While the gigantic robots and gratuitous nudity were certainly eye-catching, when I first started watching Japanese animation, one of the things that surprised me the most was the fact that anime characters could, well, die. Sure, American cartoons from Tom and Jerry to G.I. Joe were filled with explosions and gunplay, but while the violence was abundant, injuries were conspicuously absent.
Anime tales, though, have no qualms about knocking off their players. As a matter of fact, characters shake off this mortal coil so frequently that a recent poll ranked the 20 most memorable anime deaths.
Heads up! While animation sometimes allows for the miracle of resurrection, be aware that since this is a list of deaths, it contains spoilers for the following series: Clannad, Code Geass, Death Note, Dragon Ball, Fist of the North Star, Fullmetal Alchemist, Gintama, Hakuoki, Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure, Naruto, Neon Genesis Evangelion, One Piece, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, School Days, and Tengen Toppa Guren Lagan.
Dec 2, 2014
As one of the most popular manga and anime series ever created, Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball has undoubtedly inspired fan art of every style and form conceivable from across the world. Indeed, the Internet is full of countless images of such works by both professional and amateur artists alike. But every so often we come across pieces of work that are so impressive that they grab our attention with their quality and originality, as in the case of these drawings of famous villains from the series. Join us for a look at the familiar evil characters of Dragon Ball reinvented into exquisite yet chilling illustrations — we think you’ll be impressed too with the vivid, colorful details that seem to bring the images to life!
Nov 19, 2014
If you’re a gamer who’s too young to remember when Sega made consoles or having six buttons on a controller was a big deal, you might look back on 8-bit video game artwork and chuckle. With everything made out of blocky pixels, it’s impossible to create the sort of fine details that modern hardware easily renders to differentiate one character from another, isn’t it?
Maybe not, as one fan has put his old-school pixel art skills to use to recreate 50 different famous manga heroes, all in the style of the original Mega Man.
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Nov 19, 2014
It’s hard to believe that Dragon Ball is nearly 30 years old considering the extensive fanbase Akira Toriyama still commands after three decades. But the lines of dedicated fans at the Dragon Ball 30th Anniversary / Akira Toriyama Tribute show in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo proved that Goku and the gang are still going strong to this day. Check out all the cosplay, art, and power-ups after the break!
In 2013, perhaps the most famous of anime’s many spikey-haired protagonists,
Dragon Ball Z’s Goku, returned after a 17-year hiatus. While the film, subtitled Battle of Gods, didn’t really stray from the pattern of wacky hijinks and super-powered martial arts battles Dragon Ball Z had already established in its hundreds of TV episodes and dozen-plus movies, fans in general were happy and satisfied just to be able to spend an hour and a half with a group of old animated friends.
They’ll have the chance to do so again soon, and an ad for next year’s Dragon Ball Z movie shows that rejoining the cast of familiar heroes will be one of their most memorable foes.
Given how many passionate manga fans Japan has, it’s kind of surprising that a lot of them don’t collect every issue of their favorite series. Most titles are published once a week as part of several-hundred-page anthologies printed on cheap, quickly deteriorating newsprint. On the other hand, higher-quality collected volumes lag months behind the weekly editions.
This creates a strange catch-22 where fans who want to be up to the minute on their heroes’ adventures buy the anthologies but later toss them out. Eventually, many cherry-pick which collected volumes to purchase in order to fill in the gaps where they missed one of the weeklies, or to have a permanent copy of their favorite scenes.
Of course, a lot of incomplete sets are also the result of fans getting burned out before reaching the end of some of Japan’s notoriously long-running series. Add in the fact that storage space is at a premium in Japanese homes, and it’s a testament to a title’s staying power and ability to captivate readers when they buy it from start to finish, like so many have with these 15 manga.
With the huge volume of anime that Japan produces, the medium has its own archetypes that each generation of creators adds new entries to. In the cute mascot character category, you’ll find Totoro, Magic Knight Rayearth’s Mokona, and Pokémon’s Pikachu. Looking for giant robots? Let us direct you to the full line of Gundam, Evangelion, and Ingram variants.
But Japanese animation isn’t just cuddly adorableness and cool technology. It’s also filled with raging hormones and irrepressible libidos, as shown in this list of anime’s perviest male characters.
Oct 17, 2014
Back when Japan was still at the mercy of the midsummer heat, a group of…creative anime fans tried to cool off with bowls of shaved ice. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be so weird, except that they set up their strawberry syrup dispenser to look like their treats were being flavored by an anime girl’s menstrual flow. (Yeah, gross.)
But hey, what’s the alternative to anime fans getting excited over 2-D characters having their periods? Anime fans getting excited about 2-D characters not having periods! Otaku around Japan have been sharing retouched pics of animation stars showing off pregnancy test results, and the trend isn’t limited to anime’s ladies.
Aug 23, 2014
Fans of Japanese animation are quick to point out that it’s not just for kids, with less of the stigma attached to its Western counterpart. Still, even anime tends to be heavily youth-oriented, and fan favorites can quickly fade into obscurity.
For a quick example, ask an anime enthusiast about Bubblegum Crisis. Depending on their age you’ll get a description of either the 1987 direct-to-video series, the 1997 TV reboot, or directions to the closest convenience store where you can buy a pack of Bazooka.
As further proof, in a recent poll people in Japan revealed which shows turned them into lovers of anime, with completely different top five lists for fans in their teens, 20s, and 30s.
Aug 13, 2014
In the past, we’ve seen budding artists draw inspiration from some pretty unusual sources as they look to create cute anime-style girls. But with a bevy of big-eyed beauties already representing things such as video game hardware, PC operating systems, nations competing in the World Cup, and even history’s most notorious dictators, eventually the muse well was going to run dry.
Perhaps that’s why someone decided to use his artistic talents to produce a female version of Goku, Dragon Ball’s muscle-bound protagonist.
How many years does an anime franchise have to be inactive before it can be officially declared dead? Given the pace at which fans’ tastes change in Japan, if more than a couple of years go by with no new content, it’s probably time to give up hope, hard as that may for those fervently waiting for a new season of Ranma 1/2, Trigun, or All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku.
But when you’re the most popular martial arts series in the history of the medium, the ordinary rules don’t apply, which is why last year Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods hit Japanese theatres, ending a 17-year drought in Dragon Ball anime. Thankfully, the wait for the next installment in creator Akira Toriyama’s epic won’t be nearly so long, since there’s yet another Dragon Ball Z movie coming next year.
You may be surprised to hear this, but Japanese manga is thriving in Spain. Look no further than massive conventions such as Madrid’s Expomanga and Barcelona’s Salón del Manga, where fans can celebrate their favorite series and characters with other like-minded people. So what are some of the factors that contribute to manga’s success in España?
The folks at Japanese website Niconico News recently caught up with David Hernando, the Editorial Editor of Planeta DeAgostini Comics, which is a Spanish-Italian publisher that distributes many beloved Japanese manga series throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Mr. Hernando graciously shed some light on the current market for manga in Spain in an exclusive interview with them, and the following piece will attempt to summarize some of his key points, along with some other related topics we have taken notice of.
We would love to hear the thoughts of our readers residing in Spain as well, so please leave your comments at the end of the post!
May 20, 2014
With Japanese animation’s pantheon of teen protagonists, in physiques rending from slender to buff, your cosplaying options drop off considerably once you pass a certain age/body fat percentage. Many fans are just too old or out of shape to pull off wearing a school uniform or form-fitting martial artist’s outfit.
It can be a sad day when you look in the mirror and realize it’s time to retire your Son Goku costume. But as you’re dumping out the two-gallon bucket of hair gel you bought for this summer’s anime convention season, take heart, because even if you can’t dress up as the hero of Dragon Ball, with this shirt you can cosplay as his master.
Writing for RocketNews24, we get to see some unusual stuff nearly every day. The Internet, in all its infinite wisdom and fluffy kittens, can get pretty weird sometimes, as you are all probably very well aware. And that’s fine! When you’re tapping into the collective consciousness of the whole globe, you should expect to find the unexpected. But sometimes you really hit the wacky gold. Like this cartoon of Doraemon mashed together with Dragon Ball, complete with strained voice acting, over-the-top sound effects, and the most painful battles we’ve ever seen. It’s…look, you should just go ahead and click to read more now.
To the common Dragon Ball fan or student of historical Chinese literature, it’s probably not a big secret that the original Dragon Ball and the more popular spinoff, Dragon Ball Z, heavily borrow elements from one of the great Chinese novels, Journey to the West.
Three recurring characters of the original run of the Dragon Ball series, Goku (the main protagonist), Bulma and Oolong, were all meant from the beginning to resemble important characters from Journey to the West, with each character being – even in the final forms of the manga and anime – a basic facsimile of their respective inspirations.
As many of our readers are well aware, the powerful and spiky-haired Goku from Akira Toriyama’s manga and anime series Dragon Ball is one of the most recognizable icons of Japanese culture not just in Japan but across the world. Since the manga first appeared in the magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump in 1984, Goku’s entourage and family have grown to include an impressive number of unique and memorable characters. It so happens, however, that in all that time, we have never seen Goku’s mother in any of the stories — until now.
Yes, Dragon Ball fans were delighted with the news earlier this month that Goku’s mother would be making an appearance for the first time in the 30-year history of the series in the new comic by Toriyama, Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. Now that the comic has been released, we’ve finally been able to come face to face with the mother of the superhero we’ve come to know so well, and we think she’s a real cutie! Ladies and gentlemen, meet Gine, wife to the Saiyan warrior Bardock, and of course, Goku’s mom.
Dragon Ball fans are truly hardcore. Some fans express their love for the series by creating homemade animation videos complete with animated family members. Others perform elaborate raps while cosplaying as their favorite characters, as in the YouTube video “Battleful Days.” Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see Vegeta, Frieza, Piccolo, and Yamcha rap? Now’s your chance! For your ease of comprehension, we have compiled a full translation of the lyrics to the rap featured in this video. Enjoy!
Apr 2, 2014
Goku, the protagonist of smash-hit anime and manga franchise Dragon Ball, is one of Japan’s most iconic fictional characters. Even decades after his 1984 debut, he’s still instantly recognizable and almost universally loved by comic and animation fans.
With 30 years of stories, there’s been plenty of time to flesh out the spiky-haired martial artist’s backstory. Still, Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama has kept one bit of his most popular hero’s life shrouded in mystery until now, as Goku’s mother will appear for the first time in a special one-off manga.
The zebrafish is an interesting member of the minnow family for a number of reasons. They cute, fairly cheap, and relatively easy to take care of as pets making them great for warming up the old homestead. On the other hand, they are widely used in labs due to their speedy reproduction and development along with their fully sequenced genome.
Krillin, meanwhile, is an interesting recurring character of the Dragon Ball series. The most popular fully human character, he has developed the power of flight and powerful energy disc. He’s also one of the more versatile dressers of the series sporting outfits and hairstyles beyond his fighting gear.
So what is it that connects this fictional fighter to the freshwater fish?
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