Home > Episode by Episode > AniFriday Issue #14 (May 16th, 2014): Star Platinum is the Popular Kid

AniFriday Issue #14 (May 16th, 2014): Star Platinum is the Popular Kid


It’s been a long time coming, but I’m pushing out new posts.  I’ve come to grips with the fact that I’ve lost a lot of time, and that both the Winter and Spring seasons are lost for me.  I can only focus on what I have the energy to focus on at this point.  And that means that a lot of material will just have to wait a while.  For now I’m going to move forward on stuff that I’m having fun with and have a regular watch cycle I can continue.  That means JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Knights of Sidonia and a lot of manga.  I hope you guys follow along as I try to get back in the groove.

Here are the anime and manga I’ll be covering this week:

  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 3 Stardust Crusaders eps 1-7
  • Naruto ch673
  • Hajime no Ippo ch1047-1050
  • Bleach ch574-577
  • Team Medical Dragon ch98 & 99

Stardust Crusaders

Episode 1

From the beginning, I’ve found JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure to be so strangely entertaining. It borders so much on being bad, that it’s cool.  And it’s just wonderful to watched this intensely over dramatic show flex and pose and strut.

I don’t usually comment on JoJo, just like I don’t usually comment on the Hajime no Ippo anime. But it’s been so long since I’ve enjoyed anime, that I just had to write a little something.

Episodes 2

This is my first time actually experiencing any of this Stand stuff, so there’s quite a bit to learn.  Though if there’s one thing that I never found to be much of a strength with this series, it’s the world building.  Don’t get me wrong, some of the mythos is pretty cool, and I definitely don’t have a problem with an emphasis being put on getting the characters to and through each battle as stylishly as possible.  Its just that when we see what appears to be everyday occurences in this show, they just seem kinda out of place or too bland to even exist amongst the characters that live within them.  In the second episode, a new character by the name of Kakyoin shows up to kill Jotaro.

His first attempt is really more of a warning and setup, they both go to the same school (though I find it hard to believe that two dudes with their builds are high schoolers) so Kakyoin just makes an attempt on him there.

I really do wonder what it is about this show that likes torturing cute girls.  This time it’s the nurse, and boy does it suck for those lazy (and also huge) students when Kakyoin’s Stand takes her over and she attacks them.  Some people might wonder why Jotaro just stands there when the first student is stabbed in the eye, but I probably wouldn’t be able to move from shock either.

The fight itself is pretty entertaining, we see that Kakyoin’s Stand has a few decent tricks up its sleeve, but it’s no powerhouse.  In the end, nurse lives and Jotaro’s stand literally wrings Kakyoin’s neck and beats his Stand, Hierophant Green (?) until Kakyoin explodes like a bloody sprinkler.  Don’t worry though, he definitely lived.  In the world of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, most humans who enter combat and strike sexy poses have Wolverine’s ability to take damage and heal.  The thing I most found amazing was that no one heard all the fighting until  there was an explosion, but a student had already screamed in horrible pain, and Jotaro had been knocked through a solid wall before that.  Not to mention all the other collateral damage.  Instead the side of the building has to come off for anyone to come and check.  This must be one deserted ass school.  Then again, worrying about the continuity and common sense and just plain logic in this series is to your detriment.  It won’t explain any thing or help you enjoy the world more.  It’s almost as if understanding those things makes it worse.

Anyway, Kakyoin is taking to the Joestar estate where Grandpa Joestar will have to explain that nasty evil leech on Kakyoin’s head.

Episode 3

This is a pretty big set-up episode, where learn a lot more about the overall situation.  For one, Jotaro’s mom, Joseph’s daughter Holly, has developed her own Stand.  Unfortunately, because she’s not a combatant (read: woman) she can’t handle her Stand and it threatens to kill her in time.  Then there’s the gross creepy mess involving the flesh bulb that was controlling Kakyoin.  It clearly points out that Dio is going to have more Stand users as slaves to stand in the way of those seeking him.  Thankfully, Jotaro is able to use his Stand to save Kakyoin.

