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Characters: Betterman
This is the character page for Betterman.


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     Primary Protagonists 

Keita Aono

The main character. A 17 year old student who finds himself piloting the Neuronoid Kakuseijin with Hinoki. While panicky, socially awkward, and caught in circumstances way over his head, Keita manages to show enough courage and wit to survive.

Voiced by: Kappei Yamaguchi (JP), Matthew Erickson (EN)

  • Action Survivor: When he's not piloting the Neuronoid. Episode 8 is a prime example of this - he spends nearly the entire episode running for his life. (And with good reason too - the majority of that episode takes place in a hospital full of Brainwashed and Crazy nurses with poisoned fingernails!)
  • Ascended Fanboy: As a military and video game fan, Keita squees every time he sees any high tech device or military units. He also thinks its cool to be piloting a mecha... until the horrors show up.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: His interest in military craft proves useful in one episode.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Yeah, he's a teen with girls on his mind, and isn't above ogling. But Keita manages to contain these tendencies and cares about his female companions.
    • Accidental Pervert: It's not his fault when Asami falls on top of him, or that he unintentionally gropes someone. But Keita's not above enjoying it.
  • Distressed Dude: The poor guy gets cornered so many times.
  • Falling into the Cockpit: It's a Sunrise production - what did you expect?
  • Hidden Depths: He may be jittery, geeky, somewhat pervy, and often needs saving. However, Keita shows great bravery, thinks fast, keeps Hinkoi from falling into despair, and manages to protect others in danger. Its only when there is no way out that Keita needs to be saved by someone else.
  • Nice Guy: Despite his flaws, Keita is generally likable.
  • Non-Action Guy: Keita is what you would call... a loaner hero that you use until the real one shows up.
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place: Why he ends up piloting the Kakuseijin. Also happens outside the mech, such as Episode 8. After discovering the hospital's dark secret, he's the only one that can save Sakura.
  • Tears of Fear: Played for laughs - Sometimes during an Oh Crap moment, Keita will shift into a silly crying expression before getting a hold of himself.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Somehow, someway, he finds himself being confronted by strange monsters or visions. It turns out his Dual-kind capabilities plus the visions are the result of a organ transplant when he was younger.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Hinoki gets peeved when Keita runs away from a situation, leaving her behind.
    • In another episode, Keita does this to Akamatsu and himself after they get separated from Hinoki and Li-chan. Unable to get back to them, a distraught Keita points out how pathetic it is that "the men ran off and left the women behind".
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: After entering the Kakuseijin in Episode 1, Keita begins to make assumptions based on Real Robot Mecha Shows. He doesn't realize that he's in Survival Horror where the Kaiju is the real hero.

Hinoki Sai

Keita's classmate and co-pilot of the Kakuseijin, as well as his childhood friend. After her parents and brother Mario went missing, she became melancholy and distant.

Voiced by: Kyoko Hikami (JP), Onalea Gilbertson (EN)

  • Anime Hair: Her multicolored bangs. Apparently it runs in her family - flashbacks show that her father and brother had them as well.
  • Childhood Friend: She and Keita used to play together as children.
  • Cleavage Window: Some of her outfits fit this trope.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: It takes a while, but being around Keita gradually brings Hinoki out of her depression.
  • Face Palm: Sometimes does this during Keita's Epic Fail moments.
  • Faux Action Girl: Hinoki gets torched at, almost eaten by worms, attacked by out of control machines, chased by a bipedal elephant type monsters, and survives most of the show's enemies, before finally being turned into a Damsel in Distress near the end of the series.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Pretty much Hinoki's entirewardrobe. The girl is seriously never seen in anything BUT this type of outfit.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: In the final episodes of the series, Hinoki is tazed by Mamon and later wakes up in the Neuronoid wearing her dive suit, to be used as bait to draw Betterman out.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Even when she helps save the day, Hinoki still doesn't think too highly of herself. She constantly belittles her own intelligence, saying "I'm just an idiot." It turns out these were some of Mario's (affectionate) last words to her. He followed up these words with saying, "If you ever need me, I'll be there."
  • Male Gaze: Hinoki also gets this a lot from Keita.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Why does Betterman look like her missing brother? Subverted, Lamia is not her brother, but has his memories and looks.
  • Magic Skirt: Surprisingly enough, considering how short it is.
  • Parental Abandonment: Her parents and her older brother Mario disappeared while exploring the Ajanta Caves in India. Their disappearance is the root of her emotional problems.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit
  • She's Got Legs: It's worth noting that she's the only female lead who isn't seen wearing an outfit that covers up to her knees.
  • Tsundere: Can be this way to Keita at times. She ignores him at first, but only to avoid creating suspicion about their jobs. Though Keita upsets her, she doesn't take it out on him.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Her school uniform.

