Enen no Shouboutai Episode 4: Recap and Review

Princess Hibana

Episode 4, the Hero and the Princess

The ashes that Joker used in his fight are analyzed. There main component are Infernal ashes. Shinra hasn’t informed Company 8 of Jokers claim that his brother, Sho, remains alive. Maki sends Arthur and Shinra to rescue a dog out of a tree. We learn that the Fire Force isn’t a replacement for the fire fighters, but they exist in the world together. Apparently, the Fire Force are often mistaken for firefighters. Turns out that the “dog” is the mascot, Mamoru. A group of high school students tossed him up into the tree. Mamoru explains that since the murder spree of serial killer, Miyamoto, the image of the firefighters and Fire Force have taken a “hit.” The result is that they’re sometimes picked on by the public.

Arthur vs Miyamoto

The serial killer’s verdict will be announced today, he’s expected to be found insane. Setsuo Miyamoto is found not guilty, he gloats, while the audience is outraged. Then he begins combustion, becoming an Infernal. He tells everyone that he will kill them all. Everyone, except the judge manages to escape. Arthur, Shinra and the rest of Company 8 arrive at the courthouse. Arthur and Shinra immediately begin to fight Miyamoto. Unlike the other Infernals, he’s self aware. If your will is strong enough you can keep your personality after transforming. He escapes, and Shinra is sent to stop him. Shinra dominates Miyamoto, as Company 5 watches. Princess Hibana orders her company to capture Miyamoto. They arrive and capture him, when Shinra tries to question her authority she uses an ability on him. He collapses to the ground and she orders her company to hold him down.

Miyamoto captured by Company 5

Shinra prepares to fight the entire 5th Company, but is stopped by Obi. We meet another new character from Company 5, Second Class Fire Soldier, Third Gen., Toru Kishiri. He calls Captain Obi a “no-talent nobody.” As Arthur and Shinra argue with him, Maki sucker punches him in the stomach. It’s a funny moment that Toru earned, even the uptight Hinawa approves. Anyway, Company 5 leaves with Miyamoto, I doubt that they will share what they discover. While, I find Princess Hibana’s abilities to be intriguing, she yet another fanservice character. I can tolerate fanservice as long as it’s occasional. We’ll see, it early. I wonder how far these companies will go in terms of morality. Company 5 are rude (they knocked a little boy over) and appear unethical, but are they evil? I expect that some of them are, but wonder if any of them will be “good.”

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Vinland Saga Episode 4: Recap & Review

Bjorn vs Thors

Episode 4, A True Hero

I’ve known the fate of Thors from the beginning and have been dreading it. I think this is a testament to the great characterization Vinland Saga has given Thors. Even with so few episodes, I feel I know him. Or at least I want to know more about him. Exactly what happened that made him hate fighting so much. From the first episode it seems that he was a bloodthirsty warrior. I may be the birth of his daughter that softened his heart. Regardless, he turned his life toward peace and put his sword down. He even seemed to develop a hatred for violence. However, when the village is threaten he has no chose but to prepare for war once again.

Thors begins this episode quickly defeating many of the bandits. He avoids shedding any blood (when possible) focusing on punches, throws and breaking bones. On of the men, Bjorn goes “mad,” his pupils turn white and he indiscriminately attacks his own men. Thors notes that he’s eaten a “berserker mushroom.” Thors knocks him out with his bare hands, however, Bjorn gets up. Meanwhile, the last ship gets closer to Thorfinn and the other villagers. Thors arrives, after defeating Bjorn. Having defeated half of Askeladd forces, offers to allow him to leave. He assesses the situation and because Thorfinn is present he’s handicapped.

Askeladd vs Thors

He challenges Askeladd to a duel. He accepts. After Askeladd calls him the “troll of Jom,” he quickly understands that Floki is responsible. When they begin to fight, Askeladd gets the first strike. As Thors approaches him he cuts the boats sails, causing them to fall. This distracts Thors long enough for Askeladd to slash him. The hit is too shallow. Askeladd is impressed by Thors, believing his trip was “worth it.” Accepting, Askeladd strength, Thors knows he can’t go easy on him. He begins to dominated the fight. Chipping away at his sword, Thors is relentless. However, Askeladd is able to predict the arc of his sword. He shatters it.

This was what Thors was waiting for. When Askeladd “swing wide,” he takes advantage. Thors hits Askeladd’s arm, disarming him and takes his sword. Despite winning, Thors refuses to kill Askeladd. He would accept a surrender all the same. However, Askeladd is unwilling to say it in front of his men. He tell Thors that the “duel won’t end until Thors kills him.” He asks why Thors is “wasting” his talent. Thors responds that a true warrior doesn’t need a sword. Bjorn awakens and grabs Thorfinn, holding a knife to his throat. Despite Thors winning the duel, Askeladd breaks the rules. With no choice, Thors accepts his death. Askeladd commands his archers to shoot.

Thorfinn after

Thors asks Askeladd to keep his promise and allow the villagers to go. He then asks Leif to bring his head to Sigvaldi, the leader of the Jomsvikings so he knows that he didn’t refuse to fight. Released, Thorfinn hugs his father on last time. Devastated, he vows to kill Askeladd. The look in his eyes shocks the other men. Askeladd, decides to leave him assuming he will die anyway. First, Thorsfinn’s lust for vengeance, while I would like to see it, is not what his father would have wanted for him. He really emotional right now, so we’ll see how long his rage will carry him. However, he hasn’t learned the lesson his father taught him regarding violence.

A common theme in this series so far is to “value ones life.” Basically, do recklessly throw it away. Obviously, Thorfinn not going to die anytime soon but he seems to be reckless by nature. In contrast with this theme or in accordance to it, Thors life had literal value (Askeladd was paid to kill him), and according to Askeladd he was worth than a “hundred warriors.” In the end his life was valuable enough to save his men and most importantly his son. I’m not sure Thorfinn will learn that lesson until later in the series. I think he’s going to have to go through the same journey his father did, first through violence then to peace.

30 Day DC Challenge -Day 7: Most Underrated DC Hero

Martian Manhunter

Universe: Prime Earth

Creators: Joseph Samachson · Joe Certa

First App: Stormwatch Vol 3 #1 (November, 2011)

In my opinion most of the heroes in DC are probably underrated. Generally, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman are largely relied upon for “saving the day.” That said, the MOST underrated superhero is the Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onnz/John Jones). The last survivor of the martian race, John came to Earth. He would join the Justice League under the name of Martian Manhunter. I’m mostly familiar with John from the Justice League animated series where he largely remained in the Watchtower. This is where he’s the most underrated.

From the Watchtower, John is responsible for manning the Watchtower and serving as mission coordinator. He is able to determine which heroes go to which conflict, based on how effective their abilities are. This is a passive but very important job that he’s been given. Obviously, this isn’t the most gratifying and admittedly “heroic” thing for a hero to do or at least that’s how it will be received. John himself is quite powerful. He possess the standard group of powers. superhuman strength, durability, flight, regeneration, shape-shifting, invisibility, telepathy and telekinesis. The grouping of these powers are somewhat different, but they’re among the most common powers for superheroes.

He is the most powerful telepath on Earth, he can link minds of all superheroes at once from the “distance of the Moon to all corners of Earth.” He can even read all inhabitants of Earth simultaneously. His mind control abilities is so profound, he was apparently able to temporarily make the Joker sane. John can see across the electromagnetic spectrum, has X-ray vision, project energy beams and according to Batman he’s an “amalgam of Superman and Batman.” If this doesn’t convince you that he’s underrated I don’t know what will. While, he’s underrated he’s not ignored. He has had a number of series to his name. However, unlike, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, he’s mostly known by comic book fans.

