All posts tagged: IWGP

Conditions, Crocodiles, and Cats – Fall Anime 2020 (Week Six) – Season’s Writings

-Kane- The Bear Minimum – Jujutsu Kaisen (Episode Six) So, Itadori isn’t dead. Spoilers. Surprise. Fooled you. Well, maybe; chances are you thought he was coming back. Regardless, he’s alive and now secretly contracted to allow Sukuna one minute of freedom at the utterance of a specific word; however, Itadori has no memory of said deal—as per Sukuna’s additional condition. Still, as frightening as this sounds, Sukuna promised not to use his minute of freedom to harm or kill another being—the obvious lack of trust being mitigated by the apparent punishments that arise from breaking an agreed-upon pact. What a nice guy. Still, potentially dangerous or not, this development is largely pushed aside for Itadori’s real-world mission: learning how to used cursed energy. Though played mostly for goofs—and as an opportunity to throw in a few Shonen references—the intricacies of utilising cursed energy are actually pretty interesting. With cursed energy relying on negative emotions, jujutsu sorcerers must learn to utilise the faintest traces of these feelings to power their techniques, whilst also maintaining emotional stability …

Gloom, Guts, and Generosity – Fall Anime 2020 (Week Five) – Season’s Writings

-Kane- Heart Attack – Jujutsu Kaisen (Episode Five) Well, we were promised a death. Who would’ve thought it was (stop reading if you haven’t watched the episode yet) Itadori. Okay, there is a chance that he isn’t dead—a very large chance—but let’s just play this out like his death is permanent. And what a way to go it was: having your heart torn out of your chest. Yikes. You know, I’m starting to think Sukuna is a bad guy. Unfortunately, he is also clever. As heinous an act as it is, removing Itadori’s heart to prevent him regaining control of his body is genius. We know Itadori can freely subdue Sukuna’s control, so artificial boundaries needed to be established. Sukuna’s actions also showcase just how powerful his will to persist is. We don’t know why or how Sukuna was split apart and imprisoned, but I expect that is an experience he is not too keen to return to…which probably means he wasn’t happy when Itadori killed them both. Sure, Sukuna said he could revive using …

Terror, Trees, and Truth – Fall Anime 2020 (Week Four) – Season’s Writings

-Kane- A Face of Evil – Jujutsu Kaisen (Episode Four) Have you ever thought a situation was going to be bad, only to be proven wrong because everything was actually worse? That’s this episode in a nutshell. After being summoned to rescue five people unable to evacuate in time from something pleasantly known as a “curse womb”, our trio de protagonists find themselves way out of their depth. To be fair, such a scenario is fairly common in this world, apparently, and sorcerers are often forced to deal with curses far stronger than themselves. But hey, nobody said the logistics of fighting creatures beyond the ken of mortals would be easy…not that that reality is comforting in anyway. Still, pitting three first-year students against a special-grade curse is apparently an occurrence as rare as it is dangerous—and it is very dangerous. Yet, despite the intensity of the situation, this is a solid element of world building. Sure our leads can be thrown into terrifying situations, but knowing it is not an entirely unique scenario makes …

Salutations, Shame, and Subscribers – Fall Anime 2020 (Week Three) – Season’s Writings

-Kane- Meeting Is Such Bitter Joy – Jujutsu Kaisen (Episode Three) In this episode, our duo (trio if you count Blindfold) becomes a trio (quartet if you count Blindfold). Side note: I still don’t know Blindfold’s name off the top of my head. Regardless, our lead characters are joined by a girl from the countryside who just makes the most charming first impression. Side note: I am being very sarcastic. From the second she is introduced, Nobara (I looked up her name) makes all manner of assumptions based solely on how Yuji and Fushiguro introduce themselves. Though abrasive, people aren’t generally chummy with everybody they’ve met for all of ten seconds; so, realistically, it tracks. What confuses me, however, is the fact that Nobara’s entire backstory revolves around her hatred for the people of her hometown, whose judgemental nature drove her friend to move away. Again, human nature is fickle, but boy does it set up a contradictory meeting. Nobara does show moments of joviality, geeking out with Yuji about the highlights of the big …

Competition, Coups, and Chronology – Fall Anime 2020 (Week Two) – Season’s Writings

-Kane-  A Reason to Die – Jujutsu Kaisen (Episode Two) If there was one thing I would not expect to come after chowing down on a demonic finger, it would be seconds. Yep, it looks like Yuji’s decision to ingest Sukuna’s finger is set to take him on a demonically gourmet quest: to eat the other nineteen fingers. Oh, Sukuna had four arms, by the by, hence the twenty digits. Double oh, Yuji already ate a second one to prove his resolve—and his ability to actually serve as a vessel. Essentially, Blindfold convinced the Council of Scared Old-Fashioned Guys to hold off on executing Yuji until he has eaten all of Sukuna’s fingers, as killing a vessel kills the curse within them. It’s not the worst plan, and it’ll definitely make the series last longer than if they killed him right now. I’m certain we’ll eventually learn why Yuji is so special, and it’ll probably have to do with the parents that his grandfather kept attempting to discuss, but that’s a chat for a later …

Drums, Dragons, and Demons – Fall Anime 2020 (Week One) – Season’s Writings

-Kane- Finger Food – Jujutsu Kaisen (Episode One) On the long list of things I would never do with the severed body part of an ancient being, eating it would be pretty dang high up there. Though I suppose that’s why I’m not the one imbued with the power of a curse powerful enough to be labelled a “special threat” even when correctly stored. So yes, much like Blue Dragon, Jujutsu Kaisen seems like it will follow the story of somebody who decided that consumption is nine-tenths the law of the jungle. Though definitely an unexpected turn in the grand scheme of things, the series sort of tipped its hand when Yuji asked why anything would try to eat a cursed object—in this case a severed finger—only to be told that doing so would grant the consumer tremendous power. Still, it was decidedly cool to see somebody oblivious of the potential dangers turn the opponents strategy against them—the “opponents” in this case being horrific abominations known as Curses. There is also certainly a greater reason for Yuji’s …

Wrestle Kingdom 11 Was Bullet Hell

There are times when I am glad to be proven wrong, and Wrestle Kingdom 11 made me feel silly for having such low and cynical expectations going into it. Not only was it miles better than last year’s somewhat lukewarm Wrestle Kingdom 10, but it also blew the superb Wrestle Kingdom 9 clear out of the water. Wrestle Kingdom 11 taught me to never doubt the innovation and potential of underdogs. It also helped that the English localisation was great thanks to the solid play by play commentary from Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino. A huge improvement over the disastrous English commentary panel in Wrestle Kingdom 10 which featured Yoshi Tatsu of all people. Despite New Japan Pro Wrestling losing most of their top stars to WWE, Wrestle Kingdom 11 proved to be the best iteration yet all thanks to a fresh and unpredictable wildcard. Wrestle Kingdom 11 literally blindsided me with a main event that I am confident in calling as among the timeless classics of the modern era. The strong main event was complemented …

Starting the New Year with Wrestle Kingdom 11

  Before Wrestlemania, and hell before the Royal Rumble, there is no wrestling event that kick starts the New Year quite like Wrestle Kingdom by New Japan Pro Wrestling. Having become more widespread since Wrestle Kingdom 9, thanks to localisations efforts and the inclusion of an English color commentary team (which was great in Wrestle Kingdom 9 but certainly left A LOT to be desired in Wrestle Kingdom 10). We are now getting ready for Wrestle Kingdom 11, set to take place on January 4 2017 (January 5 for those living in the Outback) inside the one and only historic Tokyo Dome. It’s been said many times before, but this is Japan’s equivalent of Wrestlemania being held in New York’s  Madison Square Garden. Wrestle Kingdom 11 certainly has a lot of buzz for it, but the star power is lacking… thanks mainly due to some of the biggest NJPW stars of the last 5 years now becoming fixtures of WWE. So much of what made Wrestle Kindgom amazing is now missing, with the likes of …

Wrestle Kingdom 10 Was a Night of Redemption and Triumph

No wrestling promotion kick starts the New Year with a bang quite like New Japan Pro Wrestling with their traditional Tokyo Dome wrestling extravaganza, which has for the last decade gone by the apt Wrestle Kingdom moniker. Wrestle Kingdom is quite simply wrestling royalty, and easily the closest alternative to WWE’s Wrestlemania showcase of wrestling immortality. Last year marked the very first English localisation of Wrestle Kingdom, with Wrestle Kingdom 9 delivering an amazing night of superb wrestling action, all made accessible to fans outside Japan thanks to the great efforts of the English commentary team that comprised of Matt Striker and the legendary Jim Ross. You can of course read our full coverage of the amazing Wrestle Kingdom 9 and how much we enjoyed nearly every match on the card. 2016 started off with Wrestle Kingdom 10 on January 4th, and it was a night filled with familiar faces and champions, but more importantly the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 10 was a rematch of the unforgettable closer of Wrestle Kingdom 9: Hiroshi Tanahashi …

Tanahashi and Okada to Clash Once Again at Wrestle Kingdom 10

The planets have aligned once more for the tenth Wrestle Kingdom event by New Japan Pro Wrestling, which is set to take place on January 4, 2016 and will once again kickstart the new year as one of the biggest wrestling events in the world (that isn’t Wrestlemania). As per tradition, Wrestle Kingdom 10 will be held inside the historic Tokyo Dome. While there is still a good three or so months to go until the PPV extravaganza, the main event has been set in stone already. The main event of Wrestle Kingdom 10 will feature a rematch that I quite honestly wasn’t expecting to happen so soon: Kazuchika “Rain Maker” Okaka will go one on one against his greatest rival in Hiroshi Tanahashi over the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. At Wrestle Kingdom 9, Tanahashi walked in as the defending champion and successfully walked out with the championship in hand after what was one of the best matches of 2014. Tanahashi needed to hit nearly ten of his signature High Fly Flows to make it happen, and challenger …

Wrestle Kingdom 9 Was Wrestling Royalty

Click here to read our preview of the event.  Nothing could have prepared us for the incredible show that was Wrestle Kingdom 9 by New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). The first real localization of this Japanese pop culture phenomenon courtesy of Jeff Jarret and Global Force Wrestling. On ringside you had Jim Ross and Matt Striker calling the action for English speaking audiences, doing their very best to tell the stories and break down the language barrier. On 4 January 2015, NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 9 kick started the year with what is already the best show of 2015. Although that obviously doesn’t mean much at this point, which is why it pleases me to say that Wrestle Kindgom 9 is among the finest wrestling shows in recent memory, if not in the history of this global industry itself. Wrestle Kingdom 9 had the glitz, glamour, and production values of a star-studded Wrestlemania, and that’s no light analogy. But this was no Wrestlemania look-alike, because Wrestle Kingdom 9 embodies the sheer uniqueness and richness of Japanese wrestling, …

Gear Up for NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 9

  This website is all about Japanese pop culture, and you’ve seen this place cover music, anime, video games, and manga… so what’s this pro wrestling doing in your Nippon culture haven? Don’t worry, we won’t be discussing the CM Punk Retrieval Arc any time soon… but we do want to bring your attention to the wonderful world of Japanese grappling. It’s not surprising that nearly everyone associates professional wrestling as a defining feature of the North American sports and entertainment industry, and of course most people would also appreciate the Mexican heritage of the phenomenon given the fascination with the athletic styling of Lucha Libre (and lest we forget Jack Black’s take on the art form in Nacho Libre). That said, to say that pro wrestling is as deeply embedded in Japanese history and culture just as it is in North America, Mexico, and even Great Britain, would not be an overstatement at all. In fact, Japan has such a huge pro wrestling industry that it has has dedicated fans all over the country from all generations. …