Characters from Anime and Manga that are just that... totally... awesome.
GaoGaiGar's Mamoru Amami. Many people say he's not as good as the other characters because he's a Tagalong Kid, and a walking Plot Device, but really, as awesome as the rest of the cast is. he's still one of the best written characters in the show, despite how he might seem before the beard grows in, He's just such a sweet Adorably Precocious Child, and his Character Development after The Reveal leads to a really great Crowning Momentof Heartwarming. and what he goes through in FINAL, from his replicant being captured and brainwashed by the Sol Lords and turned on his friends to steal the Q-parts, to FINAL's Bittersweet Ending. and he does Bad Ass stuff that can put Guy to shame at times. from using Galeon to bust into the Orbit Base's Main Order Room to save everyone from the Nail and Ear Primevals, to freakin' VAPORIZING Pei la Cain in FINAL.
Yahiko and Sano from Rurouni Kenshin. Sano, because he's such a badass he beats up two hundred men on vacation, and refuses to give up despite bringing his fists to a sword fight and blowing up his damn hand from the Futae no Kiwami. Yahiko, because he is the BEST subversion of Bratty Half-Pint ever. He fights just as much as the adult characters, and he does it with a Nerf Arm. The fact that he can take on a giant like Hyogo and hold his own speaks for itself.
Rossiu: He made several morally questionable choices, but as a character he is possibly the deepest in the series. While everyone else is only half-heartedly into it, Rossiu is the only one who truly takes politics seriously after the Time Skip and really finds himself in this responsible role. Everything he does has honest intentions of saving the human race, but his methods are cold and practical and ultimately out of place in a world that, as it turns out, is ruled by Hot Bloodedness and the Rule of Cool. One can tell how much his conscience weighs on him after the hellish decisions he's had to make, and it's true remorse for all the choices he's had to make that makes him attempt suicide. He should be the biggest Woobie in the series, for crying out loud!
Nia takes the Princess Archetype and injects it with new life through adorable charisma and throughly thought-out idiosyncrasies. Her unique speech, screwy thought-process and way of interacting with the world is just so charming that you can't help but love her. She is not only Moe, she is HONESTLY moe, not to mention that she definesPlucky Girl by being so Hot-Blooded while being a girly chick at the same time.
The four Generals, who never get any love. I nearly squeed with joy when she saw Thymelph (who was based after 777 from Dead Leaves) And Adiane, from her scorpion tail to her eye patch.
Especially Simon. Badass, loving, kind-hearted, and actually has a BRAIN? What's not to like?
Viral. What's not to love? He's half human and half beast, has awesome battle skillz, grew up to be the perfect assassin...and Heel Face Turns so hard that he becomes Kamina's replacement in the Gurren Lagann robot. YOU HAVE TO BE SPECIAL TO TAKE THAT SEAT. In the film version, it's also revealed that his secret desire is to have a wife and child and live happily in peace. AWWW.
Yoko is extremely gushworthy. She's cute, smart and tough; but she was limited in her achievements by corporate Japan's male-superiority formulae, plus an Executive Meddling decision by Gainax to write her and Kamina out of the series. But Yoko's extreme popularity resulted in a comeback, via her end-of-series exploits as Yomako — the name she took following her decision to begin a career in education on Koreha Island. Anyway, she began fighting bad guys long before the series' time frame began. Her above-average communication skills, her considerable combat experience as a commando and her mature judgment in the field should have made Yoko the ideal commander of the Brigade; but due to overriding, long-standing (albeit misogynistic) corporate formulae that was not to be. Nevertheless, Yoko fought the good fight for liberation and went on to become principal of a primary-education school.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Dio Brando. The guy's a psychopathic vampire who can stop time, throw knives, and crush people with a steamroller. He's a total nutter and completely despicable, but there's something about his gleeful enthusiasm for villainy, over-the-top theatrics, and the ol' ultraviolence.
Sure, we got the villain, but what of the heroes? Joseph Joestar in particular. This is one of the most likeable characters in the series, he's Brilliant but Lazy. Ask him to do a lick of work, and you'll be on the receiving end of a huge argument, but when it comes down to it, when he puts his mind to it, he's beyond a bona fide badass. He's over six feet tall and over 250 lbs of tightly-packed muscle, just like his granddad. But what makes him notable is that he almost never uses it in his serious fights. He wins through and through with his amazing intellect and cunning. He's a master trickster, he can say anything in a way that'll make you think he's totally honest, he takes magic tricks and basic physics into his advantage with every fight, he's not too bad with a pair of crackers, of which he likes to use as nunchaku, and he's one of us. He loves manga and comic books!
Lelouch. Possibly one of the most unique characters; Large Ham, horribly flawed, but you just know that Lelouch is the only person who can keep the peace. Too bad he dies. Plus he has mastered the shocked look that I now refers to as the "Lelouch Face". While others such as Ribbon may sport it, Lelouch easily pulls it off the best. And his good looks! Squee!!
Love love love Suzaku! Very strong, can be cute too, the relationship with Lelouch...
Shirley is unbelievably cute and hilarious around Lelouch, combined with Lelouch inadvertently killing her father, and her death at the hands of Rolo makes her one of the most sympathetic characters in the show. And she still loves Lelouch after all that! :3
C.C. She's got a intriguingly vague past unknown to everyone, immortality, sarcasm, Fanservice, and an undying love for Pizza!Seriously, what's not to love about this girl?
It's easy to understand why Nunnally is at the focal point of all of Lelouch's motivations: she's very sweet and had to go through lots of hardships. She's blind, crippled and watched her mother die. Lelouch had to carry her on his back when they were young since she was paralyzed. , she doesn't come off as a Purity Sue because her motivations are childish, she wants peace, but she doesn't understand it and this makes her very manipulatable. Arguably the most heart-wrenching moment of the show is in the Grand Finale when Lelouch dies in her arms and she realizes that he died so that her dream could be realized.
Kallen isn't just about Fanservice; she's an amazingly strong and very human character. I have a lot of respect for her. Kallen might be the only true hero in the series. As the ol' Motive Decay sets in left and right and hard choices get harder and harder, Kallen and Kallen alone refuses to compromise her ideals like Lelouch and Suzaku do, eventually choosing her beliefs over Lelouch even though she never stopped loving him.
Suzaku deserves love for all his Idiot Hero moments, even as his idealism dies and his more and more desperate attempts to fix things just make them worse for him. And permanently want to give the poor bastard a hug.
The Chinese Eunuchs are comedic gold, especially the midget one every time they talk its hilarious. They could be reading the news, and it would be funnier than most comedies.
Lloyd. He's good for the lulz, he's one of the only characters in the Brittanian empire who isn't portrayed in a remotely bad light, and Liam O'Brian did a great job voicing him in the English dub.
Cecile's this sweet, pretty female engineer who's also the only person who can keep Lloyd in check. D'awww...
Princess Euphemia. So sweet and innocent, yet brave and true to her beliefs. She did NOT deserve the ending she got. For one thing she's the only truly good member of the royal family. She's more than just your average Pollyanna: she's smart, ambitious, and not afraid to challenge her family to stand up for what she believes in.Furthermore, she not only figures out that Zero is Lelouch she even convinces Lelouch to join teams with her! too bad she gets Stuffed In The Fridge early on.
Kaname Ohgi of Code Geass, simply because he was one of the sanest, loyalist, most genuinely honorable and compassionate characters in the whole show. The poor guy had just as many problems as anyone, was a gentle normal guy at heart, and yet believed in his commander Zero every step of the way. Even after the Black Knights discover Zero's true identity, Ohgi refuses to turn on him unless Britannia makes the ultimate concession in return. In a show full of Black and Gray Morality, someone like him was refreshing.
Prince Schneizel. The second prince of Britannia is awesome. He's either the smartest guy in the show, or at the very least the 2nd smartest. Lelouch always gets nervously angry whenever him and Schneizel meet. The only other person he does that too is the Emporer, and that's because he knows he has magic powers, Schneizel doesn't. A normal man strikes fear into the heart of someone as Awesome as Lelouch, and that's even awesome-er. A list of Schneizel's Greatest moments: Makes a grand entrance riding inside the most advanced ship seen in the show thus far, and blasts both Lulu and Suzaku, almost stopping Zero. (the only reason he failed was because of incomplete weaponry that failed to work properly). His disturbed and ultra realistic reaction to Euphie's massacre really drove home just how bad Lelouch fucked up, and showed us that at least this villain had standards. Winning a war against an entire continent mainly through negotiations and sabre rattling. Thinking faster than Lelouch in the Chinese Federation arc, and organizing a wedding between his brother and the chinese empress. This move could both Unite the CF and Britannia without resorting to a war, and let him retrieve Zero and the Black Knights (he arranged for them to be handed over by the Chinese government as a sort of Wedding gift). That's right, after that massive V routine Lelouch pulled off to escape Britannia, taking a million soldiers along with him, no more than a few hours upon arrival in the CF did he hear of Schneizel's plan to take them back. Lelouch had guessed that such a plan would be made eventually, but he never imagined it would be pulled off that quickly.
Kenzo Tenma. He's just so damn earnest, especially contrasted against the titular Johan. It's endearing. He's also just a really kick-ass, brilliant doctor with a very strong moral compass and sense of purpose. Anyone else would've gone crazy but Dr. Tenma gets through all the horror he experienced by never losing sight of who he is. There is just something amazing about the mix of goodness and badass-ness that Tenma represents. He's kind and gentle on the one hand, but on the other, he doesn't take any shit from people, he's always telling people to man up, etc. Awesome guy. He's managed to maintain his morals in the world he lives in, and that's saying something. He's intelligent, gentle, and an amazing Iron Woobie.
Johan. The way his Ax-Crazy is played, his creepiness, that smile that never leaves him, his Manipulative Bastard traits... he is so villainous yet lovable, even though he is almost a deconstruction of a Magnificent Bastard. Johan is one sick bastard- but it makes for an incredibly interesting villain.
Cheerful Child Dieter for being so ridiculously adorable, so huggable, so sweet, so innocent, and so wise in his own way at the same time.
Nina/Anna Leibert is certainly one of the coolest female characters in anime.
Eva Heinneman. Her character development was a massive surprise for all those that immediately labeled her as a Rich Bitch character, which is because that's what she was and the change in her personality was dealt superbly, she came from being annoying to awesome. She starts out as an archetypical soap opera villain who would ,in any other show, be a Static Character spending the intire series tormenting the female lead and be defeated in the end. Eva suffers this fate in the very first volume of the manga and spends the rest of the series being dragged trough the mud, dealing with horriffic things her type of character would normally never encounter and going trough one hell of a ride with grueling life lessons, often handling them surprisingly admirably. Ultimately, she becomes a decent and likable person. I never look at a one dimensional Rich Bitch the same way again because i now know how this type of character should be done right.
Colonel Roy Mustang and Major General Olivier Mira Armstong, both are incredibly badass, both are incredibly competent, and more importantly never carry the Idiot Ball. Amestris is in good hands with either one in charge.
Scar is awesome. For a character to go from an outright villain to an extremely sympathetic antihero in the course of fifty-one episode (over half of which he isn't even in) without it being just plain unbelievable is in itself worthy of being considered made of win. The sheer badassery he displays is another bonus..
Alphonse (from the manga version). He's sweet, idealistic and a nice guy all the way, but that does not mean he's stupid or overly naďve at all. Instead, he is very mature for his age and (especially in the later chapters) understands that not everyone shares his ideals. Also, his occasional snarkiness is very charming.
