Fantasy Girls – Top 10 Girls of Anime (Honorable Mention): Esdeath – Akame ga Kill (2014)





Followers of my Fantasy Girls will know I have a soft spot for bad girls (or a hot slice of crazy). And what’s better than a bad girl? A bad girl in uniform! After all, who doesn’t love a woman in uniform? Even if it is a Nazi-esque uniform in this case – but then, Esdeath is the villain of the piece.




Cosplay by Disharmonica (Helly von Valentine)


Akame ga Kill is an anime of a revolution against a corrupt and brutal fantasy empire (as opposed to the corrupt and brutal empires of reality). The protagonist Tatsumi nearly becomes a victim of its corruption and brutality in its beating heart of the Capitol, but instead finds himself recruited by Night Raid, a group of predominantly female assassins – including the titular heroine Akame:


As long as there is human nature, so too must there be malice. As long as there is malice, so too must there be evil. Evil beyond salvation. For those who don’t wield a sword, these vile demons are silenced in the darkness by a group of elite assassins.”




Cosplay by Vampy Bit Me


Of course, being anime, it’s not enough that Night Raid are predominantly female assassins (reminiscent of Kill Bill’s Deadly Viper Assassination Squad), but they are armed with magical totem weapons known as Teigu created in part from legendary animals known as Danger Beasts. (It is said that when two Teigu users fight each other, one must die – now that’s some danger beast action right there).



However, the Empire has a Night Raid or two of its own – primarily the Jaegers, led by the powerful and sadistic ice queen Esdeath. Of course again, being anime, she becomes infatuated with protagonist Tatsumi – although to his credit, he realizes that she is someone to run as far away from as possible, particularly given that her idea of a hot date is to chain him up by the neck.




That can’t end well – and it doesn’t – but needless to say, she was a favorite of fans and cosplay models, chains and all

Friday Night Funk: Naughty by Nature – O.P.P. (1991)




“Arm me with harmony”


I’m taking a break from counting down my Top 10 Music entries with a shout-out to a special event.


So this week’s Friday Night Funk entry is drawn from my long roll call of special mentions for mojo and funk that comprise the soundtrack of my life. In this case, funk extends to hip hop, although Naughty by Nature’s O.P.P does sample the Jackson Five and it doesn’t get much more funky than that.


To quote Wikipedia, “O.P.P. is a song by American rap group Naughty by Nature. It was released in August 1991 as the lead single from their self-titled debut album Naughty by Nature. The song was one of the first rap songs…Its declaration, “Down Wit’ O.P.P” was a popular catchphrase in the United States in the early-1990s. It was a hugely successful single…There was not a bigger, more contagious crossover radio smash in the autumn of 1991 than Naughty by Nature’s O.P.P.”




Of course, those lyrics (and video) are a little naughty by nature. Since then it has ranked in lists for greatest songs or singles of rap or hip hop – and playing on those initials has a personal resonance for me.