Vinland Saga Episode 7: Recap & Review

Jabbathe

Normanni

This episode is about showing off the might of the vikings. The King of Dane temporally halts the attacks for the winter, as Askeladd look for jobs raiding. They head to France. Askeladd plans on stealing the treasure from the French. He sends Thorfinn to negotiate on their behalf , giving him the additional goal of bringing him the head of a General. Thorfinn lets the Frankish General know that Askeladd wants to help for half of the spoils. The Frankish General agrees. Once the battle begins, Thorfinn rushes ahead to collect the head of the enemy commander.

Thorfinn’s mastered murder

Askeladd and the rest of the Vikings arrive in grand fashion. Carrying their boats overhead, rushing and yelling. It’s odd liking them considering that their murderous rapist, but I did enjoy their showmanship. One thing about this episode is it’s tone. It feels a little out of place in the very serious series. There wasn’t much character development in this episode, it’s not necessary but the episode did feel odd. Another factor was the French General Jabbathe. He had a frog like appearance and over the top personality. Also his first name is the first two words of “Jabba the Hut,” which is funny but ridiculous. Although now I’m primed to look for clever name puns. Regardless, Askeladd and the Vikings sail into the fort.

Askeladd gloating

The slaughter the men and steal all the treasure. They escape on their ships, as Askeladd gloats about collecting all the spoils. Of course, Thorfinn gets his trophy. Thorfinn will get his duel. While he has mastered the art of killing, I’m not sure he’s ready for Askeladd just yet. The dynamic between Askeladd and Thorfinn is interesting. Despite his claim that he doesn’t care for Thorfinn, I think that Askeladd is as fond of him as he can be. He also seems to be string him along with the promise of a Duel. Is he doing this to make Thorfinn become a better warrior and to get something out of him? Or is there some other motive? This episode was out of place, but I still liked it.


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Enen no Shouboutai Episode 7: Recap and Review

Rekka Hoshimiya

Season 1, Episode 7: The investigation of the 1st

In the “Special Fire Grand Cathedral 1,” Captain Leonard Burns has a meeting with his Lieutenant priests, Third-generation pyrokinetic, Huo Yan Li, Third-generation pyrokinetic, Rekka Hoshimiya and Second-generation pyrokinetic, Karim Flam. They discuss the “training exercise” the 5th and 8th Company engaged in. None of them seem to believe that the exercises were real, with Burns stating that “Obi id finally making his move.” It’s clear that the ruse orchestrated by the 8th didn’t work. Meanwhile, the 5th and 8th have their barbecue. Obi and Hibana have a discussion regarding the 5th. She tells him that only she will help, as the 5th is “paired with Haijima.”

Hibana’s fanservice

Hibana claims that someone has been creating Infernals. They determine that this person is likely in the Shinjuku District, which is the jurisdiction of Company 1. They plan on starting an “undercover investigation.” Using a rookie training reassignment system, which allows “crew members in their first year of service to be temporarily assigned to other companies to broaden their experience.” He of course will be sending Shinra and Arthur. Hibana believes that it would appear “unnatural,” if only two men from the 8th are transferred, so she’ll sent some from her company and other companies as well.

The other Maki

Shinra, Arthur, Maki Oze, Takeru Noto (Company 2) and Toru Kishiri (Company 5) arrive at Company 1. Captain Burns offers a tour of the facilities, but Shinra challenges Burns to a sparring match. Captain Burns agrees. Takeru goes first against Rekka. Noto is a third-generation that has a fear of fire. He hoped that by joining the Fire Force, he would get his flames “put out.” He turns fire into missiles to what could be a devastating effect. However, Karim Flam extinguishes the missiles, after Rekka dodges them. Flam states that he uses “Thermo-Acoustic Cooling” that “converts the energy of flames into sound and then converts sound into cold.”

Shinra and his smile

Shinra and Arthur take on Captain Burns together. Arthur’s sword does nothing against Burns arm, despite the fact that his sword could cut steel. He then extinguishes Arthur’s sword. Shinra doesn’t fare much better, his powerful attacks aren’t effective. Captain Burns ends that fight by stomping on the ground hitting Shinra in the stomach with an invisible attack. Rekka takes responsibility for the Arthur and Shinra. Company 1 seems formidable, and I don’t think that the 8th stands much of a chance against them. Burns already knows what Obi’s goal is. The only question is what side is he on.


Cop Craft Episode 7: Recap and Review

Cole Mozeleemay

Girls On Ice

Tilarna is undercover as a prostitute. She is sent to see a client and he is arrested by Kei and the other police. Tilarna is pissed that Kei was “late,” and her hair was “touched.” The man that was arrested is Cole Mozeleemay, a mayor candidate. Cole is asked many questions from the press, he claims that allegations are unfounded. Apparently, his wife (Marla) believes that he’s innocent. She says that “some evil person that didn’t want him to be mayor must have set him up.” When he tries to hold her hand, she slaps it and tells him not to touch her. Tilarna is angry at Cole’s lies, while Kei tells her that ” all powerful people are like that.” While outside the restaurant, Tilarna meets Zoey, a prostitute. She doesn’t know that Tilarna was undercover. She asks Tilarna to help her move.

Tilarna and Zoey fishing

Zoey is a photographer, its more of a hobby. She tells Tilarna that she will take a photo for her. Meanwhile, the Chief, Kei and Assistant Prosecutor Gardner discuss the case. They have video of Mozeleemay but it’s probably not enough. They plan on bluffing, hoping that he will give up some of his connections. Kei tells Tilarna that she shouldn’t meet with Zoey anymore. If Zoey (a potential witness) finds out that Tilarna is actually a cop she would feel betrayed. Kei thinks that Zoey will get mad and refuse to testify. Kei tells her not to “get involved with people you’re investigating.” Tilarna is naive. She doesn’t believe that Kei is right. Tilarna continues to be friends with Zoey.

Zoey getting shot

Meanwhile, a list with fake and some real names is “leaked.” Making it less likely that Cole Mozeleemay will get prosecuted. At night, Cole and Zoey meet. They exchange money and Cole gropes Zoey and she reveals that she recording the conversation. The following morning, Tilarna starts to suspect that Zoey is the leak. She confronts her the next day. While their talking, Zoey is killed by a gunshot. Kei goes after the assassin. He kills the assassin before he can reveal who hired him. Meanwhile, Zoey is in critical condition. It appears that Cole wasn’t involved but his wife may have been. Tilarna vows not to let him(Cole) get away with this. Zoey dies, leaving Tilarna a beautiful photo.

The photo Zoey left behind

This is hands down the best episode of this series. The political conspiracy isn’t particular original, but it was well done. Tilarna’s lack of experience in the human world make her the perfect avatar to critique the human concept of justice. While her feeling that it would be unfair for Cole to get away with it makes sense, the episode makes it clear that Cole isn’t making the decisions. The due process or gathering of the evidence is necessary to be sure that someone is guilty. Tilarna doesn’t get this yet. I think she may take the laws into her own hands, but Kei may help her learn the value of the human concept of justice. I look forward to seeing how this arc concludes.


Reviews of Cop Craft:

Dr. Stone Episode 7, Recap and Review

Kohaku stops Kinro and Ginro

Season 1, Episode 7: Where Two Million Years Have Gone

Kohaku and Senku get to know each other. Kohaku makes it very clear that she isn’t in love with Senku, but admires his lifestyle. Senku tells her that he intends to create a “nation of science,” but needs “allies.” Kohaku gets excited and tells Senku that she knows some people that will be “dependable allies.” Everyday Kohaku carries a heavy jar of water to help her sick sister. After Senku creates a “car” like vehicle they rush to her village. Senku is attacked by Kinro and Ginro. Kohaku intervenes, informing them that Senku “saved her life.” Kohaku prepares to fight the both of them. However, Senku uses soap to make bubbles. Kinro, Kohaku and Ginro are bewildered by the “suspicious floating orbs.” Senku plans to get all of the villagers on his side with science.

Senku planing on winning over the village with science

A new character, Chrome, arrives. He’s (according to him) a “insanely smart, genius sorcerer.” Chrome is clearly fraud, having discovered some elements he uses to trick people into thinking that he has powers. Chrome can understand science on a low level, but he doesn’t have the historical knowledge that Senku possess. Despite the limits of Chrome’s experiments the fact that he capable of experimenting at give Senku hope. As a result of this, Senku believes that Tsukasa will target and kill Chrome. He believes that Chrome needs to join his nation of science. Chrome challenges Senku to a final battle. A battle of arithmetic. Chrome loses handily. Chrome and Senku get excited over “rocks,” as Kohaku puts it. Senku uses mercury and gold dust, to turn Kinro’s spear gold.

Chrome becoming emotional

Kinro who constantly says “rules are rules,” isn’t trusting of Senku. He threatens to kill Senku if he steps into the village. Chrome has also been collecting plants for drugs. He intends to create a drug to cure Ruri. Kohaku arrives to give her sister the hot spring water. Ruri asks her sister to avoid doing anything reckless, as she doesn’t have much time left. Meanwhile, Senku tells Chrome all about the modern world. Chrome becomes emotional over the wiping out of the technological world. Senku tells Chrome that he does believe that together they can recreate the world. Chrome decides that he’s going to help Senku build the nation of science and save Ruri. Senku says that their going to make “antibiotics.”

Senku preparing to create antibodies

The village adds another new dynamic to the story. It’s seems obvious that Senku will help save Ruri, making himself allies with at least most of the village. However, it’s likely that he will still meet resistance among many. This is especially likely to occur if he becomes a rival for anyone in power, as they’re likely to protect their position. The fact that most of the villagers aren’t nearly a “backwards” as I though was surprising. Kinro’s seems to be a likely challenge for Tsukasa if they ever come into conflict. Ginro feels like he would make great friends with Taiju. Speaking of which, Tsukasa, Taiju and Yuzuriha don’t appear in this episode. I’m not complaining but I do think my earlier prediction that Senku may remain separated form the other members of the trio for a while.


Dr. Stone Review:

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 20: Recap & Review

Pretend Family

After the last epic episode, I didn’t expect this one to feature any real action. However, I was wrong. While a fight as dramatic as the one from the previous episode didn’t occur, the battles were impactful if for no other reason showing the power of Giyu and Shinobu. The first shocker of this episode was the survival of Rui. Tanjiro begins to succumb to his wounds and use of two breathing techniques. He loses his vision, can’t move and begins to hear loud ringing in his ears. On top of that Rui managed to decapitate himself before Tanjiro could. I don’t know how I feel about his survival. On it’s face it seem ridiculous, but at the same time it was unexpected. As is always the case, the main protagonist (Tanjiro) was never in danger of dying. Giyu’s appearance was predictable. However, that’s not an issue.

I may be the only swordslady among the pillars who can’t cut a demon’s head off. But anyone who creates poison that can kill demons can be quite amazing

Shinobu

Giyu congratulates Tanjiro for surviving so long. Rui attacks him with his threads, Giyu responds with Water Breathing’s eleventh form (there’s only suppose to be ten) that nullify the threads. He then easily decapitates Rui. Meanwhile, the Daughter runs through the woods, remembering how she ended up in the “pretend family.” She was chased by Demon Hunters, but was saved by Rui under the condition that she would join his “family.” She agrees, mostly out of desperation. The white skin is created by consuming Rui’s blood. She runs into Murata and traps him in a cocoon. The cocoon will fill with acidic fluid that will liquify those ensnared.

Enter, Shinobu. At this point I think she’s my favorite character. She has an odd demeanor. She has a smile that doesn’t feel quite genuine. This mask of kindness, is exposed by her actions and what she says. She offers her “friendship,” to the Daughter. In exchange she has some questions to ask. First, “how many people did she kill.” The Daughter lies and says “five.” Shinobu deduces that it must be at least eighty. She believes that if they are to become friends, the Daughter must be tortured for each of her victims. Understandable, the Daughter isn’t interested. Shinobu accepts that they won’t be friends and uses her Insect Breathing. Because of her physical weakness shes can’t decapitate demons. However, she has discovered wisteria-based poison that can kill demons. Shinobu also appears to have a lot of speed as well .

This episode was great. It does show that the twelve aren’t all powerful, but Tanjiro isn’t at there level yet. However, the twelve may not be ranked in a normal manner. I still think Rui’s ranking as “lower five” is odd. It’s implies that there are demons below him and Tanjiro almost beat him. What I mean is that the type of abilities they posses may make the match up different and they’re ranked based on more than just strength. We are also introduced to a new way to kill demons, wisteria poison. It makes perfect sense. I love the introduction of a new dynamic personality in Shinobu. I expect the next few episodes to focus on healing and furthering the story, which I’m looking forward to.


Reviews of the Other Episodes

Enen no Shouboutai Episode 6: Recap and Review

Season 1, Episode 6: The Spark of Promise

This fight was underwhelming. Compared to the previous episode, I expected this one to surpass the action presented. While I understand that this series is trying to focus on the characters (which I’ll get into later), I think you can do this while having great action. In this episode, Hibana reminds Iris what caused her to lose her faith. When they were children at the orphanage, they witnessed the nun engulfed in flames. While this occurred, Hibana’s third-generation powers manifested. Shinra attacks her but she uses her “heat syncope,” on him again. Heat syncope is a type of “heat illness.” Hibana uses it to overheat her opponents, causing them to become lightheaded.

Despite this, Shinra is able to stand. She then creates a flaming Sakura tree. The pedals from this tree burn with they come in contact with skin. Shinra still manages to stand his ground however. He attacks her, punching her and knocking her out. Hibana recalls her past. Her time at the orphanage and how she manage to become a Captain so she could study fire. When she awakens she’s had a change of heart, no longer willing to be the opposition. This episode is effective in making Hibana a far more sympathetic character than she first appeared. Witnessing the death of her sisters in the orphanage, she suffers from survivors guilt.

This results in her rage, abandoning her faith for science. Her sudden change seems a bit premature to me. While I don’t expect her personality to change, it seems like a over simplistic reason for her to change. The villain becoming an ally or anti-hero happens often in anime, but I feel that Fire Force should be more realistic about it. Hibana seems to have also fallen in love with Shinra, which also seem premature. I know it will be played for laughs and I’m not offend by it, but why does she like him? Finally, it seems like her and Company 5’s behavior will be ignored and they will get away with their bed behavior. Would Obi with his high morals tolerate this? What would it say about him if he did? Questions aside, I’m still interested in the larger conspiracy.


Vinland Saga Episode 6: Recap & Review

Askeladd “saves” Thorfinn

The Journey Begins

Thorfinn appears to have unofficially joined the mercenary band, lead by Askeladd. Viking are explained. Largely, Danes from Denmark they were pirates or thieves. Their goal was to live in England. Naturally war broke out. Askeladd and the others arrive at bloody shore, littered with corpses. Askeladd offers the services of his men. They strike a deal, Askeladd men for women, treasure, food and five pounds of gold. As they continue to talk, they’re attacked. Many of Askeladd’s men are killed, as Thorfinn watches. He draws his dagger, but is attacked. Askeladd kills his assailant (stabbing Thorfinn in the process). It’s a small wound. He claims that “he didn’t know Thorfinn was still alive.”

The woman is devastated to see Thorfinn’s behavior

Thorfinn finally get his first kill. We are shown a series of battles as Thorfinn gains his experience. It’s brutal. It feel wrong somehow. Knowing that his father didn’t want this for him, made it feel tragic. As he ages he become more and more proficient at killing. Losing more and more of his innocence with each kill. Thorfinn is chased by men with dogs and manages to survive. He’s then found by a mother and daughter passed out by a river. They nurse him back to health. The mother hides Thorfinn, seemingly believing he’s a replacement for he dead son. Knowing this series, I could anticipate that these women were not going to have a happy ending.

The new “feral” Thorfinn

Life for most men are terrible, for women almost hopeless. Thorfinn was sent to scout. He knows whats going to happen to all of the villagers. Thorfinn had change. He looks more feral or rabid. We still get to see a glimpse of his remaining humanity. How long can he hold on to it. Vinland Saga is becoming a must see series, it’s not a very cheerful one. However, having watched Attack on Titan, I am certain that they will find some moments of happiness to balance out the dreariness. I believe that Askeladd wants to see Thorfinn survive. He fully intended to save Thorfinn, but he refuses to do so directly.

Artifice Article – Philosophy in Anime

A few days ago my latest article was published on the Artifice. Titled, Philosophy in Anime, I wrote about the relationship between philosophical themes and anime. I focus on philosophy in Mob Psycho 100, Ghost in the Shell and One Piece. Many of the greatest anime series have had significant philosophical themes, such as Attack on Titan, Evangelion and Death Note. With so many different anime I could only focus on a few. Regardless, I worked really hard on this article and I hope that you guys will take the time to check it out. If you have the time read some of my other articles as well:


Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions. Philosophers ask questions about knowledge, reason, values and human existence. I may surprise many, but anime often tackle these complex questions as well. Philosophy is one of the many influences commonly found in anime. By including philosophical themes anime series can have more complex stories and characters. This is likely one of the many reasons that the most impactful and revered anime series tend to have some form of philosophy. Mob Psycho 100 is an anime series from the creator ONE, this series focuses on the philosophy that no one is special. Ghost in the Shell, a series created by Mamoru Oshii, focuses on post-humanism philosophy. Finally, I’ll discuss how Adam Smith philosophy applies to One Piece, one of the most acclaimed anime series of all time

the Artifice (Jiraiyan)

Dr. Stone Episode 6, Recap and Review

Senku, Taiju and Yuzuriha

Season 1, Episode 6: Two Nations of the Stone World

We continue with the flashbacks, as Senku explains how he found Taiju. He speculates that aliens may have been responsible, a foreign military or a new virus. The only thing that he’s sure of is that whatever turn humans to stone also did so to swallows. He concludes that an “outside force” is responsible for his, we know that its the nitric acid. Senku has to experiment before he learns that its not as simple as pouring the acid on stone. He remembers that E=MC squared, meaning that you can create energy from nothing. He tries “everything” on the sparrows. Meanwhile, Senku awakens in the present. Senku sends Taiju and Yuzuriha to “infiltrate” Tsukasa’s “army.” Senku plans to create an “revolutionary army” to counter Tsukasa’s. They only way Senku thinks he can do this is by finding the mystery people and get them on his side.

Tsukasa vs Kohaku

However, if they meet Tsukasa first it may not work. Senku, Taiju and Yuzuriha separate to being their plans, with the expectation that they won’t see each other for months or even years. Finally, Tsukasa encounters the young woman from the last episode. She attacks him, showing get fighting skills. Tsukasa assumes that Taiju revived her, however, he deduces that she’s probably a child from a “primitive people.” He also concludes that they have no science (as she refers to sorcery) and he could rule or kill them if he wanted to. He decides that he really needs to get to the cave before Senku and the others. He knocks the girl down and cuts a nearby tree.It falls on her creating a large dust cloud. Senku see it and begins to run to the area. The girl is pinned under the tree but it does seem like her life’s in danger. Senku makes her choose between him, “gambling and blowing up the tree or a longer method.” She says she can wait.

Senku’s pulley system

He creates a pulley system and lifts the tree off her. She is amazed. Introducing herself as Kohaku and telling Senku shes fond of him now. Dr. Stone continues to add new potential conflicts and intriguing narratives simultaneously. In this episode they introduce a more primitive group that has been freed potential from alternate means. They have procreated and are possibly anti-science.” It’s possible that Senku will have to deal with the pro-science but pro-violence that Tsukasa believes in and deal with an anti-science community. I don’t think Tsukasa will fall for the spying from Taiju and Yuzuriha, he’s too smart for that. I wonder if this series would separate the trio for a year (in the series timeline), normally I would say know. However, with this series I’m not sure.


Dr. Stone Review:

Cop Craft Episode 5 & 6: Recap and Review

Lonesome Vampire

The fifth episode of Cop Craft focuses on the “lauden neiven” or vampire. Kei and Tilarna fight off the vampire. She escapes. Vampires can absorb latena and use humans to revive themselves. According to Tilarna, they were supposed to have been destroyed years ago. The vampire kills a truck driver and regains some of her magic. The find her and she tosses Kei off a balcony and into a fountain. The vampire kidnaps Tilarna, to ask her questions. They’re interrupted by the SWAT team and Kei. The vampire disappears. Using night vision goggles, they’re able to see her. She escapes by jumping out of the window. Tilarna feels badly for the vampire, who seems frighten by an unknown world see awoken in. She is saved by a wizard that wants to get his hands on the ancient “Book of Niba.” She rejects his help and bites him, killing him.

Tilarna and Kei engage in another fight with her, this time Kei unloads a lot of bullets into her. However, she’s not done yet and they struggle on the train tracks. A train is fast approaching, Tilarna rescues him leaving the vampire to be killed by the train. This episode felt a little flat to me. I don’t mind that the vampire arc was two episodes, but I feel cheated somehow. It maybe the issue regarding how magic and technology functions in this world. Tilarna make a huge claim that suggest that this vampire is a dangerous force. However, when she turns invisible, she’s easily seen with night vision goggles. Then she’s killed by a (incredibly slow moving) train. This may have been the point. Is the series suggesting that human tech is comparable to magic? I’m guessing that the “Book of Niba,” will matter later in the series because it definitely didn’t matter in this arc. Apparently, the vampire’s entire value was introducing the book.


Need for Speed

This episode is more upbeat than the previous ones. Tilarna “fixes” Kei’s allergy to cats, during the healing moment on the roof to episode ago. Tilarna neglects to inform Kei he was cured until a month later, leaving him to wear the mask every night. While, eating lunch the following day, Kei and Tilarna give chase after a speeding truck. Kei manages to successfully topples the truck revealing it’s cargo, porn. However, there was no driver. Tilarna is asked to move Kei’s car, which results in disaster. With his car totaled, Kei is pissed. The new chief offers to get Kei a new car at the police auction. He also tells Tilarna that she needs to get a drivers license. Later, she’s asks “what is porn.” She is appalled. I don’t mind her reaction, but how do you know to be appalled at something you don’t have any understanding of? I think her reaction would have been more convincing had she continued to be neutral, maybe asking more invasive questions.

Cop Craft could have gone further than they did. Detectives McCloud and Ivanov help with the investigation. They find the fence, Gavin in the Lady Chapel (which apparently is the only place where criminals gather). Gavin says that the nobles are now into Earth porn. The dialogue is crass and juvenile. Kei gets a new car and quickly forgets his attachment to the old one. Cecil reveals that Kei had lost his sister a decade ago. At the sting they capture the cargo, but one of the criminals escape. Tilarna drives Kei’s new car and crashes it. They capture the criminal though. Once again, this series introduces something that will probably matter later. Kei’s dead sister. It’s likely that Tilarna will be inappropriate and ask Kei about his sister. No new ground is broken in this episode, but a silly light heart episode was welcomed.


Reviews of Cop Craft:

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 19: Recap & Review

The bond between Tanjiro and Nezuko has already been established a close. However, due to her being a demon and staying in the wood box she can be forgotten. Tanjiro manages to escape terrible damage from Rui’s thread, only getting a scarred on the face. Meanwhile, Inosuke is impressed with Giyu abilities. Giyu is annoyed by Inosuke and ties him up in a tree. Shinobu injects Zenitsu with an antidote, while other Demon Slayers arrives to free the others. Tanjiro is finally cornered by Rui’s web of threads, Nezuko jumps out of the box. She saves Tanjiro, but is severely wounded.

This event stuns Rui, who claims that he wants that kind of relationship. His pretend sister, becomes insecure. She asks “what about me,” he cuts her into pieces. She begs for a second chance, he tells her to kill the other Demon Slayers on the mountain. Rui tells Tanjiro that because he’s so moved by their bond, he will let Tanjiro live if he gives him Nezuko. Obviously, this isn’t going to work. Tanjiro refuses and tells Rui that he’ll kill him first. Rui finally reveals that he’s the member of the Twelve Moon. His eye says “lower five,” which is an odd way of to number between one and twelve. We still don’t know a lot about the Twelve Moon’s, but it seems that maybe the numbering isn’t quite straight forward. Regardless, he simply takes Nezuko. She slashes him with her claws.

None of this seems to bother Rui. He tethers Nezuko in his threads, cutting into her limbs as punishment. She falls to sleep in order to heal herself. Meanwhile, Tanjiro uses the Final Form of his Water Style. He’s able to cut the threads now and creates a water dragon. Realizing the threat that Tanjiro possess, Rui uses his Blood Art to strengthen his threads. We get a flashback of Tanjiro’s family, mainly his father. His father was frail and was able to dance to pray to the God of Fire. His father told him that he was able to dance because he was using “special breathing techniques.” Tanjiro transforms his water dragon into a fire one. He now able to cut the more enhanced threads.


Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 18: Recap & Review


Tanjiro moves closer to Rui, who finally moves into striking range. He accepts that he will likely die from their encounter. Nezuko is awakened by a vision of her mother asking her to save her brother. Nezuko uses her Blood Art: Blood Ignite, burning the blood on the threads. The fire travels along the threads, destroying the webs that Rui created. As Tanjiro says that “the bond between he and Nezuko can’t be severed,” his sword with Nezuko blood on it severs Rui’s head. My review won’t give this episode any justice. We’re talking about anime here. The animation and the music created a experience that gave me chills. To say I was hyped would be an understatement. If you can watch this episode, you won’t regret it.

Enen no Shouboutai Episode 5: Recap and Review

Arthur believes he lives in Camelot

Season 1, Episode 5: The Battle Begins

I didn’t anticipate that the fight between Company 8 and Company 5 would come soon. In our weekly fanservice, we have a soaked Iris kneeling next to a fountain. She recalls growing up alongside Hibana. Afterward, Obi holds a meeting reveling that they will investigate the 5th Company. Hinawa explains the details, then it’s revealed that Hinawa is actually a second generation. According to Maki, he can use the “manipulate bullets and made his shot non-lethal by weakening the gunpowder.” Meanwhile, Hibana experiments on Setsuo Miyamoto. Sister Iris disappears.She heads to the base of the 5th company to meet her former friend. Hibana has lost he belief in God, believing that ” there are only devils walking the earth, not gods.”

Hinawa defeating fire soldiers

She reveals her desire to use Iris to lure the 8th Company to her. It isn’t necessary, as the 8th Company arrives. Shinra, Maki, Arthur and Lieutenant Hinawa arrive to get Iris back. This is were Hinawa really gets to shine. He takes down several fire soldiers alone. Arthur faces off against the old Cone headed and a newly upgraded Miyamoto. Arthur isn’t concerned but is having difficulty finding his power. Meanwhile, Maki and Hinawa take on Toru Kishiri. He uses bubbles that are filled with flammable gas that exploded when they burst. The explosion is extraordinary, but Maki is able to help block them. Hinawa defeats him using his ” ballistic and ricochet control.” Their then attacked by the Angels Three.

Arthur defeats Miyamoto

Arthur is losing his fight until he realizes that he’s been using his left hand. After switching to his right, he easily defeats Miyamoto. Maki and Hinawa easily defeat the Angels Three, while Shinra arrive at the Hibana’s castle. Hinawa took center stage in this episode. He’s stone cold towards everyone, but it makes him effective as a leader and also a great fighter. He was my least favorite character and now he’s turning out to be my favorite. Arthur on the other hand. Well I still like him but I’m not sure I find him annoying or dumb. Maybe both? He is really ridiculous. I do find his viewing the world from a Medieval perspective to be funny. I don’t know he might grow on me.


Vinland Saga Episode 5: Recap & Review

Askeladd’s men rape and pillage a village

Episode 5, The Troll’s Son

It’s my understanding that this episode of Vinland Saga wasn’t adapted from the manga series of the same name. This can sometimes backfire, but in capable hands can be a seamless addition to series. As predicted, Thorfinn is still enraged and dead set on getting revenge. He’s also saddened by his fathers death. A bundle of conflicting emotions, Thorfinn is determined to kill Askeladd. He has failed to learn the entire lesson his father wanted to teach. Violence isn’t any way to live one’s life. It’s my belief that he will live a life as a warrior then he will learn what his father taught him, but only after experiencing life ruled by violence.

Ylva crying

Askeladd and his Vikings, rape and pillage a village. There is no since of regret, guilt or even blood-lust from Askeladd. He largely, muted in his emotions. While, Thors was a good man, he didn’t have much time to be a hero. He went from violent killer to pacific living at the end of the world in a quite village. Are there any heroes in this series? Most people might assume that Thorfinn must become one. Will he? So far it seems that for the time being he’s going to become a single minded killer. While, Askeladd isn’t a good guy by any stretch, but apparently he won’t kill children. That’s the only reason Thorfinn remains alive. Twice he challenges Askeladd to a duel, and of course he loses. His second duel sees him take a step forward in his fighting ability.

Thorfinn promising to kill Askeladd

Askeladd is a complicated man. I think he regrets that Thors is dead, but NOT that he killed him. It might be a thin distinction but a significant one. When Ylva learns of her fathers death she quickly pretends that it doesn’t really matter. This muted reaction from her was clearly a front. I could almost feel her sadness and was waiting for her to finally collapse into that sadness. It’s hard to tell if Thorfinn immaturity will continue or will he grow out of it. Finally, will his family ever be told that he’s survived. I don’t think there’s any form of mail, so he would probably have to go back. My best prediction is he will return when he’s grown, in the meantime he’s off to the battlefield.

