Archive

Archive for the ‘Weekly Shonen Magazine’ Category

Kimi no Iru Machi 105

September 27, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

Kanzaki finally makes her appearance, and it will be a vital one. She’s the defining line between harem and single-relationship focus.

More breast humor. Mishima is keeping things enjoyable and light.

Calvin would not be proud

Kanzaki is playing a sad role in her conversation with Haruto. She obviously still has some feelings for him, but she can tell that he is currently most comfortable around Mishima, whether or not he realizes his feelings for her.

I wonder if Haruto really is “too late” for Kanzaki. She wasn’t terribly convincing.

Uh, wow. More disregard for any form of censorship. I hate to make a fuss out of it, because I’m personally against censorship, but I’m surprised at just how blatant Magazine has been recently.

Final Flash: A pleasant but unremarkable chapter.

Series Roundup: 9/12 – 9/18

September 19, 2010 12 comments

Mini-reviews for all the series without full individual posts.

Air Gear 287

[scanlation by SSA Scanlations]

Beautiful color page. This is a perfect example of quality art and a tiny bit of fanservice easily trumping over-the-top gratuitous fanservice.

Ringo has every reason to feel like she’s at fault about this. Regardless of where the blame lies, though, Ikki’s Regalia must be repaired quickly, or else not only will he be unable to win his fight, but also the plot will be unable to progress.

This is mostly setup after setup for each fight. I suppose it’s acceptable as a way to refresh the audience’s memory, after six weeks of no Air Gear.

Ikki demonstrates some strong leadership qualities by getting everyone back on track. Between the Regalia hunt and the various battles, the next few chapters should be exciting.

AR∀GO 35

[scanlation by Trinity BAKumA]

Cute cover page.

Interesting nod by Arai towards boxers, and lightweight boxers specifically. It’s true that this training should help Arago’s evasiveness.

I’ve finally figured out the secret behind the worst arc of Hajime no Ippo: Woli had Brionac.

The reactions from Rio, Coco, and Seth to Arago’s request are as funny as they are vastly different.

Captain Tsubasa now? This is an oddly sports-themed chapter.

Arago’s idea of a duel (and the werewolf’s immediate acceptance) is fascinating. The two-page spread of them exchanging blows is great, as well.

Code:Breaker 104

[scanlation by ShinraTensei]

Not that I could put a face to the name, but Dekasugi going missing right after Yuuki drops the hint points to Code:Revenger having been closely watching everything all along.

Ogami’s new flame is incredibly powerful and far more versatile than the first flame. It’s also more bizarrely supernatural, perhaps even spiritual.

Once again, Ogami’s unique sense of justice, where he continues to quietly burden himself with others’ problems, is enjoyable to read.

Yuuki is obviously torn over having to fight Ogami, but chooses to turn to his trump card, in the form of some pills in his collar. I hope Yuuki doesn’t die in all of this action.

Defense Devil 64

[scanlation by I Eat Manga]

Kucabara’s focus on pacifism is a bit out of place. He has been established as a “good” character, but this feels more like time-wasting than personality establishment.

Several pages later, and Kucabara has exactly the same stance. It’s taking far too long for anything to happen.

His brilliant plan was to shoot out the lights? That’s a bit childish.

The naive devils throw the “soccer” field into chaos, and Kucabara drops in like Batman to save Idamaria. Sadly, the spurt of action at the end of the chapter doesn’t redeem the time wasted at the beginning.

Enigma 1

[scanlation by CXC Scans]

Love to see a brand new series get scanned right away. I hope CXC will keep up with this one.

The main character has a “Dream Diary” that predicts the future. A future diary. In Japanese, one would call that a Mirai Nikki.

Sumio’s flirting is a decently enjoyable character trait, but not one that stands out too greatly.

The skull with the reversed jawbone is an appropriately scary symbol. Good design.

The way Sumio’s mother panics provides some intrigue as to exactly why Sumio saw the symbol.

Sumio’s larger panel poses are too generic.

Sumio and six others wake up in a gymnasium, unable to exit or contact the outside world. Then, the Enigme symbol appears on a screen and gives them an objective. So, this series isn’t just Mirai Nikki; it’s also Gantz. Wonderful.

Based on only one chapter, this series has far more potential than recent Jump newcomers (Lock On!, Yotsuya, SWOT, etc.), but its success will depend entirely on the execution of the premise introduced in this chapter. Sadly, the two major concepts the series is built on are far too derivative of other, existing series.

GE ~ Good Ending 50

[scanlation by iMangaScans]

Yuki’s farewell smile to her mother and attendant is creepy as hell.

Evidently Yuki’s family is aware of whatever horrible business went down between Yuki and Touru. I appreciate him being unwelcome there; I don’t appreciate the focus being on him running around trying to find her. This series needs less drama.

This bald guy being on a Koushien-bound baseball team comes out of nowhere. How odd.

Oonuma finally snapped at Seiji! That’s exactly what needed to happen. Finally, a little positive progress.

Never mind. It’s all undone by some ludicrous fireworks and a statement that reflects just how right Oonuma was about Seiji’s superficial kindness. Seriously though, fireworks?! Fireworks.

fireworks.

Kure-nai 34

[scanlation by JAC Scans]

It’s finally sinking in to Shinkurou that Kirihiko is an assassin. To be fair, she’s right in pointing out that she said that when they first met.

She stabbed him, with no effect. Is she taking it easy on him, or is has his Houdzuki training again rendered him impervious to blade attacks?

Interesting competition proposed by Kirihiko. It’ll be good to see how Shinkurou reacts to her when she’s in a killing mindset.

I can’t accept Yuuno’s explanation of the manner in which Kirihiko cut Shinkurou. A time-delayed cut? This makes absolutely no sense.

Strangely comedic ending. Saving someone from suicide does not tend to immediately lead into a job offer.

Hayate no Gotoku! 288

[scanlation by reddevilshn]

Nagi’s “plans” are hilarious. Her obliviousness is always great, but she’s so certain here that she can succeed.

Excellent meta comedy! The Jump joke is apt, and the Sunday praise is fun.

Ashibashi-sensei may have been a completely minor character, but he was very funny in his limited role as the author of the successful series “This or That Depresses Me,” which clearly does not parody any real life series whatsoever. He should provide great interaction with aspiring mangaka Nagi.

Brilliant punchline from Ashibashi, and an even better reaction from Hayate and the girls. What a funny chapter.

I love that Ayumu had no idea how successful Ashibashi was.

Mahou Sensei Negima! 302

[scanlation by reddevilshn]

Excellent detail in Akamatsu’s drawing of the various magic attacks.

Negi is trying to be everywhere at once. He should rely on the girls more. He’s obviously far more powerful than any of them, but they’re far from incompetent.

Dragonfolk? I thought it was Demonfolk. The Dragonzord joke is catching on… sadly.

Nodoka is ridiculous. Time manipulation is one of the most potentially broken powers in any setting, and she just crashes into the user. Wasn’t she supposed to be the shy one?

Very nice affirmation of the girls’ abilities over the final pages.

Nurarihyon no Mago 122

[scanlation by ShinraTensei]

Multiple ways to perform Matoi should eventually both solidify Rikuo as a seriously strong protagonist, and also keep the more prominent members of the Hyakki Yakou involved in the main plot. This technique is a fantastic idea.

Kidoumaru is a legitimately strong enemy with some good techniques of his own. Ouka is impressive.

Kurotabou’s pride is nice to see. Rikuo really has grown considerably since the beginning of the series.

Beautiful full-page art of Rikuo using the new variation of Matoi.

Rikuo is wearing Kurotabou in a far more literal sense than his previous uses of Matoi. Does this mean Rikuo will become the type of character who routinely uses other characters’ powers? While this version of Matoi is interesting, I hope Rikuo doesn’t rely on it too much. Members of the Hyakki Yakou need to stand out on their own, rather than be relegated to pure supporting roles for Rikuo.

