Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru, Volume 1: Recap and Review

Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru's volume 1 Japaneses cover
Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru’s volume 1 Japaneses cover

Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru is the next series after his Naruto series and it’s sequel Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Kishimoto is responsible for the script, panel layout, word balloon placement and rough draft of storyboards. He then passes all this to Akira Okubo, who then finalizes the art. Okubo worked on Naruto as an assistant starting with the 16th volume. Samurai 8 focuses on a galaxy that is heading towards it’s end. The only hope for saving it is to find the Pandora’s Box. Within this box is the secret to saving the universe. However, the warrior god, Fudo Myo-o has made it so the box can only be opened with the Seven Keys.

Who is our main protagonists Hachimaru?

A sickly boy, Hachimaru dreams of becoming a samurai and exploring the galaxy. However, he is tethered to a life supporting device created by his father, Furuta. He spends most of his days playing a online VR game, while bickering with his father. Hayataro, Hachimaru’s pet dog with an cat AI, brings him Daruma. A blind robot cat, Daruma is known as the “wandering lone wolf.” A samurai trained in the ways of Kong-Yasha Style, he’s famous around the galaxy. Meanwhile, Furuta attempts to get parts for another machine to help Hachimaru. He tries to work with a ronin. However, the ronin notices that Furuta has the Samurai Soul of a legendary samurai around his neck.

What are samurai’s and how are they made?

In the Samurai 8 series, samurai are cyborg warriors. To become a samurai, one must commit seppuku with a small blade found in a Locker Ball. It’s possible that by doing this one’s body becomes a Key. A spinal shaped memory unit becomes the base of a new cybernetic samurai body. Each samurai’s cybernetic body can regenerate, allowing them to reattach limbs or regrow them altogether. When the ronin arrives to Furuta’s home to retrieve the Samurai Soul, Hachimaru commits seppuku. He becomes the samurai he’s dreamed of and defeats the ronin.

Is Samurai 8 any good?

It’s too early in the series to make any determination regarding this series quality. I like this series so far. The combination of sci fi and samurai lore is interesting. I loved the designs of the samurai armor and the world by Akira Okubo. It’s only the first volume and if Bleach taught me anything it not just how you start but how you end. The character Nanashi being introduced as a part of Hachimaru’s team, only to be abandoned seems strange. The series pacing in the first 6 chapters is inconstant and I have know idea how the power system functions. We only get a glimpse of the Princess that will join Hachimaru. Regardless, while many aspects of the story aren’t fleshed out yet I’m excited for what this series could bring.


Witch Hat Atelier Chapter 1: Recap and Review

Chapter 1

Coco begins her quest to become a witch

Chapter 1 of Witch Hat Atelier begins by asking “are athletes athletes from the moment they’re born . . . what about witches.” Coco is in enthralled by magic. A magic that flows through the world. Coco dreams of the being a witch, but is saddened to learn that she will never be one. Suddenly, a flying chariot lands in her village. Rushing to get a look, Coco bumps into a mysterious man. Meanwhile, witches have traveled to the village in search of “harian knitted lace.” While, Coco’s mother wants her help, all she can think of is the winged chariot. When the mysterious customer comments that Coco’s mastery over fabric cutting is “magic,” she raves about magic. The customer is intrigue.

Coco tells the story from her childhood, when her mother took her to a castle. Her she meets a witch that sells her a thin magic book with a free wand pen. This story piques the customers interest. However, before he can get more details there’s a loud crash. The children of the village try to play with chariot, seemingly destroying it. After offering to fix it, the customer introduces himself as Qifrey the witch. He needs to cast the spell in private. Coco enthusiastically offers her mothers shop. Qifrey asks Coco to guard the outside. Considering Coco’s love of magic this was never going to be a promise she kept. After running the other children away, Coco witnesses Qifrey “drawing” magic with a pen. After learning how magic is performed, Coco becomes quiet. Qifrey leaves with his merchandise but still wondering about the magic book.

