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Consoles Gaming

The 23 Best Anime Games on Switch

After spending an obscene amount of time binge-watching a whole season of your favorite anime, chances are you’ll want to play out that show’s epic adventures yourself. And doing so usually becomes a reality when you do it in video game form. Many of the most popular anime properties known far and wide have their own quality video game adaptations. You can get embroiled in some fast-paced arena fighters, go adventuring & vanquish foes in a turn-based/action RPG, and even destroy hundreds of foes within a Musou beat ‘em up. Besides the anime shows you watch, there are games out there that adopt the Japanese medium’s signature art style to attract anime fans. If you own a Nintendo Switch and want to scratch that anime game itch, then the 23 following games are worth their weight in gold (Golden Frieza FTW!).

1. ‘One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4’

The One Piece: Pirate Warriors series has steadily been expanding since its grand debut. And with the latest entry, it ends up offering the best installment of anime-based Musour brawls to date. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 features an original storyline of its own, plus it lets fans play out the biggest moments from the anime/manga’s memorable story arcs. The number of playable characters you can take into battle is massive, which means you have the opportunity to clear out battlefields full of rival pirates with all their amazing signature abilities.

2. ‘Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Trilogy’

Anime arena fighters are a dime a dozen these days. But if you’re looking for the best-looking and mechanically sound games within the popular sub-genre, then look no further than the Ultimate Ninja Storm series. This compilation brings together the first three entries in the series. If you’re in the mood for some wonderfully animated ninja-themed struggles and jaw-dropping boss encounters, then make sure you give this Naruto fighting game collection a shot.

3. ‘Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road To Boruto’

Once you’ve made your way through the story modes for the first three Ultimate Ninja Storm games, it’s only right that you see it through to its full completion with the fourth and final game in the series. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto lets you play out the final events of the Naruto Shippuden story arc and even enjoy the early missions tied to Naruto’s son Boruto. And as always, the team-based ninja combat is as fun as ever and refined to near perfection.

4. ‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’

This is THE greatest Dragon Ball fighting game (and Dragon Ball game period!) of all time. Arc System Works are master architects when it comes to putting together a beautifully animated and mechanically solid anime fighter. With the iconic roster of Dragon Ball FighterZ mashed up with those two factors, you just can’t go wrong with it. The 3v3 team battles that take place in this game are the definition of hype as beams are thrown, air combos are dished out, and cinematic finishers come into play.

5. ‘Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2’

Creating your own superpowered Dragon Ball warrior ended up being a smashing success in the first Dragon Ball Xenoverse. The sequel magnifies that addictive game concept by adding new character class transformations, a larger hub world to explore, an ever-expanding roster to use, more special moves to attach to your custom character, etc. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is jam-packed with things to do and people to see/battle/team up with. You’re going to love saving the universe as an all-powerful Time Patroller in this one.

6. ‘Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot + A New Power Awakens Set’

If you’ve played Dragon Ball Z: Sagas, then you know just how disappointing that game ended up being. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is a fully realized version of that action RPG that adapts the entirety of the anime’s sagas in playable form. You can dish out defeat to baddies such as Frieza, Cell, Majin Buu, and even some movie villains such as Goku and the Z Fighters squad. This game’s incredible battles play out just like the ones from the show – Ki blasts, energy beams, and flashy martial arts techniques come into play. And simply flying through the game’s massive open world is a simple joy you have to experience for yourself.

7. ‘Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition’

Sure, you already have the Pokémon RPGs to enjoy on your Switch. But if you’re open to enjoying a game that features a different pair of creatures that fight by your side, then this Digimon game compilation is worth a look. Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition lets you explore the real world and digital world as you try to get to the bottom of a crazy caper. And in order to solve that cyber mystery, you’ll have to rely on the abilities of your chosen Digimon and engage in turn-based skirmishes against other users, wild monsters, and even internet viruses.

8. ‘Guilty Gear 20th Anniversary Pack’

This two-pack is an essential pickup for anime fighting game aficionados. The Guilty Gear 20th Anniversary Edition comes with the very first game in the franchise, plus it offers one of the best entries in the series in the form of Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R. So not only do you get to see how the game played at the very start, you’ll get to enjoy one of the most polished and tournament ready entries in the long-running series.

9. ‘Fairy Tail’

You’d be forgiven for thinking this Fairy Tail game was nothing more than a cheap cash-in title that offers nothing but fan service. But you’d be wrong. This JRPG offers a clever twist on combat that emphasizes proper spacing and elemental weaknesses. The massive amount of guild warriors you can bring into battle and upgrade adds a lot to the game’s replay factor. Plus getting to experience the anime’s story arcs while building up the main guild at the heart of the game over time makes Fairy Tail far better than one would initially expect.

10. ‘My Hero One’s Justice 2’

PLUS ULTRA! That phrase should instantly concoct images of the superhero contingent that fights for good from the My Hero Academia anime. My Hero One’s Justice 2 improves upon the superpowered hero vs. villain clashes of the first game by allowing character assists to pull off their own super moves and giving everyone even more impactful Plus Ultra attacks. The roster gets expanded to include even more beloved characters from the show, plus you can participate in the insane clashes that transpired during the Shie Hassaikai Arc.

11. ‘Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch’

Noted Japanese animation film studio Studio Ghibli entered into a working agreement with game development studio Level-5 for this grand JRPG project. The fruits of their labor ended up being one of the most heartwarming and heartbreaking games Bandai Namco has ever published, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. You’ll take on the role of a young boy named Oliver, who taps into his magical prowess and the assistance of his friends in an effort to revive his beloved mother. Prepare yourself for a whimsical adventure that features fun combat scenarios, gorgeous graphics, and a deeply affecting storyline.

12. ‘Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom — Prince’s Edition’

Once you’ve completed the first Ni no Kuni, you’ll find yourself fully immersed in the series as a whole. With that newfound fandom in tow, you’ll need to jump into the equally amazing sequel. Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom features two important political personalities from two different worlds. They eventually find the will to team up with their allies and unite warring nations during a crusade against a great evil. The action RPG combat, fort-building mechanics, and magical Higgledie present some welcome changes to Ni no Kuni’s strong gameplay formula.

13. ‘Valkyria Chronicles’

This former PS3 exclusive has made its way onto a wealth of other consoles in an improved form. Of course, you can enjoy its clever mix of third-person active combat and strategic unit placing on your Nintendo Switch as well. Valkyria Chronicles will pull you in just based on its striking art style. But it’ll keep you enthralled thanks to the constant progression that comes with upgrading your beloved troops. Taking down tanks, pulling off clean headshots, and managing to complete a stage with all your units intact are some of the many joys you’ll derive from this Sega classic.

14. ‘Valkyria Chronicles 4’

The second and third entries in the Valkyria Chronicles franchise are pretty hard to come by since they’re PlayStation Portable exclusives. Thankfully, you can get back into the series proper by checking out the fourth game. The same aspects you adored about the very first game are kept intact here. As far as new stuff goes, Valkyria Chronicles 4 features the explosive new Grenadier class and battle adjustments that give your soldiers a fighting chance when they’re on the verge of death. And the visuals are even more gorgeous than their predecessors.

15. ‘Astral Chain’

PlatinumGames have a knack for producing high-octane action games that never seem to slow down. Astral Chain is one of their original IPs and it’s a must-play for Switch owners everywhere. In it, you take on the role of a special police task force member who has the power to control otherworldly creatures called Legions. You’ll have to master controlling your onscreen officer and their chosen Legion simultaneously during frenetic skirmishes and major boss encounters. The music is top-notch, the art design is splendid, and the many ways in which you can work in unison with your Legions are truly gratifying.

16. ‘Pokémon Sword/Pokémon Shield’

You know the deal if you’ve been in for the long haul ever since Pokémon made its debut – you set out into a vast world full of varied biomes, capture different pocket monsters, train them in battle, and attempt to become the greatest Pokémon trainer of all time. A host of new trainable creatures come into play here as you freely explore the Wild Area, participate in the Gym Challenge, hop into tough raid encounters, and complete a bevy of Poké Jobs. Pokémon Sword/Pokémon Shield offers more of what fans loved before.

17. ‘Steins;Gate Elite’

There’s a bunch of visual novel-based games out on the market that is worth seeking out. One of the finer ones that’s available on the Switch is Steins;Gate Elite, which is a much-improved remake of the 2009 original. The striking anime visuals and sequences from the original game get a boost in this portable classic. As you make your way through this mind-bending story, you’ll be treated to a memorable cast of characters that get wrapped up in a world of science-fiction madness. Your choices matter here and put you on different branching paths, which means there’s a lot of replay value here.

18. ‘Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido’

If you’ve been to Japan and seen those conveyor belt restaurants in the real world, then the mechanics within the zany puzzler should instantly be familiar to you. Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido is pretty much you versus a bunch of offline/online opponents in a bid to match as many sushi plates on a conveyor belt as humanly possible. You’ll quickly find yourself entering a zen-like state as you make big combo matches to throw your rivals off balance.

19. ‘River City Girls’

If the River City beat ‘em ups still hit you right in the nostalgia whenever it’s mentioned, then this modern-day spin-off will instantly become your new fave. River City Girls switches things up by letting you and a buddy play as the boyfriends of the series’ longtime protagonists. After they’re kidnapped, Misako and Kyoko step up to the plate to dish out their own form of street justice and rescue them. That means you’ll be

20. ‘Catherine: Full Body’

Vincent, who’s the lucky/unlucky dude at the center of this trippy game, finds himself in quite the predicament. Instead of making the decision to get married to his girlfriend Katherine, Vincent steps out on his relationship with a sultry lady named Catherine. His acts of infidelity force him into a nightmare realm where he’s forced to navigate intense block-pushing/pulling puzzles and stay ahead of vicious night terrors. Catherine: Full Body features all of the DLC from the original game and retains all the major decision-making & wild puzzle playthroughs fans celebrated during its original launch.

21. ‘Persona 5 Strikers’

Persona 5 Strikers is pretty much a sequel to the highly celebrated JRPG. This time around, Joker and the rest of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts find themselves in a new alternate realm called “Jails.” Taking down the Shadows that harm humans within those Jails means you’ll get to hop into some wild Musou battles with the aid of multiple Persona demons and a wealth of slick special moves. If you want an action RPG that will keep you enthralled during a long flight, look no further than Persona 5 Strikers.

22. ‘BlazBlue Central Fiction Special Edition’

At one point in time, Arc System Works moved away from the Guilty Gear series for a bit to produce an equally great spiritual successor. That game was BlazBlue, which ended up getting a series of system and roster updates that further improved its formula. The final installment in the series is the best one of course. BlazBlue Central Fiction Special Edition is a flashy fighter with a roster full of characters that come with their own gimmicks tied to a single button. And once you find your main, you’ll come to adore just how chaotic fights unfold in this game.

23. ‘BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle’

This anime fighter offers a battle royale full of beloved characters from Arc System Works’ many IPs and even a popular anime. BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle’s roster brings together the very best from BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth, RWBY, Arcana Heart, Senran Kagura, and Akatsuki Blitzkampf. The 2v2 clashes you’ll be treated to in this 2D fighting game gem explode off the screen and are just as hyperactive as you’d expect.

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Culture Movies/TV

The 25 Best Marvel Animated Movies, Ranked

So everyone knows how astonishing the Marvel Cinematic Universe has and probably always will be.

The big-screen debut of 2008’s Iron Man via Robert Downey’s Jr. kickstarted a flood of films that laid the foundation for game-changing moments. The initial union between The Avengers, Ultron’s ascension, the dreaded “Thanos Snap,” and the time-traveling mission that reversed the “Mad Titan’s” evil machinations were delivered through the MCU’s strong world-building. And thanks to a lineup of Disney+ shows and even more movies, the MCU will continue to produce global events for moviegoers everywhere.

We’ve showered plenty of praise upon the MCU already. But now we’re gonna switch gears and acknowledge the deluge of animated films that feature Marvel’s mightiest heroes. You may be surprised to learn that there are 25 Marvel animated films in total. We’re here to do you all a solid and make you aware of them all while ranking them at the very same time.

25. ‘Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron’

This film centers around the young engineering prodigy named Riri Williams, who finds herself feeling a bit closed off from the rest of her college peers. And that’s due to her young age in comparison to the school’s older population. Riri is forced to realize her self-confidence when it comes time to rescue her best friend from Hala the Accuser. What follows is a fun superhero romp for younger viewers that sees Riri and a lineup of other Marvel lady heroes joining a crusade against an interplanetary menace.

24. ‘Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United’

Marvel’s animation department has a penchant for pairing up two iconic heroes to save the day. As evidenced by this movie’s title, Iron Man and Hulk join forces to take on some of Marvel’s most beastly villains. The 3D animation on display here is decent at best, but at least the action-packed skirmishes that both heroes engage in produce some memorable moments. We get a rare Zzzax sighting in this film, which is actually worth the price of admission.

23. ‘Marvel Rising: Battle of the Bands’

Gwen Stacy aka “Spider-Gwen/Ghost-Spider” quickly became a fan favorite shortly after her 2014 debut. In this next Marvel Rising film, she gets the spotlight treatment as she and a group of equally beloved lady heroes investigate who and what’s been attacking them as of late. All the while, Ghost-Spider and the Secret Warriors have to get ready for a band competition. If you’re a diehard Spider-Gwen fan and want to see her rock out and kick butt in her natural element, be sure to give this one a watch.

22. ‘Marvel Rising: Operation Shuri’

The next Marvel Rising film on our list offers an entertaining showcase of the character most popularized by the Black Panther film, Shuri. A simple hangout session quickly morphs into a day full of heroics as Shuri and the rest of the Secret Warriors squad come together to save the day. This coming-of-age animated movie offers a deeper look at Shuri and highlights a feeling of independence among Marvel’s younger heroines.

21. ‘Marvel Rising: Chasing Ghosts’

Ghost-Spider makes her welcome comeback in this Marvel Rising adventure. She joins forces with the Secret Warriors once again in a bid to beat back the combined threat of Sheath and Exile. The final action-packed conflict that pops off between all those super-powered heroes and villains definitely excites, which makes this film worth checking out. You can never go wrong with some more Ghost-Spider, right?

20. ‘Marvel Rising: Playing With Fire’

This Marvel Rising film introduces younger Marvel fanatics to one of the youngest Inhumans within the wide comic book universe. That hero is known as Inferno, who must align himself with the Secret Warriors in a bid to recover his stolen superhuman abilities. Inferno presents himself as a conflicted superhero, which makes his adventure alongside the Secret Warriors a bit more intriguing to follow.

19. ‘Marvel Super Heroes: Frost Fight’

If you’re in the mood for a whimsical adventure that the kiddies will love, then this movie will certainly do the job. Loki steps up to the plate here as the main baddie as he and the frost giant Ymir set out to steal Santa’s magical abilities. And of course, The Avengers make every attempt to put a stop to their evil plans and keep the spirit of Christmas intact. It’s definitely worth breaking this movie out when you’re in the mood for some holiday-themed hero activities.

18. ‘Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors’

The signature team at the heart of all the Marvel Rising films first come together in this exciting team-up special. Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors sees the powerful collective of Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, Quake, Patriot, America Chavez, and Inferno make their debut as an unlikely alliance. The main pull of this film comes from the fact that Marvel’s youngest and upcoming group of heroes get showcased in a prominent position that paints a bright future for them all.

17. ‘Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell’

We got another holiday-inspired Marvel movie here and it centers on the one that’s all about night frights. Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell fully embraces its Halloween theme by teaming up The Hulk and Dr. Strange for a clash with some horrific monsters. Things quickly go awry, which forces both heroes to step into the Dream Dimension to find out the true source behind all that uncontained evil. Watching the unexpected duo of Hulk and Strange confront supernatural threats ends up being a good time.

16. ‘Iron Man: Rise of Technovore’

There’s an Iron Man anime movie? Yes, yes there is. And it not only features Tony Stark’s metallic alter-ego. It also showcases War Machine, The Punisher, Black Widow, Nick Fury, and Hawkeye. They all come together to confront the technological parasite known as Technovore. Iron Man: Rise of Technovore is a decent attempt at presenting the action-packed world of Marvel within a striking anime sheen.

15. ‘Iron Man & Captain America: Heroes United’

Iron Man and Captain America certainly had their problems in the MCU. This superhero team-up movie unites them for the greater good, but also makes sure to acknowledge their past issues. Iron Man & Captain America: Heroes United is an action-fueled adventure that sees both heroes fighting the good fight against the equally powerful Red Skull and Taskmaster. The 3D animation in this one isn’t exactly the greatest. But the film’s big superhero and supervillain clashes will keep you entertained for the long haul.

14. ‘LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Black Panther – Trouble in Wakanda’

The stakes are certainly high in this Black Panther-themed adventure. The proud defender and prince of Wakanda must call on his fellow Avengers when the dangerous trio of Ulysses Klaue, Eric Killmonger, and Thanos unite to steal some Vibranium. Even with such a mega-sized threat present in this film, you’ll still be treated to the sort of slapstick humor the young ones adore from all those LEGO Marvel Super Heroes games.

13. ’Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher’

Now, this is one of the more unexpected Marvel team-ups fans have ever laid eyes on. But it works much better than one would expect. S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Black Widow and everyone’s favorite antihero The Punisher end up going on a high-priority mission that entails taking down a terrorist organization that’s willing to sell sensitive weaponry to some less than savory people. What ensues is a high-octane action thriller that’s held up by a gorgeous anime presentation and some additional Avengers appearances.

12. ‘LEGO Marvel Super Heroes – Guardians of the Galaxy: The Thanos Threat’

The Guardians of the Galaxy ended up being a surprise breakout smash on the big screen, which catapulted them to mainstream status. Thanks to their mass amount of fame, they’ve appeared in a whole slew of other media. In this film, they get LEGO-ized and embark on a space-faring crusade against Marvel’s “Mad Titan.” As expected, there are plenty of laughs and interplanetary action to be enjoyed here for all the young Guardians fans out there.

11. ‘The Invincible Iron Man’

Tony Starks gets the origin story treatment here as he comes to embrace his superhero role within the Marvel Universe. The Invincible Iron Man places the Starks in a terrible predicament as he tries to unearth an ancient Chinese temple. The opposing Jade Dragons disrupt his efforts, which leads Starks towards becoming the hero we all know him to be. This film offers a satisfactory tale and batch of cinematic action sequences to bask in.

10. ‘Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Avengers Reassembled’

Imagine having to endure a “party” with the hyper-intelligent robot known as Ultron. That’s the terrible situation The Avengers find themselves in as they fight to recover Iron Man’s prized battle armor. Your usual gamut of kid-friendly jokes and LEGO-flavored action sequences are included here for this brief Avengers team-up film. And for the most part, it gets the job done for Marvel’s younger fanbase.

9. ‘Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow’

The next Avengers movie special on this list doesn’t star the usual lineup of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.” The plot takes a super dark left turn in this one – most of The Avengers meet their unfortunate end at the hands of Ulton and his robot army. It’s up to the Avengers’ assortment of superpowered children to step up and save the day. You’ll get a kick out of watching an alternate future within the Marvel Universe where the offspring of legends band together to show just how worthy they are of holding the superhero mantle. The kids sure are alright.

8. ‘Thor: Tales of Asgard’

Before Thor and Loki became mortal foes, they fought side by side as brothers in arms. This fun prequel film stars young versions of Thor and Loki as they set out to recover a legendary blade while fighting alongside the Warriors Three. It’s pretty cool watching a pre-Mjolnir wielding Thor set out on a grand adventure and give viewers a hint of his magnificent future. Thor: Tales of Asgard provides a magical treasure hunt that has its shining moments here and there.

7. ‘Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload’

Loki is at it again! His mischievous ways are front and center in this LEGO Marvel Super Heroes movie. The Norse God’s evil ways bring other super-villains into the fold, which forces Spider-Man and a gang of other familiar heroes to take them all down. Maximum Overload is easily the best LEGO Marvel movie thanks to its strong cast of characters (Spidey, Loki, Venom, and Carnage’s inclusions here do a great job in that regard).

6. ‘Ultimate Avengers II: Rise of the Panther’

The Ultimate Marvel Universe breathed new life into the comic book medium by refreshing the most popular superheroes of all time. That alternate realm within Marvel Comics got their own animated movies. The second one brings the main members of the Ultimate Avengers together for the fight of their lives against an alien threat. Black Panther’s role here is of great importance and adds a bit of levity to the film since his kingdom is under attack by extraterrestrial beings. Ultimate Avengers II: Rise of the Panther provides a satisfying amalgamation of epic action sequences and engrossing plot progression, so be sure to check it out.

5. ‘Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme’

If you enjoyed each and every minute of the mind-bending live-action Doctor Strange movie, then you’ll most definitely feel the same way about this 2007 animated film. Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme details the mystical journey that Dr. Stephen Strange embarked on during his ascent to the title of “Sorcerer Supreme.” That ascension to one of the most powerful magic wielders in Marvel history makes for a quality viewing experience in animated form. Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme is a visual tour de force that will certainly enrapture one and all.

4. ‘Ultimate Avengers: The Movie’

The very first Ultimate Avengers film started a strong trend for Marvel’s dedicated move to produce animated films that appealed to its older fanbase. The early origins of Marvel’s most iconic superhero team play out here and come together in a riveting manner. Aliens invade Earth, which gives General Fury every reason in the world to call on the aid of Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Giant-Man, and The Wasp. This strong introduction to the Ultimate Avengers team hits on all the right notes you’d expect from a quality animated film.

3. ‘Planet Hulk’

If you read the Planet Hulk comic book arc (and even if you haven’t!), you have to give this quality animated movie adaptation a thorough watch. Especially since it features a wild clash between the big green guy and Beta-Ray Bill! So here’s how the story goes – Bruce Banner’s green alter-ego has caused far too much destruction on Earth, which forces some of his contemporaries to send him off the planet. Hulk soon ends up crash landing on a planet that’s ruled by a tyrant, who forces the green anti-hero to entertain him and his followers during coliseum battles. In a bid to fight back against that tyrant and free his fellow warriors from captivity, Hulk joins the resistance and struggles to regain his and theirs freedom.

2. ‘Hulk Vs.’

How can anyone not enjoy watching Marvel’s big green brute swing his enormous fists and feet at someone? It’s especially entertaining when he does it in this film against two equally formidable superheroes. You can turn your brain off if you’d like and just enjoy witnessing The Incredible Hulk square up with Wolverine and Thor. The plot buildup to those epic battles is pretty interesting too, so you can also watch this with your brain turned off if you’d like.

1. Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse’

Not only is this film the best animated film effort ever put out via Marvel, but it’s also arguably the greatest Spider-Man movie of all time. Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse shows love to the young web-slinging prodigy Miles Morales and a fun assortment of other Spidey heroes from neighboring universes. The movie’s heartwarming moments, shocking twists, hilarious hijinks, and unique animation style all combine to make it a bonafide classic. It doesn’t matter what age you are – Into the Spiderverse is a favorite among all ages.

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’: Explained

In both the East and West, anime has a reputation for being a form of entertainment created for and consumed by children and teens. That being said, anime also has a long history of avant-gardism and experimentalism, with many series rivaling high-art in terms of emotional and intellectual sophistication. Perhaps the best example of this is Neon Genesis Evangelion, widely considered one of the greatest anime franchises ever made.

Neon Genesis Evangelion was created by the director Hideaki Anno, who had previously worked with legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki on Studio Ghibli films, including Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. The series aired in Japan starting in 1995 and eventually made its way over to the United States in 2000, where it began developing a cult following. 

In the years since the show has been declared a masterpiece. Its inclusion in Takashi Murakami’s Superflat exhibitions in the early 2000s garnered the show much acclaim as museum-quality, legitimate art offering a deeply complex reflection of director Anno’s struggles with depression, a  commentary on the postmodern condition, and a meditation on Japan’s post-nuclear anxieties. 

With that in mind, NGE is far from the most accessible piece of art ever made. The fact that the show has multiple endings, multiple timelines, and multiple spin-offs doesn’t help the matter either.  In anticipation of the release of the fourth and final Neon Genesis Evangelion rebuild, confusingly titled Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time, we’re offering an extremely truncated summary and explanation of the franchise — so you can be ready for when the last movie drops in August. Bear with me: this is about to be confusing.

An Extremely Brief Summary

The storyline of NGE is deeply detailed and filled with an almost inconceivable amount of obscure lore, but here’s the shortest explanation of the plot we could possibly come up with. (Forgive me for leaving out several key subplots, but there’s a lot to cover.)

Neon Genesis Evangelion tells the story of Shinji Ikari, a student recruited to pilot a giant biomechanical robot created to fight mysterious alien-like entities (known as Angels) attacking the post-cataclysm territory of Tokyo-3. Shinji’s father, Gendo Ikari, is a high-level official in a secret government program named NERV, which was created to combat these attacks. Because of his hatred for his estranged father, Shinji has complicated feelings about being handed such an immense responsibility. Gendo blackmails Shinji into piloting the mech (known as an Eva) by threatening to force an already severely injured Rei Ayanami (another Eva pilot) to battle in Shinji’s stead.

Rei, Shinji, and a third pilot named Asuka Langley Sohryu (a bratty and arrogant half-German, half-Japanese schoolgirl who Shinji may or may not be sexually attracted to) battle a series of increasingly powerful Angels in their respective Eva units until Asuka, facing defeat in battle, slips into a catatonic depression. Shinji, whose Eva had previously gone berserk, is meanwhile slowly uncovering the truth about his colleague Rei, who appears to be a clone created by Gendo and his shadowy organization, to be repeatedly sacrificed in the fight against the Angels. It is also hinted that Rei was created from the DNA of Shinji’s mother. In fact, Shinji’s mother is revealed to have been a scientist who worked on creating the Eva units (built using technology harvested from Angels) — until she was quite literally absorbed by the machine that Shinji himself now pilots. 

Kaworu Nagisa, another Eva pilot, is brought in to replace Asuka. He fights alongside Shinji, and the two form a somewhat homoerotic relationship — that is until it is revealed that Kaworu is actually an Angel in disguise. Kaworu breaches a secret crypto-governmental base in the hopes of making contact with Lilith, an ancient Angel that Gendo’s organization had kept hidden underground. Kaworu contact with Lilith has the potential to destroy all life on Earth. Shinji reluctantly kills Kaworu to save humanity. Now here’s where things get really complicated: it turns out that NERV was functioning as a cover for an even more clandestine organization known as Seele. Seele had been researching the Angel phenomenon for a long time and, informed by ancient prophecies, had actually orchestrated an apocalypse that would turn all life on Earth into a giant soup of semi-sentient slime — assuming that this new existence would represent a higher form of mass consciousness that transcends human limitations. Shinji alone is faced with a choice: to save humanity and individuality or to allow all human life to dissolve into an amorphous collective consciousness.

Multiple Endings, Explained

The original TV series ran for a total of 26 episodes, but Gainax, the studio that had created Evangelion, was not prepared for the demands that the show would put on animators — or their budgets! The show had become less action/adventure-oriented and more surrealistic by episode 16, partially as a result of exhausting production schedules and a lack of funds that forced the animators to become more clever and artistic — and, simultaneously, hopeless about the show’s future. By the time Gainax had gotten to episode 25, there was almost no money left — forcing animators to cobble together the final 2 episodes using mostly recycled footage from the previous episodes. 

The TV series, then, ends with the triggering of Seele’s apocalypse, represented in the abstract by a series of dream-like images, including the cast of characters inexplicably congratulating Shinji. For the most part, this ending is totally incoherent — although some have interpreted it as Shinji ultimately realizing the need for others, thus fighting against Seele’s doomsday initiative,The Human Instrumentality Project.

A few years later, following negative critical reactions to the series’ ambiguous conclusion, Gainax attempted to revisit the incomplete show in the form of two films: Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth and The End of Evangelion. Death & Rebirth was released in 1997 as a recap of the series. End of Evangelion, also released in 1997, is what most consider the series’ proper ending and picks up where episode 24 leaves off.

In End of Evangelion, Seele attempts to bring forth the apocalypse by releasing a series of mass-produced Evas, while Gendo attempts to fuse with Rei in order to reunite with his late wife. In a series of magical, surreal battles, Rei becomes a sort of gigantic demi-God who Shinji must either forfeit to — deciding that human life isn’t worth saving — or battle. Shinji ultimately chooses human individuality, defeating the Rei-kaiju. He awakens to a barren wasteland with Asuka. Shinji begins choking Asuka to death but is calmed when she reaches out to stroke his cheek. “How disgusting,” says Asuka, as the movie ends.

Understanding Evangelion

Since anime is art and art is subjective, critics and fans have come up with several theories to explain what actually happens in the show. None of these ideas are mutually exclusive, nor can they be proven or disproven. Four major strains of thought have seemed to emerge:

The Straightforward / Modernist Interpretation: The events of Neon Genesis Evangelion are meant to be taken at face value and understood literally. The story is about man’s struggles with both God and technology and humanity’s experience of both joy and pain. Shinji’s final choice represents a humanistic appreciation for individuality. The abstract stuff is just the result of budget constraints.

The Psychoanalytic Interpretation: Anno had researched psychoanalytic theory while grappling with his own depression, which informed the show’s story. The writings of Sigmund Freud and Melanie Klein are referred to in the show’s English episode titles and plot points of the series map onto Freud and Klein’s theories of human psychosexual development. Shinji’s journey, then, could be understood as a metaphor for his movement from what is known in Kleinian theory as the paranoid-schizoid position (the solipsistic and wrathful mindset of the infant) into the depressive position (in which a human begins to understand the concept of loss). Similarly, the story may be interpreted as Shinji’s conquering of his Oedipus complex (the show explores the difficulties of his triangulated relationship with his father and mother) and his entrance into the world of adult sexuality, as he moves from homosexuality (his relationship with Kaworu) to heterosexuality (his relationship with Asuka).

The Postmodern / Superflatist Interpretation: The show is a self-reflexive meta-commentary on otaku culture, anime itself, and the struggles of its animators. NGE, in this line of thought, is a self-aware deconstruction of the tropes of giant robot anime (like, for example, Gundam) that also serves as a critique of the animation industry or aspects of Japan’s infantilized, post-nuclear culture. The abstractions and surreality, then, are reflections of a kind of cultural schizophrenia brought about by technology and existence in a genocided, post-atomic society.

The Nihilistic Interpretation: The story doesn’t make sense and doesn’t actually “mean” anything at all — it’s best to be understood as a series of gorgeous aesthetic images and experiences rather than interpreted at all.

Rebuilds, Spin-offs, and Re-releases
Dark Horse Comics

After even one viewing of NGE, it’s obvious that there’s a lot of smaller sub-plots and mythos that simply aren’t covered in the show. A 14-volume manga series with the same name ran from 1994 to 2013 and more thoroughly explained what, exactly, the Angels are — amongst offering more in-depth explorations of each characters’ psychology. This manga isn’t particularly easy to find in the United States, although fan translations and scans are currently floating around the Internet.

Another spinoff manga that recapitulates the original NGE story, titled Neon Genesis Evangelion: Apocalypse Campus, ran from 2007 to 2009 and was released in the United States by Dark Horse comics in 2010. NGE also had a few Japan-only video game spinoffs and playable novels that similarly delve deeper into Anno’s strange world.

In 2007, the first film in a series of so-called “rebuilds” — titled Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone — was released. These rebuilds, still written by Anno and starting the story over from the beginning, explored an alternate re-telling (or alternate timeline?) of the events of Evangelion, completely redone with higher quality computer animation and digital ink. Without the constraints of traditional animation, these stunningly beautiful movies might be closer to what Anno originally imagined the show to look like — however, the story is even more dense and confusing.

In the subsequent rebuilds, the Angels actually do succeed in destroying most of Earth, leaving behind a massive post-apocalyptic nightmare world that Shinji is forced to protect. This story also introduces Mari Makinami Illustrious, a new Eva pilot, who may or may not be a double-agent for another shadowy organization. Kaworu plays a bigger role in this version, and his complicated (romantic?) relationship with Shinji is explored in more depth. Netflix re-released the original Neon Genesis Evangelion series, Death & Rebirth, End of Evangelion, and the first three rebuilds in 2019. The show had been difficult to find before these re-releases, and fans were thrilled to have it so readily available once again — everything looks stunning in their HD remaster. However, due to licensing issues with the original voice-over tracks and score, the show’s entire dialogue was re-recorded with new voice actors, and all of the original music was replaced. Reactions to the new audio were mixed, but some fans were particularly enraged with the new translation, which rendered Shinji and Kaworu’s relationship much more ambiguous and less romantic or homo-erotic.

New Movie and What’s Next

Anno’s rebuilds took a frightening amount of work — Anno was reluctant to even complete the sequence for personal reasons — and the last two films had been delayed several times. 3.0+1.0 faced even further delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Finally, the last rebuild of this tetralogy was released in Japan in March of 2021. The movie will become available for streaming in the United States on Amazon Prime on August 13, 2021.

Anno has stated that this is the conclusion to the rebuild narrative and that it is his final project in the Evangelion universe. Whether he sticks to his word or decides to revisit this world in the future remains to be seen. That being said, a few animators are working on their own imaginings or expansions of Evangelion without Anno: short films titled Evangelion – Another Impact (Confidential), Neon Genesis IMPACTS, and until You come to me [sic], set in the world of Eva, have been released.

Anno’s more recent projects that are unaffiliated with Eva retain striking thematic similarities with his best-known work. Shin Godzilla, an Anno-directed, live-action, postmodern reinvention of  Godzilla, was released in 2016 — it even features reinterpretations of the original music from NGE. His upcoming film, Shin Kamen Rider, is set to be released in 2023 and is likely to offer a similar postmodern reimagining of the beloved titular character. Rumors of a fully realized Neon Genesis Evangelion theme park — and rumors of a fully live-action reboot of the series — have been floating around for years. However, the extent to which this gossip will ever come true remains a question. Meanwhile, NGE is still one of the most influential and important anime shows ever made, and, somehow — even after decades of viewership — still garners serious debates and spawns nearly endless memes that reach out into the furthest corners of the Internet.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 14 Best ‘Dragon Ball’ Games

Akira Toriyama’s name rings bells out here in these anime streets.

And if you consider yourself a lifelong otaku, then you know why that’s the case. The famed Japanese manga artist and character designer is best known for giving the world the gift of Dragon Ball. Through a successful collection of ongoing manga and anime series, Goku and the gang have accrued monumental mainstream popularity. Dragon Ball’s super-powered martial artists have captured everyone’s imagination due to their affinity for engaging in hyperfast battles, powering themselves up to shocking levels of power, and sending deadly beams out their hands & fingers. It’s hard to deny just how important Dragon Ball is to the world of anime and mainstream culture as a whole.

With such a major property like Dragon Ball out in the world, it should come as no surprise that a bunch of video games has been dedicated to it. A good majority of them are Wal-Mart bottom-of-the-barrel material, but there’s a strong collection of Dragon Ball games out there worth mentioning. We played 14 of those sublime Super Saiyan gaming experiences and are here to remind you of them all.

1. ‘Dragon Ball Z: Super Butōden 2’

Dragon Ball Z is an anime about a whole bunch of dudes and women powering up to bash each other’s brains in. That simple premise is supported by some epic story arcs that feature some of the most sinister villains in all of anime. With such an easily understandable concept, it’s easy to see why a long list of fighting games have been devoted to the Z Warriors and their foes. One of the finest examples of that ongoing trend is this SNES 2D brawler. Dragon Ball Z: Super Butōden 2 wasn’t just only a matter of better is more – it also improved upon everything that the first game relied upon. The addition of playable movie plots, special counterattack moves, and meteor combos lifted this 16-bit fighter to new heights above its predecessor.

2. ‘Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II’

The Game Boy Advance features a smorgasbord of Dragon Ball games. Some of them are surprisingly decent and some of them are horrifyingly bad. The Legacy of Goku series is one of the stronger sub-series within the Dragon Ball line and each game has its own positive attributes worth speaking on. But the game that clearly stands as the best is the second one. And it’s easy to recognize why – it allows players to play out the events of the (arguably) greatest story arcs in Dragon Ball Z history and offers a more refined gameplay experience. The expanded playable roster also did a great job of adding an extra sense of fulfillment to the game’s quality RPG structure.

3. ‘Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3’

The first Budokai was an adequate attempt at creating a 3D Dragon Ball Z fighter. The second Budokai was a half step in the right direction, but it faltered a bit due to a weird board game adventure mode. Then Budokai 3 came into everyone’s lives and helped the series finally realize its true potential. The cel-shaded visuals became their very best, navigating the extensive “Dragon Universe” mode added hours of fun, and the refined battle mechanics made the onscreen action look just as good as the one from the anime. The feeling of finally unlocking SSJ4 Goku, SSJ4 Vegeta, and Omega Shenron truly made you feel like a king in Budokai 3. And tearing up your friends as those characters felt oh so good.

4. ‘Super Dragon Ball Z’

Super Dragon Ball Z takes the cake for being one of, if not the most underrated Dragon Ball Z game on this list. It came out during the height of the 3D PS2 games, which is why it probably got ignored by most. And that should be considered a crime because this slept-on fighting game deserves more love. The cel-shaded visuals were really striking and evoked memories of the manga art the series was born on. Instead of offering a more casual approach to one-on-one combat, Super DBZ incorporates more traditional fighting game control inputs and combo routes. Seeing as how this game had development input from one of the guys that worked on Street Fighter and Darksiders, that gameplay feel makes perfect sense. Seek this one out and make sure you give Chi-Chi a spin (she’s a total badass in this game!).

5. ‘Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure’

The OG Dragon Ball saga gave us young Goku as he fought his way through dangerous foes such as Mercenary Tao and King Piccolo. The entirety of Goku’s initial adventures is perfectly detailed within this shockingly great Game Boy Advance release. Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure features Goku and his training partner Krillin as they explore different environments, clash with familiar baddies, and take to the air on the Flying Nimbus for some airborne clashes. The best parts of this game arrive when it comes time to get locked into some one-on-one battles that raise the stakes and get the blood pumping. Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure is one of the best ways to make your way through Goku’s early origins and play them out in the most gratifying way possible.

6. ‘Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai’

The Budokai series got plenty of accolades on the PS2, so it didn’t come as a shock when it made its way over to the PlayStation Portable. Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai may have gotten rid of the “Dragon Rush” technique, but it still managed to be awesome thanks to the speedy “Aura Burst” mechanic. That changeup and the always enjoyable Budokai battle mechanics did enough to make this portable variation of the series succeed on its own. And thanks to the game’s “Dragon Road” mode, players got treated to a playable storyline that diverted from the usual arcs we’ve already played a million times before. The sequel to this one feels like a step-down, honestly – just go out of your way and play this far better predecessor.

7. ‘Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3’

One of the most fun things you can do with this game is hopping into Team Battle and hitting the random button for your entire squad. That simple premise became hours of fun due to the fact that Budokai Tenkaichi 3 features a whopping roster count of 161. Thankfully, having access to all those recognizable Z Warriors meant you could use them all in the best game in the Budokai Tenkaichi sub-series. The gameplay became even more refined, the “Dragon History” story mode featured an extensive playable summary of the show’s history, and additional modes made Budokai Tenkaichi 3 one of the most feature-rich Dragon Ball Z fighting games.

8. ‘Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit’

Once the Dragon Ball Z fighting games made the jump to PS3 and Xbox 360, it did so by combining the best elements of Budokai and Shin Budokai. Add on a much more refined cel-shaded art palette and you’ve got yourself one of the better-looking Dragon Ball Z fighters on the market. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit’s combat offers fast-paced gameplay that also incorporates character assists, the clever implementation of climactic “Drama Pieces,” and the awesome “Aura Spark” mode. Even though this pick on our list sadly didn’t include the Majin Buu saga as a part of its “Z Chronicles” mode, we still enjoyed participating in its story recreation battles. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit took the Budokai format to new impressive heights.

9. ‘Dragon Ball: Origins’

Dragon Ball: Origins is pretty much a more refined version of Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure. Instead of presenting all the anime’s classic exploits through a side-scrolling format, this Nintendo DS title does it all through a top-down action RPG presentation. If you love The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, then you’ll most likely find a lot of enjoyment here with this game if you haven’t checked it out already. Playing with Goku as he grows into the legendary fighter he is and running alongside Krillin, Bulma, and Master Roshi makes up the gamut of this Dragon Ball gaming gem. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this game’s awesome Flying Nimbus race and chase segments.

10. ‘Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans’

Retelling the very first story arc of Dragon Ball Z and mashing up its iconic clashes with a turn-based battle system worked out way better than we thought it would. Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans feels like the perfect marriage between Final Fantasy and Super Mario RPG. The well-known plot is played out in epic fashion and pulling off the Z Warriors’ sick super moves through active combat commands is part of the game’s mass appeal. The fact that this Dragon Ball Z RPG never received a sequel should be considered criminal. We would have loved to take down Frieza and his loyal forces through the turn-based assaults featured in this slept-on game.

