Fanclub Owl’s Fiction Evaluation Club.

#24
Wait, there’s a manga for the Netflix series ?
Not a manga but apparently Netflix’s Kingdom was adapted from a web comic called Kingdom of the Gods which was authored by Kim Eun-hee and drawn by Yang Kyung-il.

Yasuhisa Hara’s Kingdom manga has nothing to do with the Netflix series. There are no zombies in this work of fiction. The only monster in this series is mankind. :sanmoji:
 
#28
Today I finished the Lost Agent Arc, which is the fourth story arc of Bleach.

This was the Bleach arc that I was most suspicious of in advance due to the fact that I had never even heard of this arc from any of the Bleach fans I know. It also occurs after an in-universe time skip which considering what generally occurs after such an occurrence in the average shonen series, is usually cause for concern. :jay-he:

I have seen folk discuss the completely overrated Soul Society Arc, the tediously paced Arrancar Arc and the infamous Thousand Year Blood War Arc. By comparison, I had never seen anyone discuss or even mention the Lost Agent Arc or any of it’s characters before I had already started reading this arc.

So, with the highest of suspicions and the lowest of expectations, I delved into this arc and I found that.......

It was actually enjoyable. Lol.

The Lost Agent Arc follows Ichigo after he has lost his spiritual powers and his journey to regain said powers. I suppose that does make it a repeat plot line of Uryū regaining his spiritual powers during the Arrancar Arc but what else can one expect from Kubo by this point?

Anyway, the arc starts off slow with Ichigo and his high school shenanigans (ugh, teenagers) including beating up random thugs that add nothing whatsoever to the story and his part time employment doing odd jobs in a shop run by the tough as nails, eel themed, mega mammaried milf mama Ikumi Unagiya.
Whom I suspect of having a “thing” for the strawberry haired 17 year old Ichigo.
Tis just a hunch though. :watchout:

Anyway, shit starts going down with the appearance of mystery man Kugo Ginjo and his bowl of ramen.
Through this mysteriously mysterious individual, Ichigo finds himself in contact with a secret gang of outcast superhumans with specific spiritual powers that are wholly unique to each individual.

These individuals are known as Fullbringers and their organisation is...

The first rule of Xcution is; you do not talk about Xcution. :sanmoji:

Anyway, this arc was a lot more fun than I had expected it to be.

This is basically the only arc thus far where Ichigo actually has to work hard to earn his achievements within the arc after substantial on screen training. Every other arc, Ichigo just does some partial on screen training that he immediately excels in under 1/2 the time he is supposed to do it in, has an inner conflict fight which gives him instant bullshit buffs and then is followed by Ichigo mowing through all his opposition later down the line after some obligatory power ups.

The abilities of the numerous Fullbringers are uniquely entertaining and the fights in this arc are short, sweet and to the point. None of them are unnecessarily dragged out for the sake of an entire manga volume. Even Ichigo’s fight was alright. Lol.

I also enjoyed the Fullbringer gang’s varied, ragtag underground design aesthetic. A bit of a difference from the monotonous flowing uniforms of the Shinigami and whatever the hell it is that Arrancar wear.

It also looks like the characters and their fights have gotten more brutal which is good considering it was a bad habit of Kubo in previous arcs to have characters promise to carry out a violent act and then just not which in turn made certain characters look bad (especially the supposedly ultra violent Kenpachi). Lol.

Since Ichigo is in the world of the living and not under some plot induced deadline (save lady friend from bad guys), there is actually more time for him to legitimately interact with his friends as friends do. The casual character interaction in this arc is refreshing by Bleach standards.

The main antagonists in this arc have actually been the most entertaining of any thus far. Tsukishima in particular with his absolutely terrifying Fullbringer ability, creates a sense of legitimate danger and helplessness for Ichigo to overcome, one that Ichigo cannot simply overpower with brute force. We see Ichigo at his lowest and most helpless during this arc due to the actions of the antagonists and this goes a long way to actually humanising Ichigo for once.

The build up to Ginjo’s betrayal of Ichigo, the revelation of his manipulations and his reveal as the main antagonist of the arc were actually more subtlety hinted at and well placed than Aizen’s betrayal back during the Soul Society Arc, where his subordinate Gin was the most obvious red herring since communist kippers.

Though the main reason I am praising this arc over all other Bleach arcs thus far comes down to a single issue that has utterly plagued every other Bleach arc.

Pacing.

This is the only arc thus far (and probably in general) that does not have utterly atrocious pacing. It’s concise pacing prevents the arc from stretching itself too thin.

At 56 Chapters long, it is the second shortest arc in Bleach with only the first arc (Agent of the Shinigami) being technically shorter (at 50 Chapters) but that arc still has pacing issues due to the addition of completely unnecessary nonsense that adds nothing to the story whatsoever (e.g. Don Kanonji and the haunted parakeet).

This arc has a slightly slow start but gets into the meat of the plot quickly. After two back to back rescue arcs that are 130 chapters and 250+ chapters, I cannot emphasise how refreshing it is to get an arc with a simple, reasonably paced but effective story.

There are barely any cursed panels either. Just this one where the fingers on Orihime’s right hand look as if they have gone through a noodle making machine (which is also known as a “noodler”, by me and now by you).

I would think something was wrong with me too if my right hand looked liked that. :watchout:

That is not to say that this arc does not have it’s flaws.

The execution of the motivations and pasts of some of the Fullbringer’s were not fully explained. For example, we never get to know how Ginjo became the first Deputy Soul Reaper to begin with or why the Fullbringer Giriko wanted his wife dead and then just suddenly didn’t. The ending was a bit confusing too when the Fullbringer inexplicably lose their powers after Ginjo’s demise.

There were two nonsense moments in particular that stuck out to me. The first is when the manga tries to claim that Ichigo has somehow changed the Soul Society.
This sure is news to me cause the manga never showed Ichigo changing anything regarding the Soul Society or how it functions. Kubo, unless you show the reader change then you cannot expect them to believe you. Show, don’t tell. Lel.

The other nonsense moment is when Renji inexplicably becomes Sanji. :sanmoji:

Oh really Renji? :goatasure:
A hand is unforgivable but a blade is fine, aye Renji? Well at least we both agree that you are a trash character if only for different reasons. :akasalt:

Regardless, this arc was a pleasant surprise. It does not provide a strong enough reason by itself to read Bleach but it does provide a reprieve from an endless sea of tediously paced mediocrity. A 6/10 arc I say (average but enjoyable).

Damn man, I almost feel excited for the next Bleach arc. Come on Kubo, show me what you got. I can take it. :smithnie:

Oh.....
Oh dear.....
 
#32
I can't believe this! You literally like the least popular arc. Perhaps because you expected it to be bad, it exceeded your expectations?

Was 100% sure you'd hate it so badly.
After the past two arcs, I was indeed predicting that I was going to outright detest this one but I just could not. The Lost Agent Arc simply does not have the crippling issues that other Bleach arcs have (e.g. atrocious pacing, highly questionable logic, nonsensical power ups etc.).

The casual character interactions are better here than they are in the other arcs. Ichigo in particular shows more emotional vulnerability and insecurity in this arc than in any other.

Chapter 459 in particular left an impression on me.

The last time I can recall Ichigo going through anywhere near this much emotional turmoil was in his fight against the Grand Fisher, which was one of the highlights of the first arc and let me tell you, I was most disappointed at Grand Fisher’s return during the Arrancar Arc where he is completely jobbered by Isshin and does not even get to actually see Ichigo, let alone have a second confrontation with him.

If I was to currently rank the Bleach arcs in descending order of quality/enjoyment then it would be;
I) Lost Agent.
II) Agent of the Shinigami.
III) Soul Society.
IV) Arrancar Arc.
 

Fleet Admiral Lee Hung

Unto Greater Heights
.
#33
@Dragomir @Chrono /whoever else: okay so I just finished the Hunter Selection Exam. Gon is about to confront Illumi. Here are my thoughts:

Overall, it’s enjoyable so far. I’m not sure I can still connect with younger children characters, but that said I still like Gon, he’s pretty endearing without being cringily generic. During he and Hanzo’s “fight”, I did find it a bit annoying that people were getting so pissed at Hanzo who literally was just doing what he was supposed to do lmfao, but other than that I think Gon has been solid.

Hisoka is far more interesting so far, and you can tell he’s supposed to be. His charisma/motives/sadism are much more intriguing than anything the “main 4” characters have shown, and I hope he’ll stay pretty relevant because I’d like to know what his deal is. The moment where he gave Gon his badge in Round 4 was great.

The animation in this anime is also really good pretty much all the time, so props to the studio there.

Due to spoilers I already know that Netero is supposed to be freakishly strong so I’ve been paying close attention to him, and so far I’m not a huge fan. He strikes me as being very similar to Master Roshi who I was never a big fan of. He’s not a bad character but he hasn’t really left a strong impression on me.

Overall HxH has been enjoyable so far, I hold it in pretty much the same regard as Naruto, much better in terms of plot but Naruto had really cool Shinobi while a lot of HxH characters don’t really seem that interesting or cool.

I will say though, I love the focus in this anime on aspects of becoming a hunter that gave nothing to do with combat strength. In fact combat strength was pretty irrelevant for most of the tournament, intellect seems far more important for a Hunter to have which is definitely a huge plus for a series like this.

I’ll watch more soon.
 

Chrono

Symbol of Despair
.
#34
@Dragomir @Chrono /whoever else: okay so I just finished the Hunter Selection Exam. Gon is about to confront Illumi. Here are my thoughts:

Overall, it’s enjoyable so far. I’m not sure I can still connect with younger children characters, but that said I still like Gon, he’s pretty endearing without being cringily generic. During he and Hanzo’s “fight”, I did find it a bit annoying that people were getting so pissed at Hanzo who literally was just doing what he was supposed to do lmfao, but other than that I think Gon has been solid.

Hisoka is far more interesting so far, and you can tell he’s supposed to be. His charisma/motives/sadism are much more intriguing than anything the “main 4” characters have shown, and I hope he’ll stay pretty relevant because I’d like to know what his deal is. The moment where he gave Gon his badge in Round 4 was great.

The animation in this anime is also really good pretty much all the time, so props to the studio there.

Due to spoilers I already know that Netero is supposed to be freakishly strong so I’ve been paying close attention to him, and so far I’m not a huge fan. He strikes me as being very similar to Master Roshi who I was never a big fan of. He’s not a bad character but he hasn’t really left a strong impression on me.

Overall HxH has been enjoyable so far, I hold it in pretty much the same regard as Naruto, much better in terms of plot but Naruto had really cool Shinobi while a lot of HxH characters don’t really seem that interesting or cool.

I will say though, I love the focus in this anime on aspects of becoming a hunter that gave nothing to do with combat strength. In fact combat strength was pretty irrelevant for most of the tournament, intellect seems far more important for a Hunter to have which is definitely a huge plus for a series like this.

I’ll watch more soon.
Wow. Im suprised you like Gon this early. Usually people start to like Gon as the series progresses. But yh as of now Hisoka should be the only "interesting character". And yes Hisoka will stay relevant. Hes pretty much the 5th most important character in the series.

Well you still havent met the cool and interesting characters of the series. Only person as of now is Hisoka.....and Killua to a degree. Just carry on watching. It only gets better from here.
 

Dragoban

Get banned, bitch
.
#35
@Dragomir @Chrono /whoever else: okay so I just finished the Hunter Selection Exam. Gon is about to confront Illumi. Here are my thoughts:

Overall, it’s enjoyable so far. I’m not sure I can still connect with younger children characters, but that said I still like Gon, he’s pretty endearing without being cringily generic. During he and Hanzo’s “fight”, I did find it a bit annoying that people were getting so pissed at Hanzo who literally was just doing what he was supposed to do lmfao, but other than that I think Gon has been solid.

Hisoka is far more interesting so far, and you can tell he’s supposed to be. His charisma/motives/sadism are much more intriguing than anything the “main 4” characters have shown, and I hope he’ll stay pretty relevant because I’d like to know what his deal is. The moment where he gave Gon his badge in Round 4 was great.

The animation in this anime is also really good pretty much all the time, so props to the studio there.

Due to spoilers I already know that Netero is supposed to be freakishly strong so I’ve been paying close attention to him, and so far I’m not a huge fan. He strikes me as being very similar to Master Roshi who I was never a big fan of. He’s not a bad character but he hasn’t really left a strong impression on me.

Overall HxH has been enjoyable so far, I hold it in pretty much the same regard as Naruto, much better in terms of plot but Naruto had really cool Shinobi while a lot of HxH characters don’t really seem that interesting or cool.

I will say though, I love the focus in this anime on aspects of becoming a hunter that gave nothing to do with combat strength. In fact combat strength was pretty irrelevant for most of the tournament, intellect seems far more important for a Hunter to have which is definitely a huge plus for a series like this.

I’ll watch more soon.
Yeah, you'll keep seeing more of Hisoka, he's used in just the right amount to where it keeps us wanting more and more. As for his ideals, you'll figure it out during the Heavens Arena and Yorknew arc. As for Netero, he's an absolute beast but doesn't get his time to shine until much, much late. Like 100 episodes later lmao. I just want you to keep in mind what Killua said when he and Gon fought him. Said something about killing Netero if he got angry.

As for the dope characters, you're just on the first arc. The cool characters don't start popping up until Yorknew, 3 arcs later. And for our 4 main characters, they'll start getting good in Yorknew as well. So basically, Yorknew City, really good arc.
 

Zoro D Goat

𝕾𝖙𝖔𝖓𝖊 𝕱𝖗𝖊𝖊!🧵
.
#37
@Dragomir @Chrono /whoever else: okay so I just finished the Hunter Selection Exam. Gon is about to confront Illumi. Here are my thoughts:

Overall, it’s enjoyable so far. I’m not sure I can still connect with younger children characters, but that said I still like Gon, he’s pretty endearing without being cringily generic. During he and Hanzo’s “fight”, I did find it a bit annoying that people were getting so pissed at Hanzo who literally was just doing what he was supposed to do lmfao, but other than that I think Gon has been solid.

Hisoka is far more interesting so far, and you can tell he’s supposed to be. His charisma/motives/sadism are much more intriguing than anything the “main 4” characters have shown, and I hope he’ll stay pretty relevant because I’d like to know what his deal is. The moment where he gave Gon his badge in Round 4 was great.

The animation in this anime is also really good pretty much all the time, so props to the studio there.

Due to spoilers I already know that Netero is supposed to be freakishly strong so I’ve been paying close attention to him, and so far I’m not a huge fan. He strikes me as being very similar to Master Roshi who I was never a big fan of. He’s not a bad character but he hasn’t really left a strong impression on me.

Overall HxH has been enjoyable so far, I hold it in pretty much the same regard as Naruto, much better in terms of plot but Naruto had really cool Shinobi while a lot of HxH characters don’t really seem that interesting or cool.

I will say though, I love the focus in this anime on aspects of becoming a hunter that gave nothing to do with combat strength. In fact combat strength was pretty irrelevant for most of the tournament, intellect seems far more important for a Hunter to have which is definitely a huge plus for a series like this.

I’ll watch more soon.
Don't worry bro, the stories will get even better if you just keep reading it :cheers:And I agree that Gon and Hisoka is definitely two of the best characters in HxH out there:kata:
 

Fleet Admiral Lee Hung

Unto Greater Heights
.
#39
Also @Admiral Lee Hung ..since your past the exam arc. Lemme show you some of the gore the 2011 anime censored of the hunter exam

Hisoka vs fodder




Killua vs fodder


Kurapika vs fake spider guy


Hisoka vs old examiner



Killua rips out the heart





Illumi vs fodder


Hisoka's blood lust




Gon snake bite


Illumi vs fodder part 2
You know, when I saw Killua had placed the prisoners heart in a bag in the anime, I thought to myself “yeah they definitely censored that, Killua probably straight held this man’s heart in his hands in the manga” lol.
 

Chrono

Symbol of Despair
.
#40
You know, when I saw Killua had placed the prisoners heart in a bag in the anime, I thought to myself “yeah they definitely censored that, Killua probably straight held this man’s heart in his hands in the manga” lol.
Yh. I was confused when I first watched it in 2013. I was a kid back then. And the 2011 HxH warped my mind into thinking that some hearts look like that lmao.

Atleast it looked better in the 1999 version.
 
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