Megalo Box Episode 2: Junk Dog vs Yuri

Junk Dog faces off against Yuri, he’s clear outmatched and Yuri decides to give him a handicap, he won’t use his right hand. Junk Dog says that “he hopes that he doesn’t regret it.” Yuri continues to dominate him, but Junk Dog attempts to adjust and his hit from the an angle from the top, knocking Junk Dog to the ground and his mouth guard out. Junk Dog gets back up, claiming that he’s “having too much fun.”

 

Junk Dog challenges Yuri to fight with both his arms and Yuri agrees to show him “real Megalo Boxing.” JD charges in but Yuri see’s an opening and quickly knocks him out. Yuri leaves as the crowd chants his name, Junk Dog tells him he’s “not done yet.” Yuri tells him that if he wants to fight him again it has to be in “his” ring. Junk Dog’s battle with Yuri doubled JD’s audience and double their’s fees.

Junk Dog wants to go to fight in the Megalo box, however, he doesn’t have a citizen ID. Furthermore, only the top four fighters can fight and it’s unlikely that Junk Dog can get to the top four in three months. While in the ring JD, KO’s his opponent in the first round causing trouble for Mr. Nanbu. He’s taken to Mr. Fujimaki and begs for another chance and more time to pay him back.

Mr. Fujimaki agrees, handing Mr. Nanbu a knife to take out his other eye. Mr. Nanbu counters by telling Mr. Fujimaki that JD is going to enter and win the Megalo Box tournament. Junk Dog is given the identity of someone that Mr. Fujimaki appears to have killed, Junk Dog give himself a new name Joe. Another good episode, the name Joe not only seems to be homage to Ashita no Joe and also one of the themes about class.

JD seems to be inspired to name himself Joe after a billboard that reads, “It’s a wonderful District life. Not your average Joe.” Finally, the theme of around “dog” seem to be more obvious in the episode. JD is often compared to a “stray” dog and Yuri feels like he’s a more pampered domesticated dog, obedient to Yukiko. It will be interesting to see how JD will manage to defeat a lot of boxers in only 3 months.

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My Hero Academia: Episode 3, The villains emerge

Class B wakes up early to find out that Class A has already been up training. Class B hopes to become the class that shine next semester. They will all be developing their quirks. Similar to muscles fibers, quirks become stronger after continuous use. Class B watches as Class A is in the process of their intense training. We see that Katsuki Bakugo, is ” plunging both hands into boiling water to expand his sweat glands and creating explosions repeatedly to increase the scale of his attacks.”

Shoto Todoroki is “alternating between ice and fire to make the temperature of the bathwater uniform.” The purpose of this training is to get his body “use to freezing,” and have him develop more control over his flames temperature. Hanta Sero by producing “tape continuously” his training will potentially increase his ability to “improve tape strength and shooting speed.” All the other members of Class A are effectively using their quirks over and over again to increase the qualities of their quirks. All of this may occur naturally, but due to villains they need to speed up the process.

We are finally introduced to the “full version,” of the Wild Wild Pussycats. The to new teammates we are introduced to, Ragdoll, whose search quirk “can know all the info about up to 100 people by just looking at them, and can find their location and weaknesses.” Tiger’s quirk is called Pliabody, he can “stretch and flatten his own body in an almost inhumane way.” He suggests that his job is to ” assault through punching and kicking” whatever that means. He trains the “power-up types,” like Izuku. He tell him to hit him with what he’s got and Izuku uses his “5% Detroit Smash only for Tiger to easily counter it.

Later, Dabi and the other villains finally arrive and begin the assault on the students. The numbers are stacked against them considering that there are only 10 villains, compared to the 40 plus heroes. Regardless, the willingness to kill might be the difference. This episode was largely setting up the next episode, which is likely to be epic.

 

 

Megalo Box Episode 1 Review: Buy or Die?

Megalo Box is a spin off of the classic anime boxing series, Ashita no Joe, accommodating it’s 50 year anniversary. There has been a number of boxing anime and manga, Hajime no Ippo being the most prominent. Ippo is an manga series created by George Morikawa, it focuses on ” the story of high school student Makunouchi Ippo, as he begins his career in boxing and over time obtains many titles and defeats various opponents. ” Hajime no Ippo to date has sold over 95 million copies and has well over 120 volumes.

Ashita no Joe’s success was more moderate with 20 volumes and 20 million copies, but has developed a cult following. The manga series was created by Ikki Kajiwara and illustrated Tetsuya Chiba it was adapted into a movie and an anime series. The series focuses on Joe Yabuki as he goes through the professional boxing ranks, with Joe dying from his injuries sustained in the ring.

