Now that 2013 has begun, it’s time for me to talk about my favorite aspect of anime: the characters, specifically ones from 2012.
I can’t stress this enough. The quality of storytelling in an anime and its originality are crucial aspects in making an anime memorable, but I always believed that whether or not a series had good characterization and likable characters is what makes or breaks an anime, in terms of deciding it it’s watchable to you. At the very least, that’s how an anime really leaves an impression on me. No matter how well-built the story is or how original it is, if it has boring characters, it won’t leave much of a lasting effect on me. Or, you know, it can have characters that I absolutely loathe and it’ll also leave an effect on me, albeit a bad one. It works conversely!
I suppose a good example would be just from looking at a dozen of classic anime out there, the ones that aren’t too old but are considered retro in the present times. Those gems from the 80’s to 90’s probably don’t have stories that we’d consider to be unique concepts today, but the characterization and character dynamics were so good that they were able to hold the show/story up enough for people to remember them decades later. And obviously, characters are crucial in deciding whether a slice-of-life anime with no overarching plot is enjoyable.
This is a list of my personal favorite characters from 2012.
Best Lesbian Genki Girl: Kyouko Toshinou (YuruYuri♪♪)
Hard choice between her and Akarin. But in true spirit to the series’s treatment of Akarin, I’ll have to go with the former. She’s by far the funniest character in YuruYuri, which is saying a lot since pretty much every character in that anime is amusing. I enjoy her wild personality, her obsession with doujins and Mirakurun, and her attitude towards school which pretty much represents me during high school.
Also, that tomato pajama.
ADHD Waifu: Rikka Takanashi (Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!)
What can I say? Anyone who could hate this girl has no soul. The story with her dad pulled on my heartstrings somewhat. But her Chuunibyou-centric personality, interactions with Yuuta and Dekomori, etc. were what made the anime an enjoyable watch even before the bits of plot came about (where it was merely Waifu: The Anime by Kyoto Animation). Her antics put a smile on my face, thus the attachment grew, and when it was time for the feel train to arrive in the world of Chu2byo, I found her plight to be genuinely depressing.
Russian/Japanese Engrish Master Goodness: Kudryavka Noumi (Little Busters!)
Next to Rin, she’s my favorite female in the Little Buster crew. Her “wafuu” is the equivalent of Air’s “gao” and Kanon’s “uguu”, and you guys know how much I love my anime catchphrases and characteristic mannerisms. She’s also the Little Busters! source of hilarious Key Engrish, which started with Sunohara’s “pretty dog,” and totally bleeds into Rewrite to epic proportions.
Honorable mention to MUSCLE MAN OF THE YEAR: Masato. KINNIKUU YAY YAY
JUST JOSHIRAKU: Mask-san (Joshiraku)
Bizarre choice. I know. Why not Mari?
Because the mysterious Mask-san is a character that represents everything I love about this anime as well as all of Kumeta’s other works. She’s weird, random, and bizarre — her very presence is unusual.
Wonder how she performs rakugo when she’s mute…
Oh well. Hope everyone had a Happy New Year!