katmic (Level 10)

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From what i have heard, Hungry Joker has managed to escape the bottom five in terms of rankings, for now anyway. We shall just have to wait and see if they keep it up or if it even matters at this point. Maybe the die has already been cast and the manga is heading towards inevitable cancellation. I am starting to get irritated with the rather haphazard release of these chapters. It is like hungry joker comes out whenever it wants, with no real schedule in mind. Either way, it is because of how fast the story moves that it is necessary to review these chapters two at a time.

THE PLOT:>

So Chitose isn’t quite sure about accepting the Eureka, but that might not matter at all as the group encounter a Mavro, most likely after the painting as well. Haiji and Nils aren’t too impressed with his appearance as there are two of them against his one. The mavro is unimpressed with the pair comparing his being to those lesser versions that they had faced prior to the meeting. HE refers to himself as a God and only he may have the privilege of handling the Eureka. Lise seems to agree with him because the moment he uses his eyes on the mavro, he grabs every one and tells them to ran.

But they are not fast enough for the being, who it turns out is in possession of not one but two Eureka, a rock that allows him to manipulate light and a prism that enables him to reflect and refract it. Sufficing to say, he moves faster than they can ran and unleashed a storm of light lasers that shred Lise in his efforts to protect the others.

Haiji and Nils decide to make a stand and, after recovering from their shock that one could wield two whole Eureka, go on the offensive. But it isn’t long before it is proven to them that they are no match for the Mavro’s light powers. The Mavro, bored with the defeated pair, turns his attention to Chitose and would have killed her if not for Haiji’s interference, who then falls pray to the refracting lasers. With a hole in his chest, he goes down, showing a surprising bit of compassion by asking Chitose if she was unharmed in spite of his own injuries.

With Haiji dying or dead, Chitose admits her desire to support Haiji in his quest. The painting comes to life and a stream of blood rising from its surface tears into her chest. She awakens her Eureka powers and transfuses blood into Haiji’s dying/dead body. He revives and a tear appears on the side of his face, crescent shaped. He speaks of having evolved and shows this by deflecting a laser aimed at his arm to the floor, something he couldn’t do before. While the Mavro is surprised by the feat, he is more infuriated by Haiji’s claims to have surpassed God, a claim that Lise vindicates with his eyes by saying that Haiji had risen to a whole other plane.

The Mavro unleashes another barrage of lasers. Haiji creates a black hole in his hand that absorbs them all. The Mavro is so infuriated by his failure that he doesn’t realize that he is already caught in the singularity. He is destroyed.

Elsewhere, the other white joker members are meeting a committee of hire ups. The last bit of business revolves around Haiji, with the committee receiving the confirmation that Haiji is fighting on their side with gladness. The man at the head speaks the time having come to initiate the second phase of there plan. For a long time the Mavro had hunted and preyed on man and his weaknesses. Now the time had come for humanity to retaliate. They would become the hunters and eat the Mavro. White Joker had now become Hungry Joker.

MY REVIEW:>

This manga is seriously rushing the story. I am not saying that in a bad way; the fact is i am enjoying hungry joker, but that doesn't change the fact that events are moving pretty quickly. Not long ago Haiji acquired his Eureka, not long after he learnt how to use his Eureka with other Eureka and just 20 chapters since Joker began, he has evolved into a higher form that can create black holes in his hand.Seriously, you don’t see that kind of development for hundred of chapters in a normal manga.

There is White Joker as well. We have barely met any members, barely understood who they are, what they do or how they operate, and now they are ‘evolving’ as well. We haven’t seen much Mavro madness and rampaging outside of Haiji’s encounters and already the counter attack is beginning.

Again, i will not complain. I get that Yuki Tabata is trying to fight to stay alive. I won’t be surprised if he is planning to end the manga rather than see it cancelled. Either way, i am enjoying the hell out of it. Tabata’s art is amazing. It used to irk me in the beginning, but these days it’s like i am seeing it all in a new light. The man has his own style of drawing and i like it.

The powers are as cool as ever. I am excited to find out exactly what Chitose can do. It’s probably healing, but something she did to Haiji boosted his powers to a point where he could now make black holes. That is quite a jump from levitating buildings and flying. Speaking of which, it was cool to see how Haiji took down this Mavro. The fight itself was actually really well done. It wasn’t simply a matter of lasers raining down from all sides. It was lasers that could make 90 degree turns at any point in time raining in from all directions. The threat was that much higher in that Haiji couldn’t really predict the pattern of attack.

This Mavro was truly superior to all the others. I don’t know why Nils just sat there at watched, but i guess he wouldn’t have been of much good with such an enemy. Speaking of which Lisen-san is proving to be pretty useless in battle. I get the analysis bit of his power but strategy aside, he has no actual physical skills in battle. He is more or less a liability and should leave.

I can’t wait to see the next arc. Clearly we are about to have an invasion. If Hungry joker survives cancellation, then rather moving towards an early ending, this could be the start of a brand new story. Who knows, maybe Yuki Tabata was simply providing us some back story for the arcs to come, which is why he is moving at such a fast pace. We still haven’t seen much of the world or where the Mavro live in the first place. But things are looking good.

HIGHLIGHT: When Haiji creates that black hole and annihilates the Mavro. Then there was a moment in the beginning of chapter 19 when the Mavro asks Haiji to bow to him and he declines. You would have to see the wording and expressions made to understand why it was so funny. Again, Hungry Joker never fails to amuse. Chitose finally proved her self useful. Now the team is complete, just in time for the invasion to begin. This is going to be one hell of a battle.

MY RATING:> 5/5; not once in the past 19 chapters have i been disappointed. This chapter didn’t break that trend. Hungry Joker is a first class manga. And it seems like volume one is out, so you could support the manga by purchasing it from Amazon.

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YES, FINALLY SOME DRAGONS. I have been waiting to see dragons since the manga began. Fairy tail is technically about the dragons and whatever happened 14 years ago, but one might almost assume that Hiro forgot what his manga was supposed to be about, considering how much time has passed since he brought up the dragons and actually showed us some. And Achnologia doesn’t count because its appearance was so brief. I can imagine just how much better this story would have been if Hiro has focused on Natsu, his goal to find igneel and what happened to the dragons years ago. We would have had a more adventurous story rather than a more mission oriented one.

Either way, we are finally here, DRAGONS, and it would take a really stupid side of Hiro to mess this awesome turn of events up.

THE PLOT:>

So the dragons are finally here. The Eclipse gate which was imputed to be the only hope of man against a deadly foe turned out to be his doom. Rather than a powerful canon capable of decimating nearly ten thousand dragons, the eclipse gate turns out to be a gateway through time to four hundred years ago, when the dragons ruled, and once it opens they begin to flood through. Arcadios says something about the moon corrupting the gate but i am not really sure what he really knows, after all, everything he thinks he knows he learnt from the princess.

Speaking of which, she reacts rather disappointingly to the whole situation, just standing their, lost in the thought that she might have brought about the end of the world. The first dragon that comes through is enormous, and with a scream, roar, breath, it sends everyone and everything to the ground, before beginning a rampage that tears through the palace and its grounds. The trembles and quakes can be felt for miles, all the way to the city square where all the guilds have assembled.

It becomes clear that the gate has to be closed as more dragons have began to come through. This mission falls to Lucy who has to use her celestial magic to get the job done. But with Dragons roars scattering shockwaves through the palace while the dragons rampage and stamp all over the grounds, it becomes a task simpler said than done. Below, Natsu is rising and preparing to jump into the action. No one knows yet, what awaits them in them palace; the danger that has been unleashed and is about to wash over them.

MY REVIEW:>

I can’t tell if we are approaching the climax of his arc or if we are simply striking the half way mark as we prepare to embark on the second portion of this story. With a new arc we will finally move on to a new location, with new characters and a new story and mystery to solve. But i would prefer it if Hiro chose to continue this dragon story on top of the current arc. It would make for a better plot. We have already experienced some descent back-story and character developments, developments that would be incorporated into the coming story, with these new characters playing important roles with regards to the dragons as well as their own individual plots. It would be a waste to only see these characters, the likes of Minerva and Kagura, as mere blurry figures, barely worth a close up, only important as part of the collective of mages gathered to fight the dragons, but making nor individual and personal contributions on whatever side they may choose to fall.

Hiro is most likely to do this. Chances are he has already forgotten about these characters as he has introduced a new set of pawns, the dragons, to play with. But seriously, these characters should continue down whatever paths they were following during the tournament whilst playing a part in this war. They shouldn’t be relegated to the edges of the panel, barely getting a mention.

I could say that it was a little convenient that Lucy happened to have been analyzing the gate at the time that the she chose to stop it from opening. I don’t want to say that she isn’t smart enough to have taken such a step of her own volition; instead i will say that she simply doesn’t seem curious enough to have taken the time to analyze the gate. She simply isn’t that kind of person and i don’t think she would have taken the initiative; so i guess i will say that i don’t think she is smart enough to have taken such an action.

I won’t say that her actions were unrealistically convenient. Because however contrived the result might have been, it isn’t impossible that Lucy could have chosen to have her spirits analyze the gate for any dangers. Either way it saves Hiro from having to write Lucy as a more interesting character. Because if he had chosen to write a more insidious explanation regarding her actions in trying to close the gate, he wouldn’t have had the guts to make some tough decisions regarding Lucy, which would have only degraded her character and the series as a whole. Either way i am happy with the turn out. More importantly, someone lied to someone about the gate, and i think that person is Rogue. Everything the princess did was based on Rogue’s information.

