Yerocha has issued a challenge for people to choose their ideal anime cast. We’re supposed to choose five members of our ideal cast that make up the Five Man Band: the Hero, the Lancer (hero’s complement), the Big Guy, the Smart Man, and the Chick, plus the Big Bad.
Of course, the ideal cast probably won’t make the ideal anime. A good story is not so much about the individual pieces as it is about how those pieces fit together. But let’s give this a try anyway.
My choice for hero is Volken Macmani from Book of Bantorra. Volken is everything a hero should be. His sense of justice is perhaps the strongest of anyone I’ve seen in an anime. He always does what’s right, even if that ultimately leads to him leaving the woman he loves behind and marching towards his own death, all on behalf of a complete stranger.
A hero in anime who fights on the behalf of justice is actually unusual. More often, characters decide to fight on the behalf of more tangible things, such as “friends.” Volken leaves his friends behind to do what’s right. The few characters that do have a strong moral compass often have a simple, stark choice between good and evil. Volken does not have an easy choice: the world of Bantorra is fraught with ambiguity and confusion,but Volken flies through it as straight as an arrow. Other characters, such as Saber and Lancer from Fate / Zero, are obsessed with honor. Volken is as well. But only insofar as it leads towards justice. The second Volken becomes suspicious of the library, he tosses his honor out the window and betrays everything he has fought for his entire life.
The Lancer is meant to complement the hero, being in some sense his opposite. For the honorable and just Volken, Lelouch Lamperouge serves as the perfect counterpoint. While Volken abhors evil of any sort, Lelouch embraces evil to do good. But (at first, at least) Lelouch doesn’t really care about good. He cares about his sister and revenge, in that order. He does change throughout the course of the series, however.
Why Lelouch in particular? I love his crazy laugh, his scheming, his layers and layers of plans and deceit, and his insatiable lust for power. He does a lot of awful things, but I can’t help but genuinely like the guy.
The Big Guy
Father Anderson of Hellsing is my choice for the Big Guy. First of all, he’s big. And he’s strong. He can fight the world’s strongest vampire on equal footing as a mere human. Hard to beat that, he’s definitely someone you want on your side.
Anderson is more on Lelouch’s side of the spectrum than Volken. As a priest of the order of Judas Iscariot, he willingly throws his soul into the fires of hell to bring about the kingdom of God. He isn’t afraid of anything and is a force to be reckoned with.
The Smart Guy
The smart guy should be physically weak, and is often nerdy, young, awkward and played for comic relief. My first thought was Yuki Nagato, but she’s not exactly weak. My second thought was the counselor from Ghost Hound (what an awesome character) but he’s not that young or that funny. So I’ll go with Shinpachi from Oh! Edo Rocket.
Shinpachi is a king among nerds. He spends all his free time doing math, including calculating rocket trajectories in an age before the invention of the aeroplane. He’s smart, young, and hilarious. He’s extremely awkward, but he still has a girlfriend (who just happens to be a dog).
I think he would get along well with Father Anderson and Volken, but always get in fights with Lelouch.
The Chick is the peacekeeper, the one who keeps the other group members’ aggression in check. I’ll choose Hinagiku from Hayate no Gotoku. I think she could keep Lelouch and Father Anderson under control, and take care of Shinpachi in his brother’s absence. How could anyone say no to that blushing?
The Big Bad
So Yerocha totally stole my choice for the Big Bad. Friend from 20th Century Boys is pretty much the perfect villain. He’s utterly evil, with a diabolic plan to conquer the world through his evil cult, but he’s wrapped (hur hur) in enigma and we ultimately discover his identity and come to understand him, which is a terrifying prospect in and of itself.
Just so I can’t be accused of copying Yerocha, I’ll give Friend some sidekicks: he can have Setsuna F. Seiei from Gundam 00, Ouma Shuu from Guilty Crown, and Suzaku from Code Geass. I chose these characters because I’d enjoy watching them fight Father Anderson. Setsuna and Ouma Shuu should of course be removed if the script involves them opening their mouths, but I’m okay with Suzaku having a speaking part.
What would your ideal cast of characters in an anime be?
Be sure to check out the responses of the other participants: