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, Robbie and Jess check in with “Yu-Gi-Oh Arc V” and “The Promised Neverland.” If you have any thoughts on these titles, or “Black Clover,” “Dr. Stone,” “We Never Learn,” “Robot X Laserbeam,” “One Piece,” “Food Wars,” or “My Hero Academia,” let us know in the comments!
The Promised Neverland Chapter 65
Written by Kaiu Shirai
Illustrated by Posuka Demizu
Reviewed by Jess Camacho
“The Promised Neverland” has continued to be my favorite running series behind “My Hero Academia” but for a little while there, it was starting to move a little too slow. Ray and Emma’s journey has only lasted 10 days so far but what they’ve been through has changed them in profound ways and they find themselves in a really awful situation now. In this chapter, Emma is at some kind of beautiful garden while Ray and the still unnamed man are in the woods. This is a chapter that flies by but it thankfully reveals just where Emma is and that twist is just short of devastating. It gives the series a new place to go but more importantly, it hopefully signals the coming of some answers. “The Promised Neverland” is this series that has so much potential and has a really good hook but like “Attack on Titan” did, it’s taking its time giving us more information about the monsters themselves. I think that’s all about to change with this chapter. Shirai’s dialogue still works very well but I find myself ready to learn more about this old man. He’s been around for a significant amount of time now and I think it’s time we got something out of him. Again though, I think this chapter is setting us up for all of that.
One of the things I like the most about Posuka Demizu’s art in this issue is how tense each part of the story feels. The pages with Emma in this garden are just as tense as those in the forest because of the absolute emptiness of it. Demizu’s design is pretty but it feels incredibly lonely. There is no one here but Emma and a scared stranger she eventually sees. What Demizu does is play with space and it really works despite the short page count. Her confusion comes through brilliantly and just the entire lack of dark line work and shading adds to this feeling of desolation. It sells the whole thing in a really organic way. I like the contrast between this and the creeping, constantly closing space of the forest. Each setting is full of this loneliness but it’s done in such a different way. Demizu is a crucial part of why this series works and this chapter is a good example of that.
Final Verdict: 7.0 – A solid chapter that sets up the next phase of this series.
Yu-Gi-Oh Arc-V Chapter 28
Written by Shin Yoshida
Illustrated by Naohito Miyoshi
Reviewed by Robbie Pleasant
The story of “Arc-V” continues to unfold, and the supporting cast comes together with the leads to go and face their mysterious foes. And we’re only 28 chapters in.
Now, let me preface this by saying that I love the Yu-Gi-Oh Arc-V anime; it’s one of the most engaging and entertaining Yu-Gi-Oh spinoffs (and there have been plenty of those). That said, the manga is something of a different beast, which isn’t a problem in and of itself, so long as the manga is good. Shin Yoshida has something of a spotty history with the quality of his work on franchise, as his work on the ZeXal anime, and now VRAINS, has been less than perfect. His handling of the “Arc-V” manga has been decent, albeit a bit cluttered and rushed at times.Continued below
Unfortunately, the rushed feeling is very evident in this chapter. A fair bit of exposition dropped in the last few chapters, most of this chapter features characters arriving in the same place at the same time, saying there’s no time to explain anything, then flying off to Antarctica. They continue to talk about the “Adam Factor,” and similarly biblical-based names (except for Sora, who parallels his anime counterpart as he betrays the main team) in connection to “Genesis Omega Dragon” (G.O.D.), but even with all the exposition we’ve received in previous chapters, it still feels like there’s a lot of significant information being withheld from the readers that makes it difficult to really feel like there are stakes for the characters.
However, we do get a better paced moment shortly after the rushed start, where Yuya and Reiji talk about their shared history, goals, and whether or not they’re a team. Naohito Miyoshi illustrates it nicely, pacing out each moment and using Yuya’s playing card tricks to add to the dialogue. Overall, the chapter serves its purpose in transitioning from one story point to the next, with some decent bits of character moments and dialogue, but it doesn’t exactly stand out either.
Speaking of the illustrations, Naohito Miyoshi’s artwork is decent enough throughout the chapter. The characters all have clear and unique designs, and the artwork brings this excellent level of softness to Yuya’s eyes. There are some moments where it pulls off some nicely comical expressions on the supporting cast, and the way everyone is given a different reaction look that suits their personalities while still remaining humorous is well executed.
As this is a rare duel-free chapter, there’s nothing that can be said about the monster designs. That does mean that it’s also mostly free of the massive designs and sound effects that tend to fill the pages of other chapters, although the manga does tend to go a little overboard on its sound effects even without them.
While I cannot say how much longer the manga will continue, this chapter does seem like the beginning of the final stretch, leading to a boss fight and resolution. Yet it also feels far too soon, without nearly enough time to develop the characters or flesh out their stories. I hope I’m wrong, but with the Yu-Gi-Oh VRAINS anime already airing, it feels like they’re looking to rush the “Arc-V” manga to an end in order to start a “VRAINS” manga. The “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” manga suffered a similarly early end when it was pushed out of the way for “ZeXal,” a great loss considering how unexpectedly good the “GX” manga was, so I hope that “Arc-V” can continue on to give us good arcs and development, rather than piling up mysteries and buzzwords with little in the way of satisfying resolution.
Final Verdict: 6.3 – It’s a chapter that gets us from one story point to the next, with fine artwork and some decent character bits, but its rushed pacing makes me concerned that it’s heading towards a premature conclusion.