So if he sin;t evil, then he is just as pointless and useless a future being as Lucy was. Speaking of which future Lucy denied trying to close the gate. She should have known where the dragons came from. I could call that a plot hole, but then again maybe the only reason Lucy thought of analyzing the gate was because of what rogue said about her closing the gate. She probably needed to know why she would do so, if indeed she did close the gate in the future. But that again doesn’t solve the problem; future Lucy had to know that the gate released the dragons, otherwise how were they released in her time line. So the question is why didn’t she warn everyone about the gate. Maybe there is more to the Lucy story than i might have thought.

These dragons are clearly no where near as powerful as Achnologia. The mere beating of its wings threatened to tip the island over yet these dragons are rampaging around the palace with minimal damage. Still, i am curious to see just how the team handles this threat. Fairy tail seems to be getting better and better with each passing chapter. We are getting the answers we wanted to the mysteries introduced early in the arc. My faith in Hiro is restored. I have more or less forgotten the horrendous misses of the last days of the Daimatou Enbu. I can now look forward to each Fairy tail chapter optimistically.

This is my prediction with regards to this arc. Hiro is going to wrap it up in the next two chapters, maybe three or four even. Then i am going to hate him for it. Otherwise, i expect that Lucy will have to sacrifice, maybe even her life, to close the gate. Rogue spoke of ten thousand dragons. It would take Lucy just sitting their for quite a while before ten thousand dragons came through. Something hs to happen to speed up the process, unless they have to retreat and the gate stays open. Rogue will probably be revealed to be a dragon, send back to stop the gate form being closed by Lucy and hence allowing his dragon brethren to come through.

There is no Eclipse canon What in the world are they all going to do? I am guessing that Zeref has to show up somehow in this situation.

MY RATING:>

4/5, this was a pretty good set up chapter. I can’t wait to see what happens next week. The dragons are here, all we can expect now is war, unless Hiro opts for a some easy and cheap resolution. I guess my faith in him isn’t completely restored.

THE LULLABY ARC

THE PLOT:>

The arc begins with Natsu filling Lucy in on the existence of dark guilds, illegal guilds unrecognized and unsanctioned by the council. At this point, Lucy begins to express trepidations over teaming up with Natsu on another mission, due to his predilection for choosing the most dangerous jobs available. Gray encourages her to journey out on her own and this leads to a fight with Natsu that end when it is announced that the famous S-class mage and the strongest woman in fairy tail, Erza Scarlet had returned from a mission, the giant hone of the demon she had been hunting under her arm. The mere mention of her name strikes fear in Gray and Natsu who immediately start acting like the best of friends the moment she appears. Lucy figures that Erza doesn’t approve of there constant quarrels and fights.

Erza had returned to request Natsu and Gray’s help in executing a mission; during her travels, she had come across a group of mages discussing something called lullaby. It wasn’t until later on that she had realized that the mages belonged to Eisenwald, a dark guild. She could only assume that whatever they were up to with this lullaby would lead to untold pain and suffering. During their investigations to locate Eisenwald and its members, it is revealed that lullaby is a powerful weapon created by Zeref, the most evil and most powerful mage to ever exist, a mage that was vanquished a long time ago but whose inventions and demons still live on.

Lullaby was a flute whose melody would bring death to any that heard it. Erigor, Eisenwald’s leader intended to broadcast it to all that could hear it via a subway’s audio systems. Erza and gang intercept this mission and tangle with Eisenwald, who are soundly defeated by Erza and her heavens wheel armor. Erigor escapes with the flute and traps the subway in powerful walls of wind that even Erza can’t penetrate, but not before Natsu escapes.

Erigor, having failed his mission, intended to make his way to the meeting of guild masters in some remote location and achieve his revenge against recognized guilds by killing all of their masters with the flute. With their master makarov, at the meeting, facing imminent danger, Natsu pulls out all the stops in stopping Erigor. They clash on train tracks, and while it seemed like Natsu had the advantage, Erigor activates a wind armor that negates Natsu’s flames, rendering his usually destructive flaming fists innocuous on contact with the armor. Natsu however overcomes this obstacle with some clever thinking and defeats Erigor.

Erza and company escape when Lucy realizes that she had inherited Virgo when she defeated Everlue. She digs them out and they arrive at Natsu’s location, but after he had wrapped things up. A member of Eisenwald manages to get a hold of the flute and escapes fairy tail, finally arriving at the meeting site. But he runs into makarov who lays some fairy tail words of wisdom upon him and by the time Erza and company arrive, the dark mage has been reduced to tears by their master’s kindness. He hands over the flute, but it activates and begins to speak. It unleashes the true lullaby, a vicious demon sealed within by Zeref.

The fairy tail team gears up and destroys it, whilst also decimating the meeting site; so they are forced to ran away immediately, leaving Makarov to face the consequences.

