[Zel’s Anime Breakdown]: Summer 2018: Volume 2

Hey guys and welcome back to Zel’s Anime Breakdown! The first volume was a success, and I’m glad you all like my little spin on the “weekly” review thing. Granted,  this one is coming rather late. Sometimes time just seems to pass by in the blink of an eye and yeah. But anyways, I’ll give a more personal update soon.

The season opener of Attack on Titan Season 3 takes the cake for the next two sub-categories.

Scene-Stealer
levi in action
screencap via crunchyroll

Levi’s action scene through the town, was just phenomenal. The sharp angles, the perspectives, there was just a high level of animation in this sequence that I just…I can’t. Levi has been one of my favorites coming into this series, and this scene was just as dynamic as the manga. Color me impressed really. Action-packed ending was great, despite the cliffhanger.

Character Spotlight
historia reiss history,
screencap via crunchyroll

Historia Reiss. I’ve been waiting for the longest time for this arc to be animated, and I’m just…so happy and excited. I’ve written about Historia before for a Women Crush Wednesday post, that could be found here.

She was a standout during the first few episodes because we got to learn more about who Historia is, and her facade has dropped and we see her for who she really is. She’s actually not the happy go lucky girl we knew and love from previous seasons as Christa. It’s really heartbreaking to hear how Historia was raised by an unaffectionate unloving mother who ignored her at every turn.  This scene especially was sad, she was happy that her Mother physically touched her, even if it was a shove to get Historia away from her. The look of pure joy at this gesture is just…*sigh*

Episode Breakdown*

“Class 1-A”, Episode 55, My Hero Academia, Season 3.

I have to say, as a manga reader of the series, this episode came a bit out of left field, and I had wondered why the content felt so foreign, and it’s because, it is.

The first half of the episode featuring Todoroki’s battle and Yaoyorozu’s battle were original content to the anime. It’s a bit of filler to the main story of Hero Academia, but it doesn’t detract from the main story. This episode was done fairly well in integrating these battles for several reasons.

todoroki solo battle
screencap via crunchyroll

Todoroki’s penchant for going solo into battle and trying to work alone is emphasized here in the anime, and I think it’s rather important for some key elements that will become apparent as the season draws to a close. In the manga, however, Todoroki’s battle was a mere single page-showing that he overpowered his opponents alone without any trouble – which is opposite to how it’s depicted in the anime. Todoroki is strong alone, but the fact that he works alone is a deterrent to his growth – the anime wanted to emphasize that, and I think it was successful.

yaoyorozu battle episode 55, season 3 my hero academia
screencap via crunchyroll

Yaoyorozu’s battle alongside Jirou, Tsuyu and Shoji can be broken down into a few elements. It continues to show Momo’s progress in her ability to quickly think through a situation. Granted, a lot of our female cast has been cast aside for a lot of Midoriya’s improvement alongside the other boys. But when they do highlight the girls, they do it incredibly well. Case in point, Momo’s opponent’s quirk is “IQ”. I mean, the girl’s quirk is to literally think through her situation, and yet she got bested by Momo. We already know that Momo is the smartest in her class, as she is ranked number 1 in terms of grade standings.

The more important element of this battle reinforces Aizawa’s speech at the end of the episode. I personally felt that the manga speech was far more compelling/eloquent than what Aizawa actually said, so I’ll be referencing that instead.

“When it comes to class 1-A, one thing becomes obvious after watching them long enough. They probably haven’t realized it themselves, but the class revolves around a certain pair.  It’s not that they bring everyone together or serve as pillars or anything like that. In fact, these two don’t get along. But at one point or another, they infected the rest of their class with their passion and fervor.  It’s odd, but at least one of them is sure to be at the heart of every storm. So, no, Joke, I’m not worried. I’m expecting big things. The very presence of those two…raises the bar for the entire class.”

class 1-a wonder duo
“Wonder Duo” – screencap via crunchyroll

Throughout the series, we’ve seen a number of classmates be influenced by our “Wonder Duo” (so aptly named by All Might – which the anime completely skipped on). Yaoyorozu’s battle, we see her and Shouji in a what would Midoriya do? moment.  Yes, she referred to Todoroki and Iida first, but at the end of her thoughts, it’s what Midoriya says that really sticks to her. We also, see how Midoriya’s tenacity has affected Uraraka moreso than anyone else. It’s why she likes him so much, (I’ll have to touch on Uraraka in a future episode because I find her development to be quite great). And, despite Bakugou’s rough nature, we see that he’s influenced Kaminari and Kirishima most. However, the duo in general has affected the entire class wholly, and are the baselines for achievement, and I, much like All Might, can’t wait to see what these two can do as hero’s that both win and rescue.

*note: I’m considering creating a separate post for episode breakdown just because this might be something I’d like to do for any number of series that I’m invested in. 

General Thoughts
Attack on Titan
Episode 38, 39 & 40

Kenny finally makes an appearance alongside what appears to be new and improved gear that’s meant to attack humans versus titans.  It’s clear that Kenny has influenced/raised Levi considering the level of understanding in how the other one acts and thinks in battle. However, since Levi has probably gained a lot more experience over the years of absence of the other – it’s no surprise that Levi is accustomed to adapting moreso now than before.

armin questions his humanity
screencap via crunchyroll

The level of blood and gore is still prevalent, and more so humanizing now that the Military Police is going after the Scouts. It’s not just fighting “monsters” but rather the battle between humanity inside the walls that had no reason to occur prior to the uncovering of some of the wall’s mysteries.  Levi makes killing look so effortless that I’m sure it stuns a lot of the younger soldiers – especially Jean, who’s starting to struggle with the fact they have to fight other humans now instead. The internal moral debate for Jean to take another life is an important theme being explored in the series as a whole, with special regard to the newfound information that Titan’s were at some point human. Whereas Armin has already embraced that it’s a kill or be killed moment; he questions his humanity after, how easy it was to just pull the trigger to save Jean, but let’s not forget that Armin was also the one to say, “To defeat a monster, you must be willing to throw aside your humanity and all that makes you human.” Levi has to instill in them that this is the only way they’re going to survive given the new climate they face, as they are now labeled as the enemy to the crown and Military Police. He’s even said that he himself isn’t sure what’s right or wrong. At his core, Levi only knows how to survive – which is clear since he decided to team up with Reeves even though he was working with the enemy. He’s doing what he can with whatever is at his disposal to get ahead. That speaks volumes of where Levi has been.

Seeing the kids in this season again, made me realize, they look so much more different than previous seasons. They’re so much more mature looking now. Whether that’s because of the stress and trauma that have caused them to age rapidly, or just the time lapse that’s occurring in the series, it’s jarring but it’s not necessarily a bad thing at all. It’s just taking me awhile to adjust to how they look.

Again, there are some slight differences between the anime and the manga, but they’re not huge deterrents. Granted, I stopped reading the manga sometime in the following arc. It became too much for me to comprehend. LOL, I’ll have to re-visit it sometime.

Banana Fish
Episode 3
ash lynx kicks garvey
screencap via amazon prime video

Ash is in jail, and Max Lobo has been asked to “protect” Ash. However, he’s definitely not the type that really needs to be protected. Max and Ash also come to the revelation that they have a link to one another, banana fish and Ash’s brother. Max has shown remorse for abandoning Ash’s brother when he needed help, but had no idea that the guy was still alive.

The plot thickens in this episode. Especially now that Eiji has been drawn in. I find it fascinating that Ash has already chosen Eiji as the person he trusts to help him out on the outside. Given how “innocent” Eiji is, I feel like this is asking for all kinds of trouble. What exactly is Banana Fish?  Is it a person? A drug cartel? The drug itself? I guess we’ll find out the more as each episode goes on. I’m quite behind on this, show..so maybe the next volume of this series will talk more about it.

Hanebado
Episode 3 & 4

I have to say, the melodrama is getting to be a bit excessive for me. I get it Hanesaki is dealing with some issues when it comes to her mom, but it’s starting to get a little drawn out.  I’d like to see more of the sports aspect of this than the drama. Also, Hanesaki’s opponents seem to just be a tad over the top. Animation is great when they actually do play badminton, and that alone is enough for me to continue the series.

Cell’s at Work (Hataraka Saibo)
Episode 2 & 3.

Each of these episodes have been quite cute, but I am afraid it has been pretty gimmicky like I thought in my first impression of the episode. Though I think the Influenza episode was scary just because they portrayed it as a horror with zombies. I felt bad for the naive t-cell but thought his progression at the end was hilarious.

Still a cute series, I’ll be continuing to watch whenever I get a chance.


What do you think of the series’ that you’re watching now that we’re more than halfway through the season? Have shows lost a bit of their shine lately?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

P.S. I’m also considering anime breakdowns of older series’ but still contemplating the name. Per usual, too many ideas and not enough time to execute them; so we’ll see!

Titan Fanatic: Hange Zoe

Welcome back to another segment of Women Crush Wednesday! I hope all of your weeks have been off to a great start!

hange_serious
image source

This week’s feature is Attack on Titan’s Hange Zoe. There are two sides of Hange that I couldn’t help but take note of. On one hand, Hange is the epitome of what it’s like to be a fangirl. On the other hand you have an incredibly smart, quirky scientist. It’s a great combination and honestly I think she represents a lot of us ani-bloggers. We all have that side of us that can fangirl about something yet have the professional side of us that the rest of the world knows us for. I promise there are NO spoilers in this post about her, even though I’m ahead in the manga! Continue reading “Titan Fanatic: Hange Zoe”

The Foil of the Goddess of the 104th: Historia

It’s Wednesday y’all! I’m here with a pretty awesome WCW to get you through hump day!

Krista-Chara_DesignNow as you guys know by now, outside of my love for the sports genre I’m a pretty avid follower to the fandom that is Attack on Titan. In a previous WCW I featured Ymir; and that went into heavy spoiler territory. However, now with Season 2 under our belts, I thought it would be appropriate to feature this AoT character.

So without further ado, let’s talk about The Foil of the Goddess of the 104th: Historia.

When we first met Historia, she went by the name of Christa Lenz. A beautiful petite blonde girl with the kindest nature and personality; so much so that she’s labeled “goddess” by many of the men in the 104th. However, Christa’s true nature hides behind a façade. As I’ve said before these two are actually foils of one another; Christa’s friendly façade is really Ymir’s true personality, and Christa’s nature is actually the cold loner that Ymir pretends to be. Christa has been known to place herself in dangerous situations despite her meek nature. Ymir has called her out on her somewhat fake kindess because she’s wants to be seen as a “good person”. Ymir has also accused her of wanting to die a hero as seen on the Historia episode when she’s trying to save Daz even if it means putting her own life on the line. These rash actions of Historia deal with her backstory; all she wants is to be cared about and recognized.

Again, let me reiterate that I love the dynamic between Historia and Ymir. Previously, I mentioned before that they’re like soulmates; they’re understanding of another and their trust in their bonds have added another layer of complexity to the story as we now know who Ymir really is, and Historia’s true self is about to be unfolded.

Historia’s past is still a mystery in the season 2 of Attack on Titan; but we know for sure that she’s an illegitimate child of a nobleman and was forced to change her name and distance herself from the family if she wanted to live. Historia is on the brink of becoming a crucial piece of the puzzle. Warning: this will heads into spoiler territory past the episode of season 2 that revealed Christa’s true identity. So, proceed with caution after the break!

Continue reading “The Foil of the Goddess of the 104th: Historia”

30 DAY ANIME CHALLENGE | 17

I’m probably biased because of playing the video game and being up to date with the manga. But I rather enjoy Jean Kirstein from Attack on Titan as my favorite supporting male.

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I think his character changes for the better throughout the series. It probably also helps a bit that Jean is actually Isayama’s favorite character in the series. Jean comes off as a cocky and an inherently blunt person.  But he’s really just a critical guy that is pretty cautious and considering his situation he’s just being pragmatic. At the beginning of the series he’s the number one person to butt heads with Eren because of their difference in ideals in the life they want to have. Jean wants to be safe inside the innermost walls with that military police whereas Eren wants to leave the walls. They just can’t see eye to eye; Jean thinks the survey corps is suicide and there’s no way to beat the titans and as we all know, killing titans is all Eren really strives for. They serve as good counterparts and even though they initially don’t see eye to eye; eventually they’ll come to tolerate the other.

I’ve probably said this before, but as I played Attack on Titan on PS4 I felt like I got a better look at each characters personalities. You’re probably wondering why since it is a hack and slash type game with very little story (that’s any different from the anime). Each character has a personality profile of what they’re strong at and what they’re weak at. Jean’s leadership capability is fairly high and is more reliable in battle in the game when he has a good team.  Whereas Mikasa has very little leadership skills but high strength and stamina making her more effective as an independent fighter on the field. So their personalities do make a difference in the game. For instance, any time I had to use Armin – who is weak overall except in leadership – you basically use Armin to delegate tasks to a team; and I just failed horribly using him every time. I couldn’t use Armin efficiently as I could’ve.

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I literally turned on AoT on my PS4 just to get this screenshot. LOL

As Marco (RIP) told Jean once that because of Jeans ability to quickly assess situations and read the atmosphere of the people around him and his ability to rally them, makes him a natural leader. Later on, he relinquished the idea of the posh life and joins the survey corps despite his own fears to stay true to the words of encouragement Marco had for him, and also reassesses his ideals after a speech Eren made. He is also willing to lay down his own life towards the end of the anime, showing that he does value his comrades as he decides that if he, Reiner and Armin don’t engage the female Titan, the rest of the survey corps would be wiped out.

Eren_Jean_relationship.png

Jean is both similar and different to Eren and this is why he makes a good supporting character. They challenge each other because of their difference in ideals but they also respect one another. And also Jeans unspoken rivalry for Mikasa is unbeknownst to Eren and probably another reason as to why he dislikes Eren. Maybe on a deeper level Eren may represent the things Jean could never be because he does have a type of facade on that’s  it reflective of his personality. I just think they bring a great dynamic to the show – whether it be for comic relief or otherwise.

Anyways, that’s all for Jean and his loveable horse face! Till tomorrow! Gonna try to get my FFXV time in!…BUT after writing about Jean – maybe I should dedicate some time towards that platinum trophy instead and do FFXV o

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