11. ‘Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2’

Any child of the 90s will tell you – if they were a fan of Goku and the gang, they regularly drew their own custom Super Saiyan heroes inside their notebooks. Once the first Dragon Ball Xenoverse hit the scene, creating one’s very own anime powerhouse finally became a reality. While that game was an amazing revelation, the sequel truly solidifies the series as a Dragon Ball Z fans’ dream come true. Conton City offers a vastly better version of Toki-Toki City that’s jam-packed with fellow Time Patrollers, familiar faces, and recognizable hub worlds. The game’s larger roster gave way to even more skills that can be applied to your custom fighter, which became quite a compelling activity. The huge multiplayer suite and continued updates present Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 as the gift that just keeps on giving.

12. ‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’

For the longest time before this game came into existence, hardcore fighting game fans longed for a traditional 2D brawler that featured the Ki blasting combatants of Dragon Ball Z. Lauded fighting game development studio Arc System Works rose to the occasion to fulfill that grand wish and ended up creating one of the greatest anime fighters of all time in Dragon Ball FighterZ. This amalgamation of Guilty Gear’s slick animation and Marvel vs. Capcom’s team-based battles are a smashing success. Each character comes with an easy set of moves to remember, but it takes true skill to master each one of their intricacies and smartly utilize them in tandem with their partners. Dragon Ball FighterZ is the dream game that we all wanted to play. And thankfully, it exists and is incredible in every regard.

13. ‘Dragon Ball Legends’

Don’t sleep on this mobile Dragon Ball Z game. It’s not some cheap hack job that was just thrown out there to bleed people’s digital wallets dry – it’s actually a shockingly gorgeous action RPG that features an easy to comprehend battle system. Dragon Ball Legends will pull you due to its mass array of unlockable characters, who can then be taken into intense combat scenarios. Once a fight breaks out, both characters ascend to the sky as you use focus taps in order to pull off devastating attacks. There’s a good amount of strategy that goes into preserving your energy for major maneuvers and overwhelming your opponents. Those attributes will most certainly appeal to even non-Dragon Ball Z fans who’re looking for their next mobile game addiction.

14. ‘Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot’

Shout out to publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment and noted anime games developer CyberConnect2. Their fruitful partnership has resulted in a wide swath of anime games that do right by their demanding fanbases. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is definitely one of the best games to come from that ongoing business relationship. Watching the show is one thing, but getting to actively participate in all of its most thrilling moments. Flying through the air to pick up Z Orbs, going Super Saiyan to eliminate the opposition, and enjoying a nice round of fishing are just some of the great activities you can do in this fan-requested action RPG. The base story campaign and the Dragon Ball Super-themed add-on’s make this game one of the comprehensive anime experiences out there.

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

The 14 Best-Selling Manga of All-Time

Just a few years ago, there seemed to be a stigma around manga and anime that has certainly since been shaken. The community seems to be growing significantly larger year by year and an increasing number of people who are into random TV series and comics are trying out some of the Japanese content.

An anime is basically a Japanese cartoon. Anime is certainly more popular than manga, at least in the Western world. Many of us were into anime as children before we even knew it. Think Dragon Ball, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokémon. Where anime is the Japanese version of cartoons, manga is basically the Japanese version of comic books and graphic novels. Just like shows often are with comic books, a lot of anime often starts with manga.

To bring you up to speed on the world of manga, we’ve compiled a list of the 14 best-selling manga of all time. Here they are, from top to bottom.

1. One Piece (Shueisha, 1997 – Present)
Amazon

Few manga on this list are still in print today, but One Piece is one of them, nearing its 100th volume. Right now, it’s the best-selling manga series on the planet, with an estimated 480 million copies sold worldwide. It follows Monkey D. Luffy, whose body gains the properties of rubber, while he searches for the treasure known as One Piece.

Buy now, $8.40
https://www.amazon.com/One-Piece-Vol-Romance-Dawn/dp/1569319014/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=one+piece+vol+1&qid=1625064347&sr=8-1
2. Golgo 13 (Shogakukan, 1968 – Present)
Amazon

Golgo 13 is the longest-running manga series on this list, starting in October of 1968 and still in production. There are a couple of hundred volumes that have sold 300 million copies. It’s about a professional assassin who must do his job while the CIA, FBI, and US Army try to hunt him down.

Buy now, $9.99
https://www.viz.com/golgo-13
3. Dragon Ball (Shueisha, 1984 – 1995)
Amazon

This is definitely the name on this list that most people who aren’t into manga or anime will recognize, especially its sequel Dragon Ball Z. Dragon Ball has approximate sales of 260 million. The series essentially follows Son Goku as he tries to collect the Dragon Balls, but of course, it goes many places from there.

Buy now, $2.60
https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Ball-Vol-Akira-Toriyama/dp/1569319200/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=dragon+ball+vol+1&qid=1625064408&s=books&sr=1-1
4. Naruto (Shueisha, 1999 – 2014)
Simon & Schuster

Naruto follows its title character, a ninja called Naruto Uzumaki, as he aims to achieve his goal of being Hokage, the leader of his village. The anime is famous for having hundreds and hundreds of episodes, but its manga was 72 volumes. To date, it has sold approximately 250 million copies worldwide.

Buy now, $9.53
https://www.amazon.com/Naruto-Vol-1-Uzumaki/dp/1569319006
5. Detective Conan (Shogakukan, 1994 – Present)
Amazon

Detective Conan, also known to some as Case Closed, is a story about a high school detective called Shinichi Kudo who turns into a child while investigating a particularly strange organization. It has sold an estimated 230 million copies and is still in print today, nearing its 100th volume.

Buy now, $7.67
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1591163277/ref=bseries_primary_1_1591163277
6. Black Jack (Akita Shoten, 1973 – 1983)
Amazon

Coming in at sixth place with sales of 176 million is Black Jack. Written and illustrated by Osamu Tezuka, it’s named after its title character. Set in the 1970s, Black Jack is a doctor who does good deeds, but rarely gets recognized for it. There were just 25 volumes in the decade it was in production.

Buy now, $12.50
https://www.amazon.com/Black-Jack-Vol-Osamu-Tezuka/dp/193428727X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=black+jack+volume+1&qid=1625063366&s=books&sr=1-1
7. Doraemon (Shogakukan, 1969 – 1996)
Amazon

Doraemon is a robotic cat who time travels so that a boy called Nobita Nobi can be assisted. It’s neither a Shōnen nor a Seinen and is aimed at children. Selling 170 million copies worldwide, it’s hard to overstate how big this is in Japan. Doraemon has previously been named Japan’s anime ambassador and appeared alongside the country’s Prime Minister at the 2016 Olympics.

Buy now, $17.99
https://www.amazon.com/Doraemon-Gadget-Cat-Future-Vol/dp/4092270119/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=doraemon+volume+1&qid=1625063491&sr=8-1
8. Slam Dunk (Shueisha, 1990 – 1996)
Amazon

As you may have guessed from the name, Slam Dunk is a manga based around basketball. The plot is that a boy, Hanamichi Sakuragi, meets a love interest, Haruko Akagi, who convinces him to join their high school basketball team. He’s not interested at first, but it quickly becomes a passion of his. In six years, 157 million copies were sold.

Buy now, $5.03
https://www.amazon.com/Slam-Dunk-Vol-Takehiko-Inoue/dp/1421506793/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Slam+Dunk+volume+1&qid=1625063598&sr=8-1
9. KochiKame: Tokyo Beat Cops (Shueisha, 1976 – 2016)
The Puppeter

With a whopping 200 volumes, KochiKame focuses on a policeman named Kankichi Ryotsu. It’s almost like a written sitcom. Each episode centers around a money-making scheme that Kankichi thinks of, only for it to blow up in his face by the end. In three decades, this manga series sold 156.5 million copies.

Buy now, $7.71
https://verasia.eu/manga-in-japanese/543-kochikame-vol1-9784088528113.html
10. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (Shueisha, 2016 – 2020)
Amazon

Demon Slayer is the newest and one of the shortest manga on this list by a mile, starting just a few years ago in 2016 and ending last year. The anime is also insanely popular. To date, the manga series has sold 150 million copies, an impressive number for such a short time span. As of December last year, the entire franchise had generated the equivalent of $2.6 billion in Japan.

Buy now, $7.39
https://www.amazon.com/Demon-Slayer-Kimetsu-Yaiba-Vol/dp/1974700526/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Demon+Slayer+volume+1&qid=1625063949&sr=8-1
11. Crayon Shin-chan (Futabasha, 1990 – Present)
Amazon

Still in print, Crayon Shin-chan has been around in some form since it debuted in Weekly Manga Action in 1990. It follows a five-year-old named Shinnosuke Nohara and his loved ones. It has sold approximately 148 million copies.

Buy now, $6.48
https://www.amazon.com/Crayon-Shinchan-VOL-01-Reissue/dp/140121715X
12. Oishinbo (Shogakukan, 1983 – 2014)
Shogakukan

Next up is Oishinbo which is currently on hiatus due to criticism it received for its portrayal of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Plans are to bring it back for a short while before ending it. At the time of writing, the show about the culinary journalist and his wife has sold around 135 million copies.

Buy now, $10.65
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1421521393/ref=bseries_primary_1_1421521393
13. Bleach (Shueisha, 2001 – 2016)
Amazon

In print from 2001 to 2016, Bleach is about a fifteen-year-old who is a Soul Reaper (similar to a grim reaper.) It’s been a great success, boasting an anime series, a film, musicals, a trading card game, novels, and more. 120 million copies have been sold to date.

Buy now, $6.91
https://www.amazon.com/Bleach-Vol-1-Tite-Kubo/dp/1591164419/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=bleach+vol+1&qid=1625064237&s=books&sr=1-1
14. Astro Boy (Kobunsha, 1952 – 1968)
Amazon

Last up is Astro Boy (known as Mighty Atom in Japan), which has sold an estimated 100 million copies. A man called Umataro Tenma mourns the death of his son and creates an android with human emotions. He eventually wants to live life as a human boy.

Buy now, $31
https://www.amazon.com/Astro-Boy-Vol-Osamu-Tezuka/dp/1569716765/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=astro+boy+vol+1&qid=1625064305&s=books&sr=1-1
Categories
Culture Movies/TV

The 12 Best ‘One-Punch Man’ Characters, Ranked

One of the funniest, most action-packed manga/anime properties on the scene today revolves around a superhero that can take his foes out with a single punch. And along the way, he interacts with his fellow saviors to indulge in some hilarious endeavors and save the world from all sorts of dangerous threats. One-Punch Man migrated from Japan to the States in 2015 and managed to become a smash hit shortly after its arrival. Saitama and the rest of the gang have fast become fan favorites and inspired anime diehards everywhere to cosplay them & showcase other methods of avid character appreciation. We’ve watched the anime from front to back and are now ready to rank the show’s most prominent personalities. This is our definitive list of the 12 best One-Punch Man characters.

12. King

When King first came into the picture, we were told that his status as a superhero is legendary – the Hero Association even deemed him as one of the most fearsome beings on Earth. So much so that his mere presence sends his foes running. In reality, King is just a super chill dude who’s a beast in video games and happens to be the luckiest individuals on the planet. That’s kind of amazing, right? We relate to King so much and love the fact that he’s managed to keep up a front for so long.

11. Puri-Puri Prisoner

Imagine running into this fabulous brute and having to defend yourself against his…well, “unorthodox” offense. Puri-Puri Prisoner is one of the more flamboyant heroes that exist within the One-Punch Man universe. And for that reason alone, we appreciate him so much. Villains have made the mistake of underestimating him and have ended up catching a nude beatdown courtesy of Puri-Puri Prisoner’s “Angel” fighting style. Puri-Puri Prisoner is strong, fly, and full of love. You just couldn’t ask for a better guy.

10. Mumen Rider

He rides a bike and chooses to deliver damage to evil-doers with pure justice backing up his blows. Mumen Rider may not have the superheroic strength his peers have, but he still stands firm and fights the good fight whenever duty calls. His commendable heroism and never-say-die attitude were certainly on full display when he threw himself in front of the Deep Sea King even though he was no match for him. Mumen Rider’s bravery and sweet armor setup inspire us to do right in our everyday lives and ride our bikes like a true boss.

9. Tanktop Master

Who knew the tank top could be such a conduit for immense strength? After witnessing the Tank Topper Army put in work against the baddies they’ve come across, we found out just how integral that simple piece of clothing could be. The leader of that crew is our favorite member and he’s simply known as Tanktop Master. His chivalry is inspiring and has instilled in us a strong sense of humility. He’s certainly taken his fair share of lumps, but we still have the utmost respect for Tanktop Master.

8. Metal Bat

His superhero title is straightforward, which is something you gotta admire. The dude walks around with a metal bat and beats the breaks off of villains that threaten the peace of the world he inhabits. Simple! Metal Bat doesn’t care how severe the threat is – he’ll come in swinging and go for the W before anything else. Remember how bad he beat down Rafflesidon and Senior Centipede? After watching that assault take place, we gained even more respect for the one and only Metal Bat. He gets extra points for his strong fashion sense, that’s for sure.

7. Sonic

You can never go wrong with ninjas. The cool factor that particular line of warriors exudes is top-tier and their mastery of assassination techniques is awe-inspiring. One-Punch Man has a ninja of its own and his sense of speed is next level. Sonic is the stealthy mastermind we’re alluding to here and we can’t get enough of him. He’s gotten himself embroiled in some of the best fights in the series (him vs. Saitama and the Deep Sea King, for instance) and is always on the path to gaining more power in a bid to defeat the anime’s titular hero. Side note – the mud butt Sonic got from eating a fully cooked Monster Cell was just too damn funny!

6. Fubuki

Fubuki may be the weaker part of the Psychic Sisters duo, but that doesn’t make her any less of a hero. She’s a major boss who does everything in her power to maintain her position as the most fearsome B-Class hero. She leads her own stable (the Blizzard Group), dresses immaculately, and also has a few psychokinesis tricks up her sleeve when it comes time to dish out some damage. We appreciate Fubuki for taking charge of her destiny and building a clique around her in a bid to stand apart from her much stronger sibling.

5. Tatsumaki

One-Punch Man’s “Tornado of Terror” knows she’s above everyone else and she takes every opportunity to make that sentiment clear. And honestly, you can’t fault her for that – Tatsumaki’s overwhelming power puts her a step above most heroes and villains. Watching her tap into her psychokinesis-based abilities mid-battle provided One-Punch Man with some of its finest highlights thus far. Here’s hoping she gets even more chances to tear up some baddies and be a total jerk to her fellow heroes. Tatsumaki’s drip might not measure up to her sister’s, but she still looks quite fashionable in her own right.

4. Bang

We’re not the only ones that think Bang totally looks like Heihachi from Tekken, right? Okay, just checking. Anyways, One-Punch Man’s incredibly powerful “Silver Fang” is an amazing martial artist that’s mastered the art of the Water Stream Rock Smashing Fist. Every time Bang pulls up to the scene, you just know he’s about to destroy whoever’s in his way. Bang has amazed us on multiple occasions – his battles against Garou, the Elder Centipede, and Melzargard are simply the stuff of legend.

3. Garou

Garou was pretty much the main focus of One-Punch Man’s second season and ended up becoming one of the show’s best combatants by the time it wrapped up. His reasoning for becoming the “Hero Hunter” is completely understandable, which is why we weren’t too mad at him every time he chose to go on a rampage against do-gooders. As a former Bang disciple, Garou ends up using his brand of martial arts to beat the ever-loving you know what out of his adversaries. Watching Garou take down eight heroes all by his lonesome was one of the dopest scenes we’ve ever seen from this show.

2. Genos

Saitama’s right-hand man is the all-powerful “Demon Cyborg” that makes it his mission to get stronger at every cost. Genos is a super badass that always steps up to save the world and upholds his many duties as a member of the Hero Association. We revere Genos for his super-serious personality, which is at odds with Saitama’s carefree vibes (their moments of dialogue were pure hilarity during the show’s first season). Genos is one of the greatest cyborgs in anime history and a constant highlight from the show.

1. Saitama

How could we not place our guy Saitama at the #1 spot? The show is pretty much named after the guy, for God’s sake! Saitama’s unassuming appearance betrays his unbelievable strength, which is put on display when he vanquishes the most intimidating villains with a single punch. We love the dude for being super chill – his nonchalant attitude during super serious situations has produced plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. The One-Punch Man himself has quickly become one of the greatest characters in anime history and someone that we could totally see go toe to toe with Goku of all people!

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

The 45 Best Anime Characters to Watch Right Now

You can’t help but get sucked into a binge-watching session of the very first anime you’ve ever decided to check out. 

After a few recommendations come your way from those in the know, you’ll quickly attach yourself to one of your first choices and become enraptured with everything that transpires during said anime. At the heart of every worthwhile anime is a cast that will hopefully get you engaged in anything and everything they do. And when it comes time for those various personalities to get embroiled in a major conflict, the stakes are raised and emotions run high while your favorite characters struggle for their lives. Anime has been around for as long as we can remember and there’s been a ton of iconic individuals featured throughout them that have captured our hearts and imaginations. The characters we’ve listed below adorn our finest T-shirts, inspire plenty of fan art, and have entire cosplay communities dedicated to them. 

We can’t help but love each and every one of these iconic anime characters. And we’re sure most of you feel the exact same way.

1. Goku (‘Dragon Ball Z’)

The Super Saiyan to rule them all is practically recognizable by everyone and their grandmother. Goku’s known for being a dunce that lets simple jokes go over his head most of the time, but he’s still quite beloved due to his constant desire for the types of battles that push him to his very limit. As Dragon Ball Z’s poster boy, Goku stands out as anime’s most iconic character and one of its most powerful warriors. Crazy to think that he might just have a new formation or two waiting in the tuck for future generations of Dragon Ball.

2. Vegeta (‘Dragon Ball Z’)

The yang to Goku’s yin is the battle-hardened Saiyan Prince known as Vegeta. Vegeta’s growth has been amazing to watch – he went from a planet-destroying member of the Frieza Force to a proud fighter that always looks to protect his loved ones and the planet he once tried to tear apart. The man is always in a salty mood and hardly smiles, but we can’t help but love it when it breaks the limit of his power and contends with a natural rival in Goku.

3. Piccolo (‘Dragon Ball Z’)

Piccolo was once on the opposite end of the World Martial Arts Tournament arena when it came time to exchange fisticuffs and beams with Goku. But after their fight concluded, the formidable Namakian combatant turned to the hero side of things and fought on behalf of the denizens of Earth. Not only is Piccolo a super badass member of the Z-Fighters team, but he’s also an amazing father figure that helped Gohan realize his true combat potential.

4. Future Trunks (‘Dragon Ball Z’)

Vegeta and Bulma’s son will always be remembered for having one of the dopest intros in an anime ever. Watching him make short work of Mecha Frieza and King Cold with his Super Saiyan toolset and signature blade in tow will forever stay in our memory banks. Trunks exudes so many likable traits and it’s so easy to root for the guy as he deals with the threats that exist in his future timeline. His heroic nature has always painted him as one of DBZ’s bravest warriors.

5. Frieza (‘Dragon Ball Z’)

Frieza’s one of the most conniving, untrustworthy, and megalomaniacal villains to have ever existed within the world of anime. Even still, we simply can’t get enough of the guy. Even after being wiped out by Goku and company on more than one occasion, Freiza has found his way back to the world of the living and gotten back to terrorizing the universe. Frieza always plays dirty and will do anything to make his ultimate wish via the Dragon Balls. You gotta respect the purple and white menace’s tenacity in that regard.

6. Bulma (‘Dragon Ball Z’)

The genius that’s closely associated with the Capsule Corporation owns her role as the greatest female character in Dragon Ball Z history. Bulma’s been around since the OG Dragon Ball days and has been on countless adventures with Goku, his son Gohan, Krillin, etc. She’s got quite the attitude on her, which shockingly makes her super likable since she has every right to be a bit snappy considering what she can invent and develop on a whim. Bulma’s the brains behind the Z-Fighters operation and we hope that position never changes.

7. Naruto Uzumaki (‘Naruto’)

Following the growth of Naruto from an overconfident youngster to the level-headed Hokage of the village he calls home (Konohagakure) is incredibly inspiring. Naruto’s the type of series protagonist that saw his goals through to full completion and fully dedicated himself to protecting the friends he regards as family. His ninjitsu mastery is next level and it’s always exciting to watch him save the day with his amazing abilities in tow.

8. Kakashi Hatake (‘Naruto’)

Team 7’s teacher is cool under pressure, incredibly strong, and has a sweet hairdo to boot. Besides passing on his knowledge to Naruto’s most recognizable trio, Kakashi has also showcased his battle-ready skills during the series’ most climactic clashes. The guy just looks so damn cool with his face mask on at all times and we’ve adorned our walls with images of him reading his beloved erotic novels. Kakashi has the right to unwind after doing so much good in the world of Naruto.

