Archives for : Shonen Jump

Magi Volume 4 (manga review)

Magi Volume 4Title: Magi Volume 4

Author: Shinobu Ohtaka

Distributor: Viz Media / Shonen Jump

American Release Date: Feb. 11th, 2013

Format: Traditional Manga

Genre: Shonen, Action, Adventure, Comedy

Publisher Age Rating: T (for Teen)

Personal Review Rating: C



After many adventures, Aladdin finally reaches the great city of Balbadd. There he reunites with his friend Alibaba hoping to once again capture a dungeon together. However, a more cruel destiny lies ahead. The road to Balbadd is fraught with plenty of trials and the fist of which is Morgiana dealing with the bandits and slave traders who stand in her way.  The one they didn’t expect was someone with her stubbornness and desire to help others. Once she frees Aladan he is able to find his flute and then they all learn a very hard lesson.

As they get back on the road to Balbadd they meet a fellow traveler who was robbed of all his possessions. There kindness ends up paying off once they reach their destination and in a way they would have never expected. Will they be able to locate their old friend Alibaba or are there more forces that stand in their way?


Blending the Arabian Nights into a fanciful manga series is fun and somewhat entertaining, but that is where it begin to fall apart. The imagination that created the 1001 Arabian Nights used the stories to weave fanciful tails of heroism and the darkness of the human condition. For the series Magi it becomes more of a weak premiss for a series that could have some very powerful potential. Volume 4 of Magi doesn’t so much other than set up a more interesting confirmation to come, or at least I hope so. The characters come across rather shallow and a little simplistic. There was something interesting that began to happen when Morgiana confronted the Slave Trader, but it was over before it could ever really begin.

This quick hit plot pacing might be the reason why I was left a little flat while reading it. The story moved so fast that I was wondering why this section needed to even happen. I guess that it is possible that some of the characters that where involved  in the first half of this volume can come back later, I just don’t see how they would add any meaning to the story.

Overall Grade: C

I guess that there are plenty of shonen jump series that only exist to provide a quick hit of action and lack any real meaning or essence. I have a felling that Magi is one of those series. It is a shame that there isn’t more to this series when it is using  and blending some rather beloved characters from other great story tellers from around the world. This is something that the Japanese constantly try to do and constantly miss the point when it comes to context and meaning. Maybe just maybe the Magi would have come across with richer characters and a more interesting story line if it would not have drawn its characters from the literary history of the Middle East. It is very possible that I am wrong about this series and there is some potentially rich entertaining story to come, but with it coming across this flat this early in the series makes it hard to keep following along. I am an open reader and will continue to follow Magi and hope for more. So, bring it on amaze me I always love a surprise.

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan volume 18 (manga review)

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan volume 18Title: Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan volume 18

Creator: Hiroshi Shibashi

U. S. Distributor: Viz Media / Shonen Jump

U. S. Release Date: Dec. 3rd, 2013

Format: Manga / Paper Back / 192 pages

Genre: Supernatural, Action, Shonen

Age Rating: T for Teen

Overall Personal Rating: B+


Harken back with us to the Golden Age of Edo, when Rikuo’s father Rihan first takes control of the Nura clan. Gain new perspectives on Rikuo’s family history, as well as the back story on some of your favorite devilish yokai (including that pesky Demon Lord Gorozaemon Sanmoto). Follow Rihan’s second heir adventures as he learns the hard way that controlling, commanding and battling yokai is not to be taken lightly, lest you be the one who’s taken.

We are also given a look at the original encounter between the 100 Story clan and gain the knowledge of why these two clans just don’t get along. As Rihan takes over for the Nura clan he is very protective of Edo and both the yokai and the humans that live there. He takes exception to any intruders that wish to take advantage of the town he cares so much about.


As in the rest of the series we the story is put together well and follows a very solid train of thought. I was impressed at how well everything fit together and even though this is back story I found the characters to be rather well developed. As it progresses everything stays focused on the story line. If there was any weakness is was the way in which the 100 story clan was portrayed. They cam across much weaker than maybe they should have and some of the encounters seem almost too simplistic.

Other than the weak depiction of the 100 story clan volume 18 is a nice refreshing change from the rest of the series.

Overall Grade: B+

With the flashback to the previous generation we typically see a loss in focus, but with this flashback it gave us a real solid look into a history of the 100 Story Clan and the Nura Clan and why there is such a hatred. I enjoyed the depiction of Rihan and also discovering a few new tidbits about some of the other main characters of the story. For all the Nura fan I think they will be very pleased and for anyone just picking up this issue I believe that they will find it interesting enough to check out the rest of the series.

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan is one of the more imaginative shonen series being released in the U. S. currently. the thing about that I really like is that it blends Japanese culture together with an solid ethical story that not only carries a dramatic edge but also a plot line that moves you along with out the feeling of having been there done that or having the entire series slap you in the fase for shock value. If you are looking for a fun series that will leave you wanting for more for all the right reasons then you need to grab Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan.