Directed by Shōta Goshozono and Takeshi Satō, Episode Eight of Chainsaw Man, “Gunfire” begins with an anime orginal moment that is very reminiscant of the scene where we followed Aki on his morning routine in Episode Four.
Just like that scene, “Gunfire” begins with us seeing Himeno’s nightly routine, before she makes a sexual advance on Denji.
The shots of her preparing a shower for herself and then later grabbing a beer are all just as well animated.
The episode then picks up from the last one, with Himeno propositioning Denji.
Again, the shots are well animated here, although with one exception.
There is a bird’s eye view shot looking down on the both of them which did look quite off to me.
However, this shot only lasts about five seconds or so, so it’s fine.
For a little while, it looks like Denji is actually going to sleep with Himeno, until she finds a chupa chup in his pocket.
This was given to Denji by Makima in the form of an indirect kiss, making Denji realize that he wants his first time to be with Makima, so he refuses to sleep with Himeno, instead taking the floor while Himeno passes out drunk on the bed.
The next morning, she and Denji have breakfast togethor.
Not remembering what happened last night, Himeno asks Denji if they had sex and is relieved to learn that they did not stating, “They toss you in jail for doing that kind of thing with minors.”
Yeah, not gonna lie, the whole Himeno making moves on Denji while she’s drunk is pretty creepy.
At least with Makima it was treated more sinister, since she was clearly manipulating him.
With Himeno its treated more like a joke.
This unintentionally creepy moment is thankfully moved on from quickly, as Himeno now offers to form an alliance with Denji.
He will help her get togethor with Aki, and Himeno, in turn, will help Denji get togethor with Makima.
Well, someone had better tell the assassins planning Makima’s murder to hold off then… oh, wait.
As a manga reader, it was pretty funny to watch the reaction of anime only viewers when Makima gets unexpectedly assassinated on a train to Kyoto.
Now they have a better idea of Chainsaw Man’s crazy pacing.
Often times, scenes will seem like slow build up, only to flip on a dime to absolute insanity.
In other stories this eratic pacing would be a problem but Tatsuki Fujimoto is such a good writer that he makes it work and the adaptation follows through on this.
After Makima is killed, the episode then shows that her assassination was not a one off, as other attempts are made on the lives of Devil Hunters across Tokyo.
Among the potential victims are Kobeni and Arai, who are unexpectedly targeted by an old lady but we do not see if they make it or not.
We do, however, see what happens to Denji, Himeno, Aki and Power, when they meet togethor for food.
They are confronted by a mysterious man, who just randomly inserts himself into their conversation, going on about his murderous yakuza grandpa.
The pieces slowly start coming togethor until the man pulls out a picture of him with his grandfather and we that it was the yakuza boss who had pretty much enslaved Denji in the first episode, until he was turned into a zombie by the Zombie Devil and then finished off by Denji.
Now supposedly working for the Gun Devil and out for revenge, the man takes out a gun and fires at the group, hitting Denji, Himeno and Aki.
Only Power manages to dodge and punch the man back, more than earning her noble prize.
Power’s attack gives Aki enough time to unleash the Fox Devil, which eats the man, only for him to reveal himself to be a hybrid devil like Denji, named Katana Man (Daiko Hamano).
With Denji out of comission and Himeno mortally wounded, Aki is left with no choice but to use the sword which drains some of his life to defeat Katana Man.
What follows is a fantastic fight sequence, as Aki stabs Katana Man with his nail blade three times, resulting in the Curse Devil intervening and supposedly killing him.
As Aki prepares to have Himeno taken to a hostpital, he is shocked to realize Katana Man used a gun, which should be impossible to get.
However, while Aki is talking about this, there is a piece of rubble in the way of his mouth, so we cannot see his lips move.
Rather than a stylistic choice, this came off to me as if they did not have the budget or time to animate his mouth moving after the fight scene so put this in the way until they could fix it later.
I may be wrong about this though but, if I’m not, then I do hope it is changed later because it is a little weird.
This is a minor moment though and it is easily forgotten when an unknown woman (Yō Taichi)shows up to help Katana Man to his feet, since he can revive just like Denji.
The mysterious girl orders Katana Man to kill Aki, which he certainly makes a good attempt at with an attack that causes quite the jump scare with the delayed blood splatter from Aki.
The girl then tells Katana to finish Aki off.
Desperate to save him, and with no other option, Himeno makes a final contract with the Ghost Devil.
She will give the Devil all of herself in exchange for using its full power.
The Ghost Devil’s true form then appears and Himeno directs it to attack Katana Man, all the while thinking about how Aki still cries for Devil Hunters who die.
Himeno’s last words to Aki are that she wants him to live so he can cry for her.
The Ghost Devil is then eaten by the mysterious girl’s Snake Devil and we see that Himeno has completley vanished, only her clothes remaining.
And so “Gunfire” comes to an end with Himeno’s sacrifice.
We then get the ED, “First Death” by TK.
Given TK’s reputation, like with his brilliant Tokyo Ghoul OP, I knew this was going to be a fantastic ED and he did not disappoint.
“Gunfire” was yet another fantastic Chainsaw Man episode.
Katana Man and the yakuza’s ambush was handled excellently and, aside from a few weird animation moments, I would not have had it any other way.
If I was excited for anime only viewers’ reactions to this episode then I am doubly so for the next one.
I cannot wait to see how they will react to Makima’s revival, her supernatural attack on the yakuza and Kobeni rescuing Denji.
Will they think Makima is the Gun Devil because of this, like I did, and will this be the start of them warming up to Kobeni, like it was for me?
Only time will tell.
