D&A’s Checkpoint Check-In (January 2023)!

Hey guys. Well, January 2023 is pretty much over at this point, and many are wondering what will become of the future of D&A. In our earlier post (from last year) we started that we’re in a period of ‘where do we go from here?’ and what is the next step, or next phase of our journey. Regardless of what direction we go in, we’re still happy and grateful to all of the awesome fans and voice actors we’ve met during the start of our nerdy lil’ journey. The doors are still open if you’re interested in writing contributor posts to our blog, as long as you make sure your grammar is good, and you fact-checked your sources. We know this post will probably leave you with more questions than answers, so for the ones that you do have, here’s our answers to them.

Is This The End of D&A Anime Blog and D&A Studios Entertainment?

No. We’re still creating videos and content on our Youtube page for you guys to check out (we’ll leave links below), and while we may not post as often as we used to, there’s awesome reviews and articles coming from our contributors. Everyone has a dry spell at some point in their journey, this just happens to be ours.

Will D&A Make Appearances at Conventions?

This one’s been the hardest to answer; mainly due to logistical standpoints, and financial conundrums in regards to location and travel. Our convention future is up in the air; with no actual timetable of when we’ll return to them. (We probably will, we just don’t know when.) There’s periods where we even thought about hosting our own convention-like event for two days, however we would need the support of our fans and the anime community to make it happen.

Will The Nerdz of the Decade Podcast Return?

We don’t have an official timetable of when the podcast will return with new episodes, but we’ll update you on when (and if) it returns. We do want to bring more guests o the show, but we’re playing it by ear in terms of their availability.

That’s all we’ve got for now, so until our next post, stay nerdy and keep rooting for us.

Misuzu Scares Us When She Smiles

Tomo-Chan is a Girl Ep. 4 Review

In my teen years, one of my go-to romcom anime was To-Love-Ru from the halls of Shonen Jump. Say what you want about harem anime and the fanservice, but it’s a lot of fun when it does stuff right. And one of the best things To-Love-Ru did at one point was splitting the episodes up into segments, letting them tell more stories in a single episode. Some of them didn’t even revolve around the main character; they could be about the supporting cast. Why am I talking about all of this, though? Because Tomo-Chan has reached the pointed where it can start to break each episode up into more segments and focus on the side characters. And the side characters are still pretty funny. 

Misuzu Gives Me all Kinds of Red Flags

An interesting thing about Misuzu: in the dub, she’s voiced by the talented Jad Saxton. A lot of her roles over the years have a recurring theme of being characters who are

  1. Associated with cats.
  2. Actual cat-girls.
  3. Cold & sassy tsundere’s
  4. All of the above

Going by this criteria, I’d say Misuzu was meant for someone like Jad. She acts prickly to almost everyone, and…she’s one of the best characters on the show.

The thing about Misuzu that the first short drives home is that she’s scary. Jun says that when she smiles, it’s like the Devil’s smiling at him. Even Tomo’s a little scared of her smile. However, Misuzu’s scary in a good way because you know she’s going to do something fun. 

Plus, she does care about her friends.

Misuzu Craves Tomo’s Affection

Misuzu may not say it outright, but as the next short makes clear, she deeply craves Tomo’s affection. They’ve been best friends since they were babies, and they balance each other quite well. Tomo brings out the best in Misuzu, and Misuzu keeps Tomo grounded when she lets her emotions run wild. So, when Tomo decides to become more physically affectionate with her girlfriends and winds up getting glomped by Carol all day, she gets jealous. 

Misuzu’s what we call a tsundere. Someone whose harsh to people at first but warm and affectionate to people once she’s warmed up to them. However, Misuzu’s pride also keeps her from expressing her emotions properly. Thankfully, Tomo and Misuzu’s bond is too strong to be broken by things like that.

As a side note: Jun’s a total hypocrite. When he surprises Tomo with a hug out of nowhere, it’s fine, but when she does it, it’s not cool? Either it’s cool for both of them, or it isn’t, man!

Tomo’s Parents are Just Like Her

The final short, while a bit all over the place, is also my favorite because we get to meet Tomo’s parents for the first time. After seeing them, her personality starts to make a lot more sense.

First, there’s her mom, whose just as fiery and passionate as her daughter is, to the point where she threatens Jun when he doesn’t call her by her first name. Then, we finally meet her dad, the head of the Aizawa Dojo. Despite being as much of a meathead as Tomo and Jun can be, he’s powerless before his wife. It’s clear that she wears the pants in the relationship. 

Despite what Tomo thinks of her Dad, Jun understands Mr. Aizawa a little better. He may not look cool in front of his wife and daughter, but Jun understands that he doesn’t need to put on airs in front of his family. He can be himself with them, and that’s the best thing anyone can ask for. The rest of the segment revolves around Tomo standing up to a group of bullies for her girlfriends. And when they seek revenge, Jun whups them offscreen. 

They may not have been as organized as some of the other episodes so far, but I’m still having fun watching them. Better wait for long-term for Jun to wise up to his best friend’s crush on him, though. 

I Give “The Reason for Her Smile” a 3.5/5, a “I Want to Be Playful Like a Girl” a 3.5/5, & “Heroes Fall a Lot” a 4/5

So That’s Why Misuzu Hates Jun-Kun!

Tomo-Chan is a Girl! Ep 3 Review

Another week goes by, another instance of you guys enjoying my reviews of Tomo-Chan is a Girl! I’m not sure if it’s because I’m writing it for D&A Anime Blog or watching the anime, but thank you, regardless. I’m personally still enjoying this light-hearted rom-com. Speaking of romance, the second segment for last week’s episode ended with the reveal that Jun and Misuzu used to date. Tomo wasn’t aware of this, and the three had been friends since they were kids.

Time for some good old-fashioned drama!

Why Misuzu Hates Jun So Much

After hearing about the apparent relationship between the two of them, Tomo immediately goes to Misuzu to learn more. The story went like this: one day in middle school, Jun asked Misuzu out on a date out of nowhere, and she said yes. However, his idea of a “date” was bike riding up a mountain road. Misuzu didn’t like it. At all. They did the same thing the day after that, so she couldn’t take it anymore. 

It gets funnier. Even though she wanted to break it off with him, Jun did it first. And that’s why she hates Jun so much: he hurt her pride as a woman.

Hilarity aside, it’s pretty obvious that Jun’s ideal date involves doing things that Tomo would like. Between that and how he becomes violently protective of her around other guys, it’s pretty safe to assume that he likes Tomo like that. He’s just Naruto Uzumaki levels of dense about it. Some might find it boring, but I find it funny to see how long these two will keep fumbling around like this.

Speaking of which…

An Actual Date Between Tomo and Jun!?!?

Tomo finally manages to work up the nerve to ask Jun out on a date! At least, that’s what she intends for it to be. Jun merely sees it as the two of them hanging out like they usually do. Still, Misuzu and Carol both agree that Tomo shouldn’t waste this chance, and advise her to dress slightly more feminine. The end results are pretty impressive to look at; when Tomo puts her mind to it, she looks really pretty.

Too bad Jun remains as dense as ever. As a result, the two continue to do things they normally do, like play baseball and go bowling. And sadly for Tomo, when she suggests they go do karaoke together, she’s left singing kiddie songs while Jun watches. It’s…a little sad to look at.

As seems to be the case, though, Jun slowly does start to see Tomo as more of a girl, as he privately admits that Tomo looked cute in her outfit on their not-date. 

I may not have much experience with dating (sadly), but I do know that a date doesn’t have to be exactly romantic. As long as both people are doing something they love together, then that’s also fine. 

Thus far, I’m loving this anime. I think it’s one of the funniest ones to come out of the Winter 2023 season, and I look forward to seeing how far it’s going to go. 

I Give “Best Buds” and “Let’s Go on a Date!” a 3.8/5 and 3.5/5 

Short Skirts and Cotton-Candy Girls

First off, I wanted to say thank you to all the people who liked my review to the premiere episode of Tomo-Chan is a Girl! I didn’t expect it to be so well-liked, and I appreciate it. Secondly, it’s still too early to tell, but I stand by my statement. This is going to be a slice-of-life romcom to watch in the winter 2023 anime season. This week, Tomo-Chan deals with skirts and makes a new friend who is…rather weird.

That Intro Screams Best Friends, Though!

This episode also marks the debut of the anime opening, and I have to say, I found it to be very light-hearted and charming. Seeing Jun and Tomo throw fists at each other like there’s no tomorrow and then laugh it off immediately afterward? These two have “best friend energy” written all over them and can clearly be themselves around each other. It drives home just how strong their bond really is. That, and any girl you can pal around with like this is the kind you want in your life. Get on that, Jun!

The Pros and Cons of Wearing Skirts

In the first segment, Tomo and Jun take the bus home from school when some pervert tries feeling the former up. Thankfully, Jun sees what’s happening right away and hauls the guy to the police. While Tomo could’ve done it herself, it’s sweet seeing Jun be protective of his best friend. 

He then ruins any good will he gets by dropping a bombshell: he thinks Tomo should ditch the skirt and wear shorts full-time. She’s…not happy about that since her goal is to get Jun to notice her femininity. However, she’s just as upset by Misuzu’s advice of doing the opposite: ditching her shorts underneath her skirt. Then she basically forces Tomo to do just that to get a reaction out of Jun.

If it were anyone else, Misuzu would come off as a jerk. However, it’s clear that she wants what’s best for her two friends, even if that means she has to push them to each other a little. In the end, though, Tomo and Jun both realize that it’s better to do things at their own pace. I think; besides, anyone else who tries to put a hand on Tomo will get their butts kicked by either one of them. 

Tomo Befriends The Most Popular Girl in School…Who has the Same VA Subbed and Dubbed

In the second segment, we’re introduced to Carol Olston, who’s got the distinction of being voiced by the same person. Dubbed or subbed, she’s voiced by Sally Amaki. She’s the school idol and…she’s odd. Like odd, even by the standards of anime. She mistook Tomo for a girl and then spent the whole day calling her “dumbbell.” Then, to make things weirder, she goes to Misuzu and talks her into getting advice on how to fight Tomo. Or make friends with her. She bribed Misuzu with cake, so the latter was fine with it.

Misuzu’s solution was, of course, Jun. As in, she used the whole thing to get Jun and Carol to spend time together to make Tomo jealous. And it works. Somehow, Tomo and Carol both end up being friends. However, I couldn’t help but be nervous at how Misuzu manipulates her two friends like this. It’s one thing if its because she wants them to be happy. Yet she also seems to do it to mess with them for her own enjoyment. 

That, and the final moments see Jun drop a bombshell: he and Misuzu…used to date. 

So far, this is a really good romcom slice-of-life anime. I’m enjoying it; and now I think Carol and Misuzu are also running for best girls of 2023. 

I Give “Tomo’s Skirt” a 3.5/5 and “The School’s Idol” a 4/5

Tomo-Chan Entered Running for Best Waifu of 2023

Tomo-Chan is a Girl Ep 1 Review

We’re only a week or two into 2023, and already, we have a nominee for “Best Waifu of the Year,” not to mention one of the anime to keep an eye on. Ladies, gentlemen, and those who identify as neither, I give you our latest candidate in the hall of waifus, Tomo Aizawa, from the new anime, Tomo-Chan is a Girl.

It may not seem like it, but I have a soft spot for rom-com anime. Perhaps its because I devoted so much of my school time to myself or my studies that I never enjoyed any romance, but I’m getting off-topic. I’ve been waiting for this anime to come out for some time, and now it’s up on Crunchyroll, subbed and dubbed. There are reasons why I paid attention to it, but first let’s set everything up.

Tomo-Chan is Awesome!

Based on a manga of the same name, Tomo-Chan is about Tomo Aizawa, who is one of the biggest tomboys I’ve seen in a while. She does karate at her dad’s dojo, acts like one of the guys, and has a figure other girls would kill to have. She’s been in love with her best friend/next-door neighbor, Junichiro Kubota, for years and finally works up the nerve to confess. However, there’s one small problem:

Jun is so dense, he can’t even understand that Tomo likes him like that. He’s so dense that it wasn’t until middle school that he finally realized that Tomo was a girl! That’s how bad things were! As a result, this irritates Tomo to no end, and all she wants to do is make Jun see her as a girl. They also have another friend named Misuzu who just loves to mess with both of them.

This Show is Awesome!

Now there are several reasons why I’m paying attention to this anime. Firstly, I cannot remember the last time a rom-com had a tomboy as the female lead. I’ve always had a soft spot for tomboys who don’t mind doing guy stuff with other guys. I think it’s super cool. So, having Tomo as the main lead naturally caught my eye. 

Secondly, I love how the characters play off each other so well. Tomo is very much a tomboy who loves what she does. She’s usually confident, straight-forward and fun. However, her upbringing combined with Jun’s obliviousness, leaves her very insecure about her feminity. At the same time, the first segment hints that Jun does see Tomo as a girl; he’s just in extreme denial over it because he doesn’t want to ruin their friendship. Meanwhile, Misuzu just wants what’s best for both of them and keeps trying to take that next step. The way she does it, though, is very much like a troll or gadfly; she likes messing with them.

This is an Anime to Watch out for Winter 2023

So that’s the basic premise behind the story of Tomo-Chan is a girl, and the first two segments are pretty fun, both subbed and dubbed. The first one has Tomo continually frustrated with Jun’s idiocy, but Jun’s actions (i.e., getting jealous when Misuzu suggests she’ll get a boyfriend) show he’s not as dense as he acts. The second one sees Tomo dealing with these girls who are jealous of her hanging out with the captain of the boy’s karate club that they like. It’s all very rom-com, slice-of-life stuff. 

I am genuinely looking forward to seeing how this anime develops. If it goes well, Tomo could end up being a candidate for best girl of 2023. Now if only she could get Jun to step out of the friendzone.

I Give “Episode 1” a 4/5

Chainsaw Man Season 1 Ends on Lukewarm Note

Chainsaw Man Episode 12 Review

Himeno, thou art avenged, and with it, the curtain falls on the first season of Chainsaw Man. At least the first part of the season’s over, but that’s besides the point. The point is that the Devil Hunter’s fight with the Katana Man and his Yakuza ends, and the survivors walk away with their heads held high. That, and Denji and Aki force their enemy to endure one of the worst things any man could endure.

But does it do a good job of capping off the season? Meh.

I Must Not Fear, Fear is the Mind Killer

On Aki’s part, when faced with the Ghost Devil, the same one that worked with Himeno, he’s left terrified. Fortunately, since this is a shonen anime, all it takes is a reminder of Himeno in the form of a cigarette that she wrote on to snap him out of it. Like a true badass, Aki manages to kill the Ghost Devil, who uses fear to sense its enemies. And Aki, having committed to his path of revenge, has no fear. 

This is both equal parts badass and disturbing. I’ve already said several times that most of the Devil Hunters will die young in horrible ways. Given what the Future Devil saw, Aki’s death is going to be horrible. This should concern him, even though he already knows he has only a few years before he dies. Instead of doing something else with his life, though, he chooses revenge. 

Revenge can feel good, but it can also make things worse.

Chainsaw vs Katana is the best fight of the season.

As for Denji, he has his rematch with the Katana Man, but not before the latter tries to take the moral high ground. The Katana Man says all he wants is to avenge his grandfather; he doesn’t care if he has to turn himself in afterwards. However, his pleas fall on the deaf ears of Denji, and, hopefully, the audience itself.

Firstly, the Katana Man ignores the fact that his beloved grandpa was a Yakuza gangster who did a lot of terrible things. Denji did everything the man asked of him, and he chose to kill him anyway. Secondly, he was already a zombie when Denji iced him, so he was dumb enough to make a bad deal with a Devil. Instead of accepting that his grandad got himself killed, Katana Man tried to kill Denji, and got Himeno killed. Thus, Katana Man gets what’s coming to him.

The rematch between the two is, arguably, the best of the season. It also marked the first time in several episodes that I started to get excited about the fighting. Even though it, once again, ended too soon for my tastes, while it was going, it was fun to watch. 

The Ultimate Nut Shot

The best part of the entire episode, though, is what Denji and Aki do to the Katana Man after he gets his butt handed to him. As punishment for killing Himeno and their other comrades, they dish out the ultimate punishment: they take turns kicking him below the belt. Whoever makes him scream the loudest wins.

I honestly thought that this whole scene was hilarious. It was petty, vengeful, and unnecessary of them to do this, but it also felt like a good way for them to deal with their excessive anger over Himeno’s death. Also, you have to admit the man had it coming. Thus, the season ends with the Devil Hunters walking away with their heads held high. 

So why is it that I don’t feel fully satisfied with what happened?

Not as Fun as I Thought it Would Be

I haven’t read the Chainsaw Man manga before I started watching the anime, but I kept hearing everyone saying a ton of good stuff about it. They said that it was amazing, that it was an instant classic, and one of the best shonen manga of the next generation. And I bought it for a bit-it certainly looked cool. However, as much as I wanted to deny it, the Chainsaw Man anime…wasn’t as exciting as I thought.

I’d say I over-hyped the series in my mind after hearing what it was like, but I’m not so sure. I even read that a fan petition started to have the anime redone. I think that might be a little much, but I can’t help but think what we would get if this was animated by Studio Trigger. 

Regardless, I still think that the Chainsaw Man anime has potential. Hopefully, once I start watching it in dub form, I’ll regain my excitement. In the meantime, I’m going to be cautiously optimistic for the next season, whenever that comes out.

I Give “Katana vs. Chainsaw” a 3.5/5

2022 Was a Great Year for Anime

The Best Anime of 2022

Another year over, another year closer to anime fans achieving pop culture hegemony. All jokes aside, 2022 was a particularly good year for Japanese animation. Not only did we get some incredible films and series in 2022, but several of these ended up breaking the Internet. As the year comes to a close, it’s time for us to look back on the best anime to come out of Japan.

Full disclosure: in addition to anime series, we will also be counting movies. Considering the success that several anime films had at the box office this year, it’s justified.

Attack on Titan Season 4, Part 2

Just when you thought that Attack on Titan couldn’t get any bigger, it does just that. The second part to the hit anime’s final season premiered in January 2022, and the Internet went crazy over it. Given how this part saw series protagonist/antagonist Eren Yeager enact his plans of unleashing an army of Titans to wipe out all humanity beyond his island home, that was to be expected. In addition, when the opening for the new part, “Rumbling” went up on YouTube, it wound up trending. Given how the part ended on a massive cliffhanger, fans are chomping at the bit to see the grand finale in all its animated glory. 

Spy x Family

It’s the spy comedy that’s taken the anime world by storm, Spy x Family. Making its anime debut in 2022, Spy x Family combines all the action and escapades of classic spy films with the kind of comedy that will leave you in stitches. Set in a fictional world locked in a cold war, Spy x Family follows Twilight, an agent tasked with spying on an enemy politician to stop a potential war. To do this, he builds a fake family with a little girl named Anya and a woman named Yor. The twist is that Yor’s secretly one of her country’s best assassins, and the only one aware of this is the mind-reading Anya, whose desperate to keep her found family intact.

Even though it’s the new kid on the block, Spy x Family has already won the hearts of millions, and it’s not hard to see why: the characters are so likable. Anya’s a precious little cinnamon bun who only wants to have a real family and will go to great lengths. Despite only taking them in as part of his cover, Loid comes to genuinely care about Anya and Yor. Lastly, Yor’s dual nature as a deadly assassin but clumsy and caring housewife makes her one of the top waifus of the year. If you haven’t already watched it, you should check out Spy x Family.

One Piece

This year was a good year for One Piece, period. On the manga front, the series completed its biggest and longest arc to date, the Wano Country Arc that saw Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates go head-to-head with one of the strongest pirates in the world. Meanwhile, that same arc continues to be adapted into anime to great fanfare. When Crunchyroll posted some of the best clips on YouTube, they trended several times. 

Lastly, the series latest film, One Piece Film: Red, saw massive success in its native Japan and overseas, with its soundtrack trending on iTunes. With the series entering its final saga and Eichiro Oda promising it to be more epic than ever, now’s a good time to be a One Piece fan.

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero 

After so many years of getting the short end of the stick in favor of his dad, Dragon Ball finally made Gohan great again. When the remnants of the Red Ribbon Army come out of hiding (again) while Goku and Vegeta are away, it falls to Gohan to deal with the threat. However, Gohan’s neglecting his training again, much to everyone’s disappointment. Frustrated by this, Piccolo uses this chance to force Gohan to reawaken his fighting spirit.

Even though this movie sees the franchise use 3D animation as opposed to 2D, it doesn’t make the film less amazing. The film brings back much of the humor from the early days of the original manga while carefully balancing it with a ton of action. In addition, the film sees Gohan and Piccolo gain new forms that put them in the running for strongest characters in the franchise once more. The former gets a form that, for all intents and purposes, effectively canonizes the popular fanmade transformation El Blanco. El Blanco is canon, people!

Chainsaw Man

Yet another newcomer to the Shonen anime scene, Chainsaw Man has also taken the anime world by storm. Set in an alternate 1990’s Japan where Devils exist, the series follows Denji, a young, teenaged Devil Hunter whose life’s cut short by a group of Yakuza. However, Denji gets a second lease on life when he fuses with his Devil friend, Pochita, becoming the infamous Chainsaw Man. Now, Denji hunts down even more Devils. Not for the sake of humanity or for justice or revenge, but for the simple goal of living a normal life. That, and to get lucky with a woman.

Chainsaw Man is one of the most popular anime on the market right, and it’s not hard to see why. The characters are quirky and the series is filled with so much blood and over-the-top violence that it would leave Attack on Titan jealous. If you haven’t been watching it, then you need to be. It’s a slow burn at first, but once it picks up, you’ll see why it’s so popular already.

My Hero Academia Season 6

While the fifth season may not have been that exciting, it was just a prelude to the real show: My Hero Academia, Season 6. With the villains growing more powerful than ever, the heroes make their move to put an end to the destructive plans of Tomura Shigaraki. However, what should’ve been a decisive victory for the heroes turns into an all-out war that pushes both sides to their absolute limits. Characters die, heroes and villains unlock new abilities, and shocking revelations emerge. This is My Hero Academia at its absolute best, and the season’s only halfway over.

JoJo : Stone Ocean

Netflix ruined the hype for this. JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure is one of the greatest shonen series ever. The last decade’s seen the anime inspire countless memes as it finally achieved worldwide popularity. However, the decision to have Part 6 air on Netflix prevented it from reaching the heights it should have. Netflix made the decision to release the season in batches, which is good for streaming but terrible for building up hype. As a result, the final act in the original JoJo timeline almost flies under the radar. 

D&A’s Checkpoint Check-In (December 2022)

Hey guys, it’s finally here. With less than 30 hours until 2023, and this is our last post of 2022, we just wanna thank you guys for all of the love and support that you’ve given us throughout the year and then some. Things around D&A HQ haven’t always been smooth, but we’ve managed to persevere and continue to do what we do best. Although we’re rapidly approaching the new year, the future of D&A is still kinda up in the air; with aspects such as looking for more contributors (shout-outs to ‘JunoGuy’) to help run the ‘blog’ side of things, to convention appearances. We’ve actually had to take a step back these last few months due to burnout as well as life ‘stressors’, which meant we also had to scale back on the amount of content that we put up on our channel. We do however want to emphasize that ‘D&A’ as a blog, is not going anywhere. We are just in a period where we’re on the verge of redirecting our focus on other aspects of the blog; especially in the educational sector.

2022 has been a year of reflection, reevaluation, and revelations for D&A as a whole. What comes next can only be described as the ‘What Happens Now?’ phase of our 7-year tenure. (Kinda like the 7-year itch for marriages.) Should we get pulled out to a con, or we stumble upon some new material for our content, you’ll be the first to know – as we post or talk about on our podcast! This is pretty much it for this post, so until 2023, keep being nerdy! 😉

Anime Training Arc=Badass Protagonists

Chainsaw Man, Ep 11 Review

When an anime protagonist wants to overcome insurmountable odds and beat an enemy that kicked their butts, what do they do? They have an anime training arc, get stronger, and then go back for a rematch. In this case, Special Division 4 has a collective anime training arc to take down the Katana Man. However, will it be enough to take down the Katana Man and his Devils?  

Yes. That’s what happens with an anime training arc.

Training Time’s Over, Time for Payback 

Having trained under Kishibe for an unspecified amount of time, Denji and Power start to show some improvement. At least, that’s what Kishibe says, since he pushes back their training to once a week. However, he also lets them know that they’re going to be launching their mission to take down the Katana Man and his rogue Yakuza the next day. The Special Division’s future rides on their success; if they fail, Denji and Power die. In other words, they shouldn’t fail.

The success of what will happen is the main source of drama for the episode, with Makima even visiting the Yakuza upper echeleons to get more intel…is what I wish she was just doing. In addition to that, she then intimidates the Yakuza into cooperating with the government or face destruction.

This moment show’s how no-nonsense Makima is about her job. When the Yakuza boss refuses to cooperate at first, saying they’re a necessary evil to keep worse gangs from outside Japan out, she doesn’t have it. She gives him a bag of eyes from their other members, their families, and more. It’s a morbid sight and one that would intimidate most people. As I’ve said before, Makima scares me. 

The Raid Begins! The Other Members of Special Division 4 Make their Debut!

The third act of the episode sees Special Division 4 start their raid on the forces of the Katana Man and Sawatari (the girl with the Snake Devil). This moment serves as a chance for us to meet the other members of their group, and most of them are either Devils or Fiends. 

It’s more apparent now why Makima’s Division is cause for concern. Most of the members are either crazy people, Fiends, Devils, or some combination of all three. Denji fits right in with all these oddballs, for better or worse. 

Aki’s Anime Training Arc Pays Off

The real highlight of the episode, though, is Aki. He made a contract with the Future Devil, who, despite it’s strange appearance, is a troll by nature. It likes to mockingly say that “the future rules,” and unlike others, it’s worked with, it barely asks for anything from Aki. All it wants is to live in his right eye, and it will let him see a few seconds into the future. 

The catch to this, though, is that it wants a front-row seat to Aki’s inevitable death, something it found very interesting. Like I said, it’s a troll. 

As I said last week, it’s pretty evident that most of these people aren’t going to live to see retirement. The implication that Aki’s death is so morbid that the Future Devil wanted a front-row seat to it makes it pretty obvious. However, it’s still disturbing to see that the series equivalent to Sasuke will likely die before the anime ends.

Regardless of the short life expectancy, it’s clear that the anime training arc’s paid off. The Yakuza are going down. The one regret that I may have is the fact that the first portion of the anime ends next episode. Here’s hoping they can finish the Katana Man Arc in that time. 

Happy Holidays everyone!

I Give “Mission Start” a 3/5

Anime Training Arc. Brought to You By Kishibe

Chainsaw Man Ep. 10 Review

The first round between the Yakuza of the Katana Man and Public Safety Division 4 of the Devil Hunters has ended. Both sides have retreated to lick their wounds and mourn the dead. In this case, most of Division 4’s either dead or quit. Aki’s lost his partner, Denji got his butt kicked, and Power? She ran away like a coward. Thus, in accordance with the laws of Shonen anime, this defeat means the protagonists must train to get stronger. To do that, Makima brings in someone crazy. So crazy that he makes Denji and Power look sane in comparison: Kishibe.

Master Kishibe Pulls No Punches

With most of their members dead or quitting Public Safety to go private, Makima needs to make sure her remaining members (the main trio, Kobeni, and Madoka) are up to the task. To that end, she arranges for each of them to get stronger in some fashion. For Aki, this means forming a contract with a new Devil. For Denji and Power, though, this means training under the strongest Devil Hunter they have: Kishibe.

Kishibe only likes three things in life: booze, women, and killing Devils, and he’s good at the last one. So good, in fact, that he was Aki and Himeno’s teacher at one point. In other words, he’s as nuts as they get, and brutal to boot. When he meets Denji and Power at a cemetery, the first thing he does is attack them and beat them to near death.

While his training methods sound sadistic, there’s a method to his madness. Only the strongest and craziest people can become Devil Hunters and survive. And with his monstrous strength and lack of fear, Kishibe’s crazy and strong enough to train Denji and Power. 

The bad news? His training methods involve beating them within an inch of their lives until they can beat him. It’s brutal, Spartan, and sadistic…but effective. They do slightly better the next day.

Aki Goes Devil Shopping

As for Aki, he finds himself dealing with a different problem. After what happened with the Katana Man and that girl with the Snake Devil, he’s out of a Devil Contract. Thus, his next step is to get a new one from one of the Devils the Public Safety Division has captured. What follows is like a cross between going to buy something at the store or adopting a new pet. In this case, the “pets” are Devils that can kill him.

The one that Aki considers is the Future Devil. Considering how it represents the fear of the future (which can be pretty scary), I can imagine that such a being must be pretty strong. The uncertainty of the future scares a lot of people, thus making it very dangerous. 

I’m suddenly very worried.

None of These People Will Live to See Retirement, Will They?

The more I watch Chainsaw Man, the more I realize something bad: none of these characters are going to live to see retirement, are they? 

I’m being serious. With the rate of casualties as a Devil Hunter, I don’t think anyone of these people can expect to die in their sleep from old age. Not Denji, not Power (can she even age?) And certainly not Aki. Thanks to his contract with the Curse Devil, he only has two years left to live. He knowingly gave up his chance at a long life to get revenge on the Gun Devil. And I thought Sasuke was bad.

Regardless of their short lifespans, the trio fo Denji, Power, and Aki seem determined to live life to the fullest. Firstly, that means finding the Katana Man, and putting him in his place. And once they undergo their anime training arc, they will do so. For Himeno.

I Give “Bruised and Battered,” a 3/5