Attack on Titan, Chapter 117, Judgement Review: War Hammer Mode Initiated.

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4 stars
As many people have already pointed out, Hajime Isayama has so immaculately timed the events of Attack on Titan that we now have different fights between Eren and Reiner in the manga and the anime happening at the same time.
It really goes to show how good Isayama is at structuring the series and has me excited about how he will continue to do so.
As for the Chapter 117 itself, it is a non-stop thrill ride of a chapter that feels over way too soon.
That is the sad thing about Attack on Titan though.
It’s action packed chapters can be read through so quickly, and then you have to wait another month while you are dying to read the next one.
This Chapter, “Judgement”, definitely has me feeling this way, with almost the entirety of it being action oriented as Eren faces off against the warriors and Marley’s military.
However, my favourite part of “Judgement” is not the bombastic action sequences, but rather the small character moment we get from Gabi and Magath.
Isayama really surprised me with how well he develops these two this chapter.
After escaping with Pieck, Gabi is brought to the Marleyan troops, led by Magath, and she is very surprised when he hugs her, showing relief that she is safe.
I love this moment because it not only shows that Magath does care about the Eldians under his command, but it also serves as a nice callback to chapter 91, where both characters were introduced.
In that chapter, Gabi came up with a dangerous plan that put herself at risk and, at first, Magath forbade her from following through on that plan.
This led to Gabi jokingly saying that this meant Magath really cared about her… only for this to now be proven true with Magath embracing her.
Then there is the cool story moment we got from Gabi in this scene, which saw her remember what Zeke said about him having royal blood, causing the others to realise that Zeke and Eren coming into contact could activate the Founding Titan.
It is a good explanation for how the Marleyans would figure out Eren and Zeke’s plan and also goes to show how smart Gabi is.
Speaking of the Marleyans and their warriors though, reading the chapter I was not entirely sure who I should be routing for.
One the one hand, I wanted Eren to succeed and defeat Reiner, but on the other hand I wanted Reiner to beat him.
This shows how complex Attack on Titan has become, with every character’s motivations being understandable to us now, to the point that we route for them all.
So, in the end, there is a bunch of characters I all like that are fighting to the death, making me unsure of who to cheer on.
I loved every second of this uncertainty.
It added much more weight to the battle, which has a lot of highlights, from Pieck’s cannon wielded by Magath, to Zeke showing up at the end to save Eren.
One of the big highlights of this fight, though, is obviously Eren using his War Hammer Titan abilities in battle for the first time.
It was very exciting to see all the different ways Eren can use the power.
He is clearly not as skilled as the previous War Hammer Titan but, if he is given time, he could become even more overpowered, which could be either a good and bad thing, depending on how Isayama handles it.
There are even some morbidly funny moments to go along with all of this action.
The best of this is scene when Porco cuts off Pieck’s hand so she can transform without hurting Gabi.
When this happens, Pieck screams in pain before jumping off the building to transform.
This is humorous in a pretty morbid way because we have never seen a Titan Shifter express pain at their injuries before, despite hurting themselves in ways that would leave most people in complete agony.
There are also, what I feel to be, hints at future events in the manga, the most obvious being Magath talking about the Marleyan hero Helos, who Willy Tyber mentioned.
This historical figure has constantly been used in reference to Magath and, if the theory that the story of Ymir was actually transported to the past by Titan memories is true, this could mean Magath is actually Helos.
This has dire implications because it has been stated that Helos killed the Devil of all earth, and many people believe Eren is an allusion to this devil.
So, if Magath, or any other character, turns out to be Helos, then it may be likely that Eren will be killed by them.
Along with this, Zeke looks set to transform all of the people who ingested his spinal fluid in the next few chapters.
This will undoubtedly turn the fight in their favor because Zeke will have complete control over all 300 of the Titans he will create.
However, Zeke showing up here does add further weight to this being the final battle, which I am currently unsure how I feel about because so many characters are absent from it.
Also, I did have a few minor problems with the chapter, the biggest of which being suspension of disbelief when it came to Titan injuries.
Is it just me, or does anyone else think Eren and Reiner’s Titans should have been unusable by the end of the chapter?
Eren got shot in the head twice and Reiner got his face ripped open and was hit by Zeke’s boulders, and yet, both are somehow still standing by the end.
It just felt like a contradiction of what we already know about what Titan’s can withstand.
Speaking of contradictions, there is a weird continuity error when, for some reason, Eren is shown without a shirt in one panel and then with one in another.
It kind of felt like Isayama placed fan-service over continuity there.
Overall though, “Judgement” is another solid chapter of Attack on Titan that has me excited for the series’ endgame… that is if Isayama does not spoil it himself first, but I will talk about that situation in another post

My Hero Academia Season Four, Episode Thirteen, Infinite 100% Review: Exceeding The Manga.

