Day 03: “I Won’t Be Erased So Easily!” & “I Musn’t Run Away”

Keiichi Maebara

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My first favorite male anime character of all time is Keiichi Maebara from the Higurashi series. It isn’t easy to put into words why I love Keiichi so much but there are many reasons why I love him.

Keiichi’s personality is most admirable, in my opinion, of any of the Higurashi cast. Keiichi is intelligent, cares about his friends, and has a way with words. Keiichi is a strong character with a quick temper who happens to be the butt of everyone’s jokes. Keiichi came to Hinamizawa from a big city where he was detached from society, bored, and lashed out by attacking small children with a pellet gun. Keiichi becomes suspicious of his friends later because he has kept this a secret from them and believes that they are keeping secrets from him.

Despite his distrust of his friends in the Demoned Away Arc, it is revealed that Keiichi cares deeply for all of his friends in Hinamizawa. In some arcs, Keiichi is seen trying to prove that he is trusting of his friends and that they must trust him as well. This is evident in the Atonement Arc when he gets his friends to ban together to protect Rena Ryuugu’s secret. We also see this in the Massacre Arc when Keiichi sacrifices his life so that his friends can continue on against the enemies that are trying to kill them. Keiichi believes that their fate is not decided and unifies his friends so that they can break the endless cycle of death they are trapped in.

“Everyone, live on.”

“We will break this so called “fate”, together.” – to Rena Ryuugu, Rika Furude, Satoko Houjou, Mion Sonozaki and Hanyuu Furude

Basically, Keiichi is the best and worst (if he has a baseball bat) friend that you can have around. He is out-going, witty, and willing to lay down his life for his friends. Keiichi is important to me because he is a strong-willed and inspiring character. He is the friend that everyone wishes they were and wishes they had. Keiichi Maebara is by-far one of the best written characters because we see so many sides to him, He is intelligent but acts the fool to make his friends smile but he is always there when you need him.

No matter how many times I watch Higurashi, I find more and more things I love about Keiichi. I love his sense of humor, his determination, and his love for his friends. Keiichi is a well-rounded character that shows how setting can change a person and that the past doesn’t have to hold you back. Keiichi is a representation that changes can occur and humans can take hold of their fate.

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Shinji Ikari

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After much deliberation, I honestly didn’t expect to pick Shinji Ikari as one of my favorite male characters. And he certainly isn’t the number one male character in my book but I found that he held a big enough place in my heart to be mentioned as one of my favorite male characters.

“What’s wrong with running away from reality if it sucks?! (Episode 19)”

Shinji Ikari is a character that I have a love-hate relationship with. He annoys me to no end and yes, I chose him because he is a perfect representation of adolescent individuals who are struggling with identity and depression.

Shinji is a complex character who goes through a decent amount of growth throughout the Evangelion franchise. In the beginning of the original anime, Shinji is detached, antisocial, and whiny. Through the series, we see him change as he becomes more open and determined, even as he struggles with his own self-worth and his reason for living. Shinji is able to make friends with the kids in his class and admit his affection for Kaworu Nagisa – who is very much like Shinji in that he was lonely and alone.

“[introspectively] I hate myself. But, maybe, maybe I could love myself. Maybe, my life can have a greater value. That’s right!. I am no more or less than myself. I am me! I want to be myself! I want to continue existing in this world! My life is worth living here! (Episode 26)”

“Kaworu said he loved me. I’ve never heard such kindness before. He was like me. And he was like Ayanami. I liked him, too. Kaworu should have survived. He was much better than I am. Kaworu should have survived, not me! He deserved to live.(Episode 24)”

Evangelion has had many spin-offs and interpretations and yet one thing remains the same – Shinji’s struggle to find his place in the world. To me, Shinji Ikari is worthy of being called one of my favorite male characters because he has struggled so much. He isn’t the typical “shounen” hero who is strong and often overflows with confidence. No, most of Shinji’s power doesn’t come from himself; he is a wimpy main character that lacks in self-esteem and confidence. Shinji is a heavy contender for being one of my favorite males because, aside from giant robots, he feels like a genuine teenager or person who is struggling with feelings of worthlessness and wanting to die. Shinji is nowhere near a perfect character and that’s what makes him so wonderful. He is, to me, one of the most emotionally realistic anime characters I have seen.

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