Haikyuu!! Fourth Season, Episode 2: Recap and Review

Team Shiratorizawa arrives to practice in episode 2 of Haikyuu!! Fourth Season.
Team Shiratorizawa arrives to practice

In episode 2 of Haikyuu!! Fourth Season, Hinata struggles with his new role as ball boy. However, he takes to the role with the same hyper energy he does everything else. You feel for him. As he’s a bit embarrassed but desperate to get better. Washijo-sensei is harder on Hinata than he is on the other ball boys. The other coaches theorize that Coach Washijo is being petty because Karasuno took “the Spring Tournament from them.” This episode focuses less directly on the volleyball and more acutely on Hinata. Particularly focusing on his eyes, as he has been relegated to a spectator. Washijo makes it clear however, that his “determination” won’t change anything. I anticipate that his opinion will likely change. Coach Ukai asks Hinata if “he really thought they would let him practice with them?”

Hinata laments the fact that he’s “behind” his competition. Coach Ukai tells him that he shouldn’t “underestimate what it takes to be a ball boy.” The next day Hinata steps up his effort as a ball boy. Meanwhile, third years and some alumni from Shiratorizawa arrive. Hinata gets excited. The teams play as Washijo gives instruction from the sidelines. Shiratorizawa takes the practice set 25-14. Satori Tendo asks Hinata why he isn’t playing. Hinata tells him that he wasn’t invited and crashed. However, Wakatoshi isn’t nearly as amused. He asks Hinata “What is he doing?” Elsewhere, team Karasuno begins practicing serves. Coach Ukai is concerned that they might lose some of their players. Ukai knows that the students aren’t the only ones competing but the coaches and the schools are as well. They need to keep helping their players get better, otherwise they might lose them.

Haikyuu!! Fourth Season is still setting the narrative for the season. I’m curious how Hinata joins the practices, he’s running out of time. Is it possible for Hinata to remain the ball boy? That would be interesting, but I don’t know how that would help him grow. Regardless, Haikyuu!! Fourth Season remains compelling and I can’t wait for the next episode.

Haikyuu!! Fourth Season Episode 1 Review

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My Hero Academia Season 4 – Episode 14: Recap and Review

Izuku remembering what's at stake in episode 14 of season 4 of my hero academia
Izuku remembering what’s at stake

In episode 14 of season 4 of My Hero Academia, the heroes encounter serious losses. After the major battle between Eri, Deku and Chisaki we see the aftermath of a hard-fought fight. Hari Kurono contemplates the possibility that Chisaki has lost. He takes out a blade to kill Aizawa, but is stopped by Tamaki Amajiki. Mirio is unconscious and Asui arrives to help. Back on the surface, Eri Quirk goes out of control. When Kai tries to get her one last time, her Quirk cause his fusion with Rikiya to reverse. Ochaco captures Kai in midair, pinning him to the ground. She explains the situation to Ryuko Tatsuma and how Sir Nighteye needs an ambulance. As Eri powers continues to go out of control, Aizawa uses his Quirk to “erase” her Quirk. The police arrive, as the League of Villains slink off unnoticed.

Sir Nighteye sees a different future

Up until this point, Sir Nighteye believed that the outcome his Quirk predicted were guaranteed to occur. Midoriya undermined this reality. Nighteye tells him that ” he really did twist the future.” Izuku makes sure he tells Sir Nighteye what All Might told him. He tells him that All Might said that “he is alive and is ashamed to look at him in the eye.” Izuku encourages Nighteye to “keep fighting.” Meanwhile, on the highway, the vehicle transporting the members of the Eight Bullets are attacked by Tomura Shigaraki, Dabi and Atsuhiro. Dabi uses his Quirk to attack a police car. Inside is the Sand Hero Snatch, who blocks it with his sand. Tomura then attacks, however, he is also countered by Snatch’s sand. Atsuhiro takes the opportunity to release a boulder that crashes into the police car. This causes Snatch to release Tomura.

He then jumps on the window of the escort vehicle, disintegrates the window and flips the car over. When Dabi attacks Snatch, he is able to block is fire again. However, Atsuhiro uses his “compress” on Snatch and the flames. Dabi assumes that Snatch would die from the fire. Once Tomura encounters Kai, he tells him that he “despises,” him. Atsuhiro takes part of Kai’s arm and Tomura cuts the other on off. It a brutal end for Kai who keeps his life but loses his arms and Quirk. It think that’s just, as Kai took Mirio’s Quirk from him. As Kai screams in agony, Tomura and the others leave with Tomura saying that “they will be the next rulers of the underworld.”

The aftermath

Nejire begins to survey the damage. Half the police force was defeated by Rikiya’s Quirk, three houses were destroyed with only three injured. Deku careful use of his powers against Kai minimized the overall damage to the neighborhood. Elsewhere, at the hospital, Izuku has minor damage to his arms, Eijiro has “bruising and lacerations.” Tamaki has a broken bone in his face, Fat Gum has several bone fractures, Rock Lock will recover from his stab wound. However, Sir Nighteye will not survive. All Might finally meets with his former sidekick. Both he and Izuku hope that Nighteye can “fight against fate.” Nighteye hoped to be able to change All Might’s fate. He believes that “everyone’s wishes for a better future,” changed the outcome. Naturally, Mirio is devastated. Sir Nighteye uses his Quirk one last time to see Mirio’s future.

He sees a ” future where Mirio becomes an outstanding Hero,” and he dies smiling. If you didn’t cry at the end of this episode, I don’t know what would make you. Sir Nighteye was presented as a stoic hard ass. However, his relationship Mirio was more important anyway. It was particularly this relationship with Mirio that was most touching. Mirio who has now lost his teacher and his Quirk, will be the most impacted by his death. I have a feeling that he will gain inspiration from Nighteye’s last words and his vision. Eri’s Quirk is going to take time to master, but when she does I think she will restore Mirio’s Quirk. However, I still think that there will be a time limit on how far back she can go or what she can reverse. I wonder if she will master it in time.

Check Out My Episode 13 Review

Pokemon: Twilight Wings, a short anime series based on Sword and Shield games

Pokemon: Twilight Wings is a seven episode limited animated series. Set in the Galar Region, the short anime series will follow the citizens of Galar. According to the Pokemon Company, the seven episodes will “show in detail the dreams of Galar’s residents, the realities they face, the challenges they must overcome, and the conflicts they must resolve.” Nintendo revealed last week that they will be adding new content to the Sword and Shield games through expansion packs. Coupled with an official anime and this new limited series, suggest that they intend on focusing this region a lot longer. Pokemon: Twilight Wings will feature episodes that run about 5 minutes each.

The first episode, “Letter,” takes place inside a children’s hospital. A boy named John wishes to see his favorite Pokemon Champion, Leon. He writes a letter to Chairman Rose to give to him during his visit. I wonder if the series will return to the characters more than once, but with the time limit I doubt it. I was left wondering if John got what he wanted or if Chairman Rose even read his letter. Despite the length of the episode John was quickly established as a sympathetic character. While his illness wasn’t clear, John’s inability to run was. I felt sorry for him as he struggled to climb the stairs to reach the roof. Japanese animators at Studio Colorido (Penguin Highway) did a great job with the animation. New episodes of Pokemon: Twilight Wings will be released monthly. You can catch the episodes on Pokemon TV or the official Pokemon YouTube Channel.


Dorohedoro Episode 1 Recap & Review

Kaiman and Matsumura in Episode 1 of Dorohedoro
Kaiman and Matsumura in Episode 1 of Dorohedoro

Dorohedoro is an anime adaptation of a manga series created by Q Hayashida. The story follows Kaiman, an man with a lizard head, as he tries to find the one magic user that cursed him. Kaiman also has amnesia making his search even more difficult. Episode 1 of Dorohedoro opens inside the mouth of Kaiman. There’s someone inside of Kaiman’s mouth. He looks at Matsumura and determines that “he’s not the one.” Once outside his mouth, Kaiman asks Matsumura “what did the guy inside say to you?” When he repeats what was said, Kaiman concludes that “he’s no longer needed,” and slicing him into pieces. In his last act, Matsumura uses magic to create a door to save his comrade.

The hole and the World of sorcerers

The two criminals in the previous scene were “sorcerers.” They use magic to conjure doors that connect their world to the town called “Hole.” A ghetto, with a lot of powerless people, the sorcerers use the citizens of the Hole as lab rat’s of sorts. Kaiman’s part time job at a hospital exposes the horrors that these experiments can render. Several patient’s have had parts of their bodies turn into insect parts. The partial transformation causes them to bleed and spasm. Elsewhere, Nikaido returns to her dinner. A hot spot for sorcerers, the area where it’s located is sparsely populated. She encounters the unnamed sorcerer outside. While feeding him she comments on the “shitty magic” that he was using (unaware that it’s him). He attacks her while her backs turned.

