Gia's List: Anime's 7 Most Destructive Heroesby Gia Manry, Jul 7th 2012
Sure, these heroes may sometimes destroy a building here or there, or maybe a city block. Or maybe an entire city. But it's all in the name of saving lives and catching the bad guy, right? And if some of them don't pay for the damages or help out at all with the repairs, well, that's just because they had to get back to being heroic.
7. Kotetsu T. Kaburagi (Tiger & Bunny)
Kotetsu T. Kaburagi, a.k.a. Wild Tiger, may be a superhero, but he's not famous for keeping his short-term but very super powers in check. In fact, that's part of his entertainment value on the hero reality television show he appears on: what crazy stunt will Wild Tiger pull next? Unfortunately, audiences tire of his antics as he ages, and his sponsor— who foots the bill for all the damages he may cause in the city —is finding him to be less and less profitable as a spokesman / product placement opportunity. And those damages are no small amount; Wild Tiger's nickname is "Crusher for Justice" because he tends to smash things to pieces in the name of saving people or catching the bad guy.
6. Ed Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Sure, he's always up for cleaning or repairing (especially using his alchemical powers) after the fact, but in the heat of the moment, Ed doesn't spend a lot of time worrying about what buildings he's destroying or what he might be setting on fire. Added to this is the fact that by virtue of alchemy's rule of equivalent exchange— i.e. everything he makes comes from something else —Ed is literally destroying or drastically altering something every time he uses his alchemy to make a dramatic escape, catch a bad guy, or help someone. Like, you know...making giant spikes shoot up out of the floor, or a giant wall made of earth coming out of the ground. At one point in the series, Ed fights Roy Mustang, which is great...until they wind up having to clean up all of the damage they caused.
5. Train and Sven (Black Cat)
Being a bounty hunter (or "Sweeper") is hard work. It's tough to catch the bad guys, you have to make sure you've got all your supplies (living expenses, ammunition, car fuel, etc.) before you can make any money, and sometimes the bad guys are absolutely creeptacular. It's especially tough when you're Train Heartnet and Sven Vollfield, because a major portion of any bounty you bring in winds up going right back out to repair or rebuild all of the things you've destroyed while attempting to catch a single bad guy. It doesn't help that Train is one of those guys who is always hungry and could probably literally eat an entire horse in one sitting, so this dynamic duo is perpetually broke.
4. The Big O (The Big O)
Have you ever noticed that whenever Roger Smith's titular mech launches, the Big O leaves giant craters in its wake? Don't worry, no one else did either— maybe because of the city's unusual relationship with memories. That's just the beginning, though: the Big O occasionally does more damage fighting monsters than the monsters themselves were doing to begin with. Think the destruction of an entire city block...or two. In fact, at one point the manga features the bad guy's henchmen getting part-time jobs working in construction and repair, presumbaly fixing whatever city features the giant robot left in its wake during its last battle. Police Chief Dan Dastan may be the only person in the anime to truly acknowledge the damage.
3. The Lovely Angels (Dirty Pair)
Practically the definition of destructive heroes, Kei and Yuri are infamous throughout their entire world for being an unintentional demolition squad. The destruction is never really their fault— good thing, too, or they'd have lost their jobs a dozen times over —but somehow, more things seem to go "boom" when they're around. And sometimes that might be an entire city. But just because the computer that runs their department determines that the Angels aren't to blame for the destruction doesn't mean that the rest of the world doesn't fear and, in some cases, despise our gorgeous heroines. Especially their chief, who winds up having to handle all of the paperwork.
2. Lina Inverse (Slayers)
She's come up a few times of late: Lina Inverse, the easily-angered mistress of the intensely destructive Dragon Slave spell, which is thought of as a magical nuke. People recoil in horror at her name and, perhaps due to the series' comedic nature, repairing or recovering the buildings and/or entire towns that Lina leaves in her wake never seems to come up...maybe because most people either aren't alive to catch her, or are too charred to even try. Lina's destructive powers are only enhanced by the presence of her friends, even the most sane of whom never seems to be able to hold her back (and in some cases eggs her on).
1. Vash the Stampede (Trigun)
Ah, Vash: perhaps the only person, fictional or otherwise, to accumulate so enormous a bounty (60,000,000,000 "double-dollars") without ever actually committing a crime. No one seems to know exactly what Vash does, only that massive destruction follows wherever he goes...often because someone wants the bounty or holds a grudge against him and attacks. Turns out that Vash is scrupulous about never killing a single person, even the ones who are trying to kill him. Unfortunately, those people will still try to kill Vash if he doesn't find a way to stop them, and sometimes this results in massive shoot-outs, explosions, and other major property destruction. Known as the "Humanoid Typhoon," Vash never gets to make up for the destruction he causes, probably because he gets run out of town before he can even offer.
Honorable Mention: Fairy Tail Guild (Fairy Tail)
I included a couple of pairs in the list above, but there are way too many massively destructive people in the Fairy Tail Guild to pick just one member to spotlight. Still, though, the guild is full of mages with immense power and little or no desire to hold back in a fight. They're one of the most famous guilds, but it may never become as influential as other mage guilds because it constantly has to pay money out of its members' mission earnings to repair things broken by said members...even when they take the highest-paying missions. It's so bad that the guild is constantly under threat of being shut down by the guild council specifically to cut back on the destruction and mayhem.
The new poll: Anime is full of folks who are perpetually impoverished, and characters who are insanely rich. If you had the opportunity to live in an anime character's mansion, which mansion would you pick? Vote here and check back next time for the results!
The previous poll: I am astonished to report that last week's poll— in which you picked your favorite of Ranma Saotome's fiancées in Ranma ½ —ended in a tie! Regularly enraged heroine Akane Tendo and renowned okonomiyaki chef Ukyo Kuonji tied with exactly 34.4%, and Chinese martial artist / Jusenkyo curse victim Shampoo wasn't too far behind with 31.1%. That's probably our closest poll ever. May the debate be everlasting!
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