My 100 favorite anime characters (10 – 1)

We’ve finally reached the last installment of my 100 favorite character countdown that I started almost a month ago. After a lot of second guessing, image/video searching, and brain-wracking, it’s finally done. I had a lot of fun with these posts despite them being a bit repetitive at times. Anyway, onto the characters of this series that you’re probably most interested in – my top 10 favorites…

10. Ayumu “Osaka” Kasuga (from Azumanga Daioh)

Seiyuu: Yuki Matsuoka

Osaka is the ultimate space cadet. She is so relaxed yet so utterly clueless, I can’t help but be amused. However, she’s not air-headed in the typical cutesy, clumsy, moe fashion. Rather, she calmly discusses the most random and stream of consciousness subjects, and she obviously has her own unique, if not bizarre, view of the world. Her spaced-out expression always makes me laugh.

She’s quite cute as well, especially in this AMV…

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9. Shikamaru Nara (from Naruto)

Seiyuu: Shoutaro Morikubo

Although he comes off as snobby and uncaring at first, Shikamaru soon grows into the most mature and intelligent guy on Naruto. Unlike the numerous arrogant ninja hot-heads who love the thrill of fighting and mastering jutsu, Shikamaru would rather partake in more intellectual activities such as games of strategy like shougi and go. However, he definitely knows how to use his amazing intelligence in battle. Despite being brainy and cynical, he proves himself a responsible and caring leader, and he even lets his emotions out during the mission to save Sasuke, and of course Asuma’s final battle.

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8. Taiga Aisaka (from Toradora!)

Seiyuu: Rie Kugimiya

Some might write her off as just another tsundere, but Taiga is a fantastic character. She starts off violent and negative, but we soon find out that her attitude is a mask to hide her troubled family life and insecurities. Despite being childish at times, her emotions run deep, and thanks to Ryuuji, she matures over the course of the series, overcomes her issues, and learns that it’s okay to be true to her feelings.

Taiga just won Saimoe 2009 so she obviously gets the attention she deserves =D

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7. Vaporeon “Showers” (from Pokemon)

I’ve been a Pokemon fan for over ten years and Vaporeon (Japanese name: Showers) has been my favorite pokemon just about all that time. It might have a bit to do with nostalgia/sentimentality from when I played Pokemon for the first time, and even though I evolved my Eevee into Vaporeon unintentionally, he ended up becoming my favorite. I suppose I also have an affinity for the water element, and I personally think he’s the cutest and most beautiful Water pokemon. Although the Eevee evolutions in general are pretty popular, Vaporeon on his own is rather under-appreciated.

Some great Vaporeon/Showers fan art in the first half of this video…

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6. Chi (from Chi Sweet Home)

Seiyuu: Satomi Koorogi

Out of the many anime cats, I feel that Chi is the cutest and most believable representation of a real cat. The adorable, perfectly fitting baby kitty voice that Satomi Koorogi gives her, together with the realistic cat-like things that she thinks and does, supply endless smiles for me. Her short, simple little adventures are adorable, and often sincerely funny, without ever insulting my intelligence. In the midst of so much complicated, intense, and/or fan pandering anime, Chi offers a refreshing break of plain old cuteness and fun.

Her adorable little theme song…

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5. Shana (from Shakugan no Shana)

Seiyuu: Rie Kugimiya

Shana has one of my most favorite character designs. However, even more so than Taiga, she’s often written off as an empty tsundere. But although I’ve never read the original novels, which I’m sure go into more depth about her character, after watching her for two seasons, I feel that she has plenty of depth and we see lots of sides to her character. She has both “cuteness” and “coolness”; her cute, insecure, schoolgirl side who has a crush on Yuuji (and a love for melon bread XD), as well as her powerful, intense, warrior side when she battles her enemies.

