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

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Hey everyone, we have a Classic for you this week. I'll return to your regularly scheduled list next week with the Power of Music and Lost Anime Films. Until then, enjoy these silly power-ups!

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 cheers and the other fear. In these cases, the audiences got neither. The powered-up hero fell completely flat or was otherwise just way more weird than awe-inspiring, or the villain's design was more comedic or absurd than impressive.

7. Goku's Great Ape (Dragon Ball) While powerful and fearsome in its capabilities for destruction, Goku's monkey form is still, well, a giant monkey. The transformation is an alien-version of the werewolf myth and awkward Saiyan puberty. Once a Saiyan gets a tail and is able to absorb on "Blutz Waves" from the full-moon, they quickly find themselves getting much, much taller and much, much hairier.

6. Tetsuo (Akira) Akira is full of creepy imagery. There are psychic children with pallor skin, giant toys that bleed milk, and weird memory-transferring flashbacks. At the center of the story is a developing egomaniacal psychic named Tetsuo who, after stopping his government drug regimen, reaches his ultimate psychic form. It can only be described as some kind of vaguely organic giant fetus. Super gross and with all the power to destroy the world.

5. Eren Jaeger (Attack on Titan) Eren's Titan form gives the rest of humanity a glimmer of hope against their impending consumption by giant, smiling eunuchs. But let's not ignore that Titan Eren is the same thing only with a haircut better suited to an option in an otome game. The sinewy looking jaw is intimidating, but it's hard to get past the hair and the Ken Doll junk.

4. Ira Gamagoori's Shackle Regalia (Kill la Kill) Gamagoori's penchant for the "S" "BDSM" is made obvious in his regalia which are designed around bondage-themes. His appropriately named "Shackle" regalia is one of them. It blends the obvious bondage stuff with tightly bound straps, sensory deprivation, and a ball-gag. After taking enough hits, the Three-Star form goes from "6" to "DeviantArt" levels of weird, incorporating what's notoriously referred to as "vore." Or if the dialogue means anything, it's a boner metaphor.

3. Septem (Magical Canan) Not to be mistaken with Magican Kanan (they have the same source material), Magican Canan appears to be a little-known magical-girl show with the distinction of being based off a eroge. This makes the costume designs a little more sensible, but if you went into the show blind like I did, they leave a giant question mark. Especially Septem, whose name can only invoke images of nasal piercings. I don't know what Septem is wearing post bad magical girl transformation. I think it's a shredded skirt from from her time as an AC/DC groupie. There's definitely some Morrigan-esque wings. I'm not sure if her hat is supposed to invoke horns or ears. It's all just really weird and sad.

2. Wedding Dress Forms (Wedding Peach) Wedding Peach has an unfortunate status. Remembered mostly for not quite being Sailor Moon, or referred to as an outright knock-off, the series ups the magical ante by giving its characters not one, but TWO, transformations. The first one is a wedding dress form, used to gain enough magic power to transform again into the "fighter" form. The dress form is pretty silly, feeling a lot like another animation short-cut to use yet another bit of episode stock footage. The characters can't fight in the wedding dress. It's cumbersome piles of fabric and would make them an even easier target then their plain-old school girl form.

1. Tony Tony Chopper's Human Form (One Piece) Tony Tony Chopper is a silly character design in itself, being a child-size reindeer-human-thing. It gets even sillier when he transforms into "Heavy Point," and turns into an anime cross between The Hulk and Chris Farley's "Fat Guy in a Little Coat" scene in Tommy Boy. There's a couple different versions: a more "adult" one, and my favorite where it looks like someone stuck regular Tony's head into a hay bale on top of a WWE wrestler.

The new poll: We're post four weeks in, what Autumn 2016 anime are you still watching?

The old poll: How many of these anime classics have you seen?: Obviously not comprehensive, but let's see how many current anime fans have seen. The rankings of the options that have been seen to completion:

  1. Cowboy Bebop 67.0%
  2. Neon Genesis Evangelion 62.4%
  3. Akira 60.5%
  4. Ghost in the Shell (film) 53.6%
  5. Dragon Ball 36.8%
  6. Perfect Blue 36.3%
  7. Card Captor Sakura 35.5%
  8. Rurouni Kenshin 35.2%
  9. Sailor Moon 28.4%
  10. Love Hina 28.1%
  11. Revolutionary Girl Utena 26.1%
  12. Tenchi Muyo 23.6%
  13. Mobile Suit Gundam 18.3%
  14. Rose of Versailles 12.0%
  15. Dirty Pair 7.9%
  16. Fist of the North Star 7.9%
  17. Lupin the III 7.2%
On the flipside, the percentage that has watched NONE of these series:
  1. Dirty Pair 75.1%
  2. The Rose of Versailles 74.6%
  3. Fist of the North Star 68.4%
  4. Perfect Blue 57.9%
  5. Revolutionary Girl Utena 56.3%
  6. Mobile Suit Gundam: 54.6%
  7. Love Hina 54.0%
  8. Tenchi Muyo 48.4%
  9. Ghost in the Shell (film) 33.6%
  10. Card Captor Sakura 33.4%
  11. Rurouni Kenshin 32.2%
  12. Akira 31.9%
  13. Sailor Moon: 21.7%
  14. Dragon Ball 19.5%
  15. Neon Genesis Evangelion 19.1%
  16. Cowboy Bebop 15.7%

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

discuss this in the forum (51 posts) |
bookmark/share with:

this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history

The List homepage / archives