The Promised Neverland, Season Two, Episode Four Review: Slightly More Optomistic Now.

3-stars-out-of-5
Episode Three of The Promised Neverland Season Two made me very concerned about the direction the anime was going, what with all of the cut content and changes.
However, after Episode Four, I’m feeling slightly more optomistic.
I still have concerns but I feel a little better about where the story may be heading.
Directed by Kakushi Ifuku, the episode follows the Grace Field children’s time spent at the bunker, which skips over quite a lof of chapters from the manga.
I’ll get my criticisms out of the way first because it’s easier which, again, is mostly down to the changes.
Right after the opening, with Emma being told the truth by a recording from William Minerva, or rather James Ratri, the episode quickly desolves into a bunch of segments that feel like filler.
Given what we could have been getting if the episode had just adapted the manga, this feels like an extreme downgrade.
Although, people who haven’t read the manga that watch this episode may actually these scenes, so I will admit I am biased in my sentiment.
My bias extends to the downgrade for the attack on the bunker, which is not only incredibly rushed but also laughable compared to the manga with how terribly incompetant the soldiers are.
These clear downgrades from the source material would have brought my opinions of the episode into the negative and would also have increased my fears for the whole season, if it wasn’t for the saving grace of the episode: Isabella.
One of my criticisms of the manga is that characters like Isabella did not get the screen time they deserved.
Well, now it seems that the anime is fixing this issue because Isabella is getting a brand new, anime original storyline, where she is tasked by the demons to hunt the remaining children.
This actually got me excited for what role she would play and I already have my theories about what could unfold in the future because of this, like that the demons potentially offered Ray’s saftey in return for her help.
This and the opening scene where James Ratri informs the children about his backstory, with a recorded phone message, not only saved the episode for me but also gave me some hope about the future of the story.
As I said, I still have my worries, increased by the preview, which seems to suggest a time skip, which would be way too early but, again, we’ll just have to see how this all turns out.
Overall, Episode Four is a decent episode that both has me concerned and makes me more optomistic for the rest of The Promised Neverland Season Two.

Attack on Titan Chapter 137 Predictions.

Just three more chapters to go and then the Attack on Titan story will come to an end.
I’m very excited to see how my favorite story will conclude and, if the cliffhanger to Chapter 136 is anything to go by, things may get crazy as we head towards the finale.
So, in preperation for the next chapter, here are my questions and predictions for what will happen in Chapter 137.

Is Zeke Physically Dead?

Chapter 136, titled “Devote Your Hearts”, concluded with Armin finding Zeke trapped in the Paths Dimension with him.
In my review for that chapter, I mentioned Zeke asking Armin if Ymir ate him too, and tried to predict its meaning.
My theory about the meaning of this was that when Eren transformed, after Ymir gave him her powers, Zeke was actually eaten, however, because his conciousness was in the Paths Dimension when this happened, he is still alive there while being dead in the outside world.
Before reading the chapter, I was against the idea of Zeke dying off screen because of how his arc would be ended by this, with his rivalry with Levi never being resolved.
Now, though, I am actually okay if Zeke really was eaten because, if he is still alive in the Paths Dimension, it offers a way for him to still have his character arc and role in the story concluded.
Speaking of which…

How Will Zeke’s Story End?

Now that Zeke has finally returned to the story, the big question is about how his story will end.
There are two pieces to Zeke’s story that need to be resolved: his already mentioned rivalry with Levi and also Grisha beggining him to stop Eren.
The latter piece makes me believe that Zeke is definitley going to join Armin in stopping Eren.
How this will factor into the Levi situation is a little less clear.
Maybe Levi still has to kill Zeke to end the Rumbling so Zeke will allow this to happen, or maybe Connie will be the one to do it because Zeke killed his family?
However, I have another theory that I would like to bring up, this being that no one will kill Zeke because he could still be alive by the end of the story, at least in the Paths Dimension.
Some people have been predicting that Eren’s story will end with him being dead in the outside world, while his conciousness stays in the Paths Dimension to watch over it and make sure that it can never be used again.
While this is a good theory, I was thinking, what if it’s not Eren who decides to stay behind in the Paths but Zeke instead, and he uses this to atone for all the wrongs he has committed?
This could also resolve his conflict with Levi, who allows Zeke to live for the betterment of everyone.
There are some holes in this theory, though, like that Zeke is not exactly trustworthy with such a monumental task, what with him wanting to sterilize all Eldians earlier.
Maybe he can be convinced to move past this incredibly flawed and cruel plan to just look over the Paths?
I think this would be a very interesting and unexpected way for Zeke’s story to end, if this is what Hajime Isayama decides to go with.

What Will Zeke and Armin’s Plan be?

I have already said that I believe Zeke will help Armin try to stop Eren, however, how they will go about doing that is hard to guess.
The two are the smartest characters in the story, so them finally interacting will be interesting to see nonetheless.
In any case, the only thing I can even think up of them attempting to do to try and stop the Rumbling, other than kill Zeke, is convince Ymir to stop.
She is the one who holds power over all the Titans and is allowing Eren to commit his mass genocide, so giving her the talk no jitsu may be they’re only option.
How they’ll even go about doing so is beyond me, though.
If anything, they’ll be at a disadvantage, since Zeke wanted to use Ymir like all previous Royal Blooded Titan users did, so she’ll be a tough sell.
Overall, it’s pretty hard to make an accurate guess at how Armin and Zeke will try to stop the Rumbling in Paths.
It could be by actually killing Zeke for good, convincing Ymir to stop, or something else entirely.

What Happened at Fort Salta?

While predicting what will happen in the Paths Dimension is difficult, predicting what will happen at Fort Salta is not.
My one criticism of “Devote Your Hearts” was the incredibly obvious fake out where it was made to look like the Eldians from Liberio and the fort soldiers had opened fire on one another, when this is clearly not the case.
There is no way that Muller, the guy who was preaching about throwing away hatred in Chapter 134, would just give into it again so easily.
It’s obvious to me that the gunshots heard were him firing into the air to call a truce, and the two sides will work togethor, getting the cannons ready to fire at Eren, so they can help the Alliance in a big moment.
I would actually be really impressed if this didn’t happen, though, and Isayama actually went with something else but I don’t think that will be the case.

Will The Big Twist Happen?

Attack on Titan is a story with so many fantastic twists.
The reveal of Reiner and Bertholdt as the Colossal and Armoured Titans, the reveal of the outside world and Grisha’s past, Eren attacking the festival, the entirety of Chapters 119-123.
There are so many amazing twists but those are the very best of them, with the last mention being the greatest part of the entire story, in my personal opinion.
So, with the story coming to an end, and Armin now in Paths interacting with Zeke, I have to wonder if we’re going to get the last big twist of the story.
The reveal of Eren’s perspective, why Grisha gave him the Founding Titan in the first place, and what the heck “See you later, Eren” actually means, this could all be unveiled in the next couple of chapters.
I’d like to predict what these reveals will be are but I have pretty much no idea.
I’ve read some crazy predictions, both fantastic and bad and it will be interesting to see if any of them turn out to be the case.
No matter what the twist is, however, I’m also positive it will result in one thing: Ymir’s freedom.
Her literal rebirth serving as the ultimate personfication of freedom in the story.
Whatever happens, though, I am excited to see what crazy events will transpire in these final free chapters.

Attack on Titan, Season Four, Episode Seven, Assault Review: Attack on Nutcracker.

5 stars
And here I thought “Declaration of War” was an incredible adaptation of the manga.
Well, in comparison, episode seven of Attack on Titan‘s final season, “Assault”, blew my expectations out of the water, in an episode that clearly surpassed the source material.
Way more dark and brutal than the two chapters it adapts, “Assault” is a visceral, heart pounding episode from start to finish that has me even more excited for how Mappa will adapt future chapters, some of which are the best in the entire manga.
Directed by Jun Shishido, the episode depicts the end of Eren and the Survey Corps’ horrific assault on the Liberio Internment Zone, where they completely demolish the Marleyan army and its prized Warriors.
Zeke, Pieck and Porco, all fall to the might of Eren and the Scouts, with only a severely injured Reiner left to stand against them by the end.
Before all of this craziness happens, though, “Assault” starts with an engaging beginning scene before the opening, hyping up the oncoming fight (if you can even call it that) between Levi and Zeke.
With Pieck and her panzer unit arriving to help Porco, numerous Scouts are cut down in a hail of gunfire, much to Mikasa and Levi’s horror.
However, Levi’s horror quickly turns to determination as his old enemy Zeke enters the battlefield and the epic fight between the two factions continues.
It is this fight that Falco emerges from the rubble to see, as Reiner managed to save them both by partially transforming when Eren began his attack.
However, Reiner is now in a bad state as a result of this attack and isn’t healing properly, which Falco realizes is because he has lost the will to live.
Reiner being absent puts the Warriors at even more of a disadvantage than they thought because, even though the Scouts are cornered in Marley, like Pieck points out, they have two aces up their sleeve.
The first of these aces comes in the form of the Colossal Titan himself, Armin, who launches an attack on the naval port, essentially tactical nuking it and killing hundreds if not thousands of people, unfortunately not all of them soldiers.
Armin sees this horror for himself because, after emerging from his Titan, he sees a small child in the rubble, looking up at him in horror, probably the same way he looked up in at the Colossal Titan when Bertholdt breached the wall, all those years ago.
How many innocent people did Armin kill in this attack?
All the haunted Armin knows for sure is that this horrifying experience is most likely what Bertholdt saw and felt on the day he broke the wall.
As for Armin’s Colossal Titan, I really have to applaud Mappa for making it look amazing as it did.
For one thing, it was entirely 2D, with not a hint of CGI.
Back when Wit Studio did their Colossal Titan in seasons two and three, it was entirely CGI to the point that it was slightly distracting but here it looked perfect.
As for the rest of the CGI in this episode, I thought it was fantastic as well.
Thankfully, the morons who threatened Mappa’s staff over the CGI last episode seem to have finally shut up about it now so this is a testament to how great everything looked.
Back to “Assault”, the second second ace the Scouts have up their sleeve is an airship that is flown to pick up the Scouts from Liberio, with Hange and a new character named Onyankopon in charge of flying it.
It is great to see Hange and Armin again, and their conversation about Armin’s planning being similar to Erwin’s shows how their character arcs will involve them trying to live up the legacy he left them with.
As for Onyankopon, I know from the manga that he is a pretty great side character, so I’m interested to see how he will be portrayed and voice acted in the anime.
In any case, their airship is a giant target, which is why it was so important for the Scouts to take the Warriors down before it got there, especially the Cart Titan with its Panzer Unit.
By the time the airship arrives, only Porco is left, Pieck and Zeke having been defeated.
Unfortunately for Porco, he screws up yet again and is defeated by Mikasa and Eren, leading to Eren using him to kill the Warhammer Titan.
I say “again” because the Warriors failing was 90% Porco’s fault here because of his complete arrogance in this battle.
Screw up number one for Porco: He doesn’t listen to Pieck telling him to stay back and protect Zeke, allowing both her and the war chief to be taken down by the Scouts.
Screw up number two: After seeing Pieck and Zeke have been defeated, he gives into his anger and attacks Eren in a blind rage, leading him to accidentally expose the Warhammer Titan’s weakness.
Finally, screw up number three: Porco doesn’t check his blind spot when going to attack Hange and Onyankopon’s airship, allowing Mikasa and Eren to dismember him, and then Eren uses him as a literal nutcracker to kill the Warhammer Titan and inherit her power.
Speaking of the nutcracker scene, wow, was that way more brutal and emotional compared to the manga.
The shots of Eren’s Titan looked absolutely demonic and the voice actor for Porco, Toshiki Masuda, did a fantastic job with showing Porco’s horror as he realized Eren is using him to kill Lara Tyber.
Another scene that is way more brutal than the manga is the deaths of the Panzer Unit, as it is shown that they have pictures of themselves and their family’s in their gun holes before they are killed by Sasha, Jean, and the other Scouts, making them much more sympathetic before they die.
Of course, there’s Armin’s attack on the port, which is also more horrifying, with the red glow giving it a real Evangalion vibe.
And then there’s the moment the episode hyped up right from the begging, Levi’s absolute slaughter of the Beast Titan.
Much like the first round, this couldn’t even be called a fight because Levi took the giant monkey down with just one hit, hatred glowing like a fire in his eyes.
Gabi, Falco and Magath then have to watch as Levi blows up the Beast Titan’s nape, supposedly with Zeke still inside, traumatizing the kids further.
The two have seen so much in the last few episodes, being betrayed and having their friends die in front of them, and this is only bringing them further into the black hole of hatred created for those on Paradis.
Gabi especially has fallen further down this rabbit hole of propaganda, now having the gate guards’ gun and declaring that she will kill Eren Jaeger.
Her and Falco’s voice actors also do an incredible job this episode, just like Porco’s, with their guttural screams for Reiner giving me chills.
It caused a response in Reiner as well, as he rises from the rubble, apparently ready to save Porco from being eaten and to face down Eren in round three.
Although, it doesn’t seem like this round will last very long considering that Reiner’s Titan is half formed, with much of its armor missing.
This is most likely due to his damaged state because of Eren’s transformation and his suicidal mindset, shown by his line of, “Why can’t you just let me die in peace!”
It does make for an epic cliffhanger, though, what with the intense music and great voice acting.
“Assault” is another brilliant episode in Attack on Titan‘s final season, delivering fantastic action, animation and voice acting.
I am now even more excited for the next episode, “Assassins’ Bullet”, and how well the chapter or chapters it covers could be adapted.

