Category: Miscellaneous

Top 10 Anime of 2019

Top 10 Anime of 2019

Introduction

Not to be confused with my Top 10 Anime (2019 Edition) which covers my top 10 anime of all time, this end-of-year top 10 list is strictly about 2019 anime. Last year I ranked every single 2018 anime I watched in order from best to worst, but we’re not doing that this time around.

Also, tomorrow is Wednesday which usually means no post, but since it’s January 1st, there might be a “best anime of the 2010s” type post to commemorate the new decade.

And the final thing I feel the need to mention is that I’m sure this list is going to make a lot of people mad. But, rather than telling me what an idiot I am, I encourage you to leave your own top 10 lists of 2019 in the comments. I’m also more than happy to discuss why I ranked these anime as I did over on Discord.

1. Attack on Titan season 3 part 2

If you had told me at the start of this 2019 that Attack on Titan was going to be the best anime of the year (sorry, Mob fans, I haven’t actually seen Mob Psycho 100 II yet), I would have thought you were out of your mind. It’s not perfect by any means — I don’t even have it rated as a 10. However, it was this season that actually made me pick up the manga.

Unfortunately, there’s supposedly only one season of Attack on Titan left, and Studio WIT isn’t animating it. Based on what I’ve read in the manga though, I think 2 seasons would be preferable to reach the end without rushing through it.

Commander Erwin Smith from the anime series Attack on Titan season 3 part 2
Commander Erwin Smith

2. Vinland Saga

I can’t really think of a better way to end 2019 than with the ending of Vinland Saga season 1. The fact that this 24 episode season was just the prologue of the story is pretty incredible. I can’t wait to see where this series takes us next. Also, Askeladd may have been the best character of 2019.

And while my full review of Vinland Saga isn’t out at the time of this post, it should be out shortly (maybe by the time you’re reading it).

3. The Promised Neverland

The year started off strong with both The Promised Neverland and the fourth anime on this list. Although a fair amount of series attempt it, there aren’t too many that can successfully pull of a suspenseful game of cat and mouse quite like this one did.

My only fear regarding this series is the direction it’s headed in. This first season was so good, but from what I’ve seen of the manga, it goes off the deep end. Hopefully the single panels I’ve seen don’t tell the whole picture.

4. Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Luckily, the second season of Kaguya-sama: Love is War is coming out in 2020, because this is a great series. I wouldn’t really say it revolves around a game of cat and mouse like The Promised Neverland, but it kind of does. However, that’s not the draw of the series.

What makes this series so special is the characters and how they interact with each other. That, and Chika’s dance in the second ED.

Student council vice president Kaguya Shinomiya from the anime series Kaguya-sama: Love is War
Student council vice president Kaguya Shinomiya

5. Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2

Back when I first reviewed this series I don’t think it actually had an official English title yet, which is why I stick with the Japanese one. But that has nothing to do with the fact that this was one of the best anime of the year.

Some people think Takagi 2 was boring because it’s basically the same as Takagi 1, but I disagree. I think this season improved upon the formula of Takagi 1, and it also shifted the focus a bit more onto the relationships between characters.

6. How Heavy are the Dumbbells You Lift?

Now, my rating of this series may be a bit biased because I watched it with a group of people from my Discord server. However, while that likely did improve my enjoyment of this series, I still think it was very good regardless of that fact.

I’m sure I mentioned this in my full review of the series, but just like Laid-Back Camp made sleeping outside in the cold seem like a fun idea, How Heavy are the Dumbbells You Lift? made exercising seem like a fun idea. That’s no small feat.

7. Babylon

While I don’t think this choice is going to be the most controversial one on this list, it kind of is. Babylon is the only anime which made it onto this list which isn’t actually complete yet. I think there’s going to be 12 episodes, but only 8 are out so far. And, of those 8 I’ve actually only seen 7.

So although I think Babylon is one of the best anime of the year right now, there’s still 5 more episodes for me to watch which could change my mind. It’s also taking its sweet time, so who knows when it will actually be completed.

8. O Maidens in Your Savage Season

In my mind, O Maidens in Your Savage Season is the most shocking anime on this list. I didn’t actually expect it to be good when I first watched it, but it turned out to be one of the best dramas of the year. And if you know me, you’ll know I like my drama anime.

As a bonus, this had one of the best anime OP songs of the entire year in Otomedomoyo by CHiCO with HoneyWorks. In fact, this would have been my pick for best anime OP song of the year if not for the next anime on this list.

Literature club member Kazusa Onodera from the anime series O Maidens in Your Savage Season
Literature club member Kazusa Onodera

9. Fire Force

Fire Force wasn’t one of my favorite anime when it first started, and it still isn’t now that the first season has come to a close. But it was still one of the best anime of the year. And yes, I think it’s better than Demon Slayer which is probably the other anime people put alongside this one.

As I just mentioned, Fire Force also has the best OP song of the entire year in MAYDAY (feat. Ryo from Crystal Lake) by coldrain. I don’t exactly think this is the best OP of the year, but it’s the best OP song. I’ve downloaded like every coldrain song, and some Crystal Lake songs, because of it.

10. We Never Learn (1 and 2)

Here’s where we get into the truly controversial territory as far as most of you are probably concerned. That’s right, I put both seasons of Bokuben: We Never Learn, on my top 10 list. Both seasons came out this year, so I figured I’d just group them together into one unit.

But what that really means is your favorite Demon Slayer didn’t even make it onto my top 10 anime of 2019 list. And neither did My Hero Academia season 4. Sorry, Bokuben is just better than those two — MHA still has a cour left, so it could end up being better though.

I get that Bokuben isn’t the greatest anime around, but it’s extremely enjoyable to watch the characters. They’re not the best, but they are well written. My only real complaint about season 2 compared to season 1 was that both the OP and ED were worse. Other than that, both seasons were good.

Conclusion

So, how mad are you about my top 10 anime of 2019 list? And which anime made your list? I can probably guess the anime on most of your lists, but put them in the comments anyway. Maybe you have a sleeper hit on there which I overlooked this year.

If you enjoyed this list, or at least didn’t think it was the worst top 10 list you’ve ever read, then click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. I tweet out every time a new post goes live, so it’s the best way to stay up to date.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier, CaptainRainbowPizza for supporting at the Sensei tier, and Rob Wright and Keyboard Kadabra for supporting at the Kouhai tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

I’ll see you back here in 2020.

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Winter 2020 Anime

Winter 2020 Anime

Introduction

Before each season begins, I make sure to look through the upcoming anime and pick out what I’m going to watch. Then, there are usually a few anime I didn’t choose to watch, but end up picking up partway through the season because of the hype surrounding them.

This has led me to watching way too many anime recently — 20 currently airing anime just last season (not including Boruto) along with the non-currently airing anime I watch. Luckily for me, it seems like there are only 14 anime I plan to watch for winter 2020.

And actually, it’s 13 because there’s one which I plan to watch, but I’m not quite caught up on that series yet. Additionally, while I do add movies to my watch list, it generally takes me a while to get around to watching them — so I don’t include those in my seasonal anime count.

With all that said, today we’re going to briefly go through each of the 14 winter 2020 anime I plan to watch, why I chose them, and what my expectations for them are. Also, while I normally use English titles, I’m going to be using the Japanese titles today because it’s just easier for me.

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T

While I do plan to watch Railgun T at some point, I’m actually like two seasons behind on this series (I like to watch in release order). I haven’t seen Index III or Accelerator yet, so Railgun T will have to wait until after I’ve watched those. However, I do like the Railgun anime more than the Index ones, so I expect Railgun T will be pretty good.

Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka☆Magica Gaiden

Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka☆Magica Gaiden anime series cover art
Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka☆Magica Gaiden

Madoka Magica is one of my favorite anime of all time, so I’m obviously going to be watching the side story. I haven’t played the mobile game this anime is based on (because I already have FGO), but I hear the story is actually quite good. It’s also still made by Shaft, so I don’t think there will be too much to complain about.

My one worry is that this anime won’t live up to the original. It’s always scary when a series gets a new installment after so many years. If it’s bad, then it would have been better not to revive the series, and that’s never a situation you want to see.

Isekai Quartet 2nd Season

I have mixed feelings about Isekai Quartet 2nd Season. The first season was pretty good. But with the addition of Shield Hero characters I’m not sure how the dynamic will work out. I’m hoping it won’t feel like they’re forced into the series, but it probably will. There are also already a lot of characters we haven’t seen interact, so adding even more waters it down a bit.

Nekopara

Not that I actually ever play games on Steam, but the four Nekopara volumes are the only games on my Steam wish list. So with that in mind, I’m obviously going to be watching this anime. And, interestingly enough, it’s not tagged as an ecchi. This seems like the perfect anime to have both an ecchi and uncensored version of, but I guess they’re not doing that.

Darwin’s Game

Darwin’s Game is the first of two Sword Art Online season 1 clones I have on this list. Do I really think it’s going to be good? No. But I made sure to not watch the preview because I’m sure if I had done that I would have realized that adding this to the list was a bad idea.

Somali to Mori no Kamisama

Somali to Mori no Kamisama anime series cover art
Somali to Mori no Kamisama

I don’t know much about this series, but from the synopsis and cover art it gives me a serious Made in Abyss vibe. It’s also a fantasy adventure, so that’s just more proof it could be similar to Made in Abyss. I have high hopes for this series, especially because we don’t get nearly enough pure fantasy adventure anime.

Rikei ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shoumei shitemita.

Somehow this is the anime I’m most excited for this next season which I didn’t already know about. I watched the preview for it on a whim and I have to say that I expect it to be a good anime. It’s a comedy about two scientists who try expressing their love for one another by decoding the “science” of love.

The preview kind of had a Kaguya-sama feel to it, but the comedy doesn’t seem like it’s going to be that same type.

Heya Camp△

I’m honestly still not sure exactly what Heya Camp is. Is it the second season of Yuru Camp, or is it a short? I’ve seen both options floating around, so I don’t know which one to go with. While I’d prefer it to be the sequel to Yuru Camp, I’ll take any new content I can get from this series.

Infinite Dendrogram

Infinite Dendrogram is the second of two SAO season 1 clones. Again, I don’t really have high expectations for this series, but I’m going to watch it anyway. And as with Darwin’s Game, I didn’t watch the preview for this one either. But how bad could it really turn out to be?

Ishuzoku Reviewers

I’m calling it now — Ishuzoku Reviewers is going to be the best anime of the season. I don’t really understand what it is, but the synopsis was funny and it seems like another Monster Musume-type anime. There’s also a very real possibility that this anime is going to crash and burn, but either way I think I’ll get some entertainment out of it.

Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu.

As far as I can tell, this is just another version of Shield Hero, but with a female lead. I don’t expect this to be good at all, and if I had to guess this might end up being my lowest rated anime of the season. But with that said, I still need to watch it on the off chance that it turns out to be a good fantasy series.

Koisuru Asteroid

Cute girls doing anything? Sign me up. This time the cute girls are part of an astronomy (not astrology) club, so that’s pretty neat. I don’t really think there’s anything else to say about this one. It’s pretty straightforward and we all already know what it’s going to be like.

Overflow

When I read the synopsis for this anime, I knew I had to watch it. It’s an ecchi about a guy, his sister, and his female childhood friend sharing a bath. Yes, it’s going to be trash, but hopefully it will provide plenty of entertainment as well. I’m also guessing it’s going to be a short, because I don’t see how a full series could be made out of this.

Natsunagu!

Natsunagu! anime series cover art
Natsunagu!

The final anime on my list is the true wildcard of the list. It’s an original anime, but I don’t even know which studio it’s being made by. However, based on the cover art and the synopsis it seems like it’s my kind of anime — maybe something similar to The Tatami Galaxy.

Conclusion

So that’s my list of winter 2020 anime I plan to watch. Which of these anime are you planning to watch? And are there any anime which aren’t on my list which you think I need to check out? Let me know all of that in the comments.

If you enjoyed this post, remember to click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And, come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing past, present, and future anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN and CaptainRainbowPizza for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Sensei tiers respectively this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Upgraded Chakra Natures in Naruto

Upgraded Chakra Natures in Naruto

Basic Elemental Chakra Natures

In this next installment in my unofficial series on chakra natures, we’re going back to the basics (temporarily). As you should all know by now, there are five basic elemental natures: Fire, Wind, Lightning, Earth, and Water.

There are also the combinations of these natures: kekkei genkai and kekkei tōta. As well as the Yin, Yang, and Yin-Yang natures which aren’t associated with the basic elements. Today we’re going to ignore all of those and instead focus on the five basic elemental natures pictured below.

Basic Elemental Chakra Natures from the anime series Naruto
Basic Elemental Chakra Natures

And although we’re all familiar with these five natures, did you know that they can actually be upgraded into new natures without being combined? You can have an upgraded Fire, Wind, Lightning, Earth, and Water nature with far superior properties compared to the original.

There have also only been two confirmed users of these upgraded natures, which are Sasuke Uchiha and Nowaki. We all know Sasuke, but Nowaki was one of the antagonists in the Book of Sunrise arc which takes place during the epilogue of Naruto: Shippūden.

Also, while it’s not entirely clear how these upgraded natures manifest, it’s heavily implied that they’re simply another form of kekkei genkai. The only issue with this is that from what we’ve seen, there are other steps needed before these upgrades can be unlocked, which isn’t generally the case for kekkei genkai chakra natures.

Known Upgraded Chakra Natures

Blaze release is the upgraded version of Fire release which Sasuke can use. Interestingly, Amaterasu is not considered to be a blaze release jutsu — it’s simply the strongest Fire release jutsu. Where the Blaze release comes into play is Sasuke’s ability to manipulate the flames of Amaterasu.

Itachi could also use Amaterasu, but he wasn’t able to manipulate it in the same way Sasuke can, which is part of the reason we know only the manipulation is the Blaze release. The other reason we know this is because of the jutsu name Sasuke uses when he manipulates the flames begins with “Enton” instead of “Katon.”

Now, like I said, these upgraded natures may very well be kekkei genkai, but they aren’t awakened by normal means. Sasuke specifically has to use his Mangekyō Sharingan to use Blaze release. And, what makes this even stranger, is that Blase release only seems to apply to Amaterasu, which is actually a signature ability of Itachi’s Mangekyō Sharingan, not Sasuke’s.

Maybe my next Naruto series discussion should focus on the evolution of Sasuke’s eyes since that would take way too long to explain here.

Sasuke using his partial Susanoo and Blaze release from the anime series Naruto: Shippūden
Sasuke using his partial Susanoo and Blaze release

Typhoon release is the upgraded version of Wind release which Nowaki uses. Some people think this is a combination of Wind and Water, much like Ice (which would be the same as Wood and Mud both being a Water and Ground combination). However, it doesn’t seem like Water is actually necessary for this nature.

I think those people assume Water is involved because Nowaki is from the Land of Water, but that doesn’t actually matter. The Hidden Leaf Village is located in the Land of Fire, but that doesn’t mean everyone there knows Fire release.

Potential Upgraded Chakra Natures

Then there are the other potential upgraded chakra natures which aren’t confirmed and probably never will be. We don’t know what the upgraded versions of Water and Lightning could be, but I will say that it’s very possible Kakashi’s Purple Lightning jutsu is involved in some way much like Amaterasu is related to Blaze release.

The upgraded Earth release is interesting though. There are actually three possible natures which I think could be the upgraded version of Earth release: Mud, Crystal, and Steel.

