30DAC – Day 26: Best Anime Fight

I was going to choose Ed vs. Envy near the end of FMA as that fight, next to Ed vs. Greed, is one of the best animated and choreographed fight scenes in the entire series. Plus, the two major twists at the end of the fight were mind blowing.

However, I felt like there was another FMA fight that was way too entertaining to pass up. Ed vs. Roy.

In the episode titled Fullmetal vs. Flame, Ed is up for his State Alchemy assessment to renew his certification. This entails a show of skill to the higher ups to ensure that they’re still good enough to be State Alchemists. It also seems like you may need to one-up yourself on every assessment to ensure that you’re also improving. At least that’s how Tucker’s case seemed to present itself.

After getting fed up with Roy’s attitude and knowing that he was keeping secrets about Dr. Marco, a man who might have information on the Philosopher’s Stone, he decides the perfect demonstration for his assessment would be an alchemy battle between him and Roy.

And what a battle it is. For the most part, this battle is played up entirely for laughs. Ed spends much of the fight running from Roy’s explosions while Roy spends a good deal of the fight taunting him. Roy even starts attacking the audience to get to Ed (with no major injuries of course, being a comedy fight for the most part.)

I told you guys not to eat that candy from Willy Wonka’s factory.

The tides turn in the smoke with a decoy from Ed, who comes up from behind to slash his glove off of his hand. The transmutation circle on his glove is the main way he makes his flames, so Edward thinks he’s won, especially when he decides to make this insanely huge friggin’ cannon to finish it off.

The cannonballs must be the size of my house.

 

But Roy’s not down for the count as he reveals he has another transmutation glove on his left hand and blows up the cannon.

The most interesting thing about this battle is, by all means, Edward should’ve lost. The only way the fight ended up in a stalemate, or if you want to push it, Edward winning, was only because of Roy’s war flashback. That made for a really tone-shifting ending btw. This entire fight, from even before it started, was completely comedy with Hughes’ gigantic picture of his daughter to people booing or making fun of both Edward and Roy when being introduced, then at the very, boom, war flashback.

I guess it doesn’t really matter who won since it was the demonstration itself that meant to impress, but still.

This fight is just so much fun. It’s nice to see Edward actually take on Roy and it’s always fun to see Roy showing off. They play off of each other really well and their comedic chemistry just shines in this fight. Not to mention how over the top and crazy it is. It is definitely a fight I can keep watching over and over and still be smiling all the way through.

Uh oh, I’ve only been using stills this entire time. I have….no gifs? Okay, okay. Don’t panic!

I said don’t panic!

It’ll be okay! Just look at the baby Alphonse!

Okay, I just wanted an excuse to use this. Is that so wrong?

30DAC – Day 21: Favorite Goofy Character

I’m a fan of deadpan comedy characters. The comedy market is just so saturated with wacky and hyper characters, in all genres, that deadpan comic relief is usually a huge breath of fresh air when it’s pulled off well. For example, I think the funniest character in Fruits Basket is Hana with her censored threats of electric wave attacks and monotonely explaining that she’s failing her tests with a soft smile.

Just because you’re a deadpan character doesn’t mean you can’t be ‘goofy’ and that is perfectly highlighted with the character Agiri from Kill Me, Baby!

Kill Me, Baby is a series about two girls; a ‘normal’ girl named Yasuna and an assassin named Sonya. The series is basically a bunch of skits typically involving slapstick with Yasuna being the brunt of Sonya’s abuse, but the only reason Sonya abuses Yasuna is because she purposely annoys her.

Agiri is a lesser seen yet also prominent character. She’s a ‘ninja’ who typically pops up from nowhere with some odd ninja technique that is usually just a trick or to try to sell ninja items to the girls. And despite how it may seem, it actually appears that she is a legit ninja. Her house is even traditional styled and is covered in traps and tricks.

*gasp* Old man Jenkins? I mean, Agiri?!

She was definitely my favorite character on the show and even though she wasn’t in the spotlight as much as Yasuna and Sonya, she stole the show everytime she was on screen with her sneaky little smile and her light yet cheerful voice that never changes no matter what the situations.

While Sonya and Yasuna’s schtick tended to get old after time, Agiri kept coming back with weirder and weirder ninja tricks and sillier ninja items. Some of her tricks actually seem legit, which makes them all the funnier when they’re shown to just be a cheap trick somehow.

Agiri herself seems like a bit of airhead, and she seems to prove this time and again, but she also outwits the girls on several occasions, leaving them baffled and me laughing either way.

Now say ‘bye’ to the nice people, Agiri.

30DAC – Day 18: Favorite Supporting Female Anime Character

This one was a bit harder as I find most of my favorite side characters are male, but after looking through some of the anime I’ve watched, I decided on Ed from Cowboy Bebop.

Ed would make a great supervillain, actually.

Ed is a crazy and random little kid, not to mention she looks like a boy with a red version of Tai’s haircut from Digimon, which I’m counting as a benefit for some reason, but she’s also a great technological genius and was even able to easily turn the Bebop into her own personal remote controlled space ship. Pfft. All I got as a kid was a remote controlled truck. 😦

To be fair, Toys R Us never stocked them.

In a show that can sometimes get really heavy in tone, Ed constantly brings a splash of humor and craziness to the Bebop crew, and she also helps them with their bounty hunting through hacking and research.

