Just a reminder…
All Hero Moments were scored 1-5 on;
- Importance to plot outcome (ITPO)
- Importance to character development (ITCD)
- Effect on Villain(s) mental state (EOVMS)
These criteria are also ranked in order of importance, so that in cases of equal scoring, two or more HM can be separated by which scored higher on the first criterion in the above list. If that score is also the same than I referred to the next one, if that was also the same, I proceeded to the following one, and so on and so forth.
20 – Hunter x Hunter, Chimera Ants Saga
Gon’s Rage Transformation vs Pitou – 24
When someone posts a spoiler on their facebook.
ITPO = 2, because all though this transformation allowed him to pummel the sin out of and then back into Pitou, he couldn’t maintain it long enough to use it against the main enemy of the story arc.
ITCD = 4, Obviously this was a major turning moment for Gon, and showed you how monstrously strong he could become in future, as well as how far he’s prepared to go to seek vengeance for those he cares about. However, it misses out on top marks because we never see this form again and thus don’t really know of its usefulness in his future battles.
Emotiveness = 4, This scene was set up in the perfect HM way, someone you love is hurt, then you lose your marbles in an almost satanic rage, and transform into a being of pure unadulterated vengeance. I was truly thrilled to the bone watching this, however, it did get a little – watching a grown man kick a puppy – towards the end, so it just misses out on full marks.
Badassness = 5, Had to be a straight five! how can you not adorn that number onto an individual, who let himself become the devil’s Etch-a-sketch so he could level up into emperor quadriceps?! Epic, powerful, brutal and deadly.
Animation = 5, This too was excellent, and well above the average level for the series (which is good). I always feel that black and white rough sketch style is great for depicting madness.
EOVMS = 4, The effect of seeing a pre-pubescent boy turn into a homicidal Mr Olympia was immense, as you could imagine. Pitou was fearful and dumbfounded, however she never lost the will to fight back, and also the Arcs main villain never saw Gon in this form, further hindering it from scoring full points.
19 – Bleach, The Espada Arc
Ichigo’s resurrection vs Ulquiora – 24
And it was at this point that Jimmy realised he f***** up.
ITPO = 3, This bone chilling transformation of ass whoppery, although allowing my boi Kurosaki to annihilate Ulquiora (one of the main enemies of the arc), didn’t last long enough for him to be able to use it on the main foe – Aizen.
ITCD = 4, A very important moment, as it showed the fullness of the hollow powers that have been teased since the start of the soul society arc, a power that allowed him to cheat death. However, it misses out on full marks as we never again saw its use for the remainder of the Anime.
Emotiveness = 5, I spent the whole episode making animal noises at my laptop screen! what an incredibly aggressive and powerfully depicted character power up. I think this is my most memorable bleach moment. I’m sure this transformation could have beat Aizen, maybe not after he fused with the Hogyoku, but definitely in his soul reaper form.
Badassness = 5, It cheated death, became so powerfully steeped in a lust for vengeance, it lost its higher brain functions, yet STILL developed telekinesis. WHAT?!
Animation = 4, A very well animated episode and transformation, but nothing exceptional or outside the realms of expectation for a premier moment, in terms of artistic style or technique.
EOVMS = 3, This only gets an average score because, although Ulquiora was startled, and a certain points amazed, he never lost the will to fight or the belief that he could win. He even found a semblance of peace in his demise.
18 – Naruto Shippuuden, 4th great Ninja war saga.
Minato Flying Raijin Lv2 vs Tobi – 24
When you Minato became Neo, Morpheus and Jesus in one move!
ITPO = 4, The meaning in this moment was that it allowed the ‘good guys to gain valuable combat knowledge on the mysterious interdimensionally phasing ‘Tobi’. Not to mention stall him enough to prevent to complete destruction of the Leaf and allow his wife to give birth to Uzamaki Naruto. But, ultimately it didn’t kill his foe or stop Tobi’s Master plan.
ITCD = 4, It allowed us to see that battle intelligence, and the full power of his teleportation jutsu. This move also showed that he had surpassed the 2nd Hokage and current Raikage in terms of speed. However, due to the fact that we never saw this particular Jutsu again it misses out on full marks.
Emotiveness = 5, WHEN I TELL YOU THE MAN BECAME NEO, MORPHEUS AND JESUS IN ONE MOVE, I MEAN IT!
