Former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo assassinated

Shinzo Abe, Japan's Longest-Serving Prime Minister, Dies at 67 - The New York Times

 

I happened to be watching NHK Japan last night when the shocking news broke that Japan’s former prime minister was shot. He was taken to a local hospital unresponsive and was later pronounced dead. He was 67 years old. Abe Shinzo was Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister. He was in office for 12 years before declining health forced him to step down in 2020. Abe was prime minister while Bush 43, Obama and Trump were president.

Tributes are pouring in from not just across Japan but around the world. The former prime minster’s assassination has also shattered the sense of peace and safety from gun violence Japan has long enjoyed since the end of World War II. Japan has long been known as one of the safest countries in the world. For context, it’s very common to see preschool-aged children using public transportation unattended in Tokyo and Osaka. For the most part, tou do not need to look over your shoulder when walking around at night.

While the assassin was arrested on the spot, the body blow he dealt to Japan will be felt for some time. The assassin was a former JSDF soldier and made the gun he used himself. Personally, I am concerned that may have permanently shattered the collective sense of safety from random gun violence the people of Japan have enjoyed for generations.

Many Japanese officials condemned the assassination as an attack on not just Democracy but an attack on Free Speech. Abe was speaking at a public event in Nara at the time he was killed. One of the so far known motives behind the assassination was the assassin held hatred toward what’s being referred to as a “certain group” he mistakenly believed Abe was affiliated with. Yes, someone really felt they needed to kill the former Prime Minister over something like that.

Given this was a politically motivated killing, even though he was no longer a government official at the time, the assassin will likely face the death penalty when convicted. Assuming that happens, The Japanese government has a policy of not telling the condemned in advance when they will be executed. Capital Punishment is extremely rare in Japan but given the nature of Abe’s assassination, it’s not a stretch to believe it will be off the table. The condemned don’t know when they’ll be executed until the day of. On that day, a guard will go to their cell to take them to be executed.

 

Yu-Gi-Oh! Creator Kazuki Takahashi Dies At 60 - Game Informer

 

The day before Abe’s assassination, manga, anime and trading card game fans were already rocked by the sudden and untimely death of Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi. Takahashi was found dead off the coast of Okinawa wearing diving gear after being spotted by someone passing by. He was 60 years old. His death is presumed to be accidental drowning.

 

In the early 90s, Takahashi’s fascination with Egyptian Mythology inspired him to create the Yu-Gi-Oh! Manga. The Manga was adapted into an Anime and more famously, inspired a real world trading card game. Not gonna lie, I spent around $1,200 on the TCG between 2002 and 2009. I wrote about it here. To save people a click, here’s one line that sums up that experience for me: Trading Card Games are a massive time and money pit. If you’re not careful, you might not be able to get out on your own.

 

While the Yu-Gi-Oh Franchise is nowhere near as popular s it once was 20 years ago, it currently lives on in anime, manga, the physical trading card game, the new official digital trading card game (Free to play) and video games.

 

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Japanese parents expressing concern over Sexually Explicit content in Anime

Top 17 Anime/Manga With Fanservice » Anime India

 

It’s hard to ignore the fact it’s becoming more and more commonplace in mainstream anime these days. Last year, Fire Force creator Atsushi Ōkubo weighed in on the subject that involved one character known to randomly lose their clothing in a Manga scene. He addressed the controversy around this character’s semi-nude trope directly by basically saying “So what if some people don’t like her showing so much skin in almost every scene? I dont give a damn.” through the scene. We’ll have to wait and see if this scene is put in the anime once the story reaches that point but it probably will be.

Most Anime fans in the West are already well aware of this but Japanese media is imfamous for being very…”liberal” in regards to its depictions of sexual content, violence and immorality in general for decades. The difference is until about 20 years ago, such content was strictly 18+ even in Japan. What happened? Foreign demand for Japanese media sharply increased, that’s what. Many consumers in North America and Europe who didn’t like their country’s “Censorship practices” took a strong liking to Japanese anime and manga because in general, western consumers felt Japanese media appealed to “mature audiences”.

Even when Anime began to become mainstream in North America and Europe about 25 years ago (late 1990s), most of what made its way to the West was relatively tame compared to most what was available in Japan at the same time. The West almost exclusively got select Shonen like Digimon, Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO), Pokemon, Dragonball Z, Inuyasha (started in the late 90s, Manga premeired earlier in the 90s) and Sailor Moon back then. All of these were geared toward kids and youth so even in Japan they were mostly tame, the one exception from that list being Dragonball Z (edited fo graphic content outside Japan).

It wasn’t until the mid to late 2000s that we really started to see the kiddie gloves coming off because by that point, anime airing in the West exclusively ran on Cable/Satellite. There was less of a need to edit anime for graphic content. Bleach, Death Note, Naruto, Samurai Champloo, Code Geass, Fullmetal Alchemist and Cowboy Beebop were all trail blazers in their own right and opened the floodgates for anime globally. Toward the end of the decade, anime streaming services were starting to take off. This is to say nothing of the West being introduced to the artistic genius of Hayao Miyazaki earlier in the decade via Disney’s Studio Ghibli.

It was during the 2010s that we really started seeing more non-Shonen going mainstream. We would also start to see Shonen that didn’t have fighting or flashy action sequences at the end of the decade like Food Wars and Dr. Stone. By 2014, Crunchyroll had become the anime streaming giant it still is now though Funimation would also launch their own streaming service. It was also by the mid-2010s that Anime’s Global Golden Age would be over after almost 20 years. At this point most anime, manga and even many Japanese RPGs were noticably being made with older consumers in mind. Why? Demand from foreign consumers was driving profits to new heights and the industry was adjusting accordingly.

 

World's End Harem Episode 1 Review: A Dangerous Journey Through Sex and Fantasy

 

That brings me back to the main topic. The fact that Japanese parents are raising concerns about Sexually Explicit content in anime tells me there is a more social awareness in Japan on what exactly their kids are being exposed to.

World’s End Harem, which recently premiered on Crunchyroll is a blatant attempt to make an obvious Ecchi appealing to “General Audiences”. How so? The basic premise of the story is about a man who wakes up after 5 years in cryogenic sleep to a world where Males are virtually extinct due to a viral outbreak. His primary mission? Impregnante as many Females as possible weather he wants to or not. The Manga it’s based on has actually been around for some time. While it IS true there is an actual plot, that is obviously not what the uh…”appeal” is if you know what I mean.

It’s interesting to note the reason there has been an uptick in anime and manga with sexually explicit content in recent years is because demand for it has sharply risen. Not from Japanese consumers but from consumers outside Japan. Most consumers from inside Japan don’t understand it and they DON’T like all the “Fan Service” for that matter anywhere near as much as they know many people outside Japan think. I do think it’s only a matter of time before Japanese artists and studios pivot on their own because most of them don’t want to be stereotyped for this anymore.

 

This is to say nothing of content sexualizing Female characters characterized as pre-pubescent and content depicting or promoting incest, usually between sibings becoming mainstream. This kind of content you usually had to put in some effort to find but mostly due to Western influence, we are seeing more of it in the mainstream. Japanese society is starting to recognize it as the problem it truly is and I am hoping they can discourage it personally.

 

 

 

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

I just started watching Eighty Six-86 and the moral controversy has some real world parallels that should not be ignored

86--Eighty-Six, Vol. 1 (manga) by Asato Asato, Shirabii, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

 

I just finished watching the seventh episode on Crunchyroll and it is now my favorite new anime of 2021. Based on the Manga of the same name, 86 is the story of a country in the near future at war with rogue autonomous drones trying to invade the country’s far eastern boarder. The government and military boast it is a bloodless war since they claim to also use autonmous drones but the truth is much darker: In reality, the drones used by the country are piloted by people not considered human because they are not the “chosen race”. Since they are not considered human, they don’t exist as far as the government is concerned and so their deaths are never officially reported or acknowledged.

Yes, really.

This goes there and it doesn’t try to shy away or gloss over the obvious moral controversy. In fact, that is the story.

Of course, the general public is ignorant of the truth and to an extent is complicit due to the racism. Only those with silver hair and blue eyes are considered “human” while everyone else is not as far as the country is concerned. The anime is called 86 because those not considered human are confined to the county’s 86th Region on the edge of the country. These people are referred to collectively as The 86 or simply 86. They have no human or civil rights and live far from the eyes and thoughts of the rest of the Albins, which is the name of the “chosen race”.

Due to the government and media propaganda boasting “zero human casualties” in the war, officially their deaths in combat are not reported or recorded. The fact the 86 are not considered human and the battlefront is far away makes it very easy to cover up what would easily be considered human rights violations of the worst kind. Since they are not recognized as human, there is no reason or need to acknowledge their deaths as far as the government is concerned.

On that note. Episode 5 confirms what viewers were probably thinking to that point: The real plan for the country is for them to use the war to kill off all the 86. Since they are not considered human, there is no reason or need to acknowledge their involvement in the war to the public. As is revealed, 86 staying in concentration camps are basically pressed into military service with the empty promise of freedom and full citizenship if they survive 5 years of meaningless fighting. Of course, they are well aware that they are being lied to from the start and the sole purpose is for them to be killed off.

This is, of course to say nothing of the severe PTSD the 86 suffer throughout. More so knowing their death can come at any time and no one would know or care. As a reminder, the general population doesn’t know the truth and for the most part wouldn’t care about the truth if it were known. Again, since the 86 are not considered people their deaths are never officially acknowledged or counted beyond the codename “Processors”. As a reminder, the public are told unmanned drones do the fighting and so there will always be zero human casualties so…yeah.

…Sorry to veer into politics with this but some countries have a long, dark history of exploiting minority populations for military purposes since ancient times. Sometimes when a kindgom annexes another kingdom, instead of their own people they will press the people of the conquered territory into forced military service.  More recently, when ISIS carved up the Middle East 10 years ago they didn’t slaughter everyone. They gave the men a choice: “Fight for us or die”.  So, the plot for this anime is right out of the pages of history to say the least.

With everything going on in the world right now, it’s not hard to imagine scenarios like this happening again. I look at the U.S., Russia, China, The Philippines, Nigeria, India and Brazil being just a few countries that are more than capable of doing something like this in the near future. That’s based on what I’ve seen in all those countries. Is it a violation of human rights? Of course. Would the public give a damn at tthe end of the day? Of course not.

I’ll put it like this: Today, 13 U.S. Troops were killed in Afghanistan but dozens if not hundreds of Afghan civilians were also killed in the same attack. The media has almost entirely been on the American soldiers killed while the Afghan victims are basically footnotes in comparison. I’ll take it a step further. No one in the U.S. outside the military and their families give a damn about the U.S. Troops killed and injured today. I’ll just put it like that. As far as most laypeople are concerned, “Soldiers know they could die when deployed to dangerous parts of the world.” Why else do you think all the keyboard warriors are sounding off and have been since the crisis in Afghanistan blew up last week?

All that said and moving back to 86. The world has rightfully become very concerned by the U.S. government starting to rely on unmanned drones for both surveilance and combat missions more and more. Don’t get the wrong idea, no one objects to the idea of not having to needlessly risk human casualties for these things. The concerns lie in governments and by extension the people of countries that use military drones becoming desensitized to the often wanton destruction their military’s drones remotely inflict on human populations in distant lands.

It’s not really a secret the U.S., Russia and China all have Cyber Corps Divisions. Their primary purpose is defense but in the case of Russia and China in particular, they also engage in offense at the discretion of their commanders and high-ranking government officials. It’s not a stretch to assume some military bases in all three countries have computer terminals from which these cyber soldiers remotely operate drones deployed to other countries (so far).

I do know in regars to the U.S., Military Drones are replacing manned military jets for recon missions and in more cases bombing missions. No longer does the U.S. Air Force have to wait until the cover of night to do bombing runs. They can simply deploy a drone as the advance force to devastate targets on the ground, then send in soldiers to clean up afterward. No longer are fighter pilots risking being shot down in enemy territory.

So far, countries that have military drones have only been using them for either surveilance or in counterterrorism operations. You’d be a fool to not know it’s only a matter of time before two countries with military drone go to war with each other. If a country with military drones goes to war with a country without drones, it goes without saying the country with drones would be at a huge advantage. They could penetrate deep behind enemy lines and even when shot down, the attacking forces have still suffered–wait for it–no human casualties.

…You get the real world connection with 86 now?

While the drones used IRL are being remotely controlled by people, that still doesn’t take away the moral concerns with using them in an actual war. The prospect alone has been quite the derrent for the world’s military superpowers to fight each other so far but it’s anyone’s guess how long that can be maintained.

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Breaking News: The Misfit of Demon King Academy Manga Cancelled due to Author’s Health

Weekly Review — The Misfit of Demon King Academy Episode 10 – Biggest In Japan

 

A few days after it was announced the Manga would be on hiatus, news broke over the weekend that the Manga based on the popular Light Novel series will be cancelled due to the author’s declining health. It was first announced the Manga would be on hiatus but that was later updated to Cancelled. The studio where Kaya Haruka works revealed after this shocking and sad news that they were aware the author was battling Pancreatic Cancer since 2019. Things clearly took a turn for the worst recently for the story to be put on hiatus and now be cancelled. As of July 13, Kaya Haruka has passed away.

Do note this Manga was adapted from the Light Novel series of the same name. Meaning someone else could make a new Manga adaptation of it at some point in the future. An anime adaptation was released last year. Season 2 is set to be released sometime next year. The manga’s 10th Volume is set to be released next month. While the current Manga will clearly be ending soon, that doesn’t mean that the story can’t contine in a new Manga series and chances are good that is what will likely happen.

 

 

The Rising of the Shield Hero's New Director Teases Season 2

More disappointing news: Season 2 of The Rising of the Shield Hero has been delayed to April 2021.

The most likely reasons are the surge in COVID-19 cases in Japan and recent concerns regarding overworked studio staff that’s been widely publicized in recent months. Originally planned for an October 2020 premeier, the extra 6 month delay doesn’t surprise me at all and more so given Season 2 was originally planned to premeire last summer. That was postponed due to the Pandemic.

Naofumi, Raphtalia and Filo joined Isekai Quartet’s second season, likely in response to the anime’s massive popularity. A third season and a movie were both recently announced. We’ll have to wait and see if characters from other Isekai join and there’s quite a number of popular ones to choose from.

 

Tokyo Olympics 2021 Opening Ceremony: No Spectators Allowed - The Teal Mango

The Japanese government announced most of the Tokyo Olympics events will take place without fans in attendance and the news comes almost two months after the Japanese government announced the events would be closed to foreign spectators. Many athletes that qualified have started dropping out in response to the new announcement saying they don’t see the point in participating without any fans in attendance.

Japanese citizens have been protesting the Olympics for months, citing the surge in COVID-19 cases since March. Despite this, the clearly tone-deaf International Olympic Committee still plans to hold the Olympics as scheduled. Why is the Olympics, which was postponed from last year not being postponed a second time?

It’s simple: Broadcast and Advertising obligations.

In the U.S., ESPN and NBC Sports will carry the bulk of the media coverage for the Tokyo Olympics. The fact of the matter is even without live fans in attendance, that won’t keep camera teams from doing their jobs. This is exaserbated further by the simple fact most in the U.S. have NO CLUE what has been going on in Japan since the spring and honestly most of those people have no damns to give.

This is more of a thing I would normally cover on my blog for politics but I felt since this is Japan-related, it’s fair game to inform people on this blog on what exactly is going on.

 

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Hunter x Hunter Manga has now gone 900 Days without a new Chapter

May be a cartoon of text that says 'AS ANIMES SENPAI HUNTER X HUNTER REACHED 900 DAYS WITHOUT NEW CHAPTER ANIME SENPAI'

 

For those who don’t know, Hunter x Hunter Manga creator Togashi Yoshihiro put the Manga on Hiatus in 2019 due to nagging back pain. With Yoshihiro’s health failing, it’s looking more and more likely the popular series will never be completed. Commenting on his nagging back pain, Yoshihiro admitted drawing aggrivates his injury.

There are growing concerns the super popular series will never be finished due to his health issues and the fact he has not allowed someone else to continue the series. Most believe it’s a pride thing in regards to Yoshihiro not allowing someone else to work on it. What that means for now is when he dies, the Manga dies with him.

 

As an aspiring author, I can respect that personally. At the same time, chronic health issues are easily the biggest reason I would consider getting someone to continue the story. More so if it has a fan following on the scale Hunter x Hunter does. At the same time I do get it. It’s your baby. Your own creation. Unlike in the U.S. where studios and companies can legally own what others created, over in Japan there is respect for content creators.

Although authors making content based on an established IP–we call it Fan Fiction–most in Japan at least get the original author’s blessing before they do something like that. They also don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Attack on Titan Junior High, which spoofs the first half of the first season of the anime is a good example of this. It’s not that unusual to see Fan Fiction next to the source IP in bookstores in Japan but that’s probably a topic better suited for my blog on Fan Fiction.

 

 

 

May be a cartoon of one or more people and text that says 'AS ANIMESENPAI ANIME HIGEHIRO AUTHOR ASK FANS TO NOT IMITATE THE ACT OF THE STORY FS'

 

The author of this Light Novel series turned Anime recently took to Twitter likely to cover himself legally. For those who may not be familiar with Higehiro, the story is about a mid-20s office worker who takes in a 17 year old girl who is a runaway. The fact that the story doesn’t dance around the fact what the lead male protagonist does actually is a crime in not just Japan but most of the world is what makes it such a gripping story.

While obviously Sayu is there willfully and Yoshida has made it clear he has zero sexual interest in her, it’s obvious their living arrangement can’t possibly last. Based on the latest episode, her older brother–a businessman–found the convenience store where she works. It’s only a matter of time before reality forces them apart at this point.

The Light Novel’s author telling people not to imitate the story should go without saying but sadly, there are those who would imitate what they see in fiction. While I haven’t heard of any copycat situations yet personally, he is saying it anyway in case someone in Japan does try it.

 

Weak Hero - White Mamba" Photographic Print by sa1x | Redbubble

Get Schooled Manga | Anime-Planet

I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about what is arguably one of the best Manwa (basically Korean for Manga) ever made that probably won’t get an Anime adaptation. Weak Hero follows the story of rival gangs in rival high schools in Korea. It’s also got a bit of slice of life and coming of age for both the lead protagonist Gray Yeon and the main antagonist Donald Na. The graphic, visceral nature of all of the fights as well as the profanity throughout this Manwa is why we will never see it get an Anime adaptation like Tower of God did with Crunchyroll.

It’s the same for Get Schooled, the second picture above that recently came to Webtoon. Both Manwa highlight School Bullying in South Korea. Though some things are clearly exaggerated, the actual bullying situations and sub-culture depicted are in fact real. This may be quite the shock to Western readers but several South Koreans and Japanese commenters have said the sub-culture both Webtoons explore are painfully accurate.

Those who’ve read certain Manga or seen certain Anime probably already know some kids are bullied into suicide in Japan. Like South Korea, the root cause is mostly cultural and the bullies push that to the extreme. Even when teachers know for a fact a student is being bullied, most typically fall into one of two categories: Turn a blind eye for the sake of job security or give vague lip service and hope it’s enough.

Why are teachers and school administrators in Japan and South Korea so hesitant to address, let alone acknowlege bullying? Reputation, Optics, Job Security and Genuine Indifference. One or a combination of all of those things. This is especially true of older educators who never dealt with this in the past.

 

…Obviously, times have changed.

 

 

May be a cartoon of text that says 'NEWS HOW NOT TO SUMMON DEMON LORD Ω OPENING THEME EXCEEDED 1,000,000+ VIEWS ON YOUTUBE NEWS Source: YouTube animecorner.me'

 

If you watched How Not to Summon a Demon Lord Ω at all in recent months then you have no doubt heard the OP. Here is the music video:

 

It’s easily the most popular OP for an anime since Dean Fujioka’s History Maker (Yurii!! On Ice).

For those who haven’t seen the Anime itself yet, start with the first season!

 

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Eren Jaeger takes power of the War Hammer Titan in Episode 66

Attack on Titan S4 episode 7 release date and times: International premiere  revealed

 

Episode 66 not only had non-stop action from start to finish but it left you wanting episode 67 NOW. Episode 65 ended with The War Hammer Titan seemingly forcing Eren into a stalemate. Episode 66 makes it clear that this is NOT the same Eren Jaeger you knew from the end of Season 1. This Eren is older and much more calculating than the one we knew at the beginning of Season 3.

When the Beast, Cart and Jaw Titans enter the battle, it looks like the tables have been turned on Eren and the Survey Corps. The Marleyian Forces are shocked and horrified to see the Survey Corps, which has been hunting Titans on Paradis Island for generations fearlessly taking on their Titans directly. Levi gives a long-owed receipt to the Beast Titan, dropping him like a bad habit out of nowhere. Jean and Sasha pin down the Cart Titan and she ends up being severely injured.

Then, our boy Armin debutes the Colossal Titan with a bang. Literally.

 

Attack on Titan Welcomes Armin to Season 4 With a Bang

His line after emerging from the Titan form he took from Bertoldt at the end of Season 3 sums it up: “Is this how it felt for you, Bertoldt?” For those who need a reminder, when the Colossal Titan transforms it’s basically a nuclear explosion that gets set off. This is why Armin transformed off the cost on a raft–a transformation that wiped out the Marleyan Fleet rushing to provide backup–because if he didn’t, he probably would’ve instantly killed thousands of people in the city.

He didn’t do anything beyond that and he didn’t need to. The Marleyan Army now knows Paradis Island has two Titans and they know how to use them. Commander Hange later tells Armin he seems to have become more like her predecessor, Erwin Smith. He shrugs it off, saying he hopes to be a little like their former leader. Meanwhile, Eren patiently tries everything he can think of to take the War Hammer. The owner of the War Hammer crystallized herself like Annie, the Female Titan did.

Prior to Armin’s entrance, the Marleyan Army was sure they had Eren cornered. After his arrival, this gve Eren the space to focus on taking the War Hammer’s power. “If you had anything left, you would have done something by now.” he remarks before freeing himself and transforming again. “Me, on the other hand…I’ve got plenty of strength left.” When the Jaw Titan breaches his own Hardening, Eren figures it out: He grabs the Jaw Titan, tears off his limbs and then uses the Jaw Titan as a giant nutcracker above his head to devour the War Hammer Titan’s powers. He gets interrupted before he can finish off the Jaw Titan by the arrival of Reiner, the Armored Titan.

The preview for Episode 67 announces the Armor Titan falls which is a fair assumption: Reiner told Eren he basically had a death wish so…yeah. Assuming Eren takes the Armor Titan’s power next, he will have four Titan powers (Founder, Attack, War Hammer and Armor). The status of the Cart and Jaw Titans is currently unknown but both are critically injured. We also do not have confirmation Levi actually killed Zeke yet. Excluding Armin (Colossal) and Annie (Female), all of the Nine Titans are now accounted for. All but the Female Titan, who is crystallized are in the same place right now too. Things should get real interesting.

 

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Attack on Titan’s Final Season: The Story So Far

Attack On Titan' Creator Explains Why [SPOILER] Was Killed Off

 

All good things must come to an end. The above screenshot from the very first episode will go down as one of the most iconic moments in Anime history.

A lot has happened in in the almost 10 years since then. The Manga turned Anime spawned a spinoff Manga + Anime (Attack on Titan Junior High), several prequel manga series, two live-action movies and a number of video games. Like most Manga adaptations, the Anime was put on hiatus for a few years to allow the Manga to progress enough for the story to be adapted. I have the first 20 Volumes of the Manga and do plan to eventually finish collecting the entire Manga series once I am financially stable again.

For those who have only watched the Anime or may not have watched past the first season, you may not know a lot of the backstory that’s been revealed already. You may also be a little confused if you started watching the final season to find the focus is not on Eren Jaeger or what’s going on with the Survey Corps. The story has shifted to Marley, where the history of the Titans began.

Here’s a recap of the larger story to now:

  • Sometime in the past before the start of the series, a woman named Ymir Fritz awakened as the First Titan though no one knows how or why. She founded the Eldian Empire. Those of Eldian blood were granted the ability to transform into Titans. Those with Eldian blood were also known a Subjects of Ymir. Ymir used the power of the Titans to subjegate the entire continent. Eldians forced others to have children with them to increase the number of Subjects of Ymir. This can be detected with a blood test.
  • 13 years after awakening to Titan Power, Ymir died. Her power was then split into nine successors who are known Simply as the Nine Titans: Founding Titan, Attack Titan, Colossal Titan, Jaw Titan, Cart Titan, Beast Titan, War Hammer Titan, Female Titan and Armored Titan.
  • Like Ymir, these Nine Titans can only live for 13 years after receiving their unique Titan power. Zeke Yaeger, who is the current Beast Titan is known to have one year left to live. Its known as the Curse of Ymir. When one of the Nine Titans dies before passing on their Titan Power it is randomly given to a newborn baby with Eldian blood regardless of status, distance or class.
  • The Nine Titans are different from Pure Titans in that they retain their human intelligence. The Pure Titans are the ones you’re most familiar with: Mindless, man-eating monsters. All with Eldian Blood are capable of becoming a Pure Titan after being injected with Titan Serum, which is spinal fluid from a Titan. Abnormals are in between Pure Titans and the Nine Titans in which they retain some of their human intelligence after they have transformed.
  • The Great Titan War was an earth-shattering conflict between the Nine Titans in the past. The conflict abruptly ended when King Reiss–ancestor of the Reiss Royal Family–who possessed the Founding Titan moved the capital of the Eldian Empire to Paradis Island where the first three seasons took place. He erected the Three Walls using Titans and warned the mainland to stay away or he will use the Titans to “Flatten the Earth”. The King then used the power of The Founding Titan to erase the memories of everyone in the Walled City of the outside world.
  • After King Reiss withdrew to Paradis Island, Marley–a territory once conquered by the Eldian Empire–saw their chance and not only regained their lost territory but most of the Eldian Empire on the mainland. They also managed to take Seven of the Nine Titans from the Eldians.
  • Having regained control of the continent, the Marleyans forced the Eldians to live in Internment Zones. One of them was in the city of Liberio where Grisha Yeager–Eren and Zeke Yeager’s father–grew up. As a child, Grisha’s younger sister Fay was killed by Marleyan Military Police when they were caught tresspassing outside the Internment Zone. Grisha’s father then revealed to him the history of their people and why they are so hated and feared by the Marleyans.
  • When he grew up and became a doctor, Grisha met a man who confirmed for him what he always suspected and that was his sister had been killed and her murder covered up. Grisha then decides to join the Restorationists, a faction of Eldians in Liberio who wanted to restore Eldia as a world power. Grisha married into the Fritz family and had a son named Zeke, who would later become the Beast Titan.
  • Around this time, Grisha learned the Marleyans were recruiting children to be given the power of the Seven Titans they controlled to send them to Paradis Island. Their goal was to take The Founding Titan’s power to further enhance their military strength. Grisha planned to send Zeke as a mole to Paradis Island but after he told Zeke of his plans, Zeke exposed the Restorationists to the Marleyan Military.
  • Grisha, his wife and some of the Restorationists are taken to Paradis Island where they are transformed into Pure Titans one by one. Grisha pleads for them soldiers to let his wife, who has royal blood go but his pleas fall on deaf ears. The cruel irony is Grisha’s second wife is devoured by his first in Titan form many years later.
  • Before Grisha can be killed, Eren Krueger–a mole disguised as a soldier–steps in and saves his life. He then transforms into the Attack Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) and lays waste to the Marleyan soldiers, artillery and the steamboat that brought them to the island.
  • Krueger decides to pass on the power of the Attack Titan to Grisha, explaining the 13-year rule to him at the same time: Ymir died 13 years afrer gaining her Titan Powers. So too do the Nine Titans die 13 years after gaining their Titan Power. In Krueger’s case, he was in his final year. He killed countless Eldians to keep his cover intact including Grisha’s sister. He felt it only fitting Grisha be entrusted with the next phase: Infiltrating the walled city on Paradis Island, gaining the Founding Titan’s power and using it to ultimately help restore the Eldian Empire.
  • When Grisha arrives outside the Walled City, he is discovered by the Scout Regiment and claims to have amnesia. He is imprisoned and later freed. Shortly after beginning work as a doctor in a hospital, he meets his second wife Carla. They marry and have Eren a few years later.
  • When the Titans invade Shiganshina at the beginning of the series, Grisha rushes to the Reiss Family Chapel where he reveals his is an Eldian and begs Freida Reiss to use the Founding Titan’s power to stop the marauding Titans. She refuses and so Grisha transforms into the Attack Titan. Frieda transforms to fight him but he easily overpowers her and devours her, gaining the power of the Founding Titan. He then goes on to kill everyone else present except Rod Reiss (Historia/Krista Lenz’ father) who escapes.
  • Remember that flashback scene of Grisha injecting Eren with Titan Serum? Right after that, Eren transformed into a Titan for the first time and devoured his father, gaining the powers of both the Attack Titan and the Founding Titan.

 

…Whew.

When Season 3 ended, the Scout Regiment–having learned the truth about their world and the past–were preparing to invade the mainland. Four years have now passed and as of this week, an older and taller Erin Yeager has been revealed as having infiltrated Marley while disguised as an injured soldier.

For those who may be wondering, the reason the story shifted to the mainland when the season began is because the story of the Walled City on Paradis Island is now over. The cover image for the final season shows Reiner, who barely escaped Paradis Island with his life facing Eren in Titan form in a Marleyan city.

Before I forget. We have seen only Eight of the Nine Titans over the course of the series so far. The only one that hasn’t been revealed yet is the War Hammer Titan. It’s currently possessed by a member of the Tybur family in Marley though Zeke recently got them to agree to bring the War Hammer Titan to Paradis Island in an effort to gain the power of the Founding Titan.

Armin inherited the power of the Colossal Titan at the end of Season 3 and we have yet to see how his Titan form looks. Porco Galliard–the brother of Marco Galliard–gained the power of the Jaw Titan from Krista’s friend Ymir when she decided to return to Marley in Season 2. Ymir unexpectedly gained the power of the Jaw Titan by eating Marco when she was roaming Paradis Island as a Pure Titan. Everyone else gained their powers in a controlled process for the most part.

Why is everyone after the Founding Titan’s power, which is currently possessed by Eren Jaeger? Because it is the “Coordinate” from which all paths originate. The Founding Titan has two abilities: Memory Manipulation and controlling other Titans. It’s not yet known if Zeke knows Eren posseses the power of both the Attack Titan and the Founding Titan but it’s unlikely.

Remember: The first king of the Walled City use the Founding Titan’s power to erase the memories of everyone in the city. As subjects of Ymir, Eldians are basically Titans in Human form. So, memory manipulation is not all that hard to believe. With that in mind, it’s not hard to understand why Marley would want that power for themselves or why the Restorationists want it too. The Eldians want to regain their former glory so…yeah.

 

This is the final season of the Anime and it’s sure to be a must watch. Before I forget, you can legally watch the final season of Attack on Titan in the U.S. on Crunchyroll and Funimation.

 

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

The latest episode of The Rising of the Shield Hero reminds many why Raphtalia is considered “Best Girl”

Image result for The Rising of the Shield Hero Raphtalia

…I damn-near cried during Rahptalia’s flashbacks in her title episode this week. Not just because it reminded me of my own emotional trauma but because of the outstanding storytelling.

For those who you who may not be following The Rising of The Shield Hero too closely, she is first introduced early on in the series. After Naofumi is screwed over by the King of Melromarc for the first time, he meets the Demihuman Raphtalia and buys her from a Slave Merchant. Since she’s a Demihuman, Raphtalia matures and grows quickly–I mean literally. She has the body of a young woman the third episode after she’s introduced to give you an idea. Bits of her past is revealed but it’s shoved aside to focus on the main plot and other things. When the King of Melromarc conspires to force Naofumi and Raphtalia apart, The Shield Hero falls into despair. That’s when Raphtalia lets him know she will stay with him no matter what even if the world conspires against them.

Fast forward to last week’s episode. With the crown princess Melty now with them, the group decides to go see the Queen. Along the way, their pursuers catch up to them and Ralphtalia comes face to face with Idol, the man who brutally tortured her and her friends not that long ago. Overcome with rage and anger–and rightfully so–she draws her sword, intending to put him down. Naofumi, Melty and Filo manage to talk her out of it. A short time later, Raphtalia leads the group into the dungeon where her former tormentor kept Demihumans locked away beneath his mansion. You know things were about to get super emotional when her PTSD started to kick in.

The group does find a few Demihumans still alive and frees them, one of which Raphtalia recognizes from her village. The childhood friend named Rifana that she shared a cell with before she was bought by the Slave Merchant was very sick the last time they saw each other. Rushing to the cell, she is overcome with grief to see only Rifana’s remains. If not for the friends she made since leaving, the pain and deespair she started to feel from Survivor’s Guilt–that’s a real thing by the way–probably would’ve broken her.

 

Related image

Related image

 

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this–by the way, these images are from an earlier episode.

Related image

She may have the body of a full grown woman but her maturity level is still that of a child or teenager in some regards. Technically, she’s over 18 now and not just because of the RPG mechanics. She ages faster simply being a Demihuman. She does crush on Naofumi but is smart enough to keep her feelings to herself…for now. Several episodes later, she learned Filo isn’t a love rival after all though they do compete for his affection. She has resolved to get him to see her as a woman though.

Before I forget. Naofumi can’t use any weapons other than the Shield because he is The Shield Hero. Because of this, he needed someone to form a party with who can fight. After being screwed over by the royal family for the first time, Naofumi meets the Slave Merchant. We now know the tme between when she was in the dungeon and met Naofumi probably wasn’t that long since she got sick while she was in the dungeon. Naofumi buys Raphtalia, gives her medicine and starts training her to fight. After the second incident involving the royal family, Naofumi buys a monster Egg and Filo is born not long afterward.

While it is true Raphtalia and Filo both have a Slave Crest, he’s only invoked it once with each of them. He used Raphtalia’s once when she was still a child while training her to fight and once with Filo because the group was being chased and they couldn’t find her otherwise. It definitely was a real head-scratcher when Raphtalia asked to have her Slave Crest re-applied after it was removed. That’s love for you I guess.

 

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

I just finished binge-watching The Promised Neverland on Crunchyroll

Image result for The Promised Neverland

Image result for The Promised Neverland

 

…Whew.

Toonami picked a GOOD one to carry the English Dub of. More so given there WILL be a Season 2 ^_^

There is so much going on in every episode, you really have to pay attention. Here’s information on 5 key characters and and a 6th who may be an important character if there is a time skip in the second season:

 

  • Emma: One of the 3 main protagonists. She and Norman stumble upon the truth about the world they know: The children are all actually food for demons. Together with Norman and Ray, they plan their escape from the Home while also trying to outwit their “Mom”. By the time Season 1 ends, Emma succeeds where Sister Krone and Mom failed many years earlier in leading a third of the children on a daring escape set in motion two months earlier.
  • Norman: One of the 3 main protagonists. Where Emma is couragous and Ray is cunning, Norman is calculating. When he figures out Ray is actually a Double Agent, rather than cut him out of their plan he turns him into their “Ace”. When Norman sees the large chasm on the other side of the wall, he return seemingly indicates he’s given up. Despite willingly going along with being “Shipped Out”, in the end Norman’s intel ensures their plan to escape happens successfully.
  • Ray: One of the 3 main protagonists and a Double Agent. It’s revealed to viewers in the season finale Ray is actually Mom Isabella’s biological son. When you think about it, that’s the only possible reason she would “reward” him with the items he used to build a jamming device. How their arrangement worked was in exchange for stalling his shipment, he would keep tabs on children planning to escape and report to her. His being her son was leverage in and of itself so…yeah.
  • Isabella: Known as “Mom”, she is the main Antagonist. The season finale reveals her backstory and confirms some of what Krone reveals about her own. About 20 years earlier, Isabella was planning to escape herself and saw the same thing Norman did from the top of the wall beyond the Home. That’s the real reason she wasn’t concerned about the kids actually escaping: The only known way out–the gate–is heavily guarded so…yeah. In exchange for giving up on escaping, she accepts a deal to become a Mom herself. She becomes pregnant (presumably via Artifician Insemenation) as part of her training to become a Mom. Seeing her son do what she could not…she couldn’t help but feel proud.
  • Krone: A “Sister” to Isabella for about half the first season. After Norman and Emma learn the truth, Isabella requests another adult to brought in as “Insurance”. That other adult is the scheming and mentally unstable Krone. When Isabella tells her some of the children learned the truth but is ignoring protocol, she seizes at the opportunity to cooperate with them for her own ends. Having figured out what she’s really up to, Isabella arranges for Krone to be removed–permanently. Before her exit, Krone leaves behind a “parting gift” for the kids to use for their escape.
  • Phil: One of the four year old kids. It’s revealed in the season finale Norman and Emma decided to tell all the kids aged 5 and up the truth and in turn, gained the manpower necessary to flawlessly execute their escape plan on short notice. This proved vital when Emma and Ray stopped talking during the two months after Norman’s departure. It allowed the preparations to continue while Mom kept tabs on the two of them. One more person was also involved: Four year old Phil. Assuming their escape plan succeeded, Phil and the other young kids would be safe for at least another two years. Despite his young age, Phil quickly grasps the situation and helps buy Emma and the others time to escape.

 

…Unsurprisingly, this is based on the Manga of the same name. There aren’t a lot of action scenes throughout but it will keep you on your toes from start to finish. This is also one Anime I would love to see a Live Action adaptation of, too.

It has a very Matrix-like feel to it if you need a comparison in terms of the plot: How would you feel if you found out everything you thought to be true was a lie and the reality was far worse? Would you choose freedom or would you choose the fantasy? The inspiration is way too obvious.

Season 2 is sure to be interesting and might have a time skip. I presume it will pick up where the first season left off.

A few things of note:

  • What will become of Isabella? The mysterious “Grandmother” didn’t seem bothered by the intel Krone gave her. I realized during the finale the current Grandmother was Isabella’s Mom when she was a child and that’s why she had Krone killed. If she felt the situation was beyond what Isabella could handle then she would’ve stepped in at that point. My guess is Grandmother had her son Ray placed in her care on purpose as “insurance”. Isabella likely realized this and used him to keep tabs on the other kids. The escape clearly changes things.
  • When Krone revealed the transmitting device implanted in all Mothers and Sisters, I knew Isabella probably knew Ray was lying to her when he told her Norman and Emma were planning to kill her. If they did actually try to kill her, they would’ve been harvested right away and with Ray being her actual son, she would’ve had a problem with that. That was also likely when she realized Krone was leaking information to Emma and Norman and so she had to be dealt with. She likely set things in motion for Norman to be Harvested at the same time.
  • Isabella broke Emma’s leg in front of Norman and the others on purpose to show all of them how far she was willing to go to keep them from escaping. With Norman’s departure, she wrongfully believed she had removed the biggest threat to her interests and focused on breaking Emma’s iron will. What she mistook as Ray being dispaired was actually his just biding his time. What she had no way of knowing by that point was almost half the kids were in on it.
  • What did Norman see? Isabella asked him to wait in another room past the gate but we’re intentionally not shown what made him gasp in surprise. He didn’t seem scared by whatever he was looking at either. My guess is maybe boys are offered a deal, too.

 

…Ray mentioned something called Infantile Amnesia. Basically, the older you get the harder it is to remember things from early in life. This is actually normal and very common. What isn’t normal is when it doesn’t happen. There are believed to be less than 200 people alive right now worldwide who can recall every single moment of the entire lives.

Ray and Norman both claim to have memories from before they were born and given their ages, that’s not entirely unbelievable. Ray could recall the melody Isabella used to hum when she was pregnant with him (and this is how she figured out he was her actual son). Case studies done on young children have proven they can recall memories from when they were 1 year old. Most experts caution against claims of adults who claim to remember from age 2 or earlier but don’t outright say such claims should be dismissed. After all, there are legit exceptions but I won’t digress further.

Anywho, there will be a Season 2. My guess is it will come in the next year or two. Stay tuned!

 

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

Attack on Titan set to end in 2019; The story so far

Image result for attack on titan

 

…It’s hard to believe it’s only been 5 years since Attack on Titan/Shingeki no Kyojin burst onto the scene and became a GLOBAL Phenomenon out the gate. Five years after it began, series creator Hajime Isayama (Also had a part in Death Note) announced over the summer during an interview the iconic series will end next year.

 

He allowed cameras to capture him drawing what will be the final panel of the series:

Image result for Attack on Titan final panel

The dialogue bubble says “You are free.” No context was given, presumably on purpose. The two leading theories from fans are it’s either Eren and his daughter or an unknown pair many years later.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Season 3 of the Anime is taking a 6-month hiatus and will resume in April 2019. The reason given is so that action scenes in the second half of the season can be properly done right but this may be the other reason: To give time for the Manga to wrap up. I have the Manga volumes up to 20 but plan to get the rest up to present once I have income again.

It is worth noting the Live Action movies did use plot elements from the Manga that hadn’t been approached yet. I’m specifically talking about the origins of the Titans and how the world was before the walled kingdom. The timeline including the events of the prequel Before the Fall series seems to be a few hundred years from the present. Researchers develop what we know as the Titan Serum, a special cocktail that will cause the person injected with it into a Titan. The first Titans unleashed on the world wiped out whole nations single-handedly and in fact, 80% of the world’s knowledge was lost shortly afterward.

Most of the world’s survivor erected the walled city and hid from the Titans inside. As we know, there WERE other humans who lived outside but due to the country’s strict control of information and knowledge, those who lived within were ignorant of the world beyond the walls. If anyone knew how to kill a Titan before, that knowledge was lost by the time the Before the Fall series begins. The series takes place 100 years before the start of AoT and the Omni-Directional Movement Gear (ODM Gear for short) is introduced for the first time. The first known successful Titan kill is recorded during that time as well.

Anyone who knows the series knows a Titan’s one weak point is the nape of the neck. Using paring blades with the ODM Gear, humans could now kill Titans by attacking thir weak point. The main series seems pretty straightforward but then a curveball is thrown when it is revealed Eren and other humans have the power to turn into Titans at will. Even worse, there are traitors among them. In ousting the traitors, the Survey Corps becomes aware of a closely guarded conspiracy going back many generations within the government and both Erin and Krista are key.

It’s revealed Krista is really Historia, the illegitimate daughter of the last remaining member of the royal bloodline. To protect her life, her father arranged for her to live under an assumed name but times have changed. In the end, Historia decides to turn on her father and decide her own life on her own terms. She backs the military-led coup de tat and inadvertently ends up cutting down her father after he turns into a gian Titan. This allows the military to present their new Queen to the people as a Hero.

It’s revealed along the way that Mikasa, Levi and he man who raised him named Kenny are all from the Ackerman Clan. Their clan is one of two who are immune to the power of the royal family’s bloodline. By the time AOT begins, the three named people are the only known members of the Ackerman Clan still alive. Mikasa’s mother was a member of the clan but she along with Mikasa’s father were both killed by bandits. She was taken in by the Jaeger family after the incident. Levi was raised and trained by Kenny, who kept their shared heritage a secret out of convenience. Yes, his full name is Levi Ackerman. He had no clue until Kenny told him in the end. With Kenny dead (cue South Park reference lol) that leaves Mikasa and Levi as the sole known members of the Ackerman Clan left alive. The rest were killed off or went into hiding (which Mikasa’s mother did).

I am not up to date on where the story currently is–not yet anyway–but I do plan to own all the volumes of the Manga. I have plenty of space on my bookshelves. I do feel that AOT will be remembered as one of the most engaging anime ever. Its global reach goes without saying. I do remember hearing a few years back that Marvel approached Isayama about doing an AOT crossover. On that note, the spinoff series Attack on Titan Junior High was done with his blessing (Unlike in the US, Fan Fiction is protected in Japan and more so when you have the original author’s permission).

I can say for sure Attack on Titan is on my top 10-all time Anime list. I’m sure it is for alot of folks. It’s certainly one to remember!

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.