Attack on Titan Episode 049 Review: Night of the Battle to Retake the Wall

This episode was bittersweet as it apparently is the last episode until April of next year as Attack on Titan takes a mid-season hiatus. Regardless, this episode was largely a set up for the “return to Shiganshina’ arc.” This arc apparently is full of action that will be different from the tone of the first half of this season that focused on expanding characters and story. 

Sasha’s greed

The heads of the military get together to discuss who will be responsible for the “transformation serum.” Erwin gives it to Levi, telling him that he will “have too use it on the fly,” at some point. Erwin’s plans to retake Wall Maria is revealed. Levi attempts to convince Erwin to stay behind. However, Erwin refuses, as he must be there when the discover what’s in the basement. 

Eren verses Jean

Eren, Mikasa and Armin reminisce over their childhoods as the scouts meet for celebration prior to head out to Wall Maria in the morning. This episode featured a healthy dose of humor. In the mess hall the scout’s are finally given meat, prompting Conny, Sasha and Jean to fight over the roast. Eren and Jean then get into a fistfight. As the scouts leave for Wall Maria they’re shocked to receive a heart felt send off from the citizens. As they head towards Shiganshina District, Reiner and Bertholdt await. 

Mikasa, Eren and Armin

This first half of the third season has expanded the Attack on Titan world. I fear for the next arc as almost no one important died in this one. This episode was far too happy for my comfort. Someone major will likely died in the next arc, from this episode I’m betting on Erwin dying. 

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Goblin Slayer Episode 1 Review: The Fate of Particular Adventurers

The rookies adventurers

Goblin Slayer is a 12 episode anime series based on the “a Japanese dark fantasy light novel series written by Kumo Kagyu and illustrated by Noboru Kannatuki.” It was also adapted to a manga series of the same name by Kosuke Kurose. To say this series is a “dark” fantasy is an understatement. The horrifying elements of this series (mainly the Goblin rape) but also the bloody violence can certainly be off putting. 

We are first introduced to a young priestess as she signs up for adventures. We quickly learn that there are ten ranks of adventurers, that ends with the rank of platinum. Her rank starts at porcelain and is given a tag that can double as a identity tag. She is quickly invited to join a group of rookie adventurers. The quest is to slay some goblins. Without any preparation they head off . 

nameless swordsmen

After they enter the cave their collective inexperience leads to disaster. Our priestess is practically scared of her own shadow. Making matters even worst she and the mage get separated from the rest of the group. I will  admit that I found her helplessness to be irritating. However, considering her age and life experience this reaction was the most realistic. The mage is stabbed in the stomach by a goblin as the swordsmen arrives. 

He was quickly overwhelmed and brutally stabbed to death by a horde of goblins. The monk is next, she fare far worst. She faces off against a large hobgoblin and is quickly subdued before being sexually assaulted by one of the smaller goblins. The priestess flees with the mage. They’re quickly caught by some goblins, who prepare to rape the mage. However, the iron clad “Goblin Slayer (GS)” arrives as he keeps count of his kills. 

The priestess

The goblin slayer informs the priestess that the mage was poisoned and he death is guaranteed. A dying naked mage asks to be put out of her misery, the goblin slayer obliges. The priestess and the goblin slayer team up with our priestess revealing that she can only use “holy light,” and “heal” three times. GS explains how the goblins got the drop on them. He the proceeds to systematic slaughter them including the children, killing 22 goblin in all.

This episode was a . . . well effective. This world is unforgiving. The initial presentation of the series reminded me of many RPG anime. I kept hoping that when they were killed that they simply left the game. This series is certainly difficult to watch at times, yet I find myself wanting to watch the next episode.

Rescued young woman

I was quickly reminded of Game of Thrones, mainly due to the violence, rape and dark tone. What is noticeable is that none of the characters so far have names. Is this so that we don’t become to attach, see ourselves in these characters? Maybe their names will be revealed later as we go further in the series. The animation wasn’t spectacular but I find that it was good enough. I’m into this series, hopefully every episode doesn’t involve rape. It can be too much to handle for some, but I might like it. 

The Priestess and Goblin Slayer partner again

Conception – Episode 001

Mahiru and Itsuki

Conception is an anime based off of a video game of the same name. First it’s unclear to me whether Itsuki and Mahiru are “friends,” or “cousins” as there are differences between the game and anime. Regardless, the main premise of this series is how the lives of Mahiru and Itsuki change when she reveals that “she’s pregnant.” 

Itsuki strapped to the bed

They’re instantly pulled into another world called Granvania. The quickly run into the perverted flying Raccoon Mana and court scholar Narcisstes. They are told that they have been summoned to “save the world.” How will they accomplish this? Itsuki is tasked with having sex with and impregnate the ” twelve Star Maidens (including Mahiru).”

One of the 12 star maidens

In order to save the world they must produce children to fight, as they can’t fight themselves. It’s only after this can Itsuki and Mahiru return home. It turns out that Mahiru isn’t pregnant after all and was just sick from some impurity. I’m not going to lie, the premise of Conception is ridiculous. I’m not at all interested in this series and I’m mildly put off by it.

The pervert Mana

Don’t get me wrong I’ve been watching anime since I was 5, so I’m not shocked by Conception’s concept. It is a common trope in most anime that the main characters sexual objects are young women that often look like children. It’s always creepy. Mana enhances this creepy atmosphere when at one point he “sniffs” out Mahiru virginity. After Itsuki is strapped to bed the camera zooms in on his bulge. 

Mahiru and Itsuki preparing to have sex

Also there’s the incest element between Mahiru and Itsuki, the fact that neither one of them is giving a choice to have sex as it’s clearly stated that they can’t return home until they all conceive. Conception also has poor dialogue and average animation. 

Zombie Land Saga Episode 001 Review – Good Morning

Sakura Minamoto

Sakura Minamoto is killed when she is hit by a truck. Before her death she had dreams of becoming an “idol.” She wakes up in a mansion, in the Saga prefecture. She stumbles upon zombie girls and flees in terror. She runs into a police officer that shoots her when he realizes that she’s a zombie.  

Frightened Cop that shoots Sakura in the chest

The cop is knocked out with a shovel. Still in shock Sakura is told by Kotaro Tatsumi that she has been dead for a decade and that she will work with “your team to save Saga.” Kotaro tells her that he will “make her into a idol.” Sakura asks Kotaro the following day during class “how she became a zombie” in the first place. 

Kotaro reveals the “Zombie Land Saga Project,” or just the title of the project. He keeps information close to the vest. He introduces the other band-mates, Dorami’s Legendary Biker Boss, Saki Nikaido, Legendary Showa Idol, Junko Konno, Legendary Courtesan, Yugiri, Legendary child actress prodigy Lily Hoshikawa, Legendary Tae Yamada and Legendary Heisei Idol, Ai Mizuno. 

Saki Nikaido

Sakura comically notes that Tae Yamada’s doesn’t have an elaboration like “Biker Boss,” or “Courtesan,” to go with her “Legend.” Regardless, the other zombie’s haven’t been awoken yet. They behave like traditional mindless zombie’s. Kotaro brings them to an open stage policy and puts make up on them concealing their zombie status. 

Kotaro Tatsumi

Kotaro tells Sakura that she should “trust her instincts,” while performing. The girls begin to react to the music and put on a performance that’s weird as they scream and “head-banging” to the point of breaking their necks. The performance, however, ends terribly as the girls turn on the audience. They “awaken” the following morning as Sakura yells GOOD MORNING.

Sakura “singing”

First Impressions

The musical anime genre doesn’t really interest me much. However, the general premise of the series was intriguing. The animation of MAPPA is always a draw for me and they don’t disappoint. What struck me as strange was how sad I felt that Sakura was killed. She wasn’t a familiar character at the beginning of the episode, yet her energetic, hopeful dreams to become an idol made her seem so innocent. It was a quick characterization that was very effective. 

I of course wonder if we will see her family. Fast forwarding a decade seems to be an narrative attempt to avoid focusing on the direct aftermath of Sakura’s death. However, a decade isn’t really long enough for her family to all be dead, unlike the other girls that appear to have been dead for longer. Personally, I was annoyed that Kotaro kept Sakura in the dark, regarding her zombifaction. I not sure if we will learn the truth or if they will simply move past it. That said I’m at least interested in seeing episode 2.

My Hero Academia Chapter 200 – Resourceful General

Chapter 200 of My Hero Academia

This chapter 200 was a short one (11 pages) regardless it was still interesting. Mainly, the introduction of Manga Fukidashi. One thing that has always been strange about My Hero Academia is the races of their characters. Fumikage is a bird person, Mina Ashido is pink skinned and Koji Koda, well I don’t know what “race” he is.

Kinoko Komori Quirk

Manga is the oddest of the characters so far. His body is normal for a human but his head is a speech bubble. It even changes shape and displays his thoughts in writing. His Quirk is Comic, it allows him to manifest onomatopoeia into reality, along with the effects “the sound suggests.” For example when he says the word “humidity,” he manifests the word in the world then the surrounding area becomes more humid. 

Kendo’s plan

During this chapter Kendo is revealed to have masterminded a plan to defeat Class 1-A. She manages to corner Momo, separating the “brain” from Class 1-A. Kendo’s plan seems sound, however, she may have underestimated Momo and in the process left herself open to be defeated. 

Momo’s resolve

My Hero Academia Chapter 199 Review: Improvisation Operation

Fumikage Tokoyami takes center stage in this chapter. In My Hero Academia many characters have taken a back seat to the main ones. With so many interesting characters in this series that has been disappointing. However, the Joint Training Arc, Academia promises to focus on other secondary characters. Tokoyami has been on of the most appealing characters so far. He recounts his internship with Hawks.  

Hawks invites Fumikage to his home. He tells him that ” he wanted to talk to someone from Class 1-A about the League of Villains.” Hawks invites him a second time, he takes Fumikage on a flight. Hawks claims that Fumikage is wasting his potential. He tells him that ” he should be able to move much more freely as a bird with wings, and that he need not be confined to the ground.” 

Shihai mocks the name of Tokoyami’s new ultimate move name and uses the shadows hide from Class 1-A. Shihai gets behind Yuga and grabs him. He believes that his Quirk is superior to Fumikage as it’s more versatile. Fumikage uses his Dark Shadow: Black Fallen Angel on Shihai. This move allows Fumikage to fly ” by having Dark Shadow hold onto him while covered by Fumikage’s cloak to provide better darkness.”

He rescues Yuga from Shihai. Momo instructs Yuga to use his Navel Buffet, a move that blast several laser beams creating light. This prevents Shihai from hiding in the shadows, Momo instructs Toru to grab Shihai. However, a mushroom appears on Momo’s nose. Itsuka Kendo has apparently come up with a “plan B.” Momo and Kendo are clearly the leaders of their teams. So far in the series they have shown that they’re highly capable and highly intelligent. I’m curious to see what Momo and Kendo come up with to counter each other and what Kinoko’s mushroom quirk does.

Fairy Tail 100 Chapter 8 Review: The God Dragon’s Melancholy

In this chapter Team Natsu finally encounters Mercuphobia. Kyria prepares to attack him but is teleported by someone called Skarion. Their bodies disappeared in ash. The team figures that it was likely some sort of Ash magic that is used to “move from one place to the other.” Regardless, Mercuphobia asks Natsu if he “came to slay him.” Natsu surprisingly doesn’t appear to be eager for a fight. He responds, “not exactly.” Natsu admits that they are here to seal him but isn’t sure that they’re going to if he’s a “good guy.”

Team Natsu feels a sense of relief. They are under the impression that they won’rt have to “seal,” him now. However, Mercuphobia tells them that they “must seal him.” He decides that team Natsu are now his guest. He brings them to his palace, where he shows them his “underwater farm,” “medical facility,” and “watch tower.” Everyone feels that the water god is “good.” He tells them that he actually has “killed many humans in the past.” He had a change of heart over the years. 

Mercuphobia informs them that he can “no longer control his powers.” He believes he must be killed to prevent his powers from effecting other cities. Before he dies he must do something. It’s not elaborated on before we see Kyria and her group. We are introduced to Mage Guild Diabolos Corpse Dragon Skarion Raider who suggests that Mercuphobia is a “false” water god. The water god’s interaction with team Natsu was surprising. Now that he’s change it became more difficult to see him evil. 

The I was evil until this special person changed me has been done many time before. I don’t particular hate the trope but it’s a common one. That said he wouldn’t be as complicated without this change. If Mercuphobia isn’t evil anymore then some else must become the conflict. That remains to be seen as we find out what the water god must do. However, all this change seems to be fake or according to Skarion, the water god is. That appears to be a waste of a character but we shall see what he meant. 

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 9 Review: Ruler of the Walls

The massive titan of Rod Reiss continues to drag itself toward Orvud District. Erwin’s plan becomes more clear as Hange explains why it would be a bad idea to evacuate the citizens. Because Rod is an abnormal Titan he would be drawn to a larger crowd of people. If they evacuate it simply will change direction, potentially destroying the wall itself and killing more people.

Erwin acknowledges that the scouts are duty bound to protect the citizens and that even though they will use them as bait, they have developed a plan to save them if needed. The scouts will have the citizen participate in a “emergency evacuation drill.” They begin in the morning, but the citizens aren’t interested. They complain and question the authority of the scouts. Considering their attitude I can only conclude that these people haven’t been exposed to the Titans much.

Regardless, they quiet down as they notice the smoke coming from Rod’s Titan form. Cartsen orders the scouts to shoot Rod with cannon’s from a top of Wall Sina. This goes as well as I expected, which is to say not very well. Erwin has a seemingly ridiculous plan that of course is going to work. As Titan battles tend to go this one wasn’t the most action packed, but it made up for it by being the most disgusting. Rod having been crawling with half his face buried in the ground and well as his stomach, no longer has either.

His entrails fall out on top of Wall Sina. Finally, the citizens see the Titan and begin to flee. From this point the main scouts take over. After blowing up gunpowder near the Titans hands, it falls over. Eren carrying barrels of gunpowder, literally throws it into the Titans face. The heat causes them to blow up, resulting in an chain reaction that destroys the top half of Rod. Piece’s of the Titan fly off and Erwin order’s the Scout’s to cut up the chunks. The Scouts do so with Historia finally delivering the death blow to her father.

