-Ha Shoten!” we will get in July. But more than that, the overall focus of the story gets pulled away when we get these drawn out stories about competing teams. And while, yes, there is a chance we’ll see them again, these feel like done in one stories which, again, are just drawing us away from Taiyo and Azemichi.

And while Akinari Asakura’s script does its best to paint Sprecchor to be interesting, if not wholly sympatetic, Takeshi Obata’s art makes them into veritable cliches and doesn’t add much but lots of shouting and over the top characteristics. The characters come off as flat and one-note, even with 48 pages of backstory to them. And so, if we’re not getting to know/like them, nor are we learning more about either our protagonists or their artform – though one could argue that there is some of that here – then why are we getting these side stories?

Beyond that, it appears that we are getting another team’s spotlight next month. If this was half of a chapter, it would be understandable. But this volume is just too much. It takes us out of the main story without rewarding us with either important information or a truly compelling story. Let’s hope we get more Taiyo and Azemichi sooner than later.

Final Verdict 5.5 – There’s just not enough of what makes “Sho-H Shoten!” special here.


//TAGS | This Week in Shonen Jump

Brian Salvatore

Brian Salvatore is an editor, podcaster, reviewer, writer at large, and general task master at Multiversity. When not writing, he can be found playing music, hanging out with his kids, or playing music with his kids. He also has a dog named Lola, a rowboat, and once met Jimmy Carter. Feel free to email him about good beer, the New York Mets, or the best way to make Chicken Parmagiana (add a thin slice of prosciutto under the cheese).

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