Anime

Vinland Saga Season 2, Episode 4: Live and Do What?

Snake calls his subordinates “idiots,” for their stupidity after attacking slaves. Suddenly, Snake gets serious and attacks Thorfinn with intent to kill. Thorfinn is triggered, instantly reminded of Askeladd, he reacts and delivers a swift kick that Snake blocks. Snake comments that it seems that Thorfinn’s body wants him to live. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews Thorfinn appears to have given up on life. Regardless, I predicted that Thorfinn will eventually find something that matters to him.

Pater tends to Thorfinn’s wounds which are shallow. According to Pater, Ketil doesn’t “know what to do” with the mercenaries. If the farm is so peaceful, then the mercenaries become restless, looking for danger. Einar continues to be enraged by the dismissive nature that many on the farm has towards the lives of slaves. Einar and Thorfinn come into conflict in this episode, sort of. Thorfinn says that “it can’t be helped as the strong kill the weak.” Thorfinn’s nihilism bothers Einar. Despite being told that he can have the day off, Thorfinn goes to work cutting down trees.

Einar joins him and asks him if he has ever been to war? Thorfinn confirms not only that he’s been to war but he’s killed too many people. To Einar, Thorfinn reminds him of the men that killed his family. While sleeping, Thorfinn has another nightmare. Einar begin chocking him. He eventually stops and wakes Thorfinn from his nightmare. Thorfinn asks him “why he keeps waking him up” ? Einar tells him that they still have something to live for. Einar may turn out to be part of the reason Thorfinn finds something to grant him a new lease on life.

Anime

My Hero Academia Season 6 Episode 17

My Hero Academia Season 6 Episode 17 focuses on Enji Todoroki (Endeavor) has become one of the more interesting characters in anime. He’s a hero but was once a monstrous abuser. He was obsessed at with being the No. 1 hero failing to surpass All Might. Realizing he will never best All Might, decided he was going to engineer a hero to pass All Might and represent his families legacy. Enji obsession caused him to become a cold and calculating. He decided that producing a child that had a superior Quirk than his own, was the best way to achieve his goal.

If he could merge a ice user Quirk with his fire Quirk then raise this child to be just like him, he would have the “perfect successor.” Shoto Todoroki would become this successor but before Shoto came his mother was chosen for her Quirk. Rei Todoroki is a minor character in the series, so much so I don’t think she spoken more that a few words. Their marriage was what the series calls a Quirk Marriage, which were arranged for the primary purpose of creating “custom children.”

The cost of a Quirk Marriage

Rei and Enji have four children, Toya Todoroki (Dabi) – Quirk (Blueflame), Fuyumi Todoroki – Quirk (Frost), Natsuo Todoroki – Quirk (Frost), and Shoto Todoroki – Quirk (Half-Cold Half-Hot). Once Shoto was born, Endeavor abused and or ignored his other children. He often kept Shoto from spending time with his siblings. In the episode it is revealed that Toya possessed superior fire power to his father but had a inferior resistance to fire, but resistance to ice and cold. Enji is enraged at the news.

At home, Toya has accepted his fathers views completely. He’s inspired to surpass All Might even if his father tells him not to. It’s interesting that Endeavor abandons the dream of seeing Toya surpass All Might but encourages him to focus on making friends, telling him “there is more than hero’s life in this world.” However, his ideology has infected Toya’s mind too greatly. He refuses to stop and begins calling his father by his hero name, Endeavor. In a shocking moment he then tries to attack Shoto, who’s still an infant in his mothers arms.

The tragedy of the Todoroki family

It’s this moment that causes Endeavor to segregate his children. Again Endeavor behavior causes a problem but his response to it make some since. The issue is he treated all his kids like they were a threat to Shoto. Toya knows that his father doesn’t “want” them and blames him, as he should. As a result, Toya begins lashing out at his siblings and mother. It’s horrible to see Toya slowly lose his mind as he fails to gain his fathers approval.

Toya’s argument that his mother is as responsible for this situation as his father is understandable but not accurate. Endeavor is at the center of this tragedy. He wanted a child he could use as the embodiment of his ambition. As a result, he dehumanized his children and their mother. Toya suffered the most. Endeavor is entirely responsible for how Dabi became who he is. Dabi is still responsible for his actions but he wouldn’t have become a villain without his father.

