Some of Anime’s most notable Dads

…Mind you, I only included Anime Dads from Anime I have seen myself. So, if there is a particular Dad you don’t see on this list, this is the largest reason why. I wanted to keep this list small so I settled on 8 Dads and in no particular order. There are also some spoilers for all of the Anime featured so fair warning there.

Ok, here we go:

Minato Namikaze

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If you don’t know who he is, you either hate the Naruto series or never saw/read the Anime/Manga. Minato Nanikaze is Naruto’s father and the 4th Hokage the Hidden Leaf Village. He was referred to during Naruto’s adventures as a kid up until his actual introduction during a later point in the series (both Manga and Anime) as “simply” his title, The 4th Hokage and this was intentionally done for plot reasons. Weather it was to keep fans (and Naruto) from figuring out the 4th Hokage was Naruto’s father or out of respect for the 4th’s sacrifice we may never really know.

Anyway, much of Minato’s backstory is revealed by Kushina when she speaks to Naruto. Without going into too much detail, he was a highly skilled ninja even at a very young age. Known as The Yellow Flash, Minato’s speed and agility were unrivaled and feared by his foes. Hiruzen Sarutobi (the 3rd Hokage) was his predecessor and also his successor as Hokage after he died. Later in life, he led The Legendary Sannin: Tsunade (5th Hokage), Jiraiya and Orochimaru (though Hiruzen, who led the team far longer is considered the true squad captain). He also led the team that consisted of Kakashi Hatake (6th Hokage), Rin and Obito Uchiha.

Most famously, Minato died the night his son Naruto was born. He used the Death Reaper Seal Jutsu to take half of Kurama’s chakra with him to the afterlife, putting the other half in Naruto. Due to Naruto’s bloodline through his mother, we know he survived the ritual that turned him into a Jinchuruki despite being a baby at the time. Minato was raised from the dead along with the first three Hokage by Orochimaru to lend a hand in the 4th Great Ninja War. This allowed him to see for himself what became of two of his former students, who were now trying to kill each other. He was also able to see his son Naruto had grown into a great ninja in his own way.

 

Son Goku

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…Given his exploits during Dragonball, Dragonball Z, Dragonball Super and Dragonball GT, it’s easy to forget Goku is the father of two sons, the oldest of which is a father himself. You probably know everything there is to know about Goku so I’ll leave it at that. Goku is probably the most well known Anime Dad on this list if I had to guess.

 

Akio Furukawa

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In terms of the most versatile, Akio’s in a class of his own. Akio is the father of Nagisa Furukawa, who is the lead female protagonist of the Anime series as well as the canon After Story. During Nagisa’s high school days, he becomes a father figure for Tomoya, the Anime’s and Visual Novel’s lead male protagonist and a pillar of support for Tomoya and Nagisa’s friends. In After Story, he teaches Tomoya what it means to be a man and later, what it means to be a father. He mainly plays the comic relief in the high school arc but has some more serious moments in the After Story arc.

In the Visual Novel, Akio has his own arc in After Story. In Akio’s Arc, he ends ups getting caught up in a hostage situation. He convinces the suspect to let all of the hostages on the bus go and stays with the suspect until the authorities step in. Nagisa is frightened at the idea of losing her father, who suffered serious injuries during the incident. At the same time, she’s proud of him because that’s just the kind of guy he is. I think Akio’s best moments were his man to man talks with Tomoya. Tomoya was at a point in his life where he lacked direction and a positive father figure in his life when the first met each other. Even without knowing about Tomoya’s relationship with his father, Akio knew just what he needed and gave it to him.

When Nagisa was pregnant with Ushio, Akio was there advise to advise Tomoya on the low points to come. Of course, none of them were prepared for what actually happened on the day Ushio was born. Even so, Akio didn’t walk away during the five years that followed. Not despite the tragedy his family was hit with. When Ushio got sick, he turned to Tomoya and asked him “Who’s the father this time?” In this way, he was letting Tomoya know it was time for him to step up big time as a man and as a father. Without trying too hard, Akio does a masterful job as both a father and mentor.

…Of course, Akio only has one child and that’s Nagisa. Even so, it would be more than accurate to say he became a father figure for Tomoya and later Ushio.

 

Chief Kurama (Elfen Lied)

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He is the Anime Dad with perhaps the most tragic story on this list. Kurama found himself in a lose-lose situation the moment he decided to work for a certain top-secret organization. The company specializes in researching, capturing and killing the predominantly female Dioclonius, humanoid mutants with horns and special powers that threaten to replace mankind as the dominant species.

In his early years with the company, Kurama ruthlessly hunted down the Diclonius all over Japan. At the time, the researchers still did not know how the Dioclonius reproduced. He got a breakthtough after he and a colleague encountered one trying to escape. Sometime later, his colleague’s wife gave birth to a girl with horns. That was when Kurama began to figure it out. Knowing he would be hated, he volunteered to euthanize all newborns born with horns.

Well, you know what they say about irony: A short time later, Kurama’s wife Hiromi gave birth by emergency C-Section to a girl. Kurama was horrified when he saw the newborn’s horns. Despite the situation…despite their struggles with having a child…despite his wife nearly dying on the operating table…he knew some sacrifices were unavoidable. Horrified, his wife’s surgical wound reopened from stress. As she lay dying from massive hemmorhaging, she made him promise to save their daughter’s life no matter what. And so he did.

Fate can be so cruel.

Kurama’s daughter Mariko would become one of the most powerful Diclonius alive, proving to be a match for even Lucy. While Nana has longer vectors, Mariko has the most of any Diclonius. While Mariko was locked away, Kurama became a surrogate father to Nana, another Diclonius being confined. Unlike others of her kind, Nana is a kind girl and is submissive to humans, always looking for affection. She viewed Chied Kurama as her father, calling him “Papa”.

After attempts to recapture or kill Lucy failed, the company decides to release Mariko. By this point, Nana escaped with the help of Kurama and the Chief himself is missing. Despite being wheelchair bound from her years in solitary confinement, Mariko is very dangerous. As a safety measure, the company secretly put a bomb in her body to keep her on a short leash. Mariko easily dispatches Nana but the preteen ends up getting the last laugh in the end: Nana has the ability to temporarily disable another Diclonius’s vectors with her own.

During the final battle, Kurama arrives to see Lucy and Nana fighting Mariko. Hearing Nana call him “Papa” sets Mariko off, being his actual daughter and all. Kurama steps in and carries Mariko away, apologizing for abandoning her. He tells Nana to live a good life before leaving with Mariko. The two reach a bridge a short distance away just as the timer for the bomb in Mariko expires.

 

Van Hohenheim (Manga Version)

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Easily one of the three most recognizable Anime Dads on this list including Goku and Minato. Van Hohenheim was probably the oldest living human in Amestris thanks to being turned into a living Philosopher’s Stone. Hohenheim’s earliest memories begin during what would be the final years of the Xerxes Empire. As a slave, some of Hohenheim’s blood was used to create the first Homunculus: The Dwarf in the Flask and the being who would later be known as “Father”.

It was that Homunculus who gave him the name Van Hohenheim. The two became friends. Hohenheim learned how to read and write from the Homunculus, eventually earning his freedom and becoming an alchemist himself. The aging Emperor Xerxes, who feared dying of old age created the Homunculus to help him find a way to live forever. Having no interest in helping the emperor, the Homunculus decides to play along anway. It isn’t until the Transmutation during an eclipse begins Hohenheim realizes things are not going as intended.

The next day, everyone in Xerxes is dead. All of their lives had been sacrificed in the Alchemy experiment. The Dwarf–now in a body identical to Hohenheim’s–explains the people of Xerxes were sacrificed to give both of them bodies that would never die. The two part ways: The Dwarf journeys to Amestris and uses the prepwork he used in Xerxes there but on a much  larger scale. Hohenheim wanders around before eventually arriving in Risembol where he meets Pinako Rockbell and his wife, Trisha Elric.

A few years after Ed and Al are born, Hohenheim suddenly disappears without a word to anyone. Several years later and after hearing about Ed and Al attempting human transmutation, Hoheheim returns to Risembol where he runs into Ed. Havimg learned what The Dwarf is planning, he has returned to Amestris to stop him. During his absence from his family, he traveled across the couuntry to put his plan in motion.

After meeting Mei Ling, Scar and several others Hohenheim has a better understanding of not only how corrupt Amestris’ leadership is but how intricate the enemy’s plot really was. Hohenheim is surprised by how trusting Al is of him despite the circumstances but is also relieved that he still has a family after all these years.

When Hohenheim confronts the Dwarf under Central City, he reveals his spoke to the souls of the Xerxes citizens used to turn him into a living Philosophere’s Stone–nearly half a million people–and it’s later revealed this was part of his plan to foil the Dwarf’s plot. Thanks to the efforts of Scar’s Brother, Hohenheim has a better understanding of the giant trnasmutation circle The Hommunculus were secretly building under the country. The plan involved sacrificing the lives of everyone in the country.

While he was traveling around Amestris, Hohenheim used some of the souls in his body to create a Reverse Transmutation Circle, allowing him to not only negate the nationwide transmutation circle after it was activated but save the lives of all the people of Amestris. This weakened the Dwarf enough for Ed to later defeat him in single combat. Having burned up his Philosopher’s Stone during the final battle, Hohenheim reports their victory at Trisha’s grave. Pinako arrives a short time later to find Van Hohenheim dead of old age with a smile on his face.

 

Inutaisho

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While not mentioned by name during the Anime series, Inutaisho is the father of Inuyasha and Sesshomaru. Known as The Great Dog Demon of the West, Inutaisho was very powerful and commanded alot of respect. He also wielded both Tetsusaiga (Inuyasha’s sword) and Tenseiga (Sesshmaru’s Sword) as well as a third sword called Sounga. The timeline on this is unclear but shortly before Inuyasha was born, Inutaisho told Miyoga and Totosai his firstborn son would inherit Tenseiga and his secondborn would inherit Tetsusaiga. The third sword, deemed far too dnagerous was to be sealed away forever.

About 75 years before the start of the series, Inutaisho met Inuyasha’a mother Izayoi and she became pregnant with Inuyasha. This put him at odds with Sesshomaru, his firstborn son who was a full-blooded demon. Inutaisho battled with Ryukotsei. Unable to finish it off, he sealed the demon using one of his fangs after being seriously wounded. On his way back to Izayoi, he meets with Sesshomaru and asks his son if there is anyone that matters to him.

Suddenly sensing Izayoi is in danger, he transforms into his dog form and rushes to the castle where she’s staying. He arrives to find the castle burning and Izayoi dead inside but uses Tenseiga to bring her back, the newborn Inuyasha in her arms. He sacrifices himself to help her and their newborn son escape. During the events of the third movie Swords of an Honorable Ruler, his sons learn about the Demon Sword Sounga and end up working together to destroy it.

Inutaisho’s inheritence for his sons put them at odds with each other. Sesshomaru viewed Tenseiga as inferior to Tetsusaiga, which had been given to his half-demon brother Inuyasha. Losing his left arm to Tetsusaiga didn’t help much. Near the end of the series, it’s revealed Tetsusaiga and Tenseiga were originally one sword. Tetusaiga has the power to transform as it gains new power. Inutaisho had Totosai split off Tenseiga, which contained the Meido Zangetsuha technique. It turns out this was deliberately done so that one day, Tetsusaiga would re-acquire the Meido Zangetsuha once Sesshomaru mastered it.

Fortunately, Inutaisho wasn’t THAT cruel of a father to Sesshomaru. Once Sesshomaru overcame his attachment to his inheritence and Tetsusaiga, his left arm grew back and with it, a new sword: Bakusaiga. With Bakuseiga and Tenseiga, Sesshomaru could now slay any kind of enemy. Inuyasha surpassed his father in power when he slew Ryukotsei. Sesshomaru did the same once he unlocked Tenseiga’s true potential.

 

Isshin Kurosaki

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Isshin is Ichigo Kurosaki’s father and a former Soul Reaper. At some point in the past, he mat his wife Masaki and had a family. It’s not known if he ever told her he was once a Soul Reaper. He certainly never told his children–Ichigo, Karin and Yuzu–of his past as a Soul Reaper. Of course, fate is a funny thing and Ichigo would eventually find out his Soul Reaper powers weren’t entirely from Rukia.

After he started a family, Isshin opened a clinic out of his home and became a doctor. He’s a doting father–often to a fault–and is very protective of his twin daughters. His comedic personality is llkely a cover to keep his family and other Soul Reapers in the dark about his past. He has taken on the role of Soul Reaper once again a number of times, mostly to help Ichigo. He’s like a completely different person as a Soul Reaper.

 

Shiro Fujimoto (Blue Exorcist)

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Shiro was the most powerful Exorcist that ever lived, a Paladin.

Fate’s a funny thing, however. Shiro questioned everything he ever knew about being an Exorcist for the first time when he met Yuri Egin, an Exorcist who willingly became pregnant by Satan. What if it were possible for Humans and Demons to coexist? Shiro decides to put that theory to the test when Yuri dies shortly after giving birth to Rin and Yukio Okumora. Shiro adopts them and raises them as his own sons, keeping his position as a Paladin a secret from them.

At the same time, he kept their true heritage a secret and as a result, Rin and Yukio’s actual birthday is unknown. As it turns out, they were born on the day known as The Blue Night. On that day, many powerful and high-ranking exorcists were killed trying to exorcise Satan from Yuri. They ultimately succeeded but the order was nearly wiped out. In the years since then, Satan sought to find out what became of Yuri and the children she gave birth to.

He would find out after briefly possessing Shiro he’d been raising them himself over the years. Rin, who is present while Shiro is possessed is shocked to learn who his real father is. To keep Rin from being dragged into the portal to Gehanna Satan creates, Shiro regains control of his body long enough to kill himself, prevent Rin from being drawn into the portal. It’s not until after Shiro’s death that Rin and Yukio learn just how well known the man who raised them really was.

 

…And that’ll be it for now I guess.

I meant to have this ready for Father’s Day but got busy with other things and then forgot about it. I did the last 5 entries today, actually. I only wanted to use one person per Anime for those wondering why I didn’t include Vegeta or Son Gohan from Dragonball Z. I also wanted to use characters from Anime most folks are likely to at least be familiar with. I have similar themed posts planned. I’m looking to do siblings next in fact ^_^

 

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Comparing Anime and Manga versions of a series

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As you guys know, I have the full Anime and Manga sets for Death Note (WOOT!) and Attack on Titan (plus the spinoffs!). While most fans of a particular series usually favor one over the other–I’m referring to Anime or Manga–some are so good, you don’t mind experiencing them through a second lens.

I picked Death Note and Attack on Titan as examples for another reason: The storyline is virtually unchanged in the conversion from Manga to Anime. You can literally quote chapters from Death Note while watching same scenes in the Anime. In the case of Attack on Titan, I started buying volumes after watching the Anime for the first time on Netflix. As I mentioned in my review of the Anime last year, The Manga continues the story after the series (or rather now the first season) starting with Volume 9. If you never read the Manga, you’d be in the dark about alot of things going on as well a how Levi’s past and what happened during the time of Commander Ervin’s Predecessor tie in to what’s going on now. Death Note does have prequels too of course but they were written after the original series was done to add on to the storyline. The BB Case L references early on gets a miniseries in Manga form. The third Death Note Movie L Change the World takes place during the space of time between when his name is written in the Death Note and when he dies.

Of course, not all series with both of Anime and Manga either get a US Release (History’s Mightiest Disciple Kenichi) or stay true to the Manga (The first Fullmetal Alchemist series). The original Dragonball Z Anime (292 Episodes) drew alot of heat due to the huge amount of filler added to extend the Anime. DBZ Kai is almost half as long (The rest of the remaining Sagas are currently in production in Japan) but is prettymuch the same story just WAY shorter.

Code Geass is an interesting example in which the Anime came first. The Manga is the same story minus the Knightmare frames used in the Anime. Most folks already know this but Naruto Shippuden doesn’t “exist” in Manga form. All volumes after 29 fast forward to Older Naruto in the Manga. They had to add a subtitle to the Anime for licensing reasons.

 

Review: Fullmetal Alchemist (Manga)

 

Within a year’s time, I have collected all 27 volumes.

…As of this weekend I have also finished reading all 27 volumes.

For the third time 18 months, I have completed an entire Manga set. The first was Code Geass last year while Death Note was the second earlier this year. The legendary franchise earned its spot in Anime history over 10 years ago when the Anime was first released (first in Japaan and then in the U.S.). The Manga’s storyline was the basis for the more recent Anime adaptation Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Havimg read the Manga after warching FMA:B in full, I came to appreciate both mediums a whole lot more:

  • I might have missed the episode it happens in but Heinkel kills Kimbley in a surprise ambush and Pride later eats his corpse. I knew Kimbley stops Pride from escaping from Ed during their fight later on but I couldn’t remember how he ended up inside Pride.
  • It’s never actually stated what Armstrong’s “disgrace” was in FMA:B.  This detail is revealed in the Manga: Armstrong questions his orders during the war in Ishval and later lets some Ishvalans escape. Moments later, the citizens he let go are gunned down by Amestrian soldiers. He is branded a coward and a weakling by his superiors and his sister Olivier.
  • Speaking of General Armstrong: The Manga confirms she is Louis’ oldest sister. Elizabeth (who appears in both the Manga and FMA:B) is the youngest followed by Louis, two unnamed sisters and then Olivier.
  • Father’s monologue after the final battle doesn’t happen in the Manga but The Truth has a much longer monologue when it’s confronted by him on the other side.
  • Speaking of The Truth: The Manga does a slightly better job of pointing out The Truth mirrors whoever appears before it. Ed, who opens the portal three times (the first time as a kid, the second time while inside Gluttony and the final time to get Al) figured it out after he and Al figure out how Al’s soul can survive without his physical body for so long. This is the reason he says to The Truth in the Anime “Who needs Alchemy when I’ve got them?” The Portal of Truth is what allows an Alchemist to transmute even though with a few exceptions, they will never see it with their own eyes.
  • By chosing to give up Alchemy itself, Ed did what the Dwarf in the Flask couldn’t and realized Alchemity itself was the root cause of his and Al’s troubles. The Dwarf only saw it as a means of becoming a God.
  • It’s interesting to note the Manga reveals Olivier has her troops smuggle Scar away from Central after the final battle. This explains why he’s shown in the Armstrong Mansion in the final episode.
  • In the Anime, Mustang and Dr. Marcoh use a Philosipher’s Stone to fix Havoc’s spine, allowing him the use of his legs again. In the Manga, Havoc is shown undergoing some intense rehab to regain the use of his legs.
  • Hoenheim explains in the Manga as he activates the Reverse Transmutation Circle even if a person’s soul is ripped from their body, as long as the body is still capable of housing it, body and soul will automatically be drawn to each other like a magnet. This explains why Barry the Chopper’s body followed him to the end, why Al blacked out in Briggs and why all of the souls of Amestris taken by Father returned to their original bodies. In the Anime it’s suggested the souls of the Xerxes Citizens that triggered the Reverse Transmutation Circle also returned them to their rightful bodies.
  • Hoenheim was about 35 years old at the time of the destruction of Xerxes. It’s suggested the over 500,000 souls in his body were added to his lifespan. 350 years pass from the time of Xerxes to the births of Ed and Al. We know from the deaths of the Homunculi each time they’re “killed”, they lose one of the philosipher’s stones that keep them alive. In the Manga, Hoenheim states after Father is defeated only his soul remained. He burned through the others during the course of the battle. Based on that, it’s no hard to understand why his body decayed so quickly. At 400 years old, he far exceeded a normal human lifespan!