I gotta say, for a new concept and him being a relatively unlearned wielder of the ability, Jotaro uses his Stand to amazing effect.  His Stand is not only incredibly strong and durable, but is capable of being precise enough to even perform surgeries.  The most amazing thing it did this episode was probably picking out a fly out of near total darkness in a pic of Dio.  Avdol is able to use that information to finally track down Dio’s whereabouts and give everyone enough information to start on their mission to kill Dio in earnest.  Kakyoin also decides to tag along I guess out of thanks and respect for Jotaro saving his life.

My thoughts on this episode have to do with Holly Kujo and the unique relationship she has with her father and son.  They’re both two very extreme relationships, in that they are both extremely loving and extremely different.  Joseph Joestar adores his daughter and pampers her to no end, despite the fact that she’s well into being a grown woman with her own child and life at this point.  The parent-child dynamic here is quite strong.  And I think it’s an adorable bond.  It’s shown so very well when we see Joseph doing everything he can to make his ailing daughter feel well in the wake of her Stand induced condition.  Holly’s relationship with Jotaro on the other end is quite standoffish, though no less loving.  Jotaro has a typical teenager’s demeanor, despite being built like a truck and looking well into his twenties.  He loves his mother deeply, but he does it show it in an outlandish way, nor does he do it very often.  It feels more like he’s silently sending positive vibes to his mom the whole time.  And it’s something we see that Holly enjoys very much.  Not to be lewd, but she really does look like a teenage girl with a crush at times, though it’s just strong, overflowing motherly love.

I’ll be looking forward to seeing what evil, twisted shenanigans Dio has up his sleeve in the next episode.  This next mysterious Stand user seems like a real freak with a nasty Stand ability.  I’m sure someone’s gonna die in a bloody and painful manner on that airplane.

Episode 4

Tower of Gray is f*cking sick!  What a horrible, gory Stand!  How twisted a personality do you have to have to create something so f*cked up as a murderous, tongue-ripping, head exploding beetle?!  I especially love how everyone thinks it’s one kind of beetle, but when they find out it’s another kind, they flip their sh*t!  Couple that with the all the yelling and ridiculous gore that came with this episode, and I was actually laughing hard and have a great time watching this battle.  It was a great combination of Hunter X Hunter type of situational battle and usual JoJo’s gore and insanity.

The key take away from all of this though, is that DIO super doesn’t want the heroes getting to f*cking Egypt anytime soon.  Plus DIO is a super a-hole and probably doesn’t even worry about them too much.  He likely just wants to make their lives harder while he subjugates humans, f*cks women and gets even more evil.  And it looks like the best of this is still to come, as we get a new Stand user who doesn’t look super French, but is still super French!  GEEZUS!  Motherf*cker cuts fire and uses it as decoration while challenging people to death matches in restaurants!  Oh Stardust Crusaders!  You’re so f*cking shounen it hurts!

Episode 5

Gotta say, Polnareff is honorable as f*ck!  Not once did he take advantage of an unfair situation or innocents to get to his precious victory.  And this all occurred under the influence of DIO.  You could clearly see how he obtained such an amazing Stand.  I couldn’t even fathom holding a grudge against this dude once Avdol defeated him.  Silver Chariot is a hell of a Stand, and this diversion was worth it to see Avdol’s abilities pushed and for the group to get another ally.  It makes no sense that Polnareff didn’t get severely, painfully burned after that loss, but I’m not gonna linger on bullsh*t minor stuff like physics, logic or the laws of nature in general.  I’m sure his thick layers of muscle, testosterone and fabulousness protected him from any of the real damage that would have befallen normal humans.

Speaking of nonsensical bullsh*t, what’s up with the dude with two right hands?  That’s some freaky crap.  He just runs into two high school girls in the rain and attempts to murder one and rape/murders the other and peaces the f*ck out.  That’s some class-A scumball crap right there.  The exact thing that would make DIO love him.

Episode 6

The bullsh*t never ends, does it?  Should’ve known that the boat trip would run into issues.  DIO never misses and opportunity to f*ck you over.  And now we get this d*ck head posing as the ship’s captain and trying to assassinate the group.

