Quarantine Post #30: Sherlock Holmes and Me

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If you have been following me, you know that I have a deep passion for Detective stories… and detectives. (See what I did there?) That maybe because I was an voracious reader as a kid. Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys…. R.L. Stine (okay…. he’s not so much mystery as he is horror but I had a blast finding out who was ultimately pulling the strings in his books.) But in my late teens I stumbled onto Sherlock Holmes. There were points in my young life I was under the impression that Sherlock was a real person… I was in for an interesting fall down a rabbit down the rabbit hole that is Sherlock Holmes.

These are STILL expensive.

I was introduced to Sherlock back in 2006. I was gifted a *now old school* video* iPod and I was cycling through iTunes looking for a way to fill up all 80gb. This would also be when I was first introduced to audiobooks… I stumbled across several collections that had to have. They were for sale and I have an affinity for the classics so I took my iTunes Gift Cards and indulged in all that is Sherlock Holmes.

It was interesting to be able to go about my day and listen to the intricate short stories in the collections. In the car, or even on the bus (before I had a car.) It was good to sit back and listen to events play out like an old radio show. It started me to wanting to learning as much as I could about the author and the collections. It would be years until a friend would point me in the direction of Audible… and that would change my life. But as a 20 something year old I could afford a handful of downloads and they all hand to do with Sherlock Holmes.

This has to be my favorite collections.
My very first purchase in iTunes. It is still on my phone btw.

Sherlock Holmes: A Brief History

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. And while he is not the first fictional detective, he is the best known. (Hence why many people think he is real.) The Guinness World Records lists him as the most portrayed literary human character in film and television history. The detective first appears in 1887, with A Study in Scarlet, in Beeton’s Christmas Annual.  A Study in Scarlet was the first work of detective fiction to incorporate the magnifying glass as an investigative tool. The popularity of the character spawned 4 novels and 56 short stories, the latter of which was published in the Strand Magazine. The story goes that The Strand’s Magazine readership was down and needed a pick me up. Enter the Detective.

The short stories, originally published in magazines, were later collected in five anthologies:

  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (stories published 1891–1892 in The Strand)
  • The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (stories published 1892–1893 in The Strand)
  • The Return of Sherlock Holmes (stories published 1903–1904 in The Strand)
  • His Last Bow: Some Later Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes (stories published 1908–1917)
  • The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (stories published 1921–1927)
The Christmas Annual Cover 1887

Financial difficulties lead Holmes and Dr. Watson to share rooms together at 221B Baker Street, London. Their residence is maintained by their landlady, Mrs. Hudson. Holmes works as a detective for twenty-three years, with Watson assisting him for seventeen of those years. Most of the stories are frame narratives written from Watson’s point of view, as summaries of the detective’s most interesting cases. Holmes frequently calls Watson’s records of Holmes’s cases sensational and romanticized, suggesting that they fail to accurately and objectively report the “science” of his craft. What is great about the collection is the use of forensic science and crime scene investigation. In the novel, A Study in Scarlet, when Watson is first introduced to Holmes in a the lab at  St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, Holmes is experimenting with what I now know is a blood typing test. (Testing out whether a stain is blood or not.) Fascinating to know that this was being talked about as early as the 1880’s. Once Holmes was called to a crime scene he also looked at the trail leading up to the crime scene, taking in things like tire tracks and footprints. These things were previously viewed as unimportant to solving crimes. (Usually they interrogated people until they confessed.) Holmes also used tobacco ashes and cigarette butts to identify criminals; handwriting analysis; compared typewritten letters to expose a fraud; used gunpowder residue to expose two murderers; and analyzed small pieces of human remains to expose two murders. Because of the small scale of much of his evidence, the detective often uses a magnifying glass at the scene and an optical microscope at his Baker Street lodgings. He uses analytical chemistry for blood residue analysis and toxicology to detect poison. Ballistics feature in “The Adventure of the Empty House” when spent bullets are recovered to be matched with a suspected murder weapon, a practice which became regular police procedure only some fifteen years after the story was published.

One of my favorite adaptations and yes that includes season 4.
These movies were fantastic.

All but one are set in the Victorian or Edwardian eras, between about 1880 and 1914. Most are narrated by the character of Holmes’s friend and biographer Dr. John H. Watson, who usually accompanies Holmes during his investigations and often shares quarters with him at the address of 221B Baker Street, London, where many of the stories begin. Even the fictional address 221B Baker Street is famous. It is introduced in A Study in Scarlet as the place of residence for both Holmes and Watson. For many years, Abbey National employed a full-time secretary to answer mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes. I mean here is a fictional detective that is over 100 years old getting mail at a fictional address. I had a theory in college as to why people thought he was real… (not sure it still holds up over 100 years later.) but I figured that the Sherlock Holmes stories were being produced around the time the Jack the Ripper murders occurred and because the murders were real and there was a want for a person to solve these crimes (which have never been solved) they turned to Sherlock and made him a real individual.

While Sherlock Holmes may have been born out of the want to find Jack the Ripper…. That doesn’t mean he was real.

Conan Doyle repeatedly said that Holmes was inspired by the real-life figure of Joseph Bell, a surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, whom Conan Doyle met in 1877 and had worked for as a clerk. Like Holmes, Bell was noted for drawing broad conclusions from minute observations. Bell was involved in several police investigations, mostly in Scotland, such as the Ardlamont mystery of 1893, usually with forensic expert Professor Henry Littlejohn. Bell also gave his analysis of the Ripper murders to Scotland Yard.

What made the story interesting to me was the fact that Holmes’s clients vary from the most powerful monarchs (A Scandal in Bohemia) and governments of Europe, to wealthy aristocrats and industrialists, to impoverished pawnbrokers (The Redheaded League) and governesses. I have never heard of term consulting detective before listening to these stories. The publication of Watson’s stories raises Holmes’s profile, and he rapidly becomes well known as a detective; so many clients ask for his help instead of (or in addition to) that of the police.  Police outside London ask Holmes for assistance if he is nearby but the detective doesn’t seek fame or fortune… he just wants an interesting problem. Sherlock acts on behalf of the British government in matters of national security several times, and declines a knighthood “for services which may perhaps some day be described”. He is too cool but that is mostly after the Doctor starts documenting the cases.

The Death of the Most Famous Detective Who Never Lived.

The first set of Holmes stories was published between 1887 and 1893. Conan Doyle killed off Holmes in a final battle with the criminal mastermind Professor James Moriarty in The Final Problem (published 1893, but set in 1891). Conan Doyle felt that “my literary energies should not be directed too much into one channel.” (Living with a writer has given me much more insight into why a writer would want to kill off a character.)  However, distressed readers wrote anguished letters to The Strand Magazine, which suffered a terrible blow when 20,000 people canceled their subscriptions to the magazine in protest. It almost put the magazine out of business.  Londoners were so distraught upon hearing the news of Holmes’s death that they wore black armbands in mourning. the recorded public reaction to Holmes’s death was unlike anything previously seen for fictional events. Conan Doyle wrote other works and concentrated on other things while 8 years passed. The demand was too much to ignore and Conan Doyle wrote The Hound of the Baskervilles with a setting before Holmes’s death. In 1903, Conan Doyle wrote “The Adventure of the Empty House”; set in 1894, Holmes reappears, explaining to a stunned Watson that he had faked his death to fool his enemies. Following “The Adventure of the Empty House”, Conan Doyle would sporadically write new Holmes stories until 1927. Check out my favorite (well on of them) from the RDJ films that feature Moriarty. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBUHvAu4qSI ) I remember taking my mother to this film on Christmas Day and my mother doesn’t really do movies… and she was so taken with the movie… She didn’t know how it was going to end… (I did though.) Check out Andrew Scott doing his thing as well. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOGXSFK3Xsw)

The Fall.
It made the paper….
Andrew Scott as Moriarty is super creepy. Does an excellent job.
But it is Jared Harris in A Game of Shadows that takes the cake for me.

Sherlock Holmes, The Consulting Detective

In the stories, the description we get of the great detective is through the eyes of Doctor Watson. It blew my mind that a character of this magnitude had such a drug problem. In newer adaptations this is played up because it is illegal in this day and age (Jonny Walker’s Sherlock being a recovering addict in Elementary)but at the time the stories were being written… that was not so at the time these stories were written. As a physician, Watson strongly disapproves of his friend’s cocaine habit, describing it as the detective’s only vice, and concerned about its effect on Holmes’s mental health and intellect. One would think that this habit would at some point inhibit his reasoning ability or dull his senses but it never does. The detective goes without food at times of intense intellectual activity, believing that “the faculties become refined when you starve them.” What I remember being funny to me was the way Watson describes his habits once they start living together. Of course, during their introduction Holmes admits that he doesn’t eat or sleep for long periods of time when on a case but also that he plays the violin for long hours when he is stuck. Holmes is an eccentric with no regard for contemporary standards of tidiness or good order. Watson talks about this in a Study in Scarlet:

in his personal habits one of the most untidy men that ever drove a fellow-lodger to distraction. [He] keeps his cigars in the coal-scuttle, his tobacco in the toe end of a Persian slipper, and his unanswered correspondence transfixed by a jack-knife into the very centre of his wooden mantelpiece. … He had a horror of destroying documents…. Thus month after month his papers accumulated, until every corner of the room was stacked with bundles of manuscript which were on no account to be burned, and which could not be put away save by their owner.

A Study in Scarlet 1887

I am not saying he was a hoarder but you know… if the tobacco filled shoe fits. Now… what is interesting… or perhaps not so much so (since these stories were written over 100 years ago) is his attitudes towards women. Holmes says of himself that he is “not a whole-souled admirer of womankind”, and that he finds “the motives of women … inscrutable. … In The Sign of Four, he says, “Women are never to be entirely trusted—not the best of them”, a feeling Watson notes as an “atrocious sentiment”. That is what makes what happens in the “A Scandal in Bohemia” so much more interesting but more on that later. Check out the BBC’s adaptation of it. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bBHT158E0s) Keep in mind though… this isn’t what happens in the story. So you will have to read the short story to find the similarities. But while Watson says that the detective has an “aversion to women”, he also notes Holmes as having “a peculiarly ingratiating way with [them]”. Watson does talk about how their housekeeper Mrs. Hudson is fond of Holmes because of his “remarkable gentleness and courtesy in his dealings with women. He disliked and distrusted the sex, but he was always a chivalrous opponent”. But he does something in the The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton that I will never be able to get over in regards to women. Holmes becomes engaged under false pretenses in order to obtain information about a case, abandoning the woman once he has the information he requires. Not a good look Detective.

He is high as a kite.

It is revealed that Sherlock has an older brother Mycroft by seven years. he is a government official and a founding member of the Diogenes Club. Mycroft is described as having abilities of deduction and knowledge exceeding even those of his brother, though their practical use is limited by his dislike of fieldwork. He mainly appears in two stories by Doyle, “The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter” and “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans”. He also appears briefly in “The Final Problem”.

Look at Stephen Frye being the best Mycroft he can be.

Holmes’s friendship with Watson is his most significant relationship. Holmes can be cold and calculating especially when he is in the middle of a case he can also be very animated. He has a flair for showmanship, often keeping his methods and evidence hidden until the last possible moment so as to impress observers). Watson is somewhat on board with Holmes’s willingness to bend the truth (or break the law) on behalf of a client—lying to the police, concealing evidence or breaking into houses—when he feels it morally justifiable. (The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton.)

BBC’s Sherlock
A Game of Shadows is my favorite
Basil of Baker Street and Dr. Dawson qualify.

But what causes him to stand out is his deductive reasoning as well as his crime scene investigation which was ahead of it’s time. Holmes level of observation is unmatched but it is not just the keen eye for observing but it is the fact that he is able to link these things to something in the person/clients life. Holmes observes the dress and attitude of his clients and suspects, noting skin marks (such as tattoos), contamination (such as ink stains or clay on boots), emotional state, and physical condition in order to deduce their origins and recent history. The detective’s guiding principle, as he says in The Sign of Four, is: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”.

There are several stories that I love and as is the case with my past posts I shall make a list of my favorites. If you guys get a chance to read or listen to them (Audible guys.) I think I have it narrowed down to my top stories… These would be the ones that I find myself listening to again and again. So let’s get down to it:

  1. A Scandal in Bohemia – It is the first of the 56 Holmes short stories written by Doyle and the first of 38 Sherlock Holmes works illustrated by Sidney Paget. The story is notable for introducing the character of Irene Adler, who is one of the most notable female characters in the Sherlock Holmes series, despite appearing in only one story. Doyle ranked “A Scandal in Bohemia” fifth in his list of his twelve favorite Holmes stories. It was the first of the stories collected in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in 1892. In this short story, Holmes is visited by the King of Bohemia. He has a bit of a problem with Irene Adler. The King explains that he is to become engaged to a young Scandinavian princess. However, five years before the events of the story, he had enjoyed a relationship with the American opera singer Irene Adler. She has since retired and now lives in London. He fears that should the strictly principled family of his fiancée learn of this impropriety, the marriage would be called off. He seeks to regain letters and a photograph of Adler and himself together, which he had sent to her during their relationship as a token. The King’s agents had failed to recover the photograph through various means; an offer to pay for the photograph and letters was also refused. Adler has threatened to send the photograph to his in-laws, so the King requests help in recovering the photograph. What is great about this story is that Irene comes out on top. Sherlock dislikes the King of Bohemia and rightly so… (he seems to think the world… Irene’s world… revolves him.) Sadly… he finds out how untrue that is. It is so satisfying.
  2. The Red-Headed League – Conan Doyle ranked “The Red-Headed League” second in his list of his twelve favorite Holmes stories. It is also the second of the twelve stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which was published in 1892. Wilson comes to consult Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. While studying this prospective client, both Holmes and Watson notice his red hair, which has a distinct flame-like hue. Wilson tells them that some weeks before, his young assistant, Vincent Spaulding, urged him to respond to a newspaper want-ad offering highly-paid work to only red-headed male applicants. (How odd. Do people really fall for this type of thing? Well I watched Catfish so this didn’t seem so far fetched.)The next morning, Wilson had waited in a long line of fellow red-headed men, was interviewed and was the only applicant hired, because none of the other applicants qualified; their red hair was either too dark or too bright, and did not match Wilson’s unique flame color. was able to vacate his shop for short periods in the afternoon, receiving £4 (equivalent to £443 in 2019) a week for several weeks; the work was obviously useless clerical work in a bare office, he was made to copy the Encyclopædia Britannica. Wilson learned much about the subjects starting with the “A” section and looked forward to getting into the “B” section. One morning, a sign on the locked office door inexplicably announced that “THE RED-HEADED LEAGUE IS DISSOLVED”—Oct. 9, 1890.” The story is outrageous enough. One point that I was clear on was that someone wanted Wilson out his office for some reason and it is really interesting watching it unfold. Check it out.
  3. The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton – So this made it to my list because usually Holmes has a strong sense of right and wrong and justice but in this story he takes a different approach than the norm. It is one of 13 stories in the cycle collected as The Return of Sherlock Holmes and was published in 1904. Holmes is hired by the débutante Lady Eva Blackwell to retrieve compromising letters from a blackmailer: Milverton, who causes Holmes more revulsion than any of the 50-odd murderers in his career. Milverton is “the king of blackmailers”. He has made his money by blackmailing others. He demands £7,000 (over £800,000 in 2015) for the letters, which if given to third parties would cause a scandal that would end Lady Eva’s marriage engagement. Of course, this was in the time and place when all women had was marriage. Though Holmes is aware of Milverton, he hasn’t had the chance to nail down evidence of his breaking the law; this is his opportunity and he leaps at it. All kinds of hilarity ensues and Watson’s account is to die for but when the climax comes… you’ll find yourself not feeling too bad. Just like Holmes and Watson.
  4. The Adventure of the Speckled Band – It was originally published in Strand Magazine in February 1892, with illustrations by Sidney Paget, and later as the eighth story in the collection The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The story tells of Helen Stoner, a soon-to-be married young woman who suspects her stepfather may be trying to kill her in order to retain control of her inheritance. Convinced of her stepfather’s intentions, she turns to Holmes for help. “The Speckled Band” is a classic locked room mystery that deals with the themes of parental greed, inheritance and freedom. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson meet a young woman named Helen Stoner who fears that her life is being threatened by her stepfather, Dr. Grimesby Roylott. Roylott is a doctor who practiced in Calcutta, India and was married to Helen’s late mother when she was a widow living there. He is also the impoverished last survivor of what was once a wealthy but violent, ill-tempered and amoral, aristocratic family of Surrey, and has already served a jail sentence for killing his Indian butler in a rage. Helen’s twin sister had died almost two years earlier, shortly before she was to be married. Helen had heard her sister’s dying words, “The speckled band!” but was unable to decode their meaning. Helen herself, troubled by the perplexing death of her sister, is now engaged, and she has begun to hear strange noises and observe strange activities where she and her stepfather live. This isn’t a whodunit. We know who the culprit is… the story is about proving it and it doesn’t end in the way you think. My favorite thing is that Holmes can’t be threatened. He is always more than he appears to be. I guess in his line of work. You have to be.

  5. The Adventure of Silver Blaze – one of 12 in the cycle collected as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle ranked “Silver Blaze” 13th in a list of his 19 favorite Sherlock Holmes stories.  “Silver Blaze” focuses on the disappearance of the eponymous race horse (a famous winner, owned by a Colonel Ross) on the eve of an important race and on the apparent murder of its trainer. The famous exchange about “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time” in fact inspired an excellent novel which used that line as the title. There is a lot going on here. But it comes together in the best way.
  6. The Final Problem –  It was first published in Strand Magazine under the title “The Adventure of the Final Problem” in December 1893. It appears in book form as part of the collection The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. This story, set in 1891, introduced Holmes’s archenemy, the criminal mastermind Professor James Moriarty. (Check out the RDJ Sherlock Holmes movies he battles with Moriarty.) Moriarty is a criminal mastermind whom Holmes describes as the “Napoleon of crime”. In the short stories, Moriarty was introduced primarily as a narrative device to enable Doyle to kill Sherlock Holmes, and he is only featured in two of the Sherlock Holmes stories. However, in adaptations (BBC), he has often been given a greater prominence and treated as Sherlock Holmes’s archenemy. In The Final Problem Holmes is on the verge of delivering a fatal blow to Moriarty’s criminal organization. However he is forced to flee to continental Europe to escape Moriarty’s retribution. Moriarty follows him and Watson, and the pursuit ends on top of the Reichenbach Falls, an encounter that apparently ends with both Holmes and Moriarty falling to their deaths. In this story, Moriarty is introduced as a criminal mastermind who protects nearly all of the criminals of England in exchange for their obedience and a share in their profits. Holmes, by his own account, was originally led to Moriarty by his perception that many of the crimes he investigated were not isolated incidents, but instead the machinations of a vast and subtle criminal organization. It is a heartbreaking story since it is Watson’s POV. You can feel the pain as he realizes what has happened to his friend. Listening to this story made me realize that I had seen this scene play out a few times without knowing where it actually came from. The scene that comes my mind is that of Basil and Ratigan falling off Big Ben in The Great Mouse Detective (Watch on Disney Plus. This is it’s own novel series but it is very clear who he is supposed to be.

  7. The Adventure of the Empty House – one of 13 stories in the cycle collected as The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Public pressure forced Conan Doyle to bring the sleuth back to life, and explain his apparently miraculous survival of a deadly struggle with Professor Moriarty. This is the first Holmes story set after his supposed death at the Reichenbach Falls, as recounted in “The Final Problem”. The story takes place in 1894, three years after the apparent death of the detective. On the night of March 30, an apparently unsolvable locked-room murder takes place in London which Watson tries to help the authorities solve: the killing of the Honorable Ronald Adair, son of the Earl of Maynooth, a colonial governor in Australia. Adair was in his sitting room, working on accounts of some kind, as indicated by the papers and money found by police. He liked playing whist and regularly did so at several clubs, but never for great sums of money. It does, however, come out that he won as much as £420 in partnership with Colonel Sebastian Moran. The motive does not appear to be robbery as nothing has been stolen, and it seems that Adair had not an enemy in the world. It seems odd that Adair’s door was locked from the inside. He liked playing whist and regularly did so at several clubs, but never for great sums of money. It does, however, come out that he won as much as £420 in partnership with Colonel Sebastian Moran. (Colonel Moran is supposed to have been the number one goon that worked with Professor Moriarty.) The motive does not appear to be robbery as nothing has been stolen, and it seems that Adair had not an enemy in the world. It seems odd that Adair’s door was locked from the inside. Later Holmes reveals himself to Watson and tells the story for how he survived but he also brings with him him Colonel Moran. (I was so interested in hearing what his explanation was going to be after the Great Fall and it turns out that it wasn’t so much his explanation as it was his triumphant return and the way he foils another plan. Simple but fun.)

  8. The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot– It is one of eight stories in the cycle collected as His Last Bow. Holmes and Dr. Watson find themselves at Poldhu in Cornwall one spring for the former’s health, but the holiday ends with a bizarre event. Mr. Mortimer Tregennis, a local gentleman, and Mr. Roundhay, the local vicar, come to Holmes to report that Tregennis’s two brothers have gone insane, and his sister has died.  Tregennis had gone to visit them in their village (‘Tredannick Wollas’), played whist with them, and then left. When he came back in the morning, he found them still sitting in their places at the table, the brothers, George and Owen, laughing and singing, and the sister, Brenda, dead. The housekeeper had discovered them in this state, and fainted. There is a lot that happens in the story but the famous detective is never off the track. He is like a dog with a bone and sometimes that may not be the best for his health.
  9. The Adventure of the Yellow Face – the third tale from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. It was first published in Strand Magazine in 1893 with original illustrations by Sidney Paget. In this story, Sherlock Holmes, suffering from boredom due to a want of cases, returns home from a walk with Dr. Watson early in spring to find he has missed a visitor but that the caller has left his pipe behind. When the visitor, Mr. Grant Munro (whose name Holmes observed from his hatband) returns, Holmes and Watson hear the story of Munro’s deception by his wife Effie. She had been previously married in America, but her husband and child had died of yellow fever, whereupon she returned to England and met and married Munro. Their marriage had been blissful—”We have not had a difference, not one, in thought, or word, or deed,” says Grant Munro—until she asked for a hundred pounds and begged him not to ask why. Two months later, Effie Munro was caught conducting secret liaisons with the occupants of a cottage near the Munro house in Norbury. Grant Munro has seen a mysterious yellow-faced person in this cottage. The story is interesting to say the least. Especially how race was viewed at that time in London. (And possibly still is today.) It also shows the length that women went through to stay married during a time when they had to be.
  10. The Adventure of the Dying Detective –  in some editions simply titled “The Dying Detective” (first published 1913). Together with seven other stories, it was collected in His Last Bow (published 1917). Dr. Watson is called to tend Holmes, who is apparently dying of a rare tropical disease, Tapanuli fever, contracted while he was on a case. Watson is shocked, not having heard about his friend’s illness. Mrs. Hudson says that Holmes has neither eaten or drank anything in three days. Holmes instructs Watson not to come near him, because the illness is highly infectious. In fact, he scorns to be treated by Watson and insults his abilities, astonishing and hurting the doctor. Although Watson wishes to examine Holmes himself or call in a specialist, Holmes demands that Watson wait several hours before seeking help. At six o’clock, Holmes tells Watson to bring Mr. Culverton Smith of 13 Lower Burke Street to see Holmes, but to make sure that Watson returns to Baker Street before Smith arrives. It isn’t until Watson return that shit hits the fan. But I won’t reveal anymore here. Just know that I enjoyed this story more than I thought I would but because after the reveal… We learn what the detective thinks about Watson really.

In the end, I stumbled across Holmes and Watson about 17 years ago and have never looked back. Every now and then when I am stuck in traffic. I turn on a story and I am instantly transformed to an exciting time when I was first reading it. I am older now and so I reflect on the fact that I love a good mystery and even as a kid I would read things like Encyclopedia Brown or Nancy Drew. So it isn’t all that hard to imagine that I would love these stories too. The stories gave me enough fuel to get through my English classes because it was something I was actually interested in. And I dragged Leah to the RDJ Sherlock movie first chance I got. I give any adaption a try. I am actually headed downstairs to watch Enola Holmes on Netflix. (Heard great things about it. Will have to check that out.) Anyways… Tell me your fave Sherlock stories, moments from shows or whatever. I would love to here from you.

Quarantine Posts #29: The Mighty Ducks

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Thank goodness for Disney Plus. One of the great streaming services in my house because it gives something for my niece and nephew to watch. Sometimes at the same time. Thank goodness it can be up on several screens. (All things Spiderman for him… and all the princesses for her. Yes they choose what they want to watch and I don’t have to worry.) The great thing for me is the nostalgia I get when I get to watch things with them for the first time. Watching things through an adult lens gives me some different perspective which is fun most of the time. Sometimes I think though… ‘How could I have liked this as a kid?’ but it is eye opening nontheless. I watched Blank Check the other day and the kid in me loved this movie but the adult in me raged against the machine. (Who lets their kid work for a man that they have never met? Red Flags all over that movie.) But my love for the Mighty Ducks stayed the same if not better than before.

This movie gets a lot of flack from hockey fans. But I mean who actually takes cues about a sport based solely on the series of kids movies. These movies came out at the height of the underdog movies (Sandlot, The Little Giants, The Rookie etc etc.) The flack usually comes in the form of people saying “You can tell a fake hockey fan because their favorite hockey movie is the mighty ducks..” People are dumb. People like a lot of things from their childhood for various reasons. I enjoyed these movies because there was representation for me. (Black people and girls.) I had also wanted to be part of a team… but hadn’t really gotten a chance to do so. These movies peaked my interests in hockey… but you know… elitist in and that.

I think I always had a thing for Jesse Hall.
By far my favorite Ducks movie.
This one… I had to be older to appreciate… Adult lens comes to the rescue.

Anyways, one of my favorite trilogies as a kid was the Mighty Ducks. I remember being interested in hockey at a young age and it was disheartening to be told by older family members that “Black people do not play hockey.” You’re a kid so you figure that they know. (See my Black Girl Hockey Post.) The great thing about the mighty ducks was I saw Jesse Hall and his brother who were black kids playing hockey. It was opposed to everything that I had been told up to that point. Not only that but it showed their black father at every game which dispels another myth about black families and black fathers. There were also girls on the team which spoke to me… (The whole anything you can do I can do.)It was part of the reason that I became a hockey fan… although now… after seeing several real games. There are some qualms I have with the movie. But I will talk about that later.

Lets first get into that cast of the first movie:

  • Emilio Estevez as Gordon Bombay
  • Joshua Jackson as Charlie Conway, #96
  • Elden Henson as Fulton Reed, #44
  • Shaun Weiss as Greg Goldberg, #33
  • Brandon Adams as Jesse Hall, #9 (Seen the Sandlot anyone?)
  • J. D. Daniels as Peter Mark, #24
  • Matt Doherty as Lester Averman, #4
  • Aaron Schwartz as Dave Karp, #11
  • Garette Ratliff Henson as Guy Germaine, #00
  • Marguerite Moreau as Connie Moreau, #18
  • Vincent Larusso as Adam Banks, #9 (Hawks), #99

  • Jussie Smollett as Terry Hall, #1 (We won’t talk about them calling themselves the “Oreo Line” Insert Eyeroll.
  • Danny Tamberelli as Tommy Duncan, #2 (The Adventures of Pete and Pete)
  • Jane Plank as Tammy Duncan, #5

So the plot of the first movie is pretty simple. Gordon Bombay is forced into taking time off to coach the District 5 pee wee hockey team for drunk driving. Bombay has an unpleasant history with the sport: in 1973, he was the Hawks’ star player but, struggling with the loss of his father, he missed a penalty shot in the championship game, disappointing his hyper-competitive coach, Jack Reilly. This guy is a douche but I will get into that later. The Hawks went on to lose in overtime, becoming one of their only championship defeats. Bombay meets the District 5 team, and realizes the children have no practice facility, equipment, or ability which is usually the case when your family is a lower income family.

Look at my rag tag band of misfits
One of them is wearing a football helmet. One of them is wearing a bike helmet to play hockey. SMH

When I started with the black girl hockey club, I didn’t know what the costs were for enrolling your child(ren) in an extra curricular activity. Looking back at this movie after going on those trips gave me different perspective. As a kid, District 5 made me laugh. Although, I should know how it feels to not have the money to do what the other kids or doing. If you have read my post on the black girl hockey club, you will know I had an awakening. As a kid, I thought it was funny that Goldberg was taping pads on to play goalie or that Terry Hall had on a bike helmet. Really though, it is sad.

Of course these numbers are an average based on one child. If you have more children then…

The District 5 first game with Bombay at the helm is against the Hawks. Reilly is still the Hawks’ head coach and, despite a nearly unbroken championship streak, remains bitter about Gordon’s missed penalty shot. (Who cares that much about Pee Wee anything? I have to remember I live where pee wee football is king… so maybe it isn’t that far off the mark.) It just seems odd that Bombay still harbors feelings about something that happened when he was a kid. (But I mean his dad died and I am sure that had more to do with it but it was still weird to sDistrict 5 is soundly defeated as Reilly demands the Hawks run up the score. (It is something about the way he instructed the young boys that winning by any cost is the right way to play games that never set right with me even as a kid.) As an adult though, you could tell that the Coach Reilly’s whole identity is wrapped up in living vicariously through the kids. But it’s also the way he and the kids seem to believe because they have money they are better than anyone else. (Luckily, that doesn’t last long.)

Gordon is not winning any points with either the players or parents with his lack of coaching style. He berates them after they lose to the Hawks and teaches them to take dives and draw penalties, which results in another loss to the Jets. Things take a turn and Bombay starts actually taking an interests in the kids and wanting to coach them. He starts off by approaching his boss (Ducksworth) and looking for him to sponsor the kids so they can purchase professional-grade equipment as opposed to the makeshift equipment they had, and give Bombay time to teach the players fundamentals. He acquires three new players: Figure skating siblings Tommy and Tammy Duncan, and slap shot specialist Fulton Reed. (I love me some Fulton Reed.) All the kids know Reed and it doesn’t seem like they are afraid of him in fact, he seems to be their defender throughout the film even prior to joining the team.

Look at my big defender. My love of Enforcers dates way back.
No seriously… watch out for his slapshot. 1 out of 5.

Because the kids know Reed, Bombay asks them why he won’t join the team… each of them has a different reason but when Bombay actually meets Reed… (Reed’s nasty snapshot takes out the window on the van.) he gets the real scoop. Reed can’t skate. Ice or otherwise. Another thing that I learned from the Black Girl Hockey Club (especially that last trip) showed me that this was one of the biggest obstacles. When we were trying interests the elementary school kids, one of the things we were told was if the kids don’t learn to skate at a young age… they never learn and then hockey is out of the realm of possibility. But as is the case with movies (Disney especially) Reed learns to skate of a montage. (Inline skating though a mall. We all know this would never be allowed.)

The coaching was a bit questionable. The eggs thing is weird. But as a kid I thought it was hilarious. Especially when Bombay gets egged. I guess it got the point across and the kids learned how to pass the puck to each other. (But again… who watched this and thought…this is really how hockey practice goes.) It is the tying the goalie to the goalposts that kills me. (Whoever heard of a goalie that was afraid of the puck anyway.) But like this was cruel and unusual punishment. WHERE WERE GOLDBERGS PARENTS???????? He allows the other kids to shoot at a tied up Goldberg. ODD… Check out the scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgFZJ8v9Rdo)

Poor Goldberg

Renamed the Ducks – after Ducksworth – the team fights its next game against the Cardinals to a tie. Bombay learns that, due to redistricting, the Hawks’ star player Adam Banks lives in District Five and should be playing for the Ducks, and threatens Reilly into transferring Banks to the Ducks. Ducksworth makes a deal with Reilly for the Hawks to keep Banks, which Bombay, although initially tempted, refuses on the principles of fair play, which Ducksworth berated him about when he started his community service. Left with the choice of letting his team down or being fired from his job, he takes the latter. (Now I am watching grown men argue and actually fire a man over pee wee hockey. The same man that was forced to take this job in the first place. Now this wasn’t something I would have paid much attention to as a kid but I mean watching old men argue over kids playing hockey just to say they are on a winning team… was a little far fetched but again I live where football is king. Bunch of grown men living vicariously through their kids.) I think Banks’ dad even says something like “My kid would rather not play than play for the Ducks.” Um… seriously…. Anyways…

Banks decides to play with the Ducks rather than not play hockey at all and proves to be an asset though Jesse doesn’t trust him. The Ducks march through the playoffs with wins against the Hornets and the Cardinals, reaching the championship game against the Hawks. We are introduced to the line V. (This is really NOT a hockey thing but I love it nonetheless.)

I think I saw this at a skills competition or an all star game.

Here is Reilly really ends up on my shit list. He actually orders his kids to purposely injure Banks. (A. THIS IS COMPLETELY UNETHICAL. B. Isn’t this a kid that was on your team? Don’t you care about him at all? C. Teaching the other kids that hurting people is the way to win is just despicable.) Not to mention how Banks’ dad continued wearing Hawks gear and didn’t want to be seen cheering for his son. All those dudes were trash.

I mean his response says it all. They took Banks off in a stretcher and this is his response.

Shoutout to Fulton who drops a Hawks player for taking a cheap shot at Connie… As an adult, I still felt they deserved that but don’t do this kids. Don’t let stupid people bring you down to their level.

The Ducks manage to tie late in the final period, and Charlie is tripped by a Hawks player as time expires. In precisely the same situation Bombay faced at the film’s beginning, Charlie prepares for a game-deciding penalty shot. In stark contrast to Reilly, who told Bombay that if he missed, he was letting everyone down, Bombay tells Charlie to take his best shot and that he will believe in him no matter what. Inspired, Charlie fakes out the goalie with a “triple-deke” Bombay taught him and scores, winning the state championship. The thing I have an issue with is the fact he is allowed to take this shot without his helmet. (I am guessing this is more for the movie… but I mean… you can’t do this. But I mean they were letting kids play with football helmets.) But you know for the movie… it works.

He just skates off without his helmet… I mean what is going on here?
Look at him with his hair blowing in the wind and all that movie jazz.

The Ducks players and their families race onto the ice in jubilation, where Bombay thanks Hans for his belief in him and Hans tells Bombay he is proud of him. Later, Bombay boards a bus to a minor-league tryout, secured for him by the NHL’s Basil McRae of the Minnesota North Stars. Although daunted at the prospect of going up against younger players, he receives the same words of encouragement and advice from the Ducks he had given them, promising to return next season to defend their title.

D2: The Mighty Ducks

Alright… so moving on to D2… which is my favorite in the series because we get new players added to the original roster… Including giving Fulton some muscle in the form of Dean Portman and my favorite goalie ever Julie, the cat. (Girls can do anything.) The new cast of players are:

  • Colombe Jacobsen as Julie “The Cat” Gaffney, #6
  • Aaron Lohr as Dean Portman, #21
  • Ty O’Neal as Dwayne Robertson, #7
  • Kenan Thompson as Russ Tyler, #56
  • Mike Vitar as Luis Mendoza, #22 (Bennie the Jet anyone? If you don’t know who that is… I am sad for you.) Poor Mendoza has speed on his side but can’t stop.
  • Justin Wong as Ken Wu, #16

Mighty Duck players that were in the first film but not this one:

  • Tammy Duncan (her figure skating skills were replaced with those of Ken Wu)
  • Tommy Duncan
  • Terry Hall (despite the continuation of the character’s brother, Jesse)
  • Dave Karp
  • Peter Mark (his street punk goon image was replaced with those of Dean Portman)

But let’s jump into the plot of D2:

The Former Pee-Wee hockey coach, Gordon Bombay, is a star in the minor leagues, expected to reach the National Hockey League. However, a career-ending knee injury brings him back to Minneapolis. Bombay is offered a chance to coach a team representing the United States in the Junior Goodwill Games in Los Angeles. He manages to reunite most of his former Ducks players including:

  • Charlie Conway
  • Fulton Reed
  • Greg Goldberg
  • Jesse Hall (His brother is missing this movie… I am not sure. Maybe he was too young to travel to Los Angeles.)
  • Les Averman
  • Adam Banks
  • Connie Moreau 
  • Guy Germaine
Look at my rag tag team.

As Team USA, the Ducks also add five new players with special talents and the practice with the new teammates is interesting. It is shown that the OG ducks had not been training or conditioning in the off season and were being out skated. (Having played basketball in middle school, I knew this is the case with kids anyway. I remember Thanksgiving break and my coach saying she will be able to see the ones that didn’t work out when we went back to it.) And because there was a division between the new additions and the older players… enter Bombay’s eccentric style of coaching. I am not sure this endears me to him like it is supposed to. But he ties them all together until they and learn to work together like a team.

Our 5 new members wipe the floor with our old school ducks.
Should this be considered practice?

In Los Angeles, the lure of celebrity distracts Bombay, who begins to neglect the team for a luxurious lifestyle. (I really wonder what type of celebrity a juniors coach can get though.) There are a lot of A listers that Bombay is introduced to including:

  • Kristi Yamaguchi – Champion Olympic figure skater
  • Greg Louganis – Champion Olympic diver
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Basketball player
  • Wayne GretzkyChris CheliosLuc RobitailleCam Neely – National Hockey League (NHL) players
  • Bob Miller – play-by-play announcer for the championship game vs. Iceland

The team wins easy victories over Trinidad and Tobago and Italy in the double-elimination tournament. (There were a LOT of people complaining online about the inclusion of a place like Trinidad and Tobago as if in places such as this…. people would not have interest in a winter sport like hockey. although… The Black Girl Hockey Club dispelled this rumor. Check out this video about Kenya Ice Hockey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OGdZAQk1cg&feature=youtu.be) Now as far as why we didn’t get to see Canada play USA… I have no answer for that. Made no sense to me. But movie showing people from all walks of life enjoying and playing hockey is not a downside. I read a blog post saying that Russ Tyler’s crew enjoying hockey in South Central LA is a bit too far fetched… It screamed to me that only black people are allowed to like basketball or football. But I am off my soapbox for now.

Fulton Reed and Dean Portman gain recognition for their enforcer skills, and are dubbed the “Bash Brothers”. (Which is funny because when Dean is first introduced Fulton is less than thrilled. Fulton thinks Dean is a jerk. However, later on, he quickly bonds with Portman over talking to pretty girls and a love of heavy metal music.) I have been posed the question: Were the bash brothers really necessary? Probably not. But they always made it fun for me to watch.

Ready to do damage.
Putting on battle armor.
Clothes Line anyone?
Don’t you just love the bash brothers?

Backup goaltender Julie Gaffney asks Bombay for a chance to play, but is told to wait since Goldberg is on a hot streak. (Even though she is a MUCH better goalie… but we will get back to that in D3. The team suffers an embarrassing 12–1 defeat against Iceland, coached by ex-NHL player Wolf “The Dentist” Stansson. (Why would a guy who had one year in the NHL and helped knock out more teeth than he had goals would be great to coach a Juniors team?) USA plays badly, and star center Adam Banks is slashed in the wrist. Here is another group of poor athletes just out to hurt the other team. Jerks. Also the sexist jokes that Julie handles like I would have…

I am she and she is me.
Same sis…. SAME

Because the team loses… the pressure increases on Bombay. Adult me has questions about why so much money was being thrown at coaches of Juniors? And how losing one game causes him to lose his job. (I wondered what Bombay was going to do once the Juniors was over anyway.) And because shit rolls downhill, Bombay drives his players even harder. He even forces them to practice well into the night, but they begin to suffer from complete exhaustion.  Realizing the children are too tired to complete their school work or even stay awake in class, the team’s tutor Michelle McKay intervenes, cancelling practice and confronting Bombay over his thoughtlessness and for putting his ego ahead of the well being of his team.

Enter Russ Tyler, who has been tormenting the USA players. Complaining that he and his crew could play better than those representing the USA to the world. Russ charges into the USA Training Camp and challenges team USA to a pick up game. Once better rested, the players encounter a street hockey team who teaches them to play like “the real Team USA”. We are introduced to the Knucklepuck… which boggles Reed’s mind.

Look at all the inner city kids playing hockey… which I was constantly told they don’t do.
Cheesy? Yes. Unlikely or Unbelievable that black kids play hockey? No.

In their match against Germany, Bombay fails to arrive on time, forcing Charlie to lie to the referee. He says that Michelle is the team’s assistant coach. The team struggles, entering the third period tied, until Bombay arrives and apologizes to the team for his selfish behavior. (I wonder what kind of record these officials were keeping that a simple lie like that would keep them in the tournament.) Once Bombay returns, the players win the game with their signature “Flying V”, and advance to the next round.

Now that Bombay is actually paying attention, he benches Banks because of his injury. Banks gripes and I am sure that his old coach would have allowed him to play injured to prove that he is a winner… but… he is sidelined anyway. To fill the spot, Charlie brings in Russ Tyler and he helps them win over Russia with his Knucklepuck. (We aren’t supposed to question how this kid is allowed to just join the team without a real tryout and compete on an international level… as a kid you go with it… as an adult… I am yelling… PLOTHOLE!) This win secures USA’s victory over Russia, advancing them to the championship game for a rematch against Iceland.

I wonder all the time what the motivation for Charlie giving up his spot was when Banks returns from his injury. I guess it was to show kids how to work on a team but thought Charlie’s love for wanting to coach was weird even as a kid. Charlie gives up his spot on the team so that Russ can keep playing and helps Bombay coach instead. Prior to the final game, Bombay wants his team to relax but the Iceland team cuts their relaxation short. A one on one game between the coaches ensues.

Does these people have any fun? Or Fun that doesn’t involve beating the hell out of other people

The Dentist shows why he got his name and why his kids play the way they do. He is losing to Bombay and can’t take the trash talk. He resorts to bring down Bombay with a cheap shot that ends the One on One match. No wonder his career was super short. Check out the scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RSJNxCCGAY) Super dramatic right? LOL.

I won’t even try to understand why they would stack drink cans in order to help Luis stop. It really doesn’t seem to work and makes a big mess. But I guess it is better than the eggs from the first movie.

Seems like such a mess.

The final game is just craziness that would never take place in an actual hockey game. I mean Dwayne lassoing a guy in the middle of a game. Just ridiculous. But it is Disney so you know… the Iceland team initially dominates as the Ducks incur penalties: Ken picks a fight with an opposing player, the Bash Brothers fight the entire Iceland bench and Dwayne lassos an opposing player before he can check Connie. An annoyed Bombay observes, “this isn’t a hockey game, it’s a circus.” I also wondered like were these actual kids playing these parts. Honestly, they looked like grown men. But honestly, the circus thing is understatement.

I did enjoy that the guys on the team were protective of their female teammates.
But if you’re a girl into sports… you probably feel like Connie

After an invigorating speech, the ducks come out with new jerseys…(Is there not a rule on that?) and a new attitude as is the case with sports movies. The Ducks tie the game with goals from Connie, Banks, Luis, and finally Russ. We won’t even talk about how they had Russ switch jerseys with Goldberg… and took his shot because he couldn’t deal with the double team. Just know that I think it is complete and utter nonsense.

The game is forced to go to a five-shot shootout. With a 4–3 score in favor of the Ducks, Gunnar Stahl, the tournament’s leading scorer, is Team Iceland’s final shooter. This is when Bombay pulls Goldberg and puts in Julie… (I didn’t think you can do a goalie change in the middle of a shootout. I also wonder what happened to all of the talk about Goldberg being “hot”.)  Julie has the faster glove. Gunnar fires a hard slapshot which Julie catches in her glove. The Ducks’ triumph over Iceland to win the tournament.

D3: The Mighty Ducks

This is my least favorite ducks movie… as it is for most people but I will say that I have a better understanding for what unfolds than I did as a kid. Are we given the same story again…? Sure. Rich kids who think they are better than the ducks… yeah we have seen this before. I think after watching it this time, I understand the theme of learning new things and being open to change. Charlie was a great character to me… but he had a hard time in this movie because he was so resistant to making changes. Brandon Adams, who played Jesse Hall, is the only actor from the previous films to not reprise his role as a Duck, after appearing in the first two films of the trilogy. It’s assumed his character moved away.

So let’s hop into this plot… After their victory at the Junior Goodwill Games, the Ducks are awarded the junior varsity hockey scholarships to Eden Hall Academy, a prestigious prep school that Coach Bombay attended. They have reached the end of their line with Bombay and are thrust into EVERYTHING new. Been there done that. It’s hard and it sucks to leave things you know behind but you wonder what did Charlie think was going to happen. That he was going to be coached by Bombay for the rest of his life?  Charlie struggles with his transition from childhood to adolescence; he thinks he was abandoned by Bombay when he is informed that Bombay intends to take a job with the Junior Goodwill Games, which would leave him unable to coach the Ducks. (This is not a slight of Charlie or the Ducks. But there are even some adults that I know that take things personally when someone takes another job position. People can’t make life decisions based on other people.)

The Ducks experience many early struggles: playing in the new “two-way hockey” defensive style of Coach Orion (I mean imagine that you actually have to play defense… imagine that a game is not all about scoring… shocking…), Orion abandoning several Duck traditions (which can also be expected since he is the new coach and wants to create a new feel for the team), and off-ice conflicts with the Varsity team. The rift gets bigger because Coach Orion shifts around playing positions. (I believe he sends Adam Banks up to Varsity. So as we have seen before there was a separation of Banks from the Ducks.)

You have the wrong colors on bro.
At least he isn’t like his dad in the first movie.

The biggest change being moving Goldberg from goalie to defensemen and letting Julie take over in the crease. (There is a feeling I get watching Goldberg assume that he would just get that position. Because that is how it has always been.) There is nothing like watching him trying to sabotage his teammate to take her spot instead of trying to get better. (I had always like Goldberg up until this point.) Orion removes Charlie as captain. (Rightfully so… if you aren’t with the program you can’t lead.) I remember feeling bad for the team and thinking their coach was just a douche… however… now I side with the Coach… Things change and you have to learn to adapt. Also as things that used to come naturally to you become harder… you don’t just stop trying.. you put in more effort. The Ducks’ first game ends in a tie in their first game after having a huge lead.

The Varsity team is not impressed with the new talent coming to the school. It is their position that Charlie and the ducks did not earn their spots at Eden Hall. (But I mean… WHO CARES???????????????? The obviously have credentials.)  Eventually, when Coach Orion restricts the old Ducks uniform after an unsanctioned early morning match with the Varsity team (Orion had told them to stay away from the Varsity team but they don’t listen) to settle their differences (which they lose… while trying to hang on to their old days), Charlie decides to leave the team. Fulton follows and considers quitting hockey and reverting to his old ways before joining the Ducks in the first film. (And what would the result have been?) Fulton has a hard time without Dean… who for some reason or another is not there with the Ducks. He even asks “What good is only one Bash Brother?” But he was the Ducks original enforcer so… it’s not like he couldn’t have handled the Varsity on his own.

Because you can totally skip school everyday and go to the fair. Insert eyeroll.

Charlie, due to his behavior, has really alienated himself from those around him including his mother and Hans (who has been the voice of reason in the first movie)  Hans suddenly dies, and Bombay comes to Charlie’s house the day following the funeral and takes him back to Eden Hall. He tells Charlie that Orion’s career with the Minnesota North Stars ended when the team moved to Dallas and he stayed to care for his paraplegic daughter. Bombay tells Charlie the background story on how he first came to coach the Ducks (maybe to help with the rose colored glasses issue.) Bombay goes on to say it was his hope that both Orion and Charlie would learn something from each other. See it here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl04GaUtRpc ) Arriving at the team bus for the next game, Charlie tells Orion he wants to play “two-way hockey”. Surprised but pleased, Coach Orion welcomes him back. Fulton has also rejoined, deciding to play it by ear when it comes to hockey.

But things would never go that smoothly in a Disney movie right? Of course not. In a move that we saw in the first movie… Dean Buckley, the school’s headmaster, informs the team that its board of trustees wants to revoke the Ducks’ scholarships and offers Orion a chance to start anew with a team of his choice. Satisfied with the team, Coach Orion threatens resignation. Enter Bombay and his fancy law degree to set the board straight. Check out the scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s0gi4aYtrM)

It helps to know a lawyer doesn’t it?

Prior to the annual JV–Varsity game, Orion brings back the Duck jerseys, giving the team a renewed vigor. (Was I still a bit too hype about this? Sure. But you know…) Throughout the game, the Varsity dominates on offense. However, the Ducks play good defense and manage to keep the game scoreless after two periods. (See what defense does for you?)  During the second intermission, Dean Portman returns to the team, adding a needed spark. (He played a whole like 30 seconds.) He ends up taking a penalty for the last 2 minutes and doesn’t even play. Watch his somewhat triumphant return here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HghSd4mRvHo)

The Bash Brother is back
This seems like something the game should be stopped for… even as a kid I was just like… we are going to continue??? Okay… sure.
Fulton with his shocked face. Man…. I feel you. He’s happy to have Dean back.

The Ducks take another penalty and must play 5 vs 3. During the time-out, Orion renames Charlie captain and tells him to go for the win if the opportunity presents itself.  With seconds left in the game, Charlie passes the puck back to Goldberg, now a defenseman, who scores into an wide-open net as time expires, securing a 1–0 victory for the Ducks. (I have to say… I love Defenseman Goldberg.) It is a very dramatic end so a dramatic game. I will just mention the strip dance that Dean did because it made 12 year old me happy. But it was so odd to watch happen as an adult.

I have seen a lot of people criticize this movie and mostly Charlie’s character saying that he would never be this selfish or whatever… Well… people deal with circumstances differently. Bombay leaving had a real effect on him. Did he need to learn that change is a thing and how to deal with it sure. But it doesn’t mean it was necessarily out of character for him. Also there is a camp that feels that his antics were just that of a teenager acting out… let me let you in on a secret… TEENAGERS ACT OUT. It is in their make up. So that also wasn’t far fetched. Looking back at this movie… which is very little about hockey when you get down to it… I see the value in the third installment like I never did. New Coach, new school and growing pains. Totally get it. Was I annoyed that Bombay left when I was younger? Sure. But things happen. And you have to learn to grow and change too… or you will be left behind… like Charlie almost was.

Alright that is it for me. The Mighty Ducks is still one of my favorite kids sports movies up there with Rookie of the Year, The Little Giants and The Sandlot. Obviously, it has been criticized for some its hockey depictions and I always laugh. Who looks to a kids underdog movie about the right way to play hockey? But it sparked my interest enough to want to learn more about the sport and watch games on my own. I even eventually joined the Black Girl Hockey Club… Also if you don’t have Disney Plus definitely look into it whether you have kids or not… I enjoy it even when my niece and nephew aren’t around.. There is plenty of good content. So… Until next time. Like and Comment.

Quarantine Post #28: 2017 Universal Studios / Volcano Bay Trip

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In my previous posts, I talked about the trips I wanted to go on as a kid. There were a lot of us and things that other people got to do seemed out of our reach. It was something that I got used to over the years. But now that I have nieces and nephews (and money) I have some things that I want to do with them. Seaworld… My nephew loves anything in the ocean. Disney because I mean, the Animal Kingdom. Legoland because I mean that seems like so much fun. My nephew would LOVE it. It would really be me and my siblings (read: SISTER and most likely Leah. She is like my sister in the way that she wants to do all the things.) wandering the kids around and riding rides. My mother was never one for crowds or walking in the hot sun so she will definitely not be there. And of course Universal. I was finally able to visit Universal a few years ago and it was FANTASTIC. Come with me as I wax romantically about it.

I can imagine my nephew would never want to leave here.

I was able to take this trip with a group of friends in 2017. I was working for a company that took a serious toll on me so I knew I was going to take PTO for several days. But unlike what I used to do, there was no way I would just be sitting at home for a week. I started looking online for something new to do. That was when it came to my attention that there was a new water park being added to the Universal Studios and suddenly I knew where I was going. (This is something I need to do with my siblings at some point.) I had never been to Universal so I was planning to go all out and ride all the things. (That is normally how I do theme parks.) I love them and I always try to ride everything at least once.

I knew I was going to have a blast here.

Volcano Bay is Universal Studios third park. It is tropical themed and it replaced Wet n Wild as Universal’s water park. This built around a large 200-foot-tall volcano named Krakatau. The volcano houses three drop capsule slides, Ko’okiri Body Plunge, the tallest body slide in America ranging at 125 feet tall, and also the first to travel through a pool full of guests. I was super excited. At the time I was watching the video for it, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3Ro3bYOraI) it was a few days before it was going to open. I knew I would wait at least a month but I was worried that even in a month all of the kinks would not be worked out and I would be there with nothing to do. But also I mean, it was Orlando. I had a friend who had a birthday coming up and it didn’t take anytime to convince him. Most of my friends had been to the Orlando Theme parks before. We gathered a crew and headed down.

I had only been the to a water park in Nassau, Bahamas so this was a change for me to compare the two parks.

Several hours later we made it to our airbnb. Let tell you… I know I am not riding down to FL again by car. The ride is smooth but I just become so stiff. I was going to fly but we decided to ride in a caravan. (I shall do my shameless plug for high speed rail. Let’s get this.) Anyways, it is not hard to find an airbnb in Florida, much less in Orlando. The place was great. Several bedrooms and a lovely kitchen. There were at least 10 of us that went on this trip and everyone slept comfortably. It was decided that we would visit Islands of Adventure first and then head to Volcano Bay the next day. We were going to be there a week so we had time. I was told I would love Islands of Adventure because it had the most rides. And they were right. Next time I go, I will probably stay at one of the resorts on site and that way you get all of these perks (like getting access to the parks an hour earlier than everyone else.)

I could see my family here having a relaxing time.

Islands of Adventure

So I was surprised to see that the park hadn’t been opened that long. As in opened in my lifetime. I was entering high school when Universal opened to the public May 1999. So that is cool. Islands of Adventure is modeled after a journey of exploration, where guests embark on an adventure to visit a variety of themed islands. Initially, the park featured six islands. A seventh, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, was added in 2010, themed to the highly successful Harry Potter franchise. (I was so stoked to get to Harry Potter World. I am of the HP generation so it was not something I was going to miss.)  The eighth island, Skull Island, opened July 2016, and is themed to the King Kong franchise. I found out that it was a big circle and you get to walk from Island to Island. They are, in clockwise order from entry: Port of Entry, Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, Skull Island, Jurassic Park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Lost Continent, and Seuss Landing.

I knew I was heading for fun here. Was I a bit giddy? Sure

After walking through the main gate and through the shops and finally got to Marvel Super Hero Island. The great thing that I remember was it was HOT. (It was July in Florida for goodness sake.) But for some reason, Universal Studios was smarter than most theme parks where they had air conditioned waiting areas or at least fans and shady areas to wait. So I didn’t feel like it was unbearable to wait in line for rides which weren’t as long as I originally thought it was going to be. The first ride we come to is for the Incredible Hulk and that coaster was bad ass. I have been on many coasters before but for some reason this stands out in my mind. Mostly because there isn’t a climb to the top, a wait and then a drop. You really don’t even get a chance to settle in before the ride gets going. There was another cooler waiting area but these lines were LONG. Probably the longest line of any ride I would get on that day. But the ride was 1000% worth it. Just know that I was prepared for a certain type of ride and the ride managed to freak me out… starting before I was ready. Check out this video. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-QwtvmEM1k ) I will say that they are pretty strict about you taking off things (Hats, sunglasses, flip-flops etc) that you will lose on this high speed ride. The security was tight but I got it. (They make you pay for lockers for that ride.)

The experience in the queue was fun but the lines in there overshadowed it.
Finally getting to the ride was the truth though.

I remember waiting for was The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man and not being hot or uncomfortable while I waited. (when my nephew found this out he almost had a heart attack. “You went and saw spider man and not me?”) I don’t think I had ever been on an interactive ride like that before. (I found out later that is what Islands of Adventure is all about.) But with the water hitting me at the exact moment and the feeling the heat from the “flames” was too awesome to forget. (Definitely got to bring my nephew back. He will love it.) Check out this video on it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MgPOFZvRNA)

It was indeed Amazing.

I think the last ride I did on this island was Doctor Doom’s FearFall. Think Six Flag’s Acrophobia. It was not for me. I am not into freefall rides. But I have nothing against this ride in particular. After leaving the Marvel Super Hero Island, we ended up in Toon Lagoon. There was a lot to do but we were just too hot to really explore. There was a lot of picture taking opportunities. But thank goodness this portion of park had a water ride. I was all for it. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw falls does the trick. We went with it because it had the shortest line. It was pretty cool… but the while we were able to get wet… the water was warm. So I am not sure how much better off we were. It was almost impossible to stay dry on this ride…. so settle in and wait on the water.

Bullwinkle and I. Don’t I look I am having fun.

Next stop was the Skull Island: Reign of Kong ride. Here was my second interactive ride. And this one was even more epic than the first. I was excited about this ride because I really enjoyed this movie. If you haven’t seen it… do so. We were loaded onto an expedition truck with one of five different drivers, each one containing their own backstory and dialog for the ride. There was complete immersion like with the Spider Man ride. But the ride was awesome. The graphics were the best. This was probably one of my favorites. Check it out here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_GZCxD1Jvw (I can’t wait to see my sister’s reaction.)

Isn’t this awesome. I thought this was.

We crossed over into Jurassic Park. If you ever wondered what my favorite movies were as a kid, these were my faves. It was sad that we just passed through. I should have gotten on a ride here. I plan on forcing my sister and brother along with me when I return to Universal Studios. But I took plenty of pictures with the beloved Jeeps. We moved on because we wanted to eat and not be out in the sun for too long.

This was awesome. I couldn’t miss out on getting a picture.

We moved onto the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Heading into the 3 broomsticks for food. But before that could happen… my friend and I spotted the Hogwarts express. (This cost additional money to ride and I also had no clue where in the park I was going to end up.) But that did not stop me from taking plenty of pictures. This is probably another thing that I will do with my siblings when I return.

That guy totally acted the part.
I think I was blown away at how it close it was to the movies. Harry Potter World indeed
I promise when I go back I am going to do all the things.

Long Lines but it ran like a well oiled machine. Kind of expensive but it is to be expected when going to a theme park. There wasn’t a lot of places for a group as large as ours to sit together. We made it work so no big deal. The food was good. I recommend getting the Butterbeer because it was fantastic.

I enjoyed that there was garden salad… healthy food choice option with all the meals. I actually enjoyed the fact that we got plenty of food for the money and that it was pretty light feeling so that we could continue on with the park. Shepherd’s Pie is always fun.


After lunch we trotted around Harry Potter world. For a few short moments because it started raining pretty hard. But before the torrential rain pour, we spotted lots of people buying wands from Ollivander’s which was great. The whole experience was surreal mostly because it really looked like the movie set. My friends and I were able to make our way to the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. We were waiting outside when the downpour happened. We were able to wait out the rain while waiting on the ride which was FANTASTIC. Prior to Universal, I was unprepared for the type of ride that I would be experiencing but by that time I was ready for the greatness. So check it out. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iBOvFcSCG8 ) Next time I come back I will ride the other two rides I missed: Escape from Gringotts and Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike adventure. (Although I think the motorbike ride opened 2 years later. )

We made our way through the rest of the park but I think we were really just kind of shopping from that part on. The rest of the park (The Lost Continent and Seuss landing seems fun for the younger crowd.) We were exhausted and headed back home to prepare for Volcano Bay the next day. And boy, were expectations low but I was pleasantly surprised.

Volcano Bay

First thing I learned, through my research, is that once Volcano Bay is filled to capacity. They start turning people away. Makes sense right. So if you want to make sure that you are counted amongst the crowd they let in then you want to make sure you are up early and ready to go. (Keep in mind, those staying in a Universal Resort are also let in before the park opens.) Now I will restate that I went shortly after the park opened in 2017 (like a month.) So things may be different now but my group and I got up pretty early and headed out. We had to pay to park for the day of course. And we were filtered down to a large parking lot where hundreds of people were already gathered. We were being shuttled to the park itself. Not sure if that is something that they are still doing. Be sure to check that out before hand and plan to add that into your departure time. We were able to check in and get bracelets and get on the bus fairly quickly. It was a short shuttle ride but we were let out at the bottom of the hill and made our way up to the main gate.

Look at that entrance. It is just an enticement to fun,

On the shuttle bus, we were shown the video of the Tapu Tapu. (Wristbands that keep up with payments and line queues which I thought was extremely helpful.) There was a video posted about this place on Facebook after I had returned that I commented on talking about how great my experience was here. Some Jo Schmo commented that he thought all theme parks were stupid, way too expensive and had long lines and anyone who went there was dumb. (The issue with the internet is that anyone can use it.) When I responded anyone who decided to go to a theme park knows they are going to stand in lines. It is not a secret and this park is no different. The tapu tapu was extremely helpful because it cut down on the amount of time I waited in line. He was upset and told me if I want to waste my money continue going to theme parks. (Oh, well.) Anyways, once we made it to the gates we were fitted with the Tapu Tapu and sent on our way.

You do have to return it once you leave so don’t get your hopes up.

My crew and I were all able to get in and get lockers first. Of course, they were overpriced but they held our belongings all day. And then we were off around the park which was fantastic. It was easy to set up payments for everyone on their watch. Volcano Bay runs a cashless system so it is much easier to link your card information to your account and go on about your business.

The first thing we saw when we left the lockers was The Krakatau Volcano. You can see it from anywhere. It is like a guidepost which was helpful towards the end of the day. The thing was the plunge slides that were located inside the Volcano were closed so we didn’t get a chance to ride those. Super sad. So definitely something to do when I return. My sister would love it.

Isn’t it awesome?

One of things that a lot of people didn’t know and also complain about is the fact that there is a weight restrictions. They weight everyone that are inline and if you are above a certain weight you will not be allowed on the rides for safety. Yes, seriously. So Since the pandemic I may have to get down to where I was to begin with… but still it wasn’t all that shocking. It is just something to know if you are going to go. Groups may be split or added with others to follow the safety guidelines. We started out in the wave pool in Wave village located at the base of the volcano. It was awesome. The water was cool and it doesn’t matter as it was like almost 90 degrees that day. There wasn’t a lot of people but at that point it was pretty early in the day.

We headed off to River village which houses the Kopiko Wai Winding River. You grab the inner tubes. Sit back and float away. Probably the most relaxing time I had at the park except for when my glasses floated away. Other than that it was great. It was also a great way to pass the time waiting on a ride. Check it out here. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e84M2eOmVPg)

Doesn’t it look relaxing?

The other river is not quite so lazy. TeAwa The Fearless River moves pretty quickly and guests are asked to wear a life vest. I did not have to wear a vest because we had inner tubes. But check it out anyway. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNJ6xU-fopg)

The crew and I ended up heading to the Honu multi-passenger slide. And it was all types of awesome. We were able to experience this altogether. Funny story about this slide… that I have to share. As with all of the rides, we had to stand on a scale to determine the weight of the group. We thought 5 of us could ride at a time. The gentlemen at the ride had us sit down and did so strategically. But we didn’t quite get that. So we all got on the rafts when the gentleman was attending to someone else’s question… and someone else took over with us. We were sent on our way. It is important to know that the weight restrictions are important for reasons that I didn’t really understand until I went on that ride. The ride was great but with all of the people on it we seemed to go over max speed. At one point, I thought we were going to go over the side of the slide. I think I saw my life flash before my eyes. So while I enjoyed that slide but in the end I would say that it is best to heed the rules. I could have been on the news and not in a good way. Check out the rides here. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnCa2fIeB5I) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqtYbhpVsZU)

Honu and Iki Moana which are know as the Whale and Turtle rides. Want to guess which is which?

On the other raft ride, Ika Moana, we had learned our lesson. So that was epic without the fear of death. Good times. I also liked the Tube return. Those tubes were awesome but huge and I could have imagine climbing all of those stairs trying to carry that thing. Check out the other ride here. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbySWaK0PvE) The trippy thing is always when the inner tube turns and then your are going down the slide backwards.

For the other multi-passenger slides… (Puihi and Maku) there was a wait time so we had to you use our Tapu Tapu watches. The sign with the name of the ride on it also told you how long the wait was. You tapped your watch and you were placed in a virtual line. So you were able to ride something with no wait time, get food, or chill out until you got the notification on the watch to come back. I chilled in the Wave Pool and the lazy rivers until it was time to head to the ride. (You have 2 minutes to make it back to the ride before they move on without you.) So that saved us a lot of time standing around and not doing anything. Those damn stairs killed me though.

Epic. Totally making Leah and Mariah (and others) do this with me.

The one thing that didn’t have a line that we rode all day in between waiting for other things was the Taniwha Tubes. Four raft slides ridden solo or in pairs. They were pretty high up which is fine after the first two but you will spend the day climbing stairs. It is pretty windy at the top so be prepared to feel just a bit chilly before heading down. Check out these rides. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsVNmrCDGt0)

The only ride I remember really waiting for was the Krakatau Aqua Coaster. It is an interesting combination of water slide and roller coaster. Great stuff. Worth the wait. And now I can’t even remember how long I waited. It is a 4 person canoe and they seat you in a particular order. Do not switch up. They know what they are doing. Check it out here. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjEwk1CT8LE)

When I return, I will probably start with the drop in plunges slides. They were closed when we came. I am not sure if they were being worked on or what but that is priority number one when I return. These include:

  • Ko’okiri Body Plunge: A near-vertical (70-degree drop) speed slide with a trap-door start that passes through the Krakatau volcano, falling 125 feet (38 m). The slide will also pass through one of the pool attractions at the base of the volcano, described by the park as a “world’s-first” feature. Along with the Kala and Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides, Ko’okiri Body Plunge is the tallest drop capsule slide in the world. It is also the tallest body slide in the world to send riders out of a drop capsule the entire height of the slide in one continuous descent.
  • Kala and Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides: A pair of high speed twisting body slides with trap-door starts. Along with the Ko’okiri Body Plunge, Kala and Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides are the tallest drop capsule slides in the world at 125 ft.
  • Ohyah and Ohno Drop Slides: Body slides with tall drops into the splash pools. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf_HlQ6ewcY)

The only time the line was outrageous was when we waited to get food for lunch. I chalked it up to it being recently opened. But we weren’t going to leave the park so it is what it is. The food was pretty good. Just expensive but that was also to be expected. I am not sure if this was a more streamlined process yet or not but I hope so. I work in IT, so I know how openings or rollouts work so there wasn’t a lot about this park that annoyed me. Although, the lines here came close. It was a cashless system so you load the Tapu Tapu, tap and go. (I am sure that is what made the line long and slow moving. Because I am sure there were people who didn’t know it was cashless and didn’t load their money.) But all in all it was pretty okay.

The menu is usually pictured on the outside. Makes decision making easier.
There was a lot of selection. So I am sure you will be able to find something for everyone.

You also have the opportunity to rent out private cabanas. Maybe I will do that with my group next time. Cabanas come in one and two-story varieties, and are located all throughout the park. These cabanas have a lot of great features including:

  • Towel service
  • Padded lounge chairs
  • Complimentary fruit and snack basket
  • Small fridge (replete with bottled water)
  • Concierge service ( enables you to get any item from any of Volcano Bay’s four restaurants or two bars.)
Wouldn’t you want to partake too?

I also hear that as you first enter the water park, a concierge will greet you and escort you to your home-away-from-home for the day. The Guest Experience Transformation (GET) tablet, which allows you to book and modify your place in all of the various attractions’ Virtual Lines right from the comfort of your cabana (that’s right – you don’t have to run all over the park swiping your Tapu Tapu at each individual slide’s TapTu Ride point).

Needless to say, it was the best day I had in at a theme park. There were a lot of complaints about the tapu tapu and not being able to stand more than one virtual line. But at what place can you stand in more than one line? A lot of the negative seems to come those who show up mid day. Because this is a theme park, and I am a bit anal… I had figured that midday is probably the worst time to show up if I actually wanted ride something. A little research goes a long way and it saves you trouble in the long run. Check out this video, it highlights the park, the pros and cons, and tips. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=libz5lzUlbI&t=333s)

Think it will take a lot to convince Leah and Mariah to go with me? I don’t think so either.

Quarantine Post #27: Assassination Classroom

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Now here is an anime that I didn’t know would affect me as much as it actually did. You ever watch a show that states out the outset the premise of the show… and when that happens you’re still heartbroken even though you knew it was coming. Yeah that was me. By the end, I was a big ball of tears. I will say that the premise of the show is a bit much to take in.

Who knew I would be so affected?

Earth is left in jeopardy after an immensely powerful tentacled organism suddenly appears and destroys 70% of the Moon, leaving it permanently in the shape of a crescent. The organism claims that within a year he will destroy the planet next, but offers mankind a chance to avert this fate. In class 3-E, the End Class of Kunugigaoka Junior High School, he starts working as a homeroom teacher where he teaches his students regular subjects, as well as the ways of assassination. The Japanese government promises a reward of ¥10 billion (i.e. US$100 million) to whoever among the students succeeds in killing the organism, whom they have named “Koro-sensei” a pun on korosenai meaning unkillable and sensei meaning teacher. However, this proves to be a highly unachievable task, as not only does he have several superpowers at his disposal, including accelerated regeneration, visual cloning, an invincible form, and the ability to move and fly at Mach 20, but he is also the best teacher they could ask for, helping them to improve their grades, individual skills, and prospects for the future.

For me, I was okay with the class killing the teacher. I mean he blew up the moon… He is going to blow up the planet. And let’s face it… it wasn’t like the school was really giving the kids an education or even invested in what how they turned out. They were thrown to the wind why not let them waste time on saving the planet right? But my problem with that theory is THEY ARE ATTEMPTING TO SAVE THE PLANET and they are really given no support… Like what kind of nonsense is this????????????? What I didn’t count on was the relationship that was formed between Korosensei and the students and the DRAMATIC character development. I was unprepared. But let’s jump into it. Here is a compilation of my favorite episodes/moments.

So let’s jump into some of my favorite moments/episodes.

  1. Assassination Time – The first episode of the series. We are introduced to the story. It was such a shock to see the teacher attempting to take roll and then being attacked. I mean he did blow up the moon and then say he would do the same to the planet. Nagisa calls it and everyone stands ready with their firearms and begin to fire when he yells “Bow!”. The teacher dodges the bullets and begins taking roll. The students gets discouraged that the teacher is a super creature who can turn the moon into a crescent and has a max speed of Mach 20. If he gets away, Earth will be left helpless, awaiting its destruction. The creature states that just destroying the Earth isn’t fun. So, he made a deal with the government: no killing him, and instead, he’ll teach Kunugigaoka’s Class 3-E. They (Korosensei and the government) agree on the condition that he doesn’t harm any of the students and that there were two reasons. First, if the creature comes to the classroom every day, the government can monitor and know his location most days. The second was that it gives thirty people the means and incentive to kill him from an extremely close range. At one point, Nakamura tries to shoot Korosensei. He scolds her and tells her to not let assassination interfere with her studies. (BLEW MY MIND.)  Nagisa notes that the super octopoid teacher and their assassination target was, for some reason, a really good teacher. They were normal students apart from being impromptu killers.



  2. Baseball Time – Sugino is a member of Class E who uses baseball in his assassination attempts. However, he failed and has lost confidence in himself, causing Nagisa to worry. Korosensei offers advice to Sugino in his time of insecurity. I will say Sugino’s attempt is pretty awesome.  Korosensei is reading a newspaper from Hawaii about the moon. He notes that that has been all anyone has talked about. (I mean… yeah man.) Behind a bush, Sugino and Shiota have prepared an assassination attempt, with Sugino using Nagisa’s notes and then throwing a baseball imprinted with anti-sensei BBs at Korosensei’s head. However, though Korosensei notes its creativeness and stealth, it gives him enough time to go to the sports shed and catch it with a glove. He warns them that graduation will be here before they know it and tells them to go to class. As he leaves, Sugino lowers his head in humiliation. Korosensei and Sugino have a talk the next day where it is revealed that student in 3-E are not allowed to play sports  and when used to be on the team, he never struck anyone out. Korosensei wants to offer Sugino some advice. Korosensei completely wraps Sugino in tentacles. Korosensei is testing out Sugino’s physique. He realizes that Sugino is attempting to replicate the New York Yankees’ pitcher style, but says that because his shoulders are not as strong, that is impossible.

  3. Karma’s Time – Karma is introduced here and I have to say he is a favorite character of mine. Karma Akabane has returned to Class E after his suspension. Upon returning, he manages to injure Korosensei, which hasn’t been done before. He is a BADASS. He inflicts some damage to Korosensei by giving a handshake with knife shards cleverly taped to his hand. While the students later take a quiz, Karma steals Korosensei’s special gelato to get his attention, shooting him with an unloaded gun to catch him off guard. The episode then becomes a game of cat and mouse between Karma and Korosensei. After hearing from Nagisa that Korosensei worships the octopus, Karma leaves a dead octopus on Korosensei’s desk. However, Korosensei cooks it into takoyaki to ridicule Karma. Throughout the day, Korosensei manages to anticipate every prank Karma tries to pull. Karma devises a plan to call into question Korosensei teaching integrity. Karma jumps off a cliff with a gun in hand, which would determine if Korosensei would risk his life for a student. However, Korosensei manages to save Karma uses his tentacles like a giant spiderweb, leading Karma to accept Korosensei as a teacher.

  4. School Trip Time (1 and 2) – It’s finally time for the long-awaited school trip to Kyoto. Can a bunch of assassins go to Kyoto? Also I would like to point out their teacher is the WORST at disguises… He needs someone to help him teach that. Class E has planned an assassination for this trip. But, amid preparation and inspections, Kayano and Kanzaki are kidnapped by high school students from another school. Poor guys have no clue who they are dealing with. Nagisa, Karma, Sugino and Manami manage to use an extensive guidebook written by Korosensei, which provides a thorough procedure for hostage situations, to deduce where Kaede and Yukiko are being held. (Guy, the book is huge and he wrote one for EVERYONE in the class.) Nagisa and the others knock out the delinquents with their guidebooks.



    The second part of episode shows that the students get help with the assassination by recruiting a sniper. While the other groups are accompanying Korosensei on a tour of Kyoto, a sniper known as Red Eye is tasked with assassinating him at various spots. However, each of his attempts to shoot him are thwarted by improbable means, and his mission is called off when Nagisa’s group gets into trouble with the high school male delinquents.  Later that evening, Red Eye is approached by Koro-sensei himself, who treats Red Eye to a meal, thanking him for making the field trip a valuable learning experience for his students due to his assassination efforts. Red Eye, understanding Koro-sensei’s morals as a teacher, decides to quit his job in order to explore the world.
  5. Ball Game Tournament Time –  The guys in Class E are training extra hard to beat the baseball club since it is now baseball tournament time at Kunugigaoka. When the announcement of a ball game tournament comes in, the boys of Class E is put into an exhibition match with the baseball club. Sugino expresses his desire to win despite the odds being heavily against them. Korosensei pitches in as their coach to train them extra hard. Seeing that Shindo is the star player mainly due to his fastballs, Korosensei plans Class E to bunt the ball. At the game, the first innings goes well, Class E’s bunting strategy catches Shindo, the rest of the players and their coach off guard and easily score three runs. Before the club’s turn to bat, Chairman Asano steps in. He intimidates the current coach to admitting he is “sick” and replaces the stunned coach with himself. Although Sugino prevents the club from scoring any runs to complete the first innings, the Chairman’s words about needing to trample others to get ahead completely turns the club players around from their stunned selves. All the club players are now defending inside the field, marking the downfall of Class E’s bunting strategy. While technically legal, it would be considered unfair though the umpire (being one of the main campus teachers) is on the club’s side. With Korosensei unable to come up with a counter-strategy, Shindo gets all three batters out in succession. Sugino manages to prevent the club from scoring any runs. I love baseball and a good underdog story to which this is both. Karma’s trash-talking and Shindo’s unwillingness to injure them in the swing leads Shindo to miss Sugino’s pitches and cause the club to lose. Thus E Class wins the game. The audience leaves in disgust that a professional team could lose to a bunch of nobodies. However, Nagisa notes that they did not realise the behind the scenes battle between the two coaches. Korosensei claims this victory against the Chairman and leaves it to the final exams as the decisive round. At the same time, Sugino reconciles his friendship with Shindo.


  6. Nagisa Time – Immediately after their summer assassination attempt on Korosensei, a new enemy has appeared. With only 24 hours to save their classmates, the 15 unaffected students must infiltrate the hotel and take that antivirus. As the group of Class E students continue to the top floor, they continue to run into assassin after assassin. Takaoka is finally revealed, and Nagisa must face the monstrosity that is him. Takaoka first appeared as a new P.E. teacher for Class 3-E sent by Ministry of Defense as they were impatient of killing Koro-sensei. Once he appears, he greets the students and gives them food, drinks, and sweets as a sign of greeting them. He tells Class 3-E that he’ll be taking over the P.E. class from now on and self-proclaims himself to be their ‘father’. Sure enough, he begins to give Class 3-E a hell schedule with no time to study. He knees Maehara and slaps Kanzaki when they object to his training and forces Karasuma and Koro-sensei to see his hellish method of training. So needless to say this guy was a jerk and I couldn’t have cared less if he was eaten by Piranha. Nagisa’s rage prompts him to pick up the knife and state that he will kill Takaoka. The class worries that Nagisa may have lost control and may actually do it, until Terasaka throws his stun rod at Nagisa and snaps the latter out of his bloodlust. Terasaka implores him to not waste his chance at killing Korosensei by getting himself arrested for murder before collapsing from the poison. Heeding Terasaka’s words, Nagisa obeys and takes off his jacket, ready to knife. He also picks up the stun rod but then tucks it away. The boy and Takaoka then begin the rematch. Still, but the former soldier’s high alertness and combat skills do not allow Nagisa to find an opening to attack, and is promptly getting beaten up. Korosensei advises Karasuma to intervene should things turn sour for Nagisa. However, Terasaka states that he won’t need to, saying that Nagisa still has a trick left up his sleeve. Takaoka sees the badly beaten Nagisa and gloats that he will use the boy as a trophy for his sadistic pleasures. Like before, Nagisa slowly walks up to Takaoka with the knife in one hand. The boy makes the soldier focus his attention only on the blade. Nagisa then lets the knife drop, which distracts Takaoka and fakes him out with a sudden loud clap. At this, Takaoka is momentarily stunned, allowing Nagisa to close the gap and use the stun rod to electrocute Takaoka into submission. As his opponent wonders what had happened, Nagisa decides to thank Takaoka for everything he had taught the class despite his sadistic nature and gives him a bloodlust-filled smile to cap it off before stunning him again. We have another badass on our hands…. Nagisa used to be a shy, hopeless boy in the beginning.

  7. Reaper Time (1 & 2) – When Irina is kidnapped and held hostage by the legendary assassin known as the Reaper, Class 3-E attempts to rescue her without the help of Korosensei and Karasuma. But the Reaper’s skills may be far too outmatched for the students to handle. This two parter starts with Class 3-E trying to pair up their teachers, Irina (Professor Bitch) and Karasuma. Nagisa’s group returns to the mountain classroom and convinces Karasuma to take the flowers to present to Irina. Initially speechless, Irina thanks him. Karasuma then states that it will be the only time to mark such an occasion as either the world ends or the mission is successful. At this, Irina realises she has been set up, walks over to the window and finds the class eavesdropping underneath (and a spying Korosensei from above). She hopes that the class had fun stringing a professional assassin along as she realises that their relationship is strictly a business one. She rejects the flowers and storms out of the classroom. Three days have passed, and Irina had not been seen since her storming out. The students worry about her wellbeing and unable to contact her as Korosensei leaves for a soccer match in Brazil. The man introduces himself as the Reaper and tells Ritsu to open the image he had just sent to the AI. The image reveals Irina tied up and gagged. The assassin demands that the entire class go to the location. He will specify without any word to their teachers, or else he will send each of them a piece of Irina and take one of them, hostage, in her place. In the second part of the episode, Korosensei and Karasuma arrive to rescue the captured students. When the Reaper reveals that his assassination plan will also kill Class 3-E as collateral, Karasuma is forced to decide whether to sacrifice the students for the sake of the mission or lose the best chance of finally assassinating Korosensei. Karasuma punches the Reaper in the face, having decided the safety of the students takes top priority over the mission.  Karasuma ambushes the Reaper from behind and brings him down through the large hole to a spot where Korosensei and the imprisoned students could see from a distance. Both getting up, the Reaper reveals himself to have no face (as having the same face diminishes his disguise skills) and will take pleasure in taking Karasuma’s. The two men start a brutal brawl. He then points his finger at Karasuma’s chest (with a hidden .10 calibre pistol) and fires it straight into his heart. Blood spurts out as Karasuma collapses to his knees. The assassin moves closer but upon closer inspection sees one of Korosensei’s tentacles covering Karasuma’s heart spurting tomato juice. Karasuma takes advantage of his opponent’s lapse of concentration and hooks him in the groin. The assassin staggers and tries to plea with Karasuma though the latter knocks him out with another punch. Korosensei and the students are now freed.
     
  8. School Festival Time – Kunigigaoka Academy is hosting a school festival that is famous nationwide over two days. In preparation for the upcoming Kunigigaoka school festival, Gakushu Asano successfully negotiates with a major restaurant establishment to sponsor their store. Meanwhile, in Class 3-E, the students discuss how to operate their stall, given their financial and geographic disadvantages. Korosensei suggests using the mountain’s ecosystem to gather natural ingredients, to be used to create acorn noodles. On the first day of the festival, Toka Yada advertises her class’s menu at the main campus grounds. This grabs the attention of the same delinquent students that kidnapped Kayano and Kanzaki during the Kyoto school trip, who were looking to unfairly discredit the class’s food. Sugino and Karma recognise the group but otherwise cannot force them to leave due to the class badly needing sales. The leader orders a bowl of acorn noodles intending to spit them out but cannot help but find it tasty. His friends immediately forget their plan due to their greed. However, they also state that at this rate, they will never catch up to Asano. Who happens to be attracting enormous crowds to his cafe complete with live entertainment from famous song artists. On the second day, the students find a huge crowd and news crews lining up at the classroom. Yuji Norita posts an online review. Norita is a famous food critic due to him eating rich cuisines, thanks to his wealthy father. Yuji had taken Nagisa’s words to heart and had given a glowing review of the acorn noodles the class had made. The review immediately has the class working into overdrive, and the profits were raking in fast enough to catch up to Asano’s cafe. The unexpected turnaround, however, meant that demand has outstripped their supply of acorn noodles and they were later running out. While the students consider going deeper into the mountain as a chance to beat Class A, Korosensei decides to stop it there, not willing to disrupt the mountain’s ecosystem. The students agree, and end up having to close up shop halfway through the day. At the end of the day, Asano’s cafe accumulated the most profits from the festival while Class 3-E came third. Many of the main campus students wonder why Class 3-E haven’t closed their store halfway through the second day. The result could have been different, a view that Gakushu Asano himself seems to be pondering. They start to think whether Class 3-E is not as bad as they were led to believe, something that catches the attention of the Board Chairman. I was so Food Wars for me. I love it.
  9. Past Time – This episode concludes how Korosensei becomes the creature. Korosensei then begins retelling his life. As a human boy growing up in a war-torn region, the only thing he learned was death. As a result, he decided to become an assassin and honed his skills to kill people from intellectuals to powerful figures; in ten years, he earned the moniker of the Reaper. He is later taken captive, and became a test subject to be experimented on by Yanagisawa, who was a researcher. The Reaper soon became acquainted with a female lab worker named Aguri Yukimura, whom he thought could be of use to him. He decided to bide his time, and covertly control the experiment so that he can use his new power to escape one day. While in captivity, he also witnessed Yanagisawa’s cruelty to his fiancée. In the next three months, the assassin and Yukimura became close, and she tells him that she is a teacher at a school. In fact, she was somewhat awed that a professional assassin was schooling a high school teacher about quadratic equations. As time passed, the two grew more closer; Yukimura asks the assassin about the exam questions she prepared, and the latter finally understands her meaning about wanting to be ‘seen’. At this time, it was the beginning of the school year for the current Class 3-E, two weeks away from the creation of the permanent crescent moon.



  10. Discord Time – There is discord alright. After learning the story on Korosensei’s past… the class is divided. Half wanting to continue with the plan to kill him… and the other half of the class wanting to find an alternative (wanting to save his life.) I had gotten so used to seeing Class 3-E work together to take down their common foes, but this episode showed me the class using their skills to take down one another. When Nagisa proposes that they find a way to save Korosensei, the class becomes divided over the idea. As Nagisa and Karma’s argument evolves into a physical scuffle, Korosensei suggests that the two sides settle the issue in a team deathmatch, capture-the-flag paintball game, where the opinion of the winning team will be the decider. Thus the Class 3-E civil war begins. It is an action packed episode showing the all of what the class has learned about becoming assassins up to that point. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Has to be one of my favorite episodes.

  11. Outcome Time – The civil war comes down to Karma challenging Nagisa on a one-on-one melee battle. Despite Karma’s advantage in terms of strength, Nagisa manages to pin him down in a chokehold with full-force determination. The match is decided with Nagisa’s victory for the “blue” team, and Class E unanimously deciding to find the alternative solution to save Korosensei’s life. With Karma’s prowess in combat and Nagisa’s talents for exploiting his opponent’s blind spots, I was wondering who would walk away from this fight as the victor.


  12. Final Boss Time – Korosensei faces his former apprentice and Yanagisawa in a life-or-death battle. When Yanagisawa switches his focus on the students, Kayano sacrifices herself to buy Korosensei time to recover, leading to one final clash. We saw a side of Koro-Sensei we never thought we’d see. In an emotional light show, he debuted a powerful new attack that not only took care of Kotaro, but allowed Koro-Sensei to put his troubled apprentice to rest, tying up the last loose end he had in this world.

  13. Graduation Time – Korosensei falls on his back exhausted. At his urging, and despite their reluctance, the class pin Korosensei’s tentacles and render him unable to move. Nagisa volunteers to perform the actual killing. After saying his final goodbyes to Irina and Karasuma, Korosensei calls attendance one last time, with all 28 students of Class 3-E responding, some tearfully. At the same time he privately thinks to himself how grateful he is to nurture the students and in turn be nurtured by them throughout the year. Nagisa begins to shake uncontrollably just as he is about to plunge his knife down on his teacher’s heart, but Korosensei calms him down, telling him to smile. After some effort, Nagisa does so. Saying his final goodbyes he kills Korosensei with all the emotions he has felt. Korosensei begins to fade in a bright light, until all that remains of their teacher is his clothes. The class begin to cry uncontrollably as they finally graduate from their assassination classroom. I cried like a damn baby. A big blubbering baby.





This show was pretty surprising for me. I laughed and I was excited and I cried. Let me know what other moments you think should be included. Last note… poor Nagisa… He is a boy but there is a reason he has long hair and always mistaken for a girl but I will harp on that another time.

That is all for now.

Quarantine Post #26: Noragami

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I know I am supposed to be doing more anime posts. During my quarantine I have been trying my hand at many new things but I am back to anime/manga. Noragami. When my old anime pal suggested it, I wasn’t 1000% percent sure that I would like it. Although, I am not sure why. He always picked great shows. Noragami is no different. We were able to watch both seasons in 2 days. There really needs to be more seasons but there is not yet enough manga for that. Fans have been holding their breath waiting on season three. Maybe now that the creator is putting out more manga that will happen in the future. (Hey Bleach is back… so I am expecting good news for all shows that aren’t finished.) So as is my way let’s talk through why I love it. I mean there is a reason that I was going to cosplay as him.

Noragami is about the boundary between this realm and another. There are eight million gods, dead spirits who serve the gods, and other assorted spirits who help and meddle in the affairs of humans. When a young middle school student named Mutsumi finds herself bullied by classmates, she runs to the bathroom crying and finds a message along with a phone number that says, “I will solve your troubles.” When she calls the number, a boy named Yato appears and solves her conflict. Hiyori Iki was a normal middle school student until she was involved in a bus accident while trying to protect a stranger. This incident causes her soul to frequently slip out of her body, and she becomes aware of the existence of two parallel worlds: the Near Shore, where regular humans and creatures reside, and the Far Shore, where demons and human souls linger. Through her soul, she meets the strange, nameless god without a shrine, Yato. Yato is determined to make a name for himself out there by accepting any wishes for 5 yen (5 yen being the amount that is traditionally placed in a shrine before praying)., including Hiyori’s to fix her body. 

Yato calls himself a god but he does not answer people’s prayers and no one acknowledges him. He one day hopes to have a shrine and followers, but right now he only has his regalia, Yukine, his friend, Hiyori, and the ability to cut all who pass between this world and the next.

The story about a stray god… A god of calamity who no one remembers after he does their bidding intrigues me. Yato is a minor god who desires one day to be worshiped by the masses and get a shrine of his own. To achieve this, he works as a delivery god, taking whatever job people give him for 5 yen. As a god of war born from a wish, he killed many people in his past (including many Regalias) and eventually became sick of it and now desires to leave that past behind.

He is a violent past but he is trying to turn all that around.

Yato can be mischievous, crude, and unpredictable in his behavior. Yato will often indulge in fantasies of being a very successful God with more followers than any other deity; shrines full of luxury and shrine maiden at his fingertips. As his existence would end if he were to be forgotten, he has developed Athazagoraphobia. (Fear of being forgotten or ignored and the fear of forgetting) Yato views gods, himself included, as above such things as good and evil, and therefore is convinced they can do no wrong. He uses this belief as a way to explain why Regalias sting their masters, but not the other way round; Regalias were once humans, and therefore sin, but gods are higher beings, and therefore can do whatever they want. Now is the time to pick out the best moments from the series… anime and manga…. (I started the manga because I enjoyed the show and needed to know what happened next.) SPOILERS…. I am really not sure why someone has be told that over and over. You know if you’re reading a post about something you have finished or not but SPOILERS nonetheless.

  1. Yato meets Hiyori – This is the building block for the relationship between Hiyori and Yato for the rest of the show/manga. Because he is a god that no one really knows or remembers… most people don’t see him right away if at all. He later explains that people can see him if they focus but they’ll forget him, similar to a random stranger that walks past. Yato is on a mission for a customer to find Milord. A missing cat. Poor Yato has been all over town looking for this damn cat. As Hiyori and her gang passby, Yato spots Milord in the damn street. (I mean really who has names their pet this? I have questions.) Yato scurries out into the street after the damn cat and nearly gets run over by the bus. (Since he is a god… He would have been fine.) However, Hiyori being the only one who notices the bus, she rushes to save him from the bus pushing him out of the way just in time. The incident leaves with the little issue of her soul falling out of her body out at the worst times for the rest of the series. She is the first person to notice him and for Yato that is such a big deal.

  2. Yato makes Yukine his Shinki – Shortly after Hiyori saves Yato from the bus, She and Yato are overrun and attacked by Ayakashi (Phantoms that come from the Far Shore but like to influence Humans and other living things in the Near Shore usually to do bad things.) But with no Shinki, Yato is unable to protect himself and Hiyori. (It was terrible to watch.) That is when Yato spots Yukine’s soul and decides to make a Shinki out of him. Shinki are spirits that gods use for various tasks and purposes, having the ability to transform into items or weapons. A shinki is made from the loose spirit of a dead human. The term “loose spirits” usually refers to the wandering souls of people who died from being murdered or killed in accidents. In the eyes of the gods, people who died due to these causes deserve a second chance, since they originally still wanted to live; this is probably why these souls are chosen to become shinki. When a god sees a loose spirit and wants to take them as their shinki, the god must give them two names: one for the human form, and another for the vessel form. Yato gives Yukine his name and uses him to kill the ayakashi attack Hiyori.


  3. Yukine’s Ablution – Oh goodness Yukine. Poor Yukine. He originally got on my damn nerves. I did warm up to him once I realized that why he was having such a hard time. Yukine seems to feel jealous of others who are alive, upset about the fact that he is dead, and cannot make friends and learn what other students do. The other issue is Yato. Yato is an unknown god with no money or shrine. After taking a shinki as their subordinate, a god is to provide basic necessities for the shinki (shelter and clothing to be precise; other things like food, drinks or entertainment are optional). The god is also to train a shinki if the shinki is still new. Most people have a hard time believing Yato is in fact a god and Yukine is no different. They have no place to sleep or food to eat, and this causes Yukine to act out. Aside from basic necessities, the god bears the responsibility of taking the burden of all the emotions the shinki has, and the sins it commits. The burden the god bears is in the form of stabbing pain on the back of their neck. Other than stabbing pain, the area of the god’s neck will also become infected by impurities, called blight. If the shinki continues to commit sin and no action is taken against it, the blight will spread all over the god’s body, causing the god to slowly degrade and die. Once a god is stung by their shinki’s thoughts or acts, appropriate action should be taken against the offending shinki. Usually, a ritual called a purification (or ablutionceremony is performed against the shinki, making it confess all of its sins. Depending on the severity of the offense, the shinki will also have its name released and will be banished, or worse, killed by the owner god. But that decision is made by the god. In Yato’s case, he understood why Yukine was acting out and didn’t want to release him or kill him, to the detriment of his own life. This ablution ritual is performed by three other Shinki towards the offender, and can only be done by Shinki as they are formerly humans and have a sense of right and wrong, and therefore can judge another Shinki’s sins. they used their Boundary lines in front of the offending Shinki to form a triangle-shaped prison, entrapping the shinki. This prison will start attacking the impurities attached on the Shinki’s body, causing tremendous pain to the offender and, to an extent, the God. To remove the impurities the offending Shinki must confess all of his/her sins and repent, however, should he/she fail or refuse to do so, the impurities will eat away at the soul and its bestowed name, changing the Shinki into a phantom. Yato is at death’s door (He will not be reborn like most other gods.) and no one really wants to help with the ablution at first but when they do it is a pain experience to watch. Yato is urged to release Yukine but he refuses to do so. Yukine is forces to confess his sins and be judged. But for a minute, I wasn’t sure if he was going to make it. I mean, he began to transform into an ayakashi. In the end, Yukine was successful purged but he and Yato are returned to normal.  Yukine, now in acceptance of his actions and sins, becomes noticeably more upbeat.
  4. Yato vs Rabō – This is an anime only scene/arc. Rabō  is a God of Calamity like Yato. He is also a cold character, killing humans, phantoms, and gods alike (regardless of whether it’s a paid job or a personal grudge). Rabō was originally a human, however, he was reborn as a god after evil wishes were made upon his death, so that he may kill again.  He has awoken to fill his original position, by taking up murder requests. He also used to work with Yato to kill. Rabō teams up with Nora (Shinki that has multiple names and owners.) to help her get rid of Hiyori. Nora is jealous of both Hiyori and Yukine. (Nora is Yato’s other Shinki… a long relationship decades in the making. Yato used her mostly for killing and since he doesn’t do that anymore… he doesn’t call on her.) Nora blames Hiyori for coming in between her and Yato. They devise a plan to make Yato return to his former self, the killing machine. They cut the ties between Yato and Hiyori causing Hiyori to lose memories of both Yato and Yukine. It is Yato’s biggest fear coming true. When he realizes that it was Rabo’s doing… it he pissed. What they don’t get is trying to kill Hiyori will just make him want to kill YOU. Poor Rabō doesn’t make it out of the exchange alive.



  5. Yato vs Bishamonten – Now Bishamon has always had something against Yato. It was odd to see that even the mention of his name set her on edge. We had no clue why. Bishamon is one of the Seven Gods of Fortune. She is officially a goddess of war and warriors. Yato reveal that she has it out for him because he killed her Shinki. He is very cryptic about it but eventually we find out that years earlier, Bishamon had many Shinki. However, because of their numbers, she was unable to effectively watch over them, and they became corrupt. Unbeknownst to her, one of her few pure Shinki, Kazuma, requested that Yato slaughter all of her corrupt subordinates. Yato, heeding this request, did so, and Bishamon vowed revenge against him. One of Bishamon’s shinki (Kugaha) is looking to usurp Kazuma and take his position. His plan is to have Yato kill Bishamon. He starts his plan by kidnapping Hiyori… and that sets Yato on edge. It is interesting the way a very calm and collected Yato shifts into being a killer just like that. God of Clamity indeed.


    When Yato believes Bishamon has kidnapped Hiyori after she vanishes with two rogue Regalia, Kugaha pushes his plan further. He unveils that the blight caused by one of the infected Regalia, Aiha. This leads to a confrontation in the shrine while Kazuma and Hiyori deduce Kugaha’s plot to succeed the war god. When Kazuma intervenes and is dealt a devastating blow, he tearfully confesses his involvement in the slaughter of the Ma Clan. A tearful Bishamon is told the truth of Kugaha’s scheme for her to “repent”, only for Yato to cut off his hand and state that Gods can do no wrong.



    After finding that Kugaha’s intentions were for the best interest of Bishamon, she accepts it as truth and revokes his name before casting him away, subsequently dealing with the masked Phantom that had slaughtered most of her Regalia and Hiyori is returned to Yato. I mean he was going to burn the place down otherwise.
  6. Yukine becomes a divine vessel – During the fight with Bishamon… Yukine has a breakthrough. Despite his loyalty to Yato, he still is hesitant to hurt other Shinki since they were flesh and blood like him and dulls his blade, but Yato manages to convince him to sharpen himself so he could help save Hiyori. At one point during the fight, Yukine is knocked out of Yato’s hand and Bishamon goes in to kill Yato after he is restrained by corrupted Shinki’s. At the last second, Yukine appears in front of Yato to take the blow for him and is sliced in half, the attack appears to kill him. I could not take it. Yukine was just starting to get better and not on my nerves as much but mostly I am not sure how his death would have been for Yato. I mean I just saw Yato torching everything that Bishamon owns. EVERYTHING IN FLAMES. After noticing that his name hasn’t faded, Yato calls him back. He returns, his form has changed because of his devotion and loyalty to Yato. His new form (blessed vessel) takes that of a long and short sword combination referred to as a daishō. With renewed strength, he continues to aid Yato in the fight against Bishamon.


  7. Yato releases Nora – As a Stray, Nora has multiple owners and thus, multiple names. She also takes on different forms when different masters summon her. As one of her long-time users, she is fond of Yato and often seeks the chance for Yato to use her again. Talk about toxic relationship. Yato attempts to break the cycle but whenever Yato leaves Nora, she often disturbs him and his emotions, taunting him so that he returns to her.  She feels happy whenever Yato returns to using her while disregarding his feelings. In the beginning, (before the ablution)  since Yukine is close to Yato, Nora used to taunt Yukine into hurting Yato. She also brags about her skill and how even though she wasn’t a blessed vessel, she could still do more than Yukine. She feels happy whenever Yato returns to using her while disregarding his feelings. Later on, Yato finally releases her of being his Shinki. He is sick of her constant manipulation and the event with Ebisu is the final straw. She previously teamed up with Rabo to kill Hiyori.She normally lures him into situations without telling him that the other people there are also her masters leaving him at a disadvantage. Nora was noticeably infuriated with being let go. For some reason, she didn’t see that coming. No one was more happy than me that he kicked the little wench to the curb.


  8. Yato and Ebisu vs the heavens – Ebisu  is one of the Seven Gods of Fortune. He is the humorless God of Fishing and Commerce. He first appears in the manga trying to buy Yukine (once he becomes a blessed regalia) off Yato’s hands for an incredible amount of money. Ebisu is later revealed to be attempting to gain control over Phantoms – a severe taboo if not sin in the eyes of the heavens – going as far as descending to the underworld to achieve his goal. Ebisu agrees to put himself at risk and take such extreme measures is due to how, in every incarnation, he was always taught that, being a significant god, he could never truly “die” and would always be reborn. A luxury that Yato does not have. This makes Ebisu take his personal safety lightly, this also had a somewhat traumatizing influence on him, causing him to believe that himself as an individual is not important. And that he must focus only on the task that has been passed down to him by his own previous incarnations. Nora tells Yato that father wanted Yato to save Ebisu from the underworld. Yato is suspicious as he is aware that his father is not kind and would have alternative reasons for wanting to save Ebisu. Nonetheless, Yato complied. When he went underground he became Ebisu’s bodyguard of sorts. There Ebisu tells him that he believes Yato could be the kind of God that could bring happiness to other people while stating how it was good he could value his own life. When they finally reach Izanami, he receives a phantom brush, declaring Yato would be her friend and the one left behind, to Yato’s displeasure. They then fight briefly, then run for it, after Ebisu tells Izanami he was happy to see her again, as she was his mom. Ebisu starts to realize he doesn’t want to die again. Yato tells him he heard his wish loud and clear, taking off with Ebisu, to Izanami’s dismay and anger. Ebisu summons many phantoms to drill a vent in the Underground, and he and Yato go in. Yato, however, is then pulled down. Ebisu is found by Bishamon, and tells her Yato is still down there and she had to save him. The Heavens’ Punishers are then seen coming to kill him once Yato was rescued. After demonstrating his use of phantoms in front of the Heavens to defend himself, Bishamon tells him to run, and he does so. The Heavens decide to use the Pacification Ring, a form of punishment to destroy enemies of Heaven, to kill Ebisu. Yato destroys it, only for another one to form around Ebisu. He is then killed.



    Yato’s father sets up a situation that Ebisu appears to be the Sorcerer (although Ebisu was attempting to tame ayakashi for well-intention reasons), leading to heaven to issue his execution.
  9. Hiyori’s Hospital Disaster (Manga)– Hiyori is fiercely loyal to Yukine and Yato. This causes her to confront Father on his treatment/manipulation of Yato. His manipulation extended to kissing Hiyori which she doesn’t Father then launches a full out attack on her family and their job at the hospital. The ayakashi descend on the hospital and cause havoc. People start attacking each other… patients on patients, hospital staff on patients, hospital staff on hospital staff. It was all out pandemonium. Bishamon helps with overflow of Ayakashi. But the event all comes to a head when Hiyori, who is turning into an Ayakashi, begs for Yato to kill her. Father forces this upon Yato when he has to make the decision between killing Hiyori and turning her into a shinki, or cutting their ties and never meeting again, forcing Yato to be bound to his father. Yato refuses to do so and is wracked with grief that he has bought all of this pain and heartache to Hiyori and her family.

  10. Yukine’s Death – It is again poor Yukine. It is a long mystery, what actually happened to the Shinki in their human lives. Yukine specifically. I had always wondered what killed the young boy. It is sadder when it is finally revealed. When a god names a shinki, the name bestowed by the god seals the memories of the shinki’s human life, including their real name. The god sees these memories upon naming the shinki and must keep them a secret. If a shinki learns their real name, the posthumous name given by the god is destroyed, and the shinki becomes instantly corrupted by the memories of their own untimely death. At this point, the shinki’s soul is unsalvageable, and the only thing that can be done is to kill it. If normal shinki becomes aware of even the existence of the secret, their curiosity about their past becomes all-consuming until they degenerate. In the manga, we learn what happened to Yukine and what his life was like in general and it is pretty bleak. UGH. Be careful what you wish for right?  As a child, Yukine had lived with his sister, his mother, and his father. Yukine’s family was dysfunctional due largely in part to his father’s alcoholic and violent tendencies. These habits worsened to such a point that Yukine’s mother made the decision to leave with Yukine’s sister, leaving Yukine to live with his father alone. This doesn’t sit right with me at all… AT ALL. As a child, Yukine would show up to school with bruises, and became ostracized by his friends by their parents’ orders. ALSO THIS DOESN’T SIT RIGHT WITH ME. YOU DON’T LEAVE A KID WITH AN ABUSIVE PARENT….. ADULTS FAILED YUKINE. UGH. Throughout this abuse, Yukine still managed to send letters to his sister, promising her that he would escape. Yukine’s father, however, discovered these letters at some undisclosed point in time, and as punishment beat Yukine senseless. Yukine’s father proceeded to abandon a maimed Yukine trapped in a refrigerator in the mountains, leaving him to suffocate to death at the age of 14. After his demise, Yukine wandered aimlessly for decades as an uncorrupted spirit, until he was ultimately found by Yato. Both Yato and Yukine share a relationship with an abusive parent and have a sort of father son relationship themselves.

So the show is pretty great… reading the manga has gotten pretty intense. It is a wild ride. I really enjoy all of the characters and the intricacies of the story. Check it out sometimes. It helps that the anime has killer openings. I have yet to decide which season opener is my favorite. Check out the links below and let me know what you think.

Opening for Season 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWCnKoEgfP0

Opening for Season 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZenmeRytEM