katmic (Level 10)

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Another Year of Manga has come and gone; I don’t think I have ever shown any particular interest in manga sales before 2014, mostly because I didn’t really see the point. After all, so long as I keep getting the manga I enjoy, what does it matter what other people choose to buy?

Even when I was first starting to read manga, back when finding good manga was complicated business, it was popular top ten lists that I relied upon rather than any statistics about sales.

Why? Well, let’s be honest. There are more people reading manga for free than those that actually purchase the volumes. Scrutinizing top ten manga lists will tell you so much more about what manga people are actually reading the most than any statistical information about sales.

Taking a closer look at manga sales in 2014 and comparing them to 2013, however, has proven very insightful, especially regarding current trends in anime and manga. Even outside the biggest titles, there were some series whose presence or absence I found to be both perturbing and surprising.

If you haven’t had a look at the list yet, then here it is.

TOP-SELLING MANGA IN JAPAN BY SERIES: 2014

Manga Sales by Series

*1. 11,885,957 One Piece
*2. 11,728,368 Shingeki no Kyojin
*3. *8,283,709 Haikyuu!!
*4. *6,946,203 Tokyo Ghoul
*5. *6,729,439 Kuroko no Basket
*6. *5,505,179 Naruto
*7. *4,681,031 Diamond no Ace
*8. *4,657,971 Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
*9. *4,633,246 Nanatsu no Taizai
10. *4,622,108 Ansatsu Kyoushitsu
11. *4,385,701 Hoozuki no Reitetsu
12. *4,295,257 Terra Formars
13. *4,166,875 Ao Haru Ride
14. *4,098,510 Yowamushi Pedal
15. *3,957,991 Gin no Saji
16. *3,816,372 Nisekoi
17. *3,275,885 Fairy Tail
18. *2,986,968 Bleach
19. *2,644,122 Shokugeki no Souma
20. *2,588,791 Youkai Watch
21. *2,516,278 Kingdom
22. *2,472,101 Kyou wa Kaisha Yasumimasu.
23. *2,397,887 Kimi ni Todoke
24. *2,394,263 Gintama
25. *2,380,774 Detective Conan
26. *2,289,738 Kuroshitsuji
27. *2,231,805 Noragami
28. *2,173,339 One Punch-Man
29. *1,967,675 Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
30. *1,937,059 Chihayafuru
A couple of thoughts come to mind after taking a closer look at this list.

+One Punch-Man

During its earlier days, getting people to give One Piece a decent chance was no easy task; yet it could be done. You simply needed to make your case about the story and hilarious characters.

Not so with One Punch-man which, even now, I would struggle to explain to someone why they should bother with the series. It is that random a manga, and which I am surprised is receiving so much interest.

For a manga about a bald guy defeating over the top villains with one punch, 2 million copies is a powerful achievement, which makes you think that people are more or less ready to take a chance on anything today so long as they are appropriately entertained.

You could possibly blame that trend on One Piece.

Last year, One Punch-Man was no where near the top 30; come January 2016 I wouldn’t be surprised to see it in the top ten. It is worth mentioning that One Punch-Man actually comes out ahead of Nanatsu No Taizai and even Fairy Tail when it comes to Sales by Volume.

+Detective Conan

There is an overwhelming number of people today who are always complaining about popular shonen manga like Naruto and One Piece running too long, but who have never really made any mention of Detective Conan. Seriously, Detective Conan has been in serialization since 1994; how the hell does a manga like that still manage to sell over 2 million copies today.

Having never read it, I am hardly qualified to complain about the quality of the manga; yet if common comments about anime and manga are to be believed, the longer a series runs, the worse it gets, often losing readers rather than gaining in popularity.

Berserk has been around even longer than Detective Conan and it stands almost no chance of entering the top 30, at least with regards to sales.

You have to wonder what Detective Conan offers that other longer running series do not.

Whatever the case anyone that has spent 2014 preaching about how the trend of long running manga series is coming to a definite end is being proved wrong by the strength of Detective Conan.

+Gintama/Kingdom

A pair of manga that couldn’t be more different from another and which I didn’t think would be so closely matched; more or less neck to neck in 2013, Kingdom seems to have come out head by 200,00 copies in 2014 in comparison to Gintama.

Yet both series are not fairing particularly well on a whole, not just regarding the 12 or so steps they have fallen in less than 15 months, but their declining dominance over 2014. Keep in mind that titles like Tokyo Ghoul and Haikyuu, near the bottom and barely keeping up not so long ago, now stand at the very top of 2014’s top selling manga list, even as Kingdom and Gintama continue to slip further down.

Hell, 15 months ago Kingdom and Gintama were both starting to pull away from Bleach, Kubo’s manga following behind even as the pair approached the top 10. Even taking into account differences in tastes, that a manga as celebrated as Kingdom would fall below Bleach during one of its worst years in terms of ranking, is surprising.

It makes you wonder exactly what people like.

Kingdom’s fame comes from the fact that it doesn’t exactly follow the typical formula; and yet, when you look at many of the titles ranked higher than Kingdom, one might argue that the key to success in Japan in terms of manga sales comes down to attaching the same old formula to new plots and faces.

+Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma

It might have been my lack of attention but I don’t think I have ever seen so many non-action oriented manga series littering the top 20; sure, there is always that odd slice of life manga that somehow manages to break through the barrier, but even those exceptions are rarely as strong and popular as the food based Shokugeki no Soma.

Along with Blue Spring Ride and Hozuki no Reitetsu, it is possible that we have reached that age of manga where a story doesn’t have to create super-powered heroes fighting to save the day in order to appeal to the masses.

You couldn’t easily dismiss Shokugeki no Soma as a fluke; while making no appearance on the 2013 list, the manga currently enjoys strong support among manga readers, so much so that it might actually survive in the top 20 for several years to come, possibly even rise higher, even with so many action fueled series emerging every year.

+Hozuki no Reitetsu

Urgh, No. Simply No. How the hell did a manga that was barely a bleep on the map in 2013 manage to sell 4.3 million copies? Four episodes in and this story of a serious minded demon ogre working to manage the demon king’s realm in the underworld has to be one of the worst anime i watched in 2014.

And that might be the key to the manga’s success; the anime adaptation is clearly working wonders for the manga. Yet considering what I encountered in the anime, it will take a hell of a lot to convince me that the manga is actually better.

Seriously though, how the hell did this mediocre series come out so far ahead of Bleach, Yowamushi Pedal or even Terra Formars? My brain just can’t make sense of that logic.

+Bleach

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Sure it’s position wasn’t all that unexpected, and the series hasn’t been in the top 10 for quite a while now. Yet, even with all the complaints I am always ready to launch towards the manga, 18th was a shockingly lower rank than I expected.

At this rate, we have to wonder if Bleach can even maintain its place in the top 20; which won’t actually mean much. It might have dropped three positions down but Bleach actually sold 200,000 copies more in 2014 than it did in the previous year. And even if it disappeared from the top 30, it’s unlikely that the manga would be any less popular among fans.

Simply put, if this was a matter of the number of people actually reading the manga, then Bleach would probably find a position in the Top 5; as things stand, manga readers are still reading Bleach, however I don’t think they believe it to be worthy of actually spending money to purchase the volumes.

+Fairy Tail

Wow. Two years ago Fairy Tail was hanging out in the top 10; two years ago Fairy Tail was laughing its head off while Bleach continued to fall further down the list. Hell, three years ago, when it was at its best, Fairy Tail was preparing to take its place among the big three.

I am not particularly happy about its descent, yet I do feel somewhat vindicated in my thoughts about the dropping quality of Fairy Tail. It wouldn’t be an over exaggeration to say that Fairy Tail might have reached the peak of its fame a while back, and now it can only look forward to a slow steady fall. 500,000 copies isn’t that drastic a decline, yet the considerable drop in rank suggests that the manga’s quality simply isn’t on par with new stars in the industry.

And this was in a year when the Fairy Tail Manga should have been complimented by the return of its anime.

+Terra Formers

The power of anime adaptations; how else can you explain this manga’s sudden leap above veterans like Bleach and even Kingdom. When it first emerged, terra formers was hailed as Attack on Titan 2.0, the same sentiment almost immediately applied to Tokyo Ghoul.

Which makes you wonder whether blood, gore and the death of major characters hasn’t become the secret ticket to stardom. We want to see people die; not just die, but perish terribly.

+Yowamushi Pedal/Haikyuu/Kuroko no Basket

‘YES!’ is all I can say every time sports manga receive the recognition they deserve. It’s almost like there are a select few people out there that have always known and understood the secret that was sports manga, specifically the fact that they were superior to almost every other title on the market today, and only now is that secret finally coming out.

