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My Hero Academia: Episodes 66-68

It’s been a hectic week or two, with big trips and settling back in, so expect a big ol’ My Hero Academia review catchup!

Episode 56

After seeing several members of 1-A  pass the exam last week, we see the continuation of everyone else’s battles. This episode is basically split three-ways. First up, the battle with the Human Meatball-Maker, as Bakugo and Kaminari continue their assault. What’s interesting about this particular battle is that you would assume that Bakugo would be the one to get the MVP title of this match, but that’s not the case; he quickly gets taken out and turned into a creepy meatball man.

We learn more about Seiji, AKA Meatball, in that he feels the need to take it upon himself to thin the herd of those he deems unworthy to be heroes. That said, he’s arrogant and in need of a little lightning in his face, and that’s where Kaminari comes in. Now better able to aim his electricity, thanks to some cool new gadgets, he can properly control his power. He also finds newfound respect for Bakugo’s ability to control his powers in order to protect his friends. Not inclined to let a little thing like being turned into meatballs stop them, his two friends deliver the final blow.

Elsewhere, we get to see Deku, Sero and Ochaco all come together to capture their prey. There’s a scene I love where one of the captured heroes tries to plead to Deku that he really, REALLY needs to pass this year and gain his license. Now, on another show (or perhaps earlier in Deku’s character arc), the hero would’ve hesitated, wondering whether or not he truly deserved to pass instead of the other guy. But Deku is resolute; he just tags the guy out stone cold, saying that he himself needs to pass, and it’s pretty great.

The last leg of the race features the 11 members of Class 1-A that have yet to pass. Laser Bellybutton Boy Aoyama has all but given up, with 2 of his 3 targets out, but Ida tries to reassure him. Bolstered, Aoyama pulls off a last ditch “suicide” attempt, drawing attention to himself so Ida can escape. Arguably, Aoyama could be considered someone with disability in a superhero society, since he can’t use his power without injuring himself unless he has support; a small, but touching glimpse into his life gives us reason to consider this under appreciated character. However, his sacrifice play has an untintended effect, as his laser serves as a beacon for all of 1-A to reunite, plan a counterattack, and pass the exam together. It’s a great moment all around, where we even get to see Toru’s actual quirk in action: Light Refraction. Now all of 1-A has passed, finally!

Episode 57

This one veers away from combat and focuses on a less flashy, but no less important element of heroism: rescue. The exam field is turned into a disaster zone, with innocent “civilians” (actually paid professionals) caught in the debris; naturally, the 100 students who passed the first part of the exam must save them. The idea that the Help Us Company, or H.U.C., works with the superhero industry to train heroes how to react to crises by providing people to rescue is a logical bit of world-building that fits very nicely. I’m interested to see what else H.U.C. gets up to in the future.

There’s a radical shift in tone as the kids go from fighting one another to working side-by-side, setting aside their differences for the greater good. Unlike the second-years, our 1-A kids are very inexperienced in this area, either unsure of what to do or making rash decisions that cost them. It’s interesting to see Inasa– a boy extremely gifted and in control of his abilities– struggle to perform rescues because he’s so impulsive. We also learn a little more about what his damage with Todoroki is, and it may just have something to do with Endeavor; the plot thickens.

Real quick, let’s touch on Ochaco. I feel like she gets a lot of criticism thrown her way for being lovestruck for Deku, but…it makes a difference that she herself is aware of this. She’s aware her feelings for Deku and jealousy towards Camie are interfering with her goals, and ultimately decides that she has to suppress those feelings, at least for the time being. It’s a much more admirable approach to the problem than many viewers are willing to give her credit for.

Not only must the kids work to save people, they now have to attempt a task considered hard even for pro heroes: fighting foes and saving civilians at the same time. Gang Orca, The Number 10 hero is on the attack, and posing as a villain. We’ll soon see the results of this….

Episode 58

…but not in this episode, because this one is a filler TV-special. For Japan’s Save the World With love Day, all the programs on the channel ran an episode relevant to the theme, so MHA gives us a side-story.  This episode is two things. One: a pseudo-advertisement/setup for the My Hero Academia: Two Heroes movie (which I’m going to see later this month). These were easily the weakest scenes, but they weren’t offensively bad, just kinda meh. Two: a test exercise featuring Deku, Ochaco, Bakugo, Ida, Tsuya and Todoroki featuring a hostage situation.

True to form, Ochaco is recon, Todoroki is talking with the kidnapper, and Bakugo rushes in and explodes stuff. Then the episode turns into, of all things….a murder mystery. The kidnapper (All Might in disguise, great design btw) is KILLED, and the three hostages are the suspected killers. We go straight Ace Attorney/Danganronpa as we interview the there hostage teachers, all played by Present Mic, Midnight and Cementoss, all of which are sporting amusing fake personas and casual wear.

It’s a lot of questioning as Deku goes full Sherlock Holmes to get to the bottom of things, before deducing that the Kidnapper and Midnight’s characters had a relationship, that she called the cops and he took his life before this secret was exposed. However, it turns out the villain was still alive and fled, meaning Deku was wrong, meaning…meaning it’s not clear what the point of any of this was, actually. This episode felt like a premise the show was mandated to do and tried to get it over with as soon as possible, and it’s just not that interesting. I’m looking forward to getting back to the fighting-while-rescuing action of the exam next week.

Otakon 2018 News Wrap-Up

Otakon occurred this past weekend and a ton of news was shared with the thousands of attendees. So, let’s dig right into things with a good old-fashioned con wrap up!

Aniplex of America

– Both The Irregular at Magic High School and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood will be receiving Blu-ray box sets later this year.

– The hour-long premiere episode of Sword Art Online: Alicization will premiere in Los Angeles on September 15.

Warner Brothers

– Summer series High School Girl and Sirius the Jaeger will be hitting Netflix in December 2018.

Denpa

– The reason why you’ve never heard of Denpa before is that this is a company that was first revealed to exist at this year’s Otakon. Fronted by Vertical’s former marketing director Ed Chavez, he announced the new company and the first seven manga licenses: Kaiji by Nobuyuki Fukumoto, Inside Mari by Shuzo Oshimi, An Invitation from a Crab (Kani ni Sasowarete) by panpanya, Futurelog by Range Murata, Maiden Railways (Tetsudou Shojo Manga) by Atsumiko Nakamura, Super Dimensional Love Gun by Shintaro Kago, and Legend of the Overfiend by Toshio Maeda. Good luck Ed!

Funimation

– Funi announced that they have licensed the series Angel Links and will release it on November 6.

Manga Gamer

– Manga Gamer announced the following new licenses: The Expression Amrilato, Fxxx Me Royally! – Horny Magical Princess, Farther than the Blue Sky!, and Beat Angel Escalayer R

Dark Horse

– Dark Horse Comics only announced one new license: Emanon by Shinji Kajio and Kenji Tsuruta

Sentai Filmworks

– Sentai will dub the following series: Girls’ Last Tour, Land of the Lustrous, Mitsuboshi Colors, and Just Because!

Discotek

– Discotek were the big winners this weekend with a ton of license announcements: Giant Robo OVA, Area 88 OVA, Lupin the 3rd: Blood Seal of the Eternal Mermaid movie, Kimagure Orange Road, Galaxy Express 999, Psycho Armor Govarian, Bo-Bobo-Bo-Bobo-bo, Space Warriors Baldios, Voltes V, God Mars, Message from Space: Galactic Wars, and Space Wolf Juspion.

My Hero Academia: Episode 55

As I noted last week, it appears we’re spending time with several other members of Class 1-A to see how they’re faring during the exam. While technically “filler” to some, this is more like expanding upon content that wasn’t shown in the manga, and I for one enjoyed it.

First things first. Todoroki fights a bunch of ninjas. He fights them and comes out on top by using his surroundings and catching them off guard. After that, we get a glimpse at some brewing tension with him and the Wind Boy Inasa. Wind Boy  gives IcyHot a mighty dirty look, and proceeds to pay him no mind. Hmmm. Curious.

NINJA FIGHT!

After that we focus on a small group within the class, consisting of Tsuyu, Jiro, Shoji and Momo, as they begin a battle of wits with All Girls Hero Academy. The girls group is led by a a tea-drinking ojou-sama ringleader in the form of Ms. Sai. For an anime-original character, her design is really cute, and it’s kind of amazing watching her cool, composed personality turn into full-on sadism; meanwhile, her classmates are totally into it. Also, her quirk is literally making herself smarter by drinking different blends of tea, so that’s a fun ability. [Editor’s Note: Why does this not work with coffee? WHY??????]

This moment of strategic genius brought to you by Darjeeling Tea: when you really need to double your IQ to destroy your enemies, accept no substitutes.

As for her plan, effectively it’s a strategy of rendering her four opponents’ quirks unusable, or immobilizing them entirely. Jiro and Froppy are specifically targeted, while Sai plans for Momo to overexert her quirk while trying to salvage the situation. It’s pretty interesting to watch this play out: it gets tense for our group, and Momo has to adapt fast and come up with a plan that will get them out of this messy situation, while also ensuring they pass the exam.

Don’t freeze Froppy, that’s mean.

It’s a big scene especially for Momo, who last season feared her own  intuition facing off against Aizawa, and to see her come into her element both as a leader and a strategist (under a ton of pressure, no less) is great. She’s inspired by Deku’s iron will, of course. To see that level of personal inspiration shown among many of the students, but in a big way for Momo in particular, was fantastic. And when she does succeed in finally getting the best of the team from Girls Hero Academy, it’s a great, satisfying moment. She incapacitates all the opponents camping outside the door with a giant soundwave, opting to attack rather than defend. Seeing her fend off Sai once again with a clever trick, at the last minute, is just icing on the cake; all in all, great character development for her this week.

I care too much about you to let you become a meatball! I will take one for the team and become a delicious entree! **slurrp**

We then see Bakugo, Kirishima, and Kaminari cross roads with a guy from Shiketsu, who has a gross ability to turn people into meatballs. [Editor’s Note: WHAT. Just WHAT.] Kirishima sacrifices himself for Bakugo’s sake, showing how much he cares. All the while Deku, Ochaco and Sero are busy formulating a counterattack to try and pass this exam. I really love how– even setting the romantic element aside– Deku and Ochaco now demonstrate so much trust and respect in each other’s abilities. Meanwhile, we see Aizawa explain to Joke that he’s not even worried for his students, because he sees that every time Bakugo or Deku are involved, the entire class works to match their level, bringing out the best in all of them. He’s not scared, he’s excited to see it all play out, and that’s a nice beat that works really well on top of all the other character development we see this episode.

Next week: More fighting! More unconditional trust between Deku and Ochaco! More of that gross Meatball guy! Well, not so much looking forward to Meatball guy, but you get the idea.

Sword Art Online: Alicization Hour-Long First Episode to Premiere in Seven Countries

Sword Art Online: Alicization Key Visual

You all have no Earthly idea how excited I am for the third season of Sword Art Online. I have lived and died with these characters ever since the first season premiered and I am already all set for more action with this crew. Thanks to the news that hit today, I’m even more excited.

According to the announcement which was posted early this morning by Aniplex, the special one-hour long first episode of Sword Art Online: Alicization will be premiered in seven different countries: Japan, USA, Australia, France, Germany, Russia, and Korea.

Unfortunately, we have absolutely no idea when or where these premieres will be taking place (besides the one in Japan, announced for September 15) so you’ll just have to stay tuned to get more details!

If you can’t make it to one of these big premiere events, you can still check out the series when it actually airs starting in October 2018.

Via Getchu

Girly Air Force Anime Set to Premiere in Winter 2019

Girly Air Force Key Visual

We’re only four months away from seeing these girly pilots take off into the sky!

According to multiple sources out of Japan, the previously announced series Girly Air Force will be airing during the winter 2019 season. Starring Ryota Ohsaka as the hero Kei and Yuuka Morishima as humanity’s last hope Gripen, this series follows their path together.

The premise: Flying creatures called Zai have started attacking Earth. Mankind, in their infinite wisdom, creates aircraft called “Daughters” and an automated system to fight them called “Anima”.

I would love to say that I am all on board for this series already, but I won’t be until I see a finished product. I will admit though that the concept has me curious and I’m really dying to know more about the crew who are putting it together. We already know that Satelight is producing the animation but come on, throw us all a bone here.

[Editor’s Note: Isn’t this premise just Third Aerial Girls Squad from Shirobako? I’m so confused….]

Otter Media Purchased by AT&T

It was announced yesterday via various industry trades that Otter Media had been purchased in whole by the telecom giant, AT&T.

AT&T previously co-owned the company in a joint venture along with The Chernin Group. This is something that has been rumored for quite a while now, but the deal was finalized this week.

Now, why should you care about this? Because Otter Media is the parent company of Crunchyroll, VRV, Rooster Teeth, Ellation, and Fullscreen.

According to the announcement, Otter CEO Ton Goncalves will keep his job and report to WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey from this point forward.

It’s absolutely impossible to predict what this means for fans and Crunchyroll in general, so I won’t speculate here. This could end up being absolutely nothing in the long run and might not even be detectable to fans from this point forward. At least that’s my sincere hope.

New Key Visual and Cast Members Revealed for Voice of Fox Anime

Voice of Fox Key Visual

A brand new key visual and cast details were revealed yesterday for the upcoming series, Voice of Fox (Kitsune no Koe). Set to premiere in October 2018, the series is all about a high school kid who is listless and poor.

During the day, he’s a talented musician who ghostwrites and performs songs for a talentless pop idol who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. This high school kid, named Hu Li, also wears a fox mask to hide a large facial scar he received in a car accident. By night, however, this high school kid goes online and publishes his own music under the name Mr. Fox.

Nine cast members have been confirmed for the series thus far:

Chuyun: Arisa Kouri
Hongye: Yukiko Motoyoshi
Hu Li: Kengo Kawanishi
Ji Hetian: Satoshi Hino
Kong Que: Hisayoshi Suganuma
President Kim: Sho Hayami
Xueer: Rena Maeda
Yuxin: Shiki Aoki
Zhang Yao: Subaru Kimura

Meanwhile, in the crew, we have Koujin Ochi sitting in the director’s chair at studio Yumeta Company. Yoshimi Narita will be handling the series composition and Aki Tsunaki will be taking care of character designs.

The series is based on a manhua which ran for 24 chapters in One Week Comics between June 2015 and September 2016. This tells me that, provided this series gets enough episodes, we might actually get to see a complete story from beginning to end! Hallejuah!

Via Anime Herald

Mexico Awarded First Place at 2018 World Cosplay Summit

Team Mexico accepting first place!

There’s no other word for it; last night Mexico DOMINATED the World Cosplay Summit.

Held in Nagoya, this annual event brings together the most elite cosplayers in the world for a competition to see who’s the best. This year, Mexico showed its fighting spirit (literally) with a Street Fighter cosplay and skit combo that knocked the judges out cold.

Out of nine awards given out last night, Mexico snagged SIX of them including the Air Asia award, the Futaba award, the NicoNico award, and the grand championship. Indonesia and Thailand took second and third place, respectively.

Here are videos of the top three skits, Mexico first…

This marks the second time that Mexico has won the grand championship (tying them with Japan). The last time this happened was in 2015. Currently, the overall leaders are Italy and Brazil, with three wins each.

The three winning teams!

Congratulations to the winners and participants of this year’s competition!

Photos via Facebook, Mantan Web

Mitsuru Adachi’s Mix Manga to Get TV Anime in Spring 2019

More baseball anime is coming? But my birthday isn’t until October!

Earlier this week, it was revealed that a TV anime adaptation of Mitsuru Adachi’s Mix manga series will air in spring 2019. If you’re a fan of the series Touch (also created by Adachi) you’ll want to pay super close attention to this.

In this series, the story takes place about thirty years after the events of Touch and will follow two stepbrothers who are trying to get into Koushien. The series first began running in 2012 in Monthly Shonen Sunday and will soon have thirteen volumes in print.

I will never complain about more baseball anime! I am a bit concerned because I never got around to watching Touch, but I’m hoping that this series set far enough away from those events that new fans can get into the story without much effort.

Via Moetron

Brand New Code Geass Movie to Hit Theaters in Japan February 2019

Code Geass: Re;surrection

Almost thirteen years after the original TV series hit Japanese airwaves, Code Geass will finally see its grand finale.

In a video which was released to YouTube earlier today, it was revealed that a brand new Code Geass movie (Re;surrection) will be released to 120 theaters in Japan starting February 2019. This movie is the culmination of the Code Geass: Fukkatsu no Lelouch sequel project, first announced in late 2016.

If you haven’t been keeping score at home, the first movie in the recap trilogy was released almost a year ago in October 2017. The second recap movie was released this past February and the final recap movie was released in May. Funimation has already licensed the movie trilogy. This final movie will be a completely new movie which will serve to tie up all the loose ends and bring the story to a close.

Many cast and crew members are returning to reprise their roles from the television series and movies, including Goro Taniguchi in the director’s chair.

I’ve always openly admitted to not being the biggest fan of mecha series but I loved Code Geass, so this is exciting news for me and many other fans of the franchise.

Via Getchu