Category Archives: Cartoon Top Lists

What I think is the worst/best of Animation

Top 10 Cartoons of the 2000s

Number 10.  –  Fosters Home
for Imaginary Friends

It’s kind of funny that a cartoon has never been made with such a simple theme as the Imaginary friend. In the world of Foster’s, when kids think up imaginary friends, they become real and can interact with anyone, even adults. But as the kid grows older, they grow tired of their “fake” friends. Or, in the case of Mac, a kind, friendly eight year old, parents and older siblings force him to give up his friend, Bloo. So he takes him to Foster’s, where he makes an agreement with the staff to allow Bloo to live there without being adopted out as long as he visits him. The show has some pretty interesting characters, while they are not very original, are voiced and animated so wonderfully, it really doesn’t matter. This show is very funny, no underlying “adult” humor here as far I can tell. My favorite episode is the one with Cheese, Bloo’s younger brother. It will have you rolling when he sneers *bunnies*. Beware, though, if you watch this show, I guarantee you will get hooked!

Number 9.  –  Samurai Jack

It seems that Genndy Tartakovsky was only getting warmed up with “Dexter’s Laboratory” and “Powerpuff Girls”. With those shows he proved he was a comic genius; with “Samurai Jack” he demonstrates that he is a genius, period. Every single aspect of the movie premiere is top-notch. Phil LaMarr is wonderful as Jack. James Venable’s score beautifully captures the tone and has just the right mix of traditional Oriental and electronic sounds. I liked the fact that there did not seem to be any unnecessary dialogue (in fact several scenes–most notably the beginning–have almost no dialogue at all). The animation and backgrounds are very stylish and striking, and the filmmakers even allow the art to escape the confines of the square 1.33:1 TV ratio with some split-screen and widescreen shots used to great effect. It is my hope that the series continues to be as good as the premiere is. . Someone might complain that there isn’t much of a plot for this show, but it’s meant for people to watch one episode at a time.  There is no over all plot that carries throughout the series, all the plot you’ll ever need is in the episode itself. Even if you don’t like the story, the art in itself is beautiful. Full of style and grace.

Number 8.  –  Kim Possible 

Kim Possible’s not meant to be taken as a serious epic or dramatic action show. Its focus on the blend of “saving the world” as a by-the-way activity on the side while handling the ordinary life of being a high school student is part of what makes this show so appealing. Using witty dialogue between the characters, the show often pokes fun at the clichés of villains and action shows. The interactions between each of the hilariously paired characters is really what drives the show. For example, note the team of Kim and Ron (extreme competence and intelligence versus extreme incompetence). Or better yet, note the humorous tension between benign villains and their very evil counterparts. (Dr. Drakken and Shego, and Senor Junior and Senor Senior). This show can be enjoyed on many different levels, which is why it can appeal to such a wide range of age groups.

Number 7.  –  Venture Bros.

This action-comedy spoof of sixties Johnny Quest-style super-science, evil nemeses, and supernatural happenings is by far, the best original Adult Swim program to date. The story follows The Venture family, Dr. Venture, a forty-something pill-popping scientist who never managed to step out from his father’s shadow, his two sons, Hank and Dean (both rather Leave it to Beaver-like in their refusal to swear and constant wearing of sweaters and pants), Brock Samson, their James-Bond-on-steroids bodyguard who apparently works part-time for the office of secret intelligence and refuses to carry a gun, favoring of his serrated bowie knife. Most of the hilarity stems from The Monarch, the self-declared arch-nemesis of the Venture family, a weaver of ridiculously circuitous plans against them, an employer of hilariously incompetent henchmen, and a man who harbors an unhealthy obsession with monarch butterflies and an over-wrought sense of self-importance. His melodrama usually falls on the deaf ears of his girlfriend, Dr. Girlfriend, who, in complete contrast to the Monarch, is professional, take-charge, and inexplicably husky-voiced. The cast of supporting characters is of equal quality, including a well-meaning but dim-witted robot named Helper, a necromancer renting out the Venture family’s garage apartment named Dr. Byron Orpheus (doctorate in communications, minor in women’s studies), whose propensity towards unnecessarily dramatic changes in pitch and dire warnings of disruptions in the spirit world offer the Monarch’s only competition in the melodrama department.

Number 6.  –  Invader Zim

Never has a cartoon since Rocko had so much imagination and humor as this one has. This is THE follow-up to all those old classics and favorites like Rocko’s Modern Life and Ren and Stimpy. Jhonen Vasquez and his zany sense of humor have definitely created a classic, a show that will be remembered over the years, making millions of fans, which it has already. Invader ZIM is about a short alien with his idiotic robot pal being transported to Earth to so-called “investigate” the planet so the Irkens (his race) can rule the galaxy. Of course, ZIM doesn’t know that this was a trick played by his leaders, The Allmighty Tallest, to dispatch him forever for all the damage he did in the past. The show’s animation is some of the best in cartoon history, with impressive colors and very smooth CGI. It hosts some great character designs. The characters are all likable too and are impressively three-dimensional. You have ZIM and his doom-obsessed mind, crazy Dib and his paranormal theories, idiot Gir and all his great one-liners. Gir is also the center of everything. Without him, the show would never be as funny. He provides most of the humor and imagination.

Number 5.  – Teen Titans

OK, let’s face it: Superhero cartoons have almost gone the way of the dodo. Sure, we’ve still got ‘Justice League’, but other than that, we’ve got nothing. Except, that is, ‘Teen Titans’. ‘Teen Titans’ is DC Comics’s best animated TV show in years. It’s simultaneously thrilling, dramatic, weird, and utterly hilarious. I love it. For all of you die-hard geeks who loved the old comic book (which, to me, was kinda crappy), there’s some changes in the show from the comic. First and foremost, the characters are younger. In the comic, they were more like college students than ‘teens’. Here, they ARE teens. They look younger, and they certainly sound younger. For me, this is a plus. Also, it’s less disturbing to see Starfire with an outfit that actually covers her whole chest; seriously, that outfit in the comic was kinda creepy.  Anyway… This show “gets” these characters. From the utter goofiness of Beast Boy (who is even more goofy in his latest incarnation), to the gut-busting naivete of Starfire, to the utter cool that is Cyborg, to straitlaced and serious Robin, and last but not least the new and improved Raven. Raven is tougher in this series, and her deadpan delivery is often hysterical. I LOVE deadpan Goths! The action is often thrilling, and a lot is clearly inspired by anime. The humor… oh, where to begin with the humor. The writers of this show have the most bizarre sense of humor I’ve ever seen. The jokes range from movie references, character arguments (a highlight of the show), and… some really strange and weird stuff that you usually don’t get away with on Cartoon Network. The voice cast is excellent, and their interplay is fun to watch.

Number 4.  – Home Movies

Adult Swim from 2000 – 2007 was some of the greatest animated airtime in the history of television and one of the best shows to air on that channel had to be Home Movies.  The show lacked good animation and had simplistic drawings, but what makes it up for it is the setting/concept & writing for each and everyone of those episodes. And seeing that it’s number 4, that should tell you how good the writing really is!  I love the premise of an eight-year old having a digital video camera so he can make crappy and/or strange films so he can cope with life around him. My two favorite characters are Brendan and Coach McGuirk and their relationship is the best aspect of the show. I also like the crazy plots that make this show great. The show is simply relatable because it’s about a boy and his friends making movies with their own video camera and who didn’t want to make movies when we had our first video cameras. The ideas that the kids have made are great parodies and hilarious ideas for movies.  I love almost every episode of this series. The characters are all great and I always get a good laugh out of watching the show. Of course, if I had to pick a favorite character it would have to be the soccer coach Jon McGuirk, but all of them are great…I also like the character of Jason a bunch too. The show revolves around this kid who makes his own movies in his basement. Simple, yet effective. They also show scenes on the soccer team, where the McGuirk coached bunch loses nearly every game. Just a nice, funny show to watch.

 

Number 3.  –  The Boondocks

While Home Movies is one of the best Adult Swim programs, the best one of all has to be Boondocks. If you thought that Peanuts is the best television program adapted from a comic strip, Boondocks challenges that comic strip’s reputation. Aaron McGruder is an admitted militant liberal, and his comic strip has provided quite an insight into his world view on politics and the lack of political tactfulness. But the television show has effectively upped up the ante, making even starker commentary on society and the racist ills that have fallen on it. Some may attack McGruder for attacking African American culture by using the profane language and in his depiction of Riley, but what he has effectively provided is a sensible argument toward the ills of all cultural settings. He’s effectively illustrating what people EXPECT from black culture. McGruder has always been very critical of the “hip-hop” culture, calling it feminine and useless. In my opinion, McGruder’s commentary is almost as powerful as Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled,” where he basically states hip-hop culture is just another form of black-face to entertain suburban white people. While the television seems to border more along the lines of cultural inequities and absurdities as opposed to the full-on political commentary of the strip, he still hammers home a lot of good points. Years from now, people will look at this show as a daring look at junk cultural paradigms and laugh at the absurdity of it all.

 

Number 2.  –  Futurama

No other show in this list has ever attached me to it’s characters and it’s world as long as it did like Futurama. Philip Fry is a pizza delivery boy (or should I say “pizza delivery Man”…he’s in his 20’s although at times acts more like a teen than a grown-up) who is sort of a Born Loser type. He’s working on New Years Eve (he runs into his girlfriend Michelle going to a New Years Eve party with another guy and “begins to suspect she’s cheating”) and ends up making a delivery to a cryogenic freezing lab. He accidentally freezes himself and when he’s found and thawed out its New Years Eve 3000. In a way this sucks because everyone he knows is long dead. But in a way its good because its a second chance for him to start life new and maybe be not such a loser this time around. Apparently after they thaw you out and probe you they insert a chip in your hand that helps place you in your field of expertise for a job. His chip is “Delivery Boy” and he doesn’t want it so he is trying to avoid the sexy one-eyed alien woman Leela whose job it is to make sure he gets his chip put in. When he’s notified he has a great-great-great-great (keep going) nephew named Professor Farnsworth he goes to seek him out. He goes to what he thinks is a pay phone booth and its actually a suicide machine…thats where he meets Bender a wise-ass,drinking,smoking robot who wants to kill himself because his main purpose is to aid in the making of suicide machines. The two of them try to escape Leela and when she finally catches up to them she admits she doesn’t like her job either so now the three of them seek out Professor Farnsworth to see if they can work for him.He runs an intergalactic delivery service and works with once-limbo champion Hermes, a rich girl intern named Amy,and a lobster-man doctor named Zoidberg. I feel funny pointing this out, but I will anyway: There’s always a big to do about shows today not having interracial characters as friends working together and FUTURAMA definitely goes beyond the call of duty in that area. We have single white male Fry, white Cyclops alien/mutant female Leela, Asian female Amy, Senior citizen white male Farnsworth, African American male Hermes, male robot Bender as well as male crustacean Zoideberg! And they all work together wonderfully.

 

Number 1.  –  Avatar: The Last Airbender

What’s good about Avatar: The Last Airbender? Pretty much everything is good. It seems like a flawless show that truly lives up to your expectations every episode. There are funny episodes, emotional episodes, serious episodes, and think of anything that you would consider good and the show has it all. Great characters and so much emotion are just a couple things that are so good about this program. Keep in mind as this show follows a direct storyline, there are minor spoilers but nothing major, only the revealing of few characters. The show take place long ago, where the four nations lived together in harmony. Then everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them. But when the world needed him most, he vanished. A hundred years passed and a waterbender and her brother discovered the new Avatar. And although his airbending skills are great, he still has a lot to learn before he’s ready to save anyone. But the main character believes this new Avatar can save the world. Well, that is what the main character claims in the opening narration. The Avatar has been frozen for 100 years and the world has lived without him. The opening narration is bone chilling, but it appears every episode and eventually you just want to skip through it as it becomes very irritating after a long time.

The show follows Katara, Aang, and Sokka and their travels across the world as they try and get Aang to learn the four elements that can stop the Fire Nation from taking over the world. However, there are villains who are constantly trying to stop or kill the group. There is Zuko, the prince who has been banished from the Fire Nation, and son of Ozai, the firelord. There is Azula, Zuko’s sister, and her two other companions named Mai and Ty Lee, who are some of my favourites from the show. There is also Zuko’s uncle, Iroh, the very wise man who is patient and tried to teach his beliefs to Zuko, even though he clearly is impatient with his uncle. There are also minor characters who appear every so often that interact with the group. During the second season, a young, blind girl named Toph joins the group and teaches Aang earthbending. She’s such a fun character and is so tough, they are the most unlikely person to be a hero. There is Aang’s flying Bison named Appa and Momo who is a lemur who has no major and significant role at all. But these two characters make the show so much funnier every time they are on screen. One of my favourite things about this show is that there are so many episodes that range from the emotions that are meant to be felt. There are scenes where the scenarios were intense, making it much more suspenseful. Other times there are just simply hilarious moments. In a scene in Season Three that the main character is hallucinating that he is watching his flying bison and a lemur speaking to him. Then they take it to the next level and then these two animals have a sword fight. I can’t help but laugh at this for some reason.

The characters are another thing that make the show what it is. There is Aang, the Avatar who is supposed to master the four elements, water, fire, earth, and air, however he must learn these to stop a ruthless firelord and multiple descendants of his that are trying to eliminate Aang who is the only person who can stop Ozai. Mai is my favourite though. She is such a lazy character and is always feeling so depressed and hates everything. Even her way of saying “I love you”, happens to be “I don’t hate you”. She refuses to do anything she doesn’t want to do but is still loyal to Azula. Ty Lee is also a fun character. She’s a crazy circus freak who stuns people simply by punching them. Then there is Azula, the insane princess who is one of the best villains ever in television and cinema history. These three girls, who are only teenagers, have to be the perfect trio of villains in any text I have ever seen. Overall, this is one fantastic show. I can’t think of anything to say that is negative about it. It’s a nice family show but it so well developed it is hard to not like. Avatar: The Last Airbender isn’t just a show, it’s a masterpiece. The only disappointment is that the movie sucked. The one thing the film failed to establish was the relationships between the characters. The film was just simply so bland and boring. Meanwhile, the show takes as long as it takes to develop properly and become what we see when we watch it.

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Top 10 Disney Renaissance Movies

From 1970 through to 1989, Disney struggled to produce a major cinematic hit. While their movies continued to perform acceptably at the box office, it was widely suggested that they were a studio in decline. That all changed in the early ’90s however when the studio entered into one of the most commercially successful periods in its history now known as ‘The Disney Renaissance’. It lasted from 1989 to 1990 and these animated musicals are the best part of growing up as a child because it was Disney’s time to finally get out of their horrid era into a different direction. It all started with the Little Mermaid that began the Disney Renaissance that started in very late 1989 (so that counts as a 1990s film) that lasted an entire decade. This is considered as Disney’s best years because they all were so brilliantly integrated from the soundtracks, atmosphere, artistry, characters, charm and even appeal that I have seize to see any other era in animation to do the same. These are the films are as good, if not, better than the original Disney classics. The stories and characters (though they were borrowed by other tales) had been better than they’ve had been in years, and there was a substantial philosophy change in which these films were approached. Rather than just making films with just songs in them, Disney started making broadway musicals that had the most relatable characters. The quality of storytelling has been changed drastically where they like to give a valuable lesson in the end, but it combines the fantastic to the everyday relatable. We still deal with love, magic, and whimsical worlds, but there’s a down to Earth and moral story being told and they all have hit on something that we all can relate to; especially children. We’ve all been there and we can all feel what these characters are going through. We, just like the character, want to break free from the mundane and be part of something better. If you watch these movies an adult you understand what this is like for all of these protagonists, but if you seen these films as a child, you’re already there! The saddest part is that this has been Disney’s absolute best and that makes it hard to believe that can be pulled off once again. But for now, let’s countdown the ten best Disney animated movies from 1989-1990!

Number 10.  –  Hercules

Now I know a lot of people are indifferent to this movie and either really love this movie or really hate it. Me personally I love it. For a couple reasons, first the villain, Hades is my favorite Disney villain ever and one of my alll time favorite villains, and that is mainly due to how James Woods plays him. He doesn’t sound evil, I always thought he sounded like a lawyer or agent which I find kind of interesting. Next the animation, this film has probably the most colorful and interesting animation I’ve seen in a Disney film, which is understandable seeing how the animation was lead and handled by Gerald Scarfe who did the animation for Pink Floyd’s the Wall and he does a fantastic job at doing this animation, my favorite being his design of the Hydra in the film. Also I really do enjoy the music and comedy in the film for as weird as the musical choice of Gospel is for a movie about ancient greece.

Number 9.  –  The Hunchback from Notre Dame

In hindsight, it’s hard to see how it even got through the Disney machinery at all, and surely, it’s only the commercial confidence the firm had at the point it was greenlit that allowed it through. The first thing to note about The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, then, is that it’s dark. Often really very dark, both visually and in tone, and this is right from the off. The Disney of the early 80s would have struggled with this, too, and the Disney of the 90s sometimes offsets this darkness a little too much (the A Guy Like You sequence seems ill-fitting, for instance, as do most attempts to lighten the mood). But it gets far more right than wrong. The visuals in the song Hellfire and Belles of Notre Dame also help show how powerful these songs are and how well they move the story along and they look just amazing. Also the characters, aside from a few characters *coughgargoylescough* The characters are all well developed and very likable. Frollo being one of Disney’s best villains of all time, just how tormented he is and how fantastically he is pulled off by British actor Tony Jay. Jay captures the power that this character has and what he will do to get it and it just is one of Disney’s most well written villains ever. Quasimodo is also a very likable villain and with the help of Tom Hulce’s voice it helps make him such a likable and innocent character along with his singing voice giving him some of the best songs in Disney history. Hands down the best thing about this movie aside from the characters is the music. This film has hands down my favorite soundtrack from any animated movie and it just makes all the epic parts of the movie sound even more epic when viewing.

Number 8.  –  Rescuers Downunder

This has got to be some of the most adventurous movies that came out from this era and it fill so much excitement and joy! A young boy named Cody rescues a huge golden eagle and they instantly become friends. However, Cody stumbles onto the grounds of a poacher, McLeach, who wants to find the golden eagle so he can get rich. Cody won’t tell McLeach where the golden eagle is, so McLeach holds the boy as a hostage. Word gets out among the mice that a boy has been kidnapped, and it’s up to two famous rescuers, Bernard and Miss Bianca, to travel to Australia and rescue Cody. This is miles much better than the original Rescuers and still remains underrated for reasons it hasn’t ever got the credit it deserves. For the time, “The Rescuers Down Under” had some good visuals and effects. All the characters in the movie are interesting from the adventurous Bernard and Miss Bianca, the hilarious Wilbur the albatross whose voice is done by John Candy, and even the fearsome enemies, McLeach and his pet salamander. It’s especially good for kids because they will grow up watching it and they’ll probably remember it the rest of their life as one of their favorites. This one’s much too overlooked and deserves legions more fame than it gets.

Number 7.  –  Tarzan

Being that this is the last of the Disney Renaissance turned out to be a fantastic closure to this era of the magical animation studio. Out of all the stories that they could have chosen as a finale of such era in filming, I was surprised they chose to adapt this story. A tale of a man who grew up with the apes all of his life was left as an outcast struggling to figure out his purpose in life only to find out that there’s humans just like him living outside of the jungle. I like how the backstory is neatly told at the beginning in one song with accompanying animation. The first segment follows a young Tarzan living with the animals in the jungle and is reminiscent of many other Disney animal movies. Next, we have a grown Tarzan (voiced by Tony Goldwyn), coming into contact with humans, including a dainty but independant Jane (voiced by Minnie Driver), her old professor father (Nigel Hawethorne) and a gun-toting agressive Tantor (Wayne Knight) who wants to blow Tarzan and his animal friends to smithereens. Tarzan elists his animal friends in the jungle to resolve the conflict. There’s some great 3-D background animation whenever Tarzan swings and jumps through the jungle trees, creating an amazing effect of depth. And no one shall ever forget the Phil Collin’s soundtrack that became the backbone of this movie! Tarzan is a fantastic animated masterpiece that’s forever in our childhood hearts!

Number 6.  –  A Goofy Movie

Centers around the growing pains of Max Goof , Goofy’s teenage son. Max develops a crush on a girl at school (Roxanne) and promises her he will take her to the Powerline concert, although he has no idea of how he will pull it off. Meanwhile, Goofy realizes that he and Max’s relationship is strained. As a result he plans a road trip so the two can become better acquainted. Max hotly refuses, but then realizes he can trick his father into going to the concert. During the trip, mayhem follows them everywhere, and they become endanger of losing their lives. But at the closing of the trip, Max realizes that his father loves him very much, and that he is the only family that he has. Also at the end of the trip, Max makes it to the concert and performs with his idol Powerline. Ultimately, it’s the details and playfulness in the movie that makes it such a delight every time I re-visit it. Every time through I notice something different. (A few details I noticed this time: the large lady in the convertible during the road trip is the vocalist in the concert, the nuns are at the monster truck show, the nerd who cheers for Stacy has a Star Trek shirt, and the ditzy-looking girl Max passes in the hall is also at Stacy’s party.) A Goofy Movie has a silly, fun tone throughout most of the movie, but has legs as a family drama, too. A Goofy Movie is a hugely underrated animated Disney movie, and a classic in my book. Though not a part of the official Disney canon, it deserves to be remembered with the same reverence as many of those classics are. The delicate father-son relationship gives the movie humanity but the comic energy and timing keep the film afloat and enjoyable. It’s well-made, with a sharp attention to detail, and it captures the hormones and battles of adolescence with a very honest, balanced eye. Its an excellent road trip movie with big laughs and a touching father-son moral. A treat for the whole family.

Number 5.  –  Mulan

Sure, Pocahontas (worst Disney film) and Hercules were a step backwards in the Disney Renaissance department, but Mulan redeemed Disney’s stature of making animated masterpieces. While I find it strange that Disney would tackle a chinese style film, I find it just flat out incredible how well it is done. Part of that is because this is like Disney took note of everything they’ve been criticized in their past movies, like the princesses being bad role models for girls and been accused as racists when trying to be diverse. It would have been a complete disaster if Mulan had been unintentionally racist, but surprisingly the Disney fans in Asia adored this animated masterpiece and that’s because Mulan is the best Disney female character ever. Mulan is a very likable character and all the side characters are all very well done comedically when poking fun at gender roles. But we all know what character we all love in this film, Mooshoo because Eddie Murphy does one of his funniest performances in a Disney movie since the Genie. Mulan is famous for poking fun at gender role but that’s what makes this movie a great role model for both boys and girls as they learn to be strong!  One of the best things about this movie aside from the characters is the fantastic art style because it captures the Asian culture and design perfectly. If this was an anime instead of a traditional animated film then there would ben nothing special about Mulan. Its just incredible to look at how well detailed many of the backgrounds are and the decision of using the chinese style spirals when a cloud of smoke comes up it looks very good and very interesting to look at.  Too bad they don’t make animated films like this one anymore. Mulan will forever stand as Disney’s last film of such a high caliber.

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Number 4.  –  Beauty and the Beast

The Disney Renascence is what makes the 1990s one hell of decade of film. A long time ago, I used to be so scared of this film because the Beast was so intimidating, but when I got older, I learn to appreciate this masterpiece. This is one of those movies that I don’t really need to explain why it is so good because lets face it, we’ve all seen it and we all know the reasons why its so good. The music is incredibly well composed by Alan Menken, the characters are all colorful and are all very fun, my favorite being Lumiere, the actors are well chosen for their parts and all do fantastic jobs, The story is great, and the animation is just flat out amazing. You can really feel the connection between Belle and the Beast for they are just one of the best romantic chemistry ever seen in film. The only thing I don’t like about it is Gaston, and I honestly think he is the most bland of the Disney villains and the most annoying. Other than that I can find no flaws with this film its just a masterpiece of a Disney film and it was well worth the Golden Globe for best picture.

Number 3.  –  The Lion King

In terms of box office, commercial success, and critical success this is the peak of the Disney Renaissance.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the for the past sixteen years you know what this movie’s about. Everyone knows the plot of “The Lion King.” The story centers around a young lion named Simba who aspires to be king of the animal kingdom some day just like his father, Mufasa. But when Simba’s uncle Scar becomes jealous of Mufasa he deliberately throws him off a cliff into a stampede and kills him. Simba is ashamed because he thinks the death of Mufasa os his fault and is told by his Uncle Scar to “run away and never return.” To me, the heart of “The Lion King” is after Simba leaves the gorge and goes into an exotic jungle to meet his pals to be, Timon and Pumbaa. From the time when there’s hilarious, introductory voice-over work from Nathan Lane to the point when the three characters are singing “Hakuna Matata,” dancing, and having fun is an example of when true Disney magic is put up on screen. It’s one of those rare moments you’ll find in a movie. It’s something that sticks with you for a long, long time. It isn’t necessarily the storytelling, animation, or music, but all of those things put together in which make that scene put a look of happiness on every audience member’s face. This movie is such a classic. Everything from its beautiful animation, memorable music, to its bold method of storytelling that flows perfectly so that children and adults can, not just sit through the film, but also be fully submersed in its narrative. It’s lovable characters make the movie a Disney classic, not to mention a classic in all of film history.  To this day, it shines with the perfect blend mature thematic elements, laugh out loud humor, and Disney magic.

