Top 10 Anime Characters of 2015
Written by: ClayDragon & Shiggins
Well, it’s the end of another year. Instead of going out and partying with our friends and family, we got our priorities right and decided to make a couple of lists celebrating the anime series that were released these past twelve months. Over the next five days, we’ll be looking at the highlights that 2015 had to offer in terms of anime, and what better way to do that than by doing Top 10s? For this list, we’ve looked at the best characters that we were introduced to this year. This list will only count characters that made their debut appearance this year, regardless of when their show actually started airing.
Side note: Whilst we made an effort to watch lots of shows that started airing this year, we couldn’t see them all. So if there’s a character from a show that you think should be on this list but isn’t, then it’s probably because we never got around to watching the show, as opposed to us not liking them.
As is this the case with many of these lists, SPOILER ALERT. You have been warned.
10.) Isla (Plastic Memories) (Written by: ClayDragon)
“The more beautiful a memory is, the more painful it can become. Both for the one who’s leaving…and for the one left behind.”
If you had less than a year to live, how would you spend your last months? (Morbid start, I know. Just bear with me). Isla, an android working for a company specialising in retrieving dying androids, has decided to simply close herself off from all of her coworkers and deal with her feelings on her own. However, she ends up getting partnered up with Tsukasa who, over the course of the series, is determined to bring her out of her shell.
Of course, this ends up creating more problems, as Isla begins to fall in love with Tsukasa as the series progresses. And since she only has a short time left to live, Isla becomes conflicted over whether she should spend her remaining time being happy with him, or if she should shut him out of her life so as not to cause him pain when she dies. Her internal conflict is both understandable and relatable, and it kickstarts a lot of Isla’s growth as a character.
Since Isla is nearing the end of her artificial lifespan, she’s a bit clumsier than other androids, and her self-imposed isolation from her peers means that social situations aren’t exactly her strong point. But as she slowly begins to warm up to Tsukasa, she becomes a lot more human, and seeing her develop from an aloof loner to a more complex and developed character was one of Plastic Memories’ highlights.
9.) Paula McCoy (Nisekoi:) (Written by: ClayDragon)
“Give me back my seriousness!”
First appearing early on in the second series of Nisekoi, Paula McCoy was introduced as a competent and serious assassin…for the span of about five minutes, when it was revealed that she’s just as crazy as every other character in the show. Originally, Paula worked alongside Tsugumi on a number of missions before the latter was called over to Japan in order to become Chitoge’s bodyguard. Feeling ignored and abandoned, Paula decided to hone her skills in an attempt to surpass her previous partner.
|There's also her jealousy over Tsugumi's...assets.|
When Paula finally met up with Tsugumi again, she was disappointed at how Tsugumi had changed since they parted ways, and so she decided that she’d make Tsugumi a force to be reckoned with again. After the first challenge (steal a kiss from Raku) failed miserably, Paula admitted defeat and promised to leave Tsugumi alone – only to show up as a pupil at their school a few weeks later.
8.) Blue Snow (Shimoneta) (Written by: Shiggins)
Is much else needed to be said after such an inspirational quote? Hell, that's literally her first line in the series, and if that wasn't enough for some alien reason, then just look at how she's only wearing a sheet, panties on her head, and inspirational messages about the ways of pervertness in her heart! The erotic terrorist of the world where no dirty jokes, sexual education or inappropriate material exist, Blue Snow will stop at nothing to get her perverted behaviour realised!
Ayame Tajou, in her rule 63 Clark Kent look, spends her time being the best friend of the infamous Anna Nishikinomiya, who is also the greatest enemy of Blue Snow. By day, Ayame works as a member of the student council. By later that day, she dons the panties-mask of Blue Snow and seeks to free the people through nude pictures, creating vibrators and screaming swears in public. None can stop her, although Anna is certainly going to try.
What makes Ayame such a stand-out is the barefaced audacity of it all. She's a female pervert who will do anything and everything she can, without shame or worrying about consequence. Hell, the fact she's a heterosexual girl and perverted is enough to make her somewhat unique, but the manner of how she does it the true appeal. She's funny, quirky, possibly insane and most importantly, refreshing. And as tribute to her, I encourage you to write down as many innuendos as you can in the comments below. I'll start. In-your-end-o.
7.) Jaco Tirimentenpibosshi (Dragon Ball Super) (Written by: Shiggins)
"For I am a chosen super-elite member of those who protect the peace of the galaxy!! A Galactic Patrolman!!"
Nerds and losers, I present to you; Akira Toriyama's favourite character. No seriously, Jaco is now his number 1, beating characters like Vegeta, Piccolo, Krillin, Mr Satan and Bulma. In many respects, I find that utter crap because Vegeta is one of my all-time favourites. On the other hand however, Jaco is very fun and vibrant. I mean, I can't think of many sex dolls that go fighting crime in space. Can you?
Never going to get the Jaco-is-a-sex-doll image of your head now, are you?
