Top 12 Characters (from respective mediums)

Leader K

Top 12 Characters

Preface:

There are many things that make up a good character and depending on the medium the way a character attaches themselves to the audience changes. That is why i made this a top twelve. Four from movies, four from anime, four from video games. I could go into a little dialogue about the importance of character development, iconic portrayals, the effects fictional people can have on flesh and blood spectators. I could differentiate between the badass’, the villains, the tricksters, the fighters, the total bastards, but i wouldn’t be saying anything you didn’t already know. This list isn’t going to change lives, hell i can never say that these top ten list will go unchanged in the long run, but there fun to make and i hope fun to read.

So let’s get the show on the road. The 100% most important, most interesting, better than all the rest masters of their respective worlds, without a shadow of doubt or shade of gray best characters of all time. :b

 

12. The Badass: Asuka Kazama (Tekken series)


It’s strange that fighting games build entire games around character design alone, yet when it comes to developing said characters almost every game fails before the start button is pressed. Asuka Kazama is not a great step away from any other. In fact she is a character archetype that exists at least once over in all fighting games. The reason she starts my list off is nothing more than personal preference. When me and my friends play Tekken i am not allowed to use Asuka more than once in one setting, because with Asuka on my side i simply do NOT lose! Tekken is my fighting game preference, and Asuka under my control takes over the world, put her in any fighting game and i will still win.

quote: “Man, your weak.”

 

11.  The Everyman: John Marston (Red Dead Redemption)

When Red Dead Redemption hit the shelves last year this scarred up simple talking brute with a heart of gold screamed cliché. But i was pleasantly surprised at how much effort was actually put into his character. Marston was formally an outlaw. After his gang left him for dead he went straight and became a family man. But of course the plot comes a knocking in the form of the government taking John’s family and ordering him to hunt down his old pose in exchange  for a pardon, (Frank James didn’t have this problem). Look up moral ambivalence in the dictionary and you’ll find John Marston. Unable to hide the man he was before, yet walking with a respect and heart that makes those who seek to judge him draw back and rethink their opinion. Regardless of how you play with the games karma system (perhaps to the detriment of the gameplay) Marston plays the hero to the good, devil to the villainous as far as the plot is concerned. He speaks with an ability of understanding that would suggest that were he born into a more privileged life he could be anything from a Officer in the Military or a successful business man. Humble and incorrigible, unrelenting and serious, depending on the situation it is not hard to guess what John Marston you’ll be seeing, but you’ll enjoy it regardless.

quote: “We all have problems, we must solve them together or we die alone.”

 

10. The Psychopath: Ladd Russo (Baccano!)

This is a list where the next character seems to be the opposite of the last. There is nothing humble about Ladd Russo. The number one assassin of the Russo family of Chicago, the most intimidation voice of all time, and a physical frame capable of punching peoples faces to mush, and treating mortal injury like a bee sting. Ladd is the most murderous, insane, ruthless, and absolutely lovable characters of Baccano! And if you’ve ever seen Baccano you’ll know how big a statement that actually is. He is also, on an intellectual standpoint, the dumbest person on this list, but what he lacks in tact he makes up for in carisma. All Ladd wants to do is destroy the lives of those who feel the safest. When death is the furthest thing from your mind their Ladd appears and the slaughter begins. When i think of Ladd i think of a Loony Toons characters resurrected into a six-foot fives, two-hundred forty pound monster that tends to laugh at his own jokes too much. Not particularly deep, but endlessly entertaining, truly the perfect character for a show like Baccano! He exudes confidence and intimidation, is strangely self-aware about how people see him, yet regardlessly infuriated when the same things he would admit himself are mentioned by someone else. He is a man-child to put Will Farrel to shame.

quote: “Thank you! F%$& You! The villain has arrived!”

 

 

9. The Cool Dude: Luke Jackson (Cool Hand Luke)

Luke “Cool Hand” Jackson is the definition of cool, and not just because its part of his name (though that is part of it). He is an agent of chaos in a world that seeks to shut out the human spirit. Where it takes the Joker bombs, knives, silly makeup, and scary faces, Luke needs only a smirk and a snappy comeback. The Joker must force chaos, Luke inspires it, or maybe it would be more appropriate to say Luke Jackson is not an active instrument in chaos and rebellion, he simples know that it exists and plays it so cool that he looks to be controlling it. He lets The Man and the world do what they will to hold him down, and then he’ll try his best to wriggle free to test the man’s aptitude. He is defiant without be malicious, humble yet aware of  just how impacting he can be, honest without being crude, a realist who fights back regardless, if only maybe to prove that he can.

quote: “Yeah, well, sometimes nothing’ can be a real cool hand.”

 

 

8. The Nerd: Arcade Gannon (Fallout: New Vegas)

Being the gay son of a fascist officer whose government is remembered with all the love we today hold for the Nazi party is not exactly best thing for a young mans emotional stability. But Arcade turned out pretty well all things considered (He is in fact the most Intelligent character in the game). With the sharpest mind, and almost equally sharp tongue it is no surprise that Arcade leaves as big a mark as he does in the game of Fallout: New Vegas. He may downplay what a genius he actually he but if he’s not learning dead languages he’s “finding alternative treatments to common illness’ and injuries.” no big deal really. Being one of the few moralist in the Nuclear wasteland that is the world in 2281 does not cripple his understandings of human nature with naivety; he know when to fight. As is the nature of a Fallout game a player can finnish the entire story without ever seeing Arcade; this s a grave mistake for anyone who wants to see the game at its finest.

quote: “I’m hardly a whirlwind of death when left to my own devices, but all right.”

 

7. The Sidekick: R. Dorothy Wainwright (The Big-O)

An android molded after a dead girl in a city where everyone has lost their memory. She spends her days living with the famed Negotiator Roger Smith, helping with choirs, making witty remarks, and more often than not saving his ass when he gets in trouble, (which is often). Aside from Dorothy and Roger’s bickering back and forth like the odd couple that they are, Dorothy’s android body does not plague her with the prejudices androids (especially one that don’t follow the three laws of robotics) often receive in futuristic fiction. In fact everyone loves her, and i do to. Is it her super strength and endurance, her dry wit and hidden sarcasm, her lack of distinguishable expression (despite being fully capable of it) just for the sake of keeping things more traditionally Noir? Yes, yes, yes, and yes! Often times in anime one will find the quiet emotionless girl somewhere in the cast. It’s a stock character and you almost have to have one if your show is targeted to anyone fourteen or younger, but Dorothy is a step above this archetype. She uses all its strengths, such as the hidden wit, and comedic surprise she can provide, but remains an essential part of the cast and despite being inhuman she is the heart of a story mostly driven by pompous villain or that oh aren’t i so clever Roger Smith (no hate, we’re still cool Roger). Dorothy is a self-aware culmination of many different archetypes from all sorts of mediums, this is not hard to see. But the reason these archetypes are copied so often by so many is because done at their best they help to create a great character, Dorothy is at the top of my list for all of them.

quote: “You’re a louse, Roger Smith.”

 

 

6. The anti-hero: Sanjuro (Yojimbo/Sanjuro)

Clint Eastwood is cool, all the respect in the world to that illegitimate father of seven. But ninety percent of the time the original is better than the remake and Toshiro Mifune is the original. Eastwood’s “Man with no Name” is as clever as he is deadly, but there is a man just that much more clever and all the more deadly and he is Sanjuro, the first real anti-hero. Belligerent, stubborn, savage, calculating, comic, and brave are only a few words that make up the powerful wanderer Sanjuro. He could be turning gangs against each other, he could be ruining corrupt political plots, he could be out-smarting thirty men or just as essay slay them all. What ever the odds against him he will fight either with intellect or sword, he will shame himself, or even become the villain, but he will make sure he succeeds in the end.

quote: “Cooper, Two coffins… No, maybe three.”

 

 

5. The Modern Hero: Marge Gunderson (Fargo)

I don’t buy into that crap about police, doctors, and firefighters being those “everyday” heroes that come to our rescue. They are people doing the job they were paid to do, but Marge Gunderson lends a little weight to the argument. The perfect picture of an everyday person who despite her appearance; a little pregnant police officer who looks no more intimidating than a stuffed animal, is by and far the least ridicules and most intelligent person within a  hundred miles of where she happens to walk, (though she does live in Minnesota…). Marge is a shining beacon of good and joy in a movie where nearly everyone else is an unlikeable jackass. She keeps a positive and joyful demeanor that can only be interpreted as a genuine love for life, but this demeanor only helps all the more to hide her matter of fact intelligence, and a seriousness in her job that brings to justice crook and killer alike. She never does to much of anything to become unbelievable, and what she does do is so convincing one has to be on full guard against her.

quote: “There’s more to life than a little money, you now. Don’tcha know that?”

