All posts filed under: Impressions

Frightening Resolve – My Hero Academia Episode 38 – Season’s Writings

Two sides. To every argument, to every coin, to every argument about coins. The problem is, that idiom fails to factor in that there are plenty of actions that involve far more than two…except the tango. And as the number of participants increases, so too does the number of opinions, the amount of voices calling out into the night…some other third thing. Realism aside, this has a tendency to tilt fiction towards the confusing, unless every character is in a particularly talkative mood. Just going to throw this out there, Tomura Shigaraki is one creepy dude. Disembodied hand suit aside, he is so focused on wanton destruction that he has never taken the time to wonder why he does what he does, or where what he does is leading to. Until now, of course. With two new recruits ready to call the League of Villains home, ol’ Shigaraki is given somewhat of a wake-up call and comes to the conclusion that he must come to a conclusion. This grants us the lovely opportunity to see …

Compromising Ideals – My Hero Academia Episode 37 – Season’s Writings

They say you should never meet your heroes. Something about expectations and the improbability of meeting them. Still, I doubt the people who spout such rhetoric ever took into account actual heroes. Like, superheroes. Although, if you ever did meet a superhero, chances are you are either in life threatening peril or are a bad guy…so the whole never meeting thing may still apply. You know what, ignore me. I no longer remember the point I was trying to make and am 90% sure I just confused myself…All Might is pretty cool though, right? Since time began turning in the world of My Hero Academia, Bakugo and Midoriya have been on shaky ground. And by shaky ground, I mean a minefield where every mine is actually ten mines and also the mines hate you. Despite multiple attempts from Midoriya to repair their shattered relationship, Bakugo is a perpetual source of ire and rage, culminating in the duo being paired off in this exam. One of those sink or swim manoeuvres. To nobody’s surprise, the former …

Grip of the Grape – My Hero Academia Episode 36 – Season’s Writings

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: Exams would be so much more interesting if they just gave students superpowers. Who needs logical thinking and problem solving skills when you can just fly under your own power? Or bend water to your whim? Well…it turns out those things are actually vitally important to surviving in the big wide world, so everybody. But I do not rescind my comment about the powers…as long as I can get in on that evolutionary action. Also, My Hero is still going strong…so that’s neat and far more relevant. With Yaoyorozu coming into her own last episode, there is a whole lot of catch up needed if we ever want to get to Midoriya vs Bakugo vs All Might (and yes I meant to include all of those versi). So we find ourselves in somewhat of a lightning round situation as the remainder of Class 1-A blast through their practical exams. Definite care was given to some students over others, but the overall result provides a …

Vote of Confidence – My Hero Academia Episode 35 – Season’s Writings

As a great educator once said, “Exam arcs in anime are the ground on which new foundations are built and old ones crumble.” Now, don’t ask me the name of this esteemed teacher, for their identity has been lost to the waves of time and I totally didn’t just make them up to use as a paper thin veil for barely passable rhetoric. Speaking of passable, those exams sure do look tough… Picking up from the odd scene that capped off last episode and could best be described as a nature photographers fever dream, Tsuyu and Tokoyami take centre stage in this knock down, drag out, run away for the ages. Though not the longest bout to grace the lineage of My Hero Academia test scenarios, this round provides a nice amount of development for some strong supporting members of Class 1-A. Following the logic established by the U.A. faculty, teacher student match-ups are based on the worst possible mixes. Thus, ranged and single point attacker Tokoyami is pitted against Ectoplasm, a creepy cool looking …

Faculty Beating – My Hero Academia Episode 34 – Season’s Writings

With the truth of One For All and All For One still (relatively) fresh in our minds, there is only one thing that can lift our spirits back to acceptable Shonen levels: Exams. Wait…exams are awful. Getting away from them is one of the major reasons people watch anime (don’t bother fact checking that, I’ve already done the research and am a trustworthy source). I mean, such an inclusion could only be forgiven if, say, the series blazed past the boring written segment and dropped us smack bang in the middle of another cool combat scenario…and also if Yaoyorozu got some more screentime and was absolutely adorable. So check your fears at the door, my friends, because that is exactly what happens. Reminding us once more that our cast of heroes are still very much at school, a new batch of tests loom over 1-A, a far greater threat to some than even the Hero Killer. Not literally, of course, on account of pieces of paper holding no ideological views and a single minded desire …

Two Sides – My Hero Academia Episode 33 – Season’s Writings

With the wonders of a frog girl centred series fresh on our minds, and in our hearts, My Hero Academia leaves filler territory behind and performs a 180 degree roundhouse kick that gives us all both mood whiplash and a greater appreciation for the horrible past this fictional world left behind. No hyber buff hero smiling his way towards a brighter future, hair antenna billowing in the wind, just the emaciated form of All Might grimly explaining the truth behind the power to change the world. It’s a rough one this week. With their internships behind them, Class 1-A returns to dole out all the gossip, stories and jokes their bodies can handle. Tales of modelling careers, combat training and preventing a family of octopi from smuggling drugs onto the shores of Japan abound and are resoundingly overshadowed by the three students who came face to face with a man prepared to kill the entire part of the world this series focuses on. Although Mineta’s sudden opinion shift on women leaves a lot of questions …

Sea Frog – My Hero Academia Episode 32 – Season’s Writings

If there is one complaint about My Hero Academia that the internet has made abundantly clear, it’s that there is nowhere near as much Froppy as the world desires. With the proportional speed and strength of a frog (maybe), this UA student has captured the heart and minds of viewers everywhere and almost single-handedly brought the series into a territory it has never been before: Filler. I know, I know, the most dreaded word in anime. Six simple letters (or five, depending on your viewpoint on the double l situation) that send us on a wayward path that may last for months at a time. Luckily, this heroic breakaway is exactly one week long and simply exists to showcase a few future heroes whose names aren’t Midoriya, Todoroki or Iida. But let’s face it, it’s the Froppy show this week. Stationed on a boat and surrounded by burly sailors, one of whom is an anthropomorphic seal-man, our little frog appears even more out of her element than usual. Which is ironic…because water. Although the salinity …

Viral Marketing – My Hero Academia Episode 31 – Season’s Writings

If there is one thing that fiction has ill prepared the world for, it is the aftermath to climactic conflict. The bad guy falls, the good guy stands, the movie ends and that’s all she wrote. Sure the hero may get a kiss in before the credits roll and people rush off entirely too fast to leave the cinema, but the rest, more or less, is silence. But let us say, for the sake of argument, that the world upon the screen did not end when Johnny McEvil was bested, that another evil perhaps sought to fill the proverbial void and reign chaos down upon the temporarily jubilant populace? Well, you get a sequel…but what if they didn’t wait that long? With Stain captured and taking a little time off to heal from his burns and shattered bones (before being transported to whatever maximum security prison can hold a guy who can paralyse via blood and wears enough blades to make a cutlery drawer blush), the world at large is in a bit of a …

Stain Remover – My Hero Academia Episode 30 – Season’s Writings

It has been said that every villain believes themselves the hero of their own story. The just, the correct, the one who stands against an antagonistic world and cannot be faulted for doing so. Then there’s Stain. A villain by his own design. A force to combat heroes, to kill them, cleanse the world of those who do not meet his standards. The necessary evil. The blinding irony of this all is that he still believes himself to exist as a force of justice. He’s also fairly insane too, so that probably helps with the contradiction. With Iida and Midoriya paralysed by blood magic and Todoroki on the defensive, the situation for our heroes-in-training was not looking so hot coming into this episode. However, as the flow of Shonen combat dictates, this low exists to make the highs higher and the victories all the sweeter…though not without another helping of internal introspection. With the Sports Festival providing an evolutionary moment for Todoroki and Midoriya’s recent training propelling him to new heights, Iida is understandably feeling …

Impotent Rage – My Hero Academia Episode 29 – Season’s Writings

According to some vindictive chefs, revenge is a dish best served cold. However, since nobody whose mind is bent on vengeance is inclined to wait that long, revenge is usually served at temperatures reaching that of Earth’s sun. A common side dish for something of such blood boiling impossibility, is unprecedented screaming. and not just the loud kind, the kind of screaming that says, “I don’t care if my throat aches like nobody’s business after this, because I honestly am not thinking that far ahead and, in fact, am not even really planning to be alive long enough for that to matter.” You know, the mentality of a hero… …okay, so it’s definitely not the mentality of a hero and that is entirely the point of Iida’s recent subplot. Consumed by rage for his fallen brother, our engine-legged friend sought out the villain responsible and promised to bring him down once and for all. Only it wasn’t for all, it was for him. An intensely personal desire that cannot be blamed for existing and one …

Anti-Hero – My Hero Academia Episode 28 – Season’s Writings

Since a man first leaped a tall building in a single bound, people the world over have pondered what it means to be a superhero. Is it strength? Skill? Speed? A conscience that cannot be quieted? Or the simple desire to help? Is it all these things? None of them? Some of them? The true irony is the answer is known and still a mystery. It is all of these and none of these. A mix that is specific to a person and what it all means to them. But what happens when ideologies clash? When one stands up and stands against what it means to be a hero? The answer is again a simple one: Chaos. Though he has not graced our screens for long, Stain is already becoming quite the interesting stutter in My Hero’s flow. After critically injuring Iida’s brother, the Hero Killer was given an introduction to paint him as a malicious and intrinsically evil force. Which he is. However, the past two episodes have provided a glimpse into the mentality …