Riza Hawkeye. Especially in the Manga. She's not just a silent gunslinger. She has a past AND a life outside of her much loved relationship with Roy. Plus, she's just plain cool. How many people can trick Envy using UST? Her attitude towards Pride/Seliem Bradley after she found out that he was a homunculus? Ultimate win.
Winry Rockbell, a gentle soul with a gift for mechanic and a willingness to help others through their hardships, which we can see in both her support of the Elric brothers and the care she gives to her patients. Throughout the series, we see her evolve professionaly, going from an apprenticeship by her grand-mother to the partner of one of the best mechanics in Rush Valley. And then there is her personal crowning moment of awesome, when she demonstrates to Scar that the vicious cycle of hatred and revenge can indeed be broken, thus completing the Ishbalan's heel-face turn.
Maes Hughes is one of the finest examples of Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass I has ever seen. Who knew a guy who runs around showing pictures of his daughter to everyone could be so cool and popular? And who doesn't love Maes' love for his family? It's downright endearing, how much he loves people. Hell, Winry, Alphonse and Edward are practically extended family. And Roy really needs a Badass Normal of a best friend. Perfect duo, right there.
Edward Elric, the freaking title character. He manages to be not only a bratty smartass with no respect for authority, but no less of a Badass or noble hero because of it. He's also utterly hilarious at times.
Ling Yao, who is not only hilarious, but awesome as well. And the way he managed not to be killed by Bradley AND Gluttony while carrying Lan Fan with one hand was a complete Moment of Awesome. And, as if he wasn't awesome already, he Took a Level in Badass when he was turned into a homunculus.
Lan Fan / Ran Fan. Her Heroic Sacrifice... She's just great]] Her loyalty towards her Lord is without bounds, she cut off her arm just to lure King Bradley away from them!
Greed/Greedling. That guy was just plain awesome! His snark, and his attitude towards Ed is just awesome. And having Troy Baker as Greedling also helps with the awesome category.
Shou Tucker. Not the version in the manga who sacrificed his daughter for selfish purposes, but the one in the 2003 series. He's a sick bastard, but he acknowledges this, and is obsessed with undoing his mistake, to the point where he inflicts his own crime upon himself. He's a fine example that even people who commit the most horrific crimes are not without compassion, straddling the line between revulsion and Pity. Also, he's a half beast Mad Scientist with an upside down head. Creepy Awesome.
Char Aznable the person that puts The Rival in Rival. Amuro's equal in both piloting and newtype abilities, he can take on any mecha pilot in existence, and do it with style, his one of the most developed characters in anime history, and his versatile playing both villain, and hero and doing it without it being forced.
There's Char's best friend, Garma Zabi. A member of the Zabi family, who despite admiring Char's leadership skills to a point where it became a crutch, showed potential of his own to be a great leader to his people. Including his ability to create cunning military strategies and actually care about Earth Federation civilians. In fact, this was even recognized and explored further in the game Gihren's Greed, where the player has the chance to choose Garma Zabi to rule Zeon and create his own faction.
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Treize Kushrenada. This guy was one of the best ManipulativeBastards, not for being manipulative, but also his flair. Look at his mobile suit, it looks absolutely gaudy, and that's what makes it so cool. He manages to seem like the antagonist but really behaves like an Anti-Hero.
Kirabi/Killer Bee first looking like an Ethnic Scrappy, he proves to be a complete badass by kicking Sasuke's ass, then with the coup de grace tricks Sasuke, and embarrasses him in front of his new friends. He's also really unique in the series itself, being an urban black guy in a series full of Japanese culture.
Shikamaru. Lazy as all get out right at the start, but through some of the best Character Development that I has seen in Shonen, becomes a competent, dedicated, ass-kicking smartass who still has the traits that made him likeable in the first place.
Naruto himself. He's loud, hyperactive, and dense, but that just makes you like him all the more.
Shino. His complete lack of any character development whatsoever notwithstanding, he's the only anime character I've ever seen who has a weird/gross power but was never a villain at any point.
Jiraiya. He has the "perv + super strong + teacher" formula which makes him instantly awesome, but he is so much more. His whole story was brilliantly written. Manly as anything: "Pretty damn honorable".
Sakura counts as well. She goes from being an obnoxious Fangirl with a crush on Sasuke and pretty much a normal hormonal twelve year old in a bunch of Shinobi genuises; to a strong member of Team 7, Tsunade's apprentice, The Medic, and a total Bad Ass with an amazing punch. That's Character Development.
Hinata. Right from the start, Naruto shows determination, inner strength, and all of those other shonen hero traits. She's grown from a Shrinking Violet to confessing her love to Naruto while trying to protect him from Pein, despite knowing that she had no chance against him. Her first line ever, which was not even spoken, instantly turned her into a Woobie.
Kakuzu. Best character in the show! Money is important, yes~ And he's a Zombie. With 5 hearts. And a genius bruiser. Also, genuinely evil and only in it for the money. Someone with no moral standards! Those characters are way too rare.
HIDAN! Titally insane, ax crazy, blood magic and EPIC! to hell and back. One of the coolest designs, and genuinely evil among the other "reasonable" characters. So much fun.
Rock Lee became my favorite character in the series once he was shown to be arguably the most compelling character. Not to mention he gets two of the best fights in the entire anime (vs Gaara and Kimimaro, respectively). Now if only Kishimoto could use him more in part two. Despite his bad losing record, for a while he held the title as arguably the strongest of his generation of Leaf ninja.
Yamato is competent, clever, hilariously unfunny, and an adorably friendly kouhai to Kakashi. Also, he just so happens to be quite the badass; his special technique can pretty much tell your Sealed Evil in a Can to shut up and play nice.
A lot of people hate him, but Shimura Danzo. He's powerful, calm and cares so deeply for his village, despite less than favorable actions, that he would die to protect it. Hell, he's even awkwardly adorable,with subtle hints of woobie (IMO)...something about him just makes me want to give him a giant bear-hug.
Suigetsu. He's pretty calm mostly, he can handle his B Fs like it weighs nothing, and he's snarky. He's alsoquite sexy.
Kakashi! From his sarkiness to awesome fighting ability to his (secret?) love of pornography the guy is clearly the best character in the show. He wears two masks. He fights with a massive chakra drain against ridiculously powerful baddies — and comes out winning. He is also, incidentally, damn sexy.
Shizune. She's a background character but between her skills with poisons and her devotion to Tsunade despite Tsunade being, well... Tsunade, she's just awesome.
Itachi. Leaving aside just how badass and powerful he is, his backstory is one of the most compelling in the show/manga. He wanted to die just to make his little brother feel better. Too bad it didn't work that well. Seriously though. The fact that he can control your world with basically nothing more than eye contact WITHOUT YOU REALIZING it, do it so smoothly, fight on empty and still beat some of the most plot-armored characters in the series, and the freakish nature of his powers rolled into his calm and deep personality with many layers and facets spread throughout his 6th stage Morality development, and you have one of the most compelling characters in mainstream anime, let alone the series.
Neji - from his awesomely subtle and graceful fighting style to his great character development.
Rin or Obito, Kakashi's badass teammates who appeared for only a few chapters and still managed to steal our hearts!
Sasori. He was creepy for nearly his entire life, but that is one of the things that makes him such a good character. Few writers can create characters like that. Also, try picturing him (at any age) as the Mysterious Stranger. Awesomeness ensues.
Kabuto. Before he turned out to be a total jerk, he was one of the nicest characters. Until he injects himself with an in-story version of cancer, he was actually really nice to Naruto, if not anyone else.
Freaking MadaraUchiha. Easily topping the list of most powerful characters in the series. The way he verbally smacks his opponents and degrades them as so far beneath him, and they have to take it because everyone knows HE'S RIGHT. He could easily wipe out the entire army if it ever struck his fancy, not to mention the fact that his resurrection and his outgambitting the resident Xanatos Speedchess grandmaster left him as an immortal zombie that is immune to practically everything. His unfazeable attitude and complete snarkiness makes him such a condescending character with the power to back it up. May not be a particularly complex villain, but he is certainly a good one for laughs and putting pressure on the good guys. Unfortunately, the nature of his existence has the left the plot with no other option than a MAJOR Deus ex Machina.
And who could ever forget Tobi? His first few appearances where among the funniest in the series, and his Keet status is undisputed. His Cloudcuckoolander antics brought an entirely new flavor to Akatsuki. When he dropped the act though and got serious, things changed rapidly. He was definitely one of the most prgamatic, ruthless, yet enigmatically honest characters ever introduced. He certainly spent lots of time going over the Evil Overlord List and knew how to manipulate anyone to do his bidding. His identity had been up in the air long after he announced it, and his status as the The Heavy made practically every event to have occurred since episode 1 either directly or indirectly related to him. What a character. His motives are complex, he is well-versed, and he can think on the fly. Then later when he is revealed to be Obito, his character receives SO MANY LEVELS of depth. He becomes a sympathetic Nihilist that has a justified hatred of the world system and how everything is screwed up. Also knowing what a wimp he was before and the kind of game-breaking, all-knowing, super-intelligent, complicated and twisted monster he became only serves to further deconstruct whatever stereotypes he might have fit before. And then he becomes a god. How and why did he lose again?
Mikuru because she pretty much started off the entire story by having Kyon do the John Smith incident. Time travel is confusing, but it's awesome, especially when it's Mikuru using it. she's destined to become the bigest Chessmaster in the series.
Kyon, even more so in the novels. Simply because his narration is the best thing. He also hides his genius under "not caring", actually is interested in romance and.. Well fuck it, he's the goddamn John Smith!
And Itsuki Koizumi. The guy is a Teen Genius later revealed to be the goddam LEADER of the Organization and therefore a brilliant Chessmaster in his own right. He's a guy who puts up with a great deal of crap, stress, and responsibility without complaining about it. While his real personality is still a mystery, there are many subtle moments throughout the novels where his "real" nature seems to peek through. He's definitely a complicated, conflicted guy. And despite it all he's a loyal friend to Kyon whether Kyon likes it or not.
Tsuruya. Her character in the later novels is just delightful.
Asakura, the most awesome killer ever. Her "perfect girl" mask, her love for knifes, her giggles when she fires metal spears and that incredible scary aura she has. She may be underappreciated, but truly magnificent. She's the most Bad Ass chick in the series. There's a reason they just can't get rid of her.
In the novels, Sasaki is a delightful character. Charming, easygoing, and intellectual, and refuses to be tempted even by the offer of godlike powers.
Minori Kushieda. If there is one anime character who is NEVER boring to be around (apart from Haruhi) and can steal entire episodes with one well-placed antic, it's her.
Ami is the best character of the show. Too bad she's not as much in the focus.
Taiga. She's a Tsundere and a bit of a jerk, which might put off some people, but when it comes to delving into her personality, she's adorable.
Taiga Aisaka: Her hidden softer side she's almost the perfect representation of Moe.
Nel Tu in her adult form is hot, a complete Badass, and is the most interesting arrancar in the whole series considering her backstory.
Unohana Retsu is quite possibly the coolest female Shinigami in Bleach, or even the whole character. Not only she is kind and motherly, if you get on her bad side, you will start to fear a White Mage like her. Probably Kubo Tite fears on putting her in quite the spotlight, because doing so will cause the Bleach universe to implode in awesomeness. Unohana is so awesome. She is also hinted to be very powerful.
Rukia is just as cool, since she's gotten many moments that are just made of awesomeness and hilarity.
Hollow Ichigo. The guy is freaking awesome. He's like the Joker with a BFS.
Shiba Kaien. I cannot believe how much she loves a character who now only shows up in flashbacks because he died TWICE, but he is so sweet and funny and encouraging and maybe somehow related to Kurosaki Ichigo.
