Kaido stuns the Pirates in chapter 985 of One Piece
Jay over at RJ Writing Ink reviews the latest chapter of One Piece. After a two week hiatus, the series returns with a shocking moment. As Kiado puts the end to “Wano” and begins his new “Onigashima Plan” this arc is making a dramatic turn. Together with Big Mom, Kiado plans on “seize the Ancient Weapons, conquer the world, and gain the One Piece.” That last part is certain to get Luffy’s attention. This chapter has a lot going on. Kanjuro’s clashes with the Scabbards, Nami, and Carrot are captured by Big Mom, and Luffy rushes to save Momonosuke.
Megan from the Geeky Gal blog is one day 21 of the Harry Potter challenge, which asks “What edible treat(s) would you like to try in the Wizarding World?” She tried several Harry Potter inspired treats at Universal Studios in Orlando, from “the Pumpkin Juice, to the Butterbeer, Chocolate Frogs, Fizzing Whizzbees, and Every Flavor Jelly Beans.” Megan will release the full list of 30 after she finishes. Until then I encourage you to read her list.
A Little Witch Academia review
If you have been reading this blog long enough then you know I love Little Witch Academia. Originally a Kickstarter, the series began with two short films, Little Witch Academia and Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade. Two years later it became a series on Netflix premiering in 2017. The Traditional Catholic Weeb loved this series as well, stating that “LITTLE WITCH ACADEMIA IS ONE OF THE GREATEST ANIME THAT GOD HAS BLESSED ME WITH THE PRIVILEGE OF SEEING.” The review is well worth the read. Check it out and if you haven’t seen Little Witch Academia the series is still on Netflix.
It’s common for heroes to have no parents. They’re either dead, strangely not mentioned, or abusive. Everyone is “conveniently an orphan.” This often avoids the question of why would someone allow their child to leave home alone? Even if the parent didn’t care it would still be parental neglect. Furthermore, if the main protagonists is a super-powered demon slayer or an actual demon, it would be necessary to explain why their parents didn’t know or didn’t tell them. It’s an understandable trope but one that’s overused.
Sailor Moon. Rei lives with her grandfather. Her mother died and her father abandoned her, leaving her to be raised by his mother. Ami’s parents are divorced. Makoto’s and Mamoru’s parents both die in tragic accidents.
Naruto. Sasuke’s parents were slaughtered by his brother. Naruto’s parents died fighting the Nine-Tails. Gaara’s mother died during childbirth. Asuma dies before his child is born.
Bleach. Orhimes parents abandoned her, shes lived alone since she was 12. Chad’s parents died, then his grandfather leaving him to take care of himself since the age of 15. Uryuu’s mother died and his father is estranged.
Every once in a while a character must learn something that is conveniently helpful. Not only that the user can master the new power instantly. If you think too hard you will realize that it probably would take years if not decades for the character to learn the new skill. Of course, that’s why writers grant their characters instant abilities in the first place.
Kamehameha. It took Master Roshi almost a century to learn it, Goku does it after seeing Master Roshi do it once.
Rasengan. Naruto’s father Minato learned the Rasengan after years. Naruto learns it in a week, although he didn’t master it.
Bankai. Normally it takes decades to learn the Bankai. Ichigo learns his Bankai in three days.
Calling Your Attacks
In anime, long-winded names given to attacks are the norm. Whether its the name of a punch, weapon, or magical attack these names are important to their coolness. The origin of this behavior can be connected to the ancient concept that “special words can invoke control over the supernatural.” The use of a spell’s name can sometimes be part of an incantation. The Kido in Bleach require long incantations that seem to be a random collection of words, however, a user can avoid saying the entire spell, but must sacrifice some power. These names use to be limited to special moves, now every attack has to have a title.
Kenshin. Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu Ougi Ama Kakeru Ryu no Hirameki
The Power of Friendship
The villain in many series often mock friendship. Why would you rely on others when you can do everything yourself? Of course, these villains generally have massive group followers that fight for them. However, they’re not friends so it’s different right. What the villain doesn’t know is that these friends are also a secret power. The hero will reach a new level of power to protect his friends or they will work together to defeat the villain.
