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Misc

Why I’m excited for The God of High School Anime

The God of Highschool Promotional art

I have recently finished Megalo Box and gotten into martial arts anime, Baki, and Kengan Ashura on Netflix. I’ve always enjoyed anime with fighting like Dragon BallYu Yu Hakusho, and Naruto. However, these series featured martial arts as part of a larger story they didn’t center around a tournament. Anime like Baki is considered to be sports anime. For the sake of this post, I will refer to them as martial arts anime. What separates the typical shonen series from martial arts anime is the level of analysis of fighting. You can find this during any shonen tournament arc, however, the martial arts anime take it to a whole new level. 

Another difference is how powerful an average fighter is. Most martial arts anime keep things inside the ring. Later in the series, many shonen characters become so powerful that they couldn’t reasonably fight within a tournament psychical limits anymore, Dragon Ball Super tournament being an exception. BakiMegalo Box, and Kengan Ashura are more than hyper-violent men brutalizing each other. All fighters have a backstory that tells the audience why they fight. Kengan Ashura, in particular, goes into where the style of each fighter comes from, and how that style functions. Each character has an arc to various levels of interest. 

Regardless, my new found love of martial arts anime has set the table for the upcoming, The God of High School. Based on the manhwa of the same name, The God of High School is a series that follows Jin Mori and his friends as they compete in a tournament. The fighters borrow powers from the Gods and use a variety of fighting styles and weapons. It’s unclear whether the series will share the same type of detail as the other series, but I hope it will. I expect the series to focus on the fighters as people and warriors. Produced by MAPPA, the animation is stellar, and I can’t wait until July 6th. 


The God of Highschool begins July 6th

One Piece Chapter 982: Recap and Review

Misc

Attack on Titan, Jujutsu Kaisen and Fire Force Trailers

Promo for Attack on Titan season 4
Promo for Attack on Titan season 4

Fire Force Season 2 trailer

It feels like the first season of Fire Force just ended. Regardless, the second season of Fire Force will start this year in July. A child with the Adolla Bursts will be born, pitting the 8th Company and the followers of Evangelist against each other. Season 2 will introduce new characters such as Ogun Montgomery, a friend of Shinra, and Arthur, he’s currently a member of Company 4. I cooled on the series after about half the first season, but the trailer seems to offer more than the first. I’m hoping it won’t be underwhelming.

The dynamic of the Fire Force and the Evangelist battling over the “Pillar” is what most interests me. What’s the child’s story? Will it be a tragic one like Shinra’s? The animation is still top-notch so I think I’ll give it another shot.


Jujutsu Kaisen Season 1 trailer

Jujutsu Kaisen is a manga series that I heard little about. A series illustrated and written by Gege Akutami, in its 11th volume. Jujutsu Kaisen follows the story of Yuji Itadori, a high school student that joins the Occult Research Club. Yuji’s grandfather is on his deathbed, but before he dies he instills two messages in Yuji “always help people” and “die surrounded by a crowd”. Yuji, however, understands this message as everyone deserves a “proper death.”

He learns that he made contact with a “high grade cursed charm talisman” its a rotting finger that his friends in the Occult Club unseal. The finger attracts evil creatures that prey on evil emotions. Desperate without magical power, Yuji decides to swallow the finger, becoming the host for a creature named Sukuna. Despite his possession, Yuji can keep control of his body. However, all sorcerers are required to exorcise Sukuna (and Yuji). Satoru Gojo, a teacher of Tokyo Metropolitan Magic Technical College plans to postpone Yuji’s death “until he consumes all of Sukuna’s fingers, allowing them to kill him once and for all.”

This series sounds interesting and weird. I’ll give it a shot, the first season begins in October 2020.


Attack on Titan Season 4 trailer

Last week the trailer for the fourth and final season of Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) was released and it was glorious. The final season of the acclaimed series will be produced by a new studio, with MAPPA (Dorohedoro, Yuri on Ice) replacing WIT studio. Yuchiro Hayashi (Dorohedoro) will be directing, while Hiroshi Seko (Ajin, Vinland Saga, Mob Psycho 100) and AOT season 1-3 scriptwriter, will oversee scripts. If anyone had doubts about whether a new studio will do right by the series, the trailer should ease that fear. The final season seems to start after a time skip, with many of the characters having a change in appearance.

