Vinland Saga Season 2, Episode 3: Does anything good come from living?

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 3, “Snake,” introduces use to the mercenaries and the leader “Snake.” The episode opens with Olmar complaining that nobody understands him. Olmar thinks that “everyone is laughing inside at him.” Olmar shows how privileged he is when he throws a tantrum claiming that he “wants to be killed,” since he’s a “nobody.” Olmar is clearly made insecure by the comforts his father’s wealth affords him. Fox decides that Olmar needs to become a man and the best way to do that is killing someone. Fox claims that killing someone will give him some confidence.

Thorfinn wakes up screaming. Clearly still haunted by his terrible childhood, he tell Einar that he doesn’t remember the dream. When they go to wash faces they encounter the woman from the first episode, Arnheld. Einar assumed that she was Ketil’s daughter but she’s a slave and Ketil’s personal assistant. Fox and Badger interrupt them and leads Thorfinn and Einar to Olmar. On the trip, Thorfinn explains to Einar that they’re “guests” who are the bodyguards of the farm. Einar immediately understands that they’re in danger.

Death has value because everyone fears it

At the mercenary camp, Einar learns that they intend for Olmar to kill him and Thorfinn. Fox sees them as only being property saying that “their lives aren’t theirs and their owner can do what he wants with them.” However, Olmar doesn’t own Thorfinn and Einar his father does. Fox accuses Olmar of “making excuses,” and questions if he’s “afraid.” Thorfinn seems not to care about any potential violence that may come his way. Einar for his part tackles Olmar while telling Thorfinn to flee. Thorfinn tells them to let Einar go and they can kill him.

His statement shocks some of the men. Fox asks him if he “understands what it means to be cut,” and Thorfinn responds “you will die.” Fox states that he and the other mercenaries are selling “death,” and “death has value because everyone fears it.” Thorfinn remains somber and stone faced. This seems to bother Fox who wants to see fear in Thorfinn. Fox begins to slice Thorfinn with his sword, creating shallow cuts. Fox cuts Thorfinn a number of times but gets no reaction. Snake watches from afar and is impressed by Thorfinn demeaner. Fox is about to cut Thorfinn’s eye out and Snake stops him.

Fox reaction to Snake instantly tells you how dangerous he is. Fox freezes when Snake makes his presence known. He even begins to coward, the confidence he expressed before disappears. Snake tells Fox to come closer to him and punches him in the face knocking him out. He then turns to Badger and asks him to explain the situation. My early impression of Snake is that he’s more honorable than you’re typical mercenary but I wonder how far that honor goes. Thorfinn’s demeanor has been horrifying so far. He sees no value in living and has nothing to live for. It’s sad to see, even though I know he’ll find something to make his life worth living.


My Hero Academia Season 6 Episode 16

My Hero Academia Season 6, Episode 16, The Hellish Todoroki Family Part 2 gives us some background on Hawks. Keigo Takami (Hawks) father was a villain who committed a murder for frivolous reasons. Hawks mother, Tomie Takami hid his father from the police. The pressure of being on the run caused her to suffer mentally. Tomie had a unknown Quirk that allowed her to create extra eyeballs that float around her body. She used her Quirk to help her husband commit more crimes. Hawks father was an alcoholic and was abusive towards him viewing him. He considered Hawks to be a problem, claiming that he wanted to “be a free man and not waste time around some punk child.”

Hawks later finds out that Endeavor arrested his father for trying to steal a car. This moment triggers something in Hawks that inspires him to become a hero. What I found interesting about Hawks childhood was the abuse. Specifically, I wonder how he feels about Endeavor’s abuse of his children. As a child he would have no idea but now he does. It’s likely that he no longer admires Endeavor the way he did as a child, but I’m still curious. Regardless, things get better for Hawks and his mother after his father’s arrest. Eventually, Hawks gets the attention of the Hero Public Safety Commission when he saves a group from a car wreck, they offer him and his mother safe haven.

In the present, Hawks is still injured, unable to communicate due to his injured vocal cords. Hawks learns later in the episode that his mother was the source of the leak. His mother flees after being interrogated by what I assumed was Dabi. It was probably an unpleasant experience. Hawks doesn’t seem sad at hearing of his mothers departure. I fact he’s relived. Hawks terrible childhood has made him sort of cold and I’m not surprised. Hawks acknowledges that even if the story of Endeavor and his abuse is true he believes that he’s changed. Endeavor keeping his abuse secret (which is understandable) means that when he had his change of heart that also was secret.


