One Piece Chapter Recap & Review

Chapter 943, SMILE

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.

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Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru, Chapter 2: Recap & Review

Chapter 2, A guest from above

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.

Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru, Chapter 1: Recap & Review

Chapter 1, The First Key

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.

My Hero Academia Chapter 226 Recap & Review

Chapter 226, Bloody Love


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.

One Piece Chapter 941 Recap & Review

Chapter 941, The talk of Ebisu Town

Fukurokuju reveals that they have captured Ushimitsu Kozo. Held in the Rasetsu District’s prison, turns out that he’s also the, “Yasuie the Hedgehog,” the former daimyo of Hakumai and the father of Toko. This chapter largely jumps between the various locations in the arc showing the many reactions between the characters. Toko runs to save her father, without realizing that she is also a target. Orochi and his forces have so far done a number of terrible things, however, killing even a minor character will take there cruelty on step further.

Mt. Atama is set on fire surprisingly by Kin’emon and Inuarashi. Attempting to get Ashura Doji (Shutenmaru) to join the fray. The failure so far of the plans of Oden’s allies has resulted in Kin’emon becoming desperate. However, as terrible his arson is, it has the desired effect. Shutenmaru and his men conclude that Holdem is responsible, then they head to Bakura Town to get revenge.

Yasuie’s pending execution is shaping up to be a major catalyst in this arc. He may welcome it with a smile but it doesn’t appear that the people do. Having spent years doing good regardless of the person, he has earned a great deal of good will. If they did kill him it would almost certainly result in some sort of revolt. Orochi and his allies have consistently increased the animosity that the people have for them. With the Strawhat’s and allies interference the people have become more embolden when given some sense of kindness. Also, old allies of Oden are slowly being reactivated.

As I have stated before, I think keeping the traitors all together will make freeing them easier, largely because the Strawhat’s don’t have to go looking for them. In addition to that, at the prison we have even more Oden allies. My best prediction is that Tonoyasu is killed, resulting in the Oden allies starting the conflict. Finally, with Luffy and Hyo eating all the o-shiruko, Big Mom will probably destroy everything.

One Piece Chapter 940: Recap & Review

Chapter 940, The Spark of Rebellion

We learn some interesting facts. First, Law has left the Strawhat’s and Ebisu Town to save his crewmates. He was offended by the “doubt” that Shinobu had. Law now has a lack of trust now. The question is does this only apply to Shinobu or all the Strawhat’s. My best guess is that it doesn’t apply to the Strawhat’s or a least not Luffy. The reveal that Komurasaki swindled three men seem pointless other than showing how they scammed civilians. Regardless, this will probably matter later.

Meanwhile, Luffy and Hyo continue to fight in the ring. He’s largely unbothered by the opponents so he is focusing primarily on learn the new haki technique. So far he hasn’t made any progress. Hyo informs Luffy that it’s called “Ryuo” which means “flows.” Hyo tries to explain the subtly in learning the technique. There’s no way that Luffy will learn that way. Nuance is not Luffy’s thing. I like that Luffy announces that he plan’s on defeat all the Yonko’s. However, Shanks is one of them.

Does that mean that Luffy will fight him? Or is that an error on Oda’s part? Beating the Yonko doesn’t require killing them so it may not be a big deal. Of course that’s a long way away considering that Luffy is 0-2 against the two Yonko he’s faced so far, Big Mom and Kaido. In addition to that, Blackbeard has two devil fruits and his crew is going to be difficult to beat. This arc continues to build the number of former allies of Oden that are primed to aid his children and get revenge on Orochi. Finally, Big Mom and Chopper arrive. This arc’s going to get epic.

One Piece Chapter 939 – An Old Leopard Knows The Way

Zoro meets Hiyori, Momonosuke’s sister

Hiyori reveals that she’s the sister of Momonosuke, understandably shocking Zoro. She says that she “remembers the death of her parents and disappearance of her brother 20 years ago.” However, she didn’t didn’t believe her brother when he promised that he would return. When Zoro asks her why she didn’t come to the future as well, she tells him that “it was to ensure the Kozuki Family’s bloodline would survive if the plan did not go right.” Zoro mentions to her that so far they have meet six of the nine “Red Scabbards.” She tells him that the other 3 are, Kawamatsu, Denjiro, and Ashura Doji.

Kozuki allies imprisoned

Orochi’s forces have manage to capture many of the allies of the Kozuki family. They are mocked by Fukurokuju for their stupidity for tattooing the crescent moon on their bodies. I have too agree that the tattoos are incredibly dumb thing to do. However, by putting all of them in a single prison and broadcasting it to the town they actually make it easier for the rest of the Strawhat’s and Heart pirates find and rescue them.

Luffy tries to learn a new form of Haki

At the Udon prisoner’s mine, Luffy and Hyo face off against gifters Madilloman and Alpacaman. Luffy tells Hyo how to move and Hyo is able to avoid the attacks from Alpacaman. Luffy easily dodges attacks from Madilloman, while trying to use the form of Haki that allows the user to emit haki like a force of air. Hyo identifies the technique as “Goken.” He then uses it on Alpacaman, knocking him out. He offers to teach Luffy, who’s eager to learn. I still believe that Big Mom will fight Queen, but if Luffy keeps getting stronger she may not need to. While, Luffy can be an airhead, he’s an expert at battle. Like most shonen anime he will quickly learn what Hyo teaches him.

My Hero Academia Chapter 224 Review – Second Coming Festival

My Hero Academia focusing on the development of villains like they are heroes has been a notable difference from other shonen series. Most of the time all the villains are already mature adults. They certainly don’t get full arc to themselves. The “Meta Liberation Army Arc,” follows the “Joint training Arc,” where we saw the young heroes from Class A and B training together. Kohei’s also uses this opportunity to introduce and expand on the lesser know members of Class B.