Microwave Beginner – My Hero Academia Episode 27 – Season’s Writings

If anime has taught me one thing, it’s that you can never truly be considered a master of anything until you enter the tutelage of a seemingly insane old man…who is probably actually insane. For it is only they who can think outside of the box enough to unlock a whole new level of power and skill within a budding warrior. Extra points if they’re super old and have a whole Yoda vibe going. As somebody who frightens the bejesus out of All Might, a man who can literally change the weather with a single punch, Gran Torino makes quite the impact before his introduction…then he was introduced. Beginning as dead and upgrading to senile, the legendary trainer of All Might seems to be far less than advertised, long passed his prime and long, long passed his wits. But, since darn near everybody has seen Star Wars, or Dragon Ball, it is immediately obvious that Gran Torino fills a role left surprisingly empty in the series thus far. With every mentor figure being a well …

What’s in a Name – My Hero Academia Episode 26 – Season’s Writings

If I were to ask what the most recognisable feature of a hero is, what would you say? Their costume? Their powers? Their stance on killing and its correlation with becoming that which they fight against? Well, if any of those were your answer, you wouldn’t be wrong. Each is an undeniable quality of what makes a hero a hero and yet, there is an even more crucial factor that is ironically one of the most overlooked: Their name. Though it eventually fades into the collective unconscious when speaking of your favourite hero, a name is what marks them, what defines them, what showcases their personality and makes them unique. Though slapping “man” onto the end of an animal doesn’t score too highly on the creativity spectrum… In case the bombastic finale of the Sports Festival caused you to forget, the students of UA are far from the realm of professional heroism. Though their costumes made their debut some time ago, we are reminded this episode that our heroes-to-be are yet to name themselves, legally …

Resolution – Attack on Titan Episode 37 – Season’s Writings

What else could go wrong? The arc words of catastrophe, spoken only by the unaware the second before something else goes wrong. In an attempt to break this cliche convention, Attack on Titan throws a curveball and simply makes the situation worse, without anybody having to say those classic words. With Reiner and Bertholdt still holding focus, I was honestly not expecting the series to throw another ingredient into the clusterfudge it has been baking over these past few episodes, let alone an ingredient that was so…smiling. Yes, friends, the Smiling Titan is back, the very same Titan who devoured Eren’s mother and ignited the fire that burns out of control within his soul. Though it may seem coincidental that this one particular Titan would appear at such a crucial moment, feelings of contrivance were washed away by the sheer shock of it all. Existing as a horde, connections to a particular Titan are few and far between within the series. The verbage of Eren’s outbursts and the scope of his hatred following his mother’s …

A Bitter Pill – My Hero Academia Episode 25 – Season’s Writings

It has been said that barking dogs seldom bite. It has also been said that Katsuki Bakugo does both frequently and has attempted multiple times to literally blow up said phrase, due to its inaccuracy in regards to his personal motivations. With the Sports Festival nearing its climax, this week sees Bakugo vs Todoroki in the match we’ve all been waiting for…at least since the spectacle of Midoriya vs Todoroki wrapped up. With a speed round of battles that lacked the inherent gravitas of said fight, fans both in universe and out are longing for the next big clash, perhaps none more so than Bakugo. With zero internal monologue, Bakugo reminds us all that he desires victory above all else. Moreover, he wants an indisputable victory, a triumph that cannot be ignored and other synonymous phrases. Combined with the knowledge that Todoroki saw fit to utilise his left side on Midoriya, Bakugo spends much of his screentime demanding Todoroki show him the same respect. Though his loud and abrasive manner fails to coax Todoroki into …

Hath No Fury – Attack on Titan Episode 36 – Season’s Writings

Humanity is not the strongest species in the world. We do not have claws, we do not have fangs, we cannot fly, breath underwater burrow into the Earth itself. And yet, we can. Through intelligence and ingenuity, humanity carved a path through history as a dominant species on a planet of creatures more suited to this role. It is this very same mentality that has seen our characters through their toughest trials, plagued by Titans as they are. Reiner and Bertholdt themselves have been assuring their survival in their own betraying way, longing to live on past a time of war. So why, oh why, did they get between Eren and Mikasa? Literally anybody anywhere could have told them how boneheaded that move was. Very. The answer is very. Holy crap. Mikasa Ackerman is terrifying. Sure we’ve seen her slice up Titans like they were a tomatoes an infomercial about knives, but she take the fear factor up to eleven this week. We saw her click when Eren was in danger, we saw her slash …

Mark of a Hero – My Hero Academia Episode 24 – Season’s Writings

When a fire consumes its fuel in one glorious spectacle, a truly memorable flash is seared into the memories of those there to witness it. However, with its power source depleted, it is only a matter of time before it burns itself away. Now, Todoroki’s situation is not that metaphorically morbid, but the analogy is still a pretty sound one. Especially when applied to this episode as a whole. With the explosive clash we have been waiting to see already over, this weeks affairs are of a much lower key. The cruel sadness of this being that the matches we see this week are the quarter and semi finals. Thus, despite their best efforts, Iida, Tokoyami, Bakugo, Kirishima and even Todoroki are not able to elicit the sheer thrill of last weeks fight. Not that I really expected anything else. After all, Midoriya vs Todoroki was the climax of the plot laid out before us. Though the Tournament Arc provided a solid backdrop, it was that clash we longed to see. And we have seen …

Wounds of the Past – Attack on Titan Episode 35 – Season’s Writings

They say that home is where the heart is and, as is made painfully clear, our poor Ymir has been homeless for quite some time. From a traumatic past, to a terrifying adolescence, this 104th cadet has the makings of a protagonist in her backstory. However, as always, Eren is on the scene to scream and remind us that he is the core of our story…at least until he gets knocked unconscious and tied to somebody’s back. Continuing from where we left off, newly revealed traitors of humanity Reiner and Bertholdt discuss their options as a troop runs ever closer to rescue Ymir and Eren. Their obvious panic aside, this was the first time I actually felt as if the two secret Shifters were actually characters of their own. With a quick check that Reiner was still a warrior, Bertholdt showed a more apparent sense of concern and reservation, rather than the quiet terror stares he has subsisted on in the past few episodes. Reiner’s assessment of the situation, and clarification that the true him …

Up in Flames – My Hero Academia Episode 23 – Season’s Writings

Here’s a philosophical question for you all: What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object…but also that immovable object has the ability to produce frightening quantities of ice and fire? Action. Action is what happens, my friends. And I’m not talking about that surface level stuff, no, I’m talking about the kind of action that strikes your very core and leaves you shaking long after. I’m talking about that tried and true, learn from your mistakes, make yourself a better person Shonen Jump magic. With all of the lead up to the grand showdown between Midoriya and Todoroki, this weeks clash was already set up to be a memorable one. With two competitors who simply refused to back down, regardless of the circumstances, there was also no doubt that we would witness two powerhouses of the series show us what they had…but maybe not all they had. Despite his remarkable strength, their was still always a side of Todoroki we never saw: His left. Now, whilst a touch more literal than most uses …

Questionable Intent – Attack on Titan Episode 34 – Season’s Writings

As with any plan, there are two key features which must be present: Conception and execution. Without both of these aspects, a plan is either an idea or a whim. However, should both features be performed flawlessly, there still remains an important question that must be answered: What happens next? For Reiner and Bertholdt, the answer is a resolute: Who knows? Having stolen both Eren and Ymir away from the friends they have who aren’t traitorous Titan Shifters, Reiner and Bertholdt are seemingly lost, with no real handle on their situation. Given Reiner’s spontaneous decision to simply tell people that they were the monsters who began one of the worst tragedies in recent history, this is more than expected. And so we find ourselves returning to a particular forest, wherein captors and the captured try and wrap their heads around just what the hell is going on. Spoiler Alert: A consensus is not met. As he is want to do, Eren spends most of this episode screaming about the injustice of the world and focusing much …

Defiant Gravity – My Hero Academia Episode 22 – Season’s Writings

Since the bombastic Bakugo first blasted his way through Midoriya’s life (and notebooks), we have all longed for the moment when the bullied would rise and take a stand. And we got that. So now let’s get wacky with things and see what happens when Bakugo fights Uraraka. Aren’t tournament arcs magic? So yeah, Uraraka vs Bakugo. Who saw that one coming? Not I, for one. Not I. And yet I find that this is one of those situations where you don’t know what you want until you get it. Because Uraraka vs Bakugo is awesome and so totally worth every second of this episode. For more than the reasons you’d expect. But let’s start with the reasons you’d expect: Explosions. Say what you will about his personality, attitude, the way he treats people, his overall willingness to work with others, his insurmountable pride, his anger, his disrespect, his violent tendencies, that thing he does where he makes explosions in his hand when he has a dangerous idea and…what was the point of this again? …

Auld Lang Syne – Attack on Titan Episode 33 – Season’s Writings

When action reaches its fever pitch, that which follows is a wind down. An eerie calmness. An aftermath. Unfortunately for our intrepid soldiers, their recent clash with forces mostly unexpected did not end in the victory they were all but assured and they instead find themselves battered, bruised and fewer in number. So Eren just can’t win a fight, can he? Like, ever. And that’s not just me being mean to the guy, it’s actually a plot point. In a stunning return to relevance, Hannes reminds us all that he too was once important in the life of Eren and shares the collective emotional range of Mikasa and Armin, which essentially amounts to concern and blind, unyielding fury. He also serves as a rare example of human compassion that is not surrounded by promises, salutes and vendettas. Though rescuing Eren will require combating Titans, Hannes speech is simply about Eren’s personality, his flaws and strengths, his relationship with Mikasa and Armin and the hope he holds for the future, along with his fondness for the past. …

Lightning Round – My Hero Academia Episode 21 – Season’s Writings

With our Shonen protagonist sitting back until round two begins, it’s time to take a look at the other characters who fill out this quirky cast and watch them beat the tar out of each other. Come on, it’ll be fun. We don’t even have to listen to Todoroki talk about how terrible his father is. I promise. So here we have it, the best of the rest. Is it a touch on the mean side to call these powerful students who are fighting with all they have to achieve their dreams “the rest”? Yes. Yes it is. But the series did it first. After all, they’re the ones who crammed five final matches into one episode. Last week had two and one of those was supposed to be frighteningly short. These fights are short, don’t get me wrong, however they are most certainly so to move the plot back to Midoriya and Todoroki. Or at least to Uraraka and Bakugo, oddly enough. Still, this is simply how series of this nature work and I am …

Grudge Match – Attack on Titan Episode 32 – Season’s Writings

Sometimes, when the world grows ever more complicated, when those around you change and truths find themselves transforming into lies, the best solution is the simplest one. And what could be simpler than standing resolute in your beliefs and punching a bad guy really, really hard in the face? Well, isn’t this a fine kettle of fish we find ourselves in this week? Except by fine, I mean terrible and by kettle of fish, I mean world of monsters. With Reiner and Bertholdt dropping all sense of care and subtlety, a Colossal Titan now stands half formed on a wall and an Armoured comrade plunges to the ground below, Eren in hand. At least until our furious protagonist reminds us all that he too is a Shifter and kicks off one of the most action packed episodes Attack on Titan has produced. However, it is a little more than simply explosive violence and screams. It’s choreographed…and also has explosive violence and screams. For those who don’t know, Hajime Isayama (the creator of Attack on Titan) based certain …

I Put A Spell On You – My Hero Academia Episode 20 – Season’s Writings

As loner heroes the world over have taught us, in a world of heroism, villainy and all that lies between, you can only truly trust yourself. Unfortunately, this particular belief flies completely out the proverbial window when somebody who has the ability to control minds saunters into the plot. Say, a blue haired boy who looks a little on the tired side. So Midoriya done goofed. Two seconds into the finals and our hero-to-be finds himself mind controlled by his opponent. Now, you might be thinking it a little harsh of me to blame our protagonist for this and you’d be right…had Midoriya not received a specific warning regarding the mechanics of Shinso’s power immediately before the fight. Which he did. Anyway, no use crying over spilt milk, especially considering the fight it brought forth. Although, I guess it wasn’t technically a fight at first, considering it was mainly Midoriya walking slowly towards the edge of the battlefield. Maintaining his low key existence, as consistently noted by Present Mic, Shinso’s plan for victory is simply to …

Secrets and Truths – Attack on Titan Episode 31 – Season’s Writings

As with most storms, there lay a calm before it. A moment of respite to collect one’s thoughts, batten down the hatches and prepare for the worst. Unfortunately for the members of the 104th, no amount of preparations could prepare them for the storm that is forming around them. Metaphors withstanding, this begins as a fairly tame episode in the catalogue of Attack on Titan. The fractured groups that have comprised the past few adventures have finally come together and a majority of the 104th is back together. Except Jean. Those who were trapped in Utgard Catsle inform their rescuers about Ymir, about the newly revealed Historia Reiss and the lack of any hole in the wall. Real important stuff. However, it is a little overshadowed by a hunched over Reiner, who spends a majority of this episode breaking down emotionally and mentally. Which is sad…or at least it is before the big, and oddly quiet, reveal. Since we can’t go two weeks without discovering that a character we somewhat know is actually a Titan Shifter, …

Daddy Issues – My Hero Academia Episode 19 – Season’s Writings

Though by its very definition the protagonist of a story is meant to carry our fullest attention, My Hero Academia loves to remind us all that there is so much more to this world than the trials and tribulations of one Izuku Midoriya. Unfortunately however, this weeks lesson came at the revelation that not all is well in the world of heroes and that even the right side of justice can be wrong. Since the beginning of this season, Todoroki has been leaving far more of an impact than he ever did in season one. Sure he was an immensely powerful student who was recommended for the Hero Course, but he was always just sort of in the background. Heck, half of his body was covered in ice for a while. Not too sure what happened to that particular aesthetic, but I image Horikoshi simply wanted to show the full face of this particularly conflicted individual. And boy is he conflicted. With confirmation that his father is indeed Endeavour, the number two hero in the …

History Repeating – Attack on Titan Episode 30 – Season’s Writings

If there’s one thing to be said about perilous mountain expeditions, it’s that characters will either perish on them, or come to understand themselves, and others, on an entirely new and intrinsically true level. Yes, technically that is more than one thing, but that probably doesn’t make it any less insightful and cool sounding. Jumping back to a time and place unknown, though assumedly during the 104th’s training and somewhere on a mountain, we are given yet another glimpse into the life and times of Ymir and Krista. Left wandering during a powerful blizzard, Ymir comes to a realisation chronologically that we have already had explained by her…in the future. It is also the one thing we know about Krista and kinda makes this whole perilous flashback a whole lot less expositionally interesting. Despite her sweetness and overall cute demeanour, Krista wants to kill herself. Not in an obviously suicidal way, but in a heroic way that would see her remembered fondly. To that end, she opts to drag the half-dead body of another trainee …

Ignition – My Hero Academia Episode 18 – Season’s Writings

Heavy is the head that wears the 10,000,000 point headband, a lesson that poor Midoriya is now all too aware of. Still, if there’s one thing that anime has taught us all: It’s not over until the acoustically superpowered commentator screams. Combine this with the burning hearts of teenagers with a dream and you’ve got yourself one heck of a Round Two. With the icy stare of Todoroki promising us a continuation of his suddenly spawned rivalry with Midoriya, we are quickly reminded why this is not the best situation for our green haired protagonist. Utilising his teammates for a little offensive and defensive boost, Todoroki is able to freeze a majority of the cavalry battlefield, and the opponents who stand upon it, in a split second. Not only that, he is also able to completely separate Team Midoriya from the rest of the competition, granting him the only chance to steal the coveted 10,000,000. Thus, in one move, we see Todoroki for the tactical, nigh unstoppable powerhouse he truly is. Sure we’ve seen his power before, …

Self-Sacrifice – Attack on Titan Episode 29 – Season’s Writings

Well, that was certainly something. Titans on the left, Titans on the right, Titans from goddamn beneath. It is really not a good time to be this series second tier…or third tier. I won’t mention the tiers under that because, well, it’s not pretty. Still, the 104th aren’t doing too poorly for themselves, all things considered. Some of them have backstory now and, whether they make it past this castle siege or not, people will remember their names. Think about it, when was the last time anyone even said Ymir? Heck if I know. Season one was pretty much the Eren show from dash to dot, with a sprinkling of Mikasa for good measure. Also Armin was there. And everyone kind of lost their tops for Levi in a neckerchief. But mostly Eren. Look, what I’m getting at here is that I like the variation…I just wish it was under slightly less dire circumstances. Following up before where we left off last week (because of totally necessary two hour flashbacks), we are given the answer …

The Cavalry’s Here – My Hero Academia Episode 17 – Season’s Writings

To partially quote a man of great wisdom and import, “It’s dangerous to go alone.” Though a technically incomplete statement, it is one that will serve the students of UA well in this latest of challenges. With their success now riding (for some literally) on the shoulders of others, our heroes-in-training are sure to learn the benefits of allies and the simple fact that teamwork makes the dream work. Which rhymes, so you know it’s true. With his recent come-from-behind victory placing all attention on his fuzzy green head, Midoriya has found himself at the mercy of a heroes greatest foe: Popularity. Through the intense pressure that arises from having all eyes focused on him, Midoriya comes to understand the true weight of All Might’s presence. Though his smile sparked a joy and fire in his heart, these series has never really stopped to make you realise that Midoriya, in that regard, is one of many. Hundreds, upon thousands of intense citizens who admire All Might with an unfaltering reverence. That alone is enough to …

Welcome Home – Attack on Titan Episode 28 – Season’s Writings

They say that home is where the heart is. Unfortunately, the darker side of that saying is that should a home be destroyed, a heart is too. And though a house may be rebuilt and, in turn, made a home anew, there is still something undeniably sad about the simple fact that it was broken in the first place. Poor Connie. After Sasha’s reunion with her family last week, a small glimmer of hope and happiness had found its way into the world of Attack on Titan. But alas, it was not to last, as almost immediately we were hit with the harsh reality of what Connie found waiting for him in his hometown. Nobody. Not a single soul left in the village and only a single creature remaining: A Titan. And yet there is something curious about this in and of itself. As is so noted by a rather pragmatic soldier, though no people remain in Connie’s village, there are also no remains of people. From everything we’ve seen so far, Titans are not fastidious …

Enemy Mine – My Hero Academia Episode 16 – Season’s Writings

Though the old adage/children’s song that once referenced the ability, or lack thereof, to go over, under or through something most certainly never intended to reference gigantic killer robots, you can’t deny that they add a certain flare. They also undermine said adage/children’s song, as it would seem you can indeed go every which way when confronting such an obstacle, provided that you are able to generate titanic amounts of ice, pull a cannon from your stomach, or make yourself really, really hard. Speaking of, how about that Kirishima, huh? Tearing his way through the remnants of a robot that landed on his head after Todoroki’s latest ice-capade, he stands to remind us that even the lesser shown members of Class 1-A are still in the top percentage of contenders at UA. Unfortunately, as this episode goes  on to show, it is a tad hard to stand out when your classmates are the secret heir to All Might, the son of the second strongest hero Endeavour and Bakugo, who is really, really loud. Times are also even …

Back to Her Roots – Attack on Titan Episode 27 – Season’s Writings

In a world where humanity has been pushed to the brink of extinction, bad news is a pretty common occurrence. Still, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck to get it. And this isn’t, “I accidentally broke your favourite cup,” kind of bad news, we’re talking, “Your horse ran away and left you stranded in the middle of nowhere and I also think it kicked your dog,” kind of bad news. Which is really bad news. Especially since you don’t own a dog. Following up from last week’s uplifting re-introduction to the crapsack world of wherever the heck this series takes place, Sasha has made her way back to the area in which she was raised; a forest. Of course, we really don’t know anything about Sasha, other than she likes potatoes and the audience is nuts about her for it, so we find ourselves flashing back a couple of years for a little exposition. Apparently, good ol’ Sasha used to be quite the selfish one, seeing little benefit in other people and despising when their …

A Sporting Chance – My Hero Academia Episode 15 – Season’s Writings

Who doesn’t love a good competition that pits students against one another in a no-holds-barred fight to the finish line that will ultimately guide their path to the careers of their dreams? Probably those who don’t do too well honestly, but let’s not get bogged down in sombre semantics. Instead, why don’t we see what a bunch of superpowered adolescents can do when you group them all together, wind them up and let them go nuts. Sparing us from having to sit through weeks of preparatory exposition, this episode opts to express the two week period before the UA Sports Festival as a brief montage, cutting between the faces of Class 1-A and giving us an idea of their unique development. Though nothing too major on that front, it’s nice every now and again to see what unique powers the other students bring to the series. Though expected, given Midoriya’s prominence and the bombastic nature of Bakugo, the other students do not receive as much time to shine as they could. Heck, the simple fact …

The Beast Within – Attack on Titan Episode 26 – Season’s Writings

Once again, the day is saved thanks to the people of the Survey Corps. Well, not exactly “saved” per say and the classification of “people” is certainly blurred when it comes to Eren, given his true nature and all. Okay, so one major threat was stopped…and a lot of people died…also their houses broke…and the walls have seen better days. Man, even when humanity pulls out a win in this series it sucks. Hooray for Pyrrhic victories. With Eren still resting up from his clash with Annie and the emotional turmoil brought on by such, we are given an opportunity to focus on the other characters that stand under the Wings of Freedom…and boy are they bored. Refined to quarters/some building, the 104th muse over their lives and escape into a few fantasies that would honestly be fun to watch. Connie for example, wishes to steal away into the night, breaking free of lock-up and visiting his village. A somewhat normal thought for a series revolving around giant monsters that eat people for literally no …

Tell the World – My Hero Academia Episode 14 – Season’s Writings

After witnessing your personal hero (who also happens to be the world’s hero) beat the absolute tar out of a mostly invincible, partly human monstrosity, going back to school may seem a little…mundane. Or at least it might, were said school not one that specialises in teaching those imbued with superhuman abilities how to fight other imbued with the like, or the teachers weren’t certifiable, or one of the required classes wasn’t an almost-no-holds-barred beatdown. You know, because education. And just like that, we’re right back at UA. The League of Villains has been turned away, at least momentarily, and the students of Class 1-A are settling back into the daily swing of things. Or so they would be, were it not for the UA Sports Festival just around the corner. Just another school event, you say? Not so, my misinformed friend. As so courteously explained to us in episode, the UA Sports Festival just so happens to be the most popular sporting event in all of Japan, with the Olympics having lost some of …

Nintendo Memories: Wii U

Kane Bugeja Bayonetta 2 Look! On the store shelves! It’s a Wii! It’s a new controller! It’s an entirely new console with a similar name! And so began the Wii U’s downfall. Which is a shame, because it’s not a bad console, it just had terrible marketing. Still, I have one and I enjoy it, so…that’s something. Though it is still objectively another quirky gameplay gimmick, it is one that…I was going to say “works in theory” but I just realised that I’ve never actively used the gamepad screen for anything. Barring my initial introduction to the system and a Mario hide-and-seek mini game, the Gamepad has more or less served as a large, unexpectedly comfortable controller. The simple fact that it is directly below a player’s normal range of vision prevents it from truly bolstering gameplay as a second screen and its limited range hinders its capabilities as a surrogate main screen, leaving the console as a shell of what it could be, living under the misconception that it is a small addition to …

Nintendo Memories: 3DS

Kane Bugeja Pokemon Rumble Blast Once touch screens and motion controls have come and…somewhat stayed, what is next in the world of gaming? 3D. Like in the movies, but also just as forgettable. Okay, maybe that’s a little unfair, but, from personal experience, 3D really did not change anything about my handheld gaming experience. Apart from the curiosity that spurs me to check each game’s 3D mode once, I almost exclusively plays sans this feature, despite owning a 3DS. Of course, as is probably the case for most people, I own it for the games, not the additional dimension. Thus, I will forever be thankful that there is a slider to easily remove this feature from any and all games. Handhelds are designed for travel play after all and being forced to hold one steady at an exact distance from your face is very counter-intuitive. Yes this has been fixed with the (poorly named) New 3DS, but still, you know what I mean. As far as games go however, I really enjoy the 3DS. As …

The Esoteric Breath of Video Games

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild the first open world Zelda game. That right there was the first reason why I lost complete interest in it since day one. Well great, another open world video game in a market where have one too many sandbox adventures. These games are all about excessive space, most of it serving no real purpose to the gameplay or game design. Be it role playing games, first person shooters, or straight up action games, we have seen far too many open world games and it’s become the most saturated sub-genre of gaming. Given the power of current technology, they’ve done away with intricate level and game design, instead providing vast amounts of nothing to traverse through. It’s hard to invest yourself in these sandbox worlds when they feel so devoid of life and meaning. Origins There were exceptions, and I don’t know if I would call this an open world game per se, but Shadow of the Colossus on the PlayStation 2 thrust players into a desolate land, …

Nintendo Memories: Wii

Kane Bugeja Red Steel 2 The Nintendo Wii, the experimental console with the funny name. You see, because Wii sounds like…you know, nevermind, you know what it sounds like. But what it also sounds like is a brand new gaming experience, full of movement and exercise and…sitting down lazily swinging your arms around, pretending that you’re standing up. Yet another gameplay element/gimmick subsumed by gamers overall aversion to physically enacting the movements of characters. You know, because if we could actually do the things videogame characters could do, we’d be doing them. Man I wish I could double jump. Digression aside, one of the most inherently Wii experiences I ever had was through Red Steel 2. One part Western, one part samurai film, this game brought forth the Motion Plus, an add-on designed to improve the Wii’s motion tracking. Which was somewhat of a success. Though Red Steel 2 was definitely one of the more complete motion gameplay experiences I’ve had, there were certainly times where swinging wildly outclassed intention and skill. Still, even ballistically …

Nintendo Memories: DS

Luke Halliday Bomberman DS The Nintendo DS is a console I hold near and dear to my heart. Not only do I have so many fond memories playing with my brother and sister with the system, the Nintendo DS was the final gift I received from my grandmother before her passing. She has terminal cancer and the last gift she got for us all before her time had come was a Nintendo DS for each of us. She knew how much we loved gaming and she was happy to support our passions and was always a big proponent that what’s fun is good. With the Nintendo DS I got a few games; Nintendogs, Super Mario 64 DS, and Bomberman DS. The latter of which became the go to game for me and my siblings. We spent hours and hours blowing each other up, it was us against the COMs but it felt like us against the world. We use to pretend that we were playing online against people around the world, even though the game …

Nintendo Memories: GameCube

Luke Halliday The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker So finally we have made our way to the little purple box that could. The GameCube holds a very special place in my heart, in fact I still consider it my favourite video game console of all time. I spent countless hours diving into the wonderful worlds of the GameCube, I don’t really know quite where to begin even. My first interactions with the GameCube came with a display unit at my local Kmart, I watched on with keen fascination as kids lined up to play Smash Bros Melee on the system. Eventually me and my younger brother got our turn and were blown away by how much the game had improved upon the original. This would be a common theme for my other ventures on the GameCube. While the GameCube didn’t feature some revolutionary controller or gimmick, it revolutionized with its games, taking the familiar faces of Nintendo and doing something wildly different with them. Whether it be the water wonderland of Super Mario Sunshine, …

Look Alike: Sonic the Hedgehog OVA retrospective

Between 1994’s excellent Sonic 3 & Knuckles on the SEGA Mega Drive and 1998’s Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast (which marked the Blue Blur’s resurgence in glorious 128 bit 3D), the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise was basically stuck in purgatory for nearly 5 years. The SEGA Saturn almost had a major Sonic title in the infamous Sonic Xtreme, which went through a literal development hell before it got cancelled. The lore on Sonic Xtreme would need its own article honestly. Originally planned for 1996, the cancellation of the title left SEGA and developer Sonic Team literally scrambling. So to fill the years between 1994 and 1998, SEGA gave Sonic fans a series of… consolation prizes if you will. There was Project Sonic on the Saturn comprising of three games: Sonic 3D Flickies’ Island, Sonic R, and finally Sonic Jam. The topic of Project Sonic would need its own article, but let me enlighten you with this in the meantime: you know the developer that makes all those LEGO video games year after year? That very same …

Nintendo Memories: Game Boy Advance

Kane Bugeja Zoids: Legacy The Game Boy Advance was a console that certainly lived up to its name. Compared to its predecessor, the GBA was a powerhouse console. At least from the perspective of a child. The graphical upgrade was amazing and games utilised colours to a far greater extent than the console named after such a visual mechanic. Combine this with the cavalcade of games, both old and new, and you’ve got yourself a handheld that saw the Game Boy era to a powerful end. In the mix of awesome games that made this console, such as Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire and Emerald, Dragon Ball Z: Buu’s Fury, Sonic Advance 3 and (obviously) Bionicle: Maze of Shadows, there was one game that stood out to me more than any other: Zoids: Legacy. Terribly translated and damn near indecipherable for anyone who had not seen the series, Legacy was a hot mess of an adaptation. And boy did I love it. Still do. With Zoids games few and far between, I am so glad that I said …

Nintendo Memories: Game Boy Color

Frank Inglese Pokemon Crystal Pokemon is a franchise that I keep close to my heart even to this day because of its impact on my young life. As an only child with no Father and a Mother that had to work long hours to sustain our small family, it was Pokemon that gave me a strange, inorganic sense of companionship. I related to the young boy on the screen, travelling around the world with no-one but his trusty pets. It helped me deal with a lot of the trauma of my childhood and, in fact, still does so today. Pokemon Crystal, specifically, will remain my personal favourite Pokemon title to this day, it seems, not only because of its base excellence but because of the connection between myself and my now passed Father that it still represents. Prior to the release of the second generation, my Father took me on a trip into Sydney City to attend a small but impactful convention that revolved around Pokemon and the upcoming video game releases. For the life …

Nintendo Memories: Nintendo 64

  Frank Inglese Pokemon Snap My first true obsession, dating back to when I was far too young to be addicted to anything at all, was without a doubt Pokemon. My first ever Pokemon game was Blue, followed by Red and then Yellow. As I said; I was well and truly hooked. After receiving my Nintendo 64, it was Pokemon Snap that had me enthralled. My parents, being the ones who fueled the fire of my Pokemon video game dependency, didn’t necessarily know what the title was, but saw Pokemon and naturally believed it to be a good choice…it was! Pokemon Snap took players on a journey into the realm of Pokemon in a way unlike any previous game. It was NOT a turn-based RPG, for one, and you could not capture and collect Pokemon. It was, instead, a game about a young photographer who just so happens to live in the Pokemon world. For the very first time it felt like I, as the player, was directly interacting with the world I dreamed of being …

Exploring the Works of Osamu Tezuka

Now when it comes to manga there is a ton of great choices in the modern age, whether it’s a near endless Shonen series or a range of other genres to really sink into. There is no shortage of quality manga in the modern age, which is why digging through the trenches of the past can be an overwhelming task. After all, who has the time to dig through quality manga from every era? It’s hard enough to collect and read through the likes of 90s classic Rurouni Kenshin or the wealth of volumes that make up the Dragon Ball/Z manga. I mean, that’s just going as far back as the 80s… but manga goes all the way back to the 1950s! Is it worth going that far back? Oh absolutely. It’s a remarkable journey to experience the beginnings of manga firsthand, and to realize it wasn’t just good “back in the old days” or “better now than the outdated stuff”, but that manga always has and will be amazing. The god and creator of …

Nintendo Memories: Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Jahanzeb Khan Street Fighter II Turbo Despite being a die hard SEGA fan and the Mega Drive (Genesis) being my unanimous 16 bit machine of choice, my very first foray into video games ever was through the Super Nintendo. The first video game I ever played was Star Fox (known in PAL territories as Star Wing). Star Fox didn’t necessarily cement my love for video games (the would be Sonic the Hedgehog) but it was still a hell of a way to get introduced to video games. I may love the Mega Drive more but I couldn’t overlook the amazing library of the SNES. There’s just too many quality games on the system, games that are still as relevant and playable today. Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, Earthbound, F-Zero, Mario Kart… the list just goes on. What do I consider as my FAVOURITE of them all? Well that answer changes every time I’m asked this question. For now, I’m going to mention the one game that made the SNES VERY …

Ultra Street Fighter II Commemorates 30 Years of Fighting Excellence

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers is one of the major releases planned for the Nintendo Switch in 2017, and it’s every bit as desirable as Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey. In fact, the resurgence of games like Street Fighter and Bomberman (in the form of Super Bomberman R) is the reason why the Switch is a true return to gaming’s humble and exciting roots. Watch the trailer of Ultra Street Fighter II, you can see clips of the launch of Street Fighter II Turbo on the SNES early on, and man was that a magical thing to experience firsthand. What’s great is that we get to relive that magic once more on the Switch, and just in time for the 30th Anniversary of the Street Fighter franchise (25 years for the flagship Street Fighter II itself). Ultra Street Fighter II looks to reinvigorate the gamer of yesteryear, and unite them with the current crop of fighting fans who have been enthralled by the likes of the hugely successful Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter V …

Nintendo Memories: Game Boy

Jahanzeb Khan The King of Fighters 96 One of the coolest things about portable consoles back in the day was that despite them being technologically inferior to home consoles (and significantly so), developers still challenged themselves to bring 16 bit or even 32 bit video games to the confines of the 8 bit monochrome Game Boy. More often than not these transitions weren’t always ideal, but when developers were able to the successfully bring the home console and/or arcade experience to the handheld it was one hell of an achievement. Back in the day SNK and Neo Geo were the absolute kings of 2D sprites and animation, with their arcade technology being the cutting edge of 2D graphics, so much so that systems like the PlayStation and even Saturn struggled to run the highly detailed 2D engine of Neo Geo. SNK’s The King of Fighters series was red hot, and having The King of Fighters 96 on the Game Boy should have been a disaster, but it wasn’t. The game was re-imagined and optimised for the …

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers destined for Switch

You read the headline correctly, it is indeed a new entry in the Street Fighter II series which last saw a HD remaster/remake on the Xbox 360 and PS3 as Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix back in 2008. When clips of a Street Fighter game were shown during the Nintendo Switch presentation, I assumed that the system was basically getting a port of that 2008 title. Little did I know that although it looked similar visually, Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers is an all new title for the Nintendo Switch (and an exclusive so far). It looks to share the same visuals and engine as the 2008 HD remaster, but as the title suggests it will add new content, in particular the “Final Challengers” that are apparently just Evil Eyu and Violent Ken (last seen in SNK vs Capcom: SVC Chaos). Who knows, maybe there’s other characters yet to be revealed. -30-

Super Bomberman Gets Revived For Nintendo Switch

Super Bomberman was a series that had not one but a total of five entries on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). It had a bit of a Mega Man thing going for it with each game exploring new level themes and importantly introducing a new cast of boss battles for its single player campaign. Of course, Super Bomberman was mostly about the multiplayer, making great use of the SNES multitap device. Super Bomberman 2 was where this series peaked, and we have not heard from the series since 1997… until now. Announced as a launch title for the Nintendo Switch and commemorating 33 years of the franchise, Konami will be bringing the brand new Super Bomberman R on March 3 2017. Bomberman will always be Bomberman, but it’s not a bad game to own when you get your new system because it still stands as one of the most enjoyable multi-player offerings. Plus it has got this cool new aesthetic going for it as a well as a single player mode featuring huge bosses. -30-

Nintendo Switch January 2017 Presentation Highlights: THE GAMES!

What an incredible showing by Nintendo! What a great time to be alive! Nintendo Switch is set to launch on 3 March 2017 with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, ARMS, and 1, 2, Switch! confirmed as launch titles with more to be announced as we quickly head into the historic release. Demo events are planned worldwide so we should be able to try the system over the next couple of months. The price point is $US 299.99 and hopefully we will get a confirmed $ AU price point soon. I’m sure the stream gave you all the info you needed, so here are some quick and dirty game highlights from the stream! Splatoon 2 I honestly would have settled for an enhanced expanded release of the original Wii U Splatoon but it’s a full fledged sequel folks and it’s set for 2017! Looks great from what we can see and the added mobility and portability of the Switch system will certainly make Splatoon 2 a title we can enjoy all day every …

Nintendo Memories: Nintendo Entertainment System

As we count the weeks, days, and three months or so leading up to the launch of the Nintendo Switch, we at SnapThirty are going to take a stroll down memory lane and revisit each of Nintendo’s legendary system (except for The System That Shall Not Be Named). Starting off with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), we reminisce on our fond memories and favourite games. Jahanzeb Khan Castlevania Castlevania is best described as a video game that is far greater than the sum of its parts, and the debut title on the NES ranks comfortably with the likes of Mega Man, Contra, and Metroid as one of the leaders of 2D action platforming. Castlevania introduced a methodological combat mechanic situated in a ingeniously designed action platformer. Perhaps among the earliest horror video games, the original Castlevania had you take control of a tough as a tank Vampire Hunter by the name of Simon Belmont. Castlevania had all the right ingredients: unique personality and mechanics, sound level design, brutal and satisfying boss battles, distinguished aesthetics, and above …

First Thoughts: Akiba’s Trip The Animation – Showin’ A Little Skin

The Winter Anime season of 2017 has yet to interest me too greatly. Usually, by this point in time, I’m inundated by a high volume of new Anime to sink my teeth into, but judging by the list of series’ set to begin airing over the next week or so…this season’s going to be a slow one for me. Having played the video games too many times to admit, it’s Akiba’s Trip: The Animation that has my full focus this time around. Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed, originally released for the PlayStation Vita, has seen some three re-releases at this point in time, meaning that the game is more than just a fluke success. That’s why it makes sense that an animation studio like Gonzo would pick up the rights for an Anime adaptation. Strangely enough, this mostly unheard of Anime, and by extension video game series, is also receiving the simuldub treatment, with the English Dub being released shortly after that of the original Japanese. We saw this with Space Dandy quite some time …

Xbox 15th Anniversary: 15 Notable Japanese Xbox Games

It was nearly 15 years ago when Microsoft entered the console wars with its Xbox console, and 15 years later it currently stands in a pretty sweet position with the Xbox One console. During that time we saw the hugely successful Xbox 360 system and next year we can look forward to the Xbox Scorpio. A lot has happened in the last 15 years, but what has always remained consistent is the Xbox’s poor commercial performance in Japan. For numerous reasons the Xbox brand just doesn’t garner the same interest from Japanese gamers, and has consistently to this day remained the poorest seller in the land of the rising sun. Still, this is the 15th anniversary for all things Xbox, and these systems were graced with a range of excellent Japanese video games. Some were exclusive, some landed on the system first before any other platforms, and some in fact performed best on the Microsoft game box. In no particular order, here are 15 of the most notable Japanese games that graced Xbox systems over the …

Rare and Expensive Nintendo Gems on the Virtual Console

It’s easy to take video games for granted when they’re on shelves and easily available, but next thing you know that once $10 copy of No More Heroes in the Wii bargain bins is no more! And finding a used copy $40 or so on a random Sunday trip to the mall is considered to be a lucky day. Same goes for video games available for purchase on digital outlets, sure the price never hikes and you can download any given time, but digital games do get delisted (I had no idea that Tetris of all games had been delisted from the eShop due to licensing issues!). Right now you can find some of the rarest and most expensive Nintendo games right at your fingertips on the Virtual Console. In the past you’d have to fork out hundreds, if not close to a thousand, dollars on these games, but thanks to the eShop you can download them right now for mere pocket change. Digital distribution has its blessings for sure. If you’re not fussy about owning …

Was It All Worth It? – 91 Days Episode Eleven and Twelve – Season’s Writings

This week-to-week rollercoaster ride has finally come to an end. Just on time, as well. Some series’ tend to stretch on for longer than they should, ruining the experience as a result, 91 Days ended when it should have, though perhaps five minutes longer than necessary, but in the grand scheme of things…that’s a blessing. It’s been quite a while since the ending to an Anime has sent me into a whirlwind of confusion and doubt, but the culprit seems to only ever be an ending as vague as 91 Days. For the most part, the final two episodes of this heart-pounding series played out exactly as you would have imagined: After Corteo’s death at the hands of Angelo, our “hero” begins his descent into madness and chaos as he throws away all humanity in a last-ditch effort to complete what had become his life-long mission. This all goes…wonderfully, actually. Making it out of what can only be called a “slaughter” with nothing more than a stab wound to the right shoulder and a voice …

Sins Of The Brother – 91 Days Episode Ten – Season’s Writings

The search for Corteo continues as the Vanetti’s ship Avilio off to Chicago to meet with Galassia representatives and to continue promoting Lawless Heaven. Little do they know that this mission will double as witness protection with Ganzo and Avilio now working together for the same cause; to kill the Vanetti’s. Sporting a new haircut, Corteo escapes alongside Avilio so as to lay low until this all blows over. Too bad it never will. Barbero, the single Vanetti to still be doubting Avilio’s allegiance, does everything in his power to prove that Corteo and Avilio are in cahoots, which he almost does…that is until Corteo makes a grand entrance declaring that it was he alone who fed information to Fango and that it is he alone who should be punished for it. “Kill him yourself” says Nero, handing Avilio a hot piece and leaving the room. The rest follow, but not before Barbero shoots Avilio one last judging glance. All parties know the unsavoury nature of this exchange, but at this point in time…nothing can be …

Yours Truly, A Regretful Old Man – 91 Days Episode Nine – Season’s Writings

What’s done has been done, and at the very epicentre of what is looking to become a great tragedy is mild-mannered Corteo. Though I would still consider him a mild and gentle man, descriptive words of that nature would have befit him more about two episodes ago. After killing Fango running on nothing but primal rage alone, Corteo is captured by the Vanetti family who have recently discovered that it was he who was working as Fango’s informant, albeit for only a short period of time. Episode Nine focuses on the “discipline” of Corteo for his action which, if not for some sort of miracle, would have been a swift death. Escaping from the Vanetti’s and now in the hands of another, more mysterious, third party; Corteo is forced to contact Angelo delivering to him only a verbal ultimatum; “Kill Nero, or they kill me“. The episode ends on quite the cliffhanger with [Insert Character Name Here] revealed to be the sender of that, metaphorically, bloodstained letter. Once again, 91 Days has undergone another huge …

Talk Is Cheap, Like Your Loyalty – 91 Days Episode Eight – Season’s Writings

Last week disappointed audiences with an episode dedicated to recapping the series’ story events, but this week’s episode more than made up for the last’s lake of new content. Lawless is in grave trouble; this is something both the audience and the characters that make up 91 Days’ cast know is nothing less than an undeniable fact. While, before the beginning of the series, it was still a town filled with the utmost vile gangsters, it is now in a state of almost-war, perhaps being referred to as something along the lines of “the calm before the storm“. Episode Eight centres itself around the true beginning of a mafia war, with Corteo at the very centre. Having had enough of being pulled from left to right, time and time again, Corteo digs deep and gives in to his primal instincts to do something neither Nero nor Avilio could, setting into motion a series of events far more powerful than he has the ability to control. Corteo, despite being a pivotal player in the story of 91 …

Hands-On With Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization At Madfest 2016

As an experienced yet begrudging “follower” of the long-running multimedia franchise Sword Art Online, I have never experienced anything from it more than that of it’s video game adaptations. While the series, in my humble opinion, leaves much to be desired in terms of character and story development, the game’s allow one to create their own adventure accompanied by familiar faces from the series. Knowing how popular the series and it’s offshoots still are in recent times, Bandai Namco Entertainment, as a part of their gameplay area at this year’s Madfest, featured a short demo of the upcoming Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization PlayStation 4 title. A fitting addition to the showroom floor, this game was never without a player regardless of the time of day, and that also includes myself…of course. At it’s very core; Hollow Realization isn’t too different from previous Sword Art Online video game titles which, despite what you may think, is actually more a positive than a negative. Unfortunately no story segments were present in the demo featured at the …

Hands-On With Final Fantasy XV At Madfest 2016

It has been quite a while since Square Enix gave us the opportunity to preview Final Fantasy XV, and since then the game’s release has been delayed for seemingly unknown reasons. This, to all those who have been anticipating the game ever since it’s reveal, is something they hope does not plague them for longer than it has to, but Square Enix are doing everything in their power to expose it’s audience to FF XV in whatever form they can. At the inaugural Madfest Japanese Pop Culture Festival, Square Enix’s sizeable gameplay area featured several consoles running a brand-new build of the upcoming game, albeit only playable in twenty-minute segments. I can’t say that the game has changed too much from the last time I was able to get my hands on it, but certain tweaks and changes, though minor, are very much recognizable. Perhaps the biggest change that I was able to notice was that of the altered combat system. As a whole, it’s very much the same, but there was one key striking …

Import Duty: Waku Waku 7 (SEGA Saturn)

In an era where Capcom and SNK reigned supreme with 2D fighting games, other developers wanted to have a go at creating something different, but more often than not ended up making something that was kinda like Street Fighter or kinda like The King of Fighters. Among the wealth of fighters that were gracing different platforms and consoles, there was a little game called Waku Waku 7. Back then, it was hard to take Waku Waku 7 seriously as it would be the type of game you’d try once for curiosity’s sake. I had always seen this game around, it got a little bit of exposure thanks to it being a NeoGeo powered title, and back then you couldn’t go wrong with the crisp,detailed 2D that NeoGeo could produce. At most, Waku Waku 7 was a silly looking fighter with not much to offer in terms of roster or content, but years and decades down the road I wish I hadn’t taken games like it for granted. Look at the 2D fighting landscape of 2016, …

A Death In The Family – 91 Days Episode Seven – Season’s Writings

Fango, now reigning over the Orco crime family, sits Nero down for a quick bit as he explains that the Vanetti’s are the next to receive a hostile takeover. Nero, after taking another of Fango’s jobs and meeting with his uncle, agrees to meet with Frate in an attempt to restore the, now broken, bonds that there family once held so dear. This…does not turn out well. Prior to this, Avilio and Volpe spearhead a hit on Ronald. Though a failure, Avilio continues to spin his webs of deceit by taking out Volpe and blaming it on the Vanettis. After three key deaths, the Vanetti family is in absolute ruin, and thanks to Fio’s assassination of her own husband there is now no point of contact between them and the Galassias. An extinction is on the horizon, and Avilio Bruno, or so he calls himself, is at the epicentre…just as he wanted. The first thing I’m compelled to mention regarding this episode is the visual representation of Fango’s shift from, essentially, hired goon to complete …

Live By The Sauce, Die By The Sauce – 91 Days Episode Six – Season’s Writings

The plan to kidnap Orco is now underway. Fango, being as lazy as he is greedy, leaves the runaway Vanetti crew to execute their plan in any which way they see fit, and as it turns out…the success of their plan relies solely on the acting chops of each individual. Spearheaded by Nero and Avilio, the crew confront Don Orco at his very own restaurant in disguise as two mafioso ready to defect from their family and join another. The promise they make; full control of the production of Lawless Heaven. Booze is a huge blackmarket industry, and Don Orco wants to monopolise it, but he can’t without first owning the Vanetti’s own distillery. Taking he and his men to “The Lodge”, the boys plan to fake a death, earn a trust, and overpower their enemy in one fell swoop. Thankfully, this is executed by one Avilio Bruno; perhaps the most tactically-minded mafioso to grace Lawless with his two-sided presence, and it all goes swimmingly. Orco’s men are fooled and swiftly put to death, and …

The Enemy Of My Enemy Is My Friend – 91 Days Episode Five – Season’s Writings

Just as tension between the boys and this hideaway holiday grew to a boiling point, Nero received a call from his trusted ally Barbero who explains that the Orcos have had enough of Fango’s ridiculous nature and, much like the Vanetti’s, have attempted to assassinate him without success. As a cause of this, Fango has escaped to “The Island” alongside twenty or so of his closest men, transforming it into his base of operation until the heat dies down and he can strike back at those who’ve attempted to end his life. Barbero continues to explain that there’s a high chance Nero will be allowed back into Lawless thanks to Orco’s failed attempt at killing Fango which has now forced them into a ceasefire with both the Vannetti’s and the Galassias, not wanting to dig themselves any deeper. After meeting up with Barbero at “The Lodge”; a hidden moonshine production setup, both Nero and Avilio head towards the Vanetti mansion so as to join a meeting to be held between the heads of the three …

Of Mice And Murderers – 91 Days Episode Four – Season’s Writings

Episode four marks the beginning of Avilio and Nero’s countryside “sabbatical” which, in true gangster fashion, is not without it’s fair share of illegality. The duo leave Lawless and head outwards, stopping over at roadside towns whenever they can, heading towards…wherever. With no real goal in mind, apart from keeping Nero safe, they keep on their feet, never staying in one place for longer than they have to, but that doesn’t mean they’re in the clear. Orco has sent a hitman their way; “a regular Goliath”, as he is described by Frate. With the nose of a tracker dog, and an actual tracker dog, at his disposal, moving from place to place is not what’s going to keep them out of harms way. The boys must pull together all their wits and weaponry, and take this guy out before he puts their vacation to rest for good, but with no money, no weapons, and nowhere to run, it’s going to take more than a slingshot to stop the rampage of this warrior…or will it? While I …

Where In The World Is Serpente’s Body? – 91 Days Episode Three – Season’s Writings

Episode two left us on quite a cliffhanger, but the start of episode three revealed that it was nothing more than a red herring. After confronting Nero about the death of his best friend Vanno at the hands of Serpente, or so Avilio says, it looked as though our “hero” wasn’t going to be put to rest somewhat prematurely. As it turns out, pointed a gun at someone’s head is just the Italian way of expressing anger, the grieving Nero was never going to fill Avilio with lead, but he did almost send him to his death at the hands of Fango after “requesting” that he finds Serpente’s body. Why is that so important? Well, the rest of the organised crime world doesn’t necessarily care about the details of this double murder, all they know is that a member of the Vanetti crime family killed one of the Orcos, which is more than enough to ignite the flames of war, turning Lawless from a simple corrupt town full of bootleggers and thieves into a battlefield…come to think …

On This, The Day Of My Daughter’s Wedding? – 91 Days Episode Two – Season’s Writings

There are few things synonymous with mobster movies, and they conform to this across the board: Guns, Suits, Italian Sweets, and Weddings. The Godfather featured each of these four, and that is a film seen as the pinnacle of the sub-genre, so it only makes sense that an Anime series based upon films of this kind would also feature those same components. In episode two of 91 Days, “Phantom Of Falsehood“, the audience is taken on a wild ride as we follow the short-lived story of Vanetti mafioso Vanno Clemente who, at first introduction, quickly became my favorite character of the series. It’s just too bad that he, well…I really shouldn’t say. Opening up with a job gone wrong, episode two of 91 Days gives audiences a front-row seat to the inner-workings of the Vanetti family told in a way reminiscent of The Godfather, as mentioned above. It’s the wedding day of Nero’s little sister, and in true Italian matrimonial festivity a fight breaks out between our “hero” Avilio and the groom which, if it’s …

Retrospective: Odin Sphere (PS2)

2007 was an interesting year for video games. The Xbox 360 was in its second year, the PlayStation 3 had just started its first year in the gaming market… and yet despite the hype surrounding High Definition gaming and next-gen visuals, the PlayStation 2 was still performing strongly despite its (by then) dated hardware. The interesting thing about the PS2 was that despite it launching before its immediate competition, it outlasted the clearly superior Xbox and GameCube. Not only that, it was barely phased by the presence of far superior competition in the Xbox 360 or even by its replacement in the PS3. Even as a gamer back then, and having an Xbox 360 with the likes of Blue Dragon in my hands, my PS2 was still getting plenty of usage. Instead of being placed in a closet as soon as I got my shiny new Xbox 360, I actually found myself getting more enjoyment out of a last generation system that year than I did from my new next-gen system. I wasn’t even compelled to …

Import Duty: Princess Crown (SEGA Saturn)

Vanillaware may have left their mark on the industry with Odin Sphere back in 2007, and once more with Odin Sphere Leifthrasir in 2016, but their first dance happened way back in 1997 when they were an internal studio within Atlus. Princess Crown was technically the debut game of the Atlus team that would eventually become Vanillaware and achieve great success. Princess Crown, however, was more than just their first creation as it even laid the groundwork to the Odin Sphere we all know and love. Princess Crown was released for the SEGA Saturn in Japan back in 1997 and was unfortunately not localised or released anywhere else. It would later receive a port on the PlayStation Portable in 2011 but unfortunately even that never left Japan. Still, if you were looking for a way to try the game then the region-free PSP version is probably the most accessible. Although, as a SEGA Saturn game Princess Crown was a special gem. Right from the opening moments, Princess Crown will feel very familiar to anyone who has …

To the Bittersweet End – Ushio and Tora Episode 39 (Finale) – Season’s Writings

So here we are, the end. It’s been a wild ride hasn’t it? We’ve seen an inexperienced child come to terms with his duty, an obnoxious yokai slowly transform into an upstanding hero and the world around them forgo grudges born thousands of years ago. We’ve seen a monster of the week story shift into a single cohesive plot, characters return well after we forgot who they were and an impossible amount of stubbornness vanquish evil time and time again. But whether you’ve been concious of thisi or not, the simple fact remains, through every challenge, through every moment of strife and elation, we have seen Ushio and Tora. Judgement Day. Hakumen no Mono is on its final legs and is now more dangerous than ever. Having openly admitted that Ushio and Tora’s verbal beatdown is accurate and it is in fact jealous of the world, Hakumen lets loose and becomes a ballistic bundle of unbridled fury. Apart from showing how tenacious this villain is, I was rather interested in Hakumen’s willingness to accept its faults. …

Night and Day – Ushio and Tora Episode 38 – Season’s Writings

We’re really speeding towards the end aren’t we? I mean, this is the second last episode of Ushio and Tora, one more and we’re done. That’s it, finished. But let’s worry about that next week shall we? This week we have bigger fish to fry, well, it’s the same fish, but you get the idea. Having been driven into four magically empowered corners, Hakumen no Mono is on the defensive this time around…not that it’d let you know that. Rather, we must witness a spiteful and pompous villain until the bitter end, in all its fox-bird-horse glory, as it proclaims to bring eternal darkness unto the light of the world. Which is really mean. With the collective forces of the yokai and humans bearing down on it, Hakumen no Mono decides to enlist an annoyingly logical course of action and separates said forces from their leaders. Their leaders, of course, are Ushio and Tora, whom Hakumen just figured out are the cause of Japan’s receding fear levels. A surprising blind spot for a being so hellbent on …

Getting the Band Back Together – Ushio and Tora Episode 37 – Season’s Writings

Don’t you just hate a smug villain? You know the ones, they’re always talking about how they’re the best and will never be defeated by the likes of you. They suck. Yet, there is one glaring benefit to witnessing a character/creature who fills this role; watching them fail. Is it vindictive? A little, yes, but they’re evil so it’s okay…I think. Regardless, we’ve all been watching Hakumen be an arrogant, selfish monster for all this time, so I think it’s about darn time that we get to see this fox-bird-horse get some just desserts. Or at least, the prequel to dessert, since the show’s not done yet. Would that be dinner then? The prequel to just desserts…I hope Hakumen gets its just dinners. When we last left half of our protagonisitic duo, Tora was floating somewhere in the ocean with three giant holes in his body. Which I assume would hurt. Of course, this is not the end for our tiger striped companion and we spend some time this episode delving into the complex mind …

Where the Heart Is – Ushio and Tora Episode 36 – Season’s Writings

Well we’re certainly turning onto the home stretch now aren’t we folks. With Hakumen no Mono locked in a battle against every character who has ever bore it ill will, our ending draws ever closer. Now, how that ending plays out is yet to be determined but, in the mean time, it sure is nice to see the bird-fox-horse we all hate go on the defensive for once. Of course this is due to the fact that its destruction will mean the safety of every sentient creature on the planet, but you have to admit, it’s also mostly because Hakumen is a jerk and you want to see it get punched in the face, like, really, really hard. I know I do. Following last weeks heroic charge into dramatic still frame animation, Ushio and the yokai crew are interrupted on their journey to Hakumen by the appearance of Hakumen. Needless to say, everyone is startled and panic ensues. Hakumen, being the loveable scamp it is, couldn’t care less about them for the moment, as it …

Total Recall – Ushio and Tora Episode 35 – Season’s Writings

As per the standard in shonen series, as well as any series that isn’t trying to make you leave with an overall feeling of dread and depression, a hero’s darkest moment always comes before their brightest. With Ushio having fallen in battle and the Beast Spear shattering into a whole bunch of tiny, sparkly pieces, things were not looking up for the forces of good. However, because of magic, emotions and all that fun stuff that makes the good guys good, Ushio and the spear that could, would and did persist through the ages are ready to take another swing at the horrifying amalgamation of evil that is currently razing Japan to the ground. Which is good…because of the whole razing Japan to the ground thing, that should really be stopped. Catching the tail end of Kirio’s tale of the Beast Spear, we are made aware that Mayuko, Mama Ushio, Jie Mei and that split in half mirror guy are up to speed with Tora’s past, saving Ushio a whole lot of time in the …

Heart of Darkness – Ushio and Tora Episode 34 – Season’s Writings

Mystery is an alluring concept. If somethings exists in a form not entirely understood, people will endeavour to know the truth. Finally, after thirty four weeks, give or take a seasonal break, we have definitive answers as to the secrets that lie within our tiger striped deuteragonist. From Azafuse, to Nagatobimaru, we now know that our lovable tsundere yokai began life bearing neither of those names, rather, he was known as the Cursed Child and his name was Shagakusha. Okay, we’re finally here. The answer train has pulled into the station and we now know the horrible past that Tora was forced to endure. Having been born in what I assume is ancient Egypt, Shagakusha lived as a street urchin, scraping by through acts of thievery and violence. You see, on the day of his birth, a violent ball of energy feel to Earth and resulted in the deaths of all but baby Shagakusha. Naturally, it was the town’s consensus to shun him as a Cursed Child and turn their heads in the hope that he …

Hatred – Ushio and Tora Episode 33 – Season’s Writings

There is only so much something can bend before it breaks. Generally a statement used to refer to any number of inanimate objects, the phrase holds just as much truth when referring to people. Sure there are varying types of people, all with their own strengths and weaknesses, but there exists a breaking point for all. That one step too far. This week, we find Ushio’s. Pushed just that little bit extra, we come to see just what kind of torment and stress has been bubbling under the surface of our rash hero, what kind of pain lurks within a child forced to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders. It isn’t pretty… It was bound to happen. It had to happen. Given what we’ve seen during Ushio’s previous encounter with Hakumen no Mono, there is no way this fight could’ve begun without some strife. Personal strife I mean, I think we all expected some external negativity, what with Hakumen’s appetite for death and all. Jumping back into Mama Ushio’s protective sphere, we …

Import Duty – Stranger of Sword City (Xbox One)

Stranger of Sword City is a first person dungeon crawler JRPG in similar vein to the countless other old school JRPGs that have really started to make their way out of their native country of Japan. Handheld platforms, the 3DS and Vita, have a growing library of these titles. Stranger of Sword City has made its way to Australia and all over the world as a Vita release, and for all intents and purposes most would feel like it was hand-crafted specifically as a another addition to Vita’s dungeon crawling RPG line-up. But as it turns out, Stranger of Sword City didn’t quite start out as a Vita game, let alone a game for a Japanese system, it in fact began as an Xbox 360 game of all things. Stranger of Sword City was released in limited quantities for the Xbox 360 in Japan only, which would shock most people considering Microsoft systems are commercial failures in the Land of the Rising Sun. The artwork and packaging was a thing of beauty, and I was …

Surface Tension – Ushio and Tora Episode 32 – Season’s Writings

Since the name Hakumen no Mono first passed ominously through our ears, a storm has been brewing, the likes of which the world has seen only in a forgotten history. Nevertheless, doom seeps ever closer as the forces of good lie in chaos, consumed by fear and infighting whilst evil plots. It will not be fun. However, as we are all too aware, there is a calm before any storm. Sure it won’t lessen the impact of what is to follow, but respite must be taken wherever it is available, lest it be too late. With the deep sea a callin’ and an overall lack of viable options, we begin our journey this week with Ushio and the faux-hostage crew of the Undine making a bee line straight for the most evil creature in all of existence. Laying eyes on the demonic fox-bird that plagues all our nightmares once more, Ushio is made all too aware that Hakumen no Mono is, like, really, really big…and scary…also evil. Though this has all been obvious since the get …

Deep Wounds – Ushio and Tora Episode 31 – Season’s Writings

No matter what you do, there is always someone who will take it the wrong way. Be it because of a misinterpretation or a simple clash of ideals, it is impossible to convey your intentions to all. Unfortunately, in the world of Ushio and Tora, such ideology is usually the precursor to some kind of fight, probably one involving lightning. This being the case, former ally, turned minion of Hakumen, Nagare decides to bring all of his opinions and pent up rage crashing down right on the back of Ushio’s skull. Now Ushio is okay, but it doesn’t take a genius to see that Nagare probably won’t be leaving unscathed…if he leaves at all. So, remember that whole thing where the military got tricked by Hakumen no Mono and are planning to straight up bomb the ocean? Yeah, that’s still happening. Of course, when Ushio decides to visit their battleship and inform them of how dumb their plan is, they immediately believe him to be a minion of Hakumen and throw him…into a break room. …

Armoured and Dangerous – Ushio and Tora Episode 30 – Season’s Writings

People really need to vett their sources before they authorise a complete tactical bombardment of a stone pillar. Okay fine, it isn’t easy to perform a background check on a spirit that has lived for aeons, but still, an attempt should be made. In this particular case, we find Hakumen no Mono pulling a fast one on the JASDF by convincing them that attacking is the only course of action to save the future. Obviously this is wrong. Even ignoring the Hakumen part, these guys aren’t even close to being main characters, there’s no way they’re going to end this fight. Geez, anime life would be so much easier if people just realised that only the primary cast has any true impact on events, especially if their names are in the title. In addition to the aforementioned trickery, this episode crams a whole lot of moving gears into the Ushio and Tora machine. Starting with the simplest first, Asako has finally regained conciousness despite what were once horrific burns covering her body. Thanks to a little kappa …

Tora, Tora Everywhere – Ushio and Tora Episode 29 – Season’s Writings

It was bound to happen eventually. Since the get go of this series, one mystery has remained ever present; Who the heck is Tora anyway? We’ve met yokai who know him, the various names he has taken on throughout history and what he has done to earn his reputation. Yet we still know nothing about the guy himself. Okay, so maybe this episode didn’t give us all the answers, but it certainly gave us some pieces of the puzzle…the violent, tiger striped, tsundere puzzle. In addition to his most hated nom de guerre, Nagatobimaru, Tora has been referred to by another in the past; Azafuse. Though originally assumed to be as inconsequential as his, somewhat forced, change to Tora, we know now better. Rather than a name, Azafuse is a term, one that refers to a very unique bunch of yokai. As we remember from Ushio’s brief foray into the animalistic, the Beast Spear possesses the danger of being able to swallow the soul of its wielder, which is kinda really bad. Ushio, of course, …

What Is Love? – Ushio and Tora Episode 28 – Season’s Writings

Well, that didn’t go as expected. With the onslaught of drama and melancholy that last week brought us, I was expecting a little of that ol’ shonen charm to bust in and save us all from contemplating the complexities of a problem you can’t just hit with a mystical, magical weapon. Okay, I suppose we kind of got a little of that, but damn Ushio and Tora, way to bring the mood down…not that I don’t love you for it. Kicking off right where we left last week, we open on the crowkai (patent pending) guard informing Mayuko that she is to be burned alive for the sake of making a pointy stick that will be used to kill a big fox-bird that has been asleep under the sea for thousands of years…okay, maybe they don’t quite phrase it like that, but that’s pretty much the gist of what’s happening. Asako of course denies this reality and lunges at the birdman, who deftly dodges (real show of skill), leaving Asako flying helplessly past him…directly into …

Don’t You Forget About Me – Ushio and Tora Episode 27 – Season’s Writings

Ushio and Tora, that takes me back. Not to the original manga run mind you, but Season One, the part where I jumped into the fray and decided to see just how a kid with a spear and a not-tiger spirit could tear up some truly demonic forces. And boy did they. In their original run, the vitriolic pair of best buds saw to the destruction of their fair share of yokai attackers, which was pretty sweet. However, the most important aspect of the series, at the stalwart behest of Ushio, has been the yokai that they did not kill, but instead befriended. More often than not, this attitude has seen the redemption of foes and the forging of unlikely friendships. But, as the morose saying goes; All good things must come to an end. Season Two, we’re enjoying ourselves, we’re ready to get back into the swing of Ushio’s adventures and everything seems situation normal. Actually, things seem better than normal. Right out of the gate, the episode provides us with yet another aggressively coy interaction …

First Thoughts: My Hero Academia – You Can Be A Hero

Having followed the My Hero Academia manga since it first began in Weekly Shonen Jump, I have spent months waiting with bated breath for this anime adaptation to finally air. So it goes without saying that my expectations for BONES’ adaptation were high. Fortunately for me and everyone else, the My Hero Academia anime series looks to be in good hands after this fantastic first outing into Kohei Horikoshi’s wonderful world of heroes and villains. For those who have been living under a rock, My Hero Academia is the hottest new manga in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, with many famed mangaka giving it the seal of approval and fans touting it as the next big thing in shonen manga. Even Masashi Kishimoto of Naruto fame, has been vocal in his support of the series. It has all the right tools to be the next shonen mega hit in the same vein as Naruto, One Piece, Yu Yu Hakusho or Dragon Ball Z and with this anime series that destiny is sure to be fulfilled. The …