I realised I’d completed a list a while back of creepy monstrous creatures in anime but I’d never celebrated all the adorable monsters out there. It is time to correct that oversight with my list this week. Now, this is not a list of cute monster girls. That would be its own list entirely. Instead these are actual monsters, that look like monsters, but they are just so cute.
What are my top 5 anime containing cute monster characters?
Kamaisama Kiss is full of very hot yokai males so adorable isn’t the first word that comes to mind when describing the characters. Yet, season 2 of Kamisama Kiss brought us an exception to the rule in the truly cute Mamoru. Maybe it is because Nanami had to hatch Mamoru as a test in the first place and she’s fiercely protective of her shikigami, but Mamoru is one of those characters that just makes you want to tilt your head and soak in the cuteness. Just look at those big, innocent eyes.
Okay, in fairness the adorableness is a little less apparent when he transforms into his more human form so my vote is to just stay as that sweet little monkey.
I actually had to think a long time before I decided to include Kyubey on this list. Not because he isn’t cute and all, but because I think he kind of stretches my definition of monster. I see him more as an alien or an inter-dimensional being more than a standard monster. Then again, he is arguably the one who acts most monstrously out of all the characters on the list this week so I’m going to just let it go.
That said, if that cute little thing showed up at my house with those adorable pin eyes and cute little ears, I’d be hard pressed to turn down the chance to make a contract. Do you think he’d let me touch his tail?
I get that Rimuru spends the majority of his times after eating Shizue as a more humanoid character but you have to admit there is something truly cute about this little, blue, bouncing ball of slime. Maybe it is the way he emotes. Or the way that at times his movements defy all logical and physics. Or maybe it is just that we’re used to slimes that are either slow or fairly useless and yet Rimuru just kind of zips about and does as he pleases.
Either way, it is hard to argue against his cuteness and the fact that he was reincarnated as a monstrous slime and so absolutely deserves a place here.
Narrowing it down to just one character from Natsume Yuujinchou was incredibly challenging but ultimately it had to be Tama. Maybe it is because like Mamoru from earlier in the list, Tama was found as an egg and taken care of by Natsume and Nyanko-Sensei in one of the cutest sequences ever. The hatching scene itself was quite adorable and then emerged this cute little button.
Okay, Tama definitely doesn’t stay tiny and cute all that long but for a short period he was adorably co-inhabiting Natsume’s room and destroying everything made of paper to build his own nest. So, so cute and really should have been number one except that there was one undeniable winner from the moment I thought of this list.
I mean seriously, look at that little bundle of bandages?
A traditional Egyptian monster given new life and cuteness in anime form. Okay, I’ll admit the story didn’t have a lot going for it outside of the cute monsters but when the titular mummy was this cute I really don’t care. How To Keep A Mummy was absolutely worth watching for the sheer adorable factor alone.
I did not know I needed a miniature mummy in a Santa-hat until this anime came along. Thank-you.
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime. Join the discussion in the comments. Karandi James
When reading reviews a comment that is regularly mentioned is how relatable a certain character or situation is and why that makes something more or less interesting. I find this an intriguing comment mostly because the bulk of my viewing growing up was strictly fantasy and science fiction and while you can relate well to the human elements of those shows and some of the characters, the fun of those genres is that they can take you outside of what you know and make you see things in new ways.
However, as I got older and really started looking at what made stories work, I realised that even within fantasy and science fiction, the stories I was drawn to were the ones where the struggles the characters went through felt real. And what made those conflicts and problems real was that I could usually see a parallel to something in my own life or the real world. It was kind of at that point where I started expanding outward from fantasy and sci-fi, as well as copious amounts of horror, and started finding other stories to lose myself in though I never lost my love for fantasy.
While making something easy to relate to might be a draw, does it make it good?
Anyway, the reason I’m thinking about this at the moment is I recently tried to review the first season of Kuroko’s Basketball and what I realised was I didn’t actually like the show. I watched the entire series (25 episodes) in less than a week while working 55+ hours and doing episodic views and reviews of currently airing anime, and I came to the conclusion I didn’t particularly like the show, though I didn’t dislike it either to be honest. So why couldn’t I stop watching it?
He is an incredibly boring character when you just kind of describe him. He barely talks, he has no presence for either the other characters or even the audience (even when he is seemingly supposed to be the centre of attention) and his overall character journey isn’t that interesting in this first season. He didn’t like the way the other members of his middle school team played basketball so now he’d like to beat them. Well, that’s profound. So again, why couldn’t I stop watching?
Because of the relatability. I really related with Kuroko right from episode 1, and not because of basketball because I really did not care about that part of the story. Without the gross exaggeration, Kuroko is someone who is easily overlooked. The guy in the room that even when people know he should be there, they just forget about him. It isn’t that he lacks talent, or that he is getting picked on, or anything like that, he’s just an existence like air. And that is something I could relate to.
At school I was the person who the teacher would ask someone else in the room if they knew where I was, when I was sitting in the classroom. I’m the person who can stand at a service counter forever and will have to wait while everyone around me gets served, sometimes even people standing behind me, and then the service person will start cleaning up behind the counter because they genuinely don’t see me standing there (something which my real life friends find hilarious for some reason).
However, what made Kuroko easy to relate to wasn’t just that he was invisible. It was that he wasn’t bitter about that aspect of his life, he wasn’t hiding because he was being bullied, he wasn’t on some quest to be noticed or not to be noticed… it was just part of who he was.
There are so few characters like that and it was such a novel experience seeing a character that just owned that attribute. That isn’t to say he doesn’t make his presence felt when needed, but again, that makes him relatable. While I might have a presence like air by default, you can’t get through life like that. You have to make people see you sometimes.
So one character, with one relatable trait, was enough to draw me into a show that I don’t actually dislike but it isn’t exactly blowing me away and it made me realise just how powerful this idea is. People are drawn to characters they relate to. They don’t need to be exact mirror images, but when they have that one trait or one thing that the viewer connects with on a personal level, they grab the interest of that viewer in a way that all the brilliant plots in the world probably wouldn’t.
