The Alain vs Leon fight should have gone very differently

It goes without saying that this will have spoilers for the currently ongoing World Coronation Series in the Pokemon anime. If you haven’t gotten caught up yet then you’ll want to skip this one. I’m going to be talking in depth about the biggest tragedy since Ash vs Alain back in the Kalos league where Ash should have absolutely taken the win but in losing it made this fight impossible to buy into.

It’s time for a quick discussion on why Alain should have defeated Leon. Right now for context the Pokemon anime is currently in the middle of the World Coronation saga. Easily the most epic tournament since the Johto league. It consists of the top 8 trainers in the entire planet. That’s right, Ash has now made it to truly elite company as it should be. I always thought he had more potential than constantly losing in every league. (Sure, he beat some kids in Aloha but nobody counts that) Well, now is his chance to win it all. It’s been a pretty hype adventure all around but nothing’s going to top this part of the arc.

That said, as soon as the brackets came out, I think we all had a sneaking suspicion on what was going to happen to Alain. I can’t say that I’m crazy about the matchups at all since it takes away a lot of potential. The first round battles were Alain vs Leon, Ash vs Steven, Iris vs Cynthia, and Lance vs Diantha. It’s fair to say that you already suspect who will win in most of these battles but that’s fine since usually you can piece it together really quickly based on the narrative. That’s why everyone was dismayed at Alain having to go up against Leon. Leon is the #1 ranked fighter and so it is extremely likely that he will be fighting Ash in the finals. (Ash better make it there this time!)

So Leon is no slouch in combat and I definitely want to underscore that before getting into this. He is #1 for a reason and at least within his region he is seen as unstoppable. If I were to rank the Top 8 fighters in terms of power, he would be pretty high.

1. Prime Ash
2. Kalos Ash
3. Alain
4. Current Ash
5. Johto Ash
6. Leon
7. Cynthia
8. Sinnoh Ash
9. Hoenn Ash
10. Lance
11. Kanto Ash
12. Iris
13. Steven
14th Diantha
15th “I only need Pikachu!” Ash

So Leon is the 3rd strongest fighter in this current competition and I dare say he should give the other two a spectacular fight. This guy really knows how to rumble and he has a lot of experience. I would still go to Alain winning this one. Not only has he taken down numerous mega level Pokemon in the past but he’s always shown an excellent level of tactical awareness. Just look at his fight with Ash back in Kalos. Now, it is impressive that he happens to now have been in 2 of the most controversial Pokemon battles of all time on both the winning and losing end. It shows that Alain is always in the mix and everyone is invested in the guy.

That’s why it just doesn’t make sense for him to have been done so dirty here. To recap the fight, Alain immediately called his Charizard back to his Pokeball when Leon took out his. What? Does Alain really think his would lose in a battle of skill? Alain’s Charizard is canonically the strongest in the verse, just look at his feats in all of the previous battles. His Charizard is absolutely insane and even has thunder type abilities. He would not be losing this battle so just trust in your starter.

Instead Alain brings out some jellyfish that immediately gets one shotted as if this is One Punch Man and just wasted a turn. Reminded me of Goodra choking in the Kalos finals for Ash. If Ash somehow loses to Leon I’ll definitely be watching closely to see which Pokemon to blame this time.

All right, so Alain is effectively fighting 3 vs 2. Now the next issue comes down to earlier in the fight. Both of them use their grass type Pokemon and I was actually completely cool with this one. It was a really nice fight with a lot of back and forth. Nothing to really dislike here and both trainers showed their expertise and why they are ready to fight at this level. It was a great fight and while Alain was on the losing end, that’s cool. If the whole fight was like this I probably wouldn’t have had much complaints…..but if we look at this a little deeper than Alain should have won the first fight as well.

What you have to realize is that Leon’s Pokemon used his gigantomax…and did absolutely nothing with it. He was too large and too slow so Alain’s guy was running rings around him. How did this suddenly get flipped when it wore off? Unless you’re telling me that Gigantomax actually just makes you weaker then I’ve got some big questions here. So yeah I was cool with it because it was a good back and forth fight but this is definitely one that Alain should have won as well.

Still the biggest issue is with the Charizard battle. So long story short, Leon wins without his Charizard even having to use his gigantomax. His base form beats Alain’s mega mode with a single good shot. There are numerous things to point out here about how that’s crazy. You’re really telling me that Leon’s base Charizard is that powerful when Ash already pushed him to have to Gigantomax in their fight? The power scaling is shot to pieces at this point and it just doesn’t add up. I’m all for giving Ash hype because he’s great but the gap in power cannot be that huge. There’s just no way.

Alain’s Charizard is shown to be significantly weaker in this fight with almost no durability at all. He’s a glass cannon that shatters after being hit. That doesn’t track though, not at all. Alain’s Charizard is still very experienced and has been through his share of fights. I can accept him losing in a hard fought battle to Leon’s Charizard as both were at around full strength but not after he mega evolves. Leon should only be able to possibly win if he does the Gigantomax but not in base mode.

Also, in the games you can only Gigantomax once per battle. I don’t know if the anime follows the same rules but if it does that explains why they had Leon win in base. Because if that were the case then he couldn’t transform and by all accounts Alain should have absolutely clobbered him here. You can’t underestimate how incredible the stat boosts are by mega evolving. It makes you a whole new beast in combat and it’s still my favorite mechanic for that reason. Forget Gigantomax and Z moves, Mega evolution is still the most powerful form of combat.

On a narrative level I’m also surprised we didn’t get to see a mega vs gigantomax fight here. It would have made a lot of sense and a big part of the hype in the tournament is seeing all of these different gameplay mechanics and strategies going up against each other. It felt like the fight was just way too rushed and should have absolutely been given a grander feel. Again, I do think Alain is stronger than Leon and should have won their fight but I at least could have accepted his loss a little easier if it was a really hard fought battle. Leon also absolutely had to transform his Charizard because otherwise I can’t buy a mega losing to a non mega. Additionally Leon didn’t even need to use his third Pokemon which was like extra disrespect being thrown in.

I suspect that Alain was dumpstered here as an apology of sorts for having him beat Ash in Kalos. There was a lot of deserved backlash for doing that but in trying to correct this they went too far in the other way. Like it or not, he beat Ash that time so he doesn’t just lose that strength overnight. In theory he should be even stronger now than he was then and should have had a fight to show that. It was a rough start for the tournament but of course I’m still hyped to see how the rest of the battles go out. With Alain out of the picture I’m riding with Ash all the way. In terms of how I would like the matches to go, ignoring who will likely win each set, I’d like Ash, Cynthia, and Lance to advance as well. Then we’ll see how the second round goes. Who knows, maybe they can throw Tobias in as the secret champion to go up against.

Maybe Alain will get another fight someday but this feels like it’s probably it for him. It’s hard to picture the anime doing another world championship ever again as this is usually more of a one time deal. If they do a second year like Beyblade to defend the title or something that’d be awesome though. This time I’d like to see more of the big shots appearing though like Gary, Paul, Ritchie, and the whole gang. Instead of an 8 man bracket, make it a traditional 32 character tournament. It makes for a lot more interesting theories and analysis on how the tournament will go down since there are so many more variables.

Check out this cool fan edit in the twitter link below which has a much better structure on how the fight should have gone. Again, if Alain was going to lose then it should have been after pulling out all of the stops like this. The Charizard vs Charizard fight was what everyone came to see after all.

So, what do you think? Was Alain losing to Leon acceptable? How about the way he lost? Mega losing to base and Leon not even needing a third Pokemon? You know my thoughts on this and I’ll be ready with more Pokemon editorials as needed although I don’t think there is any that would warrant a big post on this unless Ash somehow loses…..he better not!

Why Saber is the most overrated Fate character

Man this editorial has been a long time coming. I’ve had it planned ever since I saw Ufotable’s Unlimited Blade Works adaption although I’d say the first inspiration was from Studio Deen’s fusion adaption of Fate plus the other routes. I had some issues getting the gifs set up and finally solved that issue yesterday. Now you may be thinking how can Saber be the most overrated character? Shouldn’t that be Gilgamesh? Well, I admit that a case can be made for Gilgamesh being overhyped as well. Particularly since the creator of the series said Gilgamesh is powerful enough to end the whole Grail War in a night if he felt so inclined, yet he gets served up every time the tournament starts. So I can see why that feeling would be there but he’s not going around losing to just anyone and that’s the big difference here. Let’s take a deep analysis of how Saber performs here and see if I can convince you that she is the most overrated character in Fate.

