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Which Anime Characters Made The Strongest First Impressions For You? How and/or Why?

Highway Star

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44 minutes ago, ciphertul said:

Are we talking about just anime or is manga allowed too?

Oops, sorry, I had completely forgotten about mangas. Of course they are allowed! Feel free to comment on anything you like!

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Well my first pick is a manga that will soon be an anime so… can’t wait for that.

Rentarou (100 girlfriends): funny enough Rentarou is pretty much golden from the get go. A young man who lives for love, happiest when make the one he loves happy. However after a 100 rejection streak he starts to worry. Each new gf gets just as much work and attention as the rest. He does change much as the story goes on, the gfs are the ones get the growth. My personal favorite thing about Rentarou is that he is both a parody and love letter of harem rom-com protagonist. He isn’t oblivious nor does he take advantage of the girls.

Edited by ciphertul
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premise: when i name a franchise or a title, i'm EXCLUSIVELY talking about the manga, not the anime (unless specified otherwise between brackets)

Eikichi Onizuka, one of the best and most memorable characters in any japanese form of media
loved him in Shōnan Jun'Ai Gumi (especially the latest volumes, where his character truly shines and develops) and he's an absolute badass in GTO (i'm ignoring the other manga series but not because I didn't like them, far from that)
iconic, to say the least

Alex Louis Armstrong in Fullmetal Alchemist, he's just so likeable and truly cares for everyone around him, even though he might be kinda invasive in doing that, and also the reason why he's still Major rank is heart-wrenching, which makes his warnings (threats, almost) to the Elric brothers even more meaningful

Yoh Asakura and Hao in Shaman King: Yoh is the least "main character" main character in any anime/manga i've ever seen/read, and until the very end you're just never able to tell what's on his mind, almost as if he simply liked to "be"
Hao is a perfect antagonist to the story and to Yoh in particular, and the fact that he seems to be basically invincible... yeah i'm not going further with this sentence

there are many more i'd like to name and explain, but i simply don't have enough time to do that, so i'm just listing them:
Kaneki Ken (Tokyo Ghoul), Mark Evans/Endou Mamoru and Shawn Froste/Fubuki Shirou (and pretty much everyone else) in Inazuma Eleven (anime and videogames), Ikari Shinji and Katsuragi Misato (anime), Akutsu Jun'Ya, Murakoshi Ayumi, Nagase Nagisa, Fujisaki Shinomi, Shindōji Fumiya, Kamata Jun, Saejima Toshiyuki, Kadena Nao, Aoki Mafuyu, Masaki Kyōsuke and Danma Ryūji (Shōnan Jun'Ai Gumi), Kanzaki Urumi (GTO), Frieren, Fern, Stark, Heiter, Himmel (Frieren: Beyond Journey's End), Roy Mustang, Edward Elric, Alphonse Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist), Kurokami Medaka, Hitoyoshi Zenkichi, Akune Kōki, Kumagawa Misogi, Emukae Mukae, Ajimu Najimi (Medaka Box) and many, many others

no, i didn't have to look their names up

Edited by Yexin
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I've always loved the generational aspect of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, and I don't think anyone or anything can really compete with the introduction of Joseph Joestar, even in his own series. Just like his grandfather, Joseph is introduced by coming to the aid of someone in need, and if being the spitting image of his grandfather wasn't enough, he initially comes of as being fairly similar to Jonathan in character as well, if a tad more playful and intelligent.

Now, Jonathan himself is great character, even if somewhat "bland" compared to his successors. He's an all around do-gooder, and someone who nearly always strived to do the right thing, even if it were to end up killing him. He's as pure of a protagonist as you can get, and he set the standard going forward.

Then, when it comes to Joseph, any preconceived notions about him based on Jonathan are completely thrown out the window once he loses his temper, illustrating that he's an entirely different protagonist than the one that came before him, subverting everything and setting an entirely new standard. He beats up a couple of crooked cops in an alleyway for pissing him off, then immediately makes friends with the dude that stole his wallet. If that wasn't good enough, he pulls a tommy gun out of literally nowhere and shoots up a vampire in a random NYC café not much later on. Easily one of the strongest first impressions from any anime character I've ever had the pleasure to witness.

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I'm not sure if I can remember every anime character that made a very strong impression on me. But I will list a few that come to the top of my head right now, and add any others that I remember later. In no particular order:

1. Asta (Black Clover). At first glance, he appears to be a typical shonen protagonist: a loud, spiky-haired charismatic knucklehead paragon who eats a ton, yells a ton, and isn't very smart. Granted, he is all those things. But what made a strong impression for me is his motivation: having been born a peasant orphan and the only human without magic in a feudal society where the royalty have the most magic and the peasants have the least, he seeks to replace the kingdom's current system with something far more fair, and keeps giving everything his all, and it quickly becomes clear that everything other characters say to him: that it can't be done, that he won't achieve anything because he has no magic, etc., is all stuff he's probably said to himself many times over; he keeps going not because he thinks he can succeed, but because he thinks trying anyway is better than just giving up. That last part stood out to me: he keeps going, regardless of how hopeless it seems even to him, because he sees it as better than giving up.

2. Yuno (Black Clover). Where at first, Asta seems like a typical shonen protagonist (and genuinely is one), Yuno at first seems like a typical shonen rival: talented, aloof, etc., and by the point that I watched Black Clover for the first time, I was getting really sick of shonen rivals like Sasuke and Bakugo who are just bullies to the shonen hero, so you can imagine how strong an impression Yuno left by turning out to be a complete subversion of that kind of shonen rival:

Not only is he just socially-awkward and not actually aloof, but he is in fact Asta's foster-brother, and they act like brothers. Since I myself am a middle-child, I really enjoy seeing healthy sibling-dynamics in fiction, and it's something I almost never see in fiction. So seeing Asta and Yuno have a healthy competitive-brothers dynamic is really cool; I especially love how they build each other up and how Yuno is Asta's biggest supporter.

Anyway, speaking of brothers:

3. Edward and Alphonse Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood). I mean, "brotherhood" is right there. Once again, another great example of a healthy sibling dynamic in fiction. It also helps that Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is the second anime I ever watched (One-Punch Man was the first).

4. Violet Evergarden (Violet Evergarden). The third anime I ever watched; the Violet Evergarden series is an emotional masterpiece; the only show where almost every episode managed to make me cry at least once. One of the reasons Violet Evergarden the character made a strong first impression for me was her character journey: her struggle to understand communication and what people mean when they say specific things resonated strongly with me; I have autism, so communication is one of the things that I struggle with.

5. Theo Cornaro (Record of Grancrest War). He is the protagonist of a 24-episode long fantasy war anime, and he and his love interest confess their feelings and get together in episode 9.

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Fuher President King Bradley certainly comes to mind. Already because he's named Fuhrer President King Bradly. The contrast between his cooky grandfather persona and his appearance looking like Adolf Hitler is a fun combination and even if the twist about him is so obviously he remains very compelling when that inevitable moment has come. And of course the aforementioned Armstrong.

Frieza was the first anime villain I encountered and considering I stuck by that anime even though I entered at his introduction that probably speaks well of him. That the weird looking satanic alien sounded like an elderly woman only added to the charm.

There's also My Hero's Endeavor because he looks and sounds completely amazing. A gigantic figure with a beard made out of flames and who's voiced by Patrick Seitz is sure to make an impression. 

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