Monday, August 22, 2016

OPM 6: C-rank episode

One-Punch Man episode 6 review


For the first time in One-Punch Man history, I failed to be entertained from start to finish in an episode. This episode started out strong, with the confrontation between Speed of Sound Sonic and Saitama, and the humor involved in it. But the rest of the episode was rather flat. It was as if we were supposed to be entertained by explosions. The jokes just didn't seem to connect, either.

I should make it clear - I rarely laugh at something I find funny during an episode. So when I say something is hilarious, I usually keep a straight face throughout. When do I laugh, then? Simple. When something is unintentionally humorous, that's when I bellow out my biggest laughs. Examples include Bleach's Renji saying "These guys keep coming and coming!" or pretty much anything in Dragon Ball Z Kai.

So, mediocre episode on what was a mediocre night for Toonami (One Piece pending, since I haven't seen it yet). Hopefully all the shows get it together after Labor Day.

Episode rating (out of four stars): **

Sunday, August 21, 2016

MSG:IBO 11: If you want to see some action...

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans episode 11 review


We finally got some mecha action in this episode. Tekkadan finally did some fighting, and one of their members got hurt as a result. However, since the show has done such a poor job at building up the characters, I couldn't have cared less who got hurt and whether they'd get better.

And thus lies the problem with MSG:IBO. Aside from scenes about food, there isn't much real character development. When something actually does happen - as in this episode - I can't muster the amount of sympathy to care. Mind you, I do care about characters in shows that develop them well. In fact, I care about them so badly that I fight for them. I am currently on the front lines fighting the shipping war between IchiHime and IchiRuki (even though IchiHime won, IchiRukis are Al Gore-ing it up and refusing to admit defeat). But I will never fight a shipping war about MSG:IBO, that's for sure.

Episode rating (out of four stars): *½

Friday, August 19, 2016

Anime Bowl Toonami Podcast - Episode 58

My medals:
Gold: Hunter x Hunter
Silver: One-Punch Man
Bronze: Dragon Ball Z Kai

Michael's medals:
Gold: One Piece
Silver: One-Punch Man
Bronze: Hunter x Hunter

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My IchiHime story (Yes, IchiHime is canon!)

Oops... I posted a spoiler yesterday. I was unaware that the manga chapter wasn't actually to be released today. In any case, it was a spoiler, so I apologize.

But I'm not going to apologize. Because IchiHime is CANON and you can never, ever take that away. Unless Tite Kubo writes a sequel to Bleach and they get a divorce...

Let's set the record straight. The final chapter of Bleach was released today, and in the chapter, it is revealed that Ichigo and Orihime are married with a son named Kazui Kurosaki. And Renji and Rukia are also married, with a daughter of their own. Chad is a professional boxer, while The Quincy Uryu is a doctor. This means that my original ships of IchiHime & RenRuki are now confirmed.

But how did I get to those (winning) ships? Here's my story of becoming an IchiHime shipper.

I first saw Bleach in May or June of 2007. I was dipping my toe into the water of anime, starting with InuYasha (the show I'll be celebrating next year). The second show I watched was Bleach (the third was Fullmetal Alchemist). I took the big risk and started watching Bleach, not quite fully aware of what I was getting myself into. Bleach would dominate my life for the next 3 years.

At the time, I wanted to find out more info on Bleach, so I googled it and some of the characters. There was this newer site out there called "Wikipedia." At the time, I had no idea what Wikipedia was. My professors hadn't yet banned Wikipedia as a source for papers (though they sure were willing to accept the even-less-reliable New York Times). So when I read Wikipedia, I thought it was 100% reliable. After all, at least one of my classmates had virtually read word-for-word a Wikipedia article in a "book report"-style speech on the shooting of John Lennon. So in any case, I was reading Wikipedia to find out about Bleach. I found out two things: that Sosuke Aizen wasn't dead - rather he was the villain. Oops. And one other thing: that IchiHime was canon. Well, sort of.

When I read Wikipedia, I got the impression that IchiHime was canon. It never actually said that; it said that Orihime had a crush on Ichigo, and I took that little bit to mean that they were in a relationship. Within minutes I had shipped Orihime with Ichigo and Rukia with Renji and I was not changing those ships unless Tite Kubo said otherwise. (And guess what, people: he agrees!)

At Tekkoshocon 2009 (and later Colossalcon 2009), I got my first resistance to IchiHime. People hated IchiHime; they loved IchiRuki. It was an eye-opening experience. After that happened, I started to get my doubts about IchiHime. Worse, it seemed that the whole Internet had turned against IchiHime. You may recall that around 2012 I threw my hands up on IchiHime. In frustration from the "Antis" (IchiRukis who hate IchiHime), I changed my shipping, which felt a lot like changing my sexual orientation. I was coming out of the closet; I was supporting a yuri ship, RukiHime.

But let's face it, I never really supported RukiHime. I thought they were cute together, but deep down inside I yearned for Ichigo and Orihime to get together and live happily ever after. As the days went on, I saw updates on the manga, and everything was turning up seemingly negative for IchiHime. People... are... dying. (In Bleach, that is. And would you please shut down the system?) It seemed to look hopeless that IchiHime would come true. Not that there were any IchiRuki hints, mind you. Just that the manga was being rushed to the finish, and there looked to be little chance of it wrapping up well.

But that all changed in the very last arc. Orihime went out to protect Ichigo, and there were some real hints going on there. The hints kept coming, and my optimism was at an all-time high. Then, yesterday, we got confirmation, but I still didn't believe it. I had a sleepless night last night, even having posted that IchiHime is canon and taking a victory lap.

It's all settled now. IchiHime is officially canon and there is absolutely nothing any Anti can do to rip that away from me. I hope the Antis and the more reasonable IchiRukis will abandon ship and jump ship over to IchiHime and RenRuki, the canon pairings which are now set in stone and can never be destroyed. It's like Survivor: Tite Kubo has spoken. Ichigo & Orihime are married. Renji & Rukia are married. Ichigo & Rukia are friends, but that's it. Ichigo and Orihime will live happily ever after, with at least one kid (who has Ichigo's hair but Orihime's eyes). Let the fanfic writing begin, IchiHime fans! We win!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

HxH 16: Gon gets a silver medal

Hunter x Hunter episode 16 review


I was trying to come up with an Olympic-themed title. This is the best I could come up with. Gon will pass this part of the Hunter exam, but only because Hisoka gave it to him. That's the equivalent of losing in the gold-medal match of any sport, and getting stuck with the silver.

In this episode, Hisoka has a staredown with Kurapika and Leorio, who agree to give him a badge if he will leave them alone. He complies, and takes the badge. Then Hisoka goes after an opponent, and all of Gon's training pays off as he fishes the badge off Hisoka. However, Hisoka sees him, and he stupidly just stands still instead of immediately running away.

Then Gon gets nailed by a tranquilizer dart by an opponent who has Gon as his target. He tells Gon that he had tons of chances to get him, but waited until right now. But before he can celebrate, Hisoka kills him, noting that he was his target. Then Hisoka does something really stupid: he just lets Gon live, and not only that, he lets him have his badge so he can go through to the next stage of the exam. Gon gets mad and tries to give the badge back, but then Hisoka punches him so hard that he goes flying away.

And that's it; Gon is through, so is Kurapika. Leorio still has to find his target, and Killua has fallen off the face of the earth. The big question everyone wants to know: will Tonpa recover so he can torment Leorio even more in the next stage of the exam?

Character of the episode: Hisoka

Episode rating (out of four stars): ***


Yes, it is! I still remember shipping wars back at Colossalcon 2009 when Bleach was the most popular anime in the world. Finally, after all these years, it is confirmed to be canon. I am currently taking my victory lap. Even after I jokingly shipped RukiHime for a while, and even after Rukia grew on me big time throughout the series, IchiHime is for real. Rukia and Renji are the perfect pair anyway. And now, Ichigo and Orihime are married. Nothing left to do now except to celebrate. I am proudly an IchiHime supporter since the first time I watched Bleach, and 9 years later, I can claim victory! IchiHime forever!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

MSG IBO 10: Soap opera

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans episode 10 review


There was more talk in this episode about food. In addition, two of the characters besides Biscuit are named after food. Food has become an utter obsession of this show.

In addition, about 95% of this episode went like a soap opera. All this drama and no real substance. The final 5% of the episode actually had some real action, as the Gundams come under attack. But by that point, I had completely checked out of the episode. When is this series ever going to come around? Probably never at this point.

Episode rating (out of four stars): *