The List
7 Silly Pieces of Weaponry

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Anime seasons get more crowded every year. Staff members still have to manage to somehow make their character designs distinctive. This has lead to curiouser and curiouser weaponry in an action genre already filled to the brim with katana, broadswords, and revolvers. How do you make your fighter stand out? Equip them with the least probable weapon possible!

7. Wet Towel (Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan) Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan had that violent slapstick comedy that was so popular in the 90s and early 2000s. We rarely see guys punched skyhigh anymore, much less violently beaten with a spiked club by an "angel". Dokuro-chan is the club-wielder, a pretty standard weapon. It's her sister Zakuro that adopted the long revered weapon of sports locker rooms. Her wet towel "Eckilsax"can attack multiple opponents by splitting into separate pieces of cloth or by wrapping around them to incapacitate them.

6. Paper (Read or Die) Paper cuts are awful, especially the ones that get in that skin webbing between your fingers. Yomiko Readman's ability to manipulate paper sounds like it's better suited for party tricks and maybe really annoying the British Library's foes. Creator Hideyuki Kurata had to do a little bit of reality bending to turn it into a skill worthy of a spy. Paper is a much more viable weapon if it can be manipulated into swords, bulletproof shields, functioning aircraft, or covered with explosive residue.

5. Mecha Yo-Yos (Chō Denji Robo Combattler V) Any mecha can throw a rocket punch or snipe an enemy with an oversized laser rifle. It's the truly skilled giant robot that can duel-wield bladed yo-yos like buzzsaws on a string. Combattler V's pilot yells "Chōdenji Yo-yo!" before striking with his deadly children's toy. When he needs more cutting power, the yo-yos can combine together to form one giant, dual-sized buzzsaw.

4. Giant Okonomiyaki Spatula (Ranma 1/2) The varied crew in Ranma 1/2 all wield weapons of varying absurdity, whether its gymnastic ribbons or bandanas. Ukyo works at an okonomiyaki restaurant so she fights with a giant, metal spatula. She also hides smaller spatulas on herself to use like throwing stars and has been seen tossing altered food ingredients like explosive tempura flakes.

3. Rickenbacker Bass (FLCL) Haruko's bass is made for more than rocking out. The instrument, possibly through custom alien alterations, is more often used to whack people over the head, shoot bullets or full-size rockets, and fly. The damage and risky maneuvers the guitar undergoes in the original video anime is enough to make instrument aficionados cringe. An actual Rickenbacker 4001 bass can cost upwards of US$2,500. That's not something I'd go crashing over unsuspecting boys' heads.

2. Valkyrie Skirt (Buso Renkin) Tokiko's Valkyrie Skirt apparatuses effectively turn her thighs into Leatherman Multi-Tools. One buckles around each of her legs and is equipped with two saw-edged blades on hinging poles so lets them turn and slice. Even with this increased mobility, choosing to wear weapons on your upper legs is weird. The range of motion is much less than if they were on her forearms. The blades extend pretty far thanks to the many hinges but the awkwardness of the weapon could have been solved by just wielding it on another location on her body.

1. Animal Teeth Dentures (Reborn!) Accessing the power of animals for better fighting techniques was made popular in kung fu stances and is a recurring theme for kids' tokusatsu shows. The character can access their wild side either through some kind of talisman or being raised by wolves. Usually they don't put animal dentures in their mouth. Ken uses these teeth, called "channels," and puts them over his teeth. There's the go-to power animals like Lion, Cheetah, and Wolf and the oddball ones like...Possum. Possum lets him play dead.

The new poll: Which Shonen Jump show would make for the best anime introduction for kids?

The old poll: What is the cutest anime mascot?

  1. Pikachu (Pokemon)
  2. Nyanko-sensei (Natsume's Book of Friends)
  3. Ryo-oh-ki (Tenchi Muyo)
  4. Kero (Card Captor Sakura)
  5. Kyubey (Madoka Magica)
  6. Mokona (Magic Knight Rayearth/xxxHoLic)
  7. Tony Tony Chopper (ONE PIECE)
  8. Dango (Clannad)
  9. Haro (Mobile Suit Gundam)
  10. Kirara (Inuyasha)
  11. Elizabeth (Gintama)
  12. Sonic (Blood Blockade Battlefront)
  13. Calumon (Digimon Tamers)
  14. Tippy (Is the order a rabbit?)
  15. Tetsuya 2 (Kuroko's Basketball)
  16. Sadaharu (Gintama)
  17. Happy (FAIRY TAIL)
  18. Bonta-kun (Full Metal Panic)
  19. Aria Pokoteng/President Aria (ARIA)

When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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