Top 5 Drama-Preserving Handicap in Anime

Shonen anime generally fall into the same trap. How do our heroes going to defeat the all-powerful villain? The trope general requires a hero of modest beginnings and his friends to travel the world trying to either stop a villain from gaining more power or getting released. In order to keep the series interesting, the villain is giving some kind of handicap to give the opposition a chance. This also happens to heroes sometimes, otherwise, the series would be boring if the hero won with one punch (LOL). 

In Soul Eater everyone has a handicap

All the characters in Soul Eater have some handicap that prevents them from being as strong as they possibly can. Black Star has a tendency to show off, preventing him from being an effective assassin. Death the Kid has a weird symmetry fetish, Stein goes insane, and Shinigami cannot move from the spot he’s standing on. 

Sesshomaru’s One Hit Kill

In Inuyasha, Sesshoumaru acquires a sword that can kill almost anything with one hit. This proves to be a problem for Naraku forcing him to kidnap Rin to prevent his destruction. The show ends if Sesshomaru gets his way right. Besides, Inuyasha is the star of the show and must defeat Naraku. 

Orihime’s personality

In Bleach, Orihime possesses the power to “reject physical events in a manner characters in-universe have speculated to be akin to time-space manipulation or completely rejecting the reality of the event having ever happened.” Her only limit is her personality. If she believes that something is impossible, it doesn’t occur to her, or she doesn’t believe she can do something, she can’t. If Orihime didn’t have this limit she would be unstoppable. 

Itachi would have won if he wanted to 

After years of anticipation fans finally got the battle between brothers, Sasuke and Itachi. This fight was epic. The two battled in an intense standoff that sees Itachi gain the final upper hand when he uses his Susanoo. Suddenly, he touches Sasuke’s head just like he did in their childhood and dies. Itachi had been suffering from a terminal disease. However, he wanted Sasuke to win anyway. Tobi notes this, saying that if Itachi wanted to win, Sasuke would be dead. 

Gohan’s broken arm

This is probably the most famous example of a drama saving handicap. After Gohan finally reaches SSJ 2, he dominates Cell. Nothing the villain could do harms the young Saiyan. Goku begs his son to end Cell, but the arrogance overcomes Gohan. After playing around with Cell, the embarrassed villain decides to blow up Earth. Goku sacrifices himself, dying to protect his home. Gohan finally realizes his error. However, due to his Saiyan cells, Cell returns stronger than ever. He kills Trunks and attempts to do the same to Vegeta. However, Gohan diving save keeps him alive. His arm is no longer any use. This results in the far more dramatic and entertaining Kamehame Ha clash, that Gohan wins with the help of his friends. Gohan wouldn’t have need aid if he wasn’t injured.

Source: TV Tropes

Top 5 Studio 4°C Projects

Tweeny Witches

Studio 4°C’s first television series. Inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Tweeny Witches follows the story of a little girl that gets trapped in a magical world. 14 years before the main story, a Japanese archaeologist named Jidan falls into the magical realm and is imprisoned by a warlock. He eventually is rescued by a soldier named Atelia. They have a child together, however, he’s lost in the magic realm. Jidan has a daughter, Arusu the main character of the series. Together with her new friends, she tries to save the realm.

Asura’s Wrath

Asura’s Wrath is an action video game developed by CyberConnect2 and published by Capcom. Considered an “interactive anime” each level plays out like an episode of an anime series. Studio 4°C developed the dramatic and flashy Episode 11.5 “Forging Ahead” and Episode 15.5 “Defiance.” 

Children of the Sea

In 2019 Studio 4°C produced Children of the SeaBased on the manga of the same name, the film follows the story of a high school girl named Ruka. She spends some of her summer vacations at the aquarium where her father works. She meets two brothers that were raised by dugongs, a species of manatee. Together they experience supernatural events that affect marine life. 