Now some quick rules of engagement here. For starters when I say overrated I’m talking about in universe not out of it. I think it might be similar both ways but I don’t keep up with the Fate fandom the same way I keep up with most others. The Reddit would be too dangerous with spoilers and such at this point. Additionally I am really focusing on the Unlimited Blade Works route as that is often considered to be the most iconic path of the series and is considered first when talking about Fate. Additionally, I haven’t seen Heaven’s Feel yet anyway. Now I will present my case.

Disclaimer: It goes without saying but this editorial will contain spoilers for Fate Stay Night, I will also be referencing Fate/Zero, and Fate Go to a small extent. If you have not watched these things or read the novel/web games, you’ll want to side step this editorial and check those out first. Thank you for stopping by though!

Of course, to show why she is overrated I must first establish how the show and characters hype her up from the start. You can’t pick apart a character if you don’t know how strong they were supposed to be at the start right? So Saber is the incarnation of King Arthur, a legend so great that I don’t need to explain here. To be more exact, a “Saber” is a class of servant summoned in the Holy Grail War. It is considered the most powerful class by a decent margin. No matter what series you watch, the characters are always talking about how they would want a Saber since that can end the war real quick. I’m just more used to calling Artoria, “Saber” since she is the most iconic servant in that class. So Saber is summoned in the strongest class and she is already supposed to be one of the more impressive legends.

Now Fate has a ton of legends like Hercules, Medusa, Da Vinci, so I’m not saying King Arthur is the best but at the very least she is always treated as a top tier servant. Your legend plays a strong part in how powerful you are and the skills at your disposal. Saber has her famous Excalibur equipped and she even has her shield which regenerates her injuries and can even bring you back from the brink of death. Her Noble Phantasm is a powerful shockwave/energy blast which can rip the sky asunder. Her sword is also invisible by default which makes blocking it a lot more difficult.

So now we’ve gotten Saber’s skills into the mix here. Her legend is also solidified but now let’s talk about the hype that the characters give her. Rin throws a whole fit when she isn’t able to summon Saber because she knows that the balance of power has just shifted. Kiritsugu, the man with 100 plans took extra care to summon her because he knew this was the greatest path to winning the Grail War and the group he was with made sure to make this happen. Keep in mind that he desperately wants to win to achieve his ambitions and is generally considered to be one of the best strategists in the series and he admits that she is the strongest. It is established early on that Saber is quite crucial to at least having a great advantage in this whole tournament.

Yet….that hype dies down almost immediately. Now Fate is a series that is huge in part because of how it treats most of its legends with such respect. People have fun seeing their culture’s champions actually getting to fight against the others and looking good. Aside from legends who are based on evil people like Jack The Ripper, each character usually gets to show off their ideals and fight rather well. So you’re never expecting a full stomp or anything like that but based on the hype of King Arthur and her strongest class, we are expecting that she should best all of these guys, especially if it’s a pure one on one fight right?

Well, her first fight upon being summoned is to fight Lancer and it’s fair to say right off the bat that she was on the losing side here. His ability to reverse cause and effect may not have destroyed her due to her passive ability to negate magical effects but he did land a hit and was still at full power and could have launched his Noble Phantasm again. Could she have blocked this with hers? It didn’t seem as if she would have the time but even if their blows canceled out, her lack of mana reserves would have come back to haunt her. She definitely loses this fight and this is when she is a freshly summoned servant against a guy who just finished battling with another powerful servant. So at full power she could not beat a weakened servant? That’s not great and this happens almost immediately in the series so I was surprised she did not do better.

Next we are introduced to Hercules and this really did not help Saber’s case. He is introduced as someone with enough mana to destroy the rest of the servants even if they teamed up. Now that’s way too much hype and I don’t think anyone believed that for a second but it is still clear that he could beat Saber one on one and this is basically stated. In fact he does this with relative ease when you consider the fact that he won even when she was teaming up with Archer. So now that’s two fights where she did not look very good and we’re still in the opening segments of the war.

Saber does defeat Rider rather easily when they fight one on one so I’ll give her that. Rider may not be the most powerful fighter out here but a win is a win so that’s still something to feel good about. Her next tough match was when she had to go up against Caster and her master Kuzuki. Now even I don’t buy this moment so I’ll cut her a bit of slack here but she actually gets crushed by a human. Kuzuki is able to block Saber’s attack and then goes into a combo that completely takes her out.

Sure, he is amped up but that should not be nearly enough to compensate for the power of a servant. There’s just absolutely no way he should be able to beat Saber here and certainly not to do so with this much ease. That was just a bit much but I have to include it because this was Saber’s lowest moment. The fight should have gone the way the Kuzuki vs Archer battle went to be honest. Kuzuki was weakened at that point but it should have been that one sided.

I don’t have any qualms with Caster holding her own against Saber because magic is tough to fight against. I suspect Saber would win in a prolonged battle as well. Maybe she should have won easier but I can let that slide since the fight was interrupted and Shirou/hostages were getting in the way the whole time. With no distractions she could have won this and losses with hostages in the mix don’t count.

Assassin’s fight against Saber is definitely a critical one for my case here. He is the servant of another servant and isn’t even a real mythical hero. He is made up from a story and has some of the worst stats for a servant in the fate verse. He is skilled yes, but not so much so that he should be defeating Saber, the most powerful class of servant right? Well, he wins this fight with relative ease. Part of the issue is that Saber holds back for far too long but that’s a risk you take when underestimating the enemy so it doesn’t take away from his victory in the slightest.

He just won with pure swordplay and perhaps the most impressive part here is that he had no super special abilities. Yes his ability to swing his sword apparently breaks the laws of reality and causes some kind of portal effect but it’s still him just swinging his swords really hard. He got underestimated and Saber paid the price. So that’s another loss to a servant right there which was not a good look for her.

We then get to the final battle where she goes up against Archer…and is getting absolutely dominated. So now is when I should address the common counter point which is that Saber only looks so weak because Shirou doesn’t have a lot of magical circuits so he is always limiting the flow of mana to Saber. A servant cannot fight for very long without a master after all and so you need a good one. There are two reasons this doesn’t hold up though. The first is that her opening battle against Lancer where she could not claim victory happened while she was at full power and was just summoned so mama would not be a concern yet.

Then we’ve got the big nail in the coffin. It turns out that Archer didn’t have a master for a little while and yet he was able to fight well. He broke his pacts with Rin and Caster yet he was still able to overpower Saber initially and he was able to fight on par with Shirou. That’s lowballing him though, he was clearly winning and he still had enough mana to use his reality marble noble phantasm. So the lack of mana excuse from Saber doesn’t work so well since Archer had to fight without being given any mana and was still doing good. Saber only ends up taking the edge when she makes a new pact and gets her energy refilled to 100%. Before that moment both combatants had not been at full power but Archer had been in that state for a longer period of time so you felt like that should have been an easy win for Saber.

There’s also her fight against Gilgamesh where she was being overwhelmed in the first show but that one we don’t need to worry about since he would beat just about anyone. It only hurts from a hype perspective since Saber was introduced as the strongest class and yet she was quickly overtaken by Hercules and Gilgamesh who were both said to be more powerful as soon as they appeared. Saber’s hype just ended up vanishing as a result. Let’s just recap her track record here.

She lost to Kuzuki, Archer, Gilgamesh, Assassin, and Hercules. She was losing to Lancer and the only one she flat out defeated was Rider who always seems like the weakest servant by far in Fate Stay Night. (A far cry from the hero in Fate/Zero who seemed to be one of the most powerful servants) This track record is not good for the servant who was hyped to be the most powerful one initially and this is why I choose her as the most overrated character in universe. She just did not end up clinching out the win when it counted and that’s a bad look for her. I expected so much more out of Saber from a power perspective and I don’t think that’s unreasonable given her stature. At least in Stay Night she did not live up to the hype.

I won’t really jump into the spin-offs much for this editorial but she tends to fare a bit better there. In Grand Order she seemed to have a good setup going but it’s hard to say how much was her strength and how much was Archer helping her out. In Fate/Zero she tends to do better as she fought well against Berserker and held her own with Lancer. Would she have lost the fight with Lancer? Perhaps but it’s hard to say since their fights kept getting interrupted but either way the showing was on point.

So that wraps up my case for why Saber is the most overrated character in Fate. I’d say the fights just speak for themselves and mainly this happens because the series hyped her up so much. If it did not and treated the Saber class as just any other then there wouldn’t be a problem. It would actually go for the underdog kind of feel then and I dare say that this would have worked out very smoothly. After all in the series it is safe to say that Saber is still equal to the others at best or slightly weaker at worst but either way there isn’t much of a gap there. So it doesn’t make sense why they give her so much hype. I do like Saber as a character but whenever someone mentions her as being one of the most powerful servants then it’s time to look at the fights and see if you agree.

