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.
For me one of the most bad-ass scenes from a particular character is a scene featuring Tatsuya from The Irregular at Magic High School. He reminds me a lot of Kirito from Sword Art Online especially when he taking down bosses single-handedly! In the particular scene I’m talking about Tatsuya takes down a whole bunch of terrorists on his own without killing them in the episode “Enrollment Part VI”.
To me, a bad-ass character can only be truly bad-ass if they’re unaware of how bad-ass they really are. Otherwise, they just become cocky or obnoxious. You know, that kind of walking-in-slow-motion-out-of-an-explosion thing that X-Men Origins: Wolverine perfected to a ridiculous tee. Then there are also those moments when characters who are not normally bad-ass have incredibly bad-ass moments out of nowhere. (Have I said ‘bad-ass’ enough times yet?)
I also have a particular weird fondness for when characters jump/fall off of really tall things and don’t seem to give a shit about whether or not they’ll land safely and just make a survival plan on the way down. Legolas from The Lord of The Rings films, Hawkeye from The Avengers, and Robin from the Teen Titans cartoon series are serial performers of this bad-ass cliche. It’s difficult to pinpoint just one scene, but my favourite bad-ass anime character who seems to do this a lot is Major Motoko Kurasangi from the Ghost in the Shell franchise.
As a cyborg, Motoko seems to live her life as a futuristic law-enforcer free of pesky human problems such as personal safety and fear. She’s ruthless, analytical, powerful, well-respected amongst her peers, and – as previously mentioned – doesn’t give a shit about jumping off of buildings as this fan-made montage demonstrates:
During the opening credits to the 1995 Ghost in the Shell film, we see her body being assembled in a sequence called ‘The Making of a Cyborg’, which is probably the most intimate introduction to a character I’ve ever seen. However, the chase sequence that follows is where we really get to know her as a character: from her great aim with a gun; her commanding voice; her superb physical fighting skills; her brutal strength, and her dry sense of humour. We also learn that her disregard for the well-being of her body extends to not really feeling any shame/discomfort at being naked in public, as she unflinchingly stands there in front of the criminal she has just apprehended stark naked after uncloaking herself from her invisiblity mechanism. How much more bad-ass can you get?
Honourable mentions: Vincent Valentine’s fight scene (Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children), Roy Mustang saves Riza Hawkeye from Lust (Full Metal Alchemist & Brotherhood), Levi fights the female Titan (Attack on Titan), Kanda Yuu fights Skin Bolic (D.Gray-Man), Sebastian Michaelis fights with cutlery (Black Butler), Erza Scarlet transforming into her Heaven’s Wheel armour of the first time (Fairy Tail), Ichigo Kurosaki fights Grimmjow (Bleach).
A bad-ass scene for me must contain two things: an event or action that causes shock, and a character that give zero fucks about what he/she just did. And that’s why I think the most bad-ass scene is when Luffy punches a Celestial Dragon in One Piece.
In the world of One Piece there are a group of noblemen and women called the ‘Celestial Dragons’. The reason behind their status is due to them being the descendants of the original Kings and Queens that joined together to form the World Government. These guys are the worst. They all believe that they are above everyone, to the point that they wear glass around their heads, so that they don’t breath the same air as everyone else.
This isn’t even the worst bit though – they also deal in slavery by buying and selling the lives of humans, fish people, and mer-people alike. Once you are bought by a Celestial Dragon, you are branded with their symbol – a dragon’s foot – constantly reminding you that you are underneath their heel.
Luffy meets his first Celestial Dragon at a slave auction (unsurprisingly). The greed, lack of humanity, and shocking treatment of one of Luffy’s friends that the nobleman shows drives Luffy to do the most bad-ass thing ever. Here is the scene:
Everyone in the room knows the cultural and political status of this guy, and so everyone is shocked at the statement that Luffy is making, but not Luffy. Luffy is just doing what comes natural, and that’s standing up for his friends. Luffy doesn’t care who this man is, he just wants to punch him for shooting his friend, and so he does. This scene is so good because one: for what is represents to the other characters in the show, and two: for how little Luffy cares about all that, and three: for being one of the best punches in all of anime.
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!