Coco’s mother tells her that she fears that Coco will one day abandon her to pursue magic. Inspired, Coco uses the “pen” she was given years ago. Within the book she bought are symbols. She copies one of them with the pen, resulting in a spell working. Coco is ecstatic. Magic is real and she a non witch can use it. Despite her fear of the consequences, Coco can’t help but try another spell. Elsewhere, Qifrey ponders why someone would “sell a magic book to a child outside the magic community?” He jumps up finally realizing something. Meanwhile, Coco continues to explore magic. She notices that when she draws bigger symbols, the magic is greater. The neatness of the symbols correlate to the length of time they last. Coco draws another symbol. However, before she can see it’s effects, Qifrey rushes her outside.

Panicked he asks her “what kind of spell did she draw?” Ignorant of the symbols and the spells the create Coco has no clue. When her mom comes outside to find her she begins to turn into crystal. Qifrey considers erasing her mind but needs Coco to find out if one of “them” gave it to her. The only way to protect Coco and have her become more useful is to make her into a witch. Personally, I have always loved magic. While I haven’t given Black Clover much of a chance (I’m going to begin reading the manga soon), anime series like Little Witch Academia are among my favorites. My excitement to see the rest of this magical world and learn the rules mirrors Coco.

Her enthusiasm was magnetic. Her reaction, however, to her mothers crystallization was somewhat muted. She did tear up, but I felt that I was more emotionally hurt than she was. I suspect that she will be impacted by what happened to her mother for the rest of this series, especially considering that it was her fault. The art of Kamome Shirahama is stunning. Shirahama renders both characters and backgrounds realistically. Her use of thin lines is particularly impressive. Shirahama has drawn for several marvel series, Ms. Marvel, Star Wars, Doctor Aphra and Howard the Duck. I don’t know what will happen during Coco’s journey, but they way Witch Hat Atelier started has me excited to find out.

One Piece Chapter 957: Recap & Review, the Legend of the Rock Pirates

Chapter 957: Ultimate

Who are the Rock Pirates?

To say this chapter is the greatest One Piece chapter is certainly a stretch, but it feels like its true. The chapter begins with Admiral Sakazuki and Admiral Fujitora discussing the abolishing of the Shichibukai system. Sakazuki wanted it to remain, but Fujitora was against it. Fujitora tells him to have faith in the SSG (Special Science Group), a newly established project lead by Vegapunk. The conversation pivots to the new alliance between Big Mom and Kiado. Fujitora mentions how their forming the “new Rocks” to which Sakazuki responds “don’t be so dramatic.” Elsewhere, Brannew and Sengoku are briefing the Marines about the alliance. Sengoku comments that most marines aren’t familiar with the story of the Rock Pirates.

Led by Rocks D. Xebec, they formed when they gathered on the pirate island Hachinosu. They were so violent that they often murdered each other, even while on the same ship. Big Mom, Kiado, Whitebeard, Shiki the Golden Lion, Captain John, Silver Axe and Ochoku were members. Due to the unfriendly nature among the crew, many didn’t survive to tell the world about their exploits. Rocks use his crew like a terrorists organization, hoping that he would one day become the Pirate King. Of course the World Government erased the acts from history. Despite this, their actions did reach the generally public. They were defeat 38 years ago, on an island called God Valley.

Monkey D. Garp and Gol D. Roger defeat the Rock Pirates

Garp has been known as the “Hero of the Marines,” for some time now. Having performed heroic acts for decades. One such act was the defeat of the Rock Pirates. He refuses to talk about the accomplishment though. Sengoku notes that there’s two reasons he won’t talk about the feat. First, he had to partner with Gol D. Roger to do it. Second, he was fighting to protect the Celestial Dragons. Normally, the Marines are expected to protect the Celestial Dragons. However, Garp’s morals prevent him from protecting the Celestial Dragons. It’s the primary reason he refused to become an Admiral, as it will put him under their direct control. This event may be the main reason that Gol D. Roger trusted Garp with the protection of his son, Ace.