Psyren 134

[scanlation by Keishou Scans]

“Now, the battle between Matsuri and Grana–!!” … and two pages later, we switch focus to Kagetora. Amusing.

Kagetora has always been fun to watch fight, but he’s even more interesting here in the future, surrounded by those with flashier abilities.

Back to Matsuri/Grana, and this fight is far more of an exchange of psychic abilities. Grana’s admittance that Matsuri has more battle sense is what keeps this fight balanced and interesting.

Ageha and Amamiya chase after Miroku, and the chapter ends. Some fun fighting, but not too much plot progression.

Zettai Karen Children 230

[scanlation by JS Scans]

Great omake page. Of course Hanzo is a Naruto fan. … oh, pardon me. Maruto.

Kiritsubo’s overprotective nature has grown tiresome.

Hanzo’s Naruto fandom extends within the chapter! He even has the Mangekyou Sharingan. Good comedy.

I’m pretty sure the shirt worn by the character on the last page is intended to represent a browser’s Refresh function. The shirt says “F5” (the keyboard shortcut for Refresh), and has circular arrows above and below the lettering. Amusing. That said, the comedy of this chapter far outweighs the attempt at engaging serious plot.

Feel that one or more of these series should be getting full-review treatment each week? Show your support by participating in chapter discussion in comments. Actively-discussed series will be considered for full reviews.

Fairy Tail 200

September 16, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by Binktopia]

I’m always hesitant to agree when a series praises itself, such as Fairy Tail describing itself as “Super Popular Battle x Fantasy.” Popular, yes, but new volumes of Fairy Tail are consistently outsold by new volumes of not only One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach, but also Katekyo Hitman Reborn! and Detective Conan.

While the first color page is excellent, the color cover is lackluster. The motif is a little too sickeningly sweet, and Natsu’s face seems off.

Lluvia delivers a pretty good punchline.

That makes one of us

Please, Gazille, there was more than enough cat activity in the last arc. Don’t spur on any more cat plot.

The Gorousei — I mean, the Magic Council don’t play a particularly interesting role in this series, and a sudden re-introduction of their desire to dissolve Fairy Tail will not be enough to redeem them.

Punishable by death

Some sad-looking boy with an apparently-unwanted power to kill anything around him appears, and he’s looking for Natsu. “Burden of a terrible ability” plot is overdone as it is; did it really need to be paired with such a dour-faced character?

Cheer up, emo instrument of genocide

Final Flash: Not much of a milestone chapter, and not much to pique interest in future chapters, either.

Kimi no Iru Machi 104

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

It’s a little disappointing that Haruto presumably asked Kiyomi to tag along, rather than Kiyomi herself having wanted to have come.

Mishima continues to be amusingly entranced by snow.

That is one characteristic of snow, yes

It’s great to see Akari. She’s been sorely missed throughout the Tokyo arc. Mishima doesn’t seem as happy as I am to see her, though.

Mishima confronts Haruto over the kiss with Akari. Her immediate jealousy is doubly interesting, as it not only clearly shows her feelings for Haruto, but also forces Haruto to consider his ties to Akari.

Wow. Censorship has certainly become increasingly lenient over the years. Hot springs scenes have always been gratuitous, but they haven’t usually featured such depictions of nudity in shonen.

Mishima was most jealous about her comparative breast size? That’s actually a slight relief. While such a silly plot point can be tacky and overused in other, more “harem”-style series, here it’s a nice change of pace from the drama.

Final Flash: Good combination of jealousy and comedy, making for a nice chapter.

Series Roundup: 9/5 – 9/11

September 9, 2010 1 comment

Mini-reviews for all the series without full individual posts.

AR∀GO 34

[scanlation by Trinity BAKumA]

Great action in the fight between Arago and the werewolf. Arai’s art style makes even speed lines feel new and interesting.

