Fanart Friday returns, eagerly looking forward to the new Barbie Horse Adventures. Last week, we had the most visually-boring Fanart Friday ever with a look at generic protagonist designs, but this week we're celebrating Chinese New Year--specifically, the Year of the Horse! According to the Chinese Zodiac, people born in the Year of the Horse are active, energetic, love crowds and attention, and are very intelligent and personable.
They're also apparently metal as hell
Horses have been a big part of world history, so it's no surprise that they play a big part in many anime, manga, games and movies. From beloved companions, to transportation, to centaurs, half-horse creatures, and everything else in-between, it was surprising just how many horses you guys could think of for this installment. Now, let's get started!
DISCLAIMER: None of the art presented is the property of myself or Crunchyroll. All characters and series are tm and © their respective creators and corporate owners. All art is the creative property of their respective artists. Any artists who wish to have their work removed from this article may contact me, and appropriate action will be immediately taken.
Let's start with a historically-famous horse--the Red Hare, from Romance of the Three Kingdoms! While the Dynasty Warriors games have really gone nuts with the character designs, they get the important stuff right: originally the mount of unbeatable warrior Lu Bu, the Red Hare eventually passed on to Guan Yu, one of the "three brothers" who were kiiiiinda the good guys of the story. Only kinda, as it's a very dense story.
by OroNoDa READER SUBMISSION!
Obviously, this installment isn't just about regular horses, so centaurs--a mythical half-man/half-horse creature--will show up from time to time. Yes, Gintoki! Just like that!
Much like in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, horses played a big part in the warfare of Feudal Japan, and Sengoku Basara takes that to ridiculous lengths, with Date's handlebars and mufflers on his horse, or Warlord Takeda standing on his saddle while riding downhill.
Poor Jean. Aside from getting constantly shown up in Attack on Titan (and other horrible personal tragedies, because, y'know... Attack on Titan), he keeps getting called a "horse-faced guy." Does it have something to do with how much he loves horses, and how freaked out he was when he almost lost his horse? Also, I had no idea that Jean was series creator Hajime Isayama's favorite character.
Like I said in By the Power of the Moon Edition, I'm not quite as versed in Sailor Moon as I am with other anime, so you guys are gonna have to help me out here with the commentary. This, however, is a gorgeous piece of work.
Lots of Pokemon are based off of real animals, so naturally there are a few of them styled after horses--Gen 1 had Ponyta and Rapidash, and then later Gen 5 introduced Blitzle and Zebstrika!
Bleach's Nelliel tu Odelschwank (goddammit, Kubo, you and your original names... I had to look it up) just barely squeaks into this theme because her Resurreccion transforms her into a centaur. Otherwise, she'll be appearing in the next Delightfully Tacky Edition.
Right, this is unexpected. I know there's been kind of a surge in the popularity of "monster girl" manga, and Monster Musume's Centorea has a fair bit of art available. We'll talk more about that later when I get to A Centaur's Life, since I haven't read this one yet.
It was pretty tough to find a pic of Fairy Tail's Sagittarius on his own, so here's a group shot of a bunch of Lucy's Celestial Spirits! Who's excited for the new anime?
I remember back when The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was about to come out, and we were eagerly devouring all the screenshots in game magazines. Link had a horse, named Epona! I kept hoping I'd get to run down some Moblins (because I'm awful in Zelda games), but my favorite Epona memories actually come from Twilight Princess, and making pinpoint bow shots while on horseback.
I can't believe it's so hard to find art of Fruits Basket's Isuzu "Rin" Sohma! Now, in Fruits Basket, the Sohma clan is cursed to transform into their respective Chinese Zodiac animal, and Rin represents the Horse. I know that the Zodiac has it kinda bad in the series, but for some reason, I always especially felt bad for Rin.
So, for those of you who haven't finished Shadow of the Colossus, skip this entry! There's a point right before you take on the final Colossus where Wander (our slowly-descending-into-madness hero) must take his horse Agro, who's been your companion and battle buddy throughout the entire game, through a really perilous platforming sequence. At one point, Agro falls, and Wander barely makes it onto the ledge in time as he watches Agro disappear into the abyss below. The next 20-30 minutes were some of the most traumatically rage-fueled gaming I've ever had--I was gonna kill the son of a bitch that dropped my horse off a cliff.
Of course, after taking down the final Colossus, I saw Agro come and pick up Wander's broken body, so that was a nice finishing touch. Good job, Team Ico!
There are a ton of great Disney horses, but one of my recent favorites (and a couple of you, too, if the requests are any indicator) is Maximus, from Tangled, who a friend appropriately refers to as "that One Piece horse." Yep, that sounds about right.
I'm big on mecha series that go kinda bonkers and include full-on horse robots for the giant robots to ride--G Gundam has Fuun Saiki (who we'll talk about later), but Super Robot Wars OG has a horse robot of its own with the Aussenseiter!
