ZENKO-AKKO 30 DAY ANIME CHALLENGE DAY 25: Saddest Anime Death

Akko:

*WARNING – MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW*

Pop’s and Toboe’s Death – Wolf’s Rain

Part of what makes deaths in storytelling so sad is actually survival.  Characters survive dangerous situations and overcome challenges.  That’s why these kinds of deaths will stick with you more than deaths in other anime, where the bodycount is high.  If everyone dies, it’s just a matter of course.  When characters live through dangerous situations, we get to see our characters’ mettle tested.  Through those, we often get a glimpse at the very heart of our characters.  When they die, we’ve become so invested in those characters that it leaves a very large impact.

This was my second anime ever, so it came as a surprise when main characters died.  In this case, everyone dies.  However, there are several things that stand out about this pair of deaths in particular.  It’s the first in the chain of deaths.  But what makes it so sad is the complicated relationship that Pops has with the wolves.  At first, he’s actively trying to pursue and kill them as an almost generic antagonist.  But as time goes by, he becomes quite the sad and tragic character himself. This death happens right as the viewer is lead to believe that Pops is redeeming himself.  What makes it worse, is that he seems to believe he shot Toboe.  We never know for sure.  In a sense, the deaths are somewhat redemptive for the both of them, which makes it tragic as well.  Really impactful, even thinking about it many years later.

Zenko:

– WARNING – MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW –

Wizardmon – Digimon

Now, I know I said that my first anime was Azumanga Daioh, but that’s because I didn’t quite feel like I could give Digimon as a legitimate answer.  I’m talking the Fox Kids English dub/edit version of Digimon.  But, here’s the thing—even with all the editing and the cheesy lines, it still comes out to a surprisingly deep show about growing up and discovering who you are.  I won’t go into it here, but after watching Digimon Adventure 01 in Japanese years later, I have a renewed respect for the show that goes beyond nostalgia glasses.  (By the way…I may end up using more English digimon names than the Japanese because that’s what I saw first…my apologies for any confusion.)

So, after that introduction, I will now launch into the sadness.  Wizardmon.  Wizardmon is an interesting character who seems to be just one of Myotismon’s evil henchmen invading Tokyo from the Digital World, but his story slowly unfolds into so much more.  He lies to his boss, cheats his boss, and seems to be oddly independent from him.  His true allegiance and deep friendship lies with Tailmon/Gatomon, and it is for her own good and happiness that he does all that he does.  She had saved him when he was lost and starving, and he could see how she was lost and felt as if she had no purpose in life—as if something was missing.  Wizardmon then joined Myotismon’s army to follow Tailmon and eventually help bring her and Hikari/Kari together.

Upon discovery of his subordinate’s “treason,” Myotismon sends an attack to kill Tailmon and Hikari…but the attack never reaches them. bgnND7a Instead, they see the shadowed back of Wizardmon and the tattering of his cape and hat as he takes the full blow in their stead.  He falls to the ground, imparting a few encouraging words to them before disappearing before their eyes, never to return.

Part of what was so powerful about this scene to me (especially the first time I saw it), was that I believe it was the first time I had ever really felt so very sad watching something.  It was surprise, it was sadness, it was the crushing reality that he wasn’t coming back.  He wasn’t going to show up in the Village of All Beginnings.  He was dead.  My brother and I sat on the couch, eyes wide, tears welling up in them as we had to say goodbye to a character that we had grown to love and respect.  Even now, years later, when I mention Wizardmon to my brother, we pause sadly together.  It had just that big of an impact on us.

Farewell, Wizardmon, good friend.  You will always have a place in our hearts.

Zenko signing off.

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ZENKO-AKKO 30 DAY ANIME CHALLENGE DAY 24: Moment that Shocked You the Most in Any Anime

Akko:

Hatoko’s Outburst – Inou Battle Within Everyday Life

*Warning – Spoilers Below*

There aren’t too many times I can say I was “shocked” by an anime scene.  I usually attribute being shocked with a sudden inability to function.  For me, it seems like a surprise combined with strong intensity would be “shocking.”

This scene  is also on my top 5 list of most intense scenes.  It was particularly shocking because it seemingly comes out of nowhere. And yet, it provides some necessary perspective that makes everything Hatoko did up to this point make sense.  She’s a very sweet girl and seems very supportive throughout much of the anime.  What was shocking was that it revealed a fundamental character crisis that we were unaware of. Part of its intensity is that it has a mixed tone – it’s both an outburst of frustration and a plea for understanding.  It’s a complex emotional scene that also happens to define the character.

Zenko:

*Warning – MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW*

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Nia Tepplin Disappearing – Gurren Lagann

Somehow, I didn’t see it coming.  Somehow, I didn’t really think that the events leading up to it were really going to have any bearing on the character.  I mean—all the fighting was over, good guys won, it was time for happily ever after.  Nia Teppelin was finally marrying her childhood sweetheart, Simon.  Aww!  I was so happy for them.  This was a long time coming.  Even to me (and I often don’t go for the happiest finales), there was something incredibly satisfying about this fairytale ending…

UNTIL SHE FREAKING DISAPPEARS!!

I was literally so shocked that tears came gushing from my eyes before I had a chance to actually feel any sadness or even a lump in my throat.  You know in anime when the tears are bubbling out more liquid than seems physically possible?  That was me.  (It was bizarre, let me tell you.)

So…what happened?  Apparently I just didn’t think it was possible.  I thought she was an untouchable character.  That’s part of what makes Gurren Lagann a really impressive piece—they don’t pull their punches, they don’t restrict their outrageously over-the-top battle glory, and they don’t make untouchable characters.  On Anime News Network, we found the rather oddly intriguing and wholly unique tag of “burning manly passion” attached to this show.  I think it applies in both the big ways (how awesome it is to be a dude), and the more subtle ways (Simon loved Nia and would forever love her, though she be lost to him forever).  He knew what would happen, but he faced it head on, accepted it, and married her mere seconds before she faded into nothingness.  I believe it was for Simon that my tears came before I even had a chance to think through the blinding shock of the moment.  Aw.

Zenko signing off.

ZENKO-AKKO 30 DAY ANIME CHALLENGE DAY 23: Favorite Attack Used in Anime

Akko:

Ramiel – Evangelion 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone

In the Evangelion world, basically, the angel itself is an attack.  I think the video should speak for itself.  I am particularly impressed by how the angel moves in a really unnatural and otherworldly fashion.  If you watch the Rebuild, Ramiel gives you the sense that its attacks are just overwhelming.

Zenko:

Shizuo Throwin’ stuff – Durarara!!

Ah, a lovely, sunny day in the city.  But, what’s this?  A cloud must have passed between you and the sun, for there is suddenly a shadow at your feet…which is growing larger and larger until—

This is how I picture being at the wrong end of Shizuo throwin’ stuff.  Whether it be a vending machine flying through the air with the greatest of ease, a street sign churning up the pavement, or even just a dude literally losin’ his shirt as his air velocity reaches ridiculous numbers, it’s a sure sign that Heiwajima Shizuo is around.  His name literally means Peace-Island Quiet-Hero, but this is only the calm before the storm.  After having broken so many bones by picking up enormously heavy objects, his structure is so strong and he is so immune to pain, that he is virtually invincible.  When he snaps, his cigarette snaps, and things go flyin’.

‘Nuff said.  Zenko signing off.

ZENKO-AKKO 30 DAY ANIME CHALLENGE DAY 22: Favorite Weapon, Gear, or Armour Used in an Anime

Akko:

Golden Bat – Paranoia Agent

It’s a slightly bent golden baseball bat.  And yet, it’s a metaphor.  While it’s true that it’s a physical bat used to attack people, it represents something much darker.  The meaning behind the golden bat is never explained, but it is suggested.  The most superficial way to explain its meaning it is that it represents a form of escape or release for a cornered person.  I won’t go into it in depth, because, ultimately, what golden bat means is left up to each individual viewer to decide.

A bit about Paranoia Agent: This anime has an extremely high bar for entry.  I’d recommended this only for veterans of anime.  You need significant understanding of Japanese culture and/or anime to even get started here.

This anime was created and directed by Satoshi Kon, whose other works include Paprika, Perfect Blue, Millenium Actress, and Tokyo Godfathers.  Paranoia Agent depicts many different people’s struggles, both internally and  within Japanese society.  The anime is full of metaphor and symbolism.  In addition, it’s somewhat surreal and the material is very densely packed, which adds to the difficulty. You need to be paying close attention at all times or you’re bound to get very lost, very fast.  If you can keep your wits about you, it’s truly something strange and special.  For those willing to give it a try, here’s the opening theme as a sampler. Once you can make it through the anime, it’s rich for discussion.

Zenko:

Mjolnir Hammer (Dekomori’s Twintails) – Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions

A weapon can be anything from a stick found nearby, to an enormous magical creation, to the most technologically-advanced piece of equipment that you’ve ever seen.  Or, it could be a pair of very long twin-tails with weights at the end.  I have chosen none of these.  The picture above is very deceiving, because even though it technically looks like I chose Dekomori’s twin-tails…I actually chose what it is to her: a spectacular Mjolnir Hammer of epic dimensions and even more epic power.

If you haven’t seen Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions (and its sequel), it’s all about that middle-schoolish self-delusion of fantastical grandeur and imagining oneself living another, more exciting life in another, more exciting world.  Akko has described it more in his “Best Animation” post in this 30 Day Anime Challenge, but the basic concept is that the characters see and do everything as if they are magical heroes and warriors, when their actual world is as real (and “boring”) as our own.  The show beautifully animates their imaginations as well as their reality so that the viewer gets to see it from both sides.

Now back to the Mjolnir Hammer twin-tails.  What I do find charming, however, is what it looks like to everyone else.  Here comes an adorable little munchkin with dramatic speech and dramatic ways…who can suddenly wail away at you with her twin-tails!  Sure, it’s a weapon in its own right, but in her mind’s eye, she is doing battle on an entirely different level.  To her, she isn’t tangling her long blond tresses, she’s wielding something legendary and becoming a legend doing it.  Oh yes…and still looking adorable at the same time.  Such spunk!

Zenko signing off.

ZENKO-AKKO 30 DAY ANIME CHALLENGE DAY 21: Favourite Goofy Anime Character

Akko:

Hosaka – Minami-ke

Ahhh Hosaka.  He’s quite an oddball of a character that can usually be found taking off his shirt.  He’s remarkably awkward and off-putting for almost every character he meets.  His only “friend” is a girl that enjoys watching him be ridiculous.  And yet, he can do anything he puts his mind to, especially cooking.  He’s captain of the boys’ volleyball team.  He’s very clearly rich.  Honestly, he’s a little bit of a caricaturization of a standard bishojo (womens’ novels) “good-looking guy.” What happens when you throw that character into a relatively normal slice of life anime?  Hilariousness.

He’s remarkably forward and yet shy.  He can never bring himself to talk to the object of his affection, but he keeps practicing what he’d say in his head, just in case.  He’ll even be mentally practicing cooking or other skills to impress his crush… just in case.  He becomes wackier and wackier as the show goes on.  Well, how better can you describe a character than a song he sings?  To a Spanish tune.  In Japanese. About a barbecue.  Yep, you heard right.  Actually, that isn’t the only song he sings in the course of the anime.  He also sings about curry and salads (sorry no subs on the last one).  Thank you Daisuke Ono (voice actor).  Really, you can’t help but think of Hosaka as a special kind of nutcase.  

Zenko:

Makoto/Mako-chan – Minami-ke

In a really very normal sort of world, where everyone seems to have some sort of quirk, there is one who stands out to me as superbly goofy for his love-hate relationship with…crossdressing.  Makoto has found himself in the odd situation of habitually cross-dressing when he visits the Minami household in order to be allowed to be a part of things.  Chiaki, his classmate and youngest of the Minami girls, is always at odds with him at school, so her sister suggests (initially just as a joke) that he pretend to be a girl so that the prior prejudice is not an issue.  Rather surprisingly to everyone, it works like a charm!  And Mako-chan is born.

As one may expect, this makes for some really great scenes of confused gender as various characters interact with him as they would a girl—and decidedly not a boy.  From an all-girls sleepover to boys telling him he’s cute (not to mention the obligatory onsen (hot springs) conundrum), it’s a generally mixed-up world Makoto lives in, and he flip-flops between being utterly embarrassed and getting waaay too into fashion.  He feels that he is supremely manly and that wearing these girly outfits and pinning back his hair cutely cannot possibly hide how masculine he is…but, alas, he’s an adorable 10-year-old boy with a surprising amount of fashion sense and it’s all very convincing. 

There are a few characters that know he’s really a boy, which actually makes for greater hilarity as they tense up or try to help him when his cover is about to be blown.  For them, there is the added burden of remembering what they did with and what was said around Makoto vs. Mako-chan, which of course throws Makoto off, too.  It’s a double-life he leads, and if he gets too far into one or the other, he can’t always remember who he is at the moment.

What I find charming about Makoto/Mako-chan is that, even when he forgets himself, he really is a boy and does boy things.  He picks his nose while carrying on a conversation, he gets excited about tradition and tries to take off his underwear while wearing a yukata (summer kimono) (much to the terror of those around him who know), and it is purely through the desire for friendship with Chiaki that he has let himself be propelled down the path of cross-dressing…and continues it.  Chiaki cares for Mako-chan and deeply values their friendship, which really makes it all worthwhile to Makoto.  Aw.

Zenko signing off.

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ZENKO-AKKO 30 DAY ANIME CHALLENGE DAY 20: Anime Character That Gets on Your Nerves

Chazawa Shinsuke – Shirobako

There are a lot of characters that are annoying.  Some loudly shout their life goal every two seconds, others are just pests.  But we think that it takes special skill to make a character that is supposed to get on your nerves, in a thoughtful, calculated manner.  That’s why Zenko and I agree on Chazawa Shinsuke from Shirobako.

「変な話…」(hen-na hanashi), contextually translated as “Funny story, right…,” is this guy’s go-to line.  If he needs to deflect criticism or blow something off, “Funny story, right…”  Shinsuke is probably the closest you can get to a villain in a slice of life (work) anime.  You’re never really sure if he’s incompetent or intentionally obstructing what the cast is trying to accomplish, but it’s never good.  The problem is he isn’t evil, he seems to honestly think he’s doing his job well.  At every turn he makes life more difficult.  But that may be the way it’s supposed to work.  Shinsuke is working for a publishing company and his job is to protect the author from a constant barrage of inquiries.  But that’s the problem – him doing his job is getting in the way of the cast doing theirs.  Perhaps why he gets on our nerves the most is that pretty much everyone has encountered someone like him.  It’s plain frustrating to encounter people where it seems like it’s their sole job in life to prevent us from doing what we need to do.  But that guy is Shinsuke.  As a side note, Zenko wanted to punch this guy in the face every time he showed up on screen.

A little background on the anime, Shirobako, which I rated Masterpiece.  It’s an anime about making anime, that is a must-see once you’re getting higher in your watched-anime count. I’ve heard that it’s very accurate about the day-to day struggles and difficulties present in the anime industry. Through Shirobako, I have gained a deeper appreciation of even anime I have rated on the lower end.  This anime is particularly special because it highlights for the viewer the excellent techniques and practices in anime while maintaining a strong story and characters.

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ZENKO-AKKO 30 DAY ANIME CHALLENGE DAY 19: Most Epic Scene Ever

Giant Robo (OAV)

*Warning – Spoilers*

To be honest, this is a little bit of a troll pick.  Then again, it’s not.  There are a tremendous amount of really superb scenes out there.  But when I sat down and asked myself, “what is EPIC?” I settled upon this glorious scene.  It’s got giant robots, samurai, special powers, a giant evil eye, a “bad guy” that returns just to get revenge on another bad guy… It’s 15 minutes long, but man, it’s got everything.  Oh.  For the record, it makes about as much sense in context as out of context.

Giant Robo OAV is a special kind of insane… It’s got so many random things in there you’d expect it to be terrible.  In a sense, it is.  But in a B-movie so bad, it’s really good kind of way.  It helps that there’s actually a pretty good plot going on in there.  Truly amazing in the sheer insanity of it all. Hilarious too. Another of the rare anime where i’d recommend the dub. Surprisingly the dub seems to match both the sound of the characters’ voices and keep in line with the crazyness of everything.

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Trinity Seven

Decent

How you feel about this anime will probably depend on how you categorize it.   If you’re a fan of the harem genre, it’s good for some laughs.  If you were looking for action or a world-based drama you’d be disappointed up until the end.  It survives as Decent because I consider it to be equal-parts fan-service/harem and drama.

Purpose: Not Really Good.  There were enough interesting concepts to carry two different anime series.  The main problem is that they had two concepts with equally strong potential, they just didn’t want to commit to either one, which would relegate the other to a supporting role.  On the one side you had a solid harem-setup with a variety of personalities and character designs.  On the other side, you had a really interesting magical world that created interesting dramatic possibilities.  Yet, they divided the anime into equal parts fan-service and drama.  This ended up detracting from each part.  There weren’t enough harem-related events to make that part really good and there wasn’t enough explanation and buildup to make the drama really good.  Certainly, some elements shine through, but as a whole, the indecision ended up costing the anime.

Characters: Decent.  On a superficial level, there are enough characters with a range of personalities for a fan of the harem series to enjoy.  However, we never really get to see much depth at all from the characters, merely hints at it.  The biggest missed opportunity for character development involved the Themas – the subject of the various mages’ study.  The disappointing part of the characters was twofold.  First, you have a harem setup with only relatively superficial interactions between them.  Since the highlight of the harem genre is the personalities clashing, the personalities need to clash.  Second, we really only get a “sampler” of the personalities the various characters have to offer.  Only really 2 or 3 truly interacted with the protagonist.

