Hachimaru is introduced to his “brothers.” The oldest, Ikkaku explains that they are children created by “the professor,” Hachimaru’s father. Ikkaku describes Hachimaru’s existence as “entirely accidental.” He tells Hachimaru that they were created to open a box that require seven keys to open seven locks. Hachimaru the “eighth child” destroys this “balance.” This “diminishes the power of the other seven.” Hachimaru must “return” this energy, meaning that he must die. Ikkaku is cold. He suggest that it’s only reasonable for Hachimaru to understand that he must die and that he just a “leech.”
Daruma asks if they’re trying to open Pandora’s box, Ata responds that they are going to open Mandala’s box. Their goal is to become Gods and rule the universe. They will “erase” the Vajrayaksa people, the three other schools, eliminate all life and restart. Ata disappears. Meanwhile, Hachimaru’s father begins to die. He has accepted his end, but Hachimaru isn’t prepared yet. He reveals that he was suppose to kill Hachimaru, but decided to flee with him. He apologizes, encourages Hachimaru to get strong to protect Ann and tells him that he’s truly “a samurai who protects people.”
Hachimaru’s fathers death was sad, but is it really a major death? He doesn’t even have a real name, which is evidence that the author knows he’s not long for this world. It was always going to be necessary for Hachimaru to leave his father behind if he was going to save the Galaxy. I’ve been struggling with the pace of the series since it started. Wouldn’t the “you are one of eight clones and need to die” come later in the series? Is this really a problem? For the record I don’t hate that they revealed this so early, but it seems like something that might occur later. Regardless, the are a million ways to tell a story and I still like reading this one.
Ata states that Hachimaru has “potential,” but lacks “strength and ability.” Hachimaru calls Hayatarou to help. They create a second arm to strike Ata, who is impressed by the communication between Hachimaru and Hayatarou. Ata says that Hachimaru “wasn’t suppose to exists.” Regardless, Ata tries to finish Hachimaru off. Master Daruma finally returns. Daruma acknowledges that Hachimaru “has courage.” Daruma attacks Ata with Vajrayaksa Style Dog Paddle, then Vajrayaksa Atmospheric Blade.
This results in a devastating attack that appears to defeat Ata. While Hachimaru’s father is stable, he’s likely to die. It turns out that Ata wasn’t actually present, he sent a replica of himself. I don’t know how I feel about that. It feels like a cop out. As my usual complaints about this series, is the fighting system. The final attack by Daruma was impressive, but how did he do it. He was wet afterward, is it a water based attack, does it matter? The final surprise is that Hachimaru has “brothers.” That has really pique my interest regarding the series.
My Hero Academia #238 – Liberation
Tomura Shigaraki decides that he no longer needs the hands of his family. This symbolizes his growth as a character. He has accepted that he killed his family and the fact that he wanted their death. Re-Destro tries to end his conflict with Tomura by using 100 % of his “Stress” ability. However, Tomura easily disintegrates Re-Destro’s ability. In doing so he almost destroys Deika City. Desperate, Re-Destro summons his “support item” to increase his quirk ability. Now his power is increase to 150%, but Tomura doesn’t seem to care. Compress and Daruma get into a conflict over how the organization functions.
Gigantomachia destroys the city, as Geten heads towards Re-Destro. When Gigantomachia finally reaches Tomura, he stops as he witnesses Tomura embracing evil. Tomura releases a his power creating a devastating attack. The Meta Liberation Army is likely to lose to the League of Villains at this point. They have served their purpose, by having other villains to fight and kill is different from killing heroes. The MLA are new characters that we don’t have any attachment to. If anything we are attached to the League. Tomura is becoming a truly powerful villain, I wonder how Midoriya will respond.
