Anime

Weekly Shonen Recap and Review : Sanji abandons his Germa suit, Yuji gets Judged guilty, and Shigaraki reaches Star and Stripe

One Piece Chapter 1031

Warrior of Science

In Chapter 1031 of One Piece, Eustass Kid and Law manage to hurt Big Mom. She emerges from the rubble using her Soul Pocus ability to extract the souls of nearby Beast Pirates and create Homies out of the metal beams. She claims it been over a decade since she’s felt “this much pain.” She challenges them to come for her throne if they can and grows larger. Elsewhere, Apoo tries and fails to convince Drake to join him. Their fight is interrupted when Yamato burst through the wall. She can’t slow down and barrels through.

Apoo and the Numbers, Fuga, Inbi, and Zanki give chase forcing Drake to follow as well. Meanwhile, CP0 locate Nico Robin and Brook. While escaping thanks to the Minks, Robin wonders why the elite CP0 are in Wano. In the brothel, Sanji is accused of attacking a young woman. Sanji is confused what happened. Before he can figure it out, Queen arrives. Unsure if Luffy would prefer a Sanji that can’t harm a woman or one that’s a “soldier of science,” Sanji destroys his Raid Suit. After telling Zoro to kill him if loses his humanity, he attacks Queen with Diable Jambe: Hell Memories.

I’m still disappointed with the lack of focus in this arc. Moving from fight to fight and scene to scene is irritating. I would prefer if Oda just focused on one fight at a time. He could occasionally switch to other characters to keep things fresh but I’m having difficulty getting in to any of these fights. I’m not sure how I feel about Sanji’s fight. I don’t believe he’s capable of hitting a woman and I can’t imagine he thinks Luffy would ever prefer a heartless fighter over a mindless killer. I think this has more to due with Sanji having an identity crises.


Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 164

Tokyo No. 1 Colony, Part 4

Jujutsu Kaisen continues to surprise me. I was certain this was going to be another knock down drag out battle. Only for Gege Akutami to introduce the domain expansion version of a courtroom. This is obviously necessary considering Yuji cannot kill Higuruma. Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 164 adds more to the lore of the series. According to Master Tengen, Domain Expansion use to be “more common.” The “deadly can’t miss” Domains of the current series, is a modern era invention. In the past, Domain Expansions simply forced targets to follow the curse users rules.

It makes since that Higuruma would uses his Domain Expansion to imitate a courtroom. What is surprising here is Yuji’s intellect. He’s able to figure out how to rules work even though he may have made the wrong choice in the end. Higuruma explains that they each have “one chance to make a statement.” The shikigami he calls, Judgeman, will determine the “verdict.” Higuruma claims he doesn’t know what the outcome is if Yuji is found guilty. Regardless, Yuji has three choices: Stay silent, confess, or deny. He’s permitted to lie if he must. Higuruma notes an obvious truth; “if everyone told the truth there be no need for trials.”

Yuji deduces he should tell a half truth. He’s accused of entering a pachinko parlor and gambling. Yuji is guilty, but decides to leave out the gambling part and claim he only “took a dump.” Yuji is found guilty of “unlawful entry.” Due to the legal loopholes regarding gambling it was possible for Yuji to avoid guilt if he “denied it.” Anyway, Judgeman announces Yuji’s guilt and the domain disappears. Higuruma attacks Yuji with a gavel that alters its size. Yuji can’t control his curse energy, which he considers a good thing.


My Hero Academia Chapter 332

State-of-the-art Hypersonic Intercontinental cruise

I argued that I thought the limits on Star and Stripe Quirk was enough to balance of her potentially broken powers. I was starting to waver on that opinion before Shigaraki survived the State-of-the-art hypersonic intercontinental cruise punch. Star and Stripe has ONE over the top Quirk, Shigaraki has hundreds. Early in the chapter, Star and Stripe is told she compares herself to All Might too much. Compared to her idol she’s behind. This was a flashback, so her current ability isn’t only greater than All Might (his powers are gone), it’s could be argued she surpassed him at his peak. Which admitted, we haven’t seen in the main series.

In the previous chapter, Star and Stripe created an air version of herself that’s “1,000 times bigger than herself.” This figure is invisible to Shigaraki, but he senses it’s presence. Using this ability she’s able to hit Shigaraki with a devastating blow from her Super Move, Fist Bump to the Earth. She concludes the only way to defeat Shigaraki is to “bust him down to atoms.” While continuing to hold him in place with the laser move United Hyper-Max Output Laser: Keraunos. In this moment, Star and Stripe reminded me not of All Might but Zeus. Regardless, Shigaraki can’t move but has deduced her plan.

