Being an initiator of an online anime encyclopaedia of a sort, I have seen a lot of Japanese animation movies, series and OVA. Naturally, I have my favourites and least favourites out of them, but what makes me want to slap the world is when there is not enough talk about a character (or anime) I consider worthy of it. So, this Top 5 is about the underrated anime characters that I think you should pay more attention to.
This list is made out of some of the most popular manga and anime in the world. This is on purpose, because I wanted to show that there are a lot of mean or secondary characters even in the huge universes of the biggest shows who deserve more attention from either the otaku or the mangaka. This is my personal opinion and not a rule, naturally. I would be very, very happy to hear your opinions too!
5. Marian Cross, D. Gray Man
He is one of the most prominent and strong characters in this sorry, yes that is correct. But it is not the mangaka who underestimates him, but rather the fans. Having communicated with a lot of the readers and watchers of D. Gray Man, I need to say one thing – Marian Cross’ abilities need more appreciation; it is not just his looks as most of the female fans think. Yes, he is a biseinen, but this does not mean that every time one discusses his character the woman in the conversation needs to blush and explain how handsome he it. He is strong, has two Innocence under his control and one of them is a whole human being (at least in form). He needs to be respected more.
4. Walter C. Dornez, Hellsing
Walter Dornez is the butler of Integra and her right hand man (since Alucard is not a man). Without a doubt he is strong and can do a lot of things, but his abilities are not the thing I wish to discuss. The very thing I am pointing out is the fact that he had managed to become a strong member of the organization, a place that has similarly been taken by none other but the very king of Vampires himself – Alucard. So, have you ever thought how strong exactly should this human be to be able to achieve such a place in society that is given to ones with superhuman powers? I do think he shouldn’t be neglected as much as he has been in the story and I am certain he has a very, very dark history of many battles and wins, through which he has managed to prove his loyalty to Hellsing as a whole.
3. Gaara, Naruto Shippuden
I know what you’re thinking – there is a lot about Gaara in here. But you are not correct. He is initially represented as a strong-willed person with a dark history an secrets. Within a few hundred episodes, though, and after the end of Naruto and the start of Shippuden, he has become nothing more than a supporter of whatever the storyline wishes. He has lost his strong character and the apathy that made him attractive as a character. Instead, he had adopted a sense of uneasiness where, even if he says things straightforward and has an opinion, he does is by second-guessing himself and without taking action, making his words as empty as a seashell. I wish Masashi Kishimoto would keep the strong-willed characters and leave their hard-to-handle moods in his later works. We need them, because they too are a pillar of support and not only the “Believe! *smile*” ones.
2. Sanji, One Piece
I admit it – I haven’t watched the entire anime and I haven’t read the whole manga, but up until now Sanji is the most unfortunate out of the main characters and yet, he manages to be there – more equal than Usopp and Nami even. Why is he most unfortunate? Well: he cannot produce weather phenomena (unlike Nami), he cannot create weather-machines and needs to be close to the enemy while fighting (unlike Usopp), he does not have any special protection or unnatural parts (unlike Franky), he doesn’t have weapons that are almost alive and can cut through anything (unlike Zoro), he doesn’t have the power of the Devil’s Fruit (unlike Chopper, Luffy, Nico Robin and Brook)… And yet, he is there – straight and happy to even do the cooking as it is his true aim in life. This is surely one underrated character because there is no real attention to the fact that he does have so many disadvantages and is still one of the strongest in the team.
1. Choujirou Sasakibe, Bleach
I bet many of you don’t even know who this is. It is the lieutenant of the first division of the Gotei 13. Yes, he is the right-hand-man of the very leader and creator of the force – Yamamoto. What more can I say? We have understood about the relationship of Nemu Kurotsuchi and all her special abilities given to her by Mayuri Kurotsuchi, we’ve witnessed all of Momo Hinamori’s love life from A to Z, Rangiku is always there for us and I won’t even mention names such as Renji Abarai and Rukia Kuchiki (who isn’t even a lieutenant until very late in the manga). And yet, what do we know about this man? He must be very strong and able to be in this exact position in the Gotei 13, he must be have a powerful personality in order to take on his duties as a Lieutenant given the fact that he should be in charge in case anything happened to Yamamoto. In my own opinion, given the amount of developed characters in this show and his position in the Gotei 13, there is no doubt which number to give him in this chart. A well-deserved number one spot.
If you’re wondering why the biggest 3 are in the leading places, it is exactly because they are the biggest 3: they have the most episodes and the most popular mangaka. They are huge, and yet, these three characters were underrated by their mangaka or the fans in one way or another. Being underdeveloped or just changed in a way that doesn’t suit their initial persona as with numbers, 2 and 3, is what screams out: HEY, MANGAKA! WHY DID YOU DO THIS? WHY DID YOU FORGET ABOUT HIM? And yet, it is not only the creator that ignores the facts, I do consider us, readers and/or viewers guilty of neglect too.