Is the SNES or Genesis Version of Disney's Aladdin Better? | CBR

An updated version of the Disney Classics Game Collection is coming to PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X, adding both The Jungle Book and the classic SNES version of Disney’s Aladdin from 1993. The previous version of the collection was released in 2019 with only the Sega Genesis version of Aladdin, but considering how different the two games are, it only seems fair to add the SNES game to the updated collection.

Which version of the game is the best one has long been debated by gamers and developers, with designer Shinji Mikami, who worked on the SNES game, noting in old interviews that had he not worked on the SNES game, he would have been more likely to buy the Genesis version. So, which game is really the best, and what makes it stand out?

Related: Publishers Should Focus More on Classic Game Collections Than Remakes

Super Nintendo’s Aladdin game was designed by Capcom, who was known at the time for creating incredible versions of games based on a number of Disney films. The SNES version of Aladdin has always had a lot going for it, especially aspects that make the gameplay far superior. Controlling the character was much smoother, which meant running, leaping and encountering enemies was a lot easier to manage, and the controls system responses were more carefully timed.

Speaking of timing, the pacing of the SNES game was also superior, despite the fact that some levels deviated pretty far from the original plot of the movie. In platformers, the pacing is often everything as the player character travels through their world, leaping through obstacles, exploring hidden crevices, collecting items and jumping on enemy heads to defeat them.

In many ways, the SNES version felt much more like a platformer than its Genesis counterpart, which led to familiar game experiences for platformer fans. This also made it a little bit easier to play for younger fans of the film.

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Developed by Sega and Virgin, it can’t be denied that the Genesis version of Disney’s Aladdin stuck much more closely to the plot of the movie, featuring familiar scenes and moments, as well as those catchy songs that make classic Disney films unforgettable. For a lot of the older games inspired by animated films, the plot and design were often so distant from the movie, all that seemed recognizable was the character.

Genesis offered more opportunities to explore Agrabah, which wasn’t entirely possible in the SNES version because of the game’s platformer style. While it wasn’t always easy to figure out which way to go in the game, exploration led to intriguing bonuses and Easter Eggs that weren’t present in the SNES game.

Aladdin also had a sword in the Genesis game, which allowed him to battle his enemies fiercely, rather than jumping on their heads to quash the attack unrealistically. He felt more like a real hero, but a lot of the things that made the Genesis version feel superior were often met with the game’s downfalls. It was much more difficult to play, and the controller wasn’t intuitive at all, which led to a lot of player frustration.

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Choosing between the two games is almost impossible because they are so different from one another. One of the only similarities they seem to share is the characters, but beyond that, they don’t even come close to being the same game. Taking a look at which of these games Disney chose to include in the original bundle suggests that the Genesis version is superior, and in a lot of ways it is.

The Genesis version is a more complex game which, in a lot of ways, makes it more rewarding to play. Mastering the gameplay while exploring quests and locations that are related more closely to the actual movie gives it an edge the SNES version just doesn’t have. The graphics were also much better, which is always welcome when it comes to older games.

On the other hand, the platformer simplicity of the SNES version makes the game more accessible to a wider range of players, especially younger gamers who are still grasping controls, movement and coordination. Anyone can argue that the games weren’t made for younger players, especially the Genesis version of the game, but given the subject material, kids are gonna want in on that action, and the easier it is for them to play, the better.

In the end, it comes down to player preference, and everyone’s opinions are different. The nostalgic draw of both games will appeal to a wide range of gamers who can’t wait to get back to Agrabah and help Aladdin face the foes that oppose him.

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The original releases for Disney's Aladdin on SNES and Sega Genesis were so vastly different from one another, they were barely even the same game.

10 More Non-MCU Marvel Movie Characters Who Should Join The MCU Multiverse

The first trailer for the highly-anticipated Spider-Man: No Way Home confirmed long-standing rumors that Alfred Molina would be returning to the role of Doctor Octopus. He first played the villain in 2004’s Spider-Man 2 and will be making his MCU debut alongside other villains like Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin and Jamie Foxx’s Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

RELATED: No Way Home: 10 Ways Bringing Back Old Movie Characters Is A Bad Idea

While characters like 20th Century Fox’s cinematic version of Deadpool are also set to make their MCU debut in the near future, there are a few other characters from Marvel projects that aren’t connected to the MCU who could show up in the developing multiverse, which we’ll be taking a closer look at today.

10 Hugh Jackman Could Return As A Multiversal Old Man Logan Alongside X-23

20th Century Fox’s long-running X-Men franchise introduced a number of live-action mutants to the big screen. The most celebrated was Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Marvel’s Canucklehead, Wolverine.

Jackman has repeatedly said he won’t be returning to the role of Wolverine after appearing in the role for 17 years, despite frequent requests from Deadpool‘s Ryan Reynolds. However, he could still make an appearance as a multiversal Old Man Logan alongside Dafne Keen’s X-23, whose potential was barely touched on in 2017’s Logan.

