So I know a good idea when I steal one. This being one of said ideas.
Of course, I kid. We give credit where it’s due; always. I got this idea from Karandi’s Post, and Karandi got the idea from Cfreeze’s post so I’m crediting both. I’m not the most original, but I am tweaking their their ideas a bit just. Since this is the alphabet, the first tweak is that I’m naming characters based on the Western reading style. I.e. Robert Brown, not Brown Robert.
The second tweak, to hold myself accountable is that I can only use anime characters. I’ve been… generous with my interpretation on that in the past. Usually defaulting to “I’ve read the manga and I’ll get to the anime eventually”, which isn’t the worst thing in the world but… I’d like to be a little more honest this time around.
The third which is a bit hard to quantify is that I have to actually recall the character and something about them. I won’t allow myself to insert a character, just to fill a slot. That’s disingenuous when it comes to a favorites list after all. I should be able to comment on the character a bit, you know?
And I’m doing this all to make it harder on myself because that just seems to be who I am. This was already hard, and well it didn’t get easier because so many cool characters had to be cut along the way. But getting back to the point, here’s some of my favorite anime characters, based on the letters of the alphabet.
A – Ahiru Arima
A strong start I’d say! Ahiru is probably the sweetest protagonist I’ve ever seen. Back in my middle school years she was absolutely my idol! I wanted to dance exactly like Princess Tutu. Alas, I was thwarted by my dance instructor who rarely gave anyone solos. I have a very big soft spot for her, and I’m glad she’s starting this post off.
B – Baron Humbert Von Gikkigen
I know, his first name isn’t Baron of course. But we respect the title he has, and therefore I am already making an exception for him so he fits on the list! The Baron doesn’t play the biggest role in Whisper of the Heart, but his character in The Cat Returns is simply puurfect. Charming and honest, and not unlike Haru, I may or may not have been completely charmed by him.
C – Cherry
Cherry is just too relatable for his own good. The quiet and creative mind, preferring to launch his thoughts via haiku into the internet. Not unlike what I do with this blog! His development within the film is too pure, and despite his rather average design, I couldn’t skip adding him in here. I have a soft spot for awkward teen characters.
D – Dororo
I don’t think Dororo gets enough credit, despite being the title character! Too many people over look them for Hyakkimaru (who granted, I’m a fan of too). Dororo is most impressive to be because of how accepting they are. Think about it. A kid witnesses a man lose both arms to convert them into blades to kill a demon and regain a human body part. That’s a lot to handle, especially since the feudal era wasn’t exactly accepting of ‘other’ peoples especially if they are physically different. Yet, Dororo just ends up aligning themselves with Hyakkimaru, and joining them on their quest. For a kid, that’s pretty bad ass.
E – Ein
No one said I wasn’t allowed to pick animals on this list. I’ve had people argue that animals shouldn’t be counted as characters but… have they seen Cowboy Bebop? Have they seen the personality and poise Ein brings to the table? Probably not. Ein’s also one of my favorites because on the Bebop they are the cutest. Look at that face!!
F – Freya
Honestly, Freya was exactly the character I thought of when I was thinking aloud what anime characters had ‘F’ as the first letter. I have a very secret soft spot for Chobits and that’s largely due to Freya’s influence. Her story is incredibly moving, and it really got me to tear up. And she’s not even a human person! Plus, her character design? Absolutely stunning, 10/10 love it.
G – Gaara
I feel like those familiar with my blog are aware my taste in characters wasn’t always the best. It still isn’t that great to be honest. But Gaara was the one. My first major anime crush that lasted longer then I’d like to admit. He’s still a husbando level character too! At least by the end of the original Naruto anime he wasn’t killing at random anymore and mellowed out by a lot.
H – Hokuto Sumeragi
I love Hokuto with my whole heart. From Tokyo Babylon to X/1999, Hokuto Sumeragi is such a joy to see as a fellow female fraternal twin. Granted her story is not the easiest to watch play out in full as it is tragic. But dammit Hokuto is one of the characters that truly embodies joy in anime! She makes any screen light up with her presence.