The bounties of the Yonko

Commodore Brannew explains that Kiado and Big Mom are much bigger threats now than when they were with the Rock Pirates. He then reports the bounties of the Yonko. After a year as a Yonko, Blackbeard has amassed a bounty of 2,247,600,00 billion. The youngest Yonko, with highly regarded executives, Lucky Roo, Usopp’s father Yasopp and Benn Beckman, Shanks has a bounty of 4,048,900,000 billion. Big Mom bounty has reached, 4,388,000,000 billion, with Kiado rounding it out at 4,611,100,000 billion. For comparison, Brannew notes that Whitebeard and Gol D. Roger both had bounties over 5 billion. Expecting both Big Mom and Kiado to create more havoc at Wano, he believes that they both will surpass the bounties of Whitebeard and Roger.

Bounties in One Piece are actually an inaccurate measure of power. They are given based on “perceived level of threat to the world.” The combat abilities of the pirate do matter, but so do number of criminal acts, inciting other to commit crimes and having possession of illegal knowledge like Nico Robin. Finally, Sengoku notes that legendary pirates like Shanks, Roger and Whitebeard all liked Kozuki Oden. Once a division commander in the Whitebeard Pirates, he later became a member of Rogers crew. Sengoku wonders why, “so many powerful individuals have ties to Wano.”

In descending order, what are the strongest Jutsu in Naruto?

A few years ago on Quora, I answered this question. I though you guys might enjoy what my answer was.

In the Naruto series jutsu’s are ranked in six different classes from E to S. This is based on “the difficulty or skill necessary to perform a technique”.
E Ranked – are learned by academy students there the most basic.
D Ranked – are considered Genin level techniques
C Ranked – are considered Chuunin level techniques
B Ranked – are considered Jonin level techniques
A Ranked – are both Jonin and Kage level, many are forbidden
S Ranked – are often secret techniques. They are often typically unique to the user.

Tailed beast abilities, Kekkei Genkai and other abilities are not ranked.

So if your going to choose “the strongest jutsu” most likely will come from S Ranked classed. When using the word “powerful”, it important to determine what that means. Does it mean destructive power, effective power, or healing power. I think all 3 qualify.

7. Wind Release: Rasenshuriken

Naruto uses his wind manipulation to create a “giant fuma shuriken”. When the Rasenshuriken hits his target “microscopic wind-blades that severely damage the body on a cellular level”. It produces so many micro wind blades that the sharingan can’t follow them all. The “wind-blades sever all nerve channels in the body, leaving the target unable to move after being struck”. They attack the entire chakra circulatory system and cannot according to Tsunade “be repaired by any medical jutsu”. Naruto improved this technique by throwing it, on impact it also causes a tremendous amount of damage. Naruto has managed to add a variety of chakra types as well, and increase or decrease its size making it a dynamic jutsu.

6. Tengai Shinei

The user (Madara) summons massive meteorites from space. The impact of this technique was so devastating that it destroyed most of the fourth division and Madara’s own body.

5. Creation Rebirth

Is a medical ninjutsu, created by “the greatest of  medical ninja”, Tsunade. She releases chakra stored in her forehead simultaneously, the body’s  “cell division is forcibly stimulated by proteins”, “reconstructing all  organs and all tissues making up the human body”. Tsunade claims that “as  long as she has chakra it is impossible for her to die by any means”.

4. One’s Own Life Reincarnation

Created by Chiyo, The “user, giving their life force to the target, uses all their chakra as an intermediary”. This can be used on the living or the dead. If using the jutsu on the living “can save and restore the target from an otherwise fatal condition but  will leave the user greatly exhausted. When used on the dead, the user  will find certain death in exchange for the soul of the deceased”.

3. Mangekyu Sharingan

Once the “Mangekyu Sharingan” is obtained a whole host of abilities are released. They range from genjutsu to ninjutsu, but all are powerful.

