SSSS.Gridman Episode 09 Review – Dream

Is it all a dream?

Yuta awakens to find that Akane has replaced Rikka, as the episode recreates the first one. Akane attempts to convince Yuta that she was his girlfriend. Rikka relives her first encounter with Akane and Utsumi lives a dream where he and Akane becomes friends over there love of kaiju. Akane attempts convince them to join her. The Neon Genesis Junior High Students can’t wake the three of them up. 

Gridman not needed

Gridman attempts to wake them up from with dream. Gridman appears throughout the episode in windows, billboards, picture frames. His image appears in the most obvious and surprising places, it’s well done. Anti looks for Gridman, only to be told that he may not show up because of the kaiju. Anti immediately attacks it but simply flies through it. This kaiju is the reason that Rikka, Yuta and Utsumi are asleep. Surprisingly, Gridman doesn’t make an official appearance in this episode.  

Enter God Zenon

Without Gridman it’s up to the Neon Genesis Junior High Students to face the now materialized kaiju. The transformation sequence reminded me of the power rangers. Regardless, Zenon quickly destroy’s the kaiju. As a so called God, Akane isn’t very impressive. She fails all the time and doesn’t seems to have much control over her creations. Even creating an entire dream for each of the three title characters, they still managed to escape. Her power seems to be limited. Akane becomes depressed as her creations causes continue to reject her. She’s too evil for me to feel sorry for, but her character has gotten more complex in this episode. 

Advertisements

Goblin Slayer Episode 08 – Whispers and Prayers and Chants

Goblin Slayers abusive Master

This episode begins with a flashback of Goblin Slayers childhood. His master taunt’s him for his inability to save his sister. The master uses abuse both physical and mental in order to instill some toughness into GS. Clearly this worked as GS is now a goblin killing badass. He says that the ” moment you make the decision to do something and act on it, you win.” The master begins quizzing GS with puzzles. The final question he asks Goblin Slayer is “what’s in his pocket.” I don’t know if it’s my expectation from this series or not, but the face he had suggested that the question was sexual in nature. If the relationship between was sexually abusive we’ll fine out sooner or later.

Sexual healing ? 

In the present Goblin Slayer awakens. We see his toned, scared body and his head sans helmet. His face however remains hidden. Next to the GS is the priestess, naked. This is suppose to be “the miracle of Resurrection” which is achieved by “sharing a bed with a virgin.” It’s a interesting manner of healing I guess. Especially, because it requires no sex, hence the virginity requirement. It’s made clear that the Sword Maiden was raped by goblins, she makes a claim that doesn’t make since. She says that “women are weak creatures,” but she’s “the woman who defeated the Demon Lord.” She does see the contradiction. Regardless, she is clearly throwing herself at Goblin Slayer but he doesn’t seem to notice or care. 

Some down time

After battle Goblin Slayer often has an episode of downtime. This time is no different. The Goblin Slayer and the Priestess head to a blacksmith to get their equipment repaired. She refuses to get new chain-mail because the Goblin Slayer complimented her on it previously. Of course GS does bother getting any new armor, but does seem willing to get new weapons.  They have ice cream, while the sun sets. They are interrupted by Witch and Spearman, that deliver some “very” fine flour, that GS says will help him against the “goblins.”

Explosive battle against a giant eye

This battle isn’t as high stakes as the previous ones, but does illuminate on aspect of GS that often is subtle. He is a fierce warrior and a master tactician. The main issue with the giant eye is that it’s capable of “disintegrate and dispel.” Spells aren’t effective, fighting head to head isn’t a good strategy either. The high elf archer distracts the eye, as the Dwarf Shaman cast a spell to put it asleep. While, it’s sleeping the GS releases the flour into the air, then the Lizard Priest summons his dragontooth warrior. Then the Elf shoots the eye with an arrow, while the Priestess uses protection to trap it. When the eye sees the dragontooth it fires it’s beam causing a massive explosion killing itself. GS explains his strategy as we see a strange magic mirror remains. 

SSSS.Gridman Episode 07 Review – Scheme

Yuta informs Utsumi and Rikka that “Akane is a God.” He also tells them of the kaiju, they don’t believe him however. Yuta runs into Anti at his school and quickly flees. He’s caught by Anti who proclaims to no longer “care about Yuta,” that he “only wants Gridman.” Yuta tells him that “Gridman only shows when a kaiju does.” The rest of the team is still skeptical that Akane is the villain. They decide that Yuta should take to her. 

Yuta returns home only to find that Akane is sitting on his bed. She greets him as “Mr. Gridman.” She asks Yuta to become her ally. He says no, because he can’t “betray his friends.” She demands that he walk her home.  They stop at the shop of the father of the girl that Akane killed. She admits that she did it because “those girls smushed the bread she gave him.” Akane’s cruelty is on full display here. She chooses this restaurant without shame for what she did. When Yuta tells her that “people suffer when someone dies,” she say’s “yeah, that’s possible,” while playing on her phone. 