One Piece #951 – Rampage
One Piece is transitioning or I should say building up to the fight between the Strawhat, allies and Kiado’s crew. The Flower capital is on lockdown, as the alliance become wanted criminals. Shinobu and Sanji discuss the situation on a nearby rooftop. Nami comes into contact with Law’s crewmates, Bepo, Shachi and Penguin. It’s revealed that they were freed in exchanged for Law. He makes it clear to them that they’re not to tell Luffy that he’s been captured. Kanjuro intents to give Yasuie a proper burial, while, Ashura Doji show Kin’emon and Inuarashi the ships that they can use. Finally, on Onigashima, the Beast Pirates rush to make sweets for Big Mom. King is criticized for failing to kill Big Mom at the waterfall.
She asks King to join her crew, as he’s one of three races she doesn’t yet have. He quickly refuses. Big Mom demands that her cuff be removed. Kiado arrives and tells them to unchain her. She uses Napoleon, as she and Kiado clash. Like the previous conflict between Yonko, they spite the sky. I won’t be getting my hopes for Big Mom vs Kiado, as it will most likely happen off screen. However, the effects of the battle could handicap Kiado for any battle with Luffy. There seems to be too much going on for the battle that’s suppose to take place in a few days. This leads me to assume that many characters probably won’t participate, like Usopp or Nami. Instead they will do smaller things like freeing Law from prison.
Hachimaru regrets lying to An about his childhood. Ata destroys Muun. He arrives a the Planet’s Samurai guard. He is told that he’s violating the laws of “this Galaxy’s Ball Federation of Planets.” Lord Mujin decides to fight. He transforms into a “garuda” like being. Daruma senses the “strong aura.” Lord Mujin is suppose to be on par with the “federation’s generals.” Apparently they’re not strong enough to beat Ata, because he destroys Mujin and the Planet’s Samurai guard.
Hachimaru’s father locates him with a tracker. Meanwhile, Ata arrives a locates his target, the sword Hachikaku. Hachimaru returns with An and the locker ball. Hachimaru father finds them and scolds them for “kidnapping” him. Daruma sense Ata arriving and they clash. He calls Hachimaru father “Professor Furuta,” and asks where’s Hachikaku. I was disappointed that the fighting was more in-depth. So far we haven’t seen what a full blown samurai battle is like.
Also, power scale is difficult to discern in this series. They are already at planetary destructive scale. Obviously, Hachimaru is at the beginning and Daruma is a master. However, what separates the “masters” is completely unclear. I don’t know if this is going to be an on going problem but it’s a current one. Also, the stakes are really high early or at least it seems to. It’s hard to tell if this series is too fast or too slow in the narration. The pacing is a problem with this series so far. Hopefully, Daruma vs Ata will display the full fight that I’m craving.
Princess Niri and Samurai Ata begin their search for the 8th child, Hachimaru. Meanwhile, Hachimaru and An finally meet. Hachimaru predictably makes a fool of himself and wishes to skip the hard work necessary to get stronger. An introduces herself to Daruma. He explains that the “A” in her name means “the first word,” and “N” in her name means “the last word.” An is a sweet girl with (if I’m reading the translation right) has a stutter. Hagamichi asks to take Hachimaru assuming that Daruma isn’t fit to teach. Daruma asks him to “show him his mind’s eye.” Princess Un approves of An receiving training under Daruma’s watch.
Chapter 9: Just the two of us
Hachimaru continues to master his swordplay. Meanwhile, An tries to search for locker balls. So far the value of these balls did seem clear to me but it’s clear that they matter. Princess have a “sixth sense,” that allows them to detect the locker ball. Only a princess can do it so it’s their duty. This makes them incredible valuable and samurai from other planets try to kidnap them. Locker balls make samurai, and samurai are the planets military force. The better the princesses are the more locker balls they find, the stronger the military force and the better they can protect the world. This is why samurai protect the princesses. The explanation of this “ecosystem,” really puts the world in perspective.
An and Hachimaru begin to bond as they go to find the locker ball. Ata arrives on the satellite called “Muun.” He tells “Hachikaku” to “wait.” Hachikaku is clearly the name of Hachimaru’s father. My prediction is that we get an epic fight that will reveal what the highest level of samurai ability is, but Hachikaku will die. This will inject some seriousness into Hachimaru, prompting him to work hard. The pacing of this series is much better and now that the world is explained more everything just makes since.
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.