This is the 500th post I’ve written since starting blogging, so I figured I should celebrate the occasion with something a bit more substantial than a boring Bakuman episodic. So I settled on a simple list. The second most ‘important’ one after the top anime list. My favourite anime characters of all time.
When it comes to Berserk, most people prefer Guts to Griffith. Here’s an interesting stat for you. Guts has 2524 member favourites on MAL. Griffith only 294. But it was his aura that drove this show. The way Berserk’s story was told was from right by his side and yet most of what was understood about his psyche was never said. You were watching a legend being born. He made every scene his own and drove the show even when he wasn’t on screen. His ambition was so strong it warped the world around him. An ambition so powerful it was scary. He was fascinating, but more than anything he was frightening.
Senjogahara Fascination indeed. It’s her way with words that makes her so alluring. Each retort is so carefully crafted and so cuttingly delivered. She warps everything Arararagi says (sorry, I stuttered), pulling each line apart and delivering it back with a pain-inducing harshness and calculation. Even those times when she didn’t say anything or left it as simply “oh” were so perfectly placed they held more power than any snore inducing shounen power speech or shojo love confession scene. She has the best lines of any anime character ever created.
What really struck me about Tomoya was how similar his personality was. The way he thought through things, how he arrived at conclusions, his natural reactions to certain situations, all reminded me so much of myself that it was a little bit unsettling. It was in the After Story where this really hit me. I was watching myself in a different future. That was me climbing up those pylons if I had taken a different route in life. It was so eerie it gave me goosebumps.
Tokuchi owned the screen with every minute he was on it. While Griffith is here for how he warps the entire world around himself, what makes Tokuchi so endlessly entertaining is how he dominates and controls the mind of that one man stepping up to the batter box. Faced with that anorexic, chain smoking spawn of satan, there is no escape. No control over what you’re going to do. Even though they eventually realise that they are entirely under the control of this man, there’s nothing they can do about it. He warps that one opponents mind until they return to the bench, a shivering wreck of their former self.
Easiest decision to justify. Hard to explain why. Yakumo is in here because I developed a teenage crush on her. I would never have considered a character like Yakumo to be my ideal girl. I would have thought I’d fall for a more playful, adventourous girl. Shows how much I know about myself I guess. I fell for Yakumo. I have a crush on this bunch of pixels and ink on a page. Her mannerisms, her voice, her unsure attitude how to react in certain situations and yet forceful at times. I fell in love with an anime character. I’m such a loser…
Here’s the thing about Osaka. Behind that spaced out expression of hers, there’s a brain on overdrive. An imagination that never stops working. A brain that is constantly questioning and exploring. It moves so fast that often the real Osaka is left behind, trying to catch up with the bits and pieces that her thought process leaves in its wake. Quite often these bits and pieces won’t make sense, not even to herself, but she does her best to piece them together in her mind. What eventually comes out the other side is what we see of Osaka. She is a genious, but her imgagination moves too fast for her concious self to keep control of and she ends up looking like an idiot.
Harima is comedy gold. His character is so well-defined, his actions so serious and so inherantly funny, that you an throw him into any situation and lulz shall be created. But more than that, it’s the loneliness. Harima is really a wimp. A man who ran away from society, he was incapable of properly conversing with people. But the powah of love brought him back and forced him into interacting with people. It was through his determination that he eventually made something resembling friends, yet he could never bring himself to think of them as friends. There’s something oddly poignant about him doing menial activities in the background of a photograph everyone else is having fun in. You just want to give that poor delinquent a hug.
Spice and Wolf
The best part about Horo is how everything she said is disguised upon layers and layers of teasing, wit and general tsundereness. She never exactly lies about anything. She just disguises her true feelings under flirtation and sulking. Every twitch in her facial expression, every change in tone in her voice, every angry bristling of her tail give you more and more clues as to what she’s really thinking. I love decoding everything Horo says. And while it may not be as big of a crush as the one I have on Yakumo, yes I have a massive crush on Horo. Does that make me a furry?
L is a big conglomeration of all my favourite aspects of anime characters. I love how every scene with him in warps around his presence and how his existence warps even the scenes he isn’t in. I love how every line of his is disguised and you spend each scene trying to decode what that flicker of the eyes meant. Probably the part that leaps him up to 2nd spot is he’s flawed. Despite all his brains, he’s childish and immature. His reasoning of justice is hypocritical when he disregards laws to tie up Misa and betray the trust of the police department. How much of what he said over the course of the series was his true feelings? Or was everything he ever said just all part of his attempts to unearth Kira? We’ll never know, and that’s part of the beauty of it.
Legend of the Galactic Heroes
Endlessly quotable, hugely entertaining, surprisingly endearing and a man who’s own insistence to keeping to his own ideals bit him in the backside time after time, something he even recognised himself. Again you could copypaste what I said about half the characters in this list for Yang Wenli. Every scene warps around his existence, even those he doesn’t exist in. But more than anything else, it’s because watching Yang Wenli is watching the birth of a legend. He manages to be awe-inspiring while appearing meek in person. There’s a personal and micro level to the legend of Yang Wenli that Reinhard lacked, which is what made it all the more fascinating to watch.Yang Wenli is my favourite anime character of all time.