 

4. The Role Model: Kino (Kino’s Journey)

The wanderer who seeks philosophical and spiritual fulfillment in every new place and person. Kino stops in every country she comes across in order to learn about the strange creature that is mankind. She never stays in one place for more than three days, as that is just enough time to gauge what a place is like, with her talking motorcycle and her trusty revolver to protect her she shares stories with fellow  travelers, and does her best not to get involved with a countries politics or judge to harshly on their culture. This might make someone call Kino emotionless, but this in not true. She remains detached from people out of necessity but she is not detached form humanity. But her gun isn’t for show, and she will not hesitate to do what must be done in order to protect herself. Kino is one of the less know modern symbols for adventure and discovery. Not to be held down by singular moments in time, may they be bad or good, she is more focused on the bigger picture of continuing the adventure but appreciating the small things along the way. Her drive is in her belief that there is always something worth learning in lives of people in spite of the ugliness, no maybe because they are ugly.

quote: “These things always happen. Because we’re only human.”

 

3. The Opportunist: Tuco (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly)

It may sound weird to say, but Tuco is the heart of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. If having a brutal, conniving, murderous bastard be the most emotional sympathetic and well expressed character in your movie sounds like a hit to the films credibility, then you haven’t seen the movie, and you haven’t met Tuco. A philosopher when it suits him, a murderer when it suits him, really he’s whatever he has to be to survive. He seems to be both the only one of the main three who both knows his place in the story itself, and still tries to proactively show the audience more than what the title “The Ugly” might say. Even though he knows it to be futile and he will always be the Ugly, he will continue to contradicted what we think of him while at the same time confirming what we already thought of him. He will make you care, and if you refuse he’ll… Well lets just say that you WILL care.

quote: “The world is divided into two types of people, those who have friends and those who are lonely like poor Tuco.”

 

2. The Guardian: Rin Asogi (Rin ~Duaghters of Mnemosyne~)

Rin is around a thousand years old and acts much like the cool grandmother that in the experience of her old age becomes whimsical, wise, and understanding to the plights of younger people, but rather than looking like an old grandmother she is a beautiful women in her late twenties. In my last totally awesome review of Mnemosyne (http://riddlerreviews.net/2011/01/24/leader-k-reviews-rindaughters-of-mnemosyne/) i talked about Rin a lot, so much so that i refused to mention any of the other characters because to reveal them i feel would give away too much about Rin’s story arch, and without Rin’s character, there would be no show. “The secret to being a bore is to tell everything.” I praised Rin’s character so much that i even awarded her an Honorary K, the highest award a show/character/writer/director can receive from me. She is a woman in a world of sex and molestation and though she may be marketed like an actress who went nude so she could win an academy award, the dignity of the character in the confines of her own world escapes the shows provocative and graphic display and reaches the medium where sex and violence becomes Kubrick. She is one of only two characters on my list that in some form or the other saves the entire world from destruction. There needs to be more Rin Asogi just about everywhere.

quote: “It’s such a shame when the good die young.”

 

1. The Savior: Solid Snake (Metal Gear series)

Ever heard of Batman, Spider-Man, Goku? Wimps. For there is no one who can match the might Solid Snake. You know all those things people like to say about Chuck Norris? Plagiarisms. Norris only added his name in after reading about how awesome Snake is. Fluent in six languages, knowledgeable in ALL weaponry, with an IQ of 180, it is no surprise that Snake owns the world, no, the universe. When Indiana Joins survived a nuclear blast by sitting in a refrigerator, i called bullshit, but then I saw it for what it was; it was a live action representation of one way Solid Snake would handle the situation, that made it more believable, but all things considered Snake probably would have just eaten the bomb. That or sneak past it under his trusty cardboard box. Snake is the perfect mix of gruff charm, intelligence, humor, stubbornness, and pure badassery, to trade witticisms with the smartest and out match the most powerful. He defends freedom! He defeats armies! He is Solid Snake!!!

quote: “War’s no reason to end a friendship.”

Those are my picks. What are yours?

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