The protagonist was actually interesting for a harem set-up.  He was neither the standard “nice guy” nor the “oblivious guy.”  The way he interacted with the girls could often be described as playful or teasing, which is both rare and fun to watch.  It would have added an extra personality to bounce off all the others, had they decided to focus in this direction.

World: Good.  Again, this had the potential to be really interesting, but wasn’t appropriately explained or explored.  You have magic that requires a research or focus in the seven deadly sins.  There’s some really interesting potential on how, exactly the world worked.  As it was, it was little more than the stage to occasionally do some cool things.  Perhaps it’s trivializing it a little too much, but it felt almost like children making up special attacks and rules to the game on the fly.  That could be some frustration talking because it had enormous potential to do some really interesting things.  Maybe it had too much potential for what they were trying to do.  What ended up happening is that the elements of the world ended up being distracting.

Plot: Decent. For over half the anime, the plot was little more than a device to show off the various assets of the harem members, both personality and otherwise.  Unfortunately, these sometimes ended up being more frustrating than fun because they hijacked more “real” plot points.  When that happened, it ended up breaking the natural flow of the plot, which was jarring to say the least.  That said, the last handful of episodes managed to pull together something approaching a solid plot.  The best description of the plot is that the anime used a kind of inverse proportion for their formula.  This meant that the harem antics were a smaller proportion of the anime nearer to the end and the real plot was in smaller portion at the beginning.

Storytelling: Decent.  Along the same vein as the plot, the storytelling was acceptable for its purposes, but could have been much better.  In order to keep up with the blending of two very different kinds of anime, they ended up tossing aside a lot of explanatory material that would have made this anime far better.  On the harem side, we lost a lot of material that would have explained the characters and their actions or motives.  Instead, they just did stuff.  On the world side, we didn’t really get a proper and solid foundation on what was going on, both magically and with respect to the villain.  The result was that the story often improperly connected plot points so that they were sometime jarring.  If it wasn’t jarring, then it ended up being much weaker than it should have.  That said, it’s not all bad.  The story did manage to balance the two anime to the point where it was entertaining, just not spectacular.

Pace: Good.  There wasn’t really a problem with the pace.  They kept introducing new characters and kept events moving fast enough to not get bogged down.  Of course, to keep up this pace, they didn’t develop many areas, so it’s a mixed blessing in this case.

Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun

Masterpiece

Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is an absolutely stellar anime that is one of the strongest titles in the comedy/slice of life genre.  This is the third time I’ve watched the anime, and every time I see it, I find my evaluation of it reaffirmed.  It’s really rare to find an anime of this type that is consistently strong from beginning to end.  Part of the fun is the fact that many of the characters are twists on their genre’s archetypes.   In order to get the full experience, I’d recommend this anime to someone that is familiar with the tropes and character archetypes.  That said, if you’re new to the genre, you will still find that it’s great fun.

Purpose: Masterpiece.  This was an example of a high-risk, high-reward attempt that really paid off.  They were faced with some serious difficulties in creating this anime.  Firstly, pure comedy anime is very hard to do and can easily stagnate, many often do.  This one manages to keep everything interesting and fresh throughout, providing a good deal of depth to the characters in the process. Secondly, this anime was adapted from a 4-panel manga.  For them to pull off what they did without any hiccups is truly spectacular.  They had a clear idea of how this was supposed to work and made sure that all the elements were pulling their own weight.

Characters: Masterpiece.  You can begin with any character and describe them on several levels.  There’s the “face value” level, where they are an archetype of a character common to the genre, such as the “prince-type.”  But they’re so much more.  Everyone has a distinct personality, with strengths and weaknesses.  They think about things and react to things in a highly individualized, yet internally consistent way.  Characters reacting to other characters’ actions is the heart of this anime.  Basically, you’re having these characters’ personalities bounce off each other.  But what makes this anime exceptional is how the hilarity also serves to deepen our understanding of the characters.  This is where the anime breaks from the genre.  In general, slice of life anime are like sitcoms – it’s relatively flat, but crazy characters reacting in crazy ways to ordinary, everyday situations.   Instead, our understanding of the characters is constantly evolving while we’re laughing.

