Anime Weeklies 2: Invincible Love

Another column I'm behind on.   I'm skipping the episodes I missed and catching up proper as of this week.   I know I'm supposed to cover Dragon Ball Super, but as long as it's on mindless filler I think I'll give the series a break and come back when Future Trunks 2 starts up.

My Hero Academia 8
I don't understand Shonen Jump and it's obsession with rivals that are largely irredeemable shitheads. Vegeta was a jerk but he failed so much that it was a semi-interesting display of a man with an inferiority complex forced to constantly face his inferiority.  Sasuke was a spoiled brat who everyone excused no matter what awful things he did, but he at least got the stuffing beaten out of him from time to time.  But Bakugou is an entirely different level of fuckery--people are constantly giving him the validation he wants, even when he obviously needs to be drop-kicked off his high horse.  They couldn't even let him actually confront his own insecurities for a second before Izuku and All Might came rushing in to remind him that he's "totally still cool". 

Other than that, I can kind of see what people mean by this series moving slow.  With only five episodes left it occurs to me that anime-only viewers will have to wait until the Fall (if they're lucky) to even get to see the tournament!   I didn't even realize until we got to this episode and the kids finally got to introduce themselves for the first time ever.   It's been eight episodes!  Its not BONES' fault though--the pacing is slow in the manga too, you just excuse it because it's only 22 pages and takes you five minutes rather than nearly half an hour to finish.

But worry not, anime watchers, the arc upcoming is one of the strongest in the series even if its not my personal favorite.

Twin Star Exorcists 8
Ah, the classic "Wham!" episode.  Start out with the usual routine of an anime (whatever that might be) and by the end of the episode you've introduced a twist that turns the entire series on its head.  Enmado Rokuro, the main character of the show, has been suffering PTSD since something called the Hinatsuki Tragedy, where all of his friends were brutally slain by some escaped demons.   Though it's not the most realistic depiction, Twin Star actually does at least a half-decent job showing this guy who's terrified of doing the thing he's best at...being forced to do the thing he's best at.  He's sullen, moody, and often downright sour--annoyed at having to return to being an exorcist and being even more annoyed that he's being forced to work with Adashino Benio, another exorcist from a different part of Japan who lost her family not long ago as well.

...But for the whole series I've been noticing that by and large Rokuro has been nearly unstoppable.  He one-hits demons that other exorcists can't beat at all.  So what could've been so powerful Rokuro couldn't take it down?   Rokuro himself.  It seems massive amounts of spell energy can cause a brief transformation into a demon.  Which means this entire time, it's actually been Rokuro responsible for the deaths of his family members...and Adashino Benio's brother, who had been sent to Hinatsuki to study. 

I flip-flop back and forth on TSE.   It's always right on the edge of annoying me enough for me to quit, only to drag me right back into things.   Lately it's been the world-building--and including this episode, they might have bought them the rest of this cour, as least.  It makes so much sense!   Rokuro's desire to be the most powerful exorcist being extinguished because a "really strong" demon popped up left gaps--why not just become more powerful?  But being stronger absolutely doesn't help when you're the most dangerous threat there is.   I can't wait to hear more about Rokuro's curse...presuming Benio doesn't kill him in episode 9.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable 8

I've never wanted Defeat to mean Friendship more.  Yukako (great voice acting by Mamiko Noto, by the way) seems like the type of character who, once mellowed out, would be pretty awesome.   After making it through all sorts of ridiculously tough antagonists like Anjuro and the Nijimura brothers, this episode kicks things down a notch when Josuke's buddy Koichi gets a love confession from a girl who's...just a bit off-kilter.

This episode has a lot of sweet moments that go a long way towards making Yukako likable though--from the adorable initial confession to her trying to help Koichi learn English.   She just...doesn't know how to interact with people and comes on way too strong.  Still, I appreciate Araki for giving a guy who I immediately assumed would never be focused on some actual screentime.  (And a love interest!)   He's actually having his second Stand battle, when I initially thought he'd have as much focus as Avdol from Stardust Crusaders. 

Speaking of, much as I love a good traveling series, the personality they've managed to give Morio City with the art and color palette change has gone a long way towards topping Part 3.  Josuke seems like a nicer, more interesting guy than Jotaro, and the powers are growing more creative by the episode.   There's even significantly less death, while also having about the same amount of crazy beatdowns passed out.

Still to come: Joker Game, Bungou Stray Dogs


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