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 Ball, Yu 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. Baki, Megalo 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.
In chapter 982 of One Piece, Scoundrel Meets Scoundrel, Kanjuro has finally brought Momonosuke to a partying Orochi and Kiado. After attempting to escape, Momonosuke was brutally beaten by Kanjuro. Kaido is disappointed that Momonosuke is still a child. Oda has been pointing out how evil Orochi’s regime is, Kanjuro provided a new low. Furthermore, Orochi plans on celebrating with Momonosuke’s execution. Kanjuro informs Orochi that the samurai haven’t been stopped. Fukurokuju assures Orochi that there are no signs of the alliance. Underestimating the alliance may prove to be the handicap they need.
Nekomamushi and Marco join a group on Polar Tang. Meanwhile, Denjiro captures one of the Headliners, Sasaki. Denjiro and his forces move forward inside the dome, splitting into two groups. In the east, Chopper and Usopp have attacked Big Mom, leading her away from the samurai. Inside the brothel, Nami, Carrot, and Shinobu encounter Prometheus. Elsewhere in the castle, Luffy runs into Headliners, Ulti, and Page One. As I stated in the previous review, I believe that One Piece is going to separate the alliance into smaller groups. Denjiro’s team splitting up suggests that I may be right. At this point, it’s unclear how strong Luffy is compared when he fought Kaido. While it’s not likely he going to fight both Headliners, battling one will be a good opportunity to showcase his new abilities. One Piece chapter 982 is still building up to the inevitable battles. I can’t wait.
I have had many issues with the Boruto manga series. The anime is another matter. However, over the last few months, I decided to give the series another chance. The Kawaki Arc (chapters 24 to current) focuses on the character and the Kara. I had issues with Boruto abandoning the core ninjutsu lore from the Naruto series, introducing Ninja Tools. However, the series seems to embraced modernity more directly. The explanation of the Ohtsutsuki Clan as “aliens” yes the out of space kind. At first, I rolled my eyes, but after reading the series further I started to enjoy this arc. If Boruto is going to stand on its own it must separate itself from Naruto. The character Amado explains the clan in such a way that it feels new and organic. Boruto has decided to move from a chakra focused fighting style to one that includes nature and technology.
The Alien Ohtsutsuki Clan
If you don’t read the series, Amado is a scientist that was the head of Kara’s R&D division. Amado is responsible for the “cyborg” bodies of the Kara members. He along with Koji Kashin betray Kara and defect to Konohagakure. While being interrogated by Naruto and Shikamaru, he goes into detail on the origins of the Ohtsutsuki Clan. Ancient celestial beings, the Ohtsutsuki, travel through dimensions planting Ten-Tails. The Ten-Tails then becomes a God Tree attempting to absorb the chakra from the planet. Once accomplished the Ohtsutsuki abandon the planet. Kaguya and Isshiki were sent to Earth to harvest it. For reasons unknown, Kaguya attacked Isshiki, leaving him near death. Isshiki possessed the ability called Sukunahikona, which allowed him to reduce the size of the body. Using this technique, he invaded Jigen’s body, becoming a parasite.
The return of Jiraiya
I have been hearing rumors and speculation from Boruto fans that Jiraiya was going to return. This seemed to be largely based on the character Koji’s use of toads. I initially thought this was ridiculous and only based on small evidence. However, the rumors persisted particularly due to Naruto occasionally mentioning that he finds something familiar about Koji. Boruto teased out this reveal with Koji using jutsu like Toad Oil Bombs and Doton Dark Swamp. The visual of the fight between Koji and Isshiki cuts out after the toad sharing the feed is killed. However, we get confirmation from Isshiki that Koji is a clone of Jiraiya. I’m not sure how I feel about this reveal. Jiraiya was my favorite Naruto character but his cloning feels like a crutch or fanservice. Other than that I can’t see how this helps the story, especially considering it seems that Koji is expected to die. The outcome of the next chapter will explain my question of course. If Koji dies, then it was just fanservice, if he lives then it could be much more. Regardless, Boruto is more interesting than I thought.
Just when you think you can relax, Tower of God throws you for a loop. I fully expected Shibisu to save Annak and/or Endorsi, in a way he did. Princess Yuri and her team have been seen occasionally throughout the story but I largely forgot about them. Tower of God Episode 12, Underwater Hunt Part 2, is full of action and surprises. In a lot of ways, this episode is a bit chaotic. First, Endorsi chooses Anaak and treason over killing her friend. They attack Lo Po Bia Ren together. However, they are defeated again. Yuri arrives to save her “sisters” and retrieve the Black March and Green April.
