This week we look at the characters we hate and once again ask you the readers decide if that it means anything about Narutaki and I. It is often said that what we hate the most in others in what we hate about ourselves. Does the fact extend to anime characters we hate? Do the characters that get under our skin the most provide some insight into our psyche? Does it tell us something different then what the characters we like or are they merely opposite sides of the same coin?
If there is one thing the internet has enough of, it is hate. Hate for shows, hate for people, and plenty of hate for characters. Unfortunately, we will be spreading such ire today. What would our former post be without its companion piece? However, I would like to point out this post isn’t about bad characters or poorly written development, it is about characters we dislike for inherent flaws in their personalities. I would even argue, if I can passionately oppose a character that means they are actually written rather fully. Once again we are trying to explore what, if anything, it means to dislike a character with such fervor. This, much differently from the previous post, can get a bit hairy and quite intense at times. But we will do our best to be respectful. Maybe.
I really hate fake strong female characters. They are female characters that the writers try to pass off as strong but are really just weak. Cecily Cambell from The Sacred Blacksmith is a prime example. We are supposed to believe that she is a strong swordswoman that can defend her self. But she mostly goes around being useless. This annoys me more that the standard token chick because at least you don’t have high expectations out of them. Another great example is Clarice from Claymore. Also belligerent women than are actually weak but the writers mistake being confrontational with strong. The fact that they kept portraying Sheryl Nome as a strong woman when she is clearly just fronting to hide her deep insecurities. The fact that people rally behind her as some sort of symbol of feminine strength really ticks me off. Also the fact that show never acknowledges any of Sheryl’s behaviors as anything but a virtue. This is in contrast to Ami Kawashima from Toradora whose same actions are seen as the weakness and defense mechanisms that they are. The other character that stood out to me as being horrible was Takumi Nishijo from Chaos;Head. He had to be one of the most unlikable protagonists I have ever seen. People usually complain about harem leads being generic and unsympathetic. Takumi has all the traits that make harem leads so hated and then either exaggerates those traits or has even worse traits on top of that. He is selfish, petty, lecherous, misanthropic, and just a disgusting human being. At least I felt some amount of sympathy for Tatsuhiro Sato from Welcome to the NHK. I have not one iota of good will towards Takumi and could not drag myself through a show with him as the lead.
I can be a harsh critic when it comes to character flaws, so where to draw the line was a little more difficult because once again this isn’t just about annoying characters, it is about characters that sort of epitomize traits that I dislike above all else. First up is a woman whose death I called for as each episode she further gathered my dislike, oh Flay Allster (from Gundam SEED), how I will always recall your attempts (and successes) at being a racist solipsist who uses her femininity in the worst ways with hatred. One must draw the line at trying to get nice guys killed. Squarely in the middle is Sakujun (from The Story of Saiunkoku) who has something not quite right about him from the moment you lay eyes on him. Sakujun acts in such a roundabout way that he takes advantage of good people so much so he borders, no, he is mentally abusive. He portrays the ultimate ends of using guilt and obligation to get what you want. And to round things out is Misa (from Death Note) whose ridiculous obsession with Kira makes her a gothic doormat. Her inability to see the things right in front of her is phenomenal and intensely frustrating as is her attempt to see anything Light does as love.
The oddity for me is Hinagiku Katsura from Hayate the Combat Butler. I normally adore characters like her. She has pink hair, she uses a sword, she is proud and confidante but kind and supportive and she loves someone from afar. But for some reason I really don’t like her as much as the rest of the cast. Unlike say Narutaki who actively hates Sanji I just don’t really like Hinagiku. I can’t put my finger on what exactly I dislike about her that stops me from liking her the way everyone else worships her. I do on the other hand get all worked up about her fandom that insists that the manga should be about her and that she is the best character ever. It is like everyone would rather be reading Hinagiku the Combat Student Council President. I myself like the lead characters as they are.
A character I have trouble understanding my dislike (this may be too tame of a word) for is Sanji (from One Piece). By all normal circumstances, he should rank rather high for me but it never happened. Sanji’s got a laid back style, he cooks, and he is a good fighter but something about his love sickness really doesn’t jive with me. And I also think this particular case has also boggled the minds of many of my close friends.
The challenge is the same as before. Take what we have given you and try and make an analysis of our character from the characters we hate. Also feel free to write in the characters you hate and what you think it means about you. I did find it a little harder to choose characters I hated than Narutaki. I think we both have affection for charters as deep as the other one. I think we also both like a wide variety of characters. The biggest challenge was for use to narrow out lists down to 3 characters. But for some reason I have a harder time hating characters.
I feel like just writing this helped me learn a bit about myself!