30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 15: Favourite Animal Sidekick, Pet, or Summoning From Any Anime

This post is part of The 30 Day Anime Challenge Series alongside the Cosmic Anvil Kickstarter campaign. Click here to read the introduction, and click here to check out and support the campaign to help us fund the printing and distribution of our first collected volume of our manga-inspired comic series, Age of Revolution.


Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

With most of the anime I have watched featuring sidekicks and pets this was a hard choice for me. Do I go with lovable Gatomon from Digimon? Food-mad Kero from Cardcaptor Sakura? Or maybe even the evil Kyubey from Puella Magi Madoka Magika? So many choices… ARGH.

Okay, so I’ve decided to go with Psyduck, my favourite Pokemon, and my favourite episode of Pokemon is the one with all the baby Psyducks: “The Psyduck Stops Here”.

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Awww!


 

Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

This is a no-brainer for me. Cardcaptor Sakura is one of my top three favourite anime of all time, and therefore Kero-chan (or Kerberos in his true form) has to be my favourite non-human sidekick character.

Kero chan Kerberos Cardcaptor Sakura Cardcaptors clamp anime manga magical girl 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Kero in his cute form and in his true form as ‘Kerberos’.

Whereas some anime sidekicks are often (excuse the pun) sidelined as just cute little pets, Kero-chan plays a crucial role in Cardcaptor Sakura as Sakura’s guide, teacher, friend, and battle coach. Whether he’s giving her sage advice on capturing the Clow Cards, or helping Tomoyo prepare new matching battle outfits for he and Sakura, or teasing Syaoran, or demanding pudding, he’s an irreplaceable part of the story, and totally loveable!

I mean just look at his adorable bedroom in Sakura’s sock drawer:

Kero chan Kerberos Cardcaptor Sakura Cardcaptors clamp anime manga magical girl 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

EVERYTHING IS SO SMALL!

Or the ‘Leave it to Kero-chan’ segments after each episode of the first series where he inexplicably had his own tiny office!

Kero chan Kerberos Cardcaptor Sakura Cardcaptors clamp anime manga magical girl 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Leave it to Kero!

OR JUST LOOK AT HOW HE EATS CAKE OMG:

Kero chan cardcaptor Sakura Cardcaptors clamp manga 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

KAWAII!

Honourable mentions: Happy (Fairy Tail), Mokona (Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle & xxxHolic), Jiji (Kiki’s Delivery Service), The forest spirits (Princess Mononoke), The Baron (The Cat Returns), Ein (Cowboy Bebop), Timcampy (D.Gray-Man) Pikachu (Pokemon).


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

The best creature sidekick for me needs to embody the bond between man and beast – the whole ‘man’s best friend’ thing. It needs to be your best friend, and most reliable support. It needs to be loyal, fast and powerful. It needs to have a skill that only an animal can have as well, otherwise you might as well just have another human friend, and finally, even though your animal friend needs to be powerful, it needs to also have adorable tendencies as well. This is anime, after all!

My favourite anime animal that comes to mind when thinking of all these qualities is Terry Cloth from Toriko.

Terry Cloth

Terry Cloth

Now, I know what you’re thinking: it’s just a wolf, but Terry is no ordinary wolf. Terry is a Battle Wolf. Battle Wolves are the largest and most powerful wolf species in the world of Toriko; a previously presumed extinct species native to the Gourmet World. One of its survivors has been revealed to be a member of the fearsome Eight Kings (The Eight Kings are eight beasts, each from a different ‘King’ species, individually regarded as the most powerful beings in the world). Terry, however, is the offspring of a Battle Wolf clone that the International Gourmet Organisation (IGO) created.

Toriko and Terry meet and after Toriko saves Terry’s life, the pair then bond, and Terry becomes his official Animal Partner which is rare as Battle Wolves are not known to like humans.

This battle was awesome.

This battle was awesome.

Now to tell you why Terry is awesome. Like all things in Toriko, Terry is huge. You see that orange dot on Terry’s head in the image above? That’s the seven-foot Toriko. Also bear in mind that the image above is Terry as a pup, he gets a lot bigger. And at that monstrous size anyone can ride him, making him an awesome steed for all.

