Tsubasa Hanekawa – Bakemonogatari
Bakemonogari is my #3 favorite anime. It’s one of those series that has a high bar to entry – you need significant knowledge of Japanese language and/or culture to really appreciate what it’s doing. The watch order is Bakemonogatari -> Nekomonogatari(black) -> Nisemonogatari-> Monogatari Second Season -> Hanamonogatari -> Tsukimonogatari ->Owarimonogatari.
Ooookay… where to begin? Is it the white hair? The cat ears? The inhuman ability to kill everyone? Really it’s the entire package. Hanekawa is a complex character. She’s “Miss Perfect” – always well behaved, always responsible, and a certifiable genius to boot. At the same time, she’s a force of nature – feral if you will. Incredibly mature, cool-headed, and rational, yet passionate. She’s also an incredibly good friend and remarkably loyal even when others don’t quite treat her as well as they should.
It helps that Hanekawa is voiced by the incredibly talented Yui Horie. Not many voice actors or actresses could pull off this incredible feat, in “cat-speak,” no less.
Runner-Up: Ayaka Shindou – Beyond the Boundary
Mostly what does it is a really cool, mature lady. With Kansai-ben. Kansai-ben is a southern dialect in Japan that I really, really happen to like. That is all.
Colonel Roy Mustang – Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
What is there honestly not to love about Colonel Mustang? Throughout Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, he proves to be a man with vision (no pun intended), drive, genuine care for his subordinates, a powerful alchemy, and good looks. He’s been through a terrible war, lost his best friend, fears losing his “queen,” and nearly loses himself in the most literal flames of revenge. He’s a brilliant strategist and a fearsome fighter. He never puts his men in a situation he wouldn’t go into himself. He knows how to have fun, work hard, work long, and cauterize his own wound…and he’s not afraid to do it!
Oh, yes. And he takes off his glove like this. Hello, good sir. What’s more, he gets to have some of the most intense scenes in the series, including his face-offs with Lust and Envy, after which you’re either on the edge of your seat, realize you haven’t breathed for a few minutes, or you have some ridiculous look on your face…or all of the above. At least, I do.
Oh, and I know that this is an unpopular opinion, but I don’t mind the Furher mustache.
Runner-up: Heiwajima Shizuo – Durarara
Zenko signing off.