Vinland Saga Episode 12: Recap & Review

In Vinland Saga Episode 12, The Ear using his ability to locate Thorkell and his men.
The Ear at work

Season 1, Episode 12: The Land on the Far Bank

Askeladd runs into a man fishing. He asks if the fish are “biting,” the man doesn’t care, he’s operates the ferry. Askeladd tells him that he wants him to deliver a letter to an elder. Thorkell’s men continue to pursue, Askeladd and his men are able to detect them. Or I should say that the man called “the Ear,” can detect them. We have seen him at work before, however, in this episode his skill are put in more focus. Vinland Saga manages to give it’s characters almost supernatural powers, without sacrificing realism. The “Ears” talents are pushing those boundaries, but I think the shows realism remains intact. Anyway, he is able to hear the soldiers and their horse march. He determines that they’re only one day behind on foot. The Ear quickly detects two men on horse back. Exposed, Askeladd says that they can’t win in a fight, they must keep running until the reinforcements he sent for arrive.

Ragnar feeling angry after Canute is disrespected.
Ragnar angry

Askeladd’s men are exhausted and worried. However, Askeladd says he doesn’t care. Bjorn asks him why he’s behaving so strangely. Askeladd explains that he’s able to read people, just by looking at their faces. When seeing Prince Canute he realized that he’s doesn’t have the “face of a king.” As Askeladd and his men continue to evade Thorkell they finally reach the reinforcements. Thorkell is shocked that Askeladd was aided by Wales. Thorkell explains the history of Wales, a small mountainous region to the west of England. It was never unified under a single country. In East of Morgannwg Kingdom of Wales, Askeladd and his crew. He tells Ragnar that they must walk to Gainesborough on foot. Ragnar hates the idea, mainly because the people of Wales hate them. Askeladd tells him that he has allies in Wales and he will have Thorfinn act as Canute’s guard.


The general of the Kingdom, Gratianus, will help them to Gainsborough. He makes it clear that the only reason that their helping Canute is to receive a “non-aggression” treaty. He asks him to swear that “once he (Canute) becomes King of England he wouldn’t interfere in the affair of Wales.” Canute is quite. He barely speaks and when he does, it’s only to Ragnar. Canute’s demeanor doesn’t garner much respect. He can barely look people in the eyes and twirls his hair like a child. He appears profoundly innocent, especially when you compare him to Thorfinn. As they continue to travel, they are attacked. As Canute looks around in shock, Thorfinn get’s really for battle.

This episode would be a let down for anyone that only cares about Vinland Saga for the epic battles. I think that the series willingness to slow the narrative down and focus on the larger world and it’s history is refreshing. Canute is barely noticeable but is slowly showing his personality. He’s appears to be the foil for the brooding, angry Thorfinn. Time will tell if he will be “corrupted” by the realities of the world, but I think he will serve as a contrast to Thorfinn. Vinland Saga manages to balance the history of the world, realism, and deep characterization with epic violent action.


Reviews of the Other Episodes

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Dr. Stone Episode 13 & 14: Recap and Review

Season 1, Episode 13: Masked Warrior

Senku, Chrome and Ginro return having secured the sulfuric acid. Senku tells them that they now have everything necessary and now it’s just a matter of “lighting up the all the dark spots.” First the need to heat up the sulfuric acid and add salt. Using a water dripping machine they create hydrochloric acid. Senku adds sinters to create chlorosulfuric acid. With electricity, Senku is able to separate the saltwater. This results in the creation of sodium hydroxide. Each acid comes with its own set of dangers, which Senku loves to tell. Finally, they need alcohol. Luckily, the winner of the grand bout will receive alcohol. Senku and Kohaku plan to enter the bout.It’s the goal of Senku and Ginro to cheat and have Senku lose on purpose. With Kohaku in agreement, they hope that Kinro will win the bout.

After Rui collapses, Chrome enters the bout. However, Kinro and Magma are paired together in the first round. As the bout begins, one of Magma’s men, Mantle, claims that Suika is drowning. Senku and Chrome don’t believe him, but Kohaku runs to rescue her anyway. The first match begins. Kohaku must return to the grand bout before the third round otherwise she will be disqualified. Kinro and Magma face off. While Kinro is a match for Magma, his blurry vision impairs him. Suika, now free from being tied to a tree, sees that Kinro has the same “sickness” that she had. She gives him her watermelon hide improving the sight. Kinro easily defeats Magma, realizing that if he has embraced the science he would have surpassed Magma long ago.


Episode 14: Master of Flame

Kinro is dominating Magma and the others begin to get excited. Magma acts as if he was willing to concede, if Kinro got the ref to agree. When Kinro turns his back Magma takes advantaged an attacks. Magma destroys the watermelon, knocking out Kinro as well. Magma is given the win. The next match is Mantle and Chrome. The fight isn’t particularity interesting. Magma notices that Kohaku is returning from the forest. He tells Mantle to quit so that the second match ends prematurely, forcing Kohaku to forfeit, resulting in Senku “winning.” With Kohaku, Kinro out, Ginro is their last chance. He faces off against Argo. Caffeinated he attacks vigorously. Under a sort of placebo effect he feel invincible. He’s not, but manages to knock Argo off the cliff. He then gets the “runs” a flees to the forest. Magma, Ginro, Senku and Chrome are all left. The next match is Chrome verses Magma.

At a disadvantage, Chrome isn’t expected to win. He’s quickly beaten by Magma, but refuses to surrender. With Rui watching, Magma hopes that she starts to cry, after he paralyses Chrome. Chrome uses his “special attack” which is just throwing dirt in Magma’s eye. He then grabs the remains of the watermelon. He plans on using the glasses in the watermelon to start a fire. However, Senku thinks that it’s impossible. Chrome manages to create a conclave lens with his sweet and tears. Gen returns. He distracts Magma, pretending to put a curse on him. He tricks Magma into believing that if he moves he will die. While waiting Chrome is able to set Magma on fire and knock him off the cliff into the sea. Winning. This leaves all the remaining contestant form the Kingdom of Science.

The outcome of this grand bout was never in doubt, but it was interesting how it came about. The immoral fighter in this tournament was suppose to be Magma and Mantle. However, almost all the participants cheated. You can even make a case that the ref allowed too much interference from everybody. Magma’s violence and cruelty makes him worst but nobody has the highest ethics here. I guess if everyone’s cheating then on some level things are even. The Kingdom of Science rigged the tournament from the start and even with some setbacks and cheating from Magma, managed to get the win.


