My Hero Academia: Tomorrow’s Heroes Today!!

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Everyone loves super heroes. They fight crime, protect us and ask for nothing in return. But, what if everyone had the potential to become a hero based on an ability they developed in childhood? 

That’s what My Hero Academia is all about!

In this anime, people can develop powers, or “quirks”, if they are born with only All Mightone joint in their pinkie toe. Most people with quirks go to school called U.A. High, to become professional heroes. The most famous hero in the series is known as All Might (Christopher Sabat). His quirk is called “One for All”, which gives himAll Might True Form.jpg super human strength and agility, and also makes him bulk up with enormous muscles. However, All Might’s power has a time limit to how long he can use it per day. When not doing super hero work, All might reverts to a scrawny man with sunken eyes.

MidoriyaIzuku Midoriya (Justin Briner), has a big dream to become a great hero like All Might, who is his idol and role model. As a child, Midoriya waits to see what kind of quirk he’ll develop. Sadly, he is told that because he has two joints in his pinkie toe, it’s concluded that he would never develop a quirk of his own. Despite this blow to his dream, Midoriya’s passion to attend U.A. doesn’t falter. 

Everything changes for Midoriya when he meets All Might, and learns the secret of his quirk. All Might even tells Midoriya that a quirkless human can’t make it into U.A., and that he should accept they way things are. Hearing this from his idol, Midoriya is lost. That is…until he sees his childhood friend Katsuki Bakugo (Clifford Chapin) being attacked by a sludge monster. Even though he has the power to explode anything he touches, Katsuki is engulfed by the monster, and even the professional heroes are having trouble stopping him from killing the boy. Seeing this scene, without thinking, Midoriya rushes through the crowd and tries desperately to save his friend.

All Might, watching this ordinary boy rush into danger with no hesitation, realizes Apprentice.pngthat Midoriya could be the one to possibly take his place as the next greatest hero the world has ever known. He confronts Midoriya, saying that he does have the potential to become a hero based on his actions.

This series has grown so much in popularity, that the second season, which was released April 1, is being dubbed the same time the subbed version is uploaded. It shows how much of a following the anime has. Not a lot of anime series gets this kind of attention.

The reason I will not go into more details about this anime, is because the comedy and twist within the series are just too good to spoil and just need to be witnessed.

As a bit of a bonus, the studio who helped develop My Hero Academia, Studio Bones, is famous for releasing other anime series such as Full Metal Alchemist (original and Brotherhood), Ouran High School Host Club, Soul Eater, Space Dandy, and so much more!

Check out My Hero Academia for yourself, and watch future heroes prove themselves. New episodes of Season 2 is uploaded every Saturday night.

If you were born with a quirk, what would it be?

The Birth of a New Yu-Gi-Oh! Are they Jumping the Shark?

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You read the title correctly; a new Yu-Gi-Oh! is in production as we speak! The title is called Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V (five). The title emphasizes that this is the fifth Yu-Gi-Oh! series. The main character is Yuya Sakaki. The only description of his personality is he escapes the harshness of reality by smiling until one duel forces him to make a determination to confront the difficulties of life. There will also be a new type of summon called Pendulum Summon. Again, this is still new so there is not a lot of detail yet. It is set to air in April 2014.

There is a short trailer on YouTube from Japan, but it just shows the main character with some of his cards. It’s sort of a build up to the show itself.

Many of the Yu-Gi-Oh! fans who grew up watching the original series are not very psyched about this new series. When I saw this, I put up on my FaceBook to let my friends know about it. Majority of the comments were deep concerns about it since Yu-Gi-Oh! ZeXal didn’t pull the older fans in. There were also comments that said, “They jumped the shark with Yu-Gi_Oh! 5D’s,” which is the series where duels could take place while riding on motorcycles. The enthusiasm for this new series…is barely there. Mostly because of how 4Kids sort of messed up ZeXal and also how annoying Yuma, the ZeXal main character is at most times.

Defending ZeXal, I admit I cannot stand the 4Kids dubbing and that the “X” in ZeXal is meant to be silent if anyone has ever watched the Japanese version (which is better in my opinion). However, going back and giving the 4Kids version a chance, I can say that ZeXal has its moments and is not all that bad when putting it together as a whole.

Me personally, I am going to give ARC-V a chance. My opinion and faith in this new series is based on the design of the character Yuya. He has elements that the other protagonists had: gravity-defying hair, determined personality, possibly a main catch phrase and a pendant.  Oh and different-colored hair. I’m the type of person who will give an anime a try if it sold to me in the right ways. One way of course is looking at the main character and giving me the basics of the plot. To me, Yuya is one of the best looking Yu-Gi-Oh! protagonists. He is up there with Yami Yugi.

