Vinland Saga Episode 13: Recap & Review

Askeladd and his mother

Season 1, Episode 13: Child of a Hero

It’s clear at this point that Askeladd is Vinland Saga’s most interesting character. Originally presented as a greedy mercenary that only existed to be motivation for Thorfinn to get stronger, Askeladd has step up to be the most complex character. We learn that Askeladd has Welsh heritage. Before the credits, we see a young Askeladd carrying his pale nearly dead mother back to her homeland. Kept as a concubine by his father, Olaf, his mother was abandoned when she became ill. Askeladd begins his negotiation with the leader of the Brycheiniog forces. The relationship between Wales and the Danes is terrible. Askeladd reveals his heritage to create some trust between himself and the negotiator. One of the last descendants of Artorius, a famous former commander of the Britannia army in the 5th and 6th centuries.

His mixed blood allows him to “blend” in with the Danes. However, Askeladd secretly hates them. He plans on becoming an insider in Denmark, making Canute King and becoming a high member in his court. With this new power, he could create a treaty of non-aggression with Wales. It’s possible that Askeladd is making some of this up or at least his goal regarding Canute. Regardless, he manages to get the Brycheiniog leader to cooperate. This episode once again highlights the importance of bloodlines in this world. Canute, Thorfinn and Askeladd all hail from strong bloodlines. Askeladd and his men are permitted to travel through enemy land.

After some teasing from Thorfinn, Canute finally speaks. He tells Thorfinn that he’s not a coward. He’s merely cautious. Being aware of his potion as a prince, his “words have political repercussions.” In a foreign land he must be careful and doesn’t have the power to enter into treaties. The men all stop in, shock of the broken silence. Thorfinn’s lack of respect for him seems to have forced Canute to step out of his shell. It seems like being in such close proximity to Thorfinn may have a positive impact on Canute. That said some potentially harrowing developments are beginning. If Askeladd does indeed mean that he “hates” the Danes, then his men are going to be possibly betrayed by him at some point. Furthermore, Bjorn seems to be doubting Askeladd more and more. For now, he seems resigned to follow him. As they had north, winter begins to approach.


Reviews of the Other Episodes

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My Top Ten Anime of All Time

To celebrate my 900th blog post, I decided to make my top ten anime of all time lists. When coming up with the top ten I focused on series that had the most impact on me. At the same time I also choose anime that can and have stood the test of time (even from an animation stand point), and I would recommend to anyone. I don’t think any of these series are going to be surprise anyone, as most are mainstream to an anime audience.

[Note] One Piece, Naruto and Bleach aren’t on the lists because I prefer(ed) the manga.


10. Dragon Ball Z

If this was a list of the series that I was the most nostalgic about Dragon Ball Z would be number one. Most of my childhood was centered on DBZ . The Cartoon Network would torture me by repeating the same arc’s over and over again. I must have watched the Radditz arc at least 50 times before they moved on to the saiyan arc. The series has come to define anime for many anime fans and non-anime fans. It’s hands down one of, if not the most popular anime series of all-time. Dragon Ball Z has been often mocked for it’s constant screaming and it’s “inaction sequences.” My mother would often comment “did they start fighting yet” as she would walk past the t.v. Despite it’s iconic status, DBZ as a series had a lot of problems. This is mostly due to running up against the manga. DBZ had many bad fillers, dragged out fights and at one point took ten episodes for planet Namek to explode. Even with this, the series had some of the most epic fights and has clearly left a mark on anime in general. Dragon Ball Z still remains an anime series that I consider a must see.


9. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

A mecha anime series by Gainax, Gurren Lagann focuses on mankind’s rise from a subterranean existence to the galactic exploration. Taking place in a future where Earth is ruled by the Spiral King, Lordgenome, a young digger named Simon and his “brother” Kamina dream of reaching the surface. As they and Team Gurren make their way to the skies, they engage in epic, over the top mecha battles. Gurren Lagann features high quality animation, surprising deaths, fanservice, theme music power ups and cool mecha designs. Gurren Lagann resulted in another anime classic for Gainax.


8. Made in Abyss

My favorite anime genre tends to be shonen, but Made in Abyss made me appreciate the seinen genre more. Made in Abyss plays with expectation, if you think the adorable characters are going to have a fun adventure, you are wrong. While only having one season under it’s belt, Made in Abyss had a profound impact on me. Exciting, ruthless, filled with body horror, tear jerking moments and has a intriguing mystery to discover. Made in Abyss is not for the faint of heart, but it’s worth the emotional scarring.


7. Hunter X Hunter

For some reason I kept avoiding Hunter X Hunter. After running into a little bit of an anime drought, I decided to give the series a try. I wasn’t disappointed. On the surface Hunter X Hunter feels like a typical shonen series, but it’s more than that. Gon Freecss, the main protagonists, is a prime example of the undermining of shonen tropes this series does. I loved it’s complicated power system (Nen), character development, action and the uses of a narrator. Narration seemed unnecessary at first but I think it is an amazing addition to the series that adds to it.


6. Mob Psycho 100

An anime from web-comic creator ONE, Mob Psycho 100, is about a 14 year old boy named Shigeo Kageyama. He aims to be ordinary despite the fact that he’s extraordinary with telekinesis. He is a complicated young man struggling with his emotions and fear of his power harming others. Mob Psycho 100 main moral lesson is that despite having an extraordinary abilities you still need work to improve yourself as a human. Mob in particular embodies this theme. Despite his psychic powers he doesn’t think he’s better than anyone. That said, Mob Psycho 100 is still a shonen series with fluid animation, bright colors, humor, funny characters and epic battles.


5. One Punch Man

The creator of Mob Psycho 100 is also the creator of One Punch Man. The title is to be taken literally, as the main protagonist, Saitama is capable of defeating most monsters with one punch. One Punch Man is a parody of the shonen superhero series. It makes fun of the over the top and somewhat silly nature of the typical shonen anime, that results in the main character always defeating the bad guy. It’s surprising how satisfying you find Saitama’s one hit victories. The series does have interesting action, usually it’s other less powerful characters are doing the fighting though. Despite this the series does manage to keep us wondering, which monster can make Saitama hit it more than once. The first season is considered perfect, the second one, not so much. Still, One Punch Man remains an important series for anime fans to watch.


4. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

The story of the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse is a sad, tragic tale. Born into a world that practices alchemy, the brothers arrogance leads them to believe that they can break one of the most important rules of alchemy. Trying to resurrect their mother, Ed loses his right arm and left leg and his brother loses his entire body. The brothers go in search of the “philosopher stone,” so they can transmute without consequences. While maintaining a sense of humor, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, is full of themes like sacrifice, death, selfishness, what is truth, and the value of life. If you want to watch an anime series that balances dark themes, comedy and great action, FMA is it.


3. Attack on Titan

If you read this far it’s clear that I love anime series that manage to successfully combine dark, mature themes with great action and top animation. Attack on Titan is a series that lives up to those standards. What separates Attack on Titan from typical series is the level of dreariness. While the main characters are largely safe, you’ll never certain. Secondary characters and any other character are fair game. With characters that are constantly underdogs, failure is the most likely outcome. Often in anime you feel that everything will be fine, in Attack on Titan your surprised that half the squad is still alive. Attack on Titan has mystery, what are titans (weird giant humanoids) and why do they eat humans? Conspiracies, what is the government doing? As they fight for human survival, the scouts deal with trauma, lost and death.


2. Cowboy Bebop

For many Cowboy Bebop is the greatest anime ever. Considered to be a masterpiece, Shinichiro Watanabe blends elements of westerns with elements of film noir. The classic anime series Lupin the third was a visual influence and the three main characters of Cowboy Bebop are inspired by Lupin, Jigen and Fujiko from Lupin. The overall story is influence by Japanese cinema. Cowboy Bebop also uses a jazz heavy soundtrack that is iconic on it’s own, marking a major departure from the common use of J Pop. Cowboy Bebop focuses on mature themes like loneliness and difficulties escaping the past, it’s well animated, well (voice) acted and generally entertaining. Cowboy Bebop is considered a “gateway series” for anime, and I couldn’t agree more.


1. Neon Genesis Evangelion

When I first began watching Neon Genesis Evangelion it was for the epic and violent mecha battles. I couldn’t comprehend the more complex themes and imagery woven into the narrative. Evangelion is credited with revolutionizing anime as a medium. Set in the year 2000, a global cataclysm called the “Second Impact,” changes the world. Antarctica is destroyed and the planet’s axis shifts, causing flooding and a altered climate. After nuclear war, half the worlds population is wiped out. Teenagers, Shinji Ikari, Asuka Langley Soryu and Rei Ayanami pilot massive mecha called Eva’s. Their enemy are physic altering monsters dubbed Angels.

Evangelion explores complex themes like depression, human subjectivity, and child abuse. The series makes many references to philosophical, psychoanalytic concepts, as well as references to Kabbalah, Christian and Jewish religions. Evangelion even uses religious texts like the Book of Genesis within the series and the Angels share names found in religion like Sachiel. The series has been described as both a ” both a critique and deconstruction of the mecha genre.” On the surface, Neon Genesis Evangelion, is a mecha anime with distinctly designed robots that engage in brutal battles. However, the series has levels of deeper and more sophisticated themes that makes Evangelion one of the most well regarded series ever.

First Impressions: Blade of the Immortal – Episode 1: Recap and Review

Blade of the Immortal makes great use of gray-scale and red

Season 1, Episode 1: Act One – Meeting

Blade of the Immortal (Mugen no Junin) is an animated adaptation from the Hiroaki Samura manga of the same name. Set in the 18th century Japan, Blade of the Immortal, tells the story of Asano Rin and her bodyguard Manji. Cursed with immortality due to being infested with “kessen-chu (blood-worms), these worms are able to knit together any potential life threatening injuries. However, Manji isn’t truly immortal. He can die by beheading or by a rare poison. The publisher of Blade of the Immortal, Kodansha, stated that this series will adapt the entire manga series. This series was on the top of my lists for anime this season. I wasn’t disappointed. The first thing I noticed was the artistic style that this series possess. Blade of the Immortal combines the use of color manipulation, with dramatic sound to magnificent effect. The opening scene is in black, white and red. As Manji slaughters his enemies, the red of their blood is striking. This all happens as the sound of a water wheel turning echos in a rhythmic manner.

Manji, the Immortal

Were introduced to Rin as she meets Yaobikuni. She subtly tells Rin that she is 800 years old. Rin instantly thinks she’s joking. Rin tells her of the dream she has to get revenge on the 30 members of the Itto-ryu that raped her mother and killed her father. The Itto-ryu are a group of master swordsmen, that massacre any dojo that gets in their way. Yaobikuni informs Rin that in the two years since her traumatic encounter with the Itto-ryu, they have expanded their ranks. Despite training for two years, Rin isn’t good enough to take them on single handily. Yaobikuni suggests she hire a bodyguard, Manji. Blade of the Immortal uses Rin’s search for Manji to explain him and the first scene. He’s wanted by the shogunate, killed his sisters husband, got her killed and is now on a mission of atonement that’s imposed upon him.

The Itto-ryu

When Rin meets with Manji, he questions her morality and dedication to vengeance. He articulates a belief that humans merely choose whether they are “righteous or evil” based on their own “interest.” He doesn’t wish to become an accomplice to a criminal. Samurai, according to Manji, don’t kill “meaninglessly.” Manji doesn’t immediately believe that Rin’s family was “innocent.” His decision to become her bodyguard was obviously never in doubt, but this moment is intriguing. How did Manji develop his view of morality? Will it change? He seems to be leery of the “chain of revenge.” So why did he say yes? In the future, I have no doubt that this series will answer at least some of these questions. The climax of the episode sees Rin meeting with one of the members of Itto-ryu, Sabato Kuroi. Having been sending her love letters for two years after killing her father and raping her mother, Kuroi hopes to kill her too.

The vengeful, Rin

Rin has prepared herself to kill him but is clearly outmatched and unwilling. Manji intervenes, challenging Kuroi. However, Kuroi ignores Manji who attacks, only to get his leg cut off. Rin does land an attack, revealing the monstrous reality that facing the Itto-ryu will bring. Kuroi has grafted the stuffed heads of his former wife and Rin’s mother to his shoulders. I imagine that this moment is meant to shock the audience, while it’s surprising, I wasn’t horrified (It might say something terrible about me). I was also surprised by how quickly we got the conclusion on what happened to Rin’s mother. Rin’s quest for vengeance only becomes greater with this moment but I thought they would have extended this narrative for longer.

The monstrous Sabato Kuroi

The biggest issue I have is the actual action scenes. I think the fighting will be secondary to the characters and story, but these scene are lacking to me. For example, Manji kills Kuroi with several weapons, it’s barely noticeable. Finally, we never get to see how “skilled” Kuroi is. If all the members of Itto-ryu are defeated this easily I’ll be disappointed. Blade of the Immortal is well crafted, using sound, colors and minimal dialogue. The violence is graphic, but the action is too simple. Both characters, Rin and Manji feel like they might be more than tropes. While I found the first encounter with a member of Itto-ryu to be disappointing, Sabato Kuroi did make me wonder what insane behavior the other members get into.


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

Granblue Fantasy the Animation 2: Recap and Review

Granblue Fantasy is a role-playing game by Cygames, released in Japan on March 2014. The first season of Granblue Fantasy The Animation aired between April 2nd and June 25th of 2017. It was animated by A-1 Pictures, with the second season being animated by MAPPA. Season 2 premiered on October 4th of this year and will have 14 episodes. Like my review of Fate Grand Order Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia, Granblue is better understood if you had at least seen the first season (Streaming on Netflix). Basically, a farm boy, Gran and his companion Vyrn stumble upon Lyria. She’s a mysterious girl with the power to connect to Primal Beast. Together with her guardian Katalina Alize, the four join forces to protect Lyria, while defeating the Erste Empire.

Having gained some fame, Gran and his skyfaring crew are dining together. They’re given a job from Sierokarte, the owner of the “Knickknack Shack.” Sierokarte believes that the mission will result in the discovery of a Primal Beast. The following morning they head to the tiny island and learn that there’s been an “ominous sound,” emanating from somewhere. While searching for the location of the sound, Gran and the others run into children trying to retrieve a dropped wood sword. While retrieving the sword, Gran and Vyrn hear the sound more clearly and rescue an injured young girl.

The girl is Aliza, who’s on a journey as part of her martial arts training. They locate the sound as, Aliza reveals that she known exactly what they’re looking for. It’s a Primal Beast, trapped in a force field of “dark essence.” They’re discovered by Pommern. He leaves them to face the primal beast, Tezcatlipoca. Gran and Aliza fight the beast. Gran notices that there’s a dark crystal at the base of the beast’s neck. They notice that it can’t see through fire, so Aliza decides to use her Fangs of the Dragon and Talons of the Phoenix attacks. Lyria summons a Primal Beast to help. Gran jumps on the back of the Tezcatlipoca and manages to destroy the crystal. Lyria “tames” the beast and captures it.

As a video game adaptation I like Granblue Fantasy. As a series, Granblue is generic. All the RPG elements are present, mages, cute talking magical creatures, airships, summoning and a evil Empire. If your looking for a series that’s going to change your understanding of anime, Granblue Fantasy isn’t for you. The series hasn’t really done anything new, but it is a solid video game adaptation.

Fate Grand Order Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia :Recap and Review

Fujimaru (left) and Mash (right)

Season 1, Episode 1: Absolute Demonic Front Babylonia

The Fate/Grand Order is a series based on the Type-Moon Fate/Stay night franchise. The game is extremely popular in Japan, rivaling Pokemon Go. Personally, I’m always leery of anime made from games (Pokemon being the exception). The “Fate” series has so many different titles that I have a hard time keeping them straight. Created by the Japaneses animation studio, CloverWorks (formerly A-1 Pictures), Fate Grand Order Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia focuses on Mash Kyrielight and her master, Fujimaru. They’re sent to the ancient city of Uruk, Mesopotamia in the year 2600 B.C. Located between Tigris and Euphrates rivers, Mesopotamia is in the Persian Gulf. It’s at this point that the Age of Gods “came to an end.” At this time monsters and Gods coexists.