Dr. Stone Review:

My Top 5 Anime Ice users

Same rules as my list for top 5 water users and top 5 fire users which are:

  1. I’m only going to include anime characters from anime/manga I’ve read or watched. Mainly because I would be familiar with their powers.
  2. I’m only going to include ONE character per series. This is difficult to do, because there are many strong characters in any given series, but I want some variety.
  3. I think it will be difficult to determine how each character on the list would fare against each other, so I going to focus how strong they are within their series. However, I will be thinking how they compare relative to each other.

[Note] This list and any others will focus on characters that MOSTLY or significantly use the element. In this case ice. What that would result in is having a list of characters that will have more that just the element in their abilities and I will be factoring these other abilities in as well.


5. Shoto Todoroki (MHA)

[Note] I’m putting Shoto fifth despite his ice powers being more powerful (in my opinion) than Gray and Haku. In My Hero Academia he often uses abilities without names and the heroes in the series really only have a handful of techniques. Shoto really only has one ice attack at the moment, because he hasn’t reached his full potential yet.

Shoto is a student in Class 1-A, where he got through with official recommendations. The youngest son of the number one hero Endeavor, he’s one of the best young heroes in the series. As a child he was trained to be the successor of his father from an early age. His Quirk is called Half-Cold Half-Hot, a powerful versatile Quirk that grants him both fire and ice powers. While Shoto has begun to use his fire side he’s far more advance with his ice side. He was capable of freezing entire buildings and creating large waves of ice. He has enhanced durability, stamina and agility.

Shoto’s top ice abilities:

  • Heaven Piercing Ice Wall – Shoto creates an enormous ice glacier, that can either encapsulate his opponent or block the immediate field of battle in ice.

Source: MHA Fandom


4. Haku (Naruto)

Haku was an orphaned ninja from the Land of Water, and a member of Yuki Clan. He became a mercenary ninja under the tutelage of Zabuza. He posses the Kekkei Genkai: Ice Released. For his age, Haku was advanced. Haku was also incredibly fast, and was capable of killing without making a sound. Haku could also perform hand seals with only one hand, a feat that remained rare even at the end of the series. His uses of Ice Release granted him unique offensive and defensive abilities.

Haku’s top Ice abilities:

  • Demonic Mirroring Ice Crystals – a technique is performed by Haku. He creates several large mirrors out of ice, which he surrounds a target with. By entering one of these mirrors, Haku’s reflection will appear in all of them. Haku can travel between these mirrors near-instantaneously, giving the appearance that he occupies all of them simultaneously.
  • Ice Release: Ice Rock Dome of Magnificent Nothingness – Haku can quickly freeze the surrounding air and create an icy, transparent igloo-like dome around himself and/or allies to act as a defense. It is strong enough to withstand the air assault of so many explosive tags at once, remaining almost undamaged.
  • Thousand Flying Water Needles of Death – Haku creates a thousand long needles from the nearby water, which surround the target. The user carefully aims the needles at the target and fires them at rapid speeds. Targets who are struck by the needles suffer significant injury.

Source: Naruto Fandom


3. Gray Fullbuster (Fairy Tail)

Gray is a Mage of the Fairy Tail Guild. He’s the master of Ice-make magic. This allows him to create ice at will and shape it into anything he wants. He uses Static Ice-Make that allows him to shape his ice into inanimate things or weapons. Ice-make is known for being effective as both offensive and defensive magic. He also has resistance to ice and snow magic. Gray also has “Ice Magic” that allows the user to create and manipulate ice. He can even freeze, boiling water and flames.

Gray’s Top Ice abilities:

  • Ice devil Slayer Magic – A form of Devil Slayer Magic that Gray can manifest at will which allows him to produce, manipulate and control the element of ice. Like other Slayers, he is able to consume external sources of ice in order to replenish his strength and enhance his power while immune to it.
  • Unison Raid – Gray is capable of using this ability, although he has only performed it alongside Juvia till now. During their fight against Daphne’s Dragonoid, Gray and Juvia were able to fuse their Magic together, causing massive amounts of water and ice needles to erupt all over Magnolia Town.
  • Shotgun – Gray utilizes water provided by a Water Mage in conjunction with his Ice-Make Magic to solidify the water, which is then aimed at the target and released as sharp, thick spears of ice.

Source: Fairy Tail Wiki


2. Rukia Kuchiki (Bleach)

Rukia is the current Captain of the 13th Division. She’s the adoptive sister of Byakuya Kuchiki, friend of Ichigo and wife of Renji Abarai. Rukia is an expert swordsman, kido user, shunpo expert and hakuda combatant. She also has enhanced strength and endurance, along with high intelligence.

Rukia’s top Ice abilities:

  • Shikai Special Ability – Rukia possess an ice-type Zanpakuto called Sode no Shirayuki. Her Zanpakuto has general freezing abilities, basically anything its wielder touches freezes.
  • Tsugi no mai, Hakuren – Rukia, calling out the name of the dance, punctures the ground once, creating a large ice circle, similar to the first dance. She punctures the ground in front of her four times in a semi circle. As ice particles begin to flow up from the punctures she made in the ground, she takes a battle stance. The particles, building up at the tip of Sode no Shirayuki, are released as a large, powerful avalanche of cold air. It flash freezes whatever it comes into contact with, encasing it in ice.
  • Bankai (Hakka no Togame) – increases the area of influence of Rukia’s ability to reach the temperature of absolute zero. Upon release, a pillar of cold mist rises up into the air from where she is and covers a wide area in her vicinity. Anything within the area of influence of the mist is frozen. Once frozen solid, victims crumble away within seconds. Physical contact with Rukia herself causes other people to begin freezing solid due to how cold her body is.

Source: Bleach Fandom


1. Aokiji (One Piece)

Also know as Kuzan, Aokiji was a Marine Admiral. He was nominated for “fleet admiral” by Sengoku, but lost the position to Sakazuki. As a marine admiral he had a large number of marines under his command. He could holds his own against a pirate as powerful as Whitebeard. He also has a great deal of speed as he was able to sneak up on Doflamingo with him noticing. He has enhance endurance, being able to fight Sakazuki for 10 straight days before being defeated. He was able to take a Haki imbued kick from Marco and Jozu. He possess acute hearing, even being able to hear things underwater. He possess Haki, Busoshoku Haki and Kenbunshoku Haki. Aokiji ate the Logia type devil fruit, the Hie Hie no Mi. This allows him to turn himself and his surroundings into ice. It’s strong enough that he could change the weather of one half of an island.

Aokiji’s top ice abilities:

  • Ice Age – An attack used only near the ocean or another large area of water. Kuzan places his hand in the water, then in an instant freezes it (along with anything in/on it) completely solid.
  • Ice Time – Kuzan touches his opponent’s body, then freezes them into a human ice statue. They can remain alive in a form of suspended animation for some time in their icy prison, but any decent hit will shatter them to pieces. This ended up being the case for Jozu, whose right arm broke off at the shoulder upon falling over while completely frozen.
  • Ice Time Capsule – Using his powers, Kuzan sends a wave of ice along the ground. Anything it hits is frozen in place.

Source: One Piece Fandom


Vinland Saga Episode 11: Recap & Review

The pretty Prince Canute

Season 1, Episode 11: A Gamble

Thorkell and his men talk about what’s great about fall. The food taste better, especially the fish. They talk about the “modest” Christian women, which pivots to a conversation about the religion itself. Considering the limits of Christianity, Thorkell’s men notes that “if your Christian . . . you can’t do this or that.” One of the men talks about the statue of Jesus on the cross and how “weak” he looks. It’s understandable that compared to Odin and Thor, Jesus despite his “magic” doesn’t really seem cool. Thorkell decides that they should ask a Christian. He asks Prince Canute which is better, Jesus or the gods in Asgard? Canute refuses to speak.

Suddenly, Thorkell and his men stop. Thorkell picks up a spear and hurdles it into the head of a soldier. They demand that Ragnar and Canute be returned. Thorkell returns them to the soldiers, but Thorkell tells them to “show him their best attack.” What we end up with is a stand off. The soldiers feel that Thorkell and his men are challenging them as warriors, and to retreat is to become a “coward.” Ragnar tells him that rescuing Prince Canute is the “victory.” Thorkell asks them if they’re “scared,” even with “2000.” They are provoked by Thorkell and attack. Meanwhile, Askeladd and his men start fires.

Thorkell with two axes, slaughters many of the soldiers, hacking pieces of them off. Thorkell realizes that the fire was started by a third party. Askeladd has his men pour water on Thorfinn and sends him to capture the Prince. He arrives just in time to “save” Prince Canute. Surrounded by fire, Thorfinn prepares to fight Thorkell and his men. When Thorkell arrives he asks Thorfinn two questions. He reveals that he knows that who Thors is and Thorfinn’s mother. Thorkell says that Thors is the only man stronger than him. He leaves as the fire rages. Thorfinn returns with the Prince. Askeladd offers his services as a “bodyguard” and asks to see Canute’s face.


Reviews of the Other Episodes

Vinland Saga Episode 10: Recap & Review

Season 1, Episode 10: Ragnarok

Prince Canute seems to be disinterested in fighting Thorkell. However, Thorkell becomes excited at the news that Canute is leading the Danish army. He rushes out to attack the them. Askeladd and his men are separated form the main army and are trying to make some money before the winter. A messenger from Prince’s Canute army runs into Askeladd accidentally and informs them of Thorkell’s attack. Thorkell has taken the Prince hostage and is going to confront the main army. Askeladd becomes excited at the possibility of recusing the Prince and holding him ransom to the Kingdom that offers him the best price.

There wasn’t a whole lot to this episode, but there’s some things of note. First it seems that Thorfinn’s consciousness is getting to him. He remembers his family and clearly misses them. I think they’re going to be his remaining source of humanity that prevents him from becoming a true monster. Another theme that this series always highlights is the decline of the powerful. Askeladd tells Thorfinn that he will eventually kill him. His age will cause him to get weaker, while Thorfinn will continue to get stronger. At some point Thorfinn will be stronger and win. He then explains this view further when talking about, the decline of the Roman Empire and the Saxons.

Thorkell’s excitement when hearing that Canute was leading was surprising. The distance in their fighting ability and experience is vast. It’s unlikely that he was excited to fight him, but by taking him hostage can force the main army to come rescue him. The immaturity of some of the vikings in Askeladd army is profound. Two of them get into a fight over name calling and literally fight to one dies. If Ragnarok, teaches us anything it’s how Askeladd and his men don’t value there lives or the lives of others.


Reviews of the Other Episodes

Dr. Stone Episode 10: Recap and Review

Season 1, Episode 10: A Flimsy Alliance

Kohaku explains to Suika, that Tsukasa is the guy that “killed” Senku. They discuss whether Gen is a good person or not. Senku says that even if he’s not a good person it doesn’t matter. They need him to tell Tsukasa that “Senku is definitely dead.” If he doesn’t they can’t win. Chrome tells Gen that the “Kingdom of Science is more fun.” Gen remembers being freed by Tsukasa. Having meet before, Tsukasa informs Gen that he’s collecting people to be revived. Gen is attacked by an unseen assailant. He manages to survive by using a fake bag of blood. However, he does sustain some injures. Suika goes to investigate. She’s learns that Magma is responsible.

His next target is Kohaku. He assumes her “power” is due to sorcery and now with Gen “dead” she will just be another girl. Kohaku realizes that Magma probably mistook Gen for Senku. Kohaku defeated Magma in a martial arts tournament. The winner of the tourney would become village elder and marry Rui. He isn’t so happy to do so however. Rui being sick isn’t a desirable wife to him, as he doesn’t want to take care of her. He hopes that she dies and suggests that he would “make it look like she drowned herself out of despair.” Overhearing this Kohaku attacks him, winning the tournament. The tournament will be held in a month. Kohaku suggests that if a man from the Kingdom of Science were to win the tournament they could save her.

She suggest that Kinro and Ginro enter the tournament and begins to train them. Chrome decides that he will focus on finding the cure for Ruri. With Gen in terrible shape, he won’t get back to Tsukasa in time. This means that Tsukasa is likely going to come an kill him. The next morning, Gen flees to go back to Tsukasa. At a cave, Gen finally reaches him. Tsukasa has revived several dangerous looking men and women. Kohaku tries to stop him but Senku tells her that he made up his mind when he saw the electricity and was a promised of cola. I don’t think Tsukasa will be fooled by Gen. Overall, Gen deciding to join the Kingdom of Science was better for him. Yes, he was attacked, but he get better food (Ramen), cola and electricity.


Dr. Stone Review:

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 23: Recap & Review

Season 1, Episode 23: Hashira Meeting

Tanjiro begins using his breathing technique to free himself. Giyu stops Obanai from interfering. Nezuko remembers her childhood. She begins to control her instincts, she looks away from Sanemi. Surprising to Sanemi, The Master takes it as evidence that she can be trusted. The Master then tells Tanjiro and Nezuko that they must go out in the world and defeat demons. Tanjiro states that he will “defeat Kibutsuji.” The Master kindly points that Tanjiro is nowhere near as powerful as he needs to be. He tells Tanjiro that he should focus on the Twelve Moon. Tanjiro and Nezuko are taken to Kocho mansion, Butterfly Manor.

They’re escorted into the infirmary. We see Zenitsu whining (as usual) about the pour tasting medicine. He needs the medication to regrow his shortened limbs due to being deformed by the venom. Zenitsu and Tanjiro happily greet each other. Inosuke lays silently in the bed besides Zenitsu. His voice has been damaged by the attack Father inflicted on him. Hoarse, he’s depressed by his lack of strength. Clearly this is going to be an opportunity for Tanjiro, Zenitsu, Inosuke and maybe Nezuko to gt some training. Meanwhile, the Hashira have their meeting. Demons are more active now and they need to increase their recruitment number.

Natagumo states that the quality of the non-Hashira’s members is terrible. However, it’s difficult for the Corps to recruit because humanity is largely ignorant of demons. Only those that have lost love ones to demons and are descendants of former demon slayers. The Corps have a good grasp on their problems. However, the ignorance of humanity can be solved by educating them. If the Corps taught them how to protect themselves from demon (wisteria) it would be harder for demons to kill them and get stronger. Right now the Corps are hidden from the public.

You could imagine that the Corps could become a military force, though that has other problems. Another thing that seems to cause them problems is the informal nature of how they choose demon slayers. Tanjiro was trained by a former Hashira, but his survival wasn’t really certain. The Corps seem unwilling to “hand hold,” at least not until after the final selection. Tanjiro is left to his own devices after he survives, given orders to fight but not how to fight. Basically, the leave them to fend for themselves which isn’t working at all. If they had a mentor continue to train with rookie demon slayers they would be better prepared than they tend to be.


Reviews of the Other Episodes

Vinland Saga Episode 9: Recap & Review

Season 1, Episode 9: The Battle of London Bridge

In October 1013, a fleet of Danish and Viking ships arrive in England. They are prepared to take London Bridge. Askeladd’s army is hired by Denmark, hoping to get rich with an easy victory. However, things get more complicated, with the deflection of Thorkell the Tall. Askeladd sends Thorfinn after Thorkell. A battle obsessed “madman,” Thorkell fights against his own countrymen for the challenge. When Floki asks the English for their surrender, Thorkell throws a massive boulder at them. He misses, but shows that he’s a major obstacle. The highlight of this episode is the fight between, Thorfinn and Thorkell. Armed with two daggers, Thorfinn takes on the unarmed Thorkell.

This fight is spectacular. They use of dramatic camera angles is really effective. Thorfinn use of superhuman acrobatics when dodging Thorkell’s massive blows is a sight. Thorkell duels Thorfinn one on one. Thorfinn quickly notices that despite being unarmed, Thorkell could kill him with “one hit.” He notices the weak points of Thorkell, attacking low, he manages to stab Thorkell in the hand. However, this allows Thorkell to grab Thorfinn. Slamming Thorfinn into the ground repeatedly, Askeladd and the fleet retreat. Thorfinn escapes after cutting off two of Thorkell’s fingers. He then jumps into the sea after informing Thorkell that he’s named Thorfinn, son of Thors.

Thorkell is excited to have battled such a warrior. He hopes for another battle on day. Realizing that they can’t spend so much time in one city, King Sweyn plans to move West. He will leave 4000 troops to overtake England, handing over command to the young Prince Canute. Ragnar continues to challenge the Kings wisdom in this regard. Every time he does this I expect the King to have him killed. It seems to be foolish to constantly tell the King that he’s wrong without any consequences. Although maybe the King simply responds well to criticism. Meanwhile, Thorfinn returns to land, with a dislocated shoulder, a sprained right ankle and several broken ribs. As they march on to Wessex, Thorfinn struggles to understand why anyone would love battle so much.


Reviews of the Other Episodes

Enen no Shouboutai Episode 9: Recap and Review

Season 1, Episode 9: The Spreading Malice

In episode 9, Shinra faces off with Lieutenant Rekka. They engage in a battle, resulting in Shinra taking Rekka down with a devastating attack. Using his movement he’s able to take advantage and defeat Rekka. However, Shinra almost exhausts the oxygen in his body. During the battle, Rekka notices that a Infernal insect is reacting to Shinra’s flame. He states that Shinra must be the “third person” that the Evangelist was searching for. He claims that Shinra possesses the “undefiled flame, the Adolla Burst.” Rekka explains that the Evangelists hope to make Earth into a “second Sun.”

Rekka reveals that he will make the children look like “they died in a fire and teach them the teachings of the Evangelists.” Shinra flashes back to his childhood, realizing that the Evangelist may have taken his brother. Rekka begins to over use his flame, preparing to die in the process. Karim uses his abilities to seal Rekka in ice. Suddenly, Rekka is shot through the chest, killing him instantly. Two white cloaked assassins succeed in their mission to silence Rekka. They then turn their sights on the others. Attacking Karim, Li intervenes losing his arm in the process.

Karim tells Shinra to create a “smokescreen,” and uses Tamaki to create a distraction. The two assassins retreat, unwilling to risk their lives further. Karim offers to join forces with Company 8 to expose the Evangelists. Tamaki is suspended by Company 1 and joins Company 8. The conspiracy is getting more interesting. The Evangelists and his followers are clearly an extreme religious organization. It also seems clear that the Evangelist took Shinra’s brother. I hope that the series teases out the investigation into the Evangelist because so far it seems that their rushing.


Dr. Stone Episode 8 & 9, Recap and Review

The weird Suika

Season 1, Episode 8: Stone Road

The villagers learn that there’s an outsider in the village. They assume that he’s a criminal that was kicked out of the village. Senku and the others prepare to save Ruri from her disease. He plans for the Kingdom of Science to create an antibiotic. Because they can’t tell what her disease is, antibiotics is the best chance to save her. He goes on to explain the two routes to making antibiotics, the biological route and the stone route. The stone route seems to be the more effective one, so they take it. Senku, Kohaku and Chrome begin searching for the elements they need to create the antibiotics.

Ramen

While collecting elements in the river, they meet Suika. She’s a weird girl with a watermelon rind on her head. She offers to help and Senku’s accepts. Once they collect the ingredients for iron the run into a problem they need to reach 1,500 degrees to make iron. By burning wood they can only reach 700 degrees. As much as they try they don’t have the manpower needed to create iron. Suika goes to find what the villagers would need to join them. Senku concludes that food would be the best way to get some of the villagers on board. Using foxtail millet, he creates ramen. Senku plans to “colonize” the village with ramen.


The “mentalist” Asagiri Gen

Season 1, Episode 9: Let There Be the Light of Science

The Ramen is a hit with the villagers. While feeding the villages, Senku notices a man with half black and half white hair. Kohaku, Kinro and Ginro spring into action. According to Senku the man is Asagiri Gen a “magician who used to write trashy psychology books.” Gen calls himself a “mentalist.” Despite Gen claim that he’s afraid, Kohaku isn’t buying it. Asagiri Gen admits that he’s working for Tsukasa. Gen was sent to confirm that Senku is in fact dead. They acquired iron, Gen claims that whether Senku dies or Tsukasa does is irrelevant. He wins regardless. He dreams of having his own harem. Kohaku doesn’t trust him and thinks that it would be better if he was imprisoned or dead. Senku knows that if he doesn’t return to Tsukasa, then Tsukasa would show up himself.

Let there be light

Senku tells Gen that he’s planning on making a generator. Using the lightning and some iron sand, copper and other items, Senku creates a tower. Using the golden spear of Kinro, they finally get lighting to strike creating a magnet. Senku and the others create a “dual-wield hand-crank generator.” They need two people that are able to work together and have a lot of energy. They turn to Ginro and Kinro. Gen manipulates them into helping. With the electricity they created an “Edison light bulb of Japanese bamboo.” Obviously, Asagiri can’t bet trusted. He may not have any allegiance to Tsukasa but he won’t have any toward Senku.

It think that he’ll try to steal the light bulb that Senku makes. Also with the tension brewing with the Chief and some of the villagers the Kingdom of Science may be in danger. Finally, it seems that Tsukasa has accepted Taiju and Yuzuriha into his empire or at least that’s what Gen says. Tsukasa is no fool and the fact that he sent Gen to confirm the death of Senku suggests that he’s skeptical. I’m enjoying the Senku and the villagers, but I wonder what Tsukasa is up to.


Dr. Stone Review:

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 22: Recap & Review

Season 1, Episode 22: Master of the Mansion

This episode introduces us to the dynamic and colorful Hashira. There are nine Hashira in all and they answer to Ubuyashiki Kagaya. We already meet Giyu Tomioka, the Water Hashira and Shinobu Kocho, the Insect Hashira. The new Hashira’s are Kyojuro Rengoku the Flame Hashira, Tengen Uzui the Sound Hashira who’s obsessed with flamboyance, Love Hashira Mitsuri Kanroji one of the two female Hashira’s with an unnecessary cleavage window, the constantly crying gentle giant, Stone Hashira, Gyomei Himejima.

Muichiro Tokito the Mist Hashira, he’s rather detached or indifferent. The Snake Hashira, Obanai Iguro the serious one with two colored eyes. Finally there’s Sanemi Shinazugawa, the Wind Hashira. He’s an asshole and I predict I might like him at some point. He’s covered in scars that appear to be self inflicted. He’s the most willing to kill Nezuko and Tanjiro. We finally get to see Ubuyashiki Kagaya the blind master. Generally, blind characters are exceptionally strong, I wonder if he is. Regardless, he’s very mild mannered and kind.

He asks the Hashira’s to accept Nezuko and Tanjiro. Surprisingly, due to the reverence they have for him, several of the Hashira’s continue to disagree. Even after reading the letter from Sakonji Urokodaki (in which we find out that Tanjiro, Giyu and Sakonji will commit suicide if Nezuko attacks a human) Sanemi still doesn’t care. He cuts himself, using his blood to try to get Nezuko to show her true self. He stabs her a few more times and opens the box. Nezuko steps out with an angered look on her face.


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Vinland Saga Episode 8: Recap & Review

Grom, Askeladd’s uncle

Beyond the Edge of the Sea

Askeladd, Thorfinn and the rest of the vikings return home to their village in Jutland. Planning to spend the winter there, they return with the spoils won from the Frank battle. They’re welcomed back with open arms. Thorfinn and Askeladd’s duel is to occur here. As they begin to fight, Thorfinn appears to have an advantage. However, Askeladd being smarter, manipulates Thorfinn into becoming enraged. This results in Askeladd taking control of the duel and winning. Despite Thorfinn maturing he’s still just a child or teen. Regardless, he’s learned how to be violent but not how to fight smartly. He has much to learn before he can kill Askeladd.

Askeladd defeats Thorfinn again

As the men celebrate inside, Thorfinn is on the ship. While there he has a vision of his father. In this vision he’s reminded by his father that “no one has enemies,” and “a true warrior doesn’t need a sword.” It seems that Thorfinn may learn indirectly from his father’s wisdom. How long it takes is really the question. When he speaks to the slave girl, Hordaland, she asks him “if there is anything on the other side of the ocean.” She believes that there’s nothing in the world but wars and slave traders. Thorfinn tells her of Vinland, in this moment we are reminded that Thorfinn despite his brooding nature still has some compassion. After winter passes, the Danish army and Vikings begin their attack on England. Finally, we see some new characters mainly Canute and Thorkell.

Introducing Thorkell

Askeladd continues to prove that he’s more sophisticated than you think. While he’s willing to accept, commit and permit terrible acts, his morality is more complicated. His views on slavery were more nuanced than expected. He understands that everyone’s a slave to something. When talking to a kid about it, he says “It’s terrible. The guy who’s a slave to money holds a whip, and pretends to be the master of the slave he bought with his money. Everyone is a slave to something” Which begs the question “what is Askeladd a slave to?” We’ll probably find out the answer to that question later.


