I’ve been looking for another challenge to do and finally found one. The A-Z of Anime Challenge is probably self-explanatory, regardless the rules are as follows:
#1 Pick a favorite series/movie for each letter of the alphabet. For titles starting with “a” “an” or “the” use the first letter of the next word of the title.
#2 Since many titles have multiple names based on the language that you are using please pick one language for the entire list (Use all English titles or all Japanese titles) and let the readers know which language you will be using. If a title has the same name regardless of the language then it can be used in any list.
#3 If you don’t have a title that fits under a particular letter, you can name another favorite from a different letter in it’s place, just indicate which letter spot you are using for that series. This can be done up to three times. If you can’t fill a spot then you can leave it blank. No more than 26 total series are allowed.
#4 Including a picture for each series is encouraged.
#5 Share who tagged you for this challenge and nominate 3 more to try it themselves and include links to their blogs.
#6 Just have fun with this challenge. I wanted to get everyone to share some favorite series and to spread the word about awesome blogs!
Since I haven’t been tagged I will be ignoring part of #5. I will be using English titles. Let’s go.
It’s common for heroes to have no parents. They’re either dead, strangely not mentioned, or abusive. Everyone is “conveniently an orphan.” This often avoids the question of why would someone allow their child to leave home alone? Even if the parent didn’t care it would still be parental neglect. Furthermore, if the main protagonists is a super-powered demon slayer or an actual demon, it would be necessary to explain why their parents didn’t know or didn’t tell them. It’s an understandable trope but one that’s overused.
Sailor Moon. Rei lives with her grandfather. Her mother died and her father abandoned her, leaving her to be raised by his mother. Ami’s parents are divorced. Makoto’s and Mamoru’s parents both die in tragic accidents.
Naruto. Sasuke’s parents were slaughtered by his brother. Naruto’s parents died fighting the Nine-Tails. Gaara’s mother died during childbirth. Asuma dies before his child is born.
Bleach. Orhimes parents abandoned her, shes lived alone since she was 12. Chad’s parents died, then his grandfather leaving him to take care of himself since the age of 15. Uryuu’s mother died and his father is estranged.
Every once in a while a character must learn something that is conveniently helpful. Not only that the user can master the new power instantly. If you think too hard you will realize that it probably would take years if not decades for the character to learn the new skill. Of course, that’s why writers grant their characters instant abilities in the first place.
Kamehameha. It took Master Roshi almost a century to learn it, Goku does it after seeing Master Roshi do it once.
Rasengan. Naruto’s father Minato learned the Rasengan after years. Naruto learns it in a week, although he didn’t master it.
Bankai. Normally it takes decades to learn the Bankai. Ichigo learns his Bankai in three days.
Calling Your Attacks
In anime, long-winded names given to attacks are the norm. Whether its the name of a punch, weapon, or magical attack these names are important to their coolness. The origin of this behavior can be connected to the ancient concept that “special words can invoke control over the supernatural.” The use of a spell’s name can sometimes be part of an incantation. The Kido in Bleach require long incantations that seem to be a random collection of words, however, a user can avoid saying the entire spell, but must sacrifice some power. These names use to be limited to special moves, now every attack has to have a title.
Kenshin. Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu Ougi Ama Kakeru Ryu no Hirameki
The Power of Friendship
The villain in many series often mock friendship. Why would you rely on others when you can do everything yourself? Of course, these villains generally have massive group followers that fight for them. However, they’re not friends so it’s different right. What the villain doesn’t know is that these friends are also a secret power. The hero will reach a new level of power to protect his friends or they will work together to defeat the villain.
Fairy Tail. Wizards gain power based on the strength of their friendships.
Naruto. Like most Shonen heroes Naruto can get stronger to save his friends. Also known as Friendship no Jutsu.
One Piece. Basic this series runs on the power of friendship or Nakama.
Explaining Your Power to the Enemy
The villain monologue has become a trope and is now mocked often. The practical reason for it is to inform the audience, however, this info could be gained without telling the villain. Like having the character think about the effect of their attack or its power. The explanation can range from what an ability does to how to counter it. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what they explain as their too powerful to lose, although, they usually make their lives harder.
Berserk. A demon tells Guts that he can’t regenerate if his head cut off. Gut’s immediately cuts his head off.
Bleach. Hirako Shinji does this twice the time. First, he tells Aizen how his Shikai works. (its powers reverse his opponents’ senses and movements). He then does it again when fighting Bambietta.
Dragon Ball Z. Gohan explains that his true power only comes out when he’s angry. So Cell tries to kill his father and his friends.
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 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.
Anyone that watches anime knows that one of the trademarks of the genre is the hair. In anime, a character’s hair is very important. Often weird-looking, physics-defying, oddly shaped, and/or strangely colored, hair allows characters to stand out. Anime feature all kinds of hairstyles and even hair effects. For example, there’s the Ahoge or Idiot Hair, which is the “noticeable slim forelock of hair that sticks straight up from a character’s head.” There’s “expressive hair” when a character’s hair seems to move independently. Naruto’s mother, Kushina’s, hair is expressive, floating wildly in the air when angry. If you want more examples check out TV Trope.
Regardless, I here to list those that lack this magnificent hair. It’s rare but there are several bald characters in anime. I created a list of my five favs.
Dot Pixis (Attack on Titan)
The commanding officer from Attack on Titan, Pixis is responsible for the safety of the southern territory within Wall Rose. He organized the mission to reclaim the Trost. As General, he is responsible for the defense of the military. Pixis baldness seems to be related to his age, but he’s got a kickass mustache.
Gluttony the Voracious (FullMetal Alchemist)
One of the homunculi in the Fullmetal Alchemist, Gluttony is simple and childlike. He can and will eat anything. Despite his size, he’s extremely fast. A lot of Gluttony’s behavior can be easily characterized as evil, however, he has shown kindness. His sibling relationship with Lust often shows this kindness. Anyone that harms her will certainly be eaten and when she dies he’s deeply hurt.
Krillin (Dragon Ball Z)
Krillin is probably the most famous of the bald anime characters. Initially, he was an awesome fighter, being able to learn the Kamehameha simply by watching Goku and Yamcha do it. Unfortunately, he’s mostly used for comic relief particularly in the movies. Krillin’s been peed on by Gohan, rubble falling on him, and getting punched in the face by the villain. Krillin is bald by choice, having shaved his head since childhood to emulate what he thought martial artist looked like.
Ikkaku Madarame (Bleach)
Ikkaku in my opinion is an undervalued character in Bleach. This is in part because he hides his power to remain in Squad 11. He’s currently the vice-captain of Squad 11. His baldness is a running gag throughout the series. When he’s teased for his baldness he erupts in anger. Ikkaku takes hiding his Bankai so far that he will throw a fight to avoid using it. However, everyone already knows he’s achieved Bankai.
Saitama (One Punch Man)
Saitama may have surpassed Krillin in terms of public recognition at this point. A former salaryman, Saitama trained for three years to gain his power. According to Saitama, “if you don’t train so hard that all your hair falls out then you won’t be able to One-Hit Kill any opponent you face.” He used to have a full head of hair that fell out due to the intensity of the training. This is also true for Superalloy Darkshine who apparently “deliberately” trained until his hair fell out. It seems that One Punch Man believes that baldness is correlated with strength.
