I’ve always tried on my blog to make my posts short and to the point. I am not a fan of long sprawling essays (I hate the concept of the pop culture essay to its core), and I think it’s better if people just find the chase and cut to it. That is one of the reasons why I’ve strayed away from talking about the “Big Three” shonen series. Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece frankly are too long and have too many working parts and gears that I just never thought it was a proper fit for this blog’s format. Yet with Character Dives, I tried to make an effort to focus on one particular aspect of a character and talk about it. I think that is possible to do with a big series like this. So after the cut let’s dive into the lead character of the series Naruto: Naruto Uzumaki.
This is going to be a bit of a different character dive than my previous ones, in that this is really a response to a excellent post from Yomu at Umai Yomu Anime Blog who has been doing a wonderful series of posts examining each of the girls from the hit anime of last year: Rascal Does not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai. More specifically this post is going to talk about the character of Kaede Azusagawa and provide what, I think at least, is a different viewing of the character from a more meta perspective than from the plot itself.
If you haven’t already, I HIGHLY suggest you check out Yomu’s post on Kaede and all the girls from Bunny Girl Senpai, as they are well thought out looks into the characters from frankly, the best show of the year last year. This post wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for that excellent piece of work.
Anyway, after the cut let’s take a character dive into one of the main girls of Rascal Does not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai: Kaede Azusagawa.
This will be a smaller character dive than the last two. Natuski Subaru was a character who deserved two parts because his character journey and development was heavy enough that it needed to be. For our character today however I want to focus the dive on the effects that this character has in relation to Natsuki Suburu and his character journey. So after the cut let’s take a character dive into ReZero’s Rem
“Before you try to save the world, you need to first try and save yourself.”
I’ve made it clear on his blog that I am a big proponent of the idea of “self-reflection”. The concept of looking back at one’s deeds and actions and pondering on them, whether they were right or wrong, and how it defines oneself both in the past and the future. I’ve talked about this in manga and anime as well, most notable with Issei in the fourth season of High School DxD. It has also allowed myself personally to come to terms with my dislike of Shinmai Maou no Testament, and not devolve into one of those idiots who makes post after post or video after video decrying something they dislike.
Frankly, I think self-reflection is vitally important to how we can behave and act properly in this world, and seeing it in anime has raised many series from good work, to great ones, and that is no truer than with ReZero. After the cut let’s continue our character dive into the main lead: Natsuki Subaru.
I’ve made it clear on this blog that ReZero was the anime that pretty much got me back into the entire medium as a whole. Simply put, I think it is a masterpiece, an anime of the highest quality that tells an excellent story, has wonderful characters and is actually an Isekai that tries to do something different. Instead of trend chaster, it was a trend-setter, a trend-breaker.
If someone asked me to sum up why I think all of this, I would simply say this: ReZero was the anime that (to me) finally acknowledged all the stupidity and bullshit that had (at the time) turned me off of the medium. And all of that is encompassed in a single character, so after the cut let’s take a Character Dive into the main lead of ReZero: Natsuki Suburu.
She’s a character who plays more of the third wheel for the majority of the Fate visual novel, yet she was popular enough to have her own spin-off that is the longest piece of Fate-related work ever made. She has an adorable design that sells countless pieces of merchandise, but a backstory that is marked by betrayal, disappointment, and abandonment, unless you watch her spin-off.
She can be a character forged by a centuries-long ambition but born like any other child in this world. A girl whose parents choose power over her safety, but instead directs her anger at a man who had nothing to do with it. Or she is someone whose life was more important than great power, who was given the chance to be a normal girl and experience the values of friendship, love, duty, and commitment.
Either way, she’s one of the most popular characters in the Fate franchise, and my personal favorite female anime character of all time. After the cut let’s take a dive into Fate Stay Night’s: Illyasviel von Einzbern.
(SPOILERS FOR FATE ZERO, FATE PRISMA ILLYA, AND ALL THREE ROUTES OF THE FATE VISUAL NOVEL)
Her popularity is massive, her design is iconic. She’s an example of gender-flipping done right. Unlike the rest of the cast, her influence can be felt in almost every single Fate anime that has been created. She has countless lines of merchandise that have made millions. She has inspired several knock-off characters within her own universe and, she has two excellent voice actors. Quite frankly, she is the type of character that comes around only once in a generation, and whatever you think of Fate Stay Night as a franchise, you cannot deny that this character is a big reason it worked.
Let’s not waste any time, after the cut let’s take a dive into the mascot of Fate, the heroine of the first route, the legendary King Arthur: Saber.