9 Uncle Ben From The Amazing Spider-Man Could Fill A Void In The MCU

Spider-Man will be helping to introduce the multiverse to the MCU in Spider-Man: No Way Home, which will be bringing in villains from previous franchises. However, an important character in Spider-Man’s origin that has yet to be seen in the MCU could make an appearance. Uncle Ben and his death are part of what sets Peter Parker on his path to becoming Spider-Man.

Two previous franchises introduced versions of Uncle Ben that help teach Peter his greatest lesson, though Cliff Robertson from the Sam Raimi trilogy passed in 2011. Martin Sheen’s Uncle Ben from The Amazing Spider-Man could appear in the MCU multiverse to finally deliver the iconic “with great power, must also come great responsibility” which he never got to say in TASM.

8 Emma Stone Could Return As A Multiversal Gwen Stacy To Become Ghost-Spider

Another character from The Amazing Spider-Man franchise that could make a return in the MCU’s multiverse is Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy, whose tragic death in the sequel stands out among the other cinematic franchises. However, there is an alternate version of the character that fans would love to see in live-action who also made an appearance in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.

RELATED: MCU Multiverse: 5 Non-MCU Marvel Movies That Should Be Canon (& 5 That Shouldn’t)

In an alternate reality, Gwen Stacy was the one who gained incredible spider-powers to become Spider-Woman, though she later took on the name of Ghost-Spider when she made her way to the mainstream 616 universe. With rumors of other TASM characters appearing, Emma Stone could return as the hit character originally known to fans as Spider-Gwen.

7 The New Mutants Deserve A Second Chance By Being Brought In To The MCU

20th Century Fox planned to launch a new series in the X-Men franchise with The New Mutants from director Josh Boone, though the studio shelved the project and it was sold alongside other properties to Disney.

While The New Mutants was then released by Disney, the next generation of the X-Men weren’t given much of a chance to shine on the big screen. The X-Men and other mutants have yet to appear in the MCU, though characters from the New Mutants could show up in the multiverse and potentially get another moment in the spotlight.

6 Silver Surfer From Fox’s Fantastic Four Was The Best Part Of The Movie Franchise

Fox also released a few movies starring Marvel’s Fantastic Four that took a few liberties with the source material, including 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The movie (or franchise) wasn’t well-received by fans, but the character of Norrin Radd/Silver Surfer (played by Doug Jones and voiced by Laurence Fishburne) was a surprising success.

While most fans are patiently waiting for the debut of the MCU’s version of the Fantastic Four, most fans would be all right with seeing the first cinematic Silver Surfer make his return as part of the MCU’s multiverse. As long as the sad excuse for Galactus stays behind in the 2007 movie, of course.

5 Marvel’s Forgotten Live-Action Man-Thing Could Appear As A Nexus Guardian

2005 saw the limited release of Marvel’s live-action Man-Thing movie, which flew under everybody’s radar after it lost a theatrical release and ended up airing on TV. However, for anyone who has seen it, the actual appearance of Man-Thing is the highlight of the movie, despite some lackluster special effects.

Since Man-Thing is a defender of the Nexus of All Realities in the comic, it would make a lot of sense for this version of the character to appear in the MCU’s developing multiverse as other characters like Scarlet Witch begin to explore their own connection to the Nexus.

4 Nicholas Cage’s Ghost Rider Would Be A Fun Inclusion To The MCU’s Multiverse

Fans have now seen a couple of different versions of Ghost Rider in live-action, with TV’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. introducing the modern character named Robbie Reyes for the first time. While AoS is considered to be MCU-adjacent, its actual status in the canon is disputable.

RELATED: Marvel: The Ten Best Non-MCU Marvel Movies, According To IMDb

Still, while Nicholas Cage’s take on the character from 2007’s Ghost Rider and 2011’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance isn’t considered the best adaptations by fans, his return as the character in the MCU’s multiverse would undoubtedly be a fun inclusion.

3 Fans Want To See Jon Bernthal’s Punisher Appear Properly In The MCU

Netflix produced a few series starring Marvel characters that were also loosely connected to the MCU, which included two seasons of The Punisher following Jon Bernthal’s debut as the character in Daredevil second season.

While those series also have a dubious place in the MCU’s continuity, fans are still holding out hope that Bernthal will be able to suit up again someday as The Punisher. Introducing another universe in the multiverse for Netflix’s characters might be a great way to bring Frank Castle and others to the big screen so fans can see more of the Defenders and The Punisher.

2 Wesley Snipes Could Return As A Multiversal Blade In Mahershala Ali’s Reboot

Fans were excited by Marvel Studios’ announcement that Mahershala Ali will be starring in the upcoming Blade reboot from director Bassam Tariq, though it was slightly bittersweet to fans of the original Blade trilogy. He helped put Marvel on the map in Hollywood as the first vampire hunter, and fans are already looking at ways that Wesley Snipes could reappear as Blade.

