Crashin’ Waves: Anime’s Water Elementals
Soothing to the senses yet with unbearable destructive force.
Water is powerful in both positive and negative ways. It is a force strong enough to match fire but also gentle enough to be used for healing. It is flexible and can be completely harmless, but once in a rage, there can be no way to stop it.
Like fire, water is also one of the most destructive elements. Storms and tsunamis have brought about some of the biggest amount of destruction in a single hit. Fire may not even come close to water’s destructive nature.
Yet water – despite its destroying force – is also life for this planet. The abundance of life in our deepest oceans is proof to that. And as humans, our need for water is immeasurable. The body is composed mostly of substances that come in the form of water. In this world, water is one of the most important elements that we need to survive.
The Chinese believes water to be a constant force; it is silent yet moving. It is mostly likened to human emotions ranging from calm and serene to rage and violence.
Anime is no stranger to the concept of the water’s strong force. It has used the idea of water-related superhuman abilities in most anime about fantasy and battles.
In line with the anime elementals article that started with fire last month, we take a closer look at anime’s most popular water-wielders. They’re calm and still but ready to strike when you least expect it.
8. Kaien Shiba (Bleach)
Rukia played a major role in the demise of this 13th Division lieutenant. Seeking revenge for the death of his wife, he was possessed by a hollow and attacked his own comrade. Rukia’s intention to save herself caused him his life.
Had he lived longer, his abilities would have been showcased more. His zanpakuto, the Nejibana, is a crystalline weapon that looks like a cross between a ji and a trident. Shiba uses this to manipulate water and create shockwaves that instantly kill enemies by splitting them into two.
7. Kiyoshi Mitarai (Yu Yu Hakusho)
A member of the Sensui Seven, Kiyoshi is also known through his codename: Seaman. He is a blonde teenager capable of creating water creatures by fusing his blood with it. He was first shown as having a fondness for the rain and in a fight with Kuwabara, learned his abilities were no match for the new power the spirit detective has obtained. Yet this led to the discovery of Kuwabara’s power and the detective’s kidnapping. Kiyoshi turned his back against his allies and joined Yusuke in saving Kuwabara from Sensui.
6. Shogo Asagi (X1999 / Tsubasa Chronicles)
Although Shogo appears only in the X1999 movie as the water master (a role played by Kakyō in the manga), he had another stint in Tsubasa Chronicles as a water wielder in the Hanshin Republic. In X1999, he could create small whirlpools and strike enemies with water. He could also make the water pour down like short but destructive icicles. In Tsubasa Chronicles, he has the power to summon a ray-like creature that creates powerful water attacks. However, in both anime, Shogo is seen as a brash young man who’s there solely to cause trouble.
5. Kisame Hoshigaki (Naruto)
Often seen working with Itachi Uchiha, Kisame gets along well with the Akatsuki leader. He always looks out for Itachi’s well-being although his looks would probably betray it. Kisame has the entire look of a shark, with his pale skin, gill-like structures in his face, and sharp triangular teeth. Even his attacks are similar to his facial characteristic as he shapes water into the form of sharks.
4. Michiru Kaiou / SailorNeptune (Sailormoon)
As calm as still water, Michiru possess such characteristics. She plays the violin perfectly, making music flow like water and even her flowing hair is a perfect sign of her character. Her Sailorsoldier name is even that of the water-god, Neptune. Her attacks are concentrated in the element of water, however, the truth is, water in its purest form, is not Michiru’s power. It is actually the pressure in the deep waters that she uses to create attacks. Her most popular attack is Deep Submerge.
3. Sloth (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Sloth is capable of turning herself into water, making her indestructible. She could also glide onto water surfaces as in one episode where she traveled rapidly in a body of water. She uses her unique ability in both defense and offense, turning her arms into water and swinging it over her enemies. She could also trap a person inside her body once it has turned fluid. Yet, in her battle with the fullmetal alchemist, Ed was able to defeat her by changing her chemical composition to that of ethanol. Even to the very end though, Sloth remained calm and cool in front of the Elric brothers. It seems her unique ability is also part of her personality.
2. Umi Ryuzaki (Magic Knight Rayearth)
After being thrown into Cephiro by an explosion of light, Umi was destined to become a Magic Knight with the power of water and control of the Mashin, Celes. At first she was reluctant to the journey but as her comrades continue to fight, she had the will to summon her power inside her and in the end earn Celes’ power. Her blue hair and uniform plus her constant tantrum form a strong likeliness to her element. Yet her steadfast determination to help and her strength is as strong as the current she creates with her Water Dragon attack.
1. Ami Mizuno / SailorMercury (Sailormoon)
This Sailorsoldier is enormously intelligent. Yet she maintains a simple, lovely disposition. She will never resort to dispute and violence. If Ami was an ocean, she’d be a gentle-waving one.
Her last name is a direct reference to the source of her power. She resides as the princess of planet Mercury and has the ability to manipulate water. Unlike Sailor Neptune, her power is that of the ocean surface or the moving water. In the series, she is also able to create attacks that involves water in other states – ice (solid) and vapor (gas).
Water has two faces: a calm, gentle-flowing blanket, and an angry, menacing tsunami. These anime water wielders are able to tame these characteristics of the one element that, though scarce in comparison, could be the one force that is even worse than fire.