Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 9 Review: Ruler of the Walls

The massive titan of Rod Reiss continues to drag itself toward Orvud District. Erwin’s plan becomes more clear as Hange explains why it would be a bad idea to evacuate the citizens. Because Rod is an abnormal Titan he would be drawn to a larger crowd of people. If they evacuate it simply will change direction, potentially destroying the wall itself and killing more people.

Erwin acknowledges that the scouts are duty bound to protect the citizens and that even though they will use them as bait, they have developed a plan to save them if needed. The scouts will have the citizen participate in a “emergency evacuation drill.” They begin in the morning, but the citizens aren’t interested. They complain and question the authority of the scouts. Considering their attitude I can only conclude that these people haven’t been exposed to the Titans much.

Regardless, they quiet down as they notice the smoke coming from Rod’s Titan form. Cartsen orders the scouts to shoot Rod with cannon’s from a top of Wall Sina. This goes as well as I expected, which is to say not very well. Erwin has a seemingly ridiculous plan that of course is going to work. As Titan battles tend to go this one wasn’t the most action packed, but it made up for it by being the most disgusting. Rod having been crawling with half his face buried in the ground and well as his stomach, no longer has either.

His entrails fall out on top of Wall Sina. Finally, the citizens see the Titan and begin to flee. From this point the main scouts take over. After blowing up gunpowder near the Titans hands, it falls over. Eren carrying barrels of gunpowder, literally throws it into the Titans face. The heat causes them to blow up, resulting in an chain reaction that destroys the top half of Rod. Piece’s of the Titan fly off and Erwin order’s the Scout’s to cut up the chunks. The Scouts do so with Historia finally delivering the death blow to her father.

We finally see the results of what happened to Kenny and his squad. He appears to be the only survivor and is fatally wounded. Levi and another soldier find him sitting against a tree. As Levi noted his likely fate is death, Kenny shows him a syringe. There’s no way that this series will have another human made Titan so close to Rod. I think Kenny dies before he can use it or he gives it to Levi to use. The action in this episode was simple and mostly secondary. This episode was largely about the character growth of Historia and Eren.

Eren realizes that he was too arrogant. He seems to come to terms with the fact that despite his Titan abilities he’s not the “main character.” Eren of course remains very important to the series but it feels like he’s at peace with his place in the Scouts (and hopefully the series). I still think Historia’s transformation was too quick and not earned like Eren’s, but it will be good to see them accept themselves. With Historia now Queen, the scouts have a powerful ally, while killing off almost all of their non Titan enemies. A perfect time to head to the basement.

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One Piece Chapter 917 Review: Food Treasure

This chapter seemed to go by quickly. We see more of the corruption, starvation and cruelty inflicted upon the citizens of Bakura Town. Another, Hundred Beast Pirate member is introduced, Speed. Oda must be running out of names because that is a generic one. Anyway, she’s a “horse” SMILE devil fruit user. While bringing the good food in town she stumbles upon the fight between Luffy and Holdem.

Holdem threats to have his lion stomach, Kamijiro “bite Tama in half.” He assumes that they are apart of Shutenmaru’s bandit crew the Atamayama Thieves. He’s a master thief that has been stealing from Orochi’s farm. Kiku warns Luffy that if he angers Holdem, it could invite the wrath of Jack. One of the “Disasters” of the Beast Pirates. He has a Billion Beli bounty and ate the Zou Zou no Mi, allowing him to transform into a mammoth. 

It was believe that Jack was killed at sea, but he clearly survived. Of course Kiku’s warning means that Luffy is going to anger Jack. I’m hoping that he does encounter Jack that fight would be epic. Lady Speed arrives with the food, Luffy gets angry at the injustice regarding food distribution. He asks Zoro to “handle” the food situation. 

Meanwhile, Basil Hawkins is intercepted by Law in disguise. Hawkins one of the few people in Wano that knows his identity and Law plans to “finish him off.” Elsewhere, Luffy and Zoro, rescue Tama and steal the food good respectively. After Tama tells Luffy that Holdem used pliers to try to make her “dangos,” he gets pissed and uses his Red Hawk on Holdem. 

Luffy’s epic crushing hits never gets old. Of course Luffy had to punish Holdem for his terrible behavior. A lot of big players are involved in this arc already. Jack, Kiado, Law and Hawkins. I’m excited at the prospect of seeing the other two “Disasters” of the Beast Pirates. If Jack has that high of a beli bounty the others should be just as strong. 

Attack on Titan Episode 8 Review: Outside the Walls of Orvud District

Rod beings transforming into a Titan that is twice the size of the Colossal Titan. While transforming Rod destroys the cavern. In order to survive they turn to Eren. As typical of him, Eren has been begging to be “eaten.” He continues to be a “crybaby,” calling himself “useless.” Eren continues to apologize, but Jean does accept it stating that “that Eren has never accomplished anything by himself.” Conny reminds him that “collectively they have been through worse.”

Finally, Eren decides to grab a bottle labeled “armor” and breaks it in his teeth. He transforms and pillars of crystal beings to reinforce the ceiling of the cavern. The squad hides underneath Eren. The Anti-Personnel Squad is harmed however. Caven and another solider are crushed by debris form the cavern ceiling. Unsurprisingly, Hange survives, as Armin and Moblit escape with her Erwin arrives with the scouts.

Meanwhile, Eren is freed from his crystallized Titan and has apparently gained the ability to “harden,” his skin. Levi points out that this is can be used to rebuild the Wall Maria. Interestingly, Rod’s Reiss Titan is strange. It’s large and seems to have a torso too long to stand, along with arms and legs too weak to lift him. Instead of walking upright it crawls and burns everything in it’s wake. According to the Scouts they believe that Rod is an Abnormal Titan.

Historia is asked by Hange if she’s okay with her father being killed. Considering the fact that a Titan of that size must be killed. If find the attachment between Historia and Rod to be weak. It’s really unconvincing to me that she would sincerely care about him. However, she accepts that her father must die.

This episode wasn’t really as entertaining or interesting as the previous ones. That’s no real issue, all episodes don’t need to be spectacular. Mostly the episode felt slow and there wasn’t anything new revealed. Regardless, I’m curious why Erwin won’t evacuate the civilians, the next episode is going to be very interesting.

My Hero Academy Chapter 197 Review: An Exploding, “Quirk” exchange

Class 1-B watches as Hitoshi, Tsuyu and Denki disguised themselves as Tsuyu by using her mucus on Hitoshi and Denki to hide them from Jurota’s sense of smell. I find this to be gross but still cleaver and effective. Jurota is their main target as he’s considered the largest threat. Ibara uses her vines to capture Denki and encases him in them to protect her teammates from his power. Using his “pointer” he uses his discharge in a straight line to attack. Denki isn’t considered to be the most intelligent but his ability to use electric has potential. So far his use of his quirk is severally limited by it’s side effect.

Denki’s attack is deflected by Hiryu, who uses his scales to knock of the pointer. His quirk “allows Hiryu to form hard scales through his entire body, which he either use as protective armor or fire off as projectiles.” Ibara hears Hiryu say that she should “send out some more vines,” and responds. It turns out that it was Hitoshi, resulting in her being brainwashed. Remembering his plan he  and Denki planned for him to get caught. Ibara is limited to the amount of vines she can use, meaning by stopping Denki she has limited herself.