Fairy Tail. Wizards gain power based on the strength of their friendships.
Naruto. Like most Shonen heroes Naruto can get stronger to save his friends. Also known as Friendship no Jutsu.
One Piece. Basic this series runs on the power of friendship or Nakama.
Explaining Your Power to the Enemy
The villain monologue has become a trope and is now mocked often. The practical reason for it is to inform the audience, however, this info could be gained without telling the villain. Like having the character think about the effect of their attack or its power. The explanation can range from what an ability does to how to counter it. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what they explain as their too powerful to lose, although, they usually make their lives harder.
Berserk. A demon tells Guts that he can’t regenerate if his head cut off. Gut’s immediately cuts his head off.
Bleach. Hirako Shinji does this twice the time. First, he tells Aizen how his Shikai works. (its powers reverse his opponents’ senses and movements). He then does it again when fighting Bambietta.
Dragon Ball Z. Gohan explains that his true power only comes out when he’s angry. So Cell tries to kill his father and his friends.
Guts have numerous scars after many battles. However, his most distinct scar is the one across his nose. Guts received this scar during a training session with his former father figure Gambino. During this session, Gambino becomes frustrated after Guts manages to cut his cheek. In his rage, he gives Guts the cut across his nose.
Shoto Todoroki (My Hero Academia)
Shoto has a large burn scar across his left side of his face. He received this scar from his abused mother. Todoroki’s father Endeavor abused his mother resulting in her developing an intense hatred of Endeavor. In a fit of insanity, she burned Shoto by pouring a kettle of boiling water. She immediately tried to soothe Shoto’s pain with her ice Quirk, however, Shoto seem to be permanently scarred.
Shanks (One Piece)
Shanks’s trademark scar across his left eye was given to him by Blackbeard. When and why he received this scar is currently unknown. The scar is a set of three vertically linear lines that cross over his left eye. However, the eye itself isn’t harmed.
Kenpachi has many distinctive traits. His eye patch, long black hair, and his hairless eyebrows. In addition to all that he has a long, thin scar that runs down his face. Located on the left side, the scar doesn’t cut across the eye. It was given to him by the former Kenpachi and Gotei 13 Captain, Retsu Unohana. He was just a child when she gave it to him.
Vast the Stampede (Trigun)
Vast the Stampede has too many scars to detail. The series doesn’t necessarily tell us when they all happen. Vast’s body is full of deep scars, metal plates that appear to be bolted on, and cuts. In the anime, it is suggested that these scars are all the result if Vast’s unwillingness to kill his opponents.
I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of One Piece that this arc is currently in the process of setting up battles. One Piece chapter 983: Thunder continues to set up more possible scenarios. At the Onigashima brothel, Big Mom has switched her attention from Usopp and Chopper to Nami. Chopper is happy that they were able to provide a distraction to save Kinemon, however, now Nami is in trouble. Big Mom wants to retrieve Zeus one of the homies that Nami stole. They hope that Sanji could help them but he’s run off to protect the prostitutes. As she gives chase, Big Mom creates new homies from umbrellas and sandals.
Momonosuki, Zoro, and Kid
Meanwhile, things look dire for some of our heroes. Momonosuki has been chained to a cross. Orochi excites his men with the promise of his execution. Elsewhere, within the Keep, Zoro encounters several Gifters. All devil fruit users, Zoro has his hands full. However, I’m sure how strong each one is. Devil Fruit users vary in strength, so Zoro could slice through most of them. That said I would expect he probably will encounter one that’s too strong to be defeated easily. Killer and Kid are surrounded by some of the Beast Pirates. Kid lands a massive blow on some of them while they bicker about promotions.
