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And then the battle ended and everyone counted and prayed for the dead and felt crappy all around, but that part’s boring so let’s skip it!

NN4B Volumes 1 and 2 are available once again on the Hivemill online store! If you were interested in picking up some copies, now’s the time!


I also can’t help but bring up the trailer for the new Star Wars Resistance cartoon. (what, I like Star Wars??) It seems to be getting a lot of internet hate, but I guess that’s just normal for Disney produced Star Wars stuff at this point. But the one thing that blows me away is that it’s getting ragged on for having bad animation or looking ugly?? The animation and visual quality in this trailer looks AMAZING. I mean, please someone point out another CG cartoon show (not film)  that looks as good as this trailer (maybe Tron Uprising, but that was also a Disney animated show). The background details are top quality, the animation is fluid and expressive, the lighting is great, the cel-shading style is sharp.

I mean, compare that to the dirty browns and grays of The Clone Wars and Rebels, with their muddy, plastic character models and painfully bland background environments with polygon counts that look like they were made for a PS3 game.

I’m not really criticizing the narratives of the shows here (although I could!), but visually I have never liked the art direction of the CG Star Wars shows. It’s all totally subjective, of course, but Resistance looks far more visually appealing to me. I mean just look how rad CG Poe’s profile looks in that youtube thumbnail! And for anyone who wants to complain that Resistance is TOO COLORFUL, well, easily the best Star Wars cartoon to date is Genndy Tartakovsky’s 2D animated Clone Wars, and that show was plenty colorful. That’s the full series linked below. Please don’t hold me responsible if you click on it and inadvertently watch the whole thing in one sitting when you should be doing other stuff!


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  • KungFuKlobber

    … You know what? This is the sort of thing that would drive three priests into a sake bar.

    • Turul

      That’ll probably be the wedding feast afterparty, after they’ve drained the Wataro sake reserves

      • Xinef

        Well, for Yori the world is indeed falling apart, so maybe that’s the apocalypse that was prophesied?

        • clogboy

          I think he’ll pick himself up again when he has to defend the peace that Ina worked so hard to achieve. Even if it’s from his own father and/or brother. He’ll do his part. He too grew up with every Demon he faced.

          But apart from Cho’s world ending prophecy, I’m still wondering about the bet between Lex and Matrix. That’s just set up too much to be a goof.

          • Xinef

            > Turns out to be a goof and Alex and Joseph are ROTFLing right now.

            Also, Yori missed the opportunity to fight Honou-ko (at least in this reincarnation), so his growth has been hindered!

            But yeah, I don’t think Yori will give up. I’m just saying he’s heartbroken and probably he’s never been as internally conflicted and shattered as right now.

          • Turul

            Yori won’t reach his full potential until he finds Honou-ko’s reincarnation and fights them. Presumably, this either means it’ll take a couple decennia, or that he needs to murder a kid. Ah, well.

          • Xinef
    • Ginger Mayerson

      Where is Cho? And Ken, too?

      • suburban_samurai

        Cho is in the third panel, and we’ll catch up with Ken shortly!

        • Ginger Mayerson

          Ah, so he is. Thanks.

  • foducool


    • Nos Rin aka CTCO

      I don’t know why… but every seen in this movie makes me laugh.
      It has all these components that I generally dislike, but dammit, that movie is great.

      • foducool

        it’s horrible bigotry arranged in a tasteful package

        • Nos Rin aka CTCO

          could be. the humor is really stupid but lines like. “You’re not Ron.” are funny for some reason.

  • IDPounder

    While everyone else looks somber, the two horses look suspiciously smug. I mean, anyone with a brain never trusts a horse anyway, but those too look more suspicious than most!

    • clogboy

      Right? leave the thinking to a horse, their heads are bigger.

    • EBeth

      As a person who has lived around horses all their life, I can assure that all look smug. Mostly because they are.
      “You tell a gelding, ask a stud, discuss it with a mare, and if it’s a pony you pray to God Almighty!”

  • Yacc

    Is this the end?

  • Sunwu

    For she’s gone married and the son.
    Son! Son!
    Your anger pray bury,
    For all will merry,
    The Senshin and Wataro are one!
    One! One!
    So join our expressions of glee!