When, Fujimaru and Mash are sent into the world they “bounce” off a shield that protects the city of Uruk. Mash deploys her shield to brace their fall. They’re attacked by some saber tooth “demonic beasts.” Mash attacks them, defeating them easily. Fujimaru is landed on by a woman that refuses to introduce themselves. She asks them if they found something “precious lying down.” The demonic beasts return, but this time they are dispatched by nameless woman. She shows off her power, defeating them in epic fashion. However, more of them show up. The mysterious woman begins to leave. She tells them that if they can’t “deal” with the demonic beast of “this level,” the “restoration of humanity is no more than a dream.”

Mash and Fujimaru are rescued by Enkidu. He’s been waiting for them to come to Age of God. Enkidu defeats all the demonic beasts. Enkidu is a “weapon of the Gods,” created to “return Gilgamesh to the gods.” According to Enkidu humanity is at war with the gods. Specifically, the “Three Goddess Alliance,” have taken over 60% of the lands in Mesopotamia. One of these Goddesses creates the demonic beasts. To counter these Goddesses humanity created a wall called the: Absolute Demonic Front Babylonia. I’m not sure about how I feel about this series. The 2D/3D animation mix isn’t terrible, but I don’t think it works that well. The biggest issue is that it’s clear that at least in this episode, having prior knowledge of this series or at least the games. I was confused by many of the things discussed, at least early in the episode. Regardless, I’m interested in what this series has to offer and will probably learn more as it goes along.

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.

Cop Craft Episode 12: Recap and Review

Season 1, Episode 12: Two Worlds, Two Justices

Zelada kidnaps Kei and Tilarna, putting them to sleep. Tilarna awakens and shes not pleased. Kei is being questioned by FBI agent Chan. Zelada plans on using Chan to start the war between the humans and Semanian community. Zelada and Chan talk about the conspiracy they created with Marla Mozeleemay. The assassin was named Ethan Dole and he was a marine that disappeared while in the Semani world. He returned with knowledge of magic and swordsmanship. Tilarna realizes that Leeze was probably responsible for training Ethan. Zelada tells her that he “fears for the future of Leto Semani,” the world for Semanian. He believes that the Semanians and Earthlings much “hate each other.” He wants to protect Semani from humanity. From the weapons, tools, porn and even the music. Basically the “danger” isn’t just violence, but cultural. He reminds Tilarna of Sir Elbaji, that became corrupted by humans.

Zelada believes that despite his killing innocent people, he at least hasn’t “given in to decadence.” Zelada is basically being elites here. He thinks that Semani culture is superior to humans and is being tainted. Meanwhile, Chan interrogates Kei for the picture of Marla and Ethan. He offers Kei $50,000. Kei escapes and confirms that Randall is dead. Elsewhere, Tilarna tries to convince Zelada that he needs to accept change. Zelada is disappointed. Tilarna challenges him. She tells him to go ahead and kill her but he failed to convince her that he’s right, so how can he convince the masses. In theory she right, but if he can make the two races fear eat other he won’t need to convince them of anything. Zelada tries to kill Tilarna. However the two work together and even switch weapons, tricking Zelada and killing him. The partnership between Tilarna and Kei, acts as a form of symbolism. Showing that the Semanian and Human can work together for a greater good. It’s a little on the nose but effective regardless.

Finally, whether to turn Marla in. The decision from Tilarna was never going to be to keep it a secret so her answer was surprising. It’s the right one too, but a small part of me wanted her to make the wrong decision. It would have been more interesting. Tilarna decides to “trust the people”. She remains the partner of Kei and Roth is sworn in as mayor. The racist cop apologies to Tilarna suggesting that her decision to trust the people was the right one. I can’t say that Cop Craft was a well made anime due to it’s dreadful animation. However, the series did manage to get me to overlook that weakness (something I rarely do), with it’s enthralling story. I think that it could have been better if they made the racism more apparent at the beginning of the series. I also think that they should have tease the conspiracy throughout the entire season, instead of leaving it completely in the middle, then picking it back up. It would have been more effective that way. Overall, I’m glad I ignored my animation sensibilities for this anime. I probably won’t make a habit of it, but it was worth it.

Reviews of Cop Craft:

Cop Craft Episode 11: Recap and Review

Season 1, Episode 11: Transitional Crises

Riots spark in town after the assassination of Cole Mozeleemay. After the assassination of Khan as well, Domingo Tourte is the last mayoral candidate standing. According to Kei, he’s a “typical right-winger.” His rhetoric gets him bashed in the media a lot. He has managed to gain a following regardless. Kei suggests that it’s because he’s “easy to understand.” Tourte engages in typical racism, suggesting that Semanian, “don’t understand Earth law.” This apparently causes them to be lawless and poor. Tourte complains that the Semanian are “stealing jobs and money from hardworking Earthlings.” Tourte view is one that is common when politicians are anti-immigration.

They (the Semanian) are living on Earth, “reaping the benefits of Earth’s advance civilization.” After the confrontation between Tilarna and Tourte, Kei asks him an interesting question. Would Tourte consider himself an Earthling or a politician? Tourte answers, politician. It’s an odd answer to an odd question. When Tilarna asks why he asked the question, he reveals that the question was derived from a conversation he had with Roth. During that conversation Roth said that he was “more an Earthling than he was a police officer.” Kei believes that this is why he was willing to abandoned his job as a police officer, because he was “concerned about Earth’s future.” As I predicted in my previous review, Marla Mozeleemay, wife of Cole, enters the race.

