Anime

The Top 10 Best Anime and Manga Power Systems (Part 1)

In 2019 I created a list of what I think the best anime and manga power systems. I’ve updated the list with some small changes.

In Shonen anime and manga, power systems are established in order to explain the mechanisms for abilities used in combat. These powers systems can make or break a series. It’s important for these series to be have well balanced power systems. The best made power systems will have unique abilities, that are difficult to master or at least take effort. They should feature a variety of techniques, that range in complexity. Some systems will become “broken,” allowing only a few characters to excel in the series. Dragon Ball Z is a great example of a series that ended up broken. Once a series that focused on martial arts, Dragon Ball Z eventually became a series that focused largely on three saiyans, Goku, Vegeta and Gohan.

While Goku and Vegeta continued to get stronger, Gohan fell behind. Due to the nature of saiyan cells (S Cells), Goku and Vegeta continue to get stronger at rapid rates. This eventual means that they’re the only two that will matter in battle. None of this is to say that the series stopped being enjoyable, just that the power system became broken at some point. That said many of the best power systems often incorporate a “broken” ability that allows the main character to surpass his or her enemies.



10. Demon Slayer – Breath Styles

The main form of combat in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba are the breath styles. In conjunction with Nichirin blades, they’re able to battle on par with Demons. Derived from the “Breath of the Sun” the Breath styles are taught by the Demon Slaying Corps. By making use of particular and concentrated breathing patterns, the lung capacity and oxygen in the blood increases. This is all in service of increasing the physical abilities. When focusing breaths, Demon Slayers are able to accomplish feats such as “clotting wounds,” and “slowing down the circulation of poison.”

The Demon Slayer breathing styles feel like they are well earned. The training is intense and the use of Breathing styles causes great physical exertion. For example, Total Concentration Constant requires the constant control of ones breath “morning, noon, and night, and even while asleep.” In order to reach the level of Hashira one must be able to accomplish this feat. Overall there are 15 branches of breathing styles. Demon Slayer’s power system is simple but has variety.

More OnDemon Slayer Breath Styles


Different Mana attributes

9. Black Clover – Mana

In Black Clover, Mana is the primary form of energy that exists in nature. It is the source of all magic spells. Mana is used to activate all spells. Almost every human can use mana to some extent. Mages in the Black Clover universe have “affinities” for mana “attributes.” These attributes can be one of four great attributes: fire, water, wind, and earth. Or they can be one of several derivative elements like lightning or ice. In addition to this, mages can develop “latent abilities” connected to their element. Wind users have the latent ability “mana sensory.”

Elements like water and fire are common, with elements like light and space being rare. Mages are limited to their element, but they can augment their element into other forms. However, if a mage is a hybrid of two races they may have “dual affinity.” While rare it’s possible for a mage to use science to “artificially enhance themselves” given them more than one element. The more mana a mage possess the stronger they are.

Grimories are magical items that enhance the users ability to use magic. They are the written record of all the spells that a user learns. As the owner gets stronger the book becomes inscribed with newer spells. Connected to their owners, Grimoires cannot be used by other mages and disappear when their owners die. However, Grimoires of Despair are the exception.

Read MoreMana and Grimoires


8. JoJo’s Bizarre – Stands

A Stand is a visual manifestation of life energy, they’re generally represented as a figure that hovers around the “Stand user.” A stand can represent the ” the manifestation of an individual’s innate fighting spirit and embodies, to an extent, the individual’s psyche.” Stands follow a “loose” set of rules, they’re an embodiment of the user psyche, therefore, they are all unique. This “uniqueness” results in a vast difference in abilities, power and usefulness of Stands. Some Stands can even be detrimental to their users. Any damage sustained by a Stand is reflected on the user and vice-versa. However, automatic Stands and bound Stands are the exception. If Stands are destroyed their user dies with them.

Stands obey every command that is demanded of them within there limits. However, some Stands cannot be controlled by their user. This can result in the Stand killing it’s own user. One rule that governs Stands and their users is that they can only have one. Learning and mastering a Stands ability can be difficult. Stand users are usually ignorant of the ability of their Stand at first. Once they discover it, then they have to learn the various uses for the Stands abilities. To use a Stand, a user has to summon it. Then the user needs to command it, if they hope to use their powers. However, automatic Stands act by themselves.

Based on appearance Stands are classified into 5 different categories, Natural Humanoid, Artificial Humanoid, Natural Non-Humanoid, Artificial Non-Humanoid and Phenomenon. Furthermore, Stands all have supernatural properties, in addition to unique powers. Stands are invulnerable to harm by anything other than another Stand or damage to their user. A Stand’s powers vary wildly, ranging from using a sword, fire or even stopping time. An important limitation on Stands are “firing range.” This range is largely the distance that a Stand is still effective. On top of all that, Stands have six parameters that they can be judged.

Read MoreStands


7. FullMetal Alchemist – Alchemy

The main sources of combat ability in FullMetal Alchemist is Alchemy. Based on the ancient metaphysical mystical art that allows the user to “manipulating and altering matter by using natural energy.” This is called Transmutation, which required three aspects to succeed.

  1. Comprehension – Understanding the inherent structure and properties of the atomic or molecular makeup of a particular material to be transmuted, including the flow and balance of potential and kinetic energy within.
  2. Deconstruction – Using energy to break down the physical structure of the identified material into a more malleable state so as to be easily reshaped into a new form.
  3. Reconstruction – Continuing the flow of energy so as to reform the material into a new shape.

In order to use alchemy a practitioner would need to have complete understanding of chemistry and ancient alchemical theory. Generally, you need to have high intellect. The Alchemists are said to transmute using various substance. Some use the Four Classical Elements (Water, Earth, Fire and Air) and other use the Three Essential Principles (Salt, Sulfur, and Mercury). Regardless, the most important tenet of alchemy is the concept of Equivalent Exchange. Separated into two laws:

  • The Law of Conservation of Mass, which states that energy and matter can neither be created from nothing nor destroyed to the point of elemental nonexistence. In other words, to create an object weighing one kilogram, at least one kilogram of material is necessary and destroying an object weighing one kilogram would reduce it to a set of parts, the sum of which would weigh one kilogram.
  • The Law of Natural Providence, which states that an object or material made of a particular substance or element can only be transmuted into another object with the same basic makeup and properties of that initial material. In other words, an object or material made mostly of water can only be transmuted into another object with the attributes of water.

Alchemy includes more than simply an understanding of transmutation and adhering to the laws of Equivalent Exchange. Alchemists need to use a transmutation circle. These circles can be drawn anywhere and by any medium. transmutation circles are made up of two parts, the circle and a “alchemical rune.” Alchemy gets even more complicated, as it focuses on human soul binding, Homunculus (artificial humans) and resurrection.

More OnAlchemy


Toshiro Hitsugaya using his Bankai
Toshiro Hitsugaya using his Bankai

6. Bleach – Zanpakuto

The Bleach series features numerous different forms of fighting. However, the series primarily focused on the use of Zanpakuto or Soul Cutter Sword. The main weapon used by the Shinigami, Arrancar and Visored. The lowest ranked Zanpakuto is called Asauchi and they lack names. However, the Zanpakuto of a Shinigami Captain do have names. Each weapon are uniquely generated by the users soul. The soul of a Shinigami will determine the shape and ability of the sword. Zanpakuto’s are sentient beings and it’s name is that of the living spirit that powers the sword. Once the Shinigami learns the name of it’s Zanpakuto, they are able to communicate with each other and get stronger.

Zanpakuto are born with their Shinigami and will die with them. The one exception to the uniqueness of a Zanpakuto is the Ise Clan’s, Shinken Hakkyoken. A Zanpakuto can choose to withhold it’s true name from it’s wielder if they deem them unworthy. In order to communicate with their Zanpakuto a Shinigami must use an advance form of training called Jinzen. Based on the ability of the Shinigami to communicate with their Zanpakuto’s spirit, a Zanpakuto will develop two forms, Shikai and Bankai.

  • Shikai – is the second (or first upgraded) form available to a Zanpakutō. To activate it, the Shinigami needs to learn the name of their Zanpakutō. This is not as easy as simply picking a name, for the living spirit of the Zanpakutō already has its own name. The Shinigami must be able to communicate and harmonize with their Zanpakutō effectively, which requires being able to speak to the spirit within its world.
  • Bankai –  is the second and final upgraded form of a Zanpakutō. To achieve Bankai, one must be able to materialize and subjugate their Zanpakutō spirit. Materialization means the opposite of getting dragged into the Zanpakutō’s inner world: the wielder needs to summon the Zanpakutō’s spirit into the physical world. It usually takes 10 years or more to achieve, plus the experience needed to master it. Despite the Zanpakutō spirit being subjugated for their Shinigami to learn Bankai, the Zanpakutō also becomes stronger and learns Bankai at precisely the moment their Shinigami learns it. Even though Bankai is the final stage of a Zanpakutō, it does not mean the Shinigami’s growth ends there. A Bankai, especially one recently obtained, can evolve even further as its Shinigami gets stronger. Ichigo and Urahara managed to achieve Bankai at accelerated rates.

A broken Shikai will regenerate, a broken Bankai will never return to its original state. However, a Zanpakuto can be reforged. Zanpakuto are generally grouped into three categories, Melee, Kido and Elemental. Despite the fact that Zanpakuto is the main form of combat in Bleach, there are three other forms of combat. Hoho is a more defensive style of fighting that focuses on fast movements and footwork. Kido (Demon Arts) is a form of combat the produces spells. They often require an incantation to activate. Finally, there is Hakudo (Hand to Hand Combat). Using their body, users attack with their feet and hands. Making use of their physical strength and martial arts skills.

Manga

The 5 Best and Most Interesting Moments from Black Clover Manga Volume 3

5. Asta verses Mars

Asta and Mars fight. Mars uses Mineral Creation Magic: Talos Doll Swarm to create clones. He views Asta as “weak,” and targets him. Mars has the view that the “weak shouldn’t exist on the battlefield.” Asta for his part isn’t afraid. He dares Mars to “try breaking him.” Asta’s negation magic predictably counters Mars abilities well. It’s Asta’s physical prowess that shocks Klaus. Asta body type is unique for a typical Shonen character. Yes, Goku and all the Z fighters are bulky, as are other Shonen characters, however, Asta is buff for a 15-year-old. I’ll be curious to see how much his build will help him in battles. So far it seems to have some effect.

4. More on the power system

In chapter 18, Black Clover focuses more on the magic system. Like most series with magic, the typical “four classic elements” are present (Earth, Fire, Wind and Water). Each Mage has an affinity for one of these elements and can only use “magic from their own mana or from a single attribute derived from it.” However, while Black Clover is explaining this, Mars proves that there are ways to undermine this rule. Most anime series will introduce more advance magic or abilities later in the series. Black Clover establishes this early. A power system can get rigid and boring if it doesn’t become more dynamic.

3. Yuno and Asta get new powers

Despite Yuno’s advance abilities, he takes a back seat to Asta. He finds a mysterious scroll with language that he can’t read and upon touching it; the writing disappears. This was an entry by Sylph. She is a wind spirit that uses her power to help Yuno when he’s desperate to save Asta. She appears to stop time and using her wind magic, KO’s Mars. Yuno shows this spell to Julius Novachrono. He tells Yuno that Sylph has chosen him and he should “treat her well.” Asta gained a new sword in the dungeon. It’s another anti-magic sword that allowed him to deflect some of Mars attacks. Unlike Yuno’s grimoire, Asta’s is illegible to the Wizard King. The sword itself is heavy and absorbs magic, meaning it’s useless for everyone except Asta.

