30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 21: Favourite Goofy 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

Without a doubt this has to be Joey Wheeler from Yu-Gi-Oh! He’s notoriously known for being a massive goofball and always seems to be getting himself into trouble.

JoeyWheeler Yu-Gi-Oh 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Joey Wheeler, Yu-Gi-Oh!

Favourite line:

Joey: “Duel Monsters, ya nimrod!”

Kaiba: “Any duelist late for registration will be disqualified. Mokuba, make sure Wheeler’s late.” [Walks away]

Joey: “Hey! I know an insult when I hear one! Look at me when I’m yelling at ya’!”

Joey: “Goodbye Seal of Oriwhositz!”


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

The goofiest character from one of the goofiest anime for me has to be Excalibur from Soul Eater.

Excalibur Soul Eater 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Excalibur, Soul Eater

In the world of Soul Eater, there are living weapons and living wielders (meisters) of those weapons. Excalibur, aka “The Holy Sword”, is one of the most powerful weapons of all, and perhaps it’s the weight of this title that has driven him completely insane.

His stories make no sense, he loves to dance jigs, I have no idea what he’s supposed to look like, and every other character (and maybe some of the audience) groans every time he pops up in an episode to preach about one of his rambling and totally falsified ‘legends’:

Honourable mentions: Soul Evans & Black Star (Soul Eater), L (Death Note), Dandy (Space Dandy), Tamaki Souh (Ouran High School Host Club), Mephisto (Ao no Exorcist) Grell Sutcliffe (Black Butler).


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

My favourite goofy character is a person who personifies goofiness, and yet he has the potential to be one of the greatest heroes of all time. My favourite goofy character is Kid Muscle from Ultimate Muscle (or Kinniku Mantaro from Kinnikuman Nisei).

Kid Muscle, looking not that goofy.

Kid Muscle… not looking that goofy.

Kid Muscle is the prince of planet Kinniku, home to a royal lineage of super strong individuals. Kinniku Nisei or Ultimate Muscle is the continuation of Kid’s father Kinnikuman or King Muscle (from here on I will use the english dub names, as I saw Ultimate Muscle before Kinnikuman or Kinniku Kisei). Being a member of planet Kinniku’s royalty, Kid possesses great strength and fighting ability…but he is totally unaware of it, and is a snot-nosed, whiney cry-baby who would rather mess around, playing games, and trying to ‘score chicks’.

But this doesn’t make him goofy. The main factor of his goofiness is his face.

Duuuhhh

Duuuhhh

His big lips, big yet tiny eyes, and that tuft of hair… such a goof. His humor is where most of his goofdom is: Fart jokes, cross-dressing, and bad puns all add to his goofiness:

And of course this song:

He’s a dweeb, but also one of the greatest wrestlers and heroes out there!

ULTIMATE MUSCLE

ULTIMATE MUSCLE


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 16: Anime With the Best Animation

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 has to be something from the collection of Studio Ghibli films I’ve seen: Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, My Neighbour Toroto and Princess Mononoke. I think that renowned director Hayao Miyazaki‘s animated films have some of the best animation in the industry, and I also think the fact that the animation is largely hand-drawn makes me appreciate the art and skill that goes into the creation of his works. I admire that his films’ stories are beautiful and symbolic.

No Face, Spirited Away, Studio Ghibli, 30 Day Anime Challenge cosmic anvil

“Uh?” No-Face, Spirited Away

I think out of all the Ghibli films though, I’m going to pick Spirited Away as the best in terms of animation, just for the attention to detail that was given, how colourful it is, and how diverse the characters designs are.


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

Like Jess, and probably every other anime fan in the world, I am a huge admirer of Hayao Miyazaki’s signature style of animation, and the fact that Studio Ghibli is known as the ‘Disney of the East’ tells you just how well-respected they are in the industry. In fact, you can see Disney/Pixar’s John Lasseter pay homage to Miyazaki by including a Totoro plushie in Toy Story 3:

Totoro Toy Story 3

Totoro plushie in Toy Story 3

However, I’m actually going to give my favourite animation pick on this occasion to a completely different anime – Soul Eater. It’s not because I think that the quality of the animation itself is superior, but because Soul Eater was one of the first anime series’ I watched that had such a dramatically different visual style to most others. The opening title sequence remains one of the best I’ve ever seen:

Quite often, when a manga gets adapted from page to screen, it loses the artists’ distinctive style in favour of something more mainstream and easier to animate – i.e. Death Note, Tokyo Goul, Gangsta, etc. – but Studio Bones (one of the best animation studios in my opinion) who picked up Soul Eater, thankfully decided to try and replicate Atsushi Okubo’s fantastic Tim Burton-esque style:

Soul Eater Moon Manga

The Soul Eater Moon in the Manga

Soul Eater Moon Anime

The Soul Eater Moon in the Anime

As the world of Soul Eater is so nutty and surreal, the style of the art really does marry itself completely into the feel of the story and the character of that world. It serves as far more than just an aesthetic flair – it’s a vital tool in Okubo’s storytelling technique and one of the reasons why Soul Eater has remained so popular after the anime series ended all too quickly.

Honourable mentions: Any Studio Ghibli film, Neon Genesis Evangelion (reboot films), End of Evangelion, Sword Art Online, Attack on Titan, Ghost in the Shell (film), One Piece, Final Fantasy XII, Metropolis (anime adaptation), Summer Wars, 5 Centimetres Per Second.


 

Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

You know what’s the hardest thing to animate? WATER!

7.8 too much water.

7.8 too much water.

Ponyo has a load of water, and it looks freaking beautiful:

I’ve never seen the Ocean like this.

Damn straight! The water in Ponyo crashes, splashes, flows, swells, sprinkles, spreads, bulges, and foams. And the water in Ponyo has different textures as well, as well as just looking wet as you’d expect, it also looks weirdly gelatinous, hard, heavy, light, sharp… It’s crazy.

This guy is a mad man.

This guy is a mad man.

Not only is it beautiful, but this film was hard graft: The whole thing – like most Studio Ghibli films – was HAND-DRAWN.

In a canon of filmmaking that has made Miyazaki’s name synonomous with great anime in the same way that the Beatles’ name is synonomous with great music, Ponyo is probably the most impressive example of his immense talents.

Hayao Miyazaki stories are told with the precision of a master filmmaker. As a director, his visual vocabulary and specialized storytelling are like fellow stylistic auteurs Stanley Kubrick, Tim Burton or Quentin Tarantino — directors whose aesthetic sense is so strong and storytelling so unique that every film they make, even the small ones, are worth exploring.

Ron Barbagallo, Animation Art Conservation.


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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N00b Reviews: Soul Eater

This week in Noob Reviews I am going to look at the very popular Soul Eater manga series to see what makes it so popular.

Soul_Eater_manga_volume_1


Summary:

Soul Eater written and illustrated by Atsushi Okubo is a manga series set at the “Death Weapon Meister Academy” and tells the story of three teams. Each team consists of a weapon meister and a weapon that can transform into a human. Their aim is to create a death scythe for the headmaster of the academy: ‘Shinigami’ or Lord Death. In order to do this they must collect souls of 99 humans and one witch. If they don’t do this in the exact order they have to restart from the beginning.


First Impressions:

Talk about jumping right into the action! On the very first page we see the protagonist going after a human named Jack the Ripper. The art style of the manga is almost Tim Burton-esque. The background images are highly detailed but the character designs vary from cartoon-like to intense detailed illustrations especially during fight sequences.

Soul Eater

The Tim Burton influence


What I liked:

I like how all the characters have very unique abilities, personalities, and quirks. For example, Death the Kid has an obsession with symmetry and Black Star is an arrogant assassin that always likes to have a flashy entrance.  I also liked the intense battle scenes because they were very detailed and intricate. This helped highlight the seriousness of the fight and the fact that one of the characters is likely to die.

fighting


What I disliked:

I can’t really think of anything I necessarily disliked about Soul Eater, but I didn’t find it was as gripping as most of the other manga I have read and although I did carry on reading it after the first few chapters, the pace seemed kind of slow and I just wanted to get to the main story arc. Sorry Soul Eater, I’m just not one of the most patient readers!


Soooooo much Fan Service!

Are all the male characters obsessed with boobs? As mentioned in my first review in the N00b series (Fairy Tail) I thought there was a lot of pervy characters, and it’s the same at the beginning of Soul Eater with a lot of the male characters’ infatuation with the female characters’ chests.  However, as the story progresses this doesn’t seem to be the case as much and tends to focus more on the fighting aspects of the story.

boobs

boobs3


How does the anime compare to the manga?

After watching the first few episodes it does seem that the anime closely follows the manga from which it was adapted. I quite liked how similarly to the manga the style was. Cute but also creepy at the same time, and stuck to the cartoonish illustrations that the manga used.


Overall Opinion:

Whilst I did enjoy Soul Eater I don’t necessarily think it’s one of the manga I will carry on reading.  As I mentioned earlier, I enjoyed the style of the illustrations in the manga but wasn’t gripped with regards to the story. I found I much preferred the anime series because I found the voice acting unique and funny, I was especially not expecting the Shinigami to sound like this:


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!