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?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Ending of an Episode was Unsatisfying and Disappointing.

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There is no question that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was and, to many, is still one of the most awesome shows ever to hit television. It was created by Joss Whedon in 1997 and ran for about 6 years with 7 seasons.

While I was too young to watch Buffy, I caught the series just as it was coming off the air. Instead of watching it, I found the spin-off series, Angel, which I absolutely love and have watched twice. But recently, I went to Netflix and finally sat down to watch Buffy, and it is as amazing as everyone said (like I ever doubted).

However, I just watched an episode that I thought ended in an anti-climactic and unsatisfying way: Season 2, Episode 11, Ted.

In the episode, Buffy’s mom, Joyce, introduces her daughter to Ted, an average man tedwho works as an office salesman. On the surface, he seems genuinely kind and trusting, winning over Willow and Xander. Like most teens, Buffy isn’t too happy to have a new man enter her life, especially when this particular man begins to threaten Buffy to her face. Buffy finds out that Ted plans to marry Joyce in two months, and takes out her aggression on a vampire while out on patrol.

buffy-confronts-tedBuffy sneaks back in to her room to find Ted waiting for her and reading her diary. Ted threatens to tell Joyce about Buffy’s “delusional fantasies” if she got in the way of his plans. When Buffy tries to stop Ted from walking out with her diary, he attacks her. Pushed to the limit, Buffy retaliates, holding nothing back, especially when her mom witnesses Buffy assault and then kick Ted down the stairs, killing him.

The reactions in this episode was powerful. Giles and the others find out that Ted had a clean record. Buffy is shaken up that she had killed an innocent human. She confesses everything to the police, who don’t press charges because they believed that she was defending herself. Throughout the episode, Buffy is fighting the guilt that she had hurt not only an innocent person, but her own mother. It is just a strong scenario that keeps you wondering what will happen next and if Buffy and her mom would ever go back to the way things were.

Just as suspected, at least by me, Ted returns, ambushing Buffy in her room again, this time knocking her unconscious. He appears before Joyce, making up a story of how he woke up just as he was taken to the morgue. He attempts to take Joyce away to another home he claims to have made for the two of them, but is stopped once again by Buffy.

This is where the episode went downhill.

Xander, Willow and Cordeila find Ted’s address and go there to see if there is anything they can use to prove he was up to something. Xander opens a closet, discovering the bodies of Ted’s previous wives. They don’t actually show them. The camera is on Xander the whole time, showing his reaction.

ted_buffy_the_vampire_slayerMeanwhile, Buffy’s fight with Ted is just her ambushing him in the kitchen and whacking him across the face with a frying pan. He turns to get up and half of his face reveals he was a robot. Buffy hits him again and he’s dead for real. Then the episode ends with Buffy and her mom sitting on the front porch, supporting each other.

We never know exactly what Ted is, how he was able to come back as a robot, what his motivations were, nor anything about his previous wives and how he managed to kill them. The whole time I was watching, I kept thinking he was just using Joyce to get to Buffy. I thought he would be some sort of demon or evil sorcerer who was able to get close to Buffy so he could kill her or threaten her mom or…SOMETHING!!!

But no. Instead, he was a robot from who-knows-where who went after Buffy’s mom for God-knows-why. He mumbled to Joyce that a husband and wife should be together and live happily. It gave way to some sort of background, whether he had a wife that left him, or he did something horrible by accident and just goes after any woman who reminded him of his wife. That’s what I thought was going on when he said that.

I know Whedon is good at throwing the audience off and keeping us on our toes, but I don’t get what this episode was supposed to do. Other than showing the audience the young main character coping with the reality that she used her abilities to kill who she thought was an average person in self-defense, this episode ended so poorly.

I get that this episode was just a filler episode (maybe), and has nothing to do with the main plot, but the other episode with one-time bad guys at least had some sort of satisfying ending with answered questions. If Whedon just wanted the episode to focus on Buffy growing as a character and showing just how 3-Dimensional she really is, he did perfectly. But this was an episode that just left me unsatisfied when it came to the villain.

If anyone believes I’ve misunderstood this particular episode, please leave a comment. As I’ve said, I’m still watching the series for the first time and I know there is going to be a crap-ton of stuff that is gonna play with all of my emotions and perspectives. I can’t wait!!

