Fire Force Episode 16: Recap and Review

Season 2, Episode 16 – “Mind Blown”

I don’t know what to make of this episode. Fire Force episode 16 felt distracted. With so much going on, so many characters, it was difficult for this episode to focus. It would have been much better to slow down and deal with one fight at a time. The last episode introduced a three-way battle between the Fire Force, Haijima, and the White Clad. The episode opens with Maki considering what I suggested in my previous review, joining with Haijima. That alliance seems to be the most reasonable. The Puppeteer fights with Haumea using her Dominator. Haumea uses her electricity on it, but the Dominator is immune. 

Arrow steps in, shooting the Dominator. However, before she can get another shot off, Maki stops her. Arrow is put on her back foot as Mika’s close-range combat skills are superior. Meanwhile, Vulcan searches for Arthur so that the latter can counter Haumea. Korono attacks Iris and Tamaki looking to get at the “weaker” members of Company 8, however, Arthur deflects his assault. Ritsu uses her power, Necro Pyro. It’s a power that requires a lot of prep work. She needs an Infernal as a “base” then she resurrects the dead (meaning she needs corpses first), then the zombies eat the Infernal. The result is a massive Infernal like the one we saw in the first episode. 

Nataku loses his mind

Nataku is placed at its base. I know he’s a victim but I find him annoying. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s a scared child but he’s whiny. Regardless, Kurono is chastised by his boss and decides to team up with Shinra. Haumea escapes from the Puppeteer and uses her imagination infection on Nataku. He goes “mad” a starts attacking indiscriminately. He uses a radioactive laserbeam that explodes on contact. The radiation becomes a potential problem for the Fire Force’s none pyro users. The alliance between Kurono and Shinra is shot live as he becomes enamored with the strength of his opponents. 

In an odd twist, Charon comes to Shinra’s aid. He’s mostly helping him because Shinra’s a “pillar.” Charon offers to help cover Shinra while he gets Nataku. Elsewhere, Arthur and Vulcan finally meetup. Vulcan manipulates Arthur with his Camelot fantasy promising him a legendary sword. Arthur sticks his plasma sword into the roof of the matchbox triggering an EMS pulse. This nullifies Haumea’s powers. When she locates Arthur and Vulcan, the Puppeteer sends her Dominion to attack her. Finally, Vulcan tells Shinra to do something while they have time. 

One Piece Manga Chapter 992: Recap and Review

One Piece Manga Chapter 992: Recap and Review

Kiado battles the Nine Red Scabbards in chapter 992 of One Piece
Kiado battles the Nine Red Scabbards

Chapter 992 – ‘Remnants’

Marco and Perospero alliance ends

One Piece, chapter 992, Remnants, begins with Big Mom meeting her son, Perospero, and former Whitebeard Commander Marco. She explains that she decided to ally with Kaido to Perospero. He interjects that he and his siblings wanted to see her become “the Pirate King.” Big Mom says that she “understands that.” With Perospero accepting his mother’s alliance his partnership with Marco ends. The “remnants” that the title refers to are the remaining former members of the Whitebeard Pirates. Big Mom wonders why Marco is “helping those kids.” He responds that neither he nor his former crewmates are “bound” by Whitebeard word. I wonder how the Whitebeard pirates will impact the future of the series. Will they become villains or allies? I bet they will be both. Meanwhile, Carrot charges towards Perospero seeking revenge for Pedro.

Kiado vs the Samurai

Kiado has been presented as nearly untouchable. However, it appears that all of the Nine Red Scabbards can harm him. Nekomamushi scratches Kiado with his Dance of the Red Cat attack. Kawamatsu performs a circular sword attack that surrounds Kaido’s head. Kaido and his followers are shocked that they could even wound him. Inuarashi stabs Kiado with his prosthetic sword leg, Izo shoots him while Kikunojo slashes him. Angered, Kaido uses his Bolo Breathe at point-blank range. However, Raizo uses his Maki Maki ni Mi devil fruit ability to absorb and then reflect the Bolo Breathe. 

