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Anime is a medium with a ton of variety in its stories. As such, it makes sense that it also brings with it a lot of interesting characters. Whether they be the protagonist, antagonist, or even just a random side character, the addition of a really interesting character can increase the quality of a show dramatically. Today, I want to share five of the most interesting characters I have found in my time watching anime. Let’s get started.
Rei Kiriyama (March Comes in Like a Lion)
Those who are new to Animated Observations probably are not aware of just how much I talk about “March Comes in Like a Lion.” Spoiler alert, it is a lot. One of the reasons I do that is because of the show’s main character, Rei Kiriyama.
First, Rei is a shogi prodigy. After the rest of his family died in a horrific accident, Rei was taken in by his dad’s friend, who just so happens to work for the national shogi association in Japan. His adopted father wanted one of his kids to be a shogi champion, and thus had his three kids, including Kyouko and Kouda, compete, with Rei coming out on top.
Apart from his journey as a shogi player, Rei also has a lot of mental health issues that he deals with throughout the series. These includes things like dealing with his abusive sister, having to live up to the expectations of his adopted father, opening up to the Kawamoto sisters, and trying to make new friends despite not being a great communicator. Rei’s struggle throughout both seasons of the show is probably one of the most compelling stories in anime, and speaks to a lot of the same feelings that young people in every country have about their mental health.
Hachiman Hikigaya (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU)
Now, I am no psychology expert. Not even close, in fact. However, if I were to give a lecture about self-destructive behavior, I cannot help but feel like I might default to showing some clips from this series. Specifically, a lot of those clips would feature Hachiman Hikigaya and his various actions throughout the cours of “My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU.”
At the start of the series, Hachiman’s teacher forces him to join the Volunteer Service Club, a group focused around helping students with their problems, after writing an essay which mocks modern relationships. Hachiman at this point is pretty isolated from the rest of his peers, not really tuned into their emotional wavelength, nor his he especially tuned into this own.
As a result, his solutions to other students problems usually involve some sort assholish behavior in attempt to save face for others. His evolution over the second season, and likely the third season as well, is what makes him such a remarkable character to watch.
Shuuichi and Yoshino (Wandering Son)
It is not often that the LGBT community gets a lot of positive representation, especially when it comes to anime. It is even less common to see positive representation about transgender people. However, “Wandering Son” appears to be one of the lone exceptions on this front. Adapted from a manga of the same name, the series focuses on two characters, Yoshino and Shuuichi.
Yoshino is girl who identifies as a boy, and Shuuichi is a boy who identifies as a girl. The two become friends after Yoshino transfers into Shuuichi’s class. Most of the story focuses on their struggle for acceptance among not only their peers but also their friends.
However, it is not just their gender identity that makes the two of them interesting. Shuuichi’s romantic feelings toward Yoshino, along with their growing awareness for just how little acceptance there is for transgender individuals and their need to mature rapidly gives the story a ton of depth, and takes the story from just being an LBGT one to a great one.
“Re:Creators” is a show that, from what I can tell, fell under the radar of a lot of people, even when it first came out. A lot of this was probably due to being locked behind an extra paywall on the part of Amazon, which is a shame because it arguably produced one of the most interesting antagonists in all of anime.
“Re:Creators” story focuses on a world where the characters of various anime, manga, and video games suddenly start coming to life. The reason behind this is Altair, a character created for a music video gains consciousness only to find out that her creator Setsuna Shimazaki was driven to suicide because of hate comments on the internet. Because of this, she vows to take revenge on the world of the “gods” by bringing to life various characters and having them rebel against said gods.
Altair’s very existence serves as reminder of just how much art can imitate life, as Altair’s arc feels very reflective of Setsuna, in the way that she wishes to take revenge on those who wronged her. Many of the characters in the series are like this, but what makes Altair so unique is how, even despite literally trying to destroy existence, her anger somehow feels justified.
What are some more interesting characters you can think of? Let me know in the comments. Also, did you enjoy this post? I am really trying to experiment with the content I make, so any kind of feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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