E21 87-88: Pro Bowl

Eyeshield 21 episodes 87-88 review

E21 87

Eyeshield 21 names its Pro Bowlers – or, in this case, their starting XI. Sounds like something out of soccer, because in football there are many more than just 11 players on your team. Why would there only be 11 all-stars when there are far more than 11 positions on the field?

It’s the least surprising thing ever that Sena gets named to the team. What is surprising is that Kurita also makes the team. Someone saw how important he was to the team and nominated him even though he’s kind of a lovable loser. Of course Shin is named MVP; if you didn’t see that coming, you must not be paying much attention.

The one guy who’s on the bench is pouting, and I don’t blame him. I forget his name, but the fact that Hiruma won’t ever substitute him in even when the team has just about 13 total players, is ridiculous. This would never happen in real life.

It reminds me of my school’s junior high basketball team. We had a tiny school, and about 10 kids tried out. Our school actually had CUTS. Meaning, instead of keeping backups, they cut half the kids. How does that make sense when your school is so small? A parent complained and got the whole roster on the team, which only made sense. Why in the world would you cut players when you’re hurting for members in the first place? Such was the madness that was Pittsburgh East Christian School. (I celebrate my 15th anniversary of high school graduation on May 31.)

The second episode this week is just silly stuff. I’m pretty sure it’s only there for the sake of humor. It has “1st down, 2nd down, 3rd down…” all the way to “10th down” which are pretty much 1-to-2-minute shorts with a quick bit of humor. It’s better than a recrap episode, I’ll say. There was one of them, I think 9th down, that was hilarious. All the members of the team are all over the city, and suddenly Hiruma comes on every single TV screen in the whole city, telling them to meet him for some practice. The hilarity of every person’s TV turning to Hiruma, even on the streets, in a stadium, and elsewhere, is simply unmatched. Hiruma is the best. I love that guy. Even though he has guns, which I’m a big anti-gun guy (even though I’m conservative). Get past the guns, and you can fall in love with Hiruma.

Episode 87 rating (out of four stars: ***1/2

Episode 88 rating: ***

BC 23: Generic

Black Clover episode 23 review

BC 23

I’ve noticed site traffic is way down in the last few weeks. Have I not been controversial enough? I can always say something stupid to get people going, right? Maybe I can make the claim that Black Clover is a genius anime…

… but it’s not. Black Clover is so generic. In some cases, this isn’t bad. For example, I drink lots of orange pop. (We don’t use the word “soda” around here.) Orange pop comes from many different companies, and the generic stuff doesn’t taste all that different from the brand-name stuff. So generic sometimes can be good.

… but there’s something psychological about generic stuff. You get it stuck in your mind, “This isn’t as good because it costs less.” And orange pop may all taste the same, but let me tell you that I always go for Orange Crush over Orange Plunge or Faygo Orange.

So Black Clover is just a generic shounen anime. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, it just means that there’s nothing special about it. It’s the same old stuff every week. I don’t really get any pleasure from watching it, but at the same time I don’t get angry at it like I do with Jojo or Hunter x Hunter. It’s just… there.

And this was a generic episode. Nothing special happened. It wasn’t that not much happened, like we say around here, it’s just that it was the same old stuff. And because of that, I’m losing interest when watching this show.

Did I mention that Asta now has a third rival? Yeah, now we’re going overboard.

Character of the episode: Asta

Episode rating (out of four stars): **

HxH 96: Survivor: Villains vs. Villains

Hunter x Hunter episode 96 review

HxH 96

The Phantom Troupe are not good guys. There has been nothing in canon to suggest otherwise. If you add in the movie that was released a couple months back, you could say they are even bigger villains than we thought. In other words, there should be no circumstances of which we would be cheering for them.

But we’re supposed to. It’s the Ants vs. the Phantom Troupe, and the viewer is supposed to favor the Troupe. How do I know this? Well, that’s kind of obvious, but everything is framed to make the Troupe look sympathetic, while making the Ants look villainous. The dialogue always makes the Ants look evil. Thus we’re supposed to cheer on the Troupe.

If I were to use an example, it’s kind of like how Fox News always tries to make President Trump look good. (Or, on the other hand, how NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and ESPN, to name a few, always try to make President Trump look bad.) So we’re biased toward the Troupe, and against the Ants.

But the problem with this is that we’ve seen the Troupe’s actions. They aren’t good guys. They killed an entire room of men and then vacuumed up their blood. Not to mention that they killed Kurapika’s whole clan. They aren’t “morally ambiguous” as I heard one person call them. They are totally evil. We shouldn’t be cheering for them under any circumstances.

Here’s the kicker: the episode was flat-out boring. The battles were uninteresting, the dialogue was throwaway, and the fact is that we left what was at least a somewhat interesting cliffhanger for this. This is just about the point where Hunter x Hunter loses its way. There’s still a particular character who I’m dying to hear her voice, because that might make or break the arc, but as for now, Hunter x Hunter is sliding into mediocrity.

Character of the episode: Feitan

Episode rating (out of four stars): *1/2