My Hero Academia Anime Season 5, Episode 1 Recap and Review: A Filler to Open

In My Hero Academia Season 5 episode 1, Katsuki prepares to blast Suneater.
Katsuki prepares to blast Suneater.

Season 5, Episode 1: All Hands on Deck!

My Hero Academia Season 5 opens with a mostly anime original episode. Or a filler episode. Is that fair? Maybe. All filler episodes aren’t bad, but they usually lack something. It’s often the animation that suffers and the story rarely makes sense or matters. All Hands on Deck! Class 1-A adapts some pages from manga chapters 190 and 191. However, that’s mostly what happens at the end of this episode. This is common for this series, but it never harms the overall seasons. Regardless, how you feel about filler, the first episode of a season usually aims to reintroduce the audience. The students in Class 1-A head to Ground Beta after the emergency alarm blares.

They designed the exercise to both tests the students’ readiness and to remind us of the large cast of characters. AnimaEarphone Jack, and Tentacole take the role of surveillance. Ingenium, Shoto, Tsukoyomi, Sugarman, and Can’t Stop Twinkling focus on extinguishing the fire. Froppy, and Grape Juice target rescuing a civilian “drowning” in the river. That civilian is Mirio Togata, whose carefree personality adds some levity to this episode. Elsewhere, Deku, Pinky, Creati, Invisible Girl, Tailman, Cellophane, and Uravity take on two of the Big ThreeNejire Hado and Suneater. The conflict between them isn’t very intense for obvious reasons. Suneater doesn’t even want to fight. However, after remembering that Mirio wanted to help the students, he prepares for battle.

Who’s side is Hawks on?

Deku still is hesitant. He activates his Quirk but refused to hit Suneater. However, when the always intense Katsuki arrives the dynamic shifts. Katsuki drives up in a speeding car that is powered by Chargebolt. Red Riot blasts forward, clashing with Suneater directly. Suddenly, Katsuki blasts himself forward, instantly scaring Suneater into submission. In a typical Katsuki manner, he’s unsatisfied, and shoots off a massive blast, frying the hair of nearby classmates. The last portion of the episode is the reveal that Dabi started the attack by hood and Hawks is working with him. I’m a manga reader so I know how this arc unfolds, but I can’t wait to see My Hero Academia Season 5 animated.

The Marleyian nation invades in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 16

Eren is ready

Above and Below

Mistrust leaves Paradis Island unprepared

The sound from the Thunder Spear echoes through the valley. HangeFloch, and the other Jeagerists notice. Zeke lies on the ground near death. His body above the upper chest remains. He contemplates the possibility of dying. A Titan appears. Shockingly, she doesn’t eat him; she tears open her stomach and places him inside. The last episode of Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 16 Part 1 opens in a surprising fashion. Elsewhere, Commander Pixis is being held by Yelena and the Jaegerists. Pixis surrendered without incident. With the military “dosed” with “spinal fluid”, he felt like he had no choice. Pixis notices Yelena has replicated the color-coded armbands that Marley used. The Red ones symbolize those that were forced to submit, the Black for those who refused, and the white for the Jaegerists.

By creating this hierarchy, the Jaegerists know who they can trust. Yelena argues that she’s just learning from her enemies. Pixis believes all she’s accomplished is making more enemies. She suggests that all this could have been avoided if they were just accepted. However, because they tainted the wine from the beginning, it’s hard not to see the military as being justified in not trusting them.

In the prison, Yelena, Onyankopon, and Greiz arrive. After Jean and Conny berate Yelena and Onyankopon for betraying them, Nicolo and Greiz argue over Sascha. Greiz calls her a “whore” and says that he “hoped Nicolo would have come to his sense after she died.” Nicolo tries to strangle him through the bars. Suddenly, Yelena kills Greiz by shooting him in the head. Yelena says that the “island no longer needs any who would curse them as devils.” As an olive branch, it’s an extreme act, but it might be effective.

As Yelena tells the captives Zeke’s plan, we cut to Gabi. Eren enters the room and tells her he wants her to help. Before she can consider it, Pieck kills the other guard and aims her gun at Eren. She orders Gabi to grab the dead man’s rifle. Eren is calm despite the situation. He calls Pieck’s bluff. She can’t shoot him because he has the Founding Titan, and she’s under orders not to kill him.

