As we barrel towards this war between the two alliances, the action starts to intensify. Brooke runs Big Mom over with a bike pissing her off. At this point, the animosity between Big Mom and the Strawhats couldn’t get worse. Yamato meets Shinobu and Monomosuke. Franky introduces himself to Big Mom, showing no fear of the Yonko. He charges his Radical Beam, aiming for Big Mom. Franky is one of the most powerful Strawhat members, however, he isn’t used that often. Nami, who possesses far less power, seems more present. This is likely due to a bias on Oda’s part, which is unfortunate.
Anyway, the Numbers make an appearance. One of them is holding the robot that Chopper and Usopp are in. Franky quickly changes his target hitting one of the Numbers with his Radical Beam. Sensing an opportunity, Big Mom attacks Franky. However, Jinbei uses Fishman Karate: Whirling Tides Throw, and Robin use Mille Fleurs: Delphinium to roll her away. Meanwhile, Queen witnesses Luffy and Zoro heading towards Kiado. Transforming into his Brachiosaurus form he stops the duo from progressing. Luffy and Zoro notice that the skies are filled with flying Beast Pirates. Regardless, the Strawhat’s join together once again, as Luffy prepares to “kick Kaido’s ass,” as his crew “handles the rest.”
I’m getting more and more excited for this arc. A lot is going on, so Oda must set everything up. The previous chapter showed the Minks transforming into their Sulong moonlight. It’s going to take some effort on Oda’s part to balance the numerous fights that occur at once. Based on the pass I fully expect him to succeed.
Mori rushes to find his grandfather. The tournament has reached the quarterfinal stage. However, with Daewi suspended and Mori missing, they’re in trouble. Judge P tells Mira and Daewi that the match will begin in five minutes and if Mori doesn’t show, they forfeit. Mira opens against Lee Marin, a dark-skinned bald guy that fights in a thong. Elsewhere, Mori reaches the abandoned warehouse, where he locates his grandfather. Meanwhile, Mira struggles to land direct hits on Marin, due to the later being covered in tanning oil. Marin attempts to suplex Mira, but she stops him by striking him in the stomach. Suddenly, Marin’s teammate tosses him Mira’s sword. He and Mira clash, with Marin breaking her sword.
He reveals the sword’s “true power.” It’s a metal sword, that resembles a yin and yang symbol where the sword and hilt meet. Marin calls it the “National Treasure, Fengxian,” and its a “weapon of the gods.” Mira manages to get the sword from Marin, but it teleports back to him as he is the “owner.” Mori tries to wake his grandfather, however, it turns out that his “grandpa” was a fake, and it blows up. A mysterious man apologizes for “killing” Mori. He merely wanted to stop the “key from awakening.” Unfortunately, for him, Mori gets up. Marin stabs Mira through the stomach. Meanwhile, Daewi battles against one of the South Gyeongsang team members. She’s a weird fighter that wears an outfit similar to the one Bruce Lee wore in Game of Death.
Mira gets her Charyeok
Their fight is cut short when Jegal Taek interferes. While fighting, Mori learns that the real Jeju team was killed by the Nox. Mori stands up and applies several pressure points that stop him from feeling pain. Meanwhile, Mira is up against it but she refuses to lose. Before Marin hits her with a finishing blow, she hears the voice of the great hero, Lu Bu Fengxian. Determined to get stronger he lends her his power, becoming a Charyeok. Marin responds with his own Charyeok, Kraken. Mira evades the attacks from Kraken, countering with Fang Tian Hua Ji. She wins, then collapses as Mori catches her. With Mori in attendance, he and Nah begins their battle. Mori quickly dominates, then he attacks with his move Blue Dragon Kick. However, it’s not enough, so he uses another original move Twin Blue Dragon Kick.
In my last review, I was concern that Mira was being left behind. I glad that I was wrong and she was the first to get her Charyeok. Lu Bu Fengxian is not only well matched to her abilities, it’s cool as well. With Mori using his techniques, now Daewi is the one that’s left behind. Seeing as he’s was the one the most wanted a Charyeok I fully expect him to receive one. The one issue I’m having with this series is I don’t know what’s going on or at least I don’t feel like I do. The tournament itself doesn’t feel like it matters much. The God of High School fails to center it and I’m losing interests (not in the show) but in won wins this tournament.
In episode 7, Kaburagi decided that the system must be destroyed. The cyborgs decided that they will destroy the Gadoll factory. If they succeed, the game will fall apart as it requires the Gadoll. The factory is protected by a barrier that kills Tankers and instantly logs out Gears. The only way to get in is to be undetectable by the system. Natsume and Kaburagi are the only two that can accomplish this mission. First, they need to retrieve Kaburagi’s old avatar. Jill, Kaburagi, Donatello, Turkey, and Sarkozy trick Minato into revealing the location of the avatar.
So far Natsume has remained ignorant of the larger world that surrounds her. It thought it would take some convincing but I was certain that Kaburagi would be persuasive. I did not doubt that once Natsume realizes the danger Solid Quake possesses to humanity she will be willing to risk her life to stop them. With his old avatar back, Kaburagi gets Natsume on board. Meanwhile, Turkey tries to get Sarkozy to betray Donatello and Kaburagi.
Deca-Dence asks the question: Is order even necessary to prevent chaos? To some it is. However, others see “order” as oppression. Preventing them from being free. Order must dictate most aspects of their lives. From their perspective, chaos isn’t the likely outcome freedom is. The system is unjust, if it were then rebellion wouldn’t be necessary. The destruction of the system was always the logical conclusion of this series. However, Deca-Dence has already proven that the series isn’t predictable. I don’t expect that Natsume or Kaburagi will get what they’re hoping for.
Park refused to disqualify Jegal Taek because he may be the “key.” In episode 8 of The God of High School, “close/friend” the second matchup begins between South Jeolla and South Chungcheong. Park Seungah faces off against Nam Gungdo. After discussing strategy with her team, Park K.O’s Nam with a powerful kick to his jaw. The most important member of the team is Park Ilpyo. Mira and Daewi discuss Park and his team. It’s revealed that Daewi has been suspended due to interfering with the fight with Jegal Taek. The final fight between Park Ilpyo and Gwin Gi.
Mori quickly notices a logo on the back of Park Ilpyo. After some rude trash talk from Gi, Park tells him that he can’t win. He releases his aura, attempting to scare Gi, however, it fails. Park uses taekkyon. He hurts Gi and decides to release his charyeok. Park continues to use his taekkyon, dodging Gi’s attacks. He strikes Gi in the face with a kick, knocking him out. Mori remembers the logo as being one like the military symbol his grandfather wore. On the way home the trio discusses the tournament and the need for them to get stronger. Mori doesn’t want anyone else’s power. Of course, he’s much stronger than Daewi and Mira so he may not need such power.
Park and Mori meet and after sparring quickly, Park mentions that he wears the jacket to honor Mori’s grandfather. In flashbacks, Park remembers the death of his father and the abandonment by his mother. Feeling abandoned and alone he meets Jin, who has a baby Mori strapped to his chest. He gives Park a book of taekkyon secrets. That moment changed Park’s life and he feels that he “owes him everything.” Suddenly, Mori is attacked by Jegal. Park blocks it with his bare hand drawing blood. After warning Mori, he leaves promising not to hold back next time. The next day, Judge Q attacks Park Mujin for allowing Sim Bongsa’s wife and kid to die.
Mori’s grandfather is in danger
Park easily defeats Q, leaving him with the bill for the destruction he’s caused. We learn that Bongsa’s wife and child are alive, having been replaced with the Marionette by Judge P. Later, Q runs into Daewi, who offers to cook for him in exchange for training. Mujin and the Judges prepare for an attack by Nox. Mujin allows the Commissioners to release their “limiters” and weed out the “traitor.” Both the Nox and Mujin mention God a lot. Religion seems to be visually present in The God of High School but not specifically acknowledge. Mori remembers the last time he saw his grandfather. It was on his sixth birthday. Saddened Mori tells his grandpa that he doesn’t want any friends or need any friends. His grandfather tells that’s ridiculous.
Mira and Daewi arrive to celebrate with Mori. They eat, play, and share cake. It’s a sweet moment especially because Mori seems to be genuinely lonely. The following morning Mori receives a letter with a picture of his grandfather in chains. Once again I feel the fights were too short. Regardless, I was happy to see that Mori is finally learning the value of friendship. However, the problem starting to see is the possible ignoring of Mira, specifically when it comes to her fighting ability. Daewi is going to get trained by Judge Q and Mori is being trained by a member of the Six. Mira needs to get some kind of training to get stronger. I would hate it if she became the weak link in the trio. I hope I’m wrong.
Episode 9 of Fire Force opens with a retelling of the events of the Great Cataclysm starting with the prologue. After the world is engulfed in flames it becomes covered in ash. One man appears Raffles I. He searches with his disciples for light. They discover the “unsullied flame.” In chapter 2, Raffles uses this flame to create Amaterasu. Suddenly, we are back in the Tabernacle. It turns out that despite his stupidity, Arthur memorizes Pi. He’s able to read the tables but they’re unsure what they mean. Meanwhile, Ogun, Shinra, and Tamaki put the Infernals to death. The Demon Infernal becomes enraged and attacks Tamaki.
Juggernaut intervenes and the Demon punches a hole through his chests. Or at least we’re lead to believe that. It seems that Juggernaut’s uses “layers” to build his size. I thought like many people probably did that he had died. However, after watching it a second time I realize there wasn’t any blood. Regardless, it’s a surprisingly funny moment. Recognizing how tough the Fire Force is, the Demon creates a scythe, blocking Shinra’s attack. Shinra receives another adolla Link from the devilish woman. Inside the Tabernacle, Licht is terrorized by the energy he feels from inside. They notice a “white feather arrow” key stuck in a keyhole.
The meaning of sacrifice
Arthur sees seven more lined up next them. Pan and Licht realized that together that makes eight arrows and that the white arrow represents “sacrifice.” Licht concludes that the source of Amaterasu’s power is a person that possesses the Adolla Burst. They assume that the Woman in Black is the sacrifice inside the Tabernacle. Outside Shinra realizes the same thing. Shinra begs Ogun to “buy him some time.” Ogun takes off his uniform and uses his Flamy Ink. Tamaki explains that with this power he’s able to rival the power of Captain Burns. His speed and firepower are dramatically increased. While he dominates the Demon he doesn’t seem to do much damage.
It’s an impressive action sequence. Shinra comes into contact with the woman in black and learns that she only has enough power to give him “one second of grace.” Shinra believes it’s more than enough time. This was a very good episode. It expanded the universe, explained the source of a Tabernacle’s power, and showed us some of Ogun’s strength. Considering how long “anime time” can be I expect one second’s worth of power will be enough. I’m interested to see what Shinra does with it.
Studio 4°C’s first television series. Inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Tweeny Witches follows the story of a little girl that gets trapped in a magical world. 14 years before the main story, a Japanese archaeologist named Jidan falls into the magical realm and is imprisoned by a warlock. He eventually is rescued by a soldier named Atelia. They have a child together, however, he’s lost in the magic realm. Jidan has a daughter, Arusu the main character of the series. Together with her new friends, she tries to save the realm.
Asura’s Wrath is an action video game developed by CyberConnect2 and published by Capcom. Considered an “interactive anime” each level plays out like an episode of an anime series. Studio 4°C developed the dramatic and flashy Episode 11.5 “Forging Ahead” and Episode 15.5 “Defiance.”
Children of the Sea
In 2019 Studio 4°C produced Children of the Sea. Based on the manga of the same name, the film follows the story of a high school girl named Ruka. She spends some of her summer vacations at the aquarium where her father works. She meets two brothers that were raised by dugongs, a species of manatee. Together they experience supernatural events that affect marine life.
An animated anthology film, the Animatrix is nine short films based on the Matrix trilogy. The films tell the backstory of the original war between humans and machines. Studio 4°C produced two of the short films, The Second Renaissance Part I and Beyond. The first film sees humanity produce AI robots to serve them. In the second part of the film, a domestic android named B1-66ER kills its owner. It’s the first time an android has kill a human leading to a court case. Beyond focuses on a teen girl named Yoko that searches for her cat Yuki. Her cat is inside a “haunted” house that is revealed to be filled with glitches in the Matrix.
Adapted from the manga and inspired by the story of Noah’s Ark, Spriggan takes place after the Cold War. Unknown artifacts called OOPArt appear around the world. This results in a secret war between various groups and the ARCAM Corporation. The military arm of ARCAM uses elite soldiers known as Spriggans to prevent others from collecting the mysterious artifacts.
Shinra hears a voice during the Adolla Link that whispers “protect the forest.” Scop tells the story of their “benefactor.” After the Great Cataclysm 250 years ago, Scop meets a human woman. She claims to have come from “beyond the spatial rift,” to recreate the world. She gives them flame, ends their hunger, and extends their lives. Eventually, she repairs the Tabernacle, creating the Oasis. Scop and the others keep the Tabernacle safe, waiting for her to return. Shinra deduces that the voice belongs to her. Suddenly, the encounter an Infernal.
Infernals want to destroy the world
Licht is attacked by them but is rescued by Pan and Shinra. They’re besieged by a group of Infernals and Hellhounds. Ogun and Arthur defeat them without much effort. Shockingly, one of the Infernals begins to speak. Lieutenant Pan asks one of the Infernals to live in “harmony” with the animals. However, the Infernals believe that the Tabernacle was built to “destroy the world.” They plan to blow it up. Confused, Shinra and Arthur suggest that maybe the woman was evil. Scop tells them that this isn’t possible. Elsewhere, a Demon Infernal orders his followers to kill the Fire Force. The group decided to split up. Licht, Arthur, and Pan search inside the Tabernacle, while the other face the Infernals outside.
What’s the meaning of Pi?
While searching the inside they get trapped. Outside Shinra, Ogun, Tamaki, and Juggernaut are surrounded by Infernals and Hellhounds. The Demon Infernal plans on destroying everything so it can go to heaven. Unable to die, the Demon Infernal hopes that the aftershock from the destroyed Tabernacle will kill him. Shinra accepts that they must fight. He’s quickly overwhelmed by the Demon’s power. Shinra and the others are well aware that they can currently produce the power needed to kill the Demon Infernal themselves. Suddenly, Shinra receives another Adolla Link. Meanwhile, Arthur, Pan, and Licht investigate the numbers of sequences on the stone tablets. They’re are shocked to learn that Arthur can read them.
Studio Trigger is a Japanese animation studio founded by two former Gainax employees Hiroyuki Imaishi and Masahiko Otsuka. The Studio Trigger is considered a successor to Gainax. Studio Trigger, Sanzigen, and Ordet joined the holding company Ultra Super Pictures. In 2018, Studio Trigger started a Patreon account that now raises $6,000 monthly. Since 2011, Studio Trigger a produced several high-quality anime series with a similar style to the Gurren Lagann series.
Darling in the Franxx
A science fiction romance series produced by Cloverworks and animated by Studio Trigger and A-1 Pictures, Darling in the Franxx is set in a dystopian future. In the Franxx universe, young people are manufactured to defend civilization. The story follows ten pilots, focusing on the pair, Hiro and Zero Two. The series uses symbolism from the mythological Jian. The series was praised for its “coming of age elements,” however, some of its content was criticized for sexually innuendo and pacing.
Promare is one of the three films produced so far by Studio Trigger. Co-produced with XFLAG, Promare is set after a “calamity known as the Great World Blaze.” Half of the human population is killed. Several humans developed pyrokinetic abilities becoming known as Burnish. The firefighting group, Burning Rescue battles against the Mad Burnish, a terrorist group. Despite having a story that’s similar to the Fire Force series, Promare was generally well-received. Its colorful visuals, storytelling, and style received rave reviews.
Kill La Kill
The first series created by Studio Trigger, Kill La Kill is an original work from the company. Kill La Kill tells the revenge story of Ryuko Matoi, as she seeks to avenge her father. She attends Honnouji Academy, where she comes into conflict with Satsuki Kiryuin. Kill La Kill features fanservice for both genders, high-quality animation, action, humor, and a shocking twist towards the end. The series was described as “magical girl anime on speed.”
