The Top Ten Character of 2020
Memorable stories are not unique to a single genre. From the funniest comedies to scariest horrors to the most heartfelt dramas and everything in-between, all have their iconic shows. However, there is one this they all share in-common – great characters.
Brave heroes that face insurmountable odds, cunning villains that spread their influence, the average joe who connects with the audience, well-remembered characters take on many different forms.
Only the best of the best will endure long after their series’ finale, and only time will tell if legends were born any given year.
The following are who Anime Hajime thinks will stand that test. Here are the top ten characters of 2020.
Voiced By: Kaede Hondo
Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina
To read the Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina review, please click HERE.
Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina’s namesake, Elaina, kicks off our list. No matter which way you look at it, this series was her story; Elaina was the star, the rock, and the catalyst.
“[Elaina] could be happy-go-lucky, carefree, and laidback as often as she could be severe, studious, and intimidating…There were things she did not know, and she could sometimes find herself in situations that were way over her head. “
–Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina review
Elaina was our guide through Wandering Witch’s world of magic and mysticism.
9. Natsusa Yuzuki
Voiced By: Kengo Kawanishi
To read the number24 review, please click HERE.
For a series that was not at all remarkable, number24 gave us a character to rival 2020’s bests – Natsusa Yuzuki. He was the counter that prevented this show from falling into the usual sport anime pitfalls.
Natsusa was the kick is teammates needed when they felt discouraged. His teasing was often cutting but rarely unwarranted.
Natsua, who loved his sport (rugby), was no longer able to play. He was a reminder to his friends to appreciate what they were still capable of doing.
Voiced By: Maaya Sakamoto
Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Season 2
To read the Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Season 2 review, please click HERE.
Perhaps this is where we say a villain has made the list. However, that’s what made Echidna so special. She was a force of chaos, not necessarily evil.
It was impossible to tell what she wanted, but Echidna had an agenda of some kind. She was always scheming and plotting, never giving away what she knew. Was she ever genuine?
Echidna could be sympathetic and likable. But was that a trick; was it false? The mystery surrounding her made Echidna a standout in an already outstanding show.
Voiced By: Tomoyo Kurosawa
To read the Akudama Drive review, please click HERE.
The ordinary thrust into the extraordinary. Akudama Drive was a character anime through and through. Yet, it was Swindler who rose to the top.
“Swindler was not a criminal and was well out of her league compared to the actual Akudama…Swindler was kindhearted, but she wasn’t naïve. She was well aware that liars surrounded her. Therefore, she didn’t have an ounce of good faith whenever one of the Akudama tried to sweet-talk her.“
–Akudama Drive review
Serving as the eyes for the audience, Swindler quickly became a character worthy of her title.
6. Yuuki Kuroiwa
Voiced By: Yuu Sasahara
Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater
To read the Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater review, please click HERE.
Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater’s Yuuki Kuroiwa was the personification of the show.
She was calm, laid-back, and easy-going. Nothing flustered her. Granted, Yuuki would stack the deck to get her way and manipulate situations to get out of work. However, there was no doubt she loved the Breakwater club.
Yuuki was the ideal upperclassmen for the younger members. She took her time to teach and made sure no one ever took things too seriously.
Voiced By: Mikako Komatsu
To read the Arte review, please click HERE.
Arte’s Arte was what it means to root for a character.
“She was what made this series such an interesting watch because you want to cheer her on. From the start, the only thing she ever asked for was a chance to prove herself. Thus, when that simple, not-at-all unreasonable request kept getting denied, it was easy to sympathize with Arte’s struggle.“
Obstacle after obstacle stood in Arte’s path, and she cleared every single one of them, earning her spot on this list.
4. Minare Koda
Voiced By: Riho Sugiyama
Wave, Listen to Me!
To read the Wave, Listen to Me! review, please click HERE.
A dark sense of humor needs someone who can turn most unnerving into something hilarious. Wave, Listen to Me did that spectacularly with Minare Koda.
Fast-talking and always on, Minare was a personality fit for radio. Her improvisation skills allowed her to craft worlds from a simple prompt. She was never afraid to go for the joke – no matter how crude.
Wave, Listen to Me had issues that made it difficult to recommend. Minare was what saved it.
3. Richard Ranashinha de Vulpian
Voiced By: Takahiro Sakurai
The Case Files of Jeweler Richard
To read the The Case Files of Jeweler Richard review, please click HERE.
If you want to know how most anime portray foreigners, don’t look to The Case Files of Jeweler Richard. This series was surprisingly authentic with the titular Richard.
No matter what, Richard had a full grasp of a situation. He was calm, smart, and sophisticated. Richard knew what it was like when others assumed who he was and underestimated him. Thus, he wouldn’t stand for that nonsense in his establishment.
Richard was the pinnacle of professionalism and not someone to take lightly.
Voiced By: Wataru Takagi
To read the Dorohedoro review, please click HERE.
Dorohedoro’s entire cast of characters could have dominated this list. It felt only fair to limit it to one. Kaiman was that one.
For a series impossible to define, Dorohedoro needed a protagonist that blurred the line between hero and psychopath. When it was time to go, Kaimen went, and there was nothing that could stand in his way.
Even when surrounded by so much carnage, Kaiman would not lose his energetic personality. For him, it was hit first and ask questions maybe never.
1. Princess Syalis
Voiced By: Inori Minase
Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle
To read the Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle review, please click HERE.
From one of the biggest surprises of 2020.
“When you mix the desire for sleep with a superhuman sense of ingenuity, total lack of self-awareness, and utterly nonexistent sense of personal safety, you get the ultimate incarnation of mayhem.“
–Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle review
She’s cute, crafty, occasionally terrifying, and all-around phenomenal, who hasn’t done anything to get a good night’s sleep.
There were many contenders, but the top sport was never in any doubt.
Anime Hajime names Princess Aurora Sya Liz Goodereste the Best Anime Character of 2020!
3rd Annual Anime Hajime Highlights – Top Characters
No story isn’t much when its characters aren’t worth a damn.
A series might have stellar animation, great music, and an exciting premise. Still, when the people we need to follow are hollow, dull, and bland, everything else becomes meaningless. This list celebrates the characters who held our attention and made their anime memorable.
The 3rd Annual Anime Hajime Highlights continues tomorrow with the Top Animation of 2020. Be sure to follow here on Anime Hajime and on all our social media sites, so you don’t miss out.
For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and we will see you next time.