Yowamushi’s current success is an even bigger surprise that Haikyuu! Granted Haikyuu’s leap to number 3, bounding completely over Kuroko, Magi, Fairy Tail and even Kingdom might seem almost unnatural.

But think about it; Kuroko’s Basket is ending, and Haikyuu is the only manga (and anime) on the market today that seems to share the spirit of Kuroko. It is hardly surprising that Kuroko fans would immediately jump to the next best thing- and I most definitely believe Haikyuu to be the better series.

Yowamushi Pedal, a manga about cycling came almost out of nowhere; the idea that manga readers would be willing to throw their weight behind a concept such as that says volumes about the changes in trends in the manga industry. Forget ninjas, pirates and samurai, a time is coming when it will be the soccer players, cycling champions and baseball stars that rule the Top 10.

+Nanatsu no Taizai/Magi/Assassination Classroom

Nanatsu no Taizai is the only winner among these three; considering its rapidly rising fame last year, Magi took a beating in 2014. Forget Bleach, Kingdom or even Fairy Tail. Those manga didn’t as much drop in sales as they did simply lose out to drastically more successful series. We are talking about declines of a few hundred thousand.

Magi declined by a whopping 3 million copies; which is odd, considering the fact that the manga is only getting better. This as opposed to assassination classroom which barely shifted in number of copies sold, despite the change in rank.

Nanatsu no Taizai is milking the popularity of an anime of fairly acceptable quality, jumping into the top 10 at a time where many previous manga stars are experiencing noteworthy declines.

You could also blame the quality of the Deadly Sins manga, whose first 100 chapters maintained a surprisingly rapid pace, with each arc raising the stakes and produced even more thrills. And it is because it is still so young and yet performs so well that it is difficult to believe those voices suggesting that shonen, specifically long running shonen manga, might have lost its market.

The end of Naruto and Bleach, even One Piece isn’t something to be feared, not in the manner of those people who suggested that the end of the Big Three would end the domination of shonen manga told in that particular formula. Along with Magi and Tokyo Ghoul, we have every reason to expect the shonen formula to maintain its strength for years to come.

+Tokyo Ghoul

Two Years ago, Tokyo ghoul was averaging one million copies every year, this as opposed to SIX MILLION COPIES this year; that is an increment of 5 million. How the hell does a manga do that?

Are we really going to say that the Tokyo Ghoul anime is solely responsible for the success of its manga counterpart? Because, personally, while entertained, my mind wasn’t exactly blown by the anime-and the mediocre finale didn’t help.

The Tokyo Ghoul anime gets points for gorgeous animation but that is hardly enough to make it a masterpiece; which means Tokyo Ghoul is one of those few manga that seem to succeed using hype, where the idea of the anime is so appealing that it forces readers towards the manga immediately after the anime ends just so they can continue the progress of their favorite story.

The question is whether Tokyo Ghoul is worth all the Hype afforded to it. That is a question that will be answered at the end of 2015. If the manga is as good as they say, then Tokyo Ghoul’s numbers could even double next time. Otherwise, there is a chance that it might drop out of the top 20.

+Toriko

I thought this manga was on the way to the top. It is curious that Toriko would fall out of the top 30, even considering the number of people out there that cannot stop singing its praises.

+Conclusion:

There is so much to be said about Naruto, One Piece and Attack on Titan that it will require it’s own separate post.

Taking this list into account, some undeniable factors emerge.

- Sports manga are the future, and it makes sense.

There is simply no shortage of thrill inducing moments, or even episodes; after all every arc is just a new tournament or match, and just as sports fans still flood into stadiums every week for sports they have been watching for decades, there is no end to the level of entertainment one can elicit from sports manga.

-Shonen action manga are not the dying breed people keep saying they are; people still want to see unwavering heroes with special powers fight to protect their friends from evil; yet the shonen action formula isn’t exactly a necessity for success in this regard either.

Maybe tastes among manga readers have always been this diversified, yet the numbers of manga readers willing to venture beyond the action arena is growing to a point where it can begin impacting sales.

-It all comes down to anime; if you do not have an anime in the works, then do not expect your manga make any headway, especially within the top ten.

