Anime Weeklies: Genesis

Hey, welcome to my newest column, Anime Weeklies!  I've been doing those seasonal columns about anime pretty much as long as I've had this blog, and I probably should've improved to this point ages ago.   Oh well.

This season's series: Dragon Ball Super, Boku no Hero Academia, Bungou Stray Dogs, JoJo Part 4, Joker Game, and Twin Star Exorcists.  There's also Macross Delta but I'll be doing separate columns for that since it's...well, it's fucking Macross.  

Dragon Ball Super

With this I sincerely hope we're done with introducing new gods, as Zeno is said to be powerful enough to unmake all twelve universes with a simple whim.  I will say that I appreciate the newfound respect Toriyama seems to have for god-like characters.  Kami was surpassed by the start of the Saiyan Saga, King Kai surpassed by the end, and Kaioshin?  Dude wasn't even worth a second thought when he FIRST showed up, nevermind by the end of the Buu Saga.  But months of training with Whis and Goku and Vegeta still can't even beat Beerus, nevermind Whis.  And given how Beerus and Champa both nearly pissed their pants when Zeno showed up, it looks like these guys aren't going to get surpassed ANYTIME soon. 

In any case, who else had "new tournament with more fighters" in the pool?  It's the most logical decision, right?  Dragon Ball has never been the smartest series plot-wise, but even it wouldn't let go of such an obvious slam-dunk.  You introduce 12 different universes and have a tournanment between two of them, but in the back of everyone else's head, all we want to see is a tournament between all twelve universes.  Plus they left too many obvious things out: Gohan started training with Piccolo, the humans have to eventually get upgraded one way or another, and there's probably another Super Saiyan Blue form left in the bag. 

The most unfortunate thing though is the wait between tournaments.  The episode summaries for the rest of the month indicate there's nothing like a tournament happening anytime soon, and yet they're also not exactly gearing up for a new arc either--we're about to delve into full-on Dragon Ball Z filler mode, so expect more foolishness like Goku and Piccolo going to get their driver's license. Oh boy. Who's not excited about *that*?

This episode should also put Shenron to bed.  He's been borderline worthless since they first asked "Why can't you wish the Saiyans away?", and when I saw him cower before Beerus I was pretty much done with him.  This new dragon, though? He seems to encompass entire fucking galaxies and can restore long-dead planets with a single wish?   Best part?  Unless you know the language of the gods you can't even use these Dragon Balls, so there shouldn't be anymore bad guys trying to gather them for impossibly nefarious purposes.   Perfect.

Boku no Hero Academia

Midoriya's climb to the top of the hero charts continues.  A complaint I've seen bandied about for this show is that the pacing is extremely slow, and I'm honestly not sure how accurate that is.  As a manga-first fan, I didn't think this series moved especially slow, and it's covering often multiple chapters in each episode.  Now, it watches slow to me, but that's because I'm seeing Midoriya shatter his bones everytime he uses All for One and in my head I'm like, "When the fuck are we going to get to Full Cowl already?!"   To an anime-only viewer it shouldn't seem all that slow-paced, but I guess it would depend on the person.

Anyway, this episode introduced us to the first of the many hero teachers we'll be meeting--Aizawa Shota, or Eraser-Head.  He's got one of my favorite quirks of all time--the ability to erase other people's quirks--even if he is a major dick.  The test he uses on the incoming students is to specifically screw with Midoriya, a guy who basically can't use his quirk without falling to pieces.  It's not really the worst thing in the world--to be a hero would require frequent use of one's quirk, so if all you're good for is a single hit you probably shouldn't even bother.  This causes Midoriya to develop the first of many new abilities in order to use All Might's power--channeling All for One into a single bodypart so he only has to injure one part of his body at a time.  That's going to serve him well in the future, though it's still mostly a band-aid for what's coming down the line, it's a unique way to get over his current problem.

Watching the show is like kind of a second read-through of the manga, and it's causing me to pick up on things that I wouldn't have noticed the first time.  Midoriya's basically the anti-Naruto.  He keeps doing cool shit, but it's only by the skin of his teeth--it isn't repeatable and sometimes it's even just pure luck--but everyone pours over him with the praise.  On the flipside, everyone's favorite orange jump-suited ninja would often do the same cool, but unrepeatable tasks and everyone would basically only call him cool for half a second and then go back to treating him like trash.  Of course, the difference here is Midoriya's busting his ass and realizes he sucks while Naruto was so busy singing his own praises he only stopped when he was wondering why everyone else didn't give him the same respect. 

Following that line, there should come a point at which Midoriya's doing cool shit that's ACTUALLY respectable, instead of just getting by without dying.  Don't ask me when that is though--almost 100 chapters and we're STILL not there yet in the manga.  Wait. Scratch that.  Next week, he and Uraraka throw down with Iida and Bakugou and that win's legit.  Time for Midoriya to start conquering some fears!

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable

Defeat means friendship in this week's episode of JoJo!  Granted, to some extent it's always been that way--from Zeppelli and Speedwagon to Kakyoin and Polnareff, and now for part four--Nijimura Okuyasu of the Nijimura brothers.   I was kind of wondering what was left after Josuke put both brothers away in two intense episodes, but this ep decided to swap bad-ass fight scenes with a fifty ton sack of emotions.

The ties to Part 3 remain as strong as ever, as we finally learn exactly what happened to people with those flesh buds implanted in them when Dio died: they become hideous, immortal monsters with no memories of their former lives, living out miserable existences.  This is actually pretty chilling when you realize Dio probably did this to a TON of people and most of them ended up exactly like this.  Dude's been dead for over a decade now and he's still ruining the lives of countless people.

Despite the absolutely tragic story that the eldest brother of the Nijimura family related, I still ended up conflicted.  It's hard to pity a guy who's wishing for the death of his parent, at least after he's spent basically ten years torturing him in an attempt to finally kill him off.    If anything, idiot that he is, the true "innocent" in the family is Okuyasu.  Even when he was fighting Josuke it was at the behest of his brother, and the second he failed he was basically expendable trash. 

Anyway, we get to see the Stand of what will be a villain for a good part of the remainder of Part 4--Red Hot Chili Peppers.   It's a pretty terrifying Stand, easily on par with Aqua Necklace for versatility and power.   Josuke and the others are probably going to have their hands full.  Of course, I thought that guy was going to be the series villain and Josuke took him down inside of a single episode, so what do I know?


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