MY REVIEW:>

i enjoyed this arc the first time i read it. It felt like fairy tail was slowly and steadily moving forward, with a new story, new characters and more hints about the fairy tail world to portend what was to come.Natsu finally faced his first true match in Erigor, a mage that completely and utterly outmatched him. This wasn’t a villain Natsu could beat with raw power. He had to think. His flames gave him destructive strength. But they went out on contact with Erigor’s anti magic armor. So he decided to strike at Erigor with his bare fist while firing off flames from his elbow like a jet and giving his strikes there usual destructive force. It was a change, to see Natsu having to think outside the box. It was also nice to see that his flames could have more innovative uses than just burning opponents to a crisp. We saw Natsu use his ‘sticky flames’ which kind of reminded me of Naruto’s chakra arms, with the way Natsu held onto the bridge and pulled himself back up.Erigor also proved to be quite a powerful villain for the time, with the way he sealed an entire building away with just wind

This was also the arc that introduced us to Erza, the best character fairy tail has. I was disappointed that she didn’t fight Erigor, but at least we got to see a taste of her magic, especially the way she could drive a vehicle that was powered by the driver’s magic at full speed but she still had enough juice to destroy the Eisenwald goons.

The stakes in this arc were also darker and more sinister than before as Erigor had the ability to kill an insane amount of people with just one tune. You could feel the tension each time he had the chance to play the flute. The ending was a little bit surprising, with makarov talking the enemy down (in a good way), and Lullaby turning out to be a demon rather than a flute. It allowed Hiro to show us why Erza, Natsu and gray were fairy tail’s strongest team, when they took down a feared demon created by Zeref himself. There were some really funny moments as well. The way the team fled after destroying the meeting site because they didn’t want to foot the bill or face the council’s wrath, and the Eisenwald members who stopped fighting just so they could watch Erza requip because she first transitions into a nude form before donning a news armor. They seemed more than happy to be cut down by her.

I have forgotten most of the important fights in this arc, but i know Gray put up a really good fight against a mage that could control shadows, a chance to finally see his impressive ice make magic. I think this was a the first time we realized that Natsu had vehicle sickness. It was hilarious when Lucy was helping to carry him into the subway and he was still just as sick, at which point Natsu told her that he considered her to be a transportation as well. I laughed at that for several minutes, especially the expressions on both their faces. This was also the arc we found out that Loki disliked celestial wizards.

Overall this was a good arc and it kept up the pace.

MY RATING:>

5/5 this would still be a pretty good place for a non fairy tail fan to start reading the material, as there is little to catch up on and their is enough story to keep the characters interesting.

FAVORITE MOMENTS: Natsu Vs Erigor. This was still a time when i thoroughly enjoyed Natsu fights, especially that moment when he pulled himself up with a large flaming hand. Every scene with Erza, Natsu and Gray was hilarious mostly because of how careful they would act, pretending to be nice to each other each time her eye fell upon them. The team battle against lullaby was awesome.

Then there was Lucy and Virgo’s exchanges after happy told her she had inherited the key.

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I have never understood the point of comparing Full metal Alchemist and brotherhood, mostly because for me it has always been rather obvious that Brotherhood is miles ahead of Alchemist. Then again that shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering that a part of me was somewhat disappointed by Alchemist.

There are so many amazing moments in Brotherhood, both story and action wise that it is seems hard to pick out any one specific epic incident. Yet there is no doubt that this one is indeed worth mentioning above all the rest.

The context:>

So we are introduced to Mayes Hughes early in the series. Mayes is Mustang’s best friend and biggest supporter in his quest to reach the top of government. However the arrival of the Elric brothers portends several mysterious events in the capital, mostly involving secret labs and experiments and a large conspiracy that threatens the very existence of the nation. Mayes is quick to sniff out the details and zeroes in on the culprits; but unknown to him, in his search for justice, he has attracted the attention of a new enemy, a party that has joined forces with the corrupt of the government and will stop at nothing to eliminate anything and anyone that may pose a threat to the glorious plans of its head.

Mayes falls to the hands of the homunculus Envy just he prepares to pass on his newly discovered secrets to Mustang.

As expected all are distraught; Hughes was much loved. While the Elric brothers distract themselves with business of the philosopher’s stone and their lost bodies, Mustang begins work on finding out exactly what his best friend was involved in and why he had to die for it. But mostly he wants to find who it was that killed Hughes and murder them. And he gets this chance near the end of the series, first taking out Lust in earlier episodes before realizing, while saving Ed from an army of homunculi, that it was envy, the large dragon like creature that was responsible for Hughes’ death.

When you consider Hughes's death from the point of view of Brotherhood, it may seem a little premature, to see the character killed off so soon after introduction. But if you watched the original Alchemist and fill in those gaps of time with that previous knowledge (considering that some material was skipped over so as not to repeat every event from the first series) then it doesn’t seem that rushed. Either way, probably because of the prematurity of it, Hughes’ death was indeed tragic. I can think of two primary reasons why it was so impactful

First, Hughes was an easily lovable and likable character. He was simply bright and cheerful and he seemed to bring a spark of life to all those that knew him. This is best seen with his relationship with Roy. Hughes was probably Roy’s most loyal supporter in his quest to rule the country and would have done anything to see his friend’s dreams come true. It is easy to recognize Roy’s attitude towards Hughes as disdain, with the way he would drop in to the office unannounced, calling a busy Roy several times a day to recount nonsensical bits of information, and being an all round irritation to Mustang and his work.