If you’re familiar with anime, action movies, or martial arts film then you probably noticed the legendary blind weapon master. Despite their inability to see they are often the most deadly fighters. Sometimes they have developed supernatural powers to compensate for their blindness or have trained to use other senses. While the audience probably expects the blind weapon master to be dangerous the characters in the story usually don’t. This results in the blind warrior being underestimated, gaining an advantage at least at first. So what are my top 5 blind characters:
5. Kaname Tosen (Bleach)
Tosen was the captain of the 9th Division of the Gotei 13. He joined Sosuke Aizen and Gin Ichimaru when they betrayed Soul Society. Tosen was blind since birth. Tosen was proficient with his Zanpakuto. As a 5th seat, he was able to fight at Captain level. After his defection, he encountered Captain Sajin Komamura and Lieutenant Shuhei Hisagi and was able to duel them both. He mastered the Shunpo, Kido, and Hikuda techniques. Like most Captain level Shinigami’s, he also mastered the Shikai and Banki abilities. Tosen develops a Resurreccion form. Ironically, Tosen gains sight in this form and it results in his downfall.
4. Uzu Sanageyama (Kill La Kill)
Uzu is one of the students on the Elite Four council. He regulates the athletic clubs at Honnoji Academy. He has his eyes sewn shut to increase his awareness. He develops a “Mind’s Eye” that allows him to form a “three-dimensional image of his surroundings, resulting in clairvoyant abilities. He’s an expert Swordsman, using a kendo style. With this style, he displays precision and reflexes. When he had access to the Three-star Goku Uniform, he possessed the Shinsoku: Senbonsuki ability which allowed him to “attaches multiple shinai blades to his hands and spins them at high speeds, allowing him to assault his opponent with a series of high-speed sword thrusts”. Uzu also developed the Blade Regalia MK 2 and the Blade Regalia: Secret Unsealed. Uzu’s self-inflicted blindness resembles the legend of Shinto God, Susano’o.
3. Yomi (Yu Yu Hakusho)
Yomi is one of the Three Kings of the Demon Realm and the main antagonist during the three Kings Saga. Yomi uses to have sight but lost it due to a plot by Kurama, he gained four extra ears to compensate. His earing was so amazing that he could “hear every word being spoken in his kingdom of Gandara”. He can hear heart rates, guessing facial expressions, and emotional states. Like Kurama, Yomi is calm, calculating, even able to use his super-hearing to measure the speeds of his opponent’s attack. Yomi possesses a Demon Absorption Wall, energy blasts, and is an upper S class demon.
2. Sara (Samurai Champloo)
A beautiful blind musician, Sara turns out to be an assassin for the Shogunate. She walks barefoot and carries a Shamisen and a Yari disguised as a walking staff. Sara has had a hard life due to her blindness. Her child was taken from her over it and is often pitied, which she hates. Sara is capable of predicting moves, her fighting ability is considered to be one of the strongest in Samurai Champloo. She could notice Sundar rocks with her Yari, her skill is so great that Kariya Kagetoki deems Mugen and Jin worthy of being defeated by him. Ultimately, Sara learns that her son was killed and she allows herself to be killed by Mugen.
1. Issho Fujitora (One Piece)
One of the new Marine Admirals, Issho is against the hashish forms of Marine justice. He hates corruption and evil. Issho intentionally blinded himself to “avoid ever seeing it again”, cutting himself leaving an X-shaped scar on his face. He regrets having done so. He hated the now-disbanded Shichibukai system and often undermines the Marines. Like many blind warriors, he’s always underestimated and he resents it. As a Marine Admiral, Fujitora is one of the strongest fighters in the World government. He was able to defeat Jack, a pirate with a billion-dollar bounty. He fought Sabo to a standstill without getting hurt, posses great strength, defense, and reflexes.
He claims to have developed heighten senses, able to “sense the movement of clouds”. Fujitora prefers to use his shikomizue (cane sword) in conjunction with his devil fruit, Zushi Zushi no Mi. With this devil fruit he can manipulate gravity, he often uses it to pull meteorites out of the sky. He can reverse gravity to repel or levitate ships. He has mastered haki, busishoku haki, and kenbushoku haki.