Badassness = 4, The only reason this doesn’t get a 5 is because it’s awesomeness is too clean-cut, like a hollywood summer blockbuster, and not a death-defying moment that flirts with evility.
Animation = 4, Beautifully animated, with awesome-sauce dripping all over that slow motion. But nothing new, different or out of the box.
EOVMS = 3, For all of Minato’s brilliance, Tobi never seemed particularly overwhelmed or phased. Although you did sense that he gained respect for the hokage’s battle prowess.
17 – One Piece, Thriller Bark Arc
Zoro absorbing all of Luffy’s damage & fatigue against Geko Moria –24
Is Zoro stronger than Luffy????!!!!!!! Nah man, this guy has been moving mad for the longest. I WANT ANSWERS.
ITPO = 5, Without this exchange, Luffy and the straw hat crew would have been killed or at least imprisoned. Possibly, putting a definitive end to their epic journey to the One Piece. Therefore maximum points are fully deserved.
ITCD = 4, Apart from the impressive insinuation that Zoro is at least capable of handling as much damage as Luffy if not more, this moment begins in earnest the sub plot of whether or not Zoro is stronger the his Captain, and therefore paints all further power ups and physical demonstrations of sword wielding excellence in a different light.
Emotiveness = 3, This unlike other more titillating HM, wasn’t an OMG punch your brother in the gut moment, but more of a mumble under your breath while fiddling with your goatee moment.
Badassness = 5, If you tell me that absorbing all of somebody else’s PAIN and FATIGUE on top of your own post battle shellacking to save their life and that of your whole crew isn’t the height of badassery? Then please absorb somebody else’s post leg day DOMS on top of your own Leg Day DOMS, then come and talk to me. IF, you still have any fully attached knee ligaments.
Animation = 3, Pretty average and typical of what one would expect from One Piece. that’s not to say that it’s poor.
EOVMS = 4, This can be summed up simply, by the fact that the ‘enemy’ was so impressed by this action that he completely reversed his mission. In fact, he went one step further and actually helped them further their mission.
16 – Dragon Ball Super, Goku Black Saga
Trunks defeating Zamasu with a spirit bomb sword – 24
Where do a start with this one…? With his spontaneous God level power up? or The Ability to summon the spirit bomb?A move we’ve never seen him use, one that took Goku intense training to master. Then miraculously exhibiting God level Ki control to turn it into a freekin sword!
ITPO = 5, Obviously this slightly perplexing event scores maximum points because it was the ultimate act in the conclusion of this story arc. Something that can’t always be said for most HM.
ITCD = 4, Any power up of newly demonstrated move is going to be of importance to character development, however, this misses out of full marks due to the fact that it presents us with more questions about this ingenious character. Questions that may never be answered because he’s not part of ‘our’ DB time line.
Emotiveness = 4, Still can’t decide if I was more confused or amazing at these series of events. Regardless, both still fall into the category of emotiveness, and thus this HM scores highly.
Badassness = 3, Although turning a spirit bomb into a sword bigger than Zangetsu is pretty badass, as I mentioned before the move’s righteousness, and low risk nature lessens it’s edge (no pun intended).
Animation = 4, A very well animated sequence from start to finish, providing the kind of flashy beat down we all want to see! but exceptional? not quite.
EOVMS = 4, Zamasu was completely bewildered by the fact that his fused God powers were being put to the sword, crumbling and losing his composure like a digestive biscuit in an old folks home. But, he still tried to fight on albeit to no avail.
15 – One Piece, Enies Lobby Arc
Gear 2nd first time – 24.5
SWEET BURNING HOT RUBBER FISTS! Ingenious, Jaw dropping and fantastical. The first HM of its type in One Piece for me. #muchneeded
ITPO = 4, Gave Bluno the kind of high-speed beat down the Flash would tip his hat too! but as this enemy wasn’t the No.1 adversary of the arc I can’t give it full marks.
ITCD = 5, Nothing but a full fat juicy five marks would do for a ‘transformation’ that allowed him to demonstrate his own brilliant mastery of his devil fruit. Not to mention how ‘weaker’ non logia type devil fruit powers, are far more subtle and complex in their potential to provide incredible abilities. It also laid the foundation for his many further and more impressive devil fruit shenanigans. Red Hawk sandwich anyone?
Emotiveness = 4.5, I sat staring cross-eyed at my phone for an eon trying to decide whether this was a 5 or a 4…but in my experience of this list, if it’s that hard a decision, it’s not a 5. Thus, i folded like a wet envelope and awarded it a swedish neutral 4.5.
Badassness = 4, Luffy consistently puts himself in mortal danger to achieve his goals, and this is no different, pumping blood around his body so fast that he glows red like a F1 brake pad is reckless in the extreme, but i thank him everyday for it.
Animation = 4, Excellent, and above the series average, but not exceptional. A bit like my home-made french toast.
EOVMS = 3, The enemy was definitely surprised by this dramatic power up, but didn’t at any point lose the will to fight, or show any deep fear for his life.
14 – Naruto, Sound Ninja Five Arc
Choji Butterfly red pill form vs Jiroba – 24.5
The guy just ate some any ball of candy, and achieved instantaneous pengness! NANDESKA?! Do you know how many muscles ups it would take the average keyboard warrior to achieve this?? Easily the greatest HM of any C list anime character.
ITPO = 4.5, Although he did defeat one of the sound Ninja five, who without his glorious intervention would have joined the remaining sound ninja and by virtue of greater numbers probably defeated the remaining Leaf shinobi. This however, Is not certain and even with this victory there was still a number of variables at play, this missing out on a full score.
ITCD = 4, Like all that score highly on this criteria it was a major moment for the character, showing that he could run with the best of them. However, we didn’t see how this power developed him as a ninja until the 4th great ninja war, and even then it seemed a bit under powered considering what he was capable of as a boy.
Emotiveness = 5, Was there any doubt i would give this a Niki Minaj ass shaking 5?? of course not. It single-handedly gave me more respect for the overweight and nutritionally challenged. I never looked at butterflies or the colour blue in the same way again.
Badassness = 4, The badass gains of a prison court-yard training regime, with all the sudden weight loss of a terminal illness. Brilliant.
Animation = 4, Very well done, like with most dramatic moments, the extra time and money was spent to make it stand out above the average episode animations, however not a patch on the very best animated fight scenes in Naruto. You know what they are…
EOVMS= 3, Same issues as Luffy’s gear second, so i won’t repeat myself, and instead will go do some push ups.
13 – Attack On Titan, Season 1
Eren Jeager’s first transformation into titan – 24.5
This was so epic because for the first time in an anime I genuinely believed the lead character had died! A feat DBZ never quite mastered thanks to Kakarot having more lives than Highlander. No to mention the fact that he became the very thing he hated most, all in the name of burst out of your mouth VENGEANCE.
ITPO = 5, Funny thing is about the way AOT is released, is that we’re barely even into the main story arc, and in fact i pretty much spend most episodes in ignorant bliss. But one thing i can say for certain, is that without this transformation everything and everyone he loves would be dead or traumatised into a permanent fetal position by the end of the episode, let alone the first season.
ITCD = 5, For the same reason as above, this scores very highly, and as we’ve seen repeatedly since that gory day, this transformation is and will (for better or worse) continue to be quintessential to his physical and mental development for the rest of the series.
Emotiveness = 4.5, when you gesticulate violently at the resurrection of a 2 dimensional character that was never even alive to begin with, you know that you’ve fully caught feelings.
Badassness= 5, He was eaten alive, did a one-armed breast-stroke in its guts, got angry, reverse fisted it’s esophagus, then became a Titan.
Animation = 4, For a series as brilliantly animated as this one, it’s not easy to score full marks, even though this was given the proper treatment, other HM within the show are more standout-ish in terms of visuals.
EOVMS = 1, This cores so low for two simple reasons, his current enemies – the titans, are completely vacant upstairs, meaning they have no concept of fear and pain. The other, is that all the teased ‘superior’ titans, seem to both know about this ability of some humans to turn into titans, and not be fazed by it either. Especially that talking orangutan one, he’s calmly moving like some murderous Berbatov.
12 – Dragon Ball Z, Majin Buu Saga
Vegeta letting himself be controlled by Babidi just to power up – 25
Meaningless huh..? WHAT DO YOU KNOW OF MEANINGLESS??!!