Anime

Vinland Saga Season 2, Episode 3: Does anything good come from living?

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 3, “Snake,” introduces use to the mercenaries and the leader “Snake.” The episode opens with Olmar complaining that nobody understands him. Olmar thinks that “everyone is laughing inside at him.” Olmar shows how privileged he is when he throws a tantrum claiming that he “wants to be killed,” since he’s a “nobody.” Olmar is clearly made insecure by the comforts his father’s wealth affords him. Fox decides that Olmar needs to become a man and the best way to do that is killing someone. Fox claims that killing someone will give him some confidence.

Thorfinn wakes up screaming. Clearly still haunted by his terrible childhood, he tell Einar that he doesn’t remember the dream. When they go to wash faces they encounter the woman from the first episode, Arnheld. Einar assumed that she was Ketil’s daughter but she’s a slave and Ketil’s personal assistant. Fox and Badger interrupt them and leads Thorfinn and Einar to Olmar. On the trip, Thorfinn explains to Einar that they’re “guests” who are the bodyguards of the farm. Einar immediately understands that they’re in danger.

Death has value because everyone fears it

At the mercenary camp, Einar learns that they intend for Olmar to kill him and Thorfinn. Fox sees them as only being property saying that “their lives aren’t theirs and their owner can do what he wants with them.” However, Olmar doesn’t own Thorfinn and Einar his father does. Fox accuses Olmar of “making excuses,” and questions if he’s “afraid.” Thorfinn seems not to care about any potential violence that may come his way. Einar for his part tackles Olmar while telling Thorfinn to flee. Thorfinn tells them to let Einar go and they can kill him.

His statement shocks some of the men. Fox asks him if he “understands what it means to be cut,” and Thorfinn responds “you will die.” Fox states that he and the other mercenaries are selling “death,” and “death has value because everyone fears it.” Thorfinn remains somber and stone faced. This seems to bother Fox who wants to see fear in Thorfinn. Fox begins to slice Thorfinn with his sword, creating shallow cuts. Fox cuts Thorfinn a number of times but gets no reaction. Snake watches from afar and is impressed by Thorfinn demeaner. Fox is about to cut Thorfinn’s eye out and Snake stops him.

Fox reaction to Snake instantly tells you how dangerous he is. Fox freezes when Snake makes his presence known. He even begins to coward, the confidence he expressed before disappears. Snake tells Fox to come closer to him and punches him in the face knocking him out. He then turns to Badger and asks him to explain the situation. My early impression of Snake is that he’s more honorable than you’re typical mercenary but I wonder how far that honor goes. Thorfinn’s demeanor has been horrifying so far. He sees no value in living and has nothing to live for. It’s sad to see, even though I know he’ll find something to make his life worth living.

Anime

My Hero Academia Season 6 Episode 16

My Hero Academia Season 6, Episode 16, The Hellish Todoroki Family Part 2 gives us some background on Hawks. Keigo Takami (Hawks) father was a villain who committed a murder for frivolous reasons. Hawks mother, Tomie Takami hid his father from the police. The pressure of being on the run caused her to suffer mentally. Tomie had a unknown Quirk that allowed her to create extra eyeballs that float around her body. She used her Quirk to help her husband commit more crimes. Hawks father was an alcoholic and was abusive towards him viewing him. He considered Hawks to be a problem, claiming that he wanted to “be a free man and not waste time around some punk child.”

Hawks later finds out that Endeavor arrested his father for trying to steal a car. This moment triggers something in Hawks that inspires him to become a hero. What I found interesting about Hawks childhood was the abuse. Specifically, I wonder how he feels about Endeavor’s abuse of his children. As a child he would have no idea but now he does. It’s likely that he no longer admires Endeavor the way he did as a child, but I’m still curious. Regardless, things get better for Hawks and his mother after his father’s arrest. Eventually, Hawks gets the attention of the Hero Public Safety Commission when he saves a group from a car wreck, they offer him and his mother safe haven.