Mud release is stated to be a combination of Water and Earth, it may actually simply be the upgraded Earth release. After all, Earth style users can use mud jutsu anyway, so what’s the point of the nature being distinct if it’s not an upgraded version? Crystal and Steel are also possibilities because they seem to basically be better versions of Earth release.

And, although this article has been focusing on the basic elemental chakra nature upgrades so far, I do want to point out that there may actually be other nature upgrades. While Yin and Yang aren’t elemental natures, they are still considered basic and therefore, logically, could be upgraded.

My guess is that the Dark and Swift releases are the upgraded versions of Yin and Yang respectively. Yin is based on spiritual energy, and Dark release is able to absorb ninjutsu. Meanwhile, Yang is based on physical energy, and Swift release vastly increases the user’s physical speed.

Conclusion

So what are your thoughts on these upgraded chakra natures? Do you think Blaze and Typhoon release are both just single-base nature kekkei genkai? Or do you think there’s more to them considering the fact that Sasuke needs his Mangekyō Sharingan to use his?

Also, what are your thoughts on the potential Earth, Yin, and Yang upgrades? And, could Steel or Crystal be the upgraded Earth? Or does Mud make more sense even though it’s already said to be Earth and Water? How about potential Water and Lightning upgraded natures? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this discussion, remember to click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And if there are any topics related to chakra natures which I haven’t already covered, please tweet them at me.

We also have a Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community. Not everyone in there likes Naruto, but as long as you don’t have the worst taste in anime on the planet I don’t think they’ll bully you too bad. No promises though.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN and CaptainRainbowPizza for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Sensei tiers respectively. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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DoubleSama’s Top 10 Anime (2019 Edition)

DoubleSama’s Top 10 Anime (2019 Edition)

Introduction

Today is December 19, 2019, which means it’s officially the second anniversary of DoubleSama.com. And with this second anniversary comes my third (second annual) top 10 anime post. Basically, every year I make a countdown list of my top 10 anime of all time.

It’s just an excuse for me to discuss some of my favorite anime once per year.

And while the list doesn’t change entirely from year to year, I do watch a significant number of anime. So every year some anime get dropped from the list, some anime I’ve watched in the past year get added to the list, and some anime simply swap positions on the list.

If you’re interested in reading the previous two top 10 anime lists, they can be found here:

But before we get into this year’s list, let’s quickly go over the anime which had to be cut this year, and one honorable mention.

Re:ZERO got bumped from the 10th position, but considering the second season has been announced, there’s a chance it’ll make a comeback in the 2020. From 9th position, Your Lie in April also got bumped off the list. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it, but it’s just not a top 10 anymore.

And the honorable mention is for Attack on Titan, which nearly made a comeback onto this year’s list. It was featured in the 8th position on my original list, but didn’t quite make the cut for the 2018 list. Season 3 Part 2 was almost good enough to bring the series back.

10. Fullmetal Alchemist

Once at a comfortable fifth position, Fullmetal Alchemist is barely hanging on to a place in my top 10. Is it a great anime? Yes, obviously, but as I’ve seen more anime, I’ve come across even more which are better than it.

And although I mention this every time I discuss this series, when I talk about Fullmetal Alchemist, I’m generally referring to both the original version and Brotherhood. I have both versions rated the same, though I do actually prefer the story of the 2003 version which is a pretty unpopular opinion.

If you haven’t seen this series yet, no matter who you are, I recommend you watch it. The other series on this top 10 list might not be for everyone, but Fullmetal Alchemist is one of those rare anime which is. I’d also suggest watching the 2003 version first specifically because it’s hard for some people to go back and watch that after watching the improved visuals of Brotherhood.

9. A Silent Voice

A Silent Voice is the first movie on this list, and is an anime movie I don’t think can truly be appreciated until you’re completely done with school. I know that some high schoolers, or even college students, will think I’m talking down to them when I say this, but that’s not the case.

This is a story about school bullying and the effects it can have on people, specifically those with disabilities (in this case deafness). I don’t believe that you can actually reflect on the movie and how it ties into your own school experiences until you’re beyond them.

