Perhaps one of the most confusing and difficult to assess categories for this challenge. Going by what MAL lists as main and supporting cast for help in figuring this one out. This is where I really start to bend, break and cheat the supposed “rules” of this challenge. Not that anyone has been complaining up until now, but I just wanted to give a heads up that I’m about to get really greedy with my choosings from here on out.
I can’t restrict myself to only one or two characters from a show anymore, because there’s just so many awesome characters neck-and-neck in my love and respect for them. How dare this challenge make me pick between my darlings! I refuse to be withdrawn on my picks for such a big and broad category. This post was more hastily put together than the others, and I think it shows, but I thought I’d mention it for the sake of transparency. I wish I had more time to explore certain characters, but I’m not taking this challenge that seriously anyway, so it’s not that important right now.
A few honourable mentions I’d like to acknowledge that would have made the list had I more time to finish writing before my self-imposed deadline: Ui Hirasawa, Nodoka Manabe, and Sawako Yamanaka from K-On! and The Elite Four from Kill la Kill; Ira Gamagōri, Uzu Sanageyama, Nonon Jakuzure, and Hōka Inumuta. There’s a good chance I’ll write about these characters in the future, but I just thought I’d mention some more of my favourites anyway.
The Entire Cast from Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
Come on. Did you really expect me to be able to pick only one or two from this show? I love the whole endearing epic ensemble from Brotherhood, so much so that when it comes to picking a favourite even still after narrowing it down, I find it impossible just to pick one. There are so many cool, awesome, and interesting characters in Brotherhood that it’s really hard for me to choose only one. According to MAL everyone apart from Ed and Al are supporting characters, hence why I’m putting some who I had thought to be main characters here instead. In fact, since I’ll be talking about so many characters here at once, I might do separate posts in the future with more in-depth reasoning as to why I like each of them (or just a select few) so much. So I’ll be keeping things brief this time around.
Roy Mustang, Maes Hughes and Riza Hawkeye
Calm, collected and cool. Strong emphasis on cool. There’s something about characters who act sophisticated in a nonchalant manner that makes them extra awesome in my book, and Roy Mustang is far from being an exception to that rule. In my mind, he’s one of the first characters I think of when I see the word “cool”. Though he’s more than just appearances and mannerisms, Roy Mustang is also a strong leader capable of gaining and inspiring comrades to such an extent of loyalty and devotion they’d be willing to die for him.
Beyond his lofty ambitions of wanting to rule and change the ways of his war-mongering country, Mustang has a rather awesome and unique fighting style. With a snap of his fingers Mustang can set opponents ablaze in a matter of seconds and even burn entire areas to a crisp. If there’s anything that can be said without doubt, it’s that the man knows how to click his fingers with style and deadly accuracy. From attitude to ambition to action, I can’t help but respect and love the guy.
Next is Maes Hughes, friend and confidant to many, father of the year, and beloved character in the hearts of many a fans. His cheerfulness might seem to annoy his peers, but really you can’t help but love the guy. I wish I had more to say about him. So I’ll just leave it at that.
Then you have his Lieutenant, Riza Hawkeye. Someone with a heavy burden to carry, but hides her kindred soul under a courteous demeanour with a no-nonsense attitude. A strictly disciplined woman who generally remains quiet and serious, almost hardly ever allowing herself time to relax. Cold and distant, but collected and extremely rational, Hawkeye’s high level of professionalism helps keep everyone in line and part of what makes her the model of a perfect soldier. It’s in her more tender moments, when she allows herself to act human and empathetic towards others that shows she’s more than what she seems. It’s clear that Hawkeye is someone with strong feelings of love, empathy, and affection underneath her very disciplined exterior. Though her softer side shows through in subtle ways, she prefers to keep up her tough love persona if it means protecting the ones she cares about. Slay Riza, slay.
