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Character Analysis

RWBY: The Bond Between Blake and Ruby

At All Ages of Geek, we love to hear the communities views on characters in shows we cover. With the finish of RWBY Vol 8 one of our community members Angelique tells us what they think about Ruby and Blake’s friendship.

“I always thought Blake Belladonna admired Ruby Rose and thought highly of her. Ever since they first met in volume 1 episode 3 when Ruby said she wants to be like the heroes in books. I always sense Blake saw a girl with pure heart and intentions. This was further proved by Blake telling Sun in volume 4 how Ruby’s word description was Pure.

Now, in the last episode of volume 8, Blake finally tells Ruby how she always admired her and thought highly of her. Blake said to Ruby that at one time in her life she was like Ruby but things got in the way. We all know what those things are, Adam and the White Fang. She explained to Ruby that she always does something to make things right even if she doesn’t know if it will work or not. She keeps moving forward and tries to do what’s best for everyone or the given situation.

I think having this moment between Blake and Ruby is so important. it’s important for Ruby Rose to hear what her teammate Blake views of her. They have a bond and this conversation showed it. I absolutely loved this moment between them and it solidified my views of Blake having a high regard of Ruby. I truly hope these two have more moments together their friendship is unique and sweet and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for them.”

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Guest Write For AAOG & Some RWBY Theories!

All Ages of Geek is excited to discover what is next on RWBY. We want to hear your fan theories. A community member Angelique wrote out some questions they have about what will happen next.

“Will Winter Schnee deflect from James Ironwood military? This is one of the many questions I have about the Schnees. We all know Winter is loyal to Ironwood. But what if she has to fight Weiss Schnee, her younger sister, then what? I truly believe that in this case blood will be stronger than duty. We already saw it when Winter gave Weiss a head start. 

The other Schnee that I wonder about is Whitley. Weiss and Whitley don’t get along but I truly believe if Weiss just talks to him maybe they can reach an understanding.  It is common knowledge that because of Jacques Schnee the Schnee family is not as close anymore.

So my hope is that maybe the Schnee siblings will come together in what little is left of their bonds. Because they’re still family and family is what keeps us going.”

Be sure to keep up to date with All Ages of Geeks reactions on our youtube:

AND~ tag us on social media to tell us your fan theories. If you ever want to be a guest writer be sure to email AllAgesofhr@gmail.com for more information!

10 Masked Costume Ideas for Halloween 2020

We’re in for an even weirder Halloween in 2020 than normal. The COVID-19 pandemic will surely have an effect on many people’s favorite holiday. Trick-or-treating, costume parties, and other festivities will have to be drastically altered for this year, or outright canceled. But as long as a face covering is involved, there are still fun and clever ways to dress up this year. Here are ten costume ideas that include a mask or face covering.

Spider-People

from Pinterest

One of the easiest masked costumes to pull off is Spider-Man. However, everyone and their nephew will be wanting to dress as Peter Parker on Halloween night. Fortunately, there are a plethora of Spider-Men to choose from! Aside from Peter, there is Miles Morales, Miguel O’Hara (Spider-Man 2099), and Ben Reilly (Scarlet Spider), all with their own unique suits. There are even alternate versions of Peter Parker such as Spider-Man Noir, or you can try to find an Iron Spider or Symbiote suit that Peter wore in the comics. And for the ladies, there are plenty of Spider-Women as well! Jessica Drew (aka Spider-Woman), Spider-Gwen, and Silk are some great examples. Although it might be a simple choice, there are plenty of ways to make a Spidey suit stand out.

Darth Vader/Kylo Ren

from Pinterest

The two helmed Sith Lords will surely be a popular costume choice this year. Vader and Ren both wear helmets that encompass their entire heads, ensuring the utmost safety for Halloween 2020. While their outfits are bulky and extravagant, they are still easy to find due to their popularity. The budget for these costumes might be on the high side, but owning a fully functioning Vader helmet is probably worth it. The only downside to these costumes is that you will possibly have to engage in a lightsaber battle with your doppelganger at some point in the night.

from Reddit

Mortal Kombat Ninjas

from Pinterest

The Mortal Kombat universe may be the best place to find masked costume ideas. The games feature an abundance of ninjas who all wear masks, including poster boys Scorpion and Sub-Zero. The palette swaps are all in play as well, including Reptile, Smoke, Rain, Ermac, and Noob Saibot. There are also female ninjas in Kitana, Jade, Mileena, Frost, and Skarlet. These costumes are both easy to find and easy to make if you want to go the DIY route. Just don’t go performing any Fatalities out there; do Friendships (Friendship?) instead!

from Imgur

V

This is a costume I feel like I don’t see enough under normal circumstances. In the COVID landscape, there is no better time to take to the streets as V for Halloween. Taken from Alan Moore’s classic comic V for Vendetta, V’s costume is instantly recognizable thanks to the movie adaptation released in 2005. The costume is rather easy to pull off, needing only a black cloak, a matching brimmed hat, and V’s patented mask and wig. There is even a complete costume set available on Amazon!

from Pinterest

Sango

For the ladies looking for an anime character to dress up as there might be no better choice this year than Sango. One of the more popular characters from Inuyasha, Sango is a female yokai slayer whose talents rival anyone else in the series. She has one of the cooler-looking outfits in anime, especially with her metallic mask. Along with her sword, she wields a giant boomerang that drapes over her shoulder. This costume may require a big budget or some serious DIY work, but the best costumes usually do!

from Imgur

Kakashi Hatake

from Fandom.com

This will likely be the top costume choice for anime fans this Halloween. Naruto‘s Kakashi Hatake sports one of the most famous looks in all of anime, most notably (and conveniently) for his face mask. His outfit is also the most modern out of any character on this list, making it very easy for DIY methods. The only challenge with this costume is dying your hair white or finding a wig. If you are having trouble, Amazon has a complete costume set available.

from Pinterest

Sheik

from SmashBros.com

For everyone planning on dressing as Princess Zelda for Halloween, why not go with her masked alter ego instead? Sheik first appeared in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and was further popularized in the Super Smash Bros. series. Her face mask was used to conceal Zelda’s true identity, but it will work well as a safety measure this year too. Sheik has a very unique and complex look to her, making this a very difficult costume to find. You will probably have to look at cosplay stores, which usually have a heftier price tag. But dressing as Sheik would catch the eye of many onlookers, especially those who main her in Smash (like me!).

from Pinterest

Samus Aran

If you really wanted to turn some Nintendo fans’ heads on Halloween, look no further than gaming’s first leading lady. Though fair warning, this will be the most expensive costume on this list, given that Samus wears an entire power suit. On the other hand, it will also be the safest costume during COVID Halloween, so there is a fair trade-off. Zero-Suit Samus is perhaps a cheaper option, but she normally wears no mask or helmet. To dress in her classic look from the Metroid games, it will require a big budget and advanced DIY talents. A Samus Aran costume is only for those willing to go all-out this Halloween.

Ghouls from Tokyo Ghoul

from Youtube

The ghouls in Tokyo Ghoul may be mostly villainous, but they could be anime fans’ saving grace this Halloween. All ghouls wear masks to conceal their human identities, each being unique from the other. The simplest masks belong to protagonists Ken Kaneki and Touka, with the latter being that of a rabbit (very easy to find). The best masks belong to the leaders of Aogiri. Tatara, Noro, and Eto Yoshimura have eclectic masks to go along with their outfits, making them some of the more cooler-looking ghouls to choose from. While some characters may be harder to pull off than others, they can probably all be accomplished through DIY means since most wear modern attire.

from Cosplayini.com

Bleach Characters

from MyAnimeList.net

Simply put, Bleach is one of the most beloved anime of all time. Protagonist Ichigo Kurosaki is already a popular costume choice for Halloween, only needing to don his mask for this year. But there are many other masked characters in Bleach who deserve some Halloween shine. Similar to Tokyo Ghoul, most of the masked characters in Bleach are villainous. The masks are related to hollows, evil souls who remain behind to wreak havoc on earth. However, the two main groups of masked characters are the Arrancar and the Visored. The Arrancar are hollows who have reverted back to human form by removing parts of their masks, though some still have their mouths covered. Tier Harribel is perhaps the most famous example and is a great choice for ladies. The Visored are Shinigami who betrayed the Soul Society and have adopted Hollow masks. They perhaps have the best-looking masks in the series and are prime choices for costumes, given that there are both male and female members. While there are plenty of masked characters to choose from, Ichigo remains the most popular and easiest to accomplish.

from DeviantArt

If you have any other suggestions for masked Halloween costumes, be sure to leave your suggestions in the comments!

5 Reasons to Watch Attack On Titan

The fourth and final season of Attack On Titan is nearly upon us. The hit anime series will be ending more than seven years after premiering in 2013. Having received widespread acclaim, Attack On Titan has transcended the anime genre to become of the most captivating shows on television during its era. Here are the best reasons to binge the series in time for the fourth season.

The Stakes Are Colossal

from Fandom.com

Attack On Titan is set in a society where humans live in a walled-in nation to protect themselves from giant, man-eating titans on the outside. These titans do nothing but devour humans and appear to be naturally drawn to them somehow. In the first episode, the outermost wall is breached, jeopardizing all of humanity. In every second of the series afterward, the stakes could not be higher. At any moment the scales can turn for either side, raising the intensity of every battle. With every victory and defeat for the show’s main characters, you feel the lasting impact that affects those that go unseen. It’s more than people pitted against the titans, it’s a fight for the survival of the human race.

There’s a Whole World to Explore

from Fandom.com

Attack On Titan utilizes a very unique method of world-building. Starting out in the small cities on the outer portion of the walled-in nation, the series gradually makes its way towards the central districts. There are three massive walls that form the skeletal structure of the land: Wall Maria, Wall Rose, and Wall Sina. Nestled between each wall are a large number of districts, villages, and fortresses; however, after the initial titan attack, Wall Maria’s residents were evacuated and it became a wild area for titans. There is much about their world that the characters are unaware of, and the series keeps the same information from the viewer, though sometimes providing vague hints via foreshadowing and flashbacks. This allows Attack On Titan to reveal the world and its history to both the viewer and characters simultaneously. 

It Will Scare You Silly

from DreadCentral.com

Attack On Titan is far from a children’s anime. Though they look silly at first glance, the titans are some of the most terrifying monsters in modern pop culture. They wander mindlessly like zombies seeking flesh for no nutritional purposes. They don’t digest the humans they eat, they merely regurgitate them. The horror the titans are capable of isn’t fully discernable until they have someone in their grasp. The only thing more disturbing than watching a smiling titan bring a panicked human towards its mouth are the final words that most doomed characters shout out before being eaten. On the other hand, the people in the walls are more than capable of their own heinousness. There are many human villains who often show similar sentiments towards human life as the titans. The constant unease created by the show is done to keep viewers emotionally attached rather than celebrate bloodlust. Simply put, Attack On Titan sugarcoats nothing about its grueling and gruesome world. And make no mistake, there are many scenes that haunt you long after you’ve seen them.

You Never Know What to Expect

from Fandom.com

As mentioned earlier, there is much about the world of Attack On Titan that is hidden from both the characters and the viewer. From the first episode and the attack of the Colossal Titan, the series is shrouded in mystery. While the beginning is rather straightforward, the show builds more intrigue as it progresses.  Eventually, the true nature of human and titan society are revealed, along with how they correlate to one another. Filled with inexplicable phenomena and cryptic flashbacks, Attack On Titan grows so much between seasons that Season 1 and Season 3 seem almost entirely different. Twists and turns abound and reward attentive viewers who can catch hints and clues. The more questions that arise, the more you will want to watch in search of the answers.

The Characters

from Pinterest.com

Like any great show, Attack On Titan is buoyed by its cast. The anime features a wide ensemble of characters across various roles, personalities, and backgrounds. While Eren Jaeger may be the true protagonist, nearly every character holds an equal amount of weight in the story. Whether you are a fan of stone-cold badasses like Mikasa or Captain Levi, the comic relief of Hange and Sasha, or an arc of retribution like Armin’s, there is a character for everyone’s taste. New characters are introduced every few episodes, which means there are also plenty of deaths and downfalls. Each character has a unique purpose to the story, even if their destiny is to become titan fodder. Some will make you laugh, a few will infuriate you, and others will make you cry, but that is the strength of great characters: they make you feel something.

