In December of last year, at Shonen Jump’s Jump Festa the follow up to Naruto was announced. Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru, will be written by Masashi Kishimoto and illustrated by Akira Okubo, a former assistant on Naruto and the brother of Atsushi Okubo (Soul Eater, Fire Force). Kishimoto stated that he ” I like Japanese-styled things: I’m thrilled about the culture and decor. I like sci-fi things too. I’m excited for this gimmick and it’s creation. Since I like both things, I’ve decided to mix them together to depict this work.” He hopes to make it “even more interesting than the Naruto series!”
Unlike Naruto, Samurai 8 will obviously focus on samurai instead of ninja. Similar to the Naruto series it will be more than a samurai series like Rurouni Kenshin. Infused with sci-fi, the series will feature cyborgs, futuristic weapons and outer space. While I didn’t like Boruto, I have high hopes for this series. The problem, so will millions of Naruto fans. The high expectations could be a curse for the series or help it have an instant audience. Another problem is appetite for another shonen series. With series like Black Clover and My Hero Academia doing well, not to mention One Piece is still king, will there be room for one more?
From what little that’s been seen so far, I like the direction the series is expected to take. More importantly to me I like the art style. What do you think. Will Samurai 8 live up to the hype? Will it be successful as the current shonen series? Can it surpass Naruto?
Samurai 8 will run in Shonen Jump later this year.
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.
This episode begins with a quick flashback of the Wizard King saving humanity from a massive demon, in the present Asta and Yuno head to the Clover Kingdom for the exam for joining the magic knights. Asta marvels at the offerings that the village shops have. Meanwhile, at the church Nash is enjoying his time without loudmouth Asta, but he does hope that they both succeed in passing the exam. They arrive and sign their grimoire in and receive their numbers. While in the square the participants are surrounded by birds called “anti-birds,” according to one participant the lower your magic is the more birds that surround you.
Unsurprisingly, Yuno has no bird around him and Asta is surrounded by a flock. While he’s flailing about he runs into a big guy named, Yami Sukehiro. He’s the Captain of Clover Kingdom’s Black Bull squad. We are also introduced to two other members Gordon Agrippa, and Finral Roulacase. As Yami is crushing Asta’s skull the bell rings signally the beginning of exam. We are also introduced to several other squad Captains, Nozel Silva, Captain of the Silver Eagles, Fuegoleon Vermillion the Captain of the Crimson Lion Kings, Jack the Ripper, Green Praying Mantises Captain, Charlotte Roselei, Captain of the Blue Rose Knights.
There’s Gueldre Poizot, Purple Orcas Captain, Coral Peacocks Captain Dorothy Unsworth, who’s always asleep, 19 year old Rill Boismortier, Aqua Deer Captain, and finally Golden Dawn Captain, William Vangeance. Golden Dawn is considered to be the top squad, the strength of a squad Captain is said to equal that of 100 mages. William begins the exam by calling forth a magic tree that gives the participants broom sticks.
Each Captain is going to judge and choose the mage they want, if more than choose the participant then they decided which squad they prefer. The first task for the mages is to fly on the broom stick. Predictably, Asta can’t do it at all, he also fails the “magic power test,” “magic power control test,” “creation magic test,” “evolution magic test.” Sekke Bronzazza who up until this point was “helping” Asta turns on him and tries to use his “weakness” to gain a easy win. Sekke uses his grimoire to create a blue wrecking ball that surrounds himself, however, Asta uses his and easily KO’s him with a devastating attack.
While this episode was completely predictable I still enjoyed it, I’ll go on a limb and assume that Asta joins the Black Bull squad and Yuno joins the “best” squad, Golden Dawn. They seem that they’re the most appropriate squads for each. I wonder if Asta will accept the fact that he has no magic power, so far he’s been given explicit evidence that he has none, with the chains that sense magic from the first episode, the birds in this one and the fact that he’s NEVER used any magic. I’m hoping he get it eventually. Finally, learning the names of characters can be a chore at the beginning of any series but some of the Captain names are a mouthful, specifically, Finral Roulacase and Fuegoleon Vermillion. I also find Asta less annoying and I’m actively rooting for him, so progress.
Link Figma Action Figure The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Back in October of 2017 a new anime series, Black Clover was released. Based on the manga of the same name, created by Yuki Tabata, Black Clover focuses on “a young boy named Asta, seemingly born without any magic power, something that is unknown in the world he lives in.” After resisting I finally decided to check it out. My opinion after the first episode is that it’s okay.
I can’t really pinpoint why I wasn’t excited about this series. I love shonen, most of my anime diet consists of the shonen genre. I wouldn’t characterize Black Clover as bad, but too familiar. Asta’s dream is to become “Wizard King,” sound familiar. In One Piece, Monkey D. Luffy is searching for “the one piece” to become the “the Pirate King,” and in Naruto, Naruto aims to become the Hokage (top ninja of the leaf village).
Also like Naruto, Asta is orphaned and has a Sasuke like rival (Yuno). Yuno is a magically prodigy, he’s calm and emotionally muted. Asta is loud, silly and immature as a result he’s underestimated, teased and generally disrespected by the villages. Having common troupes as other series is not in and of it’s self a problem, My Hero Academia is similar to all the mentioned series. I will say that I found Asta to be funny, but annoying. However, at one point in this episode he’s seems defeated and I start to feel sorry for him.
Black Clover exists in the Clover Kingdom, where magic is king. Everything seems to require magic, even everyday activities such as tending to a farm uses magic. Ironically, Asta appears to be the only person that can’t use magic. This leads to his constant humiliation, when the “grimoire ceremony” finishes, Asta is the only one without a grimoire. He plays this moment off for laughs but it’s somewhat heart wrenching to witness. To make thing worse, Yuno receives a rare grimoire with a “Four Leaf Clover.”
Yuno’s grimoire attracts the attention of a thief, who ambushes him to steal his grimoire. Asta comes to rescue him and is quickly defeated. It’s in this moment Asta seriously considers giving up, however, Yuno claims him as his rival. Asta somehow manifests a “Five Leaf Clover,” in Black Clover the Three Leaf Clover represents Faith, Love, and Hope, the Four Leaf Clover represents Faith, Love, Hope and Good Luck, the Five Leaf Clover becomes interesting as it represents Faith, Love, Hope, Good Luck and also resides with a demon.
It sounds that I disliked the series or at least these episodes, even though episode two is large a flashback I didn’t. I’m not sure why noticed the troupes in this series where I really didn’t with say My Hero Academia. What’s interesting about this series is the fact that Asta has NO magically abilities. Deku from My Hero Academia didn’t have a Quirk, but neither did All Might.
Asta is apparently the only person not to have magic. Of course he isn’t without a means of battle now that he has the Five Leaf Clover. Asta’s grimoire turns into a sword and has the ability to nullify magic, this is interesting considering how important magic is. Will Asta remain an outsider, now that he has the means to nullify the most important resource in the world?