When I saw the kid, I immediately knew she was a girl, but I did also wonder if she was a Stand user and so far she very much isn’t.  I did feel sorry for her though when the group started distrusting her after Dark Blue Moon showed up to attack and her and Jotaro while she was being rescued.  All I could think about was how f*cked up and funny it would be to see those five very large and muscular men beating the sh*t out of her in a fight.

This episode actually reminded me of those episodes from the Gundam franchise where the heroes have to cross an ocean and have to face some specifically aquatic foes on their way to their next land locked destination.  And just like in those episodes, there’s always some arrogant  ocean ace trying to take them down.  The results are always predictable, and usually quite violent.  Ultimately, this ended will Jotaro’s own signature flair, and in such a predictable and violent manner.  You don’t get much cooler than him.  And despite how he looks like a brute, he’s really quite the thinker.  You’re never quite sure what he’s thinking, until he’s pissed.  And even then, you’re not terribly sure when he’s going to snap.  Now with that out of the way, the group just has to worry about this stupid giant ghost ship that towering over them like a jerk.

Episode 7

*slow clap*

Trying to figure out the trick behind this episode was very fun indeed, though like Jotaro, I didn’t figure it out until the very, very last moment.  Here I was thinking that the orangutan was the Stand user for sure, but his Stand had something to do with water, electricity, or magnetism.  And the trick just had nothing to do with any of that.  Like everyone else, I was just thinking too small.  They were all literally existing on the Stand itself, standing on and inside of it.  It’s funny how orangutan was just openly taunting everyone by pointing out how abnormal it was, without anyone being able to comprehend his trick.  The only thing I suppose I didn’t like was seeing that the ape wasn’t just a perv (that’s fine by me, I can appreciate anyone who can appreciate the female form), but it was that he was a pedobear going after that girl.  Oh come on Japan!  For once could you avoid the creepy vibes around the little girl vagina?  Every now and then I’d like to imagine I’m watching something from a country that isn’t super creepy.

We get another dose of DIO in this episode, and he asks a relevant question this time around.  He asks why the creepy ass old lady is even hanging around him.  She seems to have been incredibly useful to him so far, providing him with another powerful Stand user and the knowledge of and means of how to use his Stand (DIO with a Stand alone is a scary thought).  But he can’t seem to bring himself to just accept the fact that she just wants to bask in his radiance.  I suppose while he waits for the Joestars to arrive, he has plenty of time not just to f*ck, kill and generally orchestrate evil, but he can read and philosophize all the while as well.

It’s always interesting to hear DIO talk.  While he’s always going to be the kind of person to sink the fates of what used to be his fellow man, he makes some astute, clear headed observations a lot.  He’s not just lazily and arrogantly letting the Joestars and their allies do as they please.  And he’s not underestimating them at all.  At every chance and opportunity, he’s making efforts to end their lives.  And in his position, I can’t say I’d be as evil, but I’d definitely do what I could to crush the only real opposition that he has.  Plus, after being cooped up for about a century in a trunk at the bottom of the ocean, I can’t say I would take in the joys of life either.  I mean what else is their for him?  If he believes in the after life, then he must believe that there’s nothing but damnation awaiting him upon his expiration.  And with his even more powerful and immortal body, the present life is his to take in and enjoy as much as he wants.  Only the Joestars and sun light stand in his way.  You have to at least show a bit of respect for the amount of zeal and passion he puts into life.

 

Naruto

Chapter 673

 

Quick note:  am I the only one that thinks Gaara’s love for Naruto has gone a bit too far?  I understand that he’s had a bit of an obsessive past, and that he basically owes his life and happiness to Naruto, but he just comes off a little too grateful and in love for me right now.  Still one of my favorite characters in anime or manga though.

This chapter counts as the opening bell for the final battle between Naruto and Sasuke versus Madara.  Madara having fused with the evil tree now shows that hes likely gotten his final upgrade, and Naruto and Sasuke being blessed by the ever-present Sage of Six Paths likely means they’ve come as far it comes for them as well.  This is as close to equal footing as it gets.  And it’s my sincerest hope that the series can focus in on the more classic ninja action and trickery that I know and love.  I know this is going to be the mother of all shinobi battles, so we’re going to have our shares of Dragonball Z level explosions and calamaties, but some good old ninjutsu and genjutsu would be nice, too.