    Oh Yori!
    On this subject I pray you be dumb
    Dumb – dumb!
    Your notions, though many,
    Are not worth a penny,
    The word for your guidance is ‘Mum’
    Mum – mum!
    You’ve a got very good bargain Yori!

    On this subject we pray you be dumb –
    Dumb- dumb!
    We think you had better succumb –
    Come! Come!

    You’ll find that there are many
    Who’ll wed for a penny,
    Who’ll wed for a penny,

    There are lots of good fish in the sea,
    There are lots of good fish in the sea, Yori!

    (Set to the tune of “For she’s gone an married Yum Yum” From The Mikado)

  • clogboy

    I have to say that trailer does look fun. It’s the sort of competent cell shading blended with real-ish looking 3D in a way that RWBY has yet to pull off.

    Speaking of animated shows, I binged VOLTRON Season 7 over the past week. Here’s my non-spoiler review. I loved season 6 for its fast pacing. It felt like one continuing story at a fast pace, and with only 6 episodes (of which one goof episode) it’s no surprise. It felt coherent and intense, action and music were good.

    Cue season 7. At 13 episodes that feel like they could be the conclusion to the show, it tells two parts of one story that couldn’t exist without eachother. The first half is kinda slow paced which matches the tone of the story and has one goof episode. It also kinda feels like they were using some leftover plotlines inbetween. It doesn’t have a clear direction from episode one, and is showing very little character development. It does have some good moments and two memorable episodes, but generally it would feel like a kick in the gnads if this long season was released as two shorter ones.

    The pace picks up in the second half of the season, and the stakes are raised with every episode. They do branch out on a few things that happened in the 6th season, which are either coming full circle or proving their benefit as a main stay of the show. It delivered on translating the tension of the action to screen, and it’s easy to empathise with the plot characters and you’d come to care for them quickly. In all honesty, if you told me it was a plotline for Gundam Wing, I’d almost believe it. The music is really the only letdown, as per the majority of the show. But generally, it feels like one long and desperate multi-episode battle against the odds. Dare I say this season might be their shark jump, but if this is the final season then it’s forgiven.

    • suburban_samurai

      I’ve got about four eps to go in Voltron. The show continues to be pretty okay, but with a lot of squandered potential. The animation is still great, the soundtrack is still super bland, and the humor still mostly falls flat. The two episodes about the plight of Earth felt like an entirely different, potentially much better show! At least now that they’re back on Earth, I can feel the stakes, where everything just felt so nebulous before.

      I wish the show did a better job of foreshadowing plot points. It still usually feels like the moment to moment action has to be explained by the characters because so much plot is never set up properly. This plays a big part in making it hard to feel like anything is at stake.

      Shiro still feels like this weird character in limbo that should’ve either died or become a recurring villain back near the start, so that Keith could actually be the leader he was in the original series.

      I also wish the bad guys had more storylines from their perspective and more clearly defined motivations, they all tend to feel pretty one-note.

      • clogboy

        Just wait until you’ve seen the last episode. I’m not saying it’ll get better, but you’ll know what I mean when you get there.
        Frankly though, I’m also seeing the trend where not everything is telegraphed, but isn’t that just life? It is interesting for me to see how the cast deals with it. That said, even given that, it’s also getting easier to predict the Deus Ex Machina moments.
        For me, what sets a good franchise apart from a less memorable one is to what extent characters don’t just role with the punches, but try to become amsters of their own fate. People want to see conflict and decision making.

  • Scared 192

    And so end our story. Pretty anticlimatic.

    • clogboy

      So ends this chapter.
      Who’s to say what’s next? Could it be that Hirotomo would proclaim that any dishonor in Yori’s running away is restored by his victory over the DoS? Could it be that Wataro actually detests firearms, and lump Eji in with the traitor Nataku? Many angles here, and we haven’t seem him speak his mind after he ordered the siege on this village.

  • Crestlinger

    Time enough to develop a wedding bomb then, everything from Shrek, to sub in, to:
    youtube /watch?v=DO3SKte5JYQ -(yes spoilers galore, but not in the expected way) is on the table.
    Now to find out the thoughts of the rest of the group.

  • Turul

    Whoa, timeskip

    I like that panel of Masuhiro hugging Ina :)

  • clogboy

    I’m gonna say it. Eji and Ina make for a nice couple. They’re both calculating tacticians, value logic over emotions and tend to deal with their feelings in a fairly definitive way. Should they be together? I doubt it; I feel like their arguments can turn ugly very quickly exactly because of what makes them strong individuals: stubborn individuals guided by logic as much as emotion. It would serve them to divy up responsibilities, and make bonding time where work talk is off-limits, or at least trust eachother enough to lend a shoulder and not a helping hand/conflicting opinion.
    Just saying, they COULD work well together, but it wouldn’t be the happy ending all the readers are hoping for. I’m still on ship YorIna. Because Yori is so different from his brother, he and Ina complement eachother more and will be more motivated to find a middle ground based on their strong feelings and mutual respect.
    Never thought I’d do dating counseling based on a ficticious, feudal story. :p

    • Ginger Mayerson

      Well done though.

      • clogboy

        Thanks. Either way, someone will be lucky to be with her, and I think really what sets her apart from Eji is that she deals with setbacks in a less destructive manner. A product of upbringing, really.

  • Eric

    So really this more a though on previous comics. Tadashi seemed to imply that some of this could be viewed as a test of Yori by his father, so maybe Ejiro isn’t quite as accurate with the, “Yori will never be heir,” as he thinks he is. Also consider that all this estrangement is based on Nataku’s arranged murder of Yori’s mother. Ken now has possession of a giant truth bomb. He may not realize it yet, but if he figures it out in time, does anyone think he wouldn’t drop that on Yori’s father as a way to strike at Nataku, even though Nataku is already in the grave? Though Ken will probably also want to have rousing good fist fight with, well, basically all of Clan Wataro at Ina’s wedding reception, you know, just to even scores a bit for the whole Diasuke massacre. Sure it was Nataku’s fault, but Clan Wataro as a whole did do the dirty work.

    • clogboy

      Good point. Yori and gang might well have to rush after Ken to stop him, only to find out Ina’s father is in more immediate danger. But let’s humor a more political outcome.

      Concerning the “truth bomb”… well, Hirotomo at least already knows his wife’s killers were ronin (or it makes no difference to him), Genchu told him that on page 141. I’m not sure why Hirotomo would take Ken’s word on Nataku’s betrayal, unless Masuhiro would press the point of the Daisuke clan’s destruction and what it says about Hirotomo’s trustworthiness, with the assassination plans on him in mind.
      Denouncing Nataku might well serve to Hirotomo’s benefit, depending on how things play out. Something would need to happen to give Masuhiro leverage, and to make Hirotomo see the extent of Nataku’s betrayal. Something that hopefully also restores Yori and discredits Eji, at least enough to give Masuhiro pick of the litter when it comes to Ina’s future husband, and consequently, Hirotomo’s heir.

      If only they had a strategic genius in the family, who’s now a neutral party in service of the Azumi ninja clan… Either that, or we’ll get our happy ending in the fire of conflict, swords, and bushido.

      • purplelibraryguy

        Just conflict and swords. No need for bushido.

  • Slograman

    Tell Joe that I have some issues with the dialogue in this update.

    • Turul

      IDK, I feel the looks speak quite loudly in this one, myself.

      …Despite the fact that you can’t even see the eyes of the soldiers in panel 2 or of the holy men in panel 3.

  • Hfar

    On the comic: Well, I’m certain nothing will happen to throw a wrench in this plan for peace. Not least of which Lord Hirotomo pressuring Eijiro to follow through on the original plan to assassinate Ina’s father at the wedding. Nope. Nothing whatsoever.

    On Star Wars Resistance: Yeah, it’s really a shame Resistance is already getting so much hate. Especially since people are attacking in on the grounds of “the animation is bad.” Which is ironic, since it’s almost exactly the same as post season 3 RWBY, which love it or hate it most people laud it for having extremely good, creative, and dynamic animation and fan’s are always excited for new episodes. And I would argue that what I’ve seen from SWR that it has animation on par, if not better, than RWBY. Just goes to show you how much difference an internal culture of fandom can have when it comes to perception of a particular art style.

    So a big part of it is the usual “This isn’t MY Star Wars!!!” wankery that inevitably tints people’s views of these shows until they finally give it a chance and discover the show’s got actual meat to it. Another part however is that at the moment it’s very popular to hate on Kathleen Kennedy, the current president of Lucasfilms, because she “ruined” Star Wars with Last Jedi and there’s now extra fuel on the fire. Some people have also posited that Kennedy is getting targeted by social media campaigns being spread by certain groups in an attempt to get her fired a la James Gunn. Which would have the unfortunately not that crazy implication that someone’s adding extra fuel to the fan outrage fire, which said fire is now spreading to anything Star Wars related that’s not the Clone Wars reboot.

    However since that prospect is too depressing (if anything because of how possible it is), I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that it’s ordinary Star Wars fan wankery because at least that’s easy to deal with.

    • suburban_samurai

      So much of what we enjoy is pretty much based around our own head canon and personal interpretations, and yet ‘fans’ love to insist that they’ve been betrayed or there is some objectively correct way to continue/add to their favorite franchises.

      And as for hate for Kathleen Kennedy, I feel like everyone has forgotten that Lucas was totally responsible for the prequel trilogies, and they are such a mess on every level. Incomprehensible stories, confusing and stilted characters, extraordinarily boring shot composition and cinematography, and complete lack of interest in continuity with the original trilogy. People bashing on Episodes 7 and beyond who are wishing for the good old days of the prequels are delusional and completely wrapped up in their own head canon. Heck, even Return of the Jedi, which was the beginnings of Lucas’ elimination of all creative checks and balances, is kind of a mess of a movie, lurching between tonalities, killing its moment with teddy bear forest shenanigans, leaving Han and Leia with nothing to do after Jabba (why is Han not piloting the Falcon over Endor??), and throwing in the inane plot point about Luke and Leia being siblings, something that is ENTIRELY out of left field and makes the whole universe feel smaller and more ridiculous, as well as weaseling out of the love triangle plot the other two films had set up. Couldn’t she just be another potential Force user? One that Luke would have to now train, and on top of that, being someone he was romantically interested in but who had pledged her love to his best friend? That would be pretty darn interest emotional character conflict that we NEVER GOT, thank’s Lucas!!

      So basically what I’m saying is that fandoms are awful and totally short sighted and you’re 100% right that they’ve recently become easily manipulated by false outrage campaigns circulated through social media.

      • animalia555

        @Suburban Samurai Have you watched this documentary Hero’s Journey by SFDebris on the making of Star Wars here
        Followed up by Shadow’s Journey here
        where he talks about the completion of the original trilogy and the Hermit’s Journey were he talks about the creation of the prequel trilogy here

        I would love to know what you think about these video series

        • suburban_samurai

          They seem really interesting! I’ll definitely give them a watch.

          • animalia555

            Thanks. Let me know what you think. The documentary is a bit of a break from his usual style.

            He mostly does Internet reviews of speculative fiction that combine serious analysis with humor. The thing is unlike most reviewers who acceuente the negative he always gives praise as well. What’s more his reviews do a lot of research when there is controversy involving the history or subject matter. For example if there are different stories behind how a Star Trek episode was written or who was the primary person behind it etc, he’ll go out of his way to research the various claims tell you both cometing sides of the arguments, what is for and against each side, and then give his opinion. And he does this in his COMEDY-STYLE reviews.

            So in his documentaries you can expect the same attention to detail, and fairness, minus the comedy.

          • suburban_samurai

            I’ll be interested to hear what the author has to say about the prequel films. I doubt anything will change my mind on them, but I’m curious what he’s uncovered through his research.

          • animalia555

            Start with the Hero’s Journey and tell me what you think of that first. It’s five videos long after all.

      • clogboy

        Alternatives to the Sibblings trope:
        Luke chose The Force and accepted that he could not take a wife, being Jedi knight and all. This would be cannonical with nothing that needed to be changed.
        Or: Han chooses easy money over ‘what’s right’, estranges from Leia who now wants to be with Luke. As a Jedi knight, he knows he can’t have any ties, but can’t help but perpetuate his father’s mistake. This adds depth and complexity to all three –

        Sorry, totally forgot we were talking about Star Wars here, not Breaking Bad or GoT.

