30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 20: Anime Character that Gets on Your Nerves

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 really made me think, but in the end I’ve decided to choose Yuka from Elfen Lied because not only is she annoying, but she’s also jealous, incestuous, and definitely whines far too much! I can’t stand her – even her voice winds me up! I’ve never wished death on a character before but when it came to Yuka I really wanted Lucy to kill her. If she’s not clinging to Kouta, she’s crying or nagging or just generally being a pain in the ass!

445995_1352844556491_400_300

SO ANNOYING! Yuka, Elfen Lied


 

Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

My choice for this post may be a little controversial as she’s such a fan favourite, but bear with me. The character that gets on my nerves the most has to be Asuna from Sword Art Online.

Double Asuna Sword Art Online

Double Asuna = Double Annoying! Sword Art Online

Some characters are annoying from the very start of a show and your opinion of them never really changes. You sigh every time they come on screen, and you’re pleasantly relieved when they don’t get any airtime for a while. Is there anything worse than a constantly irritating character? Well, how about a character who starts off as your favourite only for you to grow to hate?

Let’s be real here: Sword Art Online started out as a refreshingly original, philosophical, and breathtakingly animated show, but by the end of the first series it’s ideas became tired and some of its characters’ suffered from disappointing arcs. Asuna is one of those characters. Beginning as one of the strongest players in the entire game, Asuna was tough-talking and crazy talented with a sword – even giving Beta tester Kirito a run for his money. As an inevitable but nonetheless sweet romance blossomed between them, Asuna’s vulnerabilities started to come out more and more – as did Kirito’s. But the difference between Asuna and Kirito was that whilst he continued to go from strength to strength in the game, Asuna’s strength and agency fell further and further back, until she seemed to be more a of simpering damsel than the once powerful knight she began as. Eventually, through strange plot contrivances, Kirito leaves her behind altogether and continues adventuring with a different partner.

If you compare Asuna’s character development to that of her nearest equivalent – Cecily Campbell from The Sacred Blacksmith – you can see how nonsensical this regression really is. Cecily is a lone female knight in a fantasy kingdom who begins as an untrained, clumsy novice and grows to overcome the inherent sexism of her faux-medieval setting; her own personal weaknesses; and a traumatic sexual assault to become a well-respected warrior.

Cecily Campbell battling on even with a broken sword.

Cecily Campbell battling on even with a broken sword.

This is not only a satisfying arc for a ‘strong female character’ stereotype, but just generally a satisfying and straightforward arc for any heroic character; making Asuna’s comparative strong-to-weak transition look even more bizarre for the action-fantasy genre that I thought the show was supposedly updating.

Asuna sword art online 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Asuna battling in an early episode…

sword art online asuna 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

…and Asuna later on in the series.

Honourable mentions: Misa Amane (Death Note), Tea Gardener (Yu-Gi-Oh!), Nunnaly Lamperouge (Code Geass), Suzaku Kururugi (Code Geass), Eren Jaeger (Attack on Titan).


 

Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

Although I certainly don’t hate this character, her choices annoy the hell out of me. My most annoying character is Chi Chi from Dragon Ball Z.

Chi Chi

Chi Chi, Dragon Ball Z

Chi Chi didn’t always bug me. She started off as a cute kid, then at the end of Dragon Ball she was a fiery individual and the perfect match for Goku. It was in Dragon Ball Z that Chi Chi really started to anger me. Her dreams and aspirations for Gohan were for him to knuckle down with school and one day become a great scholar. However, it is clear from episode one that Gohan was born with great power lying dormant, and he is clearly destined to follow in his father’s foot steps of becoming the world’s next savior.

At the end of the Cell Saga we think that’s going to happen: Gohan becomes a beast, and the very first to master the Super Saiyan 2 transformation. Below is a clip of the final blow he hits Cell with, named the ‘Father-Son Kamehameha’ as Goku (his father) is the one that finally gives Gohan the inspiration to release his full power, and with it he annihilates Cell, and becomes the most powerful Dragon Ball character.

However, Chi Chi destroys this and makes Gohan go to school and he becomes and absolute lame person! Gohan fights back by training in secret, and taking on the identity of the ‘Great Saiyaman’ to fight crime. It makes you think though: what would Gohan’s power be like if he continued on the path he was on during the Cell Saga?

