The Salty Anime Challenge Day 20: What is an anime argument that you absolutely hate hearing?

Sakura Haruno is useless

Sakura Haruno or Sakura Uchiha is one of the most hated anime characters. Being in a shonen series that focuses on battle, Sakura is “useless” in battle early in the series. However, in Naruto strength isn’t the only thing that matters (at least early in the series). In Part 1 of the series Sakura’s physical prowess is limited. Sakura’s particular talent that surpassed even Sasuke and of course Naruto was her intellect and her chakra control. During the Chunin exams Sakura is smart enough to both realize that the ten questions are too difficult for most genin’s and answer them.

During the second stage of the Chunin exam, after Oorochimaru gives Sasuke the curse mark, she watches Naruto and Sasuke all night as they’re lie unconscious. She valiantly tries to save her teammates despite being clearly over powered and out numbered. Obviously, Rock Lee aids her, and later team 10, but if Sakura had more power I think critics would have cheered her more. In anime, many fans only seem to value power with courage, not power without it. For this reason Sakura’s attempt to save her teammates goes unappreciated.

In Part 2, Sakura really begins to show her skills. While, the characters in Naruto become better Sakura’s is arguably the most improved (Ino maybe close). She and Naruto face off against Kakashi in another bell test. During this test Sakura first shows her massive strength when she uses her Cherry Blossom Impact. A skill that makes use of her chakra control to devastating effect. When she and the rest of team 7 arrive to Suna when Gaara is kidnapped, she is quickly able to remove the poison found in Kankuro, heal him and create an antidote, which no Sand ninja was able to do.

Sakura’s best presentation of her fighting prowess is her battle with Chiyo against Sasori. Chiyo initially takes the lead in this fight using Sakura as a human puppet, making great use of her super strength. This method continues to prove effective once Sasori uses the third Kazekage’s iron sand ability. However, with Chiyo being one armed her effectiveness as a puppeteer is decreased. During this battle Chiyo notes that Sakura is able to “see through the attack patterns of Sasori,” she is able to deduce the pattern of his fingers and hands.

Even Sasori is impressed with her ability to both fight against him and create an antidote for his complicated poison. Finally, Sakura during the Fourth Shinobi World War is an important medic keeping the allied forces alive. Sakura uses the “Strength of a Hundred Seal,” she spent three years storing chakra a feat that is difficult due to the level of chakra control required. When Naruto is in danger of death, it’s Sakura that saves his life. When her medical ninjutsu fails, she “makes an incision in Naruto’s chest and manually pumps his heart to keep him alive while pleading for him to live because he is close to achieving his dream.” Ask yourself, What would happen if Naruto had died? 

Look, Sakura isn’t without her flaws. She was pretty annoying in the beginning of the series, and she treated both Naruto and Rock Lee poorly. While, she was completely useless during battle, she was helpful intellectually and displayed courage. I found her love of Sasuke, who was abusive and tried to KILL her TWICE was ridiculous. However, if you hold that against her keep in mind that Naruto is just as bad in this regard. Her value was never in battle anyway. While it’s undeniable that a in Shonen series, battles are the most important, so Sakura was inherently going to become a secondary character.

Many Sakura haters compare her power to Sasuke and Naruto, they ignore the fact that unlike, Sasuke born with the privilege of having a Sharingan and the curse seal and Naruto given half the Nine-tails chakra as an infant, She was given none of these advantages, but mastered difficult medial ninjutsu and saved many lives. A lot of people seemed to believe that Sakura’s abilities are somehow unearned because we didn’t get to see all her training.

However, we don’t see most of Sasuke’s training or even Naruto’s during the time skip. I think this is mostly a negative bias. Sakura’s transformation from the beginning of the series, both personality wise and ability wise changed more than anyone and she had to work with less than her teammates. She was important to keep the alliance alive during the war. She should be lauded, not decried.

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MY TOP 100 FAVORITE ANIME AND MANGA BATTLES (60 – 51)

MY TOP 100 FAVORITE ANIME AND MANGA BATTLES (60 – 51)

60 – Alphonse vs Kimblee and Pride

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The Combatants:

  1. Alphonse –  one of the main characters of the Full Metal Alchemist series.
  2. Kimblee –  the “Crimson Alchemist, is a former State Alchemist.
  3. Pride – was the first Homunculus .

