Best Opening, Fight Scene and Weird Characters of 2016!

…We’re gonna kick this bad boy off with a BANG.

Best Opening: Twin Star Exorcists (Third Opening)

 

The song is titled Sync and is by the group LOL.

Combined with the animated footage, it sets the tone for the plot of the third arc of the Anime (which I won’t spoil here). It’s a nice fusion of pop and hip hop. The anime itself premiered earlier this year as well. You can watch it on Crunchyroll (still in progress).

Runner Up: One Punch Man

 

The Song is The Hero !! by The JAM Project

I know what you’re probably thinking: “How in the holy hell did Saitama NOT win this category?!”

The truth is this was in the running for Best AMV AND best Fight Sequence in addition to Best OP. I decided to give all three categories to others but I did want to give OPM some love off the bat. Besides, you WILL see Saitama mentioned for sure in at least one other category ^_^

…This concludes Best OP 2016. On to the next category:

 

Best Fight Scene: Hisoka vs. Kastro (Hunter x Hunter)
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I recently watched the 2-episode fight as it aired on Toonami. Without spoiling the outcome, Hisoka breaks down what happened after the fight while being treated for the injuries he sustained in the fight. I chose this fight as this year’s winner simply because of the buildup, how it ended and the explaination afterward.

I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll leave it at that.

Runner-Up: Naruto and Sasuke’s Final Fight (Naruto Shippuden)

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…If we didn’t already know the outcome thanks to Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 and The Last: Naruto The Movie this would have won Best Fight Scene 2016. The problem, of course is we already knew the fight was going to happen and it was going to end in a tie. Based on that, it didn’t feel right to award them Best Fight even though everything else was done right. The problem is even non-Naruto fans knew this was going to happen. LOL.

For those who don’t know, Sasuke challenges Naruto to one final battle after they seal away Kagura. The battle, which spans several episodes ends in a draw with Naruto and Sasuke losing an arm each (Tsunade uses the cells of the 1st Hokage to grow a new arm for both of them later).

…This concludes Best Fight Scenes of 2016. On to the next category:

Best Male Weird Character: Augus Mikazuki (Moble Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans)

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…While it goes without saying Mikazuki is one cool dude, he’s also a lose cannon. He’s got a 2-track mind: Fighting and Orga though he is working on socializing a bit more. He doesn’t hold much of an interest in anything outside those two areas. It’s very….WEIRD for the lead protagonist. That’s the best way I can think of putting it. LOL.

Runner Up: Tetsuya Kuroko (Kuroko’s Basketball)

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…Those who read my review of the anime knows I watched the whole series earlier this year. Kuroko’s quite the interesting basketball player. He uses his lack of presence to become invisible on the court. He’s become so good at it, he can literally hide in plain sight. LOL.

The main reason I did not give Kuroko the win in this category is because he will be mentioned in at least one other category.

 

Best Female Weird Character: Chidori (Ninja Girl and Samurai Master)

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The Anime is 5 minutes per episode yet there’s alot going on in each one. The anime is a satirical version of Nobunaga’s campaign. The story focuses on Chidori, a child ninja and her dedication to serving her naster, Nobunaga Oda. Chidori is very skilled despire her young age but she’s simple-minded and clueless outside that. This makes for some interesting interactions with basically everyone.

Runner Up: Maoyu (Maoyu)
https://i2.wp.com/stuffpoint.com/maoyu/image/173619-maoyu-horn.jpg

…For those who are wondering, he’s pointing at the fake horns she’s holding.Maoyu (Japanese for Demon King) almost won this category but didn’t because there is a method to her madness. Everything about her from the opening episode leaves you baffled. She clearly has both the skills and the willingness to advnacne human civilization in the name of peace. Despite being labeled the eneny of humanity, it turns out she doesn’t hate humans after all. In fact, she wants to champion peace between humans and demons. LOL.

 

…This concludes Best Weird Character 2016!

Next up: Best Romance, Best Romantic Scene and Best Couple!

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Review: Kuroko’s Basketball

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I decided to watch this anime after I saw this AMV at Anime Boston 2016:

Prety awesome, right?

If you like basketball–playing or watching–you will LOVE this anime. Despite how it looks, actual basketball physics are used.

Kuroko’s Basketball, or The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays (aka Kuroko no Basket) is the story of the love of the game of basketball first and former team mates now rivals second. Let’s go over the seven main characters:

 

  • Tetsuya Kuroko (Sixth Man): One of the two lead protagonists. Kuroko was the Phantom Sixth Man on Teiko Middo School’s Basketball team, which¬† dominated the competition all 3 years. Kuroko specializes in Misdirection, which utilizes his lack of presence in general. Because of this, he is virtually invisible on the court to the opposing team and sometimes his own team mates. When he meets Kagami, he offers to be the Shadow to Kagami’s Light. During the course of the series, Kuroko develops several new skills including the Vanishing Drive, Disappearing Shot and Misdirection Overflow. Kuroko’s experience with his now former team mates is tested as like him, The Generation of Miracles has become stronger since they were all on the same team.
  • Taiga Kagami (Power Forward): The other lead protagonist and Kuroko’s team mate on the Seirin High Basketball Team. A basketball prodigy himself who learned to play basketball in America, Kuroko senses his potential to rival the power of his former team mates when they first meet. During Seirin High’s second game against Aomine, Kagami enters The Zone (more on this in a bit), giving him the power he needs to lead the team to victory. During the championship game against Akashi, Kagami enters the True Zone (more on this in a bit) due to the bond between him and his teammates, allowing him to complete the team’s comback and win.
  • Ryota Kise (Small Forward): One of the Generation of Miracles. Kise has the ability to copy any technique after seeing it once. He perfects this ability sometime after his new team Kaijo loses their practice game with Seirin to the point he is able to perfectly copy his former team mates!
  • Shintaro Midorima(Shooting Guard): One of the Generation of Miracles. A touch superstitious, Midorima has the ability to make a shot from literally anywhere beyond the 3-point line on the court by arching the angle of his shot with 100% accuracy. I can actually do this myself so this is certainly possible to do.¬† Kagami and Akashi are the only two players who have demonstrated the ability to block his shots.
  • Daiki Aomine(Power Forward): One of the Generation of Miracles. During his time with Teiko, Aomine dominated the court to the point his opponents lost their will to play against him. His agility on both ends of the court and streetball style of play made it impossible for anyone to keep up with him. By the time he reached high school, Aomine was convinced no one could beat him. Then he met Kagami. During the course of their battles on the court, the other members of the Generation of Miracles realized Kagami had reached their level by his own means. Aomine later teaches Kuroko to shoot ahead of his game against Murasakibara.
  • Atsuhi Murasakibara (Center): One of the Generation of Miracles. Despite his general disinterest in basketball, Murasakibara has a natural talent for the game. Known for his defensive prowess in the paint, Murasakibara can cover the inside with a single bound and has even led Yosen to several shutout games. Along with the rest of Yosen’s frontcourt, the team excels at defense. Entering the Zone against Seirin proved to not be enough to claim victory.
  • Seijuro Akashi (Point Guard): The captain of the Generation of Miracles. Akashi actually has a split personality and that made him dangerous and unpredictable in both middle school and high school as well as both on and off the court. Akashi’s Emperor Eye allows him to predict not only what his opponents will do but his team mates as well. He uses this ability with high-speed dribbling to easily break past defenders on offense and stop the offense in their tracks on defense. Akashi is virtually unstoppable when he enters the Zone in the Championshop game, isolating his team mates. This proves to be his downfall as it paves the way for Kagami to enter the True Zone and give him a taste of what defeat feels like for the very first time in his life.

…Yes, the Generation of Miracles were monsters.
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Their skills are easily NBA level. Of course, they do have a glaring weakness: Their bodies can’t handle the strain of their near-superhuman abilities for too long. This is made apparent with Kise, Kagami and Kiyoshi (a Seirin player who missed almost a year due to a knee injury suffered during a game). Even so, their abilities can definitely be done for real. Like I said earlier, I can make shots from anywhere on the court (Midorima). I can also predict my opponent’s movements and react accordingly. Fakes don’t work on me (Akashi).

It’s hard to look at the Generation of Miracles and not compare them to NBA Players. Let’s get that out the way now (These are my picks):

  • Kuroko: Rajon Rondo when he was a Celtic. Easily. Rondo was a playmaker for his team mates during his time in Boston. That made it hard to guard him because you never knew what he was going to do.
  • Kagami: Kevin Durant and Dwayne Wade. He has the drive of Durant amd the experience to D-Wade to just know how to react in any given situation. Not yet Lebron James-level but he’s getting there.
  • Kise: DeMar DeRozan or Derrick Rose. He’s got DeRozan’s stamina but his health issues ala Rose. Same leg, actually (LOL). With a bit more time, he’ll reach Durant-level.
  • Midorima: Steph Curry obviously. Dude takes the shot and then walks away because he knows it’s going in. Larry Bird-level swag (“Which of you guys is gonna be second?”) and Ray Allen-level drive (All-time NBA leader in 3-Pointers Attempted and Made).
  • Aomine: If Michael Jordan and LeBron James had a baby, you’d get Aomine. Now that he knows how to enter the True Zone, he’s gonna be unstoppable. Despite his personally, Aomine’s basketball IQ is off the charts (LBJ) and no one can guard him (MJ). He does impossible like no one’s business.
  • Murasakibara: Shaq. ‘Nuff said.
  • Akashi: Isaiah Thomas. Both of them. Both the Pistons Hall of Famer and the Celtics All Star of the same name. Put ’em together and you get Akashi despite his split personality.

I’ll now back up a bit and explain The Zone, which is a term that originated in basketball during the early 90s (and is now used in other sports). Getting in the Zone means your mental and physical states are beyond their normal limitations, allowing you to perform far beyond what you’re able to do normally. Willpower is a trigger as is Focus, which Kagami demonstrates by entering the Zone at will. You also have to love the game as a precondition though in the case of Murasakibara, wanting to win can be a substitute for that.

Even when you are immersed in the Zone, there is a level beyond it. Those who are in the Zone are aware of it but few are able to open that door. I have been at that point a few times. Even though you’re already on top of your game, you know you can go further. You don’t know how you know but you just KNOW. Unlike the Zone, I do think going beyond it is different for everyone. I also think as was demonstrated by Kagami and Kuroko, you can’t do it alone. When you and your team are in sync because of the bond between you, that’s when amazing truly happens.

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For those who wanna watch Kuroko’s Basketball, it’s on Crunchyroll. I give it a 10/10 obviously so go watch it! I’m hopeful it may get dubbed by Funimation at some point.

Before I forget: I have a 3-month sub with Crunchyroll. I have alot of Anime to catch up on (YAY!) so…yeah. More reviews will come!