My Hero Academia: war between the heroes and villains begin

Mirko the 5th ranked hero on the cover of My Hero Academia Chapter 261.
Mirko the 5th ranked hero

The Paranormal Liberation War Arc

After Hawks intel, the heroes raid on Gunga Mountain Villa

The heroes are finally prepared to take on the Paranormal Liberation Front. The organization was formed from the union of the League of Villains and the Meta Liberation. After Re-Destro is defeated, he gives power to Tomura Shigaraki. The name of the organization is meant to deliberately remove the “villain” title. Re-Destro believed that villains were the result of Quirk users being “cast out.” If he can liberate Quirk users, then villains wouldn’t exist. Hawks, who infiltrated the Liberation Front, fear the power of the new organization could rival that of Hero Society.

Invasion and the tenacious Mirko

The heroes appear at a hospital to find the mad doctor, Kyudai. He tries to flee but is stopped by Eraser Head. After activating his Erasure Quirk, Shota notices that the Doctor begins to age. Originally assumed to be Quirkless it turns out that he has an unnamed “longevity Quirk.” It’s speculated that this is the secret to All For One’s long life. Doctor Kyudai turns out to be a clone created by Twice. His real body is overseeing Tomura’s transformation. Before he can escape, Mirko arrives crushing Johnny under a massive door.

Mirko using her Lunar Ring
Mirko using her Lunar Ring

She is left to deal with Doctor Kyudai alone, as Endeavor and the others are surrounded by Nomu. Mirko has always been a fan favorite (mostly because of the way she looks), however, she is a flashy hero. She charges headfirst with confidence and power. Her Quirk, Rabbit, gifts her with the “attributes and abilities of a rabbit.” She makes good use of her leg strength and super hearing. A tiny Nomu named Mocha saves Dr. Kyudai. The later uses the opportunity to escape while releasing several high-end Nomus. They attack Mirko, slamming her into a large tanker. Faced with several High ends Nomu, Mirko is excited claiming she’s “just getting warmed up.”

Mirko decapitating a High-End Nomu with Lunar Tijera
Mirko decapitating a High-End Nomu with Lunar Tijera

Mirko vs High End Nomu

What makes high-end Nomu so special is not just their strength, but their ability to think for themselves and maintain their personalities. Dr. Kyudai selected villains with ” a disposition for combat.” Dr. Kyudai and Shigaraki are trapped without the warping Nomu and Shigaraki is at 70% stabilization. Watching Mirko fight is amazing. Her powerful legs allow her to move with explosive speed. She battles 5 High-End Nomu. She uses her super move, Luna Ring, blowing away the Nomu while she rotates violently. One of the Nomu uses a Quirk to warp her arm, tearing it off. She is unbothered. Crushing one Nomu with Lunar Fall, then decapitating the other with Lunar Tijera.

With three Nomu remaining, Mirko states that she “lives with the reminder of the possibility if her death everyday.” As a result she won’t be “taken down by some zombies.”

The Liberation Front and the Heroes battle
The Liberation Front and the Heroes battle

Heroes attack Gunga Mountain Villa

Heroes gather outside the Villa preparing to capture any villains that escape. Cementoss uses his Quirk to rip open the Liberation fronts mansion. The villains begin to panic. An unnamed villain steps forward. Using his Amplivolt Quirk which allows “the user to conduct and amplify electricity within their body, being able to release it afterward.” He uses Supreme Discharge Thundernet. Suddenly, Denki absorbs his lighting attack with his Quirk.

The heroes attacks the underground sanctuary. Outside Edgeshot, Midnight, and Kamui dominate many villains. Meanwhile, Hawks confront a heart broken Twice. He remembers how his trusting nature has cost him and his friends in the past. When he brought Overhaul to the League of Villains hideout, it cost Magne her life. He starts crying releasing once again he has cost his friends. Hawks hopes that after Twice pays for his crimes he can start over because “he’s a good person.” Enraged, Twice lashes out. He tells Hawks that “he doesn’t care about the whole system anymore.”

Hawks shrouded in darkness

Dabi vs Hawks, Twice death

Twice releases his Super Move: Infinite Doubles “Sad Man’s Parade.” Hawks easily destroys the clones with his feathers. Twice becomes frantic, charging at Hawks. He pins Twice to the floor with a bladed feather. He tells Twice “when neither side will give up . . . somebody has to die.” Twice responds that “you people aren’t heroes.” They don’t “know or care.” He says that even if his friends won’t forgive him he will still “protect their happiness.” Before Hawks could kill him, Dabi arrives. Most of Hawks feathers are burned. At a disadvantage, Hawks knows he must prioritize the mission.

Twice has sliced up bones and muscles, preventing him from using his full power. Dabi tells him that he can handle the heroes outside alone. He should “go nuts.” Before he can escape, Hawks flies throw the door having flown outside and circled back. Dabi calls Hawks by his real name, Keigo Takami. Leading Hawks to ask “who are you.” Outside the room, Twice hopes to protect everyone. He sees Himiko and Mr. Compress begin attacked by a hero. He sends a clone of himself to rescue them. The clone stabs the hero in the back of the head. Excited, Mr. Compress tells Twice to make more copies as they escape. Twice can’t. Hawks killed the real Twice. He returns the handkerchief to Toga. He apologizes. Toga gives the dissolving clone a hug thanking Jin for “saving her.”

Image of Twice Death
Twice Death

Kohei blurs the line between hero and villain

There are a lot of characters in this arc. Most of the heroes and villains are unknown, making it difficult to be concerned with either side. What is the cost? I think the sense of urgency can only happen with the heroes we are most familiar with. While I enjoyed the fight with Mirko, I wasn’t emotionally attached to her, so I didn’t feel any fear for her safety. However, I did feel this for Twice. Twice death made me feel sadder for the demise of a villain than ever before. He seemed generally hurt that Hawks betrayed him. Faced with this reality meant that his friends were in danger. I’ve said this before, but it should be repeated, Kohei is doing something great with villains.

He draws Hawks in a dark shadow. if you didn’t know ant better you might mistake him for the villain. He also turned the typical shonen villain, hero dynamic on its head. Normally, we root for the hero without nuance. At points in this fight, I was rooting for Twice, against Hawks, then for Hawks. I was glad when Twice escaped and devastated when he was killed. Did Hawks need to kill him? I guess so. However, it felt unnecessary. That said Hawks did seriously try to arrest Twice, instead of killing him. I was surprised that I cared so much about Twice. In the end, he regretted being the cause of the hero’s invasion. He tried to redeem himself, I think he succeeded.

My Hero Academia Vol. 26 Recap & Review

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Samurai 8’s failure, Burn the Witch, and an argument for a Bleach sequel

Emperor Carnage discusses why he thinks Samurai 8 failed. Personally, I liked what I saw from the series. However, I must admit that I hadn’t read a chapter since I reviewed the Volume One last year. I guess with “fans” like me the series was doomed. I have every intention of completing and reviewing the series. I just have to decide if I will review each remaining volume or the entire series.

the main selling point of the series was “A new series from the creator of Naruto!” Naruto was a MASSIVE series for Shonen Jump; they were probably expected a similar reception. Especially sense their biggest series, One Piece, is setting up its endgame. For all the joke, I think the flashback is enough proof: One Piece only has a few more years left in it. Shonen Jump needs something to be just as popular to fill the void. “Samurai 8” just couldn’t do it.

Emperor Carnage
A Battle scene from Samurai 8
A Battle scene from Samurai 8

Dreager1 finally gets around to reviewing Burn the Witch. Tite Kubo’s One-Shot has gotten a manga series and anime. Dreager1 doesn’t respond well to one of the characters, Balgo. Who I agree is really annoying.

Balgo is really my main problem with the series. Every scene with him is pretty brutal. He’s only got Noel on his mind and only in a very superficial way. While this is supposed to be comedic it definitely falls short of that and becomes irritating almost instantly. There is just no way you can root for the guy or even feel bad for him. The dynamic that the series is going for completely falls flat and it will heavily limit Burn The Witch’s potential. I’m hoping that he will ultimately get written out and was just made up for the opening pilot. They’ve gotta get rid of him.

Dreager1

Finally, JCR Comics Art discusses whether Bleach should get a direct sequel on top of a spin-off (Burn the Witch) and the anime of the final arc. While it seems that Boruto is doing well, I’m personally don’t think sequels (especially future generations) work well. I have my problems with the way Bleach ended, so I agree that the characters didn’t get satisfying endings.

One of the biggest complaints for the finale of Bleach was that a lot of characters not only didn’t get a proper ending, and there were QUITE A FEW characters in the roster of Soul Society, but also, several characters weren’t revealed to have lived or died in the final battle! While the sequel doesn’t necessarily need to be a full blown series, perhaps it could be an installment that simply ties a bow on the characters that we all grew to know during Beach’s time as one of the most popular Shonen series around!

JCR

My Hero Academia Episode 87: Recap and Review

In episode 87 of My Hero Academia the pussycats return.
The Pussycats return

In the penultimate episode of Season 4 of My Hero Academia, the last arc comes to a close. Eri is gets transferred to U.A. Abandoned by her family, Eri has nowhere to go. To keep her powers in check, Aizawa will need to be close. Mirio will take time off from school to help with Eri. Considering the relationship Mirio formed with Eri, this makes sense. He also doesn’t have a Quirk anymore, so he probably doesn’t need school right now. 

The Return of the Pussycats

The Wild Wild Pussycats arrive at the U.A. dorms. Everyone’s excited. They announce that they are returning from hiatus. Ragdoll, still without her Quirk, plans on becoming an office lady. They received a message from Tartarus. All For One apologizes for stealing her Quirk. He claims that “he has a little bad habit of taking up any good quirk and hoarding it for himself.” He mockingly offers to return it. I can’t help but feel that All For One will get free at some point. He’s too smart not to escape. Although All For One is being kept alive with an oxygen mask. 

Anyway, Momo says that “due to their period of inactivity, they have dropped a lot of positions in the ranking but still have fans who are waiting for their return.” The Pussycats ranking plummeted from 32 to 411. The remained that high because of public perception, inspiring them.

Hawks giving a speech

JP Hero Billboard Chart

With All Might retiring, there are new hero rankings. Considering the importance of the announcement, its held at Kamino. The Hero Billboard Chart is an official ranking of Japan’s heroes. The Hero Public Safety Commission uses a formula that reviews several factors to determine the rank. They emphasize the “number of cases solved, general popularity, and level of social contribution.” The approval ratings of heroes also factor in but aren’t as important as other factors. 

The new JP Hero Billboard Chart Rankings are:

  1. Endeavor
  2. Hawks
  3. Best Jeanist
  4. Ninja Hero Edgeshot
  5. Miruko
  6. Shield Hero: Crust
  7. Kamui Woods
  8. Laundry Hero: Wash
  9. Equipped Hero: Yoroi Musha
  10. Ryukyu
The High End Nomu arrives, Endeavor engages

Hawks Stands Out

Being a manga reader I know more about Hawks than this episode reveals. He’s arrogant and rude. He questions why ” Heroes with less accomplished that he is playing safe with his words instead of saying something more heroic-like.” His personality makes him more interesting. His motives seem questionable. Hawks want to team up with Endeavor. They’re an odd hero couple. While working with the police, Hawks was searching for information on Nomu. He wants Endeavor to verify the rumors regarding Nomu’s and ease the publics’ concerns. Suddenly, a “High End” Nomu arrives. It asks “who’s the strongest.” Endeavor orders Hawks to evacuate everyone and attacks with Flashfire Fist – Jet Burn

With only one episode left this season, My Hero Academia is going to go out with a bang. I can’t wait to see this fight animated. Endeavor is a hero that very little is known. We know more about him than most, but his motivation is unclear. Watching him fight a new threat will give us a glimpse into now strong his fighting style is. My Hero Academia is presenting him like All Might when he fought a Nomu. I don’t think it a coincidence. Kohei wants the viewers to compare the two heroes. 