5 stars
I remember reading the fight between Deku and Overhaul in the My Hero Academia manga and being absolutely blown away by it.
The creativity and intensity of the battle was just incredible and I could not wait to see it animated.
Well, that finally happened with episode thirteen of season four, “Infinite 100%”, and I was even more blown away than when I first read it.
Talk about exceeding the manga.
Everything was just incredibly done this episode, from the voice acting, to the animation, to the music.
I would actually say that this is now my favourite episode of My Hero Academia so far because of how emotionally epic it is.
The scene where Deku successfully grabs Eri is just magnificent with the fantastic OST MightU playing as he grabs her.
The greatness of this scene continues as Deku moves so fast that he can’t even be seen, and the resulting shock wave created by his speed happens in a spellbinding silence.
From here, the fight gets more epic as Overhaul merges with Katsukame in a last ditch effort to get Eri back.
Realising that Eri’s rewind quirk allows him to maintain One For All at 100%, Deku takes on his foe at full power in what can only be described as a slaughter.
Seriously, despite Overhaul’s strength he did not lay a finger on Deku who punched him to oblivion in what has to be the series’ greatest animation so far.
With Overhaul defeated, the episode ends with Nighteye realizing that Deku has changed the future he saw, leaving hope for All Might.
Along with Deku’s great fight with Overhaul, there is also a lot of development for the villains as well, with Toga tricking Uraraka and the other heroes to ambush Overhaul at the beginning of the episode.
We will see more of the League next episode in a scene that will be very intense and I am eager to see how it will be animated.
As for Overhaul, we also finally got to see what his full plan was and it was pretty ingenious.
He basically wanted to use Eri’s rewind quirk to create a bullet that could get rid of quirks and a bullet that would restore them, which they would sell both to the heroes and villains, creating a monopoly that only they could control.
Just one problem.
It would mean they would have to experiment on and torture an innocent little girl.
This fact is established pretty disgustingly, as we see how Overhaul began his experiments on Eri when he was trying to figure out what her quirk was,
Thankfully, the boss of the Hissaikai is not as monstrous as Overhaul, being horrified at the man’s callous nature.
Sadly, this does not end well for him because Overhaul uses his quirk to make him catatonic when he refuses to follow through on this plan, leaving Overhaul free to experiment on the girl.
Eri really has the most tragic backstory in My Hero Academia.
First she accidentally kills her father with her quirk, then her mother abandons her, and then she is tortured and experimented on by a complete monster who wants to use her for his own gain.
Well, now that she has been rescued, we can hope to see happy times for Eri.
There is one scene in particular in the upcoming Gentle Arc that I am especially looking forward to.
However, before we get to the happy times, we have to go through more loss in the next episode, which will certainly make for a sad viewing experience.
Overall, I would say that “Infinite 100%” is now my favourite episode of My Hero Academia with its fantastic fight scenes, character growth, music, voice acting, and animation.
It all just comes together to create a flawless episode.

Jumanji: The Next Level Review. Another Fun Time at the Movies.

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Funny story.
As I was sitting through the first twenty minutes of Jumanji: The Next Level, an audience member in the row in front of me turned to the guy next to him and asked, “hey, this is Jumanji, right?”
He must not have seen the first film and not realised that the teenage characters would become the video game ones so thought he wandered into the wrong movie.
In any case, I’m sure the guy was glad not have walked out because of this mistake because Jumanji: The Next Level is a good time that is about on par with the first film.

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The Next Level is just as good as Welcome to the Jungle.

Directed again by Jack Kasdan, the sequel continues to follow the adventures of Spencer (Alex Wolff), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), Martha (Morgan Turner) and Bethany (Madison Iseman) after Spencer goes into the game willingly and the others mount a rescue.
Unfortunately for them, the busted state they left the game in leads to some unforeseen consequences, most prominent of which is Spencer’s grandfather, Eddie, and his estranged friend, Milo, also being sucked into the game.
Taking on the roles of their Avatars, Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), Franklin Finbar (Kevin Hart), Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan), and Sheldon Oberon (Jack Black), the characters set off to rescue Spencer and save Jumanji again.
One of the things I really enjoyed about the film was how it went in new directions to shape the story.
Rather than a retread of the first movie, Jumanji: The Next Level tries different things, resulting in various hilarious scenarios.
The best of these is definitely Johnson and Hart playing elderly men stuck in heroic video game characters’ bodies.
This results both in many fantastic comedic moments and also a lot of growth for the two characters of Eddie and Milo.
These two elements combine with a joke at the end of the film that left me howling with laughter.

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There are so many great gags with Eddie and Milo being stuck in their Avatars’ bodies.

Another improvement from the first movie is the villain, who this time is Jurgen the Brutal (Rory McCann).
In Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the villain was very forgettable to the point that I can’t even remember his name.
Granted, Jurgen is not much better here but the film knows this because, with the exception of the game cut scene that introduces him as the threat, it only places Jurgen in scenes with the characters.
The villain of the first film had entire scenes to himself that did not work, so only placing Jurgen in scenes with our main characters is for the better.
What is not for the better is some of the directions the story takes.
Like I said, I do like a lot of the new routes that are taken in this film but there are a few that just don’t work.
The biggest example of these is a storyline involving a horse that ends with revolving a character’s arc poorly.
I honestly imagined this character’s story ending another way after the movie was over and I thought it was way better.

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The horse storyline is definitely the weakest of the film.

But, despite this problem, I still find the film to be a solid sequel that people will have fun with.
Jumanji: The Next Level is an enjoyable film that makes for a fun time at the movies.

My Hero Academia Season Four Episode Twelve, Unforeseen Hope Review: A Dark Future.

