30 DAY ANIME CHALLENGE | 17

I’m probably biased because of playing the video game and being up to date with the manga. But I rather enjoy Jean Kirstein from Attack on Titan as my favorite supporting male.

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I think his character changes for the better throughout the series. It probably also helps a bit that Jean is actually Isayama’s favorite character in the series. Jean comes off as a cocky and an inherently blunt person.  But he’s really just a critical guy that is pretty cautious and considering his situation he’s just being pragmatic. At the beginning of the series he’s the number one person to butt heads with Eren because of their difference in ideals in the life they want to have. Jean wants to be safe inside the innermost walls with that military police whereas Eren wants to leave the walls. They just can’t see eye to eye; Jean thinks the survey corps is suicide and there’s no way to beat the titans and as we all know, killing titans is all Eren really strives for. They serve as good counterparts and even though they initially don’t see eye to eye; eventually they’ll come to tolerate the other.

I’ve probably said this before, but as I played Attack on Titan on PS4 I felt like I got a better look at each characters personalities. You’re probably wondering why since it is a hack and slash type game with very little story (that’s any different from the anime). Each character has a personality profile of what they’re strong at and what they’re weak at. Jean’s leadership capability is fairly high and is more reliable in battle in the game when he has a good team.  Whereas Mikasa has very little leadership skills but high strength and stamina making her more effective as an independent fighter on the field. So their personalities do make a difference in the game. For instance, any time I had to use Armin – who is weak overall except in leadership – you basically use Armin to delegate tasks to a team; and I just failed horribly using him every time. I couldn’t use Armin efficiently as I could’ve.

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I literally turned on AoT on my PS4 just to get this screenshot. LOL

As Marco (RIP) told Jean once that because of Jeans ability to quickly assess situations and read the atmosphere of the people around him and his ability to rally them, makes him a natural leader. Later on, he relinquished the idea of the posh life and joins the survey corps despite his own fears to stay true to the words of encouragement Marco had for him, and also reassesses his ideals after a speech Eren made. He is also willing to lay down his own life towards the end of the anime, showing that he does value his comrades as he decides that if he, Reiner and Armin don’t engage the female Titan, the rest of the survey corps would be wiped out.

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Jean is both similar and different to Eren and this is why he makes a good supporting character. They challenge each other because of their difference in ideals but they also respect one another. And also Jeans unspoken rivalry for Mikasa is unbeknownst to Eren and probably another reason as to why he dislikes Eren. Maybe on a deeper level Eren may represent the things Jean could never be because he does have a type of facade on that’s  it reflective of his personality. I just think they bring a great dynamic to the show – whether it be for comic relief or otherwise.

Anyways, that’s all for Jean and his loveable horse face! Till tomorrow! Gonna try to get my FFXV time in!…BUT after writing about Jean – maybe I should dedicate some time towards that platinum trophy instead and do FFXV o

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30 DAY ANIME CHALLENGE | 09

When I first saw this prompt – there was ONLY one person that came to mind- Makishima Shogo. Let me just say – his character sends chills run down my spine. His twisted personality makes him the perfect villain in one of my all-time favorite shows: Psycho-Pass.

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“To live is not merely to breathe; it is to act; it is to make use of our organs, senses, faculties – of all those parts of ourselves which give us the feeling of existence” – Rousseau. (Makashima’s motto)

Makishima is the primary antagonist of the series. He’s the mastermind behind a lot of the crimes that the Public Safety Bureau investigate. His personality is cold and calculating. He’s cultured, intelligent and eerily charismatic and he speaks so eloquently that he’s able to manipulate and persuade people with his speech. He’s probably one of the most brilliant antagonists I’ve ever seen.

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He’s obsessed with violence and savagery. He seeks out the worst traits of humanity in individuals and uses them as his puppets to carry out his crimes and disposes of them when he realizes they don’t live up to the expectations of chaos he dreams of. He has stated that in doing this he wants to see “the splendor of people’s souls”. These people are often directed by him and act as distraction for the PSB while he works on a larger scheme. His lack of humanity is frightening as he remains incredibly calm and emotionless as he carries out acts of violence. And he does everything with such grace and ease – it’s mind-boggling to think someone like this is pure evil.

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He has issues with how humanity has been blindly led on by the SIBYL system; they’ve  lost what it’s like to have independent thinking. His sole wish is the destruction of this society that SIBYL has built due to the personal resentment he harbors against the system itself.  The SIBYL system unable to judge Makishima despite his criminal has maintained a pure psycho-pass. It is speculated that his feelings of alientation from SIBYL for not recognizing him as a “normal human” drove him to lose his mind and drove him to feel like he had to destory it. He has claimed that because he doesn’t consider killing or commiting crimes to be wrong, but rather, completely normal reflects a flaw in the SIBYL system. Kogami states that he believes because of this isolation that SIBYL created and being recognized as a non-entity is what led Makishima down his criminal to begin with – his isolation had just made him that much stronger and that Makishima must have expereinced incredible hardships as a child that allowed his mind to stay pure.

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Shinya Kogami is labeled as Makishima’s nemesis; as Kogami and he have very similar thought processes and are both incredibly smart and well-read (which is why Shinya is also one of my faves! I’m not sure if I’ll be able to talk about him in this 30 Day Challenge – that makes me sad!!). He and Kogami understand one other and both are solely focused on the other. Makishima doesn’t agree with Kogami’s trust and belief in the flawed SIBYL system – which is the catalyst that triggers them both being hell-bent on killing one another. They both recognize the flaws in SIBYL, but as a detective Kogami can’t let Makishima get away just because SIBYL doesn’t recognize it, he is forced to turn his back on the MWPSB and capture Makishima on his own. This is exactly what Makishima wants in the end. He wants to force people to think for themselves and act for themselves, and then live their lives of their own will. He believes in this so much that he’d be willing to die at the hands of someone “who has the will to kill”.

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Makishima’s character is a work of art. When you first meet him he seems unsuspecting but as the story unfold’s it’s clear he’s a genius mastermind that’s orchestrated all the chaos that runs on in this world of Psycho-Pass. It’s amazing what alienation did to Makishima – it drove him mad that he had to do something for him to be a force to reckoned with. He’s my favorite villain in any series because he embodies such eloquence and grace but underneath all of that is a calculating murderer. It’s really creepy; but that’s what makes him so good!

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30 Day Anime Challenge | 04

I thought picking a favorite MALE character was hard. Picking a FEMALE is even harder! There aren’t many on my list to begin with so I’ve decided to go with whom has really stood out to me as of late and is my current favorite: Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail. The others on my list: Mikasa Ackerman, Sailor Venus, and Utena Tenjou; and Rin Tohsaka (not pictured). I’ve been pretty picky about the ladies of anime. But one thing’s for sure, I like independent, headstrong leaders that are bad-asses.

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Erza’s story revolves around her role and involvment in the magic guild ‘Fairy Tail’ and as every member in the guild has, she also comes from a troubled past. As a child Erza was caught and enslaved by a cult. In an attempt to escape with her friends she decided to take shoulder the blame – even though she was not the one who orchestrated it. The cult came to the conclusion that it she was the ringleader of the group and was taken away and tortured till the brink of death and eventually loses her right eye as a result. She was rescued by her friend, and future love interest, Jellal. He was also the one that gave Erza her surname Scarlet since she had none when they met. He chose it so that none of them would forget since it was the color of her hair. I would talk about Jellal more, but I want to save that for another time. Erza is able to escape from the cult due to Jellal’s help but is forced to leave him and the rest of her friends behind. From there, she made her way to Fairy Tail as another slave that took care of her often talked about the magic guild.

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Jellal giving Erza her last name

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After Erza lost her right eye

There are a couple of things that I love about Erza – I actually use her name as my character’s name in any Otome game (MysticMessenger, Amnesia: Memories, and Hakuoki). It’s a really pretty name. But aside from that, I find Erza to be incredibly beautiful both inside and out and ultimately the coolest girl ever. She cares deeply for her guildmates and will risk life and limb for them; but that feeling is mutual among everyone in the guild. When you’re not on Erza’s bad side she can actually be kind, bright and very warm. She’s known to fight for whats right and she usually tries to save people whenever she can.

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Erza has a huge armor collection.  She usually wears a specific armor, the “heart kreuz”, as her everyday outfit. People might view some of her outfits and armor as part of the  “fanservice” but I think it speaks volumes about her confidence as a character. She’s one of the strongest wizards in her guild, and many of them have a high level of respect and admiration for her – especially Gray and Natsu, whom essentially grew up with her. Alongside this tough exterior she projects she exudes a high level of sex appeal; while most women will hide that, Erza celebrates it.  The armor that she wears is not just to physically protect her, but also serves as a symbol for her emotional state.   Without armor on she feels uncomfortable and vulnerable. This resonates with me because I feel like I’ve had to symbolically put armor over my heart to protect myself because like Erza sometimes I care too much and end up losing too much.