Having him appear as another Blade in the multiverse not only brings Snipes back to the fan-favorite character, but it would also allow Mahershala Ali’s version some freedom to create a new take on Blade without upsetting classic fans.

1 Tom Hardy’s Venom Has Already Teased A Potential Appearance In The MCU

Sony Pictures owns the rights to Spider-Man and related characters, though a deal with Marvel Studios has allowed the newest Spider-Man to appear in the MCU. 2018’s Venom starring Tom Hardy exists in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe which is removed from the MCU alongside upcoming movies like Morbius and Kraven The Hunter.

However, Hardy was recently spotted wearing a Spider-Man: No Way Home hat, which kicked off further rumors about the inevitable mashup between Venom and the MCU’s Spider-Man. The multiverse serves as an excellent way to bring these characters together after years of teases and speculation.

NEXT: 10 Non-Marvel Movies To Watch If You Love The MCU

Spider-Man: No Way Home is bringing back some non-MCU villains, but who else could return from the past to join the developing cinematic multiverse?

Violet Evergarden: The Movie Comes to Netflix With New Trailer

An official trailer for the Violet Evergarden movie has dropped.

The new trailer recaps the events of the Netflix original anime’s first season and teases a conclusion to protagonist Violet’s quest to understand the complexities of human emotion and come to terms with the death of her first love, the Major. The film tells an original story that will serve as the conclusion to Netflix’s 13-episode anime adaptation of writer Kana Akatsuki and illustrator Akiko Takase’s award-winning light novel series. Violet Evergarden: The Movie will make its worldwide streaming debut exclusively on Netflix on October 13.

RELATED: New Macross Trailers Show Off New Characters, Music and Mechs

Although originally scheduled to premiere in January 2020, Violet Evergarden: The Movie ultimately premiered in theaters on September 18 2020, having been delayed by both the arson attack on producer Kyoto Animation’s headquarters and by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The film sold over 1.45 million tickets across Japan and made 2.1 billion yen (roughly 19.2 million USD) during its theatrical run, making it Kyoto Animation’s second highest grossing anime movie, behind A Silent Voice.

Animated and produced by Kyoto Animation, the studio behind classic anime A Silent Voice, Hyouka, K-On! and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and directed by Haruka Fujita (Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!: Heart Throb, Sound! Euphonium) and Taichi Ishidate (Beyond the Boundary, Nichijou, K-On!), Violet Evergarden premiered on Netflix on January 11, 2018. The series immediately received critical praise and has become one of Netflix’s most successful anime adaptations.

Violet Evergarden tells the story of Violet, a former child soldier and amputee, who sets out to understand the meaning of love after the death of her superior officer Major Gilbert Bougainvillea. Equipped with advanced prosthetic arms, Violet trains to become an Auto Memory Doll, female ghostwriters who clients come to for assistance in writing personal letters. As an Auto Memory Doll, Violet encounters many people from different backgrounds and social classes and begins to understand the varied and complicated human emotion of love.

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Source: Youtube

Netflix releases a new trailer for Violet Evergarden: The Movie, the upcoming finale to Kyoto Animation's critically acclaimed anime series.

MCU Wiki Community Urges Marvel Studios to Keep Past TV Shows Canon

A passionate moderator of the Marvel Cinematic Universe wiki issued an 18 page appeal pleading for Marvel Studios to keep past Marvel Television shows canon.

The document was authored, over the course of a year, by user BEJT, who identifies as “a walking MCU encyclopedia and a proud mega-fan.” In their appeal, BEJT urged Marvel Studios to ease the anxieties of television-inclusive fans, who have dedicated seven years of affection to projects once presented as part of the MCU.

RELATED: New Warriors Shows What the MCU Lost by Dissolving Marvel Television

The series discussed in the appeal include Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, Inhumans, The Punisher, Runaways, Cloak & Dagger, and Helstrom. However, BEJT added the caveat that Helstrom‘s status as an MCU project was never solid and that the poorly-received Inhumans remains isolated enough in its references as to be “surgically extractible from canon, if that were considered necessary.”

In the appeal, BEJT offers that these shows – comprising of over 300 hours of content and accounting for nearly 86 percent of the MCU, as of 2020 – help bolster the universe’s broader storytelling. “Marvel Studios tells the stories of the people defining this world, and Marvel Television tells the stories of the people living in the world those people defined,” they wrote. Not only did the MCU seal bring fans to these television series, but it defined intrinsic elements of their storytelling.

RELATED: Clark Gregg Says Agents of SHIELD Is Still MCU Canon Despite WandaVision

While Marvel Television fans never harbored tremendous hope that these smaller projects would get recognition in the MCU, their existence within the universe was never in question. However, the dissolving of Netflix’s Marvel Television series, the rollout of Marvel Studios shows on Disney+ and the rumor mill surrounding the MCU’s burgeoning Phase 4, has led to fans developing a sense of anxiety surrounding their favorite series’ validity in the larger universe.

Promising reassurances for Marvel Television fans include James D’Arcy’s cameo as Jarvis in Avengers: Endgame. However, BEJT highlighted a pervading fear that Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige will simply pluck fanservice elements from the Marvel Television graveyard and dismiss the rest moving forward. The theory that Marvel Television could exist in an alternate universe has been meet with similar disapproval from television-inclusive fans who have invested in these series over the years.

“Having been assured repeatedly for 7 years that the shows were MCU canon and having given so much of ourselves to them on that basis,” BEJT summarized, “I think it is understandable to be bruised simply by the reversal of that promise.” After gathering signatures on the MCU Wiki, BEJT began to share the appeal on social media, adding they would send the physical 18-page document, complete with graphs, to Marvel Studios.

The once sprawling world of Marvel Television has now been consolidated into the Marvel Studios television banner at Disney+, where animated anthology What If…? currently airs on Wednesdays at 12 a.m. PT/3 a.m. ET.

KEEP READING: Shang-Chi’s Lore May Tease a Connection to Iron Fist

Source: Twitter

A devoted wiki community drafts an appeal for Marvel Studios to keep previous TV shows canon to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

10 Best Kings In Anime | CBR

Kings, emperors and other royal figures are an integral part of many anime stories. The question is, how good are they at fulfilling the actual duties of their role, as opposed to using their power for more dubious ends?

RELATED: Castlevania: 5 Characters On Trevor Belmont’s Level (& 5 Nowhere Close)

What makes a good king? If you are a subject living in a kingdom, that would boil down to being able to live your life in peace, with enough to eat and a roof over your head. It’s not so much to ask. Here are the rulers that did the most for their kingdoms.

10 Sora Becomes The Best King Of Elchea (No Game, No Life)

In the real world, Sora does not have royal blood. When he’s whisked away to a new world called Elchea with his step-sister Shiro, though, his reality depends on his ability to win games. A win gives Sora the right to be ruler, and instead of taking advantage, he begins to study and read books on how to be a good leader. He even consults with the other rulers of their world, and brings peace. He works hard to be a good king and becomes an inspiring leader.

9 Rimuru Tempest Makes The Most Of It (That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime)

Satoru Mikami is a 37-year-old Tokyo office worker, leading a boring life until one day a stranger stabs him out of the blue. When he regains consciousness, he’s been reincarnated as a Slime in another world with special powers. Instead of whining about the development, he befriends a dragon and other monsters in the Jura Forest. They found the nation of Tempest, and Satoru becomes Rimuru Tempest, their ruler. He goes on to defend the nation and its people against outside threats.

8 Anos Voldigoad Made The Ultimate Sacrifice For Peace Between Humans And Demons (The Misfit Of Demon King Academy)

Anos Voldigoad is a demon mage in The Misfit of Demon King Academy. Two thousand years ago, after a long period of strife, he came to a pact with humans, and to secure peace, he agreed to die. That’s paying the ultimate price for his people. When he is reincarnated in the modern day, though, he discovers that his descendants have become weaker, and what’s more, he has to start right back at the bottom as a high school student. Labeled a misfit, it’s an uphill climb back to the throne.

7 Arawn The Great Demon King Is A Freedom Fighter (Tears To Tiara)

Arawn the Great Demon King died as a mortal on the battlefield, and his body was sealed away for 1,000 years in Tears to Tiara. When he’s awakened before his time, he takes the form of a human being. He joins with the Gaels and their fight against the Empire.

RELATED: 10 Anime Characters Who Struggle With Inner Demons (& How They Overcame Them)

As the 13th Angel, he was the odd one out, and ended up freeing humanity from the tyranny of the White Angels. Back in human form, he becomes leader of the Gael tribe.

6 Fuhrer King Bradley’s Subjects live In Peace, Even If He Has A Dark Side (Fullmetal Alchemist)

He’s known as both Fuhrer and King Bradley in the world of Fullmetal Alchemist. He’s a good ruler during time of war, and has always led his people to victory. On the surface, he’s calm and reasonable, but he does have an admitted dark side. He’s got secrets, and will use his power in underhanded ways to get rid of his opponents. Still, the average citizen lives in peace and doesn’t fear for the future of the nation, and that’s about all you can ask for as his subject.

5 King Cobra Truly Loves His People (One Piece)

In One Piece, the 12th king of the Arabasta Kingdom is a fair ruler, and he truly cares about his people. Even after they rebelled against him, he forgave them and understood their motives. Cobra is loyal to the monarchy and its lineage, but he puts his subjects first. He was willing to cede power and allow for the occupation of his capital city if it meant sparing his people harm and bloodshed. Like a truly great leader, Cobra understands that the people are the nation, and his love for them is genuine.

