Zensen: The Otaku Battle Game

The artist and I have invented a fun game. It can be played in pairs, or in a group (if you are lucky enough to have lots of otaku friends).

The idea for this game was born from talking about J Stars Victory Vs., and how we wished there was a game like it that involved more characters from different anime/manga. Since this sort of thing will most likely never come to pass due to copyright issues we decided to create our own.

Zensen: The Otaku Battle Game

Publication1

Zensen means battlefront, or frontlines.

It’s a game where you pitch anime and manga characters against each other in battles, and determine who the winner is based on your knowledge of their personalities and skills. Personality is important because if Sanji was pitched against a girl, the girl would win by default because Sanji will never hit a girl.

You can play it in pairs or in a group (we haven’t tested it in a group, but I have the theory down).

Player 2 version

Together pick a bunch of anime/manga characters. Make sure you have an even number. When we picked our characters we stayed away from over-powered ones, such as Saitama since he could end the battle with a single punch! And due to time skips etc. we made it so the characters were at their strongest point in the story, or at the point they are currently in the anime or manga.

Write the characters’ names on individual pieces of paper. Fold the paper several times, and put them all into a container. Shake it up!

Pick a name each, and discuss who you think would win.

From when the artist and I played it the first time, here are some of the pairings we got, and the outcome we determined (if you follow me on Twitter you have seen the live commentary):

Hak vs. Killua = Hak is super strong, but Killua is super fast. Unfortunately Killua’s God Speed doesn’t last very long since it is still a new power for him. We believe Hak would be able to evade him, and even if he did get hit once he would be able to take it. Once Killua’s speed ran out Hak would take him down. However, since Killua will become stronger as he gets older we think he could gain the skills to take Hak down one day, but not at the point he is now currently in the manga.

Zoro vs. Nicolas Brown = We decided that Zoro would win this battle. Nic would most likely OD on Uppers to increase his physical abilities, and then crash out before the battle was over. Without the drugs, Nic wouldn’t be able to beat Zoro.

There’s not a points system in this game. When you play it with two people it’s just a fun nerdy game, which gets really exciting when you get battles like Midori (from Aoharu x Kikanjuu) vs. Light Yagami i.e. psycho vs. psycho.

However, the players 3+ version below can be made into a points game, or a drinking game.

Players 3+ version

So, a slightly different version of the same game.

Each person picks a team of people (again, ban the overpowered characters like Sinbad, Saitama and Goku), writing their names down on individual pieces of paper. The number of characters each person picks depends on the number of players. The number of characters in your team should be one less than the number of players e.g. if there are 5 people playing the game, each player picks 4 characters.

Sticking with a team of 5 people, Player 1 and Player 2 pick one character each from their team and pitch them against each other. Players 1 & 2 argue the case for their characters, and Players 3, 4 & 5 decide who the winner of the battle is. The player whose character wins the battle gets a point.

Keeping playing the game this way, making it so that you don’t battle against a player you have already done so. So once Players 1 & 2 have battled, they don’t do so again during that game.

Once you play a character in a game you cannot play them again. And if by some chance the same name turns up both pieces of paper, you call the battle a draw.

Let me know if there are holes in the game rules, or if I haven’t explained it clearly. If you end up playing Zensen, let me know if you enjoyed it!

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