Written by TheBigN
Hopefully you guys have had a good Christmas and an even better Boxing Day/Start of Kwanzaa. And in case you’re wondering, I’m not Canadian, nor do I actually celebrate Kwanzaa. Now on the actual post. 😀
Even though I’m making a list of what I found to be the most interesting, impressionable, immaterial (and missing power), and impressive things I’ve seen in anime and anime blogs this year, the reader should take everything I write with a grain of salt (</common sense>). I haven’t seen every anime this year, nor listened to every OST, ED/OP this year, and so on, which is why you won’t see things from shows like Code Geass, Gundam 00 or Idolm@ster: Xenoglossia, for example (erm…). And I certainly don’t think I’m qualified to highlight something as the “best” overall, so I’m just going to go for things that worked (or didn’t) for me. These are by no means complete lists or completely accurate lists, as I know I’m going to forget some things or others in the process. Also, if you’re expecting quality, be prepared for more of the Musashi stuff than the really good stuff. 😛 Try and enjoy the show… and the snow if things work out correctly. :3
Today, I’m focusing on some of the characters that made anime this year interesting for me. This is limited to one per show to keep this post briefer than it could have been, including the characters in my post’s title (why not Miyako some may ask? Hopefully you’ll see why in a couple of weeks – definitely my favorite character of the year BTW). And I’m not done with the title characters yet, but I feel like I need to pay attention to others; they need love too. :3
- Renji Hiiragi, Night Wizard
- Remember the song by Rod Stewart that started out with “Some guys have all the luck, some guys have all the breaks~”? Regardless of whether or not you’ve heard it, Renji is not one of these individuals. A teenage male that just wants to go to school like normal people, his abilities as a Night Wizard keep him away from there, resulting in him being send down sent down a grade. By a brilliant stroke of luck, he also happens to the bearer of bad fortune for the rest of the team (trap sensor extraordinaire, e.g.), Anzelotte-induced or otherwise. Though he does look like he gets the girl. Good luck man. You do Nodwick proud. 😛
- Youhei Sunohara, CLANNAD
- If I wanted to give him a cliché phrase, it would probably be “You can’t keep a good man down”. Good is relative of course, but Sunohara is the main comic relief and punching bag of the show. Susceptible to lies and jokes (especially Okazaki), straightforward, steadfast, and a little stupid (the combination of which is usually not for his own good), Sunohara has Okazaki’s back, though the reverse isn’t the case, and is a good friend to anyone who lets him. He enjoys what he does though, and he probably wouldn’t change it for anything, except probably less beatdowns, starfish-induced or otherwise. Also, hopefully that 92 useless rating goes down a bit in the future.
- Nono Ichinose, Hitohira
- An eccentric girl, we get to see her abilities in full form in Hitohira. Being Mugi’s mentor on the latter’s quest to gain more confidence in herself, we see Nono as aggressor, tormentor, realist, a good good friend, and maybe something a little bit more extra. Scary when angry (which she rarely is), never backing down when challenged (belying her appearance), and seeming crazy when confident yet always in control she was probably my favorite character from the show. Kudos to Ayako Kawasumi for voicing her role, as I think she did a great job here. I’m surprised at her range, since wasn’t she doing voicing the odd, lovable Nodame a couple of months back?
- Hiyori Tamura, Lucky Star
- One of the new characters that appeared on the scene in the middle of the show, I was taking in by Hiyori’s observations and mannerisms. Of the characters, she’s the one who I probably am most “in tune” with. I understand her frustration with having a great idea to put down for her doujins and losing it (as I did many a time with this blog), her anxiety in seeing anime fans being so out in the open about their passion, and her comfort in realizing there are people just like her (and me), among other things. And of course, her thoughts about Yutaka and Minami as being “more than just friends” is something that I’ve thought about numerous times for numerous shows (though I wish she would go more into depth about that :P). I love yuri, so sue me.
