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. 

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Banana Fish Episode 4 Review

I’ve been slacking on my blogging about Banana Fish, which is a habit I’ve haven’t broken yet. Anyway, this episode, This Side of Paradise, Eiji is in danger at the hands of Arthur and his gang. They threaten to kill the doctor’s assistant if he doesn’t reveal what Ash said to him. He begrudgingly tells him, hoping to save the assistants life. He tells them that Ash told him to retrieve the Banana Fish drug from the doctor’s office. Arthur goes back one his word and still plans on killing the doctor and his assistant.

They are not killed as Shorter arrives and holds a gun to Arthur’s head. However, Griffin is not so fortunate, he’s shot and killed. In Prison, Max requests a change in bunk mates, leaving Ash vulnerable. However, Ash is able to hold his own. When Max learns of Griffins death he rushes to inform Ash. When he does hear the news he seems to go numb. When Max warns him not to escape he hits him in the stomach and threatens to kill him next time.

Max and Ash fight to exhaustion. Max remembers his time with Griffin during war. Ash finally breaks down as he remembers his brother raising him. The emotional moment at the of this episode was powerful. The reaction to Griffin’s death from all the characters felt very realistic. Everyone didn’t respond in the same way, I though it was well done. We learn more about Banana Fish and its effects. I really enjoyed the simple animation that accompanied the explanation that Dr. Meredith gave regarding Banana Fish effects on rats. Banana Fish continues to impress, as we get closer to finding out what mystery surrounding Banana Fish is.

Megalo Box Episode 3 Review: Gear is dead.

 

With only 3 months to qualify for the Megalonia tournament, will Joe make it? Nanbu sheepishly heads into the official Megalonia headquarters to register Joe. He succeeds in this registering Joe, who’s ranked 257th among the fighters. Fujimaki reminds Joe and Nanbu of the stakes if they fail to win (death). Joe’s gear begins to get a upgrade. Nanbu tells Joe that in 3 months Joe will need to win 5 matches.

Getting integrated Gear is expensive, so Nanbu and Joe head to a seedy part of town to buy some gear. We encounter some street kids who steal some camera for “red candy” narcotics. The owner says that the “kids gladly eat the candy, the shop owner commenting that they’re happy to be distracted from their miserable existence.” Still they’re stiffed, as the owner of the shop only gives them 3 candies instead of 4. The head boy Sachio, gets into a altercation with the owner and smashes a globe on his arm drawing blood. He pulls a knife on him but Joe steps in. He quickly deescalates the situation and he and Nanbu leave.

While training in a old boxing ring, Sachio insists that the upgraded gear will not work. He and Nanbu agree that his assessment is correct but they have no choice. Sachio asks to go with Nanbu and Joe, but he’s dismissed as being useless. To prove that he’s not however, he steals the prototype from the seedy owner and gets caught. Sachio is getting beaten up by Potemkin, Joe drives a motorcycle through the front window and Potemkin face. The new gear proves useless, but Joe plans on fighting him without it.

Megalo Box continues to be impressive. In this episode the world is expanded on and we’re introduced to more characters. We get a more detail look at the seedy slums of the Megalo Box universe. Nanbu’s character is expanded on, we get to see him with other promoters and sponsors. He comes across as more of a opportunists in the earlier episodes but turns out that he actually is a good mechanic and trainer. Hopefully, this series will expand on other characters in this series.

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.

The Salty Anime Challenge – Day 1: Least Favorite Anime

Duel Masters

The anime designed to sell merchandise is common, and most children fell for because . . . well we didn’t know any better. Still some offerings were superior than others. The most prominent of these series is of course the Yugioh series. Like this series, Duel Masters has several different spin-offs, given titles with letters like “XD” or numbers like “Zero.” Duel Masters has several series called Duel Masters: Revolution, Duel Masters Versus, Duel Masters Versus Revolution, and Duel Masters Versus Revolution Final. 

I point this out only to illustrate the issue I had with this series, it’s so clearly created for commerce that it’s painfully generic. Now to be fair most if not all anime is filled with troupes of some sort, but Duel Masters takes the cake. Furthermore, the animation is terrible, the character designs are uninspired and they use CG monsters, that’s if they bother to animate the monsters at all. This is understandable on one hand, if your goal is not to entertain but to get children to beg their parents for the latest card game it works.

I’ll admit that I also played Duel Masters, but it never quite caught on the way Magic or Yugioh did. If I can compare this series to the Yugioh series that preceded it, I will say that while they both served the same purpose, Yugioh was a by far more complete series that at least made you feel that they cared that you enjoyed it AND then wanted to buy the cards. With a proven template Duel Masters should have done better, and comparing the two series only made me dislike Duel Masters even more.

My Hero Academia: Season 3 Episode 2 Review

After the premiere episode of My Hero Academia, that featured mostly flashbacks, Wild Wild Pussycats is a spectacular episode. This episode moved the story forward seamlessly and blended comedy and action. The students of UA High begin their training camp, Shota informs the class that they will be tested. Neito taunts Class 1-A for apparently failing their finals exams. Itsuka knocks him out and drags him into the bus.

Class 1-A stops on a mountain top, they meet the pro-hero team: the Wild, Wild, Pussycats. Pixie-Bob and Mandalay reveal to the class that traveling through the “Beast Forrest,” is required to reach the lodge at their base. When Mandalay tells the students that they ” have to hurry and get there by noon if they are to receive lunch, ” they rush to get on the bus. Pixie-Bob uses her quirk to knock the student’s off the ledge.

She also uses her quirk to create monsters to attack the student’s. One tries to attack Mineta as he tries to pee, but Izuku saves him. Together with Shoto, Tenya and Katsuki, Izuku destroy the first monster. The entire class works together to defeat a host of earth monsters, they reach the lodge late. However, the Pussycats don’t seem to care and congratulate them anyway. Izuku introduces himself to a bratty boy named Kota. He’s the nephew of Mandalay and clear hate heroes. He punches Izuku in the scrotum as Tenya weirdly puts it.

After dinner, Class 1-A head to the hot springs were Mineta predictably pervs out and attempts to climb the wall to sneak a peek at the girls. Kota stops him as he gets to the top and knocks him off the wall. He falls ass first into Tenya’s face. As the girls cheer for Kota he sees them nude and falls off the wall, Izuku saves him. He asks Mandalay ” why Kota seems to disapprove of heroes despite being so young. ” She explains that ” Kota’s parents were pro-heroes who died in the line of duty. Kota dislikes heroes because he believes his parents left him, as they would not have perished had they not been heroes.”

The following morning Shota explains that their real training “begins now.” He has Katsuki throw a ball from the “quirk apprehension test” the distance that he throws the ball is the same as it was months ago. Shota states that ” while the student’s mental prowess and stamina have improved, their quirks have not.” Meanwhile, we see that the League of Villains are planning their next move. Dabi following Stain’s ideology says that ” the villains will send a warning shot that will tear down false heroes from their high horses and pave the way to a bright new future.”

This episode was much better than the first one, even though I completely understand why the recap episode was needed. Regardless, this season is off to a great start. The introduction of the Wild Wild Pussycat’s was great, they are particularly Pixie-Bob funny characters. This episode has many comedic moments, mentioning that the “beast forest” sounds like “something out of Dragon Quest.” I usually find Mineta to be annoying, but this episode I thought he was the center of much of this episodes humor. We don’t spend much time with Class B, and considering the size of the Class A-1 we have, it’s seems implausible to expect to get familiar with another class at all. Anyway, the heighten presence of villains have created a sense of urgency, I wonder when they will strike.

Image from IGN.

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.