Some of you may not know how to say "happy New Year" in Japanese, but it's one they usually teach you in your first class: 明けましておめでとうございます, or "akemashite omedetou gozaimasu." You'll see it on a couple more pics in this installment, but for now, ring in the Year of the Horse with Silver Spoon's Hachiken and Maron! The last episode (not the most recent one) did a good job of building up their relationship!
I, uh... wow. Holy crap. That is a lot of blood. See, last time I posted one of Fate's Rider characters, I used the big burly dude from Fate/Zero, but somebody specifically asked for Fate/Stay-Night's Rider this time around. After spending more time looking through her Pixiv tag than I should have, I can see why!
Ahh, there's Fuun Saiki! The mighty warhorse of Mobile Fighter G Gundam's Master Asia, Fuun Saiki later joins Domon Kasshu in the final battle against the Devil Gundam... and wears the skintight Mobile Trace jumpsuit as well. I'd call animal cruelty at this point, but Fuun Saiki's more badass than some of the human characters in the series... it all evens out.
Y'know what? I'm gonna be fair about this. I've only watched a couple episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and while I will immediately crack jokes about Bronies (it's like a reflex at this point, like making fun of Nickelback or white people who demand that you call them Asian names), the truth is I've never actually met a bad Brony in person (online is a different story. COMPLETELY different story). It isn't a bad thing to like a cartoon that's meant for 8-12-year-old girls, even if you're a 25-year-old man. So there.
That was actually kinda hard to get off my chest. Sorry, Bronies! You guys sometimes get too much shit from people.
Going back to '80s cartoons, Rainbow Brite's horse Starlite had quite a bit of art on dA, but my personal favorite was this little crocheted plushie. Drop by the artist's Etsy and order one!
There are a couple of horse-type characters in Saint Seiya, mainly Pegasus Seiya himself! The Pegasus Saint is almost always the main character of each series, with Pegasus Tenma in Lost Canvas and Pegasus Koga in Omega! There's also Unicorn Jabu, but nobody really cares about him. (Unicorn Yato, on the other hand, is pretty awesome.)
Out of all of these, though, my favorite horse goes to Raoh's mighty horse from Fist of the North Star: Kokuoh, the Black King. This horse takes a punch from Kenshiro. Those are some impressive bragging rights, there.
It's kind of weird for me to say that Animal Crossing has a long history (it started out on the N64), but it's a true statement. They've had horses in the series for quite some time, and my friend's New Leaf town (which she still regularly maintains) just had Winnie leave.
A couple weeks ago, a friend brought over A Centaur's Life, which he was reading and wanted us to read as well. I really don't know what to think--it's about the day-to-day life of a world where all sorts of fantastical creatures live and work and go to school. It was normal... and yet not. I can't clearly describe my feelings on the subject.
However, I can clearly describe my feelings on DC's weird-ass Silver Age character Comet the Super-Horse, who was part of the Super-Family alongside Superman, Supergirl, and Krypto the Super-Dog. Let's not bring up that whole creepy thing where Comet fell in love with Supergirl, okay?
When I heard that CR was getting Walkure Romanze, a jousting anime, I was hoping for something along the lines of Full Metal Jousting. It wasn't. Anyways! While there are plenty of equestrian sports, jousting is by and far the most exciting, where you're basically playing chicken with a giant wooden lance while dashing at full speed toward another rider with a giant wooden lance of his own.
by Shads-Pics, cosplayers unknown
Might as well save one of the best for last--in Full Metal Panic? FUMOFFU! there was a guy who was "assaulting women" and leaving their hair styled into fashionable ponytails. Turns out this guy was just a freak in a horse mask who only said "PONY" and was armed with a brush and hair ties. That girl's hair is about as long as mine, but I really hope this dude (or a similar cosplayer) doesn't sneak up on me at a con.
WHOA! Slow down, that's it for this week! There were a shitload of requests last week, so my apologies for those of you I couldn't get art for--even considering that, there's no way I could have included every horse in everything ever, so who are your favorite horses? Sound off in the comments!
As many of you know, your submissions are always welcome, regardless of your skill level or experience, so don't be shy! PM me a link to your work, and I'll make sure to include it in a future installment! For those of you wanting to get something in, here are the next three upcoming installments for Fanart Friday:
-Next week, on FEBRUARY 7th, we're starting a semi-regular thing for this year looking at the works of specific animation studios, starting with STUDIO MADHOUSE! One of CR's top shows, Hunter x Hunter, is a Madhouse production, but what are your favorites? THIS IS THE ONLY THEME I'M TAKING REQUESTS FOR THIS WEEK!
-Then, on FEBRUARY 14th, we're doing our annual Valentine's Day theme with a brilliant suggestion by CR user BlatantLies--LOVE TRIANGLES! This could get messy...
-On FEBRUARY 21st, we're starting another semi-regular theme for voice actors, starting with the man who's everywhere all at once with a voice you always immediately recognize, STEVE BLUM!
Thanks again for coming by to check out Fanart Friday! I hope you have a great weekend, enjoy Super Bowl Sunday, and drop by next week!