The werewolf has regeneration similar to Arago’s Brionac and unbelievable speed and strength. Arago defeat is unsurprising, but the process reveals two interesting notes: the seam in the werewolf’s fur, and the fact that the werewolf didn’t kill Arago.

Joe reveals a variation on the now commonly-accepted werewolf legend, and his version is absolutely fascinating. This is a brilliant writing choice.

Code:Breaker 103

[scanlation by ShinraTensei]

This is becoming bizarrely metaphysical. Granted, this series isn’t restricted by any sense of realism, but Ogami entering “the hell of darkness within [his] heart” is still jarring.

The physical incarnation of the Emperor is disappointing. Even if this form is supposed to be a weaker, limited version of the character, this character type is overdone.

After a rather cliché test, Ogami is granted the second of seven flames. Suddenly, Flame of Recca comparisons are completely appropriate. Ogami’s use of Belphegor of the Dark is interesting and well-drawn, though.

Gamaran 62

[scanlation by helz0ne]

Iori seeming like he’s in control of his situation while at a numerical disadvantage makes some sense, as he’s been established as an incredibly strong swordsman, but seeing the same poise from Ranmaru is unusual.

Wow. Ranmaru’s killing blow this time is at least as brutal as his last one. Jinno serving as the setup for it is a little disappointing, because it does little to explain Ranmaru’s confidence, but the scene is still strong.

If the teaser is true, Gama vs. Ranmaru should be thrilling.

Hayate no Gotoku! 287

[scanlation by reddevilshn]

Hugging someone of the opposite sex is the universal symbol for “I’m here to rent a room.”

Why does “Gundam” need to be censored in text bubbles if the word is left intact on the box?

After a series of individually amusing jokes, “She was quickly kicked out” is a great punchline.

The mystery girl was behind the fireworks incident after all, but the name Housen Yozora doesn’t ring a bell, and her motives aren’t yet obvious. Interesting.

Kekkaishi 319-320

[scanlation by A-Team]

(319) Lovely atmosphere as Masamori is led towards the castle.

Hazama certainly is demanding, but his sudden meeting with Masamori finally helps to tie his actions directly to Yoshimori’s. Also, it’s interesting to see Masamori simultaneously shot down in comparison to Yoshimori, yet also reinforced as important because of his own particular skills and connections.

(320) A little too much time is spent on Shichiro remarking on events. If so many interesting things are happening, the author would be better served just showings those events directly.

Raijin may have ended up being introduced as a seemingly devious woman, but she has both the power to legitimize herself and superior connections than Masamori, considering her ability to bring Nura into the fold. Also, her claim that Masamori is to defeat the founder is an intriguing one.

Mahou Sensei Negima! 300-301

[scanlations by reddevilshn: 300 | 301]

(300) After so much preparation and so many chapters of diversion and side characters, it’s fun to see Negi himself firing off some of his devastating magic.

No matter how impressed Anya is by Negi’s display of power, I can’t accept her statement that he could be as strong as his father.

Haunting panel at the bottom of page 13. The stark lack of background combines well with Negi chasing after his barely-visible father.

Unusual timing for Asuna to be so moved by Negi’s determination. Nothing has been accomplished yet.

(301) It’s difficult to reconcile the serious side of Dynamis with the one that jokes with his young female subordinates.

Very little to comment on, as this chapter is mostly setup for the next fight for Negi’s group. The bit with Koutarou’s covert group is amusing, at least.

Nurarihyon no Mago 121

[scanlation by ShinraTensei]

Rikuo’s reasoning is perfectly befitting of someone in his leadership role. Great speech, and an excellent full page pose.

Beautiful art as Kidoumaru invokes Rajoumon.

Kidoumaru being able to prevent Tsurara and Rikuo using Matoi presents interesting complications for that ability in the future. Even if Rikuo presumably wins this fight, he’ll certainly fight tougher opponents in the future. Rikuo could stand to adapt a new way to use Matoi, such as perhaps being able to use the fear from his Hyakki Yakou through the markings on his back, rather than needing his followers to physically cast their fear on him in person.

