May Update 2024

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Tags: Anime 2024 Updates

Back to regularly scheduled programming

The past few posts have been kinda bummers, so I’ll keep this one cheerful.

I’m going to talk about what’s been going on in One Piece, and a few of the things I’ve been watching and reading.


WARNING: These do have spoilers, so please be careful.

Smokey and the Bandit 1 and 2

These are some movies I didn’t really think I’d like, but really ended up enjoying a lot.

The general premise of both of them is Bo, aka Bandit, played by Burt Reynolds, has to drive some far distance in a ridiculous amount of time. The first one he has to take a truck load of beer from Texarkana to a party in Atlanta across state lines (which is illegal bootlegging), and in the 2nd movie he has to take an elephant to the GOP national convention. Both times they are chased by Sherrif Buford T. Justice and son, among other law enforcement.

These movies are silly in a good way. They’re cartoonish situations, but funny because they’re funny, not because they’re trying too hard to be. I had a lot of fun watching them, they are very quotable. I think my favorite one is the first one. The 2nd one is still pretty good, it’s more silly than the first because of the elephant.

I’m just now finding out there’s actually a 3rd one that I have to watch at some point.

Rocky I - V

Again, these are some movies I didn’t think I’d like. I saw the first one for the first time a few years ago, and it was ok. I wasn’t crazy about it like some people are. I’m decently fond of Sylvester Stallone. I love First Blood, and I really liked his new show Tulsa King. I just didn’t like the first Rocky the first time I watched it for whatever reason. I was reading David Goggins’ book “Cant Hurt Me” and he talked about how he used Rocky as fuel during his navy seal training, so I figured I’d give it another try.

Overall, I think these movies are pretty good and if you haven’t watched at least the first one you’re doing yourself a disservice. I wondered how they were able to keep making them, because “it’s just Rocky boxing right?”, but they aren’t as simple as that. Each of the movies have shown Rocky going through different situations, be it financial troubles, self esteem issues, growing old. They’re much more different from each other than I originally thought. It’s not just “Rocky gets beat, does a training montage, and then he wins” (except for the 2nd and 3rd one, but they’re not even 100% like that).

My older brother and sister, and a few of my friends say say that the 4th movie (the one with the Russian, Ivan Drago) is their favorite. So I was pretty hyped by the time I got to that one. I was a little disappointed in it though, I’m not sure what people see in it. Apart from Apollo, I think that Drago is the coolest antagonist that Rocky fights in the ring. But, it just wasn’t my favorite, it seemed the most unrealistic. Which, that might be the reason that some people call it their favorite because it is a little over the top.

I think Rocky II is my favorite, because most of the movie is just Rocky being goofy and buying a bunch of stuff, and I just think it’s funny. Rocky III was also really good, that one was probably the best all around one. It had the best montage in my opinion, some funny bits, and the emotional side with Mickey. But that one also seemed kinda long with the Thunder lips fight near the start. Rocky V is probably my least favorite so far, because it shows Rocky at his worst, and it was all so preventable. Paulie is such a jackass in that one.

I plan to watch “Rocky Balboa” and the 3 Creed movies soon, I’ve heard all of those are really good.


WARNING: These do have minor spoilers, so please be careful.

This isn’t going to include One Piece spoilers, that will be the last section.

Slam Dunk

I mentioned in a different post that I’ve been starting to collect manga (and that I’m going a little crazy with it). A series that I’ve wanted to collect but been super hesitant about is “Vagabond” by Takehiko Inoue. It’s about a swordsman/artist/philosopher from 17th century Japan, Miyamoto Musashi. I’m very interested in Musashi’s legacy, and have read a little bit about him before. Vagabond is incredibly well drawn and incredibly popular. But, Inoue has had it on hiatus for almost 10 years now I think. Vagabond is a pretty philosophy-heavy work, so the reasoning I’ve heard from online is that Inoue wants to go live more of his life and learn more. Which, I understand, but I have been burned on series not getting finished before. So I’m hesitant to start it or collect it. Although the story up to this point can probably stand on its own. I may end up collecting it, but who knows.

Anyway, I still wanted something of Takehiko Inoue’s work so I thought I would try out “Slam Dunk” and “REAL” that he’s authored. Slam Dunk is about a guy named Sakuragi Hanamichi, who’s around 6’ 2" tall, a first year in high school, and has just asked out and been rejected by a girl for the 50th time. Totally dejected going into high school, he’s heartbroken and moody. Until a girl in his class, Haruko, shows introduces herself and asks if he plays basketball. He lies and says “of course I do”. Then the story goes from there where he ends up joining the team and becomes a “genius basketball man”.

I don’t watch much basketball (the Timberwolves game 7 win recently was cool to watch though, shame they’re doing bad against Dallas right now though), sports have never really been my thing. But this manga was interesting because its popularity is known as one of the causes for basketball becoming so popular in Japan, leading it to become one of the top watched sports there. Inoue played basketball in high school and wanted people to experience it as well, and he himself was a fan of a baseball manga when he was younger.

I bought the first 3 volumes of Real and Slam Dunk, but they were taking a little while to get here so I ended up watching the first few episodes of Slam Dunk’s anime. It’s incredibly 90’s lol, it’s animated pretty well but it has those old techniques that make me nostalgic. After the first few episodes I was hooked on this series. I think it’s hilarious. I’m currently on volume 9, but I have up to volume 15 already waiting for me to read. The art switches from very serious and very detailed, to very silly and much less detailed, and I love that so much. You can tell when things are serious and when Sakuragi is being a goof.

Where I’m at in the story it’s getting more serious, and it’s going beyond just Sakuragi’s growth at playing basketball. There are some deep themes that you can tell it’ll go into later. It’s also starting to get more violent, so more of Inoue’s artistic abilities are coming through, which is awesome.

Another reason I thought to try this one is that it’s the Omnibus Collector’s favorite series of all time. My buddy thinks very highly of his opinions, and I think very highly of his, so I figured I’d like it too. As of right now, I’m loving it and I see why he likes it so much.


Real is another one of Inoue’s works, and is still being published. Very slowly though, it’s been being written since 1999, and it also goes on lengthy breaks (Yeah, I know I said I wasn’t going to collect Vagabond for that very reason, I’m a complicated man).

Real is about wheelchair basketball. I’m not sure about Inoue’s ties to wheelchair basketball specifically, if he has any ties, but it’s a neat concept that lends itself to deep subjects. I’m only finished with the first 2 volumes so far, but there are 3 main characters essentially. Nomiya Tomomi who is a high school dropout that was in a motorcycle accident that caused his passenger to lose her ability to walk and talk, Togawa Kiyoharu who lost a leg when he was younger due to cancer, and then Takahashi Hisanobu who was hit by a truck while on his bike and turned into a paraplegic.

This one is way less funny than Slam Dunk, so reading them both concurrently is kind of jarring. But, that’s just how I’ve been perceiving it since I’ve been reading both. Real is incredibly good so far, and you can see the progression in Inoue’s art style.

Real is a little more dense than Slam Dunk, and I feel like I more often read back panels a few times before I totally understand them. I’m probably going to keep collecting this, but I might wait until I’m done with Slam Dunk so that I’m not getting jarred as easily.

Funny side note, in Real there’s a scene where these kids are watching an anime and it’s actually Slam Dunk. Neat little easter egg.

Undead Unluck

This is a new anime that I picked up after my buddy showed me the first few episodes. It’s ok, I’m kinda losing interest in it the more it goes on. The first few episodes were very good and very funny, and they’re very interesting. Essentially, this girl, Fuuko, has a power that whenever she touches someone they experience bad luck (in varying degrees). She meets this man, Andy (kinda sounds like undead), who is hundreds of years old and cannot die, because he can regenerate. Everyone who has powers in this series has the ability to “negate” something. So, the 2 main characters have the powers of “Unluck” and “Undead” because they negate luck and death. They are on a quest to kill Andy because he wants to die, and he feels like she’s the only one whose powers would be strong enough to kill him.

The first few episodes were great and they did get me hooked; it was funny and cute, and it seemed like a cool plot (one that I could guess the end of maybe, but still cool). But as it’s gone on the powers have gotten strange and much more abstract. There’s also a secret agency, and there’s like a video-game/quest type aspect, so I’m just not enjoying it as much as I was originally. I dislike the secret agency trope for some reason. Chainsaw man was ok, but I didn’t like it there, and I’m not crazy about JJK for the same reason.

I think I’ll try to finish the first season eventually, but it’s just kinda been meh. The animation is very good, and I can see why people would like the story, but it’s not my cup of tea.

One Piece

WARNING: This section has spoilers up until Chapter 1115, so please be careful.

It’s been a minute since I’ve written about the One Piece manga. I try to write and have an opinion, but it ends up just being a recap more than anything. Which, you could just as easily go and watch a review if you wanted. But, these past 2 or 3 chapters have been pretty significant (most of Egghead has been, but these few specifically). Several characters have made a return, including Saul which was nice confirmation that he is indeed alive, and the GOAT Foxy.

Vegapunk has confirmed that the sea levels are rising (through man-made means), he’s confirmed that Joy Boy was the first pirate to go out to sea, he’s confirmed that Joy Boy’s defeat was the end of the void century, and he’s confirmed that the war that Joy Boy fought is still going on. We even got the very first silhouette of Joy Boy ever!

There’s been so much evidence pointing to the water levels rising: Long Ring Long Land, Water Seven, the old Wano, and the destruction of Lulusia causing water levels to rise by a meter. This was really no surprise, but it’s great that we at least have a scientific mind to confirm that they are indeed rising. This potentially opens the idea to a time limit on the One Piece world. I’m not sure if Oda would use it like that (think like the comet from Avatar the last airbender), but maybe? The fish men would be safe regardless lol

All the Joy Boy drops have been totally insane. This is the most we’ve ever really learned about him, until now we’ve just known that he lived during the void century and was tied to the ponegliffs. He was the last person to awaken the powers of Luffy’s fruit (that we know of at least). We also got confirmation finally that Joy Boy and Nika are not the same person, it’s kinda like the holy trinity going on. Luffy is not Nika, Joy Boy is not Nika, and Luffy is not Joy Boy. But Luffy is the new Joy Boy? I’m still not 100% sure if Joy Boy was a title or his name. Maybe it’s similar to how Luffy is called “Straw Hat Luffy”, maybe he is “Joy Boy…something”. He was the first pirate after all, so maybe that’s what his crew went by.

Him being the first pirate is super cool, because that’s one more piece of evidence towards the ancient kingdom being named something related to “pirate”. The theory goes that since Professor Clover was killed for almost saying the name of the ancient kingdom during the destruction of Ohara, the general public might understand the name and some things might start to make sense to them. Tekking talked about it in this video, and he explains it better. Because the word “pirate” had to come from somewhere, Joy Boy being called one could be related to where he came from. Just a cool thought I think.

The silhouette of Joy Boy raises some questions for me. I think up until now I believed that Joy Boy was going to be a Buccaneer, but now I’m not 100% sure. The Buccaneers believe in and pray to Nika, and that’s one of the reasons that they are persecuted and nearly extinct (also they committed a great sin, which I believe is them having built the Noah). Since we know now that Joy Boy is not Nika, that doesn’t mean that Joy Boy has to be Buccaneer. He never really had to be, but it made sense that he could’ve been. He still could have been a Buccaneer, but his silhouette doesn’t fit that same body shape that Kuma and his father, Clapp, have. Some people have the theory that he was a Mink, which could be true, but I’m not as convinced on that one.

Those are the biggest things I can think of that have happened recently as far as lore goes since I last talked about One Piece in depth. I’m really excited for 1116 this week, maybe we get a little more of Joy Boy, or maybe we even begin the final exodus from Egghead.

See you guys next month!

by Jackson Taylor