100 Day Anime Challenge · Challenges

100 Day Anime Challenge–Day 12

Ace dies

Saddest Anime Scene (Portgas D. Ace – One Piece)

Ace is the foster brother of Monkey D. Luffy and son of the legendary Gol. D. Roger. Raised by Monkey D. Garp, Ace became the 2nd division commander of Whitebeard Pirates. Captured by the World Government, Ace was sentenced to death. His imprisonment lead to the Battle of Marineford. The war between the Whitebeard Pirates, Whitebeard, the Seven Warlords of the Sea, and the Marines was an epic clash. Their primary goal was to rescue Ace. After Luffy rescues Ace, the pirates retreat. Akainu insults Whitebeard, calling him a “loser.” He triggers an angry response from Ace. However, Akainu’s magma is superior to Ace’s fire.

Akainu tries to kill Luffy, but Ace intercepts it. Akainu’s pierces Ace’s abdomen, burning his vital organs. Ace bleeds out, as Luffy begs the medics to save him. Before he dies, Ace tells Luffy that his only regret was “that he could not see Luffy’s dream come to pass.” Devastated, Luffy cries and screams. He eventually goes silent, falling into a catatonic state. Ace’s death always brings me to tears. He’s not a tremendous character in the series, but we know through Luffy that he’s a great big brother. They clearly love each other. As a result, we develop affection for Ace. From a story standpoint, I think Ace’s death could have been easily avoided, and it largely served the purpose of motivating Luffy. That said, Ace’s death was one of the saddest anime scenes.

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100 Day Anime Challenge–Day 11

Favorite Mech Anime (Evangelion)

I once wrote about the “mecha” genre for the Artifice in an article called Mechas: Disassociation from Science Fiction. Mecha anime is one of the most valued subgenres. The genre is further split into three sub-categories, Super Robot, Real Robot, and Hybrid Robot. There are four “types” of mecha’s: “sentient, remote-controlled, wearable, and piloted.” Neon Genesis Evangelion is a “Hybrid Robot” series that aims to “deconstruct” the mecha genre. Gainax created Neon Genesis Evangelion. Hideaki Anno wrote and directed the series.

Evangelion is an apocalyptic anime that focuses on a teenage boy named Shinji Ikari. They give him the opportunity to save the world using a mecha called an “Eva.” He uses this giant robot to defeat enemies called Angels. It’s considered one of the most successful anime of all time, grossing over 150 Billion yen. I think Evangelion is one of the most impressive intellectual and though provoking anime ever created. Evangelion has tremendous action sequences and complicated themes based on religion and philosophy. The series can be violent, so caution should be taken if your easily offended. You can miss the underlining symbolism that Evangelion features so I would recommend watching the series several times.

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100 Day Anime Challenge–Day 10

Favorite Fighter Anime (Hunter X Hunter)

The subgenre of “fighting anime” is vague. We define this type of anime by battle scenes. The most popular anime are often fighting anime. This kind of anime transcend genre, appealing to all demographics. Classic fighting anime like Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Attack on Titan, and Jojo Bizarre Adventure remain the standard. My favorite fighter anime is Hunter X Hunter. I was late to the Hunter X Hunter party, but the series is one of the greatest anime ever made. I wrote in my list of Top 20 Anime from the 2010s thatIt was watching an out of context fight seen from the series, that convinced me to give the show a chance.”

There are two Hunter X Hunter anime series. I’m not familiar with the series from 1999, but the series from 2011 is the one I’m referencing. Hunter X Hunter follows the story of Gon Freecss, who searches for his father. He enters the world of hunters, a group of “licensed professional who specialize in fantastical pursuits such as locating rare or unidentified animal species, treasure hunting, surveying unexplored enclaves, or hunting down lawless individuals.” Hunter X Hunter shares many tropes typically present in shonen anime. The series has a complicated power system (Nen) and the ability for characters to create their own techniques allows for dynamic fight scenes. Some of the best anime fights ever come from this series, Gon vs Pitou (one of anime’s great beat downs) and Meruem vs Netero is the best.

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100 Day Anime Challenge–Day 9

Muzan Kibutsuji

Best Anime Villain

We I did this challenge in 2013 I choose Donquixote Doflamingo for my best villain. However, in 2020 Demon Slayer introduced us to Muzan Kibutsuji. The first Demon and progenitor of all other demons, Muzan is a pale man that appears to be in his twenties. His skin can give the impression that he’s sick, which causes great anger in the demon. What makes Muzan such a good villain is his ruthlessness and rare emotional reaction. All humans are inferior to his greatness. He sees no value in humanity and cares nothing about his own subordinates. He suffers from a God complex. Believing that he’s the perfect being. Muzan has no tolerance for failure but doesn’t believe that he ever fails. He hates being corrected or mocked. Muzan murders three people in an alley when they’re rude to him.

He thinks that he’s comparable to a “natural disaster.” He has no sympathy or remorse from his cruelty. Despite his self-serving view of his perfection, he’s a coward. Kibutsuji uses other demons so he can avoid conflict. He often preys on the weaknesses of humans before turning them into demons. It’s difficult to have sympathy for his demon subordinates, but the way Muzan treats them is appalling. He discards them on a whim, he cares nothing for their feelings, and can even read their thoughts. This creates an oppressive environment. Muzan bans his subordinates from even uttering his name. If they do so, they will be instantly killed. Muzan Kibutsuji is a powerful demon, that is cold-heart, self absorbed, and cruel. That makes him the perfect villain.

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100 Day Anime Challenge–Day 8

Inuyasha and Kagome on wedding day
Inuyasha and Kagome on wedding day

Favorite anime couple (Kagome Higurashi and Inuyasha)

Inuyasha was initially angry at Kagome because of her uncanny resemblance to his former love, Kikyo (who he thought betrayed him). He soon realized that she was not Kikyo and showed her kindness. They soon became friends. Over the course of the series, their friendship blossomed into a romance. However, when Kikyo returns, their relationship becomes strained as Inuyasha struggles with his feelings. The relationship becomes toxic enough that Kagome considers leaving Inuyasha. Kagome does become the object of affection of Koga. He develops feelings for her and claims her as “one of his women.” Kagome doesn’t return his feeling, though. Koga and Inuyasha compete for her affection, but it’s never a contest.

Kagome and Inuyasha’s relationship is one of the most sophisticated in anime. They deal with many obstacles like jealously, stubbornness, and romantic rivals. After Kikyo dies for the last time, the two finally share their first kiss. Kagome accepts her jealousy and Inuyasha comes to believe that they “were destined for each other as he claims Kagome was born for him and himself for her.” However, Kagome get locked out of the feudal world for three years. When she returns, Kagome and Inuyasha wed. She remains in the feudal era. After the marriage, Kagome gives birth to their daughter, Moroha.

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100 Day Anime Challenge – Day 7

Your Anime Crush (Mikasa Ackerman)

My anime crush is Mikasa Ackerman . If you don’t know, she is one of the title characters of Attack on Titan. What’s not to love about Mikasa. She’s loyal, pretty and strong. Mikasa is a little dark because they murdered her parents. She loves Eren and Armin fiercely and will do anything for them. Mikasa has a strong sense of morality. I think her dependence on Eren is a little unhealthy, but nobody is perfect. She’s brave and was the top graduate of her class. Her ability to fight is impressive and I think she’s bad ass.

100 Day Anime Challenge · Challenges

100 Day Anime Challenge–Day 6

Anime You Want to See But Haven’t Seen Yet

Gin tama is a series I have been hearing about for years. In the series, aliens called the Amanto invade Earth. They take over feudal Japan prohibiting swords after the Shogun surrenders to their demands. Gintoki Sakata, Shinpachi Shimura, Kagura, and their dog Sadaharu work as freelancers to make ends meet. The three work together to stop the immortal Utsuro from destroying the Universe. Gin Tama was first serialized in 2003 and has sold over 55 million manga copies. The anime adaptation has been highly rated by the anime community. On My Anime List, Gin Tama’s many seasons and movies rank in the top 25, with the lowest rating being a 8.81.

I curious how the combination of a historical anime and Sci Fi elements work together. The series parodies shonen anime, often making fun of the genre while breaking through the fourth wall. Despite the comedy aspects of the series, Gin Tama also tackles more complex themes like “social equality.” From what I’ve read, many consider Gin Tama to be “unique.” I’m not sure if I would like the series, but I need to at see it before I can be sure.

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100 Day Anime Challenge–Day 5

The Samurai Pizza Cats
The Samurai Pizza Cats

Anime You’re Ashamed to Enjoy

Samurai Pizza Cats feature Samurai Cats, Ninjas, and Giant Mechs. What’s not to love. Me and my brother loved this series growing up. Unfortunately, it came on while we were still at school, so we could only watch it after half days or on our days off. The Samurai Pizza Cats own a pizza parlor, while defending the city of Little Tokyo and its royal family from the villain Big Cheese. The series isn’t too complicated, but its biggest problem is the terrible dubbing. Apparently, original production company permitted Saban Entertainment to change the script to appeal to western audiences.

The lead to artistic licensing taking liberties with aspects of the series that make little sense. For example, there’s only one samurai in the series and none of pizza cats are samurai. They’re all ninja’s. Also Big Cheese is actually a fox not a rat. They litter Samurai Pizza Cats with terrible puns, silly humor, and references. Many of the character names are puns, Speedy Cerviche, Guido Anchovy, Polly Esther, and Al Dente. Samurai Pizza Cats was a ridiculous anime with a nonsense plot, absurd characters, bad dubbing, and talking mecha ninja samurai animals. Despite all that, I still loved the series. Although I doubt I would feel that way today.

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100 Day Anime Challenge-Day 4

Favorite Female Anime Character Ever

Sakura Haruno is one of the most divisive characters in anime. People hate her personality, her Sasuke obsession, lack of backstory, and her powers pale compared to Sasuke and Naruto. All this is true. Sakura is terrible to Rock Lee and Naruto in the early seasons. With Sasuke, she just pathetic. He tries to kill her several times and she still “loves” him. But they get married and have a daughter, so I guess it’s okay. So how can she be my favorite? Only if I ignore all of that and focus on what she could have been or should have been. Sakura is terrible because Kishimoto wrote her that way. That’s his right as the creator of Naruto, but I think he did her a disservice. I cover why I think Sakura isn’t useless and why I like her on my 20th Day of the Salty Anime Challenge.

Sakura’s potential is wasted in the beginning of Naruto. She was superior to Naruto and Sasuke with chakra control, genjutsu, and she’s smarter. Unlike them, however, she wasn’t gifted with the chakra of the nine-tails or blessed with the sharingan and curse seal. Sakura shines briefly in the beginning of the part 2. After training with Tsunade, she develops super strength and masters medical jutsu. Sakura’s biggest battle moment is the fight between herself, Chiyo, and Sasori. During the battle, Sakura impresses the far more experienced Chiyo and Sasori.

I originally favored Naruto over her, but I was more impressed with her abilities. She had a lot of potential, but had to work harder than her teammates. I believe that “Sakura’s transformation from the beginning of the series, both personality and ability, changed more than anyone and she had to work with less than her teammates.” If you judge Sakura from her anime portrayal you’ll hate her, but if you look at her potential and ignore the limitation of how she’s written you might love. I do.

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100 Day Anime Challenge – Day 3

Favorite Male Anime Character Ever

In 2013 I choose Monkey D. Luffy for my favorite male anime character. At the time he had a bounty of 400 million now it’s 1.5 billion. Since then, a new type of shonen protagonists has emerged. Gon from Hunter X Hunter is considered a “deconstruction” of the typical shonen hero. During the Chimera Ant arc, he almost kills himself due to the typical shonen heroes need to risk everything to save someone they care about. Izuku Midoriya is a highly determined shonen hero that was gifted with motivation and desire to be a hero. Unlike the typical shonen hero he has literally no powers at the start. In addition to that, Deku is analytical. Most shonen heroes are dumb. However, when they do show some kind of intellect it’s only in battle. Deku’s fighting prowess comes from hard work and studying. Finally, despite Deku recieving one of the most powerful Quirks, he’s never been the strongest in My Hero Academia, at least not yet.

Finally, there’s Tanjiro Kamado from Demon Slayer. Like Deku he’s smart but he also has sword fighting skills. Tanjiro has an emotional intellence that the others don’t. He’s more complicated. He’s motivated to stop demons, but once he kills them he has remorse for them. (Demon Slayer makes a deliberate effort to “humanize” the demons by giving them a back story.) This isn’t to say that Luffy doesn’t care about anyone or doesn’t have sympathy for his enemies but that he represents a different era of shonen hero that are less sophisticated. Regardless, I still pick Luffy as my favorite male a character. If I have more time with Deku or Tanjiro that might change but so far they haven’t surpassed the future Pirate King.