Tuesday’s Top 5: Totally Narcissistic Characters

Tuesday's Top 5

Having covered red heads both male and female, I am now turning my attention to the narcissists of the anime world. I’m going to clarify, this is not just a list of narcissists though. It’s pretty easy to make a character narcissistic. What is difficult is to make the audience actually like the self-loving individual.

So who would you have put on a list of anime narcissists? I look forward to finding out below.

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

Honourable mentions this week go to Claire Stanfield from Baccano (featured last week so left off the list this time) and Kurama from Kamisama Kiss. Kurama kind of failed to make the list because even though he seems self-absorbed he just doesn’t have the confidence of a true narcissist. Not like those who made the list below.

A more recent honourable mention goes to Takato from Dakaichi. He’s the best kind of narcissist. One with an inferiority complex.

Dakaichi Episode 13 Takato

Number 5: Kazuya Shibuya from Ghost Hunt

The guy is nick-named Naru the Narcissist within a day of Mai meeting him. He is completely convinced he is brilliant (not helped by the fact that compared to the company he keeps, he is). Kazuya is 17 years old and running his own company. He hunts ghosts for a living. Not to mention, while the other spiritualists may not approve of his methods they have to approve of his results and track record. However, just when you start really hating they guy, you get some more insight into his life and his personality. Honestly, the show just wants you to like him (given it is mostly narrated by Mai and she clearly does like him) and it does a good job of helping you see past his narcissistic exterior. At times.

Number 4: Loki from Fairy Tail

I know that there’s a whole other side to this character, but focussing on how he is when Lucy first meets him, he is a womanizing narcissist. The later character arcs for Loki do a lot to make you empathise with him and understand him, and he also just develops beyond the shallow existence he was living, but he is still definitely a narcissist.

Number 3: Seiya Kanie from Amagi Brilliant Park

This one is too easy. The guy loves himself. A grown up child star who completely believes he is amazing. I really wouldn’t want to meet him after the events in the series because I am certain that while he has grown emotionally in some ways, his success will just make him more of an unbearable narcissist. But that is why he is on my list. Because he does grow and develop throughout the series so even though you still don’t much like him, you want him to succeed. I found that was some very affective writing that made me actually want him to win.

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WILL: A WONDERFUL WORLD

Number 2: Yumichika Ayasegawa from Bleach

We could just look at his picture and realise, yep, this guy is definitely a narcissist. Even his seat number (fifth seat) was chosen because he didn’t want to take the third seat from his friend and he liked the number 5 more than 4. Really? And this guy won’t even fight against ugly people unless they really annoy him. He is so incredibly vain. You have to laugh when his hair, outfit or face get messed up. It’s just too perfect.

Number 1: Alex Louis Armstrong from Full Metal Alchemist

I couldn’t resist this one. Yes, there are greater narcissists in the world, but none of them as lovable. And that is why Alex Louis Armstrong tops out my list. True, it is only his physical appearance and alchemy that he is self-absorbed with and he is well aware of his limitations in other areas (hard not to be with so many people willing to point that out). There’s just something completely charming about him even as he is completely crazy. While I think more of him in the series would have been a bit hard to swallow, his appearances were regularly marked by humour or sweet and touching moments that made his character all the more memorable.

So, who did I miss? Share your thoughts on the narcissists of the anime world below.

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Karandi James
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Ghost Hunt Episodes 1 -3

I’ve recently been rewatching Ghost Hunt and so I’m going to review each of the stories separately. It’s one of those rare anime that I’ve never actually watched the original soundtrack for and have only ever listened to the English dub.

The premise of this anime is that Mai, a ‘normal’ school girl who likes telling ghost stories is hired to work for a Psychic Researcher and then participates in various ghost hunts, each one being an independent narrative arc lasting anywhere from 1 to 4 episodes.

Review: Evil Spirits All Over!

This arc nicely introduces Mai to Kazuya Shibuya, a 17 year old who dresses in black and runs the Shibuya Psychic Research company. She also meets his assistant Lin and a range of other spiritualists including a monk, a shrine maiden (kind of), a clairvoyant, and a priest (from Australia and I must say that accent is truly dreadful – I wonder how that was distinguished in the original Japanese).

The case in this arc involves an old school building at Mai’s school. A number of accidents have occurred and the Principal wants the building cleansed so it can be demolished. While the mystery in this arc isn’t particularly compelling, it is a nice backdrop to introducing the characters and Mai’s entry into the world of ghost hunting.

Without spoiling the conclusion of this arc, it is difficult to say anything more about what happens. We learn a range of facts about ghosts and poltergeists and are introduced to each of the characters specialties when it comes to dealing with spirits. We also see that they don’t always get it right.

This is a very satisfying introduction to the series.

Positives:

  • The voice actress for Mai is a fantastic screamer. Very few screams in television are as satisfying as some of Mai’s.
  • Kazuya hates being wrong. He’s so cute when he is angry.
  • The show isn’t going for flash or gimmicky. It’s keeping a steady pace and measured tone but uses the characters and the atmosphere to keep you interested. It’s refreshing for a show to not feel the need to dress itself up and go over the top.

Negatives:

  • Already mentioned it, but John’s Australian accent is horrendous. To the point where I was showing Ghost Hunt to a friend of mine and she actually asked if his character was going to die soon so that we wouldn’t have to listen to it any longer.
  • A lot of narrative convenience, like most mysteries. If you pay attention, you’ll probably solve this case before the characters do because it isn’t that mysterious.

Anyway, you should definitely check out Ghost Hunt at some point. The opening theme is also kind of interesting because it has no lyrics and doesn’t use character images. Instead you just get a simple orchestral piece and a range of visual effects that set a nice, spooky tone. While the opening gets old after a few episodes, it is definitely different from the usual anime fare.