Fanart Friday returns, speaking to you in code while inconspicuously passing on sensitive information. Last week, we checked out fanart of characters who just can't seem to keep a relationship, but this week it's more bombastic and exciting, full of exotic intrigue and danger--that's right, to celebrate the release of Metal Gear Rising: Revengance, today is all about spies and assassins and covert operatives!
I've always been of the mindset that stealth is for backstabbing dirtbags who can't handle a straight-up fight, but it's always impressive to see someone slip in unseen, accomplish an impossible objective, and then vanish without a trace. Mission starts in T-minus three, two, one...
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AAGH, JESUS HEI, THAT'S JUST CREEPY. Darker than Black is one of my favorite recent anime, and features the otherwise mellow Hei, who moonlights as the superpowered "Contractor" (or is he?) assassin BK201, hunting other Contractors. It's really, really good stuff--give it a watch if you haven't!
Many of us got our start in stealth games with Solid Snake, whether it was on the NES (or MSX2) with the original Metal Gear, or on the PS1 with Metal Gear Solid. Hiding out in a cardboard box while guards are hunting for you is a new experience for people unused to sneaking around, and it was great to play a game where a lone hero doesn't really have a chance against an entire army.
How much do you wanna bet that Golgo 13's trademark M16A2 is collapsed and hidden inside the Merry-Go-Round horse? I was kind of sad that Sentai Filmworks only got the first half of the recent anime for streaming and DVD, but one can always... wait, nope, I'M WRONG! BRB BUYING THIS NOW
Spies aren't always in tuxedos or disguises--sometimes, information-gathering has to be done in plain sight. Eden of the East's twisting story involves mysterious organizations, amnesia, the threat of large-scale terrorist attacks, and constant assassination attempts... sure sounds like a spy story to me!
The latest G.I. Joe movie features a ninja swordfight on rappelling lines on the side of a mountain. In other words, it sounds just as insane and over-the-top as the cartoon... just like the last movie. So why is everybody so pissed off about it? I'm always happy for more Snake Eyes, not to mention that his new movie outfit doesn't have that weird sculpted-on mouth.
Fair warning: don't look for Totally Spies fanart on deviantArt. There's some weird shit going on there, while Pixiv is relatively safe.
Same goes for Kim Possible, although on dA you'll find more pics of Kim as an adult that don't fall into the "creepy" category. What? It was a good cartoon!
Every time a new season of anime is announced, I look for a handful of things. One wish has already been granted (an actual long-form series for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure), and another has been half-granted (regular Berserk movies are better than no Berserk anime at all). While I always hope for more Hajime no Ippo, I would love to have a Spriggan TV anime--it's basically Indiana Jones + Jet Li, where members of a covert organization must race to seal powerful ancient artifacts before they can fall into the wrong hands. The movie was pretty cool, but adapting the series itself would be even better.
James Bond may be (according to Judi Dench's M) a sexist, misogynist dinosaur, but he's the T-rex of sexist, misogynist dinosaurs. He's a timeless figure who is actually a very different "secret agent" depending on who's playing him. Sean Connery and Daniel Craig are rough-and-tumble brawlers who spend more time coated in blood and grime than in a tux, while Roger Moore has an arsenal of insane gadgets and Pierce Brosnan classes up the joint by sneaking through the off-limits areas of fancy parties. George Lazenby uses a mixture of most of the styles, while Timothy Dalton just up and kills people with anything in the room.
I watched most of it about two years ago, but for the life of me I can't remember what the hell CANAAN's plot was about. I remember a lot of stylish gunplay and fanservice here and there, but that's about it. Maybe it's time for a rewatch!
Between his Metal Gear, Assassin's Creed, and Hitman work, it was hard for me not to just make this entire Fanart Friday all about Patrick Brown's awesome art. By the way, did anybody get a chance to play Hitman: Absolution? While there were a few missteps, it actually nailed the Hitman formula... if you played it on Professional.
Out of all the spies on this list, Evangelion's Ryoji Kaji is probably the most realistic--he doesn't fistfight terrorists atop speeding trains, but instead asks the right questions, turns over the right rocks and forwards the information to interested parties.
There's the man of the hour! Even with my dislike of Raiden as a character, I played and replayed Metal Gear Solid 2 to death on the PS2, and was blown away at how much of a badass he'd become in MGS4. Revengeance is basically Raiden's "I am lightning... the rain transformed" moment looped over and over and over for hours, and it's awesome for it. Look forward to a special review in the next few days!
Wait, what? Espionage in a fighting anime? That's right! Fairy Tail starts Gajeel out as Phantom Lord's top fighter--the brutal, ambitious Vegeta to Natsu's dumb-as-rocks yet heroic Goku--and then reveals that he was actually a double agent for Makarov the whole time! Seriously, if you haven't watched or read this far by now, you probably weren't going to, so don't complain about spoilers.
I'm thankful for all the artists who suddenly realized the sheer amount of badass Inspector Gadget is capable of, since he's more machine than man. His missions to foil MAD's plans would be a lot easier with some "Go Go Gadget Assault Rifle."
While Full Metal Panic's Sousuke is definitely a soldier, a good chunk of the series is focused on him toning down his fight-first mentality by making him work undercover as a high school student! Now that I think about it, more of this series would be welcome, too...
I am a terrible Spy in Team Fortress 2. I've always been bad at stealth games (with the exception of Dishonored and any Hitman game), because of my ingrained "storm the castle" mentality in video games. But I am always in awe of good Spies--just not the ones who I see running up dressed as me. They get a face full of Ubersaw.
Speed Grapher wasn't necessarily about spies, but there was a lot of spying taking place in the series, along with some very intense life-or-death action sequences. It was darker than a lot of the anime coming out at the time, which is probably part of why I liked it so much.
To be honest, no matter how cool Solid Snake is or Raiden has become, neither one of them will stack up to Big Boss in my eyes. Equal parts shounen hero and practical badass, Big Boss' Cold War adventures always just feel cooler than the high-tech future installments. It's nice to see that Miller understands the frustration of screwing up in Peace Walker's CO-OPS and OUTER OPS.
When I first saw Noir, I dismissed it as a thinly-veiled Gunsmith Cats ripoff. While I still find Gunsmith Cats cooler, Noir did its job admirably, and is still the only Bee Train-produced anime that I genuinely like.
I'm always torn when a new Assassin's Creed comes out. I absolutely love the attention to detail in the historical settings, and the generations-long war between the Assassins and the Templar. It was a lot of fun playing Assassin's Creed II in Italian with English subtitles! On the other hand, I find the sci-fi elements (the actual plot of the game) stupid as hell. I always go nuts in the past jumping on rooftops, and then my interest plummets as soon as Desmond and his boring friends show up.
I don't think I can easily explain how awesome I find Big Boss to be. Seriously, when Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes hits, I am more than willing to do a 100% Big Boss installment of Fanart Friday--there's enough fanart on Pixiv to do ten. Maybe it's the awesome lines--Solid Snake doesn't really have any memorable lines, but Big Boss has some great ones, like "I just wasted a bullet... don't waste your life."
Read or Die takes the same basic premise as Spriggan, only instead of a fierce young man you have a curvy librarian, and instead of globetrotting adventure to seek out ancient artifacts it's... books. I was also originally going to go into this long, creepy spiel about how much I love Nancy Makuhari, but I spared all of you the horror.
Run, kid, you don't stand a chance! Oh, why not--one more Metal Gear pic to wrap things up!
Eesh. Okay, so from left to right: Old Snake/Homura, Solidus/Sayaka, Solid Snake/Madoka, Liquid/Mami, and Big Boss/Kyoko. Works for me, now I need to go wash my eyes out.
And on that horrifying note, that's all for this week! There's no way I could have included everybody, so who are some of your favorite spies, assassins, and shadow operatives? Sound off in the comments!
Like I say every week, your work is always welcome here on Fanart Friday--just PM me a link to your work and I'll make sure to include it in a future installment! Next week, we're recapping the last six months of Fanart Friday with another RECAP EPISODE--yep, it's been that long since First Anniversary Edition! Out of the last six months of Fanart Friday, what were some of your favorite installments?
Thanks again for checking out Fanart Friday, and we hope you drop by next week!