“The most useless are those who never change through the years.”

Spoilers for Claymore manga and Gundam 00 season 1

Poor Raki from Claymore has fallen into this chasm of despisement along with Saji and Lousie from Gundam 00. There are surely more to be told of but these three have been on my radar of late. Oh, how short-sighted of you people!

Let us first examine the youth known as Raki. He is maybe 14-years-old when he and Clare first meet and start their wandering together. Clare sees a part of herself and who she once was in Raki and their bond becomes extremely important. What makes Raki so significant is that there isn’t a story without him. Clare would have awakened in just a few chapters and there would be nothing left. Even putting that aside, Clare’s character growth hinges on this boy. Really, Clare is not so interesting in the beginning. She starts to become an interesting, multi-dimensional character thanks to her continued interactions with Raki. Raki brings some of her humanity back to her. That humanity is what moves her to question what the Claymores purpose is and to find out the secrets of the Awakened. Raki is a young boy, who starts with zero experience with a sword, not to mention they are fighting demons that even Clare has trouble with. I cut the guy some slack! The writing was on the wall that Raki was going to grow up and be a warrior. He wants to be Clare’s equal at the very least and at most he wants to protect her like she protected him. Lo and behold he comes strutting into town in recent chapters tall and handsome with Claymore-like armor, a broadsword on his back, and some unaccounted for years. He dispatches a Yoma with surprising skill and ease. Rather a far cry from the defenseless boy we once knew. Take that haters!

Saji and Louise’s story was actually a highlight for me while watching the first season of Gundam 00. They were shown in almost every episode for varying periods of time, sometimes even for just a moment. I laughed and smiled watching these two young people dealing with such normal things like school, parents, and dating. It was desperately sad to see Louise lose her parents and be in the hospital with her own injuries; to see the anguish in Saji when he didn’t know what to do for her; and to see him give her that ring only to have her reach out with only one hand left. It was touching and moving, even thinking about it now. Theirs’ is the only story that is about civilians, how this war affects the common person. It was great to see such a different perspective because these two kids get pulled into something so much bigger than themselves. They are the innocent people that are tragically affect by all of the political war mongering and finally thrust into it themselves. This was a wonderful lead up to what promises to be an interesting tale. If Saji and Louise showed up for the first time at the beginning of the second season and we saw their background in quick flashback people would be calling BS all over the place. A lot of their history is tangentially related to the rest of the cast but it all just coming together now.

You have to give characters a background, a story, a life to grow from. If all of these people just appeared when they were finally “useful” they would have no significance to the audience. People would be calling foul left and right on them. I am certainly not saying that no character is useless, oh there are plenty, but I feel like people throw it around so much it splatters on everyone who isn’t a seinen hero! I enjoy those types of characters, don’t get me wrong, but I have a wide range of people I like to watch. So I think it is important to step back and look at the bigger picture. Their lives are connected and there are reasons they are appearing on our screens. I’m not saying you should like these characters (thought I do) but they are far from being useless in these stories.

Top 5 Minor characters who are awesome and useful
5. Mei Ling (Card Captor Sakura)
4. Ozma Lee (Macross Frontier)
3. Wataru Tachibana (Hayate the Combat Butler)
2. Ensei Ro (Story of Saiunkoku)
1. Urahara Kisuke (Bleach)

*title quoted from J.M. Barrie

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