Hakutaku – Hozuki’s Coolheadedness
Hakutaku, oh you beautiful disaster, you. He’s a genuinely terrible person, but you can’t help but love every time he’s on the screen. He serves as the perfect foil for our main character, Hozuki. How are you going to make an Oni (Ogre), usually “bad guys,” seem like the hero of the anime? By contrasting him with an absolutely ridiculous celestial being.
Hakutaku is a Chinese “lucky beast” that resides in Shangri-La. This guy has almost zero sense of propriety… or he just doesn’t care. Maybe both. You’ll usually find him doing something that makes you sigh and shake your head at his antics. And yet, you genuinely enjoy his scenes, even while thinking, “you’re a celestial beast… act more… celestial.” Perhaps what makes him so darn funny is he’s a bizarre mix of disarming innocence combined with a great deal of carnality.
All of that is basically background that gives context to his role in the anime. He serves as the diametric opposite to Hozuki. This explains why the two have this barely-civil-yet-really-hate-each-other thing going on. They get on each others’ nerves simply by existing. It’s funny to see the flirtatious, uninhibited playboy get riled up by the straight-laced Hozuki. And vice-versa. The best part is that their respective roles in the anime completely complement each other. Bizarrely, it’s Hakutaku that brings Hozuki to a complete and well-rounded character. And that is why he’s my favorite supporting character in anime.
Mikoto Mikoshiba – Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun
When your lead character is a hulking, stone-faced high school guy who writes romantic shojo manga, it’s clear that the best support and contrast to him would have to be an adorable, excitable, embarrassed-by-his-own-playboyish-lines otaku who can draw flowers beautifully. Saywhatnow?? Yes, indeedy. Though the first impression of him is that of a badboy and a flirt, his loudly blushing face and charmingly innocent insecurities quickly turn him into one of the comedic stars of the show!…(and perfectly explain how he ended up as the character model for the heroine in Nozaki’s manga. Saywhatnow?? That’d be a yes, again.)
Mikorin is like a puppy who thrives on attention and flattery while utterly lacking in conversational skills. While his cheesy playboy lines make him popular from a distance, he’s completely out of his element in social situations. And yet, he has found his place as Nozaki’s friend and manga assistant. He can be himself there—a total dude and yet adorably girly in both his enthusiasm and his utter embarrassment of the words that come out of his own mouth when he gets swept away by the character he has created in his head.
In his own words, Mikorin is there “to make the main character shine.” Sure he was talking about the incredibly-detailed floral backgrounds which he provides Nozaki’s manga characters, but it’s true that he does it for Nozaki himself, as well. Mikorin is ridiculous, requires taking care of and watching after, and just plain needs someone who knows him. Really, his support of Nozaki’s character is partially by Nozaki helping him and partially by teasing him (with a perfectly straight face, of course). Without Mikorin, Nozaki would appear too inscrutable, too distant, and too serious. Their friendship is an odd one, but their contrast makes for well-rounded scenes throughout the anime—part of what makes it a true masterpiece!
Zenko signing off.