Anime

Hunter X Hunter : Volume 33 Review

I believe that Hunter X Hunter is among the greatest anime series of all time. It’s manga is another matter. Obviously it’s the source material for the anime, however, the mangaka, Yoshihiro Togashi (Yu Yu Hakusho), has dealt with illness and lower back pain resulting in frequent hiatuses. It has been suggested that he’s a perfectionists and wants to do everything himself. Personally, I didn’t like the art of Togashi, who often produces “sketchy” line work and missing backgrounds. Apparently, he fixes the art when the volume is released. I say all this to say that after revisiting the manga (particularly after the 13th Hunter Chairman Election Arc) I have found the art of Togashi to be better. The Dark Continent Expedition Arc follows the 13th Hunter Chairman Arc and is the seventh story arc of the Hunter X Hunter series, spanning Chapter 340 through Chapter 348.

When You Stop Challenging yourself, Your Life is over

Beyond Netero

An Expedition to the Dark Continent

The Chairman’s personal secretary Beans interrupts the Zodiacs conference to turn on EyeTube quickly enough for the Zodiacs present to see the Kakin Empire declare their desire to “advance their reach” to the Dark Continent. The continent is forbidden and recorded outside the world map. Kanzai, the Tiger Zodiac is clueless and is informed by Gel, the Snake Zodiac that magical beast originate from the continent. The Cow Zodiac, Mizaistom Nana, adds that “whenever humans tried to venture there . . . great calamities,” occurred. 200 years ago, the continental V5 signed a treaty agreeing to leave the Dark continent alone. The Kakin Empire is changed from a “Social Imperialist country to a Parliamentary Democracy,” becoming a new nation. Therefore, they could abandoned the treaty through a technicality. The Kakin Empire has hired the son of Isaac Netero to lead their expedition.

Related: Top Five Amoral Groups or Races in Anime

Beyond Netero is apparently the son of the former Chairman, but the other Zodiacs never heard of him. Beyond makes an enthusiastic pitch for others to join him in his exploration. Despite the Zodiacs shock, they all “hear Chairman Isaac Netero” in Beyond’s speech. Chairman Netero left a DVD for the Zodiac’s if someone claiming to be his child appeared. Before they watch the video newly elected Chairman Cheadle Yorkshire announces that Ging Freecss and Pariston Hill have resigned. With only 10 Zodiacs remaining, Cheadle tells them they’ve been given a special mission, “hunt down Beyond Netero.”

The Five Threats

The Five Threats

IPA Director and Deputy Secretary Steiner discuss the Kakin Empire and the purpose of V5. Basically they’re suppose to make it so difficult for anyone to get to the Dark Continent. Beyond Netero and the Kakin Empire are a potential problem. The Director reveals that when humans have reached the Dark Continent the result has been tragic. In the International Permit Agencies Steiner sees the twisted and mangled human corpses. He’s then given a copy of Journey to the New World, and told to read “every word of it.” The book accounts the deaths of the “wrung out” bodies. Suddenly, a humanoid creature slams its hand against the glass. According to the IPA Director, its the lone survivor, who doesn’t eat food anymore, and has been “self-sustaining for fifty years.”

Related: My Top 5 Anime Arcs

Steiner watches the video Netero left behind. He explains that he forbade his son from exploring the Dark Continent until his death. Furthermore, he didn’t have the strength to survive the continent, but Beyond Netero has that strength and is probably “more suited to being a hunter” than Isaac Netero. He implores the Zodiacs to “overcome any of the risks” and gives a difficulty rating of “A”. The Zodiacs disagree on whether they should take out Beyond Netero at all. Kanzai argues it wouldn’t feel fair to do so. However, Gel notes Beyond’s advantage, he’s been preparing for years. Before they can decided, Beyond arrives to surrender. As Chapter 341 ends, Steiner reads the “five threats humanity brought from the Dark Continent.” The Botanical weapon: Brion, which “protects mysterious ancient ruins, the Gaseous life-form: Al, a beast that keeps people as pets, the Twin Snake: Hellbell, and the immortal, Zobae.

Zobae the immortal

Ging Freecss heads to the Dark Continent

Beyond surprises the Zodiacs when he predicts they will release him and go to the Dark Continent with him. He promises to tell them the “truth.” The Dark Continent is a massive body of land with the recorded world located in its center surrounded by Lake Mobius. Steiner has a meeting with the V5 and explains that they need to include the Kakin Empire in the V5 making them the V6, It’s important to make the Kingdom believe they are still supportive of the expedition. They hope Kakin will suffer the same fate as the others and become united in banning travel to the Dark Continent. Meanwhile, the V5 hope the Hunters Association can convince Beyond.

While watching the interview with Beyond, the Zodiacs realize that the V5 have put them in an impossible position. If they fail to “babysit” Beyond they will lose the trust of the V5 but if they succeed they might be allowed to hunt on the Dark Continent. Beyond is aware of all of this and has manipulated the situation to gain entry to the continent. Beyond plan is to go to the Dark Continent as a “prisoner” of the Hunter’s Association but will escape and rejoin his comrades.

The transport

The King has provide transport capable of carrying 200,000 people and will be joining Beyond and 14 princes. Civilians also will join the voyage, being picked by lottery. I predict that all of them will die quickly including the royalty. Chapter 342 ends with Ging deciding to join Beyond’s expedition team and accusing Pariston Hill of having 5,000 Chimera Ants under his control.

Kurapika joins the expedition

So far this arc hasn’t mentioned Killua or Gon. I can’t imagine they won’t be apart of this series anymore. They were prime candidates for the newly opened Zodiac positions. However, Cheadle contacts Leorio and invites him to join the Zodiacs. He accepts and suggests someone else for the other position. Pariston Hill is looking to become this arc main villain as he plots to destroy the Hunters Association or at least use the Chimera Ants to take control of it.

Ging Freecss isn’t afraid to use his fists.

He claims that he “feels compelled to hurt the things that are dear to him,” when Ging confronts him. Ging is then ask to “get lost” by Usamen. Ging grabs him and he envisions his face getting pummeled. Seeing Ging is refreshing. He’s been a mysterious and absent figure in the Hunter X Hunter series and he’s surprisingly violent. Ging is quick to threat others with force and value strength above all else.

Mizaistom Nana looks for the person Leorio recommended, Kurapika. Since we last saw him he’s become the boss of a legal security and gambling association. He quickly dismisses Mizaistom until the latter asks about the crimson eyes. The Hunter Association has learned who owns a number of crimson eyes. If Kurapika joins them, the owner, Tserriednich, the fourth prince of Kakin will also be on the ship.

The treasures on the Dark Continent

Kurapika recalls all he’s sacrificed and everyone who possessed the crimson eyes of his brethren. Unfortunately, he has no home to go to and no one waiting for him. He’s suffered so much and has very little to show for it. If it wasn’t for his friendship with Gon, Killua, and Leorio he would truly be alone. Elsewhere, Beyond’s expedition team still doesn’t trust Ging, who demands to be made the number 2 behind Beyond. When they protest and prepare to fight him he offers to pay them double up front and to change nothing else.

Understandable the group doesn’t trust him. However, when one of the members give him his bank info, Ging transfers the money. Kurapika talks to Leorio over the phone, he begs Kurapika to hurry because he “doesn’t know anyone.” Afterward, Mizaistom asks Kurapika to be “discreet” when dealing with Tserriednich. He’s guarded by Dark Shadows and the matter is “delicate” considering he’s the King’s son. Kurapika reassures Mizaistom he can handle the prince.

For the first time in this arc, Gon makes an appearance. He notices he can’t use his aura. Back at expedition headquarters, Ging explains that the five threats are all more “dangerous than the Chimera Ants.” He expects a sixth threat will be discovered if they take the route Beyond wants. Ging is asked if there’s anything of value in the Dark Continent.

