Based on "Hitozuma × Hitozuma 3" and "Hitozuma × Hitozuma 1.5" (HVG) by Discovery.
What is your favorite non-Japanese anime characters?
(Warning: super pic-heavy fangirl post incoming)
I’m really hoping that people don’t judge my anime tastes since my best friend keeps telling me that my tastes are all too dated, but here’s my list:
Shaman King is actually a very international/multinational manga/anime, come to think of it.
A minority of the main characters are ethnically Japanese, such as Yoh, Manta, Ryuu, Anna, Hao (though he was Indian/Native American in his previous reincarnation), but the rest are non-Japanese.
Horo-Horo is Ainu, Lyserg British, Faust German, Tao Ren Chinese, Chocolove Black American, Opacho African Jeanne French, and there was that ice-wielding trio from Iceland, Russia and somewhere else. My two favourite characters from Shaman King would have to be Tao Jun and Opacho, though. Tao Jun from Shaman King (Chinese) – she is soooo sooo pretty.
As a kid I always wished I had her style and grace. I love the entire Tao family, in fact.
Especially that Chinese banquet scene they had sometime in the beginning of the series: I mean, just look at that! The author clearly knows how the Chinese eat! Also, Opacho gets special points for being especially adorable: D.GRAY-MAN I am also especially in love with Lenalee Lee from D.Gray-Man, who also happens to be Chinese.
She was such a strong exorcist, so much better than all the other main characters IMO. D.Gray-Man is also quite an international series – the main protagonist (Allen Walker) is European, and the only Japanese among the main excorcists is Yu Kanda.
Most of the main characters belonged to the European branch of the Black Order and the Asia branch arc was a sort of side arc; there’s also an entire scene in Edo, Japan, but that is somewhere the main characters had to travel to, so the series isn’t set in an especially Japanese setting per se. FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST I believe the setting of FMA was inspired by the Weimar Republic, so most of the characters, as far as I recall, are German or generally European – though I’ve always imagined Alex Louis Armstrong to be American, for some reason. Winry Rockbell from Fullmetal Alchemist is my favourite character out of all of them.
She was a mechanic! A mechanic! She made me want to be a mechanic for the longest time. CLAYMORE The story takes place in a fictionalised medieval European-like setting, so it’s safe to assume that none of the characters are Japanese. I adore everyone in Claymore, so I’m also going to throw in a few other characters that particularly stuck out like Clare, Teresa, Ophelia, Rafaela, Luciela, Miria, Irene, Jean, Agata, Galatea, Cassandra, Octavia… the list goes on, but Riful … Riful is still my bae (did I use that word right?). So this is Riful, the first of the female generation of Claymores, the no.
1 most powerful warrior of her generation and quite possibly the youngest warrior, like, ever.
Absolutely unbeatable in her day (plus her awakened form is so pretty, with all the black ribbons).
Gah I love her so much. Miata gets my second pick for the prettiest awakened being design.
Too bad her character was psychologically unstable and very hard to like: Followed by Wild Horse Octavia: And Alicia and Beth both get special mentions too.
I love both their outfit designs. Jean – her death scene always makes me cry, even after the hundredth reread. Roxanne of Love and Hate: she has such an apt name — I hate her but I love her at the same time, argh. Ophelia: And I’m going to throw Galatea and Anastasia in too because I absolutely adore their fighting styles.
Galatea uses her superior yoki control to deflect attacks aimed at her and Anastasia uses her hair to form platforms for her comrades to fight in airborne settings. Galatea: Anastasia: The Claymore cast in human form, or at least, some of them.
The girls featured here are from left to right are Clare, Teresa, Clare again, Irene, Deneve, Miria, Clare (again) and Helen: Side point: one of the reasons why Claymore remains one of my favourite anime/manga of all time is because gender roles are completely subverted.
For a shounen manga, it is striking to note that men here are merely side characters.
By side characters, I mean that all but two (Isley and Raki) are almost entirely irrelevant.
Because all the warriors here are female (they started off with male warriors but they were failed creations so they moved on to women instead), you get an all-female cast of absolutely kick-ass fighters.
Even among the Abyssal Ones (aka the strongest awakened beings), there was only one male (Isley) to about six females (Riful, Luciela, Cassandra, Priscilla, Roxanne, Hysteria). The impact that had had on me as a child was monumental.
While Disney keep portraying women as damsels in distress waiting for someone to save them, and while shounen warriors keep at best a male:female ratio of 5:2, this was the first time I read a manga where women could be and were the best fighters out there.
Women could be both good and evil, weak and powerful, strong-willed and bloodthirsty, and not girly, overly-tomboyish, overly-feminine or sexualised.
To me, Claymore wasn’t a manga with female warriors; it was a manga with warriors who happened to be female, and that made all the difference. Okay, I didn’t expect this post to be all-female.
It’s just that my favourite characters tend to be female because I identify with them better.
As a child, I was always looking for characters I could learn from, and strong female characters always spoke out to me more.