Yuchiro’s friends are some of the worst I’ve ever seen in a Shonen Jump title

Now in this quick write-up I’m referring to the series known as Seraph of the End. These guys are straight up embarrassing and awful. Obvious spoilers for the series and the latest chapter 114 so proceed at your own peril. This editorial is in direct response to the latest chapter that came out as of the time of this article. I initially wrote this for Reddit’s Character Rants section since that chapter left me spinning but I figured I already wrote it so why not post it here as well right? Again I do have to stress that this will have spoilers up through the latest chapter 114. For that reason I’m not including any images from the last chapter or anywhere close since those are harder to miss but I figure if it’s by text then you can’t get spoiled accidentally as you can skip this.

Now for those who didn’t read the series, it’s a convoluted story about demons, humans, and vampires fighting for control of the planet while the angels just want to nuke them into oblivion for tampering with things beyond their pale.

The main character Yuichiro is an exorcist who has lived his life to destroy vampires after they murdered his family. He’s willing to do anything to save them including joining the human group who actually did wipe out all of humanity a long time ago by making a wish. (Not quite Shenron but pretty much the same effect) He didn’t know the cost would actually destroy people. Yuichiro then meets a vampire named Mikaela who was one of his old friends who actually survived the mass murder.

The two of them are super close and after Mikaela died Yuichiro was able to reunite with him but now the guy is a demon. Okay fast forward to the current chapter. Yuchiro just found out that there is a way to bring back all of humanity. It’s a ritual that requires 7 keys (Don’t worry about those) and it will end up murdering all vampires in the world. The catch is it will randomly make one person an immortal. Nobody wants to be an immortal but it’s not a bad deal.

Then the other shoe drops, the only way to bring Mikaela back to life is to do the same ritual. Obviously since it will use up the 7 keys and destroy all of the vampires, a choice has to be made. Save his best friend or all of humanity. Now Yuichiro and Mikaela are extremely close so this is a tough one. I recommend checking out this great image gallery u/AssociationSilver997 made which shows a lot of their really close moments.

Yuichiro is someone who has had to live with a whole lot of tragedy and grief. It’s natural that he can’t just say he will doom his best friend like that, however in an instant his friends all start to doubt him. Yuichiro has to quickly go into battle mode and then when Guren gives the order to attack, these “friends” decide to immediately arm up as well. Seriously? They’re going to just follow orders like muppets because Guren said so? Guren has been lying and manipulating the cast for the whole series, why believe a word he says?

Surely they can at least talk this through or something. At least give Yuichiro some time to explain. Remember how Guren was just beating up on the heroes a few chapters ago? There is no reason to believe that he is suddenly going to be the ultimate hero here. Personally I don’t doubt that he told them the correct cost but he should give Yuichiro some time to think about it. The main character deserves that much since he has saved them all so many times in the past.

So yeah these are the worst main character allies I’ve seen in a very long time, maybe all of time. Certainly I can’t think of a worst group in Jump. Bleach had some iffy moments for Chad and Orihime in Xcution but you could chalk it up to mind control. Usopp definitely had a rough moment in One Piece but never went quite this far. (Still not a big fan) Naruto’s been betrayed by the leaf countless times but at least most of those were fillers or movies. Still, they would be the second worst but at least they had better reasons for being traitors. (Still can’t stand the Leaf though which started pushing me to Team Sasuke)

I guess what I’m saying here is that we’re over 100 chapters deep into the series. You would think that the friends would be able to give Yuichiro the benefit of the doubt considering how many times he has saved their lives over and over again. Also lets be real, he could slaughter all of them aside from Guren in an instant if he so desired so what are they really trying to accomplish here? Unless the next chapter has some kind of big fakeout, I think it’s going to be too late for any of these guys to be likable characters.

Shinoa will be on her own. (Notice how she’s the only one to not draw her blade? At least there is one loyal friend here!) If it comes down to it I see her taking Yuichiro’s side, at least I’m really hoping that’s the case. Wanted to quickly make it clear that she did not fall down the rabbit hole like the others yet at least and I’m confident that she won’t. She’s always been a rather solid character and one of the standouts of the series so I predict she will stay strong there.

I’ve had my serious issues with Yuichiro in the past so I don’t want to say that he’s suddenly an amazing character but he has been a whole lot better in the last few chapters/the current arc. If you threw away all of the baggage then he could be a top tier but of course we can’t do that. He’s still one of the weaker protagonists on a character level but I like that he has improved. It’s why this is the worst time for the friends to turn their backs on him. We’ll see if that changes in the next chapter. It would be amazing if this was all a fake-out. It would literally save their characters but if they do go through with this then I really think there is no going back. They’ll be down for the count with me.

And to repeat one last time, my issue is their getting ready to attack immediately on Guren’s orders. Just as Yuichiro wants to save his friend, these guys have their own family and friends they want to help out. 100% I can get why they will be on the other faction to save the planet and follow their dreams. Just as Yuichiro makes his move, I respect them to make theirs. They just should at least have the decency to wait a few minutes and talk things out instead of rushing to the offensive like this. They absolutely know they can trust Yuichiro as someone who won’t just murder them but there’s absolutely no reason to believe that Guren holds that kind of loyalty. In fact, there’s only evidence to the contrary from their point of view.

So yeah this was a pretty short write-up since it was just a Reddit post initially. I’ll give the series this though, it’s definitely got me a lot more engaged lately than I ever was before. I’m actually really eager to see what happens next time. Hopefully it can keep that up and of course I’ll always be on the side trying to save one person vs the whole world. I can’t go along with just sacrificing someone like that, it’s never gonna be my option there.

Clayman made the dumbest villain move of all time

Now is the title a bit hyperbolic? Perhaps, after all:

This guy exists. Who’d have thought that turning your city’s protector against you would be a bad idea, especially when she was the strongest in the land. But we aren’t talking about Rung right now, this is all about Clayman. This is what I would call an “emergency editorial” as after watching the “That Time I was Reincarnated as a Slime” episode leading up to the Walpurgis meeting, a certain scene happened which took me for a loop. It’s just such a crazy moment that makes Clayman look so bad, especially since he is supposed to be one of the smarter villains. It’s really a tutorial on how to speed run your own demise. Note that this editorial will contain spoilers up through Walpurgis and will reference events from season 1 although not in great detail. If you haven’t watched That Time I was Reincarnated as a Slime up through this point in season 2 then you will want to bypass this editorial.

So before I even play the clip let’s set the stage here. You’re Clayman at the moment. You spent all of season 1 causing disasters for a powerful tribe leader known as Rimuru because you have contempt for the guy and also as a distraction to buy you more time to become a true demon lord. See, the only way to become a demon lord is to murder a bunch of people and absorb their souls. For Rimuru it took murdering 100,000 people and claiming their souls to become a true demon lord.

It’s not easy to get that many people though, especially as there is a truce among all of the demon lords at the moment. You’ve been breaking this truce but doing so subtly in a way where nobody can prove it even if they suspect. Finally you have gathered around 30k-50k people at the ready to be murdered. Additionally you were able to mind control one of the true demon lords and are even blackmailing another one. It’s finally time for Walpurgis, the meeting among all demon lords. You’ve been getting your pieces ready for years at this point.

Now as you’re walking in it is important to remember that you are the weakest guy at the table. You’re barely even any kind of demon lord while the rest or at least most of these guys are “True” Demon Lords. There are 3 ranks to this: Demon Lords, which are quite powerful of course and still above most beings. I am not positive if Clayman is a demon lord or a pseudo demon lord as they keep mentioning he hasn’t achieved a true status yet but I think he has the normal status so he is higher than pseudo.

Then you have the True Demon Lords like Leon, Rimuru, and any other fighter who has completed the genocidal conditions. They have abilities that are leagues above any normal demon lord. Finally, you have the Elder True Demon Lords. While technically there is no extra rank, these are the 3 demon lords who have been around the longest and are at least implied to be far stronger than the rest. Milim is one of these three along with the red haired dragon demon at the front of the table and one other. So now you have the stage set for what is to come. It’s in your best interests not to make enemies of these guys right now while you are vulnerable . I should also mention that your attempt to claim the 50k souls was foiled by a bunch of mages and super powered orcs so you really don’t have an easy fallback option right now. You really just need to lie low and survive this meeting or throw in a lot of subtle burns and insults to pit the demon lords against each other. Okay with the stage set, here is what I consider the dumbest villain move of 2021 and you can probably take it much further than that with ease.

So what exactly happened here? Well, Milim is the demon lord who is being mind controlled which is why she didn’t react to the strike at all. However, everyone clearly noticed this and now know that something is wrong with her. Previously some were under the impression that they may have struck a truce or she was just teaming up as a whim. Not it isn’t easy to deduce that something isn’t quite right here and as quite a few of them get along with Milim, this instantly puts Clayman at a bad position.

Even if you ignore the fact that quite a few of the demon lords like Milim because they find her amusing, there is also a great sense of pride among many powerful fighters. To see the equivalent of a “commoner” striking one of their elites is sure to stir up some bad blood with the rest. As the demon lords may be immortal they also value any entertainment they can get so that’s another reason not to attack Milim. There isn’t a single good reason to immediately make an enemy out of everyone like that.

Now these are demon lords so you won’t expect a friendship moment where they talk this over. If any of them gets sufficiently upset they could just wipe him off the planet like nobody’s business. Keep in mind that some of these guys could potentially take him out in a single blow. He has Milim to protect him but Clayman is surrounded by demon lords so the odds of her stopping several attacks is slim. Additionally, now that they know something is wrong with her, the necklace will be an easy target.

I haven’t seen the next episode yet as I rushed this editorial out as soon as I finished this one but whether he gets away with it or not, it was a really bad move. There’s just no good reason to antagonize these guys when you could be turned into paste in a moment. This guy just can’t see the long game and ruins it all with spur of the moment decisions. Rimuru was already making moves against the guy but it was really a proxy war at the time. Now you have Rimuru promising to murder the guy. All it takes is one true demon lord trying to murder you and that’s it.

Now, Clayman may not have known that Milim and Rimuru were “besties for resties” as they put it, not very many people knew about that. But, he still knew the risks of the others seeing what was going on and turning on him. Now he has infuriated one of the most dangerous guys at the table. Rimuru may not literally be the strongest demon lord in the room but the fact that it is even debatable makes things really bad for Clayman. Rimuru also has the largest army of powerful monsters at his beck and call. If he summons the Tempest Alliance to wage war against Clayman, there is no escape. While Rimuru could solo him 1 on 1, it also means that Rimuru could destroy his castle, reputation, and every trace of him on the planet.

There’s another wrinkle to this as well. Milim has a self defense function which activates if she takes damage or is attacked. Fortunately for Clayman he is so weak that it didn’t activate but he was already warned about this earlier. If he had triggered her defense function it was already made clear that she would destroy him instantly. That’s just another risk to take on top of all the others. Just like that all of his careful planning over the years will have come to naught. It’s also worth mentioning that aside from being one of the weakest demon lords in the room, he is even weaker than one of the attendants who it seems is a demon lord in disguise.

In the end Clayman is extremely lucky that he wasn’t obliterated on the spot. Who knows, maybe he will have some kind of master plan that will make this worth it but much like Athena’s plan in Saint Seiya, I can’t imagine it being anything other than some super convoluted endeavor that ultimately isn’t worth the effort and would have backfired under any circumstances. Clayman really made himself be one of the weaker antagonists in the series with this move. Imagine throwing away every possible advantage you may have had in this situation just to show off a bit. His days may have been numbered anyway but he really went out of his way to guarantee his demise. This is a fairly quick editorial but it was such a shocking moment that I had to write about it.

Is Noelle The Greatest Main Heroine of all time?

All right, Noelle’s been making a lot of waves in the anime/manga community for a while now. I would say this really began to ramp up in the current Spade arc with her multiple battles against Vanica, but even as early as the Undersea Temple arc people started to really see her in a new light. I’ve had this editorial in the backburner for a while but it was buried under a bunch of others. (I’ve got around 20 ideas just hanging out in drafts) When I saw that Noelle won the top spot in the latest Black Clover popularity poll, I knew it was time to push this up and explain exactly why she is such a character. I’ll also answer the question of if she is the greatest main heroine of all time. Naturally this editorial will have spoilers for Black Clover so unless you are caught up through her most recent fight from around 2 months ago then you will want to skip it for now. This was written before the last 10+ chapters though so those won’t be covered here.

So first lets define the terms here. So who counts in the main heroine category? Well, typically there is only be one main heroine in a series so you have to choose carefully who reps the series. For example, characters like Rukia, Yamato, and Hinata may be very well liked but none of those 3 are really the main heroines of their series in my eyes. They would be Orihime, Nami, and Sakura respectively. Rukia would have the strongest case for being a dual main heroine in which case she is a big upgrade from Orihime but won’t affect the outcome here. There are a lot of big characters in any long running series but then you’re going too far into the weeds if you pick out someone who isn’t prominently the main character of importance. Just like how a series can have two rivals although its rare, you can also have two heroines though. Off the top of my head the only action title I can think of with really clear cut dual heroines would be A Certain Magical Index with Index and Misaka. (If you count non-action then there are a bunch) It gets very debatable on who the main heroine is. Misaka has much more story importance while Index has more screen time. If it is really debatable like that were people have discussions online then it’s fair game to count both, but you don’t want to be counting everyone just because they have a decent role as well.

After all there are a lot of categories to rank characters with. Best lead, Best main guy, Best rival, Best healer, etc. So for example, I would have to give it a lot of thought if Slur may be ahead of Noelle. It’s certainly possible since that character is fantastic and would still be around if not for the unfortunate fate of having to face off against Bass Exe 1 on 1. Her character was short lived but I liked her a lot. Still, she would not count in this ranking as that spot would belong to Roll on the Navi side or Maylu from the human side and Noelle stomps both of those.

Now, a big character you may be thinking about here is Medaka Kurokami. Sure enough, she is a character I would put above Noelle. That said, she’s the main character of her adventure which isn’t applicable for the main heroine title. If we were talking about who the greatest main character is then that would be a different story but of course Noelle wouldn’t count in that case. We could ask who the greatest female character of all time is in which case they would both count but that isn’t the prompt here. The best main heroine of all time is the mirror of the best main guy of all time so that would be characters like Tuxedo Mask, The Blue Knight, Syaoran from Cardcaptors, Ray from Neverland, etc. You could use the term “Best hero of all time” but that term is used often for main characters, so I would typically avoid it.

That’s why it’s good to spell out the definitions at least how I understand them to be for the editorial itself. This way you can see how I get to the conclusion of if Noelle is the greatest main heroine of all time. Next, before actually going into if she has earned the title or not, lets quickly talk about what makes her such a great character. Why exactly does Noelle stand out as being a particularly strong character? There have been thousands of main heroines out there after all so clearly she is doing something right.

Keeping up with the other leads in strength

This is a pretty big one. Put it this way, is there any heroine you can think of who actually caught up to and debatably surpassed the rival? Even for the people who say Yuno is currently stronger (And it’s fair to say since we haven’t see much of what Yuno can do post time skip. Perhaps he can match Noelle and I suspect we will learn if this is the case within the next few chapters.) the fact that it is even a debate is impressive. For most series there is not a single point where the heroine ever surpassed the rival or even got close. At no point did you think Sakura was a threat to Sasuke or that perhaps Lenalee surpassed Kanda. Lenalee’s a good example though because I would say she kept up with the main two for a longer period than most characters. She just ended up getting sidelined for pretty much the whole second half of the manga so far but hopefully she will go back to fighting later on.

Take a look at that clip from the opening I put above. See how Noelle is treated with the same level of screen time and power as Asta and Yuno’s battles? The 3 Devil Triad members are introduced, then we see the 3 fighters battling it out equally. Noelle isn’t fighting a weaker member or losing here, she’s having a battle with highly personal stakes and a lot of intensity just like the other two. The fact that one of the Triad turned out to be her family’s sworn enemy that ties into her origin story is great. That’s the kind of thing you’d see for the main character and rival in a lot of things. Noelle really has her own story here.

Noelle’s water creation magic has really come a long way from how it was when she first started. She can control her abilities really well now and has the offensive might to back the spells up. She is even compared to her mother who was a top tier fighter in the Clover kingdom. It’s impressive and a testament to the many months of practice she put in. Strength isn’t everything but the fact that we see her putting in the kind of effort you would usually only see the lead and other characters get is great.
Keeping up with the others in story

What I mean by this is that Noelle actually has a main character development arc. In fact, you could make a strong case for her having more of a full character arc than Yuno and maybe even Asta. Yuno is relatively unchanged from the start of the series. He’s gotten stronger but his only real change in development is from learning how to be more of a team player within the Golden Dawn and that doesn’t actually get almost any screen time.

For Asta, well he’s the main character so naturally he gets a whole lot of focus. He has to be content with himself not knowing magic, enduring the feeling of powerlessness when he got cursed, etc. Nobody’s got more screen time and plot emphasis than Asta but Noelle still has him beat in development. She had to deal with a family that were all completely antagonistic to her and constantly mocking her efforts. Only Mimosa doesn’t appear downright evil but it also doesn’t seem like she was ever there for Noelle. Noelle didn’t get true friends until she was with the Black Bulls and even then it took a while to actually trust them. Part of what helped get her close to Asta is that he was one of the first to really support her. One of my favorite scenes showing their friendship is when Asta spoke up on her behalf when the magic knights were mocking her. Asta didn’t waste a second to go to her defense.

This ultimately resulted in her big moment in the Undersea Temple arc where she was able to land her first big attack in the series. Not only was it enough to break through Vetto’s defenses but it was a decisive moment in the climax that started to turn the tides for the heroes. It was really impressive and a powerful way to solidify her transition into being one of the team powerhouses. It was a long and careful character arc that didn’t happen overnight. It would still be some time before she would awaken her abilities even further but she kept growing with the rest of the cast.

Tsundere with an end point

Black Clover’s not really a title with a whole lot of romance and that’s a good thing since the series is already filled with so many action scenes to go through. There isn’t a whole lot of time to stay back and relax but another aspect of Noelle’s character that helps her break out is that she isn’t trapped in the eternal cycle of not knowing if she really likes Asta or not and constantly smacking him. Certainly she still does go into full tsundere mode a lot but she has finally come to terms with her feelings in a way that you don’t often see. It’s a complete confirmation to herself that leaves no room for doubt and she didn’t wait until Asta came to this realization. It’s all her at this point and it’s another data point showing that her character is not one that will stay stagnant at all. She is constantly changing and developing.

Okay, so now that we’ve establishes why Noelle has really risen in popularity and why she is a great character, lets dive into the actual question here.

Is Noelle is the greatest Shonen Jump main heroine of all time?

Yes After a lot of thought and consideration this one is an absolute yes. There are no Shonen Jump main heroines in the history of the magazine that can take her down here. I consider her to be much cooler and more interesting than Sakura, Orihime, Nami, Urvaity, Nezuko, Kohaku, Anna, Ran, Tokiko, etc. Shonen Jump has certainly had a lot of fantastic main heroines over the years but none have been quite as consistently amazing as Noelle. Even the best of those fighters weren’t actually on the front lines against the big villains in a serious context this late in the game. It’s really at the point where Noelle is becoming like a second rival for Asta.

The closest would be Tokiko in terms of how close to the final boss was but the series wasn’t very long running so that’s more of a by default kind of thing. Orihime, Nami, and Uravity were outmatched before the first arc was over and never caught up. Anna and Ran aren’t primarily main fighters even if they can offer support. Sakura and Kohaku made reasonable gains but ultimately you wouldn’t put them very high up in a typical ranking. This isn’t something that’s purely about power but it certainly doesn’t hurt when looking at what a main heroine can do. I haven’t read every Jump title but I’ve certainly read most of the big ones by this point and am familiar with most of the main heroines. To dethrone Noelle we’d probably need a new ongoing title. Nobara is off to a great start for example so lets see how that goes.

Now we’re lets go for the extra credit assignment.

Is Noelle The Greatest Main Heroine of all time?

As you can imagine, this multiplies the potential characters hundreds of times over. There are numerous options to choose from and this gets to be a much more difficult challenge. Even just making sure you think of everyone is difficult although you can make the case that if you don’t remember someone in time then maybe they didn’t leave as much of an impact. There are also some quick characters I’ll think of like Alice from Sword Art Online as an instant win but I have to remind myself that she is not the actual main heroine.

Ultimately Noelle will lose this battle.

That’s because Misaka exists. No, not Mikasa from Attack on Titan, but Misaka Mikoto from Railgun. Yes, she has her own series where she is the main character so she doesn’t count as a Railgun character but she does count as the main heroine from the Index title which is where her eligibility comes from. I like Noelle quite a bit but she’s not touching Misaka. Misaka cemented herself as one of the all time greats when she broke into a facility and essentially took down the entire villain group known as ITEM by herself. To date I consider that to be the single best episode in the whole Index multi franchise. It’s not a one off kind of scene either, she consistently has a lot of great moments throughout the series. Another such moment is in the clip below where she effortlessly took down one of the enemy mechs and really put the fear into her opponent. There’s a reason why nobody messes with the Level 5 Espers in Academy City and Misaka is a big part of that.

Since I was mainly here to answer the question of if Noelle was the greatest of all time, I won’t go any further than that. Whether she is 2nd or 10th, it doesn’t matter since she’s not first. Can she really defeat Asuna? Does Noelle get defeated by Ciel? Would Kuroyukihime just be too great to lose? I’ll leave that to the imagination or for another ranking list in the future. So to recap, Noelle is indeed the greatest Shonen Jump main heroine of all time and lives up to her rep. I’m not able to take that one step further to call her the greatest main heroine of all time though. That is a title that will ultimately serve as a roadblock for now but who knows. If she continues to take opponents down and make a name for herself then she can only go up from here.

Yamato will be Luffy’s strongest Strawhat if she joins

The saga of One Piece to Clover to One Piece editorials is now at an end with this one at least on the One Piece side. Get ready for one more Black Clover piece and after that I don’t know which editorials will come up next but I’ll think of something. At least once I get the reviews a bit lower. So Yamato is a brand new One Piece character. I suppose the term should be used loosely since she’s probably been in the story for about a year or two at this point but she has only just had her first serious fight where she was on the losing side. Yamato has been stomping everyone with the exception of Luffy prior to this.

So is the title clickbait? No, I’d say Yamato has firmly placed herself as being more powerful than Zoro and Sanji. I don’t doubt that they will catch her by the end of the series but right now she is considerably more powerful and the strongest Strawhat next to Luffy. She isn’t quite as powerful as he is but that man’s the future pirate king so it makes sense. It goes without saying that this editorial will feature content from the current saga in Wano so proceed with caution. I won’t be spoiling specific battle outcomes or anything like that, just attack damage so I don’t consider this one to be a big spoiler like my other editorials but it’s still a fair warning in case you want to enter Wano completely unawares.

So right now I see many say that Yamato is still weaker than Sanji and Zoro as well as this being necessary since the “Monster Trio” as they are referred to has been a concept since the beginning of One Piece. Among the Strawhats , Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji have always been the strongest and in that order. It’s never been the case that this order could be shattered. One thing fans point to in order to show that Oda conscientiously keeps this balance is how Jinbei was introduced to the crew early on but decided not to join for another arc or two. 

This way by the time he had joined, there was enough time for Sanji to surpass him. (I would argue Zoro was already ahead) So in this way the Monster Trio was untouched when Jinbei joined. He came in as the 4th strongest fighter and will sink to 5th if Yamato joins. The reason why this is important is because if Yamato joins it will certainly be at the end of the arc which is seemingly already in the climax. There isn’t time for Sanji and Zoro to surpass her or at the very least it is incredibly unlikely given how well she has performed thus far. While her joining then crew isn’t a certainty, there are a lot of things pointing to it like upcoming promotional images showing her as a Strawhat, toys where she is with the crew, her appearing in the big 1000 anniversary special as a featured character with the other Strawhats, etc. 

Now, maybe Carrot will be the one to join…..but probably not. So if we all assume that Yamato has been joining, then a lot of people are saying that she absolutely has to be weaker. I disagree both on the count of her being weaker but also that it would be bad to destroy the monster trio. The trio was in existence for 100+ volumes. That’s an incredible run and I don’t think that it is bad they were surpassed. Surely it had to happen at some point so why not now right? I don’t think the trio is something I’ve even thought about as a concept almost at all while reading the series to be honest.

Now usually I am in the camp where I’d say that Yamato joined the series way too late. I’d be saying how she would ruin the dynamic and all but this time I’m not on that side. Why? Because she’s a much better character than most of the Strawhats. I’ve never liked Brook after all. I find Franky to be a little boring and while Jinbei isn’t bad, I feel like there isn’t much to him. Chopper isn’t really my style and Sanji would be really great if not for how he is always flirting and getting wrecked by every villainess he fights. Yamato is automatically the best Strawhat aside from Luffy and Zoro. The rest just don’t compete so instead of ruining the dynamic she may end up enhancing it. Her whole Oden gimmick should be interesting with how the other characters bounce off of it although in don’t see that surviving past this arc anyway so it may not matter.

Now let me get into why I believe Yamato is stronger than Sanji and Zoro. Sanji is a lot easier so let’s go with him. In Wano he got to fight Page One, seemingly one of the weakest fighters on the island. Sanji did really well and styled on him so points there. Then he fought a girl and you know how those fights go since Sanji refuses to fight back. Sanji didn’t even get invited to the famous Roof Piece event to fight with Kaido and has been stuck on the sidelines fighting the lower ranked King and Queen, not doing so well until Zoro showed up. Sanji hasn’t shown me anything to suggest that he would last more than a moment against Kaido before being promptly steamrolled.

Then you have Zoro. While he is more powerful than Sanji which makes it tougher to surpass him in that sense, he has fought against Kaido which makes for a great direct comparison. Skipping through the details to the end, Zoro was able to land one really good slash on Kaido and almost landed another blow but it missed. Zoro has the raw strength needed to injure Kaido which is extremely impressive. If he has some allies around to buy time and distract Kaido then he really has a decent shot at pulling out the win here at any time. The issue is that one on one he isn’t going to be seeing those openings.

Zoro won’t have time to charge up some kind of super attack, he will need to get in there up close in order to secure the victory. So we don’t see anything that says he could fight Kaido one on one. It’s just not happening. Now let’s talk about Yamato. Keep in mind that she was chained up for years prior to the start of this arc and so she has seemingly never gotten to fight with her devil fruit before. She has to learn as she goes and will keep getting stronger. We are not talking about potential here but raw ability so let’s shift gears for a minute. Yamato took down one of Kaido’s top warriors with a single blow but you could make the case that as a sneak attack it didn’t count. Yamato was stalemating Luffy when he was trying to defeat her and she was not fighting back. 

Well, Luffy may have been tired and he was definitely not going out right? That’s fair so then let’s just jump to the Kaido stuff because that’s the only thing that will give us the clear answer here. Well, Yamato was stalemating 1 on 1 a Hybrid mode Kaido. So this is something to really keep in mind here. Those Zoro feats? We were talking regular Kaido at that point. Yamato is performing better against a Kaido who is in a much more powerful form. As far as I’m concerned that’s pretty much a game over moment for any chance or Yamato being weaker. Sure, she was ultimately getting overpowered but unless you think Zoro would have beaten Kaido one on one then that’s moot anyway. The strongest case for Zoro being more powerful than Yamato is if he’s just that much faster and given that Yamato speed blitzed Ulti, I think that would be a very difficult case to make. While the anime tends to drag things out for dramatic effect, you can see the speed in the clip below. Even by the end of the fight larer on with Kaido Yamato was able to use a new special move and didn’t even lose before the fight was interrupted.

So that rests my case or at least what I would consider to be the mainly spoiler free version. I could go into more detail with using specific scenes but I encourage you to check out the manga battles first hand. This is a bit of a smaller editorial than some of my others but that’s because this is really just to answer a quick question.

Is Yamato the strongest Strawhat comrade if she were to join? Well the answer is yes, none of Luffy’s teammates can hope to defeat her at this point in the story. They are going to need some kind of power up in a future arc in order to close the gap. Yamato is not unbeatable, there’s a really good chance hat she will be surpassed by the end but make no mistake, the others will have to surpass her. They aren’t on the level right now.

Asta and Yuno have the healthiest rivalry

Notice that I’m using the term “healthiest” here as opposed to greatest. It’s a little nuance that is worth pointing out because it’s different. The greatest rivalry would definitely need to be Goku and Vegeta followed by Yugi and Kaiba, Tyson and Kai, Aichi and Kai, Naruto and Sasuke, Yusuke and Hiei, etc. I would put those rivalries higher than Asta and Yuno’s if I were to rank them all.

However, while those rivalries are a lot of fun, part of the intensity there is with how toxic and antagonistic the characters were for a time. Vegeta literally started out as a genocidal monster who would blow up monsters and torture his opponents. He’s tried to murder Goku on more than one occasion and hasn’t always stayed the path of a hero. The banter is top tier but you couldn’t always say the rivalry was on good terms. (Well, Goku would probably say it was positive throughout) It’s a great rivalry but I wouldn’t call it a healthy one in the sense that you wouldn’t want this rivalry in real life prior to when it finally mellows out more in the end of Z to Super era.

Meanwhile Asta and Yuno is the kind of rivalry that you would absolutely love to have in real life. Both of them clearly respect each other and encourage themselves to do better. When Asta was having a hard time, Yuno gave him a pep talk. When Yuno was mind controlled Asta talked him back up. You never see these two characters getting really jealous of each other to the point of turning evil or giving each other the cold shoulder.

There were several times it seemed like the manga may be about to turn Yuno over to the dark side but it hasn’t happened. Now it still could at some point but we’re fairly deep into the series without that happening so the chances continue to decrease. He just takes his losses as an opportunity to get stronger without resenting Asta for it. They may get jealous at times but nothing very serious. One such moment is when Asta’s chances of fighting Yuno are sabotaged and he’s upset since now Yuno is in the finals but Asta won’t get to be there. It makes sense as being a very frustrating moment though because that’s something he had been looking forward to for a very long time. So let’s specifically look at the reasons why I call it a great rivalry.

The origin of the rivalry

So rivalries can start in a lot of different ways. It could be due to an inferiority complex from the rival himself who sees that he will ultimately be surpassed by the lead as with Bakugo. Deku just rubbed him the wrong way and the guy never looked back. He went after Deku at every turn but make no mistake he was a bully through be through. For Asta and Yuno, they became rivals after Asta saved Yuno from a bandit. Yuno saw Asta’s power and vowed to be strong. Not to rub it in Asta’s face or to destroy him but because that was a new ideal for him. From that point on Yuno was a changed man and never cried like that again. It was a positive start though as Yuno saw Asta at his best and it helped him improve himself. It’s a rivalry based on making each other better as opposed to breaking each other down and that’s a common theme throughout the series.

Clear Communication

A lot of rivals can barely manage to acknowledge each other without throwing in some kind of insult. You’ll come to see that a lot especially with Sasuke as he continually badmouths Naruto. He is definitely an extreme rival given how he completely turned evil and all but it does show how far some rivals are willing to go. Compare that to Asta who is able to awaken Yuno from the mind control by talking about his dreams or Yuno saying that he knew Asta would he selected by the magic knights and get a book. A proper rivalry should be one where you acknowledge the other side as an equal and that’s exactly what they did. Not just in a power sense but even just acknowledging that they respect each other.

Asta and Yuno always do that and even in front of villains so it’s not like this is a private thing. They don’t care who’s listening and will still praise the other. Particularly in Yuno’s case this is a big deal since in the series there is a big stigma against those who cannot use magic like Asta. This can also mean that Asta is susceptible to surprise attacks since his durability is that of a normal human’s. Once Asta learns how to use ki it becomes difficult to launch a sneak attack on him but there’s one time prior to that where a villain tries to land a sneak attack and Yuno quickly foils the attempt. It was a good way to show how they still watch each other’s back. The clip I linked above showed Asta at his lowest moment in the series and Yuno was able to bring him out of that depression. There were no insults, barbs, or any of that. Yuno just talked him up and it was a powerful moment.

Finally, it’s a rivalry not an obsession

When there’s an actual villain to defeat you don’t see any kind of bickering between them. There’s no pretense about being the one to stop the villains or anything like that. They just run in and get the job done. They’ll team up and coordinate attacks in an instant without looking back. They did this to fight Licht, the Devils, Mars, etc. their rivalry takes a backseat to the actual threats which is very realistic and just makes sense. They are heroes first and rivals second after all.

Personally I love the kind of banter we get from say Goku and Vegeta when a villain shows up. In their case the rivalry takes first dibs mainly thanks to Vegeta insisting on it. It’s a lot of fun to watch of course which is why they have the best rivalry of all time but in real life you’re probably hoping you can get help from your rival if something serious happens. Make no mistake Asta and Yuno still have a lot of great banter throughout the series and take shots at each other but it’s all in good fun. You never feel any kind of malice between the characters, serious resentment or anything like that. They’re just good friends who make each other even better.

So those are the main reasons why I put Asta and Yuno at the top in this category. It’s a really nice change of pace and it also makes this a very unique rivalry. As mentioned there is still time for things to change though. I’ve always been in the camp that believes Yuno will probably turn evil at some point but I wouldn’t mind being incorrect on this one. I should also say this isn’t the only healthy rivalry. There are certainly more of them out there particularly if you go more into different demographics. For Shonen the closest might be fighters like Ichigo and Renji or Luffy and Zoro but both rivalries are less of a focus to the point where you can debate if they really are rivalries. Then you have Ash and Gary where there are a lot of insults from Gary but I would put it more on the good fun side. It might be straddling the line just a tad but I have no doubt that if Ash was in serious trouble Gary would step in without letting Ash get beat up. Still, those are all runner ups in the end. Asta & Yuno’s rivalry is unmatched.

Is Mihawk the strongest Swordsman in One Piece?

As the title suggests, this editorial is going to discuss if Mihawk is really the greatest Swordsman in the One Piece verse. Now that is a very big title so we definitely want to go into depth here and see if this is really the case. There are a lot of sword fighters in the series after all so we are going to need to qualify this a bit. First I think it’s important that we set straight what the definition of a swordsman is at least on this site.

A swordsman is someone who primarily fights with a sword. That’s the basis of the character and when you think of this individual, a sword should always come to mind as well. So what I’m saying here is that just using a sword is not enough. Put it this way, Goku with a sword could easily beat Trunks but that doesn’t make him a swordsman. Superman could use a sword to beat Katana but that’s because his actual abilities are so much greater. So that’s not what we’re really talking about here. Otherwise just about anyone can use a sword and there have been fighters who have wields a sword once or twice like Goku. It’s not the same thing though so they would have to be ruled out.

That means Luffy doesn’t count as he only used a sword twice. Weapons that are similar to swords won’t be counted either. Now if it’s got a blade like a Katana or something that is effectively a sword then that’s quite all right. Kaido’s Thunder Bagua for example is definitely not the kind of weapon I would consider to be a sword. This is very fortunate for Mihawk I should say since it’s hard to see him tangling with Kaido.

So now that we’ve defined what it is to be a swordsman let’s look at Mihawk’s competition. As mentioned, Kaido is ruled out so that’s one less rival. Big Mom has her legendary fire sword but nobody actually considers her to be a sword fighter. She uses hand to hand combat primarily and the sword is just something she whips out on occasion. Is she close to counting? I’d say yes, if she just were to use the sword a little more often then I would say that is a wrap.

Another fighter we can’t count here is Oden. The title of the strongest is a current one after all and Oden is not around right now. The same goes for Whitebeard and King Roger. If you’re not around anymore then of course you can’t have a claim to being the strongest so that absolutely makes a lot of sense and I would stand by that. This is a title for characters who are alive or at least still moving around.

For primary sword fighters the main rivals then would be Zoro, Shanks, King, Fujitora, Law, and Brook. I can barely say the last name with a straight face though. He is directly weaker than Zoro so we will remove him right now.

Now let’s talk about Law. He is a talented swordfighter in large part because he has his room abilities but he also may have the single best sword feat in all of One Piece when he destroyed an entire mountain range with a single swing. Even characters like Luffy and Kaido have never been able to match that kind of destructive power. I would say it’s fair to count that as an outlier though given that it was so far above what is usually seen as possible in the series. Or if not, you can just scale the other above him anyway.

Additionally Law has taken several Ls since then and generally hasn’t been as impressive. Mix in the fact that his Haki is not developed enough to even damage Kaido and I would say he loses his claim to being the strongest. King is the next challenger and we haven’t seen a ton from him yet so maybe he has some secret abilities lying in wait. At the moment though he appears to be weaker than Zoro so that would rule him out as well.

Fujitora is an interesting figure because we just haven’t seen a whole lot of him relative to the others. He’s an admiral which is very impressive but even then we don’t really know how they stack up only that they are weaker than Yonkou’s individually. Zoro was able to briefly stalemate him in one of the films which is really the best comparison we’ve got. Ultimately I don’t see any possible path for Fujitora being stronger than Zoro or Mihawk, both of whom have far more impressive moments.

So we’re down to the big 3, Mihawk, Zoro, and Shanks as the world’s greatest swordsman. So now let’s drill even further down into the definition of the phrase “greatest swordsman” as it will start to become more relevant here. Does the term greatest refer to the most powerful such as who would win in a fight counting Haki abilities and such or who has the most skill in a true blade battle?

If it’s the former then Shanks will likely carry this title. The man has done little to nothing in the 1000+ chapters of One Piece but at the same time he is a Yonkou. Moreover, he is the only one not to fight yet and by Shonen Jump/Any media standard that implies that he will end up being the strongest. Although Oda has put himself in a very sticky situation here because if Shanks actually does lose his first ever fight off screen to Blackbeard as many suspect, that would be a truly awful payoff to everyone who was looking forward to him getting some action.

So from a feats standpoint Shanks is lacking but in a lore sense the odds of him being more powerful than Mihawk is quite considerable. Just consider the parallel between Zoro and Mihawk vs Luffy and Shanks. It would make sense that the latter combo is stronger than the former even if Mihawk will be more skilled than Shanks.

Then we cut (See what I did there?? Heh) to Zoro. Well, it’s clear that Zoro was a lot weaker than Mihawk pre time skip and then had to get trained by the main for almost 3 years. At this point we can say that Zoro was still weaker. After that though, Zoro got the legendary Enma, the ability to cut through fire, and improved enough to block a combined Yonkou attack. Zoro also awakened the Conqueror’s Haki which is something we don’t even know if Mihawk has. Most likely he will end up having it since he may become irrelevant in the fights otherwise but these are a lot of of points in Zoro’s favor.

Right now I would have to put Zoro ahead of Mihawk both in skill and power. There’s certainly a decent chance that Mihawk can prove me wrong since in a lore perspective it would make sense for him to be incredibly strong like Shanks but until we see it, I can’t give him the title.

So there we go, if we’re talking about lore or pure ability then Shanks is the most powerful swordsman in the world. If we are talking about feats or overall skill with a blade then Zoro takes this. Either way I’m afraid that Mihawk will need to relinquish his title effective immediately. He cannot be considered the world’s strongest swordsman. Not right now. If you have any doubts at all after reading this, just check out this final clip of his reaction to Shanks entering the battlefield at Marineford.

Ranking all of the Black Clover openings

It’s time to rank all of the Black Clover openings. I recently made it up to the final ending from the Toonami broadcasts and it was quite excellent. It made me think, could this be the best opening? From there I figured if I was going to check out the rest of them anyway that I might as well make a quick editorial/rankings out of it. Typically it can be very tough for an ongoing show to keep churning out consistently great openings. You’re bound to hit a snag at some point or some shows just start keeping the same song for a while but Clover was always good about changing it a lot. Some of these openings I totally forgot about while others are as clear as they’ve ever been.

The only franchises that I would say have been able to maintain a similar level of quality for so long would be the Railleratordex franchise (Railgun, Index, and Accelerator) and Sword Art Online but they would be firmly fighting for second place. Black Clover has 1st in the bag. So without further adieu, lets take a look at the 13 openings from worst to best. I’m ranking them based both on the music as well as the animation contained in them. For any openings that may have more than one version, I’m using version 1 as a reference. Click here for a link to all of the openings in case you want to check them out for yourselves

13. Opening 11

So my least favorite opening is 11. It’s certainly more of a happy opening compared to the others as an arc just finished so the characters are finally getting to relax a bit. The main reason why it loses to the others is that there isn’t a whole lot going on. It’s calm which is nice and all but I would have still liked to have seen some more quality animation here. It just felt more like an opening that was thrown together without any style to it.

12. Opening 12

Next up is 12 so I suppose you can say the ending started to weaken for the series. Following up on 11, we’re still in an era of peace so the opening is more about the characters working out and just having fun. I’ve never been a big fan of that as the action for the openings. Give me some extra fights or something. I do like that part of the music has a very Kingdom Hearts feeling that appears now and again. It’s not quite enough to put this one higher though.

11. Opening 7

I really liked the opening animation here showing the contrast with Asta and Yuno. Both of them have come a long way by this point and still see each other as rivals in the center ring. It’s a great start but the opening starts to lose steam as we get a lot of stills after that. On the flip side, the music really turns up in the second half so this one just didn’t find the right balance to go higher.

10. Opening 5

This opening’s going for full sad vibes. The characters are all dealing with a lot at this point and the music reflects that. It all pairs up well and that helps this opening join the top 10. It’s still not quite energized enough to go higher up but it does serve as a nice change of pace from some of the other openings.

9. Opening 9

Cool that the 9th opening is in 9th place right? This one feels a lot different from the others with how much of a focus the elves get. This almost feels like a story opening as it takes place with Asta and Yuno beginning their counter attack after showing the Elves off. It’s a pretty high quality opening and my favorite part is definitely near the end with the fire fights for the Fuego siblings and Noelle. It was a very strong opening to be sure.

8. Opening 8

This opening really shows how differently the past was for Asta and Yuno compared to the Elves. They didn’t have a care in the world while things were not going quite so well on the rest of the planet. The climax has some big fights as well. What gives it the edge over 9 really comes down to the song. The images are fairly close but this one did have the Asta and Yuno fight and the music just had more energy.

7. Opening 3

It’s really great seeing all of the Black Bulls hanging out and then fighting together. The song itself is also one of the strongest ones from all 13. While the images may not have quite as much weight as some of the ones coming up, this was a good example of how to do a more laidback opening for several sections while still keeping up the tempo and a lot of energy.

6. Opening 6

They went all out with the animation here as we see the various tournament battles. The music works perfectly here and it’s why this opening is so high. It’s got really strong fundamentals with the opening tunes and starts out incredibly strong. The art style effects at the beginning are also pretty unique. Not something you want to see long term but it works for short bursts.

5. Opening 4

This may have the best intro animation to an opening aside from 13. The first shots look amazing and the music has a solid intro. Sadly it seems like they spent the animation budget on the opening so the majority of this one is all stills. It’s why despite having such an amazing song, I have to bump it down a few slots. It’s an opening that’s more fun to listen too than to watch.

4. Opening 1

This one’s an excellent mix of happy and sad moments. You get a nice sense of adventure here but with things not going very well for the heroes on multiple fronts. It’s a very classic opening though and one I’ve heard many times. The song is very strong and I like the dynamic with Asta and Yuno in the opening moments. Age has not held this one back at all.

3. Opening 10

As I mentioned I’m looking at the first version of the opening for ones that have multiple. Version 2 of opening 10 actually looks very happy which shows what a quick background change can do. The original version is incredibly sad and somber though. The opening did a great job of showing how tough things were getting on the heroes. The music follows along with slow beats before speeding up. It works exceptionally well and is definitely one of the best openings.

2. Opening 2

This was the first opening to really go all in with the action scenes. It had a lot more intensity than the first opening. It loses the more somber elements for the most part and focuses on the heroes claiming victory and decimating their opponents. I was really close to putting this one in the number 1 spot but ultimately it has a slower intro than the 1st place intro which never misses a beat.

1. Opening 13

What can I say, the series ended on an absolute high note with this opening. The beginning is a perfect homage to the first one. It’s cool to see how far Asta has come over the years. The music has a very consistent beat and the animation has never looked better. The shots with the Dark Triad are great and the animation even seems to have a bit of a different style with Zenon vs Yuno that worked very well. Yeah this opening could not be defeated and I’ve already heard it dozens of times at this point.

So those are the rankings for Black Clover. Once we get a sequel anime it’ll be fun to hear how those openings turn out. There are several videos that merge all of the openings on Youtube so just put that on loop for a while and you’re set. I probably won’t be doing another opening list for a while but I’ve definitely got a bunch of completely different editorial ideas I’ll throw around here and there. So I’ll see you on the next one!

Who is the traitor from My Hero Academia’s Class 1A?

This editorial contains spoilers for Sonic X the final season and My Hero Academia through season 3

All right guys, it’s time to tell you all who I think is the traitor from UA. Now lets just get a few disclaimers out of the way. First, we have to go under the premise that there is a traitor and that this whole thing wasn’t just some wild goose chase. That is a very real possibility after all but not one that would be very satisfying. There’s also the theory that Deku or someone else is unknowingly the traitor sort of like Cosmo from Sonic X. Essentially in that series the aliens could see through her eyes which alerted them to every possible move the heroes could make. Maybe All for One is able to see through Deku or something like that. This is going to assume that there is a traitor who is knowingly betraying the heroes. Assuming that to be true, we can then narrow this down to Class 1A since 1B wouldn’t make sense narratively.

Could it be a teacher? I would say no because too many of them have been ruled out at this point. Midnight and Aizawa have inner monologue that would contradict this along with All Might and their appearances in Vigilantes back this up. I guess we have reason to be suspicious of the principal or the Present Mic guy but both of those would not make a lot of sense. I mean…the principal would be kind of fun but I don’t think that’s going to happen. There are 20 kids in Class 1A so lets start ruling some out.

The first 6 are easily ruled out. I would consider them to not even be suspects.

Safe Students

Deku, lets be real here guys. It’s not going to be Deku. Again, unless he is doing this subconsciously it would just go against every kind of sense imaginable. He has unlimited inner monologues that would go against this. Likewise it’s not happening for Bakugo. The guy may have a very different way of going about being the best, but being a villain is flat out not going to happen.

Ida, his whole character is about trying to live up to his elder brother’s reputation. He’s not going to throw that away for anything. I may not be a fan of his character but I wouldn’t deny that he has a heroic motivation. Likewise you have to throw Todoroki in there as well. After seeing the worst of Endeavor first hand, there’s no way he would go down this route. He wants to be the number 1 hero as well after all.

Kirishima’s in a similar boat. He had the whole origin story where he was too afraid to stand up to the villains and had to be saved by Ashido. To that end he has continued to hone his skills to be a great hero. While you could say this isn’t as rock solid as the first few, I would say that is very relative. He ultimately has proven himself to be a true hero. I would also vouch for Yayorozu. She may have a lot of doubts in her hero abilities but she had obtained a good bond with the rest of the kids and keeps improving herself. Any doubts that you may have had with her character should have long since vanished at the series went on.

Too irrelevant to be the traitor

Look, the traitor has to be someone that actually matters. We need to have some impact after all. So, Sato is out. Does anyone even remember his name without having to look it up? His hero name of Sugar Man is memorable but I definitely would not have remembered the human name otherwise. He’s not going to be the traitor. I would use the same logic for Shoji. His 4 arms are handy but the guy barely gets any lines throughout the series. So there’s not much to prevent him from being the traitor but I just don’t think it would be very powerful.

We can extend the same logic to Sero and Koda. Sero’s tape abilities are pretty interesting but ultimately the guy hasn’t done anything. Koda’s animal abilities aren’t very interesting but he hasn’t done anything either. Again, the traitor has to be important. Let’s throw Ojiro into this as well since he’s on that level.

Already used as a fake out

Aoyama already had a big cliffhanger where we thought he could be the traitor for a second there. There’s no way they would actually use this twist since it was played off as a gag. Sure, it could be a big brain move by the author but I don’t see this actually occurring. The instant his betrayal was played for laughs I knew that there was no going back.

Opens up too many troublesome questions

Mineta would be problematic for a lot of reasons. His actions barely fly by as comic relief. If he is a serious villain then suddenly his harassment of the other students becomes a lot darker so they’re not going to do that. That’s why you can’t have this guy be the traitor, it’s a fairly unique situation but one that guarantees Mineta has to stay on the heroic path…not that I even consider him to be a hero to be honest. The guy’s a disgrace.

We’re down to the final 7 so lets take them step by step.

First up is Froppy. Sure, she is a very tempting pick because of her relationship to Deku. I also don’t recall any specific inner monologue that would contradict her being a traitor. That said, I can’t think of any possible motive for her here and she’s put herself in a lot of danger throughout so I’m going to take her out. It’s a weaker case to debunk her but that is why she made it near the end for me.

Kaminari: He was a prime suspect for a while but his whole being dopey is just too convincing. A true traitor wouldn’t put himself in such a spot where he could be exposed. He could have said anything while he was dazed which is too risky. He has enough character moments where this would be a pretty intense twist but I don’t think the quirk works well to that end.

Ashido seems far too heroic to have been corrupted like that. I find it hard to believe that she would have gone over to the dark side based on the flashback we already have of her with Kirishima. The reason why she is closer here is because a lot could have changed since that flashback. She always seems rather cheerful but some of the most sinister villains have had a cheerful demeanor. Still, I will rule her out because we have even more suspicious targets.

Tokoyami is a decent pick given how he likes the shadows so much, but is that not too obvious? Additionally, I want to say that Hawks would have noticed something was up since they worked together in the hero exams. At the same time, perhaps that is why they were on the same team since Hawks may have suspected something beyond what he was saying on the surface. It’s a bit on the flimsy side though so I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in it.

Lets take Jiro out next. While her hesitancy to play in the concert and her general lack of inner monologue is disturbing, I’d still be surprised if she was the traitor. She was very nearly killed during the season 1 invasion to the point where it couldn’t be faked. She may have the resolve to be willing to die for her cause but I don’t see this being the right answer.

Hagakure is one character I have long claimed to be the traitor ever since the “Deku choke S1 opening” theory. That said, the fact that she is so suspicious and constantly acts like a traitor makes it seem too obvious. Her power is already perfect for deception after all. I dunno, it just seems too straight forward but at the same time I would have no qualms about her being the traitor. She is an excellent runner up.

No, it has to be Uravity. It just makes the most sense. She has a clear motive which is the fact that she needs money for her parents badly. Being a hero doesn’t pay incredibly well and while the spinoff MHA Smash plays this off as comedy, she is quite desperate for it. It could be as simple as the League of Villains telling her they will pay her for some intel. They’d let her know they weren’t going to directly hurt Deku and she would be on board.

I don’t see Uravity being a totally evil, mustache twirling villain but a traitor who was manipulated. She badly needed money and wasn’t able to get it legitimately so she faltered and joined the group. Ultimately that’s why she’s my pick as the traitor. It will also be the ultimate gut punch to Deku and his enthusiasm towards being a hero. It’s hard to just get up after experiencing something like that.

So that’s my answer here. Uravity is the traitor.

She just ticks off the most boxes and that would be a pretty hype way to start closing out the series or at least this part in the timeline before the next time skip. Taken with the right context her last quote there could sound rather ominous as well. Only time will tell but if we’re going to do a traitor twist I think it has to be in the current manga arc so hopefully that’s not too far from now.