Either way, the next episode will be another action packed one that I am very excited to see.
Going into Episode Eight of House of the Dragon, “Lord of the Tides”, I was expecting the Geeta Vasant Patel directed episode to be a pretty standard one but nothing special.
This is why I was surprised when “Lord of the Tides” more than exceeded my expectations, becoming my favourite episode of of the show thus far.
The episode picks up six years after the events of “Driftmark.”
In that time, Corlys has returned to fighting in the Stepstones, only to suffer a potentially lethal wound, from which his life now hangs in the balance.
And so the succession to the Driftwood Throne is now in question.
Ordinarily, it would pass to Lucerys, like Corlys wanted because, even though he is a bastard, “history does not remember blood, it remembers names,” as Corlys said last episode.
However, Corlys’ brother Vaemond wants the throne to stay in the Velaryon bloodline, so he petitions the Iron Throne to hear his claim.
This would not have ended well for Vaemond had Viserys been sitting the throne but, as Vaemond points out to Rhaenys, it is Alicent who is in charge while Viserys is bedridden with his sickness.
Meanwhile, on Dragonstone, we see Daemon retrieving a clutch of eggs from Syrax for his children with Rhanerya.
These are Aegon, Viserys, and the baby soon to be born.
His subsequent meeting with the dragon keepers is quite funny, as Daemon seems like a giddy child, having retrieved the dragon eggs for his own kids.
This giddiness is dulled, however, when he recieves a letter from Baela (Bethany Antonia), whom has become a ward of Rhaenys, warning him of Vaemond’s incoming attempt to have Lucerys illegitimized so he can take the Driftwood Throne.
Upon Daemon going to inform Rhanerya of this, he finds her tutoring Jace (Harry Collett) in High Valyrian.
Rhanerya is understandably distressed by the news of Vaemond’s actions, even more so by the uncertainty of which side Rhaneys will take, due to her believing Rhanerya and Daemon had Laenor killed so they could marry.
In the end, Rhanerya and Daemon travel to King’s Landing, only to recieve a frosty reception, as only one loyal lord greets them, despite Rhanerya being the heir.
Not only this but the Targaryen iconography seen in previous episodes has been entirely replaced by ones representing the Faith of the Seven, which the Hightowers worship, showing just how far their influence has spread.
While Daemon and Rhanerya wish to continue Targaryen traditions, as seen with Rhanerya teaching Jace High Valyrian, the Hightowers seek to replace this.
Even worse is the state of Viserys, whom Rhanerya and Daemon find bedridden, with his leprocy having consumed half of his face.
Daemon’s reaction to seeing his brother like this is a particular gut punch.
The scene turns more heart warming when Rhanerya introduces her father to Aegon and Viserys.
As for why Rhanerya would also name one of her children Aegon, in the book it is most likely a slight against Alicent.
King Viserys is overjoyed to see a grandchild named after him, saying he has a name “fit for a king,” only for pain to overwhelm him, needing milk of the poppy to sooth him.
Meanwhile, Alicent has problems of her own, as Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) has raped a servant named Dyana.
Maddie Evans’ performance as the abused Dyana is gut wrenching and you cannot help but feel sorry for her and disgusted at Alicent’s actions, as she pays her off with gold to keep silent, gives her a tea to prevent pregnancy (which is kind of hypocritical since she judged Rhanerya for this in Episode Five) and then sends her away.
Alicent then goes to berate Aegon over what he did to Dyana, with Aegon grossly saying, “It was just harmless fun.”
When Alicent slaps Aegon and calls him “no son of mine”, Aegon throws a pity party, saying nothing he does is good enough for Alicent or Viserys.
Well, if you want your parents’ love and affection, Aegon, maybe you could start by not sexually assaulting women and be an actual decent human being for a change?
Just an idea.
The argument between Aegon and Alicent is then interrupted by Helaena (Phia Saban), who wonders where Dyana is because she was supposed to dress her children with Aegon.
Alicent then embraces Helaena, clearly regretting marrying her to Aegon.
Helaena seems like the only completley innocent character on the Green’s side, so you have to feel sorry for her being married to such a piece of work.
Afterwards, Alicent meets with Rhanerya and Daemon who both accuse her of keeping Viserys drugged up on milk of the poppy.
Alicent does make a good point, however, as she states that Viserys is in a great deal of pain without it, something we see to certainly be true.
Meanwhile, Jace and Lucerys (Elliot Grihault) are looking around the training yard when they see an older Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) training with Ser Criston Cole.
I have to say, of all the aged up actors, Mitchell is particularly great as Aemond.
He gives off the perfect feeling of menace as, after defeating Criston, he calls out to his nephews without even looking at them.
Despite only having one eye, Aemond’s senses are keen, making him quite dangerous.
Any potential confrontation between Aemond and Jace and Luke is interrupted with the arrival of Vaemond, who meets with Alicent and Otto in an attempt to convince them to support his claim, promising his loyalty in the coming Targaryen succession crisis.
Meanwhile, Rhanerya meets with Rhaneys in an attempt to persuade her to her side.
Interestingly, Rhanerya does not reveal that Laenor is alive to win Rhaenys’ support.
This shows just how deep her loyalty to Laenor goes.
As for Rhaenys, Rhanerya suggests marrying Jace to Baela and Luke to Rhaena (Phoebe Campbell), which would make Baela the future Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.
Rhanerya says this is a generous yet desperate offer, and Rhanerya hits back that desperation does not matter because it would still benefit Rhaenys and her grandchildren.
However, Rhaenys is correct in her next comeback that such an alliance would be worthless if the Hightowers succeed in declaring Rhanerya’s children illegitimate.
That night, Rhanerya visits her ailing father, begging him to help her, bringing up Aegon the Conqueror’s dream about the Prince that was Promised.
This is something that will have both positive and disastrous consequences.
The next morning, Vaemond makes his petition to Otto, who sits the Iron Throne in Viserys’ absence.
Things look dire for Rhanerya until, in what is the best moment of the show so far, Viserys enters the throne room and stumbles to the Iron Throne with his cane.
Much like Alicent’s entrance in the green dress during Episode Five, this epic entrance is accompanied by Ramin Djawadi’s excellent score, hyping up the bravery of this moment.
Viserys is in incredible pain, yet he still struggles to the throne to protect his daughter.
He stumbles twice, the first time refusing help and the second time accepting help from Daemon of all people.
The brothers went from at odds during the beginning of the show to reconciled near the end, and it is beautiful to watch Daemon help Viserys to the throne with gentle encouragement and then place his fallen crown upon his head.
Now upon the throne, Viserys asks to hear Rhaenys thoughts on who should inherit the Driftwood Throne, since she is the only one who would understand her husband’s wishes.
Rhaenys makes her decision, supporting Lucerys’ claim, backing Rhanerya.
However, she also plays the situation in her own favour, by announcing the betrothal between Jace and Baela, and Luke and Rhaena.
Viserys accepts this and reaffirms Lucerys claim, only for Vaemond to angrily denounce this.
Spurred on by Daemon, Vaemond goes on to call Jace and Lucerys bastards but goes a step even further, calling Rhanerya a whore.
And the Darwin Award goes to… Vaemond Velaryon for stupidly calling the heir to the Iron Throne a whore, somehow thinking this would not get him executed!
To Vaemond’s credit, he may have known this would get him killed but he decided to die getting the truth of Rhanerya’s children’s parentage out into the open once and for all.
In the end, his death is pretty quick and brutal, with Daemon cutting half his head off right after Viserys demands his tongue, stating, “he can keep his tongue.”
The reaction to this from the Hightowers are priceless, with all of them being horrified, except for Aemond who appears to be quite impressed with his uncle/brother-in law… man, Targaryen family trees are weird.
That night, after recovering somewhat, Viserys orders a dinner to take place with his family in the hopes of reconciling the two factions.
His speech is heart breaking and it seems to get through to Rhanerya and Alicent in particular who both raise their cups to one another.
Alicent even says that Rhanerya would make a good queen, seemingly accepting her rise to the throne following her own son’s terrible actions.
Aegon attempts to provoke Jace by making a sexual advance on Baela but Jace plays this off, being the better person.
This all prompts Helaena to make her own toast, encouraging Baela and Rhaena in their marriages.
“It’s not so bad,” she says. “Mostly he just ignores you, except when he’s drunk.”
Helaena is just too pure for the terrible world of Westeros.
Her toast leads to Jace dancing with her afterwards, in what is both a noble attempt to cheer her up and also to get back at Aegon for his pot stirring.
Much celebration follows, with the two sides seemingly getting along and Viserys heart is clearly warmed at the sight, as he clearly thinks his family has reconciled.
So, of course, as soon as Viserys departs, due to the pain he feels, fighting breaks out.
A pig is placed in front of Aemond and this clearly reminds both him and Lucerys of “the pink dread” prank he, Jace and Aegon played on Aemond when they were younger.
Lucerys tries not to laugh at the memory.
It was really not a good plan to provoke the guy whose eye you cut out and now definitley has a grudge against you, Lucerys.
This is proven when Aemond makes his own toast to his nephew’s health, calling them “Strong” in a clear reference to their true father.
Jace punches Aemond in retalitation but Daemon steps in before a brawl can break out and someone else loses an eye.
As Jace and Luke go to their rooms, Aemond and Daemon face off silently, before Aemond relents and leaves.
Alicent and Rhanerya then reconcile further, with Rhanerya saying she will return to visit “on dragon back.”
After Rhanerya and her family leave, Alicent puts Viserys to bed, giving him milk of the poppy again for the pain.
Unfortunately, this has the worst of consequences, as it causes Viserys to hallucinate, thinking that Alicent is Rhanerya from the night before, asking about the Prince that was Promised.
Viserys response causes Alicent to think that he is saying Aegon should be king over Rhanerya, when he is actually saying Rhanerya is the heir who will continue Aegon the Conqueror’s line.
I have made it clear that I have disliked the inclusion of the whole Prince that was Promised plotline, given that it never amounted to anything in Game of Thrones.
However, I think this was the perfect usage of it, with this natural misunderstanding between Alicent and Viserys leading to the Dance of the Dragons.
If this misunderstanding never happened then Alicent very may well have supported Rhanerya’s claim over Aegon’s, following Viserys’ death.
And because Viserys dies he can never clear up the misunderstanding that just happened.
Viserys passes alone, in his bed, seeing his dear Aemma in his final moments.
“My love,” he whispers, as he breaths his last breath.
So dies King Viserys Targaryen, the First of his Name, King of the Andals, and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm.
With Viserys’ time on the show now at an end, I am now going to say what many people have been saying since this episode aired… Give Paddy Considine his Emmy!
Seriously, the guy gives an incredible performance as Viserys, turning the bland character from the book into one of the most tragic characters in the show.
If he is not at least nominated for this role then I do not what the world is coming to.
Viserys’ storyline alone makes “Lord of the Tides” my favourite episode of House of the Dragon thus far.
It is a fantastic episode, which serves as a great goodbye to Viserys and is the final calm before the storm.
And now the dragons dance.
Book Spoiler Section:
Once again for the book spoiler section, I will begin by attempting to guess what Helaena’s prophecy means.
“Beware the beast beneath the boards,” is what Helaena murmers at the dinner party.
I think this is a reference to Blood and Cheese, the tragic event in the Dance of the Dragons, where assassins are sent to kill one of Helaena’s children in retaliation for Luke’s death.
It will certainly be a horrifying moment in the show when this happens in Season Two, considering how sweet Helaena is.
“Lord of the Tides” also has a lot of great foreshadowing for the future of the show.
There is Rhanerya saying she will return “on dragon back”, which she does when she takes King’s Landing during the Dance.
There is Aemond and Daemon’s brief stand off, hinting at their final fight above the God’s Eye.
We see Mysaria has a servant of Alicent as an informer, foreshadowing her future role as a Mistress of Whisperers.
Then, there is Viserys comment about his grandson having a name “fit for a king,” which Viserys the younger will eventually become.
Although, this is decades down the line, so we likely will not see it in the show.
The next book spoiler I wish to discuss is actually not related to the episode itself.
This spoiler concerns the character of Daeron.
In the book, he is Alicent and Visery’s fourth child who has a key role to play in the Dance. However, he has been completley absent in the show.
Many have speculated that he is squiring in Old Town and George R.R Martin has seemingly confirmed Daeron’s existence in the show.
However, him not even being mentioned previously will make it quite strange for show only viewers to meet him in the following seasons.
I just hope he is introduced right and in a way that feels natural, despite him not being mentioned.
Following the last episode’s cliffhanger of Yor’s brother Yuri learning of his sister’s marriage, Episode Eight of Spy x Family, “The Counter-Secret Police Cover Operation” depicts the humorous fallout.
Directed by Yukiko Imai, the episode begins with a brief look at Anya’s schooling, which predictably is not going all that well, as she bombs the answer to a question so hard it leaves everyone staring at her.
Naturally, we then cut to Twilight lying to his Handler about how long it should take Anya to be an Imperial Scholar, something the Handler picks up on pretty quickly.
This all leads to her telling him that one on their agents at Yor’s work, Jim Hayward, has been captured by the State Security Service, which is then shown happening.
These three scenes all flow togethor nicely, going from Anya failing at school, to Twilight lying about her grades, to Hayward being captured after the Handler talks about him.
It gets even better with Yor’s introduction this episode as, after witnessing Hayward being taken away, she and her colleagues talk about Yuri, who plans to drop by the Forger household, while also introducing his quite frankly weird obsession with his sister, before cutting to Hayward being interrogated.
This all builds to the reveal of Yuri as a State Security Service agent, with him interrogating Hayward after his superiors get nothing out of him.
How does Yuri begin this expert interrogation?
Why, by talking about his sister, of course!
It’s a running theme with him and an honestly uncomfortable one.
Although, it’s thankfully mostly played for humor rather than completley serious, at least in this episode.
This interrogation also goes to show Yuri’s darker side, with him appearing to be cheerful when it begins, only for him to turn violent when he proves Hayward’s guilt and states his devotion to protecting the country his sister lives in.
Cue another great cut, as the scene transitions from Yuri pretty much saying that he will resort to any torture to meet his goal, to Anya watching her favourite cartoon, where Bondman refuses to submit to torture.
This leads to Twilight realising Anya can learn how to study when she views it through the lens of her cartoons, before Yor runs in to warn them of Yuri’s eventual visit.
Thankfully, Twilight is able to make the room look more lovey-dovey before Yuri’s arrival, leading to a repeat of Anya assuming they are flirting, which both of her parents vehemently deny again.
Yuri arrives not long after Anya falls asleep, carrying a ridiculously large bouquet of flowers, ready to test if Twilight is good enough for his sister.
What follows is various comedic moments as Twilight and Yuri act as though they are getting along around Yor, while their inner monologues highlight their suspicions of one another, with Twilight eventually deducing that Yuri is with the Secret Police.
Before this moment, however, Yuri understandably asks for an explanation as to why Yor would not tell him about her marriage for an entire year.
So, what with Yor being an expert assassin, she surely has a great lie ready to go, right?
Well, not exactly because her explanation is that she forgot to tell Yuri and then she forgot that she forgot to.
Twilight is understandably baffled by explanation but even more baffled that Yuri beleives it.
The narrator then notes that when it comes to his sister, Yuri’s “sense of logic goes out the window.”
Is this funny?
Is this creepy?
Thankfully, as I said earlier, Yuri’s obsession with Yor is treated comedically rather than seriously so that does help somewhat.
This also does lead into the funniest moment of the episode, when we see a flashback of a young Yor returning to take care of a child Yuri, sometime after their parents’ deaths.
The reason this is the funniest scene in the episode is because Yor is covered in blood when she does this, definitley having killed someone as part of her assasination job, and does not even bother to clean up when going to take care of her kid brother.
Cutting back to the present, Yuri’s expanation of why he cares for Yor so much leads to him getting more and more agitated, to the point that he actually knocks over a glass.
When Yor and Twilight attempt to clean it up, their hands touch, causing them to flinch back, naturally tipping off Yuri’s investigative skills, as he becomes suspicious, since any married couple would not be afraid to touch hands.
Therefore, in order to prove their marriage, he demands that they kiss in front of him.
And so, Twilight leans in to kiss a mortified Yor, ending the episode on the cliffhanger of whether our main couple will actually kiss.
Overall, “The Counter-Secret Police Cover Operation” is another good episode of Spy x Family.
My only criticism of it is that I wish Yuri was merely overprotective of Yor and not have this obsession he clearly has with her, since it is quite creepy.
Otherwise, the episode is pretty good, with the way scenes flow togethor being especially well done.
Although I have had some issues with Amazon Prime’s adaptation of The Wheel of Time, mostly to do with the premiere episode, I overall enjoyed the show up to Episode Seven… then I watched Episode Eight. Directed by Ciarian Donnely again, this episode, titled “The Eye of the World”, is without question the weakest of the season, so far. This is especially bad considering this is the first season’s finale, and I am really hoping it is not an indication of the quality of future seasons. Admittedly, when “The Eye of the World” first started, I was pretty excited for it. The reason for this is that the cold open for the episode is our first introduction to Rand’s prior life, Lews Therin Talamon (Alexander Karim), the Dragon Reborn… wait “reborn?” Yeah, that was the first sign of trouble in the episode because there are quite a few inaccuracies to the most simple parts of the lore in this opening scene, like Lews Therin’s title, and Latra (Katie Brayben) somehow knowing the Dark One would taint the male half of the One Power. Seriously, how the heck did she predict that? Although, I was able to look past these issues during my first watch of the episode because I liked how the scene was performed in old tongue. It really showed a commitment to the world building of the lore, even if some parts of it were contradicted. We even get a good look at the futuristic setting of the Third Age, which looks oddly good for a time when the Dark One threatened the world. However, I guess they did need to show how far the world had fallen since the Breaking of the World, so it’s not too much of an issue.
We then pick up with our two sets of characters, as Rand and Moiraine make their way through the Blight, towards the Eye of the World, and Lan and the Emond’s Fielders reel from the revelation that Rand is the Dragon Reborn. Lan’s top priority, though, is locating Moiraine, and Nynaeve informs him of how to do so because of a “tell” she has. What this tell is and how Lan has not noticed it after decades of being Moiraine’s Warder is never explained. Another issue is a line Lan says that is translated right from the books. As he is saying goodbye to Nynaeve, he tells her, “I will hate the man you choose. Because he is not me. And I will love him if he makes you smile. You are as beautiful as the sunrise. You are as fierce as a warrior. You are a lioness, Wisdom.” Now, while this is a book accurate line, for the most part, I just don’t think it works here because it feels entirely different from the context of what is happening in this scene. In the books, Lan has quite a different personality, so the reasons for him telling Nynaeve this are for meant to mean something else and thus the line does not match up with the show conversation. Sure, the quote has been changed slightly to try and make more sense for the show but it still does not quite work right. Then there’s the dialogue. Again, it’s true to the book, however the issue is that the dialogue for this adaptation has been more modern so to hear this old fashioned love declaration feels rather strange. Speaking of strange, we then get our first look at the Dark One, who visits Rand in a dream and, honestly, I personally did not find him to be that intimidating. To be fair, I think it’s an issue with the costuming, rather than the acting of Fares Fares. The way his shirt goes down below his jacket makes him look like he got out of bed late, realized he had to go terrorize Rand, and haphazardly put on whatever was there to make it in time.
Also, I’m pretty sure there are some things about this dream scene that contradict key aspects of the series’ lore. This, and the Moiraine fake out death was obvious and annyoing. Unfortunately, this is not the last we’ll see of one in the episode, as can be seen with one of Min’s visions of Nynaeve “dying.” Upon waking, Rand is informed by Moiraine about her plan for him to use a sa’angreal to seal the Dark One away again. Again, though, that’s not how it works in the books but whatever. They do not have a lot of time, though, because the Dark One is sending his most terrifying force against Fal Dara. No, not Trollocs, no, not Mydraals, but terrible CGI! Seriously, what in the light was up with the Trolloc CGI in this episode? Sure, some of the Trollocs did look pretty iffy in previous episodes but the ones here looked so abysmal that it broke all my immersion. It looked like Sharknado quality, I’m not kidding.
To be fair, though, this could have been an issue because of COVID, so it is understandable if that’s the case. Rushing to meet the terrible CGI Trollocs is the show’s unlikeable version of Lord Agelmar, who has left his sister, Lady Amilisa, to defend the city if he falls, which in hindsight is a really stupid decision, but I’ll explain why later. As this is happening, Rand and Moiraine descend into the Eye, only for Rand to be drawn into a dream world where the Dark One shows him his ideal life with Egwene, offering it in return for serving him. The Dark One also confronts Moiraine out in the real world but easily cuts her off from the One Power, seemingly permanently. Meanwhile, at Fal Dara, Egwene and Nynaeve join Lady Amilisa and two others to protect Fal Dara, while Perrin despairs over not knowing how to help. Loial inspires him with a pretty good inspiring line, “if you want to help but don’t know how, all you need to do is ask.”
Loial’s advice leads to him and Perrin helping uncover the Horn of Valere from under Lord Agelmar’s throne, however, this is not exactly a good thing because Padan Fain arrives with two Mydraal to steal the horn. I quite enjoyed the brutal way he enters the scene, resulting in the death of two women, since it shows how big of a threat he is. Although, the scene of him actually stealing the horn and then talking to Perrin is a little clumsy. Fain pretty much stabs Loial, monologues to Perrin, and then leaves with Perrin having nothing to do other than stand there and listen. The scene with Nynaeve and Egwene is not much better, unfortunately. After Lord Agelmar is seemingly killed and the Trollocs break through, rushing to attack Fal Dara, Lady Amilisa links with the five other channelers, completely obliterating the Trolloc army. This is why I said it was stupid for Agelmar to leave the city’s defences to his sister. If five untrained women channeling can generate enough power to destroy an entire Trolloc army then why in the blood and ashes would you not put them on the front lines? Not doing so just wastes lives. Also, again, these women are untrained, so it leaves a whole lot of plot holes, like why the trained Aes Sedai did not easily destroy Logain’s army in Episode Four? And then there’s the already mentioned second fake out death. After Amilisa and the other two women who can channel are killed from using too much power, Nynaeve appears to die as well before she and Egwene can break free from their hold on the One Power. Egwene then magically heals Nynaeve pretty much instantly. What was the point of this? It just feels like unnecessary drama.
At least the fight at the Eye of the World has a somewhat satisfying conclusion, with Rand breaking free from the Dark One’s manipulations because of his love for the real Egwene, and blasting him away. With this battle now done, Rand decides to leave, saying he can feel the madness that all male channelers suffer from. It would have been nice if we could have seen this madness but Rafe Judkins apparently decided to just have Rand say he could feel it. Moiraine promises to tell everyone Rand has died as he leaves and Lan then arrives after having done pretty much nothing in this final episode. She tells Lan that Rand is “gone” and confirms that she can no longer channel, before proclaiming that this was not the last battle but the first of many to come. The final scene of the episode then sees a little girl playing on a beach, only to witness an invading army approaching. This army uses their channelers to send out a tsunami onto the beach, killing the girl. Such a show of force is honestly kind of dumb though because, unless I’m mistaken, that beach looked pretty barren. So, were they just trying to kill one girl? Clearly not but that’s the way it appeared. It seems that Judkins wanted this new culture to be scary yet he did not think of a logical reason for their actions beyond this.
And so this awkward feeling scene brings an end to what is undoubtedly the weakest episode of Season One by a large margin. This episode is just full of issues. To be fair, there are good things, like the score and acting for the most part. It’s just that the decisions made for this episode’s story really baffle me, especially as a reader of the books. Overall though, I would say this adaptation was decent. If I were to rank all the episodes from weakest to best it would go Episode Eight, Episode One, Episode Five, Episode Three, Episode Two, Episode Seven, Episode Six, and best of all Episode Four.
I said that, as a book reader, a lot of the changes this episode baffled me, and this bafflement started right from the opening scene. Why is Lews Therin known as the Dragon Reborn and not just the Dragon? The Dragon Reborn is Rand’s title. It’s a small inconsistency from the books but a weird one. It gets even weirder when both Moiraine and Rand die in Rand’s dream. If this is Tel’aran’rhiod, then both of them should be dead since they died in their dreams. Although maybe this is somehow just a regular dream that Ishamael is invading. Speaking of, I wish they had just revealed that the one Rand fought was not the Dark One but Ishamael. As I said, the costuming made it difficult for me to take him seriously, and this would have been worse if I was a show only viewer, since I would find him unthreatening as the Dark One. So, is the show just going to temporarily kill him off whenever the Dragon Reborn is adapted, and then reveal he wasn’t the Dark One as well? That felt cheap on my first read through of the books and I hope it is changed. This said, I did like the change of it being Ishamael that Rand fought at the Eye, instead of Aginor and Bathamel. As for the other changes of the episode, another significant one was how much less of a deal the Eye of the World and the battle of Tarwin’s Gap were. I think they’re substituting the Eye for a seal for the Dark One’s prison here, which is fine, but the battle of Tarwin’s Gap was not handled well because Rand did not have a part in it. That battle in the book, confusing as it was, showed off Rand’s power as the Dragon Reborn and why he was such a big deal. Overall, the show does not really show why the Dragon Reborn is so revered and feared at the same time because Rand seems just like a normal male channeler at this point.
All of the prophecies have clearly been thrown out the window as well, since Moiraine went through with this plan to bring just Rand to the Eye of the World, thinking it was the Last Battle. So, what happened to all the other prophecies that Rand and the others spent multiple books fullfiling? Is Rand going to go grab Callandor just because he feels like it now? Coming back to the Eye, though, the Horn of Valere is no longer there but under Agelmar’s throne. What? Another strange change, and it leads to another one with Loial being stabbed by Padan Fain. Which reminds me, they never explained why Loial went with Rand and the others in the first place, so his actions don’t really make sense in the show because he has no motivation. Also, him being stabbed by Fain with the Shadar Logoth Dagger seems to suggest that he will take on Mat’s role in the Great Hunt, since Barney Harris left. As for Mat himself, Fain again implies that Mat could turn to the shadow, another instance of the show seeming to misunderstand Mat as a character. Sure, Mat is a trouble maker, but he never had an inherent darkness in the books that drew him to the Shadow.
Then there’s Moiraine being stilled, which is another controversial divergance. However, I’m not sure if she was stilled or just kept from touching the One Power, like Moghidien did to Liandrin in the books. Either way, it’s a massive departure from her character, one which I hope turns out for the better in season two but, after the quality of this episode’s changes from the source material, I’m concerned. I have liked some of the chages in previous episodes, like the extension of Logain’s storyline and Moiraine and Suian’s relationship, but the changes in Episode Eight really dropped the ball. “The Eye of the World” is a weak ending for an otherwise alright adaptation of the first book in Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series.
Episode Seven of Season Two of The Promised Neverland was such a boring episode that I honestly forgot what happened in it not long after.
It wasn’t even so bad that I just had to talk about it, like with Episode Six, it was just extemely forgettable.
Therefore, I never really saw a point in reviewing it, since I could not remember anything about it.
Episode Eight, on the other hand, is definitley worth reviewing since it’s one of the better episodes of the season.
Definitley not quite as good as Episodes One and Two but certainly a lot better than Episodes Five, Six and that extremely pointless recap episode.
Directed by Hiroki Itai, the episode picks up with what should have happened in Episode Six, a flashback to Norman’s time in Lambda.
This is what we should have got instead of that god awful exposition scene, which was one of the worst instances of telling instead of showing that I have ever seen.
I still think that we could have used an entire episode laying out Norman’s time at the facility but it was still decent.
We also got to meet the main villain of the story here, Peter Ratri, who, as an antagonist, is servicable enough.
He’s nowhere near as interesting as Isabella, or the character who would have been the main antagonist of the season if the Goldy Pond Arc hadn’t been cut, but he’s still servicable.
All in all, this flashback is good but could have been more fleshed out.
I wish the anime had expanded on Smee a bit because he’s essentially a plot device to randomly justify Norman’s escape.
Despite these problems, it was still interesting to finally see how Norman escaped Lambda and formed his own little Suicide Squad.
From here, the episode cuts to the present where Emma, Ray and the others are searching for Mujika and Sonju, while Norman and his cronies are preparing to initiate their attack early.
It’s all fairly standard stuff to move the plot along and, as a manga reader, I was disappointed with how one intense shot of Norman was extremely simplified.
In any case, Emma and the others finally locate Mujika and Sonju, only for Norman to attack the demon village early and, just like that, the episode gets way better.
Watching the effects of Norman’s drug on the demons is a pretty big gut punch and the music is straight up fire.
But then my excitement is slightly ruined by yet another contrived scene, when Norman hesitates to kill a demon girl all because the grandpa demon shouts Martha– I mean Emma!
Jokes aside, this had to be a Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice refrence right?
It’s just too similar and just as convenient.
But hey, at least it leads into the final shots of the episode, where Emma arrives just in time and sees Norman as a scared child, which gave me literal goosebumps.
So, overall, there’s a lot of good and a lot of bad about the episode.
However, despite the episode’s problems, it just edges out into the good territory because of the Norman flashbacks and the intense final scene, even if there is a lot of convience there.
In my opinion, Episode Eight in the best one this season, since Episode Two.
However, you will definitley not see me being as kind about Episode Nine, oh no.
I just watched that episode and rather than just being just forgettable, like Episode Seven, it’s just plain bad, like Episodes Five and Six.
Expect a full on rant when I review that one.
Oh well, at least we got one good episode before the show descended into train wreck territory again.
Well, the Gabi hate train has officially left the station.
In all seriousness, I was both excited and dreading Episode Eight of Attack on Titan‘s Final Season, “Assassins Bullet.”
I was dreading it because it would deliver one of the moster heartbreaking deaths of the series and excited because, well, it would deliver one of the most heartbreaking deaths of the series.
The death of Sasha Blouse is one of the most tragic moments in Attack on Titan and it was adapted perfectly, in my opinion.
Directed by Hidetoshi Takahashi, Lie June Yang and Yōsuke Yamamoto, “Assasin’s Bullet” begins by slowly building up to Sasha’s death, first by showing the quick defeat of Reiner by Eren.
Anime only viewers may have thought an epic fight was about to happen, based off the previous episode’s cliffhanger but no, at least not this time.
Reiner’s Titan wasn’t formed well enough to handle Eren, both because of his injuries and his suicidal thoughts.
However, Reiner’s goal wasn’t to fight Eren here but to rescue Porco, which he succeeded in doing, managing to outsmart Eren.
With his power spent, Eren decides to flee with Mikasa, showing Reiner a sympathetic look before saying he’ll see him later as he and Mikasa take off for the airship with the rest of the Scouts.
Seeing this, Gabi decides to make her last stand, taking off with the gate guard’s gun and ready to shoot Eren Jeager, who is currently boarding the airship.
It is here that we get Eren’s reunion with Armin and Levi, which is tumultiuous to say the least.
First, there is Armin pulling Eren into the airship, a blank stare on his face, where there is a clear difference to Armin’s happy expression when similarly giving Eren a hand back in Season Three, when they were leaving the Reiss’ crystal cavern.
Then, there’s Levi who, in classic fashion, kicks Eren in the face, sending him crashing into the wall.
Levi places him under arrest, before telling him he looks like every hopeless person he meet in the Underground, showing how far Eren has fallen.
Armin even stops Mikasa from helping Eren here.
Eren’s actions have clearly driven a rift between him and the rest of the main cast, which will only widen further upon the death of Sasha, which is built up to from this point on in the episode.
This build up to her tragic death is started first by, of course, reminding us all of how close Sasha is with Connie and Jean, just to drive the knife deeper into our hearts, when she finally bites the bullet.
As Floch starts a victory cheer in honour of the six Scouts who lost their lives (soon to be eight), Connie embraces Jean and Sasha, telling the two that they are important to him.
Way to jinx it Connie because down below the airship, Gabi is racing to attack the Scouts, with Falco right behind her.
Coming from a family of former restorationists, Falco is obviously not as brainwashed as Gabi, who comes from a Warrior family, so he sees the truth of the situation.
He tries to tell Gabi as much by stopping her and informing her that this attack is revenge for the attack on Paradis nine years ago.
Gabi, however, can’t break through the brainwashing because of her upbringing, which is only reinforced by the horrors of war she has just experienced.
Bringing up the deathsb of Udo and Zofia, how she never saw this attack on Paradis, and how it has always been normal to kill those on the island because they are devils who may have just ruined whatever chance of Eldians being accepted, Gabi races off once more.
Shooting a former member of the Garrison, Lobov, Gabi prepares to use his ODM Gear to launch a suicide attack on the Scouts, planning to take out as many as she can.
As Colt approaches, Gabi plans to part ways with Falco, telling him he was one of the good ones.
Unfortunately for her, Falco is not going to just up and abandon her as he grabs hold of her when she takes off, remembering the promise he made to Reiner.
All Colt can do is watch as his brother and Gabi descend up into the enemy’s clutches to deliver Sasha her death.
It is here that Floch’s intent to create a cheer for Eldia comes back to bite him, everyone, and especially Sasha in the behind.
Not being able to hear anything because of the chanting, Gabi is able to sneak onboard and get a shot off… right into our beloved Potato Girl’s chest.
Just like that, the cunductor has screamed “All aboard!” for the Gabi hate train.
While many people may have boarded this train, hating Gabi for killing Sasha, I, for one, remain firmly on the platform.
Ever since I read the manga, I have never hated Gabi for killing Sasha because she is a brainwashed child who just saw Sasha kill people she cared about.
I will miss Sasha in the anime just as much as I did in the manga but I am still personally looking forward to see Gabi and the other characters grows from this.
Sasha’s death is honestly one of the most impactful moments in the manga, both because of how emotional it is and its long term effects on the story.
We will some of these effects in the next episode but back to “Assassin’s Bullet”, following Sasha being shot we get absolute craziness, as Gabi and Falco are beaten by Floch and the other Scouts while Jean and Sasha try to get a tourniquet wrapped around Sasha and keep her concious.
However, with blood leaking from her mouth, it is clear that Sasha has internal bleeding and does not have long.
This is further confirmed by her haziness, as she seems to be hallucinating that she is about to be served meat to eat.
Sasha’s voice actor, Yū Kobayashi, does an excellent job here voicing Sasha’s final moments, as she struggles to speak through her slowly escaping life.
Then, we get the big twist of the episode because, as Jean prepares to bring Gabi to “the mastermind” of this attack, Magath comes to see an injured Pieck and learns of the Marleyan soldier who trapped her and Porco.
This soldier, named Yelena, is one Pieck recognized for one, very specific reason: she is a devout follower of Zeke.
With that line, comes the reveal that Zeke has been working with the Scouts to orchestrate this attack on Liberio to extract him.
Zeke seems to want Eldia to be free based on what he is says and has been using Yelena to communicate with the Scouts over the years.
Speaking of Yelena, it was funny to see various anime only viewers think for a couple of weeks that she was actually Armin, who had gone through a growth spurt during the time skip.
As for Zeke, despite it being revealed that he is now working with the Scouts, things are not obviously good between them, considering all that he has done.
Levi especially has an axe to grind with Zeke, promising that he still plans killing him to be the last part of a meal that he will savour.
It seems that Eren is in a similar state of tension with the Scouts, as Hange states that, by going rogue and forcing the Scouts hand through making himself a hostage, he has lost their trust.
Before the tension can grow any further, however, Connie comes in with the hearbreaking news that Sasha has died and, at that very moment, the OST kicks in.
For Sasha’s death, an instrumental version of “Call Your Name” was chosen.
The combination of the OST and the shots of Mikasa and Armin crying over Sasha’s dead body had me tearing up.
It was the perfect way to portray Sasha’s death in all of its tragedy.
This tragedy is hightened when Eren learns of her last word, which was “meat.”
One could be mistaken for thinking this is some kind of joke but it’s really not.
For Sasha, food represented the freedom she would obtain when she and the Scouts were finally safe and got to eat whatever they wanted.
In this moment, Eren realizes that Sasha has lost her chance at this freedom, which is why he laugh-cries, similar to what he did when Hannes died.
And, with this, the tragic “Assasin’s Bullet” comes to a close.
Overall, I would say this was a perfect adaptation of the manga, with Sasha’s death in particular being tear inducing.
I for one am interested to see if the Gabi hatred will last, or if more people will start to warm up to her character as the season goes on.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After episode seven of My Hero Academia‘s fourth season “GO!” promised a followup, action filled episode with its cliffhanger, that episode “Suneater of the Big Three” delivers on this.
As the title suggests, the main character of this episode is Tamaki Amajiki, AKA Suneater, who goes on an emotional journey in his fight this episode, with plenty of parallels between him and the villains he fights.
These three villains are members of the eight expendable bullets, Toya Setsuno, Yu Hojo, and Soramitsu Tabe.
Thrown out and left for dead by society, these three were eventually taken in and brainwashed by Overhaul to fight for him to the bitter end.
“Even trash has its pride,” Yu states at one point, showing the extent that they have been influenced by their boss.
And, just as these villains are influenced by Overhaul, Tamaki is influenced by Mirio in a clear parallel.
As a child Tamaki had no self confidence until Mirio came along and inspired him to believe in himself, just like the villains were lifted out of their situation by Overhaul’s brainwashing.
This presents a two sides of the same coin parallel, where Tamaki has been correctly influenced and the villains negatively, leading to to conflict.
Tamaki’s battle with the villains is absolutely fantastic with both sides utilizing their quirks with ingenious tactics.
Toya and Yu make a great combination, until Tamaki uses his Chimera Kraken technique, forcing them to call in Tabe to even the odds again, only for Tamaki to outwit them and finally take them down.
The constant back and forth on who was winning this fight made for an intense battle where the viewer would have been unsure of who would win right to the very end.
As for other moments in the episode, they are also very well done, with another great display of Sir Nighteye’s quirk and plenty of heart warming flashbacks to Tamaki’s friendship with Mirio.
All in all, “Suneater of the Big Three” is the best episode of season four so far.
However, it will almost certainly be overtaken next episode, which will see an even more intense fight with Kirishima, along with revealing his backstory, which I am very excited to see animated.