Servant + Vampire = Hilarious and Dramatic

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Short but sweet, Servamp is an anime that will catch the attention of all vampire fanatics! I have heard about this series from friends but never got a chance to watch it until recently. I first read the first two volumes of the manga, then started watching the anime. I was hooked after two minutes!!

Servamp starts off with 15-year old Mahiru Shirota (Japanese Voice: Takuma Terashima; English Voice: Clifford Chappin), who is an independent high school Freshman. When he was younger, his mother had passed away. His family were pondering what to do with him, because no one wanted to take him in. But his uncle stepped up and said that he would raise Mahiru on his own. Because of his uncle, Mahiru has a mindset of “If you want something done, you have to do it yourself.” Because of this, he’s always the one in his class to step up and takes on any task no one else wants to do. His friends and classmates are amazed by his motivation.

Mahiru_and_Kuro.pngOne day, as Mahiru is on his way home, he comes across a small black cat huddled in an alleyway. Feeling sorry for it, Mahiru takes it in and opens the plot. This simple black cat that Mahiru named Kuro (Japanese Voice: Yuki Kaji; English Voice: Chuck Huber), is actually a vampire who is referred to as Sleepy Ash of Sloth. As his name suggests, Kuro is often lazy and spends most of his time sleeping, eating, watching TV or playing video games. While he can change his shape from cat to human and visa versa, he immediately transforms back into a cat when in direct sunlight.

The two end up accidentally forming a contract together, binding them as master and servamp (Servant + Vampire). Because of this contract, Kuro must obey his new eve (that is what a servamp’s master is called), and stay close to him. Once the contract is formed, if a servamp and eve are separated for too long, the eve will become weak and eventually die.

Everything begins to change around Mahiru as he discovers another vampire is after tsubakiKuro. The culprit is Kuro’s youngest brother, Tsubaki (Japanese Voice: Tatsuhisa Suzuki; English Voice: Micha Solusod), also known as the servamp of Melancholy. He is actually the 8th brother of the servamps. However, because no one in his family knows him and don’t acknowledge him, he hates all of them and wants to make everyone know him by slaughtering as many people as he desires. In order to stop him, Mahiru and Kuro team up with the rest of Kuro’s brothers and try to stop Tsubaki from killing innocent humans.

As you watch Servamp, viewers will see that all of the servamps are named after the Seven Deadly Sins. Kuro is Sloth, there is a servamp of Greed, Gluttony, Wrath, Envy, Lust, and Pride. Out of all these siblings, Kuro is the eldest brother.

Mahiru and Kuro are total opposites in personality and motivation. However, of course servamp-battleopposites tend to attract and work together in balancing each other’s flaws. Mahiru is determined and is always willing to help with anything. Being thrown into this new reality and given power, Mahiru feels like he has to stand up and take action against Tsubaki in any way he can. Kuro on the other hand, is reluctant to jump into battle. Most of the time, it’s because he’s lazy and thinks it’s a pain to fight. The other times he doesn’t want to fight, it’s because he feels like Mahiru rushes into battle too quickly, often without telling anyone and having extra back-up. This is, again, because he believes he has to do everything himself if no one else is around to do it. His impulsiveness leads to many failures in battle and complications with his bond with Kuro, making them useless in battle. Through his faults and emotions, Mahiru realizes why everything has happened and eventually pulls it together for the final battle against Tsubaki.

So much drama and confrontation goes on in this anime, which keeps me invested in the plot. Despite this show only having 12 episodes, every episode is satisfying. I do hope it gets a second season, but until then, I’ll keep reading the manga and re-watching the anime over and over.

manga-coversSpeaking of the manga, it’s also important to note that there are significant differences between the manga and the anime. The main one is, there are more characters that show up in the manga. For example, in the anime, Mahiru’s uncle is shown only in flashbacks. He is still alive in the series, but the anime suggests he may be away on a business trip because he never shows up as the anime goes on. But in the manga, it shows a scene where Mahiru runs into Tsubaki in a sushi bar and they talk for a bit. In the manga, Mahiru’s uncle shows up and is introduced to Tsubaki, thinking he and Mahiru are friends. Mahiru even tells his uncle about how he found Kuro and if they could keep him Of course he’s okay with letting Kuro live with them. His uncle doesn’t know Kuro is a vampire and Mahiru tries to keep it that way.

Bottom line, Servamp keeps viewers entertained with just enough information and plot development with each episode to make us want more, and gives us just enough conflict and action to keep our attention. It puts a different spin on vampires and turns viewers on their heads with surprises and character development.

 

Hunter X Hunter: An Adventurous Anime

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Full of action, drama and just all around awesome characters and story, Hunter X Hunter leaves people on the edge of their seats with every episode and every tiny moment.

hunter-x-hunter-1999The original series aired in Japan from 1999 to 2001, with 62 episodes. Then it was re-released again in 2011, which is the adaptation that is currently being dubbed in English and airing on Toonami Saturday/Sunday at 1:30 a.m. There was an English dubbing in 1999, but in honesty, that version is annoying and possibly the worst dubbing I’ve ever heard. When people search for Hunter X Hunter, they make sure to be specific. i.e. “Hunter X Hunter 2011.”

The series follows 12-year old Gon Freeces, who lives in a small village with his aunt. Hisgon_freecss father abandoned Gon to become a Hunter. Rather than resenting his father for leaving him, Gon decides to follow his father and become a Hunter, so he can see what it was about becoming a Hunter that made his father leave his family.

At the start of his journey, he meets Kurapika, the last member of a race of people called scarlet-eyesthe Kurta Clan. His purpose of becoming a Hunter, is to hunt down a mysterious group known as the Phantom Troupe, who is responsible for the slaughter of the Kurta Clan. The Kurta were hunted down for their eyes, which turn red when their emotions are heightened.

Gon also meets an aspiring doctor named Leorio. He is taking the Hunter Exam just so he can make money and live a good life. Although he seems selfish and jaded, he is actually caring and has deeper motivations that explain his views on everything.

During the first part of the Hunter Exam, Gon meets another 12-year old boy named Killua killuaZoldyck, who is a member of an assassin family. Because of his background in killing and family upbringing, Killua is confident in his skills and abilities during the exam. He becomes impressed and fascinated with Gon’s optimism and strength. The two eventually form a strong friendship.

Along with friends, Gon also come across an enemy: Hisoka. The way most fans would describe Hisoka is…creepy pedophile psychopath times 100. To formally describe him, he  is a character who loves murder and playing with his victims.

Hisoka takes an interest in Gon because of his hidden potential. Hisoka has quoted in the show that if he finds interest in an opponent, killing them too soon would be boring. He almost kills Gon during one part of the Hunter Exam, but spares his life because he believes Gon can become stronger. Once he does, Hisoka plans to kill him.

hisoka-creepy-faceThroughout the anime, Hisoka talks about Gon, comparing him to a fruit that is still growing and will ripen with time. The other factors of Hisoka that make him extremely creepy, is that after fighting Gon, or witnessing Gon and his friends fight, he makes the comment, “I’m starting to get excited,” while making a very uncomfortable expression that is described as a ‘pedo-smile.’ Watch some of his scenes and you’ll understand. He also is designed like a jester, and uses playing cards as weapons.

Watching the anime, I have compared Gon to Goku from Dragonball Z. The two are very similar in character and personality. They both value the people in their lives and will do whatever it takes to protect them. Both characters are a bit reckless during combat, while at the same time tactical, and they are both overly optimistic and have positive outlooks on certain situations. Also…they are both extremely stubborn. Once they both make up their minds,. there is no changing them.

Personally, my favorite arc is the sixth one called “The Chimera Ant arc.” To summarize it, hunterxhunter_chimera-ants-finalan ant queen creates creatures called Chimera Ants, who go out and feed on humans as well as bring humans to the queen as offerings. She gives birth to the Chimera Ant king, who goes to assert his dominance over the world and harvest humans to consume.

Also in this arc, Gon meets a man whom he has met before and is an acquaintance of Gon’s father. They gather other Hunters to fight the Ants.

The whole season is so powerful in plot and twists. You think you have a character all figured out, but then one episode will change everything, making you look at those characters in a totally different light. I seriously finished this season in like, two weeks cause I couldn’t stop watching it!! Going through all the seasons is worth it to get to this one!

Seriously, Hunter X Hunter is a pretty awesome anime. If anyone wants more twists and unexpected turns and events in an anime, this is the show to check out!!

Blood Lad recreates the Meaning of Vampires, Demons and Anime

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What makes a vampire a vampire? They suck the blood of innocent and beautiful women, they are good-looking, immortal, hate sunlight and are noblemen who fit into high society. But…what if they were opposite of some of the vampire traits we created for them? Blood Lad takes us into another perspective of vampires and other mythical legends.

This series is still very new because it only has 10 episodes and the manga is incomplete. Yet, I’ve been reading the manga and watching the anime and I have to say this is a funny series with characters who entertain you in every scene, as well as keep you in suspense with what will happen. The manga was created by Yuuki Kodama and has been licensed for distribution in English by Yen Press. The anime aired in Japan between July 7 and Sept. 8, 2013. It was bought and licensed to North America by Viz Media in 2014.

Staz Charlie Blood (Osaka Ryota), is a young vampire who is a territory boss of the Eastern District in the Demon World. The series indicates that the Demon World is divided into territories and each territory has a boss that runs it. If two bosses fight over one another’s territory, the winning boss claims the territory. While Staz is a strong boss, he is an otaku; he has a massive collection of manga, anime and figures from the human world. If you look closely at Staz ‘s collection, you can see certain mainstream anime characters and manga series we know very well. There are even anime references in the dialogue.

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His world becomes “complete” when one of his friends calls him and says a human girl has entered their territory. Excited about this development, Staz orders that the girl be brought to him. All he does is talk to her to learn more about Japan and any new anime/video game releases. He fights off the urge to drink her blood because all he wants is to keep her and talk with her. But when Staz goes to take care of another demon wanting control of his area, the girl, Yanagi Fuyumi (Iori Nomizu), is devoured by a monster and turns into a ghost. 

Because she is a ghost, Staz admits that the attraction he felt towards Fuyumi when she was alive had gone away when she turned into a ghost. Despite this, he keeps her remains in his room and vows that he will do whatever he had to do bring her back to life. The problem with her being a ghost, is every now and then Fuyumi will begin to disappear. 

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To prevent her from vanishing completely, Staz feeds Fuyumi his vampire blood and swears to be her “Blood Bank” until he found a way to resurrect her. Even though he admitted that he was not attracted to her as a ghost, Staz feels that she is still special to him.

While this anime is funny, has tons of references and amazing characters, in my opinion, Yanagi Fuyumi is the weakest and blandest character in the entire series. To give an example, there are times when she gets kidnapped or taken away from Staz to use him or distract him, and she’s like, “Eh, okay.” Not being phased by anything that happens to her. She just accepts being kidnapped, instead of a typical female reaction of screaming and fighting back. She lets herself get kidnapped. There’s just hardly any emotion from her. I understand she is in an unfamiliar place and sort of scared and clueless about how things work in the Demon World, but with everything she’s gone through, I think Fuyumi would at least try to have a personality and act surprised with certain things.

Anyway, despite that issue, the series is great and I can’t wait for the creators to produce the rest of the series. The episodes only go up to 10 right now, and the manga stops at chapter 35. The next addition does not have set date (I can’t find one lol), but I wait with great anticipation. For now, check out the series for yourself. I recommend reading the manga first because it has more reference and more plot to the story as all books and comics do compared to movies and shows. But also see the anime. 

To read the manga online, check out http://www.mangareader.net/ or go to your local bookstore and buy a hard-copy! 

 

Black Butler Controversy (Why people think the show is a yaoi)

ImageI got into Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji) in 2011 and fell in love with it from the very beginning. The story was interesting, the characters were memorable and it brought a lot to the table. The Black Butler fandom grew immensely over time, especially when the anime was brought to America and dubbed by Funimation. I love this show so much that it is on my Top 5 Favorite Anime’s List.

