Happy Monday, everyone! But rather than start the week off slow, let's begin with the climax! It's Shonen Showdown, the typically-on-a-weekend-but-delayed-by-technical-difficulties fighting manga and anime recap!
Alright, with that dynamic entry done, let's get down to the business at hand, namely recapping all the best in fighting cartoons and comics from the land of the rising sun! This week we've got a full offering, with Naruto, Bleach, Hunter x Hunter, Fairy Tail, and One Piece!
One Piece Episode 543
Damn, talk about no good deed goes unpunished. After spending a couple of months at the seas with Koala, Tiger gets the little girl back to her home. For his effort, somebody on the island squealed to the Marines that the Sun Pirates were there. Even after getting shot and hurt, Jimbei is able to save Tiger and take him back to a hijacked Marine ship. Unfortunately, Tiger has lost a ton of blood and is need of a rare blood type. Tiger refuses to take human blood and reveals that he was a slave during his time at Marie Jois. He uses his dying words to warn his crew about preventing the next generation from growing up with the same hatred.
Naruto Shippuden episode 259
The recap clip shows continue, and are of little use. That said, covering only key events makes Naruto look a LOT more grim and dark than the rest of its content would suggest. Heck it looks even grimmer than the manga, thanks mainly to the compression of all these serious happenings into such a short span of time.
I'd hate to be in the position of a total Naruto newbie watching these episodes to help catch up, then suddenly seeing episodes of Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals.
[Catch up with this stuff on Crunchyroll]
Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals episode 3
Ever so slowly, the show seems to be improving its stock with me, though that may simply be a side effect of this being the only technically new Naruto content out in more than two colors this week. The first section's gag about Naruto and Lee getting into a dong-measuring match with Neji has a few good moments, though the side effect of that reveals that Neji is a very boring character, ever since his emotional issues were solved half a decade ago.
[Boxers or briefs? Let Crunchyroll decide]
Hunter x Hunter Episode 27
I feel like we've just been introduced to the 'thing' in Hunter x Hunter that defines how strong someone is. Where there is 'chakra' in Naruto and 'reiatsu' in Bleach, I get the feeling that this 'ren' business could very well be the equivalent in this show. Still, I'm jumping ahead of myself, and even if I happen to be on the mark with that guess it's not as if I'm against the idea.
We get some new characters too, which is always a pleasure when they seem to be on-par with the regulars of One Piece in terms of sheer ridiculousness. There is Zushi, who we see use 'ren' during a fight with Killua, and his master Wing. I think it's hard to not be even a little suspicious of Wing at the moment, considering who else we've seen use this mysterious 'ren' power, but you never know, he may actually be a good guy!
There was certainly a lot going on in the episode, and it was all topped off by Hisoka turning up in the episode preview. Also, that's certainly an interesting change for the opening. I'll be disappointed if we get to the 100th episode and it isn't on the 4th or 5th iteration of that song.
[Hunt for it at Crunchyroll!]
Fairy Tail Episode 126
Butts. Farts. Wendy in a cute cat suit.
[It's all on Crunchyroll, Hulu, FUNimation]
Fairy Tail Chapter 279
Following up Elfman's awesome fight against Bacchus, Mirajane wins spectacularly over Jenny! I was a bit surprised that it ended up being a swimsuit contest of all things, but at the same time, it wouldn't be Fairy Tail if it weren't ridiculous, right?
More importantly, we saw the next (and most powerful) form for Mira's Satan Soul takeover, which is pretty dang bad-ass. I love the horns and everything, though I honestly preferred the upwards hair of her previous form. Still, it's gonna be metal as hell when we finally see it animated.
Speaking of the anime, it's gone to fluff. I was a bit worried as it came up biting the heels of this arc's storyline, and hoped it'd simply take a break but I guess not. So far it's been pretty funny, but I wonder how long it can keep the steam going, you know?
The last point to take away from this week's chapter is of course, more information as to why these chuckle-heads are trying to gank Lucy. Apparently this plan has been in motion for at least seven years, and I don't have any real memories of these folks ever wanting her for anything. It looks like they've built a gate of some sort and called the whole project Eclipse. Lucy is intended as a sacrifice for... what now? Some sort of "greater good" for the bad guys? And nobody seems to share the dread that poor Carla has heavy on her mind.
More on this next week, of course. Until then, *Fairy Tail salute!*
One Piece Chapter 664
The big reveal this week is the big bad that everybody will have to deal with. We finally see his face, find out more about his powers (he ate the Gas Gas Fruit) and find out what his grudge is with the world. The bad part in all of this? His name is still Ceaser Clown. Ugh.
Besides that, Smoker gives a bit of insight on a string of kidnappings that might explains why so many children are on the island. Ceaser tells his chimera minions to capture the Strawhats for the big money they'll bring ing. Brownbeard gives a bit of an update on the adventures of the other Supernovas and Blackbeard (they're wrecking sh!t in the New World) and tells how he ended up with croc legs.
With Ceaser revealed and the history of Punk Hazard revealed, now we can get this arc started. You got the Strawhats, the Marines, Law and Ceaser all in the same island. This is bound to be a disaster.
Bleach chapter 489
OK, now that Ichigo knows the Nazis in white are all Quincy, most everyone but Uryuu is on the same page now. Of course, that'll have to be something the plot will resolve. He'll either come in on the side of the Vandenreich, or show up near the end to help stop them. Notice, though, how the Quincy here are using actual swords rather than pseudo-swords like the Seele Schneider. They are clearly not true Quincy anymore if they wanna go and do that.
The other subplot here is some implied friction in Soul Society. Kurotsuchi's begun murdering poor people en mass to make up for the balance of Hollows being exterminated by the Quincy invasion of Hueco Mundo. Nice of them to be concerned about the whole Soul Balance thing, but why didn't they do stuff like this while a few of the "last" Quincy were slaughtering Hollows and Arrancar by the boatload not two or three story arcs ago?
Naruto chapter 583
Kabuto's sob story continues as the true stresses of being a long-term deep cover agent are revealed: you could accidentally kill your adoptive mom. Because you never know: she could be a long-term deep cover agent, too.