Fanart Friday returns, all ready to test your mettle (remember, folks--only bad people hate puns). Last week, I somehow avoided making a single "sploosh" joke with a WATER-themed installment, but this week we wrap up our month-long look at the elements with a fifth element--no, not Love, not Heart, not Aether, but METAL!
More of an elemental mainstay in Asian cultures (specifically Chinese), Metal is pretty distinct from Earth--characters who wield the elemental force of metal (or magnetism, since we're being flexible and allowed plant control during the Earth theme) are often the "unstoppable force" compared to Earth's "immovable object." Of course, just like there are many different types of metal, there are many ways to interpret how "metal" a character is. Let's get started!
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Now, I haven't watched Umineko no Naku Koro ni, but I've heard that Beatrice has control over gold... and can, uh... speak in gold? How does that work?
by hakutheawesome READER SUBMISSION!
Over this past month, we've talked about real-world(ish) representatives of elements, from Bruce Lee to swimmers to gymnasts, and I think it's fair to say that swordsmen--like One Piece's Roronoa Zoro--fit the bill. If the Straw Hats were assigned elements, I'd say that Zoro and Franky are Metal, Luffy is Wind, Nami is Water, Usopp is Earth, Sanji is Fire, and... I dunno, Chopper and Robin are Heart. So where does that leave Brook?
Despite sarcasm from some of you readers, I don't actually enjoy looking through ecchi fanart, because ecchi titles just aren't my thing (but boobies are wonderful, I ain't gonna lie). I was kind of dreading looking up Seikon no Qwaser's Alexander, but hey, it turns out that he's the rare harem series protagonist who doesn't belong in Plain as Folk Edition!
And this week's award for "request I didn't expect to find at all" goes to Warriors of Virtue's Yee! This was a pretty kickass '90s kids action movie with wushu kangaroos, and some of the warriors represented different elements. Glad to see some love for this underrated gem!
You'll see a lot of dragons, monsters, and in this case digital monsters that represent metal. Digimon has no shortage of badass-looking collectible monsters, and Metalgreymon is one of the series' headliners.
Personally, I think the closest you can get to real-life metal elemental is a blacksmith, and How to Train Your Dragon's Hiccup fits the bill. Wait, bullshit, that's not Hiccup! Dude, seriously... puberty. You're doing it right. Gonna make all the ladies swoon. Men too, doesn't matter how straight you think you are.
I actually had no idea what Brave 10 was until now--all I knew was that it was yet another loosely-historical action anime, this time based around the Ten Braves of Sanada, ten ninja who protected legendary warrior Sanada Yukimura (where, if we're going by Sengoku BASARA rules, he didn't really need protecting). Juuzo Kakei is the "Metal" of the team, and surprisingly their gunman.
by OroNoDa READER SUBMISSION!
WELCOME TO DIE! Of all the magnetically-powered characters in all of fiction, few are as evocative or well-developed as Erik Magnus Lensherr--Magneto, the Master of Magnetism. He's one of the few "bad guys" who is just so believable and inspiring. Sure, what he's doing is awful, but he genuinely believes that you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs (or heads, as the case may be).
There are actually two characters named Musica in Rave Master--spear-wielding Hamrio Musica, and his legendary blacksmith father Galein (he's not the dude in the background)!
Toph invented Metalbending (in one of the coolest episodes of the first Avatar series), but Lin perfected it, to the point that every Earthbending cop uses Metalbending under her guidance. C'mon, give the woman some credit--a gifted student should surpass their teacher!
It's right there in the name! Sort of. The Japanese title for Fullmetal Alchemist is kanji Hagane no Renkinjutsu-shi (鋼の錬金術師), which literally means "Alchemist of Steel." I still find it hilarious that people complain about "Attack on Titan" and think it's a clunky title, and yet they totally accept "Fullmetal Alchemist."
by ultmte READER SUBMISSION!
