Those of a new Era
Should I be surprised by this week's revelation in Dr. Stone? The fact that we have people living in a village means that either some people survived the petrification and/or they broke free from their stone prison before Senku. Regardless of the how, Senku now has more people to rely on in his battle against Tsukasa. However, we learn quickly that this village is off limits to survivors making the challenge of recruiting others that much harder. Thankfully, Senku meets an interesting villager named Chrome who (like Senku) is seen as an odd ball due to his fascination with sorcery. We learn quickly though that Chrome's sorcery isn't actually magic (who would have guessed) but is science based. Seeing Chrome in a light similar to himself, Senku tells him the time period he came from and you can see how Chrome is moved to tears by the descriptions of the past. Chrome wishes to help Senku rebuild society but his first goal is to use science as a means of curing the sister of Kohaku, Ruri. With another Senku-like character, Dr. Stone has become quite intriguing even more than it was a few weeks ago. I can only imagine that this new team up will lead to mysteries about the past being solved and even a way of restoring the world to the way it was 3700 years ago.
True Strength of the Hashira
Tanjirou and Nezuko believe they have triumphed over Rui at last, but Rui manages to evade death yet again, putting the Kamado siblings in an even more dire situation. Thankfully, Giyuu shows up, using an unheard-of 11th form technique to finally behead Rui for good. Meanwhile, as Rui’s “sister” attempts to kill another wandering survivor in the forest, Shinobu appears and quickly dispatches of her as well!
After this episode, it’s obvious to see the power difference between Pillars like Giyuu or Shinobu vs. Tanjirou. Even with Nezuko’s new Blood Demon Art and Tanjirou’s beautifully-animated Hinokami Kagura move, Rui was able to hang on. Yet when Giyuu shows up and unleashes his 11th form, the fight is over just like that. This anime does a great job of making Tanjirou’s progression seem realistic, especially in comparison with other shounen that might use the development of a new move as an excuse for the main character to win a fight.
Even Shinobu, who is self-proclaimed as one of the weaker Pillars, is far above Tanjirou, Zenitsu and Inosuke. Every moment of her interaction with the demon was terrifying, as her appearance belies her true strength. Her abilities are beautiful, yet the poison which she uses to kill is deceptively ruthless--much like herself, in fact. Now that Giyuu and Shinobu have been officially introduced, I hope we get to see even more of them in the coming episodes!
The Journey Finally Begins
Vinland Saga has no doubt been amazing so far, but we’ve been in flashback land for five episodes now. When are we going to see the dual-wielding, long-haired badass Thorfinn from the opening? Right now, as it turns out. However, Thorfinn’s evolution from defiant little kid to hardened warrior is much more traumatic and heartbreaking than we ever could’ve expected it to be.
Driven by his burning desire for revenge against Askeladd, Thorfinn tags along with his crew and strives to prove himself on the battlefield so that the Viking captain will face him in a proper duel. With every kill, Thorfinn becomes more numb to the horrors of war and buries his father’s lessons of peace further down inside of him. He enjoys a bit of kindness from an English peasant woman, who bathes and feeds him after he’s hurt on a scouting mission, but he’s forced to fulfill his obligation to the Vikings and signal for them to attack her village.
This anime has an amazing knack for saying important things without words. When Askeladd’s pirates storm the village and murder all the men in sight, we know from the woman’s tearful stare that she’s horrified of how war could make an innocent child into a killer. When Thorfinn smothers his berserker rage with a weary sigh, we know that he’s resigned himself to his bloodstained fate. And only now does Vinland Saga truly begin.
After a fun day of camping, Takagi and Nishikata get some alone time under the stars. Nishikata is restless after coming up just short of getting to dance with Takagi around the bonfire. To clear his mind, Nishikata heads out to get a look at the stars. When he gets to the open field, he finds Takagi standing on a rock looking up at the night sky. Takagi tells Nishikata she was out making a wish on the stars. While the two of them are hanging out, they see Tanabe-sensei on lookout duty. In order to avoid getting caught, Takagi and Nishikata hide close together in the rocks. As Tanabe-sensei leaves, they decide to stay there a little longer and Takagi tells Nishikata that the wish she had made was for them to be able to look at the stars together.
The seventh episode of Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 brought us one of the cutest moments in the series. With the episode leaving the usual classroom setting we got to see Takagi and Nishikata in some more unusual settings than normal. While the episode definitely had the great teasing moments, the overall vibe of the episode was a bit more serious with Nishikata's feelings for Takagi becoming more apparent to him. I don't expect this to be an ongoing thing for the rest of the season, but that one cute moment with them in the rocks was enough to satisfy my desire to see some actual romance between Takagi and Nishikata.
That's all for this week, please check back next week and tell us what you're watching!