katmic (Level 11)

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Holy-Who saw that coming? I mean, we figured Meliodas would be getting it back at some point in time but, so soon? And during a fight with a Golem? Not even one of the Ten Commandments but a Golem?

This is why I find reading chapters in bulk so enticing. The idea of waiting another week just to see what a single swing from Lost Vain can do doesn’t appeal to me.

THE CHAPTER: The Deadly Sins arrive just in time to save Camelot from disaster.


What is going on exactly? Who else thought that that last conversation Merlin and Meliodas had, specifically the part about Meliodas’  request, was about his sacred treasure?

I love these weird surprises that I didn’t think Nanatsu no Taizai was capable of delivering; so then, what is ‘that’ thing that Meliodas wanted so badly, that the very thought of his sacred treasure escaped him.

What could be more important than what might be the world’s most powerful sword?

Can Nanatsu no Taizai get any more exiting? I think it can. I think next week’s chapter is going to explode. Literally.

-The Golem
A part of me was hoping for something more exciting that a giant monster attacking Camelot; I mean, we caught a glimpse of it last week, but I thought the final revelation would be something different, maybe a sort of amalgamation of the Ten commandments.

But, as Meliodas put it, it’s just a toy. Yet that didn’t prevent it from making quite the impact. Or maybe it is the mangaka we should be commending because the art really popped in this chapter.

The Panels were so much easier to follow than usual, and arranged in such a way as to inject the right amount of tension into this clash.

To put it simply, the pressure Slader felt within the Golem easily manifested off the page. And that is rare for this manga. Admittedly there were a few elements that could have been better, some lines that should have been darker to easily distinguish the characters from their surroundings.

But for now, we can accept that Suzuki Nakaba is capable of delivering in large scale battles as well as, if not better than their small scale counterparts.

Merlin continues to prove just how powerful she is (and the possibility that she might be the Sin’s strongest member). Shielding Camelot the way she did isn’t nearly as impressive as the teleporting feats she achieved when she first appeared, but her skills are none the less worth noting.

Which makes me wonder why she spent this chapter doing more talking than fighting. If the Golem’s weakness is its power core, she should be able to retrieve it with the snap of her fingers. Maybe she was too busy flying Hawk’s mother, but that is not a convincing enough explanation. She’s the closest to the golem in power levels.

Leaving her out of the fighting doesn’t make sense.

-Lost Vain

Let’s put things in perspective. Meliodas split a hill into two using a twig. And he’s often spoken of being so strong when using a sword that he doesn’t even bother carrying one in battle, lest he takes lives by accident.

So…the next chapter cannot come fast enough.

Who else finds it a little difficult to believe that Meliodas actually pawned his sacred treasure? I cannot even begin to guess what Merlin took from Meliodas and which he suddenly wants back but it must be connected to his demon side.

I would be surprised if it was something intangible, like his memories. Speaking of sacred treasures, I didn’t think Meliodas would get his till the end, after we had seen everyone else’ treasure.

RATING: 10/10. Nanatsu no Taizai is doing wonders, both the anime and manga
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There was a point during chapter 29 of Boku no Hero when I thought the manga was progressing at a ridiculously slow pace but…wow, Chapters 30 and 31 more than made up for that.

Midoriya and Todoroki finally face off.

It is a testament to the mangaka’s ability to create a cast of highly entertaining and engaging characters in less than 30 chapters that this second stage of the tournament was so tense.

That is the only way these three chapters were able to inject so much tension into a select few pages; because you know enough about each character and team to care how well they perform in the event.

And that countdown was something inspired; there was something clever about featuring two of these three chapters within the last minute of the stage, because that made each and every action our heroes made matter so much more. 

You could gasp at Midoriya losing his bandana, because 30 seconds wasn’t nearly enough for him to execute one of his crazy tactics, not against someone like Todoroki. And Bakugou’s fall and rise was both funny and exhilarating.
+The Bad
I have to start with the bad because those moments that I found most irritating manifested in the manga much earlier than all the good stuff.

They were also so miniscule that they almost do not deserve a mention. Almost. 

There were moments in these three chapters that reminded of the parts of Naruto I found so annoying; I am talking about all those bits where Midoriya, Todoroki, everyone in general spent way too much time standing around, thinking and planning. 

Every attack felt way too slow, and afterwards everyone kind of just stood back and watched. At least in Naruto I can sort of see the logic (even if I don’t always like it). Those are shinobi. Every move needs to have meaning. One wrong step and you will take a Kunai to the neck. Better to wait for your opponent to make a move first.

I didn’t get that vibe from chapter 29; in fact all those 24 pages, when animated, couldn’t last longer than 5 minutes. That is how pointless, almost, the chapter felt. I tried and failed to get excited about Midoriya vs Todoroki.
+The Good
While chapter 29 failed to move things along at a faster pace, it managed to further develop its cast of rapidly growing characters, especially showing the workings of the different quirks, their limitations and every strategy that was in play.

It was almost like the first few minutes of a One Piece episode, during which the audience is caught up on where everyone is and what they are doing, before the action finally starts.

In a sense chapter 29 was the set up, and chapter 30 and 31 the execution. Bakugou took the cake in the way he went from bottom to top, while Kaminari managed to prove himself an even more effective member of Team Todoroki. 

IN fact everyone on his team was almost more useful than Todoroki himself was.

The mangaka built the momentum almost perfectly, with those last ten seconds counting down as every noteworthy individual poured into the ice ring, their targets, Torodoki and Midoriya so concerned about besting one another that they paid no heed to Bakugou descending from above like a meteor, or the dozen other figures making for the center pieces of the event.

It was almost perfectly timed and organized, the timer hitting zero at a point where we couldn’t tell who stood where, and could only wait for the smoke to clear and the announcer to tell us just who had made it to the top four.

These sort of mad dashes to the finish line are difficult to execute, working only when the unexpected happens and if you actually genuinely care about the characters involved, which these three chapters managed to do.

-Speaking of Todoroki, he’s really beginning to come into his own as a character; and now that we know he is the type with the tortured past, he is gearing up to be a far superior foe for Midoriya than Bakugou. Bakugou’s crazy. He just wants to win, which actually works for him. The best villains or anti-heroes however must have some conflicted story that is driving them to win no matter what.

You could understand the place Midoriya was coming from; compared to the despair Todoroki had experienced in his life, Midoriya’s reasons for fighting came off as a little trivial. None the less he seems determined to persevere.

The introduction of Torodoki’s demon of a father is setting things up for an interesting collision, especially if he ever figures out Midoriya’s place in All Might’s life and world.
+RATING: 9/10. These were some stellar chapters. With the way Midoriya’s rivalry with Todoroki is progressing I cannot see how Bakugou fits into the picture. 

HEROES OF THE WEEK: Monoma Neito’s copy ability will make him a dangerous foe for Midoriya. Too bad he didn’t make it.

Tsuburaba Kousei (and his solid air quirk)  and Kaminari probably had the biggest impact, the latter essentially beating back a wave of enemies and giving Todoroki an opening to immobilize them all at once, while the former put Bakugou in his place for the second time in that chapter.
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WHAAAAAAAT! I honestly do not know if I read that right.

So Gowther isn’t even human. Hmm. That actually explains everything we have seen up to this point. Nanatsu no Taizai is getting crazier with each chapter, and I like it.

Gowther’s true face is revealed. Camelot faces a dark threat.

Everything that happened in this chapter of Seven Deadly Sins pales in comparison to the revelation about Gowther. Which is sort of like how last week’s chapter revolved primarily around the Meliodas reveal.

Three things happened in chapter 114 of Nanatsu no Taizai:

-Slader- Funny, I thought Slader was called Threader. Or maybe he was and the translation just changed. Either way I am not a fan of the name. With Slader joining the Nanatsu no Taizai team, one can only hope to guess what the mangaka has in store for this arc.

We now have a multitude of characters on the move in this arc at the same time, but approaching the story from different perspectives; it actually reminds me of One Piece.

Though if this was One Piece, everyone would be running around inside Camelot already, but never meeting as they went about performing all sorts of small tasks with Oda pushing the story towards a convergence of sorts.

I like Deadly Sin’s simpler approach. King and Ban are lazing about in the Fairy King’s forest, and who knows what role they are supposed to play in the story.

Griamore, Gilthunder and Hauser left the kingdom for…some purpose the didn’t really explain. And now Slader is joining the sins in protecting Camelot against a demonic threat.

