What do the characters we like say about us?

Apparently I am easier to read than a picture book. It seems that people are rather easily able to tell which characters I like from series that I watch. This revelation led Narutaki and I to have a long conversation not only about what types of characters we liked but what did it say about us as people. Do your favorite characters give you and others insight into who you are? Do they reflect any pattern in the types of friends you make or people you date? Do they say anything about how you view yourself or others? Narutaki and I are going to share three different charters that exemplify types of characters we enjoy and one oddball character that does not fit our standard categories. We then have a little challenge for all of our readers.

A good deal of us put a lot of love into the characters that we like and there is no denying that sometimes it can go over the top. But that is neither here nor there in this case. There are grand ideas abound! Specifically, I am constantly wondering just how much the characters people like actually say about them. And I move in wide circles from thinking it is the window to someone’s soul to convincing myself it means absolutely nothing, and then back again. It would be egregious not to mention that I am thinking about the personalities of characters rather than looks. Frankly, looks tell me nothing about anyone, sure I may be able to pick out another character they enjoy on the surface but it doesn’t delve very deep.  Now who a character is, there there might just be something to be learned about someone. To further matters along in a fun way, we will be giving you a glimpse at some of the characters that are near and dear to us. Happy analyzing!

The first character type I tend to like is the strong but kind women like Kyoko from Maison Ikkoku. I like female characters that don’t take gruff are supportive at the same time. They may practice tough love at times but they are always looking out for the people they care for. They also tend to be a bit devious when needed but not maliciously so. Other examples would include Maria from Hayate the Combat Butler and Forte from Galaxy Angel. The second type of character I tend to like is spunky tomboys like Allenby from Mobile Fighter G Gundam. Fiery go getters that are as good as the guys if not better. They are not just boys in girl suits however. They should have a strong feminine aspect to them but they are just not fragile flowers that need to be protected. Paula Cis is another great example from After War Gundam X, as is Mion from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, and certain green-eyed monsters also fall into this category as well. Girls who use swords or guns are super extra bonus points. I also tend to like goofy and relaxed male characters that will fight for those they care about like Hayate from Hayate the Combat Butler. They are characters that are laid back and gentle but can be fierce when needed to be. They also tend to be the types that never give up on their dreams no matter what happens. Justy Ueki Tylor from The Irresponsible Captain Tylor and Loran from Turn A Gundam are other great examples.

Where to begin (and who to pick) was a little more of challenge in some cases because this isn’t just about my favorite characters, it is about characters that sort of epitomize traits that draw me in. Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Hey, now wait a minute, I see a tall, blond first thing.” However, while you are right that Tamaki (from Ouran High School Host Club) does indeed fall into a looks category that I hold in high regard, it is everything else about him that puts him on this list. I have waxed poetic about Tamaki before so I will try to keep it focused here. Above all else Tamaki is a positive and optimistic spirit who the more you learn about the more you realize has an attitude not born by having an easy life but rather from a conscious decision to not let circumstances define him. He is not embittered by life, he wants life to be lively and fun and he makes it so, he wants people to be happy and so helps them be just that. Shining darkly in the middle is Arashi (from X/1999) who has remained a fixture in my fandom for many, many years. Since everything about her is wonderful, it is hard to pinpoint the best piece. But I suppose I would say she is committed to her duty and fiercely powerful but she has a woman’s heart. It’s very beautiful the way love sort of worms its way into her heart and changes her. If you know anything about X, then you know it is full to the brim with cruel fate and Arashi’s (though still in limbo in the manga) is no exception but she faces it with wisdom beyond her years. And sitting gruffly on the end is Manji (from Blade of the Immortal). What is most powerful about his character is the things he has done are not honorable but he did them because he thought he should. He is a man who knows regret but he doesn’t apologize. Manji is a killer and he makes no bones about, nor does he ever pretend he is a good guy, but even so he is seeking a bit of redemption without really expecting to get it. There are certainly other types of characters I like, but not necessarily with as much depth.