We finally see the results of what happened to Kenny and his squad. He appears to be the only survivor and is fatally wounded. Levi and another soldier find him sitting against a tree. As Levi noted his likely fate is death, Kenny shows him a syringe. There’s no way that this series will have another human made Titan so close to Rod. I think Kenny dies before he can use it or he gives it to Levi to use. The action in this episode was simple and mostly secondary. This episode was largely about the character growth of Historia and Eren.

Eren realizes that he was too arrogant. He seems to come to terms with the fact that despite his Titan abilities he’s not the “main character.” Eren of course remains very important to the series but it feels like he’s at peace with his place in the Scouts (and hopefully the series). I still think Historia’s transformation was too quick and not earned like Eren’s, but it will be good to see them accept themselves. With Historia now Queen, the scouts have a powerful ally, while killing off almost all of their non Titan enemies. A perfect time to head to the basement.

One Piece Chapter 917 Review: Food Treasure

This chapter seemed to go by quickly. We see more of the corruption, starvation and cruelty inflicted upon the citizens of Bakura Town. Another, Hundred Beast Pirate member is introduced, Speed. Oda must be running out of names because that is a generic one. Anyway, she’s a “horse” SMILE devil fruit user. While bringing the good food in town she stumbles upon the fight between Luffy and Holdem.

Holdem threats to have his lion stomach, Kamijiro “bite Tama in half.” He assumes that they are apart of Shutenmaru’s bandit crew the Atamayama Thieves. He’s a master thief that has been stealing from Orochi’s farm. Kiku warns Luffy that if he angers Holdem, it could invite the wrath of Jack. One of the “Disasters” of the Beast Pirates. He has a Billion Beli bounty and ate the Zou Zou no Mi, allowing him to transform into a mammoth. 

It was believe that Jack was killed at sea, but he clearly survived. Of course Kiku’s warning means that Luffy is going to anger Jack. I’m hoping that he does encounter Jack that fight would be epic. Lady Speed arrives with the food, Luffy gets angry at the injustice regarding food distribution. He asks Zoro to “handle” the food situation. 

Meanwhile, Basil Hawkins is intercepted by Law in disguise. Hawkins one of the few people in Wano that knows his identity and Law plans to “finish him off.” Elsewhere, Luffy and Zoro, rescue Tama and steal the food good respectively. After Tama tells Luffy that Holdem used pliers to try to make her “dangos,” he gets pissed and uses his Red Hawk on Holdem. 

Luffy’s epic crushing hits never gets old. Of course Luffy had to punish Holdem for his terrible behavior. A lot of big players are involved in this arc already. Jack, Kiado, Law and Hawkins. I’m excited at the prospect of seeing the other two “Disasters” of the Beast Pirates. If Jack has that high of a beli bounty the others should be just as strong. 

Attack on Titan Episode 8 Review: Outside the Walls of Orvud District

Rod beings transforming into a Titan that is twice the size of the Colossal Titan. While transforming Rod destroys the cavern. In order to survive they turn to Eren. As typical of him, Eren has been begging to be “eaten.” He continues to be a “crybaby,” calling himself “useless.” Eren continues to apologize, but Jean does accept it stating that “that Eren has never accomplished anything by himself.” Conny reminds him that “collectively they have been through worse.”

Finally, Eren decides to grab a bottle labeled “armor” and breaks it in his teeth. He transforms and pillars of crystal beings to reinforce the ceiling of the cavern. The squad hides underneath Eren. The Anti-Personnel Squad is harmed however. Caven and another solider are crushed by debris form the cavern ceiling. Unsurprisingly, Hange survives, as Armin and Moblit escape with her Erwin arrives with the scouts.

Meanwhile, Eren is freed from his crystallized Titan and has apparently gained the ability to “harden,” his skin. Levi points out that this is can be used to rebuild the Wall Maria. Interestingly, Rod’s Reiss Titan is strange. It’s large and seems to have a torso too long to stand, along with arms and legs too weak to lift him. Instead of walking upright it crawls and burns everything in it’s wake. According to the Scouts they believe that Rod is an Abnormal Titan.

Historia is asked by Hange if she’s okay with her father being killed. Considering the fact that a Titan of that size must be killed. If find the attachment between Historia and Rod to be weak. It’s really unconvincing to me that she would sincerely care about him. However, she accepts that her father must die.

This episode wasn’t really as entertaining or interesting as the previous ones. That’s no real issue, all episodes don’t need to be spectacular. Mostly the episode felt slow and there wasn’t anything new revealed. Regardless, I’m curious why Erwin won’t evacuate the civilians, the next episode is going to be very interesting.