Introducing Yamato, the son of Kaido
Luffy battles Page-One and Ulti briefly. Ulti’s angry with Luffy for the harm she caused Page-One. Luffy tells her that he’s going to become King of the Pirates. Beliving only Kiado can become King, she becomes enraged further. Leaping in the air, arching her back, she hits Luffy with a powerful headbutt, Ulti Skull Cannon. Luffy admits that the hit hurt, but is mostly fine. Realizing his strength, Utli, and Page-One uses their devil fruit abilities, Dragon Dragon Fruit Ancient Model: Pachycephalosaurus and Spinosaurus. Luffy grabs Utli by her horns and slams her into the ground. He strikes Page-One under the jaw with Gomu Gomu no Elephant Gun. Ulti grabs him and prepares to use Ulti Meteor. However, she’s knocked by Thunder Bagua from Yamato. He grabs Luffy and runs, stating that he’s been waiting for him.
This chapter was largely set up until Yamato showed up. I imagine that despite his father, Yamato isn’t an evil pirate. It’s a common trope that the child of a villain isn’t willing to follow in the footsteps of their parents. Would he betray his father? I think it’s possible. The alliance still needs more help if they’re going to challenge Big Mom, Kiado, Orochi, and the Beast Pirates. I also think Charlotte Perospero may prove to be a potential wild card. I don’t think he will join the alliance, but help from the shadows.
In chapter 982 of One Piece, Scoundrel Meets Scoundrel, Kanjuro has finally brought Momonosuke to a partying Orochi and Kiado. After attempting to escape, Momonosuke was brutally beaten by Kanjuro. Kaido is disappointed that Momonosuke is still a child. Oda has been pointing out how evil Orochi’s regime is, Kanjuro provided a new low. Furthermore, Orochi plans on celebrating with Momonosuke’s execution. Kanjuro informs Orochi that the samurai haven’t been stopped. Fukurokuju assures Orochi that there are no signs of the alliance. Underestimating the alliance may prove to be the handicap they need.
Nekomamushi and Marco join a group on Polar Tang. Meanwhile, Denjiro captures one of the Headliners, Sasaki. Denjiro and his forces move forward inside the dome, splitting into two groups. In the east, Chopper and Usopp have attacked Big Mom, leading her away from the samurai. Inside the brothel, Nami, Carrot, and Shinobu encounter Prometheus. Elsewhere in the castle, Luffy runs into Headliners, Ulti, and Page One. As I stated in the previous review, I believe that One Piece is going to separate the alliance into smaller groups. Denjiro’s team splitting up suggests that I may be right. At this point, it’s unclear how strong Luffy is compared when he fought Kaido. While it’s not likely he going to fight both Headliners, battling one will be a good opportunity to showcase his new abilities. One Piece chapter 982 is still building up to the inevitable battles. I can’t wait.
As predicted, neither Luffy nor Kid could manage to hide their identities for long. One Piece chapter 981, Engagement, opens with Kid delivering a devasting hit on the traitor Apoo. Understandably, Kid is outraged and resentful of Apoo’s behavior. Generally, unable to trust anyone, Kid seems particularly hurt and maybe embarrassed by the events that lead to his defeat at the hands of Kiado. Apoo is nihilistic. He doesn’t think that it was ever possible to defeat an emperor and the alliances between pirates always end badly. Queen orders the Beast Pirates to kill Luffy, Zoro, Kid, and Killer. However, they’re overwhelmed by the Beast Pirates. They flee after one of the Numbers, Haccha attacks them. It’s revealed that Apoo’s devil fruit ability can only “reach where you can hear them.”
The Samurai make their move
Kinemon and his group are on the eastern side of Onigashima. The Beast Pirates are still unaware of their presents, so the samurai have altered their plans. Instead of sending the full force to the rear entrance, they are instead opting to split into two groups. They hope to trap Orochi and Kiado. However, they arrive at an unexpected obstacle, a brothel that houses one of the Flying Six, Black Maria. Lucky for them (unlucky for Sanji) the brothel was empty due to news of Luffy’s arrival. As they pass someone leaves the brothel, it’s Big Mom. Meanwhile, her children arrive in Wano, looking to take Luffy’s head. Suddenly, Marco the Phoenix arrives, sending them falling back down the waterfall. He’s joined by Izo and Nekomamushi, as the prepare to join the fray.
