Top 5: Anime With Demons or Devils

Tuesday's Top 5

There are a lot of anime that include demons and devils in their cast and I know that a list of 5 can’t even begin to cover all the great titles out there. Still, I decided to have a go at listing my 5 favourite anime with demons or devils in them. I did rule out just standard yokai anime though as I wanted this list to focus more on demons or devils as the are more often represented in the west. Still, there are still a lot of anime out there that we could have got into and with one exception I haven’t even touched the sheer number of comedy anime that use these kinds of characters. Nor have I touched on the harem anime that go there so I’m sure there are plenty more anime that people could list and I’d love to hear your choices in the comments below.

I will just give an honourable mention to Devilman Crybaby. I didn’t really like that anime for a number of reasons but its depiction of demons was actually pretty solid and so it deserves a space on the list.

Number 5: Blue Exorcist

I feel a lot of people will probably have this one higher up their lists and if I had only watched season one I probably would as well. I really enjoyed the set up to this story in the first episode where we learn the truth about who Rin’s father was and we see part of the cause for his volatile temper and violence. While this anime takes a lot of liberties with the church structure, terminology, and the basic idea of what an exorcist is, it is undeniably entertaining. The second season lacked a lot of that charm that season one brought to the table, but still, it is a solid entry in terms of an anime focused on the idea of exorcising demons.

Number 4: Hataraku Maou-Sama

The Devil is a Part-Timer is one of those anime that just hit the right spot for me particularly in terms of its comedy. However, a lot of the enjoyment I found in the anime was in the way they portrayed the devil and his demon generals. Also, the connection between the hero and Satan was very nicely established and as the story progressed we had a bit of a look at the follies of humans and angels as well. While definitely not trying to be serious about its premise, this one is just a fun story where demons, humans and angels interact and the end results are interesting.

Number 3: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Weird for me to include an anime that isn’t even finished yet but I must say that I’ve really been enjoying how demons are portrayed in this one. While Tanjiro certainly has sympathy for demons changed from human against their will, largely because of Nezuko’s situation, he is also aware of the destruction demons cause if left to their own devices and after the first encounter where he hesitated, he’s managed to take appropriate action even if we continue to see signs of his compassion. It’s an interesting concept and I’m looking forward to learning more about the different demons we’ve met who haven’t been instantly killed.

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Number 2: D Gray Man

I couldn’t have made this list without mentioning the Black Order of exorcists who are fighting against the Millennium Earland his Akuma army. What I particularly like about this one is that the demons aren’t just springing to life on their own. The Earl makes deals with humans in order to breed his soldiers and so the number of Akuma the order are facing is in direct correlation to the weakness of humans who, desperate to reconnect with a loved one, accept the Earl’s dubious offer and end up chaining their loved one’s soul inside an Akuma. It is horrific but for Allen it is even worse as he can see that trapped soul which causes conflict inside of him when it comes to defeating them.

Number 1: Black Butler

Well, you all should have seen that one coming. However, when it comes to an anime that does an excellent deal with a devil storyline, Black Butler is still my undisputed favourite. Sebastian is every bit a demon and yet he covers over his monstrous nature with suave appearance and manners only allowing glimpses at the truth beneath the surface when it suits him to do so. I genuinely love this story and have really enjoyed the Book Of spin-offs even if season 2 didn’t really work for me.

That’s my list but there are plenty of other anime out there featuring demons or devils and I’d love to know some of your favourites so leave me a comment below.

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Things I Learned From Anime Last Year

Tuesday's Top 5

It’s been an interesting 12 months as an anime reviewer and I love thinking back about all the shows I’ve watched and the lessons I’ve learned, or at least been reminded about. These are the top 5 things I learned from anime last year but I’d love to know if anime taught you anything, or reminded you about something you shouldn’t forget.

Please note: There may be spoilers below.

