Nintendo Direct coming on June 5th focusing on Pokemon Sword and Shield

On June 5th, Nintendo will broadcast a new Nintendo Direct presentation. The direct will provide details on newest Pokemon games, Pokemon Sword and Shield. Slated to air 9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT on Nintendo’s YouTube and Twitch channels. With E3 2019 on the horizon the direct will allow Nintendo to give the games more time. This will not replace anything that Nintendo has prepared for E3 itself.

The Nintendo Direct will focus on “on software, and will offer a look at games scheduled to launch in 2019.” Games expected for release this year on the Switch are, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Astral Chain, Animal Crossing, Daemon X Machina, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Also a Pokemon Press Conference occurred today that I haven’t seen yet, but it may focus on Pokemon Go.

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Attack On Titan Episode 54 Recap & Review

Episode 54, Hero

This was the episode I was hoping for. The animation was top notch, the action superb and still maintain the intense and sad moments. The Beast Titan (Zeke) is dismayed by the fruitless efforts of the Scouts. Marlo Freudenberg wonders what Hitch Dreyse is doing at this point as he rides to his death. The remaining Scouts continue to ride despite the danger. While they face their deaths, the Scouts both distract the Beast Titan and blind him with the smoke from the signal flares. This is what makes their sacrifice so valuable. Levi manages to reach the Beast Titan.

Enraged, Levi dominates the Beast Titan. Levi cuts up the Beast Titan arm up and it is ripped to pieces. Zeke recalls being warned by Reiner that he needed to be careful regarding Levi. This proves of course to be a good warning. However, it doesn’t help him as Levi proceeds to cut the Beast Titan’s eyes then his legs and other arm. Zeke falls to the ground and is unable to protect his nape as Levi cuts him out. The helplessness that even a Titan like the Beast Titan has in the face of Levi is still surprising. Levi and Mikasa have always been exceptional fighters. Watching them in action you wonder why humanity feels so disadvantaged.

Obviously, you need to have more than just Levi and Mikasa, but as war powers go they are significant. What saves Zeke from death is the value of his power. As Levi notes if he could inject a Scout with the “Titan injection,” they could consume Zeke and gain the Beast Titans power. However, the weird Cart Titan grabs Zeke in his mouth and the seemed to escape. Meanwhile, Armin finally takes control of the squad and gives them orders to stop Reiner. He concludes that the Colossal Titan has gotten thinner since the battle began. He decides that he and Eren can handle the Colossal Titan together.

Mikasa and the others battle Reiner, who has forgotten what happened to him. Mikasa takes his knee out with one of the Thunder Spears and he falls. Armin tells Eren his plan of screen. The wall give way resulting in Eren falling to the ground. Armin confronts the Colossal Titan by himself. Jean, Conny and Sasha try to break open the jaw of Reiner using the spears. They miss one and his jaw fails to open. The plan was to have Conny and Sasha break open his jaw and have Mikasa then use her spear to blow up the nape from inside his mouth.

Armin is being scorched by the Colossal Titans steam. Bertholdt is stunned that this was all Armin came up with. He decides to put Armin out of his misery. He turns up the heat and Armin’s body burns. Eventually his ODM gear gives and he falls. Meanwhile, a wounded Hange arrives and shoots her spear into Reiner’s jaw opening it for Mikasa. She takes the opportunity to finally manages to blow Reiner out of the nape. Bertholdt believing that he’s won, fails to notice in time that Eren has left a harden shell behind. Eren appears behind the Colossal Titan and cuts Bertholdt out.

I’ll admit I teared up when I saw Armin’s charred body. However, after realizing what Levi said earlier regarding how “the Titan injection could save someone even if they’re dying.” It seems obvious that Armin is the perfect candidate for the injection. He had been setup as a replacement for Erwin and it would save his life of course. The question is which Titan, Bertholdt or Reiner would he eat? It doesn’t really matter at this point. Armin is just to valuable to die. Overall, this episode as I mentioned was spectacular. The pacing, drama, intensity, narrative twists and animation all was great. I’m excited for the rest of this season.

My Hero Academia Chapter 299 Recap & Review

Chapter 229, All it takes is one bad day

This chapter focuses on Twice, a villain that has a quirk (Double) that ” grants him the ability to clone people including himself.” He has always been a complex character. He has an explosive personality and strangely tends to contradict himself making one statement followed by the opposite. He has a dissociate identity disorder and when his masks is removed he panics and threatens to “split.” Tomoyasu Chikazoku uses his puppets to rip the mask off of Twice.

