Naruto Shippuden (FINALLY!) comes to an end with Episode #500; Boruto Anime to Premeire April 5

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10 years after Naruto Shippuden premeired, the final Episode aired on March 23, 2017. It is now truly the end of an era. Combined with the first Naruto Anime series, the franchise spanned nearly 650 episodes combined. A smash hit on both sides of the Pacific, Naruto burst onto the scene back in 2003 first in Japan and then came to the U.S. in 2004. With the stable of memorable characters, it goes without saying Naruto/Naruto Shippuden has more than earned its spot on the Top 10 List of Greatest Anime Of All Time.

While Naruto introduced the main and support characters and most of the recurring characters, Shippuden provided the backstory and the history of the Naruto Universe. The first part of the series opened with Naruto returning after training with Jiraiya for 3 years. He reunites with Sakura, who are joined by the socially awkward Sai. Former Anbu Yamato is appointed temporary leader of the reformed Team 7, which renewed its goal of finding the missing Sasuke Uchiha. The missing former member of Team 7 joined forces with Orochimaru to gain the power he would need to slay the man responsible for wiping out his clan: His brother Itachi, who had since joined the Akatsuki. The Akatsuki is a shadowy organization made up of powerful rogue ninja. Their goal is the capture all of the tailed beasts for a much larger and more sinister purpose.

Shippuden reveals the previously unknown story of Naruto’s origins and Kakashi’s past: Naruto’s father is actually the 4th Hokage, Minato Namikaze (which you should know if you read my blog post featuring him). Naruto’s mother Kushina Uzumaki comes from a clan that specializes in sealing and restraining chakra. She was chosen to be the Jinchuruki of Kurama, the Nine-Taled beast before Naruto. On the night Naruto was born, a mysterious man attacked the village. His goal: Release Kurama and unleash his power on the village, which he does for a time. With Kushina severely weakened from giving birth and having Kurama ripped out of her, Minato is left with no choice but to make their newborn son Naruto the next Jinchuruki. He seals half of Kurama’s power in Naruto and takes the other half with him to the grave.

The man responsible is later revealed to be Obito Uchiha, a former member of Minato’s first squad and one of Kakashi’s teammates. In a cruel twist of fate, Obito in revealed to have been manipulated to bringing Madara Uchiha back to life. That ended up being necessary along with assembling The Tailed Beasts to summon the world-ending Ten-Tailed Beast, which Madara summoned once before. This was all part of a much larger plan to bring back Kaguya, the Mother of Chakra who had been sealed away many eras ago. In the end, only Naruto and Sasuke’s combined powers are able to not only withstand her God-like power but ultimately reseal her and this time forever. With the world safe, Sasuke challenges Naruto to one final duel to decide who is the greatest and most powerful Shinobi in the world.

While it would be fair to say the series truly ended with Naruto and Sasuke’s final duel, the episodes that followed both provided closure for several memorable characters and ended with the wedding of Naruto and Hinata. Sasuke left the village to atone for his past crimes and manages to solve an intricate mystery involving exploding zombies. Shikamaru, on the other hand breaks up a town of cultists looking to end the peace the world is now enjoying. The last 7 episodes, which clearly take place after the events of The Last: Naruto The Movie focus on the village’s wedding plans for Naruto and Hinata.

…All this said, those waiting for the Dub will probably not see it until 2019 or 2020. It will take some time to say the least.

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The finale ended with confirmation Naruto’s son Boruto is getting his own Anime series. Boruto: Naruto Next Generations will premeire on Crunchyroll on April 5.

There are serious questions regarding Naruto’s status that may force a retcon of the storyline. This is a massive spoiler for those who don’t know but at some point in Boruto, Naruto is killed. Then it’s revealed Naruto isn’t really dead. Or something? Like I said, Naruto’s actual status in terms of Boruto is unknown since the Manga is apparently being rewritten to make things more clear. According to several insiders, the orignally planned death of Naruto is being retconned entirely because of the confusion around it. As for why I’m being vague, I haven’t read the Boruto Manga myself.

Not yet, anyway. I just wanted to finish watching Naruto Shippuden first. Now that I have, I’ll get started reading some Boruto on my iPad ^_^

Before I forget: Boruto and Sarada (Sasuke and Sakura’s daughter) are both playable characters in Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 (PC, PS4 and Xbox One).

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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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There’s been alot of hate on Sakura Haruno from Naruto all over the internet lately

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…And it makes no sense at all. No, really: There are memes trashing who is quite possibly the third most powerful Kunoichi from the Hidden Leaf, putting her behind Tsunade and Kushina.

She may not have had the love at first sight factor of Sasuke or the outside the box way of life of Naruto but Sakura had alot of growth as a person throughout the series. Like her teammates, she was trained by one of the Legendary Sannin but was the only one who didn’t have the blood of a legendary clan on her side (Uchiha and Uzumaki).

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Unlike both Sasuke and Naruto, her development since her introduction has been very consistent. That moment when she stood side by side with her reunited teammates was the turning point of the Fourth Great Ninja War. As she said herself, she was no longer just the third wheel. After years of hard work, she earned the right to stand side by side with Naruto and Sasuke once again.

Series creator Masashi Kishimoto owes it to no one for explain to the anti-Sakura crowd why she matters. He already did that over the course of the series in both Manga and Anime. Neither will I though I will concede much of the actual hard work was shown in flashback sequences much later on–most notably, her training under Tsunade while Naruto was training with Jiraiya. That was when she truly started walking her own path. She may not have had the same burdens as her teammates but it’s because of that she had to redouble her efforts.

 

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….Plus, being the mother and wife of two members of the new Team 7’s not a bad thing either ^_^

Speaking of Boruto: The way the last volume ended, alot of folks are assuming Naruto’s dead. That is not true. Not just because it would take more than what happened to kill the most powerful ninja in the village who is also the Hokage,  the new series is still WAY too new to even consider killing him off anyway. Besides, there are other ways to remove Naruto from the picture without killing him–the same was done with Sasuke, after all.

6 Anime made video games worth trying

There have been alot of video games based on Anime–not to be confused with Anime-ish video games like Tales of Symphonia and Persona 4–but until about15 years ago, they were rarely released outside Japan. The last decade has seen a Naruto game released every few years in particular, many of which I’ve played.

These are 6 games released on consoles I’ve personally played, still own and highly reccommend playing, counting down from 6:

 

6. Bleach: Dark Souls (Nintendo DS)

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…One thing Bleach had a knack for was timing when it did filler arcs. Dark Souls is no different. The game’s story mode is set right after the end of the Soul Society Arc (when Ichigo first visits the Soul Society to rescue Rukia) and follows a non-canon storyline involving Mod Souls. The game is dual audio English and Japanese. Everyone has all of their moves from the anime including Gin and Tossen, who are unlockable characters along with Aizen–not the Aizen reintroduced much later, mind you–and yes, their Bankai if theirs was introduced before. I believe the only ones who don’t have their Bankai in Dark Souls are Aizen’s (which hadn’t been revealed at the time) and Rukia’s (same as Aizen though in addition, Rukia was still recovering from the injuries she sustained at the end of the Soul Society Arc).

The game’s very difficult to find in a Gamestop. There is an mobile version of the game but from what I’ve seen, it’s definitely not the same game.

 

5. Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment (PS Vita)

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The smash hit Anime series got two video game spinoffs on the PS Vita (so far): Hollow Fragment and Lost Song, both of which I own. I haven’t played Lost Song yet (gasp!) because I am playing other things at the moment. Hollow Fragment, on the other hand is digital only in North America. Unlike Dark Souls, Hollow Fragment’s story takes place during an existing point in the anime. It is a non-canon storyline that takes place towards the end of the first half of Season 1. It’s an action RPG. Unlike your typical RPG though, you don’t start the game at level 1. Your level and that of your recruitable partners is much higher to fit the story’s narrative, which is just before the Aincrad arc ends.

Sinon, who is introduced in Season 2 of the anime is a playable character in this game. The obvious problem from a lore standpoint is she never was in Aincrad in the canon. The game kinda gets away with this given she is introduced in the game before she is introduced in the Anime: The anime premiered in Japan almost a year after Hollow Fragment was released in Japan. I watched it on Crunchyroll so I can say that. If you want to buy this game, it is digital only.

4. Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3

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I bought the game a few months ago and was pleasantly surprised when I saw that unlike the previous two games, the game’s story mode is a a full retelling of the a portion of the canon storyline. The story begins during the Hidden Lead Village’s reconstruction after it is destroyed by Pain and ends with Kurama accepting Naruto, helping him fight Tobi. The secondary storyline introduces North American fans to Naruto’s father and the Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze as well as his mother Kushina Uzumaki. The game was released during the filler episodes that aired before Naruto meets his mother in the Anime.

There are button prompts that pop up during pivotal fights in the game. Mess up and you take damage before retrying. There is also additional dialogue during the dialogue not shown in the Anime. Mostly because the game isn’t restricted in terms of how much content per episode they can put in the game. The game was released on the PS3 and well as the Xbox 360. The 4th game, Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 was released on the PS4 and Xbox One earlier this year.

 

3. Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains (Nintendo 3DS)

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….Believe it or not, someone actually LOVED this game.

Folks are trying to pretend the game never existed even though the upcoming PS3 port is the exact same thing. The hate comes from the lack of gore in the 3DS game. No, seriously. It’s a SOLID game and stays true to the anime in terms of mechanics. The game’s Story Mode spans the entire anime series. You play as Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Sasha and Levi. The meat of the game is the more open-ended Mission Mode: You create your own character and start your own legend as a member of the Survey Corps =D

Humanity in Chains also contains video clips from the anime (Japanese audio with English subtitles) as well as yes, the Opening we all know and love–how can you NOT love that on a portable game? The game is digital only, sells for $30 and is worth the price tag in my book if you call yourself a fan of Attack on Titan.

2. Dragonball: Xenoverse

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Hailed by diehard DBZ fans as one of, if not best Dragonball Z game released since the Budokai games, Xenoverse mixes the done to death retelling of DBZ’s Sagas and custom characters to make a game with near-endless replay value. The game breaks the 4th wall a bit as you can chose to play as a Human, Saiyan, Namekian, Frieza-race or Buu-race character. The lore for those last two I just mentioned are being made in the spinoff anime series Dragonball Z Super, which began with the movie Dragonball Z: Battle of Gods. Anyways, Trunks summons you to join the Time Patrol, an interdimensional fighting force that is tasked with fixing abnormalities with the time-space continum. Someone is intenionally screwing with iconic battles in DBZ’s lore. Trunks can’t intervene himself (being Vegeta’s son and all) so he asked Shenron to bring you in to do the job in his place.

…The game is MASSIVE. That’s how it is.  I bought the game digital on the PS3 but it was also released on the Xbox 360. The crazy thing more mind-blowing over this being #2 is two games tied for first =O

1. Dragonball Z: Legacy of Goku II/Dragonball Z: Buu’s Fury (Game Boy Advance)

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…Surprised, I take it? So was I the first time I played Legacy of Goku II: It was a faithful retelling of the Androids Saga and the Cell Saga. Watching DBZ Kai the last few weeks reminded me of this fact. There is even a secret boss: Cooler. In addition, Hercule is an unlockable playable character in the late game. Buu’s Fury picks it up from there, spanning The Underworld Tournament to The Buu Saga. The secret boss is Broly in that game. Both games are action RPGs. Oh and yes, you can go Super Saiyan (or Super Namekian in the case of Piccolo in Legacy of Goku II) at will. You can also do fusions in Buu’s Fury, all at will. The games allow fans to relive their favorite battles or those new to DBZ to enjoy the story at a slower pace.

Both games were released halfway through the Game Boy Advance’s lifespan. If you want to find it, Amazon is the place to go since it was never ported or re-released on newer consoles. I first played both games when they were current so…yeah.

 

…Well there you have it. There may not be a whole lot of Anime that made the jump to video games but of the ones that do, few of them are as well received as half the ones on this list. This is just my list of personal faves. There actually IS another Anime I have in mind that was originally a visual novel. I found the review I wrote for it and realized I never posted it. That oversight will be correctly shortly.

 

The Naruto series will continue with Naruto’s son (Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS!)

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…In case you’re wondering that’s Naruto in the background, 7th Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village. I caught wind of this and the movie introducing the next generation of young ninja by accident late last night. Apparently, the new Manga and Anime series were announced in April. As it happens, that was also around the same time certain things about the final pairings for Team 7 were revealed.

For the sake of epic spoilers and the fact the first part of this will appear on my Facebook and Tumblr feed, scroll past the next picture to read more.

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Three Uzumaki: 4th Hokage Minato, 7th Hokage Naruto and Bolt.

 

…Doesn’t get any more epic than that pic, huh? As noted in the caption, Bolt is Naruto’s son and Minato’s grandson. You can see the obvious resemblance across the 3 generations. Now here’s where I throw a series of major revelations that take place between the end of Naruto’s story and the beginning of Bolt’s. Some is already widely known but for those who are reading this for the first time: Oh, Well.

 

  • In the final volume of the Manga, it’s revealed Naruto and Hinata get married. The last Naruto Movie is about how they fell in love and started a family. In addition to Bolt, they also have a daughter named Himawari. Here’s a picture:

From left to right: Bolt, Naruto, Hinata and Himawari.

Like Naruto and Minato, the resemblance is strictly Father/Son and Mother/Daughter. Based on the information I’ve been able to find, Himawari is younger than Bolt but not by much. I was able to confirm like his father and grandfather, Bolt can use the Rasengan. It’s probably a safe bet he personally taught the technique by Naruto. It may be too early to know what other skills he learned from Naruto at this time but more is sure to be revealed. On the other hand, I couldn’t find much about Himawari other than like her mother, she can use Byakugan. Given Bolt is also her child, it’s possible he can use the skill as well.

Moving on:

  • As noted above,  Naruto becomes the Seventh Hokage. This leads you to ask the obvious question “Who’s the Sixth?”
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6th Hokage Kakashi Hatake.

…Yep, the Copy Ninja himself. The circumstances of the 6th and 7th Hokage’s appointments haven’t yet been revealed as far as I know.

  • This is probably the most known bit of info but it’s official: Sasuke and Sakura are a couple. They have a daughter named Sarada (Japanese name being Salad).From what I’ve cold, Sasuke walks out of Sakura and Sarada’s lives doing who knows what for 10 years before returning to the village.

Here’s a family picture:

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…Unlike Bolt, Sarada has a resemblance to both parents. Speaking of, there is confirmation Bolt and Sarada are rivals in Borito just like their fathers but likely become friends and possibly a couple later.

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It’s also likely Sarada can use the Sharingan as well. So right now we know who 3 of the members of the new Team 7 are: Bolt, Sarada and Team Captain Sasuke. You read that right. This breaks tradition a little in at least one regard: This marks the first known instance two family members are on the same squad (Sasuke and Sarada). This is also the third straight time Team 7 is led by a former member of the team: Kakashi was the previous captain, who himself was a member of Minato’s squad.

…Notice I left one person out. The fourth member of Team 7…I’m not even sure if who it reportedly is since I don’t trust the sources announcing who it is. Reports are saying it’s a youth named Mitsuki and they are from the Hyuga Clan. The problem with that is Bolt’s mother Hinata is from the Hyuga clan and as her son, Bolt technically is a member of the same clan. I’ve also seen Mitsuki referenced as male and female in separate instances. The name can be used either way so again, I will wait until I get more info.

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Anyways, the current Naruto Anime is wrapping up on Crunchyroll. The final volume was released in Japan in April though fan translations have circulated all over the internet. In an interesting change that also breaks tradition, the last Naruto movie is canon and is in fact the bridge between the end of Naruto’s story and the beginning of Bolt’s.  Before I forget: Bolt’s name is meant to signify him being the “bolt” that keeps his parents together.

I assume it will be another year before the Manga and this final movie come to the U.S. After all, the new series was only just announced two years ago after months of the creator doing some serious soul searching. I do have some lingering questions I assume will be answered when I’ve seen the rest of the anime on Crunchyroll. Should be interesting.

Oh and one last thing:

Sorry for the Epic Spoilers ^_^

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.

 

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