4 Livius Orvinus Ifrikia And Nike Lemercier Are Beloved By Their People In The Sun Kingdom (The World Is Still Beautiful)

At first, Nike, the youngest princess of the Rain Dukedom, wasn’t thrilled with being sent to marry the Sun King Livius, who was still a child. Still, she comes to make the best of the arranged marriage, and the two of them become beloved rulers of their people in The World Is Still Beautiful.

RELATED: 9 Common Japanese Honorifics In Anime, Explained

Livius I eliminated corruption in the government, and defends his country from all its enemies. He has a darker side, and can be jealous, but Nike is a softening influence on him.

3 King Souichiro Loves Family And Nation Equally (Castle Town Dandelion)

Souichirou Sakurada is ruler of Japan in Castle Town Dandelion, and also head of his own household. All the royal Sakurada siblings have special powers, and as King Souichirou is getting old, he asks the people to help him select which will succeed him. He has 2,000 cameras watching his children, but despite his familial preoccupations, he also keeps the citizens of Japan in his thoughts. Even with debilitating back pain, Souichirou takes his duties as a monarch very seriously.

2 Su-Won Is A Good King, But No Pacifist (Yona Of The Dawn)

Being a king isn’t easy. Sometimes, you are thrown into an impossible situation. Su-won knew that his brother did not have the guts to fight off the invaders threatening their nation in Yona of the Dawn. So, Su-won murdered him, then he went on to be a brilliant warrior vis a vis the neighboring countries that wanted to take over. From the perspective of his people, he did the right thing and ensured the stability of their lives. But, is he a nice guy? Definitely not.

1 Andragoras III Wants The Best For His People, Even If He Is Power Hungry (The Heroic Legend Of Arslan)

It’s true that Andragoras III was a feared leader in The Heroic Legend of Arslan. He’s never been defeated in battle, and for many years, he did everything he could to keep it that way, and keep Pars under his control. As a ruler, though, he gives his people the best chance at stability and prosperity, and no one doubts his ability to protect his nation. Despite his bravery, in the end Andragoras III was betrayed by his own nephew, imprisoned and tortured.

NEXT: Attack On Titan: 10 Most One-Sided Fights, Ranked

These kings are beloved by their people, as well as brave warriors who protect and serve their kingdoms.

Ang Lee Gave the Hulk a Better Love Story Than the MCU | CBR

There are many criticisms of Ang Lee’s Hulk that hold water, but in fairness, it was a product of its time. Sure, the dialogue and pacing felt off, but there were decent enough performances from Eric Bana as Bruce Banner, Nick Nolte as Bruce’s deranged, dad, David, and Sam Elliott as Thunderbolt Ross. However, it just didn’t live up to potential, and there were things the Marvel Cinematic Universe corrected with Ed Norton and Mark Ruffalo. But even as polished as the MCU’s Hulk is, one thing Lee’s movie did a lot better was give the titular character a more nuanced, meaningful love story.

Sure, The Incredible Hulk was heartfelt at times, with Liv Tyler’s Betty Ross spending time with Bruce and trying to heal the monster inside. But things quickly change when they went on the lam and realized they can’t be physical. And, as is par the course with superhero films, Betty ends up being endangered in the war between Bruce and her dad.

RELATED: Why Abomination Looks Different in Shang-Chi Than He Did in Incredible Hulk

Things didn’t get any better when the Avengers movies dropped Betty and pushed Bruce into a relationship with Black Widow that lacked emotional connection. There was some chemistry at first, but it got strange when Bruce abandoned her after she confessed her tragic past in the Red Room. And to make matters worse, when Bruce came back from space, there’s not much in the way of reconciliation. They greet each other in an awkward moment but end up having to refocus on the battle against Thanos.

That’s not the case with Lee’s Hulk movie, however, as Bana’s character comes off as more caring, compassionate and filled with raw emotion. Sure, he’s angry, but he’s still devoted to Betty because she doesn’t just represent romance — she embodies the concept of family. He saw Thunderbolt be abusive to her, and it reminded him of the abuse he and his mom endured from David. This failed parenting also informed his tragic mindset, to the point where a part of him felt like maybe he’d fail at being a parent if ever given the chance.

RELATED: Hulk’s Funniest On-Screen Kill Is Also Marvel’s Dumbest Moment

Lee’s Hulk holds a much deeper conversation than the MCU films, with it addressing abandonment and love outside of romance. It didn’t make Betty a romantic crutch, and the relationship doesn’t come off as the cliche will-they/won’t-they dance. Lee removed the superficial element of romance and built on the emotional maelstrom that made Hulk, well, Hulk.

Had Marvel Studios recalibrated its Bruce and Natasha to explore their familial tragedies and dive into the human condition, the relationship would’ve resonated better. Instead, the MCU treats its relationship as disposable, whereas Lee’s movie made them essential, whether it’s via friendship or having Betty be by Bruce’s side as something more.

KEEP READING: How Shang-Chi’s Major Avengers Reveal May Have Happened – and What It Means for the MCU

Ang Lee's solo Hulk movie gave Bruce Banner a much better love story than Marvel Cinematic Universe has.

Great Anime for Harem Fans | CBR

Harem anime and manga titles usually consist of a “good-for-nothing” introverted male protagonist who magically becomes the eye of affection of many charming girls. The storylines behind these series are sometimes a bit generic, but they still have their moments of being pure comedy and fun. The genre has been increasing in popularity over the years with titles like Girlfriend, Girlfriend and Nisekoi. Here are five iconic harem shows that are worth watching.

Sword Art Online focuses on a male protagonist named Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya who enjoys playing virtual reality games. One day, he gets trapped in the virtual world of Sword Art Online, alongside many other players. The only way to return to the real world is to defeat the final boss in the game. Along the way, he befriends and falls for another player, Asuna Yuuki.

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The SAO franchise now consists of various virtual worlds where various problems arise. Kirito always plays the role of the hero in these games, and he also has at least one (or more) female protagonist supporting him in his efforts. However, none of these players can compare to Asuna. Kirito is devoted to her, always coming to her rescue and vice versa.

In this series, Hajime Nagumo and his classmates are transported to a fantasy world, where each student is granted special magical abilities except for Hajime, who only knows basic alchemy. During a dungeon raid, one of Hajime’s classmates purposely aims their magic at Hajime, and he accidentally falls to the bottom of the dungeon. However, while stuck there, Hajime survives and becomes stronger, eventually escaping alongside the imprisoned vampire Yue and becoming a mercenary.

As the story develops, Hajime and Yue begin to have feelings for one another. Hajime and Yue’s relationship blossoms as they survive and escape the lower levels of a dungeon filled with monsters. However, Hajime also slowly gains the affection of the other female characters in his party, including the rabbit girl Shea Haulia and the dragon lady Tio Klarus. However, Hajime remains loyal to Yue throughout the series.

RELATED: 5 Great Anime & Manga for Delinquent Lovers

Kyoto Animation’s Clannad is based on the Japanese visual novel developed by Key. Tomoya Okazaki is a “delinquent” high school student who dislikes his hometown and has no future aspirations. However, he has a selfless and caring personality when it comes to his friends. Tomoya befriends several female classmates, including Nagisa Furukawa, a timid girl with an unfortunate illness that forces her to depend on others. The story focuses on Tomoya’s journey to self-discovery as he develops strong relationships with his peers and comes to terms with his issues and hardships.

Clannad is an emotional rollercoaster. The series’ main romantic storyline is between Tomoya and Nagisa, and although Tomoya has intimate moments with many supporting female characters, these tend to be selfless acts of friendship rather than anything romantic. Tomoya’s interactions with the other characters showcase his individual growth as a man, but these interactions also strengthen his bond with Nagisa as she helps him solve their peers’ problems.

Negi Haruba’s The Quintessential Quintuplets is a romantic comedy harem series centered around a high school boy named Futaro Uesugi, who tutors five identical quintuplet sisters with varying personalities. Futaro becomes a tutor for the Nakano family to pay off his father’s debt. All five Nakano sisters have horrible academic grades, and they initially aren’t thrilled to have Futaro as a tutor. Eventually though, Futaro’s persistence leads the sisters to accept him as their tutor. Futaro slowly forms strong bonds with each girl, which leads to a glimpse into the future where Futaro actually marries one of them.

RELATED: 5 Great Anime for Reverse-Harem Lovers

Harem anime usually provide open-ended conclusions, where viewers aren’t sure who the main protagonist ends up with, or else shows only imply a possible romantic relationship between the protagonist and one of the supporting characters. However, The Quintessential Quintuplets guarantees the audience a happy ending, resulting in viewers trying to figure out who Futaro’s future bride-to-be is throughout each episode.

Last but not least, School Days is based on a Japanese visual novel of the same name. Makoto Itou is a first-year high school student who has a crush on his soft-spoken classmate Kotonoha Katsura. To win her affections, Makoto gets dating advice from his classmate Sekai Saionji, who eventually takes an interest in Makoto after he gets into a relationship with Kotonoha. Soon after, Makoto gets caught up in his dating life as he starts dating two girls at once.

Many fans have found themselves frustrated by the characterization of Makoto, who is your standard “player.” He not only dates Sekai and Kotonoha, but also flirts and sleeps with other female classmates. One could see Makoto as enjoying his youth, but at the same time, he causes emotional and mental trauma for the girls he befriends. School Days is the ultimate harem that gives an exaggerated dramatic conclusion of what happens if you date more than one girl at once.

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From Sword Art Online to CLAAND, here are the five best harem anime out there.

Isekai Anime's Most OP MC According to Their Powers and Weaknesses

The isekai subgenre of anime transports the viewer and main character to another world where anything is possible, and while “isekai” isn’t an official anime genre, the concept is widespread and cohesive enough to count as an informal genre of its own. Such series often act as a form of escapism, especially where power levels are concerned.

Some isekai series make their protagonist practically helpless so that they must survive with nothing but their wits and ingenuity, such as Subaru Natsuki of Re:Zero fame or Myne from Ascendance of a Bookworm. Other isekai series go in the opposite direction, thrilling viewers with an openly overpowered hero. However, one OP isekai hero in particular stands above the rest.

RELATED: How Isekai Became About Much More Than Swords & Sorcery

The informal genre of isekai involves relocating the hero to a brand-new world, often a fantasy realm or even a computer game world or the far future, where they have little to no chance of returning home. These heroes must adapt to whatever this new world throws at them, making new allies and fighting powerful enemies. While some isekai heroes survive by the skin of their teeth, others become far more powerful than they were in their previous lives, dominating everyone in their new role. This may be a form of escapism for viewers who resent their tedious life at school or work, where they feel invisible and unappreciated, and they become the hero in a world where the old rules don’t apply.

RELATED: The Secret Ingredient to Great Isekai

A handful of OP isekai heroes have won over the hearts of viewers, with Ainz Ooal Gown of Overlord fame being one of them. He’s a video game-based isekai hero who becomes the lord of his own domain, and all his followers, most of all Albedo the succubus, are fanatically loyal, regularly patrolling his fortress. He aims to slowly remake the world in his favor, and speaks casually of influencing or overthrowing entire nations and religious organizations.

Azusa Aizawa the benevolent witch is another runner-up — an overworked office employee who aims to enjoy her new, carefree isekai world for all time. She spent three centuries grinding her XP to the maximum level and can now invent and cast powerful spells with ease. She also has incredible physical strength and stamina.

Toya Mochizuki is yet another OP isekai hero, a teenage boy who has the favor of God himself and a smartphone in hand while exploring his new isekai realm. He’s not ambitious at all; he just wants to explore the world and make friends, so he uses bloodless spells to keep his enemies at bay and keep the peace.

RELATED: The 5 Most Creative Isekai Romances to Read on Webtoon

Rimuru Tempest is the lead of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, and he is exponentially more powerful than any slime — or indeed, most isekai characters of any type. He started off with only a handful of abilities granted by Great Sage but gained even more over time, some of them passive, some active. He can resist heat and cold, use telepathy, wield offensive magic of all sorts, regenerate his flesh and most of all, absorb another being with his Predator skill. This allows him to analyze the creature and gain its attributes, and even morph into its form. When Shizu allowed it, Rimuru used Predator on her, granting him the power of Ifrit and Shizu’s likeness and boosting his own charisma.

However, Rimuru’s greatest strength isn’t just his enormous combat power. He is a balanced isekai hero, being a diplomat and politician as well, and he is rapidly learning how to form and run an entire diverse nation of monsters who live together in harmony. Rimuru single-handedly created the entire Jura Tempest Federation, and he built it up not by slaughtering his enemies, but by having the grace and wisdom to recruit them, even ravenous orcs or vengeful ogres.

Rimuru also continued to build international ties with human and dwarf kingdoms, and his political power is now reshaping the entire world around him, gaining the attention of everyone from the Holy Western Church to the Demon Lord council. Rimuru has transformed entire species and nations with his influence — and he didn’t need divine intervention or cheat codes to do it. It was all through his own ingenuity and good heart, and that proves that in spirit, he is truly overpowered.

Rimuru has few weaknesses aside from his shrinking ignorance of existing political situations and world leaders, and his rapid rise to power makes other parties, such as Clayman, feel threatened. Rimuru’s dominance is a double-edged sword, as he learned that he can’t make friends with absolutely everyone. He must accept this and proceed with no loss of enthusiasm, but so far, he’s proven he is more than up to the task.

KEEP READING: Does Isekai Even Need the ‘Other Life’?

Isekai anime takes heroes to new worlds, and certain isekai stars become overwhelmingly powerful in their new lives, but who's the strongest?

Mark Millar Announces Teenage Vampire Netflix Series Night Club

Mark Millar is launching a brand-new series as part of his deal with Netflix that asks, “What would you do if you were a teenager and got bitten by a vampire?”

Titled Night Club and published by Image Comics, Millar answered the question in his newsletter by suggesting that “your last resort when you [can] climb walls, turn into bats or mist and move at super speed. Like me, I suspect you would mask up and become a superhero and probably bite a few of your friends so you could enjoy this together. The link has all the details of where this goes, but this is a goodie. It’s going to be massive so get in on it now.” He also told SYFY Wire that he has an artist in mind for the title, which will feature covers from the likes of Greg Capullo, Ben Templesmith and Ben Oliver.

RELATED: Mark Millar Explains How Marvel & DC Movies Paved the Way for Jupiter’s Legacy

“It’s such an obvious idea I’m amazed nobody has ever done it as superheroes and vampires have everything in common,” Millar said. “When I put this together as a potential TV franchise… we all really loved it and I couldn’t stop seeing the comic [version] of this. I always like to do at least one volume as a comic, too. Plus, the whole story is done and we have a pile of designs sitting here,” he says. “So this comic is going to be the first time anyone sees these characters when we launch in the New Year. Issue one of this is going to be their absolute first appearance.”

RELATED: Netflix and Mark Millar Announce Next Project, King of Spies

Elaborating on his earlier response, Millar explained, “I basically just thought about what I would have done if I’d been bitten by a vampire when I was in high school. I’d never have killed people in dark alleys. I’d have guzzled bags of blood in hospital storage unit and made some money as a superhero instead. That’s what these kids do. They just decide to help people, win every sports prize, take on their school bullies, make a little cash and have a good time. But of course the vampires who bit them have other ideas.”

Night Club #1, by Mark Millar, goes on sale in early 2022 from Image Comics.

KEEP READING: Mark Millar Reveals the Never-Told Secret Origin of Marvel Zombies

Source: Mark Millar, SYFY Wire

Image Comics will publish Mark Millar's Night Club, an all-new series that explores how normal teenagers would deal with becoming vampires.

INTERVIEW: Justin Lin Discusses F9's Space Scenes & Paul Walker

F9: The Fast Saga is the fifth film in the long-running action series that’s directed by Justin Lin — giving Lin a great deal of insight into the mechanics of its world. F9: The Fast Saga took the series even further than its predecessors, both in terms of the character beats as well as its over-the-top action sequences that have helped define the latter half of the series. Unlike previous films, F9 brought Dom’s crew and their high-octane action and antics to space.

During an exclusive interview with CBR, F9: The Fast Saga Director Justin Lin looked back on some of his favorite elements of the film, revealed the key to the series’ success, and reflected on the ending of the series that he and Paul Walker discussed years earlier.

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CBR: One of the most notable moments of the film was the brief trip to space taken by Roman and Tej. The shot is focused on Roman’s genuine reaction and it really makes it a stand-out emotional beat. What was that sequence like to construct?

Justin Lin: It was crazy when we were shooting the sequence with Roman and Tej. I remember sitting there, and it was so hot, but there was a moment where they connected. It was emotional. With all the kind of contraption that was there and everything, it was gone. It was like one of those moments. I remember I called, “Cut.” I went up to Tyrese, and I said, “Wow, you went to space.” Because we could… Going into space was not even just literal. It was an existential moment for him that that was fulfilled. I was so proud of [Tyrese] because I’ve been on this journey since 2004 with him.

CBR: The action is one of the big obvious draws of the Fast &Furious franchise. But this really is a series about these characters, this family. And it’s become such a globally beloved franchise as a result of it. Why is that so important to keep that at the center of the series?

Well, I think it’s because when I started, a sequel was not a given.

It was always, “Can we hopefully share something that’s special enough that we could be able to tell the next chapter?” Even with success, I wanted to make sure that personally, but also with the cast and the crew, that’s the mantra — we don’t ever take anything for granted and we care. And so, the funny thing is, sitting here talking to you and seeing Sung and Jordana and Vinny and JD, all these, everybody today, I just think about the 90% of our conversations never result in what’s on screen. It was always to support what’s on-screen. That to me is what makes it special. It’s not just showing up and looking at the script, but it’s actually spending the time and talking about these characters and where they’ve been.

RELATED: F9’S Biggest Easter Eggs & Callbacks To The First Fast & Furious

CBR: On the other side of the coin, this is a series where you can put Helen Mirren in a sports car and have her drive around London. That’s not something a lot of directors have on their resumes. How fun is it to work on a series where that’s a possibility?

It’s unbelievable.

I got to tell you, she did not take that for granted. I was sitting there watching her, talking to the drivers about it, and it was so precise. Then working with her, to be able to kind of put that emotion on top of it, it was just seeing a master at work. Really, it was one of the joys for me in my career.

CBR: So, we have F10 and F11 coming up as the ending of the series. What’s it like to have the responsibility of so much expectation for those films?

It’s interesting because when you’re in it, I don’t think you ever think about the end.

But I have to say, I think the last chapter has special meaning to me. In 2008, when I first met Paul Walker for Fast Four, and I had already met Vin a couple of years earlier, as we were getting to know each other, we would just talk about, “Well, where are we going to end this thing?” It was more of a theoretical thing… And I can’t believe I’m sitting here and going, “Wow.” All those conversations were not theoretical. We are going to try to bring that to life.

It really does have special meaning, the fact that I think Paul is such a big part of those discussions, and it’s also been over ten years, those discussions. And so, as I’m working on it, it has a special meaning for me, because he is such a big part of this franchise and this universe, and I want to… Anytime I get frustrated or I feel a little lost, I draw from those conversations.

Directed by Justin Lin, F9 will be available for purchase on Digital, 4K UHD, Blu-Ray, and DVD on Sept. 21.

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Fast & Furious' Justin Lin revealed some of his favorite elements of F9 and shared his past discussions about the franchise with the late Paul Walker.