It’s the championship match of the 2017 Anime Bracket! Let’s go with the tale of the tape:
Kurapika (Hunter x Hunter) vs. Kuniko Hojo (Shangri-La)
Kurapika I’ve been watching since last year, when Hunter x Hunter aired, and at first I made fun of him. Later I got on board with him after I saw how cool he was. Most of the time, I prefer a female character, but with no females to compete with him, he became far and away my favorite character on Toonami. His quest to take revenge on the Phantom Troupe may be a bit selfish, but it’s a fun journey that I am happy to be on board for. He’s really grown as a character, too, as you’ll soon see in the Yorknew City arc.
Kuniko – well, she may be the unlikeliest of characters to reach this championship match. I had never even heard of Shangri-La before late January. After seeing an ad on one of Greggo’s videos, I decided to take a chance on Shangri-La, so I bought the DVD of it and watched it the whole way through. Instantly it became clear that Kuniko – not at all attractive in a physical sense – attracted me because of her bold, brave attitude and her self-sacrificial ways. As the main character of Shangri-La, she made the show a joy to watch, because she grew from being a rebel without a cause at the beginning, to being a strong leader of an entire movement at the end.
What does this match come down to? Simple. Who gave more? The answer is obvious. While Kurapika did give up something for his friends Gon and Killua, Kuniko was willing to take a much worse penalty, to the point of death, for a girl who actually hated her. She stood in the place of the very girl who had been bullying her and beating up on her just days before. Of course, Kuniko is also a strong character, who figured out a MacGyver way of escaping before being shot by the firing squad. She ended up saving Duomo and her people. And most of all, she made Shangri-La into an anime masterpiece.
Congratulations, Kuniko! Throw that basketball to the ceiling! You are the 2017 Anime Bracket Champion!
(Congratulations also to the one of you who won the bracket contest. You will be receiving your $15 Amazon Gift Card very soon!)