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.
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.
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.
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.
All Might, Izuku and Katsuki try to determine how to activate the Blackwhip quirk. He can’t seem to figure out what activated it before. Katsuki seems to believed that it requires Izuku to be in danger. Finally, in on the secrets, Katsuki asks what All Might knew about the Blackwhip quirk. He admits that both he and his master were ignorant of the fact that “One For All is capable of letting Izuku use previous wielders Quirk.”
Throughout this series it felt like Izuku was going to become exactly like All Might. Following in his footsteps as All Might is his idol. Slowly, Izuku is separating himself from his idol. Now with this new situation Izuku is coming into his own. Now traveling a path that even All Might didn’t, Izuku’s story becomes more interesting. In order to get Izuku to release his Blackwhip ability he may need to find himself in danger once again.
Eri, Izuku, Mirio and Neito gather outside the dormitories. Neito attempts to copy Eri’s Rewind Quirk. All he does is grow a horn. The horn itself is necessary to use the Quirk, but he can’t. He explains that ” as Rewind is an accumulation-type Quirk like One For All, it isn’t possible for him to use it.”
He also states “that his Quirk allows him to copy the fundamental abilities of a Quirk, not something requiring stored-up energy as he cannot copy what has already been stored. Izuku is relieved that he has this mechanism as it prevented him from being damaged by One For All when he copied during the Joint Training Battle.” Shota explains that he wanted to see if by Neito copying Eri’s quirk, she could learn to master it herself. Considering her age I think Eri will learn how to use her ability as she gets older. It’s clear that “accumulation-type” emitter quirks are the superior type of quirks.
Sanji puts on the raid suit. He doesn’t believe that wearing the suit makes him apart of the Germa. In the suit he wears a black outfit with a mask concealing his face. Law recognizes the suit as a character known as Stealth Black. The character is from the comic strip, Sora, Warrior of the Sea. The suit allows Sanji to turn invisible, though he hopes Franky and Usopp will redesign it later. Anyway, Sanji attacks Page One while cloaked. Page One gets up and transforms into his hybrid form. He attacks and Sanji is knocked through several buildings, however, he has received little damage due to the Germa suit. Page One think Sanji is dead, but, Sanji floats above him hitting him with a surprise attack. Law, Usopp and Franky flee, per Sanji’s orders.
Robin and the Orochi Oniwabanshu
In the Orochi Castle, Orochi continues to party while Robin sneaks around. She finds a room and searches through the old file cabinets. Robin thinks that she could find the location of the Poneglyph. She searches for a secret entrance but is interrupted by a group of ninja’s called the Orochi Oniwabanshu. The leader of the group, Fukurokuju enters and tell her that she has “one chance” to explain herself. I’m not concern that Robin is in any real danger here. She is smart and I trust that she will come up with a convincing lie.
Big Mom forgets who she is
On Kuri, Kuri beach, Tama, Chopper, Momonosuke, and Kiku stumble upon an unconscious Big Mom. Chopper realizing who she is tries to get the group to flee. He figures that she can to get the Straw Hat pirates, he decides that he will kill her. Big Mom awakens to Choppers horror. Chopper is stunned when Big Mom asks “who am I?” It goes without saying that this is a massive chance for Chopper to get a Yonko on the Strawhat’s side. How he does it is important. Chopper being a Doctor will likely treat her amnesia, resulting in her gratitude. Despite her hatred of Luffy, she has a fondness for Brook, Sanji’s cooking and thinks Chopper is cute. If Chopper decides to manipulate her it will likely backfire on him.
Zoro arrives to Ebisu Town, where he’s greeted pleasantly by the starving residents. Each of them mentions how hungry and malnourished they are while smiling. Yasu tells him that “since humans have been blessed with the gift of laughter, it would be wasteful not to use it.” They citizens mention that Ushimitsu Kozo arrived last night. Kozo is a thief that steals from the rich to give to the poor. His motives are unclear.
Big Mom arrives
In a surprising turn, Big Mom and her pirates arrive at Onigashima searching for Luffy. Having tied carp to her ship, they’re being pull up the waterfall. Kiado, demands that his subordinates stop them. Fearing an “All out war,” Kiado grows more fearful of Big Mom causing trouble. King arrive in the form of pteranodon using his Ryu Ryu no Mi, Model: Pteranodon. He causes the ship of Big Mom to flip over, sending her into the sea. Obviously, Big Mom won’t meet her end her. However, being a devil fruit user she can’t swim, I wonder if her children can save her.
Sanji and his Raid Suit
In the Flower Capital, Law, Sanji, Usopp and Franky are fleeing the Beast Pirates as they try to find Sanji. Law discourages Franky from fighting sighting it’s risks. However, when a woman is under attack from Page One in his spinosaurus form. He demands that they call out to Sangoro and they do so. The civilians flee before Hawkins and Drake arrive, however, Sanji prepares to use his Raid Suit as it protects him from injury and will conceal his identity.
Oda has found a convenient way to get Sanji to use the suit that he refused to use before. It seems like Kiado’s subordinates are going to have dinosaur devil fruit abilities. Considering the vast variety of dinosaur species Kiado may have many Ancient Zoan-type devil fruit users. So far we have only seen three, X Drake, Allosaurus, Page One, Spinosaurus and King, Pteranodon. They’re all aligned with the Beast Pirates. This chapter is the rare one that didn’t feature Luffy at all. This arc does feel that it’s rushed , there’s so many characters both new and old that it can be difficult to focus. Regardless, another great chapter.
Natsu torches Madmorl’s and burns through his armor. Wendy now nude, is given some clothing from the spirit world. Lucy, Carla, Gray, and Happy get back together, and prepare to fight Skullion and Madmorl. Shocking everyone, Madmorl gets up after Natsu’s match. Natsu’s flames begin emitting heat, resulting in Kyria’s clothing melting. Ezra’s is unaffected because she’s wearing the “armor of the flame empress.” Kyria attacks claiming that “we’re going to eat these flames.”
Ezra isn’t phased by this and she attacks using Flame Empress’s Rising Fire Cutter. Kyria is teleported by Skullion. Natsu and the rest of Fairy Tail impress Skullion. He reveals that they are no longer interested in the Water God. They now want the White Witch, he reveals that there are more of them. Skullion then leaves, promising that they will return. Their ship dissipates into ash. The Water God Dragon awakens and tells Caramille’s to run.
The villains of the series so far are too generic. Skullion in particular has thin characterization. While it’s likely that they will get more depth, but so far their behavior is predictable. That said a guild of Dragon Eaters seem interesting. I haven’t been able to really get into this series yet. It’s only the 16th chapter, but I feel something is missing. I like reading it but not as excited for the chapter like I am for other series.