Megalo Box is adapted from the manga of the same name, however, it will take place in a more futuristic society and some of the original characters have been recreated. The series will be simulcasted on Crunchyroll and will feature 13 episodes. The first episode, Buy or Die, introduces the underground boxer, Junk Dog (JD). Megalo Box is the “combination of athleticism and Gear technology to create the future of boxing,” the granddaughter of former head of the Shirato group, Yukiko Shirato states. She aims is to create the “ultimate combat sport” in the Megalonia tournament.

The first thing you will notice about Megalo is the classic visual styling. Megalo reminds me of Cowboy Bebop, with it’s color pallet and gritty environments and the animation is superb. JD has the similar “I don’t care” mindset that Spike (Cowboy Bebop) displayed. JD has a chance encounter with Yukiko and her prized fighter Yuri. JD insults Shirato’s Megalonia tournament, Yuri tells him to “take it back” and challenges him to a fight. Shirato interrupts the fight and they leave. JD’s next fight is against none other than Yuri himself. The episode ends before they fight. I usually don’t like boxing anime but Megalo hits all the right buttons for me, I can’t wait to see the rest of the series.

Source: Wikipedia

My Hero Academia: Season 3 Episode 2 Review

After the premiere episode of My Hero Academia, that featured mostly flashbacks, Wild Wild Pussycats is a spectacular episode. This episode moved the story forward seamlessly and blended comedy and action. The students of UA High begin their training camp, Shota informs the class that they will be tested. Neito taunts Class 1-A for apparently failing their finals exams. Itsuka knocks him out and drags him into the bus.

Class 1-A stops on a mountain top, they meet the pro-hero team: the Wild, Wild, Pussycats. Pixie-Bob and Mandalay reveal to the class that traveling through the “Beast Forrest,” is required to reach the lodge at their base. When Mandalay tells the students that they ” have to hurry and get there by noon if they are to receive lunch, ” they rush to get on the bus. Pixie-Bob uses her quirk to knock the student’s off the ledge.

She also uses her quirk to create monsters to attack the student’s. One tries to attack Mineta as he tries to pee, but Izuku saves him. Together with Shoto, Tenya and Katsuki, Izuku destroy the first monster. The entire class works together to defeat a host of earth monsters, they reach the lodge late. However, the Pussycats don’t seem to care and congratulate them anyway. Izuku introduces himself to a bratty boy named Kota. He’s the nephew of Mandalay and clear hate heroes. He punches Izuku in the scrotum as Tenya weirdly puts it.

After dinner, Class 1-A head to the hot springs were Mineta predictably pervs out and attempts to climb the wall to sneak a peek at the girls. Kota stops him as he gets to the top and knocks him off the wall. He falls ass first into Tenya’s face. As the girls cheer for Kota he sees them nude and falls off the wall, Izuku saves him. He asks Mandalay ” why Kota seems to disapprove of heroes despite being so young. ” She explains that ” Kota’s parents were pro-heroes who died in the line of duty. Kota dislikes heroes because he believes his parents left him, as they would not have perished had they not been heroes.”

The following morning Shota explains that their real training “begins now.” He has Katsuki throw a ball from the “quirk apprehension test” the distance that he throws the ball is the same as it was months ago. Shota states that ” while the student’s mental prowess and stamina have improved, their quirks have not.” Meanwhile, we see that the League of Villains are planning their next move. Dabi following Stain’s ideology says that ” the villains will send a warning shot that will tear down false heroes from their high horses and pave the way to a bright new future.”

This episode was much better than the first one, even though I completely understand why the recap episode was needed. Regardless, this season is off to a great start. The introduction of the Wild Wild Pussycat’s was great, they are particularly Pixie-Bob funny characters. This episode has many comedic moments, mentioning that the “beast forest” sounds like “something out of Dragon Quest.” I usually find Mineta to be annoying, but this episode I thought he was the center of much of this episodes humor. We don’t spend much time with Class B, and considering the size of the Class A-1 we have, it’s seems implausible to expect to get familiar with another class at all. Anyway, the heighten presence of villains have created a sense of urgency, I wonder when they will strike.

Image from IGN.

Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online Review

Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online is based on a series of light novels, the VRMMO (Virtual Reality Massively multiplayer online) game pits players against one another in a post- apocalyptic world. The major event being played is the “Squad Jam” that features 23 teams of up to six players to battle. Team LM is a team that consists of two players, our protagonists user LLEN and her large partner M. LLEN wears all pink and she’s  uses a SMG, while M uses sniper rifle.

