Mainstream rediscovers the original projectile weapon.
I had fun watching the Avengers movie when it opened at the end of April, and while Iron Man is generally the scene-stealer, it can be argued that Hawkeye had the most presence in the movie, almost single-handedly fleshing out Loki’s grand evil scheme and scoring an astronomic hit-kill stats in the final battle. And this is despite the fact that his weapon of choice is a bow and arrow, as compared to the others who used laser beam, lightning, a rebounding shield or sheer brute strength. Coincidentally, some other recent productions also featured a protagonist that’s extremely skilled in archery. With a bit of digging, I’ve come up with a list of the best archers in recent memory:
Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)
It takes a lot of courage to volunteer as a tribute for an absolutely brutal tournament set in an equally unforgiving environment, which will end up with 23 dead participants and one victor. But Katniss had proven that she has all the skills to survive, and this is due to her pinpoint shooting accuracy, which was utilized not only for killing others but also in a variety of creative ways. She was actually named due to this ability, with her name being another term for the plant called arrowroot.
Clint Barton (The Avengers)
Loki sure got a priced catch in Clint, who didn’t waste time proving he’s the top agent of SHIELD. Responsible for stealing iridium while Loki confronts the Avengers for the first time, and then hijacking SHIELD’s invisible aircraft headquarter and disrupting the whole organization’s operation, and this is while Loki is idling in the comfort of his prison. I think his conversion to the dark side was a necessity for the film, but he has proven that he’s more than a match for Loki when he unleashed a projectile with auto-aim precision during the climactic final battle, which seemed like a miss because Loki had intercepted it, but the shot eventually served its purpose.
Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead)
Daryl is a true survivor. In a world that got overrun by the undead, his hunting and tracking skills are put to good use. His crossbow is actually the ideal weapon because it is noiseless and the arrows can be recycled. I was actually annoyed when I first encountered his character, because I’ve had enough of Merle Dixon and I’ve already alluded him to Merle even before he was introduced as his younger brother. I eventually realized that the two were polar opposites, and their personalities were contrasted in detail in the Chupacabra episode, via a head-on confrontation between him and a resurrected Merle (or at least a phantom of him). I’ve hated that episode, I thought it was just intended to annoy viewers.
Link (The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword)
Once upon a time in 2005, no one knows what will become of Nintendo. Finishing last in the console race, the Big N knows it can’t compete thru hardware power, and is plagued with other problems. Microsoft and Sony begun showing their HD consoles. In response, Nintendo came up with the Wii, a remodeled version of its last-gen console with an accessory that eventually made all the difference: a motion-sensing controller. Three years later, the Wii had officially won this generation. Now, Nintendo is getting ready to name a successor but the full capability of the controller had never been met. Metroid Prime 3 had put it to good use, but Nintendo had saved the best for last by building a Zelda game that takes advantage of the motion controller. It’s the fitting swan song for the aging console.
NB: Light Arrows may be Zelda’s favorite weapons, but she doesn’t mind lending it to Link in order to save Hyrule. Sadly though, it wouldn’t be put to use in this game because of the absence of Ganon. You’ve got to use the bow, nonetheless, along with other classic Zelda weapons such as slingshots and bombs.
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Sadly, I couldn’t come up with a good archer from any recent animés. The closest thing I found would be Kagome, or her local counterpart Kikyo, from Inuyasha, which started in 1998 and concluded in 2008. Kagome may not be as skilled as the rest, but she makes the right shots at the right time. Another one would be Uryū Ishida, from the Bleach series.