Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 15: Recap & Review

Episode 15, Mount Natagumo

Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke are told that their fully healed. Zenitsu has now been informed that Nezuko is Tanjiro’s sister. A Kungai crow arrives and informs them that they’re to report to Mt. Natagumo. While on the path to Mt. Natagumo they encounter a fellow Demon Slayer that appears to be under control of a demon. Inosuke and Tanjiro head into the forest to find out. We see four demons in the shadows. Tanjiro and Inosuke run into a demon slayer and he informs them that there were ten initially.

Suddenly the slayers started attacking each other. We get a glimpse of the Demon Slayer commander, that takes note that his “children” have been slaughtered. He decides to send two Hashiras, Tomioka Giyu and Shinobu, as he believes that they maybe dealing with the Twelve Kizuki. Zenitsu finally heads towards the mountain when he realizes that Tanjiro took Nezuko with him. Meanwhile, Tanjiro and Inosuke are attacked by the remaining Demon Slayers under the control of the demons. However, they learn that the small spiders are attaching the threads to the Demon Slayers.

Without Tanjiro’s ability to smell the demon, it’s up to Inosuke to find her. A white haired and skinned demon appears telling them not to interfere with his family or his “mother” will kill them. He walks away on one of the spider webs. Inosuke attempts to attack the demon but can’t reach. He uses the seventh form of the Beast breathing technique and is able to locate her using his “spiritual awareness.” We know that each demon has a backstory, I wonder if the spider demons are actually related biologically. Regardless, it seems that Tanjiro, Zenitsu, Inosuke, Nezuko and Murata may be over their heads. I’m excited to see how strong Hashiras really are.

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Dr. Stone Episode 2, Recap and Review

Taiju and Senku running from the lions

Episode 2, King of the Stone World

In the last episodes review I predicted that Taiju would release Shishio Tsukasa and that it was a bad idea. Turns out I was right. While Shishio is clearly helpful, his world view is dangerous. At the start of this episode, Senku finally frees on of the stone sparrows. He leaves the decision on who will be freed to Taiju, who of course chooses Yuzuriha. Before they can free her, they’re chased by a pride of hungry lions. Desperate, they decided to free Shishio. In a spectacular show of force, Shishio kills the male lion forcing the other to flee. I was wrong about the dynamic between the brains and the brawn.

Shishio Tsukasa

When running from the lions, Taiju offers to sacrifice himself for Senku. Assuming that humanity can survive with “just” a smart human like Senku. Senku explains that they need each other and that Taiju’s is valued for his “fitness” not his fighting ability. This is were Shishio comes in. They dynamic between brain and brawn is complicated by as Taiju puts it “brains, brawn and brute force.” Senku notes that in a “world without guns” Shishio would be unstoppable. His strength comes with upsides of course, He’s able to hunt boar, birds and fish for them.

Shishio fights boars

Senku suggest that the first step towards rebuilding civilization lies in “calcium carbonate.” It’s the stuff they use for chalk in sports. However they have several uses. Once you create the powder they can be used for agriculture, construction and soap. Senku initially states that their are “four” uses for calcium carbonate but after talking to Shishio he lies and says that he only stated that their was three. The trust between Senku and Shishio isn’t there. I think they both see the other as a threat. Shishio kills a man by decapitating his stone body because the man abused him.

Senku and Shishio in conflict

He presents a question to Senku. Should we try to return to the “old world.” He sees the young as “pure,” and thinks that the older people are “tainted” and would only ruin the “paradise.” Senku disagrees, suggesting that he intends to free everyone. I disagree with Senku here. If you bring back the adults they won’t want to listen to a “child,” no matter how smart they are. They need to be more selective. The problem is how do any of them know what someone’s like? Shishio seems to assume that all young people are pure is that really true? He’s young, yet he had no trouble killing a man. How’s that pure? Regardless, the conflict has been set up. Brain verses brute force.

Vinland Saga Episode 1: Recap & Review

Thors in a dream state

Episode 1: Somewhere not here

If you watched Game of Thrones then you may have felt some instant similarities in this series. Generally, I don’t watch a lot of Historical Seinen anime. Actually, Vinland Saga is my first. This episode begins with Thors (everybody seems to be named after the god Thor) daydreaming in a wheat field. Turns out he’s on the battle field. We get a glimpse of the stunning animation and brutal violence. Thors dominates, killing enemies with ease as he travels from boat to boat. In a fury of slashes and blood, Thors appears to be unfazed and unafraid. At the end of this scene he washes up on shore, leaving the burning boats behind.

Thorfinn listening to Leif

We move forward to years later on Iceland. Thorfinn is doing chores. We hear a likely false or exaggerated story from his Grandfather, Leif Erickson. Thorfinn lives with his father Thors, his mother Helga and his sister Ylfa. The next morning Ylfa and Thors begin shoveling the snow off of their room. Ylfa falls off and lands on a slave that was under the snow. The man is malnourished, badly scared and seemingly has frostbite on his limbs. Thors tries to save him from death. Meanwhile, Grandpa Leif tells Thorfinn a probably true story of being marooned on ice and having 6 of his crewmates die. He also explains why they left the warm Norway for the freezing Iceland.

The slave

They fled from a strongman named Harald. Thorfinn calls him a “lair,” and runs home. The slave begins to speak and explains that he’s from Halfdan’s. Halfdan arrives to collect his slave. When one of his men steps out of line, Halfdan wraps his chain around his face and pulls. The man is severely disfigured as a result. The slave talks about his family as he becomes delirious. When Halfdan comes to get him, Thors offers ewes for the dying slave. He ends up trading eight for the slave. He quickly dies, leaving Ylfa distraught . . . over the sheep. It was a dark moment but a funny one. Finally, we see a boat with a blond man with a scar approaching what we can assume is Iceland.

King of Norway, Harald

Like many of the series I’ve review this summer, I really liked Vinland Saga. I’ll review the other two episode released in the coming days but this episode was well done. The animation was amazing, and so far I like the characters. It’s hard to know the tone of this series just yet, but it feels like there will be a combination of dark themes (slavery) but also humor. I already know that Thors isn’t going to live very long. That’s why I referenced Game of Thrones before. The warrior with a heart of gold dies early in the series. The characterization of Thors had such an powerful effect on me I’m already dreading his death.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 14: Recap & Review

Episode 14, The House with the Wisteria Family Crest

This episode picks up right were the last one left off. Tanjiro lands a devastating blow on Inosuke breaking some of his ribs. He tells them that members of the Demon Corps should fight each other. Inosuke takes it as an argument against using swords and decides he should use his hands. Inosuke shows that he’s quite flexible. He’s relentless until Tanjiro headbutts him. His mask fall off revealing that he’s a “pretty” guy. Inosuke passes out. After they bury the victims they head down the mountain.

The siblings go their own way after the Kaugai crow gives Kiyoshi a charm to ward off demons. The three, Tanjiro, Inosuke and Zenitsu head to a manor to rest. They receive food and clothes from the old lady of the manor. We learn that Inosuke is an orphan and that he became a Demon Slayer after hearing about it and the Final selection. Zenitsu finally asks “why does Tanjiro travel with a demon.” Nezuko finally emerges from the box, of course Zenitsu freaks out. He becomes smitten with her. He accuses Tanjiro of carrying around Nezuko to “make out with.” The episode was fine. Not much happened. I was right about Inosuke being a aggressive airhead. Like Zenitsu, I expect that Inosuke will turn out to be more complicated than that.

To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts: Episode 1, Recap and Review

The Incarnates beast forms

Episode 1, To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts

You never know what to expect from a new series. This of course leads to anticipation but can leave you disappointed. The first episode of To Abandoned Sacred Beasts, entitled . . . To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts, left me desiring more. I wasn’t a bad debut episode, just not a particularly great one. Of course the first episode is tasked with setting the series up, resulting in a sometimes unsatisfying introduction. Hank and his unit of Incarnates (super soldiers) were created to turn the tide of war. The episode begins with a frontal assault by the North, they’re slaughtered. The first question I had was why get your army killed if you have the Incarnates?

Elaine and Hank

Predictably, the Incarnates lay waste to the southern forces. The designs of the beast weren’t that creative. On guy just gains horse legs becoming a boring centaur. Most of the beast forms are likely to be inspired either directly or indirectly by mythological creatures. Why one person turns into on thing over the other isn’t explained. My best guess is that it’s random. In the future I’m certain that we will see why these soldiers were chosen. The Incarnates are lead by Hank Henriette, his second in command Cain Madhouse and the creator of the Incarnates, Elaine. If you couldn’t guess from the name Cain predictable becomes a traitor.

Some fan-service

Before this moment one of the Incarnates, Ari goes berserk. He kills soldiers from both sides during his rampage. The soldiers from the north open fire and while incapacitated he commits suicide rather than lose himself. This leads Hank to swear an oath, which will become his motivation for the series. It will be the responsibility of the Incarnates to hunt down and kill each other when they lose their minds. As I mentioned Cain betrays Elaine and Hank, but after Elaine attempts to kill Hank. She has decided that killing all the beast then herself is the only answer she can think of. Cain is the typical villain, his name and his long hair were a dead give away.

Hank fighting a Incarnate

Hank hunts down one of the Incarnates during the ending credits (I guess that’s going to be a thing in anime now). While it’s short, I did enjoy it as Hank appears to turn into a werewolf. Overall, this series is mediocre. The animation is so so and the story needs to be fleshed out more. I don’t care much for anime music so I won’t pass any judgement on that aspect, but the story did have some comedic moments that didn’t quiet last. I didn’t care about the romance between Hank and Elaine. Nor did I care that she died. Lastly the fan-service in the form Liza while not gratuitous feels unnecessary (maybe that’s true of all fan-service). If she suppose to be a serious soldier, why have her spilling out of her top. It’s not the end of the world though. I give this series a few more episodes before deciding if it’s worth my time.

One Punch Man S2 – Episode 12: Recap & Review

Garou taking a beating

Episode 12, Cleaning up the Disciple’s Mess

Bang dominates an injured Garou, as Genos notes that Bang is better than Garou. It seems unlikely that he would be able to win considering Genos, Bang and Bomb are so strong. Phoenix Man is flying around, tasked by Orochi to get Garou. He of course is hesitate as he would need to get past all the heroes. Garou concludes that in order to survive he would need to kill, Bomb, Bang and Genos. What is interesting is that despite Garou being hurt, Bomb AND Bang fight him together. Garou remembers his childhood which predictably saw him being bullied by his Tatsu. While playing hero, Garou is always casts as the “monster.” He associates his childhood with the belief that heroes fighting monsters is always unfair. This is important to know as Bang and Bomb prove his point by attacking him together. However, Phoenix Man arrives and takes Garou.

Bang and Bomb double team Garou

Genos decides that he’s going to kill them both with his Spiral Incineration Cannon. Elder Centipede interferes. Bomb, Genos and Bang rescue the fallen heroes. Phoenix Man explains to Garou that he should kill the heroes instead of leaving them alive.I think so far what has kept Garou from truly being a monster is this fact. Phoenix Man goes on to say that Elder Centipede is going to destroy “everything.” According to the monster strategist, Gyoro-Gyoro, there are ONLY four heroes that can defeat the Elder Centipede. Terrible Tornado, because of her psychic powers, Metal Knight, that “hoards military might on an unknown scale.” King, the “strongest human alive,” and the top hero Blast. Of course we know that King is weak and it’s Saitama that’s the strongest human. Regardless, Elder Centipede joined the Monster Association to get revenge.

Elder Centipede

Neither Genos or Bang aren’t well suited to combat Elder Centipede. When Bang and Bomb land a devastating attack it molts, and heals as if nothing happened. Genos decides that he will fight the Elder Centipede alone. Genos ends up cut in half but is able to reconnect himself. He gets swallowed and uses his Ultra Spiral Incineration Cannon. It still does nothing. Bang, Genos and Bomb flee with the other heroes. As Bang prepares to die fighting, King arrives claiming that he brought Blast. As the Elder Centipede comes to attack King, Saitama arrives and defeats it with One Punch.

Saitama destroys Elder Centipede

This is ended rather abruptly if you asked me. Maybe they didn’t have enough time or money to animated the entire arc? Regardless, I’m hoping they find a better animator for the next season. While I could tolerate this season it wasn’t the beautiful animation form the first season. Anyway, Saitama really took a step back this season. Instead we focused on a human villain. It was a bit refreshing. I’m predicting that Garou becomes a actually monster, as he’s not strong enough as he is. Genos seems to have figured out his limits. Genos has everything but “power.” This isn’t completely true as he is a S Class hero, but he’s also not as strong as many monsters or other S Class heroes. I wonder how strong he and Garou will become.

The Summer Anime Series I’m Looking Forward To

As the summer arrives, new anime series debut. Many of these series will appear on many streaming services Amazon, Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Netflix. Several series like Carole & Tuesday, Fruits Basket and Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba will continue from the spring.

Vinland Saga

Studio: Wit Studio

Genre: Action, Drama, Historical

Premiere Date: July 6

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

What’s it About: Following the story of a band of Vikings, Vinland Saga is based on the manga of the same name. Thorfinn aims to get revenge on Askeladd for murdering his father. Askeladd’s Vikings gets involved in a battle over succession between two princes.


Dr. Stone

Studio: Toho Animation

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Premiere Date: July 5

Where to Watch: CrunchyrollFunimation

What It’s About : Thousand years after humanity is turned into stone, a student named Taiju breaks free. He finds his old friend, Senku that was freed before Taiju. Senku aims to use his scientific knowledge to free the others and rebuild human civilization.


Fire Force

Studio: David Production

Genre: Action, Psychological, Supernatural

Premiere Date: July 5

Where to Watch: CrunchyrollFunimation

What It’s About: From the creator of Soul Eater, Fire Force takes place in an alternate Tokyo where fire fighters battle against fire monsters called Infernals. The main protagonist, Shinra is a “third generation infernal.” He can control and create fire. He joins the Special Fire Force Company 8 that aim to stop Infernals.


To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts

Studio: Mappa

Genre: Action, Drama, Military

Premiere Date: July 1

Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

What It’s About: A young woman Nancy, looks for a Beast Hunter to avenge the death of her father who was turned into a monstrous beast to help win a civil war. I’ve never heard of this series and it looks interesting.


Attack On Titan Episode 59: Recap & Review

Queen Historia

Episode 59, Beyond the Walls

The tone of this season finale left me with a somber feeling. It wasn’t that there weren’t any happy moments, but they were always tempered by a realization that left the characters sadden. This is typical for Attack on Titan. I didn’t expect for any more revelation in this episode and we didn’t really get it. This isn’t a complaint, just an observation. Regardless, I think it was a perfect ending to the season. During the Paradis government meeting. Historia decides that the people are to be informed the truth regarding the Titans and what’s beyond the walls. Unsurprisingly, some believe the story others not so much.

Floch telling Armin why he choose Erwin

Regardless of whether they believe the story, at least the people know. Hitch arrives at the ceremony to honor the fallen solders, Floch tells her that Marlo was a hero. Most importantly he raises the question that Erwin should have been chosen over Armin. It’s an odd that Floch feels it’s necessary to make sure Armin knows that he basically wanted him to die. It’s going to be awkward regardless but Floch went too far in my opinion. When Historia touches Eren hand he has a flashback of Fritz memory. After the attack on Trost District and the refugees are returned Wall Maria.

Eren seeing Grisha’s memories

The Scout’s finally get to see the wall where Grisha was transformed into a Titan. They finally get to see the ocean. This was a happy moment, as the Scouts played in the ocean. Everyone was having a good time until Eren became a buzzkill, reminding them that they won’t have any freedom until they kill all their enemies overseas. As I stated, I think this was a perfect ending. While, the joy was brief, they did get a moment of it. With Eren reminding the Scouts and us that trouble still remains. Overall, this season departed from what the previous one did. This was for the better I think. We got to see other characters (mainly Levi) become more 3 dimensional.

The Scouts frolicking in the ocean

Eren and his friends to a backseat. At the same the world of Attack on Titan got a major expansion. The amount of new details could be overwhelming but I think was necessary. While, I’m sure Titan fights won’t end, I think we now will see them as victims more than perpetrators. As forced weapons, resulting from the bigotry of “humans.” This doesn’t make them less dangerous, but it does make killing sadder. It seemed like when Eren accepted that he wasn’t alone and part of a larger group he was going to happier. However, realizing that “freedom” isn’t close has resulted in him becoming more dreary than before. As always, I look forward to the next season in 2020.