2. It’s Merit

Yuno and Asta ask the Julius, “how does one get to be Wizard King?” He responds it requires “Merit.” They need to build a reputation by protecting people. With achievements that prove they’re the strongest can become Wizard King. It’s a little vague. Surely many mages would fit the bill for Wizard King, right? Naruto’s hokage system was similarly unclear. Basically, the strongest ninja would become Hokage. However, there was more to it. There was a council of elders and trusted ninja that collectively choose the Hokage from several candidates. Is suspect that Black Clover is similar.

1. The Distinguished and the Snobby

There are five ranks in the Magic Knights, beginning with Junior Magic Knight, Intermediate Magic Knight, Senior Magic Knight, Grand Magic Knight, and the Wizard King. Asta, Yuno, and Noelle are invited to attend the Distinguished Service Ceremony. Julius Novachrono awards Leopold Vermillion, promoting him to 2nd class Intermediate Magic Knight. He then gives Sol Marron a promotion to 3rd class Intermediate Magic Knights, Nebra and Solid Silva are promoted to 5th class Senior Magic Knight and 3rd class Intermediate Magic Knight. Finally, 3 members of the Golden Dawn, Alecdora Sandler, Siren Tium, and Hamon Caseus all receive 4th, 1st, and 2nd Magic Knight status. Black Clover has always presented a classism perpetrated by the Royals. It’s typical if you ever watched anything with royalty.

Asta’s lack of awareness and manners was going to be a culture clash. He’s quickly called “lowborn scum, little rat, and a misfit.” Asta couldn’t careless. He actually thinks it’s kinda funny. However, when Klaus, Yuno, Mimosa, and Noelle are attacked, Asta loses it. Insult him all you want, but he won’t tolerate attacks against his friends. The Silvas attack their own sister was hard to watch. Asta announces that he’s going to become Wizard King, as he prepares to take on the Magic Knights. Elsewhere, a new villain prepares to attack the Clover Kingdom.

Manga

Black Clover Manga Volume 2: Recap and Review

Cover of Black Clover Volume 2
Cover of Black Clover Volume 2

Volume #2: Those Who Protect

Volume 2 of Black Clover focuses on the first part of Asta’s first mission with the Black Bull Magic Knight. Chapter 8 – 9 concludes the battle between Asta, Noelle, and Magna Swing. Despite the short mission, Noelle learns to control her magic (at least when the magic stays in place) and Asta impresses Magna with his dedication. The trio work together to rescue the civilians and defeat Heath Grice and his men. However, unwilling to be captured, Heath and his subordinates commit suicide with Ice Magic: Ice Burial. After Heath’s death and Asta gaining a magic stone, several darkly shrouded magicians believes the “Black Bull” are no threat. They’re confident that the “resurrection” is still going to happen. We aren’t told who’s being resurrected, but it’s clear that this will become the enormous threat at some point.

They expand the world of Black Clover. The Magic Emperor awards the nine magic knight groups with stars. Vanessa Enoteca notes the collection of stars is about honor. The Golden Dawn group has the most with 70. After each mission, they also give the participants money. They spend their earnings at Kikka, a castle town. The market sells wands, magic items, fruit, health recovery herbs, and consumable magic items. They even have a black market that sells more dangerous items. Asta gets the attention of the Magic Emperor, Julius Novachrono, when he rescues the Emperor while he’s disguise as an old lady. Julius enjoys wandering around the castle in disguise, looking for new magic. While Julius rambles on about his love of magic, his handler informs him of an “abnormal situation.”

A Dungeon Appears

Elsewhere, a dungeon appears on the border of the Kingdom. Dungeons emerge without warning. They house countless treasures from powerful magic tools or ancient magic. Within these dungeons, the dense mana results in a space distortion. Inside, dungeons are larger than they appear on the outside. Many powerful mages attempt to secure the treasures to gain more power. Magic Emperor specifically requests Asta for exploring the dungeon. They send Luck Voltia and Noelle Silva with him. When they enter the dungeon, Luck and Asta trigger many of the traps inside. After sensing other powerful mages, Luck runs off to find the strongest one. Noelle and Asta get entangled with a vicious plant creature. Suddenly, Yuna saves Asta with Wind Creation Magic: Wind Blade Shower.

Yuna, along with Golden Dawn Klaus Lunettes and Mimosa Vermillion, aims to get the treasure before the Black Bulls. Elsewhere, the Wizard King is notified of the invasion by the mage troops from the Diamond Kingdom. Julius is confident that Asta and Yuno will succeed despite the powerful Diamond Mages. Luck defeats the subordinates of Lotus Whomalt easily. Lotus uses smoke magic. He initially attempts to escape Luck by fleeing. However, Luck is too fast and catches up to him. Lotus uses his smoke to avoid Luck’s attacks. He uses Weakening Smoke Magic: Garden of Plundering Smoke to weaken Luck overtime. Black Clover seems to have no limit on the type of magic and the effects it can have. It’s unnecessary to reinvent the wheel for power systems, but fans care about uniqueness and complexity. So far, the Black Clover magic system doesn’t have much complexity.

No match for Crystal Magic

While Asta and Noelle stumble through the dungeon, the Golden Dawn arrives at the door. They’re meet by Mars and his Crystal magic. Despite Luck being effected by Lotus’s smoke magic, the Bull is excited to fight. Luck has the manic violent energy that reminds me of Kenpachi from Bleach. He has a tragic backstory, having been told to “win, win, win” by his mother. He seems to have a one track mine, which is fine with me. Meanwhile, Mars and Klaus square off. Mars reminds me of early Gaara, cold and calculating. Klaus uses Steel Creation Magic: Full Metal Fortress against Mars Crystal Magic. The latter seems unphased by Klaus’s Magic. Yuno steps in to help Klaus, while Asta rescues Luck. Lotus faced with the trio of Noelle, Asta, and Luck takes the fight more seriously. He traps them in Smoke Creation Magic: Prison of the Fallen King. Despite Luck’s one track mind, he shows he can think strategically when needed.