He claims an “unmanned rock” that “generates electricity under water,” a herb that can “cure all kinds of diseases,” Nitro Rice, the “secret to longevity,” the “trinity elixir, the mother solution for all sorts of liquids.” Each one was protected by one of the five threats. Ging reveals that Isaac Netero went to the Dark Continent with his friends, Zigg Zzoldyck and Linnet Horsdoeuvre. One explorer tried to travel the entire Mobius Shoreline himself and wrote the book, Journey to the New World, his name is Don Freecss.

Conclusion

The first half of this arc is a slow build. The Dark Continent is first presented as being forbidden due to it’s dangers. Then the arc slowly explores the consequences that killed those who have gone before. With each horrifying reveal, the exploration seems doomed and it makes sense that no one is allowed to return to the continent. However, when Ging explains the possible treasures found there you change your mind. Maybe it’s worth the risk, just send in the strongest.

If humanity could harness those treasures then it would have been worth it. However, the V6 only represents some of the countries in the world. Would they share the treasures or use them to enrich themselves? War could break out or at least exploitation. I thought the introduction and reintroduction of old and new characters was well done. Kurapika wasn’t involved in the Chimera Ant arc and it’s good to see him back.

He still doesn’t seem happy but maybe he’ll find joy after he get revenge. I’m surprised to see so much of Ging. Will he take center stage? He’s seems like a powerhouse like Gon but far more intelligent. I’m concerned for Leorio. Is he strong enough? He does possess some strength but it’s never been explicitly explained just how powerful he is. However, I doubt Cheadle would invite him to the Dark Continent if he wasn’t up to it.

The reintroduction of the Chimera Ants while only mention is intriguing. Are they still a threat to humanity or have they changed? How did Pariston gain control of them? I think they’ll join the Hunters Association with or without Pariston’s help. Finally, are Gon and Killua going to be in this arc or go on the expedition? Logic says the must join at some point, but Gon doesn’t have access to his aura. He’s likely going to have to retrain or something drastic. I think it might be refreshing to let other characters shine, especially Ging. If Gon and Killua don’t join the expedition at the start they’ll likely join to save one of their friends.

Manga

One Piece Chapter 1059: Blackbeard kidnaps Kody

Marco is dropped off to Whitebeard’s homeland Sphinx by the Red Hair Pirates. Marco tells Shanks that he’s “too old” for babysitting pirates and it up the next generation. In a brief flashback, Luffy finally thanks Marco for saving him during the Summit War. Meanwhile, on Amazon Lily, Boa Hancock and the other Amazon are reeling from being invaded by Marines. We get the first glimpse of the Marines new weapons, the Pacifistas: Seraphim. I’ve been eager to see what the Special Science Group (SSG) and Vegapunk produced and judging from their appearance in this chapter they’re going to be a problem. We only get partial looks at them but it seems like they’re modeled after child versions of the Seven Warlords. Furthermore, according to Blackbeard they resemble Lunarians, an extinct race which King is the last surviving member. King was experimented on by the World Government to test his “endurance.” It’s possible that the Seraphim possess some Lunarian’s DNA.

If the Seraphim weren’t bad enough Blackbeard arrives to steal Hancock’s Mero Mero no Mi devil fruit. Blackbeard blows past the Marines, demanding Hancock show herself. Kody pleads with her to surrender. She refuses, instead confronting both the Marines and Blackbeard pirates herself. However, Blackbeard nullifies her powers but not before Hancock petrifies the Marines, Devon, and Shot. Blackbeard tells her that “he’s had his eye on her Devil Fruit for a long time.” She responds in typical Hancock manner, she says her “beauty is what makes her powers formidable.” Kody witnesses the entire encounter. Hancock tells them that if she’s killed all the petrified people will remain so.

Rayleigh to the rescue

Blackbeard doesn’t trust her word and decides to kill her. Suddenly, Silvers Rayleigh appears saving Hancock from her doom. He tells Blackbeard that he “doesn’t like him.” Rayleigh unsheathes his sword and tells Hancock that “he makes sure nothing de-escalates and that everyone leaves the island.” In the present, Shakuyaku is the former empress of Amazon Lily and former Captain of the Kuja Pirates two generations prior to Boa Hancock. She states that with Vegapunk’s modification of Marine ships the “Calm Belt is no longer safe.” Rayleigh admits that his reputation is what saved them and if he had to fight Blackbeard he would lose due to his age. Apparently, during the conflict Blackbeard kidnapped Kody.

The dynamics in One Piece are shifting between the Marines, the new Yonko, the Revolutionary Army, and the former Warlords. Blackbeard has been on the sideline for a while and now that he’s taken Kody I think he’ll attract conflict with Luffy. However, it’s possible that Garp would interfere and get himself killed in the process, increasing Luffy’s hatred of Blackbeard. While the four major groups have changed they still seem balanced. One Piece continues to reveal some of the events that happened off screen. Apparently, Kody was involved in the Rocky Port Incident, that was caused by Law during the two year time skip. The details aren’t made clear but Blackbeard thanks Kody for his “help.” I’m enjoying the reveals so far.

Anime

My Hero Academia Chapter 362: Bakugo’s most priced possession

It’s clear at this point any fighting is meaningless until Deku arrives. The fight between Tomura, Bakugo, Suneater, Nejire, and Lemillion is over rather quickly. Suneater’s Ultimate Move: Plasma Cannon, in which Suneater unleashes a manifestation of “every single animal,” he’s eaten in a one attack. It’s a cool and flashy attack, boosted by Nejire, and followed by a punch from Lemillion. It does nothing to Tomura. Bakugo attacks Tomura, predicting the movement of the villain. With his increased speed and an analysis of Tomura habits, Bakugo get’s under Tomura’s skin.

Bakugo’s assault appears to have triggered a memory from All For One, specifically of the second One For All user. The second user isn’t named, nor is his Quirk but he resembles Bakugo. The second user was a rebel that fought against All For One at his peak. Suddenly, Bakugo is speaking to a visage of All Might, telling it that he “always wanted to get him to sign his All Might trading card.” If Deku is All Might’s biggest fan, Bakugo is his second. His tough attitude made him off-putting to most and this attitude seems to be the reason he failed to get the autograph. For a while I thought Bakugo would become a villains because his attitude was so bad. His hero worship of All Might that he had from childhood humanizes him.

I predicted in the last chapter review that “someone will died,” in this final arc. I thought it was more likely to be one of the Big 3 or the top five heroes. However, Bakugo is probably the best choice. I’ve come to like Bakugo but I think his death would really have major impact both on the story and on Deku. Most series avoid killing main characters. However, if they killed off Bakugo, a young hero that hasn’t reached his prime yet would be tragic but would make the stakes feel higher. At this point the fight between Tomura and the heroes isn’t interesting at all. Hopefully, Deku will arrive to save the world and this arc.

Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 192: Naoya Zenin’s cursed evolution

Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 192, Sakurajima Colony, Part 2, is mostly the beginning battle between Maki, Noritoshi Kamo, and Naoya Zenin. Prior to that we get is a brief confirmation of what causes the creation of a vengeful curse spirit. Yoshinobu Gakuganji reminds Noritoshi that a sorcerer must use jujutsu to prevent another sorcerer from becoming a curse spirit. I mentioned this in my last chapter review but what’s interesting is that apparently Maki who has no curse energy potentially could create vengeful spirits. It’s not made clear if she could do this, as Naoya Zenin makes a point of saying that Maki’s mother killed him.

It’s possible that Maki being a bit of an anomaly wouldn’t function as a normal human and/or a jujutsu sorcerer. Toji Fushiguro hasn’t been credited with creating any vengeful spirits so I’m doubtful. Anyway, Naoya states the obvious that he’s going to kill Maki. While he has her pinned down, Noritoshi Kamo shoots an arrow distracting Naoya. Maki escapes, while Naoya notes how much he “hates” Kamo’s cursed technique. Noritoshi can’t sense Maki with his eyes closed. He can of course tell where Cursed Naoya is. Still Naoya is too fast for Noritoshi to hit with his arrows.

Despite this Maki is able to grab Naoya and toss him to the ground. Noritoshi manages to hit Naoya with three arrows then Maki cuts him with her sword. Naoya notices that he can feel pain as a curse. I’m not sure if it was ever explicitly mention that curse spirits experience pain but I just assumed they did. Naoya feints regret for killing so many curse spirits now that he knows they have pain. When it looks like Naoya might go down easy he begins to transform. Turns out he was a curse womb. Like Dagon he was a sentient curse womb. Once they shed the old skin they become more powerful beings. Noritoshi uses Piercing Blood to try to stop his transformation, but fails. Naoya emerges in a skeleton form. He quickly attacks Noritoshi, sending him flying.

Manga

One Piece Chapter 1055: The new era.

In One Piece Chapter 1055, Momonosuke makes an interesting point when defending Monkey D. Luffy from Admiral Ryokugyu, if they (the people of Wano) can’t defend themselves after the Strawhat’s leave then they’re doomed. Wano had been under the oppressive thumb of Kiado for decades. As Ryokugyu notes Kiado acted as a “deterrent” preventing the Marines from invading Wano. During this conflict, we see the variety of abilities Ryokugyu’s Mori Mori no Mi devil fruit ability.

Raizo attacks him with Ninpo: Maki Maki no Jutsu: Fire Release at first it seems like the fire is a natural enemy of Ryokugyu’s plant body, it turns out that he’s immune to fire. On top of that he can continuously regrow his branches making the Red Scabbards cutting them off pointless. The fight is interrupted when Red Haired Shanks uses his Haoshoku Haki to stop Admiral Ryokugyu in his tracks. Shanks chastises him for stopping the “new shoots” from changing history. Ryokugyu appears to stand down.

The secrets of Wano

Kozuki Sukiyaki, Nico Robin, and Trafalgar D. Water Law explore “old” Wano from 800 years. Old Wano was submerged after the two walls were erected forcing the citizens of Wano to flee. The Poneglyph is located in old Wano. It’s the third Poneglyph out of four needed to reach Laugh Tale. Sukiyaki says that Pluton, one of the three Ancient Weapons, is located on a lower level. However, in order to get to the weapon the two walls must come down. Despite this Oden still wanted to open the borders which would release the Ancient Weapon. It’s still unclear why he was willing to expose Wano to the dangers of outside world. My best guess is he thought the risk was worth it to have the people experience the rest of the world.

Poneglyphs are an aspect of One Piece universe that I haven’t paid much attention to. Poneglyphs “are massive, cubic steles made of a currently unidentified, indestructible type of stone”. There are three types: Historical Poneglyphs, Instructional Poneglyphs, and Road Poneglyphs. Historical reveals “pieces of ancient history,” Instructional Poneglyphs focus on “instructions and/or clues about the locations of Historical Poneglyphs,” and Road Poneglyphs tells a reader a “detail a location.” The Road Poneglyphs can lead the readers to the location of Laugh Tale. There are only 30 in the world and are considered dangerous by the World Government. I hope the series elaborates on Poneglyphs and their history.

Anime

One Piece Chapter 1054 Review: Shanks pursues the One Piece

One Piece Chapter 1054, the Flame Emperor opens at the Flower Capital, where Admiral Ryokugyu attempts to capture Monkey D. Luffy. He’s blocked by the Scabbards, Shinobu, Yamato and Momonosuke. Ryokugyu’s personality originally appeared to docile but he seems to be slightly unhinged and similar to Fleet Admiral Sakazuki. He screams at the Scabbards, telling them that they have “no human rights.” Admiral Ryokugyu goes even further arguing that “it doesn’t matter how many people (in Wano) dies,” because the “law doesn’t apply.”

He’s disregarding the laws that the people of Wano have established or would if they were allowed to do so. Ryokugyu openly states that he would “kill thousands” of people from Wano. He calls himself the “woodsman” and reveals that his devil fruit ability is called the Woods Woods Fruit a logia type which allows him to create, control, and transform into plant life. Yamato and Momo attack him. They’re unwilling to allow him to ruin everyone’s celebration.

Humankind has lasted through the ages by creating and defining the inferior!! All the rest of us can look down our noses at you unaffiliated countries!!! Discrimination creates solace!!! – Ryokugyu

Just outside of Wano, the Red Hair Pirates prepare to disembark. After a brief recap of the events that lead to his meeting Luffy, Shanks reveals that he’s not “interested in seeing Luffy.” According to him, Bartolomeo has been invading their territory and replacing their flags with Luffy’s. Shanks tells Beck that it’s time to “claim the One Piece.” Now that Luffy has risen to the level of Emperor he’s become an equal to Shanks. It’s not clear what Shanks is actually up to but he and his crew have officially become rivals with Luffy and the Strawhats.

One Piece is known for many things call backs, large cast of characters, and off screening major events. Just before the Wano arc began, the World Council or “Levely” meet at Holy Land Mary Geoise. Consisting of 50 world leaders from 170 nations affiliated with World Government. Many fans wanted to know what happened at the Levely, specifically regarding Sabo. We were given the impression that he was harmed or even killed. Turns out he was involved in the assassination of the King of Alabasta, Nefertari Cobra.

During the Levely, the Revolutionary Army declared war on the Celestial Dragons by destroying their symbol, the Hoof of the Celestial Dragons. Sabo was specifically credited with killing the King. Considering the propaganda the media can spread in One Piece it may not actually be true. It think the disappearance of Nefertari Vivi makes it more likely that King Cobra survived. According to Kurouma Tensei, the director of Naval investigations, an “eight nation revolution” along with a series of smaller rebellions, marking a new era in the One Piece world. In addition to this Sabo has gained a massive global following being dubbed the Flame Emperor.

Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 191: Kenjaku the new head of the Kamo Family

Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 191, Sakurajima Colony, Part 1 begins with a shocking revelation, Kenjaku has taken over the Kamo clan. Noritoshi Kamo rushes home to the Kamo main house in Kyoto to find Shino Kamo. An elderly man of short stature, Shino responds to Noritoshi by asking “how did you get in here?” He seem mentally adrift, assuming someone named “Kurokichi” has created a weak barrier. Noritoshi thinks he’s “joking,” as the current Captain of the guards is someone named Heishichi. Shino believes Noritoshi is attempting to “deceive” him but says that Noritoshi “resembles master Noritoshi.” If you recall Kenjaku took over the body of Noritoshi Kamo from the ancient era.

The ancient Noritoshi Kamo was responsible for conducting the research that resulted in “Cursed Womb: Death Paintings.” A collection of nine special grade cursed objects that are created from the mixture of blood from a cursed spirit and a human. To produce these “death paintings” Noritoshi Kamo forced their mother to get pregnant and have abortions nine times. As a result, each of the Death Painting Wombs appear as “human-like fetuses,” and must be implanted into a “human vessel.” The Nine Death Paintings are: Eso, Kechizu, Choso, Noranso, Sho-oso, Tanso, Sanso, Kotsuso, and Shoso. The first two are dead and the last six haven’t been revealed yet. It’s not clear when Kenjaku took over Noritoshi’s body but Kenjaku is the reason Noritoshi is considered the “evilest jujutsu sorcerer to ever live.”

Kenjaku becomes the 25th Head of the Kamo Clan in Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 191.
Kenjaku becomes the 25th Head of the Kamo Clan in Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 191.

