AniFriday Issue #18 (June 13th, 2014): there’s no “I” in team, and there’s no creepy monster in my mirrors anymore
Summer’s here! And that means that I have more time to watch anime and read more manga! Why? It’s not because I’m out of school, I’ve been done with that forever. It’s because my kids aren’t in school, so I don’t have to waste time picking them up and because I can get more sleep. I don’t have to wake up four hours after going to bed to take care of business! Couple that with the time I plan on spending at the beach and drinking more beer, and I’m thinking that I’m going to be in a much better mood over the next couple of months.
Here are the anime and manga I’ll be covering in this post, from top to bottom:
- Stardust Crusaders ep11
- Tokyo Ravens ep17
- Chaika the Coffin Princess ep3
- Naruto ch680
- Bleach ch584
- Team Medical Dragon ch103 & 104
- Umi no Misaki ch5
Funny how a seemingly invisible Stand like J. Geil’s Hanged Man could be so limited in the end. Hanged Man wasn’t an easy opponent to counter, I guess only a Stand as quick as Polnareff’s could do the job. Still, Kakyoin did a hell of a job saving his life when the moron couldn’t gather himself enough to not run straight into a trap.
I enjoyed how this fight didn’t take a long time, and wasn’t too complicated. More than enough time was used showing how frustrated and angry and stupid Polnareff could get with Hol Horse and J. Geil goading him. Those two bastards made for one extremely deadly team. And it was ironic how in the end, it was their failure to stay together, not Polnareff’s that doomed their team and not his. Though I’m not gonna mourn J. Geil’s death in the slightest. That guy was a piece of sh*t!
With Avdol and Polnareff’s sister avenged (along with the God knows how many other victims), it seems that it’s time to relax and move on, but even those that work for DIO aren’t in on what he’s really planning. Looks like the group has one more surprise before they leave India.
One of the things I didn’t understand was how come Joseph or Jotaro didn’t go ahead and kill Hol Horse when they had the chance. I guess they figured that he wasn’t much of a threat anymore, but he still did murder their friend. And the guy is still an assassin. Good grief. The Joestar family is just getting lazier and lazier.
The situation just can’t stop falling to sh*t in this show. With the fanatics out of the way, the sneakier, more meticulous shaman are popping up. Even one of the guards managed to approach Natsume, propositioning her to place some of her spirit energy in a staff. Reiji’s familiar Shaver takes him for a threat, kills him, and then all hell is unleashed as that guard dies.
I already thought Shaver was a psycho the moment I saw him, so I wasn’t terribly sure how much the miasma bursting from his corpse is responsible for him turning on those he was commissioned to protect. Regardless, there were several giant monsters attacking at the same time, and Shaver was only going more and more berserk. In the end, it was Harutora himself who took the monster down.
This is another episode of the show that I greatly enjoyed. There’s quite a bit of plot movement in this episode, which helps even things out since the last episode was mostly a battle royale. The biggest thing perhaps is that Harutora has made real progress into being a competent shaman. He’s no match for any of the Twelve Divine Generals, but we see his newfound drive and obsession pay off here, as he’s able to tap into his gift from Natsume, and his potential as one with Tsuchimikado blood. What blossom in Harutora is very akin to what happened to Neo in the Matrix, he’s able to see the structure of the world around him. Though instead of Neo’s ones and zeroes, he sees the spiritual elements that make up his world. There’s no doubt that he’s done his homework, especially when he’s able to actually reproduce the spell Jin Ohtomo used in his battle with Doman. And then he’s able to use his ability to see the structure of the world, and his shaman training on how to use elements in spells, to produce an attack powerful enough of defeating Shaver. It really is the kind of progress that made me fall in love with Naruto when I first started reading it.
It’s not all great news for the good guys though. During the skirmish with Shaver, Natsume’s gender was exposed to more than a few students. And it’s likely that the secret of her true gender is completely out. And that will have more than a few consequences, and I’m not just talking about harems and love triangles, either.
Even worse, old man Amami is appears to be no longer of this world. The Yakou conspiracy is real, alive, strong and it goes far deeper than anyone could have imagined.
Chaika the Coffin Princess
Hmm, the mystery of Chaika seems to be WHAT is Chaika, not just WHO. The whole time these three have been on the run, the really big questions haven’t been asked at all. But that Lord Gillette guy and his team seem to be addressing something important in their hunt for Chaika. There’s practically no information on Chaika despite her being the sole heir and standard bearer for her father and his now defunct empire. And when Toru presses Chaika on her time before they met, there are huge gaps in her memory. In short, she seems more and more likely to be a fake – or a construct. It’s a rough, rough reality if it is true. Though it would explain her very weird behavior, especially since she seems to be the only one like her in what appears to be a very large area.
Moving on to more immediate concerns, it seems the group has stumbled upon their next mission/target/victim in the woods. The hero they seek, and ruler of the area they now travel though is quite the mysterious recluse. No one in town seems to have seen her face, and her oversight over the area seems to have been quite lax lately. (LOW TAXES! What kinda medieval bullsh*t is that?!) But as is the case in many a fiction, the rumours that do circulate appear to be more and more true, as Toru is actually saved by the woman after sacrificing himself (it had to be sacrifice, because his plan really was sh*t) to keep magical beasts away from Chaika and Akira. But now that he’s met her, he has to figure out the truth from the fiction. Is this hero all that the rumours say she is? Because if that is true, then they’re in for a world of trouble because she’s rumoured to have a dragoon at her side as well.
Chaika is too bleeping adorable and abnormal in this show. It’s a strange and endearing sort of eccentricity and cuteness that I think draws in the audience, as well as Toru. It’s a little sad to face the possibility that she may not even be a person, though in the end I could care less if she’s actually the daughter of this so-called tyrant.
“All chakra belongs to me.”
So the final battle in this series is going to take place in the banned volcano stage from Street Fighter IV? I’m down with that!
It’s a common thing in shounen battle manga for the hero to try to take the fight away from places where innocent bystanders can be hurt.
It’s unheard of for a villain to do that though. On one hand, you can argue that she’s clearly sending them to the most deadly place she can
muster because she’s evil and wants the satisfaction of her evil done quickly. Efficiency is the key. On the other hand, you could say
that she wants them far away from the God Tree, and whatever weakness could be around there. In essence, you’re saying that she’s doing
this as an act of protection. The only problem with that line of thought is that as far as anyone knows, she’s damn near invicincible, she may not have any cause to think anything can hurt her. She certainly hasn’t shown us the fear or worry so far.
For what felt like a short chapter, I thought there was a lot to like. I really enjoyed much of Kishimoto’s art this time around, especially
some of the art of Sasuke and the volcanic helscape they’d been sent to. And though Kaguya hasn’t done too much yet, you can tell there’s
some burning passion (or hate) inside of her.
And then there was that very harsh and real moment where Sasuke was breaking it down to Naruto that neither can afford to die, no matter
the cost. And that meant possibly abandoning Kakashi and Sakura to their deaths if necessary. And those would be some very painful
deaths, cause lava looks like a terrible way to go.
Oh, and by the way, Naruto can fly. Don’t ask. It’s just some cool sh*t he got from the sage. This sh*t has been happening to Sasuke for
years. i don’t want to hear any complaining. He can fly, end of story.
“The person who takes his head… gets everything!”
These Quincy all seem to be really excited to fight Ichigo. I genuinely wonder how many of them know they’re doomed to die in the next few minutes. And I’m not really even talking about Ichigo, I mean Yhwach reclaiming their souls. What a sh*tty loan agreement they’re under. I don’t have a ton to say about this chapter, aside from the chaos that is building around Ichigo right now. Also, this shows that Soul Society has been really trashed at this point. There aren’t many warriors standing at this point, and I wonder how many shinigami are even still alive.
No matter, I’m sure once Yhwach shows up and Ichigo sees Ishida beside him, the real drama will start. No doubt, the home of the Gotei 13 is being reconfigured into a blank slate soon.
Note: again, most of these bad guys still really suck.
Team Medical Dragon
“A – a vacuum cleaner?!”
Ijuuin really does have a lot of Asada in him after all. I still remember Asada bringing a man back from death with a car battery. To Asada, nothing trumps his passion for his patients. And in this chapter, we see that shine through with Ijuuin. With that child choking to death before their eyes, he still took the highest regard to that kid’s health in to mind. They could have easily pounded out the Heimlech maneuver and saved themselves some time, but even I know that that can crack ribs and damage internal organs on kids. The vacuum cleaner is a bit gross and unorthodox, but it may mean that child only needs a check up once this is done instead of corrective measure or surgery at worse.
All eyes really are on Ijuuin right now, it seems his skill and progress have even trumped the elections for the moment. Gunji has been trying to figure out what exactly it is that Asada sees in him, and the answer very well may be what he did in this chapter. He just values patients, and cherishes his skill as a surgeon.
“The team’s falling apart.”
Despite Asada’s ability to look like he doesn’t care, feel concerned, or care to give any f*cks about most situations; I still wander how he feels about things honestly right now. His news about going to UCLA, Ijuuin’s defection to Team Kirishima and Professor Noguchi’s attempts to cut off any loopholes have taken a toll on Katou. She looks and sounds completely demotivated and hopeless. That burning passion and stubbornness can’t be sen at all. Despite their previous successes, she can’t even imagine doing another surgery with the batista team. I guess the only thing she can do is wait and see how things will turn out. Though I don’t know how much time she has before she just fades away.
On the other end of things, we see Ijuuin getting put through the ringer a bit in Noguchi’s office. Noguchi and Gunji are going over the situation, and things go amazingly well. Gunji was stern with Ijuuin not for using the vacuum cleaner, but for not listening to his senior doctor with a patient’s life on the line. In the end, no real measures were taken aside from a warning, and even afterword Gunji still had kind words. The amazing moment is that right after that we get to see Ijuuin’s true opinions come out. He tells Gunji how he’s uncomfortable with the batista team as it is now, and calls it fragile. But he has valid points, the team constructed now is a team of elites and oddballs. It is hardly the kind of group you can prototype. What Ijuuin doesn’t want is glory and attention for working on such a cutting edge team. He says that he wants a team that can set a standard by using ordinary doctors that can easily be replaced. Through this, he feels he can positively affect the lives of many more patients.
His cause is an admirable one, but I can’t but help feel it is flawed somehow. I can’t think of how right now, but it just doesn’t quite sit right. It’s as if it’s an incomplete statement. Perhaps it doesn’t sit right in my mind because I don’t see how ordinary doctors can make strides and push boundaries as he sees it. It seems like that group would be more of a reaction or adjustment to the findings and success of Asada’s type of batista team.
This is all going in quite the interesting direction. It seems as though Ijuuin really has switched sides wholeheartedly, and the animosity appears to be building towards his old mentor.
What could you be thinking Asada? What could be running through your head as the team you spirited together collapses?
Umi no Misaki
“There is still a lot I don’t know or understand about this island.”
This is getting just plain annoying. I hate poor communication, and this series is full of it. These girls are acting more ignorantly than the guy who is actually ignorant of everything on this island. Everybody wants to know how Nagi knows Shizuku, but they want offer a bit of information about why they’re pissed off that he speaks to her. I’m starting to wonder if Nagi has stumbled into a sort of Wicker Man type of scenario.
“Phallic symbol. Phallic symbol.”
Shizuku herself is just as cold and emotionless as she was last chapter, too. What the hell is going on here? It’s like this manga is cryptic for no good reason. It just acts like being that way is the thing to do.
- Issue #17
- Tiamat’s Manga Reviews Umi no Misaki Vols 1-3 – Thoughts & Impressions
- Asian Drama Queen – Team Medical Dragon
- Toxic Muffin – Weekly Shonen
- Lesley’s Musings – TOKYO RAVENS: EPISODE 17 – “_DARKNESS_EMERGE_ -RAZOR-”