Gia's List: The 7 Coolest Quiet Anime Charactersby Gia Manry, Feb 18th 2012
Anime is full of talkers, from chatty girls to loquacious dudes (hello, Kamina). But sometimes it's the quiet types who really grab the spotlight, so let's take a look at these seven near-silent characters.
7. Megumi Yamamoto (Special A)
High schooler Megumi is a top achiever and a member of Special A's titular self-study class for intellectual elites. She is, like so many high school girls before her, intending to throw all her studying aside and become an idol singer. To be fair, she can probably make more money that way, especially if she continues to look like a high schooler for the rest of her life. She refuses to speak in order to protect her precious singing voice. That may or may not be a good thing, though, as it turns out her singing voice tends to knock people out...though no one's explained exactly why. Instead, Megumi writes all of her questions, answers, and snarky statements on a sketchpad (or, more likely, a LOT of sketchpads), unless she gets really upset. (You don't want her to get really upset.)
6. Ran Mao (Kuroshitsuji)
Ran Mao is clearly designed to appeal both to modern audiences and to characters in a setting where women were preferred to be seen and not heard. Dressed in the popularized version of a traditonal Chinese cheongsam and twin hair buns, Ran Mao never actually speaks. Instead, her employer and not-blood-related "brother" (he says) Lau, does more than enough speaking for her. Opium runner and businessman Lau also employs her to assassinate and/or silently flirt with whoever he pleases. She is talented at both of these skills, and is also a bit of a stoic, allowing Lau to poke and prod at her face as he sees fit. Then again, it's also known that he has other "girls" besides her (though they're rarely seen in comparison), so perhaps her willingness to put up with his nonsense stems from a desire for job security.
5. Zazie Rainyday (Mahou Sensei Negima)
Of the umpteen zillion young ladies that appear in Mahou Sensei Negima, Zazie is one of the less developed characters. To be fair, there are an awful lot of them. Here's what we know about Zazie: she's not from Japan, but her silence doesn't stem from a lack of lingual understanding. She's a member of the school's Magic Club. Her super powers include (but may not be limited to) juggling, acrobatics, and the ability to hold an entire phone conversation without speaking...leading her classmates to believe she wasn't even really on the phone. She also has a weird set of friends outside of the school who look like masked blobs. Other than that, we know...well, a little more, but it'd be a spoiler to share it, so you'll have to look it up yourself if you want to know. Suffice it to say that Zazie may in fact be incredibly awesome.
4. Chane Laforet (Baccano!)
A mortal among immortals, Chane Laforet has an added disadvantage: she's mute. On the other hand, she's adept at communicating via body language and written notes, and she even has a telepathic connection with her father, the immortal Huey Laforet. Chane is no weakling, though, more than holding her own against immortals and terrorists alike with her knife-wielding skills. Turns out the only thing she's weak against is Claire Stanfield. Interestingly, she's not the only quiet member of the Baccano! cast, thanks to card-wielding Keith Gandor. He's quiet by choice, though, while Chane actually can't speak- although it's not entirely clear why that's the case. Besides, Chane is way cooler, especially with her adorable cluelessness as to why anyone would treat her nicely.
3. Meru Otonashi (Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei)
At first glance, Meru is a shy, sweet, blushing young high school student with adorable pigtails. Then you learn that she's so shy, she won't even talk to you, which you either find off-putting or mind-numblingly adorable. Then...she gets your phone number and sends you a text. A sharp, biting text message that either makes you cry or start plotting homicide. Named after the Japanese word for a text message (derived from "mail"), Meru communicates only via text message. Like most of the people on this list, she has no physical barrier to speech, only psychological. Unlike most of them, she's incredibly wealthy- wealthy enough that her dad set up a contest to let another character on the show dub her in real time. In the meta-verse, Meru is "voiced" (a task consisting primarily of weird noises suggesting her inability to converse) by any other voice actress in the show, chosen at random. Oh, and her texts are hilarious, as long as you're not the one receiving them. Win.
2. Freddie (Cromartie High)
Freddie is so silent that his name may not even be Freddie; he was nicknamed after Freddie Mercury, the lead singer from the British rock band Queen. Freddie is a muscular and be-moustached member of the Cromartie High student body, and as such he appears to be nothing more than a delinquent. However, it turns out (presciently?) that he's also a good singer, and he'll even use a broken microphone stand in solidarity with his namesake. Also presciently, he's sort of unintentionally flamboyant, riding a giant black stallion to school. Freddie is one of the top three punks who "runs" Cromartie High, and he shows true leadership from time to time. For example, when everyone was lost in the woods, he scaled down a mountain to get some ramen (silently!) when he was hungry. He just might have forgotten to tell everyone about it after he scaled back up.
1. Celty (Durarara!)
We've got singers, assassins, and temporary terrorists on this list, but there is only one Dullahan, and that is Celty, one of the protagonists from Durarara!! (created, interestingly, by the writer of Baccano!, which features two other quiet types). A Dullahan is basically a headless horsewoman who terrorizes the Irish countrysides. Now, being a supernatural being, Celty might have been able to speak...if she had any idea where her head was. In the series, she's visiting Japan trying to find her missing head. Like Meru and Megumi, Celty utilizes an alternate form of conversation. She uses her cell phone to type messages, which she either sends or simply shows to whoever's around her, thus wisely saving her text message allowance. What makes her top this list? She has just about every cool feature you could think of: an awesome motorcycle that neighs (it was originally a horse), the ability to turn her own primordial shadow-substance into a scythe (or anything, really), and a decent sense of humor...mostly.
The new poll: By contrast, plenty of anime characters talk a mile a minute. Which one of these is your fave? Pick one from our poll, come back and debate, and check back next time for the results!
The previous poll: This is a cool result to get: 41.8% of you guys said that your primary format for watching anime was streaming, versus only 23.5% downloaded. Unsurprisingly, Blu-ray was the most popular format if money and timing were not an object. Here are the complete results:
Primary anime format:
- Streaming video - 41.79%
- Download - 23.54%
- DVD, even if Blu-ray is available - 17.54%
- Blu-ray, if available, or DVD - 15.17%
- Video On Demand service - 1.26%
Preferred anime format:
- Blu-ray - 59.40%
- DVD - 26.38%
- Download - 6.64%
- Streaming video - 4.82%
- Video On Demand service - 2.53%
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