Over on 100 Words Anime, Karandi was asked:
Question: If you were to go on an adventure which involves fighting monsters in order to save someone important to you or to seek some great treasures, who are the anime characters who you’d love to accompany you and why? Also, what kind of ability do you want to have to defeat monsters?
Surprisingly, this took more thought than I would have expected… It turns out a well balanced party drawn from anime characters isn’t as easy as you might think.
The traditional place for recruiting party members is the local tavern. I sometimes picture the Apprentice Mages Lounge as a kind of gathering spot, so since we’re in the right place – so hit the jump and let’s see who I’d recruit. Then let me know who you’d pick.
(But let’s avoid that shady looking character in the corner…)
I’m going to stick with the same limitations Karandi set on herself. Five members total, and one of them has to be me. I’m also going to cover them in the order I added them to the party and talk a little about my thought processes….
With that, my first pick is the same as hers:
Kirito (Kirigaya Kazuto, Sword Art Online franchise).
All in all, a sensible pick I think… A skilled adventurer, an experienced dungeon diver, and both talented and powerful in melee combat. My original pick was the late Aincrad arc Kirito because of Starburst Stream and his dual wielding skills. But for reasons that will become clear in a moment, I later revised that to Mother’s Rosario arc Kirito.
Karandi also recently wrote Five Reasons To Like Kirito, which is well worth reading both for her reasoning and the comments.
Julis Riessfeld (Asterisk War)
Ahh… the Glühen Rose, the Witch of the Resplendent Flames… and one of my favorite tsunderes. Not only does she wield a sword-type Lux, she’s also a powerful magic user with fire based attacks. This gives the party valuable ranged attack capability.
And here I was stuck for a while. I didn’t want to create something that was basically just like my Anime Avengers team… But some of the discussion in the comments to that post lead me to think about team should be assembled…
And that’s when I realized my mistake. A superhero team is based on strong characters that can bring the hurt with maybe a support/defense character or two. A RPG/dungeon diver team is classically built around a defined set of roles and characters to fill them. And with that realization – my next pick came to mind instantly.
Asuna (Yuki Asuna, Sword Art Online franchise).
Mother’s Rosario arc Asuna is a skilled mage – capable of healing and casting a variety of support spells. But she also dual-classes as a powerful rapier wielding swordswoman. With or without the Mother’s Rosario skill, the Berserk Healer brings a variety of useful capabilities to the team.
This is also the point where I went back and changed my Kirito pick. It didn’t seem fair to not match the two of them from the same point in their personal timelines.
In my head canon, I approach the two of them in a quiet tavern in New Aincrad. I apologize for interrupting their evening and make my pitch. Maybe I’m rescuing my imouto? That’s a classic anime trope… And I think it’s something both of them would find appealing.
And here, once again I was stuck. What role is left unfilled? What skills do I need in the remaining slot? Then I saw that Crunchyroll had added Snow White with the Red Hair to it’s catalog – and it hit me. Thieves and ninjas are classic RPG archetypes!
Obi (Snow White with the Red Hair)
I couldn’t find a video of Obi in action, so a screenshot will have to do…
Though he’s not a thief or a ninja per se, he does have a lot of the same skills. He’s acrobatic and athletic which lets him move quickly and quietly across a variety of terrain. He’s also stealthy. Very useful skills for scouting ahead or finding the perfect position for a sudden attack. With his martial arts skills, a dagger, a variety of thrown weapons, and a bow… he’s also sudden death regardless of the range.
And leaves one final pick – me. And here, I diverge a little bit from the question as asked. As I said above RPG/dungeon diver teams are built around roles and archetypes, and that’s the theme I want to continue.
My thoughts drifted back to my days playing Ultima Online, when my favorite character was a Tamer. But that didn’t seem to fit well with this party, which was already front loaded with combat skills. I needed something different… So I thought about my favorite MMORPG – City Of Heroes. While it was a superhero game rather than a fantasy game, it was still built around the same general idea of different archetypes (classes) which filled specific roles. And there I found my answer. In CoH I usually played a Controller or a Defender – characters that mostly filled a support (buff/debuff or healing) role but still had decent ranged combat skills.
And that would be me – in fantasy terms, some kind of mage or wizard. As I was explaining this to my wife over dinner, she brightened up and said “Oh! You could be Aqua!”. And while her water powers would be a useful balance to Julis’ flame, Oh Hell No. I want to be useful to the party. (Though I admit for a while I did consider Darkness for one of my picks, she’s the perfect Tank.) Though she’s not an anime character, a waterbender with Katara’s healing skills might be interesting too…
So, there you have it… I’ve got a team assembled, and we’re ready to head out! Who would be on your team, and why? Let us know down in the comments.