Top 5 Nice Guys/Girls in Anime

Tuesday's Top 5

I know it’s weird but this is probably the hardest list I’ve tried to write so far. I was thinking how easy it would be to come up with the top 5 nice characters but then I started thinking what about… and the list just never ended. Finally I’ve whittled it down to my 5 favourite nice guys and girls. That and I kind of like nice protagonists.

My criteria for the final list was simple. They had to be nice and pivotal to the plot. The couldn’t be nice even while other characters walked over them (so they had to have some sort of backbone) but they mostly liked to get on with others. Also, they had to be in an anime where the main characteristic of the cast wasn’t nice. So Shirayuki and the like were ruled out pretty much instantly. See what you think and add any characters you’d like in the comments below.

Who are your top 5 nice nice guys or girls in anime?

Please Note – There are spoilers below. You have been warned.

Honourable mentions this week could go to about a million characters but probably Bell from Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon and the far more recent Lloyd from Suppose a Kid From The Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town both deserve a shout out.

Number 5: Shiemi Moriyama (Ao No Exorcist)

There’s not a lot to say about Shiemi other than she’s definitely deserving of a place on the list of top 5 nice characters. She’s an adorable character and she just wants to make friends with all the other exorcists. The reason she isn’t higher up the list is because she is a little bit of a doormat at times and it takes a lot for her to assert herself, though she does improve throughout the series. Fittingly, her summoned spirit thing allows her to grow plants that she mostly uses for healing purposes which more than once makes her invaluable to the team.

Number 4: Hak (Akatsuki no Yona)

This one was probably an odd choice because I’m thinking that most people don’t automatically use the adjective nice to describe Hak. However, my view is he is an incredibly nice character. He’s the older brother/friend who looks after Yona and she knows that he’ll have her back even when she blows up at him.

More importantly, early on Hak respects Yona’s choice even when he is clearly in love with her (or maybe that’s just my view). He could have been a lot more intrusive but instead other than some gentle teasing, he kind of stays out of her way (until she needs some serious rescuing). I think he’s an incredibly nice character toward his friends and particularly Yona, but I’m guessing his enemies will not see that side of him.

Number 3: Mimiko Katsuragi (Black Blood Brothers)

Mimiko kind of gets dragged around a lot during Black Blood Brothers and she works really hard for Jiro and his brother to help them get to the Special Zone and to help them get established there. She’s an incredibly nice person, but she is definitely not a door mat. At every stage of the journey she puts forward her views and at times openly challenges Jiro and his opinions. She’s probably the most balanced character I’ve included on this list.

Number 2: Aberline (Black Butler)

In an anime like Black Butler, where every character is more or less morally suspect, Aberline and his desire to make a safer London really does stand apart from the rest of the cast. Of course, his nicer nature made it inevitable that he would give us one of the more tragic moments of the series and the futility of his gesture just made it all the more heart-breaking. Aberline is a great character. He has his convictions and a desire born from his own life experience and yet he reaches out to Ciel as he sees that Ciel has definitely lost his way in all the corruption. Nice guy, tragic end.

Number 1: Jacuzzi Splot (Baccano)

A nice guy looking out for his friends in a world of gangsters? Jacuzzi had to be my number 1 pick for a top 5 nice guy or girl in anime (though it was hard even choosing him from amongst the cast of Baccano because a number of our ‘gangsters’ were deceptively nice). He is completely devoted to his friends and ensuring their safety, would love to avoid violence if at all possible, seems like a complete coward but definitely knows when it is time to stand up and be counted. And he doesn’t do that half way. Even the story behind his tattoo is completely adorable.

So, which nice characters have I missed? Who should be on the list?


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Yona of the Dawn Volume 1 Manga Review: The Story Begins

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This is a manga I’ve been recommended endlessly and I’ve actually really wanted to give it a go because the anime just kind of left me wanting the rest of the story. That said, there’s a long way to go before I get to anything new so how does volume 1 go at making me want to read on?

Anime Review: Akatsuki no Yona

Review:

Shoujo isn’t really my style and while there are a handful of romances near and dear to my heart, it isn’t exactly a genre I go out of my way to track down. Yona of the Dawn as an anime I found interesting, but I’ve never been the die-hard fan so many have become and in terms of red-headed heroines I would have taken Shirayuki over Yona any day. The reason for this I outlined quite clearly in my anime review. The story wasn’t finished. What we got was a very long introduction into what seemed like an amazing tale and then we never found out where it went. That kind of soured m overall enjoyment of it as it all just felt incomplete.

That issue isn’t solved by reading volume one of the manga and I knew I was committing to a far more long term project when I decided to try this manga but I don’t think I was prepared for how little would be covered in this first volume.

We meet Yona, Hak and her father and all three of these characters are as interesting as they came off in the anime and their relationship is interesting to see in action before Su Won comes along and pretty much crushes Yona’s world in an instant. It’s great to read and visually this manga is really quite gorgeous to look at, one of the few times I actually think I prefer the visuals here to the anime as there is a real richness to the detail in so many of the panels that seemed lacking in the anime.

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However, the first volume ends and we’ve barely seen Yona and Hak escape the palace and they haven’t even really gone anywhere yet. This pacing may very well kill my enthusiasm for finding out what lies beyond the end of the anime if it continues this slowly. Then again, it isn’t as though the book feels empty.

The anime did an excellent job of bringing these characters to life, but like with the visuals, there’s just a little something extra in the manga. A more nuanced approach to each character that makes them feel a little more real and a little more grounded, and all and all it was quite the pleasure to read.

If I had any disappointment it would be the book ended and I kind of felt I hadn’t got very far into a story I really do want to reach the end of at some point. Of course, if I’d read this without knowing the anime, I’d probably be equally disappointed in the heroine. She doesn’t come off looking all that great in this volume. And while I know that she is going to undertake a fairly wonderful tranformative journey, this starting point might have seriously put me off if I hadn’t gone in with the knowledge that this weak Princess was going to grow.

Hak on the other-hand comes off as a great character from the word go and Su Won remains a character I am endlessly intrigued by. I’m really hoping future volumes flesh out both of these characters more than the anime ever did as I really am keen to know more about them.

That said, I should thank everyone who has pushed this title at me as to be honest I’m pretty sure I will love reading forward. I have the second volume already though I haven’t read it quite yet (I have quite the stack of reviews to get through first of other books I’ve read), and depending on how that goes I might try to get two or three more volumes covered by the end of the year, but again, I’ll see how it goes.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this manga but please don’t spoil future volumes for me as while I’ve read heaps about this story already I’m trying really hard to take each volume as it comes.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime Princesses

Tuesday's Top 5

The Princess list turned out to be easier than the anime Prince list. That’s probably because there’s a lot of princesses out there who happily sit as bystanders and then there are the extreme warrior princess tropes that run around. Finding a princess who is an active participant in their story but not a juggernaut of violence is actually fairly challenging. Still, here are my top 5 picks for anime princesses who have that regal Princess air to them (at least at times) but also take an active role in their plot. Bonus points for great outfits and as always I’d love to know what my readers think.

Number 5: Princess Hitei (Katanagatari)

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As the antagonist for a lot of Katanagatari, Princess Hitei didn’t really get to do a lot (and in honesty I’m not entirely sure if she’s a real Princess), but her manipulations and schemes certainly directed a lot of the action within the series. More importantly, when her schemes all came crashing down around her, she proved herself adaptable which is a fairly vital survival trait and one she demonstrated beautifully. Not to mention, her look is crazy but distinct – like most characters from Katanagatari.

Number 4: Chaika (Chaika – Coffin Princess)

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Alright, I know she’s actually a clone of a Princess and only one of many, but Chaika is awesome. Her magic is a little inconsistent and takes forever to power up, but you have to admit when it works, it is pretty brilliant. And even knowing her whole life is being manipulated, Chaika still manages to find her purpose for moving forward. Kind of have to love her (and her hair clips – those are gorgeous).

Number 3: Princess Serenity (Sailor Moon)

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This girl has way too many titles and while the modern day Serena isn’t exactly instilling confidence in her leadership most days, her past life and future self certainly lend her some credibility that even if she isn’t there yet she will be one day. Besides, the girl has saved the world how many times? You have to cut her some slack if she wants to spend her afternoons playing video games when there is no world threatening evil afoot.

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Number 2: Yona (Akatsuki no Yona)

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While I still feel Shirayuki was the superior red headed character of these two, technically Shirayuki is not a Princess (marry Zen already), and so Yona takes the number 2 place on this list. I will admit, as much as Yona didn’t impress me when I first saw it, time and a rewatch has definitely made me appreciate her more and now that I’m two volumes into the manga I’m kind of hoping to learn even more about the Princess who lost everything in one night and yet refused to give in.

Number 1: Euphemia li Britannia (Code Geass)

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Okay, her ending was pretty tragic for everyone involved, as it was supposed to be, but even before the event that made her infamous, Euphemia was a pretty special princess. Despite her lack of combat abilities compared to her siblings, she didn’t just sit on the sidelines. She worked her strengths and found other pathways such as diplomacy to achieve her ends and she almost succeeded at bringing about peace. I’m laying the blame for her untimely end entirely on Lelouch and I’m just saying we lost a very fine Princess.