- Natsumi Asou, Sketchbook ~full color’S~
- One of Sora’s two close friends in the show, and you could say that she’s the oddest oddball of all of the cast of characters, which is saying something. From her mannerisms to her puppets to her Kansai-ben (which Kate had fun pointing out), you could say Natsumi is definitely more unique than other characters in Sketchbook, but that she’s also one of the most grounded. I love her proactive attitudes and actions, as well as what seems like a sort of nurturing atmosphere that she has for others. Or at least her puppets. 😛
- Sakuya Aizawa, Hayate the Combat Butler
- Along with Maria (and to a certain lesser extent, Hayate), Ms. Izayo- err Aizawa is one of the main avenues of common sense in the show. As a childhood friend of Nagi and Isumi’s, she’s usually the one that keeps both of them in check when they go into their respective headstrong attitudes. She also happens to the be one of the first ones to point out the mistakes others make in a way that they listen to her regardless of how they feel about it, so you could say that she’s a figurative “big sister” of the group. At the same time, she has a foil for Manzai comedy, which tends to fail more often then not (both with the characters and with us watching), but with her trusty harisen and Kana Ueda’s vocals (check that. Especially Kana Ueda’s vocals), she manages to be my favorite character of the series at least. Though I’m sure that wildarmsheero would disagree with my choice. 😛
- Kaneru Nidou, Doujin Work
- Najimi’s rival in drawing and selling doujin, with a sales count to match. Nidou is willing to go to routes that Najimi wouldn’t in drawing doujinshi (being more explicit and all), but based on her naïve, childish personality, one has to wonder if that’s on purpose or not, and based on how easily Tsuyuri can bait here, the answer leans towards no. Also tends to seems to have a really strong interest in yaoi. Though it seems that hypothetically she could be pushed to the other side depending on her gullibility and quick willingness to trust someone (again, probably someone most likely like Tsuyuri could do something like that).
- Kirino Chiba, BAMBOO BLADE
- A lot of people say that it’s all about Tamaki for this show, but I’d have to disagree (though she makes a strong run for my money). As captain of the kendo club, Kirino takes being one seriously, making sure that everyone else is performing at their best. The excitement and concentration that she applies to watching kendo, as well as actually using it, is pretty admirable to watch. She’s pretty much absent-minded when it comes to almost anything else though, but the way she acts as if that stuff is not much of a big deal (which indicates both positive and negative things) is a nice point for her. And oh the faces she makes. So awesome. 😛
- Kana Minami, Minami-ke
- And speaking of faces, from the show that brings you the awesome teardrop shaped mouth (which will revolutionize the anime world as the :3 face will) bring the middle Minami sister. Of the three, she’s undoubtedly the most energetic, care-free and boneheaded of them all, and she’s the sister that I like the most. Kind of surprising, since she reminds me and many others of Miu from Ichigo Mashimaro and Tomo from Azumanga Daioh, both characters that I didn’t like much at all when compared to rest of their respective casts (maybe because the other two seem to be attention whores whereI don’t really get that vibe from Kana. Yes I went there. :3). Kana and Chiaki have a nice love-hate relationship (albeit one-sided), where Chiaki usually plays the straight man to Kana’s antics and often fools Kana into doing silly things (though the way Chiaki does it kinda pisses me off, maybe because I have younger siblings who have that same “snooty” air). However, Chiaki looks to Kana as an mentor with much experience sometimes, and Kana shows hints of being much more smarter than she first appears. The creation of Mako-“cakes”-chan is a great and epic example of this. And as a good sibling should, she cares for both of her other sisters, and attempts to please them in anyway she can, as shown by when she attempts to make amends for forgetting to make rice in the morning by making it in the afternoon. The sentiment was there at least. :3
- Kyousuke Tsutsumi, ef – a tale of memories
- Best friend of Hiro Hirono and a man who can see everything through the viewfinder of his video camera. I get annoyed because it seems like of the three main males, he has the least screen time, as well as the person who seems most out of the loop, despite his strong relationship with Hiro and his developing relationship with Kei. That being said, it could fit with his nature, as he seems to be searching for his dream/”memory” in a different way than everyone else, evidenced by his argument with Hiro on which way is the best one to achieve the goal. I find his philosophy to be admirable; that of working without a set path to film whatever he wants to film – something that moves people – no matter how long or how hard it takes. It also seems like the tougher path to go through due to the amount of options that are opened, and the lack of time to go through them all, and it doesn’t help him when he’s still unsure about himself. But the way he carries himself confidently, the way he keeps pressing forward to get what he wants out of someone and his ability to go all the way with his decisions is something that I find inspiring.
Next time: Solid starts, and fantastic finishes. :3