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
Anime, Shows

MHA Season 4 is the Best Season Yet

Spoiler-Free Anime Review:

My Hero Academia Season 4

Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

Intro

This is my favorite out of the seasons of My Hero Academia. So far none of the seasons come close to it, including what I have watched so far of Season 5.

Warning: This review does not contain significant spoilers for Season 4, but it does contain spoilers for earlier seasons.

Background

My Hero Academia Season 4 was released in 2019. It was produced by the studio Bones and directed by Kenji Nagasaki. The plot is based on the graphic novels by  Kōhei Horikoshi.

You can watch My Hero Academia on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu.

Summary

U.A. students face off against villains new and old. Later in the season, the members of U.A participate in a school festival. In the meantime, Bakugo and Todoroki attend special courses to catch up with the rest of Class 1-A.

Pros

  • Creative quirks
  • New and unique characters
  • Dangerous and effective villains
  • Well-chosen way to introduce the season
  • The Big 3 show what they are made of
  • Backstory for Kirishima and Amajiki
  • Actual consequences for choices
  • Concept of Quirk Singularity Doomsday
  • Darkest season balanced with comic relief
  • Attractive intros and outro
  • Catchy music
  • Original art style

Cons

  • Tickling machine kind of disturbing
  • The relationship between Gentle Criminal and La Brava is uncomfortable
  • Weird angles on characters focusing on breasts, legs, and skirts at different times

Observations

  • Natsu look-alike appears near end of season

Review

Introduction

The idea of starting the season off with a feature story on the members of Class 1-A was an interesting way to recap everyone’s quirks and personalities without being boring and forced.

Creative Quirks

Creative quirks such as whole-body lens fill this anime. This quirk allows camera lenses to grow from different parts of Taneo’s body. He can print the pictures from his chest when desired, or keep them in memory. For a journalist, this is the perfect quirk, being able to take pictures anywhere anytime, looking inconspicuous until finally getting a shot.

Characters

Getting Kirishima’s backstory is a great bonus for this season. Seeing how he changed over time to become the person he is now was amazing.

Amajiki is a shy character who continually compares Kirishima and Togata to the sun. This season really gives him the chance to shine, however, delving into his past and showing that he is formidable despite his reticent nature.

Fat Gum’s fat absorption quirk allows things to stick to his body and be absorbed. His quirk is more complex than it initially seems, however. He is a Pro Hero who is honorable and likeable.

Eri is a 6-year-old girl whose quirk and backstory are a well-kept secret from most of the characters until later in the season. She is compassionate and self-sacrificing, and surprisingly mature for her age yet still childish in many ways.

Nighteye holds to many of the same ideals as All Might. He values laughter and smiling, and wants to make the world a better place. He truly believes there is no future to society without “humor and energy.”

I appreciate the character design of Overhaul with his unique mask. I thought about getting one designed to look like Overhaul’s during the worst part of the pandemic when everyone was wearing masks, but mask regulations have since been relaxed in my area for those who are vaccinated.

I think of Overhaul as the most evil and cruel villain introduced in My Hero Academia so far. He’s not only physically dangerous, he is also causes psychological damage to others.

Relationships

The relationship between La Brava and Gentle Criminal gives off strong romance vibes and it’s not the most comfortable relationship. La Brava is 21 and Gentle is 32, which is a large age gap–but that’s not a big deal. The problem is the character design makes it seem like Gentle is an old man, and La Brava looks like a little girl. That makes it seem like Gentle is some sort of pedophile and that he is grooming La Brava. And since they don’t mention ages during the anime itself, viewers aren’t aware that La Brava is not a minor. Seems like a poor design choice here.

Consequences

Trust me, there are negative consequences for failure, and even for hard-won success, in this season.

Concept

The Quirk Singularity Doomsday theory has to do with each generation having stronger quirks. There is the idea that one day the older generation will not be able to stop the newest generation from doing whatever they want.

Balance

This season gets surprisingly dark for My Hero Academia, and the comic relief of the school festival is well-timed and much-needed. The last couple of episodes don’t seem to belong and probably should’ve been in the next season, but that’s not a big deal.

Music

The first intro of the season is Polaris by Blue Encounter. What I like about this intro includes the camera angles seeming natural and the movement of the piece as a whole. If you look at the part with the hands at the very beginning, you’ll notice it shows his hand when he was younger, his hand when he joined UA, and his hand with the scars.

The first outro features the song Kōkai no Uta by Sayuri. This is one of my favorite outros because it portrays backstory for an important character in Season 4 without spoiling anything significant like some outros do. The pictures of Eri are so cute and really builds sympathy for her.

The second intro features the song Starmarker by Kana-Boon. Unlike the first half of the season, the second half is lighthearted, and the intro reflects that. Interesting choices are made regarding color, and the song is upbeat.

The second intro features the song Shout Baby by Ryokuōshoku Shakai. This scrapbook-style intro shows glimpses into the character’s pasts, including those of side characters.

There is a song during the school festival that is amazing too, but going into details on that would constitute a spoiler.

Style

The animation was done by Studio Bones, which also did the style of Fullmetal Alchemist, another one of my favorite anime.

The style is different from Fullmetal Alchemist because it uses bold, bright colors and deep shadows for contrast. The pupils of characters are much smaller than in most anime.

Problematic Aspects

Sir Nighteye’s tickling machine is uncomfortably similar to torture and harassment. As a boss, it’s entirely inappropriate for him to tickle his sidekick without permission as a punishment. Bubble Girl literally begs him to stop and he refuses. There are better ways to show that Sir Nighteye values humor without making him seem like a creep.

Occasionally with this season the camera would rest on breasts, legs, and skirts without any apparent reason. It just seemed unnecessary and an odd choice.

Observations

Looks kind of like Natsu from the anime Fairy Tail, right? Whether that was intentional or not, the pink hair and scarf make this side character a lookalike to one of Fairy Tail’s strongest wizards.

Conclusion

If you liked the first few seasons of My Hero Academia, you will like this one too. If you didn’t like the first few seasons, you may like this season anyway because its darkest moments are horrifying and its lightest moments are hilarious, and there are plenty of heartfelt moments that fall in between those two extremes.

Rating System

If you are interested in how I rate shows, check out my rating system.

Links

Anime, Shows

MHA Season 3 Features Harrowing Villains, Flamboyant Heroes, and Dorms!

Spoiler-Free Anime Review:

My Hero Academia Season 3

Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

Intro

Since My Hero Academia is currently my favorite anime, there is no big surprise it is rated high. I am willing to acknowledge its flaws, but these are few. It has so many strong points in its favor! I watched it twice, once with my siblings subbed and once with my dad dubbed.

Warning! Although there are no spoilers for Season 3, there are some spoilers for earlier seasons.

Background

My Hero Academia Season 3 was released in 2018. It was produced by the studio Bones and directed by Kenji Nagasaki. The plot is based on the graphic novels by  Kōhei Horikoshi.

You can watch My Hero Academia on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu.

Summary

UA students participate in the forest lodge trip, work on their ultimate moves, decorate dorm rooms, and enroll in the provisional licensing exam.

Pros

  • Recap episode that also adds to the story, catching newcomers up to speed
  • The relationship between Kirishima and Bakugo is sweet
  • Creative quirks
  • Dangerous and effective villains
  • Backstory of Tomura Shigaraki
  • New and unique characters
  • Attractive intros and outro
  • Catchy music
  • Dorm room decorating is hilarious and brilliant
  • Actual consequences for dangerous decisions
  • Creating ultimate moves is really cool
  • The provisional licensing exam is awesome
  • Original art style

Cons

  • Mineta being a typical creep and harassing girls
  • Mei Hatsume is uncomfortably touchy with the guys, in what is probably unintentional harassment
  • The second outro is kind of boring and uncreative

Observations

  • How did Ashido manage to high-five Hagakure (Invisible Girl)?
  • Bakugo has cooking skills…also, he’s totally a nerd!

Review

Recap

The first episode is a recap of what has happened so far and about the various quirks of the characters. Don’t skip it–it’s actually a funny episode with a swim competition and plenty of pool antics.

Relationships

Kirishima puts his elbow on Bakugo’s shoulder, and Bakugo does not completely flip out. That’s…amazing. It’s nice to see Bakugo on equal footing with Kirishima rather than him being like an underling.

Ochaco’s crush on Deku and his feelings toward her is a continued theme, but it remains true that romance is something the show doesn’t focus much on.

Quirks

There are plenty of interesting quirks involving blood, enhanced muscles, creating monsters from the earth, etc.

Seiji Shishikura has a particularly disturbing and effective quirk that he uses during the provisional licensing exam.

There are also old quirks that are worth noting for their creativity: such as explosive sweat, acid, engines on calves, frog abilities, and dark shadow.

Characters

My Hero Academia always has a ton of characters. Luckily for us, they all have their qualities that make them interesting, even the ones that don’t get as much screen time.

This season adds some new characters who are just as entertaining as the ones that have become so familiar.

The Wild, Wild Pussycats are a team of superheroes who have formidable quirks and spunky personalities.

Kota Izumi is a five-year-old kid who hates superheroes. He is not thrilled to meet the UA gang. Oddly when I first saw him I thought he was just a short man, and was surprised that he was a little kid instead. He is under the care of the Wild, Wild Pussycats.

We finally get to meet Bakugo’s parents. The way that his mom acts kinda hints at why he is so irate all the time. His upbringing undoubtedly sheds light on his current behavior.

Muscular is a villain we get to meet in Season 3, along with a whole team of members of the League of Villains.

It is worthwhile to note that we start getting backstories about the villains in Season 3. For instance, there is a lot of detail about Twice’s backstory. He’s one of my favorite villains.

In the Provisional Hero License Exam arc, we get introduced to members of different schools. These two from Shiketsu High School probably interact with Class 1-A the most.

Camie Utsushimi is on the left, and she has a kind of ditsy personality and does things that make other characters uncomfortable.

Inasa Yoarashi is on the right. He has a powerful quirk that makes him a match for Shoto Todoroki when it comes to power. He has an intense rivalry with Todoroki.

My favorite characters introduced this season are the Big Three. From left to right that’s Mirio Togata, Nejire Hado, and Tamaki Amajiki. They are all ridiculously powerful and have creative quirks. These guys are introduced now, but where they really get to shine is Season 4.

Plot

From fighting villains and testing for licenses to decorating dorm rooms, the plot keeps you interested from beginning to end. It throws in plenty of character development and backstories. I was hooked, and I don’t doubt you will be too if you enjoyed previous seasons.

Intros and Outros

The first intro shows many of the pro heroes and villains, as well as showing the students in action. The song is upbeat, quirky, and fitting for the show – Odd Future by Uverworld.

The first outro shows a bunch of sketches of characters. It’s actually really fun and attractive, using comic book panels in many sections. The art style is beautiful and it includes references to things such as pez dispensers. It features the song Update by miwa.

Btw, don’t click on the links to the second intro and outro below if you don’t want spoilers.

The second intro is basically showing shots of the Provisional Hero License Exam, introducing the characters in pictures, and is just fun. Seeing Ms. Joke flirt with Aizawa is hilarious. I also like that they put Invisible Girl in the spotlight for the final image because she is character that is usually not focused on. There is an odd scene with a pink-haired character who never shows up in the show, but apparently they were from a canceled filler. This intro features the song Make My Story by Lenny code fiction.

The second outro is terribly boring and shows Midoriya walking slowly and rigidly, and All-Might walking upside down. It’s pretty awful. It features the song Long Hope Philia by Masaki Suda.

Music

Below are all the full songs from the outros and intros–my favorite of these is Odd Future and my least favorite is Long Hope Filia. These are the music videos, so they don’t show the My Hero Academia characters.

  • Odd Future by Uverworld – Kind of odd music video with a horse and dancer, and the whole scene turning red like a murder scene occasionally. My 10th favorite anime song.
  • Update by miwa – This really is a great song in its entirety and the music video looks kind of like a school performance. It doesn’t have anywhere near as many views as the other songs chosen for My Hero Academia, which is a shame.
  • Make My Story by Lenny Code Fiction – the music video is a bunch of dudes dancing and singing in a field with a bunch of spotlights. The song is catchy.
  • Long Hope Philia by Masaki Suda – Not one of my favorite songs, but not bad either. The music video shows a sleeping man in a chair, a bunch of exhausted looking people shambling about, and Japanese phrases being written on various surfaces. I got tired just watching those people looking tired, and the music video is confusing, but that’s probably because I don’t know Japanese.

Art Style

The animation was done by Studio Bones, which also did the style of Fullmetal Alchemist, another one of my favorite anime.

The style is different from Fullmetal Alchemist because it uses bold, bright colors and deep shadows for contrast. The pupils of characters are much smaller than in most anime.

Harassment

Hatsume is somewhat problematic because she is super touchy with guys even though they are clearly uncomfortable. Above is Hatsume, having fallen on Midoriya. This was an accident, but she seems strangely happy about it even though Midoriya is horrified. She’s in no big hurry to get off either.

This is not as bad as Mineta, who continuously objectifies girls and women. For instance, he goes to great lengths to see the girls naked while they are bathing. The other characters chastise him and acknowledge that he is doing wrong, but the whole thing is still portrayed as a joke.

Observations

Not sure how Ashido managed to high five Invisible Girl perfectly. In the same battle, even supporting characters make themselves useful, which I appreciate. It wasn’t just Bakugo, Todoroki, and Midoriya doing all the hard work.

We learn that Bakugo can cook in this season, which is kind of surprising since he has zero patience for most things. Furthermore, it is shown that Bakugo has the qualities of a stereotypical nerd–getting high grades, going to bed early…which is ironic considering he always calls Midoriya “you damn nerd.”

Conclusion

Watch this anime. It’s great. Obviously check out the first two seasons first, but keep in mind that the seasons get progressively better. At least up to Season 4. While I’m writing this, part of Season 5 is out, but I’m reserving judgment on that until the season finale.

I would recommend this anime for ages 13 and up.

Rating System

If you are interested in how I rate shows, check out my rating system.

Links

Outros and Intros

Full Songs

Related Articles

Anime, Shows

MHA’s Season 2 Super-Powered School Schedule

Spoiler-Free Anime Review:

My Hero Academia Season 2

Rating: 8.5 out of 10 stars

Intro

My Hero Academia (also known as MHA) is my favorite anime. I watched Season 2 for the second time with my dad, and I had a great time–despite the fact that my sister had me doing jumping jacks during all the intro and outros.

(I made her my coach during winter break, which was both the best and worst idea ever.)

Warning! Although this review has no spoilers for Season 2, it does have spoilers for Season 1.

Background

My Hero Academia Season 2 was released in 2017. It was produced by the studio Bones and directed by Kenji Nagasaki. The plot is based on the graphic novels by  Kōhei Horikoshi.

You can watch My Hero Academia on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu.

Summary

UA high school students participate in a sports festival, internships, and final exams.

Pros

  • Likeable characters with diverse personalities
  • Get to see a bit more of Class 1-B and the General Studies, Support, and Business classes
  • Intimidating villains
  • Creative quirks
  • Fantastic dialogue
  • Balanced plot with light-heartedness and darker aspects
  • The UA Sports Festival Arc is the best arc in all of Season 1 and 2
  • For once, the UA girls get a chance to shine
  • Actual consequences for poor decisions
  • Catchy music
  • Attractive outros and intros
  • Original art style

Cons

  • Mineta being his usual pervy self, sexual harassment basically treated as a joke
  • Mei Hatsume has a habit of getting uncomfortably close to people and being super touchy, an instance of probably unintentional harassment of the male characters

Observations

  • Maybe Midoriya was not quirkless–maybe his quirk was superpowered crying
  • Midoriya uses the most boring visualizations to try to control his power
  • And yet he’s still breaking fingers…

Review

Characters

Season 1 had so many great characters, and Season 2 not only developed them further, it added a host of new characters to enjoy. I especially appreciated that I got to see a bit more of Class 1-B and the General Studios, Support, and Business classes.

Hitoshi Shinso is a student of the General Studies department. He has a quirk that would be perfect for a villain, but that he wants to use to become a hero. However, he failed the entrance exam for the hero course because his quirk does not work against robots, even though it is highly effective against people. Shinso is an underdog character I couldn’t help rooting for even though he was pitted against Midoriya.

Mei Hatsume is assertive, stubborn, and incredibly intelligent. She is a student of UA’s Support Class, and her calls her inventions her “super cute babies.” Her quirk is that she can zoom her eyesight to be able to see things far away. Her main focus in the UA Sports Festival is advertising her inventions for pro heroes and investors to see.

Itsuka Kendo is the class rep of Class 1-B and is part of the hero course. Her quirk is Big Fist, her ability to make her hands larger, which allows her to be better able to block and attack. She keeps Class 1-B in line and is on good terms with Class 1-A.

Neito Monoma is an obsessive, rude, and stubborn student from Class 1-B. He takes his rivalry with Class 1-A really seriously, frequently mocking them. It’s a running joke that Kendo repeatedly knocks him out when he tries to pick fights with Class 1-A. He is particularly effective against Bakugo and has proven that he can stay cool in intense situations.

Gran Torino is another person worth mentioning, but I cannot go into the details of his character without spoiling him. It’s enough to say that he was a mentor to All-Might.

The main villain of Season 2 is an effective, terrifying foe.

Hero Killer Stain is a villain with actual ideals, disgusted by heroes who lack the pure intentions and true spirit of heroism. He kills those who fail to meet his frankly way-too-high standards.

Dialogue

My Hero Academia Season 2 has plenty of quotable moments. This one is from Midoriya, and sums up what being a hero is all about.

Meddling when you don’t need to is the essence of being a hero.”

There is also plenty of Midoriya being a funny awkward teenager.

I can’t believe I talked to a girl on the phone. It was like she was whispering in my ear!”

And who could forget All-Might’s ring tone?

A phone call…is here!”

Plot

Season 2 starts with the UA Sports Festival, which in my opinion is the best arc of Seasons 1 and 2. Why? Several reasons.

First, we get Todoroki’s backstory. If there were awards for the best backstory, it would have to go to him.

Second, Ochaco gets to take part in an amazing battle. Finally, a girl gets her chance to shine!

Third, Bakugo meets his match more than once. It’s satisfying to see him humbled somewhat by the impressive skill of his opponents.

Fourth, Midoriya makes a decision that leads to permanent consequences. That’s nice to see, especially since until that point, he experienced no lasting ill effects from using his immense power.

Right after the festival arc, there is a really fun episode when students choose their hero names and it is revealed how Eraser Head got his name.

The next arc involves the student internships. It’s nice to see most of the characters exhibit some growth through their experiences. As may be expected from My Hero Academia, this arc tends to be more on the dark side, but is neatly balanced with humor.

The final arc focuses on final exams, which include both studying for pencil-and-paper tests and practical exams. Momo gets a chance to show what she’s made of in the finals.

Music

Unlike the first season, Season 2 uses four theme songs, all of which I have enjoyed thoroughly. Click on the links if you want to listen for yourself. The music is upbeat, gets stuck in one’s head, and fits the intros and outros perfectly.

  1. Peace Sign by Kenshi Yonezu
  2. Dakara, Hitori ja nai by Little Glee Monster
  3. Sora ni Utaeba by amazarashi
  4. Datte Atashi no Hero by LiSA

If you ever need music to exercise to, My Hero Academia‘s playlist would be a phenomenal choice. I still exercise to this music.

Intros and Outros

The first intro for this season is mostly just the characters stretching. I love it though, because it gives some insight into the training the young heroes have to put themselves through on a daily basis.

The first outro highlights scenes with the girls of My Hero Academia, which is long overdue since the show tends to underrepresent the achievements of the female characters. My favorite part is finding Toru Hagakure, The Invisible Girl, in all of the scenes. It also emphasizes how the school is a positive environment where most of the students have become close friends.

The second intro is attractive with color themes and glimpses into character memories and foreshadows future events. Overall, it does not disappoint.

The second outro is My Hero Academia reimagined into the Fantasy genre. It’s clever, funny, and beautiful. It’s my favorite of all the outros I have seen in the four seasons of My Hero Academia I have watched so far.

Style

All Might Highlights Boku no Hero Academia My Hero Academia

According to IMDb, the animation was done by Studio Bones, which also did the style of Fullmetal Alchemist, another of my favorite anime.

The style is different from Fullmetal Alchemist because it uses bold, bright colors and deep shadows for contrast. The pupils of characters are much smaller than in most anime.

Perverted Aspects

Yep, Mineta is a perverted little freak as usual. He happens to be quite smart and score high on one of the exams, which prompts another character to say that perverts like him are only likeable if they are dumb.

I disagree…I would despise him just as much if he were dumb.

The fact that the girls sometimes fall for his tricks makes it even worse. In Season 2, Mineta fools all the girls of Class 1-A into wearing cheerleading suits.

Hatsume, on the other hand, is so touchy it’s almost as uncomfortable as the scenes with Mineta. At the very least she’s seems unaware she is being that way, which makes her somewhat better than Mineta.

Observations

From the beginning of My Hero Academia, Midoriya has been known to cry a lot. Now personally, I do not think that is a bad thing. And it doesn’t mean he is weak. Anyone who can break their bones repeatedly and keep fighting is not weak.

Seeing how impressively he cries in Season 2, I can’t help but wonder if he had a quirk before One-for-All–super-powered tears. Anyone who can spout such volumes of water from their eyes is pretty special.

Midoriya’s visualizations of microwaves are a recurring thing in Season 2. I cannot imagine a more boring metaphor.

And if you were hoping poor Midoriya would be done breaking fingers by the beginning of Season 2, you’re out of luck. Ew….

Conclusion

I fully recommend My Hero Academia, especially for anime fans. It would best fit an audience of ages 13 and up due to violence, serious injuries, and a perverted character.

Rating System

If you are interested in how I rate shows, check out my rating system.

Links