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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Birdy the Mighty: It's Obviously A Woman's World

Shounen Alert!

So far, Birdy the Mighty is the only action/adventure shounen anime that stars, a female lead. That means a female lead with power in spades and superhero-like strength. Let's recap, this might be the only shounen anime with a STRONG female lead. Strong enough to break your face! hahahaha

Why aren't there more shounen anime out there with female leads, like this one? All of the others are cult interests, like vampires or Halloween towns. Do all girls like vampires and Halloween? That's not the way... Or one day everyone will wake up and the female species... will be gone, presumably to Hogwarts or something. Or they'll be the new villains ..._(O.O)_... Aaaaaah NOooo!

But why not regular heriones???

As anime nerds, we already know that some girls are just regular shounen heroines. But there aren't enough themes and main characters to help a girl out. There should be a long list of shounen, not even "shounen", of action/adventure anime starring girls. Stereotypically, the word shounen refers to boys anime, kind of like the superhero cartoons of Japan. But, then why did you guys in Japan make this one? Just to fly in the face of your own conventions? Make more... Please?

Anime like Birdy the Mighty, show anime fans that it is possible. "Birdy" or her Earth codename, came to Earth from a distant planet to investigate powerful alien criminals that go to Earth to do bad stuff. As events unfold, a human boy gets in the way of a fight. The bad guy uses the boy as a body shield (bravery at its finest or is it typical cowardly bad guy behavior) and Birdy disintegrates him with a full body punch. So... the boy has to be revived on her planet and in the meantime Birdy has to share her body with him... As in, let him use it so he can keep going to school, have a social life, and get good grades. But she still fights aliens when he gets home from school.

Birdy is a typical shounen main character with all the shounen features. She's stubborn, optimistic, brave, impervious to evil, and loves a good challenge. She stands up for what's right in the face of danger and stronger enemies. Plus she can also think with such a hard head...

In fact, if she doesn't wear her superhero suit, she might be a tomboy. If I were a girl, she would be one of my favorite shounen/shoujo heroes and I would lament the anime industry for taking so long to get onto the bandwagon. 
In short, they need to make more strong female leads for anime. For otaku. For you and for me. For the world. For the FREAKING UNIVERSE!

You can catch Birdy the Mighty for free, streaming on Hulu.com

Modeling is her side job!
I always knew there were Otaku like me out there...

Monday, March 30, 2015

One Piece 3D2Y: A Friendly Reminder from Your Neighborhood Shounen Enemy

One Piece 3D2Y, is a TV special about the events after the battle at Marineford where Monkey D. Luffy tried to rescue his brother Portgas D. Ace from the World Government. 

As an anime movie, this movie is well worth the more or less 90 minutes it takes to watch this OVA. It begins slow at first, recapping the events that occurred at Marineford pretty much step by step. Then after that it gets into the main plot for the movie, which is the ambition of Byrndi World. The movie follows most of the other One Piece anime movie plots where they introduce a very strong pirate bad guy with connections to the rougher days of the beginning of the pirate era. Usually, the bad guy has a grudge with either the Marines or the new Pirate era and wants to destroy everything and everyone. ...The usual "destroy-the-entire-world" bad guys.

What makes Byrndi World different from the usual One Piece Movie baddies is that he actually has a competent first mate. That's right, he has good connections (something usual One Piece movie bad guys don't have). His first mate is actually his weak, kindly, friendly older brother who always had trouble with being sick. At first, you'd think the guy is Byrndi's father or something but keep watching the movie and you'll find out the truth... Why is his first mate is... so loserlike?

What makes the movie special (SPOILER ALERT) is that Mr. World is always reminding Luffy that he was a loser at Marineford. Mr. Byrnndi World never runs out of hurtful things to remind Luffy of from his past. Whether it's his dead brother Portgas D. Ace or again and again the same Portgas D. Ace. Mr. World loves it, he casually puts Luffy down telling him that in the future he won't be able to protect anyone and that he's an incompetent pirate captain, plus that Luffy also can't save anyone.

What makes this movie worth watching, is Luffy's response to Byrndi World. Each time Mr. World brings up Luffy's weakness, Luffy changes his resolution. 

Also, included in the movie are goodies like showing more screentime of Luffy developing his relationship with Boa Hancock, the queen of the Amazon Lilies who, has a "small" crush on Luffy. Then there's also a special scene at the very end of the movie related to Sabo, Luffy and Ace's brother by nakama (friendship).

That is what makes Byrndi World a friendly neighborhood shounen enemy.
He's there to remind you the reason you became a shounen hero, even when you're going through a very tough time.
Dedicate some time today to visit Byrndi World and his brother, simply known as Byojack, in One Piece 3D2Y.

The movie is highly recommended for shounen fans!

What are you waiting for!?
Chase your dreams vicariously through One Piece once again and watch the 3D2Y special!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Life and Time of Sakata Gintoki

Sakata Gintoki from the anime, "Gintama"

Sakata Gintoki is arguably the choice candidate for best bachelor in anime. He's got it all. Sakata Gintoki, he's somewhat of an enigma also. The man is near or in his mid-twenties, making him a good role filler in a Seinen, or genre of anime where the main character is more mature. Gintoku resists stereotypes and is a self-proclaimed jack-of-all trades. Despite his unpredictable life and friends, his number one best trait is... that he is a shounen hero.

Gintoki defines his life, by the bread he gives away and not the bread he makes... O.o
Somehow Gintoki gets into friendly quarrels... 

Gintoki doesn't always have it easy though. There are times, many times, that Gintoki gets stuck in a rut. The only thing is, Gintoki's key to being the best is that when he gets stuck in a rut it's usually because he jumps into every problem that his friends have. Is that what makes Gintoki such a prime bachelor?

Gintoki's adventures took him to some strange places. In one story, he got turned into a cat for carelessly peeing on a pet cemetery for cats and helped the stray alpha cat take down cat catchers that were mining cat balls and using an alien lion to fight all the stray cats in town. Yes, you read that correctly.

But Gintoki doesn't let those kind of setbacks phase him. He takes them with a kind of sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek attitude that characterizes a generation. Just a generation that Gintoki is a bit early to be a part of, being that he's in this twenties. The anime came out in the mid-2000's by the way but that doesn't matter because there aren't any time skips in Gintama, yet. Well there was a year timeskip I think, but it's not official. 

As the "Odd-Jobs Gin-San", Gintoki doesn't go on missions or want to be the best. In fact, all Gintoki wants to do is take odd jobs for anyone, no matter what. That makes him kind of amenable and able to fit in with all kinds of people. No matter how strong of a shounen hero he is, he considers himself to be a regular guy in the prime of life but he'd rather make fun of the irony of being in the prime of life because right after the prime of life is the decline... But Gintoki makes it seem funny!

Over the course of his earlier life, Gintoki went through a lot of ups and downs. That was before he started "Odd-Jobs Gin-San" and helped the town take on random adventures. The world he grew up in was unfair too. He lost people who were important to him and lived the life of a poor homeless teenager, until he was helped out by others. You could say that Gintoki didn't have it easy and made it, in part, because he had really good friends, a good teacher, and someone who helped him out first.

Once Gintoki did start to change and his life got better. He realized what was really important in life. It's not that you're a shounen hero and you can fight anyone all the time. Gintoki lets himself be himself all the time. That's what makes him really popular and sometimes gets him in trouble...

Gintoki's past life seems to always play a factor in his adventures. He IS a full-fledged shounen hero and his success depends on both defeating strong enemies and saving his friends from evil... Usually his enemies are way stronger than him at first and it seems like Gintoki will lose because he's never training. But the strength of the beliefs he gains from his everyday life always help him remember the right thing to do to win!

Instead of balancing his ego, Sakata Gintoki does not, which results in a balanced ego. I guess it's an Eastern Taoist/Zen kind of thing...

That is what makes Sakata Gintoki, the best Seinen anime character.

...and also a shounen hero...

Monday, March 23, 2015

Once Again: Madarame Ikkaku's Bankai (Bleach)

As they say, slow and steady wins the race...

This includes the race to Bankai
from the anime Bleach

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Hokage Selection Process

Leaf Hokage Tsunade
The main focus of the anime Naruto is the main character's dream to one day become Hokage of the Leaf Village. The Leaf Village is the capital of the Leaf Region in Naruto, as every region has a village capital. Then the Hokage is the supreme leader of that village and region in the Naruto world. But what a lot of fans sometimes forget is the actual selection process to become Hokage. This article is a refresher course on the Hokage selection process.

The first Leaf Hokage, Hashirama Senju

First of all, that the Hokage is the strongest in the village is true. It goes deeper than that though, since the Hokage has the best worldview and plan for action out of everyone in the village. That's what they call an ideology or a person's plan for life and action. There might be another ninja just as strong as the Hokage but with a different ideology and won't be chosen to become the next Hokage.

Almost Hokage blues :(
And actually the next candidates are selected by someone from another region, the fire region by the Fire Daimyo. Then the candidate has to be approved by a jonin vote of jonin from the Leaf Village. So the next hokage technically has to be known all over the land and be chosen by someone from another country!

Then the hokage has to be liked by everyone in the village. Or they could stage an uprising and go up against him or her. Truly, it's way more complicated than Naruto makes it seem when he boasts and proclaims that he will "BE THE HOKAGE ONE DAY!"

But I think its possible (I haven't made it that far in Shippuden).

Naruto has what it takes... Passion! 
Will Naruto make it to this day?
Still having the Almost Hokage Blues... :(

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