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Remember that one guy from the start of the series? No? Not surprising.

The first “villain” in a lot of anime/manga is rather unimpressive…and for good reason. They show up pretty much to flex their muscles once before our protagonist kills them with one blow. They’re just there so the hero can look cool and make you “ooh” and “aah” at their power. You don’t even bother to learn their name, assuming they even have one. And no matter how badass or awesome they try to make themselves look, ultimately they are only the first step on the ladder of success for our heroes.

A “bear with a sword” is often the first villain in the series, but his or her sole purpose is to introduce the hero fighting them and their power. They have no purpose other than to die in the first chapter…usually very easily. They are a staple of lots of anime/manga that is combat orientated.

Just a few examples:

The “bear with a sword” from “Dragonball” – Technically, the pterodactyl was first, but I feel he also counts.

Higuma the Bear from “One Piece” – Anyone remember this guy as anything other than “that mountain bandit leader that Shanks saved Luffy from”? No? Didn’t think so.

Jack the Ripper from “Soul Eater” – You may be the first infamous serial killer…but Maka and Soul didn’t even break a sweat devouring you.