        • suburban_samurai

          Man, I hate that Episode 2 established that Jedi can’t get married. I always interpreted being calm and at peace as being able to cope with loss and bad outcomes (granted that is my headcanon). That shouldn’t exclude someone from having a relationship, it should just mean the person is emotionally able to cope with a relationship’s end. The idea that the Jedi aren’t allowed to marry because it would make them too emotionally unstable is basically like saying that the Jedi are a bunch of children who can’t keep their emotions in check. That did turn out to be true with Anakin, but Anakin was a lousy Jedi candidate who was not properly vetted, not to mention the Jedi were literally brain washing children with seemingly no concern for their emotional stability anyway, so I can totally relate with Luke feeling like the Jedi need to end.

          Confession, I haven’t watched Breaking Bad!

          • Xinef

            I recently watched Avatar the last airbender, and they had a very similar problem. Aang was told that to open the seventh chakra – allowing him to control the avatar state and access phenomenal cosmic powers (well, they said “Pure cosmic energy” but same thing) – he needs to let go of earthly attachments such as you know, love interests and such.

            Well… it seems they understood it exactly the way you described it. It’s ok for Aang to love and enter relationships. He only needs to make sure he isn’t blinded and controlled by his attachments. He just needs to be able to make right decisions even when in love and even if his loved ones are involved.

          • suburban_samurai

            I thought Avatar handled it really well. Man, I should rewatch Avatar, it’s so good.

          • clogboy

            What? No Breaking Bad? You can hand over that ‘cool’ license now… 😉

            GL established a lot of points with the Jedi order.
            Attachments invite fear and anger which leads to the Dark Side, so that’s why they established that iirc. It makes sense to me that Force-sensitive children need to be identified and trained at an early age, so they can learn to use their powers, and hopefully for good purposes. It’s a shame they can’t have children, given how Force sensitivity is hereditary. But I digress.
            To me, the Jedi order represents a conservative ideal of order above all. They are paladins of peace and justice, and as such they’re a rigid element in a democratic republic of star systems. They are above ambitions like power and glory.

            Then there’s the Sith, ruled by ambition, even to a point where they backstab eachother before they work together, hence the Rule of 2. There’s always just the master and the apprentice, until the apprentice is powerful enough to kill the master and take an apprentice of his own. This is why Darth Vader’s suit is so bulky and uncomfortable: firstly to feed into his dark side, and secondly to make sure he can’t overturn Palpatine.

            While the movies have always been about Jedi vs Sith, light vs dark side, the narrative has always been about balance. Grey Jedi are non-canon, but it is heavily hinted at that Yoda was one, and given the purple light saber I thought Mace Windu was one, but it turned out that Samuel L. Jackson just dug the color. Luke Skywalker is dead now and never found balance (although he did contemplate the failure of the Jedi), and I hope Rey and Kylo Ren can at least find a middle ground where they can start a less rigid, more powerful order with true ideals of peace and justice alongside personal ambitions, and where Rey can find her animal sidekick and a dress to join the illusive Guild of Disney Princesses (that last bit was a joke).

          • suburban_samurai

            You’re kind of cherry picking a lot of stuff from the EU. The movies themselves do a lousy job of explaining the Jedi Order and the Sith, and almost everything we see of the Jedi is pretty insidious. And seeing as how Luke learned to use the Force in his early 20’s, I see zero reason why Jedi have to be raised from childhood, unless you’re actively trying to brainwash them. Because the Jedi aren’t just teaching martial techniques and how to control their powers, their espousing a crazy religion that follows a very cult-like agenda.

            I also have to point out that people talk about Star Wars being all about balance like that was a thing when it started, but I think that idea only took hold after Lucas started saying in interviews that Vader’s redemption brought some sort of balance to the Force. I mean, how? Vader wasn’t some end all/be all of the Star Wars universe until the prequel trilogy made him some sort of immaculate birth Christ figure. Really, he was just a good Jedi who went bad, and redeemed himself in the end (although now he’s a child murderer so I don’t know if he can ever really redeem himself).

            Also Luke found peace when he died, they specifically say that in TLJ! Thankfully I don’t think they even mention balance in the Disney films, cause it’s dumb.