Combined with Noelle suppressing her magic and Asta being undetectable (he has no magic), the trio plan is successful. Asta clobbers Lotus with his sword. Elsewhere, Klaus is shocked that Yuno isn’t making much inroads against Mars. Klaus explains that the Diamond Kingdom “artificially amplified magic” of their warriors. The Kingdom forces their warriors to kill each other after they enhance their powers. This obviously shows how terrible and brutal the Diamond Kingdom but also foolish. How strong would their army be if they didn’t kill each other? Anyway, Mars is the last survival. Klaus becomes outrage and uses Steel Creation Magic: Fierce Spiral Lance. It does nothing. Before Mars can cut down Yuno, Asta intervenes, cutting Mars mineral sword in half.

Manga

Black Clover Manga Volume 1: Recap and Review

Black Clover Volume 1

Viz Title: The Boy’s Vow

Release date: June 7th, 2016 (US)

Pages: 192


I’ve been pushing off reading the Black Clover manga for years now. It wasn’t until I read the review of Black Clover chapter 279 by Demon God Tadd; I read some of the latest chapters and decided that I should read the series from the beginning. This is important not just to know what’s going on, but also to appreciate the stakes. My initial apprehension with this series was the uncanny similarities that it has with Naruto. Most fans know what I’m talking about (it’s obvious), however, after reading the first volume (Chapters 1-7) I noticed some subtle but important differences.

The series opens with the “Boy’s Vow.” The Magic Emperor defeats a demon that was attacking humankind. Asta dreams of becoming the Magic Emperor, the leader and strongest of Clover Kingdom’s Magic Knights. Asta is like Naruto. He dreams of becoming the leader of the town he’s ostracized in. An orphan like Naruto, Asta is doubted by the villagers and is compared unfavorably to Yuno. This recreates the dynamic between Sasuke and Naruto.

Where Black Clover departs from Naruto

However, here’s where I think Black Clover becomes different from Naruto. Yuno shares Asta’s dream from the beginning instead of towards the end of the series like Sasuke. They cursed Naruto with too much power from an evil source “the nine-tails” and they curse Asta with no magic. Asta compensates for this limit by working out, gaining strength, speed, and stamina. Despite Yuno being rude and condescending towards Asta, he has respect for him. When Yuno is attacked by Revchi Salik, he stands up for Asta’s reputation when Salik calls him a loser. When Asta’s grimoire appears, Yuno is ecstatic. He knew Asta was worthy. This is only the first volume, but the friendship between Asta and Yuno is already superior to Sasuke and Naruto.

It’s too soon to determine if Noelle Silver will become the main female character in this series. If she is, then she’s the biggest difference between Naruto and Black Clover. I’ve explained many times my fondness for Sakura, however, she is poorly written and underpowered. Noelle seems to have the opposite problem: she has too much magic power and no control. Burden by the pressure of her royal family, she is determined to show them how wrong they were to reject her. Asta is impressed and they bond quickly. In chapter 7, Noelle cannot hit the enemy. She doubts she belongs and is prepared to leave. However, when a little girl begs her to save them, she strengthens her resolve. She learns to control her magic and releases a torrent of water magic, Water Creation Magic: Sea Dragon’s Lair.

The Black Bulls and Magic Systems

Asta and Noelle are the newest recruits to the Black Bulls. A group of misfit Magic Knights, known for their “destructive behavior”, and regarded as “the worst squad of the organization.” They’re one of the nine squads of the Clover Kingdom. Squads perform missions throughout the Kingdom and follow the orders of the Magic Emperor. The Bulls are led by Yami Sukehiro, an intimidating, rude, and violent man. He threatens to “kill” Asta for bumping into him. The rest of the squad isn’t familiar yet. We get some information about them. Vanessa Enotecha is a lush that was disowned by a well off family, Lakk Boltia smiles a lot and seems to enjoy violence, Gosche Adrei was a prisoner and loves his sister. Charmy Babinettson loves to cook and eat, Gray is a master of disguise magic. Together they make a unique bunch.

Magic and power systems are important in the shonen series. The magic system in Black Clover hasn’t been explained yet. All characters have magic (except Asta), when the children become 15 years old firefly dandelions fill the air signaling that the Grimoire Acceptance Ceremony is beginning. The crowd of teens receives their grimoires. The grimoire is the primary source of magic in the Black Clover universe.

They contain the “written record for all of a user’s spells.” As the user learns spells and grows, the grimoire develops along with them. So far the typical elements like wind, water, and ice have been used. Other types of magic are displayed, summon magic used by Revchi Salik, Tree magic used by William Vangeance, Cotton Creation Magic used by Charmy, and Disguise magic. It seems like Black Clover is going to go beyond the normal magic types and get a little weird about it. I like that.

Yuki Tabata’s Art Style

I’ve said many times before that I’m a bit of an art snob. If I don’t like the art style, I won’t read the manga. I sure I’m missing out on some good manga series, but I can’t enjoy them if I don’t like the art style. I like Black Clover’s art. Usually, I’m at a loss for words when describing WHY I like a particular art style. Black Clovers characters all look different, even when related like Noelle and her siblings. I think the linework and detail are well done. Yuki Tabata’s use of shadow is dramatic. He renders motion well when depicting action and fluid magic.

In my experience, manga art only gets better. I look forward to it. Overall, Black Clover shares many similarities with Naruto specifically and the typical shonen series. I thought this would be an issue. I was wrong. Asta may not differ from Naruto, but his relationships with Yuno seems more positive than Naruto’s with Sasuke. Noelle promises to be a more sophisticated and powerful female character than Sakura was (at least early on). I hope she doesn’t end up falling behind Yuno and Asta. At worst, Black Clover is typical for a shonen series, but I think it might have some surprises. If not, that’s fine too.

Read Black Clover Volume 1: Viz

Misc

Elsie rescues Eden Zero, Asta and Yami face Dante, and Gigantomachia rampages

Eden Zero – Chapter 103: Clash of the Cosmos

Shiki and the members of Eden Zero are still bewildered over Ziggy’s heel turn. Ziggy threatens them with death, the orders Captain Connor to “sink the ship.” After hesitating, he begins his assault. The members of Eden Zero prepare for impact. However, Eden One’s ether cannon penetrates their shields with ease. Shiki finally gives the crew orders to attack. Captain Connor uses small bee battle drones and the Eden Zero responds with unmanned fighters. However, one of the four dark stars Wizard uses his Divine Lightning to destroy them. 