Moriarty the Patriot Volume One Review

Greetings fellow manga fans, CuriousCat-13 (Tracy) here with a special review article. I’ll be sharing with you my thoughts on the first volume of the Moriarty the Patriot and what you can expect from the story and series as a whole. This will be a spoiler-free review, so expect some vagueness in certain parts.

The Main Plot

The story starts in the year 1866 in London, England, and follows the story of one William James Moriarty, along with his younger brother Louis James Moriarty and older brother Albert James Moriarty. Raised in an orphanage, William and Louis are discovered by their soon-to-be older brother Albert, who immediately recognizes William’s remarkable level of intelligence at his age (both could also read and write). He also takes them in to help the younger brother with his illness (a weak heart from the looks of it). While both are immensely grateful for being taken into a comfortable life, things aren’t like that behind the manor’s closed doors. Despite being taken in, the rest of the family, including the servants, never truly acknowledged the brothers as members of both the family and the high class of society. Due to an unforeseen “tragedy,” the Moriarty manor burned to the ground, leaving the three brothers being the sole survivors and Albert (being the eldest son) as the head of the family.

Fast forward about thirteen years and Moriarty (William), Louis, and Albert are adults living in their own manor (in the countryside of Durham), which includes a nice area of land surrounding it. Moriarty teaches mathematics at Durham’s University and works a side job as a private consultant. So far, this is what the manga mainly revolves around. Throughout the manga, Moriarty helps those, mainly in the poor working class, in need. These cases involve a variety of different crimes committed towards the poor that are just trying to get by. At the end of each case, Moriarty personally makes sure that the criminal receives their appropriate punishment. Just a fair warning, the “punishments” the criminals go through can be pretty brutal but are, at the same time, made to look like an accident.

The Characters

While this is only the first volume, the characters are written in a way the made me want to know more about then. They held my attention with how they interact with the other characters and their overall personality. An obvious example of this is our main character: William James Moriarty. Even though we already know him as the main villain of the Sherlock Holmes stories, it’s still enjoyable to see things from his point of view, as he tries to fix the unfair class system during the 19th-century era of London. What makes things interesting and tense, is the fact that even though Moriarty, in a way, is the leader of this “group” and movement, he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. It makes you wonder if, in this story, he’s a hero or a villain, or even an anti-hero. While he and his younger brother were raised in an orphanage, they were quick with learning the mannerisms of high-class civilians soon after their adoption. Speaking of Moriarty’s younger brother: I can’t wait for more of his character development. The writing does show that Louis does have a level of intelligence, although not as high as Moriarty’s, and that he is more than willing to help his brother should the need arise. When he’s not doing that, Louis takes care of the land and the manor, making sure that everything is in order. Again, I can’t wait for any character development with Louis. The same goes for the eldest brother: Albert. While he’s been in London serving in the British Military as a lieutenant colonel, he still looks out for his brothers. Out of everyone in the Moriarty family, Albert was the only one that saw them as equals and treated as such. With him as the third member of their “official” group, the three brothers make a terrifying bond as partners in crime.

VIZ | The Official Website for Moriarty the Patriot
Moriarty (blond with the cane) with the members of his “inner circle.”
(Photo from viz.com)

Although they were introduced in the third and final chapter of volume one, Moran and Fred are two new main(ish) characters that were quick to pique my interest. A colonel in, what I’m assuming is, the British Military, Moran is the roguish sharpshooter of the group. While there isn’t much revealed, at the time, about his backstory or how he met the Moriartys, I eagerly await the release of future volumes to learn more about him. The same goes for Fred, the gardener of the Moriarty family. Quiet and uses few facial expressions, Fred is skilled in the art of disguises. With what has been shown so far, I can’t wait to see what other disguises he can pull off. From what I can see, there are still a handful of people from Moriarty’s inner circle that have yet to be revealed. Heck, we still haven’t seen the famous Sherlock Holmes and his partner Dr. John Watson.

The Art Style

One of the first things that came to mind when I started reading, was how much some of the characters reminded me of Psycho-Pass. Sure enough, with some research, including the article that Tatiana Stec wrote, my hunch was proven correct. If you’re a fan of the art-style of the anime and manga Psycho-Pass, you’ll without a doubt enjoy the art of Moriarty the Patriot. With Ryosuke Takeuchi and Hikaru Miyoshi collaborating this murder mystery, you’re going to get a wonderful combination of beautiful landscape shots and people from various backgrounds of life. The every day, slice-of-life kind of moments are sweet (with the occasional drama), while the tense mystery scenes keep you on your toes and aren’t afraid to show the violent side of society. Even the various expressions of the characters have this way of drawing you in. Sure, there are some expressions that are drawn in a way that you see in other manga, but when things get intense, that’s when the artists really go the extra mile. A perfect example of this are some of the scenes involving Moriarty. Although Moriarty wears this almost constant serene expression, it almost terrifies me, especially when he has the suspects cornered. It’s not just his face, the eyes alone are drawn in such a powerful way that they can express a wide variety of emotions. When those moments play out, he becomes the hunter that has caught his prey and it’s terrifyingly beautiful. Whenever I good back to read those scenes again, I feel a chill run down my spine when he gives them that look. Whether it’s from looking into his eyes or taking in his whole face, I feel like I’ve been transported into the criminal’s shoes. Like I’m the one that’s been cornered and will soon be facing judgment. If an artist and story-teller are able to affect their reader and viewer to such a degree, they’re doing their job correctly.

Moriarty The Patriot' Makes A Hero Of Holme's Ruthless Rival
(Photo from forbes.com)

Conclusion

I can say without a doubt that I’m looking forward to the release of this series. It’s hard to believe that the 6th of October is just around the corner. If it has me this excited and intrigued just from reading the first volume, I can’t wait to see what the future volumes have in store for both myself and future readers. The story’s writing maintains a hold on my attention and the artwork on each page guarantees that I’ll be re-reading the series. With the anime adaptation recently announced, you can bet that I’ll be watching it. Speaking of the anime, I’ll be writing a brief article about the trailer and what I’m looking forward to, so keep an eye out for that. So tell me, are any of you looking forward to October 6th? Did anything in my review pique your interest? What are you looking forward to the most with the series? As always, feel free to write your thoughts down in the comments. Until then, this is CuriousCat-13 (Tracy): signing off.

Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 1 (1): Takeuchi, Ryosuke, Miyoshi, Hikaru,  Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan: 9781974717156: Amazon.com: Books
Photo for the thumbnail

Shadowed Flames: PTSD in RWBY Part 8

Disclaimer: These articles contain in-depth discussion on the topics of mental health/illness and topics such as abuse. 

The writer is also not a trained nor certified therapist. However, they have been writing for twenty years with a heavy focus on correct, realistic portrayals of mental health. They have studied PTSD and C-PTSD in depth and speak from personal experience. Of course, they only speak from one point of view as PTSD symptoms and experiences are unique to each and every person. This is done from a clinical viewpoint, using sourced academic literature.

More technical jargon (namely the actual list of symptoms) will be given in more everyday language when and where possible.

All right, so we can’t go into this next stretch of this series especially this article without at least acknowledging the controversy about Adam and Blake’s past. I’m admittedly on the periphery of the fandom. However, I am very aware that people claim Adam isn’t abusive, there was no grooming or somehow Blake groomed Adam, etcetera. I’ve seen a lot of the arguments, and I’ll admit I’ll be taking a stance here. I’m not trying to incite arguments and anger; I’m simply presenting my own view based upon my knowledge of psychology. 

And I will address my source for this particular article. Yes, I know that using a site that unironically uses “Radfem” is…not the best source. However, in digging, it was the most in-depth exploration of gaslighting tactics I could find. I am focusing solely on the descriptions given and not any of the “societal gaslighting” presented in the article. Basically all other articles are “Signs you’re a victim of gaslighting” or something along those lines. None of them really focused on the tactics like this.

With those additional disclaimers out of the way, let’s begin.

— 

So the first bit of evidence I’m gonna personally pull up for there being abuse between Blake and Adam is actually their ages. While we do not know Adam’s age at any point in time, he’s clearly a fair bit older than Blake. This is especially evidenced in his character short. We never really see him change in age, only his outfits change. Granted, that…is not exactly the best example as it seems like the writers/animators didn’t entirely think that short through. I mean, we see Ilia fighting with the White Fang at her V4/V5 age when she should obviously be much younger. 

And, yes, I will acknowledge that me bringing up this point weakens my own arguments for when we delve into part of that short later. A lot of us (including me) acknowledge that the writers often do not pay attention period, so I think it’s fine. Anyway, I’m digressing from my main point.

I would like to direct everyone’s attention to V1 C16, “Black and White,” while Blake is giving the spiel about the White Fang’s history. 

[Image description: A burgundy and black mottled background. The White Fang symbol of a white lion’s head surrounded by a circle on a flat blue flag is shown in the center of the frame. A black flagpole is on the right. Subtitle says, “Blake: And then, five years ago”.]
(Also yes, I had to add the subtitle because this episode doesn’t have any on the RT site)

The leadership and philosophy of the White Fang changed “five years ago” as evidenced by the quote. While we do not know exactly when Blake and Adam met, we know that it was even before five years ago. 

[Image description: Adam takes up most of the foreground in his V1-3 attire. Ghira stands in the background in his attire from the Adam short.]

The short clearly shows that Ghira is still the leader of the White Fang in the second scene of the short. That means this is at least five years ago.

Why am I harping on this particular point?

Seventeen minus five is thirteen. That means, at a minimum, Blake was thirteen when she met Adam. Again, I know we don’t know Adam’s age specifically which does make this argument somewhat wobbly. His vague age could put him minimum 3-4 years older than Blake which isn’t as bad as I’m making it out to be. But just from the way he moves, acts, and the strategies he uses, to me, implies he’s a fair bit older. However, that is bringing headcanon into this which isn’t any grounding for the arguments I’m making.

However, I want to move onto my second argument which I feel is much stronger.

It’s the scene between Blake and Adam in his short which seems to be fairly clear gaslighting. 

A quick note, I know there’s a post floating around on tumblr that does the same thing what I’m about to do with this scene. I have read it a couple times, but it’s been a long while. I’m mainly just pointing this out because there probably will be unintentional similarities. I am not plagarising, though. 

So getting into it…

[Image description: Blake to the left of the frame in her V1-3 attire minus her bow. Her head is bowed, eyes narrow, and her arms are folded. Her back is to Adam who’s approaching from the background. Subtitle says, “I told you it was an accident.”]

The first bit we see in scene takes place after Blake has called Adam out on killing humans.

And we are already getting into manipulation with the gaslighting tactics.

Adam is trivialising Blake’s worries. She’s rightly voicing her opinion that he shouldn’t be killing those that don’t really deserve it, but he’s trying to downplay it as simply “an accident.”

She continues to hold her ground despite it.

[Image description: Blake on the left of the screen in the background with Adam in the foreground, though he’s from the back. Subtitle says, “This wasn’t the first time humans have died on missions you’ve led.”]

She then questions him.

[Image description: Basically same shot as before. However, Blake’s ears are folding down, her expression is uncomfortable, and she’s folding her arms. Subtitle says, “How many more ‘accidents’ are there going to be?”]

He then brings up the fact that he doesn’t know and that people get hurt when they’re fighting. Granted, this is obviously wrong as we know, but within the logic of the scene, it makes sense.

But then—

[Image description: Single shot of Adam from the shoulders up. Red trees are in the background with pink and purple mountains above that in the distance. Subtitle says, “What do you want me to just abandon our cause like your parents?”]

Here we see countering and diversion

Countering is when one draws the victim’s attention to their memory and can use past incidents of gaslighting. It’s often done in the form of questions. We see him making Blake draw on her memory of her parents leaving and, no doubt, what she said to them. While we don’t know how that scene played out, we know she at least called them cowards. V4 V8 “A Much Needed Talk” shows us that much.

[Image description: Ghira and Blake are sitting on a couch in their V4 attire. Ghira has his arm around Blake. Subtitle says, “I called you cowards!”]

The diversion is pretty clear. He’s pulling her attention away from the topic at hand. 

This isn’t a gaslighting tactic (at least as listed in the article) but this particular question is driving Blake into a serious corner. It’s forcing her to make a decision about her parents as well as foster a black-and-white, us-versus-them mentality. She has to acknowledge either Adam or her parents are right. He’s questioning her loyalty to him and he’s stopping critical thinking. 

This multi-layered question makes her question herself and her thinking.

[Image descriptions: Two images.
First image: Shot of Blake facing Adam with her ears down but the insides still visible. Her expression is uncomfortable. Subtitle says, “I’m not saying that, I…”
Second image: Blake’s head is down much more, eyes completely obscured by her bangs. Her ears are much closer to her head too. Subtitle says, “I don’t know.”]

The next bit we see is diverting yet again.

[Image descriptions: Two images.
First image: Blake on the left in the foreground with Adam on the right. Subtitle says, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have brought them up.”
Second image: More or less the same shot. Only difference is Adam is bringing his hand to rest up on his chest. Subtitle says, “I just get scared when it feels like you don’t believe in me anymore.”]

Another point of diverting is the fact the gaslighter is making the situation all about them and that they’re the victim. 

The scene caps off with Blake apologising and Adam “accepting” it.

[Image descriptions: Two images.
First image: Adam in the foreground on the right of the scene with his back to the camera. Blake is below him, head bowed and eyes covered by her bangs due to her head being bowed. Subtitle says, “I never said that.”
Second image: Closeup of Adam and he’s smiling with teeth visible. Subtitle says, “Glad to know I’ve still got you.”]

Okay, so let’s take a very quick recap of the scene. Blake brings up the very real concern that people are literally dying while Adam’s leading missions. However, he dodges the enormity of it by saying that people die when they’re fighting. He then brings up her parents and makes her question why she’s asking in the first place. He then makes it look like he’s the victim and she apologises.

While I try to provide a fact-based view in these articles, in this case, I’ll break that and say this is clearly manipulation. Adam is making Blake question her perception of reality and why she’s criticising him. He makes her feel guilty. This is not how this sort of thing should be playing out. She shouldn’t be feeling guilty over the fact he is allowing people to die on his missions.

This is so clearly gaslighting. 

And then we have the end of Volume 6 with him attempting to use some of these tactics against her even if they ultimately fail. They happen numerous times so I’m not going to hit every example.

He uses countering to try to make her question why she left and how she treated him.

[Image description: Adam in his V4+ attire with a blindfold. He’s getting up from the snowy ground. Subtitle says, “Just forget it all? Is that what you did with me? You just threw all our memories away!”]

He trivialises her very valid desire to be safe from him.

[Image description: Shot of mostly Adam’s face with a blindfold, though he can be seen holding Blame’s wrist on the left side of the screen. Her head with her ear can just barely be seen in the lower right-hand corner. Subtitle says, “I wouldn’t have to be doing this if you’d just behave!”]

He tries to divert the issue of her fighting for her life due to play the victim card when we finally see his face.

[Image description: Shot of Blake on the ground with her ears drooped over slightly. Subtitle says, “People hurt me long before we met.”]

There is so, so much more I could do to break down even just the V6 fight scene, but I think I’ve made my point. I know many, many people will disagree with this take on things, but this is what I’m basing the rest of this article series on. 

Sources:

Anonymy. (2018, April 7). SYSTEMIC SOCIETAL GASLIGHTING Part 1. A Radfem Types. https://aradfemtypes.wordpress.com/2018/04/07/systemic-societal-gaslighting-part-1/

Kang the Conqueror is Coming for the MCU

Last Monday it was reported that Jonathan Majors will join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man 3. Majors broke out in 2019’s The Last Black Man In San Francisco and currently stars in HBO’s Lovecraft Country. He will now bring his talents to a villain whose big-screen debut has long been awaited by fans. In fact, Kang’s entrance to the MCU could have major (no pun intended) implications for the next phase of films. 

Jonathan Majors | Profile & Filmography | Fried Plantains
from Google Images

Who is Kang?

from Pinterest

Kang the Conqueror has no superpowers but is a scientific genius from the 31st century. A historian obsessed with mankind’s past, Kang discovers time-traveling technology and uses it to leave his influence throughout human history. He does so by utilizing his access to advanced, futuristic technology to conquer ancient civilizations. In his first comic book appearance in Fantastic Four #19, he became Pharoah Rama-Tut of Egypt before being defeated by Marvel’s First Family as they were lost in time. He then became a consistent rogue for the Avengers, including founding member Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man. 

Fantastic Four (1961) #19
from Marvel.com

It had been speculated that if Kang came to the MCU it would be against Pym and the Avengers. He will instead face off against the Scott Lang Ant-Man and hopefully (pun intended this time) the Wasp, played by Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lily, respectively. Kang fits in well with the direction the tiny superhero duo were heading after Ant-Man and the Wasp and Avengers: Endgame, where time travel was found to be achievable via the Quantum Realm. Perhaps Scott and Hope will embark on another “time-heist” and run into different iterations of Kang throughout history. Regardless of how it plays out, Kang definitely presents them with their most formidable foe yet. 

To the Future…

Kang’s presence in the MCU could be linked to even more unrevealed elements coming to future films. For example, Kang’s real name is Nathaniel Richards, and he is believed to be a descendant of Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. The time-traveling technology he discovers was also created by Dr. Doom, archvillain of the Fantastic Four and an immense threat to the entire Marvel universe. Therefore, Kang being in the MCU suggests that the Fantastic Four and Dr. Doom exist in some capacity as well. Furthermore, when Kang becomes Pharoah of Egypt he plans on mentoring En Sabah Nur, the world’s first mutant who goes on to become Apocalypse. Kevin Feige has already stated the FF and X-Men are “coming home” to the MCU, so Kang’s announcement for Ant-Man 3 could be the first of many signs for their arrival. 

Doctor Doom (2019) #6
from Marvel.com

The revelation that Kang the Conqueror is coming to the MCU is bright news for comic book fans in 2020. I personally have anticipated Kang appearing in a Marvel feature film since the original Fantastic Four movies. Aside from a classic character finally earning his big moment, Kang most likely signifies greater things to come for the MCU. There is also a chance that Kang himself proves to have enough depth to warrant multiple movie appearances. Many believe he will have a role similar to Loki during the Infinity Saga: not the Big Bad that Thanos was (that’s presumably reserved for Galactus or Dr. Doom), but still a persistent antagonizer for Earth’s mightiest heroes.

Kirby 100: Kang, the Conqueror | Marvel
from Marvel.com

Jonathan Majors is yet another strong addition to the star-studded ensemble of the MCU. He will look to continue the streak of intense, villainous performances seen in recent films. Ant-Man 3 currently has no release date but is expected to begin production in early 2021.

A Look Back On Sakura: The Chunin Exams

Every anime and manga series has a variety of characters that fans love and hate. Each of them go through different levels of character development. Unfortunately, there are also a handful of characters that receive an unnecessary amount of hate. It gets to the point where other fans expect you to hate the character, without giving a valid or even justifiable reason why. One of these unfortunate characters is Sakura Haruno from Naruto.

I still remember when I discovered the series in its original manga form. It was at least a year after a friend showed me the first two or so episodes of the anime. At the time, I loved each character that I met and it was great meeting some fellow fans that went to the same school. Unfortunately, there were comments made that conditioned my opinions on Sakura. It became worse over time as I came across media that supported these negative comments. “Sakura is completely useless!! She literally does nothing to contribute to the series!! Why is she still in the series? They should just kill her off.” Soon, I began to agree with them and hate Sakura, despite the clear as day moments where her character developed. Thankfully, over time, I was able to cleanse my mind of those thoughts and re-examine everything with a clean slate. This is where this article comes into play, it is my analysis on Sakura’s character developement throughout the Chunin Exams.

The Written Exam

While there wasn’t much-involving character development, I did notice some instances where her attitude towards Naruto improves. For those that aren’t familiar with the series, Sakura generally gives Naruto the cold shoulder and can be aggressive towards him, all because she finds him annoying. However, just for a moment, when things look bleak with the chance of the team failing the exam, Sakura mentally shows compassion. Sure, there were a few moments where she mentally puts him down for not being academically smart, but this one moment did something. In any other situation, she would let him have it for making the team fail at any type of mission. Instead, she mentally tells him that it’s okay to give up, that they can always try again next year. Sakura showed that she was prepared to go down with him and no one would blame him. Heck, when Naruto straight up said that he wasn’t going to quit (which somehow led to them passing on to the next test), she cheered him on with praises. This is one of the rare moments where the viewers/readers are shown that Sakura doesn’t entirely hate Naruto and does feel a shred of respect for him. An interesting, yet unsurprising fact that I discovered, was that she’s smart enough to tackle some of the most difficult questions without cheating. And the whole point of the written exam was to cheat or gather information about the questions from the others…without getting caught.

8 reasons why Sakura is a total badass | Anime Amino
Sakura filling out the questions on the written exam.
Photo from aminoapps.com

The Forest of Death

If the written exam part of the Chunin Exams showed her levels of academic intelligence, the Forest of Death showed her ability to survive when the odds were against her. Sure, if Sasuke wasn’t so keen with catching on to everyone disguised as Naruto, things would’ve gotten significantly worse. However, this also taught her to not be too trusting of others. As time passed on in the forest, there came a point where Sakura had to take a stand to protect both Naruto and Sasuke. The team came face-to-face with an unexpected enemy, who would later play a big role in the series, that was too much for all of them. Even after an epic fight between this villain (later revealed to be former Hidden Leaf Village ninja Orochimaru) and Sasuke, Sasuke was over powered and given the Cursed Mark. Despite feeling helpless and terrified (in an incredibly real way), Sakura stood her ground and did everything in her power to make sure that nothing happened to the boys until they woke up. What became the next test of her abilities, was when a team of three ninjas from the Hidden Sound Village ambushed them in order to fight Sasuke. Obviously, Sasuke was in no condition to do anything, let alone fight. Fortunately, Sakura was able to set up some clever and well-constructed traps, and even when those traps didn’t work, this girl stood her ground. Sure, she was terrified and didn’t know what to do next, but she stood her ground.

Sakura Blossoms! | Narutopedia | Fandom
Sakura “let’s go” of her hair.
Photo from naruto.fandom.com

When Rock Lee appeared to defend her, she could’ve taken this moment as an opportunity to grab her teammates and run (or even run to save her own skin), but she stayed. Even after the Sound ninjas’ took Lee down and she was once again next, Sakura fought with everything she had. What never ceases to amaze me was how she, with zero hesitation, cut her hair with a kunai knife while it was being used to make her submit to the enemies. Sakura’s hair was one of the things about herself that she took great pride in growing and keeping healthy for years. It gave off a vibe where she was willing to let go of something that she believed would raise her chances of being with her crush. Sure, Sakura doesn’t give up her crush on Sasuke, but it definitely showed that some sacrifices have to be made, and her hair was one of them. After that, she fought at least two of the three sound ninjas BY HERSELF and took every punch they (and kunai knife) threw at her like a champ. It got to the point where she was fully prepared to give her life away to protect Naruto and Sasuke, which isn’t something you see every day. Here’s the thing that made this whole scene so powerful: Sakura is fully aware that she isn’t as powerful as Naruto and Sasuke, but she was prepared to face what she did and she did it while staring death in the face. After she and some fellow Leaf Villiage ninjas get pummeled, Sasuke wakes up and goes on a cursed mark rampage. While everyone else is standing on the sidelines watching him destroy one of the Sound ninja, Sakura, with no hesitation, runs over and holds him back. This simple, but courageous action was what snapped Sasuke out of it. Honestly, this is one of the bravest things I’ve seen her do at her age, even I wouldn’t have had the courage to do what she did. And at the end of it all, she thanks Rock Lee, someone she found a bit annoying at first, for going all out to protect her and her team. In all honesty, The Forest of Death section of the Chunin Exams is where a huge chunk of Sakura’s character development blossoms.

May be an unpopular opinion, but part 1 Sakura during the chunin exams who  had almost zero fighting experience or abilities fought better than current  Sasuke versus Urashiki (so far at least) -
Sakura fighting back against the Sound ninja.
Photo from reddit.com

The Preliminaries

While Sakura spends most of the time watching from the sidelines in this part, she still shows a good amount of growth during her fight with childhood friend and rival: Ino. The fight between these two shows not only more of Sakura’s fighting skills, but also allows us to see her becoming more independent. Back when they were kids, Sakura would always rely on Ino to protect her from bullies and to be her main source of self-esteem. By fighting to beat her, Sakura wants to show Ino that she’s not the same little girl. And in a way, she does. Sure, the fight ended in a tie, but Sakura didn’t hold back her punches. Even when Ino hit her with her signature Mind Transfer Jutsu, Sakura, through her powerful inner strength, pushed Ino out. When the two are brought to the sidelines (after their fight ends), Ino acknowledges Sakura’s strength by telling her that she has bloomed into a flower. This is a statement that I whole-heartedly agree, Sakura has bloomed into a beautiful flower, but one that also has plenty of thorns. After this nice exchange of words, Sakura and Ino make it clear that they’re still rivals (when it comes to winning Sasuke’s heart), but now they have more respect for each other. Even when they make small talk about their fight, Sakura doesn’t rub it into Ino’s face how she beat her jutsu or even the number of punches she hit her with. While we haven’t seen too many fight scenes involving Sakura (before the Chunin Exams), this scene shows that she is capable of being a good winner and accepting of her losses (even if she’s disappointed with losing).

Top 10 Inner Sakura Moments From Naruto | CBR
Sakura’s inner self rejecting Ino’s Mind-Transfer Jutsu
Photo from cbr.com

Conclusion

All-in-all, Sakura’s character development, whether you think it did anything for her or not, was still quite something to see. The Chunin Exam arc offered a number of moments for her to grow and develop into the character she is now. Not only the Chunin Exams, there are a good number moments later in the series where she strives to be a better ninja and gain more useful abilities. Even if you still don’t like her after these moments, that’s perfectly fine. As long as you give valid reasons for not liking Sakura’s character, you can hate her as much as you want to. All I ask, is that you let any new fans to Naruto asses her character through their own eyes. If you don’t and push your own opinions about her, then they’re going to expect themselves to hate her without giving her a chance. All I have to say is: sometimes there’s more to a character than being “useless and annoying.” If you only use those characteristics, there’s a good chance that you’ll miss out on some important moments. Sometimes the character will acknowledge that they’re useless and use that to improve themselves. So the next time you first think about how a character is annoying or useless, think about Sakura and her greatest moments of character development. Now that I’ve shared my thoughts on Sakura and her character development, I want to know your thoughts. Feel free that share your thoughts in the comments below. The only other thing I ask of you is to respect everyone’s opinion, even if you disagree with their reasons. Until then, this is CuriousCat-13: signing off.

Sakura Haruno • Naruto • Absolute Anime
Picture to be used as the thumbnail photo.

Shadowed Flames: PTSD in RWBY Part 7

Disclaimer: These articles contain in-depth discussion on the topics of mental health/illness and topics such as abuse. 

The writer is also not a trained nor certified therapist. However, they have been writing for twenty years with a heavy focus on correct, realistic portrayals of mental health. They have studied PTSD and C-PTSD in depth and speak from personal experience. Of course, they only speak from one point of view as PTSD symptoms and experiences are unique to each and every person. This is done from a clinical viewpoint, using sourced academic literature.

More technical jargon (namely the actual list of symptoms) will be given in more everyday language when and where possible.

All right, we’re out of Set D and into Set E now. Thankfully, these ones are much more straightforward than most of the other sets. Plus, I’m also drawing on examples I’ve already used, so I don’t feel the need to go into too much depth. That’s at least with the first two.

E. Marked change in awareness and reactivity associated with the trauma, beginning or worsening after the trauma occurred as evidenced by two more more of the following:

    1. Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation) typically ex­pressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects.

2. Reckless or self-destructive behavior.

3. Hypervigilance.

4. Exaggerated startle response.

5. Problems with concentration.

6. Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep).

The main ones I can point to are E1, E4, and E6.

I’m gonna breeze through E6 as I’ve already covered it fairly exhaustively in Part 2. She has the nightmare revolving around Adam. That qualifies as “sleep disturbance.” 

[Image source]
[Image description: Yang has a nightmare about the events of the Fall, centering around Adam. Adam is on the left, looming over Yang on the right who has a terrified expression on her face]

E4 is fairly similar, going over it in Parts 2 and 3. She has an extremely exaggerated startle response when she drops the glass in “Of Runaways and Stowaways.”

[Image source]
[Image description: Yang in the kitchen, leaning up against the counter. She’s off center to the left and in a small perspective. She has a panicked look and is gripping the counter. A shattered glass sits on the floor slightly off center and more in the foreground.]

E1 is where I will get into greater detail to examine a couple of scenes. 

The first one is, again, the one I keep drawing on where she throws the book. That’s an irritable, angry outburst. I won’t harp on those panels any further so let’s just look at the next couple.

[Image descriptions: Two panels from the DC comics.
Panel 1: Taiyang dodging a book. He’s off to the left of the panel while the book flies through the air in the bottom right hand corner. His speech balloon says, “That bad, huh? What happened—did the dog die?”
Panel 2: Yang sits on her bed in brown pants with an orange shirt off to left. Her expression is extremely grim and angry. Taiyang is in the bottom right of the panel with only his hair in shadow. Both have speech balloons that just read with an ellipsis.]

There isn’t a whole lot more to explain here since it’s clearly just leaving her pretty angry. 

I do, however, want to breakdown the scene from “Alone Together” a bit more.

Honestly, this scene’s a bit hard to watch the more I do as I’m writing this.

It starts off pleasant enough with Yang, Weiss, and Ruby chatting over coffee. They’re all relaxed and just having fun being together with each other after thinking they might never see each other again. It’s calm and tranquil until Ruby says the nail in the coffin.

[Image description: Weiss sits on the left side of the screen, Ruby sits on the right. Both are holding white mugs of coffee. Subtitle says, “I just wish Blake could be here with us.”]

The mood just suddenly grows tense in the scene and what makes it hard for me to watch is this next bit in particular.

You can just see Yang’s walls go up in an instant with how she responds. 

[Imag description: Back shot of Yang, Ruby, and Weiss (left to right). Subtitle says, “[Yang] Yeah, well, she made her choice.”]

Honestly, it just hit me as I was writing this article this is it’s actually a good example of how many different symptoms can intersect at once.

Going back to Part 3, we have Criteria B4:

B. Presence of one (or more) of intrusive thought patterns related to the trauma starting after the event:

4. Intense or prolonged mental distress at anything that resembles part of the traumatic event

From Part 4, we have Criteria C2:

C. Avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma after the event occurred (one needed):

2. Attempting to or avoiding external reminders (people, places, conversations, objects, situations, etc) that create distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings closely associated with the trauma

This might seem like it’s stretching, but honestly, it’s not to me. This is something I can personally experience fairly regularly especially when talking with my therapist. When we start to touch on my trauma, I get defensive. I get irritated in nearly an instant. I don’t want to talk about it. I just want to ignore it and leave it alone. By getting angry and irritable, I can maybe change the topic. My brain is just telling me to ignore the trauma. So I’m avoiding external reminder (Criteria C2) which is causing some pretty intense feelings of emotional distress (Criteria B1) by getting angry and irritable (Criteria E1).

However, Weiss and Ruby don’t quite understand that as they keep pressing Yang.

Granted…I don’t blame or really fault them for doing so.

They’re worried about her. She was so close to Blake but she’s telling them she just doesn’t want to talk about it. They probably also have the sense Yang’s not really being truthful which the talk with Weiss reveals.

However, it does end the scene with her going full red eyes— 

[Image description: Close shot of Yang’s face, her eyes glowing red.]

—though Ruby pointing it out leaves her pretty upset.

[Image description: A less up close shot of Yang, she’s slightly off center to the right. Her eyes are still red but her expression is clearly upset.]

And then…her hand shakes. 

[Image description: Up-close shot of Yang’s body that focuses on her left hand holding the white mug of coffee. Image is still, but in the episode, it shakes.]

We can go back to Part 3 and Criteria B4 and B5 to see this.

B. Presence of one (or more) of intrusive thought patterns related to the trauma starting after the event:

4. Intense or prolonged mental distress at anything that resembles part of the traumatic event

5. Noticeable physiological reactions to something resembling part of the trauma

I think this scene can have multiple interpretations that could all be right. We don’t exactly know what’s going on in her head, so we can only speculate. One immediately jumps to mind that falls in line with my PTSD reading of this scene.

My gut reaction is that she’s thinking about how she so strongly activated her Semblance during the fight with Adam and flew off the handle. She flew off the handle here and it freaked her out.

Tied in is probably one of the main reasons: she just doesn’t want to flip out on Weiss and Ruby. They just got back together and, here she is, part of her Semblance activating. 

She might also be recognising they just want to help her and are concerned.

After that, she gets up and walks away.

[Image description: Weiss on the left of the frame, Ruby in the center. Both are sitting down, holding cups of coffee. Yang on the right, storming off into the house, back to the screen]

Here, I think it’s a few things. 

First is just her not wanting to get any angrier at them. They don’t deserve it especially since they were just concerned.

Second is that it’s likely also C2 for avoidance again. 

And that’s what I wanted to analyse about that particular scene. It…was a lot more than I expected. I honestly write these articles relatively on the fly, knowing only what criteria I’m gonna hit with general examples. As I dig in, I find more and more like I did here. It’s usually not a big deal. But this actually had me in tears because of how hard it hit me. It was way too close to home.

This is normally the point I’d wrap up, but there are three more criteria to hit on. Don’t worry; they aren’t that long. 

Criteria F just states that Sets B through E have occurred for more than one month. I think we can check that off. 

Criteria G says that the symptoms seriously affect how a person lives socially, in their job, and other areas of functioning. We can see a good example above of that. We can also extrapolate that it effects her on seeing her at the beginning of V4. She’s not herself. She’s not really interacting with Taiyang like she probably should be.

Criteria H just exists to rule out it being connected with the effects of a substance like alcohol or medication or another medical condition. I…think we can safely rule those out.

So that’s a wrap…for Yang’s part. Join me next time as we dive into the real controversial bit of this: Blake.

Manga Review – Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution

If you’re a 90’s baby like me, chances are that you grew up on Pokemon. Between the video games, the anime, and the trading card game, Pokemon was all the rage during the turn of the millennia. For fans since the very first generation, one of their earliest and most impactful memories with the franchise is watching Pokemon The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back.

from IMDB.com

By now every pocket monster fan knows the story of Mewtwo, a human-engineered Pokemon who seeks to find his true purpose by plotting vengeance against mankind. It is probably the Pokemon anime’s deepest and most emotional story and arguably still holds up as the best movie in its catalog. Its legacy is so strong that on Pokemon Day 2020 (February 27), a CGI remake was released worldwide on Netflix entitled Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution.

Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back - Evolution (2019) - Photo Gallery - IMDb
from IMDB.com

While critical reception for the remake received mixed reviews, it is now accompanied by a manga adaptation written and illustrated by Machito Gomi. The release of the manga is significant because it marks the first time that a literary adaptation of the movie will be made available for purchase to the public. The original release of the 1999 movie also featured an accompanying manga written by Toshihiro Ono, but it was only published in a single issue of CoroCoro Comic and never in a collected volume.

Mewtwo Strikes Back! (manga) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven ...
the cover to the original manga published in CoroCoro (from Bulbapedia)

For fans who have been waiting over twenty years for the manga adaptation of Mewtwo’s plight, their prayers have at last been answered. Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution remains faithful to the classic story with gorgeous artwork that harks back to the original movie’s animation.

Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back - Evolution manga adaptation releases ...
from NintendoWire.com

For those familiar with the story, there is not much to be surprised by the manga’s narrative. Nearly every scene from the movie is replicated in a monochromatic fashion. While this may seem repetitive, it actually channels a lot of nostalgia, especially if you haven’t watched the movie in some time. Gomi’s artwork provides a unique charm to the classic Pokemon featured and his depictions of battles spring off the page. The duel between Ash’s Charizard and its clone, along with Mew and Mewtwo’s great clash are two of the most exceptional scenes I’ve seen in any Pokemon media.

from Pokemon.com

The detail in Gomi’s illustrations infuses personality within each Pokemon, being especially noticeable with Mewtwo himself. He writes and draws Mewtwo so that he displays much more emotion in regards to his mission, making him a much deeper and more engaging character. I felt that, in contrast to the original movie where Ash and Pikachu were still the real stars, the manga actually treats Mewtwo as the main character of the story.

Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution is a solid outing in Pokemon’s manga library, and is long overdue for fans of the 1999 movie. Machito Gomi chooses to limit changes to the story as much as possible and instead focuses on igniting readers’ nostalgia while providing Mewtwo with much-needed character development. As if the world’s strongest Pokemon wasn’t captivating enough, Gomi adds an almost-human element to his character that makes him relatable to readers.

image

While Ash, Misty, Brock, and Pikachu hold down their traditional roles, Mewtwo finally receives his just due and appropriately outshines them. I recommend this manga to any Pokemon fans wishing to relive their childhood or any new fans who have yet to experience the greatest story in all of the franchise’s lore.