Honourable Mentions:

  • Don’t try and take on the mafia alone: Banana Fish
  • When summoning a demon lord from another world, be sure to read the label properly otherwise you might end up with an otaku gamer or a loli and neither one is exactly what you would be after if you decided to summon a demon lord: How Not To Summon a Demon Lord

Number 5: How my immune system works from Cells At Work

This one is pretty obvious when you think about it, but watching Cells at Work each week reminded me about all that high school biology stuff that I promptly just stopped thinking about after graduating. I also learned about a couple of cells I’d previously never heard of. While my primary reason for watching anime is not educational, when an edutainment like Cells at Work comes along that is informative and fun and adorable, you just can’t pass it up. The only problem is every blood test I get now I worry about the millions of Red Blood Cells that just found themselves torn from their home.

Number 4: Longer running stories need to work harder to keep me interested

I kind of already knew this with Bleach being the only really ‘long’ running anime I ever fully completed. My Hunter x Hunter watch has stalled so incredibly close to the end and yet I just haven’t finished it, and otherwise Soul Eater and D Gray Man are probably the only other two long anime I’m a massive fan of. But last year this became really clear to me as Black Clover got cut from my watch list thirteen episodes in (though it may have been the shouting and not the episode count that lead to that), GeGeGe no Kitaro was abandoned even though I didn’t dislike the show, Attack on Titan was on notice until it delivered a fairly strong third season and even My Hero Academia that I’d previously really enjoyed just felt a bit tired.

It probably says more about my attention span than the anime, but the larger episode counts seem to make me want more from the anime and expect more from the story and when I don’t find it I seem to lose interest. Then we have the new Sword Art Online series with its mammoth four cour run announced before we even started and while initially excited I’m finding that it feels like they’ve stretched out content to fill those episodes rather than having enough content for it to begin with (though we’ll see what they do next with it). Either way, last year very much reminded me that I prefer my anime with 11 – 13 episodes and a conclusive ending.

Number 3: In relationships communication is key.

Again, this is something I already knew but we certainly had a tonne of examples of why this was important last year. Just looking at the Autumn season we can see that Nanami and Yuu would have been better off if Yuu had been more open about how she felt early on and even after she resolves to do something, she still doesn’t actually talk to Nanami about it directly instead taking a round about route (Bloom Into You). Takato and Junta from Dakaichi could have solved their break-up drama in a heart beat if either one had actually consulted the other before taking action. Then we have Sakuta and Mai (Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai), the one couple that mostly communicated beautifully and managed to navigate around so much relationship drama and yet Mai still didn’t tell Sakuta it was her birthday and he had to find out second hand from her younger sister. If anime taught me anything last year it was definitely to talk to your partner, whoever they may be.

Number 2: Heroes come in all shapes and sizes

While not from a specific anime, there were so many different kinds of heroes from so many different shows last year. My personal favourites included traditional heroes such as All Might from My Hero Academia, but also encompassed characters such as Hina from March Comes in Like a Lion and Yuu from Bloom Into You. Big or small, saving the world or reaching out to a friend, there were so many different heroes to choose from that surely there was someone a viewer could look up to last year.

Number 1: Definitely ignore the pre-season hype and judge shows for what they are

Whether it was going in with too high an expectation, possibly considering passing on something because of no expectations, or just not enjoying something because I wanted it to be something else, last year taught me the value of taking things as they are and not as I wanted them to be. Then again, even going into Darling in the Franxx with no expectation would not make me like it anymore. But perhaps Clear Card would have been better received if I wasn’t endlessly comparing it to the nostalgia fuelled image I had of Cardcaptor Sakura. And consider some shows I ended up really enjoying, such as Rokuhoudou Yatsuiro Biyori that wasn’t even on my radar and from the description of it doesn’t seem like my kind of story I really just need to try each show on its own merit. So this year I am as much as possible going into shows without expectations, watching the first episode (or as much as I can stomach) and giving them a go. That said, W’z still isn’t getting more than 5 minutes of my time.

Right, so what did you learn last year while watching anime?

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime Characters That Creep Me Out

Tuesday's Top 5

Here we are and it is October and this year I’m going to be running Halloween themed top 5’s all month long (not that Halloween is actually a thing where I live but any excuse to dust off some of my favourite anime and characters). Starting out with this list of anime characters that I just find disturbing or unsettling for whatever reason. I will admit, it was a tough list to narrow down but I’m pretty happy with the final list. But as always I would love my readers to join in the fun and share their top 5 creepy character lists in the comments below. Hopefully you like my list.

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions: Miki (Parasyte) and Tsukiyama (Tokyo Ghoul).

Number 5: The Millennium Earl (D Gray Man)

The Millennium Earl - D Gray Man

Look, the guy has a permanent smile that is almost bigger than his head and the deals he offers people are worse than any deal you could make with the devil. He’s responsible for so much misery and pain and he does it all with that ridiculous grin and a laugh. So many characters claim they are going to destroy the world but I actually came to believe the Millennium Earl would eventually succeed in D Gray Man and given the story isn’t finished let’s just say he’s currently winning.

Number 4: Hisoka (Hunter x Hunter)

I probably don’t need to explain why I consider Hisoka a creepy customer but right from the first time he graced the screen in Hunter x Hunter he left me unsettled. He’s a little bit violent, a little bit sadistic, gets way too in to his pursuits, and seems to be entirely indifferent to any kind of moral code outside of his own. That and his fixation with Gon at times is very creepy. Still, I’m thinking if I ever end up in an anime world and see someone who even looks vaguely like Hisoka coming I’m running for it (not that it will do me much good mind you, but it might make me feel better).

Number 3: Urado (Ghost Hunt)

Urado.jpg

Probably not a well known character given Ghost Hunt isn’t the most popular anime out there, but while most of the ghost stories the characters encounter in the various arcs are more interesting than scary Urado is one character who could definitely leave you with nightmares. That’s probably because unlike so many of the other stories, Urado seems to be based off of tales of real life figures like Elizabeth Bathory and the like so with a more familiar context, and a lot of blood, Urado managed to really get under my skin for the brief time he was in the story.

Number 2: Megumi (Shiki)

Shiki - Megumi

No surprise Megumi made the list. It isn’t that I’m actually scared by Megumi, but there’s that scene where she slides out from under the bed and no matter how many times you watch it, it is still unbelievably creepy. That and Megumi is just so incredibly malicious in the way she attacks people as a vampire. She well and truly earned her number two spot.

Number 1: The Colossal Titan

Titan-Wall

Right, so future revelations in the story may have reduced the impact, but The Colossal Titan appearing behind the wall was one of those moments where you just kind of stared at your screen and froze. They really just nailed the perfect combination of factors to make this character someone who would lodge in your memory and haunt your dreams well and truly after watching the episode. For me, no other titan since has had as much impact, not even that insanely creepy smiling one.

There you have it. My top 5 anime characters that creep me out. Now it is your turn so remember to share below.


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Karandi James

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Antagonists With Inhuman Characteristics

Tuesday's Top 5

Antagonists and villains are visually quite fun characters because they usually end up as fashion disasters or twisted into weird caricatures. Today I want to look at five villains and antagonists that have inhuman characteristics that I think are still pretty cool looking (or at the very least they are memorable). I’d love to know your picks so please leave me a comment below.

At some point I’ll have to look at love interests and protagonists with inhuman characteristics but those will be a lot harder to narrow down.

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable Mentions: Pretty much every villain in Sailor Moon ever.


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Number 5: The Beast Titan (Attack on Titan Season 2)

Beast.jpg

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Attack on Titan season 2, but I did love the beast titan. I would have loved for him to be more important in the season and spend more time on screen. He was a fascinating presence in the first episode and his return later to royally mess things up for the group in the tower was fantastic. More of this character definitely would have made the viewing experience a bit better.

And then season three kind of did give us more of the beast titan. Or at least we had quite the fight sequence that he orchestrated. And it was actually really awesome to watch.

Number 4: Amaimon (Blue Exorcist)

Amaimon.gif

Again, not an anime I’m majorly in love with but Amaimon was kind of cool. Okay, he was a jerk who likes messing with people, but the nails, the ears, his tail, and just his general playful yet cruelly malicious personality just kind of work. And they aren’t trying to make him out to be one of the good guys. He is a nasty piece of work, but he does the job well.

Number 3: Neferpitou (Hunter X Hunter)

Neferpitou.jpg

I still haven’t gotten to the end of Hunter x Hunter but Neferpitou is fantastic. Okay, she’s horrible, but she’s kind of supposed to be. Plus, look at that face. She’s truly adorable. Actually she reminds me entirely of my cat who will happily sleep on my pillow but try and move her and you suddenly discover she has four claws and teeth and she isn’t afraid to use them.