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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 21: Recap & Review

Against Corps Rules

We finally get the final moments from Rui. Demon Slayer has established that only Muzan Kibutsuji is the true evil. While the demons he creates do monstrous things and must be stopped they were fundamentally human in the first place. Tanjiro is the demon slayer that understands this most, as his sister Nezuko, Tamayo and Yushiro are evidence that demon aren’t evil at their core. Rui’s background is like all the demons from before, tragic. Born in a frail body he could barely walk. Kibutsuji turned him into a demon, giving him a strong body. His father attempted to kill him. Rui killed him and his mother. He realizes that both his parents intended to commit suicide after they murdered him. Unfortunately, Rui is too late to notice that the bond he thought he never had with his parents, was severed by him.

Kibutsuji told him that it was his parent fault that they were killed for not accepting him. It’s an excuse that Rui never really believed but accepted it anyway. He missed his parents so much that his was never going to be satisfied by the fake family. In the present, Rui’s decapitated body falls just short of Nezuko and Tanjiro. Sensing the scent of grief from Rui, Tanjiro reaches out to Rui. Rui accepts that he will go to hell, never seeing his parents again. However, the seem to meet him in the afterlife. They promise to stay together, whether it’s in heaven or hell. Giyu steps on the remains of Rui, telling Tanjiro that he shouldn’t have sympathy for demons. He then realizes that he has encountered Tanjiro and Nezuko before. He does so just in time to stop Shinobu from killing Nezuko. Prepared to defend Nezuko and Tanjiro, he tells Tanjiro to run.

Shinobu is understandably confused by Giyu’s behavior. As Tanjiro is running he’s knocked to the ground by Tsuyuri, the girl from the Final Selection. Tanjiro tells Nezuko to flee, but is knocked out by Tsuyuri, who then pursues Nezuko. Meanwhile, Giyu has captured Shinobu in a head lock. Before things go too far, Kasugai crows arrive and inform everyone that they’re to take Tanjiro and Nezuko into custody. Inosuke, Zenitsu are to be brought to the Butterfly Mansion for further treatment. Finally, when Tanjiro awakens he’s treated to the sight of the Hashiras. I always thought that Tanjiro and Nezuko would come up against the rules of the corps and general prejudice against demons. I highly doubt she will be harmed, but I wonder if Tanjiro will be forced to leave the demon corps all together.


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Vinland Saga Episode 7: Recap & Review

Jabbathe

Normanni

This episode is about showing off the might of the vikings. The King of Dane temporally halts the attacks for the winter, as Askeladd look for jobs raiding. They head to France. Askeladd plans on stealing the treasure from the French. He sends Thorfinn to negotiate on their behalf , giving him the additional goal of bringing him the head of a General. Thorfinn lets the Frankish General know that Askeladd wants to help for half of the spoils. The Frankish General agrees. Once the battle begins, Thorfinn rushes ahead to collect the head of the enemy commander.

Thorfinn’s mastered murder

Askeladd and the rest of the Vikings arrive in grand fashion. Carrying their boats overhead, rushing and yelling. It’s odd liking them considering that their murderous rapist, but I did enjoy their showmanship. One thing about this episode is it’s tone. It feels a little out of place in the very serious series. There wasn’t much character development in this episode, it’s not necessary but the episode did feel odd. Another factor was the French General Jabbathe. He had a frog like appearance and over the top personality. Also his first name is the first two words of “Jabba the Hut,” which is funny but ridiculous. Although now I’m primed to look for clever name puns. Regardless, Askeladd and the Vikings sail into the fort.

Askeladd gloating

The slaughter the men and steal all the treasure. They escape on their ships, as Askeladd gloats about collecting all the spoils. Of course, Thorfinn gets his trophy. Thorfinn will get his duel. While he has mastered the art of killing, I’m not sure he’s ready for Askeladd just yet. The dynamic between Askeladd and Thorfinn is interesting. Despite his claim that he doesn’t care for Thorfinn, I think that Askeladd is as fond of him as he can be. He also seems to be string him along with the promise of a Duel. Is he doing this to make Thorfinn become a better warrior and to get something out of him? Or is there some other motive? This episode was out of place, but I still liked it.


Enen no Shouboutai Episode 7: Recap and Review

Rekka Hoshimiya

Season 1, Episode 7: The investigation of the 1st

In the “Special Fire Grand Cathedral 1,” Captain Leonard Burns has a meeting with his Lieutenant priests, Third-generation pyrokinetic, Huo Yan Li, Third-generation pyrokinetic, Rekka Hoshimiya and Second-generation pyrokinetic, Karim Flam. They discuss the “training exercise” the 5th and 8th Company engaged in. None of them seem to believe that the exercises were real, with Burns stating that “Obi id finally making his move.” It’s clear that the ruse orchestrated by the 8th didn’t work. Meanwhile, the 5th and 8th have their barbecue. Obi and Hibana have a discussion regarding the 5th. She tells him that only she will help, as the 5th is “paired with Haijima.”

Hibana’s fanservice

Hibana claims that someone has been creating Infernals. They determine that this person is likely in the Shinjuku District, which is the jurisdiction of Company 1. They plan on starting an “undercover investigation.” Using a rookie training reassignment system, which allows “crew members in their first year of service to be temporarily assigned to other companies to broaden their experience.” He of course will be sending Shinra and Arthur. Hibana believes that it would appear “unnatural,” if only two men from the 8th are transferred, so she’ll sent some from her company and other companies as well.

The other Maki

Shinra, Arthur, Maki Oze, Takeru Noto (Company 2) and Toru Kishiri (Company 5) arrive at Company 1. Captain Burns offers a tour of the facilities, but Shinra challenges Burns to a sparring match. Captain Burns agrees. Takeru goes first against Rekka. Noto is a third-generation that has a fear of fire. He hoped that by joining the Fire Force, he would get his flames “put out.” He turns fire into missiles to what could be a devastating effect. However, Karim Flam extinguishes the missiles, after Rekka dodges them. Flam states that he uses “Thermo-Acoustic Cooling” that “converts the energy of flames into sound and then converts sound into cold.”

Shinra and his smile

Shinra and Arthur take on Captain Burns together. Arthur’s sword does nothing against Burns arm, despite the fact that his sword could cut steel. He then extinguishes Arthur’s sword. Shinra doesn’t fare much better, his powerful attacks aren’t effective. Captain Burns ends that fight by stomping on the ground hitting Shinra in the stomach with an invisible attack. Rekka takes responsibility for the Arthur and Shinra. Company 1 seems formidable, and I don’t think that the 8th stands much of a chance against them. Burns already knows what Obi’s goal is. The only question is what side is he on.


Cop Craft Episode 7: Recap and Review

Cole Mozeleemay

Girls On Ice

Tilarna is undercover as a prostitute. She is sent to see a client and he is arrested by Kei and the other police. Tilarna is pissed that Kei was “late,” and her hair was “touched.” The man that was arrested is Cole Mozeleemay, a mayor candidate. Cole is asked many questions from the press, he claims that allegations are unfounded. Apparently, his wife (Marla) believes that he’s innocent. She says that “some evil person that didn’t want him to be mayor must have set him up.” When he tries to hold her hand, she slaps it and tells him not to touch her. Tilarna is angry at Cole’s lies, while Kei tells her that ” all powerful people are like that.” While outside the restaurant, Tilarna meets Zoey, a prostitute. She doesn’t know that Tilarna was undercover. She asks Tilarna to help her move.

Tilarna and Zoey fishing

Zoey is a photographer, its more of a hobby. She tells Tilarna that she will take a photo for her. Meanwhile, the Chief, Kei and Assistant Prosecutor Gardner discuss the case. They have video of Mozeleemay but it’s probably not enough. They plan on bluffing, hoping that he will give up some of his connections. Kei tells Tilarna that she shouldn’t meet with Zoey anymore. If Zoey (a potential witness) finds out that Tilarna is actually a cop she would feel betrayed. Kei thinks that Zoey will get mad and refuse to testify. Kei tells her not to “get involved with people you’re investigating.” Tilarna is naive. She doesn’t believe that Kei is right. Tilarna continues to be friends with Zoey.

Zoey getting shot

Meanwhile, a list with fake and some real names is “leaked.” Making it less likely that Cole Mozeleemay will get prosecuted. At night, Cole and Zoey meet. They exchange money and Cole gropes Zoey and she reveals that she recording the conversation. The following morning, Tilarna starts to suspect that Zoey is the leak. She confronts her the next day. While their talking, Zoey is killed by a gunshot. Kei goes after the assassin. He kills the assassin before he can reveal who hired him. Meanwhile, Zoey is in critical condition. It appears that Cole wasn’t involved but his wife may have been. Tilarna vows not to let him(Cole) get away with this. Zoey dies, leaving Tilarna a beautiful photo.

The photo Zoey left behind

This is hands down the best episode of this series. The political conspiracy isn’t particular original, but it was well done. Tilarna’s lack of experience in the human world make her the perfect avatar to critique the human concept of justice. While her feeling that it would be unfair for Cole to get away with it makes sense, the episode makes it clear that Cole isn’t making the decisions. The due process or gathering of the evidence is necessary to be sure that someone is guilty. Tilarna doesn’t get this yet. I think she may take the laws into her own hands, but Kei may help her learn the value of the human concept of justice. I look forward to seeing how this arc concludes.


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Dr. Stone Episode 7, Recap and Review

Kohaku stops Kinro and Ginro

Season 1, Episode 7: Where Two Million Years Have Gone

Kohaku and Senku get to know each other. Kohaku makes it very clear that she isn’t in love with Senku, but admires his lifestyle. Senku tells her that he intends to create a “nation of science,” but needs “allies.” Kohaku gets excited and tells Senku that she knows some people that will be “dependable allies.” Everyday Kohaku carries a heavy jar of water to help her sick sister. After Senku creates a “car” like vehicle they rush to her village. Senku is attacked by Kinro and Ginro. Kohaku intervenes, informing them that Senku “saved her life.” Kohaku prepares to fight the both of them. However, Senku uses soap to make bubbles. Kinro, Kohaku and Ginro are bewildered by the “suspicious floating orbs.” Senku plans to get all of the villagers on his side with science.

Senku planing on winning over the village with science

A new character, Chrome, arrives. He’s (according to him) a “insanely smart, genius sorcerer.” Chrome is clearly fraud, having discovered some elements he uses to trick people into thinking that he has powers. Chrome can understand science on a low level, but he doesn’t have the historical knowledge that Senku possess. Despite the limits of Chrome’s experiments the fact that he capable of experimenting at give Senku hope. As a result of this, Senku believes that Tsukasa will target and kill Chrome. He believes that Chrome needs to join his nation of science. Chrome challenges Senku to a final battle. A battle of arithmetic. Chrome loses handily. Chrome and Senku get excited over “rocks,” as Kohaku puts it. Senku uses mercury and gold dust, to turn Kinro’s spear gold.

Chrome becoming emotional

Kinro who constantly says “rules are rules,” isn’t trusting of Senku. He threatens to kill Senku if he steps into the village. Chrome has also been collecting plants for drugs. He intends to create a drug to cure Ruri. Kohaku arrives to give her sister the hot spring water. Ruri asks her sister to avoid doing anything reckless, as she doesn’t have much time left. Meanwhile, Senku tells Chrome all about the modern world. Chrome becomes emotional over the wiping out of the technological world. Senku tells Chrome that he does believe that together they can recreate the world. Chrome decides that he’s going to help Senku build the nation of science and save Ruri. Senku says that their going to make “antibiotics.”

Senku preparing to create antibodies

The village adds another new dynamic to the story. It’s seems obvious that Senku will help save Ruri, making himself allies with at least most of the village. However, it’s likely that he will still meet resistance among many. This is especially likely to occur if he becomes a rival for anyone in power, as they’re likely to protect their position. The fact that most of the villagers aren’t nearly a “backwards” as I though was surprising. Kinro’s seems to be a likely challenge for Tsukasa if they ever come into conflict. Ginro feels like he would make great friends with Taiju. Speaking of which, Tsukasa, Taiju and Yuzuriha don’t appear in this episode. I’m not complaining but I do think my earlier prediction that Senku may remain separated form the other members of the trio for a while.


