Saturday, August 25, 2012

Top 10 Fictional Organizations

There are a ton of made-up organizations in fiction – ranging from associations, to clubs, to guilds, to institutes, to societies, etc.  In picking the ten that interest me most, there are several factors I considered, which includes but not limited to: having many members (because the word “organization” gives me the feeling of necessarily having many members, while the words “team” and “group” just a few); diverseness of members; perks of membership; having a unique and interesting purpose; and should not be a superhero team (since that can be another available category to make a list out of someday).  

10.) A.E.G.I.S.

A.E.G.I.S. or Alien Exterminating Global Intercept System is a secret organization whose purpose is to combat Invaders, alien/interdimensional beings that intend to conquer the world, who are secretly living among the unaware human populace.  The most valuable agents of A.E.G.I.S. are called Gate Keepers, teenagers who has the ability to tap superpowers from another dimension through opening “gates.”   The Gate Keepers’ powers are the only weapons that can permanently neutralize Invaders.  Since the Gate Keepers (of Japan) are teenagers, the agency enrolled them at Tategami High School, which is the front for the headquarters (which is hidden underground it) of the Far East Branch of A.E.G.I.S., and thus, the agency can conveniently contact, summon and send the Gate Keepers on missions.  The best thing I liked about A.E.G.I.S. is their salute of “Roger, Aegis” while doing the motion of putting a fist against the chest, then doing a peace-sign.            


As the titular guild of the popular Fairy Tail manga/anime, it is the strongest guild in the country of Fiore.  Though, the guild lost this reputation after significantly weakening after their strongest members went on a 7-year hiatus (thought to be dead, but were actually in time suspension).  The guild is slowly gaining their reputation back in the current arc.    

I greatly like how Fairy Tail members treat each other as family, and will protect them with their lives.  They have a strong bond with each other and have great pride for being members of Fairy Tail.  Members are diverse and interesting (former enemies are even recruited), but only the prominent and most powerful members have significant character development, thus, they are the only ones that I grew fond of.  My favorite members (there are other members I like, but these are the ones that I feel strongly for), in order of fondness, are Natsu, Gajeel, Gray, Laxus, Erza, Freed, Mystogan (I hope Jellal would permanently adopt the Mystogan identity), Juvia, Pantherlily, Gildartz, Lucy, Makarov, Elfman, Loki, and Bickslow.       


Though there are Green Lanterns who are technically superheroes (those from Earth), the Corps, however, is not a superhero team per se.  Rather, the Green Lanterns Corps is meant to be an intergalactic police force.  There are over 7,200 members policing 3,600 sectors across the galaxies.  The planet Oa is their headquarters, where the Central Power Battery – the energy source they derive their powers from – is located.   

Each Green Lantern is armed with a power ring that has been called “the most powerful weapon in the universe.”  The ring allows it wielder to fly, create force fields, and ability to travel with ease across the hostile environments of space.  But its main power is to project objects that have been imagined by its wielder – its potency only being limited by the wielder’s willpower.  A ring requires to be recharged through a Green Lantern’s personal battery (that looks like an old-fashioned, portable gas-fueled metal lantern) which directly derives power from the Central Power Battery.           

I had considered the Jedi Order as a likely candidate for a spot on this list.  But though Jedis are cool, with their Force mastery and lightsabers (especially this) and all that, I still find the Green Lanterns and their power rings cooler. 

7.) S.H.I.E.L.D.

S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for “Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate” (formerly “Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division”) but “Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  It is the elite, secret espionage and military organization in the Marvel Comics Universe.    The organization closely deals with matters of global threats, activities of superpowered individuals, major terrorism, and the like.  Agents are mostly normal (but well-trained) humans, but there are also a few superhumans employed.  S.H.I.E.L.D. works closely with superheroes (and even supervillains, on special cases), usually the Avengers, and asks their aid when needed.  The most famous head of S.H.I.E.L.D. is Nick Fury, one of the most badass fictional spooks ever, though, currently in the comics, he no longer is.  What I like most about S.H.I.E.L.D. is its most awesome and iconic asset: the Helicarrier, a flying aircraft carrier.      


The IMF is the agency featured in the Mission: Impossible TV shows and movies.  The IMF is an independent espionage agency with the US government as their main client.  With the use of cons and high tech gadgetry, they often successfully accomplish a mission, leaving minimal, if any, trace of them being there.  IMF agents are very multi-talented and multi-skilled, with each member having an expertise in at least one area.  Most agents operate as “part-timers”, who has regular day jobs – models, lawyers, doctors, magicians, acrobats, field experts, etc. – with the skills and/or resources of their vocation usually relevant and invaluable for their missions.  Moreover, most of them are rich, making them very unlikely to bribe.

The briefings of their missions usually start with “Your mission, should you decide to accept it…”, since they can refuse a mission if they think it’s impossible to accomplish or it’s in conflict with their moral codes.  There are some agents, though, who are not allowed to refuse a mission.  Once they accept the mission and if they are compromised, killed, or captured, their clients are free to disown the agents and deny involvement.

No IMF agents made my top 10 spooks list, but, as a whole, they have the most awesome espionage agency in fiction.   


Damage Control is a construction company in the Marvel Comics Universe that specializes in repairing property damage in the aftermath of conflicts among superheroes and supervillains.  Do I need to say more why is this organization extremely interesting?            

4.) GOTEI 13

The Gotei 13 is the military arm of Soul Society.  Gotei 13’s members are called Shinigamis or “death gods.”  In Bleach mythos, Shinigamis are kimono-wearing, samurai-like warriors who serve as guides of souls, protectors of Souls Society, and exterminators of Hollows – corrupted souls of deceased humans after failing to cross over to Soul Society.  A Shinigami’s primary weapon is his Zanpakutō.  Zanpakutōs are sentient souls that take the initial appearance of a katana, with each one having a unique transformation and set of abilities when released by its Shinigami.  Bankai is the ultimate form of the Zanpakutō, and is one of the things that make Bleach interesting.    

The Gotei 13 is made up of 13 divisions.  Each division has slightly over 200 Shinigamis, thus Gotei 13 has a total of about 3,000 soldiers.  In the 200 Shinigamis of a division, the strongest 20 are officers or having “seats”.  The 1st Seat belongs to the Captain, the most powerful and the leader of the division, and, usually, the only one in the division who has a Bankai (but not all the time, because there are at least three non-captains who know Bankai).  The 2nd Seat belongs to the Vice-Captain or Lieutenant, the second strongest and the supervisor of the division’s day-to-day activities.  The rest of the seats – 3rd to 20th – have no established or mentioned military ranks but are analogous to junior officers or non-commissioned officers in real life.  The overall leader of Gotei 13 is the Captain of the first division, Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, thus he has the sole title of Captain-Commander.         

3.) G.I. JOE

G.I. Joe is based on a line of action figures, but Marvel Comics created an awesome comic book series out of the property (like what they did with Transformers).  And a classic animated TV series was also made out of it during the 80’s.  The perfect description of this organization is from the TV series' intro's narration: "G.I. Joe is the code name for America's daring, highly trained special mission force. Its purpose: to defend human freedom against Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world."  I loved how G.I. Joe is a military organization that is an interesting mix of all Armed Forces-types, ninjas/martial artists, spooks, technical specialists, etc., with most of the members being based on stereotypes of a certain field or vocation – and, sometimes, not even necessarily military-related – and have code names that are puns of those stereotypes.

With my first encounter with MIB (through the first movie), the organization captivated me.  I became an avid fan of the movies and animated series (I haven’t encountered the original comicbook it’s based on though).  I remember that as a kid, I even played pretend that I was an MIB agent.  

Aliens are secretly mingling with humans on Earth and MIB is the secret organization that monitors and police alien activity on the planet. They also serve as Earth’s defense against intergalactic threats.  They make use of advanced alien technology and weaponry and other hardware.  

MIB is so secret that even the US government, which had a hand on its foundation, has no knowledge of its existence.  Therefore, MIB doesn’t receive federal funding.  Instead, they get their funding from owning patents of various alien technologies that they have introduced to the human market (like Velcro and liposuction), which have been released once they think humankind is ready for them.  

MIB’s most iconic and coolest gadget is the Neuralizer, which they use to preserve MIB and alien anonymity.  The Neuralizer releases a flash that can heavily hypnotize a target, making them vulnerable to have their memories erased, replaced, manipulated, and/or manufactured.  Thus, the Neuralizer is an invaluable tool to use on human witnesses of both alien and MIB activity.  To protect themselves from the flash, MIB agents put on a pair of sunglasses before activating the Neuralizer.       

MIB is based on the “Men in Black” theme in pop culture and conspiracy theories about government agents in black suits who cover up UFO and paranormal activities.    


With the main characters being members of the organization, the manga/anime series Hunter X Hunter greatly revolves around the Hunter Association.  

“Hunters” are considered to be the elite of humanity; being experts on different fields like music, cooking, computers, archeology, combat, survival, hunting down criminals, uncovering and retrieving information, and many more.  To become a Hunter, one most obtain a license by passing the rigorous Hunter Examination, a series of difficult and dangerous tests to determine those that have the appropriate characteristics and skills to become a Hunter.  Hunters, as the name suggests, devote their lives in hunting down things whether people, items, information, places, treasures, or animals.  

All Hunters are required to know Nen, whether before or after the Hunter Exam.  Nen is the manipulation of aura or life energy, which will enable a Nen user to have a unique power or ability.  

There are plenty of perks of being a Hunter.  This is brought to by the ownership of a Hunter License.  It is a highly-valuable item that symbolizes glory and wealth (60 out of the 100 richest people in the world are Hunters).   Owners of the Hunter License have no legal responsibility for murder, are free to travel in all countries, have free access to public services at first-class, and are allowed to access the Hunters Only Website (where one can find and purchase a variety of important and secret intelligence obtained and uploaded by other Hunters).  The Hunter can also use his or her license as collateral for a loan of 100 million jenny (currency in the Hunter X Hunter universe) with a 0% interest rate at any bank, or the Hunter can outrightly sell his license (which is a valuable collector’s item) for enough money for at least 7 generations of luxury.    

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