It's that time again, the time for Shonen Showdown, the weekly Japanator column where you can find strong support for the idea that old people need to set themselves on fire battle anime and manga needs some recapping! It is why we exist!
This week, we're here to set your senses alight with hot new recaps of the latest in Naruto, Bleach, Hunter x Hunter, and One Piece! Check 'em out below, and tell us all about your adventures in burning grandpa battling evil!
Hunter x Hunter Episode 47
OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD. Okay, first thing's first, if you're watching Hunter x Hunter and you haven't seen this episode yet, do yourself a favour and watch it before reading this! I can't promise there won't be any spoilers! If you haven't seen the series yet, you should really go and rectify that also. I mean, seriously.
Final warning! Don't read on unless you've seen the episode!
Okay, I think the coast is clear. First and foremost, Kurapika is a freaking beast now! The tonfa-wielding revenge seeker seems to have finally attained the level of 'badass', and it was certainly in the nick of time too. We already know how ridiculously strong Uvogin is from the previous fights against the Shadow Beasts, so seeing him be restrained and completely neutralised was simply shocking.
Kurapika's scarlet eyes are certainly going to be throwing an interesting twist on future fights, with a very sharingan-like ability to allow the user to do pretty much whatever they fancy. Could this mean that the leader of the Phantom Troupe had another motive besides stealing them for their beauty? Was this on the same level as destroying the saiyan planet in Dragon Ball Z to stop them becoming a threat? Killing all the Uchiha in Naruto because they most certainly were a threat? It's not the end of the world if this is the case, but I'm certainly hoping for something less similar to these.
But yeah, how about that fighting? Kurapika had one of his arms absolutely destroyed, but his new-found eye powers made it ridiculously simple to heal back to perfect condition. Kurapika is going to be incredible in one-on-one fights, but what are the bets that the Phantom Troupe won't let that happen?
[Hunt for this show on Crunchyroll!]
One Piece Episode 564 & 565
The episode starts with a quick look back at Hordy's youth. We see that the rough district that he grew up in reveled in their hatred of humans and celebrated anybody that hurt or killed man. Granted, humans did some pretty awful things to the Fishmen, but it's no excuse for terrorism and murder. There are some pretty heavy KKK/Nazi images tossed around in this episode, particularly when Hordy and his bros burn the house of the Fishman who gave blood to a human.
The guards at the air station manage to get the air bubble around Noah, allowing Luffy to take the fight to solid ground. After an inspirational speech from Fukaboshi and Luffy, the people on Fishman Island decide to hold out and place their fate in Luffy's rubbery hands. A couple of the Strawhats are shown holding their own against Hordy's lieutenants, though it looks like they are getting the upper hand. With the use of a new attack, Luffy sends Hordy flying into Noah and is severely messed up. Hordy's answer? Down another handful of pills and laugh maniacally.
I'm impressed with how they fleshed all this out Hordy's racist past. It was done well on paper, but the way it was animated was exemplary. It was rather chilling for what's supposed to be a simple shonen fighting show. Further proof of why I love One Piece so damn much. Oh, and seeing Monster Point Chopper animated is pretty damn awesome.
[Sail over to Funimation to watch One Piece!]
One Piece Chapter 681 & 682
Luffy and Caesar begin fighting, though the reasons aren't quite known to either of them. All they know is that it's part of Law's plan, whatever that is. Luffy learns from his prior mistakes and almost defeats the clown, but Mona jumps in and keeps the gas man from getting KOed. She mentions that she's also under duress from the information broker Joker, aka Doflamingo.
Elsewhere, Sanji knocks Vergo aside long enough to let the G5 Marines and Tashigi escape from the gas. We also see the Vergo is capable for some higher level Haki. Good thing Sanji escapes from Vergo and the gas, as he wouldn't have been able to keep up fighting with the Vice Admiral for much longer.
Law is shown walking into the SAD chamber, which holds a giant vat of…something. Whatever it is, it's apparently capable of damaging somebody's reputation. Vergo reports in to Joker/Doflamingo, who orders both the SAD room and Law to be destroyed.
The rest of the Strawhats are still riding Brownbeard and running away from the very pissed-off dragon. Kinemon and the pirates combine their abilities and knock the hell raiser out. We see that Chopper is in his Monster Point form and dealing with some unruly kids. For a bit of bad news, we find out that Momonosuke, Kinemon's son, has been turned into a small dragon, likely the one that just got pounded. Whoops!
Naruto chapter 602
Fans of the visual splendor of the last few weeks' pitched battling won't find too much purchase here, as it's mostly exposition explaining how Obito and Madara met, and the strange circumstances of how they both came up with this harebrained idea.
Which idea? The old JRPG/anime chestnut about how the world's all effed up and in need of a reset. All you'd need to do is title Madara's lecture "Equivalent Exchange" and you've got a subplot for Fullmetal Alchemist as well.
Being the proto-Naruto he is, Obito's mostly all about getting out of wherever the two are hiding out and going back to happily protecting his friends, but one can only presume that some or the rest of this line will end with he and Madara reaching some kind of arrangement. Naruto has raised a number of outstanding questions these last few years, and if we're lucky, this is it starting to come up with some answers.
Bleach chapter 506
It's impossible to believe at this point that Kubo and crew are not having the time of their lives drawing old man badass in various states of badassery. How else can one explain the loving focus they've put on each and every one of his facial expressions? It's a look for the ages, it is. I've yet to see such a luxuriant beard on any person not totally on fire.
Oh wait, that's not fire! 15,000,000-degree Kelvin temperatures wouldn't display as flame, anyway (PHYSICS). Rather, it's the sheer power of his Spiritual Pressure. Ah, Bleach. It's "Ten years of training...in three days" all over again, and I love it!
Then again, why would they not want to celebrate such a ridiculously overpowered character? With Juha Bach on the back foot Yamamoto pulls out the third of his four bankai powers, Zanka no Tachi "South". And what goes on all up in the south side? Apparently raising everyone he's ever killed as a burning undead skeleton soldier.
Pretty metal of the old man, I have to say. This is going to make it all that much tougher to believe Mr. Quincy-King has anything to counter all this. Naturally, he does, seeing as this is Bleach and Ichigo isn't here yet, but one can only hope that whatever he (and Ichigo) can come up with will actually top Yamamoto's doing so far.
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