Pirate King Seraph

Introducing: Zelecia The Black Wizard! Dead Rock Chapter 8 BREAKDOWN

I actually tried not to use that title; it felt a little too………….. “Boring-” like that was the ONLY thing that happened in the chapter. Which it isn’t. The MAIN Thing to come out of this chapter(despite its name), but not the only thing. Ah………… Man, I am SPACING on what to say right now. I wouldn’t say I’m “bored” right now, but……… I’m not exactly “Enthused” like I have been in previous monthsNot to take away from this chapters quality, because it’s keeping a level of consistency with past chapters. It’s more to do with ME right now; I’m just kind of sleepy right now- have been for the past 2 days. I’m currently working on my expectations for Dragon Ball Daima, as well as that review for the Granolah The Survivor arc that I’ve been neglecting. Guess I’ll also take this chance to tell you guysI am Not Review The Super Hero saga- I already covered the moviewhat could I say that hasn’t already been said? I’ll save myself the trouble and focus on something important instead. Like this update to an old post I’m working on. 

Ah…………… D@mn, I am feeling H#ll@ unmotivated right now. I genuinely like the chapter; I’m just PHYSICALLY exhausted right now!! I don’t think I’m doing a very good job promoting this chapter. In all honesty, it might be a sign that Mashima’s extending the length of the series. Or, well; it might be a Natural extension of the story- an addition to the narrative by nature of storytelling………….. if that makes sense. For those unaware: Mangaka like Horikoshi and Kishimoto- creators of My Hero Academia and Naruto respectively- have gone on record talking about how long their respective Tournament arcs ended up being; both of them saying that their Tournaments ended up being twice as long as what they were planning. Kishimoto even gave this advice to Horikoshi: “When coming up with a story arc, expect it to be twice as long as what you planned.” There it is- I’m wide awake now. 

But yeah; it might be something like that: Just the story by its nature becoming a little bit longer than what Mashima had in mind. What is this plot point I’m talking aboutWe’ll get into that. And now that I’m thinking about it- it might actually lead to some Bigger story down the line. That would be cool. This series honestly feels like everything I wished My Hero could have been. I’ll explain what I mean later(probably), I’m starting to feel tired again. Let’s start the post– I usually “perk up” by the time of the “Review” section. Dead Rock Chapter 8: “Yakuto vs Cougar.” Let’s begin………….

Overview

LAST TIME: Yakuto, Zelecia(Chako), Frey, and Hani came to Dead Rock’s Library “Cursed Velocity” to find the book that contains God’s Weakness. But they are met by the 3rd year Cougar The Red Lion, who kidnaps Frey for her looks. The conflict ends up making too much noise, so the Library Guardian sees fit to split them up. Hani tries to take a “shortcut” by smashing the bookcases- only to be smashed apart themselves. The top priority right now is for them to find Frey, so Hani sends them ahead to find her. Cougar And Jack(Jack-O-Lantern): Cougar orders Jack to turn Frey back to normal. He does, but she’s still unconscious. He kisses her on the cheek, reciting some dumb@$$ poem again, and tells Jack to watch over her- he’s gonna go and kill Yakuto. He claims to know this Library like the back of his hand…………..

Yakuto and Zelecia: They’re lost- they’re walking by a shelf of “Dirty books” when Cougar’s underlings come to pick a fight. Zelecia decides to take them on herself, wanting to work out some of her anger for being ignored by Cougar in favor of Frey. She unveils her powers- “Black Magic” in the form of smoke that crushes them all in an instant. She thinks that a “Black Wizard” and a “Black Dragon” might make for a good team. But unfortunately– these jokers are dead, and they’re are without Mikoto to zombify them. Class F Homeroom: Mikoto sneezes, and Reizen asks if it’s because she’s getting sick from always being bare foot. She explains that she absorbs power through the ground- being bare foot makes it easier. While Hien is too stuck on what Yakuto did for him in chapter 1. So he’s off to do something……………

Yakuto and Zelecia: Zelecia gets an idea; she thinks that Cursed Velocity is designed to show you whatever book you wish to read. To test that, she simply asks for “A Book To Show Them Where Frey Is.” And it’s manifested on the shelf- map and all. But before they can go to Frey- they have to get passed Cougar. He asked for a book that showed him THEIR location. Zel asks Cougar why someone like him chooses to set up shop in a Library of all places. He explains that God doesn’t come to Cursed Veloctiy, so he’s able to get away with a lot more. He doesn’t really care WHY, but this confirms in Yakuto’s mind that God’s Weakness is likely contained in here somewhere. But they can look for that book later– they’re trying to save Frey and defeat Cougar. PROBLEMCougar’s stronger than he had expected– Yakuto can’t take him on as he is right now. Nor can Zel. It looks like they’re done for until– 

HIEN Comes To Their Rescue?!

He says that he has now repaid his debt to Yakuto. But what’s MORE confusing: Cougar refers to him as “Little Master Hien.” They know each other. But the Black Duo(gonna have to think of a new name for them) is left in a state of confusion as to what’s going on. Dead Rock Chapter 8 END!! Not WIDE awake, but we’re getting there………….

REVIEW

There are………… Great Many Things that I want to say. One of them continues to point out how- while they are, at the end of the day, Demons who will kill you without much hesitation- they are not all together “Heartless.” Mashima’s making it clear by Yakuto’s choice of saving Frey first and Zelecia’s choice to help him in that that these aren’t “Monsters.” They’ll kill ya, but only if you’re an active problem; they’re not the types that’ll go around just “killing whoever for whatever.” But I’ve talked about that a lot in most of the other reviews, so it’s probably time to stop just retreading old ground and bring in Newer topics. You get that I like the writing behind this series so far; at this point it would be beating a dead horse to tell you that. Rather, I’ll bring up where this type of writing is going at this point. And it has to do a lot with what happened in this chapterYakuto Lost To Cougar. 

Power Scaling……………… is not my “Forte(especially when it comes to Hiro Mashima series),” so I won’t say 100% that a Full Powered Yakuto could beat this guy. I’m simply saying that he’ll think it would have been a more “Even Match” if he had his full strength again. As such, I think he’ll take the next opportunity he gets to ask the Library how to get his strength back. Will Hien stand in the way of that? Just to make it easier on himself when it’s time to fight Yakuto? I don’t think so. Simply because “It won’t be a problem even if he DOES get his strength back-“ or so he thinks. In whatever case, I think the others will help him in that goal(the one’s helping him in the First Place), detouring from fighting against God for a minute and choosing to build up their strength for the Event. They’ll need all the strength they can get, and they recognize that Yakuto was pretty darn Strong before his punishment. But how will he get his powers backJust ask the Library. The reasonBoarding School Library contains “Every Book In The Demon Realm” is because it can Answer Every Question You Ask It. From the fact that it has books on current events, you could probably ask it just about Anything. 

I say “Just About” because- let’s be honest– God’s Weakness Probably Isn’t In Here Anywhere. It’s probably the only place that would, but it probably doesn’t; that would be “too easy.” We might learn SOMETHING about God here- like what happened to change him into this malevolent being, but not how to defeat him. Or, if this is a case of Possession, then we might learn how to undo the possession. But getting to that point passed all the Teachers and Staff, as well as other Students like Hien and Reisen who have an actual Goal in becoming Demon Kings- THAT is where the story happens. But even without learning a concrete weakness in God, they WILL come out of this something. And that again being how Yakuto gets his strength back. “No Moment Wasted-” every moment in this story is going to matter. It’s a shorter, monthly series, so that’s how it SHOULD be, but not all monthly series adhere to these rules. Just look at the last few months of “Dragon Ball Super.” They just wasted about a year recapping a MOVIE, and added ultimately nothing to the story. Vs THIS where Mashima’s yet to waste any time.

Though– like I mentioned earlier- Mashima might end up extending this story- if for nothing more than the sake of the story itself. He wrote in “Yakuto losing most of his strength,” so he’s going to have “trail off” and deal with him getting his strength back. And- per the rules of the “Battle Shonen” genre- that will involve defeating the person who took that power in the First Place: Lilith The Succubus.Make her ‘spit it back up'” or something to that effect. Or maybe it’ll be revealed as a simple “Reset-“ the strength isn’t gone per say, but he’s back to level 5; reset to his weakest point and having to work his way back up. Or, well- maybe more like “Level 20” since she left him with “The Base He’d Need To Survive In This School.” “Level 20” feels about right since I honestly feel like he came in at “Level 70. And as a member of the “Extremely Rare” Black Dragon roots- I imagine his “stats” were much higher than a lot of the others from the get-go. But that’s just my opinion, and as I said: Not A Power Scaler. 

But it all depends on how Mashima is choosing to handle Yakuto’s loss of power: If he chooses “Reset,” then he’s just going to have to work his way back up. But if he chooses to say “Lilith Is Holding The Key To His Power,” then Class F’s next course of action would be to take out Lilith and get them back. School Rule #3: “You May Kill Anyone You Don’t Like- Even The Teachers And Staff.” It’s not a “Can They Get Away With it-“ it’s “How Are We Going To Do It?” She’s not one of the “Four Demon Teachers” for nothingshe is STRONG. Though that name reminds me: Mashima is still working on Edens Zero at the moment. And in that series; the Main Villain- One Void- has under his employ The Demon King’s Four Dark Stars, as well as the Oracion Seis Galactica. It’s only now that I understand the title of chapter 236– it was referring to One Void, the Four Dark Stars, and the Oracion Seis Galactica working together. Then I look at his 4th series, “Dead Rock-“ there’s no “One” in the game(as far as we know), but we have the Four Demon Teachers introduced in chapter 3. I don’t know where nor when nor how, but I know that- once God starts catching wind of Yakuto and what he’s up to- he will send this series Oracion Seis faction after Class F. The literal translation for them is “Six Demon Generals, and that group has been apart of Mashima’s works since Rave Master. The Oracion Seis Exist In This Story.

If I were to take a guess, I would say that it’s something between the Dark Guild introduced in Fairy Tail, and the first rendition we saw in Edens Zero: A Group- In Name Alone; they don’t exactly work together, but they’re going to when God “asks” them to. They will likely be “The 6 Students With The Highest Grades In The School-“ and also the strongest students. Where they stand in relation to the Demon Teachers in terms of strength is subjective; this series feels like My Hero Academia in terms of it being an “Ability” type more than a “power” or even “technique” base; they have to make do with what they have- some of them have more “useful” or “Powerful” roots than others. Those 6 will likely have some “Premium” roots- 6 well known Monsters from myth. I imagine some of the Universal Monsters will come in there; Vampire, Mummy, Werewolf, Frankenstein, Monster Of The Black Lagoon, and……………. ah, just one short. You get the picture. 

Back On Topic: Getting Yakuto’s powers back is just one of those things in a story that extended longer than what was intended. It’s not a “Bad Thing” by any means;” it just happens. You write an idea- the character is put in such and such situation- plot. And an important part of story: “Cause And Effect-” everything a character does has a reaction, leading to another plot. Yakuto let loose his full power in the Death Arena, breaking a lot of the building. So he was punished by having his power taken. Which is why he’s losing to Cougar. So he has to go and get his power back. Thus he must defeat Lilith. Thus putting he and Class F on the radar of everyone in the school, having successfully killed one of the Four Demon Teachers. “Everything Is Connected-” get it?

Another thing I wrote in my notesZelecia’s Magic.Like her so far; she comes off in much the same way Yakuto did at the beginning- but slightly smarter in comparison. Rather than reveal herself right then and there to Yakuto in chapter 2, she chose to stay stay as a Yatagarsu- hiding her true form and motives until she had assessed how serious he was in his mission- which he’d proved by actively defying God and smashing up the Death Arena. Yakuto showed them he was serious about his goal with Maxwell’s death- Zel chose to play the “waiting game” until she was certain he was an ally. Yakuto didn’t even think about checking in Cursed Velocity for God’s weakness, while Zel knew this would be the only place in all the realms something like that would be kept. She’s playing this “Smarter Not Harder.” But still having that same determined, Deadly, playful behavior to her. I think she’s rightThey’re a pretty good team so far. And her roots aren’t all that bad, either.