So, is Yu-Gi-Oh! jumping the shark with ARC-V? Ummm….it is really in the eye of the beholder. I mean yeah, it may have a similar plot to the other series. But all of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series have qualities that make them stand out and unique. In some ways, they might be jumping the shark a bit, mainly because I’m not sure what else they can do with the plot. Also, the series is going further and further into the future, showing how much dueling has evolved. Will they keep the duel gazers shown in ZeXal or have a new method of dueling?

Another problem is the plot is going to be predictable to the people who have followed all of the previous Yu-Gi-Oh! shows. The character might meet their rival and as time goes on, the rival accepts the main character’s friendship and work together in a tag duel. There might also be an otherworldly entity that helps the main character, and so on and son. While I am a bit curious of what the creators will do with the plot, I think they are just sort of…stepping over the shark rather than jumping over it. I trust the creators to give us a good story line, so I’m not going to judge it and give it my hate or negative judgement on little information. So I’m looking forward to it.

Whether it is going to be an epic series or an epic failure, I can’t wait till ARC-V comes to America! If more information comes out once it airs, I’ll write a follow-up.

Fullmetal Alchemist Transmutates Action and Emotion

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Two brothers attempt to bring back their mother. But they learn quickly that the cost to bring back the dead is high.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an all-out thrill ride with colorful characters that make you feel every emotion they feel. The show itself has gone through many changes. The first anime version was titled Fullmetal Alchemist and ran in Canada and the United Sates from 2004 to 2006 on Cartoon Network for the program Toonami. However, as the series went on, the began to stray away from the plot of the manga, written by Hiromu Arakawa, and made up its own story line. Around the time the series first aired, the manga was still in progress. It was unfinished and the anime needed to continue.

However in 2009, the new version that followed the manga was released on Toonami and was renamed Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood. This version was directed by Yasuhiro Irie, while the other version was directed by Seiji Mizushima. 

The series focuses on the Elric Brothers. Edward Elric (Vic Mignogna; English) (Romi Park; Japanese) and his younger brother Alphonse “Al” Elric (Maxey Whitehouse; English) (Rie Kugimiya; Japanese), who when they were young, lost their mother to sickness. In a desperation to bring her back to life, the brothers use the alchemy techniques they picked up from their father’s books to perform a Human Transmutation, which is considered a taboo among alchemists. But as the transmutation went on, the brothers found out the price of reviving the dead. Al’s body was ripped apart while Ed lost his left leg. The transmutation failed, as in the center of the circle stood a hideous creature that replaced their mother. To get his brother’s soul back, Ed uses alchemy to bond Al’s soul to a suit of armor, costing him his right arm.

Amestrian Military Officer Colonel Roy Mustang (Travis Willingham; English) (Shinichiro Miki; Japanese) hears about the Elric brothers and goes to see what they had done. He proposes Edward becomes a State Alchemist for the military. In exchange, Ed required as much research material as he could use in order to learn more about an item called the Philosopher’s Stone that could restore their bodies. Before leaving for the military, Ed goes to his childhood friend Winry Rockbell (Caitlin Glass; English) (Megumi Takamoto; Japanese), who is an automail engineer and performs mechanical surgery on Ed, giving him an automail arm and leg.

While the Elric brothers are in the military, they learn all kinds of secrets that put them and their friends in all kinds of danger. Each episode keeps you guessing of what is going to  happen and who is pulling the strings.

milkEdward himself is a very funny character. When he is in the hospital recovering from a fight, his meal is brought to him, including a bottle of milk. Ed shows his deep hatred for milk and refuses to drink it every time someone brings it to him. His friends then argue with him, saying the reason he is short is because he never drank his milk as a child. Now that’s the hilarious part. Edward hates being called “short.” Anytime someone calls him short, friends, enemies, random people, he becomes enraged and is ready to kill them on the spot. The hilarious factors of this show balances the intensity of the main plot, letting the audience breathe for a while before getting them back into the main plot.

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Many people I’ve talked to about this show say that one of their most cherished and favorite character of FMA Brotherhood is Maes Hughes (Sonny Strait; English) (Keiji Fujiwara; Japanese). He is an Investigation Officer for the military and close friend of Mustang. In my opinion, looking at this show over three times, I think that Hughes is an anime character that can fit into the real world. His character is beyond 3D. While he does take his work seriously, most of the time he is on screen he is forever talking about his wife and 3-year-old daughter. He is a dedicated father who always makes time for his family, which is a character type many men have when they begin a family. There is not much I can say about him without giving anything away. If you want to experience a loving character that you wish was real, and see what he gets into and how far it takes him, watch the show.

Another great thing about this show is that all of the voice actors really get into their characters. You don’t see people in a booth, talking in a microphone; you see a character showing intense emotion, making you feel exactly what they feel. Ed is in battle, fighting for his friends or comrades, you see the determination in his face and hear it in his voice. A character goes back into the past, explaining their life and hardships, the emotion is so real that you feel yourself giving the character sympathy. Every dialogue spoken in the show is done with as much emotion as an actor would give in a live-action movie or TV show.

Fun characters, twists and intensity, amazing acting; Fullmetal Alchemist is definitely not for the faint of heart. Experience action and drama in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. 

Welcome to the DWMA!

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Soul Eater, directed by Takuya Igurashi, manga author Atsushi Okubo, is a very interesting and unique anime series. The TV series aired April 7, 2008- March 30, 2009 with 51 episodes. The manga was published in June 2003 and is still ongoing.

The anime is about students who attend the Death Weapon Meister Academy (DWMA), run by the Grim Reaper (John Swasey; English), (Rikiya Koyama; Japanese), referred as Lord Death. There are two types of students at this academy: meisters- students who wield weapons and weapons- students who have the ability to transform into a weapon. Meisters and weapons have to be compatible with each other; their soul wavelengths must be in sync. The goal of the students are to use their partners to collect 99 kishin (Demon Gods) souls and one witch soul. The weapons devour those souls and then become Death’s Instrument.

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Anyone has the chance of becoming a kishin egg if they devour enough human souls. They become lost and slowly fall into the brink of madness.

The appearance of a witch’s soul varies depending on their powers. Majority of witches in Soul Eater have powers based on animals. But all of their souls have a purple color.

DeathLord Death stays in a room within the DWMA and he is unable to leave Death City, because his soul is what protects the city from evil. He founded the DWMA to protect and preserve the peace of the world and keep the madness subdued so its wavelength won’t take over the minds of the people. At first his appearance was threatening and portrayed the very definition of ‘death’ and ‘Grim Reaper.’ However when he built the academy, the children were afraid of him because of the way he looked. So he changed it so everyone could walk up to him without being scared of him.

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Lord Death is a very outspoken character, usually saying funny lines and exposing his large hands to make peace signs or to Reaper Chop people when they don’t focus on the situation. He does change back to his old self when he gets serious enough, especially when it comes to the safety of the students and faculty of the academy. Whether he is in his deep, scary voice or high-pitched silly voice, he can still be serious when the situation calls for it.

The anime focuses on Meister Maka Albarn (Laura Bailey; English), (Chiaki Omigawa; Japanese), and her weapon partner Soul Eater Evans (Micah Soulsod; English), (Soichiro Hoshi; Japanese). Maka wants to make a stronger death scythe that is stronger than her father Spirit Albarn (Vic Mignogna; English), (Toru Okawa; Japanese), who is Lord Death’s personal death scythe.

Maka herself is an interesting character because she hates her father for being unfaithful to her mother. Her parents are going through a divorce in the series and Maka is on her mother’s side. However, you never see the mother in the series, but she shows up in the manga. When she uses Soul in battle, her fear does surface but rather than give into it, she uses it as an additional weapon, using it as adrenaline. Soul, who is an actual scythe is a laid back guy who is very loyal to his meister, but always makes fun of her for reading all the time and insults her body type. Unlike Maka, Soul does not take his classes seriously but wants to be a strong weapon for Lord Death. He always refers to himself as a “cool guy.”

Their close friends are the loud and arrogant Black Star (Brittney Karbowski; English), (Yumiko Kobayashi; Japanese), his patient and forgiving ninja weapon partner Tsubaki Nakatsukasa (Monica Rial; English), (Kaori Nazuka; Japanese) and the son of Lord Death, Death the Kid (Todd Haberkorn; English), (Mamoru Miyano; Japanese) and his twin pistol weapon partners the Thompson sisters; Liz Thompson (Jamie Marchi; English), (Akeno Watanabe) and her younger sister Patty Thompson (Cherami Leigh; English), (Narumi Takahira; Japanese).

Not only is the series very colorful and flowing, it balances the funny episodes and serious episodes. There will be episodes that show the characters being students and going about normal lives, and then there will be episodes where they go on missions and experience new challenges that they must fight through for the sake of education and strength.