A controversial choice, but let me explain; Vegeta is a fully fledged a citizen of earth (house, wife, kids and dat), and although he kills innocent people in the stadium (Probably chelsea fans), his main goal is just to get stronger a defeat Kakarot. Once that is achieved I firmly believe he would have used this power to defeat those that threatened the earth.
ITPO = 2, The energy from the fight was used to help revive Buu, however some of it was taken from Gohan. Furthermore at this point, this battle is its own sub plot, and within that sub plot, the fight was *whispers* meaningless. Goku could have gone SS3 and played badminton with vegats spine, thus rendering the whole spectacle null and void in the eyes of any Saiyan.
ITCD = 5, This mentally disturbed anti-hero, finally let out all his passion, hatred and desires. Revealing that the old him was very much still lurking in the shadows like an immortal cockroach, yet through this insane self-serving choice, he actually managed to exercise his demons. So much so that in the end, he sacrificed himself for his family.
Emotiveness = 5, By this point in DBZ Vegeta is already the greatest character in anime tv history, and after this twisted stunt he became the most superbly fleshed out character ever in the history of eyeballs. And although Goku is bae, part of me wanted for the sake of trunk’s teenage years for Vegeta to win. I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or cheer! What a moment, what a man. (here’s a sly link to a poem i wrote about Vegeta The Dying Planet & The Prince)
Badassness = 5, How badass?
Animation = 4, If i was comparing it to that animation of the Cell saga then it would get a 5, but as the shows visual excellence leveled up for pretty much the whole Buu saga, i had to consider this new status quo and give it a reduced score of 4.
EOVMS = 4, This had everyone losing their minds; Babidi was questioning what calibre of jiive he just bore witness too, Goku was ready to blast the supreme kai’s face off, Vegeta’s own wife was crying tears of disbelief into the ashes of blown up chelsea fans. However more importantly, the main villain of the arc Majin buu was blissfully unaware as he slept dreaming of cake. A technicality i know, but i have to be harsh, if i want to discover what is the GREATEST HM IN ANIME HISTORY.
11 – One Piece, Sabaody Archipelago Arc
Luffy punching a Celestial Dragon – 25
Good lord this punch was drenched in justice! You won’t ever see a more righteous wallop to the face in your life! Even if you lived all your days in the old testament, screaming Moses is some any b****.
ITPO = 4, This magnificent punch of malice ridden centrifugal forces, set a few things in motion. For example, the Straw Hats being enemies of perhaps the most powerful group in the show – The Celestial Dragons. There bounties increasing even further, the number and scale of the government forces that came to the Archipelago #pacaficta, and the other super nova’s recognising their captain’s reckless character and moral compass. In particular this i believe was when Trafalgar Law began to see the makings of someone he could work with. However, a lot of that is my personal theories, that as of yet are unconfirmed. Therefore i couldn’t give it a 5.
ITCD = 1, that score maybe surprising to some, but ask yourself, did he do anything you weren’t expecting him to do? Although a glories 10sec in our lives, we learnt nothing new about him because of it.
Emotiveness = 5, You could have easily guessed that. But what more can I say about it?? that perhaps he actually didn’t punch him hard enough?! That this punch made me understand the true purpose of a clenched fist?! That the story’s similarities to the enslavement of africans by ‘the white man’, gave the punch a cultural, political and emotional gravitas unseen since Obama’s inauguration?!
The Celestial Dragons are the WORST, and I wish them a thousand sufferings.
Badassness = 5, to explain this simply, it’s like Kendrick Lamar slowly walking up to Donald Trump during his victory speech, and while surrounded by all the president’s armed guards, *nigerian accent* SLAPPING the holy spirit out of him.
Animation = 5, I think the fact that you can actually see conscious reasoning leave his body upon impact, says it all.
EOVSM = 5, Because this B****** didn’t perish into the afterlife, you were able to find out afterwards how badly this affected his whole understanding of maths, science and english.
Never has anyone ever even disobeyed these people let alone laid a finger on them. #luffy #winning
To be continued very soon! Next up 10 -1!
© Alpha Maurice Cidade Cauwenbergh – Storyteller, Poet & Intern at Wordsmith Inc 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alpha Maurice Cidade Cauwenbergh – Storyteller, Poet & Intern at Wordsmith Inc with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.