9. Sasuke Uchiha (‘Naruto’)

Naruto’s biggest rival is none other than Sasuke Uchiha. His thirst for unrelenting power during his earlier story arc painted him as someone that was destined for evil. But as his story wore on, we came to understand Sasuke’s thirst for vengeance and were more than overjoyed when he finally chose to reunite with his original Team 7 squadmates. Sasuke may have originally come off as a cold and ruthless antagonist. But he eventually grew into someone we could admire and respect thanks to his newfound quest for redemption.

10. Itachi Uchiha (‘Naruto’)

Sasuke’s older brother Itachi was forced to bring his entire clan to a demise in an effort to protect his younger sibling. That commendable act quickly made us gain the highest level of respect for Itachi Uchiha. Besides making one of the biggest character sacrifices in Naruto, Itachi also gets tons of credit for being featured in some of the most legendary fights in the series. Itachi has an intriguing backstory and the benefit of being a complete badass, which certainly qualifies him for this list.

11. Tsunade (‘Naruto’)

Lady Tsunade definitely earned a top spot among Naruto’s pantheon of the manga/anime’s most beloved characters. Her leadership skills regularly inspired us during her time spent as the Fifth Hokage, plus watching her fend off Orochimaru while simultaneously protecting Naruto stands out as one of her finest moments. Tsunade gets top honors from us thanks to her affinity for putting hands on baddies and using those same hands to heal her allies all in one fell swoop.

12. Monkey D. Luffy (‘One Piece’)

Monkey D. Luffy just doesn’t know the word quit. The “Straw Hat” pirate always fights valiantly in the name of his fellow pirates and makes sure to do so to his very last breath. His fun-loving personality and the fact that he tends to speak at an incredibly high volume endeared us to him from the very start of One Piece. The many transformations he’s adopted throughout the sea-faring anime paint him as the sort of hero that can always be counted on to raise his game to all-new levels of power.

13. Roronoa Zoro (‘One Piece’)

Zoro’s skills as a master swordsmen always have us in awe. Some of the best fights in the entire One Piece series come straight from whomever Zoro chose to do battle with. Once a month, we spend some time raising our hype levels during our scheduled viewings of Zoro’s epic clashes with Ryuma, Daz Bones, and Bartholomew Kuma. Zoro is most definitely one of our favorite anime blade-wielding heroes.

14. Sanji (‘One Piece’)

Sanji isn’t just a classy chef with a strong sense of adoration for One Piece’s female population, but he’s also a menace when it comes to delivering kicks. As long as we’ve been watching him in action, we’ve found ourselves in awe of the specialty kicks he dishes out. Add in his impeccable sense of fashion and you have an anime icon that dons the flyest suits and wears them while putting in work with his vicious kick-based arsenal.

15. Yusuke Urameshi (‘Yu Yu Hakusho’)

In both the Human and Demon Worlds within Yu Yu Hakusho, Yusuke always did his best to fight on the side of good and utilize his immense power to uphold his duty as protector. Yusuke’s growth into a respectable young man happened in front of our very eyes, which is why we champion him as Yu Yu Hakusho’s best character. We can’t help but relate to a kid that always felt like no one could see him when it came time to engage in some fisticuffs. SPIRIT GUN VIBES, FOR THE WIN!

16. Kurama (‘Yu Yu Hakusho’)

This man Kurama has an immense amount of drip. And that’s because the combination of a fox demon’s spirit and a graceful human body resulted in nothing but pure excellence. Kurama’s combat mastery usually resulted in some of Yu Yu Hakusho’s most exciting battles – watching him put in work with that rose whip of his is always monumental. Kurama’s far from a pretty boy – he’s a cunning fighter with both brawn and brains in equal measure.

17. Hiei (‘Yu Yu Hakusho’)

Another memorable member from Yusuke’s four-man unit is the man referred to as “Hiei of the Evil Eye.” Hiei’s height has and always will be a non-factor since he makes up for it with an amazing skill set. Extreme heat and severe cold conditions have no effect on him, plus his insane sense of speed always made his adept swordsmanship look that much cooler in action. Hiei’s third eye and the terrifying transformation that places even more eyes across his body give him a whole bunch of extra cool points that afford him a worthy spot on this list.

18. Eren Yeager (‘Attack on Titan’)

The frontrunner for Attack on Titan has been through hell and back. Ever since he witnessed the demise of his mother at the hands of the Titans, Eren Yeager decided to stop cowering in fear and fight back against the enormous menace that threatens his world. Finding out that he has the ability to transform into a Titan himself was a mind-blowing moment that made us applaud Eren’s great strength and determination even more.

19. Mikasa Ackerman (‘Attack on Titan’)

Mikasa Ackerman’s upbringing was quite harsh. Thanks to the assistance of Eren, she grew into a formidable member of the Survey Corps and eventually received a well-deserved promotion to an officer. Mikasa’s a headstrong fighter that does everything in her power to keep her loved ones safe from harm. She’s earned a special place in our hearts due to her constant feats of heroism alongside Eren and the rest of the Survey Corps.

20. Levi Ackerman (‘Attack on Titan’)

The Ackerman siblings are quite the badasses, aren’t they? The brotherly half of the duo comes in the form of Levi Ackerman, who holds top rank as one of the strongest members of the Survey Corps. His facial expression always clues you into one thing and one thing only – he’s fully prepared to hand out justice by any means necessary. We also gotta give props to him for being one of the cleanest characters on Attack on Titan – Levi’s “clean freak” nature deserves all the praise in the world.

21. Usagi Tsukino (‘Sailor Moon’)

She’s quirky, she’s awkward, and she’s also a bit lazy. But above all else, Usagi Tsuniko is a purveyor of love and justice. And when she gets into transformation mode, you can’t help but look on in amazement during her transition into Sailor Moon. The leader of the Sailor Scouts is a lovable heroine that’s had a legendary run that you definitely need to check out if you haven’t already.

22. Rei Hino (‘Sailor Moon’)

Rei Hino is the incredibly fiery (pun definitely intended), highly disciplined, and most musically inclined member of the Sailor Scouts. Her affinity for flame-based attacks and her humorous rivalry with Usagi has made Rei another one of our favorite characters from Sailor Moon. And once she goes into Sailor Mars mode, the excitement level tied to the series’ combat encounters increases dramatically.

23. Izuku Midoriya (‘My Hero Academia’)

Young Midoriya is already slated to be the strongest hero of them all at some point. Getting to watch him make his way through a series of overwhelming trials and tribulations as he tries to get his grip on his superhero abilities is pretty damned inspiring. Izuku wields One for All and is doing everything in his power to use it for good. We adore the young tyke and am always overjoyed whenever he nabs himself a major victory.

24. All Might (‘My Hero Academia’)

Even without his powers, All Might still commands our attention. He makes for a great teacher and role model to Young Midoriya and the rest of Class 1-A. When he was at his peak of superhero strength, All Might managed to always save the day in the most epic fashion. Witnessing his vicious punch-based moveset in action is always a great time. All Might is power personified and the type of character that everyone should strive to be in their real lives.

25. Shoto Todoroki (‘My Hero Academia’)

Shoto Todoroki’s Quirk is straight-up Icy Hot to the extreme. And that’s why we love the guy so much. His toolset is already immensely powerful – we can already imagine him being even more of a force to be reckoned with once he grows into his adult years. His tough upbringing presents one of the more interesting backstories in My Hero Academia – seeing him come to grips with what his mother did to him and the treatment he received from his father puts his continued growth on full display.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
26. Shinra Kusakabe (‘Fire Force’)

27. Benimaru Shinmon (‘Fire Force’)

28. Ichigo Kurosaki (‘Bleach’)

29. Rukia Kuchiki (‘Bleach’)

30. Kenshin Himura (‘Rurouni Kenshin’)

31. Asta (‘Black Clover’)

32. Yami Sukehiro (‘Black Clover’)

33. Lelouch Lamperouge (‘Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion’)

34. Saitama (‘One Punch Man’)

35. Genos (‘One Punch Man’)

36. Garou (‘One Punch Man’)

37. Edward Elric (‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’)

38. Guts (‘Berserk’)

39. Spike Spiegel (‘Cowboy Bebop’)

40. Light Yagami (‘Death Note’)

41. Gon Freecss (‘Hunter x Hunter’)

42. Killua Zoldyck (‘Hunter x Hunter’)

43. Jotaro Kuju (‘JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’)

44. DIO (‘JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’)

45. Jean Pierre Polnareff (‘JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’)

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

In Honor of National Anime Day, Here Are 5 Animes to Watch Right Now

Anime is getting bigger and bigger and as gaming continues to grow, we will likely see anime get bigger as well. It’s an interesting phenomenon because they aren’t directly related.

Today is National Anime Day, so if you’re a fan or just looking to get into the genre, you’ll need some great shows and movies to watch. We’ve compiled five of our favorites, and we want to stress that this list is not ranked at all but is just for people who want to get into anime and want to know what to watch.

1. ‘Attack On Titan’

 Attack on Titan, the Anime, premiered in 2013 with the final episodes coming within the next year or so. I think it’s safe today that AOT is probably the best new-gen anime out there. Well written, great production, and just storytelling out of this world, this show just packs a punch. It is set in a world where humanity lives inside cities surrounded by three enormous walls that protect them from the gigantic man-eating humanoids referred to as Titans.

Watch on Hulu
https://www.hulu.com/series/attack-on-titan-9c91ffa3-dc20-48bf-8bc5-692e37c76d88
2. ‘Full Metal Alchemist’

Full Metal Alchemist is probably one of the most story-oriented anime and has some amazing fight scenes.

The show excels at creating emotional attachments to the many characters such as the brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric.

In the show, the brother’s defy this world’s law of science by finding the philosopher’s stone and using alchemy to bring their mother back to life. 

watch on netflix
https://www.netflix.com/title/70204980
3. ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’

The newest and hottest out of the five, Jujutsu Kaisen just might be the anime that brings a more general audience into the anime world.

Jujutsu Kaisen is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Gege Akutami. The anime does a fantastic job blending action, horror, and adventure with its outstanding animation from studio MAPPA.

watch on HBO Max
https://www.hbomax.com/series/urn:hbo:series:GX8fnVgocBIZDKQEAAABF?utm_id=sa%7c71700000077053038%7c58700006528832595%7cp59043298904&gclid=Cj0KCQjwyN-DBhCDARIsAFOELTmg74UZhHhqZtdZwwK7BvRUON4TOqdYC6Uleg6f92NxnFH0NcxWjUkaAoEzEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
4. ‘Demon Slayer’

In my opinion, Demon Slayer is the most underrated on this list. Demon Slayer (the Manga) is illustrated beautifully, so it’s no surprise that the Anime is just as eye-catching. The show starts with a young boy finding his family slaughtered and his sister being turned into a demon, thus beginning his journey to fight the very monsters that robbed him of his loved ones.

watch on Hulu
https://www.hulu.com/series/demon-slayer-kimetsu-no-yaiba-2c3e4b00-30d9-434d-bccc-cf346e40e868?&cmp=7958&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=BM+Search+TV+Shows&utm_term=%2Bdemon%20%2Bslayer%20%2Bwatch&ds_rl=1263136&gclid=Cj0KCQjwyN-DBhCDARIsAFOELTkSEwb4cCD1B1FiMozL3Ip5OWsRycZmN5BsVdMMJIM7U_uzrO_RV-8aAhgUEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
5. ‘Death Note’

Death Note and Attack on Titan are actually both made by the great Japanese animator Tetsuro Araki. For fans of Attack on Titan, you should watch Death Note as well as it is another masterpiece. The story follows a young teen genius who finds a book that gives him the ability to kill anyone just by writing it down.

watch on Netflix
https://www.netflix.com/title/70204970
Categories
Culture Movies/TV

The 10 Best ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ Episodes, According To A Childhood Fanatic

In the past year or so, just like Pokémon cards have seen a surge in pricing, Yu-Gi-Oh! cards have also continued to become more and more valuable. Part of it was always going to happen with time, but the process definitely sped up due to people spending more time indoors, perhaps wanting to get a bit of nostalgia and getting into an old hobby. Worldwide, people are trying to find their old decks and grabbing cards they couldn’t get when they were younger. I myself have started to get back into Yu-Gi-Oh! too, tapping back into what I loved about it as a kid and enjoying what’s new about it as an adult.

When it comes to general discussions about anime, you probably won’t hear Yu-Gi-Oh! mentioned amongst the likes of Hunter x Hunter or many people’s favorite at the moment, Attack on Titan. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve a place as one of the better anime series of all time. It’s widely considered to be the best card-based anime of all time and in the show, Duel Monsters is the base for some incredible moments.

We’ve compiled a list of the ten best episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! of all time, with a short paragraph on why we think so. If you’ve already seen the show, you won’t mind there being some information ahead, but otherwise, spoiler alert.

1. Best of Friends, Best of Duelists Part 2 (Season 1, Episode 34)
Yugipedia

When watching the first season of Yu-Gi-Oh!, you’re constantly aware of the fact that if they both keep winning duels and star chips, Yugi and Joey will eventually have to battle each other, but it’s sort of kept quiet the entire time. By this episode, they’re deep into their honorable battle and it’s much more of a back and forth than previous episodes would suggest. As close as they are and as much as one cares about what the other is fighting for, only one can come out on top.

Watch
https://www.yugioh.com/yu-gi-oh/best-of-friends-best-of-duelists-part-2/183
2. Champion vs. Creator Part 2 (Season 1, Episode 27)
Yu-Gi-Oh! Wiki

Just as Yugi and Joey have a lot to fight for, Kaiba does too, except he doesn’t have anyone friends to fight for. At this point, his younger brother Mokuba’s soul has already been taken by Pegasus and Kaiba has put his life on the line in the duel against Yugi. This battle is the final step. The show does a great job of pitting Kaiba and Pegasus as perhaps the #1 and #2 duelists in the world and the battle lives up to those expectations.

Watch
https://www.yugioh.com/yu-gi-oh/champion-vs-creator-part-2/182
3. Mime Control Part 3 (Season 2, Episode 18)
Yu-Gi-Oh! World

The battle between Yugi and Malik is one of the best in the entire series. Here in the third and final part, things really heat up. Yugi finds himself against one of the three Egyptian God cards, Slifer The Sky Dragon. It’s so powerful that Yugi ends up feeling defeated and even Kaiba, a frenemy of the group, does his best to motivate him through the battle.

Watch
https://www.yugioh.com/yu-gi-oh/mime-control-part-3/211
4. The Dark One Cometh Part 1 (Season 5, Episode 43)
Yu-Gi-Oh!

In many ways, though he isn’t mentioned as much in discussions about the anime, Zorc Necrophades is the main villain from Yu-Gi-Oh! We find out that he is the one who has been controlling Yami Bakura throughout the series and that he has larger plans to destroy the entire history of the world. Yuga engages in a battle where losing your life points means losing your life entirely.

Watch
https://www.yugioh.com/yu-gi-oh/the-dark-one-cometh-part-1/31
5. The Final Duel Part 1 (Season 5, Episode 49)
Yu-Gi-Oh!

The name of this episode really sums it all up. Zorc has been defeated, and now all that’s left is for Yugi and Yami to battle it out. This is a real test for Yugi, of course, who has had Yami by his side through duels almost the entire time that we’ve known him, even before he knew it himself. Yami doesn’t go easy on him either, as in this episode, right at the start of the battle, all three Egyptian God cards are summoned.

Watch
https://www.yugioh.com/yu-gi-oh/the-final-duel-part-1/38
6. The Final Duel Part 2 (Season 5, Episode 50)
Yu-Gi-Oh!

In the second part of the duel, Yugi must continue to deal with the strength of Slifer The Sky Dragon, Obelisk The Tormentor, and The Winged Dragon Of Ra, all of whose attack points add up to over 10,000. Yugi is on the defensive but by the end of this episode comes to an intelligent attack, with a trap card too.

Watch
https://www.yugioh.com/yu-gi-oh/the-final-duel-part-2/219
7. The Final Duel Part 3 (Season 5, Episode 51)
Yu-Gi-Oh!

There’s a lot of fan service in this episode which comes in the form of callbacks to other cards being played in the series by Yugi and other moves that have worked in big battles. Yugi really pulls out all the stops here and starts putting in some work on Yami’s life points. The only way to really describe this episode and the battle as a whole is an epic finale.

Watch
https://www.yugioh.com/yu-gi-oh/the-final-duel-part-3/39
8. The Final Face Off Part 1 (Season 3, Episode 41)
IMDb

In this battle between Yami Yugi and Yami Marik, a lot is on the line. Yugi and Mai Valentine have been taken captive and will go to the shadow realm if Yami Yugi loses. Here, early on in the duel, the power difference between The Winged Dragon Of Ra and the other two Egyptian Gods is well and truly on display.

Watch
https://www.yugioh.com/yu-gi-oh/the-final-face-off-part-1/115
9. The Final Face Off Part 5 (Season 3, Episode 45)
Yu-Gi-Oh!

A lot happens in the duel, so without ruining the entirety of it, we’ll just say that this is the fifth and final part of this duel, and things end with a bang. Odion and Ishizu both come into play, and the end of the Battle City tournament is the climax worth building up to. There’s a lot more on the line than a card game, and the show does a great job of conveying it.

Watch
https://www.yugioh.com/yu-gi-oh/the-final-face-off-part-5/6
10. Yugi vs. Pegasus: Match of the Millennium Part 5 (Season 1, Episode 39)
Yu-Gi-Oh! World

The battle between Yugi and Pegasus has been back and forth, despite the power of Pegasus’ Millenium Eye. With the soul of his granddad, Kaiba, and Mokuba all on the line, Yugi is feeling the pressure but stepping up to the plate as he always does. By part five, Yugi needs the help of the spirit of the puzzle, Téa, Joey, and Tristan, to help him fend off some of Pegasus’ attacks.

Watch
https://www.yugioh.com/yu-gi-oh/yugi-vs-pegasus-match-of-the-millennium-part-5/176
Categories
Culture Movies/TV

Here’s Why You Should Be Watching ‘Attack on Titan’

If you consider yourself a hardcore otaku, then reading manga and watching anime is most likely a part of your daily regimen. Besides mainstream heavy hitters such as Dragon Ball, One Piece, and Naruto, there’s a vast collection of equally interesting series to get lost in. These days shows like Fire Force, Demon Slayer, and My Hero Academia dominate the anime medium and always end up as the main topic of discussion.

There’s one manga/anime property in particular that regularly gets mentioned as one of the greatest of all time. You probably know which show we’re alluding to already. But if you’re not in the know, then allow us to bring you into the fold. Attack on Titan has morphed into a multimedia force since debuting as a manga series in 2009. Once the anime adaptation made the rounds in 2013, it quickly became one of the most celebrated shows within the genre.

The actual premise of Attack on Titan is full of intrigue, action, and a substantial dosage of horror to boot. The last remnants of humanity reside within three concentric cities that are surrounded by massive walls. Why are they living behind such enormous structures, you ask? That’s because they live in a world dominated by Titans, who are towering humanoid beings that treat humans like bite-sized snacks.

A young man by the name of Eren Jaeger has his life impacted in dramatic fashion after a group of Titans destroy his hometown and devour his mother in the process. In a bid to get revenge on the very same creatures that committed those acts, Jaeger enlists himself in the military as a member of the Survey Corps. The Survey Corps is an elite collection of soldiers that engage in direct combat with the Titans—they do so by utilizing an assortment of equipment that lets them maneuver through the skies and cut down their comparatively larger foes.

The word hype is quite fitting when it comes to describing the epic clashes between the Survey Corps and the vicious Titans. Jaeger and his fellow soldiers regularly take flight as they quickly zip around their gargantuan threats. This show definitely isn’t for the faint of heart, by the way – plenty of blood is spilled, and decapitations pop up on the screen on a regular basis. If you can handle all of that, then you’ll be treated to some of the best-looking clashes ever seen in an anime. The humans vs. Titans fights are exciting in their own right, but the Titans vs. Titans skirmishes are even more of an exciting element of the show. If gory, adult-oriented anime shows are your bag, then Attack on Titan will easily become a go-to on your watchlist.

The basic backstory of the show should be enough to suck you in. And once you sit through a couple of episodes, chances are you’ll quickly get caught up in all the wonderfully animated battles and political intrigue that permeates much of the issues between the humans themselves. Attack on Titan is currently winding down during its fourth and final season, so now’s the best time to become familiar with the rest of the Survey Corps and get in tune with the dangerous world they inhabit.