Dr. Stone Episode 5, Recap and Review

Senku “death”

Season 1, Episode 5: Stone World The Beginning

Dr. Stone is a series that plays with our expectation. Initially, characters are placed in archetypal positions. Senku, the cold hearted genius, Taiju the dumb brute, Yuzuriha the damsel and Tsukasa the villain. However, all four types have been challenged. While they behave as their typing suggest, there are moments when the deviate from expectation. When Senku “sacrifices” himself for Yuzuriha, he proves that he isn’t so cold hearted. Taiju uses his intellect to devise a plan that requires him to assume a bias that Tsukasa has, regarding the dynamic between, Yuzuriha and Taiju. Tsukasa is very much the villain, however, he’s not nearly as simple as that role suggests.

Senku breaks free

His intellect rivals Senku (even if the later is still smarter) and he’s not without compassion. Finally, there’s Yuzuriha, who I was afraid would be relegated as simple the “damsel in distress.” In this episode she takes a small step towards being more relevant. She figures out that Senku wanted to provoke Tsukasa into hitting him in the neck. Together she and Taiju are able to deduce that Senku isn’t dead, but used some petrification on his neck. They heal him with revival fluid. This proves that not only are they not useless without Senku’s intellect, but as a trio they are formidable. Each with have their strengths. The trio is strongest when they work together.

Senku building a home

The later half of the episode shows how Senku was freed from the stone and how he survived. Senku spends a great deal of time trying to acquire fire. While under the watchful eye of three condescending monkeys that think he’s stupid. The montage is informative and funny. Time will tell how long it takes for Tsukasa to learn that Senku survived, but it would be in the best interests for the trio to lay low for now. They have to find the other survivors and determine if they’re friends or foe. I’m still not certain that Tsukasa will remain the main villain though. I think they might have to join forces against some other threat.


Dr. Stone Review:

Shonen Manga Round Up – August 6, 2019

Samurai 8 #13 – Seeing Courage

Ata states that Hachimaru has “potential,” but lacks “strength and ability.” Hachimaru calls Hayatarou to help. They create a second arm to strike Ata, who is impressed by the communication between Hachimaru and Hayatarou. Ata says that Hachimaru “wasn’t suppose to exists.” Regardless, Ata tries to finish Hachimaru off. Master Daruma finally returns. Daruma acknowledges that Hachimaru “has courage.” Daruma attacks Ata with Vajrayaksa Style Dog Paddle, then Vajrayaksa Atmospheric Blade.

This results in a devastating attack that appears to defeat Ata. While Hachimaru’s father is stable, he’s likely to die. It turns out that Ata wasn’t actually present, he sent a replica of himself. I don’t know how I feel about that. It feels like a cop out. As my usual complaints about this series, is the fighting system. The final attack by Daruma was impressive, but how did he do it. He was wet afterward, is it a water based attack, does it matter? The final surprise is that Hachimaru has “brothers.” That has really pique my interest regarding the series.


My Hero Academia #238 – Liberation

Tomura Shigaraki decides that he no longer needs the hands of his family. This symbolizes his growth as a character. He has accepted that he killed his family and the fact that he wanted their death. Re-Destro tries to end his conflict with Tomura by using 100 % of his “Stress” ability. However, Tomura easily disintegrates Re-Destro’s ability. In doing so he almost destroys Deika City. Desperate, Re-Destro summons his “support item” to increase his quirk ability. Now his power is increase to 150%, but Tomura doesn’t seem to care. Compress and Daruma get into a conflict over how the organization functions.

Gigantomachia destroys the city, as Geten heads towards Re-Destro. When Gigantomachia finally reaches Tomura, he stops as he witnesses Tomura embracing evil. Tomura releases a his power creating a devastating attack. The Meta Liberation Army is likely to lose to the League of Villains at this point. They have served their purpose, by having other villains to fight and kill is different from killing heroes. The MLA are new characters that we don’t have any attachment to. If anything we are attached to the League. Tomura is becoming a truly powerful villain, I wonder how Midoriya will respond.


One Piece #951 – Rampage

One Piece is transitioning or I should say building up to the fight between the Strawhat, allies and Kiado’s crew. The Flower capital is on lockdown, as the alliance become wanted criminals. Shinobu and Sanji discuss the situation on a nearby rooftop. Nami comes into contact with Law’s crewmates, Bepo, Shachi and Penguin. It’s revealed that they were freed in exchanged for Law. He makes it clear to them that they’re not to tell Luffy that he’s been captured. Kanjuro intents to give Yasuie a proper burial, while, Ashura Doji show Kin’emon and Inuarashi the ships that they can use. Finally, on Onigashima, the Beast Pirates rush to make sweets for Big Mom. King is criticized for failing to kill Big Mom at the waterfall.

She asks King to join her crew, as he’s one of three races she doesn’t yet have. He quickly refuses. Big Mom demands that her cuff be removed. Kiado arrives and tells them to unchain her. She uses Napoleon, as she and Kiado clash. Like the previous conflict between Yonko, they spite the sky. I won’t be getting my hopes for Big Mom vs Kiado, as it will most likely happen off screen. However, the effects of the battle could handicap Kiado for any battle with Luffy. There seems to be too much going on for the battle that’s suppose to take place in a few days. This leads me to assume that many characters probably won’t participate, like Usopp or Nami. Instead they will do smaller things like freeing Law from prison.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 18: Recap & Review

Shinobu arrives to save Zenitsu

Episode 18, A Forged Bond

I predicted that the Daughter of the Spider Demon family was the one of the twelve, however, I’m not so convinced anymore. She remains a somewhat sweet and timid young girl. I’m now predicting that she will save Tanjiro, based on what happen in this episode. Giyu and Shinobu arrive at Mount Natangumo, witnessing the massacre that occurred. Not really friendly, they decide to split up. Meanwhile, Tanjiro and Inosuke face off against Father. His skin is so tough that neither can cut his arm off. Tanjiro cuts a tree down crushing Father under the water. He attempts to decapitate Father with Water Breathing, Form Ten. However, Father gets up knocking Tanjiro far into the woods. As he flies away, he begs Inosuke “not to die.”

Rui’s powers

As Zenitsu begins to suffer from the effects of the poison, Shinobu arrives. Meanwhile, Tanjiro manages to land safely and witnesses Rui torturing his sister. Tanjiro chastises him for mistreating his sister, but Rui doesn’t seem to care. One of the fellow demon slayers arrive and challenges Rui. He’s quickly kill, as Rui cuts him to pieces. The demon slayer was obviously only there to display the powers of Rui. Meanwhile, Father chases after Inosuke, who then turns around after realizing that he’s “acting like Tanjiro.” He attacks Father, this time with both his swords. He finally manages to cut through his arm, resulting in Father running away. Inosuke isn’t analytical like Tanjiro, but despite how he sees himself he does think his plans through, just at the last minute.

Giyu kills Father

Inosuke find Father hiding in a tree. Just when you think he’s afraid of Inosuke, he molts becoming larger and stronger. His new presence makes Inosuke quit, if only for a few seconds. Father is faster and stronger now. Inosuke attempts to cut Fathers head off, resulting in his swords breaking in half. Father then picks Inosuke up by the head and begins to crush the skull of Inosuke. When Inosuke begins to spit up blood, Giyu arrives and cuts Father’s arm off. Father quickly regrows his arm. However, this doesn’t matter because, Giyu quickly dispatches Father.

Tanjiro is in danger

Finally, Tanjiro feels more confident fighting Rui. He attacks him head on, however, his sword is cut in half as we cut to the credits. Obviously, Tanjiro will survive, but there no reasonable way he can avoid getting sliced. Considering how the Rui power cut the demon slayer into pieces earlier, Tanjiro could lose an arm. That said I get the impression that Shinobu has some healing abilities and probably will fix it right up.

Enen no Shouboutai Episode 4: Recap and Review

Princess Hibana

Season 1, 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.”


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.

Cop Craft Episode 4: Recap and Review

Episode 4, In the Air Tonight

Kei and Tilarna face a difficult task of disarming the fairy bomb, while defeating Zelada. Kei grabs the bomb and is quickly attacked by Zelada. He’s invisible and begins to attack Kei with blue flame form the sky. Kei gets hit and is badly burned. Somehow Kei is able to sense Zelada’s location and manages to shoot him. Visible, Tilarna is able to attack Zelada and cut his arm off. Rather than be defeated by Tilarna, he decides to jump off the roof, seemingly to his death. Tilarna accepts her death and plans to die with Kei and the fairy. She and the fairy were friends before and she came solely to rescue her. However, the fairy decides to sacrifice herself. As a result Kei is healed.

The incident is quickly wrapped up and Tilarna goes home. For a second I though she was actually gone, quickly however, she returns to partner with Kei. The time between her leaving and returning wasn’t clear to me, but it doesn’t really matter. Anyway, Tilarna and Kei resume their partnership. On their first raid together, Tilarna cuts off the finger of a criminal. This understandably pisses of their new boss, who’s a major asshole. He is racists toward Tilarna. However, the problem with racism in this series is that it doesn’t feel threatening, only rude. So far the this series isn’t really convincing in its portrayal of racism. Are there different laws? Is there oppression? It needs to be better established before I can take it seriously.

Anyway, the contents collected from the raid features a mummified Semanian woman. They take it to Cecil for examination. Tilarna isn’t sure that it’s safe for Cecil to examine the mummy. Cecil sends her assistant to scan the body. While Tilarna is abusing the civil liberties of a criminal, he tells her that the corpse is from “Doras Derill.” She becomes alarmed and rushes to save Cecil. Meanwhile, Cecil walks in on the mummy killing her assistant. Tilarna arrives just in time to fight against the “vampire.” It’s unclear whether she’s actually a “vampire” in the traditional sense, but we’ll find out. I’m a little on the fence with this series. It started so well, but now I’m not so sure. I don’t know. I give it a few more episodes before I decided one way or the other.


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Dr. Stone Episode 4, Recap and Review

Gunpowder exploding

Season 1, 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.


Dr. Stone Review: