Daruma tell Hachimaru that a “samurai and a princess are fated to create courage together.” Hachimaru asks what he means by “fated.” Daruma says that something that is “destined to happen whether you do anything or not.” Hachimaru claims that he doesn’t believe in fate. Meanwhile, Princess Woon has a meeting with Hagamichi. He asks the Princess to find Hachimaru. Princess Sa lets them know that Hachimaru is a novice that isn’t a threat to them.
Hachimaru actually became a samurai via Ann’s locker ball. Princess Ann is asked to find Hachimaru by Hagamichi. Meanwhile, Hachimaru continues to train with his blade. He manages to point the sword into his own head. Of course he’s not harmed. Hagamichi arrives and Ann meets Hachimaru for the first time. Finally, we get to see one major potential villain. There isn’t a whole lot in this chapter. Hachimaru continues to be impatient, but in typical manga fashion it seems likely that he would “master” abilities that he didn’t learn.
I still feel that the fighting mechanics in this series hasn’t really been explained in depth. Also, what the hell does a Princess really do? I know that this will get explained further but so far they only seem to do traditionally female roles. Making Ikebana, and generally being passive aids to samurai. Also they seem to largely sit around being protected all day. All that said, Hachimaru seems primed to violate the rules so maybe Ann will do so as well. The next chapter will be interesting once we get to see more of the villain.
I have been predicting and anticipation the conflict between Big Mom and Queen for several chapters now. However, I had envisioned their fight to well be more competitive than it ended up being. Basically, Big Mom lays waste to Queen. She swings him around and then slams him to the ground. Defeated but not dead Queen returns to his original form. I also predicted that the resulting damage would help Luffy and the prisoner in some way. This prediction turned out to be accurate.
When Big Mom slams Queen she accidentally free Kid and Killer from their torture. She also manages to break the cell door that was holding Kawamatsu. It is assumed that Kawamatsu was long dead so they won’t bother to find him. The Beast Pirates are unable to contact Kiado or anyone outside of Udon prison. Caribou explains how the Tanishi snail system works. Caribou is being helpful right now but he can’t be trusted. It’s in his best interest to be useful for the moment.
Big Mom finally gets the oshiruko. The pot turns out to be empty however. Luffy foolishly admits to eating the oshiruko. Predictably, Big Mom is not pleased. She attacks Luffy, destroying the ground surrounding them. Of course, Luffy and Hyogoro aren’t suppose to leave the ring without triggering their collars. In his desperation to save them Luffy uses Advanced Busoshoku Haki to rip the collars off. Big Mom decries that she wasn’t able to share the oshiruko with the villagers.
I believe that Oda is going to use this arc to give Big Mom a more of a character arc. With her memory loss she was vulnerable but is able to develop new and different relationships with people like the villagers. She almost certainly will get her missing memories back, but they won’t override the new memories of kindness she has received. Finally, in order to get Luffy to master the new Haki, Hyogoro tells Luffy he needs to train by fighting with Big Mom.
In this chapter we learn that swords are locked by biometrics, preventing anyone from drawing out someone else’s sword. Hachimaru meets some students from the dojo. They admire him, while ignoring Nanashi. They’re attacked by the pig bandits in their cake like tank. They shoot their cannons at Hachimaru, who fails to pull out his sword. Lucky for him, Hayatarou saves him. Turns out that he took Nanashi’s sword by mistake and the biometrics prevent him from using it.
Nanashi afraid that Hachimaru will die, but terrified to intervene is frozen by fear. Nanashi’s hands, righty and lefty encourage them to save Hachimaru and be more in charge of their life. Nanashi grabs Hachimaru’s hand and uses the sword to cut the cannon in half. Lifted into the air on the back of Hayatarou, they jump down together slicing the tank in half. Nanashi and Hachimaru make plans to go into space one day.
Meanwhile, Daruma asks Hachimaru’s father about the samurai soul. He notes that due to it’s weight it mush have belonged to an “extraordinary” owner. He draw’s his sword and Hachimaru’s father doesn’t flinch. Daruma implies that there’s some secret to what Hachimaru is and who his father is. I would assume that Hachimaru’s father is some legendary samurai that abandoned the life of a warrior to try to save his son.
