Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's All About The People

Hey everyone, as promised this is the second article for my criteria for shows. I did sneak in a show review so you already know what the categories are, and I'll probably do another review sometime this week.

But on with the show.

Category: Characters.

When most people stay at a job, they might say it's because of the job. But really how many of us have that dream job where we can do exactely what we want to do and everything is just peachy. And how quickly can that dream job turn into a nightmare because you happen to be sitting right next to the speakerphone guy or are berated by some person about how their neighbor's let their dog poop in their yard.

It's enough to make me cry. And anime isn't any different.

Characters are the single most important aspect of any series. Good characters can compensate for a slow plot, bad animation and half a dozen other things. And almost all of the series in my top eight have excellent characters.

Take Wolf's Rain. Now yeah, I know the series has got some mixed reviews. I know somebody is going to come over to my house in my sleep and spit on that series for me. But honestly the entire series is elevated to greatness by one character: Hub.

For those of you who don't know the series, let me give you the run down. Wolf's Rain largely follows the quest of four wolves to try and find Paradise. To do it, they need the flower maiden. Now a bunch of other people want to find Paradise too (mostly Nobles, although it's never really explained how they are different from normal humans, even though it is hinted.) Anyways fairly early on in the series we're introduced to a police detective named Hub. Now in an average anime series, Hub would have been a throwaway antagonist.

But in Wolf's Rain, Hub becomes the everyman. The normal guy trying to make sense of the world around him. Honestly he's one of the most dynamic, interesting characters I have ever seen in anime. Just the amount of attention paid to a seemingly nobody character elevates the series past all the other drek out there.

Now it didn't hurt that the rest of the series was pretty solid. The four wolves were a bit of the stereotypical bunch, but none of them were offensive, and later in the series they really do become a lot more interesting.

In fact, characters are so important I can't think of a show that I liked that didn't have at least solid characters.

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