Nerd Swole Roundtable: Valentines Day

Whether you celebrate Galentine’s, Singles Awareness, or Valentine’s day, February 14th is a time to display some kind of love, so we decided to talk about some things Nerd Swole appreciates about the day, love, and other nerdy things.

Who is your favorite couple across games, movies, TV, anime?

JD and Elliot
Brian: 
I think I’d have to go with Elliot and JD from Scrubs. Something about the way they were written, how at some points I legitimately saw them not being together, and then I couldn’t imagine them not together. They went through so much as friends, colleagues, and lovers that it just felt right when everything finally fell in place for them.

Erin: So many to pick from, but I’m gonna go with Jim and Pam from The Office. The jokes and pranks in that show really enhance their relationship and make it so charming that you root for them the entire time.

Yeksson: I’m going with Bulma and Vegeta.  It’s just not your typical romance.  Out of nowhere, their future child arrives to tell Goku about incoming danger and the fact that his parents are Bulma and Vegeta.  Then there’s the point in the Majin Buu Saga where Vegeta blows himself up, but first admitting to the love he has for his family.

Alex: Tony Stark and Pepper Potts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From employee to boss and friend to friend to inappropriateness to being in love to being dysfunctional together. Perfectly rational relationship in a world with Norse gods, superheroes, alien invasions, and madness every summer.

iron man 2008 pepper and tony

What couple do you wish ended up together, but never did?

Brian: Mal and Inara from Firefly. This type of thing is to be expected from a show that was cancelled too soon. And while there were some exceptionally rude things said between them, they obviously cared very deeply for one another.

Erin: Barney and Nora from How I Met Your Mother. Finale aside, I loved Nora and I think there was so much potential for character growth in Barney while they were together. She really complemented his lifestyle and attitude, and she was a great addition to the overall dynamic of the crew.

Yeksson: Meryl and Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid.  You as a player have to mash a button to survive electrifying torture, twice, just to spare her life.  Sure, they snowmobile off into the sunset together.  However, in MGS4, she ends up marrying her follow comrade Johnny Sasaki.

Alex: James Bond and Vesper Lynd. Casino Royale revamped Bond for a newer generation, taking him to the beginning of earning the “00” license. His arrogance gets him into trouble and Vesper brings him back down to Earth, and Bond’s strength allows him to support Vesper as she comes into a world filled with darkness. Her death truly destroyed James and he became the cold Bond we all know.

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What couple DID end up together that you didn’t want together?

Brian: I’m going to go ahead and pick the low hanging fruit here and say Ted and Robin from How I Met Your Mother. The finale doesn’t bother me as much as it used to, but I’ll just always dislike that ending, because it’s a twist that should be reserved for movies or shorter series, not 9 seasons of buildup.

Erin: I’m gonna take a turn here and go with Bruce Wayne/Batman and Talia al Ghul. Very disruptive relationship for obvious reasons, she stabbed him in the back, pretty much broke his heart, and gave birth to Damian, who is, in his best moments, slightly tolerable.

Yeksson: I’m not too caught up on Arrow but I’m going with Felicity and Oliver.  Mainly because I’ve been on Team Laurel since day one.

Alex: Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy in Amazing Spider-Man 2. It just felt like the actor’s had great chemistry and weren’t really playing Peter and Gwen. A rushed relationship that ultimately aimed to play fan service and shock value, instead of develop the characters naturally.

What’s a good movie or episode of TV to watch on Valentine’s day?

Brian: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a movie I love very much, and in my opinion has very appropriate themes for the holiday whether you’re single, dating someone, or married.

Erin: Any episode of New Girl. The show is just ripe with comedic romantic situations and friendships, and makes it such a great watch for people our age. Great to watch with friends, “sig oths”, or even alone chillin. Specifically, “Valentine’s Day” – Season 1, “Thanksgiving IV” – Season 4, and “Cruise” – Season 3.