That’s the end of another list but as always I’ll now turn it over to the comments and ask you who your favourite or top 5 anime Princesses are.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Tuesday’s Top 5: Male Characters with Green Hair

Tuesday's Top 5

Following on from last week’s selection of female characters with green hair, I now bring you the list of male characters. These are my personal favourite characters who have the distinction of having green hair, though in many cases I’m still not sure why given green is not even close to a natural hair colour. You have to admit though, some of these guys look great with it.

As always, feel free to add your thoughts and your choices in the comments below as I’d love to know some of your favourite male characters with green hair.

Please note: There will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions: Rei Sagara (Love Stage) and Genpachi Inukai (Hakkenden).

Number 5: Envy from Full Metal Alchemist

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Not hard to see why Envy would earn a place on the list. To start with, the hair actually makes sense when you consider the sin they are portraying, and secondly, this character was fantastic. Self-centred and with a massive chip on their shoulder, Envy stayed true to who they were all the way through the story (both versions) and was a great deal of fun to watch on screen no matter what they were up to.

Number 4: Jae Ha from Akatsuki no Yona

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He’s a massive flirt and playboy but also a very loyal friend and warrior, Jae-Ha initially annoyed me when he was introduced as one of the dragons in Akatsuki no Yona but it is very hard to overlook his charms as a character. Despite his frivolous exterior, he has his reasons for his actions and ultimately he is probably the dragon with the most familiarity with the ways of the world and an ability to cope with new situations.


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Number 3: Sadao Maou from The Devil is a Part-timer 

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Sadou is a fantastic character. Having fallen from being the demon king in control of a country to a part time employee of a rip-off McDonald’s, he still isn’t going to let anything get in the way of his ambitions. What I like the most about his character is that he isn’t just waiting for an opportunity or for success to fall upon him. Sadou Maou is out there every day working to make his dreams a reality and for the most part he is working within the rules of the system around him and trying hard to overcome the obstacles in ordinary ways. Anyway, he is a great deal of fun and the thought of the devil making pepper fries is always pretty amusing.


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Number 2: Gon from Hunter x Hunter

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While I’m not quite finished my journey through Hunter x Hunter yet (almost there now), Gon has been quite the joy to meet and travel with. While by himself he isn’t an overly impressive character, his interactions with the support cast bring out the best in him and in the rest of the cast making him fairly memorable. Of course, the spiky green hair certainly leaves an impression as well, though I’m not quite sure how it manages to stay looking like that given I’m pretty sure Gon isn’t using any kind of product. Any way, he is a super cute, super hard working and super loyal character and he is great fun to watch in action.

Number 1: Midoriya from My Hero Academia

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Were you honestly expecting anyone else to top out this list? While Midoriya might be a new comer to my favourite character list, he’s certainly left quite the impression. Another impossibly hard worker and someone who isn’t just waiting for success to be bestowed upon them, Midoriya is a character I admire for his focus on his goal and his willingness to fight for what he wants to achieve. Also his genuine concern for his friends is kind of impressive particularly as he was teased most of his life which could have left him being the bitter and anti-social individual, but instead he’s just a really nice person who has a really big dream. And that is why he gets the number 1 spot on this list.

Okay, so they are my top 5 male anime characters with green hair. Over to you and who you would have put on your list.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime Archers

Tuesday's Top 5

Maybe it is because I’ve recently watched Tsurune but I wanted to come back to this list. There’s been a minor change to the order and the addition of Masaki to the list. Why not Minato? Because he isn’t quite ripe just yet. Give him a few more seasons (assuming the anime gets any more) and he’ll definitely find his place.

Please note: there may be some spoilers below.

Honourable mentions this week go to Sailor Mars and Madoka. Also adding in Borgoff Marcus from Vampire Hunter D who dropped out from 5th place.

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Number 5: Miyuki from Red Data Girl

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We see Miyuki training at archery regularly and we know he was trained as a mountain monk. Throughout the series we see him use both the bow and a staff to try to defend Izumiko (though his spiritual power is a little low when not being given a boost by Wamiya). Still, he looks pretty good when drawing his bow.

Number 4: Yona from Akatsuki no Yona

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It would be almost criminal to make this list and not include Yona. She starts out having never been allowed to touch weapons and she spends a lot of time training. Yet all that hard work pays off because she becomes very competent with that bow by the end of the series. This one I particularly like because she didn’t start off an amazing archer but we saw her develop this skill over the course of the series.

Number 3: Masaki from Tsurune

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No matter how you look at it, Masaki is gorgeous to look at when he is shooting. So calm and stable. Unlike so many other characters on this list he isn’t shooting to harm or to defend himself. He’s simply embracing the art itself and it is beautiful to watch. As someone who had to recover from target panic, he’s come along way and while he might make some missteps, he is really the coach the boys needed and has done a great job at helping them along. Really hope this gets another season and really hope to see more of Masaki shooting.

Number 2: Tigre from Lord Marksman and Vanadis

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The show is called Lord Marksman so of course there was an archer involved and Tigrevurmud Vorn (no wonder he gets called Tigre) is the main character. In fact, bows are looked down upon as a coward’s weapon and one of not much use early in this series and Tigre faces all kinds of discrimination from the other Lord’s. However, that doesn’t last as Tigre shows time and again what a bow can do in the hand of a competent user. He wins the trust of Eleonora who ends up backing him as he fights to first defend his lands and then his kingdom from invasion.

Number 1: Ishida from Bleach

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It was always going to take something a little bit special to beat Tigre on this list, but Ishida is always going to hold a special place in my heart. My favourite character from Bleach and proving just how cool a bow can be, Ishida well and truly deserves the number one spot on my list. I also love the variations of ‘bow’ Ishida uses throughout the series and it was always interesting seeing how Ishida adapted to different enemies. A far more refined fighting style than Ichigo’s swing the sword and see if it connects approach.

And that’s my list this week but I’ll hand it over to you and ask who your favourite anime archers are.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Akatsuki no Yona Series Review

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Akatsuki no Yona Overview:

In Akatsuki no Yona, Yona has lived the sheltered life of a Princess but when her father is killed she is forced on the run with only her childhood friend (bodyguard) Hak for protection. Together the two are forced to seek out the four dragons from legend, and that’s all I’ve got.

Akatsuki no Yona Review:

Definitely spoilers for the anime here.

Here’s the thing with Akatsuki no Yona as an anime: it’s amazing. The story is compelling and the characters are fascinating. There’s some rich world building (of an admittedly slightly clichéd fantasy world) and it is full of history and feels compelling. All of this should leave you with a near perfect anime.

However, what is Yona going to do once she gathers the dragons? Um, we don’t know (from the anime) and having gathered them and being asked by one of the dragons what her intention is we then conclude the final episode with her fighting an external enemy to the kingdom. But what is her long term plan? What happens next? Don’t know.

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I am writing this review after a re-watch of the series but I’m left with the same impression as I was after the first viewing. This whole series feels like an introduction to a much grander story that currently does not exist as an anime. Just as you finally meet the last of the dragons, the story ends. Nothing is done with them.

That said, if you view this as a story about Yona moving beyond being a sheltered princess then her character is realised very well. She has a catalyst for change that is about as genuine as it comes and her character change is slow and not without setbacks. In fact, every development she has is as a logical response to events in the story. So from this point of view you could view the ending as adequate because she has now become who she was supposed to be.

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For me though, I still felt Yona was incomplete. She’s come a long way and it has been a joy travelling with her and seeing her fail, succeed, grow and second guess herself. But without knowing what her future plans are it is almost impossible to know if she’s reached the end of her transition as a character and whether she now can face her future.

The other thing that really bothers me is that so much of the story was triggered by the King’s decision to not take up weapons. While this is a central part of the plot and the King’s character, we never get to find out what made him act in this way. We know he wasn’t a coward or a fool (that is made clear) but we don’t know what actually made him tick or what his motive was.

Because of this, we don’t really know whether the coup was justified or not and we don’t really know if Yona taking up weapons is ultimately going to be a massive slap in the face of everything the King tried to create.

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However, with the exception of the ending feeling totally unfinished, this is a truly beautiful anime.

The opening themes are striking and really set the tone. I particularly liked the first opening as it kind of felt like the story was being told entirely through the music and I could just close my eyes and really get drawn into it.

The characters are all really interesting and the biggest flaw is that some of them do not get enough time on screen for us to really know them the way we’d like to. The dragons (particularly the blue and yellow ones) really feel barely fleshed out but you want to know more about them.

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Hak and Su-won are both great characters and you get to know quite a bit about them, but at the same time you still feel like their is a lot unresolved between them. Their connection to each other and to Yona is really well portrayed and one of the strengths of the series (outside of having an interesting story, giving the characters a sense of purpose and just being entertaining). Hak’s motivation is all too clear throughout the series and you honestly feel bad for him sometimes when things don’t go his way. Su-won is more of an enigma with hints of a greater purpose but no explanation.

The mix of character development, human drama, adventure and fight sequences works well in this. The supernatural elements are tied in seamlessly with the world building and never feel like they are added extras or cheats to get around a villain. Actually if I was going to raise any further complaint it would be the lack of a central villain and that’s mostly because I’m still not convinced that killing Yona’s father was such a bad thing.

There really isn’t a lot more to say. This one is hard to recommend as is because it lacks any kind of resolution. If you watch a lot of anime, you’ve probably already watched this. Otherwise, you will probably be better off watching something that is finished. That said, it’s certainly an enjoyable watch so if you go in knowing it is going to leave things open then maybe it won’t be such a problem.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James