Yamato will be Luffy’s strongest Strawhat if she joins


The saga of One Piece to Clover to One Piece editorials is now at an end with this one at least on the One Piece side. Get ready for one more Black Clover piece and after that I don’t know which editorials will come up next but I’ll think of something. At least once I get the reviews a bit lower. So Yamato is a brand new One Piece character. I suppose the term should be used loosely since she’s probably been in the story for about a year or two at this point but she has only just had her first serious fight where she was on the losing side. Yamato has been stomping everyone with the exception of Luffy prior to this.

So is the title clickbait? No, I’d say Yamato has firmly placed herself as being more powerful than Zoro and Sanji. I don’t doubt that they will catch her by the end of the series but right now she is considerably more powerful and the strongest Strawhat next to Luffy. She isn’t quite as powerful as he is but that man’s the future pirate king so it makes sense. It goes without saying that this editorial will feature content from the current saga in Wano so proceed with caution. I won’t be spoiling specific battle outcomes or anything like that, just attack damage so I don’t consider this one to be a big spoiler like my other editorials but it’s still a fair warning in case you want to enter Wano completely unawares.

So right now I see many say that Yamato is still weaker than Sanji and Zoro as well as this being necessary since the “Monster Trio” as they are referred to has been a concept since the beginning of One Piece. Among the Strawhats , Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji have always been the strongest and in that order. It’s never been the case that this order could be shattered. One thing fans point to in order to show that Oda conscientiously keeps this balance is how Jinbei was introduced to the crew early on but decided not to join for another arc or two. 

This way by the time he had joined, there was enough time for Sanji to surpass him. (I would argue Zoro was already ahead) So in this way the Monster Trio was untouched when Jinbei joined. He came in as the 4th strongest fighter and will sink to 5th if Yamato joins. The reason why this is important is because if Yamato joins it will certainly be at the end of the arc which is seemingly already in the climax. There isn’t time for Sanji and Zoro to surpass her or at the very least it is incredibly unlikely given how well she has performed thus far. While her joining then crew isn’t a certainty, there are a lot of things pointing to it like upcoming promotional images showing her as a Strawhat, toys where she is with the crew, her appearing in the big 1000 anniversary special as a featured character with the other Strawhats, etc. 

Now, maybe Carrot will be the one to join…..but probably not. So if we all assume that Yamato has been joining, then a lot of people are saying that she absolutely has to be weaker. I disagree both on the count of her being weaker but also that it would be bad to destroy the monster trio. The trio was in existence for 100+ volumes. That’s an incredible run and I don’t think that it is bad they were surpassed. Surely it had to happen at some point so why not now right? I don’t think the trio is something I’ve even thought about as a concept almost at all while reading the series to be honest.

Now usually I am in the camp where I’d say that Yamato joined the series way too late. I’d be saying how she would ruin the dynamic and all but this time I’m not on that side. Why? Because she’s a much better character than most of the Strawhats. I’ve never liked Brook after all. I find Franky to be a little boring and while Jinbei isn’t bad, I feel like there isn’t much to him. Chopper isn’t really my style and Sanji would be really great if not for how he is always flirting and getting wrecked by every villainess he fights. Yamato is automatically the best Strawhat aside from Luffy and Zoro. The rest just don’t compete so instead of ruining the dynamic she may end up enhancing it. Her whole Oden gimmick should be interesting with how the other characters bounce off of it although in don’t see that surviving past this arc anyway so it may not matter.

Now let me get into why I believe Yamato is stronger than Sanji and Zoro. Sanji is a lot easier so let’s go with him. In Wano he got to fight Page One, seemingly one of the weakest fighters on the island. Sanji did really well and styled on him so points there. Then he fought a girl and you know how those fights go since Sanji refuses to fight back. Sanji didn’t even get invited to the famous Roof Piece event to fight with Kaido and has been stuck on the sidelines fighting the lower ranked King and Queen, not doing so well until Zoro showed up. Sanji hasn’t shown me anything to suggest that he would last more than a moment against Kaido before being promptly steamrolled.

Then you have Zoro. While he is more powerful than Sanji which makes it tougher to surpass him in that sense, he has fought against Kaido which makes for a great direct comparison. Skipping through the details to the end, Zoro was able to land one really good slash on Kaido and almost landed another blow but it missed. Zoro has the raw strength needed to injure Kaido which is extremely impressive. If he has some allies around to buy time and distract Kaido then he really has a decent shot at pulling out the win here at any time. The issue is that one on one he isn’t going to be seeing those openings.

Zoro won’t have time to charge up some kind of super attack, he will need to get in there up close in order to secure the victory. So we don’t see anything that says he could fight Kaido one on one. It’s just not happening. Now let’s talk about Yamato. Keep in mind that she was chained up for years prior to the start of this arc and so she has seemingly never gotten to fight with her devil fruit before. She has to learn as she goes and will keep getting stronger. We are not talking about potential here but raw ability so let’s shift gears for a minute. Yamato took down one of Kaido’s top warriors with a single blow but you could make the case that as a sneak attack it didn’t count. Yamato was stalemating Luffy when he was trying to defeat her and she was not fighting back. 

Well, Luffy may have been tired and he was definitely not going out right? That’s fair so then let’s just jump to the Kaido stuff because that’s the only thing that will give us the clear answer here. Well, Yamato was stalemating 1 on 1 a Hybrid mode Kaido. So this is something to really keep in mind here. Those Zoro feats? We were talking regular Kaido at that point. Yamato is performing better against a Kaido who is in a much more powerful form. As far as I’m concerned that’s pretty much a game over moment for any chance or Yamato being weaker. Sure, she was ultimately getting overpowered but unless you think Zoro would have beaten Kaido one on one then that’s moot anyway. The strongest case for Zoro being more powerful than Yamato is if he’s just that much faster and given that Yamato speed blitzed Ulti, I think that would be a very difficult case to make. While the anime tends to drag things out for dramatic effect, you can see the speed in the clip below. Even by the end of the fight larer on with Kaido Yamato was able to use a new special move and didn’t even lose before the fight was interrupted.

So that rests my case or at least what I would consider to be the mainly spoiler free version. I could go into more detail with using specific scenes but I encourage you to check out the manga battles first hand. This is a bit of a smaller editorial than some of my others but that’s because this is really just to answer a quick question.

Is Yamato the strongest Strawhat comrade if she were to join? Well the answer is yes, none of Luffy’s teammates can hope to defeat her at this point in the story. They are going to need some kind of power up in a future arc in order to close the gap. Yamato is not unbeatable, there’s a really good chance hat she will be surpassed by the end but make no mistake, the others will have to surpass her. They aren’t on the level right now.

Asta and Yuno have the healthiest rivalry


Notice that I’m using the term “healthiest” here as opposed to greatest. It’s a little nuance that is worth pointing out because it’s different. The greatest rivalry would definitely need to be Goku and Vegeta followed by Yugi and Kaiba, Tyson and Kai, Aichi and Kai, Naruto and Sasuke, Yusuke and Hiei, etc. I would put those rivalries higher than Asta and Yuno’s if I were to rank them all.

However, while those rivalries are a lot of fun, part of the intensity there is with how toxic and antagonistic the characters were for a time. Vegeta literally started out as a genocidal monster who would blow up monsters and torture his opponents. He’s tried to murder Goku on more than one occasion and hasn’t always stayed the path of a hero. The banter is top tier but you couldn’t always say the rivalry was on good terms. (Well, Goku would probably say it was positive throughout) It’s a great rivalry but I wouldn’t call it a healthy one in the sense that you wouldn’t want this rivalry in real life prior to when it finally mellows out more in the end of Z to Super era.

Meanwhile Asta and Yuno is the kind of rivalry that you would absolutely love to have in real life. Both of them clearly respect each other and encourage themselves to do better. When Asta was having a hard time, Yuno gave him a pep talk. When Yuno was mind controlled Asta talked him back up. You never see these two characters getting really jealous of each other to the point of turning evil or giving each other the cold shoulder.

There were several times it seemed like the manga may be about to turn Yuno over to the dark side but it hasn’t happened. Now it still could at some point but we’re fairly deep into the series without that happening so the chances continue to decrease. He just takes his losses as an opportunity to get stronger without resenting Asta for it. They may get jealous at times but nothing very serious. One such moment is when Asta’s chances of fighting Yuno are sabotaged and he’s upset since now Yuno is in the finals but Asta won’t get to be there. It makes sense as being a very frustrating moment though because that’s something he had been looking forward to for a very long time. So let’s specifically look at the reasons why I call it a great rivalry.

The origin of the rivalry

So rivalries can start in a lot of different ways. It could be due to an inferiority complex from the rival himself who sees that he will ultimately be surpassed by the lead as with Bakugo. Deku just rubbed him the wrong way and the guy never looked back. He went after Deku at every turn but make no mistake he was a bully through be through. For Asta and Yuno, they became rivals after Asta saved Yuno from a bandit. Yuno saw Asta’s power and vowed to be strong. Not to rub it in Asta’s face or to destroy him but because that was a new ideal for him. From that point on Yuno was a changed man and never cried like that again. It was a positive start though as Yuno saw Asta at his best and it helped him improve himself. It’s a rivalry based on making each other better as opposed to breaking each other down and that’s a common theme throughout the series.

Clear Communication

A lot of rivals can barely manage to acknowledge each other without throwing in some kind of insult. You’ll come to see that a lot especially with Sasuke as he continually badmouths Naruto. He is definitely an extreme rival given how he completely turned evil and all but it does show how far some rivals are willing to go. Compare that to Asta who is able to awaken Yuno from the mind control by talking about his dreams or Yuno saying that he knew Asta would he selected by the magic knights and get a book. A proper rivalry should be one where you acknowledge the other side as an equal and that’s exactly what they did. Not just in a power sense but even just acknowledging that they respect each other.

Asta and Yuno always do that and even in front of villains so it’s not like this is a private thing. They don’t care who’s listening and will still praise the other. Particularly in Yuno’s case this is a big deal since in the series there is a big stigma against those who cannot use magic like Asta. This can also mean that Asta is susceptible to surprise attacks since his durability is that of a normal human’s. Once Asta learns how to use ki it becomes difficult to launch a sneak attack on him but there’s one time prior to that where a villain tries to land a sneak attack and Yuno quickly foils the attempt. It was a good way to show how they still watch each other’s back. The clip I linked above showed Asta at his lowest moment in the series and Yuno was able to bring him out of that depression. There were no insults, barbs, or any of that. Yuno just talked him up and it was a powerful moment.

Finally, it’s a rivalry not an obsession

When there’s an actual villain to defeat you don’t see any kind of bickering between them. There’s no pretense about being the one to stop the villains or anything like that. They just run in and get the job done. They’ll team up and coordinate attacks in an instant without looking back. They did this to fight Licht, the Devils, Mars, etc. their rivalry takes a backseat to the actual threats which is very realistic and just makes sense. They are heroes first and rivals second after all.

Personally I love the kind of banter we get from say Goku and Vegeta when a villain shows up. In their case the rivalry takes first dibs mainly thanks to Vegeta insisting on it. It’s a lot of fun to watch of course which is why they have the best rivalry of all time but in real life you’re probably hoping you can get help from your rival if something serious happens. Make no mistake Asta and Yuno still have a lot of great banter throughout the series and take shots at each other but it’s all in good fun. You never feel any kind of malice between the characters, serious resentment or anything like that. They’re just good friends who make each other even better.

So those are the main reasons why I put Asta and Yuno at the top in this category. It’s a really nice change of pace and it also makes this a very unique rivalry. As mentioned there is still time for things to change though. I’ve always been in the camp that believes Yuno will probably turn evil at some point but I wouldn’t mind being incorrect on this one. I should also say this isn’t the only healthy rivalry. There are certainly more of them out there particularly if you go more into different demographics. For Shonen the closest might be fighters like Ichigo and Renji or Luffy and Zoro but both rivalries are less of a focus to the point where you can debate if they really are rivalries. Then you have Ash and Gary where there are a lot of insults from Gary but I would put it more on the good fun side. It might be straddling the line just a tad but I have no doubt that if Ash was in serious trouble Gary would step in without letting Ash get beat up. Still, those are all runner ups in the end. Asta & Yuno’s rivalry is unmatched.

Is Mihawk the strongest Swordsman in One Piece?


As the title suggests, this editorial is going to discuss if Mihawk is really the greatest Swordsman in the One Piece verse. Now that is a very big title so we definitely want to go into depth here and see if this is really the case. There are a lot of sword fighters in the series after all so we are going to need to qualify this a bit. First I think it’s important that we set straight what the definition of a swordsman is at least on this site.

A swordsman is someone who primarily fights with a sword. That’s the basis of the character and when you think of this individual, a sword should always come to mind as well. So what I’m saying here is that just using a sword is not enough. Put it this way, Goku with a sword could easily beat Trunks but that doesn’t make him a swordsman. Superman could use a sword to beat Katana but that’s because his actual abilities are so much greater. So that’s not what we’re really talking about here. Otherwise just about anyone can use a sword and there have been fighters who have wields a sword once or twice like Goku. It’s not the same thing though so they would have to be ruled out.

That means Luffy doesn’t count as he only used a sword twice. Weapons that are similar to swords won’t be counted either. Now if it’s got a blade like a Katana or something that is effectively a sword then that’s quite all right. Kaido’s Thunder Bagua for example is definitely not the kind of weapon I would consider to be a sword. This is very fortunate for Mihawk I should say since it’s hard to see him tangling with Kaido.

So now that we’ve defined what it is to be a swordsman let’s look at Mihawk’s competition. As mentioned, Kaido is ruled out so that’s one less rival. Big Mom has her legendary fire sword but nobody actually considers her to be a sword fighter. She uses hand to hand combat primarily and the sword is just something she whips out on occasion. Is she close to counting? I’d say yes, if she just were to use the sword a little more often then I would say that is a wrap.

Another fighter we can’t count here is Oden. The title of the strongest is a current one after all and Oden is not around right now. The same goes for Whitebeard and King Roger. If you’re not around anymore then of course you can’t have a claim to being the strongest so that absolutely makes a lot of sense and I would stand by that. This is a title for characters who are alive or at least still moving around.

For primary sword fighters the main rivals then would be Zoro, Shanks, King, Fujitora, Law, and Brook. I can barely say the last name with a straight face though. He is directly weaker than Zoro so we will remove him right now.

Now let’s talk about Law. He is a talented swordfighter in large part because he has his room abilities but he also may have the single best sword feat in all of One Piece when he destroyed an entire mountain range with a single swing. Even characters like Luffy and Kaido have never been able to match that kind of destructive power. I would say it’s fair to count that as an outlier though given that it was so far above what is usually seen as possible in the series. Or if not, you can just scale the other above him anyway.

Additionally Law has taken several Ls since then and generally hasn’t been as impressive. Mix in the fact that his Haki is not developed enough to even damage Kaido and I would say he loses his claim to being the strongest. King is the next challenger and we haven’t seen a ton from him yet so maybe he has some secret abilities lying in wait. At the moment though he appears to be weaker than Zoro so that would rule him out as well.

Fujitora is an interesting figure because we just haven’t seen a whole lot of him relative to the others. He’s an admiral which is very impressive but even then we don’t really know how they stack up only that they are weaker than Yonkou’s individually. Zoro was able to briefly stalemate him in one of the films which is really the best comparison we’ve got. Ultimately I don’t see any possible path for Fujitora being stronger than Zoro or Mihawk, both of whom have far more impressive moments.

So we’re down to the big 3, Mihawk, Zoro, and Shanks as the world’s greatest swordsman. So now let’s drill even further down into the definition of the phrase “greatest swordsman” as it will start to become more relevant here. Does the term greatest refer to the most powerful such as who would win in a fight counting Haki abilities and such or who has the most skill in a true blade battle?

If it’s the former then Shanks will likely carry this title. The man has done little to nothing in the 1000+ chapters of One Piece but at the same time he is a Yonkou. Moreover, he is the only one not to fight yet and by Shonen Jump/Any media standard that implies that he will end up being the strongest. Although Oda has put himself in a very sticky situation here because if Shanks actually does lose his first ever fight off screen to Blackbeard as many suspect, that would be a truly awful payoff to everyone who was looking forward to him getting some action.

So from a feats standpoint Shanks is lacking but in a lore sense the odds of him being more powerful than Mihawk is quite considerable. Just consider the parallel between Zoro and Mihawk vs Luffy and Shanks. It would make sense that the latter combo is stronger than the former even if Mihawk will be more skilled than Shanks.

Then we cut (See what I did there?? Heh) to Zoro. Well, it’s clear that Zoro was a lot weaker than Mihawk pre time skip and then had to get trained by the main for almost 3 years. At this point we can say that Zoro was still weaker. After that though, Zoro got the legendary Enma, the ability to cut through fire, and improved enough to block a combined Yonkou attack. Zoro also awakened the Conqueror’s Haki which is something we don’t even know if Mihawk has. Most likely he will end up having it since he may become irrelevant in the fights otherwise but these are a lot of of points in Zoro’s favor.

Right now I would have to put Zoro ahead of Mihawk both in skill and power. There’s certainly a decent chance that Mihawk can prove me wrong since in a lore perspective it would make sense for him to be incredibly strong like Shanks but until we see it, I can’t give him the title.

So there we go, if we’re talking about lore or pure ability then Shanks is the most powerful swordsman in the world. If we are talking about feats or overall skill with a blade then Zoro takes this. Either way I’m afraid that Mihawk will need to relinquish his title effective immediately. He cannot be considered the world’s strongest swordsman. Not right now. If you have any doubts at all after reading this, just check out this final clip of his reaction to Shanks entering the battlefield at Marineford.

Ranking all of the Black Clover openings


It’s time to rank all of the Black Clover openings. I recently made it up to the final ending from the Toonami broadcasts and it was quite excellent. It made me think, could this be the best opening? From there I figured if I was going to check out the rest of them anyway that I might as well make a quick editorial/rankings out of it. Typically it can be very tough for an ongoing show to keep churning out consistently great openings. You’re bound to hit a snag at some point or some shows just start keeping the same song for a while but Clover was always good about changing it a lot. Some of these openings I totally forgot about while others are as clear as they’ve ever been.

The only franchises that I would say have been able to maintain a similar level of quality for so long would be the Railleratordex franchise (Railgun, Index, and Accelerator) and Sword Art Online but they would be firmly fighting for second place. Black Clover has 1st in the bag. So without further adieu, lets take a look at the 13 openings from worst to best. I’m ranking them based both on the music as well as the animation contained in them. For any openings that may have more than one version, I’m using version 1 as a reference. Click here for a link to all of the openings in case you want to check them out for yourselves

13. Opening 11

So my least favorite opening is 11. It’s certainly more of a happy opening compared to the others as an arc just finished so the characters are finally getting to relax a bit. The main reason why it loses to the others is that there isn’t a whole lot going on. It’s calm which is nice and all but I would have still liked to have seen some more quality animation here. It just felt more like an opening that was thrown together without any style to it.

12. Opening 12

Next up is 12 so I suppose you can say the ending started to weaken for the series. Following up on 11, we’re still in an era of peace so the opening is more about the characters working out and just having fun. I’ve never been a big fan of that as the action for the openings. Give me some extra fights or something. I do like that part of the music has a very Kingdom Hearts feeling that appears now and again. It’s not quite enough to put this one higher though.

11. Opening 7

I really liked the opening animation here showing the contrast with Asta and Yuno. Both of them have come a long way by this point and still see each other as rivals in the center ring. It’s a great start but the opening starts to lose steam as we get a lot of stills after that. On the flip side, the music really turns up in the second half so this one just didn’t find the right balance to go higher.

10. Opening 5

This opening’s going for full sad vibes. The characters are all dealing with a lot at this point and the music reflects that. It all pairs up well and that helps this opening join the top 10. It’s still not quite energized enough to go higher up but it does serve as a nice change of pace from some of the other openings.

9. Opening 9

Cool that the 9th opening is in 9th place right? This one feels a lot different from the others with how much of a focus the elves get. This almost feels like a story opening as it takes place with Asta and Yuno beginning their counter attack after showing the Elves off. It’s a pretty high quality opening and my favorite part is definitely near the end with the fire fights for the Fuego siblings and Noelle. It was a very strong opening to be sure.

8. Opening 8

This opening really shows how differently the past was for Asta and Yuno compared to the Elves. They didn’t have a care in the world while things were not going quite so well on the rest of the planet. The climax has some big fights as well. What gives it the edge over 9 really comes down to the song. The images are fairly close but this one did have the Asta and Yuno fight and the music just had more energy.

7. Opening 3

It’s really great seeing all of the Black Bulls hanging out and then fighting together. The song itself is also one of the strongest ones from all 13. While the images may not have quite as much weight as some of the ones coming up, this was a good example of how to do a more laidback opening for several sections while still keeping up the tempo and a lot of energy.

6. Opening 6

They went all out with the animation here as we see the various tournament battles. The music works perfectly here and it’s why this opening is so high. It’s got really strong fundamentals with the opening tunes and starts out incredibly strong. The art style effects at the beginning are also pretty unique. Not something you want to see long term but it works for short bursts.

5. Opening 4

This may have the best intro animation to an opening aside from 13. The first shots look amazing and the music has a solid intro. Sadly it seems like they spent the animation budget on the opening so the majority of this one is all stills. It’s why despite having such an amazing song, I have to bump it down a few slots. It’s an opening that’s more fun to listen too than to watch.

4. Opening 1

This one’s an excellent mix of happy and sad moments. You get a nice sense of adventure here but with things not going very well for the heroes on multiple fronts. It’s a very classic opening though and one I’ve heard many times. The song is very strong and I like the dynamic with Asta and Yuno in the opening moments. Age has not held this one back at all.

3. Opening 10

As I mentioned I’m looking at the first version of the opening for ones that have multiple. Version 2 of opening 10 actually looks very happy which shows what a quick background change can do. The original version is incredibly sad and somber though. The opening did a great job of showing how tough things were getting on the heroes. The music follows along with slow beats before speeding up. It works exceptionally well and is definitely one of the best openings.

2. Opening 2

This was the first opening to really go all in with the action scenes. It had a lot more intensity than the first opening. It loses the more somber elements for the most part and focuses on the heroes claiming victory and decimating their opponents. I was really close to putting this one in the number 1 spot but ultimately it has a slower intro than the 1st place intro which never misses a beat.

1. Opening 13

What can I say, the series ended on an absolute high note with this opening. The beginning is a perfect homage to the first one. It’s cool to see how far Asta has come over the years. The music has a very consistent beat and the animation has never looked better. The shots with the Dark Triad are great and the animation even seems to have a bit of a different style with Zenon vs Yuno that worked very well. Yeah this opening could not be defeated and I’ve already heard it dozens of times at this point.

So those are the rankings for Black Clover. Once we get a sequel anime it’ll be fun to hear how those openings turn out. There are several videos that merge all of the openings on Youtube so just put that on loop for a while and you’re set. I probably won’t be doing another opening list for a while but I’ve definitely got a bunch of completely different editorial ideas I’ll throw around here and there. So I’ll see you on the next one!

Who is the traitor from My Hero Academia’s Class 1A?

This editorial contains spoilers for Sonic X the final season and My Hero Academia through season 3

All right guys, it’s time to tell you all who I think is the traitor from UA. Now lets just get a few disclaimers out of the way. First, we have to go under the premise that there is a traitor and that this whole thing wasn’t just some wild goose chase. That is a very real possibility after all but not one that would be very satisfying. There’s also the theory that Deku or someone else is unknowingly the traitor sort of like Cosmo from Sonic X. Essentially in that series the aliens could see through her eyes which alerted them to every possible move the heroes could make. Maybe All for One is able to see through Deku or something like that. This is going to assume that there is a traitor who is knowingly betraying the heroes. Assuming that to be true, we can then narrow this down to Class 1A since 1B wouldn’t make sense narratively.

Could it be a teacher? I would say no because too many of them have been ruled out at this point. Midnight and Aizawa have inner monologue that would contradict this along with All Might and their appearances in Vigilantes back this up. I guess we have reason to be suspicious of the principal or the Present Mic guy but both of those would not make a lot of sense. I mean…the principal would be kind of fun but I don’t think that’s going to happen. There are 20 kids in Class 1A so lets start ruling some out.

The first 6 are easily ruled out. I would consider them to not even be suspects.

Safe Students

Deku, lets be real here guys. It’s not going to be Deku. Again, unless he is doing this subconsciously it would just go against every kind of sense imaginable. He has unlimited inner monologues that would go against this. Likewise it’s not happening for Bakugo. The guy may have a very different way of going about being the best, but being a villain is flat out not going to happen.

Ida, his whole character is about trying to live up to his elder brother’s reputation. He’s not going to throw that away for anything. I may not be a fan of his character but I wouldn’t deny that he has a heroic motivation. Likewise you have to throw Todoroki in there as well. After seeing the worst of Endeavor first hand, there’s no way he would go down this route. He wants to be the number 1 hero as well after all.

Kirishima’s in a similar boat. He had the whole origin story where he was too afraid to stand up to the villains and had to be saved by Ashido. To that end he has continued to hone his skills to be a great hero. While you could say this isn’t as rock solid as the first few, I would say that is very relative. He ultimately has proven himself to be a true hero. I would also vouch for Yayorozu. She may have a lot of doubts in her hero abilities but she had obtained a good bond with the rest of the kids and keeps improving herself. Any doubts that you may have had with her character should have long since vanished at the series went on.

Too irrelevant to be the traitor

Look, the traitor has to be someone that actually matters. We need to have some impact after all. So, Sato is out. Does anyone even remember his name without having to look it up? His hero name of Sugar Man is memorable but I definitely would not have remembered the human name otherwise. He’s not going to be the traitor. I would use the same logic for Shoji. His 4 arms are handy but the guy barely gets any lines throughout the series. So there’s not much to prevent him from being the traitor but I just don’t think it would be very powerful.

We can extend the same logic to Sero and Koda. Sero’s tape abilities are pretty interesting but ultimately the guy hasn’t done anything. Koda’s animal abilities aren’t very interesting but he hasn’t done anything either. Again, the traitor has to be important. Let’s throw Ojiro into this as well since he’s on that level.

Already used as a fake out

Aoyama already had a big cliffhanger where we thought he could be the traitor for a second there. There’s no way they would actually use this twist since it was played off as a gag. Sure, it could be a big brain move by the author but I don’t see this actually occurring. The instant his betrayal was played for laughs I knew that there was no going back.

Opens up too many troublesome questions

Mineta would be problematic for a lot of reasons. His actions barely fly by as comic relief. If he is a serious villain then suddenly his harassment of the other students becomes a lot darker so they’re not going to do that. That’s why you can’t have this guy be the traitor, it’s a fairly unique situation but one that guarantees Mineta has to stay on the heroic path…not that I even consider him to be a hero to be honest. The guy’s a disgrace.

We’re down to the final 7 so lets take them step by step.

First up is Froppy. Sure, she is a very tempting pick because of her relationship to Deku. I also don’t recall any specific inner monologue that would contradict her being a traitor. That said, I can’t think of any possible motive for her here and she’s put herself in a lot of danger throughout so I’m going to take her out. It’s a weaker case to debunk her but that is why she made it near the end for me.

Kaminari: He was a prime suspect for a while but his whole being dopey is just too convincing. A true traitor wouldn’t put himself in such a spot where he could be exposed. He could have said anything while he was dazed which is too risky. He has enough character moments where this would be a pretty intense twist but I don’t think the quirk works well to that end.

Ashido seems far too heroic to have been corrupted like that. I find it hard to believe that she would have gone over to the dark side based on the flashback we already have of her with Kirishima. The reason why she is closer here is because a lot could have changed since that flashback. She always seems rather cheerful but some of the most sinister villains have had a cheerful demeanor. Still, I will rule her out because we have even more suspicious targets.

Tokoyami is a decent pick given how he likes the shadows so much, but is that not too obvious? Additionally, I want to say that Hawks would have noticed something was up since they worked together in the hero exams. At the same time, perhaps that is why they were on the same team since Hawks may have suspected something beyond what he was saying on the surface. It’s a bit on the flimsy side though so I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in it.

Lets take Jiro out next. While her hesitancy to play in the concert and her general lack of inner monologue is disturbing, I’d still be surprised if she was the traitor. She was very nearly killed during the season 1 invasion to the point where it couldn’t be faked. She may have the resolve to be willing to die for her cause but I don’t see this being the right answer.

Hagakure is one character I have long claimed to be the traitor ever since the “Deku choke S1 opening” theory. That said, the fact that she is so suspicious and constantly acts like a traitor makes it seem too obvious. Her power is already perfect for deception after all. I dunno, it just seems too straight forward but at the same time I would have no qualms about her being the traitor. She is an excellent runner up.

No, it has to be Uravity. It just makes the most sense. She has a clear motive which is the fact that she needs money for her parents badly. Being a hero doesn’t pay incredibly well and while the spinoff MHA Smash plays this off as comedy, she is quite desperate for it. It could be as simple as the League of Villains telling her they will pay her for some intel. They’d let her know they weren’t going to directly hurt Deku and she would be on board.

I don’t see Uravity being a totally evil, mustache twirling villain but a traitor who was manipulated. She badly needed money and wasn’t able to get it legitimately so she faltered and joined the group. Ultimately that’s why she’s my pick as the traitor. It will also be the ultimate gut punch to Deku and his enthusiasm towards being a hero. It’s hard to just get up after experiencing something like that.

So that’s my answer here. Uravity is the traitor.

She just ticks off the most boxes and that would be a pretty hype way to start closing out the series or at least this part in the timeline before the next time skip. Taken with the right context her last quote there could sound rather ominous as well. Only time will tell but if we’re going to do a traitor twist I think it has to be in the current manga arc so hopefully that’s not too far from now.

What are the Top 20 best Manga Series?


Originally this was just going to be a Top 10 list but there are so many great titles that I ended up expanding this to 20. Sure, you could just keep expanding it until it’s a Top 100 but that’s a lot tougher to pull off although it would make for a fun article. In this list I’m really just thinking about series so you have to be at least 2 volumes long. One Shots don’t count although I doubt I would have any this far up either way.

I’ve read close to 500 different manga titles but of course hidden among those are a bunch of one shots. In terms of series I’m not sure how many I have read although I expect it should be around 300 or so. My favorite manga genre tends to be action, but I’ll enjoy a great sport or mystery title as well. There’s usually something to be enjoyed in most titles. Most being the key word of course because when you have a series called Go Go Monster that bores you to tears then you have a problem….

Before getting into the Top 20 titles I’m going to give out some honorary mentions.

Best Harem: Nisekoi They say there is a gem in every genre and I suppose that is true. The very concept of a Harem usually leads to disaster so I wouldn’t say there’s a great track record here but Nisekoi pulled it off. In part I would say this is due to the fact that the main character actually has a backbone and isn’t just playing the field the whole time. Ultimately he has to make a choice and does this without any fake outs or cop outs. The art is really solid and I would say almost every character got a satisfying resolution.

Start of the Road: Dragon Drive

This is here simply for being one of the very first manga titles I ever read. I would say it was the first long running title I read for a series I was unfamiliar with. In a lot of ways you could say this is the title that really got me into manga as a medium so it will always be a very fun manga title to read. It’s nowhere close to the top 20 to be honest but still worth putting some respect on its name.

Best Mystery: Detective Conan

Spiral is right up there though and if you count Death Note then that is technically above Conan but I consider it to be more of a thriller since we know who the villain is. Conan’s had a very impressive run over the years as it’s even longer than One Piece. While it would be nice if the plot could move forward a bit quicker, each mystery is always a blast so you can’t really fault it. This one couldn’t crack the top 20 but as King of its genre it’s definitely worth a mention.

Generally strong titles that missed out
Kuroko’s Basketball
Beelzebub
Medaka Box
Nura Rise of the Yokai Clan


These three don’t own their categories or anything but they were the 3 titles left over when I was constructing my Top 20. I guess that’s not to say they are necessarily numbers 21-24 but at least they were top of mind. Kuroko’s Basketball brought a new intensity to the sport genre that was only previously seen in Prince of Tennis. The story arcs were excellent and if anything it’s just a shame that it couldn’t be longer. From all of the sport titles it probably has the most complete cast on a team. Yes, that’s even including Prince of Tennis.

Beelzebub is one of those titles that had a very shaky beginning but only kept getting better and better as it went on. I could have done without some of the crude humor with the baby and that’s really what keeps it from being a little higher. Still, it was a tremendous action series that had a very impressive run. Nothing can ever take that away from it.

Then you have Medaka Box. It’s only issue is that the fanservice could be a bit excessive at times, otherwise this would be a lock for the Top 20. It had a very colorful cast of characters and strategies in the fights that could even match Hunter X Hunter. The power scaling of the series was also very unique with how it would go up and down with the gifted and the unlucky. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages. It’s a shame that it never got a full anime version.


Nura was really impressive when reading it. The main character’s journey is similar to Yugi/Tsuna’s in many respects and he also has to deal with living in a demon gang. There’s a lot of great action here and all of the super forms are really done right. The fact that you have 3 generations of Nura fighting out here made for a great climax so this was a really high ranking action title.

Now these are honorary mentions for titles that are still going and could realistically make the Top 20. After all, as long as you live you have a shot right? That said, some are more realistic than others. Take Black Butler for example.

The only top ranking this horrific series has a chance of reaching is the title of worst manga of all time and Black Bird would have a lot to say on that. Birds of a feather flock together and all that right? Ah man, those titles are so bad….

sooooo…baaaaaadddddddd-Anyway lets go on to the ongoings that are quite solid and should have a bright future ahead of them.

Dragon Ball Super

The original Dragon Ball Z made it to the top 20 so there is already a precident for this. Ultimately since the manga would fall behind the show at times, Super hasn’t been as consistent as it could have been with arcs like the Tournament of Power being abridged. That said, the Moro arc was quite solid and the Granola arc is off to a great start. If this one can just keep going on a consistent level it’s certainly possible for it to achieve such a high status. I don’t see it ending anytime soon either so it will have a lot of opportunities.

Boruto

I wouldn’t say Boruto’s chances are as good as Dragon Ball Super’s since it will need a little more time and has more ground to cover. That said, when we do have action scenes they have held up quite well. Bortuo is starting to get quite high tier with the power scaling so we definitely can’t count it out. What would really be nice is if Sasuke and Naruto could de age or something but even without that there is a lot that the series can do.

Twin Star Exorcist

I hesitated about putting this one in because the series seems to be in its final arc. If so, there is really no time to jump high enough to make it to the top 20. I would say what it has going for it is that it might be one of the very closest to make it to the top. The artwork is one of the best for any ongoing series right now and I continue to be impressed at those fight scenes. If it can survive for another arc it could really pull this off but unfortunately I do see the end goal in sight.

Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen is the next big Shounen Jump title. As this point it is quickly gaining ground on its seniors within the magazine and you could say as soon as one of the Big 3 end, (Black Clover, My Hero Academia, and One Piece) that it will automatically assume the vacant spot. It’s a lot newer than the others though so it’s really just a matter of time for this one to start climbing up the ranks. This series shouldn’t be anywhere near its end so there’s no rush.

My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia is certainly a big title and it’s just entered a critical arc. Right now the forest arc is still my favorite in the series but this one is hitting the right notes. I am certainly on board with Deku’s character arc as I would say he is easily at the best he has ever been. While there are theories that this could be the final arc of the series I’m going to bank on this being the end of “Part 1” as the next part follows Deku as the world’s number 1 Hero. There’s a lot of ways this can go though so we just have to watch out.

One Piece

I know this one’s a long shot but the fact that One Piece is so long just means you really need to put it here. After all, I would say on average One Piece is a very good series that has had its moments of greatness. It was never able to be as consistent as Naruto or Bleach but it is still going which is a feat in itself. Additionally, if it’s true that we’ve barely just passed the halfway point of Wano then it doesn’t matter that the series may only have 1-2 arcs left because it’ll still be on going for years.

With the honorary mentions out of the way it’s finally time to stop and take a look at the Top 20. These are the cream of the crop. The ultimate titles that reign atop the food chain of the entire manga Kingdom. Out of the 20 on the list, 6 are still ongoing so who knows how much higher they can rise. Or of course they can do the unthinkable and crash but that’s fairly rare. Most series I would say end on a high note or at the very least even if it’s not the best arc, it’s one that is comparable to the rest. So lets dive in!

20. Saint Seiya

Saint Seiya is a manga as old as time and you can tell that to an extent. The art has an old look to it and the arcs tend to have the same story beats over and over like a classic superhero comic. (Check out the ole JL Archives and you’ll see how each story has them split up into 5 teams to beat their enemies and return) Saint Seiya doesn’t change things up a whole lot but it doesn’t really need to. The core premise is exceptional and the fights never hold back. Why change something if it isn’t broken right? That’s Saint Seiya’s methodology and it works.
19. Hunter X Hunter

It’s always crazy to think that without hiatuses Hunter X Hunter could be around One Piece’s length right now. Well, no time for What Ifs, when the manga exited we were in the middle of a great arc. The boat trip could even become the best arc in the series due to how almost literally every big character has found their way onto it. Hopefully this series returns someday because things were going really well.
18. Naruto

Naruto is one of those series where I mostly remember Part 1 through the anime as I didn’t get serious on the manga until Part 2. It’s a very nostalgic series and one that really brought the hear ton the Big 3. (One Piece had the popularity, Bleach had the skill, and Naruto brought the emotional punch) It’s just a very solid all around series that makes for a great first recommendation to any manga fan.
17. Death Note

Now this series takes me back. Light was easily one of the most ambitious main characters of all time. A mass murderer psychopath as the main character? It was very interesting and made you ask a lot of tough questions. It was the first big battle of wits manga that I read and it holds up extremely well. Light’s battle against L had to be one of the most impactful moments across just about any series.
16. Rurouni Kenshin

Kenshin made for a fairly unique main character as he was already older when the series first starts. He doesn’t take a lot of joy in fighting the way that most characters do and really does it out of necessity. The art here was top notch and while I usually do not care for the past as a time setting, this series pulled it off.
15. Prince of Tennis

Okay so the image is from the sequel but it was too cool not to pick. Prince of Tennis is the definitive sports title across all of manga and has never relinquished the throne. Part of why I got into Tennis is likely due to this manga’s influence. It’s a shame that the sequel hasn’t gotten big in America yet but this is a title I could easily recommend to anyone.
14. Kaguya-Sama Love is War

Kaguya-Sama may look out of place next to the others here since it’s a psychological romantic comedy. It’s quite unique and I still recall thinking it was a series about vampires after seeing the iconic volume 1 cover. Still, it’s ended up being one of the ultimate manga titles out there and has continued to rise. It’s one of only 3 series that have ever caused me to binge into the wee hours of the night when I would usually be asleep. (Tower of God and RWBY the animated series are the only other two) What really makes this title stand apart is the fantastic writing and its unique look into the power dynamics of a romance.
13. Beet

Beet is in a similar boat to Hunter X Hunter where it would be even bigger if not for the hiatuses. The artwork was stunning and the series was preparing for a DBZ type adventure. I would still consider it an elite but due to how abruptly it stopped I can see why a lot of people would avoid it. Hopefully the continuation gets big soon so everyone can really relive the adventure.
12. Black Cat

Black Cat was at one point in my literal #1 position for all of manga. Of course I read it a long time ago before most of the other titles so it was natural that others would show up. Still, Black Cat is still notable for having one of the best romances in the entire medium as well as having a top tier main character. Train Heartnet has a lot of style and the manga did a good job of always ramping up the stakes.
11. Yu Yu Hakusho

This one was very close to making the top 10. It was a tough fight but it just barely loses out to the next one. Yu Yu Hakusho has a ton of amazing action and characters. It ended up getting an anime that was so amazing that even the manga couldn’t keep up. Hakusho will always be known as a top tier contender regardless though and if any series above it end up slipping this one will be right there to take their spot.
10. Gamaran

Gamaran was never formally licensed in America so it was unable to get as popular as it should. Think of it like Kenshin only with whole schools of swordsmen fighting each other. The fights are crazy and while the abilities are mainly grounded the manga isn’t afraid to give them superhuman feats all the time. It has a certain intensity that very few titles can match.
9. Black Clover

At this point it’s easy to see why a lot of people call it GOAT Clover. Black Clover is just amazing in that it burst out of the gate as an amazing series. A lot of titles need some time to pick up but this one was superb from Volume 1. A good amount of credit for that goes to Asta as he is such a likable guy. Part of what makes him shine is the fact that he never gave up on working out and training his body even though he didn’t get magic. He didn’t let the unfairness of the world drag him down and just kept on fighting until he became a member of the Black Bulls. Hopefully this title doesn’t end any time soon.
8. Liar Game

I had to debate with myself a while on if this should really be ahead of Black Clover. It’s close but I would give it the slight edge. Mainly what helps it win out is that I just love analytical series like this. Each game causes you to think a lot on what the right strategy is. The best part is that the series never cheats. You can really get the answers yourself but it is incredibly difficult. The writing here is phenomenal so you will be sucked in to each event.
7. Reborn!

Reborn probably has some of the best fight scenes in all of manga. That’s a good part of why the series is ranked so highly. It’s also versatile as the manga initially started out as a full comedy which was very humorous and then seamlessly turned into a battle manga. This showed that the author was able to handle each genre which is very impressive. This is a series you do not want to forget.
6. Dragon Ball Z

The original Shounen Jump legend! Dragon Ball Z is one of those huge franchises that everyone knows about and that’s because it is just so good. The series has no weaknesses and the art style is simple but extremely effective. The fights are easy to follow and the story is a lot of fun. It really came into its own during the Android Saga and never looked back. The series also has a ton of replay value since it’s so easy to read.
5. Bleach

Bleach is one of the most intense action series I’ve ever read. While a lot of people didn’t like the final arc I was definitely on board with it. The series just kept escalating everything higher and higher until it just ended. Now I will say that parts of the ending are a little on the rushed side but there was definitely a lot to wrap up. All in all I would say it did a fantastic job and Ichigo is such an awesome main character. The experience wouldn’t be the same without him.
4. Yugioh Duelist

Out of all the Yugioh titles this one stands head and shoulders above the rest. The Battle City Arc is iconic because it brought in the best duelists in the world and made for a lot of great duels. Kaiba and Yami’s rivalry can hold its own with any other pairing out there. Both of them will never surrender or give up. Mix that in with the sheer enjoyment of Duel Monsters as well as the excellent art and you have a top contender.
3. Tower of God

Yeah technically this is a Manhua but that’s close enough. Besides which I haven’t read enough of those for it to be a different category. Now this was fun to marathon though as there are around 500 chapters in the series and each one is monthly sized. If it ever got a physical release I wonder how many volumes that would be. Seems to be like it would possibly even reach 100 already. Everything about this title is just absolutely top tier. The artwork is amazing and the cast of characters is next level. You’ll be sucked into the various story lines and the general lore that surrounds it. I just couldn’t put this down and just kept going from chapter to chapter. If you like action and adventure then this is an absolute must read.
2. One Punch Man

One Punch Man has hands down the greatest artwork of all time. It’s incredible how realistic everything looks and not in an overly detailed/gritty kind of vibe. I’m talking in a detailed approach where it still feels like DBZ but with a ton of extra elements. Each page you can pause and use as a background because of how HD it is. Every 2 weeks you really look forward to seeing what the next update will bring.
1. Megaman NT Warrior

Now we’re at the ultimate manga. The appearance of Bass EXE, the greatest character of all time. It’s no secret how incredible I’d say this guy is. The series has top tier art as well with all of the fights and the author had a clear understanding of what makes for a good action series. Each story arc kept on getting more and more interesting with all of the characters mixing things up and getting in on the action. If you think Megaman is for kids or isn’t a strong verse then you definitely need to check this one out.

And there you have it, that’s my Top 20 manga of all time! With so many ongoing series and tons of completed ones I have yet to read, I’m sure the list will remain rather dynamic. Some more than others of course as the Top 10 likely wouldn’t change much but titles beyond that would probably move a lot more. Nothing beats the feeling of discovering a new manga title that is top tier after all. We’ll see which is the next one to break out! Who knows, maybe it’ll be that Kaiju No. 8 everyone’s talking about.

Which Anime/Studio has the best animation?

It’s been a little while since I did my last editorial so it’s time to finally get back with it. I’ve had this one in drafts for a bit. Animation is certainly a critical aspect for any show you’re watching. You can have the world’s best script but if the animation is terrible or sub par then it’s going to hurt the product. Likewise if an anime has stellar animation then even if the story and such isn’t great it can at least be visually exciting to watch. Some anime know how to make what would usually be standard dialogue really interesting with the visuals or general angle direction while others allow a show to just drag on. For example shows like Railgun and Dr. Stone have excellent direction while to this day I would say Naruto Shippuden’s is pretty weak where it actually succeeds in making parts of the war not very eventful.

I’ve broken this down into a few categories though to tackle some of the nuance for animation. In general I consider hand drawn to be the absolute best. When in doubt always go for traditional hand drawn because you can’t go wrong there. The next tier would be CGI. CGI is at its best when it is supporting hand drawn such as the auras in Dragon Ball Super or many of the attacks in Fate Stay Night. When you blend it together it can look amazing but when the whole show is CGI…it usually can’t keep to the same standard. Your final resort is flash animation. You’re very limited with this style but of course that makes it all the more impressive when you can nail down a good fight. Teen Titans Go for example is a show that manages to have a good fight once in a blue moon. Don’t even get me started on claymation or such for a show though. Let’s….just not.

Best looking anime: One Punch Man

While this is a pretty easy pick for me it’s fairly relative. I would consider shows like Fate Stay Night, Sword Art Online, and Railgun to also be at a really high level like this. Part of what helps One Punch though is that it’s only 12 episodes though and each episode is just at such an insanely high level. Madhouse deserves the props for this one. They grabbed a whole lot of talent for this show and it really shows. Whether you pick a fight like Genos vs Saitama, Boros vs Saitama, or really any fight in the season it looks incredible. It’s hard to see a show beating this one outright but animation is something that is always improving so I certainly would not count it out. For something like this that’s tech based there is always something ready to surpass you at any moment.

Best animation company: Ufotable

So when I’m talking best animation here, I’m thinking about what company comes to mind first when I’m thinking of a bunch of incredibly solid looking anime. Ufotable may not have nearly the extensive resume as other companies like Pierrot, Toei, and J.C. Staff but the shows/movies they do churn out tend to look amazing. Just look at Fate and Demon Slayer. They consistently make waves with how good looking the products are and they keep it up for the whole run. You can tune in to any episode of Fate and expect the same high quality animation. There are no episodes that look bad or off model. That’s very impressive. There’s always a lot of attention to detail so every little movement adds up and it flows together like very few anime can match.

Favorite animation company: Studio Pierrot

All right, so what do I mean by favorite? Well, Pierrot I would say is the strongest company. Not only do they have incredible animation but they do it for incredibly long running shows. Bleach, Yu Yu Hakusho, and then recently Black Clover are great examples of this. Sure, an individual level may not be able to quite reach Ufotable and it’s hard to take down One Punch from Madhouse, but the shows above are 12-26 episodes. These three shows from Pierrot are over 100 episodes and they look excellent. I know Clover gets a lot of shots fired for its animation for some reason but the fights tend to all be rather top tier. To date there’s only one big fight where I didn’t care for the animation and in that case they were experimenting with a different style that didn’t clique but it’s not like they got lazy or anything.

You can watch pretty much any Bleach fight right now and they all hold up amazingly. Yu Yu Hakusho’s fights still have a lot of impact to them and Black Clover has a lot of energy. This is why Pierrot’s always been my favorite company. They always turn up when they need to and I think it takes a special skillset to really handle these kinds of long running anime. It’s just very difficult and seeing as how these three are some of the best looking anime I’ve seen for 100+ titles then it stands to reason that Pierrot can make a case for being the best company. I won’t put them as the best, but they’re certainly my favorite.

Most up and down animation: J.C. Staff

I thought about Studio Deen for this one since they also get a lot of shots fired but I actually haven’t seen a whole lot from them. What I have seen (Original FSN and Orphen 2020) have been pretty solid. Particularly Orphen 2020 which had a lot of dynamic moments. So J.C. Staff would be my main pick for this one. Mainly because at their best when they have time they tend to churn out some phenomenal titles. I don’t think it’s even debatable that Railgun S and T look amazing. The first season was quality as well and to date I’ve always really liked the very first Railgun from the original Index season a lot. Then you have some of the more recent titles where they’ve had a bit of a tough time like parts of Index III, Accelerator, and One Punch Season 2. So the first gif I’ve attached is the big rematch with Accelerator while below is more of a low key fight from an earlier season. I would make the case that the fight below looks better despite the one above being a lot more important narrative-wise. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad looking fight per say, but it would get destroyed by pretty much every Railgun S/T battle when it should be able to compete with those. Especially considering a character like Accelerator who has so many cool abilities as part of the vectors.

In these cases I would say it’s less about animation being bad/off model and more about just taking a lot of animation shortcuts. For example, instead of animating a full jump, zooming out so the character appears far. Effectively using less animation to get the same visual across. It’s noticeable but it’s not necessarily going to look really bad. There are many companies you could choose for worse animation but J.C. seems to work well for range since at their best they can keep up with anyone and at their worst you feel like they’re taking on too much work. They do seem to be taking a bigger workload than the other companies though. Just compare their history to the other anime companies I’ve already listed. It’s a huge section to sift through.

Worst looking anime Pop Team Epic

Keep in mind of course and this applies to all categories but I’m only considering anime I’ve seen. I wouldn’t be surprised if something like Berserk would go under this. From what I’ve seen Pop Team deserves this almost hands down. The only show close to it would be FLCL which also looks awful. That first season is borderline unwatchable…I mean the same is true for the sequels but at least the animation got better in those. So Pop Team has to take this. The fact that there is a ton of reused footage in every single episode just further reinforces my point. The show needed the bare minimum of animation and it couldn’t even pull that off. Of course it’s a style choice but that can also just be an excuse to not animate a whole lot. The styles keep changing throughout and yet it looks awful episode after episode. When recommend anime to anyone I can tell you that this would probably be my last choice.

Best looking CGI show- RWBY

RWBY is totally computer generated and you know I had to include RWBY in somewhere here right? The fact that Rooster Teeth has made this show so effectively on what is considered a fairly low budget makes me wonder why every other company struggles so hard with CGI? Clearly anime know how to use it well when fusing it with hand drawn but why is it so hard when a show is completely CGI? I don’t get it. It shouldn’t be so hard. Maybe time consuming short term but in the long run since your character models can adapt to the animation paths it should save you time I don’t see why it can’t be polished more. RWBY continues to show us what true solid animation is and it allows me to keep on hoping that one day CGI shows will all be held to this bar.

So that’s my roster for best looking animation for shows/companies. As you can probably see from my selections I do really enjoy traditional looking anime a lot. A lot of times the more “unique” and out of the box anime don’t work quite as well. Additionally I like striking colors. It’s why you probably wouldn’t see a lot of the more mainstream theater films making the list. For example movies like Your Name or even Digimon Tri tend to go for a more washed out look so there’s less color. Compare that to the show version like the original Digimon Adventure or Pokemon and the color is basically exploding off of the screen. More color is always a good thing and if you throw that in with seamless animation and colorful special abilities then you’re really in business. For that reason action shows will always have an edge over other titles because there is more that you can do to show off the animation. By that token in theory it should also be easier to see if a show is low budget though so high risk high reward. It’ll be interesting to see if any of the winners for the various categories change over the years but right now they all have a pretty strong position in the rankings.

7 traits that make for a bad villain


I’ve written editorials on what makes for a good hero and what makes for a good villain. Now we’re going to look at what are traits you want your villains to avoid. These can turn you into a bad villain. Now there are really two kinds of villains. Ones who are meant to be taken seriously like Lex Luthor or Frieza and then there are the fun ones like Dr. Cortex or Drakken. The criteria for these villains can be quite different. In this editorial I’m mainly talking about serious villains to consider that in mind as I bring up the following points. Characters are quite layered so just because you may have some of these traits does not mean you are automatically a bad villain. However you do want to typically avoid these.

1. “I want to marry the princess!”

This is a huge one. In general what I’m talking about here is a villain’s motive. It can’t be something so superficial like this. Villains like Jafar from Aladdin or Claude from The Hunchback of Notre Dame come to mind. When a villain’s motive is like this it immediately makes it hard to take them seriously or even find them likable. I’m focusing more on the negative aspect of the motive here as I’ve already spoken at length about what a good motive is on the last editorial. Your motive just can’t be so petty/shallow. Another variation of this would be something like just being super evil for no reason. You can just be evil like wanting to destroy the world or something. That’s pretty legit but if you’re just torturing heroes and stabbing guys for no reason then it comes across as unnecessarily edgy.

2. The villain’s insane for a purpose that isn’t compelling

Insanity in small doses or even large doses can make for interesting villains. Look at Joker, he’s a pretty iconic villain who is insane in all the right ways. His rants actually have a purpose to them and while he is crazy, he still has general goals that you can find pretty interesting like tearing down society to prove that anyone can crack at any time. Now, he’s been through so many writers that this can vary but for the most part it’s good. Then you have a villain like Toga who is insane but not in a cool way. Her fascination with Deku is definitely quite out there and she doesn’t seem to quite understand why it’s so odd. Her origin story shows that she has been like this for a very long time. So to be most accurate, it’s not that being insane is automatically a negative trait but it tends to backfire so you want to be careful about it. Being insanely after another character like this is not the motivation you want for your villain.

3. The villain acts very subserviently to another

This is a big no no. You absolutely can’t grovel to another villain or constantly ask for forgiveness. This is a really easy way to make yourself a joke when it comes to big time villains. Whether you’re the big boss or a henchman you have to conduct yourself with a certain amount of class and decorum. You can’t go around being scared of the others. In some cases a villain might even allow himself to get beaten up by the others. Leo Lionheart is an example of a villain who is constantly pandering to his bosses. He spends his entire screen time being absolutely terrified of Salem and her crew. there’s no way to find a villain like this particularly likable. He’s just not made of the right stuff and this kind of groveling and terror is an immediate turnoff. Should have at least made a break for it.

4. The villain has a grotesque design

Now design is something that’s important for any character so this is a bit of an easy one. Particularly for villains sometimes you want to have a villain who is super deformed or grotesque to add to the fear factor but it’s not a good idea. For one thing, having that many scars means that people have been beating you up for ages or if it’s just too crazy then it’s going to be hard to look at the villain as it is. Freddy Krueger is the perfect example of this. It’s a grotesque design for sure and hurts his chances of being likable. I mean, he’s got a ton going in the wrong way for him so he was never close as it is but this does not help his case in the slightest. Mojo is a character who had more potential. At the very least he has a lot of fun lines and the guy can fight pretty well. It is hard to get past his design and mannerisms at times though. If they tone that down a bit he could become one of the all time greats.

5. The villain is fairly mindless

A villain needs to have an amazing design to make this work. Otherwise if you’re a mindless villain it’s going to really be hard to be likable at all. When you’re just a giant villain who can’t talk or act then are you even a character or just an obstacle? That’s the question you have to ask for someone like the Impure King from Blue Exorcist. It’s hard to find him likable or even that interesting. He just stands around as the heroes slash away at him until he is burned into nothing. He had a great intro but didn’t do anything with it. You can’t have a villain like this or at least you should try to avoid it. The same goes for villains who are usually smart but suddenly turn into a power type and lose all of their intelligence, it’s just not a good idea.

6. The villain throws a lot of pity parties

Whenever a villain starts to try and blame everyone for the mess he’s caused then this really won’t work out well. One big example of this is Reiner from Attack on Titan. Bear in mind that Reiner is directly responsible for murdering countless people during the Titan attacks. He tries to justify this many different ways and one of which is by trying to say that he didn’t even have a choice. He has a crazy speech against Eren to which Eren points out that the whole thing is ludicrous. It was a pretty hype scene but didn’t do anything for Reiner. His character starts to go downhill fast from this point. You absolutely cannot have the villain feeling bad for himself. It’s not going to end well. Villains need confidence and conviction to go through with their plans. Now, Reiner was caught up in a tough situation and he made a choice. It’s better to make a choice than not to do anything but then he’s got to live with it and can’t garner any sympathy from anyone.

7. The villain suddenly decides he doesn’t want to go through with the plan

This is a classic for minions or even big bosses They’ll do all kinds of evil things throughout a series but then suddenly they have second thoughts about the whole thing. “Maybe we’re going too far” or something like that when they’ve been totally on board the whole time. It always seems rather sudden and just out of character. You can also just call it chickening out. It’s different from having an honor code where you have some things that you’ll just never do. Backing out of a plan where you fully knew what it entailed is something else entirely. In this case with Emma from Godzilla, it’s just that she didn’t think things through. It’s almost worse when you think about it because she was so confident in her plan initially. Just listen to her plan. It made no sense and the start and it doesn’t make any sense now.


So these are my top 7 traits to avoid. Naturally there are others like just making sure your villain isn’t a creep like Nobuyuki from Sword Art Online but if you avoid these 7 traits you’re definitely in a really good position to go places. Naturally for there to be great villains you’re bound to run into run of the mill villains or even downright bad ones. It’s just the way things work but the more good villains the better right? It’s always interesting dissecting what makes a character interesting or unlikable like this. I’d say it’s more fun writing about the best ones though but you gotta see both sides of the coin. That means the final editorial in this series will be about what makes for a bad Hero but that’s not til December. In November the monthly editorial will be a simpler one about how I score media. What does a 7/10 mean to me and how do you achieve that? Look forward to that editorial next month!

10 Things that need to happen in RWBY Volume 8


Volume 8 of RWBY is quickly approaching and that means it is almost time for us to witness some epic fights and plot threads. The series has continued to excel with each passing season. Personally Volume 3 is still my favorite one but 7 rose all the way up to my second favorite. The series has been on a steady uphill trend ever since Volume 5. 4 was a bit of a low point for the series with all of the exposition and lack of action but we’ve gone away from that pretty well. That said, Volume 8 can’t let its guard down and I expect it to still give me 100% effort with every scene. Here are 10 things that needs to happen with this upcoming volume.

1. Salem needs to have an onscreen fight scene

I’d like this to be done along with an onscreen invasion from her forces. If we were to suddenly timeskip away from this that would be a really awful decision.n I trust that the series won’t do this though. What I’m more concerned about is Salem actually having a fight. We’re 8 volumes in now, at this point we need a legitimate reason to fear her. A no holds barred fight scene with someone would be the perfect way to illustrate Salem’s power. She has a great design and based on the abilities that the two gods had I’m sure we can expect great things out of her. I’d place my bets on her either taking down Cinder or Ironwood in the next volume. Either fight would be pretty hype to see although Cinder would have more of an impact since she is so much stronger than Ironwood.

2. Finally get the full backstory for Summer

We’ve been teased with what happened to Summer for quite a while now. I think this is a good time for us to finally learn exactly what happened to her. It would be a good way to finish off Ozpin’s plot as well where he is always shady and nobody can trust him. By learning her past that should seal his final questionable moments away with ease. We’ll then have a leader that the team can rally behind although if I was team RWBY I still wouldn’t trust him. At this point Ruby has proven that she is more than capable of leading the team on her own.

3. It’s time for Raven to return.

While Raven’s return could spell the end of her character as I don’t see her living through many more fights, she needs to return at this point. I want to see her choose a side and then weigh in on the battles. She could make for a great third party like Ironwood if she chooses to fight for herself although I’m expecting her to aid the heroes. Salem taking Raven down would be a good way to build up her hype. I don’t see a Raven vs Cinder rematch and otherwise Raven should be able to easily defeat most of the other villains. Maiden abilities are on a league of their own after all with very few characters even being close.

4. 1 villain should be taken out of the picture

It’s fair to say that the series will still keep on going for a while from here on out. Supposedly the series will run for 12 volumes but that quote was a long time ago so things certainly could have changed. That being said, I think it’s about time we take down a villain. It seems like we haven’t had a major villain go down since Adam in Volume 6 and he was a third party. If we’re talking about one of the villains from Salem’s unit then that’s all the way back in Volume 3. Last volume missed its chance to take Watts out of the picture by arresting him but I think the heroes need to start whittling down the numbers. The fewer active members you have running around, the more we can focus on the final few big fights.

5. Time to get an update on Vale

Last we saw, Glenda was rebuilding the city after the destruction during Volume 3. It’s been a long time since then and she should have the place built up pretty well by now. In that case, it’s time for the crew to rejoin the battle. The heroes have made it clear that Atlas is really one of the last safe havens on the planet. If it goes down then humanity is really on the brink. It’ll take time to get there but it would be perfect to have the reinforcements appear near the end. Coco and her team are professionals so I’m sure they could deal some damage. If the heroes lose here that would make for some interesting plot points but I would like to see what Vale’s doing right about now.

6. Ironwood can’t do a 180

Ironwood’s made his controversial choice. He’s chosen to save Atlas and abandon the people beneath him. He believes there is no way to save everyone and is doing what he thinks is best, even if it’s taken him down a dark road. Now that he has made his choice, I don’t want to suddenly see him agree with Ruby and turn this whole thing around. It’s just too late for that, especially after shooting Oscar. Ironwood’s made his choice and for his character to have a proper ending he needs to stand by it and live with the consequences. He’s been a fantastic character throughout the series but last volume is really when he stood out. I am really looking forward to seeing what he does next and I’m hoping he gets a replacement arm so he can get a proper final fight.

7. Yang vs Neo rematch

Yang and Mercury need a proper rematch as well but they had a brief skirmish in volume 5 which will have to do. At this point I’m more interested in seeing her take on Neo. Neo was exceptionally powerful in all of her fights so far and has appeared to be pretty much untouchable. However, Yang’s grown far more skilled as time has went on. Now that she has her confidence back it would be an ideal time for these two to trade blows once more. If Yang were to win now I think that would be a pretty fair victory since she will be fighting a lot smarter now. I would be fine with either fighter winning. I’d say Neo has the edge but I could believe it either way.

8. Qrow needs to break out of jail and take the fight to the villains.

It’s no secret that Qrow’s had a very rough last few volumes. He got heavily nerfed in Volume 5, looked really bad in Volume 6, and was finally starting to do a little better last volume before everything went sideways. He did what he had to in the fight and I blame the leader of AceOps for everything that happened with Tyrian. While I’m not sure if we will really get a 4th Qrow vs Tyrian fight (We honestly don’t need one. I think almost any other matchup would be more interesting at this point) I’d like to see Qrow go on the attack. Maybe have him go right up to Salem and attack. Such a move may mean his end but he should be fighting with a vengeance at this point.

9. Make Jaune’s team relevant

Without Pyrrha around his team have gotten completely surpassed in every possible way against Team RWBY. None of them are all that powerful. Any member of RWBY would have a solid chance of taken down their entire team. Only Blake may have trouble and I still think she could probably pull it off. So whether it’s through a power up or teamwork, I need them to do something here. We’ve got a few plots to think about here. Jaune might want to do what he can to save Ruby so a team up could be fun. Ren’s been pretty mixed on the strategy the heroes are doing right now so him defecting to Ironwood could be interesting. Nora’s also trying to keep Ren with her so there could be a rift there soon. Pick a plot and then make it interesting.

10. No off screen fights

I’m sure the series learned its lesson from Volume 5 but I want to see all of these fights. You can skip skirmishes with the Grimm and all but otherwise I really want to see these characters mixing it up. Volume 8 should be the next Volume 3 in terms of how action packed it is. The writers said the whole volume takes place over the span of 2-3 days I believe so that hints that a lot is going on. The volume should be pretty nonstop with the intensity and cutting out a fight would wreck the flow.

So long as the volume has all 10 of these areas in play I don’t think we’ll be seeing any problems here. I’ve got some pretty high hopes for the volume and can’t wait til we’re finally in October. A lot is going to happen here and maybe we’ll even see the return of Adam. I didn’t include that as one of the top 10 things that needs to happen because odds are that it won’t, but personally I think that would be a good move. He’s still one of the most intimidating villains out there and has definitely earned his reputation.

RWBY Volume 7 Song Rankings


It’s time to look at the songs from the new RWBY soundtrack that came out. In particular I am ranking the 9 new lyrical songs and won’t be counting the remixes from previous volumes. I’ll rank them from last to first as we see where they all stack up. The 1st and second place entries are quite easy and then after that is when it’s time for some serious thought. I can definitely say right now that the series continues to have an absolutely stellar soundtrack. You’d be hard pressed to find anything that even comes close to this in another title. This volume’s probably got one of the happiest overall soundtracks compared to the others I suppose reflecting the hope found here. I think the theme of the volume was supposed to be Hope unless I’m thinking of the last one. Either way that makes sense. All of the songs below can be found on Youtube or any other CD as well as for purchase online. I’ve attached a link next to the top ranked song where you can listen to them online.

9. Let’s Get Real

I have to say that the very beginning of this song feels like something out of Megaman. I like the quick techno strum there. After that this song slows down quite a bit though and definitely isn’t really my style. I like the overall aesthetic of the song but it’s not going to stop this one from bringing in the last spot on the list. Speed up the tempo and I think this song will rank a little higher though.

8. Celebrate

Well, we’ve definitely got another party tune showing up here. It’s definitely the kind of song you’d expect to hear at the disco. That said, it’s the kind of song that doesn’t sound as good outside of that context. It will be good for a play or two but next to the songs coming up it definitely can’t stack up well enough. When I’m celebrating I’ll probably be playing a song closer to the top 2 coming up. Still, with the more party feel of this soundtrack that should help for when playing the soundtrack at parties.

7. Brand New Day

This is probably one of the weakest of the group for me. It’s more loud than catchy. It’s going for more of a party feel but one that doesn’t gel as smoothly as the rest of the songs. This is one of the tunes that I wouldn’t really be listening to all that often. Still, it’s not as if it means the song’s that bad. It’s not able to keep up with the others but it’s still a pretty decent song in its own right.

6. Touch The Sky

This is definitely one of the happier songs we’ve got in RWBY. It shows that the team is finally back together and having a good time. That’s good because it’s been a little bit since they were able to just have fun. It’s got a nice beat to it. I don’t see this becoming one of the more popular songs down the road or one that I will have on loop for very long but it’s a solid inspirational song. You don’t want everything to be super rock….well I wouldn’t mind, but most people want some variety and this song does a good job of providing that.

5. Until The End

This is a very somber song. In some ways it may be the most somber one in the series because it never transitions into Rock the way that a lot of the others do. It’s just a song that doesn’t leave the heroes full of hope afterwards as things don’t look like they’re about to get better. Regardless I thought it was executed pretty well. I’m usually more of a fast paced song kind of guy but when it’s a sad song then that can absolutely work without a fast tempo.

4. Trust Love

It’s time for the opening of the Volume. My favorite intro of all time is still the very first one but the series has always been pretty good with these. I’d put this song in the top half of the new ones. It’s definitely very fast and also nostalgic to an extent because I’ve heard the song very often while watching the episodes. This is not one that you want to skip when starting the episodes.

3. Fear

This is definitely a pretty intense theme and one that’s fitting for Salem’s return. She’s only had two themes now but between this and Divide they’re definitely both incredible. It really shows how Salem gets into the heads of her opponents. One line is about “Who will you see in the dark when you’re all alone” and quite a few of the characters likely see Salem. It’s why betraying her would be pretty much unthinkable and why the heroes fear her so greatly. I am looking forward to seeing her live up to the hype in the next volume. At this point you can’t really be satisfied with anything less than her completely overwhelming the heroes. This is the perfect time for her to prove her power once and for all.

2. Hero

This is one song that I think loses a bit of the intensity from the full version. The opening lyrics are going for a very emotional/sad kind of tune. Still, once we get to the good part of the song it rocks on from start to finish. It was a great song and does a good job of depicting the self sacrifice Ironwood was able to go through to accomplish his mission. Being a hero is often a lot harder than it looks and is often not a glamorous task. You gotta be ready to not be very popular at times and it can be very easy to lose perspective and become like the villains you work on stopping.

1. War
Click here for the song
This is easily the best song and it’s not even close. I remember being shell shocked when it shows up in part because it shows up with the greatest fight in the entire series. I do wish we could have kept part of the intro music for that scene but I suppose it’s technically a different part of the OST for that. Either way it’s a powerful song about thinking someone was your friend and trusting them, only to be betrayed in the end. I know hero vs hero fights may get a lot of critiques, but that’s why I love the concept. Unlike a hero vs villain fight where you’re clearly meant to root for one team who is in the right, a matchup like this is interesting because both sides are doing what they believe is the correct decision.

In a logical sense AceOps has some points here. The heroes were already being overrun by a bunch of normal Grimm who were being summoned. Salem is on her way with an army many times larger than that. It seems unlikely that the heroes can last for long and they allegedly don’t have enough time to evacuate everyone either. Thus, their decision to leave and save who they can makes some sense. It also doesn’t help that Team RWBY’s leader burst into tears right when Salem showed up and mentioned her mother. There’s nothing more soul crushing for a team than to have their leader drop out just like that.

Of course Team RWBY is ultimately in the right here because you should never sacrifice anyone. If they die then at least they die together as opposed to just some people managing to survive this round. If you had to throw a lot of people away in order to survive then it’s just not worth it. The song talks about never trusting someone again and after being betrayed like that it would definitely be hard to make new friends. It takes a long time to trust someone but only an instant to lose that for good.

So, that’s definitely my top song and it concludes the rankings for Volume 7. I look forward to seeing what songs we get in the next volume since there are always some real All Stars in every volume. It’s going to be very hard to top this one though. Of course, there’s usually a song in every volume that makes me feel the same way. The series is just always ready to hit the next level.