9 December 2012

Uganda: Anime Thrills - Haru-Character Analysis

Opinions, they have a tendency to convert the most amiable discussions into chaotic scenes of discordance; and in anime few things can elicit such passionate discourse the opinions on anime characters do.

Basically if you like the characters, you will like the anime, and if you hate the characters, then you will most likely hate the anime. And it's no secret that any anime fan who loves what he or she loves will explode at the thought of someone bad mouthing their much beloved characters.

I hate weak characters, and by weak I mean those anime characters that are the very personification of the word 'loser'. Anime critics and most fans love to harp on about the need for anime protagonists to have some sort of flaw or weakness, because basically this makes him or her more relatable.

And I will not argue with this fact. Half the fun of any anime story is seeing how the characters overcome their flaws to attain whatever prize they seek. This is where most fans will draw inspiration from the anime media. When I say weak, I am referring to characters that fail in each and every way possible; I am talking about those characters that never rise up against their personal despairs and ultimately leave us the viewers more depressed than when we began.

No one exemplifies this character motif as well as Evangelion's primary protagonist shinji, unequivocally the biggest wimp I have ever laid eyes on in anime. I don't think I have ever despised a character as much as I despise Shinji. Fans of the shows say that the series was developed with multiple endings and it's up to the fan to choose which finale they would rather swallow.

I read the manga, I read one depressing finale. And after so many hours spent in the computer lab, flipping through eighty something chapters of the manga, I have no will to explorer any of the other alternative endings. My point is, Shinji was weak, and his was the characterization that permanently biased me against any character design that comes off so pathetic; which is why I find Accel world's primary protagonist so refreshing.

Haru is every bit as pathetic and weak as you would expect a shy overweight high school outcast to be. And even when he finds meaning and purpose in the service of kuroyukihime's black queen, he never fully overcomes his feelings of worthlessness and fear.

Basically everything he does in the physical/virtual world is for the benefit and fulfillment of kuro's wishes. He clearly states in one episode that he is willing to let her use and abuse him if only she will let him serve her for a time, as her silver knight.

When he rises to the challenge and engages in epic battles, there is little doubt in anyone's mind that he is every bit the unconfident loser he was at the beginning of the series. Yet he determines to manage this pathetic attitude, if only for a time and even when his inferiority complex rears its ugly head from time to time, he shows the will and strength to beat it back below the surface, never allowing it to consume him.

Haru is weak in every way, and he knows it, but this persona isn't the defining core of his being or the series, and is less likely to suffocate the show the way Shinji does to Evangellion. Watch Accel world (I have a soft copy for those without access).

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