He reminds her of the consequences of disobeying a military order. She surrenders, but not before revealing that she think’s he can “defeat Marley.” Gabi is confused, as I think most of us would be. Who can she trust? What are they fighting for? Pieck asks, “Are we Marleyan? Or are we Eldian? Gabi still believes that their “Honorary Marleyians.” Pieck makes an excellent point I hadn’t realized. With the military weapons becoming more capable of killing Titans, the value of the warriors will decline. Meaning they’ll probably all get killed.

The Consequences of Mistrust

So far the theme of this episode is the consequences of mistrust. The military on Paradis Island didn’t trust Yelena and her group, so there couldn’t be camaraderie between them. The relationship between the Eldians and Marley is even more toxic. Naturally, the result is betrayal, mistrust, and revenge. If they can’t get their right themselves, they will never have them. Back at the prison, Yelena explains that both the Foundering Titan and Royal family will need to be maintained if the plan is going to work. As Yelena admires Eren and Zeke as “Gods”, Armin cries. He just didn’t understand their “noble” intentions. I don’t buy it. Armin has a manipulative streak. It doesn’t matter, they’re interrupted and told of the intruders. Eren escorts Pieck to the roof. She’s chained together with Gabi so she can’t transform.

Suddenly, Porco (Jaw Titan) emerges from the floor and bites both Eren’s legs off. From the air, five blimps from Marley arrive, and Eren prepares to meet them. Well, that was an ending. Part 1 of Season 4 of Attack on Titan ended with all the Jaegerists, Paradis Military, and Scouts unprepared. As I predicted in earlier reviews, the infighting left them fractured and exposed. Levi is possibly dead, and if not, he certainly can’t fight. Zeke isn’t in better shape. The Scout’s particularity, Mikasa and Armin are trapped in the prison. Armin can’t transform without killing everyone. The military is in shambles. The Marley military has the advantage. It probably won’t last, but it will cause casualties.

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 24: Recap and Review

Nobara and Yuji uses Black Flash in episode 24 of Jujutsu Kaisen.
Nobara and Yuji uses Black Flash

The first season ends with a perfect episode

Jujutsu Kaisen, episode 24, ends the Death Painting Arc. They executed the last episode of season 1 of Jujutsu Kaisen perfectly. I always fear the marginalization of female characters in Shonen series (trauma from Naruto). Often they fall by the waist side and become cheerleaders and damsels. Nobara was heading in that direction. I’m grateful that they did not regulate her to “sakura” status (I love Sakura, but she’s not a great female character). Anyway, Nobara and Yuji face the Death Painting brothers, Eso and Kechizu. The episode opens with high-speed action. Yuji and Nobara attempt to avoid the “poisonous” blood from Eso’s Rot Technique Maximum: Wing King. Nobara isn’t fast enough to avoid the technique’s so Yuji carries her while sprinting. It impressed both Nobara and Eso.

Most Evil Sorcerer in History

Kechizu ambushes them, spraying Yuji with his acidic blood. Eso explains that their blood is painful but not lethal. He activates his Rot Technique Decay. Floral patterns appear across the face and arm of Yuji and Nobara. In a flashback, we learn the history of the Death Painting Wombs. During the Meiji Era, they ostracized a woman because of her child being born with a mixed of cursed spirit and human blood. Afterward, she found herself the victim of the “most evil sorcerer in history,” Noritoshi Kamo. He impregnates her nine times and aborts each pregnancy, creating the Death Wombs. Jujutsu Kaisen doesn’t state that there are nine wombs, but it seems like it would make sense. Death Wombs 1-3, Eso, Kechizu, and the introduced Choso side with Mahito.

Choso argues the world Mahito wishes to create is more favorable to them. The three brothers agreed to live for each other. The creation of the wombs is tragic but their relationship with each other is touching. Being trapped for 150 years with only each other has left them alone. With very little time, Jujutsu Kaisen made men like Eso and Kechizu. In the present, Nobara admits the curses are strong but a “matchup” for her. She activates her Straw Doll Technique: Resonance and stabs herself, injuring both Eso and Kechizu. By “linking” them with their Decay ability, Nobara can harm both brothers. Despite this, Eso is certain that they’ll win.