An atypical character that I like is Mihoshi Kuramitsu from Tenchi Muyo!. She tends to be way more ditzy and fragile then I like my women. She is sort of the stereotypical dumb blonde. She is hardly take charge or any sort of powerhouse except for being extremely lucky. But for some reason I really think she is a fun character. I feel like I have to like her for some reason deeper than her character design. Am I just shallow but refuse to admit it or is there some deeper significance to why I like her? I personally think she goes against my standard character preferences but maybe I am just missing something.

A character I have trouble understanding my affection for is Allelujah (from Gundam 00). He is shy, reserved, and soft-spoken but he is also technically psychotic. He has a traumatic past and really has rollercoaster ride of hashing it out. And still none of these traits really seem to scream, “this is Narutaki’s type of character!” As with Hisui, I feel like there is some reason beyond the shallow that I like him, but I just can’t pinpoint it.

Normally on Reverse Thieves we tend to talk among ourselves and then share with you our conclusion. This time we are going to let the readers do the talking. What do you think the characters we like say about Narutaki and I? Do you think that our character choices say anything at all about us? We would love to see what you think. Also feel free to write what types of characters you like and get us and your fellow readers to try out some pop psychology. Also we will try this again next week with the flip side: What do characters we hate say about us?

I feel like just writing this helped me learn a bit about myself!

7 thoughts on “What do the characters we like say about us?

  1. OGT says:

    Hisui here strikes me as the sort that is positive and warm, but reluctant to show the strength lurking within, and as such adopts a casual, laid-back style of life. Then clumsily trips over themselves at inopportune moments.

    Narutaki, on the other hand, loves you so much that they will beat you to a pulp, feel no remorse about it, and is dedicated to ensuring that you enjoy the process. Possibly while laughing maniacally.

    On a less faux-Freudian note, often I find that spending time looking at not only the characters but the stories and so forth that you like (or don’t like) and trying to discern why this is the case is a good way to gain serious introspective insight into your own mechanical workings. The actual answer is impossible, as it’s Heisenbergian and the more you try to observe it the more you change in the process (and therefore the answer is always elusive), but it’s the process, not the result, that’s the real benefit.

  2. Evan "bakatanuki" Krell says:

    Its no secret that I have an immense fondness for “moe” girls. Though, I prefer when there is more depth to them than just being moe-blobs. I enjoy the hyper cutesy personility, and can certainly appreciate a character who is nothing more, but they don’t have the same impact and won’t stay near my heart for very long. Too often moe is the defining and only important aspect of a character. I’m not into the completely useless girls- they should be more than decorations in a series.

  3. Brent P. Newhall says:

    OTOH, we can like characters because they interest us. Or because they remind us of favorite relations in real life.

    There are anime characters that I *admire*, but don’t particularly *like* (including Major Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell). And vice-versa.

  4. reversethieves says:

    Well I am prone to self analysis and the analysis of others. So projects like this are things I do all the time. You the reader just get to see it this time. I think by trying to analyze things I get a sense that I understand them better. I might not be able ton control them but at least I understand them.

    @Evan “bakatanuki” Krell
    I did leave out some types of characters I liked but I did not want this to run on too long. I tend to like straight men charaters like Saki Hanajima and Miyabi Oomichi. I also like charaters who love from afar like Tomoyo Daidouji. But I really like good old Mikuru Asahina so I can’t say I dislike moe characters myself. Narutaki is a different matter.

    @Brent P. Newhall
    I usually like the charaters I admire. I suppose I would not want to hang out with Akio Ohtori. Well I might want to hang out with him but that might also be a very bad idea.

    I would never forget the King of Knights. She is just not super obviously in the article. But she is there. Plus I assumed on a certain level everyone who regularly reads the blog would just know. :) I also should have put Ciel in there. But I think it is a good list.

    – Hisui

  5. Evan "bakaTanuki" Krell says:

    BTW I have a lot more to say on this subject, but am working on a full post reply to this article. this really got me thinking.

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