Alexis Kerib arrives. He and Akane have an casual conversation at the restaurant. The owner doesn’t seem to register Alexis odd look. Regardless, Yuta receives an alert that a kaiju is around. He heads outside to see a flying object or UFO. As Yuta runs to transform into Gridman, Akane is shocked to see that there’s a UFO, but when she turns around Alexis is gone. 

Yuta transforms and attacks the UFO destroying it. However, it regenerates and begins to attack. Akane returns home to find that Alexis has allowed Anti to create a kaiju. When she asks why he states that Anti “hates Gridman more than she does.” The strength in kaiju is determined by the hatred the creator has. The Neon Genesis Junior High Students send the Sky Vitter. Gridman transforms into Empyrean Combine Sky Gridman. They take flight and begin to battle, Gridman doesn’t sense anything.

He notices that there’s a main kaiju controlling the UFO. Anti transforms and teams up with the kaiju against Gridman. The air fight was impressive and it lead to the most surprising reveal the “city in the sky.” Gridman uses Gridknight Saber Slash to cut the new kaiju in half destroying it. Vitter attacks Anti with a barrage of lasers, using Laser Circus Amp. Anti is defeated and is punished by Alexis, attacking him with saw. The cruel treatment of Anti will backfire on Alexis and Akane one day, I’m sure of it. 

Another spectacular episode. It started of slow, but really picked ending with the most dynamic fight scene this series had. Both Alexis and Akane prove how evil they really are. Alexis treatment of Anti and Akane’s dismissive treatment of the father whose daughter she killed. I think that Anti will become a important part of this series and remains a wild card. However, he doesn’t seem to have control over when he transforms into a kaiju. Finally, the secret of Akane and Alexis is revealed, marking a massive change in the series. 

Goblin Slayer Episode 07 Review – Onward Unto Death

After the events of the previous episode, Goblin Slayer (GS) and the rest of the party prepare to return to the sewers. GS makes note of the lack of “rat slaying quests.” He purchases a canary, as a precaution against poison. Canaries are good detectors of poison and with act as a warning if any poison is detected. He explains that the goblins have been educated, most likely by learned from miners. The plan is to avoid the goblins and focus on their leaders, then kill the rest. 

The party enter a room and are quickly trapped inside by the goblins. The canary begins to panic as they pump poison into the room. The Goblin Slayer quickly orders the party to wrap cloth an d charcoal around their mouths. Using concert and a spell they seal the vents, preventing more poison from entering. Finally, they move a stone coffin in from of the door to prevent Goblins from entering. The Lizard summons his dragontooth warrior, while the Priestess uses her protection spell. 

As the goblin horde break through the door, it is revealed that they’re accompanied by a “goblin champion.” As the goblins advance they slam into the protection force field, breaking their noses as they do. The party are able to take advantage as they shoot arrows and throw rocks at them. The GS steps out of the protection field killing goblins as he keeps count. He reaches seventeen before attacking the goblin champion. However, the goblin champion uses another goblin as a shield and delivers a massive blow to GS. Sending him flying and leaving him spitting up blood.  

The Priestess losses her concentration and the protection spell dissipates. The goblins begin to overwhelm the party. The goblin champion sets his sights on the Priestess and grabs her before taking a bit of her shoulder. As she screams, GS has a flashback of his childhood. He gets up and begins straggling the goblin champion with human hair. The Lizard heals the Priestess, as the goblin slayer crushes the eye of the goblin champion. The rest of the goblins flee in fear, the GS collapses beside an apologetic Priestess. 

I feel it’s completely unnecessary to pretend that the Goblin Slayer is in danger of dying. The Priestess’s sensitivity keeps the series from becoming too dark, but it also is can cost the party as it did in this battle. The shield she created with her protection spell was very effective during this battle. However, she quickly let’s it drop when GS get’s hurt. She leaves herself and the others in more danger because of it. The Goblin Slayer also shows that his personality has it’s faults and benefits. His single tracked mind allows him to use his logic before battle keeping the party alive and gaining an advantage against the enemies. However, the cost is needlessly risking his life.

Reviews from Goblin Slayer series

Blackfox anime preview

Studio 3Hz is producing an original anime “Blackfox.” Kazuya Nomura is directing this anime, having already directed Robotics Notes, Joker Game, Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie. Naoki Hayashi (Flip Flappers) will be the scriptwriter, with character design from Atsushi Saito. Studio 3Hz is known primarily for Princess Principal. 

