Eden’s Zero Chapter 26 Review – Two Sisters

Sister Ivry, one of the four shining stars faces off against her impostor Sister. In a flashback we see that Weisz and Homura freed her from a machine that sealed her powers. With a chronophage heading towards them on planet Guilst, everyone begins to panic preparing to flee. Jinn asks Sister who Ivry is. According, to Ivry she arrived to this planet a decade ago, when she was captured by ” a bunch of freaks.”

Waking up connected to a machine, where she has been trapped every since. She realized that someone was impersonating her and using her powers without her consent. Sister seems to be sincerely ashamed of what she did. I truly believed her and how she simply “fell,” into becoming the leader of the Rogue Out mercenary group. That said I wasn’t buying the whole “I would give you the your powers back,” nonsense. She was clearly benefiting from steal Ivry powers and identity.

Sister Ivry is having none of it. She basically starts stomping on Sister’s head. Weisz informs them that they need to leave. Ivry notices Shiki, noting that he’s “seems weak for a Demon King.” Before leaving with Shiki, she finishes her unfinished mission using her Dispel Driver, restoring all the stoned people back to normal. Sister asks Jinn to “save her,” but he steps on her head calling her a “liar.” He believed that she could help his sister Kleene, but she betrayed him. As the chronophage heads for Guilst, Rebecca states that she won’t leave without Shiki.

The crew on Eden Zero expands with the addition of Sister Ivry. This chapter was really good, Sister Ivry is short tempered but is grateful for Shiki’s team aiding. The “sexy nun,” thing is a little juvenile but I can live with it. While, a lot of these characters still look like there from Fairy Tail, the art is great and this series is coming into it’s own.

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Boogiepop and Others Episode 002 Review

Nagi playing detective

If you read my previous review of episode 001 of Boogiepop and Others you know that my opinion of the series so far isn’t great. Boogiepop still continues to play with the timeline, it feels unnecessary to me. The second episode does make the story clearer. It’s still a bit convoluted to me. We are introduced to a sociopathic student that develops a relationship with flesh eating shapeshifter he calls a manticore.

Nagi tackling Kyouko

We are also introduced to a another student, Kirima Nagi. She appears to be the hero of the series. Kyouko tells another classmate, Suema about this drug that Akiko gave some of the girls. It turns out that it was an elaborate plan by Masami Saotome and the manticore to create slaves. Their plan is to “conquer the world.” They enslavement plan begins to fail, as Kamikishiro comes looking for Echoes she’s killed by the manticore.

Masami Saotome

The strange man from the previous episode is called Echoes. He suppose to be an alien that can only repeat what others say, hence the name. His goal is to test humanity, to determine if humans are kind or not. However, his clone had become the “man-eater” or manticore we saw earlier. How Kamikishiro gets this information is chalked up to being “just a feeling,” or a telepathic link. With Kamikishiro dead, it looks like it’s up to Nagi to team up with Echoes.

Manticore attacks Kamikishiro

I can say that episode 2 is superior to episode 1, but the sporadic narration is still annoying. I don’t get why they need to do it. The effect of this type of narration is that any questions created get answered during the same episode. It feels like a gimmick. The characters are still to thin to really have genuine concern for their safety, although I would admit that I felt badly for Kamikishiro. I don’t find Boogiepop to be scary at all. This episode did increase in quality, so I give it one more episode before deciding that if it’s worth my time. It’s a slow moving, confusing anime with a somewhat ridiculous story and 2 dimensional characters, I’m hoping there’s a payoff.

Kamikishiro meeting Echoes

Otaku Orbit 2018 in Review

I decided this year I would be detailing my blogs performance. WordPress allows for users to look at detailed stats for their blog. So far this year is my best (by far) since I started blogging at the end of 2013. Since 2015 my overall viewers and visitors had been declining from 34,649 viewers to 21,706 and 23,832 visitors to 16,515. I was becoming concerned, but after seeing this year’s stats hopefully this trend has reversed. So far this blog has had 636 posts, 188,054 views with 136,482 visitors.

2018 Blog stats:

  • Views 71,214 (Most All Time)
  • Visitors 52,666 (Most All Time)
  • Likes 2,041 (Most All Time)
  • Comments 407 (Most All Time)

The top ten posts this year are varied. Burn the Witch, Banana Fish, Made in Abyss, Dragon Ball Super and Inuyashiki Last Hero all make the top ten. However, One Piece is clearly king as it is half the list. This isn’t surprising considering the series overall popularity. The post, One Piece: Did Big Mom eat everyone? is my most successful post by far with views (all time) at 26,034.

Top Ten Post 2018:

  1. One Piece: Did Big Mom eat everyone? (23,927)
  2. One Piece Chapter 903: Is Luffy now the fifth emperor? (3,296)
  3. Burn the Witch: Tite Kubo manga one shot review (1,887)
  4. One Piece Chapter 895: Pirate Luffy vs. Com. Katakuri (1,045)
  5. One Piece Chapter 894: 12:05 AM, Luffy prepares to reveal his new form Snakeman (700)
  6. Banana Fish Episode 1 Review: A Perfect Day for Bananafish (644)
  7. One Piece Chapter 890 Review: Big Mom on the ship (509)
  8. Made in Abyss Episode 10: Poison and the Curse (489)
  9. Dragon Ball Super Episode 113: Goku vs Caulifla and Kale (488)
  10. Inuyashiki Last Hero: Episode 04 Review – Samejima (481)

This blog has been seen all over the world from the US to Russia, even places like Mongolia, Botswana and Namibia. Because I’m American and write in English, I would imagine that my impact in foreign countries is limited.

Top five Countries 2018:

  1. United States (28,066)
  2. Philippines (3,997)
  3. Canada (3,124)
  4. Indonesia (2,560)
  5. United Kingdom (2,489)

I have to express how much I appreciated the support from everyone that has made this blog so successful and this year my most successful. Finally, a special thank you to my 562 followers, especially Karandi James, DReager1,moonhawk81, Scott, The Things I’ve seen, Anime Girls NYC and Irina. Also thank you to my most active commentators:

How to improve 

Obviously I would like to do better than 2018. The first thing I need to do is finish anime seasons and continue to review manga series. Every good anime isn’t for me so reviewing the first episode can sometimes be enough. However, when I reviewed more than one episode I unfortunately failed to complete the series too many series. This limits my audience, as some people might read my blog for a specific anime or manga series that I may neglect.

More anime movies. It can be difficult to get access to anime movies that are recently released, however, if I reviewed an older movie I will likely avoid this problem. More lists. Lists are big on blogs, yet I continue to avoid doing them. I going to make a more concerted effort to do lists. More video game content. I don’t know how this will work. Reviewing video games can be difficult especially when it might take me 100+ hrs (Assassins Creed Odysseys) to beat a game. Finally, I need to comment on other blogs more. Every year I say I’m going to do it, this year I only managed to respond to comments when they’re made on blog. I’m going to make it a priority in 2019.

Any suggestions or opinions from supporters are appreciated. Happy New Year.

SSSS.Gridman Episode 09 Review – Dream

Is it all a dream?

Yuta awakens to find that Akane has replaced Rikka, as the episode recreates the first one. Akane attempts to convince Yuta that she was his girlfriend. Rikka relives her first encounter with Akane and Utsumi lives a dream where he and Akane becomes friends over there love of kaiju. Akane attempts convince them to join her. The Neon Genesis Junior High Students can’t wake the three of them up. 

Gridman not needed

Gridman attempts to wake them up from with dream. Gridman appears throughout the episode in windows, billboards, picture frames. His image appears in the most obvious and surprising places, it’s well done. Anti looks for Gridman, only to be told that he may not show up because of the kaiju. Anti immediately attacks it but simply flies through it. This kaiju is the reason that Rikka, Yuta and Utsumi are asleep. Surprisingly, Gridman doesn’t make an official appearance in this episode.  

Enter God Zenon

Without Gridman it’s up to the Neon Genesis Junior High Students to face the now materialized kaiju. The transformation sequence reminded me of the power rangers. Regardless, Zenon quickly destroy’s the kaiju. As a so called God, Akane isn’t very impressive. She fails all the time and doesn’t seems to have much control over her creations. Even creating an entire dream for each of the three title characters, they still managed to escape. Her power seems to be limited. Akane becomes depressed as her creations causes continue to reject her. She’s too evil for me to feel sorry for, but her character has gotten more complex in this episode. 

SSSS.Gridman Episode 05 Review – Provocation

What use is an anime with teenage protagonists if they don’t got to the beach, right? The “beach episode” is an episode when the main characters take a break from the typical episode format and relax. Usually, its also a reason to engage in some fan-service, as the this episode often requires characters to wear bathing suits. Sometimes then beach episode is interrupted with more relevant plot elements. Trigger goes out of the way to zoom in on Akane’s cleavage, it’s all typical for anime. 

Regardless, this episode does turn out to be more that a typical. While no new mysteries are introduced, we do get an big battle scene between Yuta, Gridman, Anti and a new Kaiju. Akane has Alexis create a massive Kaiju. Her plan is to use the Kaiju’s massive size to overwhelm Gridman. However, Junk isn’t on the field trip with them resulting Yuta and Utsumi having too run to a payphone. The Assist Weapons all pool their money to buy the “Junk.” They then brought the Junk to the station. 

Gridman can increase it’s size but not as large as the kaiju. The larger Gridman is, the more energy expended. Yuta transforms, as Borr joins him. Using Forest Extinguisher Missile, Borr puts out the fire created by the kaiju. Gridman is quickly overwhelmed, Anti soon joins the fray further adding to his difficulty. Gridman combines with Borr, to create Full Armor Combine Buster Gridman. Anti copies the missile that Borr shoots. Gridman focuses on the large kaiju, using Twin Buster Grid Beam destroying it.

Provocation for a Gridman episode it was typical, for a beach episode it wasn’t. The only significant change is that Akane now knows that Yuta is Gridman. Yuta does have a ominous dream of what looks like Gridman being impaled by what looks like a spear. Whether this is a premonition or a past memory remains to be seen. Gridman could be getting darker. 

SSSS.Gridman Episode 3 Review: Defeat

The episode begins with Akane and a new character Anti standing in the rain. She wishes him good luck and hands him a bag of food. Rikka heads out to school, she looks up at the gray, rainy sky and ask whether she should “skip” today. Yuta, still without his memories, is asked by Sho if he thinks that the Kaiju “might actually be humans.” Yuta feels distress at the thought. It turns out that Rikka did skip school after all. 

She’s in Kamesan Park, where Anti is eating the food he was giving like a starving animal. She offers him her umbrella and her lunch. His phone quickly goes off and it’s Akane telling him to “go wild.” He transforms into a Kaiju triggering Yuta’s sensor, then Samurai Calibur bursts through the class window. He takes Sho and Yuta with him as he jump back out. They meet Rikka and head to the shop to fight. 

Yuta transforms to Gridman, but his fear of harming a person becomes paralyzing as the Kaiju begins to speak. Akane marvels at her work as she reveals that Anti can copy “all his opponents powers.” Yuta and Calibur are defeated and don’t return through the computer. Akane is thrilled. The city is then restored. Several new characters arrive to help Gridman. Akane is of course unhappy that Gridman is still alive. She sends Anti after him. 

The three new characters are Assists weapons like Calibur. Max transforms into the Battle Tracto Max, combining with Gridman. The new form is called the Heracles Combine: Max Gridman and is able to fight to a stalemate. This episode does shift away from the format of the previous two set. Akane tries to change her Kaiju abilities so they are more effective.

She is mostly successful as Anti not only defeats Gridman, but isn’t destroyed after he loses to Gridman. Regardless, Akane is unsatisfied with his effort and throws food at him. Some other changes in the format, Yuta loses, the fight happens earlier. This episode also featured a longer battle. I was wondering if Yuta was always going to have to be convinced to fight the Kaiju if he wasn’t certain that they weren’t human, but to my surprise he simply asks Anti if he was. 

This series seems to be playing with parallel events that occur in the being of the episode and the end with different results. Sho jokingly suggest that Kaiju are human, given Yuta anxiety. Yuta then asks Anti for the answer. Yuta calls Rikka at the begin to find out were she is, she doesn’t answer. When Rikka wants to find Yuta, she calls him and he does answer. Of course Akane is kind to Anti and lovingly give him food in the beginning, then she throws food at him at the end of the episode. I think it’s a smart and simple way to show what the characters have learned. Finally, the “Neon Genesis Junior High Students,” I loved the Evangelion reference. 

Images from Guardian Enzo

Goblin Slayer Episode 2 and 3 Review

Goblin Slayer’s childhood friend

This episode slows down compared to the previously shocking episode, we get some more background on the Goblin Slayer. The episode opens with a young girl excited to go to the city. However, her childhood friend becomes upset at this thought. She awakens, and we see that she is grown. She opens the window and she sees the Goblin Slayer “scouting for tracks.”

The Goblin Slayer (GS) is obsessive in his behavior, always looking for evidence of a goblin attack. GS is looked down on by other adventurers for his “dirty armor,” as well as focusing on killing only “weak” monsters like the goblins. The Goblin Slayer along with the Priestess take another goblin quest. The Priestess asks why GS feels the need to kill goblins with so much cruelty. He reveals that he was a witness to “his older sister getting tortured, raped and killed by goblins.” After this he became bent on creating a genocide of goblins. 

If this series is able to manage some of it’s most shocking elements with more in depth world building, the impact of the shock would be amenable. I was predictable that the Goblin Slayer’s hatred of goblins was due to a personal tragedy. So far the goblins haven’t been showed to be a more complicated species, seemingly only caring about rape and murder. I could due without the fan service in the form of the female large breast.

In episode 3 we are introduced to new characters, an elf, a dwarf, and a lizard-man. They’re in search of a man named, “Orcbolg.” It turns out that “Orcbolg,” is actually the Goblin Slayer. They ask for a meeting with him and he agrees. While waiting for the Goblin Slayer to return, the Priestess is approached by a voluptuous sorceress. She warns the Priestess of the GS and believes that the Priestess could do more good for the World doing something else. 

During the meeting, the Goblin Slayer is informed that the “Demon King 
has been resurrected, and hordes of demons are preparing to attack civilization at any time.” GS is disinterested until he hears that they intent to take out a large goblin nest. The majority of the rest of the episode takes around a campfire.

The group explain their reasons for becoming adventurers, the GS shares his theory regarding where goblins come from. He believes that “they originate from the green moon that they see in the sky.” I wonder what the Goblins Slayer feels toward the Priestess, she’s still a novice and seems to care too much about other people. Will she “heal” his emotional scars? Or will she become more hardened like him? At this point we haven’t seen nearly the level of mature content as the first episode, which makes me wonder what the next one will entail. 

Conception – Episode 001

Mahiru and Itsuki

Conception is an anime based off of a video game of the same name. First it’s unclear to me whether Itsuki and Mahiru are “friends,” or “cousins” as there are differences between the game and anime. Regardless, the main premise of this series is how the lives of Mahiru and Itsuki change when she reveals that “she’s pregnant.” 

Itsuki strapped to the bed

They’re instantly pulled into another world called Granvania. The quickly run into the perverted flying Raccoon Mana and court scholar Narcisstes. They are told that they have been summoned to “save the world.” How will they accomplish this? Itsuki is tasked with having sex with and impregnate the ” twelve Star Maidens (including Mahiru).”

One of the 12 star maidens

In order to save the world they must produce children to fight, as they can’t fight themselves. It’s only after this can Itsuki and Mahiru return home. It turns out that Mahiru isn’t pregnant after all and was just sick from some impurity. I’m not going to lie, the premise of Conception is ridiculous. I’m not at all interested in this series and I’m mildly put off by it.

The pervert Mana

Don’t get me wrong I’ve been watching anime since I was 5, so I’m not shocked by Conception’s concept. It is a common trope in most anime that the main characters sexual objects are young women that often look like children. It’s always creepy. Mana enhances this creepy atmosphere when at one point he “sniffs” out Mahiru virginity. After Itsuki is strapped to bed the camera zooms in on his bulge. 

Mahiru and Itsuki preparing to have sex

Also there’s the incest element between Mahiru and Itsuki, the fact that neither one of them is giving a choice to have sex as it’s clearly stated that they can’t return home until they all conceive. Conception also has poor dialogue and average animation. 

Zombie Land Saga Episode 001 Review – Good Morning

Sakura Minamoto

Sakura Minamoto is killed when she is hit by a truck. Before her death she had dreams of becoming an “idol.” She wakes up in a mansion, in the Saga prefecture. She stumbles upon zombie girls and flees in terror. She runs into a police officer that shoots her when he realizes that she’s a zombie.  

Frightened Cop that shoots Sakura in the chest

The cop is knocked out with a shovel. Still in shock Sakura is told by Kotaro Tatsumi that she has been dead for a decade and that she will work with “your team to save Saga.” Kotaro tells her that he will “make her into a idol.” Sakura asks Kotaro the following day during class “how she became a zombie” in the first place. 

Kotaro reveals the “Zombie Land Saga Project,” or just the title of the project. He keeps information close to the vest. He introduces the other band-mates, Dorami’s Legendary Biker Boss, Saki Nikaido, Legendary Showa Idol, Junko Konno, Legendary Courtesan, Yugiri, Legendary child actress prodigy Lily Hoshikawa, Legendary Tae Yamada and Legendary Heisei Idol, Ai Mizuno. 

Saki Nikaido

Sakura comically notes that Tae Yamada’s doesn’t have an elaboration like “Biker Boss,” or “Courtesan,” to go with her “Legend.” Regardless, the other zombie’s haven’t been awoken yet. They behave like traditional mindless zombie’s. Kotaro brings them to an open stage policy and puts make up on them concealing their zombie status. 

Kotaro Tatsumi

Kotaro tells Sakura that she should “trust her instincts,” while performing. The girls begin to react to the music and put on a performance that’s weird as they scream and “head-banging” to the point of breaking their necks. The performance, however, ends terribly as the girls turn on the audience. They “awaken” the following morning as Sakura yells GOOD MORNING.

Sakura “singing”

First Impressions

The musical anime genre doesn’t really interest me much. However, the general premise of the series was intriguing. The animation of MAPPA is always a draw for me and they don’t disappoint. What struck me as strange was how sad I felt that Sakura was killed. She wasn’t a familiar character at the beginning of the episode, yet her energetic, hopeful dreams to become an idol made her seem so innocent. It was a quick characterization that was very effective. 

I of course wonder if we will see her family. Fast forwarding a decade seems to be an narrative attempt to avoid focusing on the direct aftermath of Sakura’s death. However, a decade isn’t really long enough for her family to all be dead, unlike the other girls that appear to have been dead for longer. Personally, I was annoyed that Kotaro kept Sakura in the dark, regarding her zombifaction. I not sure if we will learn the truth or if they will simply move past it. That said I’m at least interested in seeing episode 2.

One Piece Chapter 917 Review: Food Treasure

This chapter seemed to go by quickly. We see more of the corruption, starvation and cruelty inflicted upon the citizens of Bakura Town. Another, Hundred Beast Pirate member is introduced, Speed. Oda must be running out of names because that is a generic one. Anyway, she’s a “horse” SMILE devil fruit user. While bringing the good food in town she stumbles upon the fight between Luffy and Holdem.

Holdem threats to have his lion stomach, Kamijiro “bite Tama in half.” He assumes that they are apart of Shutenmaru’s bandit crew the Atamayama Thieves. He’s a master thief that has been stealing from Orochi’s farm. Kiku warns Luffy that if he angers Holdem, it could invite the wrath of Jack. One of the “Disasters” of the Beast Pirates. He has a Billion Beli bounty and ate the Zou Zou no Mi, allowing him to transform into a mammoth. 

It was believe that Jack was killed at sea, but he clearly survived. Of course Kiku’s warning means that Luffy is going to anger Jack. I’m hoping that he does encounter Jack that fight would be epic. Lady Speed arrives with the food, Luffy gets angry at the injustice regarding food distribution. He asks Zoro to “handle” the food situation. 

Meanwhile, Basil Hawkins is intercepted by Law in disguise. Hawkins one of the few people in Wano that knows his identity and Law plans to “finish him off.” Elsewhere, Luffy and Zoro, rescue Tama and steal the food good respectively. After Tama tells Luffy that Holdem used pliers to try to make her “dangos,” he gets pissed and uses his Red Hawk on Holdem. 

Luffy’s epic crushing hits never gets old. Of course Luffy had to punish Holdem for his terrible behavior. A lot of big players are involved in this arc already. Jack, Kiado, Law and Hawkins. I’m excited at the prospect of seeing the other two “Disasters” of the Beast Pirates. If Jack has that high of a beli bounty the others should be just as strong. 

Attack on Titan Episode 6 Review: Sin

In the underground chapel built by the Reiss family, Historia reveals to Eren that “everything is all right,” and that her father is “an ally of humanity.” An ally despite the issues he caused for the Scouts, the murder of Pastor Nick and Dimo Reeves. I like Historia but she is rather naive to believe that he father is an ally of anyone but himself. Considering her childhood I think that she really wants to believe that her father is sincere so that she can have a family. Regardless, Rod decides that he will explain it everything to Eren. Having himself and Historia place their hands on Eren triggers memories from Grisha Yeager (Eren’s father). These memories depict Grisha’s “sin.”

Historia recovers some of her memories after touching Eren and realizes that she wasn’t alone as a child, but a dark haired young woman helped her and taught her to read. Rod tells her that woman was his daughter Frieda and she was Historia’s half-sister. Grisha’s sin was the killing of Frieda Reiss. He reveals that Grisha killed Rod’s entire family after he ate her. Gaining the Power of the Titans from Frieda. Grisha has been a mysterious figure in Attack on Titan. It’s stunning how monstrous he turns out to be or was he. Was the Reiss family really for humanity or for their own power? I’m betting their own power. We also learn how Eren received his powers, he ate his father. Knowing Eren this truth is going to weigh on him for some time even if it was an accident. However, considering his fathers knowledge of titans, I get the suspicion that he wanted Eren to eat him.

Kenny the Ripper interrupts them, telling them of the coup. Kenny seems to be subservient towards Rod, whom he calls King. Rod orders him to prepare for the Scouts to arrive. Meanwhile, we see how Zachary plans to treat the nobles, torture them. Basically he strips one naked and feeds him from the “bottom up.” It’s all quiet grotesque but I have no sympathy for the noble anyway, so I don’t care. It also turns out that Erwin’s father was right, the Royal family has the ability to erase memories. Of course certain bloodlines are immune to it’s effects. The nobles are telling all these secrets because they expect that no one will remember anyway.

The scouts prepare to get Eren and Historia. Armin, Mikasa and the others contemplate what their plan should be. Kenny is considered by Levi to be their biggest obstacle. He states that it would be smart for them to consider Kenny the “enemy version of him,” but “deadlier.” We finally get more clarification on Levi and Mikasa relationship with Kenny. Mikasa reveals that her dad did tell her that the Ackermann family had been persecuted. Levi asks her about a moment when she felt a “hidden power,” she says that she had. Levi states that both himself and Kenny felt it as well. In a flashback from Kenny we see that the Ackermann family use to be the warriors that protected the King.

Kenny’s grandfather tells him that the King does hate them, but he can’t control them. The Ackermann family and the Oriental Clan are immune to the King memory erasing power. This all of course makes sense. Mikasa, Levi and Kenny are clearly among the best warriors in the series, the fact that they are also immune to the King’s power does add some comfort. I be interested in seeing if Kenny and Mikasa face off. The scouts arrive at the chapel and prepare for a fight, meanwhile, the Military police are already prepared to greet them. The series has scaled back on the action in favor of more world building, it appears that the next episode will see Attack on Titan return to that action. Which is great, I was starting to miss it.

Attack on Titan Episode 4 Review: Trust

The last episode of Attack on Titan was important to expanding the background of characters Erwin and Historia. It also was dark, draining any since of hope from the series. This episode injects some hope back into it. Marlo Freudenberg and Hitch Dreyse are searching for the scouts in the woods, Marlo questions why the scouts would kill a civilian and flee. Considering the fact that they always risk their lives for humanity against the Titans. If you don’t remember, Marlo and Hitch were featured earlier in the series, in episode 23, entitled Smile: Assault on Stohess, Part 1. In that episode Marlo claims to have joined the Military Police “to uphold justice and do what’s right.” He’s mocked for this goal by Hitch, but seems sincere when he tries to stop some of superiors while they illegally sell ODM gear.

Anyway, They see Armin taking water from the river. Taking the bait when he surrenders, they are quickly ambushed by Mikasa and Levi. Marlo represents the theme of this episode the governments “truth” is starting to unravel. Nile Dawk tells two journalists that “judging by the evidence,” the scouts did kill a civilian. The younger journalist seems to be more interested in getting all the details, but is cut off by the older one. Dawk shows a concern that the new ODM gear is “perfect for killing people,” in particular scouts. He concludes that the Military Police will likely find themselves staring down their guns eventually.

Flegel Reeves is being chased by the Military Police, he’s chased into a dead end alley, but is rescued by Hange. She tries to get him to stand up against the government, which he is unwilling to do. Hitch is still concerned about Annie going missing, Levi informs her that Annie was the Titan. He decries the fact that ” Nobody knows a damn thing about this world . . . Not us or anyone else.” This is true of course, but is also the goal of the government. The government deliberately miss informs and keeps secrets from the Military Police and civilians. They can’t stop something if you don’t know what going on right.

Marlo asks to join Levi, but he’s rebuffed. Jean asks to tie them up himself, he “attacks” them. I’ll admit that considering Attack on Titans dark theme’s and event that have transpired, I almost thought Jean was going to kill them. However, Jean has always represented the humor in this series (along with Hange). He mocks Marlo for his terrible ” Bowl cut” hair style. Marlo quickly understands that it was a test. Marlo and Hitch aid the scouts in finding the checkpoint, and are told to return to their squad. The scouts take the checkpoint, taking the leader. Levi tortures him but only learns the last name of Kenny, Ackermann. Which is also the last name of Mikasa. There’s no way that she’s not related to Kenny, the question I have is Levi related to her as well.

Finally, Flegel gets “caught” by the Military Police. He gets them to give him a death wish, tell him why his father was killed. It was obvious that he would get the Police to reveal what really happened, but I was surprised that so many civilians witnessed it, as well as the previously mentioned journalists. However, can Flegel be the boss if the Military Police and the government know he’s a witness? Won’t they kill him and all the civilians anyway? Maybe the civilians, journalists and the Reeves family can start a resistance within the walls. The episode ends with Erwin telling Dawk that “When, and if the time comes, he will only watch,” and that “it’s up to you (Dawk) to decide. You and them.” Erwin is clearly going to be heading for execution the question is will it happen?

The Salty Anime Challenge – Day 5: What would you change about your least favorite anime?

On day 1 I picked Duel Masters as my “Least Favorite Anime.” For day 5 we are asked to change something about our day 1 pick to make us like it. So:

  1. Better animation: I realize that part of the reason for the low budget is the goal of selling merchandise, I think you can have both a high quality anime and sell the card game.
  2. NO CG: The CG and 2D combination doesn’t work for me. The use of CG probably has more to do with the budget than anything else, but it doesn’t help.
  3. Animate the monster, piggybacking off of 1 and 2 if you animated the monsters more you would excited the audience and show off the cool monster designs.
  4. Better character designs.
  5. Shake up the anime card game troupes.
  6. Finally, get better voice acting.

One Piece Chapter 903: Is Luffy now the fifth emperor?

The 903rd chapter of One Piece, “The Fifth Emperor” focuses on the aftermath of the Strawhat’s battle with the Big Mom pirates. One Piece is one of if not the best action anime/manga out there and it’s often a pleasure to read those chapters. However, Oda does excel at telling a story that effective builds the One Piece universe, reminding the readers what’s at stake and how large the world actually is.

After a major arc many pirates receive different amounts in what’s called a bounty. For those who may not know, a “bounty is issued by a government official or by the Marines.” It’s amount is determined by the strength or the danger level the pirate presents.

Most pirates actually like bounties as it’s potentially high amount is a symbol of their strength to the world. The bounty is a tangible symbol of the stories progression. For example in the beginning of the series Luffy was excited to receive his first bounty, which after defeating several top pirates in East Blue was 30 million berry.

Watching his bounty and his crew-mates bounties increase represented their grow both in strength and experience. In this chapter Sanji’s bounty increases to 330 million berry, he’s joyful because it has surpassed Zoro’s 320 million berry bounty. However, he’s not so happy that his bounty seemed to increase due to his familial connections.

Another tool that Oda uses to expand the world and basically recap the recently ended arc is the newspapers. This chapter shows several major characters reading about the exploits of the Strawhat pirates, one of the first news items the paper reveals to the masses is that Luffy now “commands” a fleet of 5000 subordinates, called the “Straw Hat Grand Fleet.” This fleet is formed by seven organizations that have pledge to serve under Luffy.

The fleet’s membership includes, seven divisions, the Beautiful Pirates are First Division and are commanded by Cavendish. The Second Division is led by Bartolomeo and features his Barto Club, the Third Division features the pirate crew, the Happo Navy, the Fourth Division, the Ideo Pirates lead by Ideo, the Fifth Division is headed by the Tontatta Tribe, and their armed forces the Tonta Corps.

The New Giant Warrior Pirates are a five member pirate crew that make up the Sixth Division, lead by Hajrudin. Finally, the Yonta Maria Grand Fleet that features 56 ships, they’re the Seventh Division. We see that Dalton, Dr. Kureha, Crocodile, Cavendish, Bartolomeo, the Firetank Pirates, Blackbeard, Van Augur, Doc Q, Avalo Pizarro and Princess Vivi.

We get to see Koby and Helmeppo as they save the Riku family. I’ve been excited to see the progression of these two, the series obviously focuses on pirates not marines and only in conflict do we get a since of their strength. Helmeppo now possesses Kenbunshoku Haki, and Koby is strong enough to deflect torpedo’s underwater, he’s now a Captain.

The series now heads into the “Reverie Arc,” the 13th story arc of the series and will focus on the royalty gathering for Reverie. This chapter revealed so much and I would recommend reading it, some highlights included Sanji receiving a Raid Suit, Zeus abandoned Big Mom for Nami, Kaido is angered at Luffy for ruining his operations, Big Mom is angry that Morgan (the newspaper writer) suggested that Luffy had defeated her.

The World Economic Journal calls Luffy the fifth Emperor, placing him in the league with the Yonko, Shanks, Big Mom, Kaido and Blackbeard. Brook reveals that he made an error in reporting Luffy’s bounty earlier, and that it’s actual 1.5 Billion berry bounty, the largest known so far in the series.

My Hero Academia returns

My Hero Academia has returned for it’s much anticipated 3rd season. This episode, “Game Start” was largely playing catch-up, if your fan that has been watching the series from season 1 this episode was largely a waste of time. I still enjoyed it but almost nothing new was introduced and the story didn’t progress. At one point Eraser recalls all the powers of Class A1, this is played for laughs as a fellow teacher asks to be “reminded” of the students. However, this was probably necessary due to the large number of characters.

This episode does overdue the “in episode” recap, Kurogiri recount’s Deku’s actions, and Deku rematches old footage of All Might. We see flashbacks of the sports festival, practical exams, and student’s facing off against Stain. We find that the superheroes have been training during their summer vacation. If there was any progress it was with the characters and their friendships. Deku and Ira have a conversation about the fact that at the beginning of the series Ira didn’t think they would become friends.

More surprisingly, Kirishima and Bakugo “friendship” (Bakugo is always so difficult) was at least briefly focused on. When Kirishima arrives at the pool late he apologies because “it was difficult to get Bakugo to come along.” After they are kicked out of the pool he calms down or tries to calm down Bakugo. Kaminari and Mineta have also developed a friendship, seemingly built on their perversion. Regardless, their perverted plot was comically foiled. Overall, this episode was more of a primer for the unfamiliar, but at least My Hero Academia has returned.

 

FLCL returns to Adult Swim as a April fools prank

To celebrate April Fool’s Day, Adult Swim aired a surprise sneak peak of the upcoming FLCL Alternative. The third season of FLCL won’t officially air until September, but the second season, FLCL: Progressive will premiere on June 2nd. This episode could be watched and enjoyed without having seen the original Fooly Cooly. As a press release stated “hands the series over to a totally different team of young creators who will redefine the meaning of sequel.”

Alternative isn’t as unpredictable as the previous season, but still remains “odd.” The episode begins with Kana heading to school listening to her cracked smartphone. She imagines doodles all over the landscape, she meets her friends, Pets, Mossan, and Hijiri before class. You’ll notice quickly how likable they all are. It doesn’t take long for this episode to establish their friendship either. During lunch they discuss their futures, Hijiri hopes to become a “pro baseball player’s wife or an apparel company CEO’s second wife.” Kana hopes a ” talking cat would appear and give her a magic wand.”

While, Kana is working at a soba shop, she encounters Haruko, who asks for Ponshu, that’s “lukewarm, between body temp and ice water, perfectly balancing taste and aroma.” She quickly takes interest in Kana. For those that are unfamiliar, Haruko is a special investigator for the Space Police Brotherhood, in search of Atomsk, “the galaxy’s most powerful space pirate.”  Later, Kana and her friends work on bottle rockets. Meanwhile, Haruko spies on them from a far. The girls think that the rocket is too “plain.” The following day they work together to create a more colorful rocket.

 

As they celebrate their newly completed rocket something from outer space comes down crushing their rocket. The first robot enemy appears and attacks Kana, as it does so Haruko crashes through a window kicking Kana in the head. The robot then focuses on her, while Kana’s friend try to revive her with Dr. Pepper. When she comes to her head understandable hurt’s, and a flower blooms out of it. Like the first season, Haruko needs to pull a guitar out of the head of Kana, she pulls out a 1967 model Mustang. She quickly destroys the robot. This episode was more down to earth than the previous season, the animation isn’t as fluid but still high quality and the protagonist and her friends are very interesting. I would expect that when the season premiers the next five episodes will be more wilder.

Dragon Ball Super Episode 117 Review: Showdown of Love.

Goku targeted

Goku is developing a terrible pattern. He is constantly see-sawing in his energy levels as he goes from normal to Ultra Instinct and back again. His power in and of it’s self makes him a target. This has the undesirable effect of putting his Universe 7 on constant alert. While this episode centered on Goku original, it shifted focus to Android 17 & 18. Ribrianne and Rozie from Universe 2 have been surprisingly annoying and yet the episodes featuring them are the most humorous. This episode is no different.

Android 17 & 18 verses Ribrianne and Rozie

The androids rescue Goku from Universe 2, and face off against Ribrianne and Rozie. 18 annoys Ribrianne with her dodging, 18 tells her that “she didn’t come to fight, but she came to win.” Ribrianne looks at Krillin and tells 18 that she doesn’t believe that he’s all that attractive, because he doesn’t have a nose. I though this was funny, especially considering that Dragon Ball sometimes ignores the fact the Krillin doesn’t have a nose.

Ribrianne and Rozie are defeated

17 & 18 use their team work to pit Ribrianne and Rozie against each other accidentally. Ribrianne shoots “Max Love Cannon” at 18 while she’s in midair, 18 uses her ki to propel herself out of harms way leaving Rozie to be hit by it. 17 uses this opportunity to knock her out off the stage. After being hit by 18, Ribrianne reverts to her original form. However, she does manage to trap 18 in her “Big Armor’s” technique, then using the power of the “love” from her teammates she becomes “Giant Super Ribrianne.” Feeling the love of Krillin 18 powers past her, with the aid of 17 and defeats Ribrianne. Ending the most annoying and funny characters in this arc.

Inuyashiki Last Hero Episode 1 Review: Ichiro Inuyashiki

The bad-ass old man is a common trope in anime. In general the old man has massive experience in combat which makes them superior in battle. They often use their acquired knowledge to help the future generation learn. However, the title character of Inuyashiki, Inuyashiki Ichiro is anything but. He’s 58 but looks 80, something that is mentioned in the first episode. He’s just moved into a new house with his nagging wife and unappreciative kids, they hate their new home and aren’t too embarrassed to tell him. They leave to go have dinner without him while he unpacks the moving boxes himself.

Inuyashiki heads to work where he seems to be the oldest person at work and is irritated by the young commuters on the train. He finds a dog and brings it home. His wife and kids seem annoyed that he did. He promises to keep it in his room and names it Hanako. The next day he receives news that he has cancer and will die within three months. Inuyashiki calls his family to inform them of the terrible news and none of them answer his calls.

While walking Hanako, he and a young man are hit by what appears to be a alien space ship. They “restore” the young man and Inuyashiki using their weapons systems. Inuyashiki awakes still in the park, he returns home and notices that he’s thirsty all the time, his back no longer hurts and he can see without his glasses. Unsurprisingly, his cancer “mysteriously” disappears, baffling the doctors. Inuyashiki begins to feel weird and triggers some sort of reaction and begins to give off steam. Hanako licks his palm resulting in his arm transforming into a gun like weapon, but it shoots his dinner from the day before on the wall.