Shigaraki finally reaches Star and Stripe

She calls to American Military Commander Agpar. He initially chastises her for being too independent, but then praises her for making American “shine.” Using her previous, air formation, she grabs a number of Tiamat missiles. She smashes them into Shigaraki, creating a massive crater. However, Shigaraki used his Decay ability to make a hole in the ground beneath him. Avoiding his likely death. As Shigaraki ascends toward her, Star and Stripe’s ally tells her to destroy his ship along with Shigaraki. The act would have killed him as well. Unwilling to kill her comrade, she hesitates. The final page shows Shigaraki grabbing her face.

Is this the end of Star and Stripe? I hope not. Endeavor was shown briefly but I don’t think it was for nothing. I can’t imagine he doesn’t rescue her. Maybe she have some scars from Shigaraki’s decay but the speed of Quirk would likely kill her instantly. Of course he could try to take her Quirk, which from what we’ve seen takes a little time. Either way, My Hero Academia is stepping up the action.

Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 163: Yuji Itadori and Megumi Fushiguro prepare to fight

Tokyo No.1 Colony, Part 3

Have you ever killed someone who ticks you off . . . it feels better than I expected

Hiromi Higuruma

Summary of Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 163:

After the last chapter set up Yuji and Megumi, we wondered which one would get betrayed. I over thought it, assuming the obvious choice Remi wouldn’t be the traitor. I was wrong, she does set Megumi up to face Reggie. They don’t waste much time and Megumi quickly summons his divine dogs. Yuji is the one that meets Hiromi Higuruma. The former prosecutor, is taking a “bath” in his clothes on, while centered on a stage.

Yuji asks him to use his 100 points to “end the culling game.” Higuruma bluntly says no. He sees the culling games as a substitute for the “powerless” law. Ever if rules are imperfect, he could use the games mechanics to enforce “natural law.” Yuji warns him that “everyone in the country would die.” Higuruma isn’t so sure. He claims the culling game “celebrates permanence.” Feed up, Yuji threatens Higuruma and prepares to fight. Higuruma get out of the tub and releases his cursed spirit.


Hiromi Higuruma’s plan

Analysis

In the beginning of the chapter we get a flashback from Rin Amai. He assesses his classmates, as they pick on someone, as being neither “smart or athletic.” He decides it’s best to avoid “pissing them off” and chooses to “just smile and go with the flow.” Rin is presented as the type avoid being seen as a target. Inside the culling game he did become a target and is being forced to do things against his will.

He’s contrasted with Yuji who appears, an instead tells them to “knock it off.” Yuji’s unwilling to just stand by and allow others to be picked. We already knew this about him but it’s necessary to set up the rest of this chapter. Yuji manhandles all three of the bullies. Rin remains a coward, whereas, Yuji is eager to see Higuruma despite the danger. Megumi is also willing to risk his life for others but in this arc he seems more willing than Yuji to harm his opposition. This doesn’t mean Yuji won’t do it but he resists more.

Megumi is far less trusting than Yuji and in this case he’s right for doing so. After Megumi is betrayed he gives Remi a death stare. She’s not scared but I think she should be. I’m don’t think Higuruma’s plan makes much sense. The culling game doesn’t apply to all of society and Kenjaku wants to eliminate all non-curse users. Basically Kenjaku wants to commit genocide. Will Higuruma consent to that? I suspect Yuji will be able to convince him to choose to save lives. But first, we’ll get to witness what abilities Higuruma has.

Anime

Ousama Ranking Episode 1: A good for nothing Prince

Ousama Ranking is based on a Japanese web manga series created by Sousuke Tooka. The series focuses on Bojji. The first born Prince, Bojji is considered powerless because his inability to wield even a child’s sword and his deafness. Bojji is subjected to constant ridicule from the towns people, who snicker and gossip behind his back. While exploring the kingdom, Bojji encounters a talking shadow, Kage. It robs Bojji of all his clothing and convinces Bojji to return the next day to give him more expensive clothing.

Despite the constant attacks, Bojji has developed a positive if not naïve world view. Kage also insults him but unlike the townspeople is willing to do this to his face. In a perverse way this make Kage more honest than others. Regardless, Bojji believes he’s found a friend in Kage. Despite it’s resistance, Kage comes to see Bojji as a friend too. Bojji dreams of being the “Greatest King Ever.” Kage finds this implausible because Bojji is “deaf and stupid.”

