About One Piece. It starts out... meh, and just gets better and better. I have really loved the last several story arcs to the point that only One Piece, Fairy Tale and Kenichi help me get through each week. I'd say the best of One Piece is definitely once they get to the Grand Line. If you just started, I'm guess you're somewhere in the Usopp or Aarlong sagas, which were not among my favorites. Just stick with it - I'm pretty sure you'll end up loving it too.
I know what you mean, though I can't say I was really expecting anything more from Bleach. It is just replaying the soul Society arc with the exact same Villain Aizen tricking everyone AGAIN. The parts of bleach I like are usually few and far between; Aizen's deception being key including when he was a vice captain and vizardized half of the captains. I wish Bleach followed it's own themes (like giving Zaraki Kenpachi Urahara's bankai-o-matic or utilizing any of the deus ex machina that have appeared) or had an interesting main character but...
If the king of soul society kidnaps Tatsuki and Ichigo, Chad, and Ishida run in to the kings dimension to save her I might just punch myself in the face with the ground.
Naruto's basic message is about isolation and suffering vs comradely and stuff and that hasn't changed too much. It doesn't really resonate with me when they start talking to each about their lives during a fight though the villains are more interesting to me as some really are unique and or evil but it's shonen so that level of superficial conflict of ideals makes sense for the target audience. I like Naruto much more than bleach at this point as characters actually die though I can't say the Uchiha's are interesting to me right now.
I have read a bit into One Piece and as of yet I have not found anything interesting to make me really want to read more. How long until something interesting happens? At least there is Fairy Tail to make me laugh each week...
Riful is the only one whose group I might think about joining, though groups are hard for me to look through as it is so many clicks away...
I wish that Ichigo did get his leg and arm chopped off - and not just the spirit body either.
Both Bleach and Naruto ("I must talk to him to stop the cycle of hate" nonsense) are going to hell. Ah well.
BTW - you are now snubbing the , Riful, Ophelia and Flora groups Still no Clare...
If it comes to real skill for the upcoming fight, Clare KILLS flora for actual battle power and if the test was actually to know Clare's ability Clare didn't share much at all. Clare has the ability to preemptively read youki which by itself is the doom of most AB's and also it protects her. Combined with quicksword it is jet powered death unless the enemy has hard skin or is too fast (rigardo and duff, Agatha was neither and was blended). Also Flora knows Clare crossed her limit and that Clare is actually far more knowledgeable of AB opponents than she is as without Clare their entire team would have died or awakened against the youki manipulator. Why did Flora need to test after Clare did all that? She even drags Clare into the middle of nowhere without telling her why to then challenge her to a duel to see who is superior.
In just technique against technique Flora may barely be on top, but what about the other 2 teams not even led by a single digit? Veronica and Undine did not appear to be particularly strong leaders either. Did Flora want to keep Clare in her group? Did she not want to undermine Miria's orders by trading Clare to be a team captain elsewhere? Did she just realize that Clare did not want to lead or that everyone would be skeptical of a #47? We don't have the answer. I hadn't thought about it much, but maybe I'll read it again.
Flora's duel reminds me of Miria's test of Clare. Miria tested Clare in the slasher's arc to "know her teams abilities" but the reality was she sensed something in Clare and was curious. She did not test Deneve or Helen and as a result knew neither of their abilities. They had no game plan and scrambled to win. The current generation on the other hand really has team work as a priority and as a result the Claymores seem much more dangerous (even though they still get rocked).
I do not know if it was intentional or not (probably not) but Miria put one partially awakened Claymore in each team and the 5 of them are responsible for just about every victory the Claymores achieved in Pieta. Flora was very power level based for her thinking not realizing that she was 6th most powerful with 5 partially awakened Claymores ahead of her, only 2 of whom were captains. Not that thinking of power is a bad thing in this world. It is very common for Claymores as we see from Sophia and Noel. In the end the way Flora went about it all made me think she was quite selfish, but when I read through again I will look for something I missed.
I guess I didn't make myself clear - my bad. It's not that Clare suddenly became a good leader or anything after talking with Flora, but rather Flora taught her what leadership is. It's a burden that the most qualified individual in a group has a responsibilty to undertake.
Sort of like the best person on a sports team becoming captain. Do you think it's fun to be the one resposible for arguing with referee, get additional pre and post game duties and have reporters in your face at all times? Of course not (for the most part) - they want to play the game, not have to worry about all the junk around it. They do it anyways though, because having the best player as Captain is for the good of the team (i.e. it's a responsibility). An even better example is being a mod/admin of some forum/chat room/website. It's quite frankly a drag and a pain in the ass, but something that has to be done, and best kept out of the hands of some of the infantile fools you occasionaly run into [who strangly enough usually want to be admins/mods]. Leadership is not fun - it's a responsibility that it's more often than not, is easier not being saddled with.
Flora's fight with Clare ended in basically a draw. There was no reason to change leaders when you had 2 equally skilled candidates, one of them already had the job, and the other doesn't want it. I have little doubt though that if Clare won decisively, Flora would have yielded her Captaincy to the more skilled candidate for the good of the group. To see Flora's duel with Clare as merely some pissing contest is to miss the whole point of it, I'm afraid.
Hmm. Even rereading Flora's bit again I don't like Flora much. The duel was cool looking but I can't see it being to teach Clare a valuable lesson. Clare is able to skirt out of getting any commanding duties at all and Flora's final statement on the matter is, "I hate losing the title of quickest sword" (or something like that, I didn't jump into the raw for that). It was a battle of technique against technique and it ended up being very helpful for Clare's future development.
Flora's redeeming bit for me is her ignoring the limit thing and agreeing to survive with Clare even though they are both bleeding profusely from fighting each other. As for Clare understanding leadership from it I am unable to take that stretch. Clare has the same problem with leadership Jean had stated by the AB in chapter 52 page 33, protecting others to the point team work falls apart. Clare is a very very skilled quick thinking tactition who can use her allies for coordinated attacks but she really struggles with rage issues and loses the ability to think "this is really stupid" when a bad situation pops up. Fortunately that works for her because she gets exponentially stronger as she hulks out.
The real problem Clare has in being a leader in my mind is that her goals are so totally different from her comrades. She has a few goals and none of them seem to be revenge against the organization. She joined knowing full well the dark side of the org. But she has some of Ophelia's Anti-AB rage and tells Flora she wants to kill as many AB's as she can. I think Clare is a great tactician maybe even the best in quick thinking but she, almost like a typical teenage male, can't see more than a few moments in front of her.
As for starting a group I am actually weaning myself off of the forum in pursuit of more productive uses of my time (ha!). Though if I did start one it would probably be the "TERESA vs PRISCILLA: BATTLE ROYALE!" group.
Well, truth be told I'm not a huge fan of Flora either. I don't really like that polite sedate type. In the looks department, Galatea, Teresa, and even Alicia, Beth, and maybe a few others come out on top. The one thing I like about her, is her duel with Clare. She didn't have it just (or even primarily) to be a competitive jerk. She taught Clare responsibility - that when you have great powers, that hiding them away and using them only for oneself is wrong. That leadership is a burden you take not because you are a power hungry or even because you want the power others, but because you can do the job better than anyone else (i.e. you have soemthing meaningful to contribute). In essense she turned the loner Clare into someone who understands leadership.
In any event if Flora's not you taste, ever considering starting your own group - may I suggest one for a little known character named Clare? (Dietrich, Jean, Helen/Deneve, and Riful are other good options) ;p
I really do not get the Flora love. It must have been her hair and the fact she died. She was a poor leader and a competitive jerk. Her finding out about Clare's QuickSword resulted in... well Clare still did her same thing she always did; go berserk and kill things. I may have to read the Pieta arc again to see if I missed something about her but as of yet I have never really been a Flora fan.
I did like Flora's polite vernacular though. It made her competitive condescending nature a bit comical for me. Flora was not the kind of girl I would liked to have spent time with though. Teresa and Galatea on the other hand have quite attractive personalities and watching them deal with children warms my heart. And they are quite badass. I wish Irene had gotten some human happiness somewhere... I'm surprised Jean is not idolized as much as Flora. She spends her entire introduction naked and is a great person. Probably the hair and lack of eye brows holding her back... Interesting how character design effects perception, especially since Yagi has very little variation in how he draws females. If Jean looked like Flora she might have rivaled Terea's levels of popularity... well been a distant second at least...
BTW new recommendation; it's a manhwa called VERITAS. I actually do not know why I like it so much. Maybe it is because the Korean element for culture is so different from the japanese manga I follow. I'm not sure where that series is headed so no guarantees...
New recommendation here. Mahoutsukai Kurohime, or just Kurohime. At first it seems like a monster of the month gimmick manga, like Rosario Vampire. "Oh no! Another monster, well, I'll just take off Moka's rosario and it will work because it ALWAYS works." It seems that way for the first while except it actually has character development towards the end of the first arc! I'm a sucker for character and plot development. When characters/plot resets at the end of every arc I get really bored (like when Bleach decided to replay the Soul Society arc in Hueco Mundo). Stories can really catch me off guard when the mood suddenly changes and things become very interesting, like trigun when Monev the Gail wandered into the story. I am not going to say Kurohime is one of my top favorites, but it was definitely a surprising read. There are definitely some interesting twists off of standard shonen psychology. That and I like the dragons...