Dr. Stone Review:

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 20: Recap & Review

Pretend Family

After the last epic episode, I didn’t expect this one to feature any real action. However, I was wrong. While a fight as dramatic as the one from the previous episode didn’t occur, the battles were impactful if for no other reason showing the power of Giyu and Shinobu. The first shocker of this episode was the survival of Rui. Tanjiro begins to succumb to his wounds and use of two breathing techniques. He loses his vision, can’t move and begins to hear loud ringing in his ears. On top of that Rui managed to decapitate himself before Tanjiro could. I don’t know how I feel about his survival. On it’s face it seem ridiculous, but at the same time it was unexpected. As is always the case, the main protagonist (Tanjiro) was never in danger of dying. Giyu’s appearance was predictable. However, that’s not an issue.

I may be the only swordslady among the pillars who can’t cut a demon’s head off. But anyone who creates poison that can kill demons can be quite amazing

Shinobu

Giyu congratulates Tanjiro for surviving so long. Rui attacks him with his threads, Giyu responds with Water Breathing’s eleventh form (there’s only suppose to be ten) that nullify the threads. He then easily decapitates Rui. Meanwhile, the Daughter runs through the woods, remembering how she ended up in the “pretend family.” She was chased by Demon Hunters, but was saved by Rui under the condition that she would join his “family.” She agrees, mostly out of desperation. The white skin is created by consuming Rui’s blood. She runs into Murata and traps him in a cocoon. The cocoon will fill with acidic fluid that will liquify those ensnared.

Enter, Shinobu. At this point I think she’s my favorite character. She has an odd demeanor. She has a smile that doesn’t feel quite genuine. This mask of kindness, is exposed by her actions and what she says. She offers her “friendship,” to the Daughter. In exchange she has some questions to ask. First, “how many people did she kill.” The Daughter lies and says “five.” Shinobu deduces that it must be at least eighty. She believes that if they are to become friends, the Daughter must be tortured for each of her victims. Understandable, the Daughter isn’t interested. Shinobu accepts that they won’t be friends and uses her Insect Breathing. Because of her physical weakness shes can’t decapitate demons. However, she has discovered wisteria-based poison that can kill demons. Shinobu also appears to have a lot of speed as well .

This episode was great. It does show that the twelve aren’t all powerful, but Tanjiro isn’t at there level yet. However, the twelve may not be ranked in a normal manner. I still think Rui’s ranking as “lower five” is odd. It’s implies that there are demons below him and Tanjiro almost beat him. What I mean is that the type of abilities they posses may make the match up different and they’re ranked based on more than just strength. We are also introduced to a new way to kill demons, wisteria poison. It makes perfect sense. I love the introduction of a new dynamic personality in Shinobu. I expect the next few episodes to focus on healing and furthering the story, which I’m looking forward to.


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Enen no Shouboutai Episode 6: Recap and Review

Season 1, Episode 6: The Spark of Promise

This fight was underwhelming. Compared to the previous episode, I expected this one to surpass the action presented. While I understand that this series is trying to focus on the characters (which I’ll get into later), I think you can do this while having great action. In this episode, Hibana reminds Iris what caused her to lose her faith. When they were children at the orphanage, they witnessed the nun engulfed in flames. While this occurred, Hibana’s third-generation powers manifested. Shinra attacks her but she uses her “heat syncope,” on him again. Heat syncope is a type of “heat illness.” Hibana uses it to overheat her opponents, causing them to become lightheaded.

Despite this, Shinra is able to stand. She then creates a flaming Sakura tree. The pedals from this tree burn with they come in contact with skin. Shinra still manages to stand his ground however. He attacks her, punching her and knocking her out. Hibana recalls her past. Her time at the orphanage and how she manage to become a Captain so she could study fire. When she awakens she’s had a change of heart, no longer willing to be the opposition. This episode is effective in making Hibana a far more sympathetic character than she first appeared. Witnessing the death of her sisters in the orphanage, she suffers from survivors guilt.

This results in her rage, abandoning her faith for science. Her sudden change seems a bit premature to me. While I don’t expect her personality to change, it seems like a over simplistic reason for her to change. The villain becoming an ally or anti-hero happens often in anime, but I feel that Fire Force should be more realistic about it. Hibana seems to have also fallen in love with Shinra, which also seem premature. I know it will be played for laughs and I’m not offend by it, but why does she like him? Finally, it seems like her and Company 5’s behavior will be ignored and they will get away with their bed behavior. Would Obi with his high morals tolerate this? What would it say about him if he did? Questions aside, I’m still interested in the larger conspiracy.


Vinland Saga Episode 6: Recap & Review

Askeladd “saves” Thorfinn

The Journey Begins

Thorfinn appears to have unofficially joined the mercenary band, lead by Askeladd. Viking are explained. Largely, Danes from Denmark they were pirates or thieves. Their goal was to live in England. Naturally war broke out. Askeladd and the others arrive at bloody shore, littered with corpses. Askeladd offers the services of his men. They strike a deal, Askeladd men for women, treasure, food and five pounds of gold. As they continue to talk, they’re attacked. Many of Askeladd’s men are killed, as Thorfinn watches. He draws his dagger, but is attacked. Askeladd kills his assailant (stabbing Thorfinn in the process). It’s a small wound. He claims that “he didn’t know Thorfinn was still alive.”

The woman is devastated to see Thorfinn’s behavior

Thorfinn finally get his first kill. We are shown a series of battles as Thorfinn gains his experience. It’s brutal. It feel wrong somehow. Knowing that his father didn’t want this for him, made it feel tragic. As he ages he become more and more proficient at killing. Losing more and more of his innocence with each kill. Thorfinn is chased by men with dogs and manages to survive. He’s then found by a mother and daughter passed out by a river. They nurse him back to health. The mother hides Thorfinn, seemingly believing he’s a replacement for he dead son. Knowing this series, I could anticipate that these women were not going to have a happy ending.

The new “feral” Thorfinn

Life for most men are terrible, for women almost hopeless. Thorfinn was sent to scout. He knows whats going to happen to all of the villagers. Thorfinn had change. He looks more feral or rabid. We still get to see a glimpse of his remaining humanity. How long can he hold on to it. Vinland Saga is becoming a must see series, it’s not a very cheerful one. However, having watched Attack on Titan, I am certain that they will find some moments of happiness to balance out the dreariness. I believe that Askeladd wants to see Thorfinn survive. He fully intended to save Thorfinn, but he refuses to do so directly.