But Hughes was more of a counter to Roy’s gloomy countenance. It is his actions and quirks that would swing Roy out of his down cast attitude and energize him to do what needed to be done. He was the friend that Roy wanted to be by his side when he finally rose to the top of nation. So it is easy to see the hole that Hughes left in Mustang’s heart and the hearts of Riza, Ross and all the others that knew him. Something was taken from the show with Hughes’ premature departure, something that could be felt through out the rest of the series.

Second, his family. You could say that Hughes and his family were one person. Barely a minute went by without Hughes making mention of his wife and child. Even in the most serious life and death conversation, Hughes couldn’t help but bring up the joys that were in his life. AS such when he died it felt like a part of his wife and daughter had died with him. You could feel for them, especially during the burial scene[ Elysia: Mommy? Why are they putting all that dirt on Daddy? Gracia: They're burying him, dear. Elysia: But if Daddy gets buried, then he won't be able to do all his work.Gracia: [crying] Elysia!Elysia: Daddy said he has a bunch of work he needs to do! No, stop it! Stop putting dirt on him! Daddy!]; Hughes wasn’t merely the best friend that Roy would never see again but the father and husband that they would never be with, and the friend that Ed and Al would never meet again.

Anime being what it is these days there is no shortage of death and any otaku could probably mention a few dozen deaths off cuff and the impact they had to the story of their respective series. But whenever any conversation regarding death in anime comes up among otaku, there is no doubt that Mayes Hughes death is one of the first five deaths to be mentioned; it is simply one of those that so easily floats to the top of your head. It was that impactful; and even thought wrath is still one of my favorite anime characters, he did lose some points with those remarks he made regarding Hughes’ death [Why must everyone make such a fuss over the death of a single soldier...? The moment a soldier dons his uniform, he accepts the reality that he might be buried in it. And about my hands... Hughes' child screeched throughout the entirety of his funeral. My hands were trembling with anger.]

But besides the death, there is its impact, specifically the revenge fueled path that it propelled Roy Mustang down. Sure Mustang had every intention of helping the Elric brothers find their answers and sure he wanted to stop father and save the nation, but there was never any doubt that Mustang held one goal above all those, one wish that he swore to fulfill the day he buried Hughes even if it cost him his life, to locate and destroy the person that killed his friend. And for a moment i feared that my favorite character had lost himself in his hate when he seemingly killed Maria Ross; but it turned out he was smarter than that. But there is no doubt that when he allowed his servants to kill Hughes, Father put all his plans for the nation in jeopardy; because inciting the fury of an individual to seek revenge is one thing, when that individual is as powerful as mustang, then you have a whole other problem.

We saw a glimpse of Roy’s fury when he went up against lust. But when he finally came up against Envy…let’s just say that that one episode took the series to a whole new level for me. The Roy Mustang that went up against Envy was cool, calm and collected. What he did was let his flames speak for him.

We have seen all those heroes out for revenge and eventually they seem to get it but i, as a fan am rarely ever satisfied. Because usually the main villain is also the subject of revenge so the hero has to defeat him and eventually kill him. What Roy did to Envy was more of a punishment that anything. He unleashed an eternity’s worth of wrath on Envy’s previously impressing self. What made that moment work was the satisfaction. Because i was so enraged and impacted by Hughes’ death, i, like Roy, wanted to see the culprit suffer to the full extent that all those affected by Hughes’ death had suffered.

And Roy did just that. He fried Envy over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. To the point that it became pitiful. Here were two individuals that had once faced each other as combatants, ready to tear each other apart. Now Envy was the helpless rabbit, fighting to survive the savage wolf that was Roy. And that was another poignant element of this moment. BY the end of it all, Envy wasn’t trying to kill Roy. He was fighting with everything he had to ran away, to save his life and more importantly, escape the endless pain that Roy was dishing out against him.

It was a piteous moment for the mighty dragon turned little lizard. You felt Roy’s pain, and anguish that he was satisfying in destroying Envy again and again. You also saw his power and ability, that he was truly an alchemist to be feared; because no matter what Envy did, no matter which strategy he executed, or ambush, or attack; nothing worked, he simply couldn’t overcome Roy’s presence [That’s enough. You were stupid enough to confess, and even more stupid to boast! Everything you said is fuel on your funeral pyre. So then, I think I’ll begin by burning out your tongue!].

At the end of it all, Riza wouldn’t let him kill envy, but it didn’t matter. because he had more or less already got his revenge. These events go hand in hand, each epic for its own reason but both impacting on one another. Hughes was that important a person in FMA:Brotherhood and he deserved this kind of retribution, or maybe i just wanted to see Envy reap some of what he had sowed.

I will admit, the one fight i wanted to see was Roy Vs Wrath, but this was just as satisfying.

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My view of anime and manga varies and will degrade with the passing of time. Anime that i once thought of so highly will be debased in my eyes as i mature and experience more anime and manga. There will be those anime that will endure with time though. Even after more than five years since i last watched it, i can still say that soul eater is a really good anime. And blood+ is still one of the best series i have ever watched.

I watched trust and betrayal nearly two years ago and up to now, i can say confidently that it is the best anime i have ever watched, even with all the stuff i have watched in the past 12 months. That is saying something when you consider that the OVA was released 13 years ago when technology was nowhere nearly as advanced as it is today. Even with the top quality shows i have seen these past few years, trust and betrayal still sits far above them.

THE PLOT:>

Shinta is a small boy travelling with his adopted family in a train when they are ambushed by bandits. All are killed protecting Shinta, going so far as to shield him, a boy they never birthed, with their bodies in hopes of saving his life. Shinta would have died except for the skilled swordsman Hiko Seijuro who happens to pass by. He saves Shinta, butchers the bandits and, unable to do anything for the little traumatized boy, leaves.

He returns a long while later out of curiosity, expecting to find the boy long dead, only to find him hard at work, having buried all those that had died, including the bandits. Hiko, impressed by his spirit and strength, then takes him into his apprenticeship and changes his name to Kenshin (which means sword…something, i don’t remember) a more appropriate name for a swordsman. Hiko is master of the Hiten Mitsurugi ryu, the most dangerous swords style in the land.

Years later, Kenshin, still so young, is unable to ignore the cries of the weak, suffering under the Tokugawa shogunate and hopes to use his power to end its reign. Hiko is against this, mostly because the sword skill is of such power that whichever side kenshin supports, that side will win and he doesn’t believe Kenshin is old and wise enough to make the right decisions just yet. Mid training Kenshin leaves against Hiko’s will, joins the chosu clan and soon works for their leader Katsura Kogoro.

There Kenshin, through his opposition against the shogunate learns that it requires more pain that he anticipated to change the world and if he wishes to see lives saved, he will have to bathe in the blood of their enemies and bring more evil and suffering to those that he deems responsible than even they can achieve. In this quest he becomes the renown hitokiri Batousai, and in meeting Kiyosati Akira and eventually his wife Yikushiro Tomoe, learns what it truly means to live a meaningful life and make a true bloodless difference.

MY REVIEW:>

Undeniably the primary reason for this OVA’s success is Kenshin himself. I was a fan of the original samurai X TV series and during conversations regarding Kenshin’s past, usually brought up by his enemies, i always thought how awesome it would be to see what really happened back then. And this OVA reveals it to me, the story behind Kenshin, who he was as a child and the murderer he became as Battosai. And it is every bit as satisfying as i could have ever expected.

If all you did was watch the TV series and think you know who and what Battosai was, chances are you have no idea what you are talking about unless you have watched his OVA. Merciless doesn’t even begin to described Kenshin in this OVA. This Kenshin doesn’t afford precious seconds to his victims for forgiveness or grace; there are no negotiations. Once you encounter him, you are dead and that is that. In fact this Kenshin will not speak to you nor listen to what you have to say. He is basically terminator whose only objective is to kill when ordered and he does it well.

The Hiten Mitsurugi style of samurai X Kenshin is demonically fast, agile, stealthy and accurate. The Hiten Mitsurugi style of OVA Kenshin is demonically fast, agile, stealthy, accurate and demonically strong. Samurai X Kenshin was known for cutting men down before they could draw their swords or even complete a strike. In fact many of Kenshin’s enemies were down before they even knew it. It was merciful.

OVA Kenshin didn’t waste time with such mercies or stealthy kills unless necessary. If he struck and you blocked, he would cut right through the sword, cut through flesh and muscle and then sliced right through the bone like meat cleaver. Then he would walk away as blood spurting out of your exposed insides and you died a horrible death. This Kenshin wasn’t stealthily slicing enemies down, he was hacking through them, the way someone slashes weeds with a machete. When he went off, limbs went flying. You were lucky if you lost a head, it was that much faster a death. His style was brutal as it was vicious.

This Kenshin was perfect killing machine that wouldn’t have wasted times with the likes of Aoshi or Jenei. This Kenshin rarely wasted precious time jumping and skipping around, or letting his enemies cut into him while he tried to reason with them. You would be lucky to get your blade within a foot of him.

And with that description, you would be quick to label him a demon, which he was not. When you looked at him, all you would have felt was pity. There was a blindness, an unseeing in his eyes; there was no blood lust, or battle thirst. He wasn’t killing because he wanted to, or needed to, or because he liked it, or didn’t like it. There simply wasn’t any emotion in him, whether positive or negative with regards to killing. He wasn’t a killing machine, but a child trying to make a difference the best way he knew.

Katsura, his boss, once spoke of him as being in a dream, unable to fully comprehend and understand his actions for the past several months and years; but that one day, soon, the walls he had built around him would crumble, and he would finally comprehend his actions, what it is he had done all those years, what it actually meant to take a life; one day he would leave his innocence behind and, attaining maturity, and he would realize what he had done and that would destroy him.

Hiko had warned him, that he was too young, that he didn’t understand what it meant to fight in war. The OVA shows just how far Kenshin went in his attempts to save his nation. He could best be described as an infant with a nuclear weapon. He wants to save the world, to do good but he doesn’t understand what it means to take less capable lives this weapon, not until he matures, and realizes what he had done.

There were scenes were this happened, when Kenshin seemed to be ‘waking up’. During this scenes you realized why Kenshin acted as such during the TV series, why he swore off killing, because you now understand what he did. Kenshin wasn’t afraid that if he killed he would awaken some deep seated blood lust. That was never an issue for him. It was the mindlessness of the violence he meted out that made him so dangerous and which he feared to awaken, to lose himself for a so called right cause.

Tomoe is a big part of why this OVA works. She approaches Kenshin for revenge, intent on seducing him and then slaying the monster that is battosai; but as she comes to know him she sees, not a demon, but innocence, and how she reacts to that shapes Kenshin’s future.

I won’t deny it, seeing Hiko again in all his glory was a big draw for me; the way he destroyed that one bandit in the beginning was just…crazy. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the nine dragon… something attack shown from a realistic perspective.

ANIMATION:>

Superb. Again i point out how long ago this OVA was released, yet its animation is better than most series i saw last year. It’s almost pathetic. The fight scenes in this OVA are in my top three fight scenes that i have ever seen. They are fluid and sinuous that you just want to keep watching them. In most anime fights these days, there is so much laziness where they try to make it seem like characters are moving really fast, but they are just rolling and twisting around each other; it gets confusing.. The fights in this OVA were animated satisfactorily, to the point that you could follow every strike and move. PERFECT 5/5

ART:> Another win for this OVA. Of course i was a bit shocked the first time. Everyone (that i knew from the series) looked quite different. But i soon got over that. The art in this OVA is perfect, and not just the fight scenes, but moments of calm, especially between Kenshin and Tomoe, are done so well, and convey a lot of detail with regards to atmosphere and mood. PERFECT 5/5

MUSIC:> Elements like music i rarely mention because i rarely notice them, and that’s because they don’t always matter, probably because they are lacking. The scores in this OVA were perfect, again especially in creating the mood for the scenes before and after an event. But i will admit that some of the best moments were the ones that should have and normally would have had music but where instead executed in complete silence. The best were the actions scenes, were the only sound punctuating the silence was the rain and the clash of swords. It worked perfectly in creating that atmosphere of…death. Sometimes it was necessary to follow a death with soft violins. Sometimes it was better to silently listen to the last breaths of a character, giving the death more impact. PERFECT 5/5

ACTION:> 7/5, in that they exceeded my expectations. I was happy when they eliminated all those annoying and lazy elements, such as the streaks cutting across a dark screen to show a really fast attack, or dashing lines followed by a character disappearing to show how fast Kenshin moved. They tried to make each attack clear and visible in the OVA. Even the moments were Kenshin moved at superhuman speeds were executed well and could be easily followed. Usually i dislike anime with gore. It isn’t that i have a problem with gory scenes. I don’t really care how bloody an anime is either way. What i hate is unnecessarily gory anime, where the point of the blood and guts is to shock. There was gore in this OVA but it was necessary to show Kenshin as Battosai. It was balanced.

The Japanese voice acting here was a masterpiece and portrayed the emotion within each character; definitely the crowning achievement of the OVA.

This OVA is the samurai show of all samurai shows, if that makes sense. It was powerful as it was sad, evocative and ultimately tragic. It showcased a tragic hero in a tragic world trying to set things right as best as he could. I would more than recommend this show for everyone everywhere no matter your interests.

MY RATING:> 10/5 twice better than i thought it would be. But who wouldn’t enjoy such a moving story. If this OVA was released now, it would compete with anything and everything out their.

Rourini Kenshin: Trust and Betrayal, also Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen, is a six episode OVA, the prequel to the rourini kenshin TVseries. It was released in 1999, written by Masashi Sogo and directed by Kazuhiro Furahasi. The OVA was based off of chapters 165-179 of the Rourini Kenshin manga by Nobuhiro Watsuki. It chronicles the story of Himura Kenshin as the hitokiri battosai during the years of the Meiji restoration while also revealing the origins of his famous cross shaped scar. It was later collected into a two hours feature length picture with new animated scenes. It has received near universal critical acclaim.

NB- I absolutely do not, and i repeat, DO NOT RECOMMEND ROURINI KENSHIN: REFLECTIONS. IT WAS TOTAL AND UTTER CRAP, probably the worst OVA (possibly anime) i have ever seen.

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it is times like this where i wish fairy tail was a few pages longer so i could get a little more of it each week. Unsurprisingly the battle in this chapter was a little too short for my liking, which is a surprising thing for me to say as an anime fan. Most otaku out there will admit to having wished and hoped on several occasions that a fight in an anime or manga would cut down to at least half of its multi episode excessively long size. Yet here in fairy tail, i am actually wishing for the opposite, that the fights would last just a little bit longer. And it isn’t like we are talking about something Hiro hasn’t done before; there was a time during the S class arc were the fights just wouldn’t end. I guess someone out there complained and Hiro is listening, but at the wrong time.

THE PLOT:>

The long awaited day is here, July 7th, the very day 14years ago that the dragons disappeared. Makarov and other masters are going about organizing the guilds in preparation for the attack. Fairy tail will take center stage defending the central square, while the other guilds wait in the outskirts. Clearly even the tougher mages, the likes of Laxus and Erza, are far from peak fighting condition, but it is fairy tail, so maybe they are hoping to depend on more Nakama power.

Rogue and Natsu are engaged in battle. The have barely began to even taste each other’s strengths when Natsu suddenly decides to take it to the next level by activating his Lightning flame mode and decimating the tunnels with an awe striking attack. But while mildly amused, Rogue is far from impressed as he too decides to bring the battle to an end even before it truly began, by activating his white shadow dragon mode and bringing Natsu to his knees with a multi directional attack that doesn’t allow him to retaliate or defend.

Natsu is down for the count mostly, bleeding all over and barely able to stand. Rogue, clearly superior prepares to take him out when he is assaulted by crystal balls (sort of) that devastate the area he should have been standing in. By the time Ultear arrives at the scene, Rogue is gone.But rather than chase after him, her and Meredy have to deal with a more pressing matter. Natsu is depleted physically and is unable to to fight against a pool of shadows that begins to drag him down.

Elsewhere the great gates of the eclipse have began to open and as they all marvel at the light coming from within, Lucy moves forth to close the gates and stop eclipse…

MY REVIEW:>

It is easy to see why i would call this a pretty good chapter.

1. ROGUE KILLED STING?! WHY? This was a pretty shocking revelation for Rogue to make. Last time we saw him, Rogue had lost to Gajeel and was suddenly reciting the fairy tail mantra about friendship and all that. What in the world could happen in seven years to turn him into a murderer? Well, that is obvious i guess. The dragons attacked; the place rogue comes from is probably more hell than anything and living in such an existence can change people. None the less it was a shocking revelation. But i don’t know how much of it should be believed.

We have heard this before, with sting and rogue claiming they killed their dragons, which is silly if you think about it; they couldn’t have been more than infants by the time the dragons disappeared; how in the world could they have acquired the strength to kill their dragons. It is more than possible that Rogue is jesting, or maybe sting willingly gave up his life to empower rogue. Who knows? But clearly not everything that rogue says should be taken as it is.

2. NATSU VS ROGUE. Admittedly i thought it would be appropriate for Natsu to lose, but i didn’t think he would lose so brutally, so quickly and for rogue to be so bad ass. That (fusion) dragon transformation, with one part dark and the other part light, is truly formidable. I have been waiting to see more of Natsu’s lightning flame mode in this arc for a while, but i was surprised by how ineffective it was. I want to complain that this fight was too short, but really, we all know it is far from over. Chances are Natsu will find another opportunity to even the score. But i can’t complain for now; it was satisfying.

3.EVIL LUCY? I doubt anyone is going to believe that Lucy has gone bad. Either that isn’t the real Lucy, or she is being brainwashed. What would make this plot better is if Lucy was actually acting on her own volition, rather than some external force, because then it doesn’t just become a matter of defeating this unseen force and everything returns back to normal. Hiro has a chance right here to make something more of Lucy. Let’s face it, even the future Lucy plot was a waste as Lucy would have been of absolutely no use in saving the future. Another reason her death meant nothing.

If anything, now we know that Rogue was right, and whatever his actions so far, it would be a stretch to call him evil. He came back to save the future and he has the power to do it, unlike Lucy. But that last scene did surprise me, that Rogue was right and Lucy would close the door. I can only imagine the anxiety felt by those watching as the gate opens, knowing that it took seven years to collect the necessary magic to empower it and one small mistake will not only throw away all their efforts but doom humanity; and then Lucy starts speaking of closing the gate. I can see Arcadios killing Lucy instantly, and he wouldn’t be wrong. The dragons have to be stopped at all costs; whether or not Lucy is under nefarious control makes no difference.

MY RATING:> 4/5, this was a good chapter. Now with Hiro being who he is, i can only hope he doesn’t mess things up next week because that would be within his character.

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