My Hero Academia Season 6 Episode 15

Note: My Hero Academia episode 14 was mostly recap so I skipped it.

Tartarus is the Special Prison for Villains, separated from civilians, the prison is located on an island and features the highest security. The prisoners are separated based on the danger of the Quirks and their crimes. Much like the prison from One Piece, Tartarus keeps the worst criminals deeper within the prison under sea level. All For One’s original body is located inside. Having gained control over Tomura’s body, All For One commands his Nomu to liberate his real body. Two brothers Briareos and Gyges are guarding the Bronze Gate, the Mainland Gate, they’re the first casualties from the break out.

All For One breaks into Tartarus

We get a brief glimpse of the views of some of the guards. One questions the humanity of Gigantomachia and calls the rest “scum.” Apparently, the prison has been accused of violating human rights. Kohei Horikoshi may be commenting on the inhumane treatment common in prisons. Outside, the prison drops the bridges into the sea, and the Nomu destroy the robots defending the prison. While flying over the ocean, Tomura and All For One come into conflict. Tomura tells All For One he “won’t become his pawn.” Tomura lands and uses his Decay Quirk, then he uses his Search Quirk to locate his original body.

A EMP attack cuts off the cameras. The riot control team appears to suppress the villains break out. Goto Imasuji using his Pump Up or Muscular, bursts through the wall. Other villains Hero Killer: Stain, Moonfish, and Kai Chisaki. All For One uses his High End Nomu’s to break out villains from several other prisons like Shian, Bagu, and Kuin. The number of prisoners that have escaped overwhelms the authorities preventing them from tracking the villains. The tides have turned in favor of villains. Dabi’s reveal has undermined the number one hero, Endeavor and the public is mad. It will be interesting to see how that changes once the villains start attacking.


Vinland Saga Season 2, Episode 1: Carve it into your enemies

It’s been a few years since Vinland Saga‘s first season ended. I forgot how dark this series was. The first episode of Vinland Saga Season 2, opens in a more jovial manner. Einar, his mother, and sister are enjoying lunch. They mock Einar for his lack of fighting ability. He feels a need to protect the village that was once burned to the ground and cost his father his life.

Einar is no super hero he can’t turn his rage into a powerups to save anyone. He simply must watch in horror as his mother then sister are killed. He’s enslaved. The only thing keeping him going is his mothers dying wish for him to “live.” Slavery is brutal. On the journey to be sold a women falls ill and is tossed off the boat and drowns. To the slavers she’s just merchandise, she’s not worth anything dead, and if she get’s the others sick she’ll cost them money.

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 1 - Einar  losing hope

“Because you’re outsiders and penniless slaves.”

– enslaver

On land, the slaves are poked, groped, and inspected. They must bathe, have their teeth checked, and are lined next to one another. Einar escapes but he has many problems. He has no money and lacks food, so he must steal. He has no idea where he is and worst no place to return to. This his how to strip the slaves of their identity, dignity, and eventually hope. All they come to know is that they’re slaves and they must accept this limitation or died.

Einar finds a good master

Surprisingly, Leif Ericson appears and is looking for Thorfinn who has been enslaved. Einar responds to Leif searching for Thorfinn, calling Thorfinn lucky for having someone searching for them. Einar is eventually purchased by Ketil and brought to a farm in Jutland, Denmark to “work.” His farm is massive, full of golden wheat fields, and quickly reminds him of his old home. As they head towards a forest the master calls out to Thorfinn, who has grown up since we last saw him.

Vinland Saga is a series that tries to weave together humor with the dreary world the characters find themselves in, all while having bouts of action, and exciting characters. What I love about this series is it’s seamless ability to use mythology, history, and fantasy. It can be a difficult balancing act but this series does it well. Ketil is a slaver owner so he can only be so good, but he seems to be more pleasant than other slavers. Of course, we’ve barely seen much from him so he could be a monster. Vinland Saga Season 2 has started slowly but strongly.

What did you think of the first episode? Too depressing? What do you think happened to Thorfinn between this season and the last one? Opinions on Einar so far? Let me know.

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2022 Year in Review

Happy New Years. It time to look back at 2022 and forward into 2023.

202120222023 (Goals)All Time
Total Posts172102100+1,107

I’m happy to say that this blogs views and visitors continue to grow every year but I don’t think that’s sustainable. This year I decided to use Google AdSense, it was expensive but did increase my blogs reach. However, the decline in comments and likes is disappointing. I’m not sure what I can do to change that but it might help to comment on others blogs. I have become lazy and largely stopped doing that.

