Hello and welcome to another week of Shonen Showdown, the weekly anime recap that hits you as a hangover on Monday morning!
Just as a little pick-me-up to prep you for the rest of the week we've come loaded for bear with the latest recaps of your favorite battle anime and manga, including Bleach, Naruto, Hunter x Hunter, and One Piece!
Hunter x Hunter Episode 39
I do enjoy the grand adventures of Gon and Killua, but it's nice to finally see what Kurapika is up to. We already knew he was getting nen training as well, so you've got to have been curious to see how it all went, right? Well, that's assuming that you didn't have his nen type spoiled by the ending sequence, or even that pre-opening music scene from a few episodes back. Ah, whatever!
So we now know he is a conjurer-type nen user, which doesn't seem to go down well. He wanted to be an enhancer, purely to help him out with his revenge seeking against the Phantom Troupe. Understandable, I guess, but the idea of a conjurer is pretty cool too. What is more interesting is what Kurapika is now wearing on his hands, as it appears to be some crazy chain set-up. I don't doubt this particular part will be revealed in the next episode, mind you.
So, Kurapika finally gets a job that'll help him out in tracking down the Phantom Troupe, but he seems to have wound up in a bigger mess. Last person standing free-for-all in a mansion? Why not! I'm as curious as you are to see his new found powers in action. Besides, if it's anywhere near as great a jump as Gon had, we're in for a pretty interesting fight.
[Hunt for this over at Crunchyroll!]
One Piece Episode 556
Hey guys, guess what? The Strawhats are REALLY good at fighting. In fact, that's what this whole episode is: the Strawhats showing off their moves against the witless mass of pirates that are with Hordy. This time around, Franky and Brook show off their moves. The dancing skeleton puts a bunch of artillery guys into a trance and gets them to unload their ordinance into the sky. Franky, on the other hand, shows off some of the new additions to the Sunny's arsenal with a bitchin' bike and a giant tank. The Kraken also comes back, betraying Hordy and siding with Luffy. Expect more fighting next week.
[Hit up Funimation for all your One Piece streaming needs!]
Fairy Tail Episode 140
Things definitely got hairier this week when Reborn Oracion Seis made their move. As it turns out, they've been part of the plan this entire time - and everyone has been duped.
Coco stupidly follows Byro and the others back to Zentopia instead of laying low for a while so she could stay alive. I'm going to guess she won't end up getting killed, but ah well. In terms of the other folks, that other guy that looks a lot like Byro really bugs me. I wonder if he's really the one behind it all instead of the arch bishop or pope or whatever?
Lucy realized too late that getting the clock parts together was the opposite of what they were meant to do. Her grief didn't last long since her fellow Fairy Tail guild mates are quick to patch things up, or at the very least lighten up the mood. One thing that's been bothering me since last week though is the extra attention being given to Michelle. She's been a fishy character from the start, and the stink is hard to ignore now.
Now the wizard council is moving to find out what's happened; how the Oracion Seis disappeared and what's going on at Zentopia. I'm not sure how they somehow got super powerful while trapped in magic-proof cells for years, though. While there's a nice little cheap write-in for the rest of the Fairy Tail guild members later on in the series when they have to train their skills to make up for seven years, I'm not so sure I could take a second one for OS. Maybe we'll just never know how they got so much stronger, including that goon wind user that Natsu has smacked several times already.
I'm happy to see that Ichiya got involved, but as always I'm disappointed to see that we don't get to see his skills in action. For being such a powerful wizard, we really aren't ever given visual reasons to believe it. I mean, I believe it - and Erza's respect is generally good enough for me, but it'd be great to see him actually fight someone. He already pledged his support to Fairy Tail guild in the matter of the Infinity Clock, so hopefully we'll see a bit more of his influence throughout the rest of this fluff section.
My biggest concern at this time is the very obvious, stupidly vast difference in skill between OS and the rest of the active cast. Even Bryo was bashed by Midnight's (I mean, Brain Jr.'s) magic right alongside Dan, and Byro's skills were already far superior to all of Fairy Tail's except save Erza and Gildarts. Maybe even Laxus. My point being - how is this going to work out? Ichigo-style power-ups need not apply.
[Fairy Tail streams on FUNimation, Hulu and Crunchyroll!]
Naruto Shippuden episode 270
I complained earlier about how esoteric some of the ninja magic on display here was. How could someone have made a device that seals you in a box forever if you respond to your name being called? Why make a pot/rope/sword combo that traps people based on their catchphrases? It's weirdly specific.
Then I of course realized that it's magic. It doesn't need to be logical or make sense. In fact, quite the opposite. Folklore both eastern and western is rife with weirdness, esoteric stuff, and bullcrap reasons for someone to get themselves sealed away forever.*
That said, I guess I found it weird when transplanted into the context of Naruto's particular brand of ninja magic, which is, for the most part, consistent on a foundational level. As a result weird devices like the banana fan and that sort of thing look out of place because they don't plug into that system, when everything else seems to do somehow.
But hey, we're watching a cartoon about ninja superheroes fighting undead ninja superheroes. All bets are off.
[Watch a bunch of esoteric bullcrap (and ninjas) on Crunchyroll!]
*For the record, yes, I've been playing The Secret World lately, so I'm suddenly more accepting of esoteric bullcrap.
Naruto chapter 594
Tobi pops his failsafe and opts for a partial revival of his Godzilla monster using what little chakra he managed to absorb from Bee and from Kinkaku and Ginkaku (who have some Nine-Tails chakra in 'em), to bring out the Ten-Tails. Other than that and yet another reminder that the Ten-Tails is bad news, there's not much to this chapter.
It's implied that Tobi may know Kakashi and Guy personally. Can anyone remember any long-lost Leaf ninja with an interest in subsuming all of humanity's individuality for blissful oblivion?
Bleach chapter 501
Given the way it savors the moment, it's as if Bleach - and by extension Kubo - is taking a nihilistic glee in undermining the edifices it has built up over the years. The institution that is Byakuya's unflappable badassery is the subject of this week's teardown. It's almost poignant, really.
That said, it feels a little underwhelming when you dig deeper and notice that As Nodt's whole schtick amounts to the following:
Nodt: "So yeah, I'm badass, scared yet? Also my needly things are scarecrow missiles. Like scarecrow the Batman villain."
Byakuya: "I'm not scared of you!"
Nodt: "Yeah well, look at this!"
Byakuya: "Oh hey, that's my little sister. Did you like what I did with her hair, that was MY ide-"
Byakuya: "OH NO I AM UNDONE."
Rrrright. In any case, to add insult to jump-scare shenanigans, it looks like the Quincies can use their stolen Bankais against their former owners, as well. Also, if you pay attention, Ichigo might have a new attack, "Gekka Tenshou". I'd bet money that it's no different from his regular attack.
From other sites around the web