Luffy remembers that what he did was the same technique that Silvers Rayleigh uses on Sabaody to save Camie. However, Luffy can’t figure out how he managed to do it. Hyogoro states that “what Luffy just did was superior to what he had been trying to teach him.” Luffy tries to use Haki to try to block Big Mom’s attack, but she overpowers him and Hyogoro. After Luffy pulls him out the wall, he tells Luffy that “there is another step in concentrating and projecting Haki, which is the ability to destroy nearby objects from the inside.” Luffy managed to accomplish this but failed to learn how to reproduce it. Big Mom rampages separating Hyo and Luffy.
Queen awakens and plans to defeat Big Mom. He assumes (correctly) that Big Mom will eventually circle back to them. When she does, Queen (in his brachiosaurus) dives into her head first. The effect of the blow causes Big Mom to regain her memories. However, she suddenly falls asleep. Queen takes the opportunity to wrap Big Mom in Seastone chains and inject her with anesthesia. Queen and his men quickly leave with Big Mom heading toward Onigashima. With communications still cut off, Luffy decides he will take down Babanuki and take over Udon. This chapter was quick. However, Luffy continue to learn more about Haki.
It wasn’t surprising that Luffy didn’t have much effect on Big Mom. So far it seems clear that the gap in power between the Yonko (Kiado and Big Mom) and Luffy is still rather large. It’s impossible to know how long this arc is going to be, but I don’t think it will end without Luffy fighting at least one of the Yonko. So far I’m surprise that Luffy has taken so long to master the new Haki. He will learn it eventually, it’s a question of when.
Daruma tell Hachimaru that a “samurai and a princess are fated to create courage together.” Hachimaru asks what he means by “fated.” Daruma says that something that is “destined to happen whether you do anything or not.” Hachimaru claims that he doesn’t believe in fate. Meanwhile, Princess Woon has a meeting with Hagamichi. He asks the Princess to find Hachimaru. Princess Sa lets them know that Hachimaru is a novice that isn’t a threat to them.
Hachimaru actually became a samurai via Ann’s locker ball. Princess Ann is asked to find Hachimaru by Hagamichi. Meanwhile, Hachimaru continues to train with his blade. He manages to point the sword into his own head. Of course he’s not harmed. Hagamichi arrives and Ann meets Hachimaru for the first time. Finally, we get to see one major potential villain. There isn’t a whole lot in this chapter. Hachimaru continues to be impatient, but in typical manga fashion it seems likely that he would “master” abilities that he didn’t learn.
I still feel that the fighting mechanics in this series hasn’t really been explained in depth. Also, what the hell does a Princess really do? I know that this will get explained further but so far they only seem to do traditionally female roles. Making Ikebana, and generally being passive aids to samurai. Also they seem to largely sit around being protected all day. All that said, Hachimaru seems primed to violate the rules so maybe Ann will do so as well. The next chapter will be interesting once we get to see more of the villain.
I have been predicting and anticipation the conflict between Big Mom and Queen for several chapters now. However, I had envisioned their fight to well be more competitive than it ended up being. Basically, Big Mom lays waste to Queen. She swings him around and then slams him to the ground. Defeated but not dead Queen returns to his original form. I also predicted that the resulting damage would help Luffy and the prisoner in some way. This prediction turned out to be accurate.
When Big Mom slams Queen she accidentally free Kid and Killer from their torture. She also manages to break the cell door that was holding Kawamatsu. It is assumed that Kawamatsu was long dead so they won’t bother to find him. The Beast Pirates are unable to contact Kiado or anyone outside of Udon prison. Caribou explains how the Tanishi snail system works. Caribou is being helpful right now but he can’t be trusted. It’s in his best interest to be useful for the moment.
Big Mom finally gets the oshiruko. The pot turns out to be empty however. Luffy foolishly admits to eating the oshiruko. Predictably, Big Mom is not pleased. She attacks Luffy, destroying the ground surrounding them. Of course, Luffy and Hyogoro aren’t suppose to leave the ring without triggering their collars. In his desperation to save them Luffy uses Advanced Busoshoku Haki to rip the collars off. Big Mom decries that she wasn’t able to share the oshiruko with the villagers.
I believe that Oda is going to use this arc to give Big Mom a more of a character arc. With her memory loss she was vulnerable but is able to develop new and different relationships with people like the villagers. She almost certainly will get her missing memories back, but they won’t override the new memories of kindness she has received. Finally, in order to get Luffy to master the new Haki, Hyogoro tells Luffy he needs to train by fighting with Big Mom.
