The tournament arc is common in anime. An arc that generally puts several characters in direct competition, the tournament arc can consists of anything from fighting to cooking. Sometimes the tournament arc is used as filler or used to give unknown characters some development. If your series has a large amount of characters, a tournament arc is good to introduce them. These arcs can be used for fanservice, by pitting two or more characters against each other, as they generally won’t fight in the normal story. The tournament themselves tend to be single elimination. The last opponent is almost always a Big Bad.
The most overlooked aspect of the tournament arc is the announcer. The hype men and women provide color commentary for the tournaments are often considered background noise. The are tasked with explaining what occurs during a “match.” Some series pay more attention to the announcers than others. I have collected my top five favorites.
5. Marian (Pokemon)
It should surprise no one that Pokemon needs announcers. The series is of course built around tournaments. Marian is the master of ceremonies in the Sinnoh region. Marian made her debut during the Jubilife City Pokemon Contest. Since that moment she was featured in several Pokemon Contests. Like most announcers on the list, Marian has a lot of energy. As a announcer she comments on battles and performances, then rewards the winner after the Judges decide.
4. Gatz (One Piece)
Gatz is the announcer at the Corrida Colosseum. He debut in chapter 702 of One Piece. Despite being expected to be neutral during the competition, Gatz showed some bias. He favored Hack from B block and was cheering for Lucy (Luffy/Sabo). He also admired the strong. Gatz was sympathetic toward Luffy and Sabo, even though they broke the rules by switching places. Gatz shows that he’s honorable as he is unwilling to force anyone to fight if they can’t and even put himself in danger to protect Rebecca and Viola from Doflamingo.
3. Koto and Juri (Yu Yu Hakusho)
I’ve watched and re-watched the Dark Tournament arc so many times I can conjure Koto’s voice in my head. A ‘D’ level demon, Koto was the referee then commentator for the Dark Tournament and later the Demon World Tournament. Cheerful and fair, Koto is surprisingly bloodthirsty. She enjoys witnessing the murder and mayhem in the tournaments. However, she has standards, disapproving of Bakken’s cheating.
This honor got her demoted to commentator. She was replaced by Juri. Also a ‘D’ level demon, Juri was less dedicated to her job. She lacks Koto’s sadism and often shows fear of what occurs in the ring. Koto and Juri both escape together, later becoming idols in the demon and human worlds.
2. Present Mic (My Hero Academia)
Present Mic (Hizashi Yamada) is the Voice Hero and English teacher at U.A. He’s eccentric and always talks at a high level. His Quirk, “Voice” allows him to “to increase the volume of his voice, giving him an ability that is similar to a sonic scream.” Mic was the announcer (along with Shota) of the U.A. Sports Festival. Midnight explained the rules and was the ref.
1. Worlds Martial Arts Tournament Announcer
Making his debut in Dragon Ball episode 21, Worlds Martial Arts Tournament Announcer (his “name”) is the energetic referee. He’s a common fixture in the Martial Arts world, having hosted every Tournament from Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball GT. He often is seen with his eyes bulging out of his head when watching Goku and his friends fight. He’s often so distracted that he fails to start the count on time. He has some understanding of Ki and is well aware that Goku and his friends defeated Cell, not Mr. Satan.