Friday, 22 April 2016


I cannot believe how boring this chapter was. Admittedly, I haven't read Bleach in a while. However, I wasn't as lost as I expected. The last time I saw Toshiro, he was a zombie, so I am little confused by the fact that he's suddenly alive.

But aside from that, I pretty much understood what was going on here, and it was all so bloody boring. Which Is Strange because there was so much action in this chapter.

Toshiro, Zaraki and Byakuya fight a giant Quincy.


Haven't we seen this before? Zaraki and Byakuya teaming up to fight a giant villain that suddenly turns out to be the most powerful member of his group? I couldn't tell you what they call this particular giant (Thor, maybe?) but he reminds me a lot of Espada Number 0, which means Kubo has begun recycling his ideas.

Or maybe he's been doing so for a while and I only recently took notice.

Let's look at some of the failures of this chapter, and there were a lot of them:

1). Zaraki Kenpachi
Remember when we first started speculating about Zaraki's Bankai? It was supposed to be a thing of legend, a power that would level entire cities and reduce whole armies to dust. Here we are, several years later.

Zaraki finally goes Bankai and the most he could do this chapter was tip the giant over? Really? This is what we've been waiting to read for nearly a decade? Really Kubo?

Does anyone remember a time when Bankai could end battles in an instant, or at least elevate them to levels of raw epicness? Because Zaraki's Bankai is somehow more of a disappointment that his Shikai.

Seriously, Kubo? Zaraki just went Bankai and you're telling me that he needs Byakuya and Toshiro's help to beat the giant quincy? Zaraki's bankai should have been powerful enough to bring the war to an end. But, No. We have to keep doing this annoying dance.

2). Toshiro
I was honestly confused by Toshiro's transformation. Maybe Bleach has simply been around for too long because I honestly couldn't make much sense of his explanation about the wilting flowers. That isn't to say that the transformation was a bad idea.

Rather, it wasn't the massive revelation it should have been. We haven't talked about Toshiro's wilting flowers since the days of the Arrancar. 

And, actually, Yes, this transformation was a little idiotic. I mean, really, Kubo. You just gave us Zaraki's Bankai. Rather than giving him a chance to shine, an opportunity to show us his power in its unrestricted form, you throw another power-up at another character, essentially breaking Zaraki's momentum and forcing him out of the limelight.

This is just like the mess with Zaraki's Shikai. Kubo has made a habit of this, showing us Bankai for characters just to kill them off. Zaraki nearly bit the dust after achieving Shikai. And now that he has Bankai, Kubo felt it necessary to immediately sideline him.

Don't forget that every time Ichigo gets a new mode, he's immediately thrown into a multi-chapter battle that showcases his abilities to the fullest. So, I guess, if you're not Ichigo then Kubo doesn't really care about you.

Even if Kubo decides to pass the baton back to Zaraki in the next chapter, he would be sidelining Toshiro before we have a chance to appreciate his new transformation. Either way, this is a corner that Kubo has written himself into. One or both of these characters will see their screen time sacrificed for the sake of story progression.

In other words, we shall be talking about these transformations in years to come as modes we only caught glimpses of but whose true power Kubo couldn't be bothered to show us.

3). The Quincy
The Quincy are some of the dullest villains in Bleach history. There are simply too many of them for any single one of them to truly matter, this excluding one or two exceptions. The problem in this chapter isn't that the giant is so dull.

Rather he will not go down. And this has become a thorn in the side of Bleach. Kubo keeps giving us these badass fights between Quincy and shinigami that end on a high note, only for the mangaka to reverse all his successes by returning the Quincy to life.

The trend is already tired and you know Kubo is waiting to do just that here. This is at a time where the giant has already overstayed his welcome. Kubo's decision to keep this villain around for so long makes no sense. He should have died at the hands of Zaraki two chapters ago.

If not, then let him die at the hands of Toshiro. Why bring Byakuya into this? Really, Kubo? You just gave two of your most popular characters awesome looking transformations. Now you're telling us that even that isn't enough to bring the giant down?

Zaraki Kenpachi's Bankai isn't enough to defeat this giant? Really, Kubo? That's what you're telling us? And you think that makes sense. Really?