          • clogboy

            In my opinion, the ambiguity of the Light and Dark sides should have been what the prequels are all about. When it comes to where Anakin went bad and Luke went good, well, that’s thanks to their mentors really. And Palpatine was very much Anakin’s mentor.
            The Jedi Order was a cult that brainwashed children. That’s exactly right. And I would say Luke turned good not only because of the father figures and mentors in his life, but also because he didn’t have to hide a complicated relation from the Jedi counsil and scheme behind their backs.

            Be glad GL scrapped the part from the script where Palpatine created Anakin, based on what he learned from Darth Grievous. According to that draft of the script, their literal point was to create a strong Force sensitive child that they could mold into their own puppet, and it sort of worked. Eventhough it would’ve shed more background on Anakin, I think that whole subplot is out of tone with the rest of the film.

          • animalia555

            @Suburuban Samurai Have you finished the videos yet?

      • Ocean Burning.

        Thank you for saying this. To be honest, I was completely baffled by the level of outrage in reaction to TLJ.

  • Nos Rin aka CTCO

    2D clone wars was awesome.

    I actually liked the painted look of the characters in 3D clone wars. and that’s about it.

    As for the new one. Well, I don’t have anyway of watching it so, meh. I’ll hold my opinion.

  • clogboy

    OK, narrative moment.
    I thought that with the defeat of the DoS and Nataku, the Senshin clan would outmatch the Wataro. This clearly seems not to be the case, and Ina doesn’t want to risk any more lives. She distantiated from Yori now, and I think he’s going through the same process as we speak. Sad but true, but this is the Status Quo.
    Eji rides off as he sees Yori standing beside Masuhiro, not assassinating him. Given his head canon, he can’t be blamed for seeing his own brother as a traitor.

    So what’s left. Genchu has severed ties with Wataro, but is marked as a traitor and has been confirmed alive, fighting alongside Masuhiro. Yori is a traitor and remains at large, for the moment protected by the peace treaty. I suspect it will be hard to make peace when traitors to the Wataro clan serve as Senshin bodyguard or vasal, their most likely fate is they have to walk as ronin, and Genchu is a refugee, confirmed alive and at large. Yori will remain to be considered a threat by Eji and a liability by Hirotomo, so he too can’t rest easy, peace treaty or no, unless it is in one way shape or form ratified with him living under Senshin protection. Their best chance is to band together with Cho and ken. And Cho, by the way, still has a plotline to fill, namely ending the world.

    Curious to see how that will play out.

  • Ocean Burning.

    Something just occurred to me — Yori staying behind with Masuhiro. Have the clan just, like… traded kids? Will Masuhiro now make Yori the heir of the Senshin clan???

    • clogboy

      I was wondering that. Most likely, since Yori will technically be protected by the peace treaty, it will be up to the Senshin clan to make sure that he is. And, similarly, it stands to reason that Yori gets to watch over Masuhiro’s safety in the capacity of his personal bodyguard. Uncomfortable as it might be.
      Masu: “So, you boinked my daughter, eh?”
      Yori: – “Yup”
      “And she’s now married to your brother.”
      – “Yup”
      “How do you feel about that?”
      – “…Tatemae. Shoganai”

      • Ocean Burning.

        Just, like, the level of poetic justice if Yori serves as Masuhiro’s retainer and ends up being named the Senshin heir…

  • LordBolanderFace
  • Agent 52

    Is voltron defender of the universe on Netflix acceptable for comparison.

    • clogboy

      Since it’s from the Legend of Korra animators (to my knowing, Alex likes both of the shows) I’m also curious how the new SW show stacks up.

  • clogboy

    Now for Hirotomo’s reaction…

  • clogboy

    Thanks for restocking Hivemill :) I was sad when I missed the opportunity to buy volume 2 earlier. Now it’s on its way.

  • purplelibraryguy

    Just one detail I’m wondering about in this whole “battle ended” thing.
    Who won?

    • foducool

      nobody won, it ended up with a ceasefire agreement

  • themadpsychologist

    …Nuts. I don’t even like this webcomic very much; why does this leave me so crestfallen?

  • Frank Royce Harr


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