The Animatrix

An animated anthology film, the Animatrix is nine short films based on the Matrix trilogy. The films tell the backstory of the original war between humans and machines. Studio 4°C produced two of the short films, The Second Renaissance Part I and Beyond. The first film sees humanity produce AI robots to serve them. In the second part of the film, a domestic android named B1-66ER kills its owner. It’s the first time an android has kill a human leading to a court case. Beyond focuses on a teen girl named Yoko that searches for her cat Yuki. Her cat is inside a “haunted” house that is revealed to be filled with glitches in the Matrix.

Spriggan

Adapted from the manga and inspired by the story of Noah’s Ark, Spriggan takes place after the Cold War. Unknown artifacts called OOPArt appear around the world. This results in a secret war between various groups and the ARCAM Corporation. The military arm of ARCAM uses elite soldiers known as Spriggans to prevent others from collecting the mysterious artifacts. 

Top 5 Studio Trigger Projects

Top 5 Magical Girl series

Kill la Kill

Technically Kill La Kill isn’t a magical girl series, however, it does feature some elements from the genre. The series debuted in fall 0f 2013 and was produced by Studio Trigger. Ryuuko Matoi is a young girl seeking revenge for her father’s murder. Armed with half of a scissor blade she battles the student council at Honnouji Academy. Kill La Kill is most notable for its fanservice, displayed during the character’s transformation. 

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

A middle school girl named Madoka Kaname meets a transfer student named Homura. Elsewhere, a war between creatures called “witches” and magical girls. A cat-like creature named Kyubey offers Madoka a chance to save the world but things aren’t as they seem. Magical girl series are generally happy affairs will young girls and bright colors. Puella Magi Madoka Magica takes the magical girl series and twists it into a dark tale, focusing on topics like hope, despair, and entropy. The magical girls are put through psychological trauma. Puella Magi is considered to be in the deconstructive sub-genre of the Magical Girl Warrior genre. 

Pretty Cure

Pretty Cure is one of the longest-running magical girl series with over 600 episodes. Considered within the Action Hero sub-genre of the Magical Girl Warrior genre, Pretty Cure emphasizes action. Aimed at teenage and adult males, Pretty Cure features fanservice and focuses on the “power of friendship.” Toei Animation has produced a season since 2004, with the latest series premiering during the summer of 2020. 

Cardcaptor Sakura

Also within the Magical Girl Warrior genre, Cardcaptor Sakura is a neo-classical sub-genre. An old school magical girl comes of age in the modern age. One of the most famous Magical Girl series, Cardcaptor Sakura was created and written by CLAMP. Following a young girl named Sakura Kinomoto, who releases the tarot-like cards with magical powers. She is tasked with recovering those cards with the aid of her friends Tomoyo and Kerberos. 

Sailor Moon

If there’s a pioneer for the Magical Girl genre, Sailor Moon is it. Beginning as a manga series in the early 1990s, Sailor Moon follows the life of clumsy, whiny school girl Usagi Tsukino. When she learns that she was the Reincarnation of an “ancient lunar warrior from the Moon Kingdom,” Usagi is tasked with saving the Earth. Usagi is joined by her mentor, Luna, and fellow Sailor scouts, Sailor Mars, Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter. Sailor Moon remains one of the most popular anime and manga series, as well as being one of the series that started America’s love of anime. 

Top 5 Best Anime Couples

Personally, the romance in anime hasn’t always interested me. When I was younger I found the romance to be annoying. However, as I matured I appreciated them more. Most of these couples come from Shonen as my anime diet consists mostly of that genre. However, I think all series are in the mainstream, at least to anime fans. Anyway, let’s get to it. 

Yuri and Victor dancing on social media
Yuri and Victor dancing on social media

Yuri and Victor (Yuri on Ice)

I’ll admit that I still not sure that Yuri and Victor are officially a couple. This confusing seems deliberate, as I imagine that the creators didn’t want to lean into the gay relationship. Or I could be dense. Regardless, I read them as a couple. Victor feels much older than Yuri, but he’s 28 to Yuri’s 24. At the end of season 1 of the series, Yuri and Victor are engaged. They’re a cute couple with Yuri and Victor having the opposite personalities. 

Yusuke Urameshi and Keiko Yukimura (Yu Yu Hakusho)

Keiko and Yusuke are childhood friends. Having grown up together they eventually became a couple. They like Yuri and Victor are opposites. Keiko is calm, kind, and doesn’t like to use foul language. Unlike Yusuke, she was a top student. When Yusuke becomes offensive, she often scolds him. Regardless, she is always supportive of him despite his behavior. Yusuke is very protective of her like most of the people he values. At the end of the series, Yusuke and Keiko are engaged. 

Inuyasha and Kagome (Inuyasha)

Inuyasha and Kagome were on the anime couple that annoyed me the most growing up. There’s a commercial mocking how often Kagome and Inuyasha call each other. This relationship leans on the will they or won’t they trope. I don’t think that you could even call them a couple through most of the series. It’s not helped by the fact that Inuyasha still loved Kikyo, even though she wanted him dead. Inuyasha is often juvenile, resulting in Kagome having to yell at him. The dynamic in this relationship is Kagome being the scold and Inuyasha being an idiot. It’s funny sometimes, but it can be a drag. 

Bulma and Vegeta (Dragon Ball Z)

This relationship is the most surprising. Vegeta not only started as evil, but he also kills several of Bulma’s friends. As death is rarely permanent in Dragon Ball, I guess the emotional pain isn’t either. Regardless, they meet on Planet Namek during the Freiza Saga. During this meeting, Vegeta threatens to kill both Bulma and Krillin. So he didn’t start on a good note. The first hint that Bulma was attracted to was when she told Vegeta that he was “cute and he should lighten up a bit.” Vegeta and Bulma’s relation remains rocky despite the birth of their first child Trunks. Eventually, they got along better and married. Their relationship is the most loving during the Dragon Ball Super series. When Beerus slaps Bulma, Vegeta flies into a rage becoming stronger than Beerus for a small period. Coming from Vegeta that’s a sign of love. 

Usagi Tsukino and Mamoru Chiba (Sailor Moon)

The relationship between Usagi and Mamoru was the first anime romance I was exposed to. Mamoru or Tuxedo Mask is an incarnation of Prince Endymion. He was the sole survivor of a tragic car accident that killed both his parents. The relationship starts playfully. With Mamoru calling Usagi pet names like “Bunhead”, a reference to her hairstyle. Usagi fell in love with the Tuxedo mask, not Mamoru at first. Once they got together, the two had their ups and downs. However, they eventually get married and have a daughter name Chibiusa Tsukino

Top 5 Anime Characters with Scars

Top 5 Anime Characters with Scars

Guts with his Scar against his nose

Guts (Berserk)

Guts have numerous scars after many battles. However, his most distinct scar is the one across his nose. Guts received this scar during a training session with his former father figure Gambino. During this session, Gambino becomes frustrated after Guts manages to cut his cheek. In his rage, he gives Guts the cut across his nose. 

Shoto Todoroki (My Hero Academia)

Shoto has a large burn scar across his left side of his face. He received this scar from his abused mother. Todoroki’s father Endeavor abused his mother resulting in her developing an intense hatred of Endeavor. In a fit of insanity, she burned Shoto by pouring a kettle of boiling water. She immediately tried to soothe Shoto’s pain with her ice Quirk, however, Shoto seem to be permanently scarred. 

Shanks (One Piece)

Shanks’s trademark scar across his left eye was given to him by Blackbeard. When and why he received this scar is currently unknown. The scar is a set of three vertically linear lines that cross over his left eye. However, the eye itself isn’t harmed. 

Kenpachi (Bleach)

Kenpachi has many distinctive traits. His eye patch, long black hair, and his hairless eyebrows. In addition to all that he has a long, thin scar that runs down his face. Located on the left side, the scar doesn’t cut across the eye. It was given to him by the former Kenpachi and Gotei 13 Captain, Retsu Unohana. He was just a child when she gave it to him. 

Vast the Stampede (Trigun)

Vast the Stampede has too many scars to detail. The series doesn’t necessarily tell us when they all happen. Vast’s body is full of deep scars, metal plates that appear to be bolted on, and cuts. In the anime, it is suggested that these scars are all the result if Vast’s unwillingness to kill his opponents. 

The Top 10 White Haired Anime Characters (Part 2)