BOKU NO HERO ACADEMIA SEASON 2 Review

“As the burning torch been passed, how bright can my hero glow, is yet to perceive”

The brilliant mash-up of traditional superhero and Shounen story  Boku no Hero Academia, Written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi, is the newest addition to the throne of weekly shounen jump. It has been serialized since July 2014, and 14 volumes have been collected in tankōbon format. In case of story, it has a heart for character study but received such criticism for failing to do anything particularly new or interesting. It roasted of dramatis personae that goes down the shounen checklist but resurrected on execution. With same good old fashion motivational factors like many other shounen mangas have explored, Boku no hero somehow managed to contrast the best of it. It is the streaming reminder that an anime doesn’t always need to be original or unique to steal fan’s heart. As two anime seasons from studio BONES have already been aired, the glorious moment has arrived to dive into a deeper understanding to its variables. Keeping in mind the intended age group of this story, let’s keep this review shounen-ish (not some vile suggestions to the vivified confrontation of my personal satisfaction).

“Let the Quirky tale begin”

Beginning & Mangaka

Just like Deku (our protagonist) Horikoshi at the beginning of his career was chasing some big dreams. His goal was to get into shounen jump and fortunately also didn’t give up trying. He previously worked on Barrage and Oumagadoki Doubutsuen, but unfortunately both were quickly canceled. In great depression, he decided to channel positive feelings into his work and so came a one-shot name “my hero”, which had the ideology that became the foundation for our series. Though, it was six years before My Hero Academia.


Mangaka Masashi Kishimoto (known for Naruto) praised Horikoshi to be confident that the series would be a complete hit. And so it did. It was able to fill the void left in fan’s heart by Naruto. There are many resemblances to Naruto like rivalry between classmate and academic background and all, yet the driving factors still feels energetic and imposing.

Settings

In a highly mutated era, structured in modern Japan with pop culture, vast majority of the civilization has inherited some sort of super powers (called Quirk). Some have chosen the path of super heroes, some became criminals and for some it helps to do the laundry. Those who are left such as Deku, are considered as outcast. Though, this short of treatment was only been seen in high school where the story began. The very idea of hero in Boku no Hero is not even same as “saved the day” one. It’s just a structural position, a job vacancy that needs to be filled. Heroes are also not vigilanties. They’re authorized, tracked and accounted for by the government and have quotas. They essentially operate as a 2nd police force. Most heroes are aiming to become professionals, that makes them more of employees, like policemen or taxi drivers. Endeor’s existence rises such topics. Though, the story didn’t really go into such narrations until Stain arrived. But there’s also the traditional ones such as All Might, who’s here to carry on the symbol of peace. This very ideology separates the “One for all” holders from the rest of them, which I believe was our mangaka’s intention all along. If there’s good there’s also evil, but in this case the good was born from the realm of evil. The idea of good vs evil gives a balance to this society. The constant struggle, the yin and the yang, keeps it in a never-ending stress. And in this tension, our heroes will be crafted towards their own destined path.

Characters

What makes a character great?

It’s the variety of traits and different sides of their personality, where he or she displays straight, weakness and a full range of emotions. That’s when it resonates the most. We love the changes, the growth that keeps them emotionally refreshing. And by all means Boku no Hero got a large crew of such characters. What makes the cast of infinity war look small.

Every character is in a constant fear of their own flaws and desperate to adapt, despite what we see on the outside initially. This driving force to change fills each one of their designs with varieties. Each character inspires one another to push to a further advance. With so many characters it is impossible to justify most of them in a single article, so let’s only focus on characters which have the most impact to the story. For this, our favorite Todoroki may not be the best choice.

  • All Might: The no 1 hero, All Might is the spotlight of this story, the walking reminder of peace. An all-powerful one punch man with such an emaciated bag of bones that his eyes are perpetually casting shadows, the visible pupils however show that there’s still light beaming inside of him. All might’s very existence holds this world from going into chaos. Though, it was threatened five years ago when a fatal encounter with a villain left him injuries that eventually leads to extremely frail physique. Now he can only serve as a hero for three hours a day. All Might is been respected by even heroes. His classic American style hero look, his smile keeps children in a shade of comfort and motivation. It’s the strength of his moral fibres that shines through his appearance. He wants people to believe in him, believe in the power of good. But the burden is too much for one to handle. So he wanted a successor to carry it with him. That’s where Midoriya came.
  • Midoriya Izuku: The muttering boy, the protagonist of our story, Izuku is very timid and polite but diligent and strong willed boy. Due to his Quirkless initials, he’s been bullied since childhood. Being unwanted by his classmates Deku developed a keen sense of observation. He’s an analysis and a strategist. Though, this side of his character florist from the moment he meet All Might. After sensing Deku’s selfless attitude to save others despite his weak appearance, All Might took him as his pupil and gave him a gift, a HAIR to swallow (The power of “One for All”). And so the road to become the greatest hero begin. Now in case of shounen stories there’s always an optimistic protagonist who will risk it all and win at the end with the power of determination, believe and friendship. But what differs Deku from rest of them is his mature understanding. He may act childish, but he can grasp a situation or even a person’s psychology faster than anyone. He motivates others as well as motivated by them. This chain reaction keeps him from being lazy and arrogant of his power. It’s not the power of “One for all” that defines him as a hero, it’s his constant hardwork, unrest determination to grow and lifelong wish to become the next All Might. But the road is not easy as many others including Bakugou wishes the same.
  • Bakugou Katsuki: The guy who has no chill, Bakugou is a character of pride. He sweats nitroglycerin which allows his hands to disperse explosive energy. Despite his smart and capable qualities, he is always portrait as an arrogant selfish, resenting guy. From early life he had a superiority complex. He always wanted to be the best in everything. So he enjoyed being a bully at school where he was the star of the class. But soon that dream shattered when he entered the U.A, where everyone was special. That aside, what his ego couldn’t take the most is the weakling who he always bullied getting more spotlights. Being saved by Deku wasn’t enough, now he has to overcome Todoroki (another star of the class) and Deku both. This agony of one loss after another kept him in a place of Sasuke (from Naruto). Though he doesn’t take shortcuts and become frustrated when he wins easily. Bokugou is that type of character who can easily be misunderstood as a villain or at the very least on its way of becoming one. But it’s his ego what kept him from doing so.  Whenever he and Deku came in contact both of their personality cherishes as of their understanding towards each other. He plays the role of Deku’s arch nemesis. Though that spot been taken over as soon as our antagonist make his appearance.
  • Shigaraki, Tomura: Itchy beyond edgy, Tomura is an agent of chaos. Psychotic aggression with a brilliant mind and reflexes quick enough to analyze an opponent’s potential weak spots in an instant but unfortunately he’s a defeatist. “A child with atom bomb”. He often shows signs of arrogance and demanding, “akin to a child’s tantrum”. This twisted mind only want destruction and anarchy. Instructed by his Sensei, Tomura acts accordingly. He’s always with his right-hand/bartender Kurogiri. When wearing his villain outfit, he has 14 disembodied hands clasped onto his arms, chest, neck, head, and face. The hand on his face, he refers to as “Father” and feels comfort from it. He doesn’t care about himself or anyone around him. All he wants is attention. Just like Deku as the next symbol of peace, he’s the successor of “All for one” (How convenient). In the little bit of screen time that he got, we got to see his actions both sinister and childish. He truly believes this society is dangerous. Though there’s also someone else with the same belief and holds even lesser screen time, who’s actions echoed throughout the history of My Hero Academia.
  • Chizome Akaguro: The hero killer, the Voldemort face, Stain is a notorious, cold-hearted, tenacious, unforgiving man with a sense of duty “Revival of Heroics”. To cleanse this society of false heroes, he has taken matters to his own hands and murder those who he sees unfit until the society realize its own faults. Like I said before, a society with so much pride is bound to fall and give birth to someone like Stain. But what differs Stain from the rest of the league is resistances against needless bloodshed. So he works in the alleys with lesser attention. He believes heavily in creeds and convictions and stands as a necessary evil. Though, he never hesitates to save those he finds worthy. Stain is an excellent fighter and mostly unbeatable in single close combats. With a little taste of his opponent’s blood on his bumpy long tongue, he is practically unstoppable. If that’s not all, he has a murderous aura that can paralyze even pro heroes. One look on his bloodred eyes give nightmares of a lifetime. But what truly defines Stain is his unshakable ideologies. His sense of justice has shaken the very essence of hero academy. Like Gran Torino said, the notion of his obsessive fixation is as strong as All Might’s. This notion also inspired many villains as well as civilians.

    Animation with studio BONES

    Studio BONES have four sub-studios, among which Studio A was in charge of Boku no hero that was led by animation producer Naoko Amano. Yoshihiko Umokoshi, a famous animator with a very idiosyncratic style was in charge of that team. Studio A has been one of the more conservative sub-studios as far as the recruit of freelance animator goes and having young animators such as Hakuyu Go, (made the fight between Klaus and Despair in kekkai sensen) was a blessing all together. Another name that needs attention is Kenji Nagasaki, the director of both season. In an interview Nagasaki said that the most difficult part of adapting the manga was keeping the originality and passion, it’s challenging to find ways to incorporate music and visuals to reinforce that perspective.

    The art director is Shigemi Ikeda, reason why some artistic contract in season 1 reminds us of Afro Samurai. 

    And with so many animators in action how can the anime of My Hero Academia goes wrong. Each one of them loved the source material and their love reflected through their cariography. Even the DVD version was another treat itself. After the broadcast in JNN Umokoshi himself retaken many scenes to give more quality content including thick outlines, detailed shading and body structure. Sometimes lines were painted with brush pen.

    The animation is really stellar for what it wants to do in only 13 episodes. It focuses on designs and bright colours to give off a same superhero vibe that we have seen before and enjoyed. BONES have proven before with Soul Eater, that only because it’s a shounen, doesn’t mean they’ve to be lazy about it (implying to everyone’s favourite Studio Pierrot). Most of the character designs are done in quite detail. Considering how many of them there are, it needs appreciation. Even the background characters get charming costumes that reflects their different superhero identity.

    The opening songs: I believe it’s the OPs where a studio can show his creativity. The opening themes are what widely infiltrates a fan’s heart. There are three opening songs of Boku no Hero Academia and each of them were designed to contrast the relationship between Midoriya and All Might. In the first, we see he’s visibly awestruck by the presence of his hero whereas by the second opening his face fairs a confident smile. And in third one he shows a determining as well as a satisfying look towards All Might as if he now has a clear sense of his objectives. From his wishes to other’s major appearance, each opening foreshadowed what will be coming later in the show.

    Soundtracks: The first opening was done by a group called Porno Graffitti, which is an interesting choice considering most western fans and anime fans in general, will be able to recall their previous work on 2003’s Fullmetal Alchemist first opening. There’s also some other parallels including it was also been handled by Funimation. The Dub of Funimation has also made it quite clear that they haven’t forgotten about FMA. Ending Theme HEROES was done by Brian the Sun. Which was their first major foray into the world of anime theme.

    In season 2

    Opening Theme: 「Peace Sign」 by Kenshi Yonezu

    Ending Theme: 「Dakara, Hitori ja nai」 by Little Glee Monster

    Opening Theme: 「Sora ni Utaeba」 by amazarashi

    Ending Theme: 「Datte Atashi no Hero」 by LiSA

    Voice acting:-

    Why season 2 felt superior?

    1. Introductions are over.
    2. Tournaments have an amazing way of giving each character a reasonable time slot to shine.
    3. Many fans wanted to see iceXfire in action, considering season 1 didn’t give him much.
    4. Bokugo is lesser jerk then ever. Which is in some way refreshing.
    5. All of Midoriya’s strategies and mutt mutts throughout season 1 came into play.
    6. 25 episodes, gave enough time to set things straight without rushing for a boss fight.

    Hidden Facts & Popularity: 
    Horikoshi’s love for starwars was seen in Deku’s training where the Dagobah municipal park referred to Luke getting his training from Yoda on the planet with the same name. Horikoshi have the complete story in his head, just makes some minor changes along the way. He picks character names that sounds funny or contains fun. One of the Kanji for Izuku’s name is a homophone to the Kanji for 9, which could allude to him being the ninth “One for All” user. Likewise All Might’s real name includes the Kanji for 8. Saben and Clinker beard put a lot of time into development of All Might’s voice. A heroic voice to make people feel better. Fumikage’s hero alias came from tsukiyomi no Mikoto ‘A Moon God’s in Japanese mythology. There’s only 18 kids in classes of U.A but class A holds 20. Erased head’s character was crafted with absolute 100% rationality but bad social skills. There’s a video game based on the series called MHA battle for all. Anime cafe in Ekabokoro, Tokyo hosted a limited time MHA cafe including Allmight soda, Otuku’s zero gravity parfaits, Deku’s katsudan (pork bowl), with a second MHA cafe run (gold-medal pasta). There’s also an IRL MHA interactive puzzle solving game held some times ago. The manga was nominated for the very prestigious TAISHO AWARD. An award specifically for excellent new mangas and it competed against such great mangas like A Silent Voice (my favourite), Erased and Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun. Within three years the manga has over 10 million copies in print in Japan.

      Personal Thoughts:

      A superhero is someone who ‘saves’ people. Yes, the definition also suggests someone who’s identity is unknown and who spent his/her time fighting crime, but a savior is what a true agent of justice is all about. People like portraying superhero as an all mighty creature with a human appearance, a savior. This selfish demand give rise to conflicts. The idea that society demonizes and inhibits the exceptional in favour of appeasing the basic bads. Still the story insist that everyone is special. Midoriya’s transformation into “One for All” holder suggests ordinary people can elevate themselves to greatness through grit and determination. “Anyone can aspire to greatness”. But sooner baptise it with Villains’ Tall-poppy-syndrome, the aspects of a culture where people of high status are resented, attacked or criticised. A German philosopher Freddy Nietzsche’s Herd morality states “impotence becomes goodness of heart, craven fear becomes humility, submission becomes obedience, cowardice and being forced to wait become patience, the inability to take revenge becomes forgiveness, the desire for revenge becomes a desire for justice, a hatred of one’s enemy becomes a hatred of injustice”. In simple terms, justice and injustice are just variables. Justification is justice. Each points of Herd morality became the stepping stones of different villian introductions in this show. Though the story also suggests egalitarian along with it. To found such ideology one must face and omit all other conflicts that comes with it. That’s what My Hero Academia’s true purpose is. The story suggested greatness within ourselves, confident us to dream big, keeping the moral fibres intact. Like a great Ronin once quoted “if you’re strong, you protect the weak”. It’s okey to be weak as long as you protect your weakers.

      So with that been said, I hereby confirm My Hero Academia as….

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      Narcos Season 3 !! season parallels

      Let’s talk about justice. The concept of justice differs in every culture. An early theory of justice was set out by the Ancient Greek philosopher Plato in his work The Republic. Justice is a stinking shield that people use to justify their immorality. Police, politicians, even the shinning star pēna couldn’t escape from the corruption that we put ourselves into. Season 3 left off giving rise to such topics. In a war against narcos, the story began with two brothers getting their way into the world of drugs and eventually become the kingpin of it. When one brother died in the hands of an CIA the younger brother Pablo Escobar became psychotic which leads to his downfall. Tata, the wife of Pablo then had to hand over Pablo’s entire drug empire in the hands of Rodríguez Brother. 

      Season 3 started as two brothers, the Rodríguez brothers have built their own Empire throughout the world and now on their way of retirement. One of the Brother in a moonlit night fall in love with one of the cartel lord’s wife and eventually become obsessed about her. In his ways of getting her, the DEA got a lead on Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela’s location. The leader of Cali Carter got arrested. An unexpected event kind of like the death of Juan Pablo. This changed circumstances made Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela the leader of Cali Carter.

       Juan’s death was the crucial point towards Pablo’s insanity. The beginning where he started to lose it all. Though it wasn’t ‘lost’ but ‘power’ that played that significant role of Rodriguez Brothers downfall. Stepping out of the shadow, Miguel finally felt the power of being in charge. And eventually became insecure about everything. Just like Pablo started to suspect everyone and went on a rampage of killing, even his friends.

      Now comes the motherhood. Maria was the love of Miguel’s life and his fear. Though they never married, Maria submitted herself to him for her son’s safety and protection. Just like Tata, she was just the collateral damage that happened. Like Tata to Cali’s, by the end of this season we get to see Maria in a meet with Northern Valley gang-lord.

      I never expected a Narcos season without Pablo Escobar, but what I got is a thrilling experience that gives a cumulative rebirth.

      I didn’t intended to make it long. Just a humble chitchat

      Adiós 

      The Handmaid’s Tale

      Motherhood is the purest gift, now corrupted by modern sins. It’s not often when we came across a story which delivers such level of facts that we were forced to question our own morality. The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. Watching this you can’t help but wonder that it’s portrait on a woman’s perspective. Think of it this way, a woman gives birth to someone else’s child, someone she loves and dear. For nine months she takes care of his child and went through extreme pain. But if that someone is who she never met and had to obey in a life-threatening situation. Think about the psychological trauma she must have felt. This story has that kind of horrifying atmosphere.

      Women world is itself pretty scary, as their weapons are words. They strike psychologically. To them giving birth to another life is a blessing, but when that power was taken from them, they felt envy and rage towards those who can (here referred as the Handmaid). So they divided the society in two groups and became the power. They treated the handmaids as their slaves. Cruel as it is, I must say I felt like, no matter how much evil they can be it’s them who were hurt the most. Their present twisted minds are the product of their long-suffering.

      Watching the first three episodes I’m very impressed and I’m looking forward to how it goes.

      What went wrong with Attack on Titan season 2?

      “The dimming prayers have been heard as they finally decided to “Release the Kraken”.

      It’s been four exhausting years since WIT Studio has presented us with its worldwide phenomenal that shattered our brains with horror and thrill, and then ran away with a cliffhanger and never came back as promised. No wonder so many people bailed, hoping for a sequel and just read the manga, including me. Though my love for the manga will not affect my judgment. So with that been said, let’s get into the sequence to be blessed with a colossal series with amazing fighting scenes, a shit ton of crying cowards and gargantuan steamy hen dolls. Attach on Titan Season 2.

      Quick Recall

      I don’t need to mention spoiler alert cause you will not be here if you haven’t completed the prequel.

      Now,                                                       Mankind was slaughtered near extinction by monstrous humanoid creatures called Titan. To ensure their survival, the remnants of humanity began living with defensive barriers, three circles of gigantic walls. However, that fragile calm is soon shattered when a colossal titan manages to breach the supposedly impregnable outer wall, reigniting the fight for survival against the man-eating abominations. After witnessing a horrific personal loss at the hands of the invading creatures, Eren Yeager dedicates his life to their eradication by enlisting into the Survey Corps, an elite military unit that combats the merciless humanoids outside the protection of the walls. In his second encounter with colossal titan we find out that Eren himself is a titan, that his father somehow turned him into one. As people got scared and was at the point of extermination, Captain Levi managed to convince them to use this power to save humanity. After a long night of discussion they decided to go and find out what is in the basement of the Yeagar’s household. On their way they’ve encountered a female titan. Things got scarier when they find out that female titan was Annie Leonhart, a member of Military Police. After a steamy clash with Eren, Annie got defeated and covered her body in an unbreakable crystal. This fight led to a crack on the wall and we find out there is a titan in it. To be continued.

      Season 1 Overview 

      Many anime properties explore death but few ruminate on the visceral reality of it. In a way Titans are the physical personification of death. A walking reminder of human mortality. Sort of existential confrontation with the inevitability of demise. It’s pretty horrifying. However, the darkest element of the series isn’t the eerily introspective congratulations with death nor the fact that Titans have no genitals. It’s the construction​ of society itself. With German people living in German mansions on Nazi Cart Schmitt’s philosophy as a contrast. So, with such vivid construction, how come something went so wrong? It’s because they raised the bar too high. Expectations grows along with time doesn’t drops. For that lets loose the gentle writing style and be more critic​ to it.

      1. Tetsurō Araki :  Araki was the series director of Attack on Titan season 1, movie part 1 and 2. But for some reason he is now the Cheif Director of the second season. Araki’s talent lied in making mundane situations​ feel dramatic. No-one can denies​ his talent for letting his characters eat chips. Season 1 had that dramatic atmosphere where death was a constant threat. Every person had to survive every minute of their existence. Those who don’t, fall into the list of tragedies. Araki directed these aspects beautifully. He can even turn a quiet dining into a room of despair. Something season 2 has failed to capture. Sometimes it felt like the characters are shouting way too much to make it up for it. And few times it just pure loose cannons.

      How people do it

       ​How Araki do it

      2. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress and Owari no Seraph : When AOT first released, it felt something new and original. But then came these two series by the same studio with the same type story and background. In Kabaneri, we see humans live within walls in fear of Kabane, virus infected humans with a hunger for human flesh. Seems familiar? That’s not all. The main character is half human half Kabane. 

      In Seraph, the main character is also half human half “something else”, living in a world where humans are nearly extinction and also in a constant fear of vampires. When you made something original, it’s best to leave it original. Diving into same type of project increases​ arrogance, which can leads to catastrophe, not only for the rip-offs but the original story itself.

      3. Long 4 years : Like I said, many people fade-up and read the manga, which I think was their intention all along, cause the artstyle of the manga is quite repelling. The story is excellent with foreshadowing, where a mere hint or a simple conversation can lead to a severe development in far distant future. Like a simple steam on Eren’s head lead to the biggest plot twist of the entire Arc. It hides​ the facts long before anyone can even be suspicious. But these long awaiting screwed these gems for those who haven’t read it. They don’t have friends anymore who they can discuss about their thoughts and predictions and not get spoiled.

      4. lack of Gore : Though it looks like a miner issue but it’s not. When you want to make a horrifying situation, it needs to be bloody and messy to channel the horror psychologically.