This fight needs to end. It's already three or four chapters longer than necessary. Kubo shouldn't be concentrating so many important players on one enemy.

This chapter actually felt like it was dragging. There was very little in the way of plot progression. What a waste. Bleach needs help.

+RATING: 3.5/10
On the positive side, the art was great. Toshiro was awesome, as always. Too bad he's being wasted here. Even with all the action, this chapter felt so purposeless. The final panels were awesome artistically, but that ending was dumb, certainly not worth the cliffhanger. 



Woooooooo! Naruto's back. There's a part of my brain that has been dying to return to Naruto. These are the trials of an anime-only Naruto fan. We've been in Filler Hell for more than a year now.

Think about this: we only had eight non-filler episodes in 2015, and this after the Naruto manga had ended the prior year. Putting Studio Pierrot's problems aside, this was awesome.

It just felt good to finally get back into this world, the real Naruto world. Knowing that Kishimoto wrote this, and the fact that it would be his last Naruto chapter made this all the more special. As a fan of the series, I cannot wait to dig my teeth into this new Naruto story, one filled with new mysteries, characters and a wholly different world to explore.

Mitsuki wakes to a strange world, uncertain of his identity and his relationship to the man (?) known as Orochimaru.


Great chapter all around, With this one-shot, Kishimoto has essentially hammered the last nail into place. With the world of Naruto as we knew it officially behind us, we are ready to embark on a whole new adventure, and you have to admire the systematic approach the author took to bring us to this point.

Naruto Gaiden was essentially Sarada's story, introducing the young heroine to fans new and old, revealing her ties to the Naruto Universe as we knew it even while magnifying all those traits that make her a far more interesting character to watch than Sakura.

The Boruto movie, from what I hear, served to emphasize Boruto's place in this new Universe, not quite setting him up as the powerhouse we all know he might become but giving us a sense of the character we can expect to follow for the next few months, possibly even years.

And now we have this, Kishimoto's last Naruto chapter, bringing Mitsuki to the fro. With this chapter, team Boruto is complete. Think about that. Rather than worry about the sort of shinobi we will meet once the Boruto manga begins its run, we are approaching the story with a new cast that Kishimoto has already introduced to us as well as a set of protagonists with whom we are already quite familiar.

IN other words, we can expect the new manga to kick things off immediately, throwing us into a new adventure without wasting time introducing the cast to us readers.

This Mitsuki-centric chapter made for fine reading. There was an element of mystery as we struggled, alongside Mitsuki, to determine his identity and understand his place in the world. Orochimaru made for a perfect protagonist because you couldn't really trust him.

Every single one of his explanations introduced more questions than answers. His presence alone was enough to keep you on your toes, waiting for the surprise you knew was coming around the corner.

Is Orochimaru's transformation truly genuine? Everything in this chapter painted a man that only wanted to atone for his sins. But, how does Mitsuki fit into his schemes? With Madara gone and the world at peace, what possible purpose could Mitsuki possibly serve?

One thing’s for sure, though. Naruto seems hellbent on repeating this theme of adults torturing children for what they perceive to be justice. Itachi damn near broke Sasuke because he wanted to make him stronger.

Here, Mitsuki’s father (mother?) and brother saw fit to strip him of his memories and lie to him several times over for the sake of compelling him towards the right path.

Personally, the chapter had me hooked from the first page. I wanted to know who Mitsuki was. Learning his identity as an experiment was disappointing, but I appreciated the journey. And then there was that sick Sage Mode.

This was Kishimoto at his most raw. The fights were very ninja-esque. Orochimaru proved once more why he is the king of subterfuge. We saw some new Jutsus, and now we know that Orochimaru essentially pushed Mitsuki to go to Konoha.

What does this new world of Naruto have to offer us? I don't know, but I can at the very least say that Sarada and Mitsuki have me intrigued, enough to stick around for the rest of the year. Now, if only the anime would return to canon. Reading this manga when I haven't even finished the original Naruto story is a little odd.

Before figuring out Orochimaru's plans for Mitsuki, I need to first find out how Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura and Kakashi stop Madara's Infinite Tsukuyomi.


+RATING: 8/10. Taking my bias out of the equation, this was a mostly okay chapter with great moments.

