Anime that Never Gets Old, No Matter How Many Times You’ve Re-watched It
The anime that never gets old is Dragon Ball Z (DBZ). Any average anime fan probability has seen DBZ. It was one of the premier anime from my childhood, and I can’t seem to get over it. To be honest, I talking about the fights that occurred in the series. Despite the facts that the disparity between most characters (that weren’t saiyans) became massive, I still enjoy the fights.
Speaking of fights, they weren’t particularly high quality in terms of creativeness. The battles can be linear and as a result predictable. Although, most anime is predictable on some level. My tastes for the style of fights have become more sophisticated over time, but I still find DBZ to be enjoyable. I don’t remember how many times I’ve re-watched the series, but I think I’ll do it one more time.
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.”
Dragon Ball Z: Movie 3, The Tree of Might (MAL score: 6.93)
The Saiyan named Turlus has come to Earth in order to plant a tree that will both destroy the planet and give him infinite strength. Son Goku and the Z Warriors cannot let this happen and duke it out with the invaders for the sake of the planet. (Source: ANN)
Let’s be honest some anime movies dramatically disappoint, particularity when they are from a popular series. Tree of Might is quite frankly mediocre. The real strange part of this movie is the relationship between the main villian Turlus and Goku. They look exactly alike, except for a skin tone difference. It’s a common trend in the Dragon Ball series to basically copy Goku and suggest some of the characters have no relationship to him.
To be honest the story in DBZ isn’t the most complicated or interesting. In this movie the dialogue is dub, but I liked the action in this movie. Granted the Z fighters get thrashed, but it does remind me of the good old days when DBZ wasn’t all about transforming into Super Saiyan’s. I also like the animation, which still holds up.
I should probably pick Detective Conan, which is currently on it’s 908th episode and has been in production January 8th, 1996. I use to watch this series but I lost interest years ago. I won’t pick, One Piece because while it’s long, I think it’s as long as it needs to be. One Piece has a lot of story left.
My pick for the anime that is too long is, Dragon Ball. This series was started in 1986, the first series Dragon Ball lasted 153 episodes. Dragon Ball Z reached 291 in the late 90’s, then there was the terrible Dragon Ball GT which is thankfully the shortest with 64 episodes. If you could get through that series you probably had enough and was grateful that Dragon Ball was over. However, in 2009 Dragon Ball Kai was released and featured 159 episodes.
Personally, I didn’t watch most of the latest series. I got too repetitive find ways for saiyans to get get stronger and stronger. On some level this has always been true of the series. However, I feel that after the Cell saga Dragon Ball really went to far with the transformations. Super Saiyan 3 was cool looking but it didn’t really feel all that different. Weirdly it seemed that SS2 was more important than SS3. Villains kept getting ridiculously stronger and the particular formula was Goku quickly gets stronger, Vegeta then follows and nobody else does. That said the final arc of Dragon Ball Super did try to provide a opportunity for less powerful characters like Krillin.
Of course my biggest grip had to be the downgrade of Gohan. During the Cell Saga Gohan had surpassed everyone being the first to reach SS2 at age 9. He later put school work a head of his training (which maybe due to only being half Saiyan). Gohan maintain a great potential, Vegeta suggested that Gohan had the “potential exceeded both Goku’s and his own.” While I think that the Dragon Ball series was too long I did enjoy much of it (not GT) and the tournament arc at the end of Super was great.
If you’ve wanted anime long enough you notice that during the battle sometimes an anime characters clothing will get damaged. Often this is a pathetic attempt to justify fanservice. Clothing damage in anime can ridiculous. Bleach for example has this problem, while it seems that only the male characters are susceptible to clothing damage. The main protagonists, Ichigo even stated that “his outfit changes when he assumes bankai, his shirt takes damage in proportion to how much spirit power he loses. As he rests, the robes mend.”
The most famous example is of course the Dragon Ball series. Goku in particular displays this troupe. You can often comically determine the point in the fight based on Goku’s clothing. If he’s still has his shirt on the fight cannot be over. Strangely enough his pants are apparently made of stronger fabric than his shirt. His pants may get torn, but they never get blow off like his shirt does.