Which made me wonder about a show that I thoroughly enjoyed the first season of, My Hero Academia. What is the draw for that show? Its fun, high energy, great fight sequences, but ultimately it is the characters that I’ve fallen in love with. And when you look at each of the characters what you realise is that they all have some trait or characteristic that you can relate to.
Even if it isn’t a trait you have, it is one you recognise in someone near you. Those characters are incredibly interesting but more than that, you can relate to the struggles they are individually going through even as they are on this fantastical journey to become a superhero.
In one of my favourite shows was March Comes in Like a Lion, I connected very strongly with Rei as he progressed through the story. As a character I wanted to see him succeed but I could understand him when he failed and when he felt he needed to give up. I cheered when he pushed forward, even if it was only a small step, and I cried for him when things got hard.
There were so many moments in my own life where I felt Rei’s struggles related and so many people I know who have gone through depression or similar situations that I could relate Rei’s story too. It felt real and I loved every moment of Rei during its run I really looking forward to its return for season 2 (and was absolutely not disappointed).
Well I’ve counted out my top 5 red-haired characters and looked at lovely ladies with blue-hair but today we are looking at my top 5 blonde anime girls. Now this list has undergone a few revisions over the years most recently last November, but the Winter 2022 season gave me a character I just had to mention.
And that sadly knocked our favourite moon princess, Sailor Moon, right off the list.
As always, I’d love to know which characters would appear on your list so feel free to leave a comment sharing your favourite blonde anime girls.
Who are my top 5 blonde anime girls?
Number 5: Amber from Darker Than Black
Amber in Darker Than Black is a bit of an enigma because she’s only really in flashbacks until the second half and even then she is in and out of the show. That said, I like her character. She plays everything very casually even while she’s probably the only character with the full picture of what is really going on. And she makes some really hard choices and pays the price for them.
While I still feel she might have clued some of the other characters in a bit earlier, she has sound reasoning for her actions in the end and she seems to genuinely respect Hei’s final decision in the series. Amber, for taking on everything and doing it with a smile, you have taken the fourth position as one of my favourite blonde anime girls.
Number 4: Riza Hawkeye from Full Metal Alchemist
What’s not to love about Riza no matter which version of Full Metal Alchemist you are watching? She likes dogs, she’s the only one who can really deal with Colonel Mustang, she’s a crack shot, and she’s a hard worker. Add to that she’s also a voice of reason and logic and occasionally a motherly figure to the younger characters, and she’s just all kinds of amazing. If I ever do a best supporting character list, Riza is going to be on it.
She’s an idol with not one, but two guardian characters that take the form of an angel and a devil. Early on in Shugo Chara, Utau works against our protagonists and only uses Iru (the devil guardian). Later on she accepts Eru (the angel) and she begins building herself up from scratch as an idol and a person.
Other than her brother complex, Utau is a fascinating character and a good rival for Amu early in the series. She’s also pretty awesome as an idol even if she does use her powers for evil early on. As a character, Utau experiences the best growth and development in this series.
Number 2: Marin from My Dress Up Darling
How could I not add this adorable and expressive would-be cosplayer to the list of awesome blonde haired anime ladies. Marin from My Dress Up Darling is truly fun to watch in action and any given episode has her pulling dozens of wonderfully emotive expressions.
That she is also just a truly lovely person just makes every episode with her a joy.
Number 1: Maka Albarn from Soul Eater
It had to be Maka from Soul Eater. She’s one of my all time favourite characters and she’s just plain awesome. She hits the books, fights with a scythe, and is still a genuinely nice person who is able to make a real connection with Crona who is need of human contact.
Unlike so many heroes, Maka isn’t just strong because she is. She’s actually probably the weakest in the group we follow, but she is an incredibly hard worker and very determined to succeed. Even Maka going crazy is highly entertaining. Oh, and don’t make her mad when she’s carrying a book or you will get hit with the dread Maka chop.
And that’s my list. As I said, feel free to add your own suggestions to the list in the comments below and let me know what you think of my selections.
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime. Join the discussion in the comments. Karandi James
Are characters under some obligation to behave in an ‘appropriate’ manner in order for their stories to be enjoyed?
At first I thought the answer to this question was obvious. Of course characters in a story couldn’t all act in a way that necessarily matched the morality of the society that produced them (or individual groups within that society). To start with, we’d never have any villains ever again, unless you think someone chewing gum too loudly is villainous in which case perhaps we could have a plot about young teens ridding the city of petty annoyances.
However, when I stop trivialising the question I realise what people are actually asking is whether or not the protagonists, or the characters the audience is asked to sympathise with and somehow connect with, should behave in what someone believes is an appropriate manner?
More than that: Is it wrong to enjoy the story when they don’t?
Spoilers for Tensura 2, Horimiya and Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation.
As an anime fan who writes on the internet, I’m well aware that some commentators, reviewers, and groups can be quite vocal and vicious with their criticism. Not just of an anime they personally didn’t approve of, but of people who watch and/or enjoyed that anime.
Whether they accuse people watching the showing of being perverted, degenerates, idiotic or a whole range of other unflattering words, they cast judgement on anyone who would dare to find enjoyment in something they found offensive.
And you know, while I fully support their right to be offended and to choose not to watch what they don’t want to watch, I don’t support name calling or shaming people for what they enjoyed or liked to watch given someone else enjoying an anime doesn’t hurt anybody in the slightest.
What I find even stranger finding a character decision to be a little questionable, or even outright morally wrong, doesn’t actually make the story worse by default. Certainly, it might rub you the wrong way and maybe it will throw you out of comfortable viewing mode and you don’t want to stick around.
That’s fine. I had a friend who felt that way about Terror in Resonance. She didn’t want to watch a story where the ‘terrorists’ and their actions were being given some justification. Didn’t want to stick around to find out why they were acting as they were or even to find out if the anime ultimately did condemn them or not. Her choice. But you know, she didn’t call me sick or a degenerate because I was fascinated by the story and the characters and wanted to know what lay behind their actions. I wasn’t pro-terrorist, but I did want to see what the overall story wanted to say.
Three of the anime I’ve watched this year have had moments where the main characters have had me seriously blinking and wondering about their decisions and all three cases I mostly enjoyed the series they were in. I fully understand that one of them seems to have passed without comment by the community at large, another had a brief flare up of words and then slipped away, and the third seemed to really bring out some strong opposition and almost as vocal a defence.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 – Not So Controversial
Part of me wonders why there hasn’t been more discussion around Rimuru’s actions in Tensura season 2. I mean, I guess part of it is the fantasy world is very removed, it is a second season so people are more or less acclimated to the series, it clearly isn’t intended to be taken actually seriously, etc, etc…
Yet, when faced with the death and injury of some of the people in his city of monsters Rimuru very quickly makes a call to transform into a demon lord in the hope of bringing them back to life and will gain the power to do this by literally slaughtering the entire opposing army.
It’s an abrupt decision given barely any digestion time, eagerly accepted by Rimuru’s followers, and acting upon with frighteningly swift and efficient brutality. This wasn’t a war. It was barely even a fight. It was open slaughter.
While some argument might be made that it was in retaliation for an act of heinous violence by the human army first, there is definitely a discussion about how proportional the response was particularly given no effort was made at a peaceful solution or simply defence. Rimuru went from harm-no-human to kill-every-member-of-the-army in less than a single episode and the audience seemed to largely be expected to support or endorse his actions.
Now would Rimuru have had any success at finding a peaceful solution?
Given the extreme hatred the church had of monsters and the callous attitudes of the nobles leading the army it seems unlikely.
Did every single soldier need to die? Were they all fanatics with a monster hating mentality or were some just soldiers who signed up to protect their country and feed their family who were ordered to march out? We’re not supposed to ask.
Is Rimuru right to pursue a resurrection of his people at the cost of all these souls? Again, we’re not supposed to ask. We’re supposed to be hoping a miracle occurs and not actually looking at the cost of it.
Does enjoying this mean you are a horrible person who would support genocide in real life? – That’s a firm no.
I actually did enjoy this sequence though I felt Slime missed out on the opportunity to really explore the moral quandary here. Then again, people don’t tune in to watch Tensura for moral quandaries that might lie therein. They watch to see Rimuru bounce about, enjoy being held by various women, and occasionally devour monsters while getting another power-up.
Horimiya – A Brief Splash
When I’d only watched the first 3 episodes of Horimiya for my watch or drop post, I started to see a few arguments and comments online regarding a particular line by Horimiya that some people found homophobic. Basically, Hori tells Miyamura that if he leaves her it wasn’t allowed to be for a guy.
Now, whether people in the thick of this one who were watching week to week found it was a little more intense, from my point of view there seemed to be a whole bunch of people voicing their opinion one way or the other as to whether the character was homophobic or not and then it just kind of disappeared off my radar. While there might still have been comments in my twitter feed connected to it, I didn’t really notice.
I actually didn’t have too much of a conflict with Hori’s statement. It was ridiculous and illogical but I think she was genuinely flustered and it wasn’t something she repeated or reinforced – more something that was blurted out in the heat of a moment and then the story moved on.
Now, while her ‘no guys’ statement could definitely be seen as reinforcing standard relationship views and excluding other communities (and it would probably be more offensive to people who had life experience here) it didn’t feel to me like the anime was pushing an agenda and more that a teenage character in the anime had said something that wasn’t great in one of her less than amazing moments.
Actually, Horimiya caused me more concerns with Hori herself encouraging her boyfriend to verbally and at one point physically abuse her. Largely because if removed from the sweet premise of the anime with two characters who genuinely care for each other, Hori could get herself into an actually abusive relationship if her partner took advantage.
Again, the anime wasn’t taking this darker view of the issue or trying to encourage people to act in a particular way, but you could certainly view the series and that aspect of Hori in a concerning light. Again, while I definitely thought about the issue, considered the implications outside of the anime for people in the real world, and I did wonder if perhaps the anime could have just left that part out, I also continued to enjoy watching Horimiya.
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation – Ouch
Gear up your pitchforks and placards or get your best defence slogans ready because this one caused a stir. I’d raised my own concerns about some of the creepiness of Rudy in my watch or drop post and placed this one at a maybe for completing.
I wasn’t concerned whether anyone else enjoyed it or not but for me Rudy as a character wasn’t someone I was finding it easy to get behind so while there were a lot of aspects to the story I kind of enjoyed, I was a little conflicted. That said, I’ve now finished Jobless Reincarnation so have read a number of other reviews of the series. They are diverse to say the least.
This one has had the main character called a pervert and a paedophile and a whole bunch of other less than pleasant things. Viewers of the show have been called degenerate in some tweets and reviews, particularly if they dare to claim anything less than utter disgust with the title. And all of this because a reincarnated middle-aged man looks at girls?
Well, not really. He goes a bit further and there’s a few scenes that do hit me personally as being quite uncomfortable viewing even though the anime doesn’t want you to think about it. It really wants to play it off for laughs and usually has a slap-stick moment of Rudy getting kicked or punched afterward, though occasionally he just kind of walks away with a creepy grin on his face.
However, while there are those howling about this anime and its poor taste, there are also those singing its praises as being a different kind of isekai, for its world exploration, for the way magic is handled. And all of these aspects of the story are actually pretty praise worthy. So we have an anime that with the exception of several main characters and their treatment of women is actually pretty good but the way some of those men treat or talk about women is pretty… well let’s just go with triggering for some.
Basically, enjoyment of this one will depend where you land. I enjoyed the series but not as much as other isekai anime that I’ve previously watched and loved because I couldn’t form much of a connection with Rudy. I don’t like him and I don’t like some of his choices. Plus, that grin of his really does creep me out.
At the same time, I actually understand why people would drop this one and decide it wasn’t for them. Equally, I get those who accept that Rudy isn’t a perfectly nice human being who is always nice and respectful to others and just watch the anime for what it is and enjoy it. While I get these two groups probably won’t really see eye to eye, I also think that they can keep their criticism to the anime itself and not to the other viewers.
So, Is It Okay To Enjoy An Anime When The Characters Act Questionably?
I’d say absolutely. Sometimes characters who act questionably are needed to really make the audience consider their choices. Sometimes it drives the narrative. Sometimes it is just a throw away action that while it might open a significant discussion around how particularly ideas and groups are represented in stories, it isn’t actually the central point of the anime so shouldn’t necessarily be enough to condemn the entire rest of the story.