Say what you will about Hitsugaya Toshiro, but his seriousness, prodigious nature, ice powers and most importantly, his sense of justice. One does not need to curb stomp all his enemies everytime in order to be a likable/gushable character. He was the only captain not blindly following orders, even if they thought something was wrong (Byakuya Saijin and even Yamamoto) blindly following their feelings/friends (Ukitake Shunsui Renji [but he's a vice-captain not a captain and not the thrust of this gush/rant]) or ya know evil (Aizen, Tousen, Gin) but to actually bother investigating when he felt something was wrong and act on what he uncovered the first impressions.
Hanataro Yamada is possibly the weakest character in Bleach, but when he tries to go up against Byakuya without even his zanpaku-to to save Rukia, despite the fact he was utterly terrified? That's when he became awesome.
Sajin Komamura (Aka: Captain Furry), a Gentle Giant outside of battle and Big, Badass Wolf in battle. I know he's not seen much, and has gotten owned in 2 of 3 uninterrupted battles (lastest one left him unconcious, and still hasn't gotten back up 6 episodes later).
Barragan Luisenbarn. As the token old man, it seemed as though he was simply going to be the Espada's answer to Yamamoto, but as soon as he used ressureccion, he proved that he has even more of a right to the title of "Death God" than the actual shinigami. He's a skeleton lord with an enormous axe and an even bigger god complex whose breath, Respira, instantly rots anything it touches, including magical spells. To top it all off, the only thing that could take him down was his own Respira. How could anyone not think that this guy is made of 100% pure, undiluted awesome?
Aizen. The idea of his betrayal really caught her, hook line and sinker, and she hasn't looked back since! She can honestly say that Aizen got her interested in Bleach (despite his Diminishing Villain Threat) and for the most part is grateful for it!
Kyoraku and Ukitake fight against Starrk caused her to fall almost immediately in fandom love. It had a lot to do with their stubborn refusal to play entirely by shounenrules, but they struck her as eccentric, nice guys with her shameless favourite quality in protagonists in sort of series - smart, patient competence under an impression of harmlessness. Plus there's the Heterosexual Life Partners angle. Further research has only furthered that opinion. Not perfect, certainly not always right (Rukia, Kaien...), but still great fun.
Rangiku Matsumoto. Rangiku is hands down my favorite female character in this show. Beautiful, strong, and confident, with a heartbreaking backstory that only gets her down when no one's looking. Nearly all scenes she's in is awesome in some way, be it serious or hilarious. Plus, the way she followed Gin to the real Karakura town was freakin' hardcore, since, yanno, she'd had part of her side ripped off only a few chapters prior.
Grimmjow. Motherfucking. Jeagerjacques. His badassery, his blue hair, his stunning physical beauty, David Vincent's voice, his Resureccion, oh, and his backstory. There are so many ways to interpret his character.
Kuchiki Byakuya: Long-haired, BadassBishōnen? Check. Completely owned the main character upon his first appearance and was the first person to do so? Check. Fantastic fighting style? Check. Heartwarmingcharacterdevelopment? Check.His fights are some of the most engaging of all the epic battles that Bleach offers especially the one against Tsukishima, and his growth throughout the manga is probably the best Character Development in the series.
Killua Zaoldyeck from Hunter × Hunter, especially his manga incarnation. Mature, unfazed and frighteningly talented (thanks to his assassin family's Training from Hell), by the Chimera Ant arc he's catching darts aimed at his head before they even materialise and running across an entire country trying to stop a group of evil ants from 'nen baptising' the population. He's also completely devoted to his best friend / life partner Gon, to the point where he'd put his life on the line to save him. Need I say more?
A good number of the other Hunter × Hunter characters are deserving of praise as well. Kurapika was a very touching and unique Anti-Hero. Leorio is the best friend you could ever ask for. Hisoka is just one of the most freaky villians you'll ever encounter! Gon on the other hand doesn't quite measure up to his compatriots.
When it comes to my favorite it is always a tie between Osaka and Ms. Yukari. She's one of the funniest to watch, and even though her childishness is supposed to be a negative quality, you can't help but love her for it. And good god is she hot!
Haruhara Haruko, the personification of Crazy Awesome. Fluctuates between a flirty teenage girl, a melodramatic Large Ham and a supremely powerful alien enforcer that eats Humongous Mecha for breakfast on a whim, uses your head as her personal Bag of Holding while alternately frustrating your libido and giving you a concussion, and you'll love her for it.
Nenene and the Paper Sisters who are all completely awesome in their own way.
Vinland Saga: Thorkell the Tall, a giant Viking Boisterous Bruiser that's just in it for the shits and giggles. He'll do his damnedest to kill you, but if you survive he'll shout you a pint afterward. There are very few manga characters I has come across cooler then Thorkell. To put it in perspective: how many characters do you know who side with the losing team just so they'll have a more challenging fight, use pointed logs as anti-shipandanti-personnel weapons, and think nothing of punching horses so hard the rider falls off?
Mu La Flaga, an even better pilot than the Ultimate Coordinator Kira (just compare Kira in the Strike Gundam and Mu in the Strike Gundam), his also gets the best lines, and seduces the amazingly hot Murrue Ramius. An Ace Pilot whose catchphrase is the man who makes the impossible possible, and takes that literally when he survives being hit with a Positron Cannon. His easily the best of the Char clones. He's an even more amazing character when he died stopping a Positron Cannon - also an impossible act.
La Flaga is the coolest guy on the planet, Ramius is an amazing captain, Athrun is a great Lancer and character in his own right, Lacus and Cagalli for proving that the girls can be important plot-movers in a Gundam series (among lots of other reasons), the psychos like Azrael and Djibril for being so thoroughly detestable; even Shinn for being the amazingly complex Anti-Villain that he is, but my favourites will always be Kira Yamato and Rau Le Creuset. To me, Le Creuset was everything that a villain should be: sympathetic and monstrous, amazingly manipulative, smart, and capable of driving the entire planet towards destruction and making it look easy. I felt bad for him and wanted him dead at the same time, and that's not even getting into his Bad Ass combat skills and the fact that even in the sequel, he's manipulating events from beyond the grave. And then there's Kira: a poor kid who falls into the cockpit, has to fight against his best friend, slowly loses his mind, and then recovers, saving the world (and maybe himself) in the process. Kira was the first protagonist (in almost anything, but especially anime) who I could honestly say was also my favourite character. I felt so bad for him and everything he went through; seeing his descent into crazy during the middle part of the show was heartwrenching. But he never gives up. And it's not in classic shonen protagonist style either, there's no Hot-Blooded friendship speeches, or Made of IronDeterminator-ing about him, no rants about his own superiority. He just carries on as best he can, because he believes that it's his responsibilty to himself and the world, and tries so hard to remain a Nice Guy, even as the world decends into Hell around him. One of his lines has always stuck with me: "If you just did nothing, because you thought it wouldn't help, than you'd end up doing less than nothing. Because nothing would change." Like Rau, Kira just got to me, which made the final battle between the two all the more impressive.
Le Crueset was in my opinion the best villain of Gundam. This guy was never evil to the point of absurdity, his motivations were all present and his insanity was well explored and revealed. He's perhaps the Gundam crowner of Manipulative Bastard.
Flay Allster gets way more flak than she deserves. She is one of the best written characters in the entire show, as well as the most realistic one. Sure, she was a fantastic racist, a Manipulative Bitch and was all-around pretty selfish. But she redeemed herself and changed all that about herself, followed by a Redemption Equals Death. Gundam Seed would have been pretty boring without a character as dynamic as Flay, and I would have liked Destiny way better if it had a character like her.
Yuuichi Tate. Non-Action Guy, yes, but a well thought-out and realistically depicted male lead. He's not a knock-out of a Bishōnen, he's not too smart and he's not the funniest guy ever... but his dedication to his loved ones, especially Shiho and Mai, is really admirable, even if he sometimes went about it in the wrong way. He's so human in his feelings and thoughts, something his haters tend to forget.
Guts, the most Badass manga character EVER. The man goes up against an army of demons armed only with a broken knife and a horn he snapped off, and survives. While doing this, he loses an arm and an eye, and he now has a brand that draws demons to him every night. Does he simply crawl into a hole and wait to die? No, he actively hunts down the strongest of these demons so that he can kill a group of demons even more powerful using a BFS among BFSes. He also goes through significant Character Development while showing how to avoid Badass Decay. He had a kickass character design, too.
Serpico has to be one of the best, fans' absolute favorite manga character EVER. He can cut you without ever touching you, fly, and is lightning fast even without the wind-blessed stuff he gets later. Plus, he's like Ash: when Ash turns his hat backwards, shit's gonna go down. Same when Serpico opens his eyes.
Judeau. A Badass Normal and over all nice guy who willingly doesn't go after the girl he loves to allow his best friend the chance and even helps the two get together. She would be lying if she said the moment during the Eclipse when he Cannot Spit It Out and tell Casca he loves her and dies wishing he did and she saw him as other then just useful didn't break her heart
Godo. Only guy who can make Guts shut up with the rage-o-hol for ten minutes. Awesome.
Casca. Casca, Casca, Casca. What's not to like about her? She is probably one of the most relatable characters in this series. She's smart, has wit, is a pretty badass fighter, but also has her flaws, but that only makes her more sympathetic if you ask me it's also great that she doesn't cross the Mary Sue line at all. From my experience, as a Wo C, I really appreciate that Casca is dark-skinned too, because you don't really see many female characters such as herself in a genre such as Berserk. All of this and more absolutely breaks my heart just thinking about her fate and it actually kind of makes me a little pissed, to think that something of that magnitude happened to her just to help fuel Guts' story line, even though I love Guts to death too and I really want them to be together in the end! I could go on and on about Casca like I do on my blog, but I guess I'll end by saying: I'm rooting for you, girl!
He drew a lot of hate, but Death Note's Near is awesome. Near is awesome. However, he's no L. There's a reason L's the favorite of both author and artist of Death Note, and a majority of the fanbase. He's just that cool. Yes, he wasn't L, but he wasn't supposed to be. Rather, the point of his character was to introduce a successor who wasn't quite up to par with the original and who still had some work to do to catch up, both to Kira and to the levels of mega-geniousness that L exuded (so, in a way, was the point of Mello's character, but that's getting off topic.) Near fascinated me precisely because he was astoundingly smart and startlingly child-like all at the same time; the layers the author added to his character are really intriguing, making him scarily competent in one area of expertise (and he knows it, goddammit!) yet at the same time coupling that genius with a crippling inability to live day-to-day life on his own. And the way he just brings Kira down is so made of win: calmly and cooly denouncing all of his actions while completely deconstructing everything Light stood for. That badass one-liner he serves Light just after he's been shot, coupled with that badass one-liner he gives the third wannabe Kira in the series' follow-up one-shot.... Near is an awesome character. Straight up.
Misa. She's so sweet, cute, and evil at the same time, and just plain fun. One of the best moment in the entire series involved Misa. It came right after Rem had finished explaining about how to kill shinigami using love, and Misa, in a hushed, almost reverent tone of voice, proclaims: "What a beautiful way to kill." I know on an intellectual level that she's a psychotic mass-murderer, but at the same time, she's just so damn adorable that I want to hug her. It's not often that someone succeeds in making a MoePsycho for Hire.
Misa seems majorly stupid next to the super-geniuses of Death Note - and she acts very naive - but she gets her time to shine in the Yotsuba arc when she tricks Higuchi into admitting he's the Third Kira. (And everyone goes, "Whoa, she's not stupid.") She's as sweet as honey when it comes to Light, although she can be a bit... passive when it comes to, uh, everyone else, but when she makes the eye deal the second time and gives up three-fourths of her life (even though she does have an extended life) for Light without batting an eyelash, her devotion to him is definitely heartbreaking. (Let's not even mention how sad it was when she killed herself.) She's totally hilarious.