Meanwhile, Rak has had enough with all the running and decides to fight. He jumps on top of one of the worms. He begins to fight the goblins, while Paracule complains. They are rescued by Laure. After his plan succeeds, Khun leaves to encounters a relative that was accompanying Yuri. He accuses Khun of being Princess Maria’s “step stool” then offers to take him to her. Elsewhere, Yuri is destroying Ren. Before she can kill him, she is warned not to. If she did so, she would be aiding Anaak. Yuri finds a loophole, her hammer-wielding companion Kurdan. He flattens Ren. While accepting his death, Ren reveals that he sent the Bull to kill Bam.
Rachel betrays Bam
The Bull strikes at Bam and makes some connection. Bam’s use of Shisui fails to make any direct hits. However, he uses the golden form of Shisui, but unlike before he allows the Bull to eat him. This is just like his initial fight with the serpent on the first floor. Finally heading toward the Queen Dolphin, Bam is excited to take Rachel to the top of the Tower. As he’s reaching for her hand, she stands up and pushes Bam out of the Shisui bubble. I hope Tower of God doesn’t try to “complicate” Rachel anymore. I was always skeptical of Rachel but after her stabbing, I felt she finally decided that Bam meant well. I was ready to move forward.
Tower of God intended viewers like me to draw this conclusion. It worked perfectly. However, there’s no turning back. Not only did Rachel betray Bam, but she also betrayed everyone else. On top of all that she pretended to be paralyzed this whole time, unacceptable. Hopefully, this marks the end of Bam’s puppy dog obsession with her as well. With only one episode remaining, Tower of God keeps shocking me.
When Koyama tries to capture Mob for Claw, he mistakenly kidnaps Ritsu. Mob intervenes to save his brother. Koyama brutalizes Mob with his Telekinetic Helix. Eventually, Mob reaches 100% Animosity, due to the violent abuse that Koyama inflicted on him and his brother. Despite Mob dominating him and beating to a pulp, Koyama does manage to escape with Ritsu. As most Mob Psycho 100 battles this one was highly entertaining and well animated.
Colonel Mustang vs Envy
Mustang encounters Envy, who reveals that he was Hughes killer. Seeking revenge for the killing of Hughes, Mustang goes berserk. He’s complete without mercy as he burns Envy’s tongue. Envy transforms into a grotesque monster, Mustang responses by setting Envy’s eye fluid aflame. Envy realizing Mustang could easily kill him, flees. Envy attempts to confuse Mustang by transforms into Hughes, however, Mustang isn’t fooled. Envy fails to make any headway as Mustang is too good.
Mustang mercilessly burns Envy. Envy try’s to trick Riza, but Envy falls for a trap she sets. She can damage him with her guns, but Envy gets the advantage. When Envy is about to kill her, Mustang furiously attacks him. He burns Envy to the point where Envy reverts to a smaller parasitic form. Riza and Edward manage to stop Mustang from killing Envy. Envy doesn’t comprehend humanity’s ability to have compassion, he starts crying and commits suicide.
Saitama vs Boros
Saitama often defeats his opponents in One Punch, however, Boros is an exception. Saitama’s initial punch destroys the “restraining armor” that Boros wears. After transforming the attacks Saitama. He easily blocks Boros attacks. He finally takes off Boros’s arm. They end up fighting outside. Boros is impressed that Saitama has survived this long. He regenerates, regrowing his arm.
Using Meteoric Burst, he unleashes a torrent of powerful hits on Saitama, eventually knocking him to the moon. None of this effects Saitama. He returns from the moon, finally ready to take Boros seriously. He hit him with “consecutive normal punches” splattering Boros. Using his abilities, Boros returns. Using his strongest move, Collapsing Star Roaring Cannon, he plans to destroy the planet. Finally, Saitama uses Serious Series: Serious Punch, destroying Boros.
Gon vs Pitou
When Gon learns that Kite is dead he snaps. A dark aura surrounds him and Gon transforms. His powers increase to such a level that he rivals the Chimera Ant King. Neferpitou uses her Terpsichora, trying to kill him. Gon vanishes. She gives chase. She attacks him while his back is turned. He dodges, kicks her in the stomach, and uses his Jajanken. He punches with it at point-blank range, sending her into the side of a mountain. He then brutally beats her head in, shattering her skull. Lifeless, Pitou corpse is still able to attack. She rips off Gon’s right arm, he’s unharmed. He finally finishes Pitou with another Jajanken.
Gohan SS2 vs Cell
When Cell crushes Android 16’s head killing him Gohan finally snaps, unleashing his hidden powers. After this power boost Gohan strength and speed increase tremendously, he quickly destroys the Cell Jr’s. Cell and Gohan begin their fight and it appears that Gohan isn’t even trying, he becomes rather cocky. Cell powers up one more time but it doesn’t matter, Gohan is still stronger.
He delivers two devastating punches on Cell, knocks him to his knees. Cell becomes enraged at being dominated by a child, Cell uses a series of the Z fighters attacks. He concludes with a massive Kamehameha aim at destroying the earth, Gohan simply reflects it with his own. Cell is damaged by Gohan’s Kamehameha, but Cell heals himself. Cell increases his size and loses his speed in the process. Gohan continues to damage Cell, resulting in him regurgitating Android 18 and transform back. Gohan is still too cocky and allows Cell to regain the advantage. He still manages to win though.
In Chapter 275 of My Hero Academia, as Tomura searches for Deku, he notes that Ragdoll’s Search Quirk came preloaded with Quirk uses that she recorded. This, of course, includes Deku as she obtained this information during the Training Camp Arc. Endeavor, while pursuing Tomura, is confused by Deku. When Tomura lands, Endeavor attacks him with a blast of fire. However, Tomura dodges and changes his direction. Overhearing the conversation, Tomura becomes frustrated with the fact that the heroes are communicating electronically. He uses an “Air Cannon” Quirk in conjunction with a “Radio Waves” Quirk, jamming all the communication. Before he does, Endeavor informs the other heroes that Tomura is heading southwest, and he has a Super Regeneration Quirk.
Katsuki chases Deku
Deku questions why Katsuki is following. We know that Katsuki will never admit he’s trying to protect Deku. He responds that he’s the “only one who can make the people understand quickly enough is himself.” As someone privy to Deku and All Might’s secret, Katsuki feels responsible for helping Deku succeed. He also admits that he has a “score to settle with Tomura.” Bakugo has difficulty coming to terms with the reason for All Might’s retirement. Bakugo is unable or incapable to accept that getting caught wasn’t a sign of his weakness or the cause of All Might’s downfall. His guilt has followed him ever since.
Shigaraki verses Eraserhead
Bakugo notices that Deku can use Full Cowl on average at about 30%, and he increases the output to 45% at the moment of impact. He releases that Deku always manages to surpass him, but he will not continue to allow that. I was initially concern whether Deku and Bakugo could handle Tomura. However, this conflict might not happen. Deku envisions both himself and Bakugo being disintegrated by Tomura. Suddenly, Gran Torino grabs the two of them. He notes that Tomura’s decay Quirk is so powerful that “merely touching the falling debris will ensure instant death.” Deku protests, but Gran Torino reminds him that other heroes can fight.
Tomura gets ambushed
Ryukyu attacks Tomura with her claws. He grabs her claw, however, his Quirk doesn’t activate. Ryukyu knocks Tomura into the air. Eraserhead arrives, inspired by the death of Crust and his friend Oboro, he tells Tomura “not mess with his students.” So far in this arc, I’ve have obsessed over two things, who gets their Quirk erased and who dies. I going to guess that Eraserhead loses his Quirk and Gran Torino dies.
Tomura doesn’t have many weaknesses at this point but Eraserhead’s Quirk is one of them. It would be strategically wise of him to “destroy” Eraserhead’s Quirk. However, I think Eri will rewind it at some point so it won’t be a major loss. Gran Torino, on the other hand, would be a perfect victim. He’s important enough to matter, he’s connected to All Might, and Deku, and he’s a member of the old guard. His death would be impactful, but also symbolize the end of an era. That said Tomura may get overwhelmed as he doesn’t seem very skillful without his Quirk. With multiple heroes attacking at once he might need to be rescued by Gigantomachia.
Suzuka is an arrogant, big mouth opponent in the Dark Tournament. Impressed by his talent, but infuriated by his psychical weakness Genkai unloads on him. She leaves fist-shaped indents over his body. His face is left swollen and unrecognizable. It’s a dominating fight that is also played for laughs. Genkai defeated him without needing her spirit energy.
9. Levi vs The Beast Titan
At this point, it’s clear that Levi is the best fighter in Attack on Titan. After the sacrifice of his fellow Scouts, and enraged Levi dominates the Beast Titan. With quick and powerful strikes, Levi manages to incapacitate the Beast Titan. He rips Zeke from its nape, however, Zeke is rescued by the Cart Titan.
8. Goku vs Burter and Jeice
After Recoome’s quick defeat, Burter and Jeice attempt to defeat Goku. After dodging effortlessly dodging their attacks, he appears behind Burter. Burter, considers himself to be “fastest being in the universe” is pissed. Burter charges directly at Goku, with Jeice following him. Goku continues to evade their attacks, he switches gears and knocks Burter out. Goku decides to give Jeice two choices, leave the planet, or stay and fight. Jeice takes the first offer and “leaves”. Vegeta takes advantage and kills both Burter and Recoome, Vegeta tells Goku ” he is too soft to be a Super Saiyan”.
7. Monkey D. Luffy vs Blueno
Unlike their previous fight, Luffy is more prepared to handle Blueno’s techniques. Luffy also reveals his new technique, “Gear Second”. He demolishes Blueno after this, preventing him from getting any advantage. Luffy hits him with a devastating “Jet Bazooka”, which Blueno decides to use his strongest “Tekkai Gou” to block it. Luffy is prepared to reveal his “Gear Third technique”, but it’s not necessary.
6. Kurapika vs Uvogin
Uvogin and Kurapika battle at a small canyon outside Yorknew City. Kurapika can endure the massive hits that Uvogin can deliver. Kurapika captures Uvogin with his Chain Jail. Begging to be killed, Uvogin begs Kurapika to kill him. Kurapika uses his Judgement Chain to try and force him to tell the truth. However, Uvogin still doesn’t care, forcing Kurapika to crush his heart with Judgement Chain.
Anyone that has watched anime knows the dynamic when a hero battles a stronger villain. The fight starts, the hero is overwhelmed, then he (it’s usually a he), remembers what’s at stake, and gains a power-up. However, occasionally the hero will get dominated and defeated by a stronger villain. Of course, the hero will defeat these villains at some point, but it always shocked when they lose. I have collected a list of my top five:
5. Grimmjow Jaggerjack verses Ichigo
When Grimmjow and Ichigo first encounter each other Ichigo is outmatched. He quickly releases his Bankai which Grimmjow proceeds to grab with his bare hands. When Ichigo uses Getsuga Tensho, it manages to damage Grimmjow. Instead of being afraid Grimmjow is delighted to have competition. This fight is aborted because Tosen arrives.
4. Mad Pierrot vs Spike
Mad Pierrot is an insane assassin. Spike stumbles upon Mad Pierrot’s massacre. Pierrot instantly targets Spike with his cane gun. When Spike returns fire he fails to get a hit because Pierrot has a shield. Mad best Spike in hand to hand combat. Despite Spike blowing up a propane tank, he fails to harm Mad Pierrot. Spike manages to escape, even though he’s badly injured.
3. Frieza (Final Form) vs Vegeta
Technically Vegeta isn’t a hero at this point in the series. However, he did join forces with Dende, Gohan, and Krillin to fight Frieza. After Vegeta uses Dende to heal him after being almost killed by Krillin, he declares that he’s now strong enough to kill Frieza. He incorrectly believes that he’s the fabled Super Saiyan. He unleashes everything he has on Frieza’s final form, but the later is too fast. Vegeta is shocked that the gap in their power is still so great. Frieza gains control beating Vegeta into the ground while strangling him with his tail. Helpless, Gohan, Krillin, and Piccolo can only watch.
2. Pikachu vs Raichu
This battle reminds me of my childhood. Pokemon was a phenomenon and each episode was a topic for the schoolyard the next day. Pikachu was and maybe still is one of the most beloved Pokemon. In the episode “Electric Shock Showdown”, Ash encounters Lt. Surge. This pits Ash’s Pikachu against Surge’s evolved Raichu. It results in a brutal beatdown of Pikachu. While the rematch results in a Pikachu victory, the initial fight was devastating for my youth.
1. Crocodile vs Luffy
It’s common for One Piece for characters particularly Luffy to be bested by a villain. It has happened several times most recently with Kaido, so I had a lot to choose from. I choose this battle because it was the first time I realized part of what made One Piece great, the fights. It might seem obvious to many, but at the time I wasn’t sure why people liked the series. Luffy is often at a disadvantage against Logia Devil Fruit users. Against Crocodile, Luffy almost dies as he goes into battle unprepared. His attacks don’t land and Crocodile’s devil fruit ability allowed him to drain the moisture from Luffy’s body. After the third time, Luffy prevails after exploiting Crocodile one weakness “liquid.”
Tower of God episode 11, Underwater Hunt (Part One) begins with Bam passing the Administrators test. Bam and Rachel are permitted to move on to the final test. The final requires the Bam and Rachel to become “fish” and will be hunted by net dolphins. These dolphins seal-like creatures that hunt once a day for their Queen. They use Shinsu to creat nets to trap fish. Bam and Rachel will be placed in a bubble made of Shinsui, where the goal is to be eaten and regurgitated onto dry land. The others are charged with protecting them. Barnacle goblins use giant wetworms to steal fish from the net dolphins. If Bam and Rachel are eaten by one of these worms, everyone fails.
A Striped Earthpig is an “enemy” of both the barnacle goblins and worms. However, the Earthpig scares off the net dolphins. The team must stop all three creatures from interfering. The biggest challenge is the Bull, a creature that will eat anything. The team is separated by class (Spearbearers, Lightbearers, etc.), however, both Princess Endorsi and Anaak have disappeared. Shibisu runs into the Bull that has eaten Dede Cancho and Blarouge. Both are red shirts so their deaths don’t matter. The Bull quickly gets distracted by a net dolphin, Shibisu attacks it to get its attention. When it finally tries to eat him, Annak saves him.
Ren makes his move against Anaak
The two Princesses decide to have a bet. If Endorsi wins she gets the 13 Month Series swords and if Anaak does, Endorsi becomes her servant for life. Elsewhere, Rak is upset that he doesn’t get to fight the Bull. However, the goblins and the worms begin to move. Meanwhile, the net dolphins begin to create the fishing net. Endorsi is dominating the Bull. Realizing its outmatched the Bull flees. Ren was in control of the Bull the entire time. Ren uses the Bull to separate Endorsi and Anaak. The later he attacks, seeking the Green April. Ren pierces Anaak through the chest and takes the Green April back. Ren reveals that the Underwater Hunt was created to take “care of” Anaak.
As an enemy of Jahad, Anaak is considered a threat to the tower. Ren gives Endorsi the chance to redeem herself by killing Anaak. For a short period, I thought this task would be easy. How naive. I’m not sure what Endorsi is going to do. She seemed to have decided that she wanted to climb the tower with Anaak. However, she has worked so hard for her position as a princess. Which would she sacrifice? While it appears that Bam and Rachel are heading towards their goal, the others are going to have trouble helping. If something does save Anaak it might be Shibisu, although he would be outmatched.
My Hero Academia chapter 274 opens with Endeavor attacking Tomura with his Super Move Flashfire Fist – Hell’s Curtain. He’s determined to stop Tomura from escaping. However, the fire from his super move isn’t effective. Tomura attempts to touch Endeavor, but he’s able to dodge. Endeavor notices that Tomura is regenerating at high speeds. He orders all the heroes that can move without touching the ground to create a perimeter around them.
Meanwhile, Tomura realizes that he has inherited all the Quirks that All For One collected. Tomura grabs a couple of Quirk-Destroying Drugs. He senses that something is missing, One For All. The only Quirk that his master couldn’t tame Tomura aims to track Deku down. Endeavor overhears him mention One For All so does Deku through Burnin’s radio. Using the Search Quirk stolen from Ragdoll Tomura pinpoints Deku’s location. Knowing he’s the target Deku leaves to try and draw Tomura to a more isolated location.
Tomura searches for All For One
Together with Katsuki, they head toward a deserted area. He contacts Endeavor through a private channel informing him of his plans. Chapter 274 was a rather quick one. Tomura seems erratic at this point. He may have all his masters collected Quirks but he hasn’t mastered any. Tomura and Deku mirror each other. Both have Quirk collecting abilities that have been passed down from the masters. It appears that like Midoriya’s One For All, Tomura’s All For One also allows the previous holder to speak to him. Finally, neither one has mastered any of the new abilities they have been handed. Regardless, Tomura vs Deku and Katsuki will be interesting.