FUNimation Entertainment Licenses the Attack on Titan ~Chronicle~ Recap Film

FUNimation Entertainment announced during its FunimationCon2020 online event that it has licensed Attack on Titan ~Chronicle~ (Shingeki no Kyojin: Chronicle), the upcoming compilation film for the first three seasons of the Attack on Titan anime. FUNimation will collaborate with Kodansha to debut the film in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland later in 2020.

The film will open in Japan for a limited theatrical run on July 17, 2020, and will summarize the 59 episodes of the first three seasons.

Source: ANN

My Hero Academia Is #2 on the NPD BookScan Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels List for April 2020

14 manga volumes appeared on NPD BookScan’s Top 20 adult graphic novels list for April 2020:

  • My Hero Academia Volume 2 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#2)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#3)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 22 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#5)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 23 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#6)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 3 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#7)
  • One Piece Volume 93 by Eiichiro Oda (#9)
  • Komi Can’t Communicate by Tomohito Oda (#10)
  • BEASTARS Volume 1 by Paru Itagaki (#11)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 30 by Hajime Isayama (#12)
  • Uzumaki Hardcover by Junji Ito (#14)
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 1 by Koyoharu Gotouge (#15)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 4 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#16)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 21 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#17)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 5 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#19)

Source: ANN

My Hero Academia Is Best-Selling Graphic Novel in the U.S. for August 2019

The BookScan Top 20 selling adult graphic novels list for August 2019 includes 13 manga titles:

  • My Hero Academia Volume 20 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#1)
  • One-Punch Man Volume 17 by ONE and Yūsuke Murata (#4)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#6)
  • Komi Can’t Communicate Volume 2 by Tomohito Oda (#7)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 2 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#9)
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4 Diamond Is Unbreakable Volume 2 by Hirohiko Araki (#10)
  • One Piece Volume 91 by Eiichiro Oda (#11)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 28 by Hajime Isayama (#13)
  • The Promised Neverland Volume 11 by Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu (#14)
  • My Hero Academia: Smash!! Volume 1 by Hirofumi Neda (#16)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 19 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#17)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 3 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#18)
  • Komi Can’t Communicate Volume 1 by Tomohito Oda (#20)

Source: ANN

Anime Spotlight: Attack on Titan Season 3 Parts 1 and 2

I discovered that I never wrote an “Anime Spotlight” article for the first half of Attack on Titan Season 3, so this article will be covering both parts.

Attack on Titan Season 3 aired in Japan from July 23-October 15,
2018. Attack on Titan Season 3 Part Two aired on Japanese television from April 29-July 1, 2019. As of this writing, FUNimation Entertainment holds the North American rights for the Attack on Titan franchise.

When the first episode of the third season began, there was no attempt at providing a recap of what had happened to lead to the point where the story begins. And since there was roughly a year-long gap from the end of the second season to the beginning of the third season, the audience had to piece together where they’re at in the story from the visual and dialogue cues that appear in the episode.

The first half of season three features character development and revelations for Levi, Armin, Historia, and Commandant Keith Sadies. It also features Erwin and Pyxis teaming up to launch a coup in order to remove him from power and put Historia in as queen, since her family is the true royal family. This half of the season focuses a lot on the political intrigue that is taking place with the government and the military.

Near the end of the first half, we see Reiner and Bertoldt return to the story, after they had disappeared at the end of the second season. The first half of the season ends with the Scouts leaving for the mission to retake Wall Maria. But during the ending credits of the last episode, there was a scene shown that we later learn was a foreshadowing for something that happens in the second half of the third season. While it was frustrating to end the first half of the season on that kind of a cliffhanger, especially after learning there would be a roughly six month break before we would see more, at least the audience knew there was something to look forward to when the second half of the season began airing.

A lot of the second half of the third season focuses on the battle to retake Wall Maria. The Beast Titan gets a lot of screen time here, after being seen only every now and then in the second season. Reiner and Betoldt, in both their human and Titan forms, also get a lot of emphasis.

The second half of the third season is a major game changer for the series, especially after most of the Scouts are wiped out and Levi is forced to decide who to use the Titan injection on in order to bring them back. When Levi, Hange, Eren, and Mikasa make it to Eren’s basement, what they discover there changes the world as the character know it forever. Eren also learns a lot of things by being able to tap into his father’s memories.

I appreciated how this season ended with Eren and his friends finally making it to the sea, after reading about it in a book when they were younger and making it a goal to go there someday. Seeing the Scouts smiling and enjoying themselves in the water was fun to watch, but Eren kind of spoils the moment. But his words ultimately lay a foundation for the direction that the fourth (and apparently, final) season of Attack on Titan will be going in.

When you combine both halves of the third season together, a lot happens to progress the story forward. This ended up being much better than the second season, which seemed to spend more time having characters talking than in action (anyone else remember the episode where Eren, Ymir, Reiner, and Bertoldt basically spent the entire time talking to each other at the top of a tree?). Yes, the second season has some important information revealed and important plot points take place in it, but it was overall not as interesting as either the first or third seasons.

While I know some of what will be happening in the eventual fourth season from reading the manga, I’m not going to comment too terribly much on it. However, I will say that both halves of the third season did a great job of laying the foundation for the direction that the story will be going in.

Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 13

I can’t believe the Spring 2019 anime simulcast season has come to and end. These past 13 weeks seem to have flown by fast!

This will be the last weekly write-up post I will be making. Starting this week, I will be returning to writing individual posts for each show I’m watching during the Summer 2019 anime season. At this point, it looks like I’ll only be watching Fruits Basket and Case Closed for the upcoming season.

But with that out of the way, let’s see what happened in Fruits Basket, Case Closed, and Attack on Titan during the final week of the Spring 2019 simulcast season.

Fruits Basket: Episode 13 – “How Have You Been, My Brother?”

The episode begins with Yuki and Tohru spending time at Yuki’s garden. As Tohru heads back to the house, she finds some clothes on the ground. As she investigates, something suddenly crawls into her clothes. It turns out this is Ayame Soma in his animal form, and that Ayame is Yuki’s older brother. Unfortunately, the brothers are ten years apart and aren’t close at all. It doesn’t help that Yuki is turned off by his older brother’s outrageous personality. But when Ayame whisks Tohru away to be able to have a private lunch with her, she gets to see a side of Ayame that Yuki hasn’t seen. It turns out that Ayame wants to find a way to be closer to his younger brother, but he just doesn’t understand how to do it without being his regular, outrageous self. This provides some comedic scenes, especially when Ayame tells stories from his high school days that the audience gets to see flashbacks for.

But, with all of the comedy of this episode, Ayame hints at something to Tohru about Yuki when he was younger, and how Akito is involved. Ayame says he can’t go into detail about it, which makes sense, since it’s not really his story to tell Tohru. This was one of the few mature things Ayame did in this episode, by the way. But Tohru and the audience now have another hint of something darker being in Yuki’s past.

Overall, this was an amusing episode. Having Ayame in the story now will add another dimension to Yuki’s character, and gives some more opportunity for some comic relief for the series.

Case Closed: Episode 945 – “The Cost of Likes (Part Two)”

This episode opened with just enough of a recap to catch the audience back up on what had happened in the previous episode. Conan and the kids think they know who the culprit is. But when they go back and talk to some of the other actors who work with Kagura, they discover that they didn’t hear a particular phrase from Kagura directly. Instead, they all heard it from Kochimiya, Kagura’s friend.

Conan starts formulating other ideas, and he finally seems to put everything together after the police reveal an important piece of information that was reported to them in regards to the prank phone call that got this case going in the first place. By the midpoint of this episode, it becomes crystal clear to the audience who the culprit is. While I had figured out who the guilty party had to be, there were details and events in this episode that I hadn’t predicted.

Overall, this wasn’t a bad mystery. While I had deduced the guilty party by the end of the first part, there were incidents and other facts that I hadn’t figured out before they were revealed here.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 10 – “The Other Side of the Wall”

Sooo… this final episode of the season sees Historia deciding to tell the people the truth about what was discovered in the basement. As expected, there’s a wide range of reactions from the public, from belief to laughing it off to deciding it’s a conspiracy theory.

There’s also some raw emotion when it comes time for the funeral for the fallen and a medal ceremony for the scouts. Floch, the only recruit to survive, makes it clear before the ceremony that he thinks Erwin should have been revived instead of Armin. In the end, Armin agrees with him. But before all of that, seeing Jean and Floch talking with Hitch about Marlo was kind of rough. Considering how Hitch had been portrayed previously, seeing her getting emotional was kind of surprising.

During the ceremony, when Eren takes Historia’s hand, he sees his father’s memory of when he approached the Reiss family and told them the truth about being from beyond the walls. This created an awkward moment during the ceremony, but it was nice for the audience to truly find out what happened during that confrontation.

We then get a time skip, and discover that the Titans that were in the walls have all been destroyed. Refugees were finally able to return to their home villages, and the scouts start exploring beyond the wall. They find a Titan that appears to have been trying to crawl toward the walls, but appears to have died in the process. By touching the Titan, Eren discovers this was an Eldian who had been turned into a Titan, and so the scouts decide to leave it alone. Floch, who is still with the scouts, tries to argue about killing it, but they ignore him.

But, thanks to going on this expedition, Eren, Mikasa, and Armin achieve their childhood dream of making it to the sea. The reactions of the scouts to the sea was amusing to see. But right near the end, Eren points out that enemies are at the other end of the sea, and wonders if they’ll truly achieve freedom if they kill all of their enemies. This definitely sets up that another season will have to happen, which is confirmed at the end with the “To be continued…” text that appears after the ending credits. Speaking of the ending credits, there’s a different song, and some interesting footage appears.

From what I’ve seen, it appears the next season of Attack on Titan will be the last, and that it’s scheduled to premiere in Fall 2020. It’s going to be interesting to see how this will all come to an end.

Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 12

Fruits Basket: Episode 12 – “You Look Like You’re Having Fun”

This episode sees Tohru, Yuki, Kyo, Hana, and Uo starting their second year of high school. Momiji and Hatsuharu are now at the school as first years, so we have a couple more Somas that can regularly interact with Tohru and the others. There’s a great scene with the student council president, who confronts Momiji for wearing a girls’ uniform and Hatsuharu because of his hair color. It’s great how Hatsuharu proves that his hair color is natural. LOL!

But this episode is pivotal, because Tohru finally meets Akito in person. While it had been shown in Hatori’s flashback just how cold and cruel Akito could be, we get to see it in real time in this episode when Akito confronts Yuki about skipping out on the New Year’s celebration. This episode also touches on how Yuki suffered psychological abuse as a child, thanks to Akito.

While there are hints of darker things to come, we get a light scene near the end of the episode, where Tohru and the others at the high school play a game of badminton. I thought this was a nice way to end the episode. From the title of the next episode, I know what’s coming… and I can’t wait. 🙂

Case Closed: Episode 944 – “The Cost of Likes (Part One)”

The episode begins with Genta in the hospital, in a room with several other injured people. They were all collateral damage when a bomb threat was phoned into a bank. The crowd inside the bank was so panicked that they pushed nearby pedestrians out of the way. But it turned out that there were no bombs, so the police believe the call was a prank. One of the other patients, Kagura, pushed Genta out of the way and minimized Genta’s injuries. Unfortunately, Kagura suffered a broken arm. Two of Kagura’s friends come to visit him, and one friend takes a picture to share on social media. Earlier, Kagura had been collateral damage in another accident, and his friend got a lot of likes and attention on social media. As Conan and the others talk with Kagura and his friends, another patient named Otsubo is overhearing and glaring in their direction. Conan becomes suspicious of Otsubo, so he asks a nurse at the nurse’s station for his address… and gets it. I don’t know what the laws in Japan are, but in the U.S., because of privacy laws, a hospital wouldn’t have given Conan that information. Sometimes, with Case Closed, you just have to go in with a willing suspension of disbelief.

Anyway, the kids formulate the theory that Kagura was so happy about the money he got from being collateral damage in the first accident that he made the prank call and made sure to be in front of the stampede so he could be collateral damage again. While the other Detective Boys investigate that idea, Conan goes to where Otsubo lives and talks with his neighbor. It turns out Otsubo is also on social media, and is jealous of Kagura’s friend because of all the likes and following he’s getting. Unfortunately, Conan doesn’t get the chance to talk with Otsubo directly.

Near the end of the episode, Otsubo confronts someone (who is in shadow, in usual Case Closed style), saying he has figured everything out. Unfortunately, Otsubo is murdered before Conan gets a chance to talk with him.

So next week, the kids will need to determine the truth behind the bomb threat, as well as Otsubo’s murder… but they’re pretty sure that both of these events are connected. It’s going to be interesting to see how this is resolved. I have a couple of theories floating around in my head, so I’ll find out next week whether or not I managed to figure anything out before the truth is revealed.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 9 – “Attack Titan”

This episode finishes off the last bit of Grisha’s backstory. However, unlike the last episode, we also see progress in Eren’s storyline. But through the memories he sees, he learns the name of his Titan, as well as the fact that the Founding Titan serves as a point of origin for memories of Eldians to be transmitted. Well, there’s the explanation for how Eren (who has the Founding Titan) has been seeing his father’s memories over the past couple of episodes. But we also see that Historia is able to tap into this as well when she reads the letter that Ymir wrote her so long ago that Reiner promised to deliver.

Eren also makes the startling realization that the Titan who ate his mother was his father’s first wife, and how being in contact with her (someone of royal blood) allowed him to control the other Titans during that particular melee. He doesn’t want to say anything to anyone, not even to Armin and Mikasa, because of what repercussions it could mean for Historia if the military were to find out.

The last scene was interesting, because we see “the Owl” (the one Grisha got the Founding Titan from) seeing Eren’s memories from the future before passing on the Founding Titan to Grisha. He mentions Armin and Mikasa’s names, and then wonders aloud whose memories he’s seeing. So it appears the memories that the Founding Titan can transmit can even from the future.

Also, the ending credit images were different from what we’ve seen up until now. Instead of seeing Eren and the others in their academy days, it’s all images from the story of Ymir and the battle between the Eldians and the Marleyans. I wonder if these images will be used for the ending credits of next week’s episode.

We’ve still got one more episode to end this season, and I’m curious to see how exactly this season ends. Since I know what’s coming up from reading ahead in the manga, I have an idea of what they’ll probably do, but it’ll be interesting to see whether or not I’m right.

Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 11

Fruits Basket: Episode 10 – “This Is a Wonderful Inn”

The episode begins with Tohru and her classmates finishing off their finals. Momiji sees Tohru at work and goes to Shigure’s house with her afterward to reveal the gift he’s giving for Tohru for “White Day” to thank her for the chocolates on Valentine’s Day: a day at a hot spring owned by the Somas. In the end, Yuki and Kyo accompany Momiji and Tohru. The woman who oversees the hot spring is supposedly in frail health, but she sure has a lot of energy and is overly apologetic even if nothing has really gone wrong. It’s an amusingly humorous bit. But we later learn through a conversation she has with Tohru that her child is also one of the Zodiac animals, specifically the monkey. We’re kind of given the name of this character, but the mother only gives a shortened version of it that has an honorific attached to it. I already know about this character due to seeing the original anime and from reading the manga, but I refuse to provide spoilers for anyone reading this who may not already have familiarity with the either the manga or the first anime.

We get some great interactions between both Tohru and Kyo and Tohru and Yuki in this episode. There’s also a very humorous bit right near the end of the episode where Tohru learns how old Momiji really is, and everyone learns a startling fact about Momiji and Hatsuharu.

Overall, this episode had a great mix of dramatic moments and comedy. With what’s revealed in this episode, it’s clear that we’re going to be headed into a new school year rather quickly, and that Tohru will likely be meeting another member of the Soma family in the not-too-distant future. I’m looking forward to seeing how this reboot will continue on, and how it will differ from the first anime.

Case Closed: Episode 943 – “Tokyo Barls Collection”

The episode opens with Kogoro receiving an invitation to a monja restaurant from a fan. She has included her picture, which shows that she looks like a young woman. Conan insists on going along, and when thy get there, they find an old woman doing a strange dance. When she realized it’s Kogoro in front of her, she rushes into the restaurant. When Kogoro and Conan walk in, they see the woman from the picture… but, her face starts cracking because this is actually a mask. And guess who’s behind the mask? You guessed it, the strange old lady.

While they eat monja, she starts choking on a cabbage core, and claims that one of her childhood friends must have put the core in the monja. She hires Kogoro to investigate her three friends. They all end up giving similar stories about why they despise the strange old woman, and this, of course, causes Conan to suspect that there’s something more going on here.

I won’t spoil the rest of the episode, so I’ll just say that this was one of the worst episodes of Case Closed that I’ve ever seen. The whole setup was just ridiculously stupid, and the case was just as stupid. This was such an obvious filler episode, and I would have to say that it’s worse than most of the filler episodes featuring the Detective Boys. For me to say that shows just how much I disliked this particular episode.

I’m pretty sure the next episode, which is a multi-part episode, is also filler. However, it looks a lot more promising than this one!

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 8 – “That Day”

While this episode primarily focuses on backstory for Eren’s father, Grisha, it’s still compelling. Not only does the audience learn more about Grisha, they also learn the truth behind the world of the series and get a little more information on the Titans. It’s fascinating to see what humankind outside of the walls was truly like during Grisha’s youth. During that time, there was much more of a feel of what our world was like back in the 1920’s and 1930’s, rather than the more medieval feel we see with the modern day characters who live in the walls.

In the flashbacks, though, you can see a parallel between Marley’s treatment of the Eldians and the treatment of the Jews by the Nazis. Instead of concentration camps, we see internment zones and brutal things happening to the Eldians (a child being fed to dogs, and later rebels being turned into Titans and eating other Eldians). Overall, a downer of an episode, but it needed to be that way in order to convey some very important information and concepts for going forward in the series.

We do get a brief scene of Eren, Mikasa, and Eren. Eren and Mikasa are in the stockade to serve their punishment for insubordination, and Eren has a nightmare. It turns out that the backstory we’re seeing is a dream that Eren is having, because he has somehow made a connection with his father’s memories. Although I have to say that it was kind of amusing to see Mikasa with bedhead.

I don’t really want to comment any further at this point, because I’m afraid I may inadvertently provide spoilers from what I know from reading further ahead in the manga. But, what I will say is that things will continue to get a little more… interesting.

Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 10

Fruits Basket: Episode 10 – “It’s Valentine’s, After All”

As you can tell from the title, Valentine’s Day plays an important role in this episode. It starts out the day before, actually, but the girls are giving chocolate at school on this date because Valentine’s Day itself is on Saturday, when they’re not in school. There’s a part with Yuki, where they only see one gift of chocolate. This is unusual, until Hana points out that girls are throwing other girls’ chocolates out so theirs gets all the attention. That poor chocolate, sitting in the nearby garbage can uneaten. Kyo gets one as well, which reminds him that it’s Valentine’s Day. He wants to escape from school, but the homeroom teacher stops him. Yikes, that homeroom teacher gives off the impression of being a bit of a punk herself, and isn’t going to put up with Kyo trying to leave class. We see why he was so worried after school, because Kagura shows up at their school. In the end, this leads to Kagura, Kyo, Yuki, and Tohru going on a “double date” to a movie. And yes, we actually get to see some of the movie they’re watching, and a different animation style was used for it. To me, the look of the film, as well as the types of characters that appear, were giving off a bit of a Digimon vibe to me. LOL!

While there’s a lot of humor in this episode, Shigure also has some serious scenes in this episode. This is especially evident in his discussion with Hatori when Shigure visits the main house. It’s revealed that Shigure has a hidden agenda and motives when it comes to Tohru, Kyo, and Yuki. But Shigure actually admits to some regret, especially when it comes to how he’s using Torhu.

This episode is definitely laying the groundwork for the story’s progression, and yet another layer has now been added. I’m looking forward to seeing this reboot as it continues to adapt the original manga source material.

Case Closed: Episode 942 – “Find Maria-chan! (Part Two)”

The mystery of finding Maria doesn’t take up the entire episode. And in the end, it takes making a phone call to Conan for the other Detective Boys to find Maria. Luckily, it turns out there was nothing suspicious or sinister about the whole “treasure hunt.” At least Maria was safe.

The more interesting portions of the episode have to do with Conan/Shinichi and how that whole thing ends up being resolved. Between Hattori and Shinichi’s parents, the whole commotion about the Shinichi Kudo sighting dissipates… but not before gaining the attention of the leader of the Black Organization. Amuro (aka Bourbon) even gets a message from Rum asking for information about Shinichi. Shinichi’s parents return to Japan and talk with Conan and Professor Agasa. It turns out that the code that Conan discovered for the identity of the leader of the organization wasn’t entirely deciphered accurately. It turns out the whole code should be one word, and it spells out the name of a multi-millionaire that doesn’t actually exist. The beginning narration teased that the identity of the leader of the Black Organization would be revealed. Well, it was, and it wasn’t. The name of the multi-millionaire is obviously an alias for someone else, so this does nothing to narrow down the three people who are being portrayed as potential candidates for the leader.

It was wonderful to finally have some progression for the overarching story, but from the preview for the next episode, it appears we’re heading right back into filler again. Sigh. This is probably the one thing that has gotten a little frustrating about the Case Closed anime. We get anywhere from 2-4 episodes that actually progress the story, and then there’s a few months of filler episodes before we get another 2-4 episodes that progress the overarching story. I know that the manga author, Gosho Aoyama, has been taking hiatuses for various reasons over the past couple of years, so I suspect this pattern for the anime is due to this.

At this point, my big question about this anime franchise is: Will it make it 1,000 episodes? At the rate it’s going, it’s very possible.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 7 – “The Basement”

The title of the episode is “The Basement,” but the story doesn’t officially see our characters getting to their destination until right near the end. A lot of the early part of the episode focuses on Armin catching up on what’s happened, since his last memory is of Bertholdt wreaking havoc. When Armin learns that they had a choice for who to choose to bring back with the “Titan juice,” it’s understandable that Armin is in shock and disbelief that he was chosen over Erwin. During this scene, though, Levi showed a little more of a caring side than he is normally willing to show. Levi is kind of forced to, I think, since Erwin is now gone.

Eren, Mikasa, Levi, and Hange make the trek to Eren’s basement. As they travel, we see flashbacks of young Eren and Mikasa going through important areas that the four of them are going through, as well as how Eren and Mikasa react. I thought this was an effective way of building the anticipation of reaching the basement. But when they get there, they are surprised to discover that the key Eren has had all this time doesn’t actually work on the lock for the basement. But this doesn’t deter Levi, though… he just kicks the door down. As they explore the room, Mikasa finds a desk drawer with a keyhole… and the key Eren has fits this lock. Once they get this drawer open and discover what’s inside, they make a discovery that confirms what Erwin has believed all this time. This newfound knowledge is going to become an important game changer for the series.

Right at the end, a story from Grisha’s (Eren’s father) youth is just getting started. The preview for the next episode makes it clear that it will be continuing to share a story that Grisha left in one of the books found in the desk drawer. It’s going to be an exposition episode, but it’s important information that needs to be conveyed to the audience in order for the story to progress from this point forward.

Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 9

Fruits Basket: Episode 9 – “Yuki Was My First Love”

This episode officially introduces the audience to a character who appeared briefly in the previous episode. Hatsuharu, who is a year younger than Yuki, Kyo, and Tohru. While our main characters are involved in an endurance race at school, they encounter Hatsuharu in a grassy area nearby. He got lost. LOL! Yes, he’s a directionally challenged character. But through Hatsuharu, we learn not only some backstory for him, but a little more for Yuki as well.

Yuki wasn’t feeling well the night before, but he insists on going and participating in the endurance race. Hatsuharu and Kyo fight, but after Yuki collapses from his illness, Hatsuharu uses Tohru to transform into his animal form in order to take Yuki back to Shigure’s house. It’s amusing to see Hatsuharu’s animal form walking through town, carrying Yuki on his back.

Oh, but there’s great moments with Hana and her card game during the endurance race. LOL!

There’s a great mixture of humor and drama in this episode, and Hatsuharu’s proper introduction works perfectly. Another Soma down, still some more to go before we meet all of them.

And it should be noted that during the ending credits, there’s a brief shot of Hatsuharu in his animal form, with the animal form of another character that hasn’t been introduced yet sitting on top of him. I guess these additional shots are only being used during the episode where a particular Soma is introduced, since the one with Hattori’s animal hasn’t been seen again. I expect that this shot with Hatsuharu will come back again when this other character is introduced.

Case Closed: Episode 941 – “Find Maria-chan! (Part One)”

This episode is set right after the end of the school trip special, so basically all the episodes in between were filler. While I had suspected that most were filler, I had assumed that there was at least one canon story in there. Oh well, I guess I was wrong on that.

Thanks to television footage of Hattori and Shinichi being seen together, and some social media posts, it’s revealed that Shinichi Kudo is still alive. Because a rumor of his death had spread, his showing up is big news. The news catches the eye of the characters who have been identified as potential possibilities for Rum, the leader of the Black Organization. One of the potential possibilities is Conan and friends’ new clumsy assistant teacher, and she asks Ai if she knows anything about Shinichi (since Ai lives with the professor, who lives next door to the Kudo family). When Ai asks her why she’s asking her about Shinichi, the teacher brushes it off as simply being curious since Shinichi is being talked about so much online.

Of course, this causes problems for Conan, especially since he had pretended to be sick with a cold and slipped out to visit the professor while the others are in school. Reporters are flocking to the Kudo house, so Conan has to lay low. Conan is also horrified to discover that someone runs a fan site for his family. Oh, that’s not creepy. That’s not creepy at all.

But now that the public knows that Shinichi is still alive, a new layer is being added to the main story arc for Case Closed. This is going to make things more difficult for Shinichi/Conan than they already are. As we get more canon storylines from the manga being adapted for the anime, things could get even more interesting.

Meanwhile, Conan’s main teacher approaches Ai and the others, asking if they know why a student named Maria wasn’t at school. They say they haven’t heard anything, and the teacher asks them to visit Maria’s house to check up on her, since the teacher hadn’t been able to reach either of her parents at work. When the kids get to the house, Ayumi remembers that Maria mentioned that she found a note from her dead grandmother about a treasure hunt being set up in her house. Maria had invited Ayumi and the others. The grandmother’s house is across the street, and the door is unlocked. The kids let themselves in, and find Maria’s belongings at the entrance, along with the first hint for the treasure hunt. The kids figure Maria must have gone ahead and started doing the treasure hunt instead of going to school, so they start following the instructions. Ai is the main one figuring things out, but by the end of the episode, they still haven’t found Maria.

Maybe it’s just me, but the note from the dead grandmother just sounded kind of weird from the outset. I don’t know if maybe Maria is somehow simply trapped in her grandmother’s house, or if something more sinister is going on.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 6 – “Midnight Sun”

When the episode begins with the title appearing on the screen as it opens instead of using the opening credits, you know things are going to be serious.

Hange and the others are trying to interrogate Reiner, but he’s not being very cooperative. When Hange threatens to kill Reiner, Jean pleads for Hange to stop because if they need to revive anyone with the “Titan juice,” the person who gets the injection could eat Reiner. Hange relents, and sends Mikasa to check on Eren and Armin and find out what their situation is.

Meanwhile, as Eren grieves for Armin, the man who is the Beast Titan appears before him. He says they’re both victims of Eren’s father and he vows that he will rescue Eren. He also comments that there’s no saving Bertholdt and leaves. Not too long after, he and the Titan he’s riding on appear and take Reiner away. Jean blames himself for this failure, but Hange takes responsibility for making the decision.

Mikasa arrives to Eren and Armin’s location, and is stunned to see the condition Armin is in. Levi arrives as well, and not too long after, Armin lets out a gasp of breath… which means that Armin is still alive. Eren asks Levi to use the “Titan juice,” and he’s about to hand it over when the cadet who survived the Beast Titan’s attack arrived with a badly injured but still clinging to life Erwin. At this point, Levi has to decide who to use the “Titan juice” on. Both sides plead their cases, and Levi has a very tough decision to make. But after it appears he’s made his final decision, something happens that causes Levi to change his mind.

This was a tough episode emotionally, because the viewer is put through such a rollercoaster ride, especially when both sides are pleading their cases as to which one should be saved by being turned into a Titan. Also, the amount of violence and gore shown in the episode is also a little higher than normal. But this is the reality of the situation that they’re in… it’s simply going to be violent and bloody.

The next episode’s preview shows the group approaching Eren’s basement, and the episode is even title, “The Basement.” After getting through 55 episodes of the franchise, the audience will finally learn what’s in Eren’s basement. I don’t think I’ll be providing any spoilers by making one final comment, since I know what’s coming from reading the manga: What they find in the basement will be a major game changer.

Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 8

This week, there are only write-ups for Fruits Basket and Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2. Once again, there was no new Case Closed episode available for streaming.

Fruits Basket: Episode 8 – “See You When You Get Back”

The focus of this episode is on New Year’s, and the plans the characters have for the holiday. Uo and Hana offer to let Tohru stay with them for the holiday, because Tohru’s grandfather and the rest of the family are going to Hawaii. Tohru declines and says she’ll be OK. She gets permission from Shigure to stay at his house, but is told that the three Somas will be going to the main house for a few days to celebrate the holiday. At first, Yuki and Kyo don’t want to go, because they’re trying to stay away from the main house. But Tohru convinces them to spend time with their families. But in the end, feelings of guilt and a little push from Hana convince Yuki and Kyo to return to the house to spend the holiday with Tohru.

This episode really delves into how Yuki and Kyo have really come to like Torhu, but realize that there’s still things about her that they don’t know, even though she’s lived with them for four months at this point. It also really highlights just how much Tohru can still hide some of her true feelings from them. As we see as Yuki and Kyo rush back into the house, Tohru is sitting with a picture of her mother and has tears welling up in her eyes. She really would have been lonely for this first New Year’s without her mother, but she didn’t want the Somas to miss out on time with their family.

I liked the overall feel and aesthetic and feel of the episode. As I watched it, I thought it really felt like it was taking place at the end of December. While the original anime tried to capture this aesthetic with its animation, I think this reboot captured that sense a lot better. And the scene with the first sunrise of the year was a major highlight.

This episode also sees the first brief appearance of another member of the Soma family, and I suspect that we’ll be seeing his proper introduction in an episode in the not-too-distant future.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 5 – “Hero”

This week was another intense episode, with focus on the two fronts of the battle. Erwin’s suicide force is focused on first, and just about everyone in it is wiped out by the Beast Titan. There’s a scene where one soldier gets up and realizes that he’s the only one still alive, and it’s heartbreaking to see how dazed and confused he is. His wondering out loud why he’s the only one adds to the emotional impact. But the suicide force’s goal is accomplished, because Levi is able to get in some impressive hits on the Beast Titan. Levi gets the man inside the Beast Titan out, but another Titan snatches him away before Levi can take him into custody. We see Levi stunned at what happens, and I think this is probably the most emotion we’ve seen out of him at this point in the series.

On the other battlefront, Armin realizes something about the Colossal Titan, and comes up with a plan to defeat Bertholdt. While the others distract Reiner, Armin and Eren will take on and defeat Bertholdt by themselves. While Armin accomplishes his goal, it’s at a great cost.

This week’s episode has its double-edged swords: while various goals are reached, there’s a negative to off-set the positive. For Levi, it was the man inside the Beast Titan being taken away from him. For Armin and Eren, well… I can’t really go into that without providing spoilers. All I will say that something very negative happens here in order to achieve the positive of defeating Bertholdt.

I know what’s coming next from reading the manga, and I believe we’re soon going to hit the scene that was the after credits teaser at the end of the first half of Attack on Titan Season 3. The only thing I will add is that: things are just going to keep getting more interesting from here.