Yo Dawg, I'm still alive
Merry New Year, Christmas, Festivus thingy. Not much to report on my end. I finished my semester in college with a 3.8 –ish GPA for the semester and a 3.6-ish GPA for my academic history. Got to see some relatives from out of state, which is always nice to do. Since I am bored, I going to make a top – list of my favorite animated characters with the only rule being that I can pick 1 character per series. Feel free to discuss any musings you may have about my list, a list of your own, or whatever the heck you like. I will do my best to give a thoughtful response.
Let's get started.
7. Rigby (Regular Show): Regular Show is for some reason a divisive show on the internet. Either people really love it or the really hate it. I think all the hoopla has to do that a lot of people just can relate to it. However, I can as a younger brother. Mordecai and Rigby remind me of my brother and I so much it hurts. We have done many of the things they have such as putting holes in walls, slacking out of work to play video games, and paying for overpriced concert tickets.
I wouldn't say that Rigby's intentions are always the best. He routinely stiffs others through his slacking and has mortally embarrassed Mordecai on multiple occasions. However, this is what makes him different from many cartoon characters. Through being an unbelievable jerk-ass, his character becomes more believable. We all know that kind of asshat that won't do squat for himself. I'm sure many of us have acted like him sometimes too.
6. Finn the Human (Adventure Time): Between My Little Pony and Adventure Time, these two fandoms have exploded on the internet. Both these shows have become popular for many reasons. Personally, I think Adventure Time has become so popular is that it captures the sense of wonder for both children and adults. Finn, in a way, is a reflection of us (adventure appeals to girls too, which explains the popularity of Fionna, an alternate universe and genderswapped Finn).
Much of Finn's charm stems from his innocence and his nobility. His enthusiasm to protect others and to go on quests is enormous. He is practically the storybook character we all wanted to be. This goes well coupled with the world Finn is coupled in. Finn allows us to explore the world of Ooo with the childlike wonder we all have.
Finn's strongest character trait is growing up through both the good and the bad. Good, as in overcoming the Lych, becoming an uncle, and growing stronger as a person. He also must face the bad such as maybe not ending up in the relationship he wanted, growing up as the last known human, and even facing death. He grows up without losing himself, a very importance lesson to children nowadays. One that I think adults can equally relate to.
5. Twilight Sparkle (My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic): You would have to be a total shut in to not know about the tried and abused nerd trope. The nerd is always some socially inept weirdo who spends their time doing nerd things rather than being normal. Well, I'm getting bored of this trope. The older I get, the more I find out how utterly wrong this trope is.
Twilight isn't just about being good at everything. She would actually would be a boring character if she was. Twilight Sparkle shows some insecurity in wanting her mentor's, Princess Celestia, approval. It will even drive her to the point of insanity. She also shows some strong character traits in a Canterlot Wedding, when she is forced to choose between her brother's way of life and her own instincts. In the end, Twilght's biggest enemy is and will always be herself. I'm sure many of us have felt the same way at some time.
What I love about Twilight Sparkle is that she breaks the nerd trope. Yeah she is smart and bookish, but she is also sweet and endearing. Twilight Sparkle is a good reflection of many people I know. She is a competent, socially ept nerd for the 21st century. Twilight Sparkle is a the role model I think animation needs for children to aspire to.
4. Ed (Ed, Edd, n' Eddy): Ah, Ed. That good ol' lovable oaf. The goof is a pretty standard character in animation. Some I know you're familiar with is Homer Simpson, Goofy, GIR, and Derpy Hooves. What really set Ed from the rest of the animated klutzes is the sheer randomness of him and the show he is in. You have no clue just what he is going to do and where he is going to do it. He may burst out of a wall, pull some moldy unrecognizable food stuff from under his bed, or be used as a blunt object.
It is never really hard to feel bad for the guy sometimes. Ed is always being pushed around by someone just a little bit smarter than he is. Whether it is being demeaned in the center of one of Eddy's scams or becoming a slave to his bratty little sister, I wonder why he never stuck it to him. At least he is always happy just to go along with the rest of the crowd. His head may be full of dust, but at least he has a heart of gold.
3. Dib (Invader Zim): I remember back in the day when Invader Zim first aired. The show was not only one of the most visually unique, but it was bat guano insane. Almost everyone in the world felt like they suffered some sort of brain damage. It was the world 40 IQ points dumber and that was the way I liked it. I personally liked Zim and GIR better when the show first aired simply because of their oblivious spaztasticness.
