Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Top Anime Husbands

This post is inspired by a translated article on Sankaku Complex where Japanese women voted on who they thought would be ideal husbands among anime characters, and with the exception of Sakata Gintoki they were pretty much all ridiculous nominees, mostly shounen lead characters, with no basis beyond "Kyaaaaa cho Kawaii". I mean, Ichigo was on there for chrissakes. Now it's possible that this poll was for Shounen Jump characters only (though it's not) or for currently running anime (maybe) but, after looking at both the list of husbands and wives, Peterson and I decided that we would do a corrected version of these lists, albeit like a month late.

For reference here is the husbands' list and here is the wives list. These links are absolutely not safe for work. Because I didn't feel like stretching my position on the topic thin in order to add up to 10, my list only includes 6 men. It is also in no particular order.

Okajima Rokuro -

For the unflinching shoot first, ask questions later badass in you, "Rock" is the perfect counter-balance. Even-tempered, yet quick witted and sly when the situation calls for it, Rock first appears to us viewers as the typical Japanese salaryman, bowing his head to his superiors, doing whatever is asked of him without questions, the typical example of the spineless "woe is me" main character, but he changes while in Roanapur. His struggle against losing his core moral values is admirable when you see how many others have already lost themselves to the evil of the city. He seems to still be unaware of his effect on Two Hands Revy, but suffice it to say, if something were to happen to him, a certain red-haired Chinese sociopath would most certainly go apeshit on all of Roanapur.

On to the qualities that I believe would qualify him to be a good husband, fictional character that he is. He is a man of exceptional character, who refused to allow the blackness of Roanapur to taint his soul, though he might be fighting a losing battle. His sympathetic heart has shown him to have a strong affinity with the children that are unlucky enough to be dragged into Roanpur and is the only character to openly mourn for the terrible situations they were born into, and this affinity may be at the root cause of his concern for Revy. His fatherly desire to protect children is shown when he meets Gretel (Hansel?) in her (his?) last moments, the Japanese school girl (Yukio) who is left in charge of a Yakuza clan and Garcia. Rock is far from the strongest character in the series, he seemingly refuses to carry a gun at all costs, and when he does decide to show that he has balls it is awesome, but always at the most inopportune moment and in the face of people who would likely put a bullet in his brain. However, Rock represents the small glow of hope for the citizens of Roanapur that things don't have to always be the shit sandwich they are, and makes no attempt to change the people around him, accepting them for who they are despite the fact that they often do things against his personal moral code in order to survive. He however, in contrast to your typical character put in his situation is not blindly optimistic and an all-around annoying cunt. Instead he has a very realistic view of the world around him, due to this experience opening his eyes and he realizes that he does not want to go back to the world that turned its back on him. Unlike the typical, happy-go-lucky fuck-ups that tend to get paired with badass gun-toting chicks, Rock may disapprove of some of the actions Revy takes but he seems to now understand the position her past has forced her to take and makes no attempt to "save her" and change her by force into a sweet, loving housewife, something I heartilly aprove of.

Vincent Law -

When we first meet him, he's a meek semi-stalker who wordlessly does everything demanded of him by the woman he harbors an overpowering love for. Of course the show reveals to us in episode 1 that we've been lied to when Vincent (Autoreiv Pino in tow) escapes the oppressive Romdeau/Romdo dome in search of himself and the truth and as Real (the stalkee) watches the door close and separate them he opens his eyes for the first time and we are treated to Fox Eyes and the glare of evil. Vince is no instant winner though, a refugee from the exploded Moscow dome, he is an amnesiac and spends quite a few of the early episodes going through various degrees of the mopey syndrome, until he is finally forced to accept his identity as a Proxy (beings quite close to Gods) and specifically the Ergo Proxy, Proxy #13 with the role of wiping out the other proxies put in places of authority by the human beings that fleed earth after they fucked it over with nukes.