The premise of the story: Ciel Phantomhive lost his parents at the age if 10, when his mansion burned down. He was then captured by an unknown group who treated him worse than animals. A demon comes to him one night, saying he could grant Ciel’s wish to exact revenge on those who took everything from him. The price would be his soul. Ciel makes the contract with the demon, now named Sebastian Michaelis. Sebastian acts as Ciel’s butler, following every order given by his new master.

Now of course, Sebastian and Ciel have a very strong bond due to the contract. Ciel relies on his butler for everything from scheduling his daily appointments to helping him solve cases for the Queen. However, the fandom has taken their relationship too far, making many people who hear about the show believe it is a yaoi. 

For those who don’t know, yaoi is a Japanese term that refers to ‘Boy’s Love.’ It is of course very popular among female anime fans and of course fans who consider themselves homosexual or bisexual. The term for ‘Girl’s Love’ is known as yuri.

I myself am into yaoi anime’s just because they convey the struggle and benefits of any relationship. However, ever since I got into Black Butler, I have had friends who know about Black Butler but have not seen the show, ask me if it is a yaoi. I realized the reason they have asked me that is 1. I have seen both seasons of the anime over forty+  times and know just about every detail of each episode, and 2. all of the fan art posted on social networks like DeviantArt, Tumblr, Photobucket, etc. 

I’m not saying that drawing fan art of two of your favorite characters together (shipping), is bad. I’ve drawn yaoi fan art. That just shows how big of a fan you are. What I’m saying is the Black Butler fan-base has taken Ciel’s and Sebastian’s relationship a bit too far, that a lot of people think it is a yaoi. If you Google the Black Butler synopsis, no where will it say it is a yaoi. Forums about the show will tell whether or not an anime is yaoi.

ImageBut, it is not the fan’s fault for spreading this misconception. In episode 4 of season 1, the Queen has ordered Ciel to investigate the Jack the Ripper case. Sebastian looks around and finds there is a suspect who has dealt in black marketing and could be the culprit. To find out the truth, they have to go to the suspect’s banquet. Ciel has to disguise himself as a female to attract the man’s attention. The image above shows a scene in the episode where Ciel is straining and sweating, which leads to many suggestive scenarios. Later it is shown that Sebastian is simply tightening a corset so he can appear to have a woman’s figure and fit into the dress he has to wear. Many fans, including myself have called this the “corset scene.” The fact that it shows Ciel in a suggestive position and Sebastian behind him, of course fan art is going to pop up in every part of the internet. 

Still, the fans have blown the entire thing out of proportion. There are some fans who say it is a yaoi not only because of this scene, but because of the relationship between Ciel and Sebastian. To me, the relationship between the two is just master and servant. Again, I’d be a hypocrite if I said I didn’t like looking at Black Butler yaoi every now and then. But the Black Butler yaoi I like is between Sebastian, the grim reaper Grell Sutcliff or the season 2 butler, Claude Faustus. 

Maybe it’s because in the show, Ciel is 13-years-old and I don’t like calling a minor ‘sexy’ nor do I have a sexual attraction to them. I will say they’re cute in a ‘little brother’ kind of way or just complimenting on their facial features as a character. I like Ciel as a character. Do I think he’s attractive…not to me. I’m not exactly sure how to put it into words. Bottom line, I am not attracted to Ciel.

People can continue making fan art of Ciel and Sebastian or whatever characters they want to ship. But in my opinion, saying Black Butler is a yaoi is kind of ruining it for new potential viewers. Some anime fans, boys and girls, don’t have any interest in yaoi. To say Black Butler is a yaoi if they ask about it, could convince them not to watch the show. 

If you want to think Black Butler’s a yaoi, go ahead. I can’t stop you. That is the point of being an anime fan: liking an anime for the characters and the possibilities you can get from their personalities or the story itself. All I’m saying is, in my eyes, it’s not a yaoi. It doesn’t have any of the qualities to be described as a yaoi. Again, look up the synopsis on the internet. Also if you want to get your friends/family into Black Butler, don’t start out with, “It’s a yaoi and the main characters are so adorable!!” Tell them the main plot of it and then let them watch it for themselves.

If anyone was offended by this, I apologize. This is only me speaking my mind. I am not trying to take away the enjoyment you get from the show, nor am I convincing you to stop thinking what you think of believe.

Enjoy your fandom and keep watching anime.