I – Isuzu Sohma
I had to include a Fruits Basket character. Trust me, so many Sohmas were in the competition for this list! Yet, Isuzu i.e. Rin has beat them all out. While Fruba is full of interesting characters, I’ve always liked Isuzu’s story the most. It’s interesting to see how both similar, and starkly different she and Tohru are especially in terms of breaking the curse. Her character growth is no joke either. Her relationship with Hatsuharu, while quite iffy now, my high school self was incredibly jealous of on top of it all. I’m glad we’ve finally got to hear and see her fully animated!
J – Joe
Joe, Junk Dog, both start with J so of course he’s made the list! He gets both praise, and flack for this but Joe is honestly a mysterious backstory character done right. In Megalo Box, we don’t actually get much context for Joe. We see the characters around him get back stories told as why they ended up where they ended up; we just don’t get that for Joe. We only know what Joe shows, through his current actions in the ring, nothing more or less. And honestly, I think that’s pretty bad ass. I can only hope that sort of energy is kept in Nomad.
K – Kuro Hazama
No one is surprised. Although I bet a few of you weren’t aware that doctor Black Jack has a real name. And despite the dense competition; he remains undefeated in terms of being my favorite. As in general principal of characters, regardless of alphabets and things.
L – Lain Iwakura
Lain… It’s a weird thing to admit where I both like Lain, and don’t. I have a complicated relationship to her and her series. The thing I can give Lain, and ultimately why she ends up in this spot, is that she makes you think. She’s a character that sticks in your brain for a bit, and makes you second guess a thing or two. She knows how to linger in your thoughts, long after you’ve finished a series and leaves a true impression on you no matter how long it’s been. For that, she’s on the list.
M – Motoko Kusanagi
Another, no one is surprised entry. Nonetheless, Motoko absolutely crushed any and all other M characters. And trust me there was actually a fair amount of contenders, with a real chance. However, much like Kuro Hanazama, she is one of my favorite characters of all time. Therefore, here she is in all her glory. Although, admittedly I haven’t gotten around to seeing her in Arise yet. ^^;
N – Nadia la Arwall
Honestly, Nadia was the first time seeing a real relatable teenage girl in anime. I think part of that was the timing, I watched Nadia: Secret of Blue Water around the time I was 14 helped a lot. She showed that teen girls could have a backbone and be taken seriously; Nadia was vehemently against killing even for self preservation. She was adventurous, brave, but even she had her softer side especially for animals like King and eventually for humans too. I really appreciated her ability to advocate for herself and her desires in a sea of soft spoken female protagonists.
O – Oruorane
When it came to O, I knew what I had to do. Oruorane, i.e. the beaded guy in this picture. This dude is the coolest guy on this list bar none. He can play cats. As in co-ordinate the three cats, also pictured above, and have them produce music from their meowing in such a melodic way that casts any listener into absolute dream-like states. He’s mysterious, humble, and well if cats like him enough to let them be literally played; he’s gotta be a good guy. 12/10 would buy him a drink at the bar if I noticed him.
P – Pazu
So I had a bit of conflict where I needed to change this particular character from my original choice to Pazu. Curse you nick names, verses real names! Any who, Pazu immediately came to mind upon re-thinking and I still enjoy his character within Castle in the Sky. I mean, anyone whose down to save a girl who fell from the sky and just roll with everything that happens after can’t be a bad guy. He’s earnest and honest and a few times even manages to come in clutch, all the makings of a great Ghibi boy.
Q – ??
Unfortunately, I do not have a character that starts with Q. A few false alarms or came close until I double checked, but alas. I have more anime to be watched so next time (perhaps?) I will have a character with a Q to share with you.
R – Reki Kyan
Sunshine child. That’s it, that’s the description.
Kidding, I need to put a little bit more context. Whenever I finally do get around to talking about SK8, there will be a whole lot about this boy in particular. Because Reki, despite his sunshine child status, is probably one of my favorite characters ever. That’s a pretty bold statement for me, because I do not fall very hard for characters ever, especially in sports(!) anime. But Reki… he’s painfully relatable. That’s for a different post though. And truly he does make me smile every time I see his picture or fan art and for that, he’s earned his spot here.
S – Subaru Sumeragi
I think many of you expected this. I mean, his sister made an appearance earlier on the list, and most of you know I do not like separating them. Because… they have been through enough dammit. But yes, Subaru one of the characters I will never stop talking about. He just deserves way more, and for that I will always remind people about him.
Plus, for as tragic as his story is, it’s really compelling and well written on top of it.
T – Takashi Natsume
I genuinely forgot his first name is Takashi. Considering his last name is the whole reason he ends up being admired, feared, and occasionally the target for being eaten by the yokai whose names he possesses, you know the whole plot of his series; you’d think I’d remember that more. Not my strongest moment here. But Takashi, our ever developing protagonist for sure had to make this list. I mean, I wouldn’t have watched six seasons of anime, plus a movie if I didn’t like the protagonist. He’s a bit overshadowed in terms of other personalities on this list, but a really likable character. I’d like to think I’d be part of the humans that he’s come to surround himself with over the years if he were real.
U – Unico
The second non-human character on this list! Unico is just… too pure for the human world. Literally, that’s the whole conflict of Unico’s adventures. He’s too pure and kind, therefore he must be whisked away for their ability to make friends. Fate is too cruel, I mean look at their tiny horn, their little hoofs! How can you not like Unico?!
V – Vash the Stampede
What to say about Vash…. With a title like Stampede, and the fact he’s a twin I wish I had something witty to say. After all, this is a series about favorite characters. For me, as cheap as it is to say, Vash is on this list because he’s a well-written twin. It’s been ages, so I don’t remember the entire conflict between him and Million Knives, but nature verses nurture is very rarely done well in anime. For sure, I do need to double back and really watch the series again. I can say he leaves quite the impression as his signature look truly is memorable.
W – Winry Rockbell
My friend truly almost decked me through the phone the other day when I told them I couldn’t remember a character whose name started with a W that I liked. They, being the biggest FMA fan I’ve ever known, immediately said Winry. And thus, I am saved the embarrassment of having another empty slot. All that aside, I actually really like Winry as a character. She’s in a technical field like automail repairs, I know that immeditately makes her less ‘feminine’ to many fans, dated as that thinking is. In real life or fiction I’ll always respect women with skill sets like that. Especially since she has to deal with an idiot like Edward whose constantly finding new ways to bust it.
X – Xiangmin Lin
Xiangmin returns to the blog! He’s such an interesting character, from his self expression to backstory. I mean him being a pretty badass hitman in a wild series like Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens and having to play off a dude like Banba is pretty dynamic and fun. When it comes down to it I just think Xiangmin is a really neat character from a really neat series.
Y – Yukine
Yukine!! He stole the entiredy of the original Noragami anime for me. He’s just… so precious. I couldn’t help but root for him forever. Sure, he has his ups and downs being that he is so young, but overall uncovering that he’s such a good kid deep down always gives me the warm fuzzies.
Z – Zouroku Kashimura
Zouroku, I both remember and don’t. In his own series, he doesn’t really stand out when you have an overpowered magical girl like Sana in your household and as the dual lead. However, I do remember him being the ideal father figure to Sana. It’s not often an older guy like him just decides to intervene on behalf of a child he doesn’t know, let alone have that same child live in your house on top of it. Much respect to Zouroku.
I don’t have a witty ending to this list especially since like always I tended to write more then I thought! Leave a comment below if any of our favorites overlap or if I reminded you of a series you forgot to check out. I’ll see you next post!