The Umbrella Academy Season Two Review.

4 stars
I quite enjoyed the first season of The Umbrella Academy. 
Based off the comic by Gerad Way and created by Steve Blackman for Netflix, the show followed the dysfunctional, superpowered family of the Hargreeves as they attempted to stop the end of the world… only to inadvertently cause it.  
Now, we finally have season two with the family now trapped in 1963 with ten days to stop the end of the world… again.
And all of the Hargreeves family have their own storylines and new characters to interact with.
There’s the literal ticking time bomb Vanya (Ellen Page), gorilla bodied Luther (Tom Hopper), justice seeker Diego (David Castañeda), rumor girl Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), addict Klaus (Robert Sheehan), and older man trapped in a younger man’s body Five (Aidan Gallagher). 
Surprisingly though, I would say that my favourite character of the family this season would have to be Klaus’ ghost buddy Ben (Justin H. Min) who has a great arc.

Ben was unexpectedly the best character this season and Min does a great job playing the ghost sibling

However, I will say that the way Klaus treats Ben did make me like Klaus a lot less as a character.
Onto more positives now, we also get more insight into the Umbrella Academy’s horrible father Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), with one of the best scenes in the season being a meeting between him and the family he traumatized. 
As for new characters, many of them are great, with Allison, Vanya and Diego’s love interests Ray (Yusuf Gatewood), Sissy (Marin Ireland), and Lila (Ritu Arya) being especially interesting with their storylines. 
We also got some pretty fantastic action scenes this season, like the opening battle and a fight with Five in the middle. 
As well as this, the show is not afraid to go into weird territory with things like a talking fish and aliens, along with the bulk load of weird stuff from the first season. 
Although, I will say that season two is not all good. 
For one thing, I was disappointed with how some amazing characters from the first season were written out.  
Not only this but even though I said some of the action sequences are great, some are rather bad. 
This is the case for one of the final battles of the season, which has the absolute worst case of Stormtrooper aim that I have ever seen.  

Seriously, there’s an entire army shooting at our heroes and somehow all of the bullets miss. How is that possible?

There is also some character logic that doesn’t really make much sense when you think too much about it. 
Still, despite these issues, the second season of The Umbrella Academy is a solid season that I would rank just as good as the first.
It has a great cliffhanger that prepares us for more craziness with this crazy family next season.

Mindhunter Season Two Review: The Terror Continues.

4 stars
I loved the first season of Mindhunter.
Created by Joe Penhall, and with many episodes directed by David Fincher, The Netflix series hooked me right off with its disturbingly realistic portrayal of actual serial killers.
I was eagerly anticipating the second season, and we finally got it now, two years later.
The second season picks up with Holden Ford (Jonathon Groff) recovering from his encounter with Ed Kemper (Cameron Britton) at the end of the first season.
After getting released from a mental hospital by Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), Holden meets back up with the team, consisting of Tench, Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) and Gregg Smith (Joe Tuttle), in their studies of serial killers.
What follows is a season that sees the characters interviewing a wide ranger of terrifying murderers, like David Berkowitz (Oliver Cooper), and those who manipulate others to kill, like Charles Manson (Damon Herriman).

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Many of the killers interviewed look just like they do in real life, with Manson and Berkowitz looking particularly true to life.

Most terrifying of all are the investigations into the BTK killer, Dennis Rader (Sonny Valicenti), and the Atlanta child murders, which eventually becomes the main focus of the season.
Just like the first season, what makes Mindhunter season two so scary is its horrifying realism.
Again, no murders are shown but the aftermath of these crimes, and the way they are explained by both the killers and surviving victims is horrifying.
This leads to one particularly disturbing scene when Tench is interviewing Kevin Bright (Andrew Yackel) a survivor of the BTK killer.
The way this scene is shot is so particular, the acting from Yackel so tragic, and the sound design so unnerving, that is makes the scene horrifying to watch, even though no violence is taking place.

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The interview scene with BTK survivor David Bright is probably one of the most chilling scenes in Mindhunter season two.

It is particularly disheartening to hear Tench make assumptions about BTK, only for us to know he is completely wrong, meaning they are further away from stopping him.
Speaking of Tench, he has the best story this season, with a tragic family event that makes his interactions with the killers even more personal.
A scene where a confrontation takes place between Tench and Manson is particularly illuminating to Tench’s character.
It is not all great, though, because compared to last season Mindhunter season two does fall short.
There are quite a few plot lines that are dropped like Ford’s panic attacks, which are quickly forgotten about, and the cat Carr was feeding last season, which is oddly left out of entirely.

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The first episode acts like Holden’s panic attacks are going to be a major plot line only for them to be dropped pretty quickly.

As for Carr, herself, she does not have much of a role in the back-half of the season, and a romance storyline she has feels a bit too similar to Ford’s relationship from the previous season as well.
However, these problems do not diminish how great Mindhunter is.
It is still a creepy show, with great fictional characters and terrifying real killers.
I am already looking forward to season three.

My Hero Academia Season Two Review: Spectacular Fight Sequences Inbound.

5 stars
The first season of My Hero Academia was a good start to the anime and I saw a lot of potential in it.
Thankfully, this potential is fully realised in season two, which absolutely blew me away with its character development, animation, music, and downright phenomenal action sequences.
The season covers around three story arcs and each of them has a great mixture of all of these features I mentioned.
The first arc follows the U.A Sports Festival, where the training heroes compete in a tournament to be scouted by pro heroes.
During this arc, we get amazing character development from many of these characters, most notably Shoto Todoroki, voiced by Attack on Titan’s Yuki Kaji.
Other than knowing that he is extremely powerful, Todoroki left little impact on me in the first season but this all changes here.
He is now probably my favourite character of the series.
Along with this, his fight with Deku is one of the greatest fights I have seen, not just in anime but in everything that has been put to screen.

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Deku’s fight with the scarred Zuko-I mean Todoroki, has to be one of the best fight sequences I have ever seen. 

Everything just combines in that battle to make it such an incredible moment from the character arcs, to the animation, music and shot composition.
This fight is not the only fantastic one, however, because there are two other phenomenal fights, with Deku and Bakugo having to face off against All Might for an exam and Deku, Todoroki and Iida facing off against the Hero Killer, Stain (Go Inoue).
Speaking of Stain, he is a fascinating villain with a complex ideology and moral code that makes him the series’ best antagonist so far.
I have my fingers crossed that we will see more of him in the future.

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Stain is a very engaging villain, with his impact on the series looking to be very important compared to the other antagonists.

The season also goes into more detail about All Might’s backstory, and his rivalry with what looks to be the main villain of the series All For One.
We get to meet All Might’s teacher, Gran Torino (Kenichi Ogata) who I think may be named after the Clint Eastwood movie.
His introduction probably made me laugh harder than any joke in the anime so far.
As for the final episode, rather than the bombastic action one of the previous season, we get more of a meeting of the minds between our hero and villain that seems to set up their potential rivalry for future seasons.

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Tomura Shigaraki’s (Koki Uchiyama) meeting with Deku is especially tense, with Deku being literally one finger on his neck away from death.

Overall, the second season of My Hero Academia is downright fantastic, providing constant laughs, amazing character development and, of course incredible fight sequences.
If you can sit through the Deku vs Todoroki fight without your jaw dropping like me then I will applaud you.