AniFriday Issue #20: July 4th, 2014 (I get everything I want, except for a vacation)
It’s a holiday, so I don’t really have too much to say. Hopefully while you’re reading this, I’m eating blue crabs and chilling with my family. If I’m not doing that, then I’m at work, or fretting over what I’m going to start watching for this upcoming Summer anime season. I always found it interesting how the anime seasons start not when you expect the actual seasons to start, but at a point where you can’t deny what season it is. I you’re watching an anime in July, it’s clearly a summer anime. If you start watching a new show in October, you can’t deny it’s fall and that usually the weather will be appropriately matching. It’s not like some other activities where you go, “GEEZUS! It’s really too hot for football!” Or “how is hockey even a playable sport right now?” It’s not like a sale either, where you see the phrase summer sale and wonder what the f*ck they mean when it’s just barely May. Nope! So while anime does specifically signal any particular season, at least in its own strange round about way, it’s a clear sign of the seasons when new ones start appearing.
OH! I’ve taken too long! Enough talk! It’s time to eat! I’ll talk more Summer anime next week, when I’ll actually have some relevant material to speak on.
Here are the anime and manga I’ll be covering this week, in order:
- Hajime no Ippo ch1053 & 1054
- Stardust Crusaders ep13
- Tokyo Ravens ep19
- Chaika the Coffin Princess ep5
- Naruto ch682
- Bleach ch586
- Hunter X Hunter ch345
Hajime no Ippo
“Why do I keep remembering Woli…?”
You know, for such a legendary coach, Coach Kamogawa can be pretty useless at times. This whole match I’ve been begging him to give Ippo some sort of strategy, some sort of plan. And Ippo’s just gotten WORKED! I want him to tell Ippo to pull back and recover from some of the damage, watch him a bit more. Or he could tell Ippo to just turtle up and push on through, hoping that would make Gonzalez plant his feet and fall into a slugfest. Instead he just stares like some slack-jawed monkey while this beating continues.
Right now Ippo looks like he has the arms of a T-Rex, with the thick dome to match. He can’t outbox him, and he sure as hell can’t outthink him. So this match should be over right? Hell no! How did Ippo beat other outboxers? All Kamogawa can come up with is that one fluke win Ippo escaped with against that annoying prodigy Woli. How does that equate? Woli had the maneuverability to match, but he was far more raw and naive. They never really “solved” that problem of having Ippo swat at an annoying bee with a sledgehammer.
So come on Coach! What you got?! Ippo needs something, or this will be his worst defeat by far!
“I’m trying everything I can think of… but nothing is working?
“Can I do it now? Because… I can’t hold back much longer.”
Holy sh*t! It’s rare that you get such a telegraphed build up to an explosion like this one! I’ve been screaming for anything (that’s right, I yell at my manga) to be done about Ippo’s degrading situation – and in the span of one break between rounds, the whole situation has changed! Gonzalez has been given permission to cut loose, drop the outboxer act, and finish Ippo with impunity! And Ippo has in his own way informed Coach Kamogawa that he’s using his most powerful weapon – the MOTHER F*CKING DEMPSEY ROLL! All I could hear after that, was basically any introduction to a fighting game match I could imagine!
“DO OR DIE!”
“HEAVEN OR HELL”
And of course, “IPPON!”
Coach Kamogawa still hasn’t given Ippo any real advice or a plan. He’s just done the best he could in prepping Ippo’s body. But this new tactic means that Kamogawa better figure out something in this chaos. Because knowing how well rounded Gonzalez is – he’s got counters. And if Ippo goes in there without a strategy, a well placed counter will shatter the Dempsey Roll like glass! Sure, you have to be one of the bravest people on Earth to step into Ippo’s ultimate heavy fist, but a guy nicknamed the “Death God” probably has that kind of courage. So come on Kamogawa! You got maybe one round to get some inspiration before Ippo crushed to dust! No joke! One round!
I’m starting to think the mangaka for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a really big horror movie fan. All these creepy powers and their serial killers just give me the impression that he’d like to write his own horror movies or supernatural thrillers. Wheel of Fortune is a pretty intimidating, durable and versatile stand. And I can’t say the user, though he may be a giant sh*tbag, was incompetent. He came in with a plan, the element of surprise and the terrain on his side. He just couldn’t handle Jotaro. And who am I kidding? No one can handle Jotaro. Joseph may be favorite Joestar, but Jotaro is the coolest motherf*cker on the planet! I was pretty hyped when he pulled a Kakashi and pulled the old bait and switch to come out of the groun when everyone thought he’d burned to death.
Oh wait! This came long before Naruto didn’t it? Oh man! Maybe this little trick inspired Kishimoto?
Well, it’s been a long tough road through India, but it looks like they’re finally done with this hellish part of the journey. I gotta say, I’m still amazed at how much of a smug, foolish a-hole Polnareff is. I mean, he is constantly thinking with his butt as he goes through the day. And I’m amazed that little girl is still hanging with them. It’s portrayed as though she has a giant crush on Jotaro, but her survival up to this point should be borderline impossible for her. She’s gotta be a Stand user! If she’s not, then I’ll admit she’s the luckiest little girl on the planet!
Now then, it looks like all the assigned assassins are dead. That leaves this crazy creepy, evil old woman, Enya to finish the job. And we haven’t see or heard from the great DIO in awhile. I wonder what he’s up to?
Hello world of problems! I guess it could only be expected that things would get bitter and complicated at this point. It seems like this show can’t go a few episodes without some crisis popping up. I thought it was pretty silly that people were getting upset over Natsume pretending to be a dude, but it looks like there are some people who do actually have legit reasons for being upset. It seems these Yakou devotees are depending on a certain gender, badly. And poor Takiko Souma, she so desperately wanted to be Natsume’s friend, this can’t end well for a woman who is so fragile.
Things started off well enough, the only problem was Kyouko being all hurt about being tricked into flirting with a girl, a girl who all this time never gave her the time of day. It was Takiko that came in so happy and excited to meet Natsume. But the news of Tsuchimikado house fire did tint everything with a slightly sour note. Still Takiko pressed on, and even displayed impressive honesty, considering that she was on the side of the people that were after her. Though Harutora, Touji and Natsume were all a little apprehensive, a mock battle between Natsume and Takiko was still agreed upon. Of course, a battle between two very powerful shaman wouldn’t end normally, as Takiko and Natsume both got really in to it – turning the mock battle into a real one. And for some strange reason, Takiko’s spells had a very strong adverse effect on Harutora, causing him pain and even binding him. I never did figure out what that all was about. It was a good thing Jin showed back up to put a stop to things before the building’s structure started to become at risk.
With a slightly embarrassed and “blue balled” Takiko bowing out at the behest of a her very bishie familiar – it was now Jin’s turn to get a shock. As he was getting to finding out how this all occurred, he learned about the Natsume’s former secret – even mentioning that there was even a spell involved (perhaps something to hide her scent among other things), though I may be taking his comments too literally. He also hears of the mess it caused, especially with Kyouko. He strongly urges Natsume to apologize to Kyouko with all her heart, assuring her it will work out once that’s done.
Though I’ve had my problems with the giant fuss made by most of the characters over her gender and the deceit around it, this scene between Natsume and Kyouko was pretty good. There should be a rule in life where if both of the people arguing are crying, then they should hug, toss aside their differences and forgive. In the end, it wasn’t just the deceit that hurt Kyouko’s feelings, it was a combination of things, including Natsume’s willful avoidance and ignorance of her feelings. Kyouko was upset that she never gave her the time of day to even explain the situation or acknowledge her, while Natsume merely wanted to save people’s feelings and keep her friends. The girl-talk worked out quite well this time.
While one relationship was repaired, another one was about to be ripped apart. Genji Kurahashi’s fighting power just continues to rise as we see a new character enter the fray. The man named Shidou Dairenji in his office is actually a reincarnation (or ressurection of sorts) of a dead man who used to be a powerful shaman and one of the Twelve Divine Generals some years ago. Now he’s an ogre in Kurahashi’s office, and one of Takiko’s familiars. Upon Takiko’s return, he talks to her about the situation she just left and the duel with Natsume. Natsume’s ecstatic to learn that they have attained the Raven Coat from the Tsuchimikado household, and is sure now that they have it, that Natsume and her will be good friends. All that is turned around in an instant though, when she talks to Kyouko after her talk with Natsume and Kyouko tells her that Natsume isn’t a guy. Somehow that is an utter shock to everyone, and gives the feeling of a very bad omen of things to come.
I suppose that I should stop b*tching about the chaos that has occurred due to Natsume’s secret being exposed since it’s an integral part of the plot now. And I can guess a bit where the story is turning now. If Yahou Tsuchimikado has to be a dude when he’s reincarnated, then the next option is the normally very unlikely Harutora Tsuchimikado. It’s unlikely to most since most did not see or understand his powers once they were unlocked. But it won’t be unlikely to those who saw his breakout performance a few episodes ago. It is he who will undoubtedly be the target. But now what happens to Natsume? And why did their family put them up to this? There’s a deep level of conspiracy and deceit going on right now, and I don’t think we’re capable of understanding it until some more background information is revealed.
Chaika the Coffin Princess
Seems as though I was right in guessing that she wasn’t a person, but some sort of construct. In this episode, we see that Chaika has a doppelganger. and we also learn that there are a few more out there at least. And since what they’re trying to do is gather the remains of the greatest wizard the world has ever known, then I’m happy to place my bet on them being constructs of his magic. Though it is a bit weird he would choose rather defenseless, ignorant cute little girls to do this work. Also, it’s a bit strange that they aren’t working in any sort of coordinated fashion. It’s almost like this is some sort of competition. Also, it seems this other Chaika, Chaika Bodhan or Red Chaika, has a very different personality and motives. While it appears that White Chaika, the Chaika we’ve come to know, just wants to retrieve the remains and no more; Red Chaika wants the remains and the blood of all those involved in the great wizard king’s demise. It adds a bit of depth to the riddle.
The episode itself was pretty fun, there a was decent amount of combat, the new characters were quite a nice surprise, and I can tolerate Gillette and his crew for now. Those guys may turn out to be allies in the future, but for now they’re only good at nudging the plot forward, adding cute faces to the cast, and some rather bland banter and comedy. I had much more fun watching the different Chaikas adjust to their captors, and seeing Toru and Akari “torture” Red Chaika. I have to say, giving someone a demeaning nickname because they won’t tell you their real one seems like a pretty effective tactic. Then again, the Chaikas don’t seem to be the brightest nor shrewdest of personalities. I may not want to take that as a life lesson.
Now we just have to get to the next episode and see how the exchange of Chaikas is going to work out. Things should work out fine, so long as there’s no funny business between the two parties, but then there’s also a pair of Gillette’s crew stalking them as well. And they may have brought magical beasts along for back up. This could get ugly after all.
Wait! I just forgot about something! Frederica! Aside from the beginning of the episode, she’s been absent. I think I have an idea of how this next episode is gonna play out now.
“SEXY REVERSE HAREM NO JUTSU!”
Clear proof that the pervy way is the best way! I mean sure, the
technique didn’t TOTALLY work, but it’s better than most of the other
stuff that’s been tried on her up to this point.
Not much to report here. This is step 1 in their attempts to seal a
god. But I am glad to see that Naruto isn’t slacking and is still
perfecting all of his jutsu. Kaguya could learn a few things from
this opening salvo. She may know all the jutsu in the world, but it
doesn’t mean she can predict these two. It’s not as if she’s just
being passive herself, either. This annoying ability of her’s to
shift dimensions or change worlds isn’t a small problem. I wonder how
Naruto and Sasuka are going to handle this situation now that’s she’s
forcefully separated them?
“Ishida.” “Ishida…” “ISHIDA!!!”
F*ck this! Orihime’s back?! F*ck this?! I was getting all hyped and then one of my least favorite characters ever shows back up! Sure some may argue that I watch and read Naruto just as much, and that Sakura is an even worse character. Well, you’re only partially right in my opinion. Sakura is bad, but at least she’s had her moments. Her good moments. I can’t think of a single instance where I thought Orihime was “cool” or even tolerable. I hate her, I hate her voice, I hate her strange fairy-like abilities, I hate her personality – I hate! Ugh!
What the f*ck even happened this chapter?! I just kinda blacked out in a rage for a moment.
Oh yeah, the Quincy lieutenants taking on the the remaining shinigami captains. That’s cool. And Ishida… *sigh* Sorry, I’m done this week. I really am.
F*ck that character!
Hunter X Hunter
“I want to go with you.”
So Gon has gone back to being “normal”, whatever that means in this world. Though his thoughts on Ging are very enlightening. The relationship between Ging and Gon is pointed out and shown to be one that is unique and very professional. Gon is attracted to Ging’s aura, and the challenge that being around him brings. Ging excites him because he’s an exciting, interesting person, and that some like him can make his life more fulfilling. Don’t get it twisted. Don’t think for a moment that there’s any sort of father-son relationship. It appears neither one of them have the personality for it. Both of them seem to be wild, yet well trained animals. It makes me wonder how possible it may be for them to hunt together.
Note: I call bullsh*t on this crap about the government needing to know more about Gon’s activities and education. This just feels like some forced shounen funny business. I’m not mad, I’m just saying that my suspension of disbelief hit a bump here when he comes home and has homework. F*ck that! Do we gotta deal with Chi Chi popping up from behind a hut to remind Gon how hard he has to work to become a scholar?
Going over towards the more tedious part of the story, we still have the situations where Ging is “negotiating” with Pariston’s group, and Cheadle and the world government is still hammering things out with Beyond. I’m highly tempted to call Beyond insane, but given that he’s Neterero’s son and pretty much a Hunter himself, I dare say he can’t be much more insane than any of the other professionals overseeing him. The government attempts to put a tight noose around Beyond’s neck, and one around the Hunter organization, too. It gives me the distinct feeling that they don’t really understand what they’re getting into, nor how unstable all of this is. As insane as the Chimera Ant arc and threat were, it’s merely a precursor to what awaits them on the dark continent (it should actually be called the rest of the world). What awaits is pure chaos and death, it may as well be an alien planet. What the world government politicians are relying on are the consequences once something bad goes down. Their contract will do them no good after that. Beyond will have already unleashed the end of the world, or become the richest most powerful man in it. There’s no even or safe outcome for this situation.
I’m a tad more interested in the high level Hunter banter occurring between this group that Ging is negotiating with around Pariston. Ging is piercingly perceptive, and has started to step on Pariston’s toes a bit. Pariston apparently went through great length to set this all up, but Ging’s prodding is pulling the group away from whatever his intentions originally were. I’m starting to wonder if Pariston and Ging are being set up for an eventual confrontation?
Oh! And one last little thing… The more I learn about the prince – the less I care. It’s the new creepy guy playboy that I want to know more about. Kurapika may be barking up the wrong tree. Perhaps this guy is the one he really needs to talk to. I’m starting to wonder if we’ll see some “spiders” around soon.