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.
Kid and Killer finally free themselves from the handcuffs. They decide to leave Udon and find the remaining crewmates. Luffy offers to form an alliance with Kid, but he declines. However, Kid has soured on alliances after the betrayal of Hawkins and Apoo. Kid states that he will never trust anyone outside of crew again. Meanwhile, the prisoners have a hard time accepting that Luffy us a pirate. Considering how most characters in One Piece are pirates, it’s sometimes lost on some that the rest of the world doesn’t always trust any pirates. Luffy always proves to be an exception.
Raizo and Kawamatsu tries to vouch for Luffy’s character. Hyogoro fears the outcome. Meanwhile, Chopper tries to find a cure for mummy. He has what accounts for a conversation considering his condition. When the prisoners see Momonosuke they become inspired, confusing him for his father. They begin to bow to him. I think that Luffy will be a leader in this arc, but he can’t be the only one. He’ll need members of the Nine Red Scabbards to take the lead and of course, Momonosuke and his sister. Ashura Doji explains that many allies of Onigashima attempted to avenge him a decade ago.
However, they were killed. Ashura decides that he and his group will join the alliance. Zoro along with Hiyori (Momonsuke’s sister) is searching for Gyukimaru to get the Shusui sword back. Finally, Law gets captured by Hawkins. His plans to interrogate him to find about the alliance intentions. If Law did tell Hawkins their plans, Luffy will just screw it up anyway, so it won’t really matter. One thing that is good about this arc is that the allies are dominating the fight. Zoro had his sword stolen, Luffy was dominated by Kiado, Kidd also got defeated while his friend (Killer) was exposed to SMILE. Of course they are going to win, but how much will they sacrifice to get there.
In a one shot that celebrates 22 years of One Piece, Boichi redraws the fight between Mihawk and Zoro. Boichi is the pen name of Mujik Park. He is best known for the current manga series, Dr. Stone. Chapter 51, titled “Roronoa Zoro Falls Into the Sea.” Boichi recreates the chapter 51 and 52 page by page. If you aren’t familiar with Boichi’s art it’s spectacular.
The fight between Zoro and Mihawk occurred during the Krieg Pirates‘ siege on the Baratie. Zoro challenges Mihawk to a duel. Zoro is easily defeated, but Mihawk gains respect for him. Mihawk allows him to live and tells him to get stronger for when they fight again. There are some changes from the original, after Zoro is defeated Luffy attacks Mihawk, but doesn’t land a hit. Some scenes are omitted. Regardless, it’s great to see this chapter drawn by such a talented mangaka. Hopefully, we will get some more.
Luffy, Chopper, Hyogoro, Raizo, Kikunojo and Kawamatsu dominate the Beast Pirates. Daifugo shoots the prisoners with special bullets, that inflict the prisoners with a virus called Mummy. Created by Queen, the infected experience a massive fever and blood loss. In it’s final stage the virus transforms the victim into a mummy like husk. This disease is also highly contagious. During the fight, Raizo gives Kid and Killer the keys to their handcuffs. The prisoners express their dismay that Luffy and the Nine Red Sheaths have interfered in their lives. They have accepted their captivity and don’t wish to change it. They are certain that Kiado cannot be defeated.
Luffy grabs on to one of the prisoners, infecting himself. Luffy has often in this series, done profoundly stupid things to great effect. Luffy makes his case for the power of the opposition. He tells the prisoners that they need to “open their eyes,” they have become “slaves.” He questions the idea that he (an outsider) can’t protect them. He made a promise in Kuri to Tama, that he will make this country a “place for everyone.” He proclaims that he has to “defeat Kaido.” He asks them “who will they side with,” “Kiado or “the allies.” Meanwhile, Babanuki tries to use a excite Shell into the crowd. Luffy ties his trunk, causing the bomb to explode on Babanuki.