Alexis Louis Armstrong and Olivier Mira Armstrong
Both are intimidating forces of nature that should not be trifled with, but one is a noble, self-sacrificing muscular giant of what many consider too much affection, while the other is an incredibly skilled and commanding Briggs General who lives by the law that is the survival of the fittest. The former is a comically emotional protective bundle of friendly hugs, the latter is a severe and fearsome woman, cold and harsh to her subordinates and merciless to her enemies. Oh and she’ll charge at you with a sword riding on a tank in a burst of fiery violence, so… certified badass.
Talk about loyalty. This woman dedicates herself to protecting Ling more than anything, loses an arm trying to sacrifice her life to save him, and comes back with an awesome cybernetic one. Lan Fan won my heart in her worries and determination to keep the young prince of Xing safe and sound so that there may be a better future for their country. Also she acts kind of like a ninja, which is cool as fuck!
Winry Rockbell and Pinako Rockbell
Kindhearted and empathetic pretty much sums up Winry, but her moments with Ed really warm the heart. And her confrontation with Scar showed something really poignant about the show and her character. It was a chance to get revenge on the man who murdered her parents and she showed signs believing it was the right decision to make, but the whole scenario had her trembling both physically and internally in her convictions. She was on the verge of tears through the entire ordeal until Ed stepped in and comforted her. It was her decision to make and she chose to let Scar live. And I know that must have been hard for her, but it was a moment of character I felt was done extremely well. Oh, and she’s an awesome mechanic.
You might think I’m being unfair for giving Scar bonus points for reminding of me of one of my favourite video game characters, Sten from Dragon Age: Origins, but even without that awesome comparison, he’s a pretty interesting character anyway. Fuelled by hatred and self-assigned the role of judge, jury and executioner to meet out divine justice against all State Alchemists, Scar is a man driven by his anger and brooding. Understandably so, for the heinous war crimes and atrocities committed against his people by the State Alchemists. Though his path is largely one of revenge, there are moments where traces of his kind nature trickle through and he shows honour and compassion towards others, like when he met with Winry and allowed her the chance to take out her revenge on him, sympathizing with her loss that he felt undoubtedly responsible for. All in all, a great character with awesome development.
Ling Yao & Greed
Okay, if I were to pick a favourite from these it would be these two. I don’t even have time to explain and gush over them separately, so I’ll just talk about their relationship with one another as one character of duality. Sharing one body, the two often fight over control, but since they’re stuck with each other they learn to compromise and accept one another. They bond over their avarice and ambitions, gradually coming to understand the other more until they become cool friends. I mean, Greed is rad as hell in Ling’s body. His fight with Wrath is so epic and I already touched on their last moment together in a previous post, so you know just how much I love these characters.
Genkai from Yuu Yuu Hakusho
The coolest, most awesome, and biggest badass of elderly characters in all of fiction is a pink-haired martial arts expert who lives in solitude atop a mountain in her very own temple. How is she introduced? She holds a tournament to pass on her epic knowledge of techniques, both of body and spirit (energy). Already off to a good start. Then after Yusuke becomes her successor (spoilers), she becomes even more of a badass as we discover her true grit. With her cold and hard demeanour she puts him through life-threatening training regimens while constantly referring to him as “slacker”.
This chain-smoking pragmatist may initially seem as though she lacks morals, when unfazed by the brutal results of her tournament, but she does show remorse and decency, like when she called Kuwabara’s fight so as to spare him from death, even going as far as to heal him afterwards. Words fail me in explaining what it is that makes her such a special character whom I admire and lionize greatly. Genkai is one of my favourite characters ever because she’s such a charming delight with her snarky humour, awesome levels of wisdom, and the best mentor I’ve ever known in anime.
As much as I did my best under the time constraints and lack of sleep I had for this one, I really feel disappointed in not doing the characters justice in my love and appreciation for them. I’m seriously considering writing individual posts about each of them sometime, but I don’t expect that to happen anytime soon. Hopefully you got something out of this, even if I wasn’t pleased with the result in the end. Once this challenge is done, I’ll take a break and allow myself more time to write before posting anything afterward.