These wounds, they will not heal.
Welcome to another edition of Shonen Showdown, the weekly recap of battle anime and manga that's really feeling the drama right now. It's feeling it so hard that there's no way it can come out of this funk without some kind of evolution.
But we'll get to that later, in this week's recap of Naruto. Besides that and Bleach being on break, we've got a full slate, with Fairy Tail, Hunter x Hunter, and the grand return of Pedro Cortes and his One Piece recaps!
Hunter x Hunter Episode 66
And here I was, thinking that we'd have the Greed Island arc shaken up by Killua being out of action. Apparently not, because incapacitating over a thousand potential hunters means you get to skip a few rounds. Who would have thought? I don't think this'll have a direct effect on anything on this arc, but I suppose it's a good way of getting it out of the way before the next arc. It also gives us a pretty convincing visual indicator of how much stronger Killua is than his pre-Greed Island self. No one died either!
Interestingly, we've moved from training to card hunting, as all three prepare to leave the game. It'll be tough, especially as we know that some cards are being monopolised to the point where people need to trade in order to make further progress. Perhaps it is this that inspires the next fight with the Phantom Troupe?
Speaking of those guys, we finally discover why Hisoka shows up. It certainly seems like him to want to go out of his way to fight a full-power Chrollo, but just what is it that'll make him team up with Gon and Killua? It's probably going to be a common interest rather than anything friendlier than that, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
I kinda skipped over it, but there was something in this episode that really got me bummed out. Killua, why are you ruining the chances of Zepile becoming a hunter? Jerk! It's going to be a bad couple of weeks for all of those involved, that's for sure, unless the professional hunters feel bad enough for them all to just carry on somehow...
[Hunt for this show on Crunchyroll!]
One Piece Episode 578 - 583
Starting with episode 578, the Strawhats managed to save Panz Fry, the giant master chef. Unfortunately, Shuzo and the Neo Navy have the pirates pinned down in a reef and are tossing their own submarines at them. The good news is that their aim is absolutely horrible and any that get close are destroyed. Shuzo spits out the usual absolute justice Navy garbage and starts a scuffle with Luffy. For the sake of filler convenience, Luffy fights like a moron and Shuzo gets the upper hand. Lilly gets shot into Luffy and expands inside of him, controlling him like some absurd puppet. What it does do is make him into the size of a Giant. With his strength multiplied, the fight ends rather quickly. Shuzo is tied up and eventually captured by other members of the Navy and sent to Impel Down. The episode ends with Master Z declaring that he'll end all pirates in the New World. Not that it matters for the show, as that'll be dealt with in the upcoming One Piece movie.
The next episode moves onto the story proper, as the Strawhats find Punk Hazard, the island where the next arc takes place. Conveniently enough, everybody is back in their usual outfits. While floating on the outskirts of the burning island, a call for help comes in on the transponder snail on the Sunny. A voice calling for help says that they're getting cut down by a samurai while their freezing. Hmm, seems strange enough for the Strawhats to investigate. The call gets picked up by none other than Smoker and Tashigi, now promoted to vice admiral and captain respectively. Back by Punk Hazard, Zoro, Robin and Usopp are chosen to head out with Luffy to make sure he doesn't get into too much trouble. The group lands on the island and they make their way into the flaming island. They find an entire ruined military facility, but there's no sign of the guy who called. However, what they do find is a rather large (and grumpy) dragon.
Much to nobody's surprise, the dragon attacks Luffy's group with a pillar of fire. The actual surprise comes when Luffy hears the dragon talk. The rest of the group hears the dragon during the fight. It even asks them if they're allies to the Shichibukai. The dragon launches itself into the air, forcing Luffy to shoot himself into the sky to bring down the beast. While he's up there, Luffy finds a disembodied pair of legs, which happens to be the source of the speaking. Luffy brings the dragon lower, allowing Zoro to leap up and cut off the dragon's head. Back on the Sunny, a suited group of dudes lets out a sleeping gas that knocks out the remaining crew. They gather them together, tie them up and head into the island.
Luffy pulls off the legs that are attached to the dragon and finds that there isn't an upper body. This of course freaks everybody out, but no more than when it pops up and starts moving and talking and fighting back. The legs run off and Luffy gives chase, leaving the others to cook the fallen dragon. An accidental crash leaves the legs attached to Luffy, which makes moving around and investigating the surrounding area easier. The first thing the group finds? A frozen tundra on the other side of a nearby lake. When the others head towards the lake, Usopp spots a winged woman in the distance, watching them. A moment later, the creature is gone. While walking toward the lake, Luffy is ambushed by a real chimera, which confuses Luffy for one of his own due to the legs dangling from his back.
On the frozen side of the island, the captured Strawhats are taken into a lab, where a gaseous form is pleased to have some additional test subjects. We find out that Brook was left behind, mistaken for a simple skeleton. Brook wakes up on the deck of the Sunny, freaking out the guys in the suits. Around the same time, Sanji and the others wake up in a cell. While contemplating their reason for capture, they find a human face cut into pieces in the corner of their room. They put it together and find out that it was cut by one of the Shichibukai..and it sounds a lot like the legs attached to Luffy. HMMMMM.
The rather surly head proves to be a handful when he reveals himself as a pirate hater and a bit of a leacher. Franky stops the nonsense by blasting open the door of the lab. As their leaving, Sanji finds out that the body-less samurai is looking for his son. Sanji grabs the head and runs off. The group turns a corner, kicks open a door and finds a room full of children of various sizes. The Master that the suited men refer to arrives at the destroyed cell and notices that the lasers used to blow open the cell belong to Vegapunk. It's a keen observation that's interrupted when news of Smoker and Tashigi's ship is spotted on the island's horizon. The order is given to keep them away at any cost. On the fiery side of the island, Luffy's group finds out that the rest of the Strawhats have been captured when Brook contacts Usopp. A final jump shows Smoker, Tashigi and the G-5 Navy men have arrived on Punk Hazard, with Smoker revealing the source of the fire and ice on the island: Punk Hazard was ground zero for Aokiji and Akainu's battle for control of the Navy.
Sanji's group attempts to puzzle out why there's a room of kids that look to be made of humans and Giants. Before they can get any decent info, the suited men make it into the room and force the Strawhats to run. The kids beg the Strawhats to save them from their captivity. It takes a couple of minutes, but their pleas finally get to Nami, who promises to save them. Sanji and Franky stay behind to keep the suited men distracted while Nami, Chopper and the kids escape. Luffy's group create a boat from some of Usopp's seeds and begin to cross the lake. They're almost right away attacked by a group of chimeras, this time ranging in different types of creatures. Back on the Sunny, Brook faces off against a disembodied torso with a sword, undoubtably the final part of the samurai's body.
Naruto Shippuden episode 299
The fight between Nagato and the triple tag-team of Naruto, Bee and Itachi ends in victory as Itachi, ever the Batman, figures out the weak point in Nagato's ultimate jutsu.
The weakness? It's vulnerable to being hit by other jutsu due to its gravity well. To be honest, that sounds kind of dumb, but it looks much cooler in practice, at least.
Besides that, Naruto is reminded that he can believe in his friends, accompanied what must be the most rinky-dink awful montage I've seen, basically running a low-quality run-through of the roster with no regard to context or current events. It's bald-faced padding at its worst. That it had to happen in this canon episode's a little sad, to be honest.
[See the awful montage at Crunchyroll]
Fairy Tail Chapters 317-318
In a shocking turn of events, Rogue has gone nutso and been possessed by a shadow, right when the "friendship" thing was happening. Gajeel, in a move that rivals some of Natsu's crazier battle decisions, decides to eat the crazy shadow and turn into some kind of demon. The difference with Gajeel, I think, is he isn't allowing himself to be possessed, rather he's keeping his head while borrowing its power. I'm looking forward to finding out whether he's going to be knocked out for a few days after the power effect wears off. I'm also wondering where Frosch has run off to? He said something about getting Rogue back, but he ran off. So what's up with that shadow?
I'm still having my doubts about what "future Lucy' has been saying about the future. 1000 dragons? The other day, I was thinking.. maybe the dragons are factioned, now, or maybe Acnologia is a factor in the dragon battle. Why would they suddenly interfere with the humans when they've been doing their own thing for so long? And destroy an entire town? But now it's looking like the town's destruction is connected with Eclipse 2. Who's going to set that off?
It'd be a really cool turn of events if it turns out the dragons come because they're gonna fight Acnologia! Is it too far-fetched?
*Bleach is on break this week*
Naruto chapter 619
Oh, wow. It looks like Sasuke and crew's revival of the dead Hokages and ask them questions was both the best decision they could have made...and the worst one.
And no, I'm not talking about the revelation that the First Hokage is actually a nice bro who acts a bit like Naruto.
I'm talking about what causes Sharingans to happen and why the Uchiha are always so damn evil.
Get this: Uchiha are more likely to turn evil because they are, as a clan, heavily prone to extreme emo overreaction. And because they are apparently genetically predisposed to being insufferably emotional, becoming very emo literally awakens their Sharingan.
You are now free to play Linkin Park's "Crawling".
What everyone simply seemed to notice as a point of characterization has been codified into the official canon of Naruto. Uchiha are super super emo, so much so that they get special powers out of it.
[Read Naruto on the same day as Japan does in Weekly Shonen Jump]
One Piece Chapter 693 - 698
When faced with a girl who can turn into any weapon she wants and a guy who can spin his life away, what's a cyborg in a mobile tank to do? Well, you just kinda stand there and weather the storm of strange attacks and generally kick the crap out of your attackers.
Back in the lab, the Strawhats, Marines and Law grab the kids and hop on a cart and get the hell out of Dodge. The timing is fortuitous, as Doflamingo orders Monet to blow the entire lab. THAT plan goes out the window when Caesar drives a spike into Monet's heart box, thinking that it's Law's. TREACHERY ABOUNDS.
Doflamingo decides to get his hands dirty and heads out across the ocean toward Punk Hazard. Unbeknownst of the oncoming danger, the Strawhats celebrate their victory over Caesar and Joker. An accident reveals that everybody exposed to Shinokuni is actually just under a hardened layer, so all it takes is a quick crack and Kinemon is back amongst the living and partying.
The Strawhats give the Marines one of Caesar's spare tankers to take the kids back to their homes. After some time passes, we see Doflamingo run across a raft with the disembodied heads of Baby and Buffalo resting alongside a box with a Dendenmushi. The communicator connects to Law, who tells Doflamingo that he has to quit being a warlord if he wants to get back Caesar and avoid an incident with the pirate emperor Kaido.
The Strawhats and Law head out to sea toward Dressrosa. Law informs the rest of the Strawhats about their alliance and why he had to destroy the SAD tanks. Turns out that Caesar and Doflamingo were providing Kaido with artificial Devil Fruits to boost up the emperor's battle strength. Back on Punk Hazard, Doflamingo arrives and starts to lay waste to the Marines there, including Smoker. When it looks like he's going to kill the vice admiral, Aokiji arrives and stops Doflamingo from killing his buddy.
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