More help arrives
Oda was smart to reintroduce a character, Marco, while also using him to prevent the Big Mom Pirates from entering Wano. The Strawhat’s alliance is already a major underdog, adding Big Mom’s children would be overkill. Izo is an underdeveloped character so far. The most important thing we know about him is that he’s from Wano, the older brother of Kikunojo (one of the Nine Red Scabbards), and he’s the commander of the 16th division. We can assume he’s powerful because he’s a commander other than that his abilities are unknown. Nekomamushi is a different story. While I don’t think he has shown all his abilities, he’s at least as strong as Jack.
One Piece is still setting the stage for the upcoming battles. The Beast Pirates remain ignorant of most of the intruders. If Luffy, Kid, Zoro, and Killer can continue to be a distraction they might go undetected. That said I expect this arc to result in many characters separating into even smaller groups, eventually resulting in one on one battles. That said it’s probably in the best for them to avoid one on one battles with Big Mom and Kiado.
If you’re familiar with anime, action movies, or martial arts film then you probably noticed the legendary blind weapon master. Despite their inability to see they are often the most deadly fighters. Sometimes they have developed supernatural powers to compensate for their blindness or have trained to use other senses. While the audience probably expects the blind weapon master to be dangerous the characters in the story usually don’t. This results in the blind warrior being underestimated, gaining an advantage at least at first. So what are my top 5 blind characters:
5. Kaname Tosen (Bleach)
Tosen was the captain of the 9th Division of the Gotei 13. He joined Sosuke Aizen and Gin Ichimaru when they betrayed Soul Society. Tosen was blind since birth. Tosen was proficient with his Zanpakuto. As a 5th seat, he was able to fight at Captain level. After his defection, he encountered Captain Sajin Komamura and Lieutenant Shuhei Hisagi and was able to duel them both. He mastered the Shunpo, Kido, and Hikuda techniques. Like most Captain level Shinigami’s, he also mastered the Shikai and Banki abilities. Tosen develops a Resurreccion form. Ironically, Tosen gains sight in this form and it results in his downfall.
4. Uzu Sanageyama (Kill La Kill)
Uzu is one of the students on the Elite Four council. He regulates the athletic clubs at Honnoji Academy. He has his eyes sewn shut to increase his awareness. He develops a “Mind’s Eye” that allows him to form a “three-dimensional image of his surroundings, resulting in clairvoyant abilities. He’s an expert Swordsman, using a kendo style. With this style, he displays precision and reflexes. When he had access to the Three-star Goku Uniform, he possessed the Shinsoku: Senbonsuki ability which allowed him to “attaches multiple shinai blades to his hands and spins them at high speeds, allowing him to assault his opponent with a series of high-speed sword thrusts”. Uzu also developed the Blade Regalia MK 2 and the Blade Regalia: Secret Unsealed. Uzu’s self-inflicted blindness resembles the legend of Shinto God, Susano’o.
3. Yomi (Yu Yu Hakusho)
Yomi is one of the Three Kings of the Demon Realm and the main antagonist during the three Kings Saga. Yomi uses to have sight but lost it due to a plot by Kurama, he gained four extra ears to compensate. His earing was so amazing that he could “hear every word being spoken in his kingdom of Gandara”. He can hear heart rates, guessing facial expressions, and emotional states. Like Kurama, Yomi is calm, calculating, even able to use his super-hearing to measure the speeds of his opponent’s attack. Yomi possesses a Demon Absorption Wall, energy blasts, and is an upper S class demon.
2. Sara (Samurai Champloo)
A beautiful blind musician, Sara turns out to be an assassin for the Shogunate. She walks barefoot and carries a Shamisen and a Yari disguised as a walking staff. Sara has had a hard life due to her blindness. Her child was taken from her over it and is often pitied, which she hates. Sara is capable of predicting moves, her fighting ability is considered to be one of the strongest in Samurai Champloo. She could notice Sundar rocks with her Yari, her skill is so great that Kariya Kagetoki deems Mugen and Jin worthy of being defeated by him. Ultimately, Sara learns that her son was killed and she allows herself to be killed by Mugen.