SHUT UP CHI CHI

SHUT UP CHI CHI.

She’s bossy, she’s complains all the time, she doesn’t see the bigger picture, and she’s controlling. The worst thing is that she wasn’t always this way, she used to be adorable and understanding, so I try to remember the good times. Like in this adorable picture:

Aww

Awww!

But now all I see is this annoying woman who tries to make the two most powerful individuals in the world do homework, go to parent evenings, and take driving lessons… but I guess if that didn’t happen we wouldn’t have these hilarious moments:

Brum, brum, beep, beep

Brum, brum, beep, beep!

And Goku loves her, so I guess she can’t be that bad…

Family fun

Family fun

Just let Gohan punch bad guys for crying out loud!


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

30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 17: Favourite Supporting Male Anime Character

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

My favourite supporting male anime character is without a doubt Captain Levi Ackerman from Attack On Titan. You only have to watch this clip to see how awesome he is:

Honorable mentions: Shogo Makishima (Psycho Pass), Roy Mustang (Full Metal Alchemist & Brotherhood) and Daru (Steins Gate)


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

I had a real tough time with this one as I often love the supporting characters even more than the main characters in some anime. I’ve noticed as well that a lot of the supporting characters I love are kiiiiiiind of either psychopaths or douchebags. Hmm.

So with this in mind, my favourite supporting character pick is unsurprisingly my favourite loveable douchebag of all anime: Kanda Yuu from D.Gray-Man.

Kanda Yuu D.gray-Man

Kanda Yuu, D.Gray-Man

The online D.Gray-Man Encyclopaedia describes Kanda as “a handsome young Japanese man usually found in a foul mood,” and I think this summary is pretty much nails Kanda. Raised by the European branch of the ‘Black Order’ (Exorcist soldiers) to fight against The Earl (aka the Devil), Kanda is a ‘Second Exorcist’ who wields a supernatural blade named ‘Mugen’ and also possesses enhanced artificial regeneration abilities that enable him to take massive amounts of damage in battle and recover fairly quickly.

Personality-wise, Kanda is grumpy, uncooperative, and snappy – your typical ‘lone-wolf’ stereotype. Imagine a prettier, taller, and less hairy version of Wolverine and you’re pretty much there, as this clip demonstrates:

However, main character Allen Walker’s unrelenting positivity and determination to befriend Kanda result in some pretty funny squabbles between the mismatched pair, with Kanda bestowing him with the nickname ‘beansprout’ due to Allen’s weediness at the start of the story.

Kanda Yuu and Allen Walker

Kanda gets wound up by Allen a lot.

However, as Allen goes from strength to strength through the show, Kanda’s respect also grows for him, and he proves himself again and again to be fiercely loyal and honourable – even at the risk of his own life. The more recent chapters of the on-again, off-again manga have also revealed the tragic truth of Kanda’s origins – which only made my love for him as a character even stronger.

Kanda Yuu secret past

Kanda’s secret past is revealed.

Plus, just like Wolverine, he’s ridiculously unstoppable in battle:

Honourable mentions: Lavi (D.Gray-Man), Calcifer (Howl’s Moving Castle), Grell Sutcliffe (Black Butler), Dr. Stein (Soul Eater), Bakura (Yu-Gi-Oh!), Shuu Tsukiyama (Tokyo Ghoul), Levi Ackerman (Attack on Titan).


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

For my favourite supporting male character, I have to return to Dragon Ball.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, and no -I’m not talking about Vegeta. I’m going to talk about someone with an even more interesting story arc, and that’s my man Piccolo.

My Namekian.

Piccolo, Dragon Ball

Piccolo is a champ with an odd origin story. Long ago, a Namekian landed on Earth. This Namekian would one day visit the Gaurdian of Earth and wish to take his place. However, the Gaurdian of Earth at the time told this Namekian that he had too much evil within his heart to protect the world. So, this Namekian split his mind, body, and soul in two parts and became two different Namekians: one being Kami the Guardian of Earth in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z; the other becoming The Demon King Piccolo.

