One of the most unique features about anime is its broad range of fantasy. That broadness includes the variety of weapons and gear that different characters use. This prompt in that 30 Day Anime Challenge list that I’ve been working through suggests that I can only choose one favorite weapon, gear, or armor.
But I’m not gonna choose just one because that’s boring.
Unique weapons and armor make anime stand out in comparison to other mediums. There’s obviously some cross-influence nowadays, but I am old enough to remember a time when anime had virtually no influence over the cartoons and other stories we tell in the West. That means I also remember how different anime and manga were from anything else I’d seen or read.
So with all of that in mind, it makes more sense to me to talk about several weapons that I think are particularly unique.
Ryuko’s Scissor Blade
Who’s surprised that Kill la Kill has crept onto this list? No one. The answer is no one. For anyone wondering if I’ll do another super-serious Kill la Kill post, rest assured! I’ve got one in the works, although it’ll be a couple months until I post it here.
However, I’m not going to be that serious about today.
No, today I’m just gonna unashamedly gush at how cool Ryuko’s scissor blade it. It’s big. It’s red. It can fit in her pocket. It cuts life fibers and doesn’t afraid of anything, and it helps Ryuko to not lose her way.
The scissor blade isn’t the only magical, transforming sword in anime. It’s not even the only giant scissor in anime. But its flashy introduction matches that of its unconventional, lemon-eating wielder (she didn’t even peel it. SHE DID NOT. EVEN. PEEL IT.) and its missing half constantly guides Ryuko to liberating yet cutting truths.
All Weapons in Soul Eater
Anime fans are familiar with protagonists’ special weapons, but Soul Eater takes it to a whole different level by having the weapons be shape-shifting people. Not only does this create some interesting dynamics between said weapons and their wielders, but it also provides some of the coolest explorations of synchronicity.
Paper in Read or Die
Magic scissor blades and sweet people-weapons are interesting, but not that much of a stretch as far as what anime can present as unique weapons. To this day, however, Read or Die’s paper magic is the most unique weapon I’ve seen in an anime. The only other thing that comes close is Rei’s akuryo taisain.
Of course, a quick search reveals that such paper magic isn’t entirely unique to this series, but it might be one of the more popular examples of characters manipulating paper as easily as the Avatar manipulates the four elements.
So the moral of the story is that anime weapons are neat. The sky’s the limit as far as what can be a weapon.
Next: Favorite goofy anime character.