Naruto (2002-2007)

Naruto aired from 2002 to 2007

Overview

Since I will be giving my opinion on the entirety of the show, I will be giving a brief explanation for those who may not be familiar. However, I will still be leaving out a lot of the individual details for the sake of not making this three thousand pages long. Before doing this however, I will take a moment to explain some basic terms so no one gets confused.

  • Shinobi: a ninja, there are various types but they are all shinobi.
  • Jutsu: special skills that every ninja can use, also having various types.
  • Kage: A rank reserved to the leader of one of the five great hidden villages.
  • Sensei: teacher, mentor

Naruto is a young boy who has been ostracized his entire life up until this point and he didn’t know why. As the story goes, when he just a newborn, the leaf village was under attack by a powerful nine-tailed fox demon and the fourth hokage performed a ritual to seal the spirit of the demon into Naruto. This cost the fourth hokage his life, and the third hokage came out of retirement in order to lead the village once again. Returning to the present, the series begins with Naruto being tricked into stealing a valuable scroll from his own village, having been told that if he stole the scroll and then managed to learn one of the jutsus within it, he would be able to become a shinobi and leave the academy. Of course, this is all a lie and he ends up having to save his sensei Iruka. Thus began the adventures told in Naruto.

The rest of the series is seemingly one battle after another as he and his fellow shinobi face various opponents throughout the course of a little more than a year. Through the course of the show he grows a lot as an individual and acts as a true protagonist, leaving an imprint on everyone he helps and comes across. The show ends with him leaving with his Master Jiraiya in order to train to become a formidable shinobi, ready to deal with his next enemy; the akatsuki clan.

In the following section you will find my unfiltered thoughts concerning the show as a whole, so if you do not wish to be spoiled about anything, here’s your warning.

My thoughts

I haven’t watched an anime in a long time, but I have only ever heard such great things about this one that I finally caved and watched it. I have to say, I really enjoyed it. The battles were always really entertaining to watch, albeit some of the earlier ones felt as though they went on forever. Along the way we meet a lot of characters, villains, heroes, and those right in the middle. I came to learn how to understand what brings some individuals to do bad deeds, while there were others that I saw no humanity in them. The main trio for a while was that of Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura. Naruto and Sasuke seem to always be at odds, because Naruto is considerably a lot more jovial while Sasuka is in a constant state of contemplation and brooding.

When Sasuke chooses to leave the leaf village, I felt for Naruto because I knew that he doesn’t give up easily, especially on those he cares about but you cannot help someone who does not wish to be helped. As Sasuke said, he is on his own journey that no one can follow him on, but that didn’t mean that Sakura and Naruto weren’t going to try. There were moments throughout this show that I did feel my heart strings get tugged on, and there were parts that successfully creeped me out. I know a major complaint of this first installment of the series is how many filler episodes there are, but for me personally,I never truly mind fillers. They usually act as a good reprieve from the tension that the ongoing plot is providing, plus they add to the overall world of a show.

Characters I Adored & Characters I Didn’t

  • (+) Shikamaru: When we first are introduced to him, he doesn’t seem to be anything more than just some lazy kid but throughout this series I really came to enjoy his character. Especially his strategy skills and his loyalty to his friends. He is the only one of the group to move onto the next ranking due to his skills and I think that was well-suited to his character. He’s easily one of my favorites.
  • (-) Ino: Don’t get me wrong, she grows on me but it really isn’t until the end that I come to like her, when she chooses she wants to train and become a medical ninja. Other than that, I think she’s a very cliche character that is shown on more than one occasion to be self-absorbed and shallow. While I know that there is a lot more to her, since she is shown to be smart and thoughtful at times, I think her growth is overshadowed by her attitude.
  • (+) Kakashi: I was really disappointed when we didn’t see much of him towards the ending of the show, even in the end, he only showed up in the last ten minutes which was disappointing to me. He is another character that at first glance, he doesn’t seem to be all that much. There’s an air of mystery to him because we don’t know what he looks like fully due to his face mask, but other than that he looks pretty normal. Only to find out that he is super powerful and skilled and is known around the villages due to this.
  • (-/+) Sakura: In the beginning, I couldn’t stand her. She was made into being this annoying, dependent, needy girl that didn’t have anything particularly useful to offer during battle apart from her chakra control and ability to see through certain types of jutsus. However, I was very happy when the writers began giving her depth, having her become a medical ninja out of a want to be do more for those she goes on missions with. I really came to enjoy her character.
  • (+) Naruto: I don’t know, there’s something about him that keeps him charming the entire time. Perhaps it is his ability to go from rambling on about ramen, to protecting his friends with a ferocity that is unmatched. I understood pretty quickly why he was the hero of this story.
  • Some honorable mentions would be; Kiba, Temari, Gaara. I enjoyed their characters a lot, with Gaara intriguing me the most out of these three. Also, Jiraiya reminded me a lot of Miroku of Inuyasha and I’m sure you can all guess why.

Have any of you watched this show? Did you continue on to watch the next installments? I plan on continuing and watching Naruto: Shipp┼źden, but that will definitely take some time considering how long the show is. Let me know in the comments if you are a fan of anime, and if so, which ones?

Arrow (2012-2020)

If you haven’t watched the latest and final season of the CW’s Arrow, this review will be filled with spoilers.

After 8 years, the finale of Arrow has come and gone. In this finale episode, we see a lot of faces we haven’t in awhile because as it turns out, Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) sacrifice during the crisis meant that those he loved would return, as though they had never died at all. These characters include; Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson), Tommy Merlin (Colin Donnell), and Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne). Thea Queen (Willa Holland) asks why Oliver’s death didn’t bring back their father, and Moira gives a good explanation. He only brought back the people that wouldn’t change who he was and if his father hadn’t sacrificed himself for Oliver’s survival, there never would have been a Green Arrow.

It’s a tear-jerking episode filled with reunions. Mia Smoak (Katherine McNamara) was shown in the previous episode being reminded of everything she endured throughout this season by the appearance of Dinah (Julianna Harkavy) and Earth-2 Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy). After being reminded of her capabilities, she takes on the mantle of being the Green Arrow. Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) returns because William (Jack Moore) is kidnapped, and we get to watch her reactions to Oliver’s death. It’s gut-wrenching to say the least. Felicity brought something out of Oliver that no other character really could. While her character hasn’t always been likable, no one could argue that she became memorable. There’s something really strong about Oliver and Felicity, and to have watched this relationship grow from the very beginning, made it hurt even more watching her be sad about his death. It also made their reunion in the afterlife mean all that much more.

John Diggle (David Ramsey) is struggling to accept Oliver’s death, having been with him on this journey for the longest, followed closely by Felicity herself. They were brothers, and while they have dealt with their fair share of bumps in the road, their bond always recovered and remained strong. He is dealt a curve ball in this finale, presumably receiving a ring that glows green while he is in the process of moving to Metropolis. This could really only mean that he will become the Green Lantern, and I’m excited to see if anything comes out of this.

What Oliver Leaves Behind

He leaves behind children that we know grow up to become heroes themselves,a team that continue wanting to make changes in the world and continue to be heroes, and he leaves behind a city that is presumably safe. Though, on that note, it doesn’t seem like it will stay like that considering in 2040, there is now a new reality where Mia is engaged to Deathstroke, but she is unaware that he has just received his memories back. This will make things interesting for the sequel show that will be coming. What Oliver the character leaves behind? He leaves behind a series of shows that are all in the same universe, with heroes like the Flash, Supergirl, the Legends, etc. What has become known as the Arrowverse will live on thanks to the foundation that Arrow built. (Granted, there were superhero shows before this, like Smallville, but I digress.)

All in all, I think Arrow ended on a strong note, with a happy-ish ending. I say this because while everything seems golden now, we know that the future isn’t certain, and the safety of Star City can come into question. Felicity and Oliver reunite in the afterlife, Thea and Roy (Colton Haynes) are going to get married, Rene (Rick Gonzalez) is going to be mayor, and Felicity will not keep William and Mia apart so that they can grow up together. Who did we also get to see in this episode? Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law). We can recall that she and Oliver were married in the eyes of the League, and while she erased that marriage, she and Oliver came to lean on each other and trust each other. I really loved her character, the entire time.

That’s a wrap on Arrow, and it will always be a show that I hold fondly in my heart. There’s so much to talk about, not just about this final episode, but the show in it’s entirety but I don’t want this review to be five pages long. If you want to read my review on the previous season, here’s a link.

What did you guys think of the show, and more specifically, what did you guys think of the finale?

Rattlesnake (2019)

Originally released on October 25th 2019

Overview

A mother-daughter duo are driving through Texas when the car gets a flat tire, causing the mother, Katrina Ridgeway (Carmen Ejogo), to pull over. While working on the tire, her daughter Clara (Apollonia Pratt) wonders into the barren grounds of the desert and is subsequently bitten by a rattlesnake. The situation is looking very dire until Katrina carries her daughter into a nearby trailer, where a mysterious woman claims that she will be able to help the child, and that a payment will be discussed afterwards. Upon returning to her daughter after fixing the tire, she notices that the rattlesnake bite has completely disappeared. They still go to the hospital however, and it is there that Katrina is approached by yet another mysterious individual, a man in a suit and tie that explains to her that as payment, she will need to kill someone by sunset. The only conditions? The soul must be human, and it must be done on time. Believing him to be crazy, she tells him to leave but he shows her what will happen if she does not comply; her daughter quickly turns blue and looks on the verge of death. That seems to be evidence enough, because Katrina soon thereafter sets out, trying to come up with a plan on how to repay the debt.

First, she sets her sights on an old man that she overheard was already on the verge of dying, but she decides against it–he dies minutes later and her seemingly only chance is gone. By chance, she goes to a bar and is mulling over her situation when a woman walks in, and after a short conversation with the bartender, Katrina figures out that the woman is currently in a relationship where the man treats her badly but she refuses to leave. Katrina follows them to their home so she can remember where it is, and then she goes out to buy a gun, the target being the abuser. For the sake of her daughter, she forces him at gunpoint to drive to the canyon. After a long few minutes of going back and forth, the upper hand switching between the two of them, she finally kills him as he lay bleeding out due to falling as a result of a rattlesnake bite. He becomes another specter, waiting for the next person who needs to repay their debts.

my thoughts

The plot of this movie had a lot of potential, while not being anything revolutionary, it seemed interesting enough. Apart from some scenes that were definitely unnerving, the movie felt bland. The camera angles at times were questionable, making it easy for the audience to focus on insignificant details. The movie moved at a slow pace, and while that can work for some stories–it fell flat for this one. It also left me with a few questions; did the daughter know what her mother had to do? If not, why would they show that she drew a picture seemingly depicting the rules of payment? Was the rattlesnake all a ploy, to force the need for payment? The doctor mentions that Katrina had told him that they were driving from Phoenix, Arizona to Oklahoma, but since she never talks about it, I don’t know if this is true. If it was, why were they leaving? Who was the man that was texting Katrina, that she brushed off? There’s a lot that I still don’t know, but the answers to these questions didn’t seem like anything that would change the plot dramatically, they seemed like facts that were omitted out of lazy writing or this need to create mystery where there was none.

Have you guys seen this one? What did you think of it?

Hollywood’s Bleeding by Post Malone

Post Malone’s recent album ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’, released on September 6th 2019

Through this blog I’ve been exposed to new albums as they are released, which helps me stay current with the latest hits in the media. Post Malone’s newest album Hollywood’s Bleeding, which was released on September 6th 2019 is no exception. With the album featuring big names such as, Travis Scott, SZA and even Ozzie Osbourne just to name a few, it was so no surprise when this project became a huge hit.

Super official ranking system

  1. Take What You Want (feat. Ozzie Osbourne & Travis Scott)
    It opens with Ozzie’s unmistakable voice as he sings “I feel you crumble in my arms, down to your heart of stone…” and as the song develops, I was surprised at how well all three artists were able to mesh together.
  2. A Thousand Bad Times
    This one is really upbeat and catchy, which I think makes sense since he is trying to stay optimistic and look on the brighter side of things.
  3. Die for Me (feat. Future & Halsey)
    Taking a lyric like “I had a really bad feeling you been lying to me” and adding it to a fast, fun beat makes this song a number 1 contender for a post-breakup playlist. Halsey’s part solidifies my opinion that people will be blasting this song from their speakers when they feel they’ve been wronged. With lyrics like “I sold 15 million copies of a break up note” how could it not be on someone’s playlist?
  4. Hollywood’s Bleeding
    The titular song of the album, this left nothing for me to be disappointed about. There are definitely stronger songs on the album, but it’s still a great song.
  5. Allergic
    I really liked the “Allergic!” call out that occurs in this song, so it had to be on this totally official ranking system.

I didn’t mention the songs I’ve already come to love before the album was released; Goodbyes (feat. Young Thug), Wow and Sunflower with Swae Lee. I wanted to focus on the songs that were introduced with the release of the final product i.e the album.

Hollywood’s Bleeding is overall a really strong album that is going to stay on the charts for awhile, I’m sure.

Supergirl Season 1-4

Season 1 of Supergirl (October 2015 – April 2016)

This season begins with Kara Danvers, who has hidden her abilities from the world thus far. Her story is similar to Clark Kent’s; being born on Krypton and sent away to Earth in a pod by their parents in order to survive. The similarities end there for now, since Clark successfully made it to Earth while Kara’s pod was knocked off course and she spent time in the phantom zone before finally arriving on Earth. By that time, Clark was already grown up and saving the world as Superman. Deciding to lead a normal life, it wasn’t until her sister Alex Danvers is on a plane that is going down, that Supergirl is born. Acting as Supergirl, she gets recruited by the secret government organization known as the DEO, to help stop the bad guys; both human and alien.

This was a really good first season, I was hooked from the jump. Throughout this season, we also see the growing connection between Kara and James Olsen, with Maxwell Lord being the unlikely ally by the end of it. Both of these storylines are promptly ended when CW acquires the rights to Supergirl, but I’ll talk about that in the next section.

Season 2 of Supergirl (October 2016 – May 2017)

This season focused on Kara trying to find a balance between her two identities while fighting bad guys along the way. We actually get to see more of one of my favorite reoccurring characters in the show; Livewire. She’s just so fun as a villain and I really enjoyed all the scenes including her. Who do we also get this season? Mon-El. Kara’s epic love that we also see in season 3. He’s a Daxomite, the prince no less. They deal with a lot of rocky moments in the beginning but once they find their groove, they seem to fit each other really well and it broke my heart when she had to send him away because they laced the atmosphere with lead.

What I thought was interesting, is that Maxwell Lord doesn’t show up again, most likely due to the change of networks. And despite the storyline that had developed between James Olsen and Kara, it was ended promptly after season 2 began. This felt awkward, since they had gone through so much to end up at this point. I can only assume the main reason for this was Mon-El and Kara’s later storyline. Overall, this season was also really good. (Spoiler alert; you won’t hear me say that there was a bad season in this review.) Though it wasn’t my favorite one, despite how much I loved the different storylines this one came with.

Season 3 of Supergirl (October 2017 – June 2018)

This season I think really leveled up the entire show. The villains in this season are literally called world-killers. If that isn’t intimidating, then I don’t know what is. We also find out that her mom has been alive this whole time, just in a place called Argo City where she and the other surviving kryptonians sought refuge after the destruction of their planet. The fight scenes were incredible in this one, and it was the season that you saw Kara get pushed to her limits; where her morals were being constantly questioned and she was being tested. We meet Brainy in this season; who is an AI who didn’t follow the path of his ancestors and didn’t become evil. He’s part of the Legion, a group of heroes that Mon-El leads in the future. Oh yeah, he comes back to the past with his team–including his wife; Imra Ardeen. They fight alongside Kara on numerous occasions because they needed to defeat the world-killers before they became the future enemy; the blight. Mon-El and Kara had some unfinished business but he ultimately decides to return to the future because they need him. He leaves Kara with a ring, telling her that they can call the Legion if they ever need to. It is a really strong season, and it was the season that made me feel disappointed that I never tried to watch the show before.

Season 4 of Supergirl

What a journey this season was. We finally get to see Lex Luthor, who is the main puppeteer and everyone else were either unknowingly his puppets, or they were willing to go along with the madness. Do you remember Eve Teschmacher? Turns out she’s been working with Lex Luthor the whole time. There’s a whole episode where this is explained in great detail. At the end of season 3, we see another version of Supergirl in Kaznia, and she becomes a huge part of season 4. Turns out, the events of Reign’s demise lead to another version of Supergirl being created; except she was a blank slate. One that Lex Luthor was able to mold into his own personal weapon. I think Lex Luthor’s portrayal was so well done, because he’s truly shown as the unhinged murderer that he is. It is unfortunate that we never see a showdown between superman and Lex Luthor since Clark has gone to Argo City with Lois. At the DEO, we see Alex become Director since J’onn left to focus on his quest to figure out who he is after his dad’s passing. We also have to deal with Colonel Lauren Haley, who does everything by the book and because of her quest to figure out who Supergirl is without the costume, J’onn has to wipe all the knowledge of who she is from all DEO operatives; including Alex. This causes a lot of heartache for Kara because she no longer can lean on her sister like she used to.

This season ends with the demise of both Red Daughter and Lex Luthor, and Kara making plans to tell Lena about her secret identity.

Season 5 of Supergirl

What does all of this mean for Season 5? Well there’s definitely going to be some sort of confrontation between Lena and Kara now that Lena knows her secret identity and Kara wasn’t the one to tell her. It’s been announced that Mehcad Brooks, the actor who plays James Olsen will be leaving the show in this season. We also see Brainy and Dreamer together at the end of season 4, so we’ll see Brainy figure out what it means to be in a relationship. We’ll see more of Alex and James’ sister Dr. Kelly Olsen being together, which was a development I really enjoyed watching grow. We also know that there will be a huge crisis this season due to the major crossover event coming in the fall. At the end of season 4 we also learn that Teschmacher was working for an organization called Leviathan, which is why she worked for Lex Luthor. That blows the idea that she was doing it out of love for Lex out of the water, which only creates more questions. I’m very excited to see what is in store for Supergirl the character, as well as Supergirl the show. I love that they aren’t afraid of touching on sensitive topics like immigration and prejudice, because I feel it is important in today’s society to talk about these things.

What did you guys think of the show’s latest season? What do you think is coming next?

‘Lover’ by Taylor Swift

Releasing on August 23rd, I’ve given myself plenty of time to listen to the album and familiarize myself with the songs and come up with a solid opinion. The verdict is in and I love this album. You may have read my review for Gabbie Hanna’s EP ‘2WAYMIRROR’ and be expecting that same kind of review. This time though, I’m going to be ranking all the songs for me personally, and then picking a few from the bunch to talk about as opposed to speaking about each song specifically. I’m only going to rank my Top 5 because in reality, I do enjoy all the songs so I don’t want to stress myself out by trying to pick apart the final contenders.

super official Ranking system

  1. Paper Rings
  2. London Boy
  3. Lover
  4. I Think He Knows
  5. Cornelia Street

I like shiny things, but I’d marry you with paper rings

Paper Rings, Taylor Swift

This song was immediately my favorite. It wasn’t like Cornelia Street that kind of snuck up on me. It’s such a cute song that just makes me happy listening to it.

They say home is where the heart is
But that’s not where mine lives

London Boy, Taylor Swift

I found this song to be really funny, especially when she is mimicking the english accent. What I really love about this entire album is just how happy she seems to be, it really shows in the lyrics, music and her vocals.

We were a fresh page on the desk
Filling in the blanks as we go

Cornelia Street, Taylor Swift

Fun fact; in the first couple seconds of this song it reminds me of the opening to the Macarena. Go listen to both of them, maybe I am just going crazy. This song is really interesting because she’s showing us how much her relationship means to her, that if it were to end she’d never be able to walk this particular street again. And it makes sense. I’m sure we can all relate to not being able to do certain things because they remind us of someone from our past. It’s honest, and I like that.

I believe that this entire album can be summed up in one word; fun. It’s a fun album to listen to, to sing along too while driving along. Now of course there is an outlier, that being ‘Soon You’ll Get Better.’ One thing I’ve always known about Taylor’s music is how honest and raw she is. She lays her feelings out on the table always. We’ve seen this in every album, but what makes this one stand out is that she’s unapologetically in love and sappy, and that’s neat. It’s nice when someone is happy and wants to tell the whole wide world that she’s happy. But she isn’t making it seem as though she’s always happy. There are moments of darkness, and I think she has a good balance in this album.

I’ve been a fan of hers since Teardrops on my Guitar, and I’ve never not listened to an album she’s come out with. I think this album may be the best one she’s come out with. It shows a lot of growth personally and professionally. I’m really excited to see what comes next for her.

What did you guys think? If you’ve gone back and listened to Cornelia Street did you hear the funny resemblance to the Macarena’s opening?

The Perfect Date

Let’s add this one to the pile of movies that I didn’t necessarily dislike but that I probably won’t ever pick over another option. In Netflix Original ‘The Perfect Date’ we see the seemingly go-to choice for the male protagonist in all teenage romance movies right now; Noah Centineo who plays Brooks Rattigan. Starring alongside him is Laura Marano, Camila Mendes and Odiseas Georgiadis. Camila Mendes was heavily shown in the trailer that I watched or any clips that I saw beforehand but her screen time was a total of about 10 minutes.

Brooks Rattigan is like a lot of high school students when the reality of college sets in. He is set on going to Yale, being that it is a an Ivy League and our boy Rattigan seems like someone who is very infatuated with material objects. He’s trying to figure out a way to save up for Yale since he and his dad wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise. An opportunity arises where he gets hired to take Celia Lieberman (Marano) to a school dance. In passing, Celia says that he’s really good at it and would probably be able to make a business out of taking girls to places so they aren’t alone.

So he does. With the coding help of his best friend Murph, he creates an app that allows girls to mold their perfect date for a fee and he will take them out. He quickly spirals and we see a montage of all the various dates he is going on. Celia and him are growing closer (if they weren’t, it wouldn’t be a teenage romance) and they end up having a falling out when he’s so oblivious to her actual feelings. Rattigan gains some perspective and works past his superficial personality and decides that he is tired of pretending to be something he isn’t. It’s a good message, I just think the movie fell short from leaving a lasting impact.

I don’t think it needs to be said that Brooks and Celia end up together and it’s cute but once again; it feels like the same story we’ve all heard before. I want something new, something fresh and innovative. I’m sure I’m not alone in this feeling either.

What did you guys think? Let me know down below!