The seventeenth post in “100 characters For 100 Otaku.”
I feel like we’ve reached the final stretch of “100 Characters For 100 Otaku” as we enter the top 20! From this point on, the characters gain a very real importance to me. We’ve been on a steady incline of character importance, but now there’s a very steep jump into characters that I truly love. So let’s see what they have to offer! We’re rolling 20 down through 16!
Why I Like Him: Gattsu was born from the womb of a dead woman and lived his young life bouncing between lucky parental figures who would raise him into the most hardened and disturbed of warriors. He was only concerned about preserving his life until he met Griffith who made him question his true meaning in life. Now Gattsu walks the earth an unstoppable warrior, protector, and somewhat philosopher. He makes me think of the song Gallows Hymn by Primordial; “I’M A HEATHEN… SEARCHING FOR HIS SOUL!”
A Mirror For Otaku: Gattsu knows how to bathe in repetition and take pride in it. He always wants to take on the hardest boss or the best challenge, like killing 100 men at once or defeating a demigod itself. Otaku are very similar when it comes to gaming – they will beat a game on every difficulty, beat every challenge, collect every item, and if they really love the game, find crazy ways to challenge themselves, like beating the hardest boss with a level 1 character or playing through without saving.
Reflecting My Otakudom: Rather than myself, the person who reminds me most of Gattsu is my cousin, Funeral, who has been a huge Berserk fan for years because he connects to Gattsu. Funeral has always been a huge dude (played varsity football in his freshman year of high school) and has always been seen as this unstoppable force. He’s always been the guy you count on to bust up all the others, and yet as much as he charges through life with blind tenacity, he also stops and thinks about his place in existence – and often about his place in otakudom. In many ways, I’ve always been his Griffith.
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: Gattsu is an unstoppable force and an immovable object all in one – no matter how strongly you believe that you will defeat him, you simply won’t. Likewise, the Abh are an enormity of sheer power. The human race never stood a chance.
19. Tatsuhiro Satou (from Welcome to the NHK)
Why I Like Him: Satou has always been seen as the ultimate representation of a hikkikomori, which is probably because he was written by a real life hikkikomori, Tatsuhiko Takimoto. Satou is helpless and hopeless and finds himself going through all sorts of strange mental odysseys into the worst parts of life. It’s always that much more effective when you think ‘shit, I’ve been that way, too.’ Depending on the version of NHK you read, Satou may or may not have broken the cycle, but Takimoto sure doesn’t seem optimistic about his own progress.
A Mirror For Otaku: Lol. I think most hikkiomori tend to be otaku, and it’s not hard to say that being an otaku is a slippery slope into being an hikkikomori. It’s really a state of mind thing in the end, but I think anyone who spends enough time alone has a switch in their mind just waiting to be flipped hard enough to drag them into hikkikomori territory.
Reflecting My Otakudom: I’ve been a hikkikomori before, and minus the drug use, I’ve been just as insane as Satou. I’ve downloaded massive amounts of strange porn, I’ve gone on mental strings into hell, and I’ve wondered if the whole world wasn’t just one big conspiracy. I want to say I’ve come out of it, and I want to say Satou has too, but who knows.
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: Satou is the kind of man who could be around for the alien invasion, but it wouldn’t effect him at all. He is a hikkikomori – why should he care who is the owner of his planet? It won’t make a difference to a life of doing nothing. It’s probably all a part of the conspiracy anyway! INBOU DAAAAAAA!!!!!
18. Suzumiya Haruhi (from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)
Why I Like Her: Haruhi is one of the characters I relate to most in all of anime, and not just because I believe myself to be all-powerful. Haruhi is full of boundless confidence, and she bends all of the people around her to her will – much as I do. However, I also think she has somewhat low self-esteem. The one time she does something truly helpful for another person, she can’t help but be worried about whether or not she’s really done enough or done a good thing with her skill, which is how I feel as well – I am never sure that I’m good enough for anyone.
A Mirror For Otaku: Otaku can be very impatient and pushy with their friends. Patz wouldn’t stop bugging me about watching Shin Mazinger until I had to (I’m watching it now, okay?), and I too can bug people about something until they want to do it just to shut me up. That’s how Haruhi is – you know she’s going to make you do it, so you might as well get it over with.
Reflecting My Otakudom: Like Haruhi, a few years ago, I grew fed up with the normalcy of the world. I, too, had a moment where I realized how small and insignificant I was, and I decided I wanted to grow. I didn’t want to be just another guy, I wanted to be THE guy. That’s why I’m writing this blog with all of my passion in hopes of becoming popular! But of course, I still have to wonder what I am truly capable of.
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: Haruhi wishes that not everything was so drab, and that something strange would happen, like aliens appearing. Well, CotS would be that wish come true! Of course, if the aliens never show themselves, she’d get bored of the whole thing pretty quickly.
17. Kawazoe Tamaki (from Bamboo Blade)
Why I Like Her: The third and final Ryou Hirohashi role on my list. What makes Tamaki such an enthralling character is seeing and understanding the world from her perspective. She starts off uncultured and clueless, only interested in her own business, until her friends give her something to strive for and she finds out what it means to live for a goal and to care for other people. Plus she’s so adorable!!!
A Mirror For Otaku: Tamaki is obsessed with the show Blade Braver, which is a power-rangers style show naturally aimed more towards little kids. Many otaku grew up with these shows and still watch stuff like them in adulthood. Tamaki has a strong sense of justice from watching those shows, and I feel as though most of the otaku I know have a pretty strong sense of justice as well, probably from what they learned from anime and those shows.
Reflecting My Otakudom: Tamaki largely never knew how to connect to other people because all that she knew or cared about was kendo. It is through her love of kendo, though, that she manages to make friends and expand her set of values. I, too, feel as though I once couldn’t get along as well with people because all that I cared about was anime, but over time, anime has brought me to meet and get close to many people, even ones I never thought I would.
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: Tamaki doesn’t like to see the weak getting bullied and always stands up for what’s right. I think the Abh have a sense of justice themselves – they don’t try to bully the human race into anything, like slavery or death as they could have, but seek a diplomatic takeover.
16. Henrietta (from Gunslinger Girl)
Why I Like Her: Henrietta is painful to watch. She exists to satisfy the needs of the Social Welfare Agency, and that satisfaction is her own satisfaction, however, she can never be fulfilled. The drug makes her long more and more for her fratello, but she can never have enough. She will always be just short of happiness, no matter how much it destroys her that she can’t be satisfied with the things programed to satisfy her. Such immense sorrow…
A Mirror For Otaku: Henrietta only wants very simple things – to be with her fratello, make him happy, and satisfy herself. That’s what otaku want, too – they just want to be able to enjoy the life that they have and enjoy their obsession with anime. And yet, like Henrietta, they can never truly be fulfilled. There is always a deeper pain nagging at them.
Reflecting My Otakudom: I wish I could convince myself that I was satisfied with my life. I want to believe that I love anime so much, love my life so much, that I can just be happy and not have to worry about moving on – but I can’t be satisfied. There’s always something there to remind me that I will never be able to truly fill my hole – I can only keep charging forward to the end and try to enjoy the journey I take.
The First Episode of Crest of the Stars: Everyone is going to die eventually. The best that we can do is live in a way that makes us happy until we die. After all, no one wants to die, and we want to feel as though we are fulfilled before we face the end. Henrietta knows her death is right around the corner, but she just wants to see how much she can make out of the life she has. Similarly, Jinto’s father doesn’t want his people to be killed or enslaved – he wants them to live. Living means that you have the opportunity to be happy, which dying doesn’t give.
There’s 20-16, tune in tomorrow for the next five! We’ve got a boy who’s ‘so fucked up’, a little girl who’s quite proficient with a shotgun, and who knows – maybe your favorite character!