Best in Anime 2008 – Part 1: Character Awards

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I start with the character awards partly because I feel once a show establishes a great cast of characters then it’s 70% of the way to ensuring that I’ll like it. And it doesn’t matter what type of show, any show can be improved with good character development.

Best Female Main Character

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Winner: Ryoko from Ryoko’s Case Files

Runner-up: Iku Kasahara from Library War

An accurate description of Ryoko would be a cross between an adult Haruhi Suzumiya and the police skill of the Major from GiTS:SAC. A very potent combination and it helped make the show a must watch. My favorite Ryoko-ism was towards the end of the series when she took refuge in an empty underground mall, trying to hide from numerous soldiers trying to kill her. She realizes that her clothes are torn and dirty so she picks a killer outfit out, leaves her charge card, then calmly showers and dresses as if she’s going to a party and not to a firefight. We really need to see more shows like Ryoko’s Case Files that focus on characters that are adults because it’s so refreshing for the change of pace.

Best Male Main Character

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Winner: Ryuuji from Toradora

Runner-up: Kogarashi from Maid Guy

Everyone has their little problems that they have to live with. For Ryuuji, it’s the fact that he looks like his Yakuza father – mean and dangerous. This is a problem because Ryuuji is a nice guy and just wishes for people to treat him normally. He happens to be a bit odd though because a sale at the grocery store or having the chance to clean away mold makes his day. What makes him the best male main character is that he’s truly a really nice guy. He’s also fiercely loyal to his friends, willing to go to whatever means necessary to help them with whatever their problems are and he’s also insightful and thoughtful.

Best Female Supporting Character

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Winner: Minorin from Toradora

Runner-up: Ami from Toradora

I didn’t think Ami would become a character I like when she was introduced but she’s been slowly rising in the ranks. She’s a completely different person then either Taiga or Minorin but she’s shown her own positive qualities. It wasn’t enough to dislodge Minorin from the top spot because Minorin has been awesome since the beginning. Her energetic outbursts and attitude always steel the show when she’s onscreen. However, this spastic personality hides a more serious personality that she doesn’t allow people to see though she seems to be lowering her guard to Ryuuji. So for her screen-stealing personality, sunny disposition, and being a good friend to Taiga, Minorin gets my nod for best female supporting character.

Best Male Supporting Character

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Winner:Dan-kun from Bamboo Blade

Runner-up: Sunohara from Clannad

One of the surprising things about Bamboo Blade was Dan-kun, Miya Miya’s boyfriend and friend to Yuuji. He was short, looked very egg shaped, and seemed to be there for comedic purposes. Over the course of the series though, we see him mature as he works hard at learning Kendo. He also is a good boyfriend by providing support to Miya Miya so she can face her inner demons and her external tormentors. He earned a lot of respect from the characters and by the final episode, he is elected the head of the kendo club which was something that would have been unfathomable at the start.

Best Non-human Character

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Winner: Nyanko-sensei from Natsume Yuujinchou

Runner-up: Kuu from Wagaya no Oinari-sama

Nyanko-sensei is a spirit that had been sealed into a Luck Cat statue until Natsume accidentally lets him loose. He makes an agreement with Natsume to be his body guard under the condition that when Natsume dies, Nyanko-sensei takes ownership of the Book of Friends. At the time I thought that Nyanko-sensei would just kill Natsume at the first opportunity but Nyanko-senseinever seemed to even think of doing so. As the show unfolded, I realized that Nyanko-sensei actually likes Natsume as a friend. His gruff, catlike personality with his liking of alcohol is a great counterpoint to the often sad events of the show. And because he’s strong in his original form and also because he’s well-known among the spirits – oftentimes he is the one that saves Natsume from being killed.

Strongest Female Character

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Winner: Sora from Someday’s Dreamers Season 2

Runner-up: Nagisa from Clannad

I’m defining strong in a more general sense then just being physically strong and both Sora and Nagisa strike me as being strong women. Neither are particularly physically strong but they both have problems that would make most normal people despair, yet they can smile and live as if nothing is wrong. Sora edged Nagisa out because we still have half a season of Clannad left and much of her story still left to see.

Strongest Male Character

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Winner: Kogarashi from Maid Guy

Runner-up: Natsume from Natsume Yuujinchou

I had to give this award to Kogarashi. I can’t say he’s emotionally strong like Natsume because I’m not sure that Kogarashi has emotions. He’s more like a force of nature that’s not totally explainable to us mere humans. He can control crows, has x-ray vision, can plug a USB printer cord into his ear and print images from his mind, he’s taught at M.I.T., can wrestle with a panda bear, and the list goes on. In the show he works as a maid and strives for perfect service, even if his master disagrees.

Best Female Screen-grabber

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Winner: Sakura from Wagaya no Oinari-sama

Sakura wasn’t in the show much, maybe once every couple episodes, but when she was, she made her presence known. With an imagination almost as outlandish as Hosaka’s, the ability to come to absurd conclusions, and a talent for over-analyzing a situation – she always made the viewer laugh and at the same time hope she would successful in getting Takagami’s attention.

Best Male Screen-grabber

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Winner: Hosaka from Minami-ke: Okawari

Hosaka is another person that isn’t in the show too often but his mere presence is enough to get a laugh. The over dramatic posturing and habit of unbuttoning his shirt helps though. He is consumed with getting Haruka Minami’s attention but a combination of personal shortcomings and bad luck have so far stymied him. His overactive imagination is always a source of laughter – just look at my the recently posted clip from episode 2 of the third season. And the sad thing is that he’s genuinely sincere, has his good points, and would probably make a good boyfriend for Haruka.

Best Villian

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Winner:Kazuhiro Mitogawa from Ga-Rei: Zero

I love a villian that’s intelligent and evil and he’s both. As we get through Ga-Rei: Zero, we see that he has this complex plan to eliminate the good guys largely through their own failing and he’s been very successful. He’s gotten rid of one of the most powerful families,reduced another to a single member, and killed or injured to the point of retireing several other very high level people.

Read Part 0 – Introduction and Anti-awards here.

Read Part 2 – Cast and Assorted Awards here.

Read Part 3 – Genre Awards here.

Read Part 4 – Music, Voice, and Animation Awards here.

Read Part 5 – Memorable Moments and Favorite Episodes here.

Read Part 6 – Top 10 Anime of 2008: #10 – #6 here.

Read Part 7 – Top 10 Anime of 2008: #5 – #1 here.

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7 thoughts on “Best in Anime 2008 – Part 1: Character Awards”

  1. Got to agree with Ryoko here, she absolutely was a winner. Too few people watched that show, when it was actually pretty good.

    I LOL’ed at Hosaka.

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  2. One of the problems I think Ryoko’s Case Files had was the seemingly random cases at the beginning put too many people off and they didn’t stick around to see how they were all connected.

    I found the show was even more enjoyable the second time I watched it.

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  3. So misleading! Nagisa image at the top, but she won no awards. Though I guess I’m pretty satisfied with a runner-up award. Especially for “strongest” since so many people seem to roll their eyes (or make remarks that give me that impressions) when I say I think Nagisa is strong. She is though!

    Tch. I’d like to see those people go back to school after failing to graduate twice.

    Overall, I can’t really disagree with any of the awards (partially due to the fact that I didn’t watch them, but still).

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  4. I so wanted to give Nagisa either best female or strongest female but with the second season being split like it is I had a dilemma. As much I like her, I don’t want to give the same award to the same character two years in a row unless the second year really, really deserved it. So I de-emphasized her chances this year so I can give her full consideration next year when I can include the ending to Clannad.

    Even deemphasizing, she almost won strongest female because I feel she is a very strong character.

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  5. poor choice, you pretty much just use your favourite anime instead of broadening up into other seires. I don’t know how many times i’ve seen kamen maid guy, clannad, ryoko case file and toradora. I mean come on! there’s so many way better anime than those.

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  6. Dear Pat

    I read your comment a I just want to say that not every one has the same “taste” as you do and thats why you don’t like the Anime named here (probably).

    Like

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