Yeksson: Friends, the One with the Prom Video.  Yes, it’s about Ross and Rachel and there is an intense feels moment.

Alex: All of the above are great choices, but for me, either Hitch or Crazy, Stupid Love are great romantic comedies that find both sexes at odds and take a lighthearted but honest jab at dating, recovering from heartbreak, and relationships.

What’s the best pickup line?

Brian:

Broken Pencil
You must execute exactly like this.

Erin:

Yeksson:

54580718dhhei_smMost, if not, all of Will Smith’s pick up lines really.

Alex:

ultimate-spider-man-6-2000-bad-pickup-lines

This is all I got.

Let us know your thoughts! Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

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Willy’s Weekly Watch Episode 2 – Shokugeki No Soma

Oh gosh, a week already? Welcome back to Willy’s Weekly Watch! Feels good to be back, feels like I haven’t been here in two months actually. Now… I have read the feedback from my loyal fan and I have decided that I will review an anime that is a bit more recent. Although, I’m doing whatever anime I want next review because ain’t nobody tell me how to live my life, except this one time and maybe every other review. Without further ado, let’s hop to it!

Shokugeki No Soma

Shokugeki No Soma2

To start off, I’d have to say this is one of the more popular anime of the season and with good reason. The main character, Soma Yukihira, is an aspiring chef with the sole purpose of beating his dad in a cook-off. With an impressive loss streak aganist his dad, Soma shows no signs of giving up. It’s even quite possible that Soma put the bop in the bop, shoo bop, shoo bop.  He has the confidence and skills that I love to see in a main character but still lacking that firepower to beat the final raid boss. I could fall in love with him if it wasn’t for some of the other members in the cast.

Ah…just look at that body. Ah… he w-works out.

The supporting cast is what I fell in love with in this anime. Soma ends up at the Polar Star Dormitory where he meets the love of my life, Satoshi Isshiki. I don’t want to fanboy or anything… BUT LOOK AT THAT BODY. The dorm has everyone that an anime needs. The shy, quiet girl who you know is amazing but just needs some confidence. Crazy girl with an unstoppable army of animals. The two muscleheads that I don’t really remember except for them being swole. The mysterious and silent guy whose eyes I have never seen but only serves to entice me. The insane cast provide a comedic and relaxing atmosphere in which you can’t help but enjoy every single moment they are together.

Also, I have to give a special mention to Soma’s father. That man is spectacular in every single way possible. I wish I could dedicate whole articles to him but sadly I can not due to the fact that THE ANIME IS NOT BASED ON HIS LIFEEE WHYYYYYY. But I can only assume that if an anime were based on his life, the audience would need new fresh undergarments nearby. I was constantly anticipating for episodes that would reveal his background.

What I assume every person in the world felt like when he was in an episode
What I assume every person in the world felt like when he was in an episode

The cast wasn’t the only thing I thoroughly enjoyed about the anime. The story kept me entertained and often on the edge of my seat. Shougeki no Soma operates off the premise of food battles hence it’s English name, “Food Wars”. Soma gets sent to Totsuki Culinary Academy by his father in order to hone his skills and expand his knowledge of the culinary world. However, this is an elite school where the best go to train to become the top chefs in the world and wagers are done through food battles called Shokugeki. Throughout these battles, there are fun interesting tidbits about the origins of the foods which I particularly enjoy. There was even an episode about Vietnamese food, although short but still… shoutouts be shoutouts. The anime keeps a nice pace as each arc is only about 2-3 episodes long, never too long that I got bored of a particular section. The beginning of the anime is filled with foodgasmic moments that will leave you begging for more or questioning what is even going on. But as the anime progresses, there becomes a nice balance between comedic and serious scenes, so the foodgasms jokes never seem jaded.