Whether, Hachimaru is something other than we expect remains to be seen. As for Nanashi it doesn’t seem logical that they would be part of Hachimaru’s team when he goes to space. I don’t know how long this series plans to focus on Hachimaru and his family before heading into space, but it feels like the series is moving too fast.
This chapter focuses on Twice, a villain that has a quirk (Double) that ” grants him the ability to clone people including himself.” He has always been a complex character. He has an explosive personality and strangely tends to contradict himself making one statement followed by the opposite. He has a dissociate identity disorder and when his masks is removed he panics and threatens to “split.” Tomoyasu Chikazoku uses his puppets to rip the mask off of Twice.
The puppets grab Himiko Toga. Tomoyasu reveals that by using the psychological weaknesses that Giran had they decided to use puppet’s that resemble Jin. He tells him that their goal is to kill Toga and capture Twice. Giran expresses his concern for Twice’s well being. The puppets attempt to snap the neck of Toga. While begging for his mask, Twice starts to believe that he’s the one killing Toga. He has a flashback, Jin gets fired from his job and became homeless. He created a clone of himself to talk to, then he created more clones. They became criminals robbing banks together.
However, they so turned on each other, killing themselves resulting in Jin becoming mentally scarred as a result. In this flashback Jin reveals something important, that each clone has a pain limit that would result in it disappearing. A broken arm would be about the limit. Why is this important. Jin wasn’t certain that he was the original Jin. When we get to the present, Tomoyasu tells his puppets to breaks the both of Jin’s arms. They do. Having realized that he hasn’t disappeared as result he becomes elated. Having confirmed that he’s the original, he is inspired to save Toga. He creates several clones, stating that ” he won’t watch a friend die.”
Twice is a very interesting character. He was an apprehensive about fighting out of fear that he was a clone, so having been freed of that fear will have a positive effect on his mind. His friendship with Giran and Toga was what really struck me. It’s typical for heroes to have these types of relationships but villain usually just use each other. They all seem to care for each other and that feels new for a manga series. It seems that the Meta Liberation Army will have a positive impact on the League of Villains whether they like it or not. I loving the character development.
Hachimaru begins to experience life outside of his home for the first time. He realizes that food can “taste good,” as he enjoys takoyaki. He use to have many allergies and stomach issues, so all he had to eat was liquid food and apples. Hachimaru and Hayatarou heads for a walk. Hachimaru asks if he will finally get friends. It seems obvious that Samurai 8 like most anime/manga he will collect a number of friends along the way. At this point the world isn’t fleshed out yet, so I don’t feel much connection to it.
We are introduced to a new character, Nanashi. A recluses like Hachimaru use to be, she/he play games and lives at the Yasha-Style Dojo. Nanashi has two gaming gloves called “Left Hand-kun,” and “Right Hand-kun.” It was unclear to me if they spoke or Nanashi has a weird mental illness that results in the hands talking. It’s also unclear what Nanashi’s gender is, her/his hands debate Nanashi’s gender. One hand says that “he’s a boy,” the other says that “her soul is female.” Furthermore, Nanashi even refers to themselves as “a girl.” It seems likely that Nanashi will be a gender non conforming character, otherwise there’s no need to even bring up the question of gender. Right?
Anyway, Hachimaru falls through the roof of Nanashi. Nanashi has no idea about their pasts and has been a recluse for eight years. To get Nanashi to go outside, Hachimaru offers a wager. If he’s wins Nanashi goes outside, if he loses Nanashi can remain a shut in. Hachimaru defeats Nanashi in the game proving that Hachimaru is the highest ranked player. The significance of this game remains to be seen but it’s clear that the online game is important. Nanashi is the number 2 gamer so does the skill in the game correlate with fighting skills in the real world. We are loosely introduced to new pig-like villains, who plan on attacking Nanashi and Hachimaru.
As My Hero Academia focuses on the villains, Himiko Toga takes center stage. Chitose Kizuki and Himiko continue their conflict. The chapter begins with a report of a “middle school girl that attacked and heavily injured her classmate.” The girl of course is Toga. She is seen sucking the blood of her classmate through a straw. The act of sucking blood is always creepy but the use of a straw adds a level of casualness that makes it worst. The animated faces Toga has contributes to her sadistic image.
