The Fifty Greatest Japanese Animated Characters, Page 2


Name: Potamos
Primary Seiyuu: Kotono Mitsuishi
Title: Wedding Peach
Debut: 1995

Few villains ever make these lists, and even fewer who are not the heroes' archnemeses. But then, few are as funny as Potamos. Her speech and actions were ridiculously cute, even while committing evil acts, and she almost immediately set herself up as a romantic rival for the main character. Eventually, she became so popular that she was the only villain from the main series to return in Wedding Peach DX, mitai na!


Name: Atom (Astro Boy)
Primary Seiyuu: Mari Shimizu
Title: Astro Boy
Debut: 1963

The granddaddy of them all. Astro Boy may not have been the first anime, but it was the one that established the medium and inspired hundreds of new titles. Atom himself was a super-powered android with human emotions, and used his abilities to protect the world from evil humans, robots, and aliens. In the process, he established several standards of the new medium, including the ubiquitous big-eyed faces.


Name: Kenshin Himura
Primary Seiyuu: Mayo Suzukaze
Title: Rurouni Kenshin
Debut: 1996

When Japan's violent Bakumatsu ended, and the relative peace of the Meiji Restoration began, many fighters found themselves adjusting to a new world, including this legendary assassin. Unlike some, he embraced the peaceful life wholeheartedly, even arming himself with a sakaba-tou, a reverse-blade sword that could not easily be used to kill. Unfortunately, trouble continued to seek Kenshin out, so that he was forced to keep fighting. It took all his self-control to hold himself to the role of a protector, rather than a killer.


Name: Glenda
Primary Seiyuu: Yuki Matsuoka
Title: Petite Princess Yucie
Debut: 2002

The princess of the demon realm was the best frenemy of the main character, and stole almost every scene she was in. A powerful mage, Glenda was arrogant, vain, abrasive, and kinder than she was willing to admit. She did not reveal the true depth of her emotions until the final critical confrontation, but in doing so, she cemented her place as the series' true star.


Name: Konata Izumi & Kagami Hiiragi
Primary Seiyuu: Aya Hirano & Emiri Kato
Title: Lucky Star
Debut: 2007

Oscar and Felix, Ernie and Bert, Konata and Kagami. Konata was a highly talented girl with no motivation to do anything productive, while the more studious Kagami was her long-suffering best friend who seemed to be the only person able to get Konata's goat - when she wasn't being needled herself, that is. The otaku and the tsundere didn't seem to agree on much, but they managed to stay close regardless, and have made themselves the darlings of yuri fanboys everywhere.


Name: Captain Harlock
Primary Seiyuu: Makio Inoue
Title: Space Pirate Captain Harlock
Debut: 1978

With all the masterworks by legendary creator Leiji Matsumoto, such as Queen Emeraldas and Galaxy Express 999, his best-known character remains Captain Harlock. A classic noble pirate, albeit in space rather than asea, he flouted the law for the sake of freedom and the greater good. He was courageous, stoical, and rebellious, and his adventures remain as popular as they are influential.


Name: Arséne Lupin III & Fujiko Mine
Primary Seiyuu: Yasuo Yamada & Eiko Masuyama
Title: Lupin III
Debut: 1971

Lupin was a master thief, with great physical and tactical abilities, and encyclopedic knowledge on a wide variety of topics. Fujiko was the ultimate femme fatale, a skilled agent in her own right whose greatest strength was manipulation, especially of the lovestruck Lupin. Together or separately, they pulled off nearly unthinkable capers, and continually foiled both the police and various less-savory criminals - and sometimes each other.


Name: Yuusuke Urameshi
Primary Seiyuu: Nozomu Sasaki
Title: Yu Yu Hakusho
Debut: 1992

A tough delinquent has a last-minute change of heart, and sacrifices his life to save somebody. It's an old setup, but it's usually the end of the story; with Yuusuke, it was the beginning! Though he never fully quit being a delinquent, he did begin to show some compassion to others, which suited him well once he returned to life and became a detective for the Spirit World. In addition to "regular" missions, his work also sent him to multiple Dragon Ball-style tournaments against viciously powerful demons. Too bad those demons didn't count on Yuusuke's sheer cussedness.


Name: Arale Norimaki
Primary Seiyuu: Mami Koyama
Title: Dr. Slump
Debut: 1981

N'cha! Arale was a cute, cheerful, playful girl, who happened to be a super-strong robot. And she was nearsighted. Not that that stopped her from doing, well, anything she thought might be fun at that moment - attending high school, playing cops and robbers with real robbers, or just breaking the moon. This is one gynoid who could always be counted on for a laugh or two.


Name: Vash the Stampede
Primary Seiyuu: Masaya Onosaka
Title: Trigun
Debut: 1998

The "Humanoid Typhoon," as Vash was known, was wanted far and wide by both the authorities and the insurance companies, due to the destruction which always followed in his wake. The thing is, he never actually caused the damage; he was a peace-loving man who always refused to kill, even in self-defense. In fact, it was usually the bounty hunters trying to kill Vash who brought about the catastrophes. Nonetheless, he was an extremely skilled gunfighter who could always be counted on to help the innocent in the name of "love and peace!"

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