In the last episodes review I predicted that Taiju would release Shishio Tsukasa and that it was a bad idea. Turns out I was right. While Shishio is clearly helpful, his world view is dangerous. At the start of this episode, Senku finally frees on of the stone sparrows. He leaves the decision on who will be freed to Taiju, who of course chooses Yuzuriha. Before they can free her, they’re chased by a pride of hungry lions. Desperate, they decided to free Shishio. In a spectacular show of force, Shishio kills the male lion forcing the other to flee. I was wrong about the dynamic between the brains and the brawn.
When running from the lions, Taiju offers to sacrifice himself for Senku. Assuming that humanity can survive with “just” a smart human like Senku. Senku explains that they need each other and that Taiju’s is valued for his “fitness” not his fighting ability. This is were Shishio comes in. They dynamic between brain and brawn is complicated by as Taiju puts it “brains, brawn and brute force.” Senku notes that in a “world without guns” Shishio would be unstoppable. His strength comes with upsides of course, He’s able to hunt boar, birds and fish for them.
Senku suggest that the first step towards rebuilding civilization lies in “calcium carbonate.” It’s the stuff they use for chalk in sports. However they have several uses. Once you create the powder they can be used for agriculture, construction and soap. Senku initially states that their are “four” uses for calcium carbonate but after talking to Shishio he lies and says that he only stated that their was three. The trust between Senku and Shishio isn’t there. I think they both see the other as a threat. Shishio kills a man by decapitating his stone body because the man abused him.
He presents a question to Senku. Should we try to return to the “old world.” He sees the young as “pure,” and thinks that the older people are “tainted” and would only ruin the “paradise.” Senku disagrees, suggesting that he intends to free everyone. I disagree with Senku here. If you bring back the adults they won’t want to listen to a “child,” no matter how smart they are. They need to be more selective. The problem is how do any of them know what someone’s like? Shishio seems to assume that all young people are pure is that really true? He’s young, yet he had no trouble killing a man. How’s that pure? Regardless, the conflict has been set up. Brain verses brute force.
Enen no Shouboutai (Fire Force) is an anime based on the manga series of the same name. From what I can tell the reception for the manga was lukewarm. However, I can’t imagine that this anime will be received in such a way. I’ll keep it simple. This series checks every one of my needs for an anime. Interesting story, interesting characters, great action and most importantly (for me anyway) amazing animation. The art style, the sound (I rarely notice sound) are all impeccable. Basically, I LOVE THIS SERIES.
While I’m familiar with the initial story arc, seeing it animated was great. Shinra Kusakabe joins the 8th Special Fire force. He dreams of being a hero, but is view as being a “devil.” This is due to an accident that resulted in the death of his brother and mother. Shinra has unfortunately developed a weird smiling tick. I makes him look creepy and evil. What separate Shinra from other shonen protagonists is that he’s not considered “good” by society (a least not yet) and he doesn’t appear to have to learn his power. While, I believe that he will continue to learn new abilities, but the tutorial phase was skipped.
The current team of the Fire Force consists of five members (including Shinra), Oubi Akitaru, Sister Iris, Oze Maki, and Hinawa Takehisa. So far it seems that Sister Iris “just” prays for the Infernals. It doesn’t appear to have any real effect and she seems like she’s in the way to be honest. Oze Maki is my favorite so far, but I would like to learn more about her ability. It seems like she has some nullifying power, but there’s probably more to it. I don’t like Hinawa at all, he’s just rude. Regardless, I could go on and on about this series. I’m excited for what this series has to offer in the next 23 episodes.
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.
The final episode of Dororo begins with Tahomaru and Hyakkimaru continuing their battle among the blaze of Daigo castle. Both lay claims to the castle and their mother. As Oku head into the hidden passage to the castle, she asks Dororo to stay by her son side like she always had. Oku and Jukai meet as the brothers continues their brutal battle. Hyakkimaru finally gets the upper hand and decides not to kill Tahomaru because “they are both human.” Tahomaru concedes that he “lost.”
However, the demon takes control over Tahomaru. He removes the eyes which then return to Hyakkimaru when he defeats the demon beneath the floor. Oku apologizes to both her sons, she decides to stay with Tahomaru as he dies in her arms. Daigo hears the news from the castle and continues his war effort. The final demon statue crumbles as well. Dororo decides that she’s going to use the money to help the people build up their own country. Hyakkimaru finally meets his father in the Hall of Hell. Daigo has learn nothing, suggesting that if he must he will simply feed “another human” to the demons. This includes Hyakkimaru as well.
His only regret is that he left Hyakkimaru to a midwife, instead of strangling him. Hyakkimaru refrains from killing his father, instead telling him that he “better not become a demon.” Daigo wonders if he hadn’t struck a deal with a demon, Hyakkimaru may have had the strength to save the land. Hyakkimaru leaves Dororo behind looking to find himself. The ending wasn’t to clear to me, but it does show that Dororo grows up and appears to meet Hyakkimaru in the golden rice fields. Regardless, the series ending was bitter sweet.
Overall, this series was well worth it. While some of the animation was poorly rendered the story of tragedy and triumph was the most important part of this series. The theme of the importance of a individual or larger society is never clearly concluded. However, Dororo deciding to help the people build their own society suggest that a compromise is possible, each individual can contribute to the success of their society. The anime series does change some things from the manga. Instead of 48 demons, Hyakkimaru has to fight 12. Jukai’s story is expanded upon, and many of the events, detail and tone are change. Dororo is a good , albeit a darker adaptation.
Lupin and the gang is back this time they have a more modern world to deal with. In the premier episode Lupin aims to steal digital currency from “Marco Polo,” an online store on the “dark web.” I seems simpler to steal online currency from criminals that to rob a bank in person. Together Lupin and Daisuke Jigen break into the underwater tower to find Ami, who created the payment system for Marco Polo. When they arrive Lupin disguises himself as her “father”. However, this fails as he mispronounces her name and she shoots at him with a gun.
Ami uses her gear to transmit intruder data to security. The security head down to save her. Jigen uses his knowledge of guns to determine that she only has one bullet left. Lupin approaches her with his hands up claiming to be a “prophet.” As Jigen holds of the security, Lupin gets close to Ami. She pulls the trigger, but doesn’t have any bullets remaining. Turns out that while pretending to be her father, when Lupin hugged her he took one bullet out of her gun’s clip. While, I found the trick to be clever it seems far-fetch to me. Furthermore, why only steal one bullet and not two?
Anyway, Lupin introduces himself, and notes that he’s a great thief. Ami asks if he can steal anything? She wants him to “steal her” as she is trapped by “invisible chains,” in exchange she will help him steal from Marco Polo. Surprisingly, Goemon is hidden among the security and takes them out. Ami manages to steal what looks like billions in digital currency (it was clear how much the digital currency was worth). In a typical move from Lupin he lets the “dark web” know that he was responsible for the thief. Anyway, while in a hideout they’re surrounded by Zenigata and his men.
Having pissed of the “dark web” a new online game was created, “Arrest Lupin III.” They are chased by police the following morning, ending with Lupin driving their car into the water. With the Lupin game going viral, his every move is being watched and broadcast worldwide. Clearly, this is suppose to be both a commentary on the dangers of losing one’s privacy due to surveillance and the internet. In addition to that how does a thief that needs to escape from time to time and avoid detection in this new tech driven world. Stealing money has never been easier with tech. but so is being followed. It’s going to be interesting how Lupin manages to survive this new obstacle. Overall, Lupin the third (P5) is clever, funny and well animated. I look forward to watching this season.
The Diago villages begin suffer from what Tahomaru believes is the result of demons being upset that Hyakkimaru is alive. Diago realizes that his deal with the demons must have been revoked and the prosperity he received is now over. Hyakkimaru and Dororo meet Saburota that is hunting a demon that ate his mother. A massive Nue appears, but when Hyakkimaru tries to fight it he’s interrupted by Saburota. He claims that he now likes to feed travelers to the demon. This is yet another human that has sided with demons. I wonder if this is a coincidence or part of a larger them.
Dodging the demon both Hyakkimaru and Dororo fall of the cliff. Dororo gets her arm stuck and Hyakkimaru struggles to free her. Water begins to rise almost drowning Dororo. Hyakkimaru panics and begins to smash his head against the rocks. Biwa-Hoshi arrives and swiftly saves Dororo, breaking his sword in the process. The inability to save Dororo due to his prosthetic arms seems to cause him to become desperate for his real body. He runs to find Saburota and Nue. He fights the Nue. It becomes desperate as Hyakkimaru dominates it cutting the head of the Nue in half. The Nue eats Saburota.
It gains wings and attacks Hyakkimaru. Dororo arrives later to find the Nue cut into pieces. Saburota sees the spirit of Hyakkimaru and notes that he’s not “human.” After failing to get his limbs back, Hyakkimaru becomes enraged. Unfortunately, it seems that Hyakkimaru is destined to go off the deep end. It’s still not clear why killing demons doesn’t result in receiving a limb automatically. However, I have a hunch that if he kills a demon for the sake of killing he won’t receive a limb but if he does it save someone he will. Regardless, it seems like this might end badly for Hyakkimaru.
Episode 21, The Story of Breaking the Cycle of Suffering
Hyakkimaru is for Daigo’s territory determined to get his body back. Dororo is sad to see how single minded he has become. A villager notices him and Dororo and informs Daigo. Villagers are becoming ill and are burned to death. Young men that are able, are forced to join the army. Horses including a nursing horse named Midoro are requisitioned. Tahomaru decides that he, together with Mutsu and Hyogo will go find and kill Hyakkimaru.
They find Dororo and Hyakkimaru at a ravine that’s filled with dead bodies. Tahomaru and his men attack Hyakkimaru. Dororo doesn’t want him to fight his brother. He takes on all three and manages to cut Mutsu’s arm off. Dororo begins to cry as Hyakkimaru fights against his brother. The fight is interrupted by Kagemitsu men. The leader riding on Midoro sends the horse to crash into Hyakkimaru and kills it by blowing it up. Hyakkimaru is knocked into the ravine. Dororo is captured. Hyakkimaru survives the fall and the horse becomes possessed by a demon, becoming a flaming horse.
One weird thing that happened in this episode is when Hyakkimaru looks at his brother, Mutsu and Hyogo their spirit are pure white. They are trying to kill Hyakkimaru but for the good of the people in the territory. I’m assuming that intent is important in determining what’s in someone heart. I don’t like that Dororo seems to be on the side of Tahomaru, when he keeps trying to kill Hyakkimaru. Granted Dororo is a child so maybe she being immature. However, the series has set Hyakkimaru to be the accidental villain. We’ll see. The series is clearly playing around with what makes someone evil or not.
Nezuko finally gets a chance to shine as she fights one of the demons. More importantly she proves that she can be trusted to defend humans without Tanjiro. Nezuko shows a lot of power but because she lacks experience is highly predictable in a fight. Tanjiro defeats the two demons in the swamp with his Water Style Whirlpool. Tanjiro then rescues Nezuko when the last remaining demon overwhelms her. When he asks the demon “what he knows about Muzan Kibutsuji,” the demon lunges at Tanjiro forcing Tanjiro to kill him.
Tanjiro leaves as he promises to defeat Kibutsuji for killing so many people. A Kaugai crow arrives and give Tanjiro his next mission at Asakusa, Tokyo. Tanjiro arrives in Tokyo and is quickly overwhelmed by the size of the city. He takes a break in a park. While there he catches the scent of Kibutsuji and gives chase. He tracks Kibutsuji down and grabs his shoulder. To his surprise, Kibutsuji is holding a little girl that calls him “daddy.” The mother of the child soon arrives later. While Kibutsuji pretends not to know anything about Tanjiro, he does turn a man walking by to a demon.
