BEST MALE CHARACTER
Sunakawa Makoto (My Love Story!!)
In the narrative of My Love Story!!, Sunakawa is naturally handsome, intelligent, and charismatic to the point that girls from ages 8 to 80 seem to fall in love with him at first sight. However, what makes him truly stand out aren’t his looks or his smarts, but his genuine bond with his best friend, the seemingly brutish Gouda Takeo. Sunakawa’s opposite in practically every way, but the two share one important thing in common: big hearts. Sunakawa sees not only the goodness in Takeo but the petty shallowness of those who judge people only by their looks, which affects him just as much as Takeo himself.
Takeo is also a worthy pick, but it’s the way Sunakawa looks out for Takeo that makes him the Best of 2015. Whether you want to be Sunakawa or have him watch your back, there’s no better best friend in all of anime (except maybe Tomoyo).
BEST FEMALE CHARACTER
Koizumi Hanayo (Love Live! The School Idol Movie)
Last year, Koizumi Hanayo was in the final running for Best of 2014, but ultimately the immensely powerful personality of Kill la Kill‘s Kiryuuin Satsuki won out. Now, with Love Live! The School Idol Movie being the swansong for the original Love Live! girls, I thought it best to call Hanayo Best Female Character of 2015 because there might never be a chance to do it again.
If there’s one word I would use to describe Hanayo, it would be “passion.” It’s her nearly unrivaled love of school idols, along with some support from her friends, that allows Hanayo to take the step from fan to idol in the first place. The fiery look in Hanayo’s eyes and her characteristic “quiet scream” when something big is happening is unmistakable. When Hanayo helps Rin overcome her negative self-image, it’s from a place of genuine care and compassion. And when Hanayo goes on a rant about how rice is the central component of a proper meal and that this is one of America’s most critical flaws, why, it’s only appropriate. Hail to the Rice Goddess.
When it comes to determining my favorite characters in anime, I don’t think I’m alone in saying that they often possess either admirable qualities I would like to emulate, or traits that I can directly relate to. Sunakawa’s perceptiveness and compassion are things that my oblivious self would love to have. Hanayo’s devotion to food is a match for my own constant desire to find the latest, greatest things to eat, and her instant switch from shy to fervent fan also reminds me a lot of myself. Of course, these are not their only criteria, and ultimately it is their impact on their friends and loved ones that is in a way much more significant, but there’s something about both Sunakawa and Hanayo that makes them both like quiet fist pumps in anime form.
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