Apparently Toga had undergone “Quirk counseling” at some point. However, this education program is suppose to “re-integrate you with society by correcting your distorted understanding of yourself.” Chitose claims that this program isn’t “perfect” and can lead to ” a patient feeling different.” Toga’s quirk resulted in her “admiring” blood. Due to society’s standards, she had to develop a “mask” to suppress herself. In a flashback, Toga is seen drinking the blood of a bird. It isn’t made clear how her quirk works when she drinks the blood of an animal.
She tells Chitose to “shut up” and is attacked. Chitose tells her that she will become a sacrifice to demonstrate the “righteousness” of the Liberation army. She suggest that the “death” of Toga will be “immortalized in our new era’s sacred text.” The rhetoric from Chitose suggests that the Liberation Army has a religious element to it. Toga flees as she transforms into Ochaco, claiming that “she sucks blood from people she likes.” In a surprising moment, Toga is able to use Ochaco’s “Zero Gravity,” Quirk. The number of “copy” quirks in this series is starting to add up.
The means to acquire someone’s else’s ability and how long it can be used. All For One, is an emitter type quirk that “steals other people’s Quirks and wield these stolen powers as their own or to transfer them to someone else.” Neito’s “Copy” Quirk is also a emitter type that requires contact. Each quirk has it’s different limits, with All For One being the most powerful. I was just curious that there is more than one quirk with copy abilities. I wonder if there’s a more significant reason for it. Then again the series has two several fire users. Anyway, as I’ve said, I’m loving the fact the My Hero Academia is focusing on the villains in this arc. I wonder who’s next.
A preview chapter for the new series, Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru (Samurai 8: Hachimaruden) will be released on Saturday, April 27th. Samurai 8 was written by manga Masashi Kishimoto, creator of Naruto. Akira Okubo a former assistant of Kishimoto will be illustrating this series.
The details on what this series is about was scarce. Kishimoto has stated that Samurai 8 is “a combination of his love for Japanese culture and science-fiction genre.” He believes that “the new manga series is more interesting than Naruto as it will also feature samurai using futuristic weapons.” The first chapter will be released in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump on May 13th. It has been reported that it will be 72 pages long.
Since Naruto ended in 2014 after 15 years, Kishimoto worked on the script and character designs for the spin off movie Boruto. Mikie Ikemoto and Ukyo Kodachi launched the Boruto manga series, which is supervised by Kishimoto. I’m hoping that Samurai 8 will do for samurai what Naruto does for ninja.
We learn some interesting facts. First, Law has left the Strawhat’s and Ebisu Town to save his crewmates. He was offended by the “doubt” that Shinobu had. Law now has a lack of trust now. The question is does this only apply to Shinobu or all the Strawhat’s. My best guess is that it doesn’t apply to the Strawhat’s or a least not Luffy. The reveal that Komurasaki swindled three men seem pointless other than showing how they scammed civilians. Regardless, this will probably matter later.
Meanwhile, Luffy and Hyo continue to fight in the ring. He’s largely unbothered by the opponents so he is focusing primarily on learn the new haki technique. So far he hasn’t made any progress. Hyo informs Luffy that it’s called “Ryuo” which means “flows.” Hyo tries to explain the subtly in learning the technique. There’s no way that Luffy will learn that way. Nuance is not Luffy’s thing. I like that Luffy announces that he plan’s on defeat all the Yonko’s. However, Shanks is one of them.
Does that mean that Luffy will fight him? Or is that an error on Oda’s part? Beating the Yonko doesn’t require killing them so it may not be a big deal. Of course that’s a long way away considering that Luffy is 0-2 against the two Yonko he’s faced so far, Big Mom and Kaido. In addition to that, Blackbeard has two devil fruits and his crew is going to be difficult to beat. This arc continues to build the number of former allies of Oden that are primed to aid his children and get revenge on Orochi. Finally, Big Mom and Chopper arrive. This arc’s going to get epic.
My Hero Academia focusing on the development of villains like they are heroes has been a notable difference from other shonen series. Most of the time all the villains are already mature adults. They certainly don’t get full arc to themselves. The “Meta Liberation Army Arc,” follows the “Joint training Arc,” where we saw the young heroes from Class A and B training together. Kohei’s also uses this opportunity to introduce and expand on the lesser know members of Class B.