Episode 8, The Smell of Enchanting Blood
Episode 8 picks up right we episode 7 left off. The newly demonic bystander bites his wife in the shoulder. Tanjiro springs into action holding the man down. Kibutsuji leaves with his family. The police soon arrives and get in the way. A demon named Tamayo uses her Blood Art spell on the police. She takes notes of Tanjiro humanizing the new demon and his desire to “save” him. Tanjiro notices that they’re demons, which Tamayo admits to. She states that she a doctor and she would like to kill Kibutsuji.
Meanwhile, Kibutsuji sends his family home and head to find Tanjiro. He encounters a drunk in an alley way. The man suggests that Kibutsuji is sick because of his pale skin. This seems to trigger him as he kills the drunk by knocking him into a wall. He then kill the man’s large brother and the woman with them. He sticks his finger in her forehead, injecting her with his blood resulting in her exploding. As a first encounter with the main villain (I’m assuming) it’s quite an introduction. Kibutsuji seems to see himself as superior to humans. He instantly reminded me of Meruem from Hunter x Hunter.
He summons 2 demons to “bring him the head” of Tanjiro. Tanjiro arrives at the home of Tamayo. He and Yushiro quickly establish a relationship typical of the main protagonists and his rival, much like how Midoriya and Bakugo’s (My Hero Academia) relationship works. Anyway, Tamayo tells him that she has saved the wife but the husband needed to be locked in the basement. She lacks the blood lust typical of demons because she has “modified herself,” and removed the Kibutsuji curse.
After some talking she tells Tanjiro that she hopes to find a way to turn demons back into humans. In order to do so she needs two things. Permission to study Nezuko’s blood and bring blood from powerful demons to study. As Tanjiro agrees, the two demons that Kibutsuji sent attack. It was always going to be a way to return a demon back to a human. Tamayo doesn’t seem to have an answer yet, but I don’t think it’s going to be as simple as demon blood. Another potential problem is how the organization that Tanjiro belongs to will react to him working with a demon. I anticipate that he may have a falling out with the Corps as he tries to help his sister. As a villain I love Kibutsuji and he’s terrible. The next episode will hopefully show how strong Yushiro is.
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.
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.
Shiranui calls Jiromaru to “eat all their enemies.” It then consumes the corpse of Saburomaru becoming a grotesque white shark that can move on land. It quickly tries to eat Dororo, who’s saved by Hyakkimaru. He slays Jiromaru and tells Dororo that he “came for her.” Hyakkimaru leg grows back (which of course means that it wasn’t necessary to get an new artificial one in episode 17). Meanwhile, Itachi finds the cave. Two men enter and are blown up for their efforts. Tahomaru arrives with a fleet and he orders his men to “leave no one alive.”
Itachi’s men are attacked and killed by Tahomaru and his men. Hyakkimaru faces off against Tahomaru, Mutsu and Hyogo. Dororo and Itachi are attacked by Tahomaru’s men. Itachi is riddled with arrows, while Hyakkimaru is overwhelmed fighting 3 against 1, he and Tahomaru clash. Shiranui decides he’s going to blow up the mountain top killing everyone and himself. He fails to accomplish this. Hyogo gets injured and Itachi dies in the cave with the treasure. Dororo decides to leave the treasure there. He and Hyakkimaru leave the island together.
Episode 19, The Story of the Amanojaku
This episode was largely just filler. Hyakkimaru and Dororo looks for a swordsmith to repair his prosthetics sword arms. For some reason the townspeople tell them that Munetsuna is a bad swordsmith and his daughter Okowa is ugly. A amanojaku (demon) uses it’s power to cast a spell on Hyakkimaru resulting in him saying the opposite of what he means. As a result he ends his journey, an decides to marry Okowa. Dororo releases that everyone in the village says the opposite of what they mean. If he wears one of the masks from Munetsuna wall they are able to tell the truth. Eventually the demon is resealed by Munetsuna and Hyakkimaru gets his new sword. This episode is largely a waste of time, but I guess Hyakkimaru needed his swords back.