Finally, Kinemon, Denjiro, Ashura, and Inuarashi use the Oden Two Sword Style to cut Kiado in the scar he received from Oden decades earlier. The Yonko in One Piece has proved to be very difficult to defeat. Whitebeard took on an army and barely lost while having an illness. Comparatively speaking Kaido is viewed as being more durable than Whitebeard was. The question became, who could harm Kaido? We thought it was Luffy but after Kaido crushed him our confidence wained. Luffy is still likely to defeat Kiado, but I think that he always needed help. Is the damage Kaido sustained enough? One Piece chapter 992 sets up the possibility that Kaido will have to face Luffy and the Nine Red Scabbards. 

One Piece Chapter 947: Recap & Review

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 3: Recap and Review

Episode 3 – Girl of Steel

I’m the one woman in your group

Jujutsu Kaisen, episode 3, Girl of Steel, introduces us to the third first-year, Nobara Kugisaki. She’s a brash, confident woman that’s occasionally silly. Nobara doesn’t take to Megumi or Yuji right away. Gojo takes the trio to an abandoned building to “test” Kugisaki’s ability. She and Yuji enter the build and split up. Alone Yuji is attacked by a curse and kills it with the cursed tool, Slaughter Demon. Gojo notes that Yuji is capable of fighting curses without fear. Jujutsu sorcerers often quit due to fear and disgust that curses cause them. Like Yuji, Nobara doesn’t appear to fear them. She casually tells the curse possessing the mannequin to “come out.” 

The Girl of Steel

She exorcises it with her hammer and nails curse tools. Nobara notices a boy hiding behind several boxes. Suddenly, a curse appears and captures the boy using him as a hostage. Curses can be intelligent or as Gojo puts it “cunning.” This curse was too low level to be a physical threat, so it had to rely on threats to innocence. Jujutsu Kaisen is setting our expectations for future curses. If the weak curses have intelligence then so could the strong ones. It’s unlikely that they will get off as easily in future battles. Regardless, Yuji punches through the wall behind the curses. He cuts its arm off and rescues the little boy. Losing its leverage, the curse flees. However, Nobara uses a straw doll and her cursed tools to pierce the arm of the curse. The curse’s heart is then pierced by large nails. 

Nobara’s backstory didn’t impact me but it was centered not on her childhood, but on her relationship with her neighbor Saori. I wonder if Saori will return in this series. If she does I don’t think it will end well for her. The relationship between Yuji and Nobara is typical for an anime with the bickering sibling dynamic. Jujutsu Kaisen episode 3 ends on an ominous note, several non-jujutsu sorcerers witness a “curse womb” and three first-years are sent to investigate. One dies. We are lead to believe three students are our trio but I think they might be different first years. 

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 2: Recap and Review

Haikyuu!! To the Top Part 2 Episode 2: Recap and Review

Episode 2 – ‘Found’

Episode 2 of Haikyuu!! To the Top (Part 2) opens with Karasuno being shocked that the Miya twins were able to mimic the Quick attack, Hinata and Kageyama made famous. Atsumu admits that his sets aren’t as accurate as Kageyama’s. Still, Karasuno is stunned. Atsumu serves another float serve, Daichi receives, and Nishinoya sends the last hit to Asahi. However, the twins score again. Karasuno next attempts another quick attack but fails when Atsumu, Suna, and Aran block them. Atsumu begins learning how Kageyama’s plays. Suddenly, Tsukishima blocks Osamu. Ukai notes that “the biggest counter to the super quick attack is a blocker who can get used to it.” 

Tsukishima steps up

Tsukishima often takes a back seat to Hinata and Kageyama, but he provides something that they can’t, defense. During the next rally, Tsukishima steps back to prepare for a spike. With his height and Kageyama’s sets, Tsukishima overwhelms the Inarizaki team. Kinoshita Hisashi subs in for Tsuki, and he’s visibly nervous. Ukai reminds him that he’s not up against “college guys,” giving him some confidence. He delivers a good service, but Inarizaki returns it. Hinata guards Osamu, using his speed and jumping ability to shock everyone and score. What I find interesting is that Hinata and Tsukishima have switched places. Hinata has the most surprising shift because he’s so short. However, his jumping ability makes up for it. 

