Shonen Jump 100321 Columns 

This Week in Shonen Jump: Week of 10/3/21

By | October 6th, 2021
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, Robbie checks in with “Ghost Reaper Girl.” If you have thoughts on this or any other current Shonen Jump titles, please let us know in the comments!

Ghost Reaper Girl Chapter 28
Written and illustrated by Akissa Saiké
Reviewed by Robbie Pleasant

So this has been bugging me for a while, but… Akissa Saiké doesn’t know much about the Cthulhu Mythos, does he? I ask because “Ghost Reaper Girl” keeps introducing mythos-inspired characters (at least going off their names they’re supposed to be), with very little actually tying them to it.

For instance, in chapter 27, we got the surprising reveal that Kai’s true name is Yog, as in Yog-Sothoth, the lurker at the threshold that is both key and gate and the otherworldly, inhuman entity behind “The Dunwich Horror.” In “Ghost Reaper Girl,” he’s a pretty boy who turns into a goofy weapon and uses a lot of chains. That’s not even getting into other characters that have been showing up – we have characters named Nyarlathotep, Shoggoth, and even Cthulhu, with very little connecting them to their Lovecraftian counterparts. It makes one wonder what’s even the point of their names when they have so little in common beyond surface-level references.

But you know what? That’s okay as long as the manga has a good story and characters regardless, and in that sense, “Ghost Reaper Girl” is… decent. At this point in the series, we’ve gotten to know the characters enough that we’re familiar with their personalities and are at least a little invested in their growth. So the revelations dropped in this chapter and the one before it are enough to present a good twist and make us worry about the characters’ stakes.

Chapter 28 mostly focuses on Kai revealing some key information about his backstory and how it will change things moving forward. It’s also used as an opportunity to provide important character moments, primarily the “I’ll give myself up willingly to save my friends” and “you hurt my friends now you must die” character traits (you know the ones, we’ve seen them all before). It also introduces the East 11 as a legitimate threat and merciless foes for our protagonists to beat.

As far as story goes, it’s all pretty basic.

However, what’s helped “Ghost Reaper Girl” stand out from the other manga in Shonen Jump is the artwork. Akissa Saiké is an experienced creator, and his strengths as an artist are on display in every chapter. We’re talking about a variety of unique character designs, each brimming with personality (and also ones that are practically built for cosplayers to make). The new characters in the East 11 all stand out from the others we’ve seen before, and the way they’re presented both on the page and through dialogue establishes them as dangerous threats.

The artwork has a wonderful balance of clean and bold designs with enough shading and depth to make the characters stand out clearly. There’s a great use of light shadows to add contours to the characters and scenery without casting them in too much darkness. All in all, I’d say the artwork is what really makes this manga work.

Without Akissa’s artwork, “Ghost Reaper Girl” would be a decent but average story, featuring your typical monster slaying organization, attractive characters, and general intrigue. With it, though, it’s a much more engaging series.

Final Verdict: 6.0 – Great artwork, decent story and characters, and still an inexplicable use of constant Lovecraft references for characters with no actual connection to the mythos.


//TAGS | This Week in Shonen Jump

Robbie Pleasant

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