Poke, poke! Hello there, and welcome to this week's edition of Shonen Showdown, Japanator's weekly look at all things that involve heated battle and grievous injury, up to and including manga, anime, and what happens when you ask your boss how she got so damn stacked (demonstrated above).
Speaking of stacked, we've got a load of sweet recaps for Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Fairy Tail, and Hunter x Hunter stacked up under the cut, just waiting to be read and poked in an uncouth manner. Oblige 'em below, then tell us what you thought of the week in fighting!
Hunter x Hunter Episode 40
I think I said last week that Kurapika has wound up in an even bigger mess. Seems he has raised his power level more than Goku in an ad break, as he now looks frighteningly capable of fighting. No more are the tonfa, replaced instead by a bola-like ball and chain weapon. Doesn't sound too crazy, but he seems more than capable of stopping bullets with it. Yeah, that happened.
After a short fight, Kurapika shows off his new found detectives skills, no doubt gained during some heated Clue sessions. Along with the rest of the bodyguard candidates, they successfully sniff out the two existing employees who were pretending to apply, as some sort of test. Kurapika frowns too much now to be fooled by such a thing.
All in all, the now four member group had little issue actually escaping the mansion in the end, so they're free to hunt out these rare items to secure the job. I don't think Kurapika will be going for the Kurt eyes, but hey, maybe we'll get a plot twist!
[Hunt for this over at Crunchyroll!]
Fairy Tail Episode 141
I'm happy to report that this was actually a great episode! We learned a lot about what's really going on, and the story is moving at a better pace.
We learned that Cobra is looking for someone (probably Kinana) to kill for power. Since she's still got a bit of a link to him, she ended up sharing some key information with our friends back at the Fairy Tail guild.
We've also learned that the ugly priest at Zentopia is definitely the one behind everything, and his motives are connected with Kinana's prophecy. He's given the Legion team one more member to work with, and sent them off on a mission while Oracion Seis continues to destroy churches for power.
Cana uses her magic to divine where Reformed Oracion Seis will be attacking next and divides the Fairy Tail guild members into appropriate teams. This is the part that makes things most interesting - the teams are all pretty unconventional. I am very interested in seeing the upcoming battles and how they'll work together. I'm particularly interested in the exceed teamup and Wendy/Bikslow.
Finally, we saw that Gildarts and Lexi are looking into Michelle's past. I'm also interested in seeing where that is going, considering that they've been having her around with no knowledge of who she really is. They've arrived at her supposed hometown, but it appears to have been destroyed and abandoned. I kind of get the feeling that she's bad news, but maybe not intentionally.
That's it for this week. See you next time!
[Catch Fairy Tail streaming on FUNimation, Hulu and Crunchyroll!]
One Piece Episode 557
Once again, this episode is all about the Strawhats dominating broke-ass New Fishman. However, the biggest highlight is Franky tapping into his inner super robot pilot and forming the Iron Pirate. Luffy, Usopp and Chopper dug it something fierce, and I did too. Nami and Man-sopp get some nice moments too. Hordy tries to lean on the Kraken, but the giant beast prefers his friendships over compulsion. The episode ends with the giant ship Noah making its entrance, after being tossed several episodes ago.
[Enjoy Franky's robot over at FUNimation!]
Naruto Shippuden episode 271
It's a bout of filler today as Sakura contracts a bout of amnesia on Ino's day off. With Naruto nowhere to be found, they, and everyone else who's been begging for screen time in the last six months is drafted to restore her memories. Also, a lot of boob jokes, which is creepy for a show as tame as Naruto usually is. What is this, something we cover on Annotated Anime?!
Waitaminute, why is this random-ass filler happening now?! Weren't we in the middle of a war?!
A-ha! There's the hint. This is a throwaway tie-in episode of Naruto: Road to Ninja, the big new movie that's in theaters now all over Nippon. Apparently the plot is an alternate-universe, what-if sort of deal showing the results of Tobi's winning the war and putting the world under some kind of fantasy land where Naruto's parents are still alive and Sasuke's a pimp. Check out an ad for it below.
I'd watch it.
One Piece Chapter 675
We see that Nami-Sanji and Usopp are still alive on the mountain slope after their encounter a few chapters back. Meanwhile, Caesar returns to his lab and takes the drug-addled kids back to his lab, but not before one of them is able to snap out of it. The clown reveals that he has Law's heart from an agreement the two made some months back. He also mentions that Smiley is the gas bomb that destroyed the island and, once it's put back to gather, will be part of a new experiment that will create a more destructive weapon.
In the center of the ice area, Sanji-Nami and the swordsmen are running away from the pursuing Smiley toward a giant piece of candy…that seems to be where the aforementioned experiment is to take place. The chapter ends with Smiley chopping on the candy while Caesar babbles incoherently.
Bleach chapter 502
I have to say, I did not see this coming. Byakuya, the #2 unbeatable institution of predictably invincible badassery in Bleach, dead?! Say it ain't so?
Of course, this is just the one guy saying it, so there could be double-crosses, betrayals, clones, and other tricks Kubo could use to get his boy out of a jam, but being turned into burger by your own bankai is a fairly compelling scene. I'll enjoy it while it lasts.
In other news, the #1 unbeatable institution of predictably invincible badassery is here to make up for that shortcoming.
You're it, Kenpachi.
Naruto chapter 592
Kakashi, Guy, Bee and Naruto finally take the fight straight to Tobi and his monster, with no more zombies to get in the way. These last few battles have frankly been so grand in scale I find it hard to believe Kishimoto has more than a year left in this gig. What's left, blowing up the moon? An extended detour into the land of Road to Ninja as an alternate take on the Naruto adventure, like Marvel and its Ultimate line?
It would do the scenes a disservice to try to describe them here in plain words. Suffice it to say that I can't wait until we get to this point in the anime, and I hope to high heavens that Pierrot is given the money and time it needs to animate it properly.
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