Characters are not represented only by themselves. By that, I mean, it’s not just their personality, their choices, etc. that come to define them in our mind. It’s also what they wear, as was discussed last week. And it’s what they have. The things they use, and carry, and keep. You can tell a lot about a character, and the story they’re in, by looking at their stuff.
And besides that, sometimes their stuff is just super-cool. 😉
Now, the category stipulates that it could be weapons or other props or other such objects. My violent little brain drifted primarily to the weapons, but as I thought about it, I found a couple other worthy items to add in, I think. 😉
Now, I did want such items as aren’t simply powerful, or even just unique, but are tied into a character’s story. These are actually part of who they are, and, through their use, who they come to be. It’s kind of like Mjolnir and Stormbreaker for Thor, or Captain America’s shield, or Iron Man’s armor. We can hardly imagine the person without them, not just because they prefer it, but because it reflects who they are. It is an extension of them.
So, what did I pick? In no particular order…
1) Beast Spear
Ushio and Tora
At the start of the story, it seems the Beast Spear is merely an object, a tool, nothing more than a weapon, albeit one of considerable power. For certain, it is only Ushio’s possession of the spear that keeps Tora in line, and it is formidable indeed. Yet, it goes far deeper than that.
The anime may be named for two warriors, but make no mistake, the Beast Spear is absolutely a third warrior unto itself. Forged in ancient times, infused from the mystically-altered flesh and blood and pain of its forger, his very soul, the spear is a very dangerous weapon to wield. It is the result of all the pain caused by the monstrous villain, a great and terrible demon named Hakumei no Mono, and it is fashioned specifically to kill it. It is an instrument of vengeance, and justice, and bloodshed. Even its wielder is not safe from its power, warping even them into terrible demons, wholly consumed by the need to destroy.
Needless to say, the Beast Spear is centrally important to this story. Even with everything else that is brought to bear, by everyone, in the climactic final battle, the monster it is meant to slay is greater than all of them. The fight begins with the three of them, man, demon, and spear, fighting their enemy, and it ends the same way, with the three acting as one.
2) Hitomi’s Pendant
The Vision of EscaFlowne
At the start of the show, she just tells fortunes for fun, but when she is transported to the mystical world of Gaea, her abilities are much more magnified, and using them is critically important. As a seer, or soothsayer, she is able to see the truth, and see the past and future, as well as find things which are hidden, like invisible enemies or hidden fortresses. More than once, she uses her abilities to save her friends from mortal danger, and it seems that this is only the barest fraction of what she might be capable of.
The pendant is obviously related to the power of ancient Atlantis, which fell because of their meddling with the rules and laws of the universe, that of fate itself. As the only one we know of who can use it, Hitomi’s mere presence near Van, let alone their affections for each other, can alter the course of the world. Her choices and her feelings continually influence events and their outcomes, even on a level that she herself is not aware of. Fate pivots around her, because of the pendant. It’s how she was taken to Gaea in the first place.
So, while the pendant’s place in the story, alongside Hitomi’s, may fade from prominence a bit, it remains important to the plot, and it is intrinsic to her character, her role, and her development.
3) Reverse-Blade Sword
Kenshin was once a man-slayer, and a very dangerous one. He spilled a great deal of blood in the Meiji Revolution, and he suffered a terrible, agonizing loss for it. He swore never to take another life again, yet he could not turn a blind eye to those in need of protection. Thus, he needed a weapon designed for fighting, but not killing. Enter the reverse-blade sword, where the blade is on the inside edge of the katana’s curve instead of the outside.
Now, it’s a bit ridiculous to say that Kenshin can’t kill anyone with this, especially not when he slices lamp posts and cannonballs with it. But it’s not nearly so efficient at such, and thus he avoids killing while still fighting. That is how this sword represents his vow, and his faith, and that faith is rewarded.
It turns out that there are two such swords, the first being the prototype for a “sacred sword.” The smith who forged them is much like Kenshin, having done terrible things for the greater good, and wanting to do something better. So he made a sword that does not kill, as a final hope and legacy after a lifetime of regrets.
Kenshin learns all of this after the first sword, the prototype, breaks, and he is forced to use the second in a desperate fight to save an innocent life, which, as it happens, is the smith’s own grandson. But he doesn’t know, at first, that his new sword is also reversed. He only sees this after the fight is done, and his relief, after such inner turmoil, is immense. And so he inherits a sacred sword, meant for protecting instead of killing, from a kindred spirit.
Now that’s a worthy weapon!
4) Horn of the Goblin General
It was fateful serendipity that led Enri and her sister to be saved by the nefarious Lord Ains. But he never does anything halfway, so, first he saved them, and then he saved their village. And just to make sure nothing happened while he was busy with the latter, he cast protective spells and gave Enri two horns which could summon goblins to protect them, just in case.
Enri blew the first horn because they needed help rebuilding and defending the village, and a small troop of goblins answered. They were invaluable, and Enri grew to become a leader without even realizing it, partially through their influence.
The second horn was blown under much more dire circumstances, and everybody was surprised when it summoned not a small troop, but a full army of five thousands goblins, with a variety of strong regiments within it. The terrible CGI of this particular scene notwithstanding, I loved the goblin army’s entrance into the series. And they could not have picked a more worthy leader than Enri, whose growth into her role, I absolutely love.
So, it was important, it reflected the character who used it, and it was integral to her story. 🙂
5) Vash’s gun
Yes, it’s a really big gun. It is distinct, and it is powerful. Heck, it’s also secretly a super-weapon that can be used to wipe out all human life, one city at a time, or make craters on the moon. It literally merges with Vash’s arm to do that. Oh, and it’s a twin, paired with an identical gun made by Vash’s evil brother, making him all the more perfectly gifted to matching and overcoming him.
It’s also the tool by which Vash saves people. When he hits, he hits hard, with speed, precision, and power. He uses this power to protect people, striking down all manner of terrifying, unsettling enemies, and he does it without killing a one of them. With but one singular exception, Vash has never deliberately taken a life, and even then, his hand was absolutely forced.
In short, Vash’s gun represents his history and his hope. His bears a legacy of pain and death and tragedy, and he has been given a terrible tool of destruction. Yet he chooses to use it in a different, more merciful way, and he could not do what he does without it. It is the perfect weapon for him.
(yes, I almost picked his glasses instead, but… well, as significant as they are to his character, they’re also just there, ya know?)
And that’s it. My five picks!
Are there any weapons or other props/objects that you’d pick, and why? 🙂