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The List
7 Most Terrifying Artifacts of Destruction

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Welcome to another Saturday countdown! I'm currently sorting out the logistics of stuffing a large petticoat into a standard suitcase while I pack for my first vacation in years! Don't worry though, I worked double time for you guys this week to ensure that the column maintains its schedule so you won't miss out!

This week we're counting down anime's most intimidating weapons of mass destruction. These items usually show up at the end of a story as the antagonist's secret weapon or as the central 'villain' themselves. Regardless of whose possession they're in, they rarely herald anything good for the rest of mankind. Be forewarned: Spoilers abound in the next seven entries.

7. The Jewel of Four Souls (Inu Yasha)
The central quest in Rumiko Takahashi's Inu Yasha series, The Jewel of Four Souls is shattered by Kagome early on, leading her and Inu Yasha on a quest to reassemble the pieces. The jewel itself grants immense power, but we come to learn that it also corrupts its hosts due to its demonic origins. A nefarious wish-granting device, The Jewel of Four Souls has more in common with the Monkey's Paw from folklore than the wish-granting item it masquerades as, sucking up priestesses to duke out endless battles within its shiny walls.

6. The Witchblade (Witchblade)

Weapons that grant temporary strength at the price of the wielder's life is a common media trope. Witchblade, the co-production between Gonzo and American comic book publisher Top Cow Productions features just such a device. In the series, the hapless Masane Amaha comes into possession of the sentient and parasitic weapon, Witchblade. It grants her fighting prowess and special powers but also slowly saps away her life force. The gauntlet doubles as a bio-organic armor, sword-like weapons, whips, projectiles, or anything else the user can dream up. After the weapon kills it hosts, it latches on anew to its next chosen victim, repeating the cycle.

5. The Book of Darkness (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's)

Once a tome of magical knowledge, the ominous and imaginatively titled Book of Darkness became corrupted after tampering by inquisitive MAGES. Now a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't parasitic device, the book requires its users to fill it with knowledge under threat of death. Once they do, however, the item's defense mechanism goes out of control, kills them anyway, and rips the fabric of time-space before going dormant. It then repeats the process until someone can figure out how to destroy the cursed thing. The book is indestructible, and only when the necessary components are separated, purged and destroyed is the threat finally diminished.

4. Holy Grail (Fate/stay night)
The Holy Grail in the Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night universe used to be a wish-granting item but it was corrupted prior to the The Fourth War. Now possessed by an entity seeking vengeance, the grail taints any wish within it and replaces it with destruction. It's also responsible for summoning less-than-savory servants, like Giles de Rais and Medusa. It's responsible for the fire that destroyed parts of Fuyuki City and the subsequent deaths prior to the events in Fate/stay night.

3. Chise (SaiKano)
The shy and clumsy protagonist in Shin Takahashi's romantic tragedy is also a government weapon of mass destruction. More an allegory on war than anything else, Chise is the trump card for the Japanese Self Defense Force against an enemy that's never revealed. Transformed against her will, she slowly loses her humanity as time passes while a new persona emerges, one that delights in destruction and death. When her full powers take hold, Chise is more weapon than human and god-like in her strength and immortality. She has handlers for the time being, but does it seem likely they'll be able to keep her under control?

2. Behelits (Berserk)

These creepy looking amulets promise their bearers power, but only at the cost of their dreams and loved ones. Not satisfied with just making their hosts murder those closest to them, Behelits transform their destined owners into "apostles", a romantic term for demonic beings. The Crimson Behelit takes it a step further. A harbinger to the rare Eclipse event, it requires multiple sacrifices for a "feast". Unleashing Hell on Earth, the Crimson Behelit transforms it's owner into an elite being, beyond the standard apostle. It basically calls down demons to feast on the flesh of your best friends and turn you into a power-driven monster. Undoubtedly, The Crimson Behelit is pure nightmare material.

1. Spear of Longinus (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

One of the few weapons that can stop the god-like Angels of NGE, the Spear of Longinus is also instrumental in bringing forth the The Third Impact, an event designed to wipe-out mankind as we know it. The spears are sentient, and humans attempts to control them caused mass destruction and cost billions of lives. Multiple spears exist and the organic weapons are able to be cloned, giving Eva units the upper hand against their adversaries. Still, the weapon's allegiance to their bearers is shaky at best, as their true intent is to enact the prophecy of their makers and inevitably turn all of us into primordial goop.

The new poll: Listen, I know you're all upstanding individuals who would never, ever commit a crime. That said, if there was a 100% chance of getting away with it, which anime car would you take for a little joyride? I promise I won't snitch, so cast your vote in the survey and look for the results in next week's column.

The old poll: This was a close one, but ultimately Shizuo Heiwajima hedged ahead of the rest with over a quarter of the votes. Here's the full results:

  1. Shizuo Heiwajima (Durarara!!) 26.39%
  2. Saber (Fate/stay night) 24.61%
  3. Sousuke Sagara (Full Metal Panic!) 18.51%
  4. Balsa (Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit) 16.65%
  5. Kallen Stadtfeld-Kōzuki (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion) 14.57%
  6. Nyanko-sensei (Natsume's Book of Friends) 10.93%
  7. Hayate Ayasaki (Hayate the Combat Butler) 10.11%
  8. Haji (Blood+) 8.25%
  9. Soushi Miketsukami (Inu x Boku S.S.) 6.91%
  10. Vante (Queen's Blade: Rebellion) 1.12%

Alright everybody, see you all next week! I look forward to your input in the comments and feel free to follow me on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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