Overall, I give the Manga a 10/10. A solid storyline and it’s a must-read for fans of anything FMA. I’m even considering cosplaying as an Amestrian Soldier at Anime Boston 2015. If not FMA then possibly the Survey Corps from Attack on Titan. Hmm…

 

 

My Reccommendations for introducing someone to Anime

If you’re reading this, either you’re looking for a good first Anime or you’re looking to introduce a friend  or potential love interest to the world of Anime. Here are a couple choices I reccommend depending on the age and possible interest of whoever you’re trying to introduce to Anime. Speaking of age, I’m referring to adults 18+. Now if we’re talking about introducing kids to decient Anime, I will touch on that at the end of this post =O

Now, this post assumes you and/or the person you’re introducing to Anime are native English speakers. In this case, you’re going to want to go with English Dubs. You can get into the whole Dubs vs. Subs thing after you’ve brought your friend on board.

Alright, so for this there will be three tiers of introduction: Rookie, Intermediate and Advanced. I will explain why I placed each Anime in each group as we go. Also this is just a partial list but anyway here we go:

 

Rookie

The legendary Hayato Miyazaki has been working with Studio Ghibli, which is a sub-division of Disney over the last 11 years to open up Anime to non-Anime consumers in the United States. Spirited Away was the first of his movies (released in Japan a few years earlier) to come on the big screen a bit over 10 years ago. The movie tells the story of Chihiro, a girl whose family wanders into the spirit world and must find the strength and courage to save her parents, who were turned into pigs.

The award-winning movie is visually stunning. I saw this for the first time 11 years ago while I was working for City Year. It blew me away given at the time, I knew I was the only one in the room who even knew the difference between Anime and American Cartoons. This movie is a great entry-level choice for those who’ve never seen an anime and don’t want to commit to seeing a full season just yet.

I first saw this Anime on Netflix four years ago. I’ve since bought the DVD set at Anime Boston 2012. Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple, or History’s Mightiest Disicple Kenichi in Japan (Just gonna Call it KTMD for short lol) has a couple themes most folks should be familiar with: Spineless kid is picked on, kid meets hot transfer student who also happens to be an expert in the martial arts. Spineless Kid goes to martial arts dojo to train, rivals and friends come his way. KTMD is one of those Anime that’s both straightforward but also easy to follow for entry-level Anime fans. You could skip around the episode order and still get the gist of what’s going on.

Around the time I got the box set I learned KTMD, like many other Manga-turned-Anime is continued in the Manga (which is Japan only unfortunately). The Anime references the next arc, which is continued in the Manga. Even so, this is a great entry-level choice and is available on both Netflix and Hulu Plus.

 

Intermediate

I’m sure many of you have at least heard of this Anime. Until a few weeks ago, Inuyasha enjoyed a nearly 20-year run on Cartoon Network. Many Anime fans worldwide consider Inuyasha to be one of the greatest Anime of all time. Its run spanned three decades (late 1990s to 2014) and at least two generations grew up watching it. While on the one hand yes, this Anime has a huge female fanbase it has universal appeal. The Anime tells the story of Kagome, a high school student from present-day Japan who travels back in time to the Feudal Era. There she meets Inuyasha, a half human half dog demon and goes on a quest with him to find all of the pieces of the Skikon Jewel. They are joined on their adventure by the womanizing monk Miroku, the fox demon Shippo and the Demon Hunter Sango.

Along the way they have several encounters with Inuyasha’s full-demon brother Sesshomaru, who views his half-human brother as inferior to him. When they’re not fighting each other, Inuyasha and Sesshomaru are forced to work together to deal with a common enemy. It goes without saying this Anime’s fandom is HUGE. The characters are multidimensional and over the course of the Anime’s nine seasons (seven regular seasons plus the final two titled Inuyasha: The Final Act) you come to love ’em.