Still on the subject of steel (no, I did not include a picture of John Henry Irons), Steel-type Pokemon are pretty handy to have around, especially a gigantic badass like Steelix here.
While we can arbitrarily assign elements to One Piece's Straw Hat members, there is actually a character who can turn his body into metal as his base power--Daz Bones, aka Mr. 1!
Generator Rex is one of those cartoons I just haven't gotten around to checking out, like Ben 10. I know my little cousins love it, but beyond that, I know nothing.
Magnets can be used for more than just pulling metal from one place to another--they can also be used to blast objects away with incredible force, like Misaka does with everyday coins in A Certain Scientific Railgun!
by BoaCC READER SUBMISSION!
I'm really hoping that Fate/Zero's Berserker is listening to Berserker. Also, if you're talking Fate characters, a reader mentioned Archer's Unlimited Blade Works, but BoaCC here beat him to the punch. He sent this one in early!
...so yeah, I actually forgot that Code:Breaker even existed, but I have this weird love-hate relationship with Samurai Deeper Kyo, so I'm gonna give it another shot. You guys'll have to tell me what the deal is with Toki here!
So in Hunter x Hunter, Gon is very clearly Earth, Killua counts as Wind, and holy freakin' crap is Kurapika Metal, what with the chains and the brutal backstory and the brutal quest for revenge and the brutal way he delivers justice to his enemies and his brutal glowing red eyes and his brutally goofy haircut.
This is kind of a weird one--the ship-girls of Arpeggio of Blue Steel are the personification of battleships... but they can also manipulate metal via nanomachines. Oh, fair warning: don't ask Victoria about KanColle right now. It makes her... emotional.
Rounding out the full Flame of Recca team, Koganei Kaoru and his shifting Kougon Anki weapon represent Metal in the five-man band of heroes. Sadly, no W.I.T.C.H. or Arata the Legend requests for this week!
When Gajeel Redfox first showed up in Fairy Tail, I could not wait for him to get his ass beat. When it finally happened (and it was awesome), I immediately wanted the Iron Dragonslayer (such an awesome title) to join the team. Predictability isn't always a bad thing.
Dude, seriously: Red-Eyes Metal Dragon? Yu-gi-Oh! monster names can be a real unimaginative (but descriptive) mouthful.
But in the end, y'know what's metal? Heavy metal. The kind played by Detroit Metal City's Johannes Krauser II, who rocks harder than just about anyone who's ever rocked before.
Y'know what's funny? We got all the way through this installment without any D-FRAG. I mean, they don't have a Metal element person, do they? Hmm? What's that?
DAMMIT. Okay, fine, D-FRAG's Shinsen counts because she stays in a robot suit (?) most of the time. THERE, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW
And that's everything for this week! There's no way I could have included everybody--who are your favorite masters of metal? Sound off in the comments and let us know!
I'm glad to see more and more of you sending in your work, which is always welcome here on Fanart Friday, regardless of your skill level or experience. Just PM me a link to your work, and I'll be sure to include it in a future installment! Here are the next three themes for Fanart Friday:
-Next week, on JUNE 6th, we celebrate the release of Ultra Street Fighter IV with a trip through my all-time favorite gaming franchise, STREET FIGHTER! From mainstays like Ryu and Chun-li to forgotten faces like Eagle, Street Fighter will always hold a special place in my heart. THIS IS THE ONLY THEME I'M TAKING REQUESTS FOR THIS WEEK!
-Then, on JUNE 13th, we're gonna Hare Hare Yukai our way through the library of KYOANI, or KYOTO ANIMATION! They've got a pretty small list of titles compared to other studios, but it's an impressive one!
-On JUNE 20th, grab your sunscreen and a towel--we're going to the BEACH! Or POOL if you're unfortunate enough to not live by the ocean! Oh, whatever, it's SUMMER, and we're gonna find some fanart of your favorite characters soaking up the summer heat!
Thanks again for coming by to check out Fanart Friday! Have a great weekend, and I hope you drop by again next week!