 

 

While LLEN is technically the leader of this team, M often takes the lead. M is highly experienced, offering his advice often avoiding direct conflict with other teams. I tend to resist video game anime, but I found that the Sword Art series is better than I expected. I didn’t think I would enjoy this version of the series, but it surprised me. I though M’s strategic prowess was engrossing and I enjoyed his planning. The execution of the battles is almost secondary, to the planning.

The initial behavior of M compared to LLEN biases the watcher to assume that M is the leader of the team. This or course turns out to be incorrect as LLEN is the leader, begging the question how did they meet and why did M agree to be on her team? Watching the episode we realize that LLEN is far more capable than her appearance suggests, turning our assumptions about the likely fighting ability of a short, child like, pink wearing little girl. The episode further undercuts our assumptions when we learn that the gamer is a tall female college student.

 

My Hero Academia returns

My Hero Academia has returned for it’s much anticipated 3rd season. This episode, “Game Start” was largely playing catch-up, if your fan that has been watching the series from season 1 this episode was largely a waste of time. I still enjoyed it but almost nothing new was introduced and the story didn’t progress. At one point Eraser recalls all the powers of Class A1, this is played for laughs as a fellow teacher asks to be “reminded” of the students. However, this was probably necessary due to the large number of characters.

This episode does overdue the “in episode” recap, Kurogiri recount’s Deku’s actions, and Deku rematches old footage of All Might. We see flashbacks of the sports festival, practical exams, and student’s facing off against Stain. We find that the superheroes have been training during their summer vacation. If there was any progress it was with the characters and their friendships. Deku and Ira have a conversation about the fact that at the beginning of the series Ira didn’t think they would become friends.

More surprisingly, Kirishima and Bakugo “friendship” (Bakugo is always so difficult) was at least briefly focused on. When Kirishima arrives at the pool late he apologies because “it was difficult to get Bakugo to come along.” After they are kicked out of the pool he calms down or tries to calm down Bakugo. Kaminari and Mineta have also developed a friendship, seemingly built on their perversion. Regardless, their perverted plot was comically foiled. Overall, this episode was more of a primer for the unfamiliar, but at least My Hero Academia has returned.

 

FLCL returns to Adult Swim as a April fools prank

To celebrate April Fool’s Day, Adult Swim aired a surprise sneak peak of the upcoming FLCL Alternative. The third season of FLCL won’t officially air until September, but the second season, FLCL: Progressive will premiere on June 2nd. This episode could be watched and enjoyed without having seen the original Fooly Cooly. As a press release stated “hands the series over to a totally different team of young creators who will redefine the meaning of sequel.”

Alternative isn’t as unpredictable as the previous season, but still remains “odd.” The episode begins with Kana heading to school listening to her cracked smartphone. She imagines doodles all over the landscape, she meets her friends, Pets, Mossan, and Hijiri before class. You’ll notice quickly how likable they all are. It doesn’t take long for this episode to establish their friendship either. During lunch they discuss their futures, Hijiri hopes to become a “pro baseball player’s wife or an apparel company CEO’s second wife.” Kana hopes a ” talking cat would appear and give her a magic wand.”

While, Kana is working at a soba shop, she encounters Haruko, who asks for Ponshu, that’s “lukewarm, between body temp and ice water, perfectly balancing taste and aroma.” She quickly takes interest in Kana. For those that are unfamiliar, Haruko is a special investigator for the Space Police Brotherhood, in search of Atomsk, “the galaxy’s most powerful space pirate.”  Later, Kana and her friends work on bottle rockets. Meanwhile, Haruko spies on them from a far. The girls think that the rocket is too “plain.” The following day they work together to create a more colorful rocket.

 

As they celebrate their newly completed rocket something from outer space comes down crushing their rocket. The first robot enemy appears and attacks Kana, as it does so Haruko crashes through a window kicking Kana in the head. The robot then focuses on her, while Kana’s friend try to revive her with Dr. Pepper. When she comes to her head understandable hurt’s, and a flower blooms out of it. Like the first season, Haruko needs to pull a guitar out of the head of Kana, she pulls out a 1967 model Mustang. She quickly destroys the robot. This episode was more down to earth than the previous season, the animation isn’t as fluid but still high quality and the protagonist and her friends are very interesting. I would expect that when the season premiers the next five episodes will be more wilder.

