Anime, Shows

MHA Season 5 is a Disappointment

Anime Review (with spoilers):

My Hero Academia Season 5

Rating: 6.5 out of 10 stars

Warning! Spoilers Below!

Overview

Pros

  • Comedic beginning
  • Creative quirks
  • Character design is interesting
  • We get to see more of class 1-B
  • Different winter outfits
  • Characters have developed
  • Villain backstories revealed
  • Backstory for the original wielder of One-for-All
  • Attractive intro and outro
  • Good music
  • Original art style

Cons

  • For most of the episodes, almost nothing of importance happens
  • Hawks would have been better as a real villain
  • The new villains that were introduced were uninteresting and, while formidable, were not easy to take seriously
  • They try to make Endeavor a character to sympathize with and fail
  • The amount of recap and flashback was obnoxious
  • Midnight is creepy, Mineta is the usual perv
  • Aizawa is revealed to have only ever temporarily expelled students
  • Trauma dealt with lightly at one point

Review

My Hero Academia Season 5 was released in 2021. It is 25 episodes long, and was produced by Bones and directed by Kenji Nagasaki.

First I will talk about the intros and outros because I enjoyed those. I go over these first here because I love intros and outros in anime–I almost never skip them.

Image from Intro 1

The first intro is attractive and shows off many of the members of Class 1-A in their winter garb, warming up for battle. It shows glimpses of Shinso, a popular character from the Tournament Arc, revealing that he will be included in the season. The song in the intro is No. 1 by DISH.

Image from Outro 1

The first outro is really cool because it shows the heroes in their everyday clothes doing everyday tasks such as shopping at the outlets and a grocery store. It’s nice to see what the characters are like on their off days. I like how even the outros can add development to already interesting characters. The song is Ashiato by The Peggies.

Image from Intro 2

The second intro of the season uses bold colors and warm light to set the scene. The focus is on Midoriya, Todoroki, and Bakugo. Not the best intro but it has some good shots of the heroes and villains. The song is not my favorite of the season, but I grew to like it more. It is called Merry-Go-Round by Man with a Mission. Seeing the music video I can see why the song was chosen for the show.

The second outro does a lot in terms of animation, with water, reflections, and flight. It is aesthetically pleasing and the song is slow. The song is Uso Ja Nai by Soshi Sakiyama.

I actually liked the beginning of this season because it was funny and engaging. We get to see some of how the characters have grown. A mock emergency in which fake villains (Amajiki and Nejire) attack and endanger civilians is the training exercise the students are partaking in. Amajiki is hilarious because the poor guy just wants to go home. Mirio, still quirkless, plays the civilian and keeps intentionally getting himself into dangerous situations and needing rescued. It was nice to see them change up their costumes for the winter weather. It was a good start to the season. The only problem was most of the episodes were like this, feeling like the preliminaries before the real action started.

In the meantime Endeavor and Hawks are collaborating. They are not a great matchup since Hawks is so laidback and Endeavor is all stress and frustration. It doesn’t help that I do not like Endeavor in the least. You’ll see why later. I got excited when it seemed like Hawks may actually be a villain, because that would be unexpected and raise the stakes. But no, he is just infiltrating the villains. Figures. If they had the guts to turn a well-liked hero into a villain the season may have been more interesting.

Almost right away we get some backstory for the power of One-for-all and the original wielder. It was helpful to know but so slowly revealed and kind of what was expected that it didn’t interest me that much.

Seeing Class 1-A vs. Class 1-B battle each other was interesting but got old after awhile. The best parts were seeing Class 1-B’s quirks, that Shinso was involved, the battle between Kendo and Momo, the revelation of Midoriya’s new power, and Bakugo’s growth.

Class 1-B had some interesting quirks including gyration, traveling through darkness, making dangerous mushrooms grow, softening solids, etc. I appreciated that. The character design is also top-notch, although most of Class 1-B does not get much or any character development.

Shinso is one of my favorites. He is that character from back in the Tournament Arc with the purple hair and mind control powers. I was drawn to him because despite having a power most would consider better for a villain, he wants to be a hero. I love that Aizawa has taken him under his wing, where he seems to have thrived. He has Aizawa’s binding cloths and a new skill called Persona chords that allow him to mimic anyone’s voice. I love that he has so much in common with Aizawa including a love of cats. Additionally, he is even more formidable than he was before.

The battle between Kendo and Momo was satisfying because they are pretty equally matched. They make good rivals and both did the team battle really well. I was impressed. During that battle Tokoyami also showed off his new move which allows him to fly. He learned it during his internship with Hawks. Both sides fought so well and wholeheartedly that it was enjoyable to watch.

After the matchups with Class 1-A and 1-B, a whole lotta nothing important happens. Bakugo, Todoroki, and Midoriya have a short internship with Endeavor that is unsatisfying and anticlimactic. The new villains are formidable but fail to intimidate.

Maybe it’s the pointy nose, but he looks about as threatening as Dr. Doofenshmirtz from the kids show Phineas and Ferb most of the time.

I don’t like the way the girls barely get any screen time. Then when they do show them they give a stupid beach scene with bikinis. Cuz girls just wanna have fun….groan… They did too much in that episode with a beach day, plane crash, and drugs. But come on! The girls deserve better.

We get some awkward moments when Todoroki brings his friends home. Their home life is a mess. Endeavor screwed everything up in his family by being a terrible father. Then, when Natsu gets kidnapped by a villain obsessed with Endeavor, Endeavor hesitates to save him because he is afraid Natsu will hate him anymore. What type of parent does that? He is so worried about his own redemption and how he is viewed by his son that he fails to save his son’s life, and a bunch of interns have to do it for him. This is what convinced me that Endeavor really has not changed. He is as self-centered as he has always been, even if his parenting is not abusive anymore.

Another complaint I have with this season was that the amount of recaps and flashbacks was a pain. It felt like a good portion of the episode in each case was reminding you what happened in the previous episode. That seems completely unnecessary. Many people these days just binge shows so in that situation it would be even more obnoxious.

I hate that this season also revealed Aizawa as a big softie. He was always an edgier teacher and that was what made him likeable. But we learn that he alone among the teachers has the power to temporarily expel students. That is lame. It takes all the power out of a move like expulsion.

Mineta and Midnight are the usual creeps. Mineta will do anything in his power to touch a girl’s boobs, which is gross and just wrong. Midnight seems like that creepy teacher who has a thing for minors even though it doesn’t go anywhere. Ew…

Another thing I don’t like is that trauma is dealt with lightly for one character, Twice. He gets over his trauma after a single event, which seemed unlikely. Trauma is not something that is really there one moment gone the next. It heals gradually over time if at all.

The villain backstory of Toga and Shigaraki are fascinating.

Toga became an outcast and despised for her obsession with blood. She actually canonically only drinks the blood of people she loves. So she seems like a bisexual character. Madds Buckley actually made a really good song called “The Red Means I Love You” that sums up Toga really well. I posted it below. I fully recommend giving it a listen.

Shigaraki wanting to be a hero when he was young was so sad. I really felt for him. His father turned out so bad and was so horrible to him, physically violent. When he manifested his quirk and killed the dog I was horrified but it was what I expected. The fact that the hands on him are the hands of his family members is terrible but fitting. I especially felt bad for his kid sister. That his father’s first instinct was to strike him definitely made Shigaraki’s violent response self-defense and, while not justifiable, understandable.

I would recommend watching the season if you plan on watching the newest movie, but I would say it will be disappointing. Definitely for ages 13 and up.

Links

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Anime, Music

My Top 10 Favorite Anime Songs in 2021

In 2020, I completed my first top 10 anime songs list. Now that it’s 2022, I am taking a look back at 2021 to see how my top ten has changed.

One thing I changed since 2020 is that I now use Spotify instead of Pandora for all my musical needs. It’s just better for me–I can look up specific tracks from various anime and add them to my playlist. Below is a sneak peak of my full anime playlist on Spotify.

One of the major differences you will notice with my new top ten is that it doesn’t include any songs from Fairy Tail. That is not because I don’t like those songs any more. It is because I have been introduced to new anime since then that have broadened my tastes. A few songs like those from Angel Beats made a reappearance, but my top ten has certainly changed.

Why do I listen to anime songs? Some I listen to because they remind me of anime I enjoyed. Some I listen to because they have a great sound. And some I listen to because I have read and appreciated the lyrics or translations of the lyrics.

Below I have listed my favorite anime counting down from #10 to #1.

#10: Netsujō no Spectrum by Ikimono-gakari

I will preface this by saying that I do not actually like The Seven Deadly Sins at all so far. I do, however, enjoy the first intro song for this anime.

The song is all about love. The singer explains that the love and words of another person have changed her. It has a great sound to it, which is why I liked it even when I hadn’t known the translation.

#9: No. 7 by Jibaku Shonen Band

I love, love, love this anime. The art style is beautiful, the animation is superb, and the characters are loveable. The anime is called Toilet-bound Hanako-Kun.

I know, weird name, right? I didn’t expect to like it when I heard the name, but it was recommended by my best friend and so I couldn’t pass it up.

The song is great, except it starts with weird whispering that I can’t figure out if I like or not. Otherwise it probably would be rated higher.

#8: Gurenge by LiSA

I really enjoyed Demon Slayer Season 1, even though it is not the typical style I like to watch. I generally prefer lighthearted anime, and this anime is a bit dark. I love the bond between the two main characters, siblings Tanjiro and Nezuko.

The song is all about becoming strong for someone else. I love the way the song flows. It sounds beautiful.

#7: Sincerely by TRUE

Violet Evergarden is one of the most touching anime I’ve ever watched, and the intro song is beautiful to listen to. It is all about the power of words and that fits the anime so well. Violet has spent her whole life being trained and used as a weapon, and it is not until after the war ends and she takes a job as a ghostwriter that she learns empathy.

#6: The Red Means I Love You by Madds Buckley

This song is not from an anime, but it is inspired by one. The Red Means I Love You is based on Himiko Toga, a girl from My Hero Academia who drinks blood from people in order to change her appearance to match them. She only drinks the blood of those she is infatuated with–guys and girls alike. The song is about her obsession with blood and her feeling of being an outcast.

#5: Goya No Machiawase by Hello Sleepwalkers

This song is a bolder rock song with the theme of moving on from the past, even if it means metaphorically killing your past self.

#4: Kōkai no Uta by Sayuri

This song I mostly like because of the way it sounds, but it has decent lyrics about moving forward when you don’t have the strength. Eri is an amazing little girl from My Hero Academia and I associate this song with her because the outro that included this music was filled with glimpses of her life.

#3: Brave Song by Aoi Tada

Brave Song FULL VER. - Lyrics and Music by Angel Beats ! arranged ...

This song is the outro to the anime Angel Beats. It is about a lonely girl who is struggling to be strong in the face of adversity. It ends with the realization that she will someday be left only with memories of her friends.

The song fits the anime well, which is definitely one of the saddest anime I have ever watched. The song seems to refer to Yuri, who has a tragic backstory that explains the brooding nature of this song.

Spotify doesn’t have a good version, so here’s the Youtube one.

#2: Ichiban no Takaramono (Yui final ver.) by Girls Dead Monster

This song is so incredibly sad and happy at the same time. I can’t say much more without spoilers, so I’ll leave it at that without explaining what the song is about. The English translation of the title is “My Most Precious Treasure.” This is not on Spotify, so the Youtube link is here.

#1: Red Like Roses Part II

Okay, a quick disclaimer. Some people consider RWBY to be an anime, some do not. The people who do not consider RWBY an anime generally hold the position that all anime must be from Japan.

However, there is so much overlap in styles now, with western countries exploring traditionally Japanese styles, and Japanese companies exploring traditionally western themes. As a result, the line between what is anime and what is not has been blurred.

Furthermore, RWBY appears on the anime streaming service CrunchyRoll.

Personally, I will refer to RWBY as an American anime. If you disagree, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Red Like Roses Part II is about the tragic loss of a loved one and dealing with grief. It is a fast-paced rock song, and unlike the others in the list, this one is completely in English.

I love the imagery used in this song, such as describing blood as “red like roses.”

While glancing through the comments on Youtube, I found that many people could relate to the songs theme of loss, especially the line: “All the joy that I had known for all my life, was stripped away from me the minute that you died.”

The wonderful thing about the songs from RWBY is that they reveal more about the characters and create depth. They also are just good stand-alone songs even without the anime – the lyrics are relateable for many people even without the context of the show.

I fully recommend checking the song out because it is my absolute favorite.

Conclusion

Even if you haven’t watched anime, I would recommend you listen to these songs and see if you like them. Who knows, maybe you’ll like them.

I plan to analyze most of them at one point or another so you’ll be seeing them again.

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Music

Song Analysis: Odd Future by Uverworld

Song Analysis:

Odd Future by Uverworld

(Featured in My Hero Academia)

Intro

For my song analyses, I prefer to choose songs that I enjoy, and that have elements of storytelling built into them. Occasionally, I will choose a song that is not good in order to break down what is wrong with it and why it is terrible. For this one, I chose a good song from an anime I appreciate.

Analysis

Parsing out the meaning of a song written originally almost completely in Japanese is not easy. To help, I will analyze several English versions, including one literal translation and two with more artistic license. The problem with literal translations is that they typically do not convey metaphorical meaning and the feel of the original music. I do, however, think that it is worthwhile to consider the literal translation because that is what artists who try to sing English versions of the song have to deal with. Besides, the literal is one layer of any story and of any song, and it should be studied for its own merit.

Keep in mind this analysis is based entirely on my interpretation of the lyrics, which may or may not be accurate. I do not know Japanese, and I am no expert. I am relying on translations done by others.

Literal Translation

The lyrics I am using, including the ones in direct quotations, come from this website, called Otenkiame Translations. I will be pulling lines from the lyrics, but I will not analyze the whole song.

The song starts by asking if we are ready, building anticipation. From the first section of the song, my favorite part is the phrase:

You’ll have room to enjoy the contradictions.”

What’s being advertised here is not a form of doublethink, as in George Orwell’s 1984. In that novel, characters held contradictions in their mind as a result of political indoctrination. It is not a form of mental syncretism, but rather the acceptance and acknowledgement that contradictions exist and can be appreciated.

It reminds me more of Thomas Cranmer of Canterbury by Charles Williams, in which a character has characteristics of both Christ and the Devil. The character does not seem contrived at all because of it–instead, it makes for a richer text.

There’s no worth in an unending today.”

This quote I see as saying that we have to allow the present to subside into the future. If we can’t let go of today and are afraid of the future than we won’t be able to move forward with life. A future, even an odd one, is better than being without a future and a destiny.

The square sky’s unable to fill the gaps in my heart.”

This reminds me of all the times I have heard people say that you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. The fact that even something as broad and endless as the sky is not sufficient nor is it the right thing to fill all the broken parts of a human person resonates with me. Someone’s heart cannot be filled even by what seems infinite.

we’ll have days we’ve bragged there was nothing we wanted to be.”

This part is so true! So many people will brag about not caring, about not knowing what to do. It’s like the cool thing these days is not to care about anything. Kind of like a stereotypical bad guy/bad girl attitude.

Dark pasts I’ve built up like they grow on trees.”

That is beautiful imagery. Having a past with darkness that seems only to grow is like that of one of the Byronic heroes–heroes with a past, who brood and struggle. The Batmans of real life.

I keep my ideals.”

This is like the soul of the song, the focus. Keeping one’s ideals in a world that is less than a perfect, before a future that is, well, odd–to say the least.

I will embed 30 seconds of the song in the original Japanese below, but go to Spotify or Youtube for the whole song.

The Amalee Version

The lyrics I am using, including the ones in direct quotations, come from this website, Musixmatch.com. I will be pulling lines from the lyrics, but I will not analyze the whole song.

Even if you fall take one step.

You can breathe again in one step.

It can be that easy in one step, and that’s it!”

I feel like the meaning of these lines did not come across in the literal translation. Taking life step by step is not a bad approach. There is plenty of times I just think in terms of hours–just make it one more hour, and everything will be fine. Then resetting–just one more hour, and it will feel better.

You can’t rewind these days but you can change your direction.”

Yes, you cannot change the past, but the future is not set in stone. You can change trajectory, altering your course through an odd future.

And we see we can be the heroes straight out of our dreams.”

I’m guess Amalee got this line by comparing the original lines and watching the anime to get a feel for what it is about. I have included a link to Amalee’s process for translating songs at the bottom of this page if you are interested. It changes the focus from being a distinguishable individual to being more than that–a hero.

I like this version of the lyrics as well. I think it fits the anime better while staying true to the song itself. I will embed 30 seconds of the song below, but go to Spotify or Youtube for the whole song.

The Natewantstobattle Version

The lyrics I am using, including the ones in direct quotations, come from this website, AZLyrics.com. I will be pulling lines from the lyrics, but I will not analyze the whole song.

Everything is like dust escaping me.”

This is kind of interesting imagery. The feeling of being deflated of substance.

What’s going on? I gotta guess.

I’m a bit different from the rest.

And this was all just a test for me.”

The rhythm of this song is great, but it doesn’t have many unique lines or what I would call a serious poetic style. Sure, it sounds good, but it doesn’t have the depth of the literal translation or the Amalee version.

I will embed 30 seconds of the song below, but go to Spotify or Youtube for the whole song.

Does it Fit the Anime?

Sure, I can see it. The My Hero Academia series is all about how Midoriya is supposed to become the number one hero. It’s moving from a measured past to a definite but undoubtedly very different future. Each of the members of Class 1-A are very individual, all “a bit different than the rest.” Obviously the hero portion from Amalee’s fits the anime. Most of all the concept of keeping one ideal’s in the face of a odd future fits this anime, as Midoriya strives to uphold his ideals and those of All-Might.

Conclusion

If I had to find a meaning in this song, it would be that no matter what, be who you are and embrace your odd future and whatever it brings. Don’t be shortsighted, and if you feel like your heart is broken and nothing will fill it, you are not alone. This is an anthem of individualism and the human condition, kind of like This is Me by Keala Settle.

Links

Song versions

Lyric versions

My Hero Academia Version

Amalee Article

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Life

The Chaotic Chronicles (Issue #1)

Intro

Welcome to the first issue of the Chaotic Chronicles, which revolves around what’s been going on in my chaotic life. I intend to publish these weekly if possible on Wednesdays and will do my best to keep it interesting. Feedback is welcome and encouraged. Below I will list what I’ve been up to this week!

#1: Broadening my horizons

I am doing my best to be the greatest writer, blogger, and reviewer I can be. As a result, I’ve decided to broaden my horizons by publishing reviews on more platforms. I have revitalized my Goodreads account, started an IMDb account, and began posting reviews on Board Game Geek. If there are more sites I should consider sharing my work on, let me know!

#2: A Discord Server

Recently I created a discord server that is primarily for creative types, but is also a place for a lot of really cool people to hang out. Some of our topics include books, writing, art, movies, shows, anime, board games, video games, and music.

#3: I got this cute My Hero Academia energy drink

My Hero Academia energy drink

I think this was the first time I’ve ever had an actual energy drink. Everyone always told me they were bad for you, so I had been reluctant to try one. But I couldn’t resist one that was My Hero Academia themed. I am such a geek. It was raspberry-flavored. It wasn’t the best drink but it wasn’t the worst. I cleaned out the can to use as a decoration.

#4: Check out my new Funkos

Izuku Midoriya, She-Ra, and UA High Funko Pops

My newest additions include Izuku Midoriya and UA High from My Hero Academia and She-Ra. I love both shows, so it was a real pleasure to add these to my collection.

#5: What I am watching

  • Fullmetal Alchemist (the original series)
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
  • The Owl House
  • One Piece
  • Attack on Titan
  • Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina
  • Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense
  • Fairy Tail
  • The Dragon Prince
  • My Hero Academia
  • Fruits Basket
  • Wandavision
  • Violet Evergarden

#6: Current Projects

  • Co-writing a study guide for The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner with Ashley Ostrowski
  • Creating a list of writing prompts for a blog article that will publish in December
  • Working on Paralogue 4 for my novel-in-progress
  • Writing a biography essay of a local librarian
  • Teaching my little sister how to read

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