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)
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…
9. Shikamaru Nara (from Naruto)
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.
8. Taiga Aisaka (from Toradora!)
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
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…
6. Chi (from Chi Sweet Home)
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…
5. Shana (from Shakugan no Shana)
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.
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…
3. Kagami Hiiragi (from Lucky Star)
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.
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…
1. Tony Tony Chopper (from One Piece)
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…
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.