Shonen Showdown 8-7-2013


Cancelling the Ninja Apocalypse

Hello, and welcome to the latest week in Shonen Showdown, the weekly anime and manga recap that's reenacting its own version of Pacific Rim. But instead of human grit, we've got ninja magic, and instead of giant robots, we've got huge fire monsters and wooden statues. Close enough, I say!

What's more than close enough this week, though, is Chris Walden's glorious return from vacation, to accompany our customary Naruto and Fairy Tail recaps with a much-needed dose of Hunter x Hunter!

You are now free to engage with the recaps at your leisure, and tell us what you think of the latest in fighting! Can you cancel the apocalypse?


Chris Walden

Hunter x Hunter Episode 90 and 91

Well, here we are. We finally have our quartet of terrible people to go and slaughter, as well a group of suitable fighters to go and do it. Now, I can't see Gon and Killua missing out on all the fun, so just what's going to happen in the thirty days until Gon is able to use his nen again? Kicking Killua square in the nuts and telling him to stop being such a whiny git, probably. More time to train? Might be hard without being able to use nen, but they may have to avoid ol' whatserface from The Addams Family in the meantime. 

Knuckle and Shoot sure have some interesting abilities, and while it was a shame that we didn't really get to see them on top form (due to some rather convenient time skipping,) I'm sure it won't be long until they're pummelling/getting pummelled by ants. Even if Knuckle ended up fighting one of the top four and used his ability to seal their nen, I think there's plenty of raw power in them to still put up a good fight. Shoot masking vision doesn't seem like it'll do much to enemies this strong, but perhaps that's because I'm assuming everyone has Dragon Ball Z levels of sensory ability.

Man, the King sure is a fan mash-up of Cell and Frieza, isn't he? Well, I'm not sure if either of those two had a particular fondness for eating brains of children, but besides that you could say that his appearance is rather familiar. If Neferpitou can develop nen abilities to revive the dead, just think about the possibilities for this guy. I doubt we'll see them for quite a while, but I'm certainly eager to see it in action.

I'd figured that the King was going to kill the chimera ant queen upon his birth, but I certainly didn't see it happening in a way that would make even chestbursters squeamish. It was pretty grim, and it's made all the more worse with the top four just leaving her to die a slow death. You could probably see some sympathy here if you just remember that the chimera ants are an evolving species trying to survive, but even so, you won't find it coming from me!

What Colt's surrender will ultimately accomplish is hard to tell, but I believe that the chairman has enough patience in him to see that allowing the chimera ants to spread out is a rather terrible idea. Not that I think they could even do anything about it, but that's another thing altogether.

So my brother warned me when I returned home that I shouldn't watch the episode preview of episode 90. I initially skipped it, but I went back for a look once I'd seen episode 91, thinking that perhaps he'd overblown the arrival of the King (considering we've seen him in the opening for who knows how long.) I was certainly pretty surprised to see most of episode 91 spoiled in just a few seconds, so nicely dodged, I think! 

[Hunt for this show on Crunchyroll!]


Josh Tolentino

Naruto Shippuden episode 323

Call me spoiled, but now that we're back on canon tracks, featuring some pretty high-quality animation (by Naruto standards, at least), I can't help but think "I've seen this fight before, played out more interestingly." 

Here they're saying largely the same lines as in the game, with pretty much the same flow of events, but in this version there's no awesome rolling aerial battle or crazy final strike. The only real advantage of the fight in anime mode is that they don't have to twist the end of the fight to make it suit the end of the game itself.

But anyway, it looks alright for what it is, though it'll be a while before the anime gets to a point where I'll quit comparing it to Cyberconnect2's masterpiece.

[Begin your frame-by-frame comparisons on Crunchyroll!]



Kristina Pino

Fairy Tail Chapters 345-346 (and a special)

Looks like I missed quite a bit since Erza was turned into a child by the monster dude. 

So, now Natsu also shares her fate and is being hunted by the one with the regression magic. Natsu seems to be in even less control of his body/magic than Erza is, naturally, but he'll likely find some way out of it all as he usually does. I'm actually more interested in what's going on with Grey at the moment than anyone else, since he'll probably encounter another one of the Succubus Eye members. I guess Erza fight against Minerva will also be interesting, though I'll hold off on whether that's a good or a bad thing. 

Flare has stepped in to defend Lucy and Wendy, but she appears to be wearing the dark guild mark, too. What's up with that? I know she's OK with Lucy, and she did say she wasn't interested in joining Fairy Tail, but dang she totally went the other way. 

Footnote on the storyline stuff: I love it when Wendy gets angry like that.

Notes on the special:

The fan service was way over the top - I didn't enjoy it at all except for the part when Cana took Wendy to see the other kiddos. The rest of the jokes were pretty un-funny as well, though all of them seemed like perfectly normal batsu except for Mirajane's.

I enjoy when creators have a little fun and write things that are out of character, and take a break from the serious stuff to give the fans a little extra. But I didn't particularly like it this time around. I think in this case, I'm a little too attached to the characters to even want to see them in such an embarrassing light, including Juvia's behavior towards Grey in the batsu game. Smacking Erza around like that, though? Give me a break - that's not the "fun" (more like: harmless) side of a batsu game any more. 


Josh Tolentino

Naruto chapter 641

Obito continues the parade of "Oh God he's kicking all our asses" moments as his Ten-Tails power renders him seemingly immune to everything Sasuke, Naruto, and the Fourth and Second Hokages can throw at him, while the First and Madara settle old scores in their giant modes.

The chapter makes a token show of demonstrating just how well Naruto and Sasuke can work together, combining Amaterasu with a Rasen-Shuriken to make a burning tornado bomb that will probably be very difficult to animate when the time comes. The Second and Fourth also make great use of their Flying Raijin technique to pull switcheroos to set up Obito for the protagonist pair's new combo-jutsu.

Also feeling rather "token" are the rest of the normal ninjas, who've long since been left far out of their weight class. That said, considering the manga's populist air, there's no doubt that when the time comes the large mass of mooks will help make the difference in the end.

At this point all that's left to do now is to wait for the crew to find an opening in Obito's invincibility. And once the living Kages return to the field, the stage should be set to actually bring this to an epic conclusion.

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Josh Tolentino
Josh TolentinoManaging Editor   gamer profile

Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more + disclosures



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