Black Clover Episode 5 Review: The Path to the Wizard King

As I mentioned in my previous review of episode 3, Asta defeats Sekke Bronzazza with very little effort. His crushing blow against Sekke is impressive, shocking the contestants as they predictable and justifiably assumed very little of Asta. Hearing Asta yelling about the “Wizard King,” all the time is starting to get grating. Regardless, Black Bull’s Captain Yami Sukehiro provides commentator releasing that Asta has no magic power and he uses his strength.

There’s a lot snobbery between the characters, with many looking down on Yuno and Asta for being “commoners.” It is assumed that nobles are inherently better that everyone else at all things. Salim of House Hapshass challenges Yuno to a duel. Salim uses his “holy lightning,” technique, Yuno counters with “wind magic: towering tornado.” Salim is easily defeat as the crowd is somehow surprised that a noble could lose.

Finally, the choosing of the members begins. The process is simple, your number is called, the Captain raise their hands signally that they have chosen you. They go through several candidates that get no hands, it seems that most of them get no hands. After a while we finally get to Yuno, everyone raises their hands. Yuno chooses Golden Dawn, predictably when Asta is called no one really wants him. Yami challenges Asta showing off his magic power in the process, after Asta shows his determination Yami offers him a place in Black Bull. It’s a touching moment. While, this episode attempted to up the stakes by having so many characters get no but, the results for Yuno and Asta were predictable.

 

Dragon Ball Super Episode 131 Review: The Miraculous Conclusion! Farewell, Goku! Until We Meet Again!

The final episode of the Dragon Ball Super is a worth end. I assumed that the tournament will end with Goku and Jiren battling it out, until Goku uses Ultra Instinct to defeat Jiren. However, this didn’t happen. In fact while Goku still played an important role in Universe 7’s, he simply played a role. Frieza and Android 17 took center stage. I’ve already stated that 17 was the MVP of this tournament and it’s fitting that he was the last man standing.

Trust was a theme throughout this arc. Jiren lacked trust in his teammates, meanwhile, Universe 7 trusted each other. 17 trusted Freiza to “finish” Jiren if necessary, Goku trusted Frieza to uphold his part of the bargain and Freiza even needed to trust Goku to keep his part of the bargain. However, we all know that the trust between them wasn’t equal. Frieza being as evil is less trustworthy than 17 or the honest to a fault Goku. Ironically, this aspect of Goku’s personality is the quality what kept Frieza honest.

Watching Freiza and Goku fight together was surprisingly exciting. Even though Frieza is a villain, sacrificing himself even if only knocking Jiren out of bounds was surprising to meet. Freiza has come a long way from the Dragon Ball Z series. So much so that I have a hard time seeing him as completely evil. He hasn’t really killed any innocent people since the DBZ series, and when he tries to kill Goku, I never fell that he’s strong enough to do so. Regardless, Frieza did deserve his Resurrection. From the trailer of the movie it doesn’t appear that he’s the villian so I wonder when he will return.

Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card Episode 11 Review: Sakura and the Upside down Penguin

While learning about the equal sign in math class, Sakura thinks of the similar effects of the clow cards to the clear cards. This episode is cleaver in connecting the subject in math (equal sign) to the comparison of the two card types. Aqua is similar to Watery, Flight to Fly, and Gale to Windy. She is quickly shocked out of her daze by her teacher. After lunch where Sakura and her friends discuss the upcoming events. This event will focus on ball sports, Yamazaki explains Badminton to the group. Surprising everyone because he didn’t lie for once.

On the way home, Sakura, Tomoyo, Akiho and Syaoran run into Kaito who’s  returning from shopping for food. Syaoran becomes quickly concerned, while back home he contacts Eriol. He believes that Kaito has magical powers, Eriol asks for his full name, Yuna D. Kaito. Eriol says that “D” is given to the highest ranking members of a magician society. Syaoran questions why someone wouldn’t hide his “D”. Eriol suggests that Kaito may be so powerful that he doesn’t feel the need to hide his affiliation with the organization.

They assume that Kaito likely has “moon magic,” their uncertain about the who’s responsible for his presence. While at home, Sakura notices a card nearby. Tomoyo has given Kero a go-pro and Sakura a new outfit. When they approach the playground, they notice that all the playground equipment is upside down. She prepares to capture it, but is turned upside by the card, she is saved by Kero. She captures the Reverse card, but before they could return the playground to it normal state they had to flee to avoid being seen by a crowd. Tomoyo informs them that they weren’t seen. Kero’s camera skills need work as he effectively fails to produce good content, Tomoyo tells him that they will begin video recording training tomorrow.


Your Name. (Kimi No Na Wa.) Blu-ray Special Edition ***3 Discs***