But the best thing about Terry is his loyalty to Toriko. He is so loyal that he has undergone training to improve his strength and speed so he can stand by Toriko for any fight. The training pays off as well, Terry is naturally strong and fast but his training has taken him to crazy levels.

Scary...

Scary…

He can be a scary beast, but he’s also a loving companion. Look at these cute pictures of him. Look at them!

Oh

Oh

my

my

GOD

GOD


Written by The Cosmic Anvil Team.

Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology! And if you want to join the fight to get the AGE OF REVOLUTION Volume printed check out our Kickstarter page!

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30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 14: Anime That Never Gets Old No Matter How Many Times You’ve Rewatched It

This post is part of The 30 Day Anime Challenge Series alongside the Cosmic Anvil Kickstarter campaign. Click here to read the introduction, and click here to check out and support the campaign to help us fund the printing and distribution of our first collected volume of our manga-inspired comic series, Age of Revolution.


Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

For me this is a toss up between some of the anime series’ I watched when I was younger, including: Pokemon, Digimon and Cardcaptor Sakura. But I think my choice for this challenge is going to have to be Cardcaptor Sakura as it’s the one I’ve re-watched the most and always enjoy.

Some of the Pokemon episodes annoy me – especially when Ash can’t remember having a Butterfree – and with Digimon I never watched all of the series as I hated the one with the train… *Googles what series is called* Ah yes, Digimon Frontier. So Cardcaptor Sakura is a no-brainer!

Cardcaptor_Sakura_BD_volume_1_cover (1)

Carcaptor Sakura


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

My original choice was going to be Cardcaptor Sakura, as it’s the only series that I’ve re-watched 3 whole times, and I will almost definitely watch it again and again in the years to come. However, as I thought it would be better to pick something different to Jess, I’m going to with a Studio Ghibli favourite of mine: Howl’s Moving Castle.

Howl's Moving Castle Studio Ghibli Hayao Miyazaki 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Howl’s Moving Castle

This film is like a classic Disney movie to me – I know all the words, I know the story back to front, and yet I never get sick of revisiting it, and it never ceases to make me feel exactly the same feelings I did upon first watching it. Films like this feel as good as a hot drink on a cold day – nurturing and fulfilling every time.

The story is essentially a fairy tale in which each character must learn a valuable lesson: selfish but talented wizard Howl must learn self-sacrifice in order to find true love; and shop girl Sophie must conversely learn to love herself before she can love another; the villainous witch must learn to let go of unreturned affections; and the King must learn to abandon a self-serving and pointless war… I could go on through the entire cast, but I won’t. Howl and Sophie are the missing pieces in each other’s lives – but they must overcome societal and personal obstacles before they can prove it to the other.

Moreover, like all Studio Ghibli films, it’s filled with vibrant and interesting characters, humour, magic, brilliant world-building, anti-war rhetoric, and breathtakingly drawn scenes like this one:

Howl's Moving Castle Studio Ghibli Hayao Miyazaki 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Howl in his bedroom with Sophie by his side.

The little digs at Howl – the fabulously vain ladies man – are also really funny. One scene in particular that I quote constantly is when Howl dyes his hair with the wrong potion (due to Sophie rearranging everything in an effort to clean the Castle) and laments about how hideous he looks. Sophie – who has been cursed with an ageing spell – tries (and fails) to comfort him:

(Sorry for the poor quality – that was the only clip I could find!)

Honourable mentions: Cardcaptor Sakura, Death Note, Princess Mononoke, Ouran High School Host Club, D.Gray-Man, Black Butler, Neon Genesis Evangelion.


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

I don’t re-watch this anime often, but when I do, I love every episode all over again. The anime I that never gets old for me is Outlaw Star.

Outlaw Star

Outlaw Star

The series takes place in the “Toward Stars Era” universe in which spacecrafts are capable of traveling faster than the speed of light. The plot follows protagonist Gene Starwind and his motley crew of an inherited ship dubbed the “Outlaw Star”, as they search for a legendary, outer space treasure trove called the “Galactic Leyline”.

SPACESHIP!

