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small image Winter 2012: Favorite Characters

March 31, 2012 12:49 pm by small image

I did this sort of post for summer and fall of last year, so I might as well continue that tradition and list a few of my favorite characters from the winter 2012 anime I watched.

I’ll start with the cast of Kill Me Baby, which was probably the funniest anime I’ve seen since Nichijou. While KMB won’t be fighting for top spot in my (nonexistent) list of favorite anime comedies, I felt it did rather well at creating plenty of amusing gags with its very limited cast of characters. There’s essentially just three characters (Yasuna, Sonya, and Agiri), with a bonus joke character (Unused Character) showing up every once in a while. And each one of them is pretty much an idiot, so their differences largely stem from their mannerisms. Yasuna is playful and mischievous, Sonya is disgruntled and terse, and Agiri is bizarre and exasperating.

And then Unused Character is utterly ineffectual. Now, the dynamic between Yasuna and Sonya is what makes this show, so they’re my favorite characters–but something about Unused Character makes me sympathize with her a great deal. Perhaps I can relate to her constant struggle to succeed at something. Her repeated failures and mishaps are so comical, it’s almost enough to make Yasuna and Sonya look competent in comparison. I suppose I can’t help but pity her, for wishing to play a major role in a story that she’s not supposed to be in at all. But if you think about it, it seems she did at least succeed at getting on the show. Not bad for an “unused character,” am I right?

I’ve spoken in great measure about the main characters of Another already, but I’ll mention Kouichi and Mei here, since their unique personalities made the series a bit more interesting to watch. Kouichi made for an interesting protagonist, particularly for a horror mystery series. He wasn’t the type who was constantly afraid or panicking–instead, he was always rather calm and reserved, analyzing the circumstances he was thrown in as rationally as can be hoped from a student his age. He was also a rather active protagonist, always working to figure out what was going on with class 3, Mei Misaki, the events that led to the curse, and how to go about finding the identity of the dead extra. Not to mention all the effort he had to take just to survive the mayhem that ensued at the end there. I also liked how he managed to understand the situation Mei was in, and was able to sympathize with her despite her eccentric personality.

Mei herself is a pretty peculiar character. She starts out a very mysterious, quiet, and foreboding character–enough to fool many (if not most) viewers into believing she wasn’t even alive, but was a spirit haunting class 3. With each passing revelation, she became increasingly sympathetic, and it became easier to understand why she was such a cold and aloof character. Her background was also rather interesting, and I wished we were able to learn a bit more about her toward the end of the series. But all the plot twists related to her were very engaging, and I really liked the relationship that developed between her and Kouichi. This was kept more in the background, as appropriate for a series focused more on mystery and horror–but it was a nice touch, and it developed in a way that felt more realistic than your typical anime high school relationship.

There aren’t really any other new characters that particularly impressed me for winter. The cast of Natsume Yuujinchou was essentially unchanged this season, so there’s nothing new for me to say there. Suffice to say Natsume is still being developed wonderfully, and there’s still a lot to like from his friends, his family, and the yokai he associates with. It’s one of the most heartfelt stories out there, and it’s primarily thanks to the likeable and relateable cast–and particularly Natsume himself.

Last season I already talked about Mirai Nikki’s main protagonists, Yuki and Yuno. They still are what makes this series as fascinating as it is, and the latest plot developments and revelations regarding them are pretty crazy (to put it lightly). But perhaps the biggest surprises had to do with Akise, namely in episode 22.

Basically everything revealed about Akise was a surprise to me, and I really liked all the twists and turns the series took regarding who he is, and how he manages to figure out the cause for most of the show’s mayhem. His mystery-solving skills are impressive, particularly for someone his age. And I find his feelings for Yuki a very interesting contrast to Yuno’s feelings. All in all, he ended up becoming a much more dynamic character than I expected at first, back when he appeared to be a much more minor character.

I only covered a few shows for winter, so I imagine many of you have favorite characters from a lot of other anime. Be sure to share your thoughts here, and I bet there will be others who agree with you.