Shonen Jump 022524 Columns 

This Week in Shonen Jump: Week of February 25, 2024

By | February 28th, 2024
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 or using their app.

This week, Robbie checks in with “Nue’s Exorcist.” If you have thoughts on this or any other current Shonen Jump titles, please let us know in the comments!

Nue’s Exorcist Chapter 39: Gakuro’s Selection
Written and illustrated by Kota Kawae
Translated by Lightning
Lettered by Erika Terriquez
Reviewed by Robbie Pleasant

Nearly every shonen protagonist in a series with a power scaling system eventually reaches the point where they get a power-up. From Goku turning Super Saiyan to Ichigo unlocking his bankai, it’s practically a tradition that allows the mangaka to up the stakes and the action, while making the characters more capable of holding their own.

Now it’s Gakuro’s turn, as “Nue’s Exorcist” spent the last few chapters pitting him against a level 3 spirit – one that’s supposed to outclass all but the most powerful of exorcists. So his final challenge for unlocking his next power is… choosing one of three, and hoping it’s not a dud.

Now, that would be a decent challenge, if there were any hints or challenges involved in figuring out the right one. Instead, Gakuro just picks the one that feels right, which of course proves to be right. Honestly, it feels like it came too easy after spending the past several pages explaining how Nue’s seal was interfering with his growth and choosing the right one could harm him. All that buildup just ended with “Yep, you chose right.”

With that said, the power-up itself is pretty neat. It gives him a new black outfit (which somewhat reminds me of Bakugo’s winter outfit from “My Hero Academia,” especially given Gakuro’s hair, with a bit of Ichigo’s bankai outfit from “Bleach”) and some additional spiritual flames to add a nice dramatic effect. I’m also curious about the addition of a sheathed katana at his side, since his main weapon is already a spiritual sword. From there, the chapter can walk us through his new technique, showcasing his abilities with a nicely illustrated two-page spread.

All in all, it’s not a bad power-up, it just could have used a little more tension in Gakuro’s decision. The look and abilities (lots of light but super-fast slashes) feel a little too much like things we’ve already seen before, but it’s presented nicely, so it still lands well enough.

Credit can also be given to Kota Kawae’s artwork, which has really come into its own since the first chapter. The overall style is crisp, clean, and detailed, allowing the character designs to pop and give us some nice expressions from the characters that add a bit of comedy and personality to them. The action scenes have also improved significantly, giving us a huge and monstrous enemy for Gakuro to fight and some well-paced action.

The shifting, inhuman design of the level 3 spirit is sufficiently creepy, as it uses far too many limbs and eyes to create an uncanny look. And while Gakuro’s new outfit may still feel a little too familiar, it’s still stylish and nicely-drawn, and the use of the flames around him adds a good dramatic flare.

Overall, this may not be an iconic power-up moment, like Luffy unlocking a new Gear, but it’s still a power-up for the protagonist, which will help move the story and characters forward. The artwork is quite nice all around and carries both the action and overall pacing, and it brings the fight to a satisfying conclusion. (Of course, we’ll still have to see how future threats scale, since level 3’s are already supposed to be among the biggest threats.) For a series that’s been as “decent if a tad formulaic” as “Nue’s Exorcist,” it’s about what we can expect.

Final Verdict: 6.5 – Good action, nice artwork, and a perfectly passable chapter for a moderately fine series, if a bit lacking in the tension.

//TAGS | This Week in Shonen Jump

Robbie Pleasant


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