Anyone who has seen my analysis of some shows (mostly besides Lain) probably knows by this point that my favorite part of shows is the characters. It’s why I half jokingly subscribe to waifu and best girl wars, it’s why I enjoy works like White Album 2, Toradora, and Spirited Away so much. Because of the characters that make up those stories. And just because I will use any excuse for a Taiga pic, have a Taiga pic.
For a long time, before I really started looking at anime seriously, I just kind of watched it and enjoyed it for what it was. When someone would ask me what my favorite part of a show was I couldn’t really answer that question 100% confidently. It took me until a few years ago to realize that characters and how they grow and develop is really what made a show go from good to great for me.
I should have known the answer to the “favorite part of a show” question the whole time. The whole reason I started watching The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was because I saw someone using her as a wallpaper and really liked her character design. And yeah a lot of that at the time was due to me being a teenager and thinking nothing more than “wow she’s cute” but it turned out that character designs still appeal to me today to literally no one’s surprise.
The cute designs are kind of what lead me down the path of my first harem shows. Air and Kanon (2006) were shows I watched because I thought the girls’ designs were cute; upon further reflection I realized that they weren’t developed that well in the show (although Kanon still holds a special place in my heart for one reason or another).
But now that I’ve begun to look at shows more critically, a lot of the shows on MAL that I’ve given a 10/10 make sense to someone who might not know my tastes. Monster, Princess Tutu, Spirited Away, Ping Pong: The Animation, etc. are all shows I have rated a 10/10 and I believe the characters played a major part in each of those, from Johann’s cold and terrifying presence in Monster to Chihiro’s amazing journey of growth in Spirited Away to Ahiru’s self-discovery in Princess Tutu to EVERY CHARACTER IN PING PONG THE ANIMATION, it would be a joke to say anything else matters as much to me.
If asked why I like this aspect so much, it might be a little bit hard for me to describe. I don’t really know why anything appeals to any specific person but characters just appeal to me. Maybe it’s the process of watching a character grow and develop; I know sometimes it’s as simple as liking their design because I know they don’t really develop too well especially if that’s not the point of the show.
Hopefully in the future I’ll learn how to analyze characters even better and learn what makes a truly good character. I think my Toradora article was a good start; I managed to type out over four thousand words about 5 different characters. In the end though I still missed out on details that I really should have covered. Of course I can always go back and revise that post, which I may do soon.
I already did go over my favorite characters of this year and I think they’ll remain high on my list for quite a while. Reina and Kumiko were wonderful examples of a relationship that felt utterly real and Maria was a wonderfully beautiful character whose struggles were extremely apparent to the viewer.
Of course there will always be Rikka Takanashi as well and while I really do love her character development in Chuunibyou it’s hard for me to ignore the retroactive butchering the show does to her in Chuunibyou Ren. But she’s also got a ton of design elements I find amazing, such as the gothic lolita and the most amazing voice actress currently in anime. So she’ll be “waifu” whenever that conversation comes up.
So yeah, thanks again for reading. Since it’s a question that seems to be important to think about for some fans I can now just point them in the direction of this post for my thoughts on what my favorite part of a show is. Still gotta work on the analysis part and the reason as to why characters appeal to me so much but I got time to figure that out. Here’s to many more good characters in 2016. Thanks for reading 😀