Considering that Vincent starts out as an annoying pussy and later matures into the most dangerous motherfucker on earth that will die when exposed to sunlight, you might be wondering to yourself, "Why the fuck is he qualified to be on this list?" Even if you're not, I'm telling you anyway. Again, the female in this situation is a gun-toting badass, but in Real's case that's only a front put up to hide that she's simply a scared, sheltered, spoiled little girl suddenly faced with the reality that everything she's ever believed to be true has been a lie and that her identity was manufactured, and as proud as she is, she is only a science experiment, facilitated by her grandfather who only wants to harness the power of the proxies. When her world collapses and her personal Autoreiv dies cursing her after awakening (nevermind that he's right in calling her a bitch), Vincent is the only person left in her life and he shows unflinching loyalty to her as they both search for the truth. "Vincent" is a manufactured personality created by Ergo Proxy in order to escape his destiny, but he somehow surpasses that and in spite of being essentially a monster (ignoring that the "humans" in this show are pretty much clones created by the proxies) he protects Real at all costs, even from himself. And faced with his true love at the end of the show, Monad Proxy, (who incidentally kind of screwed him over) the creature that Real is cloned from, his unending loyalty leads him to choose the woman that Vincent loves, and does not follow Ergo Proxy's initial love to Icarus' fate. And of course, in Vincent's relationship with the child-autoreiv Pino, he shows that he is more than capable of being a loving Father and displays the ability to be both playful and strict.

Roy Mustang -

Who wouldn't want to marry a man that openly declares that his motivation behind his desire to become Fuhrer is to make all of the women in the military wear miniskirts? A foppish, airheaded playboy on first glance (much like Bruce Wayne, yay Batman) the Flame Alchemist is Edward Elric's boss and takes every opportunity he can to antagonize him. However, despite appearances he is a brilliant commander and inspires fierce loyalty in his subordinates, despite his often insane ramblings about miniskirts. A veteran of the Ishval/Ishbal war, Roy is disgusted by the things he was forced to do and with the corruption at the very head of their power structure and aims to change things from the top. It is this ambition that draws our list's third gun-toting badass Riza Hawkeye to him despite all of his character flaws. The two of them have been acquainted with each other from the time when he was studying Flame Alchemy under her father before he ever became a State Alchemist, and she followed him into the war in order to keep him alive and protect his dreams.

Girl crush on Hawkeye aside, beneath his cool, aloof front, Mustang is a caring and compassionate man who is well aware of the uncomfortable position his ambition will put his subordinates in and he was wracked with guilt when Havoc was paralyzed by the Homonculus Lust and he responded by killing her with fire. I think the overwhelming loyalty of the men in his command, Havoc especially is a fine testament to the quality of man that he is.

Guts -

Ichigo is essentially a G-Rated, dumbed down, shameless Shonen Jump ripoff of this man. Only two things matter to him (and that's one more than Ichigo btw): fighting to become stronger, and the absolute safety of his woman above all else. Now before you go "Hey Foxy, so far all of the female counterparts have been gun-toting badasses" I'll have you know that Casca was a sword-wielding badass, so there. In Guts and Casca's case though, unlike Rock and Mustang and perhaps Vincent to some degree, Casca would never have been capable of protecting Guts, whether we're speaking of before or after the eclipse. Not saying that she was never his equal or was never able to protect herself, it's just that Guts is that far beyond her in terms of physical ability and fighting skill. While that cockbag Griffith was the tatician of the Band of the Hawks, Casca definitely brought the brains to the relationship. Unfortunately after most of the Hawks were killed off by Griffith's selfish wish and he subsequently raped Casca right in front of Guts knowing that the two of them had fallen in love, when he met her next she had regressed mentally to the point of a toddler. It was then that we saw this rash, blunt, fight first, ask questions later man truly tested. Driven to protect her no matter what sacrifices he had to make, Guts was consumed by the overwhelming desire for revenge against the man who had been his best friend, the man who had turned the willfull, strong Casca into this shell of herself.