In the present, Hawks is still injured, unable to communicate due to his injured vocal cords. Hawks learns later in the episode that his mother was the source of the leak. His mother flees after being interrogated by what I assumed was Dabi. It was probably an unpleasant experience. Hawks doesn’t seem sad at hearing of his mothers departure. I fact he’s relived. Hawks terrible childhood has made him sort of cold and I’m not surprised. Hawks acknowledges that even if the story of Endeavor and his abuse is true he believes that he’s changed. Endeavor keeping his abuse secret (which is understandable) means that when he had his change of heart that also was secret.

Anime

Vinland Saga Season 2, Episode 2: Beasts wearing human skin

In Vinland Saga Season 2, Episode 2, Einar and Thorfinn are assigned the same job. Clear the forest to create a future wheat farm. Ketil will let them “borrow,” the land as they work it. That just like a more politically correct way of saying I own you but I won’t police you. He goes on to say he’ll buy the wheat off of them for a “fair price.” When they reach the amount that they cost to purchase then they may buy themselves their own freedom. It’s a good motivation tool but two people clearing a forest would take a life time right? Of course, Thorfinn is strong but even he’s not likely to clear the forest quickly. However, Pater is introduced as a former slave who freed himself after paying off his debt.

As the previous episode mentioned, slaves don’t have any place to call home. It’s part of the coercion that keeps them from escaping. Pater’s continuing presence after freedom suggests that he only earned a slightly better life for himself. This assumes he’s telling the truth. Ketil seems genuine but I don’t trust him yet. Einar is excited to get to work. His freedom is all he wants. Thorfinn seems depressed. He constantly looks downwards, barely changes his facial expression, and almost never speaks.

Everything on this side of the river

Thorfinn explains the amount of work he and Einar are expect to do it really does feel like an impossible task. It doesn’t help that Einar doesn’t know how to use an axe properly. Thorfinn explains that they cut the trees perpendicular to the river so they can roll them down and when they’re hungry the retainers will bring them food. The retainers or “freemen” as they call themselves are assholes. They bring a small amount of half eaten bread and what looks like cheese for Einar and Thorfinn to share. Furthermore, one of them demands Einar “thank them,” for bringing the food.

Einar’s newfound joy is quickly squashed. Thorfinn steps in to prevent any violence and the retainers leave to take a nap. Einar doesn’t think Thorfinn should be so “obedient.” The two of them push the tree with the help of only one horse. The process it incredible painstaking. With little food in their stomachs and having to do backbreaking work all day, Einar in furious the retainers pushed their work onto them. Thorfinn warns him not to say anything or things will get worst. When Master Ketil arrives Einar’s about to tell him when he becomes distracted by a beautiful woman.

Olmar the incompetent warrior

The next day we see that Master Ketil works along side the slaves. His son, Olmar tries to help, but becomes frustrated when his father corrects his technique. Olmar is rude and ungrateful. A stark contrast between Ketil and the slaves. Olmar is free to disrespect his father and does so. He says he doesn’t want to become a “boring, old man,” working in the fields. He wants to become a warrior but he can’t even pull his sword out. Olmar dreams of joining Prince Canute’s army and “achieve greatness.” The woman in bed claims she’s “worried about,” him and wants him to take over the farm.

Creepily her father and mother are listen outside hoping that their family will “be secured,” by this relationship. However, Olmar busts out of the room a accuses the family of doing what they planned, joining the Ketil’s family. Olmar maybe an incompetent swordsmen but he’s not stupid. In the barn, Einar thinks Olmar should just take over the farm. He’s no warrior. To Einar warriors are all monsters as he recalls his tragic childhood.

What do you think? Can Master Ketil be trusted? Should Einar tell him about the retainers? Will Olmar get some skill with a sword?

Anime

My Hero Academia Season 6 Episode 15

Note: My Hero Academia episode 14 was mostly recap so I skipped it.

Tartarus is the Special Prison for Villains, separated from civilians, the prison is located on an island and features the highest security. The prisoners are separated based on the danger of the Quirks and their crimes. Much like the prison from One Piece, Tartarus keeps the worst criminals deeper within the prison under sea level. All For One’s original body is located inside. Having gained control over Tomura’s body, All For One commands his Nomu to liberate his real body. Two brothers Briareos and Gyges are guarding the Bronze Gate, the Mainland Gate, they’re the first casualties from the break out.