Source: dc.fandom

Dr. Stone Episode 4, Recap and Review

Gunpowder exploding

Episode 4, Fire the Smoke Signal

After 3700 years of being in love with Yuzuriha, he decides that he wait even longer to tell her. Senku manages to collect the ingredients for gunpowder rather quickly, first is sulfur, second charcoal and finally potassium nitrate. Dr. Stone breaks the fourth wall several times in this episode. Particularly to inform the audience that the ingredients were accurate and should not be repeated. This is find and all, but I think Dr. Stone should have just left an ingredient out. Regardless, Taiju accidentally blows up the first batch of gunpowder. Senku believes that the gunpowder would be useful to negotiate with Tsukasa. However, Senku is willing to kill him if needed and Tsukasa is will to kill him if needed. While putting out the fire, Yuzuriha notices a smoke signal.

Smoke signal

Senku is excited. The possibility that there’s more people in the world is in a game changer. Senku fires a smoke signal in return to get the people attention. The problem is that said smoke signal will also give away their position to Tsukasa. It does. He captures Yuzuriha and holds her hostage. Tsukasa make a very good case against gunpowder. The weapons of science that Senku hopes to create, have been used to destructive ends in the “old world.” Tsukasa argues that he doesn’t want that world again and is willing to kill to avoid it. Tsukasa threatens Yuzuriha, in exchange for the recipe for freeing people from pertification. Senku claims that he doesn’t care about Yuzuriha. Tsukasa calls his bluff, cutting Yuzuriha hair. He believes that Senku does care about both Taiju and Yuzuriha.

More people are alive

Yuzuriha decides that she will sacrifice herself for the “greater good.” Senku gives the revival fluid formula to Tsukasa. This means that Senku no longer has any value to Tsukasa and he can kill him. While, gathering wood, Taiju sees three smoke signals. we get a glimpse of another female character. Meanwhile, Tsukasa get closer to Senku, asking him to “allow civilization to grow.” Tsukasa asks Senku to “abandon science.” Senku flashes back to his childhood learning science, with Taiju and Yuzuriha helping him. Obviously, his answer was always going to be no. The episode ends trying to suggest that Senku was killed, but we all know that didn’t happen.

Senku’s “death”

Tsukasa continues to be an interesting villain. He makes a lot of good points regarding the world. He wants to make a new one that’s better than the previous one. He willing to be violent to do so, but if you think about is science really better. As mentioned in this episode, science has been used to help people but also for tool of war. Far more people have been killed by bombs than weapons made of stone. Who actually serves more of a threat, Senku or Tsukasa. The introduction of new people to this series is really going to get interesting. As I mentioned before, the trio don’t have a way to determine whose “good” or not without taking risks. It’s possible that a new threat could emerge from the other people that could make Tsukasa and the trio have to work together.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 17: Recap & Review

Episode 17, You Must Master a Single Thing

Zenitsu was always going to be a character that required getting use to. I always figured that with this series he would be more than a coward. While he remains one, he has shown some willingness to change. This episode gives him more complexity. Zenitsu flees from the creepy spiders demons with human heads. Turns out that when the original human head spider demon injects venom into humans they become spider demons. Of course, Zenitsu is bitten on the hand. Zenitsu panics in a tree. We get a flashback, of him crying in a tree (with brown hair). His master (Gramps) begs him to get out of the tree. Zenitsu realizes that while he wants to live up to the expectations of his master, he lacks the ability to do so.

Zenitsu’s ability to use lighting causes him to be struck by it, turning his hair yellow and knocking out the tree. When his hair falls out he faints and goes into his trance. We learn that Zenitsu has only mastered one attack, Thunder Breath: First Form. However, he’s managed to perfect the form. In another flashback, his Master gives him permission to cry and run away, but not to give up. However, another student, Kaigaku, bullies him. He considers him a “waste of time.” Zenitsu, being an orphan, only had his Master to support him, having been abandoned by everyone else. As he starts to cough up blood, Zenitsu still in his trance, turns up the power.

