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spoilers abound. you have been warned.

No. Really. HUGE spoilers here. I read and am completely up-to-date on the Naruto Shippuden manga. So, if you’re strictly an anime watcher, you won’t get to this part for awhile. Tobi has been a mysterious figure since his first appearance. The most popular speculation are Obito and who he actually claims to be, Madara Uchiha.

First, I’ll explain the “Obito is Tobi,” or OiT, theory. It’s pretty self explanatory. People who champion this notion do, in fact, believe that the main antagonist of the Naruto series, Tobi, is none other than a side character from Kakashi’s past, Obito Uchiha. Tobi started off as a goofball member of Akatsuki, a group bent on retrieving all nine of the tailed beasts to resurrect the “ten tails.” Eventually, he became the last man standing in the group and revealed himself as Madara Uchiha.

Now, this is bizarre, because Madara was friends, and eventually enemies, with the first Hokage who was rumored to have destroyed him. That was like, over a hundred years ago, so speculation started to swirl on how he could still be alive so long.

As far as Obito goes, he was a former team mate of Kakashi’s who was very much like Naruto. He valued friendship and the safety of team members over the success of the mission. Obito and Kakashi’s third team member, Rin, was kidnapped during a mission, and the pair ended up saving her. In doing so, however, Obito was crushed by a giant boulder. Before he died, he had Rin, a medical ninja, transplant one of his Uchiha eyes into Kakashi (who had previously suffered an eye injury) as a thank you for going along with him to save Rin.

Tobi and Obito

Tobi and Obito

To sum things up, both Madara and Obito are dead. In fact, every member of the Uchiha clan is presumed dead at this point except for Sasuke. Sasuke’s elder brother, Itachi, wiped out all the members of the Uchiha clan, except Sasuke, several years prior to the start of part 1 on orders of the third Hokage. Itachi later dies in battle with his younger brother. But, even after Tobi reveals himself as Madara, the OiT theorists have remained ever vigilant. Here’s why:

1. Obito and Madara are both Uchihas, a clan of people who are able to wield an eye power called the Sharingan. Tobi is also a Sharingan user, as seen through the one eye hole of his mask.

2. When Obito died, he had given his left eye to Kakashi. Tobi has a single eye hole in his mask, over his right eye.

3. Both have similar spikey haircuts, and Tobi appears to be too young, and his hair far too short, to be the wild Madara.

4. Their names are very similar.

As convincing as this is, there’s a problem. Obito was just like Naruto, ultimately good and valued friendship. What could have possibly happened, if Tobi is Obito, to have turned him into the picture of pure evil?

And, another hole in the works, during Tobi’s fight with Konan, his mask breaks and though you don’t see his whole face, he is shown to have both eyes. Both Sharingan eyes. So is he really Madara then? And here comes the major spoilers: according to the newest chapter of the Naruto Shippuden manga, perhaps not. Unless, of course, there’s other unforeseen circumstances at work here that we are unaware of yet at the present.

Madara Uchiha

Madara Uchiha

Kabuto finally reveals his trump card, the body in the casket that made Tobi nervous, Madara Uchiha’s body. It is made clear that it is, in fact, Madara, and he is unmistakably dead.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Naruto plot line from the past couple of months, here’s a short recap. All the major ninja villages have banned together to form the joint shinobi army against the forces of Tobi and Orochimaru infested Kabuto (it’s a tender subject. Look for my other posts on Kabuto). Kabuto has perfected the Impure World Ressurection Jutsu that allows the user to utilize dead bodies with all their powers. The bodies are back “alive,” but they have no control over their actions and are bent to the will of the Jutsu user. Madara is being used under this Jutsu.

So if that’s the real Madara, then who the !@$% is Tobi?! Sure, the OiT theorists are probably celebrating right now, but I’m not convinced for the reasons I’ve already mentioned. Then what’s going on? Your guess is as good as mine, and I invite you to share your thoughts. But, here’s what I’m leaning toward. Tobi is probably someone related to Madara, such as a son we don’t know about, or his younger brother Izuna. Maybe Madara wasn’t the strongest son after all. Again, this is just a guess here. It could be something completely out of left field here for all we know.

Now that the real Madara has stood up, I can’t wait for Tobi to be completely unmasked.

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Vegeta, the fashion icon

Posted: July 10, 2011 in random articles
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Badwick, Trigun

Badwick, a one-episode wonder in Trigun

This post has been awhile in the making, ever since I watched Trigun. Episode 14, to be exact. It chronicles the events of an elder couple who are trying to save their land from being taken by bandits. Eventually, their only son ends up securing their deed at the city hall, making it impossible for the bandits to take the land from them. This guy’s name is Badwick.

When I saw this guy, I immediately took a screen shot, because the outfit looked strangely familiar. Of course, I knew from exactly where.

Vegeta

Vegeta, Dragon Ball Z

Vegeta. The similarities are striking. Both of them are wearing a blue-ish shirt with a white vest that has gold, sectioned straps. Badwick’s shirt is more gray, but could be taken as an old dusty blue, which is what I saw when watching it.

Dragon Ball Z was released as an anime first, spanning many seasons, and ending in 1996. Trigun was released in 1998. From this timeline, it’s obvious Vegeta is clearly the trend-setter here.

Vegeta's pink shirt

Vegeta rocking the pink shirt

But of course, if you’ve seen Dragon Ball Z, you’d know that Vegeta has always been a trend-setter. Who remembers the pink shirt? Hot right? It’s totally over nine thousand!

Breaking News!!

Posted: June 29, 2011 in random articles
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I’ve never been this excited… ever! My brother’s fiance is back home in Japan, and she sent me a link of a new comedy drama starting in July. OURAN HIGHSCHOOL HOST CLUB is going live action!!! Love it! I can’t watch the trailer, unfortunately. It won’t let me, because I’m not located in Japan. Kanashii!! But I am now following them on twitter, even if I have to use google translate to read it. Starting July 22nd, I’ll be stalking the internet for the English sub title version. So far the cast looks great, except that I wish Tamaki and Honey were more blonde.

Blonde Puppy Brigade

Posted: May 1, 2011 in random articles
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Tamaki Suou

Tamaki Suou

spoilers abound. you have been warned.

For those of you who don’t know, Ouran Highschool Host Club is my favorite anime to date. The president of the Host Club is Tamaki Suou. He’s a second year highschool student at the elite Ouran Academy, a school for the children of extremely wealthy families. From the time Haruhi Fujioka, a commoner who gets into Ouran on scholarship, gets mixed up with the Host Club, Tamaki becomes obsessed with learning about and doing things the commoner way.

Tamaki is the illegitimate son of Ouran’s chairman to a French woman whom he fell in love with. His father’s family, especially his grandmother, is not fond of Tamaki’s mother and pays her off to have Tamaki live in Japan with his father. As his father has no heir at this point, it was the only choice they had. Part of the deal includes that she never see her son again. Tamaki’s mother is frequently ill, and he agrees with the terms so that his mother can have a comfortable life for herself. Despite his past, Tamaki is an extremely positive and cheerful young man, is genuinely caring and enthusiastic, and has insane piano skills.

Vash

Vash the Stampede

I am almost half way through Trigun, and will probably have it finished here in the next few days. It is quickly becoming one of my top 5 favorite anime, especially after the introduction of Nicholas D. Wolfwood and the shoot out contest episode. Because I don’t know Vash’s full story at this point, this will be short.

Vash the Stampede is an ace gunman and vigilante for peace and love. Though he has exceptional shooting and dodging abilities, he never shoots to kill. Snuffing out even one human life would mean the end of the world to him. Most often, he appears to be a klutzy goof ball with an infatuation for beautiful women. Most people don’t believe that he’s the renowned gunman with a 60 billion doubledollar (their currency) bounty on his head. But when it gets down to business, he can be super serious.

He seems to have a fair bit of a tragic past, and I’m still waiting for it to reveal itself.

Vash's puppy face

Vash's puppy face

Now, the whole point of this post is to compare these two. When I was watching episdoe 6, Lost July, of Trigun, I witnessed a scene that made me double take. This chick hired Vash as a body guard, and she says, “come, Spot!” to order him to follow her. Subsequently, he makes a puppy face, barks, and proceeds to follow. Immediately, I thought of Tamaki Suou from Ouran who is know in the Host Club for his infamous puppy face that allows him to get his way. Specifically, he uses it to get the Host Club to get in the same boat about saving the Newspaper Club from being dismantled. As soon as the rest of the Host Club relent, he lets out a loud bark.

This got me thinking about how similar these two characters are. For the most part, both characters appear silly and ridiculous and are often chastised for not being or taking things seriously.

Tamaki's puppy face

Tamaki's puppy face

In reality, both of them are extremely talented, Vash with guns and Tamaki with the piano, and can be very down to earth and serious.They use their talents in these serious situations for the benefit of others and learned their respective talents for selfless reasons. Tamaki initially started playing the piano to keep his ill mother company, while Vash learns to became a gunman to protect others.

Despite their tragic pasts, both characters continually look forward. Even though neither of them are my favorite in their respective anime (for obvious reasons, Kyoya wins out in Ouran, while Wolfwood wins in Trigun), their personalities make them very lovable characters whom I hold a great deal of respect for.

spoilers abound. you have been warned.

Both of these guys, while at first appeared to be totally awesome megane danshi, have done enough things to warrant snapping their glasses in half. Kabuto will have his own Megane Danshi post later, as I was a huge fan of him for years, until they decided 300 episodes in to start a transformation that is absolutely unforgiveable. Aizen, on the other hand, didn’t have much of a shot at anything, as he was revealed early on that he was full of pure evil.

Aizen Sosuke

Aizen Sosuke, Squad 5 captain

Aizen Sosuke started out in the anime, Bleach, as squad 5’s captain in Soul Society. While at first Soul Society was enemy territory to the main protagonists, Ichigo and his party, the end of the Soul Society arc reveals that a third party had organized a plot to make them think they were against each other. During this arc, Squad 5 captain, Aizen, was nailed, dead, to the side of a tower. At the time, my heart sank, as I was excited that there was a megane danshi character, only for him to be murdered several episodes after his introduction.

As it turns out, his corpse was a planted fake, and the real master mind behind the plot was none other than Aizen himself. He intended to capture an extremely powerful sphere, the Hogyoku, that was inhabiting a fellow Soul Society squad member. The sphere blurs racial lines between humans, soul reapers and hollows, enabling the ability to utilize powers one could not obtain on their own.

Aizen Sosuke

Aizen, after revealing himself as the main antagonist

The plot involved pitting the 12 squad captains against each other and the execution of Rukia, who had the sphere implanted inside her decades prior without her knowledge. After extracting the sphere, with Rukia still alive, Aizen retreats to Hueco Mondo, another spirit realm.

At this point, Aizen’s appearance changes, including the dissolving of his glasses (yes!). Now he just looks like an evil tool, which is fine by me, because that’s what he is. Mid way into the Hueco Mondo arc, I lot interest in Bleach. I guess I can only handle one ongoing anime at a time, and right now I like Naruto Shippuden FAR better. Bleach has become full of random battles in which it takes 12 episodes to finish, not unlike DBZ. They also keep bringing out new powers in each new battle that I’m completely confused as to why they never used them sooner, as its not like they did any extra training or research or whatever prior to it.

Kabuto Yakushi

Kabuto Yakushi

Kabuto, though revealed semi-early on in Naruto as being on the side of the main antagonist Orochimaru, was always hard to decipher. Though Orochimaru never doubted Kabuto’s loyalty, he always questioned his motives, as does the viewer.

