The fifth day of the anime challenge is an interesting one in that you’re asked to talk about which character you identify with. For me, having been watching anime since the late 80s or my late teens, I’ve really gone through different iterations of identification over the years with some parts lingering. As we age and go through the years, we do change a fair bit in who we are so it’s not like we’re one person for all time. Depending on your age, you may find yourself only able to draw up one comparison, but if you’re moving through the years, you could find a few different versions of yourself and really cringe at it in a lot of ways.
Shinji – Neon Genesis Evangelion
When I was in my teenage years, I find that I could identify easily with Shinji from Neon Genesis Evangelion in terms of personality. I had a lot of anger under the surface that rarely manifested itself, but I was able to find a cathartic use for it by playing video games. Of course, Shinji piloted Eva’s, but the general idea is there in that the anger and aggression found its way out. For the most part, though, I was a very withdrawn teenager with few friends, kept to myself, and had a meek attitude as I suffered through the verbal and physical abuse of others. I did not, however, masturbate over the comatose bodies of any of my fellow classmates.
Tanaka – Otaku no Video
When I hit my twenties and for quite a few years, I also felt that Tanaka was the one that I was like in a lot of ways. I had a small group of friends of similar but different interests, no girlfriend to speak of and a real passion for my hobbies. I was social in my select group of friends and had a lot of fun with them, but if I was put into different social situations I’d freeze up and panic. It was the type of situation where talking to people was difficult, unless it was online where I could be myself, and it was at the point where if someone was walking down the same sidewalk as me coming towards me, I’d find somewhere else to be. That I could go from outgoing, informed and passionate to meek was a transition stage from where I was as a teenager.
Hiroyuki Miyazwa – Kare Kano
As I ended up being a family man, and raising two girls that are a couple of years apart, I saw my future foretold when I was introduced to the anime version of this character in Kare Kano. Raising two girls with strong personalities and a strong one himself, he’s the kind of silly, wacky yet stern and highly loving father who does his best to set limits. It’s the kind of father character that seeks to find a balance but ends up having perhaps a bit too much fun at his kids expense, but it produces something for the daughters that will last them for an age as they end up wanting a man like that in their lives. Someone that will understand them, make them smile and love them unconditionally. I’ve had much the same relationship with my kids as Hiroyuki has with his at this point and some of the parallels are fun and amusing to see.
Mr. Moroboshi – Usrusei Yatsura
My eventual future. I can see it plainly where things just become so overwhelming because of the kids that I’ll and up just sitting there reading the paper (ok, ok, a tablet device) and not looking at what’s going on around me because of how crazy it gets. While he does flip out from time to time, and you can’t blame the guy because of what he has to live with, he has the patience of a saint otherwise and does what he can to get away with things while still making sure that his child suffers because of the things that are brought on by him. A quiet way to end things after the way that life has ended up because of the children and the things they get into.