The beginning of a new week can only mean one thing: time for new Weekly Shonen Jump! This is where Jacob investigates the latest and greatest in the magazine, telling you what’s worth your time and what’s not. You can find coverage of other series under the tag Jump Time. Here’s Me & Roboco chapter 23.
It was only a matter of time, but Me & Roboco chapter 23 has finally done it: a Promised Neverland parody.
The series has never exactly shied away from directly referencing and even parodying other Weekly Shonen Jump series before, but author Shuhei Miyazaki’s previous gig penning The Parodied Jokeland (Oyakusoku no Neverland) has always loomed large: when would he show off all the expertise he gained during its short serialization?
Me & Roboco chapter 23 is a Promised Neverland parody, but not quite in the way that you’d expect: Miyazaki already penned quite a straightforward one last year, after all.
Instead, Me & Roboco chapter 23 is a Promised Neverland parody rooted firmly in the titular character Roboco’s own personality and quirks: in the first chapter, she drew considerable attention by exclaiming ‘Domain expansion?’ while reading an issue of Jump. This speaks to the fact that she gets far too engrossed in a story as she’s consuming it, perhaps a little bit like the reader. I know I do the same.
When Roboco goes to see the Promised Neverland live-action movie, then (out now in Japan), she comes out of it believing that she, too, is a captive in a Grace Field House-type situation. She doubts Bondo’s mom and believes that she’s being shipped off to the demons, all the product of an overactive imagination, the likes of which are commonly found in children.
There’s some deep cuts in here from Miyazaki, too. When Roboco plays tag with Bondo and his friends in Me & Roboco chapter 23, the author is able to perfectly replicate Krone’s expression from a similar situation at the start of the series: this speaks to how well Miyazaki knows the series. Furthermore, there’s even a reference here to something Neverland author Kaiu Shirai says about Posuke Demizu’s artwork in the recently released artbook, where he says that he likes the way she draws the female characters’ legs.
You could argue that this is all done in Me & Roboco chapter 23 in the interests of promotion: these are all things you can buy or see right now. Nevertheless, Miyazaki is able to do so with just the right amount of self-awareness; there’s even a slight wink to the publisher that he’d quite like an anime adaptation of Oyakusoku no Neverland. And considering the sales of both that spinoff and Roboco, I’d say: why not?
You can read Me & Roboco chapter 23 for free via VIZ Media.