As Sukuna’s vessel, Yuji is afforded several perks. One is that he’s immune to poisons. This permits him to continue moving while under the curses technique and he dominates Kechizu. Yuji and Nobara switch places. Eso attempts to reach his brother before he’s killed. However, Nobara kills Kechizu with Straw Doll Technique: Hairpin. Witnessing his brother die cause Eso to cry. Nobara notices that Kechizu’s corpse didn’t disappear, meaning it’s not just a curse spirit but flesh and blood. When a truck comes barreling out of the tunnel, Eso hops on and takes the passenger hostage. Yuji pursues him, while Nobara uses her Resonance technique, piercing Eso through the chest. As he falls off the truck, Yuji apologizes before killing him with a Divergent Fist through the chest.

What does it mean to take a life

After killing Eso and Kechizu, Nobara and Yuji discuss what’s it like to kill someone. We understand Yuji hates killing any living, even if it’s no longer human. Nobara on the other doesn’t care. She’s self aware enough to know how she sounds, but I like her attitude. However, neither are wrong. Yuji knows why the brothers had to die, but still regrets having to kill them. I would expect they will test both of their morals in the future. Megumi wakes up, and it relieves Yuji and Nobara.

Still, they have to do something with Sukuna’s finger. Megumi gives it to Yuji mainly because he has the most strength, but not so he can eat it. Suddenly, Sukuna manifests a mouth in Yuji’s hand and swallows the finger. It’s one of the subtle comedic moments in this episode. Yuji notes that not only didn’t Sukuna help them, he hasn’t even lead them to fingers like Gojo thought. It’s odd that Sukuna doesn’t appear preoccupied with getting his limbs back.

Later, Megumi tells Nobara that Sukuna’s “incarnation triggered the Yasohachi Bridge curse,” and she should tell Yuji. Elsewhere, Sukuna taunts Yuji for “killing all those people,” Yuji warns Sukuna “not to tell Megumi.” He remembers Megumi asking him “what are you going to do when someone you saved kills someone else?” Yuji saved Megumi by eating Sukuna’s finger and triggered the activation of the bridge curse. From Megumi’s perspective, he’s the person who Yuji saved that caused innocent people to die. He doesn’t want Yuji to feel guilty, and Yuji doesn’t want Megumi to either. Finally, after killing a special grade each, Nobara, Megumi, and Yuji, along with Panda and Maki, are recommended by Aoi Todo and Mei Mei for Grade 1 status. Jujutsu Kaisen’s first season ends with an action pact, emotionally touching, and occasionally funny episode. It’s the perfect ending for an amazing first season.

Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 15: Recap and Review

Eren agrees to Zeke's plan in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 15
Eren agrees to Zeke’s plan

Sole Salvation

Attack on Titan season 4, episode 15, “Sole Salvation” focused on Zeke Jaeger. Since he told Eren that he would return to save him, his motives have been in question. We find out what his end goal is. Saving the world with his “Eldian Euthanization Plan.” Attack on Titan has given most of its characters more sophisticated portrayals this season. It makes sense that Zeke would get this treatment as well. All we knew before this episode was that Zeke turned his parents in to the Marleyian authorities. In “Sole Salvation” we find out why. Zeke’s parents pressured him to become the perfect warrior to save the entire Eldian race. In the effort to mold him into a freedom fighter, they destroyed the innocent boy Zeke was. Feeling distance between himself and his parents, Zeke finds a father figure, Tom Ksaver.

Ksaver was an Eldian researcher and warrior that possessed the Beast Titan before Zeke. He mentions to Zeke that he became a Titan researcher to cure his curiosity. Ksaver hated being a warrior. He considered it “stupid to shorten one’s lifespan just to invade other countries.” He suffered a personal tragedy. After his wife learns of his Eldian heritage, she kills their son and then herself. This made him into a bitter man that joined the warrior program as a “means of suicide.” This relationship filled the void in both Zeke and Ksaver’s lives. Zeke got the father he didn’t have, and Ksaver got the son. Ksaver treats him like a child and the two play catch. We know Zeke has a love of baseball because of his tendency to “pitch” when he’s killing enemies in Titan form. What at first appeared to be a strange behavior is actually a sentimental habit.

