Top 5 Anime Characters in the Mafia

Tuesday's Top 5

There’s something about a good gangster story that really draws in the viewers. Unfortunately there aren’t a huge number of anime that deal with the mafia or gangsters and even then, most of my favourite characters in those stories aren’t actually in the mafia, so this list was a little tricky to put together. Ultimately though I’ve picked my top 5 anime characters in the mafia and I’d love to know who some of your favourites are.

Number 5: Nero Vanetti from 91 Days

Nero is an interesting choice because he’s a character I find hard to get a read on and yet I enjoy watching him. He’s carefree to a point and brash but he’s also very loyal to his family. Avilio abuses his trust and uses him and yet when the betrayal is revealed Nero struggles with it because of his loyalty to his friend, even if it isn’t returned. Ultimately Nero is just an interesting character to watch and while he makes many mistakes he comes back from them each and every time.


Number 4: Jolly from Arcana Famiglia

Alright, I’m not a huge fan of La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia as an anime feeling there were a lot of wasted opportunities and plenty of potential left languishing. However, there were some great characters scattered about being utterly deprived of a half-decent plot. One of those characters is Jolly. He makes only sporadic appearances in the story but his impact and influence on the rest of the cast is clear to see. Jolly might be the right hand man in the family but his personal agenda and his experimentation put the rest of the members on edge and this makes him fascinating to watch.


Number 3: The Fourth from Kamisama no Memochou

The Fourth, or Souichirou Hinamura, is full of surprises. While on the surface he seems the typical gangster running his group, he’s got an interesting skill set including repairing stuffed toys. However, that doesn’t mean he isn’t an incredibly dangerous character to try to get close to and don’t even think of trying to betray him. While The Fourth is a peripheral character in Heaven’s Memo Pad he gets some substantial character development including his own back story and he remains one of the most interesting members of the cast.

the fourth

Number 2: Claire Stanfield from Baccano

So many great characters in Baccano it was hard to narrow it down to one for this list, but ultimately I had to go with Claire. The incredibly talented murderer definitely dances to the beat of his own drum but has an interesting personal morality that plays a part in all his decisions about who to kill and who to leave alive, even if he leaves them emotionally scarred for life. In a zany cast of larger than life characters Claire managed to leave a definite impression.


Number 1: Oda from Bungo Stray Dogs

Again, the Port mafia is full of a lot of incredibly interesting characters but the one who has had the greatest impression on me is actually one we only saw for a handful of episodes as part of an extended flash back. Oda’s story is tragic to be sure but it left a lasting impression on the audience and on the other characters. It certainly left a lasting impression on Dazai. I know it is too late but can we please have more Oda, I loved watching his story unfold and just got so drawn into his character.


That’s it from me but as I said before I’d love to know who your top picks would be for anime characters in the mafia.

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Karandi James

La storia della Arcana Famiglia Series Review



Felicita is the daughter of Mondo who runs an organisation called the Arcana Famiglia who protects an Italian island. The Famiglia is pretty much made up of people who have made contracts with tarot (Arcana) cards and therefore have special powers. However Mondo has decided it is time for Felicita to marry and decides to hold a tournament with the winner receiving the title of ‘Papa’ and his daughter’s hand in marriage.


For an anime that introduces the idea of a tournament in episode 1, it kind of then spends most of the rest of the series forgetting that it is a significant and upcoming plot point. Felicita, Liberta, and Nova spend most of the series getting themselves in and out of various bits of trouble under the guise of completing their famiglia duties, dealing with past baggage, learning to control their powers, or just sticking their noses into various situations. We do eventually get back to the tournament but it lacks any real punch and to be honest by the time we get around to it any sense that this was what kicked the whole story off has kind of faded. It’s more, ‘oh, that’s right, they were trying to do something about that’.


That doesn’t mean there isn’t some entertainment to be had here. Some of the cast are fantastic and there are some genuinely amusing moments. The show stumbles when it actually tries for drama which is a shame because some of these characters have pretty awful back stories and seeing these dealt with in a serious and dramatic fashion could have been quite compelling.


Nova probably suffers the most from this. He is a very straight and no-nonsense character which puts him at odds with Liberta at almost every step (Liberta being a bundle of impulse and lacking any kind of self-control). Nova also has one of the darker back stories and we do explore this but it just feels kind of tacked on without any real drama or human emotion invested in it. It’s more like reading an encyclopedia about what went wrong for a character, marking it down, and then we close the book and never look at it again.


Of all the members of the family it is probably Jolly I like the most. He’s cold, calculating and manipulative and terrifies almost everyone, but some of the more interesting plot points are brought about because of him and some of the most dramatic moments in the series only exist because of his character. This story without Jolly would be a much duller experience. That said I still wouldn’t want to meet Jolly in real life because that seems like a terrible idea.

Then we have Felicita. For the central character she is pretty dull. At times she comes off like the typical hot-headed red-haired girl as she kicks other characters or whips out one of her knives, but its all pretty much for show. And stripped of sharp over-reactions, she’s just a pretty bland character who for all that she seems to want to rebel against her father handing her over as a prize doesn’t really take an overly active role in progressing that objective. She might claim she’s trying to get stronger or whatever but mostly her actions lack focus.


Overall though, if you are okay with three teenagers who remain pretty much strictly friends despite both the guys having an obvious and poorly hidden affection for the central female, running around an Italian island occasionally getting into fights, occasionally using super powers, and a whole bunch of other guys who do stuff every now and then before you get to watch all the characters take each other on in a tournament, then you’ll get a fun afternoon out of this. If you’re after something with a bit more meat to the characters and the plot, I’d probably give this one a miss.

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Karandi James.