Samurai X

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This anime tells you about how a man can change his life and how there is always a choice of goodness. It’s about a man who was a manslayer but then became the nicest wanderer anyone could meet and his name is Kenshin Himura. In the very beginning of Samurai X’s story, they show how he was a young orphan child who was saved from bandits by a great mysterious swordsman. His savior took pity on him for his fate and took him under his wings. The master taught Kenshin a hidden sword style that was practically undefeatable. Before Kenshin could complete his training with his master, he grew curious about the world outside his training grounds and asked his master if he could venture out to help and be a wanderer. His master refused because of his fear that the young child’s pure heart be corrupted by the evils of the real world. Despite his master’s threat to exile him from his teaching, Kenshin still went on to the outside world. It wasn’t pretty because he ended up in a camp where he was trained further to be an assassin for the Imperialists. Though he was young, his skill with the sword was greater than any at the time of the war then so Kenshin grew up slaughtering all high-ranking officials opposing the Imperialists at the command of his leader. He was never cut by another sword until he got into combat with a man w ho had the purest intentions to fight to protect his country and the woman he loved. Of course, he fell to Kenshin’s sword but he was able to cut a slash on the left cheek of the manslayer. Due to his cover being blown in that battle, he was advised to lay low and hide for a while. As he hid, he met a woman who apparently also worked for the Imperialists. They advised them to pretend to be husband and wife and to flee to the mountains to be safer from the assassins sent to kill Kenshin. As months passed, Kenshin lowered his guard and fell in love with the woman who was pretending to be his wife and so too did the woman fall. As Kenshin and his love finally settled into a quiet life together, his old commander suddenly appears to them and talks to the woman. Kenshin wakes up the next day with a note that says that the woman was taken away and that Kenshin had to come and save her. It was all apparently a trap from the very beginning. They were sent up to the mountains by the Imperialists to dull Kenshin’s skill with the sword. Even the woman he fell in love with was in on the whole thing because the man that wounded Kenshin was the fiancé of the woman. As Kenshin reached the point where he was to fight the strongest of the kidnappers, he was already too weak and too lost in his thought to fight. A knife was thrown towards Kenshin and this would’ve been the end of his life but to his surprise, his love saved him. She caught the flying knife just life how one would catch a bullet for another. In her dying breath, she told Kenshin that she really did love him and that there was a better life for him. As she said this, she cut another wound on Kenshin’s cheek, forming an “X”. Kenshin obviously killed the murderer after but that was the last time he would do that. From then on, he swore to never take a life and to only defend the weak with his blade and from this starts the series portion of Samurai X.

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Pokemon

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This anime has to be one of the most famous anime for the generation of children born in the 90’s to this day. I say this because when I used to watch this anime along with all my schoolmates, we’d be able to memorize all 151 pokemons and all secret or newly made pokemons as well. Until this day,they are still making new versions of this anime because of how big it got with its audience. I believe this anime was the originator of this genre of anime because many others followed it’s “style” namely digimon, or Yugioh. Its story is based on a world wherein there exists these wild animal like creatures called pokemons. It revolves around a young boy to dreams to be the best pokemon trainer there is in the world. In his attempts to follow his dream, he then talks to a pokemon professor in his town and the professor then gives the boy his very first pokemon named Pikachu. His relationship with Pikachu
is one that is most unique because he doesn’t keep Pikachu in a pokeball. Later on, he realizes that this becomes an advantage for him because they become somewhat like best of friends. From that point on, he captured different types of pokemon and trained them to defeat several gyms to earn a token of ranking and this token was in a form of a badge. Each badge would allow him to go on to the next gym until he reaches the greatest of the greatest trainers. In his chase to be the best, the boy whose name is Ash, meets multiple friends and even meets two gym leaders that become his best friends and then accompany him in his quest to be the best. Now as much as I am still amused by how sick the fighting scenes are in each battle of this anime, this anime isn’t all about training and capturing pokemon though; many of its episodes show how to be a good person in general. It’s a good example for children because they show such things like taking care of the environment, or being a good friend or just simply how to look at life. I know it may be too early for children to learn such things, but speaking as a kid who watched every episode of it, I can guarantee that it will be a good influence for children.

 

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Death Note

Death Note started off as a manga series made by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. It is one of Weekly Shonen Jump’s best-selling manga of all time. It sold over 26.5 million copies. This best-seller’s story revolves around a character named Light Yagami who is a high school student that discovers this mysterious notebook entitled Death Note. This mysterious notebook apparently grants the holder the ability to kill or end of life of anyone whose name or face they know by writing the name down or drawing the face in the notebook. It sounds pretty suspect because what if Light Yagami was some twisted guy who wanted to kill who hurt him and opposed him in the past. Gladly, that’s not how the story of Death Note goes. Light Yagami is actually a person who dreams of a criminal-free utopia and uses the powers granted by the notebook to make efforts to make that utopia come true. A detective named L becomes aware of what Light Yagami is trying to do and starts his attempts to stop him due to not fully understanding his purpose for killing these people. This is the premise that the story line follows. At the later episodes of Death Note, a notable change has happened to the character of Light. There was a point where he had another name to personify his other identity as a killing machine and that name was Kira. There is so much twist and turns in this anime so it sure to keep you on your toes. If you’re into suspense and action, this anime is perfect for you. It’s changes in plot and how the characters scheme in the story will sure amaze you because it seems so well thought and flawless. Death note was made into an anime and aired In Japan from October 3, 2006 to June 26, 2007. The people responsible for the anime’s development were Madhouse and the director Tetsuro Araki. From this anime came a light novel that was based on Death Note and made by Nisio Isin. Video games of this anime were also published and released by Konami from the Nintendo DS. Not only that, it was also made into a live-action film that were split into three parts.  Each released on different dates that were on June 17 2006, November 3 2006, and February 2, 2008. This anime is one I haven’t watched personally but after reading more about it, I have developed an interest of taking the time to finish this best selling series.

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Images by nina14lee.deviantart.com, jawaville.wordpress.com

Dragonball

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Dragonball was first aired on television in 1984, which makes this anime one of the oldest anime series still shown to this day, though is it not as popular anymore compared to when it was shown in the 90’s. it was first a manga that they turned into an anime because of the popularity and attention it was able to get from the viewers. Upon researching, this anime was apparently inspired by a classic Chinese novel called “Journey to the West”. Also, this anime is a mix of action, drama, and a bit of humor that makes it both light and heavy to watch at times. What I mean by this is that some scenes would make the watcher feel like they’re watching a comedy of some sort while some scenes would make the watcher feel like they’re watching a story of tragedy. The story revolves around this super human named Goku, who is the hero in this story. The story starts with Goku as a child and goes on until Goku’s adulthood. Since the beginning of this anime, the main objective of both antagonists and protagonists is to be able to obtain all seven dragonballs. Collect all seven would allow the bearer a wish, a wish that can be the best of the good or the darkest of the evils. The later versions of this anime show Goku’s son, Gohan, as the main protagonist in the story. Like all anime, it must have a twist or uniqueness of some sort to separate it from the rest and this anime’s uniqueness comes from the super powers that the some characters have due to a mastery of a martial art or due to the characters coming from another planet where such powers are a norm. This being the case, the viewers attracted by this anime is usually the younger generations and those who are fond of old school anime. Personally, I was one of the “younger generations” that use to catch every episode of this amazing anime. Following the adventures of Goku and his friends really taught me things about life that I only realized when I got older. Things such as Self-sacrifice and family values are a few of many things I was able to pick up just by watching this as I grew up. It also taught me about managing anger and being responsible though Goku’s actions and reactions to certain obstacles thrown their way throughout the story of dragonball. Surely one of the best anime I’ve ever seen.

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Naruto

images narutoInitially, Naruto is a manga series that was written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. Due to its popularity as a manga, producers (Studio Pierrot and Aniplex) decided to turn it into the anime it is today. Naruto’s storyline is about a young ninja who constantly strives to be recognized by his peers and teachers and to one day become the Hokage. Just so everyone’s on the same page, a Hokage is somewhat like the big boss of the village or area he or she handles. He or she is the strongest ninja in their respective districts and is looked upon by all as their leader. Now in the story, Naruto starts off as a kid who hardly has any skills but with his undying determination and unwavering pursuit for this dreams and aspirations, he eventually attains skills and strengths that passed everyone else’s. Eventually be comes strong enough to save the world of the super villain called “pain” in the later versions of the Naruto series. This being the case, it can be said that this anime teaching its viewers a lot of life lessons. One of the most prevalent lessons is that hard work pays off. From getting all doubts and no recognition of his skills to eventually attaining his dreams to be Hokage, this anime shows that there is nothing you can’t achieve if you put your mind, body and soul into it. The second life lesson one can pick up from this anime is that mercy goes a long way. There was an episode in Naruto wherein he could’ve killed his opponent but Naruto chose the merciful path and it paid off in the long run because the foe he spared became his trusty ally in the bigger battles that not only put to risk themselves but also the world that we all know and love. This also teaches one about being a true friend. In this story, there is a point wherein one of Naruto’s closest buddies turns the other way and decides to fight for the dark lord (for his own reasons). Naruto, being the true friend that he is, never gives up on the chance that his best friend might come back and fight for the good fight. These actions of Naruto with regards to these trials and situations prove that he is a role model for all who watch this show. I, being one of the religious viewers of this anime, have definitely learned a lot and I’m sure you will too if you give it a chance.