Shigeru Akamatsu

The passionate head of Akamatsu Industries, the company which is contracted by Mode Warp to operate the Neuronoids. Somewhat eccentric but a gifted inventor, he created a number of amazing gadgets.

Voiced by: Chafurin (JP), Dave Pettitt (EN)

  • Cool Old Guy
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Has created a number of inventive technologies. Some successful, others not so much:
    • BFG: Subverted. Akamatsu can wield a massive device that looks like this, but its really a high tech scanner.
    • Cool Board: A rocket powered skateboard with an automatic jack to allow it to jump in the air!
    • My Little Panzer: Literally. Akamatsu created a line of remote controlled miniature tanks that actually blew up after taking a direct hit. It was a commercial failure, since the "toy" could only be bought by licensed demolition experts.
    • Psychic Block Defense: The "Barrier Boy" headbands, which are supposed to protect the user from Algernon. Later, the "Laser Head" headbands are developed to prevent full-on psychic attacks.
    • Tricked-Out Shoes: Shoes with large springs under them, presumably used to help people jump higher.
  • Last Name Basis: Akamatsu is never called anything but Akamatsu or "Boss".
  • Married to the Job: His focus on the company had its personal cost such as estranging his wife from him.
  • Mr. Exposition : Played with - When it's time to explain to Keita how the Neuronoid operates, Akamatsu is too busy to do so. So he hands the job to Li-chan.
  • One of the Kids: Akamatsu shares the same tastes and interest as Keita.
    Akamatsu: "Never underestimate the cunning of a full grown boy."
  • Papa Wolf: Cares a great deal for those working under him. Especially Sakura, who is revealed to be his daughter in the final episode.
  • Renaissance Man: Capable of designing a large number of inventions (from toys to military weapons), as well run his own company.

Sakura

A cryptic 15 year old girl linked to the "Limpid Channel", allowing her to read the minds of beings around her, and to pick up important information. Also a Dual-kind, she can pilot Neuronoids in a pinch. Unfortunately, due to her poor health she spends much of her time confined to a medical device called the Manage Machine. At the end of the series, it's revealed she is Akamatsu's daughter. He agreed to work with Mode Warp so he could use the Manage Machine for her.

Voiced by: Junko Iwao (JP), Mariette Sluyter (EN)

Miyako Asami

Young, level-headed bio-medical engineer and investigator, providing explanations to the various phenomenon the protagonists encounter. Working for ModeWarp, she acts as the company liaison to Akamatsu Industries. She has dedicated her life to investigating and ending Algernon.

Voiced by: Houko Kuwashima (JP), Meredith Taylor-Parry (EN)

  • Adventurer Outfit: Asami dons Safari Apparel during the India expedition. It contrasts with the rest of the team, most of which just dress casually or wear Akamatsu uniforms.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Downplayed - Asami is pretty competent. But she does end up slipping at times... often on Keita's face.
  • Determinator: In regards to finding a cure for the Algernon virus.
    Asami: "I will never give up. Even if I were to be the last person left alive."
  • Hot Scientist
  • Meganekko
  • Ms. Exposition: Provides scientific and historical background to the gang when needed.
  • Not so Above It All: Miyako seems like the last person to make any mistakes, crack a joke, or have any fun. But we do see instances in which these do happen. When a picture of a Christmas Party is shown, a jolly-looking Asami is wearing a goofy fake mustache and red nose.
  • Shy Blue-Haired Girl: On par for the course.
  • The Spock: The most calm and logical person in the group. If she does show any fear or anger, there's typically a good reason why.
  • Technobabble: She provides a good percentage of this throughout the series.
  • Unwitting Pawn: In the final episode it's revealed that she is in fact a carrier of the Algernon virus, due to being part of the scientific team involved in Yakusugi's ill-fated Dive Inspection - the one that released Kankel into the world.

Kaede Kurenai

Cheerful, if subdued, young woman who co-pilots the Neuronoid Tyran. In addition to being a dual-kind, she has psychic abilities that allow her to read electro-magnetic impulses. Kaede also has a close relationship with her co-pilot Shou.

Voiced by: Yuko Minaguchi (JP), Colleen Blackmore (EN)

Shou Yanagi

Composed and capable 24 year old co-pilot of the Tyran. He also possesses psychic capabilities, such as precognition. In a relationship with Kaede. Though often collected, Shou does suffer from trauma at times due to his feelings of guilt regarding the death of his younger brother, Kei.

Voiced by: Shinichiro Miki (JP), Jonathan Love (EN)

  • Badass: The guy manages to keep his cool and do some awesome stuff during the worse situations. Yanagi hears something approaching, so he grabs a sharp rock and waits to ambush whoever is coming. He's separated from the group, a friend is in danger, and there are swarms of unholy insects killing everything. So he calmly sneaks into the bad guy's complex, and saves his friend in time.
  • Battle Couple: With Kaede.
  • Brooding Boy: To Kaede's Gentle Girl.
  • Big Damn Hero: To Asami, when she's a captive of Dr. Umezaki and is about to be forced under mind-control. Yanagi literally shows up Just in Time.
  • Heroic BSOD: Has one when he has visions of his dead brother Kei, and results in him being down for two episodes.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Feels that Kei's death is his fault.
  • The Lancer: What Keita lacks as The Hero, Shou has. He has the intellect, experience, composure, special powers, training, fitness and fearlessness that an ideal hero should have.
  • Last Name Basis: The only person who ever calls Shou by his given name is Kaede.
  • Psychic Powers: To a lesser extent than Sakura or Kaede, but useful at times such as hypnotizing insect swarms. These powers are also why he sees certain visions.

     Supporting Characters 

Ritsuko Fuchu (Li-Chan)

Laid back employee of Akamatsu Industries, she operates the vehicles that transports the Neuronoids. Understandably, she's a bit perturbed by all the unnatural events surrounding her.

Voiced by: Tomoko Kawakami (JP), Christy Greene (EN)

Yamajii

Another Akamatsu Industries employee, he helps the Boss in the Command Carrier with any technical data.
Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu (JP), Ben Jeffrey (EN)

Kazuho Heichin

Akamatsu Industries technician, working along side Yamajii and Li-Chan. It turns out that he's infected with Algernon, and is responsible for the early attacks in the series.

Voiced by: Houko Kuwashima (JP)

Cactus Prickle

Original co-pilot of the Kakuseijin that worked with Hinoki. During the Bottom World investigation, he becomes inflected with Algernon and abandons the Neuronoid. He dies shortly after.

Voiced by: Hiroki Takahashi (JP), Mark Gatha (EN)

  • The Faceless: While many non-important characters' faces are forever covered in shadow, Cactus doesn't get a face for no readily apparent reason other than creepiness.
  • First Episode Spoiler: He dies. And then he gets mentioned several times afterwards such as being pals with Heichin.
  • Posthumous Character: Makes an appearance in another episode during a dream sequence.
  • Punny Name: Oddly enough.
  • Take Our Word for It: Despite never seeing Cactus, or his fate, several of the characters are affected by his death.

Ushii

Keita's classmate and friend, who shares his interests in technology, the military, and girls.

Voiced by: Hiroaki Ishikawa (JP)

The Officer

The head of ModeWarp, and the superior Asami reports to.
  • Bald of Awesome
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep
  • One-Way Visor
  • Unwitting Pawn: Like Asami, Mamon, Umezaki, and Hinoki's father, it's revealed that he was part of the scientific team involved in Yakusugi's ill-fated Dive Inspection - the one that released Kankel into the world. His involvement caused him to become a carrier of the Algernon virus.

"Chandi"

A mysterious girl met by Keita in India, always smiling. She is accompanied by "Puleto", a lizard-like creature. She communicates only through telepathy using the Limpid Channel. Capable of great strength and speed, she saves Keita on several occasions.

It turns out Chandi is a creation of Dr. Umezaki. She is the last of the D-Type Hunters, a series of superhuman clones.