Location: Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood Episode 52

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The Battle:

With the aid of a “philosopher stone”, Al takes on both Kimblee and Pride. It’s a quick battle but one that shows Al fearlessness and in skills with alchemy. Al uses a smoke screen to cover his movements, and he an Kimblee engage in close combat. Kimblee uses his explosive alchemy, while Al counters by using the earth as a shield. Al simultaneously battles Pride, who uses his shadows to cut at Al. Al manages to dodge Kimblee’s assault by riding on earth shaped like a dragon. He then attempts to trap Pride in a dome, but fails an is pierced by his shadows. Al, however uses a flash bang to remove all the shadows finally trapping Pride. Kimblee frees him, but Al is saved by Heinkel.

59 – Yae Shinatsuhiko vs Robbers

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The Combatants:

  1. Yae Shinatsuhiko –  is the Land Goddess and a protector of Sakurashin Town.
  2. 3 masked robbers

Location: Yozakura Quartet OVA 01

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The Battle:

This was a short and dominated battle by Yae. She comes upon three masked robbers they steal anything. Dressed in a nun outfit and a teddy bear head she seems strange.  Armed with a sword the first robber greets her by attempting to hit her with a one of his tools. She side steps while hooking his tool onto her sword, she swings it while hitting the others. They fall to the ground, but recover a shoots her teddy bear head with a bullet destroying it. The first robber then knock it of her head and steps on it. They tie her up, but she angrly beat them up knock one into a garbage can. The other shoots at her, but she parries it with her sword. She crushes the ground with lighting then flings a car at the robber. He passes out ending the confrontation.

58 – Goku and Vegeta vs Kid Buu

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The Combatants:

  1. Goku – the main protagonist of the DBZ series.
  2. Vegeta – main rival to Goku, prince of the saiyans.
  3. Kid Buu –  is the original form of Buu.

Location: DBZ Episodes (279 – 286)

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The Battle:

Kid Buu goes searching the universe for Goku and Vegeta. He them on the “Sacred World of the Kais” .  Kid Buu quickly engages in a battle with “Super Saiyan 2” Goku. Goku seems to have the upper hand, but Kid Buu is fighting to his full capacity. He powers up, in response Goku transforms into “Super Saiyan 3” they fight evenly. Kid Buu, has greater endurance, wins over Goku, because he runs out of power. Vegeta becomes “Super Saiyan 2” to distract Kid Buu so Goku can finish him with spirit bomb. 

57 – Mugen and Jin vs Kariya

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The Combatants:

  1. Mugen – main protagonist of the Samurai Champloo series.
  2. Jin – second main protagonist of the Samurai Champloo series.
  3. Kariya – elite samurai  known as the “Divine Hand”.

Location: Samurai Champloo Episodes 25 and 26.

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The Battle:

Mugen as brash as ever attacks first with his unpredictable fighting style. Kariya’s quick hands puts Mugen on the defensive. He effortlessly counters every move from Mugen, he comments that Mugen needs to use his intellect more. Mugen ignores him and is quickly dispatched into the sea. Next up is Jin, they battle on the pier. Mugen attempt to join the fray but he proves to be a distraction. Kariya appears to defeat Jin on the pier as the latter fall into the sea. Jin survives and challenges Kariya on a cliff. He uses a final attack that leaves himself open for attack, but manages to killing his opponent.

56 – Sachiel vs Shinji

Sachiel

The Combatants:

  1. Sachiel – the Third Angel of the Evangelion series.
  2. Shinji – the pilot of Eva unit 01, main protagonist.

Location:  Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (Movie)

The Battle:

Shinji and Eva-01 are launched to the surface to face Sachiel. However, due to Shinji’s inexperience as Eva pilot he has difficulty moving, and falls. Sachiel takes advantage a grabs the Eva by the head, then it breaks it arm.  Sachiel shoots an “energy lance” into Eva-01’s head causing Shinji pain. However, Eva-01 goes into “berserker” mode, jumping on Sachiel but is rebuffed. Eva-01 is stopped by Sachiel’s A.T. Field. The Eva regenerated its arm and deploy’s it own A.T. Field. Sachiel used another blast but it does nothing. Eva- 01  grabs both of the Angel’s arms and breaks them. The Eva takes a piece of bone from Sachiel’s  and starts to crack its core. Sachiel self destructs, but Eva -01 is unscathed.