My Hero Academia Episode 86: Recap and Review

‘One Piece: Stampede’ Review: A new threat arrives

Luffy excited at all the Expo has to offer

One Piece: Stampede is the fourteenth movie from the One Piece series. The “Pirate Expo” is an event that occurs every few years. This expo, orchestrated by Douglas Bullet and Buena Festa, offered an Eternal Pose found by Gol D. Roger. 

Demon Heir’s Freedom

Douglas Bullet is the former member of the Roger Pirates. A former child soldier, Bullet values strength above all else. As a result, Douglas loves challenging everyone he encounters. The only person to defeat him was Gol D. Roger. Bullet aims to become the Pirate King by killing the strongest pirates, specifically the Worst Generation and the four Yonko. 

His distinctive laugh is: “Kahahaha.”

Like most members of the Roger Pirates, Bullet is powerful. Having a lot of experience on the battlefield from a young age, he gained tremendous fighting skills. As a 14-year-old, he destroyed an entire country. He ate the Gasha Gasha no Mi devil fruit. With it, he can “disassemble inanimate objects and assemble them into anything he wants with his mind.” Buggy suggests that his strength is comparable to Silvers Rayleigh. He survived a Buster Call commanded by Sengoku and Garp. While imprisoned in Impel Down, he trained, increasing his strength. 

One Piece: Stampede begins by telling the story of his escape. During the Blackbeard Pirates break-in, Bullet escaped. At some point, he teamed up with Buena Festa. Together they devised a plan to lure pirates into a trap. 

Image of Douglas Bullet using Haki while challenging the Worst Generation in One Piece: Stampede
Bullet using Haki while challenging the Worst Generation

The Expo and unlikely alliances

The Straw Hats, the Worst Generation, the Barto Club, the Beautiful Pirates, the Bliking Pirates, Buggy Pirates, the Kuja Pirates, and the Marines all arrive at Delta Island. Expecting to compete for treasure that belonged to Roger, Bullet arrives. He challenges the Worst Generation. Together, Luffy, Eustass Kid, Killer, Basil Hawkins, Scratchmen Apoo, Capone Bege, Jewelry Bonney, X Drake, and Urouge battle Bullet. 

He overwhelms them with superior strength and speed. The battle while onesided is a pleasure to watch. Bullet is a hulking figure. He’s able to withstand attacks from Luffy’s Gear Fourth: Snakeman despite being impressed by Luffy. Regardless, Bullet defeats the Supernovas. Meanwhile, a Buster Call fleet lead by Sentomaru arrives. Admiral Fugitora clashes with Zoro. The final part of the Bullet’s plan begins. Using his devil fruit he forms a massive colossus. 

With another Buster Call on the way and Bullet rampaging, the remaining island inhabitants are in danger. Together Smoker, Hancock, Sabo, Law, Buggy, Crocodile, and even Rob Lucci join forces to stop Bullet. Ultimately, its Luffy delivers a devasting blow. After the fight, Luffy obtains the Eternal Pose and destroys it. Saying “he’ll make it on his own.”

A fun sideshow

One Piece: Stampede is an enjoyable movie, especially because One Piece movies can be hit or miss. While not canon, the Pirates Expo is a fun idea. The Pirates Expo is mostly an excuse to bring many of the series pirates together. It works both as a reasonable plan for Bullet to get the strongest pirates in one place and a reason for the movie to bring our faves together. If your unfamiliar with this series then the sheer volume of characters might be distracting. Furthermore, the significance of the alliances would be lost on you. 

With so much going one and so many characters, many of the fights were cut short. I would have loved to see Zoro and Admiral Fujitora fight from start to finish. Regardless, watching Marines, Pirates, heroes, and villains fight alongside one another was delightful. Finally, the animation. One Piece: Stampede features top-quality animation. Every scene is fluid and consistent. The only issue is the CGI colossus that Bullet created. It was distracting and felt out of place. Overall, One Piece movies can feel like high-quality fillers. If that’s all One Piece: Stampede is, I still think it’s worth your time.