Details of release dates and more in-depth story details aren’t known. However, the series seem to focus on female modern day ninja. Rikka Isurugi is expected to succeed her grandfather as head of the Isurugi ninja clan. Mia, a psychic is highly intelligent chess master, Melissa, Rikka’s roommate that takes care of the home she shares with Rikka and finally the mysterious “girl in the fox mask.”

The story according to the official website is:


Living in a ninja residence tucked away in a corner of a futuristic city is Rikka, the eldest daughter of a Ninja clan, who looks up to her father—a researcher—very much.
Carrying on with her life normally, Rikka’s home came suddenly under attack one day. Driven into a corner, what would she do to overcome this crisis?
Rip darkness to pieces and become “BLACK”!

Sources: ANN, Crunchyroll, goboiano

SSSS.Gridman Episode 06 Review – Contact

Yuta remembers that Akane asked him if he was “transforming,” and wonders what she meant. Meanwhile, Utsumi is away from school for a memorial service and Rikka leaves early. Akane orders Anti to kill Yuta, informing him that “if he kill Yuta, Gridman won’t show up anymore.”  He runs off to find him. Yuta looks for Rikka but she’s out shopping, he runs into a odd boy that claims that he’s a kaiju. They take a train ride where he all the questions that we had up to this point.

SSSS.Gridman 6th episode Contact pivots from the traditional format. Largely focusing on the characters meeting each other and talking, there’s no fighting between kaiju and Gridman in this episode. However, filliping our expectation on it’s head is what this series does well. The formula for the tokusatsu genre has long been established, but SSSS.Gridman often plays with it. This episode explains the world. The kaiju explains to Yuta that Akane destroys and rebuilds the city of Tsutsujidai with kaiju. Basically, she created the world they exists in and does as she pleases. 

She’s “twisted,” and is being used by Alexis. Rikka “befriends” Anti by showing him kindness. She feeds and bathes him. I would assume that this will pay off in the future. Or at least I’m hoping it does as Akane is terrible, in general but also towards Anti. Utsumi is interrogated by Akane for info on Yuta at Starbows. However, he reveals nothing of worth. While there’s no Gridman battle, there is between “humans,” or at least humanoids. Regardless, Anti attacks Yuta, whom is protected by the members of the Gridman Alliance. 

This episode does several things. First it brings both the audience and Yuta up to speed on what is happening. While we have known about Akane since the second episode, Yuta just learns that she’s evil and how much power she has. This episode also creates more questions. Does Akane realize that she is a “god”? Is Alexis an alien? What’s is his or it motivation? The kaiju that spoke to Yuta reveals that he’s not created by Akane, which of course begs the question who did?

Goblin Slayer Episode 05 Review – Adventures and Daily Life

After the more harrowing previous episode, Goblin Slayer takes a step back from the danger of adventure. Goblin Slayer took 3 days to recover from the previous battle. He helps Cow Girl carry supplies to town, while there he meets the elf archer, dwarf shaman and the priest lizard again. They hint that they might want to team up with him again. The Priestess informs him that she has be promoted to the next adventurer rank. 

This episode takes an unusually turn, it focuses on two new characters as they go on an adventure. They are both rather generic. The mission they embark on requires them to kill giant rats. The male member of the duo kills the rat, but gets his sword stuck in the corpse. He and his partner flees when giant cockroaches come to eat the dead rats.  The whole thing was kinda gross, but I hate rats and roaches. Regardless, the male member is now without a sword. He can’t afford to bu a new one and literally needs to convince someone to give him their spare one.

The whole situation tells us that everything in this world has a cost. The Goblin Slayer gets even more characterization. He is surprisingly approachable and is willing to help his fellow adventurer. If Goblin Slayer is going to focus on other characters, even small ones that will be somewhat revolutionary for a series. So far Goblin Slayer is doing well playing with our expectations, hoping it will keep doing so. 

SSSS.Gridman Episode 05 Review – Provocation

What use is an anime with teenage protagonists if they don’t got to the beach, right? The “beach episode” is an episode when the main characters take a break from the typical episode format and relax. Usually, its also a reason to engage in some fan-service, as the this episode often requires characters to wear bathing suits. Sometimes then beach episode is interrupted with more relevant plot elements. Trigger goes out of the way to zoom in on Akane’s cleavage, it’s all typical for anime. 

Regardless, this episode does turn out to be more that a typical. While no new mysteries are introduced, we do get an big battle scene between Yuta, Gridman, Anti and a new Kaiju. Akane has Alexis create a massive Kaiju. Her plan is to use the Kaiju’s massive size to overwhelm Gridman. However, Junk isn’t on the field trip with them resulting Yuta and Utsumi having too run to a payphone. The Assist Weapons all pool their money to buy the “Junk.” They then brought the Junk to the station. 