The Promised Neverland, Season Two, Episode Three Review: Where Did You-Go?

3-stars-out-of-5
I was very excited for episode three of The Promised Neverland Season Two because it was supposed to be the episode where my favorite character in the manga would be introduced.
Alas, it was not to be.
I had heard rumors that The Promised Neverland would be going anime original before the season started airing but I had no idea it would be to this extent.
Not only was an incredibly important character from the manga missing, who, again, is my favorite character, but also many important scenes hinting at the future of the story were removed as well.
Since the episode aired, it has been pretty much confirmed that the rest of the season will be anime original and, honestly, I am very concerned about this.
If they had stuck to the manga then the story would currently be adapting my favorite arc of the entire story, so of course it is worrying to see this part of the story that I love so much being changed.
This could either go really good or really bad for The Promised Neverland Season Two.
However, I need to make it clear that, despite my concerns, I still enjoyed episode three.
Although, if I had not read the manga I would certainly have enjoyed it a lot more because my negative points about the episode mainly revolve around how the changes in the story could become problematic as the season goes on.
As for the actual episode itself, it is well done, with director Yayoi Takano delivering a good adaptation for what was kept, like the opening goodbye between the Grace Field children and Sonju and Mujika.
This part of the episode revealed a much darker to Sonju because it is revealed that he saved the children so they could survive and have children of their own, which he could then eat in the future since this would be in line with his religious beliefs.
Before departing though, Mujika shares a goodbye where we get our first removal of a vital manga scene, with an important line Mujika says being removed, the first of many such removals.
Then we get a brief action scene of Sonju facing off against the demons from the farm, which is pretty enjoyable, before we see the kids reach the bunker and the whole slew of manga scenes that have been left out becomes apparent.
It was honestly hard for me to focus on the rest of the episode when we got to the big scene where the important character was supposed to appear but didn’t.
This makes me concerned that his introduction being changed may damage his character arc somehow, if he hasn’t been removed from the story all together that is.
God, please don’t let him have been removed from the story.
In any case, now the kids have reached the bunker and seem to have a good base of operations for a while.
Or do they?
The cliffhanger of the episode has Emma and Ray finding a phone, much earlier than they do in the manga, and answering its call, while the other kids find deranged writings on a wall, which is thankfully a sign that the missing character is still around.
In any case, this cliffhanger with the phone does make me interested to see how episode four will diverge from the manga.
Fingers crossed that the anime original story Season Two appears to be going down is just as good, if not better than the original story arc.
At least in the next episode I will be expecting drastic differences this time around.
Overall, episode three is a decent episode, despite its changes from the source material.
I am concerned about the future of the anime, though.
Still, who knows?
Maybe it can surprise us.

Talentless Nana Anime Review: My Hero Academia Meets Death Note.

4 stars
Nowadays, whenever someone makes a
Talentless Nana reference, you can bet that they’re going to turn it into some kind of Among Us reference, like, “Pink sus!” or something similar.
Well, I think a much more suitable way of describing it (as well as not having been referenced to death) would be to say that, “Talentless Nana is what you would get if your merged Death Note and My Hero Academia into a single story.
Before I get into what this entails though, I would like to warn some who may have not seen the first episode of Talentless Nana to go and watch it before reading this review.
Trust me, you don’t want the entire surprise premise of this show to be spoiled for you by a review.
Still here?
Ok, so based off the manga by Looseboy, and directed by Shinji Ishihira, the story takes place on an isolated island, where children with super powers known as Talents are taken to be trained to fight the vaguely named “Enemies of Humanity.”
Our main character is supposedly Nanao Nakajima (Hiro Shimono), a one note, Deku clone, who I found it very hard to relate to because of how many times I’ve seen his character done before.
Enter Nana Hiiragi, a new student who supposedly has the ability to read minds and pushes Nanao to be more confident and eventually become the class leader.
Notice how I used the word “supposedly” when talking about how Nanao was the main character and that Nana could read minds?
Well, the surprise twist of the episode is that Nanao is actually not the main character because Nana murders him, after revealing that she actually can’t read minds but is just really good at reading people.
Turns out that the Talented are actually the true “Enemies of Humanity”, and Nana has been sent by a shady government organization to covertly murder every single one of them on the island to protect humanity. 

I didn’t expect this twist and it instantly made the show 100 times better.

Before the twist, Talentless Nana looked like a generic, cliched, rip off of My Hero Academia.
Now though, it had taken a Death Note twist, becoming a murder mystery where we see the perspective of the murderer.
And, if Nana is this series’ Light, then Kyoya Onodera (Yuichi Nakamura) is definitely its L, as the antisocial, wannabe detective who begins to suspect Nana right from the get-go.
Their game of cat and mouse is entertaining to watch, and just as good is the slowly growing friendship between Nana and the insanely good natured Michiru Inukai (Mai Nakahara), an akward turn of events for Nana because she is supposed to kill Michiru eventually.
The character development Nana gains from interacting with these two, while still trying to kill them and every other student, is just great and delivers many fun episodes, like the two part “Necromancer”, “Survival of the Fittest”, and “Revival”.
As for Nana herself, I have to give major props to her voice actress, Rumi Okubo, who is able to portray the fake, outward persona Nana shows and her true self perfectly. 

Nana has different voices for her fake and real personalities and Okubo pulls both off expertly.

Along with this, the show’s OP, “Broken Sky”, by Miyu Tomita, and ED, “Bakemono to Yobarete”, by Chiai Fujikawa, are also complete bangers.
However, there are a few issues with
Talentless Nana that do hold it back a bit.
The first of these is the direction, which is, overall, nothing special for the most part, not that there’s anything wrong with this.   
One thing I definitely had an issue with, though, was the cliffhangers, or rather, the way they were constructed.
More often than not, an episode would end with some big cliffhanger, where the audience would wonder if Nana was about to get caught, only for the first few minutes of the next episode to resolve this cliffhanger with absolutely no lasting consequences.
This did get quite frustrating after a while and it made it hard for me to get excited for next week because I was sure that whatever cliffhanger we were on would instantly be solved in the following episode.
Also, the show had a bit of a problem introducing characters because it’s clear that the writer came up with them as they went along, with characters, who we have never seen before, showing up, only for the other characters to act as though they’d been there the whole time.
Still, this did not ruin my experience of these episodes and there really are some great scenes and twists throughout that had me eager to see what would happen next. 

Some twists, like the one in episode nine, do actually keep consequences and made me excited for what was to come.

In its entirety, Talentless Nana is a really good anime, with some fun moments and great character development, for its main characters at least.
Unfortunately, I’ve heard that the sales for the show haven’t been doing too well, so it seems unlikely that we will be getting a season two, which is a shame because the manga is also a blast.
You can expect a review for the Talentless Nana manga in the coming weeks. 

Attack on Titan, Season Four, Episode Six, The Warhammer Titan Review: Marley Receives a Grim Reminder.

4 and a half stars
After last weeks incredible adaptation of “Declaration of War”, I and many others were excited for the next episode of Attack on Titan‘s final season, the highly anticipated “The Warhammer Titan.”
Well, in my opinion, the episode did not disappoint, delivering on some epic action set pieces and some epic returns.
Directed by Atsuishi Tsukasa and Takahiro Kaneko, the episode follows up on Eren’s attack on Willy’s speech at the end of episode five with his own grim reminder to the people of Marley and the world at large, resulting in countless deaths.
Before we get to this, however, the episode thankfully begins with a flashback to Willy’s time before the festival and his inevitable demise at Eren’s hands.
I mentioned in my review of “Declaration of War” that it would be unfortunate if Willy’s flashback scene with Magath was cut because it explains the motivations of both men perfectly.
After seeing the episode, I can say that I approve of the writers’ decision to move this flashback to the beginning of episode six because it works much better here.
Not only does ir allow Willy and Magath’s prior actions to become understandable with hindsight but it also adds an anime only scene that sees Willy say goodbye to his wife and many children, knowing full well that this is the last time he will see them all.
Following Willy’s goodbye, which serves to make his character even more sympathetic than he was in the manga, we finally get his conversation with Magath, explaining their actions in the previous episodes.
Willy dying during the speech at Eren’s hands was a planned, calculated move by Willy and Magath to get the rest of the world on their side, and potentially the interned Eldians’ side as well,  by making those at the festival “tragic victims. Victims of an “unforeseen attack.””
Magath has his doubts about this because of the potential number of casualties but Willy counters this by reminding Magath of his bias against Eldians and how they will be among the dead so he just needs to do as he always has done.
This brings an unexpected reaction from Magath because, while admitting that he believes Eldians are the descendants of devils, he also tells Willy, “there’s no doubt that we are devils ourselves.”
His comment here shows that he is different from most Marleyans because they would go on about how much better they are than those “devil spawn”, yet Magath chooses to believe he is also a devil because of his actions.
He definitely still has his prejudices that need to be worked over, but he shows probably more self awareness here than any Marleyan we have seen so far.
With this comment, Magath and Willy shake hands and the screen cuts to black, before the chilling sound of Eren’s roar is heard, and the episode cuts to Willy’s mutilated body being eaten like a piece of popcorn by Eren’s Titan.
As the crowd looks on in absolute horror, Eren turns to look at them, with his horrifying face making him look the devil itself.
From here, Eren’s attack on the world’s leaders, and unfortunate civilians who happen to be in attendance, continues, as he launches himself into the seats holding Marley’s military leaders, including the lead one from episode two.
He wanted a flying Titan?
Well, he got one, as Eren jumps into the air and then crashes down on him and many other military officers, killing all of them.
Unfortunately, it is not just these military leaders that are killed but children as well, with Zofia and Udo also falling victim to Eren’s horrific attack.
Zofia is crushed under a rock, so at least her end is quick and painless.
Sadly, this is not the case for Udo because he is slowly trampled to death in a stampede by the fleeing crowd, with his head literally missing a chunk.
This episode really has distressing imagery, as was highlighted by the opening warning, and this is showcased perfectly by the arrival of the titular Warhammer Titan, who is revealed to be Willy’s sister, Lara.
She is not given much time to transform because Eren wastes no times punching her right through a building, and then repeatedly smashes her face in his with hardened hands, which is where the bloody imagery comes in.
I’m really surprised the bloody remains of the Warhammer Titan’s face wasn’t censored but, at the same time, I’m so glad that it wasn’t because it perfectly suits the dark tone of this episode and the story to come.
Hopefully, this means other instances of disturbing or gory imagery won’t be censored.
Such censorship seems less likely though because of how much darker the Warhammer Titan’s counter attack is than it is in the manga.
She not only impales Eren on a giant spike, like she does in the manga, but there is also an anime only scene of civilians getting crushed by the debris created from this, including the drunk and the store owner we briefly met in episode four.
This massive amount of destruction alerts Pieck and Porco about what is going on from their entrapment.
However, the two of them are not out of the fight for long because it is revealed that Pieck managed to alert the Panzer Unit to the mysterious soldier who trapped them last episode.
Now that they have been rescued by Pieck’s simp squad, the two warriors are ready to join the fight and outnumber Eren, putting him at a disadvantage.
At least, this was their intention but it definitely does not work out because, right before they can formulate their plan of attack, the Scouts fly overhead, having got Eren’s letter and come to help his attack.
This results in an epic entrance from Mikasa, as she saves Eren when is he about to be killed by the Warhammer Titan, with the hype declaration from Eren, “now or never, Mikasa.”
It’s not the happy reunion we would hope for though because Mikasa is horrified that Eren has not just called civilians but children as well.
Her tearful expression as she says this is a perfect adaptation from the manga, one that doesn’t seem to affect Eren much, unless he’s internalizing all of his pain caused by his own actions.
In any case, if Eren does have such feelings of guilt he has to push them aside to fight the Warhammer Titan, which has mysteriously recovered from its nape being blown up.
In order to have its true weak point exposed, Eren has Mikasa distract the Warhammer Titan in the hopes that he can eventually eat it, thus securing its powers.
While this is happening, the episode takes the time to reintroduce all of the scouts that we know and love.
Well, at least in the case of Jean, Sasha and Connie because there is still the morally questionable Floch around, justifying him and his squad’s attack on civilians by saying Eren is a devil, who’s example is one they should follow.
Jean rightly puts him in his place, after being epically reintroduced by taking down a, Marleyan soldier, which is unfortunately all in CGI, more on this later.
As for the reintroduction of Connie and Sasha, this takes an even darker route, as Sasha snipes the two Marleyan guards who were actually nice to Gabi, right in front of her, before departing with Connie, after they place signal lights on the building.
This grim reminder for Marley will certainly create a lot of Eren types, ready for revenge against Paradis, and Gabi is definitely one of them, as evidenced by her gritting her teeth in rage so hard that we can literally hear them rattling, followed by her grabbing one of the dead guard’s rifles.
Back to the fight between Mikasa and the Warhammer Titan, Eren has used her distraction to finally locate Lara Tyber, who is under the stage because the Warhammer Titan’s user can exist outside the main body and control the form with a cord.
Eren swan dives off the building and grabs this cord, although before this there is a slight inconsistency of Eren’s right pants leg having mysteriously grown back.
That’s only a small thing though because the action of the episode drew me right back into the moment, as Eren pulls Lara out from under the stage in a crystal, much like Annie after she was captured, and disconnects her from her Titan.
Before he can eat her though, Porco interrupts, catching Eren unawares and ready to eat him.
He would have succeeded it to had it not been for Levi himself, who cuts Porco’s jaw so he can’t bite down, forcing him to flee.
Not that he gets very far because a Thunder Spear blows him right off the building and he is quickly surrounded by the battle hardened scouts.
Porco is both confused and horrified about how the scouts are going to try and kill him, not understanding because he thought himself superior as a Titan.
Well, the scouts have just proved him wrong, moving in to slaughter him.
Porco was definitely right about one thing though, these are “the devils of Paradis” as Levi looks especially demonic, rushing in to kill Porco and bringing an exciting cliffhanger for the episode.
So, overall, a fantastic episode, no problems, right?
Oh, how I wish this was the case because now we have to talk about fandom toxicity.
Every fandom has its toxic side but Attack on Titan‘s reared its ugly head in the aftermath of this episode.
A lot of the episode was CGI, from the Titans to the Scouts, and this angered many “fans” to the point that they harassed not only the directors and animators of the episode, but people who didn’t have anything to do with the episode, like “Declaration of War’s” director.
No matter what you may think of the CGI, attacking someone over it is never acceptable.
Criticize all you want but never harass.
Personally speaking, I didn’t even think the CGI was that bad for the most part, especially with the Titans.
Does it look as good as Wit’s 2D Titans?
No, but it still looks good, even spectacular at times.
If anything, my main problem with the CGI is its usage on the Scouts, like during Jean’s introduction.
The CGI there looks particularly sketchy to the point that I was drawn out of the scene for a couple of seconds.
However, most of these CGI for the Scouts come in quick shots, not giving viewers time to notice, unless they deliberately paused certain moments, so it mostly works fine.
Even though I do have a bit of a problem with the CGI on the Scouts though, I still think the CGI is good overall and nothing to get angry over.
In any case, it is certainly never okay to attack Mappa staff, even if the CGI were atrocious, which, again, I don’t think it is.
So, all in all, “The Warhammer Titan” is a great follow up to last week’s amazing “Declaration of War.”
I can’t wait to see how the remaining chapters of the Marley Arc are adapted and hopefully there won’t be any more toxicity surrounding it.

