The Master of Lost Potential

I’m pretty sure everyone ended up doing this at least once: Go on youtube and somehow end up watching retro anime openings from your childhood. What in the world did I watch when I was young? I’m impressed I had time to do anything besides watching TV. I eventually ended up with Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z.

I still love the second Z opening that focusses on Gohan. Reason? Gohan is my favorite Dragn Ball character. I love that awkward, freakishly strong and good hearted guy. That description actually fits Goku as well, but I always liked Gohan much more as a character. Even though Goku is really good natured and has strong morals to live by, Gohan is much more… human-like. He is bought up to be a human and was raised as a human, ChiChi really did her best to accomplish that and actually succeeded.

2w1wsiwI really like his relationship with Piccolo, though. More or less hating eath other, Gohan ended up as Piccolo’s first real friend and ended up forming a lifelong friendship with his former teacher. He actually did learn how to fight from Piccolo and was only taught by Goku later. He always had great repect for Piccolo and while Goku was gone, he might even have seen him as something like a father substitude.

From how I see it, Gohan is more emotional than Goku and experiences emotions stronger. He’s a child of two worlds and finds himself in conflict between his human mother and his alien father, who doesn’t really care about that at all. He’s a contrast to Goten, who’s initially much more like Goku, but ends up totally human and even dislikes fighting to the point of being forced to participate in the World Tournament in the last episode, simply because it’s too much of a hassle. I’m not too quick to judge Goten, though, he wasn’t nearly as well developed as Gohan and was only shown as a noisy brat during the series and eventually as a lazy womanizer in the last episode. Nothing in between was shown. Gohan found a balance and ended up doing what he wanted to do the most, but never forgot his heritage and entrusted his fighting loving daughter to Goku to train.

Gohan_Super_Saiyan_2We literally see Gohan him grow up, like his father, but while Goku always strays true to who he is and never thought too much about anything remotely deep, Gohan went through a much greater emotional rollercoaster and found himself between two worlds: the human world of his mother and his beloved studies and on the other hand the saiyan world of his father where he can live out his strong sense of justice to rescue his loved ones. Especially during the time when Gohan trains with Goku he oftens conflicts with his monther’s wishes and feels guilty.

He inherted his father’s strong sense of justice and morals, but not his love for fighting and therefore stopped every time he didn’t had to – successfully wasting probably the greatest potential of the entire cast. He found his own happy ending, though. That’s… something, but it’s sad to know none of Goku’s sons ended up following his footsteps after peace settled in again.

How about a few facts about Gohan? Because there’s quite a bit fun trivia about him.

  • Toriyama originally wanted Gohan to inhert Goku’s place as the main character after Cell, but decided against it later. This could explain his well developed character.
  • In a Shounen Jump character popularity poll in 1993 Gohan was first place.
  • Gohan is the only partical saiyan to have a tail. According to Toriyama, the tail is a recessive trait. Goten, Trunks and Pan never had one.
  • Many think Ultimate Gohan can’t transform into Super Saiyan. In Chapter 502 it is stated by Goku that he can. 508854-gohan_largeHowever, since he never does it, it’s questionable if it’s of any benefit.
  • There are conflicting informations regarding his power-level: In Daizenshuu 2, Ultimate Gohan is described as the strongest non-fused character of the entire cast.The data book “Dragon Ball: The Ultimate Battle Collection” refers to Ultimate Gohan as stronger than SSJ3 and is actually proven stronger than SSJ3 Gotenks in the manga and anime alike. DBZ movie 13 conflicts with these evidence, because SSJ3 Goku is portayed stronger than Ultimate Gohan. It is debateble how canon the movies whithout Toriyamas influence actually are, though.
  • Gohan is the first to transform into Super Saiyan 2 and the only unfused half-saiyan to achieve this. Mirai Trunks tried, but didn’t succeed and ended up with a weird in-between-stage.

Considering the evidence, Gohan is probably the fighter with the highest potential and likely the strongest (unfused) in the series, even outclassing Goku. It’s a shame he never won a real fight after Cell and decided against a life that involves martial arts. How strong would be have been able to become, if he didn’t stop training? We’ll never know.

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My Top 10 most Annoying Characters in Anime/Manga

We all have them and we all hate them, those annoyances es we’d wish never existed in our favorite animes. And yet, we’ll never get rid of them completely. In some rare cases, we have to pleasure of seeing them die, but… that’s about it. So, here are some of my most hated characters. It was hard putting them in order and I might have forgotten a few, but I’m pretty satisfied with this list. Please keep in mind I left out characters who’re just downright insane.

And of course: SPOILER warning!

10. Tsukino Usagi (Sailor Moon)

giphyUsagi is easily the most annoying one from the Sailor Scouts and the most useless one as well. The reason she’s so low on the list, is because she has a really good heart, cares very deeply for her friends and even though she’s afraid a lot, she often overcomes it and risks her own life to save her friends, family and the world. Her downside is, she’s very loud, she’s constantly crying and she’s basically useless in battle. I know she usually kills the monsters and brainwashes the evil enemies to become good again, but that’s basically all she does: the other sailor scouts are doing the fighteing for her and at the very end, she gives the finishing blow. I didn’t even remember her that bad, but Sailor Moon Crystal reminded me of a little something I forgot over the time: no matter how good of a person Usagi is, she’s pretty damn annoying most of the time.

9. Mr. Satan (Dragonball Z)

Mr._Satan_spaventatoAdmittedly, he might be a bad father, but loves his daughter and for a human he’s honestly strong, but in the Dragonball Universe that pretty much means he’s not even worth looking at. Either way, points for befriending Buu, but big no-no for lying to the entire world about defeating Cell. Sure, the Z warriors wanted to stay icognito, but Mr. Satan blew this way out of proportion and even after everything was over, he used his friendship with Buu for his own benefit to win the Tournament over and over in order to ensure his crazy wealth he “earned” thanks to his lifelong lie.

8. Nohara Shinnosuke (Crayon Shin-Chan)

2o4rxgorhix52i4op749bd665a2212e-shin-chanUnpopular opinion, but I never liked Crayon Shin-Chan. The reason is rather simple, I don’t think Shin-chan is funny as a character and as this is a comedy and most of the comedic elements come from him there’s not much I can do. I only see Shin-chan as the most perverted, cheeky, big-mouthed little brat in anime history. And yes, I blame this entirely on his mother, even though she’s usually very strict with him, but something clearly must’ve went wrong down the line, or her son wouldn’t have turned out like this while still attending Kindergarden.

7. Hirasawa Yui (K-On!)

Hirasawa-Yui-3-kawaii-anime-35006432-731-1000K-On! was the anime that taught me: I hate moe. Well, a little bit is alright, but this anime was way too much for me to digest and while all the main characters were filled with moe from top to bottom, Yui was the worst. The other characters at least had one trait each besides moe we could identify them with: one was smart, the other a tomboy and while the third one was an airhead she was crazy rich and therefore paid for stuff when it was convenient to the plot, otherwise we wasted time seeing the girls trying to make money. Either way, Yui had nothing. She had all the bad traits from the others and that’s it. And you know what? She even learned to play the guitar in record time. Why does she deserve this musical talent? Because it’s convenient to the plot, I know, but learning how to use an instrument properly when you have no musical backround whatsoever, is not that easy.

6. Haramura Nodoka (Saki)

jsaki01Genious sweet princess with imaginary probems, what more does she need? Oh, I know, a hot fanservice body with the matching clothes. What else does she need? She’s lesbian. That sounds like a great character. Not. I’m honest with you, I wouldn’t even care so much about her and her stupid penguin that constantly pushes her boobs up and that she needs to carry around all of the time because reasons, if she wasn’t the one Saki went gay for. I mean, isn’t she already cliché enough? She’s literally the perfect fanservice character and maybe it was my utter disbelief they’d actually made her lesbian on top of that, but that entire lesbian szenario with Saki came out of nowhere for me. Sure, she blushed and stuff, but this is anime and these are anime-girls, they stick to and blush at each other all the time and usually behave like a couple light-version anyway. I don’t have anything against homosexual characters in general, hey I love me some nice BL and GL every once in a while, but Nodoka is just too perfect and too fanservice-ish at the same time.

5. Uchiha Sasuke (Naruto)

SasukespoilOh look, another unpopular opinion. I’m going to get killed after this post, I already see is comming. Now look, my main problem with this character is, he has no reason why he turned out the way he did and he’s the favorite character from the Manga-ka which really shows. A lot. To the point where the entire Manga could be named “Sasuke” instead of “Naruto”, because everything in the entire story happens because Sasuke makes his life much harder on himself and the people around him than he needs to. Why do I have absolutely no sympathy for him? Easy, because Naruto actually has it even worse, but instead of going emo and I-hate-everyone, he’s trying to become recognized and find friends. Compare him to Naruto, who goes from “object of hatred in town” to “honorable hero”. Naruto is completely on his own and has barely anyone who even likes him somewhat, he has no friends, is bullied, doesn’t even seem to have greater potential as a ninja and has a deadly beast sealed in his belly, that will probably kill him someday. And even though he was a brat as a child, he still didn’t even do half the crap Sasuke did. And this is what’s annoying me so much, compared to others who have it worse than him, he’s got no right to go all bad-guy like he did. At some points in the manga I felt like he just enjoyed feeling sorry for himself. And why’s he so popular anyway? Did any of you see or read the part where he killed his brother? Try to comprehend his reasoning. This was the reason I was very close to excluding him from this list, because I thought he was too insane, but since he ended up rather normal eventually, I took him in.

4. Akihito Usami (Junjou Romantica)

bdbbd85159fa4b2a4b2ec94db0f3f84fSince I’m that good at having unpopular opinions, here’s another one: I don’t like Junjou Romantica, due to many reasons, but Usami is one of them. This guy. This guy. How to describe him? He’s a raptist with anger issues, I think that pretty much covers it. I don’t even care he’s 10 years older than Misaki, one of my favorite couples is Maya x Masumi from Glass Mask, he’s 11 years older than her and meets her first when she’s only 13. Either way, I mentioned before I love me some good BL, sadly rape is a common theme in BL that I really hate, because it’s something that should never be treated lightly and often is in the shounen-ai community, as seen in this particular case. It’s not romantic and Usami treats Misaki really bad. No me likey.

3. Nogizaka Haruka (Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu)

Nogizaka_Haruka_no_Himitsu_-_Nogizaka_Karuka_2I’m impressed she only made 3rd place. Honestly! I went into this anime expecting a light comedy about a nerdy guy falling in love with a nerdy girl. What happend was me being confronted with something like Nodoka minus the lesbian part and seeing how she ended up even higher on this list, she’s a lost case. She’s once again the typical picture perfect little rich princess and because her life is so damn great, she has to think of problems even though there are none. Oh no, she’s an Otaku, that needs to be kept a secret at all cost and I really mean all cost. Oh no, she falls in love with a guy, let’s throw every possible stone in their way we can think of. Honestly, the guy is really annoying too, because he’s way too perfect on his own, but I guess her “Yuuto! Yuuto! Yuuto!” was driving me even more crazy than the man himself. And it’s one of those anime where they never kiss, be it her shyness or her crazy maids or her sister or the weather… the entire anime is so damn annoying and Haruka is the worst part of it.

2. Itagaki Manabu (Hajime no Ippo)

personagem_931This was a surprise to me, because I didn’t even had him on my radar at first, but there’s a very particular reason, why he didn’t just end up on this list, but even that high. I would love to like him, but the manga-ka slowly made him more and more annoying to the point where probably his last fan threw the towel during his latest fight that was shown in detail. He started as a nice guy and I really liked him. He had a few annoying traits, but that only helped rounding his character and wasn’t bad at all. Then… his genius kicked him. The moment everyone noticed he was a boxing genius it went downhill with him and he ended up as the entire opposite of Ippo. This means: Ippo is an average guy who works insanely hard and earns every single one of his wins thanks to countless of hours of training. When Itagaki fights, suddenly a switch is flipped and he’s unstoppable. To top it all of, he turns into a real bastard as well, cocky to Mars and back way too full of himself looking down on his opponents and tries to beat Ippo by defeating his past opponents faster than Ippo. You, as a reader, come to a point where you wish Itagaki to face off against Sendo and get his little bony butt nicely handed to him wrapped in a pink rippon with kisses. You have no idea how much I wanted to see Itagaki getting destroyed in the ring to the point where he would never dare to pick up boxing gloves ever again. He doesn’t deserve his wins one bit, especially since he’s doing so easily what Ippo took so much work to achieve, what he deserves is a beating that will teach him some manners and force some sense back into him. The sad part is, he started out as a really likable, even fun, character and that’s what annoys me the most.

Dishonorable Mention: Haruka Nanami (Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love 1000%)

haruIt’s a reverse Harem setting, it’s bound to be bad. I found this one particuar bad, though and Nanami is beyond me. Too naive, light hearted, clueless and the entire damn anime makes no sense from start to finish. I guess Nanami stands for every typical main character (male or female) in a bad harem szenario. I’m saying bad, because the mother of all harem manga, Love Hina, actually pulled it off really good, but that was because it was a great slice of life comedy with interesting characters, too. Most harems are not, they’re just cardboard cutouts from one another with crazy bland mains that are supposed to be “us” aka the viewer, so we can dream to be in their shoes and be wooed by beautiful men and women. About Nanami in particuar, the way she talked annoyed the heck out of me on top of her sole being. This half-wisper that’s supposed to show how much of a cute girl she is, when in reality she’s not, because her eyes are more disturbing than half the horror anime I’ve seen.

1. Kikyou (Inu Yasha)

Kikyou-the-girls-of-inuyasha-7074575-509-663She was already dead, so I didn’t feel too bad about wanting to see her die, but she was so annoying I literally wanted to see her die. You knew Kagome x Inu Yasha was going to be endgame and yet Kikyou did her best to mess with them over and over and over… and OVER AGAIN. I think the most annoying part of her was she just wouldn’t go away, she wouldn’t die no matter what, she would come back and throw the relationship between Kagome and Inu Yasha completely out of proportions again. And again. And again. Rinse and repeat. Her sole purpose was to mess with Inu Yasha and Kagome. She was the nicest, most beautiful and strong Miko while alive (and this is something that already annoys me to begin with) and after she came back from the dead, she’s an utter nightmare you can’t get rid off. She’s actually a tragic character that suffers a very unfortunate fate, but she ends up ruining the relationship between Kagome and Inu Yasha so much, you literally wish for her to please die and even then it still takes a few hundred chapters until it’s finally done.

Fullmetal Alchemist vs Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (SPOILERS, obviously)

fullmetal1_335x500This… is a petpeeve of mine. I’m a huge fan of the manga, it’s still one of my favorite manga of all time and I think it’s really really well done. And then there are the two anime adaptations and the wars fought over which one is better.

Obviously, everyone can like whatever version they think is better, but there have always been a few arguments I’ve never understood and defenders of the 2003 series usually have certain problems in the anime they just simply straight out overlook. That being said, of course I’m not overlooking the fact that the 2003 series did a mostly wonderful job covering the manga until the story sets off into a different direction and Brotherhood rushed through this part way too fast, not really doing it the justice it deserves.

Character depth. I hear it again and again and again: the 2003 series is supposed to have more character depth. That is interesting, considering half of the backstories of important characters are simply missing and Brotherhood/Manga had much more time to actually develop it’s characters and half the cast in the 2003 series was effectively turned into emos, which does not equal great characters development.

Scar_end.jpgThink what you want, believe that Scar is better portayed in the 2003 series, bercause he goes from villain to tragic hero, even though in Brotherhood he goes from brutal villain, to ally, to working under Olivia Armstrong to rebuild his original nation and religion side by side with the Military of Amestris, finally having come to peace with his own past, looking to create a brigther future for his people. How is that worse than what the 2003 series did? I actually think he’s better portrayed.

79469Hohenheim, don’t get me started. He has a much more complicated and better portayed past in Brotherhood compared to the 2003 series. He’s a fullgrown badass alchemist and a pathetic father at the same time, what makes an actually really likable and a very nice character. He’s got some very good points and some very bad ones and he really struggles to make up for his bad decisions regarding his family. The moment when Ed first called him his father? I cried like a baby. He was fooled, he was tricked by the Homunculus and ended up falling in love with a wonderful wife, unintentionally destroyed his family, having one of his sons hating him and successfully made up with said son, in the end dying at the grave of his beloved wife. Wow. Prime example of a way better rounded character.

Screenshot2009-11-15at22506PMAnd let’s not forget the amazing cast, that never made it into the 2003 series: Olivia Armstrong and her Briggs Army and the Xing people for example? They’re so badass. The overall badassness in the Brotherhood anime is way above the 2003 series anyway. Yeah, sure badassness doesn’t equal good characters either, but it damn well makes them even better.

FMA-Brotherhood-Created-Feelings-screencaps-edward-elric-and-winry-rockbell-7145332-1024-576However, my real problem lies with Ed and there’s one very specific point, where it’s actually pointed out by Mustang, what makes Brotherhood/Manga-Ed so much better and that’s after Al sacrificed himself to safe Ed, the Humunculus is beaten and they question how to get Al back. Someone, I think it was Riza, asked if Ed would sacrifice himself to bring his brother back, exactly what he did in the 2003 series. Mustang’s reply: Ed would never do that, because he knows what it feels like to be left alone and he wouldn’t dare to put his brother through that. Even though Edward goes from little brat to honorable hero, he stays true to his morals throughout the entire series and values life over absolutely everything. This inculdes his own life, because he realized as much as he needs his friends, his friends also need him and he can’t just throw his life away and leave them alone putting them in agony over his death. This is made even more clear, when he tells “God” he’s fine being a normal human without transmutation powers, because he has his friends with him. This Fullmetal_Alchemist_Brotherhood_Edwardgoes against everything he did in the 2003 series, with the entire “I safrifice myself for you”- bullsh*t.  But wait, didn’t Al die for Ed in Brotherhood? Right, because Al, being the more naive younger brother, didn’t realized the value of life the same way Ed did. Ed had a much greater understanding of his morals and how his decisions impact the lifes of those around him. And don’t get me started on his wonderfully awkward proposal and the kids he has with Winry. Man that was amazingly in character and easily the best proposal in a shounen I’ve ever seen.

And just let me tell you about the most prominent plot-whole that is usually forgotten: The homunculi are the portayal of the 7 deadly sins. In the 2003 series, they’re created by people who attempt human transmution and eventually they end up with all 7 deadly sins. All finde and dandy in the series, but think a bit further, because due to plot convenices, the anime never has another person attempt human transmutation. Why? Because there are no more deadly sins left. Would a new one just pop up? Would every further human transmutation horribly fail to the point that no homunculus is created, because all spots are taken at the moment? The creation of homunculi is the biggest plotwhole the anime has to deal with. Of course the alternate universe Nazi stuff didn’t made any sense either, but at least they explained it somewhat reasonable. The homunculi, there’s just no way they can get away with that explanation, because it doesn’t hold itself against a very simple question: what if an 8th person attempts a human transmutation? This simple question completely destroys the entire foundation of the entire anime.

And just for good reasons, have a badass Mustang, Riza and Armstrong pic.

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