Dororo Episode 24: Recap & Review

Hyakkimaru and Tahomaru accept each other

Episode 24, Dororo and Hyakkimaru

The final episode of Dororo begins with Tahomaru and Hyakkimaru continuing their battle among the blaze of Daigo castle. Both lay claims to the castle and their mother. As Oku head into the hidden passage to the castle, she asks Dororo to stay by her son side like she always had. Oku and Jukai meet as the brothers continues their brutal battle. Hyakkimaru finally gets the upper hand and decides not to kill Tahomaru because “they are both human.” Tahomaru concedes that he “lost.”

Oku apologizes

However, the demon takes control over Tahomaru. He removes the eyes which then return to Hyakkimaru when he defeats the demon beneath the floor. Oku apologizes to both her sons, she decides to stay with Tahomaru as he dies in her arms. Daigo hears the news from the castle and continues his war effort. The final demon statue crumbles as well. Dororo decides that she’s going to use the money to help the people build up their own country. Hyakkimaru finally meets his father in the Hall of Hell. Daigo has learn nothing, suggesting that if he must he will simply feed “another human” to the demons. This includes Hyakkimaru as well.

Tahomaru dies in his mother’s arm

His only regret is that he left Hyakkimaru to a midwife, instead of strangling him. Hyakkimaru refrains from killing his father, instead telling him that he “better not become a demon.” Daigo wonders if he hadn’t struck a deal with a demon, Hyakkimaru may have had the strength to save the land. Hyakkimaru leaves Dororo behind looking to find himself. The ending wasn’t to clear to me, but it does show that Dororo grows up and appears to meet Hyakkimaru in the golden rice fields. Regardless, the series ending was bitter sweet.

Dororo all grown up

Overall, this series was well worth it. While some of the animation was poorly rendered the story of tragedy and triumph was the most important part of this series. The theme of the importance of a individual or larger society is never clearly concluded. However, Dororo deciding to help the people build their own society suggest that a compromise is possible, each individual can contribute to the success of their society. The anime series does change some things from the manga. Instead of 48 demons, Hyakkimaru has to fight 12. Jukai’s story is expanded upon, and many of the events, detail and tone are change. Dororo is a good , albeit a darker adaptation.

Hyakkimaru in the golden rice field

Lupin the Third Part 5 – Episode 1: Recap & Review

Lupin in disguise

Episode 1 – The Girl in the Twin Towers

Lupin and the gang is back this time they have a more modern world to deal with. In the premier episode Lupin aims to steal digital currency from “Marco Polo,” an online store on the “dark web.” I seems simpler to steal online currency from criminals that to rob a bank in person. Together Lupin and Daisuke Jigen break into the underwater tower to find Ami, who created the payment system for Marco Polo. When they arrive Lupin disguises himself as her “father”. However, this fails as he mispronounces her name and she shoots at him with a gun.

Ami taking aim

Ami uses her gear to transmit intruder data to security. The security head down to save her. Jigen uses his knowledge of guns to determine that she only has one bullet left. Lupin approaches her with his hands up claiming to be a “prophet.” As Jigen holds of the security, Lupin gets close to Ami. She pulls the trigger, but doesn’t have any bullets remaining. Turns out that while pretending to be her father, when Lupin hugged her he took one bullet out of her gun’s clip. While, I found the trick to be clever it seems far-fetch to me. Furthermore, why only steal one bullet and not two?

Zenigata and his police force surround Lupin’s crew

Anyway, Lupin introduces himself, and notes that he’s a great thief. Ami asks if he can steal anything? She wants him to “steal her” as she is trapped by “invisible chains,” in exchange she will help him steal from Marco Polo. Surprisingly, Goemon is hidden among the security and takes them out. Ami manages to steal what looks like billions in digital currency (it was clear how much the digital currency was worth). In a typical move from Lupin he lets the “dark web” know that he was responsible for the thief. Anyway, while in a hideout they’re surrounded by Zenigata and his men.

Lupin and his crew trying to escape

Having pissed of the “dark web” a new online game was created, “Arrest Lupin III.” They are chased by police the following morning, ending with Lupin driving their car into the water. With the Lupin game going viral, his every move is being watched and broadcast worldwide. Clearly, this is suppose to be both a commentary on the dangers of losing one’s privacy due to surveillance and the internet. In addition to that how does a thief that needs to escape from time to time and avoid detection in this new tech driven world. Stealing money has never been easier with tech. but so is being followed. It’s going to be interesting how Lupin manages to survive this new obstacle. Overall, Lupin the third (P5) is clever, funny and well animated. I look forward to watching this season.