SPACESHIP!

Most anime I can re-watch happily, but even in some of my favourite anime there are episodes that I either don’t like or are impartial to. But with Outlaw Star I love every episode. I love how ‘old timey’ it feels even though it’s set in space, and every member of the crew is interesting and are genuine, fully-rounded characters. Re-watching Outlaw Star to me is like reading your favourite childhood book, just like when a Harry Potter fan picks up The Philosopher’s Stone again and is reintroduced to Hogwarts.

The Crew

The Crew

Dragon Ball is always going to be my favourite anime ever, but when it comes to revisiting it, I prefer to read the manga than watch the anime. Whereas Outlaw Star is so fun to watch, and the cast are like old friends, even the narrator sounds like a parent is reading me the tale. It’s the best.


Written by The Cosmic Anvil Team.

Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology! And if you want to join the fight to get the AGE OF REVOLUTION Volume printed check out our Kickstarter page!

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30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 13: Anime Character You Are Most Similar To

This post is part of The 30 Day Anime Challenge Series alongside the Cosmic Anvil Kickstarter campaign. Click here to read the introduction, and click here to check out and support the campaign to help us fund the printing and distribution of our first collected volume of our manga-inspired comic series, Age of Revolution.


Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

In terms of personality, I find definitely find similarities between myself and Madoka Kaname from Puella Magi Madoka Magicka as she sees herself as a person without special qualities or talents and is against fighting. She also cares deeply about her friends and family.

Madoka_Kaname

Madoka Kaname, Puella Magi Madoka Magicka


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

It’s difficult to relate to many anime characters as – less face it – they’re not exactly the most realistically written fictional characters, are they? If I had to pick a character that I identify the most with though, it would probably be Maka Albarn from Soul Eater.

Maka Albarn Soul Eater anime manga 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Maka Albarn, Soul Eater

I like that Maka is academically driven to do well in school (which I was) but also isn’t a stereotypical awkward nerdy girl – she can still kick some major butt. She’s also fiercely independent, get’s wound up easily, bottles up her insecurities, and highly values her friends and those close to her – all traits I can identify with. Plus, the Soul Eater Shibusen academy is like my Hogwarts. I’m still waiting for my acceptance letter from Lord Death.

Shibusen Soul Eater Academy

Shibusen Academy


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

This is probably the hardest question on this list for me. Anime characters are so over the top that it’s hard to pick one that I think fits me. I guess I’m an emotional guy and I love to eat…so maybe, Toriko from Toriko?

Toriko

Toriko, from Toriko

Toriko is a Bishoku-ya or Gourmet Hunter, which means his role in the world is to hunt for ingredients for the Government (International Gourmet Organisation). These ingredients are then distributed around the world and sold to the public, or IGO-owned restaurants. Toriko is an incredibly powerful fighter and loves his job.

Toriko’s personality is like mine in certain aspects. He is described as a glutton and quite rightly so, as he has one of the biggest appetites in the world, which I can certainly identify with as I have admitted in the past that I do tend to eat for fun.

EAT!

EAT!

He is very particular with his food as well, only allowing the best ingredients in the world to be added to his ‘Full Course’. When it comes to food I would like to think that I’d eat anything, but it has to be just right. Especially with fruit, I love fruit, but if I notice anything ‘wrong’ with a piece of fruit I refuse to eat it.

He is also super-emotional, just like me. He also has strong bonds with all his friends, always insisting that he and his friends take part in feasts together, and he can’t help but overreact to delicious ingredients. He’s stubborn and has tendencies to throw his toys out of the pram as well, much like me. However, I have his good stuff as well. I may tend to overreact, but I feel that I have strong bonds with all my friends, and love eating food with them all.

Just wish I had his physique...

Just wish I had his physique…


Written by The Cosmic Anvil Team.

Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology! And if you want to join the fight to get the AGE OF REVOLUTION Volume printed check out our Kickstarter page!

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30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 12: Saddest Anime Scene

This post is part of The 30 Day Anime Challenge Series alongside the Cosmic Anvil Kickstarter campaign. Click here to read the introduction, and click here to check out and support the campaign to help us fund the printing and distribution of our first collected volume of our manga-inspired comic series, Age of Revolution.


[SPOILER ALERT! There will be death scenes discussed in this post.]

Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

I’m ashamed to say that there have been many moments in anime that have genuinely made me shed a tear, and so this is another hard choice for me. However, I think I’m going to have go with the Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood chimera scene as it truly ripped my heart out. How could a father do that to his daughter? Not only is it one of the saddest moments I can think of from any anime that I’ve seen, I don’t think I’ve ever cared so much for a minor character in the grand scale of the series!

Honorable mentions: Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Mami’s death), Steins Gate (Mayuri dying over and over), Death Note (L’s death) and Digimon (Leomon’s dies and his DNA gets absorbed).


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

Ooooooohhh… All the feels 😦

I cry pretty easily, but out of all the anime that’s made me tear up, there is one traumatising film that I pretty much cried the whole through watching (as I’m sure most people did) and that is Studio Ghibli’s Grave of the Fireflies.

Studio Ghibli Grave of the Fireflies Anime Hayao Miyazaki cosmic anvil 30 day anime challenge

Grave of the Fireflies

Set during WWII in Japan, an American firebomb separates two siblings – teenage Seita – and his little sister – Setsuko – from their parents, leaving them to fend for themselves in this heart-wrenchingly anti-war story. Undoubtedly one of the most tragic parts of the film comes when Setsuko deliriously hallucinates that rocks are rice balls, and tries to persuade Seita to eat them. The animators spare us none of the horrific reality of their starvation either:

Studio Ghibli Grave of the Fireflies Anime Hayao Miyazaki cosmic anvil 30 day anime challenge

Seita and Setsuko.

Just when I thought I couldn’t weep anymore watching it, little Setsuko inevitably passes away. Following this, Seita wanders aimlessly into an underground station and slumps against a pillar to beg for money or food. People pass him by without a second glance – as though he is invisible – and eventually he begins to fade away until he is gone completely. And that’s it. That’s how it ends. No happy ending. No hope. Just the harsh reality of the human consequences of war.

Seriously – don’t watch this one if you’re in even a vaguely sensitive mood. It will destroy you!

Honourable mentions: Maes Hughes’ and Nina Tucker’s death (Full Metal Alchemist), L’s death (Death Note), Ash getting frozen by Mewtwo (Pokemon: The First Movie – Mewtwo Strikes Back), Spike Speigel’s death, (Cowboy Bebop), Chiaki’s disappearance (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time).


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

I’m an emotional guy and get invested pretty easily in things, I get a tear in my eye when I watch John Lewis adverts for crying out loud. So when it comes to talking about the saddest moment in anime, I do have a good list, but there is one scene that always comes to mind first. The funeral of the ‘Going Merry’ ship from One Peice is my saddest scene in anime.

The Going Merry.

The Going Merry.

The Going Merry was the first ship that the Straw Hat Pirates sailed on in search of the fabled treasure:  the ‘One Piece’. It was given to the pirates by Usopp’s friend, Kaya, after they defeated Captain Kuro – a pirate who was posing as her butler to steal her wealth. The Going Merry was the ship that took the Straw Hats to the infamous ocean, ‘The Grand Line’, and they even took the ship into the skies in search of Sky Island. It was during this arc that The Going Merry started to fall apart. She was splitting at the seams, but Usopp made sure she stayed together. However, the inevitable happened, and eventually the Going Merry sank.

Going Merry's Funeral

The Going Merry’s Funeral

The funeral of the Going Merry was so upsetting for me. Bear in mind that this boat has been with the Straw Hats for over three hundred episodes, almost eight-years of viewing. The Going Merry is a special ship as well in that the care that the Straw Hats gave the ship imbued it with a soul so that the ship could  communicate with it’s crew and act on it’s own accord. So when it sank, it actually died. The saddest moment of the funeral is when the ship herself apologies that she can’t take them all the way, she then thanks them for being her friends and goes down in a blaze of glory. It may sound lame, but I remember sobbing when I watched it for the first time.

Here is the scene remastered in a special episode if you want to watch it:


Written by The Cosmic Anvil Team.

Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology! And if you want to join the fight to get the AGE OF REVOLUTION Volume printed check out our Kickstarter page!

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30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 11: Favourite Mech Anime

This post is part of The 30 Day Anime Challenge Series alongside the Cosmic Anvil Kickstarter campaign. Click here to read the introduction, and click here to check out and support the campaign to help us fund the printing and distribution of our first collected volume of our manga-inspired comic series, Age of Revolution.


Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

Unfortunately I really haven’t seen any Mech anime, unless Digimon Adventure 2 counts when they use Armor Digivolution?

Armordigivolve2

Digi-Armour Energise!

Apologies! I did mention I still need to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion if that makes up for my lack of Mech anime knowledge!


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

Jess, you do need to watch more Mech anime (because its AWESOME) and you should certainly watch Neon Genesis Evangelion as it’s not only my favourite Mech anime, but it’s also my favourite anime series ever.

Neon Gensis Evangelion mech anime manga anno shinji asuka rei 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Neon Genesis Evangelion

What do I say about this insane masterpiece of an anime that hasn’t already been said?

The basic (and I mean basic) story follows 14-year-old Shinji Ikari in a post-apocalyptic re-built version of Tokyo, fifteen years after a global cataclysm wiped out a huge chunk of human civilisation. Shinji discovers he is one a handful of teenagers – that includes two girls called Asuka and Rei – destined to pilot the giant Eva mechs to ward off the earth from intermittent attacks from alien/supernatural beings known as ‘Angels’. The base of operations for the Eva pilots is NERV, which turns out to be headed up by Shinji’s absent, creepy father, Gendo. Their mission? To prevent another catastrophe from happening. Or at least, that’s part of their mission…

The history of the show’s creation is a lesson in exceeded expectations. Animation studio Gainax originally commissioned just a run-of-the-mill Mech anime from director Hideki Anno, and what Anno produced was an infuriatingly intricate thesis on theology, philosophy, psychology, and the nature of human existence that fans still obsess over to this day, fifteen years after it’s release. Evangelion went on to dramatically redefine and rejuvenate a well-established genre – not to mention become one of the most critically and commercially successful anime ever (the franchise has generated a whopping 150 billion yen so far).

Kaworu Shinji Eva 13 neon genesis evangelion mech anime manga anno 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Co-Pilots Kaworu and Shinji inside the Eva 13 (Rebuild).

The Mech in Evangelion were also revolutionary for the genre. Far more than just suits or robots, they’re biologically fuelled and biologically linked to their pilots, which also unfortunately means that their pain is shared by their pilots. A similar idea that inspired Guillermo del Toro’s Jaeger mechs in his 2013 film Pacific Rim. In fact, the Evas are so animalistic that they can even break free of their pilots’ control by entering ‘berserk’ mode – which looks exactly as you’d expect:

Mech anime are always set in world’s in turmoil. After all, you don’t really need a Mech in a time of peace, do you? What raises Evangelion above others of the genre is not only it’s grand scope, but the relatable (if not melodramatically heightened) angst of its teenage characters. Haunted by abandonment, depression, and severe insecurity, Shinji is one of the most emotionally unstable heroes I’ve ever come across.

You really do feel the weight of the world’s survival constantly balancing on his tiny shoulders, and he continually seems ready to be happily crushed by it just to make all the nightmare-fuelling trauma stop.

Honourable mentions: The Big OCode Geass, Eureka 7, Guilty Crown.


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

I don’t watch a lot of Mech anime, which is surprising as I do love Mechs. A a kid, pretending that I was in a giant robot was the norm, thanks to my breakfast consisting of cereal, juice and Power Rangers. I think the few that I have watched have been pretty good, and my favourite is probably one of the most underrated animes out there: The Big O.

The Big O.

The Big O.

The Big O is set in Paradigm City, a New York-styled city that has been contained under huge domes. Forty years ago, a mysterious event took place that erased everyone’s memories. In this world of amnesia, Roger Smith assumes the role of a negotiator for the city and fights crime with his two partners: an android by the name of Dorothy and his Butler, Gordon. But if the occasion calls for it, Roger calls out the secret third member of his team – the giant robot Big O!

Epic Team Up

Roger calls Big O with his watch.

The Big O is a crazy mix of Film Noir and Mech anime. The aesthetic style is also very rooted in the 50s/60s, taking inspiration from Toho’s Kaiju movies and Western Detective dramas. This mix of genres makes Big O a really interesting watch as the story has a good balance of investigative work and giant robot battles. Roger is also one of the coolest protagonists in anime: slick and stylish, a bachelor in the James Bond mold, and a mysterious past which slowly gets unlocked as time goes on.

The action is awesome as well. For an anime that makes you think hard, it pays you back tenfold with awesome giant robot fights!

Big O Vs. Big Fau

Big O Vs. Big Fau

Big O is an awesome Mech as well: it’s strong, it’s quite nimble for a steampunk design, and it packs a ton of weapons as well. The bond between Big O and Roger is interesting as well. There are times when the scene that is shot in a way that makes the mech look as if it’s expressionless face is emitting some sort of emotion, and you do get the feeling the Big O and Roger are brothers in arms and have some sort of spiritual relationship like Ed and Al in Full Metal Alchemist. I highly recommend this anime to anyone who loves mech, but get ready to have your mind messed with.


Written by The Cosmic Anvil Team.

Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology! And if you want to join the fight to get the AGE OF REVOLUTION Volume printed check out our Kickstarter page

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30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 10: Favourite Fighter Anime

This post is part of The 30 Day Anime Challenge Series alongside the Cosmic Anvil Kickstarter campaign. Click here to read the introduction, and click here to check out and support the campaign to help us fund the printing and distribution of our first collected volume of our manga-inspired comic series, Age of Revolution.


Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

Okay, so I’m sure this isn’t technically classed as a fighter anime but it does have some really epic fight scenes in it. Plus, I’ve not really seen many fighter anime – I’ve still only watched a couple of episodes of One Piece (such a N00b!) My pick for my favourite fighter anime is Deadman Wonderland.

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Deadman Wonderland

In Deadman Wonderland, not only are the Deadmen using their own blood to fight with they also are made to fight each other and the loser is dissected for body parts to experiment on… Ugh.

This means the fights are pretty NSFW, such as this epic one between Ganta and Senji:


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

I’m more into magical and supernatural fighting in anime and I’m not sure those would qualify as ‘fighter’ anime in the traditional sense. However, I also love anime involving old-school Samurai action, and therefore my pick for my favourite fighter anime is Samurai Champloo.

Samurai Champloo jin mugen manga anime 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Mugen and Jin, Samurai Champloo

Set in Edo-era Japan, the story follows Mugen – a rebellious, wandering swordsman, Jin – a stoic, honourable ronin – and Fuu – a plucky young waitress who enlists the pair of them to accompany on her quest to find “the samurai who smells of sunflowers.”

This rag-tag team journey their way through the Japanese countryside and villages, getting into trouble in brothels, pissing off the local government, and having some pretty amazingly animated fights:

As creator Shinichirō Watanabe‘s first series following Cowboy Bebop, it is certainly of the same high standard and similarly critically acclaimed, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of sword fighting or martial arts. I’m always more impressed by skill by power when it comes to fight scenes – quick and masterful swings of the sword or fist are more satisfying to watch than massive explosions of power/energy for me like in most Shonen shows. Samurai Champloo has plenty of this on display, and moreover, cleverly inflects it’s hip-hop flavoured soundtrack into the action by throwing breakdancing moves into Mugen’s fighting style.

Samurai Champloo Megun showing off his breakdancing skills

Mugen showing off his breakdancing skills.

The contrast between Mugen and Jin’s personalities is also echoed through their preferred fighting styles. Whereas Mugen dances round and shows off, Jin is quick, precise, and respectful of his opponents. I won’t spoil what happens in the final fight, but let’s just say it’s a classic Samurai stand-off.

Jin Hair down final episode Samurai Champloo

Jin finally let’s his hair down.

Honourable mentions: Bleach, Soul Eater, Sword Art Online, D.Gray-Man, Claymore.


