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The List - 7 Powered-Up Forms That Are More Weird Than Awesome

Sometimes maybe it's better to stay in your second-to-last form. ― It's right about when all hope is lost that a character finally powers up just in time, usually with some blinding magical lights, gasps from bystanders, and plenty of fanfare. On the other side of the coin, a villain might let out a mighty roar, grow 10 times in height, and release that ultimate, last-ditch attack. One invokes cheer...
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The List - 6 Directors' Humble Beginnings

These 6 legendary directors started from the bottom, now they're here. ― Goro Miyazaki recently stated that he has no intention, nor the creative ability, to be the successor to his father, and it's easy to sympathize with him on it. The entertainment industry was thrust upon him because of his pedigree. Some might consider it lucky to have that kind easy-in though, especially given what some of Hay...
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The List - 6 Series Starring Aspiring Mangaka

Every once and awhile, an anime series will set its focus on the manga industry and offer a few hints of what it's really like. ― The dream of being a manga artist is a common one in the anime fandom. Semi-active publisher Tokyopop once launched its "Rising Star of Manga" program purely to entice that set of fans wanting to make that dream become a reality. Results varied, with the extra lucky, like...
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The List - 7 "Gateway" Anime Sure to Get Newbies Hooked

Seven series to get your friends watching anime, no matter what their tastes! ― There are several hurdles when you want to introduce the average American viewer, be they a family member or friend, to the world of anime. Like jumping into any foreign art medium, there's a learning curve. Assuming your cousin Ted has had zero exposure to Japanese culture or animated films outside of dubbed Ghibli film...
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The List - 7 TV Anime Affected by Japanese Censorship

Sometimes your episode is pulled because the series' creator really doesn't like you. ― Over in the states, we're used to television censorship of our favorite anime. It was par for the course, whether cigarettes were replaced with lollipops, swimsuits painted on bathing scenes, or Japanese characters were suddenly in America. Japanese broadcasts get their share of censorship to, with a main focus o...
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The List - 7 Things You Didn't Know About Studio Ghibli

The studio that's captured hearts over its long career has its own fun secrets ― If you were paying any attention to the news this week, you might have noticed an anime community-wide panic about Studio Ghibli. One of the company's co-founder's, director Toshio Suzuki, stated in a television interview that the studio is "restructuring." What that means for animation production post-Goro Miyazaki's R...
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The List - Anime's 7 Most Dangerous Jobs

The rewards are small and the risks are plentiful, but somebody's got to do it. ― The most dangerous jobs within the United States vary greatly, with many being subject to History Channel drama programming. We have loggers, fisherman, truckers, and pilots putting themselves in physical danger. Other jobs like doctors, dentists, and vets are very emotionally taxing. Anime has its own share of messy, ...
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The List - 7 Shuttered American Anime Companies

Here's a salute to bygone American anime companies, we knew ye well. ― The face of the anime industry looks a lot different than when I started buying DVDs in 2001. Funimation's reach was growing, but was still known mostly as the "Dragon Ball Z" company, while Viz Media was pretty well established. Bandai could be relied on to bring over everything Sunrise-related, Media Blasters picked up the ligh...
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The List - 7 Series Set in France

If a European vacation isn't in the cards, these anime might work as a nice alternative. ― If a European vacation isn't in the cards this year, these anime might work as a nice alternative to visiting The City of Lights in person. A few will give you a glimpse of modern day hustle-and-bustle while others look back over a hundred years ago. 7. Sakura Taisen: Ecole de Paris The three-part OVA (and its...
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The List - 7 Muscle-Bound Heroes

These characters would be right at home on California's Muscle Beach. ― Plenty of shows feature skilled and nimble characters besting their opponents in hand to hand combat. This week's list is looking at the extreme version, where characters are not only adept fighters but are also pumping a lot of iron to keep their intimidating physique in peak condition. The top seven entries would be right at h...
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The List - 7 Incredible Geniuses

This week's list is all about brains over brawn. ― In a world full of characters with super powers and brawny muscles, it's easy to forget about the quiet, smart ones. Despite what they may lack in physical prowess, these brainy heroes are still indispensable. Who else can figure out a cunning escape plan and help you study for the next big test at the same time? 7. Naoki Irie (Itazura na Kiss) Is t...
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The List - 7 Not-So-Ditzy Blondes

Let's put the stereotype to rest! ― Somewhere down the line, storytellers, comedians, and scriptwriters decided to make blondes the catch-all for giggly, dumb, airheaded characters. Everyone's favorite magical girl Usagi Tsukino, and her close friend Minako Aino embody the trope with poor grades, lack of basic knowledge (Usagi doesn't know how gravity works), and over-the-top silly personalities. Bu...
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The List - 6 Obscure Anime Series Lost in Time

These series are really cool, but time has passed them by... ― The current anime streaming market-to-home-video format means North American audiences have quick and easy access to almost every show, every season. In days of yore, this was far from standard and many series went under the radar, never to resurface. This week's list looks at one series from each staple genre with a few qualifying point...
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The List - 7 Frustrating Anime Cliffhangers

Is there anything as frustrating as watching a story only for it to never tie up at the end? ― You've heard it before over and over: "Anime is just an advertising tool for the manga." That's all well and good but is there anything as frustrating as watching 26+ episodes of plot only for it to never tie up at the end? Some series keep you hooked until the very last moment before taking a huge break (...
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The List - 7 Useless Animal Sidekicks

Just because they're cute and fuzzy doesn't mean they aren't annoying ― Let's be frank, some characters are really annoying. If we got a step further, some characters are really annoying and useless to a show's plot as a whole. Creators try to get the audience to overlook this by making the character fuzzy and cute, but the point still stands. This week's List looks at seven animal companions that a...
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The List - 7 Most Elegant Princes

This week's list is a perfect blend of good looks, battle prowess, and royal checkbooks. ― If one is going to earn the title of "elegant anime prince," there are a few major prerequisites to be met first. An elegant anime prince must have long, flowing hair accentuated by equally flowing robes or a cape. An elegant anime prince is always adept in combat, either with a sword or magic. He possesses a ...
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The List - 6 Strange Faces of Dracula's Descendents

Whether it's Hollywood films like Van Helsing or a lab-creation in the year 12,090, Dracula and his brethren are here to stay. ― Bram Stoker's classic novel Dracula is 117 years old this year and his titular vampire's lineage is still showing up in fiction across the world. Whether it's Hollywood films like Van Helsing or a lab-creation in 12,090, Dracula and his brethren are here to stay. Some are ...
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The List - 7 Best Vacation Spots

If you can't travel in real life this summer, check out these fictional vacation spots instead! ― For those in school, the work year is drawing to a close before the much coveted summer vacation. It's unfortunate that a lot of vacation destinations require a hefty budget. If you're planning to stay in cause finances have got you down, why not check out these series with some awesome vacation spots? ...
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The List - 7 Best Dressed Male Anime Characters

Whose style came in first? What about the best suit? It's all in here! ― After writing last week's Best Dressed Female Anime Characters, I realized I wasn't quite clear enough about the "qualifications" considered for the entries. So, to elaborate, both lists are restricted to a character's own clothes. That means military and school uniforms are not considered or costumes. Entries are further slimm...
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The List - 7 Best Dressed Female Anime Characters

This week's list looks at some of the most stylish ladies in anime. ― Every year, fashion bloggers and television programs weigh in on the best and worst dressed on the red carpet. Audiences wonder whether Sandra Bullock will get it together this year, if Lady Gaga is going to go full Godiva, and if Anne Hathaway will complete her transformation into Audrey Hepburn 2.0. Anime plays into fashion tren...
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The List - 7 Famous Movie Characters Voiced by Japanese VAs

This week's list looks at some of American culture's most popular characters and the Japanese voice actors who dubbed them. ― It's a given that many of our favorite anime shows will get an English dub on the home video release. The same can be said for when our own popular Hollywood films make the hop over to Japan. Plenty of anime voice actors also receive work dubbing over American films, with reg...
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The List - 6 Up-And-Coming Female Voice Actors

These rising stars stand out from the rest of the crowd. ― A few voice actresses have achieved the coveted "household name" status among fans. Maaya Sakamoto, Kana Hanazawa, Kikuko Inoue, Megumi Hayashibara, Aya Hisakawa, and Rie Kugimiya have established fan bases in Japan and abroad for their iconic roles throughout the years. Agencies continue to introduce new talent into the industry, but while ...
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The List - 7 "Unholy" Priests

This week's list takes a look at seven priests with less than holy personalities. ― Christian symbolism is a common go-to to add "mystic" flavor in anime, similar to how Hollywood draws from Pagan themes. Catholicism and the Vatican are especially popular and often blended with magic, demons, possession, vampires. This week's list takes a look at seven priests with less than holy personalities. 7. F...
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The List - 7 Horrible Girlfriends

They'll love you forever, whether you want them to or not. ― The long-anticipated companion piece to 8 Horrible Boyfriends! Let's be fair, some of these women are downright nuts. The term yandere was coined for the sweet on the outside but possibly murderous on the inside girl. They'll love you forever, whether you want them to or not. Since crazy girls rarely reveal their craziness right away, this...
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The List - 7 Unstoppable Thelma & Louise Duos

Girls wanna have fun, where "fun" involves guns, crime, and general destruction. ― Girls wanna have fun, where "fun" involves guns, crime, and general destruction. Whether it's in service of crime or justice, these pairs will always stick together. 7. Kei and Yuri (Dirty Pair) The original girls-with-guns pair, Kei and Yuri take care of intergalactic troubles while wrecking plenty of havoc in the pr...
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The List - 7 Love-Crazed Characters

The chase is much more satisfying than relationship for these characters. ― Just in time for Valentine's Day weekend, this week we're counting down characters who are more in love with the thrill of the chase than an actual relationship. 7. Makoto Kino (Sailor Moon) Makoto is always eyeing the next cute boy. Ever since an upperclassman broke her 14-year-old heart, she's been oggling (with pal Minako...
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The List - 7 Strangest Harem Set Ups

Not all set ups work out smoothly & some fall into strange, convoluted, or downright ridiculous territory. ― The harem genre isn't going anywhere anytime soon. As long as customers are interested in one protagonist surrounded by adoring romantic interests, we'll continue to see at least two or three shows every season. The hard part is creating new and interesting ways to set up each harem scenario....
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The List - 7 Characters With Insatiable Appetites

Taking down alien threats, bsaving local ecosystems, and being a pirate can really work up an appetite. ― Taking down alien threats, saving local ecosystems, and being a pirate can really work up an appetite. This is especially true if you're a strong, burly shonen anime hero fighting to save the world. A guy like that needs more than your wimpy 2,000 calorie diet. 7. Hei (Darker Than Black) The oth...
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The List - 7 Japan-International Co-Productions

When two countries love each other very much, they sit down and decide to make an anime. ― International success of anime comes and goes. "Animation for adults" doesn't translate in every culture and many of the shows coming out of Japan are extremely niche. Some series are luckier than others and gain enough international fans to garner overseas producers while other companies look to Japanese stud...
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The List - 7 Most Dangerous Alien Planets

Skip these spots on your next intergalactic vacation. ― With the holiday season out of the way, it's back to your regularly-scheduled lists of all things anime and manga. We'll kick off this year with some of the most dangerous locales found out in intergalactic anime space. These places are home to killer plants, fugitives, disease, the human slave-trade, and all manner of things that could kill yo...
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The List - 7 Expert Anime Hackers

Alien mainframes and evil European organizations researching time travel all pose threats to the modern anime hacker. ― Computers have come a long way since Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie "hacked" into U.S. government in 1995. Alien mainframes, gods of the internet, and evil European organizations researching time travel all pose threats to the modern anime hacker. Load up your DOS screens whil...
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The List - 7 Restaurant Spots Worth The Visit

Put these amazing eateries on your fictional food bucket list, because there's nowhere else like them. ― There are plenty of four-star restaurants in the world, but how many places can you get served by bears, witness amazing martial arts battles, be seated by a ghost, or flirt with a mermaid? This week's list counts down seven eateries worth visiting, so put them on your fictional food bucket list....
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The List - 7 Anime Set in America

America's big cities get an anime face-lift. ― The settings for anime are, understandably, usually in Japan. Those that aren't, like this season's Outbreak Company, I couldn't become a hero, so I reluctantly decided to get a job, and Magi opt for fictional fantasy settings. Even less common is a series that takes place entirely overseas whether in Europe, or in this week's list case, The United Stat...
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The List - 7 Christmas Anime To Ring In The Season

Seven anime Christmas favorites to watch with a cup of hot cocoa. ― Even a mostly secular country like Japan can't escape Christmas holiday cheer. Christmas is celebrated as a couples' holiday with an inexplicable focus on cake, with the usual decorated trees and Santa Claus cameos. Anime series will throw in a Christmas episode the same way there is a "beach" episode and cooking episode. Here are s...
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The List - 7 Scariest Bosses

It's a hard-knock life for an evil minion. ― You thought your daily grind was bad? Try working for any of these maniacal, evil, and all around murderous bosses. Mondays don't seem so bad anymore, do they? 7. Giovanni (Pokemon) Team Rocket's Persian-petting boss is a one-time gym leader and original owner of super-powered Pokemon MewTwo. His primary goal is world-domination and for inexplicable reaso...
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The List - 7 Anime Odd Couples

These couples start out worlds apart but end up best friends or even lovers. ― The bookworm and the jock ending up best friends seems unlikely, but these couples won't let little things like appearances and hobbies get in the way. These duos start out worlds apart but end up best friends or even lovers, stereotypes be damned. 7. Nana and Hachi (NANA) These besties first met on a train. Nana is an in...
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The List - 7 Popular Japanese Folk Monsters

The List is counting down seven popular monsters that show up time and again in our favorite shows. ― Japanese yokai have had a great influence on characters in fiction and references routinely show up in both anime and manga. To round out the spooky season, The List is counting down seven popular monsters that show up time and again in our favorite shows. 7. Yuki-Onna The Yuki-Onna (lit. Snow Woman...
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The List - 6 Prestigious Art Schools

These prestigious art schools are home to anime's strangest students. ― Little known fact: I attended an "art magnate high school" for two years as a literary arts student. More well known fact: students at art schools are really weird. More so than average. The six listed schools are the most prestigious art schools found in anime. They also have some of the strangest students. 6. Suimei University...
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The List - 7 Manga Cut Short Due To Author's Health

Fans will forever be left questioning, "How does this cliffhanger end?!" ― Being a manga creator is a tough job. Writers with popular series work tirelessly like One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda, who claims to sleep just three hours a night. Understandably, he's gone on hiatus a few times in the last year to recover from illness. Call it part of the job description, but health concerns can stop a popu...
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The List - 7 Spookiest Places

These are the last places you want to book your summer vacations. ― Plan your vacations somewhere else, because these seven locations are 100% terrifying. Deserted medical facilities, scenes from a murder, creepy websites, and vampire hunting grounds all make it on to this week's list. Also some spoilers! 7. Hospital (Yami Shibai) Yami Shibai manages to set the horror stage well for episodes that cl...
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The List - 7 Badass Warrior Princesses

Not every royal heir is cut out for a luxury life of eating bonbons, attending parties, and breaking the royal bank. ― Not every royal heir is cut out for a luxury life of eating bonbons, attending parties, and breaking the royal bank. Some take arms, either because their country is war-torn or they're too bored to laze about the castle. This week's list counts down seven princesses who work as thei...
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The List - 6 Bizarre School Clubs

They didn't have these clubs at your local high school. ― Schools in anime get all the interesting clubs. Sure, there's the average sport teams, traditional arts, and the book clubs but they also get robot building, card games, and equestrian clubs. Still, for every robot club there's a paranormal club run by an actual ghost or a social club full of jerks. This week's list counts down all weird club...
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The List - 7 Traditional Fantasy Parties

Mix together one warrior, one mage, a healer, and a paladin and you're ready to fight dragons and an evil monarch ― Earlier this week was the 30th anniversary of the Toei Animation and Marvel Productions' Dungeons & Dragons animated television show. The show itself is based on one of, if not the best, well-known tabletop role-playing games. In the cartoon, a group of kids find themselves magicked in...
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The List - 7 Dashing and Devoted Servants

One part good looks and two parts resourcefulness take these butlers from ordinary to swoon worthy. ― The strapping servant romance probably predates Harlequin romance novels. You can find dedicated lists to the topic on Goodreads, even sectioned off from "servants" "wet nurses, nannies, and governesses" and "sold and gambled" subcategories. This week's list takes a look at (mostly) male servants wi...
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The List - 7 Cringe-Worthy Villain Deaths

The more hated the villain the more satisfying it is when they meet their end. ― The more hated the villain the more satisfying it is when they meet their end. In the laws of fiction, the deaths grow more gruesome depending on the heinousness of the villain's actions. This week we're counting down seven particularly cringe-worthy deaths in anime. Since a death scene is automatically a spoiler, read ...
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The List - 7 Wonderfully Weird Anime Spin-Offs

This week's list is dedicated to that small section of anime series spun-off from other, earlier anime series. ― Anime series draw inspiration from all kinds of things; American television (Supernatural), adult visual novels (a large portion) manga (the other large portion) or original projects. An even smaller series are spin-offs of other anime series. Sometimes its television shows within televis...
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The List - 8 Essential Time-Travelling Heroines

Whether it's a magic key, a good, old fashioned time machine, or a walnut; girls will find a way to travel through time and save the world ― Whether it's a magic key, a good, old fashioned time machine, or a walnut; girls will find a way to travel through time and save the world. Paradoxes abound, are swept under the rug, or are completely ignored (I'm still thinking way too hard about Looper) leavi...
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The List - 7 Wonders of the Anime World

Which anime settings hold up as the greatest achievements of supernatural physics? ― Some of the most spectacular accomplishments of nature and mankind comprise the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World" and "Seven Wonders of the Natural World" lists. What if some of anime's settings were compared to these marvels? The medium has the advantage of disregarding physics, leading to some spectacular entri...
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The List - 7 of Anime's Most Expensive Bits of Merchandise

Collectors better save their pennies if they want to get one of these items in their hands. ― You know an anime franchise is profitable when Good Smile Company puts out a Nendoroid. Anime series and merchandise are tied together like that. If a show really takes off, the merchandise gets more creative and way more expensive. Collectors better save their pennies if they want to get one of these items...
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The List - 7 Bizarre Anime Mascots

Truly weird creatures with little to no purpose take the stage this week. ― We're in the middle of convention season! I'm recovering from what was my first Anime Expo ever just in time to gear up for Seattle's Penny Arcade Expo next month. There might be a few more in between. Now that The List is back, I've decided to countdown seven of anime's most bizarre mascot characters. Other than selling mer...