Number 2.  –  The Little Mermaid

This is the very film that started  what is now called the Disney Renaissance that lasted throughout the 1990s. Sure there were big Disney hits before Little Mermaid like Oliver and Company and the Great Mouse Detective, but this is the film that changed Disney from the studio that made good films to the studio that made animated features that are as good, if not better than the original Disney classics! The stories and characters have been better than they’ve been in years that it made a substandard philosophy change to how are these films are approached, high animation quality, memorable songs, and even qualitative storytelling that can never be compared or match from any other animated movie. All of these qualities have changed to a much higher level, and it’s all thanks to The Little Mermaid!  The protagonist is a teenage mermaid who wants to explore the world, not just the world that her father keeps her in. She wants to explore the world that her father exclude her from. Ariel is a good person with a good heart and she always see the good in the humans, who she’s been obsessed over, no matter how many times it’s been drilled into her that they are evil. Everyone tries so hard to keep her in the world under the sea though none of them know anything about the human world other than the dangers it poses. But Ariel has a mind of her own and as she collects objects from above the sea, it makes her more a part of it. The most amazing dilemma about Ariel is that it hits on something that everyone can relate to (especially children); she wants to be part of another world. You might think it ridiculous to see why a mermaid that can swim across under the sea would even consider to just walk on land, but we all been there and we can all feel what Ariel is going through. We all feel like we want to break free from the mundane and be part of something better. She would go far as to exchanging her own voice for a pair of legs and feet just to fall in love to the charming Prince Eric. She saved his life then disappeared back into the sea only to have him only recognize the sound of her voice. The experience was so profound that it convinced that he loved her and would do anything to find her. It’s a unique way to bring two characters together because it’s all very honest and pure. If you grew up with this film or loved it as long as it has been around, you probably have a fond association with it, but that’s part of growing up with Disney. All of the substance and animation qualities is what gives this film a soul. As stated, this is the film that kicked off the Disney Renaissance and if you’re trying to return your brand to a state of eminence, it helps to kick things off with a good film. But when beginning the Disney Renaissance, they’ve began with a masterpiece!

Number 1.  –  Aladdin

Part of what makes going to the movies a fantastic time in the 1990′s is the Disney Renaissance, and my personal favorite growing up and still to this day is Aladdin! Aladdin is a good animated film that will please anyone of all ages. This is a fun, comedy filled adventure that will appeal to kids as much as adults. As a kid, I always imagine being like our main hero, but the quality of Disney films at the time took an extra mile with bigger budget to make better animation and special effects! Not to mention, that this has to be the best sing-along-songs that Disney has had since Little Mermaid. The movie also has all of the Disney cliches that I’m so love like a prince and princess falling for true love, an epic villain show down, catchy sing-alongs, and magical scenes that (in my opinion) remains the best of its kind! Not to mention that the film offered best vocal talent by Robin Williams as the Genies that always gets us up in spirit! It’s the standard boy meets princess love story but it was told at a very epic scale of pure and wholesome feeling that makes it worth coming back to. I really wish that there were more romantic movies out there that can be more embracing than what has been seen in animated films like this one. As magical as this movie is, it makes me sad to see that the quality in Disney films is never the same, and that’s because there’s no quality or effort in their films anymore. However, I’m still willing to keep doing a marathon of the Disney Renaissance and remember the good days of being a movie fan at a very young age.

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Top 10 Couples in Cartoons

Well, it’s the month of February and one of the most significant part of the month is a time of love; Valentines Day! Well, for the most of us that doesn’t have a date, we tend to look at fiction to fulfill our romantic experiences. Cartoon is no stranger to romance as we’ve had plenty of male and female characters that we created for each other and gave us dazzling visuals to excite the audience. But the way I look at romances is the way that both character has establish characteristics and personalities and a possibility of a wonderful chemistry together. These characters need to develop into better people as they find out love because that’s the power of it all. This is the reason why I admire romance in general because they make people into better individuals and discover who they are that they never really knew that they had in them before. Falling in love is the best thing in the world and these are the couples in anime that showed us why it’s so significant!

Number 10.  –  Robin and Starfire

What happens when we have the biggest bad boy and the sweetest girl together? Obviously we get a couple of a life time! I mean, who wouldn’t want to go out with a gal like Starfire who’s naive, simple-minded, curious, and positive that are so hard to find nowadays. here are also other big hints throughout the show that they like one another, such as when Robin fights and easily defeats the other Titans like Slade commands him to, but when Starfire is the last one, he refuses to strike her down. In this time, Starfire was also the only Titan he had spoken to. Also, inFor Real, Control Freak jealously claims “She’s too good for Robin, he’ll never appreciate her!” to which Mas y Menos (who also have crushes on Starfire) agree. Also there are many times when Robin saves her from falling or being hit by something, or Starfire grabs him and flies away with him they save each other from small things all the time that are not much thought of but if not for the other they would probably be dead. It happens throughout the show and till it finally happened! It’s was one of the aspect of Teen Titans that makes it so worth it, unfortunately there never was an extend for their relationship from where they left off. But it’s even worse in the comics where they were so close in getting married but DC believes that comic book characters getting married is a bad idea.

Number 9.  –  Kouta and Nyu/Lucy 

Nothing in not only in my mind, but in my heart says that no other romance has been as incomplete as Lucy & Kouta from Elfen Lied. I say it from the edge of my soul that these two deserve so much of each other that it’s needed more than ever. Both of them made their mistakes and as a result they live through it throughout the rest of their lives. By mistakes, I mean huge mistakes. There are two side in this relationship, one where Lucy that has a psychopathic rage against the human race except for just one (Kouta) and Nyu her split personality that has childish and child-like behavior, but both have deep affection for Kouta. If you have to make me choose which of the two I like more for Kouta, I have to go with Lucy because she has such a tragic story that her love for Kouta could just simply heal her pain and everything she went through. Though it’s really tough to believe that you can love someone that kill your family, the struggle of forgiveness takes place while everyone tries to kill Lucy before she ends the human race.  Personally I place this much lower on the list because of how incomplete the romance between the two really are that’s still making ask for more! They had the potential of being the best couple of all animation because they represented forgiveness that I find lacking in modern storytelling, but at last we are left with a big pothole and an anime & manga that’s incomplete.

Number 8.  –  Bobby and Connie

The has got to the most realistic and most underrated ever. We’re not exactly looking at a potential date here, just a couple of young sweethearts that reminds us of the ones we kept close at that age around middle school. Bobby Hill isn’t really the best looking kid in his school and Connie really is that ambitious either, but that’s what makes it so interesting because as they are both going through puberty, there are a lot of challenges that lie ahead of them. Neither one of them knows what’s it like to be the opposite sex and they both don’t know their problems quite well. It always makes a clear focus on an on and off relationship that we had to deal with in our past time. But when things work and takes it to another step (slowly) it feels so magical to watch it. As stated in my Top 10 Cartoons in the 1990s, I always find it the most interesting when we see both of the characters mature as they get older, despite the fact that they’re the same age since Bobby’s 13th birthday. As an adult we know what it’s like to go through these challenge, but watching it back then as a kid we were already there in that moment of change. It’s nice to see a young couple like Bobby and Connie to be as honest and human than any animated characters that I can find.

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Number 7.  –  Sonic and Sally

This is another couple that was done so much better in the comic book series, but it made it in the list for me because this was actually the first time that I actually gave a shit about an on-screen couple in the story. Sally is hands down the best romance for Sonic. With all the personalities that populate the Freedom Fighters—as well as Sonic not really being one for responsibility—there needed to be a character that was the emotional center as well as the voice of reason within the group. This was something that was needed for storyline to be taken seriously, which is something that both Hurst and Archie Comics wanted. And frankly, if you needed someone to be a love interest for a speedy blue hedgehog that needs a voice of reason and loves chili dogs more than a regular at a Coney Island, then all I can say is this: mission accomplished. Truth be told, these characters are teenagers, with all the emotional drama that goes with it. We used to have a saying in high school where you could start going out with someone at the beginning of the day and be broken up before lunch time. My high school couldn’t have been the only one that was like that. But in all seriousness, fights happen. And from what I read—before the current storyline—they seemed to have made up and found a balance where they can do their things while being together.

Number 6.  –  Ariel and Eric 

I think Ariel didn’t just fall for Eric just because of his looks. Sure she never met him before going to Ursula but she was able to see what he was like. From watching him play with Maz she saw that he was playful and an animal lover; from seeing him play the flute she was he’s a music lover; from seeing his reaction from the statue of himself she saw he wasn’t vain or arrogant; she saw he didn’t care about money, power, or looks but just wanted to find a girl he loved; she saw from the way he saved Max that he was brave and selfless. I think that was enough for her if you ask me. I love how Ariel saved his life. She knew she had nothing to gain and she’d probably never be with him but she saved him, she was just so selfless. I get goose bumbs every time I see her rescue him. I love when she sings to him and he gets a slight glimpse of this beautiful girl with the most amazing voice. I love how she goes through so much and gives up everythign she had and would never get back if she satyed human for him. It proves how real life works, the things people have to sacrafice and give up for the one they love. I love how when he first meets her he has this instant connection, even though he doesn’t know that she’s the girl who rescued him. I love how he helps her by letting her live in the palace and treating her like a princess. You can tell he’s falling for her. At dinner he couldn’t take his eyes off her. I love that she makes him laugh since he hadn’t laughed or smiled in a long while according to Carlotta. You can tell during the tour of the kingdom he was definitiely falling for her. The way she was acting like a child would annoy some people but he found her charming and fun. He’s use to being around princesses that just bored him but one day with her and it’s the most fun he’s ever had. I love that he takes the time to guess her name, knowing it would likely take hours. I love when Eric finally decides to forget this mystery girl, I really love this new girl I’ve gotten to know and had the best time with. The two of them are amazing and truly love each other. They’re not higher because I SLIGHTLY love one couple more because they have more depth to them.

Number 5.  –  Guts & Casca 

This is perhaps the most down to Earth couple that I can pick. We’re talking about two separate character that are in a middle of a bloody and violent war trying their best to impress Griffith their leader. Right from the get-go it did show that Guts had a lot physical attrition for her but Casca’s stubbornness & femininity and Gut’s sexism always continues to hold them back from a promising relationship. It took them three years together to finally realize who they are. These two are far from being at all romantic, but seeing how many battles they both had to endure shows that they were made for each other. Casca’s always inspired by Guts’s will to fight and hurt himself till there’s no more enemies as long as he still moves. You can see that Casca has strong feeling for Griffith by showing the most loyalty that the Band of Hawks can offer. But after that brutal fight of fighting 100 men just to protect her, Guts shows that he’s more worth her time. It’s a really brutal, yet honest display of love and affection that I can think of in this list. Because Casca has learned so much from both of those men that she admires, she developed into one of the strongest female figures since Joan of Arc. It’s a great representation that love can really developed characters.

Number 4.  –  Belle & The Beast

Disney is no stranger to romance but there is no better love-birds than Belle and the Beast. What can I say that hasn’t already been mentioned? Well, as a kid, I refused to watch the movie because the Beast was so damn terrifying, but now at a mature age, I can see it was all part of character development of changing the Beast within that gold heart of his. Belle spend a long time changing the Beast to the man she dreamed and no matter how desperate, impatient, or intimidating the Beast can get, she never held back and stood up to him that he’s wrong. And let’s not forget the dancing in the Ballroom scene that was simply breathtaking to watch. It’s no wonder why it is the first animated movie to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture in 1991 and it was this close to win if only Silence of the Lambs (which is a better movie) was released in a different year. Beauty and the Beast was simply the highest point of the Disney Renaissance and still Disney sell the shit of the merchandising out of this film.

