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.

Top 5 reasons I love Jujutsu Kaisen

5. Jujutsu Kaisen’s Reason’s for Curses Spirits

Once I stopped calling Jujutsu Kaisen’s Cursed Spirits, “demons,” I was curious what made them different. First, demons are generally living beings, whereas, as their name suggests, Cursed Spirits are spiritual beings. They are born from the negative Cursed Energy in humans. Locations that are hotspots for curses tend to be populated by negative emotions like hospitals and schools. What’s more interesting is anything humans fear collectively can manifest a Cursed Spirit, even famous monsters or ghosts. The amount of fear directly corresponds to the curses intellect. Mahito is a cursed spirit that believes that he’s the manifestation of humans’ hatred of each other.” In my review of episode 9, Young Fish and Reverse Punishment,” I wonder if cursed spirits could come from “anything.” I think the answer is yes. So far cursed spirits have manifested from human fears of natural disasters, volcano (Jojo), forests (Hanami), diseases like smallpox, and infestations like “grasshopper plague.”

4. Power Levels (Grades)

Jujutsu Kaisen has a power scaling system that ranks jujutsu sorcerers, cursed spirits, cursed objects, and cursed tools. The ranks range from grades one through four and special grades. It can be confusing at first, as most of us associate larger numbers with higher values. Generally, sorcerers are graded from Grade 4 to Grade 1. The scale for cursed spirits isn’t exact, Grade 2 sorcerers are slightly stronger than Grade 2 curses as their abilities put them closer to Grade 1 curses.

Ranks

If traditional weapons were used against curses and sorcerers measured their effectiveness as a gauge:

  • Grade 4: “A wooden bat is enough.”
  • Grade 3: “If you have a handgun, you can rest easy.”
  • Semi-Grade 2 :
  • Grade 2: “Close calls with a shotgun.”
  • Semi-Grade 1 :
  • Grade 1: “Even a tank might be insufficient.”
  • Special Grade 1 :
  • Special Grade: “Cluster bombs might work”.

Source: Fandom

3. Jujutsu Kaisen’s Cursed Techniques/Innate Techniques

Coming up with a unique power system has to be difficult. At this point what hasn’t been done. It’s not always necessary to invent new techniques, like fire, but you can invent how those abilities manifest. The series power system focuses on limitations. Binding Vows, Heavenly Restriction, and Domain Expansions are some limits placed on techniques. By deliberately placing limitations on one’s self, a jujutsu sorcerer can increase their power. For example, Nanami limits his power during work hours. This puts him at disadvantage for hours, when Nanami has to work “overtime” his cursed energy increases.

2. Satoru Gojo

Satoru Gojo was instantly appealing when he was first introduced in Jujutsu Kaisen. He loves to show off, enjoying fights with cursed spirits. When he fights he shows his enemies no mercy, he’ll happily decapitate them without any apprehension. Gojo is more complex than he initially seemed. He’s playful with his students but disrespectful towards the sorcerer executives to the point of suggesting he was willing to kill them. He’s arrogant, becoming judgmental of those he deems “weak.” He claimed that “throughout the Heavens and earth, he alone is the honored one.” He’s the strongest, everyone knows it, and he’s not afraid to remind people.

1. Deconstruction of shōnen tropes

When deconstructing tropes, a writer will often compare how tropes appear in one work and how they might play out in real life. Or at least apply more realistic consequences for the trope. This series deconstructs many tropes common to shōnen anime and manga. For example, Yuji Itadori is possessed by the evil cursed spirit Sukuna. In many shōnen series, like Yugioh, Bleach, and Naruto the evil entity is befriended, and the host gain power. So far in the series, Sukuna is completely unhelpful and even roots against Yuri.

Shōnen series like My Hero Academia and Naruto have massive casts of characters, Jujutsu Kaisen on the other hand only has small classes. This is due to Jujutsu sorcerers being picky and sorcerers being rare. Deconstruction is not intended as a criticism and according to TV Trope, can be thought of as taking work more seriously on its own terms than even the work itself does, for the purpose of laying barely hidden meanings in the text.” Regardless, Jujutsu Kaisen’s deconstruction of some shōnen tropes is welcomed.