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

Obviously, I’m going to talk about Dragon Ball with this one. Firstly, I would like to clarify that I am talking about Dragon Ball not Dragon Ball Z. The franchise is amazing, and DBZ does take it to the next level, but I feel Dragon Ball is better when it comes to martial arts and fighting as it revolves more around Goku training for the martial arts tournament, rather than space adventures, serial killer androids, and mindless demonic creatures made of chewing gum.

Dragon Ball.

Dragon Ball.

Hands down, the Dragon Ball franchise is one of the most, if not the most, successful manga/anime franchises of all time. So I’m sure as hell making it my number one fighting anime. For starters, it’s literally all about fighting as the whole story revolves around Goku, who from an early age, falls in love with training and martial arts and begens his journey to becoming the world’s greatest fighter.

Bros

Goku & Krillin: Bros.

What makes Dragon Ball the best fighter is not just it’s commercial success, but at it’s core it’s a pure martial arts story. Very early on, Goku leans that he is not the most powerful in the world as at his first Martial Arts Tournament Goku is defeated in the finals by his then master, Master Roshi who is under the guise of Jackie Chung. Roshi then confesses that he entered the Martial Arts tournament to teach Goku and Krillin this lesson, because if they live their lives believing that they are already at the top, they will either become sloppy or arrogant. This lesson is probably the most important lesson in Dragon Ball, as it creates one of the most definable character traits in Goku – the need and the want to train to be the best, but it also secures Dragon Ball as a fighting anime by definition.

Training.

Goku training.

Not only does it have the spirit of a good fighter, but it looks amazing. The fights in Dragon Ball are some the best in anime. Incredibly fast and insanely strong, these fights are always a thrill to watch. I know DBZ takes it to the level of God standard, but I feel like in doing this it loses it’s martial arts roots. Dragon Ball manages to provide heart-pounding action without blowing the world up every season. Dragon Ball is also the anime that has the most iconic fighting move of all time: The Kamehameha.

KAMEHAMEHA!

KAMEHAMEHA!

The moves used in Dragon Ball are crazy. Not only are there energy blasts, but martial artists have trained their bodies to do everything from multiply, grow extra limbs, regenerate, fly, read minds, hypnotise, trap demons (or Namekians) in jars… the list goes on. Also, the humor used in Dragon Ball is amazing; preventing it from becoming too serious or reduced down to tough guys just beating each other up. It also has some of the best cast of characters who are all completely lovable – even the bad guys…Who aren’t always that bad, in the end.


Written by The Cosmic Anvil Team.

Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology! And if you want to join the fight to get the AGE OF REVOLUTION Volume printed check out our Kickstarter page

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30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 9: Best Anime Villain

This post is part of The 30 Day Anime Challenge Series alongside the Cosmic Anvil Kickstarter campaign. Click here to read the introduction, and click here to check out and support the campaign to help us fund the printing and distribution of our first collected volume of our manga-inspired comic series, Age of Revolution.


[SPOILER ALERT: There will be spoilers about certain anime in this post!]

Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

Most of the anime I have seen have all had really interesting and evil villains in them so it’s hard to pick the best one, but I think I am going to have to go with Shou Tucker from Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Whilst he never actually killed anyone [SPOILER ALERT] he did use alchemy to turn his own daughter and their dog into a talking chimera – which is pretty awful! I was genuinely shocked and upset at his ability to be able to harm them. This is also after he did the same thing to his own wife and that chimera only said, “Kill me”, and refused to eat – basically committing suicide after it couldn’t deal with the pain and suffering of what he’d turned her into.

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Shou Tucker, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Honorable mentions: Lucy (Elfen Lied), Light Yagami (Death Note) and ALL the Titans (Attack On Titan).


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

This may seem like an obvious choice, but I have go with Light Yagami from Death Note for my favourite anime villain. There’s plenty of big, bad villains out there in the world of anime to choose from, but what makes Light particularly interesting for me is the fact that he is the protagonist of the story – a role traditionally played by the hero, not the hero’s nemesis.