Number 3.  –  Aladdin and Jasmine

I love how this couple met was actually realistic and could happen. A guy sees a pretty girl, gets that gaga look and can’t take his eyes off her, she gets into some trouble and he comes to help her. I know a lot of people hate this couple but I absolutely love it, even though it’s moved down on my list. I believe they truly love each other. The connection they had with each other was amazing. Even though they come from two different worlds they understand each other and have two very similar situations. Jasmine actually gave up her last chance of freedom just to save Aladdin. He goes through so much just to be with her. He goes though the cave of wonders, is almost killed, almost eaten by her pet, almost froze to death, and almost eaten by a giant snake. I don’t think he would risk all of these things just for any pretty face, even if she is a princess. He went through all of this because he loves her. I love this one episode in the series where she turns into a snake creature and he’s determind to change her back. When her only hope of becoming human again is gone she decides to give up her own happiness just for Aladdin. She couldn’t even touch him or he could die. He took the stuff that turned her into a snake creature so they could be together. He gave up the life he could’ve had as the soon to be prince and future sultan just for her. He wouldn’t leave her for any reason, he loves her and wants to be with her no matter what the cost. Anyone who says he only felt lust for her needs to watch that episode. I also love how they had them wait to get married, it makes them so realistic. They’re not higher I guess because of the lies.

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Number 2.  –  Kenshin and Kaoru

In real life, you might not like the idea of a woman settling down with a man 11 years her senior, but in Rurouni Kenshin, it works. It’s a rarity for a couple in anime to finally go all the way through the relationship towards marriage and it definitely paid off! Kenshin, a former samurai looking to atone for his sins, settles down with Kaoru at the end of the manga and series and finally makes Kaoru’s dreams of being Kenshin’s wife come true. Just like your favorite romance novel, the drama that led up to the marriage was rife with angst — Kenshin’s bloody past made him think he didn’t deserve happiness, even though he had been working at becoming a better man ever since. Looking at it at a woman’s point of view I can see why Kenshin is nearly every girl’s dream man. He cooks, he cleans, he’s great with children, and in his spare time he occasionally fends off power-mad swordsmen bent on taking over the country. Her charming blend of strength and innocence gives him what he searched ten years to find—a reason to value his own life. This touching romance set in historic Japan gives new meaning to the phrase Unresolved Sexual Tension, however; they’ve been living together for over a year, and they have yet to share so much as a peck on the cheek. Perhaps if Kaoru would stop throwing buckets at him when he shows up in the bath… Kaoru’s unwavering devotion and love for Kenshin helped him vanquish his demons once and for all. Sure, the age difference might freak some out a little, but as the saying goes, love knows no age.

Number 1.  –  Fry and Leela

Though I find this as the strangest couple, but it is the most unique couple I’ve ever seen in fiction. I’m not putting Futurama in this list because it is my favorite show, but because it gets better to see these two characters on each episode. Right from the first episode you could tell that this was growing into a big relationship, yet as we watch all the episodes, it really got rocky as they get turned-on and off constantly and sometimes forgot about each other for another person they’re now interested in. Nevertheless, just like us fans who desired Sonic and Sally back, we Fry & Leela fans were so desperate to have them together. Here we got Leela who’s a master of kung-fu, strong willed, very focused, prideful, leader of the Planet Express crew, smart, pilot of a ship, very picky, and is a one-eyed mutant cyclops that has a troublesome love-life.  Then we have Fry, who’s very distracted, dim-witted, a slob, easily confused, and almost everything that’s the total opposite from Leela. So what makes these two characters so great as a couple? Well for the seer fact that the pace of developing the relationship is so slow that whenever you see them together you can tell it’s just another step to what is to come for each other. Believe me, the situations and adventures that they’ve been though was been so strange yet so funny. This is what made this romance so different from nearly all the rest of the romances I’ve experienced. I always like to see myself as Fry because he is that individual that has had to go through this challenge of winning Leela’s heart and after so many years of keeping up with the show, it fully paid off with great deal of creativity. That’s one of the main reasons why I’m still a fan of Futurama since I was 9 years old when the series first started. Futurama has been a big part of my life and seeing these two characters grow as I grew up just made me more connected with the show.

Top 10 Animes of the 1990s

Anime in the mid to late-1990s was actually the best time to get into anime. This was the time where the creative forces behind anime began pulling themselves away from the ultra violence that gave anime a bad reputation and began pushing themselves for great stories that has withstood the test of time. Some of the most beloved and most recognized anime came out of this era; it was truly a renaissance (one we haven’t seen before or since)! This was also the time where anime crawled itself out of the dark corners of just being available for blockbuster video to now being aired on television, creating such worldwide acclaim and how we all first watched anime for the first time. For the longest time, the marketing for East and West has always been something that both cultures couldn’t appeal to one another, then all of the sudden, shows like Dragon Ball Z and Pokemon started selling merchandise and we couldn’t get out of the door without even hearing of the franchise. It as well opened doors to anime that had much more mature content than your standard cartoon that we seen in Saturday Mornings children’s broadcasting and Adult Animation late at night. Also, I prefer this era of anime more so than modern anime because they had a sense of realism and humanity instead of being too shiny, sharp, and overboard with the design & storytelling that lost the appeal that I felt so many years ago. There are anime today that I enjoy, but somehow the anime that came out from this era has that everlasting appeal that even future generations of Otaku will appreciate and enjoy! This was the panicle of what anime achieved and I still await to see if anime would ever be this good again. At last, here are the ten best animes that I certainly enjoyed watching from this era!

Number 10.  –  Flame of Recca

Flame of Recca follows the exploits of Recca Hanabishi: high school student, ninja with the mysterious ability to shoot fire, and fireworks enthusiast. And where would our shounen hero be without the help of his cronies? First there’s Domon, the nose-ringed, mohawked, token brute, who is by far the coolest. Then there’s Fuuko, queen of the panty flash, she harnesses the power of wind … think about it … you’ve almost figured it out … there you go. And then there’s Mikagami, the angsty bishounen (pretty boy) asshole whom Domon should place between two comically large slices of bread and devour. There’s also Recca’s love interest, Yanagi, who has magical healing powers which (surprise surprise) lead to her being captured by a megalomaniacal madman with immortality on his mind and cookie monster eyes. Said abduction sets our intrepid young heroes out to save her, and thus our story begins. Ah, shounen plotlines … an old concept, but I feel it works well. Like I said, Flame of Recca’s not working to bust any brains here. So how did this anime make it on the list? Well, it’s just the simple fact that I just have the biggest nostalgia for it because it’s one of the animes that got me into anime and I still have a soft spot for everything this series had to offer.

Number 9.  –  Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water

Inspired by Jules Verne’s classic novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is a celebration of young love and a coming-of-age story created before Anno and Gainax took a darker turn with titles like (that overrated piece of shit) Neon Genesis Evangelion. Contrary to these later series, Nadia – the Secret of Blue Water remains a light-hearted adventure story and is one of the most beloved and influential anime of all time. Nadia – the Secret of Blue Water’s strongest point is its characters. Having thirty-nine episodes allows for plenty of development and fleshing out of even the most minor characters. Jean and Nadia’s romantic ups and downs always brought a smile to my face, as did Marie’s precociousness. Each character is believable, likeable, and crucial in their own way to the progression of Jean and Nadia’s development as characters. The web of character relationships was meticulously built to allow for great interaction between the characters, and there are few better casts of characters in anime. Probably one of the best television series ever to come out of Japan, Nadia is thoughtful, breezy, and pleasantly un-cynical. Not director Anno’s most personal work (if that’s what you want, check out Evangelion), it remains most likely his best. It’s among the most consistently entertaining shows I’ve seen, from Gainax or anyone else.

Number 8.  –  Record of Lodoss War

Record of Lodoss War is as steeped in the traditional garments of fantasy as you could possibly get. You can easily see where European and American role-playing games have had an influence in the making of this one. The heroes, deities, villains, and monsters could easily be found in any D&D game. Animation and art are pretty good, except for some annoying stock footage that gets recycled in battle scenes. The action is smooth and convincing. All the players on the screen fit their roles well. The soundtrack gets the job done mostly, even though it’s a little rinky-dink and annoying in some areas. The plot is a pretty good one, one that tries to go beyond the “six heroes decide together to save the world” storyline that seems to plague too many RPG’s and fantasy stories nowadays. The story builds up to a very nice climax, allowing for a few surprises along to way to keep the watcher on his/her toes. The only complaint I have is that the ending seemed a bit rushed. The producers could have easily devoted at least one more volume than they did on the ending. Characters are all wonderfully done; everyone plays their part to the hilt, interacting with one another just as I would expect them to do. The heroes are a nice balance between fully-competent and human. Especially endearing are the romantic pursuits of Deedlit towards a clueless (not to mention BLIND) Parn. Fun stuff. I actually like the dubbing very much for this one, too. Most of the voices are matched really well, and the ones that change still fit their roles well. I actually LIKE hearing Woodchuck sound like he’s from Brooklyn; it just seems to fit him better. Overall, if you like fantasy in any way, you’ll like Lodoss. It’s not perfect, but who cares? It’s a lot of fun.

Number 7.  –  Golden Boy

You wouldn’t think that a perverted lech would make for a good lead in any series, much less a genuinely likable one. But Kintarou manages anyway in this hopelessly dirty-minded, yet basically good-hearted series that is postpubescent fantasy at its most improbable. In each episode, Kintarou must learn a new skill to survive, whether it be computer programming or swimming or cooking noodles. (Or, in the last episode, animation!) In each episode, he is surrounded by or in close proximity to beautiful women. And he does precisely what guys would do if they had no such thing as self-control. Or common sense! The funny thing about this series is that, considering the levity of the subject matter, the animation is flat-out gorgeous. The expressions on Kintarou’s face, the girls, and well, everything is drawn well, with plenty of detail, and a healthy dollop of gloss to go with the bounce, so to speak. The music’s appropriate, and the characterization, as it were, is sufficient – they’re not merely bra sizes, anyway. (Besides, usually, the women in this series obviously don’t wear bras.) But for all the fan service (and some outright nudity) in this series, when it comes down to it, the lechery is supposed to be a facade for Kintaro’s true feelings of respect and admiration for women. He never actually does anything with them, and some episodes turn out to be really cute by the end. Still utter fantasy, but harmless in the long term. Golden Boy cuts to the bone of what most men are really thinking when they’re pursuing a girl. It’s not sensitive. It’s not New Age. But it’s one-hundred-percent guy, and it’s hilariously dead-on.

Number 6.  –  Outlaw Star

This series has a little of everything. Among the crew of the Outlaw Star are a handsome but occasionally dorky hero; his teenage-genius sidekick; a cute but painfully shy android girl; a tradition-loving female ronin; the ship’s cantankerous computer, with the personality of a depressive who’s resigned to his fate; and a predictably spazzy catgirl. This should give you some idea of how well it sticks to all the cliches of 90s-era sci-fi anime. And yet it transcends those cliches at the same time. Be it romance or comedy, action or drama, fantasy or sci fi, Outlaw Star has it all. And it blends them all together very well. Far too many times in the modern anime world do we see anime with romance or comedy just thrown in the mix to try and fill up space or add a certain touch here and there. However, most of this falls flat on its face. But in the case of Outlaw Star, these genres blend seamlessly together to create quite the animated tapestry. The plot of Outlaw Star is essentially a mystery story more than anything else. It asks many questions throughout the show. However, it seems that some of these questions were a bit too easy to answer on our own. Although the story is interesting and fun, it is essentially a mystery story and with no mystery; one is left wondering, “What’s the point?” The show’s biggest strength is the appeal of its cast of characters. This likeability comes straight from Outlaw Star’s cast of original quirky characters. From the braniac Jim Hawking, to the silent but deadly samurai girl, Suzuka, everybody will find someone to love. Another reason this show has such great appeal to newer anime viewers is stellar music. The opening song, “Through the Night”, kicks things off with a bang. It gets your blood pumping and heat racing. By the time the show actually starts, you’re already excited about it! However,Outlaw Star isn’t just about getting people into anime. It has a lot to offer to the more seasoned veterans as well. Outlaw Star won’t disappoint.

Number 5.  –  Macross Plus

Macross Plus is a 4-episode OVA series, produced by Studio Nue. Triangle Staff and Bandai Visual. It was released in 1994, with an exceptional standard of production for its time, then oft considered the pinnacle of anime. If you watch it now in 2012, you would still see just how much the animation has stood over time. The hand drawn animation coupled by a slight touch of CG is a lost now. Macross Plus is among the absolute classics that truly defined anime. The other thing that makes Macross Plus amazing is the soundtrack. The music used for this anime is among the best and it truly stands out. The background music is perfect for every scene, and for the concert scenes the techno music is amazing. No one could be unmoved by “Voices”, Myung’s theme song, it sounds equally great when she sings it or when it’s instrumental. The music is also central to the plot and characters in more than one way, it ties everything together by evoking the right actions and reactions so much so that the sound in this series is like another character. Once again though, the story takes a hit for this anime. Granted that it’s from a time where anime isn’t really that diverse in the story. It’s the only aspect of the anime that truly feels a bit outdated. It’s predictable and clichéd but I can only imagine how big of an impact the anime made when it was released.

Number 4.  –  Trigun

The experience is genuinely human — while pretty much any consistent anime viewer knows there will be pacifists in any given series, Trigun balances this perfectly. With pure-hearted, idealistic, visionary heroes versus macabre, sinister, yet intelligent villains, many differing outlooks on life are explored. It is this fact that causes Trigun to exist on a tier of its own, and has earned its place in many circles as a work of pure genius.  That said, Trigun works around Vash the Stampede, a wanted criminal with a 60 billion double-dollar bounty on his head.  Right off the bat you get the feeling there’s something more to him than meets the eye, as he would much rather inhale a box of donuts than massacre a town.  Like many leads in anime, Vash appears to be obnoxiously pacifistic, continually reciting his motto of, “Love and peace!”  As you might have already guessed, unlike other series that choose to implement this cliché, Trigun presents a solid reasoning behind Vash’s philosophy.  While the first half of the series focuses on developing his personality, the latter certainly presents a number of interesting challenges and decisions for the pure-hearted idealist to confront, many which do no merit joyous outcomes.  Where most might immediately turn to Vash as the deepest character of the series, I actually turn to co-villain, Legato. A devious, cunning sycophant, one quickly characterizes him as nothing but a bloodthirsty sadist. However, while to an extent this might be true, Legato remains completely logical, concise, confident; certainly nothing close to the stereotype commonly given to such evil. The perfect enemy in all respects, the choice Vash is forced to make regarding him toward the end of the series will, most probably, stick with me until my deathbed: those who have seen Trigun know what I am referring to. This fathom-deep intimacy with the human mind, found through each of the main characters, makes Trigun, in my book, a must watch for every anime fan.  Vash, Meryl, Milly, Wolfwood, Legato, Knives — all are designed with this spectacular precision. A superb mingling of comedy, action, drama, and intellect, it has a number of qualities that give it a broad range of appeal.  Whether you’re new to the world of anime or a battle-worn veteran, Trigun should definitely be on the top of your list of series to see if you haven’t watched it already.

Number 3.  –  Samurai X / Rurouni Kenshin

Rurouni Kenshin recounts the adventures of Kenshin Himura, a wandering swordsman struggling to begin a new life in the Meiji era. Once a feared manslayer, Kenshin has taken up a reverse-blade sword and pledged to use it only to protect others.  Humor, action, and romance are all incorporated into Rurouni Kenshin’s style, and the show manages to deliver on all counts, although it doesn’t particularly excel at any of them. The action was no doubt the high point, and the warrior philosophies espoused by several of the show’s characters were often thought-provoking. The comedy was consistently humorous, but I found little of it to be truly laugh-out-loud funny. Romance and drama elements were mercifully infrequent, and although they were sometimes moving and inspirational, they typically tended towards melodrama. The highlight of the show is definitely the romance between Kenshin and Kaoru because it’s just so satisfying to watch as their relationship continues to grow. Looking at it at a woman’s point of view I can see why Kenshin is nearly every girl’s dream man. He cooks, he cleans, he’s great with children, and in his spare time he occasionally fends off power-mad swordsmen bent on taking over the country. Her charming blend of strength and innocence gives him what he searched ten years to find—a reason to value his own life. Kenshin’s personal conflicts marked both the most effective and most frequently-used dramatic theme. Rurouni Kenshin has a variety of elements that appeal to a widespread audience, making it one of the best-loved anime series of all time, despite its flaws.  Its colorful visuals, compelling theme, and lovable characters will leave an impression on any anime fan. It may not become your new favorite, but its quality and longevity cannot be denied.

Number 2.  –  Berserk

Berserk has the same problem that many other anime have – a lousy beginning that camouflages an exceptionally well-done middle sequence and it was doomed to end in a horrible ending because the anime is basically a commercial for the manga that its based on. But in order to enjoy this anime, just watch episodes 2 – 19 on its own; don’t dare watch the first and last 6 episodes because it’s so out of touch on what made the show so appealing! Once you get past the murky and muddled exposition, you get to actually meet the cast as more than just the standard fantasy archetypes. Before we even had Game of Thrones, we had Berserk as the best anime of its kind. Guts (Gatsu), for example, is more than just the stoic, battle-hardened fighter he seems to be at first. He is a truly interesting head case, a product of years of systematic abuse and ill fortune. He is constantly battling demons, both metaphorical and real, and often wonders aloud about his lot in life. Griffith, on the other hand, is a surprisingly gentle soul, with a mind and wit as sharp as his blade. His beauty seems eerily unfitting for a field of death, and yet when Guts and Griffith fight side by side, covered in the blood of their enemies, it is like they are gods of war, kindred spirits with little else to define their lives. The rest of the Band of the Hawk is made up of very real people, and it’s almost a shame to realize that these are men (and in the case of Caska, women) joined together in the cause of bringing death to their enemies. They are killers, takers of lives, even as they pretend to live “normal” lives as mercenaries. Even the antagonists, the men of Chuda, are portrayed as very human. Guards wonder aloud when they get to go home, or comment on the weather, in the moments before the Band takes their lives. Though the show has a lot of satanic references/imagery, level of sex & violence that’s too much for the faint at heart, and even epic moments that feels so thrilling, the core of the anime is willingness of finding your goal and fit in a place where people care for you. That’s why the friendship of Guts and Griffith is so much more powerful than the love-relationship between Caska and Guts. Because of it’s level of human drama being the core of the show is what makes it forgiving that the animation is on a small budget and even the voice-acting isn’t really as good as it might have been. Berserk incorporates highly tantalizing story elements that make for an emotionally charged watching. You become attached to the main character as you relive his life, his pain and his ultimate fate. What makes it so good is the fact that you seem to live within Guts along the story. Strong pacing, believable characters and a general sense of impending doom makes the suspense all the more precipitous, which enhances the audience’s enjoyment of the series. Overall, with only those episodes that I recommend, the show did it’s job on capturing humanity and the struggle of capturing dreams at its fullest that doesn’t feel it has an equal!

Number 1.  –  Cowboy Bebop

Otaku are all over the map when it comes to individual tastes and preferences. Some might be magical girl fans and some may be sanin fans who who believes there should be a proper ending to Berserk (and some might be both and some are not at all a fan of anime). But if there was one anime where everyone can agree that’s an anime that could bring everyone together into one identity, it has to be Cowboy Bebop! The reason why this anime got the reception and worldwide acclaim that it clearly deserved is because Cowboy Bebop is the most non-anime ever produced. Though it didn’t have as much success in Japan, it had a huge audience around the world because it felt like an American program that uses western cinema as inspiration. It’s a show that isn’t just one thing; it hops on reference to reference without skipping a beat to Blaxploitation films, to film noir detective stories, to westerns, and even Bruce Lee martial arts flicks! Cowboy Bebop homage has more American films that Quentin Tarantino’s entire filmography. A show that only has 26 episodes to its name has been some of the most beloved program to watch that even Adult Swim still keeps rerunning the show since it debuted in English dub 2001. Cowboy Bebop is so unique that it’s striking that it’s so un-Japanese like nearly every anime in existence. From the jazz soundtrack, the style of storytelling mechanics, the way characters interact, the complexity of its world, and even the humor, it’s all done tremendously well that no other show since could capture that very essence. An anime doesn’t necessarily need to western-nize itself to deem itself a classic, but when we’re talking about something that feels different among the rest, it’s anything but. But Bebop isn’t just a homage, thankfully it’s a lot more clever than that! It’s the way that the character interact and react these outside influences is what makes the show unique on to itself. It utilizes them for clear character and world-building. Still the anime would be as significant as it is without its soundtrack, it still is the best soundtrack ever produced for a TV program and it’s what makes the series! When it you think about it, the show is so watchable is because it’s accessible. The world is so fleshed out and nothing  important is left unexplained. There are no alien cultures to money the narrative and technology is so advanced that are grounded on how modern technology would progress (just like how Spike and Jet are confused on how VCR’s work as it’s already happening with newer generations who treat it like cavemen stuff). Bebop is almost anything but mainly a science fiction, but we don’t see it much that way as we focus so much more on the humanity and the drama is front and center with the show that makes us so engaged than any other TV program, not just anime. The series is just so globally minded that it’s more than just anime, it’s nothing more than importance. Cowboy Bebop showed people what they never thought of anime before on what they were missing. Nothing else could be said more so for my number 1 choice of the best anime of the 1990s!

 

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Top 10 Cartoons of the 1990s

The 90s will be remembered for a few things: Grunge, Michael Jordan, Bill Clinton’s extramarital hullabaloo, and perhaps the greatest generation of TV cartoons ever. Just like the 2000s had the emergence of great television dramas on HBO, Showtime, and AMC, the 1990s had the persistent excellence of Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and the Disney Channel. If this seems like an exaggeration, then you probably didn’t watch the shows. Hand-drawn animation was still the norm, and characterization took precedence over background and scenery. But even though the animation was great, these cartoons had great stories. You can have a bad TV show with good animation, but you can’t have a good TV show with uninteresting characters and narrative. This list is devoted to cartoons made specifically for kids, so no Dr. Katz, Daria, or The Simpsons. Also, this list is about cartoons that started in the 1990s, if they continued on into the 21st Century, that’s okay, as you can’t fault a series for its longevity. Some honorable mentions that just missed the cut: Courage the Cowardly Dog, Ren and Stimpy, Catdog, Cow and Chicken, and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. Every show that is on this list deserves to be remembered for its iconic characters, humor, and real emotional impact. So without further ado, here we go…

Number 10.  –  Garfield and Friends

This has got to be the best comic strip to television show of all time since Peanuts! It’s perfectly harmless and comforting to watch one of my favorite strips with new exclusive characters from Orchard’s Farm. This is one of those cartoons that has three shorts into one episode but it’s so worth watching it whenever it’s on television. I can’t imagine anyone never of heard of Garfield, but I’ won’t go too long with this show other than having our beloved cast to be in some of the funniest sitcom-style adventures. Those who only know Garfield as “that comic everyone likes to make fun of” might be surprised to hear how popular this series was and still is. In large part this is because of Lorenzo Music’s dead-on performance as Garfield; anyone who saw this cartoon as a kid will still hear his voice in their head if they read one of the comic strips. Also influencing things is the fact that Jim Davis had little to do with the series, besides putting his name on it (much like Steven Spielberg’s involvement with the 1990s Warner Bros. Animation revival); veteran TV and comics writer Mark Evanier was the showrunner, wrote most of the episodes and was responsible for a lot of the edgier humor.

Number 9.  –  Animaniacs

Never had I ever seen an original cartoon that somehow captured the style and atmosphere of Looney Tunes without using any of the characters in this very show! Amazingly well-written, unbelievably funny for all ages, able to get away with possibly more than any other kid’s show, Animaniacs redefined Warner Bros. for nearly a decade. The voice talent is wonderful. Jess, Tress, Frank Welker, Bernadette Peters and so many others helped breathe life into some of the funniest characters on television. The animation wanes over the course of five years, but the humor never gets old. The songs are some of the cleverest music ever, period. From “Yakko’s World” to “Wakko’s America” to “The Presidents” to the iconic theme song, Richard Stone’s music team made learning fun for so many children, which is why they are so fondly remembered today. (Paulsen still has “Yakko’s World” memorized, and sings it at all of his public appearances.) For five years, and now thanks to DV Ds and the Net, far longer, Animaniacs will always be remembered as a show that truly broke ground….mostly from the Warners jumping on it and going “Boingy! Boingy!”

Number 8.  –  The Powerpuff Girls

Sugar, Spice, and everything Nice these are the ingredients used to create the perfect little girls, but Professor Utonium added a nice dose of Chemical X and he got the Powerpuff Girls. Craig McCracken developed a classic, both boys (me included) and girls would tune in to the show not just for their favorite girls, but also for their favorite villains. Whether it was the fast talking Mojo Jojo, the Rowdyruff Boys or even the creepy ass Him, the Powerpuff Girls was never short on entertaining characters. I learned recently that The Powerpuff Girls is the only Cartoon Network show (so far) to have had its own theatrical release film and that just goes to show how passionate and strong its fanbase is. Good news that the Powerpuff Girls remake is made and will be airing some time in the future.

Number 7.  –  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

This is the show that made me the person that I am today! Though this franchise has been in everyone’s childhoods, it’s not as good as most fans claim it to be. A season was made every year, between 1987-1996. The number of episodes in each season varied drastically. From 5 episodes in one year, to 39 episodes in another. So, there was real hard work for the makers to get episodes finished in time, plus there was many different writers who undertook the writing for 1 whole episode. So not every episode was written by the same writer, even if 1 of them wrote the best episodes and some were weaker. To thank though, for the cartoon ever to have been made in the first place. Thank Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, the creative minds behind both the comics and cartoon. The animation was never really the strongest attribute of the cartoon, I admit. There was some really bad mistakes or bloopers in the cartoon like unexplained voice-changing, voice swapping (happenend too much), colours on clothes changing etc. It wasn’t exactly the best animation of that era. If this list was the best cartoons of the 1980s, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would have been higher on the list because the Turtles craze started to decline in the 1990s leaving room for other franchises like Pokemon to take its spot. Turtles in the 90’s had some of the goofiest episodes that made this show aged terribly (Easter Bunny is one of them) that made the 2003 more of preferable experience. The series picked itself back up from its useless and outdated comedy in favor for a more serious direction in the mid 90’s that’s called “The Red Sky” episodes from seasons 8-10. It’s pretty awkward to not have the show without Shredder, Craing, Bebop and Rocksteady in favor for Lord Dregg, but this was where shit got real! They even went as far as to wonder what life would be like without the mutation. Though the climax was a bit of a dud, at least towards the end of the show, it left us with a big bang! The Turtles has always been a crucial part of Generation Y’s childhood and we still can never forget how much they all meant to us!

Number 6.  –  Sonic the Hedgehog (Sonic SatAM)

Whatever you do, don’t ever waste your precious time with The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon and use them on this Sonic The Hedgehog, or Sonic SatAM, cartoon instead. Adventures of Sonic had barely any plot, this one had a big story about subtle environmentalism and complex relationships with one character to another. I love this cartoon for giving us a video game character into a sci-fi setting with many of his friend, that never made it into the video games, to overthrow the evil Robotnick & his advisor Snively that already has taken over the world and “The Roboticized” innocent bystanders into his servant robots. There are so many of these characters that I grew so much love for like Sally Acorn, Rotor, Bunnie Rabot, Antoine, and many more that should have made it to the game series because they’re so much better than any cast in the video game series. Almost every battle against Robotnick always had consequences, suspense, and drama that you don’t get in children’s television. My blood always pumps up whenever I hear the show’s iconic opening that makes it a show like no other. The first season, which consisted of thirteen episodes, was a rather episodic affair, with not much continuity save for the constant battle to free Mobius. Even so, the series proved that it could be strong in drama, emotion, and moments that would make us care about the characters. For example, one episode had Sonic discover his Uncle Chuck, one of the roboticized Mobians, and used a power ring to restore his free will. Unfortunately, the effect did not last long, and following a mission in Robotropolis (Robotnik’s home city), the two of them had to part ways as Uncle Chuck reverted back to being under Robotnik’s control. Near the end of the episode, Sonic actually cried over losing his uncle again. It is moments like these that made the show more than just another series made to cash in on a licensed property. Rather, it contained powerful, heartfelt moments that would rival even those of animated films like Bambi or The Lion King. And the series continues to get better in the second season where they were able to go to another dimension called the “Void,” making Uncle Chuck a great supporting role, and even some of the best climatic endings that had Sonic and Sally confess their love for each other. Though the series left us in a huge cliffhanger, it’s a damn shame that so many others didn’t give this show a chance to give enough ratings for it to have a third season. The director of the show said that the third season would have Tails to be a prime character, a love triangle between Sonic and Sally, and so many missed opportunities that never made it on television but instead was continued in Archie’s Sonic the Hedgehog comic series. Fourteen years after its cancellation, Sonic SatAM continues to be loved by Sonic fans everywhere. The old episodes have been released on DVD and posted online so that they can be enjoyed for many years to come. Meanwhile, there have been petitions for a third season, and even some story ideas for that season have surfaced on the Internet. Fans still love the story lines, animation, and characters, all of which are unsurpassed by any Sonic cartoon series made before or since. It is a shame that Saturday Morning cartoons have taken a nosedive in quality since then, with the majority of them being educational or imported from Japan. More shows like Sonic SatAM should be made, and the series itself could use a comeback of some sort. As long as the original episodes are available for viewing, old fans can relive all the excitement and suspense, while new fans can view an example of what a great animated series should be.

Number 5.  –  Batman: The Animated Series

This very cartoon earns all the praise for it’s effort, complexity, and well-written stories that other children’s programming has never offered before. This show is representation of the Batman universe, that it changed everyone elses interpretation of it since then. For example. Mr. Freeze was up until this series a joke villain – it was the episode “Heart of Ice” that gave Mr. Freeze back story and made Victor Freeze one of the first villains in the series to have more motivation than just another psychopath out to cause mayhem for money. Since this animated series, Victor Freeze and his tragic story of a lost wife and accident that has relegated him a cold suit has become cannon. Lastly, the animation style of this show was phenomenal. It’s easy to see that they took inspiration from the Tim Burton movies (very art deco in style),  but incredibly dark and noir. A big change that this series took in their art direction was instead of starting with white paper, the animators used black paper and then had to draw in all the light, vs drawing in some shadows. The world of Gotham City and Bruce Wayne really is one of darkness and shadows. Not only that, but we were so many opportunities that were nailed with all of our favorite characters in Gotham City like Joker, Mr. Freeze, Riddler, Pinguin, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and many more that displayed perfect voice acting and great episodes that forever changed the way we look at storytelling. This still is my favorite incarnation of Batman and since then, everything after this cartoon regarding to Batman could never be as good as this very phenomenal series! Every episode has a great variety of tone, humor, drama, and emotion that still sticks with us many years after the series was over. Sure, season 4 is a dud when the animation quality decreased to be similar to the Superman: Animated series that was running at the same time, however the first three seasons will always be an iconic part of animation history!

 Number 4.  –  The Simpsons

No room for argument, so don’t even try.  Twenty-three years down the line and the writing is sharp, the jokes are fresh, the themes are challenging and, well, everything having to do with artistic expression is riding higher than any other show on TV. This is the very cartoon that not only made adult animation a popular television programming, but it also changed our society! Everyone who seen the show remembers the episodes, take not of each trivia, and even the cameos and references that forever imbedded in our memories! Who knew that a cartoon about a dysfunctional family can had some of the wildest, most creative, and funniest adventures that any character can get. Everyone is always anticipated for the couch gag in the opening, the plots that somehow changes in the course of the episodes, the once-a-year special “Treehouse of Horrors,” the catchphrases, see favorite characters & the recurring gags, and so many more that makes us take the show very seriously and at the same time have the best laughs of our lives! For those who still believes that the Simpsons lost their magic, go ahead and rematch the entire series and see why The Simpsons has such a reputation! By almost any measurement, The Simpsons is the most influential television comedy ever created.

Number 3.  –  Reboot

This is actually the very first animated show that was entirely CGI beating Pixar by 3 years before Toy Story. Reboot is simply the most original cartoon that I’ve ever laid my eyes on and even though their graphics didn’t age as well, I’m still blown away with the idea of life and society within a computer program where data and viruses face each other in many battles. Thanks to the Canadian studio Mainframe Entertainment that given us later cartoons like Transformers: Beast Wars, Reboot delivered some of the most epic and fascinating adventures that cartoons has ever had. Bob is the guardian of Mainframe. (Guardian is Rebootian for “cop”, more or less.) Comes from the Super Computer (back in 1990 so it probably had as much power as your Mp3 player). Bob would have been deleted long ago if it wasn’t for Glitch, a tool that’s a cross between a swiss army knife and an iPhone. He is a clumsy, laid back teenager with the hots for Dot Matrix, who she along with her brother Enzo help maintain Mainframe from being destroyed from Megabyte. The show is filled with so many suspense, amazing 90’s computer animation, and many references whenever they play against “the user” in whatever video game they’re playing. The first two seasons is all expositions and many laughs in the world of Mainframe, showing how does the computer work and the many aspects of this world as a tiny data. There was even a part where going on the internet was some of most fascinating adventures that the show has ever had. Towards season 3, it makes a complete 180 where the storylines become series and characters developed into more serious characters than they ever were before! Never could I ever expect to see a kids program that has blew off the water and created something memorable, despite how forgotten the show has become over the years. Though the show has given us a cliff-hanger Season 4 (also known as the movies) fans everywhere are still craving for more Reboot! From Seasons 1 – 3 (just skip 4) it was some of the most epic and satisfying animated experiences that makes me wonder why aren’t there more cartoons could do any better than this show?  A lot has changed since the finale of Season 4 and Mainframe Entertainment has now became Rainmaker Entertainment and we’re all hoping that we can have one more epic finale for this innovative show!

Number 2.  –  X-Men

This show, along with Batman: The Animated Series, the made comic books to animated series to be possible in the 1990s. In my personal opinion, this show was a much better show because it was consistent from beginning to the very end of the show and did a much more successful job in representing the comic book medium. The art style is like the 1980’s comic book series and many of the story arcs and episodes were borrowed heavily from the comic book series. Rather than just praising how great the show did in promoting the comics it was based on, the whole show has EVERYTHING! Mutants, dinosaurs, time traveling, demons, giant robots, superheroes and villains, political statements, romance, drama, humor, puns… EVERYTHING! This was some of the most exciting television programming to watch as a kid because of its level of intensity, well written storytelling, and incredibly deep characters from both the heroes and villains. The X-Men cartoon does a great job for letting the audience see what each of these characters struggles in becoming a mutant that society fears. It’s political statements is reminiscent to the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s the teaches audiences of all age about evil of discrimination. At the same time, we get a chance to see some of the most badass adventures with the greatest superhero team of all time! It certainly took a while for action cartoons throughout the 1980’s to have deep characters and tell wonderful stories, but X-Men succeeded on what other ’80s action cartoons failed to do. Also, how can you argue with the best cast of characters ever seen in television? Each and every one of them has a backstory and unique character traits that the show carefully shows us what they were all about with the many episodes that they were able to televise. In a matter of fact, this is the cartoon that even made the live-action X-Men movie possible, and if we didn’t have that either we wouldn’t have so many Superhero movies that we now have today. Without them, these comic book franchises would still remain in comic books. But for some reason, X-Men still holds up better than most Comic book movies and television series. The moment you’re listening to that epic theme song, you’re totally grasped into tuning into the show and never changing the channel until the episode is over. It’s a show that does everything imaginable and executes them so intelligently. Never again has the X-Men franchise (excluding the comic books) has ever been as memorable or as iconic as X-Men. It is the finest comic book cartoon show ever made and it’s one of the greatest of the 1990s cartoons.

Number 1.  – King of the Hill

I always knew that King of the Hill is miles better than Mike Judge’s other show, Beevis and Butthead, and for many reasons! This underrated animated sitcom has told stories that incorporate hot button issues that takes mature themes and somehow make subtle humor out of this redneck town of Arlan. Such themes like going through puberty, alcoholism, family issues, religion, friendship issues, temptation, and many more that many adult cartoons has perhaps tackled, but not as intelligently and wildly as King of the Hill executed. Not everyone will “get”  King of the Hill because it straddles the fence between good clean livin’ and hedonism in a very interesting way. Troubles are hashed out by the community in a comic manner, though it’s sometimes difficult to discern whether the moralistic views are real “American values” or a parody of them. This is where the conflict arises and the comedy comes through. Once you get the comedy of King of the Hill, all of their running gags and creative humor becomes a laugh riot and all the episodes that you though wasn’t funny at first, clicks with you. Keep in mind, however, that some mature topics might offend sensitive viewers (especially the period episode), others might not appreciate the way these topics are clumsily handled, since King of the Hill can hit pretty close to home. Many reasons why this cartoon is so great, and at times better than the Simpsons, is that they were able to make their characters realistic in proportions, backgrounds, and everything else that has been animated. People can argue all they want about this should have been live-action instead of animated, but there are a lot of episodes where there’s no way that they could make it live action (like Bill driving his tank). This show is so funny to me that any familiar scene or gag become iconic to me, like Hank, Bill, Dale, and Boomhaur drinking in the ally. I fell in love with all the characters, and they all give me a different sense of humor. It is definitely the most human cartoon ever created and there are more than enough stuff seen from this episode that made me relate to these southerners and still laugh at redneck humor time and time again! The most relatable aspects of the show for me is when Bobby Hill was growing up because I too faced the many issues of becoming a man at that age. All of these character traits that has been established in this series has always been comforting to watch. Few other shows would dare touch on topics like this and it always feels so well written to see how intuitive and creative they can take any matter into their own hands. And here I am still watching King of the Hill again and again, laughing forever with how honestly funny the show really is!