Eldian Euthanization Plan

Ksaver influence isn’t just fatherly. He encourages Zeke to turn in his parents and unintentionally leads Zeke to his master plan. After Ksaver tells him that “the Founding Titan doesn’t just have the power to change the Eldians’ memories; it can alter their physiology, too.” Zeke wonders if the Founding Titan can sterilize the Eldian. Sterilizing is far more preferable than genocide, but it’s still a shocking plan. That both Eren and Zeke have concluded that Eldian should be eliminated, despite being Eldian themselves, is interesting. Especially, if you consider even the Marleyian want to keep the Eldian’s alive, at least to use the Titan powers. That said, this plan would at least end the oppression between the Marley and Eldians. Despite that, war between nation would remain.

In the present, Levi overhears Zeke recalling his memories of Ksaver. He tells Zeke that “eaten by a Titan seems to be a merciful fate for him after killing so many of his comrades.” Zeke claims he saved “children from being born into this cruel world.” Suddenly, he jerks his head, pulling the trigger on the Thunder Spear. The resulting explosion sends Levi flying and splits Zeke in two. Levi and Zeke aren’t likely to be in excellent condition after the explosion, however, Zeke can heal. Would Attack on Titan kill Levi? I would say yes, but in a more epic way. I would guess that he survives.

With Levi unable to battle for a while, this will probably allow Eren and the others to succeed easier. With only one episode left, it’s difficult to imagine this season will end neatly. Despite the thrilling climax, the last episode can only leave us disappointed it wasn’t a longer season. Regardless, I can’t wait to see how it ends.

Attack on Titan Episode 14: Recap and Review

Savagery (Boaku)

With only two episodes remaining, Attack on Titan Season 4 episode 14, “Savagery” steps up to the action. Eren, Mikasa, and Armins conversation ends in violence. Armin and Mikasa believe Eren was being manipulated by Yelena. He claims that he’s “free.” Eren starts verbally attacking his friends. He says that neither Armin nor Mikasa has “free will.” He tells Armin that he’s part Bertolt, now that he’s absorbed his memories. Then he turns on Mikasa. We had always assumed that Mikasa’s love and devotion to Eren was because of her gratitude. However, Eren claims that the Ackerman family are programmed to “obey orders,” and to protect. Mikasa refuses to believe him. It’s impossible to tell if Eren is merely trying to break the bonds between them or if he’s sincerely turned on them. Regardless, I think it will not work. AT least until Eren and his followers kill their friends. Armin attacks Eren. However, he’s no match and Eren beats him bloody. It’s difficult to watch as the trio’s friendship appears to have dissolved. That said, this is Attack on Titan. All this could be a plot.

Zeke’s Escapes (Kinda)

Zeke’s attempt to escape was only a matter of time. In the last episode, his spinal fluid scheme was exposed. Zeke runs off and lets out a scream. All of Levi’s squad falls out of the trees and transform into Titans. The rest of the Scouts feel the sensation, suggesting that Zeke needs to be closer to them. Once again, Levi has witnessed the death of his squad. This time it’s by his own hands. Zeke assumes Levi couldn’t do such a thing and would accept his death. He’s horrified when Levi catches up to him. It’s hard to believe that Zeke ever cares about anyone, so his “concern” for the lives of the Scouts comes off insincere. Desperate, he transforms into the Beast Titan. It’s remarkable that the once intimidating Titan is no match for Levi. The Beast Titan barely puts up a fight anymore. Levi quick defeats him with a barrage of Thunder Spears to his nape, blowing him up. Levi keeps him alive, hoping to pass the Beast Titan on to someone else.

Things are different now

The 109th Training Corps is preparing to simulate the defense of the Shiganshina District. The recruits are concerned that they will be unprepared to fight human enemies. One trainee believes they should create an Eldian army instead. Eren’s Jaegerists have inspired the next generation. They want him to lead them. Suddenly, Hange, Floch and the Jaegerists appear. They take over. Floch is right when he suggests that the “outside world” is a bigger threat than Titans. He asks for volunteers to join them. Several trainees step forward. Floch then demands that they “show their resolve” by beating Commander Sadies “until he can no longer stand.” They comply. Finally, Levi ties a Thunder Spear to Zeke’s neck with a rope. He then hacks his feet off. Zeke asks for his glasses before we get a flashback. The next episode will probably focus on Zeke. I wonder if we will learn the whole truth. It’s difficult to tell who’s the most sympathetic and I can’t pick a side. However, Eren and his Jaegerists are becoming monstrous.


Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 23: Recap and Review

Megumi let's loose in episode 23 of Jujutsu Kaisen.
Megumi let’s loose

The Origin of Obedience, Part 2

Jujutsu Kaisen’s final arc of the season is fleshing out Megumi Fushiguro’s character. Megumi and Nobara are underdeveloped compared to Yuji. As we head towards the last episode, the trio realize that they’re in the presence of another Sukuna finger. Unfortunately, so are the newly resurrected Death Painting Wombs, Kechizu and Eso. A Cursed Womb: Death Painting are “Special Grade Cursed Objects created with the mixed blood of both Cursed Spirit and human.” There are nine. In the previous episode, Mahito stole Death Paintings 1-3 that Jujutsu High possessed. Kechizu attacks Yuji with acidic blood. It surprised the curse that Yuji is so strong. Meanwhile, Nobara and Megumi play a creepy game of “whack-a-mole.” Suddenly, Eso pulls Nobara out of the domain. Kechizu rushes out the domain to join with his “older brother.” Yuji chases them to help Nobara.

A Special Grade Curse Appears

After Megumi crushes the last curse with his Divine Dog: Totality, he notices the domain doesn’t disappear. A new tunnel appears and a curse similar to the one they fought in the detention center falls. This version of the curse is stronger. It snaps his cursed sword and then knocks him unconscious. In a flashback, we see Megumi and Gojo training. Gojo suggests that Megumi “doesn’t know how to bring out his best.” He reminds Megumi that jujutsu sorcerers fight alone. Gojo says “no matter how many allies a sorcerer has they always die alone.” That’s a very dark claim. It also conflicts with the message that Jujutsu Kaisen is trying to send. In this arc especially, they have emphasized that friendship matters. Is Gojo wrong? Or is the trio going to change what’s possible? It’s likely that Gojo is bitter or cynical after experiencing a tragedy. We’ll find out.

Domain Expansion: Chimera Shadow Garden

Jujutsu Kaisen has been teasing us regarding Megumi’s power. We finally get a glimpse. Picturing himself as a future Megumi that has surpassed his limits, he activates his incomplete Domain. He covers the floor with a shadow that releases darker version’s of his summons. The curse escapes by using a powerful explosion of cursed energy. It’s exorcised by Megumi’s Divine Dog: Totality. With Sukuna’s finger in hand, Megumi falls asleep. Elsewhere, Nobara and Eso sense Sukuna’s finger. Eso goes to get the finger, while Nobara gives chase. The Death Paintings are a weird pair. Their design reminded me of the mech’s from Gurren Lagann. Anyway, the rest of this episode sets up the next battles, Nobara vs Eso and Yuji vs Kechizu. Jujutsu Kaisen episode 23 adds important details to Megumi’s character. He’s steps out of his comfort zone and it pays off.

Black Clover Manga Volume 2: Recap and Review

Cover of Black Clover Volume 2
Cover of Black Clover Volume 2

Volume #2: Those Who Protect

Volume 2 of Black Clover focuses on the first part of Asta’s first mission with the Black Bull Magic Knight. Chapter 8 – 9 concludes the battle between Asta, Noelle, and Magna Swing. Despite the short mission, Noelle learns to control her magic (at least when the magic stays in place) and Asta impresses Magna with his dedication. The trio work together to rescue the civilians and defeat Heath Grice and his men. However, unwilling to be captured, Heath and his subordinates commit suicide with Ice Magic: Ice Burial. After Heath’s death and Asta gaining a magic stone, several darkly shrouded magicians believes the “Black Bull” are no threat. They’re confident that the “resurrection” is still going to happen. We aren’t told who’s being resurrected, but it’s clear that this will become the enormous threat at some point.

They expand the world of Black Clover. The Magic Emperor awards the nine magic knight groups with stars. Vanessa Enoteca notes the collection of stars is about honor. The Golden Dawn group has the most with 70. After each mission, they also give the participants money. They spend their earnings at Kikka, a castle town. The market sells wands, magic items, fruit, health recovery herbs, and consumable magic items. They even have a black market that sells more dangerous items. Asta gets the attention of the Magic Emperor, Julius Novachrono, when he rescues the Emperor while he’s disguise as an old lady. Julius enjoys wandering around the castle in disguise, looking for new magic. While Julius rambles on about his love of magic, his handler informs him of an “abnormal situation.”