55 – Gaara vs Rock Lee

Eight_Gates-Rock_Lee

The Combatants:

  1. Gaara – Kazekage of the Sand Village.
  2. Rock Lee – He is a shinobi of Konoha and a member of Team Guy.

Location: Naruto Episode (48 – 51)

Front_Lotus_Lee

The Battle:

Rock Lee is pitted against Gaara in the preliminary rounds.  Lee is helpless against Gaara’s ” ultimate defense “.  Lee removes his heavy leg weights that results in his speed increasing tremendously. Lee makes his first attempts with his “Front Lotus”. Gaara used a sand decoy a evaded any damage. Lee, is injured by his lotus technique. Lee  opens the “Second Gate”, a heal the damage he sustained.  He opens both the “Third and Fourth Gates”, changing color and increasing his speed beyond natural humans. Lee opens the Fifth Gate, and uses the “Reverse Lotus”. Gaara survived this  because he softened his fall with his sand. He then proceeds to crush Lee’s arm and leg. Gaara attempts to kill Lee, but Guy protects him.

54 – Ash vs Gary

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The Combatants:

  1. Ash Ketchum – The main protagonist in the Pokemon series.
  2. Gary Oak – Ashes main rival in the Pokemon series.

Location: Pokemon Johto League Episode 269

Gary_Oak

The Battle:

Ash begins with his Tauros and Gary uses his Nidoqueen. Nidoqueen begins with “rock smash”, while Tauros counters with “horn attack” but is KO’ed with “Hyperbeam”. Ash uses Heracross as Gary recalls his Nidoqueen. He uses Magmar and releases a flamethrower, Heracross dodges and counters with a “fury swipes”. Margar fires a “Fire blast” at Heracross, which in turn uses his wings to blow the flames away. Heracross uses his “Megahorn” to defeat Magmar.

Gary’s Blastoise is next up and it handles Heracross with a powerful “Hydro Pump”. Ash sends out Muk. Blastoise uses Skull Bash, but it doesn’t do damage.  Muk uses sludge bomb, Gary counters by having Blastoise use rapid spin. Blastoise attempts to “send Muk flying” by using rapid spin but fails to budge it. Muk attempts to smother Blastoise, but it escapes with “Hydro Pump”. Ash recalls Muk, and sends out Bayleaf hoping the type advantage will work. Blastoise uses “Hydro Pump”, Bayleaf dodges by using it’s vine whip to propel itself into the air. Bayleaf, uses “Razor Leaf” but is countered by “rapid spin”.

Bayleaf uses “body slam” but is caught by “bite”, tossed and knocked out. Both Gary and Ash switch Pokemon, Gary with Arcanine and Ash with Snorlax. Arcanine uses Take Down , Snorlax responds with Body Slam. Arcanine dodges, but traps Snorlax with Fire Spin. Snorlax then uses Hyper Beam knocking Arcanine out. Nidoqueen returns using Double Kick, then a Hyper Beam. Snorlax ducks the attack and uses Ice Punchwinning the encounter. Gary’s Scizor is up next, Snorlax quickly defeated with a Metal Claw. Muk is sent  back out, Muk is unfazed by Quick Attack. Scizor uses swift to KO Muk.

Ash is down to his last Pokemon, Ash sends out Charizard. Scizor uses Steel Wing, and Charizard response with Flamethrower. Charizard uses a super-effective Flamethrower to the face. Gary, sends Golem out. Golem quickly uses Magnitude, that shocks Charizard. Charizard attempts to use Seismic Toss, but Golem is too heavy.  Charizard uses Dragon Rage, which KO’s Golem. Gary and Ash are now even and down to their final Pokemon Charizard’s and Blastoise.

Charizard opens using Flamethrower, but it is deflected by Rapid Spin. However, Charizard is hit in face with a Hydro Pump. Blastoise, has the type advantage. Ash commands Charizard to” burn the field” .  Blastoise tries to cool the field with Hydro Pump, but steam emerges. Charizard uses Seismic Toss slamming Blastoise to the ground. When the smoke clears both Pokemon are still standing, but Blastoise faints. Ash defeats his rival moving on to the next round.