Her antics are some of my favorite moments in Cowboy Bebop and man I’d love to get ahold of those goggles. Wait….Tai haircut….goggles…..absolutely no other connection besides those two things! *gasp* :0

If she’s not the best supporting female character, she’s definitely the most radical. 😛

Honorable mentions: Agiri from Kill Me, Baby!, Hanji from Attack on Titan, Nice from Baccano!

30DAC – Day 12: Favorite Anime Scene

Well, since I see ‘Most Epic Scene Ever’ on this list, I guess I have to go a different route here. There is one scene that I can keep watching over and over and for some reason it never gets any less funny, and that is a scene from episode 13 of Fruits Basket.

 

Background on the show’s not entirely important here, barring a note I’ll get to in a minute, but the three main characters, Yuki, Tohru and Kyo meet up with Yuki and Kyo’s cousins, Hatsuharu and Momiji who recently started going to their school. Momiji looks really young for his age, and decided that he’d look cuter in a girl’s uniform than in a guy’s. The class president sees this and demands that he change into a boy’s uniform immediately to conform to school dress code.

Hatsuharu, hearing his loud and obnoxious blatherings, gets incredibly irritated, snaps and ‘goes black’. The note I was mentioning before was that Haru and the Sohma family, Momiji, Yuki and Kyo included, are cursed with different animals from the Chinese zodiac. Yuki’s the mouse, Kyo’s the cat (different story), Momiji’s the rabbit and Haru’s the ox. Because of this, Haru has a bit of a side effect where he has basically two sides of his personality; the white side which is extremely calm, kind and respectful and the black side which is really intense, angry, violent, flirtatious and sometimes rude. He doesn’t get many moments to show off this side, and this is definitely the best black Haru moment in the series.

He chews the living crap out of the Class President going on the best tangent ever trying to argue his side for Momiji. The Class President keeps trying to fight back, but gets shot down time and time again. Even when he gets put down a peg with a bit of logic, he calls out Haru for also not obeying the rules by assuming his hair is dyed because it’s both black and white. (It’s really that way because….well, moo)

 

Oh he can convince you, alright.

 

I don’t really want to explain the scene full out, watch it for yourself, but it did include one of the most shocking and risque moments in the series at the end of the scene. It’s absolutely hilarious when you realize what he did.

Technically, Momiji was in the wrong here as you agree to school rules when you enroll, including dress code, but it was incredible to see this loud hothead get his ass verbally handed to him.

30DAC – Day 2: Favorite Anime You’ve Watched So Far

Urgh, this one’s really difficult. I really don’t like making favorites lists since I know they’ll get changed in months maybe weeks, but since the qualifier of ‘so far’ is included, that makes things a little easier anyway. Still really hard to decide, but still.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is topping my list here. While I really am baffled by how quickly they decided to do a remake simply because they wanted to be more loyal to the manga, I won’t deny that this series does trump the original in certain ways. There are some scenes and aspects of the original that I like better than Brotherhood, but it manages to win out.

I really need to take my glove off before I do that. My glove budget is going dry.

The original FMA would’ve made it, but I can’t deny the fact that Brotherhood does more things better than the original and has a solidified ending within its own series. While I don’t think Conqueror of Shambala is anywhere near the travesty fans seem to make it out to be, it still didn’t make a very satisfying ending to me, plus I’m not really a fan of series having a series finale as a movie, so Brotherhood wins out.

FMA as a whole just has such an amazing flow. It has a great blend of serious and sometimes even dark storylines, fantastic action sequences, hilarious comedy, lovable characters, frightening villains, and it all comes to together so well that it’s just amazing. Not to mention how well the artwork, animation and music work alongside it. It’s so difficult to find shows that have that level to talent to mesh all of that together so well, but both FMA series show this talent off like a superpower and I love every minute of it.

Honorable Mentions: Cowboy Bebop, FLCL, Fruits Basket (which honestly would’ve made it if it didn’t end so abruptly and without including the other members of the zodiac.), Kodocha and the Dot Hack franchise.

Gakkatsu! Review

Rating: 8/10

Plot: In this Middle School, homeroom has no lessons. Homeroom is left up for open debate and discussion. Chiho, the class president, is the one to choose the day’s topics.

Breakdown: This is a series of incredibly short Flash animations (running at under five minutes per episode, including a 30 second intro.) Chiho picks a completely random topic (though sometimes it does have something vaguely to do with an opening scene. For example, when the school gets vandalized her topic for the day is “What do you call your mother?”….Watch and see.) and the class discusses it. Randomness and craziness ensue.

…..And….that’s it. There’s no real running storyline or character development, it’s just random shorts. The shorts, however, are very crazy and funny. The art style really adds a cartoon-y tone and is pretty unique.

The anime really only has one song to its name and it repeats in every episode. It’s fun to listen to and never got on my nerves, but some people may get annoyed by it.

Bottomline: If you have a few minutes to spare, you can always watch one of these shorts. it’s a funny and quick watch. At five minutes per episode with 25 episodes available, you can easily crack this out in two hours. Fans of the Zetsubou Sensei series would definitely like it.

Additional Information and Notes: Gakkatsu! was directed by Rareko, written by Kouta Fukihara, who seems to only have Gakkatsu! and its second season as his only credits, and was produced by Fanworks. It currently has no English license.

Episodes: 25

Year: 2012

Recommended Audience: I never saw anything really questionable. E for everyone!