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4. Nagi (from Kannagi)

Seiyuu: Haruka Tomatsu

I feel that Nagi is one of the most unique female characters to come out of any recent shonen/harem anime. Like all good characters, within a relatively short time, we get to see many sides of her personality; her strong-headed and slightly vulgar side when she’s with Jin, her cute, fun-loving side when she’s with the rest of the characters, her mysterious, gentle, caring side that comes with her “godlike” duty of protecting the people of Kannagi town, and of course, her internally conflicted and emotional side in the last few episodes. Despite being adamant and moody at times, because she’s a god (or at least some kind of supernatural being), she cares about the natural environment of Kannagi town and yearns for a connectedness with its people. Additionally, she makes hilarious facial expressions and Haruka Tomatsu provides her with a perfectly fitting voice.

Nagi’s unforgettable performance in the Kannagi opening definitely puts it on my list of favorite anime openings…

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3. Kagami Hiiragi (from Lucky Star)

Seiyuu: Emiri Kato

While Tsukasa is an air-head, Miyuki is smart but also a clumsy moe blob, and Konata is just a total otaku, Kagami is the most responsible and overall together character on Lucky Star. She’s good in school, she’s always helping Konata and Tsukasa despite their repeated ineptness, and she’s just a generally nice girl who can also be a bit moody and shy at times, which makes her more interesting. The way Kagami plays the tough straight-man against Konata’s constant jabs and boastful otakuism could entertain me endlessly.

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2. Haruhi Suzumiya (from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)

Seiyuu: Aya Hirano

Whether you love her or hate her, there’s no doubt that Haruhi has had one of the biggest influences on anime fandom in recent years. I for one share in the love that so many fans have for her. I can see why she’s likened to some sort of goddess because of her wildly unpredictable character and the many sides of her unique, impulsive personality. She’s appealing not so much because she’s really compassionate or sympathetic, but because the things she does and believe are so outrageous, and her view of the world is so unusual, you can’t help but be drawn into her outpouring enthusiasm and self-confidence. There are no boundaries in life as far as she’s concerned, but she also has a “melancholic” and deeper side to her too. The crazy and often bullying things that she does turn some people off, but the way I interpret it, Haruhi doesn’t do these things with any malicious intent; she sincerely believes that the world revolves around her every desire (oh wait, it does, doesn’t it?)

Like this amazingly accurate AMV states, despite all her intelligence and talent, Haruhi is just beautifully oblivious…

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1. Tony Tony Chopper (from One Piece)

Seiyuu: Ikue Ohtani

It was love at first sight when I first saw Chopper. Like all the One Piece characters, despite his odd looks on the outside, he has a lot going for him on the inside. He knew great abuse, rejection, and loss in his past, however, against all this he became skilled and developed dreams and goals. He rightly has some mistrust and resentment towards humans, but the selflessness and stark sense of justice that the other Straw Hats have rub off on him. Being once a normal animal himself, he’s also very sensitive to the feelings of other creatures. And he has some of the most humorously exaggerated reactions of fear, awe, and excitement. But despite this he can be a brave and serious fighter when provoked. He’s just the perfect character for my tastes ^^

Chopper’s first big battle in the series, showing off all his transformations…

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What I’ve learned from deciding on my 100 favorite anime characters, especially my top 10, is that I like characters because of certain appealing or lovable attributes they have which I personally enjoy, whether it’s something cute, cool, funny, or sentimental, as opposed to liking them for being extremely well developed or unique. This goes back to the basic reason of why I love anime in general: it’s fun to analyze anime and respect the truly great titles, but it’s purely meant for enjoyment, whatever individual preferences in character and story that you personally have.

The only restriction I really placed on the list is no more than five characters per series. My one regret is that for a few anime that I watched many years ago, I simply can’t remember them as well as others. So even though I know I liked certain characters, I couldn’t remember enough about them to put them on my list. So yeah, if I ever rewatch some of those old series, and of course as I watch new series, my list will most likely change in the future.

This series of posts was a great way for me to keep up my writing despite the fact that lately I’ve been running out of good topics to blog about. I plan to do a “favorite anime series/movies” list sometime soon though it will probably be only 50 instead of 100.