Kenjaku is the 25th Head of the Kamo Clan

Based on Noritoshi reaction he’s offended to hear he looks like his ancestor at all. This is likely the reason he’s changed his appearance. Anyway, the conversation between Shino and Noritoshi is interrupted by Kenjaku. He tells Noritoshi that “Shino is adrift in the world of 150 years ago.” Kenjaku notes that Noritoshi able to deduce that “due to jujutsu terrorism, the sealing of Satoru Gojo, and the culling game,” the “conservative faction” of Jujutsu Head Quarters have become “puppets.” However, Noritoshi is incorrect. While the Kamo Clan had the conservative seat, Kenjaku was the one who took control of it, becoming the 25th family head. I don’t know how Kenjaku can become the head of the Kamo Clan considering he’s not a relative. He tells Noritoshi that there’s “no place” for him and he should leave.

We return to the present where Maki and Noritoshi are watching the sky where a snake like curse spirit is heading towards them. Maki notices that this cursed spirit gives off a “weird feeling.” It barrels towards Maki with such a speed that glass shatters, trees uproots, and houses fling into the air. Noritoshi can’t even see it move. Maki attempts to strike it. The curse moves so fast that see misses despite it being close to her. Suddenly, Naoya Zenin head appears.

He’s become a vengeful curse spirit. When someone’s death is cursed they can become a vengeful cursed spirit and jujutsu sorcerers are more likely to become vengeful cursed spirits. This level of spirit can “manipulate their cursed energy much more naturally than a sorcerer,” and heal their bodies without using the reverse cursed technique, as well as create Domain Expansion. Naoya was a special grade sorcerer while alive he’s likely a special grade vengeful spirit. Maki handled him before, I think she’ll do it again.

Anime

My Hero Academia Chapter 359 Review

Dynamight’s Cluster blast fails to harm Tomura. Despite it’s impact, Dynamight is able to successfully avoid damaging the fortress. Tomura is OP. Without any of his Quirks, he’s still able to overcome Dynamight’s attack and hold off 3 of the top 5 heroes, Best Jeanist, Edgeshot, and Mirko. Tomura may have more sheer power than those three but I’m not buying he’s a better fighter than all three together. Obviously, Tomura would need some kind of defense otherwise he get defeated by anyone but Kohei Horikoshi should have come up with something else. A endless tsunami of fingers seems silly.

I got to admit I’m not really invested in this final arc like I should be. The stakes seem inconsistent, there are too many characters to follow, and everyone’s just waiting for Deku to save them. I get that he’s the main character and must defeat Tomura but it feels like My Hero Academia won’t allow Tomura to even get hurt. It’s bad enough he has so many stolen Quirks and a scientifically enhanced body, but Tomura has managed to keep his super strength apparently at “All-Might levels.”

The U.A’s “Flying Fortress,” was a perfect and sophisticated plan that’s been rendered useless. The Big 3, Lemillion, Suneater, and Nejire are preparing to face Tomura together. I hope they can at least challenge him and make this arc interesting. They’ve never fought collectively. It won’t be enough to stop Tomura, but anything must be better than what the heroes are currently doing. I would be surprise if there’s not a major death on the horizon. Tomura’s going to have to stop Phantom Thief and Eraser Head at some point. Will Deku get there in time?

Manga

One Piece Chapter 1053: Ryokugyu arrives, Luffy get’s a new bounty, and Buggy levels up

In my last review of One Piece I predicted that “Kid, Luffy, and Law will become official Emperors.” In One Piece Chapter 1053 the government loses control of the narrative as Morgans Newspaper scoops them and releases news before they can be stopped. Morgans claims that “Cipher Pol’s transmission from Wano broke off right after they spotted Big Mom’s ship,” suggesting he has them bugged. Regardless, he won’t allow the worlds “propaganda” to become the main story. The people learn that Big Mom and Kaido were both defeated and that Luffy, Law, and Kid are responsible. As a result, the government issues Law, Luffy, and Kid the identical bounty of 3 Billion.

