As a person whose watched a lot of anime, I’m always amazed the level of craziness that comes to medical healing in it. We can somewhat talk about the colds in anime and how standing in the rain for a little bit can get you one. Not hours on end, a few minutes. Something that doesn’t happen as often in real life as we’ve seen so far. If you want to read more into that, Karandi has a post questioning that right here that you can read. It’s pretty fun. That’s not the sort of medical insanity that we are talking about here today. I mean, you read this blog post title, right?
No, we are here for Shonen Battle Series healing. Something that has had a major evolution over the course of it’s inception. If you don’t believe me, then continue reading this post. The 1980’s were full of insane medical treatment and healings. I’m not a medical professional, but I don’t think hurting the body in anyway, is a good way for people to heal unless you are popping something back in place. It’s craziness. Now days, shonen series go for more realism then that. There are more stakes with medical procedures that add some good drama into the stories themselves.
With this post, I’m going to separate my examples into three different categories:
-WTF: This shouldn’t work and is unexplainable, but it works anyway. It’s magic that goes before the norm in all types of nonsense.
-Explainable Magic: Completely different from WTF because it does make some sense in universe
-Magic and Medicine: Magic can only take you so far, so modern medicine is taken into account too.
Fist of the North Star
Fist of the North Star is a fantastic 1980’s shonen series set in a post apocalyptic 199X where Kenshiro wanders around a very Mad Max world as the successor of the Hokuto no Ken Style. A style that relies on touching pressure points at a high rate of speed causing the opponent to explode somehow. So yes, there is already some insanity to fully grasp and accept before jumping into it. Did you know that those pressure points can also heal?
Toki, who looks like Jesus, should have been the successor but he’s dying because of radiation. Before he dies, he’s traveled from area to area using his hokuten and pressure point touching to heal as many people as he can before he dies. Why won’t his technique work on saving himself? I don’t know. I suppose that one person can’t hit their own pressure points or radiation is too powerful here. Either or really.
Saint Seiya is another 1980’s shonen series featuring Knights wearing armor called cloth using the power of the cosmos to do techniques that no human can feasibly do. It’s also very reverse harem like as our young saints have to defend a reincarnated Athena from the main portion of Saints and their government because the leader is evil. Lots of fun to explore here.
I do have to mention that modern medicine does exist for minor healing in this series, but most of it is cast aside to tell you how useless it is. Instead, we get all sorts insanity. Magic water that might heal you, or let’s talk about more insane things here. What about Seiya punching his friend from a distance to restart the guy’s heart? What about piercing a character’s designated star points, which haven’t been mentioned before and haven’t been mentioned since, to clear poison out of a person that there was no returning from? Also, shear well power can heal too. Saint Seiya goes under the “it just works philosophy” and it’s beautiful in it’s craziness.
All Dragon Ball Series
Do you really need me to explain to you about what Dragon Ball is? It’s one of the most famous anime series that ever existed and it keeps going. Fine then, a short synopsis for an over five hundred episode series. Dragon Ball is a series centered on Goku and the Z warriors whoever those are, as they protect Earth and use the mystical dragon balls to solve all their problems and stop people from dying. As their opponents get stronger, Goku and his gang work hard to achieve more and more power and strength to raise up to the challenge.
There are three defined healing methods in this series. The first one is the dragon balls which do anything but only a few times at most once a year. There are also healers of all sorts of races besides the ones that mainly fight which the white mages that can heal a person and their clothes completely with some energy adjustment. Lastly, there are the senzu beans which heal the body completely energy and all in mid combat. There are limitations to how often they can be used. The dragon balls have been explained, the healers need to be alive to heal, and you can run out of senzu beans. All of which are good cases of drama in the series.
Bleach is a pretty long shonen action series involving two different sides of a spiritual conflict going at each other in a war. Hollows are the spirits of bad and evil people taken form that wish to push their evil onto the world itself and they are warded and fought off by Soul Reapers. A group of good spirits in samurai clothing wielding magical swords called Zanpakutos which given them a different abilities. Our main protagonist is Ichigo who starts out a younger delinquent, but centers himself as he discovers his own path as a soul reaper.
I think that a lot of Bleach’s healing comes from the fact that the Soul Reapers don’t have physical bodies, they are spirits. In this universe, Squad four out of who knows how many are Soul Reapers that are the medical ward while also doing all sorts of mundane tasks the other squads won’t do. Their squad are the white mages of that universe. The leader’s Zanpakuto has an ultimate power that can heal others, though she isn’t the only one who can do it because a lot of people in that squad do. Without them, Soul Reapers would be screwed if they are all killed off. Limitations are fun.
-Magic and Medicine-
My Hero Academia
I don’t think I really need to explain what My Hero Academia is about considering that it’s one of the most popular shonen anime that exists right now, but here is a quick synopsis anyway. My Hero Academia is centered on Izuku Midoriya as he starts out from a powerless wimp who fanboys over heroes and then gains the number one hero, All Might’s, power. He is able to join class 1-A in the infamous hero school UA. Join him and the rest of the 1-A cast as he learns to master his powers slowly while the class travels down the ranks of becoming heroes while also facing who knows how many villains in the process.
What makes this series so interesting is that there are physical limitations for everything here. Izuku doesn’t instantly become adapt at using his powers, he breaks his body and bones all the time. With that comes the healing from our magical healing girl who also has limitations. Recovery girl can only heal Izuku so much until parts of body won’t work anymore. She also limits her healing ability and uses some modern medical practices to heal people so she doesn’t over do herself. Characters can be in a hospital for a decent amount of time. It’s kind of cool actually.
I don’t like the mangaka as a person, but there is still a lot of things still worth discussion with this series considering that it’s still wonderful to read, watch, and talk about. The tale of the wandering samurai, Kenshin, who used to be a powerful assassin who now wanders around the country side place to place saving people with his reverse blade story really is the story of legend. Especially since he starts and stops his wandering at very emotional points to where he gains a lot of good friends and even a love interest. His fight against figures from his past to preserve Japan’s future is the stuff of great drama and honestly some of the best story telling out there. If only the mangaka wasn’t such a creep.
With that comes some of the healing in Rurouni Kenshin. Considering that there is no massive amount of magic in this series, wounds have some lasting effects. It sometimes takes a long time for characters to heal from their wounds or from their poisoned are often on bed rest for a while. Not as long as real life I’m sure because shonen series wouldn’t sell with characters being stuck in bed all day unless that was the premise of a shonen series, but there is some time and dedication to making things work and feel somewhat real. The work of Doctor Gensei and his assistant Megumi on these characters are powerful and meaningful in every sense of the word. Good job guys.
So there we are, the many different types of healing in shonen battle series. It’s not every shonen battle series in question here, but these are the series that I think of when talking about healing in anime to me besides Soul Eater which I wasn’t sure where to place honestly. Demon Slayer did belong in the last section, but I was trying to keep this list to two each. But anyway, also think there is always going to be some magic in these series because shonen battle series are more about fighting other characters, not any of them in their beds healing. Good series idea there though. Maybe I should look into writing a short story about that. It would be pretty fun to do actually.
I know that I haven’t watched every major series like Naruto and One Piece and some others, so what are series and their healing that I left out? What healing methods, conventional or otherwise, that wow you. Please let me know in the comments down below.