Monday, May 2, 2011

What is this... Favorites? Characters!

     WHEW! It's been a few weeks since I wrote something new. I've been suffering from some epic laziness, but that ends now... With this post!    

See if you can name them all before reading the rest of this thing!
     After reflecting on the... Forty-three (yup, just counted them) animes that I've watched, I began thinking: out of all of the characters in all of these animes, which are my favorites? Why do I like them in particular? As I looked back, I decided to choose ten characters who've defined awesome for me.

     For some of these, I may not really have much of a reason other than I just like them as a character (I am entitled to my own opinion!). They also aren't going to be in any particular order, but I figure I at least have to start with my all time favorite... Or perhaps I'll save that one for last. Yeah, I'll save it... There are going to be a ton of spoilers (each will be prefaced with "SPOILER" for easy spotting and blacked out so you wont accidentally read them. As always, highlight the blacked out areas to read!) so if you are interested in watching the anime, watch out for those. I'm not going to give away a lot of details about the animes themselves, so if you want to know more... watch the anime! Or, you know, you can just Google it or something...

1. Jiraya, from Naruto (and Naruto Shippuden).

     Jiraya is one of my favorites for a couple of reasons. One, his seiyuu (voice actor) cracks me up every time I hear him, which is funny considering most of the other characters he voices are very serious characters. I just can't help myself though. I don't think his voice was meant to be that funny, so maybe I'm the weird one in this case. Secondly, he's a really funny character, but knows when it's time to get serious... And even when he's serious he's inadvertently funny. Sure, he does have the whole Ero-Sennin ('Perverted Hermit') thing going against him, but even that can bring hilarity to certain occasions.

     SPOILERS: His death brought me to tears. After fighting so hard to defeat Pain, and finding that there are multiples, he uses his last breath to give the Hidden Leaf a critical piece of intelligence that would help Naruto find, and finally defeat, the real Pain. One of the greatest moments of this sad scene is when he smiles... And that's when the waterworks began. I had accidentally already figured out that he dies before seeing it in the anime (curse you Narutopedia!), but that didn't dull the sense of loss when watching that scene. That's enough spoilers... for now.

     Since we're talking about Naruto, here's another character from the show that I can't help but love...

2. Hatake Kakashi, also from Naruto (and Naruto Shippuden).

     Kakashi has always been one of my favorites. He's like Jiraya in the way that he's hilarious, but he's not as funny when he gets serious. His "test" for Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke made me chuckle. It's the classic, "I'll let you pass if you can beat me" test. Although he may not seem like a good sensei at the time, he turns out to be just what they need to become great ninja. Through thick and thin, Kakashi is able to turn the tide with the use of his Sharingan, and his "copy" jutsu. He's mysterious, and no one has ever seen his face under the mask.

Oh, so you want these do you... Come and get 'em
     SPOILERS: He's come close to dying a few times, but is either able to wrench victory from the jaws of defeat with some uber-super-secret move, or is saved by Naruto or one of the other ninja. He did technically die once, after being brutally pwnt by one of Pain's "puppets". But through Naruto's talk with Pain, and through Pains sacrifice, all of the Hidden Leaf ninja who had died in Pain's attack came back to life. I might have stopped watching Naruto had he not come back, but since he's okay, I guess I'll keep watching...

     Okay, no more Naruto for now. Now we're on to...

3. Edward Elric, from Fullmetal Alchemist (and FMA: Brotherhood).

     Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is probably my favorite anime. It closely follows the manga, which I consider to be far superior to the first anime's story. I like all of the characters, but my favorite would have to be the eldest Elric brother, Edward. He's the perfect blend of comedy and seriousness, and comedic seriousness. He's the Fullmetal Alchemist, the youngest alchemist to ever be accepted as a State Alchemist.

YOU! I'll be back...
     He is on a journey to get back his missing limbs, but would rather see his brother back to normal before himself. Whenever he fights he is sure to stay in the right, even if doing evil would aid him and his brother on their quest. Other than that, he is voiced by Romi Park, who is another of my favorite seiyuu (Captain Hitsugaya from Bleach, Katsushiro from Samurai 7, Temari from Naruto, and loads of others).

4. Light Yagami, from Death Note.

     Although I say Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is my favorite anime, I'd have to say that Death Note is the best I've seen. Everything about it is amazing: the story, the soundtrack, the seiyuu... And the characters are no exception. Light Yagami finds a shinigami's (death gods) notebook and gets to work making his "new world". He's brilliant, and had helped the police force on several occasions even though he's just a high school student. His brilliance allows him to beat the police at every turn, forcing them to call in the specialists. He's thought of just about every contingency, and planned ahead for it. What he didn't plan on was his nemesis being just as smart as he is...

5. "L", also from Death Note.

     L is an amazing character. He's a genius, matching Light's brilliance; which is what makes the show incredible. He and Light trade victories back and forth, with the situation escalating with every exchange. L's investigative strategies are full of strange quirks, and many times people fail to see the reason behind his plans. But he is a genius, and no one can argue with his results. It's because of this back and forth interaction between the two of them that I've come to consider them favorites.

6. Konata Izumi, from Lucky Star.

     Konata is an otaku, but not just any otaku, a super otaku. She's an expert on everything geeky. One of my favorite episodes is the one where Konata, Kagami, and Tsukasa go to Comiket (a Japanese Comic-con of sorts). Konata, in a very military commander-like fashion, hands Kagami and Tsukasa a map, coffee, and money and gives them missions. In my opinion, it's one of the funniest scenes in the show, and the episode defines Konata's otakuness. She is voiced by Aya Hirano, which also does a lot of voices from some of my other favorite animes (Haruhi from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Misa from Death Note), although very distorted due to the... err... "cutesy" (if that's even a word) nature of the show. She's a funny character, the focal point of a lot of the comedy that's in the show.