Luffy has always been able to convince others that they’re worth fighting for. The prisoners announce that they are now rebels and they take over Udon. The final battle against Kaido will take place in eight days. I’m not concern that Luffy and the others are infected with the virus. Chopper is likely to cure them. However, Luffy hasn’t master the new Haki yet. Anyway, the arc is reaching it’s climax and I can’t wait.
Well, Shimura never had chance did he. These last two chapters have focused on the origins of Tenko Shimura. His father, Kotaro Shimura, developed a deep hatred for the hero community after being abandoned by his mother. She, Nana Shimura, was the seventh holder of One for All. This disdain was the what lead to the abusive behavior towards his son, Shimura. The irony of this abuses is that Kotaro began treating his child the way he believed his mother (and other heroes) treated him. This cycle of abuse and hatred is instilled in Tenko.
Tenko was betrayed by his family. They were complicit in his fathers abuse as they were afraid to upset him because he provided a good life for them. His sister, Hana Shimura, lies on him telling their father that he was looking at the photo of their grandmother. This leads to Kotaro beating Tenko. At this moment, Tenko’s Quirk is triggered. The first victim was Tenko’s dog, Monchan. Tenko’s Decay Quirk is horrific in how it manifests. Monchan basically falls apart into a puddle of blood and pieces. Tenko is of course shocked. In the moment he doesn’t realized what’s happening.
Panicking, Tenko loses his voice. Unable to explain a situation that he probably couldn’t even with his voice. His sister comes to apologize, but flees in horror at the site of Monchan corpse. Tenko feeling helpless, wants his sister to help him. Of course Hana is scared and a little selfish, so she flees. He grabs her in desperation forcing her to die like Monchan. Tenko’s Quirk becomes uncontrollable, he begins to destroy the surrounding area. He begins to realize that he actually “hates” his family. He finally “kills” his father, only this time it was intentional.
Tenko Shimura, now Tomura Shigaraki despite having a terrible childhood had now become irredeemable in my opinion. Sure he didn’t mean to kill his dog and “most” of his family. However, according to him he wanted to kill his father. So far Tomura hasn’t killed many “innocents.” In this arc, the League of Villains are fighting other villains. As such the killing doesn’t feel wrong. Once Tomura begins to kill innocents he will become monstrous. His desire to “destroy society” is typical for a villains. A small part of me wants to see what a villain would do if he succeeds. Regardless, his Quirk is getting stronger and more deadly. I wonder how the heroes will fight against it.
Ata demands that Hachimaru’s father “give him Hachikaku.” Hachikaku apparently became a samurai allowing him to be detected by Princess Niri. Hachimaru’s father decides that he needs to sacrifice himself to save Hachimaru. Daruma reveals that Ata was once his best student at the vajrayaksa school. Ata seems to maintain his reverence for his former master. He takes the “soul” that he claims belonged to the “Ucchusuma school.” Ata criticizes Hachimaru for his lack of respect for Daruma. Ata notices that Hachimaru resembles the other “seven.”
Ata says that Hachimaru is the “key” that unlocks the galaxy, bring it to it’s original state. Daruma is paralyses from the attack he sustained from Ata. “You do not have courage,” Ata states. He’s able to see through the thin bravado that Hachimaru possesses. Hachimaru’s father, Ann, Hayataro and Hagamichi step in to protect the Hachimaru. Ata easily defeats Hagamichi and announces that “samurai are not immortal.” He says that “once the God of War abandons us, it’s over.” The God of War has been invoked several times in this series.
I wonder if this “god” is real or theoretical. Anyway, Hachimaru’s father proclaims that he will “defeat Ata.” Ata attacks Hachimaru’s father for ruining the “plan,” but is absorbed with a device that is found in his stomach. The use of this device is suppose to cause both Ata and Hachimaru their lives. However, Ata is still alive, but more than half his body is gone, leaving him with his upper torso and a arm. While I’m still waiting to see what a full length battle is like, but this chapter was pretty good. It seems that Hachimaru’s father will die finally giving Hachimaru some adversity, while learning some humility. It will come at a cost but is necessary for him to succeed.
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.