Home > Weekly Shonen Jump > Lock On! 17

Lock On! 17

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First chapter review since finding out this series is being canceled. The experience of reading a work that is known to end before it intended is always surreal.

It’s difficult to reconcile Niko’s heartfelt expression of her past problems with the cheap sexual harassment jokes that precede it and the “setting of the week” dojo that follows it.

I must say, I didn’t expect Utsuru’s shutter-eye to be used to nab a groper. That by itself isn’t a terrible plot device (though it’s far from a great one), but the way it’s being used is a microcosm of the overall problems with Lock On!: Poor execution of acceptable ideas. Casting someone important from Niko’s past as the groper is a fair choice, but for this revelation to carry any weight, the character in question needs to have been established as a positive figure for Niko. Instead, the introduction, conflict, and resolution all to take place within a single hurried chapter. As a result, any intended shock is weakened to the point that this chapter feels shallow, as though the author is throwing one of a dozen available plot devices at his audience, in hopes that this one will win them over.

On the positive side, this chapter has provided some overall storyline progression: Niko’s trust in Utsuru continues to grow, as evidenced by her accusal of her former teacher based solely on Utsuru’s claim. I particularly liked the following combination of panels, even without backgrounds, as they conveyed that sense well.

Proof of growing trust

As rushed as this chapter felt, the finishing kick still managed to end up on the last page. If this series is so intent on presenting brief stories, it should at least wrap them up properly within the chapters in which they’re introduced. A chapter like this doesn’t require an “aftermath” chapter the following week.

Final Flash: A potentially good storyline let down by insecure pacing.

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