Four Knights of the Apocalypse Chapter 1: Percival begins his hero’s journey.

Cover of Seven Deadly Sins: Four Knights of the Apocalypse manga.
Cover of Seven Deadly Sins: Four Knights of the Apocalypse

Four Knights of the Apocalypse – Author Nakaba Suzuki – Action, Adventure – Shonen


After the end of The Seven Deadly Sins, the series author Nakaba Suzuki announced the sequel series, Four Knights of the Apocalypse. The series focuses on Tristan, the son of Meliodas and Elizabeth, and introduces a new character, Percival. Chapter 1, The Boy Sets Out on Adventure, opens with 16 years old Percival chasing down a “roc bird.” The giant, bluish beast is killed when Percival’s grandfather, Varghese impales it with a pitchfork. Percival grabs it by the neck and tumbles off a cliff. This scene works to show both the strength of Percival and where that power comes from his family. Varghese is a hulking figure. Despite his jovial personality, he has a massively muscular body. He has taught Percival everything the boy knows, from hunting to cooking to fighting.

Percival has reached a milestone. He’s turning sixteen. Varghese is shocked when his grandson tells him he has no interest in adventure. Varghese tells him of the Aerialian Island created by the Goddess Race, Britannia, the cruel mage living in a “twisty tower,” an inescapable forest, and a “knight who rows the skies.” Varghese is hoping to inspire his grandson’s sense of adventure and by extension excite us, the readers. Percival is satisfied to just live with his grandfather. Drunk, Varghese recites what he calls an “old creed,” “Your eyes will judge the wicked. Your mouth will speak the truth. Your heart will be filled with justice. And your sword will crush all evil.” Percival has heard it so many times, he’s able to recite the rest.

Percival takes an oath

I expect that this oath will motivate Percival’s life in the future. He’s eager to accept the job and protect his grandfather. That night, Percival allows himself to dream of going on an adventure. He’s so excited that he runs around the island until he falls. He wants to go, but he won’t leave his grandfather. Percival wakes up the next morning still outside. He overheard something over his shoulder, it’s the knight who rows across the sky. The knight asks for his grandfather by name, claiming he’s an old friend. Ignorant, Percival points to the location of their house and marvels at the knight’s phantom ship.

“Your eyes will judge the wicked. The mouth will speak the truth. Your heart will be filled with justice. And your sword will crush all evil.”

If your familiar with the Hero’s journey then this chapter is predictable. The hero’s journey is “the common template of stories that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, is victorious in a decisive crisis and comes home changed or transformed” (Wikipedia). The journey begins with a “call to adventure” and followed by a “refusal of the call.” The hero usually accepts the call after “help by a mentor figure.” Percival has crossed both, the only thing left is the acceptance. Suzuki has alluded to the reason for Percival’s reluctance, the presence of his grandfather, Varghese. If he’s going to go on that journey his grandfather can’t be around. Before the Knight heads to the house, he calls Varghese a “cruel man” for keeping something from Percival. The comment stays with Percival and he becomes concerned.


Percival begins his hero’s journey

The Knight attacks Varghese from behind, sending him flying through the house. The knight accuses him of “betrayal,” and Varghese responds by calling him the betrayer. They clash until the knight makes a cross in the air with his finger. The seemingly subtle gesture blows a cross-shaped hole in Varghese. Percival interferes, attacking the knight with rocks. When Varghese grabs the knight from behind, he’s defeated. The Knight then uses his cross attack to crave a cross into Percival’s chest. Enraged, Percival continues to attack but is violently kicked away. Varghese calls the knight by his name, Ironside, and asks why he’s come. The Knights received a “foreboding prophecy” predicting the ruin of King Arthur. The prophecy is called the “Four Knights of the Apocalypse.” Ironside is on a mission to kill anyone that might be among these four and Varghese seems like a possible candidate.

Percival and Varghese are battered and bloody. They apologize to each other for their failure. Percival couldn’t protect his grandfather and Varghese lied to his grandson. Terminally injured, Varghese tells Percival the truth. Ironside is Percival’s father. Before he dies, Varghese sets Percival on his journey, fulfilling his role in the hero’s journey. He also makes clear to the audience what Percival’s mission is, find someone to protect and as his father why. Four Knights of the Apocalypse Chapter 1 is an interesting opening to the sequel to the Seven Deadly Sins. Personally, I didn’t get into the Seven Deadly Sins series, particularly the manga. I have seen some of the movies, and season 1 of the anime. At the moment of this review, the series is at chapter 15, but I’m excited to read it.


Source: Wikipedia

My Hero Academia: Season 5, Episode 7: Shoto stumbles, Tenya rises

My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 7 begins with a break in the action. Kinoko Komori’s mushrooms take about two hours to disappear. I was instantly concern for Fumikage, with his lungs full of split gill mushrooms. For her part, Kinoko offers him a cough drop, which Fumikage refuses. He turns out to be fine, but if he didn’t have quick medical assistance I’m not sure he’d survive. The third match between Class 1-B, Pony Tsunotori, Sen Kaibara, Juzo Honenuki, Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu, and Class 1-A, Shoto Todoroki, Mashirao Ojiro, Tenya Ida, and Mezo Shoji begins.

My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 7 plays with us a little. We assume it will be an episode focused on Shoto, but it turns out (at least in this episode) that it’s about Tenya. With such a large cast of characters, My Hero Academia often leaves many students out. It’s understandable but comes at a cost. Tenya has always been an intense character. His sense of justice is comparable to none, and he takes everything seriously. As a result, Tenya was always going to put his best foot forward in the joint training. Regardless, Tenya is in a good mood entering the training, his brother, Tensei is recovering.

Tenya rises from the mud

Class 1-B has less to prove after it’s winning the last round. However, they barely got the victory. Most viewers would assume that Shoto will dominate the fight, he doesn’t. I think My Hero Academia is deliberately trying to make the case that Class 1-B shouldn’t be overlooked. Juzo Honenuki (Mudman) turns out to have a good Quirk, and he’s brilliant. Juzo was a recommended student, meaning he has a high skill level. He’s able to quickly analyze the situation and develop a plan. He uses his Quirk to soft the ice and surrounding area. He successfully traps Tenya in the now soften ice and ground breathe.

However, Tenya activates his Recipro Turbo. In a flashback, Tenya is told that he can “tune his engine,” if he “pulls his mufflers out and train.” Watching Tenya pulls his mufflers out was uncomfortable. It’s clearly painful, and I could almost feel it. My Hero Academia has a lot of strange characters. Their race or species aren’t really explained. Tenya and his family appear mostly human, so it rarely occurs to us to think of them as not human-like stranger characters like Manga. However, Tenya and his family literally have mufflers growing out of their bodies. We’ll probably never get an answer to the species question (I don’t think there is one), but it’s clear that Tenya’s mufflers are larger. Would they get bigger if he did it again? Is there a limit? Let’s hope this is it.

Weekly Anime Round-Up (May 3rd – May 9th, 2021): Top 5 Zombie Anime, Digimon Movie review, and MHA

Irina over at the Drunkenanimeblog explores her Top 5 Zombie Anime. I’ve never seen the first three, but the last two are familiar. I never considered Tokyo Ghoul to be a "zombie" anime, but it does have a lot of eating of living and dead humans, so. I loved the series, well the first season. Irina considers the series to be "cultural significance":

But it’s not only me. I would bet that if you ask any random anime fan out there to name some zombie anime off the top of their head, 90% would come up with Tokyo Ghoul as an answer. The series has permeated our otaku collective to install itself as a quintessential title in the animated zombie genre. Just for that, I think it deserves the top spot. Very few other anime have the same type of cultural significance. At least in the zombie genre.

Irina

A Disappointing Digimon Movie

Traditional Catholic Weeb reviews Digimon Adventure 02 – Revenge of Diablomon, and he didn’t like it much. I actually agree. The movie is a money grab, and it shows everywhere, but it’s animation (which I still rewatch to this day). TCW goes into some issues the movie has:

I’ve only seen the film twice myself over the past 5 years; once in the middle of my university’s crowded lunch hall, and several months back in anticipation of this review. Though circumstances have changed since then, one thing that hasn’t is my opinion about how short of expectations this movie has left me, and the hole it left since then.

TCW

My Hero Academia, Vigilantes, Training, and Theories

Redgeek reviews My Hero Academia Vigilantes chapter 101, I haven’t kept up with the series. Redgeek enjoyed the chapter though:

This was a good chapter! Soga and the Crawler are back together and ready to end the threat on Pop’s life tonight, but No. 6 won’t make it easy for them. I guess ole Six’s plans on becoming a hero are ruined by people seeing him with the Anons. Well, unless he kills everyone there. No witnesses and all that jazz. Whoops! Let’s hope he’s wearing Clark Kent’s glasses or things are about to get real messy.

Redgeek

Jay over at RJWriting. Ink learns to enjoy the Joint Training Arc after watching My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 7. Shoto takes center stage and doesn’t dominate like expected:

Personally, I liked seeing how Mudman was able to take out the likes of Shoto with his Quirk. On paper, Shoto has a clear advantage due to the overwhelming power of his Quirk. However, as heroes like Spider-Man have shown time and again, brute strength isn’t a guarantee for victory. More often, it’s how a hero uses their powers that determine if they win or not. And unless Shoto can narrow the focus of his Quirk, then he’s going to have problems with finesse in the future.

Jay

Finally, Demon God Tadd explores his theory on "All For One’s Grand Ambition."

I believe that All For One’s plan might just be to “put things back to the way they were before-” to turn things back to the way they were when he was in charge.

Demon God Tadd

I won’t ruin the entire theory for you. Check it out.

My Hero Academia: Season 5, Episode 6: Class 1-B steps up

Kinoko Komori spraying to make her mushrooms grow more.

In My Hero Academia, Season 5, Episode 6, the second round of the Joint Training Arc concludes. In the last episode, Class 1-B took advantage after Kinoko Komori began using her Quirk, Mushroom. Momo orders her teammates to “regroup.” However, before they can Manga uses his Comic Quirk to create walls of onomatopoeia. His strange abilities are confusing at first but apparently when he manifests these “onomatopoeia” they have different effects:

  • KABOOM! BANG! BLAM! BONK!; Creates huge, sturdy letters that crash through an area and function as a wall.
  • DAMP; Creates letters that act as a humidifier.
  • BOING; Creates bouncy letters that can rebound projectiles.

The effects of these words are always applied. For example, when Manga shouts “humidity” the mushrooms grow faster and bigger. Manga uses his Quirk to isolate Momo from the others, assuming that if they separate the leader, team Class 1-A would fail. Itsuka hopes to defeat Momo and increase her team’s advantage. Using her Big Fists Quirk, she overwhelms Momo with her fists. Momo refuses to give in. She creates a cannon and fires off her “lucky bag.”

Fumikage and Yuga are flying around trying to locate the teammates. Suddenly, Shihai grabs Yuga and Fumikage is overwhelmed by Kinoko’s mushroom and Manga’s solid onomatopoeia. Class 1-B has Class 1-A on the ropes having successfully separated Momo and hidden. Feeling backed up against the wall, Fumikage needs to find Class 1-B. He is released when he and Toru open Yaoyorozu’s Lucky Bag. This is her Super Move and within it are three spray cans of ethanol (fungal pesticide) and infrared goggles for Fumikage.

Elsewhere, Yuga gets imprisoned. Armed with the goggles, Fumikage zeros in on Shihai and Kinoko, while Toru attacks Manga. Fumikage uses his Black Abyss: Sabbath, he captures Shihai and Dark Shadow grabs Kinoko. When it looks like Class 1-A has once again bested Class 1-B, Fumikage begins to choke. In a surprising brutal move, Kinoko has used her Quirk to cause a split gill mushroom to sprout in his lungs. I’m starting to like Kinoko, she has a twisted personality.

Class 1-B steps up

This arc exposes us to more of the heroes Quirks but also their personalities. Shihai clearly has a crush on Kinoko. The problem is Class 1-B is likely going to go back into obscurity after this arc. Class 1-B win 4-0, but it wasn’t easy. In any anime or manga, the audience is trained to expect the main character to win. In this arc, we expect Class 1-A to win and feel the need to root for them. This is understandable. We know these characters and want them to be successful. However, we should want Class 1-B to succeed as well especially if they’re all going to have to fight against Tomura and All For One.

My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 5: Fumikage meets his rival

Shihai Kuroiro merges with the shadows, as he fights Class 1-A.

Dark Shadow and the Bad Powers, Good People trope

My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 5 continues the joint training arc, between Class 1-A and Class 1-B. I was particularly interested in the clash between Shihai Kuroiro and Fumikage Tokoyami because they reminded me of the trope “Bad Powers, Good People.” Generally, darkness is associated with evil. While this has been deconstructed in series like Black Clover (the Black Bulls) and Bleach (Arrancar and Quinces wear white), the association still lingers. Fumikage’s Quirk, Dark Shadow, can go on a rampage when in darkness. Shihai’s Quirk and how he appears can lean into this trope as well. Shihai can “merge his body into anything that is dark-colored, whether naturally dark, or dark via external circumstances, such as shadows.” His black skin and the flatting of his facial features make him appear evil. It doesn’t help that his mannerisms give off villain vibes. Unlike, Hitoshi, Shihai doesn’t seem to have any hang-ups regarding his Quirk.

The analytical skills of Momo and Kendo

My Hero Academia seems to deliberately pit certain characters against each other. In this arc, we’ve already seen Jurota versus Tsyuy, and now Shihai vs Fumikage and Kendo vs Momo. Usually, their Quirks must be similar but in the case of Kendo and Momo, it’s their high intellect and strategies that are compared. This episode reminds us of Kendo’s analytical skills. During the fight against the League of Villains, she was able to deduce the limits of Mustard’s Quirk and counter it. Momo is considered an S-Class intellect. She was ranked 1st in Class 1-A, she’s quick on her feet, and can develop plans on the fly. The other Class 1-B members are the little-known students, Manga Fukidashi and Kinoko Komori. Manga is the weirdest designed character in this series. His head is a literal “pale-white speech bubble,” that can change shape and display his thoughts. My Hero Academia never explains what “race” its characters are if they have raced at all. It’s probably for the best.

Kinoko Komori

Class 1-B’s Plan B

Shihai attacks Class 1-A alone. Using his Quirk to control Dark Shadow, he punches Fumikage. Momo tells Toru to use Warp Refraction, a Super Move that redirects sunlight in all directions. Doing so weakens Dark Shadow enough for Fumikage to regain control. It turns out that Shihai’s intended target was actually Yuga. He grabs him by his cape and drags him through the pipes at high speeds. Suddenly, Fumikage appears with Dark Shadow under his cloak and grabs Yuga. Using his Navel Buffet Laser, Yuga lights up the area, forcing Shihai out. When it appears that he’s outnumbered, mushrooms appear on Momo and Toru. Kendo has predicted Shihai’s failure and has developed a plan B.