Ousama Ranking can be a struggle to get through, at least for me. Bojji is such an innocent and sweet boy, but the adults and later children are so cruel to him. Several children learn he’s death then concluded that they can insult him. When he tries to speak, he lets out a series of “ungh,” which one kid thinks is so funny. Bojji flees, red faced with embarrassment. When he returns to the castle we are introduced to Queen Hiling, Justice Minister Sandeo, and members of the Big Four: Swordmaster Domas, Spear of the King Apeas, and Shield of the Queen Dorshe.

Kage, rooting for Bojji

Domas is Bojji swordsmanship tutor, he also can use sign language. Queen Hiling also seems to understand Bojji but doesn’t share the idea he should be king. Domas tells Bojji to get dress and go see his father. In his room, Bojji begins to cry. Kage deduces that he’s not actually ignorant or okay with being mocked, he’s hurt by it. When Kage looks for Bojji he runs into the last member of the Big Four: Snake Handler Bebin. He reveals that Kage is a member of “the shadow clan.”

Bojji’s father King Bosse, is the 7th rank King and he’s a giant. King Bosse rescued the villagers form a horde of orcs. He’s sickly and coughs up blood. King Bosse tells Bojji he needs to get stronger and train with Domas. Elsewhere, Kage tries to flee from Bebin, who assumes he’s there to assassinated someone. As Kage hides in the shadows, Bebin sends his snakes to locate him. Domas and Bojji are training outside. Its clear the best swordsmen is frustrated by Bojji. He destroys the dummies and stakes use for training. Suddenly, the second Prince appears.

Prince Daida challenges Domas to a sparing match. According to Domas, Daida is “overconfident,” after he “clobbered” the Order of Bebin’s top captain. He accepts his challenge. Prince Daida attacks with a ferocity that Domas compares to King Bosse. He becomes excited and begin to fight back. Despite his talent, Prince Daida is defeated. Bojji having watched the entire fight, realizes Domas prefers to teach Daida. He challenges his brother. The fight between the two princes draws a crowd. Most of the audience assumes Prince Bojji’s defeat. However, on onlooker recalls witnessing Bojji survive being attacked by several snakes.

When Prince Daida strikes Bojji avoids his attack and the subsequent attacks from Daida. Bojji lands a single strike on Prince Daida to the shock of everyone. I mentioned earlier that some of the cruelty is hard to take because it is. Bojji sweetness separate him from almost every other character. His father believes in him and clearly loves him but he’s dying. Most of the other characters are not kind and have low expectations of Bojji. However, I expect their expectations to be upended in this series.

Ousama Ranking is set in a fantasy world but what’s the most important isn’t swordsmen and orcs but Bojji and how he handles his limitations and surpass them. The animation from Wit Studio (Attack on Titan, Vinland Saga) is well done. Ousama Ranking is stylized like a children book with bright colors and little detail. This series isn’t the type of anime I gravitate towards but this first episode was impressive and I’m rooting for Bojji.

Anime

My Hero Academia Chapter 330: Tomura Shigaraki is no more

I’m struggling to understand the purpose of introducing Star and Stripe. She’s not a replacement for One For All, Deku is. She won’t defeat All For One, Deku will. So why is she here? I’ve developed a fear that All For One will steal the Quirks of some of the characters. I don’t know why, I’m certain Deku will win at the end regardless. However, it feel unfair All For One is able to rob others of their Quirks. All For One feels like a cheater. Sure he needs to learn how to use these Quirks but he gaining power that’s not his. With the use of science he alter his Quirks, duplicated them, and artificially strengthen his body to withstand them. If you compare him to Mirio, who’s Quirk could kill him, All For One only seeks power not skill.

I said all that to say this, I think Star and Stripe will lose her Quirk. New Order is a Quirk that allows her to “set a rule onto their surroundings, allowing them to manipulate and bestow new properties onto themselves and the world around them.” She needs to “touch” her target and “say its name,” to activate her Quirk. Furthermore, she can only use this ability on two different targets. My Hero Academia Chapter 330, “Me and Myself,” is a short chapter. Star and Stipe prepares to “smash” Tomura Shigaraki. The villain prepares to attack with Radio Waves, Air Cannon, and Heavy Payload, producing a massive air blast. For their part, Star and Stripe and her comrades seem to evade without damage.