-Camelot- Speaking of Camelot, I am actually surprised that we took so long to head over there. The manga managed to keep things so entertaining that, in the several chapters since we heard the prophecy, the story didn’t have a Magi-esque feel of dragging.

None the less, considering how the chapters kept sidetracking, I am equally shocked that we got their so quickly, more or less instantly, and in time to do battle against the giant threatening Camelot.

Almost reminiscent of Eren emerging in the skies to face off against a menacing titan.

-Gowther- Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the man is a doll. Gowther was never alive, which explains everything that has happened since he appeared. His inability to understand emotions. The damage he was able to soak (to the point of surviving his neck being snapped).

Gowther is Pinocchio and he just wants a heart.

How great or terrible this revelation is (and it cannot be terrible) will depend on what the mangaka has planned for Gowther; let’s hope that he doesn’t remain locked away in some cabinet for the rest of the arc. We now know what Gowther is. Now we need to know what he can do. And what is with the armor?

RATING: 10/10. It looks like Nanatsu no Taizai can do no wrong this year. Every chapter is designed to intrigue and shock. Nanatsu no Taizai has never had more mysteries than it does today.

And Gowther suddenly matters so much more.
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One  would be hard pressed to call 2014 a terrible year in anime and manga; more mediocre than anything. Which isn’t bad by the way. It just means that very little actually exploded on screen or on page, except for a select few titles.

Rather than dive into another top ten anime and manga series list, I though it more practical to focus on those moments within anime and manga that impressed best.

Why? Well, a manga or anime doesn’t actually need to be great or even good to dish out one or two surprising moments, which, hence, expands the pool of anime and manga to choose from.

It is worth keeping in mind that this list attempts to present moments, events or even chapters and episodes from anime I watched and manga that I read in 2014. As such the list will be subjective (naturally) and restricted to what I actually watched or read, which is only a small portion of the manga and anime that came out in 2014.

But before we get to my list of greatest moments of anime and manga in 2014:


Cool Fight.


Dragons, dragons and more dragons.

Muzaka looks great and might actually give Rai a run for his money. Several months down the road though, not much has really happened, which is a disappointment. 

Watching Kirito deflect a hail of bullets exploding out of a bush for close to ten seconds dropped my jaw; it might have had something to do with the animation, especially the fluidity with which Kirito’s acrobatic abilities and reflexes manifested.

Or maybe it was the rotating angles from which the entire scene was presented. Either way. It was a pretty cool showing.

Whether you loved it or hated it, you simply cannot deny the simple fact that Kishimoto really rushed those final chapters of the series. Yes we got the Naruto/Sasuke fight we wanted, but it could have been handled better, possibly after a few weeks break following the fall of the final villain.

Heck, it could have been its own mini arc; alas, there isn’t much that we can do about it now. And the manga wasn’t without its bright spots.

Of the four chapters that constituted the Naruto/Sasuke battle, chapter 698 really stood out; with the big attacks finally out of the way, watching Naruto and Sasuke beat the holy hell out of one another, depending on nothing other than their fists and wits was, well, thrilling. 

The sort of battle that makes ninja fights so interesting to watch; if only the fight had run on for another chapter or two, it could have transformed into something truly great.

The criteria I utilized in generating this list was pretty simple and straightforward: I was looking for scenes and events that were particularly memorable from 2014. I am not talking about moments that were simply ‘good’, but occurrences in anime and manga that blew your mind to one extent or another, with my list ranked as such:  

Aldnoah Zero had a select few bright spots; not a bad show, but I thought it was simply too reminiscent of Code Geass. 

While far from terrible, I found the anime to be surprisingly average; which is why the role Slaine eventually played in the events of the final episodes of the first season of Aldnoah Zero where particularly unexpected, especially the actions he took against Inoha and even going so far as to get one over Saazbaum, finally finding his place in the grand scheme of things. 

Haikyuu is not my favorite sports anime; however it has some of the best characters I have ever encountered in a sports anime.

Episode 16 might not have been the most explosive of the season but it was certainly the most poignant in the face of devastation from the team’s defeat.

Rukia is the Bleach equivalent of Sakura. Yes, I know what I just said, and some people probably just gasped in horror; but let’s consider this objectively.