Number 2: The Millennium Earl (D Gray Man)

D Gray - Earl.png

I can’t help but wonder about the kind of crazy person who would agree to a deal with the Millennium Earl. I know he doesn’t always look quite that sinister, but even at his most innocuous, he’s still pretty creepy. This is the face of someone who can and will destroy the world. Not just monologuing about how bad he is, this guy is going to actively work towards his goal and he’s pretty successful at it. If this was live action that would be the stuff of nightmares.

Number 1: Little Demon (Soul Eater)

Little Demon - Soul Eater.jpg

Not so much a villain or antagonist so much as an inner demon to be faced and overcome by the central characters. The Little Demon starts out fairly small and manageable as a voice in Soul Eater’s subconscious. But as Soul and then Maka give in to madness the Little Demon grows and becomes far more menacing. One of my favourite characters from one of my favourite shows, The Little Demon is both adorable and terrifying and has great taste in music.

That’s this week’s list and as always, I’d love to know who you would have included on yours.

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Characters Who Love Their ‘Darling’ To Death

Tuesday's Top 5

Yes, this post has been inspired by Darling in the Franxx’s Zero Two, unfortunately she doesn’t get a place on the list due to the uncertainty about how her character will develop from here.

Certainly she has all the traits of the characters below so far. Obsessively possessive of her chosen ‘Darling’, not entirely needing consent though does appreciate the thought, and willing to cut other people out of their ‘Darling’s’ lives if necessary. I’m pretty sure you can guess some of the names below but as always, I’d love to know who you would have included on your list. Which anime character do you think loves their ‘Darling’ to death?

Please note: There will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions: Zero Two of course.

Number 5: Misa Amane from Death Note

There is no surprise that Misa made this list. The cute, sweet idol obsessed with Kira. She latches onto Light and promises to be helpful. She’ll follow his every command and do as he says. But no, he cannot date anyone else and no he cannot even pretend to be with other girls. Why? Because she’ll kill them in an instant and does not care that they may bring the police down on both of them. Misa was never one for a strategy. She went straight after what she wanted and what she wanted was Light’s absolute loyalty. And while Misa never did get Light killed, that was more good luck than good management. If it hadn’t been for her he would never have had to go through the whole confinement thing which would have made life a lot easier for him later.

Number 4: Haru from My Little Monster

Now, Haru is an interesting character and a lot of the time his bizarre actions are more a lack of understanding of norms than actual malice, and yet threatening to rape a girl the day after you met her is kind of extreme. The fact that these two end up being an adorable couple is kind of terrifying when put in that context, mostly because Shizuku spends a lot of time putting some very clear boundaries in place, particularly when he did punch her (technically an accident but still not cool). However, while Haru becomes far better at moderating his behaviour as directed toward Shizuku, Kenji Yamaguchi, who also kind of likes Shizuku, is not so lucky. At one point Haru nearly pushed him off a flight of stairs and was only stopped because he was distracted by Shizuku and another time Haru made it clear that his change in behaviour only applied to Shizuku. Not exactly an amazing example of reform or healthy relationships really. Fortunately though, no deaths in the show. It is a romantic comedy despite the serious doses of ‘what’ going on in Haru’s character description.

Number 3: Creed Diskenth from Black Cat

The guy is just obsessed with Train. That’s literally hit entire motivation and reason for being. He follows Train within the Chronos organisation and when Train leaves he completely loses it. The fact that Train left after being influenced by a friend (possibly closer than a friend) truly infuriated Creed and so Creed killed her. And then made sure Train knew that he had killed her. A lot of the time it is unclear is Creed is trying to kill Train or confine him or just mess with him but basically Creed is pretty stable as a character (as much as possible for a villain), until you throw Train into the mix and then he is a complete and utter psycho. I guess it never really occurred to him that Train legitimately did not care about him at all until he killed Saya. And even then, Train didn’t actually care about Creed. He just wanted to destroy the person who destroyed Saya. It didn’t matter that it was Creed. Again, Creed doesn’t manage to kill Train but he does come very close on multiple occasions.

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Number 2: Yuno Gasai from Future Diary

I can already hear people asking, why is Yuno not number one on this list. And certainly, if we were just going with being crazy, Yuno is definitely a good contender. Still, in terms of loving their Darling to death, Yuno’s got some fierce competition. Mostly because I’m not entirely certain how much Yuno actually is in love rather than just obsessed with Amano. On the other hand, she’s one of the few people on this list who did in fact kill her Darling, even if it was in another timeline. So, basically, she swears to protect him in the death game, but mid-way through she tries confining him by tying him to a chair. Afterwards we learn that previously these two were the last two left standing and she killed him in order to be the victor and then she’s killed her past-self, inserted herself into that life, and done the whole thing again. You just have to wonder if she expected it to end differently the next time.

Number 1: Road Kamelot from D Gray Man

It absolutely had to be Road. She is a truly sadistic character who is, unfortunately for Allen, obsessed with our white haired exorcist friend. Mid-battle she can go from attacking him with kisses to shoving a spike through his eye in about the space of a heart beat and she sure doesn’t care about anyone near Allen, unless she thinks she can torture him by hurting them. Her obsession runs deep and she’s more than once allowed him to live when she could have killed him, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t had a fair go at inflicting quite a bit of pain on him. D Gray Man Hallow saw her assisting him from her doll form, though whether that will continue or whether she is just leading him to yet another disaster is anyone’s guess unless we get another continuation of the anime (or, you know I could eventually read the source material). Either way, Road was the first character I thought of for this list. She is ice cold, completely obsessed, and has a real taste for pain.

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Female Characters with Green Hair

Tuesday's Top 5

Today I am taking a look at the lovely green haired ladies of anime and I will admit this ended up being harder than expected.  While there was no doubt who was going to top my list, the other characters proved a little harder to split. Basically I was looking for interesting female characters where their green hair was a distinguishing part of their appearance.

I’d love to know some of your favourite green haired female characters. Next week I’ll tackle the guys but until then be sure to leave your picks in the comments below.

Note: There will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions go to Sailor Neptune (Sailor Moon) and Akari (Chaika).

Number 5: Nanami Yasuri (Katanagatari)

Katanagatari8

Nanami gets points for being the second creepiest character I put on this list. She’s a devoted sister but I’m pretty sure that her notion of raising or caring for her brother has definitely crossed a few lines. Admittedly, he is really strong and made stronger by her interference in his quest but Nanami is still one terrifying green haired girl. Her particular ability to essentially use any ability she has ever seen makes her fairly terrifying to almost all who encounter her and if it wasn’t for her weak body she’s be an unstoppable force of nature.


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Number 4: Tsuyu Asui (My Hero Academia)

Froppy.gif

Now I am not the biggest froppy fan but even I have to admit that Tsuyu is one talented hero. If she wasn’t in the same class as the protagonist and his rivals she might even get to stand out occasionally. She’s level headed in a crisis, has a range of useful skills and is pretty determined. Throughout the second season she demonstrated numerous times that she has what it takes to be in the same class as the others and while I didn’t really appreciate her getting her own mission episode as it felt a lot like filler, even I had to admit it was very high quality filler and you could totally see this character carrying their own series.


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Number 3: Lenalee (D Gray Man)

No real surprise here given I’ve made it fairly clear that I love Lenalee as a character. She’s such an awesome exorcist and a great partner for Allan. Unfortunately she gets sidelined too often, but the fight over the ocean on the way to Japan just proved how incredibly tough she is and how far she will go to save others and win the fight. She also got her innocence to evolve to the crystal type and while Hallow severely underutilised her I’m kind of hoping if we get another follow up series (please) that we’ll see more of this amazing character on the screen.

Number 2: Mion/Shion Sonozaki (Higurashi)

Mion and Shion.png

So who beat Nanami as the creepiest character on this list? Mion and Shion of course (and no, I’m not even going to try to split these two because depending on the time loop you are in either one of them could be crazy and it isn’t as though they don’t switch places making it even more confusing). Still, these two are fantastic characters. The older sister characters of the group and the children of gangsters, they come across as tough as nails but are surprisingly emotionally vulnerable. They both go through hell at various times but fortunately they learn from the experiences eventually, like the other characters, and finally find their happy ending.

Number 1: Nel (Bleach)

Whether in her child-form or fully grown, Nel was a fantastic character that Ichigo met when he invaded Hueco Mundo. As a former member of the Espada, she is one tough cookie but she’s got a grudge and Ichigo has a soft spot for little sister characters so the two of them bond fairly readily after meeting. One of my favourite Bleach characters ever, and rocking her green hair and matching shirt, Nel well and truly deserves the number one spot on this list.

And that’s my list done but I’d love to know your picks and remember to check in next week when I count down my top 5 male characters with green hair.


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Karandi James

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Non-Weapon Items Used as Weapons

Tuesday's Top 5

Alright, this list could literally go on forever because anime has used a lot of items that we usually don’t consider weapons in fights. Cards, coins, crosses, hair pins… You name it and some anime character somewhere has attempted to weaponise it (probably successfully). I narrowed this list down to characters and items that were genuinely fun to watch in action and where the item was used in its standard form and didn’t have some magic transformation applied to it (sorry Orihime’s hairpins but that ruled you out). Weapon effectiveness was not the primary consideration which explains a few of the choices below. That said, this was a fun list to make and I’d really love to see what you would have included on your list so please leave a comment below.

Please Note: There may be some spoilers below.

Honourable mention this week goes to Lin Shaolee in Black Cat for their creative use of a scarf as a weapon (though a lot of the weapons in Black Cat could have ended up on this list). The other honourable mention:

Deathnote.jpg

I’m just going to leave this here and get on with my list.

Number 5: D Gray Man – Soccer Ball

You have to admit, soccer is not the first thing you think about when someone mentions D Gray Man. In a show full of weird weapons as every Innocence is just a little bit unique, Daisya Barry’s stands out because it is just a ball and he is just a kid playing even when fighting for his life. For a character that only really appeared in three episodes his impact is enormous because his personality is a breath of fresh air, the impact he has on others is incredible, and then he dies tragically (as do most side characters in D Gray Man so I guess we all saw it coming). Still, odd ball weapon choice and still incredibly awesome to watch.

Number 4: Hunter X Hunter – Fishing Rod

Again, Hunter X Hunter is full of plenty of weird items being used as weapons, but I think Gon’s fishing rod is a classic. I kind of thought it was cute when he was training to be a hunter and was using a fishing rod, and then the more we learned about being a hunter the weirder it seemed and some of the situations Gon ended up using that rod are fantastically non-sensical and yet it always ends up pretty effective. But mostly this made the list because it so suits Gon’s personality. I did notice that he was using it less often as the story progressed and I still have a fair way to go through the series so I’m kind of hoping it doesn’t get totally forgotten later.

Number 3: Black Butler – Cutlery

Did anyone seriously think I was going to make this list without adding Sebastian to it? The reason this isn’t number one is because I’m pretty positive the only reason these weapons are effective is because they are being thrown by a demon. I somehow don’t think the average person is going to throw a fork hard enough to penetrate skull from a distance (I could be wrong but I hope not). Still, watching Sebastian in action with the silverware… Just another reason he is one hell of a butler.

Number 2: Soul Eater – Tombstone

For a show about people who can literally transform into weapons, Sid’s first fight might seem a little underwhelming given he is just hurling his own tombstone around. And yet, in any other show awesome. Here’s a zombie literally fighting off his attackers by pummeling them with his own tombstone. There’s a certain level of craziness to that idea that really appeals and it doesn’t hurt that this fight is the first time we see Maka and Black Star ‘working’ together.

Number 1: Love, Chuunibyou and Other Delusions – Pigtails

Yep, it is the Dekimori Spin and other random attacks by Dekimore (aka Sanae). Okay, her attacks are almost never effective but they are always awesome to watch whether we see her own delusional version of the attack or whether we see the real world action, it is always fun. Including the time she tangles herself in her own hair and falls over. I also liked the time she increased the weights on her hair fora more effective attack and then couldn’t even really move. Yes, weaponised pigtails. We definitely need to see more of this even though I’m pretty sure most villains will not be shaking in their boots.

There’s my list for the week and as I said before, I’d love to hear what you would add on your list. What’s your favourite non-weapon item that has been weaponised?


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