He’s called the symbol of peace, after all

Star and Stripe uses her New Order ability on the air. She sets the rule that “the air does not exist 100 meters ahead of her,” causing Tomura to begin to suffocate. He’s impressed and now desires her Quirk. The jet fire laser canons at Tomura. Using Reflect and Scatter, Tomura sends the lasers back. He almost hits Star and Stripe directly, however, she adds a rule to the laser making it “holdable”. With the Quirks limit in effect, the vacuum surrounding Tomura disappears. Seeing an opportunity, Tomura hurls himself towards her using monstrous strength. This gives her an opportunity to touch Tomura and apply a rule.

Star and Stripe uses one of her rules on herself. She grants herself superstrength like her idol All Might. Speaking of All Might, like most heroes in Japan, he’s a huge influence on Star and Stripe. She recalls when he rescued her and her family during his visit to America. She even fashions her hair after him, going with eight tufts instead of All Might’s two. Tomura is understandably irritated at yet another story of All Might’s heroism. Star and Stripe rule against Tomura is: “if Tomura Shigaraki moves at all his heart will stop.” It’s a devastating rule if it worked, however, Tomura’s identity crisis with One For All appears to undermine her rule. In my last review, I was surprised One For All returned Tomura’s body to him. I was wrong.

Who can stop One For All

One For All always intended overtake Tomura’s younger fitter body. He and Dr. Garaki have plan on using Tomura’s “rage” to “deliver them to a glorious future.” It’s unclear to me if Tomura’s mind is trapped in the old One For All. If this is true then One For All may have created another enemy. I think Tomura and his friends will turn on One For All eventually, but it won’t happen soon. If Star and Stripe’s Quirk is stolen then it’s difficult to imagine how he loses without a surprise betrayal by Tomura. Speaking of her Quirk. Is it broken? I though it did at first. However, the limitations place on her ability keeps it from becoming broken.

I’ve already created a Top Ten list of My Hero Academia Quirks, I would place New Order in the top 5 at least, but probably number 3. This is why I’m concerned with One For All getting her power. Can a character with 2 of the top three Quirks really lose ? Most of us can predicted that the heroes will win, but would Kohei Horikoshi need an ass pull to make it happen? It’s important to establish some stakes to make a series interesting. It would still be possible to increase the stakes if One For All gets New Order, but it might create an issue convincing the audience that Deku is capable of winning.

Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 161 and 162: Megumi or Itadori are set up

In Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 161 we were introduced to several new enemies. Megumi assumed he and Yuji could travel together once inside the barriers. When they entered the barrier, players are randomly transferred to one of nine locations. If you think about it this makes since. If teams can form then the game would be in their favor. Imagine if a team of ten got together. Who would stop them? Also if the goal of the game is to have players fight each other then population would matter. If you have a small number of fighters then they might run out of opponents. Anyway, Itadori encounters several sorcerers who target new fighters. Yuji is quickly attacked by a mysterious woman with a jet plane. He quickly defeats her and pisses off her boyfriend.

Elsewhere, Megumi encounters a well dressed woman, Remi. He asks her if she knows Higuruma. She claims to know but won’t tell unless Megumi becomes her “Knight.” We know that all the people present in the culling game wish to be there, so I doubt she’s that helpless. In Chapter 162, Yuri attacks Haba. The latter’s Jujutsu technique is a propeller. Yuji’s superior atheisms is on full display here. He rushes and grabs Haba by the ankle. He drags Haba through the side of an apartment building. Yuji’s even able to dodge the propeller as it spins at close range. Yuji hides inside a building hoping to prevent Haba from using his technique.

One of them is lying in Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 162.

Megumi or Yuji is betrayed

He fails. Haba is able to adjust the length, angle, speed of rotation and durability of his propeller. He begins slicing the hallway with his propeller. However, Haba has to angle himself such that he exposes the top of his head. Yuji deduces that the “airplane woman,” must have created a binding vow. The farther their body is from the source (their hair) the less durable it is. Yuji strikes Haba in the center of the head. The jujutsu sorcerer assumes Yuji has “shattered” his hand. Yuji knocks him out with a kick.

Yuji can’t ask him about Higuruma now that Haba’s unconscious. Amai Rin introduces himself to Yuji, who he remembers from High School. We return to Megumi and Remi. She claims, she only fighting to avoid being killed. Yuji and Megumi both asks for the whereabouts of Higuruma. They’re given two different answers. Ikebukuro and Shinjuku District. It’s implied that either Amai or Remi are working with Higuruma. We just don’t know which one. I think it’s probably Amai, because Remi is the obvious choice. Amai claims to be a victim of Haba and Hanyu. He’s more sympathetic. however, I don’t think Yuji is going to hold it against him. If he’s not willingly helping then he’ll be someone else for Yuji to save.