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Gia's List: Anime and Manga's 8 Most Impoverished Teams

by Gia Manry,

In tough economic times, it's easy to look to the wealthiest anime characters— like Ouran High School Host Club's titular team of wealthy gentlemen arranging over-the-top entertainment for their lady friends, or Hayate the Combat Butler's zealous over-spender Nagi Sanzenin —for a bit of escapism. But today, as budget crises loom over more than one nation, we pay tribute to the brokest of the broke: eight different groups who are always lacking in cash.

8. The Moroboshi Clan (Urusei Yatsura)
Ataru Moroboshi is engaged to an alien princess with the ability to fly and shoot lightning bolts around. Somehow, despite Ataru's general sense of greed (though admittedly his problem is more lust), his family has been completely incapable of capitalizing on this royal connection. As a result, the family is frequently low on cash. (Actually, depending on your preferred interpretation, it's because of the presence of Lum and other supernatural mishaps that the Moroboshi family is so broke— after all, their house gets destroyed a lot.)

7. The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service (The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service)
The one manga-only team on this list, this group is without a doubt the most innovative set of money-makers...if only their innovation paid off. The protagonists, who all met at their Buddhist college, include a guy who can talk to the dead, a dowser who can locate dead bodies, a hacker/researcher, a licensed embalmer (rare in a country devoted to cremation), and a weird but intelligent young man with a hand puppet...or an alien. They're not really sure. In their first adventure, the crew manages to make some serious dough off "delivering" a dead body based on its instructions from beyond the grave, but the group rarely duplicates that first success.

6. Train Heartnet, Sven Vollfield, and Eve (Black Cat)
Easy-going ex-assassin Train Heartnet used to be taken care of by his shady overlords, the sinister organization known as Chronos. But after going rogue and partnering up with "Sweeper" (bounty hunter) Sven Vollfield and the mysterious young girl Eve, the trio winds up frequently broke. Sure, they catch bounties, but the damages they cause while on their adventures often cost as much or more than they earned. Their occasional companionship with thief-for-hire Rinslet Walker doesn't help, either, even as she encourages them to try and earn more.

5. The Getbackers (Getbackers)
Rather than taking on bounties, the dynamic duo of Ginji Amano and Ban Mido elects to work as professional retrievers, collecting lost items big and small for their clients. They're good at it, but they have trouble finding good (paying) clients, leaving them often broke and starving. It doesn't help that their favorite restaurant, the Honky Tonk, won't extend them any more credit, either. Their need for food and/or money to buy food often results in the duo taking on jobs that get them into more trouble than they anticipate.

4. The Outlaw Star Crew (Outlaw Star)
Weapons expert Gene and his very young business partner/manager Jim, the owners of the XGP15A-II— also known as the Outlaw Star —also choose not to go the bounty hunter route...or rather, they decide not to limit themselves, preferring a jack-of-all-trades operation, including bodyguard and transport services. However, the two and their growing crew (which later includes bio-android Melfina, super-strong alien Aisha, and assassin Suzuka) have a hard time coming up with enough cash to keep their ship running; Jim in particular is always worrying about their finances and chastising Gene for, well, not worrying.

3. Team Rocket (Pokémon)
Jessie, James, and Meowth may be remarkably (and amusingly) ineffective as antagonists, but they've shown a remarkable ability to earn up cash when they need to for another ill-advised scheme or contraption, usually by selling food or swag. Unfortunately they never seem to hang on to that money, and their boss also never really pays them...or remembers their existence. Somehow they keep winding up with money for their hot air balloon's upkeep, but they still get so hungry that they occasionally spend time helping out the kindly folks who feed them rather than trying to steal Pikachu.

2. The Bebop Crew (Cowboy Bebop)
Skilled bounty hunters they may be, but the crew of the Bebop somehow always wind up failing to catch their paychecks— either they miss out on the criminals themselves (sometimes by choice) or they wind up not being able to get the cash for some reason or another. Still, they somehow manage to keep their ship running most of the time, but by the last episodes of the show the crew consists of four humans and a dog rather than just Jet and Spike— that's a lot more mouths to feed!

1. Yorozuya (Gintama)
This crew of odd-jobbers— ex-samurai Gintoki, super-strong alien Kagura, and eager swordsman/apprentice Shinpachi —is always trying to score some cash, and they might actually build up a solid savings account if they were willing to avoid get-rich-quick schemes in favor of honest work. Or, you know, if they didn't keep finding themselves in the position to save peoples' lives...for free. Gintoki also occasionally prioritizes his penchant for sweets over his need to pay the rent, to Shinpachi's horror.

Each list is accompanied by a new reader poll, as well as the results from last week's poll.

The new poll: To go along with our poorest teams, we want to know who your favorite wealthy character is. Click here to take part in the survey!

The previous poll: It's no surprise that you guys have a lot of thoughts about last season's anime, and the contest for the title of top show was pretty tight! Tiger & Bunny won out over anohana by a matter of two votes. Rounding out the top five, in order, are Steins;Gate, Ao Exorcist, and Hana-Saku Iroha. Here's the entire list:

  1. Tiger & Bunny - 17.1%
  2. anohana - 16.8%
  3. Steins;Gate - 9.3%
  4. Ao no Exorcist - 8.8%
  5. Hana-Saku Iroha - 8.2%
  6. Deadman Wonderland - 4.8%
  7. [C] - CONTROL - 4.5%
  8. My Ordinary Life - 4.3%
  9. Gintama' - 4.2%
  10. The World God Only Knows II - 3.9%
  11. Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi - 3%
  12. Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san - 2.1%
  13. Kaiji 2 - 1.8%
  14. Maria Holic Alive - 1.5%
  15. Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko - 1.5%
  16. Toriko - 1%
  17. A-Channel - 0.9%
  18. Sket Dance - 0.9%
  19. Dog Days - 0.6%
  20. Aria the Scarlet Ammo - 0.6%
  21. X-Men - 0.6%
  22. Dororon Enma-kun - 0.6%
  23. Moshidora - 0.4%
  24. Astarotte's Toy - 0.3%
  25. 30-sai no Hoken Taiiku - 0.3%
  26. Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi - 0.3%
  27. Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream - 0.3%
  28. Tono to Issho: Gantai no Yabō - 0.3%
  29. Seikon no Qwaser II - 0.1%
  30. Sengoku Otome - Momoiro Paradox - 0.1%
  31. We, Without WingsUnder the Innocent Sky - 0.1%
  32. Softenni! - 0.1%
  33. Hyouge Mono - 0.1%
  34. Inazuma Eleven GO - 0.1%

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