      5. Plot Armor : Another disappointment I find is the lack of plot Armor for the entire supporting cast. The anime always tend to show actions of a fight in tandem with the musical score which was very entreating. Was, because now it’s very lackey here and there.

      6. Only 12 Episodes : That’s it, that itself is the reason​. After so long that’s​ what they came up with. The intentions were clear. They wanted to hype us back up for the latest season. But we’re talking about this season, so the package is no longer important. A OVA would’ve been nice.

      What went right:

      No matter the validation of these points there are things that still astonished us in time to time.

      1. The Opening: Attack on Titan is known for its patriotic presentations. Which make Guren No Yumiya  phenomenol. The opening from season 2 managed to capture such realism.
      2. Fighting Scenes: The fighting scenes are what defines AOT, a gore presentation of a person’s ferocious struggle and a win with some unexpected elements. Considering how strong the source material really is, it’s something expected. But it’s the execution where they crafted. The 2D animation with 3D frames felt refreshing as always with AOT.
      3. Execution of Plot Twist: if I may give some insights, the plot twist of Reinar and Burhtold being the Collosal and Armor Titan was executed with just the same casualty in the manga too. Makes you doubt your own eyes. And the anime did the same, being honest with its source material.

      Attack on Titan is a worldwide phenomenon that demands attention. The Anime that spread the name Wit Studio over sea and introduced to western cultures, it felt shamefully disappointing.

        Warau salesman new first impression

        Have you ever desired to deal with the devil? Countless stories throughout the past had tried to portray the consequences of a deal. A fire tempting the fly. The laughing salesman is another display of such. A salesman disguised as a helping hand with a sole purpose to take you into a deeper despair. Like “the man with big eyes and the man with big mouth” in Monster, you all sure remember.

        Every episode has two separate stories with a same type of ending. A distinct setup of letting a person through extreme joy, meeting his or her ultimate desire and as they get used to such services, as their personality changes to ignorance, they find themselves in a depth of loans.  So it is clear that they have already set some rules they’ll always obey, but I would very much like if they add some volume into it. Otherwise, it may get quite boring for some.

        Being an ​episodic anime, unlike other anime such as natsume that moves us with emotions, laughing salesman strikes psychologically.

        Now the opening, oh my god the opening is already my favorite this season both visually and melodically. Just click here and see for yourself. And the music is also highly satisfying.

        Some might don’t like the animation style as it has an old-fashion cultural presentation with a comedic touch. But boy it suits completely.

        So other than those shits I had to pick this season, this is something I am very impressed with and probably gonna watch it on weekly basis.

        Play of words

        “A short article on 3-gatsu no lion”

        3-gatsu no lion, also known as March comes like a lion is not just a story to tell. It’s an opera of words. Something that can’t be enlightened to until it is observed. It plays with words that tinkles our heart and twitches our brain. Watching this show offen I felt warmth in my heart and cold blaze at my feet. Very few shows there are that sunk me as deep as 3-gatsu had taken me. The show doesn’t focus on delivering extreme impacts but creating moods to empathise with. 

        Slowly, gently, deeply.

        The aura of the show causes dizziness and many scenes are hypnotic. Words are pointy to some of life’s darkness yet simple enough to grasp. And all together they manifest a world of subconsciousness where one can float without any worries or uncomfortness. Anime is basically a safe zone from circumstances and conflicts of reality. We watch anime to enjoy in being unrealistic, imagine ourselves in fictional world. Breaking ourselves out of our four walls of shadow. We laugh on their joy, remorse to their sorrow, felt as if we’re fighting along side with them in battles. And 3-gatsu has the very basis of it. It is a show for weekly basis, allowing you to escape from all those confusions and anxiety that other shows offen creates. This intention of the show also reflects through Rei’s desires as he desperately finds his way back at trio sisters’ motherly household.

        Words are exquisite care of execution.

        Alluring with charming monologues they offen obliviate us of what we had expected. Every speech was designed to stand on its own and strike to capture us in its dilemma. Words are the root of a story. No matter how thrilling a story is, without the right choice of words it can collapse, leaving many sites unfold, confusing us with whether we were right or not. Though there are also stories which intentionally hides them to make the viewers cook their own alternatives. They plant clues in words to take viewers to the truth. But our story here is the simplest form of presentation. It never plays with us, never hide, never pretend. It’s like a box of colourful candies, each has a distinct taste. You can never guess what comes next. Each episode is seperated in three chapters and each chapter is a cocktail of delight and despair. 

        Express to explain

        Every living being have feelings, even cats and dogs and Studio Shaft has beautifully expresses them with its utmost intensity, taking even a step further on adding amusing SFX to wall’s and door’s expressions as if they were alive. These small gestures gave every part of that world a reason to exist, not just some details. Like that time when momo been chased by a dog and the dog kept saying “cute”. How a horrifying situation for momo turned into relish for us. Even expressions are subtitled on the screen to through an impact. In a way, a show with so little going can evolve into a beast.

        Their words had forked a lightning thy.

        Diving in deep despair, they also pulls us out with their optimism behaviour. Main characters are designed to express as shocked, scared and petrify on weird situations despite their broken hearts. While others are there to construct the palette of emotions. Kyouko in particular is a source to cause pain with her razor sharp words and our sweet fuffy momo is to lighten it up. Rei’s narration as well as an insightful direction that is willing to let it’s imagery speak for itself. Secondary characters are subjected in time to stretch the contents and connect them to increase the diameter of the settings. It doesn’t jump from one aspect to another but containing them as a whole.

        Visuals act as an auditor. Narrowing down the storytelling to adjustable standard to give us a sense of what’s going on while elaborating with stunning visual illustrations. Just like a painter expresses his thoughts with a single brushstroke. At the first scene we didn’t know much about what’s going on. And it doesn’t explain everything in that moment either. But offering an entry point to the scene and hinting at a deeper subtext it constructs the stage. Then putting Characters at their place it concludes with the starting. After that it let the Characters make their own flow of world, like Rei’s room is cold while Kawamotos’ house has warmth. Meeting their demands it starts the storytelling. And that’s how a story should be told.

        From award-winning mangaka Chico Umino (best known for Honey and Clover) a good story is expected. But for me 3-gatsu no lion is an experience to find hope despite the scenario we are in. Ripping the audience apart and stitching them back, it acts as a circle of life. For me it’s a perfect slice of life. 

        P.s : water and rivers are offen shown because our MC is characterised as water, taking any shape as given. He’s strong as an ice whenever he plays shogi but immediately melts afterward


        Cowboy Bebop Review

          Flawless individuality is always wished from an anime. However a show that is true perfection is yet to brought into existence, though Cowboy Bebop in many ways displayed the glence of it. With it’s distinct visual style, each episodes were treated as a miniature film or a session as we learned. The show was cancelled on TV Tokyo, but they soon comes to realise it’s depth and the beauties it holds. Later Bebop was shown to it’s entirety from Oct 24, 1998 to April 24, 1999 on WOWOW channel and landmarked itself as a gateway to introduce anime to the western culture. From influenced martial to philosophical concept this starwars of anime has proven not only inspiring but what an anime is capable of.

          THE SETTINGS

          The year is 2071 and with the invention of hyperspace gate technology mankind now wondering through the galaxy. But when criminals too elusive for the cops they need the help of a good old-fashion cowboy.

          Rating: The settings were vast yet explored within our soler system around mars, earth and Jupiter for most of the time. With that in mind, a score of 8/10.

          CHARACTERS

          Too many characters often create flaws in characterisation. Cowboy Bebop resolved it by simply eliminating unnecessity and giving enough distinct characteristics to each character it has. All characters are played straits in a way where characters designed to be overacted were considered to be norm, not to say that there isn’t some upbeat humour.

          • SPIKE SPIEGEL: Martial art expert and a skilled shooter with an outfit of lupin III based on the appearance of Japanese actor Yuusaku Matsuda mostly in his famous television show Tente Monogatari. From one of a highly prominent criminal Syndicate, spike’s past offen tent to haunt him in every step of his way. Spike’s greatest trait is how he is able to switch his attitude depending on the situation and not to be bogged down impression when things get rough, unlike other protagonist. The dark clothing colour and Spike’s suit was intended to reflect his state of mind. Director Toshihiro Kawamoto first designed Spike and then constructed the whole story around.Which makes him the centre of everything. One can always be deceived by Skipe’s lazy lying around figure to see the Bruce Lee in him. His eyes were designed specifically to show his pain and suffering.
          • JET: A former cop and one of the more straightforward character jet act as a guardian for the crew. He deals with the business side of things as well as ship maintenance analysis and holding the biggest contact book with outside agencies for information on their various targets. Jet is total opposite of spike and is the voice of reasons. With three other characters running around doing what they want, jet brought them together and holds the team.
          • FAYA VALENTINE: Frozen in cyrotube, this 77 years old famous Femme Fatale tops the list of most people’s sexiest anime character. Unlike Jet and Spike, Faya tries to find his way to his past, but eventually mercy herself on gambling and excessive greed. She can be vulnerable, adding much to her character but it’s her sassy attitude that keeps her entertaining.
          • EDWARD: A super hacher from earth, joint the crew because she thinks it will be fun. Ed exist to lighten the mood. Her childish Black and white attitude much needed, otherwise the show would spend far too long in the dark side of characterization.
          • SECONDARY CHARACTERS:  
          • Secondary Characters are the threshold of background details. Bebop’s SCs are simple yet involved they tend to be. Most new episodes have a new character who were introduced and developed to their depth in just a 20 min time slot. Same goes for reoccurring characters, three old guys and two actors from big shot. Who never gets in the way of storytelling but have enough screen play to be memorable in their own special way. 

          Rating:

          Primary and secondary characters have enough grip to be individuals on their own. 9/10 for making each character memorable.

          STORY

          The overall plot is simple enough to grasp yet holds the throne of being one of the most entertaining and interesting plots in anime. “Extremely skilled crew offen sucks at their job” is one of the main plot point of the series. Being a episodic anime Cowboy Bebop’s one major gripe is it’s slow start, which was one of the reason for cancellation. Bepop doesn’t get interesting until episode 5 ballan of the fallen angel. Considering it’s reputation, EP 1-4 were bad introduction. Not that they’re sucks but doesn’t present the morals. People offen starts from episode 5 and 6 and then head back to episode 1. Episode 5 and 6 have enough context for introduction and also make the first four episodes more entertaining.

          • INFLUENCE/INSPIRATIONS: The story highly influenced by specific films like Django (the coffin guy), Enter the Dragon (Spike’s fighting style), Desperado, The Crow, Reservoir dogs and Better Tomorrow being few. Ed’s chess moves are real moves that famous chess player Paul Morphy played. George Herman Ruth’s name was broken down to make three names of side characters. Data’s cryrotank number NCC-1701-B was taken from startrek. Many character names were taken from famous musician’s name.                                 And that is the beauty in details that only few holds.

            Rating: 8/10 for it’s simplicity yet deep as an ocean.

            ANIMATION

            Bebop’s animation is phenomenal for it’s time and still stands up today even though it was one of the last anime to be made using traditional CEL animation, which is just a testament of it’s fluid animation. Same quality as digital animation with frames drawn by hands.

            • Officially Cowboy Bebop was animated by SUNRISE, creaters of Gundam. However it is believed to be made by staffs of studio BONES, a studio that is known for it’s high production values. As, a very large chunk of sunrise staff at one point left to create their own production company BONES.

              Rating: 9/10 for it’s epicness in animation.

              SOUND

              Yoko Kanno’s one of the best work in Bebop has introduced Jazz and Blues to majority of anime fans. It’s a show that swims through music with multitude of genres that show from episode to episode. Most of the titles are even musical references like Rolling Stone’s honky Tonk women, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody etc.

              The opening theme “Tank” is in a class all of it’s own with blending of genres containing a big band Jazz piece performed in a latin hard bop style with rhythm that combines both a double bass and bongo drums. The intro voice was Tim Jensen’s.

              • Dubbing: The dubbing has basically been the benchmark of every anime dub. The show has some of the most memorable performances with vocals by Steve Blum, Wendy League, John Daniel and Alyssa Fun with voice direction by the great Mary Elizabeth McGovern herself.
              • Dialogue: A topic such as this is vulnerable in a review yet Bebop as a classic played many memorable lines that echoes whenever heard it’s name.

                Rating: So with that been said cowboy Bebop’s soundtracks deserves no less 10/10.

                SUMMARY

                Cowboy Bebop is a definition of what anime is and what it can achieve. I’ve yet to find someone who don’t like it or hasn’t found something from this epic classic phenomenon. So, to summarise goods and bads…….

                Temptations:

                • An absolute classic.
                • Vast and detailed settings and backgrounds.
                • Mesmerizing soundtracks from Yoko Kanno.
                • Each character has it’s own vibes.
                • Animation is fluid as water

                Flaws:

                • Throughout the series the crew is unable to catch or turn in bounty on 14 seperate occasions.
                • Most of the time the story takes place on Mars. Limited to our solar system.
                • Slow start and bad introduction.

                But those aside Cowboy Bebop is a must watch anime with R-17 rated.

                Finalized score for COWBOY BEBOP is 8.8/10