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For an episode titled “Unforeseen Hope”, My Hero Academia’s twelfth episode of the fourth season is almost anything but hopeful.
The heroes just seem to get kicked down every time they get up this episode, with Overhaul utilizing his quirk in the most unique and disturbing of ways.
He actually destroys his and Nemoto’s bodies and then fuses them together to create an even more powerful form.
This goes to show not only how powerful Overhaul is but also how cruel he is, especially in comparison to the League of Villains.
Despite not being good people, the League actually do care about one another.
Overhaul, on the other hand, appears to not be capable of empathy at all, throwing his allies away like pawns and using them for his own gain.
This is taken even further with his treatment of Eri, as a flashback shows he cruelly dissembled and reassembled her every time her body got too tired to handle the experimentation.
Honestly, Overhaul is giving All For One a run for his money in terms of evilness.
Still, you cannot deny his intelligence in using his quirk the way he did, which even allows him to defeat Nighteye’s foresight, mortally wounding him.
Nighteye, a character who can literally see into the future, being defeated by Overhaul shows how much of a threat he is.
Not only this, but Nighteye’s foresight also predicts a dark future, as the hero says he saw that Overhaul would kill him and Deku before escaping with Eri.
Along with this, we also got more of an insight into Nighteye’s reasoning for not using his quirk, as he believes that by using it on All Might he has condemned his friend to a horrible death.
However, despite all this misery, I do suppose the episode title is right in one way as Deku promises to change the future and save Eri.
It will be hard for him to do so, though, because he will have to contend both with Overhaul’s over powered strength and his emotional manipulation of Eri, as shown when he uses Nemoto’s quirk to guilt trip her into coming back to him.
Poor Eri.
I just want to wrap her up in Lemillion’s cape and never let her go (epic foreshadowing).
In any case, alongside the great fight with Overhaul, we also got more insight into Rock Lock and the League.
Rock Lock’s development shows us why he was so tough on Deku and Mirio because he has a kid of his own and was just looking out for them.
As for the League, it appears they have made a new plan to make Overhaul “cry like a baby”, as Toga put it; something I will be very interested to see.
The episode ends with the party literally being crashed as Ryuko, Ochako, Tsuyu, and Nejire smash through the ceiling using the Eight Bullets member Rikiya Katsukame.
Overall, “Unforeseen Hope ” is another great episode of My Hero Academia.
My only big criticism is that I feel some of the shots of Overhaul’s new form look a bit off animation wise because of how static he is, which really drew me out of the action and drama.
Other than this, though, “Unforeseen Hope” is a crazy episode that is sure to lead to an even crazier one.

His Dark Materials Episode Eight, Betrayal Review: Worst. Parents. Ever.

4 stars
Before coming into the final episode of the first season of His Dark Materials, “Betrayal”, I read a YouTube comment that went something along the lines of “poor Roger.”
After reading this, it was pretty apparent that my suspicions from the cliffhanger of the previous episode, that Asriel wanted Roger for a very dark reason, would turn out to be true.
And, all I can think after watching the Jamie Childs directed finale, “Betrayal”, is that Lyra has the worst parents ever.
Seriously, I have no idea why I thought Asriel would turn out to be a good person when he is in love with Coulter; you know, the woman willing to sacrifice children to get what she wants.
It only makes sense that Asriel has the same ruthlessness to achieve his goal, which turns out to be the case when he murders Roger in order to open a bridge to the multiverse.
James McAvoy does a fantastic job as Asriel in this scene as he tries to justify his actions to Roger while he is about to murder him.

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Roger says that Asriel looked at him like a hungry wolf and that was definitely the case.

Both he and Coulter are fascinating in their ruthlessness and hypocrisy, willing to kill many children to achieve their goals while remaining adamant that nothing must happen to Lyra.
It is this hypocrisy that leads Coulter to refuse to follow Asriel into the multiverse because she wants to find their daughter.
This makes it ironic that Lyra follows Asriel into the multiverse immediately afterwards to stop him, separating her again from Coulter.
Honestly, Asriel leaving Lyra at Jordan College was the only good thing he ever did for her.
As well as the fascinating aspects of Asriel and Coulter’s characters, another interesting feature is the explanation of why the Magisterium fears Dust, believing it to be the cause of human sin.
Asriel wants to escape from the grip of the Magisterium, which is why he sacrifices Roger so cruelly.
Before this, we did get more scenes of Roger and Lyra bonding to make his death all the more tragic because we can see how good of a friend he was.
The scene of Roger’s demise is expertly handled with the acting from both Dafne Keen and Llewin Loyd, and the sound design, giving it an extra emotional punch.

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The tragedy of Roger’s death is sold by the great shots and editing as well.

As for Will, his role is almost as important with his entry into Lyra’s dimension being built up right up until the two enter the bridges at the end of the episode.
This was a nice case of editing for the end of “Betrayal” and opens up some interesting directions for the second season to go with both characters exploring the other’s universes.
The two are definitely linked.

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Both Lyra and Will entering the multiverse at the end of the episode sets up their journeys in season two.

Now, for the issues I had with the episode, which is mainly down to a few things that did not make much sense, like when the armoured bears showed up out of nowhere to help Lyra and Iorek.
I’m pretty sure they did not come with them in the previous episode so when did they get there?
Also, Roger definitely distrusts Asriel so it does not make sense for him to follow the man so willingly.
Then there is the lack of Lee and Serafina because it felt like they were set up to return and help Lyra this episode but they were nowhere in sight.
Overall, though, “Betrayal” is a fitting finale for the season that ends a lot of character arcs in a satisfying, yet tragic, way.
I am certainly looking forward to the second season.

 

 

Attack on Titan Chapter 125, After Glow Review: Uprisings Are Brewing.