A Dungeon Appears

Elsewhere, a dungeon appears on the border of the Kingdom. Dungeons emerge without warning. They house countless treasures from powerful magic tools or ancient magic. Within these dungeons, the dense mana results in a space distortion. Inside, dungeons are larger than they appear on the outside. Many powerful mages attempt to secure the treasures to gain more power. Magic Emperor specifically requests Asta for exploring the dungeon. They send Luck Voltia and Noelle Silva with him. When they enter the dungeon, Luck and Asta trigger many of the traps inside. After sensing other powerful mages, Luck runs off to find the strongest one. Noelle and Asta get entangled with a vicious plant creature. Suddenly, Yuna saves Asta with Wind Creation Magic: Wind Blade Shower.

Yuna, along with Golden Dawn Klaus Lunettes and Mimosa Vermillion, aims to get the treasure before the Black Bulls. Elsewhere, the Wizard King is notified of the invasion by the mage troops from the Diamond Kingdom. Julius is confident that Asta and Yuno will succeed despite the powerful Diamond Mages. Luck defeats the subordinates of Lotus Whomalt easily. Lotus uses smoke magic. He initially attempts to escape Luck by fleeing. However, Luck is too fast and catches up to him. Lotus uses his smoke to avoid Luck’s attacks. He uses Weakening Smoke Magic: Garden of Plundering Smoke to weaken Luck overtime. Black Clover seems to have no limit on the type of magic and the effects it can have. It’s unnecessary to reinvent the wheel for power systems, but fans care about uniqueness and complexity. So far, the Black Clover magic system doesn’t have much complexity.

No match for Crystal Magic

While Asta and Noelle stumble through the dungeon, the Golden Dawn arrives at the door. They’re meet by Mars and his Crystal magic. Despite Luck being effected by Lotus’s smoke magic, the Bull is excited to fight. Luck has the manic violent energy that reminds me of Kenpachi from Bleach. He has a tragic backstory, having been told to “win, win, win” by his mother. He seems to have a one track mine, which is fine with me. Meanwhile, Mars and Klaus square off. Mars reminds me of early Gaara, cold and calculating. Klaus uses Steel Creation Magic: Full Metal Fortress against Mars Crystal Magic. The latter seems unphased by Klaus’s Magic. Yuno steps in to help Klaus, while Asta rescues Luck. Lotus faced with the trio of Noelle, Asta, and Luck takes the fight more seriously. He traps them in Smoke Creation Magic: Prison of the Fallen King. Despite Luck’s one track mind, he shows he can think strategically when needed.

Combined with Noelle suppressing her magic and Asta being undetectable (he has no magic), the trio plan is successful. Asta clobbers Lotus with his sword. Elsewhere, Klaus is shocked that Yuno isn’t making much inroads against Mars. Klaus explains that the Diamond Kingdom “artificially amplified magic” of their warriors. The Kingdom forces their warriors to kill each other after they enhance their powers. This obviously shows how terrible and brutal the Diamond Kingdom but also foolish. How strong would their army be if they didn’t kill each other? Anyway, Mars is the last survival. Klaus becomes outrage and uses Steel Creation Magic: Fierce Spiral Lance. It does nothing. Before Mars can cut down Yuno, Asta intervenes, cutting Mars mineral sword in half.

One Piece Chapter 1007: Manga Recap and Review

Cover of One Piece chapter 1007 - Caesar giving penguin children gas-filled balloons.
Cover of One Piece chapter 1007

Chopper Saves the day

I have complained in the past that many of the characters outside of Zoro, Luffy, and Sanji aren’t getting much attention. I understand it’s difficult to balance such a large cast of characters, but Oda forgets the rest of the Strawhat crew. Chopper develops a counter virus to Queen’s Ice Oni disease. This arc had set the alliance against Kaido’s Beast pirates, who clearly out numbers them. I wondered how Oda would change that deficit. When Queen’s subordinates ask “why they have to suffer from his virus.” The All-Star berates them. Queen tells them to “shut up.” He explains that they “gambled” for power and “failed.” Queen says that they’re only useful dying. Oda uses this cruelty to justify the Beast Pirates switching sides.

Queen tries to turn the samurai against the Strawhat’s. He tells them that pirates are corrupt and Chopper will probably betray them. One Piece has blurred the boundaries between who we expect to be good or bad. Pirates in One Piece are neither good nor bad by default, their behavior determines the perception. Oda doesn’t fail at much, but I think he’s unsuccessful at establishing that Wano’s society thinks of Pirates. So when Queen says that “backstabbing is part of the pirate lifestyle,” I don’t think that anyone is going to believe it. The samurai don’t buy it. They’re certain in Chopper’s honesty and are not disappointed. Chopper cures Hyogoro of the Ice Oni and releases the antibodies into the air.

Enraged, Queen demands to know why Chopper would cure his subordinates. A doctor, Chopper believes that “viruses aren’t meant to be weaponized.” Queen attacks Chopper but is blocked by the Pleasures. They have sided with their savior, Chopper. Marco grabs Queen by the neck and Chopper transforms into his Monster Point form. He draws blood from Queen, as he reminds people he’s a “Tanuki.”

The Artificial Devil Fruit

The side story in this chapter focuses on Momonosuke. He feels unworthy of the praise he receives. Momonosuke considers himself to be weak. After he transforms into his dragon form, we pivot to the CP-0’s room. Here they discuss the Artificial Devil Fruit that was derived from Kaido’s DNA. The leader hopes they destroyed it. Momonosuke is still a child, so it’s unreasonable for him to think he should be stronger than he is. Regardless, considering the Artificial Devil Fruit was created by Vegapunk and taken from Kaido, it must be a powerhouse devil fruit. I’m curious what makes up a “failure” by Vegapunks standard. The ultimate shocker is the return of Kozuki Oden. I’m not buying Oden being alive, but you never know right.

My Top 5 Demon Slaying Anime

Demon slaying is common in pop culture. They come in several varieties. The hunter who kills demons for revenge. The “chosen one,” who is born to kill demons, or the half demon that a target for full fledge demons. Family raises some demon slayers to fight demons. Specifically, demon slayers are common in anime and manga. In the last few years anime that focuses on “demon slaying” have gain prominence. So what are my top 5 demon slaying anime:


Berserk

Berserk is a little extreme for my tastes. A manga series created by Kentaro Miura, Berserk follows Guts as he fights evil spirits and demons from hell. Guts was cursed with the “Brand of Sacrifice.” As a result, ghosts and demons want to eat him. After the betrayal by his former best friend Griffith, Guts seeks venegance. Born from the womb of a hanged woman, he was raised as a child soldier. The series begins in the middle, establishing Guts character and the setting. It then flashes back revealling Guts tragic childhood.

Berserk is frequently disturbing, including child abuse, torture, sexual violence, and gore. It’s not a series for everyone, however, if you can stomach it the series explores themes like revenge, moralitiy, and coping with a cruel world. Berserk is inspired by Kaoru Kurimoto’s Guin Saga, Buronson’s Fist of the North Star, and Go Nagai’s Devilman. I don’t read the manga but I do search on Pinterest for Miura’s phenominal art work. If anything is going to attract you to this series it’s his art. Unfortunately, the anime often has terrible animation, I don’t recommend them.

Inuyasha

If your looking for a lighter series then Inuyasha is a great series. Rumiko Takahashi created the series in the 90s. The manga was serialized from 1996 to 2008 and the anime ran for seven seasons. Kagome Higurashi is a Middle School student that time travels to feudal Japan. While there she encounters youkai, ghosts, orges, and many other creatures. I really loved this series for it’s use of Japanese mythology. Kagome meets Inuyasha a teenage half-youkai.

Kagome is the reincarnation of Kikiyo, the former girlfriend of Inuyasha. She sealed Inuyasha to a sacred tree 50 years ago and it’s Kagome that frees him. Kagome and Inuyasha begin a dramatic relationship that spans time and space, as Kagome goes back and forth between this world and hers. The series follows the monster of the week structure. Kagome and Inuyasha are joined by friends, Shippo, Miroku, and Sango. Together they batlle againist the forces of Naraku, as they search for the shards of the Shikon jewel.

Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen is the latest entry into the demon slayer anime. While technically, Yuji and his friends exorcise “cursed spirits” I consider them basically the same as demons. Written and illustrated by Gege Akutami, Jujutsu Kaisen began its run in 2018. The first season of the anime began in 2020. Yuji is a high school student, when his grandfather is about to die, Yuji promises to: do good so others can die the “right” way. When Yuji meets sorcerer Megumi Fushiguro his life changes.