Magi rose to its peak at a time where its second anime season was attracting attention and converting anime fans into Magi Manga readers; following the end of The Kingdom of Magic, one need only look at Magi’s decline to appreciate the impact of the absence of its anime.

The same thing goes for Tokyo Ghoul, Nanatsu no Taizai and Terra Formars, whose anime adaptations have had a clear impact upon their success.

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A very ‘meh’ chapter of Magi , I think; I am no mangaka but I imagine there are so many more ways Shinobu Ohtaka could have portrayed the events of chapter 251 than what she ultimately chose to do.

THE CHAPTER:
Kouen and his siblings react to Hakuryuu’s rebellion. Aladdin and Alibaba ride out to meet an old friend.

MY THOUGHTS:

What was wrong with this chapter? Well, nothing too egregious, yet one might argue that it simply didn’t get enough done.

And if there is one thing you have to say about Magi , it’s the fact that most chapters are often packed full of so much content that the events of the manga can sometimes feel rushed.

After a few weeks delving into the minds of Hakuryuu and Judar, it was inevitable that returning to the less interesting duo of Aladdin and Alibaba would prove a little difficult.

None the less I don’t know if we needed so many pages of the pair basically travelling to Rakushou and talking about what they would eventually have to do.

Actually, that is another thing; a lot of talking was done and yet I don’t know if anything was really said. Who didn’t already know that Aladdin and Alibaba would do everything in their power to stop and save Hakuryuu from himself?

Aladdin said as much back at the summit. And who actually expected Kouen to step aside as his brother ascended to the throne?

  Magi has always had a tendency of glossing over certain events and occurrences with the aim of getting to the bigger picture. It should have done just that in chapter 251.

There was no real reason for using the meeting between Alibaba and Hakuryuu as the cliffhanger for the chapter; in fact we should have gotten to the meeting immediately.

Why? Well, it’s not like anyone is expecting anything particularly intriguing to come out of these four characters finally talking with one another. As with Aladdin and Alibaba, we already know what Hakuryuu thinks of his former friends.

He has either implied or told us directly exactly what he intends to do and the lines he is ready to cross over and over again over the last few chapters. If the purpose of these four characters meeting was to allow Aladdin and Alibaba to understand exactly where Hakuryuu’s head is right now, the mangaka really should have done that immediately. 

RATING: 4/10, not a bad chapter per say, but somewhat bland. I really want to get excited about Alibaba and Hakuryuu meeting, but really; we have heard the opinions held by both sides. Essentially, there can’t be anything new or unexpected out of the next chapter, which hopefully deals with Alibaba and Hakuryuu’s conversation quickly.
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I could be imagining this, but Shonen Jump seems to have accumulated a whopping 24 chapters of Boku No Hero Academia in a little over two months.

Which makes sense, what with Boku no Hero averaging two chapters every week; with the manga having released a surprising four chapters in just the previous week, one has to wonder what the hell is happening.

And am not complaining; reading four chapters in one go does provide so much more exhilaration than a single Boku No Hero Chapter; however  you have to wonder if there isn’t a comparison to be made between Boku No Hero and what happened with Toriko a few years back, where the relevant parties were so convinced of the manga’s future as an upcoming juggernaut that they began promoting it through every possible avenue.

It is possible that Shonen Jump has Kouhei working at four times the pace with the aim of getting enough material out there for an anime adaptation.

Again I am not complaining; more Boku No Hero Academia works for me.

THE CHAPTERS:
In the aftermath of the attack on the academy, Yuuei comes together to unravel the mysteries behind the villain alliance, even as Class 1-A gears up for an upcoming festival.

MY THOUGHTS:

  Boku No Hero is continuing to make strides in the arena of character development, which is oddly surprising, considering how many recent anime and manga series have failed to build their universes outside of each series’ primary protagonists.

Even though mostly done through the most subtle actions, with many characters in fact receiving little more than a line or two, the manga’s large cast is starting to define itself, with many characters already separating themselves from the pack, chief amongst which are IIda, Todoroki, Tsuyu, Mineta and a few teachers.

When it comes to writing a great story, the challenge lies less in creating great characters, and more with allowing your audience to actually ‘know’ each member of your cast.

Admittedly, Boku no Hero’s ability to define its cast is hardly unique for a new series; whether or not the manga can actually maintain this approach is what will set it apart.

Within these four chapters of Boku No Hero Academia, a few things stood out.