Sure, Rukia’s count of noteworthy battles is considerably higher than Sakura’s and she’s probably won more than her fair share of fights without Ichigo’s interference.

Except that I cannot recall a single one of her significant victories; and that’s because Rukia is one of Bleach’s most underused and under developed characters. Love her all you like, if Kubo had cut her out of the manga all together, her absence wouldn’t have impacted Bleach in any major way.

Which is why it was so gratifying to watch her fight and defeat As Nodt,  an enemy that brought her brother, Byakuya, to his knees.

And yes. Everyone one has one these days; yet we all have to admit that Rukia finally earning bankai was very deserved. It was a certainly more convincing power-up than whatever happened to Sakura during the war arc.

It’s too late to hope for anything more from Rukia at this point, but at least she can disappear from the series having garnered some noteworthy achievements following years of running after Ichigo.

I will not mince my words; I thought the finale of the first season of Tokyo Ghoul was terrible. It was abrupt and almost felt unplanned, like the studio had suddenly run out of money or something and decided to call it quits for the moment. 

Ignoring its place as the season’s finale though, the last episode in the Tokyo Ghoul anime adaptation had one gem in the form of Kaneki; driven to the brink of despair, broken, bruised and mangled, Kaneki essentially dies.

Or rather the young boy that cowered in the face of his strength, looking to Touka for protection finally faded away, to be replaced by a murderous ghoul driven by his thirst to deliver to Yamori the sum total of every modicum of pain he had endured at the large man’s hands.

Satisfying; that is how one would describe kaneki’s counter attack against Yamori, delivering well deserved vengeance even while giving birth to a new hero.

11. NIMAIYA (BLEACH MANGA)- VS THE QUINCY Nimaiya is the best thing to come out of the Bleach manga in 2014; yes, yes, Ichibei is awesome. But, think about this. Ten years from now, after Bleach has long since ended. Which character will you be able to recall with great detail? Ichibei or Nimaiya?

Yes, that’s right. Nimaiya. This particular shiningami made one of the most impressive entrances we have seen in Bleach since…Ichigo?

The way he casually strode onto the battlefield, so self assured, zanpankutou in hand, before he singlehandedly decimated the small group of irritatingly arrogant quincy.

I want more Nimaiya. But you know what? I don’t think we are gong to see him again. Shame on your, Kubo.

10. KIRITO/SHINON/DEATH GUN (SWORDART ONLINE ANIME SN II): FINAL FIGHT I hated SAO SN II before I even watched it. Then I actually mustered the courage to give it a decent chance and, to my utter shock, ended up enjoying it.

That is until the 13 episode mark, when the Gun Gale Online portion of the season ended, and then it went from  thrilling to mediocre to outright boring the hell out of me. And I think I could make a pretty good argument about how Asuke ruined the second portion of another SAO season once again. Then again it would be more accurate to fault the writer(s). I wish they would simply make their minds up about the kind of story they wish to tell. This business of shifting back and forth between shonen/action and drama/romance/shoujo, in a rather uncoordinated manner just doesn’t work.

For all its faults, Gun Gale Online ended with a bang; yes, Kirito was never in any real danger. Yet that didn’t take the thrill and tension out of his final battle with Death Gun in the desert. The entire scene was beautifully animated, displaying the desperation of both combatants to achieve victory in a fight where a single projectile would permanently end the life of our hero.

It was great stuff, far more than what I expected out of SwordArt Online; fast paced, frenetic and explosive.

For the record, I hate the zone, or at least I thought I did. I understand the spirit of Kuroko no Basuke as a sports show that allows its characters to utilize near superhuman capabilities to play basketball. Yet, the zone feels like a step too far, essentially a power-up designed to deliver victory through the skills of a single individual.

But like I said, I thought I hated the Zone; but further thought revealed that I simply despised the idea of Kogami using the skill to attain victory that one time in earlier seasons.

When it comes to Aomine though, that is a whole other matter; essentially the most badass character of the anime, and possibly most skilled player of the Generation of Miracles ( or rather he will be, with a little more practice), Aomine might  not have carried the first season of the series, but he most definitely lit Kuroko no Basket up.

His performance against Kogami pales in my opinion only because I do not like Kogami; it was the match against Kise, though, that allowed us our first glimpse of this monster of a basketball player.

