Ok, I suppose I need to give an explanation for the sudden change in my challenge. Well, the feminist in me was very upset. I mean, last time it was ‘favourite male’ and only then ‘favourite female’ anime characters, and now it was going to be the same – it was going to be but it won’t be. Of course, some may wonder, then, why I have not changed the order in the title – well, that doesn’t matter, it’s not a different post, it’s the same post. What if I had changed it and then there would be people who want to read the post from the bottom to the top? What if I wrote today’s post on two columns (so that the two characters would be on the same line) and then someone would read it right-to-left? What matters to me is that now, in my opinion, it’s both genders in the same post – that and nothing more. I should also mention that I am a nonconformist – always have been and always will be proud to be – and I don’t find anything wrong with altering the challenge more than I already have. I see no reason not to go out of one’s comfort zone – I hate feeling that I’m bound by rules or laws or whatever they would be. I have been debating all day whether I should really alter this challenge this way and I was rather inclining to not do so (mainly because of the ordeal I will have to go through tomorrow night when writing the post for that challenge), but then my flatmate – the always-awesome-always-there-for-me Moro-chan – gave me that little extra boost of confidence, and I decided to go on with my original idea. So, I shall get crackin’!
My favourite supporting male character is Tanuma Kaname (田沼 要) from Natsume’s Book of Friends.
And the main reason for this is that he’s almost as sweet as Natsume. He is extremely thoughtful and always cares about the feelings of those around him, so as not to hurt them. He is also very kind, gentle, and calm. Although he is told by the-otherwise-mean-and-tactless Nyanko-sensei that he’d be a burden to Natsume because of his weak spiritual presence, he nonetheless wishes to be next to Natsume and help him as best he can.
Although in the beginning he gets headaches because of the spirits – which he cannot see except for their shadows – and is aware that Natsume might think that he [Tanuma] is in his [Natsume’s] way, he chooses to trust Natsume more than the overwhelming feeling of guilt; and this can be seen throughout the four seasons (of the anime, not of the year): he knows that Natsume knows that he knows that Natsume can see spirits ‘properly’ and while he is a bit reluctant to press that issue, he learns to trust Natsume and the fact that Natsume trusts him and this gives him the courage and the confidence to be by Natsume’s side, at all times.
There is so much care in the bond between him and Natsume, so much trust, tacit and mutual respect and even some sort of perception which leads to their thinking so much alike – I can only describe it as beautiful.
My favourite supporting female character happens to be from the same series: Natsume Reiko (夏目 玲子), Natsume’s grandmother.
She is the one who created the Book of Friends in the first place. She is the cause of Natsume’s being able to see spirits. She may come across as rude, unscrupulous, forgetful, bad-mannered, careless and maybe even indifferent and cruel. But here’s why I love her: she went exactly through what Natsume had to go through as a child; she was bullied and rejected, laughed at and even beaten with rocks, yet instead of becoming a loner, she still wanted friends…just in a very outside-of-the-box way.
It is true that she turned away from humans – considering their behaviour towards her – and ‘embraced’ the company of the spirits, but this shows that she, as much as any other human being, did not want to be alone, she wanted companions, she wanted friends whom she could trust and have fun with and who…would also trust her… but here’s where she went a little astray. As she was awfully strong and bullied the spirits, they obviously didn’t trust her and she went as far as to beat them at games and oblige them to give her their names. This obviously wasn’t the best way to solve her situation, but her behaviour doesn’t show that she was a bully herself; far from that, as she had never had any friends herself, she most probably did not know when the game got too serious and she should have stopped.
I actually have evidence to show that she cared – yes, cared – for her spirit friends. In season two of the series, episode 5 – titled約束の樹 (The Tree of Promise) – she meets a spirit who always wanted to see the sea and thought he couldn’t leave the forest and as such never got to see it. So she makes the spirit give her his name and she ties the paper with his name onto the branch of a tree and tells the spirit to go take it off the tree in 50 years. The tree obviously grew in those 50 years and when the spirit finally finds it with the help of Natsume (Takashi) and his friends, he realises that he can, for the first time, see the sea and is extremely happy.
So, after all, she did care for her spirit ‘friends’, and she did that in her own special way – the only way she knew – and this is why I love her so much.
Here they are, my favourite supporting male and female characters. Tomorrow night will be a nightmare to choose, but I brought it unto myself. Anyway, as usual, thanks for reading thus far.