-Shigaraki Tomura
So apparently Tomura can disintegrate matter with one touch?

When exactly did that happen? I don’t actually remember Tomura doing anything beyond looking threatening throughout the invasion (which was, in itself, quite effective).

More importantly he touched a lot of people during those few chapters, none of whom actually turned to dust.

Whatever the case, everything about this guy intrigues me, specifically that one bit that seemed to imply that there might be so much more to him, enough that he might be a bigger threat than Noumu.

What are the chances that we get a Bleach style twist, where we learn that Tomura is actually All Might’s son; it didn’t occur to me that the hand covering his face might actually be concealing his identity.

However I think it is a little too early in the manga for a ‘who’s behind the mask?’ question to hold any weight; the series needs more time to grow and for Tomura’s identity to become a mystery worth solving.

At the moment though, it is the ‘We’ that stood out most during the earliest panels of chapter 21, during which Tomura’s benefactor first identified itself as singular, before speaking in plural.

Which means we might be looking at a senior Villains Alliance standing above Tomura’s Junior alliance, sort of like how the Esparda in Bleach stood above the Arrancar.

That they could give Noumu enough power to rival All Might makes them a dangerous threat.

-Midoriya
I think we all presumed early on that Midoriya would step into All Might’s shoes once the veteran hero passed on; it was curious that the mangaka chose to simply come out and say it out right, making the majority of the upcoming arc a test to prove Midoriya’s worth as a successor to The Symbol of Peace.

IN a way that actually makes the manga a little more unpredictable, specifically with regards to where the mangaka intends to go with the story; the manga is progressing at such a pace that it feels like he could kill All Might off at anytime.

But it wouldn’t be impactful enough of a death though, so it wouldn’t be the best way to go, at least for the moment.

-Todoroki
Even though he hasn’t attracted much attention over the last few weeks, Todoroki quickly shaped up in these chapters to become a bigger and even more interesting rival to Midoriya than Bakugou.

Even without chapter 24, we knew he stood as the most powerful member of class 1-A; and the sudden the emergence of his rivalry with Midoriya makes the story of All Might’s successor all the more intriguing. 

The only way this manga will work is if we come to care enough about Midoriya that his rise to the top can drive the excitement of the series, which these chapters showed it could do.

Todoroki so far comes off as one of the coolest characters of the series along with Aizawa. If this was Naruto, then chapter 24 would be the part where Sasuke took a step back so that Neji could become the primary rival for our hero.

-Class 1-A
It is good for the story that so many of its primary characters have so much to prove, especially to currently successful family members whose reputation as heroes they will seek to surpass.

The focus upon Class 1-A initially felt like it might have come out of nowhere, but this approach can only force the mangaka to place even greater focus on his characters than ever before, which can only advance the quality of the story.

It makes sense that they would attract so much attention after surviving such a brutal attack; the mangaka deserves some credit for following up on the consequences of his previous arcs. And more than just Midoriya, the rising importance of the entire class provides for a chance to attach oneself to a wider range of diverse characters.

RATING: 7/10, every shonen manga has to do a tournament arc at some point. It is surprising that Boku No Hero is doing its tournament arc so early, but the seeds are already planted for some pretty great material.

The question is, are we going to see the entire festival play out, or can we expect some sort of interruption halfway? How many shonen manga have actually gone all the way through their tournament arcs? Besides Fairy Tail.
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I didn’t see that coming; there is no way anyone saw that coming. There is genius to how layered Deadly Sins is becoming, the way its plots are starting to grow deeper, changing every time you think you have the entire picture figured out.

A few chapters in, this new arc is promising to be something especially spectacular.

THE CHAPTER:
Our heroes scramble to make sense of previous events, even as seemingly defeated villains prepare to move against the kingdom.

MY CHAPTER:

There are so many peculiar things I could point out about shonen manga, not least of which is the amount of focus placed on the most minute details.

That Hauser and Gil could take note of the fact that Dreyfus stumbled at a most crucial moment, using this as a clue to reveal the ruse behind Dreyfus and Hendricksen’s game  can be forgiven.

Or maybe not; people are not perfect. Is it really that hard to believe that a knight, even one as experienced as Dreyfus, could make the odd clumsy mistake? It is possible that shonen manga series place way too many expectations on the shoulders of their characters.