Of course, it is also okay not to enjoy the anime because of the questionable character actions. That really depends on your own tolerances, trigger points and experiences, and you’ll make the decision for yourself about what you did and didn’t enjoy and why.
But what shouldn’t be okay is taking an issue with someone else for enjoying something just because you didn’t. By all means, discuss your view, put forward your reasons, write your own article or make your own video explaining why something is a problem, but leave the name calling out of it.
Be sure to share your experiences with an anime where you haven’t necessarily agreed with the choices made by a character or a time when you got called out for enjoying something someone else found offensive. Let’s have an open and respectful discussion.
Images in this article from:
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2.Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8bit. 2021.
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation. Dir. M Okamoto. Studio Bind. 2021.
Horimiya. M Ishihama. Cloverworks. 2021.
Terror in Resonance. S Watanabe. MAPPA. 2014.
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime. Join the discussion in the comments. Karandi James
The Autumn 2017 anime season gave viewers many things, but one thing I took away from it was an absolute love of Chito and Yuuri, a duo made up of two moe girls surviving in a dying a world. In a show that really only had two characters for the majority of its run time, those two and their relationship was crucial to the show’s charm and success and they pulled it off with seeming ease. But what made those two such a perfect duo?
I kind of touched on this in one of my episode posts where I pointed out that Chito and Yuuri had pretty much demonstrated the two types of people in the world (an over-simplification but it does feed in to why these two work so well). For those who didn’t read the post the basic idea was that the girls had found a path marked by arrows and Chito had commented that she wished life could be like that with clear arrows pointing the way. Yuuri on the other hand wanted to leave the path just to see what might be down another away.
From that, it might seem like the show was simply playing on the opposites attract characterisation as seen in a million buddy cop shows and there is an element of that in Girls’ Last Tour. And yet, the relationship the girls have is more complicated than just being opposites of one another.
So while Yuuri might be the more adventurous and the first to ask if something is edible or to simply try biting something and Chito might be the kind of try to find a description of it in a book and not trying eating it until she is sure it is edible, both girls do in fact explore a world that is seemingly dead and has proven more than once to be dangerous and both remain surprisingly positive in the face of fair amount of hopelessness.
It is in the final episodes however that you really realise that for all that Chito has been the quiet one, the one not carrying a gun, the one unlikely to race ahead without a plan; she can only be like that because she has Yuuri with her. Yuuri saves Chito when the path crumbles beneath their bike and took the lead in defending the two when they were threatened, and yet when Yuuri gets into what might be a sticky situation, Chito doesn’t hesitate.
She picks up the gun and she races after her friend. Likewise, we have seen a number of times that Yuuri might come off as lazy, selfish and a little bit silly at times and yet she comes through every time when Chito needs her. Yuuri is also only able to be Yuuri because Chito has her back and won’t let her do anything too stupid. What makes the relationship really work is clearly both girls know what the other provides for them and they respect the other for the balance they provide.
That is what makes these girls so adorable to watch as they muse about life, the universe and everything (or at least where they will go next and what they might eat). It is also what makes it so fun thinking about whether you are more like Chito or Yuuri and most of us will draw the conclusion that there’s a little bit of both inside of us depending on the situation (though Yuuri lost me a little when she set a book on fire).
After finishing Girls’ Last Tour I started thinking about other anime duos that I’d really enjoyed and this was actually a struggle as so many anime rely on group dynamics (five is a number that comes up a lot particularly in high school anime – though that is a post for another day). I ended up thinking of Takeo and Sunakawa from My Love Story and Isaac and Miria from Baccano.
Takeo and Sunakawa are fantastic and were what really made My Love Story come alive for me (okay, I also like Takeo’s relationship with Yamato given it is what the show is about). And when thinking about it, Takeo and Sunakawa have a similar style relationship to Chito and Yuuri. On the surface they seem like opposites and that’s fine enough and would create enough of an interesting watch.
And yet it is the way they complement each other and the way that they use the other’s strength to support themselves that makes the relationship truly meaningful.
It isn’t all smooth sailing (particularly when Takeo decides he needs to practice kissing and Sunakawa is his nominated test subject) but Takeo ditches his girlfriend on her birthday midway through their date to be with Sunakawa at the hospital when Sunakawa’s father is having surgery. And Sunakawa turned down every girl who ever asked him out because they’d all said something bad about Takeo behind his back. These two are a fantastic duo and to be honest I’d love a second season of My Love Story just to see more of these two and where their lives take them.
Isaac and Miria are a little different. To start with, they aren’t the main characters in Baccano. They certainly cross into almost every story, but they are strictly side character/comic relief in the story. Also, they aren’t opposites.
Instead these two characters are positive thinking epitomised with happy-go-lucky attitudes that keep them going in the face of more or less anything. They bounce off each other, build each other up, and work together in absolute unison. Despite their limitations in thinking things through at times, you just know that everything will work out in the end for the two of them and they are definitely the happiest of the cast in Baccano.
They are certainly an odd pairing given neither really brings anything to the table that the other one does not possess. And yet it is impossible to consider these two characters simply being a single character. While some of the jokes could have worked, it is the relationship between the two and the way they work together that sells every scene they are in and steals the viewers attention.
Anyway, I’m going to keep my eyes out for other duos in anime and I’d love to know some of your favourites so if you have a favourite anime duo be sure to leave a comment below.
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime. Join the discussion in the comments. Karandi James
Pretty much every anime fan will admit that at some stage they definitely struck the pose of their favourite character (usually a fighter) in real life. There’s something very cool about character poses on screen and something utterly ridiculous about using them in real life and yet some cosplayers really pull it off. Today my top 5 includes 5 character poses I love seeing and am really glad that they are either parodied regularly in other anime or that cosplayers enjoy them too because it means endless streams of images to admire.
What are the top 5 anime character poses?
And because this is a list I am revisiting, I asked Twitter to share their favourite character poses. Some great responses worth checking out and be sure to share your fav.