That transformation is definitely Zeref’s main fit in Fairy Tail, but I don’t think he used magic like this. For him, it was definitely a lot of spell casting; for Zelecia, she’s comes off more like a Logia type from One Piece- like she becomes the smoke. She also seems to be able to operate independent smoke clouds to attack multiple people. Her personality is pretty fun; referring to Hani and Hien and “Dirt Doll” and “Doggy” respectively. And her being insulted by Cougar ignoring her shows that she’s somewhat like Wendy– a bit “self conscious” about how she looks in comparison to other girls. Difference: Wendy just kind of feels down about how she looks- Zelecia will f*cking MURDER you if you call her something like “Washboard.” She’s also likely “curious” about that kind of stuff, seeing as she manifested those p0rn books earlier in the chapter. She’s smart- strong- capable- she’s alright thus far. 

HIEN THE FENRIR. He’s……….. The Main Character Of A Whole Other Manga. School series tend to feel like that, don’t they? Like everyone is part of their own story, and we’re just arbitrarily focusing on one of the faces in the crowd. That’s what Hien feels like to me. In fact, I’m now thinking that that Kuga guy mentioned in chapter 4 might be the “Big Bad” of that story. Maybe even one of the Oracion Seis, thus setting up his main battleMaybe, but we’ll have to see what the Seis does in this story first. As for Hien: He chose to save Yakuto here? Because Yakuto helped him get into Dead Rock- an action that I guess he sees as “worth more” than just randomly saving him from those Ants. Honestly, he didn’t do that to help Yakuto; he just wanted to kill the Ant. Which is why he’s helping here; to repay a debt so that he won’t have to at a critical moment later. But in Yakuto’s mind- they were “square.” Maybe he doesn’t even remember that happened, honestly; I genuinely don’t think he cared. But now Yakuto owes him. Which leads me to Detour #2Yakuto Delaying His Plan To Kill God- at least until Hien graduates. I don’t imagine he cares about God beyond that point; he may make him a Demon King, but he has the power to keep that title on his own. It doesn’t matter so long as he gets what he wants. That’s what I’m thinking. 

I don’t know how it’ll go over with Zelecia or Frey, but I imagine Hani would also not mind this little “delay in the plan.” Yakuto might be able to rationalize it to Zelecia as “We’ll Need To Amass Our Strength If We’re Going To Challenge God” or “We Can’t Beat Hien As We Are Now, And He’s Said That He’ll Stand In Our Way.” Besides, killing Louzen is something they can do independent of the plan- they might as well take out God’s forces while they build up their strength. Frey’s definitely fine with that- especially since it means more time with Yakuto. And Hien probably doesn’t care so long as he can graduate. Reisen and Mikoto as well. Though Mikoto’s already promised to help Frey when it’s time to battle Louzen. Won’t be as simply as “Overwhelm him,” but she’ll definitely be able to help with that at least. Reisen’s on some other sh!t. Is it “Reisen” or “Raizen-” I’ve seen it spelled both ways. Not like it matters, though; his story kind of ended when he died in chapter 2- he’s now stuck as the “Mascot” of Mikoto’s story. But he’s also still trying to do his own thing, which I can appreciate. 

………………………….. Hien, right. Ah………… I imagine that Yakuto- in return for this- will put off the goal of killing God until Hien’s graduated. And will likely try to help in that effort so that he can get back to it as soon as possible. Hien doesn’t want his help, but Yakuto will give it, anyway. And he’ll keep in mind that Hien stands a good chance at killing him with where he’s at now. This is really Hien’s best chance to get rid of Yakuto, and I think knows it; he could do much against him at full power back in the Death Arena. Yakuto knows that he’s probably the most vulnerable he’s ever been at the moment, making getting Class F to side with him all the more crucial. But he can’t force them to take his side- he couldn’t before and he certainly can’t now. So- since Hien is so “honorable-” maybe creating a New Debt in the form of holding off on his mission will get Hien on board with killing God. Or so Yakuto thinks; Hien’s not the “Easy To Read” type- I can’t make heads or tails of what he’s got going on. Probably a “Revenge” story, but it might also be “Rags To Riches” type of deal. Him in “Rags-” the Kuga guy in “Riches,” and all Hien wants is to stand by his side or something. Or perhaps this is a “Riches To Rags” type of deal, based on Cougar’s reaction to Hien. 

Maybe Hien was some kind of “Prince” in his layer of the Underworld(Level 306), and Cougar………….. okay, this is something Mashima might need to address in the series: Whether or not this is a simple High School backdrop, or if this is like a “University” type of thing. Because if it’s a High School thing, then I can say that Cougar is the son of a servant/guard that worked for Hien’s family. But if this is a College for Upcoming Demon Kings, then I’ll say that Cougar was that servant/guard, and he’s known Hien since he was a child. His behavior is irrelevant; “The Strong Can Act However They Want.” But this Kuga- they did something that……………. took that “kingdom” away from Hien. Cougar disappeared or something(whether or not Hien knew he was in Dead Rock or not will likely be revealed in the next chapter, along with the full context of what’s happening in Hien’s story), and Hien was left to fend for himself- ultimately becoming the Man who Plunged the 306th Layer Of the Demon Realm into an Eternal Winter. Probably just to see if he could- to “test his mettle” before deciding to enter Dead Rock. And the goal of becoming a Demon King and ruling over a sector of the Human realm is to “put his family back in power” or something like that. We’ll probably get all of that next month. 

It’s one of the advantages of making a Monthly series vs a Weekly: There’s more time in the chapter- and yet also less. There’s less “down time” for Mashima to do………….. the typical “Isms” now associated with his works, such as girls falling Genitals First into the guy’s faces, or them ending up with less and less clothing as the fight goes on. This is more the case with “Fairy Tail” and “Edens Zero” compared to “Rave Master;” there wasn’t a lot of “Pervy” moments in that series. At least, not ones I can point out that would be super memorable. In comparison, I could tell you that Lucy almost won a fight in 100 Years Quest(which is STILL being worked on by Mashima via Storyboards) because the lady she was fighting liked her boobs, and I’ll tell you that Rebecca is currently in her underwear, a button up shirt, and heels during this “Final Battle” that’s happening. I don’t know if it’s because we’re still only in the single digits, but “Dead Rock” hasn’t had many moments of Fan Service. Frey’s had a few panels here and there, but nothing to the level of- say– falling on Yakuto and his hands end up in her panties. Mostly just close ups on her boobs and like a shot of skirt. That other sh!t- not enough “time” for all that; you can’t have 5 pages of all that in a 30 page chapter- you just wasted our time for whole month! 

Every page needs to feel “necessary” because we’re going to have a longer waiting period between chapters; it all needs to “matter” so it never feels like time is being wasted. And thus far– I have only 1Short Review” for this series, and that has more to do with it being a “Combat” chapter and not a “Dialogue/Exposition/Lore/Character/World Building” type of thing. Which is ANOTHER advantage; having more time for both in a single chapter. “A Lot To Be Gained From Writing A Monthly Series” is the point. 

Conclusion

That was a lot. And more “unscripted” than I was expecting. I’ve learned through all the years of doing this that I do better with an “outline” to follow- I have a document where I wrote down notes of things I want to talk about with each chapter I cover. This series tends to have a lot more to it for me to talk about, though a lot of it just talking about how I feel about the writing of the series and what I like about it. I’m sure that’ll slowly start to fade out the further we get into the series, but I enjoy talking about it. It’s such a “Breath Of Fresh Air” when it comes to Hiro Mashima works. Really, it’s just a really good series; I haven’t seen anything quite like it- something the characters to “Do Whatever” but also still be a Battle Shonen. I don’t think it’ll ever veer into the Seinen genre with series like…………… I’m not talking about series like Attack On Titan, Chainsaw Man, or Berserk, but also them. It’s not gonna be this “Overly Complex Character Study-” they’re Demons; they just……………. “Do What They Feel Is Right In The Moment.” Whether or not that means they kill ya- that entirely depends on You. 

Um…………. What do you expect for Next Month’s chapter? I know that the first few double digit chapters usually get a colored cover to celebrate entering the Double digits, but then chapter 2’s also tend to get colored pages. Which this one didn’t. And the sales for volume 1 back in November were about where the current sales of Edens Zero– 29 volumes deep at that time(Volume 30 recently came out)- were: Between 7,000-10,000 first week, then not ranked. Gotta get them sales up; that’s how this series becomes longer. But not SO LONG that Mashima just starts making sh!t up and………… then it becomes “Fairy Tail” or some later parts of “Edens Zero.” THAT we don’t need. Both have their highs, but also their lows. And their “lows-” Hurt. Hopefully we can avoid that with this series. Let me know what you guys think in the comments. That’s all for now. Stay Safe- Stay Healthy- Stay Golden. ‘Til Next Time, All. 

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