Ken Kaneki is the protagonist of the very famous manga Tokyo Ghoul, written and illustrated by Sui Ishida. Kaneki is a normal college student. He lives by himself since his parents died and he really only has one friend. The world the story is set in is a place where creatures called “ghouls” roam around. Ghouls blend in with humans in the sense that they look like them and sound like them with one distinct difference: they feast on human flesh. Due to an unfortunate encounter with a ghoul, Kaneki ends up needing an organ transplant. But when he wakes up from his surgery, nothing seems normal; the food doesn’t taste good and everything seems off. Kaneki then comes to the realization that he is now part ghoul. The organs he received were those of the ghoul who attacked him.
I have only recently started reading this series, but I already consider it one of my favorites. As someone who aspires to be able to do art, I have to say that the illustrations in this book really blow me away. There’s something so much more human in Ishida’s art than in most manga I read. The faces portray a lot of emotion, and this is probably the second ever manga to make me cry. I recommend this series to those who aren’t faint hearted, as there is a lot of gore.
One of my favorite characters is Momiji Sohma from the very popular manga and anime series Fruits Basket. Momiji is a very hyper and positive character with lots of spirit. In the story, he can turn into a rabbit due to a curse passed down in his family that turns you into a particular animal of the Chinese Zodiac. He enjoys being around people, and Momiji comes off as being extremely young, but he’s actually high school aged.
Momiji always tries his hardest to cheer people up and be kind, but is always getting scolded for something. Overall he’s just a very “cute” character and the protagonist of the story, Tohru Honda, always treats him with care and didn’t realize that he’s only one year younger than her due to his young appearance. It is later revealed that he has a more tragic back-story and puts on a happy front most of the time. Because he is cursed with being part of the zodiac, his mother rejects him and goes insane. In order for his mother to go back to the way she used to be, another member of the family erases her memories of Momiji.
Momiji is a great character and I really like his personality. He’s very amusing to watch as well. I feel like every character in this series is unfortunate in what happens to them and I personally think Momiji has one of the more tragic stories.
One of my all-time favorite characters is Leo Baskerville from Pandora Hearts. Leo appears as a quite sensible attendant to Elliot Nightray, his best friend. Leo wears big oval glasses and his hair covers his face. Towards the end of the series, Leo goes somewhat crazy as the result of Elliot’s death. They had met at an orphanage and Elliot chose him to be his attendant. Though he rejected Elliot at first, Leo began to take interest in him and they bonded over piano and their love of music.
Leo had secretly signed a contract for Elliot to be bound to a Chain (a monster that lives in the Abyss) who erases bad memories. Leo thought he was doing the right thing, but when a headhunter goes after the Nightray family, Elliot ends up being the culprit. The Chain had convinced Elliot to murder his family because of the hateful comments they had towards Leo. The Chain erased his memories. Elliot decides to disobey the Chain and he ends up being killed.
While Leo is vulnerable and crazy, the Baskervilles manipulate him into becoming the heir of the family. It is revealed that he is the reincarnation of Oswald Baskerville, the past head of the Baskervilles. As a result, Leo was born with a connection to the Abyss, being his black eyes flecked with gold (the colors of the Abyss.) In the end, Leo remembers who he is.
Leo and Elliot’s characters are the most tragic in this series in my opinion. Neither of them had particularly satisfying lives and they were both lonely people. Elliot and Leo were the perfect duo and they respected each other so much. The author Jun Mochizuki played the characters out as not being able to live without each other. I love Leo and even though the series is fantasy, the characters still seem so human.
Haru Yoshida from the anime/manga series “Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun” by Robico is such a great character. Haru is one of the protagonists in the story and is the love interest for the main character, Shizuku Mizutani, a girl who spends all her time studying.
Haru is introduced as a violent boy who doesn’t go to school and is much feared by a lot of people. In reality, Haru’s feelings get hurt easily and when he found out his “friends” only hung out with him for money, he was extremely hurt.
After Shizuku gets him to go to school, Haru later reveals that he’s a goofy character who has a hard time reading the mood. He’s kind of awkward and seen as eccentric by his other classmates. Haru doesn’t know much about socializing, so he often makes weird comments or does odd things when around people. Despite this behavior, Haru is not dumb and is one of the top students in his class. He’s very kind, but very lonely and it seems like he has family troubles. Haru’s brother, Yuzan, is carefree and bold, but he and Haru don’t get along.
I like Haru’s character because he’s goofy and just a really interesting person. People misunderstand Haru and I feel bad for him. This series is ridiculous, but it’s also very bitterly sweet.
“Stop pitying yourself. Pity yourself, and life becomes an endless nightmare.”
Dazai Osamu from the series “Bungo Stray Dogs” is one of my ultimate favorite characters. In the first season (of three plus a movie) of the series, Dazai is seen as purely comic relief. He’s portrayed as a hyper, over the top man who is obsessed with suicide. It is later shown that Dazai has a pretty sordid and bloody past.
Dazai is part of the Armed Detective Agency - a group of special ability users who solve crimes the police won’t touch. His previous career was left a secret until the story revealed he used to work for the Port Mafia, an evil organization. Even as a teenager, Dazai was one of the top executives of the Mafia and committed lots of murder, torture, fraud, and various other crimes. With the death of his friend, Sakunosuke Oda, Dazai has been trying to fill the “empty void in his heart” and joined the Armed Detective Agency.
Dazai is tall, skinny, and covered in bandages from head-to-toe, possibly covering up all the wounds from his past suicide attempts and time in the Mafia. He is extremely intelligent and has good reflexes, but his combat skills were below average in the Port Mafia. You never seem to know what he’s thinking or why he takes the actions he takes. Not much is known about his character and he comes off as quite mysterious. No one seems to know why he’s so keen on dying. His ability - No Longer Human - allows him to nullify other abilities and he calls himself “anti-gifted.”
I honestly feel really bad for him and it shows that he still hasn’t gotten over the death of Oda. Dazai was shown visiting his grave and buying Oda’s favorite drink at a bar they used to go to. I’ve mentioned this in my other reviews of characters from Bungo Stray Dogs, but all the characters are named after authors. In this case, he was named after Dazai Osamu, whose book is titled “No Longer Human.” Dazai (the character) shared something in common with the author in which they both fantasized about suicide.
“Man fears death and yet, man is drawn to death. Death is endlessly consumed by men in cities and in literature. It is a singular event in one’s life that none may reverse. That is what I desire.”
Ciel Phantomhive from the hugely popular anime/manga “Black Butler” by Yana Toboso is one of my favorite characters in the series. Ciel, literally meaning “sky” in French, is a 12 to 14 year-old boy who is the head of the Phantomhive family, an aristocratic household that used to be run by his father Vincent. Due to the death of both his parents and the mansion being burnt down, Ciel has a hard time finding happiness in his life.
While he was still young, Ciel made a contract with a demon. The contract sealed in his right eye. In exchange for his soul when the task is complete, the demon, Sebastian, vows to help him take revenge on the murderer who killed his parents. Ciel’s personality isn’t necessarily one that you would call nice. He can be quite arrogant and cold, but he has feelings just like any other human. He may not show it, but Ciel does care about his fiancé Elizabeth Ethel Cordelia Midford and some other people around him. The story takes place in England around 1888 and as such, Ciel is very obedient to Queen Victoria. He is often called “The Queen’s Guard Dog” and carries out supernatural or other jobs for her.
I guess a lot of people don’t like Ciel because of his arrogance, but he is a very interesting person in the series. Ciel is traumatized by his past and is overall a very sad character, which makes me feel bad for him. It makes you realize that he’s still a kid and he’s had to face the fact that most of the people around him fall into ruin. “We are chained to the earth by a chain of gold, but we dare not sever it; for fear of what lies beyond the drop.”
Sakunosuke Oda, or Odasaku for short, is another character from the series Bungo Stray Dogs. His character is introduced during the “dark era,” which is a few years prior to the events of the story.
Odasaku belongs to the Port Mafia, an evil organization made up of individuals with unique abilities. His gift, Flawless, lets him see a few seconds into the future if his life is in danger. Odasaku is a kind character (he looks after orphans and doesn’t do any horrible jobs), which is quite odd given the fact that he’s with the Port Mafia.
Odasaku wants to be an author because of what a man told him a few years earlier, but he thinks that if he killed someone he’s lost the privilege to write about human life.
An important part of the story has to do with his friends, Dazai Osamu and Sakaguchi Ango. Dazai is a young man with bandages wrapped around his body from head to toe (the reason is not clarified) and is one of the top executives of the Port Mafia while Ango is a mysterious intelligence officer. However, their friendship does not last, and Odasaku soon dies due to a bullet wound. Dazai is in shambles when this happens, but Odasaku gives him some words of advice before he dies and leads Dazai to join the Armed Detective Agency — the main heroes of the story.
I like Odasaku because he was a really interesting character with lots of remarkable beliefs. While I was watching the anime, you could really tell he was an important person to Dazai. When Dazai found Odasaku before he died, he screamed his name, and you could feel the pain in his voice.
I forgot to mention in my first review (of another character in the series) that all the characters in Bungo Stray Dogsare named after real people, and it turns out that Sakunosuke, Dazai, and Ango were all friends in real life.
This character is named Yaboku, but uses the name Yato or Yatogami. Yato’s from the series Noragami. Yato is actually a powerful war god, but is called a god of calamity. He can be ridiculous because in the series he seems to have changed from a dark character to a childish one. Despite being annoying, Yato can still be terrifying. He has a dark past, and as a god now, Yato just goes around doing odd jobs to gain money. But Yato’s biggest fear is being forgotten, so he tries his hardest to stay in people’s memories even though after a day or two, people will forget he’s there.
Check out our review of Noragami!
I stumbled upon another character I really like whose name is Nezumi (Rat in Japanese) in the anime No. 6. I then later found out the series was originally a novel, then turned into a manga, and then turned into the anime.
What I like about Nezumi is that he seems cold and is pretty tough, but he’s probably one of the kindest characters in the series. He was 12 when he escaped a prison-like area (Note: The series is dystopian), and survived even with a bullet wound thanks to the help of another 12-year-old boy named Sion. (Later in the series a four-year gap passes, and Sion and Nezumi meet again.) Nezumi also can sing and is a decent actor who sometimes acts at a theater under the stage name, Eve.
This character is named Touta Matsuda from the manga (that is also an anime) Death Note. Matsuda works on the Japanese task force, but is often left out on important tasks, leaving him feeling excluded. Being the youngest member of the task force, he can cause trouble and is called an idiot quite a bit. Still, Matsuda is very passionate and tries his best. Once in a while he can even be quite useful.
Check out our review of Death Note!
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