Welcome to Last Week in Anime, where we look at some of the greatest clips from the last seven days! All the big shonen series are hitting a peak of action at the same time, so after last week’s article building up to big battles, we’ve gotten some amazing episodes of intense combat. Although the big one is still coming with My Hero Academia, Black Clover and Boruto both hit major fights while Sword Art Online Alternative and Golden Kamuy are each leaning into their own action. Also, another anime is joining Umamusume at the horse races!
My favorite fight from last week has been a long time in coming, the battle between Yami and Licht and man did Pierrot deliver, putting up the best animated episode of Black Clover yet. I let my hopes get really high for this episode but was still blown away by some absolutely unforgettable sequences. Although Asta got his own highlight and the Yami fight got several more great moments, even this clip doesn’t do justice to how good the episode was. The series has also hit its comedic pace and, between extended segments of eye-melting action, it was non-stop Yami gags of him not taking the situation he’s in seriously while making Asta’s life as hard as possible.
Speaking of action, we’re finally back into some serious battles after an extend period of setting up the stakes in SAOA. LLENNS return to Squad Jam didn’t make us wait, almost immediately delivering another high speed fight reminiscent of her solo squad takedown from the first episodes. The end of the clip in particular has some satisfying moments from her baseball slide, the last second dodge of the sniper fire, and how immensely dead that guy Fukaziroh shot is. The newest ep is just as bloody so it’s likely going to make it on to next week's article and it feels like we’re gonna be riding this combat train until the end of the season.
SAOA isn’t the only series that looks like it’s going to be leaning into big battles for the foreseeable future. Boruto capped off its Chunin exams with a battle royale that was really a 2v1. Shinki’s iron sand hands are a cool take on Gaara’s own techniques that give him a sense of personality. I wasn’t sold until he blocked both their attacks with the two hands wrapping around him as if clasped in prayer and the rifle shot punches he throws out a bit later. You know Shinki is overpowered but this fight really makes you feel like Boruto and Sarada never stood a chance and the conclusion had some great effects animation. Now, after all that is when the real villains actually arrive.
Golden Kamuy walks a weird line between comedy, charm, and brutality and no scene better represents than the absolutely bizarre fight to the death between Sugimoto and Henmi. The soft orchestral accompaniment was straight out of Hannibal and the odd juxtaposition between mortal combat and soulful eye-gazing makes for a tough call between laughing and cringing. As always, the violence is visceral but the battle seems to conclude with a happy ending. After an intense hand-to-hand, it’s looking like today we have a more strategic fight waiting for us today with Tanigaki’s flight from the 7th division sharpshooter Ogata.
A clip with a real lesson. Don’t gamle, kids. Especially if you’re still kids and it’s actually illegal for you to be gambling. This episode of Hinamatsuri might have been the darkest yet, with Hitomi’s downward spiral accelerating and Anzu catching some of her only friend’s bad luck. Fortunately Anzu redeems it in the end, but this clip is great not only for the jokes, but also for fans of Umamusume, who might recognize the track as well as the names of one (or more) of the horses Anzu bets on. Pretty sure Hitomi developed an ulcer over the course of the clip though...
That's all for this week! What was your favorite moment that you'd like to watch on repeat? Have a conflict that was set-up last week that you can't wait to see explode in the coming episode? Let us know in the comments below!
Peter Fobian is an Associate Features Editor for Crunchyroll, author of Monthly Mangaka Spotlight, writer for Anime Academy, and contributor at Anime Feminist. You can follow him on Twitter @PeterFobian.