The puppets grab Himiko Toga. Tomoyasu reveals that by using the psychological weaknesses that Giran had they decided to use puppet’s that resemble Jin. He tells him that their goal is to kill Toga and capture Twice. Giran expresses his concern for Twice’s well being. The puppets attempt to snap the neck of Toga. While begging for his mask, Twice starts to believe that he’s the one killing Toga. He has a flashback, Jin gets fired from his job and became homeless. He created a clone of himself to talk to, then he created more clones. They became criminals robbing banks together.

However, they so turned on each other, killing themselves resulting in Jin becoming mentally scarred as a result. In this flashback Jin reveals something important, that each clone has a pain limit that would result in it disappearing. A broken arm would be about the limit. Why is this important. Jin wasn’t certain that he was the original Jin. When we get to the present, Tomoyasu tells his puppets to breaks the both of Jin’s arms. They do. Having realized that he hasn’t disappeared as result he becomes elated. Having confirmed that he’s the original, he is inspired to save Toga. He creates several clones, stating that ” he won’t watch a friend die.”

Twice is a very interesting character. He was an apprehensive about fighting out of fear that he was a clone, so having been freed of that fear will have a positive effect on his mind. His friendship with Giran and Toga was what really struck me. It’s typical for heroes to have these types of relationships but villain usually just use each other. They all seem to care for each other and that feels new for a manga series. It seems that the Meta Liberation Army will have a positive impact on the League of Villains whether they like it or not. I loving the character development.

One Piece Chapter Recap & Review

Chapter 943, SMILE

Wow. Every once in a while Oda shows his genius in storytelling. Creating unexpected twists, clever plot development and heartbreaking moments. One Piece was always and will continue to be the standard for manga, especially shonen manga. In the previous chapter, Yasuie meet his end at the hands of Orochi. This resulted in the towns people laughing while crying. SMILE was introduced back in the Punk Hazard arc (ch: 689). An artificial Zoan Devil Fruit created with SAD, by Doflamingo and Caesar Clown. We were lead to believe that it created devil fruit users and nothing else.

It is explained that SMILE is responsible for stripping the people of Ebisu Town of their sadness. Shinobu explains that SMILE has several effects, they cause the eater to ” lose the ability to swim as well as the ability to express negative emotions, causing them to only be able to express joy.” SMILE also only has an 1 in 10 success rate when giving devil fruit abilities. This explains the why the Beast Pirates aren’t all devil fruit users, while putting a limitation on the drugs effectiveness. She explains the ranks of the Beast Pirates, The Waiters are those who have yet to eat any fruits, the Gifters are those who obtained an ability after eating a SMILE fruit and the Pleasures are those who did not gain any abilities after eating a SMILE fruit and can only smile.

Kiado, Doflamingo and Caesar named it SMILE after the negative effect. With the defective fruits still possessing the negative side effects, Orochi used them to force the civilians of Ebisu Town to lose their ability to express anger and sadness. He hated the sorrow and grief they expressed when their families members died. The saddest part of this chapter comes when Toko tries to bring her father back with medicine. Orochi notices her and takes aim, shooting at her. Sanji and Zoro save her shocking the citizens. As I predicted the corrupt behavior of Orochi will come back to bite him as the citizens will turn on him. I’m excited to see him get what he deserves.

Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru, Chapter 2: Recap & Review

Chapter 2, A guest from above

Hachimaru begins to experience life outside of his home for the first time. He realizes that food can “taste good,” as he enjoys takoyaki. He use to have many allergies and stomach issues, so all he had to eat was liquid food and apples. Hachimaru and Hayatarou heads for a walk. Hachimaru asks if he will finally get friends. It seems obvious that Samurai 8 like most anime/manga he will collect a number of friends along the way. At this point the world isn’t fleshed out yet, so I don’t feel much connection to it.

We are introduced to a new character, Nanashi. A recluses like Hachimaru use to be, she/he play games and lives at the Yasha-Style Dojo. Nanashi has two gaming gloves called “Left Hand-kun,” and “Right Hand-kun.” It was unclear to me if they spoke or Nanashi has a weird mental illness that results in the hands talking. It’s also unclear what Nanashi’s gender is, her/his hands debate Nanashi’s gender. One hand says that “he’s a boy,” the other says that “her soul is female.” Furthermore, Nanashi even refers to themselves as “a girl.” It seems likely that Nanashi will be a gender non conforming character, otherwise there’s no need to even bring up the question of gender. Right?

Anyway, Hachimaru falls through the roof of Nanashi. Nanashi has no idea about their pasts and has been a recluse for eight years. To get Nanashi to go outside, Hachimaru offers a wager. If he’s wins Nanashi goes outside, if he loses Nanashi can remain a shut in. Hachimaru defeats Nanashi in the game proving that Hachimaru is the highest ranked player. The significance of this game remains to be seen but it’s clear that the online game is important. Nanashi is the number 2 gamer so does the skill in the game correlate with fighting skills in the real world. We are loosely introduced to new pig-like villains, who plan on attacking Nanashi and Hachimaru.

Attack on Titan Episode 53 Recap & Review

Episode 53, Perfect Game

I’m a little annoyed that Attack on Titan has clearly dragged the conflict on too long. I don’t know why they didn’t just have fewer episodes. Also the animation seemed worst this episode and I hated the CGI. The series has animated the Colossal Titan before, they should do it more. Anyway, Armin freezes up when tasked with leading. He leave Jean in charge. Jean orders everyone to ride on top of Eren to preserve gas. Armin is still responsible for coming up with a better plan.

The results of the explosion from the Colossal Titan on Hange’s squad remains unclear. As Levi considers rejoining his comrades, stones fly towards him with devastating force. The Beast Titan wipes out many of the scouts on the front lines. The Beast Titan picks up another bolder and plans on shooting a “perfect game.” Not to nitpick but, how does the Beast Titan know about baseball? It’s possible of course that it’s part of the culture or maybe something that use to exists in the AOT world.

Anyway, the scouts are trapped. Erwin joins them on the ground. The Beast Titan has them defeated. Eren and the others attack the Colossal Titan. It doesn’t have any effect as Bertholdt simply kicks Eren onto the top of the wall. Jean comes up with another useless plan and the Armored Titan re-emerges. Erwin decides that their only plan is to charge the Beast Titan. The problem is he needs to convince the other scouts to ride out to their deaths. In order to do this Erwin must be the leader of the scouts, meaning that he will die first.

Erwin gives a powerful speech and is successful in convincing the scouts to ride with him. Erwin’s leadership is in stark contrast to Armin’s lack of leadership. If Armin is going to replace Erwin the he will need to at least emulate some of what makes Erwin a great leader. Their styles are going to be different, but good leaders share similar qualities and right now Armin is missing a lot of these qualities. Despite the slow burn I’m still excited for the next episode. Erwin and the scouts are probably goners. How will Levi react to Erwin’s death? How would Armin?

Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru, Chapter 1: Recap & Review

Chapter 1, The First Key

It’s always exciting to get into a new series. Not knowing what to expect or even whether you like the series or not. Like most Naruto fans the expectation of Masashi Kishimoto next series was going to be high. Could he managed to live up to the hype? Probably not. Does he need to? I don’t think so. My first judgement of every manga series is the art. Akira Okubo didn’t disappoint. The chapter begins with a look of the galaxy, we see two characters having a conversation that at this point doesn’t make much sense yet.

Anyway, we see a battle between to samurai that ends with a clash. The concept of keys are introduced. The defeated samurai “transfers” the key. He turns into a sphere shaped thing and his spine seems to be the key. All this seems to be a game that our main protagonist, Hachimaru is playing. He’s a sickly kid that has “Trypanophobia – an extreme fear of medical procedures involving injections or hypodermic needles.” He yells at his father and it’s revealed that he must be connected to a machine otherwise he won’t “last 3 minutes.” His father is planning on creating a “Portable life support system” for him. His father leaves to find more parts.

Meanwhile, we are introduced to our main villain for this chapter at least. One of his henchmen owes him money for something. Ritual suicide is apparently the price he has to pay. The henchmen refuses to do this and is called a coward and is killed for it. Back at the house of Hachimaru, his dog brings him a daruma. Hachimaru prays to it, claiming that he wants to become a “samurai.” The daruma turns out to be a cat like being. At this point it’s made clear that theirs something that separates “warriors” and “samurai.” Our main villain makes this distinction clear.

Humans are warrior, when someone becomes a samurai they become something else. The samurai are cyborgs, chosen by warrior gods. Their spines become “memory units” called “keys.” All other body parts are robotic. The locker ball is a “small star created by the warrior god Acala.” The body of a samurai can even travel in space and stores a “very special soul.” Meanwhile, Daruma formally introduces himself, revealing himself to be a blind samurai. If past knowledge of manga series is any indication, a small blind non-human swordsman means he’s a badass.

We get to see some of his skills when the villain arrives. They clash briefly, revealing that Daruma is the “lone wolf samurai” that mastered the “vajrayaksa style.” Our villain destroys Hachimaru’s pet dog Hayatarou, stabs Daruma and uses the key to open Hachimaru’s chest. To receive the code Hachimaru must die. The villain allows him to commit ritual suicide, with the promise to “let his father go.” Hachimaru admits his love for his father, then commits suicide. He “dies,” and the villain removes the samurai soul of Takatsuna giving him the crimson blade called “the vampire.”

Unsurprisingly, Hachimaru isn’t dead and he is transformed into a samurai. Daruma tells him that he has been given the power of “sanrinshin.” Hachimaru battles the enemy samurai who puts on his samurai armor on. He defeats the samurai and rescues his father. I liked this series. The combination of sci fi and samurai lore is interesting. I love the designs of the samurai armor and the world. It’s only one chapter and if Bleach taught me anything it not just how you start but how you end. Regardless, while many aspects of the story isn’t fleshed out yet I’m excited for what this series will bring.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 5 & 6: Recap & Review

The demon in human form

Episode 5, My Own Steel

A new trope seems to be more frequent in anime and manga, “focusing on the villains perceptive.” This makes the series more than just a kill all the demon series. It will still be that of course. However, by given the demon’s backstory reminds us that he was once human. Like many he was a victim of a demon, before he became one. Tanjiro is a different kind of hero, he’s full of kindness and sympathy. Whether this series makes that a weakness remains to be scene, but so far it appears that it’s an asset.

Tanjiro getting his Kaugai crow

Speaking of kindness, one of the new Demon Slayer members turns out to be an ass. He abuses one of the twins, grabbing her by the hair. Although she does seem to care. He’s likely to have a terrible backstory that explains his behavior. One of the other new members seems like he’s a bit of a coward. We get more details on the world of Demon Slayer. The Corps have ten ranks with the lowest being “Mizunoto.” Of course this is were our new heroes start. Each will have to choose and ore, because their sword will be made for them in a few days. It isn’t made clear which ore they should choose.

The blacksmith, Haganezuka

Interestingly, they are each assigned a Kaugai crow for communication and uniforms. Tanjiro returns home to Nezuko and Urokodaki, who’s understandably happy he survived. He informs Tanjiro that he believes the reason Nezuko sleeps a long time is because she doesn’t eat humans. This is both a good consequence for not eating humans and a convenient way to keep her out of the direct story. 15 days later, Tanjiro gets his sword from the odd, Haganezuka. Tanjiro gets his first mission, from a Kaugai crow that actually can speak.


Tanjiro in uniform

Episode 6, Swordsman Accompanying a Demon

Tanjiro puts on his uniform. Urokodaki explains that it’s made out of special fabric that low-level “demon’s talons or fangs couldn’t even manage to tear it.” Tanjiro’s Nichirin sword is a rare color (Black), such that it’s considered to be wielded by weak swordsmen. He then gives him a “Cloud Mist Pine box,” to put Nezuko in. He heads to the town to begin his mission. Kazumi explains what happened when his girlfriend, Satoko vanished. Tanjiro track’s the demon scent.

The demon kidnapping a girl

Another young girl is abducted by a demon that can liquify itself and pass through doors. When Tanjiro smells the demon he gives chase, however, he can’t see them. He stabs the ground and rescues the girl. He gives her to Kazumi as he prepares to battle the demon. Said demon reappears now split into three. He uses eighth form water basin and cuts off the arms of all three demons. However, the attack is too “shallow,” and fails to do serious damage.

Nezuko showing companion towards humans

The demon mocks them, claiming that they already ate Satoko. Kazumi begins to cry, as Tanjiro gets overwhelmed by the demon. Nezuko joins in. The demon is surprised that a demon and swordsmen are teaming up together. We get a flashback of Urokodaki telling Tanjiro that he used “hypnotic suggesting on Nezuko.” He told her that “all humans are your family,” and “that demons are her enemies.” Muzan Kibutsuji the first demon is the only one that has the means to save Nezuko. This information isn’t useful now, as Tanjiro has to get stronger first.