The Promised Neverland Season Two, Episode Two Review: The Truth of This World.

4 stars
After a great start to the second season of The Promised Neverland, episode two continues the quality of the last, delivering plenty of new information for the story, and formally introducing two new and interesting characters. 
These two characters are Mujika (Atsumi Tanezaki) and Sonju (Shin’ichirō Kamio), two demons who, mysteriously, do not want to eat Emma, Ray and the other Grace Field children. 
Directed by Ayako Kurata, the episode follows the kids getting to know these two demons, their way of life, and eventually learning the truth of their world, or rather worlds. 
I say worlds because Sonju reveals later on in the episode that the demon and human worlds are split because of a 1000 year old promise.
Humans and demons had been in constant state of war before this, and the promise not only separated their worlds but allowed peace between them, at the cost of many sacrifices because those humans who were left behind are now breed, butchered and fed to the demons as livestock, in various farms.
This is a startling revelation that makes Emma and Ray cheer for joy, much to Sonju’s, and I’m sure the audience’s, shock. 
The reason for their excitement is because, even though they are in a terrible situation, Emma and Ray now know that there is a place for them in the human world, they just have to get there. 
Although, this will obviously be a tough ordeal because, as Sonju and Mujika point out, they are an exception, not eating the children for religious reasons, and most demons who gladly gobble up the Grace Field kids.   
Along with this dark piece of information, however, there is also humor, with a scene of Gilda comedically coming at Emma with a fire in her eyes, demanding that she not push herself until she faints again. 
This humorous confrontation then transfers to Ray, who is told by the younger children that he keeps trying to die, not helped by Sonju comedically cutting in to say that Ray definitely would have died if he hadn’t saved him. 
Sadly, the entire episode can’t all be jokes because we have to get into the depressing stuff again, as Emma loses another piece of her innocence, when she asks to go hunting with Sonju. 
Emma manages to kill a bird for food, with Sonju’s guidance, and I absolutely love how this scene  was framed to mirror Conny’s death from the very first episode, with the falling water droplet. 
Even more of a parallel is when Sonju has Emma perform the act of Gupna on the bird, draining its blood with the vampiric plant Vina, again, just like Conny. 
This tragic scene is immediately followed by the cliffhanger of the episode, as Emma’s face is revealed, looking extremely depressed, despite her claims that she is fine, showing how she has lost more of her innocence. 
Given how long of a journey she and the Grace Field children have, if they are to ever reach the safety of the human world, it is very likely she will lose more of it. 
All in all, episode two is another enjoyable episode of The Promised Neverland  season two, and it will be interesting to see if this quality can be maintained, or even grow, as we get closer to my favorite arc of the story. 