Kurotabou and Kubinashi are a welcome sight. They should provide some interesting complexity to the fight next week.

SWOT 9

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

The fighting maniac’s special move is called “Chaos.” Was he not generically counter-culture enough already?

“Pray that Manabizaki will defeat this monster” is the kind of senseless, idealistic comment from an onlooker that I would expect from someone watching Ichigo fighting in Bleach. That scenario is already bad enough, but at least Bleach has the publishing length to back up such a statement. Why should the audience be invested in the fate of a one-dimensional protagonist in a series that hasn’t yet reached double digit chapters?

Manabizaki’s opponent suddenly has glowing hands. I wasn’t aware it was possible for a series to “jump the shark” within 9 chapters, but I am ready to declare that SWOT has not only done so, but that it also holds absolutely no reading value.

Feel that one or more of these series should be getting full-review treatment each week? Show your support by participating in chapter discussion in comments. Actively-discussed series will be considered for full reviews.

Fairy Tail 199

September 8, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by Binktopia]

It’s the “real” Lisanna! That bodes well for this arc right away.

Natsu’s initial incredulous reaction to Lisanna’s reappearance is far better than his later, typically-Natsu excitement. It’s a pity Mashima didn’t choose to explore a new side to Natsu’s character.

Can't find his reaction too surprising

Lisanna’s story is convincingly sad. It isn’t so weak that it can be overlooked, nor is it so overly dramatic as to be ridiculous, and it even manages to make decent use of the setting created by the disappointing Edolas arc.

The graveyard scene is fairly touching, but it’s a scene that could have been saved to carry more impact after at least a few chapters have been spent establishing Lisanna further.

As heartwarming as one-chapter resolution can be

While this is certainly one of the best Fairy Tail chapters of the year, it’s slightly unfortunate that the entirety of the chapter was devoted to explanation and reunion. These are positive moments, but they don’t provide much to drive the story forward into the next chapter, meaning the new plot and conflict will have to be developed from scratch next week. Again, it’s a comparatively strong chapter, but it isn’t without missed opportunities.

Final Flash: Don’t misinterpret the brevity of this review; there just simply aren’t many individual moments to comment on. Overall, a good, encouraging chapter.

Kimi no Iru Machi 103

September 6, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

Another fan-colored page. Disappointing.

Kiyomi is back! I’d be very happy if she helped form a new love triangle with Haruto and Mishima. Kiyomi is too interesting of a character to leave out of the picture. (I still wish Nagoshi was involved somehow, though.)

Kiyomi is even intervening on behalf of Mishima. What a great addition to the cast she’s been.

Amazing character evolution shown by Haruto. His serious and mature explanation of his feelings for Eba is an unexpected positive, and a huge one at that.

Fantastic growth

Two fan-colored pages in a row, for the same scene. Red Hawk, this is embarrassing. Leave this stuff in your forums.

Haruto invites Mishima back to his town… but had already asked Kiyomi. Good mix of emotion and comedy.

Final Flash: Superb chapter. This feels much more like the Kimi no Iru Machi of old, before the overwhelming drama.

GE ~ Good Ending 49

September 4, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by iMangaScans]

Actually, Seiji, “Please don’t meet with Touru” is exactly the worst possible thing you could say.

Eri’s crudely-drawn map would have been much funnier without her facial expression and self-deprecating gesture. Your audience isn’t stupid, Sasuga; we get that the map is bad.

The first people that Seiji finds who know Yuki immediately launch into a lengthy flashback about Touru. That’s both depressing and unrealistic. I understand cultural differences between societies, but is it at all realistic for complete strangers to go into lengthy detail about a common friend’s personal life?

Yuki’s mom is certainly excited to see her daughter’s friends. She seems not to have much contact with Yuki.

Were the speed lines necessary?

A heartwarming reunion between Seiji and Yuki (and friends) is overshadowed by the arrival of Touru. Worse still, his friend reveals that Touru attends school in the same city where everyone lives. So much for positive, uplifting progress; surely, drama is imminent.

Final Flash: The brevity of the trip to Yuki’s house is appreciated, but this chapter had both too much angst and too much setup for future angst.

Fairy Tail 198

[scanlation by Binktopia]

Fanservice? On a Fairy Tail cover?

It’s a huge relief that everything so far seems back to normal, but the other shoe is poised to drop.

The miserable sound of tumbling shoes

The Exceed are being further glorified with a new convoluted explanation of their plan to send their children to the parallel (real) universe. In the end, Mashima is unable even to follow through in keeping the cats even minutely evil. It’s not insulting, because I have no remaining faith in the cats or in Mashima that is left to be insulted, but it’s the sure sign of a poor author, trying to make any ending as comprehensively happy as possible.

In fact, it’s a bit worse than that: Charle has the power of prediction, and all Exceed were just being manipulative and two-faced to her, “for her benefit.”

and Charle is a princess. Why not have everyone get married, while you’re at it? I can’t stand any more saccharine.

Some things are better left unlearned, Natsu

Pantherlily is small and cute now. Great. He was fine just as he was, thanks, particularly considering whose cat he is.

Lisanna. That actually is interesting, given how serious Natsu has become every time she’s been brought up in conversation. That said, I refuse to get my hopes up, considering how promising the disappearance of Fairy Tail was, compared to how hugely awful the Edolas arc has been.

Final Flash

GE ~ Good Ending 48

[scanlation by Eat Manga]

What a forlorn look on Yuki’s face when she hears the news of a proposed trip back home. Let’s hope this doesn’t shift the focus away from her again.

Nice flashback scene of Seiji and Yuki having fun at the waterpark. We need to be shown scenes like this more often. There’s been too much drama lately.

Seiji is completely right about the agony of being apart from the one you love, but rolling around on the floor in front of your parent is not exactly a mature way of handling it.

Now Seiji is practically bragging on his way to morning practice? You’ve been a miserable, two- (or three-) timing scumbag for the past several chapters. One chapter of keeping your eyes on Yuki does not earn you enough glory to be able to boast.

Wipe that undeserved grin off your face

Well, at least Seiji is properly shaken up by news of Yuki going back home. That’s more dedicated than he’s been for a while.

The conversation between Shou and her friend begins awkwardly and a bit too direct, but eventually Shou is revealed to be handling what happened between herself and Seiji as maturely as could be hoped. She’s acting just like our protagonist should be, while Seiji is off panicking and fantasizing about anything and everything.

Seiji is following Yuki to her home. A similar storyline greatly reduced the overall quality of Kimi no Iru Machi; let’s hope that Good Ending can present such a storyline in a more interesting and less angst-ridden fashion.

Final Flash: One chapter after reestablishing Yuki as the “right” choice, she’s pushed further away, and the spotlight again shines on Shou. Make up your mind, Sasuga.

Kimi no Iru Machi 102

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

Mishima is going to eat at Haruto’s place “again.” Is she now transitioning into a love interest? With Eba obviously out of the picture for a while, Nagoshi sadly relegated to comic relief, and Kiyomi too focused on Kazama, Mishima makes perfect sense. She’s always gotten along well with Haruto, and it wouldn’t be much of a romance series without any active love interests for the protagonist.

Completely undeserving of her secondary role

Mishima reading Magazine feels a little forced. Meta can be fun and cute if it feels natural in the midst of the story, but this just feels like a plug for A-Bout!.

Akari’s phone call makes me nostalgic for the days when this series was set in Haruto’s hometown, and was so much better than it presently is.

Excellent interaction between Haruto and Mishima. The deadpan comedy is funny, the talk about Eba is appropriately serious, and Mishima shifting the focus on the future is promising.

Fantastic two-page confession scene. I do have to express my disappointment in Red Hawk Scanlations for inserting a fan-colored version of the page in question, though. It’s shameful enough to do that at all, but to insert it before the original version destroys the impact of the scene as intended by the author. Fan-colored pages are fine for message boards and icons, but they have absolutely no place in an official chapter release. This is the first time I’ve seen Red Hawk do it, so they’re certainly not the worst offenders (iMangaScans practically have one per Good Ending chapter), but this is too important of a scene to cheapen. Very disappointing.