He begins to move at lightning fast speeds, and decapitates the Spider Demon. He falls, being crippled by the poison. He uses the breathing techniques to slow the effects of the poison. Meanwhile, Tanjiro hears his attack and plans to investigate. However, the “Daughter” of the Spider demon family shows up. Inosuke follows her. She flees, calling for her “Father” that arrives from above. He begins to attack Inosuke and Tanjiro. I suspect that the Father isn’t actually the member of the Twelve, but his Daughter is. This series likes to play with our expectations. The seeming fearful Daughter being the member of the Twelve would do just that.

Enen no Shouboutai Episode 3: Recap and Review

New Villain

Normally the ‘tournament arc” is done far later in an anime series than the third episode. Of course this wasn’t a full tournament so maybe I shouldn’t count it. Regardless, we are introduced to another villain, although we don’t get his name. We learn that Company 8 Captain, Akitaru Obi had twice earned awards for heroism and twice had them removed for disobeying orders by being a hero when he saved lives. I initially got the impression that the 8 Fire Force Companies worked closely together but it seems that they operate independently of each other.

The mascots

Shinra and Arthur get a look at the mascots of the Fire Defense Agency. Called the Wone Wone Nyine, two of them are cute, but one is a “dog faced human.” Shinra recognizes the fire fighter that saved him as a child. Leonard Burns doesn’t recognize Shinra because, it was a fire over a dozen years ago. Shinra suspects that Burns is hiding something. Maybe it’s because the series is new, but I though the new character Tamaki Kotatsu was Maki (their names are similar too). This may be intentional but so far it feels a bit lazy. Tamaki is a third generation of the first company.

Leonard Burns

She seems to be this series main fanservice source, as Shinra had manage to somehow “accidentally” groped her. Anyway, the competition is for the participants run into a large burning building, while rescuing those in need and defeating a fake infernal. As the competition starts, Shinra uses his ability to fly to the top of the building. He quickly runs into the man named the Joker. He offers Shinra information on what happened 12 years ago. Shinra attacks Joker, with Joker using ashes that explode. He makes the surprising revelation that Shinra’s brother Sho is still alive.

Shinra fighting Joker

The Joker asks Shinra to join him. Shinra attacks Joker again this time he uses more power impressing Joker with his ability. Arthur and Tamaki arrive. Shinra attempts to inform Arthur of the situation. Arthur thinks he’s lying and tries to capture Joker. Tamaki and Arthur fail to defeat Joker, who releases all the ashe he has setting up the building to explode. Shinra, Arthur and Tamaki work together to escape. This encounter leaves Shinra more suspicious of the Fire Force, only for Obi to confirm that he too is suspicious.

Obi congratulating Shinra

Each, Fire Force Company operates independently and are supported by different factions like the Holy Sol Temple and Hajima Company. The 8th Company acts as a investigation force of companies 1-7. This larger conspiracy is very intriguing. We haven’t seen many of the other companies. It’s unlikely that all of them are bad, but in investigating the 8th Company could make enemies of all of them.

One Piece Chapter 950: Recap & Review

Chapter 950, The Dream of the Strong

Kid and Killer finally free themselves from the handcuffs. They decide to leave Udon and find the remaining crewmates. Luffy offers to form an alliance with Kid, but he declines. However, Kid has soured on alliances after the betrayal of Hawkins and Apoo. Kid states that he will never trust anyone outside of crew again. Meanwhile, the prisoners have a hard time accepting that Luffy us a pirate. Considering how most characters in One Piece are pirates, it’s sometimes lost on some that the rest of the world doesn’t always trust any pirates. Luffy always proves to be an exception.