7. Kisuke Urahara, from Bleach.

     Kisuke Urahara has been one of my favorites since they first introduced him on the show. He's powerful in his own right, but he doesn't normally fight on the front lines. He supports from the background, but if the need arises, he'll pwnt some hollows (or other equally nasty enemies). I liked seeing him in action in Bleach 3: Fade to Black, I Call Your Name, for however brief a time it was. Benihime is such an awesome Zanpakuto. He's also pretty hilarious at times, a sort of comic relief character. 

Although very rarely used, it doesn't mean Urahara doesn't know how to use it...
     SPOILERS: He has a mission to protect Karakura town, which includes making an exact copy of the entire town to trick Aizen and prevent the town's destruction. That's a pretty big undertaking, and just goes to show how amazing he really is.

     SPOILERS: EDIT: Just finished watching the Arrancar arc finale (it's about dang time!). Just wanna point out: Ichigo may have brutally weakened Aizen, but it was Urahara's kidou seals that put him away for good. Aizen himself said that Urahara was the only member of Soul Society that had matched his knowledge. This man never ceases to amaze me.

8. Mikoto Misaka, from Toaru Majutsu no Index (and Toaru Kagaku no Railgun).

"Unlimited Power!" (You know it had to be said...)
     She's "The Railgun", an electrokinescist (I think that's what they're called). Her nickname, "Railgun", comes from her ability to use electricity to form electromagnetic waves, and therefore send a metal object flying at super velocities towards a target. Until I had seen this anime, I had never thought about using electrokinesis that way. Now I can't think of any other way I'd rather use electrokinesis. Her interactions with Kuroko Shirai (whose cry of, "Onee-sama!" always makes me chuckle) are hilarious... Albeit, in a somewhat hilariously, awkwardly, "suggestive" sort of way. But, I digress... Did I also mention that she's "The Railgun"? Yeah, I think we covered that bit...
9. Shichika Yasuri, from Katanagatari.

My favorite catchphrase... ever...
     Shichika is a master of Kyotoryuu, the martial art of using one's body as a sword. He's absolutely epic, and probably my second favorite character of all. He is hired by Togame, the self proclaimed Strategian, to help her gather up the twelve Deviant Blades. He was sheltered for most of his life (living on an island with only his sister for company), and so any interactions with the outside world are usually full of hilarious awkwardness. His skills are honed over the course of the anime, and by the end he becomes quite proficient at acquiring the Deviant Blades.

Are things still open for negotiation, perchance?
     SPOILERS: The last episode is absolutely amazing. When Togame dies, Shichika takes it upon himself to complete her mission. He brings bloody vengeance to those who had been Togame's enemies. The twelve Deviant Blades that he and Togame had been collecting are used against him, and they don't stand a chance. In the end, it's revealed that the art of Kyotoryuu is the perfected Deviant Blade. He turns out to be the greatest weapon of all, and he proves it. I watched the battle several times, just so I could catch all the pure ownage he was dealing. Definitely one of my favorite endings.

     And my absolute favorite character of all:

10. Kamina, from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

The "awesome" by which all other "awesome" is measured...
      What do I say about Kamina? He is by far the coolest character ever created. His personality... Well, a gamer could say that he has an incredibly high charisma score. He fears nothing, even going so far as to take on a Gunman (what we call "mecha") with naught but a katana. He later hijacks and pilots a Gunman, which no human had ever done before (besides Simon and his mech of course). He becomes the leader of a revolution against the Beastmen (the bad guys), and leads the Gurren Brigade to victory over them.

     One of my favorite quotes: "Don't believe in yourself. Believe in me! Believe in me who believes in you!". He is, in my opinion, the epitome of awesome. Also, I want some sunglasses like that...

So cool...

      SPOILERS: Like Jiraya, I cried when Kamina died. And like Jiraya, Kamina died with a smile on his face. I was upset, yes, but his death was not in vain. He fought all the way to the end, and died a noble death.

     SPOILERS: Also, just to show how insanely crazy Gurren Lagann is, I pulled this quote from about the final battle: "There is a mech the size of a GALAXY, and it's being piloted by a mech the size of a planet piloted by a mech the size of a city piloted by a mech the size of a building piloted by a guy who created all these mechs from the energy produced by how awesome he is. That's just... nuts." Yeah, that's fairly accurate...

     Also, some runners-up:

- Vash the Stampede, from Trigun.

"Have you ever fired two guns, whilst soaring through the air?"
- Kuroko, from Toaru Majutsu no Index (and Toaru Kagaku no Railgun).

- Kyon, from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

Kyon's default look when dealing with Haruhi...
- Ichigo Kurosaki, from Bleach.

     So, those are my favorite characters. Maybe not the coolest characters ever (although a few fit the bill), but my favorites nonetheless. I'm thinking the next "Otaku" installment will be a sort of "favorite catchphrase/quote" sort of thing. But I have to watch some of these 40+ animes again so I can remember some... Looks like an all nighter!

(Thanks to Japan for making anime, without which would render this post rather empty. And thanks to Google images for the pics, as I have yet again forgotten where I found all these.)

1 comment:

  1. I like the pics and list nicely done