King Piccolo

King Piccolo

Now, King Piccolo is our Piccolo’s father. King Piccolo terrorised the world for years until a martial arts master sealed him away in a jar like a Genie. Decades later, this Piccolo is set free and is on the hunt for the Dragon Balls to restore his youth. Unfortunately he does so, and it’s up to Goku and the gang to stop him. Goku does so by punching a hole right through his chest (so bad ass), but with his last breath King Piccolo spawns an offspring, and sends him to a forest to hatch and grow.

Piccolo Vs. Goku

Piccolo Vs. Goku

Piccolo is born with his fathers’ hatred and evil, and dedicates his life to killing Goku and taking over the world. Piccolo faces Goku in the final of the World Martial Arts Tournament and it’s this fight that brings Goku’s story in Dragon Ball to an end, to be concluded in Dragon Ball Z. However, Dragon Ball Z is also where Piccolo’s story continues, and this is where it gets really interesting.

Piccolo training Gohan.

Piccolo training Gohan.

In Dragon Ball Z, Goku dies, but don’t worry – he doesn’t stay that way for long. In the meantime however, Piccolo takes Goku’s son, Gohan, away to train him for the Saiyan’s arrival. It is at this point that Piccolo’s character changes for the better. Piccolo and Gohan become close friends as Gohan becomes older, and it’s this friendship that starts to turn Piccolo into one of the greatest fighters for good.

Piccolo and Kami fuse.

Piccolo and Kami fuse.

Piccolo is a funny character is great as well as he’s such a grumpy guy. In Dragon Ball you have a lot of happy characters and a few angsty characters, but Piccolo I feel is the only grumpy character there, which makes him stand out, and that’s why this image of him hiding at a dinner party is amazing:

lol

Lol

He is the most powerful Namekian, and for a short time was one of the most powerful fighters in the world, being even more powerful that Super Saiyan Goku at one point. His fight with Android 17 is something that everyone should watch, as it truly shows what he can do. Later he kicks back and becomes more of a teacher, and teaches Trunks and Goten how to fuse to become Gotenks.

But for me, it’s his relationships that make him a great character. His friendship with Gohan will always be the best thing ever in anything, but Piccolo and Goku become close friends and sort of colleagues in martial arts. He gets pushed around by Chi Chi and Bulma (just like everyone else); him and Vegeta have a silent understanding; and Piccolo also forms tight friendships with the other Z Fighters – friendships you would think to be impossible after watching the original Dragon Ball.

He still tries to be the big scary guy though, which makes these GIFs that much more hilarious:

Yes, there is an episode when Piccolo and Goku learn to drive.

Yes, there is an episode when Piccolo and Goku learn to drive.

IN DUH CLUB!

IN DA CLUB.

He’s also named after a type of Flute:

Is she, crying?

Is she… crying?


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

 

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.

maxresdefault

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

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

 

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.

tumblr_inline_mm6rqfUuRE1qz4rgp

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

 

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.

_commission__kirito_asuna_by_hikari_15_l-d5umt28

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

 

30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 3: Favourite Male Anime Character Ever

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 is another one I really struggled with as they are just so many really good male characters that it’s hard to pick just one!

After much deliberation I think I’ve finally chosen my favourite male anime character and the winner is…. Light Yagami from Death Note. Okay, so this might seem like a bit of an odd choice seeing as he’s kind of a bad guy but he’s still awesome. He’s ruthless, determined, and has the ability to eat crisps dramatically:

What’s not to like? Except maybe the fact that he is essentially a psychotic murderer, but he does believes he’s doing it for the greater good.

353504-light_yagami_super

Light Yagami from Death Note.

Honorable mentions: Koro-sensei (Assassination Classroom), Seto Kaiba (Yu-Gi-Oh!), Levi Ackerman (Attack On Titan), Rintarou Okabe (Steins Gate)


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

After a lot of deliberation (and fan-girling), I have to give my best male anime character pick to Sebastian Michaelis from Yana Toboso’s Black Butler. Although, as Sebastian’s gender is constantly up for debate,  I’m not even sure “he” even counts as a valid answer…

Sebastian Michaelis Black Butler Cosmic Anvil 30 Day Anime Challenge

One Hell of a Butler.

Let me explain. In the image above Sebastian his pictured in his human guise as butler to Earl Ciel Phatomhive – a 12-year-old toy industry tycoon who summons a demon (Sebastian) to stay at his side until he is able to wreak revenge on the occult group who murdered his parents. The demon takes the form of a male butler, but whenever he occasionally slips into his demonic form to terrify the crap out of one of Ciel’s enemies, he becomes less corporeal and more monstrous – fangs, red eyes, bats, black nails and… stilettos?!

Sebastian Michaelis Black Butler Cosmic Anvil 30 Day Anime Challenge

These Boots Are Made For Walking.

The hint certainly seems to be that if Sebastian is not actually female in his ‘true form’, then is at least non-gendered or gender fluid, and since the world of Black Butler is filled with shinigami, death scythes, demons, angels, and werewolves, this isn’t much more of a stretch of the imagination.

Not only do I find the mystery surrounding Sebastian’s gender fascinating, but I find him to be one of the most compelling characters of any anime. His deep connection to Ciel through their demonic contract of servitude is often mistaken in the fan community to be weirdly sexual, but the lust that Sebastian feels for Ciel is actually predatory. Like the witch in Hansel and Gretel, he is slowly fattening Ciel’s soul up for consumption when their deal is done, and this laces everything familial that Sebastian does for Ciel with a murderous tension. Plus, he’s probably the best cutlery-weapon specialist there ever was/will be:

Sebastian Michaelis Black Butler Cosmic Anvil 30 Day Anime Challenge

Honourable Mentions: L (Death Note), Edward and Alphonse Elric (Full Metal Alchemist/Brotherhood), Syaoran Li (Cardcaptor Sakura/Tsubasa Resevoir Chronicles), Kanda Yuu (D-Gray Man), Tamaki Suoh (Ouran High School Host Club), Howl (Howl’s Moving Castle).


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

If you’ve read our blog regularly you might already have guessed who my favourite male character is already. But for those who haven’t, it’s the one, the only: Son Goku form the Dragon Ball franchise. Yes it’s an obvious choice, but I don’t care – he is my favourite male lead. Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z are two animes that I grew up with, and my Dragon Ball merch list rivals my Pokemon merch list. So, Goku has been in my life for some time now, but let me take some time to tell you why he is the best.

Goku is one of the strongest characters in all fiction (Yes, I’ve seen Death Battle, and I’m okay with their result, but you still can’t deny that Goku is unstoppable nonetheless). Every challenge he has been faced with he has beaten; every limit broken; every chart has been thrown out because they needed new ones to record his power. He’s a beast and it’s all down to two things: his will and hard work. He is so focused on becoming the best he has now reached the level of a God and even beyond that.

Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan

Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan.

However, this is not the reason I love him. The reason I love Goku is because he is just a straight up nice guy. Ever since he was young, his most admirable feature – and arguably his strangest talent – is his pure heart. Goku is able to fly on the Kinto-Un (or Flying Nimbus), a flying cloud that can travel at supersonic speed, but will only allow people of pure hearts to ride it. Thanks to Goku’s good nature he learns a lot, which is a good moral to teach, and one that I try to follow.

In Dragon Ball he even turns his enemies into friends – Oolong, Yamcha, Krilin, Tien, Chaozu, Piccolo, Vegeta, Android 16 and 18, Majin Buu and even Kid Buu to a certain extent are all villains/rivals who have turned good due to knowing either Goku, or other members of the Z Fighters. Goku excepts them all into his extended family, and with smile on his face.

Goku and friends (that he used to beat up, or wanted to kill him)

Goku and friends (that he used to beat up, or wanted to kill him).

Yes, Goku has his downsides: his naivety, his pride, his total focus on training (a gift and a curse), but he is the nicest, most forgiving, and powerful being in the world. I also like how he eats.

nom nom nom

nom nom nom.

Honorable mentions: Vegeta (Dragon Ball Z/GT), Kinnikuman (Kinnikuman/Ultimate Muscle), Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece), Gene Starwind (Outlaw Star), Toriko (Toriko).


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 campaign!

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