Playing Favorites: Character Relation

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Shadow Kanji (Persona 4 – 2008)

 

 

Question:  Have you ever wonder why a certain character is your favorite?  The answer can be as simple as you think they’re cool and awesome or  deep such as you have a relatable personal connection to that character.

I believe everyone has that one (or more) character that they can relate to.  You probably relate to the character because of similar personality traits.

We like to see ourselves in characters we favor most.  We appreciate these characters because they remind us of ourselves.  This is how I am with my favorites. I love my favorites because I see myself in them.

Kanji Tatsumi from the 2008 video game Persona 4 is somebody I love.  I can relate to his issues.

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Kanji  has a complex with his identity as a man.  He enjoys sewing, knitting, and cute things.

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Generally speaking, those hobbies are stereotyped as feminine and thus, he has a complex about his masculinity and sexuality.

Years prior to Persona 4, Kanji was bullied for his hobbies.  He was taunted with homophobic slurs and other forms of name calling by his classmates.  This fucked him up mentality.

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Young Kanji (Persona 4 manga – 2012)

 

Kanji develops a tough guy facade to combat (and mask) his insecuirties. He bleaches his hair blonde, starts weight lifting, pierces his ears, and wear attire to reflect his “manliness”.

It’s a bullshit front to hide his unresolved issues.

Kanji would eventually accept himself. He gains confidence  embracing his “feminine” hobbies and learn to be open with his passion (it’s a story best saved for a more in-depth analysis post in the future).

Kanji’s struggle with his identity and self-acceptance was a reminder of my teen years.  My enjoyment of  nerdy hobbies such as video games and anime resulted in  being bullied and called an “oreo” (black on the outside, white on the inside) and being accused of “acting white”.

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An “Oreo” or whatever.  Stupid ass term.

 

Shit was goofy and baseless but it impacted me mentality growing up.

I knew I was black.   I knew I wasn’t trying to be white.  However, being fuck with and bullied for my hobbies by my black peers fucked my head up.

I developed a fear of expressing my nerdiness openly. I was afraid that people would judge me for being black and nerdy. Didn’t help that I  had  low self esteem pile on as well.

It took going to college to get over this fear.  In college, I found other black peers who openly enjoy nerdy things and being conformable with both their racial and nerd identity.

I was inspired to do the same.  To say fuck the judgement niggas and do me. To embrace myself.  I became my true self and felt accepted.

Today, I am not only just confident in myself but also I am happy.  Happy that I finally could be me and be understood without fear. Happy that I was able to accept who I am.
Kanji’s issues with his identity and accepting who he was reminded me of my younger days: A young kid dealing with his own issues with it and coming to terms with  loving myself.

It was a struggle of self-conscious issues and fear of rejection but I learned to overcome those fears.

When it comes to relating to an anime character I would say  Hotaru Tomoe from Pretty Solider Sailor Moon is one of my top choice.

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Hotaru Tomoe (Sailor Moon Infinity – 1994)

 

I’m a huge fanboy of the Hotaru/Saturn character. While it is dope that she can blow up a planet or even a  galaxy with her powers, my love for the character comes from finding parallels in her core personality in Sailor Moon Super (SMS) and me growing up.

Hotaru in SMS  is introduced as a shy, quiet, socially awkward, bullied and weird girl who doesn’t have any friends (prior to meeting Chibi-Usa and the Inner Sailor Scouts).   She keeps to herself and doesn’t  interact with othrrs due to her  fears of being shun, bullied and teased by others.
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Hotaru’s fears resulted from being mocked and rejected by her peers because of her general weirdness (her healing powers and random, but violent, mood swings from being possessed by Mistress 9) so it’s understanding why she did not open up to anyone before befriending Chibi-Usa.

Hotaru first encountered Chibi-Usa,who had hurt herself chasing her hat. Seeing her hurt, Hotaru offer to heal  Chibi-Usa’s wound.

Chibi-Usa was amazed by her power. Hotaru was surprised that Chibi-Usa didn’t freak out or thought of her as weird or creepy as others thought of her powers in the past.

 

(Granted Chibi-Usa IS a superpowered time traveling princess like Future Trunks from Dragon Ball Z. Healing factor ain’t shit to her but I am getting off topic).

The two became best friends from that day forth.  Hotaru didn’t dwell on how different she was from her new friend because she was just happy to be accepted for who she was. She was able to open up to somebody.

 

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“That’s my best friend, that’s my best friend, flexin”

Growing up, I was bullied a lot for my weirdness and awkward nature. I’m also rather  shy and quiet (expect when I am drunk. I am not quiet nor shy when drunk).

It takes a while for me to open up to people due to my own fears from the past (the fear isn’t as bad as it used to be in my youth). If I do open up to somebody its because I vavule that person deeply and I feel like they will accept me.

I get overwhelm with joy each time I can connect with somebody despite how different I feel about myself.  It is a great feeling to be accept despite what fears may hold me back.

To conclude,  I believe everyone has at least one  character they love because of one or many similar triat.  Being able to connect with a character is a wonderful feeling because you see yourself in him or her.

I was able to see myself in Kanji from Persona 4 and Hotaru from Sailor Moon S because I shared similar traits those characters had.  They became some of my favorite characters in their respected medium because of the parallels I had with their personality.

 

(I am never fucking editing on a phone ever again)

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