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Ranma

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The anime, Ranma 1/2, is about the Ranma, who is a teenage martial artist, and his life with his friends, families, and foes. Personally, I grew up watching almost all the episodes of this anime because I found humor and amazement in watching it. I found it unique because the twist of this anime was that most characters in Ranma ½ were “cursed” through falling into the pools of the cursed training grounds of Jusenkyo. Of course, each character had their own story of how they got cursed in the first place. For example, Ranma and his father, Genma, fell into their curse by traveling to the cursed training grounds and disregarding the warning of the Guards of the grounds. The curse each character receives from the pools differs depending on which pool they fell into. Ranma fell into a pool wherein when he gets hit by cold water; he turns into a red headed lady, while Genma turns into a panda. The curse’s effects are reversed through bathing in hot water but it isn’t lifted despite their changing back into their original form. I also find the love story of this anime quite interesting because of the “hot and cold” nature of Ranma and his fixed fiancé, Akane. You see, after Genma and Ranma received their curse, they headed to the home of Akane and Genma engages Ranma with Akane. This was not good news for Tendo Akane because she was repulsed by men. As the story progresses, the love stories become more fun to follow because of the 3rd parties that come into play between Ranma and Akane. Characters like Shampoo and Ryoga (who are also cursed from the cursed training grounds) are examples of the 3rd parties I’m talking about because they try to snatch Ranma or Akane from the other. Despite the sneaky antics of the 3rd parties to break off Ranma and Akane, as you watch, you can’t help but see the progression of attraction between Ranma and Akane. Another point of interest with this anime would be that the martial arts scenes are incredibly amusing. The 3rd parties would usually challenge Ranma in a duel for Akane’s hand and they would fight using their respective styles of fighting. Ranma being the main man in this anime would never lose, of course. Overall, I believe this anime really depicts the humor of the Japanese culture and their never-ending passion for the discipline of martial arts.

 

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Attack On Titan

Anime comprises a good portion of Japanese pop culture. Among the more recent anime is Shingeki no Kyojin. Shingeki no Kyojin, translated as Attack on Titan, started as a Manga and is still ongoing as of January 2014. An anime was adapted a few months after the manga and the first season finished September 28, 2013. The anime is about the last bastion of humanity being overrun by kyojin, or titans. Titans are mysterious beings that devour humans, and they do not seem to have any other purpose. After living 100 years in an environment void of humans, they still live, which means they do not need to eat to live. They have very high regenerative capabilities that render all weapons obsolete. Aside from being practically invincible to humans, titans outnumber humans by the thousands. The only salvation mankind has are its three walls, Maria, Rose, and Sina.The last surviving civilization then constructs three massive walls to keep the titans out. These walls, 50 meters high, keep titans out of the city. However, after 100 years of peace and safety from the titans, a colossal titan destroys the outermost wall. The colossal titan at 50 meters tall disappears without a trace right after the wall is destroyed.The main characters are composed of Eren Jaeger, Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert. Eren, Mikasa and Armin are childhood friends and one day, a day like any other day, they see their life change. When the colossal titan destroys the wall, the outer city of Shiganshina is overun by titans, and the three friends barely escape the destruction. Eren Jaeger can be described as very determined to eradicate all titans. Mikasa Ackerman on the other hand, tends to keep Eren away from danger. Armin Arlert could be seen the strategist among the three. On that day, Eren loses his mother to a titan, and from that day on his determination to kill all the titans just grows. The whole anime deals with the survival of humanity. As the series progresses we find more questions about these titans, and whenever each question is answered, more questions come out. This anime is very exciting, and it is hard to imagine what the next episode or chapter might hold. Whenever we think there is a chance that humanity can take back what they lost from the titans, we see that anything can happen and that the best option will not always work. This anime is worth looking at especially if you want to see true horror and despair in eyes of someone living in that kind of reality.

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Astroboy

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Astroboy, which is also know in Japan by its original name Tetsuwan Atom that means “Iron Arm Atom”, started off as a manga series like most anime. This manga was made by a man named Osamu Tezuka from 1952 to 1968. It was turned into an anime and was one of the pioneer anime of its time. The story is a science fiction set in the future where robots exist with the humans. It centers in on a boy named Astro who is a robot created by the head of the Ministry of Science and his creators name is Doctor Tenma for the Japanese Version. For the English version in the 1960’s, Doctor Tenma’s name was changed to Dr. Astor Boyton II. Astro was made to replace the son named Toby or Tobio that Dr. Tenma had lost in a tragic car accident. Astro was made in the likeness of Toby and was treated by Dr. Tenma like his real son. This may have been the case but soon Dr. Tenma realized that a robot could not replace his son due to Astro’s inability to grow older or express and feel human emotions. This anime has been remade many times and has had its main story line changed as well. In the original version though, Dr. Tenma rejects Astro and sells him to a Circus owner named Hamegg. After quite some time passed,the new Ministry of Science head, Professor Ochanomizu, noticed Astro as he performed in the circus.He soon convinces Hamegg to give him Astro. Professor Ochanomizu took great care of Astro, treating him with love and compassion, as if he were a real human. The professor became his legal guardian and soon he also realizes that Astro wasn’t a robotic as everyone though. He was superior because, aside from his powers and skills, he did actually have the capability to express human emotions. This is where Astro starts his acts of heroics and valor as he constantly protects his city from a wide variety of enemies. In the other versions, like the 3D animation movie released in 2009, Astro was not sold to the circus but ran away when he realized that he was simply a robot and not a real boy. Personally, I liked the 2009 version more because I thought selling off a boy you created to replace a son that you lost was quite harsh and heartless of Dr. Tenma. This aside, the anime is on a league of its own being that it was one of the very first of its time and until this day, is being recreated again and again.

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