With Bakugo, “My Hero Academia” shows your fave is problematic

“Todoroki vs Bakugo,” My Hero Academia, Episode 25
Adapting Issues 42, 43, and 44 of the manga, available from Viz
Anime available at CrunchyRoll and Funimation

Well, that was an ending–and, in terms of doing more with Bakugo and the animation, it’s somehow more disappointing than the manga’s version.

Granted, “Todoroki vs Bakugo” improved upon some details from the source material, including the already effective reunion of Todoroki and his mother, and clarified Midnight’s powers, something not as clear in the comic panels and gutters (despite the clue in her name). Comics are thus a double-edge sword. Composed of panels, they are a series of frozen moments, so they cannot communicate movement as easily as animation without having more page space to extend that action into multiple panels. However, the benefit to comics is that they tend to allow audiences to sit and meditate for the longest time on moments frozen in time, like All Might’s heartfelt outreach to Tokoyami and Todoroki, or the humor behind Bakugo’s fury. Meanwhile, when I saw Bakugo shaking in his chains, I wasn’t amused–I was horrified, because whereas characters like Todoroki, Izuku, and Ochaco have reached tenuous resolution to their plots, Bakugo and Iida have not–and Bakugo lacks the kind of sympathetic background to his story. The flashbacks in the cold opening improve upon the manga so as to clarify why we should sympathize with Bakugo–and it’s still difficult.


“My Hero Academia” puts the spotlight on side characters with original content in newest episode

“Battle On, Challengers!” My Hero Academia Episode 21

The storyboards for the previous two episodes of My Hero Academia have departed widely from the original manga’s panels. Some departures have been successful, such as the different framing on Todoroki’s hand against Izuku’s face, and some have been disappointing, such as the loss of the image of Izuku standing over the defeated Shinso. Overall, these departures have helped prepared viewers for this episode, which is probably the first one in My Hero Academia to have original content–ignoring the OVA (itself written by series creator Kohei Horikoshi).

This episode was necessary. With such a large cast, and such a lengthy battle arc, the pace can slow down, look at characters other than the main five (although one duel focuses on Iida), and function more as a series of animated shorts, tied together with Ochaco’s internal struggle and Izuku’s analysis.

This is the first episode this season that is an adaptation of only one chapter of the manga–which makes sense: with so many duels taking place, the episode would waste the opportunity to take more time putting these battles in action. The manga benefits from wrapping up the battles in just a few panels–not too long to bore readers with endless issues of one-on-one battles, and because each panel can contain within it so much information, while animation depends on tracking the movements. Studio BONES does not skimp on the animation in this episode: there are few frozen images to just hint at what took place–we actually see the battles occurring. Most impressive, however, is how this episode lends some character development to Ochacho and Mina, as well as setting up Momo’s future stories, however disappointed I am with how Momo has been handled.


Fandom Report for May 18 2017: Why aren’t you watching “Bungo”?

Anime, Manga, and Sentai

Lupin comes to Toonami.

Yuri on Ice comes to cinemas.

The Code Geass trailer arrives.

Dragon Ball gets McDonald’s toys.

Detective Conan beat Guardians of the Galaxy.

Shout Factory has an online Sentai marathon.

More images of the Tokyo Ghoul play are out. And then more.

Bungo Stray Dogs and JoJo get mobile games.

Legends of the Galactic Heroes get a new cast.

Mamoru Hosoda goes back to time travel with a new film.

Death Note producer talks whitewashing in Netflix adaptation.

CrunchyRoll and Kotaku look at declining Shonen Jump sales…which someone already covered.

Marvel Comics

Deadpool gets animated.

Marvel still doesn’t get diversity: they’re ending Black Panther.

DC on TV (Spoilers)


Fandom Report for April 20, 2017: “Where in the world…?”

Anime, Manga, and Japanese Art

Anime Expo’s academic panels are accepting abstracts until May 19.

Another Yu-Gi-Oh series premieres May 10.

Anime and manga retailer Animate creates an international store.

TV Japan will carry the newest Kamen Rider series in the United States.

The live-action Ghost in the Shell is still a thing–so here’s Adam Savage talking about Weta’s design work.

My Hero Academia is now a puzzle game.

Shameless plug: I reviewed the newest My Hero Academia episode, and it is the best one yet. Check out the review for comparisons of manga panels to anime screencaps, as well as a GIF tossed in.



Send your questions for “The Pop Culture Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe” here! (#NeMLA17 #S411)

Today at 8:30 AM Eastern, we’re talking Edgar Allan Poe’s continued influence on popular culture.

Watch the slideshow here (where you can submit questions as well) or on Twitter hashtags #NeMLA17 #S411.

#GeekGuide: Comics, Video Game, and Fan Culture Panels at #NeMLA17

Each year, the Northeast Modern Language Association’s (NeMLA) annual convention features presentations on comics and graphic novels, already long accepted as media worthy of critical analysis. And this year’s convention at the Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore, Maryland, March 23 to 26, also features sessions on related topics in anime, manga, video games, and fan culture.

And I would know–I’ve been proofreading this program repeatedly as part of my job at NeMLA.

I’ve compiled as many comics, video game, and fan culture presentations that I could find in the online schedule. I encourage you, if you are attending the convention, to check out these sessions and share your thoughts on social media. And check out the program online for more sessions!


DC on TV for the Week of February 6, 2017

“The Martian Chronicles.” Supergirl. Season 2, Episode 11. Directed by David McWhirter. Written by Gabriel Llanas and Anna Musky-Goldwyn.

“Untouchable.” The Flash. Season 3, Episode 12. Directed by Rob Hardy. Written by Brooke Roberts and Judalina Neira.

“Turncoat.” Legends of Tomorrow. Season 2, Episode 11. Directed by Alice Troughton. Written by Grainne Godfree and Matthew Maala.

It’s been a week since these episodes aired: let’s talk about them before Supergirl comes on.


Write to the Electoral College now: http://asktheelectors.org/

Today is the day that the Electoral College determines whether they will vote for the woman who won the majority of United States votes, or install an unqualified fascistic bigoted buffoon.

I have written to electors, and I urge you to do likewise, as well as call or meet in person, ethically and peaceful.

And if you did not vote for Clinton, you have doubly the responsibility. Your choice not to vote for her risks installing a man who has promised to hurt people on the basis of their identity. I have expressed repeatedly my disappointment with specific individuals I know who did not vote for Clinton–and I will never stop condemning those persons for their awful actions. It is their responsibility, if they are ethical, peaceful, and responsible persons, to fix the problem they have created.


I’m moderating “Know About Poe” this Friday at NYU

Here’s something to prepare me before I talk “The Pop Culture Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe” at NeMLA in Baltimore this March.

I will be moderating “Know About Poe,” an informative discussion as part of New York University’s bi-annual event hosted at their School of Law’s Edgar Allan Poe Room this Friday at 6 PM.

Poe’s Manhattan residence was previously located where the School of Law now stands. NYU hosts these events to spark discussions about the author’s works, with events including performances, lectures, Q&As, and other dynamic entertaining and informative activities. I previously presented at NYU’s Showcase at the Poe Room in 2012, and I am honored by this opportunity to moderate a discussion that will appeal to scholars and Poe enthusiasts alike.

Thanks to Lois Rakoff, Arlene Peralta, and Nichole Izzo for organizing these events, where New Yorkers get to come together to join the conversation about the many aspects of Poe–his criticism, his philosophy, his poems, his politics, his horror.

Audience members can expect to learn more about the author’s life and works, as well as how we continue to discuss him in scholarship and posthumous adaptation. We’ll be looking at Poe in relation to pop culture, gender, mystery, visual art, and more! Whether you are a newbie to his literature or a seasoned expert, you’ll get something worthwhile from this session. Audience members also get to submit questions with their RSVP, and I’ll look at ones received on Twitter.

“Know About Poe” will take place on Friday, December 2, 2016 at 6 PM, at New York University’s School of Law (245 Sullivan Street, Furman Hall, Room 216, between West 3rd and Washington Square South). This event is free and open to the public.

Visit this link to RSVP or for more information.