I had the unfortunate experience of marathoning 18 episodes only to find out that it was an ongoing anime. Oh god the horror of having to wait each week for the next episode. But luckily for you guys, the anime just finished so you get the full marathon experience. There are many more characters that I didn’t mention in this article but I can assure you that the majority of the characters in this anime add to the delicious flavor of Shokugeki No Soma. Thank you for taking the time to read my article and I’m always open to more feedback on how I can make this column even better! Unless it has to do with being more consistent on article releases :D. Have a great day!

Cat Tax
Cat Tax

Let us know your thoughts! Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

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ARTIST APPRECIATION – YOSHITAKA AMANO

It’s always interesting to see where some of your favorite artists get their start, and famed Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano has been involved in so many different genres, while remaining astonishing consistent. His vibrant watercolors, exceptional palate decisions, wood printing process, and his incorporation of flowing lines gives each of his pieces an exceptional finish. Amano’s rise to fame began by working of the late 1960s animated show, Speed Racer. He went on to help create some of Tatsunoko’s famous anime characters, including Tekkaman, Casshern, and Gatchaman.

Gatchaman
Gatchaman
Casshern
Casshern
Tekkaman
Tekkaman

Amano’s work can be found on the covers and artwork for the popular Vampire Hunter D. The novel has well over 20 titles in its iconic run and Amano’s art continues to astound with every new entry.

Vampire Hunter D
Vampire Hunter D
Vampire Hunter D
Vampire Hunter D

Many gamers will recognize Amano’s art as a standout of the Final Fantasy series. His art has illustrated the tones and relationships that these epic stories tell; Amano contributed to the character design in over 6 titles, while providing artwork and logo design for a majority of the series.

princess
Final Fantasy
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Final Fantasy
1-kraken_vs_light-a
Final Fantasy

 

FF_25th_Anniversary_Event_Poster
Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Poster

Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention his work with American properties. Amano has lent his talents to DC and Marvel; his work on Sandman: The Dream Hunters can only be comparable with his Elektra & Wolverine mini-series.

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Batman
Batman
Superman
Superman
Darth Vader
Darth Vader
Elektra and Wolverine The Redeemer - Written by Greg Rucka
Elektra and Wolverine The Redeemer – Written by Greg Rucka

You think you’ve seen every Wolverine and then Amano takes a crack at him. For more of Yoshitaka Amano, his website is in japanese, but his artbooks are sold in the US.

If you’re looking for an in-depth look at Yoshitaka Amano’s work, his growth as an artist, and related artists, check out his featured page on Artsy.com!

Thank you again for checking out this article; tweet @Nerdswole for any artists you think should be featured, professional or not, and they will be considered to be featured in an upcoming article!

Interested in writing for Nerd Swole? Contact Brian at twentytwo.le@gmail.com for details!

News Roundup: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Wolverine, Marvel Comics, Ant-Man, Man of Steel 2, and More!

Sometimes there are just too many awesome and interesting things going on during the week, and we can’t comment on all of them. This is one of those times, and we have to hit you with a barrage of links to get ourselves and you all caught up.

EMPIRE_OCT15Cover_Newsstand1

 

EMPIRE previewed their Star Wars: The Force Awakens cover. This one focuses on the dark side, which is a very cool contrast of the featured image.

Hugh Jackman continues to drop hints about what will happen in The Wolverine 3, and this time he discusses Berserker Rage. via Slashfilm.

Marvel Manga

Marvel is releasing some Manga variants, and you can see them here!

Evangeline Lilly did a Facebook Q&A where she discussed how she has been fitted for The Wasp outfit and is hoping to debut her soon.

Could George Miller be directing Man of Steel 2? Tricky situation since the movie isn’t officially on the slate, but interesting to speculate. via i09

BMD has a story of what Fant4stic was like before Simon Kinberg came along. Hard to say it would’ve been better or worse, but it certainly seems like it had a little more heart, which the film was severely lacking in.

Not news, but Jurassic World in lego form is pretty awesome.

