10 Best Anime Series Where Every Character Matters
Not all characters in a given anime will have the same weight. Some characters just don’t matter. Many other characters are unique to their respective shows. It’s rare for a series to have all of its characters stand out, as time and story constraints usually don’t allow for more exploration beyond the main cast.
Anime series that care about all of their characters have to walk a fine line between expanding characters into the world and bloating the story with unnecessary backstory. The best anime series know how to balance both the story and the characters within it to create a rich world with complex characters.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood The story is expansive, with the main characters, Edward and Alphonse Elric, traversing the entire fictional land of Amestris in their search for a philosopher’s stone. With such a vast setting also comes a long list of characters.
What is really great Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is that all of the characters Ed and Al encounter end up being very important to the story, with the majority of them even showing up in the final battle. No matter how minor a character seems, it’s still important to the whole plot to Fullmetal Alchemist.
9/10 Fruits Basket (2019) delicately weaves all of its characters into the storyline
The plot of Fruit basket looks simple on the surface. It is a love story between a sweet teenager and a clan of people whose family hosts the spirits of the Chinese zodiac. Beneath the Surface is an anime about generational trauma, heartbreak, and love.
Each member of the Zodiac has a role to play in Fruit basket and a tragic story that goes with it. However, it does not stop at the Sohma clan. Each character has a role in this overall narrative. Even the typical shojo villain has a story that pushes the plot forward.
8/10 Attack On Titan honors its characters through their sacrifices
At first glance, it would not seem The attack of the Titans values its characters, considering how often these characters are unceremoniously killed off. It’s hard to believe someone like Petra or Farlan adds to the narrative.
However, what makes these characters significant are their sacrifices. Even years later in the story, characters who died suddenly or barely made it onto the screen are honored among the dead and used to bolster the main characters against the next threat. The attack of the Titans wants his audience to know that these characters are not forgotten and that they matter.
7/10 Free! Makes human connection the focal point of its story
Not all anime are action-packed, long-winded drama stories. Some just talk about teenagers swimming. Despite being such a small and mundane story, Free! continues to collect characters as the series progresses.
The fact that all these characters are important and add more to the life of the protagonist Haruka Nanase seems to be the central theme of Free!. The idea that connection makes the individual stronger is a constant theme throughout all three seasons and the films. Each character in Free! has something unique to add to the story. No character is forgotten, no matter how small.
6/10 Black clover leaves no character behind
black clover has an abundance of characters, all with different personalities and skills. There are so many characters, in fact, that viewers might think many of them are unique characters who don’t get much screen time or backstory.
However, this is not the case. Each character in black clover is essential and contributes to its history. Even Asta’s one-time date Rebecca keeps popping up and pushing the plot forward. Every character, from the orphans of Hage Village to the Witch King himself, gets an important moment to shine.
5/10 Tokyo Mew Mew puts all of its characters to good use
Tokyo Mew Mew is not as popular as other magical girl shows like Sailor Moon and Revolutionary Girl Utena. However, it’s still a wonderful anime with a great premise and message. Its small cast mainly focuses on the five Mew Mews and their benefactors.
A smaller cast allows more time to develop all the characters and give them important roles. Even the love interest, Masaya Aoyama, plays a major role in the events of the series. Both the original Tokyo Mew Mew the anime and the 2022 reboot allow each character to develop and have their purpose.
4/10 Bungou Stray Dogs’ Premise Lets All Its Characters Shine
The nature of Bungou Stray Dogs makes it almost necessary that every character be important. Each character in this series is based on an author, and their powers, called in-universe abilities, come from one of their most famous works.
Any series would struggle to balance that many characters, but Bungou Stray Dogs consistently allows even minor characters to have important moments and individual motivations. Naming each character after an author allows for more exploration of that character, giving it more importance in the plot.
3/10 Sasaki & Miyano Brings Their Characters Together With The Power Of Boy Love
Although this is an anime about two high school students who fall in love, Sasaki and Miyano focuses heavily on its ensemble cast. Miyano’s two friends have an important role in the story, and all of Sasaki’s classmates have their moments to shine.
Even their high school president has an entire episode devoted to his backstory. The majority of the plots of these characters are related to the central theme of Sasaki and Miyano, sharing BL manga in a fun and interesting way. This makes for a fun series with a tight and fleshed out cast.
2/10 Sk8 The Infinity’s Small Cast Allows For Greater Character Exploration
sk8 infinity has a fairly small ensemble distribution. The majority of its actors are skateboarders, with the rest being family members or friends. It’s a much smaller cast than is usual in the sports anime genre.
For this reason, the story of sk8 infinity is able to tell a very character-driven story with all of its actors. Everyone from the skateboard store manager to the main villain’s personal assistant has a constant drive that fuels the story without bogging it down.
1/10 Haikyu!! Shows viewers the inner thoughts of all teams
Haikyu!! is widely regarded as one of the best sports anime. One of the main reasons people cite his greatness is the way the show focuses on the main team, Karasuno, and the other teams that Karasuno encounters in their bid for the top.
Haikyu!! spends much of its execution inside the heads of the main characters and their rivals. Each character on each team is assigned a distinct personality and story. It makes the audience feel the ups and downs of volleyball with all the characters.
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