The List
7 Archers Who Always Hit Their Mark

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Swords and sorcery are usually front and center in fantasy anime, while bow-wielders are left in the background as support for the heroes. A clash of steel might look more exciting on the surface, but a precise arrow can be just as impressive, cutting through the air to take down a foe with that iconic "fwip" ringing in their ears. This week's List takes a look at characters who are usually left in the back to show just how impressive their archery skills are on their own merits.

Kagome Higurashi (InuYasha) Kagome was just 15 years old when she got pulled into the family well and ended up in feudal Japan. Initially, she was by no means an accomplished archer. Her amateur abilities caused more problems for the travelers than they solved, but Kagome kept trying, and her accuracy gradually improves over the course of the series. She's able to imbue her arrows with spiritual power, a boon when she's predominately fighting off demonic forces. These abilities continue to grow in complexity and can even be combined with Inuyasha's attacks.

Yona (Yona of the Dawn) Raised as a princess and only heir to her kingdom, Yona never had a reason to take up arms until she finds herself on the other side of a coup. Ousted from her birthright, Yona falls at the mercy of her companions, but it doesn't take long before she insists on undergoing weapon training. She takes up archery and begins aggressively practicing until her shots become accurately lethal.

Yoichi Saotome (Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign) Yoichi didn't immediately endear himself to viewers. He lacked confidence and was the target of bullying. His sweet nature made him an unlikely fighter against the vampires, but he proves that appearances can be deceiving. Yoichi joins the Moon Demon Company and makes a contract with a Cursed Gear that takes the form of a giant bow. The long-range weapon manifests its own arrows and allows Yoichi to target multiple enemies at once with enhanced vision.

Sakuya Shimazu (Isuca) This supernatural romcom flew under the radar in 2015, partly because legal streaming picked it up late in the season. The story stars the conveniently orphaned high school student Shinichirō Asano, who is rescued from a bug monster by tsundere exorcist archer Sakuya. Their chance encounter lands Shinichirō a roof over his head, so long as he helps Sakuya exorcise rogue spirits. With her new assistant, Sakuya is able to greatly power up her spiritual attacks

Uryū Ishida (Bleach) A manipulator of spiritual energy, Uryū can create a variety of weapons. Swords, gintō, and his bow are all available for his skilled use. His Kojaku bow was able to annihilate Hollows in a single shot, while his next bow could fire 1,200 arrows to wipe out swarms of enemies, Finally, his Heilig Bogen is particularly impressive, as he's able to rain down a barrage of Reishi arrows upon his opponent and use homing abilities to make sure he hits his mark.

Ashitaka (Princess Mononoke) This is the only family film I've seen where someone gets decapitated by the protagonist. Ashitaka is a skilled marksman by any measure, shooting out the eyes of an encroaching, corrupted woodland god while riding a speedy mount and dodging the monster's attacks. After his arm is corrupted, Ashitaka's abilities gain even more strength. He plucks an incoming arrow out of the air, only to fire it back at its owner. Later, one of his shots takes an enemy's head clean off, while another loses both of his arms when Ashitaka shoots the sword he's gripping to a tree. Good old family entertainment!

Archer (Fate/stay night) Most of the time, Rin Tohsaka's Servant isn't an "archer," instead duel-wielding a pair of matching swords or summoning other weapons that he has seen previously. He can "shoot" these summoned swords much like an arrow from a bow, while also attaching large amounts of magical energy that causes them to explode upon impact with their target. His Clairvoyance abilities also allow him to shoot from huge distances, much like a sniper.

The new poll: What's your favorite fire-type Pokemon?

The old poll: What's your favorite Gundam opening theme?

  1. "Raise your flag" by MAN WITH A MISSION (Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans)
  2. "Just Communication" by TWO-MIX (Mobile Suit Gundam Wing)
  3. "DAYBREAK'S BELL" by L'arc~en~Ciel (Gundam 00)
  4. "Rhythm Emotion" by TWO-MIX (Mobile Suit Gundam Wing)
  5. "Ash Like Snow" by the brilliant green (Gundam 00)
  6. "Invoke" by T.M. Revolution (Gundam Seed)
  7. "Flying In The Sky" by Yoshifumi Ushima (Mobile Fighter G Gundam)
  8. "Hakanaku mo Towa no Kanashi" by UVERworld (Gundam 00 Second Season)
  9. "RAGE OF DUST" by SPYAIR (Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2)
  10. "Arashi no Naka de Kagayaite" by Chihiro Yonekura (Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team)

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

discuss this in the forum (34 posts) |
bookmark/share with:

The List homepage / archives