Hiryu quickly tries to wake up Ibara, but Tsuyu grabs her with her tongue. Hiryu tells Jurota to find Tsuyu because she is the biggest threat. Tsuyu quickly lands a devastating flying kick on Hiryu. Jurota locates Hitoshi and attacks him. Hitoshi using Eraser head Style: Binding Cloth manipulation to pull a pipe onto the head of Jurota. Hiryu flies at Hitoshi, telling Jurota to duck. He however, refuses to do so believing that it’s Hitoshi trying to trick him again. He and Jurota collide, knocking each other out. The team of Hitoshi, Tsuyu and Denki win. I found the quirks of Tsuyu and Jurota to be the most interesting of the ones displayed. The quirks that emulated “animals,” seem to have the most variety and therefore the most versatile. I’m excited to see other members of Class B.

Attack on Titan Episode 7 Review: Wish

Rod Reiss gives Historia hope that she can “meet” her sister. He claims that she’s not “entirely dead” he takes out a syringe that Eren quickly recognizes and begins to panic. Meanwhile, the scouts begin their assault on Chapel and the Anti-Personnel Control Squad. The doors open, then the scouts roll barrels of gunpowder down the stairs. Levi and the other enter. Sasha uses her bow and arrow skills to shoot the barrels with fire arrows.

Using signal flares, they are able to create a smokescreen. Levi quickly counts the numbers of Anti-Personnel Squad-members (35). Armin informs the others of the weakness of their Anti-Personnel ODM because it “requires that they fire in the same direction they intend to shoot their anchors, so they are unable to attack someone directly behind them.” Jean and Conny both get their first human kills, signalling a major change in the series as particularly Jean was apprehensive to do so.

Unsurprisingly, Mikasa and Levi overwhelm the Control Squad, taking out several of them each. Kenny attacks Levi, who then manages to wound Kenny in the stomach. Kenny flees. Hange approaches Caven. She manages to shoot Hange in the shoulder with her ODM gear piercing Hange’s shoulder. She then throws Hange against one of the crystal pillars. While, Attack on Titan is know for killing off main characters, I don’t think THIS is will be the moment that Hange will die. Caven takes this moment to flee with her squad.

We finally get to see what happened in the past. Basically, a titan created the cavern, the 3 walls and altered peoples minds. When Frieda was 15 she ate her uncle and inherited the Founding Titan and memories of the of the old world. This process has been repeated over and over in the Reiss Family. He claims that Grisha stole this power from Frieda and “gave” it to Eren, who lacks the Reiss blood and cannot make it work properly.

Kenny is upset once he here’s this. Disappointed that he cannot become a titan and eat Eren, he pulls his gun on Rod. Up until this point Historia was buying what Rod was telling her, but Kenny throws a wrench into it. He asks Historia “if she remembers everything Rod has done to her,” and that “the only thing Rod cares about is her blood because he does not want to become a Titan himself.”

If it’s not obvious, Rod is clearly a coward. He positions himself as some sort of steward of his families control over the titan power. Considering how quickly he goes to get his Historia after his families massacre is questionable. Regardless, Rod encourages Historia to inject the syringe and become a titan and eat Eren.

She’s hesitant and realizes that Eren hasn’t transformed yet. She asks him why and Eren begins to cry and explains that “they would not be in this position if his father had not come here five years ago.” He recalls all the “costs” that Frieda’s death resulted in. Eren has his moments in this series and sometimes if find his emotional complexity endearing. However, he can be needless self-deprecating and it can become annoying.

Historia changes her mind as she remembers Ymir. She throws the syringe to the ground and begins to free Eren as he begs her to eat him to stop everyone’s suffering. She pulls out the first set of chains as she tells him that “that she wants nothing to do with exterminating the Titans. Let humanity get wiped out.” Rod begins to crawl his way toward the puddle and licks it, turning himself into a Titan.

I’m glad to see Historia come to he senses. I predict that Eren should transform to save himself from Rod, but in the state that he’s in maybe not. I’m assume of course that Rod would be a mindless Titan, which could mean that he attacks Kenny and the control squad as well. Being an “ordinary” titan should make him easy to kill anyway.

 

One Piece Chapter 916 Review: Wano Country Sumo Wrestling

Kiku seems to be surprised that Urashima was enraged that she cut off his topknot. This doesn’t make any since to me, considering what I assume is a cultural fact regarding Sumo wrestlers and the value of their topknot’s. Regardless, he attacks her as she apologizes, however, Luffy counters with Gomu Gomu no Thrust. It’s an open palm thrust that clashes with Urashima’s. They both lose their balance and are about to fall out of the ring. They recover, Urashima demands Luffy move so he can “tear Kiku limb from limb.”

Obviously, Luffy would never let that happen. He challenges Urashima to a Sumo match, claiming that he’s “super good,” at Sumo. The newly minted “Sumo Aspiring Pirate: Luffy no Umi,” Luffy get attacked by Urashima’s Bodhisattva Palm. Luffy dodges eat attack without difficulty. Urashima uses Ear Crusher and Eye gouger. Luffy questions where these attacks are against the rules. Luffy uses his Gomu Gomu no Giant Thrust on Urashima.

This sends Urashima flying, as a massive gust of wind blows over the crowd. Zoro gets outed for being the killer of the magistrate and the crowd assumes that they are “rebels.” They go on to save Tama. Kiku apparently is a bit of a ditz. I don’t like that characterization. She’s a clearly competent Samurai, but I didn’t really by that she was so helpless to make decisions for herself. Anyway, Lord Holdem finally shows himself. Tama is being held with in his lion’s mouth. I don’t feel that Tama’s in any real danger, I’m predicting that she use her abilities to make the lion like her. All this as Law and Hawkins arrive.

Attack on Titan Episode 6 Review: Sin

In the underground chapel built by the Reiss family, Historia reveals to Eren that “everything is all right,” and that her father is “an ally of humanity.” An ally despite the issues he caused for the Scouts, the murder of Pastor Nick and Dimo Reeves. I like Historia but she is rather naive to believe that he father is an ally of anyone but himself. Considering her childhood I think that she really wants to believe that her father is sincere so that she can have a family. Regardless, Rod decides that he will explain it everything to Eren. Having himself and Historia place their hands on Eren triggers memories from Grisha Yeager (Eren’s father). These memories depict Grisha’s “sin.”

Historia recovers some of her memories after touching Eren and realizes that she wasn’t alone as a child, but a dark haired young woman helped her and taught her to read. Rod tells her that woman was his daughter Frieda and she was Historia’s half-sister. Grisha’s sin was the killing of Frieda Reiss. He reveals that Grisha killed Rod’s entire family after he ate her. Gaining the Power of the Titans from Frieda. Grisha has been a mysterious figure in Attack on Titan. It’s stunning how monstrous he turns out to be or was he. Was the Reiss family really for humanity or for their own power? I’m betting their own power. We also learn how Eren received his powers, he ate his father. Knowing Eren this truth is going to weigh on him for some time even if it was an accident. However, considering his fathers knowledge of titans, I get the suspicion that he wanted Eren to eat him.

Kenny the Ripper interrupts them, telling them of the coup. Kenny seems to be subservient towards Rod, whom he calls King. Rod orders him to prepare for the Scouts to arrive. Meanwhile, we see how Zachary plans to treat the nobles, torture them. Basically he strips one naked and feeds him from the “bottom up.” It’s all quiet grotesque but I have no sympathy for the noble anyway, so I don’t care. It also turns out that Erwin’s father was right, the Royal family has the ability to erase memories. Of course certain bloodlines are immune to it’s effects. The nobles are telling all these secrets because they expect that no one will remember anyway.

The scouts prepare to get Eren and Historia. Armin, Mikasa and the others contemplate what their plan should be. Kenny is considered by Levi to be their biggest obstacle. He states that it would be smart for them to consider Kenny the “enemy version of him,” but “deadlier.” We finally get more clarification on Levi and Mikasa relationship with Kenny. Mikasa reveals that her dad did tell her that the Ackermann family had been persecuted. Levi asks her about a moment when she felt a “hidden power,” she says that she had. Levi states that both himself and Kenny felt it as well. In a flashback from Kenny we see that the Ackermann family use to be the warriors that protected the King.

Kenny’s grandfather tells him that the King does hate them, but he can’t control them. The Ackermann family and the Oriental Clan are immune to the King memory erasing power. This all of course makes sense. Mikasa, Levi and Kenny are clearly among the best warriors in the series, the fact that they are also immune to the King’s power does add some comfort. I be interested in seeing if Kenny and Mikasa face off. The scouts arrive at the chapel and prepare for a fight, meanwhile, the Military police are already prepared to greet them. The series has scaled back on the action in favor of more world building, it appears that the next episode will see Attack on Titan return to that action. Which is great, I was starting to miss it.

One Piece Chapter 915 Review: Bakura Town

We are introduced several other SMILE users. One of them is Holdem. He’s a SMILE user whose devil fruit ability allows him to create a lion’s head and forelegs on his waist. What makes him interesting is that the lion is sentient and thinks on it’s own. This leads to them getting into conflicts with each other, they physically assault each other but they inflict damage to themselves because they share a body. Regardless, he asks Tama how she was able to tame the animals. She’s unwilling to tell him and lies. However, Holdem tells her that she “pulled something from her cheek,” he tells his subordinates to “bring pliers,” so he can pull her cheek bu force.

As they are riding into the town, Luffy catches a sumo wrestler that is sent flying. Urashima is dominating other sumo wrestlers in the ring. He apparently has broken, “10 arms, 15 legs, 52 ribs, 4 skulls and 7 spines.” He’s undefeated, he sees Kiku and assumes that she came to be his wife. This triggers the women in the audience who assume that she is a gold-digger. He sends his boys to go get her, Zoro lets them take her. I doesn’t matter as Kiku takes it upon herself to cut Urashima’s topknot off.

This chapter went by real fast. Not much really occurred other than the introduction of more villains. They will almost certainly be quickly defeated by Luffy and Zoro, so they don’t feel like threats. Also I’m not afraid for Tama’s safety. I’m interested is how strong Kiku is compared to say Zoro. I’m not an expert on Japanese culture, but I know that cutting of a samurai’s topknot is considered a major insult if not worse. Will Kiku be able to defeat Urashima? Finally, I literally though the lion was Pekoms. LOL.

Attack on Titan Episode 5 Review: Reply

This episode largely takes place in the throne room. Erwin makes a impassioned plea for the value of the Scout Regiment. The nobles seem to be hasty in their decision to disband the scouts. The Scout Regiment are the branch of the Military that faces off against the Titans the most and they do so deliberately. It features the best soldiers and have the best at using omni-directional mobility gear. Disbanding without having a replacement is short sighted and will cost everyone at some point if implemented.

Erwin claims that if “Wall Rose was breached, its residents would take refuge in Wall Sina again, but the earlier evacuation decimated their stockpiles. This time the residents would be forced to fight for resources and a civil war would erupt between Wall Rose and Wall Sina. Furthermore, Wall Rose is always suffering from a food shortage, so the best way to avoid war is to reclaim Wall Maria. It is the duty of the Scouts to charge at the enemy.” The nobles don’t care, avoiding answering whether they have a better plan to deal with the Titans.

Aurille instead focuses on Erwin’s violation of the “Charter of Humanity,” which reads: “Thou shall not prioritize one’s own gain over the longevity of humanity.” Erwin’s refusal to hand over Eren to the Military has resulted in the Charter being violated. Predictably, he’s sentenced to death. Nile Dawk’s sort of represents the audience here, I think that many of us watching shared his confusion. As Erwin is being lifted to his feet, Anka Rheinberger enters the thrown room and states a clearly false claim that the “the Colossal and Armored Titans have broken through both gates of Calaneth District. The reaction from the nobles is predictable as they demand the gate be closed, leaving half of humanity to death.