Lost in the Crowd

Despite the ability of the Inarizaki, the score is even at 18-18. Hinata is bested at the net by Osamu, who insults Hinata. Karasuno calls a time-out, and Ukai tells the team that it’s time to try “Lost in a Crowd.” A spirited rally begins resulting in a Karasuno point when Aran touches the net. The Miya twins argue over whether Osamu is “slacking” and is “afraid” of Hinata. Osamu is adamant that he has no fear of Hinata. Meanwhile, Hinata imagines the blockers that have given him trouble in the past. Hinata forces Osamu to hit a “line shot,” then Karasuno uses a synchronized attack. The Inarizaki team has no idea where the next spike will come from, Karasuno scores tying the game. So far, Karasuno has been able to keep up with surprises and confusion. It seems implausible that they will be able to keep this style of play up. 

Haikyuu!! To the Top Part 2, Episode 1: Recap and Review

Fire Force Episode 15: Recap and Review

The Puppeteer and her dominator in episode 15 of Fire Force.
The Puppeteer and her dominator

The 8th will safeguard Nataku

Things are hectic at the beginning of Fire Force episode 15. Nataku Son activates his Adolla Bursts. Licht contacts Company 8, and Vulcan crashes through the gate. Licht opens the gates telling Shinra to leave. So far the Fire Force has been on the losing end of acquiring the Pillars. Nataku seems too young and scared to function well with the Evangelists. Nataku would be taken care of with the 8th, but I’m not sure they will rescue him. Elsewhere, the rest of Company 8 encounters the Puppeteer. Armed with a small mech, the Puppeteer was able to flip the matchbox.  

Vulcan and Mika battle her with Sputter and Flare. The Puppeteer and her Dominator use a vulgar Poot-Poot Blaster that releases a power beam after emitting a fart sound. It’s not my sense of humor but someone might find it funny. Anyway, the Puppeteer dominates the battle for the most part. However, Mika and Vulcan switch Sputter and Flare to Fire Scene Mode. Using even more power with Mika rotating the two Tekkyo, they’re able to create enough force to destroy the dominator. Vulcan and Mika think that they’re out of the woods, the Puppeteer releases several more. 

Trying to protect the weak is a waste of time

Kurono and Shinra’s fight heads outside. Kurono has Nataku in a headlock. Meanwhile, the white-clad arrive to collect the sixth pillar. Charon makes a move on Kurono attempting to steal Nataku from him. The concept of my enemy is my friend is a common trope. It can create interesting alliances as it’s difficult to fight in a three-way fight. I assume that if there’s any kind of team-up it will be between the Haijima and the Fire Force. Regardless, it feels like the Fire Force is outnumbered and outmatched once again. 

Fire Force Episode 14: Recap and Review

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 2: Recap and Review

Our elders are cowards

Jujutsu Kaisen episode 2, “For Myself,” begins with Megumi Fushiguro attempting to exorcise Yuji Itadori and the demon Ryomen Sukuna. Suddenly, his sensei, Satoru Gojo arrives. He quickly reminded me of characters like Naruto’s Kakashi Hatake and Bleach’s Urahara Kisuke. Gojo at first glance feels like a genius that doesn’t take things too seriously. Like Kakashi and Urahara he hides his face with some headgear. Kakashi wore his bandanna and mask, hiding his eye and most of his face. Urahara wore a bucket hat that often covered his eyes in shadow. Regardless, Gojo challenges Sukuna, asking Yuji for “ten seconds.” 

Ryomen attacks while Gojo’s back is turned, but is so quick that Ryomen can’t land a hit. As Gojo counts down to ten, Yuji retakes control. Gojo knocks him out claiming that Yuji has potential as a “vessel.” Regardless, Yuji will be executed. In the present, Gojo explains that he was only able to get his execution suspended. He tells Yuji that they possess six out of twenty of Ryomen’s cursed fingers (Sukuna has four arms). When Yuji dies, so does the curse. Gojo can negotiate a deal with the elders. Kill Yuji after he “absorbs” all of Sukuna. 

