Connecting With Anime Characters

Which Anime Character Do You Connect With?

As I often write, one reason anime has become such a popular source of alternative popular culture around the world is that it tells stories that we can relate to on a deeper emotional level than the latest explosion-filled Michael Bay movie playing down at the multiplex. Stories about overcoming self-doubt and finding friendships or love, of defeating our inner demons, reconnecting with family, or many other positive things. I made a tweet today asking what anime seems closest to my followers’ real lives, and an interesting discussion ensued about which anime character we tend to connect with the most. Here are some of the results…

  • Hachiman Hikigaya from Oregairu, whose deadpan lines and pessimistic point of view apparently mirrors some modern otakus.
  • Noata from FLCL, “because who wasn’t an angsty kid unsure of everything?”
  • “Low energy” Oreki from Hyouka.
  • Mako from Kill la Kill. The ultimate kawai sidekick, and I love her sarcasm.
  • Many reported feeling a strong connection to Tomoko from Watamote, a show and manga about the most socially awkward high school girl ever. (“It’s a documentary of my actual life!” one said.) Happily, like most of us, things get better for her later.
  • I’m sure more than a few fans loved Himouto! Umaru-chan because of the character Kirie, who starts out shy and full of anxiety and ends up making three great friends for life.
  • Hotaru from Dagashi Kashi, who does what she wants and eats lots of dagashi.
  • I love the idea that “brotaku” anime fans go to the gym and get swole while drawing strength and motivation from their favorite characters like Goku, One Punch Man, etc. There’s quite a big crossover between anime and weightlifting around the world.
  • While most of us aren’t lucky enough to be main characters in a harem anime story, on a couple occasions back in high school a girl would show some interest in me, but like a male anime protagonist I didn’t pick up on this fact until several years later, Nishikata style. So I can identify with some harem main characters a bit…

So how about you? Which anime character do you connect with and feel close to? Tell us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook!

New Doujinshi For May

We stock lots of ecchi doujinshi from Japan, filled with art from Japan’s top artists, and you should browse all the newly posted books for today. In addition to “naughty” comics from Japan’s up-and-coming artists, we have a new line of “doujin” artbooks that are gorgeous. See them all here.

About the author

Peter Payne

I live in Japan and I run J-List, an anime shop famous for shimapan and Tentacle Grape. I love being able to bring Japanese culture to the world.