The converstation between Obito and Sakura is what really has my attention though.  Obito is on his last legs, and at the moment I can’t figure out why he says things the way he does to Sakura.  Nor can I figure out what last trick he has up his sleeve?  Perhaps it’s the location of the long forgotten Yamato (poor guy, my friend has to remind me every week that he exists)?  Perhaps it’s another way to undermine  Madara’s plans.

Hajime no Ippo

Chapter 1047 -1050

This will be short and to the point.

Everyone got played like a bunch of morons, and even I was off on my guess.  My guess is that Ippo would force Gonzalez to crack and fall into his old brutish and habits.  But I was dead wrong.  Gonzalez came no where close to losing his composure; instead he’s formulated a concise and stealthy plan that gained him optimum results.  It took 3 rounds,  but he may have exploited Ippo’s s style and habits to the point of breaking him in one round.  It’s something that could utterly crush Ippo’s spirits and hope if he can’t get himself together quickly.

Bleach

Chapter 574 – 577

It has finally happened!  I’ve never been a fan of how Kubo introduces antagonists to the narrative.  It’s done with little care, and a lot of attention to shock factor and mystery.  I admit, it’s a very important and effective tactic for this kind of manga.  However, after devouring far superior material from the likes of Hunter X Hunter and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, there’s much more to be said for the “less is more” and the “let it marinate” approaches to the situation of introducing an antagonist warrior in a shounen battles series.  For such an outstanding and memorable character like Zaraki, it would be nice if he had at least a memorable and built up opponent, much like he had with the previous Kenpachi (Soul God rest her soul).  In the end, Gremmy will likely be remembered mostly for this fight and what happened to him, and that’s it.  It’s just a matter of two guys meeting up once, and having a brief moment of euphoria before the loser quickly flames out.  If I’m wrong, then it’s great.  But if I’m write, it’s just another example of how I just don’t like how Kubo has painted the characters of Bleach – with quick, hurried strokes.

With that out of the way, I’m super hyped to see Zaraki let loose completely with his shikai!  I’m not exactly feeling the fight itself right now, as it feels more like an attempt to see how strong Zaraki is, and how much impossible sh*t he can cut.  There’s a very, very small and subtle amount of strategy in this fight, that seems to revolve more around what Gremmy’s mind is capable of handling than Zaraki’s skill.  He just seems to want to make the impossible impossible, or more specifically – he wants to chop impossible up!  Deeper thoughts on this battle, I’ll likely save until it’s completely over.  It’s Zaraki, I don’t want to think about this fight.  I just want to feel the awesome.

Team Medical Dragon

Chapter 98

It looks like Asada’s new found opportunity to go to UCLA is taking the predictable toll on the team.  It’s obviously a giant bait by Kunitachi to get rid of Asada.  But Gunji has also taken advantage of the situation to use Miki to drive a wedge in the team as well.  His comments about Asada not really caring about her, just his patients seems to have struck a real cord with her.  It’s a good thing Katou won’t stand for this weak kneed bull crap.  The only problem is that it looks like the UCLA is just too advantageous for Asada to pass up.  I doubt he’d just give up on the reforms they’ve worked on though.  There has to be some other angle here.

Chapter 99

Gunji’s picked a pretty dickish way of selecting his operating team for this bypass surgery.  Each position literally had to roll the die to be chosen.  And what a possibly toxic combination its given; the loser Kihara and Gunji’s half-sister Miki.  And all this happening with Asada’s decision to leave for UCLA still hanging in the air.

The moment I take with me is when Gunji meets Kunitachi’s son and drives home the realities of being a doctor with the death of a bird.  It’s interesting considering this is the closest interaction we’ve gotten between Gunji and Kunitachi since their introductions.  Their goals and ways of doing things seem to clash just as much as they do each with Asada and Katou.

Further Reading:

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