Imagine, for a moment, all the anime that comes out over the course of a year. Now consider how every show that is released also has a full cast of characters. With the sheer amount of people there is to meet, it is hard for any of them to leave any sort of impact. For me, at least, this is especially true given all the anime I watch in a month, let alone a year.
Although there are plenty of characters worth remembering, only a handful of them are actually memorable.
Therefore, as I see it, if I can recall a character’s personality, look, and (quite crucially) name months after watching their series, something big must have happened. Admittedly, I could list off a few characters who I remember for more nefarious reasons, but that is not the focus of today.
Let’s take the opportunity to celebrate the people who keep us engaged with their story. These are the top ten best characters from 2019.
Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san / Voiced By: Azumi Waki
To read my Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san review, please click HERE.
The titular Senko from Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san was more than a cute fox-girl. Her appearance did not dictate her personality. She may have looked like a young child, but don’t get fooled. Senko was a mature deity who had lived for many hundreds of years.
This dynamic completely changed the atmosphere of Senko’s series, which could have been a forgettable slapstick comedy. Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san might have been funny, but thanks to Senko, this show was considerably much more charming.
If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord / Voiced By: Kanon Takao
To read my If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord review, please click HERE.
I won’t deny that Latina was one of those child characters who simply does not exist in the real world. She was far more thoughtful, compassionate, respectful, and understanding than you should expect someone her age to be. Nevertheless, it was Latina’s pure innocence that made her so memorable.
It was surprising, and at times shocking, how much Latina had to go through in her story. Still, you rooted for her not because she was the cute kid character. You rooted for her because, like everyone else in the show, you couldn’t help love her.
Boogiepop wa Warawanai / Voiced By: Aoi Yuuki
To read my Boogiepop wa Warawanai review, please click HERE.
Boogiepop was critical at keeping the philosophy driven dialogue of Boogiepop wa Warawanai in check. This series, although not the most challenging thing to follow, focused a lot on heavier themes, and it made a habit of adding plentiful amounts of grey. Boogiepop rose above that by not acknowledging any of it.
If someone was choosing to hurt others for some emotionally-fueled reason, Boogiepop countered by being brutally blunt and with a matter-of-fact attitude. Boogiepop saw how things were and had little time to dwell on how things should be. And though Boogiepop understood that people often thought irrationally and was aware of what those sentiments felt like, those emotions were never allowed to get in the way of the mission.
7. Hajime Nagumo
Arifureta: Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou / Voiced By: Toshinari Fukamachi
To read my Arifureta: Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou review, please click HERE.
Oh, I can’t wait for people to argue with me on this one.
I know I’m in the minority with this opinion, but I liked Arifureta, and much of that, if not all of it, was due to Hajime. I stand by what I said in my review of him being one of the best isekai protagonists I have seen in a long while.
Unlike his fellow heroes from other isekai stories, Hajime didn’t start off overpowered. He had to fight his way to the top; he became the unbeatable fighter most begin as. Hajime was easy to cheer on because we saw him when he was at his lowest, and his subsequent triumph felt earned and satisfying.
6. The Crew of the Astra
Astra Lost in Space / Voiced By: Yoshimasa Hosoya, Inori Minase, Tomoyo Kurosawa, Kouki Uchiyama, Saori Hayami, Risae Matsuda, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Shunsuke Takeuchi, and Hina Kino
To read my Astra Lost in Space review, please click HERE.
I know I’m cheating on this one, so let me explain.
The cast of Astra Lost in Space was so linked that one character could not be without the others. If I was to choose a single person from this show, I would have then needed to disregard the core of their personality. The crew of the spaceship Astra was more than family. They were a unit.
Therefore, I am treating them as a single item.
So where some shows might have one or two outstanding characters, Astra Lost in Space had nine.
5. Rimuru Tempest
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime / Voiced By: Miho Okasaki
To read my That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime review, please click HERE.
Although a character like Hajime from Arifureta found their way onto this list because they broke the mold of what an isekai protagonist should be, Rimuru Tempest made it on because they set the bar for what an isekai protagonist can be.
Despite being incredibly overpowered, Rimuru’s strength came from an effective use of simple logic. Rimuru inspired every other character to grow, and the little slime was a true leader.
This is not someone who will be forgotten any time soon.
4. Emma, Norman, and Ray
The Promised Neverland / Voiced By: Sumire Morohoshi, Maaya Uchida, and Mariya Ise
To read my The Promised Neverland review, please click HERE.
This is the same situation as Astra Lost in Space.
Although Emma, Norman, and Ray were strong characters on their own, their real power was only reached when they were together. Their teamwork and trust in one another made them unbeatable, which was necessary given the nightmare they were facing.
This trio was the perfect compliment for a story that knew how to be tragic, tense, and downright terrifying.
One Punch Man 2nd Season / Voiced By: Hikaru Midorikawa
To read my One Punch Man 2nd Season review, please click HERE.
If the first installment of One Punch Man was Saitama’s season, the second was…well, the second was also Saitama’s. Undeniably, Saitama is an unstoppable force who has been responsible for making this franchise so much fun. Garou, on the other hand, added a crucial bit of tension.
Despite being quite powerful in his own right, Garou could still run into difficulties. Unlike Saitama, Garou had moments when he needed to push through pain and hardships to achieve victory. I know there were instances when I was cheering for him.
And any time you can understand the motives of a story’s villain, then that makes them far more interesting, not to mention greater than the run-of-the-mill bad guy.
2. Senku Ishigami
Dr. Stone / Voiced By: Yuusuke Kobayashi
To read my Dr. Stone review, please click HERE.
Out of every character on this list, Senku is the one I can’t wait to see return. He was the perfect blend of hero and troublemaker.
Although Senku’s goals were for the benefit of humanity, they never stopped him from having fun and doing what he loved. He knew that a bit of patience would go a long way to get what he wanted.
Plus, even though Senku was a supergenius and the smartest person in his show, he was never arrogant about it. On the contrary, he relished the opportunity to teach others and let them take the glory.
Senku knew his strengths and limitations, and in any other year, he would have most likely been the best character. However, 2019 happened to have one better.
Beastars / Voiced By: Chikahiro Kobayashi
To read my Beastars review, please click HERE.
I think I already said it best in my review of Beastars:
“If you’ve ever wanted to know what the most sympathetic, caring, likable, nicest, and all-around good-guy character looks like, well apparently, it’s an anthropomorphic grey wolf.“
I know a season two of Beastars was announced at the end of the final episode, but the mark as already been made.
Beastars‘ Legoshi was, hands down and easily, the best character from 2019.
Along with an anime’s story, an anime’s characters are what I look at when writing one of my reviews. After all, it is the cast who we have to follow and get to know. They are what push the narrative forward.
When the characters fail, most everything else fails with them.
However, when even one character stands tall, they are more than capable of carrying the rest of a series’ weight.
And these were the ten best characters of 2019.
But, these have just been my thoughts. What are yours? What do you think are the ten best characters from 2019. Leave your list down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
And if you’ve liked what you have read, be sure to follow me on my social media sites so that you never miss a post or update. Also, please share this review across the internet to help add to the discussion.
I’m LofZOdyssey and come back tomorrow, Thursday, February 20th, as the 2nd Annual LofZOdyssey Highlights continues with the Top Anime of 2019 (20 – 11).