In this chapter we learn that swords are locked by biometrics, preventing anyone from drawing out someone else’s sword. Hachimaru meets some students from the dojo. They admire him, while ignoring Nanashi. They’re attacked by the pig bandits in their cake like tank. They shoot their cannons at Hachimaru, who fails to pull out his sword. Lucky for him, Hayatarou saves him. Turns out that he took Nanashi’s sword by mistake and the biometrics prevent him from using it.
Nanashi afraid that Hachimaru will die, but terrified to intervene is frozen by fear. Nanashi’s hands, righty and lefty encourage them to save Hachimaru and be more in charge of their life. Nanashi grabs Hachimaru’s hand and uses the sword to cut the cannon in half. Lifted into the air on the back of Hayatarou, they jump down together slicing the tank in half. Nanashi and Hachimaru make plans to go into space one day.
Meanwhile, Daruma asks Hachimaru’s father about the samurai soul. He notes that due to it’s weight it mush have belonged to an “extraordinary” owner. He draw’s his sword and Hachimaru’s father doesn’t flinch. Daruma implies that there’s some secret to what Hachimaru is and who his father is. I would assume that Hachimaru’s father is some legendary samurai that abandoned the life of a warrior to try to save his son.
Whether, Hachimaru is something other than we expect remains to be seen. As for Nanashi it doesn’t seem logical that they would be part of Hachimaru’s team when he goes to space. I don’t know how long this series plans to focus on Hachimaru and his family before heading into space, but it feels like the series is moving too fast.
Twice explains the limits of his Quirk. He can only “double” something by turning “one thing into two.” He can only do it to “two things at a time,” and the “doubles are more fragile than the original.” He also needs “data and a image” to reproduce something. Something must have been lost in translation because I don’t understand how he then was able to multiply more than twice, using his Infinite Multiplication. Anyway, Re-Destro claims that Mr. Skeptic (Tomoyasu Chikazoku) “failed.” He seems to take it personally and leaves to “take additional measures.”
Mr. Compress asks Dabi for help. He refuses due to the fact that Twice has duplicated himself and probably can help. Mr. Compress asks how he go past his trauma. Twice responds with “love and courage.” Mr. Compress notes that this seems like the “first chapter of a hero story,” not “a villain.” Twice rejects his argument asking “what’s wrong with wanting to save his comrades.” I wonder if more manga/anime series allowed their villains to act with more compassion (at least towards each other) would they have been harder to beat? Sometime the main villain will even kill his subordinate himself. Would he had increased his chances of victory had they survived?
Anyway, Apocrypha (who reminds me of the Ice Climbers) has a unnamed ice quirk launches an attack on Dabi, Mr. Compress and Twice. Apocrypha says that he also can control the temperature of his ice. He claims that the Liberation Army new society will connect your status to the strength of your quirk. When Dabi tells him to die, he reveals that Dabi’s quirk is backfiring on him. Dabi’s skin is starting to burn. Meanwhile, Machia is awakened, about to rampage.
This chapter focuses on Twice, a villain that has a quirk (Double) that ” grants him the ability to clone people including himself.” He has always been a complex character. He has an explosive personality and strangely tends to contradict himself making one statement followed by the opposite. He has a dissociate identity disorder and when his masks is removed he panics and threatens to “split.” Tomoyasu Chikazoku uses his puppets to rip the mask off of Twice.
The puppets grab Himiko Toga. Tomoyasu reveals that by using the psychological weaknesses that Giran had they decided to use puppet’s that resemble Jin. He tells him that their goal is to kill Toga and capture Twice. Giran expresses his concern for Twice’s well being. The puppets attempt to snap the neck of Toga. While begging for his mask, Twice starts to believe that he’s the one killing Toga. He has a flashback, Jin gets fired from his job and became homeless. He created a clone of himself to talk to, then he created more clones. They became criminals robbing banks together.
However, they so turned on each other, killing themselves resulting in Jin becoming mentally scarred as a result. In this flashback Jin reveals something important, that each clone has a pain limit that would result in it disappearing. A broken arm would be about the limit. Why is this important. Jin wasn’t certain that he was the original Jin. When we get to the present, Tomoyasu tells his puppets to breaks the both of Jin’s arms. They do. Having realized that he hasn’t disappeared as result he becomes elated. Having confirmed that he’s the original, he is inspired to save Toga. He creates several clones, stating that ” he won’t watch a friend die.”
Twice is a very interesting character. He was an apprehensive about fighting out of fear that he was a clone, so having been freed of that fear will have a positive effect on his mind. His friendship with Giran and Toga was what really struck me. It’s typical for heroes to have these types of relationships but villain usually just use each other. They all seem to care for each other and that feels new for a manga series. It seems that the Meta Liberation Army will have a positive impact on the League of Villains whether they like it or not. I loving the character development.
Wow. Every once in a while Oda shows his genius in storytelling. Creating unexpected twists, clever plot development and heartbreaking moments. One Piece was always and will continue to be the standard for manga, especially shonen manga. In the previous chapter, Yasuie meet his end at the hands of Orochi. This resulted in the towns people laughing while crying. SMILE was introduced back in the Punk Hazard arc (ch: 689). An artificial Zoan Devil Fruit created with SAD, by Doflamingo and Caesar Clown. We were lead to believe that it created devil fruit users and nothing else.
It is explained that SMILE is responsible for stripping the people of Ebisu Town of their sadness. Shinobu explains that SMILE has several effects, they cause the eater to ” lose the ability to swim as well as the ability to express negative emotions, causing them to only be able to express joy.” SMILE also only has an 1 in 10 success rate when giving devil fruit abilities. This explains the why the Beast Pirates aren’t all devil fruit users, while putting a limitation on the drugs effectiveness. She explains the ranks of the Beast Pirates, The Waiters are those who have yet to eat any fruits, the Gifters are those who obtained an ability after eating a SMILE fruit and the Pleasures are those who did not gain any abilities after eating a SMILE fruit and can only smile.
Kiado, Doflamingo and Caesar named it SMILE after the negative effect. With the defective fruits still possessing the negative side effects, Orochi used them to force the civilians of Ebisu Town to lose their ability to express anger and sadness. He hated the sorrow and grief they expressed when their families members died. The saddest part of this chapter comes when Toko tries to bring her father back with medicine. Orochi notices her and takes aim, shooting at her. Sanji and Zoro save her shocking the citizens. As I predicted the corrupt behavior of Orochi will come back to bite him as the citizens will turn on him. I’m excited to see him get what he deserves.
Hachimaru begins to experience life outside of his home for the first time. He realizes that food can “taste good,” as he enjoys takoyaki. He use to have many allergies and stomach issues, so all he had to eat was liquid food and apples. Hachimaru and Hayatarou heads for a walk. Hachimaru asks if he will finally get friends. It seems obvious that Samurai 8 like most anime/manga he will collect a number of friends along the way. At this point the world isn’t fleshed out yet, so I don’t feel much connection to it.
We are introduced to a new character, Nanashi. A recluses like Hachimaru use to be, she/he play games and lives at the Yasha-Style Dojo. Nanashi has two gaming gloves called “Left Hand-kun,” and “Right Hand-kun.” It was unclear to me if they spoke or Nanashi has a weird mental illness that results in the hands talking. It’s also unclear what Nanashi’s gender is, her/his hands debate Nanashi’s gender. One hand says that “he’s a boy,” the other says that “her soul is female.” Furthermore, Nanashi even refers to themselves as “a girl.” It seems likely that Nanashi will be a gender non conforming character, otherwise there’s no need to even bring up the question of gender. Right?
Anyway, Hachimaru falls through the roof of Nanashi. Nanashi has no idea about their pasts and has been a recluse for eight years. To get Nanashi to go outside, Hachimaru offers a wager. If he’s wins Nanashi goes outside, if he loses Nanashi can remain a shut in. Hachimaru defeats Nanashi in the game proving that Hachimaru is the highest ranked player. The significance of this game remains to be seen but it’s clear that the online game is important. Nanashi is the number 2 gamer so does the skill in the game correlate with fighting skills in the real world. We are loosely introduced to new pig-like villains, who plan on attacking Nanashi and Hachimaru.
It’s always exciting to get into a new series. Not knowing what to expect or even whether you like the series or not. Like most Naruto fans the expectation of Masashi Kishimoto next series was going to be high. Could he managed to live up to the hype? Probably not. Does he need to? I don’t think so. My first judgement of every manga series is the art. Akira Okubo didn’t disappoint. The chapter begins with a look of the galaxy, we see two characters having a conversation that at this point doesn’t make much sense yet.
Anyway, we see a battle between to samurai that ends with a clash. The concept of keys are introduced. The defeated samurai “transfers” the key. He turns into a sphere shaped thing and his spine seems to be the key. All this seems to be a game that our main protagonist, Hachimaru is playing. He’s a sickly kid that has “Trypanophobia – an extreme fear of medical procedures involving injections or hypodermic needles.” He yells at his father and it’s revealed that he must be connected to a machine otherwise he won’t “last 3 minutes.” His father is planning on creating a “Portable life support system” for him. His father leaves to find more parts.
Meanwhile, we are introduced to our main villain for this chapter at least. One of his henchmen owes him money for something. Ritual suicide is apparently the price he has to pay. The henchmen refuses to do this and is called a coward and is killed for it. Back at the house of Hachimaru, his dog brings him a daruma. Hachimaru prays to it, claiming that he wants to become a “samurai.” The daruma turns out to be a cat like being. At this point it’s made clear that theirs something that separates “warriors” and “samurai.” Our main villain makes this distinction clear.
Humans are warrior, when someone becomes a samurai they become something else. The samurai are cyborgs, chosen by warrior gods. Their spines become “memory units” called “keys.” All other body parts are robotic. The locker ball is a “small star created by the warrior god Acala.” The body of a samurai can even travel in space and stores a “very special soul.” Meanwhile, Daruma formally introduces himself, revealing himself to be a blind samurai. If past knowledge of manga series is any indication, a small blind non-human swordsman means he’s a badass.
We get to see some of his skills when the villain arrives. They clash briefly, revealing that Daruma is the “lone wolf samurai” that mastered the “vajrayaksa style.” Our villain destroys Hachimaru’s pet dog Hayatarou, stabs Daruma and uses the key to open Hachimaru’s chest. To receive the code Hachimaru must die. The villain allows him to commit ritual suicide, with the promise to “let his father go.” Hachimaru admits his love for his father, then commits suicide. He “dies,” and the villain removes the samurai soul of Takatsuna giving him the crimson blade called “the vampire.”
Unsurprisingly, Hachimaru isn’t dead and he is transformed into a samurai. Daruma tells him that he has been given the power of “sanrinshin.” Hachimaru battles the enemy samurai who puts on his samurai armor on. He defeats the samurai and rescues his father. I liked this series. The combination of sci fi and samurai lore is interesting. I love the designs of the samurai armor and the world. It’s only one chapter and if Bleach taught me anything it not just how you start but how you end. Regardless, while many aspects of the story isn’t fleshed out yet I’m excited for what this series will bring.
As My Hero Academia focuses on the villains, Himiko Toga takes center stage. Chitose Kizuki and Himiko continue their conflict. The chapter begins with a report of a “middle school girl that attacked and heavily injured her classmate.” The girl of course is Toga. She is seen sucking the blood of her classmate through a straw. The act of sucking blood is always creepy but the use of a straw adds a level of casualness that makes it worst. The animated faces Toga has contributes to her sadistic image.
Apparently Toga had undergone “Quirk counseling” at some point. However, this education program is suppose to “re-integrate you with society by correcting your distorted understanding of yourself.” Chitose claims that this program isn’t “perfect” and can lead to ” a patient feeling different.” Toga’s quirk resulted in her “admiring” blood. Due to society’s standards, she had to develop a “mask” to suppress herself. In a flashback, Toga is seen drinking the blood of a bird. It isn’t made clear how her quirk works when she drinks the blood of an animal.
She tells Chitose to “shut up” and is attacked. Chitose tells her that she will become a sacrifice to demonstrate the “righteousness” of the Liberation army. She suggest that the “death” of Toga will be “immortalized in our new era’s sacred text.” The rhetoric from Chitose suggests that the Liberation Army has a religious element to it. Toga flees as she transforms into Ochaco, claiming that “she sucks blood from people she likes.” In a surprising moment, Toga is able to use Ochaco’s “Zero Gravity,” Quirk. The number of “copy” quirks in this series is starting to add up.
The means to acquire someone’s else’s ability and how long it can be used. All For One, is an emitter type quirk that “steals other people’s Quirks and wield these stolen powers as their own or to transfer them to someone else.” Neito’s “Copy” Quirk is also a emitter type that requires contact. Each quirk has it’s different limits, with All For One being the most powerful. I was just curious that there is more than one quirk with copy abilities. I wonder if there’s a more significant reason for it. Then again the series has two several fire users. Anyway, as I’ve said, I’m loving the fact the My Hero Academia is focusing on the villains in this arc. I wonder who’s next.