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Aside from the gasp-inducing-thank-gawd-it-finally-ended Inuyasha, it was a slow week for Manga Weekly. Bleach swings back to present day chaos; School Rumble still delves into strange ground; One Piece throws another revelation; xxxHolic voices a curious remark.

Since it’s a slow week, let me introduce a series called Akuma to Love Song. Serenus Dreamer and Starry Heaven release a new scan this week.

Edit: Seems like BECK is officially over.  I suppose the 100th chapter was the finale.  I have to confirm sources though.

Comments after the jump.

Bleach c.-97

As the pendulum returns to the present, a wonderfully engrossing frashback arc wraps up while restoring this blogger’s faith in Kubo.

The arc reiterated the unjust system of hypocrisy and politicking of Shinigami land. A one-sided testimony; Judgment without trials; A jury of fools. Instead of uncovering the truth, the system turns blind eye away from its cracks and punish those who try to mend it, essentially sweeping its filth underneath the carpet.

Although Aizen was directly responsible to the ‘hollowfication‘ of the future Vizards, Kisuke and Tsukabishi, intentions aside, had their hand on the horrific outcome. Does Shinji&co hold Kisuke accountable too?

School Rumble c.278

I understand the need for tension in climactic points of a narrative, why does dramatic beats only appear towards the end? Although not wholly unacceptable, the tremendous change involved in the last few chapters is jarring, strange, and unfamiliar. Again I say. this is not the SR we know and love.

So Eri wants to leave for abroad and Max asks Harima to stop her. Blah, blah, blah. Perhaps being a non-Eri fan contributed to this irritation to the latest chapter. The Eri-Harima chemistry seems light years behind the Yakumo and Harima. Of course, I am biased. I like my tsundere but Eri is too annoying. Yeah, I know lots of fans loooooove her. Still.

One Piece c.504

Any bigwigs interacting with Luffy always gets entertaining. But throw Luffy with two strong pirate captains, that’s gonna be a heck of fun.

While the Straw Hat crew deal with their latest escapade, two imminent setbacks for the crew move forward. In their immediate future involves a presumably skilled government official who volunteered to clean up the Shabondy mess. Also, a potentially disastrous rainstorm is brewing, a battle royale between the Shichibukai and the Whitebeard Pirates could be inevitable. And we know that Luffy will some interject himself to this ‘lovely’ premise.

A quick question. Since Raleigh is introduced to the Straw Hat crew, are we to be provided with more clues on Gold Roger’s connection to Luffy? Especially with the ex-right hand man quite familiar to our favorite captain.

xxxHolic c.158

Ambivalent feelings surround me whenever I read a chapter of xxxHolic. It’s a mixture of melancholy, satisfaction, and fleeting disappointments. I’ve always felt that xxxHolic could be more… More something, I don’t know. It feels lacking that extra dimension to make it truly great.

Kohane finds a safe haven after the dissolution of her relationship with her abusive mother. In the hands of Yuuko, she was given a home under a kindly old lady who also had gifts similar to hers. Under this guidance, she blossoms.

When Kohane appeared on Holic, I thought she’d be another of those one-off characters. But it looks like it’s not the case. Will she play a significant role in Kimihiro’s fate? I’d like to know. Speaking of wanting to know, I’m also curious on the old lady’s remark on Yuuko’s change. What changes are they?

Akuma to Love Song c.1-7

A smartly written and beautifully drawn manga by Tomori Miyoshi, Akuma to Love Song boasts of Maria Kawai, a rare heroine who is a combination of dignity, dry wit, fearlessness, and fragility. Expelled from a prestigious girl school, she transfers to a B-grade high school. Exuding an impression of arrogance and pride, she is marked as an outcast by the class. Her sharp tongue strengthens their hasty judgment to her seemingly immovable exterior, blinding them from seeing a girl in need of a kind kinship, a friendship if you will.

But Maria does not pose as a damsel-in-distress. She faces difficulty with head held high, to a point of almost-but-not-quite rudeness. Throughout the chapters, this ‘quirk’ becomes a source of comedy.

Three-quarters into the first chapter, the scenes played as if it were in lifted out of the paper, as if you see it in motion and hear the main character herself. It cuts from one scene to the next: Maria finds her old uniform in tatters, tied to a pole and waving like a fallen flag; The bullies hover outside, discussing their “good’ deed; Maria reaches for her clothes, her face softening. She parts her lips, and sings. A haunted but beautiful voice fills the air. Solemn notes of Amazing Grace act as a beacon to two initially indifferent individuals; they find her. Along with the readers, they glimpse of Maria’s soul and her vulnerability.

The intense emotion and sadness convey without straying to melodrama is awe-inspiring. I cannot describe the scene with justice. Just go and read Akuma to Love Song.


Bah. It’s Monday once again.

12 comments to “Manga Weekly: Bleach -92, School Rumble 278, One Piece 504, xxxHolic 158, Akuma to Love Song”

  1. Comment by L-chanNo Gravatar:

    I do hope for Gold Roger revelations, but it’s not guaranteed. Remember that Luffy is Garp’s grandson, so Rayleigh could also be aware of him through Garp.

    How freaking sweet are Kid and Law, though? I’m especially digging Law more and more each chapter. He seems to have some sort of “replacement” technique, which I find very cool, if a big gruesome. Least now we know where he got his “Surgeon of Death” moniker.

  2. Comment by KabitzinNo Gravatar:

    The whole Aizen thing reminds me of a business school case study about the need to know your team, haha. Don’t make the same mistake again, Shinji!

    I know what you mean about xxxHolic. I try to read several chapters at a time, because the story is very uneven from chapter to chapter. Sometimes it will be awesome, but much of the time it is kinda boring and mysterious.

  3. Comment by TenNo Gravatar:

    @L-chan: I’m dying to find out what kind of revelation are we in for. I’m hoping it’s huge, and of course, unexpected. Also, I’ve been wondering about the connection between Luffy’s straw hat and Gold Roger.

    @Kabitzin: I’ve been expecting too much fro CLAMP, but Holic just doesn’t have that ‘oomph’ to make the story truly amazing. The artwork, of course, is superb, but beyond that, it is ordinary.

  4. Comment by L-chanNo Gravatar:

    Hey, Ten. Guess what?


  5. Comment by TenNo Gravatar:

    OH. MY. GAWD.

    Best news evah, L-chan. Thanks for the heads up. Ooh, this might be a great time to subscibe to the mag. I love GM, especially purple rose dude even with his stalker-like tendencies.

  6. Comment by jacobianNo Gravatar:

    I imagine that you’ll absolutely ‘love’ Ch.280 of School Rumble, then. Epic chemistry is epic. 😛

    I know the seriousness as of late seems a bit strange, but thankfully the most recent stuff with Eri and Harima is as close to traditional SR as we’ve had in something like a year.

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