One-tenth of the whole

Elsewhere at the hospital, Gojo and Yuji discuss the potential consequences of pursuing hunting down Sukuna. Yuji thinks of his friends and decides to help if it will save others. He asks for the other finger and swallows it. Gojo observes as Ryomen makes a brief appearance. However, he concludes that Yuji can control himself against Sukuna “without issue,” and it’s a talent that hasn’t been seen in “a thousand years.” Yuji accepts his mission and decides how he’s going to die. Megumi arrives to tell Yuji that he’s going to need to transfer to the Tokyo Metropolitan Jujutsu Technical High School. Yuji will be one of three first years. The school is one of two that train jujutsu sorcerers.

That old dude’s making cute things

Yuji and Gojo meet the principle of Jujutsu Technical High School, Yaga Masamichi. He asks Yuji why he wants to collect the fingers of Sukuna. He fails Yuji and sends one of his cursed dolls to attack him. When Yuji lands a punch, the doll begins to ricochet off the pillars knocking Yuji into one. Yaga doesn’t believe that Yuji’s promise to his grandfather is enough to motivate him to deal with battling curses. Yuji finally releases the reason he should pursue Sukuna’s fingers, he’s the only one that can. He passes. 

Gojo explains that the fingers are not easy to find. Some give off a powerful presence, others don’t or have been absorbed by a cursed spirit already. However, Sukuna will tell them where the fingers are to regain his power. Sukuna and Yuji have developed a symbiotic relationship. However, this relationship is on Yuji terms as he’s in complete control of Sukuna. It will be interesting to see if this remains true throughout the series. Anyway, Jujutsu Kaisen is turning out to be good. 

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 1: Recap and Review

Haikyuu!! To the Top Part 2, Episode 1: Recap and Review

Kageyama and Hinata use their quick attack in episode 1 of Haikyuu!! To the Top Part 2.
Kageyama and Hinata use their quick attack

Episode 1 – “Rhythm”

Haikyuu!! To the Top (Part 2) Episode 1 returns with “Rhythm.” Atsumu prepares to serve while the marching band of Inarizaki plays. He silences them with a gesture, then serves an ace. Hinata uses his new jump method but forgets to hit the ball. Annoyed, Kageyama tells him that if he ever repeats that mistake he won’t “set to him for the rest of the game.” Despite this, Kageyama is pleased that Hinata is inspired. Hinata’s new jump alters the contact point of the middle blockers, likely throwing them off. Suna is next to serve. Daichi receives it despite its difficult placement. Hinata sends it to Tanaka but Inarizaki’s blockers interfere. Atsunu sets the ball for Aran who spikes the ball and scores. 

Suna serves right a the whistle catching Daichi off the guard. He receives the ball long but Kageyama can get the rebound. Hinata charges the net and quickly rushes to the end of the court. He scores on a wide attack shocking the other players. Atsumu is particularly impressed commenting that Hinata and Kageyama were “fast enough to get through the block without sacrificing any height.” Inarizaki’s marching band distracts Kageyama enough to get his serve to clip the net. This allows Atsumu to set for Omimi who spikes past Hinata and Daichi. Inarizaki can use their “rhythm” to throw off Karasuno. 

The Miya twins quick attack

The score is 7-4 and Inarizaki’s band continues to distract Karasuno. Suddenly, Saeko and her taiko drum group arrive. They begin to play gaining the attention of the audience. Aran serves again, but Tanaka, Kageyama, and Hinata stop him. Hinata prepares to serve. Saeko and her taiko group help drown out some of the sounds coming from Inarizaki’s band. This seems to help Hinata. The Inarizaki team focus on Hinata, allowing Kageyama to set to Daichi, who scores. Still, Inarizaki leads by 2. Makoto and Shimada note that Atsumu is “dual wielder,” meaning he can serve “both spikes serves and jump float serves with no prior indication.” However, Karasuno has discussed the limitation of Atsumu’s serve. He has a tell. Before he serves a jump float, he moves four steps. When he steps six times, he’s going to use a spike. 

This knowledge is of no use as Atsumu’s serve is still powerful and Inarizaki takes a three-point lead. Atsumu attempts another jump float serve, this time Nishinoya receives. Asahi manages to get the ball past the blockers. However, the Miya twins manage to do something startling, copy the quick attack Hinata and Kageyama use. Haikyuu!! To the Top (Part 2) Episode 1 quickly gets us back into the action. I’m always excited to see Hinata grow as he encounters better players. Inarizaki is proving to be difficult for Karasuno to defeat. I would say that they’re outmatched. With the Miya twins being able to mimic Hinata and Kageyama’s quick attack, Karasuno is going to have to come up with something new. 

