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 two titles 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, Ken and Robbie check in with “Magu-Chan: God of Destruction” and “Mashle: Magic and Muscles.” If you have thoughts on these or any other current Shonen Jump titles, please let us know in the comments!
Magu-Chan: God of Destruction Ch. 6
Written & Illustrated by Kei Kamiki
Reviewed by Ken Godberson III
So I won’t lie, my interest in “Magu-Chan: God of Destruction” was probably more morbid than genuine. It admittedly looked a bit too kitchy for my tastes. We’re now a couple issues into the young series and while I’m still skeptical about it, it does provide a nice palette cleanser to other, more heavier series in Weekly Shonen Jump. This chapter, the story of Ruru taking Magu-Chan to a festival, provides a fun, but very brisk and simple, story for the reader.
The driving engine behind Kei Kamiki’s work is the dichotomy between the innocent and good-natured Ruru and the arrogant and haughty Magu. I wouldn’t profess to call it an “original” dichotomy but it does the job for now. The story is about Magu being exposed to more human things, such as balloons, freaking out over takoyaki (him being squid-like and takoyaki being made from squid) and of course the fireworks display at the end. These moments are cut in with a story of the two working together (or really Magu being dragged into helping) to reunite a lost child with her parents. The ending is funny, but again very simple.
Kamiki’s artwork has a fun charm to it. It has a peppyness to it that comes truly alive during sight gags. Big examples include when Magu sucks a bunch of helium from a balloon and becomes a balloon himself and when a child confuses Magu for a Pokemon and decides to show her his “Mega Evolution” form. The final scene of Magu creating a giant concluding firework for the festival is shown through a nicely drawn full-page spread although perhaps it’s one of those few times I think a manga could’ve been improved with color.
I’ll be honest: I’m not sure if “Magu-Chan: God of Destruction” will be a long-term series in Shonen Jump. It has a very simple premise in the relationship between Ruru and Magu and makes for a fun and breezy read. However, the premise isn’t particularly original and while this chapter’s story wasn’t bad or unfunny, it’s also not incredibly memorable and you probably won’t recall it after a few weeks. It’s not bad and it’s a nice little comfort food series.
Final Verdict: 5.9- A nice, if unoriginal, story.
Mashle: Magic and Muscles Ch. 25
Written and illustrated by Hajime Komoto
Reviewed by Robbie Pleasant
When “Mashle” began, the combination of high-powered magic being defeated by mundane means and the art’s use of simplistic designs for maximum comedy blew me away. It reminded me of “One Punch Man” crossed over with “Harry Potter,” and I sincerely hoped it could keep that momentum.
Unfortunately, that momentum seems to be waning.
Over the past few chapters, Hajime Komoto has been building the “Mashle” supporting cast. We’re introduced to a house system (very similar to Hogwarts, for obvious reasons), trinkets that the characters need to acquire, and antagonists that want to beat them to it. It’s pretty by-the-book.
There’s just one problem: while the comedy from Mash derives from his super but non-magical strength blowing away all the overpowered magical effects, that comedy requires Mash to actually be there. When we get the supporting characters fighting antagonists, it’s… just a thing that happens.
It’s fine to have over-the-top characters throwing over-powered attacks at each other. “One Punch Man” does this to great effect, to the point where it feels like we’ve had more chapters without Saitama in them than chapters with. But that series also works on developing those characters and features absolutely fantastic art to make each chapter engaging.Continued below
“Mashle” doesn’t have that yet. Hajime Komoto’s artwork is solid, featuring distinct character designs and strong line work, but lacks the vivid detail of Yusuke Murata’s art. As for the characters, I can’t even remember half their names at this point, I just recognize them by the one single quirk they have. In this case, I viewed this chapter as “former jerk with a sister complex versus another jerk with dirt magic.”
To its credit, the chapter does provide a little world building, particularly with the introduction of “secondth” level magic (basically a power up from the magic a character normally does) and reveals a character is stronger than expected.
But it wasn’t exciting. It wasn’t funny. It just kind of… was.
If I’m comparing this manga to “One Punch Man” too often, it’s because I truly felt it had the potential to be the magical version of that series. But “Mashle” has to get back up to speed if it wants to fulfill that potential.”
Final Verdict: 5.0 – A perfectly average number for a perfectly average chapter. It lack’s the humor that initially drew me in, and only the introduction of “secondth” magic keeps this chapter from being entirely forgettable. Sorry.