Which doesn’t actually matter, because Hendricksen is alive. Who saw that coming? Here we were, happy to finally bring the longest arc in the series so far to an end, looking forward to a new set of villains, only for Hendricksen to remerge on the scene.

I said this before; we don’t really know what is happening in the Nanatsu no Taizai ; 100 chapters in, there is so much left to explore, so many secrets waiting to be revealed that every new arc is most likely going to shift our perspective of this universe.

There was nothing easy about Dreyfus’ transformation during the war with Hendricksen. Everything about the Holly knight seemed to point towards some form of redemption.

The idea that it was all a ploy, that Dreyfus is actually the primary villain of this entire plot changes everything. What is this obsession with the demon tribe?

Who exactly is Dreyfus? Everything in this chapter seemed to suggest that the former great Holy knight might not be the true Dreyfus. Yet I think that assumption might be more accurate for Hendricksen, who we all know is nothing more than a leech for demonic energy.

Dreyfus on the other hand boasts the same mark as Meliodas, and clearly has demon blood running through his veins; something tells me we are about to get a Magi style revelation arc, in which we finally learn of the deep connection between all the events of the last few decades, this including the death of Zaratras and even the fate that befell the Deadly Sins .

Merlin has to be involved somehow; Meliodas has hinted more than once that she might have played a direct role in having the Sins framed and banished for Hendricksen’s crimes.

What are the chances that Hendricksen turns out to be an Itachi in the making, a white knight forced to go dark for the greater good?

That would be an awesome twist. 

Even while lacking the depth in its story, Nanatsu no Taizai is right up there with Magi when it comes to entertainment value.

RATING: 9/10, this chapter was just one giant revelation, which actually created more questions than answers given. The only way next week’s chapter fails is if the mangaka decides to waste precious pages and panels on Ban and King. Those two couldn’t be any less important right now.

If you think about it, there are so many ways Dreyfus could have taken Elizabeth’s blood without having to fake fight Hendricksen and fake dying; hell, what was the point of sending thugs to force Elizabeth back to Leonas in previous chapters. She has taken so much damage over the course of the series, and bled so many times. They could have acquired a sample of her blood any time they wanted.

Now that they no longer need her, I really hope Elizabeth doesn’t lose relevance.
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Ever encountered a panel in a Manhwa that was a so gobsmackingly awesome that it made you skip with excitement? Because that last panel of chapter 350 got me more excited than I have been for the next Noblesse chapter in a long time.

THE CHAPTERS:
Regis and Rael find themselves on the losing end of a deadly fight; and just as Grui and Gaitan prepare to bring the duo to a violent end, a ray of hope emerges.

MY THOUGHTS:

Let’s not waste too much time with chapter 349; 349 wasn’t that important; it wasn’t bad, but the best parts came at the end, when Regis finally became a badass.

Let’s be honest. The last time Regis looked even remotely impressive was back when he was still a mystery and we hadn’t met any other nobles.

Since the Lukedonia arc, Regis has taken so many beatings that he has been reduced to an irrelevant side kick.

That is until the end of chapter 349. I have said this before. Noblesse works because it knows exactly what it is: a shonen manhwa.

It can be funny when it wants to be, even tragic, but at the end of the day Noblesse is all about the action; and that final transformation of chapter 349, when Regis finally activated Regasus, well, it was like being transported back to the earlier days of Bleach, when Ichigo first went Bankai.

Chapter 350 was perfectly complimentary to the final moments of 349; Noblesse seems to have finally found its groove in an arc that has been a little shaky.

349 might have felt a little clunky with the fights, but 350 was crazy, the panels finally reacquiring that fluidity we have come to expect from Noblesse; though it was the choreography that really did it, the awkward yet entertaining manner in which Regis’ strength and Rael’s speed came together to overcome Grui.

But again, all this doesn’t matter, because that last panel…RK4 is finally here, and despite all my reservations about how misused they are, the way they always need saving, that last panel somehow managed to convince me to expect more this time.

Maybe it was the Bleach like poses they struck, the confidence with which they approached the battlefield, the fact that we are getting to see them fight so soon after their training…I have every reason to expect them to fail, yet I am still expecting ballistic stuff from next week’s chapter, if there is a chapter next week.

RATING: 8/10. 349 was a little tame for my tastes. However chapter 350, well, that is what I have come to expect from Noblesse after 300 chapters: none stop, off the rails action.
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