The crew and the Eden Zero are now in the range of the main cannon. With the armor down to 40% and energy levels decreasing the crew panic. Suddenly, the bee drones begin exploding. To everyone’s surprise, Elise and her ship the Skull Fairy appear. With Elise providing a distract, Witch Regret uses the opportunity to dodge the blast. Fearing doing battle with Elise, Ziggy orders Captain Conner to withdraw. As Eden One leaves, Elise tells Shiki that she’s one her way to talk about Ziggy. 

The biggest concern of Shiki is his mindset. Always viewing humans and robots as fundamentally good, it was always going to be difficult for him to understand that his grandfather was evil. Would he be able to command his crew to safety and make difficult decisions? So far it seems that he’s at least will to protect them from harm. It clear that Ziggy and his crew will become a problem for the future as none of the Eden Zero crew is strong enough to handle them yet. I wonder what Elise will say. 


Asta with his right devil arm in Chapter 258.
Asta with his right devil arm

Black Clover – Chapter 258: A Captain’s Duty

Asta and Yami attack Dante. As they approach him, Dante attempts to block them with a large piece of Earth. The duo has no trouble cutting through the rumble. Yami severs Dante’s arm, meanwhile, Asta attacks. However, Dante quickly counters, leaving Yami to kick Asta out of harm’s way. Dante regenerates his arm while Asta charges at him once more. This time Dante teleports away. Predicting his trajectory, Yami attacks him with the spell Death Thrust. This blows a hole in Dante, however, he quickly restores himself. He lands a hit on Asta, who recovers and charges again with Yami at his side. 

With Asta’s anti-magic, Yami believes that all they need to do is have Asta hit Dante. Asta laments his weakness compared to Yami. He feels helpless, decrying his six months of training as “worthless.” Dante, on the other hand, is excited, noting that “everything they do if an offering to his pleasure.” Asta calls out to the devil within. He asks the devil to “lend him some power,” and the devil agrees on the condition that he can take a part of Asta’s body. As Dante launches his Gravity Singularity spell, Asta dispels it, with the devil has taken over his right arm. 

Asta’s deal with the devil seems likely to become an even larger issue. I wonder if their relationship will function as the one between Naruto and Kurama. At first, there was hostility and even psychical harm, even though Kurama lived inside Naruto. It appears that the dynamic between Asta and the devil inside him is similar. Furthermore, is the sacrificed body part permanently lost, or is the devil take over temporary. Asta’s desperation could lead him into making more deals with the devil and it could cost him too much. 


My Hero Academia – Chapter 278: Disaster Walker

Gigantomachia continues to rampage while carrying the other villains on his back. Mt. Lady tries valiantly to stop him but is bulldozed by the hulking figure. Earphone Jack realizes that he’s heading towards them. Meanwhile, Geten, Cementoss, Re-Destro, and Edgeshot are involved in a melee. Re-Destro stops the other heroes from advancing, as the villain move forward to begin their “revolution.” Kamui Woods and Midnight swing through the trees to reach Gigantomachia’s face. However, they are interrupted by Dabi, who dowses them with his blue flame. 

Midnight crashes to the ground after being hit with debris from Mr. Compress. Hoping to put him to sleep Midnight think of Creati. She informs Creati that she needs to put Gigantomachia to sleep with an anesthetic, despite doing so being illegal. Creati comes up with a plan, using Earphone Jack and Tentacole’s Quirk to determine Gigantomachia’s location, she hands her friends an anesthetic. They prepare to face the oncoming enemies. 

It seems implausible that this plan will work. If the heroes can’t stop Gigantomachia from moving then how will the get him to consume the anesthetic. Maybe it’s airborne and he’ll inhale it? I don’t think Mineta’s Quirk could work on him, and Creati seemed to have used too much of her power. Mt. Lady seems like she could at least delay him, but so far he’s tossed her around like a ragdoll. Gigantomachia doesn’t appear to be a direct threat, but that may be part of the problem. If he’s not distracted by fighting them, then he’s free to focus on reaching Tomura. I can’t see him being stopped, but maybe slowing him is all they will need. 

My Hero Academia Chapter 277: Recap and Review

Misc

Favorite One Piece Characters, The God of High School and Why Black Clover is the best

The Strawhat Crew

Who’s your favorite One Piece character?

In early April, Rose over at Wretched and Divine listed her favorite One Piece characters. The majority of her list won’t be surprised by the Luffy, Zoro, Ace, Law, and Usopp making the lists. What might surprise you is that a number of villains make the cut. Personally, I disagree with her choice of Buggy. I find him to be so annoying and constantly falling ass-backward into success is getting old. Rose acknowledges that characters like Caesar Clown aren’t “good” but she likes his laugh. You guys should check it out.

My favorite One Piece character is Whitebeard.

The God of High School

I have been taking a break from episode reviews this season (except now I will review Tower of God), but the summer season is coming up in July. Fire Force and Haikyuu!: To the Top will return at some point in the season, but the new series I’m interested in is The God of High School. I appear that Crunchyroll has decided to use manhwa as source material for “original” anime. With Tower of God seemingly a hit, I think the God of High School could be the next one.

Based on the web manhwa by Yongje Park, the series focuses on Jin Mo-Ri a martial artist from Seoul, Korea. He’s invited to join a Martial Arts tournament called “The God of High School” sponsored by a shady corporation (aren’t they all). The prize, a wish-fulfillment by the corporation. Participants fight utilizing what is called “Borrowed Power.” This power is “mystical energy granted by supernatural entities.” The trailer alone got me excited and I rarely watch martial arts anime. I’m excited for this series.

Should I finally give Black Clover another chance

Years ago I decided to start watching Black Clover. I didn’t like it. The animation was fine, but having just read the ending of Fairy Tale, the series felt derivative. Asta isn’t that different from Naruto, Natsu, and the Goku’s of the anime world. Dreager1 believes that “Black Clover was mixing together a lot of ideas from older titles like Naruto and giving them a new spin. Make no mistake though, Black Clover had a great start right from the jump.”

I’ve been considering getting back into the series, but not sure I should read the manga or watch the anime. That said I have seen many of the fights in the anime and enjoyed them. One draw that I think is pulling me is Noelle. While anime is better with female characters, it could still be better. According to Dreager1, “Clover still stands on its own though by giving Noelle quite a few super forms keeping her in league with Yuno and Asta.” While like most anime she apparently is still weaker than her male counterparts, it seems like she pulls her own.

Burn the Witch: Tite Kubo manga one shot review

Lists · Top 100 · Top 100 Favorite Anime and Manga Battles

The Top 100 Anime and Manga Battles of All Time (40 – 31)

40. Mob vs Mogami

Mogami is a powerful evil spirit that was once an famous esper considered to be ” The Greatest Psychic of the 20th Century.” In a attempt to save his mother from dying he became an assassin to pay for her bills. During the “Keiji Mogami Arc,” he encounters Mob. Possessing the spoiled child of a rich businessman Masashi Asagiri, Mogami is exposed by Reigen. He attacks the hundreds of espers that Masashi’s father hires. To try to exorcise Mogami from Matsuo’s body Mob uses astral projection to enter her mind. While her, Mob and Mogami have a psychic battle. Mob gets the better of him here. However, he manages to turn the tables on Mob. Placing him in an alternate world.

Mob spends six months in the mindscape that Mogami traps him in. However, Mogami doesn’t like how Mob responds. He becomes enraged, attacking Mob with the spirits that he’s collected over the years. Mob reaches 100% courage, destroying the fabric of the mindscape. Mob defeats Mogami with a powerful blasts. Destroyed, Mogami’s evil spirits gang up on Mob, overwhelming him. Mob awakens his ???% mode and Mob completely erases the mindscape world. The battle could be a bit confusing, but it was a marvelously animated battle. It was an colorful and amazing scene that’s typical of the series.


39. Zenitsu vs Brother

Zenitsu Agatsuma, is the cowardly member of the Demon Slayers Corps and Older Brother Spider Demon, is a spider demon with a human head and spider body. They battle on the Natagumo Mountain. In what is typical for Zenitsu he’s petrified of the spiders that swarm him. He runs up a tree to escape them. Poisoned, he’s in danger of becoming a spider human hybrid. He panics as his hair begins to fall out and passes out. Unconscious, Zenitsu goes into a trance. Using Thunder Breathing, he attacks Brother. The demon counters with “poison sputum,” poison shaped like a web. Zenitsu dodges the attack in mid-air.

The demon spiders surround Zenitsu. He finally enters his Thunderclap and Flash stance. It’s revealed that Zenitsu “only” has one technique. However, he has mastered this singular move. His electric aura explodes, destroying the surrounding spiders. Zenitsu strikes Brother with the speed and strength of a lighting bolt killing the demon.


38. All Might vs Nomu

All Might attacks Nomu with a barrage of fists. Designed to handle All Might’s power, Nomu isn’t phased. To damage the monster, All Might musts go beyond his normal level of power. Surpassing his limits, he and Nomu trade blows. With each hit (at incredible speed) they create shock-waves. Nomu is overwhelmed by All Might’s power. All Might defeats Nomu with a powerful Plus Ultra punch.


37. Levi vs Kenny

The initial battle between Levi and Kenny is more of an aerial assault. During the Uprising Arc, Kenny hires the Reeves Company to try and kidnap Eren and Historia. Kenny attacks Levi and Nifa, killing the later. Levi manages to avoid getting hit. Kenny is armed with ODM gear and two guns. Levi escapes, giving way to an amazing chase scene leaving Levi trapped in a tavern. However, he’s able to escape, despite the presence of Kenny’s squad.


36. Father vs Everyone

Some of my favorite kinds of battles is one vs many. Often this is the big bad verses all the heroes, however, sometimes it’s the reverse. In this case it’s the former. The Briggs Fortress soldiers, allies of Edward, join forces as they take on Father. Trying to exhaust his stone supply, they combine there attack efforts. However, Father’s barrier is too strong. When he lowers that barrier to attempt to absorb Greed’s stone, Edward, Armstrong and Izumi attack. Father loses control of his power, causing a massive explosion. Edward is now pinned to a bolder and his auto-mail right arm. With Edward in danger, Al convinces May to help him transmute his soul for Edward’s right arm. Enraged, Edward goes on a rampage delivering powerful blows against Father.


35. Gurren Lagann vs the Anti – Spirals

The Battle between the Gurren Lagann and Anti-Spiral is rather long. It features many transformations of Gurren Lagann as the mecha increases in size. The battle also has a great deal of symbolism, centered on human ascension. The Anti-Spirals hate the human race, and attempt to exterminate humans. The Anti- Spirals are beings that have abandoned spiral power, and stunted their own evolution. They are a collective unconscious that are attempting to avert a ” hypothetical event” called the ” Spiral Nemesis”. Gurren grows in its size at its final form, “Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann” reaches 52.8 billion light years in height. I feel it’s better to simply watch the battle than read my description of. Hope you enjoy watching it as I had.


34. Midoriya, Iida and Todoroki vs Stain

Izuku arrives to save Iida. Immobilized, Tenya is helpless and can’t help. Seeing the situation, Izuku springs into action. Activating One for All Full Cowl, Izuku attacks. He manages to slip through Stains legs, avoiding his katana. Slashing at him, Izuku dodges and uses 5% Detroit Smash. The hit connects. Stain manages to activate his Quirk, paralyzing Midoriya like Tenya. Now also helpless, Midoriya and Iida are rescued by Shoto. What follows is an action pack and exciting battle between the new heroes and Stain. They work together to defeat Stain, rescuing another fallen hero.


