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!

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30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 8: Favourite Anime Couple

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

This one for me is a no brainer! My favourite anime couple is Kirito and Asuna from Sword Art Online.

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Kirito and Asuna, Sword Art Online

Not only do they make such a good couple, but they’re both bad-ass fighters – especially when they are fighting together to take down Bosses. I love how intense and serious their relationship is and how they are willing to die for each other. I really can’t think of any other anime relationship I’ve seen that compares to the one they have!


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

Considering how much I’ve sung the praises of CLAMP over this Challenge series, it will probably come as a surprise to no one that my favourite anime relationship is between the adorable Sakura Kinomoto and Syaoran Li from Cardcaptor Sakura.

Sakura Syaoran Li Cardcaptor Sakura Cardcaptors anime manga couples romance 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Sakura & Syaoran, Cardcaptor Sakura

Syaoran is first introduced in the show as Sakura’s rival, and as the true heir to Clow Reed’s (creator of the cards) mantle, believes Sakura to be woefully ill-equipped to take on the difficult task of capturing and mastering all the Clow Cards. Over the course of the 70 episode run, he competes with Sakura to capture each card with varying degrees of success. Sakura – being a loving and kind-hearted girl – welcomes Syaoran’s assistance, whilst he grumpily struggles to not befriend her.

Syaoran is definitely a kid with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Raised in a prestigious Chinese family to become Clow Reed’s successor, he hasn’t had much of a chance to be a real child, and as a result is serious, mature, and stiff around children of his own age. He almost acts like a grumpy old man trapped in a child’s body. But that’s also what makes him so endearing.

Grumpy Syaoran is grumpy.

Grumpy Syaoran is grumpy.

Of course, he warms up to Sakura slowly but surely, and as she grows stronger and stronger to become the cards’ true master, Syaoran admits defeat and decides to return home to Hong-Kong. Except… He doesn’t. What is it that is still keeping him tied to Japan, he wonders to himself? It’s Sakura, DUH! We all know this by now, but it takes him – and Sakura – the rest of the series and two tie-in films to realise their love for each other.

A love so strong in fact, that it carried on in the sort-of-spin-off-series, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles:

Sakura & Syaoran, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles, Clamp, romance, couple, manga, anime, 30 day anime challenge, cosmic anvil

Sakura & Syaoran, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles

I always think the strongest relationships in fiction (and in real life I suppose) are characters who enrich and change each other’s lives for the better. Sakura imparts sensitivity and the ability to forge meaningful friendships onto Syaoran so he can learn to be less work-focussed; and he in turn teaches her maturity and strength through competing with her for the cards. Even if their love had been unrequited in the end, they still would have both been better-off people for being in each other’s lives.

Honourable mentions: Takumi Usui & Misaki Ayuzawa (Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama), Yukito Tsukishiro and Touya Kinomoto (Cardcaptor Sakura), Howl and Sophie (Howl’s Moving Castle), Tamaki Souh and Haruhi Fujioka (Ouran High School Host Club), Luke Ainsworth & Cecily Campbell (Sacred Blacksmith).


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

Most popular fictional couples are ones that come together after a long period of time through the ‘will they won’t they’ kind of cliched story arc. For me, however, the best couple in anime came out of nowhere, yet makes perfect sense. The best anime couple for me has to be Bulma and Vegeta from the Dragon Ball franchise.

Who would you pair up with a rich and spoiled young woman? Why not an overly proud Prince with a self centered attitude? It makes perfect sense. Yet Bulma and Vegeta’s romance was a huge surprise for fans when it emerged. There were hints of flirtation after the fight with Freeza but nothing concrete, nothing until Trunks showed up from the future and told Goku who his parents were.

Bulma and Vegeta was meant to be a curve ball, but it makes sense in the story: Yamcha and Bulma were never going to work, they were always on and off, and Yamcha was slowly getting sidelined as the story went on. And it figures that the most stubborn male character would end up with the most stubborn female character – they were made for each other.

Love is in the air.

Love is in the air.

Bulma and Vegeta are also perfect on a comedic level as well, always bickering about something, and Vegeta is always putting up a wall in front of the love he clearly has for Bulma and his family. At first we think that maybe Trunks was the product of one night of passion never to be rekindled again, but as the story goes on we discover on three occasions that Vegeta is indeed in love with Bulma, and cares deeply for his son.

He does care, trust me.

He does care, trust me.

Firstly, we see Vegeta burst into a rage to seek revenge against Cell for killing Future Trunks. Then Vegeta also makes the ultimate sacrifice to save the world form Majin Buu, stating that he’s doing it for Trunks and Bulma. And finally we see Vegeta almost reach the level of a God when Lord Beerus hits Bulma, and we get this amazing scene:

It may not be the most harmonious relationship, but Vegeta and Bulma obviously love each other dearly, and though Vegeta might not show it often, when he does… watch out!

Also, this is one of the best screen caps from Dragon Ball Super so far:

Family outing

Family outing! Vegeta, Bulma, and Trunks.


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