It's that time of the week again, time for Fighting Friday, the weekly battle anime and manga recap that's in your floor, watching you watch battle anime.
We were watching battle anime this week, too, including the JUMP big three as well as Fairy Tail, and we lived to tell the tale. So here are our tales!
Anime [You can catch Naruto, Bleach, Fairy Tail simulcasting on Crunchyroll. Bleach also airs on Adult Swim, with other episodes available via iTunes. DVD volumes are available at major retailers, published by VIZ media. One Piece episodes can be streamed onHulu and FUNimation's official One Piece page.] Pedro Cortes One Piece Episode 494
[You can catch Naruto, Bleach, Fairy Tail simulcasting on Crunchyroll. Bleach also airs on Adult Swim, with other episodes available via iTunes. DVD volumes are available at major retailers, published by VIZ media. One Piece episodes can be streamed onHulu and FUNimation's official One Piece page.]
One Piece Episode 494
Hey guys, remember that kid Sabo? You know, the one that Luffy and Ace would always mention? No? Well, now you do.
The flashback continues with Luffy discovering the Grey Terminal, aka the massive trash dump where the undesirables live. Luffy catches up with Ace and we're introduced to Sabo, who is voiced by none other than Junko Takeuchi, aka Naruto. So within two arcs you have the leads of two other major shonen shows pop up as side characters. Well played Toei, well played.
When Luffy meets Ace and Sabo, they're counting their loot, ever trying to save up for a ship to escape to the sea. The two older kids don't take kindly to the scrappy Luffy and consider killing him to hide their secret. Unfortunately for the kiddies, the last guy Ace robbed was a low level pirate from the ruthless Bluejam crew. The robbed gets one of his higher ups to go looking for Ace and Sabo. Instead, they get Luffy who is dragged away for interrogation. Like any kid worth his stuff, Ace tells Sabo to grab the goods and hide it somewhere else, assuming that Luffy is going to give up their hidey-hole.
A couple of hours pass and all the loot has been moved. Ace and Sabo suddenly realize that Luffy hasn't coughed up any info and is probably going to be killed. Their quite right and manage to break into the shack right before the mean mo' fo' kills the rubber wonder kid.
You know, Sabo never quite sat right for me. If he were so damn important, we didn't Ace or Luffy mention him before, even in passing? Hell, when Luffy ran into the Tenryuubitto, that would've been a good time to mention Sabo as you'll find out in a couple of weeks. He definitely feels forced in, which is a bit disappointing since Oda has done well in keeping his world fairly consistent with few ret-cons. Oh well, at least I'm consistently amused with the choice of seiyuu.
Fairy Tail Episode 75
I didn't think I'd enjoy this week's episode, considering it would just be a race and antics, but Fairy Tail always manages to make me laugh. Once again, we also got to see a bit more of another side character we don't know much about. This time it was Jet, who seems to be weak on the magical side, but can run fast. The cheesiness of having him fall asleep towards the end of the race, putting Erza in a bunny suit and Happy pulling in as the winner was funnier than it should have been, too. Maybe in the wake of the frantically running Jet, Happy was able to hop over all the people that got knocked down? Either way, it was cute, and while I was expecting Lucy to come in towards the front, it looks like Wendy and Carla pulled through first. I like that Wendy has so many different outfits, now. She's so dang cute.
Bleach episode 318
What's this? A human involved in a Bleach filler plot arc? Say it ain't so!
But it is. And that can either be good news or bad news. It could be bad news because the last time a human was involved in filler (and it was Uryuu at that), it was the Bount arc. Then again, it could be good news, because this arc has shown much more potential in two episodes than the Bount arc did for most of its run.
For example, there were no extra characters, much less the three new Mod Souls introduced with the Bount. The only new guys to date are the villain, and the Nozomi, the green-haired brat currently abusing Kon, who has helpfully stayed out of his stuffed animal costume.
And the show has gone two-for-two on high-quality animation as well. If not for some static interior scenes, I might have mistaken some of this footage as taken from one of the Bleach movies.
The plot as well seems to be designed to stay within safe, entertaining boundaries. Rather than introducing a new stable of villains/heroes with new powers, all less interesting or relevant than the ones used by the already-bloated canon cast, the story involves gigai, those fake clone bodies Soul Reapers use when hanging out in the living world, as well as their Soul Society counterparts, reigai.
How does that matter? It matters because all obviously an excuse to set up "dream matches" and have characters who'd have no reason to beat on each other do so, because OH NO EVIL CLONES. Two scenes this episode already reveal it, when powered-up clones of Ikkaku and Renji intercept Ichigo and Rukia, while Nanao and Kira accompany the villain to catch Kon and Nozomi.
You can even see it in the new OP. Ikkaku using his bankai to fight Kyoraku? Toshiro versus Soifon? Mayuri versus Genryusai? Kenpachi versus everyone? And next week, it looks like Yoruichi versus Byakuya.
Oho, I just noticed that I've written more than three paragraphs without ridiculing Bleach. Maybe we're in for a good turn after all.
Naruto Shippuden episode 208
Another episode, another round of exposition. Gaara and Sai fill Naruto with the tough truths. It's war, and Sakura's off to kill Sasuke because loving someone means you have to kill them with your own hands sometimes.
I liked how calmly Kakashi took to the idea that he'd be appointed Hokage right then and there. It's like being told by the mailman that everyone else died in the plane crash, and hey, now you're President. And then your response is "Well, that's news to me. Dang."
Speaking of former Hokages, Danzo is on the run, and is headed off by Madara. It's interesting to note the contrast you can get just by changing someone's voice. Back when no one knew who Tobi was, he talked like a total mook. Now that Naoya Uchida's free to adopt same tone he used to voice Kaiji's Endo or Shin Getter Robo's Jin, he's a completely different character.
Next week it looks like Sasuke's fight with Danzo may last as little as two, maybe three episodes. Could be a record, considering the gravity of what happens after that.
Manga [Naruto, One Piece and Bleach manga volumes are available for purchase via VIZ Media, and Fairy Tail volumes are available through Del Rey/Random House.] Pedro Cortes One Piece Chapter 622
[Naruto, One Piece and Bleach manga volumes are available for purchase via VIZ Media, and Fairy Tail volumes are available through Del Rey/Random House.]
One Piece Chapter 622
Fisher Tiger shows up to Neptune's palace and tells them about his adventures top side, what with freeing the slaves and all. The consequence is that Fishman Island has lost its opportunity to appear with the other representatives at Reverie, leaving the island a political dead zone. This also makes it harder for Otohime to convince the masses that peace is the proper path, since Tiger's bold actions made more of a difference than anything Otohime has done.
Fast foward a couple of years and the Sun Pirates are being chased by the Marines. Things don't turn out so well for the humans, though Tiger mandates that no human is to be killed. A young Kizaru is informed of their resistance and increasing strength. Later, the Sun Pirates pick up a young girl who had been freed during Tiger's destruction on the holy land. The child, Koala, has been mentally scared by her former masters and never emotes beyond a smile, even after being struck by Arlong. Tiger takes Koala and brands her in order to get her to emote, but she still holds out. He only gets a reaction when he makes an impassioned speech, tosses his gun into the ocean and says that they'll definitely get Koala back to her home.
The best way to sum up this chapter is MANLY TEARS. Fisher Tiger enters into the pantheon of bad-ass, manly fish/men in One Piece with this chapter, never mind that he already earned a place by single-handidly freeing so many slaves. Seeing Koala finally cry brought tears to my own eyes, as her plight pulled hard on my heart. It's also Tiger's commitment to helping not only fish men that got such a reaction from me. Can't wait to see where this goes.
Fairy Tail Chapter 231
Bleach chapter 445
The clothes really do make the man when it comes to Ichigo, it seems. Just as his bankai changed his Soul Reaper duds into some kind of hybrid Matrix coat and kimono, and his ultimate Getsuga turns him into an all-black version of The Darkness, his Fullbring clads him in an ink stain that looks kind of like a Soul Reaper outfit.
Chad's mid-fight exposition reminds everyone of the vaguely Shintoist nature of Fullbring powers, i.e. that they manipulate the "souls" of objects in the environment to do things. To use gaming terms, Fullbring-izing air unlocks Ichigo's double-jump, and Fullbring-izing the ground enables the charge jump, etc.
Other than that, the only real difference between a Fullbring and a Soul Reaper ability is that the former is named in English/Spanish, and the latter in Japanese. No, Arrancar powers don't count because all the Arrancar are dead (or MIA), and because Fullbring powers are apparently derived from Hollows, so it's pretty much the same thing.
Next chapter, expect to see what Ginjo can do with his Fullbring-ized sword, now that he's stepped into the fight.
Naruto chapter 536
Well, it took them long enough!
Naruto, Killerbee, black Zetsu, the Mizukage and Madara are now in the fray. Madara brings with him a giant monster, Naruto and Killerbee bring themselves, the Mizukage brings a bunch of ninjas, and black Zetsu brings...something. We never really figured out what he does, did we?
One might hope something really big to happen at this point (assuming a world war wasn't big enough), but there are so many fights still on hold or in the queue that it's hard to see these guys actually hitting things for a while (Madara excepted, since he already teleported right into Chouji and co.'s faces).
I mean, Gaara versus the dead Kages hasn't happened yet, nor have we seen an update of Kakashi versus the Seven Swordsmen, nor any resolution for the Samurai versus whoever the Samurai were fighting at the time.
By this point there are enough fights going on simultaneously that you could probably pull out as many side stories as Sunrise does from Gundam's One Year War. And as far as I can tell this war's been going on for maybe a week at best.
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