Cyberpunk 2077 Review: A Fun, Buggy, Hot Mess.

3 and a half stars
I remember the first time I saw the 48 minute gameplay reveal for Cyberpunk 2077.
It blew my socks off with its quality and I became incredibly excited for its release.
Years passed and each tease got me more and more excited, especially the reveal that Keanu Reeves would play a big part in the game’s story, playing Johnny Silverhand.
My hype for the game was to the point that I was almost as excited for it as I was for The Last of Us Part 2.
However, going in, I knew I had to temper my expectations because it had been hyped up to levels I was sure even it could not surpass.
Yet, I was still confident that CD PROJEKT RED would deliver a complete and finished product.
Then, news came out that they were restricting those who reviewed the PC version, so they could only use footage from the trailers.
Even more suspicious was them completely banning any reviews for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox versions.
At the time, I reasoned that they were just trying to hide the bugs that would be fixed with the day one patch and the game would run fine on my PlayStation 4.
Oh, how wrong I was.
I’m not saying anything new by going over how incredibly buggy the console versions were upon release and, honestly, still are.
I just completed my first playthrough of the game and lost count of how many bugs I encountered.
My game crashed a total of five times, seven if you count the two times I had to quit because a bug made it literally unplayable.
There were a litany of other glitches I experienced, like characters speeding up like they were the flash, the frame rate dropping when driving, characters calling me in the middle of a mission when I’m already talking to another character.

There are numerous bugs in the world of Cyberpunk 2077. Too many to count, in fact.

Not only this but Cyberpunk 2077 is also lacking features that have been in open world games for almost two decades.
The most prominent example of this is the police system, which is 100% broken, as police officers spawn right in front of you and give up chasing you after you get a block away from them.
Driving is also a pain because of how difficult cars are to drive, the already stated low frame rate, and the mini map being way too small.
At least I found driving around on motorcycles to be pretty fun.
However, despite all of these numerous problems, I still found myself having fun with Cyberpunk 2077.
Yes, it definitely should not have been released in this state, but I still found myself enjoying the story, its characters, and gameplay.
You play as V (Gavin Drea for male, and Cherami Leigh for female), a mercenary living in the dystopian Night City, who is hired to steal a biochip from a corpo.
Of course, this heist goes completely wrong and V has to place the biochip in their head to save it.
Unfortunately, after a near death experience, the biochip begins to kill V and replace them with the digitized soul of Johnny Silverhand. 

Keanu Reeves does a great job as Silverhand, although I do find it a bit hard to imagine him as a rockstar with his voice.

And so, V and Johnny have to work together to find a way to remove the biochip, without killing V, encountering a large cast of colorful characters along the way.
Takemura (Rome Kanda), Judy (Karla Tassara), Panam (Emily Woo Zeller), River (Robbie Daymond), Kerry (Mathew Yang King), Jackie (Jason Hightower), I came to care about so many of these great characters, to the point that, when one of them died in a mission, I actually looked up how to save them, then went back and did just that because I liked them so much.
The growing bond between V and Johnny is also great to see, as it grows across the game and Johnny continuously gives you advice on what to do in many compelling missions.
Of these numerous fun quests, I would have to say that my favorite is actually a side quest called Sinnerman.
The opening to that mission is just so intriguing and, as it goes on, it raises some really interesting moral questions about belief, forgiveness and corporate exploitation.
Along with the great quests, there are also some intense gameplay mechanics, with different play styles offered to the different builds you use.
I focused on my stealth and turned my V into a Cyberpunk ninja, occasionally using Mantis Blades to slice up my enemies.
This action went along great with the score, which is absolutely phenomenal in every way.
I can easily see myself listening to this game’s music for years to come.
These great elements of story, character and gameplay combine into the endings, of which there are numerous.
Unfortunately, these endings are mostly based on what you choose right at the end rather than across the game, but they all offer different perspectives for the story, and different conclusions for each of the characters, delivering a satisfying experience.

How the game ends, and who stays in control of V’s body by the end, is entirely up to the player’s actions.

It’s just a shame that this satisfaction is watered down by the extremely buggy nature of the game, and the shady business practices that went towards hiding this from players.
I may have not enjoyed The Last of Us Part 2’s story to the point that it made me personally find playing it to be a negative experience, but at least Naughty Dog didn’t screw with players by releasing a buggy mess.
Once again, I know I’m not the only person pointing out the hypocrisy of a game preaching against corporations when said game falls victim to corporate greed, but it’s still quite depressing.
Cyberpunk 2077 could have been one of the best games of 2020 that delivered a worthwhile experience, even if it could never live up to all the hype.
Instead, it will most likely be remembered for its buggy launch and practicing the very corporate actions it speaks against.
Still a fun game overall but one with a corporate shadow leaning over it. 

Attack on Titan Season Four, Episode Five, Declaration of War Review: The Moment We’ve All Been Waiting For.

5 stars
Chapter 100, “Declaration of War.”
Pretty much every Attack on Titan fan who has read the manga can easily recall this chapter.
I can still remember sitting in stunned silence after reading it because of what had just occurred.
So, needless to say, I was extremely excited to see one of my favorite chapters adapted in the anime.
Well, having seen it, I can say that Mappa and director Teruyuki Ōmine definitely pulled it off, providing a nail biting delivery for “Declaration of War.”
The episode starts off with a flashback to Reiner, Bertholdt and Annie’s time in the scouts, as was seen in Episode Three.
This time, we have a scene of Bertholdt wondering why the man who hung himself in the settlement chose to tell them his story before he did so,  believing it was because he wanted to be judged.
At this point, the scene perfectly transitions to Reiner about to be judged by Eren, as they meet for the first time in four years.
Falco, the sweet boy, has absolutely no idea about the absolute disaster he has unintentionally caused, completely unaware as Eren subtly threatens all the people in the building above them by showing his cut hand, threatening to transform if Reiner tries anything.
From here, we see the build up to Willy’s declaration, as he is visited by the mysterious Kiyomi Azumabito from last episode, who seems to know something, given that she leaves before the festival.
Another interesting scene is between Karina and Annie’s father, where Mr Leonhart insists that his daughter is still alive, which is basically just Isayama’s way of saying, yes, Annie’s in the story, even if she’s not important right now.
The final build up scene before the performance sees Zeke, Pieck and Porco being lured away by a mysterious guard who then traps Pieck and Porco in a hole to prevent them from transforming and trying to stop whatever is about to happen.
As a manga reader, it’s been pretty fun to see fan theories about who the mysterious soldier is.
I’ve heard theories about it being Jean, Connie, and, most often, Armin who has had an extreme growth spurt.
In any case, this trapping scene is very well done, building the tension up nicely, and even providing some humor when Pieck’s panzer unit get jealous over Pieck hugging only one of them.
With the threat of enemy Titan Shifters removed, Eren can now confront Reiner in temporary peace and Willy can begin his last speech.
Down in the basement, Reiner asks Eren why he came here and Eren chillingly replies “the same reason you did” and follows this up by telling Reiner multiple times that he is “the same as you.”
This shows just how much Eren has grown over the four year time skip, going from hot headed to calm, collective, and even reflective over his situation.
He is clearly not the same arrogant character who I couldn’t stand all the way back in season one, and Yuki Kaji does a fantastic job voicing this calmer version of Eren.
Another voice actor who deserves praise for their work this episode is Kazuhiko Inoue, who does a fantastic job with delivering Willy’s lines, during his epic speech.
This voice acting, accompanying the gruesome imagery of the performance, makes for a great use of exposition that keeps the viewer engaged while being fed information.
The information Willy conveys is that the Marleyan version of history is a lie (big shock), and that The Great Titan War was actually ended by King Fritz, who conspired with the Tyber family to make a Marleyan, Helos, a hero, and then fled to Paradis Island out of guilt for what his people had done.
Willy revealing this shows how masterfully he can manipulate a crowd because first he reveals the truth, before redirecting the crowd’s anger at a new threat, Eren Jaeger.
Speaking of, Eren knows full well how much of a threat he is, admitting that he might just end up destroying the world, like Willy fears, because of the millions of Colossal Titans in the walls, which he could potentially control.
Falco is horrified that someone he trusted would use him and becomes even more terrified when he realizes the letters Eren had him send were to his “comrades.”
For now though, Eren’s attention is entirely on Reiner as he proceeds to judge him just like the opening of the episode suggested that he would.
However, this judgement is not what we might expect.
Instead of condemning Reiner, like he did in earlier seasons, Eren is shown to have become more understanding of him, as showcased by Eren telling Reiner to forget his promise to make Reiner suffer, admitting that there is good and bad people on both sides of the conflict.
This is followed by the moment that breaks Reiner completely, Eren telling him that he did what he did because he was a brainwashed kid.
Reiner refutes this entirely, falling to his knees and tearfully admitting that he pushed on with the mission to attack Paradis because he wanted to be a hero and he is to blame for Eren’s mother’s death.
Reiner’s voice actor, Yoshimasa Hosaya, did such a great job with Reiner’s tearful repentance that it almost made me cry.
Reiner’s pleas for death are then juxtaposed by Willy saying he doesn’t want to die because “he was born into this world,” and this very line that Eren’s mother spoke years ago finally draws Eren’s attention away from Reiner, as shown by the subtle widening of his eyes.
Maybe Eren is experiencing some hope that he will not have to go through with his plan?
Unfortunately, any hope Eren might have for peace is shattered because Willy follows this up by proclaiming he wants everyone to help him fight the devils of Paradis.
Accepting what he must do and that he really is the same as Reiner, Eren pulls Reiner to his feet, as we get some anime original content of soldiers approaching the basement door, ready to attack Eren.
One might think upon hearing about this scene that it is a pointless attempt at diminishing Eren’s responsibility for what comes next but, thankfully, it comes across more as a way to build tension, rather than try to justify Eren’s horrific act of violence.
And horrific it is, as Eren transforms then and there, killing who knows how many civilians and even Willy Tyber himself, crushing him with massive his fist, before throwing him in the air to be devoured, like a piece of popcorn.
This scene is just fantastic with a great use of sound and music.
That said, some manga readers took issue with the OST in this scene, 2Volt.
Some took such a disliking to this OST usage that they even harassed director Teruyuki Ōmine over it, to the point that he felt depressed.
Critique a scene all you want but if you harass the people behind that scene, you’ve gone way too far.
Personally, I feel that the music worked great and the people who dislike the scene may have had their own preconceived ideas on how the it would go, making them be inevitably disappointed when it didn’t suit their envisioned scene.
Still, even though I thought this final scene was great, there is one issue I have with the episode but it is one I am not ready to deduct points for just yet.
This issue is that there is a cut scene between Willy and Magath that is crucial to understanding both their characters’ motivations.
There is a possibility that this scene could have been moved to episode six, so if we see the scene there then this won’t be an issue, however, if it’s not there, then I think we are missing some crucial development for both these characters.
Like I said though, I am not going to be deducting any points from the episode because there is always the chance of this scene appearing in the future.
Overall, “Declaration of War” is a fantastic adaptation of one of the manga’s best chapters, delivering the point of no return for Eren brilliantly.

Attack on Titan Chapter 136, Devote Your Hearts Review: Jet Pack Pieck!

4 and a half stars
Three more chapters.
That is how long we have before my favorite story comes to an end, at Chapter 139.
It is also a fitting number to conclude Attack on Titan at because of the significance of the numbers 13 and 9 in the series.
For now though, we have Chapter 136, “Devote Your Hearts”, another banger that adds more tension and excitement to the final battle between the Alliance and Eren.
Coming into this battle, I was expecting a lot of character deaths but, once again, no one died in this chapter.
I remember saying in my predictions post for Chapter 137 that I was pretty certain Pieck was going to die because of her predicament at the end of “Battle of Heaven and Earth.”
Well, much like Jean’s fear for Pieck, I was proved “dead wrong” because Pieck not only survived but was also the best character in this chapter, by far.
In what is probably her most epic scene in the entire manga, Pieck runs along the trident of the Warhammer Titan, transforms and kills it, and then transforms multiple times while shooting herself out of her previous Titan forms, as if she was wearing a jet pack!
It is an incredibly epic fight scene and her banter with Jean is quite funny, as she gives this whole speech about him not needing to worry about her and to continue with the mission, only to turn around and see that he is already doing just that, causing her to give a disappointed, “oh.”
However, while this is an epic and funny scene that made me glad Pieck was safe, there were other scenes that raised death flags for characters.
One of these was Reiner when he brings up Falco’s promise to him to protect Gabi “from the dark, dark future we face”, which makes it seem like he is preparing for a heroic sacrifice.
I was wrong about Pieck though so, hopefully, I have been reading too much into this potential death flag.
In any case, Reiner is helping Jean and Pieck by holding off the Warhammer Titans so I wonder which of them will be the one to detonate the explosives on Eren’s nape?
This plan to blow up the nape was devised on Falco’s flying Titan, and it is also here that the second part of the plan was formulated, that Mikasa, Annie and Connie would go to rescue Armin from the Okapi Titan, which holds him captive in a hentai nightmare.
Jokes aside, this is a very emotional scene, as the Alliance finally admits they can no longer hold back on Eren, with both Levi and Connie pointing out that it is too dangerous to do so.
Yet, it is Jean who tragically has to break the news to Mikasa that they have to kill Eren, if they want to stop him.
The look on Mikasa’s face after this moment is just beautifully drawn by Hajime Isayama.
Along with this scene being a potential death flag for Eren, with Mikasa maybe being the one to put him down, there are two other hints towards parts of the ending in this opening part of the chapter.
The first of these is pretty minor and that is the survival of Kiyomi and Yelena.
This chapter confirms that they stayed behind in life boats after Falco’s transformation caused their ship to capsize and did not go with them to the final battle, which pretty much guarantees that they will survive the story.
A much bigger hint at the ending comes from Gabi, when she mentions the shining centipede, or, as Kruger previously called it, “the source of all living matter”, which emerged from Eren’s head when Gabi decapitated him.
Gabi says that if they can decapitate him again, they might just see this source again, which basically confirms its importance in stopping Eren.
Once this talk is done, the initiation of the plan begins, with Jean and Reiner going to help Pieck (not that she needs help, as I’ve said) and detonate the explosives, and with Annie, Connie and Mikasa going to save Armin, leading to more intense action sequences.
This is especially the case between Mikasa and Annie, as Annie uses Mikasa’s ODM Gear to throw her towards the Okapi Titan that has Armin.
Although exciting, this big action moment unfortunately fails, with the Okapi Titan now heading for Bertholdt’s Colossal Titan, which is being controlled by Ymir.
This brings us into the final part of the chapter, where we see Armin, who is thankfully not fully experiencing the Okapi’s tongue attack anymore.
Armin is now facing his unconscious body and yells and it that he hates himself and that his body has always betrayed him.
Just like Mikasa shouting that she is strong in Chapter 135, this scene of Armin perfectly reflects his character growth since the Trost Arc.
Where Armin slowly began to grow confidence in his own strength from that arc onwards, this final arc has been slowly diminishing that to the point that Armin is now at his breaking point.
However, at his lowest moment, who is the perfect character for him to meet?
Why, Zeke, of course!
That’s right, the monkey is finally back, and Armin has made contact with him after realizing he is not dying but in the Paths.
Their interaction is brief, with the chapter ending abruptly just as it begins, but it does raise a very interesting question.
Zeke asks Armin if Ymir ate him too, which makes me wonder if Zeke was eaten when Eren transformed, only since his mind was in the Paths when it happened, he is now trapped there.
Whether Zeke is truly alive or not, though, I am very excited to see how he and Armin will work together since the two have never even talked to one another before.
Both are at their lowest points in the series and they may just need each other to climb out of the dark pits of self doubt that they have found themselves in.
And, hey, with Zeke back, this means Levi can have his final confrontation with him that has been built up forever.
However, it is pretty clear from the way Isayama shows Levi thinking about this in the chapter that it may not be as simple as we think.
Levi notes how the one order he has not been able to follow from Erwin is to kill Zeke.
He also mentions how he doesn’t regret saving Armin over Erwin and even seems to be on the verge of tears when remembering his dead comrades, Erwin and Hange among them.
It is also this scene that the title of the chapter, “Devote Your Hearts” seems to come from, as Levi thinks of how if the Scouts didn’t dream of “an absurdly innocent and idealized world” then “it won’t have been worth what they devoted.”
As the story has been drawing to a close, more and more chapters have been given names that have significance to the story, first “Wings of Freedom” and now “Devote Your Hearts.”
Back to the actual chapter, it’s time to talk about my one criticism, which is the confrontation between the Eldians from Liberio and the Marleyan soldiers.
The Eldians approach the soldiers, leading to the two sides pointing guns at one another because, of course, the Marleyans just can’t stop being racist even though it’s the freaking apocalypse.
Annie’s father tries to cool the tension but it just doesn’t work, until the leader of the soldiers, Secretary Muller, arrives with his gun at the ready.
The chapter then cuts to the Alliance on Falco’s back, hearing the gunshots, the implication being that both sides started shooting at each other.
Only, I am pretty sure this is not what happened.
There’s no way that Muller, the guy who was just saying that he wanted to abandon hatred two chapters ago, is just going to give into that hatred again.
No, most likely the shots fired were Muller getting everyone’s attention to stand down.
It just feels pretty predictable, so I don’t see why Isayama had to give us a fake out.
Although I could be completely wrong about this and, if something else happens and it makes perfect sense, I’ll be sure to correct this criticism.
All in all, though, Chapter 136, “Devote Your Hearts”, is another fantastic Attack on Titan chapter that feels like it is setting up the last three nicely.
It does end a bit abruptly but so did Chapter 120 and that was followed up by my two favorite chapters of the story so far, so let’s hope that this abrupt ending points to a similar trend, with incredible chapters to come.