I know that if I had watched this movie while still in school it wouldn’t have had nearly the same impact. So basically, if you’re in school still, this is a great movie, but if you’re out of school I think you’ll be able to appreciate the messages of this movie a lot more.

Shouya Ishida in elementary school from the anime movie A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice

8. KonoSuba

KonoSuba is the only comedy anime on my top 10 list, and I think it has been every single time I’ve made one. The problem with most comedy anime is that comedy is extremely subjective. And while that’s still the case with KonoSuba — and this may just mean it’s my kind of comedy — the way this series tackles comedy is what sets it apart.

You get four completely irredeemable people with nothing in common and throw them all together because they’re misfits. Then you drop them into crazy, yet stereotypical situations and see how they react.

The beauty of KonoSuba is the combination of the characters interacting with the situations they find themselves in while also interacting with each other. Most comedy series which try to go this route end up focusing more on one or the other, but KonoSuba has the perfect balance.

7. Mononoke (New!)

The first new anime to this list this year is Mononoke, and no, I don’t mean Princess Mononoke. Everyone thinks that’s the anime I’m referring to when I mention it. Mononoke started off as a short story as part of the Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror anthology, but later became a series of its own.

I had wanted to watch this anime for a long time, but simply didn’t get around to doing so until this year. It’s a bit hard to explain, but it’s formatted in a way which I really like — it has mini arcs which each deal with a specific kind of yokai from Japanese folklore.

If you’re already familiar with the Monogatari Series, or even the lesser Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, then that’s basically what this series is like. However, Mononoke is also much more visually stylized than either of those series, which is also something I enjoy about it.

The medicine seller and Kayo from the anime series Mononoke
Mononoke

6. March comes in like a lion (New!)

The second new anime to this list is March comes in like a lion. Specifically, it was the second season of this series which bumped it onto my list. The first season was good, but nowhere near good enough to be within my top 10. The second season basically takes everything good about the first season and drops the bad.

If you like slow burning drama anime, then I highly recommend March comes in like a lion. Actually, eight of the 10 anime on this list are technically dramas. But if drama specifically is what you want, then this is my pick for you.

The series follows a young, professional shogi player as he learns to balance school, shogi, family, and life in general. The second season, however, focuses a lot more on the supporting cast, and I think developing all of them really helped the series as a whole.

Rei Kiriyama's shogi friends from the anime series March comes in like a lion
March comes in like a lion

5. Your Name.

Your Name. is basically the definitive anime movie. When it came out it was the highest rated movie ever in Japan, and while I haven’t checked, it still probably holds that title. But, “spoiler,” it’s actually no longer the top movie on my list. Your Name. has been dropped from fourth place down to fifth.

And, I do feel the need to mention that some people will say including this movie on my list is a cop out because everyone has it on their list, or that it’s overrated. Well, I sort of agree with those points, but at the same time I think they’re incorrect. There’s a reason this is considered the best anime movie by many.

It looks great, the characters are engaging, the soundtrack is outstanding, the plot is good too when it’s there, and it was one of the few anime to actually make me feel something. That’s not the easiest thing to do, so any time it happens I know there’s something special about the anime.

4. In This Corner of the World

In This Corner of the World is the movie Your Name. was swapped with on my list. I’ve had an entire year more to think about these two movies since I last ranked them, and in that time I’ve come to appreciate In This Corner of the World even more.

As far as I’m concerned, it was always a 10/10 movie, but the more I think about this movie the more attention and love I feel it deserves. It’s a historical drama which takes place in a town on the outskirts of Hiroshima during World War II. If you know anything about history, you already know how that’s going to go down.

But what makes this movie so special is how it tells its story. It’s from the perspective of a Japanese civilian — a girl who’s just trying to live her life and has nothing to do with the war. And, the watercolor aesthetic the visuals have adds another layer of innocence onto the whole thing. If you want to watch the best anime movie I’ve ever seen, watch this.