Haikyuu!! Season 4 Episode 13: Recap and Review

Fire Force Episode 14: Recap and Review

Episode 14: “The Ashen Reaper”

Kurono using his Right Hand Eclipse in episode 14 of Fire Force
Kurono using his Right Hand Eclipse

I, Victor Licht am a Haijima spy

Fire Force episode 14 opens with Licht reveals that he’s a spy. Obi was already aware. Regardless, Licht spied on Shinra for Haijima. Shinra was taken in by the researches to study him. However, the researchers failed to identify Shinra’s flame as being an Adolla Burst. As a result, the research facility has become more extreme with their experiments. He reveals that the facility ordered him to bring Shinra back, but he hopes to use this opportunity to investigate them. Shinra is winning to help. Obi asks the most pressing question. Which side is Licht supporting, the 8th or Haijima? He responds, both. 

From his viewpoint, he can research the “truth” with Haijima, however, the 8th seems closer to the truth, so he also supports the company. Captain Obi points out that this means he’s with neither. Obi decides that Shinra can’t go alone to Haijima. The next mission for Company 8 will be to investigate Haijima Industries. Elsewhere, at Haijima Industries, we watch as Nataku and Kurono (Reaper) begin to conduct combat tests. 

The Maddest pyrokinetic

Nataku asks “Uncle Reaper,” “when can he go home?” Kurono coldly responds, “when he’s dead.” The threat is supposed to scare Nataku into using his “true power.” Nataku is panicking, breathing heavily while sweating. He begins to imagine Rekka, who encourages him to fight. Nataku recklessly charges at Kurono despite becoming more unstable, the researchers don’t care if he dies. Furthermore, the researches note that Kurono deliberately works for them “just so he can pick on children.” More concerning is that Kurono rivals the power of Benimaru. 

Later he reveals himself to be a coward. He claims that he enjoys harming those weaker than him because he “doesn’t have to worry about getting hurt.” Kurono can’t wait to face Shinra, since he’s “weaker.” Kurono doesn’t know that Shinra has an Adolla Burst. His first encounter with Shinra should shock him. Licht explains that Kurono is the “Maddest” pyrokinetic.  

Entering the Haijima Facility

As Shinra and Licht enter the Haijima facility they notice that they’re being watched. It seems implausible that they would be able to leave of their own accord and they know it. Licht knows that he’s supposed to die after he brings Shinra in. Licht is amoral. His goal is to get the “truth,” and he’s willing to use anyone to get it. The only person he seems to care about at all is Joker. While inside, Shinra receives an Adolla Link from Nataku. Shinra and Kurono prepare to engage in combat. Kurono uses his tephrosis to spread black smoke. He activates his Right-Hand Eclipse attack which causes Shinra to bleed. 

The black smoke can damage him somehow. Shinra uses his speed but Kurono can block his attack. Kurono explains that the black smoke connects to his sense, allowing him to respond to “minute fluctuations.” Shinra attacks in rapid succession, increasing his firepower with each hit. However, none of the hits work. Suddenly, Kurono turns the black smoke into solid weapons. Kurono is enjoying “weakening” Shinra and disregards the researcher’s request to stop. The most interesting aspect of this show continues to be characters like Shinra and Licht. The researchers and Kurono are easy to root against but their flat characters. Regardless, I still would like to see how or if Shinra can win. I predict that Kurono escapes. 

Fire Force Episode 13: Recap and Review

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 1: Recap and Review

Yuji possessed by Ryomen Sukuna in episode 1 of Jujutsu Kaisen.
Yuji possessed by Ryomen Sukuna

Episode 1 – ‘Ryomen Sukuna’

Episode 1 of Jujutsu Kaisen starts with Satoru Gojo asking Yuji Itadori, “Which one are you?” Itadori is bound and chained to the ground inside a rectangular room covered in tags. Yuji’s first instinct is to ask about his friend’s safety. However, Gojo tells him it doesn’t matter because he’s “destined to die.” Jujutsu Kaisen is adapted from the manga of the same name. Yuji Itadori is a high school student that chooses to join the Occult Research Club over athletics. Yuji prefers to spend time with his friends, and the Occult Club allows him time to spend with his hospitalized grandfather. Jujutsu Kaisen makes a point in showing us that Yuji possesses abnormal athletic skills. 

