Friendship! Effort! Victory! Episode 02 – Black Clover

Jump’s best series gets gushed about by a Jump fan with a mild cold

art by Yuki Tabata. 2015


What is Black Clover?: Black Clover is the sophomore title of one Yuki Tabata, serialised in Weekly Shonen Jump from 2015 to the present day. It tells the story of a young orphan boy without any magical ability, Asta, as he aims to become the Wizard King. It’s also my absolute favourite Weekly Shonen Jump series currently running in the magazine, so here’s me gushing about it for 40 minutes.

What is Friendship! Effort! Victory!: Friendship! Effort! Victory! (or FEV for short) is a podcast about the various titles in Weekly Shonen Jump’s 50+ year history. It used to exist about half a decade ago, and it exists again now, with new episodes coming out on the second and fourth fridays of every month.

-You can buy Viz Media’s release of Weekly Shonen Jump HERE
-You can buy Black Clover in English HERE (Physical), and HERE (Digital)
-You can buy Black Clover in Japanese HERE (Digital)
-Recommended reading for this episode: “Black Clover is Actually About Noelle” by Peter Fobian
-I have been on TWO episodes of excellent podcast and friend of the show Manga Mavericks to talk about Black Clover, and you can find even more of my enthusiastic opinions there! Here’s ONE, and here’s THE OTHER!
-You can find me on twitter @MaxytheBee
You can support me and the show over on Ko-Fi for as little as £3. Every bit helps.


Friendship! Effort! Victory! Episode 01 – Intro to Weekly Shonen Jump

A new beginning. But like, for something old.

The first and latest Weekly Shonen Jump covers


What is Weekly Shonen Jump?: Well, that’s what this podcast aims to answer, at least in the most basic of ways. In this first episode focusing specifically on Weekly Shonen Jump itself I intend to introduce you to some basic information about the magazine, as well as a little bit of mythbusting and some personal info about my history with the magazine, and some of my favourite titles!

What is Friendship! Effort! Victory!: Friendship! Effort! Victory! (or FEV for short) is a podcast about the various titles in Weekly Shonen Jump’s 50+ year history. It used to exist about half a decade ago, and it exists again now, with new episodes coming out on the second and fourth fridays of every month.

-You can buy Viz Media’s release of Weekly Shonen Jump HERE
-You can buy Japanese volumes of Weekly Shonen Jump series HERE
-Recommended viewing for this episode is YonkouProd’s “The History of Weekly Shonen Jump
-You can support this show and myself by dropping a few quid into my Ko-Fi account.

Review: The King of Fighters: A New Beginning volume 1

cover art by Kyōtarō Azuma

The King of Fighters: A New Beginning volume 1
Story by: Kyōtarō Azuma/SNK
Art by: Kyōtarō Azuma
Serialised in Monthly Shonen Sirius
Published by Kodansha, 2018
Copy purchased from eBookJapan

When there’s no one left to fight
Boys like him don’t shine so bright
Soon as I see the dust settle
He’s out on the town tryin’ to find trouble
Sticks and Stones‘ by Jamie T, 2009

What is it?: The King of Fighters: A New Beginning is the manga adaptation slash expansion of SNK’s 2016 return to fighting games, The King of Fighters XIV, taking what had been a fairly loose first entry in a new storyline and fleshing it out into a full tournament storyline, exploring the fights and backstory of The King of Fighters tournament, with a particular focus on Shun’ei and his Team China, and series veteran Kyo Kusanagi and his Team Japan, as well as a surprising change with Samurai Shodown’s Nakoruru, now an outside spectator observing a strange phenomenom in the sky involving dead spirits (which was a part of her appearance in KoF XIV, but she was also an explicit participant in the tournament, something seemingly absent in this telling).

More than anything it’s good times and good fights between mountains of SNK’s most-beloved characters and fresh faces, as they all compete to be THE KING OF FIGHTERS.

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Review – That Blue Sky Feeling volume 1

art by Coma Hashii, design by Yukiko Whitley

That Blue Sky Feeling volume 1
Story by: Okura
Art by: Coma Hashii
Translation by: Jocelyne Allen
Lettering by: Joanna Estep
Design by: Yukiko Whitley
Edited by: Joel Enos
Originally published by Square Enix, 2017
Published by Viz Media, 2018
Copy purchased from ComiXology

I will crawl
There’s things that are worth giving up I know, but I won’t let this get me
I will fight
You live the life you’re given with the storms outside
And some days all I do is watch the sky
Watch the Sky‘ by Something Corporate, 2003

What is it?: Chunky and enthusiastic good boy Noshiro has transferred to a new school, and whilst he’s able to quickly and easily make new bonds, one quiet, distant student gets his attention, Sanada. In trying to get to know him he learns that rumours of him being gay are true, and Noshiro has his eyes opened to his own prejudice, as well as the potential feelings within him. A heartwarming coming of age, slice of life-type dealie, but with a significant focus on being a gay teenager.

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Review – Baki: New Grappler Baki volumes 1-3

art by Keisuke Itagaki

Baki: New Grappler Baki
Story & Art: Keisuke Itagaki
Translation by: Richard Jesner/Momosuke Inc.
Originally published by Akita Shoten, 2000
Published by Media Do, 2018
Copies purchased from ComiXology

Punch your lights out
Hit the pavement
That’s what I call entertainment
Causing problems makes you famous
All the violence makes a statement
-‘Lights Out‘, by Mindless Self Indulgence, 2008

What is it?: New Grappler Baki is the second series in the intimidatingly long Baki series, which clocks in at its (currently, as a new series is incoming) completed length of some 132 volumes across four individual series, with New Grapper Baki being volumes 43-73 of the run.

This era of the mega-series follows Baki Hanma, a martial arts expert and high school student, newly crowned champion of Japan’s underground fighting circuit, as he’s faced with a strange moment of synchronicity; five of the world’s worst, most animalistic and violent criminals have all been inspired to escape prison and make their way to Japan, so that they may ‘taste defeat’. An ultraviolent series of ‘anywhere, anytime’ bouts begin, where who lives, dies, or is impossibly maimed can only be decided through martial combat.

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