Susanoo – “is an ability granted to those who awaken the powers of both their Mangekyu Sharingan.   It creates a gigantic, humanoid being that surrounds the user and  fights on their behalf. As one of the strongest techniques granted to  those that have acquired the Mangekyu Sharingan, it is the user’s  guardian deity, but at the same time, it consumes the user’s life force  and damages their body over time”.

Izanagi – “When activated, the caster removes the boundaries between reality and illusion within their personal space”.

Izanami – “It is a genjutsu which affects the target through physical sensations shared between them and the user. Like Izanagi, in exchange for the temporary ability that it grants the user, the Sharingan with which Izanami is cast is rendered blind and loses its light forever”.

2. Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation

Kabuto claims this “technique to be the greatest technique in the shinobi  universe due to it posing no risk at all to the user”. Tobirama admitted “that the  technique’s new nature was essentially perfected and able to restore an  individual to practically their full power”

1. Rinnegan

The Rinnegan gives “access to a multitude of abilities, such as the potential to master all five basic nature transformations and the capacity to use any technique. The Rinnegan allows the user to see chakra including the chakra points within the body , as well as otherwise invisible barriers. However, the Rinnegan’s field of vision can be blocked by simple means such as smoke bombs”.

Madara could perform “the Limbo: Border Jail technique, creating corporeal shadows which are only visible to the Rinnegan”. Sasuke’s Rinnegan allows “him to shift spaces within a certain range of himself”. Kaguya “she can teleport herself and others to a series of alternate dimension”.


One Piece Chapter 956: Recap & Review, What happened to Sabo?

Chapter 956: ‘Big News’

The one grip I have with Oda is his tendency to have big events occur off screen. This is certainly done on purpose to create mystery and suspense. It works. It’s a week after the Reverie and all the nobles have returned home. Garp and the Neptune family are at the Ryugu Palace. Garp asks them not to “fear humans for an incident that happened to the Nefertari Family of Alabasta.” This event isn’t elaborated on, but we should expect it to be tragic. Meanwhile, days prior, the World Economy News Paper are preparing stories for the following issue. He mentions the “casualties” and how “death sells.” He’s given a check from the Government to suppress the details of Reverie. However, he refuses to do so. When a member of Cipher Pol threats him, Morgans beats him up.

News spreads. On Momoiro Island, the Revolutionary Army are shocked by the “news” regarding Sabo, as are Sterry and the Dadan Family. Doflamingo is overjoyed at the news, while, Blackbeard tells his crew they need to set sail to “claim something before the Marines do.” X Drake informs Koby that Kiado and Big Mom have formed an alliance. He tells Koby that Cipher Pol is present in the Flower Capital in Wano. Meanwhile, Koby is heading to Amazon Lily to capture Hancock. The final shocker is that the Shichibukai have been abolished. Proposed by King Riku Doldo and Nefertari Cobra, the Government agreed to end it. I’m not really concerned for the Warlord’s though, Buggy always escapes somehow and Hancock is tough.

This sets up the Marine’s for interesting conflicts with the Shichibukai. The most interesting match up will be the Marines verses Mihawk, although I expect that Oda will resolve that conflict off screen. There’s so much that has happen in this chapter. But let’s get this out the way. I don’t think for one second that Sabo is dead. It’s unnecessary to kill both of Luffy”s “brothers” and considering all the effort to retrieve Ace’s devil fruit and the perfect symmetry of that moment would be a waste. I think Sabo most likely has been captured. However, I think a third more terrible thing could have happened. Sabo killed Vivi and fled. Maybe he was framed or it was an accident, but I think that is what probably happened.

While, Morgans newspaper can’t be trusted, I think at least tell the truth most of the time. The fact that X Drake is a double agent in Kiado’s crew is surprising. This new Marine unit, SWORD seems interesting. Their goals are clear yet but both X Drake and Koby are apart of it. With Cipher Pol present in Wano things are getting interesting. They were suppose to negotiate with Orochi but the deal fell through, with Orochi shooting one of them and telling Cipher Pol that he wasn’t afraid of Nobles or Marines. How will they respond? History suggest with violence. Regardless, they could be a wild card in this upcoming war.