I want to thank everyone who kept up with all my favorite character posts. I hope you found them enjoyable =)

Click here to view the rest of the list if you missed any.

15 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. Jan Suzukawa says:

    Congratulations on completing your list! 100 is a lot of characters!

    I love Chi as well, and think the seiyuu does a fantastic job of doing the kitten voice. My favorite Chi episode so far was the one where they give her a bath, and she screams that she’s going to die the whole time.

    I expected Haruhi to be in your top 10, of course, but I wasn’t expecting Shikamaru. In one of the Otakon panels I went to, they said that Shikamaru scored high in “Most Popular Character” polls they did for the manga early on, and that’s why he became a more featured character in Naruto. They were responding to the fans wanting to see more of him. I like him, too.

    And CHOPPER! That clip is pretty explicative of his skills. He’s pretty cute and has a funny, appealing voice. The character designs in One Piece are just so… different. ;)

    I noticed a distinct lack of bishonen in your list (I had to fight hard not to include too many in my own list!). To each her own, I guess. :) I guess I just like staring at attractive men… It helps, though, when they’re also interesting people. ;)

  2. Glo says:

    This comment is going to be weird, mainly because I’m in an odd (yet happy) mood. That being said, I’m going to rate your top ten based on points. Same rules apply as Whose Line is it Anyway?.

    I…..love…………osaka (that’s sort of a reference back to Azumanga Daioh if you get it, except the person who says it says “you” instead of “osaka”. I also didn’t capitalize osaka at any time, so I deduct 10.7 points from myself).

    But yea, I love Osaka, I love ddr (or I used to way back in the day) so therefore that AMV is just awesome.

    Shana? Taiga? 10,000 points. Just for you. 10,000 points for you and your additions of two great characters voiced by Rie Kugimiya, the greatest voice actress, nay, the greatest voice person, ever.

    Haruhi? Default addition. I’ll add an undisclosed amount of points.

    Kagami? I like Konata better (like almost everyone on earth), but I like it. |-10| points (that means + ten).

    Shikamaru? Okay, I can sort of kind of but not really see how this might make a top 10. Hey, it’s your list, and he’s number 9, so I’ll give you 9 points.

    Chopper at number one surprises me and at the same time doesn’t. 10 points off for not choosing Rie Kugimiya as number one, so you now only have 14, 010 points.

    I haven’t seen the rest, so I’ll deduct all of your points for listing anime that I haven’t seen. Better luck next time.

  3. Yumeka says:

    @ Glo

    “Kagami? I like Konata better (like almost everyone on earth)”

    Actually, I believe English-speaking fans like Konata more while Japanese fans like Kagami. The fact that Kagami won Saimoe 2008 (over Konata) is proof of her popularity on 2chan at least.

    Thanks for the points. Sorry I like some characters you don’t know =P

  4. Silver says:

    Wow, Chopper really surprises me but then again, Chopper is really cute as well. I definitely like Shana but I definitely don’t like Taiga.

  5. Silvs says:

    I really enjoyed reading your list! I look forward to your anime/movie list ;3
    Chopperrr = <3
    I'm quite surprised Chi and Shikamaru score so high – I do love em thoughh ♥

    @Glo&Yumeka: I prefer Kagami to Konata aswell.
    But yeah, American fans definatly prefer her – when ever I see people commenting on Lucky Star, whether it be on forums or youtube vids, ya' get alot of people saying stuff like "I'm a sooo much like Konata" – no one ever seems to say that about Kagami, but I find her waaay more relatible – she's definatly my favourite Lucky Star character. :3

  6. Saere says:

    It’s amazing that you were able to compile such a comprehensive list of one hundred characters! As I sit here thinking, I can only come up with my top five:

    1- Zaraki Kenpachi (Bleach); I am head over heels in love with this man. Just the mere mention of him in a chapter or episode brightens my day.

    2- Tyki Mikk (D.Gray-Man)

    3- The Baron (The Cat Returns)

    4- Amano Ginji (Get Backers)

    5- Noda Megumi (Nodame Cantabile)

    There are tons of other characters that I love, but I just can’t put them in any order. Even with the list above, the only one I’m 100% certain about is Kenpachi. So congratulations for being organized!

    Haruhi and most of the others didn’t surprise me at all, but Shikamaru did. He’s one of those characters that I don’t really think about much, but when he’s brought to my attention, I suddenly remember that I admire him…

  7. Yumeka says:

    @ Saere

    That’s interesting that Kenpachi is your favorite character ’cause he’s actually one of my least favorites. I just personally can’t stand the arrogant, violence-obsessed guys. The gentle, sensitive guys like Chad are more my type. But to each their own =) Any particular reason why you like him?

    The Cat Returns was a cute movie; I should watch it again sometime. Unfortunately I’m not familiar with the other titles on your list. If you do decide to make a list of your favorites, I’d love to check it out =D

  8. Paranoia675 says:

    Woot, finally finished your top 100!

    Heh, just by knowing you (I won’t say it was too obvious…) I could surmise where many of your favorite characters would be. So, yea, glad to see a One Piece character at the top slot :D

    Otherwise though, I was quite surprised, along with everyone else here, with things like Vaporeon and Shikamaru. Both good choices for you, but I just didn’t see them coming :P

    Thanks for that ride, it twas a lot of fun, and I feel I’ve learned a lot more about ya from it :D

  9. Saere says:

    @Yumeka

    When I first started watching anime as a child, my favorite characters were always the cute, funny ones without much of a brain, but as I aged, I started loving the geniuses and the obscurities. That said, I don’t honestly know exactly why I like Kenpachi so much. It was gradual. I read the Bleach manga several years ago, forgot about the series, and then with my brother, watched 200-something episodes of the anime in a month or two. Seeing Kenpachi’s battles caught my attention. He’s so illogical and insane. Tite Kubo gives him no limits. It’s just like, “Guess I’ll go Super Saiyan,” and then BAM! He does. He’s the coolest freaking character I’ve ever seen. I love that he’s this massive, dangerous man that spends hours doing his own hair and has a little pink-haired girl with him at all times.

    I like Chad too, though. Nowadays, I don’t really have a certain ‘type’ of character that I prefer. I love Ryuk (Death Note) as much as I love Morita (Honey & Clover).

    If you ever run out of things to blog about, would you consider making a list of characters you absolutely cannot stand? You mentioned not liking Kenpachi, and that made me curious. I can think of quite a few for myself.

  10. Yumeka says:

    @ Saere

    There really aren’t many characters I truly dislike, so I don’t think I’m going to make a list of them. My next idea is favorite anime in general. I’ll try to think up some other list ideas too =)

  11. Glo says:

    Hmmm, suddenly I have an idea for a post.

  12. joan says:

    do shana and taiga really look the same?
    YUMEKA is right… Konata is obviously more popular than kagami.
    well… my favorite anime character is not in here but this is a nice list. those characters are interesting

  13. To add to the ‘entertaining’ factor you mentioned, your consideration of the seiyuu is another interesting sub-factor. The performance of the actor I think is an important if undervalued element in considering the entertainment quotient of a character.

  14. Yumeka says:

    @ ghostlightning

    Yeah, if a character has a seiyuu you like, that could automatically give him/her more appealing points to you even if it has nothing to do with other aspects of the character. An appealing design is similar. With these two points, one could like a character just by their “outside” (how they sound and look) more than their “inside” (whether they’re admirable or complex).

    Thanks for giving me more to think about in terms of why I like certain characters. I’ll probably incorporate many of the things you and other bloggers discussed when I revise my list one day =)

  15. Looking at my top 5, I realize that while I do enjoy the actors’ performance, they weren’t the draw BUT, given the relative age of the anime they belong to (only Kamina is new), they’re my gateway performances or, they have few to none other roles that I experience them in.

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