Raizo and Kawamatsu tries to vouch for Luffy’s character. Hyogoro fears the outcome. Meanwhile, Chopper tries to find a cure for mummy. He has what accounts for a conversation considering his condition. When the prisoners see Momonosuke they become inspired, confusing him for his father. They begin to bow to him. I think that Luffy will be a leader in this arc, but he can’t be the only one. He’ll need members of the Nine Red Scabbards to take the lead and of course, Momonosuke and his sister. Ashura Doji explains that many allies of Onigashima attempted to avenge him a decade ago.

However, they were killed. Ashura decides that he and his group will join the alliance. Zoro along with Hiyori (Momonsuke’s sister) is searching for Gyukimaru to get the Shusui sword back. Finally, Law gets captured by Hawkins. His plans to interrogate him to find about the alliance intentions. If Law did tell Hawkins their plans, Luffy will just screw it up anyway, so it won’t really matter. One thing that is good about this arc is that the allies are dominating the fight. Zoro had his sword stolen, Luffy was dominated by Kiado, Kidd also got defeated while his friend (Killer) was exposed to SMILE. Of course they are going to win, but how much will they sacrifice to get there.

30 Day DC Challenge -Day 2: Who is your Favorite Female Hero

Wonder Woman (Diana)

Universe: Prime Earth

Creators: William Moulton Marston · Harry G. Peter

First App: Flashpoint Vol 2 #5 (October, 2011)

History

Like Batman, Wonder Woman is a typical choice. However, I like who I like right. A founding member of the Justice League, she first appeared in All Star Comics #8. Since 1941, a Wonder Woman title has been published except for 1986. Diana is the Princess of Themyscira. She was father less, given life by Zeus. To blend into society she adapts the name Diana Prince. Like most comic book characters, Wonder Woman’s story has changed numerous times.

Powers and Abilities

Diana is a masterful athlete, acrobats, fighting and strategy. She has been trained in several ancient forms of armed and unarmed combat. Of course being blessed by the Gods means that Diana is incredibly powerful. She has superhuman strength, superhuman speed, invulnerability, immortality, flight, healing factor, divine wisdom (basically the ability to learn quickly), agility, and stamina. most of her powers are generic for the most powerful DC characters. I think almost ALL DC characters can fly somehow. However, it is rare for a female superhero to possess this much power, which makes Wonder Woman unique.

Art by Alex Ross

Weapons and Equipment

Like Batman, Wonder Woman has many iconic weapons and equipment. Her lasso of truth is the most famous. The lasso forces people to tell the truth, it can “restore people’s lost memories get rid of illusions or cause illusions to those it holds and heal the holder’s body cure insanity and protect people who are in close proximity to it from magical attacks.” Occasionally, the lasso’s powers don’t seem to be taken seriously or it’s not that effective. She also has her “bracelets of victory,” that like the lasso are indestructible and can be used to deflect, “projectiles, blades, punches, or even Darkseid’s Omega Beams).

In animated series, Diana is often presented as stern. However, she can have moments of humor and is always ready for a fight. Wonder Woman is probably more popular today than she was a few years ago, due to the movies. She is often ranked high among the greatest comic book superheroes of all time. Wonder Woman is by far my favorite female hero.

Cop Craft Episode 3: Recap and Review

Learning to walk like a “high class woman”

Episode 3, Midnight Train

For some reason Tilarna decided to trust Father O’Neil to help her fit in, rather than trust Kei. He dresses her in skimpy clothing and teaches her to “walk” like a “high ranking woman.” Brother Kenny is surprisingly concerned for her safety and calls Kei. While she’s at the bar, Elbaji begins to hit on her. He fails. He later reveals that he’s Dennis Elbaji, which doesn’t surprise Tilarna obviously. She in turn reveals that she is a Knight looking for the fairy he stole. He refuses and sets his me to attack her. When they draw their guns, she cuts off their arms.

