Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Weekly W: What - The Items of Anime

Every anime character has something that is distinctly them.  From wacky hairstyles to unique personalities, each character tries to stand out.  Oftentimes the character will also have a specific item of significance to themselves or to the PLOT.  So let's take a look at some of the key items in different shows!

Memory Feathers
 First up in our list is Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle.  This series by Clamp features some familiar faces (some characters may be familiar to fans of CardCaptor Sakura and XXXHolic).  It is a touching tale of Syaoran's quest to recover Sakura's memories after she loses them.  He makes a deal with the Dimension Witch in order to save Sakura, She is healed and conscious, but her memories are scattered across the worlds.  Syaoran goes on a quest to recover her memories, which take the form of feathers, seen below.  Unfortunately for our hero, wishes are never free, and the price for this one is Sakura's memories of him.  She will recover her other memories when the feathers are retrieved, but her relationship with him will have to start from scratch.  For a pair of childhood friends just about to confess their feelings for each other, it is a heavy price. 

The feathers in this series are literally Sakura's memories of the past.  They are precious and beautiful.  In each world, Syaoran and his companions must work to get the feathers, since others often believe they are valuable as well.  It is a challenging task, but Syaoran's determination doesn't waver as he struggles to restore Sakura's lost memories. 

Death Note and Apple

Next show up is Death Note.  The death note is the most important object in the series.  Deceptively normal looking, this artifact dropped from the shinigami world has the power to kill the person whose name is written within.  It's got some pretty specific rules on how it can work, which are revealed throughout the series.  One neat feature of the death note is that when a person looses possession of the death note, they loose all memories associated with it.  This has some pretty interesting applications, since touching paper from the death note will restore the memories.  Like many features of the death note, it allows for increased tension in the contest between Kira and L to see whose sense of justice will prevail. 

Death Note has a second item of interest that I'd like to discuss as well.  I'm talking about apples.  Ryuk, the first shinigami we meet, loves apples.  They're a physical item that has importance to the series, and also has symbolic value.  Apples tend to be associated with temptation and sin, based off the biblical reference to the garden of Eden.  This seems to be the purpose here.  Ryuk also mentions that the apples on earth taste better than those in the shinigami realm, since they are juicy and not made of tasteless sand.  Does that imply that there is more temptation in the living world that the shinigami world?  Could it suggest many other things?  I'm sure there are many possibilities.

Zanpakuto Examples

Our final series for discussion is Bleach.  There are a couple of really neat concepts in Bleach.  The most obvious of these is the zanpakuto.  Each shinigami has a unique sword, which has it's own unique spirit.  Shinigami must first discover the name of their zanpakuto in order to unlock it's unique abilities, which vary based on personality, combat style, etc.  The shinigami may meditate or look inwards in order to speak with their zanpakuto for advice. 

Beyond zanpakuto, we have a few other neat items that exist.  Gigai are false bodies that shinigami can wear in order to pass as human in the mortal plane.  Soul Candy can be used to place a false soul into a body in order to allow Ichigo to leave his body running on "default" while he does shinigami-things.  There are a multitude of other items that come up as the series goes on, which is pretty typical for it's genre. 

Do you have a series with a really cool item?  Want to see it featured in the next "what" post?  Send us an email here

 Hope Burns Bright

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