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The Awesomest Anime Characters in the History of Forever – Part Two

October 27, 2010

Know how I went on and on about how Kamina ain’t all that mainly? I stand by that. He was a lot of talk and had nothing to show for his hot air.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to find a bastion of masculinity, especially when anime is so rife with weak, androgynous (in appearance, behavior, or both), and ineffective male leads. I can’t blame people for looking to Kamina as the antidote for Shinji Ikari’s spawn. But Kamina isn’t the cure. Nope, if you want to find the manliest man in all of anime, you have to look in a highly unlikely place.

Vamp

Vamp is the perfect picture of the modern manly man.

He is a born leader. Not only can he talk a mean talk, rallying his monstrous henchmen and pumping them up to face the hopeless plight that is their eternal battle with Sunred, he can back up those words. Sure, he and his henchmen perpetually fail in their task to vanquish Sunred, but it isn’t their fault. Sunred is quite possibly the most powerful anime character in existence. He’s more Superman than Goku from Dragonball Z– he’s been shown to be nigh-invulnerable, never succumbing to a villain’s attacks (Something Goku and many of the other Shounen Jump heroes can’t claim.). He also shows signs of “Pre-Crisis” Superman-level plot device abilities. If the writers need Sunred to do something, he does it. It’s kinda like how Superman would bust out some insane Kryptonian science when the plot deemed it necessary, and no one has ever looked at Lex Luthor, Brainiac, or any of Superman’s other villains as ineffective. They’re respectable because Superman’s the only thing keeping them from running rampant over humanity.

That’s Vamp. Vamp is a highly competent and effective leader, and the only thing keeping him and the rest of Florsheim from ruling the Earth is the ridiculously powered heroes like Sunred. Well, that and the comedic incompetence of many of his subordinates. But that shows that Vamp, in and of himself, is a powerhouse to be reckoned with.

But a true manly man can’t just be a stat sheet with all the dots filled in. Yeah, manly men need to be able to punch the shit out of stuff and wield the confidence needed to let people know you can punch the shit out of stuff, but that alone just makes you a  Grand Theft Auto-level thug. What pushes Vamp over the edge and helps make him a perfect example of anime manliness is the way he handles life outside of his villainous conquests.

Vamp is as much a leader in domestic and social circles as he is a leader on the battlefield. He manages his minions not only in combat, he also runs the house in which many of these kaijin live. He juggles the various personalities present in their household, molding them into a nigh-perfect family unit. The various Florsheim monsters may have their differences, but in the end it’s through Vamp’s patriarchal prowess that they’re able to be a true family. Throw in the fact that he’s also a domestic genius that’d make the likes of Belldandy and other “perfect girlfriends” jealous (He can clean house, cook dinner, and pay the bills effortlessly), and you have a man who is at home on any battlefield.

And a true man’s man has to be a man of words– not just cheering on his followers in the fight, but a man of words socially. Vamp may be something of a soft-spoken type who doesn’t want to ruffle people’s feathers, but he’s able to navigate the treacherous alleyways and neighborhoods of suburban society. Despite being a world-conquering monster, he’s friends with everyone in their neighborhood. He’s a member of the local neighborhood association, he’s trusted with the neighborhood children, and is an all-around great citizen. He’s even good friends with his mortal enemy’s girlfriend. It takes a true man of class to befriend the betrothed of his nemesis.

For all intents and purposes, Vamp is the perfect human being. Whatever failings that have befallen him are due to the whims of fate rather than because of any shortcomings in his abilities. He’s the only “perfect” anime character that’s really worth a damn at the end of the day. All of the flawless bishounen of the world– all of the statuesque martial badasses– all of the dream girlfriends birthed from fanboy fantasies– all of them quiver in fear when they realize they’re nothing in the face of Vamp’s perfection.

Vamp is one of the awesomest characters ever.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2010 12:41 AM

    Indeed, and he’s not a goddamn otaku. One of the few things he can’t do is the rather unmanly activity of model building.

    But yeah, like, whatchu say IS true.

    It’s been established that Florsheim are actually pretty darn powerful. They can break rocks and everything, and when that out of town group of villains came in, Florsheim showed ’em what’s what. And Vamp even gave the whippersnappers a resounding lecture in acceptable social behavior. When you really think about it, that IS a manly man thing to do.

    When you consider the eclectic personalities of Vamp’s minions, you realize he IS a goddamn effective leader. He’s got guys who just can’t get along like Armored Tiger and Samurai Lion, guys who are troublemakers like Ant Killer and there’s the annoying veteran who nobody has a heart to tell that no one wants him, ala Mr. Peeled Shrimp. And he’s managed them into a cohesive unit with a singular goal.

    Hell, despite their squabbling, he’s turned them into a FAMILY.

    Also, can Kamina cook? No. Can Simon balance a budget? No. Can Goku pay his taxes? No. Can Superman file an expenses claim? Well, yes, but he’s an awful leader (Supes is more of a figurehead type than an actual leader or even administrator).

    In short, yeah, Vamp can do it all. He’s tougher than he seems, is an absolutely fantastic leader and unlike many anime characters, is able to function in normal society. Hell, he excels in it.

    But of course, there’s also a caveat… I notice you noted that Vamp is a manly MAN. One wonders though, who is the manliest character, period?

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