Number 5: Steins;Gate
This one is fantastic but mostly because you can actually pull it off in real life without looking too ridiculous, which makes it a fairly safe pick for most people who while they would like more anime in their everyday life don’t want to have people start avoiding eye-contact with them.
There are some more dramatic poses from Steins;Gate but the back to back in the lab coats is pretty classic. Now I just need a reason to wear a lab coat.
Number 4: Soul Eater
I’ll admit, Death the Kid with Patty and Liz is also pretty iconic but there is something insanely fun about taking on one of Maka’s stances and if you happen to have your scythe handy (or a broom stick or anything else really) you can really prepare to fight. And come on, Maka is just awesome. She made Soul Eater for me.
Of course, the key to Maka’s look is not actually how she stands given other than the crouch it isn’t exactly the same each time, the key is in that piercing gaze. Nail that and it won’t matter how ridiculous you look.
Number 3: Evangelion
The Gendo Pose from Evangelion. Probably doesn’t need much explanation and while it isn’t really a cosplayer favourite, it is an overly referenced and parodied look in anime. Plus, it is all kinds of fun to strike it in meetings when no one knows what you are doing. Even more fun if one person knows what you are doing and the rest are oblivious.
So maybe that makes this the best character pose because you can actually get away with using this one in real life without looking completely bonkers.
Number 2: Full Metal Alchemist
I dare you to tell me you watched either version of Full Metal Alchemist and didn’t at one point in the month after the viewing clap your hands together when something broke or didn’t work. It may not be the coolest pose but once again it is all about the attitude while doing it. This isn’t a clap your hands if you believe in fairies moment.
Plus, Edward certainly makes it look cool. So maybe this isn’t so much a cool character pose as it is a cool character who can make most things look good but it still deserves a place on my list.
Number 1: Sailor Moon
I should probably attribute this one to the fact that I was significantly younger when I watched Sailor Moon but I most definitely spent more time than I will ever admit practicing and perfecting each of the Sailor Scout’s poses. And their attacks. And pretty much anything else to do with the show. Favourites were of course Jupiter and Mars for attacks. But very little beats Sailor Moon’s transformation stance and then her little monologue ending with “In the name of the Moon, I’ll punish you”.
Okay, time to spill. What is your favourite anime pose or which one will you admit to practising in front of your TV?
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime. Join the discussion in the comments. Karandi James
While it should go without saying, this ranking of the anime girls in Slime 300 is entirely my own opinion and is really based on fairly arbitrary factors. For instance I considered how much the ‘plot’, such as it is, of this isekai anime would have suffered without the character as well as how the character balances with the rest of the cast. That said, I’d love to know your rankings for the characters because I’m sure there are some other opinions out there.
For those who don’t know, I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level is an isekai anime where our protagonist, Azusa, has been reincarnated as a more or less immortal witch and because she’s been killing slimes in the highlands for 300 years, she’s now pretty much unkillable. That said, the anime chooses to focus on the various female characters who drop into Azusa’s once peaceful life and by episode 9 the scene is looking pretty crowded.
So how many characters have we met that have been remembered for me to rank? We have:
Azusa (highland witch)
Laika (red dragon)
Shalsha and Falfa (slime spirits)
Flatorte (blue dragon)
Pecora (demon king)
And we could add in more characters if we count the girl at the guild, the various slimes that took on the form of young girls, other demons, and another witch we encountered. But hey, the list is long enough.
For the sake of fairness, I am actually going to leave Azusa out of the rankings. She’s an interesting enough character, though perhaps could have been a bit more interesting, but as the protagonist she definitely gets more screen time and solid plot moments than the others. That leaves us with 7 characters (counting Shalsha and Falfa as a single entity).
The Worst Anime Girl from Slime 300 – Flatorte
Flatorte first appeared in episode 4 and entered an already overcrowded field. Like most of the girls in Slime 300, she entered the anime initially as an antagonist, however she really did come off poorly. As a one off character she could have been tolerable but more recent episodes have thrown her back into the mix and to be honest, she adds little.
Being tone deaf and playing the fish out of water really don’t work when other characters already have these quirks covered and her ‘conflict’ with the red dragon girl is largely just background noise. Her abrupt personality shift to submissive was also pretty absurd and so far she’s mostly just taken over Halkara’s role of being the butt of jokes that don’t quite land.
Maybe this character will improve but really I could have done without her.
Slightly Better Girl From Slime 300 – Pecora
Arriving on the scene in episode 6, it wasn’t until episode 7 that Pecora really made her presence felt. As a character potentially rivalling the protagonist in power she seemed like she could be an interesting addition to the cast or possibly even an actual antagonist to shake up the otherwise feel good nature of the story.
Pecora also suffered much the same probably as Flatorte in that with so many key personality types already taken up, she ends up being almost a parody as she pleads to be dominated by her ‘older sister’ and generally goes through more personality switches in the space of an episode than most characters should go through over a season.
There’s also just no room in the core group for her by the time she appeared on the scene. This anime girl came too late and as they flew away from the castle and Pecora I breathed a sigh of relief. A little too soon as it turns out they encounter her again later but with Pecora, less will definitely be more.
Alright But Could Better Girl From Slime 300 – Halkara
There’s not a lot wrong with Halkara other than I have a personal dislike for how she’s been used by the plot. Introduced in episode 3, seeking refuge with the witch from a demon, Halkara is essentially a pretty savvy business woman but you wouldn’t know it from some of the stupid things the writers have her do.
Basically, since her introduction, if the story has needed someone to stuff something up, possess, use for a slightly raunchy joke, or a punching bag, Halkara has been thrown under the bus. I think the only reason she hasn’t been literally tossed under is because this is a fantasy and there are no buses.
I’d like to like Halkara, but really, of the core ‘family’ members she’s definitely the weak link.
The Good But Not Exciting Anime Girl From Slime 300 – Laika
Laika was the first of the girls to visit Azusa in her lonely mountain home way back in episode 1. In fact, Laika broke Azusa’s house during their duel and was forced to repair it which lead to the construction of the oversized house the crew now live in.
She came in as a fairly interesting character with quite a lot of ambition and she was a dragon. She’s also demonstrated a vast knowledge of magic at times and has been the most constant companion of Azusa.
So why is Laika sitting in the middle of this list?