But looking back at the show, however, I have come to realize just how great of a character Dib really was. Not only did he have is own moments of oblivious spaztasticness, but he is very relatable. In a world that is so stupid where the president decides whether or not to use nuclear weapons for Girl Scout cookies, you really learn to empathize with the guy. Nobody listens to him, they mock and humiliate him, and even his dad denounces his beliefs. Yet he presses on through every embarrassing yet hilarious failure.
2. Homura Akemi (Magi Puella Madoka Magica): Before I get to the review, let me just say this. Magi Puella Madoka Magica is not what it seems when you first look at it. In the first episode and through the intro, you will probably joint me in thinking that this show is just another sparkly magical girl anime. You are wrong, oh so very wrong. What you get instead is a brilliant deconstruction of the glory of self-sacrifice, nobility, and duty.
When we first meet Homura, she doesn't have much of a personality. In fact, you could almost say that she is devoid of any personality. Homura is a character that is a pretty hard character to grasp. Her motives are confusing throughout the entire series, almost erratic. I thought I was going to hate Homura. Then again, I thought this anime was going to be about adorable magical girls saving the world from evil and then having a tea party.
It isn't until the third act things really start to click for Homura's character development. Almost everything about her is wrapped up neatly in the end. It isn't until we start to see the story from Homura's perspective we start to understand her actions. When I did, I started to see Homura as a total badass. It is baffling to see how much loss she can push through without giving in to despair.
I am personally a huge fan of Homura. The only reason she is not number 1 on this list as I discovered this anime very recently. She is just a very dynamic and intriguing character. To meet her, to see Homura as she was before becoming a magical girl, and seeing how she changed in the end was enthralling. Oh yeah, she uses machine guns, rocket launchers, and can summon mobile artillery. She is that freaking awesome.
1. Raven (Teen Titans): When people talk about something being emotional, what they really mean is sad. Media is often called 'emotional' because of angsty (and annoying) overtones. No, that makes whatever media that is 'sad', not 'emotional.' What makes something truly emotional is going a range of emotions. That is what makes something 'emotional', having freaking emotions.
I would say Raven is the epitome of an 'emotional' character to watch. Sure, she may seem kinda of a shallow character at first simply by virtue of being always sarcastic and having a goth like character design. Like Sayaka, we know more about her as the show goes on. We find out that she has a hard time expressing emotions because her super powers would put others in danger. She also has a bleak outlook in life because she is the daughter of Satan (They call him Trigon, but same difference) and that she was created to be the portal to the apocalypse. Everything was hard for Raven. We even see her snap a few times during the 'Terra' and her own story ark.
Seeing her overcome all these obstacles makes her easy to root for. But does this alone make her enough to be number 1 on the list? Remember that whole thing I had earlier about emotion? Well, Raven is number 1 on my list is that she is also FUNNY AS HELL. Her sarcastic one liners and her comfortableness around Beast Boy and Cyborg's roughhousing is a blast to watch.
'Beware evil, we have waffles…'
Raven is a good example to make a fleshed out character. It is these tiers to her personality that makes her such a rich and complex character. Not to mention, she is voiced by my favorite voice actor, Tara Strong. I'm not sure we are going to get that when Teen Titans- GO! premiers in 2013. New Teen Titans was good in a slap stick sort of way, so I have faith in her future as a character. Either way, it will be nice to see her back.
SOME HONORABLE MENTIONS
Dexter (Dexter's Lab): Boy genius with a short tolerance to annoyance
Mandark (Dexter's Lab): A classic rival who can match Dexter
Homer Simpson (The Simpsons): Set the standard for comedy and satire for middle class Americans.
GIR (Invader Zim): The most random of all idiots
Dan (Dan Vs): That jerk that everyone knows
Princess Luna (My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic): The enigma in a series of easily identifiable characters
Rarity (My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic): While she may be the one who is the most vain, she is more than classy enough to make up for it.
Squid Girl (Squid Girl): An obnoxious girl with intentions to rule the world. Too bad she is too oblivious and nice to actually do it.
Slade (Teen Titans): The ultimate villain. He will violate the deepest, darkest corners of your mind.
Coop (Megas XLR): A fat, oblivious jersey boy who is an ace pilot.
Buttercup (Power Puff Girlls): Rough and tumble fighter
Samurai Jack (Samurai Jack): A humble, honorable fighter in a world of over the top animations.
Octus (Symbionic Titan): A competent robot copanion with his own personality
Sakaya (Magi Puella Madoka Magica): The rise and fall of a white knight
Daffy Duck (Loony Toons Franchise): A lovable, self-centered idiot. By the way, what the hell does daffy mean?
Listening to: Red-Perfect life
Playing: Way too much Call of Duty