Greetings! Railgunfan75 here. We have now reached the finale of the blog’s 2018 Retrospective. Up to this point, I have shared with you many wonderful series. However, these series wouldn’t be what they were without the great characters which occupy them. I wanted to finish my retrospective by exploring some of the awesome characters we either met for the first time or were reunited with in 2018. These characters stood out for their personalities, transformations, or for what they contributed to their series. There were so many amazing characters that doing them all justice will be certainly impossible. I have instead narrowed down the list to a few amazing characters that I likely won’t forget anytime soon. With each character I will look at what aspect of the characters stood out to me. I have a great list of characters to discuss so i won’t delay any further.
I don’t think anyone expected that the star of the series would turn out to be Anzu. In many cases you expect the title character to be the star of a series and while Hina was a fine character, the fans myself included came to think that Anzu was the best character of the series. Anzu had an absolutely amazing story arc highlighted by the fact that she is an good person. Many people would simply take the selfish given her circumstances but instead she chose to worry about those who had helped her over herself. How could you not root for someone like that. Anzu added a nice emotional weight to Hinamatsuri and that element helped to elevate the series to greatness.
Mayuri Shiina- Steins;Gate 0
Already a great character, Mayuri really got her chance to shine in Steins; Gate 0. One could easily argue that she was the hero in this story through both her actions and her support of Okabe. An extremely likable character to begin with it was to easy to pray that Okabe would succeed in saving her in the original series. Now we get to see her take on a different role and really get to see a lot of things from her perspective. It takes a strong person to realize that you will never be that special someone and still give support to the person that you care about. The choices and sacrifices that she makes for Okabe are amazing and heartbreaking to watch at the same time. Besides her strength Mayuri is just the type of person that you want around with her kind, fun and accepting nature. I think everyone could use someone like Mayuri in their lives.
Sousuke Sagara- Full Metal Panic IV
Sousuke has been put through multiple ringers throughout Full Metal Panic but wow he was put through a lot of crap in Invisible Victory. He fails at the very thing he has been working to accomplish since the beginning of the series with collateral damage at that, then along the way he unintentionally causes more people to suffer. was never the most dynamic character in terms of emotions but you can see the shell crack during Invisible Victory. I always found his naivety and tendency to take things literally hilarious. But to really see his character start to let loose and show that emotion really got me behind the character. Sousuke has proven to be more than just a note character and hopefully we will get to seem him kick ass again soon.
Mai Sakurajima -Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
I think we all can agree that anyone who watched Bunny Girl Senpai was instantly won over by Mai. I mean her introduction scene was just absolutely amazing. She is an absolutely awesome character. She is smart, witty, and tough while also willing to let out her sensitive side. She is the perfect balance of kindness and sass. I think out of all the characters in the series, Mai was the one that you wanted to succeed the most. I think the best summation of her personality is in the confession scene in episode 3 where starts by first slugging Sakuta and then having an emotional moment with him. That was just one example. She had so many great moments throughout the series and I am grateful that she still had a presence even when she was not the center of the narrative. Her character and presence really elevated the series.
Llenn/Karen Kohiruimaki – Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
Equal parts cute and badass. Llenn/Karen of GGO was easily one of the standout characters from 2018. Karen is the type of protagonist that SAO desperately needed. She is someone that we all could relate to with her insecurities and reasons for gaming. Many us wish for that escape, wish to be someone different than who we are just like her. The escape is why many of us have taken up gaming. It also helps that Jaren is just an awesome character. She is the type that you root to succeed in her dreams. Not only was her real world personality fun to watch but so her kickass as Llenn was equally as fun. To see a quiet/friendly character take on the personal of a total bad ass was certainly a lot of fun. Honestly Karen/Llenn is the best example of the wish fulfillment idea that you see in SAO simply because it is very relatable.
Accelerator- A Certain Magical Index III
I don’t think anyone would argue that Accelerator is a great character probably the best male character in the Index/Railgun franchise. His character arc has been absolutely entertaining to watch and he certainly get his time to shine in the first half of Index III. While it was certainly hinted at in previous seasons, you really started to see signs that our villain is on a path to redemption. Despite this Accelerator is still the snarky a-hole that we have come to enjoy and to see a character undergo a change but not lose the essence of who they are is absolutely amazing. He is the definition of a guy who you do not want to mess with and can back up his attitude with an amazing set of abilities. Accelerator is the “bad guy” that you actually come to root for.
Narumi Momose- Wotakoi
You could pick pretty much any character from Wotakoi for this list but honestly I had the most fun watching Narumi the most. Many of us have been there, trying desperately to reconcile our nerd side and the image that society wants us to show. Narumi certainly personifies the dichotomy that many of us have to contend with. Besides that though, she is just a fun character to watch with her vast over reactions to trivial things. I loved when her day was ruined because of something that happened to her favorite character. I also liked how that despite thinking she had things understood, she was still actually figuring things out herself. Like the other characters on the list, she is just incredibly easy to root for. R
So what were your favorite characters from 2018? Please comment below of message me on Twitter (@railgunfan75) or Facebook (Railgunfan75’s Geek Blog). Thank you for joining me on my 2018 Anime Retrospective. It took me almost 3 months but I had a lot of fun writing these posts and hope you enjoyed reading them. I am now turn my attention to the recently announced Fate celebration in honor of the premiere of Heaven’s Feel Part II here in North America. This is Railgunfan75 signing off. Remember to show consideration and respect to those around you no matter what your differences are. It goes a long way. And of course stay geeky my friends!