Kaiman still living a normal life

Kaiman is a new threat

For whatever reason, Kaiman is immune to magic. Suspected to be due to the curse placed on him, this makes him a major threat to sorcerers. He and Nikaido have killed several sorcerers. This has resulted in the head Sorcerer, En, banning sorcerers form entering Hole. Lucky for Nikaido, when a sorcerer is killed their magic is dispersed. This also sets up a simple goal for Kaiman and Nikaido. If they want to reverse the curse, kill all the sorcerers. Dorohedoro doesn’t appear to complicate it’s morality until the introduction of Ebisu. At first she appears as a menacing, wearing a skull mask. However, when it gets ripped off, the fear on he face suggests that she somewhat innocent.

In a struggle between Kaiman and Fujita, he face gets ripped off. What effect this has on her and how she feels about Kaiman remains to be seen. However, I would imagine she would hate the man that tore her face off. We are introduced to two “cleaners,” Shin and Noi as they kill people in Hole. Dorohedoro is a series that is best described as quirky. This can only be a good thing. It can be difficult to stand out in this industry, but Dorohedoro has managed at least that. Kaiman is a perfect protagonist for this series, as he’s also a bit quirky. Brutal when interacting with sorcerers, he also has a childish side. The animation from MAPPA isn’t particularly revolutionary. However, the CG wasn’t overused or terribly rendered. The storytelling and plot might be too weird for some but the first episode of Dorohedoro has me captivated. I’m in.

Anime Movie Review: Kimi no na wa, one of the best Anime Movies

Taki Tachibana and Mitsuha Miyamizu from kimi no na wa.
Taki Tachibana and Mitsuha Miyamizu

Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) is a romantic drama, released in 2016. It became the highest grossing film in Japan that year ($190 million) and the second highest grossing anime film of all time ($361 million). The film has received critical acclaim, earning 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and 79 out of 100 on Metacritic. Your Name is from the director Makoto Shinkai, who created Distant Star and 5 Centimeters Per Second. It’s based on the novel of the same name, it premiered during the Anime Expo 2016 convention on July 3, 2016. Your Name was animated by CoMix Wave Films and distributed by Toho.

The story centers on a high school girl named Mitsuha Miyamizu who wishes to be a handsome Tokyo boy in another life. A boy named Taki Tachibana, wakes up and realizes that he is now Mitsuha. Taki and Mitsuha switch bodies, they communicate through leaving paper notes and memos in their phones. They begin to interfere in each others lives, Mitsuha helps Taki being a relationship with a coworker, Miki Okudera. Taki increases Mitsuha’s popularity in high school. Suddenly, Taki and Mitsuha return to their previous bodies. Taki begins searching for Mitsuha, without having the name of her village, he uses sketches that he created by memory.

The comet

He is finally told by a restaurant server that he’s looking for Itomori. However, he is informed that a fragment of comet fell to earth three years ago, killing a third of Itomori population. Taki searches through the names of fatalities and sees Mitsuha name listed. He realizes that Mitsuha existed on the completely different timeline. Taki drinks an offering that Mitsuha leaves behind and returns to her body. He attempts to save the town, managing to convince her friends to help her evacuate the town. Eventually, they finally meet, Taki tells Mitsuha to convince her father to evacuate the town. Their memories begin to fade and Mitsuha begins to give up on Taki.

However, after inspiration from Taki’s “I love you,” she begs her father to evacuate the town a second time. The comet crashes into Itomori, destroying the town. It is revealed eight years later that Mitsuha succeeded in convincing her father to evacuate the town. Both Taki and Mitsuha forget each other. Taki moves on, living his life, he graduates from university. However, he does have a fondness for items from Itomori. Finally, while riding on parallel trains they see each other and finally ask each other their names.

I generally don’t gravitate towards anime outside of the typical Shonen genre, however, the critically acclaim of this movie made me curious. I’ll admit that I really liked this movie. I cared about Taki and Mitsuha, their relationship and was sad when I found out she had initially died. Even with it’s heartbreak, Kimi no Na wa does have some humor. The tendency of Taki to fondle Mitsuha’s breast when inhabiting her body, while juvenile, was still funny. Finally, the animation is some of the best you will ever see. Even if your not a fan of romance (like me), any anime fan will enjoy this movie.

Read my review of Steamboy.