Mitsuki's Sage Mode looked a lot like a Jinchuriki's transformation.

Friday, 15 April 2016


Hmm! Strange! These were very contradictory chapters. The panels were beautifully drawn, so much so that they almost convinced to like the chapters. But after some thought, it is difficult to look at chapters 400 and 401 with anything other than disappointment. 

Rai's battle with Ragus comes to an end with tragic consequences. 


The Last 20 chapters of this arc have been a thrill ride, so much so that I have made an effort to bury the many nagging issues that I have observed over the last few weeks. However, with this arc finally at an end, especially considering the way it ended, I cannot help but express disappointment with the content of these last two chapters.

I have thrown enough praise at Noblesse' art to last a lifetime. But these two chapters were especially gorgeous. The colors, in particular, had me enthralled. You want that from a Manga or Manhwa. You want to read something so engrossing that you lose yourself in the panels and conversations.

But I couldn't completely lose myself in these two chapters and for a number of reasons:

1). For one thing, the panels might have been gorgeous but the art in these two chapters, especially chapter 400, was a little confusing. There were a lot of panels that made no sense to me, especially Rai's last fight with Ragus.

I mean, it looked great. We saw a giant laser and this massive vortex of blood, and everyone was getting shredded and Ragus was dying and I couldn't really understand what I was reading. At some point, I thought I had missed a few panels. Then I waited for Frankenstein to show up because only his presence could explain the way Ragus was being shredded.

But Rai was taking damage as well and Frankenstein didn't show up until the end and I wasn't even sure what the hell Rai was even doing besides raising his arm and looking all dramatic. 

Hence the contradiction. Sure, most of these panels looked awesome, but none of them really stood up to close scrutiny.

2). This was one mess of a story. The last few chapters have given us way too many revelations for us to digest. There is no real harm is making sudden and rather unexpected revelations so late in an arc.

The problem here was that Noblesse was making new revelations and then trying to use them in the story faster than I could comprehend them. I mean, really, Rai has a brother? Why? That wasn't just random, it felt almost foolish.

And this isn't the sort of information you can just shoehorn into a scene like that. Seriously. RAI HAS A BROTHER (Had). That information alone needs several chapters worth of exposition because it means Rai was never the one and true Noblesse and that there might be more from wherever he came.

I won't even get into the mess with the blood stone. Considering the power it gave Ragus, there is no way Rai could have defeated his brother, a Noblesse, whose power was, at the time, augmented by the Blood Stone.

And how the hell did Rai beat Ragus? How the hell did he turn overwhelming defeat into absolute victory? If this was Fairy Tail, I would be crying foul. But this isn't Fairy Tail. This is Noblesse. I can give Noblesse a pass this time round.

I know that Rai always wins but this particular victory felt a little too random. It wasn't cheesy or cliched or even forced. It just felt random, came out nowhere.

Speaking of Fairy Tail, it was after Hiro Mashima made moments like this commonplace in Fairy Tail that my love for that particular manga became hate. Let's hope Noblesse avoids that fate.

+RATING 4/10
These chapters almost convinced me to love them. The art was that gorgeous. But after overcoming that irrational part of my brain, I have to begrudgingly admit that the last half of this arc simply hasn't delivered. 

Sure, we got some pretty epic clashes and the introduction and expansion of characters like Claudia are appreciated. But, overall, the story fell flat. There was a definite lack of growth. Frankenstein's contract with Rai barely received the attention it deserved.

Ragus isn't the first former elder turned traitor we have met. However, he is certainly the least interesting, nothing more than another loud, seemingly menacing old man with sinister plans to conquer Lukedonia and bring about a new World Order.

We need some new evil nobles. They do not necessarily have to be more powerful, simply more interesting, with engaging goals and intentions. I am sick of the whole 'Destroy Lukedonia, Rule the World' plot.


YES! YES! YES! These are the sorts of shonen chapters I look forward to reading every week. Shonen is a unique Manga genre because it's all about action. People fight from January to January, Year in Year out, and you would expect it to get stale.

But it never does. Manga like Nanatsu no Taizai know how to keep things fresh. Considering how much time I have spent away from Nanatsu no Taizai, I am a little surprised that we are still at the Festival.

But, whatever. This was Awesome.

The battle between Escanor and Gowther escalates quickly. The Commandments receive their due.


The last panel of this chapter blew my mind. Escanor is quickly becoming my favorite sin. Every time this character is in play, things get very dramatic very quickly.

We know that the Seven Deadly Sins are more than just another group of really strong warriors. They are very important people. King is a Fairy King. Meliodas has ties to the Ten Commandments and their Demon King.

And last week's chapter revealed Escanor to be some sort of Almighty Sun King, and it fits. Escanor just explodes every time we see him. And that is what he did this chapter. 

Chapter 170 just explodes. To be fair, very little actually happens. Gowther and Escanor throw their biggest attacks at one another and everything explodes. But those few panels of actual content make the rest of the posturing in the chapter worth it.

This was Escanor's chapter and he managed to impress yet again by OBLITERATING THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. 

The Ten Commandments have been causing havoc for several dozen chapters now. They began their campaign by putting three or four of the Sins down. And with the way they have been terrorizing Holy Knights, Sins, and even entire towns, the manga has truly hyped them up as threats.

So, for Escanor to kill, not one, not two but FOUR COMMANDMENTS, this after Meliodas had to undergo intense training just to manhandle little old Galan, what does that say about the final Sin?

+RATING: 8/10. I loved this chapter. It was simple, short and sweet. The misdirect was great, making us think that Escanor was going to decimate Gowther, only to switch things up in that last panel.

For some reason, I just cannot buy the idea that Gowther is a Demon.

Friday, 8 April 2016


There are a lot of annoying exaggerations surrounding this movie. Let's be honest. It doesn't really matter how far your disappointment stretches. By no means can you actually call Batman V Superman Garbage.

To dismiss everything the movie got right out of some sense of anger at the fact that Snyder didn't maintain your notion of these heroes as you knew them in the comics is a little nonsensical.

But let's not forget all those fanboys that are so blinded by their love for all things DC that they refuse to see the movie's many faults.

Let's be honest. Batman V Superman is a good movie. It is by no means great. Personally, I found Man of Steel far more entertaining, but BVS is none the less good. But I suppose that is the problem.

The trailers promised us greatness. And when you promise moviegoers the stars only to deliver the sky (or the tree tops, if we are being honest), the only logical reaction one can muster is disappointment. 

So, Let's dig into this mess. What are some of those factors that brought Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice to its knees.

Oh, There will be Spoilers.

1). The Trailer
Whether you loved or hated that second trailer, you cannot deny the fact that it pretty much ruined the movie.

You might be surprised by the number of people that rose up to defend that particular trailer following the immediate uproar from fans about all the spoilers, especially the revelation of Doomsday.

And the strength behind their arguments revolved around the presumption that there was far more content for us to see in the actual two and a half hour movie than a measly three-minute trailer could show.

Well, they were wrong. If you saw that second trailer, you had pretty much seen the entire movie. There is nothing more irritating than watching a two and a half hour movie that has no surprises to offer. WB has to shoulder the entirety of the responsibility for this blunder. They tried remedying the problem by throwing a third Doomsday-free trailer at us but, really, not only was it too late but that third trailer was itself laden with spoilers.

Add the few dozen TV spots to the equation, and Batman V Superman was spoiled for most audiences before they even went into the theater, which explains the notable lack of impact behind the movie's biggest moments.

2). Batman V Superman
You would think it would be pretty hard to drop the ball on this one. Batman and Superman are the biggest names in Comic Books. This whole movie was sold to fans on the promise of delivering an epic clash between two of the world's most popular superheroes.

TO say that this clash didn't live up to the hype is an understatement. Yes. Batman and Superman fight but, NO, the results are hardly satisfying and for all the obvious reasons.

You need to remember what the trailers have spent the last two years promising us, which is an all out gladiatorial brawl between two heroes who, through a conflict of ideals about justice and their respective places in the world, turn to violence as a means of bringing one another down.

Unfortunately, there is no real conflict between Batman and Superman in this movie, and that is why their actual battle couldn’t live up to the hype.

For one thing, Superman had no real dog in the fight. Yes, we are given glimpses into Clark Kent's negative opinion of The Batman. He isn't particularly pleased with Bruce's Brand of Justice.

However, for the majority of Dawn of Justice, Superman gives so little thought to the presence of Batman and his actions, distracted by his own trials, that Batman comes off as more of a stalker with a Superman obsession than an actual vigilante trying to destroy a global threat.

The final battle falls flat because the conflict between these two characters is ridiculously one-sided. As a fan of these movies, you are drawn to the theater because you cannot imagine how Batman, an ordinary man, could possibly survive an assault from the god-like superman. You want to see the close shaves and earth-shattering escapes the world's greatest detective can engineer to avoid the instant annihilation that Superman could deliver.

But you know you are in for a lot of disappointment when we learn that Batman V Superman is initiated, not by some animosity between the two characters but the machinations of Lex Luthor. 

And at this point, how could the movie possibly deliver on the hype we were promised in the trailer? You know there are no real stakes here. Superman has no real interest in defeating or even killing Batman, so naturally he has to spend the next 15 minutes letting Bruce throw everything he can at him just so he can say his peace.

This movie was supposed to split our loyalties, force us to choose between the diverse perspectives of two heroes even while hoping that neither vigilante will go too far, delivering the killing blow before Wonder Woman can step in and return things to order.

Unfortunately,  I just couldn't lose myself in the fight. Because Superman wasn't really invested in the battle, the outcome was determined from the very start.

And the flow of events didn't really make sense. With his mother's life on the line, why would Superman spend so much time indulging in Batman's games? The man stood his ground against the power of a World Engine. He could have just as easily held Batman in place and told him the truth about Lex’s plans.

Better yet, why not rip that armor off him in an instant and just chain him to the ground until he calms down? With a mere 60 minutes left to save his mother, I do not buy the idea that Superman would waste so much time throwing Batman around.

Nothing about the BVS aspect of the movie worked. We needed, at least, three fights between these characters, multiple opportunities to see them clash on a philosophical level before becoming invested in their actual fist fight.

It is a little ridiculous that these supposed enemies don’t say more than a dozen words to each other in the whole movie. And you have to question Batman’s logic before the fight. What made him think Superman would even see the Bat signal? What if he was on the other side of the planet, or in the Bathroom, or simply not looking up?

Was Batman actually planning to stand in the rain all night? What if Superman didn’t show?

Someone give Zack Snyder a copy of DareDevil Season 2.

3). Superman
What to say about Superman? You cannot really complain about Henry Cavil's performance. But there was so much wrong with the depiction of Superman in Dawn of Justice.

First of all, before this movie hit theaters, some of us were afraid that Superman would be sidelined in favor of Batman, and that is exactly what happened. Yes, we can all agree that Snyder needed time to set up this All-New Batman, but I do not think it was necessary to so drastically overshadow Superman.

And even when he was on screen, there was very little in the way of character development for what is still the world's most popular superhero. I wouldn't go so far as to call him dull but, really, Superman hasn't been this uninteresting since Bryan Singer's Superman Returns.

With dry lines, irrelevant moments of self-reflecting silence and pointless plots that Snyder never really resolved, this was a disappointing showing for the Man of Steel.

I wouldn't call him dark and broody. He was simply Joyless. 

4). Story
Talk to fans of BVS and they will quickly begin reminiscing about all the great moments in the movie. And that's the problem.

This movie is just one long series of great moments that fail to connect as a singular story, much like Avengers: Age of Ultron. Snyder and Crew clearly knew what they wanted to make but there was a notable lack of vision to sew all the great ideas on the table into a cohesive whole.

We can all agree: Wonder Woman was awesome in every one of her scenes, and who can forget Batman’s Badass fight with the terrorists. BVS had moments of wonder and excitement. But, at the end of the day, it was also a ridiculous mess.

The editing was erratic. A lot of scenes were mismatched. The shift in tones just didn't work. More effort went into delivering on the 'Dawn of Justice' side of things than actually telling a great story. This, by the way, is the very same reason why Age of Ultron crashed and Burned.

Marvel was caught up with setting up future movies (and on a technical level, Age of Ultron is far superior to BVS).

There were, at least, five stories running in BVS and Snyder simply could balance them all. Plots were picked up and dropped out of the blue.

So many story threads were left unresolved. The political angle to the movie which we were all expecting, where the world would question Superman's role in society and attempt to hold him accountable for the destruction in Man of Steel, was reduced to a select few News Bytes and moments of self-reflection on the part of Clark.

The expediency with which Batman and Superman dropped their feud made no sense. And I won't even talk about that clunky introduction to the Justice League.

BVS works on a technical level. You know why things happened the way they did. There are reasons to explain the various plots. But, on a story-telling level, the movie falls flat. The movie FAILS to get you to care about its cast, so much so that, moments which should move you have no impact to speak of.

Batman aside, very little about the motivations of the movie's cast is brought to light and, at the end of the day, you are left to fill in a lot of gaps about what happened and why with your imagination.

5). Lex Luthor
Okay, I understand that this mostly comes down to preference. And I can understand why some people loved this incarnation of the popular villain but I personally hated him. The speech pattern, the weird ticks, it was ALL SO STUPID.

I won't even get into his motivations for this movie because we all know he had none. Why does Lex Luthor hate Superman? Does he even hate him? Why was he so hell-bent on killing the Man of Steel? Why was Lex Luthor even in his movie?

I couldn't even begin to tell you why he did any of the things he did. And yes, I have heard all the explanations from Comic Book fans. I have seen the deleted Scene on YouTube. I might have even understood the reference he made from his jail cell at the end. I can probably even guess what he meant by the ‘bells ringing’, but only because I have some rudimentary knowledge about DC comics.

But, is that what WB executives expect from now on? That, as moviegoers, we have to read the comics if we are to have any chance of understanding the flow of events in their movies? Because, if you have never heard the name 'Darkseid' and you do not know what Motherboxes are, everything Lex-related meant nothing to you.

6). Nightmare Batman
Let's be Frank. The Nightmare Scenes in BVS were dumb. If you don't read comics, they made no sense to you whatsoever. More importantly, they added nothing to the story, just another brick added to the Justice League foundation that didn't benefit the Batman V Superman narrative in any way that mattered. 

7). The Death of Superman
If you know your comics, then you probably remember how awesome the 'Death of Superman' storyline was. Which means you probably cannot fathom the idiocy that drove WB to shove this iconic element of Superman's story into the last act of BVS.

Forget about the messy story, the lack of notable dramatic conflicts, the fact that Superman was so underutilized in the movie that his death was not only cheap but it had no real impact because any of the sad emotional elements Zack Snyder wanted to elicit from fans were simply not earned.

Now that you have killed Superman, we know you won't be killing him again. IN other words, you have basically removed all the stakes for future movies involving Superman. No longer will we watch the Man of Steel enter into battle with a deadly foe, and wonder whether he will emerge successful and alive.

These are things you do not do: kill off superheroes so casually. And I have heard the rumors, that this opens the way for the Injustice Storyline (which I like. Evil Superman is awesome), but that doesn't change the fact that DC fired their biggest bullet too early. 

When you walk into movies like this, you are encouraged to check your expectations. We could say that there was simply too much hype surrounding BVS that it couldn't have possibly met our expectations.

But let's be honest, the expectations for DeadPool were through the roof and that movie succeeded in every way.

There was a clear misstep somewhere during the writing stage. BVS was way too messy for the quality of writers they had on board. I had to wait a whole other year just watch Batman fight Superman and I would be lying if I said the wait was worth it.

It doesn't matter how much you loved this movie. You cannot deny the fact that it fell far below your expectations. BVS was a far cry from what the trailers promised. And you have to wonder whether they were a little too focused on remedying the supposed mistakes of Man of Steel.

The character motivations made no real sense. The introduction of the larger Justice League universe was clattered and inorganic. This movie relied a little too much on the viewer's comic book knowledge to fill many of the story’s gaps. It touched upon a lot of plots and threads but never expounded on any single one of them.

And you know what; they kept me waiting way too long before getting into the Batman V Superman part of the movie.

DeadPool filled a lot of us movie fans with optimism about the quality of Superhero movies this year. BVS has done a great job of dampening that optimism.