Gridman can increase it’s size but not as large as the kaiju. The larger Gridman is, the more energy expended. Yuta transforms, as Borr joins him. Using Forest Extinguisher Missile, Borr puts out the fire created by the kaiju. Gridman is quickly overwhelmed, Anti soon joins the fray further adding to his difficulty. Gridman combines with Borr, to create Full Armor Combine Buster Gridman. Anti copies the missile that Borr shoots. Gridman focuses on the large kaiju, using Twin Buster Grid Beam destroying it.

Provocation for a Gridman episode it was typical, for a beach episode it wasn’t. The only significant change is that Akane now knows that Yuta is Gridman. Yuta does have a ominous dream of what looks like Gridman being impaled by what looks like a spear. Whether this is a premonition or a past memory remains to be seen. Gridman could be getting darker. 

One Piece Manga Chapter 923 Review: Kiado

This chapter went by quickly, but boy did it reveal something profound. First I was wrong about the effect of Luffy’s hit. While he managed to knock Kiado to the ground, Luffy was largely ineffective against Kiado. After he hits the ground, Lady Speed falls out of Kiado’s cape. Luffy goes to her and is told that Kiado fought Lady Speed. It is implied that he also hurt Tama. 

In the One Piece series, Luffy’s most important personality traits are his simple-mindlessness and recklessness. The combination of these to aspects tend to result in Luffy getting into trouble, usually resulting in him getting a lot of attention and a higher bounty. However, Luffy is more complex than that. His sense of righteousness leads him to defend the weak, even when it will be easier for him not to. 

I say all this because the moment that he finds out that Tama was hurt by Kiado, he becomes enraged. Kiado can come across as a funny character, that can lead the audience to like him, forgetting that he’s evil. I think Oda was reminding us of this fact, noting that even children aren’t safe from him. Luffy being Luffy he goes into a rage and attacks Kiado. 

He calls Kiado’s attention, then attacks with Gomu Gomu no Elephant Gatling. He manages to knock Kiado out of his dragon form. He then quickly shifts into Gear Fourth: Boundman, using Gomu Gomu no Kong Organ. The barrage doesn’t do much as Kiado simply get’s up and uses Eight Trigrams Thunder-Clap, KOing Luffy while mocking his claim of becoming “Pirate King.”

I think Oda is trying to impart to the audience that the feeling that Luffy is so powerful that he’s the “fifth Yonko,” is completely false. While, we know that Luffy didn’t really fight Big Mom, let alone defeat her, some people (like myself) felt that the gap between him and the Yonko was close. While, I think Luffy did earn his bounty, it is somewhat inflated. Luffy has been defeated easily before and he will recover. The result of this encounter was unexpected.

If Luffy can’t touch Kiado (right now) then who can? Oh, What happened to the other Strawhat’s? So far the Strawhat’s have been on a bit of a winning streak, especially Luffy having successively defeated Doflamingo and Big Mom (though not head to head). He needed to run into a conflict that he couldn’t defeat simply by being head strong and barreling without fear. Kiado will provide a major challenge, that Luffy can’t easily overcome. 

One Piece Chapter 922 Review: Beasts Pirates General: Kaido

Luffy takes off to confront Kaido. Having seen that Okobore Town is under direct threat Luffy heads there. Law reveals that he, Luffy and Zoro have been exposed. However, he claims that “this shouldn’t effect the plan.” He plans to join Luffy against Kaido. Meanwhile, at Bakura Town the civilians flee as Kiado begins his assault. 

Kiado is revealed to be drunk, resulting in Jack fearing his rampage. Hawkins informs Kiado that “Luffy and Law are at the ruins of Oden Castle.” Even though this is true, Hawkins tells Jack that he lied to ” Kaido in order to stop his rampage and also to try eliminating a suspicious light there that has led to rumors about the Kozuki Family’s return.” 

Kiado immediately attacks Oden Castle, as the Strawhat and allies flee. He uses a massive attack that destroy’s Oden Castle. It’s not clear that the Strawhat’s got away in time. Regardless, the people of Kuri watch as Luffy jumps above Kiado and uses Gomu Gomu no Elephant Gun on the unsuspecting Kiado. Too much didn’t happen in this chapter, but the initial attack from Luffy on Kiado was shocking. 

Most of us probably thought that it would take longer for Luffy to encounter him. Considering, Kiado’s drunken state and the fact that he didn’t seem to notice Luffy, I think he will be knocked unconsciousness, but remain won’t be harmed. This will save the village by ending Kiado’s rampage. Finally, I think there’s zero chance that the Strawhat’s and their allies are harmed. I think the Kunoichi would have help them disappear before the attack.

Images by Mangastream