Voiced by: Houko Kuwashima (JP), Onalea Gilbertson (EN)

Yakusugi

Mystifying Buddhist priest who provides unexpected aid to the heroes. Even at in his old age (possibly 120 years old), he has managed to reach the peak of human abilities. He is amazingly fast, strong, and has powerful spiritual capabilities.

Voiced by: Yusaku Yara (JP), David Kelly (EN)

  • Badass Preacher: Even at over a hundred years old, he is at the peak of physical, mental, and spiritual capabilities. He ends up saving the heroes - even Betterman!
  • Big Damn Heroes: On multiple occasions.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: His remarkable capabilities made him a suitable candidate for the Dive Inspection, a project to create the perfect human. It backfired horribly - as a result he became tainted with Kankel, and thus he turns out to be the one Betterman must ultimately defeat.
  • Church Militant
  • Cool Old Guy
  • Mysterious Protector
  • Old Master

     Bettermen (Somniums) 
Mysterious species that appears during the course of the series. Throughout history, there have been sightings of the so-called "Betterman". They are capable of transforming from one form into another by consuming the seeds of the Animus Flower. Along with the ability to metamorphosis, they have access to the Limpid Channel.
  • Telepathy: All Bettermen communicate this way.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Potentially immortal, capable of transformation, flight, and with incredibly strong forms , and they technically feed on people. This aspect is even lampshaded in the show, when a student talks about Vampires being able to take the form of a fog. Betterman Nebula's supersonic attacks create fog.
  • Super Mode: Their combat forms.

Lamia

The titular Betterman of the series, saving the protagonists on several occasions. He is capable of eating the seeds of the Animus flower to transform into much more powerful fighting forms. Mysterious and vigilant, Lamia's default form is that of a humanoid male, with long hair. He also bears more than a passing resemblance to Hinoki's brother, Mario.

Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu (JP), Jonathan Love (EN)

  • Cool Shades: When in humanoid form. He also must have a secret stash of them, as he keeps tossing his shades every transformation.
  • Hair Color Spoiler: He shares the same tri-colored shock as Hinoki. Is it her brother? No - Lamia only looks that way because he ate the Animus seed that sprouted from Mario. In the process, Lamia gained his memories, as well as some of his phsyical attributes.
  • EMP: Nebula can create this effect using sound and light waves, destroying any unshielded electronics.
  • Last of His Kind: He's the only remaining Somnium at the end of the series, after the others are destroyed by Kankel.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Nebula's main attack "Psycho Voice", which is capable of targeting only specific enemies without damaging anything nearby.
  • Horn Attack: "Psycho Glory" ends with Forte extending a bone saber into his foe's weak spot.
  • Mysterious Protector: To Hinoki but his reasons may not be entirely altruistic.
  • Ominous Fog: Nebula can also generate these with ultrasonic waves. Asami hypothesizes that this is as one reason why eyewitness accounts of Betterman is so rare.
  • Power Crystal: Has one on his chest, which he uses to unleash "pectofolex" - light which can heal allies or hinder enemies.
  • Swiss Army Hero: If he needs to fight, he can take on several forms:
  • Razor Wings: Aqua's fins can cut through flesh.
  • Super Spit: Aqua's "Psycho Fluid", which destroys the cells of it's target, while making sure friendly units are unharmed.
  • The Worf Effect: Has this happen to him occasionally.

Seeme

Often accompanying Lamia, Seeme is a strange yellow bird-like creature. She serves as his confidant, while helping him keep on eye on Hinoki. It's implied that, just as Lamia had eaten the seed of the Animus flower that sprouted from Mario, Seeme took the seed from the flower of Hinoki's mom.

Voiced by: Tomoko Kawakami (JP), M.J. McCann (EN)

  • The Confidant
  • Sidekick: To Lamia. When things get bad for him, Seeme can also transform into Betterman Lume.
  • Metamorphosis Monster: Even more so than other Bettermen. She transforms from a yellow birdlike creature into a glowing humanoid energy being.
    • Big Damn Heroes: Her first appearance as Lume, in which she saves our heroes and an incapacitated Lamia from Dr. Umezaki.
    • EMP: Lume's main attacks are electromagnetic waves.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In her Lume form, she jumps in front of Lamia to take a hit from Kankel, and is killed instantly.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only female Betterman that appears in the series.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: She occasionally takes the form of a yellow deer-like creature. And then of course there's her Lume form...