SSSS.Gridman tells the story of Yuta Hibiki, a high school student with amnesia. He’s given the mission to fight against Kaiju by Hyper Agent Gridman. Together they merge to defeat the Kaiju, aided by the Gridman Alliance. SSSS.Gridman has an intriguing villain and is an interesting mystery. Based on the series Denko Choujin Gridman, SSSS.Gridman was a surprise hit in 2018.
Little Witch Academia
The Little Witch Academiaseries has spawned two movies, Little Witch Academia and Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade, as well as a television series. Atsuko “Akko” Kagari enrolls in the magical school, Luna Nova Magical Academy. Determined to become a witch like her hero Shiny Chariot, Akko sets off to accomplish her dream. Akko is hard working but lacks magical abilities because of her non-magical bloodline. However, Akko’s belief in magic is second to none and she finally discovers her magical abilities.
In 2018 Tite Kubo’s Burn the Witch one-shot was released, the series is linked to the Bleach universe and features the same art style. Burn the Witch will be a limited series with only four chapters ending with the release of the anime on October 2nd. The anime will be a “theatrical anime project,” that will be streamed in several episodes on Crunchyroll. Chapter 1 of Burn the Witch is 60 pages long, although it’s unclear whether the other chapters will be.
Chapter 1, Witches Blow A New Pipe, reintroduces us to the main characters Ninny Spangcole and Noel Niihashi. Ninny is a famous pop star the lead singer of a girl band Cecile Die Twice, she’s rude and abrasive. Noel is a super serious student. She begins the chapter chacing a Bud Buck, a creature that resembles a deer with bat wings. They’re interrupted by a massive batlike creature. Noel uses the spell Blue Spark to defend herself and the Buck. Ninny arrives and uses Flash Bumper: Spell 44 that captures Noel and the Buck in a net. The biggest threat to London are dragons who are responsible for “72 percent of all deaths.” The Reverse London Natural Dragon Management Agency Wing Bind is responsible for conserving and controlling the dragon population.
Noel and Ninny are members of Wing Bind after each job members are rewarded. Noel loses achievement points for picking a flower off the Buck while Ninny gains some for saving them. Suddenly, an explosion occurs in a distance tower as Balgo clings to the tail a fire breathing “dragon canine,” Osushi. Neither Ninny nor Noel cares to help him until their told they will get overtime. Ordinary citizens are forbidden from interacting with dragons unless they pass a test. When humans come into contact with dragons they accumulate a substance in their bodies called dragotoxin. The Wing Bind has a mechanism to test for this toxin by requiring the human to lick the screen.
Humans and Dragons that violate the Dragon Contact Prohibition Act are sentenced to 100 years in prison or they will be executed. Finally, if a human develops a high enough dragotoxin they become Dragonclad. They are considered “infected” with a disease whose most significant symptom of the dragonclad is attracting dragons. Balgo is a dragonclad and is suddenly attacked by a massive dragon. Ninny uses Barrier Tape to seal off the area and Noel uses Spell 4: Stun Ball. Assuming they had subdued the dragon, Noel calls headquarters for their reward. However, the dragon is a Dark Dragon. Ninny calls for an emergency blockade, meanwhile, Noel attempts to call the Sabres. However, Ninny stops her from calling, planning to fight the Dark Dragon themselves to “prove how strong they are,” and become Sabres.
The Dark Dragon
Unlike normal dragons, Dark Dragons target humans. Wing Binds are allowed to kill Dark Dragons. Ninny charges at the Dark Dragon, while Noel uses a small gun and fires off Spell 75. Elsewhere, a group discusses the presence of a Dark Dragon. They appear to be heads of each of the different Corps, present are Bruno Bangnyfe of the Magic Circle Corps: Inks, Roy B. Dipper of the Incantation Corps: Anthems, Cquntnire Milieve of the Liturgy Corps: Sacreds, Tronbone Takkinen of the Minstrel Corps: Pipers, Sullivan Squire of the Tactical Corps: Sabres, Harry Shayk of the Accounting Corps: Billionaires, Wolfgang Slashhaut of Personnel Affairs Divine Punishment Corps: Gallows, and Saka Rynn of the Development Corps: Patchworks who was absent. They conclude that Balgo Parks should be eliminated.
I’ve been excited about this series for years and it didn’t disappoint. I have always loved the art style of Tite Kubo, although his story choices aren’t always great. However, he does create interesting universes. Burn the Witch chapter 1 is largely an introduction to that universe. Chapter 1 reintroduces our main characters while introducing several new ones and setting up the conflict. Each character feels real and is visually distinct. This chapter could have felt overwhelming with all the new jargon but I thought it was paced well. That said, it’s disappointing to hear that this series is going to be limited, but considering Tite Kubo’s health issues I guess this is the most he can do. There’s still a lot to explain, but I’m excited for the rest of this series.
The National High School Tournament begins with Group A. Our trio, team Seoul, faces off against the team from North Chungcheong. The team format is simple, each team will fight one on one, with the first team to reach two wins moving on. Jin fights first against Nah. However, when he tries his new pressure points to strengthing his attacks he paralyzes himself. He’s defeated by Nah. It’s an unexpected and funny moment. The God of High Schoolis making it clear that we can’t assume Jin will win every match. Elsewhere, the assassin from Nox, Drake McDonald is gloating about killing the Judge Q. However, his arm is severed by Q’s charyeok Joker.
Meanwhile, Daewi fights the 38-year-old high schooler, Jin Pumgwang. He dominates Daewi with powerful attacks he mastered doing psychical labor. We get the backstory of the Chungcheong team. If there is a weakness in this series, it’s the pace and the flat characters. I’m not moved by any of these backstories. Anyway, Pumgwang possesses a charyeok named Thor’s hammer. However, Daewi destroys it with his Blue Azure Dragon. The hammer vanishes and Pumgwang faints, handing Daewi the win. Meanwhile, Judge Q and Drake fight with the former using a scythe. Q cuts off the other arm, however, Drake’s charyeok a caterpillar regenerates him. Judge Q isn’t concerned and attacks. However, he’s interrupted before he can make the death blow.
Judge Q faces Priest Exly and Priest Saturn
The two intruders are called Priest Exly and Priest Saturn. Impatient, Q attacks with a deck of cards. Priest Exly develops wings and carries Priest Saturn to the air. Saturn then calls several hands from a shadow in the ground. Manifesting his scythe, Q begins cutting them, however, he eventually gets bound. Exly releases a sword and comes in for the final attack. However, he’s rescued by Judge O, though he doesn’t seem to need it. Elsewhere, the battle between Mira and Jang Jangmi. Both are armed with wooden swords. Jangmi releases that Mira is a superior sword user, she releases her charyeok. We switch back to the fight between Judge O and Saturn. Armed with a gun-shaped like a cross, that shoots pink lasers from pink teddy bears.
Judge O reveals his charyeok is a dragon. The episode jumps between fights too quickly. After Q gains an advantage over Exly, we are swiftly returned to the fight between Mira and Jang. Using her light sword charyeok Jang prepares to win, but Mira uses Moon Light Sword Style No. 23: Wind Willow and shatters Jang’s sword, knocking her out. Team Seoul wins. We shift back to the battle between the Judges and Priest. The Judges seem to get the upper hand forcing Priest Exly and Saturn to flee. Still present Drake’s head explodes. Park believes there’s a mole in their organization since the Administrator’s addresses are secret. He’s informed that Jin Taejin has gone missing.
The brutal Jegal Taek
Meanwhile, the second match begins. Jegal Taek and Jeon Jugok face off. Jegal Taek brutalizes Jeon with his Megalodon charyeok that crushes the later leaving a pool of blood. Both Jeon teammate and Daewi interfere in the beatdown. There’s so much going on in this episode, maybe too much. The shorter season may have put pressure on the series to cram a lot into each episode. There were at least 5 separate fights in this episode. This leads to an episode that’s paced too quickly. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the action but it would have been better in two separate episodes. I hope we get some kind of explanation on charyeok because I would like to learn about them. Another small criticism, there are too many characters name Jin. I don’t know if it’s intentional or a problem with translation but I found it confusing.