While I’ll continue doing reviews I think that limits my blog. So I will plan on trying new types of content: more lists, explainers, opinions, more long form content, particularly regarding manga. I have stated that I prefer anime to manga so I usually focus on the former more. In order to include more manga I will exclusively review them in volumes.

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So how was your 2022? Any blogging tips? Is there a type of anime blogging content you might want to see? Let me know.

Happy New Years. Hopefully 2023 will be better than 2022.


Chainsaw Man Season 1 Episode 12

Chainsaw Man Season 1 was a marvelous introduction to a new anime series, that at first glance seem to be just another demon slaying Shonen series. Even if Chainsaw Man wasn’t original in anyway I think it still would be a series worth watching. Every series is differentiated by it’s characters, and Denji is different from the typical Shonen heroes. Sure he loves fighting and food, but he’s less sexually innocent than say Luffy or Goku. He’s still immature about it but it’s a quality I noticed. Makima is the most interesting. She doesn’t show much emotion and there’s nothing behind her smiles. Makima gives off a sadistic energy. She clearly manipulative and probably evil but I like and trust her.

The animation is phenomenal and always a joy to watch. MAPPA continues to prove that it’s the standard for the industry. I love the gory violence this series offers. Unfortunately, Chainsaw Man Season 1 Episode 12 was disappointing. It felt rushed and too short. Obviously they couldn’t introduce new information during the last episode of season but it felt like that limitation handicapped them. Still there were interesting events that happened. While the Ghost Devil strangles Aki, he recalls his time with Himeno. The the Ghost Devil frees him and hands him a cigarette with the words “easy revenger,” on it. How and why the Ghost Devil is never explained and how the Snake Devil was able to capture it in the first place wasn’t either.

The hunt for the Gun Devil begins

Does Himeno exists inside? Did she become a part of the Ghost Devil after her sacrifice? I hope not because Aki decapitates it after. He then stops Kobeni from killing Akane (it won’t save her though). Elsewhere, Denji and Power encounter zombies on one of the floors. Power rushes off the elevator and slaughters the undead. Another aspect of this series I loved was the friendship between Power and Denji. Their dynamic is so weird and funny. I love them together. While Power fights, Denji finally comes face to face with Katana Man. Denji is outclassed by Katana Man, being knocked across roofs and overwhelmed by the Katana Man’s speed attack.

Denji’s only advantage is predicting Katana Man’s next attack (aiming at Denji’s head) and using a surprising attack the ability to use a chainsaw in his legs. It was a unexpected outcome and feels like an appropriate power up. Despite being cut in half, Katana Man survives and is put back together. As the credit roll, Makima is seen giving a debrief. Akane is revealed to be the organizer of the terrorists attack. Makima states that she made a contract with the Gun Devil, where she would receive guns in exchange for getting Denji’s heart. Shockingly, Akane is decapitated (this series loves decapitation) by the Snake Devil leaving the Public Safety without the ability to interrogate her. They did gain one thing more of the Gun Devils flesh. Now they can begin to hunt it.


Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Episode 12 and 13

Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Episode 12 and 13, “Everything but the rain: June Truth,” and “The Blade is Me,” explore what makes Ichigo Kurosaki identity. In episode 12, Isshin Shiba returns to Soul Society. He leaves out some details of his experience in the Human World but informs the Gotei 13 of the new hollow. Masaki and Isshin think of each other and hope to meet again. Masaki has developed a new problem she beginning the process of Hollowfication. The first time she experiences anything strange she’s walking with friends and feels like she’s “crawling in darkness.” As she’s distracted, Masaki bumps into Urahara Kisuke, who quickly notices somethings wrong with her.

At home, Masaki is accosted by her aunt, Izumi, who demands to know why she saved a Shinigami. Turns out Kanae Katagiri was the one that told Izumi in the first place. She’s afraid for the purity of the Quincy bloodline being infected after Masaki was bitten by the Hollow. Downstairs Masaki collapses as the process of Hollowfication begins. A Hollow hole appears in the middle of her chest, Ryuken is horrified. He begs Izumi for the location of his father Soken Ishida, but she doesn’t know. However, as far as Izumi’s concerned Masaki is a lost cause and she doesn’t think Ryuken should waste more time on her.

Urahara’s aid and Isshin’s sacrifice

Ryuken encounters a hollow and is rescued by Isshin. Ryuken and Isshin begin to argue with Ryuken blaming Isshin for Masaki’s condition. Suddenly, Urahara appears and tells them they have “no time to argue.” He has developed a cure of sorts. Masaki cannot be returned to normal but saved form death. He explains what Hollowfication is:

“the process of a Hollow’s Soul being poured into another Soul and destroying the boundary between the two in an attempt to sublimate the latter Soul to a higher level, with it initially being meant to strength a Shinigami’s Soul but ultimately causing all subjects to become mindless monsters.”

Urahara can “counteract” Hollowfication by “injecting the victim’s Soul with a certain substance, allowing it to maintain its balance so that its boundaries are not destroyed and preventing Soul Suicide.” If Isshin is willing to become a human Shinigami hybrid, he can become the counteracting force that will save Masaki. Isshin will never be a Shinigami again (at least at the time). He doesn’t hesitate in agreeing to Urahara’s plan shocking Ryuken who assumed a Shinigami would never save a Quincy. Masaki and Isshin forever connected fall in love, get married, and have children. In the present, Isshin tells Ichigo he the reason his mother died was due to Auswahlen.

The identity of Zangetsu

When Yhwach regains his powers he robs other “impure” Quincy of their power. Basically, Yhwach is the reason both Ichigo’s and Uryu’s mothers died. Isshin reveals that Yhwach is the “father of the Quincy,” and his blood runs through the veins of every Quincy. Ichigo regains what was lost, his resolve and prepares to return to Soul Society.

Episode 13 of Bleach is mostly set up for the upcoming war. Sui-Fang, Sajin Komamura, Mayuri Kurotsuchi, Toshiro Hitsugaya, and Hisagi Shuhei begin to train. Ichigo returns to the Soul King Palace, where he quickly chooses his Asauchi. Oetsu Nimaiya gets to work. Inside the inner world, it is revealed that Ichigo’s Zanpakuto spirit is his inner hollow. The man we knew as Ichigo’s Zanpakuto’s spirit is actually Ichigo’s Quincy Powers taking the form of Yhwach. To be honest its all too confusing but Ichigo gets two cool Zanpakuto.


My Hero Academia Season 6 Episode 12 and 13

My Hero Academia Season 6 Episode 12 and 13, “Threads of Hope,” and “Final Performance,” Mr. Compress makes a shocking sacrifice to give Tomura a chance to flee. Best Jeanist is struggling to maintain control of all the villains. He uses his Ultimate Move: Blackout Bind, chocking the members of the League knocking them unconscious. Mr. Compress tells Spinner that he’s going to “buy them some time.” Using his own compression Quirk, Mr. Compress gouges out flesh from his own butt. It works and frees his arm enough to escape and compress Tomura and Spinner.

Deku desperately tries to stop Tomura in My Hero Academia Season 6 Episode 12
Deku desperately tries to stop Tomura in My Hero Academia Season 6 Episode 12

Mr. Compress sacrifices himself

As Best Jeanist tries to recapture Mr. Compress, the villains continues to use his Quirk against his own body and eventually removes his own clothing. This prevents Best Jeanist from binding the fibers of his clothing. He recalls a famous criminal from the past, Oji Harima, a peerless thief. Harima was Mr. Compress’s great-great-grandfather. Oji’s main goal was to steal from heroes the profited from the hero system, a robin hood type character. Mr. Compress was told that their family “is all about exposing injustice.” Elsewhere, Dabi gives up on fighting Shoto as Endeavor passed out. Mr. Compress uses his Quirk to compress Dabi. Claiming that he’s now passed on Oji’s will to Tomura,

Mr. Compress removes his mask. Announcing that he’s going to perform, “first and final escape artist performance of Mr. Compress,” he releases Tomura and Spinner, with the later waking up Tomura. Awaken, it turns out All For One, has taken over Tomura’s body. The remaining heroes try fruitlessly to stop Tomura, but are too badly injured to stop All For One. As the villain escapes we see the carnage he left behind. Heroes unconscious and some suggested dead, the destruction from Tomura’s decay and Gigantomachia’s rampage. The heroes have managed to save many but failed to stop Tomura and All For One.


Chainsaw Man Season 1 Episode 11

Chainsaw Man Season 1 Episode 11 introduces us to some interesting Devils and Fiends. Aki meets the Future Devil, a fun devil that dances while repeating “the future rules.” Aki isn’t so jovial. He’s a stick in the mud that only wanted to “form a contract.” While disappointed, the Future Devil moves on after pointing out Aki’s bad attitude. He Future Devil tells Aki to “stick his head in his gut,” so he can tell his future and determine what he will ask Aki for. After Aki sticks his head inside the Future Devil, the devil agrees to grant Aki his power. He will live inside Aki’s right eye. Why has he agreed? Apparently, the Future Devil saw his death and it’s “epic.”

Kishibe continues to train Power and Denji. The two have made progress and will only have to train once a week instead everyday. A small victories for Power and Denji. He reminds him that they need to “keep their heads cool and not forget what weapons they have.” The next training will be against the Snake Devil and the Katana Man. Later, Kishibe meets with Makima. He reveals that he’s starting to become attached to Power and Denji and his drinking is a coping mechanism for the death of many of his students. He goes on to accuses Makima of knowing the attack was going to occur and permitting it.

Of course, Makima denies this and claims that she “wants to save as many people as possible from the devils.” Kishibe seems cold claiming that he “he don’t care about her plans or how many of his dogs die as long as she is serving mankind’s interests.” This conflicts with his drinking and affection for Denji and Power. I believe he’s lying about not caring about his students but serious about allowing Makima to operate as long as she sides with humanity. This threat also suggest that Makima isn’t human at all. The only reasonable answer is Makima is a devil. However, she has contracts with devils, so maybe she’s something else.

The Special Division and police surround Katana Man and his allies. Kishibe reveals to Division 2 the weakness of the Special Division. It’s a clever way to introduce new characters: Beam, the Shark Fiend, who has the ability to “swim” through the surface of any substance and transform his head into a shark, then there’s Galgali, the Violence Fiend, wearing a gas mask that dispenses poison, Galgali is strong, then we have my favorite Princi, the Spider Devil, she’s the creepiest one and I like that for some reason, the last devil is, Angel Devil, a strange combination. Angel Devil has the ability to drain ones life force by touch. Personally, I think the Angel Devil seems out of place in this series. I can’t figure out why.

Aki tells Power and Denji to leave the zombies to the new fiends and they should split up and find the Snake Devil and Katana Man. Aki eventually encounters Akane who summons the Snake Devil then has it spit out the Ghost Devil it decapitated in its fight against Himeno. Armed with the Future Devil’s ability to “peek,” into the future, Aki is able to avoid a direct hit from the Ghost Devil. Unfortunately, his ability to see the future is limited. He’s eventually overwhelmed by the Ghost Devil and is about to be choke to death before the episode ends. Is this the epic death the Future Devil predicted? I doubt it. But the Snake Devil’s ability to “eat” other devils is interesting.


Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Episode 11

Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Episode 11 reveals the circumstances that lead to Ichigo’s parents meeting. Ichigo’s mother has been an absent figure in Bleach since its beginning. His mother Masaki Kurosaki was a Echt Quincy, who died protecting him from a Grand Fisher. Tite Kubo seems to have modeled the Quincy after Nazi’s, based on their uniforms, the use of the German language for their techniques, and the culture they have. I’m specifically referring to the obsession with “pure blood.” In Bleach, the Quincy call the pure blood “Echt,” meaning “real,” and the “mixed” Quincy are called “Gemischt.”

We get a shallow showing of this culture but it appears that the Gemischt are relegated to a service role, acting as maids and attendings. Meanwhile, the Echt occupy a more privilege positions and engage in arranged marriages. Masaki Kurosaki was engaged to Ryuken Ishida the father of Uryu Ishida. Ichigo’s father Isshin Kurosaki tells him the truth his mother was a Quincy. In a flashback we get to see a younger Isshin and his time as the Captain of the Tenth Division. Rangiku Matsumoto was his Lieutenant and the adorable Toshiro Hitsugaya is his third seat.

Isshin’s battle with White

Hitsugaya informs Isshin that a incident in Naruki City where Shinigami where disappearing. Isshin rushes off to investigate. Meanwhile, Aizen, Gin, and Tosen conspire in secret. They have been experimenting on members of the Gotei 13. They are also searching for Shinji Hirako and the other Vizards. They release the Hollow named White. Ironically it’s mostly black, but has white hair. White slaughters two Shinigami and attack Isshin.

Isshin notes that while White is a Hollow it fights like a Shinigami. He releases his Shikai, Engetsu. However, Aizen attacks Isshin by slashing him across the back. Isshin instantly realizes that it must be a Zanpakuto but Aizen is cloaked and cannot be detected. Isshin is how too injured to use Bankai and becomes overwhelmed by White. Suddenly, Masaki appears and uses her Heilig Pfell. Unfortunately, White is too fast and she deactivates her Heilig Bogen, leaving herself open for White to bite her. When it does she takes the opportunity to shoot it point blank in the head.

White corpse prepares to explode, Isshin steps in to take the brunt of the explosion. He saves Masaki. Ryuken and Katagiri watch for a distance, but conclude they won’t be needed anymore.