Doctor Who Reviews | Series 3

Hey guys! I’m sorry for my apparent Rose-bashing in the last series, I didn’t intend on being so harsh on a fan favourite, but a lot of things kinda wasn’t right for me, just wanted to address that, before I air more grievances about the topic.

Today, I’m reviewing the third modern era series of Doctor Who. This is gonna be a bumpy ride.

Smith and Jones

This episode introduces the newest companion, Martha Jones, played by Freema Agyeman, who also played her cousin Adeola in Army of Ghosts from last series. She’s a medical student, in a hospital that gets taken to the moon, and then the Judoon platoon arrive. I’ve read that the “Judoon platoon upon the Moon” line was a production inside joke that was aimed at David Tennant, as he has difficulty speaking the “-oon” suffixed words in an English accent.

The one thing that really annoys me about the episode is the goddamned companion kiss trope, because even though it is there for plot convenience, it sets up Martha’s ‘doting on the Doctor’ character development that just winds me up for the rest of the series. I mean he’s cute, but still…overall, it’s a good episode, hits all the right first-episode-of-the-new-companion story notes for me.

It’s also establishes the Harold Saxon plot point, but more on him later!

The Shakespeare Code

I know I kinda bashed on the notion of reading select William Shakespeare texts at school in a previous post, but here’s an episode dedicated to the Bard himself.

I really do like this episode, a lot more than I give it credit for. The Carrionites are interesting enemies, using word-based science as well as the architecture of the Globe Theatre (I love me some architecture and literature, so a winning combination!). The right words in the right places – cannot relate!

As much as I love this episode, I hate this episode for drawing out the ‘Doctor pining for Rose’ storyline, especially brushing off Martha with a ‘eh, Rose would know what to do, you’re just a hitchiker’, like no, bitch treat Martha with some respect! She saved his life, and came up with the right word to defeat the Carrionites (fucking “Expelliarmus”, by the way), but oh Roooooose. Nu-uh.

It also turns out that Queen Elizabeth I hates the Doctor, and it’s not really explained for a good few years yet…

Overall, a solid episode for getting used to the notion of a new companion, mishaps aside.


And we’re back on New Earth again. How original. And Martha puts it well, referring to herself as a rebound. I mean, it’s accurate.

I gotta say though, it’s a new angle on New Earth, and I went into it remembering that I didn’t like Gridlock all that much. However, on rewatching, I enjoyed it a lot more than I remembered. Martha gets kidnapped by a young couple so that they have enough adult passengers in their car to go into the fast lane – fun fact, Cheen is played by Lenora Crichlow, who also played Victoria Skillane in the Black Mirror episode White Bear (cue link to that review).

I think the fact that there was an overwhelming sense of claustrophobia with the emissions, as well as there being no way out of the Motorway, and people are stuck on there for years, literally having kittens. It’s nice to see

The ending with the Face of Boe is ominous and sad, with his “you are not alone” message. It definitely prompts Martha to be upfront and not take any of the Doctor’s shit. Good for you Martha.

Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks

On the flip-side to Gridlock, I remember liking this a bit more than I do now. I don’t feel any attachment to any of the other characters, and Tallulah’s lover Lazslo gets turned into a pig, not unlike the ones from the Aliens of London episode. Are they related? I don’t know, and I frankly don’t really care. They’re a throwaway thing at this point for me, a hybrid experiment for a Dalek to take on a more humanoid form later.

I think it’s Dalek Sec’s appendages in his humanoid form that make it feel disjointed. He also has more humane sentiments in this new form, which makes sense considering the second-half’s story with the Doctor’s DNA embedding itself into the hybrids…it gets messy, especially as I feel that the ending is rushed and there’s so much build-up for little pay-off.

On the surface, it’s fine, but it would have been nice to not have a Dalek-focused episode, especially one like this.

The Lazarus Experiment

I mean, this is alright I suppose. It really begins the Harold Saxon arc in full force, and Martha’s mum, Francine, thinks the Doctor is hella sus. The weird creature that Lazarus turns into is more frightening than the immortal scorpion from Serious Sam 3 (this is why you don’t pirate, kids!).

I always forget the resolution of this episode, the ending itself feels really forgettable, and I always look back and think that it ended at the lab rather than at the cathedral. Please don’t ask why, that’s just what I keep remembering of it.


Honestly this is the worst episode of the series. I just felt that it was a worse mimic of the Ood/Beast two-parter from last season.

A common characteristic with Martha is definitely her adoration for the Doctor, and this is despite getting the chance to smooch Riley.

The only benefit this episode added was the scenes with Francine and her phone being tapped for information to give to Harold Saxon. So it’s basically more of a filler episode than most in this series.

Human Nature / The Family of Blood

You’d be forgiven for not liking this particular two-parter purely for the character of John Smith, because that was my first thought going into these episodes initially. It’s mainly because the Doctor has had to become human to escape The Family, and that rewrote literally everything, although bits and pieces of memories resurface.

As time goes on and I keep rewatching the episodes, it’s easy to sympathise with John Smith. All that he’s known was a human life, and is basically scared of the identity of the Doctor. You feel for him and Joan, and Martha especially. It’s a very bittersweet ending though, and those ninjas decided to make a visit to cut some onions while I watched the Rememberance Day scene.


After the last Doctor-lite episode (Love and Monsters) wasn’t a big hit, it was interesting that they decided to make another one in the form of Blink. However, this is my favourite episode of the series. We can all agree that it gave Carey Mulligan a great starting platform as Sally Sparrow, the main character of this episode.

This was definitely scary on first viewing, and now that we’ve had more episodes of the Weeping Angels, it’s lost its appeal somewhat. But I like the core introduction of them, especially with the people in Sally’s life disappearing, like Kathy and Billy, both having lived full lives in the past.

The whole ending sequence is pretty terrifying, and definitely worthy of a horror genre, as well as the wibbly wobbly timey wimey…stuff.

Utopia / The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords

This is a strange set of episodes, because it ends up becoming a three-parter. Captain Jack makes a return (and is not impressed with the Doctor for ditching him in the middle of nowhere), and his immortal ass glomps the TARDIS. I quite like this episode, and initially thought it’d be standalone when on first watching, but something was amiss. A lot of little plot conveniences such as the Doctor’s chopped-off hand and the fob watch from previous episodes makes its way to Professor Yana, who’s a bit more than a little bit insane, and trying to launch the rocket to get all of the humans to Utopia.

So yeah, turns out Yana is the Master. Who’d have thunk it?

It leads onto what would have otherwise been the two-part finale (and makes it a three-parter), and it seems like the Master has a penchant for double lives, going by the previously-alluded-to Harold Saxon, who is now the Prime Minister. I’ve had Voodoo Child in my head for the longest time after watching The Sound of Drums, and this was a great dystopian episode set that I like so much (completely the opposite of the Utopia from the first of this three).

The last episode is basically why I really like Martha as a companion. She’s just so badass in this episode, and I’m glad that even though everything got reversed, the ‘eye of the storm’ means that she still keeps all of that character development, then leaves the TARDIS after confessing her love for the Doctor.

Also props to the Master for using I Can’t Decide, which was definitely one of my favourite songs from the Ta-Dah album.

Voyage of the Damned

Here we have the traditional Christmas episode, having had the Titanic crash into the Titanic.

Remember when Astrid was rumoured to be so important because her name was an anagram of TARDIS? Yeah, turns out absolutely not, she’s just a regular humanoid character. Think it would have been expensive to keep Kylie Minogue on as a regular companion, although it’s the same Doctor romance trope that I’m now tired of.

It’s a shame though, because Astrid was a breath of fresh air, and it would have been nice for the Doctor to travel with a humanoid companion that’s not from Earth (we do get that later with Nardole, but that’s much later).

I think it’s a tad cheesy this episode, but it’s for Christmas, so it’s always going to get that cheese factor in there.

Overall it’s been a good series of episodes. I think a lot of people see Martha as a rebound companion but she holds her own really well, her only major character flaw being besotted with the Doctor. I mean, given that it’s David Tennant, I’m not surprised.

She’s a better companion that a lot of people give her credit for, and she’s capable of a lot more, I reckon. It definitely won’t be the last we see of Martha, which is what we’re here for.

Next time, we’re going into series 4, and that’s a fun ride!

Fairy Tail Reviews 2

Hey guys! We’re starting to get stuck into the meat of the plot of Fairy Tail, with the Sub-Zero Emperor Lyon arc, otherwise known as the Galuna Island arc. Dunno why the name changed, it just doesn’t suit now. But we’ll do it anyway!

We’re treated to the previous Snow Fairy opening, and also Sense of Wonder to go with the upcoming arc!

Once again, this arc is comprised of ten episodes, with eight being canon, one omake adaptation and a filler episode. It follows on from episode 10, where Natsu, Lucy and Happy take an S-Class mission without permission. Technically the latter half of episode 10 counts as being part of the arc. We also get the advisory from Natsu to keep the room brightly lit and sit away from the screen, which…meh. Nobody pays attention to that, right?

Altogether I struggle getting through this arc, and I think it’s more to do with exploring Gray’s back-story more than anything. To make that more clear, I’d have to go through pretty much the entire series, as well as omakes and openings. So that may be a post for another time. But it is an unpopular opinion of mine that Gray is the least inspiring Fairy Tail character and is pretty one-note, even with all of the layers of possibility he has.

Galuna Island is pretty interesting as a concept, with the idea that it’s a cursed island since the moon turned purple, and their wish is to destroy the moon to stop them from turning into demons. But even worse is a big-ass demon, Deliora, and Gray is shaken. Back-story time!

I like the introduction of the antagonists though – Lyon Vastia is the head honcho of the Moon Drip Plan, making it so that the power of the moon can dispel the Iced Shell that Deliora is trapped in. Lyon was an old friend of Gray that trained under Ur, another ice wielder, but then Deliora attacked and she used Iced Shell and sacrificed herself. Pretty standard stuff, really.

Lyon’s lackeys, Sherry, Yuka and Toby seem to be kinda one-note, but there is comic relief with Toby, at the very least. Actually, looking back, I think Fairy Tail as a series has a huge problem with one-note characters. And Zalty is just…there.

Hey, look, it’s time for the first instance of Gray Casts Iced Shell! And then gets stopped by Natsu. Because there are multiple instances of this, we’re gonna add a counter now!

Deliora was super-anticlimactic, with it just reawakening, only to just fall apart, qutie literally. And it turns out that the villagers on the island are actually demons that just happen to turn into humans because of the Moon Drip Plan’s side effect, which was to cover the island in dark energy that broke when Erza aimed to destroy the moon. The villagers just thought they were originally human, so how the turntables. Of course, Erza turns down the monetary part of the reward, but accepts the Golden Gate Key, Sagittarius, so really only Lucy benefits from the mission. Also, it turns out Zalty isn’t Zalty, but is Ultear, who’s on the council and was there to revive Deliora and control it.

It’s quite funny really – there’s this huge looming cloud over their heads concerning the ‘punishment’ that Natsu, Lucy and Gray will face for going on the S-Class mission without permission, but then you know it amounts to nothing, especially with the filler Changeling! and the omake Natsu and the Dragon Egg! Of course, the events from the Phantom Lord arc play out in the manga, but for now it’s filler time!

Changeling! is a strange episode with the idea being based around a body-swap. Of course, this trope has been done to death now, and there aren’t many take-aways from this that we can try and apply to canon. It does link into the canon at the start, leading from the last canon episode to make it seemless. That’s the good thing about this anime, admittedly. It knows how to link canon and filler. Back to the topic at hand, it’s still funny to see Loke being shit-scared of Lucy (for some reason), it just seems over-the-top at this point, and it’s even funnier after the body-swap! Thank the heavens for Levy being a precious bean, who even can’t figure it out but there’s some humour in that! I’m still unsure as to how Levy can concentrate with her cheerleaders…

Natsu and the Dragon Egg! may be classified as combination filler by the Filler List, but it features the origin of Happy, which is great to see why Happy is there. But we’ll get onto Happy’s full story later. Meanwhile, Lucy takes a dig at Natsu and he has some flashback which makes him super-offended. It’s mainly because of the back-story that we’re getting. Basically, Natsu finds a dragon’s egg, and raises it with Lisanna, and it hatches into Happy. It’s a pretty sweet story, seeing them all as children. Natsu and Lisanna build a little hut and become ‘parents’ to the egg, and it’s just like every kid’s fantasy! It’s definitely a way to ship two characters that totally get shipping development later in the series, definitely!

Overall, the arc is…pretty hard to get through personally.

Next arc is the Phantom Lord arc! So we’re getting a lot more action this time around!

Fairy Tail Reviews 1

Hey guys! I know it’s a trope that the anime series Fairy Tail is built entirely on the ‘Friendship is Magic’ aspect, but I wanted to look back and see if it was really that bad. I first started watching this in 2013, and two hiatuses, several OVAs and a continuation later, and Fairy Tail is still going strong, despite the divisivity.

I did actually toy with the idea of making a WTF Moments-style series going through each episode, that I’d have called ‘Fairy Fails’. That may still happen in the future, watch this space!

So we’ll look at the anime series and see how well it holds up. Today we’re combining the Macao, Daybreak and Eisenwald arcs.

It actually shocked me to discover that these three arcs covered ten episodes. Yes. 10. I suppose this is what sets Fairy Tail aside from the other shounen series – the arcs are all relatively bite-size, and even the largest arc is only 53 episodes long! It makes it easier to digest, especially with the low filler percentage all around. Even a lot of the categorised fillers are actually based on omakes, and are thus normally considered canon anyway. The opening theme, Snow Fairy, makes a lot of grown men cry. Not me. While I do feel nostalgia, it’s not enough for me to want to reach for the tissues.

You get straight in with some immediate comic relief, making light of Natsu’s motion-sickness and Happy being, well, Happy. Then there’s Lucy looking for a cheap deal for Plue, a direct nod to Rave Master, another of Hiro Mashima’s works. Actually, there’s a lot of Rave references in Fairy Tail, but noting them down would take too much time. Probably another reason to make “Fairy Fails”?

Lucy’s literally the ultimate Fairy Tail fangirl, and I find it funny looking back, she’s gushing about Fairy Tail when she’s sat right there with Natsu and Happy, who are both in Fairy Tail. She gushed about Salamander, and ended up being freed from Bora’s love spell when she lays eyes on Natsu – foreshadowing, perhaps? It’s a fun introduction to the series, and kinda sets up some of the characterisations that end up developing better as the story progresses. It’s even more fun to see the guild in action during their barfight, and Makarov making his introduction by delivering a heartfelt speech and that soundtrack holy crap that gets me pumped every time.

Honestly with the Macao Arc, I wouldn’t even call it the Macao Arc, considering he’s very much a side-character that is only relevant for one episode. I’d have called it the Introduction Arc or even the Welcome to Fairy Tail Arc, which the latter is a lot more fitting, giving it the whole family feel, especially with the focal character, Lucy, joining the guild. The arc comprises of two episodes, so it doesn’t make sense to have an arc named after a character that’s in one of two episodes, of which he was a perverted Vulcan in most of that episode.

I always forget that they have an introduction sequence in the first several episodes, introducing the concept of mages and guilds. This gets phased out after a while, once we know enough of the story to not need that introduction.

The Daybreak arc is also made of two episodes, that focus around a mission to destroy a book. It’s a pretty simple concept, and the arc itself is pretty simple. Everlue, the dude in the mansion, has weird expectations of beauty, but I mean, it could be a lot worse? At least the concept is simple, and the resolution is emotional. Not to the levels that we’ll see later, but it’s emotional to say the least.

The Eisenwald arc (often known as ‘Lullaby arc’) is made up of the six other episodes here, with one of the episodes based on an omake, as is the case for a lot of classified filler episodes. The focal antagonists are Erigor (I literally watched this arc two hours ago and forgot his name already) and Kageyama, the latter of which is a budget Shikamaru Nara, right down to the hairstyle and shadow abilities. I’m not the only one to have made that connection. It’s not the only instance of this either, but we’ll get to that later on in the series!

It’s strange to look this far back now and think that Natsu and Happy were antagonising Lucy a lot, but my warped sense of shade makes me uneasy. It just seems near-constant with little-to-no consideration.

The end of the arc features an omake called Natsu Eats A Village and that sounds like a shit early Simpsons episode. Honestly, it’s not necessary to watch. We go back to canon with Natsu vs. Erza, where they fight…but then Erza is arrested because of the Eisenwald destruction stuff (the usual ‘Fairy Tail causes wreckages’ spiel) as a formality, and sets up the antagonistic relationship between her and Siegrain, yet another Rave Master reference. It also introduces some other key characters, such as Laxus (who’s a bit of a dick) and the mysterious Mystogan. This is an enjoyable episode though, and it leads so seamlessly into the next arc!

Overall this is a great introductory arc, introducing the initial cast of pivotal characters that we’ll be following for the rest of the series. I am so happy that the anime in general keeps its arcs relatively short, even the longer ones. It’s so that there isn’t as much fluff. We’ll see later that the anime has gone under two separate hiatuses due to catching up with the manga, and I’m not sure if we are getting an adaptation of the 100 Years Quest manga, but I doubt it will happen for a while yet.

However, I think all of these episodes could have been condensed into one arc, rather than be split across three mini-arcs. That’s the big takeaway. I also never realised that Zeref was referenced this early in the series, which is astounding, all things considered, but more on that later!

Instead of fortnightly, these reviews are happening every Friday. This is due to the shorter arcs that Fairy Tail has in general. So next week is the Sub-Zero Emperor Lyon arc (I swear that was called Galuna Island arc but never mind)! At least it’s another short arc!

Naruto Shippuden Reviews – Part 13

This is the final part of the Naruto Shippuden reviews! Hooray! And honestly, I don’t know what to do for next time, but it might end up being Fairy Tail, because that has some…issues!

So, onto the final Shippuden arcs!

Before I get into the individual stories, I have to once again highlight the lovely character designs shown in The Last, but some of them are showcased even better, such as Tenten and the Sand Siblings (especially Temari because she is waifu material).

Kara no Kokoro is the opening song of choice, with its more relaxed tone setting the more slice-of-life tone of the arcs, especially the last one. And the ending, Zetsu Zetsu, features clips of different characters per episode, with the last episode being a compilation of fan art. It’s perfect for the nostalgia factor.

Sasuke Shinden: Book of Sunrise

Canonically this takes place after Naruto and Hinata’s wedding, however in the anime it’s the first to be adapted.

Of course, it’s only five episodes long, but it just means that it goes by quicker. It follows Sasuke as he explores the mystery of the Exploding Human, and is joined by Chino and Nowaki, the former of which is just really annoying at first (and I always mistake her to be a boy for some reason).

Honestly, it’s not one of my favourite arcs, however it’s better than the best of the fillers. It reintroduces Orochimaru and Co, and has a new level of intrigue, as well as the Ketsuryugan, which is basically a huge body gore orgy, and you know how I feel about body gore by now.

By the end of the story, there are multiple layers of Chino, as well as Nowaki, later revealed as Fuushin (but also can be called Nowaki, you get the picture), which makes Chino much less annoying to deal with.

Overall, a pretty strong arc, but not one that I’d eagerly reach for.

Shikamaru Hiden: A Cloud Drifting in Silent Darkness

Here’s another five-parter featuring Shikamaru as the focal point. Between you and me, I love a good Shikamaru moment as much as the next person.

And it’s interesting to see that the cast are starting to feel old, considering I’m 28 to their 19, so it just makes me laugh. But we see two new characters that were added just for this arc – Soku and Ro, two ANBU that are chosen to work with Shikamaru to investigate the Land of Silence, where there is a cult. Oh boy.

Honestly, I feel that the cult trope is hella tired in any form of media, but at the same time these shinobi have enough character depth to be taken advantage of, given their past history.

The main things that these episodes address is the ships between Sai/Ino and Shikamaru/Temari, which end up becoming canon in the last episode of this arc. Although the latter ship gets more development in the next arc.

Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding

This seven-part arc focuses on different stories based on the Konoha ninja in the run-up to Naruto and Hinata’s wedding day. The first is centered around Iruka, who is still a pretty unassuming ninja in terms of abilities, but he still shows growth by learning to really see his current students and his decision to take the exam to become a vice-principal of the Academy.

The second focuses on Rock Lee, with an animation style similar to his spin-off series. Not a lot of people liked this animation style as it was so different to the original, but considering the amount of flair and movement that is required, it flowed rather well.

The third focuses on Sakura and Ino’s rivalry as they fight over the same gift idea. But it’s pretty sweet how during their food pill cook-off, they end up making each other’s favourite flavours. Considering how awful Sakura’s earlier food pills were during Naruto’s Rasenshuriken training, it’s clear there’s some growth there. There is more development between Shikamaru and Temari, albeit some miscommunication. Whoops!

The fourth focuses on Gaara’s turmoil to find a wedding gift suitable for Naruto, as well as Rock Lee and Kankuro going a bit overboard with their grand ideas for a gift. It ends up in a pretty interesting competition against Killer Bee. We also get even more Shikamaru/Temari ship bait. Yes, you would all be Ino and Choji peeking in on their date. I will say it’s nice to see Gaara getting some attention, considering his novel didn’t get adapted to anime format.

The fifth focuses on Shino and Kiba looking for their own wedding present. Like I’m not fussed about Kiba, but he manages to flirt with Tamaki (the same one with Nekobaa, as well as Shino discovering himself properly and what he wants to focus on in life. I mean, I can usually skip this episode. So I did just that. Whoops!

The sixth focuses on the whole cast on the short period leading up to the wedding. It’s great to see a nicely rounded-off conclusion to the wedding gift dilemma, and it leads really nicely in to the last episode.

The seventh is the wedding day itself, as well as Naruto wanting Iruka at his wedding as his father. You know, the onion-cutting ninjas stopped by earlier because of my depressive spell at the time of watching, so they left me a care package of pre-cut onions. Just to save me yeeting them from my balcony.

And after all of that, we know from the manga and the Boruto anime that it was a better build-up to a wedding than season 9 of How I Met Your Mother. Period.

Overall though, I love the running theme of Iruka being hounded by Konohamaru to record a suitable message for Naruto and Hinata, as well as Orochimaru popping up here and there, while being watched from the sidelines by Yamato.

And with that, that is the end of the series. I may cover the Boruto anime later on, but I may leave that to run for quite a while longer before I tackle that.

The Last: Naruto the Movie Review

Today, I decided to do something a bit different with the review. As you are probably aware, the final Shippuden arcs take place after the events of The Last, and the film is deemed the only canon film in the series. With this in mind, I decided to review this film now, and then review the final Shippuden arcs in the final of the series.

Whether or not I review Boruto is still up for debate at time of writing.

So to preface, this entire film is basically a romance in the form of a Naruto story. I can imagine fanfiction writers didn’t envision the characters having to go on the moon and confess their feelings in that way.

The main focus of the film is the relationship between Naruto and Hinata. As it’s shown in flashbacks as well as before in the series, Hinata has loved Naruto since practically forever. And I’m serious when I say you see the flashbacks several different times, but from different angles.

First of all, Hanabi is precious. Second of all, they’ll be given some spotlight later but I absolutely love the designs from this era, as every character gets a really good design (apart from Naruto’s hair but I let that slide – I was expecting a more Minato-esque look in his adult years).

The bubble genjutsu is basically an excuse to shoehorn a bunch of flashbacks, but at least it makes Naruto aware of their mutual feelings.

Even though Hinata literally confessed to him in the middle of the battle against Pain, but still…

There’s a lot of to-ing and fro-ing in terms of romance, and even with the Big Bad Toneri wanting to marry Hinata after claiming Hanabi’s eyes. Seriously, what is it with ninja and body disfiguring? Even at the end when he becomes this huge eye monster. Yuck!

The common symbol in this story is the red scarf that Hinata keeps knitting (and failing) for Naruto. Now if the entire thing isn’t a huge symbol for the red string of fate, I don’t know what is. Either way, the main tragedy of the story is the three fallen scarves that were knitted but destroyed in a manner of ways – probably to symbolise the ‘almost-there-but-not-quite’ of their relationship. And she’s still knitting in the epilogue!

One thing that others have commented on in the series since the launch of Boruto is that how has everyone managed to sync their pregnancies so that all of their kids go to the Academy at the same time? Like we joke that they had a massive orgy or something. Bit strange if you ask me.

Overall, it’s one of the best films in terms of visuals and storytelling, as it is relevant to canon, and practically sets up more Otsutsuki fuckery in the future. Seriously, the space babies just won’t quit!

The biggest issue I had with this film was its release. The film was released after the manga had finished. That meant that anime-exclusive fans would see the trailer and know everything was fine and dandy.

Next time will be the last. I mean, it’ll be the last in this series. I’m not reviewing the film again.

Naruto Shippuden Reviews – Part 12

Hooray! We’re on the home stretch! We’re looking at the Kaguya Otsutsuki Strikes arc, the final one of the war. We then just have a canon movie and another arc to look over in the coming weeks, and that’s the series done!

Whether or not I tackle Boruto is another thing entirely.

We come to the arc with all hell breaking loose, Madara killed off by Black Zetsu and Kaguya Otsutsuki revived from Madara. Of course, she’s bloody powerful, and the dimensions are terrifying.

We get filler flashbacks, but of course they set up the back-story of ninshu and the Otsutsuki lineage from Kaguya herself. Honestly, I like these kind of fillers, because they’re not too filler-style, if that makes sense. And of course, it turns out throughout all of shinobi history, Black Zetsu was a manipulative little bitch.

I gotta say that Kaguya’s fixation of taking back her chakra reminds me of those parents that bring up children and then expect upkeep payments for the time that they’ve been raised. Like if you didn’t want your chakra passed down to your kids, then maybe not have them? Just a thought…

Of course, there’s also the story of Ashura and Indra, which is always worth watching the first time around, but not too necessary on a repeat viewing. But then we have the filler episode A Special Mission, which is just a fun tension-breaker episode where the Rookie 9 try and see what’s under Kakashi’s mask. It’s harmless fun, plus you actually get to see Kakashi’s face.

Look at it!

The best thing is, however, is that he’s disguised as Sukea the entire time, so you literally get to see his face throughout the episode!

Back to the action, and I have to say that I love Kaguya’s dimensions, as terrifying as they are. And I can’t gloss over this without mentioning Naruto’s Reverse Harem Jutsu. Like why does the Sexy Jutsu come in at a time like this…and it worked??? However, Kaguya proves to be an ultimate threat with a killing technique that even Naruto’s new healing powers can’t heal. This results in Kakashi and Obito willing to risk their lives, but Obito saving Kakashi in the last second. Of course, this is the time when the ninjas that have been cutting onions throughout the series review decide to break into my home again.

I may or may not have thrown them off the balcony…

Meanwhile, Kakashi finally gets a power-up because of Obito Ghost no Jutsu, and his Susano’o is just…it’s so lovely to look at!

The climax of the battle is just so satisfying, but then I’m sure that the onion-cutting ninja I threw over the balcony called for back-up when I saw Naruto’s goodbye to Minato. In the end, I threw them over the balcony too, just like Naruto yeeted Black Zetsu into the Planetary Devastation. Enough of that!

Of course, because things can’t go according to keikaku, Sasuke has to be a little bitch and decide he wants to change the status quo, in the most infuriating way ever.

And then we have the ultimate climax, of Sasuke facing Naruto at the Valley of the End, as a symbolic gesture of the whole thing – considering that Madara and Hashirama, the other reincarnations of Ashura and Indra, are the statues.

Honestly the whole fight is just the first fight but completely amped up, and I’m always here for it! It feels a lot quicker than the other fight, but it really packs a punch. The most ominous part though was the fisticuffs without any music. Just hearing the punches and blood splatters really hit home just how exhausted these two were but kept going.

And finally, after their mega Rasengan/Chidori clash we find some lovely imagery. I love the whole strange afterlife area though, but then there’s the imagery of the statues broken down and Naruto and Sasuke lying on the two parts that form the unison sign with their blood connected from where their arms are severed (I’m still annoyed by the flashbacks though).

Then the series leaves some unanswered questions for later: Does Naruto become a Jonin? Will Naruto and Sasuke ever have their ‘real’ fight?

To be fair, Boruto answers the first question (basically he’s an eternal Genin that’s a Hokage), and I think Kara are too much of a threat for Sasuke to want to suddenly throw down some moves against Naruto, but who knows?

All in all, here is the summary of the entire series:

But wait, there’s more! Yep, I still have to cover The Last: Naruto the Movie and the Gaiden episodes.

Black Mirror – White Christmas Review

Yes, I know it’s only October, but I messed up with the scheduling and so here we are, celebrating Christmas in October. I suppose we’re just trying to see out the end of the year as soon as possible!

But here we have the final season 2 episode of Black Mirror – White Christmas.

I do have to mention there’s a trigger warning here: suicide, abortion, rape & child death.

This is just one of my favourite episodes, alongside White Bear and Nosedive, which we’re reviewing next week! I actually did rewatch this episode last Christmas, so this is my third viewing. It basically follows two men in isolation during Christmas, as they talk about themselves. It’s a simple premise, really. They’ve been in isolation for five years, as is established, and I’m not sure how Joe, the silent, brooding one, hasn’t snapped and talked up to this point.

Matt, the cheery American dude, is fully in the Christmas spirit, and starts the discussion about his life and what went wrong in his life.

The first story is where Matt was a guru, helping introverted guys get laid via Eye-Link, so he can see everything. The story focuses on Harry, who was crashing a Christmas party to get that opportunity to get laid. Honestly, this sort of job and technology would come in handy for a lot of introverted people who struggle to find dates or a fun night of…well, strong sex. The technology also includes facial recognition, bringing up social media profiles, which is a bit less favourable. Although it helps in a pinch, I prefer keeping my personal social media private, after all. My Facebook is private to friends only, and I have a personal Twitter account which is protected.

It’s all well and good, but he live-streams the action to other people (look closely, and you can see one of them has the username I_AM_WALDO, a nod to the previous episode. Now that’s all just creepy. Imagine getting these services and having people watch you try and succeed in getting laid? I’m happily in a relationship, so it’s just not the kind of thing I’d do anyway, but that sounds like a nightmare to have to deal with.

Of course, the one woman he picks just happens to be the one that ends up killing him via her twisted interpretation of a suicide pact. Of course, Matt doesn’t report it or anything, but just scarpers. His wife finds out about the ‘profession’, and blocks him (using a remote system similar to the ones used in The Entire History of You), resulting in him being sent to this isolation setting.

On the in-between, watching Matt cook a Christmas dinner makes me want to cook one myself. But I guess it just makes me look more forward to Christmas.

The next story is probably my least favourite of the three, due to the lack of context, but it’s the most important for the long-game. Basically, the woman, Greta, gets surgery to rip out a pre-installed ‘cookie’ to put in a machine to do tasks around the house. Of course, they do this because who knows you better than yourself? Although I’m sure there’s a better way to do it, such as inputting commands in an automatic system. At least they can be given an automated body, to make the AI feel more comfortable. Now, honestly, this is a smart home that we normally see nowadays, but controlled by yourself in AI form.

The technology shown literally tortures the one inside the system, making it ethically and morally questionable, which is something that is reflected on later on in the show. This is what Matt’s actual role was – to help assimilate the AI technology into the new surroundings and give them information on their new role. He can sometimes even speed up time within the cookie, which really does sound like torture.

The third story is Joe’s tale, as he finally opens up about his past. Aside from his future father-in-law hating him, everything seemed happy with him and his fiancée, Beth, and even If Anyone Knows What Love Is by Irma Thomas is sung by Beth at a karaoke with Joe and their friends.

It all comes around when Joe discovers Beth’s positive pregnancy test in the trash one night. The fight was very uncomfortable to watch. Admittedly, with Beth and Joe fighting so violently over the abortion topic, resulting in Beth indefinitely blocking him, and then choosing to keep the baby doesn’t really make logical sense to me. In a world where people tell childfree women that they wish a man would r*pe them and get pregnant, or are desperate for said women to have a ‘happy accident’, on top of saying that you’ll grow to love the child, or it’s different when it’s your own. I did make an entire post on that before, but it really grinds my gears when this sort of thing happens. Honestly, I’m childfree, and if I was told that someone wished r*pe upon me to produce a child, I’d slap the everlasting shit out of them. You should never wish r*pe on anyone, but I’m annoyed that I have to even say that.

The creepiest thing is that every Christmas after the block, Joe stalks Beth to see his child, who is also under the block restrictions because of the legal status of the block. It all turns on its head once news breaks of Beth’s death, thus dropping the block restrictions (also note the Hot Shot programme, a reference to Fifteen Million Merits).

I find it a bit odd in this day and age with the reveal of Beth’s child clearly not being Joe’s, because it’s clear without saying that the child, May, is their friend Tim’s, and thus Beth had had an affair at some point, because isn’t that usually the case? Of course, he flips out on Beth’s dad, and ends up hitting him in the head with the snow globe he wanted to give to May, killing him in the process. And May went out to find help, but with Beth’s dad’s home being isolated, she ended up freezing to death. Hearing O Come, All Ye Faithful on the radio was haunting, and then it changes to I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday, and I can no longer hear that song without thinking of this episode.

The whole scenario reminds me of The Entire History of You, with the affair resulting in a child, and the man going insane.

In the end, it turns out that the entire episode took place in one of the cookies that I mentioned earlier. It was to get the information from Joe’s cookie to get him to admit to the crimes, hence why Matt was a part of this, as well as for Matt to atone for his own crime. The cabin that the two stayed in inside the cookie slowly took the form of Beth’s dad’s home.

However, these two suffer from torturous fates – the cookie version of Joe is sped up to 1,000 hours per minute, with I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday playing to torture him. Matt was labelled as a sex offender, and had a universal block placed on him, so he couldn’t talk to anyone, and everyone else saw his red silhouette (different to the white usually shown on blocks), and people would alienate him for that. Honestly I don’t know what kind of torture was worse.

Holy crap! This episode always gets me, and it always remains one of my favourite episodes of Black Mirror. As for the future seasons, this was the last of the series to be done by Channel 4, and the rest were all Netflix productions, hence the difference in production styles for the most part going forward, which is interesting.

The next episode is Nosedive, but will that get a 5* rating? Find out next week!

Naruto Shippuden Reviews – Part 11

Hey guys! After the debacle of the last reviews post, here is something a bit more bitesize and manageable! We have the Birth of the Ten-Tails’ Jinchuriki, and honestly there is so much filler in between the episodes that we have as canon, but it’s a nicer chunk to manage, with not a huge lot going on at the same time.

Of course, we have Obito that’s now the Ten-Tails’ Jinchuriki because why not, apparently. But y’know, before we get into that, we have a few amazing opening themes, with Guren, Silhouette and Kaze all openings that are amazing in their own ways. But Silhouette is the best Naruto opening of all-time, and you can’t refute that.

Onto other topics, and it’s been fun to witness the dynamic between Naruto and Minato, and it’s about time I kicked the damn onion-chopping ninjas from my house as they’ve tried to set off the waterworks again. Goddamnit. But seriously, with Tobirama laying claim to a lot of Jutsu that he created, he’s got a lot to answer for! Honestly, though, I loved seeing the combination of Naruto, Sasuke, Minato and Tobirama, as it made for compelling strategies.

Speaking of people that have a lot to answer for, we get some exposition from Madara that pretty much sets up the rest of the entire series, including Boruto. Of course, it’s a brief introduction to Kaguya Otsutsuki, the progenitor of chakra who ate the fruit from the God Tree, otherwise known as the Ten-Tails. Obviously, she gave birth to a child (that’s important for later), who would go on to become the revered Sage of Six Paths, so yeah, a pretty big deal all-round.

It’s not too long before Naruto forgoes battling and uses his Talk no Jutsu on Obito to try and see the error of his ways, of course. Because Sage Mode worked perfectly fine, but the talking…works, for some reason! I mean in all fairness, Obito’s basically had a huge overreaction to Rin’s death to the point where it’s become just a bit apocalyptic. Is there an overreaction award, because he’d win it by a landslide!

As much as I hate flashbacks and repetition, I never fail to enjoy any back-story involving Gaara, especially when the anime showed his back-story and character progression throughout the series. On the other hand, we’ve started the Obito Academy Entrance Flashback counter. We’ll see how many points that one racks up by the end of the war.

But moving on from flashbacks, Obito ends up doing Cop-Out no Jutsu (otherwise known as bringing everyone back to life at the cost of his own life, just like Nagato did prior). But things go wrong and it gets diverted to Madara, because who didn’t see that one coming? And of course, Madara shows off his Hashirama-infused chest to further point out that ninja really do like their body mutilations. Although to be fair, Sasuke had the right idea by capitalising on Madara’s new-found mortality, which was the first thing I thought of when I first read the manga up to this point.

Strange quote of the series: “I told you, I wouldn’t let you pass so easily. By the way, isn’t there anyone who can give me a serious answer to my question? I asked you, what does it feel like to poo?” I am not joking, these are the words that the Tobi Zetsu speaks upon entering with his strange wood thing.

Of course, Madara impales Sasuke after having taken all of the Tailed Beasts, leaving Naruto to die too. However, I don’t know whether it’s because Naruto isn’t a typical Uzumaki (y’know, no red hair, no prowess in sealing Jutsu), but the fact that he was very much on the brink of death from the extraction actually contradicts the long-canon lore of Uzumaki clan members actually being able to survive a Tailed Beast extraction due to their strong vitality. Even Kushina died from being impaled by the extracted Kurama, rather than the extraction itself, although she was weakened from a combination of that and childbirth.

To be fair, all of this had to lead up to them both talking to Hagoromo Otsutsuki, the Sage of Six Paths. But first, this is the point in the series that is filler-heavy. 2015 was a rough year for this series, because according to Anime Filler List, there are nine episodes that are considered canon at all in the span of 2015. I also remember discussing the manga before with a friend, about how writer Masashi Kishimoto actually could not figure out how to kill Madara, as he had just become too overpowered.

Of course, Sakura tries hard to revive Naruto, but she struggles. So the quickest way to a man’s heart is literally making an incision and grabbing it with your bare hand to keep it going. I mean, as long as it works, but if you hate body gore like I do, just think of it like she’s squeezing a ballsack.

Sasuke gets revived too, and it took weeks for them to reveal who it is in the manga – I remember it being a right teaser for everyone. Obviously if you’re watching episodes back-to-back sans filler like I am, then it’s not a big deal. Well, nobody trusts Kabuto because he’s a right dirty snake – almost too literally.

I do like the flashback we got for Guy’s past, including that of his dad and Guy’s efforts to be recognised as a splendid ninja and Kakashi’s eternal rival. But oh the most exciting battle of the entire franchise has to go to Guy fighting against Madara. Oh it’s so good!

And this gets broken up by Naruto finally meeting Hagoromo, who reveals that he was one of two children born by Kaguya, the one mentioned earlier by Madara. I suppose Sasuke gets this talk, and they’re both entrusted with what I could probably best describe as another silly power-up. I mean, Madara has to die at some point, right?

Even with all of that out of the way, this is a shounen anime, therefore things don’t go according to keikaku (yes, keikaku means plan) and the Infinite Tsukuyomi is activated, proving to the audience the threat that it is. I mean, if you’ve ever watched Fairy Tail, the doom stuff happens all the time and everyone has to literally reverse it.

I noticed a huge error though! When Tobi Zetsu discarded its vessel, it was revealed to be Yamato. But Hiruzen said “Yamato!”. However, Yamato was a codename that was given by Tsunade three years after Hiruzen’s death. Prior to this, he was referred to as Tenzo. Therefore, like Kakashi, Hiruzen should have called him Tenzo, or even Kinoe if we took anime fillers into account. Hiruzen would never have known that Yamato currently went by Yamato, as he died before said codename was given.

I also wanted to highlight Tenten’s dream world in the Infinite Tsukuyomi, as well as that of Killer Bee. I mentioned before that Tenten gets more development in filler, and that this particular filler was good to see her in action as a hero. So I wanted to watch this over again.

Killer Bee Rappuden is a two-part segment as well, which is a bit of light-hearted fun to break the tension of the current canon arcs.

I might watch the Jiraiya Shinobi Handbook arc at some point in the future, but I don’t think it’s particularly worth reviewing. I got one episode in during my first viewing and I just didn’t like the attitudes of the characters, I’ll be blunt.

Unfortunately, despite the amazing battles and tactical shows, the arc is pretty much ripped apart by fillers. That’s what lets it down the most. Overall, story and development-wise it’s a solid arc, but then there’s that power creep. Next week is the penultimate arc (thankfully), and yeah, things happen there.

Naruto Shippuden Reviews – Part 10

Hey guys! We’re in the last few arcs of the Naruto Shippuden anime, and this time we’re going into the Fourth Shinobi World War – Climax. Seriously though, it’s anything but, considering it still continues after this arc.

This has a lot of action packed into it, so I’ll go through each of the main parts and kinda just give my opinion on them.

Who the heck is Madara?

Honestly I’m thinking that it’s called the ‘Climax’ because it’s the last arc in which the Allied Shinobi Forces is structured into companies, and everyone comes together to defeat the instigator, ‘Madara’. Except, Madara has been reanimated, so is Madara Madara or is Madara really Madara? Nobody knows at this point. Does Madara know? I don’t know. Does Madara know either? Guess we’ll find out. In fact, we actually will.

Although to be fair Kabuto’s back-story makes it so that this isn’t the weirdest paragraph you’ll find in this post.

Elsewhere, Naruto’s been making his rounds, and also making fine work of forestation, I suppose, and it definitely turned the tide of the battle. I doubt that the Allied Shinobi Forces would have won without him.

Reanimated Madara has made an appearance, featuring everyone getting their asses handed to them, it’s not even funny. It’s kinda inevitable that the Kage kinda wind up near dead after facing him.

This Isn’t Dragonball…

Of course, Not-Quite-Madara, who we’ll call Tobi from here on in, arms himself with the dead Jinchuriki – because of course he does. And after getting eaten alive by the Four-Tails, Naruto meets the gorilla-like entity, who is called Son Goku. Yes, we have an ape named after a Dragonball protagonist, and our wonderfully cheery Kyubi is actually called Kurama. Hilariously enough, once all of the Tailed Beasts are introduced by name, we get a little catchy song introducing them to us watching this unfold.

The result of Kabuto being around Orochimaru so much is that eventually, Kabuto decides that he wants a piece of Orochimaru insisde him. Now if that’s not just a little bit gay, I don’t know what is.

(I low-key ship it tbh).

We got the battle with Sasuke and Itachi vs Kabuto, where Itachi takes advantage of his zombiness and uses forbidden Jutsu that pretty much forces Kabuto to finish off his Edo Tensei, plus flashback to his childhood where he was happy but then basically fucked over by Danzo. Fucking seriously? Danzo is the literal worst.

Urgh, why does Madara have to be overly powerful? Like, this just gets…urgh.

The Tobi Conundrum & Tragedy

Of course, I’m going straight in with the reveal that Tobi is in fact Obito, who survived the crushing defeat back in the backstory, and basically turned evil because he misconstrued the time when Rin impaled herself on Kakashi’s Chidori.

The only way to a person’s heart is a Chidori through the chest, isn’t that right Kakashi?

Of course, we theorised a while before that Tobi and Obito were the same, so it didn’t really come as a surprise. From the use of Kamui to subtle hints with the mask, along with the change from the silly personality to much more serious, it kinda just added up for me.

A couple of notable incidents happen during the assembly of the Allied Shinobi Forces that make you go ‘holy crap’. The first is the death of Neji, which happened when he sacrificed himself to protect Naruto and Hinata. I cried, but also left frustrated when it meant that he basically fulfilled his original destiny by protecting the main Hyuga family as was his duty.

The second incident was the destruction of the HQ, resulting in the deaths of Inoichi and Shikaku, as a military tactic (I mean, from a military standpoint, it does work), and it forces Shikamaru and Ino to strategise and communicate with the rest of the forces.

Stuff That Happened That I CBA To Write Up

Honestly, there is so much in this arc that it’s hugely overwhelming, and I don’t want to go through it all because the post will take far too long.

  • The Kage get boned by Madara.
  • Sasuke decides ‘hey, I killed Orochimaru, let’s revive him so he can revive all the dead Hokage so I can talk to them’.
  • The Ten Tails is revived which is major in the grand scheme of things, but still…
  • Madara becomes properly alive again. Great.
  • To be fair, the backstory between Hashirama and Madara was pretty awesome.
  • Sasuke barges in wanting to be a Hokage.
  • Sakura is now more powerful, at long last!
  • Obito starts becoming a Jinchuriki for the Ten-Tails.

There was just so much that cluttered up the arc, it could have done to be chopped in half just to make this easier for me to handle. I wouldn’t have complained in the slightest, but seeing the length of the arc, even with it lasting only 39 episodes, it just didn’t warrant me to sit through it all.

Maybe the next arc would help…

Naruto Shippuden Reviews – Part 9

I had to use a combination of the Naruto Fandom wiki and the Filler List site, because there were a good amount of filler episodes dotted throughout the canon. By cross-referencing them, I was able to give myself a good running order of episodes to watch from here on out.

We’ve gone into the Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation arc this time around, the second of five arcs involving this war. Including fillers, we go from episode 261 – 321. But as I mentioned, look to the Filler List for which ones are good to watch.

First of all, I gotta hand it to the people who arranged for the opening themes – Totsugeki Rock is probably the best fitting for getting a war started and everyone pumped. I heard not a lot of people really like it, but I remember I couldn’t stop listening to it (and Cascade, which has a visually awesome ending here) for the longest time.

Moshimo is a bit meh, and definitely one that is there for the sheer purpose of the filler episodes.

I always maintain the opinion that even though we get to see returning characters in the form of Edo Tensei, the first part of the war is usually really boring. You either find enemies such as Hanzo or Sasori being redeemed in some way, or some heartbreaking moments with Haku, Zabuza and Asuma.

And then you get the Gold and Silver Brothers, and their story just bores me. Don’t get me wrong, the concept of the weapons is the only interesting thing about them. Tenten being able to handle one of them is impressive, even though she uses a lot of chakra by doing so. Then she whines like a little bitch when she gets it taken off her or else she could literally die from chakra exhaustion. Like girl, you’re irrelevant. That’s why you have a later filler segment where you dream that you are the be-all and end-all.

Dealing with Asuma is hearbreaking, but something in the flashback rubs me the wrong way after having seen the final thing and gone on to watch and learn of the Bortuo series. The following will be spoilers from the Boruto series, but here is the following rant:

It’s nice to see the importance of the Sarutobi clan being the ones to give the Ino-Shika-Cho squads symbolic earrings. However, placing Konohamaru Sarutobi in charge of Boruto’s team instead of having him lead the newest incarnation of Ino-Shika-Cho is confusing. I would have chalked it up to being an oversight on Naruto’s part, but the fact remains that Shikamaru is his aide, therefore should have had a say in this. Instead, Ino-Shika-Cho is led by Moegi, who for some reason can naturally use Wood Release, which shouldn’t be possible, but I at least hope that’s addressed later on. I got off-track, but it’s a huge continuity error that kinda shits on tradition and the back-story of relevant, important characters, honestly.

But the worst piss-take I found was that in the middle of the Asuma confrontation, they decided to stick in an episode focusing on Hanzo and Mifune, like they could have had that episode before or after Asuma. Bit ass-backwards if you ask me, but that’s how they decided to do the episodes I guess.

Overall though, the initial first day of the war is dull, with so much going on at the same time. The fillers do serve to give insight into what is happening in the less important areas of the war. But over the course of the day, you just know that there are higher stakes now, with more important battles. This is down to Naruto and Bee entering the battlefield to turn the tide, as well as Gaara’s confrontation with his reanimated father, as well as his company’s battles against the other reanimated Kage. And as always, the revelation that Gaara was always loved by his mother is coincidentally timed with the ever-present ninjas breaking into my room and cutting onions.

This is why Gaara’s my favourite character. Goddamn…

I will admit one thing, as fleeting as it was, it was pretty interesting of White Zetsu to target the higher-level Medics and the HQ, as it is a solid military tactic to target the support divisions, so that it’d leave the fighting forces less of a chance of survival.

Of course, there had to be a stand-off between Naruto and the reanimated Itachi and Nagato. I mean, it kinda rounds off that story quite nicely, although I just feel a bit…meh at it overall. I suppose I’m just too eager to witness the more decisive battles that are coming up. But the crow that Naruto ate up earlier in the series comes back to benefit Itachi, who can rid himself from Kabuto’s control entirely and do as he wishes, which is to take on Kabuto. I mean, props to the guy. And that’s what you get for using the Edo Tensei on such a powerful opponent like that. But more on that one later. Of course, planting Shisui’s eye into a crow like that is clever hindsight though, I have to say.

Overall, like I mentioned before, this arc has high points and lower points. I wouldn’t suggest that the lower points are awful, unless you’re watching fillers and come up to the Allied Mom Force. Man, that was an embarrassment.

But the high points were very gripping and drew you in, whereas the lower points were fine, but not awful. I suppose that’s what happens when you have an arc that involves a full-scale war with so many characters.

Next time I’m looking over the Fourth Shinobi World War – Climax, which is a complete lie because it’s far from the climax at that stage, because there are two whole arcs of the war after the fact!

Of course, as you may be aware, because of my break throughout August, the next part will go live on 2nd October, so please stick around because this series will continue!