The fairy bombs

Elbaji draws his sword and quickly defeats Tilarna. He then kidnaps her, hoping to get some answers. In the car, Elbaji asks Tilarna, “if she knew the name of Earth’s God.” He responds, “money.” He claims to have “converted” to the religion. He bring her to a temple where the Wizard Zelada is waiting. He offers to torture her for information, but conveniently leaves. Kei is watching from a far but decides to intervene. Meanwhile, Tilarna escapes and find the room where the fairies are kept. Inside she is discussed to see fairies and some limbs of fairies in jars.

Tilarna asking Kei to trust her

Kei arrives, giving Tilarna her sword back. She and Elbaji fight. Tilarna wins, only to discover that the bomb was a fake. Zelada has taken the real bomb. They catch up to him and arrests Zelada. However, Chief Roth arrives and shoots Tilarna. Roth reveals that he’s been informing Zelada of the investigation, deliberately gave him an inexperienced partner (Tilarna) and killed Rick. Their goal is to create hatred between Earth and the Semanians using terrorism. When Tilarna gets up, Chief Roth is distracted long enough for Kei to shoot him. Zelada heads to Forest Tower, the tallest building in the city.

Leahyah

Kei and Tilarna race to stop the bomb, dodging traps as they do so. When Tilarna sees the bomb she calls the fairy, Leahyah. Things are getting more interesting in each episode. We learned that Zelada have meet previously. They both were involved in a war between the humanity and the Semanians. Tilarna and Kei’s relationship really got closer in this episode. He saved her during her fight with Elbaji, by returning her sword. He also twice showed her trusted her, when he allowed her to fight him on her own and trusted her to warn him about Zelada’s traps. With Kei losing his friend (Rick) and his father figure (Roth) he’s going to need to trust someone.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 16: Recap & Review

Episode 16, Letting Someone Else Go First

Murata offers to hold off the controlled Demon Slayers, allowing Inosuke and Tanjiro to progress. They run into a living member of the Demon Slayers. Controlled, she is force to fight beyond her psychical limits. Rui, the male child demon, arrives to tell his “mother” to hurry up. In this moment we get the impression that they’re not really that close, as the demon doesn’t want Rui to tell his father. As a result she becomes inpatient. She increases her intensity with regard to how she uses the female Demon Slayer, breaking her bones as she swings violently.

Tanjiro, not looking to kill anyone, decides to toss the girl into the tree tangling the webs. Inosuke eager to prove he can do what Tanjiro can dose the same to the remaining two. Mother, now angry, breaks all of their necks. This was a shocking turn of evens for me. I mean all the work Tanjiro did, lead us into believing that he would be rewarded for his efforts. This isn’t the first time Tanjiro will be let down, but it was surprising that they weren’t saved. Regardless, they have no choice but to move on. Mother releases her “trump card,” a headless demon doll with bladed arms.

Meanwhile, Zenitsu is wandering the forest whining and loudly calling for Nezuko. He is followed by the smaller spider demon. Considering his advanced hearing it’s likely the case that he knows he’s being followed or will realize it at some point. When that happens he’s likely to run than fight. Anyway, Inosuke is becoming an interesting character. He seems like a complete moron that doesn’t think thing through, however, it seems like he does think on some level. He’s also appears to have developed an admiration for Tanjiro. Together they defeat the demon doll by working together, with Tanjiro taking the lead.

Tanjiro is tossed in the air by Inosuke, this sends him towards Mother. It’s unclear whether Inosuke intended to that or was mindlessly throwing Tanjiro in the air. Regardless, Tanjiro heads for Mother preparing to decapitate her. She initially is preparing to defend herself but decides that she rather die. When Tanjiro notices that her body language changed, he shifted to a more gentle form killing her without pain. We see her interaction with Father. The dynamic is clearly modeled what is typical for a domestic abuse situation. As usual, the demon is a former victim with a sad backstory. As a reward for his kindness, she tells Tanjiro that a member of the Twelve is around.