Voiced by: Japanese – Voiced by: Katsuji Mori; English – Peter Fernandez
If you want to talk about the ultimate car you want how can you go wrong with the Mach 5? Just like the entry with Astro Boy earlier, what elevates Speed Racer is how he help usher anime to the states. Even 40 years later you can mention Speed Racer and there will be plenty of people who will know who you are talking about. Like most anything we watch or read we know that the hero would win but it was always fun to see what Speed would be able to do with the Mach 5 to pull out the win and how Racer X would help him win/survive the race.
Tribute Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AMh2Ho346c
First appearance: Naruto Episode 1 – Enter: Uzumaki Naruto
Voiced by: Japanese – Junko Takeuchi; English – Maile Flanagan
In terms of popularity you won’t find a more popular series than Naruto here in the states with the manga making it in the Top 10 best selling list in TPB and manga whenever releases a new volume. And recently Disney XD started showing the Part II of Naruto called Naruto: Shippuden. I still question why Cartoon Network allowed Naruto to escape their grasp especially since the series has yet to reach its best as the Part II of Naruto is even better in the manga and the anime should follow suit.
But enough of my bitching on that subject. Naruto Uzumaki on his own right is probably a character if I was making this list 10 or 20 years down the line would most likely break my top 5 favorite anime characters. Even though it has been shown that Naruto isn’t the most popular character of his own series I actually prefer him over Sasuke, who is the #1 fan favorite character of the series.
Naruto is a much more relatable character as everything he does and accomplishes is through hard work and dedication. He has to earn the respect of everyone in his village that has vilified him since he was born because of being the container of the Nine Tailed Fox. Throughout Part I of the series he work hard to get that respect and now in Part II we see how much Naruto has matured so far as he goes from being a kid looking for respect to a young man out to protect his friends and village. Though Naruto: Shippuden has only started up if the manga is any example the anime should only get better as there are a lot of great fights that Naruto and everyone in the series get into.
First Appearance: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Episode 1 – The Day a New Demon was Born
Voiced by: Japanese – Jun Fukuyama; English – Johnny Yong Bosch
For those who have read my reviews of Code Geass you will know I questioned how rushed the story in R2 as well as a lot of the character development that happened at the end of the series. But the one thing that always kept the anime series enjoyable was what Lelouch Lamperouge did throughout the series. Even though many of the characters around him become very unwatchable due to how the writers of the series developed them in the latter half of R2 Lelouch was still the well writing master strategist until the end. And throughout the series, from beginning to end, it was a mystery of how Lelouch’s story was going to end as there were many ways it could have gone. And man when we got to the ending it was a jaw dropper.
What is interesting about Lelouch is that it is a bit hard to describe him as he is a mix of Light Yagami and some of your typical Sunrise heroes like you’ll find in the Gundam series. And if you take a look at his murder record he is probably only beaten out by Light Yagami. But still unlike Light who is the villain of his series Lelouch is unquestionably the hero of Code Geass. Everything Lelouch did was not necessarily for himself but to create a much better and safer world for his sister and friends he cared about.
And there are many interpretations of if Lelouch actually did die at the end of R2, with some believing him alive and others believing him to be dead. I myself fall under those who think he did die as it is a much better ending for his character and think it is actually cruel to think that he is alive in the end making his little sister he cared so much about think he was dead. Also his death really gives a lot more weight to what his character did and why he should be seen as a true hero who put others above himself as he committed the ultimate sacrifice by sacrificing not only his life but his name in order for the world improve and work together to make better tomorrow.
First Appearance: One Piece Episode 1 – I am Going to be King of the Pirates
Voiced by: Japanese – Mayumi Takana; English – Colleen Clinkenbeard
As I mentioned earlier with Roronoa Zolo it is a shame that One Piece never got a shot at catching as it is my favorite manga and anime’s. And if you want to think of who is this generations Goku it is Monkey D. Luffy. Luffy has just about the same simple and overeating personality that Goku have. And you think I am lying about this than go try and find the Cross Epoch one-shot manga crossover between Dragon Ball and One Piece that was written by Akira Toriyama , creator of Dragon Ball, and Eiichira Oda. Also if you can find the one-shot anime that both Luffy and Goku appeared in that was only shown at an event over in Japan.
Even though Luffy is this generations Goku he is a great character in his own right. It helps that I am a sucker for stories based about pirates, which is why I love the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. One Piece is an epic story centered around Luffy’s trying to become Pirate King. And like any great character Luffy does have a great supporting cast in his crew The Strawhats. Each character is a great balance for Luffy’s simple personality.
Also like most a lot of Goku-type characters, even though Luffy has a simple personality he is pretty smart when it comes to fighting his opponent. With his powers from the Gum Gum Devil’s Fruit his elastic ability, that is similar to Mr. Fantastics powers, make him a very unpredictable fighter. And unlike his second mate, Roronoa Zolo, Luffy is one of those that creates’ attacks as fight goes along and is a great improviser in fights. And because of this it makes his fights fun to watch.
Voiced by: Japanese – Mamoru Miyano; English – Brad Swaile
For me there has never been a show that had me more captivated and on the edge of my seat waiting to see what was going to happen in the next episode more than Death Note. This is largely takes to the protagonist of the series Light Yagami. It is a rare thing to have the protagonist of a series to also be the villain and it’s even rarer for it to be so much fun to read and watch. But in the case of Light that is what happened as I tuned in every week to see what was going to be the next brilliant idea and strategy to outwit his nemesis, L.
Though Vegeta was the original bastard character, the king of bastard characters is Light. No one else took more pleasure in killing people of he judged as not worthy to be part of his world where he thought himself as God. And the only reason he would allow people to live on for as long as they did was just to use them for his own master plans (cough*Misa*cough). And though we are all thought that murder and death is wrong watching Light do his thing by planning out his next brilliant strategy to really become the God he already was in his own mind.