I am not an easy person to piss off. It really takes a lot of concentrated effort to get me to hate something. But there is one thing that has always and will always get me angry, and that’s when a series makes it look like it has gotten better, then proving that it hasn’t. The best example of this is actually from this very series a few months ago, when they actually addressed my question of how Lucy’s summon spirits were affected by the timeskip. I was briefly impressed that it actually looked into that…and then they used it as an excuse to cut off the training arc. Dammit, my ideas should never be used for evil. Somehow, though, Fairy Tail has managed to top itself.
WHAT THE HELL, MASHIMA?! WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL?! Read the rest of this entry
There’s a particular fight scene in the manga Rurouni Kenshin that comes to mind when I think of this chapter. Towards the end of that series, Saito Hajime had to fight an opponent whose specialty was understanding the way a technique works almost instantly. If you know anything about Saito’s Gatotsu, you’ll understand how that can leave him at a disadvantage. The opponent gloats that he can’t win with his technique figured out, only for Saito to perform a minor variation of the technique and completely cripple his opponent. The idea was that simply knowing someone’s technique isn’t enough to secure a victory. Read the rest of this entry
Ever since the time skip, I’ve been more than a little curious what the Strawhats are now capable of. We’ve seen their methods of training and have gotten a few short glimpses into their improved fighting styles, but considering how many different techniques each character knew before, it’s clear that there’s so much we haven’t seen yet. That’s why I’ve been looking forward to these upcoming fights more than usual, and why I seriously hope the fishmen can provide a decent challenge.
Just against Hody’s grunts, we’ve gotten a decent display of the new abilities of the crew. My favourites last chapter were Sanji’s Sky Walk (particularly the story of how he learned it) and Franky’s new vehicles. There’s something incredible about watching Chopper driving around in a dinosaur-shaped tank and shooting mooks. Now we somehow managed to top that with Franky COMBINING his two vehicles into a giant mech. I have to admit I was grinning like a maniac during that whole sequence.
The only ones I weren’t crazy about were Nami and Usopp. Nami pulled out a beam of wind, but only managed to take out one enemy. She was doing more than that back at Enies Lobby, so it’s hard to gauge her current level of power from that. Usopp did a lot better in terms of damage, but firing bamboo stalks just seems rather plain compared to what he’s already done.
In terms of the upcoming fights with the New Fishman Officers, I’m hoping they give us more of a chance to see the abilities these last chapters have been setting up. Chopper vs Daruma seems interesting, as they’re both capable of fighting underground, and we have yet to see how Chopper’s other forms fare against him. What confused me a bit was the above page, which seems to imply Zoro fighting Dosun and Sanji fighting Ikaros. Previously, there was another officer who was set up as a skilled swordsman, so you’d think he’d be the one fighting Zoro. And with Dosun’s brute strength and tendency to power down without the steroid, he seemed like someone for Franky to face off with. Sanji vs Ikaros I don’t have as many problems with, although someone with multiple stabbing weapons feels more like someone for Brook to fight. There’s still time for those to happen, of course, but it’s a little odd they chose those characters, specifically.
I’ve been waiting for quite a while now to see how everyone has progressed. Now I think we’re on the verge of seeing it for ourselves. Here’s hoping it lives up to all the hype.
Sakaki Shio was always one of the more enigmatic characters in the main cast. We’ve seen little bits of his personal life, but not to the degree of the other masters. I thought it was a shame, since he was always one of my favourite characters. Now we’ve finally seen what made him the person he is, and I have to say, I liked his flashback a lot.
You have to hand it to this series for keeping People-Who-Kill vs People-Who-Don’t fairly fresh after nearly 300 chapters since Yami was introduced. I don’t remember any of the other relationships being exactly like that of Sakaki and Hongo Akira, a pair of old friends torn apart by the ideals of Yami itself. I can imagine that everyone in this series has their reasons for following their beliefs, but this flashback worked so well for me because it was perfectly clear why these two ended up the way they did. The thought of killing one of their allies to prove themselves to Yami put everything into perspective for them, but in very different ways.
I once thought about why someone like Sakaki would choose a style devoted to saving lives. For me, the most shocking thing in this flashback was not that Suzuki was going to die (because, you know, flashback), but that Sakaki actually was considered for Yami at one point. This goes a long way to explaining his way of life, because even his masters wanted him to take up the Killing Style. The fact that he chose his current path despite everyone encouraging him against it is a good indicator of his character. It shows the kind of strength and determination someone like him really has more than any fight could.
One of the strongest points of Kenichi, I feel, is the intense weight given to the most important fights, and this flashback has helped cement what I hope will be another of those classic battles. I’m aware that Kenichi himself hasn’t been involved much lately (as he’s between mortal enemies at the moment), but it’s also important to give the other characters their own time, and it’s good that Sakaki is finally getting his.
Of course we could enjoy it a little more if you stopped showing Miu’s ass every chance you got!