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 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.

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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

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N00b Reviews: Death Note

After falling in love with the Death Note anime I have decided to look at the manga series to see how it compares.  I found the story really compelling and the opening theme of the anime strangely hypnotic…

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Summary:

Death Note is a manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. The story follows protagonist Light Yagami, a student with great prospects but unsatisfied with his life. This all changes when he finds a notebook that has the powers to kill people dropped by a rogue Shinigami named Ryuk. Light vows to use the powers of the book to kill criminals, but when the authorities discover the pattern they send the legendary detective ‘L’ to track down the killer.


First Impressions:

I don’t think I’ve seen any other manga in the N00b series so far that is as wordy as Death Note is. It feels like it should be a novel rather than a manga series as it needs a lot of descriptive text to explain things such as the theories behind using the notebook, which seem to be too complex to describe simply using images.

wordy

Does it really need to be specified where he sits?


What I liked:

One thing that particularly stood out to me about Death Note was the fact that even though the protagonist is an anti-hero we still end up rooting for him despite him killing millions of people even when they are innocent. We can’t help but side with him as we believe in his cause and the fact the reason he is doing it is for a greater good; to rid the world of criminals.

Light and L

At the same time we admire L for his attempts to catch Kira (Light’s alter ego) and enjoy how mysterious and quirky he is. The central plot of Death Note revolves around the cat and mouse chase between L and Light, and this element is what makes this manga so engrossing; waiting to see how the two of them will try to out-think the other.


What I disliked:

As I’ve stated one of the major flaws with the Death Note manga was the fact that it was very wordy and often felt like it should be a novel rather than a manga series. The other thing that I was slightly disappointed with was the second half of the manga series as a lot of the main cast changes and the new characters feel a lot weaker. Although despite this the plot tricks and twists are just as good in this half – in fact some of the better ones happen towards the end.


How does it compare to the anime:

 The anime gets off to a great start with this brilliant opening sequence:

Stunning visuals, addictive theme song, and the fact that it spans over 37 episodes and still keeps you interested. What’s not to love about this adaptation?

With long-running anime series there can often be a lot of filler episodes but with Death Note this isn’t the case at all and leaves very little out from the manga which is definitely very satisfying to see.


Overall Opinion:

 This series is simple enough to understood universally no matter of age, but at the same time deep and clever enough for those looking for something more meaty to sink their teeth into. Additionally, this series offers something that not many other series do–a moral conundrum. What if we had a Death Note? Would we use it? How would we use it? Is it possible to use it without turning into what Light becomes?

If you’re a seasoned anime fan or a N00b like myself I think this is a series you should definitely check out. Especially if you enjoy a mix of mystery, horror and crime thriller.


Written by Jess Harcastle, Marketing Whizz-kid for Cosmic Anvil.

Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology!