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The List
6 Most Dangerous Military Institutions

by Lynzee Loveridge,

I'm wading through panels and cosplayers at Sakura-Con! Please enjoy this rerun until return!

There are few tropes capable of mirroring real world fears like a world power gone corrupt and its military running rampant. The backdrop is a common one, be it a dystopian future or a righteous war against a neighboring nation. Heroes have fought to overthrow menacing dictators backed by their multitude of highly-trained soldiers in fiction forever. In anime those troops just might be pilots of humanoid mecha, space imperialists, or genetically engineered vampire killers.

Thanks to Todd Davis for sending in this idea!

6. Red Ribbon Army (Dragon Ball) A shadowy organization with a cartoonishly simple goal: obtain all the Dragon Balls and wish for world domination. Despite the army's comedic approach to evil, they do have several intimidating members within in their ranks. The most well known may be Dr. Gero, the father of the Androids and one of Dragon Ball Z's primary antagonists: Cell. Mercenary Tao is another adversary that initially gives Goku a tough time before he's able to better hone his skills. The army has its share of stand outs but is led by a commander with a Napoleon complex who seems just as eager to kill off his own soldiers as collecting the Dragon Balls.

5. United Federation (Eureka Seven) The United Federation poses a serious threat thanks to its commander's single-minded obsession. The army isn't inherently evil, it's just that Colonel Dewey is hellbent on destroying Scrub Coral and has little regard on the consequences for humanity. The rest of the armed forces are deployed at his will, assisting in his mass murders of humans and Coralians alike. The supervising Sage Council are aware of Dewey's machinations but he overthrows them as well. Many of the elite fighters in the United Federation are underage girls, some which are victims of ethnic cleansing and willing to obey Dewey's every order.

4. The Principality of Zeon (Mobile Suit Gundam) The foes to the Earth Federation are an example of what happens when a military oligarchy is given free reign. Their rapid development of advanced weaponry, like taking mobile suits intended for building and repurposing them for war, leave citizens cowering. Their disregard for human life reaches new heights when an entire space colony is purposefully sent on a conclusion course with Earth and destroys the entire continent of Australia. Another major battle wipes out a second colony before both sides sign a treaty promising not to throw colonies around as weapons.

3. Britannian Military (Code Geass) The Britannian military are like deadly, technological advanced ants. Its numbers are countless and easily make up one of the largest armed forces within the Code Geass universe. The ranks, like the Empire itself, is highly xenophobic. Honorary Britannians get high-risk duties like checking and dismantling bombs in hostile territory with no ranged weapon. The Empire uses its military prowess to maintain its status quo, including the treatment of non-Britannians like second-class citizens. Within its arsenal are Knightmare Frames, war machines replacing current era tanks and used to quickly resolve any "conflict" that might trouble the Empire.

2. Iscariot (Hellsing) Owned and operated by the Catholic Church, Iscariot technically doesn't exist, which is the kind of secrecy you need when you're engaging in all out genocide of vampires and the "unholy." Their goal seems understandable at first. Vampires are rarely anything but a threat to humans, but the holy army's means become less justifiable when they employ the likes of Alexander Anderson, engage in their own sort of genetic engineering, and hold a hatred for Protestants nearly as fiery as their hatred for vampires. Its troops are made up of elite fighters using anything and everything the situation calls for to wipe out their opponents from swords to blessed bayonets.

1. State Military (Fullmetal Alchemist) The first and most obvious indicator that Amestris' armed forces are corrupt is their leader's title. Helmed by the Führer, the State Military is the brute force used to maintain Amestris interests, Interests that include maintaining an authoritarian stronghold over its citizens and feeding the war machine that powers its economy. The army makes use of standard weaponry, likes guns and other artillery, but it also employs alchemists. These soldiers are especially destructive, some with scores of dead to their credit.

The new poll: Which Spring 2018 series are you most looking forward to?

The old poll: The ultimate monster tournament begins! Which catcher/trainer would take home the gold?
  1. Card Captor Sakura (Card Captor Sakura)
  2. Yugi (Yu-Gi-Oh!)
  3. Ash Ketchum/Satoshi (Pokémon)
  4. Taichi "Tai" Kamiya (Digimon)
  5. Seto Kaiba (Yu-Gi-Oh!)
  6. Gary Oak (Pokémon)
  7. Red (Pokémon Origins)
  8. Asia Argento (High School DxD)
  9. Erin (Kemono no Sou-ja Erin)
  10. Abe no Masahiro (Shonen Onmyouji)

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.

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