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Shonen Showdown 10-22-2012

2:00 PM on 10.22.2012 // Josh Tolentino

The face of determination

Like a Mysterious Man of Mystery, out of the shadows comes Shonen Showdown, your weekly dose of willful, hot-blooded battle anime and manga recaps!

With Pedro and Kristina exploring the shadowy depths we commons would call "vacation", noble Chris and I have taken on the task of entertaining ye dear readers with our showdown-grade synopses of Bleach, Naruto, and Hunter x Hunter!

We face our trial with all the determination and resolve only a battle series protagonist can muster! Click ahead, dear reader, and see the latest, then tell us of your exploits in determination, resolve, and hot-blooded justice-bringing!


Chris Walden

Hunter x Hunter Episode 51

Well, this is it. The Phantom Troupe have decided to avenge their fallen comrade by storming the auction, and it doesn't seem that they are particularly interested in negotiations. It's great to finally see some of the members in action, and their abilities and sheer power are certainly a joy to watch. Well, for us, as I'm not sure the yakuza are too thrilled about this turn of events.

It's also weird to see the leader with a headband covering the strange mark on his forehead. There's no doubt a reason for this, but at the moment he actually seems like a human being, rather than a very Hisoka-esque death-loving creeper. What was that? He can cry? Good lord, don't tell me these guys may actually have a just reason to reveal. That's probably jumping a little ahead of myself, but I'm a bit shocked to see he's actually human. 

Actually, being able to summon flesh-eating ghost snakes is a pretty redeeming feature. Opening up windows in a skyscraper to wave your arms around like an orchestra conductor is also a pretty redeeming feature. Wait, am I beginning to sympathise with the bad guy? It's probably because Kurapika hasn't had any fights in a while.

I can't help but notice the mummy guy. the dude/dudette with the long hair and Nobunaga (possibly more) aren't fighting. I'm sure they'll be appearing soon enough with some nice surprise for Kurapika and company. 

[Hunt for this show on Crunchyroll!]



Josh Tolentino

Bleach chapter 512

Ichigo's here!

And...yeah, that's pretty much the whole message. He's arrived, shirt newly wrecked, abs newly exposed, full of resolve and determination that only the killing off other popular characters can inspire.

Speaking of being killed off, Byakuya hasn't been yet, which means I totally called it. To paraphrase the fate of 2008's big banks, he's too popular to die (Ed. Note: Political reference ahoy!).

Whether he actually survives to see the end of the arc is another matter, though, and while it's not polite to wish for another's death (fictional person or nay), I sure hope he doesn't. Far too many deaths have been cheapened of late, be it in Bleach or other forms of teen-targeted pop media.

In any case, I've said this before, but it seems a bit incredible (in the negative sense of the word) that the Quincies would fear Ichigo so, or that Ichigo be as confident as he is (though his protagonist-hood justifies it). Characters with a far higher apparent power level than Ichigo has displayed have been taken down without breaking a sweat.

Plus, Ichigo's never actually gone up against the highest tiers of Soul Society characters before. Could he really hold his own against the likes of Yamamoto? Sure, there was the Aizen fight, but even that one was ended by a scheme on Urahara's part. The defeat wasn't definitively Ichigo's.

But hey, this is a battle manga, and the protagonist seems about to face off against the Big Bad. This is the signal to turn off one's brain and just roll with it. 


Naruto chapter 606

Obito continues to have his plans laid out for him, and the "revelation" in this case is that everything was pretty much down to OG Madara, including Nagato's Rinnegan. Frankly, to call Obito a "partner" in this harebrained scheme would be a bit generous. "Critical accessory" is probably closer to the truth.

I'm guessing that this opens up some possibility for redemption down the line, once Orochimaru and Sasuke actually do whatever it is they're doing. A last-gasp Obito-Kakashi reconciliation would certainly be in line with the rest of Naruto's base sentiment.

Josh Tolentino, Managing Editor
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Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more   |   staff directory

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