Final Flash: Really enjoyable chapter. Mishima is such a positive love interest, and all positivity is welcome after recent events.

Fairy Tail 197

August 26, 2010 1 comment
[scanlation by Binktopia]

“Bye Bye Fairy Tail” is a misleading and cruel title.

In case it wasn't already obvious

Natsu combining the fight with the Fairy Tail farewell ceremony is a pretty good touch, but I have absolutely no emotional connection to the scene, because it involves Gérard. Why couldn’t Mystogan just have been a completely original character?

The Moria-lookalike cat is unnecessarily creepy.

Also, that hand gesture...

It seems Gazille will get Pantherlily as his cat after all. Unfortunately, it also seems like all the other cats are coming back to the real world.

Final Flash: This miserable arc is finally over.

GE ~ Good Ending 47

August 22, 2010 1 comment
[scanlation by iMangaScans]

Excellent color pages. The swimsuits are not overly gratuitous, and the coloring is fantastic.

The exchange between Oonuma and Izumi is some excellent humor.

It's okay, being short builds character

Seiji is actually confronting Yuki about trying to set him up with Shou. Good. Stand up for yourself, Seiji, and maybe she’ll follow suit.

Eri has cemented herself as my favorite character in the series. She’s funny, straightforward, reliable, and a great friend… so of course, she isn’t a love interest.

Excellent observation by Izumi. This is a great chapter for him, out of nowhere.

"Perhaps"?

Even Eri’s reactions are excellent.

How to explain this to the doctor...

Finally, a moment alone for Yuki and Seiji. It seems she took care of him, too. Excellent ending to a much improved chapter… even if Seiji looks thoroughly ridiculous on the last page.

Which is worse: His face or his arm?

Final Flash: It doesn’t make up for recent developments, but this chapter was just enjoyable, which is a welcome and overdue relief.

Kimi no Iru Machi 101

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scans]

Haruto and Eba back-to-back on the cover. Prepare for more awkwardness.

That’s pretty direct from Eba. Anyone could have delivered Kazama’s helmet to Haruto.

As usual, Haruto is saying and doing all the right things, and Eba is putting him through hell. It’s almost like this series is the antithesis of GE ~ Good Ending. If we could have the love interests (and the awkwardness-relieving humor) from Good Ending, only with Haruto from Kimi no Iru Machi instead of worthless Seiji, we’d have a hell of a series.

What an unusually pleasant outing for these two. The funeral for his rival in love / her boyfriend was yesterday, and she’s leading him to a sightseeing spot? I know Seo well enough to know this isn’t ending well.

There it is, a string of words no person ever wants to hear. “Maybe we shouldn’t see each other anymore.”

There is no appropriate response

Final Flash: Sad chapter, but this was to be expected. Whether or not it’s easy to read, this is ultimately the plot direction that best allows for Eba’s character integrity. It would have cheapened the entire series if she started focusing on Haruto so soon after Kazama’s death. It looks like Seo is going to put us through hell before we arrive at any kind of resolution.

Fairy Tail 196

[scanlation by Binktopia]

As stupid as the plan for Pantherlily to kill Mystogan is, it’s even worse to see Pantherlily tell Mystogan (and the audience) how great he is. Might as well just kill him already.

Even less acceptable: Pantherlily turning this ridiculous plan around, and becoming the sacrifice himself. Mashima is obsessed with Gérard.

Thanks for wasting our time, then

Unsurprisingly, Natsu is here to save the day.

Undeniably cute

Natsu’s involvement here isn’t bad, and he and the other two dragons contribute pretty nicely, but ultimately this is still all for the sake of further building up Gérard. Tiresome.

Final Flash: A little comedy here is fine, but as always, any Gérard is unacceptable.