[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!

[OP] Odd Future | Sunday Salutations

OMG, a post from Zel! Yay! I’m sure that’s what you’re all thinking! (At least, I hope that’s what’s happening)

I’d like to say I’m back from my hiatus for the time being. Vacation is over, and I’m slowly adjusting back to real life. I miss Japan, and I can’t wait to plan my next trip over! But for the time being, I do have some posts planned that I’d love to get out to you about my adventures. As much as I was there for the Cherry Blossom season, it was also very much an anime trip. I’m lucky my parents were pretty supportive of the blatant spending I did in their presence; but hey I saved up the last few years for this! I deserved it! XD

Kicking off my return, I’m featuring My Hero Academia’s Season 3 OP for this week’s song. MHA is one of my most anticipated ones for the Spring Season, I even got to catch the premiere and the second episode while abroad (not that I fully understood it or anything).  I’m excited to see what the new season is going to bring us.  I haven’t really had a chance to look at the rest of the Spring line-up; and I may or may not post anything regarding spring season because I’m still playing catch up with winter season.

Title: Odd Future | Artist: UVERworld | Anime: Boku no Hero Academia S3

Aside from the training camp, and the development of the story, what are you looking forward to the most from this coming season? Personally, I’m invested in Todoroki so I’d like to see what kind of development he has, especially when they’re working with their quirks at camp. On another note, due to some of the spoilers from the manga I’ve seen, I’m looking forward to see more of the supporting cast’s story develop (Kacchan & Kirishima just to name a few).

Also, have you guys seen the MHA x Marvel Crossover stuff? Pretty fun. Deku, Uraraka, Iida, Todoroki, Bakugo, Iida & All Might introduce some of the characters; if anything I think they pick ones they loosely relate to.

bnha_marvel_season 3 crossover.jpg
image source

You can find the videos here: Hypebeast: ‘My Hero Academia’ & The Avengers Team up for ‘Infinity War’ Crossover Videos

That just about wraps up this Sunday’s post. 🙂 Thoughts, comments? Let me know in the section below. Have a great week everyone!

Prince Noctis Lucius Caelum

Last but not least of the FFXV boyband  crew features is the crown prince Noctis Lucius Caelum.

Noctis
image via ebay (weird i know)

Noctis is the main protagonist and the playable character in Final Fantasy XV. Noctis seemed broody to me at first, an emo-kid, but you know what. He has his reasons, and I was a bit brash in thinking it was some brat. Again, you can find out more about the prince in the Brotherhood FFXV OVA series available on Crunchyroll.

Emotional Baggage

noctis-and-regis-final_fantasy_15-(1130).jpg
image via source

Yes, I said he was broody, emotional and kind of a brat. But given his circumstances it makes sense. Noctis lost his Mother at a young age, and his Father had to rule the kingdom, he was left alone for long periods of time. So naturally, he’s bottled up a lot of these emotions, struggling to express and articulate how he feels about his situation or situations in general. You can find out more about what happens specifically in the last episode of the OVA series titled: The Warmth of Light

But aside from his emotional struggles, the prince is a witty character full of sarcastic comebacks should the need for one arise. He’s actually quite kind to those around him (see below). And although he can be hot headed. However, he is stuck in the rut of internalizing things and learning to deal with things himself versus reaching for help even through his friends.

Family over Duty

Final-Fantasy-XV-01-On-the-Road.jpg
image via source

Despite his royal lineage, Noctis treats his traveling companions as equals. He values them for more than their duties to him as the crown prince. He grew up with these guys, and has treated them more like family than subjects or as mere guardsmen meant to serve him.

Royal Arms

Noctis-Royal-Arms-Armiger-FFXV.png
image via source

Noctis wasn’t the strongest when growing up and is physically weak, which is when Gladio steps in and helps him train to become stronger. Since he is the heir to the throne, he naturally possesses incredible abilities. I’m referring to his ability to use the Armiger, in which he can materialize one of 13 special weapons. It’s a side-quest to find all the weapons, and I’m half-way there! It can take a toll on him to use such weapons, so use it wisely.

tumblr_n6kksltBH01rb9rueo2_500.gif
image via source

What do you guys think of Prince Noctis? Did you have bad first impressions of the crown prince too? Let me know in the comments below.

Crownsguard Shield: Gladiolus Amicitia

Hey everyone, I’m back in business for some blogging for the time being. To get back in the swing of things I’ll be continuing my FFXV man features with Gladio.

gladio

Gladio, is one of the character I haven’t really connected with in the game.  He’s one of the companions of Prince Noctis, but he’s also known to be the tank, the shield of the Prince Noctis, and also grew up with the prince. He treats the King as if he were his own kid brother.

There’s only a few things that really stand out to me about Gladio that I admire, so here goes! Also, like mentioned in my previous MCM posts, Gladio had his own episode on Brotherhood: FFXV titled: Episode 3 – Sword & Shield which can be found on Crunchyroll.

Runs in the Family

Gladio’s pretty family oriented. Which is clearly one of the traits in characters I really love, just because I can relate to it. However, Gladio has a little sister that he looks after, unfortunately I don’t have any siblings so I can’t quite relate on that level. But like him family usually comes first.

gladio-tattoo

Also, Gladio’s family history has very close ties to the King’s family. His family line has a long history of serving as protectors to the Lucis Royal family. This leads me to the sprawling tattoo we see across his back. It’s not just a mark, or a family crest that he bears. The tattoo serves as a credential as one of the guards.  His family comes from a militaristic background, leaving him the only one in Noctis’ party that has any military training.

Outdoors Man

gladio_camping

If you’ve played FFXV, then you’ll have noticed that most of Gladio’s AP points come from exploring by foot and via camping. It’s said that he’s a huge outdoor aficionado, and if you also picked up on the the marketing of his gear, he’s quite particular to collecting Coleman Camping Equipment.

Well Read

The last thing that I’ll point out, is very minor. But I love the fact that Gladio, this big hulking dude, is a bookworm! Whenever he’s got time to spare whether that be on the roadtrips or camping, he pulls out a book to occupy himself.

Trivia states that the book he’s reading is: Silence of Knowledge by Henruit or so the cover says at least 😛


Anyway’s that wraps up this my first post after my short hiatus. Hopefully, I can stick around for a little bit longer, and a few of my series’ posts may still disappear for the time being while I try to get more content out there.

What did you guys think of Gladio? Did you guys like his character on the show or in game? What were your favorite parts about him? What were his strengths or weaknesses?

The Little Brother: Prompto Argentum

Welcome back to another fantastic Man Crush Monday! As a follow-up to last week’s promise, I am continuing the FFXV features.

char-prompto
image via source

Last we looked at Team Mom: Ignis Scientia. This week I wanted to take a look at the baby of the bunch. The adorkable kid brother: Prompto. I have to say, while Ignis really takes the cake for being such an all-arounder man that can do it all; there are so many endearing qualities of Prompto as well! He’s probably the most grounded, relateable character on FFXV. Uh, and it probably helps that he’s a blonde…? Continue reading “The Little Brother: Prompto Argentum”

[Take Two!] December 10 – 16

Hey guys! Welcome back to Take Two! My official round-up post for the previous week. In case you’re new around here, this post essentially recaps last week’s posts among other gems found over the week onto one page!

PAGE JUMPS:
In Case You Missed it | This Week’s Interesting Reads | OWLS Blog Tour



IN-CASE-YOU-MISSED-IT.png Continue reading “[Take Two!] December 10 – 16”

[Take Two!] December 3 – 9

Hey guys! Welcome back to Take Two! My official round-up post for the previous week. In case you’re new around here, this post essentially recaps last week’s posts among other gems found over the week onto one page!

PAGE JUMPS:
In Case You Missed it | This Week’s Interesting Reads | OWLS Blog Tour



IN-CASE-YOU-MISSED-IT.png Continue reading “[Take Two!] December 3 – 9”

Crunchyroll Expo 2017

(author’s note: yes I know this is like super super months behind, but I finally finished it!)

This year, Crunchyroll hosted their very first Crunchyroll Expo (CRX) the weekend of August 25, 2017.. I bought the weekend pass the day of my birthday, as it was the cutoff date for them to mail passes to attendees. That alone was one of the main reasons I ended up checking it out. I didn’t have to do the whole line-con thing just to get a badge. The only other convention I’ve had the chance to go to is Fanime both in 2016 and 2017. I got a weekend pass; but ended up attending 2 of the three days. I was just too exhausted by Saturday night, so I skipped the last day.

IMG_6619.JPG
from my personal instagram

Continue reading “Crunchyroll Expo 2017”

[Watch List] Summer 2017

Hey guys! With the Spring Season wrapping up – I figured it was time to look ahead at the some of the summer shows coming and what I’m looking forward to.

If you hadn’t noticed, I didn’t really participate in watching anything during the Spring season. The only one I really watched consistently was Attack on Titan. Other than that, I have a ton in my queue to watch from spring but never started. Personally, it seems that nothing really grabbed my attention as a must watch; so a majority of these will end up being binge-watched at some point. Many of you have suggested a lot of Spring anime for me to watch in particular, I’ll have to hold on to those a little bit longer.

 

Continue reading “[Watch List] Summer 2017”