After reading some anime review blogs I was thinking about what makes me like certain characters and not others. I clearly have a “type” and can be biased towards it. So I’m going to spell it out here – literally. I won’t do show synopsis but assume most readers have heard of/ seen/ know what the shows are about. For those who read this blog for the outfits/fashion stuff – feel free to skip this. These are just my musings on why I like these guys. Some spoilers for shows/characters.
These are in no order. They are all equally awesome.
Darker Than Black – Hei. He also goes by BK201, The Black Reaper and Li Shengshun. He’s got a lot of names, but that’s because he’s an agent who works undercover for the Syndicate. He’s the only contractor who doesn’t have to pay a price for using his powers and regardless of how stoic he may seem to others, he is actually a moody bitch.
Throughout season 1 the viewer figures out why he’s so moody and what’s bugging him about his past. He does make practical and rational choices, but there are moments where he does waver and seem vulnerable. For a character who really doesn’t talk all that much, that’s impressive. What I think intrigues me most is what happens after he finds out what happened to him and the people he cared about. I know a lot of fans hate season 2 because Hei isn’t the primary protagonist and it goes completely off the rails from season 1, but I find his emotional and psychological unraveling rather fascinating. I originally hated season 2 as well, but after several more viewings, I now see a more coherent narrative if you follow Hei’s mental state throughout.
Space Pirate Captain Harlock. He is my first anime husbando and love. When I was in middle school this wacky cartoon called Space Pirate Captain Harlock and the Queen of 1000 Years aired in the afternoon on weekdays. I’d race home (latch-key kid who walked to and from school) after the bell to catch the next episode of… I don’t know what. I never understood what the hell was happening with the show at the time (mostly because it was a bastardized version of two Japanese shows with no coherent plot), but I knew that I loved Harlock.
Captain Harlock was a rebel, cool and OMG he’s a pirate flying a ship in space! He disobeyed laws and rules (I could so relate) and he helped those in need and barely spoke, but he didn’t need to because his actions spoke volumes more than words.
This was also my very first anime, but it wasn’t called anime at the time. It was just known as that weird cartoon that hardly anyone watched or remembered in the mid 80s.
D. Gray Man – Kanda Yuu. No offense to Allen Walker, who is amazing and I absolutely adore as a protagonist, but Kanda totally stole my heart. I tend to like a little tsundere in my guys because Kanda’s got it in spades. He’s also a moody bitch and I’m a total sucker for that type.
I’m more of a serious type and I think that’s why I gravitate towards characters with a serious side/ chip on their shoulder. Kanda doesn’t really joke around much, and he can pitch a fit when made the butt of jokes, but he’s still able to smile and laugh and all the same.
His arc in D. Gray Man: Hallow was one I’d been waiting to see animated for a long time. It’s full of Kanda’s past and how he became the moody, stoic pouty-faced lovable dork I adore. His story, aside from Crowley’s, is quite possibly the most mature and sensual of all the other backstories to date in the series. It’s utterly heart breaking to see everything he worked for and the reason for his being shatter in front of him, essentially leaving him with no reason to continue. However, he strong sense of duty overcomes that and he moves on.
I love the manga and really hope Hoshino sensei does finish it.
Fullmetal Alchemist – Colonel Roy Mustang. Mustang, also known as the Flame Alchemist, is another shattered man. He’s a decorated war hero, but he doesn’t feel like one because genocide is not a good way to become a hero. And yet, he’s damn good at it. He doesn’t deny his past, but uses it as a means of motivation to push forward and become a leader he feels Amestris needs. (*Cough Mappa THIS is how you make a troubled character who has killed countless people in the name of a cause a good guy, he’s got a BACK STORY people care about and shows remorse and understanding of his faults – Charioce needs to take lessons cough*)
Mustang is another side character because the main protagonists of FMA are Edward and Alphonse Elric. I love the boys, but once again the moody, raw and real emotions of Mustang really tickled my fancy. Also, the unspoken “relationship” he has with First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye make every scene with him a treat. They aren’t allowed to be together due to the difference in their rankings and it’s not even explicitly stated they love one another, but it’s understood throughout the series and their unwavering devotion to helping each other mentally, physically and emotionally makes them my favorite OTP. Mutang’s stubborn ego gets smacked down constantly by other characters, which makes him moody and a fun punching bag for gags.
Kuroshitsuji [Black Butler] – Sebastian Michaelis. He’s one helluva anti-hero. When Toboso sensei started writing the manga, she specifically wanted to create a character who was not a “good guy” in the traditional sense. Sebastian is a demon who kills and eats souls. That is not a good guy. He apparently got tired of just eating any old boring soul and decided to find ones he could cultivate into delicious meals worthy of kings that would sate his demon hunger for a long time. As a result, he enters into a contract with a spoiled, rich child whose ego tickled Sebby-chan’s fancy.
It’s only in the context of his relationship with Ciel Phantomhive that Sebastian is seen as a protagonist – and even then only by a hair. Neither of them are good people. Ciel’s hellbent revenge goals are just as ruthless as Sebastian randomly killing souls to begin with.
I love Sebby-chan’s sense of humor about it all. He’s amusing himself and biding his time with a short-lived human for the sake of a good meal and some entertainment. Although he is technically a bad guy in good guy’s clothing, his brutal honesty in dealing with nonsensical and irrational antagonists make him fascinating and quite logical. He’s very practical and speaks with common sense most of the time, which pushes him more in the good guy zone, despite the fact that he’s still murdering people. Dark much? Yes, please.
Durarara!!! – Shizuo Heiwajima. After the first time I watched Durarara I thought: What mind fuckery is this!? It is seriously one of the most confusing and weird shows in anime. I’ve seen seen several others since then to make Drrr look tame (Monogatari series), but I still feel I need to watch it about five more times before I get all of it. It is not a series for an anime newbie.
Out of a sprawling, confusing mess of a show with around 30 characters the one that stood out for me was The Strongest Man in all of Ikebukuro: Shizuo Heiwajima. That’s his “street” title because he is incredibly strong. He can fight tons of people at the same time, punches people so hard they fly out of their clothes, has a penchant for throwing vending machines, uses sign posts as baseball bats and scares the crap out of most other characters in the series. That sounds like a violent, crazy character that’s not easy to love, but that’s just it – Shizuo hates violence. In general, he doesn’t like to fight and generally refrains from getting himself into situations where he has to fight.
Shizuo may seem like a simple character, but as the series went on (three seasons) Shizuo became a small voice of reason behind all the madness in the series. He’s able to see when he’s being provoked (except when it comes to Izaya) and he has a good idea of what’s in the best interest for some clueless characters. Sometimes a few sentences out of him were enough to reveal what would take other characters two episodes to extrapolate and in other cases his actions – violent or not – would reveal sides of him his friends weren’t aware existed. He’s big hearted in a very subtle way and his way of showing friendship and kindness were some of the best scenes in the whole series for me. There is also that laugh-out-loud-so-much-I-cried moment where he ominously shows up like some black reaper… on a bicycle.
Shingeki no Bahamut – Azazel. Yeah, anyone who’s been reading this knows this was coming. He’s not officially on the list because the show isn’t over. I’m waiting to see how the show shafts his character (or not – I won’t hold my breath but I don’t have high hopes right now).
Kaisar. Oh look, two from the same show series! His spot is a bit more secure since he’s more consistent of a character, but not official since the show isn’t done yet.
I’m sure a psychiatrist would have a hey-day with what this list says about me. Violent, anti-hero, side characters who are moody, usually dark-haired, and don’t speak much.