The MLA Arc seems likely to do the same for the “League of Villains.” While, I feel that the introduction of the Liberation Army means more characters to remember, the conflict between villain groups is interesting. Their rivalry will likely mirror the one between Class A and B, but with far more casualties. We have already learned that the main antagonist, Tomura Shigaraki, accidentally killed his entire family. His “Decay” quirk appears to be involuntary. We also learn the creepy truth, that all the hands he wears are actually the remains of his family.
The Meta Liberation Army has it in for the League of Villains. According to their leader, ReDestro, the League of Villains are a threat to his fathers mission and must be destroyed. They have amassed a massive army of over 100,000 soldiers. The League of Villains is significantly smaller, with many of their strongest members being arrested. Regardless, the arc acts as a training one for them. Tomura in particular seems to need the training the most. All For One handed him the League he didn’t need to fight for his position. I will expect that he will emerge a far more fordable villain.
That said the villains have been shown to have more camaraderie than I would have expected. While, the villains attack each other, they actually care about their teammates. Giran, the underworld broker, had been kidnapped by the MLA and had his figures severed to get the League of Villains attention. Normally this wouldn’t matter to villains, but to see that they care like heroes would is refreshing. Chapter 224, is largely a setup for the Superpower Liberation Army’s Second Coming Festival. I expect it to be similar to the U.A. Sports Festival, but far more violent.
As Lord Orochi demands that Komurasaki beg for her life, we learn that his devil fruit is called the Hebi Hebi no Mi, Model: Yamata no Orochi. She refuses to beg, resulting in Orochi becoming further enraged and rampaging. His eight head beg to attack people almost at random. Eventually, he captures Komurasaki in one of his mouths. Robin tries to flee with Toko, as the still laughing girl asks her to ave Komurasaki. Meanwhile, the ninja’s continue to pursue her.
Brook rescues her, by using his soul to appear as a ghost. It’s at this point you realize that most of the citizen or certainly the ninja are ignorant of the devil fruit abilities. It was made clear at the beginning of the Wano arc, that Wano Country is isolated from the rest of the world and have no affiliation with World Government. The consequence of this is a lack of knowledge of the rest of the world. When Brook uses his soul ability the ninja’s assume that he’s a mythological ghost called Gashadokuro. When Robin uses her Gigantesco Mano ability the ninja wonders if she’s a ghost as well.
In the ceiling, Shinobu tells Nami that they need to back up Robin and Brook. They are confronted by a ninja named Hanzo. He seems to remember her as a more beautiful, kunoichi dubbed the “man killer.” He thinks he made a mistake as she has gained a lot of weight. Insulted, she uses Ninja Art: Ball Crusher, then Ninja Art: Paralysis. She then knocks the ceiling down knocking out some of Lord Orochi’s heads. Meanwhile, during all the chaos, Kyoshiro “kills” Komurasaki. I don’t believe that she dead. It seems more likely that her “death” was staged.
Lord Orochi is upset that Kyoshiro would kill her. He claims that it “was a samurai’s mercy.” He then notices the hidden message from the Kozuki Family. Orochi takes his attention from Komurasaki to Toko. However, Nami uses Zeus to unleash a devastating thunder attack. We don’t see the result of this, as we head to the beach to find Tsuru feeding Big Mom. Still without her memory, Big Mom is grateful for their kindness. Chopper is concerned that Big Mom will regain her memory at any point. He tells her that there’s a lot of shiruko in Udon.
Chopper is clever here. Sending Big Mom to go to Udon prison could at least be the distraction needed to free Luffy and if she regains her memory all the better. If Udon is so hard to escape from someone with Big Mom’s power could can help. How much manipulation Chopper needs to engage with to get Big Mom to help remains to be seen, but she still seems to be obsessed with food. The chapter ends with us being told that the ” decisive battle against the Beasts Pirates will occur in nine days.” Now what does this mean in terms of time. Is it nine days in real time or in the One Piece universe? It seems like it makes more since that it’s in the One Piece universe. Regardless, I’m excited to see this battle. I’m hoping it could rival the war with the Whitebeard Pirates.