My last point in choosing Erza as my favorite female character ever is her magic ability. Her “requip” magic is incredible. She is able to swap out any outfit, armor or weapon at will. It just requips with her just thinking it. My favorite piece of armor and weapon of hers is her “Heaven’s Wheel Armor” – her armor essentially looks like angel wings, and this armor allows her to summon over 200 swords at once.

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I think that about does it for my favorite female character. Watching Erza on Fairy Tail is a blast – especially her really girly moments when she’s enjoying her sweets more than anything, and is devastated when she’s deprived of it (like above).  Although she is a super serious character she can also be quite the dork. She is literally me when it comes to cake and other sweets!

Who’s your favorite female character?

30 Day Anime Challenge | 03

Favorite male character ever. Hmm, this ones a little tough because I’m usually re-shuffling my Top 5 male protagonists. However, there is ONE that has never really been de-throned as my absolute favorite. And from my featured image, it should be fairly clear that it’s Vash the Stampede from Trigun. You can see the rest of the contenders hiding in the shadows…but if you weren’t sure who they were: Shinya Kogami, Makoto Tachibana, Kageyama Tobio and Archer from Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works.

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The Trigun series is probably my first “action” anime that I fell in love with. The story and the art itself had drawn me in due to the character designs (and the character’s personalities themselves!) as well as the cities that they occupy, and the space ships! What else more do I need to say?

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My love for Vash has really grown in multiple phases: from mere observations in the show, to actual research on theories and analysis of his character. My absolute favorite thing about him is his ability to be silly and be a bad ass all at once – such opposite ends of the spectrum and he encompasses both so easily. His character goes through some radical development changes in just 26 episodes. There’s something endearing about his silliness and his “peace and love” motto in the first arc of the series. But in the second arc we see how extremely flawed and troubled he is as he struggles with some internal issues that has formed his ideals. The third arc is where he has to confront those issues head on and how he deals with his ideals becoming shattered and how he forges his own path towards the future.

Vash’s entire being is a walking contradiction. In the world of “Gunsmoke” he’s the best gunslinger and is on the run for having destroyed two cities completely  which left him nicknamed the “humanoid typhoon” and labeled as “a natural disaster”. The bounty on his head is 60 billion double dollars so tons of bounty hunters are after him as well as a pair of insurance policy agents that follow Vash around reporting the damage that occurs. Despite his wicked reputation to the world; he’s quite the opposite. He’s a goofball that is a pacifist. He’s the best gunsman in the world and is quite modest about it. He’s never shot to kill and he refuses to kill. He’s also quite passive aggressive and tries to avoid confrontation if possible. But when push come to shove he won’t back down. Vash is the type to take the burden of many and make it his own. But on top of that his true character is so charismatic that he can’t help but touch the lives of the many people he encounters as he traverses the planet.

We see these different sides of Vash through the eyes of the insurance agents (Milly & Meryl) as they begin to realize that he’s nothing like the reputation everyone has given him. Vash just has unbelievable bad luck that follows him from town to town as outlaws and bounty hunters try to catch him thus putting innocent civilian lives on the line. When he’s confronted with this he uses his bad persona to his advantage in these situations to protect the civilians and in the end save everyone.

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His happy-go-lucky attitude is clearly a façade to hide the internal and physical pain he’s enduring. I mean…the scars on his body and metal patches that barely hold him together? That scene alone had me completely disturbed yet enthralled with his character.  Seeing him in this state was if he was atoning for the sins his brother has committed – or maybe his own sins for having unwillingly destroyed two towns on Gunsmoke. He also usually wears his sunglasses to mask the transition from his happy go lucky self to his alternate more serious persona when he encounters an injustice that needs to be corrected. Vash is also deeply philosophical despite his actions, he ends each  episode in a soliloquy that describes the upcoming episode. He’s just such a layered character and I absolutely love him for it. Ahhh, I could go on and on about him, but I won’t. Maybe I can revisit a blog about him in the future!

This show still has a million plot holes — where did Vash and Knives come from? Where did these “plants” come from? What purpose where their powers for? How are the beings inside each “plant” really related to them? I could go on and on, but it doesn’t take away from this being one of my favorites. As of right now, Trigun is the only manga I own and am collecting. 

Who are your guys’ favorite male characters? And Why?
Till next time!
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