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small image Fall 2011: Favorite Characters

December 18, 2011 1:42 am by small image

The year is drawing to a close, but before I start any lists for 2011, I thought to write another post for the fall season in particular. I picked four (new) characters I liked for the summer season, so I thought I ought to do something like that for fall as well.

As it turns out, there’s only two shows this season that have characters that really stand out for me: Mirai Nikki and Fate/Zero. I’ve also been enjoying Kimi to Boku quite a bit, but there isn’t a particular character that interested me any more than the rest–it’s very much a show that operates on a group dynamic.

I’ll start with my favorite two characters from Mirai Nikki, starting with the most obvious:

Yuno Gasai. Cute, sweet, mellow, and unassuming one minute… insane, possessive, psychotic, and aggressive the next. Yuno is likely the definitive yandere character in anime, as the one constant in her personality is surely her overwhelming infatuation with Yukiteru. Like most everyone in Mirai Nikki, she is an extreme, dramatic character–someone you simply don’t see everyday… and definitely not someone you’d want to have possessing a future-seeing diary (much less power over space and time). Her relationship with Yukiteru is easily one of the most conflict-driven alliances in any story I’ve seen, and her constant, ominous presence makes the series in general much more foreboding. At any minute she can snap, and just how dire will the consequences be? One thing’s for certain: she is as resourceful as she is obsessive, so it’s wise to tread very, very lightly (particularly anywhere between Yuno and Yukiteru).

My next pick may surprise some people:

Yukiteru Amano. I really don’t get all the hate for Mirai Nikki’s protagonist. Indeed, he is very afraid of getting killed–but that seems rather… fitting, considering the terrible situation he’s been thrown in. Especially when this is someone who has hardly interacted with people at all in his life. And claims that Yukiteru is useless have been repeatedly proven wrong, as it turns out that once he’s in a do-or-die situation, Yukiteru will step up to the challenge and straight up kill his enemy in defense. He’s certainly not glad to, and it doesn’t come easily–but how easily would any of this come for any of you??? He took down a serial killer in the very first episode, stabbed a terrorist in the eye, defeated an insane cult and their scheming leader, successfully kept a psychotic child from killing Yuno, and willingly sacrificed any chance of living a normal life when he proclaimed Yuno his girlfriend in order to save his new friends’ lives.
Yukiteru has developed quite a bit in just ten episodes of Mirai Nikki (he’s certainly the one who has changed the most so far), and I look forward to seeing how his personality progresses even further. Deus ex Machina and Yuno both find Yukiteru fascinating, and when you take the time to analyze his character, he turns out to be much more than a so-called “wimpy, useless male lead.”

The rest of the Mirai Nikki cast is also rather interesting, though they haven’t been given as much time to develop. I feel they’ve served well for the show’s tone and atmosphere, however, and their eccentric personalities certainly make them all quite memorable.

Next I will pick a couple of my favorite characters from Fate/Zero. Which is quite hard, since I basically like all of them quite a bit. My first choice is pretty obvious though, if you’ve been reading many anime blogs this season:

Rider. I imagine you’d be hard-pressed to find a Fate/Zero fan who doesn’t like Rider, AKA King Iskander (or Alexander the Great, as you’d know from my recent Fate/Zero biography posts). His partnership with Waver is easily one of the most interesting duos of the year, and Rider’s personality in general could probably best be described as… HUGE. He’s big, loud, proud, and will charge right in and do whatever it is he feels like doing. Generally something pretty awesome.
I also really like how Rider is a thoroughly good person, but still manages to clash with Saber, the star of the series (more or less). Their philosophies are quite different, though they both have noble intentions. It all works quite well for Fate/Zero’s interesting setup. At the same time, Rider is doing very well in his mentor role for Waver’s coming-of-age subplot, and manages to provide the series with many amusing scenes, which often give a reprieve from the dark and gritty tone of the series in general.

Next up is not necessarily a character I like, but rather a character who I simply won’t be forgetting anytime soon:

Caster. Holy crap… This guy is messed up. And the fact that his master is also a deranged psychopath only makes the situation all the more foreboding. It’s quite disturbing just how cruel Caster is. He’s not just an evil man who kills little kids–he actually relishes the horror he puts these children through as he tortures and kills them, along with his likewise heartless master. But Caster has an extra layer of terror thanks to his incredulous obsession with Saber, who he can’t even recognize isn’t his precious Jeanne. Plus… that voice of his. Satoshi Tsuruoka is doing an amazing job voicing this madman. That strained, gravelly voice, and those twisted, insane shrieks! It’s definitely one of the best performances of the year.

What are some of your favorite characters from this season? I’m sure there are many characters that have clicked with all of you, who have been featured in other shows that aired over the fall.