So, I have a confession to make. I’m more of an anime and manga nerd than a traditional American comic book nerd. (Though I do love my occasional DC comic or sci fi movie.) And any anime fangirl has a few hot guy characters that she absolutely adores.
Today, I’m nerding out and talking about mine. My three anime categories chosen will be the biggest ones in my life: Naruto, Bleach, and Yu-Gi-Oh.
Gaara is my favorite male Naruto character for several reasons. First, because he’s got a very redemptive storyline, and I am firmly of the belief that redemption can be extremely sexy. Gaara has a horrible, tragic childhood, prejudiced against over something he cannot control. He starts out embittered because of it, but is inspired by the main character – Naruto – to try to change and become better. He even apologizes to the people he wronged the most – his siblings. He eventually regains his hope, becomes a kind idealist, and becomes the leader of his village (overcoming the prejudice that once embittered him in the process).
He’s also one of those strong but silent genius type anime men, and I will admit I find him extremely cool. But what I like about Gaara – which I can’t say about a lot of the other “strong but silent genius type” men in Naruto – is that, after his redemption storyline, he finds it in him to treat other people well. People including women. He finds a nice balance, ending up being both a quiet genius and a genuinely nice person.
I find it harder pinpointing immediately why I like Hitsugaya so much. It’s a lot of little things, not one big main thing like there is with Gaara. Hitsugaya reminds me a little of a cactus – he’s prickly, but he’s pretty cute underneath it.
Hitsugaya is extremely protective, devoted, and loyal to his friends and family members. He is more mature than his physical age would make him seem (in actual years he has to be at least a century old, because plot related stuff), but at the same time he can be fiery and he has a genuine sense of humor. People aren’t sure how to treat him because he’s so reserved and different, which I can definitely identify with. And he aspires toward being treated with professionalism, I think because in his perception a lot of people dismiss his high rank because of his youth.
He has built up layers of prickly, sour defenses, mostly because underneath he cares way, way, way too much. Kubo, his creator, once called him “frozen passion.”
He seems like once you got to know him, he would make for a good friend. He, too, treats women very well – he treats them with a high level of respect and equality.
Probably one of my more problematic anime faves. I say “problematic” because Kaiba can honestly sometimes be such a gigantic douche. However, let me clarify: I like anime Kaiba, who is at times a totally different beast from manga Kaiba. Manga Kaiba is a borderline psychopath. Anime Kaiba has an attitude problem and a stick shoved up his ass.
Kaiba believes in logic and power. He can be cold, calculating, brutal, skeptical, and scathing. He’s extremely arrogant, with an infamously large ego. He’s a rich CEO who got to his position by craftily destroying his own wealthy, abusive stepfather. At the same time, he, like the other two, is a reserved genius type.
So why do I like him?
Well, first, because he treats everyone equally horrible. He hates everyone on Earth in essentially equal measure, except for a few random people he especially resents. So at least he’s fair about it.
But I guess Kaiba really appeals to me because of his sincere and unbending love for his brother. When their parents died, Kaiba made it his mission in life at a very young age to be Mokuba’s greatest protector. He defended Mokuba from bullies, refused to leave their orphanage unless accompanied by his brother, and one could even argue that he willingly placed himself under the wealthy and cruel Gozaburo’s abuse to make a good life for his brother. Later, in the actual series, he goes to incredible lengths to save and protect Mokuba. Countless characters take advantage of Mokuba as Kaiba’s greatest weakness, but Kaiba never once considers distancing himself from his little brother.
I like Kaiba because he shows that even an asshole can show powerful dedication and unconditional love to the people closest to him – that even a misanthropic asshole does not necessarily have to hate everyone or be an asshole all of the time. My favorite Kaiba brothers moment is a subtle one. Mokuba falls asleep sitting beside his brother in Kaiba’s study one night, and Kaiba puts his coat over Mokuba to keep him warm while he’s asleep. Anime Kaiba would also never take his abuse out on others or act like his stepfather in any way – he despises both the memory of his stepfather and all the actions that remind him of that person – which I can really respect.
And that’s all for this post. Man, there are so many other characters I wanted to talk about! AAH! Fandom loves!