My Favourite Naruto Shippuden Openings, The End of a Generation

This is my final openings post on the Big Three and taking this journey back through my childhood as an anime. Naruto is something that gave me one of if not the most touching moments I have seen on television in my youth. It is one of the moments that helped propel me to where I am today attempting to be a screenwriter because I want to be able to do just that. Maybe touch the heart of someone watching, even if its just one. So to have Shippuden, the latter half of Naruto, end…it just feels like the generation is just about over since Bleach already ended and One Piece is past its halfway point. It is about time to say goodbye to a generation, and welcome the new one. The Big Three was a part of my start, but new fans may find their start with something new like Boku no Hero Academia. It was great to take this little trip back to my childhood, but sadly all good things come to an end and I couldn’t think of a better ending than with my favourite Naruto Shippuden’s openings.

Just a reminder that I will be spoiling a lot of Naruto Shippuden, or key moments in Naruto Shippuden so be warned.

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My Favourite Naruto Openings, The Start of a Generation

I was a part of the generation that deemed three shounen anime under a grand title due to their popularity. They were called the “Big Three”! DUN DUN DUN! It is not as impressive as it sounds as many denounce the quality of all three anime quite easily these days, more of a contrarian fad to dislike them. I covered One Piece and Bleach already, but the leader of the pack that I have yet to cover is the “Believe it” poster-boy himself Naruto! I have a history with Naruto, I mean in my generation of anime watchers who hasn’t. It has become almost a mainstream pulp culture icon recognizable by those not in the anime sphere even to this day even if they can’t pronounce it correctly. Naruto was a phenomena for a while, and still continues to be (to a lesser extent) today. So why not travel back into the past on one of the more controversial of the Big Three and dive into Naruto’s openings! Because you better believe that I am going to enjoy just another added dose of nostalgia.

Reminder that yes there will be spoilers about Naruto. Obvious ones nowadays, but still might as well put the warning up just in case. You have been warned.

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My Favourite One Piece Openings, A Journey Still Worth Sailing

After really enjoying the experience I went through with the Bleach openings, I thought I might continue down this trajectory. Tackling classic openings or just talking about openings in general seems to be a fun pastime to me. A good opening allows you to see the heart and soul of the animators who put their time and effort behind it. The same goes with openings that have no effort behind them. I found an appreciation for openings throughout my years of watching seasonal anime, always looking for the best of the season. While I may get to that in due time I think I’ll continue to hearken back to my past with another well known shounen anime.

One Piece is a journey I am still traversing as an anime/manga fan. It continues to have powerful moments that make me turn my head in amazement as to how something so long hasn’t run into a plethora of problems for me. I have never seen a collection of openings that go along a journey with a show, having dips and dives in tone the longer the show goes on and changing the mantra of its openings as well. That mantra might be a bit overdone…using the same opening song three times, but it is a memorable classic. Now let’s take yet another journey into an childhood shounen classic of mine, One Piece. This time I am only going to go over my top 10 favourites from the series, the list will get a tad bit too long if I started going through every single one of them now.

Reminder that this will cover important parts of One Piece’s plot, you have been warned.

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My Favourite Bleach Openings, Looking back on a Childhood Anime Touchstone

Almost every anime fan knows about Bleach and make that now cringe-worthy joke of saying “not the cleaning supply”. It was a phenomena back in the early 2000s, much like One Piece and Naruto. One couldn’t escape it if you watched anime on television like I had to do back in my younger and simpler times. I used to watch Bleach religiously as a kid, next to my obsession with Inuyasha, Gundam Seed and Eureka Seven. To pay homage to something that was so important to my childhood, I was trying to think of ways I could honour the memory of Bleach as I knew it. Even though I give it flack today for how it ended…that entire last arc, I still hold true that its opening are visual splendours. From a pop art style to monochromatic to even just transitioning fight sequences, Bleach’s openings were superb in order to get you pumped for the episode to come. Each felt distinct, most felt memorable, and some…were best left forgotten compared to others. So here we are, ranking each Bleach opening to my own personal opinions on them. What better way to send off the past than by starting off with an opening?

There will be spoilers touching on some of the stuff that happens within each of the openings. You have been Warned!

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Top 10 Female Anime Characters in 2016

And so we come to a close on these character lists for 2016 with my favourite female characters of that year. Much like with the male characters, this was a hard list to compile with so many interesting and fun characters. Some that had exceptionally emotional moments and others that stand tall in front of adversity. Comedic leads that bring us to tears with laughter and even some of the best antagonists we have had in a while. There is this great diversity in the female characters of last year in so many surprising series that some are bound to be left out. So let’s put 2016 to bed finally on this blog with my final list!

Spoilers for the following series: Danganronpa, Flip Flappers. You have been warned!

 

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Top 10 Male Anime Characters of 2016

Moving on from antagonist to just my favourite characters in 2016, let’s tackle the male characters first. Both of these categories, favourite male and female characters, were far harder to place than the antagonists. None of the antagonists will show up on this list even though some deserve to be, I feel like they had their time and if need be after my top female anime characters list I’ll make a makeshift favourite characters of the year list. That being said, there really is no great segway to effectively transition into the below list. I guess…uhhhh…males that deviate from the occasional norm are hard to come by. Often the male character is limited to its scope by the many stereotypical personalities and beta existences given to them out of a need for the audience to have a hollow shell to be empowered by. So here’s to those who thankfully don’t fit that mold! I won’t have every character I liked in this list unfortunately, so if they are not there its not really because I didn’t like them more that I didn’t have room for them.

Spoilers for the following series: Danganronpa 3. You have been warned!

 

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Top 10 Anime Antagonists of 2016

So travelling back to things I still need to finish up about last year, I decided it was about time to finish my lists. I probably will do them in a more timely manner for this year, but who knows.

Antagonist is a very broad term. It could be the protagonist themselves, a villain, a rival, a force of nature, but the primary component of being an antagonist in a series is to be in direct opposition with the protagonist. The hardest thing to do though is to make the antagonist a worthwhile character in their own right rather than merely an obstacle in the path of the protagonist towards their goal. They need to have formulated enough personality and depth to be memorable, and sometimes the antagonist can easily walk away as the best character from their respective show. Char Aznable to this day is heavily considered one of the best antagonists by many people, mostly in the Gundam fanbase, creating tropes some still follow to this day in anime. The hero is only as good as their opposing force, so I am here to honour the top 10 antagonists I loved in 2016.

There are spoilers for the following anime: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season, Danganronpa, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, 91 Days and possibly some others. You have been warned!

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