Main Character Types
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A character HAS to be relatable to be a “good” character, right? That’s what everyone refers to when they’re criticizing something they don’t like. Conversely, when a show features a relatable character, the show is often praised. This is likely why many isekai characters are average japanese men; moreso, these characters may also turn out to be the “otaku” stereotype, such as Natsuki Subaru from Re:Zero.
Personally, I have much more fun with characters that are only partially relatable. For example, Kazuma from KonoSuba is relatable because of his social incorrectness. Many people would also feel annoyed by Aqua’s condescending nature, but would not banter with her because of her status as a goddess.
Scenes like this from KonoSuba are funny because Kazuma expresses his relatable emotions in an unrelatable way.
Personally, my favorite is the “literally me” archetype. I’m not sure if there’s a solid title or description for these types of characters, but I would describe them as anti-social, quiet characters that solve their problems in unconventional ways. Examples of this include (but are not limited to): Hikigaya Hachiman from OreGairu, Ayanokouji Kiyotaka from Classroom of the Elite, Naofumi Iwatani from The Rising of the Shield Hero, Keima Katsuragi from The World God Only Knows, Kobayashi from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Shiroe from Log Horizon, and Araragi Koyomi from Kizumonogatari. I have also been told that Sakuta Azusagawa from Bunny Girl Senpai and Hotaro Oreki from Hyouka fall in the same vein.
If your anime’s protagonist falls under this category, it’s very easy for me to watch your show. This is most likely why I favor anime over other shows, since this archetype seems to be pretty rare for main characters in western shows. The only character I can think of that fits in this vein is Sherlock from BBC's adaptation of Sherlock Holmes.
My favorites from the above are Hikigaya Hachiman, Ayanokouji Kiyotaka, and Koyomi Araragi. Shoutout to @Muco for suggesting Classroom of the Elite to me; it was an extremely enjoyable show.
Bonus points if your character has angry/bored eyes.
On the other hand, I find it very hard to watch shows with timid main characters. For example, I still haven’t finished Neon Genesis Evangelion or Future Diary, and it was hard for me to watch two seasons of My Hero Academia. I find it fine when the main character develops, such as in Parasyte: the maxim, but even then, these characters are hard to stomach.
Now, I need to clarify: I am not attacking you if you like these types of character. I don’t think that these characters are bad writing, either. Characters that go from zero to hero are satisfying to watch and easy to write and develop.
My liking of "literally me" characters is just that: a preference. What about you? What do you like in an anime’s main character?
Do you like the hothead, like Asta from Black Clover? This type of character is pretty common in shounen, like Naruto Uzumaki and Shoyo Hinata.
Or do you like the bantering type, like Fuutarou Uesugi from Quintessential Quintuplets? This is a fun archetype, more common in comedy anime, but also exists in shows like Clannad.
Maybe you prefer the vengeful type, like Tanya Degurechaff from Youjo Senki.
There's also the A-hole characters, like Jotaro Kujo from Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders.
Another character could be the silent and/or mysterious type, like Afro Samurai's main character.
Or maybe you have a complete opposite opinion of me, and like timid main characters, like Deku from My Hero Academia.
Thanks for reading!