One Piece Chapter 975: The Alliance is 5400 Strong

Is Dabi Toya Todoroki?

One of the most pressing questions among My Hero Academia fandom is the identity of Dabi, the mysterious villain, and Lieutenant of the Paranormal Liberation Front. Many fans wonder if Dabi is actually Toya Todoroki. I think the question of Dabi’s identity has its merits. So what are the clues?

Image of Dabi

1. Mysteries surrounding Toya and Dabi

There are many unanswered questions surrounding the two characters that imply that there one and the same. Kinda. First, Dabi’s real name isn’t known. Considering the fact that lesser-known characters in My Hero Academia have their real names revealed it seems odd that Dabi’s remains a secret. For example, Trumpet is a minor villain in the series. However, we know that his real name is Koku Hanabata. Obviously, there are other characters who’s real names aren’t mentioned, but the ones of Dabi’s stature tend to. In addition to this, Toya is currently considered missing. This could explain why his origins are unknown.

How old are they?

Like Dabi’s real name, his age isn’t mentioned. Neither is Toya’s. We do know that Toya is the eldest of the Todoroki children. Fuyumi is 23, Natsuo 19, and Shoto is 16. Meaning Toya is a least 24. Without knowing the age of Dabi it’s impossible to determine if he could be a Todoroki. However, we still can’t rule that out.

2. Quirks are inherited

In My Hero Academia, Quirks are inherited genetically. This is the biggest argument for Toya and Dabi being the same person. Dabi’s Quirk is known as “cremation.” However, it hasn’t been given an official name yet and neither has Toya’s fire Quirk. Anyone that watches the anime, knows that the series often restates the Quirks of the villains and heroes. So why don’t we know the official name of Dabi’s fire Quirk?

The blue flame

Dabi’s fire Quirk is the ability to use a blue flame. This color of fire is proof that Dabi’s fire is higher in temperature that Endeavor’s. This is important because in chapter 202, page 8, Endeavor notes (in a flashback) that Toya’s fire was more “even greater firepower than mine.” In addition to this, during the Hosu incident (Episode 30), Endeavor burns the head of a Nomus off using a blue flame. This shows that blue flames are possible among his bloodline. Finally, Quirks get stronger each successive generation. If Dabi is Toya it makes sense that his Quirk would be stronger than Endeavors.

3. So why don’t they recognize him?

One of the best arguments against this theory is the fact that neither Shoto or Enji recognize Dabi. However, there are several good reasons for this. First, both Shoto and Enji (Endeavor) were isolated from the other members of his family. Named “failures” by Endeavor, he deliberately segregated himself and Shoto from them. In chapter 192, page 12, Natsu reveals that his father never let them into Shoto’s life. Would either of them recognize him? Furthermore, Dabi has charred skin covering half his face. Coincidentally, when Endeavor and Dabi meet for the “first” time, the former has a “blurry” vision.

Using their full name

During the moments when Shoto and Enji meet Dabi, he does something odd. He calls them by the full names. In chapter 82, page 18, Dabi calls Shoto by his full name when the later fails to rescue Bakugo. After Endeavor defeats the “High-End Nomu, Hood,” Dabi arrives. Before he escapes he tells “Enji Todoroki,” not to “die until they meet again one day.” This is to deliberate to be a coincidence.

Overall, I think the evidence that Dabi and Toya are the same is too great. With the gaps in both their profiles (age and name of quirk). Dabi’s over-familiar tone with Shoto and Enji. His flame being stronger that Endeavors. The best evidence against this theory can be explained away. So what do you think? Convinced? Did I miss something? Do you have something else to add?

Other possible evidence:

  1. Dabi/Toya’s “weakness” could be the reason his skin burns
  2. Dabi/Toya’s burn marks resemble the portions of Endeavors costume where flames erupt
  3. Dabi, Shoto, and Enji have the same eye (that one’s a little thin)

My Hero Academia Episode 86: Recap and Review