One thing I love about Japanese animation is its broad appeal, with popularity stretching from South Dakota to South Africa and from age 5 all the way to 71 (this was the oldest person we could find on my Twitter account). One reason anime holds such a universal attraction is its ability to create characters we can identify with…at least I feel I have more in common with my favorite anime characters than, say, the heroes in the latest high-budget Hollywood blockbuster. Most of us eventually discover characters we feel a connection to, who become our anime role model.
I recently asked my Twitter followers to post the anime character that was most similar to them, and got a huge number of responses as people shared the characters they identified the most with. I decided to go through and categorize the different responses so we could better understand what kind of characters appeal to fans and why. So let’s examine the most popular anime role model characters according to J-List customers…
- Unsurprisingly, a lot of responders identify as otakus and choose characters like Umaru-chan and Izumi Konata from Lucky Star as their anime avatars.
- Gamers were also well represented in the list. Especially gamers who have been staying up too late and not sleeping enough. We’re looking at you, Gabriel.
- Characters who are shy and/or socially awkward are always popular with fandom, and quite a few found their way into the Twitter thread. Fans felt drawn to Hifumi from New Game, Kaos from Comic Girls and of course Tomoko from Watamote. Self-effacing characters like Megumi from Food Wars were also present because they’re so sweet.
- Guys seem to identify with snarky, deadpan male characters like Hachiman from Oregairu, Oreki from Hyouka and Ryuji from Toradora.
- Anime fans are perverted, just like everyone else, and several responses reflected this.
- One theme in a lot of posts was “always alone” characters like Yuri-sensei from Toradora. If a bunch of people are alone and don’t want to be alone, maybe they can somehow locate each other so they can be alone together? I dunno…
- Finally, drunk characters are always entertaining, and several fans identified with characters who enjoy a frosty one after finishing work. I went with Minami Toba, the drunk teacher from Yuru Camp, for my own anime avatar, for no particular reason.
What’s your anime role model, the character you feel most connected to? Tell us on Twitter!
J-List is an official Touhou shop, meaning that we’ve been approved by Zun and Shanghai Alice to sell awesome official products, and today we’ve got lots of new items for you. We especially love the doujin CDs which remix Touhou music and songs in amazing ways, from jazz to Eurobeat. Browse all the new Touhou music CDs here!