Hey there, and welcome to this week's edition of Shonen Showdown, the fighting anime and manga recap that we decided to "sit on" last week! Why, you ask? Well, pretty much everything had gone on break for the wondrous Japanese holiday confluence that is Golden Week, when the whole country pretty much just goes on vacation, including its best and brightest fight anime and manga!
Not to worry, though, our weeklong vacation brought back an extra-sized helping of awesome recapping action, including for Naruto, One Piece, Hunter x Hunter, and Fairy Tail!
Get on below and read, then tell us how you spent your Golden Week!
Hunter x Hunter Episode 28 and 29
Well, there's certainly a lot going on at the moment, isn't there? Wing lies about all of the crazy power stuff, just in case Gon or Killua want to split cans of drink with pages of paper, then teaches them anyway. It looks like a very neat concept that we'll no doubt be running into throughout the rest of the series, but I can't help but think that Killua is going to be more of a problem in the long run. Let's just hope it doesn't become anything like the 'Sasuke in a barrel' arc Naruto is so famous for.
Hisoka is certainly an intriguing character, as I can't help but wonder what it is he's intervening for. It's quite possible that he doesn't want Gon to end up dying too early for this dream fight he seems to want, but I'm sure there is another reason for it. As much as I wouldn't put it pass him, we're starting to get into illegal levels of obsession. That said, his mere presence is acting as enough reason for Gon to want to get stronger, so it could really be as simple as that. Very exciting stuff!
As if there was any doubt, Gon and Killua manage to at least grasp the concepts of these super powers, which they then use to strut through Hisoka's hate field. It seems that Killua may not actually fight any time soon, but Gon wants to enter even though he's sure he'll lose. The guy he's fighting looks like the result of a Deadly Premonition and Beyblade cross over, but I don't doubt the fight will be great all the same.
[Hunt for this show over at Crunchyroll!]
One Piece Episode 544 & 545
After Tiger's death, Arlong decides to go on a rampage, but is quickly defeated by a younger Kizaru. After being arrested, Arlong spins Tiger's death by saying he was refused a transfusion. Jimbei lets Neptune and Otohime what really happened, which strengthens the Queen's resolve to get Fishman and humans to co-exist. Thanks to the general jerks nature of human pirates, she loses the little support she gained through five years of work.
The big tipping point comes when Jimbei gets an invitation to become a Shichibukai. He uses his position to get amnesty for his crew, as well as freeing Arlong and getting Fishmen in general closer to the World Government. Arlong decides to go his own way way and reform his human-hating pirate crew. The Sun pirates split up, while Otohime decides io increase her efforts to improve relations.
The second major event occurs when a Celestial Dragon is forced to dock at Fishman Island. The little shit is the only survivor and makes the usual obnoxious demands. His former slaves show up and are ready to shoot the little bastard, but Otohime takes the shot. The Celestial Dragon manages to take Otohime hostage, but the cries of Shirahoshi somehow manage to summon several Sea Kings. Needless to say, that little event manages to diffuse the situation, but it does reveal to Vander Decken and Hodi that Shirahoshi has the ability to control the giant sea beasts. Anyway, once the Celestial Dragon is ready to leave, Otohime goes up with him to meet with the humans.
[You can watch all the One Piece goodness over at Funimation!]
Rock Lee episodes 4 and 5
An anime this simple-minded is hard to recap, frankly. Other shows that are dumb or bad or simple at least have the advantage of being original material that occasionally needs elaborating upon. No one who is watching Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals doesn't know what Naruto is, and my ongoing complaints - that this is basically a 24-minute long version of the after-credits gag reel, something that on a regular Naruto episode lasts about 30 seconds - is old. I should either drop the show or get serious.
Or is there a third option?
There is! I can lightly summarize the show's jokes so you don't have to watch! In bullet-point format:
And there we go.
[This show airs on Crunchyroll, but why bother? I'm here for you!]
Naruto Shippuden episode 261
Feel free to skip episode 259, as it's a clip show covering up to the time-skip. This is where the real action starts, and that action...is terrible CG. After awesome shows like Fireball Charming and recent work by Satelight I was hoping anime was on the verge of a CG revolution, where awesome stuff the likes of what's displayed in Black Rock Shooter and such would be commonplace.
Then again, why am I looking for that on a show whose existence depends on airing once a week, every week, even on Golden Week?
Sigh. I guess the lesson here is not to animate ninjas running if you can't afford to do it proper.
[Stretch your arms straight backwards, lean forward ninety degrees, and start running on Crunchyroll]
Fairy Tail Chapter 280
Whoa, it's a pretty big week for the manga! Firstly, and most importantly, I am 10000% pleased that we finally got to see the three zodiac spirits that Lucy doesn't have under her command. I'm interested in seeing her snatch them from the fallen Sabertooth girl, too. Then she'll pretty much be the biggest celestial badass in the world.
Another important point to note is this Kagura from Mermaid Heel is no pushover. She defeated miss Sabertooth decidedly and quickly, and I'm sure whatever she doles out on her is going to be smoother than what Sabertooth will do to punish her for losing.
I suppose later on we'll see what'll happen to the girl and her spirits. Do you think that Lucy would be a bit OP if she completes the zodiac? Maybe she'll even be able to summon the big celestial spirit Gundam one day...
One Piece Chapter 665
The samurai that the Strawhats were keeping escapes, so Sanji (in Nami's body), Zoro and Brook head out to find him. Unfortunately, it looks like they were defeated by the Yeti Cool Brothers, a pair of assassins sent by Caesar Clown to mop up Luffy and his crew. Chopper (in Sanji's body) discovers that the kids are addicted to a drug that causes the kids to become quite strong and violent when they're going through withdrawals. They also find out that the giant kids were normal when they first arrived at Punk Hazard, which means that Caesar has been experimenting on them. This pisses off Chopper, adding another object to the list of things they already have to do: get everybody back into their bodies, rescue the kids and beat the crap out of Caesar.
Naruto chapter 584
Kabuto's sob story continues with a tried-and-true brainwashing technique. Danzo and the Root convinced Kabuto's mother into forgetting what he looked through the magic of switching actors midway through his growth. It's a bit long-term for modern deception work, but there have been cases where parents of kidnapped children were unable to recognize (or accept) their older children after convincing themselves of what their kids "should" have grown up to look like in the intervening years.
Besides that, little of value is conveyed...beyond an AMAZING scene of Kabuto playing Will It Blend with Orochimaru's corpse. If that's how they did their work, then I have new respect for the both of them and all their pet ninja medical experiments. Orochimaru labs must look like the hell-scenes from Silent Hill every day.
Bleach chapter 490
As expected, the new baddie who just trashed the "beastly strong" Arrancar last chapter was really just a setup for Ichigo to barehand his attacks like the powered-up protagonist he is. That said, there seems to be a more lore-friendly purpose to his existence, in that he's around to show that Quincy in general have learned new tricks, ones that Uryuu will have to display at some point if he's to remain the only other human protagonist-grade fighter (sorry Chad). Also, see the Quincy version of the bankai, courtesy of a German-to-Japanese dictionary.
Beyond that, the key fighters in the Vandenreich army, the Sternenritter, are now in Soul Society, so one can theoretically expect them to pair off with the Captains for this round of fighting. Who wants to bet that neither Ukitake nor Kyoraku will be allowed to go Bankai in this arc because LOL THEY HAVE MAGIC THAT STEALS BANKAIS,
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