All posts by gradypbrown

MHA: THE GLOBAL STAGE

“It is the greatest achievement of a teacher to enable his students to surpass him.”

John Kemeny

The following contains spoilers from chapter 303 of My Hero Academia. You have been warned.

Thanks to Hawks, we now have a better idea of the situation with hero society’s current condition. The total number of inmates All For One/Tomura Shigaraki released from the prisons was ten thousand strong, which is about one tenth the size of the full strength of the Paranormal Liberation Front. Even so, these inmates have made the situation more desperate than ever. With so many superheroes resigning all at once, the superheroes do not have the numbers to quell the inmates.

Due to Japan’s hero society all but gone, the Japanese government has started taking drastic action to bring the situation under control. In order to make up the superhero shortage, the Japanese government has made requests from other countries to lend them their superheroes. So, foreign superheroes are now entering the story. This is a serious game changer to the My Hero Academia plot.

Up until now, the majority of the anime/manga’s story has taken place in Japan. The only time foreign superheroes appeared were either the films or the spin-off series. Now, these foreign superheroes are entering the main storyline. Apart from giving Japan’s hero society much needed reinforcements, this is going to have some serious political changes to the My Hero Academia universe and how the global hero society will handle situations such as these.

Sadly, there is a serious drawback to requesting these reinforcements. With the Hero Public Safety Commission dismantled, the Japanese government cannot complete the necessary paperwork. This will stall the deployment of these foreign superheroes, but they will eventually come.

This is a significant development in both Tomura Shigaraki and Deku’s character arcs. At the beginning of My Hero Academia, Deku said that the anime/manga was about how he became the world’s greatest superhero. After the Tartarus Prison breakout, All For One/Tomura Shigaraki said this was the story about how he becomes the greatest demon lord. Now that superheroes from around the world are entering the fray, the global spotlight will be on both of them.

Let us go over what this could mean for Shigaraki. Shigaraki has stated that his greatest desire was to destroy hero society. He certainly has achieved that goal with Japan, but destroying hero society in a single country accomplishes nothing. Before the vestige of All For One possessed him, Shigaraki said he wanted to be an even greater supervillain than All For One ever was. All For One was the greatest supervillain in Japan, but not the world at large. If Shigaraki is serious about wanting to surpass his master, he will need to destroy hero society either in multiple countries or the entire world. Now that other countries are getting involved in the aftermath of the Paranormal Liberation War, Shigaraki definitely has a golden opportunity to become greater than his master. This would give him a worldwide reputation as a supervillain.

With Deku, he also has a chance to surpass All Might and become a greater superhero than him. As far as we know, All Might has a well-established reputation as a great superhero in Japan and made appearances in the United States in his early career. However, All Might was not able to establish a reputation on a global scale. With the eyes of the world fixed on Japan, Deku has all the exposure he will need to prove that he can be a greater superhero than All Might ever was. Sadly, all of this is only possible if Deku can recover from his injuries and we don’t know how or when he will do that.

Overall, the presence of foreign superheroes entering the fray is the perfect opportunity for both Deku and Shigaraki to prove that they can be greater than their mentors. Only time will tell when they recover and awaken. When they do awake, the world will never be the same again.

KENSHIN’S COMEUPPANCE

Even though the anime/manga Rurouni Kenshin is a widely popular story, I did not like the final story arc. Kenshin has fought many detestable villains throughout the story, but there is one that I actually sympathize with and rooted for. That villain was Kenshin’s vengeful ex-brother-in-law Enishi Yukishiro. When Enishi was a child, his sister married Kenshin and was accidentally murdered by Kenshin some time after. Enishi’s sister was his only form of familial attachment and the closest thing to a mother he ever had. Robbed of his sister, Enishi was forced to survive on his own. He had to drink from puddles to stay hydrated and feasted on carcasses in the street to fight off starvation.

At one point, Enishi was saved by a wealthy family, but since his only familial connection was dead and Enishi had lived like an animal for a while, he had no connection to the family who saved him. Therefore, he killed them and stole their wealth as well as discovered a book about a sword style that rivaled Kenshin’s Hiten-Mitsurugi Style: Watojutsu. Lacking a teacher, Enishi taught himself Watojutsu, using the book as a reference. With the dead family’s wealth, Enishi found his way into the Shanghai mafia, eventually becoming the head honcho.

Ten years later, armed with his completed training in Watojutsu and the resources of the Shanghai mafia at his disposal, Enishi was ready to commence his revenge on Kenshin. Enishi recruited other individuals who were wronged by Kenshin and they helped him in a campaign of vengeance against Kenshin and everyone close to him. Eventually, Enishi fought Kenshin for the first time, besting his ultimate technique. Enishi acquired his revenge by faking the death of Kenshin’s beloved, Kaoru Kamiya, by replacing her with a flesh doll in her likeness. Mad with grief, Kenshin entered a catatonic state in a village full of criminals and outcasts while Kaoru was kept prisoner by Enishi. Enishi intended to return Kaoru home as soon as Kenshin died of grief and Enishi’s revenge would be complete.

However, Enishi’s revenge came undone when Kaoru’s friends discovered she was alive and Kenshin woke up from his stupor. Upon learning this, Enishi made up his mind in killing Kenshin instead of making him mentally suffer. Enishi would fight Kenshin again and would lose despite having the upper hand early in their duel. Enishi would end up in the same village that Kenshin was in when he was catatonic.

Overall, out of all the enemies Kenshin faced, Enishi was the one who deserved to win against him the most. Even if it was accidental, Kenshin still murdered Enishi’s sister and forced Enishi to live through a hellish existence. Sure, Enishi may have blood on his hands and his actions as the head of the Shanghai mafia exacerbated it. However, due to his past as a mass-murdering assassin, Kenshin had a lot more blood on his hands than Enishi and his contributions to the formation of the Meiji government indirectly led to a much higher body count. Enishi would have his own comeuppance in due time, but Kenshin was the one being judged in this story arc. Some may say it was not necessary for Enishi to drag those closest to Kenshin in their grudge match, but I disagree. Enishi did not bring Kenshin’s friends into this, Kenshin himself did the day he came into their lives. Kenshin did terrible and unforgivable things while he was an assassin and did he really think there were not going to be consequences for his crimes? When you have wronged as many people as Kenshin has during the Bakumatsu, sooner or later, those individuals will inevitably come seeking retribution. When that happens, any friends Kenshin made would be caught in the crossfire. Kenshin can live in a fairy tale and believe that protecting the innocent and giving up killing would make his sins magically disappear, but all evil deeds stink. You can forget them for a while, but they don’t go away. Based on all of this, Enishi deserved his revenge against Kenshin and it would have been better for the story if Kenshin did not have a happy ending. People with a past as checkered as Kenshin’s don’t deserve a happy ending. It would have been preferable that Kenshin either stayed catatonic or died by Enishi’s hand. It would have been an ideal way for the consequences of Kenshin’s sins to come full circle.

AN ALBINO BEAUTY

In my third fantasy book, I am thinking of introducing an albino character. Like certain anime characters, this character will possess an exotic beauty to her. Not only would this make her unique and stand out of the crowd, but it will make her one of the most sought after beauties in all the empire. This character will play a significant role in the story. Also, this beautiful pale rose has some thorns.

DINOSAUR APOCALYPSE: WARNING SIGNS (PART 3)

As I brainstorm the potential warning signs of the upcoming dinosaur apocalypse in my dinosaur series, the scenarios are increasing in number and scale. I have seen nature documentaries that talked about how wolves, coyotes, and mountain lions would hunt domesticated livestock. Also, feral livestock such as cattle, goats, and hogs would raid and demolish crops. Then I wonder how these scenarios would play out if they were perpetrated by dinosaurs. Farmers would be scared, confused, and outraged to find their entire livelihoods gone.

DINOSAUR APOCALYPSE: WARNING SIGNS (PART 2)

In a previous post, I mentioned one of the potential warning signs that would foreshadow the unfolding dinosaur apocalypse in my ongoing dinosaur series. Now, I have thought of other warning signs that will be found by the public as time goes on. Among those warning signs would be footprints that would appear in populated areas. Imagine waking up one morning and finding giant footprints covering every inch of the streets in your hometown. How terrifying and ominous would that be?

MHA: SHIGARAKI’S FINAL EVOLUTION

The following contains spoilers from My Hero Academia. You have been warned.

At the end of the Paranormal Liberation War, the vestige of All For One took over Tomura Shigaraki’s body. As he fled the battlefield, he said that he and Deku would fight again when Shigaraki’s upgraded body was perfected.

The biggest source of hype in the recent story arc revolved around the surgery that Doctor Ujiko gave Shigaraki that would potentially make him stronger than either One For All or All For One. Sadly, Shigaraki was awakened from his surgery a month ahead of schedule at 75 % completion. Even so, Shigaraki demonstrated impressive abilities that allowed him to hold his own against multiple powerful superheroes at the same time. This post will go over what we know about Shigaraki’s new capabilities so far.

Let us start with Shigaraki’s basic physical upgrades. As demonstrated by Aizawa’s power negation, Shigaraki is still a powerful and dangerous supervillain even without any quirks. His enhanced strength has increased to the point in which it is similar to All Might’s. Doctor Ujiko admitted that Shigaraki’s strength is not quite on par with All Might. Even so, Shigaraki was strong enough to physically best several powerful superheroes at once.

Next is Shigaraki’s immense stamina and durability. While his quirks were being negated, Shigaraki proved more than able to take a serious beating and keep on fighting. Even as his body sustains serious injuries, Shigaraki was able to push forward. This endurance is similar to his fight with Re-Destro, but on a much larger scale.

Then comes Shigaraki’s speed and jumping abilities. Shortly after awakening, Shigaraki demonstrated the ability to jump great heights and distances in a single bound. This was due to the enhanced strength of his leg muscles, which is similar to how the Hulk jumps. Shigaraki’s speed is just as intense as his strength and seems to increase when he pushed to his limit.

We move on to Shigaraki’s arsenal of quirks. His original quirk, Decay, has the power to disintegrate entire cities with a single touch. Shigaraki first demonstrated the full extent of his quirk during his fight with Re-Destro. However, this boost came with a drawback where his body would rot as well if Shigaraki pushed too far. After Ujiko’s operation, Shigaraki’s upgraded body combined with regeneration can withstand the self-inflicting nature of his Decay quirk. This will allow Shigaraki to disintegrate larger areas, which was demonstrated in Jaku City where he dusted the city and the surrounding forest.

As a result of Doctor Ujiko’s surgery, Shigaraki was granted the All For One quirk and all the stolen quirks that came with it. Shigaraki’s upgraded body was not only meant to withstand the self-destructive nature of his Decay quirk. It was also upgraded to withstand the strain of all the combined quirks that are within the All For One quirk. The All For One quirk by itself grants Shigaraki the ability to steal quirks and make them his own or grant quirks to others.

So far, Shigaraki has used five quirks that are within the All For One quirk. The first was Super Regeneration, which not only heals any injury he sustains, but also negates the self-destructive side effects of his Decay quirk. When at full strength, Super Regeneration can heal Shigaraki’s body faster than it can sustain damage.

The second stolen quirk Shigaraki used was Search, which allows him to locate up to a hundred people. Search also enables him to see his targets regardless of how many barriers are in the way. It also allows Shigaraki to see his target’s strengths and weaknesses. So, no matter where his target is or what obstacles stand in his way, Shigaraki will be able to find them and use their weaknesses against them.

The third stolen quirk Shigaraki used was Air Cannon, which generates a concentrated blast of air pressure that blows his opponents away. Shigaraki first used this against Endeavor. After Endeavor briefly immobilized Shigaraki’s right hand, Shigaraki was able to fire Air Cannon point blank range at Endeavor’s face. Like All For One, Shigaraki has the potential to combine this quirk with other stolen quirks.

The fourth stolen quirk Shigaraki wielded was Radio Waves, which creates an electromagnetic pulse that shuts down all communication devices within its blast radius. By combining this quirk with Air Cannon, Shigaraki was able to disable the superheroes’ means of communication and coordination. Other than shutting off electronic communication, I do not know if Radio Waves can be used on other forms of technology.

The fifth stolen quirk Shigaraki used was Rivet Stab, which allows him to generate sharp tendrils from either his arms or back. This quirk can be used as a weapon to attack opponents. Shigaraki used this quirk to impale Endeavor and Bakugo like shish kebab. It can also allow Shigaraki suspend himself in mid-air like a humanoid spider so he can keep fighting.

Even though Shigaraki has been granted tremendous powers and abilities that rival those of a demigod, his most powerful weapon was his formidable willpower and tenacity. When Shigaraki woke up, it was revealed that the electric shock he was exposed to was not enough to wake him up from his suspended animation. What woke him up was his unmatchable hatred and tenacity. Even as he took the biggest beating anyone has ever sustained, Shigaraki refused to stay down and kept fighting. No matter how much punishment he took, Shigaraki repeatedly pushed past his limits.

Despite all of these impressive capabilities, we have not seen the true extent of Shigaraki’s power. First, the All For One quirk supposedly contains hundreds or even thousands of quirks to choose from and yet Shigaraki has only used five of them so far. Because he has been using his Decay quirk since he was five-years-old, Shigaraki seems to rely on it too much due to force of habit. Due to waking up from his surgery at 75 %, Shigaraki’s incomplete body cannot keep up with the combined strength of the stolen quirks in All For One. As a result, Shigaraki’s body would tear itself apart if he pushes himself too hard and his regenerative powers slow down significantly. The greatest limitation Shigaraki has is in his own head, where he battles for control of his body with the vestige of All For One. Because of this inner conflict, Shigaraki cannot truly exert the true extent of his new abilities.

Based on all of these powers and their limitations, we have to wonder how powerful Shigaraki will become when his body stabilizes at 100%. When Ujiko woke up the High-End Nomu to fight Mirko, they were incomplete as well. However, as time went by, the Nomu were able to stabilize on their own. I think Shigaraki is going to do the same as the vestige of All For One forces him to rest. As his body rests and stabilizes, Shigaraki’s regeneration will be restored to full strength.

While Shigaraki’s body will reach its full potential with the right amount of time, my main concern is his mind. For the moment, the vestige of All For One is in control of his body, but we don’t know if that will last. I think the vestige of All For One gives Shigaraki the same kind of mental limitation that his childhood trauma did. It messes with his mind and holds back his true power. However, Shigaraki was able to overcome this trauma during his fight with Re-Destro, becoming liberated in every way. I think Shigaraki will overcome the All For One vestige the same way, possibly with some help from Deku in the vestige world.

Overall, Tomura Shigaraki has grown into a highly powerful and dangerous supervillain. He still has plenty of room to grow as a character. When he finally wakes up, Shigaraki’s true power will be realized and unleashed. I cannot wait to see it happen and how it will affect the future battles.

A NEW MAMMALIAN PREDATOR

As reverse engineered animals appear throughout my dinosaur series, I thought of creating a new mammalian predator to replace the ones we are familiar with such as wolves, lions, and bears. At first, I thought of looking at something that resembles a saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, short-faced bears, or a mix between all four. However, I am thinking of drawing inspiration from the mammal-like reptiles that lived before the dinosaurs. One of the most prominent example of these mammal-like reptiles were the Gorgonopsids, which were among the first predators to evolve saber teeth. The creature I am envisioning will physically look like a mix between mammals and reptiles. It will be a saber-toothed cat, dire wolf, and Gorgonosid all rolled into one. It will take some time to envision what this beast will look like when it makes it debut in the series. I will keep you updated on any new developments.

NEW LIZARDS

As my dinosaur series progresses, I will continue to feature new species of reverse engineered animals that look like their prehistoric ancestors. Among these new animals will be three species of lizard. One lizard will be a large predatory carnivore, one will be an equally large gentle herbivore, and the third will be a small insect eater. These creatures will be the first of their respective species and will be a common sight. The forthcoming dinosaur apocalypse will be a golden age for reptiles. As they are reverse engineered into something that resembles their prehistoric ancestors, they will evolve and diversify in unpredictable ways. Sadly the emergence of these mutated reptiles will have serious consequences on the planet’s ecosystem.

AN EPIC BALL

One of the greatest forms of pageantry would be a masquerade ball. During such events, members of the aristocracy would gather for fun, dance, and colorful masks. Such events would bring the aristocracy closer together as a community. The masks and dancing would make the partygoers living works of art. In my third fantasy book, there will be an epic masquerade ball where kings and queens, barons and baronesses, and even the imperial family itself would gather. This ball will be part of an elaborate engagement party that would reconcile a divided empire after a bloody civil war.

A PROPER PALACE

In my fantasy series, I wanted to create a palace for the imperial dynasty that would shame all other strongholds in terms of both lavishness and defense. I thought what would be more impregnable than a mountain, but could not find a suitable answer. If one were to make a mountain into a palace, a million men can lay siege on it and be repelled. Therefore, I drew inspiration from other mountainous castles in fantasy such as Casterly Rock from Game of Thrones and Erebor from The Hobbit. Both mountains contained limitless wealth and their mine shafts were expanded into halls, galleries, and bed chambers. I thought a stronghold such as either of these would be fit for an emperor and his heirs. The Imperial Palace in my fantasy series is essentially a combination between Casterly Rock and Erebor. It is where most of the third book will take place as the main character tries to navigate the cutthroat politics that comes with governing an empire.