Bodaiju

An arrogant Somnium who confronts Lamia over his priorities and taboo actions. He appears as a dark skinned monk, and transforms into Betterman Turba.

Voiced by: Kazuki Yao (JP)

Lord Pakila (Pachira)

Leader of the Somniums, appearing as an elderly man with long white robes. He has premonition capabilities.

     Antagonists  

Prof. Umezaki

The head of BPL, a major research facility trying to find future food resources. However, it turns out he was conducting unethical experiments, and creating an army of biological horrors. He dies in the confrontation with the Protagonists and Bettermen. Sadly, Umezaki was himself a victim of Algernon.

Voiced by: Osamu Ichikawa (JP), Steve Olson (EN)

  • Abusive Parents: The guy considers the D-Type Hunters his children, but puts them through live fire exercises to make them stronger.
  • Beauty Mark: He has a massive mole on the side of his chin.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: His "Carrier Ants". While not as huge as a other examples (they're about the size of a table), but they're still larger than they should be. And his swarms could combine into something appearing like these.
  • Body Horror: The things he does to people...
  • Crazy-Prepared: The guy has several monsters to take down the heroes, and several backup plans in case those failed. He might have won if Betterman Lume didn't show up.
  • Evil Former Friend: Was a good friend of Hinoki's parents. When he heard they disappeared, the Professor went to Ajanta to aid in the investigation efforts.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Bonus points for actually being part of the Biotech field.
  • Literal Surveillance Bug: Designed an insect-camera cyborg, allowing him to survey the battle at BPL.
  • Mind Hive: Managed to set one up, using technology to control his minions from a central nexus.
  • Madness Mantra: Begins to utter repeatedly that he will save "7 billion!" people. It's a hint that's he's infected with Algernon.
  • Mad Scientist
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: The Biotechnology Provision Laboratory, a massive research facility (several huge domes, an airport, even an artificial lake). Since BPL has such vast resources and technology, Asami goes there to help in her investigations. She discovers more than she bargained for.
  • Mind-Control Device: Umezaki created his own Puppeteer Parasites! By shoving them into people's mouths, he took control of the human personnel of BPL.
  • The Swarm: Several of them - worms, wasps, beetles, large ants, and even mind controlling parasites!
    • The Worm That Walks: Professor Umezaki has his insect swarms form into three large monsters. As if their size wasn't enough, these monsters can break up into individual swarms and reform when need be.
  • Telepathy: Gains access to the Limpid Channel, likely through some sort of biotech.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Like Asami, Mamon, the Officer, and Hinoki's father, it's revealed that he was part of the scientific team involved in Yakusugi's ill-fated Dive Inspection - the one that released Kankel into the world. His involvement caused him to become a carrier of the Algernon virus.

Mugito Mamon

Leader of the Superhuman Federation, a group of powerful psychics. Mamon himself has powerful Dowsing abilities. Using those powers, he hopes to bring about a perfect human. Lamia defeats him during the climatic battle.

Voiced by: Mugihito (JP), Doug McKeag (EN)

  • Affably Evil: A very jolly fellow.
  • Bald of Evil / Beard of Evil
  • Body Horror: Mamon himself. After losing the first Brahman summon to Pachira, Mamon‘s second attempt at summons fails when Kaede‘s unborn child instinctively protects the mother by disrupting the ritual. Even though the summons failed, Mamon (using himself as the conduit), gains the ability to turn himself into a Brahman creature. His appearance looks like an advance origami design, but the skin of the creature turns out to be similar to that of the urinary bladder.
  • Evil Old Folks
  • Evilutionary Biologist
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Superhuman Headquarters. While there is an above ground structure, the most of it is the "geofront" is subterranean. And it’s elaborate - with a spiral rail instead of an elevator to transport people, a brain scanner to only allow psychics to enter, and a number of traps along the way.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Subverted, they DO open during some of his particularly creepy moments.
  • Perpetual Smiler
  • Unwitting Pawn: Like Asami, Umezaki, the Officer, and Hinoki's father, it's revealed that he was a carrier of the Algernon virus, due to being part of the scientific team involved in Yakusugi's ill-fated Dive Inspection - the one that released Kankel into the world.

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