Defeat means Friendship
In popular manga and anime, Fairy Tail, both Gajeel and Juvia join the guild after they are defeated. In the Dragon Ball series almost all of the Z team at some point tried to beat or kill Goku at one point. Krillin even stated that “all of the Z-Fighters were enemies with Goku at some point.” More specifically:
Piccolo, was an enemy of Goku until mutual respect for Goku’s fighting ability.
Vegeta, prince of the Saiyan’s was nearly killed when he and Nappa tried to steal the dragon balls. Through the series Vegeta slowly becomes a permanent member of the Z team.
Majin Buu, has about ten different forms. Fat Buu and Ubuu become members of the Z team.
Android 17 & 18, both were created to kill Goku. 18 later marries Krillin, 17 actually doesn’t even meet Goku until Dragon Ball Super.
In Naruto, Neji and Gaara are transformed after Naruto defeats them and changes their lives. The problem with this troupe is that it’s unrealistic. For example, Piccolo, Vegeta, Buu, and Gaara kill many people and seemingly go unpunished for it, other than being defeated in combat.
Not Worth Killing
It is common in anime that a hero or villian will conclude that their opponent is too weak to be worthy of death. This is clearly design to keep the average skilled friends of the main character alive when the “main” bad guy decides that they don’t warrant being killed. It’s also a good way to display the power of a villian while not causing the lives of heroes. However, we all know that eventual the hero will surpass that villian.
DBZ, Goku is notorious for leaving villains alive, hoping that they have “learned their lesson,” or even hoping that they comeback stronger because he loves the competition. He does this too often with Frieza, who then goes on to destroy the planet TWICE. He manages to kill everyone on Earth in “Resurrection F ” on for Whis to reverse it.
One Piece, even though this series features much fighting, it is rare that they end up in death. Luffy fights brutally but I can’t think of any situation that resulted in anyone being killed by him. This doesn’t necessary mean that villains learn from their mistakes or go to prison, in fact some villains end up better off. For example, Wapol, become “an incredibly wealthy toymaker and tyrant of another kingdom, and Eneru went to the moon like he originally wanted.”
Bleach, many of the fights in the series ends with the loser remaining alive due to being unworthy of death. Kenpachi leaves Nnoitra after defeating him, he turns around to leave and Nnoitra attacks him forcing Kenpachi to finally kill him.
Stock Shonen Hero
If your a fan of Shonen anime or you’re just aware of it, you should be able to easily identify which character is the main protagonist. Goku is the template for most of these hero types. They tend to share the same characteristics and are even created to emulate Goku as the creators were inspired by DBZ. The most famous characters that represent this troupe is Natsu from Fairy Tail, Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece and Naruto from Naruto. Some of the the characteristics are:
Simple mindedness that borders on stupidity
Have orange hair or clothing
A tendency to show mercy to enemies that have commit horrible crimes
A mastery of difficult techniques in short time
A need to train excessively despite quickly learning these techniques
Often fights for the thriller of it, and if necessary will surpass all limits to always win
Interestingly, Ichigo from Bleach shares many of these characteristics particularly in battle, however, he’s a smart student. Edward Elric shares personality traits of the typical Stock Hero but is highly educated due to his mastery of Alchemy. However, some characters subvert this troupe:
Boruto from Boruto is actually the opposite of his father, Naruto. While he looks just like him, he’s actually considered to be a “genius,” and wants to be like Sasuke, sharing more qualities with him than his father.
Saitama from One Punch Man also subverts this troupe, he does wear orange and trains a lot but because he became too powerful none of his fight thrill him and he’s now bald.
Shigeo Kageyama from Mob Psycho 100, is average in many ways, he’s emotionally limited, hates to fight, his usual hair style is a bowl cut and wears all black.
Izuku Midoriya from My Hero Academia, has a powerful quirk but his most important ability is his intelligence and ability to analyze and be strategic.
Alright, this post is already too long. I could go on and on. There are many other troupe that bug me, but these are some of the most obvious.