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After Chapter 124 of Attack on Titan, I was interested to see how Hajime Isayama would use Annie in the story but was slightly skeptical that he could make me care for her after she was gone for so long.
Well, he just proved me wrong again because Chapter 125, “After Glow” provided more insight into Annie’s past, putting her relationship with her father in an entirely new light.
As I expected, Annie encounters Hitch who, after some persuasion and threats, agrees to take Annie to the battlefield.
Along the way, Annie answers Hitch’s question about why she killed so many people to achieve her goal.
Annie reveals that, like Reiner, she is the offspring of an affair between an Eldian and a Marleyan, which resulted in her being cast aside.
The man we previously thought was Annie’s father adopted her in order to force her to become a warrior so he could become an honorary Marleyan.
Having never known love, Annie viewed all life as meaningless, including her own, until the day of her departure.
Realizing he was wrong and that he sees Annie as his daughter, Mr Leonhart breaks down and begs Annie to come home to him.
This being the only love Annie has experienced causes her to focus on returning to him to such an extent that she is willing to kill hundreds if not thousands to do it.
She says she would do all the terrible things she’s done again if it helps her get back to her father.
All of this information really helped me understand Annie a lot more than I had previously, and painted her in a flawed yet very relatable light.
However, as Hitch points out, if the Rumbling succeeds then Annie’s father will be killed.
Speaking of, the chapter then cuts to Mr Leonhart himself in Liberio where he and the other Eldians try to convince their Marleyan guards that the Rumbling has been activated.
However, because of their racism, the Marleyans believe this may be the start of an uprising so place them all under arrest.
Remembering Annie’s promise to come home, Mr Leonhart fights back using his martial skills and looks to be setting the uprising that the Marleyan guards feared happening into motion.
It will be interesting to see if such an uprising has any effect, especially considering Eren’s plan to destroy the world.
A part of me is now wondering if Eren broadcast his message to all Eldians to start these uprisings across the world.
Unfortunately, Paradis looks prime for uprisings as well, or at least a civil war.
At the beginning of “After Glow”, Eren releasing the wall Titans is revealed to have accidentally killed probably hundreds of people from falling rubble.
This has caused quite the divide in Stohess, with some commending Eren and some condemning him.
All of this infighting can lead to nothing good, with a part of me wondering if this will tie into a bittersweet ending for the manga.
Eren could succeed in destroying the world, ending hatred for Eldians, but a new cycle of violence begins between those who worship him and those who despise him.
Either way, it is pretty chilling to see Erwin’s heroic catchphrase of “dedicate your hearts” being turned into a cult-like chant.
And then there is Keith, who tells the recruits who are now on his side to wait for their chance to make a stand, preparing them for their own uprising when the chance comes.
Along with this, Keith’s scene also shows how great this chapter is at transitioning, with every scene being connected somewhat.
When Annie talks of her father the scene cuts to him, when Mr Leonhart attacks the Marleyan guard and a shot is fired the scene cuts to Keith hearing a gunshot, and when Keith stands up the scene cuts to Armin sitting down.
During this moment, we get what is definitely the most intense scene between Armin and Mikasa in the manga.
Armin is at his breaking point and Mikasa feels lost, asking what she should do and what they are going to do about Eren.
Frustrated at this, Armin tells Mikasa to think for herself, yells at her that they don’t have time to focus on Eren, and finally reflects that Erwin should have been revived instead of him.
Armin saying this pretty much foreshadows that he will eventually prove he was the right choice and I can’t wait to see how he will prove this.
As for Mikasa, her character development in this final arc is the best she has had so far.
I’ve always liked Mikasa but there have been a lot of missed opportunities with her character, especially in the Uprising Arc.
So, her developing by slowly becoming more independent and moving away from Eren is great.
At the end of the scene she even notices her scarf is gone, which was probably taken by Louise and will come up again later.
We then get probably the funniest part of the chapter when Gabi says her goodbyes to the Braus family, before she and Armin go to rescue Falco.
Kaya tells Gabi that her name is strange and Mia is better causing Gabi to comedically exclaim, before the two embrace as a goodbye.
Now, a lot of people appear to be criticizing Armin for trying to help Gabi save Falco but I think it makes perfect sense because it is the best way to get the warriors on their side and end the conflict on Paradis.
If Connie kills Falco then they can kiss their chance at peace goodbye.
Connie only cares about bringing his mum back, though, which is understandable.
Still we can see from the look on his face as he takes Falco to Ragako that he is conflicted but the memories of his mother strengthens his resolve.
Although, it is pretty weird that Falco is not tied up in this scene.
He was at the end of Chapter 124 and it would be safest for Connie to transport him like that.
Even if Falco does not know he is a Titan Shifter, he will quickly catch on when Connie tries to fed him to his mother and fight back.
Also, Falco does seem a little too trusting of Connie here, taking what he told him at face value immediately.
Did he learn nothing from being manipulated by Eren in Liberio?
On the upside, Falco has no memory of killing his brother when he transformed so him learning this should create some great and tragic character development for him.
Along with this, Falco seems to recognize Connie, even though Connie doesn’t know him.
Now, this could just be Falco recognizing Connie from when he and Gabi got on the airship, but I actually think this is pointing to him getting Ymir’s memories.
And, if my prediction that him and Connie will run into Historia is correct, then this could have a huge impact.
Either way, I highly doubt Connie will succeed in feeding Falco to his mum because Armin and Gabi are on their way to try and talk him out of it.
Just as they will have to stop Connie, it looks like Jean and Mikasa will have to stop Floch as well who reveals he knew Eren’s plan and places all of the volunteers, including Onyankopon and Yelena, under arrest.
I am surprised Floch didn’t just execute them all there because he must know they will cause trouble but, thankfully for whatever reason, he decided to hold off on that, only executing one of the volunteers who fought back.
And what an execution that was because it is one of the goriest deaths in the entire manga.
The bullet from Floch’s gun rearranged the man’s entire face, with his jaw becoming unhinged.
We can see that Floch feels no remorse for killing this nameless volunteer because he then happily tells Jean that they are free and he is now a hero.
Jean actually seems to momentarily be happy about this until he sees the look on Onyankopon’s face and hears Floch say he can go back to being “the arrogant bastard you were.”
Here’s the thing Floch, Jean is definitely not that person anymore and will most likely take a stand against you.
I see Floch as what Jean could have been so a fight between the two seems highly likely.
Let’s just hope Jean doesn’t get himself killed in that fight.
In any case, upon arriving on the scene, Mikasa questions Floch about the whereabouts of Levi and Hange, only for him to say Zeke killed them.
Isayama may as well have inserted the “why are you lying” meme because the end of the chapter proves Floch is a liar.
As Pieck and Magath look at the airships fleeing Paradis to warn the rest of the world of the Rumbling, Hange appears behind them with an injured Levi in tow, calling him “a completely harmless man who failed to die.”
It will be interesting to see what Levi’s role to play in the finale is with how bandaged up he is.
Some have speculated he will be turned into a Shifter but I have already established that that this is the last thing I want to happen.
It would be way more interesting for him to struggle with his injuries.
I do wonder what Hange’s plan in talking to Pieck is, though, and how she plans to convince them to help her out.
She certainly took a big risk by showing herself to them.
I smell a team up between the warriors and scouts coming.
It would be very exciting if this did happen because then we will see many characters interact for the first time.
Overall, “After Glow” is a solid chapter of Attack on Titan. 
There is not a lot of action but superb character development that could eventually lead to a plan to take the fight to Eren.

My Hero Academia Season Four Episode 11, Lemillion Review: A Hero’s Sacrifice.

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For a long time, the tenth episode of season two, “Shoto Todoroki: Origin” was my favourite episode of My Hero Academia. 
Well, I can easily say that the episode just got beaten by the eleventh of season four, “Lemillion”, which features the heroic sacrifice of Mirio Togata.
Not of his life but his quirk.
The build up to this moment is excellent, with the opening of Overhaul revealing the bullets that can remove a quirk forever serving as sinister foreshadowing for what is to come.
Before this tragic moment occurs, though, the episode picks up from where “Temp Squad” left off with Mimic attempting to crush both the heroes and the League of Villains.
However, this does not go well for him because Deku manages to expose his hiding place, giving Aizawa enough time to disable his quirk and take him off the playing field.
With Mimic out of the picture, the episode then cuts to Mirio catching up to Overhaul and his right hand man Chronostasis, who have Eri.
However, before he can do anything, he is attacked by the two remaining members of the Eight Bullets of the Hassaikai, Shin Nemoto and Deidoro Sakai, who both have pretty tough quirks to get through.
Nemoto’s is confession, which allows him to make any person answer his questions truthfully; a quirk that he uses pretty humorously on Twice and Toga in a flashback.
As for Sakai, his quirk is Slosh, which means he can transfer his drunkenness to other people.
For the brief time the two minions of Overhaul are on screen they have a pretty comedic dynamic, with one gag of Sakai throwing a bottle at Nemoto leaving me in fits of laughter.
The laughter fades quickly, however, as Mirio fights past them and reaches Overhaul, ripping Eri from Chronostasis’ arms and declaring to Eri that he will be her hero.
This leads to Overhaul chastising Eri, cruelly calling her cursed.
Mirio is outraged that he would say that to his own daughter, leading to one of the most chilling moments in the episode where Overhaul removes his glove, coldly reveals that he has no children, and then immediately going on the attack.
On a side note, while I do believe the sub of My Hero Academia is better than the dub, the English voice actor of Overhaul, Kellen Goff, does a great job here, especially with the chuckle of amusement he adds to his voice.
The following fight between Mirio and Overhaul is fantastic, with both of their quirks being brilliantly used.
From Overhaul deconstructing the ground and then reconstructing it as deadly spikes, to Mirio using his permeation to pass through Eri to kick Chronostasis and then shield Eri with his cape only to ambush the two.
Mirio would have beaten Overhaul had it not been for Nemoto who, through his blind devotion to Overhaul, managed to crawl to the battlefield.
Receiving a quirk removing bullet from the young head, Nemoto realizes the only way he will be able to hit Mirio is to trick him into shielding Eri.
And so Mirio’s sacrifice commences, with him taking the bullet for Eri with a smile on his face, comforting her.
We then get a flashback to Mirio’s journey to becoming a hero and Overhaul’s gleeful cry (completely ignoring Nemoto’s pleas for recognition) makes us think that Mirio’s dream is over.
Until this perception is completely shattered as Mirio keeps fighting, despite losing his quirk, and manages to hold Overhaul off and protect Eri until help arrives.
As Mirio says, no matter what he’s still Lemillion.
This is by far the most inspirational scene of My Hero Academia with everything coming together from the voice acting, to the animation, to the music, it’s all fantastic.
The episode really shows why I placed Mirio at number eight on my top 10 My Hero Academia characters list.
“Lemillion” is, without a doubt, my favourite episode of the entire series so far.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Review – More Like The Rise of Retcons.

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The reactions to Disney’s new Star Wars trilogy have been… interesting to say the least.
It constantly feels like the extreme fans are at one another’s throats with each subsequent movie.
Personally, I enjoyed the first two films in this new trilogy.
I still love The Force Awakens, with it being my third favourite movie in the saga, next to A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
As for The Last Jedi, I thought it was a great film when I first watched it but, upon multiple rewatches, it became clear that it did have a lot of issues.
Even so, I enjoy the film but, sadly, the same cannot be said for The Rise of Skywalker, once again directed by J.J Abrams.
The funny thing is that this review was initially supposed to be positive but I quickly realised that I was writing down more negatives than positives about the film so it did not constitute being called a good film.
I would say that The Rise of Skywalker is the most flawed installment in this new trilogy.
Right from the start, I knew we were in trouble because the opening crawl details things that we should have been shown rather than told.
Following this, the first act is a complete mess that feels completely lacking in soul.
I found it incredibly difficult to care as the central characters of Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) jumped from planet to planet, searching for a MacGuffin.
Even worse, when Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is sent by a somehow alive Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) to kill Rey it causes the movie to deliver a whole bunch of retcons to try and undo all of the twists in The Last Jedi that many vocal fans had issue with.
The most evident of these is Palpatine himself.
With Snoke gone, they just shoehorned in Palpatine with absolutely no setup.

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Palpatine basically serves as the replacement big bad guy after Snoke and it is blatantly obvious that his return was not planned.

And that is my big problem with this new trilogy.
Disney clearly had absolutely no plan when making these films and it creates a story that just doesn’t connect into a cohesive whole.
Look at the prequels.
Those films may be worse than these ones but George Lucas did have a plan on where the story would go.
Granted, he did not do a good job at adapting this plan but he still had one.
However, I will not say that The Rise of Skywalker is awful.
What saves the film from that is that it does get better after the first act and this is in no small part to the connection between Rey and Kylo Ren.
Kylo Ren is the best character in this trilogy and Adam Driver does an amazing job as him.
Although, I personally did not care for where their connection went at the end because it seemed kind of pointless.
Another positive is Princess Leia, with this film serving as a fitting goodbye to Carrie Fisher who tragically passed away.
She is put into the film using archived footage and it feels very respectful.

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Carrie Fisher got a meaningful sendoff in this film.

What does not feel respectful is the treatment of characters like Finn and Rose.
Finn got dealt a bad hand after The Force Awakens where his arc was repeated in The Last Jedi and is virtually nonexistent here but it is Rose’s actor Kelly Marie Tran who I feel the most sorry for.
She got a big role in the The Last Jedi but was not well received and got so much hate,some of it racially motivated, that it forced her off social media, and now she is pushed into a role as a side character in this film.
You could remove Rose from The Rise of Skywalker entirely and nothing would change.
Another jarring thing is the spy subplot in this film, which was completely pointless and felt like it was created to adapt to changes made in The Last Jedi, just like everything else.
Aside from Kylo Ren, his connection with Rey and the treatment of Leia, there are only a few other things I can say I liked about this movie.
One is the action, which is fun as always but with no standout moment, and some of the jokes that did land.

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There was one joke between C3PO and R2D2 that had me burst out into laughter.

Other than this, though, The Rise of Skywalker is a mess that does not flow well with the other two films in this trilogy.
If only those running the whole thing like Kathleen Kennedy had put their foot down and tried to put together a plan for creating a cohesive story.
At the very least this should have been done after The Force Awakens. 
In conclusion, I will say I consider The Force Awakens to be a great film, The Last Jedi to be a good film with a lot of problems, and The Rise of Skywalker to be a mess with only a few redeeming qualities, all coming together to create a story that just does not flow.
On the bright side, at least this new trilogy is not as bad as the prequels.

Psycho-Pass 3 Review: Incredibly Underhyped.

4 stars
I love the first season of Psycho-Pass.
It is a riveting anime with an amazing story, characters, and themes that just gets better every time I watched it.
The second season is, well, none of that.
The only thing I can give it credit for is that it succeeds in being the most disappointing follow up to a great season I have ever seen.
So, when the third season of Psycho-Pass was announced, and with new characters taking the leader, I was naturally concerned.
Sure, the original director was returning, but that did not guarantee quality.
And this was all I heard about the season for a while, until I saw one of the reviewers I had subscribed to on YouTube reviewing the first episode.
It was a definite, “wait, this came out moment?”, for me.
It felt like there was almost no hype behind this season, which is a shame because it is a vast improvement on the second one.
Yes, it is not as good as the first season but it was never going to be.
You just can’t top the level of quality in that season, especially with the great chemistry between the two main characters Akane Tsunemori (Kana Hanazawa) and Shinya Kogami (Tomokazu Senki), and the antagonist Shogo Makishima.
However, the characters of Psycho-Pass 3 are still excellent and, given more time, they could become just as beloved as the original cast of inspectors and enforcers.
I will start with the two lead inspector characters, the quirky Arata Shindo (Yuki Kaji) and immigrant Kei Mikhail Ignatov (Yuichi Nakamura).
The season follows these two as, under the Sibyl System, they investigate the mysterious organization known as Bifrost.
The two’s friendship, and how it progresses throughout the season, is perfectly handled and I am anticipating to see where it goes.

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Arata and Kei’s bond only gets better as the season progresses.

As for the new enforcer characters, they are just as great, especially Tenma Todoroki (Akio Otsuka) and Kazumichi Irie (Junichi Suwabe).
I really came to respect these two characters, just as they came to respect Arata and Kei over time.
Then there are the old characters who are present, yet working in the shadows rather being active participants in the plot.
They are all integrated pretty well, which leads to my biggest surprise of the season, which is that I found Mika Shimotsuki (Ayane Sakura) tolerable.
I absolutely hated her in the second season because she was an absolute jerk for no reason.
Here, we can see why she is acting the way she is, which allows us, as the viewer, to sympathize with her.
She’s not just trying to backstab Akane because she doesn’t agree with her for no reason anymore.

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The most surprising thing about Psycho Pass 3 is how tolerable Mika is.

Although, I will say that this change in Mika does make it feel like we missed some character development from her, which is unfortunate.
Another unfortunate thing is that the villains did not really stick out for me this season.
I knew they could never be as fantastic as Makishima but I was still disappointed in how they failed to stand out compared to the main characters.
But, hey, at least they were not awful like Kirito Kamui from season two.
Along with having great characters, for the most part, the third season of Psycho-Pass also has a great story with a fantastic usage of themes and political commentary.
One feature I was very impressed by was how the season reflects and comments on how many celebrities are getting into politics nowadays and how this would work within the Sybil System.

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Psycho Pass provides great commentary through one of its main players being a pop idol who is trying to become Governor.

However, not everything was so amazing because there are some things that bring the season down slightly.
The biggest of these issues is easily Arata’s mental trace ability, which allows him to view crimes from a criminal and victim’s perspective in a supernatural way.
Now, I have never been a fan of the supernatural in Psycho-Pass, as evidenced by my extreme dislike for Kamui.
So, when Arata was revealed to have this ability, I hoped that they would give it some kind of scientific explanation.
But, no, they just have to implement some kind of supernatural ability when it does not fit in with the themes and commentary at all because why not?
Thankfully, Arata’s Mentalist ability was not enough to derail the season for me.
Psycho Pass 3 is an almost return to form, despite a few hiccups, and I am interested to see where the story goes from here, as well as how these new characters continue to grow and the world of Psycho Pass along with them.

My Hero Academia Season Four Episode Ten, Temp Squad Review: One, Big, Unhappy Villain Family.

4 stars
One of the reasons I like the League of Villains from My Hero Academia so much is because of how much they feel like an actual dysfunctional family.
Well, the tenth episode of the fourth season, “Temp Squad”, adapts the first time I actually began to see the villains this way perfectly, with the character growth of Twice, Toga and Shigaraki.
In a flashback, we are gifted with the sight of Twice struggling with his guilt over Big Sis Magne’s death in a great character moment for him.
“I may be a villain but I’m still human. We all are, man”, Twice states in a heartbreaking moment after Shigaraki announces he wants Twice and Toga to go work for Overhaul.
As for Toga, her reaction to Shigaraki’s order is much colder, as she threatens him with a knife.
Her family-like moment comes when she covers Twice’s mask up with a cloth to keep his personalities from splitting.
Back to the flashback scene, Shigaraki shocks both her and Twice by removing the hand from his face, for what I think is the first time in front of them, and tells them this is for all of them because he wants the two to infiltrate Overhaul’s group and gain their trust.
He goes on to say that he will trust them to know what to do.
This is the moment Shigaraki’s growth from the man child to the confident leader was cemented for me when I read the manga and it is wonderfully adapted here.
Just as wonderful is the visual of Toga and Twice spinning in the air before dancing over their trust in Shigaraki and being able to do what they want.
This leads to them insulting Mimic in an impromptu moment that leads to the cliffhanger of him trying to crush both them and the heroes.
However, not every moment with Twice and Toga is all family-like because they cause plenty of mayhem.
This mainly applies to Toga, who manages to successfully stab Rock Lock thanks to a diversion from one of Twice’s clones.
Taking on Rock Lock’s appearance, Toga attacks Deku and would have cut him for sure if Aizawa had not been there.
As for Twice, he was much less successful, with his clone of Rappa being easily defeated by Nighteye with the help of his support items.
Nighteye then attacks him, leading to the moment where Twice almost splits but Toga arrives to help him.
So, all in all, this in an almost entirely villain centric episode.
The plot may have not progressed that much overall but the character growth for the villains Twice, Toga and Shigaraki is fantastic.
Another solid episode.
I am incredibly excited for the next episode, though, because it will give Mirio his chance to shine.
The previous episode showed why I love Kirishima so much as a character and the next episode will do the same for Mirio.

Attack on Titan Chapter 125 Predictions.

Chapter 124 of Attack on Titan, “Thaw”, had a lot of great twists and turns that caused me to reconsider how long the manga has left.
I originally thought that the series would finish at Chapter 130 but, after reading “Thaw”, I now believe that 134, or even 138, is a more appropriate finishing point, given how many plot points just emerged.
And, with all these new storylines, there comes new theories that I would like to get into.
So, let’s start with the biggest question generated by Chapter 124,

Now That Annie Is Free, What Will She Do?

By far the biggest twist of “Thaw” was the long, long, long, long lllooonnngg awaited return of Annie Leonhart.
She was gone for so long that many, including myself, feared that she may never return.
In all honesty, Annie is a character that I have conflicted feelings about.
I do like her character but nowhere near to the extent of others, and I wanted her to come back more so Hajime Isayama could tie up that plot point rather than for her character.
Now that she is free, though, it will be interesting to see what role she has to play in the final battle.
There is no doubt that she will side against Eren because her father is in Marley but how she will be able to help is a mystery.
Some have predicted that Annie’s Female Titan may be able to draw in the Wall Titans with her scream but this seems a bit of a stretch.
As for how she will get to the battlefield, I am sure Hitch will be involved in that since she is the one guarding her.
I can just imagine their conversation, with Hitch explaining to Annie, in her usual sassy fashion, everything that has happened over the four years that she has been asleep.
Another theory I have is that Annie could run into Levi and Hange, which is how they could return to the story.
The reason I think this is because it could cause a lot of conflict because Annie murdered Levi’s entire squad in the Female Titan Arc.
The only person Levi hates more than her is Zeke so it would be interesting to see the Levi and Annie fight again, that is if Levi can with the state he is currently in.
One thing I certainly hope Isayama doesn’t do is sweep Annie’s crimes under the rug.
Out of her, Reiner and Bertholdt, she is the one whose thoughts on killing the Scouts we have seen the least so I want to see how this affected her.
It will also be interesting to see her interact with Armin, since he now has Bertholdt’s memories and an obvious crush on her.
The thing I am positive about is that the next chapter will be primarily centered around Annie.
Some have speculated it will be a flashback chapter to her past but I doubt this because we already know most of her backstory.
We may get a brief flashback but I think Chapter 125 will focus mostly on Annie in the present.
And it will certainly be intriguing to see what role she has to play in trying to stop Eren’s Rumbling.

What Will Happen With Falco And Connie?

Another unexpected development in Chapter 124 was Connie kidnapping Falco to feed him to his Titan mother so she can turn back into a human.
Opinions on Connie seem to be mixed after him doing this but I do understand his motivations.
Connie has lost almost everyone he cares about and, now that he thinks the fighting is about to end, he wants to save his mum, no matter the cost.
There are many theories about what could happen with this plot point and one of the most prominent of those is that Connie will run into Hange who will feed Falco to Levi instead.
However, this is a theory that I am very much against for three reasons.
First of all, it makes Porco’s sacrifice pointless.
Second of all, I don’t want Levi to be more overpowered than he already is (plus I don’t think Ackermans can turn into Titans).
And, third of all, I don’t see Falco dying here because it doesn’t tie into his arc.
I want to see Falco struggle with the guilt of accidentally killing his brother and try to use the powers of his recently acquired Jaw Titan in this dangerous situation.
But if Falco is not going to die then what was the point of Connie taking him?
Some are saying Connie will be eaten by his own mother but, again, I don’t see this happening because what would the point be in him, as an important character, dying when none of his friends are there to react to it?
There is the possibility that Connie taking Falco could lead to some characters returning to the story but, rather than Hange and Levi, I think this would be the perfect opportunity to bring Historia back.
I have been rooting for Historia to come into contact with the holder of the Jaw Titan to experience Ymir’s memories for a long time and if she is near Ragako, then she could very well interfere with Connie’s plan and touch Falco, gaining some of these memories.
Although, I have no idea why Historia would even be near Ragako so I may be wrong about this.
I just hope that Connie does not end up succeeding in feeding Falco to his mother or Levi because I feel this would ruin Falco’s arc.

What’s With the Parallels Between Gabi and Eren?

In “Thaw” there was a scene of Gabi tying up her in front of a mirror that was eerily similar to a scene from Chapter 106 where Eren did the same thing.
This is just one of many parallels between Eren and Gabi and has caused many to wonder if Gabi will go on to kill Eren and gain his Titan powers, thus fulfilling the role of Helos.
Now, while I am a Gabi defender, I do not want this to happen.
If Eren is going to be killed by someone, it would make a lot more sense for it to be Mikasa, Armin or Reiner that does the deed because they are the characters that have the biggest connection to him.
Along with this, Gabi already nearly killed Eren in Chapter 119 so it would seem repetitive.
Still, the parallels have to be there for a reason so it will be interesting to see what that reason is.
But, if Gabi does kill Eren, then the fandom will absolutely explode.
She is so hated that many people have said they will hate the series if this happens.
Personally, I won’t hate it if Gabi does kill Eren but I would rather it be another character.

Where Are Zeke, Pieck and Magath?

The characters in Shiganshina that we did not see in Chapter 124 were Zeke, Pieck and Magath, causing many to wonder where they are.
Well, I think it is safe to say that the three of them are together, with Pieck and Magath likely having captured Zeke.
Magath was on top of the wall with Pieck in Chapter 122 but she probably grabbed him so that would make him safe.
The next time we see Pieck is in Chapter 123 when she hears Eren’s proclamation in the Path dimension, and Zeke appears to be next to her so it would be logical for her to grab him.
I don’t imagine him putting up much of a fight after his plan of sterilizing all Eldians was destroyed by Eren.
However, I doubt Zeke will be out of the fight for long because in Chapter 124 it seems that Eren cannot control the Titans that he transformed.
This makes sense because of Zeke’s royal blood and could make him the center piece in a plan to defeat Eren.
Even though I hope we don’t get a Code Geass ending, I can see the Scouts teaming up with the Warriors for this plan.
I would actually be excited about that because we would see many of these characters talking for the first time.
It would be fascinating to see Armin’s intellect go up against Pieck’s.
Another theory is Zeke’s consciousness being trapped in the Path dimension but I am not sure what Zeke could do from there.
In any case, despite believing these three characters are alive, I am unsure if they will show up next chapter because I expect to be mainly centered around Annie’s return.

Why Is Floch Arresting the Volunteers?

“So you’re alive” is what Jean said when he saw Floch in Chapter 124, voicing the frustration of many fans.
Immediately after being revealed to have survived, Floch continued with making the readers hate him by pointing a gun at a depressed Yelena’s head and informing her that she and the rest of the volunteers are under arrest.
The reason for this is probably because of Yelena’s participation in Zeke’s euthanasia plan.
Floch probably knew Eren planned to initiate a full scale Rumbling and is acting on his orders by arresting them in the aftermath.
Although, there may be a more sinister reason Floch is arresting the volunteers.
This is that he may plan to execute all of them so that the only people left after Eren’s Rumbling will be Eldians.
Many of these Volunteers would be enraged if their country is destroyed, and would want to take vengeance, so Floch could plan to execute them before any such acts took place.
But would Eren allow this?
Well, given how he is about to destroy the world and kill billions of people, I don’t think he would hesitate to order this if it kept his friends safe.
This is merely speculative, though.
Also, I think Floch will meet some firm resistance from the Scouts.
We could see Keith get involved in this, since he is getting more well deserved screen time lately.
But it is Jean who I am most excited to see face off against Floch.
To me, Floch is a representation of what Jean could have become had he never joined the Scouts so he would make a great endgame fight for him.
Whether this or any of the other theories I mentioned turn out to be true, though, will have to be seen in Chapter 125.
There are some rumors that it will release around the end of December but it is probably best not to get your hopes up in case the chapter drops at the regular time.