My favourite Anime characters are always those that feel relatable to myself of the experiences I’ve had in my own life.
But which Anime character represents me the most?
Well, I actually have more than one answer to this, since I’ve grown and changed a lot as a person over the years, so I’m going to list three characters, with each one representing a particular stage in my life: My childhood years, my teenage years and right now.
So let’s begin!
Childhood Years: Izuku Midoriya (My Hero Academia)
When I first watched My Hero Academia, I was pretty shocked by how similar its protagonist, Izuku Midoriya was to myself when I was a child. While he himself is a teenager, his idealistic views and strong desire to be the best is exactly how I was during my pre-high school years.
Throughout my childhood, much like Izuku, I was a very timid boy. I was very quiet, I was afraid of making a fool of myself and I lacked a great deal of self-expression.
However, Izuku is also determined, he’s studious and he always has a can-do attitude towards everything in life. He believes that he can be something great, even when he is outclassed by everyone around him and is victim to relentless bullying due to not fitting in.
Growing up, that was me. Izuku’s rival Bakugo constantly refers to him as a “nerd” and berates him all the time, and I suffered a similar experience. I was nerdy, I was weird and I didn’t fit in all that well. I was made fun of as a result, but back then, I was just a kid. I didn’t really care what people thought of me, and I kept my head high and continued to believe I could be the best and continued to view the world with idealistic eyes, just like Izuku does. I believed everyone had something good to offer the world and I would always help people out, even if they didn’t appreciate it or didn’t really like me all that much. I was kind to everyone, even the worst of people.
I even had various notebooks, just like Izuku does, although the contents were much different. I used to create my own characters and stories, and I’d keep them all together in various notebooks that I would take to school with me every day. Like Izuku, these notebooks only served to fuel the ridicule people would dish out to me.
Just like Izuku, I was a happy and idealistic kid with lofty goals, always chasing his dreams, no matter who or what stood in my way. He’s the perfect embodiment of my youth, and it filled with a great sense of nostalgia to see a character that was essentially a fully realised Anime version of my childhood self.
Teenage Years: Shinji Ikari (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
As I already mentioned in a previous challenge post about my favourite Mecha Anime, Neon Genesis Evangelion is a show that related to me in a way almost no other Anime ever has to this date. And a big part of that, was due to Shinji Ikari, and how much he resembled me during that period of my life.
Once I started high school, the bullying and resulting trauma became a lot more relentless. The few friends I had from my childhood years found new friends and social circles and were changing into different people and I struggled to fit in with just about everyone. Even when I eventually entered a social circle of my own, I was constantly bullied because I was quiet and timid, both verbally and physically, and no one would do anything to help me, not even my friends.
I also went through a lot of drama within my own social circle. My best friend at the time became obsessed with alcohol and was falling into a downward spiral of stupid and childish decisions which he wanted no salvation from, so we severed our ties with one another. I was lonely and isolated.
And all of this resulted in a massive blow to my self-confidence. I lost all belief in my own abilities to do anything right. I no longer believed I could be anything. I grew incredibly depressed and had less than desirable thoughts swirling around in my head.
Just like Shinji, I was isolated, alone and my mind was completely messed up from the trauma induced by the chaos that was my life at the time. I was on the verge of breaking down and I just wanted to be acknowledged by those around me.
Shinji is a constant reminder of my past trauma and serves as a motivation for me to continue to put the past behind me. Looking at Shinji, I always see what a damaged and messed up person I used to be and remain thankful that nowadays my life is just about perfect in every single way.
Current Years: Tanaka (Tanaka-Kun Is Always Listless)
Who else would I be these days?
Throughout each of these stages in my life, deep down, I’ve always been Tanaka. Growing up, I was always lethargic and I suffered from a self-diagnosed case of chronic fatigue syndrome.
I was always tired, I was always yawning, I always took shortcuts everywhere and I could always use more sleep.
And today, none of that has really changed. However, without the teenage drama and with a girlfriend who I’ve now been together with for 7 years, who now lives under the same roof as me, I can fully embrace the person I’ve always been.
And I can do it with no worries.
My life is more or less stress free. I live a very comfortable life, I get plenty of time to rest and be lazy and I have a girlfriend and a cat who love me to bits and can live with my laziness and faults (I hope!). Life could not be more relaxing, just like Tanaka’s and I now wake up every day loving my life and everything about it.
I’ve even managed to take the first steps to achieving my childhood dream of working in the Games Industry. I work as a Games Tester, which is my first step to becoming a successful Games Designer. Perhaps I still have a bit of Izuku in me after all.
And that about covers it. Thanks for reading everyone!
What Anime character are you most similar to?