The trailer opens with an unknown character who appears to be the sole survivor of conflict during war. We get glimpses of some of the characters we know like Reiner, Mikasa, and Eren. They’re noticeably older and seemed to be hardened by war. On the titan front, we see Eren and Reiner’s form, in addition to two new titans, one that resembles a lion and another that looks like the silver surfer. The trailer effectively portrays the chaos of war, while, pointing to mysteries that the series still holds. MAPPA makes good use of the music that the series is known for, as well as dynamic imagery. If this doesn’t get you excited for the final season I don’t know what will.

Samurai 8’s failure, Burn the Witch, and an argument for a Bleach sequel

Misc

Favorite One Piece Characters, The God of High School and Why Black Clover is the best

The Strawhat Crew

Who’s your favorite One Piece character?

In early April, Rose over at Wretched and Divine listed her favorite One Piece characters. The majority of her list won’t be surprised by the Luffy, Zoro, Ace, Law, and Usopp making the lists. What might surprise you is that a number of villains make the cut. Personally, I disagree with her choice of Buggy. I find him to be so annoying and constantly falling ass-backward into success is getting old. Rose acknowledges that characters like Caesar Clown aren’t “good” but she likes his laugh. You guys should check it out.

My favorite One Piece character is Whitebeard.

The God of High School

I have been taking a break from episode reviews this season (except now I will review Tower of God), but the summer season is coming up in July. Fire Force and Haikyuu!: To the Top will return at some point in the season, but the new series I’m interested in is The God of High School. I appear that Crunchyroll has decided to use manhwa as source material for “original” anime. With Tower of God seemingly a hit, I think the God of High School could be the next one.

Based on the web manhwa by Yongje Park, the series focuses on Jin Mo-Ri a martial artist from Seoul, Korea. He’s invited to join a Martial Arts tournament called “The God of High School” sponsored by a shady corporation (aren’t they all). The prize, a wish-fulfillment by the corporation. Participants fight utilizing what is called “Borrowed Power.” This power is “mystical energy granted by supernatural entities.” The trailer alone got me excited and I rarely watch martial arts anime. I’m excited for this series.

Should I finally give Black Clover another chance

Years ago I decided to start watching Black Clover. I didn’t like it. The animation was fine, but having just read the ending of Fairy Tale, the series felt derivative. Asta isn’t that different from Naruto, Natsu, and the Goku’s of the anime world. Dreager1 believes that “Black Clover was mixing together a lot of ideas from older titles like Naruto and giving them a new spin. Make no mistake though, Black Clover had a great start right from the jump.”

I’ve been considering getting back into the series, but not sure I should read the manga or watch the anime. That said I have seen many of the fights in the anime and enjoyed them. One draw that I think is pulling me is Noelle. While anime is better with female characters, it could still be better. According to Dreager1, “Clover still stands on its own though by giving Noelle quite a few super forms keeping her in league with Yuno and Asta.” While like most anime she apparently is still weaker than her male counterparts, it seems like she pulls her own.

Burn the Witch: Tite Kubo manga one shot review

Misc

Is Tower of God Good?

Headon and Bam at the first test of the tower, in episode 1 of Tower of God.
Headon and Bam at the first test of the tower

Tower of God is a South Korean web manhwa written and drawn by Lee Jong-hui. Lee goes by the pen name S.I.U. (“Slave In Utero”). As of February 2020, Tower of God has been viewed over 4 billion times worldwide. Serialized by Naver Webtoon since June 30, 2010, the series has produced over 400 chapters. On April 1st, 2020, the Tower of God anime adaptation was released (episode 4 was the most current). The story centers around Twenty-Fifth Bam. Trapped with his friend Rachel underneath the mysterious Tower, he follows her into the Tower. Bam encounters challenges on each floor of the Tower as he searches for Rachel. 

Generally, I only read Japanese manga and American comics so I can’t comment on too much on manhwa. For those who may not know, manhwa is the Korean term for comics, it was popularized back in the 1920s. Manhwa was influenced by manga. Manhwa artists and writers are called manhwaga. With the digital manhwa gaining popularity, webtoons have increased in popularity. Webtoons originated in South Korea, each episode is published in one long vertical strip, they are mostly in color, and may feature music or animation. 

Is Tower of God Good though?

Based on reading only two chapters 475 and 476, I’m not sure. First I don’t like the art style, I’ve seen worst but it’s not very impressive to me. The coloring isn’t great and I don’t like the vertical panels. Since manhwa separates them it makes each panel feel disjointed. It’s really hard to follow the action that way. Admittedly, I’m an art and animation snob. However, the art style doesn’t mean the story is poor. This is where I the most ignorant. Glancing at two random chapters does nothing to tell me about the quality of the story. 

As I mentioned the anime adaptation of Tower of God was released at the beginning of this month, having released 4 episodes. When I first watched episode 1, I was underwhelmed. I didn’t think anything was bad, just mediocre. While on twitter I saw some animation from the fourth episode and thought I should rewatch the series. I’m glad I did. Tower of God gets better after the first episode. It doesn’t recreate the mold, at least not yet, but is interesting regardless. So far Bam, the main character, isn’t all that interesting, Rak is the typical mindless fighter type. Khun, on the other hand, is more complex. 

Should I watch the Tower of God anime?

I would highly recommend the anime over the manhwa. The animation style might take some getting used to but it’s consistent and fluid. I like the character designs and the action is good. The worldbuilding so far is intriguing. What are the 13 Month Series? What was the betrayal that caused Khun to be abandoned by his family? Why does Bam have no memory? Is Rachel as terrible as she seems? Right now I can only say the Tower of God is good, with the potential to be great. 


Misc

Samurai 8’s failure, Burn the Witch, and an argument for a Bleach sequel

Emperor Carnage discusses why he thinks Samurai 8 failed. Personally, I liked what I saw from the series. However, I must admit that I hadn’t read a chapter since I reviewed the Volume One last year. I guess with “fans” like me the series was doomed. I have every intention of completing and reviewing the series. I just have to decide if I will review each remaining volume or the entire series.

the main selling point of the series was “A new series from the creator of Naruto!” Naruto was a MASSIVE series for Shonen Jump; they were probably expected a similar reception. Especially sense their biggest series, One Piece, is setting up its endgame. For all the joke, I think the flashback is enough proof: One Piece only has a few more years left in it. Shonen Jump needs something to be just as popular to fill the void. “Samurai 8” just couldn’t do it.

Emperor Carnage
A Battle scene from Samurai 8
A Battle scene from Samurai 8

Dreager1 finally gets around to reviewing Burn the Witch. Tite Kubo’s One-Shot has gotten a manga series and anime. Dreager1 doesn’t respond well to one of the characters, Balgo. Who I agree is really annoying.

Balgo is really my main problem with the series. Every scene with him is pretty brutal. He’s only got Noel on his mind and only in a very superficial way. While this is supposed to be comedic it definitely falls short of that and becomes irritating almost instantly. There is just no way you can root for the guy or even feel bad for him. The dynamic that the series is going for completely falls flat and it will heavily limit Burn The Witch’s potential. I’m hoping that he will ultimately get written out and was just made up for the opening pilot. They’ve gotta get rid of him.

Dreager1

Finally, JCR Comics Art discusses whether Bleach should get a direct sequel on top of a spin-off (Burn the Witch) and the anime of the final arc. While it seems that Boruto is doing well, I’m personally don’t think sequels (especially future generations) work well. I have my problems with the way Bleach ended, so I agree that the characters didn’t get satisfying endings.

One of the biggest complaints for the finale of Bleach was that a lot of characters not only didn’t get a proper ending, and there were QUITE A FEW characters in the roster of Soul Society, but also, several characters weren’t revealed to have lived or died in the final battle! While the sequel doesn’t necessarily need to be a full blown series, perhaps it could be an installment that simply ties a bow on the characters that we all grew to know during Beach’s time as one of the most popular Shonen series around!

JCR