She acts as a moderate, proposing increased wages for Semanians, expanding job training programs and new free clinics. Tilarna suspects correctly that Marla is responsible for the assassination of Zoey. However, this would likely result in Tourte winning election with his anti-semanian views. Suddenly, Kei gets a suspicious call from a reporter. He goes to meet him in the park. He gives Kei a photo of Marla with the assassin. Randall begins to panic as he’s now a target. They’re surrounded by FBI, one of which is dead. Special agent Ronald Chan arrests the two of them. Tilarna realizes that all the agents except Chan are dead. As they’re thrown into the van, they see the wizard Zelada in the driver’s seat.

Reviews of Cop Craft:

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 26: Recap & Review

Season 1, Episode 26: New Mission

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’s phenomenal first season ends with the introduction of a new movie. More on that later. Muzan Kibutsuji calls the remaining lower six moons. They’re summoned and trapped in a warped space that’s controlled by a female demon with a biwa. Muzan appears in a new female body, having changed his appearance and aura. This ability is obviously why the Demon Corps have had a difficult time finding him. Demon Slayer has made it clear that Muzan is the most evil relative to other demons. During this meeting his displays why. Muzan asks them “why are they so useless.” Granted he has a point, but if giving demon his blood makes them stronger isn’t he the real reason they’re weak. Apparently, the lower six moon are significantly weaker than the upper moon.

Muzan states that it’s been a century since anyone has graduated into the upper ranks. It’s the upper ranks that kill the Hashiras. It’s in this moment we learn just how unforgiving he can be. When one demon thinks to himself, “that’s easy for you to say,” he shows that he can read their minds. When Lower Four tells him that she doesn’t flee from Hashira when they arrive, he kills her for disagreeing with him. Lower Three realizes that they’re in a hopeless position. If they agree with Muzan or disagree with Muzan, they died. Smartly, but fruitlessly, he flees. Kibutsuji captures and decapitates him. Lower Two begs for more blood, Kibutsuji kills him for ordering him around. When asking Lower One for their last words, they state that they “considers it an honor to die by Kibutsuji’s hands and thanks him for killing him last as he got to witness the agony of the other five.”

This is the answer that Muzan wanted. He rewards him with more of his blood, offering more if Lower One can kill Tanjiro. This episode shows what Muzan values in his demon subordinates, complete subordination. They’re means to an end. He creates them from humans, gives them powers and expects obedience in return. Their strength is his, their thoughts are his and so are their lives. Muzan is short tempered, self absorbed, cruel and lacks empathy. This makes him the perfect villain. I anticipate that he will inspire one of his demons to betray him at some point, if he doesn’t eat them all. Meanwhile, the rest of the episode focuses on the trio. Tanjiro, Inosuke and Zenitsu have all completed their training and are given their next mission. They’re sent to join the flame Hashira, as he investigates the disappearances on the “infinity train.”

After the credits we are given a surprise announcement. The next arc will be a movie. I’m not sure why they choose to make it a movie (I’m hoping that it’s because it’s quicker) but I’m excited. Demon Slayer has been a spectacular series. Combining amazing animation with brilliant action sequences. The characters, both good and bad ones are given deep stories making them complex. Tanjiro is a new spin on the typical Shonen hero and it’s refreshing. Demon Slayer is a remarkable series. I hate to see the season end but can’t wait for the series to return.



Reviews of the Other Episodes

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 12: Recap and Review

Senku, Ginro and Chrome’s Success

Season 1, Episode: Buddies Back to Back

Senku creates the silver spear he promised Ginro, resulting in the later taunting his brother Kinro. Senku reveals that the silver spear is actually a sensor. It turns black when it detects danger. Senku says that they will be killed if they fail to be careful when making sulfa drugs. The spear turns black when Ginro gets close to the large pool. Senku explains that the pool is made of sulfuric acid. According to Senku, the gas can kill instantly.

The key to their survival is gas masks. Senku gets Kaseki to make them. However, he tells Chrome that they both can’t go, as he can’t risks both scientists dying. Chrome rejects Senku’s concern, instead making a case that they both should go. He shows everyone how to make gas masks and they head to the spring without Ginro. He’s encouraged to face his fears by Kaseki and is given the last gas mask.

While, Senku gas line begins to melt, but Chrome seals it. However, he almost falls into the spring. Ginro rescues him before he’s does. Despite his fear, Ginro is able to overcome them with Senku’s help. Together they manage to get sulfuric acid. Senku really surprised me with his more emotional reassurance. Generally, Senku is sarcastic and analytical the way scientists tend to be, but he managed to encourage everyone. Kaseki also helps, but I didn’t find that surprising. Finally, I would have liked it explained why one couldn’t inhale the sulfuric acid but could fall into a spring of it.


Dr. Stone Review:

My Top 5 Anime Fire Users


I’m using the same rules like my list for top 5 water 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 fire. 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. Roy Mustang (FMA)

Colonel Mustang also known as the Flame Alchemist, is a State Alchemist from the anime series, Fullmetal Alchemist. He’s considered to be a hero in the series, hoping to become the next Fuhrer of Amestris. Mustang is a particularly skilled alchemist, focusing on fire based combat. Using custom made gloves that are created with ignition cloth. The gloves give off a spark when he snaps, allowing him to create flames with his alchemy. Water doesn’t render Roy’s alchemy useless. He’s able to “separate hydrogen atoms from the oxygen atoms in water molecules, isolating them into a highly combustible fuel and powerfully volatile oxidizer, respectively.”