While everyone continues to party, Nico Robin meets Kozuki Sukiyaki (Oden’s father) in the basement of the castle. The former shogun of Wano, Kozuki is ashamed of himself and can’t bare to face Momo. Robin informs him that the Ancient weapon Pluton is “somewhere in Wano.” Elsewhere, we finally see Ryokugyu in action (briefly). He impales the Beast Prates with wood, seemingly defeating King and Queen without much effort. His Devil Fruit abilities seem to include all manner of plant life and he can absorb liquid through his wooden branches. Ryokugyu wants to impress Sakazuki, claiming that he “digs his style,” and is “itching to get his approval.”

One Piece Chapter 1053 reveals Law, Luffy, and Kid have new bounties

Really, Buggy

This is bad. At least for pirates as Sakazuki is brutal and has questionable ethics. His goal is to take Luffy’s head. He walks towards the celebration as everyone parties. I doubt there will be another fight so close to last one, so someone is likely to interfere. I would guess Drake or one of the Numbers. Finally, the new Four Emperors are revealed, Red-Haired Shanks, Blackbeard, Straw Hat Luffy, and The Bombastic Clown Buggy.

The first three are givens, but BUGGY. I’ve never like this character and I find the fact that he falls ass backwards into power irritating. Buggy has always been at the right place at the right time and has managed to gain from other pirates exploits. I’m not sure what he did to reach Yonko level but it’s unlikely he actually responsible. When we last saw Buggy he was being chased in Chapter 956 by the Marines after the dissolution of the seven warlords system. I’m now more curious what happened. One Piece is infamous for not depicting what happens off page but hopefully we’ll get some information.

Manga

One Piece Chapter 1052: The arrival of the mysterious Admiral Ryokugyu

After Luffy defeats Kiado, Nekomamushi announces the result. In One Piece Chapter 1052, The CP0 agent informs the Five Elders of two major developments. First, Nika as they feared has emerged and second, both Kiado and Big Mom have been defeated. An Elder notes that with the borders remaining closed an “invasion will be thwarted”. The World Government still wants Nico Robin captured. At the Onigashima castle, X Drake and Basil Hawkins discuss the later working for Kaido. Hawkins claims that he was afraid of the consequences if he refused to join Kaido. However, he acknowledges that Eustass Kid and Killer both resisted despite likely dying. He collapses after revealing that he was the “certain man” with the “one percent chance of surviving.”

We get confirmation from Kawamatsu that Ashura Doji and Izou died. Luffy and Zoro wake, fully healed. The citizens decide to celebrate the return of the Kozuki Family, while Franky and Usopp repair the ships. Scratchmen Apoo arrives being carried by Inbi and he brings a copy of the day’s Newspaper with the headline “New Emperors of the Sea”. After every arc we get to see the reaction of the other characters and the new bounties of the Strawhat’s. I expect Luffy will get the largest bounty increase especially after the threat the Five Elder’s claim Nika is, plus he defeated Kiado of all people. His current bounty is 1.5 billion. Kid and Law should also see an increase and with that headline there’s likely new Yonko. Luffy was already granted the unofficial title of the “Fifth Emperor” after the Whole Cake Island Arc.

Admiral Ryokugyu arrives at Wano

My best guess is that Kid, Luffy, and Law will become official Emperors. Other than the bounties, the most interesting part of the chapter is the arrival of Admiral Ryokugyu. The character has been shrouded in mystery since his introduction in chapter 905. Like most Admiral’s he wears the typical Marine coat. What is most striking about him (so far) is his personality. He’s laid-back or lazy. He refused the orders of Sakazuki to “expel Fujitora from Mary Geoise,” because he thought it was too much trouble for him. His power can be assumed based on his position as an Admiral. However, in chapter 1052, he’s seen flying towards Wano with a flower growing from his back. Despite Sakazuki’s warning, I think Ryokugyu is going to create some trouble. I’m excited to see what he can do.