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T5T: Favorite Male Anime & Manga Characters

Top 5 Tuesdays is an article series that focuses on my “top five” anything on a given subject of my choosing that pertains to either gaming, anime, or manga.
A little while ago I did my Top 5 Tuesday’s post for my Favorite Female Anime & Gaming Characters and since I already have the ladies out of the way, I think it is only fair that I do the same for the guys, right?
Over the course of me reading manga and watching anime, certain characters have stood out to me that I have never forgotten.  They fill me with inspiration and hope, give off an aura of cool and badassery, and are the embodiment of what we strive to be as men.  These are my top 5 favorite male anime & manga characters!

  Why Make This List?  

Over the years I have watched a lot of anime, and of them I have my favorite picks as far as the male characters that have made the most astounding impact on me.  The mannerisms which they do this range from their approach to problems, their looks on life, and their progression from the start of an anime or manga to the end of it.

Even though these characters are fictional, they have an amazing amount of depth to them that may not be seen unless you closely examine them and what they are placed into.  When creating these characters, I feel a great amount of thought was given and it shows.  Whatever those ideas were, they have influenced me and I would like nothing more than to reflect that.

  The List  

This list is made, in a sense, to let everyone know what I have learned from the characters and the exact reason that they are my favorites as opposed to anyone else.  Check it out below.

  #5 – Mitsuru Bandou  

Air Gear is one of the most beautifully drawn manga series I own, sadly I was a bit disappointed with how convoluted the story got the further the series went on; sometimes you should keep things simple and stick to the root of the story.  However, it did provide me with one of the perfect examples of the character archetype I love so much (Small and lithe form with unprecedented amounts of power), Mitsuru Bandou.  Mitsuru Bandou is one of the “Four Titans” of the air trek team “Behemoth”, and boasts an incredible amount of punching power which is the cause of his nickname “The Cyclops Hammer”.

Unlike some of the other characters here, I wish I could give you a deep and meaningful reason why I picked him as one of my favorites, but they are all honestly things that just boils down to how cool I think he is.  He does not play a prominent role in the story (But he does serve as Ikki’s opponent in a vital match for Team Kogarasumaru), but as I said, I love his character design and archetype, but that only applies to the manga version (I think the colors they gave him for the anime look a bit ridiculous, especially with his eyes; pure white eyes or black eyes with black hair would have been preferable).  In addition to everything else, he happens to use brass knuckles as his weapon of choice, pretty damn cool if I say so myself.

Though, I do believe I like the character archetype because I am an overweight guy, and I am pretty short by U.S. standards ( 5 feet, 7 inches).  I wish that I could be thinner, but keep the power I have now by building up muscle because I have to carry around more weight than an average person; smaller with the power I have now would be deceitful, and anyone messing with me would get a very nasty surprise.  That is probably just my morbid thoughts at work, however.

  #4 – Future Gohan  

Honestly, I am more of a fan of Goku, Trunks, and Vegeta than I am that of Gohan.  Gohan was always pretty annoying to me when it came to Dragonball Z because he was always pretty whiny, and despite being more powerful than most of the other fighters simply because of his emotional nature, he never fully honed in on it.  However, during the “History of Trunks” special feature which showed the reason Trunks traveled back in time to warn the Z-Fighters about Android 17 and 18, we get to see a look of a more mature, focused Gohan.

Future Gohan is technically Gohan from an alternate timeline where everyone dies at the hands of Android 17 and 18, the only fighters left are himself and young Trunks.  Despite no one there to back him up, no dragonballs to wish anyone back, and being outnumbered 2-to-1, he never gives up.  At one point he even struggles to protect Trunks and loses one of his arms in the bout, only for him to still continue fighting.  He is killed, but his memory lives on and inspires Trunks to become a Super Saiyan and heed his mother’s words to go back in time once he loses in his fight to avenge his fallen master.

I love this character because he represents all the good that Goku has, and all the resolve of wanting to protect people.  Despite dying, he died a heroes death and I believe this embodies the very nature of what he was meant to be.  Even with one arm, he continued to fight and held his own, I have NEVER been so influenced by Dragonball Z as I have from the selflessness and determination Future Gohan displayed.  I only wish that he would have kept this attitude in the main story of Dragonball Z, definitely would have been my favorite all-time character of the series, but this version definitely is.

You know you can’t win, can’t destroy what I really am.  Even if you manage to kill this body, someone stronger would surface and take my place“.
 – Future Gohan to Androids 17 and 18.

  #3 – Alucard  

Hellsing’s story was not all that great to me, honestly; I also did not care too heavily for the manga’s art.  However, what I did like was how Hellsing Ultimate portrayed the whole thing and how vibrant the contrasting of colors was, not to mention how they displayed Alucard’s might in motion.  Alucard works for the Hellsing organization because of his defeat by Van Hellsing so long ago.  Despite the fact he is one of the most powerful beings in existence, he pledges allegiance to his current master, Sir Integra Fairbrook Windgates Hellsing.  He is an ancient vampire who is nearly impossible to kill.

The reason I really like Alucard is because he is shown to be a nearly unstoppable killing machine who only obeys a single person’s commands, but he is more than he appears as the story goes deeper into how he came to be.  He often toys with his opponents and let them inflict lethal wounds and shows them he cannot be killed, allowing them to panic knowing that he is going to inevitably dispense of their life and there is nothing more than can do about it.  Extremely cruel, he makes sure his opponents suffer and are humiliated before they are discarded.  However, he also has a more gentle side, such as when he saved Seras Victoria or his loyalty towards Integra and her personal well-being; he is also conflicted since he views himself as a monster who was too much of a coward to die as a human.  I can understand him in a sense that he is who he is because he has to be, but if given the chance he would change his existence because he suffers daily.

Truly, Alucard is one of the most powerful characters I have known, so much that I think he is the only character who could possibly have a shot at killing Dante from Devil May Cry (Whom is my favorite video game character of all-time).  This character’s background is pretty sad, but he is emits nothing but badassary throughout the entire series and can be one of the darkest, most macabre anime characters I have ever seen.

Check out my Hellsing Ultimate Review

From "Death Note"
  #2 – Yagami Light  

Death Note was exhilarating, it was truly a test of mental battles and presented psychological action on another level.  The ability to kill anyone simply by having their full name and knowing what they looked like?  It would make someone the God of Death, a Shinigami in the flesh, and that terrifying power is nothing to laugh at.  However, the thing that made me so fascinated with this series, even with this interesting plot device was its main character, Yagami Light.

Light otherwise known as “Kira” is the main character of Death Note, I think of him as the protagonists, others think of him as an “anti-hero”, others see him as evil, but to me it is all a matter of personal perception.  Light is a relatively bored young genius who looks down on people of the world and humanity.  After Light finds a Death Note and realizes he can act as a God who rules people by making them fear death,  he  embarks on a plan to successfully change the world where God has failed.  The main story of Death Note revolves around him using the book to change the world while trying to avoid those that would have him stop.

The interesting thing about Light is that he is not really a bad guy, despite the fact that he uses the Death Note to kill people.  Sure, killing people is wrong, but he only killed those who threatened to put his own life in jeopardy by exposing him, as well as that of thieves, murderers, and criminal scum of all kinds; those that already deserved to die.  In fact, he made the world a safer place forcefully where no one could do it of their own volition in a free world.  Sure, forcing someone to do the right thing places limits on freedom, but those who live by the rules and respect them are never truly affected as what they want to do does not impede on the freedoms or well-being of others.  I believe that Light understands that sometimes force is required to make people better themselves and stop harming others, as Lady Satsuki says, “Man rules by fear”, I think it is also relevant to the way Light works.

I have a pretty sadistic personality and dark sense of humor at times, and I seem to have that in common with Yagami-san.  Actually, Light use to be my favorite character for quite sometime, but I realize he does have some flaws in his personality; I would never want to hurt an innocent person for finding out about my secrets nor would I want to have to rely on others to help me carry out some of my plans and ambitions if it was on such grand a scale.  Despite that, he is still my second favorite character.

From "Hajime no Ippo".
  #1 – Makunouchi Ippo  

Hajime no Ippo is one of my favorite anime of all-time, the recent fight between Ippo and Sawamura in “Hajime no Ippo: Rising” confirmed that.  This character truly is an inspiration to me because of the way he has matured over time within the series.

What happens to Ippo is like that of heroes of many other series; where the character is weak and eventually moves on to become stronger.  However, what intrigues me is the fact that Ippo’s views and outlooks do not change.  Normally you will see people become stronger and tougher in the entirety of their outlooks, but his beliefs and core never change at all.  Ippo is still timid and shy, he hates senseless violence, and he does his best to help his mom out with their fisherman business.  In fact, the only thing that has changed is his determination while in the ring.

Despite the fact that Ippo was a victim of getting bullied, he did not let that deter him and actually befriended the guy who use to pick on him, a testament to his character.  Even more than that, he did not come seeking revenge once he got stronger and would be able to easily beat the guy up, simply Ippo now thinks of him as his best friend.  I was a victim of bullying and I had to fight back, I can relate to his story because it is very believable.  I know the feeling of being weak with seemingly no way to get out and you wonder why so much bad stuff happens to you, and I also know the joy of overcoming it.  Another note to Ippo’s character is, despite Sawamura being one of the DIRTIEST fighters he has ever encountered (And the third fighter to cheat during a boxing match against him, if I am correct), Ippo never stooped down to his level and kept it clean the entire time.

Another reason I really admire him is because I have a true love for boxing.  My favorite boxer is Mike Tyson, and he is who Ippo is based after in some ways.  Smaller than other fights but powerful, uses the peekaboo style, and discovered his love for boxing after being bullied. Truly, I have no better person I could think of that works so hard to achieve their dreams while not letting the hatred and anger of past mistakes weigh in on how you are in the now.  I wish I had that ability, to not let the world change you and to do your best not to feel discouraged while making strides towards your goal.  Also, Ippo punches incredibly hard for his small size, which again, is a archetype I love (Ippo also sort of reminds me of Little Mac from “Punch-Out!!“).

All of these things are what really impresses me about this character, how he can be so strong and yet so gentle at the very same time without him feeling weak; in fact, it shows that his kindness may be his greatest strength.  Ippo’s past, his characteristics, and undying love for boxing makes him my favorite male character of all-time, and a prime example of what I would like to be.

  In Conclusion  

All of these characters were my favorite at some point and time because of who they are and what little pieces of my personality are synonymous with some parts of their character; Light’s tenacity and thought, Gothan’s sense of justice, and even Alucard’s emptiness.  However, out of everyone I feel Ippo is more of what I should aspire to, becoming stronger in all the things that matter to me without sacrificing who I am as a person.

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About The Author

RoK the Reaper
A serious gamer & hardcore otaku who loves anything gaming, anime, or manga! I hope to bring you the best content for these subjects I love in the form of news, reviews, interviews, and in-depth editorials! さよăȘら!

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3 Replies to “T5T: Favorite Male Anime & Manga Characters”

  1. I actually just re-watched the fight against Ippo and Sawamura and I have to say it is truly inspiring. I also agree with you 100% about how you felt about Gohan. I didnt see this series you are refering to but I am not a big fan of him. Great article!!

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