AniFriday Issue #16 (May 30th, 2014): none of it makes sense to me, and that’s OK JoJo
Alright! We’re almost running at full power! Things are a bit shounen heavy, but it’s all good shounen. I mean, who can complain about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. I’ve learned a bit this week. I’ve learned I suck at video games. Or maybe I should say I’ve relearned that I suck at video games. In between getting furious at my stupid deaths in Don’t Starve, my inability to proper learn how to use an arcade stick in Super Street Fighter IVAE ver. 2012, I found time to read plenty of manga and watch a few anime. I’ve also learned that some of my coworkers are a-holes (not really a surprise there). And finally I’ve learned that I haven’t lost all my love and passion for anime. It still burns dimly but strongly.
Here are the anime & manga I’ll be covering this week:
- Stardust Crusaders ep9
- Chaika the Coffin Princess ep1
- Tokyo Ravens ep15
- Naruto ch678
- Teppuu ch4
- Hunter X Hunter ch341
- Bleach ch582
- Team Medical Dragon ch101
- Umi no Misaki ch3
Well, ain’t this just a big nasty bag of creepy. And then it just became a big wad of annoying. Not the episode, the new enemy Stand user. I already forgot the a-hole’s name, but his Stand Yellow Temperance was one nasty, durable piece of crap! But leave it up to Jotaro to get to the simplest way of handling the situation again. A Stand is truly only as powerful as its master. And since all masters are human, all Stands can be defeated. Yellow Temperance may have been an ultra durable, clingy piece of snot, but Jotaro merely had to beat down its master to win. The best part is that he was able to get some info out of the guy beforehand. The guy’s nickname should have been stool pigeon.
Overall, decent episode with a nice bit of mystery behind it as we along with Jotaro had to figure out how the hell to even deal with Yellow Temperance. I’m glad he thought things through and didn’t have to chop off any appendages to survive. It will be interesting to see if DIO has a reaction to one of his assassins spilling the beans on everything. I’m guessing not, but any scene with DIO is awesome. For now, I’m really excited to see an episode next week with two deadly Stand assassins.
Chaika the Coffin Princess
Wow! That was pretty damn fun! I mostly don’t care for fantasy shows, but I’ve had my exceptions. Came into this series just liking the character designs, left pretty much loving what little of the show I’ve seen! This kinda reminds me of Scrapped Princess, though with not quite as awesome character designs, but way better action. Plus I love the twist on a unicorn – holy sh*t! That’s a nasty beast!
Something I like almost as much as the action so far, is the ambivalence towards who is a bad guy and good guy. Chaika and her pair of brother & sister sellswords (I love using that word now), could easily be painted as the villains in this narrative. The people going around trying to find the treasures that Chaika is trying to find don’t look or seem any more threatening than anyone else. Honestly, they look like a cute bunch of mercenaries/emissaries – much like the Obstinate Arrows from Scrapped Princess.
I’m actually pretty excited for this show. It’s easily going to get five episodes of viewing out of me.
It’s been a very long break from Tokyo Ravens, but I figured this show deserved a proper finish. Worse shows have gotten the treatment of being properly completed (Rinne no Lagrange, Coppelion). And when the show was last watched, it was a pretty exciting finish, as we got to see a bit of what the truly masterful sorcerers/exorcists were capable of doing. What I’ll be looking for going forward is a change in tone and seriousness. We’re halfway through the show, so I’m going to start expecting some answers along the way.
From the beginning, we see the aftereffects of the previous battle: the students are reassigned temporarily to a new branch for schooling, repairs throughout the city are still ongoing, and there’s a bit of an uneasy air permeating the atmosphere. Take it for a positive or negative, Harutora is obsessed with the socerery he saw that day, and his efforts seems reinvigorated – though I cannot say the same for his talent. The part I mentioned about the uneasy air arises when after his failed mock battle with one of the professional exorcists, he’s chided for being unfocused and unskilled. Natsume takes up for her partner, cousin and love interest by scolding the exorcist (named Eto) and his professional cohorts for dropping the ball during Doman’s attack. She effectively scolds him and his kind for being nowhere around at all to defend them when that was their job.
Things move forward more effectively though, when we’re introduced to a new character who already has a strong air of importance around her. Named Souma Takiko, she takes the guise of an ordinary student like Natsume and Harutora, but I’m not buying it at all. When they meet her at the roof of their old school, where that important battle took place, she knew a lot of Tsuchimikado magic. And this even includes their secret rituals, not to mention she seemed to show an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the Shaman school, it’s principal and its roots dating back to Yakou’s era.