It's these qualities that make Guts into a weird sort of hero. Since he and Casca are both marked as sacrifices for the Eclipse, they are attacked constantly by demons that wish to feed on them, and he beats them back, but outside of this he does not seem all that willing to go out of his way to hunt creatures that aren't getting in his way. Basically if they don't cross his path he doesn't kill rampaging demons for the "greater good". Though he has picked up companions in his journey, if he had to choose between saving any one of them and saving Casca, I hope the poor bastards can swim. Not only that, but he is determined to slaughter a man who the rest of the world seems to be embracing as a Jesus-like figure. I remain convinced that if Casca dies at some point his pure, blind rage will drive him to go an absolute apeshit killing rampage the likes of which we have never seen.

Aside from his loyalty and his clear love for Casca, the other desirable quality that this manga allows to us to witness is his skill with children. Guts is fairly awkward with Isidro (who idolizes him) and Schierke (who has a crush on him) and he treats them both like adults, albeit very short ones, and perhaps this is a side-effect of him having to grow up very quickly, after being born from the corpse of a woman that was executed by hanging and then being sold into slavery by his adoptive father. When he is faced by his child with Casca (long story, Femto's demon sperm fused with the already developing child in order to create a human body for himself, Casca's body spontaneously aborted the child and the still-living fetus managed to escape before Guts could kill the abomination) he proves his inability to relate to children and scares the boy off. It is this same hulking manner and brutality that fightens the child-like Casca, but in the short time that their son spends with them before disappearing as abruptly as he appeared they warm up to each other and even have a touching family moment.

Sakata Gintoki -

The one character from the original list I can understand them including, the titular character of the series Gintama, he is perhaps the poorest and most morally bankrupt character on this list. A veteran of the war against alien occupation Gin is currently a father/older brother figure to a teenage boy and preteen girl and he is completely ruining them forever. While his methods are suspect, he does teach them genuinely important lessons about growing up (as long as it's in a full story arc and not a mini-arc). They'll probably grow up to be twisted perverts, but still good people at the heart. While Gin's business isn't exactly flourishing and he has problems making money due to his tendency to take on cases where people have no ability to pay him, he, Shinpachi and Kagura do not seem to go hungry and there is still a roof over their heads, except for that one time when it was destroyed. Shinpachi's older sister Otae (who coincidentally is an awesome naginata wielding sociopath) thinks that he's a pervert with suspect morals but she trusts him implicitly with her brother's safety and continued employment.

Maes Hughes -

A sweet, loving family-first man, at the time that I am writing this he is the only of the men on this list to take on the dual roles of husband and father in th course of the manga/anime he originated in. Overwhelmed with love for his wife and young daughter and acutely aware of how lucky he was to have them both, Maes' joy and pride at his young daughter's every day of life was a bit suffocating and kind of creepy but anyone that's ever been a parent can understand where he was coming from. He was Mustang's best friend and in addition to Hawkeye and Havoc were the members of his inner circle, and was tragically cut down in the line of duty before we ever got to learn much about him. However, that did not stop us from mourning alongside his daughter when she earnestly questioned why they were burying Daddy when he still had so much work left to do. Now if you excuse me I need to go cry.

Back. The coldly logical person inside me points out that while on this list Maes certainly possessed the most husbandly characteristics he also did die in the line of duty which sort of defeats the whole purpose, as your role as a husband and father is to be there for your wife and children, but he had no control over the fact that Envy was a total dickhole.

LOL the majority of these dudes have insane badass female counterparts that keep them in check.

Since my list is short 4 guys, you're welcome to throw in your suggestions to the ring. I just ask that you provide me with a well thought out reason as to why you think your guy(s) qualifies.


Peter said...

Nice list of husbands. I won't be able to fill in the rest of the guys, but I can pick my own top wife list. I'm too lazy(stupid) to make my own blog post, so thank god for comments. I'll use the same type of sense you use to make my list of women. So alas, here's my top Wife list.

Reina - Queen's Blade
Tomoe - Queen's Blade
Echidna - Queen's Blade
Cattleya - Queen's Blade
Claudette - Queen's Blade
Annelotte - Queen's Blade
Melona - Queen's Blade
Risty - Queen's Blade
Nanael - Queen's Blade


Muneer Ahmed said...

You can discover the scenes with encoded subtitles in various dialects, including English and French, which guarantees the accommodation of all watchers.

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