When it comes to minor characters, can't beat Aizawa for being a true conscientious dissenter, given that he's one of six people who actually had the guts to stay with the cause, and rallying the police force so covertly that none of the main characters, let alone the Yotsuba Group, seemed to expect it - backfiring, yes, but providing faceless mooks for the questioning and no doubt preferable to a loose Higuchi with nothing to lose - and the hotel notepad, and that breathtakingly ironic umbrella scene... Pretty much from the moment the afro comes off, just watching his thoughts as things progress gives everything a nice human touch.
I find Ryuk utterly adorable, what with his addiction to apples and his "humans are fun!" stuff... even though she is not on his side. I am on his side, which is to say nobody's side, and finds him so awesomely, morbidly adorable it's hard to describe. The amused guffaw. And the apple dance in the second intro!
Mikami, Mikami. He is one of the most complex and fascinating characters on the show. And his Ax-Crazy is awesome.
Matsuda. Snuck into Yotsuba (and got out by faking his own death by falling from a balcony), and risked his life by appearing on TV to help capture Kira. He was a Kira supporter, but didn't let that interfere with his job of capturing Kira. And, of course, his Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass moment in the final episode, when he shoots Light multiple times upon learning that he's Kira.
Matsuda seemed more like he sympathized with Kira's viewpoint, rather than out-and-out supporting it. He experienced the same "wait, who's the good guy, here...?" doubt that the audience did, but ultimately stuck with his job and his friends. His admiration of both Soichiro and Light just makes his entire story heartbreaking, especially at the end of the manga, where he can't quite bring himself to believe that Light, his brilliant and wonderful friend and colleague and the son of his mentor, was really the enemy that they had been searching for. Otherwise, Matsuda is wonderful and smexy and after Soichiro, probably the most heroic character in the series.
What about Rem? She was so loyal and cared for Misa so much. <3
I has always thought Mello was really cool, for bringing some action into this otherwise purely thinker's anime.
Soichiro. One of the only characters who can be utterly devout in his beliefs, and yet utterly uncorruptible, even refusing the power of the Death Note when given half the chance. Also, Naomi Misora - despite going through some real emotional turmoil, she's so smart, cautious and quick-thinking that she would have solved the Kira case herself if she hadn't been tricked by Light using her emotional turmoil - even Word of God admits that he killed her off too early because she was too smart and would solve the case too early.
I don't think it's been adequately described in exactly how many ways L is one of the baddest motherfuckers in the history of fiction. This was a man who faced a magical serial killer armed with an untracable, nigh omni-present method of murder with absolutely no knowledge on how it worked, why it worked, and what kind of person would use it, and ALMOST WON. He narrowed his search down from the entire world to Light Yagami in no more than a few months, using clues that even Crazy-Prepared Light didn't take into account. He worked hard for every hint he ever obtained, wheras Light relied on luck or INVINCIBLE gods of death half the time. He protected himself from Kira by going up to Light's face and rubbing his true identity in it, and stayed one step ahead of Light every time the two of them had a "friendly" chat. When faced with a second, more powerful Kira, L briefly contemplates going back into hiding, but he almost immediatly decides FUCK THAT and actively baits himself, arresting the 2nd Kira AND all but confirming the identity of the 1st one in the process. L never feared death, and goes into almost every situation knowing that he's probably going to die, this lead to him employing a Deadman Switch, which eventually alerted his successors to his death, this completely crippled Light's scheme to supplant L and steal his identity (planning to become the investigator of his own case). L was also able to deduce as much of Light's Memory Gambit as humanly possible considering the scarce information that he had, and as soon as he got a hold of the Death Note he began to figure out the thing so fast it terrified even Light.
Shinichi Kudo. Noble, full of class, and one of the smartest characters I have had the pleasure of reading about.
To elaborate... He's brilliant, well-read, funny with a sort of dry, snarky, wit, and honestly kind and caring, especially about Ran, but her alone. Sure, he was a bit of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold in the first few stories, but being Conan snapped him out of it, and brought out the Heart of Gold, leaving the Jerk behind. While sometimes he may seem uncaring about the multitude of murders always occurring around him, he's affected by each and every one. He has an amazing memory, which certainly helps him solve so many cases, but it also means he remembers all those cases that much better. Sure, lying to Ran for so long isn't good, but he never meant for it to last so long. Right at the beginning, he nearly did tell her, it was only because of Dr. Agasa that he didn't. And after all, living there as Conan, he has to see every time she lets the mask slip, and admits how much she misses him. Early on, his parents came to take him to America, where he'd be safe from the Black Organization, but he refused to go, because he didn't want to leave her behind. He calls her as Shinichi as often as he can, and whenever he gets a temporary cure, his first thought is of her. Every day he spends as Conan, he sees it hurting her, and his resolve strengthens that much more. Somehow, someday, he will find a way back to her.
Ran. She's barely seen the guy she loves for who knows how long, but she hasn't moved on, she's going to wait for him. And yet, despite missing him so much, she tries not to let it show. She's always sweet to Conan, and hates to see him get hurt. She's smart, pretty, patient, strong, and if you hurt Conan, Shinichi, or anyone else she loves, you're going down. She's not taking those karate lessons for nothing!
Kerberos from Cardcaptor Sakura is surprisingly funny and cute for a Guardian Beast, and his interactions with the humans are priceless. It's also nice that he doesn't lose his sense of humour when he regains his actual form.
And he's smarter than he looks, too!
Toya Kinomoto. Not just for being dead sexy. He's also undoubtedly the series' best example of Hidden Depths, what with him acting like a stock bratty big brother in front of Sakura, yet always looking out for her in reality. It's kind of sad that she'll never know, because after all, she's not the only one with secrets.
Tomoyo. Who wouldn't want a friend like her?
Even if she is an unrepentant brat who spent about half of her screen time trying to get between the Yaoi Guys, I still love Nakuru to bits. Her Genki Girl personality is just too hard to resist—you know things are bound to get much more lively whenever she's around. The fact that she's a CLAMP character who doesn't struggle with some sort of angst or other is pretty darn refreshing, too.
Angelic Days Asuka is also a lot more... maneagable than her original counterpart. More of a common Tsundere than a crazy one.
Say what you will about Shinji in the series proper being a WangstyEmo Teen. Honestly, can you say you wouldn't be a psycholgical mess if you went through half the stuff he did?
I have always prefered the original Rei. Woobishness, more dignified, and a just plain interesting character in my eyes.
I love the original Asuka too. One of the best examples of a Jerkass Woobie. She's not a pleasant person at all but her psychological issues are what makes her interesting while her bitchiness is what makes her enjoyable to watch.
Shinji Ikari - in short, I absolutely love Shinji, because he is a lot like me. I've never identified with a character so much as I do with Shinji. His angst, brokeness, and desire to be loved all feel like a part of me so I see him as someone I can completely relate to.
Seconded. I started watching Evangelion expecting Shinji to be the useless, whiny, melodramatic wuss everyone said he was. I couldn't have been more wrong. Not gonna lie, I just wanna give him a huge hug and tell him everything will be okay. I don't get why people hate him so much.
Shinji and Asuka really don't deserve alot of the crap they get from alot of people. Sure, their personalities can be obnoxious, but they're VERY screwed up in the head, so of course they won't be perfect, nice, sociable people.
Mari Illustrious Makinami. That girl is pure, contracted badass. I mean, she spends more than half of her screentime fighting!
Until recently, I disliked Kaworu Nagisa. It's only upon actually sitting down and watching the series again (along with Rebuild and Gakuen Datenroku) that I realized that Kaworu is one of the few characters in the series who confronts his very human feelings without fear. And yes, the irony is apparent...
Misato Katsuragi - sure she acts like a total slob at home, but when she's at work? Badass. She's probably one of the most awesome and likeable characters, and also the most awesome of the NERV employees. Of course, I also love Ritsuko Akagi and Maya Ibuki - and Gendo Ikari deserves an honourable mention - because let's face it, even if he's a totally self-centred bastard out for himself, you DO have to admire the amount of carefully-calculated control he has over all his employees and close allies, to the point that none of them have the nerve or guts to really oppose him until it's too late to make a difference.
Misato, because she manages to be Plucky Comic Relief (in the earlier episodes, anyway), a highly competent NERV employee, and one of the deepest characters in the series, all at the same time. Also, she has the best beergasmever.
Luffy from One Piece is maybe of the most supremely lovable main characters. He's strong, has profound emotional intelligence, and has a gigantic heart, yet he never comes off as a canon-sue like a lot of other similar characters because of all the great humor derived from his (numerous) unambiguous flaws. Initally, he comes off as the stupidest of the Big 3 Shonen Jump protagonsits. But he's actually the most experienced. The ways he's more complex than his idiot persona makes him is incredible. I appreciate how fighting isn't his only motivation, and he's a genuinely friendly guy. He's not prideful either, and acknowledges weakness.
Zoro. Truth be told, I didn't like him very much at first, having been disenchanted with good-looking, Bad Ass male characters. All that changed when it became increasingly clear to I that he's actually a deeply caring person underneath his gruff reserved-ness.
Nami: smart, competent, sexy and boy howdy does she know it! She's got believable character flaws: she's greedy, manipulative, and utterly selfish and even cowardly at times, but despite all this she's got a great heart and a big dream. Her development into a kinder and more generous person is subtle and utterly believable, and her upgrade to a genuine Action Girl was both hilarious and kick ass!
Usopp! Brave Warrior of the Sea, with an army of 30,000 men at his back! A man who put up a good fight against Luffy, using nothing but his brains! A man who, faced with stress and fear, developed the split personality of Sogeking, the King of Snipers, an honest to god Toku superhero complete with awesomely cheesy theme song.
The Three Admirals are all incredible characters. Aokiji's a genuinely good guy who does what he feels is his duty, but actually knows where to draw the line. Kizaru's just so chill about everything that you just can't hate him, beating up pirates basically as an afterthought. Akainu is basically a freaking Terminator. Damn near nothing can stop him from killing his target and god help anyone who gets in the way, no matter who's side their on.
Not to mention just about EVERYTHING he's done in the Impel Down/Marienford Arcs is pure awesome, even if we have no idea what he's actually DOING. Is it a Heel-Face Turn? Or is he just pulling another plan? Is he starting to actually care about other people, or is he just doing everything for his own benefit? It doesn't matter, because whatever he's pulling, he's doing it epically well.
His appearance was the perfect example of averted Diminishing Villain Threat. Being the Big Bad of the second big arc, from what seems like right at the beginning of the story, he was ripe for being underwhelming after so long a time. Right up until he starts disintegrating walls, and you remember that this is the guy who basically KILLED the main character twice before.
Brook. From the sheer randomness of his introduction ("okay, Franky just joined the crew, and Robin and Usopp just rejoined it. What's going to happen next?" (a week or two later) "A finely-dressed skeleton with an afro joins the crew?!") to his tragic backstory (which expanded on a backstory which had previously been told), along with his humourous antics, his brilliant interactions with the crew, his awesome laugh, his theme song which managed to combine Awesome Music and Tear Jerker into one catchy musical number.
Speaking of Wierdos, Franky himself has to be one of the most unbelievably awesome characters ever invented. He's a cola powered Cyborg built out of pieces from a junkyard. He has a blue pompadour, the forearms of Pop-eye the Sailor, the chin of Bruce Campbell, wears a Hawaiian shirt and speedo at all times, cries Manly Tears at the drop of a hat, plays acoustic guitar ballads, and according to Word of God is based on Ace Ventura.
Vivi. Even though she's a princess, damn it, she SHOULD have stayed with the crew!
Mr. 2/Bon Kurei. Introduced as one of those characters where you think, "Aw man, this one's a sissy, and they'll just use his Camp Gay for a joke." Then you find out that he's a shape shifter and can impersonate the king, maybe the most useful power of all of Baroque Works. THEN he fights Sanji, and almost murders him...using SWAN SHOES. What do you mean, that's not awesome? So now he's not only a clown and Camp Gay, but you can RESPECT him as a villain. But how does it all end? With a giant Heel Face Turn where he sacrifices himself so Luffy can go on because of the one moment of friendship they shared before they figured out they were on opposite sides. And he sacrifices himself TWICE.
And on that note, Mr. 3 in the battle to rescue Ace. You should know the scene.
Whitebeard. THE GODDAMN WHITEBEARD. Let us recall what this juggernaut of a human being did before he died. Got slashed, shot and blasted literally hundreds of times, lost part of his face/got his organs melted, shed Manly Tears when his son died, caused millions of Berries worth of collateral damage to Marineford, hugged and forgave the son that stabbed him, slashed and blasted Blackbeard, held the title of Strongest Man in the World and did most of this while having a terminal illness.
Sanji is one of the most badass and competent members of the Strawhats. He's got one of the best fighting styles, has saved everyone's asses multiple times (Mr.Prince anyone?), and can literally kick the ugly out of you. And his status as The Chew Toy has been utterly hilarious.
Robin adds a more mature and emotionally stable character to the crew. Her mysterious behavior, as well as her suspicious motives, set in motion the most emotional story arc in One Piece: Enies Lobby.
Tony Tony Chopper is the only Zoan-type to join the crew (at least now) and acts as the ship's doctor. His actions with the crew can make for some very funny moments, since he is basically still a kid. But he also has a really hard-hitting backstory to go with it. His fighting style's also badass, since he can change forms on the fly from a more human-shaped form to more of an actual-reindeer looking form. Was it mentioned that he's goddamn ADORABLE?!
The idiot trio and their big sis Adette from Overman King Gainer, the antics of all 4 are always fun to watch whether Adette is riling up a riot instead of calming it down, or the idiot trio are complaining about their rank. Naturally the episodes that have a large portion of the 4 are always great.
Vash the Stampede. I watched Trigun on a whim, expecting just another decent anime series, and Vash somehow managed to become one of my favourite characters in anything, ever.
He's in less than a dozen episodes but Nicholas D. Wolfwood is the coolest guy in the show. As a travelling priest and gunman Wolfwood is both a funny guy and serious foil to Vash, since he challenges Vash's naive idealism. His greatest moment is his last, when he makes a confession before dying. His second greatest is helping Vash in the climax despite his death.
Alucard. He's a murderous, psychotic, sadistic monster that delights in torturing and terrifying his enemies before eating their souls, and yet is so undeniably awesome when he goes about it.
It's also worth noting, that the definition of a vampire has grown to become very loose. Some involve people with capes who reside in the darkness. Some involve stone masks that turn people into Body Horror personified. Some involve... peopleWHO SPARKLE IN THE SUNLIGHT?! No, no, no. Alucard is his own definition of a vampire, while still remaining true to the original. He's utterly terrifying. He's the type of vampire where, if you tried to hug him, he's rip you to shreds without even thinking. In fact, you wouldn't even want to hug him, just ask Luke Valentine.
America somehow takes the annoying stereotypesofthecountry and somehow makes them endearing character flaws, showing him as a hilarious big kid. He's certainly my hero. Also, I have a thing for glasses and flight jackets. I'd want to hug him but he'd probably crush my ribs.
Even though the series is based off of National Stereotypes, England could be one of the most fleshed-out characters because of the influence of his history.
England shows just how effective the Tsundere archetype can be when done right. He's hilarious when he tries to be a prim and proper gentleman and utterly fails when America, France, or a bottle of alcohol is placed in front of him, and he's adorable when he talks to his fairies and unicorns. Then you find out the main reason for his grouchiness, and his Tsundere nature suddenly becomes a lot more poignant. He's got surprising depth for a stereotype-based character.
China's cool because he's the best fighter, or at least one of the best, and he's fun and cute.
America is awesome because he's funny, and love or hate us politically, it's kinda hard to argue with that depiction. A loud, not-so-bright big eater who fancies himself a hero, but means well in the end — definitely America.
Spain. Just... Spain. He is not annoying, he's not mean, he's not selfish, he's got some of the series' best heroic moments, he seems to be always in a good mood... and he's not boring.
Italy can be very sweet. What a cute, energetic, and overall goofy character he is!
All of these characters are great, but none of them hold candle to the awesomeness that is Prussia!
the Baltics. They just can't catch a break, especially poor Lithuania, but I'll be darned if they aren't sweet and adorable in spite of that. Plus, the actual countries themselves have such a fascinating history, which just endears me to their Hetalia versions even more.
Keiichi. He's paranoid, perverted, and clueless about women. But his love for his friends and his sheer GAR shine through, inspiring Rika, and later Hanyuu to take a stand against fate.
The cast of Higurashi as a whole. Nearly all of them are awesome and absurdly likeable. Take a bow, guys. You deserve it.
Shion. She's not even in on the others' plans, but the moment she knows they're in danger she's willing to give up her life, and she won't let Keiichi take her place — and not because she loves him but because she knows her sister does.]] That is one awesome friend.
Satoko, Rika, and Takano. Satoko goes first. She's this strong, assertive character who started out as a total bitch, but becomes nice enough to be entertaining and likable. She has an interesting story, and tries her hardest to make things right even when she makes the wrong choices. And on top of that she has an ultra cool laugh. Rika I like for her story and double personality. She's just fascinating. Pretty much the same for Takano as Rika.
Battler Ushiromiya. His sheer determination enables him to pull off feats that would make Keiichi proud.
The Big Bad Beatrice. She kept screwing with the characters' heads, and even plays on both the sides of good and the sides of evil. She even creates Eva-Beatrice for her plan to come into fruition. She's such a Magnificent Bastard and Laughably Evil. Beatrice was a great villainess.
Maria. She is simply just adorable, and scary at the same time.
It is impossible to hate Yotsuba Koiwai. She's pure joy in a five-year-old body and green pigtails. She climbs light poles to act like a cicada, imitates gangster movies, and has a smile for everyone she meets. The sheer will and determination she demonstrates in delivering a bottle of tasty milk to Fuuka, who had missed out in the previous chapter, when she had no idea where Fuuka's destination was.
Yotsuba's dad. He's so cute. He tries his best to take care of his little girl, but he's scared of dogs and an ultimate klutz.
Reggie. How the hell can the older brother of such a jerk like Paul be so freakin' awesome? He's smart, he's nice, he's a hell of a trainer, and he ain't too bad on the eyes either.
Croagunk combines wanton trainer abuse with a hilarious inversion of The Beastmaster relationship as his trainer, Brock, is the one being dominated. Throw in some zoophilia implications and it is one of the best Pokémon-human interactions in the entire series.
Yellow, from Pokémon Special. Anyone else trying a pacifist gal with the special power to understand Pokémon who needs to rescue the previous main character and with "vast potential" would end up as a horrifying Mary Sue at best, if not a Creator's Pet. Instead she comes across as an actually reasonable result of that sort of personality and capabilities, making reasonable mistakes due to her inexperience and endangering others when she tries to protect even the villains, and then works hard to learn from her mistakes. Then she gets bonus points for running up to That OneCheating Bastard Boss of the video games and pulling a Superweapon Surprise.
I love anime Team Rocket because they're really not so bad. Somehow their determination to never give up and do nice things every now and then really makes me happy.
Not only do they have a totally badass motto, they're also hilariously funny at times, and brilliantly incompetant villains. The presence of the Team Rocket trio in every episode of Pokémon is such a big part of the show, and it just wouldn't be the same without them. Not only that, but all three of them have great backstories and are arguably developed much better than any of the protagonists. Throw in some insane hairstyles, trademark uniforms, and a penchant for outrageous disguises, and you have some of the most memorable villains from any kids' show.
Team Rocket in Best Wishes has blown my mind. They did what I had never thought possible; Took A Level In Bad Ass and became serious threats. That just makes the show so much more exciting and different now, as their comical shtick had gotten old after a decade.
May from the Advanced series. Cute, sweet, energetic, well developed (in two different ways), and a girl who just gets increasingly more Bad Ass as the series progresses. By the time her starter Pokémon fully evolves and she's strong enough to match Ash in battle, you really feel proud of how far she's come.
Nando. Yes, I am gushing about a character who only appeared for 10 episodes out of Diamond & Pearl's 191-episode-long run. But who cares? He's a sweet, sexybishonen Spanish music master with a gold Mew harp, amazing Contest talent, a sexy accent, and he's a Friend to All Living Things. And he gave one of the best Contest performances I've ever seen in his battle with Zoey. This guy is the #1 reason why I love the D&P saga, and he was the only competitor I was cheering for during the Grand Festival. The only one. And the most amazing part is that he started off as a random character of the day who could have only appeared for one episode, but the writers managed to take him so much farther and created the best Pokémon character ever. Rock on, Naoshi-san. You'll always be an Ensemble Dark Horse to me. <3
Gotta give love for Zoey too. I feel she and Nando and even Ursula were enjoyable characters who deserved alot more than what the anime gave them overall.
Iris and Cilan of Best Wishes. Most fun travelling companions ever!
What, no love for Harley??! He manages to be awesome, funny, evil, hot, manipulative, and lovable all at the same time!
No Trip on here? Come on! He's the only main rival toward Ash that isn't such a prick and there's a hint that he has a lot of depth to him if you just pay attention to his attitude. He's so adorable when he's in his fanboy mode over Alder and he has a Vanillite!
There's a suspicious lack of Bianca here. Maybe her behavior in the Club Battle arc was a little obnoxious, but come on, she's just so bubbly and happy and friendly all the time it's really hard to get mad at her (and even harder to stay mad)! It helps that she also Took a Level in Badass come the Clubsplosion.
Georgia, the Dragon Buster. She's incredibly badass, beautiful, and does a great job at busting Dragon-types.
November 11 is such a cool character, not only is he rather amusing and even somewhat likable despite being amoral, he definitely proves that freezing powers are not something to laugh at. November's solution to second-hand-smoke is unique.
Hei, a.k.a. Chinese Electric Batman. He falls squarely into my warped definition of Badass Adorable, which for any normal female would be "Badass and hawt," and he can be a surprisingly complicated character considering that the fact that he has really cool powers is supposed to make him inescapably sociopathic and his hardcore stoicism and acting ability often make it difficult to tell what he knows, thinks, or feels about anything. It's also pretty cool to see how the different sides of his personality tend to come into play in different situations and how he's been shaped by his godawful past.
Yin is the most adorablysad character I has ever seen. She's supposedly emotionless but she's obviously suffering inside, which shows during the rare but precious times she speaks. Did I mention she's cute?
Mobile Fighter G Gundam: Master. Asia. His physical feats in the series are hilarious and awesome, especially since the series doesn't give an explanation for them other than "he's really good at kung-fu." This equates to him being able to destroy Humongous Mecha with his bare hands, run across machine gun fire, catch bullets (fired by Humongous Mecha), defeat people and mecha using a sash or Domon's headband (including a laser towel?! when he's in his Gundam), often using them to cut things or by spinning them so fast they become drills, trained his horse to pilot a horse-shaped Humongous Mecha just so his own mecha could ride on top of it, can play his braided ponytail like a flute, stand on lasers, breathe fire, teaches Sun Tzu's The Art of War to zombies and kicks freaking skyscrapers in the air. Not to mention the most delicious of Narm "I will become SUPER ASIA!" or his fondness for randomly striking dramatic kung-fu poses.
Simoun: Yun is an excellent character. Originally presented as a somewhat snooty Mauve Shirt waiting to happen, because of an unexpected overwhelmingly positive response to her unapologetic religiosity and blunt criticism of the other characters' more egregious behaviour from both viewers and the cast and crew of the series, she got a simultaneously very beautiful and immensely challenging Character Arc originally intended for another character and ended up one of the most powerful and recognizable symbols of the show's quasi-existentialist, Benjaminian religious philosophy. She gave the distinctly hit-and-miss screenwriter Okada Mari the chance to write some of her best and most serious dialogue, without sacrificing humanizing (and somewhat amusing) character traits like a distaste for onions (which she's hilariously defensive about the one time it's brought up) and a mildly antisocial tendency.
Chachamaru and Evangeline are just made of sweet, tragic win with ample helpings of asskick thrown in for good measure.
Negi's power up has got to be some of the best character development.
Setsuna is by far one of the single cutest yet ass-kicky characters
Kotarou for being the proud, acknowledged and happy-go-lucky Idiot Hero that he is, which makes for a great contrast with sometimes-mopey Negi.
Jack Rakan. The man is so freaking awesome that he could give Kamina a run for his money. The man punches the ground and leaves a crater in the shape of a fist. His fight with Negi. All eight chapters of it. You can not keep the man down.
Nodoka. En addition to the epic amounts of Moe that she emanates, she's probably one of the bravest characters in the entire series. Despite the fact that she constantly gets put into intensely dangerous or frightening situations, she's one of the few characters who never has any sort of Heroic BSOD or bouts of Self-Deprecation. Her first response to just about any situation to do what she can, even if it involves sneaking up on the Big Bad in the middle of a fight or standing up to a being who just erased two of her friends from existence. It's subtle, but she has her Bad Ass moments.
Konoka. She's smart, kind and has a mischievous side to her. She's rich, but doesn't flaunt it, a bit of a ditz, but not to an annoying extreme. And her scenes with Setsuna are full of win.
Garderobe Academy would surely be a less hectic school if more people followed the example of one Irina Woods. She's smart, mildly goofy, and arguably the nicest and well-meaning character out of the bunch. I'm willing to go out on a limb and say that without Irina's intervention (namely finding a way to get Erstin's last written letter to Nina after she was killed and helping temporarily reboot the Fumi System so that the Meisters stood a chance against Schwarz's Slave army), the ending to the series would have been a damn depressing one.
Jiron Amos. Full stop. I knew of the series's infamous ICBM catch for quite a while now, but only beheld the greatness of Jiron after playing Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden and realizing the guy is more hotblooded than the entire cast of Gurren Lagann put together. It's easy for a man with courage to pilot a machine that gets stronger in accordance to your willpower to win against all odds. It's damn near impossible for a man with courage to pilot a machine that runs on nothing more than ordinary gasoline and still win against all odds. That is what Jiron is; a Real Robot pilot pulling off amazing feats while using a machine that has nothing mystical or magical about it. He wins his fights because he forces himself to, not because of any kind of deus ex machina.
Dr. Stein's the best character on the show. The most interesting moments of the Soul Eater characters tend to be when they're on the verge of succumbing to madness, and Stein is in said condition for half the series!
Seconded. Every time I see Crona, it makes me want to cry! I think it's safe to say Crona's the character that everyone just wants to hug. He is The Woobie To End All Woobies! Plus an added bonus of Adorkable and Moe to top it all off!
Asura. Arguably one of the best anime villains ever, as his mere EXISTENCE causes the world to go mad. And he's also pretty. Too pretty.
Shinigami-sama. The eccentric, gleefully (if exasperating) daft Grim Reaper whom its very easy to forget is the formidable Hidden Badass commander of a organisation made to fight Eldritch Abominations. He explicitly states he took on his current childish appearance and persona to avoid scaring the children, and is the only character so far to get close to out-gambit-ing Medusa (she had the Baba Yaga arc all tied up until she realised Shinigami sent Tezca and Enrique after her). He's unpredictable, and his awkward relationship with Kid doesn't hide the fact he clearly cares about the boy. His casual attitude to most everything that occurs in the series, even amidst Cerebus Syndrome, are unnerving and funny - he chats with the Big Bad before ruining a city in an attempt to defeat him. And if recent reveals about his history are to be believed then he's a Lovecraft-ish Eldritch Abomination himself, who has a...curious take on his given position.
BLACK STAR SHOULD BE AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE!!!!!
Mifune, so very badass and yet all he wants is to protect the children.
Tsubaki, she's calm, selfless, considerate, easy-going, and a Cool Big Sis to Black Star, who she's very loyal to. She wants what's best for all of her True Companions, an admirable trait.
Nanoha herself for being a Magical Girl who just doesn't pull punches, uses tactics, and didn't get the sudden Growing Up Sucks loss of powers to go get married to some guy she's never talked to. She became career military.
Dieci: she's a kind, thoughtful girl with a strong consciencenote Consider this: she was tutored by Quattro, and yet she was still the first among the Numbers to have serious doubts about her actions., and she looks damn cute, too.
Hayate Yagami. She's got as much power as Nanoha herself and then some, she's the Master of the aformentioned Signum and the rest of the Wolkenritter; she's a very lovely, sweet and smart young lady who cares about her friends a great deal and just has such awesome power in her disposal with the Book of the Night Sky.
Black Lagoon: Revy. And not just because she's a badasstsundereDark Action GirlWarrior Poetwith purple hair. Or that she's unbelievably sexy. It's because she manages be all of those things, while still being an incredibly deep, nuanced character. Go watch some of her conversations with Rock; there's way more there than even she is willing to admit.
And when it comes to sheer, unadulterated, evilbadassery, you just can't top Balalaika. Hail to the Kapitan!
Don't forget about Chang. Not only is he uber badass, but his interactions with the aforementioned Balalaika have some of the best writing on the show.
Although it's a little hard to pick just one character in Fruits Basket, Kyo Sohma definitely takes the cake. From crashing through the ceiling, to his unwavering (at times hilarious) obsession with defeating Yuki, to the awkward gentleness he unveils with Tohru, once he worms his way into your heart, he's there to stay.
Ayame is the most amazing character in anything, ever. Everything he says and does is just written to make a moment hilarious.
Kazuma Kuwabara from YuYu Hakusho. His sheer tenacity is something to be admired in and of itself, plus the fact that despite the fact that he's technically the weak link in the team, being the only full-human and having less energy, he still manages to hold his own through the first three seasons. Except the Dark Tournament, where he tended to lose the less-important battles in embarrassing ways. He was still pretty awesome, though.
YuYu Hakusho: Kurama. Bishounen, smart, soft-spoken, snarky (in a sly way) makes ugly clothes like that pink school uniform look good, pulls out super-powers/abilties from nowhere, not to mention the Rose Whip Will MAKE YOU SUFFER if you tick him off, and he loves his Mama. Also, don't threaten Mama. You WILL die slowly and not realize it. Just ask Roto. Oh, wait, you can't. He's dead. Beware the Nice Ones indeed. Oh, Did I mention his Super-Powered Evil Side?
Dr. Franken Stein from Soul Eater, who beat one of Shibusen's top students while sitting in his chair. He lacks a Freudian Excuse for his vicious, sadistic habits, has hidden depths of humanity and fear while seemingly reveling in the odd chance he gets to fight, all with the suggestion that, perhaps, this isn't really what he wants. chaos and fear are everywhere in the series, but Stein exemplifies it better than the rest.
Giroro from Keroro Gunso. His near obsession with Natsumi is adorable, as is his pet kitty.
Baron Humbert von Gekkingen from Whisper of the Heart and The Cat Returns, even though he was merely a prop in the former. Aside from being a cat, he's also a brave, upstanding gentleman who has a powerful desire to help others. His English voice (provided by Cary Elwes) is absolutely to-die-for.
Haruhi Fujioka. Tamaki's right, she's just the cutest thing ever, no matter what she is wearing.
Nekozawa. He's just... so amusing. Goes around in a cloak creeping people out for the sheer fun of it... my type of guy. It's really too bad he only appears in four episodes.
Ohhh yes. He's so ridiculous and ditzy and so completely ignorant of the real world... and then whenever I want to just smack him he does something so completely sweet and sincerely kind and adorable that you just half to love him - and he always does that sweet, kind thing as a matter of course.
Renge is the most hilarious character in Ouran ever.
While Ana and Matsuri of Strawberry Marshmallow are not far behind, special mention must be given to the team of Miu and Chika. Miu is responsible for much of the humor in the series, and Chika's reactions to her antics just top them off well. (Not to undervalue the reactions from the other girls: a well-placed "YEEK!" from Matsuri is sometimes the perfect thing, while other times, Nobue giving her a close-up view of the carpet is more appropriate.) You may have noticed I haven't mentioned that they're cute. This is because all the main characters and some of the supporting cast are adorable — Nobue less often, but still — so I had to use a different metric.
After her character development in Capo 2 of Rosario + Vampire, Kurumu is my favorite member of the Unwanted Harem. Sure Moka is the "preferred" one but all she does is beat up Tsukune. Kurumu on the other hand has the Crowning Moment of Awesome of the entire series when she unhesitatingly leaps out the window to save Mizore from her suicide attempt. (The same Mizore that Kurumu is constantly fighting with over Tsukune.) Then holds her as she cries out how scared she was during the attempted rape. Then she agonizes over how she feels like she's secondary to everyone else in the newspaper club, and she hasn't been able to spend time with Tsukune, thus turning into my favorite Woobie. All of this and she's a succubus, an incarnation of seduction, and going against her very nature to try to stay true to Tsukune. It turns out that she is filled with so much love that it hurts, and she has to hide it behind her Genki Girl exterior. Meanwhile Moka is still beating up Tsukune. He's such an idiot. (Yes, ok, fine, so I have a crush on a manga character. I'm sure it's not the first time.)
Kurumu is indeed a surprisingly well-written Romantic Runner-Up, but for me, it has to be Ruby. She has one of the most interesting and well-developed backgrounds in the series, lots of interesting and funny quirks, an intelligent and skilled approach that many other characters lack, and not exactly lacking in attractiveness. When the time comes to get serious, she is just plain spectactular, and anyone who can weaponize being Too Kinky to Torture deserves major props in my books.
As of Chapter 38 of the second season, Inner Moka has become my second favorite character inthe entirerty of the series. Sure, she's as cold as cold comes at first, sure she has a mean kick. Sure she starts off as an ego-centric bitch, but once most of her armor is removed, she's simply a girl who doesn't know who she is, scared of being hurt by anything that gets too close, and overall, very sweet to those she can claim as friends. And to those that do meet that definition, she's fiercely loyal to, going so far as beat the ever loving hell out of whoever messes with them, taking on an entire palace/temple with two backups with non-deadly force to save a friend from an arranged marriage, rising to fight back an elder sister who was stronger than herself, and even giving herself up so that the family of her friends' friends' won't get killed. Yes, she beat Tsukune up a few times, but made up for it later.
Mokas. They have a great contrast, but are also alike in many ways. She also has a very sad backstory. Pairing her with Tsukune is brilliant because she made him strong and a hero while he gave her a loyal companion.
TSUKUNE F—-ING AONO. The nicest guy in any manga that I read. He is always friendly and willing to help those in trouble. Even though he has brutal powers, he still will fight on even if it kills him. This guy deserves all the love his harem brings him and is one of the most underated badasses being printed now awadays.
Snake. He's so sweet, and so shy, and deeply loyal to the people he considers friends. I have no words for how concerned I am for his well-being now that he's around Ciel and Sebastian all the time. Because as awesome as they are, they are not good friends for him. Never have I seen a character that I want to hug as badly as I want to hug Snake.
After War Gundam X: Jamil Neate. The man is Bright, Amuro and Char all rolled into one with a big pile of badass on top.
(Kogarashi is just a hilarious character - he's a Heroic Comedic Sociopath to rival Belkar,yet when you combine the complete seriousness towards his work, his Combo Platter Powers and his complete lack of restraint or respect for anyone,you get awesome and funny.)
Rei from Sailor Moon. She has so many talents (quite aside from the whole magical power thing) and yet remains down-to-earth and deeply caring, an ever reliable friend. Wish there were more people like her in the world.
poor littleHotaru. The fact that she had three women trying to kill her because her Mad Scientist father made a desperate bargain to save her life and let the herald of a monster be sealed inside of her, being possessed by said herald, and being forced to rip out her best friend's heart made me want to hug her. Watching her find the strength to take control of her body back, become Sailor Saturn, and unflinchingly make a Heroic Sacrifice to destroy it]. The fact that Sailor Moon was still able to give her another chance at life was icing on the cake.
Haruka Tenou/Sailor Uranus for years. One of the more powerful members of the Senshi, but a total sweetie when it comes to Michiru. Also, she makes everyone swoon like nobody's business and her driving skills are awe-inspiring.
Gene fuckin' Starwind. He's so many parts of brash, hard-headed youth yet sweet, almost noble good guy that it's impossible not to love him.
Sweet Moe Melfina who can be pretty Badass at times.
Third/Heiza. Sure, he turns out to be a Magnificent Bastard but he was—to I—the hottest and most interesting character in the series. She also thought his intentions were surprisingly sweet since he just wanted to see the Earth firsthand one day.
Allen Walker. Cute, incredibly badass, and a genuinely nice guy who's doggedly cheerful no matter how many Level 4 Akuma the universe throws at him.
Ryou Bakura. He's shy, gentle, way too cute, and despite what most Fan Fic would tell you, has enough of a spine to defy the Spirit of the Ring in order to help his friends. Watching him distance himself from the others in order to keep them out of his other self's reach (or at least that's how I console myself when he doesn't get any screen time) just makes my heart melt. And 4Kids gave him that pretty British accent, one of the few things I'm willing to forgive about the dub (well, when they're not making him say things like "cheerio," at least.)
Yugi, Atem, Jounouchi, Anzu, Honda, Seto & Mokuba Kaiba, Shizuka, Mai, Pegasus, Marik, Bakura and Yami Bakura... GAH! ALL of the Yu-Gi-Oh! characters are just plain awesome!
Mana shows up in a single most concentrated burst of characterization I've ever seen. She's the character that prompted me to begin writing my own fiction.
Yugi, without being depressing or saccharine-sweet, is one of the single most sympathetic characters I have ever seen good lord. The sharp contrast between the beginning and the end and the ability to trace how that character development happened is amazing!
Yami Yugi. Look at him in the in the first manga, he was plain evil. Now look at him in the Egypt arc... he goes through just as much character development as Yugi. Same goes for Kaiba.
In this troper's opinion, Yami Bakura kicks an unbelievable amount ass for being a Hot-Blooded villain. He wants to awaken an ancient evil power and is very cold and calculating, but he has the energy (and in the Japanese version, the voice) of Ash from Pokémon!
Joey/Jonouchi, especially in the manga. He's easily one of the coolest characters in the story, if not the coolest. He can be very energetic and goofy most of the time (which makes a nice contrast to the seriousness of other duelists such as Yami Yugi and Kaiba), but when he gets serious, he's truly something to watch out for (go ask Yami Marik); also, in the manga, he can be very scary once he drops all that silliness and gets out his real weapons. Then there's his character development, from a bully and a thug to the best friend (and defender) you could have, and then to one of the most competent duelists in the series. Add there his love for his sister and his loyalty to his friends, and you have one of the most awesome guys in anything ever.
Although I liked all of the characters, when watching Martian Successor Nadesico, I really got a kick out of Inez. She has got to be the funniest and most obviously lampshaded version of Mr. Exposition out there (even called "The Explanation Lady" at one point). For example, you have a scene where someone says the word "explain" and she gets an "my ears are burning" reaction and immediately runs to provide an explanation. Or in another instance, announcing to the cast out of the blue that she has an explanation to make and that there will be snacks provided. Sure enough, there are snacks, and she delivers a slide show while banging on a small drum.
Ayumu Nishizawa. I really can't watch that girl talk about how she got lost chasing a sweet potato stand without being completely drawn off-guard by the cuteness and hilarity of the situation. And she shows up Once an Episode. (at least, she did in Season 1. * sigh* )
Ali al-Saachez Before anyone jumps on me over Draco in Leather Pants, let me assure you this is not the case. In fact, it's kind of the reverse. There's something cool about a bad guy who admits that yes, he is an evil person, and he reallylikes his job. Combine that with the fact that his appearance usually signals an incoming Moment of Awesome and, well...
Every character of Baccano!. Well, not Szilard. Or Dallas. Still, they're wacky and different from characters you usually see, and just make me smile. Take Isaac and Miria for example, two robbers who try to steal time (watches) and history (a museum, though they couldn't carry it so instead stole the entrance so no one else could go in) all while wearing awesome costumes. Then there's Claire, a young and perky train conductor who is an acrobat assassin willing to do anything to protect his train.
Claire needs his own post. Here it is.
Czeslaw Meyer. When you encounter The Reveal about his past and what made him so devilish, no matter how much you hated his bad deeds throughout the series at that point, you WILL "Awww!"
Or how about Jacuzzi Splot, who has both the best and worst name ever, cries when trying to introduce himself but can headbutt a guy with a flamethrower in the face, and makes up an awesome half of the ultimate Victorious Childhood Friend duo with his equally Bad AssPyro Maniac girlfriend Nice Holystone?
Luck Gandor, the coolest, calmest, classiest sonofabitch in The Mafia. Who reads poetry, waxes philosophical about immortality and the fear of death, is absolutely loyal to his employees and would do anything for his family. In the anime they give him gorgeous gold eyes and the sexiest voice in anime; in the novels he's a Badass who Magnificent Bastards Gustavo's Mooks out from under him and gouges out the guy's throat with his own severed arm.
Ladd Russo has got to be one of the strongest and most badass characters in the entire show. And he's a Badass Normal too! Sure he's a Serial KillerPsychopathic Manchild who's completely nuts, but he's just so damn entertaining to watch you can't help but love him!
Graham Specter anyone? Hyper, squirrely and talkative but rarely ever annoying,note except to the people who try to translate the books with him as a main character crazy and psychopathic and enjoying the idea of breaking stuff, always rambling, has the single most adorable Slasher Smile in history, the number one fanboy of Ladd Russo, and very very, well, cute. He's like a human squirrel with a monkey wrench and a fetish for destroying stuff! Who can't love this dude?
Digimon: Wizardmon. He's so charmingly mysterious, smart and reserved but polite, and is such a wonderful and loyal friend you have to envy Gatomon at least a little. Or be happy for the two of them - their history together and relationship was always a great part of Season One. And his Heroic Sacrifice and reappearance in Season Two - even AMVs about him and/or Gatomon are sad. He has such a soothing voice in both English and Japanese, too. Everything about him seems designed to yank at the heartstrings.
While we are at the topic of awesome Digimon characters, there is Jyou. Fearful - some might call it reasonable, though - but he conquers his fears if it's about saving a friend's life (and thereby keeping a promise). If there is any Anime character which behaviour is a role model for the real life, it's him. Oh, and he had the only Ultimate digimon capable of seriously threatening, virtually beating, a Mega, aside from MagnaAngemon.
Tai's little sister, Kari, is such a sweet kid. She has an incredibly selfless frame of mind. She does her best for her friends, and doesn't think about herself. She uses her power to free prisoners and help defeat Machinedramon.
I love Takato so freaking much. He's a real kid, a Digimon fan like uswhose dream became true, whose Character Development was incredible, who isn't an instant Hot blooded badass and expert, but someone that learned to be a good Partner, who goes through lots of hardships, yet still retains his sweetness and, dare I say, innocence. All in all, my favorite goggle boy.
Also, Jeri Freaking Katou. Starts as such a sweet, funny, and likable girl, and while conteroversial, I thought her unsettling Break the Cutie character arc was very well handled and solidified what a deep and interesting character she truly was.
This list is not complete without Ken. The guy goes from insane cackling Evil Overlord (with a whole slew of buried psychological issues) to adorable kind-hearted hero, and I love him through every second of it.
Who's that bastard that makes us cheer with every play? Hiruma! Who's the guy that makes his enemies cry out of absolute fear? Hiruma! Who's the quarterback who leads one of the most entertaining and iron-willed teams in American Football? HIRUMA!
How about Sena? The combination of Moe and Badass is almost too much, and it gets even better if you ship him with the equally cute Suzuna. And then there's Kurita. Awww. He's just so happy.
Yoh Asakura is easily the best character in any Shonen manga I've ever read. Not only is he funny, relaxed, and fun, but he is a steadfast friend with a truly admirable conviction to the goodness inherent in humans beings. I'm not ashamed to say that I wish I was more like him.
You can keep your Xanxus and your Dino, I prefer Tsuna himself. Come on: Very Moe and Bishōnen after Art Evolution, very kind-hearted and Adorkable and a Badass Adorable when he uses his X-burner and goes into Dying Will Mode...and all the Ho Yay he generates with numerous male characters.
Celty. Apart from being Bad Ass, she's just so sweet and kind and generally awesome.
Shizuo Heiwajima somehow manages to be simultaneously the most psychotically badass and dysfunctionally adorable human being on the planet. There is something mindblowing about a man who considers his greatest accomplishment on a day where he curbstomped a zombie horde with his bare hands to be the fact that he didn't significantly injure any innocents in the process.
Special mention goes to the last episode where he pulls out a traffic sign and use it like a scythe to rip open a car's roof and when that car was (reasonably) running away, he threw the damn thing and it stuck in the middle of the car, making it crash. That was a Gurren Lagann Badassery.
From that very series, we have Izaya. From stomping on girls' cellphones to conning people to commit suicide, his delicious trolling knows no boundaries.
Izaya is this troper's absolute favorite. And no - it's not because of his pants, it's mainly because Izaya's the only character in history that this troper can relate to 100%. It also helps that, at least in the novels (I don't particularly care for his design in the anime), he's extremely good-looking and charming. Then there's his historywith Shinra...
There's also eternally cheerful Kida Masaomi. How endearing his cheerfulness is, not to mention how utterly badass he really is....
Shinra Kishitani. He is the most adorable scientist/doctor/Ryogo Narita character who wears glasses ever. Don't you just want to run up to him and give him a hug? Plus, he's got such a fine Badass Longcoat.
Same for Relena. Where do I even start? Her awesome is just all over the place.
Quatre Raberba Winner was this Troper's first Anime crush - despite being the "nice" feminine pilot, he still managed to beat the Zero System AND realize he didn't need it which was awesome considering his first run-in. Of course, this is also where this Troper took Beware the Nice Ones to heart...
You know who are just awesome incarnated? Zepar and Furfur. My god they are awesome, and they are so utterly hilarious with nearly everything they do that I find it impossible not to love them.
Youko of The Twelve Kingdoms. Seeing her develop from a scared schoolgirl into the empress she was meant to be was so much fun. Usually I don't spend six hours a day watching anime, but when I realized how much I actually wanted that girl to succeed... well, needless to say, my parents got concerned.
Anemone and Dominic Sorel. They're appealling characters on their own but the dynamic and relationship between them was one of the more endearing aspects of the series for me. Moreso than Renton and Eureka, in all honesty.
This troper found Eureka to be his favorite character when the show began working out her mental state and isolation problems. It led to countless heart-warming moments with her love interest, even if I didn't like him.
Jaden Yuki is totatlly the kind of guy I'd like to hang out with. He's confidant and nice, even if he is a slacker. He's what inicially got me hooked on the show.
Yusei Fudo is the man. Calm, cool, collected, a handyman, knows when to put the cards away for his fists, he plans ahead, takes things carefully and has some of the best plays ever (his win against Team Ragnarok and Aporia). He doesn't have some ancient egyptian game master in his head and he isn't the reincarnation of some galactic hero. He's just a poor person who was badass enough to survive in a crapsack neighborhood and duel his way into new domino city. Not to mention Yusei has not one or two but three theme music powerups one of which is Clear Mind. Yusei is so badass he has punched out three Nazca line demons, three of the highest of the Norse gods and a killer anti synchro monster robot god. Yusei is one of the reasons I watch Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds because he is such a refresing break from all the reckless idiot heroes that plague shonen anime. You rock Mr Fudo. The other reason is Jack Atlas who is a Hot-Bloodedpower duelist who doesn't blindly rush in and bash heads at random, he's smart when it comes to his offensive game, has a back up burn damage game, has the balls to ride a mechanical unicycle in which he can't see forward without a tv screen, punches the daylights out of someone once per season, has some funny quirks, actually got over his loss to Yusei instead of being a obsessive spoiled brat like Kaiba and he's got Red Nova Dragon who without a doubt one of the most powerful ace monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh history, hail to the king!!! Screw Evil Is Cool I'm siding with my heroes in Team 5Ds.
And if you needed another reason to rooting for the good guys, here's Aki Izayoi. The girl went from a cheerful little girl to a troubled cutie who went through a lot of hell in her life. First, her parents had to ship her to a school because the awakening of her powers caused her to lash out to her father without meaning to, then she's treated like some kind of fearsome witch at said school leaving her with little to no friends. And just when she became a member of an organization that claims to help out psychics like her, the leader of said organization was going to use her to jumpstart his revolution and only when she met Yuusei has she started to come in terms about herself and being able to overcome her issues. And when it comes to card duels? She's one of the most talented and cunning duelists I've ever seen on any of the Yugioh shows. You think plants wouldn't make for an intimidating deck? You should see for yourself what she can do with it, and knows the different ways to hurt you. Even more amazing, she's got a powerful card in the Black Rose Dragon and defintely knows how to use it. I admit that I root for Aki freely and just wanted to give her lots of hugs ad infinitum because she did look like she needed them. T_T
This troper is among the five people in the world who adore Karl Fei-Ong from Blood+. Between his tortured past and present, violently theatrical flare, and overall gorgeousness...he's such a complex and wonderful character. The fact that Quinton Flynn voices him in English doesn't hurt his case either.
Kakei from Legal Drug. He carries himself with the cool assurance of someone who knows the future, he is manipulative, playful, serene, and all this underneath the most beautiful smile you don't want turned your way. And, fundamentally, a good guy.
Wolfwood from Trigun deserves a mention. Proper badass, right there.
Holo from Spice and Wolf. She is both wise and childish, appealing on an emotional level rather than dependent on sex appeal, and in a show with only two main characters, she more than pulls her weight in terms of character dynamic. She's really likeable and so easy to sympathize with. In fact, this troper made a plush doll of her, just so he could hug it to satisfy his Cuteness Proximity. Despite not being Japanese, this troper finds her to be just so incredibly Moe!
Yuri Tsukikage doesn't let being put out of commission stop her from jumping into the fray and kicking some butt. Then we learn her tragic backstory and she goes from impressive to Stoic Woobie. Then we get the glorious return of Cure Moonlight and she ascends to pure, unfiltered Crazy Awesome, proving that Magical Girls aren't all hearts and rainbows.
All the love in the world for our dear Homura, but Kyouko Sakura takes the cake for me. Amazing character development, badass fighting skills and all around awesome.
Sayaka is my favourite. This being the series it is, it turned out badly, but still, her devotion to the boy she loves, to her friends, and fighting the witches because it's the right thing to do, even though she knows when she takes the contract that it will probably result in her death... and then, even after everything that happens, her I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy in the ending.
Nothing yet for Madoka Kaname? Despite all of the horrible things she had seen and experienced, she never truly lost hope, even when she's about to become a witch. This is someone whose mere existence is the bane of despair.
Hitomi deserves a special mention - she had no idea why her friends suddenly weren't hanging out with her as much, and she had a serious crush on the boy one of them was after. She could've easily gone and confessed her love, just like that. But here's the kicker - she didn't. She told Sayaka about it and gave her time to make the first move. I don't know a lot of people who would do that.
Also, something I found refreshing was that though the two love rivals were a Yamato Nadeshiko and a Tomboy, the YN didn't just roll over and pull a I Want My Beloved to Be Happy like she would have in so many other shows. Instead, after giving Sayaka a fair chance, she goes ahead and does what she wants.
Fairy Tail: Erza Scarlet. It's not just her sheer amounts of badassery she's got (although it helps a great deal); she's shown to be a young woman with a great heart, very loyal to her True Companions, absolutely stunning and beautiful in any armor or clothes she wears.
Gajeel Redfox. In this Troper's opinion, one of the most underrated characters in the series. He started out as a rather Ax-CrazyEvil Counterpart to Natsu, especially in the anime where he beat up on Lucy relentlessly just to get Natsu's attention (In the manga he just threw knives close to her head), and he eventually joins Fairy Tail and is shunned by everyone, to the point where the members of Team Shadow Gear hunt him down in the town and beat him into the ground - And he understands and just takes it. But, in that same scene, when Laxus tries to fry Levy, he jumps in the way and takes the hit. And latter on in the arc he saves Natsu's life from Laxus twice. It shows that Makarov really got to him when he recruited him, and that he really does want redemption (Although he won't show it), and in many ways, he truly has gotten it since then. Not to mention Gajeel X Levy is most likely the closest to confirmed coupling in the series - Most of the other characters can be shipped randomly with positive results. Natsu alone had Ship Tease with Lucy, Lisanna, Erza, even Grey. It's gotten to the point where this Troper has started rambling and will now cease.
Elfen Lied's Lucy, at the least the one from the anime. She may have killed people in her start of darkness but later on, she only ever kills those who are actively trying to kill her and sincerely wants to change and atone for her sins. The anime makes Lucy more sympathetic in that it is shown that she doesn't enjoy killing people (in fact, she is only shown smiling once in the anime, when she is dismembering Nana but even then, she felt guilty later on and even told Nana to live the life she herself couldn't live).
Caster from Fate/Zero is probably the definition of affably evil and completely ax crazy. Either it's stalking Saber or slaughtering innocents, the man does everything with such sociopathic gusto it's hard not to be entertained, even if morbidly so.
Rider, aka Alexander the Great, is made of pure undiluted win. This is a man so awesome his army still follows him even after death.
Alita/Gally is my favorite female protagonist of all time. At first glance, she is just a standard Cute Bruiser, but there is SO much more to her once you get to know her. She can be cute. She always wants to do the right thing. She is proud. She really hates people who aren't as brave as she is. She can be a total bitch. You sometimes want to kill her. And five minutes later you want to hug her. Alita is a perfect example of how to write a character that is blatantly better than everyone else wile still completely avoiding the Mary Sue trap, because the impact of such a character on her surroundings is handled very realistically.
Transformers Cybertron seriously missing. Most of the characters are awesome in their own way, but I can't get over Starscream, who despite his name is in this version much more of a Determinator. He just won't lie down and die - no matter what. He takes on every attack the good guys can throw at him, getting hit by most directly, before getting hit with the at-this-point insurmountable attack of Optimus Prime almost being knocked out/dying, and finding the power to launch one last (admittedly cheapshot) attack to achieve his objective. Then it takes being blasted into another dimension to take him out of the story, he doesn't die in the normal way, and implicitly he comes back after the canon series. Did I mention he Dual WieldsBFSwrist blades? Then replaces one with the Wave Motion Gun after it gets torn off? Rule of CoolUp to Eleven, even for a Humongous Mecha. His Razor Wind defence is pretty cool too, it's just like, "Denied! You can't hit me with that pathetic shit!" Did I mention his Awesome Moment of Crowning? Yep, bursting out of an erupting volcano, beforespamming telekinetic rocks everywhere in a series which hardly ever otherwise features such abilities. Oh, and taking on the Physical God Primus with no fear. Even before stealing a second dose of his power. I could go on all day about Starscream's Determinator, Leeroy JenkinsPure Awesomeness. He. Cannot. Die.
Speed Racer: Speed himself, his Action Girlfriend Trixie (Who is very good at getting herself out of trouble. As many antagonists find out the hard way.), and his father Lionel "Pops" Racer. Watching all of them go to work is quite entertaining. You've got to love it when the bad guys are all "Heh heh, we've got Speed's nosy girlfriend" only to seconds later be going "OHGODTHEPAIN!" when she opens up a can.
Hell Girl: Shigoku Shoujo. They are a Badass Crew consisting of a damned girl with reaper attributes, a skeleton come to lie as a sexy woman, a demon wheel with superhuman strength in human form, an sword-turned-human able to open an eye EVERYWHERE? They are awesome, no doubt about it.
Rea Sanka from Manga/Sankarea, despite being a zombie is without a doubt one of the greatest, most endearing and REALISTIC characters in all of anime. You just want to see her get free of her problems. What makes Rea so endearing and interesting is that it the story instead of making her a typical cold emotionless girl with a dark and troubled past like Rei Ayanami, it instead makes her into a sort of polyanna who unsergoes a very realistic ordeal i.e. sexual abuse.
Fruits Basket: Kyo Sohma! This guy is so freaking awesome! He may have a short temper, be rude and be downright cruel sometimes too, but that's what makes him so freaking lovable! Not to mention that the poor guy's been through a LOT!!!
Digimon Adventure: MOTHER. FUCKING. ETEMON. There is Monkey. Elvis. What else? His episodes are some of the funniest in the entire season. He was just so damned ridiculously hammy and it was glorious. Even those who hated him had to laugh at least once when he was onscreen. He was the King Of All The Digmon or at least so he said. He is The King for some fans. He's an amazing character and needs more love then hate.
Kimi ni Todoke: Ryu Sanada. His blobfaces are hilarious, his patience with Chizu (and everyone, really) is admirable, he's honest about his feelings without being a jerk about it, and a lot of the characters in that series could take a leaf out of his book, if we're being honest. Even though he's quiet about it, he's by far one of the most genuinely caring characters in the series. Chizu's a really awesome character too, bless her heart. They're both awesome! The supporting cast of this series really deserves more love.
Hayate × Blade: Amachi Hitsugi truly is a mad woman that is glorious to behold. She kicks ass to the goofiest music, holds a candied apple like a rose, appears in knights armor for her own amusement, and will train for several hours straight; and yet will still garner the respect of those around her. She also a straight-up Badass too, she takes a hit to the leg like it was nothing, but also boasts about how her legs are made of steel. Heck, Juu Ensuu, a Hot-BloodedAxe Crazy warrior wouldn't fight Hitsugi a second time after doing so once.