Light Yagami Death Note anime manga 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Light Yagami, Death Note

Just by seeing the story through Light’s eyes, your opinion of him is constantly coloured by his perspective. Despite his actions as a sociopathic megalomaniac are completely psychotic and morally reprehensible, you also find yourself kind of willing him to not get caught so you can see just how far the story will be pushed. The tension you feel each time Light finds himself cornered is ridiculously compelling, and unlike most Shonen anime – which relies on brawn rather than brain and an assured victory for the hero nearly every time – Death Note’s battles of wits and magic keep you genuinely guessing who will be left alive by the end.

Light Yagami L detective death note manga anime 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Light Vs. L

Conversely, you also find yourself rooting for his opponent – the eccentric detective known only as ‘L’, which heightens the tension even more. Whenever these two are in a room together, the thrill of watching them verbally – and occasionally physically – dance around each other is akin to that of Sherlock and Moriaty.

I always think that the strength of a hero can be measured by the strength of their villain, and Light and L are definitely two sides of the same brilliant coin, and Death Note one of the greatest crime thrillers in modern fiction.

Honourable mentions: Lust, Envy, Shou Tucker and Father (Full Metal Alchemist & Brotherhood), Medusa (Soul Eater), Vicious (Cowboy Bebop), The Earl (D.Gray-Man), Siegfried (Sacred Blacksmith), Gendo Ikari (Neon Genesis Evangelion), The Puppet Master (Ghost in the Shell).


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

A great villain for me has to be many things: they have to be evil (obvious, but true), they have to be powerful, and they have to be perfectly matched to their protagonist counterpart; and as much as you hate them, you also have to love them. But, a truly great villain for me must also have a huge impact on the story that they star in, and it’s for these reasons that my favourite villain is Frieza from the Dragon Ball franchise.

Frieza

Frieza, Dragon Ball franchise

Friza is powerful and likes to let you know that he is. His power is feared by many throughout the universe and during the lead up to Goku’s battle with Frieza, King Kai commands Goku not to fight Frieza as he will surely be killed because Frieza’s power enables him to destroy whole planets with just one blast.

Frieza isn’t alone in the planet destroyers club that is DBZ, but he still stands out. Frieza is regarded as one of the most, if not the most, important Dragon Ball villains. After all, it was Frieza who destroyed the Saiyan home world Planet Vegeta – the event that starts the whole Dragon Ball story as that was how Goku ended up on Earth. Frieza’s actions on Planet Namek were also the major catalyst for Goku’s Super Saiyan transformation, as after Frieza killed Krillin Goku’s rage and needed to be more powerful spilled over, resulting in one of the most iconic scenes in anime. Frieza himself started the trend of transformations as well:

Squad's out.

Squad’s out.

He’s powerful, he’s iconic, and most importantly: he’s also pure evil to the core. He’s seeking the Dragon Balls to gain immortality and he was willing to do anything to get them. When faced against Goku he had met his match and was willing to do anything to beat him. He will do anything, and everything he does is for himself. The worst thing of all was when he was forgiven by Goku, who also gave him enough energy to escape the dying Planet Namek, Frieza chose to use that power to try and kill Goku again. This was when Goku launched his final attack and killed Frieza. Even when he was given a second chance he still chose to kill Goku, proving that his hatred for the Saiyan race and Goku burns stronger than his need for survival.

Yet you also can’t help but like him: he’s so devilishly evil that he almost becomes a cartoonish villain in the Disney mold of Scar (Lion King) or Jafar (Aladdin). He’s so well liked that Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball‘s creator) brought him back in the most resent film, and with a new form. It’s also rumored that Toriyama was going to bring Frieza back after the Cell saga, but was advised by his editors not to. Frieza’s cool, powerful, and fabulous. What more do you want from a villain?

Come at me.

Come at me, BRAH.


Written by The Cosmic Anvil Team.

Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology! And if you want to join the fight to get the AGE OF REVOLUTION Volume printed check out our Kickstarter page!

Kickstarter age of revolution volume one cosmic anvil new reward tiers added

Kickstarter new reward tier £15 pledge cosmic anvil

kickstarter age of revolution cosmic anvil new reward tiers pledge comic book comic strip art commission