Roy doesn’t really have any specific fire attacks, instead attacking with constant flames.

Source: FMA.Fandom


4. Portgas D. Ace (One Piece)

Portgas D. Ace is the older adopted brother of Monkey D. Luffy and Sabo. He’s the son of Pirate King, Gol D. Roger. A former division commander of the Whitebeard Pirates, Ace was one of the most powerful characters in One Piece. Ace posses immense physical strength he obtained with the training that he did as a child. He ate the Mera Mera no Mi, logia devil fruit. This allows him to become the element of fire and control flames. Ace could also use haki, haoshoku haki and busoshoku haki. Shanks described his haki a being “fiery in nature, to the point that Ace’s very presence was able to stop blizzards on an island for as long as he was there.”

Ace’s fire top abilities:

  • Kagero – shoots a stream of fire from the palm of his hand.
  • Hiken – Ace’s signature attack, he “turns his fist into flames and launches it as a column of fire at his target. This attack is so incredibly powerful that it is able to plow through several ships in one shot.”
  • Enkai – Ace amasses a large amount of flames around his body in preparation for an attack.
  • Dai Enkai: Entei – Ace’s ultimate technique. After creating great spiraling flames centered on his location before amassing it at a focused point (i.e. the palm of his hand), Ace then turns it into a gigantic fireball resembling the sun and hurls it at his opponent to try to obliterate them.

Source: One Piece fandom


3. Natsu Dragneel (Fairy Tail)

Natsu is a Mage in the Fairy Tail Guild. He’s among the five Dragon Slayers sent to defeat Acnologia. Natsu uses Fire Dragon Slayer Magic. He can consume fire, the heat of the fire increases as his emotional state changes. This is called the “Flame of Emotion.” He can use his flames from any part of his body, incorporating it in his fighting style. Natsu has a massive array of techniques. He can enter the Dragon Force, a point were his power becomes comparable to that of an actual dragon. He can use transformation magic, has enhanced smell, hearing, speed, reflexes and immense strength.

Natsu’s fire top abilities:

  • Crimson Lotus – Natsu rapidly punches his target, with his hands lit ablaze, creating a fiery explosion after each subsequent contact.
  • Crimson Lotus: Exploding Flame Blade – Natsu swipes his arms in a circular fashion, creating a powerful, and highly destructive, torrent of flames that barrages his target.
  • Black Fire Dragon Mode – After absorbing the flames of Dark Regulus, Natsu is capable of combining these flames with their own for destructive effects.
  • Dragon Force –  By consuming Etherion or the Flame of Rebuke Natsu has been shown to be able to enter Dragon Force. This ability is said to be the final and most powerful state a Dragon Slayer can attain, and it has been said that their power becomes comparable to that of a real Dragon’s.

Source: fairytail.fandom


2. Uchiha Itachi

Itachi is the prodigy from the Uchiha Clan in Naruto. He became an infamous criminal after killing his entire clan, leaving only his brother Sasuke alive. After his death he was revealed to have been protecting his brother and the Leaf village. Itachi is considered to be one of the best ninja in Naruto. He was stronger than ever one of the legendary three Sannin. He could single handily defeat a team of jonin. Itachi was limited by a terminal illness that prevented him from fighting at his fullest. Despite this he was skilled in taijutsu, ninjutsu and genjutsu. Like most members of the Uchiha clan he had a natural affinity for Fire release. He mastered many fire type jutsus.

Itachi’s fire top abilities:

  • Amaterasu – by igniting whatever he looked at with black flames that would burn anything, including fire itself. In most cases it was impossible to avoid, it continued to burn for seven days and seven nights. The flames couldn’t be extinguished even by water. He also had the ability to extinguish Amaterasu.
  • Fire Release: Great Fireball Technique – Upon impact, the fireball is powerful enough to crater the ground and vaporize the surroundings.

Source: naruto.fandom


Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto (Bleach)

Yamamoto was the Captain of the 1st Division in the Gotei 13, he was also the Captain Commander of all of the Gotei 13. Yamamoto is the strongest swordsman in all of Soul Society. He’s capable of fighting two Captains at the same time, with one hand. He’s a master of Hakuda (hand to hand), Kido, Shunpo and a master at strategy and tactics. He has master his Reiatsu control to the point that he could ” physically paralyze and possibly even choke combatants of lieutenant-level and lower simply by gazing in their direction.” He has immense strength, durability and endurance.

Yamamoto’s top fire abilities:

