[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!

[Zel’s Anime Breakdown] Summer 2018: Volume 1

Hi guys! Welcome to the re-vamped [This Week in Anime] series. I felt that my original title was too rigid, too newslike of a title for my intent for this series. I’ve become more casual in my anime viewing, since I’ve come to realize and accept that I sometimes fall off the wagon of watching shows consistently, I wanted a more fitting title, hence Zel’s Anime Breakdown, ‘cuz I at least watch a few things a week.

I tend to pick-up on certain things in scenes and that also varies in how invested I am in the series. So…yeah…, that being said this will definitely won’t be your typical “weekly” anime review.

Scene-Stealer*:
Platelets_Cells_at_work.PNG
image via crunchyroll

Platelets! HOW FREAKING CUTE ARE THESE MUNCHKINS. This entire scene was just pure cuteness, little platelets doing construction work. HAHA.

*something different that I want to do is highlight a scene that stood out to me each week. 

Character Spotlight**:
bnha_deku_shoot_style.PNG
image via crunchyroll

DEKU!!!!!

Okay, this segment might not be the best idea for a “weekly” re-cap. I mean, I’m completely obsessed with this precious little hero so it might be a bit hard to be unbiased.

Deku’s constantly evolving his quirk with All Might trying to teach him without giving him direct answers. Deku finally reaches his answer and my gosh, I felt so much pride for Deku, a moment for him to stun Aizawa & Bakugou with his new style. The fond knowing smile that shows up on All Might’s face just shows how much he has believed in Deku finding his answer with the right push. He knows Deku goes above and beyond All Might’s expectations every single time. It’s a knowing smile of how far Deku has come.

**on top of scene, I want to pick a character that stood out to me that week. Both are a way to break out of the whole “review” thing and look at things on another level. And this will probably help me in the long run for my end of year Anime Awards!

Episode Breakdown***

Boku no Hero Academia

Season 3, Episode 52

The gang is back in school, and they’re gearing up for their provisional license exams. Can I tell you, how PSYCHED I am for this arc. Some major character development is on the horizon; feelings are exposed, and self-doubt and self-reflection occur for a few of our favorite hero’s.

Now, I’m up to date with the manga for BnHA, and I may point out some of the slight differences in this section in the future. I’m doing it because I’m starting to feel that the anime is glossing over some of the more important interactions in the manga that are specifically THERE for development albeit it’s really subtle.

***Episode breakdown will pretty much be analyzing or pointing out some nuances I picked up on while watching said episode. But next week will be more in-depth.

General Thoughts

Banana Fish

Episode 1 & 2

What a great kick-off to the series!  I went into this series completely blind. Well, that’s not entirely true, since I’ve read Naja’s OWLS post on this awhile ago. I knew it had dark themes, but I was pleasantly surprised to see just how dark we were going, the depths of gangs and drugs.

The animation and it’s content is a breath of fresh air, especially since I’ve been bogged down in shounen shows like BNHA and Attack on Titan.

Ash, is likely to be another blonde to add to my ever-growing list of favorites. He’s smart, spunky and overall an intriguing main character. When I told Naja this, she figuratively and literally rolled her eyes for all the ladies jumping on the Ash bandwagon.  Apparently that sparked a special project for Naja, I’m patiently awaiting said project and am going to definitely link it when it comes out!

Also, for the record, as I have been properly educated by Naja, that it would be a disservice to this manga adaptation to label this as a BL/Yaoi, because it’s definitely much more than that. Granted, it’s easy to be quick to assume and label this as something akin to Yuri!! on Ice but we really shouldn’t be so quick to assume things because of this story. I was definitely in that group, but I’m going to keep an open mind and not just mindlessly group it into something it’s not.

Cell’s at Work (Hataraka Saibo)

Episode 1

I think this is the cute comedy of the summer. The anthropomorphism of cells working inside the human body like everyday professionals is kind of weird in concept, but it works so well! The characterization of each of the cells and their job types just fit them so perfectly. It’s such a creative twist for a series. But how much can you do without appearing to be gimmicky?

It kind of reminds me of The Magic School Bus, but instead of shrinking people and going in to explore the body, we’re literally seeing how the cells move and work inside the body. It’s actually pretty educational, but I’m curious as to just how accurate it is.

Hanebado

Episode 1 & 2

I’m a self-proclaimed sports anime fanatic. Granted, I haven’t ventured to watch many of the more classical sports ones. I’ll get there eventually.

I’ve realized I haven’t watched a lot of female-centric shows, as I feel there’s been a lot of “cute girls doing cute things”and that’s not really my jam, and there’s nothing wrong with those that do! Once in awhile I venture into the genre though. However, getting back to the topic. Hanebado, is wonderfully animated, very sharp and precise and it’s really one of the biggest draw-in’s for me. The melodrama is as expected, but the vague history of Hanesaki is rather intriguing.


Also, I know you guys are probably like, wait a second, she’s missing her most important review! I’m doing a Free! collab with my dear friend Lita over a Lita Kino’s Anime Corner, and we’ll be alternating the posts between her blog and mine so be on the look out for those!

[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!