Suzu Urano and Harumi Kuromura from the anime movie In This Corner of the World
In This Corner of the World

3. Violet Evergarden

I considered bumping Violet Evergarden up to the number two spot, but decided against it after a bit more thought. I love Violet Evergarden, and I’ll go on record saying that episode 10 is the single greatest episode of any anime ever made. However, I don’t think it’s the very best anime overall.

And another reason why I didn’t want to bump it up on my list quite yet is because I actually haven’t seen the OVA movie which came out back in August. I saw the OVA episode, but not the OVA movie. There’s also another movie for it coming out in April of 2020 I believe. So Violet just might be higher up on my list by this time next year.

But the main takeaway here is that if you want to see the single best anime episode ever, you need to watch Violet Evergarden. There’s also a significant chance that this series will make you cry — and as far as I’m concerned that means it’s doing its job perfectly.

2. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Madoka Magica is still here on my list after being my first ever 10/10 anime (the top six anime on this list I have rated at 10). I’ve had a soft spot for magical girl anime ever since watching Sailor Moon as a kid, but younger me could never have imagined that a series like Madoka Magica would come along.

This series changed everything when it came to magical girl anime. It follows just enough of the tropes to be recognizable as a magical girl series, but breaks all the rest in the most satisfying ways possible. And, we’re getting new Madoka Magica content in 2020 after seven years of waiting.

Also, for any males out there who look at Madoka Magica and think it’s a “girls’ anime,” I thought the same thing too at one point. But then I was convinced to watch it and realized how wrong I was for judging this series based on the visuals. That’s part of the reason why I’ll watch basically anything now.

1. The Monogatari Series

For the third time in a row, the Monogatari Series takes the top spot. And no, I don’t have it listed as number one because it’s my favorite anime — although it is. If that’s how I was ranking these series, then Naruto: Shippūden would be right up here as well, but it’s not.

At this point it’s almost hard for me to explain why the Monogatari Series is so good because I feel like I already do that every chance I get. What more is there for me to say about it to convince people to watch it?

However, although this is the best anime in my mind because of its characters, witty dialogue, and visuals, I recognize that this series isn’t for everyone. In fact, it’s pretty niche. But at the same time, I think it’s safe to say that the majority of anime on this top 10 list are fairly niche — general anime just aren’t typically as good.

If you’re into extremely developed characters, Japanese wordplay and folklore, reading a lot of dialogue, committing a lot of time to one series, and, of course, cute girls, then this is the anime for you. But if even one of those aspects doesn’t seem like something you’d be into, then you might not like this series much because it doubles down on all of it.

Conclusion

If you enjoyed this top 10 list, or if you found any good recommendations thanks to it, click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And, come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN and CaptainRainbowPizza for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Sensei tiers respectively this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Naruto: Extra Kekkei Genkai

Naruto: Extra Kekkei Genkai

Kekkei Genkai Nature Transformations

Today we’re going to discuss yet another aspect of chakra natures, since there’s just so much information about them. Specifically, this article is the other half to my discussion of the missing kekkei genkai chakra natures. This time we’ll be looking at what I’ve dubbed the “extra” kekkei genkai.

So basically, for this post I’m going to assume you’ve read at least those two previous posts on chakra natures and have a basic understanding of them and how the chart is laid out. But there are actually natures which aren’t represented on the chakra nature chart as we know it.

In fact, there are currently five kekkei genkai we know of that are left out of this chart. These are Crystal, Dark, Mud, Steel, and Swift release. Crystal release is probably the most well-known of these natures because it was focused on in the Three-Tails capture arc of Naruto: Shippūden.

However, Mud release is actually the nature we know the most about, and is featured in one of the novels. Dark, Steel, and Swift release were featured in movies and make the least amount of sense. But of course, I’ll be discussing them anyway.

Known Chakra Nature Combinations

Of the five extra kekkei genkai, Mud release is the only one which we actually know the base chakra natures for. It’s made by a combination of Water and Earth natures, which is exactly the same as Wood release. So, the reason Mud release isn’t featured on the nature chart is because Wood release is featured in its place.

Hiruzen Sarutobi using a makeshift Mud release jutsu from the anime series Naruto
Hiruzen Sarutobi using a makeshift Mud release jutsu

And, keep in mind, combined chakra natures are kekkei genkai, meaning they’re tied to bloodlines. So just because the First Hokage could use Wood release doesn’t mean he could also use Mud release. He wasn’t a member of the bloodline which possesses that kekkei genkai.

Also, Mud release is the least exciting of the natures I’ll be discussing today because you don’t exactly need the kekkei genkai to use it. Yes, to use true Mud release you do, but if you know both Water and Earth release you can basically create a makeshift Mud release.

Unknown Chakra Nature Combinations

Crystal release is assumed to use the Earth nature as a basic nature, but the fact is that we don’t actually know. It could be the combination of Earth and Lightning, like Explosion release, but it could also be the combination of two other natures since it’s never been confirmed.

There’s also the possibility of Crystal release being an upgraded version of Earth release. I’m not going to get into upgraded chakra natures today, but look forward to a post dedicated to those in the near future (probably next Monday).

But basically, Crystal release can do just about everything Earth release can do, but stronger. It can also do things Earth release can’t do, such as create reflections much like how Haku used his Ice release back at the start of Naruto.

Guren using a Crystal release jutsu on Hinata from the anime series Naruto: Shippūden
Guren using a Crystal release jutsu on Hinata

Steel release is another one which likely incorporates Earth release in some way. It could be something like a combination of Earth and Fire, much like Lava release. Unfortunately, we don’t really know anything else about Steel release.

It would have been nice if we met a user of this style during the Stone Village arc of Boruto, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The Boruto series doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to expand upon these extra kekkei genkai.

But, although I say that, the next episode in Boruto has to do with the Samurai of the Land of Iron. If not the Land of Earth, I would expect a Steel release user to be from the Land of Iron, so maybe it’ll actually happen.

Are These Even Chakra Nature Combinations?

Dark release is where things start getting a bit more interesting. As far as I can tell, it isn’t a combination of any basic elemental chakra natures. Instead, it may be a combination of both Yin and Yang release, or simply an upgraded version of Yin release.

One of the notable jutsu using Dark release involves absorbing ninjutsu into a point on the user’s palm designated by a black diamond symbol. Based on this, Dark release may in fact be a kekkei genkai developed by close relatives of the Ōtsutsuki clan.

We’ve seen Ōtsutsuki clan members able to absorb chakra into their palms — like Momoshiki through the Rinnegan on his palms. We also know that Boruto received a black diamond mark on his own palm after defeating Momoshiki. Could this somehow be related to Dark release?

Probably not considering this is a movie-only chakra nature, but let’s just pretend.

The black diamond symbol on Boruto's palm from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
The black diamond symbol on Boruto’s palm

The final extra kekkei genkai is Swift release, which somehow makes even less sense than Dark release. If Dark release is an upgraded version of Yin release, then Swift release is an upgraded version of Yang release. It basically just allows the user to move at insane speeds.

There’s not really anything else to say about that nature. It’s pretty basic, but it also makes no sense because shinobi can already move at crazy speeds. And any teleportation jutsu is essentially just moving at the speed of light, so we already have that as well.

Conclusion

What are your thoughts on these extra kekkei genkai chakra natures? Do you think we’ll ever see them come up in the Boruto series? Let me know in the comments. I have my doubts, but it’s not entirely impossible.

Crystal release was anime-only (so it could come back), and Dark, Swift, and Steel were movie-only. However, although I’ve seen it said that Mud is novel-only, I kind of remember it being mentioned in the anime. I don’t know if we ever saw someone use Mud release, but I feel like it was explained, maybe by Yamato in relation to his Wood release.

If you enjoyed this post, click the like button ❤ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content, including my discussion of upgraded chakra natures. And, come join our Discord server so you can discuss anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN and CaptainRainbowPizza for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Sensei tiers respectively this month. For more information on how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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