Thrown against the only other player more naturally talented than him, even while holding back, their match was a sight to behold, especially the effort and ingenuity that Kise threw against the brick wall that was Aomine, failing to overcome the obstacle but no less of a hero for his struggles. 

I have no clue about the contents of the manga; however my only hope is that we get the opportunity to see Aomine in action once more.

Gai’s awesomeness doesn’t need words to describe. Sufficing to say he is a beast.

Pitou is the one character during the Chimera Ant arc that had a presence possibly even greater than that of the Ant King, Meruem; emerging on the screen in a rather explosive manner, proving the threat she posed by putting Kite down rather casually, Pitou was the first sign that the Hunter X Hunter series had reached new heights in the story, and that Gon and Killua would have to strive for new levels of strength to engage with a world that had taken a very dangerous turn.

Even with the threat of Meruem, it was only fitting for Gon to be the one to face Pitou, that arc-long foe who had first struck fear in the young hunter’s heart, revealing to him, in crisp detail, his own weakness.

And their final fight didn’t disappoint, indeed exceeding expectations; watching Gon’s rage compound over a series of several episodes, reducing the young hunter’s typically cheerful demeanor to one of  uncontrollable fury was almost chilling.

Watching that fury explode in one ridiculous burst, with Gon showing us a glimpse of just what makes him special, was…well, enthralling. It was the manifestation of all that is great about HXH (along with Meruem’s death, of course).

Fault the Chimera Ant arc all you want, it had some of the most explosive highlights in anime 2014.

I am no One Piece fanatic; yet even I cannot deny the fact that, when it gets good, it gets really good; most people speaking of the greatest arcs, chapters, even episodes of One Piece often look to Marine Ford and all the stories that surround it.

I would be more inclined to highlight the arc that came after MarineFord, during which we were introduced to a much younger Luffy, the story that unfolded around his birth and the events that precipitated his growth into the man he is today.

Energetic as Luffy was though, it was Sabo and Ace that stole that particular arc for me; fun, lively and ultimately tragic, that, in my opinion, has to be one of the best arcs (mini arc?) in One Piece.

And the lynch pin of its greatness was always Sabo’s untimely and shockingly unjust death; as such, watching him return to the fold of One Piece, stronger than ever, determined to carry Ace’s legacy forward was awesome.

Naruto and Sasuke’s finest hour. Seriously, Just look at them. How is that not the most awesome thing you have seen in Naruto in a long while?

Yowamushi pedal is such a thrilling anime that you would expect it to be that much more difficult to select one single moment in a season filled with greatness. But that isn’t quite true.

Yes, there is a near saturation of breathtaking races in most episodes of Yowamushi Pedal. But most, if not all of them pale in comparison to the second stage of Inter High, when Onoda dropped out of the top five, slid all the way down to the last position and somehow managed to pass a hundred men to make the leap back to the top.

I am no sports fan; but if I had been in the crowd that day, watching that race, it would have been Onada’s meteoric comeback that would have forced me to my feet, cheering, possibly even singing along with “Hime, Hime”.

Meruem was essentially a god in his universe; and if there is one problem that often plagues god like villains in anime, it is the manner in which they eventually go out.

Epic as they were in life, the common presumption is that they should meet their death in an equally epic manner; which is what made Meruem’s fall such a shocking, yet moving experience.

Thinking on it, Meruem lived large and indeed, he died in just as grandiose a manner (alongside the equally epic chairman).

However, for all his strength and the imposing threat that seemed to emanate from his being, it could be argued that no other facet of the Ant King’s short lived life was ever more important than that initial meeting with Kamugi, during which the powerful figure learned, for the very first time, to appreciate life and the rationale of mercy, even as he found his spirit slowly but steadily bound to the world of a young blind girl.

It was only fitting that Meruem and Kamugi would perish together in what is arguably one of the saddest villain deaths in anime history. There is little to fault in that final scene, which chose to manifest the essence of Kamugi and Meruem’s relationship to the very end.

Say what you will about Obito and Kakashi’s roles; the simple fact is they produced two of the most epic episodes of Naruto in 2014.

Whatever your opinion might be on his role as a villain, it is difficult to watch the events surrounding Rin’s death without experiencing a sliver of sympathy for Obito.

Driven by madness at the passing of the target of his obsession, more thrilling, though, was watching Obito lose control, obliterating his enemies without remorse in a 15 minute festival of blood.

The impact of Obito’s rampage was most likely elevated in the eyes of anime only Naruto fans like me, for whom these events couldn’t have been more surprising.

Yet even these events pale in comparison to the final showdown between Obito and Kakashi; a clash barely  3 minutes long, which saw former teammates meet in a life and death battle, haunted by the ghosts of their pasts, their mistakes and the camaraderie responsible for turning Kakashi into the man he is today.

As a Naruto fan, you cannot watch this fight without getting a shiver or two; the animation was fluid. The Music was haunting.

The effects were explosive and the memories interspersed between each blow heartwarming in reminiscing upon the bonds that once existed between these two shinobi.

Naruto always exceeds expectations when it sticks to hand to hand combat.

If you ask me what I think was the most shocking part of the Claymore finale, I would have to mention the death count. The manga has shown such a disregard for the lives of all characters that are not Clare that I was envisioning a brutal slaughter to close the Claymore story, with a number of our favorite characters dying in some memorable fashion.

That the number of deaths in the final battle would be so low is something to marvel at.

Oh, and Teresa is the best character in Claymore. Seeing her return AND THEN AWAKEN made my year. Definitely the best moment I came across in manga in 2014 (at least as far as I can remember).
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I didn’t think it was possible to get any more excited about Nanatsu no Taizai; until this chapter came out.

At this exact point in time, I couldn’t tell you were this manga is going; it would be impossible to guess. Nothing in chapter 113 went the direction I was expecting.

Am not even sure what to make of that final panel; I mean, you have to commend the foreshadowing the mangaka has masterfully done since the beginning of Nanatsu no Taizai.


Meliodas moves to take control of his subordinates. The Ten Commandments discover the ruins of Meliodas’ past.


Holy cra…What does it all mean? And it isn’t just Meliodas. All those posters do not quite look like the seven deadly sins themselves.

Which can only mean one of two things, at least as far as I can see:

-Demons: The seven deadly sins are demons; yes, Gowther said something about how every member of the Sins is something else not quite human, meaning fairy (king), giant (Diane) and the rest.

But maybe there is a demonic connection. What if the sins have some sort of demonic split personality or some other situation similar to what happened to the primary protagonist of Samurai Deeper Kyo.

Better yet, Meliodas said something about a king; maybe they are the different aspects of this demon king, the seven deadly sins of an underworld ruler, separated from their host; it cannot be a coincidence that the sins do not look quite like what everyone else remembers.

-Imposters: we know the sins were banished for committing some sort of treasonous act, that even Merlin was moved to act against them. And the initial assumption was that she betrayed them somehow by siding with Hendricksen; unless there is truth in the accusations of treason, only it wasn't the Sins who were responsible; which would explain Merlin’s reasons to act against…

No, none of those explanations make sense if you think about them hard enough. But if it was that easy to figure out where Nanatsu no Taiza was going, it wouldn’t be the great manga it is today.

And I don’t think the mangaka has ever inserted so much mystery and intrigue before; it actually reminds me of Fairy Tail in some sense.

Hiro has a talent for set up; but I think Nanatsu’s payoff will be something worth writing home about.

There was a point in time, a few years back, when Witch Hunter could do no wrong; where the manhwa’s story arcs seemed to only escalate with each new month, each time seemingly approaching a boiling point but always promising more; more action, more mystery, more character development.

Except that the Manhwa hasn’t been that great for a while; not terrible but not great. Why? Because Witch Hunter’s writer pretty much admitted that he makes things up as he goes. It was only rational that things would eventually fall apart and the payoffs and revelations would fail to meet expectations.

The only way Nanatsu No Taizai can exceed its current greatness is if the mangaka actually has a plan in mind.

RATING: 10/10. I have to admit, I actually forget about the Gowther stuff; and that first half of the manga actually had me hooked, especially with the way events turned out (completely the opposite of what I expected). Until we switched to the demons and I completely forgot about him.

Yet, after re-reading the chapter, it is difficult to not marvel at the character of Gowther: what the hell is up with this guy? I cannot begin to comprehend him.

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