While yes this Anime spans Nine Seasons, unlike say, Dragonball Z each episode helps tell the story. Inuyasha is also in Manga form and one can argue this is the reason even 20 years after it was first published, Inuyasha is one of the most popular Manga of all time in Japan. The Manga is also available in America in case you’re wondering. Before I forget, this Anime got four movies: Affections Touching Across Time, The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass, Swords of an Honorable Ruler and Fire on the Mystic Island. Like all movies based on an Anime/Manga in syndication, the movies are non-canon to the existing storyline but they provide a means making an original story using existing characters.

Anywho, that’s all I’m going to say about Inuyasha for now XD

East meets West in this Hip Hop-Infused Anime. I think I might have talked about Samurai Champloo in one of my early blog posts but anyway, the visual representation in this Anime makes it clear to me this was made to appeal to a young non-Anime audience. It did its job nicely: It’s my older brother’s favorite Anime. The Anime takes place during Japan’s late Edo Period (a few decades before Japan’s isolation from the world ended) and follows the adventures of three unlikely traveling companions: The orphaned teenager Fuu, The disgraced Ronin Jin and the free-spirited samurai Mugen.

One thing that should be said about Japan is like the U.S., it glorifies its past in media. Samurai Champloo is a fantastic thrill ride with a little bit of everything. The Edo Period can be considered the no-man’s land between the Feudal Era and the start of Japan’s Industrial Revolution in the 1880s. There were three constants during this time: The Shogun’s brutal crackdown on the underground Christian Movement, non-Dutch outsiders (Gaijin) banned from having diplomatic relations with Japan and unemployed Samurai. This Anime does an amazing job of highlighting all three.

Samurai Champloo can still be found on Netflix and it’s a great choice for the history fans out there.

 

Advanced

I think I touched on this when I reviewed this Anime but the difference between FMA:B and FMA is FMA:B is a faithful retelling of the Manga while FMA is not. FMA:B is much darker and has a much better story compared to the original FMA. Anyway, FMA:B is the story of Edward and Alphonse Elric, who broke Alchemy’s only rule and performed human transmutation. The cost was steep: Alphonse lost his entire body while Ed lost his right leg. Ed then used alchemy to bond Al’s soul to a suit of armor, losing his right arm in change for getting Al back. The Anime is the story of their quest to find a way to get their original bodies back.

Of course, this Anime is reccommended for Advanced viewers due to the overt athiestic overtones some may take offense to. Here’s an example: Amestris’s ruler Furher King Bradley (by the way, Fuhrer is German for “Leader”) states during a flashback episode “God is nothing but a construct created by man to inspire fear and promote order.” The irony is something the Anime’s main antagonist, the Dwarf in the Flask says in regards to those who break Alchemy’s one and only sin: “Humans who would dare to play God must pay a steep price for their arrogance.” This is is rich coming from a being who himself seeks to gain the power of God for himself and views humans as nothing but a means to that end.

FMA:B does have a movie: The Sacred Star of Minos. It takes place in the Creta Region southeast of Amestris where Ed and Al journey after hearing rumors of a Philosipher’s Stone being there. That aside, this Anime is very deep and while it is on the mainstream, it is one of the better ones out there. The tagline in both FMA and FMA:B on Alchemy is this: In order to gain something, something of equal value must be given. Alchemy 101. Alchemy 102 is One is All and All is One. FMA/FMA:B is also the Anime that made Vic Magnogna (Edward Elric’s English voice actor) and Caitlin Glass (Winry Rockbell’s English voice actress) famous so…yeah.

Death Note is, for all intents and purposes one of those Anime that blurs the line between good and evil. As the title of the Manga turned Anime implies, a Death Note is a book from the Shinigami World (Shinigami being Japanese for “Death God” or “God of Death”). Its purpose is simple: “The Human whose name is written in this Notebook shall die.” Click the link for the complete rules but yeah. This Anime centers around Light Yagami, who uses the Death Note to purge the world of criminals and L, the world famous detective who risks everything to stop Kira (Japanese for “Killer”, it’s what everyone refers to Light as), the man who has been killing criminals worldwide.

Most Death Note fans fit into one of two camps: Those who support Kira and those who side with L.  Those who side with Kira believe all who do evil should be punished no matter what while those who side with L believe only those who are guilty beyond reasonable doubt should be punished. By this logic, L views Kira as the ultimate evil. The first half of the series is a cat-and-mouse game as Light and L try to learn the other’s identity before they’re found out: Light to kill and L to capture.

I won’t spoil how their contest ends here but almost 10 years after it premiered in the U.S. on Toonami, Death Note is still very popular. It’s a great anime to watch with a group of people and talk about the legal and moral implications of each side. Death Note was so popular it spawned three live-action movies, the first two of which are based on the Anime/Manga series .

I could name more in each category but I think these are fine for now. So your friend has soon Anime from each tier and they’re ready for more? Now I’d say they’re ready for what’s  easily my favorite Anime of all time:

…Bring a box of tissue for your friend when ready =O

Now, I have been asked at Anime Boston both this year and last year when it would be a good time to introduce thier boyfriend/girlfriend to Clannad specifically. Clannad speaks for itself prettymuch so the best answer I can come up with is when you think you’re ready, go for it!

 

Had your fill of Toonami’s Weekly Lineup? Looking for More Anime? Here’s a few places to start looking!

I’m at that age where I’m old enough to remember watching Gundam Wing, Dragonball and Sailor Moon in the early 1990s, Dragonball Z a few years later, Fullmetal Alchemist, Code geass and Death Note about twelve years ago and more recently, the likes of Soul Eater, Blue Exorcist, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and Bleach. What all of these Anime have in common is at one time or another they all aired on Cartoon Network and/or its anime block, Toonami.

Back in the day, you only really had Toonami and 4Kids to get your Anime fix. Things are very different now. As an added incetive, outside TV and Hulu there are no commercial interruptions so…yeah. Here’s two places I reccommend to get started:

This should come as no surprise given I reviewed it in January. For those who are unfamiliar with it, it’s basically Netflix but just Anime and Korean Dramas. Like Netflix, programming is on demand but like Hulu, new episodes are made available right after they’ve aired on TV in Japan.  Even though I’m a Dub Man and the Anime CR provides is all Subbed, no other provider comes close to the sheer volume of Anime they have to offer.

Crunchyroll can be streamed through both Microsoft and Sony Consoles as well as the Vita, iOS/Android devices and of course, your computer’s browser. CR is 100% free to watch on your computer but if you want to stream it, it’ll cost you $7 a month which is a buck less than Netflix for prettymuch just Anime.  The original content is easily worth the monthly subscription in my book.

 

As the first streaming service I ever used and as much as I hate to admit it, Netflix has its usefulness in regards to Anime. While the streaming giant has been quietly making original content in recent months (Orange is the New Black and House of Cards), it has also been acquiring exclusive licensing deals with various media providers. One such deal brought the entire Pokemon series to Netflix. At the moment, The Indigo League and The Unova Saga as well as the Reshiram and Zekrom movies are the only Pokemon-related stuff they have so far but those ALONE will easily take a few weeks to go through. The rest are set to be added over the coming months.

Moving on, almost all of the Anime I now own I saw for the first time on Netflix: Clannad, School Rumble, Ouran High School Host Club and Samurai Champloo to name a few. The small but respectable selection of Anime they have is a great place for folks to cut their teeth on Dubs without having to deal with the Ads on Hulu. Netflix also has Attack on Titan Subbed, which recently started airing on Toonami.

Like Crunchyroll, Netflix streams on both Sony and Microsoft consoles as well as the Vita and the 3DS family handhelds and all the rest. It’s $8 a month which isn’t bad. I actually have both CR and Netflix so…yeah. As a reminder: When streaming both CR and Netflix there are NO ADS =D

 

That’s just to whet your appitite.

So now you wanna buy some Anime but not ready for the DVD/Blu-Ray sets yet? That’s ok. I know a few providers that can help you get your Anime fix and the prices are obscenely cheap:

 

 

These were the first places I bought Anime from starting about seven years ago with Xbox Live’s PC Client Zune. The first Anime I bought was Ah! My Goddess! Unsurprisingly, I went on to own both seasons, the movie and two thirds of the Manga volumes (LOL!). This brings up the all-important question of cost. It really depends on which route you go. If you wand Standard Definition (SD) it’s $2 per episode across the board and $3 for High Definition (HD) episodes. While yes, HD is better quality the files are also MUCH bigger and in the cases of the consoles they can really eat up your storage if you’re not careful. For movies, the cost is $8-$10 though with those that have HD versions available it’s $12 or $15.

Both iTunes and Xbox Live/Zune allow you to buy whole seasons if you want. If a season is airing, you can buy a Season Pass which gets you all the episodes of a season in progress so far plus the rest of the episodes made available for download as early as an hour after they’ve aired on TV. You can also just buy all the episodes of a season at a flat rate after all the episodes have aired.

I reccommend one or both personally in regards to Anime. Most Anime seasons are 12 to 13 or 24 to 26 episodes long so…yeah. On average, Buying a whole season on average runs between $18 to $32 on both Xbox Live/Zune and iTunes (the Playstation Network doesn’t currently offer whole season purchases). I wouldn’t pay more than $30 personally for a digital copy of an Anime season or series. The most I paid was $24 each for both seasons of Spice & Wolf, Ah! My Goddess!, and Rosario + Vampire as well as Shuffle! (I bought the DVD set last year at Anime Boston) which I bought on Xbox Live three years ago. Each episode (Standard Definition) was $2 so more often than not, I got a real good deal on a season package. I paid $24 for the Shuffle DVD set in case you’re wondering.

 

…I’ve talked about Xbox Live/Zune almost exclusively but there SEVERAL benefits to buying your Anime on iTunes and The Playstation Network, more so if like me you have quite a few of their portable devices =O

For starters, once you buy anything from iTunes you can download it on all of your devices right away. Cross-buy and cross-download is also possible so for example if you buy Wolf Children on your PS3, you can download it to your Vita or PSP at no extra cost. Don’t wanna wait for it to download? You can stream it while it’s downloading in the case of Xbox Live/Zune and iTunes. In all three cases, you can que multiple downloads simultaneously.

Of course, the smart way to distribute your stuff after you’ve bought and downloaded it to your PC/PS3 is to use a Sync cable so you can get it on Portable device in seconds and not minutes or hours.

Whew…now we’ree getting to the third and final layer. In case it isn’t obvious: I am only providing LEGAL OPTIONS to get your Anime. Of course, there are illegal means but if you wanted to go that route, you probably wouldn’t have read this much (LOL). Support your favorite anime and BUY it!

 

That said, the final layer is of course DVD and/or Blu-Ray. While yes, Digital Purchases are the future there’s nothing wrong with wanting to own a physical copy of your favorite anime and anime movies. I have 14 Anime DVD and Blu-Ray sets (I count multiple seasons as part of a set personally) and 6 Anime movies myself so…yeah. I got most of my Box Sets during Anime Boston and have actually made it a tradition to buy two Anime Box sets at Anime Boston. For example I got Ouran High School Host Club and Fate/ZERO this year and Samurai Champloo and Shuffle! last year.

You really can’t go wrong when you buy your Anime on DVD/Blu-Ray: No DRM, no internet connection, no monthly fees, no ads, nothing but the Anime. The best part is you can decide if you want to watch it with the English Audio (default setting) or the Japanese Audio. With the other layers you’re locked into one or the other.

As for the price, that depends on where you look and how rare the Anime you’re looking to buy is. For example, Code Geass Season 1 goes for $49 while Season 2 costs $72. Persona 4 Blu-Ray is about $27 for each season (they split it in half for the home release presumably to bring the price down and double profits at the same time). Samurai Champloo (complete series) goes for $28 on DVD and $30 on Blu Ray.

Some sets are simply rarer or more common than others. Much of it has to do with licensing and/or the original distributor going under, ending the production of new DVD/Blu-Ray Sets. This is what happened to Code Geass. Those who paid attention will have noticed this Anime never reaired on Cartoon Network/Toonami. The reason for that is the company that held the license went under while the series was wrapping up on Toonami so it was never reaired. It’s also the reason the DVD Sets are so rare and costly XD

 

Ok that’s it for now. Up next, I’ll throw out my reccommended picks for folks who are not fans of Anime =D

Fullmetal Alchemist Manga set almost complete

 

All I need are volumes 23, 23 and 24 and it will be complete ^_^

 

I bought 3-in-1 books, which contain 3 volumes but cost $15 each. I got singles for volumes 25, 26 and 27 before I knew the whole series was getting the 3-in-1 treatment. For those who don’t know, a single volume of FMA costs $10 so it makes more sense to buy a 3-in-1 these days. Bleach, Naruto and Dragonball Z are also releasing 3-in1 versions of the manga as well so…yeah.

Once I finish FMA it will join my complete Death Note and Code Geass sets. I will then focus on adding to my Blue Exorcist and Ouran High School Host Club sets. I also have seversl Bleach and Naruto volumes but in those cases, I’m more interested in getting all of the volumes for certain Arcs. While I do have most of the volumes for Rosario + Vampire and Oh!My Goddess, I’ll wait until AB2015 before I look at getting more volumes for those series.

I almost forgot to say this before but Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood faithfully follows the manga’s storyline. The original Anime from 10 years earlier uses an original storyline with the same characters. Those who saw FMA:B after seeing FMA but before reading the manga will find FMA:B much darker than the original Anime. The original storyline has been critically acclaimed for the more narrowed focus on what it means to seek “The Truth”.

I think it would I would be pretty cool if an after story was done but things are fine as they are. For those who may have heard of FMA and wondered about the name, Edward Elric is given the codename Fullmetal by King Bradley when he becomes a state alchemist. He’s universally known as The Fullmetal Alchemist because of his prosthetic arm and leg. He lost his limbs and his younger brother Alphonse lost his entire body after tried to transmute their mother back to life. The main story is their quest to find a way to get their bodies back.