World: Excellent.  The world is always hard to spot in slice of life anime, especially ones that are in our world.  The strength of this world was that it never felt limited or constrained.   Even though lots of events happened at the school, it never felt as though we were bound to the school, like some imprisoned spirit.   Events happened in a variety of settings that presented unique opportunities to show off the characters.  What was particularly skillful about the handling of the world was that the transitions felt seamless.  Anime in this genre will often write in some sudden or random reason to change the setting like the “random date scene.”  In those cases, it acts like drawing the curtain on a stage play – it’s somewhat abrupt and it serves as a break in what’s going on.  When Nozaki-kun changed settings, it felt as though it was a part of the natural course of the story – it never felt forced.

Plot: Excellent.  Plot is another hard to spot element in this genre.  Slice of life generally are on an episode-to-episode plot arc.  However, Nozaki-kun takes a different approach, exceptionally rare for this genre.  Generally speaking, plots were on a half-episode basis.  The episode level plots were also usually arranged based on theme – usually a character.  In addition, there were some overall character and couple plot arcs that took place over the course of the anime.  What’s really interesting is how all that isn’t exactly clear at the time you’re watching it.  Nozaki-kun is one of those anime where you recognize how far you’ve come by looking back.  As if they knew this ahead of time, they provide some perspective at the end that really highlights the distance traveled.

Storytelling: Masterpiece. The storytelling is exceptionally clear and clean.  They provide a solid progression and development of the characters and the story throughout.  Surprisingly, there’s very little telling going on – they don’t really tell you about the characters, they show you through their antics.   The best example is how they develop Nozaki.  It’s abundantly clear that he absolutely loves what he does.  His actions shape and mold our opinion of the character to the point that the character comes alive.

For the comedy part, the gags are varied and unique.  Many of the gags are very different from the standard slice of life stuff because in Nozaki-kun, they really enjoy playing with expectation.  This is accomplished, in part, by setting up common situations and events, but then twisting it in an unexpected way.  The viewer isn’t the only one that ends up being thrown for a loop.  The characters are often affected by these unexpected events, leading to more hilarity.

Pace: Excellent.  They covered a lot of ground in only 12 episodes.  Part of this was accomplished by the fact that the plot was in half-episode chunks.  But the real reason why the pace was so strong was the arrangement by theme.  This allowed them to keep up the momentum through the entire episode.  Since they shifted gears between episodes rather than between gags, they never lost forward momentum.  As a result, the series just flew by, but in a good way.

ZENKO-AKKO 30 DAY ANIME CHALLENGE DAY 18: Favourite Supporting Female Anime Character

Akko:

Seo Yuzuki – Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun


Another wonderful character that could be described as a beautiful disaster. She’s a really forward, really oblivious gal that serves as the inspiration for one Nozaki’s manga characters.  Seo has a different kind of supporting role in this anime.  She serves to round out the character archetypes, but with a twist.

She definitely marches to her own tune.   She’s kind of boorish and definitely oblivious of everything going on around her.  She obviously can’t read the mood of a situation.  As a result, she’s a character that is always entertaining to watch. Seo’s basically a walking force of nature.  Heck, she’s used by the basketball team as an example of what not to do.  As you’d expect, Seo handles her feelings of affection like a young teenage boy – by throwing a basketball at the person.   And yet, she has this bizarre charm to her.  Every time she’s on screen is another hilarious event.  She really holds up her end of the comedy.

The best part about Seo is her relationship with Wakamatsu, which is a complete twist on the archetype.  Since Wakamatsu is a sensitive guy, Seo ends up walking all over him.  She’s both the cause and cure of the poor boy’s suffering.  But their relationship isn’t a bad one, it’s just really funny to watch.

Zenko:

Ene – Mekakucity Actors

I honestly love the idea of some AI living in my phone and causing trouble and yakking at me and picking fights.  So, perhaps it is no surprise that my favorite supporting female character is Ene from Mekakucity Actors.  She’s spunky, cheeky, teasingly bratty, witty, and even encouraging in her own way.  She starts off as some sort of cute pest with great lines, and slowly we see her play a role in making the plot move forward–she gets a hikikomori (shut-in) out of the house, saves hostages, generally teases and blackmails her “master” who owns the cellphone and computer she lives in, and confesses the strange and terrible secret of her past life.

I feel bad that I don’t have a whole lot to say about Ene beyond this.  She’s the sort of person that you feel differently about as you go through different stages of getting to know her, finally ending up really feeling for her and rooting for her.  At least, that was my reaction to her.  A character that started as a comedic element to enjoy became a real person to care about and stand beside (in more ways than one).

Zenko signing off.