One thing you gotta love about anime is how even the bad guys get their own back-stories -- and in the latest two episodes of The Prince of Tennis, we get some major insight into the past of Akutsu, Ryoma's latest (and perhaps toughest) opponent. Interestingly enough, it all comes back to one central question: Is tennis a sport worth playing if you don't find any challenge in it? For Akutsu, the answer is a resounding no, but Ryoma might convince him otherwise...
It's also very fitting that episode 46 is called "samurai spirit," for what else can true samurai spirit be but the desire to push yourself to your mental and physical limits? We may have exchanged swords for tennis racquets, but warrior philosophies never change...
Catch these episodes and the rest of the series in the Prince of Tennis section.
Episode 45: A Devil on the Court
Provoked by Ryoma’s taunts, Akutsu begins to take their match seriously and unleash his true strength. Akutsu’s power and speed amaze the crowd, while Ryoma counters with his special shots….
Episode 46: Samurai Spirit
Ryoma brings out his best shots to challenge Akutsu’s raw power. In spite of the spectators’ worries, the violent battle continues to rage. Will Ryoma find the strength within to help him defeat his most challenging enemy?
This week marks a turning point in the Naruto Shippuden saga, as Pain and his confederates mount a surprise attack on the Leaf Village! It's pretty poignant watching the beginning scenes of this episode, before the daily life of the village is shattered. (And we discover yet another good use for the Byakugan -- cheating at cards!) Things get pretty heavy in a hurry though, and it's pretty clear that from this point on, everything is about to change... and if that doesn't get you excited enough to watch this episode, then maybe you need some extra Sage Mode training along with Naruto! (That happens in this episode as well, by the way.)
Episode 157: Assault on the Leaf Village!
Shikamaru and the others wait for the information Jiraiya brought back to be analyzed. The Hidden Leaf ninja continue their data analysis, when disaster strikes the village
Funny how a game becomes much more than a game when a lot is at stake, and the stakes don't get much higher than a shot at turning pro... and in this week's episodes of Hikaru no Go, Hikaru has to take down the nearly undefeated Ochi to get his shot at the big time! But are either of them as concerned about turning pro as they are about measuring up to Akira? No! Akira's way too studious and self-deprecating to flatter himself about it, but it's a pretty big ego boost to know that two of your competitors are battling each other tooth-and-nail just to earn the right to be called your "rival."
Catch these episodes (and the rest of the series) in the Hikaru no Go section.
Episode 45: Hikaru vs. Ochi
Gearing up for the match, Ochi reveals to Hikaru that he has been studying with Akira Toya in the hopes of learning how to beat him in the pro exam…
Episode 46: The Final Day of the Pro Exam
It’s down to the wire as to who will make it into the world of the pros. Will Hikaru upset Ochi, the newly crowned pro, or will Isumi sneak by with his four losses...?
Okay, so you now have a ton of One Piece episodes before you. You're camped out in front of your monitor, ready to tackle the exciting task of watching this show... but maybe you're a little pressed for time. Maybe you want a good intro to the story and the major characters, but you don't necessarily have a hundred free hours to watch everything. (At least, not in one sitting. Of course you'll watch the whole show eventually, because it's that good, and because there'll be a test on all this later. Well, maybe not a test, but One Piece knowledge may come in handy down the road for prizes 'n' such.)
So where to start? Fear not, stalwart fans -- here's some suggestions on episodes you can watch to get a quick intro to the characters and main storylines of One Piece. Enjoy! [Warning, mild spoilers ahead...]
Episode 1: I’m Luffy! The Man Who’s Gonna Be King of the Pirates!
Naturally ya gotta watch the first episode of any anime series -- meet Luffy, the Gum Gum-powered hero of our tale!
Episode 2: Enter the Great Swordsman! Pirate Hunter Roronoa Zoro!
Every great hero needs great sidekicks, and we meet our first one when Zoro arrives on the scene! Watch out for the three-sword technique!
Episode 4: Luffy's Past! Enter Red-Haired Shanks!
Get the story behind the scar on Luffy's cheek, how he got his crazy powers, and the reason he started on his grand adventure to the Grand Line!
Episode 5: A Terrifying Mysterious Power! Captain Buggy, the Clown Pirate!
How do you get a pirate-hater to join a crew of pirates? Nami makes her first appearance a few episodes back, but by the end of this episode she's on board as navigator!
Episode 11: Expose the Plot! Pirate Butler, Captain Kuro!
He's klutzy, funny-looking, a bit of a coward, and tells tall tales, but he also has a heart of gold -- in this episode, we get the backstory on the lovable Usopp and see him take a stand!
Episode 17: Famous Cook! Sanji of the Sea Restaurant!
How can you sail the high seas without some decent grub? Answer: You can't! So when Luffy and crew happen upon a sous chef named Sanji who happens to have a flair for combat, you know they won't pass up the chance to recruit him!
What happens when your dunk smash is used against you by a wily opponent? Go on the offensive, of course! But when our favorite trickster Momo clashes against Yamabuki Junior High's Sengoku in this week's fresh episodes of The Prince of Tennis, his patented Jackknife shot might have an Achilles heel -- or to be more precise, a sprained right foot! But that match is just a prelude to Ryoma's face-off against the thuggish Akutsu. The last time the two of them met up, Ryoma got a fistful of rocks in his face for his trouble -- will he get off the court alive this time?
Catch the latest episodes in the Prince of Tennis section.
Episode 43: Lucky Sengoku
Sengoku counters Momoshiro’s signature dunk smash and the match slowly starts shifting in his favor. Momoshiro perseveres but his left foot starts to spasm due to the intensity of the match.
Episode 44: Jackknife
Finally Ryoma’s match starts with Akutsu from Yamabuki Junior High. With all the trouble Ryoma encountered with Akutsu a few days ago, everyone is worried for his safety!
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