Saturday, December 19, 2015

UQ Holder 106 Review

I haven't cared much for the last couple chapters. I like Kirie a lot, and I appreciate the characterization we got of her, but this whole time freeze thing seems like a completely wasted opportunity. 4 months pass in the span of two pages, and literally all that happens is that Touta trains nonstop while Kirie is holed up in her room all depressed. Maybe it was necessary to drive Kirie to the edge so that she would finally open up to Touta, but frankly I wasn't very interested in the recent harem building to begin with and just found it boring.

Yet again, despite being fresh with character development from the last arc, Touta just comes off as bland here. I guess I have to give props for him becoming less of a stereotypical shounen idiot hero, but this 'maturing' has just made him completely boring while still keeping most of his flaws. The only thing I found interesting about him now is his relationship with Yukihime, but even that is getting drowned out by the sudden harem (and, of course, he's completely clueless). Tie that with the fact that it doesn't seem likely to me that any of these numerous relationships are likely to go anywhere anytime soon, and honestly I have to say that I think I prefered the old Touta. He was cliche, yes, but at least he was still a little interesting.

I did like what we heard of Kirie's past, as brief as it was. Although it makes me wonder how she even got that unique power of hers considering how comparatively ordinary the household she was born into seemed to be. Maybe she was experimented on somehow? I always theorized that she might be related to Negima's Chisame in some way, but considering her terrible upbringing I've reconsidered that. Chisame was one of the more jerkish members of 3A, but there's no way she would  neglect a child to the point of death (or allow someone related to her to).

The way all of this time freeze stuff gets resolved is just too easy, and just reinforces my opinion that this was all meaningless. There's so much potential for a plot like this, and it all seems squandered in the way it played out. The method in which its resolved (a kiss) also seems out of left field, because there's never been any indication that her ability worked anything like that. At the very end Kirie shouts something like 'Forget It Ever Happened!', which sums up my opinion on how much this is going to matter in the long run. Well, maybe this is going to become a regular power of hers later on.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Tower of God S2 Ep. 179

It's been awhile since I've been this hyped for a Tower of God Chapter. Spoiler warning, as I'm cutting straight to the chase - the combined form of Hoaqin and his four siblings is in fact the Slayer White. Not a Slayer Candidate like Bam, but a full blown Slayer.

As White is almost undoubtedly a High Ranker, if the five of them successfully combine then the heroes will have almost no chance of winning. As OP as Bam is himself for a regular, facing a slayer at this point in his journey would be like, in One Piece terms, a Shichibukai showing up in East Blue. Then again, the previous irregular Urek was said to have fought the 5th ranked Ranker (and very likely the father of Hoaqin and siblings whose unreachable strength drove them into fusing in the first place) Arie Hon on even grounds when he was still in the regular stage himself. Urek was on the 100th Floor at the time while Bam is still just below the 40th. If Bam had completed his training with the God of Guardians then maybe he would have unlocked his full potential immediately and stood a chance? Maybe Bam will pull something off, though, and actually manage to stand up against him. If I had to guess, though, I think Yuri will step in if White does indeed appear.

Considering how far Daniel is going to revive his former nakama Roen, is he really going to let his other former nakama get killed by Anna in the process? Although Roen was probably the most special to him. Daniel has already been skirting the line between both sides to achieve his interests, but I don't know if he would outright turn against Hoaqin.

Judging by the voice that comes from the White Heavenly Mirror, Wangnan and Vicente's group must have acquired another of the siblings over the last month. If so, then that leaves only one of the five unaccounted for. As the voice says that someone is nearby, it makes me wonder if they are en-route to acquire the fifth as well.

I can't be the only one that has found Vicente incredibly suspicious ever since he convinced Wangnan to release him from the mirror. While he might have some disagreements with Hoaqin, he seemed to forgive Wangnan much too easily for that.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Tower of God S2 Ep. 178

So not only can Buelsar willing remove his 'only disappears when he dies Hell in a Cell' himself, apparently anyone with enough power can break through it themselves too. That probably means that Buelsar isn't dead, unfortunately. Angel is defeated, but survives when Boro Boro snaps Ehwa back to her senses.

Once again Baam has made a huge power jump, and we get a flashback to when he was training with the God of Guardians to unlock his true potential. Baam lays down some philosophy about how he's discovered that everyone he's met in the tower who aims to stand above others is ultimately only running from something themselves. The 'True Power' he converses with apparently proves this right shortly after when we get a shot of a huge sphere of power completely overshadowing him. Ok.

I'm guessing that this is going to be a contrast between Baam and Zahard... perhaps Zahard was once like Baam but made the opposite decision and ended up corrupted. I wonder what it is that Zahard fears if that's the case.

I liked the scene with Ehwa more, as I think the philosophy of being afraid of your own power so that you can control it without hurting others revealed in Ehwa's flashback is more sensible. Maybe this one just hit me closer to home. Boro Boro's dialog when she was trying to calm Ehwa seemed more out of place, although I guess it sparked the flashback which helped her return to her senses.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

One Piece 808: Duke Inuarashi

Jack as a mammoth zoan is probably confirmed (he may be an artificial zoan, though). Him being Kaido's underling is definitely confirmed now. Sheepshead referred to him as being one of the three calamities, which makes me wonder if the calamities are Kaido's strongest underlings (possibly including Kaido himself?) or just three beings generally known for their destructiveness regardless of affiliation. Probably the former, if I had to guess. I wonder if X Drake is one of these calamities?

So the Gifters group are probably made up of artificial zoans, but is Sheepshead the strongest of the group? Being that he was beaten by Sanji with relative ease, this army of 500 zoans Kaido has doesn't seem like much of a threat anymore if so. There's also a Pleasures group, whose only purpose seemed to be to get crushed by random Mink civilians and show off their Electro power.

Oda has been introducing us to a lot of minor characters ever since the start of this arc, such as Sicilian and the whale forest guardians. Given Sicilian is only one of three musketeers working under Inuarashi while Nekomamushi is likely to have his own elite guard, it seems like this is going to continue. Hopefully this is because they're going to play an important role later, but given that we just had something similar happen when loads of characters were introduced for Dressrosa it has me concerned.

I still can't tell what the conflict of this arc is going to be; I just hope that whatever happens is actually important to the Kaido story Oda's been building up. I don't want to see a lengthy contrived conflict pop up just for the sake of giving the crew something to do on Zou when the plot could be moving on instead.

UQ Holder 103: Protect or be Protected?

Really not a fan of this chapter. Everything that I was afraid of last time ended up happening. Despite this universe being chock full of powerful action girls, Kuroumaru makes it pretty clear that becoming female has severely weakened her. She implies that it's mostly that she's not used to moving in that body... but in that case wouldn't becoming male have the same problem since she was genderless before? At the end, (s)he ends up winning by either forcing him/herself back to her/his original state, or into a male form. I assumed the change was permanent when it was revealed a few chapters ago, but I guess I was proven wrong.

Honestly, Kuroumaru transforming back disappoints me. Him finally falling into a gender seemed like it was going to be a serious change after his condition was hinted at ~80 chapters ago, but now we're right back into the status quo. At the end Kuroumaru even tells us that his feelings for Touta haven't changed, which makes me worry that all the development he was building up over the last few chapters is now moot. At least we know that he's decided he would rather fight beside Touta than be protected by him.

On the bright side, the action scenes in this chapter were pretty interesting to look at. Too bad it ended so quickly once Kuroumaru changed. As I thought last chapter, for all his hype immortal hunter Chao seems to only exist as an embodiment of the worf effect. I had higher hopes for Asura Tu, but he just decided to leave rather anti-climatically. A shame, as I was really hoping that this encounter would lead us out of the recent harem stuff into a more serious plotline.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tower of God S2 Ep. 177

Ah, so we're doing the 'developing minor characters right before they die' cliché. I really should have seen this coming a mile away as soon as I thought Moontari was going to get a real fight sequence... unfortunately I didn't. Bero Bero's fate seems pretty bleak too, but we still haven't seen all of her sugar rush powers so maybe that will be her saving grace. Maybe she'll end up fighting Buelsar in Moontari's place, although right now Baam seems to be going up against him. So much for conserving energy... Moontari probably would have been better off if he just let Baam duo that fight with him.

Angel too seems to be getting beaten, but since she's been one of the most prominent characters on the villain's team I still kind of feel like she has a decent chance of surviving this somehow - of course the flashbacks she just got don't really help her case. It helps that Ehwa doesn't seem like the type to outright kill people, but that is also dependent on how much control she has of her new powers and how pissed off she is at her teammates' deaths.

Ehwa's new flame powers certainly look flashy, probably some of the series' best art, but I don't see how its really different from her earlier powers besides being more powerful. I guess it completely engulfs her in a flaming aura (is that the first time she's done that?) and allows her to fly. Her completely calm appearance is a pretty stark contrast to the raging flames which I liked.

So I guess there was another way to release the chains than killing Buelsar after all, if he's asking Baam to hurry this fight so he can get past. He's such a liar.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

One Piece 807: 10 Days Ago

Not much really happened in this chapter.

Still no idea what's up with Sanji. Oda seems to be quite fond of drawing plot revelations out lately, such as having the samurai agree to tell the Strawhats everything going with them once they reach the top of Zou and then having them repeatedly fall back down. I guess Oda wants to tell us everything in a certain order for maximum dramatic effect, but the ways he's doing so to make that happen just feels contrived. He didn't even give a reason for not telling us about Sanji - he just skipped that conversation and then had the characters talk ambiguously about it so the reader won't find out. The fact that Oda is acting like this, though, makes me partially predict that it's going to be something comedic. We see Brook again in this chapter, and Momosuke is mentioned, although no Ceasar Clown (and obviously no Sanji).

We got a flashback to how the crew evaded the Big Mom pirates, which I wasn't expecting but was glad to see. I think the relative ease at which half the strawhat crew were able to escape a Yonkou's flagship makes the Big Mom pirates look a little weak, although I suppose if she herself had made an appearance it may have turned out much differently.

It's hard to predict what the conflict of this arc will end up being at this point, but the two most likely contenders will either be the samurai or Zou's King of Night Nekomamushi. Possibly the King of Day Inuarashi and he will have some disagreement concerning the visitors to the island, and Nekomamushi might attempt to attack the strawhats. Or the samurai arrive and one or both of the kings will attempt to take their revenge on them, thus forcing the strawhats to intervene.

Is Jack a Mammoth Ancient Zoan? That would be pretty cool.