Yet another factor is introduced for keeping Nezuko demon urges in check. Whether, her sleeping long periods and hypnotizing are significant enough to tame her completely. Some might see this as an easy way out of potential conflict. However, I think that they will introduce conflict later in the series.

One Punch Man S2 – Episode 5 Recap & Review

Metal Bat verses Garou

Episode 5, The Martial Arts Tournament

Metal Knight arrives and tries to defeat Elder Centipede, failing miserably. This episode is filled with a large list of new heroes and monsters. Most of them will be red shirted and exists to be fodder for the stronger characters. Anyway, Metal Bat and Garou square off, with Bat doing far better considering his injured state. Garou admits that Metal Bat would have defeated him if he could have landed a hit. Metal Bat is actually about to hit Garou with a major blow when his sister Zenko arrives.

Fubuki verses Do-S

She gets in the way of Garou as he tries to kill Metal Bat. Garou leaves seemingly having a soft spot for children and goes to find Watchdog Man. Metal Bat collapses. Pineapple and Mohican are attacked by Rhino Wrestler and easily defeated. Two other monsters Phoenix Man and Sludge Jellyfish attempt to recruit Garou into the Monster Association. I don’t know if I missed it, but this is the first that I heard of the MA. It seems that like the Hero Association, the monsters are trying to gain notoriety. It’s unclear whether they are ranked or not.

Lightning Max verses Ring Ring

Many monsters (Martial Gorilla, Do-S, Hundred Eyes Octopus, Pure-Blood, and Make Plasma) arrive simultaneously overwhelming the heroes. Fubuki makes an appearance saving a hero from Do-S. Meanwhile, the Fighting Tournament begins and we are introduced to a massive group of heroes. Lightning Max returns, while new fighters Bakuzan, Suriyu, Ring Ring, Hamukichi, Choze, Zakkos and Snek enter. Saitama is assumed to be “weak” and is paired with Zakkos.

Saitama defeats Zakkos

After the credits, Saitama defeats Zakkos with one slap. The outcome between Zakkos and Saitama was always going to be predictable, I do have an issue with putting part of the episode after the credits. It’s not the end of the world but I often turn the episode off before the credits (mostly to avoid seeing the trailer for the next episode). Anyway, it’s a weird thing to do, I wonder why they made that choice.

Dororo Episode 17 Recap & Review

Hyakkimaru kills the demon

Episode 17, The Story of Questions and Answers

Jukai returns. He’s continuing his mission to proved prosthetic limbs to the dead. He is attacked by a ghoul on the battlefield. Hyakkimaru intervenes. Jukai remembers his experience with Hyakkimaru. Of course Hyakkimaru has change significantly. He now has real human skin, ears and now can speak. At this point it seemed like Jukai wanted to say that he was Hyakkimaru’s father, but he doesn’t. Anyway, Hyakkimaru demands a new prosthetic that he can use for fighting.

Jukai destroys the prosthetic

Jukai is reluctant to do this out of fear of Hyakkimaru having to confront his family. In this series it’s been telegraphed that Hyakkimaru is on the path to becoming a “demon.” However, no one seems to really talk to him about it until now. Jukai even goes so far as to cut the prosthetic with his ax. Suddenly they are trapped in the cave by a landslide. He tells Jukai that he wants his body back because it’s “his.” Is Hyakkimaru better off without his body? Does he actually become less human the more real his body becomes?

Hyakkimaru slaughters demons

If you consider the behavior of the other humans in this series even if Hyakkimaru becomes a mass murder he won’t be much different from most. The main demon is a tree called Ayakashigi. It gives “birth” to demons through the fruit. It’s gross or creepy. Or both. Anyway, Hyakkimaru kills many of the demons and finally kills the tree. While watching him fight, Jukai begins to cry. He believes that Dororo will keep him human. Hyakkimaru asks his name. Jukai refuses to give saying he’s nobody. Hyakkimaru says that Jukai is “mama.” It was a funny and sweet moment.

Hyakkimaru calls Jukai “mama”

Tahomaru has resigned himself to defend Daigo at all costs. He and a small army are send to hunt down Hyakkimaru. Meanwhile, Hyakkimaru somehow finds the Cape Hakkotsu and is rowing a boat to rescue Dororo. A few weird things in this episode. First, Jukai doesn’t make a new prosthetic leg for Hyakkimaru. Second, Jukai is bitten by one of the demons and seems completely unfazed by it. Did it kill him? I don’t know it seemed like odd narrative choices. Anyway, this was largely a lovely episode.