EP269

53 – Byakuya vs Tsukishama

bleach-2733495 (1)

The Combatants:

  1. Byakuya –  Captain of the 6th Division in the Gotei 13.
  2. Tsukishama – is a Fullbringer .

Location: Bleach Chapters (468 – 472)

bleach-2790745 (1)

The Battle:

Byakuya says “he is lucky he is the one fighting him”, as “Ichigo is too lenient and he cannot imagine Ichigo killing Tsukishima”. Byakuya, calls Tsukishima a coward for his fighting style. Tsukishima, “inserts” his presence into the ground, creating a trap that Byakuya triggers. Tsukishima, also inserts himself into Byakuya’s Zanpakuto learning all of his techniques. He learns that Byakuya’s Zanpakuto has a ” Hurtless Area”, and plans to exploit it.

Tsukishima, manages to slices Byakuya’s blade in half but he still uses his Bankai. Byakuya, is able to predict where Tsukishima will strike. He moves so close to Byakuya, that he can’t use use his blades without injuring himself. Byakuya grabs some of his blades from senbonzakura and throws them through Tsukishima. Byakuya is pleased with the battle as ” enjoyed fighting in the situation”, as Tsukishima collapses.

52 – Neji vs Kidomaru

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The Combatant:

  1. Neji – member of the Hyuga clan of Konoha
  2. Kidomaru – member of the sound five.

Location:  Naruto Chapters (193 – 198)

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The Battle:

Neji is the only one capable of defeating Kidomaru as his “gentle fist”, is naturally built to counter his webs.  Kidomaru is able to cleverly deduce Neji’s defense and able to determine that he has a blind spot. He summons a large spider that releases small spiders. This forces Neji to use his “Eight Trigrams One Hundred Twenty-Eight Palms”.

Neji was severely wounded by Kidomaru’s long range arrows. He dodges another arrow but can’t muster the energy to do it again. This time he takes advantage of the string attached to the arrow, and channels chakra through it damaging Kidomaru’s insides. Neji delievers a final strike into forehead of Kidomaru with gentle fist, killing him.

51 – Shamshel vs Shinji

Shamshel

The Combatants:

  1. Shamshel – the fourth angel of Evangelion series
  2. Shinji – the main protagonist of the Evangelion series.

Location: Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone

The Battle:

Shinji shoots Shamshel with a Pallet Rifle, but the A.T. Field blocks it. Shamshel then strikes with whips, doing so Shinji destroys the “palette rifle”.  The Angel destroys the buildings with its whips. Unit-01’s “umbilical cable” causing the Eva’s battery to countdown. Shinji begins to panic, and Eva-01 is flung into the air. As the Eva reaches it’s final minute Shinji charges down the mountain toward Shamshel, it peirces Eva-01 with its tentacles. Shinji, in turn stabs it core with a knife. Shinji , apply’s pressure as the clock run’s down and finally kills the angel as the runs out of power.

Weekly Shonen (10/16/13)

One Piece – Chapter 725

The Undefeated Woman

one-piece-4515551

This chapter starts with Law, Doflamingo and Jora, Law claims that he’s not seeking vengence. It’s short and nothing (in terms of fighting) gets started but Jora flees. Mononosuke exposes more of Doflamingo’s cruel behavior. Bartolomeo (Strawhat Fanboy) offers to find Luffy for an autograph. At the Colosseum Rebecca is flawless dodging fellow combatants while knocking them into shark infested waters, none of them have been able to land a hit on her so far. Luffy seems to suggest that she may have “Kenbunshoku Haki”.

Highlight:

  • Rebecca “Kenbunshoku Haki”
  • Bartolomeo’s  “fanboyism”

Naruto – Chapter 651

What is filled

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Naruto and Sasuke mixed their chakra’s creating a kick ass samurai kyubi (similar to the one Madara created). This was the best part of the chapter. There are some problems with this chapter. The main problem occurred at the end when many of the original nine genin uses rasengan. How can they (especially Rock Lee) use rasengan? It’s a little confusing. Obito gets the traditional (I’m going die flashback or alternate reality flashback) he seems to be defeated although I doubt it.

Highlights:

  • Samurai Kyubi

Bleach – Chapter 553

Frozen Cross

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This chapter felt short but, was pretty straight forward. The Shin’eiyaku begins to take effect resulting in Hitsugaya and Soi Feng “Bankia’s” returning. Both sternritter’s are clearly surprised by this new development. Cang Du seems either be unaware or dismissive of the soul that Bankai’s have. Soi Feng’s Bankai was unchanged but HItsugaya’s changed it’s isn’t clear whether it was a result of training or the shin’eiyaku. 

Highlights:

  • Hitsugaya’s Bankai
  • The frozen cross was cool
  • Soi Feng Bankai