In the end, there are actually a few mysteries popping up, even as the students are actively looking for answers. The group runs across Suzu as she’s being escorted through town in a car with a very shady character, strangely she seems annoyed. Though it doesn’t seem her foul mood has anything to do with Harutora rejecting her request to borrow Kon for the evening. Then there’s Suzuka remembering that the book she read from a Saotome Ryou, is the same person who used to be a student with their old homeroom teacher, Ootomo. Things really start to twist around each other when they go to visit Ootomo in the hospital to see how he’s doing and to ask him about some stuff. There they run into Magic Bureau’s director, Amai. There’s a lot of talk (as there was throughout this entire episode), so I’ll cut to the chase on this part. The interlopers who’ve been causing the Shaman School trouble, and terrorizing the city at large with their crap is about to be routed out. This is the beginning of a new comeuppance, and another probably violent disturbance. Also, the student’s belief that they were looking for a Saotome Ryou is said to be incorrect, as (only in Japan) the name is actually read as Saotome SUZU! The name seems to strike a cord with Ootomo (or should I be calling him Jin, it’s been so long since I wrote about this show); and hearing the name Suzu gets Harutora wondering about his bland, yet Kon-obsessed friend. The episode concluding with purging of the Twin Horned Syndicate.
Alright! I’m feeling pretty hyped about this so far. Despite this episode taking on an almost Scooby-Doo-like air, I liked seeing the show directly attempt to address what I wanted to see. I wanted the show to work towards finding answers, and it really did! It’s not a bad way to take a break from the mayhem of the previous few episodes. Plus things don’t take too long to calm down before they rev back up again in a very natural way. No organization is going to be happy with what just happened to them, being outflanked, betrayed and embarrassed. This is a serious counterattack and attempt to deal with the issue at hand.
Bottom line though, I’m having fun watching this again. I didn’t even mean for this section to turn into it’s own full blown post, but I couldn’t help myself. Maybe a hiatus is just what I needed from this show to get me excited about it again.
What the f*ck is even happening now?! Why is this happening?! It’s like Kishimoto can’t stand the thought of naming a character and not having them make an appearance. I thought Kaguya was just a part of the lore, but I guess when they didn’t really address her ultimate demise I should’ve guessed she’d make some form of an appearance. Still, I’m annoyed. I’m annoyed on the level I was when Aizen started talking about how he was involved in every major event in Bleach for the past 200 plus years. Even Ichigo’s most base origin had to be tainted by his master plan. Now I’m reading Naruto and I have to accept that the manipulator of the manipulator was being manipulated by someone who was even more dead than him! Seriously! Not only was Obito supposed to have been dead, Madara was confirmed dead! And I know for sure Kaguya’s dead! It’s been f*cking eons (slight hyperbole)!
I thought Edo Tensei was the death of this series once Kabuto started using it so easily and frequently for so many powerful shinobi. I was for sure that it would be a power beyond the Dragonball & Dragonball Z’s dragonballs. But if Kaguya – the mother of the Sage of Six Paths is still getting involved, and it doesn’t involve Edo Tensei, then I’m just broken on the rules of this show, or even death. And all of this has practically blinded me to the problem of having the entire world short of a handful of actually still alive people being under the influence of the Infinite Tsukyomi. The only hint at the technique’s weakness is that it’s trigger cannot persist forever, so once the light is gone, you’re free to walk the earth without falling under its spell.
Oh and for whatever reason, Sasuke is still a huge, flaming asshole. And I would still rather see him dead than become Hokage or anything else with a title of respect. Matter of fact, his attitude and Madara’s make me wonder if Kaguya’s supposed influence carried on through the Uchiha line, and that’s the real reason their most powerful warriors tend to be insufferable, sociopathic, unreasonable assholes? Ugh… the more I think about it, the more I worry I may be on the button.
It’s interesting to see Natsuo turn the corner and start to open up to the possibility of devoting herself wholeheartedly to a goal. Though her actions from previous chapters are still following her. She decides to quit the volleyball team, which pisses everyone off. Then there’s the issue with her crashing a dojo and kicking everyone’s ass. That has incited the ire of her childhood friend, Sanae – who is one pissed off little woman! This may lead to something interesting next chapter when a pro female MMA fighter, who Natsuo was thinking of training under, appears to see her and Sanae fight it out.
While I understand that this is a monthly manga, I’m still at odds with whether I think the pacing of this show is adequate or too slow. A lot of pages have been used to get to this point in the story, though not much has really happened. We’ve gotten introduced to a lot of characters, and been shown their motivations and competency levels, too. And this series seems to be very interested in showing us the “bones” of the MMA discipline. But I’m starting to want things to move along and see Natsuo actually join a cause at this point. I thought the embarrassment she suffered when sparring with Yuzuko would be enough for us to see her move on, but it seems her business with Sanae has to be settled first.
Hunter X Hunter
It has been such a long time since I’ve read a Hunter X Hunter manga chapter that I was content to live with the story ending where it was, at the most unsatisfying point in between stories. I’m not even remembering the system revolving around nen at the moment or half the characters, but I’m sure things will come back to me.
Aside from those annoying trifles, I’m happy to see the story moving forward. There’s this whole unknown world, this hellish continent that the Hunter organization is now tasked with exploring. From the looks of it, it appears to be a place most people would rather seal up than explore. If I remember right, the Chimera ants came from that continent, and anyone who has read the manga or is watching the currently running anime can tell you that they left a scar on humanity. Now we get to peek into the world they came from, and from the stories that are being revealed to us, this is some genuinely scary stuff. It screams the words “ultimate challenge”, but the risk towards humanity also has to be taken into account.
The way things are being set up, it looks like Ging is being pushed to be the leader of this nearly suicidal expedition. I forgot what happened to Gon, but it’s a sure bet that he’ll be following his wayward father in time. Hell, where else could they go with the story?
Ichigo’s back! And that’s all that really matters to me. You could kill him as many times as you like, but he only comes back stronger and cooler. Minus the instability of his Hollow side, this is supposed to the complete Ichigo. Though it’s likely that right now he’s a bud yet to sprout. And now he’s being tested by these four Quincy lieutenants, what a way to start.
Of course, this is all still tempered by the knowledge that all of these battles make the king of Quincies just more and more powerful.
I want to press a gripe, but it’s one I’ve had before and that just doesn’t go away with these series. My complaint is about the large cast and there being absolutely no development of their personalities or backstories until they die. Here we have these four Quincy in combat, and I honestly could not give a sh*t about them. I just want Ichigo to hurry up and make an example out of them so we can move on to the main event.
Team Medical Dragon
Heh, that was an interesting twist of my expectations on the title. When I saw “Brainwashing” as the title, I was for sure it would be about Gunji brainwashing Ijuuin. What it actually refers to is Ijuuin’s belief that he may have been being brainwashed by Katou all this time. Wow. All this time with the team, yet things come to this. It really does look like Gunji has successfully turned Asada’s immense talent into an intimidating and polarizing beast. Even members of his own team are now fearing being swallowed by it.
It’s clear to see who has a plan in all this. Gunji clearly wants Asada’s prized intern for his info on the batista team and procedures. It also makes him look extremely good before the elections. Katou clearly has no plan, as she watches Asada allegedly start to drift towards UCLA and Ijuuin towards her rival’s side. And Asada seems to be taking it all in stride, probably confident in Ijuuin to progress on his own towards his own proper conclusion. Or there is also the possibility that he’s sure that Ijuuin won’t like it on the other side of things, now that he’s being given more responsibility. But mostly I’m leaning towards the first guess.
It will be a learned experience to see how Ijuuin handles being under Gunji’s supervision, it’s likewise just as interesting to see how Gunji handles his new protege. Will he viciously manipulate him towards his own ends, or will we actually see that he does care somewhat about his junior doctors?
Umi no Misaki
I’m still quite a bit confused as to where this whole story is even going. I can’t figure out why Nagi’s presence is important at the moment, either. He doesn’t seem to be a threat, because the adults only take note of his gender, but no one seems to be upset about it. And the girls Nagi’s met have for the most part acted normal. They’re quite sheltered it seems, but normal. It’s probably too early for me to have any complaints about the storytelling anyway. Hardly any ground has been covered.
If I do have some complaints, it’s the standard misunderstandings that are being set up. This mainly is occurring between Nagi and his new female neighbor, Karin. She looks like the typical tomboy character who has likely been picked on by boys her own age too much. Then there’s the other girl with glasses who seems super-shy and nice. The only word I can conjure up for all of this is “benign”. That’s not bad or completely true a description of the chapter though. As I did with the first two chapters, I’m given at least one beautiful scene of the island that really strikes home as to how beautiful a place this is supposed to be.
Now if only I could shake the terrifying suspicion that I’m walking into a harem series.