Nile disobeys the order, stating that he’s “a human of Wall Rose and he will not allow the gates to be closed.” Dhalis Zachary arrives with armed soldiers. He reveals that the report was false. Pyxis admits that he orchestrated the plan. What surprised me about Pyxis confession is that he was willing to let Erwin die, if the Government made a better choice for humanity. He declares a “coup d’etat.” This moment illustrates how the real power tends to be with the Military forces, after all they have the guns right.

The most surprising thing about this scene in the throne room is the incompetence of the “King” Fritz. His personality and psychical appearance gave off the impression that he was a ruler not to be messed with. It turns out that he was actually asleep with his eyes open. This episode plays with this fact by constantly showing him motionless over and over again. At first I assumed he wasn’t threatened, then I though he might have been dead and propped up somehow, the truth is played for laughs as when he is woken up by Aurille he’s ask if “it’s time to eat.”

So far each episode has solve some mysteries while creating new ones. This episode is no different. Hange explains the report that Erwin gave her. 5 years prior, the Reiss family save Rod Reiss were killed by bandits while praying in a Church. Rod found Historia right after they were killed. Levi concludes that there must be something in the blood of Reiss family. Hange suggests that the story doesn’t add up. The chapel was destroyed even though it was made of stone. Personally, I think he may have had his family killed, destroying the chapel to cover his tracks.

Finally, we see that Eren is chained in the Underground Chapel. I’ve mention before that Eren constantly getting captured seems to be a theme in this series. However, I wonder if the series is trying to turn the “Damsel in Distress,” motif on it head, by constantly having Eren (a male) getting kidnapped and being saved by Mikasa (a female). Anyway, Armin wonders that if “a Titan gains the powers of a person who can change into a Titan by eating them, then when did Eren become a Titan and who did he eat?” I don’t know if that’s how Eren got his powers. Considering their closeness from childhood wouldn’t Eren tell him he ate a Titan?

One Piece Chapter 914 Review: Leftover Town

O’Tama’s recovery

O’Tama quickly recovers as Zoro notes. Apparently, Bugleweed is a “wonder” drug. The weed doesn’t eliminate all the poison however. O’Tama is sweet and adorable, but I found her humility to be so what annoying. She refuses to accept the food Miss Tsuru offers her. Maybe I’m being too unforgiving. Year of starvation probably make her value food even more that most. Regardless, she does seem to evetually accept the food. It strange that she has issues with starvation, considering her devil fruit ability that allows her to create food like dumplings. She claims that it doesn’t help.

Leftover Town

Zoro ask why the town is called “Leftover.” Basically, when the Shogun Orochi took control of all the food and land they began hording it for themselves. The powerful officials send their rotten food, refuse and other things that they don’t want to be purchased and sold. That is why Leftover Town received it’s name. 20 years ago the Kozuki Clan ruled Wano, the Lord planted a field to feed the people. Oda is clearly setting up to restore the Oden’s to power.

The Gifters

We are quickly being introduced to new villains in this arc. The Gifters are a division of the Beast Pirates, they have been giving “Artificial Devil Fruit,” and each possesses a pair of black horns. They were created by SMILEs, which ” gives them the ability to transform some parts of their body, such as their arms or ears, into different parts of an animal’s body even some animals that live in the ocean.” Batman shoots an arrow at Tsuru for “bad mouthing the shogun,” he claims to have super hearing.

Meanwhile, the Gifter Gazelleman kidnaps O’Tama. Kiku, Luffy and Zoro give chase. It is revealed that Kiku is a samurai herself. I assumed that Zoro would get the legendary sword, but maybe Kiku will keep it. As they enter Bakura Town and prepare for battle, Law is alerted to their presence. He states that they must be stopped otherwise they’ll make a scene. I for one am looking forward to see how Law and his pirate crew fits into this arc.