Apparently, none of the teenagers in the series are good people, as a group of them torture an old homeless man. They shot him with firecrackers setting him on fire as he begs for his life. Inuyashiki arrives and begins to walk towards the teens, they surround him and beat him with bats. While on the ground apparently unconsciousness, a camera in the back of his head activates and scans the park, targeting the teens. He shoots white beams at them knocking them to the ground, saving the homeless man. The same camera downloads all the social media information and their identities posting them on t.v. for everyone to see. Inuyashiki is tearful as he realizes that despite his transformation into a robot he remains “a person.”

Most anime/manga don’t focus on older protagonists and that’s a little refreshing. The series is both nihilistic and hopeful, but at different times. Inuyashiki is miserable all the time, no one in his life seems to like him or want him to be around. As a result he was the only character that was sympathetic, however, the dog Hanako and the homeless man become sympathetic at the end of the episode.

All three characters share a sense of helplessness as they are abandoned and find themselves to be lonely. Inuyashiki saves all of them. Hiroya Oku clearly has some commentary regarding young people’s obsession with phones and social media and how both can make them dehumanize humanity. The opposite message seems to be represented by Inuyashiki, who is ostracized by the self involve society and he literally stops being human. However, he manages to remain a emotional being unlike the teens, despite no longer being a human. Oku’s message might be too ham handed for some, and his story might be too deary, but I’m invested.

 

What is the mystery of the titans?

I am tempted to go on google and spoil the Attack on Titan series for myself, but I promised that I will stick to the anime only. Regardless, the third episode of Attack on Titan, titled “southwestward” begins were we left off in the previous episode. Connie mourns the destruction of his village, however, Gerger notices that the village lacks the general destruction associated with a titan attack. There’s no bodies, remains or blood left behind. The horses are still in the stables, meaning it is implausible that the villages left without them.

Before Connie leaves with the scouts, he hear what appears to be a strange and strained, “Welcome Home.” The trapped titan appears to have been speaking to him. I predicted that Connie might be related to this titan in my last review, I think that I might be correct. However, I does seem odd that Connie doesn’t seem to recognize her. That said we do know that titans can be created with injections, I think the reason there’s no bodies is because they were kidnapped and some were turned into titans. If the titan is Connie’s mother, she must be a failed experiment.

The scouts plan to follow the wall and locate the breach. Meanwhile, a group of scouts kill off another titan, with Captain Rico delivering the death blow. She notice the patterns of the titans are strange, elsewhere, Captain Hannes also releases the strange behavior. 11 hours later the team lead by Gerger, meets with another scout team. They confirm that neither group could locate the breach in the wall. Moonlight breaks through and a castle is revealed. The scouts take shelter in the castle, meanwhile, Hange reveals that the skin of the female titan is the same “pattern and composition,” as the wall.

A massive group of titans most likely under the control of the beast titan, attack the scouts at the castle. The beast titan as pointed out by Connie, heads for the wall. Hange, Levi tells Armin, Eren and Mikasa their mission. Gerger becomes enraged as the titans continue the assault on the castle. He and the other scouts with gear attack the titans, meanwhile the beast titan scales the wall. The rest of the scouts travel towards the castle, I wonder who will still be alive? This episode featured no action, but still manage to remain intense. A partially striking moment was when the scouts were using torches to illuminate the night.

The lack of visibility was frighting, I assumed that they would be attacked. That thought alone created the frighting moment. I was understandably relived when they meet with another scouting team. Armin and Hange together make a formidable team, their logic and reason are probably the best. Finally, I would say that, Ymir, stood out this episode, but not in a good way. She seems suspicious and the squinting eyes and close ups didn’t help. I don’t know what she’s up to but its not good.

 

Sasha and Conny return home

Attack on Titan, episode 2, “I’m home” reintroduces the main characters, but focuses primarily on one secondary character Sasha Blouse. She is known as “potato girl,”possessing an insatiable appetite and a pleasant manner of speech. Sasha returns to her village, Dauper, that is a sparely populated village in the forest, in the southern territory of Wall Rose. While returning to the village she remembers a argument she has with her father, Mr. Blouse. She sees a new village and is immediately confronted with a horrific sight.

Tramatized little girl

A more human sized titan is chewing on the leg of a handicapped woman as her daughter watches. Sasha attempts to use an axe to kill it, but the rate of the titans healing prevents her from succeeding. She loses he grip on the ax and out of desperation flees with the girl. The titan turns its attention toward Sasha and the girl, while the girl is stunned that Sasha would help her at all. Sasha has a flashback of her and Ymir, who tells her to be herself. She returns to the present and determines that she will fight off the titan and the girl should run.

Cold eyes of a titan

Sasha isn’t know for her titan slaying prowess, but puts up a valiant effort considering that she only had a bow and four arrows. She concludes that blinding the titan temporarily will be the key to freedom. She succeeds and is surprised to see her father and other villager returning to get her. Her father tells her that he’s proud of her. Meanwhile, Connie Springer also returns to his village, he frantically rushes through his village and toward his families home. The episode concludes with a odd titan, that has crushed the home of Connie. The titan is emaciated, with ribs protruding out of it’s body and small limbs.

Titan casually eats a helpless mother

This episode conclusion was the most interesting part. I can’t hope but wonder that the eyes of Connie and the titan are similar. It may be nothing but I though it was interesting. Regardless, the next episode may reveal what true. The beginning of the episode reintroduced us to our primary characters, Eren, Mikasa and Armin. They are tasked with traveling in a group that features Levi, Pastor Nick and Hanji. She suggests that the trip will test Pastor Nick resolve and expose him to the reality of the world. This wasn’t an action packed, but interesting as always.

Sasha faces down a titan