The MLA Arc seems likely to do the same for the “League of Villains.” While, I feel that the introduction of the Liberation Army means more characters to remember, the conflict between villain groups is interesting. Their rivalry will likely mirror the one between Class A and B, but with far more casualties. We have already learned that the main antagonist, Tomura Shigaraki, accidentally killed his entire family. His “Decay” quirk appears to be involuntary. We also learn the creepy truth, that all the hands he wears are actually the remains of his family.

The Meta Liberation Army has it in for the League of Villains. According to their leader, ReDestro, the League of Villains are a threat to his fathers mission and must be destroyed. They have amassed a massive army of over 100,000 soldiers. The League of Villains is significantly smaller, with many of their strongest members being arrested. Regardless, the arc acts as a training one for them. Tomura in particular seems to need the training the most. All For One handed him the League he didn’t need to fight for his position. I will expect that he will emerge a far more fordable villain.

That said the villains have been shown to have more camaraderie than I would have expected. While, the villains attack each other, they actually care about their teammates. Giran, the underworld broker, had been kidnapped by the MLA and had his figures severed to get the League of Villains attention. Normally this wouldn’t matter to villains, but to see that they care like heroes would is refreshing. Chapter 224, is largely a setup for the Superpower Liberation Army’s Second Coming Festival. I expect it to be similar to the U.A. Sports Festival, but far more violent.


One Piece Chapter 936 Review – The Great Sumo Inferno

Raizo and Kawamatsu

Raizo is surprised that Kawamatsu is still alive. A former follower of Kozuki Oden, he was imprisoned in Udon. Kin’emon considers him , along with Denjiro and Ashura Doji as one of the most powerful followers of Oden. He clearly has high endurance, as he has been forced to eat poisonous fish for 13 years without dying or getting ill. So far one of the central themes of this arc is time travel. I think its both in the literal since (Toki had time travel abilities) and more figurative, when finding characters from the past. Raizo plans to free Kawamatsu, but is interrupted by guards. He disappears in a smoke bomb.

Luffy and Hyogoro, Sumo tag team

Queen happily talks about executing, Hyo and Luffy. He reveals his event, “Queen’s Contraception Concert: Sumo Inferno” that excites the guards. Luffy and Hyo are fitted with collars that will decapitate them if they fall outside the ring. Queen then informs them that “the pair of them will be fighting a series of sumo matches.” However, if he joined with Kaido’s crew he could go free. Kiado has made used this sort of coercion to great effect. It was never going to work on Luffy, but it has worked on others. In theory he could pretend that to join Kiado and simply escape. Regardless, Luffy is excited to fight in the ring and now that he doesn’t have the seastone cuffs on it will be easy. When the fighting starts, Luffy uses Haki to knock them out.

The raid at the bathhouse

Drake and Hawkins have raided the bathhouse in the Flower Capital. Drake is on a mission to kill Soba Mask. Hawkins demands that all the bathers show their ankles so he could see if they have a crescent moon tattoo. The fan service in this series has increased during this arc. Time will tell if this is limited to the arc or Oda is signalling that he is going to go for fan service more later. Regardless, Nami takes out several patrons, Sanji and Drake when faint from nosebleeds when she drops her towel. Nami, Robin, Sanji and Shinobu escape. Finally, Zoro confronts a large swordsmen who took his sword. Zoro says he intends to take the weapons from him. The two begin to battle.

One Piece Chapter 934 Review – Hyogoro of the Flower

The Big Mom Pirates debate what to do. Perospero notes that Big Mom must still be alive because of her Vivre card. They assume that Kaido and his crew has taken her captive. Smoothie states that it’s unlikely to be true for their mother. In the Kuri Wastelands, Big Mom heads to Udon on a “crocoturtle that she tamed with two punches.” Big Mom seems to have lost just her memories of who she is, but not her power and her willingness to use it. Still hungry, Big Mom asks were Udon is located.

Nami, Robin, Brook, Shinobu, and Kanjuro discuss the events at Orochi’s palace. Robin says that she is “ashamed,” to have gained so little information. She then rattles off a large lists of information she did uncovered. Most importantly, Brook reveals that he found a poneglyph in the basement of the palace. However, He wasn’t able to write it down. Robin concludes that the poneglyph is at Kaido’s headquarters in Onigashuma.

Meanwhile, Sanji, Usopp, Franky, and Law are in the Flower Capital, the citizens mourn the death of Komurasaki’s. The Smart Den Den Mushi, the “smartsnail” is introduced. We learn that Kid has escaped from Udon’s prison. At the prison, Luffy is harassed by Gaoler Alpacaman who grossly spits on Luffy as he speaks. It’s unlikely that Kid escaped, as he didn’t remove his seastone handcuffs. Grandpa Hyo is assaulted by the guards, he refuse to give up his kibi dango.

Hyo reveals himself to be Hyogoro of the Flower. Luffy’s actions reminded him of ” the old days when noble men lived in Wano,” and he is now “willing to die with this fulfillment.” When Luffy sees him being attacked, he predictably charges at the guards. As he does so, Queen arrives, commenting on the noise. My first though regarding Queen’s arrival was that he and Big Mom are going to fight. We haven’t witness Big Mom fight in a full battle. I think this could be an opportunity for us to see what she’s capable of. It appears that the Strawhat’s are going to meet at the bathhouse.

I’m a little tired of the Strawhat’s being separated. I look forward to seeing them together again. This is the second so can impenetrable prison that Luffy has found himself trapped in. He will likely escape in the same way that he did in Impel Down, by inspiring the other prisoners to riot. This would probably lead to him having more support than he would normally. Also, apparently Page One wasn’t difficult for Sanji.