The Ryoka Invasion was a conflict between the Ryoka and Gotei 13. The Ryoka, Ichigo Kurosaki, Uryu Ishida, Yasutora Sado, Orihime Inoue, and Yoruichi Shihoin invade Soul Society to rescue Rukia. Set to be executed, Rukia’s friends caused conflict among the Gotei 13. Many of the Captains and Lieutenants lost to Ichigo and the others. Aizen who was assumed dead turned out to be a traitor. Along with Captain Gin Ichimaru and Kaname Tosen, Aizen wanted to collect the Hogyoku he hid in Rukia’s body. They escape, concluding the arc. While I found the conspiracy by Aizen and the victories by the Ryoka to be implausible, this arc is what made men a Bleach fan.
If your American then you were subjected to constant reruns of the Saiyan Saga. When Dragon Ball Z finally moved on to another arc I was ecstatic. Technically the Frieza Saga only begins when the Z fighters begin fighting Frieza. I’m going to include the Namek Saga and the Captain Ginyu Saga. Together the arc makes the most sense. The Frieza Saga is almost exclusively the fight Frieza and Goku. At this point in the series, power levels still mattered. So witnessing Goku reach over 200,000 and of course Freiza’s power level of 1 million. With Gohan having his usually moments of epic rage, the humanization of Vegeta, and the first Super Saiyan, thee Frieza Saga is one of the greatest.
Pain invades Konoha searching for Naruto and the Nine-tails. Using the Asura Path, Preta Path, and Animal Path as diversions, the other three Pains interrogated villagers for info on Naruto. Unlike the battle between Jiraiya and Pain, we finally get to see all six paths in action. Without Naruto present (at least for a while) we got to see some of the other ninja fights. Kakashi, in particular, takes on the Deva Path. Konohamaru Sarutobi uses the Rasengan on the Naraka Path and the secret of the Pains is discovered. The main event, of course, is Sage Naruto vs the Six Paths. While most of the damage done to Konoha is erased by Pain, the sense of urgency going in was intense.
The Chimera Ant Queen gives birth to soldier ants waiting to bring forth the King. Feeding on humans including children, the population of the Chimera Ants grows rapidly. With the Birth of the Royal Guard and later the King the race to prepare is on. Killua and Gon train, while the King takes over the Republic of East Gorteau. This arc features a slew of battles, ending with one of the greatest anime fights ever. Coupled with the narration (in the anime) this arc is well worth the watch.
Ace is transferred to Marineford to be executed. Luffy along with the other escapees from Impel Down Arc head to Marineford to rescue Ace. In preparation for an incoming war, Marineford is evacuated. This arc was the first one where we got to see the power of Whitebeard. One of the four Yonko, Whitebeard and his massive crew arrive to liberate Ace. On the Marine side, was the 5 Shichibukai, all three Admirals, and every other justice force. Sengoku and Garp were also present. Sengoku reveals that Ace was the son of Gold Roger. The Marineford arc is heartbreaking and action-packed. The arc marks a turning point in Luffy’s life and the series as Whitebeard confirms the existence of the One Piece.
Emperor Carnage discusses why he thinksSamurai 8 failed. Personally, I liked what I saw from the series. However, I must admit that I hadn’t read a chapter since I reviewed the Volume One last year. I guess with “fans” like me the series was doomed. I have every intention of completing and reviewing the series. I just have to decide if I will review each remaining volume or the entire series.
the main selling point of the series was “A new series from the creator of Naruto!” Naruto was a MASSIVE series for Shonen Jump; they were probably expected a similar reception. Especially sense their biggest series, One Piece, is setting up its endgame. For all the joke, I think the flashback is enough proof: One Piece only has a few more years left in it. Shonen Jump needs something to be just as popular to fill the void. “Samurai 8” just couldn’t do it.
Balgo is really my main problem with the series. Every scene with him is pretty brutal. He’s only got Noel on his mind and only in a very superficial way. While this is supposed to be comedic it definitely falls short of that and becomes irritating almost instantly. There is just no way you can root for the guy or even feel bad for him. The dynamic that the series is going for completely falls flat and it will heavily limit Burn The Witch’s potential. I’m hoping that he will ultimately get written out and was just made up for the opening pilot. They’ve gotta get rid of him.
Finally, JCR Comics Art discusses whether Bleach should get a direct sequel on top of a spin-off (Burn the Witch) and the anime of the final arc. While it seems that Boruto is doing well, I’m personally don’t think sequels (especially future generations) work well. I have my problems with the way Bleach ended, so I agree that the characters didn’t get satisfying endings.
One of the biggest complaints for the finale of Bleach was that a lot of characters not only didn’t get a proper ending, and there were QUITE A FEW characters in the roster of Soul Society, but also, several characters weren’t revealed to have lived or died in the final battle! While the sequel doesn’t necessarily need to be a full blown series, perhaps it could be an installment that simply ties a bow on the characters that we all grew to know during Beach’s time as one of the most popular Shonen series around!
Bleach rumors have been circulating the internet for years. Now they have been confirmed. Weekly Shonen Jump announced the return of Bleach on Twitter. Shonen Jump will announce the news on YouTube, with streaming starting at 9:45 am on March 21, 2020. Written and illustrated by Tite Kubo, Bleach was a serialized manga series in Weekly Shonen Jump. The manga ran from August 2001 through August 2016 and has sold over 90 million copies. An animated TV series ran from 2004 to 2012. However, the anime ended before the final arc.
The final Bleach arc the Thousand-Year Blood War will get an anime adaptation. Tite Kubo’s Burn the Witch will be serialized starting in the summer and get an anime adaptation starting in the fall. For those who are unfamiliar, Burn the Witch manga follows two witches, Noel and Spangle, working in the Western branch of Soul Society. As members of Wing Bind, they protect and control the dragons in Reverse London. They battle Dragons called Disguisers, which take control over corpses. The series takes place 12 years after the Blood War. While I have my issues with the Thousand-Year Blood War arc I can’t wait to see it animated. I hoped that Burn the Witch manga would get serialized as well.
The first thing you’ll notice between Burn the Witch and Bleach is how similar they are. This shouldn’t be surprising considering Tite Kubo is the creator and they exist in the same universe. I’m excited to find out about the Wing Bind, the Conservation Rangers, and how they connect to the Soul Reapers. It’s possible that characters from Bleach (particularly the next generation) will make cameo appearances. Hopefully, we will get more insight into the Soul Society. If you haven’t done so already check out my review of Burn the Witch.
One of the issues that writers face when trying to establishing a power system is how strong should your character be. It’s a balancing act. If your main character is too strong they’ll have no challenge. If they’re too weak how can they win? If you want to have a series that’s entertaining you need to carefully consider this balance. Often creators will put some limitation, weakness or even depower characters. It can be clunky or convoluted. Ultimately, the “story breaker” power hinges mostly on the story told and not just the power itself. With the in mind, what are the top 5 story breaker powers in anime and manga:
I’m leaving Saitama (One Punch Man) out because his powers are suppose to be ridiculously strong.
5. Androids 17 and 18 have infinite energy (DBZ)
The two cyborgs have “infinite energy reactors” the give them limitless stamina. Furthermore they don’t age normally and can increase their strength through training. Furthermore they don’t use ki, making it impossible to detect them through normal means. The pair often let their opponents tire themselves out before defeating them.
4. Trafalgar Law’s Devil Fruit Ability (One Piece)
Law’s Room ability allows him to “control anything inside the sphere’s he creates.” He can “cut people to bits and rearrange them as he likes with the person still alive, swap around people and objects instantly, cut through whatever he wants including armored Haki and whole mountains, rip out organs, swap souls, and inflict an unhealing wound.” Law’s devil fruit drains his stamina, but it’s often to powerful to counter.
3. All For One (My Hero Academia)
All For One’s Quirk can “take, steal, mix, give, amplify and force others to use their quirks.” It’s suggested that he’s also immortal. While he can be defeated (Only All Might) he survives. All For One has it’s a weakness but they are mostly indirect. If he gives someone a quirk they may not be able to handle the power of becoming a mindless doll. The effectiveness of the quirk depends on the user. He can’t steal One For All, as it “can only be passed on if the present wielder wills it.”
2. Yhwach the Almighty (Bleach)
The King of the Quincies, Yhwach possesses “all Quincy powers, as well as the ability to give people power by lending them pieces of his soul.” He can “call back the soul shards at will, depriving the recipient of their power and life, to increase his strength.” He is able to steal the ” life and power from both Quincies and their enemies.” This power also allows him to choose who lives and dies. He also has a “Schrift ability,” the Almighty. This ability allows him “to change the entire future.” He can see and alter ALL possible futures. It should be noted that Beach has a number of broken characters and it takes three of them to kill Yhwach (Ichigo, Aizen, and Uryuu).
1. Madara (Naruto)
With his Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan, he can all the “convenient abilities in the series.” Then he gets the Rinnegan, which is considered “the most exalted eye among the “Three Great Dōjutsu.” The Rinnegan contains “extraordinarily powerful chakra and boasts enormous ocular power.” Those in possession of the Rinnegan “allows one to easily master any Jutsu as well as all five basic nature transformations.”
Personally, I’ve always preferred anime to manga. Animation is more dynamic and expressive. The fluid nature of my favorite kind of animation, Sakuga, has particularly captivated me. Action sequences are far more exciting when animated. That’s not to say that 2D art can’t do such things. However, it’s much more difficult. Like comic books, when deciding to read a manga series the art style is more important to me that the story. I will even read a manga series with an average story if the art is good. So what do I think constitutes good art?
Generally, manga is presented in black and white. This means unlike American comics, the shadow takes a more prominent role. Without the advantage of color, an artist must use black, white and gray to convey depth. Lines become more important. The use of hatching and cross-hatching, along with white space can help a manga-ka distinguish their artwork from others. With hard work and technical proficiency, artists can make a name for themselves. Personally, I look for good character designs, details, I favor realism but I don’t mind surreal art. I managed to collect at least 20 artists, but here is the first five:
5. Inio Asano (Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction)
Asano combines detailed backgrounds with childlike characters. His characters are notable for having eyes that are far apart, but his characters don’t look deformed. Asano’s most recent work is the seinen manga series, Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction. A spaceship appears over Tokyo three years prior to the beginning of the story. However, the story focuses on humans not the aliens. It’s a brutal series (for the aliens) but worth the read.
4. Makoto Yukimura (Vinland Saga)
Vinland Saga became a big anime hit last year. While it feature amazing animation, it’s Makoto Yukimura’s art style that stands out. His artwork isn’t too realistic, but has a high level of realism. This type of art is important for depicting the historical setting and characters of the series. His art often features a great deal of detail.
3. Eiichiro Oda (One Piece)
One Piece is one of the best manga of all time. Eiichiro Oda’s pirate series has a distinct art-style. He plays with portion. Many of his characters are extremely tall with long limbs (but they’re not giants), some of Oda’s characters are top-heavy with short legs. One criticism I would have of Oda’s art style is that his female characters are too similar.
2. Tite Kubo (Bleach)
One thing that you may not notice right away about Tite Kubo’s art in Bleach is that he doesn’t draw backgrounds. Or at least he rarely draws them. This results in a lot of white space being used. Kubo makes great use of his white space often filling it with characters with heavy shadow.
1. Ryoichi Ikegami (Crying Freeman)
I consider Ryoichi Ikegami to be one of the best manga-ka. His artwork is stunning and detailed. His characters feel real and the clothing he draws is amazing. One thing I notice is that Ikegami is one of the manga-ka that features many black characters. Part of what makes Ikegami’s art style so distinct is that each character looks different from the other. However, that difference is more subtle than other manga. I would encourage you to read his Crying Freeman manga series.
Do you have a favorite manga-ka and/or art style? Why do you think you were drawn to them?