All For One breaks into Tartarus

We get a brief glimpse of the views of some of the guards. One questions the humanity of Gigantomachia and calls the rest “scum.” Apparently, the prison has been accused of violating human rights. Kohei Horikoshi may be commenting on the inhumane treatment common in prisons. Outside, the prison drops the bridges into the sea, and the Nomu destroy the robots defending the prison. While flying over the ocean, Tomura and All For One come into conflict. Tomura tells All For One he “won’t become his pawn.” Tomura lands and uses his Decay Quirk, then he uses his Search Quirk to locate his original body.

A EMP attack cuts off the cameras. The riot control team appears to suppress the villains break out. Goto Imasuji using his Pump Up or Muscular, bursts through the wall. Other villains Hero Killer: Stain, Moonfish, and Kai Chisaki. All For One uses his High End Nomu’s to break out villains from several other prisons like Shian, Bagu, and Kuin. The number of prisoners that have escaped overwhelms the authorities preventing them from tracking the villains. The tides have turned in favor of villains. Dabi’s reveal has undermined the number one hero, Endeavor and the public is mad. It will be interesting to see how that changes once the villains start attacking.

Anime

Vinland Saga Season 2, Episode 1: Carve it into your enemies

It’s been a few years since Vinland Saga‘s first season ended. I forgot how dark this series was. The first episode of Vinland Saga Season 2, opens in a more jovial manner. Einar, his mother, and sister are enjoying lunch. They mock Einar for his lack of fighting ability. He feels a need to protect the village that was once burned to the ground and cost his father his life.

Einar is no super hero he can’t turn his rage into a powerups to save anyone. He simply must watch in horror as his mother then sister are killed. He’s enslaved. The only thing keeping him going is his mothers dying wish for him to “live.” Slavery is brutal. On the journey to be sold a women falls ill and is tossed off the boat and drowns. To the slavers she’s just merchandise, she’s not worth anything dead, and if she get’s the others sick she’ll cost them money.

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 1 - Einar  losing hope

“Because you’re outsiders and penniless slaves.”

– enslaver

On land, the slaves are poked, groped, and inspected. They must bathe, have their teeth checked, and are lined next to one another. Einar escapes but he has many problems. He has no money and lacks food, so he must steal. He has no idea where he is and worst no place to return to. This his how to strip the slaves of their identity, dignity, and eventually hope. All they come to know is that they’re slaves and they must accept this limitation or died.

Einar finds a good master

Surprisingly, Leif Ericson appears and is looking for Thorfinn who has been enslaved. Einar responds to Leif searching for Thorfinn, calling Thorfinn lucky for having someone searching for them. Einar is eventually purchased by Ketil and brought to a farm in Jutland, Denmark to “work.” His farm is massive, full of golden wheat fields, and quickly reminds him of his old home. As they head towards a forest the master calls out to Thorfinn, who has grown up since we last saw him.

Vinland Saga is a series that tries to weave together humor with the dreary world the characters find themselves in, all while having bouts of action, and exciting characters. What I love about this series is it’s seamless ability to use mythology, history, and fantasy. It can be a difficult balancing act but this series does it well. Ketil is a slaver owner so he can only be so good, but he seems to be more pleasant than other slavers. Of course, we’ve barely seen much from him so he could be a monster. Vinland Saga Season 2 has started slowly but strongly.

What did you think of the first episode? Too depressing? What do you think happened to Thorfinn between this season and the last one? Opinions on Einar so far? Let me know.

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Anime

Anime Theories (Jujutsu Kaisen): Is Kenjaku Yuji’s mother?

Many fans of Jujutsu Kaisen have notice the mystery surrounding Yuji Itadori’s parentage. Yuji was raised by his grandfather, Wasuke Itadori, who dies leaving Yuji without any parents or guardians. Early in the series we also learn that Yuji never meet his mother and can “barely remember” his father. With Yuji having no knowledge of his parents and his grandfather’s death, his parents origins and deaths are hidden from the audience. Throughout the series Gege Akutami introduces hints of Yuji’s parentage, specifically Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 143, chapter 160, Choso’s claim that Yuji is his “brother,” and Kenjaku’s abilities and motives.

Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 143: Did Kenjaku take over Yuji’s mother?

Chapter 143 was the moment fans learned that Kenjaku used his innate Technique: which allows him to “swap bodies” with another by implanting his brain, into take over Yuji’s father’s new partner. Jin Itadori is told by Wasuke to “give up on that woman,” or he’ll died. Frustrated he yells that he knew Jin “wanted a child” with Kaori. Does this mean she’s not Yuji’s mother? Or that Yuji’s father was so desperate he had a child with the reanimated corpse of his wife? I would speculate that Kenjaku wanted to create a vessel strong enough to host Sukuna. If Kaori died prior to having a child like Wasuke suggested then it makes sense that Kenjaku took control over her corpse at some point.

In chapter 208, page 18 Kenjaku tells Tengen that the technique “antigravity system” was “engraved” in Kaori. Knowing that Kenjaku is a long term planner he probably targeted Kaori for her ability then had Yuji. When Kaori appears in chapter 143 there one striking thing, she has the stitching associated with Kenjaku’s Innate Technique. In chapter 160 Kenjaku introduces himself to Sasaki. It’s a brief moment where Kenjaku saves her from the culling game. On page 8, Kenjaku thanks Sasaki for “getting along with his son.” If that’s not confirmation I don’t know what is. Of course, Kenjaku has a weird personality so he may not meant it literally but why say it at all?

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 24: Recap and Review

Choso’s dreams

Choso is one of the nine Cursed Womb: Death Paintings: half-human, half-cursed spirit. According to Choso, Noritoshi Kamo is responsible for his and his brothers existence, therefore he’s their “third” parent. Kamo apparently mixed his blood in with his already pregnant mother. In chapter 106, page 4, Choso receives a memory just before he prepares to kill Yuji. It depicts Choso at the head of a table, with Yuji, Eso, Kechizu, and the capsules containing the other Death Paintings having lunch. Yuji even calls him “Big Bro” on page 6. Choso panics and flees. Confused by it’s meaning.

In chapter 134, Choso exposes Kenjaku as Noritoshi Kamo. Kenjaku confirms that he’s had many names and Noritoshi Kamo was one of them. In the next chapter, Choso claims that he can “sense” his brothers through their “blood connection.” He concludes that Yuji must be his brother because he can “sense” him. Choso’s explanation is too simple. However, this suggests that when Kenjaku takes over a body some of his DNA must be present.

If this is true then Kenjaku would be the “father” of the Death Paintings and Yuji, not Kamo and Kaori. Or his DNA mixes with the new host. Which means Kenjaku could be the “father” if he controlled Kamo and then Kaori with his intention being creating half-curse, half-human children. But why? In chapter 203, Kenjaku claims that Yuji’s primary purpose is to be a “vessel” for Sukuna, and as long as they’re alive “the chain of curses will never end.” He also thought half-cursed spirit and half-human would be an evolution he wished for.

Kenjaku’s big plan

Kenjaku wishes to “optimize,” cursed energy, hoping to evolve humanity in such a way that a new “golden age,” of jujutsu sorcery can begin. In chapter 145, Tengen explains Kenjaku’s goals more specifically. Kenjaku wants to turn everyone in Japan into sorcerers but lacks the cursed energy to do so. Instead Kenjaku will merge humankind with Tengen, who has become “the world itself.” According to Tengen, “a human who merges with him transforms into something greater than a sorcerer . . . a new being that is both there and not there.” Tengen can only maintain his self control and form through the use of barrier techniques.

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 0: Introducing the second strongest sorcerer Yuta Okkotsu

Without such barriers there will be no boundaries between individuals causing evil to spread. Furthermore, Tengen’s evolution has caused him to become more like a cursed spirit than human so he can be controlled by Kenjaku’s cursed spirit manipulation. Tengen claims that he, “the star plasma vessel,” and “the six eyes,” are connected by fate. Kenjaku has twice been defeated by sorcerers with the six eyes. To avoid this fate in the future he killed the next six eye user, however, another six eye user will always be born. So Kenjaku focused on sealing instead of killing the six eyes, hence sealing Gojo in the Prison Realm.

Along with Toji Zenin and Geto Suguru (for his cursed manipulation) Kenjaku’s plan falls into place. Tengen claims that the culling game is “like breaking in the body prior to merging.” If they merge without a star plasma vessel then the merging would be incomplete. The culling game acts as ritual so Kenjaku can begin the merging. During the culling game Kenjaku takes over the Kamo family as it’s 25th head and convinces the American President to abduct Japanese sorcerers for research as an “energy source.”

When Kenjaku enters the Tomb of the Star Corridor, he tells Choso that “the culling game has already served its purpose.” He tells Choso that a “new form of cursed energy may be attained by raising cursed spirits to the next level.” This was the reason he sought to create half-human, half-cursed spirits like the Death Womb’s hoping they would be an evolution of curse spirits. By merging 100 million people with Tengen a massive number of cursed spirits will be created. If Kenjaku can control cursed spirits then he would have control over all of the new spirits. Regardless, he tells Choso in chapter 202 that he’s doing all of this because “it just sounds fun.” Every aspect of Kenjaku’s plan hasn’t been revealed but it’s more complicated than first introduced.

Conclusion

I believe Kenjaku was Yuji’s mother after she die but before he was born. He wanted to create a vessel for Sukuna and gain her cursed technique. As I mentioned, Kenjaku claims that both Yuji and Sukuna are needed to produce more cursed spirits and that’s a useful part of his larger plan. That said there’s definitely more to this story and Kenjaku’s plan. What do you think of Yuji’s parentage? Is my theory corrected? Any other theories?

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Anime

Hunter X Hunter : Volume 33 Review

I believe that Hunter X Hunter is among the greatest anime series of all time. It’s manga is another matter. Obviously it’s the source material for the anime, however, the mangaka, Yoshihiro Togashi (Yu Yu Hakusho), has dealt with illness and lower back pain resulting in frequent hiatuses. It has been suggested that he’s a perfectionists and wants to do everything himself. Personally, I didn’t like the art of Togashi, who often produces “sketchy” line work and missing backgrounds. Apparently, he fixes the art when the volume is released. I say all this to say that after revisiting the manga (particularly after the 13th Hunter Chairman Election Arc) I have found the art of Togashi to be better. The Dark Continent Expedition Arc follows the 13th Hunter Chairman Arc and is the seventh story arc of the Hunter X Hunter series, spanning Chapter 340 through Chapter 348.

When You Stop Challenging yourself, Your Life is over

Beyond Netero

An Expedition to the Dark Continent

The Chairman’s personal secretary Beans interrupts the Zodiacs conference to turn on EyeTube quickly enough for the Zodiacs present to see the Kakin Empire declare their desire to “advance their reach” to the Dark Continent. The continent is forbidden and recorded outside the world map. Kanzai, the Tiger Zodiac is clueless and is informed by Gel, the Snake Zodiac that magical beast originate from the continent. The Cow Zodiac, Mizaistom Nana, adds that “whenever humans tried to venture there . . . great calamities,” occurred. 200 years ago, the continental V5 signed a treaty agreeing to leave the Dark continent alone. The Kakin Empire is changed from a “Social Imperialist country to a Parliamentary Democracy,” becoming a new nation. Therefore, they could abandoned the treaty through a technicality. The Kakin Empire has hired the son of Isaac Netero to lead their expedition.

Related: Top Five Amoral Groups or Races in Anime

Beyond Netero is apparently the son of the former Chairman, but the other Zodiacs never heard of him. Beyond makes an enthusiastic pitch for others to join him in his exploration. Despite the Zodiacs shock, they all “hear Chairman Isaac Netero” in Beyond’s speech. Chairman Netero left a DVD for the Zodiac’s if someone claiming to be his child appeared. Before they watch the video newly elected Chairman Cheadle Yorkshire announces that Ging Freecss and Pariston Hill have resigned. With only 10 Zodiacs remaining, Cheadle tells them they’ve been given a special mission, “hunt down Beyond Netero.”

The Five Threats

The Five Threats

IPA Director and Deputy Secretary Steiner discuss the Kakin Empire and the purpose of V5. Basically they’re suppose to make it so difficult for anyone to get to the Dark Continent. Beyond Netero and the Kakin Empire are a potential problem. The Director reveals that when humans have reached the Dark Continent the result has been tragic. In the International Permit Agencies Steiner sees the twisted and mangled human corpses. He’s then given a copy of Journey to the New World, and told to read “every word of it.” The book accounts the deaths of the “wrung out” bodies. Suddenly, a humanoid creature slams its hand against the glass. According to the IPA Director, its the lone survivor, who doesn’t eat food anymore, and has been “self-sustaining for fifty years.”

Related: My Top 5 Anime Arcs

Steiner watches the video Netero left behind. He explains that he forbade his son from exploring the Dark Continent until his death. Furthermore, he didn’t have the strength to survive the continent, but Beyond Netero has that strength and is probably “more suited to being a hunter” than Isaac Netero. He implores the Zodiacs to “overcome any of the risks” and gives a difficulty rating of “A”. The Zodiacs disagree on whether they should take out Beyond Netero at all. Kanzai argues it wouldn’t feel fair to do so. However, Gel notes Beyond’s advantage, he’s been preparing for years. Before they can decided, Beyond arrives to surrender. As Chapter 341 ends, Steiner reads the “five threats humanity brought from the Dark Continent.” The Botanical weapon: Brion, which “protects mysterious ancient ruins, the Gaseous life-form: Al, a beast that keeps people as pets, the Twin Snake: Hellbell, and the immortal, Zobae.

Zobae the immortal

Ging Freecss heads to the Dark Continent

Beyond surprises the Zodiacs when he predicts they will release him and go to the Dark Continent with him. He promises to tell them the “truth.” The Dark Continent is a massive body of land with the recorded world located in its center surrounded by Lake Mobius. Steiner has a meeting with the V5 and explains that they need to include the Kakin Empire in the V5 making them the V6, It’s important to make the Kingdom believe they are still supportive of the expedition. They hope Kakin will suffer the same fate as the others and become united in banning travel to the Dark Continent. Meanwhile, the V5 hope the Hunters Association can convince Beyond.

While watching the interview with Beyond, the Zodiacs realize that the V5 have put them in an impossible position. If they fail to “babysit” Beyond they will lose the trust of the V5 but if they succeed they might be allowed to hunt on the Dark Continent. Beyond is aware of all of this and has manipulated the situation to gain entry to the continent. Beyond plan is to go to the Dark Continent as a “prisoner” of the Hunter’s Association but will escape and rejoin his comrades.

The transport

The King has provide transport capable of carrying 200,000 people and will be joining Beyond and 14 princes. Civilians also will join the voyage, being picked by lottery. I predict that all of them will die quickly including the royalty. Chapter 342 ends with Ging deciding to join Beyond’s expedition team and accusing Pariston Hill of having 5,000 Chimera Ants under his control.

Kurapika joins the expedition

So far this arc hasn’t mentioned Killua or Gon. I can’t imagine they won’t be apart of this series anymore. They were prime candidates for the newly opened Zodiac positions. However, Cheadle contacts Leorio and invites him to join the Zodiacs. He accepts and suggests someone else for the other position. Pariston Hill is looking to become this arc main villain as he plots to destroy the Hunters Association or at least use the Chimera Ants to take control of it.

Ging Freecss isn’t afraid to use his fists.

He claims that he “feels compelled to hurt the things that are dear to him,” when Ging confronts him. Ging is then ask to “get lost” by Usamen. Ging grabs him and he envisions his face getting pummeled. Seeing Ging is refreshing. He’s been a mysterious and absent figure in the Hunter X Hunter series and he’s surprisingly violent. Ging is quick to threat others with force and value strength above all else.

Mizaistom Nana looks for the person Leorio recommended, Kurapika. Since we last saw him he’s become the boss of a legal security and gambling association. He quickly dismisses Mizaistom until the latter asks about the crimson eyes. The Hunter Association has learned who owns a number of crimson eyes. If Kurapika joins them, the owner, Tserriednich, the fourth prince of Kakin will also be on the ship.

The treasures on the Dark Continent

Kurapika recalls all he’s sacrificed and everyone who possessed the crimson eyes of his brethren. Unfortunately, he has no home to go to and no one waiting for him. He’s suffered so much and has very little to show for it. If it wasn’t for his friendship with Gon, Killua, and Leorio he would truly be alone. Elsewhere, Beyond’s expedition team still doesn’t trust Ging, who demands to be made the number 2 behind Beyond. When they protest and prepare to fight him he offers to pay them double up front and to change nothing else.

Understandable the group doesn’t trust him. However, when one of the members give him his bank info, Ging transfers the money. Kurapika talks to Leorio over the phone, he begs Kurapika to hurry because he “doesn’t know anyone.” Afterward, Mizaistom asks Kurapika to be “discreet” when dealing with Tserriednich. He’s guarded by Dark Shadows and the matter is “delicate” considering he’s the King’s son. Kurapika reassures Mizaistom he can handle the prince.

For the first time in this arc, Gon makes an appearance. He notices he can’t use his aura. Back at expedition headquarters, Ging explains that the five threats are all more “dangerous than the Chimera Ants.” He expects a sixth threat will be discovered if they take the route Beyond wants. Ging is asked if there’s anything of value in the Dark Continent.

He claims an “unmanned rock” that “generates electricity under water,” a herb that can “cure all kinds of diseases,” Nitro Rice, the “secret to longevity,” the “trinity elixir, the mother solution for all sorts of liquids.” Each one was protected by one of the five threats. Ging reveals that Isaac Netero went to the Dark Continent with his friends, Zigg Zzoldyck and Linnet Horsdoeuvre. One explorer tried to travel the entire Mobius Shoreline himself and wrote the book, Journey to the New World, his name is Don Freecss.

Conclusion

The first half of this arc is a slow build. The Dark Continent is first presented as being forbidden due to it’s dangers. Then the arc slowly explores the consequences that killed those who have gone before. With each horrifying reveal, the exploration seems doomed and it makes sense that no one is allowed to return to the continent. However, when Ging explains the possible treasures found there you change your mind. Maybe it’s worth the risk, just send in the strongest.

If humanity could harness those treasures then it would have been worth it. However, the V6 only represents some of the countries in the world. Would they share the treasures or use them to enrich themselves? War could break out or at least exploitation. I thought the introduction and reintroduction of old and new characters was well done. Kurapika wasn’t involved in the Chimera Ant arc and it’s good to see him back.

He still doesn’t seem happy but maybe he’ll find joy after he get revenge. I’m surprised to see so much of Ging. Will he take center stage? He’s seems like a powerhouse like Gon but far more intelligent. I’m concerned for Leorio. Is he strong enough? He does possess some strength but it’s never been explicitly explained just how powerful he is. However, I doubt Cheadle would invite him to the Dark Continent if he wasn’t up to it.

The reintroduction of the Chimera Ants while only mention is intriguing. Are they still a threat to humanity or have they changed? How did Pariston gain control of them? I think they’ll join the Hunters Association with or without Pariston’s help. Finally, are Gon and Killua going to be in this arc or go on the expedition? Logic says the must join at some point, but Gon doesn’t have access to his aura. He’s likely going to have to retrain or something drastic. I think it might be refreshing to let other characters shine, especially Ging. If Gon and Killua don’t join the expedition at the start they’ll likely join to save one of their friends.

Anime

2022 Year in Review

Happy New Years. It time to look back at 2022 and forward into 2023.

202120222023 (Goals)All Time
Views185,227244,021250,000783,339
Visitors145,804187,192200,000594,553
Total Posts172102100+1,107
Comments43877500+2,128
Likes2,0769413,000+12,865

I’m happy to say that this blogs views and visitors continue to grow every year but I don’t think that’s sustainable. This year I decided to use Google AdSense, it was expensive but did increase my blogs reach. However, the decline in comments and likes is disappointing. I’m not sure what I can do to change that but it might help to comment on others blogs. I have become lazy and largely stopped doing that.

While I’ll continue doing reviews I think that limits my blog. So I will plan on trying new types of content: more lists, explainers, opinions, more long form content, particularly regarding manga. I have stated that I prefer anime to manga so I usually focus on the former more. In order to include more manga I will exclusively review them in volumes.

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So how was your 2022? Any blogging tips? Is there a type of anime blogging content you might want to see? Let me know.

Happy New Years. Hopefully 2023 will be better than 2022.