Let us know your thoughts! Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

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Willy’s Weekly (Probably Monthly) Watch! – No Game No Life

Hi everyone and welcome to my first column, Willy’s Weekly Watch (probably a monthly thing but this rolls way better off the tongue)! I’m here to recommend some animes that I personally love and hopefully get some recommendations in return. Since this is my first post, I’m not sure the direction I want this to head in but for now, I’ll try to do an anime a month. So let’s start off with one of my personal favorites.

No Game No Life

No Game No Life

One of my biggest pet peeves in animes is when the main character is ridiculously weak but also whines to the point that he/she becomes unlikeable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely fine with development and growth in a main character but there’s just something I can’t stand when the main character whines when he/she could be…you know main charactering.

Luckily, our main characters ain’t like that. It’s quite possible they even attended Ball So Hard University, finishing top of their class. If you wanted to beat these guys, you’re going to have uninstall MS Paint off their computers because they go hard in the paint. Who are these people you might be wondering? Let’s just call them Team…. You’ll have to watch the first episode to find out and then come back to this section of my post and chuckle softly to yourself. We’ll call them Sora and Shiro for now.

The plot is pretty standard where Sora and Shiro are thrust into an alternative world with elves, dragons, werebeast, and many more fantasy-like creatures. On the surface, the setting seems like your typical uninspiring anime but No Game No life’s ability to spin this overused setting into a crazy, hectic, and even game-changing scenario is what made me fall in love with it. Imagine a world dictated by games, lives altered drastically from something as simple as rock paper scissors. In this world: wars are fought not through guns and tanks but through games we all know and love.  16 different races inhabit this world, all with their own unique abilities and powers that give them advantages in their own games. However, one race stands leagues apart from the rest and by leagues I mean they are pretty ordinary. So ordinary that it hurts, literally. Ranked dead last among all the races, humans exist in this world and it’s up to Sora and Shiro to show them that being the weakest doesn’t always mean you have to be the lowest.

Face of Mercy

I do hope you give the anime at least three episodes before you decide to drop it! If you’ve made it this far, then I appreciate the time you took to read my recommendation. Feel free to recommend any animes that you’ve enjoyed to me. I’m also open to suggestions of certain genres of anime you might be looking for, however, I mainly major in the romance/comedy genre department 😀 I merely dabble in the dark realms of everything else. Feel free to comment on any improvements I might need to make and thank you for reading. Also don’t forget the most important rule for when you watch No Game No Life: Just have fun!

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Mokona Tax (My Rabbit)

Let us know your thoughts! Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

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ICYMI: Fan Made Samurai Jack Short

Samurai Jack is a beloved cartoon that aired in the early 2000’s and was one of Genndy Tartakovsky’s numerous beloved cartoons on Cartoon Network. That would include Dexter’s Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls, and more. While many people were divided on the style/animation of the original cartoon, no one argued about how good the character development and storytelling was. It’s no wonder that it remains a fan favorite of many kids who grew up in that era. First, let’s watch the classic Samurai Jack intro to get some nostalgia rolling.

And now that we’ve got the feels rolling, let’s check out this incredible fan made Samurai Jack short.

Ready to lobby for a Samurai Jack movie yet? I’m totally kidding, but who knows, maybe this guy gets some steam, gets the greenlight from Tartakovsky and we get a kickstarter going! Until then, this was simply a great tribute, and one that totally honors the classic style despite being a different animation. Great work avemagnadude.

Let us know your thoughts! Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

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Retrospective: Akira

We don’t get too much spotlight on anime here at Nerdswole, but with such great features and some Dragon Ball news here and there, it’s about time we shed spotlight on one of the greatest animes of them all:

Akira

 

If you’ve never heard of Akira, the general premise is that there was an explosion of a nuclear weapon in Tokyo in 1988. This started World War III. Fast forward to 2019: we are now in Neo-Tokyo, a city built upon a landfill and completely transformed into a shining city with shadowy corners of corruption and desperation. The movie follows two friends, Tetsuo and Kaneda, as they find themselves in the middle of a conflict that was the basis for the war; psychokinetic power. There is plenty going on in this epic film, but it all begins from an even bigger manga.

Translating Manga to Animation

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One of the most defining characteristics of Akira is the jaw-dropping detail that goes into every scene. There were no corners cut here; just wonderfully animated cells that created the 120 minute masterpiece. The detail is also seen in the original manga, which spans over 2,000 pages. The most drastic shift to animation is that the movie took inspiration from the first three volumes and narrowed the story. The focus of the film is more character driven, while the magna tackles politics, gangs, corruption, isolation, and an unbelievable amount of subplots.

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As I mentioned, the movie is known for its animation. A major complaint of anime before Akira is that many anime shows used repeated animations, cutting costs animating new scenes, and having lackluster voice recording. Akira proved that anime could be perfect; most animation is flawless, as both dubs of the film are praised, the computer generated effects mesh perfectly with the hand drawn scenes, and there is movement in every little detail.

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Tetsuo & Kaneda

 

The two major characters of the film are Tetsuo and Kaneda. Kaneda is the leader of the biker gang, while Tetsuo is a new recruit who has not yet proven himself. In the opening moments of the film, Tetsuo’s curiosity, jealousy, and insecurities are perfectly contrasted to Kaneda’s brashness, confidence, and loyalty. The two drift as Tetsuo gains powers, while Kaneda is simply trying to save his friend from himself. The two seem like brothers until one takes things too far and the audience is treated to one of the greatest tragedies in anime.

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Legacy

While many anime series are considered fantastic (Dragon Ball Z, Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop), no anime will accomplish what Akira did with only 2 hours. The depiction of the fallout of war in both the citizens and the leaders, the relationship built between order and rebellion, and the traumatic experiences that youth endure on a daily basis are all painted beautifully in a movie that also has psychic experiments, motorcycle fights, and explosions everywhere. You will also note that there are specific scenes which have been used in other animated shows. Take Kaneda’s iconic bike dash:

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Now take a look at this scene from “Robin’s Reckoning” in Batman The Animated Series.

tumblr_mk2pw040yI1r2bfrzo1_500

 

How about that?

While both the manga and the anime have to be seen to be believed, I’ll leave you with iconic movie poster that remains a cult favorite today.

Akira-Poster-akira-13827694-1013-1500

For more retrospectives, keep checking Nerdswole for new content everyday!

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Would You Rather? (Avatar Edition)

Team Nerd Swole wants to get to know the people who read our posts a little bit better, and what better way is there than a game of “Would You Rather”? The game is simple, we give two (usually two, at least) options, and hopefully you guys will answer with comments on the site/facebook/other means, and we’ll all have some fun. We’ve already discussed the Avatar world quite a bit, so it seemed quite natural to have a fun game of Would You Rather using the amazing universe that Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra created.

Plus, what’s a better way to keep a show alive after it’s end than to debate fun questions and keep talking about the show? So lets start talking firebending, waterbending, earthbending, airbending, nonbenders, space swords, avatars, masters, villains, and friends with some “Would You Rather? (Avatar Edition)”.

Aang_meditatesKorra_The_Legend_of_Korra

[poll id=”26″]

 

 

 

 [poll id=”27″]

Zuko_firebendingIroh's_fire_breath[poll id=”29″]

 

 

 

GaangThe Krew[poll id=”30″]

AzulaFire Lord Ozai[poll id=”31″]

AirbendingSpirit[poll id=”32″]

Ember_Island_Players The_Adventures_of_Nuktuk[poll id=”33″]

Cabbage_merchantZhu_Li_and_Varrick[poll id=”34″]

space_earth_swordBoomerang[poll id=”35″]

Let us know your thoughts! Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

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ICYMI: Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope

Live-action Dragon Ball Z had a let’s say questionable entrance into the world with Dragon Ball EvolutionDragon Ball Z: Light of Hope is completely unrelated though, and a thousand times more faithful to the source material. I was thoroughly impressed with the effects and the acting is pretty good as well. The project has been in development for quite some time, and we can clearly see why, anyone who grew up with DBZ is in for a treat with this one.

Gohan charging the Kamehameha and getting punched in the face was personally my favorite part, and in my opinion a hilarious and excellent touch.

Let us know your thoughts! Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

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5 Reasons Why Firebending Is The Best

There really isn’t a wrong or right time to discuss matters of the Avatar universe is there? I’m guessing not, and while there isn’t really any avatar related news, I decided I wanted to write something about each of the elements in stating a case why they are the best element to bend. It’s a discussion every fan of the show has probably had at some point or another, and many a time it usually ends with “JUST BE THE AVATAR”, but let’s try and get passed that. I previously discussed water, earth, and air. Next up is Firebending.

IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER OR THE LEGEND OF KORRA AND PLAN TO, DO NOT PROCEED ANY FURTHER. AND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE SERIES AND HOPE NETFLIX TAKES IT FROM NICKELODEON BUT THAT IS AN ARTICLE FOR ANOTHER DAY. I KIND OF FEEL LIKE THE HULK TYPING LIKE THIS.
spoiler-alert
Okay.

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5. Sozin’s Comet

—————-
downloadIt may only be one day every 100 years, but it turned footsoldiers into master benders and masters into Avatar fighting beasts (granted Aang basically scrubbed Ozai when he went into the Avatar state). It’s hard not to recognize that Sozin’s Comet is so powerful it gave Firebenders the power to extinguish a nation.

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4. Raw Power

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Zuko_firebendingFirebending’s raw offensive power is seen outright when it first appears in the show. It allows for even footing in a fight against any of the other elements on neutral ground. Fire has been shown destroying earth walls, blasting through air, and melting ice at different points (obviously against water, it has a lot more to do with surroundings as evidenced by Katara vs Zuko at the North Pole).

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3. Breath

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Iroh's_fire_breath
Breath is more or less an extension of pointing out how powerful it is that Firebenders create and generate their own element. It is an extension of themselves, and has repeatedly saved lives throughout both shows (Zuko in the cooler, Iroh in the pic above). Plus it got Iroh the nickname The Dragon of the West, and I mean a badass nickname is worth some points.

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2. Propulsion

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Iroh_pursues_biplanesThe mobility allowed by fire propulsion gave fire another level of awesome, but also in terms of fighting it added another element to their already loaded arsenal. The ability to fly and be as mobile the way propulsion allows just amplifies Firebending’s raw power and onslaught capabilities.

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1. Lightningbending

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Azula_fires_lightningThe coldblooded fire. It takes the number one spot because it is the very epitome of what fire is, incredible raw power that when fine tuned and controlled, essentially unstoppable. No one on the show blocked lightning with any other element because it couldn’t be done. Mako wrecked Ming-Hua with it, Mako saving himself against Amon, Azula nearly killed Aang with it, Zuko redirected it and possibly could have killed Ozai on the spot had he chosen to do so (this is a point I’m making myself, because it just looks like when he redirects it he aims for Ozai’s feet and not the heart). The fact that it as used as power generation later is nice, but in a fight Lightningbending is a cold, precise, and incredibly powerful weapon.

THINGS TO NOTE: I didn’t put Combustionbending or blue fire(this is important because it apparently shatters boulders) because not even an Avatar could do those things, so they do seem uniquely special to certain benders. Lavabending for example was done by an Avatar, but later learned by Earthbenders (presumably this would imply it could be learned, and while Bolin is talented he was never stated or shown as some sort of prodigy). The same would be said about Bloodbending without a full moon, because it originally required a full moon, but apparently it can be taught (Yakone to Amon) which means it can be learned, and as such felt possible that Waterbenders could have learned it had it not been outlawed.

Let us know your thoughts! Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

Please like us on Facebook! And follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest! Contact me at twentytwo.le@gmail.com if you’re interested in writing for Nerd Swole.