First introduced in the newest Dragon Ball Z movie “Resurrection F”, Jaco quickly steals attention with his fear of imposing figures like Frieza, his impatient behaviour towards fools, and his strict moral code for the rules of the Galatic Patrol that is constantly broken by the Saiyans, the humans and whatever else is out there. Armed with a gun and a love for poses, Jaco faces off against Frieza's forces in fashionable style and instantly wins us over.
While the film and the anime Dragon Ball Super seem very reluctant on actually explaining anything to us about who he is or where he came from, he's still tons of fun. It's not often that you see a character from a side-manga make it into something so large like Dragon Ball, but Jaco has enough charm, wit and staying power to join the cast without even making the audience bat an eye. He is Jaco ridiculous-last-name and you will not call him short!
6.) Nao Tomori (Charlotte) (Written by: ClayDragon)
“I’m really good at creating plans for threatening others! Please trust me!”
Everyone’s dreamt of gaining superpowers. Being able to control fire, or turn invisible, or manipulate electricity…having special abilities would be awesome, right? Well, yes, until scientists decide to find out exactly how your powers work and subject you to experiments so brutal they could easily be called torture. This is exactly what happened to Nao’s older brother, and the same would have happened to her had she not been able to escape in time. The resulting shock and anger over what happened to him turned Nao from an optimistic and cheerful girl into a bitter and isolated cynic.
Deciding that no-one else should have to go through the same experience as her brother, Nao joined a school set up specifically for ability users and became the head of the student council. Instead of doing boring things like organising events and the like, Nao and the rest of the council were tasked with tracking down more people with superpowers and either getting them to join the school, or give up using their powers.
Even though she doesn’t truly trust anyone, and has beaten up her colleagues more than once, Nao is still fiercely loyal to them, and will drop everything in order to help them. No matter what happened, it’s been shown on more than one occasion that she’s willing to go to great lengths to support those close to her. Her relationships with her classmates, especially Yuu, help to slowly make her a more compassionate person – although she’s still more than willing to kick the crap out of them.
5.) Korosensei (Assassination Classroom) (Written by: Shiggins)
“Please remember that there are times to take someone's hand and lead them along... But also times when you must be stern and let them fend for themselves.”
The only character on this list to also have a live-action movie adaptation (although I'm still praying to Cthulhu that Shimoneta gets a movie...), Korosensei is undeniably... special. He's one of those faces that just work perfectly as a mascot, since it's unlikely you'll see anybody else looking like him. Just add a permanent grin, an amazing voice in the Japanese subbed version (his English version is a bit off), and dozens of tentacles, and you've got a perfect example of something we should allow in school.
If being a giant blob of yellow and rubber isn't enough to sway you to his side, how about the fact he can travel at super speeds around the planet? How he can literally stop a missile in mid-air, then clean it up and give it back to whoever sent it? Or that he can take your attempts to stab him and suddenly paint your fingernails instead, while also giving you education about the future and wanting to inspire and train you for any challenges ahead? Yes, all of this happens!
What else can one say about Korosensei? Quite a lot actually, since he's perverted, a huge admirer of gossip, a coward when it comes to water, amazing at threatening people when he wants to, has some great lessons to teach, has an entire planet wanting him dead for blowing up most of the moon, and has a secret past that make you want to keep watching him... until he's dead. Probably. Maybe. Indeed, what else can one say about this thing?
4.) Nicolas Brown (Gangsta) (Written by: Shiggins)
"Three minutes are over! Can you handle this shit? Even if I crush your head, turn it into minced meat and do you in?"
The critical reception towards Gangsta from the fans is very divided, with many enjoying it, but many others disliking how it ended up. That being said, I have yet to find a person that thought Nicolas and Worick were anything short of “awesome”. I was actually tempted to put both Nicolas and Worick in this spot, but it's one per entry and so Nicolas just manages to gain the advantage. And no, it's not because he's deaf. That's only a helping factor.
|Dog tags... Dog tags... Damn, why can't I find a good joke about dog tags?|
Son of a mercenary commander and a prostitute, Nicolas was chosen to be his best friend Worick's bodyguard at a young age, despite his inability to hear. From then on, Nicolas was involved in all manners of bloodshed, some of which are too gruesome to spoil her. Blood should always be a surprise, as I told the judge last Sunday. Despite all this, Nicolas is surprisingly thoughtful, friendly and defensive of others over himself.
|He even manages to get girls who don't know his name... That's game!|
Nicolas is one of the few gems in the murky world of Gangsta, and somehow is able to win us all over with just a few grunts and a perfect display of sign language. He's disabled, yes but never does that get shown as a weakness. It only makes him endearing, engaging and dare I say it, cute! Yes, people find him cute and I can totally see why. He stands up for Worick constantly, and Worick always repays him with that same affection. When Worick gave a prostitute a stern warning for being a bitch about Nicolas, we were all on his side. Camaraderie is the key word that they feel here, even if Nicolas can't hear it.
3.) Genos (One Punch Man) (Written by: Shiggins)
"I am willing to do anything to become more powerful. However, I can't picture myself coming even close to attaining teacher's power"
Move over, Saitama! The true hero of One Punch Man is the one who tolerates the shit given to him, Genos the badass cyborg! What he lacks in epic costume, he makes up for with epic technology and his determination to be a good hero not only makes him far more engaging than Saitama, but just far more impressive when we see him upgrade or explode for his pursuit of justice!
Also known as the S-Rank hero “Demon Cyborg”, Genos lost his family as a child and was turned into his half-robot form by Dr. Stench, which allowed him to become the hero he is today. When we first see this badass, he's having trouble with “Mosquito Girl” and her army of bugs, but a swift and accidental rescue by Saitama causes Genos to make the tragic mistake that the bald hero could be an excellent teacher for him, and thus Genos moves in with Saitama, much to Saitama's chagrin.
It's hard to pinpoint what exactly I love about Genos so much. Maybe it's his unweilding ability to keep calm and patient, despite all the shit he gets thrown at him. This is a character who will practically break every fibre of his being to try to destroy an impossible target, then Saitama will jump in and make it look piss-easy. In any other story, Genos would look like the most powerful character around, but in a series like One Punch Man, he gets reduced to underdog. And we all love a good underdog story.
2.) Leonardo Watch (Blood Blockade Battlefront) (Written by: ClayDragon)
“Once you get used to the abnormalities, they become mundane.”
Being on your own in a big city can be a scary experience. Being on your own in a big city that’s a mishmash of superpowered beings, monsters, aliens, and vampires, with death around every corner, is downright terrifying. Leonardo Watch is an inhabitant of such a city (called Hellsalem’s Lot), and is searching for answers relating to an incident a number of years ago which left him wielding the All-Seeing Eyes of the Gods.
Leo’s search for the truth results in him joining Libra, a secret society dedicated to keeping the peace in Hellsalem’s Lot. Despite not having any combat abilities whatsoever, Leo more than earns his place on the team due to his bravery, charm and loyalty. His eyes – which allow him to transfer his vision to others, see through powerful illusions, track people across the city, see movements faster than normal eyes can follow, zoom in on things that would be impossible to see normally without a microscope, and see the true names of creatures – are just a bonus.
Blood Blockade Battlefront would be a very different show without Leo. Whilst he may be overshadowed by his peers at times, Leo is very much the heart of the show. His honesty, humour and personality highlight the fact that it doesn’t matter where you are, who you’re with, or what’s going on around you – a little kindness and a little humanity both go a very long way.
1.) Decim (Death Parade) (Written by: ClayDragon)
“I do not think humans are foolish. I have respect for people who live fulfilled lives.”
Many religions have a figure that judges the souls of people heading for the afterlife. For example, Ancient Egypt had Anubis, and Hinduism has Yama. Death Parade has Decim. As an Arbiter, it’s Decim’s job to examine the memories of the people sent to his bar, and then get them to play a game. Whilst the games may seem morbid, their main purpose is to make people show their true colours so Decim can clearly judge what happens to their souls.
As Arbiters aren’t designed to be able to understand human emotions, Decim starts the series as little more than a stoic robot, and he gives little thought as to whether he made the right call when he decides who goes to hell or who gets reincarnated. But after spending time with the soul of an amnesiac girl known as Chiyuki, Decim slowly begins to grow curious about human emotions, and over time he develops emotions of his own.
Decim’s development is brilliant to watch, as it’s so subtle at first that you may not even notice a difference. But over time he becomes more empathic to the people that he meets, and he goes from being uncaring and emotionless to someone who truly makes an attempt to understand what his guests are going through. Thanks to Chiyuki’s massively positive influence on his life, Decim becomes someone who you’d be glad to see in the event that he judges you.
|Hestia (Is It Wrong To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon?)|
|Miyabi Itou (Yamada & The Seven Witches)|
|Hotaru Tachibana (Aoharu x Kikanjuu)|
|Shinoa Hiragi (Seraph of the End)|
|Yumoto Hakone (Cute High Earth Defence Club LOVE!)|
Is there a character you feel we missed out? Or do you have any suggestions for another Top 10 list? Let us know in the comments below!
|"You mean I made it onto the list? Hooray!"|
Thanks for reading!
ClayDragon is currently studying Physics at university, and is constantly bewildered by it. The main method of contacting him is his Gmail account at firstname.lastname@example.org. He has an ask.fm account at ask.fm/ClayDragon. When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics. What do you think of our new title card? Please let us know! We're really insecure!
Shiggins enjoys many strange forms of communication, especially those including cosplayers or presents or videos. However, until that wonderful day comes when people care enough to give him things for being him, you can contact him on his Skype; shigginsishere. He can also respond to you if you contact him through GMails at email@example.com, and you can find out about him or ask him stuff on ask.fm/shigginsishere.