In My Hero Academia Chapter 318, “Dark Cloud,” Deku continues his search for All For One. He ignores Endeavors and the former holders of One For All’s plea to let his body rest. For Deku, every minute is another minute the villains have to prepare. In the last chapter, we learn Death Arms retired. He grew tired of the constant criticism and negative attention heroes received. Best Jeanist notes that “heroes are quitting one-by-one and the last threads holding them together are starting to tear.” With the general public’s pressure on heroes, mass retirements, the release of the villains from Tartarus, and assassins targeting Deku, All For One has created an unsettling environment.
It always seems odd that Deku felt he needed to leave school and his classmates to pursue All For One. Deku was one of the best students but he wasn’t the best student. One For All may become the most powerful Quirk but it’s not there yet. Wouldn’t he be more successful if he worked with his class? I might be overthinking things. Besides as I always remark My Hero Academia has too many characters. It wouldn’t have been easy for Kohei Horikoshi to have more than a handful of Deku’s classmates with him. Deku’s current manic nature is shown not only in his ragged appearance but in the manner he defeats his pursuers. He jumps from conflict to conflict, dispatching villains quickly.
Deku needs some help
I assume this is deliberate on Horikoshi’s part. The audience develops anxieties like Deku. What will happen next? Who will attack him next? Can he defeat them as he clearly becomes fatigued? The answer to the last one is no. When Deku encounters the villain, Dictator. His quirk is to control the bodies of others. The victims are aware that they’re being controlled. They apologize as they grab at Deku’s mask. Suddenly, Bakugo arrives and hits the Dictator with AP Shot, knocking the villain out. Dictator reveals that All For One “predicted” Deku would exhaust himself. If Deku doesn’t realize that doing what traditional heroes do is what All For One expects he’s going to be overwhelmed and outsmarted. Going at it alone isn’t working for him, hopefully, Bakuga and the others can convince him.
I was first drawn to Dandadan when I stumbled upon the creator’s artwork on Twitter. I judge manga series based on their art style first. So I quickly translated Japanese, desperately seeking the name of the new manga series. Dandadan is billed as a “shockingly grotesque occultic battle series.” Created by Yukinobu Tatsu (Yamada Kiki Ippatsu), Dandadan follows Momo Ayase and Ken Takakura as they battle aliens and the occult. The first chapter is wild. Momo Ayase has a miserable date with an ass and is heartbroken. She loves “star masculine guys” like Takakura Ken ( the Japanese Clint Eastwood). While walking past a classroom, Momo sees Ken, being pelted with paper balls. Taking pity on him, Momo sits in front of him. Ken is awkward and barely can look at Momo.
That’s short for “unidentified aerial phenomena”
He follows her out of the room claiming he “knows what she likes” the “occult.” Annoyed, Momo says she doesn’t believe in “UFOs or aliens.” Ken corrects her that they’re called UAPS or “unidentified aerial phenomena.” The dynamic between Ken and Momo is typical for anime and manga. She’s the pretty young woman taking pity on the pathetic nerd. However, Momo is kinda weird herself. She may not believe in aliens, but she does believe in ghosts. Suddenly, this dynamic shifts. Ken thinks Momo’s being ridiculous now. He dismisses ghosts, claiming “there’s no such thing.” Like most nerds, Momo has some shame in her beliefs, so much so that she berates her psychic Grandmother when she’s humiliated at school. The two challenge each other. Momo will show Ken a ghost and Ken will show her a real UFO.
I’ll let you suckle my titties
Momo is sent to “Nagi Hospital,” a place that Ken claims is a “sanctuary for aliens.” Meanwhile, Ken heads to the “spirit spot,” an abandoned tunnel. They both claimed not to believe in aliens or UFO’s but both are clearly scared. Yukinobu’s are style starts to stand out. His use of lines shows the apprehensive movement of Momo and Ken. Yukinobu also makes great use of detailed line work and contrasting it with white background. This style is best depicted when Ken meets the Turbo Granny. An urban legend originating from the highways of Mount Rokko in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. The legend claims that while driving on a highway a driver only catches a glimpse of Turbo Granny and is induced into a car accident. In Dandanda she has a more vulgar motive. She offers oral sex in exchange for allowing Ken to “suckle on her titties.”
Yukinobu makes great use of lines, details and white space.
We are the Serpo
If the encounter with Turbo Granny wasn’t jarring enough, Momo’s experience with the “Serpo” was worst. They attempt to rape her, stripping her to her underwear and manipulating her with psychokinesis. It’s uncomfortable, but I guess it should be. However, before they go too far, Ken interrupts them by calling Momo. One of the aliens reaches for the phone, a cursed Ken emerges. He resembles the Turbo Granny. He rips off one of the alien’s mechanical penises (less brutal than it sounds). Ken’s new form is grotesque, as he has long white hair, a creepy row of large teeth, and his movement appears almost uncoordinated. It’s like he doesn’t have any bones. Overstimulated by the psychokinesis, Momo’s chakra is opened and she’s able to use psychic powers. After dispatching the aliens, Momo is able to remove Turbo Granny from Ken’s body. However, the curse remains.
The alien Serpo’s are creepy creeps.
Weird occult action sex comedy
The Turbo Granny claims that she has Ken’s . . . “dick,” and as long as she has it the curse won’t leave. Ken and Momo decide to join forces. I’ve been using Ken’s first name throughout this review, but at this point in the manga, Momo didn’t know his name (she called him Occult boy). Ken’s full name is Takakura Ken, the same name as the actor Momo liked in the beginning.
Will Ken overcome his nerdy status to become a man like Japan’s Clint Eastwood or will he prove to Momo that “masculine” men come in all shapes and sizes? Despite the cringe-worthy sexual humor, I’m into this series. Dandadan has more subtle humor as well, I don’t think I’ve laughed as much with any recent manga series. The art of Yukinobu Tatsu is amazing. His use of detail, coupled with clean lines, and dramatic movement is impressive. Dandadan is a manga series that can be summed up as a weird occult action sex comedy. I like it.
Candy Flurry Chapter 1 introduces us to Tsumugi Minase. A cute girl who loves candy, specifically lollipops. She loves how they look and of course how they taste. Candy Flurry takes place in a world where the candy company ToyToy’s Candy sold 100 pieces of limited candy. No candy is the same. If you consumed a candy, you gain the ability to create the sweet. The consequence of the candy users was the “decimation of Tokyo.” The user was a lollipop user, who remains unknown. The ToyToyCandy company stopped selling the candy but sweet users increased their criminal activity. Minase heads into an alleyway after receiving cream puffs for lunch. Suddenly, a bank robber with a donut ability attacks her. Minase reveals she’s a lollipop user.
Minase is caught by several men. However, they are quickly defeated by a recette armed with a fork. His name is Misaki Midori. The recette (sweets police) are responsible for arresting sweet users. Misaki is polite towards Minase, but he suspects her of being a sweet user. In class, Minaski is introduced to her new classmate, Misaki Midori. It can be difficult to tell how old characters are in anime and manga, but Misaki and Minase seem to be in high school. It’s strange to see an underage student (Misaki) is involved in a policing organization that subjects him to potential harm.
Minase uses her lollipop ability, exposing herself as a sweet user.
Lollipops are the devil’s candy
Misaki is you’re typically boy scout type. He follows the rules all the time, even outside his work. On top of that, he hates candy, especially lollipops making him the perfect foil for Minase. Candy Flurry’s chapter 1, sets up an inevitable clash between these two. A lollipop user is responsible for the destruction and harm that occurred in Tokyo five years ago. However, if no two users of ToyToy’s Candy can have the same ability then who did it? Minase is then put in an impossible position when the donut user from earlier escapes and seeks revenge. She refuses to use her power but when Misaki gets hurt she has no choice.
Minase rushes up to the roof of a building. She jumps off and clobbers the donut user, exposing herself as a sweet user. Misaki thanks her for saving him but claims he has no choice but to arrest her. Candy Flurry is going to be instantly be compared to One Piece. Particularly the mechanism for acquiring powers. That’s where I think the similarities end. I wonder why the donut user went mad. He keeps referencing a pain in his head, and Misaki notes that he’s “lost control.” I like this series, it may not become a game-changer, but a manga series that fun, with good art, is enough for me.
My Hero Academia Season 5, episodes 12 and 13, ends the Joint Training Arc and begins the Endeavor Agency arc. However, in between these two arcs is the Meta Liberation Army Arc. Episode 12 is adapted from chapters 216 to 219, and episode 13 is adapted from chapters 241 to 242. I can only assume the series will return to the Rise of Villains Saga later in the season. These two episodes weren’t intriguing. The main focus in these episodes was Shoto and Katsuki receiving their Provisional License. The two heroes get to show off when a couple of cannon fodder villains go on a stealing spree. Only having their licenses for 30 minutes, Katsuki and Shoto dominate Cider House. Shoto uses his new attack, Flashfreeze Heatwave super move.
My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 13 opens with Tomura Shigaraki destroying Delka City. This city was the scene of the conflict in the Meta Liberation Army Arc. I was disappointed when the episode pivoted to interviews. Unsurprisingly, Katsuki is terrible at it. His bad attitude, rudeness, and big mouth make him a terrible candidate to represent the heroes. We finally get to see how the public views the heroes. Many civilians are sympathetic towards the heroes, something that the hero critic, Aorio Kuraishisu, notes didn’t use to happen. In the world of My Hero Academia, heroes are treated like athletes or politicians. As public figures, heroes should be expected to deal with the public.
To this end, Midnight and Mt. Lady arrive to train the students in public speaking. They set up a press release podium. Shoto comes across as “aloof and clueless,” the rest of the class go, but it’s when Katsuki takes the stage that Mt. Lady notices he’s “does interviews much better alone.” The Hero Public Safety Commission discusses reintroducing work studies. After a Christmas celebration, Shoto asks Izuku and Katsuki to join him and his father for work-study. I wonder when this season will return to the Villians Arc. I can imagine the series putting the Endeavor Agency arc first, then concluding the season with Meta Liberation Army Arc. That arc is one of the best and most important in the series. It would be a shame if they skipped it.
Scott over at mechanical anime reviews promotes Jon Spencer’s Showcase for June 2021. If you never heard of the showcase, it’s an event according to Jack Scheibelein over at Animated Observations is “an event held once a month where creators of all kinds and sizes are invited to submit things they have worked on in the previous month. This can be blog posts, videos, podcasts, or whatever else you feel like submitting. While I do mainly cover anime and gaming here, these posts can be about basically whatever, so feel free to share what you care about the most.”
Scott decided to add a theme to the showcase this month, Celestial Being. An independent group from Gundam OO, the Celestial Being aims to “create peace across the world by fighting all the other parties with their gundams.” If you wish to join the tour head to Scott’s site and post in the comments. Make sure you do so by June 29th.
Back in September of 2020, I mentioned briefly a review of Children of the Sea in the New York Times. The author, Maya Phillips complimented the music of Joe Hisaishi, but found the use of CGI and drawing conflicted making the “C.G.I. look artificial,” and the “drawings look flat.” Children of the Sea was released in 2019. An adaptation of Daisuke Igarashi’s manga, the movie focuses on a high school student, Ruka, and a mysterious pair of brothers, Umi and Sora.
The animations are clearly the draw, but the plot seems messy. Takuto recommends “visually watching the film.” The complex themes and plot points are difficult to understand. Takuto suggests everyone give it try and gives the film a 7/10. Check out his full review below:
The Top 5 Time Travel Anime
I love a top 5 list and Irina over at the drunken anime blog makes some of the best. Irina is a fan of the “device,” “I get fascinated by when it’s [time travel] done well and appreciate the effort when it’s done badly.” I’ve never noticed this but time travel is common in anime, especially the isekai genre. Irina limits the list to anime “where time travel is isolated,” or anime that remains in the same “place.”
Furthermore, Irina keeps to anime “where the time travel element was actively used throughout the series and important to the plot. So anything with a character waking up in the past or future and then having adventures from that point on is out!” Her lists include two anime I have heard of, but none I’ve seen. Check out her list of top time travel anime.