Well, she’s just not that interesting. She became the quiet disciple and mostly hasn’t done much to distinguish herself. She’s a pillar of the group and probably the most useful of the characters but without some of their louder personality types Laika would likely just kind of disappear.
Someone Give This Girl A Hug from Slime 300 – Rosalie
In episode 5, Rosalie rocked the scene making a bold entrance as the ghost haunting the factory Halkara wanted to create. Dying young and in a fairly unfair manner, Rosalie doesn’t have time to play nice and she’s a straight talking and quite entertaining dead girl.
While she couldn’t carry a story on her own, Roaslie managed to enter the fairly crowded scene in I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level and leave an impression. More than that, she made me care about her and laugh with her. While she doesn’t stand front and centre in most episodes her contributions continue and she remains one of the most entertaining characters in the cast.
Just don’t let her possess you. There’s some difficulty separating her out again.
Too Cute For Words in Slime 300 – Shalsha and Falfa
It’s a two for one with these darling slime spirits who appeared in episode two. Shalsha is the more level headed of the pair but Falfa is utterly adorable and when they first appeared they were pretty formidable but quickly became the adopted children of Azusa.
I think I’d be pretty happy with a show where it was just aAzusa and the girls travelling around helping people. That would be pretty adorable to watch.
One thing that has become clear, any scene is better when these two appear. All the characters melt in their presence and when one is in trouble, everyone who has ever met them will run to help. That’s the power of cute anime girls.
Best Girl from Slime 300 – Beelzebub
Beelzebub also appeared for the first time in episode 3, in pursuit of the elf-girl Halkara. This placed her in direct opposition with Azusa and a friendly rivalry kind of sprung up between them.
Beelzebub is awesome because she’s strong, she’s confident, and she’s actually pretty in control but she can also be used as the focal point for a joke without feeling like she’s been demeaned. Azusa summons the demon on more than one occasion and due to a small pronunciation error, instead of ending up in the summoning circle Beelzebub is dunked in water and still manages to look classy.
If she hadn’t already been my favourite character, the fighting tournament would have locked it in. Seeing her give her all against Azusa and taking her loss like a champion really just made it clear who the best girl of this series is.
Do you agree?
That’s my ranking but I’m sure others watching I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My level have their own ideas. Let me know in the comments how you would have ranked these characters and who your favourite anime girl from the series is.
I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level. Dir. N Kimura. Revoroot. 2021.
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime. Join the discussion in the comments. Karandi James
We time-skipped 300 years but did we miss anything about Azusa?
A long, long time ago, back in 2012, the original Sword Art Online anime came out and created a stir. It was an instant hit with many anime viewers and soon after became the anime that people just loved to hate because you could. However, one story element that was only really apparent in the Aincrad Arc did leave some viewers wondering and that was how the story would just jump chunks of time and the characters would suddenly be significantly stronger and higher up the tower than where we last left them.
For some people, this was seen as a deficit of the story and they celebrated the announcement of Progressive which apparently fills in those gaps.
That said, I wasn’t in the camp that wanted to see characters grinding day after day and level after level. Sure you could make any one of those encounters interesting but episode after episode of either going out and grinding levels before returning to a safe town and trying out different foods and flavours wasn’t something I was missing in Sword Art Online. I found the time jumps worked in the story’s favour to move us along to the significant plot moments for Kirito and Asuna’s relationship as well as beating the tower.
Which then of course brings us to I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level which took this to a new extreme entirely by just skipping all 300 years after a character got isekai’d and dropped us straight into the slice of life antics of someone who is already an unstoppable force of power.
Now as a fantasy/comedy with slice of life elements, the success of each episode more or less rests on how engaging these characters are and yet it feels like the most interesting parts of Azusa’s story were just swept under the rug. Her life in Japan prior to dying and being sent to another world is breezed through in minutes and other than seeing standard corporate worker who does too many hours of work we learn little about her as a person.
Likewise, her reaction to being sent to another world is so calm and detached it is hard to really get any kind of feeling for her. While we see her initial arrival in the fantasy world and her very first attempt at killing a slime we all too quickly jump to 300 years in the future where slime hunting is just the hum-drum every day activity.
If this were an adventure story we’d have some serious problems at this point. Our main character has zero motivation other than to lead a quiet life. If she received a call to adventure she’d happily slam the door in the caller’s face. We also haven’t seen her struggle to grow and overcome any weaknesses. Her powers are great but we didn’t see her earn them or really know how they work so she more or less just does what the plot requires her to do and we all just go, ‘cool she’s really strong’.
But as an immortal, power maxed out witch she’s more or less untouchable and while I enjoyed the most recent episodes with the dragons, it kind of made me realise there’s never going to be any kind of actual threat in this story.
But… Slime 300 never claimed to be an adventure story. Actually, if we cut off the beginning of this story and just started the story with a powerful witch living in the highlands who gets visited by various and sundry magical characters who want something from her, we’d have a slice of life story without the complications or even really caring what said magical witch’s backstory actually was.
So perhaps the greater question is, “why make this an isekai at all?”. And that’s a question I’ve had to ask a lot of anime. But, there is one reason why Azusa living a second life isn’t entirely a pointless premise. Let’s get back to her only motive. Azusa is motivated by living a slow and quiet life. Her values and decisions are built around working in moderation. This came out of her realisation that her previous life was essentially wasted working a thankless job and ultimately achieving nothing but ruining her health. And she passes this on to those around her.
Azusa being from another world and having another life of experience definitely adds to her character and one could argue is the cornerstone of everything she’s become in this second life. So we can’t do away with her being reincarnated and given a second life. Do we necessarily need the 300 year time skip?
Kind of no. The goddess who gave her the second life bestowed her with immortality and a peaceful life but the goddess could have achieved that by maxing out her power to start with and then we wouldn’t need the time-jump to exist.
The answer here is much muddier. It is difficult to tell what impact those 300 years have had on Azusa as a person because we didn’t know much about her before them so it is difficult to see the impact of events that may have occurred on her person. Would the story be the same without the time-jump? Quite possibly.
However the question at hand is whether or not seeing those 300 years would have made the audience more interested or connected with Azusa’s character?
Which is a hard question to answer because some people will already feel really happy with how Azusa is. I mean, she is a fine enough character and is certainly serving the purpose of the story.
For me though, I feel I still don’t really know Azusa or feel any real connection with her. She’s a placeholder instead of a character and because she’s stupidly overpowered and knowledgeable and surrounded by equally powerful characters there’s little to challenge her or bring about anything other than these light moments that just kind of feel like they are somewhat lacking.
It is quite possible I would find her more interesting if I’d seen her struggle a little more as she learned to kill slimes or tried to figure out her magic. Possibly if we’d seen her on days when she was bored or discouraged there’s be more sense that she was a real person rather than someone who just went happily about doing the same thing every day for 300 years.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike Azusa. She’s perfectly pleasant. However, I also probably won’t remember her after the season ends. I’ll remember that anime that had slime in the title and an overpowered witch with a cool hat, but if I even remember her name I’d be surprised.
Now we’re still early days and maybe she’ll leave a bigger impression before the end. But I would like to know if you think seeing some of the first 300 years in the fantasy world might have been interesting?
Images in this article from:
I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level. Dir. N. Kimura. Revoroot. 2021
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime. Join the discussion in the comments. Karandi James
Fruits Basket has always been a bit of an oddity on my lists of beloved anime. The original anime series was nothing like anything I was watching way back when and it certainly didn’t fit amongst the copies of Bleach, Evangelion, Death Note or Darker Than Black. The closest similar shows I was watching were Sailor Moon or Cardcaptor but even they were more action driven.
Let’s be real, as a teen and then a young adult, I really just liked horror and action with a heavy focus on supernatural stories. Emotional or dramatic stories that slowly plodded along were fairly far off my radar and by and large didn’t interest me. The occasional romance more slip through but really I just wanted my stories to move along and stories that had clear and obtainable goals such as escape the monster, defeat the monster, turn off the bomb, blow up the bomb, etc, really worked for me.
So why Fruits Basket?
I’m going to be fair. The original Fruits Basket anime did not look great. The OP was this languid and slow high pitched song that at first I found really quite grating though as the years passed and countless rewatches of the show occurred, it would become one of those opening themes that could make me mellow and smile out just from its first notes. And honestly, the story didn’t finish. The anime just stopped and there never was a season 2 or 3.
The only thing that drew me to Fruits Basket initially, as in the reason I pressed play at all on it, was because of the curse. The supernatural aspect of the Soma family. I will admit, I never expected the story to focus as much as it did on the everyday. On teenagers being teenagers and enjoying their school days together. I expected a story about a girl fixing a cursed family.
Despite the anime not actually being anything like what I expected I did fall in love with it. I did watch it again and again. I did google the manga online and read enough of the later chapters to feel like I’d resolved the story enough that the lack of ending didn’t drive me crazy. I still hoped and hoped that Fruits Basket would one day get a reboot. Then 2019 came along and we got just that.
As we turn into the final season of this story and I’m finally actually getting to see it resolve as an anime (and fill in all the gaps that I didn’t spoil for myself way back when) I’m left reflecting on how this story managed to become so important to me. The only conclusion I can draw after all this time is that it has nothing to do with the narrative at all. Really, the story can end however it wants at this point in time. I don’t care.
All I care about is how the characters will feel and where they end up. Do I need to prepare to give them all mental hugs and cry with them or will we smile through bitter-sweet tears at the end?
Or will Fruits Basket leave me laughing and smiling all at the same time.
It would be fair to say that the original Fruits Basket was probably the reason why I ended up falling in love with a story like March Comes in Like a Lion. If I hadn’t watched Fruits Basket all those years ago, I’m not entirely sure that the me who started this blog would have ever even given March the time of day. And honestly, the 2019 reboot of Fruits Basket and the subsequent sequels have only improved on the original.
So how does an anime like Fruits Basket make the audience grow so incredibly attached to the characters, especially when there is such a large cast?
Part of the charm comes from the fact that all of the characters are very human. Even over-the-top and exuberant characters like Ayame get moments where we see the chinks in his armour and realise that a lot of what he does is simply the façade he’s chosen to face the world with. Underneath the mile-a-minute speech, the ridiculous antics, and intrusive nature is someone who is very aware of his own flaws and that he’s made mistakes that have widened the gap between himself and his younger brother.
Tohru Honda, as the central character who comes into the Soma house is very human. While on the outside she seems way too nice and accommodating and at times her lack of self-preservation skills kind of make me want to give her a good shake, she’s also aware of her own flaws and weaknesses and full of a desire to improve.
Every character, even those that play a smaller role in the story, have their own goals and motives that sit behind their actions and their actions are logical based on their driving need. Hiro initially comes across as an obnoxious and spoiled brat, a character trait he’s become self-aware of as he’s getting older and even he realises its just a front to hide his own shame at his powerlessness to protect Kisa.
Kyo’s obnoxious attempts to attack and bring down Yuki aren’t just comedic entertainment (though some of them are pretty funny in season 1), but are rather revealed to be an act of desperation as he has to beat Yuki in order to win a deal with Akito. The fact that it’s impossible, and Kyo more or less knows that, doesn’t stop him being driven to try again and again.
However, it is more than just making the characters feel human and giving them plausible weaknesses and faults. It is more than just the fact that their motives make sense. Admittedly, even if that was all Fruits Basket did it would still put these characters fairly high up the ladder because most characters don’t even get that far.
The next element that works for Fruits Basket is that this is an ensemble piece. While we come into the story through Honda, the outsider to the Soma family, the story isn’t Honda’s alone. Instead we see the perspectives of many characters and follow storylines at times that Honda has no awareness of. The last two episodes of Fruits Basket (3 and 4 or season 3) have almost been without her presence at all.
Supporting characters are not less exciting or interesting. Their stories are not irrelevant to the main plot. The characters aren’t just sitting around and waiting for the hero of the piece to decide on a course of action before they stand around behind the hero for moral support.
Sure, Honda is trying to find a way to break the curse, but so is Rin. And one could arguably say that Rin has been far more willing to put everything on the line to succeed at her goal. Kyo’s been facing his own demons and made his own deal with Akito. Shigure has always had his own agenda.
Momiji has his family situation that he’s dealing with. Kureno has deep secrets. Ayame is running his own business and also trying to reconnect with his brother. Yuki is trying to find a place in the world for himself that isn’t decided by his family. Haru is trying to support Rin and Yuki. Hiro wants to protect Kisa and so on and so on.
None of these characters are wasted. In a cast where there are 12 members of the zodiac plus Akito, plus the various school friends, plus other members of the Soma family, there is a real chance that the cast would feel bloated or the characters would be under-utilised and left standing around without anything really to do. I mean, the latest Doctor Who can’t even figure out how to keep three companions actually engaged with the story for the whole episode and they spend a lot of time just kind of standing there not doing much.
While I personally don’t enjoy episodes that focus entirely on Yuki or in the later seasons episodes that focus on the student council members, these characters are still rich characters with lives that are going on outside of the actions Honda is taking. Personal preferences are always going to play a part in this and if we were to run a poll to find out who your favourite member of the zodiac is I think we’d get a few characters coming up rather than a single one (on that note, I’m with Honda in that the cat rocks and really should be part of the actual zodiac).
The last point I’m going to make is that Fruits Basket really is a character driven drama. The first season in particular created various situations (Valentine’s day, trips away, Honda getting sick, etc) for the characters to interact in but the overall plot didn’t really do much. Season one could really be summed up as Honda meets various members of the Zodiac. Very little is learned about the curse and practically no progress toward fixing anything. Instead, characters deal with old demons and Honda helps them to reconnect and make friends.
Wow, that sounds like something I would hate watching and yet I loved it.
I think what makes it work is that the character drama feels real. We don’t suddenly create a totally random problem for the characters to face. There is no evil student council swooping in to suddenly ban blue hair ribbons or something equally ridiculous for the sake of creating drama. Sure there is a Prince Yuki fan-club, but there were established in the first episode and actually mellow out as the show progresses rather than becoming more of a hindrance for the sake of drama.
Honda’s family situation and financial problems were also established as her backstory so when these moments crop up they feel like valid obstacles to be overcome.
The set-up was pretty clever in that we know there are 12 members of the zodiac but we don’t meet them all right away which allows a drip-feed of new characters and drama throughout the run of the show before we finally get to where we are now and the focus is turning to the curse itself.
It is because of this approach that character moments are given the time they need. Characters can sit beside each other or offer comfort or advice and we’re not needing to instantly get over things and run off to face the next challenge. Instead, characters can mope and contemplate and the audience can come back to them after they’ve had a reasonable time to deal with things.
Basically, Fruits Basket gets its formula right. The story created characters that feel real and then gave the audience time to get to know them and helped us form attachments to them by growing with them as they overcame the various obstacles life presented to them. Now the audience is attached we’re plunging into dealing with the actual plot and we’re so emotionally invested that every single thing that happens feels like it has so much more impact than if we’d skipped through all of those sad or fluffy moments and jumped right into the plot.
Now, I’m not suggesting every story should be like this. I’m still very fond of stories where people simply cut their way through their obstacles before punching their biggest problem through the floor. However, Fruits Basket is a story that has become more than just a story. I genuinely want to reach out and help these characters and I want them to succeed or at the very least to find a momentary happiness.
I will laugh with these characters and I will cry with them and at the end of this final season of Fruits Basket I will be both beautifully satisfied that I finally saw the end of this story and also in mourning because it will be the end of this story. However, I also know I’ll visit these characters again and again in future years and they’ll probably still be making me cry when I’m 60.
Yes, this list is entirely my own preference and as such I am going to happily update the list as new characters come along who catch my eye, or I just gain a deeper appreciation of older characters. Largely because anime is full of males characters with gorgeous long hair and I just love it.
As always though, I would love to hear your nominations because there are just so many male characters with long hair to choose from and I certainly won’t object to having more characters to check out.
Please Note – There will be spoilers below.
There’s just too many characters with gorgeous long hair to restrict myself to just 5 so here’s some honourable mentions.
Honourable mentions this week go to: Edward Elric (Full Metal Alchemist) and Malachite (Sailor Moon).
Also added to the honourable mentions are Weismann (from K Project) and Zangetsu (from Bleach). They formally held the fourth and first spot on this list but I’ve kind of moved on just a little bit from both of them so while they are still awesome, and so is their hair, they now sit in the honourable mentions.
And now to the list of 5 anime males with gorgeous long hair.
I’ll admit there is very little chance of Kanda actually letting me touch his hair even if he wasn’t an anime character and if I happened to meet him, but that doesn’t stop me very much wanting too. That glossy shine, the way it moves when he fights, his hair is amazing and completely sold this character even early on in D Gray Man when he was a bit of a jerk (okay, he’s regularly a jerk but he kind of grows on you).
Another character who doesn’t usually have long hair but the few times he does, it is unbelievably gorgeous. It almost makes you wish for more flashback episodes just so you could see more of Tomoe with this hair. Plus the ears kind of work. Then again, he was pretty violent then so maybe we should just stick to present day Tomoe.
This one is just a total cheat because Takato doesn’t have long hair. He does however play a role in a play where he has long hair and can I just point out he looks absolutely gorgeous. And then I’ll ask why he doesn’t wear his hair long all the time because it absolutely suits him. Totally in love with Takato when he has this look going.
He may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but Shichika is honest, earnest, and deadly. Combine that with some odd but strangely compelling fashion sense and a great hairstyle (albeit one that cannot really exist outside of an anime) and you have a character that is going to fascinate from minute one.
I still don’t know when it was that You Keika went from being the single most annoying character ever to a character I really enjoyed watching and wanted to succeed, but particularly during season 2 I really grew to love this character. Keika is a spirit but he’s growing in leaps and bounds and I absolutely have loved his character journey. Needless to say, once I started paying proper attention to his character I also noticed just how amazing his hair looks and well, the rest is history as he now has the number one spot.
Okay, and a total cheat bonus addition to the list. Victor from Yuri On Ice (from when his hair was actually long).
So that is my list this week. Which anime male with long hair would you have had on your list? Or female if you prefer.
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime. Join the discussion in the comments. Karandi James
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