Saturday, April 17, 2010

Top 5 Anime Cats

We've talked swords and guns. Now it's on to that other lethal weapon . . .

Top 5 Anime Cats

#5 - Kuroneko Sama (Trigun)

Maybe one of the most famous anime feline, Kuroneko Sama ("Lady Black Cat") appears in every episode of Trigun and even makes a cameo in the Wild ARMs: 2nd Ignition video game.

As famous as she is, Kuroneko sometimes gets mistaken for protagonist Vash the Stampede. We don't see the resemblance.

#4 - The Cat (She and Her Cat)
We're going obscure here. This little kitty is the narrator of a short film made by Voices of a Distant Star creator Makoto Shinkai. (You'll find the short as an extra on the Voices DVD.)

Check out this emotional tale to hear about the people/pet relationship from the pet's point of view.

#3 - Maya (Azumanga Daioh)
Poor Sakaki could never find a cat to return her affection. Case in point:

But finally Sakaki finds a lovable orphan mountain cat who follows her home to Tokyo.

Not only is Maya a fine furry companion; he also can emit a "battle aura" to scare off any mean cat who even thinks about biting his surrogate mother.

#2 - Pero (Big O)

Poor little Pero. Got stuck in a mad scientist's lab and finds brief peace in the tender arms of android R. Dorothy Wayneright.

It's a short respite. Then it's back to the monster factory where Pero transforms into its giant-sized manufactured form.

But the heart of a fuzzy feline still remains in Pero's soul, and the ending of this episode will break your heart, too.

#1 - Jiji (Kiki's Delivery Service)

Also known as Rei Sakuma, but Americans are probably more familiar with Jiji courtesy of the late, great Phil Hartman's voice acting on the Walt Disney dub.

Jiji is witch-in-training Kiki's talking black cat, and his voice sheds light on a cat's personality--sarcastic and self-protective.

Now we know what our cat is thinking when she glares at us.

Talk about a dangerous weapon . . .

Friday, April 16, 2010

Top 5 Anime Gunslingers

Last time was swords. This time we crank it up a notch and pack some heat.

Time for the
Top 5 Anime Gunslingers

#5 - Beyond the Grave (Gungrave)

Any man--dead or undead--who can shoot straight by crossing his arms gets his due from us. The late Brandon Heat--resurrected as "Beyond the Grave" can do just that on his quest for revenge.

Our vote for best gun battle in this zombie gangster shoot-em-up is Grave's duel with Bunji in episode 24--"Last Bullet." That poor kitty at the end still makes us teary eyed.

#4 - Revy (Black Lagoon)

Revy may be the prettiest mercenary of the Black Lagoon crew, but she's also the most homicidal. (We blame it on a bad childhood.)

Miss "Two Hands" is just as ambidextrous as Mr. Grave above, but she looks better in a tank top.

#3 - Yusuke Urameshi (Yu Yu Hakusho)

Yusuke's "gun" is actually his special Reigun attack, in which he points his right index finger and shoots focused spirit aura at underworld criminals.

We wish we could get the same results. But usually all we get is funny looks and other fingers pointed back at us.

#2 - Gene Starwind (Outlaw Star)

Gene is basically the anime Han Solo who pals around with a spaz catgirl, assassin, and babe bio-android instead of a wookie.

Like Captain Solo, Gene is deadly with his pistol--a magic Caster gun that blows away Tao priests and other supernatural baddies. If Han Solo had that kind of blaster, Empire Strikes Back would have ended much better--no more Vader going all "talk to the hand" over the banquet table at Cloud City. Do some more tinkering, George Lucas!

#1 - Vash the Stampede (Trigun)

Was there any doubt?

Also known as "The Humanoid Typhoon," and "The $60,000,000,000 Man" for the bounty on his head, Vash usually makes his entrance as a hapless donut hogging goof.

But when trouble fires up, our spiky haired hero dives in head first with aim that cannot miss (unless he wants to) and a back-up cybernetic hand/machine gun to boot.

Of course, all Vash really wants is "love and peace!" Too bad every place he goes winds up a pile of rubble.

There's a lesson there. Are you listening, NRA?