Now, I'm an anime "Noob". Until recently I pretty much ignored the genre, a prejudice left over from my childhood. It looked unfinished, there was too much magic, and what's with those eyes!? As time went on though, I discovered that perhaps I was wrong. Some of the aesthetic choices still don't make a ton of sense, like the bright colored hair and big eyes, but I discovered that anime is more about the characters and story than it is about the art. Of course, there are exceptions, like Hayao Miyazaki's films, but on the whole, anime is about characters and story, more than anything else... perhaps that's why I like what little I watch! Here are my top five anime characters and why they rock!
Number 1: Sophie Hatter from "Howl's Moving Castle".
Sophie Hatter is the oldest of three daughters in a land where fairy tale tropes are the norm. This means that Sophie can hope for an ordinary life as the owner of a hat shop, while her sisters can look forward to lives of adventure and wealthy husbands. However, Sophie's fate changes with a chance encounter with the Wizard Howl, when he rescues her from some boorish men. Howl's enemy, the Witch of the Wastes curses Sophie into the body of an old woman, which gives Sophie the push she needs to get to Howl to see if he can cure her. Sophie becomes the housekeeper of Howl's famous Moving Castle, and whips the inhabitants into shape, not putting up with Howl's irresponsibility or tantrums and helping him discover the nobility and courage he never knew he had.
I like Sophie because she doesn't put up with any nonsense from anyone, especially Howl, who begins as a rather selfish, unhappy person, and only by putting Sophie's comfort, safety, and happiness above his own, does he find the peace and fulfillment he's been looking for. She's a great role model, and I really wish that there were more characters like her around!
Number 2: Princess Marie Ange/Marie Angelica of Splendorius, from Pretty Cure/Glitter Force DokiDoki
Princess Marie Angelica is the ruler of the magical kingdom of Splendorius. Kind, gracious, and brave, the Princess rules from her glittering crystal castle surrounded by her loving subjects, including Cure Sword/Glitter Spade. When the evil King Mercenare arrives, Marie takes up arms herself to defend her kingdom, ultimately sacrificing herself to allow her friend Glitter Spade escape from Mercenare. (Whose Japanese name means "Selfishness").
Princess Marie may be a minor character, but her influence is vast in the series. She is exactly the kind of ruler a kingdom needs: selfless, brave, kindhearted, and bent on her kingdom's well-being. She is exactly the type of Princess I would want girls emulating.
Number 3: Mami Tomoe, from Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Mami Tomoe is the leader of the five-girl fighting team in Madoka Magica. As the oldest magical girl, Mami takes her duties seriously, listening to and caring for the girls under her command. Despite the dangers of fighting witches and her own fears, Mami takes up arms willingly against the darkness that surrounds her out of love for her friends, and even strangers. A brilliant strategist, a proper young lady, and a loving soul, Mami is the dream ideal of many teenage girls.
The valiant Mami Tomoe was my very favorite character in Madoka Magica. Despite the sadness and disturbing content of the series, it was hard not to love the genuineness of the characters. Mami is exactly the kind of girl I wanted to be at her age (somewhere between 16 and 18), because my imagination was full of brave girls who knew their worth, were kind, and beloved by all who knew them.
Number 4: Cure Happy/Glitter Lucky, from Glitter Force/Smile! Pretty Cure
Glitter Lucky is the leading member of the original Glitter Force. Sweet, a little naive, friendly, funny, and brave, Emily is perhaps the lynchpin of the crew. The original optimist, Emily believes in happy endings for everyone, but she knows that those don't come easily. You have to work hard and be brave in order to get the happy ending you want. Nothing is certain, so you have to be brave and stick with your friends to make your dreams come true.
Emily reminds me a lot of myself when I was her age (approximately 12). She's cute, and kind, and loves her fairy tales! Her firm belief in happy endings is rooted in her love for fairy tales, but they have not given her an entitled attitude. On the contrary, Emily is committed to working for what she wants most and encouraging others to do the same.
Number 5: Cure Beauty/Glitter Breeze from Glitter Force/Smile! Pretty Cure
Glitter Breeze (I really prefer her Japanese name, Beauty) is the popular girl on campus, but she is by no means a mean girl. In fact, she makes time for everyone who needs her help. A proper and polite young lady, very little ruffles her calm exterior, unless of course, you hurt her friends. If you do decide to hurt her friends or younger kids, prepare for pain. Like Mami, Breeze is a warrior at heart, and with her ice sword, can put an end to any threat to them in quick order.
Glitter Breeze is again the image of what I wished to be as a teenager. Breeze knows her worth as a person, and is a selfless girl who puts everyone else before herself. She is elegant and brings that elegance to everything she does, perhaps especially battle. I suppose that's why I like so many of these characters, they are the type I liked best!
Howl Jenkins, from Howl's Moving Castle
Howl, as mentioned above starts out the movie as kind of a jerk. Cowardly, obsessed with looks, and a little callous, he begins to change when he meets gentle Sophie Hatter. He saw beyond Sophie's old woman exterior (after her curse) to see her true beauty. He praises her and lifts her up, regaining the heart he thought he lost.
Sir Johnathan of Splendorius, Pretty Cure/Glitter Force DokiDoki
Sir Johnathan is Princess Marie Angelica's fiancee who escaped Splendorius in order to help find her. From his curio shop in the Glitter Force's hometown, he distributes the magical Glitter Charms that give the girls their powers and often comes to their aid in full armor. He is not like many male minor characters in girl shows, his help is needed and wanted, often urgently, and never blown off. Quite refreshing!
I'm T.K. Wilson, Read my blog for great information and stories about dolls, toy restoration, Christian Fantasy and so much more! Blog updates Fridays.