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Top 10 Peanuts Characters

I don’t know what would the whole world would be like if Charles Schulz didn’t get his break in the cartooning business and created this phenomenon, but Peanut changed all of our lives and stuck with it. Even though we all watch Looney Tunes and kept in touch with Disney, no other cartoon or comic strip has ever connected all with us more than Peanuts. For me personally, the Peanuts gang has been part of my family for 3 generations and I’ll be continue the tradition. Funny that no matter how simple the animation/character model and the backgrounds really are, we all still have a huge soft spot from the one entity that reminds us of our childhoods and relive those simple times. I have never encountered a single person in this world that doesn’t know Peanuts for that it is known all over the world as the innocent and appealing cartoon that it is. What I love about the Peanuts gang is that they all have their personalities, flaws, and traits that are kept as a trait for over 50 years since the strip first started. There have been so many changes and accomplishment throughout the years like the beginning of the hippie revolution, man was on the moon, the internet was created, and so many events has changed the world and yet almost everything is the same with Peanuts and that’s what I love most about the franchise. Now it’s time for me to pick out not only my favorites but who are the ones that I relate to the most since I was a child and most of all the ones that feels more like a part of my family for me.

Number 10.  –  Woodstock

I put him at the bottom of the list, not because I dislike him in anyway, it’s just the fact that there aren’t that many clear character traits with Woodstock other than being Snoopy’s sidekick, has a hard time flying, and the gags they both do together.  Plus there are more than one Woodstock so we can’t really tell them a part. Snoopy would still be the same with out him, so why put him on the list? Well, for the sure fact that Woodstock always tries his best to help his pal and they always create a gag. There are so many to pick but go ahead and see any Woodstock gag where he tries his best to help out and then it backfires on both Woodstock and Snoopy. I like the fact that it doesn’t over-exaggerate the humor otherwise it would loose its magic in becoming another Tom and Jerry Rip-off. But it’s not that often that we see a character famous enough to have a whole musical event named after him.

Number 9.  –  Sally Brown

Oh boy, Sally is both cute and a nightmare. At times she can be the sweetest little girl ever, but at other times she can indefinitely be  very stubborn to stick around with. Whatever she doesn’t like she’ll constantly bicker about it until something happens to get it off her mind.  Sally always wants the easy way out and get the simple things in life. When things get really complicated she gets over-frustrated and gives up. But when there are things that she likes (like Linus for instance) she’ll never give it up until it’s hers. I really don’t see much brother and sister relationship between Sally and Charlie as they aren’t that open nor they do they learn from each other. They just seem like they only live with each other and just have conversations that doesn’t have much to amount to anything and they just let one another do whatever it is that they’re doing.

Number 8.  –  Pig-Pen

Pig-Pen should have been more of a main character than what he is now. People just like to look at Pig-Pen as the dirtiest kid of the gang and nothing more. We see him more times than not as a background character and not even close to even consider him a secondary character like the rest on the list. His gag is that whoever is close to him coughs from the smog coming out of the dirt all over him. You could do much more with Pig-Pen with the dirt coming out of him and its too bad that Charles Schulz didn’t put as much creative joke with a character filled with dust at it’s full potential.

Number 7.  –  Schroeder

Now here’s a character that was used properly! Everybody sees this character as the musical member of the group since he constantly plays his piano. He plays it as well as Beethoven and other pianists that he looks up to. Even despite his musical talents, he’s the most concentrated and easily annoyed. I mean, his complicated relationship with Lucy is always a funny running gag that we always keep seeing time after time. Lucy is always trying to get Schroeder to stop playing the piano and get his attention because she likes him that much. But constantly Schroeder keeps loosing his patients at the point where we couldn’t wait to see what happens next. Though we always get the same results, we still see the familiar scene for many years in the strip and the cartoon.

Number 6.  –  Lucy van Pelt

Don’t let a cute little girl fool you because they can really get the best of you. Though Sally can be a nightmare, Lucy is twice the amount. I like Lucy a lot as a character because she’s so confident, manipulative (in a humorous way), a bully, and so creative on how to win over anyone in any competition (Charlie Brown mostly). Lucy will mostly be the victor as she love to turn people down and make them sad or depressed as it is her joy in life. From the football gag, psychology business that she puts out, and the creative dominance. The only people she couldn’t win over is her crush, Schroeder, and Snoopy who always beats her in her own game. Lucy is a very feminine character where it takes a lot to beat her. People will always see her like a bitch, but the franchise wouldn’t be fun without her. Before Peppermint Patty and Marcy were introduced, she was the dominate female of the Peanuts gang and almost every girl in Peanuts are very similar to Lucy; like Violet, Frieda, and the rest. Though they all are abandoned (or at best forgotten), Lucy still prevails and stays relevant to the franchise despite her loss in popularity in the 1980’s/1990s. When she’s frustrated she can be very aggressive as we always want to see the worst for her when the time comes. Take a look at Lucy’s sense of humor, though she’s very mean spirited, you can see it’s a neat one!

Number 5.  –  Snoopy

This beagle will always be the Bugs Bunny of the Peanuts franchise as in he’s always the winner over everyone. He is the total opposite of Charlie Brown because he is so confident, active, and impulsive at times. He will always steal the show, and he’s basically the adult of the Peanuts gang. I mean, since all the adults are off screen, he does all the adult things that the group can’t do because they’re children; like drive a care, be the referee, and the rest. Still, whatever challenge that’s on front of Snoopy, he will beat his competitors. I mean, Snoopy always out smart Lucy (plus give her a kiss in victory). There are also a lot of trademarks that we all love to constantly see is the things he does on his Doghouse like sleeping, imagine that he’s flying a plane, and so many more. Just like Lucy, he’s always thinking about himself, like when he’s supposed to give someone a drink when they don’t feel well, he starts getting a cup of water and drinks it himself. Even though I put Snoopy at number five, I really have nothing against him because he’s the life of the depressing world of Peanuts. Why? Because he’s anything but boring; he’s always amusing. That’s why he’s the icon of the whole franchise and none can replace him. But the rest of the character higher in the list are more connected with me, personally.

Number 4.  –  Linus van Pelt

Linus just gives me a warm feeling of my childhood for he reminds me most of my little brother. Though he has babyish characteristics by holding to his blanket, closely and sucks his thumb, he is actually the most mature of the group. I mean being younger kid than the original group, he is up part with even the likes of his sister, Lucy, in terms of intelligence. I mean, he has a high vocabulary and uses them in a very funny way of talking. Linus is just very comforting when we see him do all the things that he does. I mean, he’s a best friend that we all want; he’s positive, intelligent, and very secure. At times, he can possibly be the cutest boy of the gang and ever since he was first introduced to the franchise, everyone relates to the series more as we all sometimes fear growing up.

Number 3.  –  Marcie

I bet you all are feeling weird that I put some of the oddest characters this high on the list but Marcie is so darn interesting.  The nerdiest one of the gang is what makes her so interesting as she’s so simple minded and makes a lot of mistakes than not. Give her instructions or tell her what to do next and you’ll bet that she’ll do something wrong, and that’s what makes her so funny. Marcie is just so adorable when she tries her best and screws everything up and yet the franchise wouldn’t be the same with out her. Even though Peppermint Patty called Charlie Brown “Chuck”, I find it hilarious that Marcie constantly calls Patty “Sir” being mixed between genders since Patty is a tomboy. I think the reason why I like Marcie so much is because she’s so comforting to watch. Though she sometimes speaks in a monotone voice (predating Daria), she sparkles when she became a love interest for Charlie Brown. It’s hilarious to see Patty and Marcie start a love triangle with poor Charlie. Since the series went to this direction, it became an uplifting era for our dear Charlie.

Number 2.  –  Peppermint Patty

No doubt that she is the best female character of the whole franchise. She was inspired by the hippie generation and it shows. I mean she has every little feminine traits making her one of, if not, the first tomboy ever seen in a cartoon. Patty and Marcie’s popularity grew so much at the point where all the other female characters of Peanuts lost popularity or faded in the distance. It was a breath of fresh air to not have another Lucy but a totally original character that’s lovable, active, and funny. What I like most about her is that she’s far from perfect. She isn’t too smart, has bad grades, has a hard time reading people, easily distracted, and even makes mistakes of her own. Now it’s really hard to separate Peppermint Patty and Marcie as they are the best girl-duo ever. At times she can be the female Charlie Brown as she faces problems constantly and we relate to her. However, differentiating herself from our main character, she is always confident with all the decisions that she makes and she doesn’t get too down on herself and always looks forward instead of looking back. It’s very clear that since her introduction and rise to fame, it was a brand new era for Peanuts that would no longer feel like we’re in back the mid-20th century and since then, all the new Peanuts characters couldn’t match her stature.

Number 1.  –  Charlie Brown

It’s obvious that he’s the best character of the whole Peanuts gang not because he’s the first character. He has all the flaws in the world that would make him fail at anything and anything that puts him down really drags him down. But you know what? Charlie Brown is that one cartoon character that I relate to the most. Before Peanuts were created, cartoons everywhere (from shorts, movies, strips, comic) were all either slap sticks or superhero action, but Charlie Brown was the first humane and emotional character that redefined and changed how we all think of cartoons. He showed that we can relate to a cartoon character in a very deep and emotional level for he represents the worries, self-doubting, and even the failures that we all deal with our lives from, not only childhood, but to our adulthood as well. Charles M. Schulz was a very troublesome man and he put all of his problems in his drawings and made something funny out of it. Though we all feel sympathetic for both the character and the creator. In a matter of fact, Charlie Brown is actually the first cartoon character that I not only felt sorry for, but also made me cry for the first time. Whenever I watch “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” it shows how far we can get from reaching our goal and fall over after making one mistake that will ruin our spirits. Though he is more often than not a negative person, by the end of the day he lifts up our spirits for a simple (and humorous) conclusion that will make us move on with our lives. Since I was a child, I looked up to Charlie Brown and see what would he do, though he does fail, we can remember that the world is still spinning and it’s not the end for us. His fame can never be tainted for everyone knows the character very well. Hell, there have been more than plenty of songs about Charlie Brown and famous people today still talks about how they relate to the character. And for all the praise that this character has gotten, he deserves it all because that’s the biggest success that he has made! Very little cartoon characters can say the same.

Top 10 Hottest Animated Women

Summer is almost over, but summer 2013 is boiling through the temperatures this year. With all of this heatwave that we desperately despise, why not just think of positive of hot weather? Well, it’s the time where women start wearing less. This month, I’ll be making my own Top 10’s of hottest women for each of the categories on the menu bar that I review. Now, as a cartoon fan I will admit that there were more than plenty of cartoon female characters that helped me get through my manhood when I was growing up. It’s not just the design of the character, but also how seductive the voice-actress pulled off these roles that makes them stick out than just drawings in a moving frame. This is really awkward for me to make a list of animated women that I find the most attractive, but this is a “list series” for all the categories in my bar menu so so what rubs me the right way.

 

Number 10.  –  Helen Parr  –  The Incredibles

Interesting to see a studio like Pixar, who’s been well- received well to the general public for all ages somehow ended up making a character this hot. A soccer-mom who had a super-heroine past ended up as being some of the most flexible of female characters. Praise Bradd Byrd for giving us something this creative otherwise the Incredibles would be nothing special for me other than just another Superhero movie. She has interesting assets like having the power to stretch like Mr. Fantastic from the Fantastic Four and she comes up with creative ways to stop her enemies with stretching her body to all kinds of forms. Heck, Mr. Incredible couldn’t help himself by going up the butt with her. Seriously, that scene where she was entering the enemy base and encountered the mirror just to check herself out was a breathtaking moment for us guys. Though i liked Elastigirl’s look in the earlier part of the film than she does ending up in Mr. Incredible’s marriage as a secure mother, but still we all wish she could turn around the camera so us guys can get a nice shot from her.

  • Character’s hottest moment – Checking herself out on front of a mirror

 

Number 9.  –  Rogue  –  X-Men

For a tragic beautiful woman who never wanted to be a mutant and she can even come close to killing anyone once she touches them, who wouldn’t want to help her out? She’s a woman worth dying for because she needs the help to make her life the way she always wanted. I mean, when she had her first kiss she put her then-boyfriend in a coma. Throughout her miserable life she never can have the opportunity to touch another person without putting then close to death. This shows how really out of our league she really is which even makes her even the more hotter. Second of all, she has a very seductive southern accent that pulls any man in. There’s always something special about cowgirls that makes then so interesting and yet so desirable to meet her. It’s really tragic to see that she couldn’t experience all the wonders of romance with the power she possesses and yet many of us can’t let her go because she is in need for some loving. Don’t let a woman who’s stronger than many men in the world intimidate you because that makes her better than the typical Victoria secret model!

  • Character’s hottest moment  –  Her first kiss before she knew that she was a mutant

 

Number 8.  – Turanga Leela  –  Futurama

I should be the few who don’t want Leela with two eyes because it fits her as a character. Just like Rogue, Leela just couldn’t have the love life that she wants because a lot of people are intimidated by her cyclops eye (and she’s also very picky). Seriously, what’s not to like about her? She’s an expert martial artist, pilot of a delivery ship, and fights against pigs who want to woo her. It’s no wonder why Philip J. Fry tries (since the beginning of Futurama) so hard to get her love and affection. Even Zapp Brannigan can’t help himself whenever he encounters her. She is indeed some of the most feminine, responsible, and flexible animated women in this list. Heck, she’s been in so many adventures where they explicit her sexuality by making her wear exotic outfits, been naked multiple times, and slept with many men. I still don’t understand why people have a fetish for Marge Simpson (another Matt Groening creation) when Leela has all the features (except the eye) that even man strives to win for. Sure she can be a stubborn one, but even roses has their thorns so we all have to live with it. Around when Futurama returned to television, she finally opened her heart to Fry and they both build a strong, yet slow, relationship together. You can actually feel the love and compassion they both have for each other which even adds credibility for the sexiness of Leela. I remember when she lost Fry in that Time-Forward Machine episode that she left a love note for him in the future. That’s impressive to see a woman that compassionate towards the one she loves and we all wish to have a woman like that in our lives. Other than the looks, there is nothing more that makes a woman attractive than her love.

  • Character’s hottest moment –  “Dial L for Leela”… best ending ever! 

 

Number 7.  –  Lana Kane – Archer

I really want to put Lana higher on the list, really I do, but for the fact that she can be such a cold hearted bitch at times makes it a nightmare to even try to get in a relationship with a woman like her. Is there ever an episode where she never nagged at Archer or any man in general? But as I watched many episodes of Archer later, under the surface of that hateful stubbornness of her’s, she can probably be the girl of your dreams. This sugar mamma has been with so many men that she’s tired to be not be appreciated enough. Even after the break-up, Archer still wants to be with her so badly. So many missions she’s been in, Lana has been involved with so many man’s fantasies that we wish it would of been real. I mean, she has the most feminine figure I’ve ever seen from a cartoon character that it’s so hard to take your eyes off of her. In a lot of ways, she’s like Leela; a master spy, a very feminine personality, and unbelievably strong at will. A night with her is like a night with a goddess; only a few men in the world could even open her heart. But because she’s so cold and negative, she really isn’t worth fighting for.

  • Character’s hottest moment  –  Firing a AK-47 in her undergarments

 

Sango

Number 6.  –  Sango  –  Inuyasha

There’s something about tragic women that really appeals me personally. It looks like after all the harshness they’ve been through, all they need is some love from a man that deserves her. Sango is just that anime girl that is just so interesting and yet worth dying for. I mean, she’s a demon slayer who just lost her entire family and only has her brother left who’s working for the enemy. It’s really tragic to see such a beautiful woman to face such triumph and yet I still route for her. She’s actually my favorite character in Inuyasha. I mean she wields a giant boomerang that’s bigger than her and she as a little fox-like creature that can transform into a sabertooth tiger. How much more interesting can you ask for a girl like her? Sango is just that perfect woman that you would want to meet because she’s very feminine, flexible, responsible, motherly/sisterly, and she’s always protective, especially her now-husband Miroku. I always love the fact that whenever Miroku is flirting with another woman, Sango gets jealous and gets temperamental. And when he woos her (up the ass) she slaps him as hard a possible. I can imagine Miroku thinking to himself that it was worth it. I can really see the relationship being there as it build up into marriage. Sango just has the “it” factor when it comes to looking for the perfect woman and it’s also worth being picked by the thorns with a rose like her. Sometimes I really wish that she was the main character instead of Kagome who never takes that leap of fate with Inuyasha. For the fact that she started as a love-companion into a dream wife is what makes Sango so special for me!

  • Character’s hottest moment  –  All the times Miroku touched Sago’s butt

 

Number 5.  –  Yoko Littner  –  Gurren Lagann

How can a woman be so motherly, so protective, and so confident end up to look like a hooker in a wasteland? Who cares, it’s animated! Yoko is just a very fun character to be around with as she loves to fire her sniper rifle like a pro and go off in the wildest adventures of a life-time; she is all the more interesting of the bunch. She has been voted as the hottest anime chick of all time and judging by the way that she dresses it’s impossible to ask why. Yoko is really fun to be around with because she’s always in a playful argument and tries her best to dominate. This gets an A+ for me when I want to communicate with a woman like her. Plus, seeing her into action is some of the most exciting parts of Gurren Lagann. Heck, sometimes her character sticks out so interesting that you can take your eye off of her boobs and pay attention to what she’s saying or doing. I really love that rebellious-chick attitude whenever she’s up and ready to fight and yet she’s so motherly that she’s worth keeping. Towards the end of the series after Simon parted ways, she ended up being a teacher of a school. It’s really interesting to see such a chick like her could be such a mother material when she does her very best to protect the children that she teaches. Yoko’s a brilliant character (when you look-over her sexual appeal) and she bring a breath of fresh air after so many generic anime girls that has came out in the anime department.

  • Character’s hottest moment  –  watch the episode “Sit in the Hot Tub ‘Till You’re Sick”

 

Number 4.  –  Nancy Hicks Gribble  –  King of the Hill

I always see Nancy as some of the most underrated, hot animated characters ever. I mean, King of the Hill is the most human animated show ever and people always favor Luanne. I would choose Nancy over that dumb air-head any day. I mean, Nancy is a great example that just because you’re married doesn’t mean we lost our chances with her. After being married to Dale for over a decade, she lost the intimacy with him and had a love affair with John Redcorn for 10 years. They’ve been in so many affairs together that it became an inside joke. For a beauty that can keep a secret for that long is what makes her so fun to watch. I mean, for someone who’s over her 40’s, she looks absolutely spectacular! Hell, even Dale kept mentioning her “can” whenever she walks away. What I love most about Nancy is that she has the most seductive southern accent I’ve ever herd from a woman. You thought Rogue was hot for having a southern accent, well you haven’t seen nothing yet till you see Nancy. I always feel more in love each time I hear her call every one “Shug.” Hell, even Hank Hill had a dirty dream with Nancy when they were both naked. She really is the hot wife next door that we can’t help but to fall in love with a woman like that. I still wonder how did Dale marry Nancy since they don’t have much in common.

  • Character’s hottest moment  –  Hank’s naked dream with Nancy

 

Number 3.  –  Poison Ivy  –  Batman: The Animated Series

TASIt’s about time to actually put a villainess in the list and to be honest I think that Pamela Isley (Poison Ivy) is the most interesting woman in the Batman series. You heard me right, I think she’s more fascinating than Catwoman, Talia al Ghul, and even Harley Quinn. How can nobody see that a woman who’s obsessed with plants can go far to protecting mother nature by becoming an ecoterrorist. Not only that, she knows that she’s sexy; almost everything she does she’s confident in every movement that she makes, the lovely voice coming from her every breath, and even the seductive nature with such a lifestyle with plants. I love Poison Ivy’s motivation when becoming Batman’s enemy, but it also makes us wish that we were all her plants in her garden just to get enough love from her. Poison Ivy is just that gorgeous that being kissed (her poisoning move) by her is our number 1 choice of death for us guys. Heck, even the female animators who worked on Batman: The Animated Series are fascinated with Poison Ivy’s design as the plant-goddess that she is. She is that fiery redhead that every man would like to take that girl out to dinner and it’s possible to have a healthy relationship with someone like Ivy if you if you love plants as much as she does. You know there was an episode of Batman: The Animated Series where she actually shows that she’s mother material when she married a man with two daughters which was a really emotional episode that sticks Ivy out as a real female character.

I would really love to put her as my number 1 hottest animated woman, but unfortunately she never had her moment to stick out as a great character when they made changes with her in Season 4 and the other Batman cartoons degraded her character that it’s shameful. It’s really hard for me to get attached to a female character that has, now, a weak motivation towards saving plant but instead just uses them to just destroy Batman. Other than that, Poison Ivy in the 90’s animated series will always be the best Ivy seen on television. I would die for a woman that would look just like Poison Ivy from the animated series because, to be perfectly honest with you all, she was my first crush ever. I mean, watching Batman: The Animated Series as a kid was frightening, but after seeing Poison Ivy for the first time, I have a reason why to watch the show. It’s really fun to have her as a villainess because it makes capturing her (as the good guy) a lot more fun than saving the damsel in distress. If I were Batman, I would do this for eternity with her instead of the Joker. *wink!*

  • Character’s hottest moment: Watch “Pretty Poison” it’s my favorite episode

 

Number 2.  –  Esmeralda  –  Hunchback from Notre Dame 

What’s up with people picking Jasmine, Belle, Ariel, and Pocahontas as being the hottest woman ever seen in a Disney film? Did they forgot how much they sexualized Esmeralda at the point where The Hunchback from Notre Dame should not be rated G. Esmeralda is so gorgeous that she’s a Goddess, plain and simple. We all thought Gypsies were this stereotype where they were creepy, old fortune tellers that only reads a crystal ball & read fortunes for a living, but Esmeralda breaks that stereotype and shows what’s it like to be involved with a wild Gypsy girl like her. I mean she’s knows how to dance, knows how get away from anyone who chases her, and she’s bare-none the most flexible animated woman I’ve ever seen! I mean, how can you not fall in love with an animated character like her? She’s dark skinned, has long fluffy hair, walks in public bear-foot, she has a very womanly figure and she has eyes that are green as Poison Ivy’s garden. That scene where she was dancing on front of Frollo and the crowd, she pulled everyone in her seduction. Even better, she has a sort of a thing for ugly people as they were the ones who actually have a bigger heart; that shows how compassionate she really is. This is actually the first and only time where a Disney film has a love triangle with Quasimodo, Phoebus, and Frollo (the villain). Hell, she was so gorgeous that even Frollo sang a very epic and passionate song about his struggle of being pure against his lust for her. That’s really daring for Disney. Hell, not even Esmeralda cos-players could even match up to the beauty of her.  Esmeralda really is my dream girl only to have me wishing that she was real. If only that were the case…

  • Character’s hottest moment  –  Esmeralda dancing on front of the live audience

 

Number 1.  –  Eris  –  Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas

Everybody forgot about Dreamwork’s 2D animated movies but it’s worth re-watching because it will surprise you on how seductive their women are. It was really hard to me to choose either Eris from Sinbad or Chel from El Dorado. In the end, I have to go with the bad girl because she was just the most seductive in the animation department. I mean look at every move that she makes! It almost looks like every atmosphere that she’s in is making her float; like the laws of physics lost control over her. Even the expressions on her face makes you want to pay attention to her body language as it really does make you loose your breath. Also, she just has that very seducing charisma that just pulls you in, like hypnotism. Everything about this goddess is just so much fun to watch. I mean we haven’t seen an animated female character this evil since Maleficent. She’s so conniving, manipulative, destructive, and she plots a lot of evil schemes… and yet that’s what makes her so damn attractive! I always dreamed of having an evil girlfriend since I was a kid and when I saw Sinbad for the first time in theaters, I was in love. She is the very definition of that bad-girl that I so would want to have and if there was a goddess that really looked like her, I would of worshiped her till kingdom come! That’s how gorgeous she really is! Seriously, she chooses to say violent words and somehow, someway, she makes it so seductive!

Seriously, even though she’s intimidating, she makes it so exciting to be with her. Esmerelda maybe my dream girl, but Eris is my dream goddess. She actually makes evil convincing and fun to do! All the way she’s charismatic, very womanly, and is seductive with everything she does. How can you not put her as number 1?!

  • Character’s hottest moment  –  Eris in a bubble bath…