The students and faculty of the DWMA are put to the ultimate test when an old evil that Lord Death sealed away many years ago is awakened and threatens to spread madness throughout the world.

All of the characters have quirky personalities that make you laugh almost every minute and the missions they go on are filled with suspense and sometimes unexpected twists. The most interesting thing about all of the characters, protagonists and antagonists is that they are all very hard to kill. A character will get impaled by something and lose gallons of blood, but they will still stand tall (literally) and fight with the same amount of energy as they had when the fight began. Each character loses a large amount of blood but never die with just one blow.

The anime has stopped at 51 episodes, but the manga is continuing and has a lot more story, characters and plot to follow. If you watch the anime and get sad when you finish it, move to the manga and you will be happy again. There is also a spin-off manga called ‘Soul Eater NOT.’ I have yet to check it out, but what I do know is that it takes places a little before the events of Soul Eater. There are new characters who are starting their freshman year at the DWMA. The manga came out in 2011.

Bottom line this anime is very enjoyable and has an interesting plot and knows how to put the audience into suspense that makes us want to keep watching. Check out Soul Eater…or I’ll take your soul.

Satan’s Flames Rise to the Surface

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Satan has spawned offspring!

Blue Exorcist is a fairly new anime, released in Japan April 17, 2011 and then in America a year later in October. In Japan, the original debut date was April 10, but because of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the release date was pushed back a week. The show was directed by Tensai Okamura, while the manga was adapted by Kazue Kato.

The series follows a teenager named Rin Okumura (Bryce Papenbrook; English), (Nobuhiko Watamoto; Japanese), who is being raised alongside his younger twin brother Yukio Okumura (Johnny Young Bosch; English), (Jun Fukiyama; Japanese) by a priest named Father Shiro Fujimoto (Kirk Thorton; English), (Keiji Fujiwara; Japanese). Early on, Rin finds out that he and his brother are the sons of Satan (same English and Japanese voice actors as Shiro). He realizes this when he draws an enchanted sword that activates his demonic powers by surrounding his body in blue flames. Yukio, however, did not inherit the blue flames from his father. Rin attempts to go against his father after witnessing the death of Shiro. Both Rin and Yukio are sent to an exorcist academy called True Cross Academy, where Yukio becomes a teacher due to his early training as an exorcist and teaches Rin and other students how to become exorcists. It was Rin’s choice to become an exorcist, or more specifically, a paladin: the most powerful and highest rank of exorcist so he could go against Satan and avenge Shiro.

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One of the most interesting characters (in my opinion), is Mephisto Pheles (Sam Riegel; English), (Hiroshi Kamiya; Japanese). Not only is he the headmaster of the academy, but he is also a demon who is fascinated with the human world. He shows an interest in Japanese culture, collecting souvenirs from the pop culture. Mephisto is also a spawn of Satan, making him Rin and Yukio’s older brother. He is very mysterious, keeping his true intentions to himself and always acting like he knows more than he does. He keeps an eye on everything the Okumura brothers do while they are in the academy, and even stirring up trouble himself just to see how Rin will respond to certain situations. Personality wise, Mephisto is a very eccentric man, making a dark situation light with witty comments and several funny moments.

Throughout the anime, Rin begins to make friends with his fellow exorcist classmates while keeping the secret that he is the spawn of Satan. Yukio and other teachers put the students through tests and trials that teach them the ways of exorcism. Each mission, Rin sets a high goal for himself in order to reach his goal. He is a bit selfish because he tries to do everything on his own because he starts relying on his demonic powers to get the job done. However he begins to create a full bond with the others, learning he can rely on his allies to help him.

The story itself is interesting as new characters are introduced, friendships are made, some are broken and eye-popping plot twists are revealed halfway through that causes viewers to change the way they look at certain characters. Rin’s past also explains his character and allows you to fully understand why he acts the way he does in the present. Each episode is something new and reveals elements that change the feel of the anime entirely. Not only is the story compelling and fascinating, the opening and ending themes are just so amazingly catchy that you run straight to iTunes and download them to your iPod or iPhone. Finally the art and visuals are beautiful. The movement of the characters is smooth, the design of their outfits are original and really tell a small portion of the character’s personality. Not to mention all of the characters are three-dimensional in their personality. Each of them have their own unique personalities filled with flaws. When each of them are put in situations that force them out of their comfort zones, they struggle but at the same time learn to fight through them that changes their perspective of the world.

So go ahead and dive right into the pits of hell and check out Blue Exorcist. Satan will be waiting to test your courage and strength. Prove to him that like Rin, you too have what it takes to become a paladin.