After releasing a cursed object that attracts cursed spirits, Yuji and Megumi rescue them. During this fight, Yuji swallows the cursed object, a finger of the “King of Curses,” Ryomen Sukuna. In doing so he becomes the new vessel of Sukuna. I’ll begin reading the manga after this seasons over, but I reccomend watching the anime. MAPPA is really starting to master their craft and Jujutsu Kaisen benefits from it.

Demon Slayer

Apparently, American audiences favor Jujutsu Kaisen over last years anime darling Demon Slayer. However, Demon Slayer continued to set records in 2020 outselling the One Piece manga and making history in the box office. I think when the Demon Slayer anime returns it will resume its run at the top. The series tells the tragic story of Tanjiro Kamado. After returning from selling charcoal, Tanjiro finds his family slaughtered and his sister Nezuko turned into a demon.

Desperate to turn his sister back and prevent others from being harmed, Tanjiro and Nezuko enbark on a quest to find a cure. Tanjiro joins the Demon Corps. Armed with a katana, the water breathing techniques, and his selfless motivation, Tanjiro battles demons. He joins forces with the dumb prettyboy Inosuke, the powerful coward Zenitsu, and the always sleeping Nezuko. Can they stop Muzan before he can eliminate the Demon Corps?

Yu Yu Hakusho

Demon Slayer and Jujutsu Kaisen maybe new demon slayer series, but Yu Yu Hakusho is a classic. A shonen fighting manga by Yoshihiro Togashi. Yu Yu Hakusho tells the story of Yusuke Urameshi, a cynical, smart mouthed junior high school student. One day Yusuke dies after saving a little boy from being hit by a car. This heroic act is rewarded with an opportunity to return from the dead. Koenma, the son of the King of the Dead, makes him the Spirit Detective. Yusuke hunts demons that threaten Earth. He’s sent to train with Genkai, the crotchety old master spirit user.

Yusuke, his best friend Kazuma Kuwabara, demon fox vessel Kurama, and anti-hero Hiei. Yu Yu Hakusho set the bar for anime animation, and fight choreography. I rewatch the Dark Tournament arc occasionally and still believe that it’s one of the greatest anime arc ever.

Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 13: Recap and Review

Children of the Forest (Mori no Kora)

I have to be honest at this point in Attack on Titan I do not know who to root for. The hatred between Eldians and Marley’s is getting confusing. I can’t keep track of who’s an Eldian, who’s a Marlyean, who’s a Marlyean who betrayed Marley, and half of them are Eldians who wish to be Marleyan’s. This on top of all the conspiracy. It’s a lot to take in and keep straight. I’m not sure any of this is bad. The characters aren’t aware who’s on their side, why would the audience. It concerns me that there’s only three episodes left of the anime series. How will this series stick the landing? Attack on Titan episode 13, Children of the Forest, begins with the revelation that Zeke used his spinal fluid to transform the villagers of Ragako. Levi questions Zeke’s sincerity, when the latter claims that he “did not want to do it, but it was to provide cover while he was working for Marley

Keep children out of the forest

As I predicted, the Gabi and Braus storyline was going to end in disaster. After enjoying some excellent food, Falco fakes an illness. They find Nicolo in the wine cellar and during the conversation Gabi gleefully admits to killing Sascha. Nicolo snaps and attacks her with a wine bottle. Falco once again takes the brunt of the assault for Gabi. Nicolo brings an unconscious Falco and a bloody Gabi into the dinning room. He reveals to the Braus family that Gabi killed Sascha. Artur Braus forgives Gabi and hopes to spare children from fighting. Nicolo puts Falco down. Artur asks Gabi “if she is okay.” It shocks Gabi that they don’t hate her. However, Kaya is different. She charges at Gabi with a knife. After Mikasa stops her, she breaks down crying with the rest of the Braus family.

Zeke’s spinal fluid

After the chaos dies down, Nicolo tells Hange to wash Falco’s mouth out because the wine has Zeke’s spinal fluid in it. He’s speculating, but recalls that Zeke used wine to transform enemies into Titans. Yelena appears to be responsible for this plot. In the other room, Armin notices that Gabi only thinks about killing. She can’t believe that they don’t want her dead. Suddenly, Eren appears, waving his bloody hand. The Jaegerists take everyone hostage. Floch Forster stands out. He was once an irrelevant character, now he has become more consequential. Floch also seems deranged. Floch and the Jaegerists knew about Zeke’s plan. Eren, Gabi, Armin, and Mikasa sit around the table, as Eren says he “wants to talk.”