Fighting evil with more evil

Fushiguro is a Jujutsu Tech student and an apprentice exorcist, searching for a “special grade cursed object.” At some point previously Yuji obtained a cursed object and gave it to his friends, Sasaki and Iguchi. Fushiguro explains that curses feed on the negative emotions of humans. Curses can only be countered with “eviler” more powerful ones. This is a very interesting change from the normal battle evil with good. It can be difficult for anime to separate themselves from each other and the demon anime series is so common that I thought Jujutsu Kaisen might have this issue. Anyway, relic seals degrade over time, attracting curses that feed on them. Elsewhere, Sasaki and Iguchi unwrap the relic, revealing a purple finger. 

People Should Die Properly

Sasaki and Iguchi are attacked by curses, while Yuji and Fushiguro rush to save them. Fushiguro takes the lead, encountering a curse, he releases his familiars or Shikigami, Divine Dogs. Suddenly two “dogs” appear and Fushiguro orders them to “feast.” Outside, Yuji remembers what his grandfather taught him about using his strength to help others. As the curse consumes Sasaki and Iguchi, Yuji jumps through the window, punching the curse and grabbing his friends. When he grabs the relic a curse crashes through the ceiling. Fushiguro quickly pushes Yuji out of the way but is overwhelmed by the curse. 

Where are the women and the children

Sensing Fushiguro’s in danger, Yuji attacks the curse. However, without the ability to use curses he’s outmatched as well. Desperate, Yuji swallows the relic. Fushiguro notes that special relics are poisonous, however, Yuji survives. Possessed, Yuji develops markings, claws, and additional eyes. As he defeats the curse with ease his personality changes. Louder and ruder, Yuji asks “where are the humans, and the women?” He’s excited to massacre all the humans. Suddenly, Yuji takes over his body again, as Fushiguro prepares to “exorcise” him. I will take a few episodes to get a feel for how this series compares to another “demon” centric anime like Demon Slayer or Yu Yu Hakusho. 

I’m fascinated by the use of evil to combat evil. I keep mentioning “demons” even though Jujutsu Kaisen doesn’t have any demons. I’m not sure that there’s much of a difference, but maybe the lore will make it clear why there’s a difference. Yuji’s relationship with his grandfather was odd. His grandfather was abusive. I wonder if the series will expand on that relationship especially now that Yuji’s grandfather is dead. Regardless, his grandfather left a great impact on him. Jujutsu Kaisen is a promising series, I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. 

Burn the Witch Episode 1 – 3: Recap and Review

Tite Kubo’s spin-off gets animated

Burn the Witch is an anime and manga series from Tite Kubo. The one-shot was so popular that Shueisha wanted to create a movie from it. The Burn the Witch film is based on the limited four-chapter series. In other regions the film was broken up into three episodes. If you read the manga, then the content isn’t new. The episode retells the four chapters released last month. We’re introduced to the main characters, Noel and Ninny, the world of Reverse London, and it all ends with a battle with an ancient dragon, Cinderella. 

Fans already have taken to the anime, many fell in love with Noel Niihashi. The stoic member of the Wing Bind agency, Noel seems to have become an instant fave of fans. The art style and creativity of Tite Kubo have fans excited as well. Ninny and Noel are the perfect pair whos personalities balance each other. The only downside to this series is Balgo. He a typical perve, constantly harassing Noel. I find him dumb, annoying, and distracting. If the series were longer he might grow on me, but I think the series is better without him. 

However, seeing a manga series animated is often more enjoyable. The anime is visually stunning, breathing life into Reverse London. You get a great sense of danger when you can see the civilians run and hear them scream. In Burn the Witch, the dragons benefit from being animated the most. Elly is an odd birdlike, skeleton looking dragon. Her movements are almost demonic. Only anime could breathe life into Elly. With the addition of music, sound effects, and explosions, Burn the Witch is a different experience when animated. 

Burn the Witch Chapter 4: Recap and Review