A roar of applause fills a ballroom full of anime creators, cosplayers, and the characters that bring them all together. Naruto can be heard yelling “Believe It!” while Piccolo looks on from the back of the room with his arms folded across is chest. The crowd starts to settle as Keith Reid-Cleveland walks out from behind the curtain and approaches the podium.
Wow, thank you. Thank you all very much. I know this applause isn’t actually for me, but I’ll soak it in anyway.
I can see that you’re all as excited for this moment as I am, maybe even more. It’s surely been a long time coming.
Tonight, we’re gathered here to honor the legacy of one of our greatest heroes in the anime community. Through his unwavering loyalty and constant willingness to put it all on the line for the greater good, Kazume Kuwabara has played a major role on the world we now live in.
When we first met Kuwabara he appeared to only be a street thug that could hand out a beating just as good as he could give one. Of course, that’s only if your last name isn’t Urameshi. How you doing, Yusuke? I see you and Keiko were able to find a babysitter that wasn’t afraid of the kids for once. But, as we’ve learned many times before, first impressions don’t mean a thing in the long run.
When Yusuke got into his accident, everyone he knew felt a deep pain. And, while I don’t particularly enjoy bringing up this dark moment from the past during this joyous occasion, it did reveal quite a lot about Kuwabara’s character. Through all of the fights and rough housing, he and Urameshi formed an ultimate respect for each other that would later evolve into a true friendship. There’s no reason that a show should have you fighting back tears on the first episode. Yet, Yu Yu Hakusho made it happen.
As time went on, it appeared that Yusuke’s spirit detective adventures were going to send him down an adventurous path that he’d have to travel alone. Yet, lo and behold, he turned around one day and spotted none other than Kuwabara in a group of thousands of martial artists and the rest was history. The two went on to be trained by the great Genkai to bring their skills up to par as they went on multiple journeys with Hiei and Kurama, the other two parts of Team Urameshi’s core.
Those three men/demons are absolutely amazing in what they do and their skills go unparalleled. But the downside is that while they all had the fortune of being first-ballot Hall of Famers due to their achievements, their teammate had to wait his turn.
While I have a deep respect for the Anime Hall of Fame voters… What’s wrong with you people??? Sure, Kuwabara bowed out of the demon fighting game in favor of school a little earlier than everyone else, but he probably overshot his early expectations by the largest margin. He’s basically the polar opposite of Goha–… nevermind.
The thug who once wielded his Spirit Sword like a baseball bat grew into a poised martial artist and physical genius in his own right that delivered some of our most clear memories.
How many times did he K.O. Byakko before it was all said and done? Don’t even get me started on how he faked his own death to force Yusuke to power up to God-level against Toguro. And did you see how he kept up with two B-level demons and dove into Demon World with absolutely NO hesitation to fight Sensui? Come on, bro. That was practically a suicide mission.
THE MAN CAN CUT THROUGH MULTIPLE DIMENSIONS, PEOPLE!!!
Keith clears his throat as the crowd looks on in shock. Yusuke blerts out a “Hell yeah! You tell those bastards how stupid they are!”
With all that being said, Kuwabara’s induction into the Anime Hall of Fame is long overdue. After all, he was the strongest actual human on the planet when it was all said and done. And I’m sure many of us would like to know he had our backs going into a fight.
Before you leave this evening, I ask you to allow me to embarrass you for a few moments so that we can take a picture with my Kuwabara keychain. My friends and I grew up watching all of you guys and each now have the respective keychain for the character we connect to the most. So it’d be a real honor.
Once again, congratulation on your induction and I’m honored to induct my favorite anime character of all time into the Anime Hall of Fame where you can now be alongside your friends and brother-in-law.
Kuwabara leans over to Yusuke and asks “…. what’s he mean brother-in-law? Is Yukina’s brother here?!”