  • Ryujin Jakka – the oldest and most powerful fire-type Zanpakuto, it has the greatest offensive abilities in all of Soul Society.
  • Ennetsu Jigoku – Creates seven or more immense pillars of flame which surround an area. The intent of this technique is to trap the opponent in the caged inferno and destroy them. The power of this technique can destroy everyone caught in its vicinity, including Yamamoto himself.
  • Bankai (Zanka no Tachi) – Upon activation, any flames previously produced by Ryūjin Jakka are absorbed into the blade. Zanka no Tachi incorporates the full power of Yamamoto’s flames into the blade: the flames within the blade burn anything it cuts out of existence. Zanka no Tachi has the side-effect of depleting the moisture in an entire area (at least the size of the Seireitei), causing the air and the water to dry up.
  • Zanka no Tachi, Higashi: Kyokujitsujin, Automatically activated at release, this ability concentrates the intense flames of the sword along the edge of the blade. It neither burns nor erupts, but anything it touches is eradicated to nothingness.
  • Zanka no Tachi, Nishi: Zanjitsu Gokui , Automatically activated at release, this ability is unseen by the eyes of anyone else unless Yamamoto wills it to be seen. It engulfs his body in heat which reaches a temperature upwards of 15,000,000 degrees. Therefore, it becomes impossible to even touch him while he is using his Bankai.
  • Zanka no Tachi, Minami: Kaka Jūmanokushi Daisōjin, Impaling the tip of his sword into the ground, Yamamoto calls upon the corpses and ashes of the dead who were killed by his flames to come forth and fight on his behalf. Using the heat of his sword on their ashes, he can rouse all the people he has killed, allowing the corpses to become his limbs and attack whomever he deems as his enemy until they become dust. He can bring forth any specific corpse which he wishes, allowing him to inflict psychological damage upon those with connections to those he has slain.
  • Zanka no Tachi, Kita: Tenchi Kaijin, A slash of concentrated fire and heat which incinerates whatever it touches out of existence.

Source: Bleach Fandom


Enen no Shouboutai Episode 11: Recap and Review

Season 1, Episode 11: The Formation of Special Fire Force 8/ The Mightiest Hikeshi

This episode is split into two. The first half, the Formation of Special Fire Force 8, focuses on Takehisa Hinawa’s time with the Tokyo Imperial Armed Forces. He’s actually even more cold and detached. We meet his friend, Toji. Hinawa isn’t religious and doesn’t believe in baptizing guns. Toji asks him, “Between a gun that was baptized and one that wasn’t, you’d rather be shot by the baptized one, right?” That night, Toji transforms into an infernal. He begs Hinawa to “kill him while he’s still conscious.” Hinawa can’t do it. After Toji’s death, Hinawa claims his baptized gun. Hinawa learns so empathy from this tragedy.

Obi, now a rookie fire fighter is standing by waiting for Fire Force members to end the suffering of two Infernal. The members of Company 3, have made a game of killing Infernals, assigning points to each one. Of course this causes Obi to get angry. They lack the concern necessary concern for the family of Infernal’s. Obi decides to take matters into his own hands. Hinawa recognizes the kind of man Obi is and offers to aid him. They decide to put the Infernal to rest. Unlike most of the recent scenes with Infernals this one is more reserved like the first episodes. Fire Force once again is reminding us of the costs. Killing Infernals aren’t fun and games, these are real people, that suffer. After this, Obi decides that he will create his own company, with Hinawa as his first hire.

The Mightiest Hikeshi

The second half of the episode introduces us to Shinmon Benimaru and Company 7. Located in Asakusa, the feels like the Edo era Japan. Benimaru is rude to the towns people that all seem to love him. When he returns to Company 7, it seems like there’s only four members. Their are the twins, Hikage and Hinata, along with Konro. As we saw in the previous episode, Benimaru doesn’t trust the Government or the Church. This includes Company 8. Before we get a conflict between Shinra and Benimaru, an Infernal emerges. Benimaru springs into action, beginning the “festival.” He has the ability of both the second and third generation. This makes him a unique fire fighter, able to create and control fire.

The battle scene is amazing, with Benimaru using matoi flags to destroy rows of homes. At first this is seems ridiculous, but it’s explained that the destruction of the homes are part of the ritual. This was the best episode of Fire Force in a while. Benimaru is a bit of an ass, but also a wildcard. Based on his attitude I don’t think that he’s corrupted. However, he may not care enough to be of any use. I do think that Shinra will likely convince him to join the fight. I’m uncertain if this is the start of more consistent writing from Fire Force, but this episode shows that this series is great without the unnecessary fanservice and with a touching story.


Anime series I’m looking forward to this fall season

October marks the beginning of the fall anime season. While many of the series from the summer will continue like Dr. Stone, Fire Force and Vinland Saga, some new and returning series have piqued my interest.


My Hero Academia (Season 4)

Premiering Oct. 12th

I’ve decided that I will be reviewing the anime My Hero Academia from now on. Probably the most anticipated anime of the fall season, the fourth season will focus on the events of the Shie Hassaikai Arc. The eleventh arc in the series, the students of Class 1-A learn about the Hero Internships . Last season we were introduced to the Big 3, Tamaki Amajiki, Nejire Hado and Mirio Togata, third year students that hope to help students of Class 1-A. Izuku Midoriya meets All Might’s former sidekick, Sir Nighteye.


No Gun Life (Season 1)

Premiering Oct. 10th

No Guns Life is a new anime, adapted from the manga of the same name. After the war, the Extended (cyborg soldiers) are discharged. On such soldier is Inui Juuzou. His body was transformed into a weapon, with his head being replaced with a giant gun. To make a living Inui acts as a Resolver, a type of private investigator that solves cases involving the Extended. His loyalty to the Extended, obligates him into getting involved in the protection of a child from evil corporation, Beruhren.


Mugen no Juunin: Immortal

Premiering Oct. 9th

Blade of the Immortal is one of the manga series I always intended to start but the 30 volumes felt too daunting. Regardless, the reboot of the series (there was a series in 2008) is coming this fall. For those that are unaware, Blade of the Immortal, focuses on the immortal swordsman, Manji. Cursed with immortality, Manji has become tired of his death dealing. He decides that he will kill 100 “evil men” for every good one he killed. The witch that gave him his cursed life, agrees with Manji’s quest. He begins his path to kill 1000 evil men. On the way he meets Rin, a young girl that wishes to seek revenge for the slaughter of her family.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 24: Recap & Review

Image from Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 24 of Kanao throwing tea in Tanjiro's face
Kanao throwing tea in Tanjiro’s face

Season 1, Episode 24: ‘Rehabilitation Training’

Finally closer to recovering, Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke put through “rehabilitation training.” Aoi creates the plan for them. Zenitsu doesn’t start right away. He’s been given the impression from the exhausted look on the faces of Tanjiro and Inosuke that the training is daunting. He is (as expected) petrified by attending the training. However, when the training is explained to him, stretching by girls, then a reflex game and finally a game of tag, Zenitsu is overjoyed by the chance to touch and be touched by pretty girls. After initially finding Zenitsu to be annoying and over the top, I’ve become accustomed to his personality. Zenitsu remains the primary source of comedy in this series, I appreciate that about him.

This episode isn’t all fun and games however. While, Inosuke and Zenitsu abandon training after they fail to capture Kanao, Tanjiro focuses on mastering his breathing. He’s informed that all the Hashira’s and Kanao can use the “Total Concentration Breathing” all day long. Tanjiro begins to increase his training hoping to achieve the feat. He must become able to use his breath to explode special gourds of increasing size, if he’s going to reach the next level. Finally, Tanjiro and Shinobu have a conversation on the roof. She reveals that she’s always angry, after Tanjiro asks why the scent he receives from her is always angry.

Image from Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 24 of Shinobu's sisters death.
Shinobu’s sisters death

He sister was killed by a demon. Like Tanjiro she had sympathy for demon. Shinobu tried to emulate he sisters smile, but she finds it exhausting to do so. Shinobu decides that she will leave Tanjiro with the mission her sister started, forging relationships with demons. Unfortunately, the new character development seems to suggests that Shinobu will die soon. It think she will find the demon that killed her sister and finally let go of that anger to kill it. This coupled with the fact that Kanao has not so subtly been position as her successor, training under Shinobu and already achieving feats that the other Hashira’s can do. However, I don’t think this will happen this season.

Kyojuro Rengoku on the other hand will likely die this season. In the beginning of the episode, Shinobu asks him where he’s going. He’s likely going to encounter a member of the Upper Ranks. Since Giyu so easily defeat Rui a member of the Lower Ranks, I think we can assume that the higher ranks are significantly stronger. My prediction is that Demon Slayer will leave us with a understanding that Hashira’s aren’t enough and no one is safe. Regardless, Tanjiro, Inosuke and Zenitsu are going to have to get stronger.


Reviews of the Other Episodes

Enen no Shouboutai Episode 10: Recap and Review

In episode 10 of Fire Force, Shinra, Tamaki and Obi are sitting in the car arriving to the meeting at  Amaterasu.
Shinra excited to see Amaterasu

Season 1, Episode 10: ‘The Promise’

The tenth episode of Enen no Shouboutai (Fire Force), the Promise, introduces the Tokyo Imperial Emperor, Raffles III. He calls an emergency conference of all the Captains to discuss the threat of the Evangelist. It’s rare that all the Captains meet. They arrive at the thermal energy plant, Amaterasu. The plant produces all the energy for Tokyo. The conference begins. Along with Leonard Burns (1st), Princess Hibana (5th) and Akitaru Obi (8th), we are introduced to Gustav Honda (2nd), Dr. Giovanni (3rd), Soichiro Hague (4th), Kayoko Huang (6th) and finally Benimaru Shinmon (7th).

Obi notes that the 7th rarely shows up. Shinra states that Shinmon is considered to be the “mightiest Fire Soldier.” The Emperor begins by telling that the Captains that the Evangelist must be stopped as they are traitors. Shinmon is disrespectful when the Emperor suggests that they’re protected by the “Great Sol.” He states that his name is Shinmon Benimaru, which apparently suggests that he’s a “proto-nationalists.” It would have been helpful for Fire Force to explain what a “proto-nationalists” is, why his name is proto-nationalists” and why that’s a problem. Clearly it means that he doesn’t follow orders and he leaves.

In episode 10 of Fire Force, Sho Kusakabe sits on a throne while leaning on a sword.
Sho Kusakabe

Joker arrives and plans to see Shinra again. It is revealed to the Captains that Shinra has the Adolla Burst. This is the same as the flame of Amaterasu. Captain Obi and Company 8, take full responsibility for protecting Shinra. While watching Amaterasu, Joker interrupts him. Joker offers him a “reward,” and tells him that his brother, named Sho Kusakabe is now a Commander of the Knights of the Ashen Flame. Tanaka tells Shinra that he wants him to trust them. At the end of the episode he finally tells them about what Joker told him about his brother. We get a brief look at the White Clad cult and Sho, who has the same smile as Shinra.

This episode largely serves as a recap episode, but there’s enough new information that it doesn’t matter. We are starting to get some clarity on the hierarchy of the Fire Force universe, but I still don’t understand which of the Companies can be trusted. The impression this episode in parts is that Company 3, lead by Dr. Giovanni is a possible threat to Shinra. Company 7, lead by Benimaru Shinmon seem like the most likely to fight against the Church and Government. However, what remains unclear is whether these organizations are evil at all. Joker’s loyalties are interesting. He clearly is obsessed with Shinra, but what he gains from instigating a conflict between brothers is uncertain.


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