Made in Abyss Episode 13 Review, The Challengers

Bondrewd dark plan

Nanachi remembers her childhood when she meets the white whistle Bondrewd and he offers the orphans an opportunity to explore the Abyss. He sends the orphans to the fifth layer of the Abyss, the Sea of Corpses as it’s referred to. While being transported down below, Nanachi meets Mitty and they become partners. Both were outcast due to Nanachi being a smelly and dirty child and Mitty being “an idiot,” or simply excitable.

Bondrewd experiments

It was always implied that Bondrewd was an evil character considering what Ozen had previously stated regarding the other explorers. It is revealed that Bondrewd wasn’t interested into becoming a surrogate father to the orphans and instead intended to use them as experiments. Specifically, he wanted to test the effects of the Curse of the Abyss. Bondrewd sends the orphans down an elevator to the sixth layer. At this point viewers already know what’s going to happen, however, it’s still terrible to watch the inevitable.

Mitty and Nanachi

The transformation was horrible to witness as Mitty was being painfully ripped apart begging for death. This of course explains why Nanachi requested Reg kill Mitty for her. Mitty existence is a miserable one, an nearly immortal mass of flesh capable of experiencing pain. Reg unsurprisingly is hesitant ending Mitty suffering. However, he’s convinced by Nanachi that Mitty’s life isn’t worth living. He finally gives in, killing Mitty with his incinerator while teary eyed.

Riko awakens

Riko awakens without movement in her left hand. Riko quickly bonds with Nanachi and teaches her how to cook delicious food. Despite the traumatic first half of, Made in Abyss, the second was more comical. Riko, Reg and Nanachi have all overcome so much trauma. The three manage to work well together playing of each other. The second part of this episode is a stark departure from early, representing what makes this series so enjoyable. Made in Abyss does take great effort in examining the effects of harsh environments and now terrible explorers but does counter with happier moments.

Riko and Reg invite Nanachi to join them, they send a message to the surface. Finally, we see that Bondrewd is able to track the victims of his experiment through their energy signature. He states that he is eager to meet Nanachi again. Overall, this season and series has impressed me. I haven’t seen a series that manages to blend the innocence of children with the horrors of the environments so well, everything from the tone of the series to the art style creates a contrasting world and a endearing series.

 

One Piece Chapter 880 Review: Chance of Escape: 0%

The Substitute Wedding Cake

Sanji, Pudding, and Chiffon arrive at Chocolat Town on Cacao Island and begin the preparation for the wedding cake. The top 31 chef’s of Whole Cake Island are present and Pudding extracts a roll of memory from head chef Buche, erasing the memories, ” of the wedding incident and led them to believe that the two of them got married smoothly; the reason that the cake was destroyed was because of bad weather.”

Meanwhile, Sanji sketched the new wedding cake, to the surprise of the head chef’s. They are impressed by Sanji’s ability to craft the “perfect” cake. I think that considering the likely inability of Strawhat’s defeating the Big Mom pirates, the new cake will be the peace maker. Big Mom is so irrational regarding cake that this substitute cake will not only stop her, but will probably love Sanji and by extension the Strawhats, letting them go.

The Strawhat’s are in deep trouble

In the Mirro-World, Katakuri is surprised that Perospero is still alive. Perospero then mocks Pedro’s sacrifice calling it “pointless.” Luffy is floored after being damaged by Katakuri, Brulee awakens as he tells her to send more troops to the Sunny to burn it down. Their sisters Mascarpone and Joscarpone have mirrors that lead to the Sunny, Luffy attempts to destroy those mirrors, but fails.

 

Katakuri continues to dominate Luffy with mochi leg, Luffy manages to dodge. He grabs some shards of a broken mirror calling out to Nami on the Sunny. He tells them to break the two mirrors that remain on the Sunny. However, Carrot points out to Nami that Big Mom has created a massive homie out of a wave. Seeing the wave Nami tells Luffy the they “might be done after all.” The Strawhat’s are in an impossible position, they’re outmatched and outsmarted. I don’t think that Luffy is capable of beating Katakuri. However, I’m certain that either, Jimbe will fight Big Mom buying them time or Brooke will use the Coup de Burst escaping immediate danger.