33. Levi vs The Beast Titan

At this point it’s clear that Levi is the best fighter in Attack on Titan. After the sacrifice of his fellow Scouts, and enraged Levi dominates the Beast Titan. With quick and powerful strikes, Levi manages to incapacitate the Beast Titan. He rips Zeke from it’s nape, however, Zeke is rescued by the Cart Titan.


32. Julius vs Licht

The fight between Julius Novachrono vs Patolli occurs over the city in the Royal Capital. The battle is a high flying spectacle. With the Wizard King using his time magic, while dodging the light attacks from Licht. They destroy the surrounding buildings during the conflict. Licht intimidated by the Kings Power, resorts to attacking innocent civilians. King Julius stops the spell, but is unable to avoid Licht’s sword.


31. Madara vs The 5 Kages

The Five Hokage join forces and prepare to battle Madara
The Five Hokage join forces and prepare to battle Madara

The Kages begin with Tsunade healing Gaara and Onoki, while Mei and A go on the offense. Mei uses ” Lava Release: Melting Apparition Technique”, and A uses his ” Lightning Oppression Horizontal Chop”. Madara uses his Susanoo to attack, but Gaara and Onoki use their defenses to stop the attack. Mei uses “Water Mist Technique” to hide the advance of A and Onoki. Onoki and A uses ” Super Aggravated Rock Technique” cracking the ribs of Susanoo. Madara uses Wood Nature Technique to destroy Onoki golem. Onoki response with his “Dust Element: Atomic Detachment”. Tsunade sites her 4 rules for a medic ninja, releasing her ” Byakuguo”. She attacks with a punch fracturing the ribs of Susanoo, then Madara uses “Katon Wildfire Extermination”. Mei counters with ” Suiton Waterspout ” and “Suiton Dragon Flood”, Weighting Rocks: Lightning Horizontal Chiyo Storm is used by A ans Onoki and Tsunade delivers another kick.

Tsunade damages Madara further knocking him to the ground, and Gaara attempts to seal him. Tsunade is then pierced through the stomach with Susanoo’s blade. Tsunade breaks the blade and hurls it at Madara, Onoki use his Duck Element to try to kill Madara, but it fails. Madara uses Wood Clones to “balance” the battle, 5 clones for each Kage. The Kages have a hard time fighting the now Susanoo activated clones. The Kages take one last stand, a use a collective attack. Madara isn’t harmed but his clones are destroyed, he activates his “Perfect Susanoo”. Madara uses Susanoo to cut the tops of several mountains showing his power. Edo Tensei is ended but Madara releases it. Madara thoroughly defeats the Kages, leaving them near death and Tsunade cut in half.

Check Out The Top 100 Anime and Manga Battles of All Time (50 – 41)

Lists · Top 10

The Ten Best Anime and Manga Power Systems (Part 1)

In shonen anime and manga, power systems are established in order to explain the mechanisms for abilities used in combat. These powers systems can make or break a series. It’s important for these series to be have well balanced power systems. The best made power systems will have unique abilities, that are difficult to master or at least take effort. They should feature a variety of techniques, that range in complexity. Some systems will become “broken,” allowing only a few characters to excel in the series. Dragon Ball Z is a great example of a series that ended up broken. Once a series that focused on martial arts, Dragon Ball Z eventually became a series that focused largely on three saiyans, Goku, Vegeta and Gohan.

While Goku and Vegeta continued to get stronger, Gohan fell behind. Due to the nature of saiyan cells (S Cells), Goku and Vegeta continue to get stronger at rapid rates. This eventual means that they’re the only two that will matter in battle. None of this is to say that the series stopped being enjoyable, just that the power system became broken at some point. That said many of the best power systems often incorporate a “broken” ability that allows the main character to surpass his or her enemies.



10. Demon Slayer – Breath Styles

The main form of combat in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba are the breath styles. In conjunction with Nichirin blades, they’re able to battle on par with Demons. Derived from the “Breath of the Sun” the Breath styles are taught by the Demon Slaying Corps. By making use of particular and concentrated breathing patterns, the lung capacity and oxygen in the blood increases. This is all in service of increasing the physical abilities. When focusing breaths, Demon Slayers are able to accomplish feats such as “clotting wounds,” and “slowing down the circulation of poison.” Overall there are 15 branches of breathing styles. Demon Slayer’s power system is simple but has variety.

More On: Demon Slayer Breath Styles


9. Black Clover – Mana

In Black Clover, Mana is the primary form of energy that exists in nature. It is the source of all magic spells. Mana is used to activate all spells. Almost every human can use mana to some extent. Mages in the Black Clover universe have “affinities” for mana “attributes.” These attributes can be one of four great attributes: fire, water, wind, and earth. Or they can be one of several derivative elements like lightning or ice. In addition to this, mages can develop “latent abilities” connected to their element. Wind users have the latent ability “mana sensory.”

Elements like water and fire are common, with elements like light and space being rare. Mages are limited to their element, but they can augment their element into other forms. However, if a mage is a hybrid of two races they may have “dual affinity.” While rare it’s possible for a mage to use science to “artificially enhance themselves” given them more than one element. The more mana a mage possess the stronger they are.

Grimories are magical items that enhance the users ability to use magic. They are the written record of all the spells that a user learns. As the owner gets stronger the book becomes inscribed with newer spells. Connected to their owners, Grimoires cannot be used by other mages and disappear when their owners die. However, Grimoires of Despair are the exception.

Read More: Mana and Grimoires


8. JoJo’s Bizarre – Stands

A Stand is a visual manifestation of life energy, they’re generally represented as a figure that hovers around the “Stand user.” A stand can represent the ” the manifestation of an individual’s innate fighting spirit and embodies, to an extent, the individual’s psyche.” Stands follow a “loose” set of rules, they’re an embodiment of the user psyche, therefore, they are all unique. This “uniqueness” results in a vast difference in abilities, power and usefulness of Stands. Some Stands can even be detrimental to their users. Any damage sustained by a Stand is reflected on the user and vice-versa. However, automatic Stands and bound Stands are the exception. If Stands are destroyed their user dies with them.

Stands obey every command that is demanded of them within there limits. However, some Stands cannot be controlled by their user. This can result in the Stand killing it’s own user. One rule that governs Stands and their users is that they can only have one. Learning and mastering a Stands ability can be difficult. Stand users are usually ignorant of the ability of their Stand at first. Once they discover it, then they have to learn the various uses for the Stands abilities. To use a Stand, a user has to summon it. Then the user needs to command it, if they hope to use their powers. However, automatic Stands act by themselves.

Based on appearance Stands are classified into 5 different categories, Natural Humanoid, Artificial Humanoid, Natural Non-Humanoid, Artificial Non-Humanoid and Phenomenon. Furthermore, Stands all have supernatural properties, in addition to unique powers. Stands are invulnerable to harm by anything other than another Stand or damage to their user. A Stand’s powers vary wildly, ranging from using a sword, fire or even stopping time. An important limitation on Stands are “firing range.” This range is largely the distance that a Stand is still effective. On top of all that, Stands have six parameters that they can be judged.

Read More: Stands


7. FullMetal Alchemist – Alchemy

The main sources of combat ability in FullMetal Alchemist is Alchemy. Based on the ancient metaphysical mystical art that allows the user to “manipulating and altering matter by using natural energy.” This is called Transmutation, which required three aspects to succeed.

  1. Comprehension – Understanding the inherent structure and properties of the atomic or molecular makeup of a particular material to be transmuted, including the flow and balance of potential and kinetic energy within.
  2. Deconstruction – Using energy to break down the physical structure of the identified material into a more malleable state so as to be easily reshaped into a new form.
  3. Reconstruction – Continuing the flow of energy so as to reform the material into a new shape.

In order to use alchemy a practitioner would need to have complete understanding of chemistry and ancient alchemical theory. Generally, you need to have high intellect. The Alchemists are said to transmute using various substance. Some use the Four Classical Elements (Water, Earth, Fire and Air) and other use the Three Essential Principles (Salt, Sulfur, and Mercury). Regardless, the most important tenet of alchemy is the concept of Equivalent Exchange. Separated into two laws:

  • The Law of Conservation of Mass, which states that energy and matter can neither be created from nothing nor destroyed to the point of elemental nonexistence. In other words, to create an object weighing one kilogram, at least one kilogram of material is necessary and destroying an object weighing one kilogram would reduce it to a set of parts, the sum of which would weigh one kilogram.
  • The Law of Natural Providence, which states that an object or material made of a particular substance or element can only be transmuted into another object with the same basic makeup and properties of that initial material. In other words, an object or material made mostly of water can only be transmuted into another object with the attributes of water.

Alchemy includes more than simply an understanding of transmutation and adhering to the laws of Equivalent Exchange. Alchemists need to use a transmutation circle. These circles can be drawn anywhere and by any medium. transmutation circles are made up of two parts, the circle and a “alchemical rune.” Alchemy gets even more complicated, as it focuses on human soul binding, Homunculus (artificial humans) and resurrection.

More On: Alchemy


Toshiro Hitsugaya using his Bankai
Toshiro Hitsugaya using his Bankai

6. Bleach – Zanpakuto

The Bleach series features numerous different forms of fighting. However, the series primarily focused on the use of Zanpakuto or Soul Cutter Sword. The main weapon used by the Shinigami, Arrancar and Visored. The lowest ranked Zanpakuto is called Asauchi and they lack names. However, the Zanpakuto of a Shinigami Captain do have names. Each weapon are uniquely generated by the users soul. The soul of a Shinigami will determine the shape and ability of the sword. Zanpakuto’s are sentient beings and it’s name is that of the living spirit that powers the sword. Once the Shinigami learns the name of it’s Zanpakuto, they are able to communicate with each other and get stronger.

Zanpakuto are born with their Shinigami and will die with them. The one exception to the uniqueness of a Zanpakuto is the Ise Clan’s, Shinken Hakkyoken. A Zanpakuto can choose to withhold it’s true name from it’s wielder if they deem them unworthy. In order to communicate with their Zanpakuto a Shinigami must use an advance form of training called Jinzen. Based on the ability of the Shinigami to communicate with their Zanpakuto’s spirit, a Zanpakuto will develop two forms, Shikai and Bankai.

  • Shikai – is the second (or first upgraded) form available to a Zanpakutō. To activate it, the Shinigami needs to learn the name of their Zanpakutō. This is not as easy as simply picking a name, for the living spirit of the Zanpakutō already has its own name. The Shinigami must be able to communicate and harmonize with their Zanpakutō effectively, which requires being able to speak to the spirit within its world.
  • Bankai –  is the second and final upgraded form of a Zanpakutō. To achieve Bankai, one must be able to materialize and subjugate their Zanpakutō spirit. Materialization means the opposite of getting dragged into the Zanpakutō’s inner world: the wielder needs to summon the Zanpakutō’s spirit into the physical world. It usually takes 10 years or more to achieve, plus the experience needed to master it. Despite the Zanpakutō spirit being subjugated for their Shinigami to learn Bankai, the Zanpakutō also becomes stronger and learns Bankai at precisely the moment their Shinigami learns it. Even though Bankai is the final stage of a Zanpakutō, it does not mean the Shinigami’s growth ends there. A Bankai, especially one recently obtained, can evolve even further as its Shinigami gets stronger. Ichigo and Urahara managed to achieve Bankai at accelerated rates.

A broken Shikai will regenerate, a broken Bankai will never return to its original state. However, a Zanpakuto can be reforged. Zanpakuto are generally grouped into three categories, Melee, Kido and Elemental. Despite the fact that Zanpakuto is the main form of combat in Bleach, there are three other forms of combat. Hoho is a more defensive style of fighting that focuses on fast movements and footwork. Kido (Demon Arts) is a form of combat the produces spells. They often require an incantation to activate. Finally, there is Hakudo (Hand to Hand Combat). Using their body, users attack with their feet and hands. Making use of their physical strength and martial arts skills.