1. Issho Fujitora (One Piece)
One of the new Marine Admirals, Issho is against the hashish forms of Marine justice. He hates corruption and evil. Issho intentionally blinded himself to “avoid ever seeing it again”, cutting himself leaving an X-shaped scar on his face. He regrets having done so. He hated the now-disbanded Shichibukai system and often undermines the Marines. Like many blind warriors, he’s always underestimated and he resents it. As a Marine Admiral, Fujitora is one of the strongest fighters in the World government. He was able to defeat Jack, a pirate with a billion-dollar bounty. He fought Sabo to a standstill without getting hurt, posses great strength, defense, and reflexes.
He claims to have developed heighten senses, able to “sense the movement of clouds”. Fujitora prefers to use his shikomizue (cane sword) in conjunction with his devil fruit, Zushi Zushi no Mi. With this devil fruit he can manipulate gravity, he often uses it to pull meteorites out of the sky. He can reverse gravity to repel or levitate ships. He has mastered haki, busishoku haki, and kenbushoku haki.
In early April, Rose over at Wretched and Divine listed her favorite One Piece characters. The majority of her list won’t be surprised by the Luffy, Zoro, Ace, Law, and Usopp making the lists. What might surprise you is that a number of villains make the cut. Personally, I disagree with her choice of Buggy. I find him to be so annoying and constantly falling ass-backward into success is getting old. Rose acknowledges that characters like Caesar Clown aren’t “good” but she likes his laugh. You guys should check it out.
My favorite One Piece character is Whitebeard.
The God of High School
I have been taking a break from episode reviews this season (except now I will review Tower of God), but the summer season is coming up in July. Fire Force and Haikyuu!: To the Top will return at some point in the season, but the new series I’m interested in is The God of High School. I appear that Crunchyroll has decided to use manhwa as source material for “original” anime. With Tower of God seemingly a hit, I think the God of High School could be the next one.
Based on the web manhwa by Yongje Park, the series focuses on Jin Mo-Ri a martial artist from Seoul, Korea. He’s invited to join a Martial Arts tournament called “The God of High School” sponsored by a shady corporation (aren’t they all). The prize, a wish-fulfillment by the corporation. Participants fight utilizing what is called “Borrowed Power.” This power is “mystical energy granted by supernatural entities.” The trailer alone got me excited and I rarely watch martial arts anime. I’m excited for this series.
Should I finally give Black Clover another chance
Years ago I decided to start watching Black Clover. I didn’t like it. The animation was fine, but having just read the ending of Fairy Tale, the series felt derivative. Asta isn’t that different from Naruto, Natsu, and the Goku’s of the anime world. Dreager1 believes that “Black Clover was mixing together a lot of ideas from older titles like Naruto and giving them a new spin. Make no mistake though, Black Clover had a great start right from the jump.”
I’ve been considering getting back into the series, but not sure I should read the manga or watch the anime. That said I have seen many of the fights in the anime and enjoyed them. One draw that I think is pulling me is Noelle. While anime is better with female characters, it could still be better. According to Dreager1, “Clover still stands on its own though by giving Noelle quite a few super forms keeping her in league with Yuno and Asta.” While like most anime she apparently is still weaker than her male counterparts, it seems like she pulls her own.
The tournament arc is common in anime. An arc that generally puts several characters in direct competition, the tournament arc can consists of anything from fighting to cooking. Sometimes the tournament arc is used as filler or used to give unknown characters some development. If your series has a large amount of characters, a tournament arc is good to introduce them. These arcs can be used for fanservice, by pitting two or more characters against each other, as they generally won’t fight in the normal story. The tournament themselves tend to be single elimination. The last opponent is almost always a Big Bad.
The most overlooked aspect of the tournament arc is the announcer. The hype men and women provide color commentary for the tournaments are often considered background noise. The are tasked with explaining what occurs during a “match.” Some series pay more attention to the announcers than others. I have collected my top five favorites.
5. Marian (Pokemon)
It should surprise no one that Pokemon needs announcers. The series is of course built around tournaments. Marian is the master of ceremonies in the Sinnoh region. Marian made her debut during the Jubilife CityPokemon Contest. Since that moment she was featured in several Pokemon Contests. Like most announcers on the list, Marian has a lot of energy. As a announcer she comments on battles and performances, then rewards the winner after the Judges decide.
4. Gatz (One Piece)
Gatz is the announcer at the Corrida Colosseum. He debut in chapter 702 of One Piece. Despite being expected to be neutral during the competition, Gatz showed some bias. He favored Hack from B block and was cheering for Lucy (Luffy/Sabo). He also admired the strong. Gatz was sympathetic toward Luffy and Sabo, even though they broke the rules by switching places. Gatz shows that he’s honorable as he is unwilling to force anyone to fight if they can’t and even put himself in danger to protect Rebecca and Viola from Doflamingo.
3. Koto and Juri (Yu Yu Hakusho)
I’ve watched and re-watched the Dark Tournament arc so many times I can conjure Koto’s voice in my head. A ‘D’ level demon, Koto was the referee then commentator for the Dark Tournament and later the Demon World Tournament. Cheerful and fair, Koto is surprisingly bloodthirsty. She enjoys witnessing the murder and mayhem in the tournaments. However, she has standards, disapproving of Bakken’s cheating.
This honor got her demoted to commentator. She was replaced by Juri. Also a ‘D’ level demon, Juri was less dedicated to her job. She lacks Koto’s sadism and often shows fear of what occurs in the ring. Koto and Juri both escape together, later becoming idols in the demon and human worlds.
2. Present Mic (My Hero Academia)
Present Mic (Hizashi Yamada) is the Voice Hero and English teacher at U.A. He’s eccentric and always talks at a high level. His Quirk, “Voice” allows him to “to increase the volume of his voice, giving him an ability that is similar to a sonic scream.” Mic was the announcer (along with Shota) of the U.A. Sports Festival. Midnight explained the rules and was the ref.
1. Worlds Martial Arts Tournament Announcer
Making his debut in Dragon Ball episode 21, Worlds Martial Arts Tournament Announcer (his “name”) is the energetic referee. He’s a common fixture in the Martial Arts world, having hosted every Tournament from Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball GT. He often is seen with his eyes bulging out of his head when watching Goku and his friends fight. He’s often so distracted that he fails to start the count on time. He has some understanding of Ki and is well aware that Goku and his friends defeated Cell, not Mr. Satan.
In manga chapter 977 of One Piece, Jinbei rejoins the crew. Jinbei carried wounded members of the Sun Pirates and they had a goodbye party. The Straw Hats drink sake in celebration. Shishilian the lion mink plans on commanding the minks. Hyogoro the flower will lead the samurai. Law goes over the plan. There’s only one main entrance into Onigashima. However, with the secret passage at the back, the alliance will divide in two. They hope to attack Kiado while he’s still drunk. Luffy and Kid will make a diversion and act as bait.
Meanwhile, the Nine Red Scabbards will use a submarine to avoid the whirlpools. Then Law will use his devil fruit ability. Elsewhere, Luffy and the Straw hat’s move on ahead. Denjiro forgot to warn them about the guards at the Torii Gate. Luffy, Jinbei, Zoro, Robin, Brooke, Sanji, and Franky defeat them with ease. Zoro grabs some alcohol and the Straw Hat’s celebrate Jinbei’s return. With the defeat of the guardians, the boats can breach Onigashima.
Law presents the plan
As Luffy announces their plans to take down Kaido, Orochi, and Big Mom, Kid interrupts. He proclaims that his crew won’t allow the Straw hat’s to “take Kiado’s head.” Inside Onigashima, Kaido and the others eat and drink. Kiado mentions his “son” as the Flying Six arrive. This arc is still in the build up phase. However, we’re getting closer to the battle. With all the players in place this are getting interesting. I hope we finally get to see Jinbei in full action. So far he’s been a side character, showing his strength in small intervals. Now that he’s officially a member of the Straw Hat’s by getting closure with Sun Pirates, I think he’s going to get his moment.
Law was smart to use Kid and Luffy as distractions. They clearly can’t follow any complicated or simple plans. I’m curious what the Flying Six look like and what their Devil Fruits are. So far most of the Beast Pirates, Headliners have SMILE’s abilities, not real devil fruit ones. This arc keeps building the anticipation and I think it will live up to it.