Toonami Roundup: 3/18/17

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This week, in Toonami…

Dragon Ball Super episode 11: The Goku and Beerus fight rages on. As my colleague Michael points out precisely: it’s all padding. Could this battle be any slower? This is exactly what people warned me about Dragon Ball: you have a character’s scream that lasts 5 episodes. So far, this scream has lasted 2. Will it make it to five? Rating: *1/2

Dragon Ball Z Kai episode 109: This episode was literally nothing more than players picking ping-pong balls out of a box. I’m not joking, that was it. If you want to know how to do this right, you’ve got to watch the NCAA Basketball Tournament Selection Show. You build up suspense, seed the characters in a reasonable manner, and leave the final spot for last, so everyone’s on the edge of their seats waiting for that last pick. Instead, we get an incredibly boring episode here. Rating: *

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure episode 21: This was a good one, for the most part. I’m not a big fan of “let’s all separate and battle one-on-one” but I thought it was pretty funny how Jojo and Lisa Lisa discuss her origins while Waamu and Kars just stand there and watch. I forget what I gave this episode in my review, but I think it was 2 1/2 stars. Rating: **1/2

Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn episode 11: Thankfully Toonami’s pushing this show to the “no one watches” hour along with filler Shippuden. Rating: *

Hunter x Hunter episode 43: Don’t watch if you’re squeamish! The Phantom Troupe attacks, and it’s a bloody scene. Uvogin goes off on the Mafia, and not even bazookas can bring him down. Now come the Shadow Beasts – surely they’ll take Uvogin down, right? Rating: ***1/2

Naruto Shippuden episode 150: Is this really a milestone episode? If so, it wasn’t a good one. Too many Bleach “What”s. Rating: *1/2

One Piece episode 384: The swan song for One Piece on Toonami! Brook has a hard time getting along with his new crewmates, but eventually he’s able to win them over. Goodbyes are hard, and One Piece will surely be missed. Hopefully this isn’t the last time I write a review for it on this blog. Rating: ***

Best show of the week: Hunter x Hunter

Most surprisingly good show of the week: One Piece

Most disappointing show of the week: Dragon Ball Z Kai

Toonami Roundup: 3/11/17

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This week, in Toonami:

Dragon Ball Super episode 10: Goku fights Beerus. Yeah, that’s it. Rating: *1/2

Dragon Ball Z Kai episode 108: Goten and Trunks battle it out for Junior Division supremacy. After they do too much of that close-range punching and kicking as fast as they can, which never lands a blow in Dragon Ball, they both eventually cheat and go Super Saiyan, and Goten gets knocked out of the ring. Trunks wins, then beats up on Mr. Satan. How is Mr. Satan going to save his reputation now? Rating: **

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure episode 20: Caesar dies. But it’s more than just that – it’s a flashback about Caesar’s past, and how his father set out to destroy the Pillar Men. Eventually, Waamu defeats Caesar, but not before Caesar is able to get the antidote off him, so Jojo will survive the poison rings. I’m surprised, though, it didn’t come down to the last day the poison rings would release. In any case, good episode. Rating: ***

Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn episode 10: Banagher is Shinji Ikari. He’s running away from his destiny, and we all know he mustn’t run away. The rest of this episode is forgettable. Rating: *1/2

Hunter x Hunter episode 42: Gon and Killua buy a beetle phone, then set out to win 88,900 arm wrestling matches in order to gain the money they need. Kurapika and Melody discuss their pasts, and clearly are now the most shippable couple in Hunter x Hunter. Forget the Gon x Killua romance that probably has a million fanfics already; Kurapika x Melody needs some love! Rating: ***

Naruto Shippuden episode 149: The guy that they’re searching for just so happens to be the main villain of this arc. Also, the villagers all get hypnotized in InuYasha fashion. Rating: *1/2

One Piece episode 383: One Piece is running out of time. In the meantime, the Straw Hats save a couple of girls and help them find their treasure. However, the super-sappy flashbacks took away from the enjoyment of this episode: Rating: **

Ghost in the Shell SAC 2nd GIG episode 6: Section 9 – the name of the group the heroes work for – excavate a dead body – hence the title of the episode, “Excavation” – and try to figure out who it is. Togusa, the name of the main character of this particular episode, figures out that it’s a man named Kanji, as he’s able to find her fiancee. Togusa and the fiancee get chased by machines, but they get saved by the blue talking machine. It’s a little better than I can explain, but not great at the same time. Rating: **

Best show of the week: Hunter x Hunter

Most surprisingly good show of the week: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

Most disappointing show of the week: One Piece

Toonami Roundup: 2/25/17

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This week, in Toonami: (all ratings out of four stars)

Dragon Ball Super episode 8: I’ve decided to bite the bullet and start using the word “episode” in my posts. If I get hunted down by Remove Your Media LLC, so be it. I’m like Homura Akemi; I did nothing wrong. Oh, and rock-paper-scissors for the fate of the Earth. What an episode. Rating: *

Dragon Ball Z Kai episode 106: What might have been a waste of an episode was saved by the Mr. Satan documentary with puppets. That was way too funny to gloss over. Mr. Satan is a great character; who’s not so great is Krillin, who tells the audience (us) what we already know: that Mr. Satan isn’t really the hero. We get it, Krillin, we know. You don’t have to hit us over the head with it. Rating: **

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure episode 18: Suzy Q takes on the lifeform of Esidesi, and Jojo and Caesar must use positive and negative Hamon together to beat it out of her. Then the red stone of Aja gets on a boat to Switzerland and the Jojo crew must stop it before it reaches the train. Oh, and Von Stroheim is still alive. Enough stuff to make me interested in Jojo again. Rating: **1/2

Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn episode 8: Every time you hurt yourself with knives, a new Gundam series is created, this one even more convoluted and confusing than the one before it. Rating: *

Hunter x Hunter episode 40: Can you believe I’m now 50 episodes in the future? And I will tell you this: Hunter x Hunter will never get as good again as it is during this arc. Watch this arc. Savor it. Enjoy it. And remember it well for when 50 episodes from now, you can’t remember why you started watching this show. It’s just like Bleach: it had that one good arc (this arc right here, the Yorknew City arc, akin to Bleach‘s Soul Society arc), then plunged off a cliff, never to return. Rating: ***

Naruto Shippuden episode 147: Good old Naruto, falling into the same trap. A cute and helpless character who gets berated by his/her master is in trouble, and he must step in to save the day. Boy, I love filler. Rating: *

One Piece episode 381: Brook has officially joined the crew! Will anyone else hop aboard? Not for a while, at least, if ever. Lola gives a piece of paper to Nami, which is for certain what the next arc will deal with, right? Oh, and Luffy’s brother may be dying. PEOPLE. ARE. DYING. Would you please shut down the system? Rating: **1/2

Ghost in the Shell episode 4: I had high hopes for Ghost in the Shell coming in. But after seeing 4 episodes, it looks to be cut from the same cloth as Gundam. Lots of technobabble, tons of explosions, a whole bunch of politics… but not much when it comes to a coherent plotline that someone stupid like myself can follow. Maybe you can figure it out, because I’m sure you’re smarter than me, but right now my head is spinning. It’s not terrible; I just wish I knew what the heck was going on over there! Rating: *1/2

Best show of the week: Hunter x Hunter

Most surprisingly good show of the week: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

Most disappointing show of the week: Ghost in the Shell

Toonami Roundup: 2/18/17

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This week in Toonami:

Dragon Ball Super ep 7: Beerus goes off on the gang, his anger uncontrollable. But it isn’t until Bulma is attacked by him that Vegeta gets angry. Now that Fajita’s in Hulk mode, he’s either a) going to get revenge on Beerus or b) wait for Kakarot to show up and save him. I’m guessing b). Rating: **

Dragon Ball Z Kai ep 105: What a waste of time this ep was. The only thing of note was that Krillin has grown hair on his Chia Pet bald head, and that he and Android 18 are now a couple. Time for Mr. Satan to win another championship! Rating: *

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure ep 17: Jojo defeats AC/DC, er, I mean, Esidisi. This ep makes a whole lot more sense in retrospect now that I watched ep 15. However, it still doesn’t excuse the boredom of this particular ep. That ep – #15 – was actually a good one. These past two have not been. Rating: *

Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn ep 7: “And it’s every time you hurt yourself with knives…” Maybe hurting yourself with knives would be a more pleasant experience than trying to figure out Gundam. Rating: *

Hunter x Hunter ep 39: Guys, you’ve got to watch Hunter x Hunter! This is seriously a really good show! This particular ep may not have been the most exciting, but it’s a buildup to what’s going to turn into a fantastic arc. Trust me on this one! Rating: ***

Naruto Shippuden ep 146: There were about six big “WHAT”s in this ep, at least two of which were by Naruto himself. Naruto also blurted out “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” The plotline was bland as ever, so I spent the whole ep laughing at the unintentional humor. Rating: *

One Piece ep 380: Yohohoho, yohohoho! “Binks’ Brew” is the song of choice, though I can’t figure out whether it should be spelled “Bink’s Brew,” “Binks’ Brew,” or even “Binks’s Brew.” In any case, it’s the final song played on Brook’s ship as he and his crew dies. This ep was so touching and moving that it may have earned One Piece’s first-ever four-star rating from me, if not for the fact that there was no explanation as to why Brook had a Devil Fruit in him or what a Devil Fruit even is. Is it my fault for not having watched all 380 eps? Rating: ***1/2

Ghost in the Shell ep 3: It seems to me that we’re actually watching the second season of Ghost in the Shell. I got caught up on ep 2, and it just doesn’t seem like we should be as familiar with the characters as we are. I encourage you to join in watching this, for completion’s sake. In any case, the plot – Kusunagi playing the role of a cat burglar to sniff out a real criminal – is entertaining enough to keep me watching… for now. Rating: **1/2

Best show of the week: One Piece

Most surprisingly good show of the week: Ghost in the Shell

Most disappointing show of the week: Naruto: Shippuden