After reading through the Haruhi light novels, there is one character who has yet to be animated who has jumped up onto my favorite characters list. Since my list is for characters who have actually appeared in an anime, I can’t rank her yet so this is an “extra” analysis of her character. Let’s just say that there’ll be some competition at the top of the list (not from Koizumi though). Introduced in the ninth novel of the franchise, The Dissociation of Haruhi Suzumiya, this character won over many on both sides of the Pacific and was the most anticipated character in the new novels. I’m running out of non-spoilerish things to say, so here is a post about the girl who’s on the cover of The Astonishment of Haruhi Suzumiya (Final)!
And so the final character to round out my top ten favorite characters should come as no surprise (after four years of course). As the titular character in the franchise that is synonymous with the phrase Light Novel in Japan, this character appealed to many all around the world. She’s been in many countries, even as a sign of peace during wartime, and is known to most anime fans. The final member of my top ten is the one who Saved the World by Overloading it with Fun: Haruhi Suzumiya! That is all!
Hello, it’s nice to meet you.
I’m Kotomi Ichinose from class 3-A.
I enjoy reading quite a lot.
I would like to become friends with you.
Featured as one of the five heroines in Clannad, Kotomi Ichinose is a character that had her storyline changed drastically for the anime adaptation. In the original work, Kotomi is mostly in the school library and the player has to focus only on her storyline, which does bring Nagisa, Kyou, and Ryou into the game as well. Due to this, Kyoto Animation had to make some changes to allow Kotomi to become part of Nagisa’s (and the main plot’s) storyline. Regardless of the storyline, Kotomi is my favorite heroine from Clannad and my next favorite character. I’ll also mention that this post does contain spoilers for the first Clannad series as well as for the visual novel.
In April 2006 the anime The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya first premiered with one of the strangest first episodes: a student-made movie called The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina Episode 00. Ever since that episode Mikuru Asahina has been seen as the mascot of moe by anime fans since Haruhi pointed out her purpose in the next episode. As with Koizumi, I feel Mikuru is vastly under-rated as a character but she ends up being number 5 on my list! I’ll give a spoiler warning. There will be some novel spoilers in white text later in this post, so be cautious.
Beginning in June 2006, the Saki manga created by Ritz Kobayashi in Square-Enix’s monthly magazine Young Gangan was adapted into an anime produced by Gonzo in Spring 2009. Late last year I had the opportunity to view it on a whim and immensely enjoyed it. From that series, one character stood alone as my favorite: Hisa Takei.
Reference: the main form of Kamen Rider OOOs: Taka! Tora! Batta! (TaToBa)
Last year I watched Toradora! for the first time and was about to quit after the first episode. I disliked the main female character both in character as well as design. It was a very negative opening impression for me. Due to the urging of two people that I trust with recommendations, I gave it a second chance and decided to finish it. It’s now one of my favorite shows of all time and Taiga Aisaka is number 5 on my favorite characters list!
I’ve heard Taiga referred to as one of the “four great tsunderes” of anime and that statement proves to be true for me when you first look at her character. The first few scenes we see with her are when she bumps into Ryuji and takes out her anger on him and then turns around and becomes friendly with Minori. To me, that’s a great example of how a character could easily be a tsundere (of course it’d be with the same person, but details…)
So why is Taiga so aggressive and mean-spirited? During the Culture Festival arc, we see that her childhood has mostly been to be put into upper-class situations by herself while her dad is at work or with his girlfriend/new wife. She’s been seeking attention, like most children do, and one of the only ways she could’ve been given any was to make a scene and force her father to talk to her, even though it wouldn’t be positive. That just led into more and more destructive behaviors until she started living on her own and ended up meeting Ryuji.
At the end of the first arc/novel Taiga begins to realize that Ryuji does care about her and wants the best for her, even going to be called her “dog” if so needed. She’s finally getting that attention she’s likely been after and enjoys it to the most. She slowly grows to trust him, as seen when she gives an extremely high compliment when he solves her bathing suit problem for her, and that is what leads into her growing love for him.
One could argue that Taiga never really changes throughout the series, it’s only our perception of her that changes. We initially get a negative impression, but that’s because she’s incredibly embaressed and wants to save face like anyone would. Throughout the series she gradually warms to us (through Ryuuji’s perception) and we get to see more into her softer side, but I would argue that she’s always felt this way but didn’t want to publicly show it as she might be perceived as “weak”. Since she’s found someone who supports her day and night, she likely doesn’t feel “weak” anymore.
One of my favorite Taiga moments has to be her decision to return to her mother. After seeing the importance of making up with family from Yasuko, she realizes that running away is taking the weak way out to stay with Ryuuji instead of confronting her mother and living with her. While it’s possibly the more difficult option, she’s showing her trust that Ryuuji will still love her regardless.
So why do I like Taiga? She becomes the most well-rounded character in Toradora! by a great margin. I love that Takemiya took a person who lashed out at the world (except for Minori) and had her reveal the gentler side of her inside. I love that she remains a strong female even when she’s in a highly emotional state near the end of the series.
Taiga is selfish, brooding, clingy, and yet caring and soft. She’s still a child at heart, so the next few years where she’ll have to grow up and get used to being in the real world will be important to her. I imagine she’ll experience life like Tomoya from Clannad for a few years after graduation, only she might end up having a child instead.
To conclude, Taiga is a character that I originally thought was a one-dimensional tsundere who turned out to be much more than what meets the eye. Her actions throughout the series resemble that of someone growing from a child into a young adult realistically. She’s a great example of how a character can grow from one trope into a fleshed out person with strengths and flaws and yet be loveable. I can’t wait to see what the OVA has in store for us.
次回！A character no one’s shocked to see on a favorite characters list!
Sorry for the long break; I got obsessed with translating over the weekend and put this post off for too long.
From episode 10 of To Aru Kagaku no Railgun onward I became a big fan of the character Ruiko Saten.While she wasn’t featured in the main part of Index I and very much in the original manga, she became a huge hit with the fans in Japan.