Despite his stated alliance, Kabuto heals protagonists on a couple of occasions without being asked. The first time, Hinata was having heart issues that she never recovered from during her Chuunin exam match. Kabuto, disguised as one of Konoha’s police force, the Anbu, pulls her aside and completely heals her. The second time, he heals Sakura after Naruto hurt her in his nine-tails cloak state. He had witnesses, and he explained to them that healing her would mean more people to take out Akatsuki members, a third party organization that is enemies of both Orochimaru and Konoha.

The mystery around his loyalty and motives is part of what makes him intriguing. He’s also probably the best medical ninja in existence, because of all the experiments and research he’s been a part of for Orochimaru. He’s intelligent and mysterious, such a winning combination. For 4 years I watched Naruto and enjoyed his character, and he is one of my favorite characters of all time.

Then he goes and destroys himself.

Kabuto, after implanting Orochimaru's cells

Kabuto, after implanting Orochimaru's cells

Orochimaru picked a losing fight with Sasuke, and he died. Kabuto decided it was a great idea to implant Orochimaru’s cells within himself. At first, I was like, ok, so he’s just got scales over his arm and half his face, that’s not too bad. He is still wearing his glasses, and now we know he could have cared less about Orochimaru, so he’s still mysterious. He was also seemingly a fair bit insane at this point, after thanking Naruto for bizarre reasons. Usually he’s on the quiet and reserved side. Everyone was confused. No one had any idea what he was going to do, not even the viewer.

Then he disappeared.

For a long time, he didn’t appear in the manga.

Kabuto Returns

Kabuto, in his new form

Turns out, he had a whole plan brewing from day one, including hoarding the bodies of well known deceased ninjas. Then he reappears to leverage this with Madara Uchiha, the ultimate antagonist of the series.

And I wanted to cry when I saw him.

The entirety of his skin is now scaly and white. He’s got Orochimaru’s eyes and a snake for a tail. He even turns into a full fledge snake at one point. His hair is all shorter and scraggly, and he stays shrouded in a cloak with moth eyes on the hood. This, surely, can’t be Kabuto.

I have never been more upset with a turn of events in an anime. I do not accept this transformation, and for all intents and purposes, Kabuto is dead. He died when he let Orochimaru into himself (and you may take that phrase however you see fit). I don’t know who this new cloaked, snake freak is, but surely he’s not the intelligent and mysterious Kabuto Yakushi.

Futago: Twins!

Posted: April 21, 2011 in random articles
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Hitachiin Twins

Kaoru (left), and Hikaru (right) Hitachiin

spoilers abound. you have been warned.

A subject I relate to: Twins, or in Japanese, Futago! I am also a twin. Her name is Alicia, and she is also a Japanese and anime fan like me!

If I say Hikaru and Kaoru, you might think of the Hitachiin twins from Ouran Highschool Host Club, right?

These two trouble makers go on a self discovery journey in the Host Club, started by Tamaki’s persistence in playing the “Which one is Hikaru” game and inviting them to expand their world by joining the Host Club. Their borders are further broken down when Haruhi reveals she can tell them apart based on their personality, despite them wearing hats and dying their hair.

Hikaru is generally more outspoken, and a little more dense in the emotional state of others. Kaoru is more observant, reserved, and gentle.

Kaoru (left), and Hikaru (right) Mido

Now what about the Mido twins from Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase? They’re also named Hikaru and Kaoru. Weird, right?

These two little girls are basically elemental mages (World of Warcraft analogy, sorry ^_^) and are the cousins (and betrothed) to the the main character Kouhei (Kaoru) and their cousin Seiji (Hikaru). Whether the betrothals are serious or not is debatable, but it does strike a lot of initial animosity toward Hazuki (the title character) who has a strong tie to Kouhei.

Their names are not the only things in common with the Hitachiin twins. Kaoru is shy, quiet, and a bit of a crybaby, while Hikaru is outspoken and somewhat aggressive. Though similar dynamics exist between both twins, the difference is more obvious between the Mido twins.

In comparison, my twin and I are more like the Hitachiin twins; she is more reserved than I am, but our dynamics are not as pronounced.